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Former Griffin resident Master Sergeant Gary Head Jr. of Special Forces Green Beret of the United States Army and son of Gary Head of Newnan, formerly of Griffin, and grandson of well known Griffin resident and businessman the late James Head has been selected to lay a wreath on the Grave of  President John F. Kennedy on Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.  Master Sergeant Head is a graduate of the Youth Challenge Academy at Fort Stewart.  Following his graduation he joined the United States Army and was accepted into the Green Beret Special Forces.  He is a highly decorated, and respected Special Forces’s Soldier. One of the most respected soldiers of the Special Forces Green Berets.
JOHN F. KENNEDY SPECIAL WARFARE SCHOOL

U. S. ARMY JOHN F. KENNEDY SPECIAL WARFARE CENTER AND SCHOOL FT. BRAGG, NC.

During President Kennedy’s tenure, the Special Forces regiment grew by seven Special Forces groups.    (Not long after a visit to Fort Bragg in 1961 with then-Special Forces commander, Brig. Gen. William P. Yarborough, Kennedy authorized the Green Beret as the official headgear of the U.S. Army Special Forces.Kennedy sent a message to Yarborough after the capabilities demonstration he received on the visit Fort Bragg. The message in part read: “The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your Command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring. I am sure that the Green Beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.”Special Forces Soldiers train at the school which bears Kennedy’s namesake, the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.)
WKEU, the Griffin Area, Georgia and indeed our Nation feel a great sense of pride in the Green Beret Soldiers and especially Master Sergeant Head for being selected for this great honor.
BLACK CAT 3
THE BLACK CAT HUNT OCTOBER 23RD.
The tradition continues with the annual  Black Cat Hunt set for Thursday October 23, 2014. The Black Cat Hunt will be aired on WKEU AM 1450 and on our live stream as well from our website wkeuradio.com.  WKEU will be set up at Griffin’s Bank The First National Bank man branch located at 318 South Hill Street. And once again six little back cats will be located around Griffin and Spalding County. WKEU’s Ted Taylor and Tony Broski will broadcast the event once again this year. The Black Cat Hunt will start at 7:30 pm. Thursday October 23, 2014.  WKEU wishes everyone best of luck and Happy Halloween. 

griffin bears   

The 2014 cross town rivalry between the Griffin Bears and Spalding Jaguars took place at Memorial Stadium on Friday night at 7:30.  WKEU AM 1450 and The Rock 88.9 FM broadcast the event with WKEU’s Sports Director Tony Broski with the play by play and Ted Harris with the color commentary.

The Griffin Bears won the contest 46 to 13 over the Spalding Jaguars. 

With a roll up of the game with Tony Broski click here:

WKEU’s Voice of the Bears Ted Taylor was out of town for the Friday Bears and Jaguars game but he will be back next Friday night. When the Bears will travel to Pike County to take on the Pike Pirates in Zebulon.  Game time is 7:30 with the Pre game show at 6 pm.   Also the Spalding Jaguars will be at Memorial Stadium to host the Riverdale Raiders Kickoff is set for 7:30  with the Tail Gate show at 6 pm.  Both games will also be streamed on the world wide web from our website wkeuradio.com

UGA GRIFIFN CAMPUS

UGA GRIFIFN CAMPUS

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 GRIFFIN CITY COMMISSINERS DICK MORROW (L) RYAN MCLEMORE (R)
Friday afternoon was a benchmark day for Griffin, Spalding County, the surrounding areas, the University of Georgia Griffin Campus and the State of Georgia. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new University of Georgia Griffin Campus Food Technology Center.  Citizens from Griffin, business owners, City and County Commissioners, executives, and many other area residents attended the event.  The groundbreaking was at 3:00 Friday afternoon October 12 th.  Attending were University of Georgia President Jere Morehead, who was master of ceremonies,  Chuck Copeland Chairman of the Griffin Spalding Industrial Development Authority, State Representative David Knight, Dr. Tommy Hopkins who also serves as a Regent for the University System of Georgia and Governor Nathan Deal. 
The Governor said that he totally supported the new Food Technology Center as food processing, and distribution, packaging, and marketing are a hallmark of the billion dollar business each year in Georgia. The new facility will allow new business owners to be guided in product development, packaging, food safety, consumer acceptance, and marketing. 
The Governor also remarked about the support of the State Legislature that approved the 3 million dollars to make the building a reality for Georgia and the Griffin Area. One million dollars was also added by the Griffin Spalding Industrial Development Authority, and  the University of Georgia. The Governor also said that the new Food Processing, Innovation and Commercialization building will be a one of its kind in the South East and was sorely needed due to the world renowned work done at the Griffin Campus in food research, safety, and processing in a much smaller facility that they had long out grown. The Governor said that not only do major manufacturers like Kraft, General Mills, but smaller manufacturers and distributors depend on the UGA Griffin campus each year.
Governor Deal also mentioned that next year he will be back in Griffin to be at the groundbreaking for the new TURF building. “Turf Grass is a multi- billion dollar business for the State”, said Governor Deal he also added “Ground Zero” for the Nation is right here at the UGA Griffin Campus.  This is where UGA’s on going research attracts visitors from all over the Nation, and indeed the world, to visit Georgia and Griffin in particular. 
The event was attended by Dr. Jerry Arkin former Dean of the Griffin Campus who retired earlier this month.  The PIC Building is a culmination of years of work by Dr. Arkin, the UGA staff at the UGA Griffin Campus, with coordination with the Griffin Spalding Industrial Development Authority, and the State Legislature.

