IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT, MONDAY MORNING, THE REMAINING TWO SUSPECTS IN THE OCT. 2009 MURDERS OF MICHAEL AND DOROTHY WALKER OF SALEM COMMUNITY, ENTERED GUILTY PLEAS. RONALD HART AND HIS COUSIN, OCTAVIOUS HART WERE SENTENCED TO TWO LIFE SENTENCES WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE FOR THE MURDERS PLUS TWENTY YEARS FOR BURGLARY. IN A JURY TRIAL LAST WEEK, JEREMY SAFFOLD WAS CONVICTED OF THE MURDERS, PLUS BURGLARY AND ARSON AND JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS SENTENCED HIM TO TWO LIFE SENTENCES WITHOUT PAROLE PLUS 55 YEARS. DISTRICT ATTORNEY SCOTT BALLARD SAID THE WALKERS WERE SHOT AND KILLED WITH ASSAULT RIFLES AND THEIR BODIES PLACED IN THEIR MOBILE HOME WHICH WAS SET ON FIRE. THE THREE CAME TO THE WALKERS RESIDENCE LATE AT NIGHT WITH INTENTIONS OF ROBBERY, ACCORDING TO THE D.A.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
AT A CALLED MEETING, THURSDAY, THE THOMASTON-UPSON BOARD OF EDUCATION ELECTED TO STAY WITH A LOTTERY FOR REGISTRATION FOR PRE-KINDERGARTEN NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. THE BOARD VOTED FOR A LOTTERY LAST MONTH, AND AT THURSDAY’S MEETING THERE WAS NO MOTION TO CHANGE. ON A 4 TO 3 VOTE THE BOARD PASSED A MOTION TO ALLOW UP TO 20 TEACHERS IN THE SYSTEM TO BE GUARANTEED PRE-K ENROLLMENT FOR THEIR CHILDREN.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT, WEDNESDAY, A JURY STAYED OUT JUST OVER AN HOUR BEFORE FINDING JEREMY SAFFOLD GUILTY OF THE MURDER OF MICHAEL AND DOROTHY WALKER OF SALEM COMMUNITY. JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS SENTENCED SAFFOLD TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE. SAFFOLD WAS NOT CALLED TO TESTIFY. DISTRICT ATTORNEY SCOTT BALLARD SAID THE WALKERS WERE SHOT WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE AND THEIR BODIES DRAGGED INTO THEIR MOBILE HOME AND IT WAS SET ON FIRE, LEAVING ONLY CHARRED REMAINS. BURGLARY WAS THE APPARENT MOTIVE. THE 2ND OF THREE SUSPECTS WILL GO ON TRIAL MONDAY.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT, TUESDAY, THE GIRLFRIEND OF JEREMY SAFFOLD, ON TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF DOROTHY AND MICHAEL WALKER OF SALEM COMMUNITY, RECANTED A PORTION OF A SIGNED STATEMENT, DURING HER TESTIMONY. KATRINA CORBIN TESTIFIED SHE WAS UNDER DURESS, FIVE MONTHS PREGNANT WITH SAFFOLD’S CHILD WHEN SHE SIGNED THE STATEMENT. SHE SAID A PORTION ABOUT SAFFOLD TELLING HER HE SET A HOUSE ON FIRE WAS NOT CORRECT. THE STATEMENT QUOTES SAFFOLD AS SAYING HE WENT UP HIGHWAY 80, GOT IN AN ALTERCATION WITH A MAN , GUNFIRE WAS EXCHANGED AND A HOUSE WAS SET ON FIRE. THE CHARRED REMAINS OF THE WALKERS WAS FOUND IN THEIR BURNED RESIDENCE IN OCT. OF 2009. THERE HAVE BEEN ALLEGATIONS MICHAEL WALKER WAS A DRUG DEALER, TARGETED FOR ROBBERY. TWO OTHERS ARE CHARGED WITH THE MURDERS.
Monday, February 21, 2011
OPEN LETTER TO UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
When I first learned of the buried garbage on my property, I notified EPD. Their
recommendation for resolving the issue was to encase it in a modern MSW landfill. My
next call was to Chad Jacobs, Upson County's head of planning and zoning. When Mr.
Jacobs met with me at the site, I asked him specifically if Upson County had a Solid
Waste Management Plan (SWMP). He said he didn't know but would look. I phoned
him twice after that requesting that he find out about the SWMP.
Without the benefit of ever seeing or knowing of the SWMP, I applied for a zoning
change on the property with the intention of building a modem, high-tech, lined MSW
landfill, which would have eliminated the current groundwater infiltration. Mr. Jacobs
raised some questions to which I responded, but my answers were never relayed to the
planning commission, and I was not given time to answer them at their meeting.
