Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SAFE VIEWING DURING A SOLAR ECLIPSE

Richard Schmude is a chemistry professor who is fascinated by the sky – especially the planet Jupiter. Schmude is a graduate of Texas A&M and has been teaching at Gordon State College since 1994. He tours the country giving talks on astronomy, has an asteroid named after him and is the author of several books.

Safe Viewing during a Solar Eclipse
Richard W. Schmude, Jr. Gordon State College, Barnesville, GA 30204

            An eclipse occurs when the shadow of one object falls onto a second object.  A shadow has two portions.  One portion is the penumbra and the other is the umbra.   The penumbra has a light gray color.  When one stands in the penumbra, one object blocks out just part of a light source.  The umbra is darker because when you stand in it, the entire light source is blocked out.   In Barnesville, the penumbra portion of the Moon’s Shadow will pass.  This means that at least part of the Sun will be visible throughout the day.  In order for one to witness the umbra portion of the Moon’s shadow, one must travel to the northeast corner of Georgia or go to another state where the umbra will pass. 
            Since some of the Sun will be visible at all times of the solar eclipse one must not look up at it during any portion of the eclipse unless he/she has the proper glasses.  Even if just one percent of the Sun is visible it is enough to cause permanent eye damage.  To obtain more information about proper glasses go tohttps://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety2.html which is part of the NASA website.  It is written by Ralph Chou. 
            If you plan to have a group witness the eclipse then there are several things to remember:
1) People will be excited about the eclipse and may not be listening; 2) With a group of people there will undoubtedly be many distractions and 3) all it takes is one wrong look and permanent eye damage may occur. The most sensitive portion of the eye is the Fovea Centralis.  This is a small part at the back of the eye which enables one to read.  If this portion is damaged then one would no longer be able to read or operate a motor vehicle.
            The easiest and safest way of enjoying the eclipse is to stand under a tree shadow and look at the ground.  Between 2 and 3 p.m. you should see lots of white crescents.   The crescents will be thinnest at around 2:40 p.m.  One may also use the projection method by using a spaghetti strainer or two cards.

BIG CRANE IN NORTHSIDE = TWO NEW BILLBOARDS

THE  BIG  CRANE  IN  NORTHSIDE  IS  THERE  TO  ERECT   TWO DOUBLE-SIDED   BILLBOARDS, AND  THEY  COULD BE  DIGITAL BILLBOARDS—ACCORDING  TO  UPSON  PLANNING  DIRECTOR  DOUG  CURRIER.

THE  COMPANY  APPLIED FOR THE  BILLBOARD PERMIT  IN  SEPTEMBER  2016—BEFORE  THE  COUNTY'S  NEW  SIGN  ORDIANCE  WAS  PASSED—DOUG   TOLD  ZOOM  NEWS.

Friday, August 11, 2017

TWO SUSPECTS HUNTED FOR WYNNBROOK 2 THEFT

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR TWO SUSPECTS WHO WERE APPARENTLY TRYING TO STEAL A ZERO-TURN MOWER AND TRAILER FROM A RESIDENCE AT WYNNBROOK 2 SUBDIVISION IN NORTHSIDE--$4500 WORTH OF EQUIPMENT.

A DEPUTY FOUND A U-HAUL TRUCK RUNNING—A TRUCK WITH ARIZONA PLATES—AND THE TRAILER ATTACHED.

TWO MEN WERE OBSERVED NEAR-BY—BUT THEY RAN INTO THE WOODS—ONE DESCRIBED AS A LIGHT BLACK MALE WITH BUSHY HAIR. THOMASTON P.D. K-9 UNIT RYDER AIDED IN THE SEARCH—BUT THEY WERE NOT FOUND.


THE MOWER AND TRAILER BELONGED TO A RESIDENT OF STONEBROOK LANE.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ALL CITY OF THOMASTON WATER SAMPLES NORMAL

THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON SAID THE WATER DEPARTMENT HAS RESUMED PUMPING FROM POTATO CREEK AFTER 5 DAYS PUMPING FROM THE RESERVIOR AFTER WATER POLLUTION COMPLAINTS FROM CUSTOMERS.


ALL WATER SAMPLES CAME BACK NORMAL—HE SAID.

TOWALIGA D.A. ADAMS TO BE DEPLOYED WITH N. GUARD.

Georgia Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel and Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams announced today that the National Guard will deploy him with his unit next spring. Adams will be sent to the Middle East for one year in support of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism. He is currently assigned as the Deputy Commander for his unit which is headquarted in Marietta, Georgia.

While deployed, the Chief Assistant District Attorney will take over as Interim District Attorney to ensure that the office continues to serve the needs of the community. “It has been an honor to serve my country in the military for 25 years, and I am proud to answer the call to duty again. It is also a privilege to serve the people of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit as their District Attorney. While deployed, those living in Butts, Lamar, and Monroe Counties will continue to have a DA’s office that effectively seeks justice and holds those who threaten or harm our families accountable,” said Adams. This will be Lieutenant Colonel Adams’ 4th deployment in his 25 years in the military.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

EARLY RELEASE FOR T-U SCHOOLS FOR ECLIPSE

ACCORDING TO SUPERINTENDANT DR. MAGGIE SHOOK, THE THOMASTON-UPSON COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL HAVE EARLY RELEASE OF STUDENTS ON AUGUST 21ST FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE STARTING AT 11;30AM. ALL STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE A SACK LUNCH AS THEY LEAVE THE SCHOOL.

THIS PART OF GA. WILL EXPERIENCE A SOLAR ECLIPSE BETWEEN 1 AND 4PM, WITH MAXIMUM PHASE AT 2;38PM WHEN 94.5% OF THE SUN WILL BE OBSCURED BY THE MOON.

DR. SHOOK SAID THE EARLY RELEASE DECISION WAS MADE AFTER MUCH DELIBERATION AND FEEDBACK FROM STAKEHOLDERS FOR EYE SAFETY CONCERNS, TRAFFIC SAFETY CONCERNS AND IT WILL ALLOW STUDENTS TO EXPERIENCE THE ECLIPSE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.


THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY IS WARNING THAT THE MARKET IS BEING FLOODED WITH COUNTERFEIT ECLIPSE GLASSES. IT ADVISES TO LOOK FOR EVIDENCE THAT THE GLASSES COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR FILTERS FOR VIEWING THE SUN. THOSE IN COMPLIANCE WILL HAVE THIS PRINTED ON THE GLASSES---IS0 12312 - 2.

Monday, August 7, 2017

GORDON STATE COLLEGE PRES RETIRING

Gordon State College President Max Burns has announced his plans to retire effective December 31, 2017. 

“It has been my great honor to serve as president of Gordon State College,” said Burns. “I have been fortunate to have a dedicated team of colleagues, all of whom have made significant contributions to student success at Gordon State College throughout the course of my term. The support from the Barnesville community is also one of Gordon State’s biggest strengths, and the strong partnership benefits students and the region alike. I’ll always be cheering for Gordon State, which has an incredibly bright future.”

Burns was named president of Gordon State College in January 2012. Prior to being named president, he served as dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia.

“The success of Gordon State College can be directly attributed to President Burns’ outstanding leadership,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “President Burns’ emphasis on creating learning opportunities and building a campus community that cares about its students has helped Gordon State achieve greater student success. On behalf of the University System, we are grateful to Max for his commitment to Gordon State’s students and the State of Georgia.”