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On October 6, 2014, the Griffin Police Department received a theft report from the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding the theft of several guard rails from their construction site on the highway 16 bridge over Georgia 3. The guard rails were estimated to be valued over ten thousand dollars. Later that same week on October 10th the Police Department received a theft report from Boney Aviation located on Kalamazoo Road regarding the theft of thirty aluminum storage containers valued over twelve thousand dollars.

As Investigators from the Property Division of the Criminal Investigations Division began investigating the cases they were able to locate several of the stolen items at a nearby scrap yard. With cooperation from the scrap yard they were able to determine that it was the same suspect that scrapped the stolen items from both cases. Investigators were able to obtain his identity from the scrap metal company records.   He was identified as Jerry Randall Keye, age 50. Mr. Keye used an Alabama ID when he sold the items to the scrap yard. Through further investigation the Investigators discovered that Mr. Keye was living at 627 Ellis Street in Griffin.

On October 13, 2014, Investigators went to 627 Ellis Street at which time they located Mr. Keye and a second suspect later identified as Michael Burleson, age 46.   They took both Keyes and Burleson into custody without incident. While at the residence on Ellis Street Investigators located additional stolen items that belonged to both the DOT and Boney Aviation.   Both Jerry Randell Keye and Michael Burleson admitted to the thefts during an interview with Investigators.   They were each charged with Felony Theft by Taking.

While interviewing the suspects it was also discovered that they were responsible for two additional thefts that occurred in Spalding County and two in Henry County.   Both agencies were notified and additional charges may be pending.

GRIFFIN CHAPTER

GRIFFIN CHAPTER

 

VOTE 3

The Griffin Branch NAACP will be conducting an extensive, non-partisan “Get- Out-The-Vote” activity on Saturday, October 25, 2014. called “Souls to the POLLs”. Members of the NAACP and other community organizations will be knocking on doors encouraging persons to vote. Personal vehicles and church vans will be transporting persons to and from the polls. NAACP identifications will be used by all individuals and vehicles. Any person interested in a ride may call the Eighth Street Baptist Church at 770-228-1545 between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M

MOLENA POLICE DEPARTMENT

MOLENA POLICE DEPARTMENT

MOLENA POLICE CHIEF
The Molena Chief of Police Jim Roberts has been arrested by the George Bureau of Investigation .
The arrest occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 15 on charges of solicitation of sodomy and theft by conversion, according to a GBI press release.
The arrest came after a month and a half long investigation into allegations that Roberts solicited several young men for sex and used his position as police chief to gain the trust of the young men. Roberts, who is also the Mayor of Concord, provided one of these young men with his personal code and key to obtain county gas to fill up the young man’s personally owned vehicle.On August 22, Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Coker, of the Griffin Judicial Circuit, requested the GBI conduct an investigation into allegations. The request came after the Grandparents of one of the young men, who was allegedly victimized by Roberts, reported the information to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation also revealed Roberts sent obscene pictures to a juvenile on his city-funded cell phone.The GBI presented its findings to Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard who determined Roberts would be charged with two counts of Solicitation of Sodomy and one count of Theft by Conversion.
update:  The Pike Journal Reporter and Sheriff Jimmy Thomas  reports that   Roberts was denied bond by Judge Fletcher Sams at a preliminary hearing in superior court Thursday morning October 16th. .
The GBI agents executed search warrants at Roberts’ residence, the Molena Police Department, Molena City Hall, and Concord City Hall.

