Monday, August 20, 2018

THOMASTON MAN DIED OF BURNS

AN UPSON COUNTY MAN, STEVE “ BUD” ROLAND, AGE 42 HAS DIED OF BURNS SUFFERED IN AN EXPLOSION AT THE ARI PLANT IN ORCHARD HILL IN SPALDING COUNTY—AUGUST 7TH.

ROLAND SUSTAINED BURNS OVER 90% OF HIS BODY AND A 2ND EMPLOYEE HAD 2ND DEGREE BURNS ON HIS ARMS—AFTER AN EXPLOSION IN THE MIXING ROOM OF THE PLANT THAT PRODUCES BUG REPELLENTS AND AEROSOL SANITIZERS.



BOTH MEN WERE UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT THE BURN UNIT AT GRADY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN ATLANTA.


COGGINS FUNERAL HOME IN CHARGE OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR STEVE “ BUD” ROLAND.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

NEWS RELEASE FROM D.A. COKER, COLD CASE MURDER

BENJAMIN D. COKER
DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Griffin Judicial Circuit


08/16/2018


PRESS RELEASE

Today in front of the Honorable W. Fletcher Sams, defendant William “Bill” Moore entered a guilty plea for the murder of Timothy Coggins on October 7, 1983. He entered a plea to Voluntary Manslaughter and Concealing the Death of Another. He was sentenced to 20 years to serve, followed by 10 years on probation. He is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit. The family of Timothy Coggins and law enforcement were all in agreement with this guilty plea.
Timothy Coggins was killed over 34 years ago in a field off Minter Road. Law Enforcement closed the original investigation after two months. Special Agent Jared Coleman with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Captain Mike Morris with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office opened the case in December of 2016 and conducted hundreds of interviews. These two agencies, along with the Spalding County District Attorney’s Office, and the Fire Department used a Hydrovac system to excavate a well on the defendant’s property. It was the first time in the State of Georgia that such a system was used for well excavation. In the well, a white tank top, shoes, a chain, and a knife were some of the items recovered. Moore’s co-defendant, Franklin Gebhardt, was convicted by a Spalding County jury in June of this year and sentenced to life in prison.
District Attorney Coker said of the result, “[t]oday marks the end of a long and arduous journey for the family of Timothy Coggins. My heartfelt thanks goes out to law enforcement for their work on the case. May Timothy rest in peace, and may his family begin to heal.”   



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

FDR PROGRAM AT GORDON STATE COLLEGE

ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, GORDON STATE COLLEGE COMMEMORATED THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VISIT OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S VISIT TO BARNESVILLE TO THROW THE SWITCH FOR THE R.E.A. TO BRING ELECTRICITY TO RURAL LAMAR COUNTY. ZOOM RADIO WILL REPLAY THAT PROGRAM SUNDAY AT 6AM.

UPSON BOC SUPPORTS 5TH JUDGE

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING THE UPSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO WRITE A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF A 5TH SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE FOR THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT—THE LAST COUNTY IN THE CIRCUIT TO DO IT.

THE BOARD HAD SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT IT—BUT THEY WERE APPARENTLY ANSWERED BY JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS AT A COMMISSIONERS RETREAT LAST WEEK.

ACCORDING TO JUDGE SAMS A 5TH JUDGE WILL COST UPSON COUNTY AN ADDITIONAL $8900—BUT IT INCLUDES 7 STATE-FUNDED POSITIONS.


AUGUST 9TH THE GA. JUDICIAL COUNCIL VOTED TO RECOMMEND ADDITIONAL JUDGESHIPS FOR THE GRIFFIN CIRCUIT AND GWINNETT JUDICIAL CIRCUIT AND SENT THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR AND GA. GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE 2019 SESSION.


A STATE REPORT SAID THE 4 JUDGES IN THE GRIFFIN CIRCUIT WERE DOING THE WORK OF 5.6 JUDGES.  

Thursday, August 9, 2018

AGENDA CITY OF THOMASTON RETREAT AUG 10

CITY OF THOMASTON
Mayor and City Council
2018 Planning Retreat – Thomaston-Upson Senior Center
August 10, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

AGENDA
1. Opening of Meeting and Call to Order with Prayer.
2. City Finances/Projections/Amendments.
3. Proposed FY2018 Tax Millage Rate.
4. Service Delivery Strategy Negotiations.
5. Public Safety Complex.
6. Armory/Public Works Facilities Improvements.
7. Street Paving – TSPLOST Transportation Tax.
8. Storm Water Utility – GIS Mapping Progress.
9. Lighting at the Greatest Generation Memorial Park Tennis and Pickleball Courts.
10. Summer Program – Park Street.
11. Discussion of Forming a Youth Council.
12. Recording of City Council Meetings.
13. Changing Meeting Time for Council Meetings.
14. Other Business.
15. Adjournment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

GEORGIA HUMANITIES

Georgia Humanities Announces Crossroads: Change in Rural America Host Sites Six communities around the state chosen to host traveling exhibition (Atlanta, GA)— Georgia Humanities is pleased to announce the selection of six communities to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition that examines the evolving landscape of rural America. The sites are: Blue Ridge, Cuthbert, McRae-Helena, Monticello, Summerville, and Thomaston. Between August 2019 and June 2020, Crossroads will be on view for six weeks in each community. This traveling exhibition is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. Crossroads explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the U.S. landscape remains rural, with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Yet since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. The exhibition considers that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans have responded. Designed for small-town museums, libraries, and cultural organizations, Crossroads will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about how rural America has changed. With the support and guidance of Georgia Humanities, the host communities will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs, and facilitate educational initiatives to raise understanding about local history, explore the joys and challenges of living rural, examine how change has impacted their community, and prompt discussion of goals for the future. The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street (MoMS), a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about Crossroads and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org. Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress. The Georgia tour of Crossroads is presented by Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Georgia EMC. The schedule for the Crossroads tour will be announced later this year. To get involved with Crossroads, contact Laura McCarty (ltmc@georgiahumanities.org), president of Georgia Humanities, to learn about sponsorship and programming opportunities. About Georgia Humanities Georgia Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that gathers, preserves, and shares our state’s distinctive stories through a range of cultural and educational programs and resources. Georgia Humanities partners with scholars and educators across the state to bring people together in learning and conversation. Founded in 1971, Georgia Humanities is the statewide affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more, please visit www.GeorgiaHumanities.org.

UPSON SHERIFF DAN KILGORE ANNOUNCES AN ARREST

On August 7th, 2018 Corey Keith Calvert, 19, of Yatesville Ga. was arrested for eight counts of entering auto. Numerous items were stolen including several guns. Some items have been recovered and we are working to recover others. On July 30th 2018 Calvert entered a 1996 Chevrolet S10 truck on Oak Ridge Drive Thomaston, a 2004 Hummer H2 and a 2004 Ford Truck on Pine Ridge Drive in Thomaston. Between July 19th and August 5th 2018 Calvert entered a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder on Glendale St. in Yatesville Ga., A 1995 Chevrolet S-10 truck and a 2002 Ford on Glendale St. Yatesville Ga., a 2008 GMC Acadia on Empire St. Yatesville Ga. , and a 2008 Ford truck in Yatesville. Calvert is currently booked in the Upson County Jail on entering Auto and Probation Violation charges.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR ROBBERY

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAYS A FLORIDA MAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER HE GRABBED THE POCKETBOOK OF A FOOD DELIVERY LADY AT FAIRVIEW APARTMENTS ON AVE. F.

