Monday, July 24, 2017

D.A. COKER , GBI AND SPALDING S.O. COLD CASE

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker’s Office have reopened the investigation in to the 34 year old cold case murder of Timothy Coggins.
On October 9, 1983, the body of Timothy Coggins was found on a power line off of Minter Road in Sunnyside. Investigators at the time gathered evidence from the scene, questioned suspects and witnesses but were unable to make arrests in Coggins’ death. The case has remained unsolved to this day.
In June of 2017, spurred by information forwarded to the GBI through various sources regarding Coggins’ murder, Agents and Investigators began re-examining the case and all of the information gathered at the time of the original investigation. Investigators began re-interviewing old witnesses, conducting interviews with newly discovered witnesses, and gathering new evidence. Investigators from the GBI and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office working in unison have been literally going door to door in their efforts to solve this crime. Based on their findings they believe that they are close to making arrests for Coggins’ murder.
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “We have been in contact with a representative from Coggins’ family and they have been briefed on where we are at in the investigation. Unfortunately, both of his parents are deceased, and we wish we would have been able to give them closure before they passed away. The GBI, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney Ben Coker’s Office will do all we can to ensure that Timothy Coggins and the remainder of the Coggins family receive justice. It does not matter who he was, or where he was from, this man died a horrible death and those responsible for his murder need to be held accountable. I can say without a doubt that if Mr. Coggins was murdered today, in 2017, it would absolutely be classified as a hate crime. 34 years have passed since this horrible crime was committed and those who killed him have believed that they would remain untouched until literally just a few days ago.”
Sheriff Dix continued, “We understand that over the years those suspected of being involved in the murder of Timothy Coggins have threatened and intimidated potential witnesses. We believe that there are people with pertinent information regarding this case that are still out there and we are asking them to come forward. We are asking for anyone who may have information about this murder, especially the hours leading up to the discovery of Coggins’ body, to contact the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at (770)-467-4282 and ask to speak to Lt. Mike Morris or GBI Agent Jared Coleman.  Any detail, no matter how small you may think it is, could be valuable in bringing Coggins’ killers to justice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THOMASTON-UPSON KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-18 school year will be held on Tuesday, July 25, from 8:30 - 11:30 in the Upson-Lee Primary School Media Center. No appointment is necessary. 

The parent or legal guardian should bring the child to register, along with the following documents: child's certified birth certificate; child's social security card; child's immunization record on GA form 3231; Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Record on Form 3300; Parent/Guardian Photo ID; Proof of Residency (2 of the following items in parent's name - gas/water/electric bill, lease contract, or property tax bill); Proof of guardianship. The child must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2017. 

This registration is for children who have not previously registered for Kindergarten in the Thomaston-Upson School System.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

FORMER GRIFFIN HIGH TEACHER INDICTED

ACCORDING TO THE OFFICE OF GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER----THE SPALDING COUNTY GRAND JURY HAS INDICTED FORMER GRIFFIN HIGH TEACHER—BRANDY NICKELS, AGE 41 OF WILLIAMSON ON TWO COUNTS OF STATUTORY RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A STUDENT, CHILD MOLESTATION , ENTICING A CHILD FOR INDECENT PURPOSES, AGGREVATED CHILD MOLESTATION AND INFLUENCING A WITNESS.

MS. NICKELS—WHO RESIGNED FROM THE SCHOOL SYSTEM--- HAS BEEN ARRESTED TWICE BY GRIFFIN POLICE WITH MALE JUVENILES IN HER CAR—THE FIRST TIME MAY 18TH AND AGAIN JUNE 13TH AND THE 2ND TIME A LOADED PISTOL AND SOME MARIJUANA WAS FOUND—AND HER BOND WAS REVOKED.

MS. NICKELS IS IN JAIL AWAITING A NOVEMBER TRIAL DATE.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

INJURIES IN A PIKE COUNTY WRECK

On 7/17/2017 at 8:06p.m., Deputies responded to a traffic accident on Highway 19 ,near Gresham road. A Dodge Magnum driven by William Rice, 57, from Spalding County was traveling northbound , crossed over into the southbound lane and struck a Chevrolet Traverse driven by Kristen Golden,26, of Pike County, head on. The Traverse was also occupied by a two year old child. Mr. Rice was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital and Ms. Golden and the two year old were taken to Spalding Regional by ambulance for treatment. The cause of the collision remains under investigation by Sheriff's Office Traffic Investigators.

Monday, July 17, 2017

JOB OPENINGS AT UPSON SO

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR CROSSING GUARDS AND JAIL OFFICERS. APPLY AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM TILL 5PM.

Friday, July 14, 2017

UPSON CONVICT SOUGHT IN SPALDING CO

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAD POSTED A LOOK-OUT FOR A WANTED SUSPECT—BUT IT TURNS OUT HE'S IN STATE PRISON FOR AN UPSON COUNTY CASE.


28 YEAR OLD ADONIS CORDELL COLQUITT IS WANTED IN SPALDING COUNTY ON KIDNAPPING AND OTHER CHARGES—BUT HE'S SERVING A 5 YEAR SENTENCE IN THE STATE PEN FOR STATUTORY RAPE IN UPSON COUNTY FOR A CRIME IN AUGUST OF 2012.

Friday, July 7, 2017

UL HEAD FOOTBALL COACH STRICKEN ILL

UPSON-LEE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH TOMMY PARKS IS REPORTED IN GOOD CONDITION AT THE MACON MEDICAL CENTER INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AFTER SUFFERING AN APPARENT HEART ATTACK AT HOME FRIDAY MORNING .


A MEMBER OF COACH PARKS STAFF TOLD ZOOM NEWS—HE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY. COACH PARKS IS STARTING HIS 4TH YEAR AS HEAD COACH OF THE KNIGHTS FOOTBALL TEAM.

Monday, July 3, 2017

PD CHIEF SAYS BROTHER MURDERED BROTHER

On July 01, 2017, between the hours of 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM, Officers from the Thomaston Police Department responded to 450 B Street, Thomaston, Upson County, Georgia in reference to a verbal domestic between brothers. Prior to the officer’s arrival on the scene Blake Ashley Hancock 39 years of age obtained a firearm and discharged the firearm inside the residence striking his brother Talvin Harold Robbins 52 years of age in the head. The call was upgraded to a possible subject shot and a subjected barricaded in the residence.   Shortly after TPD officers arrived on the scene along with deputies from the Upson County Sheriff’s Office Blake Hancock exited the house un armed and was taken into custody without further incident.  Officers then made entry into the residence where they found a male subject identified as Talvin Harold in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head.   Upon securing the scene EMS arrived and transported the Talvin Harold to URMC where he was pronounced dead from the fatal gunshot wound by the Assistant Coroner.

Blake Hancock was transported to the Upson County jail where he is being held without bond.   He has been charged with Murder, Malice Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime. At the request of Chief Richardson the GBI Region 2 Crime Scene Unit responded and assisted TPD Investigators process the scene for evidence.  This incident is still under investigation at the time of this release.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

UPSON CO. ARSONIST SENTENCED TO FED PEN

A CONVICT DOING TIME FOR SERIAL ARSON IN UPSON COUNTY HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO TWO MORE YEARS IN PRISON FOR MAILING BOGUS ANTHRAX THREATS—USING THE NAME  AND  ADDRESS    OF SHERIFF DAN KILGORE ON THE ENVELOPES SENT TO THE STATE BAR OF GA., THE AJC NEWSPAPER, AND THE MORMAN CHURCH.

50 YEAR OLD TRAVIS BALL OF WARNER ROBINS WAS SENTENCED JUNE 23RD IN FEDERAL COURT—TWO YEARS IN PRISON PLUS THREE YEARS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE AND —RESTITUTION OF $10,700.