Under Burns’ leadership, Gordon State’s graduation rate has increased by 12 percent and the full-time, first-time freshman student retention rate has increased by 24 percent. The college has also updated its strategic plan, initiated the Gordon State College Presidential Scholars program and added $25 million in new and renovated facilities. 

Additionally, since 2012, Gordon State has changed how it supports students, starting with those in need, by increasing the number of scholarships awarded by 81 percent and increasing the dollar value of scholarships awarded by 125 percent. The Gordon State College Foundation endowment has increased by 31 percent.

In regards to academic programs, under Burns’ leadership, the college has experienced significant achievements, including the development of six new baccalaureate degrees focused on high demand professional programs, bringing the total number of baccalaureate programs at Gordon State College to 13. The college has also implemented 13 associate degree programs to meet regional and state workforce needs. Gordon State has received accreditation reaffirmation from SACSCOC through 2027.

Burns holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Georgia State University, a Master of Business Information Systems from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Information regarding the search for Burns’ replacement will be announced at a later date.

Friday, August 4, 2017

ANSLEY NEWMAN GETS GREAT PRESS IN SAN DIEGO

A 20 YEAR OLD THOMASTON VOCALIST GOT SOME GREAT PRESS IN THE SAN DIEGO NEWSPAPER WHEN THE BAND JULE VERA PLAYED QUALCOMM STADIUM—LAST WEEK.

ANSLEY NEWMAN LEAD SINGER OF THE ALABAMA POP/ROCK
BAND--- PART OF THE VANS SNEAKERS WARPED TOUR—DREW PRAISE FROM THE TOUR'S FOUNDER—KEVIN LYMAN.

IN THE ARTICLE—LYMAN SAID THE MORE AND MORE COMFORTABLE ANSLEY GETS ON STAGE --THE CLOSER SHE IS TO BECOMING THE NEXT BIG FEMALE STAR THAT'S BROKEN BIG ON THE TOUR.

LYMAN ADDED—THAT ANSLEY—WHO PLAYS GUITAR-- HAS THE TALENT OF OTHER WARPED TOUR VETERANS LIKE HALEY WILLIAMS OF PARAMORE, KATY PERRY, AND GWEN STEFANI-- SHE JUST NEEDS MORE CONFIDENCE.


ANSLEY'S GRANDPARENTS—LINDA AND GARY JOHNSON, BETH AND LEON NEWMAN OF THOMASTON.   

LAMAR CO. BOC PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX HIKE

PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

The Lamar County Board of Commissioners today announces its intention to increase the 2017 property taxes it will levy this year by 9.66 percent over the rollback millage rate.
Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the
Assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the
county. When the trend indicates there has been an increase
in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax
assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such
property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that the rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current years’ digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

The budget tentatively adopted by the Lamar County Board of Commissioners requires a millage rate higher than the rollback rate, therefore, before the Lamar County Board of Commissioners finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.

All concerned citizens are invited to public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Commissioners meeting room at 326 Thomaston Street, Barnesville, Georgia on August 8th, 2017 at 9 AM and 6 PM. An additional public hearing on this tax increase will be held on August 15th, at 6:00 PM. at 326 Thomaston Street, Barnesville, Georgia. 

UGA BULLDOGS FAN DAY IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 5

The Bulldogs will return to practice on Friday before turning attention to their annual Fan Day on Saturday afternoon. The event, which is presented by United Healthcare, includes photos with Georgia’s mascot, Uga X, beginning at 3 p.m., followed by an open practice by the team from 3:30-5:30 and autographs with players and head coach Kirby Smart from approximately 5:45-6:30.

CHASE IN LAMAR COUNTY

8 MACON MEN ARE IN CUSTODY --- AFTER SEVERAL FLED THE LAW ON 1-75 IN LAMAR COUNTY AND CRASHED NEAR FORSYTH —DURING A CHASE WITH MONROE COUNTY S.O.--EARLY THURSDAY. TWO OTHERS ASSISTED THOSE WHO FLED THE SCENE.


THE PICK-UP WAS REPORTED STOLEN OUT OF BIBB COUNTY AND 3 CASH REGISTERS STOLEN FROM HENRY COUNTY FOUND INSIDE THE BED. THE VEHICLE WAS ALSO CAPTURED ON SECURITY VIDEO BY CONYERS POLICE—DURING A COMMERCIAL BURGLARY. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

K-9 MILLIE AND K-9 RYDER WITH MORE DRUG ARRESTS

UPSON S.O. K-9 MILLIE AND THOMASTON P.D. K-9 RYDER ARE TAKING A BITE OUTTA CRIME—WITH MORE DRUG ARRESTS.

MILLIE SNIFFED OUT A BAGGIE OF SUSPECTED METH UNDER AN OPEN BOX OF PIZZA SITTING ON THE SEAT OF A CAR AFTER A DEPUTY MADE A TRAFFIC STOP.

THE SUSPECT---55 YEAR OLD DARRYL KEITH BOOTH OF APPLE ROAD MEANSVILLE    USED VULGAR LANGUAGE TO THE OFFICER—WHO RECOGNIZED BOOTH FOR HAVING SUSPENDED LICENSE AND STOPPED HIM. CHARGES INCLUDING POSSESSION METH, NO LICENSE AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

RYDER FOUND SUSPECTED METH AFTER A DEPUTY NOTICED A SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE ON ATWATER ROAD-- AND THE K-9 FOUND DRUGS IN A KEY HOLDER ON THE DASHBOARD AND TWO PERSONS WERE BOOKED---25 YEAR OLD ASHLEY NICOLE JONES OF G. CIRCLE AND 35 YEAR OLD JOSEPH JUAREZ

MACON HOSPITAL SETTLES WITH STATE AND FEDS

NAVICENT SETTLES AMBULANCE FRAUD CLAIMS FOR OVER $2.5MM

G.F. "Pete" Peterman, III, United States Attomey for the Middle District of Georgia, and Georgia Attomey General Christopher M. Carr announced today a civil settlement with The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Inc., dlbla The Medical Center, Navicent Health ("Navicent"). Navicent agreed to pay to the United States and the State of Georgia $2,549,742to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act by submitting bills for ambulance transports that were either inflated or medically unnecessary.

Additionally, Navicent's current Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) will be heightened and extended to cover the newly resolved conduct. A CIA is an agreement between a private provider of services and the United States whereby the provider, at its own expense, institutes and maintains a program, overseen by the OIG with reviews by an independent review organizatron, to insure compliance with the laws and regulations regarding participation in federally funded programs.

The settlement marks the end of a 27-month investigation into Navicent's ambulance billing practices. The investigation revealed two suspected schemes through which Navicent allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. The first alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concerns non-emergency ambulance transports between hospitals that Navicent billed at an inflated rate by claiming the ambulance trips were emergency trips. The second alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concems the billing of non-emergency ambulance transports of patients released from the hospital to their residences, skilled nursing facilities, hospital-based diagnostic clinics, or dialysis centers that Navicent billed as emergency transports in violation of ambulance billing rules. It was alleged that in addition to billing many of these transports at an inflated rate, for many of these transports it was neither appropriate nor medically necessary for Navicent to have used and billed for an ambulance at all.

