Friday, May 24, 2024

Pike County Jury Returned Guilty Verdicts In Child Cruelty Case

             On Thursday, May 9, 2024, a Pike County jury returned guilty verdicts against Tarilyn Allie Lester Alexander and Joseph Tyler Alexander on eight counts of Aggravated Battery and four counts of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. The verdict followed a six day trial tried by District Attorney Marie Broder and Administrative Chief ADA Kate Lenhard. The case concerned repeated physical abuse to the defendants’ eight week old infant son. 

 

The jury heard evidence that the victim had been in his parents’ sole custody for less than seven weeks as he had spent the first ten days of his life in the NICU. After being released from the hospital to his parents’ care, the victim was soon diagnosed with reflux. Soon thereafter, he began to develop bruising on his face and on his testicle, as well as subconjunctival hemorrhages (broken blood vessels in the eyes). By the time he was eight weeks old, the victim had 11 broken bones in multiple different stages of healing and hemorrhages in both eyes. The investigation showed the victim had suffered horrific abuse on multiple occasions. When confronted with the multiple injuries, the defendants offered no explanation of any trauma, either purposeful or accidental. Doctors from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta diagnosed the victim’s injuries as consistent with non-accidental trauma. 

 

            During the pendency of the case, the defendants hired doctors to testify that the victim had a connective tissue disorder known as hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which explained his broken bones. The State brought eleven of the victim’s treating doctors and one pediatric nurse practitioner to testify. The medical witnesses represented four different major hospital systems in Georgia (Piedmont, Emory, Navicent, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta), as well as two different local pediatric practices. All said that there was only one explanation consistent with all of the victim’s injuries and that was abuse. Several doctors who treat patients with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome specifically testified that it does not cause injuries like those suffered by the victim. Jurors also heard that the victim has not had one single broken bone since he was removed from the defendants’ care.

 

            The jury deliberated for just over five hours before returning guilty verdicts against both parents on twelve of sixteen counts. The defendants faced 240 years in prison for systematically breaking their eight week old son. Judge Ben Miller, Jr. sentenced them to 15 years of probation with 18 months in custody. Once they are released from prison, the may again have contact with their son.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Drug Investigation In Spalding County Led To Multiple Arrests And Pounds Of Illegal Drugs Seized


The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office along with several law agencies conducted search warrants at eight homes and a business. The investigation led to 19 arrests, three vehicles and seven guns seized.


Authorities also found $9,287 and recovered trafficking amounts of cocaine, along with heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, marijuana, and opiates.

 

“Locally, we estimate that this organization was moving somewhere between 6 to 8 pounds of cocaine a week along with other narcotics and opiates,” Sheriff Darrell Dix said. “The gang aspect of the investigation comes into focus because they openly provided trafficking amounts of cocaine and other narcotics to documented crip and blood gang members.” “Once again, don’t break the law or do dumb stuff and you won’t have to worry about talking to your loved ones on phone calls that start with a pre-recorded message about it being from an inmate at the Spalding County Jail,” Dix said.

 

The following was arrested, charged and booked into the Spalding County Jail:

 

Kenneth Artez Phinazee Jr, 47: Four counts of trafficking cocaine, four counts of sale of cocaine, five counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, five counts of possession of cocaine, trafficking methamphetamine), possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to sale cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act, eight counts of possession firearm by convicted felon, additional charges of Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act are pending

 

Douglas Cornelius Burden Jr, 31: Trafficking cocaine, Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, four counts of conspiracy to sell cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act. Fourteen counts of Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang act are pending

 

Linda Nell Phinazee, 63: Conspiracy to traffic cocaine, conspiracy to sell cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession firearm during the commission of a crime, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act , Four counts of Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang act are pending

 

Ronald Dickerson, 72: Trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Teion Davis, 28: Trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Conspiracy to Purchase Cocaine, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Zachery Shannon, 67: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