SHERIFF KILGORE SAID BALL WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF ROBINS AIR BASE WHO HAD FRIENDS IN THOMASTON—AND LOCATED VACANT RESIDENCES IN WESTERN UPSON CO. IN REAL ESTATE MAGAZINES AND TORCHED THEM.

THE FBI CONTACTED THE SHERIFF OVER A YEAR AGO—ABOUT THE THREATS—JUST AS BALL WAS UP FOR PAROLE FROM A SOUTH GA. PRISON. NOW HE GOES INTO THE FEDERAL PENAL SYSTEM.

THE SHERIFF SAID BALL WROTE COUNTLESS LETTERS TO HIS OFFICE, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE , AND OTHER OFFICIALS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIS MIS-TREATMENT BY THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. SHERIFF  KILGORE  TOLD  ZOOM  NEWS   HE   IS  PUZZLED  BY  BALL'S  ACTIONS.





Friday, June 23, 2017

THE ROCK RANCH CANCELS CELEBRATE AMERICA-SAT.

TWO CANCELLATIONS SATURDAY—THE ROCK RANCH HAS CANCELLED CELEBRATE AMERICA SATURDAY DUE TO WEATHER THREATS. THE FRED IN PEACHTREE CITY SAYS PAUL ANKA HAS CANCELLED HIS SHOW SATURDAY NIGHT AND OTHER SHOWS DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CITY OF THOMASTON NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR HIRED

THE CITY OF THOMASTON HAS HIRED A NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR, LONNIE JOYCE, A C.P.A. MR JOYCE HAS BEEN WORKING AS CONTRACT INTERIM FINANCE DIRECTOR SINCE FEBRUARY. HIS SALARY WILL BE $92,000 ANNUALLY.


CITY COUNCILMAN JEFF MIDDLEBROOKS VOTED AGAINST THE MOTION TO HIRE THE NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR FOLLOWING AN EXECUTIVE SESSION, TUESDAY NIGHT.

Friday, June 16, 2017

UPSON JURY SPLIT 9-3 IN FAVOR OF DEATH PENALTY

AFTER DELIBRATING 30 MINUTES WEDNESDAY AN UPSON COUNTY JURY SENTENCED CHRISTOPHER CALMER TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THE MURDER OF DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS—THE UPSON JURY WAS REPORTEDLY SPLIT 9 TO 3 IN FAVOR OF THE DEATH PENALTY.

THE FATHER OF DEPUTY NORRIS---BENNETT NORRIS TOLD THE TELEGRAPH HE BELIEVES THE JURY WOULD HAVE REACHED A DIFFERENT VERDICT—IF THEY COULD HAVE HEARD THE FAMILY SAY THEY WANTED THE DEATH PENALTY.


THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW SUCH TESTIMONY DURING THE SENTENCING PHASE OF A DEATH PENALTY CASE.

HBO CASTING CALL FOR ACTORS IN BVILLE

ANOTHER OPEN CASTING CALL HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE HBO SERIES— -- SHARP OBJECTS --- STARRING AMY ADAMS THAT BEGINS FILMING THE FIRST OF THE WEEK IN BARNESVILLE AND MCDONOUGH.

NEEDED; A CAUCASIAN FEMALE WHO HAS THE BODY OF AN 18 YEAR OLD, A CAUCASIAN BOY AGES 7 TO 9, A CAUCASIAN MALE AGES 50 TO 65, CAUCASIAN FEMALE AGES 50 TO 60 AND 18 TO 21 YEAR OLD CAUCASIAN MALES.


FOR MORE INFO LOG ON TO BARNESVILLE DOT COM.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MOTORCYCLE WRECK CLAIMS A SON OF UPSON

A YOUNG MAN ORIGINALLY FROM THOMASTON WAS KILLED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT TUESDAY EVENING ON DUNBAR ROAD IN HOUSTON COUNTY.

ACCORDING TO HOUSTON COUNTY S.O.---27 YEAR OLD JEREMY WRIGHT OF MILLEDGEVILLE, GA. WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE AFTER AN APPARENT HEAD-ON COLLISION WITH A PICK-UP TRUCK.

JEREMY'S MOTHER SHARON—TOLD ZOOM NEWS HE WAS A PROFESSIONAL CHURCH MUSICIAN AND MUSIC PRODUCER.


FUNERAL SERVICES FOR JEREMY WRIGHT WILL BE HELD TUESDAY, JUNE 20TH AT 12 NOON AT MARY LIZZIE BAPTIST CHURCH IN THOMASTON --- TRICE FUNERAL HOME IN CHARGE OF ARRANGEMENTS.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH TILL 11PM

MARTHA ANN MCCARTY—UPSON EMA DIRECTOR SAYS THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR THIS PART OF GA. UNTIL 11PM THURSDAY NIGHT. MARTHA ANN SAID THUNDERSTORM CELLS AROUND THE ATLANTA METRO AREA COULD TRACK A PATH SOUTH AND IMPACT THE ZOOM RADIO LISTENING AREA.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

UPSON CO. JURY GIVES CALMER LIFE W/O PAROLE

WEDNESDAY IN MONROE COUNTY, AN UPSON COUNTY JURY SENTENCED CHRISTOPHER CALMER TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THE MURDER OF MONROE COUNTY DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS IN 2014. THE STATE WAS SEEKING THE DEATH PENALTY.


THE JURY FOUND CALMER GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS TUESDAY AFTER JUST 30 MINUTES OF DELIBRATIONS.    

THREATS TO INTERFOR ALERT UPSON S.O.

THE UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAS OBTAINED A CRIMINAL WARRANT FOR TERRORISTIC THREATS AFTER A CULLODEN MAN ALLEGEDLY THREATENED TO BLOW-UP INTERFOR—THE FORMER KEADLE LUMBER ENTERPRISES—AND KILL HIS FORMER BOSS.

SHERIFF DAN KILGORE TOLD ZOOM NEWS WEDNESDAY--- 63 YEAR OLD WILLIAM FREDRICK HARRIS OF BILLY HARRIS ROAD IN MONROE COUNTY IS HOSPITALIZED IN MACON—BUT ONCE HE IS RELEASED DEPUTIES WILL PICK HIM UP AND BRING HIM TO THE UPSON COUNTY JAIL FOR BOOKING.

HARRIS WAS REPORTEDLY DISMISSED FROM INTERFOR ON JUNE 5TH AND MONROE COUNTY S.O. GOT WORD HE WAS THREATENING THE COMPANY AND NOTIFIED UPSON S.O. HARRIS WAS REPORTED MISSING LAST WEEK BUT TURNED-UP OVER THE WEEKEND.


SHERIFF KILGORE SAID--ONCE NOTIFIED OF THE THREATS, UPSON DEPUTIES MET WITH SUPERVISORS AT INTERFOR AND ALERTED THEM OF THE SITUATION.   

THOMASTON P.D. K-9 UNIT NABS ESCAPEE

THE THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT K-9 UNIT TRACKED DOWN A FEMALE INMATE WHO ESCAPED FROM CITY COURT —TUESDAY—FOUND HER IN AN ABANDONED HOUSE AT GORDON AND SOUTH BETHEL.

POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON SAID 35 YEAR OLD RHONDA BRADSHAW—FACING A RAP FOR SHOPLIFTING, MANAGED TO EXIT THE COURTROOM UNDETECTED AT THE GOVERNMENT COMPLEX DURING RECESS.

