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Chris Berendt

Position: Staff writer
E-Mail Address: cberendt@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: (910) 249-4616


About Chris Berendt

Chris earned a BA in journalistic communication, minor in political science from Purdue University. A North Carolina Press Association award winner, Chris has 10 years of reporting experience, the last 9 with The Sampson Independent covering every aspect news. He currently covers all city and county government reporting for the SI and previously worked as crime reporter.

Latest Stories by Chris Berendt

The second of two required meetings on a proposed Royal Lane Park revamp will be held tonight, and Recreation officials are hoping for a much better turnout.
City of Clinton staff will be on hand to receive comments and provide maps illustrating the plans for Royal Lane Park Phase 1 project tonight, Thursday, Dec. 18, from 6-8 p.m. in the Clinton

More turnout urged

The second of two required meetings on a proposed Royal Lane Park revamp will be held tonight, and Recreation officials are hoping for a much better turnout. City of Clinton staff will be on hand to receive comments and provide maps illustrating the plans for Royal Lane Park Phase 1 project tonight, Thursday, Dec. 18, from 6-8 p.m. in the Clinton

Clinton Police Department officers and staff played Santa to dozens of Head Start and Early Head Start students this week, handing out plenty of goodies, hugs and handshakes, as well as some sloppy kisses from K9 Junior.
The idea for the toys and treats for the young children at Telamon Corporation Head Start came about after Head Start participat

Delivering holiday magic

Clinton Police Department officers and staff played Santa to dozens of Head Start and Early Head Start students this week, handing out plenty of goodies, hugs and handshakes, as well as some sloppy kisses from K9 Junior. The idea for the toys and treats for the young children at Telamon Corporation Head Start came about after Head Start participat

A successful Christmas in the City not only brought hordes of people downtown this past Friday night, but the festivities enjoyed by many — from carriage and hayrides to a silent auction — also helped raise much-needed funds for a local landmark.
The Sampson County History Museum was to be the beneficiary of a large amount of the downt

'Christmas' brings gift to museum

A successful Christmas in the City not only brought hordes of people downtown this past Friday night, but the festivities enjoyed by many — from carriage and hayrides to a silent auction — also helped raise much-needed funds for a local landmark. The Sampson County History Museum was to be the beneficiary of a large amount of the downt

Some repurposed stone left over from a downtown revitalization project has served as the cherry on top of a revamp that has now spread beyond just the courthouse square — and is expected to continue.
The additional materials were utilized to build stone barriers on either side of bridges on Fisher Drive over the Cattail Branch and on Main St

Bland bridges beautified

Some repurposed stone left over from a downtown revitalization project has served as the cherry on top of a revamp that has now spread beyond just the courthouse square — and is expected to continue. The additional materials were utilized to build stone barriers on either side of bridges on Fisher Drive over the Cattail Branch and on Main St

A Garland man taken in for a driving while impaired charge was soon facing two felony drug offenses after it was discoverd that he concealed methamphetamine within the Sampson County Detention Center, according to reports.
On Friday, Jose Clemente Sanchez, 22, of 354 Smith Road, Garland, was charged with possession of a controlled substance on jai

Man charged with having meth in jail

A Garland man taken in for a driving while impaired charge was soon facing two felony drug offenses after it was discoverd that he concealed methamphetamine within the Sampson County Detention Center, according to reports. On Friday, Jose Clemente Sanchez, 22, of 354 Smith Road, Garland, was charged with possession of a controlled substance on jai

Two local break-ins resulted in the separate arrests of two men, who received a combined 16 felony counts that ranged from breaking and entering and theft to conspiracy and firearms possession in the incidents.
James Opal Williams, 21, of 1315 Alderman Mill Road, Dunn, was charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, th

Felony arrests made in thefts

Two local break-ins resulted in the separate arrests of two men, who received a combined 16 felony counts that ranged from breaking and entering and theft to conspiracy and firearms possession in the incidents. James Opal Williams, 21, of 1315 Alderman Mill Road, Dunn, was charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, th

