Release date: 11/20/2018
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that seven people from the Triangle have received the Attorney General’s Dogwood Award. These awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy, and happy in their communities.
These award recipients include:
- Mike and Becky Cannon, of Wilson, who founded an organization called JCANS to honor their son, Jonathan, who died after a drug overdose. JCANS helps bring people struggling with drug addiction to treatment.
- Monika Johnson-Hostler, of Raleigh, who is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
- William Lassiter, of Raleigh, who is Deputy Secretary for Juvenile Justice at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult and Correction & Juvenile Justice.
- Lt. John Somerindyke, of Fayetteville, who is Commander of the Fayetteville Police Department’s Special Victims Unit.
- Nicole Sullivan, of Raleigh, who is Director for Reentry Programs and Services at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction & Juvenile Justice.
- Kurtis Stewart, of Durham, who works with the New Bern Area of Improvement and has been a leader in hurricane recovery.
“It is my privilege to honor Mike, Becky, Monika, Nicole, Billy, Kurtis, and Lt. Somerindyke for their work to serve North Carolinians,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Today’s awards are a recognition of their contributions, but they also serve as a reminder for all of us of to do our part to build stable, successful communities in North Carolina.”
Monika Johnson Hostler is Executive Director for the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, a statewide alliance working to end sexual violence. For more than 16 years, she has been an advocate for women and children and sexual assault and domestic violence victim-survivors. She is also a speaker and author on sexual violence.
“Monika has been an invaluable partner in our work to test sexual assault kits,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Her advocacy on behalf of victims of this horrific crime is inspiring and important.”
Nicole Sullivan is Director for Reentry Programs and Services at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction & Juvenile Justice. Nicole helps lead the State Reentry Council Collaborative and other reentry efforts to ensure that individuals leaving incarceration can successfully transition back into their families and communities.
“Improving the transition from incarceration to living in our communities helps us all,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Nicole’s work and leadership on this issue will make North Carolina safer and stronger.”
Billy Lassiter is the Deputy Secretary for Juvenile Justice at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction & Juvenile Justice. He has successfully advocated for the passage of the Raise the Age Initiative, which prevents 16- and 17-year olds who commit misdemeanors and low-level felonies from being tried as adults. Billy is now working to set up the program as it goes into effect in December 2019.
“Billy Lassiter has worked for years to make sure our criminal justice system treats young people as young people,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Thanks to his tireless advocacy, North Carolina passed Raise the Age last year. I am proud to honor him for that work.”
Kurtis Stewart, who lives in Durham, is chairman of the New Bern Area of Improvement and currently oversees the Jasper G. Hayes Omega Center in New Bern. The facility has after school programs, community programs, and special events.
“I’ve come to know Kurtis Stewart in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “He is committed to bringing people together to help New Bern recover from this storm, and I’m grateful for his efforts.”
Lieutenant John Somerindyke is commander of the Fayetteville Police Department’s Special Victims Unit. This year, he was instrumental in identifying and apprehending the Ramsey Street Rapist, who committed a series of rapes in Fayetteville between 2006 and 2008. Lieutenant Somerindyke and his team led efforts to test evidence and help close this and other cold cases, and he has also been an advocate for testing older sexual assault kits to help bring justice to survivors and hold offenders responsible.
“Lt. Somerindyke’s work to bring justice to sexual assault victims is so important,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Continuing to work these cold cases reminds victims and perpetrators alike that North Carolina’s law enforcement community takes these crimes seriously. I am grateful to work alongside Lt. Somerindyke in the fight against sexual assault.”
A full list of 2018 Dogwood Award winners is below:
- Jim Albright, Director, Guilford County Emergency Services, Greensboro
- Asa Buck, Carteret County Sheriff, Beaufort
- Mike Cannon, co-founder of JCANS, Wilson
- Becky Cannon, co-founder of JCANS, Wilson
- J.H Corpening, Chief District Court Judge, 5th Judicial District, Wilmington
- Debbie Dalton, founder of The Hunter Dalton #HDLife Foundation, Cornelius
- Bill Hollingsed, Chief of Police, Waynesville Police Department, Waynesville
- Monika Johnson-Hostler, Executive Director, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Raleigh
- William Lassiter, Deputy Commissioner of Juvenile Justice, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Raleigh
- Bradley Letts, Superior Court Judge, 30B Judicial District, North Carolina Superior Court, Waynesville
- Spencer Merriweather, District Attorney, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte
- Kenneth Shultz, Chief of Police, High Point Police Department, High Point
- John Somerindyke, Lieutenant, Fayetteville Police Department, Fayetteville
- Kurtis Stewart, Board Chair of the New Bern Area of Improvement, New Bern/Durham
- Nicole Sullivan, Director, Reentry, Programs and Services, North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Raleigh
- Meade Horton Van Pelt, Executive Director, The Harrelson Center, Wilmington
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484