Monday, April 15, 2024

C.J. ALLEN TOPS ON D SAT. IN ATHENS

 NOT  MUCH  WAS  IMPRESSIVE  IN  THE  GA.  BULLDOGS  G-DAY  GAME  SATURDAY   IN  ATHENS,  BUT  LAMAR  COUNTY'S  C.J. ALLEN  WAS  THE  MAN  ON  DEFENSE.  C.J.  HAD  5  SOLO  TACKLES  AND  INTERCEPTED  A  PASS  FROM  QB  CARSON  BECK  LATE  IN  THE  FIRST HALF.  BECK  APPARENTLY  DID  NOT  SEE  ALLEN  IN  THE  MIDDLE  AROUND  THE   50.


FUN 101  SPORTS  SPOKE  WITH  DAWG  NATION'S  MIKE  GRIFFITH  AFTER  THE  GAME  ABOUT  C.J.  ALLEN'S PERFOMANCE.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

URMC Awards Chelsea Casteel, RN with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

Upson Regional Medical Center recognized Chelsea Casteel, RN with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.  Chelsea is a nurse in Upson Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department.  

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the family of Patrick Barnes, a 33-year-old who died of complications related to the auto-immune disease ITP.  Patrick’s family came up with the idea for the DAISY Award, as a way to recognize the extraordinary care he and the family received from his nurses throughout his illness.  The acronym DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.  What began as a thank you from Patrick’s family to nurses has grown into a meaningful recognition program embraced by healthcare organizations around the world.

A common theme of Chelsea’s genuine care and kindness emerged in the numerous nominations received from patients. 

One nomination expressed, “I was impressed by how well she took care of me.  She spoke kindly to me as if we were friends, as opposed to just another patient.  My concerns were handled with respect, quickly and sweetly.  Her personality and professionalism gave me a sense of security.  My entire experience with Upson was pleasant, however, I was even more impressed by her excellence!”

Upson Regional Medical Center CNO Brandie Kilcrease shared, “Chelsea is a great example of the positive attitude and expert level of care that Upson Regional Medical Center’s nurses provide to our patients.  We are grateful to Chelsea, and all of our wonderful nurses for the dedication that they put into caring for the patients in our community”

Nominations for the DAISY Award can be submitted online at urmc.org, or in person at Upson Regional Medical Center.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Columbus Police Apprehend Talbot County Fugitive

Columbus Police announced through a press release that a man was arrested on Thursday for multiple warrants charging him with offenses against minor(s).

CPD says around 6 a.m., the police department’s fugitive unit was contacted by the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) about Dakota Hattaway having several warrants in Talbot County.

In response, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, CPD Fugitive Unit, and Sergeant Ada Johnson’s patrol squad mobilized to the location where Hattaway was believed to be hiding. Without any resistance, Hattaway was apprehended and taken into custody.

The warrants against Hattaway included charges of rape, aggravated child molestation, and cruelty to children 1st degree.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Gordon State College To Show Partial Solar Eclipse

Dr. Schmude, professor of chemistry at Gordon State College, will hold a special gathering for curious spectators to witness the partial solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. Attendees will be able to view the eclipsed sun through a special sun spotter in front of the Barnesville campus Instructional Complex building.

The sun spotter, an instrument utilizing lenses and mirrors, projects a 3.5-inch image of the sun, enabling safe observation. It eliminates the necessity for purchasing eclipse glasses. However, Schmude emphasizes the importance of never looking directly at the sun without certified eclipse glasses.

Across Middle Georgia, a partial solar eclipse is expected to be visible from approximately 1:45 p.m. to around 4:22 p.m., with over 70% of the sun blocked by the moon at around 3 p.m. Schmude will have the sun spotter set up and ready at 1:40 p.m., and it will remain available, weather permitting, until 3:30 p.m.

Friday, April 5, 2024

64-Year-Old Man From Out Of State Missing In Spalding County

Spalding County deputies are currently searching for a missing 64-year-old man, Roy Christopher Irvin, who is facing memory challenges. Irvin was last seen on Thursday in the area of Fayetteville Road. Given that Irvin is not from the area and may not be familiar with it, authorities are concerned for his well-being.

The missing man is believed to be driving a 2010 silver Chevrolet Malibu, with a Florida license plate bearing the number BT71JR. The vehicle was last spotted heading west on SR 92 (Fayetteville Rd) toward Fayetteville.