My application caused considerable controversy for which I was vilified and peI1iOnally
attacked at the 14 February 2011 planning commission meeting. When I complained in
an email to one of your members the following day, Mr. Jacobs received a copy of that
email. Within a few hours, I received a copy of Upson County's SWMP. The date on
the email in which Mr. Jacobs received this document was 13 January 201 I, over A
MONTI.I before the meeting. Mr. Jacobs' refusal or negligence in sending me this much-requested document caused considerable consternation and bad feelings within the
Had I received a copy of Upson County's SWMP in a timely manner, I would have never
applied for a rezoning to build a landfill. It is obvious from the SWMP that Upson will
have decades of landfill usage from two adjoining counties. I know that it would be
nearly impossible to get a landfill permitted in Upson County with that out-of-county
usage available. Mr. Jacobs owes me a public apology (newspaper and radio) and $300.
One problem still remains. The groundwater in and around Kings Mountain and Salter
Mountain is still being affected from the buried garbage on my property. While it is
perfectly legal the way it is, Upson County has a duty to mitigate the damages they
caused by operating and subsequently permitting this dump. I realize how much it would
cost 10 cure the issue, and I have asked EPD if there is funding available for such a
project. I request that the County aid in the formal requests to EPD as well and in some
percentage of matching funds should that be required.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
MUSELLA PEACH FARMER ROBERT DICKEY WON THE STATE HOUSE SEAT FOR THE 136TH DISTRICT IN A SPECIAL ELECTION TUESDAY, THE SEAT HELD BY THE LATE TONY SELLIER, WHO DIED LAST YEAR. ACCORDING TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE, DICKEY RECEIVED 1914 VOTES, 50.4%, JUDYE SELLIER,WIDOW OF THE LATE TONY SELLIER, POLLED 1643 VOTES, 43.3% AND THE ONLY DEMOCRAT IN THE RACE, SHARON HOWARD GOT 237 VOTES, 6.2%. IN UPSON COUNTY, 85 VOTES CAST IN SALEM AND JUG DISTRICTS, 54 FOR DICKEY, 9 FOR SELLIER AND 19 FOR HOWARD.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
AT MONDAY’S MONTHLY MEETING, THE UPSON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION VOTED TO DENY A REZONING PETITION TO BUILD A SANITARY LANDFILL AT THE OLD KERSEY TIRE DUMP ON FIRETOWER ROAD. THE CROWD WAS SO LARGE, THE MEETING WAS MOVED INTO THE LEE AUDITORIUM, AND OVER A DOZEN CITIZENS SPOKE AGAINST THE LANDFILL. THOMASTON NATIVE RON ANDERSON OF HENRY COUNTY FILED FOR THE REZONING, AND TOLD THE PLANNING COMMISSION, THE LANDFILL WOULD CLEAN-UP THE OLD KERSEY TIRE DUMP. BOARD MEMBER JOEL PITTS LISTED THE OBJECTIONS FROM THE ZONING STAFF , WHO RECOMMENDED THE REZONING BE DENIED. THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL MAKE A FINAL DECISION ON THE ISSUE MARCH 8TH.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
AT TUESDAY’S MEETING UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN MAURICE RAINES SAID HE HAD A RECENT CONVERSATION WITH THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF VALERO ENERGY AND HE INDICATED A PROJECT IN THE OLD MAGNA FAB BUILDING ON 36 EAST IS MOVING FOWARD. VALERO AND AMERICAN PROCESS INVESTED SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS IN A TRIAL WOOD CHIP/BIO-FUEL EXPERIMENT, OVER A YEAR AGO.
Monday, February 7, 2011
SOUTHWEST WATER COMPANY GAVE ITS ANNUAL REPORT ON THE CITY OF THOMASTON WATER/WASTE WATER DEPARTMENT AT A MEETING WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL, THURSDAY. SOUTHWEST SAID CITY HALL HAS SPENT $75,000 ON UPGRADES AT THE WATER PLANT SINCE PROBLEMS FORCED THE WATER SYSTEM TO SHUT DOWN TWICE, LAST YEAR. CITY MANAGER PATRICK COMISKEY BLAMED THE SITUATIONS ON PERSONNEL NOT TAKING PROPER ACTION.
Friday, February 4, 2011
MAJOR DAN KILGORE , UPSON CO. SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS TWO SUSPECTS FROM THE ATLANTA METRO AREA ARE IN THE DOUGLAS COUNTY JAIL, SUSPECTS IN THREE COMMERCIAL BURGLARIES IN UPSON COUNTY. DEC. 4TH ,19 NORTH AND DEL RAY ROAD,SABRINA’S BP, JAN. 20TH SUNNYSIDE GROCERY ON 74 WEST AND COUNTRY CORNER ON WEST MAIN STREET IN THOMASTON. UPSON S.O. HAS PLACED A HOLD ON THE SUBJECTS WANTED FOR 20 COMMERCIAL BURGLARIES INCLUDING PIKE AND SPALDING COUNTIES.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
TWO UPSON-LEE HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS TIED FOR STAR STUDENT HONORS THIS YEAR, AS BEN BLEVINS AND WILL ELLERBEE POSTED THE HIGHEST SAT SCORES AMONG THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2011. BLEVINS SELECTED ULMS BAND DIRECTOR KATIE SOSEBEE AS STAR TEACHER, WHILE ELLERBEE SELECTED ULMS SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER CHIP CLARK AS STAR TEACHER. THE THOMASTON KIWANIS CLUB IS LOCAL SPONSOR OF THE STAR PROGRAM.