Monday, September 18, 2017

TU SCHOOLS TEACHERS OF THE YEAR

Thomaston-Upson Schools have announced their 2018-19 Teachers of the Year. Congratulations to Matt Bentley, Upson-Lee High School; Sarah McLane, Upson-Lee Middle School; Matthew Whatley, Upson-Lee Elementary School; and Stacy Patterson, Upson-Lee Primary School.

Matt Bentley teaches social studies and serves as head boys' soccer coach and assistant athletic director. Sarah McLane teaches 7th grade English/Language Arts. Matthew Whatley teaches 4th grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies, and Stacy Patterson teaches Special Education. These teachers, selected by her peers, will advance to the Thomaston-Upson School System Teacher of the Year competition, which includes a written application, personal interview, and classroom teaching observation. The 2018-19 Thomaston-Upson School System Teacher of the Year will be selected in November, and the winner will represent T-U Schools in the state competition.
 
Congratulations to Mr. and Miss Upson-Lee High School 2017: Tavias Fagan and Amaya Kendall. Mr. and Miss ULHS are nominated and voted on by their peers. 

Amaya is the daughter of Tamara and Anthony Kendall, and Tavias is the son of Kendra Fagan.

Congratulations to the 2017 ULHS Homecoming Queen Court: Lauren Adams, Laila Fallin, Yasia Gray, Sarah Harrell, Ashley Hobbs, Haylee Hood, Amaya Kendall, Janiah Meadows, Kimberly Quiller, Sarah Ward, Cierra Williams, and Quadesha Williams. The 2017 Homecoming Queen Court is nominated and selected by the senior class. The 2017 Queen will be announced during halftime festivities at the annual Homecoming game on Friday, September 22.

BURGLARY AT HIBBETT SPORTS

ACCORDING TO THOMASTON POLICE—ONE SUSPECT IN CUSTODY---ONE ON THE RUN AFTER AN ATTEMPTED BURGLARY AT HIBBETT SPORTS AT THE WAL MART SHOPPING CENTER MONDAY AT 4AM.
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR MONICA SNIPES TOLD ZOOM NEWS---THE GLASS DOOR TO THE BUSINESS WAS SMASHED WITH A BRICK TO GAIN ENTRANCE—BUT THE SECURITY ALARM SOUNDED AND ALERTED POLICE.

ONE SUBJECT FLED WITHOUT ANY MERCHANDISE—ARRESTED WAS 17 YEAR OLD JERMARION SPARKS OF WEST MAIN STREET—AS HE TRIED TO LEAVE THE STORE.

THE CASE IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR SNIPES SAID A SOUTH CAROLINA MAN WAS ARRESTED FOR CAR THEFT—ON SEPTEMBER 14TH—FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING A PICK-UP TRUCK BELONGING TO THE THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOL SYSTEM.


33 YEAR OLD MICHAEL GREEN OF WEST COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA WAS ARRESTED AT THE LAKESIDE PLANT AND HE WAS DRIVING THE TRUCK. IT HAD EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO THE STEERING COLUMN. POLICE SAID THE TRUCK WAS PARKED AT MATTEWS FIELD BUT THE KEYS WERE NOT INSIDE—HE APPARENTLY HOT WIRED-IT AND REPORTEDLY CRASHED THROUGH THE GATE.

Friday, September 15, 2017

ONE STOP OWNER HAS REDUCED ICE PRICE

THE OWNER OF THE ONE STOP CONVIENCE STORE AT 19 NORTH AND ATWATER ROAD IN THOMASTON—TOLD ZOOM NEWS ON THE AIR THURSDAY—HE HAS DROPPED THE PRICE OF ICE TO 50 CENTS AFTER A FIRESTORM OF CRITICISM-- OVER THE PRICE.

TWICE THE ICE OWNER STEVE BENNETT REDUCED THE PRICE OF HIS ICE TO 50-CENTS A BAG POST IRMA TO HELP THE PUBLIC—AND THE ONE STOP OWNER LOADED-UP FOR HIS STORE AND PRICED IT AT $1.50.

HE TOLD US HIS ICE MACHINE HAS BEEN DOWN FOR A MONTH SO HE HAD BEEN BUYING HIS ICE FROM TWICE THE ICE—BUT THE JACK-UP IN PRICE ANNOYED THE PUBLIC AND THEY TOOK TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO BLAST THE BUSINESS.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

A THOMASTON BUSINESS HELPS IRMA RELIEF

A THOMASTON BUSINESS HAS BEEN AN IRMA RELIEF CENTER---ADVANTAGE RELOCATION AT THE OLD LAKESIDE PLANT HOUSING 100 TRUCKS FOR GENERATORS AND FUEL FOR T-MOBILE AND VERIZON AND 60 MORE TRUCKS ARE EXPECTED OVER THE WEEKEND.


LACY GREEAR CRAIN, G.M. SAYS ABOUT 80 VISITORS FROM OUT OF TOWN HAVE BEEN AT THE DISTRIBUTION CENTER/WAREHOUSE THIS WEEK AND MORE ARE EXPECTED. THE FIRM HIRED 33 TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES IN ONE DAY TO HELP WITH IRMA PREPARATION AND RELIEF. SHE SAYS THE COMPANY HOPES TO CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

UPDATE; CAR CRASH INTO FLASH FOODS 19 N.

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS RELEASED THE NAMES OF THREE PERSONS INJURED WHEN A LINCOLN TOWN CAR CRASHED THROUGH THE FLASH FOODS STORE AT 19 NORTH AND JEFF DAVIS ROAD—SUNDAY MORNING—CAUSING HEAVY DAMAGE.

THE DRIVER---ANTONIO BERNARD LITTLE OF OAK STREET—POSSIBLY SUFFERED A MEDICAL EMERGENCY—AND WAS TRAPPED IN THE CAR—WHICH APPARENTLY STARTED A FIRE IN THE STORE.

NORTHSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENT DOUSED THE FIRE AND LITTLE WAS FREED AND TRANSPORTED TO THE MEDICAL CENTER IN MACON BY EMS.


TWO CUSTOMERS WERE INJURED AND TRANSPORTED TO URMC BY EMS---20 YEAR OLD VICTORIA MURRAY OF FT. VALLEY WHO RECEIVED A SEVERE MOUTH LACARATION AND 38 YEAR OLD DARRELL GRESHAM WHO HAD A LACARATION TO HIS FOOT.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TU-PIKE,LAMAR, SPALDING, HENRY CLOSED SCTC OPEN LATER

SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE AREA WILL BE CLOSED AGAIN WEDNESDAY DUE TO ROAD CONDITIONS AND POWER OUTAGES RELATED TO IRMA.


THE THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOLS, GRIFFIN-SPALDING SCHOOLS, PIKE, LAMAR, AND HENRY COUNTY SCHOOLS --GORDON STATE COLLEGE WILL BE CLOSED—SOUTHERN CRESCENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE WILL BE OPEN WED. BUT HOLD CLASSES WITH A LATER START TIME AT 10AM. THE CHILD CARE CENTER ON THE FLINT RIVER CAMPUS IN THOMASTON WILL OPEN AT THE REGULAR TIME.

OUTAGE UPDATE-UPSON EMC, CITY OF THOMASTON, YATESVILLE

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE—NEAL TRICE AT UPSON EMC REPORTS 1334 MEMBERS STILL OUT—COULD BE WEDNESDAY OR LATER BEFORE ALL ARE RESTORED.

CITY OF THOMASTON ELECTRICAL SUPERINTENDANT NEAL IVY REPORTS ABOUT 200 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT SERVICE. A BIG TREE FELL ON GREENWOOD ROAD AND THAT'S CREATING PROBLEMS AT BIRDSONG AND GREENWOOD.

