Friday, June 14, 2019

GUILTY VERDICT FOR CHILD ABUSE IN SPALDING CO.

This morning, a Spalding County jury convicted Versaches Evans of Aggravated Battery for fracturing his infant daughter's ribs. His daughter was 12 weeks old when the injuries were discovered. He was charged with additional counts; however, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on those counts. 

On the Aggravated Battery, Senior Judge Matthew Simmons sentenced the defendant to 20 years with the first 12 years to be served in prison. Takiah Wilson, the biological mother was also charged with the crimes. The jury acquitted Wilson. 

Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder and Assistant District Attorney Ashton Fallin tried the case for the State. The case was presented over 3 days and included testimony from law enforcement and medical doctors from local hospitals and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

District Attorney Ben Coker said, "child abuse cases are exceptionally difficult to prosecute and difficult for juries to consider. I respect the jury's decision in this case. My heartfelt thanks goes out to law enforcement, Dr. Messner from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and my staff, especially Marie and Ashton, for their fight for this helpless victim."

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A NEW ANIMAL SHELTER FOR PIKE CO ?

AT WEDNESDAY'S MEETING, THE PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS DISCUSSED A LETTER FROM LOCAL ATTORNEY WALKER CHANDLER REGARDING A DONATION FROM THE DR. C.L. CHANDLER FOUNDATION FOR UP TO $250,000 TO BUILD A NEW ANIMAL SHELTER IN PIKE COUNTY.

THE FOUNDATION OF DR. CHANDLER OF ATLANTA, THE FATHER OF WALKER CHANDLER, HAS DONATED FUNDS TO ZOO ATLANTA IN THE PAST AND FOCUSES ON ANIMAL-RELATED PROJECTS.

DR. CHANDLER'S WIFE WINNIE JONES CHANDLER IS THE MOTHER OF THREE FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS.

THE LETTER REQUESTS THAT PLANS FOR THE ANIMAL SHELTER SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE FOUNDATION BY OCT. 15TH WITH THE FUNDS BECOMING AVAILABLE BY THE END OF THE YEAR. COUNTY MANAGER BOBBY BICKLEY SAID $250,000 SHOULD COMPLETELY FUND A NEW SHELTER AND HE IS CHECKING ON OTHER NEAR-BY SHELTERS FOR IDEAS.

COMMISSION CHAIRMAN BRIAR JOHNSTON TOLD 101 NEWS—THE DONATION WOULD ALLOW THE COUNTY TO PURCHASE A VEHICLE FOR THE SHELTER, AND THE BOARD PROJECTS IT WOULD NOT SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE OPERATING COSTS OF THE ANIMAL CONTROL PROGRAM, PERHAPS JUST IN UTILITIES.


THE BOARD IS MOVING FOWARD TO ACCEPT THE DONATION. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

PRIDE OF PIKE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

THE 2019 PRIDE OF PIKE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION HOSTED BY PIKE COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION AUTHORITY, SATURDAY JUNE 29TH AT 4PM, AT THE PIKE COUNTY SOCCER COMPLEX. PRESENTING SPONSOR—RESURGENS ORTHOPAEDICS-- FREE ADMISSION, $5 PARKING FEE FOR EACH VEHICLE. KIDS ACTIVITIES, FOOD, A TRACTOR SHOW AND A SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS SHOW.

ENTERTAINMENT BY AMERICAN IDOL CONTESTANT ISAAC STREETMAN. BIG PARADE AT 3;30 -- GRAND MARSHALL THE STATE CHAMPION PIKE COUNTY PIRATES BASEBALL TEAM.

SAT. JUNE 29TH.

PIKE COUNTY'S TRISTEN ENGLISH, ALL AMERICAN

PIKE COUNTY'S TRISTEN ENGLISH OF THE GA. TECH BASEBALL TEAM HAS BEEN NAMED 3RD TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BY BASEBALL AMERICA. TRISTEN WAS DRAFTED IN THE 3RD ROUND OF THE MAJOR LEAGUE DRAFT BY THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS AND HAS REPORTED TO THEIR FARM TEAM IN OREGON.


TRISTEN WAS A FINALIST FOR THE JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR BATTED 346 AND WAS 3-0 AS A PITCHER.

Monday, June 10, 2019

JAMES FORTNER TAKING UPSON CO TO COURT

JAMES FORTNER IS TAKING UPSON COUNTY TO COURT AFTER THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RULED HE HAS TO MOVE HIS TRUCKING COMPANY FROM ITS LOCATION ON COUNTY ROAD BECAUSE ITS IN A-R ZONING AND ITS A DANGER TO POTATO CREEK—THE WATER SUPPLY FOR THE CITY OF THOMASTON AND PARTS OF UPSON COUNTY.


FORTNER FILED HIS APPEAL IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT ON THE 29TH DAY OF THE 30 DAY APPEAL WINDOW. COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN HAS SAID , THE COUNTY WILL WORK WITH HIM TO RELOCATE HIS BUSINESS BUT FORTNER WANTS TO KEEP IT WHERE IT IS, A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS WITH AN ANNUAL PAYROLL OF OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

SCOTT BLACKSTOCK SWORN-IN TO GBED

LAST THURSDAY, GOVERNOR BRIAN KEMP CONDUCTED SWEARING-IN CEREMONIES FOR SEVEN APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS—ONE OF THOSE, THOMASTON BUSINESSMAN SCOTT BLACKSTOCK TO THE GA. BOARD OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT—A FORMER MEMBER OF THE THOMASTON-UPSON IDA.


FOLLOWING HIS APPOINTMENT, BLACKSTOCK TOLD 101 NEWS HE PLANS TO WORK TO RECRUIT NEW JOBS FOR RURAL GEORGIA.

GRIFFIN CHILD KILLED BY WRONG WAY DRIVER

On Sunday, June 9, 2019, Henry County First Responders were dispatched to an accident with injuries involving a wrong way driver on Hwy 19/41 just North of Circle Drive in Hampton. The accident involved three vehicles and resulted in one fatality. Preliminary investigation has revealed that a White Ford F-150 traveling the wrong way northbound in the southbound lanes of travel of Hwy 19/41 collided with two southbound vehicles, being a red Mitsubishi Galant and a Black Chevy Suburban. All three drivers of the vehicles and three passengers of the Chevy Suburban were transported to area hospitals. Jacie Webb, 12 years of age, Griffin Georgia, died as a result of her injuries.

TRISTIN ENGLISH DRAFTED BY DIAMONDBACKS

Tristin English’s dreams of being a professional baseball player is one step closer. On Tuesday, in the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks selects Tristin English with the 93rd overall pick.

English, a three-time first team All ACC member was the first Jacket to be drafted in the 2019 MLB Draft.

The two-way star for the Jackets had a tremendous junior season that pushed him up draft boards across the league and his NCAA regional performance only raised eyebrows more.

This season, English hit .346/.427/.710 in 214 at bats. He hit 18 home runs on the season while driving in 71 base runners. English performed well on the mound as well for the Jackets in 2019, going 3-0 with a 3.70 ERA over 15 appearances.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SILVERTOWN, 90 YEARS OLD

90 years ago , in June of 1929, Silvertown Historic Community, a mill village was built to serve Martha Mills employees, became incorporate. It was later annexed by the city of Thomaston in 1958.

Happy 90th Birthday Silvertown!

Thomaston Upson Landmark Legacy (TULL) will be celebrating on June 29, Saturday by giving away FREE

Ice-cream cones & lemonade to our community from 11:00-1:00pm at the entryway of Silvertown. Adjacent to the tennis & Pickleball courts located at The Greatest Generation Memorial Park.

Friday, June 7, 2019

WASTEWATER SPILL CITY OF THOMASTON

Public Notification
Sanitary Sewer Overflow at Collection System
Walmart Lift Station Force Main
County: Upson
Date of Release: 6/06/2019
Contact Person: Brian Kelly
Phone: 706-646-8031
Mailing Address: 340 N Center Street
City: Thomaston
Zip: 30286
On June 6th, ESG was checking the force main behind the Walmart department store due to low flows at Town Branch wastewater plant. After investigating, we found the pipe leaving the Walmart lift station was compromised, allowing sewage to leak when the pumps were running. The leak was found at 10:00 am. We shut the lift station down and started the repairs. We were able to get the leak stopped at 4:00 pm when the force main was repaired. The station was brought back on line at approximately 5:30 pm. There was a release of 50 gallons per minute for 70 minutes for a total of 3,500 gallons. The release was due to the pipe having to be cut and fitted for proper repair. When the pipe was cut, the backflow from the force main overcame our pumping capability. We were able to recover approximately 1,000 gallons by pumping into the gravity line feeding Walmart lift station until the station reached full capacity. The release of 2,500 gallons reached a tributary of Potato Creek. A spill notice sign has been posted at the site. Should you have any questions, I can be reached at 706-646-8031.