19 YEAR OLD TOMMY LANE OF PALM BAY, FLORIDA MIGHT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A SET-UP. A DELIVERY THE DAY BEFORE WAS A STIFF AND THE NEXT DAY A CALL FROM THE APARTMENTS AND LANE WAS WAITING TO GRAB THE DELIVERY LADY'S POCKETBOOK AND THEN HE FLED.


K-9 RYDER WAS DISPATCHED TO CHASE HIM DOWN AS HE TRIED TO GET OVER A FENCE NEAR THE GA. STATE PATROL POST.

SPALDING CO. SUPPORTS A 5TH SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE

AT TUESDAY'S REGULAR MEETING—THE SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO WRITE A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF A 5TH SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE IN THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.

CHIEF JUDGE CHRIS EDWARDS WHO ADDRESSED THE BOARD SAID THE CIRCUIT QUALIFED—AS AN AT NEED CIRCUIT—BECAUSE OF CASELOAD. A 5TH JUDGE WILL COST SPALDING COUNTY $20,000 MORE THAN CURRENTLY FUNDED --- JUST OVER $85,000 BUT THE COURTS WILL OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY—HE SAID. THE GA. GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL MAKE THE FINAL DECISION ON FUNDING A 5TH JUDGE.



COUNTY ATTORNEY JIM FORTUNE REPORTED THE CITIZENS ETHICS COMMITTEE CLEARED BOTH COMMISSIONERS GWEN FLOWERS-TAYLOR AND DON HAWBAKER OF ETHICS VIOLATIONS DURING A RECENT HEARING. FLOWERS-TAYLOR CALLED ON THE BOARD TO REVIEW ITS ETHICS RULES AND DISCUSS THE GROUNDS FOR VIOLATIONS.

Monday, August 6, 2018

INTERFOR ANNOUNCES EXPANSION IN UPSON CO

INTERFOR CORPORATION (“Interfor” or the “Company”), one of North America’s largest lumber manufacturers, announced its Thomaston mill will be part of Phase II of the Southern Investment Strategy approved by its Board today. This announcement builds on Phase I of the Southern Investment Strategy, two strategic capital projects, announced in November 2017, at the Meldrim (Georgia) and Monticello (Arkansas) sawmills. Combining Phases I & II, Interfor is undertaking major modernizations and rebuilds at five sawmills in its US South platform to modernize technology, increase efficiency and boost production. The total combined cost of Phases I & II is expected to be $305 million and the projects are designed to increase production capacity by approximately 425 million board feet per year and enhance product mix and grade outturns.

“Forestry has always been a key economic driver in Georgia, and Interfor’s commitment to our state is significant,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Projects like this open the door for more opportunities for our workforce. The impact that Interfor will have in Georgia goes far beyond jobs and investment, and I look forward to their continued growth.” “We are capitalizing on embedded opportunities in the South,” said Duncan Davies, President & Chief Executive Officer at Interfor. “That includes an attractive fiber basket, proximity to major end use markets, a supportive business environment, and sawmills with untapped potential.” This capital investment will also protect and improve jobs in Thomaston and the surrounding area. “Well capitalized and efficient mills are better able to weather changing markets. This capital investment means we’re also investing in our people through internal training programs to build the skilled workforce we need to run these modern and efficient sawmills,” said Davies.

“It’s incredibly exciting that a company of the size and caliber of Interfor would choose our community for such a large and important expansion project,” Kyle Fletcher, Executive Director of the Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority, said. “Interfor’s investment represents Page 2 of 2 one of the single largest investments by a company that our area has ever seen. We are thrilled with the news.” “As a company, Interfor is committed to building value every day—by hiring, partnering and investing in local communities to grow our global business. This investment means the Thomaston sawmill will consume more timber which is good news for local loggers and timberland owners,” said Bruce Luxmoore, Vice President, Southern Operations at Interfor. “We are excited to be investing in Thomaston and look forward to a long and strong partnership with the state and the local community.” “We are proud to have Interfor in our community, and we pledge to do whatever we can to make Interfor-Thomaston a tremendous success,” added Fletcher.

The two other sawmills affected by the announcement are Eatonton (Georgia) and Georgetown (South Carolina) which will also see significant investment. The three projects combined will increase production capacity by approximately 275 million board feet per year, and enhance product mix and grade outturns. This is in addition to the two projects announced last fall at Meldrim (Georgia) and Monticello (Arkansas) sawmills. All capital investment projects are expected to be completed in various phases during 2019-2021

Friday, August 3, 2018

TWO MORE SUSPECTS ARRESTED UNITED BANK ROBBERY

ACCORDING TO THE FBI, TWO MORE SUSPECTS IN THE JUNE 28 ROBBERY AT UNITED BANK IN WOODBURY, WERE ARRESTED FRIDAY MORNING.

D'ASIS SHEFFIELD OF WOODBURY, AGE 20, AND DONTAVIUS PRATHER, 22 ARE APPARENTLY THE FINAL SUSPECTS INVOLVED IN THE STICK-UP USING AN ASSAULT RIFLE.


TWO OTHER SUSPECTS, DERRICK R. SCOTT, 26 OF AUGUSTA AND ANTAVIOUS BRAY, 29 OF GREENVILLE WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY HOURS AFTER THE ROBBERY.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

EDWARDS NOMINATED VICE-CHAIR AM BANKERS ASSOC.

THE CEO OF UNITED BANK—JAMES J. EDWARDS JR. IS AMONG THE SLATE OF CANDIDATES FOR AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION OFFICERS , 2018-19 , FOR ELECTION AT THE ANNUAL CONVENTION OCT. 21-23. IN NEW YORK.

MR. EDWARDS HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR VICE-CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD.

JEFFREY M. SZYPERSKI CEO OF CHESAPEAKE BANK NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENT AND LAURA LEE STEWERT OF SOUND COMMUNITY BANK IN SEATTLE NOMINATED FOR CHAIR-ELECT.



BIBLE STUDY FIRST BAPTIST ZEBULON

The Grace Bible Institute, a ministry of First Baptist Church, Zebulon announces its Fall 2018 classes.  Dr. Mike Halsey will teach The Parables of Jesus and Dr. Gene Yancey will teach the Gospel of John.
Classes are held on Tuesday nights at the First Baptist Church, on Concord Street, Zebulon.  The Parables class begins at 6:00 PM and the John class will begin at 7:30.  Classes are 90 minutes in length and can be taken for college or seminary credit or may be audited.  College and seminary credits are earned through Grace Biblical Seminary.
Classes will commence on Tuesday, September 11 and end on Tuesday, December 11.  For more information or to enroll, phone 678-920-8986.