This investigation began with a lawsuit filed by Andre Valentine, a former Navicent paramedic, under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. These statutes allow private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the Government and share in any recovery obtained. The case is captioned United States and the State of Georgia, ex rel. Andre Valentine v. Navicent Hospital, Inc., 5:15-cv-152 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Mr. Valentine will receive a share of the settlement payment pursuant to the whistleblower provisions of these statutes. While Mr. Valentine's complaint focused on transports between hospitals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) independently identified for investigation Navicent's billing of emergency ambulance transportation for services provided to patients from the hospital to destinations such as skilled nursing facilities and patient residences.

PRESS RELEASE FROM SPALDING CO. SHERIFF DIX

On August 2, 2017 at approximately 9:46 Deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 1343 Apt B Jackson Street Griffin, GA to attempt serve an arrest warrant for battery on Stephen Blanton. Deputies searched the area for the wanted person but were unable to locate him.
While still on scene, Deputies found Felix Brownlee and William Brownlee in the back yard of the residence with a brown and white dog. The dog was chained to a tree with the other end of the chain around its neck. The men had a pair of channel lock pliers and they were pulling on the chain when the Deputies observed that it was deeply embedded in the flesh of the dog’s neck.  
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “The chain had been on the dog’s neck for such a long period of time that as the dog grew its flesh had actually grown over and through the links of the chain and it was under its skin. It was horrible and the dog was in considerable pain. The photographs taken at the scene are disturbing”
Spalding County Animal Control was contacted, took custody of the dog, and transported it to a local Veterinary hospital for treatment.  
Dix continued, “Based on the investigation and the Veterinarian’s observations, Jennifer Brownlee, William Brownlee and Felix Brownlee were arrested and charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals which is a felony.  All three have been taken in to custody and are being held in the Spalding County Jail.”
According to Sheriff Dix, “Initially it was thought that the dog, “Jake”, would have to be euthanized. After consulting further with the Veterinarian it was determined that instead of euthanizing Jake, surgery would be conducted to remove approximately 7 inches of skin as deep as 3 inches from his neck in order to fix the damage caused by the chain. The surgery was completed yesterday and as of this morning Jake is doing fine. Captain Keith Duncan, Sgt. Michael Chadwick, Corporal Ryan Bowlden, and I have volunteered to help offset the cost of the surgery and treatment that right now stands at a little over $1000.00. According to the Veterinarian more treatment will be needed before the Jake gets a complete bill of health. If you are interested in helping out you can call Sgt. Chadwick or Corporal Bowlden at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, 770-467-4282 for more information.”

PRESS RELEASE FROM UPSON EMC

Neal Trice with Upson EMC announced in the Georgia Magazine that their customers will see a small increase on their electric bill beginning in September. Their service availability charge will increase from $20 on residential rates to $21. Non-residential accounts such as barns, hunting camps, shops or pumps will see a slightly higher increase. He stated that they have hundreds of idle meters that use zero kWh per month and the cost to maintain these meters is the same as the members who use 1000’s of kWh per month. 

These minimum residential members will see an increase of $2 and the non-residential members will see an increase up to $4.50. According to the latest Public Service Commission Residential Survey, Upson EMC will still have some of the cheapest utility rates in the state of Georgia. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ANOTHER K REGISTRATION OFFERED

Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-18 school year will be held on Friday, August 4, from 1:00 - 3:00 in the Upson-Lee Primary School Media Center. No appointment is necessary. 

The parent or legal guardian should bring the child to register, along with the following documents: child's certified birth certificate; child's social security card; child's immunization record on GA form 3231; Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Record on Form 3300; Parent/Guardian Photo ID; Proof of Residency (2 of the following items in parent's name - gas/water/electric bill, lease contract, or property tax bill); Proof of guardianship. The child must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2017. 

This registration is for children who have not previously registered for Kindergarten in the Thomaston-Upson School System.

Monday, July 31, 2017

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF THANKS PUBLIC

We would like to thank the community, players, PD staff and all the volunteers that helped and participated in the Thomaston Police Department’s 3rd Annual Youth Awareness Basketball Tournament. 

One of the main goals of the tournament is to provide face time between our officers and the youth of our City.  Our target audience is boys and girls ages eleven (11) to fourteen (14).  Our hope is that this annual event will help build trust and respect between our youth, the community, and local law enforcement officers.  Each year we provide tournament t-shirts, lunch and numerous giveaways to all the kids that participate. Through our many local business sponsorships we are able to provide a great experience for the kids.  This year we gave away a PS4, headsets, ball caps, gift certificates, sporting goods and much more.  As you can imagine the kids were very excited about the prizes.   

This year’s tournament was a great success and for the third year in a row we grew in size.  This year we had approximately 100 girls and boys participate in the tournament.  A special thanks to DJ Smooth and our guest speaker, former Harlem Globetrotter and Head Coach of the men’s basketball team at Gordon State College, Coach Bruce Capers, who wowed the kids with his talents and teaching skills.  Again, I would like to thank all of our local businesses that helped sponsor the event, the players, family and friends that supported and attended the event and all the PD staff and volunteers that worked hard to make the event successful.  I know my staff and I had a great time with the kids and enjoyed some good competitive basketball.  We look forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better for our community youth.      

This year’s sponsors:  Thomaston Ford;  The English Law Group, LLC;  United Bank;  Game Castle; South Crest Bank;  Caldwell & Lowry, LLC;  Papa Johns;  KFC;  Zaxby’s;  The Pie;  Slices;  Big Chic;  Pizza Hut;  Little Caesars;  Piggly Wiggly;  Ingles;  State Farm – Trennis Dumas Agent;  Walmart;  Domino’s;  Afford-A-Bail Bonding Company, LLC;  Zoe Pediatrics;  Northside Drugs, Inc.;  Trice Funeral Home;  Virgil L. Brown & Associates, LLC;  DJ Smooth;  Coggins Funeral Home;  Bentley’s & Sons Funeral Home; Hibbett Sports;  Eric’s Detailing;  First Choice Bonding Company.

Sincerely,
Michael Richardson
Chief of Police
Thomaston Police Department

THREE ARRESTED FOR POT NEAR NORTHRIDGE CHURCH

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THREE YOUTHS WERE ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION LESS AN OUNCE OF MARIJUANA AFTER OFFICIALS AT NORTHRIDGE CHURCH ON HICKORY RIDGE ROAD REPORTED SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY IN THE PARKING LOT LATE AT NIGHT.

RESPONDING OFFICERS FOUND A JAR OF SUSPECTED MARIJUANA ON THE GROUND NEAR A KIA OPTIMA.

ARRESTED; 19 YEAR OLD CHLOE VIA WALKER OF GREENWOOD ROAD, 21 YEAR OLD BRADY PAUL JOINER OF TUXEDO DR. AND 21 YEAR OLD DALTON WAYNE STROM OF THE ROCK ROAD.


ACCORDING TO THE S.O. REPORT---THE TRIO CLAIMED THE POT DID NOT BELONG TO THEM.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

TAX MILLAGE DECISION BY TU BOE

The Thomaston-Upson Board of Education approved a lower millage rate for taxpayers at Thursday’s called meeting. The board set a tentative rate of 15.118 mills for calendar year 2017. Last year’s rate was at 15.42 mills. 