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.

UPDATE; DRUG CONSPIRACY CASE

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON TOLD 101 NEWS FRIDAY—ALMOST A DOZEN INDICTMENTS BY SPECIAL PRESENTMENT BY THE UPSON COUNTY GRAND JURY FOR OPIOID DISTRIBUTION HAS LEAD TO SOME NEW LEADS IN THE MURDER INVESTIGATION OF STEPHEN EARLES OF 4TH AVE. IN NOVEMBER OF LAST YEAR. EARLES WIFE JOYCE EARLES WAS ONE OF THOSE INDICTED AND ARRESTED.

THE CHIEF WOULD NOT SAY MORE—BECAUSE HE SAID THE INVESTIGATION IS ON-GOING.

STEPHEN EARLES, WHO WAS DISABLED WAS BEATED UNCONSCIOUS AND DIED TWO DAYS LATER IN MACON. JOYCE EARLES WHO WAS ALSO ATTACKED, SAID TWO MASKED MEN BROKE INTO THEIR HOME AND JUMPED THEM.

MS. EARLES ALLEGEDLY WAS SELLING OPIOID PILLS PRESCRIBED FOR HER HUSBAND. DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER SAID SHE WAS SCHEDULED FOR ARRAIGNMENT IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT THIS PAST WEEK— SHE WAIVED ARRAIGNMENT AND ENTERED A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY.






THOMASTON P.D. DRUG SALES CONSPIRACY

A November 2018 Home invasion/Homicide at 224 Fourth Ave., Thomaston, Georgia leads to multiple drug indictments and arrests by the Thomaston Police Department.

On Monday, November 26, 2018 Officers from the Thomaston Police Department responded to 224 Fourth Ave. SE, Thomaston, Georgia in reference to a violent home invasion. When officers entered the residence they made contact with a female victim, Joyce Earles and her husband, Stephen Earles who was on the floor unconscious and severely beaten. Mrs. Earles also had visible injuries from being assaulted.

Both subjects were transported to the Upson Regional Medical Center for treatment where Mr. Earles was later transport to Macon for further treatment where he expired two days later as result of his injuries. According to Mrs. Earles two unknown subjects broke into the residence at which time they were assaulted. The initial investigation would indicate that this was a robbery attempt. As the case turned to a homicide investigation that continued into 2019 and is still unsolved, it was determined that the initial home invasion was a robbery attempt resulting from illegal drug activity being conducted by Mrs. Earles at 224 Fourth Ave., Thomaston, Georgia.

During the months to follow the investigation lead to numerous amounts of evidence indicating that Mrs. Earles was conspiring with multiple suspects in an illegal drug operation in which she was illegally buying and selling controlled substances. This information and evidence lead to a special presentment to the Upson County Grand Jury in May of 2019 by TPD investigators at which time nine individuals were indicted for conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and or using a telecommunication device to facilitate a drug transaction all violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act.

Based on the indictments, the following individuals where issued felony bench warrants for their arrests: 

Joyce Earles
William Haege, Jr.
Ryan Joiner
Michael Paul Clark
Michelle Clark Wright
Neely Lynn Spratlin
Jeanette Hoyal
Heath Edward Warmack
Cody James Butler

As of the time of this release all the suspects have been arrested with the exception of Ryan Joiner and Heath Warmack. Anyone with information as to their whereabouts should call the Thomaston police Department at 706-647-5455.

UPSON CO. COMMISSIONERS JUNE 11TH AGENDA

UPSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 6:00 P.M. – Regular Commission Meeting City/County Meeting Room –June 11, 2019 AGENDA I. CALL TO ORDER Chairman Norman Allen II. INVOCATION III. PUBLIC HEARING Concepts, Inc., representing Southern Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a/ Southern Linc has requested a special exception (SPX2019-03) for a new 400 ft tall, telecommunications tower. The 10,000 property under consideration, to be leased from Robert C. and Sandra L. Shetler, is located off Allen and Florette Roads and is more referred to as being in Land Lots 300 and 312 of the 1st Land District and found on Tax Map 089 Parcel 094C. The SPX2019-04 applicant is Brenda G. Gassett of Yatesville, Georgia. Ms Gassett has requested a special exception for a 1,000 sf, family cemetery to be located at 5744 Yatesville Hwy/SR 74. The A-R-zoned property is more referred to as being in Land Lot 194 of the 11th Land District and found on Tax Map 112 Parcel 004. The SPX2019-06 applicant is Charles Harper of Thomaston, Georgia. Mr. Harper has requested a special exception for a temporary housing RV, while he constructs his home. The A-R-zoned property is located at 321 Charlie Jones Road and, is more referred to as being in Land Lot 125 of the 15th Land District and found on Tax Map 021 Parcel 01B. IV. PUBLIC COMMENTS Speakers must state their names and address, and must direct all comments to the Board Chair. Any questions must be put in writing and submitted to the Clerk or the Commissioner over your jurisdiction. V. CONSENT AGENDA a. Regular Meeting Minutes May 28, 2019 b. Approval of vehicle purchase for Extension Office and County Work Crew c. Approval of a Tax Sale resolution d. Approval of properties for the August tax sale e. Approval of a Resolution for a sub-committee for Water Waste Water for Service Delivery Strategy VI. NEW BUSINESS f. County Manager, Commissioners, and County Attorney Comments g. Discussion of surplus of real property

Thursday, June 6, 2019

THOMASTON MAN MISSING FOR A WEEK, BACK AT HOME

ACCORDING TO THOMASTON POLICE , A LOCAL MAN MISSING FOR A WEEK, WAS BACK AT HOME TUESDAY NIGHT AND HE WAS O.K. RICHARD LEWIS, AGE 54 LEFT HOME MAY 29, AND HIS CAR WAS FOUND IN TALBOT COUNTY FRIDAY BY THE GA. STATE PATROL. IT WAS PARKED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD WITH THE KEYS IN IT BUT HE WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND.


A SEARCH WAS CONDUCTED MONDAY BY THE THOMASTON P.D., GBI, GA. DNR AND TALBOT COUNTY DEPUTIES BUT HE WAS NOT LOCATED.

A NEW ALCOHOL ORDINANCE FOR THOMASTON ?

A THOMASTON CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE WILL LOOK INTO CHANGING THE ALCOHOL ORDINANCE, PERHAPS DROPPING THE REQUIREMENT THAT POURING LICENSEES PROVIDE 50% OF REVENUE IN FOOD SALES.

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING, CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON SAID THE LOCAL GOLF COURSE HAS A POURING LICENSE BUT NO LONGER HAS A RESTAURANT, AND THE IDA HAS BEEN WORKING TO RECRUIT A MORE UPSCALE HOTEL, BUT THE BIG CHAINS WOULD PROBABLY WANT A BAR WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT OF HAVING A RESTAURANT.

COUNCIL ATTORNEY JOEL BENTLEY ADVISED—IT MIGHT BE BEST TO DRAFT A NEW ALCOHOL ORDINANCE, AS ITS 20 YEARS OLD.


AT THE PREVIOUS MEETING, COUNCIL ADDED AN AMENDMENT TO THE ALCOHOL ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT POP-UP NIGHT CLUBS FROM ILLEGAL SALES VIA BROWN BAGGING, ESTABLISHMENTS THAT HAVE NO ALCOHOL LICENSE.

HOPE BLACKSTOCK'S TRIP TO NORMANDY

THE PRESLEY BROTHERS OF LIFSEY SPRINGS IN PIKE COUNTY, EMMETT, HERBERT AND NOLAN WERE AMONG THE INVASION FORCES ON D-DAY 75 YEARS AGO.

