Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Georgia Coaches Discuss Spring Practice

Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart and his offensive assistants discussed upcoming spring practice.

Click HERE for the entire press conference.

DEPUTIES FROM UPSON, PIKE, MERIWETHER CAPTURE A SPEEDER

Ricci Dennard, 41, of Albany was arrested on March 2, 2021 after a vehicle chase. 

Dennard was initially stopped on US Hwy 19 north just before noon near the Pike County line by Upson S.O. Sgt. Mario Cromer and Meriwether County Sgt. Jay Rogers for traffic violations. While being questioned, Dennard fled at a high rate of speed and travelled into Pike County. Deputies pursued Dennard at speeds of over 100mph. 

After meeting an oncoming Pike Sheriff’s Office deputy, Dennard abruptly pulled down an embankment south of Zebulon and fled on foot. Dennard, who was carrying a backpack was quickly apprehended by deputies with the assistance of K9 Millie. As Dennard was fleeing on foot he was dumping a white powdery substance from the contents of his backpack. 

When he was taken into custody he assaulted Sgt. Cromer by striking him in the mouth. A search of the back pack revealed 4.1 pounds of cocaine in both powder and crack form and over $3000 in cash. The street value of the drugs is over $70,000.

Dennard is being held without bond in the Upson County Jail on charges of Fleeing and attempting to elude, Trafficking in Cocaine and Obstruction of a Law enforcement Officer.

A GUNSHOT FIRED AT A MOVING CAR

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE SAYS A WOODBURY MAN WAS ARRESTED FOR FIRING A GUNSHOT AT THE CAR OF HIS EX-GIRL FRIEND AS SHE TRAVELED DOWN THE ROAD WITH ANOTHER MALE ON 19 NORTH.

THE SUSPECT - 42 YR OLD ERIC DESHAWN HARPS WAS ARRESTED AT HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE IN WOODBURY AND HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH AGGREVATED ASSAULT.

THE GUNSHOT HIT THE DRIVERS-SIDE REAR WINDOW OF THE 1993 NISSAN. THE SO REPORT SAID HARPS WAS WAITING ON THE COUPLE WHEN THEY LEFT 185 STAGE COACH ROAD TO TAKE THE CAR FOR A TEST DRIVE AFTER WORKING ON IT.

THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOLS IS PARTNERING WITH UPSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER FOR THE COVID-19

Thomaston-Upson Schools is partnering with Upson Regional Medical Center for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to education employees. 

The hospital will be holding 2 days of vaccinations for TU Schools employees - 

Monday, March 8, for the first dose

Monday, March 29, for the second dose

As a result of this process, Monday and Tuesday, March 8 and 9, will be remote learning days for Thomaston-Upson face-to-face (traditional) students. This allows one day for completion of vaccinations and one day in the event that employees have side effects from the vaccine. Monday and Tuesday, March 29 and 30, will also be remote learning days for face-to-face students.

Monday, March 1, 2021

FLOOD SAFETY PREPAREDNESS WEEK

Spalding County Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Management & GEMA Announce: 
2021 Flood Safety Preparedness Week 

Flooding can happen whenever it rains, with little or no time to prepare or evacuate. Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency recognizes Flood Safety Preparedness Week March 8-12. The week encourages residents and their families to prepare for flooding. 

“Flooding can happen at any time throughout the year,” GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings said. “It’s important that Georgians know how to prepare for and respond to these events to mitigate the impacts to life and property.” 

Flood Safety Preparedness Week showcases a new tip each day to inform you and your family on the hazards, safety, and preparation for floods. 

• Monday, March 8 – Flood Safety, Preparedness, and Awareness: Make a plan, build a ready kit, and communicate with your household and community so you are prepared in case of a flood. 

• Tuesday, March 9 – Turn Around, Don't Drown: Never attempt to drive through floodwaters. Two feet of moving water can carry away a full-sized car. 

• Wednesday, March 10 – Flood Hazards: Stay out of floodwaters if possible. The water can be contaminated or electrically stalls. However, if your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, leave the vehicle and seek higher ground. 

• Thursday, March 11 – NWS Water Resources and Services: Many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods. Make sure you’re financially ready for a flood event by visiting www.fema.gov/national-flood-insuranceprogram and remember: flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so sooner is better than later. 

• Friday, March 12 – Partner Services: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) can provide you with resources and tips to help you prepare for a flood. 

For more information and resources visit https://gema.georgia.gov/planprepare/ready-georgia or call the Spalding County Office of Homeland Security at 770- 228-2129.

UPSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER REACHES OVER 7,000 COVID-19 VACCINES GIVEN

As of February 26, 2021, Upson Regional Medical Center has administered 7,777 COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines in Thomaston and Barnesville. Leadership at the hospital state the COVID-19 vaccine administration process has gone very well.

URMC’s vaccination process was designed for patient safety and efficiency so that patients can easily get in and out of the building without going through the hospital. Once patients enter the vaccine clinic—the hospital auditorium--there several stations that run simultaneously to facilitate vaccinations. Appropriate social distancing and sanitizing guidelines are uniformly followed. After receiving their vaccine, patients wait in a socially distanced waiting area for approximately fifteen minutes to monitor for any possible side effects.

