Friday, November 24, 2017

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL SAT. NOV. 25

CITY OF THOMASTON PRESENTS THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AND PARADE SATURDAY 5 TO 9PM DOWNTOWN.


PARADE STARTS AT 7PM. THE FESTIVAL FEATURES LIVE MUSIC, CONTESTS, CRAFTS, VENDORS BOOTHS , INCLUDING FOOD AND OF COURSE SANTA

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

THOMASTON MUSIC LEGEND WAYNE COCHRAN HAS DIED

THOMASTON MUSIC LEGEND WAYNE COCHRAN DIED IN MIAMI TUESDAY FOLLOWING AN ILLNESS.

HE ROSE FROM GARBAGE COLLECTOR IN THOMASTON TO THE HEIGHTS OF FAME ON NETWORK TV AND ON STAGE AT THE LAS VEGAS CASINOS AS WAYNE COCHRAN AND HIS BAND THE C C RIDERS.

AFTER HE RETIRED FROM SHOW BUSINESS HE WENT INTO THE MINISTERY AND HAD PREACHED IN THOMASTON IN THE PAST.

WAYNE GOT HIS START PLAYING GIGS AT THE NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY ON SATURDAY NITE IN THOMASTON, WROTE AND PERFORMED A SONG CALLED “ LAST KISS”—ABOUT A FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT—THAT HIT THE CHARTS AND HIS CAREER WAS OFF AND RUNNING.


LATER, HE MET FAMED ACTOR JACKIE GLEASON IN MIAMI AND APPEARED ON HIS NETWORK TV SHOW ON A REGULAR BASIS. THAT ASSOCIATION LEAD TO ANOTHER BIG HIT—“GOING BACK TO MIAMI. “ 

Monday, November 20, 2017

BIG LOTTERY WINNER IN THOMASTON

A convenience store in Thomaston sold a jackpot ticket worth $1,087,219 in the Nov. 17 Fantasy 5 drawing.

Sunoco Food Mart, located at 2235 Barnesville Highway in Thomaston, sold the jackpot ticket.

Winning numbers from the Nov. 17 Fantasy 5 drawing were: 8-13-14-16-39.

A winner has not yet come forward.

The winner has 180 days from the draw date to claim the prize.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $19 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.8 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.6 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

Friday, November 17, 2017

THOMASTON CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL SAT NOV. 25

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAYS GA DOT HAS GRANTED PERMISSION TO CLOSE OFF STATE ROUTES 36 AND 74—WEST GORDON STREET, FROM SOUTH CHURCH ST. TO SOUTH CENTER STREET—SATURDAY NOV. 25TH FOR THE CITY OF THOMASTON CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL.

THE STREETS WILL BE CLOSED FROM 3;30 UNTIL 9PM—THE FESTIVAL BEGINS AT 5 THE CHRISTMAS PARADE AT 7PM.


SANTA CLAUS AGAIN WILL BE ON THE SQUARE THANKSGIVING NIGHT AND WILL GREET CHILDREN TO HEAR THEIR CHRISTMAS WISHES AT THE UPSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

UPDATE ON MANAGER HELP FOR UPSON CO.

UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN SAYS ITS BACK TO SQUARE ONE IN THE SEARCH FOR SOME MANAGEMENT HELP—WITH COUNTY MANAGER JIM WHEELESS OUT ON MEDICAL LEAVE PROBABLY TILL NEXT YEAR.

THE CHAIRMAN CONTACTED AN INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS—BUT HE BACKED-OFF WHEN HE LEARNED IT WAS A 3-2 VOTE TO PURSUE HIM.

THE MAN HAS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE AS A COUNTY MANAGER AND CITY MANAGER—BUT HE TOLD THE CHAIRMAN HE WANTS TOTAL BUY-IN BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE BOARD IF HE COMES TO UPSON COUNTY ON AN INTERIM BASIS.

TWO MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION -- FRANK SPRAGGINS AND LORENZO WILDER VOTED AGAINST THE MOTION BY COMMISSIONER JAMES ELLINGTON TO TALK WITH THE PERSON ABOUT WORKING FOR UPSON COUNTY.


CHAIRMAN ALLEN SAYS HE HAS REACHED OUT TO ACCG AGAIN TO SEE IF HE CAN GET ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION.  

SHERIFF DIX CALLS IT A MIRACLE

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF DARRELL DIX IS CALLING IT A MIRACLE—AN 81 YEAR OLD MAN, EDDIE OWENS WAS LOCATED AFTER BEING IN THE ELEMENTS FOR 26 HOURS—USING THE DEPARTMENTS NEW INFRA-RED CAMERA DRONE. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL SUFFERING FROM DEHYDRATION AND EXPOSURE TO THE COLD—AND WAS EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED OVERNIGHT.

MR OWENS –WHO SUFFERS FROM DEMENTIA -- DISAPPEARED FROM HIS HOME AROUND 5PM TUESDAY—AND A GROUND SEARCH WAS CONDUCTED WITH 30 TEAM MEMBERS AND THE GA. PIEDMONT K-9 UNIT.

