Tuesday, August 31, 2010
42 year old Trawick Moore of Barnesville and 22 year old Jerez Watkins of Howard Road in Thomaston have been charged with both crimes. A 16 year old juvenile from Barnesville is charged in the Yamaha incident also.
The former Yamaha building now owned by American Health and Science had damage of $55,000 and Criterion suffered $36,000 in damages.
Police said they apparently sold scrap metal and copper in Griffin.
Moore was caught on the roof of the old Wal Mart store in Griffin last week. Authorities say they are responsible for dozens of air conditioning vandalism and theft incidents in Upson, Pike, Lamar and Spalding counties.
According to Post 26 Georgia State Patrol, Glen Googe of Echols Circle was injured when his vehicle was struck in the drivers side door.
The second vehicle, a Ford Explorer, was driven by Roberta Martenez of Atlanta who was also injured.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Griffin police are not releasing the name of a man that suffered a gunshot wound near Memorial Stadium following Friday night’s Griffin – Spalding County football game.
The shooting occurred as the man was attempting to break up a fight between his step-son and another juvenile. The juvenile pulled a gun and fired one shot, striking the man in the lower back.
The victim was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital by air ambulance, his condition is not being released.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Joshua Harper, 31, of Griffin was arrested after being found at a vacant residence by an investigator.
A copper line had already been cut on the unit and he was in the process of stealing it the sheriff said. Harper had bolt cutters and other tools in his car, investigators are working to link Harper to other air conditioner thefts in the area.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards has asked that his name be removed from consideration for an opening on the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Edward’s secretary Kay Mrozinski said that the judge did not give a reason other than he was very happy with what he was doing now and simply stated that “He respectfully declined.”
Chairman Michael Bowers of the Judicial Nomination Commission said the board is accepting nominations for possible successors to Judge Alan Blackburn who is retiring and Judge Debra Bernes who died recently.
Nominees have until August 31st to accept their nomination, interviews will begin on September 15th.
Attorneys for Upson county, Truitt Mallory and Ed Trice, were in federal court in Macon Monday for a hearing on a guns in church lawsuit brought by Thomaston pastor Jonathan Wilkins of the Baptist Tabernacle and GeorgiaCarry.org.
The judge denied a request for an injunction that would allow guns in church and the attorneys say they plan to join the state and file a motion to dismiss the case.
The law suit was originally filed in Upson Superior Court then moved to U.S. District Court. Upson County Manager Kyle Hood and Governor Sonny Perdue have been added as defendants.
The plaintiffs contend first and second amendment issues are involved but attorney Mallory says the county disagrees.
The state Attorney General’s office had an attorney at the hearing and the judge gave both sides thirty days to file written briefs to support their positions.
Attorney John Monroe of Roswell is representing the plaintiffs. The Reverend Wilkins claims he works alone at the church sometimes and needs a firearm for protection.
Dawn Deborah Brantley, 44, was taken into custody after her home was searched and authorities found images of child porn on her computer, methamphetamine and meth smoking devices.
Brantley’s three children, two teens and a 12 year old were taken from the home and placed in the custody of the Department of Family and Children’s Services. She remains in the Upson County Jail.
The GBI says more arrests are likely, Brantley is the 112th person apprehended this year by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, less than 5% are women.
Investigators were in Barnesville following leads Thursday.
Criterion Technology, located just off Highway 36 east of Thomaston reported a loss of $36,000 last weekend when two 20 ton units were damaged.
The Yamaha building suffered a loss of $20,000 also.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Upson County Commissioners, a contract was approved with Linc Mechanical Engineering that could save the county up to $100,000 annually on energy costs.
The contract is for $2,000,000 over a 12 year period with annual payments of $232,000. Commissioner Steve Hudson says the board wants to fund it in the next SPLOST.
Commission Chairman Maurice Raines announced that 2010 tax notices have been mailed and do not reflect a tax increase due to good stewardship of government. He was excited that residents are already paying their taxes and the November 15th deadline gives them additional time to pay.
The commissioners approved a beer and wine pouring license for Theresa Helms of Phoenix Rising Catering located in the newly refurbished Rock Hill School building. Florida I investor John Billsteen has remodeled the gym into a catering facility for weddings and special events. Commissioner Rusty Blackston said it’s something special for the community.