There will be a called Board of Education meeting at 8 AM on August 10 for the final approval of the lower school millage rate.

NO TAX MILLAGE HIKE CITY OF THOMASTON?

IT APPEARS THE THOMASTON CITY COUNCIL WILL FOLLOW THE LEAD OF THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND NOT RAISE TAXES.

CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON TOLD ZOOM NEWS THURSDAY HE IS RUNNING A LEGAL AD SETTING THE 2017 MILLAGE RATE AT THE ROLL-BACK RATE OF 3.77 MILLS.

COUNCIL WILL TAKE FORMAL ACTION ON THE MILLAGE RATE NEXT MONTH.


MANAGER THOMPSON SAID THE COUNCIL WILL NOT HAVE A QUORUM —FOR NEXT TUESDAY'S MEETING—SO ITS BEING MOVED TO THURSDAY, AUGUST 3RD AT 7PM.

AM RED CROSS BLOOD STORTAGE

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS HAS ANNOUNCED A BLOOD SHORTAGE—YOU CAN GIVE IN PIKE COUNTY MONDAY AUGUST 7TH 2 TO 7PM AT THE A.B. EDWARDS SENIOR CENTER ON 19 NORTH IN ZEBULON.

WED. AUGUST 9TH IN THOMASTON 10AM TILL 3PM AT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS ON HIGHWAY 36 EAST.


MONDAY AUGUST 14TH AT THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRIFFIN WEST TAYLOR STREET 1 TO 6PM.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

UPSON BOC NO TAX MILLAGE HIKE

THE UPSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WILL KEEP THE SAME MILLAGE RATES FOR 2017—BUT AT TUESDAY'S MEETING THEY LET IT BE KNOWN TAXES WILL LIKELY RISE IN 2018.

THE BOARD ADOPTED A COUNTY-WIDE MILLAGE RATE OF 9.52 MILLS FOR 2017 DOWN FROM 9.77 IN 2016—A ROLLBACK BASED ON THE REVALUATION OF PROPERTY. THAT'S ESTIMATED TO YIELD JUST UNDER $10 MILLION. SOME TAX BILLS MIGHT GO UP DUE TO REVALUATION —BUT THE COMMISSIONERS WILL NOT HAVE TO CONDUCT PUBLIC HEARINGS REQUIRED BY THE STATE FOR A TAX INCREASE.



UNINCORPORATED AND JOINT PROJECTS MILLAGE RATES REMAIN THE SAME.

CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN SAID THE UPCOMING EMPLOYEE SALARY STUDY BY THE UGA VINSON INSTITUTE WILL PROBABLY IMPACT THE 2018 BUDGET—PLUS HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS AND EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT COULD GOBBLE-UP 2 MILLS OF TAX.

COMMISSIONER JAMES ELLINGTON STRESSED CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS NEED TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE WITH THE BOARD WITH THEIR 2018 BUDGETS .




PEDESTRIAN HIT BY A CAR NEAR 36 E.

UPSON COUNTY S.O. SAID A PEDESTRIAN WAS LIFE-FLIGHTED TO AN OUT OF TOWN HOSPITAL —AFTER HE WAS STRUCK BY A CAR TUESDAY EVENING AT 36 EAST AND EAST MOORE'S CROSSING NEAR CHATFIELD'S STORE.

ACCORDING TO THE REPORT--42 YEAR OLD CHARLES MICHAEL ELDER OF MULBERRY STREET WAS LYING IN A POOL OF BLOOD WITH A LARGE GASH ON HIS FOREHEAD—AND REPORTEDLY SUFFERED SEVERE HEAD TRAUMA AND FRACTURES.

THE MOTORIST INVOLVED—KAREN ORRELL OF D. STREET TOLD DEPUTIES—MR. ELDER WAS IN THE ROAD—BUT SHE DIDN'T SEE HIM.

RELATIVES SAID ELDER SUFFERED MULTIPLE BEE STINGS EARLIER IN THE DAY AND ONE SIDE OF HIS FACE WAS SWOLLEN—BUT HE WOULDN'T SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION


THE ACCIDENT IS UNDER INVESTIGATION

THOMASTON P.D. UPSON S.O. AND GSP RESPOND TO FIGHT

THOMASTON POLICE, UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES AND THE GA. STATE PATROL RESPONDED TO REPORTS OF A RUMBLE AT FAR VIEW APARTMENTS ON AVE. F. SATURDAY—AFTER SOMEONE FIRED A GUNSHOT THRU A CAR WINDOW.

NO ONE WAS INJURED—BUT A CROWD HAD GATHERED AND FIGHTS BROKE-OUT—ACCORDING TO SHERIFF DAN KILGORE.

DEPUTIES ARRESTED TWO SUSPECTS AFTER A STRONG ODOR OF MARIJUANA AND A 40 CALIBER HANDGUN WAS FOUND IN THEIR CAR—AND CLOSE TO A POUND OF WEED WAS SEIZED.


THOSE ARRESTED—36 YEAR OLD EDDIE LAMAR REVIERE OF TRICE ROAD---POSSESSION MARIJUANA WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND 24 YEAR OLD DEMOND WILSON OF MICHAEL STREET CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE AND POSSESSION OF A HANDGUN IN COMMISSION OF A CRIME.

THOMASTON NITE AT THE ATLANTA BRAVES AUG.5

SATURDAY NIGHT AUGUST 5TH IS THOMASTON NITE AT THE ATLANTA BRAVES—KIDS PARTICIPATING IN SPRING SPORTS CAN PICK-UP FREE TICKETS AT THE CIVIC CENTER---PARENTS CAN PURCHASE TICKETS AT CITY HALL IN THE GOVERNMENT COMPLEX.



HOUSE FIRE TUESDAY IN UPSON

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE REPORTS A HOUSE FIRE AT 2732 19 NORTH TUESDAY AFTERNOON NEAR SHILO BAPTIST CHURCH—THAT CLOSED NORTHBOUND LANES ON 19.


THE REPORT SAID CHARLIE FIELDS WAS SMOKING IN BED --FELL ASLEEP AND SET HIS OXYGEN LINE ON FIRE WHICH IGNITED HIS BOX SPRINGS. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS RESPONDED TO ASSIST.

FATAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN LAMAR COUNTY

ACCORDING TO POST 44 GA. STATE PATROL FORSYTH—A MILNER MAN DIED OF INJURIES IN A MOTORCYCLE WRECK TUESDAY EVENING IN LAMAR COUNTY ON HIGHWAY 18 NEAR CANNIFAX ROAD AFTER HE WAS REAR-ENDED BY HIS FIANCE.

TROOPER JASON STONE IDENTIFIED THE FATALITY AS 28 YEAR OLD WILLIAM CHRIS STANFIELD—WHO WAS LIFE-FLIGHTED TO GRADY HOSPITAL IN ATLANTA BUT DIED OF SEVERE HEAD TRAUMA.

TROOPER STONE TOLD ZOOM NEWS—HIS BRIDE-TO-BE, LORA WYNNE , AGE 28 OF GRIFFIN WAS FOLLOWING BEHIND STANSFIELD AS THEY LOOKED AT HOUSES FOR SALE. HE STOPPED THE BIKE SUDDENLY—BECAUSE HE MISSED A TURN—AND THE TOYOTA COROLLA—MS. WYNNE WAS DRIVING—STRUCK THE MOTORCYCLE IN THE REAR—AND KNOCKED STANSFIELD OFF THE BIKE.