THE ENTIRE CITY OF YATESVILLE IS WITHOUT POWER—SERVED BY GA. POWER— THEY STARTED THE DAY WITH ABOUT A MILLION CUSTOMERS WITHOUT SERVICE.


SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY REPORTS 3000 WITHOUT POWER IN PIKE COUNTY AND SYSTEM WIDE 11,800 STILL OUT BUT 40 MORE LINEMAN ARE ARRIVING TO HELP.

PIKE ROADS REPORT FROM CO. MAN JOHN HANSON

Patton Road, Chapel Hill Road, Millwood Road and Roberts Quarters Road (at the City Limits Concord) closed because of power lines down.

THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOLS CLOSED WED.

Below is the call that went out to parents and staff today and was posted on Facebook:

SCHOOLS CLOSED WEDNESDAY: Thomaston-Upson School System administration has been in close communication with county government officials and the Upson County Sheriff’s Department monitoring power outages and road closures within our community. Currently, 3,000 homes, including the entire city of Yatesville, are without power, and a number of roads are inaccessible by our school buses due to road closures. While we are very thankful that our community was spared the massive destruction experienced by so many in this storm’s path, we still have teachers, staff, and students without power and without access to roads. Due to these reasons, all Thomaston-Upson Schools will remain closed on Wednesday, September 13. Our intent is to return to school on Thursday. Hopefully, by this time, power will have been restored to most of our students and staff and roads will have been cleared. Please stay safe, and thank you for your support of Thomaston-Upson Schools.

UPDATE SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY

Crews have restored power for an additional 2385 members since 10 a.m. leaving a total of 10,165 still without power. They are working non-stop and will continue until everyone has been restored. With the help of additional crews coming to assist today and tomorrow, we hope to have the majority of our members restored by Thursday, provided there is no damage to the service entry on the house. If the service panel has been torn away from the side of the house or is damaged in any way, the homeowner will have to make the necessary repairs before SRE can reconnect the service.

Unfortunately, we cannot predict when any particular street or neighborhood will be restored. The crews are working from the substation all the way out to individual homes. Rural systems such as ours have miles of distribution lines that run through heavily wooded areas to get to some homes. So fallen trees coupled with saturated ground can make it challenging to get heavy trucks into the affected areas.

Rest assured, crews are working as quickly as possible but there are many obstacles that can delay progress. We also urge everyone to remember the "Move Over for Linemen" law went into effect on July 1, 2016 requiring any motorist approaching utility linemen at an active work site, as indicated by traffic cones or flashing beacons, to change lanes or reduce their speed to a “reasonable and proper speed” below the posted speed limit. Violators face a $250 fine.

GORDON STATE COLLEGE CLOSED WED.

Gordon State College will remain closed and all classes are cancelled Wednesday, Sept. 13. Resident students are asked to begin moving back in the residence halls beginning at noon Wednesday. Normal campus operations and classes will resume Thursday, Sept. 14.

UPDATE SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY

Crews have been working all across our system since before daylight assessing damage and making progress. Power has been restored to approximately 1247 members but there is still have a long way to go with 11,867 still out. Five additional crews bringing a total 26 extra linemen are on the way from North Carolina to assist in restoration efforts as soon as they can get here today with 12 more linemen from Indiana scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning.

Members with a medical situation requiring a constant power supply are encouraged to make other arrangements in the event that it takes multiple days to fully restore power.

Crews are assessing damage in each county and should have a better idea of about how long full restoration will take. At least six broken poles have been reported so far, each of which takes several hours to replace. The help of the additional crews will definitely expedite progress but with roughly 70 percent of the system down, it will still take some time.

As of 10 a.m. today the total number of EMC (electric membership cooperatives) members without power across the state was 428,000 and Georgia Power reported 870,000 or roughly half of the residential customers.

Work will continue around the clock in an effort to restore everyone as quickly as possible.

Monday, September 11, 2017

REPORT FROM PIKE CO. MANAGER JOHN HANSON

Pike County offices will remain closed tomorrow September 12th. We anticipate reopening Wednesday morning at regular business scheduled time.

7PM MONDAY CITY OF THOMASTON OUTAGE REPORT

CITY OF THOMASTON OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED TUESDAY —ONLY ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL REPORT. ELECTRICAL DEPARTMENT SUPERINTENDANT NEAL IVY TOLD ZOOM NEWS AT 7PM MONDAY HE HAD ABOUT 400 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT SERVICE AND IT WILL PROBABLY BE WEDNESDAY BEFORE ALL ARE BACK ON LINE—DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH HELP HE CAN GET FROM NEIGHBORING DEPARTMENTS.


COUNTY OF UPSON OFFICES WILL BE OPEN TUESDAY AT 9AM,

LATEST OUTAGE UPDATE UPSON EMC

MONDAY 6PM UPDATE UPSON EMC OUTAGES. ACCORDING TO MANAGER NEAL TRICE JUST OVER 4000 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT SERVICE—2072 IN UPSON COUNTY, 700 IN TALBOT COUNTY, 309 IN PIKE COUNTY, 31 IN TAYLOR COUNTY AND 94 IN CRAWFORD COUNTY.


IT COULD BE SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE ALL CUSTOMERS HAVE SERVICE—MR. TRICE TOLD ZOOM NEWS.

GA. POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

5 p.m. Update: Hurricane Irma continues in Georgia, nearly 50 percent of Georgia Power customers without power.

Extensive damage and extended power outages expected to continue due to high winds and fallen trees.

Company procures additional resources for response, 5,500 personnel in place to respond.

UPDATE SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY--MONDAY

As of 5:30 SRE has 13,114 accounts without power across all nine counties. Crews will continue restoration efforts as soon as they have rested and conditions are more favorable for making progress. With roughly 80 percent of our system down, this will be a lengthy restoration process.

Georgia’s EMCs reported a total of 375,000 members without power earlier today. Crews will have to assess the damage in the light of day tomorrow but it will be time and labor-intensive with so many downed trees that have to be cleared before trucks can even get to affected areas.

Due to the degree of damage, EMCs will be joined by hundreds of additional line workers and right-of-way crews from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and crews from as far away as Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma.

The cooperatives are providing assistance through mutual aid agreements between the nation's nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives, which help one another during natural disasters, including power restoration efforts.

During restoration, EMCs caution members to be mindful of the following safety measures to ensure the safety of the public and EMC personnel:

Do not try and remove trees or limbs that have fallen onto power lines.
Continue to use caution and stay away from downed power lines. 

This is especially true in wet situations and even more so with standing water as a result of this storm. 

Updates will resume tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. Stay safe and thank you for your patience.

COUNTY WIDE CURFEW IN SPALDING CO./GRIFFIN

DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF TREES AND POWER LINES
DOWN SPALDING COUNTY AND THE CITY OF GRIFFIN WILL HAVE A CURFEW 10PM MONDAY TILL 6;30AM TUESDAY. ALL NON-EMERGENCY TRAVEL IS DISCOURAGED.

TUES--CITY OF THOMASTON CLOSED, UPSON CO. OPEN

THOMASTON CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON SAYS CITY HALL WILL BE CLOSED TUESDAY—ONLY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL REPORT.


UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN TOLD ZOOM NEWS IRMA MOVED THROUGH UPSON COUNTY QUICKER THAN EXPECTED AND COUNTY OFFICES WILL BE OPEN AT 9AM ON TUESDAY. THE CHAIRMAN SPOKE TO US ON THE ROAD. HE AND COMMISSIONER JAMES ELLINGTON WERE ON THE GO CHECKING ON ROAD CONDITIONS.