K-9 RYDER WAS DISPATCHED—PICKED-UP BRADSHAW'S TRAIL AND FOUND HER HIDING IN THE BACK OF THE RESIDENCE NEXT TO H & R BLOCK.


SHE FACES ADDITIONAL CHARGES—AND THE CHIEF HAS ORDERED AN INVESTIGATION INTO HOW SHE WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2-2 TIE VOTE FOR POULTRY HOUSES

BEFORE A FULL HOUSE, THE UPSON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION VOTED 2-2 ON A SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR 6 POULTRY HOUSES FOR BILL THOMPSON ON REST HAVEN ROAD, MONDAY. THE ITEM WILL BE ON THE JULY MEETING AGENDA.


CHAIRMAN PAUL JONES AND VICE CHAIR JOEL PITTS VOTED FOR THE MOTION TO APPROVE. ALICIA MCKINLEY AND JEFFREY HILTON VOTED AGAINST, THE 5TH MEMBER MIKE RAINES WAS ABSENT.

LIFE IN PRISON FOR RUBY KATE COURSEY

ACCORDING TO GRIFFIN CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER—A THOMASTON WOMAN WILL SERVE LIFE IN PRISON FOR LEAVING HER EX-BOYFRIEND TO DIE OF HYPOTHERMIA IN A WOODED AREA IN UPSON COUNTY. 27 YEAR OLD RUBY KATE COURSEY ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA TUESDAY IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT.

COURSEY HAS ADMITTED USING METH AND MARIJUANA WHEN SHE PUSHED 33 YEAR OLD TROYMAIN JOHNSON OF FT. VALLEY OUT OF THE CAR AND LEFT HIM TO DIE. JOHNSON WAS A PARAPLEGIC WHO REPORTEDLY ONLY HAD USE OF THREE FINGERS.

THE INCIDENT HAPPENED TUESDAY MARCH 14TH—BUT SHE WAITED TILL FRIDAY TO REPORT IT.

D.A. COKER SAID ACCORDING TO THE SENTENCE FROM JUDGE CHRIS EDWARDS—COURSEY MUST SERVE 30 YEARS OF HER SENENCE BEFORE SHE IS ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE.

DURING THE GUILTY PLEA PROCEEDING—MS. COURSEY SOBBED THAT SHE REGRETED HER ACTIONS AND ASKED JOHNSON'S FAMILY TO FORGIVE HER.


PROSECUTOR COKER CREDITED COOPERATION BETWEEN HIS OFFICE, THE GBI, UPSON S.O. AND THOMASTON P.D. FOR THE QUICK RESOLUTION OF THE CASE. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

DROWNING AT SPREWELL BLUFF

A COLLEGE PARK TEEN APPARENTLY DROWNED SATURDAY AFTERNOON WHILE SWIMMING AT SPREWELL BLUFF PARK. UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE IDENTIFIED THE VICTIM AS 18 YEAR OLD SANTIAGO NICKOLAS RAFEL BERNABE WHOSE BODY WAS SENT TO THE GBI CRIME LAB FOR AUTOPSY.

SHERIFF KILGORE SAID BERNABE WAS WITH A GROUP OF ABOUT 40 PEOPLE WHO CAME FROM SOUTH ATLANTA TO ENJOY THE FLINT RIVER. NO ONE SAW HIM GO UNDER BUT HIS BODY WAS SPOTTED FACE DOWN NEAR A ROCK AND IT WAS ALREADY STIFF.

IN ANOTHER WEEKEND INCIDENT ON THE FLINT, A THOMASTON WOMAN WAS FORCED TO STAY OVERNIGHT IN THE WOODS AFTER SHE GOT SEPARATED FROM HER FLOATING COMPANIONS .

THE SHERIFF SAID 35 YEAR OLD CASEY LEE ANN BROOKS HOBBS OF COBBTOWN ROAD DEVELOPED A HOLE IN HER TUBE PAST YELLOW JACKET SHOALS AND HAD TO GO TO THE BANK.


SHE WAS CONTACTED BY CELL PHONE AND CONFIRMED SHE WAS O.K. SHE BUILT A FIRE IN A CLEARING AND WAITED OUT THE NIGHT, AND WALKED OUT ON ROLAND ROAD THE NEXT MORNING. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

SERVICES FOR LT. OXFORD

LT. ROBERT EUGENE OXFORD---A PIKE COUNTY AIRMAN WHO DIED IN A PLANE CRASH IN THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS DURING WORLD WAR TWO IS LYING IN STATE AT MOODY-DANIEL FUNERAL HOME IN ZEBULON AND VISITATION IS SCHEDULED FRIDAY 5 TO 8PM AND SATURDAY 10AM TILL 4PM AT THE FUNERAL HOME.

A VIDEO OF THE RECOVERY OF LT. OXFORD'S REMAINS IN INDIA IS PRESENTED IN THE CHAPEL AND PHOTOS OF LT. OXFORD AND THE 7 OTHERS WHO PERISHED IN THE CRASH ARE DISPLAYED NEXT TO HIS CASKET—ALONG WITH A PHOTO OF —THE LATE SUSAN BROWN OF ZEBULON, HIS FUTURE BRIDE.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE IS SCHEDULED SUNDAY 2PM AT THE PIKE COUNTY SCHOOL AUDITORIUM WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS AT MAGNOLIA CEMETERY IN CONCORD. OFFICIATING—REV. BOB MCCOMBS, REV. JEFF OVERTON AND REV. BILL BARBER, SOLOIST KEITH JOHNSON.

TIM DANIEL TOLD US VINTAGE AIRCRAFT FROM THE CANDLER FIELD MUSEUM WILL DO A FLY-OVER AT THE CEMETERY SERVICE.

THE FUNERAL HOME HAS PROVIDED 700 YELLOW RIBBONS TO WELCOME HOME LT. OXFORD AND TIM SAYS THEY ARE DISPLAYED ALL OVER PIKE COUNTY.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

D.A. COKER ANNOUNCES DAVID GIBSON GUILTY PLEA

ACCORDING TO BENJAMIN COKER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN SPALDING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT THURSDAY, A RETIRED CAPTAIN WITH THE SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, DAVID WAYNE GIBSON ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA TO TWO COUNTS OF VIOLATION OF OATH OF OFFICE AND WAS SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS, 3 TO SERVE IN PRISON.


GIBSON WAS INDICTED FOR MULTIPLE COUNTS OF SEXUAL HARRASSMENT OF FEMALE EMPLOYEES OF THE SPALDING S.O. DURING THE SERVICE OF SHERIFF WENDELL BEAM. THOSE FEMALES HAVE FILED AN EEOC LAW SUIT AGAINST GIBSON , FORMER SHERIFF BEAM AND THE COUNTY OF SPALDING SEEKING AT LEAST $8 MILLION IN DAMAGES. ONE NON-EMPLOYEE OF THE S.O. IS ALSO A PARTY TO THE LAW SUIT.

NEW CONTRACT FOR THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER

THE THOMASTON CITY COUNCIL VOTED 4 TO 1 TO APPROVE A NEW CONTRACT FOR CITY MANAGER RUSSELL THOMPSON AFTER A CLOSED DOOR SESSION —TUESDAY--WITH A 5% PAY RAISE—BUT COUNCILMAN JEFF MIDDLEBROOKS TOLD ZOOM NEWS HE CAST THE LONE VOTE AGAINST THE $6300 PAY BOOST.


COUNCILMAN MIDDLEBROOKS SAID HE OPPOSES ANY INDIVIDUAL PAY RAISES BEFORE THE FINAL REPORT FROM THE CARL VINSON INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENT STUDY ON PAY AND CLASSIFICATION OF CITY EMPLOYEES. THE MANAGER'S BASE SALARY IS NOW $131,000.