FIRST LT. HERBERT PRESLEY WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO LAND ON OMAHA BEACH AND WAS KILLED ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF ST. LO.

HE WAS BURIED AT NORMANDY BUT LATER MOVED TO SOUTHVIEW CEMETERY IN THOMASTON.

THOMASTONIAN THOMAS BENJAMIN TRICE WAS KILLED A MONTH AFTER D-DAY AND IS BURIED AT NORMANDY.

HOPE AND SCOTT BLACKSTOCK VISITED NORMANDY LAST MONTH ON A TOUR OF WORLD WAR I BATTLEFIELDS AND THE NORMANDY BEACHES WITH RUSS HEAD OF THE TRAVEL CONNECTION.




THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH HOPE WILL AIR IN THE 9 O'CLOCK HOUR FRIDAY ON FUN 101.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

EX-SOUTHCREST BANK DATA CENTER TO BE SOLD?

101 NEWS WAS TOLD THERE WERE NO FORMAL BIDS AT THE RECENT AUCTION FOR THE — VACANT SOUTHCREST BANK DATA CENTER BUILDING IN THE BIZ/TECH PARK AT THE AIRPORT—BUT WITH REPORTED BACKGROUND NEGOTIATIONS A SALE COULD BE IN THE WORKS.

THE THOMASTON-UPSON IDA SPENT $5000 ON GRASS CUTTING SO THE PARK WOULD LOOK NICE FOR THE AUCTION.

AT THE MAY MEETING THE IDA TABLED A REQUEST BY DUNKIN'S ENGINEER TO SHARE IN THE COST OF MOVING THER NORTHCREEK CENTER SIGN THAT WOULD CAUSE IRREGULAR TRAFFIC FLOW WHEN THE COMPANY OPENS THE DUNKIN DO NUTS/BASKIN ROBBINS STORE IN THE COMING MONTHS BETWEEN MCDONALD'S AND WAFFLE HOUSE.

COLUMBUS SIGNS AND LIGHTING SUBMITTED A BID OF $27,000 FOR MOVING THE SIGN—BUT SOME IDA MEMBERS INDICATED IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN DUNKIN'S PROPERTY DEAL WITH THE OWNERS OF THE SHOPPING CENTER.



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

CREDITS COMING FOR GA. POWER CUSTOMERS

ATLANTA – June 4, 2019 – The second of three credits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be applied directly to Georgia Power customers’ bills in June. These credits are a result of the reduction in Georgia Power’s federal corporate tax rate from 35% down to 21%.

Georgia Power customers will receive the credit based upon energy consumption from September 2018 through April 2019. The typical residential customer using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would receive a credit of approximately $18 on their June Georgia Power bill. The actual amount of the credit will vary based on a customer’s specific energy usage.

THOMASTON NATIVE THOMAS BENJAMIN TRICE IS BURIED AT NORMANDY

THURSDAY, JUNE 6TH IS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE D-DAY INVASION AT NORMANDY. THOMASTON NATIVE DENNIS TRICE OF GREENVILLE , SOUTH CAROLINA, TOLD 101 NEWS ABOUT HIS UNCLE THOMAS BENJAMIN TRICE OF THOMASTON WHO DIED IN COMBAT AUGUST FIRST, 1944 AND IS BURIED IN THE CEMETERY AT NORMANDY IN FRANCE, WHICH HE VISITED WHEN HE LIVED IN EUROPE.


101 FM WILL AIR THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH DENNIS TRICE, THURSDAY IN THE 9 O'CLOCK HOUR ON THE MICK IN THE MORNING SHOW.  

Monday, June 3, 2019

UPSON CO TAX SALE TUESDAY 10AM COURTHOUSE

UPSON COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER ANDY CHASTAIN ANNOUNCES A TAX SALE TUESDAY 10AM ON THE COURTHOUSE STEPS. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BID ON THE PROPERTY SHOULD SIGN-UP ASAP AT THE TAX COMMISSIONERS OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE ANNEX.  

LAGRANGE MAN MISSING ON FLINT RIVER SUNDAY

ACCORDING TO THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE—A TROUP COUNTY MAN , FLOATING WITH FRIENDS-- REPORTED MISSING ON THE FLINT RIVER, SUNDAY.

33 YEAR OLD JOHNNY JOE PAYNE OF LAGRANGE WAS FOUND BY UPSON SEARCH AND RESCUE IN A TREE LINE OFF DOUBLE BRIDGES ROAD. HE WAS CHECKED-OUT BY EMT'S AND RELEASED.


DEPUTIES SAID PAYNE GOT A LEECH ON HIM ABOUT A MILE SOUTH OF SPREWELL BLUFF AND GOT OUT OF THE RIVER, AND HIS GIRL FRIEND GOT WORRIED ABOUT HIM AND CALLED 911.

Friday, May 31, 2019

THOMASTON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA 6/4/19 7PM

CITY OF THOMASTON
MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL – AGENDA
June 4, 2019 – 7:00 P.M.
City-County Meeting Room, Main Floor, R. E. Lee Building

A. Call Meeting to Order / Invocation / Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.

B. Approval of Minutes of May 3, 2019 (work session), May 9, 2019 (joint meeting), and May 21, 2019 (regular).

C. Adoption of Agenda.

D. Public Comment and Announcements.

E. Recognition – Thomaston Police Department - Officer Ben Adams.

F. Recognition – Thomaston Police Department - Ms. Brenda Hobbs – Emancipation Committee President.

G. City Attorney’s Report.

H. Assistant City Clerk’s Report.

I. City Engineer’s Report.

J. City Manager’s Report.

1. Approval of Appointment to the Thomaston-Upson Library Board.

2. Selection of Auditor for Joint Projects.

3. Discussion of Alcohol Ordinance.

4. Discussion of Emancipation Celebration.

5. Discussion of Pobiddy Road.

K. Other Business.

L. Executive Session.

M. Adjournment.







The City of Thomaston is committed to providing equal access to all of its programs, services and activities regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability or age. Any individual who needs an accommodation because of disability should contact the City Manager’s Office at (706) 647-4242 as far in advance of a meeting as possible.

BUCKNER'S RESTAURANT MUST PAY $100,000 IN BACK WAGES

THE FEDS HAVE ORDERED BUCKNER'S FAMILY RESTAURANT AT HIGHWAY 36 AND I-75 TO PAY OVER $100,000 TO 26 EMPLOYEES IN BACK WAGES AND LIQUIDATED DAMAGES AFTER AN INVESTIGATION BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION.


THE FEDERAL AGENCY FOUND BUCKNER'S VIOLATED THE OVERTIME REQUIREMENTS OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT.. THE RESTAURANT ALSO FAILED TO KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS AS REQUIRED BY THE F.L.S.A. ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE.

GA DOT PAVING CONTRACT FOR U.S. 19

Thomaston, Georgia - The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced it awarded contracts for two new projects in the West Central Georgia region. The projects were advertised on March 22, bids were received on April 19 and contracts were awarded to the lowest qualified bidders on May 3, 2019.

The projects are:
  • Fayette County: the project involves the construction of two roundabouts, one on Georgia 92 at Lockwood Road (CR 308) and the other on Georgia 92 at Seay Road (CR 138). The contract was awarded to Piedmont Paving, Inc. for $5 million. It is anticipated that the project will be complete in the summer of 2021.
  • Taylor County: the project involves the milling and resurfacing of 13.8 miles of US 19/Georgia 3, from Georgia 96 to the Upson County line. The contract was awarded to Robinson Paving Company of Columbus, Georgia for $8.4 million. It is anticipated that the project will be complete by late spring of 2020.
The projects were two of 16 total construction projects contracted statewide on May 3, 2019. The contracted amount statewide totaled $128,508,608.

The May 3 awards bring the total construction contracts for Fiscal Year 2019 to $611 million statewide. Fiscal Year 2019 began July 1, 2018. 

Information on schedules, lane closures and detours will be made available in advance of construction activities.

THOMASTON-UPSON BD ED PROPOSED FY 20 BUDGET

The Thomaston Upson Board of Education is proposing a $39.6 million general fund budget for FY20 which begins July 1.  The budget reflects an increase of $3.1 million from the FY19 budget.  Revenues are projected to increase $3.4 million from the FY19 budget.  The board proposes to add $300 thousand to its general fund balance reserves. 