George Corbin Jr, 50: Conspiracy to purchase marijuana, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Darrell James, 59: Unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

Shondrick Gray, 49: Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, conspiracy to purchase Cocaine, conspiracy to purchase marijuana, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Carl Schurman, 62: Possession of cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Darrell Marshall, 52: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Jason Ryan Foster, 42: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Phillip Matthews Sr, 67: Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine

 

Ray Davis, 70: Failure to maintain drugs in original container

 

Verdrick Tyus, 54: Trafficking Cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, two counts of Trafficking Schedule II narcotic, two counts of possession of Schedule II narcotic with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a schedule II narcotic, littering

 

Zaine Tyus, 21: Three counts of trafficking schedule II narcotic, three counts of possession with intent to distribute a schedule II narcotic, three counts of possession of a schedule II narcotic, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of firearm during commission of crime, ten counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, four counts of felony obstruction of an officer, six counts of violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang act, theft by receiving stolen property

 

Taivion Pitts, 23: Theft by receiving stolen property, Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act

 

Shavaurio Thomas, 20: Theft by receiving stolen property, Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act

 

Deonte Henley, 34: Conspiracy to traffic cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

The following people have outstanding warrants related to the investigation operation and are currently being sought:

 

Phillip Matthews Jr, 40: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Kenneth Lindsey, 58: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, conspiracy to purchase marijuana, conspiracy to sell Schedule II narcotics, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Jaquavious Cotton, 31: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Demarkis Miller, 31: Unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Andre Dewayne Jester, 45: Unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, conspiracy to purchase Marijuana, Additional charges of Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act are pending

 

Brandon Sims, 26: Conspiracy to Purchase Marijuana, Unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, and two counts of Violation of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act are pending

 

Willie Charles Barkley, 46: Conspiracy to purchase cocaine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

 

Brian Keith Fuller, 45: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act

 

Gary Everette Lester, 45: Conspiracy to traffic cocaine, Violation of the Georgia R.I.C.O Act, unlawful use of a telecommunications device for the commission of a crime

UPSON COUNTY EMANCIPATION CELBRATION

 THE  UPSON  COUNTY  EMANCIPATION CELEBRATION  IS  SATURDAY  11AM  TILL 8PM,  INCUDING  THE  FREEDOM PARADE AT  11AM  DOWNTOWN,  THEN  IT  WILL  CONTINUE  AT  THE  LINCOLN PARK  SPEAKING  GROUNDS WITH  A  KIDS  ZONE,  CAR  SHOW  , LIVE MUSIC, AND  MORE.  THE  CHAIR  OF  THE  EVENT  DENEANE  JONES  SAYS  THE  PARADE  WILL  FORM  AT  THE  OLD  THOMASTON  MILLS  PARKING LOT--PROCEED  UP  BETHEL  STREET   THEN  TURN ONTO  THOMPSON  STREET   PAST  THE  POST  OFFICE   AND  AT  THE  INTERSECTION  OF  THOMPSON  AND  CHURCH  THE  PARADE  WILL  TURN  LEFT ONTO  CHURCH  STREET  AND  CONTINUE  STRAIGHT  TO  SOUTHSIDE  BP WHERE  IT  WILL  END.

DICKEY WINS BIG IN HOUSE

 REPUBLICAN  ROBERT  DICKEY  WON  A  BIG  REELECTION  VICTORY  TUESDAY  IN  STATE  HOUSE  DISTRICT  134 IN  UPSON,, LAMAR,  AND  CRAWFORD  COUNTIES  WITH  84%  OF  THE VOTE.  HIS  OPPONENT  JOSHUA  LEWIS  POLLED 16%.  DICKEY  RECEIVED 5120  VOTES,  LEWIS 989. DICKEY  HAD  REPRESENTED  SOUTHERN  UPSON  COUNTY  AT  ONE  TIME  AND  JAN  IST  WILL  BE  UPSON'S  AND  A  PORTION OF LAMAR  COUNTY;S  NEW  HOUSE MEMBER.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Griffin Woman Arrested In Monroe County For Selling Meth


A woman was arrested in Monroe County last Thursday for the selling of methamphetamine, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office had already received a handful of complaints regarding a woman who was coming into the county to sell narcotics.

