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Two Wilmington-area Individuals Honored with Attorney General Josh Stein’s Dogwood Award

Release date: 11/20/2018

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that Judge J.H. Corpening and Meade Horton Van Pelt 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.

J.H. Corpening is the chief district court judge for the 5th Judicial District. He has served on the court since 1991. He has long been a supporter of pre-trial and criminal justice programs that help offenders rebuild their lives and have successful futures. He was a vocal advocate of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, which prevents 16-and 17-year olds from being tried as adults for misdemeanors and low-level felonies. Judge Corpening has also supported programs that help reunite children with families and he spearheaded the Intensive Reunification Program to help children with parents struggling with addiction.

“Judge Corpening’s work on pretrial release and accountability will help us learn more about how to address growing criminal justice costs while prioritizing public safety and fairness,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.Meade Horton Van Pelt became Executive Director of the JoAnn Carter Harrelson Center in December 2016. The Harrelson Center is a nonprofit campus that works with other nonprofit partners in the Wilmington area to provide centralized humanitarian services. After Hurricane Florence, Meade led recovery and relief efforts for people in Wilmington, helping to coordinate volunteers and resources to maximize support and energize rebuilding. “I recently had the opportunity to visit with Meade and see first-hand the work the Harrelson Center is doing to rebuild Wilmington after Hurricane Florence,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She and her team are doing incredible work to coordinate among a variety of nonprofits and other organizations to get help to North Carolinians in need. I am grateful for her service.”

A full list of 2018 Dogwood Award Recipients 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

A video of today’s award ceremony can be found at

Laura Brewer
(919) 716-6484

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