Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 IINJURED U.S. 19 SOUTH SATURDAY NIGHT

A THOMASTON MAN WAS AIRLIFTED TO MACON MEDICAL CENTER BY EMS AFTER AN ACCIDENT LAST SATURDAY NITE AT U.S. 19 SOUTH AND LOGTOWN ROAD.

ACCORDING TO POST 26 GA. STATE PATROL---A PASSENGER 87 YEAR OLD ANTHONY LOCKHART OF SEARCY ROAD HAD NON-FATAL INJURIES. THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE JOSEPHINE B. HENDERSON AGE 68 ALSO OF SEARCY ROAD WAS TRANSPORTED TO MACON BY EMS.


THREE OTHERS FROM ALBANY IN THE OTHER VEHICLE HAD NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES—THE DRIVER WAS CITED FOR FAILURE TO YIELD AT A STOP SIGN.    

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.