 

After an investigation, the individual was identified, and undercover buys led to the suspect being arrested.

 

The woman, identified as Chasity Perry from Griffin, Georgia, was arrested on May 16th. She is charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine and Trafficking Methamphetamine.

NEW THOMASTON POLICE/EMS FACILITY

 THE  THOMASTON  CITY  COUNCIL  HAS  A  NEW  POLICE  STATION  ON  TUESDAY'S    7PM   AGENDA. CITY  MANAGER  RUSSELL  THOMPSON  SAYS  COUNCIL  IS  LOOKING  AT  AN  ARCHITECTURAL  CONTRACT   TO  DEVELOP A  CONCEPT  APPLICATION  TO  TRY  AND  GET  FEDERAL MONEY  FOR  A  NEW  PUBLIC  SAFETY  FACILITY -- THAT  APPARENTLY  WOULD  COMBINE  A  POLICE  AND  EMS   STATION

Friday, May 17, 2024

2024 U-L HIGH COMMENCEMENT

 The Upson-Lee High School Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m. at Matthews Field. This is a private ceremony, and all guests must have a ticket to attend. While our hope is for a beautiful evening, please note our plans for inclement weather:

In the event of light rain or drizzle, graduation will continue as planned. Students and faculty will be provided with clear rain ponchos to wear over their graduation regalia. Guests should come prepared with appropriate rain gear – ponchos, raincoats, something to cover wet seats, etc. Please note that umbrellas are not allowed at Matthews Field during the graduation ceremony. 
In the event of heavy rain or severe weather, graduation may be delayed that evening or postponed until the following morning. If postponed, the ULHS Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday morning, May 25, at 9 a.m. at Matthews Field. Students should arrive at the stadium by 8 a.m. Gates will open at 7:30 a.m. for guests. 
ULHS Commencement will be live-streamed on the Thomaston-Upson Schools’ YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@T-USchools

FORMER U-L STAR HEADED FOR ATHENS

 FORMER  UPSON-LEE  PITCHER  LOGAN  SPIVEY  HAS  ANNOUNCED  HE  WILL  TRANSFER  FROM  GA.  HIGHLANDS  COLLEGE  TO  PLAY  BASEBALL  FOR  UGA  FOR  HIS  SENIOR  SEASON.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

UPSON PLANNING COMMISSION DELAYS CHURCH PROJECT ON MCCARD ROAD

 THERE  WAS NO  MOTION  TO  MOVE  FOWARD   BY  THE  UPSON  COUNTY  PLANNING  COMMISSION,  MONDAY,  ON  APPROVING  REZONING  FOR  A  NEW  CHURCH  CAMPUS  FOR  HOPE  OF  THE  GENERATIONS  CHURCH.  VICE CHAIR  JOHNNY  DAWSON PRESIDED  IN  THE  ABSENCE OF  CHAIR  ELISHA  MCKINLEY--AND  JOEL PITTS,  PHILLIP  FALLIN,  AND  JEFF  HINTON  INDICATED  THEY  HAD NUMEROUS  QUESTIONS  ABOUT  THE  PROJECT ON JUST OVER.