THE ACCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION—ACCORDING TO TROOPER STONE.





Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NO HIKE IN TAX MILLAGE IN 2017

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING—THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO HOLD THE LINE ON THE TAX MILLAGE RATE FOR 2017—BUT WARNED A TAX INCREASE IS LOOMING IN 2018.

Monday, July 24, 2017

D.A. COKER , GBI AND SPALDING S.O. COLD CASE

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker’s Office have reopened the investigation in to the 34 year old cold case murder of Timothy Coggins.
On October 9, 1983, the body of Timothy Coggins was found on a power line off of Minter Road in Sunnyside. Investigators at the time gathered evidence from the scene, questioned suspects and witnesses but were unable to make arrests in Coggins’ death. The case has remained unsolved to this day.
In June of 2017, spurred by information forwarded to the GBI through various sources regarding Coggins’ murder, Agents and Investigators began re-examining the case and all of the information gathered at the time of the original investigation. Investigators began re-interviewing old witnesses, conducting interviews with newly discovered witnesses, and gathering new evidence. Investigators from the GBI and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office working in unison have been literally going door to door in their efforts to solve this crime. Based on their findings they believe that they are close to making arrests for Coggins’ murder.
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “We have been in contact with a representative from Coggins’ family and they have been briefed on where we are at in the investigation. Unfortunately, both of his parents are deceased, and we wish we would have been able to give them closure before they passed away. The GBI, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney Ben Coker’s Office will do all we can to ensure that Timothy Coggins and the remainder of the Coggins family receive justice. It does not matter who he was, or where he was from, this man died a horrible death and those responsible for his murder need to be held accountable. I can say without a doubt that if Mr. Coggins was murdered today, in 2017, it would absolutely be classified as a hate crime. 34 years have passed since this horrible crime was committed and those who killed him have believed that they would remain untouched until literally just a few days ago.”
Sheriff Dix continued, “We understand that over the years those suspected of being involved in the murder of Timothy Coggins have threatened and intimidated potential witnesses. We believe that there are people with pertinent information regarding this case that are still out there and we are asking them to come forward. We are asking for anyone who may have information about this murder, especially the hours leading up to the discovery of Coggins’ body, to contact the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at (770)-467-4282 and ask to speak to Lt. Mike Morris or GBI Agent Jared Coleman.  Any detail, no matter how small you may think it is, could be valuable in bringing Coggins’ killers to justice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THOMASTON-UPSON KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-18 school year will be held on Tuesday, July 25, from 8:30 - 11:30 in the Upson-Lee Primary School Media Center. No appointment is necessary. 

The parent or legal guardian should bring the child to register, along with the following documents: child's certified birth certificate; child's social security card; child's immunization record on GA form 3231; Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Record on Form 3300; Parent/Guardian Photo ID; Proof of Residency (2 of the following items in parent's name - gas/water/electric bill, lease contract, or property tax bill); Proof of guardianship. The child must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2017. 

This registration is for children who have not previously registered for Kindergarten in the Thomaston-Upson School System.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

FORMER GRIFFIN HIGH TEACHER INDICTED

ACCORDING TO THE OFFICE OF GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER----THE SPALDING COUNTY GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED FORMER GRIFFIN HIGH TEACHER—BRANDY NICKELS, AGE 41 OF WILLIAMSON ON TWO COUNTS OF STATUTORY RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A STUDENT, CHILD MOLESTATION , ENTICING A CHILD FOR INDECENT PURPOSES, AGGREVATED CHILD MOLESTATION AND INFLUENCING A WITNESS.

MS. NICKELS—WHO RESIGNED FROM THE SCHOOL SYSTEM--- HAS BEEN ARRESTED TWICE BY GRIFFIN POLICE WITH MALE JUVENILES IN HER CAR—THE FIRST TIME MAY 18TH AND AGAIN JUNE 13TH AND THE 2ND TIME A LOADED PISTOL AND SOME MARIJUANA WAS FOUND—AND HER BOND WAS REVOKED.

MS. NICKELS IS IN JAIL AWAITING A NOVEMBER TRIAL DATE.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

INJURIES IN A PIKE COUNTY WRECK

On 7/17/2017 at 8:06p.m., Deputies responded to a traffic accident on Highway 19 ,near Gresham road. A Dodge Magnum driven by William Rice, 57, from Spalding County was traveling northbound , crossed over into the southbound lane and struck a Chevrolet Traverse driven by Kristen Golden,26, of Pike County, head on. The Traverse was also occupied by a two year old child. Mr. Rice was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital and Ms. Golden and the two year old were taken to Spalding Regional by ambulance for treatment. The cause of the collision remains under investigation by Sheriff's Office Traffic Investigators.

Monday, July 17, 2017

JOB OPENINGS AT UPSON SO

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR CROSSING GUARDS AND JAIL OFFICERS. APPLY AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM TILL 5PM.

Friday, July 14, 2017

UPSON CONVICT SOUGHT IN SPALDING CO

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAD POSTED A LOOK-OUT FOR A WANTED SUSPECT—BUT IT TURNS OUT HE'S IN STATE PRISON FOR AN UPSON COUNTY CASE.


28 YEAR OLD ADONIS CORDELL COLQUITT IS WANTED IN SPALDING COUNTY ON KIDNAPPING AND OTHER CHARGES—BUT HE'S SERVING A 5 YEAR SENTENCE IN THE STATE PEN FOR STATUTORY RAPE IN UPSON COUNTY FOR A CRIME IN AUGUST OF 2012.

Friday, July 7, 2017

UL HEAD FOOTBALL COACH STRICKEN ILL

UPSON-LEE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH TOMMY PARKS IS REPORTED IN GOOD CONDITION AT THE MACON MEDICAL CENTER INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AFTER SUFFERING AN APPARENT HEART ATTACK AT HOME FRIDAY MORNING .


A MEMBER OF COACH PARKS STAFF TOLD ZOOM NEWS—HE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY. COACH PARKS IS STARTING HIS 4TH YEAR AS HEAD COACH OF THE KNIGHTS FOOTBALL TEAM.

Monday, July 3, 2017

PD CHIEF SAYS BROTHER MURDERED BROTHER

On July 01, 2017, between the hours of 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM, Officers from the Thomaston Police Department responded to 450 B Street, Thomaston, Upson County, Georgia in reference to a verbal domestic between brothers. Prior to the officer’s arrival on the scene Blake Ashley Hancock 39 years of age obtained a firearm and discharged the firearm inside the residence striking his brother Talvin Harold Robbins 52 years of age in the head. The call was upgraded to a possible subject shot and a subjected barricaded in the residence.   Shortly after TPD officers arrived on the scene along with deputies from the Upson County Sheriff’s Office Blake Hancock exited the house un armed and was taken into custody without further incident.  Officers then made entry into the residence where they found a male subject identified as Talvin Harold in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head.   Upon securing the scene EMS arrived and transported the Talvin Harold to URMC where he was pronounced dead from the fatal gunshot wound by the Assistant Coroner.

