This Saturday, the Peachstate Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum will host a Celebration of Life ceremony for it’s founder, Ron Alexander.  The facility is located 349 Jonathan’s Roost Rd in Williamson at the Peach State Airport.  Gates open to the public at 10am, with an 11am lunch featuring a DC3 fly by.  Following lunch, there will be a T-6 fly by and the beginning of the celebration, which will include music and a number of speakers, including WKEU’s Bill Taylor.  Once the ceremony is complete, Barnstormer’s Grill will open at 4pm.  For more information about the Celebration of Life of Ron Alexander, head to peachstateaero.com and click on the event schedule.

Two men scheduled to go to trial for four October 2016 shooting deaths on Moccasin Gap Road near Jackson will face the death penalty.  At a hearing in Henry County, district attorney Darius Pattillo filed the notice against the Jacob Cole Kosky and Matthew Baker, Jr, citing in a press release that the murders were outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible and inhuman in that the murders involved depravity of mind.  Both men were arrested after law enforcement officials found four individuals shot inside the home, after a late night bonfire.  Three were pronounced dead at the scene – Keith Gibson of Covington, Matthew Hicks of McDonough, and Sophia Bullard of Thomaston, while another – Destiny Olinger of Jackson was transported to Atlanta but passed away days later.  Kosky faces four counts of malice murder, eight counts of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault, and firearms charges.  Baker faces four counts each of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault. They are both scheduled to appear in court again and be arraigned on Tuesday, April 11.  In order for the state to seek the death penalty, there must be a charge of murder, rape, armed robbery, or kidnapping and have at least one aggravating factor.  There were six factors listed by the district attorney.

 

A Lamar County man suffering from injuries sustained in a house fire passed away this week at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.  As reported two weeks ago, a fire completely destroyed a home at 186 Bowen Road in Milner, on the Lamar and Pike County line.  When firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, the home was already fully involved in the fire.  Resident Gregory Bell, age 61 was immediately transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where he has been in treatment since.  Bell passed away Tuesday in Atlanta.

Just as Spalding County plans to prepare for discussions and public hearings for a Transportation Special

Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST, several surrounding counties overwhelmingly approved SPLOSTs of their own this week.  While the turnout was low in Lamar County at under 6%, voters approved an extension of the one cent sales tax for six more years, by a margin of 491 votes for and 84 against.  The sales tax is expected to bring in just under $10 million, most of which will be utilized by Lamar County and the city of Barnesville for items like roadwork, public facilities renovations, and construction, as well as a recreation area slated for Highway 36.  Milner will also receive a $375,000 chunk of that collection for public park improvements, water and sewer upgrades, and resurfacing.  Neighboring Butts County passed a continuation of its one-cent Education SPLOST, with 86% voting in favor.  It will last for five years and school officials say it should bring in around $18 million for construction and renovation projects across the school system.  In addition, Fayette County received a 10 percent turnout Tuesday and voted by a margin of 70 to 30 to start a one cent sales tax for six years.  It is anticipated to garner $141 million in revenue for transportation, stormwater infrastructure, public safety and facilities improvements.  The money will be split between Fayette County, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Tyrone, and Brooks.  In another March 21 referendum, Upson County voted in favor of Sunday sales for packaged alcohol.

 

 

Work has begun on taking down some of the brick walls that surround the Gordon State College campus, opening up views of the beautiful grounds and removing what was perceived to separate east and west campus.

“This is part of the Master Plan that was adopted in November 2015,” said Tamara Boatwright, GSC Public Information Officer.  “It is one of four principles of the Plan that will improve connectivity between the east and west side of the 235-acre campus, promoting the area as ‘one campus.’”

Some of the walls along Spencer Street — in front of the Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Building, Melton Hall, across College Drive behind the Fine Arts building and a short section of Stafford Avenue, near its intersection with College Drive  – were removed last week during Spring Break while students were off campus.

Other areas on campus will be addressed in the future.

The overall goal of the Master Plan calls for promoting consistency of quality among different program environments and facilities; strengthen the campus with strategic renovations that promote academic collaboration and facility upgrades, and establishing a cohesive arrival experience along College Drive.