The Board of Education will conduct the 2nd budget hearing on Tuesday, June 11 during the regularly scheduled board meeting.  The board will consider for tentative adoption the FY20 budget after the public hearing.   The board will consider for final adoption the FY20 budget Tuesday, June 25.

EMANCIPATION CELEBRATION MEETING POSTPONED

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE AND THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAID THEY WERE INFORMED BY PASTOR_ COLEMAN DUMAS THE THIRD OF STONEWALL WORSHIP CENTER--FRIDAY-- THAT A MEETING SET FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 6TH AT HIS CHURCH ON PARK LANE HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

101 NEWS WAS TOLD THE MEETING WILL BE HELD AT A LATER DATE . LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS PLAN TO MEET WITH THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION CELEBRATION COMMITTEE AND WILLIAM HUGHLEY, ORGANIZER OF THE STREET PARTY ON DANIEL STREET ALSO HELD DURING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.

SHERIFF KILGORE SAID THE MEETING WILL FOCUS ON KEEPING THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION A FAMILY EVENT.



BURGLARY ONE STOP CITGO 19N/ATWATER RD.

ACCORDING TO UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE HIS OFFICE IS LOOKING FOR TWO WHITE OR HISPANIC FEMALES FOR A BURGLARY EARLY FRIDAY AT ONE STOP CITGO AT 19 NORTH AND ATWATER ROAD.


A ROCK WAS THROWN THROUGH A WINDOW AROUND 5AM —THEY ENTERED THE BUILDING AND TOOK LOTTERY TICKETS AND CIGARETTES.  

Thursday, May 30, 2019

UPSON COUNTY CHANGING EMPLOYEE HEALTH INS.

AT TUESDAY'S MEETING, THE UPSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS VOTED TO CHANGE EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE CARRIERS FROM BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD TO CIGNA, AS BLUE CROSS WANTED AN INCREASE OF OVER 20% IN PREMIUMS.

THE CIGNA PROPOSAL, A 7.7% JUMP WILL TOTAL $ 1.85 MILLION OR ROUGHLY A $200,000 INCREASE -- ACCORDING TO COUNTY MANAGER JASON TINSLEY.



THOMASTON TIES TO NEW PRES. GA. CONSERVANCY

THERE'S AN AREA CONNECTION TO THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE GA. CONSERVANCY, BART GOBEIL (GOBEL). BART IS THE HUSBAND OF ELIZABETH DALLAS GOBEIL OF THOMASTON, THE HONORABLE ELIZABETH DALLAS, THAT IS, JUDGE ON THE GA. COURT OF APPEALS.

BART GOBEIL WAS MOST RECENTLY ON THE STAFF OF THE GA. PORTS AUTHORITY IN SAVANNAH, AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE GA. CONSERVANCY HE IS CHARGED WITH WORKING TO PRESERVE GEORGIA'S ENVIRONMENT AND OPEN SPACES.


IN A PRESS RELEASE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GA. CONSERVANCY SAID BART WAS CHOSEN AFTER A NATIONAL SEARCH, AND HE IS A PROVEN LEADER, ADVOCATE, AND PARTNERSHIP BUILDER, AND THE BOARD BELIEVES HE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN ADVANCING THE CONSERVANCY'S EFFORTS TO PROTECT AND CONSERVE OUR STATE'S LAND AND WATER.

DEATH OF RETIRED SPALDING CO. PROBATE JUDGE DEWITT SIMONTON JR.

RETIRED SPALDING COUNTY PROBATE JUDGE DEWITT SIMONTON JR. , AGE 86, DIED WEDNESDAY AT WOODS SENIOR CARE. A MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL BE HELD FRIDAY (TODAY) 11AM AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GRIFFIN.

BEFORE BEING ELECTED TO PUBLIC OFFICE, JUDGE SIMONTON WAS NEWS DIRECTOR AT WKEU RADIO IN GRIFFIN.

SURVIVORS INCLUDE HIS BROTHER, COACH TOM SIMONTON WHO WAS ON THE COACHING STAFF OF COACH JIM CAVAN AT RE LEE BEFORE BECOMING A HEAD COACH AT SEVERAL GA. HIGH SCHOOLS, INCLUDING HEAD COACH AT MACON CENTRAL FOR 19 YEARS.



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NEW PRINCIPAL A.Z. KELSEY ACADEMY

During a special called board meeting on May 28, 2019, the Griffin-Spalding Board of Education voted 5-0 to approve Joshua Pittman, assistant principal of Griffin High School, as the new principal of A.Z. Kelsey Academy.

A.Z. Kelsey Academy is a non-traditional school with traditional educational values. A.Z. Kelsey Academy was established for students at the high school level who may be behind academically but are working toward graduation. A.Z. Kelsey Academy focuses on helping students obtain credit for their coursework, gain a higher level of reading competency and develop personal character skills.

Pittman has been the assistant principal of professional learning and literacy instruction at Griffin High School since 2014. Prior to joining the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS), Pittman served as a high school broadcast video production teacher, special education math teacher and leadership team member for eight years in Stockbridge and Decatur.

Pittman received his bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from Mercer University, master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Troy University, specialist degree in Education Leadership from Mercer University and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University.

This appointment will become effective on July 15 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

UPSON S.O. HAS THEFT REPORT OF ALMOST $35,000 IN JEWELRY

THE FEMALE VICTIM TOLD UPSON S.O. SHE'S MISSING ALMOST $35,000 WORTH OF JEWELRY AFTER THE THEFT OF HER JEWELRY BOX ON LAKEWOOD DRIVE.

MISSING ITEMS INCLUDE HER DIAMOND WEDDING RING, DIAMOND EARRINGS, PENDANTS, BRACELETTES , NECKLACES, AND PEARLS.

THE REPORT SAID SHE DOES NOT WEAR HER JEWELRY TO WORK SO IT WAS ALL ON A NIGHTSTAND IN HER BEDROOM.

THE HOUSEHOLD SOMETIMES LEAVES THE WINDOWS OPEN IN THE HOME FOR AIR FLOW -- INVESTIGATORS WERE TOLD.





INTRUDER SHOT AND KILLED IN PIKE CO. SUNDAY

Pike County Sheriff’s Investigators have been working through the night to piece together the shooting that occurred at 349 Bates Road. The homeowner , Roger Prater, and his adult son , Nathan Prater, saw an an individual unknown to them on their property.

They walked over to speak with the person to inquire what he was doing on the property. The person , later identified as Darrell Brown, 45 years of age, stated that he was looking for a way off of Mr. Prater’s land. No explanation was given by Brown as to why he was at the location. When Brown was shown a gate that he could leave through he pulled out a handgun and shot at Nathan Prater multiple times striking him once.

Nathan Prater did have a rifle with him and was able to return fire on Brown. He was hit and collapsed a short distance away after trying to run away from the area. It appears that one shot was fired by Mr. Prater.

Both people were transported for medical treatment. Brown later died of his injuries at the hospital. Nathan Prater’s injuries were non-life threatening. An autopsy will be performed by the GBI medical examiner on Brown.

Through the investigation it was determined that Brown had been visiting a residence in the area prior to this incident. Brown had shown another person the handgun he had with him. The witness told investigators that he knew Brown was a convicted felon and shouldn’t have it. It was at this time for an unknown reason that Brown walked away from the witnesses house and ended up on the Prater property. It does not appear as either party knew each other.

A truck driven by Brown was recovered by investigators from the witnesses home. An additional firearm was taken into evidence from this vehicle. It was also discovered that the U.S. Marshals office had an active arrest warrant for Brown in regards to a probation violation.

Once completed the investigative case file will forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for review. At this time it is believed that Mr. Prater acted in self defense to protect himself and other family members.

Friday, May 24, 2019

MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE FROM SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON

On June 6, 1944, with American and Allied paratroopers positioned behind enemy lines, Allied forces waded through waist-deep waters amid hailing enemy gunfire from above to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, in an invasion called Operation Overlord. It was a joint naval, air and land assault marking the start of Allied forces’ campaign to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. More than 6,000 Americans gave their lives that day, but their sacrifice and heroism marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

As we near the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, now is an especially important time to reflect on the sacrifices made by the greatest generation during World War II. The defeat of fascism in Europe and an imperialism in the Pacific liberated millions of people across the globe from oppression. Those brave service members fought in the face of great adversity to defend the principals of democracy, and because of their valor and sacrifice, they set a high standard for future generations to follow.

