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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

County budget requests will be dissected over the next couple months in an effort to alleviate a sizable shortfall, meaning some departments may be left in the cold regarding some personnel, equipment and infrastructure needs.
Several departments are requesting extra bodies for 2015-16 to help with the load on current full-time workers. Previous r

Staffing key need

County budget requests will be dissected over the next couple months in an effort to alleviate a sizable shortfall, meaning some departments may be left in the cold regarding some personnel, equipment and infrastructure needs. Several departments are requesting extra bodies for 2015-16 to help with the load on current full-time workers. Previous r

Still time to 'Chip for Children'

The Sampson County Child Advocacy Center is holding a golf tournament at the end of this week in an effort to raise funds for the newly-formed facility — and there is still time to sign up for the center's first-ever fundraising event. The “Chipping for Children” 4-Man Super Ball Golf Tournament will be held this Friday, May 1, w

A water and sewer rate hike has been proposed for the City of Clinton, with the average user expected to pay a few quarters more on their monthly bill — a move made in part to generate revenue for high-priced projects coming down the pipe.
Last week, City manager Shawn Purvis briefed City Council during a special budget workshop on the statu

City eyes rate hike

A water and sewer rate hike has been proposed for the City of Clinton, with the average user expected to pay a few quarters more on their monthly bill — a move made in part to generate revenue for high-priced projects coming down the pipe. Last week, City manager Shawn Purvis briefed City Council during a special budget workshop on the statu

A Roseboro man has been charged in connection with a chase that began following a call of shots fired on Peavine Road Sunday night and ended with two suspects fleeing into the woods, one of them later caught.
Alex Torres, 22, of 665 JC Lane, Roseboro, has now been charged with fleeing to elude arrest with motor vehicle, simple assault, resisting p

Sunday chase ends in arrest

A Roseboro man has been charged in connection with a chase that began following a call of shots fired on Peavine Road Sunday night and ended with two suspects fleeing into the woods, one of them later caught. Alex Torres, 22, of 665 JC Lane, Roseboro, has now been charged with fleeing to elude arrest with motor vehicle, simple assault, resisting p

Expensive farm equipment was able to be returned to its rightful owner following an incident of alleged theft in northern Sampson County.
Ricky Chase Naylor, 28, of 237 Naylor School Road, Roseboro, was charged with larceny of motor vehicle, felony larceny and injury to personal property.
Naylor was arrested at 7605 Newton Grove Hwy., Dunn, at ab

Arrest made in tractor theft

Expensive farm equipment was able to be returned to its rightful owner following an incident of alleged theft in northern Sampson County. Ricky Chase Naylor, 28, of 237 Naylor School Road, Roseboro, was charged with larceny of motor vehicle, felony larceny and injury to personal property. Naylor was arrested at 7605 Newton Grove Hwy., Dunn, at ab

Domino's is attempting to broaden its customer base through a “pizza theater” makeover that introduces an interactive experience, pizza by the slice and sit-down dining — and the location at Jordan Shopping Plaza in Clinton is among those leading the way.
It will change the face not only of the company, but build its local presen

'Pizza theater' coming soon to Jordan

Domino's is attempting to broaden its customer base through a “pizza theater” makeover that introduces an interactive experience, pizza by the slice and sit-down dining — and the location at Jordan Shopping Plaza in Clinton is among those leading the way. It will change the face not only of the company, but build its local presen

Crews remove 18 tons of trash

City of Clinton crews collected more than 18 tons of trash during another successful Spring Clean Up Week earlier this month. During the biannual cleanup weeks, the City of Clinton Public Works and Utilities Department suspends regular trash collection rules and additional items, including furniture, appliances, four tires per household and tree l

As budget time draws near, the county is facing a $3.5 million shortfall with which commissioners will have to deal during deliberations — at least one commissioner is confident those talks will not extend into July as they have the past three years.
“Right now we do have a deficit … of about $3,537,712,” said finance offic

Dealing with shortfall

As budget time draws near, the county is facing a $3.5 million shortfall with which commissioners will have to deal during deliberations — at least one commissioner is confident those talks will not extend into July as they have the past three years. “Right now we do have a deficit … of about $3,537,712,” said finance offic

The county is facing a $3.5 million shortfall in 2015-16 should all departmental requests be approved, leaving tough decisions as to where the budget ax should fall — one commissioner said that ax should take out recreation entirely.
The proposal to eliminate the Sampson County Parks and Recreation Department, made by Commissioner Clark Woot

Recreation facing ax

The county is facing a $3.5 million shortfall in 2015-16 should all departmental requests be approved, leaving tough decisions as to where the budget ax should fall — one commissioner said that ax should take out recreation entirely. The proposal to eliminate the Sampson County Parks and Recreation Department, made by Commissioner Clark Woot

D'town Clinton welcomes new businesses

For the last three years, Tonya Devaughn operated Lemon Sprouts Health Food Store just outside the city limits. Through a series of events and discussions with Clinton Main Street committee members, her business is now one of four new additions to the downtown. In mid-March, Clinton Main Street Program Economic Restructuring Committee member and C