“This is an amazing feat to have administered over 7,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at Upson Regional Medical Center. Including all vaccination providers, Upson County just passed the 11,000 COVID-19 vaccination threshold and last week was #4 in the entire state for per capita vaccinations given,” stated Upson Regional CEO Jeff Tarrant. “We are proud to serve many patients from across Georgia as we play a key role in ending this pandemic,” he added.

Upson Regional vaccine clinics are available in Thomaston on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:30 am-4:30pm and in Barnesville on Thursdays from 7:30am-4:30pm. If eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, please call 706-646-5727 or 770-872-5015 to schedule an appointment.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and answers to frequently asked questions, visit Upson Regional’s website at urmc.org.

THOMASTON POLICE TRIED TO SAVE A MAN WHO DIED IN HOUSE FIRE

THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS RELEASED ITS REPORT ON THE FATAL FIRE AT 202 AVE . L. LAST WEDNESDAY THAT LEAD TO THE DEATH OF JOSEPH LAWSON. WHEN OFFICERS ARRIVED THE RENTAL HOUSE WAS TOTALLY INVOLVED.

POLICE BROKE TWO WINDOWS IN THE RESIDENCE AFTER HEARING LAWSON YELLING FROM THE INSIDE THE FRONT BEDROOM --AND AN OFFICER CALLED TO HIM TO FOLLOW THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE BUT SMOKE AND FLAMES KEPT LAWSON FROM EXITING THE HOUSE AND POLICE FROM ENTERING.

FIRE CHIEF RENEE HARRIS SAID LAWSON AND HIS WIFE CORRINA GOT OUT O.K. BUT LAWSON WENT BACK INSIDE TO GET THE CAR KEYS TO HIS GMC SUV AND WAS APPARENTLY TRAPPED. THE CHIEF SAID THE FIRE SEEMED TO START IN THE KITCHEN. STATE FIRE MARSHALL IS INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE.

MURDER SUSPECT SOUGHT IN GRIFFIN

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS POSTED A LOOK-OUT FOR A SUSPECT IN A SHOOTING DEATH AT RED ROOF INN ON NORTH EXPRESSWAY, LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.

36- YEAR OLD JEREMEY MARKIVIUS DUGGER SUFFERED TWO GUNSHOT WOUNDS TO THE CHEST AND THE S.O. IS SEEKING 37 YEAR OLD TERRANCE TERRELL DIXON ON MURDER CHARGES. THE TWO KNEW EACH OTHER AND APPARENTLY GOT IN AN ARGUMENT--INVESTIGATORS SAID.

Friday, February 26, 2021

VEHICULAR HOMICIDE SUSPECT POSTS BOND

ACCORDING TO UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE, ROBERT FOLKS, AGE 58 OF HIGHWAY 74, CULLODEN, HAS POSTED BOND OF $65,000 AND HAS BEEN RELEASED FOR CHARGES OF VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND DUI FOR THE TRAFFIC DEATH OF 49-YEAR OLD JOHN STEVEN TALMADGE OF 552 TOM MCKINLEY ROAD, THOMASTON, FEB. 18TH ON DEL RAY ROAD.

FOLKS ALSO BOOKED FOR FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE AFTER THE GSP SAID HE WAS TRAVELING AT EXCESSIVE SPEED, CROSSED THE CENTER LINE ON WET PAVEMENT AND HIS FORD TRUCK HIT TALMADGE'S GMC SONOMA HEAD-ON NEAR DEL RAY AND EAST MOORE'S CROSSING.

WTGA/Fun 101 News Page Exceeds 3 Million Views

On July 31st, 2010, WTGA/Fun 101 launched this web page for Local News. There were eight news articles posted that first day.

Now 10 years, 6 months and 26 days later the news site has recorded more than 3 million views and is currently averaging over 60,000 a month, at that rate, the next million will only take a little over 16 months. The total number of news stories published as of this morning is 3,313.

The most viewed story since the site launched was on March 9, 2017 following the tragic death of two employees of a private company doing consulting work for Upson Regional Medical Center in an accident in Pike county. The story was viewed over 19,900 times.

UPDATE - FATAL FIRE IN THOMASTON

CITY OF THOMASTON FIRE CHIEF RENEE HARRIS ADVISES A FATAL HOUSE FIRE AT 202 Ave. L. EARLY WEDNESDAY APPARENTLY STARTED IN THE KITCHEN.

JOSEPH LAWSON A QUAD GRAPHICS EMPL0YEE, IN HIS 40'S PERISHED IN THE FIRE AND HIS WIFE CORINA SAID THEY AWOKE TO HEAVY SMOKE IN THE HOUSE AND THERE WAS HEAVY FIRE IN THE KITCHEN.

CHIEF HARRIS SAID ARSON IS NOT SUSPECTED BUT THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL IS INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE.