Chairman Michael Bowers of the Judical Nomination Commission said the board is helping the governor identify possible successors to Judge Alan Blackburn who is retiring and Judge Debra Bernes who died recently.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The lawsuit filed in Upson Superior Court by Reverend Jonathan Wilkins, pastor of The Baptist Tabernacle in Thomaston and GeorgiaCarry.org, a second amendment advocacy group was allowed to continue.
The lawsuit, filed about a month ago contends that Wilkins has a constitutional right to be armed at church. The case was moved to federal court and is being heard by Judge Ashley Royal.
The Atlanta attorney, John R. Monroe, who filed the suit said the ruling on the injunction is not discouraging and that Judge Royal has stated that the outcome of the case would be decided only on the writings submitted by Monroe and the attorney representing the state and Upson County.
A final decision is not expected this summer, the case will eventually end up with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals before moving to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lawsuit was filed in early July, about two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the second amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to bear arms applied to state and local gun control laws. The justices left open to state and local governments as to where the lines could be drawn beyond the home.
Georgia is one of four states that prohibit guns in churches attorney Monroe said.
Executive Director J.R. Charles reported that a tire recycling company is still interested in Thomaston, but a final decision is not likely soon.
In other activity, Charles was contacted by a project consultant looking for a building to locate a company.
Animal Health and Science continues to work on moving into the Yamaha building, trying to pinpoint its bond issue figures. The bond must be for at least seven million dollars to earn local incentives.
The experimental bio-fuel plant on highway 36 east is still silent but the IDA has been told that Valero Energy of Texas is still negotiating with American Process over certain rights in the manufacturing process. Federal funds on alternative fuels for the plant have been exhausted.
The IDA has indicated the huge investment made in the former Magna Fab building, over $10 million will assure it’s start up again.
Monday, August 23, 2010
UPSON COUNTY S.O. FOUND THE TWO ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITH A PAIR OF MUDDY BOOTS HANGING OUT THE WINDOW. A WINDOW AT THE SPEC BUILDING WAS BROKEN WITH A ROCK AND BOOT PRINTS WERE FOUND UNDER THE WINDOW.
THE JUVENILE WAS SENT TO YDC IN MACON, THE ADULT, TRAWICK BERNARD MOORE OF TAYLOR ST. BARNESVILLE WAS BOOKED INTO THE UPSON COUNTY JAIL.
THEY TOLD DEPUTIES THEY PULLED OVER BECAUSE THEY HAD TO USE THE BATHROOM, BUT THERE WAS NO RED MUD AT THAT SITE.
THE TAX LEVY IS 12.864 MILLS, A SLIGHT INCREASE OF LESS THAN A MILL. THE COMMISSIONERS ADOPTED THE SCHOOL SYSTEM TAX LEVY OF 13.563 MILLS FOR M AND 0 AND 2.417 FOR SCHOOL BONDS.
TO DEAL WITH BUDGET ISSUES COUNTY MANAGER BILL SAWYER RECOMMENDED ELIMINATING ONE POSITION IN PLANNING AND ZONING AND ONE IN PUBLIC WORKS. PUBLIC WORKS WILL GO TO A 4 DAY WORK WEEK, EFFECTIVE SEPT. IST ,7 TO 5, BUT WILL STILL KEEP 40 HOURS. THE COUNTY MANAGER SAID IT WILL SAVE WEAR AND TEAR ON EQUIPMENT AND SAVE ON FUEL. HE HAD THAT SCHEDULED FOR TWO YEARS IN MACON COUNTY HIS LAST ASSIGNMENT.
SEVERAL PERSONS WERE ARRESTED, POLICE SAID.
ACCORDING TO THE P.D. REPORT, ARGUMENTS STARTED INSIDE THE CLUB AND SPILLED OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT WITH ABOUT 100 PEOPLE. FIGHTS MOVED TO THE PIGGLY WIGGLY PARKING LOT AND THEN TO THE DAIRY QUEEN PARKING LOT.
SEVERAL SUBJECTS HAD TO BE TASERED AND ONE MAN, ERIC ATWATER WAS TREATED AT THE E.R. FOR A WRIST INJURY, HE WAS CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT. POLICE EXPECT MORE ARRESTS AS THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.