The complete Master Plan is available for viewing on the Gordon State College website at http://www.gordonstate.edu/pdf/MASTERPLAN-11-2015.pdf

 

SPALDING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

The Spalding County Commissioners met this week at the county annex and discussed holding  a T-SPLOST referendum November 07, 2017.  They approved to hold 3-5 public hearings for citizen feedback.  With an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City a maximum of 1% could be levied. Without an IGA with the City the maximum would be .75%.
A .1% T-SPLOST would generate approximately $8,400,000 per year but would require an IGA with the City.
A .75% T-SPLOST would generate approximately $6,300,000 per year.  The time limit for a T-SPLOST is a maximum of 5 years.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners:
Approved:  a Joint Proclamation with the City of Griffin honoring Mr. Willie James Gault for his athletic accomplishments and the honor that he has brought to his family and his community.
This joint proclamation was awarded to Mr. Gault at the Induction Ceremony of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame held in Macon, Georgia on February 25th.
Approved:   a Joint Proclamation with the City of Griffin honoring Bonita”Bonnie” Pfrogner for the accomplishments and contributions that she has made to Spalding County and the City of Griffin as the Director of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce.
This proclamation was awarded to Ms. Pfrogner at her retirement party on Tuesday, February 28th.
Approved:    a Proclamation designating the week of April 9-15, 2017 as National Public Safety
Telecommunicators Week.
The week of April 9th through 15th is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It is designated as a time when citizens can thank public safety men and women who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. Americans can show gratitude to 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, communications center personnel, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help you during emergencies.
We are fortunate in Spalding County to have 21 Full-Time and 3 Part time  Telecommunicators, 1 Communications Manager, 1 Training Officer & 1 Administrative Staff Person to serve over 64,000 citizens.
Approved:    a Proclamation designating the month of March 2017,as March for Meals Month in Spalding County.
The Spalding County Meals on Wheels Program currently serves 90 Meals On Wheels 60 years and older clients and serves an additional 268 Congregate Meals Clients (Senior Center).
The commissioners:
Approved:     on second reading: an Application from  Shield of Faith Christian Center, Inc.,
Owner – Brenda Gibbons,Agent – 920 Harlow Avenue (0.74 acres)  – requesting a rezoning from R-2, Single Family Residential, to C-1B, Heavy Commercial.
The Board of Commissioners public hearing and 1st reading was February 23, 2017.
The approval was conditional as follows:
a.  .827 acre tract located at 920 Harlow Avenue shall be combined with adjacent 1.9 acre
      tract located at 916 Harlow Avenue.
  b.  Zoning shall be tied to church and associated uses only.
  c.  All site lighting shall be designed so as not to glare onto adjacent residential properties.
The commissioners:
Approved:  the health insurance renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of GA  for FY2018.
.there is a 3% increase in cost to the county
.the employee specialist co-pay increased from $35 to $45
.the employee regular doctor co-pay remained the same at $25
.formulary drug cost went from $30 to $40
.generic drug cost is a $10 maximum co-pay amount
.the employee monthly payroll deduct is no change
.the changes are effective July 01
The commissioners:
Approved:     a resolution authorizing the issuance of purchasing and/or credit cards for Spalding County Elected Officials and adoption of a Purchasing Card and Credit Card Ordinance.
The Spalding County Purchasing Card Policy is designed to enable authorized elected officials and county employees to purchase supplies, materials and services for County use within the rules and guidelines set forth in the Spalding County Financial Policies
The Board of Commissioners designated cards for the following elected officials:
Chair/CEO/, Commissioners, Coroner, Magistrate Judge, Probate Judge, Sheriff, Superior Court Clerk, Tax Commissioner, Solicitor, and State Court Judge.