MAYOR J.D. STALLINGS TOLD US THE 5% PAY HIKE WITH THE MANAGERS BENEFITS PACKAGE WILL PUT HIS TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE AROUND $150,000. ITS A 4% PAY HIKE PLUS THE 1% ALL CITY EMPLOYEES GOT THE FIRST OF THE YEAR.

THE MAYOR SAID ITS IN LINE WITH WHAT SIMILAR-SIZED CITIES ARE PAYING THEIR MANAGERS. HE COMMENDED THOMPSON FOR DOING A TERRIFIC JOB AND CALLED HIM A GOOD FIT FOR THE COMMUNITY.


TUESDAY WAS RUSSELL'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY AS THOMASTON'S CITY MANAGER.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

UPSON JURORS ON MONROE COUNTY MURDER CASE

12 JURORS AND 6 ALTERNATES FROM UPSON COUNTY HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE DEATH PENALTY TRIAL OF CHRISTOPHER CALMER INDICTED FOR THE MURDER OF MONROE COUNTY DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS.

AS THE TRIAL GOT UNDERWAY MONDAY AT THE MONROE COUNTY COURTHOUSE—SHERIFF JOHN CARY BITTICK AND THE NORRIS FAMILY REMINDED THE PUBLIC TO REFRAIN FROM ANY OUTWARD SIGNS OF SUPPORT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT—SUCH AS BLUE RIBBONS OR CLOTHING ITEMS FROM THE BACK THE BLUE MOVEMENT.

NORRIS WAS SHOT AND KILLED AND DEPUTY JEFF WILSON WAS WOUNDED IN SEPT. OF 2014 WHEN THEY RESPONDED TO A CALL ABOUT A MAN THREATENING SUICIDE.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PROPOSED FY 2018 BUDGET TU BOE

The Thomaston Upson Board of Education is proposing a $34.7 million general fund budget for FY2018 which begins July 1. This budget reflects an increase of $1.2 million dollars from the FY2017 budget. With this budget, the board is proposing to add $233 thousand to the general fund balance reserves. Due to having to use fund balance reserves for a number of years, the fund balance is projected to be approximately $4.2 million at June 30, 2018. School districts need at least 2 months or 15% in fund balance reserves to operate efficiently. 

Revenues are increasing $1.6 million dollars all from the State Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding. Total QBE revenues of $25.2 million account for 72% of the revenue. However, our school district still has an austerity reduction of$441 thousand dollars from the QBE funding.  Since 2002, austerity reductions for our school district have totaled $24.6 million in funds we have not received under the State Quality Basic Education funding formula.    

Property tax revenue is pending upon receipt of final tax digest information in August. Property tax revenue is currently budgeted at $8.2 million dollars at a mill rate of 15.42 mills accounting for 24% of the revenue. The value of 1 mill currently generates approximately $550 thousand dollars per mill for the school district.    

The remaining $1.5 million or 4 % comes from other federal, state and local sources for a grand total of $34.9 million in revenues. 

Ninety percent of the budget or $29.8 million is for salaries and benefits. The remaining 10% or $3.7 million is other operational expenses. $1.2 million of the $3.7 million is used for fuel to transport our students and utilities for the facilities. 

The Board of Education will conduct another public budget hearing on the preliminary general fund budget on Tuesday, June 13 at 5:30 pm prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 pm.  At the regularly scheduled board meeting on June 13, the board will consider for tentative adoption the FY2018 budget.

The board will consider for final adoption the FY2018 budget Tuesday, June 27 at 5 pm.    

BOMB THREAT AT WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME --BARNESVILLE

CITY OF BARNESVILLE POLICE CHIEF CRAIG COOPER SAID BOMB-SNIFFING DOGS FROM BIBB S.O. CHECKED OUT WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME ON ROSE AVE. — AND FOUND NOTHING--AFTER A BOMB THREAT WAS FAXED TO THE MORTUARY AROUND 10AM WEDNESDAY. EVERYONE WAS EVACUATED FROM THE AREA.

CHIEF COOPER SAID THE WRITTEN DOCUMENT DEMANDED A RANSOM OF $25,000 OR A BOMB WOULD IGNITE --- WITH AN ACCOUNT NUMBER IN BRAZIL IN SOUTH AMERICA POSTED TO SEND THE MONEY.

THE BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE RECEIVED THE SAME TYPE OF FAXED BOMB THREAT LAST WEEK—CHIEF COOPER TOLD ZOOM NEWS—IT APPEARS TO BE A NATION-WIDE SCARE —AND THE FBI IS BEING CALLED-IN TO INVESTIGATE.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MESSAGE FROM UPSON TAX COMMISSIONER ANDY CHASTAIN

The tax commissioner's office will be filing FiFas (tax liens) on June 1st which will include any unpaid 2016 taxes on real and personal property. Unless you've already made arrangements with the tax commissioner's office to settle you past due tax bill, these delinquent taxes have been turned over to a collection agency and a tax lien will be recorded in the clerk's office. Delinquent taxpayers are urged to come in and settle your tax bill to prevent a tax lien from going against your property. This tax lien will not only go against your credit, but any past due taxes that go unpaid can result in wage garnishment, a bank levy, or your property being sold at a tax sale. Tax sales have already been scheduled for August 1st, Sept. 5th, and Oct. 3rd., with a mobile home sale scheduled for Dec. 5th.

Monday, May 22, 2017

CITY OF THOMASTON SEWER OVERFLOW

On May 21, 2017, ESG responded to a customer complaint of sewage escaping from a manhole. As part of our investigation we walked the sewer line and discovered sewer leaking due to a line blockage.

The leak was discovered at 8:40 pm and ceased at 10:40 pm when our crews cleared the blockage. There was approximately 1200 gallons of wastewater released. The sewage discharged into Potato Creek. The leak was estimated at 10 gpm from the time it was discovered.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been notified and the affected area has been treated within the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the above listed contact persons.

FEDERAL LAW SUIT FILED AGAINST TENCATE

In an order issued last Friday, a federal judge in Macon rejected an effort by Southern Mills, Inc, doing business as TenCate Protective Fabrics, to dismiss the federal Clean Water Act lawsuit filed last September by two sets of local property owners and the Flint Riverkeeper.

The lawsuit alleges that TenCate has and continues to discharge pollutants into tributaries of the Flint River and onto the owners’ properties from its fabric dyeing and finishing plant near Molena, Georgia.

TenCate is an international manufacturer of protective fabrics, synthetic turf, and other products with its corporate headquarters and multiple facilities in Georgia. The chemicals used at the Molena plant are partially treated and then discharged to spray fields pursuant to a land application system (“LAS”) permit issued by Georgia Environmental Protection Division (“EPD”). A LAS (also called a “sprayfield”) is designed for pollutants to be removed by plants and soil before entering adjacent water bodies. A properly designed and operated LAS produces a percolate water of high quality that protects ground and surface water resources. A spray irrigation system is typically used to apply all or a portion of the treated wastewater to approved sites.

In the lawsuit filed last September, the Riverkeeper and private property owners, however, allege that the overburdened and oversaturated LAS at TenCate’s Molena Plant has discharged and continues to discharge still polluted industrial process wastewater overland and directly into streams on private property and springs that feed to these streams which are tributaries of the Flint River, including Cox Branch and Hardy Branch, in Upson County. These discharges have polluted the streams with salts, nitrate, arsenic, chromium, and other pollutants, and increased the conductivity of stream water in several locations, including clear-water branches and formerly clear-water wetlands with high-quality gum and oak flats. Additionally, noxious odors and overspray have been observed by local citizens and confirmed by the Riverkeeper on many occasions.