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of the more than 1 million Americans who have given their lives in defense of our great nation. From the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East today, brave men and women have answered the call to defend our homeland and protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Memorial Day is personal for me, and it reminds me of the cost of freedom. I am reminded of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. They gave their best, and ultimately, they gave their all. And I pray for the families of the fallen, who bear the sacrifice of their loved ones’ selfless devotion.

In a little over a week, I will have the privilege of leading a Congressional delegation to Normandy to honor our greatest generation -- the heroes who fought, and for many, who paid the ultimate price on D-Day. America is great today because of their sacrifice.

Almost 75 years since the end of World War II, Americans are still willing to pay the ultimate price for our freedom. More than 2 million men and women have signed up to join today’s all-volunteer force, despite the fact that we live in a world of unknown and dangerous threats.

These courageous Americans are deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, and there is no mission or challenge they cannot rise to meet. With much uncertainty comes one constant: the courage and dedication of America’s armed forces.

I encourage everyone to join me this Memorial Day in reflecting on the sacrifice of our U.S. service members. We honor and mourn those who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms. Without the selfless devotion of our armed forces, we would not be living in the greatest country on the face of this Earth.

On this Memorial Day, and every day, may God bless our fallen service men and women, and may God bless the United States of America.

UPSON EMA WARNS ABOUT HEAT MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

WITH TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO REACH 100 THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, UPSON EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANNE MCCARTY IS WARNING THE PUBLIC TO BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT THE HEAT.


THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH BREATHING ISSUES MAY WANT TO STAY INDOORS.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2019 UPSON CO. EMANCIPATION DAY CELEBRATION SAT.

THE 2019 UPSON COUNTY EMANCIPATION DAY CELEBRATION IS SATURDAY, MAY 25TH. PARADE LINE-UP AT 8;30AM AT THE OLD THOMASTON MILLS PARKING LOT.

GRAND MARSHALL, PASTOR C. DERRICK SHELTON OF SPRINGFIELD MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN MOLENA.

PARADE THROUGH THE DOWNTOWN AREA TO THE LINCOLN PARK SPEAKING GROUNDS AT 3PM.


HELMETS REQUIRED FOR GO CARTS AND 4-WHEELERS.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

GRADUATION FOR GRIFFIN-SPALDING CO. SCHOOLS

Griffin, GA - The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) will host graduation ceremonies for A.Z. Kelsey Academy, Griffin High School (GHS) and Spalding High School (SHS) May 24-25, 2019.

A.Z. Kelsey will hold its graduating ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 24 in the Griffin Auditorium and SHS will hold its ceremony that evening at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The GHS graduation ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 25 at Memorial Stadium. 

SHS presented awards and scholarships to the Class of 2019 during its honors night on May 20. The 2019 SHS valedictorian is Sarah Smyly and the salutatorian is Savannah Rawdin.  SHS seniors were awarded $5.4 million in scholarships.

On May 22, GHS hosted their senior honors night and announced Trent Taysayavong as the 2019 GHS valedictorian and Jordan Stewart as the salutatorian. GHS seniors were awarded $4.7 million in scholarships.

Graduation tickets are required for all ceremonies. Gates to Memorial Stadium will open one hour prior to the graduation ceremony.  Law enforcement will be on site to guide and direct all attendees.  Handicapped parking and drop off will be accessible using 4th Street.  Poplar Street from 3rd to 6th will be pedestrian only.  Fifth Street will be blocked at College Street.  Parking behind the stadium is restricted to students and faculty with passes. Vehicles parked on private property (Coke building, Mt. Zion Church, Reeves Cleaners, etc.) are subject to being towed at the owner’s expense. There will be an information tent between the two entrance gates to the stadium.

No mylar balloons will be permitted inside the stadium.

To prevent damage to the new turf recently installed on the Bill Haisten Field at Memorial Stadium, GSCS is asking all students, staff and/or graduation attendees that may walk on the field to wear wedge heels or flat shoes. No stiletto, narrow or pointy heels will be allowed on the field. Additionally, no one is allowed to bring food or drinks onto the field before or after the graduation ceremony. Bottled water will be provided for graduates.

For more information regarding GSCS graduation activities, visithttp://www.spalding.k12.ga.us/Students--Parents/Destination-Graduation/index.html.


3 FROM PIKE CO. INDICTED FOR TIMBER FRAUD IN BIBB CO.

Macon – Bibb County grand jurors voted Tuesday to indict five defendants in a multi-county timber fraud case that involves a number of elderly victims.
John Barnhardt Cox, 50, of Williamson; Brenda Owings Jones, 64, of Zebulon; Jonathon Ashley May, 45, of Williamson; Jack David Uselton, 49, of McDonough; and James Lafayette Weldon, 47, of Evans; each are charged with four counts of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 16 counts of exploitation of an elder person, five counts of theft by deception and five counts of misrepresenting the origin or ownership of timber or agricultural commodities.
According to the indictment filed in Bibb County Superior Court:
Between May 2016 and July 2018, the defendants exploited landowners, many of whom were over age 65, for monetary gain through operations of the Pike County-based Cox Land & Timber Inc. They also defrauded timber mills.
The defendants would enter into timber sales contracts, pressuring elderly landowners into signing contracts agreeing to prices vastly under fair market value for timber harvesting and timber sale. In some instances, prices were left blank when the contract was signed.
The defendants ensured timber was taken to different mills throughout middle Georgia, including Graphic Packaging in Macon. At the mills the timber haulers would, at the instruction of the defendants, cause the mill to overpay for timber by misrepresenting the origin of the timber to inflate the amount paid.
Timber haulers would then receive scale tickets that defendant Jones would enter into Cox Land & Timber’s computer-based accounting system to generate an owner settlement sheet. But when entering information from the tickets into the accounting system, the number of loads and/or the quality of timber was altered to underpay landowners. By giving landowners settlement sheets with falsified information, the defendants prevented elderly landowners from discovering the true value of timber harvested from their property.
The indictment names 16 elderly victims ranging in age from 66 to 96.
Each defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until he/she is proven guilty in a court of law.

UPSON CO. TAG OFFICE CLOSING THURSDAY AT NOON

TAG OFFICES IN ALL COUNTIES IN GEORGIA WILL BE CLOSING THURSDAY AT NOON UNTIL TUESDAY MAY 28TH TO IMPLEMENT THE NEW DRIVES SYSTEM TO UPGRADE THE TITLE AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE. THE NEW SYSTEM WILL GO LIVE TUESDAY. IF YOU HAVE A BIRTHDAY IN MAY OR JUNE YOU SHOULD RENEW BEFORE THURSDAY, MAY 23RD TO AVOID DELAYS.

PIKE S.O. BUSTS STATE WIDE CREDIT CARD RING

   Pike County Sheriff's Office Investigators have made several arrests involving a state wide credit card fraud ring. Ace Hardware had been the victim of several purchases made by the suspects during which $10,378 in merchandise had been purchased using stolen credit card numbers. Items such as zero turn lawn mowers were purchased in what appeared to be legitimate purchases at the time. The suspects made multiple trips to over a period of time and used different individuals to make the purchases. The credit card numbers were found to belong to victims from throughout the country that had no idea their information was being used.

    Investigators were able to identify the suspects and the vehicles that they had been using to commit their crimes through surveillance videos from the business. On Saturday , May 18, information was developed by Investigators that the suspects were attempting to purchase several pieces of lawn equipment from Ace Hardware. A vehicle known to have been used in prior crimes arrived at approximately 2:00 p.m. After entering the store Itroy Baugh , 48 years of age, Eatonton , Ga, and Alycia Lawrence , 43 years of age, Sparta , Ga, were arrested for Identity Fraud.

    A search of the suspects vehicle revealed over $27,000 in cash that was concealed in the vehicle. Further investigation has shown that this money was proceeds from the sale of illegally obtained merchandise. Additional GPS evidence from the vehicle was also recovered that allowed investigators to locate other jurisdictions the suspects had been to and the businesses that they had visited.  Investigators then traveled to Baugh's residence and with the assistance of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office conducted a search of his property during which one of the lawn mowers purchased illegally from Ace Hardware was recovered.