Blake Hancock was transported to the Upson County jail where he is being held without bond.   He has been charged with Murder, Malice Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime. At the request of Chief Richardson the GBI Region 2 Crime Scene Unit responded and assisted TPD Investigators process the scene for evidence.  This incident is still under investigation at the time of this release.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

UPSON CO. ARSONIST SENTENCED TO FED PEN

A CONVICT DOING TIME FOR SERIAL ARSON IN UPSON COUNTY HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO TWO MORE YEARS IN PRISON FOR MAILING BOGUS ANTHRAX THREATS—USING THE NAME  AND  ADDRESS    OF SHERIFF DAN KILGORE ON THE ENVELOPES SENT TO THE STATE BAR OF GA., THE AJC NEWSPAPER, AND THE MORMAN CHURCH.

50 YEAR OLD TRAVIS BALL OF WARNER ROBINS WAS SENTENCED JUNE 23RD IN FEDERAL COURT—TWO YEARS IN PRISON PLUS THREE YEARS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE AND —RESTITUTION OF $10,700.

SHERIFF KILGORE SAID BALL WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF ROBINS AIR BASE WHO HAD FRIENDS IN THOMASTON—AND LOCATED VACANT RESIDENCES IN WESTERN UPSON CO. IN REAL ESTATE MAGAZINES AND TORCHED THEM.

THE FBI CONTACTED THE SHERIFF OVER A YEAR AGO—ABOUT THE THREATS—JUST AS BALL WAS UP FOR PAROLE FROM A SOUTH GA. PRISON. NOW HE GOES INTO THE FEDERAL PENAL SYSTEM.

THE SHERIFF SAID BALL WROTE COUNTLESS LETTERS TO HIS OFFICE, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE , AND OTHER OFFICIALS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIS MIS-TREATMENT BY THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. SHERIFF  KILGORE  TOLD  ZOOM  NEWS   HE   IS  PUZZLED  BY  BALL'S  ACTIONS.





Friday, June 23, 2017

THE ROCK RANCH CANCELS CELEBRATE AMERICA-SAT.

TWO CANCELLATIONS SATURDAY—THE ROCK RANCH HAS CANCELLED CELEBRATE AMERICA SATURDAY DUE TO WEATHER THREATS. THE FRED IN PEACHTREE CITY SAYS PAUL ANKA HAS CANCELLED HIS SHOW SATURDAY NIGHT AND OTHER SHOWS DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CITY OF THOMASTON NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR HIRED

THE CITY OF THOMASTON HAS HIRED A NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR, LONNIE JOYCE, A C.P.A. MR JOYCE HAS BEEN WORKING AS CONTRACT INTERIM FINANCE DIRECTOR SINCE FEBRUARY. HIS SALARY WILL BE $92,000 ANNUALLY.


CITY COUNCILMAN JEFF MIDDLEBROOKS VOTED AGAINST THE MOTION TO HIRE THE NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR FOLLOWING AN EXECUTIVE SESSION, TUESDAY NIGHT.

Friday, June 16, 2017

UPSON JURY SPLIT 9-3 IN FAVOR OF DEATH PENALTY

AFTER DELIBRATING 30 MINUTES WEDNESDAY AN UPSON COUNTY JURY SENTENCED CHRISTOPHER CALMER TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THE MURDER OF DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS—THE UPSON JURY WAS REPORTEDLY SPLIT 9 TO 3 IN FAVOR OF THE DEATH PENALTY.

THE FATHER OF DEPUTY NORRIS---BENNETT NORRIS TOLD THE TELEGRAPH HE BELIEVES THE JURY WOULD HAVE REACHED A DIFFERENT VERDICT—IF THEY COULD HAVE HEARD THE FAMILY SAY THEY WANTED THE DEATH PENALTY.


THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW SUCH TESTIMONY DURING THE SENTENCING PHASE OF A DEATH PENALTY CASE.

HBO CASTING CALL FOR ACTORS IN BVILLE

ANOTHER OPEN CASTING CALL HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE HBO SERIES— -- SHARP OBJECTS --- STARRING AMY ADAMS THAT BEGINS FILMING THE FIRST OF THE WEEK IN BARNESVILLE AND MCDONOUGH.

NEEDED; A CAUCASIAN FEMALE WHO HAS THE BODY OF AN 18 YEAR OLD, A CAUCASIAN BOY AGES 7 TO 9, A CAUCASIAN MALE AGES 50 TO 65, CAUCASIAN FEMALE AGES 50 TO 60 AND 18 TO 21 YEAR OLD CAUCASIAN MALES.


FOR MORE INFO LOG ON TO BARNESVILLE DOT COM.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MOTORCYCLE WRECK CLAIMS A SON OF UPSON

A YOUNG MAN ORIGINALLY FROM THOMASTON WAS KILLED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT TUESDAY EVENING ON DUNBAR ROAD IN HOUSTON COUNTY.

ACCORDING TO HOUSTON COUNTY S.O.---27 YEAR OLD JEREMY WRIGHT OF MILLEDGEVILLE, GA. WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE AFTER AN APPARENT HEAD-ON COLLISION WITH A PICK-UP TRUCK.

JEREMY'S MOTHER SHARON—TOLD ZOOM NEWS HE WAS A PROFESSIONAL CHURCH MUSICIAN AND MUSIC PRODUCER.


FUNERAL SERVICES FOR JEREMY WRIGHT WILL BE HELD TUESDAY, JUNE 20TH AT 12 NOON AT MARY LIZZIE BAPTIST CHURCH IN THOMASTON --- TRICE FUNERAL HOME IN CHARGE OF ARRANGEMENTS.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH TILL 11PM

MARTHA ANN MCCARTY—UPSON EMA DIRECTOR SAYS THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR THIS PART OF GA. UNTIL 11PM THURSDAY NIGHT. MARTHA ANN SAID THUNDERSTORM CELLS AROUND THE ATLANTA METRO AREA COULD TRACK A PATH SOUTH AND IMPACT THE ZOOM RADIO LISTENING AREA.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

UPSON CO. JURY GIVES CALMER LIFE W/O PAROLE

WEDNESDAY IN MONROE COUNTY, AN UPSON COUNTY JURY SENTENCED CHRISTOPHER CALMER TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THE MURDER OF MONROE COUNTY DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS IN 2014. THE STATE WAS SEEKING THE DEATH PENALTY.


THE JURY FOUND CALMER GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS TUESDAY AFTER JUST 30 MINUTES OF DELIBRATIONS.    

THREATS TO INTERFOR ALERT UPSON S.O.

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAS OBTAINED A CRIMINAL WARRANT FOR TERRORISTIC THREATS AFTER A CULLODEN MAN ALLEGEDLY THREATENED TO BLOW-UP INTERFOR—THE FORMER KEADLE LUMBER ENTERPRISES—AND KILL HIS FORMER BOSS.

SHERIFF DAN KILGORE TOLD ZOOM NEWS WEDNESDAY--- 63 YEAR OLD WILLIAM FREDRICK HARRIS OF BILLY HARRIS ROAD IN MONROE COUNTY IS HOSPITALIZED IN MACON—BUT ONCE HE IS RELEASED DEPUTIES WILL PICK HIM UP AND BRING HIM TO THE UPSON COUNTY JAIL FOR BOOKING.