In the wake of several property swaps on Wall and Fayetteville streets, projects are under way that will revamp, expand and relocate three local business, as well as provide new residential opportunities in downtown Clinton — effectively changing the face of the Sampson seat for years to come.
One of those efforts is afoot in a big way at th

Clinton's changing face

In the wake of several property swaps on Wall and Fayetteville streets, projects are under way that will revamp, expand and relocate three local business, as well as provide new residential opportunities in downtown Clinton — effectively changing the face of the Sampson seat for years to come. One of those efforts is afoot in a big way at th

A Sampson County man has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for the murder of a Newton Grove woman, gunned down in front of her children following a dispute between the estranged couple in July 2013.
Barney Robinson, 52, pleaded guilty in Sampson County Superior Court Wednesday to the second degree murder of Karie Ann Jaspers. Presiding

'Callous' killer gets 25

A Sampson County man has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for the murder of a Newton Grove woman, gunned down in front of her children following a dispute between the estranged couple in July 2013. Barney Robinson, 52, pleaded guilty in Sampson County Superior Court Wednesday to the second degree murder of Karie Ann Jaspers. Presiding

It's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in Clinton, with the halls being decked in and around the downtown Thursday leading up to a weekend packed with holiday festivities.
The Clinton Main Street Program in partnership with the Sampson County History Museum, Sampson Arts Council, Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, sponsors an

It's Christmas time in the city

It's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in Clinton, with the halls being decked in and around the downtown Thursday leading up to a weekend packed with holiday festivities. The Clinton Main Street Program in partnership with the Sampson County History Museum, Sampson Arts Council, Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, sponsors an

WILMINGTON — When an emaciated horse named Weaver gingerly walked off a trailer onto Poplar Grove Animal Sanctuary, not much more than skin and bones, it was kismet for Jo Weaver.
A volunteer at Poplar Grove, Jo Weaver not only shared a name with the equine, but she connected with her, choosing to adopt the horse just days after it came to t

Diamond in the rough

WILMINGTON — When an emaciated horse named Weaver gingerly walked off a trailer onto Poplar Grove Animal Sanctuary, not much more than skin and bones, it was kismet for Jo Weaver. A volunteer at Poplar Grove, Jo Weaver not only shared a name with the equine, but she connected with her, choosing to adopt the horse just days after it came to t

By Chris Berendt
cberendt@civitasmedia.com
Royal Lane Park renovation plans will be on display at a public meeting tonight (Thursday), allowing local residents to give feedback on a project city officials hope will be selected for grant funding.
City staff will be on hand to receive comments and provide maps illustrating the plans for Royal Lane

Royal Lane revamp plans go on display

By Chris Berendt cberendt@civitasmedia.com Royal Lane Park renovation plans will be on display at a public meeting tonight (Thursday), allowing local residents to give feedback on a project city officials hope will be selected for grant funding. City staff will be on hand to receive comments and provide maps illustrating the plans for Royal Lane

William Smith operates two gaming machines in his country store and rents several out to others, but was nonetheless happy with the county commissioners' decision last week to ban new gaming in Sampson.
“We've been operating these machines since 1989 in this county,” Smith said. “We've never had problems with chaos or violence or

The games people play

William Smith operates two gaming machines in his country store and rents several out to others, but was nonetheless happy with the county commissioners' decision last week to ban new gaming in Sampson. “We've been operating these machines since 1989 in this county,” Smith said. “We've never had problems with chaos or violence or

After years of minimal traffic, county officials are hoping a much-delayed website revamp might be just what is needed to get citizens to delve back into all aspects of Sampson government.
Assistant county manager Susan Holder recently addressed the matter, citing the recent hire of the county's projects and communications specialist with allowing

New county site expected within months

After years of minimal traffic, county officials are hoping a much-delayed website revamp might be just what is needed to get citizens to delve back into all aspects of Sampson government. Assistant county manager Susan Holder recently addressed the matter, citing the recent hire of the county's projects and communications specialist with allowing