A FEMALE CHARGED WITH MURDER

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 10:42 p.m., The Griffin Police Department responded to a report of a subject shot at 817 Sunnybrook Dr. The victim has been identified as Steven Andrew Freeman (age 23), who sustained a single gunshot wound to the upper chest area. Freeman was transported to Spalding Regional Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. The suspect, Mary Katherine Higdon (age 24) of Griffin, was arrested and charged with Murder and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.   

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

PIKE BOC SUPPORTS A 5TH JUDGE FOR GRIFFIN CIRCUIT

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING THE PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO WRITE A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR A PROPOSED 5TH SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE FOR THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.

DISTRICT COURT ADMINISTRATOR WILL SIMMONS AND SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS EXPLAINED TO THE BOARD THEY ARE IN THE 2ND STAGE OF THE PROCESS AFTER A STATE STUDY REVEALED THE 4 JUDGES ARE DOING THE CASELOAD WORK OF 5.6 JUDGES. LETTERS OF SUPPORT FROM PIKE, UPSON, SPALDING AND FAYETTE COUNTIES ARE NEEDED TO PROCEED.

JUDGE SAMS STATED THIS IS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CIRCUIT TO GET A 5TH—STATE PAID JUDGE, A STATE PAID ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, AS WELL AS A LAW CLERK, A STATE PAID PUBLIC DEFENDER, A STATE PAID ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, A STATE PAID ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISSTANT FOR THE D.A.'S OFFICE AND A STATE PAID INVESTIGATOR FOR THE D.A.

ACCORDING TO JUDGE SAMS—THE GRIFFIN CIRCUIT HAS QUALIFIED FOR A 5TH JUDGE FOR THE 3RD YEAR—MORE THAN ANY OTHER CIRCUIT IN GEORGIA—AND TWO OTHER COUNTIES—COBB AND GWINNETT HAVE WITHDRAWN THEIR REQUESTS—SO THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO GET AN ADDITIONAL JUDGE—AND IT WILL COST PIKE COUNTY ONLY $8000—AS HE PUT IT—LOTS OF BANG FOR THE BUCK.

COUNTY ATTORNEY ROB MORTON ADVISED THE D.A.'S OFFICE AND THE PUBLIC DEFENDER HAVE REQUESTED MORE HELP AND THIS WAY IT COULD BE FUNDED WITHOUT IMPACTING TAX PAYERS.


THE GA. GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL HAVE THE FINAL SAY ON A 5TH JUDGE—IF FUNDED IN THE 2019 SESSION THE NEW JUDGE COULD BE SEATED IN 2020.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

$10,000 REWARD FOR WOODBURY BANK ROBBERS

ACCORDING TO THE FBI ATLANTA FIELD OFFICE---UNITED BANK IS OFFERING A REWARD OF $10,000 FOR INFORMATION THAT LEADS TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF TWO SUSPECTS STILL AT LARGE FROM A BANK ROBBERY IN WOODBURY, JUNE 28TH.

TWO ARE IN CUSTODY AFTER THEY ENTERED THE BANK WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE AND HANDGUNS, FORCED EMPLOYEES TO THE GROUND AT GUNPOINT AND STOLE AN UNDISCLOSED AMOUNT OF MONEY.

THE 3RD AND POSSIBLY A 4TH SUSPECT—POSSIBLY DRIVING THE GET-A-WAY CAR—DESCRIBED AS A 2007 BLACK CHEVROLET IMPALA SS.

ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT CRIME STOPPERS IN ATLANTA AT 404-577-TIPS.



Monday, July 23, 2018

Walker Commits To Georgia

Upson-Lee's Travon Walker committed to the Georgia Bulldogs Tuesday evening.

The 6-5, 272 pound five star defensive tackle is the seventh rated player in the country according to 247 Sports and chose Georgia over South Carolina, Alabama, Clemson and Auburn.

Walker is a two sport star at U-L and was a member of the Knights back to back basketball state champions along with Ty Fagan who signed with Georgia in April.

Friday, July 20, 2018

GORDON STATE COLLEGE CLASSES

All Gordon State College offices will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 1 to allow for faculty and staff training.
Regular business hours and all activity related to registering for fall semester will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2.
Move in for resident students is Saturday, Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Fall semester classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DIGEST FIGURES FROM UPSON TAX COMMISSIONER ANDY CHASTAIN

County net digest= 616,149,587.00 10.5% increase

School net digest= 599,230,661.00 10.7% increase

City net digest = 217,863,074.00 6.6% increase

TU SCHOOL BOARD ROLLS BACK TAX MILLAGE RATE

At Tuesday night's Board meeting, the Thomaston-Upson Board of Education voted to roll back the school millage rate from 15.11 mills to 14.338 mills. This is a decrease of 0.772 mills or about 5%. Superintendent Dr. Larry Derico recommended the decrease to the Board, and Jaye Eubanks made the motion to accept the lower rate. Steve Sadler seconded the motion, and the board voted unanimously in favor of the decreased millage rate. 

The Thomaston-Upson School System already had the lowest millage rate of all school systems in the Griffin RESA district, which includes Pike, Lamar, Spalding, Butts, Fayette, Henry, and Newton counties.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NEW ORGANIZATION T.U.L.L.

FALLOUT OVER THE PROPOSED SALE OF THE TRIANGLE PROPERTY AT SILVERTOWN HAS SPAWNED A NEW ORGANIZATION IN THOMASTON---TULL--THE THOMASTON UPSON LANDMARK LEGACY.

ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE THE FOCUS IS TWO-FOLD THE INCREASE AWARENESS AND RECOGNITION OF THE SILVERTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD -- INCORPORATED IN 1929 AND 2ND TO PROTECT THE TRIANGLE AS THE ENTRYWAY TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEEDED AS A GIFT FROM THE BF GOODRICH COMPANY TO BENEFIT LOCAL CITIZENS.


TO JOIN PHONE ALISON UPHOLD AT 706-975-4046.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

GROUNDBREAKING AT GORDON STATE COLLEGE THURSDAY

Almost 100 dignitaries staff and citizens attended this morning's 9am ground breaking ceremony on the Gordon College campus, for their new $3mil 11,000 sq foot Student Services Center. The grand opening is expected to be this same time next year in July.

Dr. Kirk Nooks, new Pres. welcomed the crowd. He acknowledged that Gordon was part of the mid state educational system- covering students from 14 counties, and working closely with other educational facilities in our area. "We will educate together" he said.

Nooks introduced Ted Benning, owner of the construction company who will build the center. Benning Construction recently renovated the Hightower LIbrary on Gordon's campus and was proud to be selected as builder for the new student center.

Jim Meserle spoke who was the architech designing the center. And state Rep. Robert Dickey said "It's great to see such support for this. It couldn't have happened without our legislative team.

Johnny Caldwell and others worked hard for this project."

Nooks then thanked everyone for coming and helping Gordon to move forward. He then lead a group to pose for pictures actually shoveling ground for the new site on the SE corner of Gordon's campus. Afterwards he gave a live interview to ZOOM 105.