SPALDING COUNTY OFFICES CLOSED TUESDAY

Spalding County and City of Griffin Offices will be closed Tuesday, September 12, 2017 due to the expected high winds and possible power outages. Emergency Personnel to report as scheduled.

William Wilson
County Manager
Spalding County Board of Commissioners
www.spaldingcounty.com

UPDATE FROM UPSON EMA

UPSON EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANNE MCCARTY REPORTS ALMOST 5000 POWER OUTAGES IN THE CITY OF THOMASTON AND UPSON COUNTY AS OF 3PM.

NO INJURIES REPORTED BUT WINDS HAVE DONE A NUMBER ON TREES AND LIMBS THAT FELL ON POWER LINES AND ON STREETS AND ROADS.

EMA DIRECTOR MCCARTY IS CONCERNED AT ALL THE TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD—THEY NEED TO GO HOME—SHE TOLD ZOOM NEWS.

SHE REPORTED A LIMB DOWN IN THE 500 BLOCK OF SOUTH GREEN STREET THAT CAUSED AN ACCIDENT. SHE PREDICTED THE WORST OF IRMA WILL CONTINUE IN THIS AREA UNTIL 8PM.

THOMASTON POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON HAS BEEN ON THE ROAD SURVEYING DAMAGE. A BIG TREE UPROOTED ON OGLETHROPE WAY NEAR WEAVER PARK THAT MIGHT HAVE DAMAGED A CAR.

THE CHIEF URGED THE PUBLIC TO STAY INSIDE


A BIG PECAN TREE UPROOTED AT THE WOOD VALLEY APARTMENTS ON HANNAH'S MILL ROAD—THE BIG TREE WAS UPROOTED AND IT FELL OVER A PORTION OF THE ROOF.

UPSON EMC OUTAGE UPDATE

UPSON EMC MANAGER NEAL TRICE SAYS ONE THIRD OF HIS SERVICE AREA IS WITHOUT POWER—CUSTOMERS IN MERIWETHER COUNTY, UPSON COUNTY, PIKE COUNTY AND THE OTHER COUNTIES IN THE UPSON EMC SERVICE AREA.

A TOTAL OF 3792 CUSTOMERS ARE WITHOUT POWER OF A TOTAL CUSTOMER BASE OF 9100.

GA. POWER REPORTS 600,000 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT POWER.


BE PATIENT THESE ARE HAZARDOUS WORKING CONDITIONS FOR LINEMEN.

SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY SUSPENDS WORK

More than 80 percent of our members (12,391) are currently without power from #HurricaneIrma across Bibb, Crawford, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Pike, Spalding and Upson counties. 

Crews have been working steadily on restoration efforts since yesterday afternoon and all through the night. We ask for your patience as we temporarily suspend work due to unsafe conditions for our linemen. Our dispatch and rehab team are currently assessing damage and once the storm leaves affected areas, we will continue power restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe to do so and our crews have rested. The safety of our linemen is our top priority.

We appreciate your patience and ask you to please call the outage hotline at 1-866-244-4890 to report your outages.

GA. POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

Damage Update
  • As of 1 p.m. Monday, there are more than 410,000 customers without power in Georgia and more than3,600 individual cases of damage (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.
  • Damage and outages are primarily concentrated in Metro Atlanta, Central, Southern and Coastal Georgia.

SHERIFF KILGORE--STAY OFF THE ROADS

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE WARNS THE PUBLIC TO STAY OFF THE ROAD UNTIL THE STORM PASSES, ITS TOO DANGEROUS WITH WINDS AND BLOWING RAIN.


THE SHERIFF SAID A TREE WAS DOWN BLOCKING 74 WEST, BUT IT HAS BEEN CLEARED. POWER OUTAGES REPORTED ALL AROUND UPSON COUNTY AND UPSON EMC SAYS BE PATIENT, IT WILL TAKE TIME TO RESTORE SERVICE, BECAUSE IT CAN'T ENDANGER CREWS.

THREE WAYS TO FOLLOW OUR IRMA COVERAGE

THREE WAYS TO LISTEN TO ZOOM RADIO—101.1 FM, 105.9 FM AND OUR LIVE STREAM, FUN 101FM.COM ON YOUR COMPUTER, SMART PHONE OR TABLET.

GA. POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

Damage Update
  • As of 11 a.m. Monday, there are more than 300,000 customers without power in Georgia and more than2,900 individual cases of damage (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.
  • Damage and outages are primarily concentrated in Central, South and Coastal Georgia.  

CITY OF THOMASTON POWER OUTAGE UPDATE

AT NOON MONDAY, CITY OF THOMASTON ELECTRICAL SUPERINTENDANT NEAL IVY TOLD ZOOM NEWS TREES ARE DOWN ON WEST THOMPSON AT GLENDALE AND ON CHERRY STREET CAUSING POWER OUTAGES.


A NUMBER OF OUTAGES HAVE BEEN REPORTED BUT WITH THESE WINDY CONDITIONS ITS TOO DANGEROUS TO PUT CREWS UP IN A BUCKET TRUCK, HE SAID.

UPDATE SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY OUTAGES

Outages are steadily increasing with more than 2500 members without power across eight counties. Most are located in Bibb (627) and Monroe (841). Crews are continuing to work in the elements to restore as much as possible but conditions are deteriorating.

Members are encouraged not to use social media to report outages. Please use the Outage Hotline: 866-244-4890.

Erin Cook, CCC

PLANT CLOSINGS

CLOSINGS DUE TO IRMA...

TENCATE CLOSED TILL WED. 8AM, MOLENA, ZEBULON, SENOIA

INTERFOR CLOSED MONDAY , CHIEF MANUFACTURING MONDAY AND TUESDAY.

QUAD GRAPHICS CLOSING AT NOON MONDAY, PRODUCTION RESTART TUESDAY 7AM.

STANDARD TEXTILE CLOSED, DART CLOSED,

MCDONALDS OF THOMASTON CLOSED MONDAY

MIMBS TAXI CLOSING 11AM MONDAY TILL 4AM TUESDAY

NOAH'S ARK CHILD CARE CLOSED

WALGREEN'S CLOSED MONDAY

RITZ THEATER CLOSED MONDAY NIGHT



Sunday, September 10, 2017

CAR CRASHES INTO FLASH FOODS 19 NORTH

ACCORDING TO UPSON CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE —A MOTORIST IN A LINCOLN TOWN CAR HAD A MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND CRASHED INTO FLASH FOODS AT 19 NORTH AND JEFF DAVIS ROAD SUNDAY MORNING. THE MOTORIST TRAVELING SOUTH ON 19 HIT TWO CARS AND SMASHED ALL THE WAY TO THE COOLERS INSIDE FLASH FOODS BEFORE COMING TO REST. TWO INJURED—A FEMALE CUSTOMER AND THE DRIVER—BOTH TRANSPORTED TO THE E.R. THE STORE IS WORKING TO REOPEN.


GSP , THURSTON AND, NORTHSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENTS ALSO RESPONDED.

COURT CLOSINGS MONDAY AND TUESDAY

COURT CLOSINGS TODAY-- SPALDING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT HEARINGS JUDGE ROBERT M. CRAWFORD, UPSON SUPERIOR COURT TUESDAY—JUDGE CRAWFORD.

LAMAR COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT GRAND JURY AND TRAVERSE JURY—CANCELLED TODAY AND TUESDAY—REPORT WED. 8;30AM.

SPALDING COUNTY STATE COURT CANCELLED TODAY AND TUESDAY—ARRAIGNMENT MOVED TO SEPT. 26TH 9AM.