ATLANTA ATTORNEY BRYAN CAVAN WILL REVIEW AS MANY AS 450 CASES IN QUESTION, ACCORDING TO MACK CRAWFORD, DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER COUNCIL, AND A NEWLY-APPOINTED SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE IN THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT. JUDGE ENGLISH AND MS. CORNWELL RESIGNED AFTER THE ALLEGATIONS.
Friday, August 20, 2010
UPSON COUNTY 2010 AD VALOREM TAX NOTICES ARE IN THE MAIL. ACCORDING TO TAX COMMISSIONER BERRY COOK A TOTAL OF 15,675 TAX BILLS WERE SENT TO PROPERTY OWNERS. ALL THE TAX LEVYING BODIES IN THE COUNTY KEPT THE SAME MILLAGE RATES. THE DEADLINE TO PAY TAXES WITHOUT PENALTY IS NOVEMBER 15TH.
THOMASTON POLICE SAID SOMEONE USED A FORK LIFT AT THE SITE TO TEAR THE UNITS FROM THE OUTSIDE WALL.
CREWS HAVE BEEN WORKING AT THE BUILDING PREPARING FOR ANIMAL HEALTH AND SCIENCE TO LOCATE THERE, BUT THE THEFTS OCCURED AFTER THEY LEFT FOR THE DAY. THE KEY WAS LEFT IN THE FORK LIFT.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Ronald Laneal Hart of Musella, indicted on 13 counts.
Octavious Marcil Hart of Roberta and Jeremy Saffold of Byron were both indicted on 14 counts including murder and felony murder.
The three are accused of the slayings of Dorothy and Michael Walker whose remains were found in their burned residence.
On the no bill list:
Robert Ryan Riggins of Andrews Drive, charges dropped for child molestation.
Other true bills:
Antonio Durrell Davison, Meadow Drive, armed robbery.
James Hurbert Daniel, Triune Mill Road, child molestation.
Marchello Tarance Walker, Zorn Street, armed robbery.
Timothy Renay Dickerson, Mountain Brook Drive, special presentment, solicitation of sodomy, furnishing alcohol to someone under age.
Christopher Lee Settle, Smyrna Church Road, special presentment, aggrevated sexual battery and child molestation.
Milton Thomas, child molestation.
Wesley Wood, Culloden, statutory rape.
Michael Lee Anderson, Delray Road, sexual exploitation of children.
Monday, August 16, 2010
On the agenda, approval of a resolution changing a portion of Yamaha Parkway to include a new street, Chris Callas Parkway, the remainder of the street will remain the same.
The second item on the agenda, approval to contract Hill Construction Company to pave streets in the downtown area.
An executive session is also scheduled.
SOME DAMAGE AT THE RESIDENCE OF DREXEL AND CHRISTIE DANIEL. LIGHTNING HIT A TREE IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE AND IT FELL ACROSS THE ROOF. TWO HOLES IN THE CEILING OF THE MASTER BEDROOM AND A HOLE ABOVE THE PORCH. SOME ELECTRICAL DAMAGE TO THE WELL AND PHONES, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Upson County Commissioner Steve Hudson has asked the state to give Sprewell Bluff Park to the county. The park is about 50 acres of the some 1300 acres the state owns.
Hudson and chairman Maurice Raines met with state DNR Commissioner Chris Clark recently in Atlanta and Hudson made the suggestion, which drew a chuckle from the commissioner.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Chairman Raines said it might not happen but the state seems ready to work out a long term agreement. The county is already picking up trash and doing little things as DNR suffers from the budget crunch.
The commissioners indicated they would like to use future SPLOST funds to make recreation improvements at the park.
$36,000 IN THE GENERAL FUND, $20,000 IN THE RESERVE FUND.
SAWYER TOLD 101 NEWS HE EXERCISED $300,000 OF AN $800,000 LINE OF CREDI A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO FOR COUNTY OPERATIONS. A LINE OF CREDIT FROM A TAX ANTICIPATION NOTE.
THE COUNTY MANAGER SAID THE PIKE IDA IS COURTING A NEW BUSINESS PROSPECT THAT IS EXPECTED TO REVISIT THE COUNTY.
THE COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED ROBERT MARRIOTT TO THE BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS, REPLACING CAROL BASS WHO RESIGNED TO RUN FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER.