An in depth interview with Dr. Nooks will be aired this Saturday at 9am on ZOOM 105.9 and 101.1.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

JOHN HANSON RESIGNING AS PIKE CO. MANAGER

COUNTY MANAGER JOHN HANSON TOLD THE PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TODAY (WEDNESDAY) HE IS RESIGNING EFFECTIVE NEXT MONTH TO ACCEPT A POSITION IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

HANSON HAS BEEN MANAGER FOR ALMOST 5 YEARS AND HE THANKED THE BOARD, COUNTY DEPARTMENT HEADS, CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FOR THEIR SERVICE DURING HIS TIME RUNNING COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

CHAIRMAN BRIAR JOHNSON SAID HANSON HAS PUT PIKE COUNTY'S SHIP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND HE THANKED JOHN FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR PIKE COUNTY.

JOHN TOLD ZOOM NEWS—HE IS EXCITED ABOUT HIS NEW OPPORTUNITY BUT HE IS ALSO EXCITED ABOUT THE PROGRESS THE COUNTY HAS MADE AND HE PLANS TO CONTINUE TO LIVE IN PIKE AND BE INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS.

HANSON HAS INDICATED TO THE BOARD HE WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO HELP WITH RECRUITING A NEW MANAGER .


JOHN TOLD US HE HAD TWO GOALS WHEN HE TOOK OVER AS MANAGER—TO LEAVE THE POSITION BETTER THAN HE FOUND IT AND TO MAKE IT A POSITION PEOPLE DESIRE TO TAKE. 

FINALISTS FOR UPSON CO. MANAGER NAMED

AFTER A CLOSED DOOR SESSION, TUESDAY—UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAL ALLEN ANNOUNCED THE TWO FINALISTS FOR COUNTY MANAGER.


MICHAEL STEWART OF PINE MOUNTAIN, GA. IN HIS 50'S IS THE MOST EXPERIENCED. FORMER COUNTY MANAGER OF LOWNES COUNTY/VALDOSTA ALSO WORKED IN ADMINISTRATION IN LIBERTY COUNTY AND COLQUITT COUNTY AND WAS ON STAFF AT THE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF GA. MOST RECENTLY EMPLOYED BY THE U.S. AGENCY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND HAS WORKED WITH THE MILITARY IN SYRIA, AFGANISTAN AND IRAQ. MASTERS IN GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION FROM VALDOSTA STATE.

TINSLEY IN HIS 40'S HAS BEEN CITY MANAGER OF JEFFERSON, GA. AND HAS WORKED IN ADMINISTRATION IN WAYNE COUNTY, GA. HABERSHAM COUNTY, GA. IN VIRGINIA AND WITH THE CARL VINSON INSTITUTE. MASTERS IN GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION FROM EAST TENNESSEE STATE.

10 APPLICANTS WERE INTERVIEWED FOR THE THE POSITION.



Monday, July 9, 2018

THOMASTON MOTORIST KILLED IN POLICE CHASE

A THOMASTON MOTORIST WAS KILLED WHEN HE WRECKED ON THE YATESVILLE HIGHWAY DURING A POLICE CHASE FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

ACCORDING TO THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE—BEN JEFF ARD WAS PRONOUNCED DECEASED AT THE E.R. AND A PASSENGER KYLE TURNER WAS TRANSPORTED TO MACON MEDICAL CENTER BY EMS.

DEPUTIES SAID ARD HAD OUTSTANDING WARRANTS FOR HABITUAL VIOLATOR AND PROBATION VIOLATION.


THOMASTON POLICE STARTED THE CHASE ON AVE. F. AND UPSON COUNTY S.O. AND THE GA. STATE PATROL GOT INVOLVED.  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

TPD INVESTIGATING VANDALISM AT RITZ THEATRE

THOMASTON POLICE INVESTIGATING VANDALISM IN THE MEN'S RESTROOM AT THE RITZ THEATRE IN DOWNTOWN THOMASTON.

SOMEONE SLAMMED INTO THE DOOR AND KNOCKED IT DOWN AT A HANDICAPPED-ACCESSABLE STALL.


IT APPARENTLY HAPPENED TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY EVENING WHILE THE MOVIE WAS PLAYING.

SPALDING COUNTY OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

THE GBI HAS IDENTIFIED THE MAN SHOT AND KILLED WEDNESDAY EVENING IN SPALDING COUNTY IN AN OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING.

THE GBI WAS —BROUGHT-IN TO HANDLE THE INVESTIGATION AND IN A PRESS RELEASE --- SAID 35-YEAR OLD RYAN FORCE WAS INVOLVED IN A DOMESTIC INCIDENT AT 1928 BONNIE RIDGE DRIVE—AND SPALDING COUNTY DEPUTIES FOUND HIM IN FRONT OF THE RESIDENCE DAMAGING PROPERTY. DEPUTIES ATTEMPTED TO DE-ESCALATE THE SITUATION, NOWEVER, FORCE CONFRONTED LAWMEN WITH A SHOTGUN AND HE WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY A DEPUTY.

NO DEPUTIES WERE INJURED DURING THE INCIDENT.


THE GBI SAID IT WILL CONTINUE ITS INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION, AND ONCE COMPLETE IT WILL BE TURNED OVER TO THE OFFICE OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER FOR REVIEW.

Monday, July 2, 2018

JULY 3RD CITY COUNCIL MEETING CANCELLED

THE JULY 3RD MEETING OF THE THOMASTON MAYOR AND COUNCIL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY.

MONEY RECOVERED IN WOODBURY BANK ROBBERY

CITY OF WOODBURY POLICE CHIEF SAM BAITY REPORTS THE MONEY STOLEN IN A BANK ROBBERY AT UNITED BANK IN WOODBURY LAST THURSDAY, HAS BEEN RECOVERED.


TWO SUSPECTS ARE IN CUSTODY.

Friday, June 29, 2018

THOMASTON'S BRAD VAUGHN HIRED AS PIKE PLAN & DEV DIR

THE PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HIRED BRAD VAUGHN OF THOMASTON AS THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF THE COUNTY AT TUESDAY'S REGULAR MEETING.

BRAD IS A 2006 GRADUATE OF FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY AND HAS A BACKGROUND THAT INCLUDES FINANCIAL PLANNING.

HE TOLD ZOOM NEWS HE APPRECIATES THE WARM RECEPTION HE HAS RECEIVED FROM THE PIKE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND COUNTY MANAGER JOHN HANSON.


MONDAY , JULY 2ND WILL BE BRAD'S FIRST DAY ON THE JOB.

UNITED BANK ROBBED IN WOODBURY

Two Arrested, FBI Searching for Two or More in Violent Takeover Robbery

Woodbury, GA – J. C. Hacker, Acting Special Agent in Charge (A/SAC), FBI Atlanta Field Office, in conjunction with Chief Sam Baity, Woodbury Police Department announce the arrest of two suspects in a violent takeover-style bank robbery and the search for two, possibly more suspects.

Derrick R. Scott, 26, of Augusta, GA and Antavious Bray, 29, of Greenville, GA were taken into custody hours after the robbery that occurred at the United Bank, 33 Jones Mill Road, Woodbury, on June 28, 2016.