    The suspects have been determined to have committed similar crimes in Dublin, Sparta, Butler and Tennille. Two individuals serving life sentences in the Georgia Prison System have also been identified as being a part of the criminal activity, Tomorris Geiger and Joshua Rounsoville are both incarcerated in Ware State Prison. Phone records have shown that these inmates have had access to a cell phone and have been obtaining stolen credit card numbers which are in turn used to make the fraudulent purchases. Investigators have been in contact with businesses and law enforcement in the various locations.

        Arrest warrants have been issued for a third suspect, Darryl Farley , 26 years of age, Eatonton , Ga, for Identity theft.  Farley had used a fraudulent identity to make a purchase at Ace Hardware in Zebulon. Additional arrests are possible as the investigation continues in the various jurisdictions involved.

    If any citizens have made a purchase from Baugh, Lawrence or Farley please contact an investigator at 770-567-8431. It is believed that most of the stolen items were sold to unsuspecting members of the public.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR OAKDALE ST. IN THOMASTON

THE CITY OF THOMASTON'S WATER SYSTEM OPERATOR E.S.G. OF MACON HAS ISSUED A BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR OAKDALE STREET—LOCATED BEHIND WEAVER PARK AT LEAST UNTIL THURSDAY. ITS OK TO USE WATER FOR WASHING CLOTHES AND SUCH BUT ITS NOT FOR DRINKING TILL THE BOIL WATER NOTICE IS LIFTED.

MANAGER BRIAN KELLY TOLD 101 NEWS THE HOUSES WERE

WITHOUT WATER FOR 6 TO 7 HOURS TUESDAY AND THE COMPANY HAS TO RUN BACTERIA TESTS AND THEN GET THE TEST RESULTS BACK—HOPEFULLY THURSDAY.


WATER SERVICE WAS INTERRUPTED TUESDAY AT 11AM AND WAS BACK-ON AT 5;30PM, BUT THE LINE HAS TO BE TESTED.

D.A. COKER SAYS MURDER CONVICTION UPHELD BY GA. SUPREME COURT

THE GA. SUPREME COURT HAS UPHELD THE SPALDING COUNTY MURDER CONVICTION OF SHANE CLIFTON COLLETT FOR THE 2012 CHOKING DEATH OF 9 YEAR OLD SKYLAR DIALS— A CASE GRIFFIN CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER CALLED VERY EMOTIONAL FOR HIM AND HIS STAFF.

D.A. COKER SAID THE HIGH COURT UPHELD COLLETT'S CONVICTION ON MULTIPLE CHARGES AND THE SENTENCE OF LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE .


SKYLAR DIALS WAS WALKING TO A FRIENDS HOUSE WHEN SHE WAS ABDUCTED, STRANGLED, AND TOSSED BY A WOOD PILE—COKER TOLD 101 NEWS.  

GAS LEAK EVACUATION RIVERSIDE NURSING HOME TUESDAY

101 BREAKING NEWS---ALL PATIENTS AT RIVERSIDE NURSING HOME IN THOMASTON AT OLD TALBOTTON ROAD AND SOUTH GREEN HAVE BEEN EVACUATED AFTER A GAS LEAK DURING SOME MAINTANCE WORK, THIS AFTERNOON.

CAPTAIN SIDNEY CORLEY OF THE THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT SAID THE GAS HAS BEEN SHUT-OFF AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS CURRENTLY AIRING-OUT THE BUILDING.


CAPTAIN CORLEY TOLD US--PATIENTS ARE SITTING IN THE PECAN ORCHARD AND THOSE DISABLED WERE TRANSPORTED BY AMBULANCE TO PROVIDENCE NURSING HOME TO BE HOUSED UNTIL THEY CAN RETURN TO RIVERSIDE.

Monday, May 20, 2019

THOMASTON WOMAN KILLED IN PIKE CO. ACCIDENT

THE PIKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS A THOMASTON WOMAN APPARENTLY DIED IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT EARLY SUNDAY MORNING BUT HER BODY WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL SUNDAY AFTERNOON ON US 19 NORTH OF ZEBULON.

22 YEAR OLD TARA CORLEY HOLLINGSWORTH LEFT FOR WORK AT 6AM SUNDAY MORNING AND THE TOYOTA 4-RUNNER SHE WAS DRIVING APPEARS TO HAVE LEFT THE ROADWAY AND STRUCK A PROPANE TANK CAUSING IT TO OVERTURN AND THEN COLLIDE WITH AN ADVERTISING BILLBOARD THAT COLLAPSED ON THE VEHICLE—NEAR PATTON ROAD.

THE HOLLINGSWORTH VEHICLE WAS HIDDEN FROM THE ROADWAY AND WAS NOT FOUND TILL AROUND 1PM SUNDAY.


IN A PRESS RELEASE PIKE COUNTY S.O. SAID ITS TRAFFIC INVESTIGATORS WILL CONTINUE WORKING ON THE WRECK TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE.



YOUTHS OVERDUE ON THE FLINT RIVER

FOUR YOUTHS FROM WARNER ROBINS OVERDUE ON THE FLINT RIVER WERE DISCOVERED ON INNER TUBES FLOATING THE RIVER ABOUT A MILE NORTH OF THE 36 WEST BRIDGE --- AFTER A MOTHER GOT CONCERNED AND CALLED THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE—SATURDAY.

DNR RANGER WILL SMITH AND RICHARD HICKMON OF RIVER RESCUE RESPONDED AND FOUND THEIR CARS PARKED AT SPREWELL BLUFF.


ONCE ASHORE THEY WERE CHECKED OUT BY EMT'S AND RELEASED TO THEIR PARENTS—TWO 18 YEAR OLD FEMALES, A 15 YEAR OLD FEMALE AND A 20 YEAR OLD MALE—ALL FROM HOUSTON COUNTY.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

MAY 16 2019 UPSON CO. GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS

2019 MARCH TERM GRAND JURY MAY 16, 2019 TRUE BILL LIST CHRISTOPHER EUGENE COKER CT 1: POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE MALACHI COLLIER CT. 1: RAPE CT. 4: CHILD MOLESTATION STEPHANIE LARAE ARD CT. 1: POSSESSION OF CHRISTOHPER EUGENE COKER METHAMPHETAMINE DUSTIN TODD DARVILLE CT. 2: POSSESSION OF DUSTIN TODD DARVILLE METHAMPHETAMINE WITH DAVID KEITH MCCARD, JR. INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE CT. 3: POSSESSION OF FIREARM BY CONVICTED FELON CT. 4: POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA LESS THAN AN OUNCE JOSEPH ANTHONY ALSOBROOKS CT. 1: AGGRAVATED ASSAULT JUSTIN WILLIAM BLANKENSHIP CT. 1: FLEEING OR ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE A POLICE OFFICER CT. 2: RECKLESS DRIVING CT. 3: SPEEDING CT. 4: OBSTRUCTION OF AN OFFICER CT. 5: IMPROPER U-TURN HEATHER MARIE BRODNAX CTS. 1-2: AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CT. 3: BURGLARY FIRST DEGREE JASJAUN ELIJAH DALLAS CT. 1: CRIMINAL USE OF AN ARTICLE WITH ALTERED IDENTIFICATION MARK AUSTIN TAYLOR DAUGHERTY CTS. 1-2: AGGRAVATED CHILD MOLESTATION CT. 3: CHILD MOLESTATION CTS. 4-5: AGGRAVATED CHILD MOLESTATION CT. 6: CHILD MOLESTATION Page 2 of 2 JORDAN DAVID GAINES CT. 1: AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CT. 2: BATTERY CT. 3: CRUELTY TO CHILDREN IN THIRD DEGREE CTS 4-5: OBSTRUCTION OF AN OFFICER KEYTRIC TYRELL JONES CT. 1: VIOLATION OF OATH BY PUBLIC OFFICER CT. 2: SEXUAL ASSAULT OF AN INMATE OR PERSON IN CUSTODY MAURICE DEMON MCDOWELL CT. 1: THEFT BY CONVERSION MANSA JEVON QUILLER CT. 1: AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CT. 2: POSSESSION OF FIREARM DURING COMMISSION OF A CRIME TIMOTHY PATRICK RODEN CT. 1: THEFT BY SHOPLIFTING MATERICK DEQUAN SMITH CT. 1: OBSTRUCTION OF AN OFFICER

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOLS TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Upson-Lee Primary School Kindergarten teacher Lauren Hall was selected as the Thomaston-Upson School System's 2019-20 Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Larry Derico made the announcement Wednesday, May 15, in a surprise visit to Mrs. Hall's classroom. The System Teacher of the Year is selected from among the individual schools' Teachers of the Year by a panel of community and school district judges. Judging is based on an application packet submitted by the teacher, a classroom observation, and a teacher interview. Mrs. Hall will now represent the Thomaston-Upson School System in the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.