The six year old investigation is still an active on-going one since the body of Ms. Ivy, 78, was found near Potato Creek on Hannah's Mill Road in September of 2005. Ms. Ivy had apparently been strangled and her home in the Salem community had been ransacked.
Major Kilgore said the Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been working side by side on the case and dozens of interviews had been conducted, the investigation remains very active.
THE CHAIRMAN HAS CALLED FOR A JOINT MEETING OF THE COMMISSIONERS AND THOMASTON MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO MAKE A FINAL DECISION ABOUT HOW JOINT PROJECTS ARE HANDLED.
RAINES TOLD 101 NEWS THURSDAY, HE WANTS THE TWO BODIES TO COME TOGETHER AND RESOLVE THE ISSUES IN A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION. HE ADDED, HE’S SPOKE WITH MAYOR HAYS ARNOLD RECENTLY REGARDING JOINT PROJECTS AND THEY WANT TO MOVE FOWARD TOGETHER.
THE SALEM MURDER CASE OF VICTIMS DOROTHY AND MICHAEL WALKER WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE AUGUST UPSON COUNTY GRAND JURY AUGUST 16TH. THE WALKERS REMAINS WERE FOUND IN THEIR RESIDENCE DESTROYED BY FIRE. THREE DEFENDANTS ARE CHARGED IN THE CASE, JEREMY SAFFOLD, OCTAVIOUS HART AND RONALD LANEEL HART. IN PREVIOUS HEARINGS THE STATE HAS INDICATED ONE OF THE VICTIMS, MICHAEL WALKER WAS A SUSPECTED DRUG DEALER.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Pike County attorney Mack Crawford and Fayette County state court judge Fletcher Sams
The two judgeships have been vacant since the resignations of Judge Pascal English and Judge Johnnie Caldwell.
Crawford, a former state legislator heads the state's public defender system.
Judge Sams is a former district attorney in the Griffin Circuit.
It's unclear when the new judges will be sworn-in.
Monday, August 9, 2010
ATLANTA GAS LIGHT TAKES ITS REQUEST FOR A 14% RATE HIKE TO THE GA. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, TUESDAY. AGL IS ASKING FOR $54 MILLION IN NEW REVENUE, NEARLY $50 MILLION FROM RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS. IF APPROVED IN FULL, THE INCREASE WOULD ADD $3 TO THE ROUGHLY $21.75 PORTION OF A RESIDENTIAL GAS BILL THAT GOES TO THE PIPELINE DISTRIBUTION COMPANY.
TUESDAY IS RUNOFF ELECTION DAY IN GEORGIA WITH THE POLLS OPEN 7 TO 7. ON THE REPUBLICAN BALLOT FOR GOVERNOR, KAREN HANDEL AND NATHAN DEAL. FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, SAM OLENS AND PRESTON SMITH. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER, RALPH HUDGENS AND MARIA SHEFFIELD. DEMOCRAT, SECRETARY OF STATE, GAIL BUCKNER AND GEORGANNA SINKFIELD.
AN ESTABLISHMENT ON NORTH HIGHTOWER STREET HAS BEEN BANNED FROM BEER AND WINE SALES FOR 6 MONTHS AFTER A DECISION IN CITY OF THOMASTON MUNICIPAL COURT. JUDGE DAVID FOWLER ORDERED MINGLES BAR AND GRILL TO CEASE SALES OF ALCHOLIC BEVERAGES AFTER THOMASTON POLICE FOUND HARD LIQUOR ON THE PREMSIS, MAY 29TH. THE LICENSEE, CHERYL KING WAS FINED $500 AND ORDERED TO DO 40 HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE. THE GA. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ALSO ISSUED AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER AGAINEST THE BUSINESS. MINGLES HAD BEEN DENIED A LICENSE TO SELL LIQUOR BY THE DRINK BY THE STATE.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Bank of Upson President Doug Head has announced that Willie Kendall was awarded the 2010 President’s Circle Award by the Georgia Bankers Association at the recent Leadership GBA Convention. The award is given in recognition of service and dedication to Leadership GBA and to the betterment of banking in Georgia.
Willie is a Vice President and a consumer lender at The Bank of Upson, he has been with the bank for fourteen years. Kendall is a graduate of Columbus State University and the Georgia Banking School.