MIA COLLIER CANDIDATE UPSON CO MAGISTRATE JUDGE


 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Gordon State College Welcomes New Chief of Police

Gordon State College officially welcomed Benjamin Scott as its new Chief of Police who was sworn in during a special ceremony on Wednesday, April 3.

Guests from across the state filled the Collaborative Learning Center in the Nursing, Health, and Natural Sciences (NAHS) building on the Barnesville campus. Attendees included current and former law enforcement officers, local community leaders, and representatives from the University System of Georgia (USG).

 

“Law enforcement members uphold and communicate the rule of law, crucial for campus order. Chief Scott's extensive experience, impressive pedigree, and resume make Gordon fortunate to have him,” said Dr. Donald J. Green, GSC president.

 

Scott’s career in law enforcement spans over 27 years, encompassing leadership, organizational management, agency accreditation, and community relations roles. Before joining GSC, Scott worked as a police inspector for the Georgia Board of Regents Police Department. In this role, he oversaw executive protection for the Chancellor and Board of Regents and provided internal affairs support within the USG. Additionally, he served as a police lieutenant at the Columbus State University Police Department.

 

“I love working in higher education and believe it’s the foundation for a better society,” Scott said. “Gordon State College operates in a world-class university system. It is my goal to take my lifetime of education, training, and experience and provide servant leadership along with good stewardship to Gordon State College.”

 

Having held positions as an administrator, manager, and supervisor in both municipal and university police organizations, Scott has acquired a comprehensive understanding of the community-oriented policing philosophy.

 

“Better relationships lead to a better environment which will make the community an even more desirable place to live, learn, and work,” Scott said.

 

A native of Prattville, Alabama, Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts in history at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama and his Master of Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. Scott is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in public administration at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. He also holds various law enforcement certifications and professional memberships in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition, and Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.

 

Scott's law enforcement career has been marked by several prestigious awards, including 2004 Officer of the Year for the Columbus Police Department and 2015 Medal of Valor from the Columbus State University Police Department.

T-U SCHOOLS WATER TESTS

The Thomaston-Upson School System has received the results from “Clean Water for Georgia Kids” testing at Upson-Lee Primary, Upson-Lee Elementary, Upson-Lee Middle School, and Upson-Lee High School. During this voluntary testing, all drinking and cooking taps in the schools were sampled and tested for levels of lead, and all results showed no lead levels over 1 part per billion (ppb), the limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Many results at Thomaston-Upson Schools revealed levels less than 0.1 ppb (the lowest amount detectable at RTI International’s testing facility) and equal to less than a drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. 

 

Superintendent Dr. Larry Derico stated, “The safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority at Thomaston-Upson Schools. Using federal COVID-relief funds, our school system had already prioritized safe drinking water for students and staff by removing water fountains at all Thomaston-Upson schools and replacing them with filtered water bottle filling stations. These stations have waterways that are lead-free in materials and construction with filters for taste, odor, lead, and chlorine reduction. Each water filling station has a built-in micron strainer that stops particles before they enter the waterway.” 

 

Upson-Lee Pre-K and Upson-Lee Alternative were not included in the original free-testing authorization received by the school district from the Georgia Department of Education, but T-U Director of Operations Mr. Marc Ellington stated that he is currently looking into testing for both of these schools. Results for ULPK and ULAS will be released once tests atr completed and results are received. According to Ellington, both ULPK and ULAS contain water filling stations for all drinking water and neither of the schools use water for cooking, as meals are delivered to the schools from Upson-Lee Primary (ULPK) and Upson-Lee High School (ULAS). “We’re very happy with these test results, but we still plan to ensure water safety at all Thomaston-Upson schools,” Ellington commented.

 

The Clean Water for Georgia Kids™ Program is a partnership between the Georgia Department of Education and RTI International. Its goal is to identify and get the lead out of drinking and cooking water where children learn and play across Georgia. Voluntary testing is available at no cost to public schools and childcare centers across Georgia courtesy of a federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) grant.