A STRONG HEAT SIGNATURE WAS LOCATED BY THE DRONE ABOUT A HALF MILE FROM MILLER'S RESIDENCE—AND MR. OWENS WAS FOUND LYING IN A LOW AREA OF UNDERGROWTH.


SHERIFF DIX SAID THE DRONE WAS PROVIDED FOR FREE IN MARCH AS PART OF A CONTRACT WITH A JAIL VENDOR AND INVESTIGATOR ERASTE TREHAN HAS BEEN TRAINING TO PILOT THE UNIT. THE S.O. HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF FAA LICENSING AND THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME IT WAS DEPLOYED.  

TECH COLLEGE SYSTEM HONORS FOR SCTC


Reports compiled and recently released by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) examining graduate and placement rates for its 22 institutions revealed that Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) led the System in the percentage increase in graduating students for the academic year 2017.
TCSG’s Graduates and Placement Academic Year (AY) 2017 Report gathered by its Data, Planning, and Research Center is a system-wide glance at graduates, year-to-year comparisons, and placement rates. The AY 2017 version indicates that SCTC led the state with at 26.5 percent increase of the total number of unduplicated graduates, as well as a 33 percent increase in the number of associate degrees, diplomas and Technical Certificates of Credit (TCC) awarded. By comparison, the state average among all the technical colleges in Georgia for unduplicated graduates was 0.3 percent and awards conferred was 1.6 percent. In AY 2017 SCTC accounted for 1,740 graduates receiving 3,251 awards.
In addition, job placement rates among recent graduates were also analyzed in the report which showed that SCTC achieved a total of 98.4 percent in overall placement of graduates. Total placement and in-field placement rate calculate the number of students who graduate and are employed, choose to enter the military or continue their education, and the number of students who are employed directly in their field of study, respectively. These graduation and placement rates continue to have a significant impact on the College’s enrollment. Students are enrolling in programs to receive the hands-on training needed to successfully enter the area’s workforce.
SCTC’s current Fall semester is its largest semester enrollment in recent years with a credit enrollment of 4,766. Overall enrollment is up as well as the enrollment at our Jasper and Henry Centers and at our Flint River Campus.  High school dual enrollment is at an all-time high with 857 student enrolled this Fall.  The enrollment increase is attributed to several factors including the growth of high school dual enrollment programs, a strong commitment to service by faculty and staff, and the expansion of programs and facilities, as well as over 27 transfer courses with the University System of Georgia”   according to vice president of Student Affairs, Dr. Xenia Johns.
“Our mission at Southern Crescent Technical College is workforce development and it is evident that we are responding to the needs of our community.  When the numerous career options available in our region for graduates with the skills offered by SCTC are coupled with the low cost of attendance, there is no doubt why Southern Crescent Technical College continues to make such an impact on this area’s workforce," said SCTC President Dr. Alvetta Thomas. "It is encouraging to see more students taking advantage of the tremendous opportunities afforded because of the Hope Career Grant and increased financial aid options.  Additionally, with a job placement rate of 98.4% and the demand for SCTC graduates far exceeding supply, we are extremely optimistic that this enrollment growth will continue.”
The statewide Technical College System of Georgia encompasses 22 colleges with 85 campus locations and more than 600 degree, diploma and certificate programs.
About Southern Crescent Technical College:
Southern Crescent Technical College is a multi-campus unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and serves the workforce and community needs of Butts, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties. The College is a public, accredited, two-year post-secondary institution serving a diverse student population by offering academic credit programs and services, adult education, continuing education and programs customized for business and industry.  Southern Crescent Technical College is committed to excellence and is characterized by outstanding instruction, a comprehensive commitment to state-of-the-industry training and workforce development, and a close connection to the community. As the College grows, Southern Crescent Technical College will continue to expand its educational programs and facilities to provide students with enhanced opportunities for career success. For more information on Southern Crescent Technical College or its offerings, please visit www.sctech.edu.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

UPSON CO. MANAGER WHEELESS ON MEDICAL LEAVE

C OUNTY MANAGER JIM WHEELESS TOOK MEDICAL LEAVE LAST WEEK—AND UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN INDICATED HE COULD BE OUT UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT YEAR.

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING—CHAIRMAN ALLEN AND COMMISSIONER LORENZO WILDER WERE APPOINTED TO HIRE SOME MANAGER HELP DURING THAT PERIOD. THE CHAIRMAN SAID ACCG HAS RECOMMENDED AN EXPERIENCED INDIVIDUAL—THEY PLAN TO INTERVIEW ABOUT A CONTRACT TO HANDLE MANAGER DUTIES FOR NOW. HE HAS BEEN BOTH A COUNTY AND CITY MANAGER DURING HIS CAREER.

THAT CAME ON A 3-2 VOTE—WITH FRANK SPRAGGINS AND WILDER VOTING AGAINST THE MOTION

THEY WANTED TO HIRE SOMEONE LOCAL.