The suit seeks an injunction from the court to stop the illegal pollution and impose penalties for past and ongoing violations, among other remedies. In October 2016, TenCate filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the alleged discharges of still polluted industrial process wastewater from its LAS are exempt from the Clean Water Act.

Last Friday, however, Senior U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal rejected the textile company’s arguments and held that the Clean Water Act applies to the alleged discharges and pollution. The Court held that the Clean Water Act applies to discharges of still polluted industrial process wastewater from the LAS to the streams on private property through groundwater that connects the LAS to the streams.

In addition, the Court held that the Act also prohibits discharges of still polluted industrial process wastewater from irrigation spray heads on the LAS, overland through ditches and seeps, and into the streams.

Finally, the Court held that permits issued to TenCate by the State of Georgia do not permit discharges of still polluted industrial process wastewater mixed with stormwater. The case will now move forward to discovery.

The federal Clean Water Act empowers citizens to file lawsuits when regulators are either unable to or refuse to step in to stop pollution. Despite efforts of the Riverkeeper and local citizens to address the ongoing problem at Ten Cate with the Georgia EPD, the facility continues to allow pollution from its spray field to run off and seep into protected streams. Said Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers, “We are very heartened that the Court agreed that the Clean Water Act prohibits the discharges and pollution from the LAS, and we believe that we will be able to prove the discharges exist. We are pleased that the case has been allowed to move forward, but we remain profoundly disappointed that we had to file suit on this issue in the first place. We seek only to stop the pollution. TenCate could work with us at any point to do such.”

The Riverkeeper is represented by GreenLaw a non-profit environmental law firm in Atlanta. “The Riverkeeper’s primary objections continue to be ceasing the discharge of chemicals into tributaries of the Flint River,” said David Paule, Executive Director of GreenLaw. “We still remain hopeful that this problem can be settled without a trial, but we are prepared, if necessary, to see this through.” The Riverkeeper and local property owners are also represented by Donald D.J. Stack and Tyler J. Sniff of Stack & Associates, P.C., an environmental law firm in Atlanta. Said Don Stack, “We believe that the thing for the company to do is install a modern wastewater treatment system, returning clean water directly to the Flint system. In this way the basin will be protected and our clients’ property damage problems will be addressed.” “Polluted industrial process wastewater discharged directly to tributaries of the Flint River without a Clean Water Act permit is illegal. We seek to protect the health of the community, property values, and the River,” says Gordon Rogers, the Flint Riverkeeper. “We want TenCate to make the necessary investments, so that their important product for our safety and national security continues to be marketed, jobs are preserved, private property is cleaned up and protected, and our public waters have their quality and flow restored.”

Interested parties wanting to follow the issue may visit the Flint Riverkeeper website at www.flintriverkeeper.org, the GreenLaw website at www.greenlaw.org, and Stack & Associates, P.C. website at http://www.stackenvirolaw.com/.

ABOUT THE GROUPS Flint Riverkeeper – Founded in 2008, Flint Riverkeeper is the only organization which has the sole mission of restoring and protecting the waters of the Flint River, Georgia. The long term goal of Flint Riverkeeper is to insure enough clean water for all uses: fishing, swimming, drinking, agriculture, and industry, and all other reasonable uses. Supported by nearly 3,000 Georgia citizens, Flint Riverkeeper has amassed a steady record of meaningful policy and legal victories for the Flint and her citizens. GreenLaw - As a 501(c)(3) law firm, GreenLaw advocates to preserve Georgia’s unique natural places and enforces compliance with environmental law through the court system. GreenLaw was founded in 1992 by attorneys, law professors, and judges committed to providing community groups in Georgia with the legal and technical tools needed to protect their environment and public health. For more information, please visit www.greenlaw.org. Stack & Associates, P.C. - Founded in 1993 through the vision of Donald D.J. Stack, Esq. is a premier environmental law office serving citizens, municipalities and corporations throughout the entire Southeast region.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

UPSON COURTHOUSE ANNEX CLOSED TUES.

THE UPSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX WILL REOPEN THIS MORNING AFTER IT WAS CLOSED TUESDAY MORNING FOR THE REST OF THE DAY WHEN THOMASTON WATER DEPARTMENT CREWS STRUCK A NATURAL GAS LINE BEHIND THE ANNEX AROUND 9AM.


ALL BUILDINGS IN THAT BLOCK WERE VACATED BY THE THOMASTON FIRE DEPARTMENT AS A PRECAUTION—BUT THE ALL CLEAR WAS GIVEN ABOUT AN HOUR LATER.

UPSON S.O. NEW K-9 UNIT

The Upson County Sheriff’s Office has a new member. Millie, a police dog specially trained in tracking and narcotics detection.. K-9 Millie and her handler, Sgt. Mario Cromer, recently completed a four week training class in North Carolina. She reported to work and immediately helped make an arrest. Sgt. Cromer and Millie assisted with the execution of a search warrant at 316 Sheila Circle early Tuesday morning (May 16, 2017). The resident, Jody Mayo, 47, had methamphetamine hidden in two different locations at the residence. Millie alerted on a vehicle that had a hidden drug container  underneath the hood and on  a hollowed out log used to hide narcotics. She also alerted on a small amount of marijuana inside the residence. All total there was 56 grams of methamphetamine and less than one ounce of marijuana located during the search.  Mayo is charged with Trafficking methamphetamine. Mayo is being held without bond in the Upson County Jail.

Dan Kilgore, Sheriff
May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

FULL BLOWN FIRE ARMS MEETING IN SPALDING

NO DECISION ON FULL BLOWN FIREARMS COMPLIANCE WITH ITS HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT AT A CALLED MEETING OF THE SPALDING COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONDAY MORNING.

THE COUNTY'S ZONING ATTORNEY NEWTON GALLOWAY ANNOUNCED THE PUBLIC AND FULL BLOWN FIREARMS ON NORTH ROVER ROAD CAN ADDRESS THE ISSUES AT A MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MAY 25TH AT 6PM.

THE PLANNING COMMISSION WILL HEAR TESTIMONY AND MAKE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS—BUT IT COULD BE JUNE BEFORE A DECISION.

NEIGHBORS HAVE REPEATEDLY COMPLAINED TO THE COMMISSIONERS ABOUT SHOOTING NOISE AND FLYING LEAD FROM THE SHOOTING RANGE—THEY SAY IS DISRUPTING THEIR WAY OF LIFE.

TWO CONSULTANTS HIRED BY THE COUNTY TO INVESTIGATE GAVE SKPE REPORTS DURING THE MEETING—AND PLANNING DIRECTOR CHAD JACOBS ALSO REPORTED THE FIRING RANGE HAS NOT COMPLIED WITH ALL COUNTY CONDITIONS.

CONSULTANTS SAID SOME NEIGHBORS TREES HAD BEEN DAMAGED BY SHELLS AND LEAD ON THE GROUND IS IN VIOLATION OF EPA REGULATIONS.

FULL BLOWN OWNER BRAD WARD AND SOME NEIGHBORS TO THE SHOOTING RANGE WERE PRESENT—BUT NO PUBLIC COMMENT WAS ALLOWED BY THE COMMISSION.