At approximately 12:25 PM, on Wednesday, three suspects, two armed with handguns and the third armed with an AR-15 rifle, entered the bank and forced employees to the ground at gunpoint and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.

The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying two or more possible suspects. United Bank is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those suspects.

One of the unidentified suspects is described as wearing a camouflage ball cap, gray sweatshirt and blue jeans, and carrying a gray backpack. His face was fully covered. (See attached photos).

There is no description of the other suspect, who is believed to be the driver of the getaway vehicle, described as a 2010-2013 black Chevrolet Impala (See attached photo).

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

IN SPALDING CO. GEBHARDT GUILTY OF MURDER

IN SPALDING COUNTY TUESDAY AFTERNOON—A JURY FOUND FRANKIE GEBHARDT , 60 -- GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES FOR THE 1983 MURDER OF TIMOTHY COGGINS AND HE W AS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON PLUS 30 YEARS BY JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS.

THE JURY RETURNED THE GUILTY VERDICT SHORTLY BEFORE 3PM-- AND JUDGE SAMS IN SENTENCING SAID—HOPEFULLY, SIR YOU HAVE STABBED YOUR LAST VICTIM. ACCORDING TO GBI TESTIMONY AT TRIAL --- COGGINS WAS STABBED 30 TIMES BEFORE HE WAS DRAGGED BY A CHAIN BEHIND A TRUCK FOR SOCIALIZING WITH A WHITE WOMAN.

GEBHARDT'S BROTHER-IN-LAW, WILLIAM MOORE SR. IS ALSO CHARGED WITH COGGINS MURDER AND WILL GO TO TRIAL IN AUGUST IN SPALDING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT.


COGGINS FAMILY BROKE DOWN IN TEARS AFTER THE VERDICT WAS READ—THANKING THE COURT AND THE JURORS FOR FINALLY GETTING JUSTICE.

UPSON SO DEPUTY ARRESTED AND TERMINATED FOR INCIDENT

On June 26, 2018 the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Sgt. Kody Kennedy of the Upson County Sheriff’s Office for his conduct relating to the March 8, 2018 arrest of Curtis Lamar Perry. Their investigation concluded that Kennedy struck Perry once with a “knee strike” and pushed him into a utility pole after he was taken into custody.  Perry was handcuffed and offering no resistance at the time. Perry had initially fled on foot while being taken into custody during a traffic stop off Barnesville Highway. Perry was found to be in possession of a glass smoking pipe commonly used for methamphetamine after being taken into custody. Perry was charged with speeding 80 in 45 mph zone, Obstruction of an Officer and Possession of Methamphetamine. This incident was reported by law enforcement officers present at the time of the arrest. Perry never reported this incident and made no complaint of injury. Perry has reluctantly cooperated with the investigation. He has retained an attorney seeking civil damages.

Kennedy is charged with Simple Battery and Violation of Oath of Office. He has been released on $3500 bond. Kennedy has been on unpaid suspension since March 16, 2018. Kennedy’s employment with the Upson County Sheriff’s Office has been terminated effective immediately.

The actions of Sgt. Kennedy are not reflective of the standards of behavior expected of the men and women of the Upson County Sheriff’s Office. Conduct of this nature will not be tolerated.


Monday, June 25, 2018

INTERIM CEO URMC

Upson Regional Medical Center is pleased to introduce Diane Bradley as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Bradley is with HealthTechS3 where her role is Regional Chief Clinical Officer. HealthTechS3 is a management and consulting company that has partnered with Upson for more than 20 years.

Bradley has more than 30 years clinical management experience having previously served in leadership positions in acute-care, long-term and behavioral healthcare facilities. In the past, she also served in the U.S. Army as Chief Nurse of a 400-bed field hospital and large Army Medical Centers.

Board Chairman Bill Hightower said, “Diane is a delightful lady with the skills and experience necessary to operate our hospital, make the changes that need to be made and lead our organization so that we continue to provide superior quality of care to our community.”

A national search for a permanent CEO is underway and conducted by the Board and in conjunction with HealthTechS3.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A FIFTH JUDGE FOR THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Griffin Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards has announced that Fayette, Spalding, Pike, and Upson counties have adequate case count as determined by the State to apply for a fifth Superior Court judgeship. A caseload study conducted by the State shows that the four judges of the circuit are doing the work of 5.6 judges. The Circuit’s legislators are being requested to introduce a bill to add a fifth judgeship. Chief Judge Edwards requests that, “the public, our legislators, and county commissioners, support this historic opportunity to keep pace with the caseload.” The Judicial Council of Georgia is set to consider approving the fifth judgeship on August 8, 2018. If approved, the legislature can create the fifth judgeship in its 2019 legislative session, hopefully for an added judge to start work January 1, 2020.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

RUNAWAY LOG TRUCK DAMAGES SHOPPING CENTER

A RUNAWAY LOG TRUCK CROSSED US 19 FROM NORTHSIDE SHELL AND CRASHED INTO A VACANT STORE-FRONT AT THE THOMASTON NORTH SHOPPING CENTER—WEDNESDAY NITE—CAUSING HEAVY DAMAGE NEXT TO THE AARON'S RENTS STORE. THOMASTON POLICE SAID THE LOG TRUCK WAS ALSO DAMAGED—BUT NO ONE WAS INJURED.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

SEE YA AT SMOKE ON THE WATER FRI AND SAT.

THIS WEEKENDS SMOKE ON THE WATER BAR B Q COOK-OFF AND MUSIC FESTIVAL AT BICKLEY'S LAKE GOT A BOOST FROM THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AT TUESDAY'S MEETING.

COMMISSIONERS JAMES ELLINGTON AND LORENZO WILDER URGED THE PUBLIC TO GET OUT AND ENJOY IT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY—AND NOTED ITS GREAT FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY.


NASHVILLE STARS BRENT COBB AND SONIA LEIGH ARE AMONG THE HEADLINERS.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

UPSON SO FIREARMS SAFETY CLASS

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS OFFERING A FIREARMS SAFETY CLASS AT THE FIRING RANGE ON 74 EAST—TUESDAY JUNE 12TH AT 6PM. ITS FREE AND OPEN TO UPSON COUNTY CITIZENS OVER 21 WITHOUT A FELONY RECORD.


DO NOT BRING A FIREARM—BUT YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER—PHONE 706-646-7900.

THOMASTON MAN SUSPECT IN INFANT'S DEATH IN ALA

A MAN FROM THOMASTON—SUSPECTED IN THE MURDER OF A 6-MONTH OLD BABY IN DOTHAN, ALABAMA—WAS SHOT AND CAPTURED EARLY MONDAY IN BRONSON, FLORIDA.

ACCORDING TO NEWS MEDIA IN DOTHAN—28 YEAR OLD CARLTON JAMES MATHIS WAS SHOT FOUR TIMES BY A SWAT TEAM MEMBER—WHEN HE THREATENED AN SUV DRIVER AT GUNPOINT AT A FLORIDA APARTMENT COMPLEX.

