YEAR IN REVIEW: 2019 was a year of change

Published 12:46 pm Monday, December 30, 2019

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The year of 2019 was one of change for many parts of Stanly County. Several elected officials and first responders either retired or stepped down during the year.

Albemarle Police Chief Danny Bowen retired in February after serving as head of the department since November 2015. David Dulin was promoted to chief in late April. 

Candice Lowder became the new economic development director in February. County Manager Andy Lucas had been the interim director ever since Michael Smith resigned last August.

Pfeiffer University President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith left at the end of May for another college after serving as head of Pfeiffer for four years. Dr. Scott Bullard, who served as professor and interim president of Judson College in Alabama, became the university’s 11th president in June.

Albemarle Fire Chief Shawn Oke retired at the end of May after serving as chief for nine years. Ernie Hiers, who was previously Kannapolis Fire Chief, served as interim chief starting in late September. It was recently announced that T. Pierre Brewton, currently assistant fire chief at Spartanburg (S.C.) Fire Department, will become the new fire chief Jan. 21.

During the summer, numerous administrative changes were made within the school system: Chad Parker was named principal at South Stanly High School, replacing Tanya Crisco; Benjamin Goodwin was named principal at North Stanly Middle School, replacing Terri Crocker; Dr. Erik Johnson was named principal at East Albemarle Elementary, replacing Jonathan Brooks; and Mandy Efird was named principal at Norwood Elementary, replacing Jency Speight. 

Scott Howard became Norwood’s new town administrator this summer, replacing Ray Allen who had served as interim administrator. Allen replaced former town administrator John Mullis in March.

Stanfield Commissioner Rick Williams resigned in June due to his family moving to Lake Tillery. His vacated seat on the town council was taken up in August by Faye Love. 

Kathy Almond resigned as head of the Chamber of Commerce in August after six years at the helm. Sandy Selvy-Mullis was named interim president in September and will serve out the remainder of the year. 

Badin Police Chief Bryan Lambert retired Sept. 27 after serving as chief since April 2004. The town is currently working through a candidate pool to find his replacement, Town Manager Jay Almond said.

Red Cross Mayor Larry Wayne Smith and Councilman Jerry Jordan both stepped down in November. Former councilman Kelly Brattain is now the mayor. 

At the end of November, Locust Principal David Grice retired. He was replaced by Devron Fur, who had been principal at Albemarle Middle School. Chris Jonassen, who was principal at South Stanly Middle School, is now principal at Albemarle Middle and Kristen Sides, who was the assistant principal at South Stanly, is now interim principal.

Locust Police Chief Frank Hartsell, who has been head of the force for 10years, will retire Dec. 29. Steven Smith, a captain in the city’s police department, will be promoted to chief effective Dec. 30. 

Chief William Efird of the East Side Volunteer Fire Department recently stepped down after 15 years on the job. During the department’s annual meeting in December, Alan Beasley was named interim chief.


About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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