CHILD ABUSE CASE IN SPALDING COUNTY

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 40-year-old Chadwick Haldeman of 71 Ramsey Circle Griffin Georgia, on multiple criminal charges relating to the abuse of a 7-month-old child. According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “We received a call from Spalding Regional Hospital about the child and investigators responded to meet with hospital staff. The mother had brought the child to the hospital believing that it was suffering from an infection and pink eye. The child was lethargic and in obvious distress. Tests on the baby showed that it was suffering from multiple breaks including left arm, left leg, left elbow, right shoulder, spinal fractures, broken ribs, multiple burns that appear to have been caused by a cigarette, and a traumatic brain injury. The child was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for treatment and surgery to relieve brain swelling.” “Based on what happened to the child, a search warrant was executed at a home located at 71 Ramsey Circle, where Chadwick Haldeman was taken into custody. In an interview conducted with Haldeman by Investigators, he admitted in detail to methodically hurting the child, how and what he did, but stopped short of a motive. The confession was graphic, detailed and my Investigators describe it as sickening. What was done to this 7-month old baby was nothing short of barbaric.” “In 32 years of being in law enforcement I have never encountered anything this evil, nor have any of my Investigators. Haldeman was cold, calculated and intentional in his actions. In his confession he attempted to minimize the injuries to the child but did not minimize his involvement. The investigation is ongoing, and we are actively gathering information as to the child’s mother and others and their possible roles, negligence, or culpability in this case. We have questions that still need to be answered, and more criminal charges may be coming based on those answers. As of right now the child is listed in critical condition and is on life support. Haldeman is currently being held in the Spalding Jail without bond and is facing the following criminal charges: Aggravated Assault with Intent to Murder – 2 Counts Cruelty to Children in the 1st Degree – 5 Counts Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon – 4 Counts Aggravated Battery Possession of THC Oil – 23 Counts Possession of THC Oil with Intent to Distribute – 23 Counts Possession of Marijuana Less Than 1 Ounce

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

PIKE CO. EMS SERVICE STILL UNDECIDED

ACCORDING TO COUNTY MANAGER BOBBY BICKLEY--NO DECISION BY THE PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ON AN AMENDED CONTRACT WITH GRADY EMS ON AMBULANCE SERVICE, TUESDAY. THE AMENDED CONTRACT WOULD UP PIKE COUNTY'S COST TO $300,000 FROM $250,000 ANNUALLY BUT THE COUNTY WOULD KEEP TWO AMBULANCES ON DUTY 24/7.

THE AMENDED EMS CONTRACT IS PART OF THE PROPOSED FY BUDGET BUT COMMISSIONER TIM GUY MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE FIRST READING OF THE BUDGET—BUT THERE WAS NOT A 2ND TO THE MOTION. VICE-CHAIRMAN TIM DANIEL WAS ABSENT. CHAIRMAN BRIAR JOHNSON CANNOT 2ND A MOTION, BUT CAN VOTE TO BREAK A TIE VOTE.

THE FIRST READING OF THE BUDGET RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 23RD AT 1PM, 2ND READING AT 6;30PM.



GA. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER INDICTED

ATLANTA - Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim C. Beck has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.  The 38-count indictment alleges that Beck stole more than $2,000,000 from his former employer, the Georgia Underwriting Association, during the five years just prior to Beck’s election to statewide office in November, 2018.
“The grand jury seeks to hold Commissioner Beck accountable for taking advantage of his position at the Georgia Underwriting Association.  Beck allegedly pocketed a substantial amount of money to which he was not entitled while he was the GUA General Manager for Operations,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “To be clear, the grand jury has charged Commissioner Beck with crimes that occurred before he was elected to his current public office.”

“The FBI investigation found that Beck abused the trust of friends and his employer (GUA), in an elaborate scheme to enrich himself at GUA’s expense,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The indictment is a testament to the fact that the FBI will expend all resources necessary to hold those who seek to enrich themselves through fraud and deceit, accountable for their actions.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak and the indictment:  From January 2012 until Beck was sworn in as Insurance Commissioner on January 14, 2019, Beck worked as the General Manager of Operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association (GUA) after being elected to that post by the GUA board of directors.  GUA, located in Suwanee, Georgia, is an insurance association created as part of the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) law to provide high-risk property insurance to homeowners located throughout Georgia.  In addition to premiums collected from its customers, GUA is also funded by issuing assessments to the association members, which include every insurer authorized to write any form of property insurance in the State of Georgia.

While Beck served as General Manager at GUA, he also maintained controlling financial interests in two businesses known as Creative Consultants and the Georgia Christian Coalition.  Beginning in 2013, Beck allegedly talked four associates into forming four separate businesses which supposedly supplied necessary services including residential property inspections and water damage mitigation to GUA.  These new businesses are identified in the indictment as Companies A, B, C, and D. 

Then, through an elaborate system of fraudulent invoicing which included producing false documentation and concealing the truth from his four associates, Beck regularly approved substantial GUA payments to the four new companies.  Beck then allegedly sent fraudulent invoices from Creative Consultants and the GA Christian Coalition to Companies A, B, C, and D.  At Beck’s direction, his four associates paid the fraudulent invoices from a portion of the money they had been paid by GUA.  All told, between February 2013 and August 2018, Beck defrauded GUA out of more than $2,000,000. 

Jim C. Beck, 57, of Carrollton, Georgia, was indicted on May 14, 2019.  

J.Q.C. DECISION ON JUDGE CRAWFORD APPEALED

VIRGIL BROWN ATTORNEY FOR THE LEGAL TEAM OF SUSPENDED SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE ROBERT MACK CRAWFORD TOLD 101 NEWS TUESDAY—TWO APPEALS HAVE BEEN FILED IN THE JUDGE'S CASE—AFTER A PANEL OF THE STATE JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION RECOMMENDED HE BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

THE ATTORNEYS ARE APPEALING A DECISION IN COBB COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT CHALLENGING THE COMPOSITION OF THE J.Q.C. , AN APPEAL TO THE STATE COURT OF APPEALS.

ALSO THEY ARE APPEALING THE DECISION OF THE JQC PANEL RECOMMENDATION THE JUDGE BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE --- TO THE GA. SUPREME COURT.

THE STATE SUPREME COURT WILL RULE ON THE JQC PANEL'S RECOMMENDATION THAT JUDGE CRAWFORD STEP DOWN.

JUDGE CRAWFORD WAS INDICTED AND SUSPENDED BASED ON $15,000 IN THE PIKE COUNTY COURT REGISTRY THAT ATTORNEY BROWN CLAIMS THE JUDGE EARNED IN A REAL ESTATE DEAL WHEN HE WAS A PRACTICING ATTORNEY—BUT THE JQC PANEL CLAIMS IT WAS THEFT.


UPSON PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS CELL TOWER

THE UPSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WILL CONSIDER A RECOMMENDATION BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION FOR A 400 FOOT CELL TOWER FROM SOUTHERN LINC AT THE JUNE 11TH MEETING—A TOWER IN SALEM TO BE USED FOR COMMUNCATION BY THE GA. DOT, THE GSP, GA POWER AND OTHER EMERGENCY AGENCIES—AND LEASING SPACE TO CELL COMPANIES. SOUTHERN LINC IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE SOUTHERN COMPANY-- OWNER OF GA. POWER.

PLANNING DIRECTOR DOUG CURRIER AND STAFF RECOMMENDED THE SPECIAL EXCEPTION ON 80 ACRES NOW USED AS A DEER CAMP AT ALLEN AND FLORETTE ROADS—BUT SALEM COMMUNITY RESIDENTS PACKED THE MEETING ROOM MONDAY—OPPOSED TO THE TOWER.