MATHIS OF GAINESVILLE, GA. IS RECOVERING IN A FLORIDA HOSPITAL AND THE INFANT'S MOTHER—AMANDA GAIL OAKS OF MURRAYVILLE, GA. IS ALSO A SUSPECT IN THE DEATH.

OFFICERS CONVERGED ON THE COUPLE AS THEY LEFT THE APARTMENT COMPLEX.

THE DECEASED BABY WAS FOUND WRAPPED IN A BLANKET IN A FREEZER AT A DOTHAN MOTEL ROOM AND AUTHORITIES SAY IT HAD BEEN THERE FOR 4 TO 5 DAYS.


SHERIFF DAN KILGORE TOLD ZOOM NEWS—MATHIS DID PRISON TIME FOR AN ARMED ROBBERY AT NORTHSIDE SHELL IN THOMASTON AROUND 2008. HE IS ALSO WANTED FOR A STICK-UP AT A GAS STATION IN GAINESVILLE LAST MONTH.  

Monday, June 4, 2018

SPRING SEMESTER PRESIDENT'S LIST SCTC-UPSON CO.

Butts County
Brett Bush, Gary Davis, Kristan Droppa, Ivy English, Beverly Harris-Walker, Marcus Hunter, Kathleen King, Michelle Minor, Morgan Morris, Aubrey Pendley, Christopher Trimble, Tyler Turner, Samuel Walker, Dale Washington, Sharion White, Koree Wolfe

Clayton County
Miracle Alexander, Jerrell Bashir, Jeffrey Caulfield, Angela Copeland, Christopher Dawson, Jeffrey Fludd, Katherine Gilbert, Margarita Gonzalez, Joshua Guest, Bennie Hardeman, Joshua Hendrix, Tyrissa Jones, Raelle Konsky, Jahson Myrthil, Joanna Nelson, Jessica Scroggs, Kyetha Sweeting, Shawn Watkins, Vanessa Webb, Trinity Wood

Coweta County
Jessica Addison, Kathryn Camp, Tyler Coltrain, Collin Creel, Samuel Downs, Caryn Heard, Aric Lundy, Kelly Sargent, Brittany Watkins, Erica Willoughby

Fayette County
Morgan Ammons, Taylor Dunham, Alexander Freeman, Shamira Hardy, Amber Harrington, Jason Miller, Willem Neal, , Mollie Norton, Oscar Perez, Alla Postulga, Sarah Ann Stanley

Henry County
Gairy Austin, Jennifer Balance, Timmany Bentley, Hailey Berkowitz, Karen Boddie, Deontai Brown, Randall Callihan, Amber Cameron, Ciarra Campbell, Mayra Castillo-Arreola, George Castro, Tommy Chau, Kerry Cobb, Carolyn Corban, Ryan Crawford, Terry Crisp, Brianna Ewen, Dayaneira Fernandez, Brenda French, Justin Ganes, Dawson Gibbs, Jennifer Green,
Hunter Greer, Lindsey Hammock, Faith Harmon, Kymberly Harris, Kaitlyn Hewell, Roy Hill,
James Holder, Minerva Horsham, Nicole Jenkins, Marchello Jones, , Sarajevo Mabrey, Dikota McClendon, Gabriel McDaniel, Juanita McDonald, Philip McDonald, Diana Medina, Mercedes Messer, Eric Mills, Robinson Monnelus, Jonathan Mullinax, Bryan Munroe, Tiffany Parrott,
De Juria Pettis, Julio Pinero, Avry Pritchett, Nathaniel Reodica, Dean Roberts, Angel Rollins, Sierra Sawyer, Dave Senat, Elijah Smith, Corey Stewart, Alaika Suffrena, Nadine Sutton, Kendall Talley, Jessica Torres, Julia Underwood, Michael Vega, Jordan Whitehead, Mary Williams, David Wilson, Jennifer Woodham

Lamar County
Stephanie Brown, Ashley Caldwell, Hannah Crowder, Tammy Hartsfield, Carolyn McCoy, Alishia Simpson, David Taylor, Lisa Wright

Monroe County
James Evans, Mark Johnston

Pike County
Kirstie Aderhold, Tracy Boswell, Christopher Burrow, Laura Burrow, Alexandria Chatman, Jodi Coffer, Kaleigh Cole, Brad Colquitt, Keri Floyd, Melissa Forbes, Brannen Guest, Jamie Harper, Christin Heatherly, Summer Metts, Hannah Mixon, Hunter Nichols, Macee Nix, Shelby Peters, Dustin Samples, Alan Shepard, Sumer Smith-Doss, Cory Standard, Anne Stansell, Kriston Teal, Gregory Thomas, Samuel Vickery

Spalding County
Keisha Anderson, Velvet Argueta, Christina Artis, Jacob Bohler, Justin Botsford, Jessica Brewer, Rebecca Buckalew, Corey Burden, Lequesha Byrd, Susan Dockery, Kimberly Dominey, Adriana Fajardo, Christian Freeman, Jennifer Goolsby, Katherine Hand, Arnecia Harris, Matthew Hately, Alana Haywood, Marla Higgins, Rechard Hile, Joseph Ingram, Tyrone Matthews, Bobby McCord, Heather McVey, Reyna Melgarejo, Elena Millsaps, Michael Mitchell, Nicholas Moore, Thomas Nelson, Marlon Peoples, Ashley Polk, Richard Poore, Edriria Pope, Laurie Pritchett, Quavala Sheppard, Bret Smith, Ashley Swann, Michelle Thrasher, Rebecca Truitt, Barry White

Talbot County
Vrittney Dunlap, Jalesia Marshall, Ira Sumner

Taylor County
Ladeavious Character, Brooke Taunton

Upson County
Janice Anderson, Megan Barbour, Jazma Boyington, Douglas Brown, Shaniqua DiSola, Kambrecia Durham, Billy Elliott, Jeb Grace, Andrew Hand, Brianna Helton, Stephanie Johnson, Macy Jones, Amanda McCoy, David McCoy, Elizabeth Murray, Cynthia Reyes, Breanna Wildes

MOTORIST HITS BIKE RIDER N. CHURCH MONDAY

ACCORDING TO THOMASTON POLICE A MIDDLE-AGE FEMALE MOTORIST WAS CHARGED WITH RECKLESS DRIVING AFTER SHE STRUCK HER LONG-TIME BOY FRIEND WITH HER CAR AS HE RODE HIS BIKE NORTHBOUND ON CHURCH STREET NEAR INGLES —MONDAY AFTERNOON.


POLICE SAID THE WOMAN WAS ARGUING WITH THE BIKE RIDER AS THEY TRAVELED UP THE STREET—AND THE BIKE FELL OVER WHEN BRUSHED BY THE CAR—BUT HE REFUSED MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR SOME BUMPS AND BRUISES.  