Approved:    a lease with Griffin First Assembly at no charge for space to be utilized by the Spalding County Accountability Court for counseling by Judge Esary.
The counseling will be in the Royal Ranger Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm til 7pm.
Approved:   a contract with S.A.F.E. (SavingAnimals From Euthanasia, Inc.) for Spay/Neuter and Vaccination services to the Spalding County Animal Shelter.    S.A.F.E. has been providing these services for the Animal Shelter since 2014.
Approved:   of the Griffin + SpaldingArchway Partnership Memorandum of Understanding for FY18.  The terms of this Agreement shall be from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
Funding for the FY2018 Community Fee is Spalding County Board of Commissioners $20,000,
City of Griffin $20,000, and Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education $20,000.
Approved:     a resolution to clarifying the right of way on Hollonville Road.
There are various Right-of –Way’s depicted along Hollonville Road as shown on various plats and surveys indicating that the Right of Way of Hollonville road is a 60 Foot Right-Of-Way, an 80-foot Right-of-Way, and a 100-Foot Right of Way along the same stretch of road.
Spalding County, disclaims, releases and quitclaims any interest it may have in real property
that extends beyond the 60 foot right of way along Hollonville Road except for that certain portion near the Flint River where it becomes a 100 foot Right of Way.
Approved:    a revised contract Detail Officer agreements for FY2018.
Spalding County has existing agreements FOR USE OF INMATE WORK DETAILS with the City of Griffin; City of Thomaston; Upson County; Fayette County; Henry County;  and the G/S Board of Education.
Approved:   of submission of a grant application to the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank for improvements to the East McIntosh/Hill Street Intersection.
The Project is known as Intersection #3 on North Hill Street Corridor Improvements Projects. Total estimated project cost $1,533,171.  Grant funding $1,220,335 with a local match of $312,842 to come from 2008 SPLOST and 2016 SPLOST proceeds.
Approved:    a Spalding County Policy for Competitive Negotiation Qualifications-based Selection for Projects Using Federal Aid Highway Program (FAHP) Funding.
In order for the County to be LAP (Locally Administered Project) Certified they must adopt this Federal policy for the use of FAHP funds.
Approved:    of Title VI Non-Discrimination Agreement between the Georgia Department of Transportation and Spalding County for Federal Aid Highway Program (FAHP) funded projects.
This is a required agreement for Federal Funded projects.
The commissioners:
Established:  Monday April 17, 9:00AM  for a future workshop to discuss possible transportation projects utilizing 2016 SPLOST proceeds.
The commissioners:
Declared:    surplus weapons that have been forfeit to the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and county owned weapons that have become obsolete. These firearms may not be sold to the general public. The weapons will be available for viewing by licensed dealers and bids will be accepted for the entire lot. Funds received will be used for the purchase of equipment for the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.
Approved:   a request from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to declare surplus K-9 Rex and K-9 Luck.
This transaction will be for retirement of K-9 Rex 8 years of service approx. 11 years old, and K-9 Luck 8.5 years of service approx. 11.5 years old. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to transfer ownership of the canines to their respective handlers. This is customary due to the bond created between the handler and the canine. Both of these canines have served the community well and have reached an age that they are not as able to meet the rigorous demands serving in this capacity.
  Net cost to the County is zero dollars. We are exploring grants and donations to move towards replacing these canines in the future. Whatever balance is left to purchase new canines will be funded from asset forfeiture.
Construction on the Pickle Ball Complex was slowed by rain  but is still scheduled for completion by 05/15/17.  Commissioner Hawbaker asked the board about seeking a Corporate Sponsor for maybe $400,000 and naming the center after them? It was discussed but no action was taken.