HARRIS WAS REPORTEDLY DISMISSED FROM INTERFOR ON JUNE 5TH AND MONROE COUNTY S.O. GOT WORD HE WAS THREATENING THE COMPANY AND NOTIFIED UPSON S.O. HARRIS WAS REPORTED MISSING LAST WEEK BUT TURNED-UP OVER THE WEEKEND.


SHERIFF KILGORE SAID--ONCE NOTIFIED OF THE THREATS, UPSON DEPUTIES MET WITH SUPERVISORS AT INTERFOR AND ALERTED THEM OF THE SITUATION.   

THOMASTON P.D. K-9 UNIT NABS ESCAPEE

THE THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT K-9 UNIT TRACKED DOWN A FEMALE INMATE WHO ESCAPED FROM CITY COURT —TUESDAY—FOUND HER IN AN ABANDONED HOUSE AT GORDON AND SOUTH BETHEL.

POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAID 35 YEAR OLD RHONDA BRADSHAW—FACING A RAP FOR SHOPLIFTING, MANAGED TO EXIT THE COURTROOM UNDETECTED AT THE GOVERNMENT COMPLEX DURING RECESS.

K-9 RYDER WAS DISPATCHED—PICKED-UP BRADSHAW'S TRAIL AND FOUND HER HIDING IN THE BACK OF THE RESIDENCE NEXT TO H & R BLOCK.


SHE FACES ADDITIONAL CHARGES—AND THE CHIEF HAS ORDERED AN INVESTIGATION INTO HOW SHE WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2-2 TIE VOTE FOR POULTRY HOUSES

BEFORE A FULL HOUSE, THE UPSON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION VOTED 2-2 ON A SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR 6 POULTRY HOUSES FOR BILL THOMPSON ON REST HAVEN ROAD, MONDAY. THE ITEM WILL BE ON THE JULY MEETING AGENDA.


CHAIRMAN PAUL JONES AND VICE CHAIR JOEL PITTS VOTED FOR THE MOTION TO APPROVE. ALICIA MCKINLEY AND JEFFREY HILTON VOTED AGAINST, THE 5TH MEMBER MIKE RAINES WAS ABSENT.

LIFE IN PRISON FOR RUBY KATE COURSEY

ACCORDING TO GRIFFIN CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER—A THOMASTON WOMAN WILL SERVE LIFE IN PRISON FOR LEAVING HER EX-BOYFRIEND TO DIE OF HYPOTHERMIA IN A WOODED AREA IN UPSON COUNTY. 27 YEAR OLD RUBY KATE COURSEY ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA TUESDAY IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT.

COURSEY HAS ADMITTED USING METH AND MARIJUANA WHEN SHE PUSHED 33 YEAR OLD TROYMAIN JOHNSON OF FT. VALLEY OUT OF THE CAR AND LEFT HIM TO DIE. JOHNSON WAS A PARAPLEGIC WHO REPORTEDLY ONLY HAD USE OF THREE FINGERS.

THE INCIDENT HAPPENED TUESDAY MARCH 14TH—BUT SHE WAITED TILL FRIDAY TO REPORT IT.

D.A. COKER SAID ACCORDING TO THE SENTENCE FROM JUDGE CHRIS EDWARDS—COURSEY MUST SERVE 30 YEARS OF HER SENENCE BEFORE SHE IS ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE.

DURING THE GUILTY PLEA PROCEEDING—MS. COURSEY SOBBED THAT SHE REGRETED HER ACTIONS AND ASKED JOHNSON'S FAMILY TO FORGIVE HER.


PROSECUTOR COKER CREDITED COOPERATION BETWEEN HIS OFFICE, THE GBI, UPSON S.O. AND THOMASTON P.D. FOR THE QUICK RESOLUTION OF THE CASE. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

DROWNING AT SPREWELL BLUFF

A COLLEGE PARK TEEN APPARENTLY DROWNED SATURDAY AFTERNOON WHILE SWIMMING AT SPREWELL BLUFF PARK. UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE IDENTIFIED THE VICTIM AS 18 YEAR OLD SANTIAGO NICKOLAS RAFEL BERNABE WHOSE BODY WAS SENT TO THE GBI CRIME LAB FOR AUTOPSY.

SHERIFF KILGORE SAID BERNABE WAS WITH A GROUP OF ABOUT 40 PEOPLE WHO CAME FROM SOUTH ATLANTA TO ENJOY THE FLINT RIVER. NO ONE SAW HIM GO UNDER BUT HIS BODY WAS SPOTTED FACE DOWN NEAR A ROCK AND IT WAS ALREADY STIFF.

IN ANOTHER WEEKEND INCIDENT ON THE FLINT, A THOMASTON WOMAN WAS FORCED TO STAY OVERNIGHT IN THE WOODS AFTER SHE GOT SEPARATED FROM HER FLOATING COMPANIONS .

THE SHERIFF SAID 35 YEAR OLD CASEY LEE ANN BROOKS HOBBS OF COBBTOWN ROAD DEVELOPED A HOLE IN HER TUBE PAST YELLOW JACKET SHOALS AND HAD TO GO TO THE BANK.


SHE WAS CONTACTED BY CELL PHONE AND CONFIRMED SHE WAS O.K. SHE BUILT A FIRE IN A CLEARING AND WAITED OUT THE NIGHT, AND WALKED OUT ON ROLAND ROAD THE NEXT MORNING. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

SERVICES FOR LT. OXFORD

LT. ROBERT EUGENE OXFORD---A PIKE COUNTY AIRMAN WHO DIED IN A PLANE CRASH IN THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS DURING WORLD WAR TWO IS LYING IN STATE AT MOODY-DANIEL FUNERAL HOME IN ZEBULON AND VISITATION IS SCHEDULED FRIDAY 5 TO 8PM AND SATURDAY 10AM TILL 4PM AT THE FUNERAL HOME.

A VIDEO OF THE RECOVERY OF LT. OXFORD'S REMAINS IN INDIA IS PRESENTED IN THE CHAPEL AND PHOTOS OF LT. OXFORD AND THE 7 OTHERS WHO PERISHED IN THE CRASH ARE DISPLAYED NEXT TO HIS CASKET—ALONG WITH A PHOTO OF —THE LATE SUSAN BROWN OF ZEBULON, HIS FUTURE BRIDE.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE IS SCHEDULED SUNDAY 2PM AT THE PIKE COUNTY SCHOOL AUDITORIUM WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS AT MAGNOLIA CEMETERY IN CONCORD. OFFICIATING—REV. BOB MCCOMBS, REV. JEFF OVERTON AND REV. BILL BARBER, SOLOIST KEITH JOHNSON.

TIM DANIEL TOLD US VINTAGE AIRCRAFT FROM THE CANDLER FIELD MUSEUM WILL DO A FLY-OVER AT THE CEMETERY SERVICE.

THE FUNERAL HOME HAS PROVIDED 700 YELLOW RIBBONS TO WELCOME HOME LT. OXFORD AND TIM SAYS THEY ARE DISPLAYED ALL OVER PIKE COUNTY.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

D.A. COKER ANNOUNCES DAVID GIBSON GUILTY PLEA

ACCORDING TO BENJAMIN COKER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN SPALDING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT THURSDAY, A RETIRED CAPTAIN WITH THE SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, DAVID WAYNE GIBSON ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA TO TWO COUNTS OF VIOLATION OF OATH OF OFFICE AND WAS SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS, 3 TO SERVE IN PRISON.