THE BOARD WANTED NO PART OF TRYING TO HANDLE MANAGEMENT DUTIES THEMSELVES. SPRAGGINS SAID THAT HAD BEEN TRIED BEFORE WITHOUT SUCCESS.

CHAIRMAN ALLEN SAID THE BOARD NEEDS HELP --- THINGS HAVE NEVER BEEN BUSIER WITH 2018 BUDGET PREPARATION, , CLOSING OUT THE 2017 BUDGET, AND THE EMPLOYEE SALARY STUDY ON THE TABLE.



CHAIRMAN ALLEN ADDED THE ACTION DOES NOT REFLECT ON COUNTY MANAGER WHEELESS --- HE STILL HAS A JOB AND HE'S WISHED A SPEEDY RECOVERY.

THE COMMISSIONERS ALSO APPROVED A HIRING FREEZE FOR COUNTY DEPARTMENTS FOR THE TIME BEING.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WED. NOV. 15 DEADLINE FOR UPSON AND LAMAR TAXES

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 15TH IS THE DEADLINE TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES WITHOUT PENALTY IN UPSON AND LAMAR COUNTIES.

UPSON COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER ANDY CHASTAIN SAID THE COUNTY MAILED-OUT 18 AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN TAX BILLS AND HIS GOAL FOR COLLECTION IS 85%. THE COUNTY SETS ITS BUDGET BASED ON 82% COLLECTIONS. THERE HAVE BEEN LINES AT HIS OFFICE FOR SEVERAL DAYS—FOLKS PAYING THEIR TAX BILLS AT THE UPSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX.

COMMISSIONER CHASTAIN SAID AS OF TUESDAY $11.9 MILLION HAS BEEN COLLECTED AND THRU OCTOBER $950,000 IN DELIQUENT TAXES HAS BEEN COLLECTED AND BY THE END OF NOVEMBER HE EXPECTS THAT FIGURE TO BE A MILLION DOLLARS.


HE HAS SCHEDULED ADDITIONAL TAX SALES DEC. 5TH AND FEB. 6TH. ON PROPERTY WITH TAXES OWED.

Friday, November 10, 2017

ONE MAN WOUNDED IN A SHOOTING THURSDAY

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAID TWO SUSPECTS ARE IN CUSTODY FOR A SHOOTING INCIDENT THURSDAY AFTERNOON AT 427 G. STREET.

THE VICTIM, ERICK ATWATER OF THAT ADDRESS WAS WOUNDED IN THE ABDOMEN AND DROVE HIMSELF TO THE E.R. HE IS EXPECTED TO RECOVER.

A WOODBURY MAN WILL BE CHARGED WITH SHOOTING ATWATER AND A MOLENA WOMAN WAS BOOKED FOR DRIVING AWAY WITH THE ALLEGEDLY SHOOTER.


POLICE SAID THE TWO HAD A DISAGREEMENT AND THE SHOOTER PULLED TWO PISTOLS FROM HIS WAISTBAND AND FIRED THREE SHOTS.

DISTURBANCE ARREST AT VETERANS PROGRAM

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE SAYS A MAN WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED AFTER HE CREATED A DISTURBANCE AT THE UL ELEMENTARY VETERANS DAY PROGRAM, THURSDAY AT THE FINE ARTS CENTER.

THE SUSPECT—20 YEAR OLD CHANTZ ROCKEMORE OF 188 KENNEDY STREET WAS JAILED ON CHARGES OF DISRUPTING A PUBLIC SCHOOL.

THE SHERIFF TOLD ZOOM NEWS—ROCKEMORE STOOD-UP AND ADDRESSED THE CROWD WITH SOME INAPPROPRIATE REMARKS.

HE WAS GIVEN A PROVISIONAL BOND OF $5000 WITH THE STIPULATION HE STAY OFF SCHOOL PROPERTY.

ROCKEMORE REPORTEDLY HAD A RELATIVE IN THE PROGRAM.


SHERIFF KILGORE TOLD US THE SAFETY OF SCHOOL CHILDREN IS A TOP PRIORITY WITH HIS DEPARTMENT.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

HONORS FOR RHONDA GULLEY UL MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

Rhonda Gulley, Principal of Upson-Lee Middle School, received the Jerry Davis Georgia Distinguished Principal Award at Georgia Association of Middle School Principals (GAMSP) fall conference awards luncheon November 6 in Savannah, Georgia. 

This award is presented to a Georgia middle school principal who demonstrates strong leadership in guiding his or her school as an effective middle school, as defined by state and national standards. 

In addition, Upson-Lee Middle School received the Dr. Bob Puckett Effective Middle School Education Program designation, a three-year designation effective 2017-2020, and the Linda Hopping National Merit Award. 

Gulley, now in her fifth year as Principal of ULMS, recently led the school to its fourth re-designation as a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch, a 3-year designation that extends through 2019. Gulley and ULMS were recognized at the GAMSP conference for this honor, as well.