HOUSE FIRE 419 HIGHWAYI ST. MONDAY AM

JUST BEFORE NOONTIME MONDAY, THOMASTON FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED TO A RENTAL HOUSE FIRE AT 419 HIGHWAY STREET ACROSS FROM ZAXBY'S. CAPTAIN LEE BROWN SAID NO ONE WAS AT HOME WITH THE FIRE APPARENTLY STARTED IN THE KITCHEN. DAMAGE TO THE KITCHEN AND CONTENTS AND SOME OTHER AREAS OF THE HOUSE. IT WAS EXTINGUISHED IN ABOUT 30 MINUTES.


A NEIGHBOR NOTICED THE FIRE AND CALLED 911.  

Thursday, May 31, 2018

STATE DNR WARNS OF SWOLLEN RIVERS AND CREEKS

STATE DNR SAYS ITS TIRED OF RESCUING SWIMMERS WHO RISK DANGER AFTER THEY BECOME STRANDED AT THE RIVER FALLS AT HIGH FALLS STATE PARK IN MONROE COUNTY.

TWO 17 YEAR OLDS FROM JACKSON WERE RESCUED TUESDAY EVENING BY DIVERS FROM BIBB COUNTY—AND MONROE COUNTY S.O. SAID THE EFFORT COST THOUSANDS—AFTER A COPTER FROM ATLANTA WAS HINDERED BY THE WEATHER. BOTH WERE CHARGED WITH TRESPASSING.

DNR NOTED TWO DROWNED IN THE RIVER LAST YEAR, AND SO ITS POSTING NEW WARNING SIGNS –BRIGHT RED AND WHITE SIGNS AT THE TRAILHEADS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE RIVER NEAR THE FALLS.

ALSO GAME WARDENS WILL RAMP-UP THEIR CHECKS TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE STAY OFF THE ROCKS AND AWAY FROM THE POOL AT THE BASE OF THE FALLS—SOMETHING THAT WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.


DNR IS WARNING THE PUBLIC TO STAY OFF GEORGIA'S SWOLLEN RIVERS AND CREEKS TILL LEVELS RETURN TO NORMAL.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

RETIREMENT RECEPTION FOR DR. SHOOK WED

RETIREMENT RECEPTION WEDNESDAY 4 TO 6PM FOR RETIRING SUPERINTENDANT OF THE THOMASTON UPSON SCHOOL SYSTEM--- DR. MAGGIE SHOOK AT THE FINE ARTS CENTER. SPECIAL PRESENTATION AT 5.

Friday, May 25, 2018

UPDATE--ULHS GRADUATION FRIDAY 8PM MATTEWS FIELD

ZOOM RADIO NEWS SPOKE WITH THOMASTON UPSON COUNTY SCHOOLS ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDANT DR. MIKE GATLIN SHORTLY AFTER 6PM AND HE REPORTS U L HIGH GRADUATION CEREMONIES ARE ON FRIDAY NIGHT AT 8PM AT MATTEWS FIELD.  

GGM PARK 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION

THE CITY OF THOMASTON IS PLANNING AN INDEPENDANCE DAY CELEBRATION—WEDNESDAY JULY 4TH AT THE GREATEST GENERATION MEMORIAL PARK—COMPLETE WITH A FIREWORKS SHOW.

CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON SAID SUMMERVILLE WHERE HE WAS MANAGER BEFORE -- ALWAYS HAD ONE AND HE'S WANTED IT TO HAPPEN IN THOMASTON. THE NEW MAIN STREET COORDINATOR HEATHER BLACKMAN IS CONTACTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY FOR DONATIONS TOWARD THE $10,000 COST OF THE FIREWORKS. JACKIE SMITH OF THOMASTON IS A TRAINED FIREWORKS TECH AND WILL DONATE HIS TIME FOR FREE.


MAYOR J.D. STALLLINGS AND MAYOR PRO TEM DOUG HEAD BOTH EXPRESSED EXCITEMENT AND HOPE TO BUILD ON IT IN FUTURE YEARS. PLANS CALL FOR SELECT FOOD VENDORS TO BE INVITED TO THE EVENT AND THE KIDS WATER FEATURE WILL BE OPERATING. IT GOT A GREEN LIGHT FROM WEST VILLAGE ASSISTED LIVING AND THE COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES NEAR-BY ON NORTH CHURCH HAVE AGREED TO ALLOW PARKING.  

LATEST ON THE BIG LAZER DAM

UPSON EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANN MCCARTY SAYS STATE DNR ENGINEERS INSPECTED THE DAM AT THE BIG LAZER WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA IN TALBOT COUNTY FRIDAY MORNING AND DECLARED IT SAFE—THE EMERGENCY SPILLWAY IS DOING ITS JOB.

CONCERNS ABOUT FLOODING TURNED OUT TO BE A ROAD CULVERT THAT BLEW OUT.

THE EMA DIRECTOR SAID UPSON COUNTY HAS RECEIVED OVER 6 INCHES OF RAIN IN THE PAST 7 DAYS AND WESTERN UPSON EVEN MORE , 8 TO 10 INCHES.

HEAVY RAINS HAVE HELD OFF FOR THE MOST PART SINCE WEDNESDAY AND THAT HAS CAUSED THE LAKE LEVEL TO DROP AT BIG LAZER AND LEVELS ARE DOWN ON THE FLINT RIVER.

FLOOD STAGE OF 18 FEET AT THE FLINT RIVER BRIDGE ON 19 SOUTH WAS BREACHED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON WHEN IT ROSE TO 24.7 FEET BUT IT WAS DOWN TO 12 FEET FRIDAY MORNING.


AT THE 36 WEST BRIDGE FLOOD STAGE IS 11 FEET AND IT ROSE TO OVER 8 FEET—BUT IS DOWN TO ABOUT 6 FEET.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

BIG LIZA LAKE HAS ISSUES

UPSON EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANN MCCARTY SAID ENGINEERS WILL BE ON SITE FRIDAY MORNING AT THE BIG LIZA WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA IN TALBOT COUNTY TO CHECK ON THE STATUS OF THE DAM OF THE 195 ACRE LAKE. THE 5 INCHES OF RAIN IN THE AREA THIS WEEK HAS SWELLED THE LAKE AND CAUSED SOME STRESSES ON ITS SYSTEM.

AT LAST REPORT THE EMERGENCY SPILLWAY WAS WORKING AS IT SHOULD BUT RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS ON ADAMS FERRY ROAD AND MINOR ROAD IN UPSON COUNTY SHOULD BE ON THE ALERT—SHE TOLD ZOOM NEWS.


MARTHA ANN REPORTED WATER IS OVER THE BANKS AT TEN MILE CREEK THAT FLOWS INTO THE FLINT RIVER AND SEVERAL YARDS AND AT LEAST ONE HOME HAS BEEN INVADED. 

URMC CEO TRIPP PENN HAS RESIGNED

Tripp Penn is leaving his position as Chief Executive Officer of Upson Regional Medical Center.  He tendered his resignation to the Board of Directors effective, May 23rd.

Under Tripp’s leadership over the past two years, Upson Regional Medical Center accomplished higher benchmarks in clinical and quality scores, higher patient satisfaction scores, recruited several providers to the community and developed the new SilverCare geriatric psychiatric inpatient program.  Tripp was also involved with community interest organizations and a leader in the Georgia Hospital Association.