There were 14 deaths of Sampson County children 18 or younger in 2013, a three-year low and a sizable decrease from the 22 deaths in 2012, according to a recently released annual report from the Child Fatality Prevention Team.
The team reviewed 14 child fatalities between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.
“This was a significant decrease from the pr

Child deaths at 3-year low

There were 14 deaths of Sampson County children 18 or younger in 2013, a three-year low and a sizable decrease from the 22 deaths in 2012, according to a recently released annual report from the Child Fatality Prevention Team. The team reviewed 14 child fatalities between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013. “This was a significant decrease from the pr

A Turkey man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his grown son in their home.
Edgar Armwood Jr., 57, of 1160 Thomson Ave., Turkey, was charged with aggravated assault for reportedly stabbing Kevin Glen Morrisey, 37, of the same Thomson Avenue address, with a 7-inch kitchen knife, according to reports. Morrisey was listed in reports as Armwood

Man arrested for stabbing son

A Turkey man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his grown son in their home. Edgar Armwood Jr., 57, of 1160 Thomson Ave., Turkey, was charged with aggravated assault for reportedly stabbing Kevin Glen Morrisey, 37, of the same Thomson Avenue address, with a 7-inch kitchen knife, according to reports. Morrisey was listed in reports as Armwood

CrimeWatch

(The public reports listed below are provided by the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, the Clinton Police Department and the N.C. Highway Patrol via the Sheriff's Office daily jail report.) Arrests • Dec. 5 — Gregory Phillips Stewart, 28, of 513 Pink Lane, Clinton, was charged with parole violation. • Dec. 5 — Christopher

Two Roseboro residents have been arrested after leading local law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase Saturday evening, during which the suspect vehicle was clocked traveling in excess of 90 mph in a 35 zone.
Jonathan Edward Carr, 27, and Ashley Nicole Carr, 24, both of 178 Old Brick Mill Road, Roseboro, were charged in connection with the

2 arrested after high-speed chase

Two Roseboro residents have been arrested after leading local law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase Saturday evening, during which the suspect vehicle was clocked traveling in excess of 90 mph in a 35 zone. Jonathan Edward Carr, 27, and Ashley Nicole Carr, 24, both of 178 Old Brick Mill Road, Roseboro, were charged in connection with the

A ballooning fund balance has put the City of Clinton in an enviable position, with the chance to utilize a significant surplus after 2013-14 in order to improve the city's financial condition.
During 2013-14, the city managed to increase its general fund balance by $348,486, bringing the total fund balance to a whopping $5.5 million. That is roug

Fund balance offers options

A ballooning fund balance has put the City of Clinton in an enviable position, with the chance to utilize a significant surplus after 2013-14 in order to improve the city's financial condition. During 2013-14, the city managed to increase its general fund balance by $348,486, bringing the total fund balance to a whopping $5.5 million. That is roug

City of Clinton officials have approved reducing the speed on one busy street and are mulling further precautions on another, where the speed was previously reduced, but safety issues still abound.
The City Council voted unanimously to reduce the speed on Stetson Street from 35 to 25 mph, and is expected to further consider two four-way stops on S

City reduces Stetson speed, eyes more safety for Stewart

City of Clinton officials have approved reducing the speed on one busy street and are mulling further precautions on another, where the speed was previously reduced, but safety issues still abound. The City Council voted unanimously to reduce the speed on Stetson Street from 35 to 25 mph, and is expected to further consider two four-way stops on S

The City Council selected its new attorney during a recent regular meeting, choosing Tim Howard as its next legal representative among six proposals considered over the past month,
Pursuant to N.C. General Statute, cities are required to have an attorney to provide legal counsel. City manager Shawn Purvis noted that the city can obtain the service

Howard selected as city's attorney

The City Council selected its new attorney during a recent regular meeting, choosing Tim Howard as its next legal representative among six proposals considered over the past month, Pursuant to N.C. General Statute, cities are required to have an attorney to provide legal counsel. City manager Shawn Purvis noted that the city can obtain the service





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