UPSON COUNTY PROBATE COURT CANCELLED TODAY


CITY OF THOMASTON MUNICIPAL COURT TUESDAY HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL TUESDAY SEPT. 19TH. 

CLOSINGS DUE TO IRMA

HERE'S A LIST OF CLOSINGS TODAY---UPSON COUNTY AND CITY OF THOMASTON—ONLY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL REPORT.

SPALDING COUNTY AND CITY OF GRIFFIN , PIKE COUNTY AND LAMAR COUNTY —ONLY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL REPORT.

ALL UPSON COUNTY MEETINGS TODAY AND TUESDAY CANCELLED.

CHIEF MANUFACTURING CLOSED TODAY AND TUESDAY.

TEN-COTTA PROTECTIVE FABRICS CLOSED TILL WED. 8AM—MOLENA, ZEBULON AND SENOIA PLANTS.

UGA GRIFFIN AND SOUTHERN CRESCENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE CLOSED TODAY—A DECISION LATER ON TUESDAY.

GORDON STATE COLLEGE CLOSED TODAY AND TUESDAY.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS— TODAY AND TUESDAY--THOMASTON-UPSON, LAMAR COUNTY, PIKE COUNTY, GRIFFIN-SPALDING, MONROE COUNTY, BUTTS COUNTY, HENRY COUNTY, ROCK SPRINGS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, SKIPSTONE ACADEMY, FAITH ACADEMY,GRIFFIN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY.



UPSON EMA UPDATE ON IRMA

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HURRICANE IRMA CONTINUES TO WEAKEN AS IT MOVES INTO GEORGIA—BUT ITS STILL A DANGEROUS STORM.

GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL HAS ISSUED A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE ENTIRE STATE—AND UPSON COUNTY AND ALL COUNTIES IN CENTRAL GA. TO ATLANTA ARE UNDER A TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

ACCORDING TO UPSON COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANN MCCARTY—THE SEVERE WEATHER IN THIS AREA WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 8AM AND NOON AND WILL PEAK BETWEEN NOON AND 8PM---WINDS 40 MILES PER HOUR WITH GUSTS TO 60 PLUS 3 TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN AND POSSIBLE ISOLATED TORNADOS—THAT COULD BE WRAPPED IN RAIN BANDS WITH NO WARNING.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH ALSO IN AFFECT. VACATE MOBILE HOMES AND STAY INDOORS—A GOOD SAMARITAN SHELTER IS AVAILABLE AT NORTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH AT 423 EAST COUNTY ROAD.


BE SURE TO SECURE YARD FURNITURE, TRAMPOLINES AND SUCH. THE UPSON EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER WILL BE STAFFED STARTING AT 6AM PHONE 706-647-5600.

Friday, September 8, 2017

ALERT FOR SOUTHERN RIVERS ENERGY CUSTOMERS

Southern Rivers Energy is closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Irma and contingency plans are in place. Trucks and materials are stocked and our crews are ready to respond to outages. Rest assured we are prepared but we urge our members and the community as a whole to take this seriously and have a plan in place in the event that Irma causes extensive damage and widespread outages.

We will release a schedule for providing updates to the media the membership on Monday after we have a better idea of how our territory will be affected. SRE members need to save the Outage Hotline in their phones and use it to report outages or downed power lines: 866-244-4890. Please stay away from any downed power lines or trees/limbs that are touching them. We appreciate everyone’s support and cooperation as we brace for Hurricane Irma.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS, UPSON, PIKE, LAMAR, GORDON STATE MON-TUE

OL CLOSINGS MONDAY AND TUESDAY DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA, THOMASTON-UPSON, PIKE COUNTY, LAMAR COUNTY, ROCK SPRISCHONGS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, GORDON STATE COLLEGE,SKIPSTONE ACADEMY

HEARINGS CANCELLED IN SPALDING COUNTY SUP. CT.

Due to the inclement weather and possible hazardous driving conditions, Judge Robert M. Crawford has cancelled his Superior Court hearings scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2017 at the Spalding County Courthouse. These hearings will be rescheduled at a later date. Marcia Norris Spalding County Clerk of Superior Court

IRMA UPDATE FROM MARTHA ANNE MCCARTY UPSON EMA DIR.

GEMA Conf Call notes:
Per Director Bryson of GEMA - Gov Deal may increase # of counties in State of Emergency declaration.
NHC - middle GA will see anywhere form 3-6" of rain, winds at 40 mph+ embedded in rain bands.
DOT - US 19 out of FL - usual traffic is 300 vehicles/hour, seeing flow of 1982/hr now.
I asked about fuel supply. I was told that there is sufficient supply. The hold-up is in distribution. Delivery trucks are tied up in traffic in getting additional fuel supplies out to stores.
We do not have any shelters open in Upson County at this time. Shelters in metro areas of Macon and Columbus will be maxed out before outlying areas are pulled into service. Cots and shelter personnel are in short supply. Any churches that open "Good Samaritan" shelters for evacuees, please let Upson EMA know if you do, and how many persons are housed there. "Good Samaritan" shelters are exactly that, and receive no funding for reimbursement of expenses, nor are they covered by any Red Cross or Govt liability.
My best advice is to prepare for a heavy rain event. The possibility of power outages exists as lots of rain and wind gusts will bring down trees and power lines. If you encounter a flooded roadway, do NOT drive through flood waters. Turn around and go another way.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A LAMAR CO. COLD CASE REOPENED

LAMAR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JONATHAN ADAMS IS KEEPING A CAMPAIGN PLEDGE TO REOPEN THE COLD CASE INVOLVING THE JULY 1984 MURDER OF DONNA OGLETREE JOHNSON OF PIKE COUNTY AND HE HAS NAMED A RETIRED FBI AGENT TO HEAD-UP THE INVESTIGATION.

A 27 YEAR VETERAN OF THE FBI—JALAINE G. WARD OF MACON WAS SWORN-IN LAST WEEK . K.B. AYER OF THE MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE WILL BE A PART OF THE INVESTIGATION TEAM AND THE LIAISON TO THE OGLETREE FAMILY— K.B. IS THE DAUGHTER OF RETIRED STATE TROOPER JACK BARKER.

THE BODY OF MS. JOHNSON WAS FOUND ON A LOGGING ROAD NEAR PIEDMONT AND THE ROCK ROADS. SHE HAD BEEN HOG-TIED, SEXUALLY VIOLATED, RUN OVER BY A VEHICLE AND STRUCK IN THE HEAD WITH A HEAVY OBJECT.

THAT SAME EVENING A HEAVY RAIN STORM HINDERED THE INVESTIGATION—SPECULATION THAT IT WASHED AWAY EVIDENCE IMPORTANT TO THE CASE THAT REMAINS UNSOLVED.

AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH MS. JOHNSON WAS EMPLOYED BY A THOMASTON DRUG STORE CHAIN.


FOR MORE ON THIS STORY LOG ON TO BARNESVILLE.COM.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

10 YR. OLD ATTACKED BY A PIT BULL ON VICKERY RD.

ACCORDING TO UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE---A 10 YEAR OLD STUDENT AT UPSON LEE NORTH WAS LIFE FLIGHTED TO AN ATLANTA HOSPITAL AND UNDERWENT SURGERY AFTER BEING ATTACKED BY A PIT BULL INSIDE THE HOUSE ON VICKERY ROAD—SUNDAY NIGHT.

THE CHILD'S MOTHER AMANDA MELTON SAID HER HUSBAND WAS KEEPING THE PIT BULL FOR HIS BOSS—AND FAMILY MEMBERS HEARD THE ATTACK AND RUSHED TO GET THE DOG OFF THE CHILD.