Friday, May 12, 2017

GORDON STATE COLLEGE GRADUATION FRIDAY

Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins, chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, delivered the commencement address to graduates of Gordon State College Friday morning.
An estimated 4,000 people gathered on Lambdin Green at the center of campus to watch as 315 graduates, faculty members and administrators marched to their seats led by Piper Michael Grest and Dr. Andrew Osborne, Grand Marshal. The piper is a long-held tradition for Gordon graduations and nods to its Scottish roots while the Grand Marshal carries the Mace that contains Gordon’s official seal.
Hopkins told the graduates that their education was an investment.
“You, together with your parents and your family, are not the only ones who have made an investment in your college education,” Hopkins said. “The citizens of Georgia have also invested in you, because the college graduates of this state represent the future of Georgia.”
“Even as you invest your time and energy in building your careers, you will be building our economy and helping our state and its communities to thrive. But it is important to understand that ‘earning’ by itself is not ‘living.’
“Your degree is more than just an item of currency to be traded on the job market,” he said. “The largest investment of your life – the grand challenge, if you will – should be to develop yourself as a person.
Among Friday’s graduates were four area high school students enrolled in Gordon’s Move on When Ready program. MOWR gives high school students an opportunity to jump start their college education while still in high school. Each student was awarded an Associate degree with three awarded Summa Cum Laude – with highest honors. The students were Lamar County residents Riley Behre Fuller and Brannon David Waller, both Summa Cum Laude, Peyton Alexandra Lewis, Henry County, Summa Cum Laude and Jordan Danielle Smith, Butts County.
Among the Friday’s graduates was Chastity Smith who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education/Special Education degree.
“We are very proud of her,” said her parents Janice and Ricky. “This is a big accomplishment especially after she was delayed in completing her education because of medical issues.”
After the main ceremony, graduates of the nursing program held an emotional pinning ceremony during which they also lit their Nightingale lamps.
“Never give up, never stop learning,” Anne Purvis, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, told the 31 graduates.
Graduates honored during the ceremony were Mitzi Oden, Clinical Excellence; Penny Hawkins for overall Excellence in Nursing and Lauren Berger for Outstanding Perseverance.
Gordon graduated a total of 650 students this academic year in ceremonies held at the conclusion of Fall and Spring semesters. 

D.A. BEN COKER SAYS THANKS TO LAW OFFICERS

How do you truly thank a hero? How do you say thank you for the nights spent away from family responding to calls? How do you say thank you for taking care of the car wrecks, the violence, and the horrors that we don't have to see? Is there any way to repay them for sacrificing so much to keep us safe each day? The answer is no. There is nothing we could ever do to adequately say thank you. But sometimes, a simple act of kindness scratches the surface of what our law enforcement deserves.

I was greatly honored to serve food to the law enforcement of our Judicial Circuit for law enforcement appreciation week. My offices in Fayette, Spalding, Pike, and Upson Counties provided hamburgers and hot dogs to law enforcement in each county throughout the week. In all, we served over 350 law enforcement officers a hot lunch. It wasn't much, but it was the least we could do to say thank you to these real-life heroes in uniform.

Thank you to my amazing staff who understood the importance of what we were doing. Thank you to the citizens for your support. Most of all, thank you to the law enforcement officers in this circuit, and across this Country. Thank you for wearing that uniform every day.  Thank you for fighting. Thank you for caring. Thank you for protecting us. Citizens, please, thank a law enforcement officer today. Trust me, they don't hear thank you enough. 

Benjamin D. Coker
District Attorney
Griffin Judicial Circuit

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

THREE INJURIES 19 N. WED AM

ACCORDING TO POST 26 GA. STATE PATROL, THREE MOTORISTS WERE INJURED IN A HEAD-ON CRASH INVOLVING THREE VEHICLES EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING ON U.S. 19 NORTH NEAR THOMPSON ROAD.

AMBER ELLINGTON, 24 OF THOMASTON WAS AIR AMBULANCED TO A MACON HOSPITAL, RHONDA GRUBB, 44 , OF THOMASTON WAS TRANSPORTED TO MACON BY EMS AND 19 YEAR OLD REKEMMA ELLIS OF GRIFFIN WAS TRANSPORTED TO URMC, GRUBB AND ELLIS WITH NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES.


TROOPER TRE HOWARD SAID MS. ELLINGTON APPARENTLY CROSSED THE CENTER LINE—HIT MS. GRUBB HEAD-ON AND HER LEXUS FLIPPED AND MS. ELLIS STRUCK MS. ELLINGTON'S CAR.

WATER SERVICE OFF TONIGHT W. GOODRICH AVE. THOMASTON

THE CITY OF THOMASTON WATER SYSTEM WILL CUT-OFF SERVICE TO THE WEST GOODRICH AVE./PARK DRIVE AREA TONITE AT 10PM FOR ABOUT 3 HOURS FOR MAINTANCE AND REPAIR.


CITY OF THOMASTON SYSTEM OPERATOR---ESG OPERATIONS SAYS A FIRE HYDRANT LEAK HAS CAUSED THE PROBLEM. ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS CALL THE THOMASTON WATER DEPARTMENT AT 706-646-8031.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

UPSON CO. VICTIM OF HOUSE FIRE ON 19 SOUTH

ACCORDING TO UPSON COUNTY SHERIFF DAN KILGORE, A RESIDENT OF U.S. 19 SOUTH PERISHED IN A HOUSE FIRE EARLY TUESDAY.

74 YEAR OLD RONALD CARPENTER OF 6565 19 SOUTH WAS UNABLE TO GET OUT OF THE DWELLING WHEN IT CAUGHT FIRE.
A ROOMMATE, LARRY “GOAT” BROWN REPORTED SMELLING SMOKE AROUND 1;30AM AND WAS ALERTED BY CARPENTER THAT THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE AND BROWN MANAGED TO ESCAPE.

WHEN FIRE UNITS ARRIVED THE HOUSE WAS COMPLETELY ENGULFED IN FLAMES –UNITS FROM SALEM, YATESVILLE, ROCK HILL, AND NORTHSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENTS RESPONDED.


CARPENTER'S BODY WAS SENT TO THE STATE CRIME LAB FOR AUTOPSY.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

CITY OF THOMASTON SEWER RELEASE

Occurrence: On May 4th, 2017, ESG responded to a sewer release call and discovered a sewer lateral had collapsed allowing debris to flow into the line causing a blockage downstream. The release was discovered at 3:22 pm and ceased when the blockage was cleared at 3:36 pm. The discharge was determined to be at a rate of 30 gallons per minute. There was a total of 420 gallons of wastewater that escaped from the sewer system. An estimated value of 300 gallons was recovered by utilization of a vacuum truck, while approximately 120 gallons made it into the waters of the state. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been notified and the affected area has been treated within the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the above listed contact person

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SHERIFF KILGORE ANNOUNCES ARRESTS

On May 2, 2017 deputies arrested three male juveniles age 15 and 14 who are responsible for committing two separate burglaries at Kelly’s Corner Convenience Store located on Yatesville Highway in Upson County. The burglaries were committed on Wednesday April 26 and Thursday April 27 between 11:00 pm and 3:00am.  Two juveniles served as lookouts while the other one entered the store through the roof. Beer and cigarettes were stolen from the store.  All three juveniles confessed to their role in the burglaries. All have been referred to juvenile court for prosecution and are being held in the Regional Youth Detention Center in Macon.
Dan Kilgore, Sheriff
May 2, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

300 POTENTIAL JURORS REPORT FOR MONROE CO. TRIAL

150 PROSPECTIVE JURORS FROM UPSON COUNTY WERE AT THE UPSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE MONDAY AND 150 MORE REPORT TUESDAY-- FOR THE TRIAL OF CHRISTOPHER CALMER INDICTED FOR THE MURDER OF MONROE COUNTY DEPUTY MICHAEL NORRIS AND WOUNDING OF DEPUTY JEFF WILSON IN 2014.

THE JUDGE, PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS IN THE CASE ARE SCHEDULED TO SORT THROUGH ANY REQUESTS TO BE EXCUSED BY THE JURORS.