  50  ACRES.  THE  BOARD  WILL  CONTINUE  THE PUBLIC  HEARING  AT  THE JUNE  MEETING


PASTOR   SCOTT  HARPER  AND  CIVIL  ENGINEER  CHAD  LAMBETH  OUTLINED  PLANS  FOR  A   NEW  SANCTUARY,  OFFICES,  CABINS,  AND  RECREATION  AREA,  BUT  THE  PLANNING  COMMISSION  HEARD  FROM  HALF  A  DOZEN  NEIGHBORS  WHO  OPPOSE  THE PLANS. STANLEY  ELLIOTT  SAID  HE  LIVES  WITHIN  EARSHOT OF  THE PROPOSED  CAMPUS  AND  DOES  NOT  OBJECT  TO  A  CHURCH   BUT  THIS  REZONING  PRESENTS  TOO  MANY   ENVIRONMENTAL   PROBLEMS  AND  NEEDS  MORE  THOUGHT--  CITING  DRAINAGE  AND  WATER AND  SEWER  ISSUES.   THERE  IS  NOT  ENOUGH WATER  IN  THE  AREA  NOW  HE  SAID.  THE  CHURCH  CALLED  A  NEIGHBORHOOD  MEETING  LAST  WEEK  TO  EXPLAIN  THE PROJECT,  BUT  ONLY  HALF   A DOZEN  SHOWED--PASTOR  HARPER  TESTIFIED

U-L SCHOOL DISTRICT EXPLAINS 6 NEW TENNIS COURTS INSTEAD OF 8

 When the bids came in for the construction of the Upson-Lee Softball & Tennis Complex, they were much higher than originally anticipated. In an effort to ensure fiscal responsibility, Superintendent Dr. Larry Derico and Director of Operations Mr. Marc Ellington began working with Parrish Construction Group to modify the design in order to control costs and realize significant savings. After checking with the GA High School Association, it was determined that eight courts were not required in order to host regional and state tournaments, so the number of tennis courts was reduced to six. By making this and some other design changes, the Thomaston-Upson School System was able to reduce the Upson-Lee Softball & Tennis Complex GMP to $8.3 million.


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Monday, May 13, 2024

FLINT RIVER ACADEMY IN STATE FINALS

 The Flint River Academy Wildcats baseball team won the final four series at home Saturday against David Emanuel Academy and advanced to the GISA state championship series Thursday through Saturday at Luther Williams field in Macon. 

 Coach Chris Callahan  “We are very proud of these guys, especially these seniors, we have been knocked out of the playoffs in the semi-finals the last three years and to finally make it to the state championship game is exciting “

Friday, May 10, 2024

In The Pipeline

Is it the first time Thomaston has ever been mentioned in a national best seller?

This month a tv series is running on Netflix staring Jeff Daniels as Atlanta real estate broker Charlie Croker. Based on the book “A Man In Full,” Charlie faces bankruptcy when political and businesses interest collide as he defends his empire from those attempting to capitalize on his fall from grace.

In the book by Tom Wolfe, page 75, Charlie is jetting to his plantation in south Georgia and someone on the plane looks out into the dark and says “Those lights down there must be Thomaston,” it’s impressive that Tom Wolf did the research to know that T-Town was in the flight path.

The acetate disc was still warm when the engineer from Capricorn Records walked into the Athens FM station where I was gearing up for my 10 pm to midnight album rock show. It was hot off the Allman Brothers session in Macon and I was told it was seven minutes or so long, an instrumental written by Dickey Betts. Capricorn loved us because they loved the college music market, and we were able to help them launch a lot of product. The engineer was an Athens boy who loved his mama’s biscuits, so he shared lots of breaking grooves with us and was able to make his mom’s breakfast.

Years later, that Athens FM was sold, moved to Atlanta and is now 104.7fm, the pop Christian station “The Fish.” After all the zany stuff we said on that frequency as college rock jocks, it needed to be washed in the blood.

It is the first time I have ever seen someone in person one week and the next week their character turns up in a comedy sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” Who is ex-presidential candidate/U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott. He was stocking up on Master’s merchandise in the pro shop at Augusta National.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Gordon State College Names New Director of Admissions

Gordon State College has named Jacqueline Lewis Williams as Director of Admissions in enrollment services and marketing effective May 1, 2024. 