THE S.O. REPORT SAID THE CHILD'S SHIRT WAS SOAKED IN BLOOD AND HE RECEIVED A LARGE LACARATION TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD, HIS LEFT EYE WAS SWOLLEN SHUT AND HIS TOP EYE LID WAS TORN. THE CHILD HAS SINCE BEEN RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL—AND UPSON ANIMAL CONTROL TOOK CUSTODY OF THE DOG—AND IT HAS BEEN PUT DOWN.




U.S. 19 N. PROJECT BACK ON SCHEDULE

THE GA. DOT COMMISSIONER CALLED STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOHNNIE CALDWELL TUESDAY AND TOLD HIM PHASE TWO OF THE U.S. 19 NORTH PROJECT IS BACK ON SCHEDULE—AFTER BEING POSTPONED UNTIL 2022.

UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAL ALLEN TOLD ZOOM NEWS, STATE HOUSE MEMBER CALDWELL AND LOCAL OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN WORKING THE LEVERS OF GOVERNMENT TO GET THE PROJECT DATE MOVED BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL DESIGNATION.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

GOV. ISSUES ORDER TO INVESTIGATE SPALDING CLERK OF COURT

SPALDING COUNTY MANAGER WILLIAM WILSON HAS CONFIRMED GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL HAS SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO OPEN AN INVESTIGATION INTO SPALDING COUNTY CLERK OF SUPERIOR AND STATE COURT MARCIA NORRIS.

IN A LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR DATED AUGUST 28TH —GRIFFIN CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER REQUESTED THE INVESTIGATION.

THE ORDER SIGNED WEDNESDAY BY THE GOVERNOR MENTIONS CRIMINAL CHARGES , POSSIBLE MISCONDUCT OR ALLEGED INCAPACITY OF CLERK NORRIS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE.

GOVERNOR DEAL APPOINTED A COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE CLERK NORRIS---GA. ATTORNEY GENERAL CHRIS CARR, AND TWO CLERKS OF COURT—TINA BLANKINSHIP OF WEBSTER COUNTY AND GREG ALLEN OF FORSYTH COUNTY.

THE COMMITTEE WAS INSTRUCTED BY THE GOVERNOR TO REPORT BACK IN 30 DAYS.

SPALDING COUNTY STATE COURT JUDGE JOSH W. THACKER AND ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD---BART MILLER, CHAIRMAN OF THE SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS BOTH FOWARDED LETTERS TO GOVERNOR DEAL IN SUPPORT OF THE D.A.'S CALL FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF CLERK NORRIS.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

PHASE TWO U.S. 19 N. POSTPONED UNTIL 2022

MEMBERS OF THE THOMASTON UPSON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WERE TAKEN ABACK, WEDNESDAY, AT THE ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE LUNCHEON, WHEN STATE HOUSE MEMBER JOHNNIE CALDWELL SAID GA-DOT HAS POSTPONED CONSTRUCTION OF PHASE TWO OF THE U.S. 19 NORTH UPGRADE UNTIL 2022.

CALDWELL AND UPSON COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NORMAN ALLEN SAID THEY ARE WORKING TO MOVE IT FOWARD.

THE PROJECT FROM COUNTY ROAD TO ATWATER ROAD WAS ORGINALLY SET FOR 2019. ENGINEERING AND RIGHT OF WAY PROCUREMENT HAS VIRTUALLY BEEN COMPLETED.


ALSO IT WAS MENTIONED THE ROUNDABOUT AT THE FIVE-WAY ON BARNESVILLE STREET HAS BEEN MOVED TO 2050 BY G-DOT.

POULTRY HOUSES PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED

THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE CONTINUED A PUBLIC HEARING ON AN APPEAL BY PROPERTY OWNERS OPPOSED TO 6 NEW CHICKEN HOUSES ON REST HAVEN ROAD .

THE HEARING LASTED ONLY MINUTES WEDNESDAY AFTER DAVID DUNAWAY—ATTORNEY FOR BILL THOMPSON , THE APPLICANT ASKED THE BOARD TO CONTINUE THE HEARING FOR 60 DAYS—BECAUSE THOMPSON APPARENTLY HAS A NEW SITE FOR THE POULTRY HOUSES.


THE COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO CONTINUE THE HEARING. THOMPSON SAYS HE HOPES TO LOCATE THE 6 POULTRY HOUSES ON MORGAN ROAD—ON PROPERTY NEXT TO 4 OTHERS HE OPERATES.   

Monday, August 28, 2017

GRIFFIN POLICE MAKE ARREST FOR SHOOTING IN STREET

On Sunday August 27, 2017 at approximately 4:20 pm, the Griffin Police Department responded to 738 South 9th Street in reference to a black male with a gun shooting it in the street. Upon arrival uniformed officers questioned neighbors and they advised “Tim” was shooting what they thought was a rifle in the air. 

Officers then went to make contact with a black male standing at the front door of 738 South 9th Street. Officers asked the person to talk to them in an attempt to find out what happened but the individual went inside the residence and closed the door abruptly.  


The Special Response Team and a Hostage Negotiator from the Griffin Police Department were also called to the scene. Several attempts to make contact with the suspect were made using a public address system but all failed to establish contact with the suspect. A “throw-phone” was also deployed into the residence to facilitate contact with the police negotiator but the suspect refused to comply with instructions and failed to respond to multiple attempts at resolution. After several hours of negotiation, to prevent harm to the suspect and bystanders, the decision was made to deploy tear gas and pepper gas into the residence. The Special Response Team soon deployed the gas with other units standing by with additional less-lethal weapons.  


A few moments later the suspect came outside onto his front porch and essentially surrendered. He was taken into custody without further incident. He was treated and released by EMS for gas exposure and was identified as a Timothy J. Peoples. 


Peoples was charged with the following: Possession of Firearm by a convicted felon(F), Discharge of Firearm near roadway(M), Reckless Conduct(M), Obstruction(M).    


The Griffin Police Department also wishes to express gratitude to the Spalding County Sheriff’s Department and the Henry County Police Department for their assistance in bringing this dangerous situation to a close without injury or loss of life.      

PIKE S.O. THEFT ARREST

Pike County Sheriff's Office Investigators recovered numerous items that were stolen from the Girl Scout Camp on Pine Valley Road after they were stolen earlier this week. A suspect, Chris Thompson, was identified after a picture of him was circulated on social media. The stolen property was found in a wooded area on Williams Mill road 

While Investigators were working to track Thompson down he was arrested during a separate incident in Butts County after being observed driving a stolen vehicle. He will be facing charges for his involvement in the theft in Pike County. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

ONLY INCUMBENTS QUALIFIED IN CITY OF THOMASTON

ACCORDING TO CITY HALL THERE WILL NOT BE A CITY OF THOMASTON MUNICIPAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER UNLESS THERE IS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE. ALL INCUMBENTS QUALIFIED THIS WEEK WITHOUT OPPOSITION—MAYOR PRO TEM DOUG HEAD—AT LARGE, AND COUNCIL MEMBERS DON GREATHOUSE AND RYAN TUCKER.


A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE HAS 7 DAYS TO QUALIFY FOLLOWING THE CLOSING DATE OF QUALIFYING, FRIDAY AUGUST 25.

GRIFFIN POLICE OFFERING REWARD FOR SHOOTING DEATH

GRIFFIN POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFERING A REWARD OF $1500 FOR INFORMATION ON THE SHOOTING DEATH OF QUENTON POOLE, 36, AT 815 WEST SLATON STREET EARLY THURSDAY.