JURY SELECTION FOR THE JUNE TRIAL IS SET TO BEGIN MAY 9TH.

AN UPSON COUNTY JURY FOUND CALMER COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL LAST YEAR—BUT HIS ATTORNEYS HAVE FILED A MOTION ASKING THAT HIS COMPETENCY BE RE-EXAMINED BEFORE THE TRIAL—AND EVIDENCE IN THAT MOTION IS SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY.


CALMER'S TRIAL WILL BE HELD IN MONROE COUNTY WITH A JURY FROM UPSON COUNTY.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MISSING HENRY CO. SENIOR CITIZEN FOUND IN UPSON

A SENIOR CITIZEN WITH ALZHEIMERS FROM HENRY COUNTY TURNED-UP MISSING FROM HIS HOME IN MCDONOUGH OVERNIGHT WEDNESDAY —AND WAS FOUND WALKING NEAR THE FLINT RIVER CAMPUS OF S. C.T.C. BY THOMASTON POLICE THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

POLICE CHIEF MIKE RICHARDSON— TOLD ZOOM NEWS 83 YEAR OLD THOMAS MILTON MARSHALL APPARENTLY GAVE OUT OF GAS IN HIS S-10 PICK-UP IN THE ALLEN ROAD AREA IN SOUTHERN UPSON COUNTY AND WALKED SEVERAL MILES BEFORE HE WAS FOUND. HE SEEMED CONFUSED SO POLICE CHECKED HIS I.D. AND DISCOVERED HE WAS MISSING.

HENRY COUNTY POLICE ISSUED A MISSING PERSONS BULLETIN FOR MR. MARSHALL THURSDAY MORNING—NOTING HE MAY BE DISORIENTED.


THE CHIEF SAID --MR. MARSHALL APPROACHED A THOMASTON POLICE OFFICER THURSDAY MORNING AT A GAS STATION AND ASKED FOR DIRECTIONS TO MOLENA—BUT THE OFFICER WAS UNAWARE HE WAS A MISSING PERSON.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

D.A. BEN COKER ANNOUNCES SENTENCE IN OFFICER JORDAN CASE

IN SPALDING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT—MONDAY--CHANTELL MIXON ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH FELONY MURDER OF GRIFFIN POLICE OFFICER KEVIN JORDAN—ENTERED A PLEA TO LESSER CHARGES OF FELONY OBSTRUCTION, PUBLIC DRUNK, AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND WAS SENTENCED TO 8 YEARS—3 YEARS IN PRISON BY JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS.

EVIDENCE IN THE TRIAL OF HER THEN BOY-FRIEND MICHAEL BOWMAN --- SHOWED SHE WAS UNRULY AT THE WAFFLE HOUSE ON THE NORTH EXPRESSWAY IN GRIFFIN AND WHEN OFFICER JORDAN TRIED TO ARREST HER—SHE RESISTED AND BOWMAN SHOT AND KILLED THE OFFICER.

BOWMAN IS SERVING LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE—BUT HIS ATTORNEY'S ARE SEEKING A NEW TRIAL.

AFTER MIXON'S SENTENCING—GRIFFIN CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER SAID MIXON'S ACTIONS WERE DESPICABLE—BUT THE STATE WOULD BE UNABLE TO PROVE THAT SHE COULD HAVE FORESEEN THAT STRIKING THE OFFICER WOULD HAVE LEAD TO BOWMAN'S SHOOTING OFFICER JORDAN IN THE BACK.

COKER ADDED –ITS WITH A HEAVY HEART THAT THE STATE MADE THIS OFFER TO MIXON—BUT IT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE PROSECUTION TEAM AND THE JORDAN FAMILY—AND WE CAN ONLY HOPE IT GIVES CLOSURE TO THE FAMILY, THE SPALDING COUNTY COMMUNITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.



SOCIAL MEDIA THREATS AT CARVER ROAD MIDDLE SCHOOL

SPALDING COUNTY SHERIFF DARRELL DIX SAYS HIS OFFICE COOPERATED WITH THE GRIFFIN-SPALDING COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM TO INVESTIGATE SOCIAL MEDIA THREATS MADE BY SOME CARVER ROAD MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS— BUT ANY ACTION TAKEN WOULD BE UP TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

THE SHERIFF SAID TWO STUDENTS HAD WORDS AND POSTED THREATS TO BRING GUNS TO SCHOOL TO SETTLE THE ISSUE.

HIS OFFICE INTERVIEWED THREE STUDENTS ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED WITH THEIR PARENTS CONSENT—AND THEY SEEMED TO GET THE MESSAGE OF THE SEVERITY OF THEIR ACTIONS.


THE SHERIFF ADDED ANY SUCH THREATS WILL BE INVESTIGATED QUICKLY BY THE S.O. AND SCHOOL SYSTEM—GETTING INVOLVED AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE IS THE KEY TO AVOIDING A POTENTIAL TRAGEDY. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

SCTC GROUNDBREAKING IN GRIFFIN APRIL 26 10AM

Southern Crescent Technical College has just announced plans to hold a Groundbreaking Celebration for the Education and Training Complex at Ellis Crossing to be held on April 26, 2017 at 10am.
The Education and Training Complex was made possible through funds raised in the 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for Spalding County.   In 2015, the property was purchased and work on the redesign began shortly thereafter.
Lord, Aeck, & Sargent Architects redesigned the nearly 45,000 square feet in the first phase of the property which consisted of an abandoned grocery store and several retail locations to house the Southern Crescent Technical College Film Technology programs, classrooms and labs. Eventually, the additional 20,000 square feet will be renovated to house the Economic Development and Adult Education programs at the College although the infrastructure, mechanical and electrical improvements for the second phase will be completed during initial construction.  Parrish Construction Group began demolition in early March and they estimate that construction will be completed near the end of 2017.  The first classes will be held in the space Spring Semester 2018.
The Education and Training Complex at Ellis Crossing has been a collaborative project many years in the making between Southern Crescent Technical College, Southern Crescent Technical College Foundation, and the governments and citizens of the City of Griffin and Spalding County. In addition, Southern Crescent Technical College is one of a select few partner schools offering Georgia Film Academy courses which will be taught at this new location.
Southern Crescent Technical College President, Dr. Alvetta Thomas stated, “A project of this magnitude with multiple partners requires much planning and collaboration. We are beyond excited to finally see the construction underway on this important asset to our community.  We cannot thank the citizens of Griffin and Spalding County enough for creating this opportunity for our students and our community, for they will be the true winner with this addition.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NOTICE FOR UPSON CO. PROPERTY OWNERS

ALL PROPERTY OWNERS IN UPSON COUNTY WILL BE RECEIVING THEIR 2017 ASSESSMENT NOTICE THIS WEEK. MOST PROPERTIES WILL SHOW AN INCREASE IN VALUE DUE TO A RISE IN SALE PRICES OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS.


PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE 45 DAYS IN WHICH TO APPEAL THE VALUE ON THEIR PROPERTY WITH THE LAST DAY BEING JUNE IST. TO FILE AN APPEAL GO BY THE TAX ASSESSORS' OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE ANNEX OR MAIL IN A WRITTEN APPEAL.

PIKE CO. FAMILY DIES IN FLA PLANE CRASH

ACCORDING TO THE GAINESVILLE FLORIDA SUN NEWSPAPER---MORE THAN 20 PILOTS FLEW OUT OF THE WILLISTON, FLORIDA AIRPORT BEFORE ONE OF THEM NOTICED THE WRECKAGE OF A PLANE THAT KILLED A PIKE COUNTY COUPLE AND THEIR TWO SMALL CHILDREN SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

NATHAN ENDERS AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLER , HIS WIFE LAURA AND THEIR TWO SMALL KIDS PERISHED IN THE CRASH OF A VINTAGE CESSNA THAT WAS DISCOVERED 21 HOURS AFTER IT WENT DOWN. AN OLDER SON WAS NOT WITH THEM ON THE TRIP.