GIBSON WAS INDICTED FOR MULTIPLE COUNTS OF SEXUAL HARRASSMENT OF FEMALE EMPLOYEES OF THE SPALDING S.O. DURING THE SERVICE OF SHERIFF WENDELL BEAM. THOSE FEMALES HAVE FILED AN EEOC LAW SUIT AGAINST GIBSON , FORMER SHERIFF BEAM AND THE COUNTY OF SPALDING SEEKING AT LEAST $8 MILLION IN DAMAGES. ONE NON-EMPLOYEE OF THE S.O. IS ALSO A PARTY TO THE LAW SUIT.

NEW CONTRACT FOR THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER

THE THOMASTON CITY COUNCIL VOTED 4 TO 1 TO APPROVE A NEW CONTRACT FOR CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON AFTER A CLOSED DOOR SESSION —TUESDAY--WITH A 5% PAY RAISE—BUT COUNCILMAN JEFF MIDDLEBROOKS TOLD ZOOM NEWS HE CAST THE LONE VOTE AGAINST THE $6300 PAY BOOST.


COUNCILMAN MIDDLEBROOKS SAID HE OPPOSES ANY INDIVIDUAL PAY RAISES BEFORE THE FINAL REPORT FROM THE CARL VINSON INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENT STUDY ON PAY AND CLASSIFICATION OF CITY EMPLOYEES. THE MANAGER'S BASE SALARY IS NOW $131,000.

MAYOR J.D. STALLINGS TOLD US THE 5% PAY HIKE WITH THE MANAGERS BENEFITS PACKAGE WILL PUT HIS TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE AROUND $150,000. ITS A 4% PAY HIKE PLUS THE 1% ALL CITY EMPLOYEES GOT THE FIRST OF THE YEAR.

THE MAYOR SAID ITS IN LINE WITH WHAT SIMILAR-SIZED CITIES ARE PAYING THEIR MANAGERS. HE COMMENDED THOMPSON FOR DOING A TERRIFIC JOB AND CALLED HIM A GOOD FIT FOR THE COMMUNITY.


TUESDAY WAS RUSSELL'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY AS THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

UPSON JURORS ON MONROE COUNTY MURDER CASE

12 JURORS AND 6 ALTERNATES FROM UPSON COUNTY HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE DEATH PENALTY TRIAL OF CHRISTOPHER CALMER INDICTED FOR THE MURDER OF MONROE COUNTY DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS.

AS THE TRIAL GOT UNDERWAY MONDAY AT THE MONROE COUNTY COURTHOUSE—SHERIFF JOHN CARY BITTICK AND THE NORRIS FAMILY REMINDED THE PUBLIC TO REFRAIN FROM ANY OUTWARD SIGNS OF SUPPORT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT—SUCH AS BLUE RIBBONS OR CLOTHING ITEMS FROM THE BACK THE BLUE MOVEMENT.

NORRIS WAS SHOT AND KILLED AND DEPUTY JEFF WILSON WAS WOUNDED IN SEPT. OF 2014 WHEN THEY RESPONDED TO A CALL ABOUT A MAN THREATENING SUICIDE.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PROPOSED FY 2018 BUDGET TU BOE

The Thomaston Upson Board of Education is proposing a $34.7 million general fund budget for FY2018 which begins July 1. This budget reflects an increase of $1.2 million dollars from the FY2017 budget. With this budget, the board is proposing to add $233 thousand to the general fund balance reserves. Due to having to use fund balance reserves for a number of years, the fund balance is projected to be approximately $4.2 million at June 30, 2018. School districts need at least 2 months or 15% in fund balance reserves to operate efficiently. 

Revenues are increasing $1.6 million dollars all from the State Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding. Total QBE revenues of $25.2 million account for 72% of the revenue. However, our school district still has an austerity reduction of$441 thousand dollars from the QBE funding.  Since 2002, austerity reductions for our school district have totaled $24.6 million in funds we have not received under the State Quality Basic Education funding formula.    

Property tax revenue is pending upon receipt of final tax digest information in August. Property tax revenue is currently budgeted at $8.2 million dollars at a mill rate of 15.42 mills accounting for 24% of the revenue. The value of 1 mill currently generates approximately $550 thousand dollars per mill for the school district.    

The remaining $1.5 million or 4 % comes from other federal, state and local sources for a grand total of $34.9 million in revenues. 

Ninety percent of the budget or $29.8 million is for salaries and benefits. The remaining 10% or $3.7 million is other operational expenses. $1.2 million of the $3.7 million is used for fuel to transport our students and utilities for the facilities. 

The Board of Education will conduct another public budget hearing on the preliminary general fund budget on Tuesday, June 13 at 5:30 pm prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 pm.  At the regularly scheduled board meeting on June 13, the board will consider for tentative adoption the FY2018 budget.

The board will consider for final adoption the FY2018 budget Tuesday, June 27 at 5 pm.    

BOMB THREAT AT WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME --BARNESVILLE

CITY OF BARNESVILLE POLICE CHIEF CRAIG COOPER SAID BOMB-SNIFFING DOGS FROM BIBB S.O. CHECKED OUT WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME ON ROSE AVE. — AND FOUND NOTHING--AFTER A BOMB THREAT WAS FAXED TO THE MORTUARY AROUND 10AM WEDNESDAY. EVERYONE WAS EVACUATED FROM THE AREA.

CHIEF COOPER SAID THE WRITTEN DOCUMENT DEMANDED A RANSOM OF $25,000 OR A BOMB WOULD IGNITE --- WITH AN ACCOUNT NUMBER IN BRAZIL IN SOUTH AMERICA POSTED TO SEND THE MONEY.

THE BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE RECEIVED THE SAME TYPE OF FAXED BOMB THREAT LAST WEEK—CHIEF COOPER TOLD ZOOM NEWS—IT APPEARS TO BE A NATION-WIDE SCARE —AND THE FBI IS BEING CALLED-IN TO INVESTIGATE.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MESSAGE FROM UPSON TAX COMMISSIONER ANDY CHASTAIN

The tax commissioner's office will be filing FiFas (tax liens) on June 1st which will include any unpaid 2016 taxes on real and personal property. Unless you've already made arrangements with the tax commissioner's office to settle you past due tax bill, these delinquent taxes have been turned over to a collection agency and a tax lien will be recorded in the clerk's office. Delinquent taxpayers are urged to come in and settle your tax bill to prevent a tax lien from going against your property. This tax lien will not only go against your credit, but any past due taxes that go unpaid can result in wage garnishment, a bank levy, or your property being sold at a tax sale. Tax sales have already been scheduled for August 1st, Sept. 5th, and Oct. 3rd., with a mobile home sale scheduled for Dec. 5th.

Monday, May 22, 2017

CITY OF THOMASTON SEWER OVERFLOW

On May 21, 2017, ESG responded to a customer complaint of sewage escaping from a manhole. As part of our investigation we walked the sewer line and discovered sewer leaking due to a line blockage.

The leak was discovered at 8:40 pm and ceased at 10:40 pm when our crews cleared the blockage. There was approximately 1200 gallons of wastewater released. The sewage discharged into Potato Creek. The leak was estimated at 10 gpm from the time it was discovered.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been notified and the affected area has been treated within the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the above listed contact persons.