POLICE SAID THE HOME INVASION COULD BE DRUG RELATED, POOLE HAS A CRIMINAL RAP SHEET OF A DOZEN PAGES.

ATLANTA MAN GUILTY LIFE SENTENCE

District Attorney Benjamin D. Coker and Assistant District Attorney Mark Irvin concluded a week long trial with a conviction against defendant Kashif Ali Mohammad. On August 24, 2017, an Upson County jury found Mohammad guilty on 11 counts, including: Home Invasion, Robbery, False Imprisonment, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime, Criminal Attempt to Commit Home Invasion, and Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery. The jury convicted Mohammad of entering the home of the victims, holding them at gunpoint, tying them up, and stealing money and guns from the home. The victims were 69 and 72 years of age. District Attorney Coker delivered the closing argument. 

After the jury handed down its verdict of guilty, District Attorney Coker asked for life in prison plus 140 years, the maximum possible sentence. The Honorable Robert "Mack" Crawford sentenced the  defendant to life in prison plus 60 years to serve. District Attorney Coker said of the case, "we would not have received this verdict or this sentence without the hard work of the Upson County Sheriff's Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and my staff. A home invasion is any victim's worst nightmare, and I applaud these victims for standing up to the face of evil and testifying. Their bravery coupled with the bravery of law enforcement allowed justice to prevail in the courtroom this week. The citizens of Upson County are safer tonight because of the courage of all of those that worked to bring this defendant to justice."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Diamond Ring

Photo by Danny Bishop
The "Eclipse of the Century" was witnessed by a group from Denmark that have traveled the world to see the totality of a solar eclipse many times.

The group flew from Frankfurt, Germany to Seattle, Washington where they boarded Amtrak's Empire Builder for Minot, North Dakota. Thomaston native Danny Bishop picked the group up and provided a tour of the Bad Lands National Park, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse before traveling to the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska to view the eclipse.

The Agate Visitor Center was in the center line of the seventy mile wide swath of totality and the group organizer, Poul Kattler was providing coverage for media outlets in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Photo by Danny Bishop
The conditions were perfect as the eclipse started and reached totality that lasted for a minute, forty six seconds. The opportunity to capture the "Diamond Ring" photo occurs in the instant that totality ends and this shot was taken by Danny Bishop and forwarded to media outlets in Denmark by Kattler. A science teacher from Denver, Colorado happened to be in the Visitor Center, saw the photo and has requested the rights to use it in the school's science classes.

The Denmark group will travel to Patagonia in 2020 to see the eclipse there and are already making plans to return to the USA in 2024.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

NO TAX INCREASE IN UPSON CO.

NO TAX INCREASE IN UPSON COUNTY—AT TUESDAY'S MEETING THE UPSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SET THE 2017 TAX MILLAGE RATE FOR OPERATIONS AT 9.52 MILLS, FOR JOINT PROJECTS 6.55 AND THE UNINCORPORATED RATE AT 2.44 MILLS.

FOR SUPPORT OF EDUCATION THE MILLAGE RATE SET AT 15.11 MILLS— THAT WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD—SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN LAST YEAR.

THE UPSON BOARD HELD THE FIRST READING OF AN ORDIANCE GOVERNING FLEA MARKETS AND YARD SALES.

OUTDOOR FLEA MARKETS NEED ONE ACRE MINIMUM IN C-2 OR MANUFACTURING ZONES—A WALL OR FENCE IF NEXT TO A RESIDENTIAL AREA.

MAXIMUM OF 4 YARD SALES PER YEAR OF 72 HOURS MAX.


NO FEES OR REGISTRATION REQUIRED.    

Monday, August 21, 2017

QUALIFYING OPENED MONDAY FOR CITY OF THOMASTON

QUALIFYING OPENED MONDAY FOR THE CITY OF THOMASTON NOVEMBER MUNICIPAL ELECTION AND MAYOR PRO TEM DOUG HEAD AND COUNCILMAN DON GREATHOUSE QUALIFIED FOR RE-ELECTION . THE OTHER SEAT ON THE BALLOT IS HELD BY COUNCILMAN RYAN TUCKER—QUALIFYING ENDS FRIDAY.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 IINJURED U.S. 19 SOUTH SATURDAY NIGHT

A THOMASTON MAN WAS AIRLIFTED TO MACON MEDICAL CENTER BY EMS AFTER AN ACCIDENT LAST SATURDAY NITE AT U.S. 19 SOUTH AND LOGTOWN ROAD.

ACCORDING TO POST 26 GA. STATE PATROL---A PASSENGER 87 YEAR OLD ANTHONY LOCKHART OF SEARCY ROAD HAD NON-FATAL INJURIES. THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE JOSEPHINE B. HENDERSON AGE 68 ALSO OF SEARCY ROAD WAS TRANSPORTED TO MACON BY EMS.


THREE OTHERS FROM ALBANY IN THE OTHER VEHICLE HAD NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES—THE DRIVER WAS CITED FOR FAILURE TO YIELD AT A STOP SIGN.    

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SAFE VIEWING DURING A SOLAR ECLIPSE

Richard Schmude is a chemistry professor who is fascinated by the sky – especially the planet Jupiter. Schmude is a graduate of Texas A&M and has been teaching at Gordon State College since 1994. He tours the country giving talks on astronomy, has an asteroid named after him and is the author of several books.

Safe Viewing during a Solar Eclipse
Richard W. Schmude, Jr. Gordon State College, Barnesville, GA 30204

            An eclipse occurs when the shadow of one object falls onto a second object.  A shadow has two portions.  One portion is the penumbra and the other is the umbra.   The penumbra has a light gray color.  When one stands in the penumbra, one object blocks out just part of a light source.  The umbra is darker because when you stand in it, the entire light source is blocked out.   In Barnesville, the penumbra portion of the Moon’s Shadow will pass.  This means that at least part of the Sun will be visible throughout the day.  In order for one to witness the umbra portion of the Moon’s shadow, one must travel to the northeast corner of Georgia or go to another state where the umbra will pass. 
            Since some of the Sun will be visible at all times of the solar eclipse one must not look up at it during any portion of the eclipse unless he/she has the proper glasses.  Even if just one percent of the Sun is visible it is enough to cause permanent eye damage.  To obtain more information about proper glasses go tohttps://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety2.html which is part of the NASA website.  It is written by Ralph Chou. 
            If you plan to have a group witness the eclipse then there are several things to remember:
1) People will be excited about the eclipse and may not be listening; 2) With a group of people there will undoubtedly be many distractions and 3) all it takes is one wrong look and permanent eye damage may occur. The most sensitive portion of the eye is the Fovea Centralis.  This is a small part at the back of the eye which enables one to read.  If this portion is damaged then one would no longer be able to read or operate a motor vehicle.
            The easiest and safest way of enjoying the eclipse is to stand under a tree shadow and look at the ground.  Between 2 and 3 p.m. you should see lots of white crescents.   The crescents will be thinnest at around 2:40 p.m.  One may also use the projection method by using a spaghetti strainer or two cards.

BIG CRANE IN NORTHSIDE = TWO NEW BILLBOARDS

THE  BIG  CRANE  IN  NORTHSIDE  IS  THERE  TO  ERECT   TWO DOUBLE-SIDED   BILLBOARDS, AND  THEY  COULD BE  DIGITAL BILLBOARDS—ACCORDING  TO  UPSON  PLANNING  DIRECTOR  DOUG  CURRIER.

THE  COMPANY  APPLIED FOR THE  BILLBOARD PERMIT  IN  SEPTEMBER  2016—BEFORE  THE  COUNTY'S  NEW  SIGN  ORDIANCE  WAS  PASSED—DOUG   TOLD  ZOOM  NEWS.