 

Full results can be viewed online at:

ULPS: https://5il.co/2hoe4
ULES: 
https://5il.co/2hodz
ULMS: 
https://5il.co/2hoe2
ULHS: 
https://5il.co/2hoe1

In addition, water safety test results for schools throughout the state of Georgia may be viewed on the Clean Water for Georgia Kids Public Map at: https://www.cleanwaterforuskids.org/georgia/data

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

STABLE HOUSING INITIATIVE GRIFFIN/SPALDING

 n the Griffin-Spalding county area, we have over 400 veterans and their families who are in need stable housing. The vision of the 


Stable Housing Initiative is to educate, inform, and connect displaced veterans with the skills and resources needed to secure stable 

housing and to achieve future prosperity.  The Stable Housing Initiative will host a free  event, open to the public, on Monday April 8th 

from 6 till 9pm at the Technology building at the Southern Crescent Tech campus in Griffin, 501 Varsity Drive. You'll find government 

agencies,  non-profits, and aid groups, so that displaced veterans can meet with the resource providers. For more information, call 

Michelle Drugaz at 678-468-2629. If you would like to make a donation or to sponsor a family, go on line to  

advancingGriffin@gmail.com or call 678-468-2629.  Leading Griffin Forward is a 501-C3 organization.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

NEW HOTEL FOR THOMASTON

 AT  TUESDAY'S  MEETING--THE  THOMASTON  CITY  COUNCIL  ANNOUNCED  PLANS  TO  BUILD  A   $20  MILLION  BUSINESS  HOTEL  ON  AN  ACRE OF PROPERTY  DONATED  BY  THE  BLACKSTOCK  FAMILY  FOUNDATION   ON  EAST  MAIN  ACROSS  FROM  DOLLAR  GENERAL.   A  BOND  ISSUE  THROUGH  THE  IDA  WILL  FUND  THE  PROJECT--AND  CITY  HALL  WILL  ACCEPT  PROPOSALS  FROM  MAJOR  HOTEL  CHAINS  TO  OPERATE  THE  LODGE.

U-L Teacher of the Year announcements

Superintendent Dr. Larry Derico and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Amy Miller visited schools on Thursday, March 28, to assist principals with their 2024-25 Teacher of the Year announcements. Congratulations to the 2024-25 Teachers of the Year: Mrs. Amanda Gunnels, Upson-Lee Primary School; Ms. Donna Gravitt, Upson-Lee Elementary School; Mrs. Kristi Bosworth, Upson-Lee Middle School; and Mr. Charles Canady, Upson-Lee High School. Teachers of the Year are selected for this honor by their peers. School Teachers of the Year advance to the System contest where one teacher will be named Thomaston-Upson School System's 2024-25 Teacher of the Year.


Friday, March 29, 2024

SPALDING BOC RETAINS ATTORNEYS

 AT  THURSDAY'S  ZONING  PUBLIC  HEARING  THE  SPALDING  COUNTY  COMMISSIONERS  VOTED   UNANIMOUSLY  TO RETAIN  THE  LAW  FIRM  OF  BECK, OWEN,&  MURRAY  AS  COUNTY  LEGAL  COUNSEL.  COMMISSIONER   JAMES  DUTTON  WHO  CALLED  FOR  AN  RFQ MADE  THE  MOTION TO  APPROVE.  NEWTON GALLOWAY  REAPPOINTED  ZONING  ATTORNEY,  KEN  GERRARD  HUMAN  RESOURCES  ATTORNEY.

GRIFFIN/SPALDING CO SEEKING NEW AIRPORT $

 THE  CITY  OF  GRIFFIN  AND  SPALDING  COUNTY  COMMISSIONERS  APPROVED  A  NEW  AIRPORT  AGREEMENT  WITH  THE  STATE,  THURSDAY  ACCORDING  TO  STATE  REPRESENTATIVE  BETH  CAMP   TO  RECEIVE  $47.2  MILLION  FROM  THE  GA.  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY  FOR  A  NEW  AIRPORT--BUT  THERE IS A NEW  WRINKLE--THE  GOVERNOR'S    FUNDING  REQUEST    CALLS  FOR  IT  TO  BE A  REGIONAL  AIRPORT   ASSOCIATED  WITH  OTHER  COUNTIES  AND  WITH   MORE   AUTHORITY  MEMBERS --POSSIBILY  COUNTY  ADMINISTATORS   FROM  BUTTS,  LAMAR,  PIKE,  MONROE  AND    OTHER  NEAR-BY  COUNTIES--A  BOARD  WITH  NEARLY   A  DOZEN MEMBERS.


COMMISSIONER  GWEN  FLOWERS-TAYLOR  VOTED  AGAINST  THE  MOTION--EXPLAINING    SHE  HAD  NOT  READ  THE  DOCUMENT. THERE  WAS  A  RUSH  ON--THE  AGREEMENT  HAD  TO  BE  RETURNED  TO  THE  GOLD  DOME  BEFORE  THE  SESSION  ENDED   OR  WAIT UNTIL  NEXT  YEAR  FOR  FUNDING.