THE AIRPORT HOSTED A BAR B Q FLY-IN EVENT SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND POLICE SAID THE PLANE ATTEMPTED TO TAKE OFF AT 3;10PM AND CRASHED ABOUT 150 FEET BEFORE THE TREE LINE AT THE NORTH END OF THE TAXIWAY.

BETWEEN 20 AND 30 AIRCRAFT TOOK OFF FROM THE AIRPORT AFTER THE CRASH SATURDAY BUT IT WAS A JET PILOT LEAVING THE AIRPORT SUNDAY AFTERNOON WHO FIRST ALERTED AUTHORITIES.

ACCORDING TO THE NTSB---THE CESSNA WAS EQUIPPED WITH AN EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTER THAT CONTINUED TO SEND A RADIO SIGNAL THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTICED BY PILOTS WITHIN 2 OR 3 MILES EVEN IF THE ANTENNA WAS DAMAGED.

IT WILL BE A WEEK OR SO BEFORE THE PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE CRASH IS AVAILABLE FROM THE NTSB—BUT WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE GOOD AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.

NATHAN ENDERS IS A FORMER FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR



CITY OF THOMASTON SEWER OVERFLOW

Public Notification Sanitary Sewer Overflow at Collection System 408 Barnesville Highway County: Upson Date of Release: 4/17/2017, 1:03 pm Contact Person: Brian Kelly Phone: 706-646-8031 Mailing Address: 340 N Center Street City: Thomaston Zip: 30286 ESG responded to an odor complaint. As part of our investigation we walked the sewer line and discovered sewer leaking from an abandoned sewer tap due to a line blockage. The leak was discovered at 1:03 pm and ceased at 1:48 pm when our crews cleared the blockage. There was approximately 675 gallons of waste water released. The sewage discharged into a storm water runoff ditch that flows to Bell Creek. The leak was estimated at 15 gpm from the time it was discovered. There is evidence that the leak had happened prior to our finding but we have no way to calculate the amount. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been notified and the affected area has been treated within the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the above listed contact persons.

Friday, April 14, 2017

SENIORS HONORS AT UL HIGH

Upson-Lee High School has announced honor seniors from the Class of 2017, and the highest honor goes to Natalie Elizabeth Miller, Upson-Lee High School’s 2017 Valedictorian. Natalie is the daughter of Judge and Mrs. Ben Miller Jr.

Valedictorian is the honor graduate with the highest overall numeric grade point average who has also completed all available Honors courses. In addition, at least three of the Advanced Placement (AP) courses in different core areas must also be completed. 


Hannah Kaitlyn Giles has earned the second highest honor as the 2017 Salutatorian, she is the daughter of Angela Fulcher and Lee Giles. 


Salutatorian is the honor graduate with the second highest overall numeric grade point average who has completed the same courses described for eligibility of the Valedictorian. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A POSSIBLE TORNADO IN UPSON CO. MONDAY

UPSON, LAMAR, SPALDING, MONROE, MERIWETHER AND HENRY COUNTIES WERE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING MONDAY AT LUNCHTIME . UPSON EMA DIRECTOR MARTHA ANN MCCARTY SAYS ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, A TORNADO MIGHT HAVE TOUCHED DOWN IN SOUTHERN UPSON COUNTY . DAMAGE REPORTED ON JOHN B. GORDON ROAD, PO BIDY ROAD, LOGTOWN ROAD, KENDALL ROAD, BENTLEY ROAD, PLEASANT GROVE ROAD, AND YATESVILLE HIGHWAY COINCIDE WITH THE STORM TRACK.

MOST OF THE DAMAGE APPEARS TO BE DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES, NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED. THE STORM MOVED INTO MONROE COUNTY WHERE A TORNADO TOUCHDOWN WAS SUSPECTED EAST OF FORSYTH, AND POSSIBLY A TOUCHDOWN NEAR JACKSON.

EMA DIRECTOR MCCARTY SAYS PREPARATIONS ARE UNDERWAY FOR A SECOND ROUND OF STORMS EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING AND ANOTHER STORM CELL , POSSIBLY LATER IN THE DAY.



SIGN-UP FOR WEATHER ALERTS

UPSON EMA ENCOURAGES THE PUBLIC TO SIGN-UP FOR -- UPSON ALERTS -- TO BE NOTIFIED BY PHONE, TEXT, OR E-MAIL OF SEVERE WEATHER OR OTHER EMERGENCIES.

GO TO THE COUNTY WEBSITE—upsoncountyga.org AND CLICK-ON CITIZENS ALERTS.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A COMPUTER—PHONE 706-741-1407





Monday, April 3, 2017

CHARGES FILED IN FT. VALLEY DEATH IN UPSON CO.

On April 3, 2017 we received information from the GBI State Crime Lab in reference to the death of Troymaine Johnson. The GBI Medical Examiner declared the cause of death to be homicide as a result of hypothermia. 

Ruby Kate “Katie” Coursey, 27, of Thomaston will charged with Neglect of a Disabled Adult (felony) and Felony Murder. 

Johnson who was a paraplegic was last seen with Coursey on March 14, 2017. Johnson was found deceased around 1:30 a.m. on March 17 off of Triune Mill Road in southern Upson County. During the investigation Coursey stated she “put Johnson out of her car and left him in the woods” 

Deputies, assisted by Thomaston police, were able to determine an approximate location and locate Johnson’s body.  Coursey has been in custody since March 17 on unrelated Probation Violation charges and will remain in the Upson County jail.

I wish to thank District Attorney Ben Coker and staff along with GBI Director Vernon Keenan for their assistance with this investigation.

Dan Kilgore, Sheriff
Upson County Ga.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS ON METH CHARGES

IN UPSON SUPERIOR COURT TUESDAY--- JUDGE FLETCHER SAMS SENTENCED REGINALD BLACKMON, AGE 45 TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON AND A $200,000 FINE FOR TRAFFICING METH AND POSSESSION MARIJUANA WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE. HE HAD DONE TIME BEFORE FOR MARIJUANA.

ACCORDING TO PROSECUTOR MICHAEL ROGERS---THE JURY STAYED OUT ABOUT 45 MINUTES.


OPENING STATEMENTS IN COURT LATE TUESDAY FOR THE ARMED ROBBERY TRIAL OF DEMARCUS GRIGGS CHARGED WITH A STICK-UP AT THE MINI MARKET ON BETHEL STREET.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

GRIFFIN MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUGS IN UPSON CO.

On March 23, 2017 at noon Deputies from the Upson County Sheriff's Office responded to Flash Foods to assist DNR Cpl. Will Smith. 

Cpl. Smith entered the store and noticed Keith Duane Underwood, 26, of Griffin Ga. playing the video poker machines in the store. Cpl. Smith suspected that Underwood was the individual he had received a lookout on earlier in the day as being wanted from Spalding County. When the officers approached Underwood he initially gave a false name. His identity was confirmed and he was arrested. 

While being searched after the arrest 7.3 grams of marijuana ,18.7 grams of methamphetamine and $753 in cash were located in Underwood's pocket. 
Underwood was arrested and transported to the Upson County Jail. He faces charges of Possession of Marijuana less than one ounce and Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to Distribute.

Underwood remains in the Upson County Jail.

Dan Kilgore, Sheriff
Upson County