Friday, August 11, 2017

TWO SUSPECTS HUNTED FOR WYNNBROOK 2 THEFT

UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE LOOKING FOR TWO SUSPECTS WHO WERE APPARENTLY TRYING TO STEAL A ZERO-TURN MOWER AND TRAILER FROM A RESIDENCE AT WYNNBROOK 2 SUBDIVISION IN NORTHSIDE--$4500 WORTH OF EQUIPMENT.

A DEPUTY FOUND A U-HAUL TRUCK RUNNING—A TRUCK WITH ARIZONA PLATES—AND THE TRAILER ATTACHED.

TWO MEN WERE OBSERVED NEAR-BY—BUT THEY RAN INTO THE WOODS—ONE DESCRIBED AS A LIGHT BLACK MALE WITH BUSHY HAIR. THOMASTON P.D. K-9 UNIT RYDER AIDED IN THE SEARCH—BUT THEY WERE NOT FOUND.


THE MOWER AND TRAILER BELONGED TO A RESIDENT OF STONEBROOK LANE.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ALL CITY OF THOMASTON WATER SAMPLES NORMAL

THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON SAID THE WATER DEPARTMENT HAS RESUMED PUMPING FROM POTATO CREEK AFTER 5 DAYS PUMPING FROM THE RESERVIOR AFTER WATER POLLUTION COMPLAINTS FROM CUSTOMERS.


ALL WATER SAMPLES CAME BACK NORMAL—HE SAID.

TOWALIGA D.A. ADAMS TO BE DEPLOYED WITH N. GUARD.

Georgia Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel and Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams announced today that the National Guard will deploy him with his unit next spring. Adams will be sent to the Middle East for one year in support of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism. He is currently assigned as the Deputy Commander for his unit which is headquarted in Marietta, Georgia.

While deployed, the Chief Assistant District Attorney will take over as Interim District Attorney to ensure that the office continues to serve the needs of the community. “It has been an honor to serve my country in the military for 25 years, and I am proud to answer the call to duty again. It is also a privilege to serve the people of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit as their District Attorney. While deployed, those living in Butts, Lamar, and Monroe Counties will continue to have a DA’s office that effectively seeks justice and holds those who threaten or harm our families accountable,” said Adams. This will be Lieutenant Colonel Adams’ 4th deployment in his 25 years in the military.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

EARLY RELEASE FOR T-U SCHOOLS FOR ECLIPSE

ACCORDING TO SUPERINTENDANT DR. MAGGIE SHOOK, THE THOMASTON-UPSON COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL HAVE EARLY RELEASE OF STUDENTS ON AUGUST 21ST FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE STARTING AT 11;30AM. ALL STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE A SACK LUNCH AS THEY LEAVE THE SCHOOL.

THIS PART OF GA. WILL EXPERIENCE A SOLAR ECLIPSE BETWEEN 1 AND 4PM, WITH MAXIMUM PHASE AT 2;38PM WHEN 94.5% OF THE SUN WILL BE OBSCURED BY THE MOON.

DR. SHOOK SAID THE EARLY RELEASE DECISION WAS MADE AFTER MUCH DELIBERATION AND FEEDBACK FROM STAKEHOLDERS FOR EYE SAFETY CONCERNS, TRAFFIC SAFETY CONCERNS AND IT WILL ALLOW STUDENTS TO EXPERIENCE THE ECLIPSE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.


THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY IS WARNING THAT THE MARKET IS BEING FLOODED WITH COUNTERFEIT ECLIPSE GLASSES. IT ADVISES TO LOOK FOR EVIDENCE THAT THE GLASSES COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR FILTERS FOR VIEWING THE SUN. THOSE IN COMPLIANCE WILL HAVE THIS PRINTED ON THE GLASSES---IS0 12312 - 2.

Monday, August 7, 2017

GORDON STATE COLLEGE PRES RETIRING

Gordon State College President Max Burns has announced his plans to retire effective December 31, 2017. 

“It has been my great honor to serve as president of Gordon State College,” said Burns. “I have been fortunate to have a dedicated team of colleagues, all of whom have made significant contributions to student success at Gordon State College throughout the course of my term. The support from the Barnesville community is also one of Gordon State’s biggest strengths, and the strong partnership benefits students and the region alike. I’ll always be cheering for Gordon State, which has an incredibly bright future.”

Burns was named president of Gordon State College in January 2012. Prior to being named president, he served as dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia.

“The success of Gordon State College can be directly attributed to President Burns’ outstanding leadership,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “President Burns’ emphasis on creating learning opportunities and building a campus community that cares about its students has helped Gordon State achieve greater student success. On behalf of the University System, we are grateful to Max for his commitment to Gordon State’s students and the State of Georgia.”

Under Burns’ leadership, Gordon State’s graduation rate has increased by 12 percent and the full-time, first-time freshman student retention rate has increased by 24 percent. The college has also updated its strategic plan, initiated the Gordon State College Presidential Scholars program and added $25 million in new and renovated facilities. 

Additionally, since 2012, Gordon State has changed how it supports students, starting with those in need, by increasing the number of scholarships awarded by 81 percent and increasing the dollar value of scholarships awarded by 125 percent. The Gordon State College Foundation endowment has increased by 31 percent.

In regards to academic programs, under Burns’ leadership, the college has experienced significant achievements, including the development of six new baccalaureate degrees focused on high demand professional programs, bringing the total number of baccalaureate programs at Gordon State College to 13. The college has also implemented 13 associate degree programs to meet regional and state workforce needs. Gordon State has received accreditation reaffirmation from SACSCOC through 2027.

Burns holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Georgia State University, a Master of Business Information Systems from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Information regarding the search for Burns’ replacement will be announced at a later date.

Friday, August 4, 2017

ANSLEY NEWMAN GETS GREAT PRESS IN SAN DIEGO

A 20 YEAR OLD THOMASTON VOCALIST GOT SOME GREAT PRESS IN THE SAN DIEGO NEWSPAPER WHEN THE BAND JULE VERA PLAYED QUALCOMM STADIUM—LAST WEEK.

ANSLEY NEWMAN LEAD SINGER OF THE ALABAMA POP/ROCK
BAND--- PART OF THE VANS SNEAKERS WARPED TOUR—DREW PRAISE FROM THE TOUR'S FOUNDER—KEVIN LYMAN.

IN THE ARTICLE—LYMAN SAID THE MORE AND MORE COMFORTABLE ANSLEY GETS ON STAGE --THE CLOSER SHE IS TO BECOMING THE NEXT BIG FEMALE STAR THAT'S BROKEN BIG ON THE TOUR.

LYMAN ADDED—THAT ANSLEY—WHO PLAYS GUITAR-- HAS THE TALENT OF OTHER WARPED TOUR VETERANS LIKE HALEY WILLIAMS OF PARAMORE, KATY PERRY, AND GWEN STEFANI-- SHE JUST NEEDS MORE CONFIDENCE.


ANSLEY'S GRANDPARENTS—LINDA AND GARY JOHNSON, BETH AND LEON NEWMAN OF THOMASTON.   

LAMAR CO. BOC PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX HIKE

PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCING A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

The Lamar County Board of Commissioners today announces its intention to increase the 2017 property taxes it will levy this year by 9.66 percent over the rollback millage rate.
Each year, the board of tax assessors is required to review the
Assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the
county. When the trend indicates there has been an increase
in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax
assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such
property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that the rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current years’ digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

The budget tentatively adopted by the Lamar County Board of Commissioners requires a millage rate higher than the rollback rate, therefore, before the Lamar County Board of Commissioners finalize the tentative budget and set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.