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The Griffin City Commissioners met Tuesday night October 14 at 6:00 pm. 

 

The first order of business at the Griffin City Commissioners meeting Tuesday October 14 th was to recognized Calvin Vallee, Line Crew Supervisor with the Electric Department, as the September 2014 “Strongest Link” award recipient. Recently Ostuka Chemical Company chose Griffin Power as its electric service provider at its new facility in the Lakes of Green Valley Industrial Park. Electric Director Bill Bosch felt it was the favorable impression Calvin Vallee made upon the general contractor of the Otsuka construction site that probably pushed the City to the top of the electric service provider list. Calvin made sure that the needs of the construction team were met and was always available to answer any questions and addressed all concerns promptly.  The “Strongest Link” Award is given monthly to a deserving employee who has demonstrated excellent performance and productivity, loyalty, professional pride, and other noteworthy accomplishments. The recognized employee receives one day off with pay, a gift certificate from a local restaurant, a “Strongest Link” plaque, and the symbolic “chain”, which he will be the custodian of until a subsequent employee is recognized.

The Commissioners aapproved a Proclamation declaring “Make A Difference Day in Griffin”, on October 25, 2014. “Make a Difference Day” focuses on unifying the community and building pride throughout the City of Griffin. For more than 20 years USA Weekend Magazine has collaborated with Points of Light in Make A Difference Day. This day  engages millions of volunteers from across the nation to address local issues. This the second project to be completed by the Environmental Council in 2014 for the City of Griffin Public Works and Utilities Department.

Approved a blanket agreement for proposed quarterly magazine and authorize the Chairperson to approve completed agreements for the same purpose. This agreement recognizes Content Partners  for the proposed city publication.  If they don’t get enough Partners to fund the project the project will not happen.

Approved: a Memorandum of Agreement, between the City of Griffin, Spalding County, the Griffin-Spalding County Airport Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration for the construction of a replacement Griffin-Spalding County Airport. Project oversight is provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Aviation Division in accordance with the provisions of the Block Grant State program. There is up to 10% local matching funds as per the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) regulations. The local match is shared 50/50 by the City and the County.

Approved: an Excess Capacity Sale in the amount of 3,101KW to the City of Buford at the price of $2.00/KW, for calendar year 2015. This sale does not obligate Buford to take any energy; rather, it reserves the right to take the energy in the event their system requires it. Griffin has made similar sales to Buford in past years. The sale will produce revenue of $6,202 shown as a $516.83 monthly credit on the MEAG bill for eleven months, and one payment of $516.87.

Approved: an agreement for services with S&ME for the coring analysis of Meriwether Street in the amount not to exceed $2,950.00 for the Public Works Department. The Public Works Department is reviewing several options for resurfacing Meriwether Street.  1) Curb replacement only, 2) Full Depth Reclamation, and or Milling of the project. The coring is necessary to establish the depth of the wearing surface.

Approved: a contract amendment to contract between Charles Abbott Associates and the City of Griffin, Georgia, for building inspections, which adds paragraph “K” related to “structural review.”  When CAA began reviewing plans on the cities behalf they required a structural review, which questioned structural calculations of an architect or engineer, thus causing a delay in plan approval. After discussion, they have agreed to the city’s request not to require a structural review if the plans are stamped by a registered architect or engineer, however, they will not assume any liability for the integrity of the structural calculations of the plans. The liability will be the responsibility of the architect or engineer of record. This has been outlined in an amendment to the original contract in Section “K”. No other changes have been made to the original contract.

Approved: Acknowledge of receipt of, and denial of, a claim for damages related to an Ante Litem notice received for personal injuries to Mary Harrell, with a loss of consortium claim by Johnathan Harrell, arising from the alleged negligence of a Griffin Police Officer while escorting a funeral procession on May 2, 2014. Giving a proper notice is a condition precedent to filing a lawsuit. Part of this procedure now requires acknowledgment of the claim by the governing body and tolls the applicable statute of limitations while consideration is pending. The notice appears to have been properly served on Chairperson McLemore.The Ante Litem notice is regarding personal injuries to Mary Harrell on May 2, 2014, with a loss of consortium claim by her husband Johnathan Harrell, arising from the alleged negligence of a Griffin Police officer while escorting a funeral procession. At the time of the incident, Officer Dawn Storm, in a marked GPD unit with blue lights flashing, was attempting to cross the N. Expressway at Laprade Road. She pulled into the path of a truck operated by Mr. Harrell in which Mrs. Harrell was a passenger. This incident has been turned over to the city’s insurance carrier.