UNBEATEN UL LADY KNIGHTS PLAY FRIDAY ON FUN 101 FM

THE UNBEATEN UL LADY KNIGHTS PLAY MORGAN COUNTY FRIDAY NIGHT, 6 PM AT THE UPSON LEE CASTLE IN THE STATE PLAY-OFFS. 

AIR TIME 5:15 ON FUN 101 FM.

Boggs Awarded Navy National Scholarship

Upson-Lee High School Navy JROTC Battalion Commander Nathan Boggs has been awarded the Navy National Scholarship, valued at $180,000.

The presentation was made by district Navy recruiters from the Griffin office, LT Daily and Petty Officer Duffin, at Upson-Lee High School on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. After graduating from Upson-Lee High School in May, Nathan will attend Auburn University and major in aeronautical engineering. Upon graduating from Auburn, Nathan will be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. In addition to receiving the prestigious and highly competitive Navy National Scholarship, Nathan has also been awarded Auburn University's Academic Charter Scholarship , valued at $44,000. Nathan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Boggs.

(Photo attached: l-r Senior Chief Petty Officer Shane Waller, Mrs. Beth Boggs, Cadet Commander Nathan Boggs, Mr. Edward Boggs, and Commander James Jarvis.

UPSON COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE ON TESTING

District 4 Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 drive-through testing every Wednesday at Upson Regional from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the lower level of the parking deck. Testing at the drive-through in February has drastically declined since the huge numbers seen in December and January. December set the record at a total of 652 tests and a weekly average of 123. In stark contrast, February’s total was only 159 with a weekly average of 40.

Positivity rates for all testing done in Upson County have also declined in February but not enough to get Upson out of the Red Zone. Average 2-week positivity for February is currently 11%, lower than the record 21% in January, but still much higher than October’s 5%. Upson’s average is right in line with the State’s 11% average so far in February.

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and the Department of Public Health Administrative Orders, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Red Zone counties must follow the guidelines for Phase 1 Reopening, the most restrictive phase. Visitation in Phase 1 is restricted to window visits only, except for essential medical personnel. Any resident trips outside the facility are to be avoided unless medically necessary. Entry of beauticians or barbers is prohibited. Upson County has been in the Red Zone since the first week of December.

Sources: Georgia Department of Public Health (https://dph.georgia.gov/ ),

District 4 Public Health (https://www.district4health.org/), and Georgia’s Office of the Governor (https://gov.georgia.gov/)

District 4 Drive-Thru Testing at Upson Regional

All Upson
Test Sites

Month

Total Specimens

Daily Average

Avg 2-wk % Pos

Aug 2020

352

88

Sept 2020

276

55

Oct 2020

144

36

5.4%

Nov 2020

136

45

8.4%

Dec 2020

652

130

13.7%

Jan 2021

491

123

21.0%

Feb 2021

159

40

11.3%

Thursday, February 25, 2021

TRIUNE MILL ROAD· CLOSURE AND DETOUR

Beginning Monday, March 1, 2021, Triune Mill Road will be closed between Walter Street and Habitat Court. The City of Thomaston is replacing the culvert under Triune Mill Road and repairing the headwalls. The City anticipates that Triune Mill Road will be closed for four ( 4) days to accommodate construction, but could be closed longer depending on weather impacts to the project.

The recreation drive that provides access to the soccer fields will temporarily be converted to a two-way route ( currently one way) and will be utilized as a detour for east bound traffic traveling on Triune Mill Rd to route motorists to State Route 74. Motorists are urged to use caution while utilizing the detour and traveling through recreational facilities.

GDOT DIST. 3 DISTRICT ENG MICHAEL PRESLEY RETIRING

After 27 years of dedicated service at the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT), District 3/West Central Georgia region District Engineer Michael Presley is retiring from the department. His retirement is effective as of Monday, March 1, 2021.

Presley, a native of Locust Grove and longtime Meansville resident, graduated from Southern College of Technology in 1992 and is a licensed Professional Engineer in both Georgia and Alabama. In his time at Georgia DOT, he has served in a number of positions, including planning engineer for the NaviGAtor system during the 1996 Olympic Games and District 3 traffic operations manager. He was named the district engineer for the West Central region in 2015.

As district engineer, Presley was responsible for 522 personnel across 31 counties. Under his leadership, District 3 administered and has produced several highly impactful projects including the I-75 Express Lanes in Henry County, the implementation of the Fall Line Freeway and the I-16/I-75 interchange in Bibb County. Presley directed District 3 to be the first region to install and administer a traffic management center outside of Atlanta. He is well-known for his support of innovative intersections and improved signal operations, which have made West Central Georgia a model for other regions and municipalities across the state.

Presley is known for his forward-focused, innovative programs and projects. He authored several white papers and presented at multiple conferences for industry organizations including the Intelligent Transportation Society of America and the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress. In 2020 he was honored with the Carl Bevins Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Institute of Transportation Engineers for his support of progressive traffic operations throughout his career.

"It's an honor to have served as district engineer," says Michael Presley. "It wasn't just a career for me, it was a calling. Now that I'm retiring, I'm following another calling. I'll never stop being proud of the team we built at District 3 and their potential as they continue to move forward."