Prior to joining Highlander Nation, Williams served as the associate director of admissions at the University of Georgia-Terry College of Business. In her new role, Williams will lead GSC’s Office of Admissions, where she will develop strategic goals for recruitment and enrollment aligning with divisional and college-wide plans. She will also oversee all major admissions functions, partnership relations and prospect engagement. 

“I believe in the transformative power of education and strive to create an inclusive and supportive environment for students as they pursue their goals,” Williams said. “I understand the challenges of balancing professional and personal obligations and am dedicated to assisting students in creating an educational plan that aligns with their individual circumstances and aspirations.”

Williams’ career in higher education includes roles in admissions at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Clayton State University, and Georgia State University. She also worked in banking, capital management, and retail after she earned her undergraduate degree. 

A native of Philadelphia, Williams began her postsecondary education at Georgia Southwestern University where she earned her Bachelor of Business degree in administration. She holds a Master of Education in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in student affairs leadership at the University of Georgia (UGA). In addition, Williams earned a certificate in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt at UGA, equipping her with the skills to streamline processes and enhance operational efficiency.

“We are excited to have Ms. Williams join our enrollment services team,” said Melissa Johnson, GSC vice president of enrollment services and marketing. “Her demonstrated skills in and knowledge of enrollment management are a perfect complement to the College’s strategic plans and initiatives. I personally appreciate her enthusiasm for serving students and commitment to fostering success for her team and peers.”

Friday, May 3, 2024

Burn Ban In Effect

Beginning May 1, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban will be in effect for 54 Georgia counties. The ban, which has been in place every summer since 2005, affects many of the counties in north and central Georgia (a full list is shown below).

The burn ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris during the summer ozone season, which runs from May 1 through September 30. This is in addition to the year-round, statewide prohibition against burning household garbage in Georgia.  Recreational activities such as campfires and grilling are exempt from the open burning ban. 

According to James Boylan, Chief of the EPD Air Protection Branch, “Smoke from open burning includes small particles and gaseous air pollutants that can form ground-level ozone.  Particulate pollution can cause chronic heart diseases and ground-level ozone can cause inflammation of the lungs, especially in children and people with asthma.”  When open burning creates smoky conditions, reducing exposure is important for everyone’s health.  Things you can do to reduce your exposure to smoke are listed at https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2021-07/protect-yourself-from-ash-factsheet.pdf.

Citizens can access more information on the open burning ban by visiting https://epd.georgia.gov/air-protection-branch/open-burning-rules-georgia, or by calling the EPD District Office serving their area.

Counties included in the ban and contact information for the corresponding EPD District Office are as follows:

·       West Central District Office (Macon): 478-751-6612 Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, LamarMonroe, Peach, Pike, Twiggs, Upson, Meriwether, and Troup counties

·       Mountain District Office (Atlanta): 404-362-2671 Carroll, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Rockdale, and Spalding counties.

·       Northeast District Office (Athens): 706-369-6376 Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clarke, Hall, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam, and Walton counties.

·       East Central District Office (Augusta): 706-667-4343 Columbia and Richmond counties.

·       Mountain District Office (Cartersville): 770-387-4900 Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, Floyd, Forsyth, Gordon, Haralson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, and Walker counties.

For more information about alternatives to burning, such as composting and chipping, please visit https://epd.georgia.gov/air-protection-branch/open-burning-rules-georgia/alternatives-burning.   

Debris can also be hauled to a commercial processing/grinding/composting operation or to an inert or construction and demolition landfill. For a list of landfills in your area, please call EPD’s Solid Waste Management Program at 404-362-2692 and/or visit the Land Protection Branch website for more details: http://epd.georgia.gov/land-protection-branch.    

Some Georgia counties and cities have burning restrictions that are more stringent than the EPD open burning ban. EPD recommends that citizens check with their local Fire Marshall before conducting any burning.