 

roaring 20s logo dance

A Dance to support the re-roofing of the Historical R.F.Strickiland Cmpany Building in Concord is palned for October 18th.

The Dance will feature music of the Roaring Twentys performed by Night Train Express, a ten piece band with rhythm banjo and violinist in down town Concord Georgia Saturday, October 18th.  The event starts at 6:30 pm and offers a free Charleston Lesson, the dance follows from 7:00PM until 10:00PM. Suggested donation is $5.  If you don’t dance, bring a lawn chair and listen to the sounds of the great NightTtrain Express and music of the great times.  All proceeds help replace the roof of the Historic R. F. Strickland Building. For further info call Bobby at (770) 584-3094 

Spalding Soccer Association

Spalding Soccer Association

The Georgia Soccer Association will meet this week to determine the fate of a Soccer team in Spalding County.
WKEU news has received a report from, an open records request, of the incident involving two girls soccer teams, one from Griffin and the other from Henry County The Griffin team was coached by Michael Kendall of Griffin and the Henry County Team was coached by Robert Logan.
In the game Deputies from the Spalding Sheriffs Department had to be called to the scene of the game to intervene in fight that occurred involving 3 players form the Griffin Team, 1 from Henry County, and an assistant referee. After reviewing the incident and reviewing all disciplinary policies, all parties involved had been suspended from all Spalding County Parks and Recreation facilities spending a ruling form the Georgia Youth Soccer Association.
According to a report, WKEU secured from a open records request, The incident began when one layer form each team tussled over a loose ball.  The Altercation escalated when, according to the report, the Griffin net minder ran into the scrape and punched the face of the Henry County player. Game Officials stepped in and the lead referee guided the Griffin Player away from the fight, while an assistant referee ran to tackle the Griffin goal keeper.  At that point parents began to become involved but the arrival and intervention of the Spalding County Sheriffs Deputies quelled what was on the verge of a very dangerous situation.  The report alleges that the Griffin team instigated the incident and the Griffin Coach did nothing to help restrain his players or their parents.
While investigating the physical incident, it was learned that many coaches of the Spalding County Parks and Recreation did not have complete back ground checks,completed, nor had completed the required classes necessary to be properly certified.  The Griffin Youth Association, at the direction of the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Department, begin working to get all coaches within its association into compliance.  It was not immediately clear how these individual without back ground checks complete and required concussion training were able to coach when the season started.
SPALDNG PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

SPALDNG PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

The Spalding County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission held their monthly scheduled meeting in the Conference Room at the Spalding County Senior Center, Thursday, October 9, 2014, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
The Commission approved inflatable’s provided by licensed businesses in parks provided by licensed and insured businesses.  Pavilion rentals for an additional maintenance fee of $50 for half day rentals and $75 whole day rentals.
Approved allowing personal trainers park usage. Personal trainers will pay the County $75.00 per month, with the stipulation of passing background checks and approval by Parks & Recreation. Personal trainers will be required to pay the County a fee of $75 per month.
The Griffin Youth Soccer incident at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park on Sunday, September 28, 2014 was discussed and The Recreation Superintendent Kelly Leger stated, during a youth soccer game at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park, an incident occurred involving (3) Griffin players, (1) Henry County player and (1) assistant referee on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The Sheriff’s Department was called to the scene for the misconduct and fight that in sued at the park. The soccer liaisons met and reviewed the incident in detail and after examining policies, all parties involved have been suspended from any and all Spalding County Parks & Recreation facilities until judgment is received from Georgia Youth Soccer.
Also  Coach Requirements were discussed relative to the incident and while investigating the youth soccer incident, it was discovered that many coaches and other adult volunteers had incomplete back ground checks and coach certifications. A letter has been sent to the Griffin Youth Soccer Association with a deadline of October 9, 2014, to have all background checks and certifications current. This was brought to the attention of the Soccer Association President who immediately began working to bring all coaches into compliance. Currently, all coaches with the exception of (10) are in compliance. Those coaches have been pulled from their teams until background checks, NYSCA certifications and concussion training are in place. This will not affect the children or the teams. The Department will soon be hiring a 29 hour per week part-time staff who will be able to assist on site with spot checking badges to ensure coaches are in compliance with requirements.