All concerned citizens are invited to public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Commissioners meeting room at 326 Thomaston Street, Barnesville, Georgia on August 8th, 2017 at 9 AM and 6 PM. An additional public hearing on this tax increase will be held on August 15th, at 6:00 PM. at 326 Thomaston Street, Barnesville, Georgia. 

UGA BULLDOGS FAN DAY IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 5

The Bulldogs will return to practice on Friday before turning attention to their annual Fan Day on Saturday afternoon. The event, which is presented by United Healthcare, includes photos with Georgia’s mascot, Uga X, beginning at 3 p.m., followed by an open practice by the team from 3:30-5:30 and autographs with players and head coach Kirby Smart from approximately 5:45-6:30.

CHASE IN LAMAR COUNTY

8 MACON MEN ARE IN CUSTODY --- AFTER SEVERAL FLED THE LAW ON 1-75 IN LAMAR COUNTY AND CRASHED NEAR FORSYTH —DURING A CHASE WITH MONROE COUNTY S.O.--EARLY THURSDAY. TWO OTHERS ASSISTED THOSE WHO FLED THE SCENE.


THE PICK-UP WAS REPORTED STOLEN OUT OF BIBB COUNTY AND 3 CASH REGISTERS STOLEN FROM HENRY COUNTY FOUND INSIDE THE BED. THE VEHICLE WAS ALSO CAPTURED ON SECURITY VIDEO BY CONYERS POLICE—DURING A COMMERCIAL BURGLARY. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

K-9 MILLIE AND K-9 RYDER WITH MORE DRUG ARRESTS

UPSON S.O. K-9 MILLIE AND THOMASTON P.D. K-9 RYDER ARE TAKING A BITE OUTTA CRIME—WITH MORE DRUG ARRESTS.

MILLIE SNIFFED OUT A BAGGIE OF SUSPECTED METH UNDER AN OPEN BOX OF PIZZA SITTING ON THE SEAT OF A CAR AFTER A DEPUTY MADE A TRAFFIC STOP.

THE SUSPECT---55 YEAR OLD DARRYL KEITH BOOTH OF APPLE ROAD MEANSVILLE    USED VULGAR LANGUAGE TO THE OFFICER—WHO RECOGNIZED BOOTH FOR HAVING SUSPENDED LICENSE AND STOPPED HIM. CHARGES INCLUDING POSSESSION METH, NO LICENSE AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

RYDER FOUND SUSPECTED METH AFTER A DEPUTY NOTICED A SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE ON ATWATER ROAD-- AND THE K-9 FOUND DRUGS IN A KEY HOLDER ON THE DASHBOARD AND TWO PERSONS WERE BOOKED---25 YEAR OLD ASHLEY NICOLE JONES OF G. CIRCLE AND 35 YEAR OLD JOSEPH JUAREZ

MACON HOSPITAL SETTLES WITH STATE AND FEDS

NAVICENT SETTLES AMBULANCE FRAUD CLAIMS FOR OVER $2.5MM

G.F. "Pete" Peterman, III, United States Attomey for the Middle District of Georgia, and Georgia Attomey General Christopher M. Carr announced today a civil settlement with The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Inc., dlbla The Medical Center, Navicent Health ("Navicent"). Navicent agreed to pay to the United States and the State of Georgia $2,549,742to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act by submitting bills for ambulance transports that were either inflated or medically unnecessary.

Additionally, Navicent's current Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) will be heightened and extended to cover the newly resolved conduct. A CIA is an agreement between a private provider of services and the United States whereby the provider, at its own expense, institutes and maintains a program, overseen by the OIG with reviews by an independent review organizatron, to insure compliance with the laws and regulations regarding participation in federally funded programs.

The settlement marks the end of a 27-month investigation into Navicent's ambulance billing practices. The investigation revealed two suspected schemes through which Navicent allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. The first alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concerns non-emergency ambulance transports between hospitals that Navicent billed at an inflated rate by claiming the ambulance trips were emergency trips. The second alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concems the billing of non-emergency ambulance transports of patients released from the hospital to their residences, skilled nursing facilities, hospital-based diagnostic clinics, or dialysis centers that Navicent billed as emergency transports in violation of ambulance billing rules. It was alleged that in addition to billing many of these transports at an inflated rate, for many of these transports it was neither appropriate nor medically necessary for Navicent to have used and billed for an ambulance at all.

This investigation began with a lawsuit filed by Andre Valentine, a former Navicent paramedic, under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. These statutes allow private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the Government and share in any recovery obtained. The case is captioned United States and the State of Georgia, ex rel. Andre Valentine v. Navicent Hospital, Inc., 5:15-cv-152 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Mr. Valentine will receive a share of the settlement payment pursuant to the whistleblower provisions of these statutes. While Mr. Valentine's complaint focused on transports between hospitals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) independently identified for investigation Navicent's billing of emergency ambulance transportation for services provided to patients from the hospital to destinations such as skilled nursing facilities and patient residences.

PRESS RELEASE FROM SPALDING CO. SHERIFF DIX

On August 2, 2017 at approximately 9:46 Deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 1343 Apt B Jackson Street Griffin, GA to attempt serve an arrest warrant for battery on Stephen Blanton. Deputies searched the area for the wanted person but were unable to locate him.
While still on scene, Deputies found Felix Brownlee and William Brownlee in the back yard of the residence with a brown and white dog. The dog was chained to a tree with the other end of the chain around its neck. The men had a pair of channel lock pliers and they were pulling on the chain when the Deputies observed that it was deeply embedded in the flesh of the dog’s neck.  
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “The chain had been on the dog’s neck for such a long period of time that as the dog grew its flesh had actually grown over and through the links of the chain and it was under its skin. It was horrible and the dog was in considerable pain. The photographs taken at the scene are disturbing”
Spalding County Animal Control was contacted, took custody of the dog, and transported it to a local Veterinary hospital for treatment.  
Dix continued, “Based on the investigation and the Veterinarian’s observations, Jennifer Brownlee, William Brownlee and Felix Brownlee were arrested and charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals which is a felony.  All three have been taken in to custody and are being held in the Spalding County Jail.”
According to Sheriff Dix, “Initially it was thought that the dog, “Jake”, would have to be euthanized. After consulting further with the Veterinarian it was determined that instead of euthanizing Jake, surgery would be conducted to remove approximately 7 inches of skin as deep as 3 inches from his neck in order to fix the damage caused by the chain. The surgery was completed yesterday and as of this morning Jake is doing fine. Captain Keith Duncan, Sgt. Michael Chadwick, Corporal Ryan Bowlden, and I have volunteered to help offset the cost of the surgery and treatment that right now stands at a little over $1000.00. According to the Veterinarian more treatment will be needed before the Jake gets a complete bill of health. If you are interested in helping out you can call Sgt. Chadwick or Corporal Bowlden at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, 770-467-4282 for more information.”

PRESS RELEASE FROM UPSON EMC

Neal Trice with Upson EMC announced in the Georgia Magazine that their customers will see a small increase on their electric bill beginning in September. Their service availability charge will increase from $20 on residential rates to $21. Non-residential accounts such as barns, hunting camps, shops or pumps will see a slightly higher increase. He stated that they have hundreds of idle meters that use zero kWh per month and the cost to maintain these meters is the same as the members who use 1000’s of kWh per month. 

These minimum residential members will see an increase of $2 and the non-residential members will see an increase up to $4.50. According to the latest Public Service Commission Residential Survey, Upson EMC will still have some of the cheapest utility rates in the state of Georgia.