Open Burning After the Burn Ban Ends

For citizens seeking to burn hand-piled, natural vegetation collected onsite (e.g., yard debris and leaf piles) after the EPD open burning ban concludes, the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) no longer requires permits for this activity. Instead, the following five safety precautions are required:

1.     Burn location must be no less than 25 feet from any woodlands, forestland or field that contains brush, grass, or other flammable material.

2.     Burn location must be no less than 50 feet from structures, which includes homes, outbuildings, sheds, and barns.

3.     Burning must take place between sunrise and sunset.

4.     Person responsible must attend burning at all times until the fire is completely extinguished and there is no risk for burning to escape control.

5.     Person responsible must take reasonable and necessary precautions to prevent fire escape or spread from the original location.

GFC Permits for any other types of burning (e.g., silviculture, agriculture, and land-clearing) should be obtained by contacting your county GFC office.  You can find your county GFC office here: https://gatrees.org/about/county-contacts/.

NEW T-U REC DIRECTOR HIRED

  Chairman Norman Allen and the Upson County Board of Commissioners are pleased to announce the recent selection of Bryan Kelley as Director of the Thomaston-Upson County Recreation Department. “We eagerly anticipate Bryan’s leadership as he assumes the role of team leader at the Thomaston-Upson County Recreation Department,” stated County Manager W. Jason Tinsley. “Following a thorough search process, it became evident that his engaging demeanor, extensive management background, and forwardthinking approach to developing innovative programs and strategies will greatly benefit our community as we embark on the next phase of our program evolution.” The selection of Mr. Kelley to head the department was the culmination of a local search involving the review of over 15 candidates and it reflects Upson County’s desire to instill a fresh approach in its continued efforts to continually enhance the quality of County services. Tinsley, along with Upson County Human Resources Director, Cherie Spillers, would like to offer a special thanks to the following people who assisted with the recruitment effort: • City of Thomaston Human Resources Director, Danielle Jefferson • City of Thomaston Manager, Russell Thompson • Upson County Clerk, Jessica Jones • Upson County Extension Agent, Hailey Robinson • Upson County Planning & Zoning Director, Douglas Currier • Upson County Utilities Superintendent, Ben Berryhill Page 2 of 2 BRYAN KELLEY With a deep passion and love for an active lifestyle in the outdoors, Mr. Kelley brings both personal and professional expertise to his new leadership role with the county. Currently serving as a Field Marketing Manager for OOFOS Footwear, Bryan also has experience leading teams with Medalist Sports, Vertical Runner and Progressive Insurance. Bryan brings a wealth of knowledge to the department with extensive experience in organizational management, event planning, project management, and strategic marketing. He will work to create impactful programs that are transparent and readily available to all people in the community. Kelley, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, attended The Ohio State University where he was captain of the Baseball Club. He graduated Cum Laude from Cleveland State University with a degree focusing on Communications. Kelley is a Thomaston resident and is looking forward to serving the community he has grown to love. “I’m excited to step into this leadership role with an intent to learn from the community and make impactful changes that will help grow and develop our youth”, states Kelley

Daycare Worker Arrested

A Monroe County woman is in jail on Monday after she was seen on video hitting two children in a daycare center, according to an incident report from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

The report says on Friday around 10 a.m. a deputy was sent to Little Angels Daycare after a caller reported child abuse at the daycare.

When the deputy arrived, he spoke with the center director about the report of abuse.

The director then showed the deputy a video from Monday where an employee, 19-year-old Alyssa Barrett, was seen hitting two children. The director says Barrett was fired and parents were notified but it was not reported to law enforcement at the time.

During the video, Barrett was seen grabbing a three-year-old girl by her left arm and forcefully pulling her up from the floor. The report says the girl was lifted about two to three feet off the floor.

The child got up and ran across the room. She then sat down and cried while rubbing her arm. Barrett was also seen walking by the girl and hitting her.

A short time later, the report says Barrett was walking by a four-year-old boy lying on the floor on his back. The video shows Barrett hitting him on what appeared to be his lower chest area with an open hand.