IN VOTING FOR THE UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATION—COMMISSION MEMBER SAM BAITY—TOLD SOUTHERN LINC'S CONSULTANT—THE COMPANY SHOULD HAVE CONTACTED COMMUNITY MEMBERS ABOUT THE PROPOSED TOWER—BUT OPPONENTS DID NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION ON HOW IT WOULD HARM THE COMMUNITY—AND A VIABLE NETWORK OF COMMUNICATION IS NEEDED—IN THAT TORNADO-PRONE AREA IN SOUTHERN UPSON COUNTY.  

SPALDING CO APPROVES CONTRACT WITH UPSON FOR CONVICT WORK DETAIL

THE SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HAVE APPROVED A CONTRACT WITH UPSON COUNTY FOR TWO INMATE WORK CREWS. UPSON COUNTY WILL PAY 100% OF THE SALARY FOR THE TWO DETAIL OFFICERS, PLUS A 10% ADMINISTRATIVE FEE AND SUPPLY THE EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLE.

SPALDING COUNTY WILL GET AN INCREASE TO $22 PER DAY PER INMATE FROM STATE CORRECTIONS FOR THE SPALDING COUNTY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE—ALTHOUGH IT REQUESTED $25 IN FISCAL YEAR 2020. COUNTY MANAGER WILLIAM WILSON JR. TOLD THE GRIFFIN DAILY NEWS IT COSTS THE COUNTY $25 PER DAY TO BREAK EVEN, BUT THE $22 WILL GENERATE $3.08 MILLION IN REVENUE TO OPERATE THE JAIL BASED ON A CAPACITY OF 384 INMATES.


WILSON SAID SPALDING COUNTY PLANS TO ASK FOR $25 PER DAY PER INMATE NEXT YEAR—TOO.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

PIKE COUNTY COULD HAVE A NEW DEAL ON EMS SERVICE

PIKE COUNTY MANAGER BOBBY BICKLEY TOLD 101 NEWS MONDAY NEGOTIATIONS WITH GRADY EMS HAVE BEEN FRUITFUL AND HE PLANS TO PRESENT THE NEW PROPOSAL FOR A VOTE TO THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS DURING THE FIRST READING OF THE BUDGET AT 1PM TODAY.

HE DECLINED TO RELEASE SPECIFICS BUT SAID UNDER THE AMENDED CONTRACT PIKE COUNTY WOULD KEEP TWO AMBULANCES ON DUTY 24/7 AND IN ADDITION TO THE ONE YEAR LEFT ON THE CURRENT CONTRACT—IT WOULD BE EXTENDED FOR TWO ADDITIONAL YEARS.

BICKLEY CALLED IT A FAIR CONTRACT FOR BOTH PARTIES.

GRADY EMS REPORTEDLY HAD BEEN LOSING MONEY ON THE CURRENT CONTRACT AND INFORMED THE COUNTY IT WOULD END SERVICE JUNE 30TH, AFTER THE COMMISSIONERS DID NOT ACT ON THREE NEW OPTIONS IT PROPOSED. ONLY ONE OF THOSE INCLUDED TWO AMBULANCES —BUT THE COST WOULD HAVE JUMPED FROM $250,000 TO HALF A MILLION ANNUALLY.



Friday, May 10, 2019

UPSON PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA MAY 13

UPSON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION Since 1995 – 25 Years REGULAR MEETING AGENDA Thomaston-Upson County Government Administration Complex 106 East Lee Street – R.E. Lee Building City/County Meeting Room, #140 Monday, May 13, 2018, 5:30 P.M. (Please silence all audible alarms.) 1. Call to Order and Roll Call 2. Adoption of Meeting Minutes April 8, 2019 Regular Meeting – Minutes Provided April 18, 2019 Special Meeting – Minutes Provided 3. Old Business - Animal Ordinance Discussion – Materials Provided 4. New Business A. Application for Special Exception – SPX2019-03, Value Concepts, Inc./Southern Linc; Property Owners-Robert C. and Sandra L. Shetler; Allen and Florette Roads, Parcel #089 094C, For Telecommunications Tower 1. Public Hearing 2. Commission Discussion B. Application for Special Exception – SPX2019-04, Brenda G. Gassett, 5744 Yatesville Hwy/SR 74, Parcel #112 004, For A-R Family Cemetery 1. Public Hearing 2. Commission Discussion C. Application for Special Exception – SPX2019-05, Jason and Lisa Pierce; 884 Vickery Road, Parcel #040 026, For After-the Fact, Temporary RV Housing

Thursday, May 9, 2019

ID OF THE CHILD WHO DROWNED IN MOLENA

ACCORDING TO PIKE COUNTY CORONER TERRELL MOODY, THE 15 YEAR OLD CHILD WHO DROWNED IN MOLENA HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS EPHRAIM BURGREEN, SON OF JAMES AND APRIL BURGREEN.

THE BODY HAS BEEN SENT TO THE STATE CRIME LAB FOR AUTOPSY TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

THE FAMILY IS REPORTEDLY PLANNING A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE CHILD SATURDAY IN CONCORD.



A TEEN DROWNED IN MOLENA

Pike County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a missing child on North Madden Bridge Road yesterday afternoon. A fifteen year old autistic male was reported to have been missing from the family home. Numerous resources were allocated to find  the child including search volunteers, Sheriff’s Office drone and Spalding County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. 

Unfortunately the the body of the missing child was found in a small pond. Investigators are currently working on this case, at this time no foul play is suspected. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

STEPHEN BOYD NEW PRINCIPAL LAMAR CO MIDDLE SCHOOL

The Lamar County School System is pleased to welcome Mr. Stephen Boyd as the 7th principal of Lamar County Middle School. Mr. Boyd joins us from Peach County, where he currently serves as a high school assistant principal. Mr. Boyd began his career at Upson-Lee Middle School as a Social Studies teacher. Over the course of his 12 years in the classroom, he earned Gifted Certification, Advanced Placement Certification, was named STAR teacher in 2013, and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2014. Furthermore, Mr. Boyd has experience leading GA Milestone Testing, PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), Special Education initiatives, and PLC’s (Professional Learning Communities). He also has experience as a system athletic director, Head Cross Country Coach, Soccer Coach, and Basketball Coach.
Stephen Boyd proudly served as a U.S. Army Paratrooper and MP, with tours in Bosnia and Iraq.  He was awarded a Purple Heart, a designation reserved for combat wounded veterans.

Mr. Boyd holds a Bachelor of Science in History (4-year degree) from Columbus State (3.9 GPA): a Master's and a Specialist Degree in 6-12 Social Studies Education and Educational Leadership from Columbus State (4.0 GPA); and he is currently pursuing an EDD in Educational Leadership.

While the transition is already underway, Mr. Boyd will officially begin in June. We will arrange a meet and greet with MS students, staff, friends, and family in the near future. 



Please join us in welcoming Mr. Stephen Boyd to the Lamar County family!

GHSA MOVES CHAMPIONSHIPS OUT OF THE BENZ

Georgia High School Association is pleased to announce today that all eight State Football Championships, sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, will be played at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta (formerly Turner Field) on Friday and Saturday, December 13-14, 2019.
“We are excited to announce that the GHSA/ Tommy Guillebeau Football State Championships will be held at Georgia State Stadium,” said GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines. “Charlie Cobb at Georgia State University has been tremendously supportive in planning with the GHSA an event that will provide a first class experience for our student athletes and benefit our participating schools. We look forward to our partnership with Georgia State University.”
The move comes after two years of trying to hold the games at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Six of the eight games were “snowed out” in 2017 and had to be played at local high school venues, and then last year’s contests were moved to a Tuesday and Wednesday because of a weekend conflict with the Atlanta United soccer team’s MLS final.
Exact game times at Georgia State will be announced at a later date, but it is anticipated the usual schedule of four games on Friday and four games on Saturday will be maintained.
“We thank Dr. Hines and the Georgia High School Association,” said Georgia State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb. “Georgia State is honored to host the eight GHSA state championships this December. It is exciting for us to know that the culminating point for high school football throughout the state is Georgia State Stadium.  Our staff will showcase a first-class experience for the players, coaches, and fans of the participating teams.”
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