The Upson Regional Medical Center Board has engaged their management consulting company in placing an interim CEO to assure the change will be as seamless as possible. 

Bill Hightower, Upson Regional Medical Center Board Chair expressed appreciation for Tripp’s many contributions for the success of the hospital. “We wish Tripp the very best as he moves on to other opportunities and appreciate all the good work he has done at Upson Regional Medical Center”.   Mr. Hightower added, “The board’s focus is to secure a smooth transition and continue superior hospital leadership going forward.”


FLOODING ON TEN MILE CREEK IN UPSON CO.

FIVE INCHES OF RAIN THIS WEEK HAS CAUSED FLOODING IN UPSON COUNTY AND TEN MILE CREEK HAS INVADED SEVERAL YARDS AND AT LEAST ONE HOME.

LAFRAN STINCHCOMB SAID WATER COVERED-UP MOST OF THE PLAYSET IN HER BACKYARD AND SHE'S CONCERNED ABOUT HER HOME AND BELONGINGS—BECAUSE IT CAME RIGHT UP BEHIND HER DECK AND WASHED AWAY THE KIDS TOYS IN THE YARD.

THE HELMS RESIDENCE FURTHER UP THE CREEK, HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKING IN WATER—AS MUCH AS 8 INCHES IN THEIR BASEMENT WEDNESDAY MORNING.

WATER IS OVER THE BANKS IN SEVERAL SPOTS AND EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANN MCARTY SAYS THE CREEK FLOWS INTO THE FLINT RIVER BUT WITH THE FIVE INCHES OF RAIN WE HAVE HAD IT WON'T STAY IN ITS BANKS.

UPSON COUNTY ROADS DEPARTMENT REPORTS DAVID ROAD IS CLOSED AND SPREWELL BLUFF/OLD ALABAMA ROAD IS CLOSED ON THE 74 WEST SIDE AND YOU HAVE TO DETOUR AROUND TO GET TO THE BLUFF.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

KEN PULLIN WINS GOP NOMINATION FOR STATE HOUSE

IN TUESDAY'S PRIMARY ELECTION REPUBLICAN KEN PULLIN OF PIKE COUNTY OUTPOLLED INCUMBENT JOHNNIE CALDWELL OF THOMASTON FOR THE DISTRICT 131 STATE HOUSE SEAT __3940 TO 2303 OF A TOTAL OF 6243 VOTES CAST IN UPSON, PIKE AND LAMAR COUNTY. PULLIN WILL FACE DEMOCRAT CHRIS BENSON OF THOMASTON IN NOVEMBER.



IN UPSON COUNTY PULLIN GOT 63% OF THE VOTE, CALDWELL 37%, 1869 VOTES TO 1091.

WINNERS IN UPSON, PULLIN, JONES, SALTER, ALCOHOL

IN TUESDAY'S PRIMARY ELECTION IN UPSON COUNTY PAUL JONES WAS ELECTED DISTRICT 3 UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONER WITH 53% OF THE VOTE. THE INCUMBENT THE LATE RALPH ELLINGTON WHO PASSED AWAY SATURDAY, WAS ALSO ON THE BALLOT. JONES POLLED 418 VOTES, ELLINGTON 367—46.75%. PAUL TOLD US AFTER THE VOTE COUNT HIS THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE ELLINGTON FAMILY.

FOR STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 131 -- CHALLENGER KEN PULLIN GOT 63% INCUMBENT JOHNNIE CALDWELL , 37% . PULLIN 1869 VOTES, CALDWELL 1091.

FOR THOMASTON-UPSON BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 4 CHALLENGER BRIAN SALTER WON WITH 56%, INCUMBENT KEITH ROHLING 43%--SALTER 266 VOTES, ROHLING 206.

SUNDAY SALES OF MIXED DRINKS IN THE COUNTY 55% YES, 44% NO, SUNDAY ALCOHOL PACKAGE SALES 56% YES, 43% NO.

IN THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR'S RACE CASEY CAGLE 44%, BRIAN KEMP 24%-- ON THE DEMOCRAT BALLOT STACEY ABRAMS 78%, STACY EVANS 21%.

LT. GOVERNOR SHAFER 44%, DEMOCRAT AMICO 54%.







CITY OF THOMASTON WILL HAVE FIREWORKS JULY 4

THERE'S GOOD NEWS AND LESS THAN GOOD NEWS FOR THE CITY OF THOMASTON'S GREATEST GENERATION MEMORIAL PARK. DURING A MEETING OF THE PARK COMMITTEE , MONDAY, CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON ANNOUNCED A 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION COMPLETE WITH A FIREWORKS SHOW IN THE PARK, BUT ON THE DOWN SIDE—COMMUNITY ENTERPRISES, THE HIGHTOWER FAMILY FOUNDATION - HAS SENT MAYOR J.D STALLINGS A LETTER THAT THIS YEAR'S BUDGETED GRANT OF $100,000 HAS BEEN REDUCED TO $12,000. THOSE FUNDS REQUESTED FOR A STUDY OF A WATER FEATURE IN THE PARK.

NEIL HIGHTOWER PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY ENTERPRISES SAID IN THE LETTER, THE CITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN UNABLE TO AGREE TO THE FAMILY'S REQUEST TO NOT CLOSE PARK DRIVE AND NOT OFFER FOR SALE THE DONATED PARK TRIANGLE PROPERTY VALUED AS PART OF THE PARK.

CITY HALL PUT THE TRIANGLE UP FOR SALE AND GOT AN OFFER OF HALF A MILLION DOLLARS FROM AN ATLANTA DEVELOPER, THEN BACKED OFF WHEN OPPOSITION STIFFENED—BUT STILL LEFT THE DOOR OPEN FOR FUTURE SALE.

A MEMBER OF THE PARK COMMITTEE , GARY SELF , SAID HE WAS SHOCKED TO HEAR OF THE DONATION REDUCTION, WHEN THE CITY MANAGER CONFIRMED IT DURING THE MEETING, MONDAY.

THOMPSON SAID THE 4TH OF JULY EVENT IS SOMETHING HE'S WANTED TO DO SINCE HE CAME TO THOMASTON, AND THE NEW MAIN STREET COORDINATOR HEATHER BLACKMAN HAS GOT THE BALL ROLLING ON SHORT NOTICE.


THE HIGHTOWER FOUNDATION HAS INVESTED OVER A MILLION DOLLARS IN THE PARK OVER THE YEARS.

Monday, May 21, 2018

STATEMENT FROM UPSON ELECTIONS CHAIR ROBERT HANEY

The Upson County Board of Elections in conjunction with the Board of Commissioners and the Upson County attorneys have been in communications with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office regarding the May 22nd General Primary Election and the passing of District 3 Commissioner Ralph Ellington.  Based on the timing of Commissioner Ellington’s passing, the Secretary of State advises that the election in Upson County should proceed as planned.  The Secretary of State’s attorneys will advise the county further based upon the outcome of the election.

Robert E. Haney
Chairman, Upson County Board of Elections