CONGRESSMAN  DREW  FERGUSON  HAS  ALSO   PROVIDED    $8  MILLION  IN  FEDERAL  FUNDS   FOR  THE  NEW  AIRPORT--  WITH  STATE  DOLLARS-- PUTTING  THE  TOTAL  AT  $55.2  MILLION --  THE CITY  OF  GRIFFIN  AND  COUNTY  OF  SPALDING  HAD  PREVIOUSLY  FUNDED  $ 7  MILLION  FOR  PURCHASE  OF  PROPERTY  FOR  THE NEW  AIRPORT  OUT  ARTHUR  BOLTON  PARKWAY  TOWARD  1-75.


IN  OTHER  ACTION , THE  SPALDING  COMMISSIONERS  ACCEPTED A  BID  FOR   $198,000  TO  REPAIR  FIRE  STATION 6-DUE  TO  FIRE   --SHOULD  BE  COVERED  BY  INSURANCE  CLAIM.


THE  BOARD  REZONED  OVER   25  ACRES  FOR  A  NEW  WAREHOUSE  FROM  HILLWOOD  DEVELOPMENT--60%  OF   IT  IN  BUTTS COUNTY--BUT  THE  TWO  COUNTIES  HAVE  NOT  YET   AGREED  ON  THE  PROPERTY  TAX  SPLIT.

UPSON SO REPORTS VANDALISM L.P.

 UPSON  COUNTY  SHERIFF  DAN   KILGORE  SAYS  NEW  RESTROOM  VANDALISM  AT  LINCOLN  PARK  COMMUNITY  CENTER  IS UNDER  INVESTIGATION  AND  ANYONE  WITH  INFORMATION  ABOUT  IT  SHOULD  CONTACT  HIS  OFFICE.  IT  APPARENTLY  HAPPENED  DURING THE  WEEKEND  OF  THE  23RD--NOT  NEARLY   AS  EXTENSIVE  AS  THE  LAST  TIME,  JUST  SOME  PAPER  DISPENSERS  JERKED  OFF  THE  WALL--BUT  COUNTY  COMMISSIONER LORENZO  WILDER  CALLED  IT  DISTURBING. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

PIKE CO 12TH IN WEALTH GROWTH IN GA.

 PIKE  COUNTY  RANKED  #12  IN  THE  STATE OF  GA.  IN WEALTH  GROWTH  IN   2023  ACCORDING  TO  A  NATIONAL   COMPANY  THAT  RECORDS  FINANCIAL  DATA.  PIKE COUNTY'S  RAW  MEDIAN  HOUSEHOLD  VALUE  INCREASED $181,000,  INCOME  JUMPED $22,000  AND INTEREST  INCOME  WENT  UP $12,000. PIKE  RANKED  208TH  IN  THE U.S.  IN  WEALTH  GROWTH  LAST  YEAR.


UPSON  COUNTY  RANKED 108TH    OF   GEORGIA'S  159  COUNTIES  WITH  RAW MEDIAN  HOME  VALUES  INCREASING  $98,000, MEDIAN  INCOME UP  $6000  AND  INTEREST INCOME UP $6000.


LAMAR  COUNTY  RANKED 52ND IN  THE  STATE  WITH  RAW HOME  VALUES  UP $165,000, MEDIAN  INCOME  UP $12,700  AND INTEREST  INCOME UP $12,700.


SPALDING  COUNTY  AND  CRAWFORD  COUNTY  HAD  NO  MEASURABLE  GROWTH  IN   2023, THE  COMPANY SAID.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

JUDGE COKER SENTENCES IN CHILD MOLESTATION CASE

 A Spalding County Jury heard the case of the State of Georgia vs. Chad Kendall Mangham on March 4, 2024. Mangham was charged in a 15 count indictment to include Child Molestation, Rape and Aggravated Sodomy. The Case was tried in the Superior Court of Spalding County by the Honorable Judge Ben Coker. Chief Assistant District Attorney David Studdard and Assistant District Attorney Kevin Ofchus tried the case for the State. The State presented evidence at trial that Mangham began molesting the victim, a minor, in 2012 and continued molesting her until 2017. The assaults took place at various locations in Spalding County. During the week long trial, the jury heard evidence of the horrific acts perpetrated upon the victim by Mangham and returned a verdict on March 9, 2024. Judge Ben Coker sentenced Mangham to 8 consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole. “My office will never stop working hard to keep predators like Mangham away from children,” Broder said. “My thanks to my staff and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and Griffin Police Department. This was a true team effort.”