Agents of the Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at 123 Wellington Place in Thomaston Tuesday, more than $3,500 worth of crack cocaine was recovered at the residence and at a second location near the property.
Otanis King and Tracey Smith were both charged with trafficking crack cocaine. Bond was set at $250,000 each by a magistrate judge in Upson County.
The Pike County Commissioners set the 2010 tax levy at 12.864 mills at a called meeting Wednesday, a slight increase over last year.
During a public hearing prior to the meeting, three citizens spoke on the property tax increase.
Melvin Kyle suggested all departments cut 10% including the sheriff’s department along with insurance benefits for county employees. Kyle is also opposed to a sales tax for courthouse renovations.
Harold Callaway wanted clarification on fines and forfeiture distribution, the county only gets a small prorated share.
John Morrison asked about the total tax bill including school tax millage.
County Manager Bill Sawyer told him the school board is to be commended on their efforts to hold a rate increase to a minimum.
A double murder suspect from Griffin is awaiting extradition proceedings in Shreveport, Louisiana where he was arrested Tuesday night. Kenneth Baker, 49, is charged with the shooting death of his wife Lynnale Baker and her 19 year old daughter, Shaelinda Sanders on May 17th.
The America’s Most Wanted television show profiled Baker Saturday night and a viewer recognized him. Baker apparently didn’t watch the show.
The following defendants entered into plea bargains and were sentenced by Judge Chris Edwards in Upson Superior Court.
Chancy Denise Dawson, 12 months to serve for shoplifting.
Telly O’Neal Wyche, 12 months for obstruction.
Tara Renee Raines, 12 months to serve for shoplifting.
Michael Coxton, 6 months to serve for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Edward Rodiquez, 12 months for disorderly conduct.
John Henry Mathis, Jr., time served for possession of dangerous drugs.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Thomaston City council approved a resolution for budget revision #4 for 2010 at Tuesday’s meeting.
The city will transfer $500,000 from a reserve account for downtown street repairs, paving and the water line project that is underway. Mayor Hays Arnold said it’s the largest infrastructure project in the cities history and things will be better once it’s completed. The Georgia Department of Transportation is on board for some of the paving.
In other action, the demolition ordinance was amended to add safeguards due to issues that surfaced with the Martha Mills and Hotel Upson demolition projects. Under it’s terms, a building can’t be gutted and the walls left standing; basements and concrete floors must be removed and grassed. A method to determine square footage of a building was also added.
Lamar County Sheriff Larry Waller says the arrest of a Miami, Florida man Tuesday for possession and trafficking of Ecstasy is one of the largest seizures on record in the United States.
Deputies discovered during a routine traffic stop on I-75 that 42-year-old Wayne McDarman Hill had 16 pounds or approximately 40,000 Ecstasy pills with an estimated street value of about $800,000 in the vehicle.
Sheriff Waller says Hill is believed to be part of a pill pipeline from the manufacturer in Holland, through Canada and Kentucky before reaching the intended destination in Florida.
Just up the interstate, a Georgia State Trooper used the pit maneuver to stop a fleeing vehicle in Clayton County and discovered 70 pounds of suspected cocaine.
Henry A. Carty, 23 of West Palm Beach, Florida fled into a nearby wooded area where he was arrested following a short manhunt and charged with cocaine trafficking and numerous traffic violations.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Upson County Board of Commissioners have cancelled the work session scheduled for today and the town hall meeting scheduled for August 5th.
The town hall meeting has been rescheduled for next Thursday, August 12th at 7:00 pm at the Yatesville City Hall.
Contact the commissioners office at (706) 647-7012 for more information.
State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine told reporters several weeks ago that the case against Upson County commissioner Sandra Trice would be presented to the August term of the Upson County Grand Jury. However District Attorney Scott Ballard told TGA news Thursday, he’s unsure at this time.
Commissioner Trice, whose family owns Trice Funeral Home, is accused of selling insurance without a license and Ballard has requested the state Attorney General’s Office handle the case due to the possibility of a conflict of interest. Ms. Trice votes on the district attorney’s annual budget request in Upson County. Ballard stated that his office has not received a reply to the request.
Investigators from the state Insurance Commissioner’s office, the Secretary of State’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations raided her home and business to collect documents after they received complaints from the public the business was allegedly taking advantage of the elderly.