A Clinton man has received additional charges of trafficking in methamphetamine following the State Bureau of Investigation's probe into a meth lab found at his residence in November 2014.
Robert Kyle Ellis, 53, of 6096 Taylors Bridge Hwy., Clinton, has now been charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, adding to the plethora of f

More meth charges

A Clinton man has received additional charges of trafficking in methamphetamine following the State Bureau of Investigation's probe into a meth lab found at his residence in November 2014. Robert Kyle Ellis, 53, of 6096 Taylors Bridge Hwy., Clinton, has now been charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, adding to the plethora of f

A Newton Grove man has been charged with assault and larceny following the stabbing of another man, according to sheriff's authorities.
Rudy Oswaldo Lopez-Godoy, 34, of 607 B2 Mount Olive Drive, Newton Grove, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and larceny, both misdemeanor offenses. He was arrested at his residence, where the alleged in

Stabbing suspect arrested

A Newton Grove man has been charged with assault and larceny following the stabbing of another man, according to sheriff's authorities. Rudy Oswaldo Lopez-Godoy, 34, of 607 B2 Mount Olive Drive, Newton Grove, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and larceny, both misdemeanor offenses. He was arrested at his residence, where the alleged in

The Clinton Police Department is investigating an armed robbery at a Clinton business Saturday night, and officers are calling on the public for any information that might lead to those responsible.
Police officers responded to the armed robbery at Happy Mart Tobacco Shop, located at 202 Northeast Blvd., at 9:31 p.m. Saturday. They were called to

Happy Mart robbed

The Clinton Police Department is investigating an armed robbery at a Clinton business Saturday night, and officers are calling on the public for any information that might lead to those responsible. Police officers responded to the armed robbery at Happy Mart Tobacco Shop, located at 202 Northeast Blvd., at 9:31 p.m. Saturday. They were called to

Awareness and early detection through regular screenings is key in surviving a breast cancer diagnosis.
It is a message preached by the Sampson County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) Advisory Board, which had plans to partner with the Sampson County Health Department and Rex Mobile Mammography to literally drive that point home

'Mobile' event off

Awareness and early detection through regular screenings is key in surviving a breast cancer diagnosis. It is a message preached by the Sampson County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) Advisory Board, which had plans to partner with the Sampson County Health Department and Rex Mobile Mammography to literally drive that point home

Wilson Beard's life was cut short with a single gunshot, his body left by the side of the road, his family left to grieve without any closure surrounding his murder. That was 22 years ago this month, and still answers elude his loved ones.
“Time goes by and it doesn't get any better. It gets worse,” said Wilson's oldest brother Paul Be

Beard remembered

Wilson Beard's life was cut short with a single gunshot, his body left by the side of the road, his family left to grieve without any closure surrounding his murder. That was 22 years ago this month, and still answers elude his loved ones. “Time goes by and it doesn't get any better. It gets worse,” said Wilson's oldest brother Paul Be

The county has submitted a $780,000 state grant on behalf of Chemtex that, along with other funds, would assist in the construction of a rail spur extension to serve the incoming industry as well as other future developable properties south of the Turkey Highway (N.C. 24) site.
The Sampson Board of Commissioners recently approved submitting a form

Chemtex grant OK'd

The county has submitted a $780,000 state grant on behalf of Chemtex that, along with other funds, would assist in the construction of a rail spur extension to serve the incoming industry as well as other future developable properties south of the Turkey Highway (N.C. 24) site. The Sampson Board of Commissioners recently approved submitting a form

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 • April 10 — Jimmy McKoy Rouse, 19, of 503 W. Butler Ave., Clinton, was charged with domestic assault on a female. No bond was set; court d

GARLAND — A high-speed vehicle chase in southern Sampson County erupted into gunfire between a robbery suspect and sheriff's deputies, resulting in the death of the suspect.
The Sheriff's Office is currently conducting an administrative investigation of the incident, with a deputy placed on leave
Around 11:32 p.m. Sunday, the Sampson County

Robbery suspect shot dead after chase

GARLAND — A high-speed vehicle chase in southern Sampson County erupted into gunfire between a robbery suspect and sheriff's deputies, resulting in the death of the suspect. The Sheriff's Office is currently conducting an administrative investigation of the incident, with a deputy placed on leave Around 11:32 p.m. Sunday, the Sampson County

GARLAND — A high-speed vehicle chase in southern Sampson County erupted into gunfire between a robbery suspect and sheriff's deputies, resulting in the death of the suspect.
The Sheriff's Office is currently conducting an administrative investigation of the incident, with a deputy placed on leave
Around 11:32 p.m. Sunday, the Sampson County

Suspect, officer identified following shooting

GARLAND — A high-speed vehicle chase in southern Sampson County erupted into gunfire between a robbery suspect and sheriff's deputies, resulting in the death of the suspect. The Sheriff's Office is currently conducting an administrative investigation of the incident, with a deputy placed on leave Around 11:32 p.m. Sunday, the Sampson County

Robberies under investigation

Two separate county robberies are currently under investigation by the Sheriff's Office. The first occurred at 10:55 a.m. Friday at 717 N Pine St., Roseboro, where a male suspect reportedly forced his way into the home and pointed a pistol at an 18-year-old male resident of the home. A second victim, a 22-year-old male resident also of Roseboro, w





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