A complimentary school break camp will be hosted at Fairmont and AMBUCS Community Centers next week during the hours of 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Campers will be required to provide their own lunch. City Park will open at 10:00 a.m. for open-play.

Parks Superintendent Imberger reported that The upcoming Georgia Recreation & Park Association District Banquet will be held in Carrollton on October 22, 2014.
The Georgia Recreation & Park Association State Banquet will be held in Jekyll Island on November 6, 2014. All members were invited to attend.
LIAISON COMMITTEE REPORTS AND MEMBER COMMENTS:
Mr. Fears- Stated there was an issue between a football team and softball team over the weekend at Volunteer Park. The football team was warming up on the softball field before a game and the softball team arrived to utilize the field for a scheduled practice.

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BREAKING NEWS 
Early Saturday morning units of the Griffin Police Department, and  Spalding Regional EMS, responded to a 911 call of a female that had been attacked as she was walking to work.   The individual was allegedly an employee of Food Depot was attacked and beaten up.  The Female was transported to Spalding Regional for Treatment of injuries not thought to be life threatening.  The incident is still under investigation and more information is expected to be released later by the Griffin Police Department.

griffin spalding school 1

In 2014, the Griffin–Spalding County School System (GSCS) had significant increases in all three domains of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The SAT assesses students in Critical Reading, Math and Writing as a means of predicting college success.
GSCS students increased Critical Reading from 452 in 2013 to 466 in 2014. Math scores rose from 444 to 461 in 2014. Writing scores grew from 435 to 445.
This year 266 GSCS students took the SAT scoring a total averaging 1372. The state’s total score is 1445 and the national average is 1497. Though GSCS scores are rising, they are still slightly lagging behind the state.
“It is great to see our scores grow every year,” stated school superintendent, Dr. Curtis Jones. “With our efforts to better prepare students for college and 21st-century careers, I am confident that our scores will continue to rise and the gap will be closed.”
Both Griffin High School and Spalding High School offer SAT preparatory sessions to students at no cost and that investment proved to be successful.

 

VOTE 4

Early voting for the November 4th General Election begins Monday October 13th and continues through Friday October 31st. Registered voters can vote Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm each day. There will also be early voting on Saturday October 25th from 9am – 4pm. Valid photo is required for early voting.

All early voting is held at 825 Memorial Drive in Griffin. Anyone with questions can call 770-467-4245.

First Presbyterian Church of Griffin, located at 1349 Macon Road, would like to invite all to their Scottish heritage worship service, The Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans.  The celebration will be held on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at the 11:00 a.m. service.  Scottish attire is encourage, but not required.  For additional information contact the Church office at 770-227-2055.
A bit of history about the KIRKING OF THE TARTANS

This Sunday all over the world many churches will observe the Kirkin’ o’ the’ Tartans, a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. And you may ask yourself What is The Kirking of the Tartans?

  • Kirking, from the Scottish Gaelic word kirk which means church, in this usage means “blessing.”
  • tartan
  • Tartans are the traditional plaid emblems of Scottish clans represented in unevenly spaced colored lines and rectangles on woven wool cloth.

The Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans service was created or “revived” during World War II byReverend Peter Marshall, perhaps best known by the biographical book and film A Man Called Peter — who was originally from southwest Scotland and at one time pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. In 1947 he served as Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. In order to encourage Scottish-Americans to sign up to fight on behalf of Great Britain, Peter Marshall recreated the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans ceremony to try to instill pride among Scottish-Americans in their Scottish homeland. The ceremony was at that time held in Presbyterian churches of Scottish heritage across the US. Today, the celebration is not limited to Presbyterian churches, but is found in Episcopalian, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other denominations across the world. Now, in present day celebration, the Highlander patriotism, faithfulness, and strong independence are remembered by the displaying of tartans and public parade of the clans to the sound of the bagpipe.

While often celebrated on Reformation Sunday the last Sunday in October, Kirkin’s are also celebrated at other times of the year, as on St. Andrew’s Day — the patron saint of Scotland — on November 30, and Tartan Day on April 6. In 1954, the Kirkin‘ service was moved to the National Cathedral (Episcopal) in Washington — home of the Episcopal diocese of Washington — where it is still held to the present day.

In churches, and even at Scottish Highland Games, the Kirkin’ is celebrated by Scots — and those who would be Scots — accompanied by prayer, scripture, preaching, blessing, bagpipe, and of course, the singing of Amazing Grace.

Bill MacPetro, your friendly neighborhood historian
www.billpetro.com