A Spalding County man was arrested last weekend after leading law enforcement on a high speed chase through parts of three counties.  Pike County officials attempted a traffic stop on a car driven by John Leatherwood, age 37 on Williamson-Zebulon Road, but he sped away onto Highway 19 into Griffin and then onto Highway 92 towards Fayette County, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.  During the chase, officials say that bags of methamphetamines were dumped from the vehicle.  During a pit maneuver attempt by the state patrol on Highway 92, Leatherwood tried to go around it, but drove off the roadway and struck a tree.  Leatherwood and a passenger were both arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamines.  In addition, Leatherwood faces a number of traffic violations related to the chase.

The Griffin Police Department would like to announce two
newly promoted Sergeants. Sergeant Reggie Sutton and Sergeant Tony Brown will both be tasked with helping supervise one of the four Uniform Patrol Shifts.  They both have a combined 20 plus years’ experience in Law Enforcement.  The police department says it is proud of them and their accomplishments.  Also, the Griffin Police Department would like to announce two newly graduated police officers. Officers Michael Betsill and Joseph Stoy have both successfully completed the required 404 hours of the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course set for by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Please help us in congratulating these individuals on their achievements.

 

 

Six hundred and three 4-H members from 36 counties in northwest Georgia competed at the Rock Eagle 4H Center during District Project Achievement. Which is the culmination of project work done over the last 12 months. 4-H members are required to give oral presentations and completed project portfolios for this competition.
Spalding County took 39 participants. Hope Stewart, 2016-2017 Junior District Board Vice President served in a leadership capacity during the weekend. Jhaycee Barnes was elected to Junior District Board and will serve in the capacity of Vice-President for the 2017-2018 4-H year that will start in August. Kaylee Collins and Natalie Fowler were also elected as delegates to serve on the Junior District Board. Three 4-H members won the opportunity to compete, in their project areas on the State level during 4-H State Congress in July: Martha Hicks, Gabriel Whitlock and Nathaniel Haulk. Spalding County won the Outstanding Participation award for the weekend.
Those placing in project competition were:

1st place winners:
Bailey Champion, Dairy Foods, Rehoboth Road MD
Kaylee Collins, Outdoor Recreation, Carver Rd Middle
Heather Dorn, Food for Health & Spor,t Rehoboth Road MD
Martha Hicks, Performing Arts Piano, Home
Zaria Owens, Health, Griffin Christian
Jenna Pierce, Photography
Hope Stewart, Performing Arts Genera,l Cowan Road MD
Gabriel Whitlock, Plant and Soil Science, Griffin Christian
Natalie Fowler, Workforce Preparation, Kennedy Road MD

2nd place winners:
Denasha Chandler, Festive Foods, Cowan Road MD
Ny’Terriyae Davis, Wildlife, Rehoboth Road MD
Heath Dorn, Plant and Soil Science, Rehoboth Road MD
Nathanial Haulk, Environmental Science, Spalding High
Tyler Gibson, Science of Engineering and Mechanics, Home
Elyce Wages, Science of Engineering and Mechanics, Cowan Road MD

3rd place winners:
Jhaycee Barnes, Performing Arts Genera,l Carver Road MD
Jacob Hayes, Physical, Biological, Earth Science, Cowan Road MD

Authorities in Thomaston have advised that the body of a Ft. Valley man was found early Friday near a hunting camp in Upson County.


Upson sheriff Dan Kilgore said the body was found in a remote area off Triune Mill Road in southeastern portion of Upson County..

The dead man was been identified as Troy Maine Johnson, Age  33. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called into the investigation. The Upson County Coroner has had the body transported to the state crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. .

Towaliga Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams today announced that the Monroe County Grand Jury indicted Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy, Sgt. William Jackson, this week on the counts of Simple Battery, Battery and Violation of Oath of Office By A Public Officer.

The incident leading to the indictment occurred on July 16, 2016 when Sgt. Jackson responded to a call regarding subject Micka Martin whose husband called 911 due to her alcohol consumption and irate behavior in their car while traveling through Monroe County. Marijuana was also found in Mrs. Martin’s luggage and Sgt. Jackson made an arrest.

At the jail, Martin attempted to “head butt” and “spit” at Jackson while she was in handcuffs. Jackson then struck Martin multiple times while she remained restrained in a manner the Grand Jury felt was an unauthorized use of excessive force.

The inappropriate use of force was discovered by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in September after a review of video footage. The Sheriff immediately began an internal investigation and placed Sgt. Jackson on administrative leave and requested the GBI to investigate. The GBI conducted an investigation and turned it over to the District Attorney’s Office in January. After reviewing the case, DA Jonathan Adams presented the case to the Grand Jury for a possible indictment.

Sgt. Jackson has no history of any prior complaints regarding his use of force and no prior disciplinary action during his 14-year career with the MCSO.

“Sheriff Bittick and I are committed to transparency and accountability in the performance of our duties and those of our personnel. This is proven by the Sheriff’s swift and thorough investigation and handling of this issue, and I will do so by prosecuting this case. I also want to be clear that this is an isolated incident in what is an otherwise outstanding department where outstanding deputies and employees work hard every day to keep our families safe,” said DA Jonathan Adams.

The Spalding County Parks, Public Grounds and Leisure Services announces nominations are now being accepted for the “Bain Proctor Award For Volunteerism”.

Nominees must be a resident of Spalding County who has volunteered his/her service to benefit the community.  The candidate may not be paid or otherwise compensated for their service.

 

Nominations should include the following:

  • A cover page with the nominee’s name and address, the name of the person submitting the nomination, contact information, and the name of the nominating association or organization if any.

 

  • A maximum of a one-page typed (12 point font, 1-inch margins) statement documenting the nominees volunteer service to Spalding County and its citizens.

 

Nominations will be accepted no later than 5:00pm on March 31st, 2017

 

Mail or deliver nominations to:

Spading County Parks, Public Grounds and Leisure Services

843 Memorial Drive

Griffin, GA 30223

Nominations may also be emailed to:  kleger@spaldingcounty.com

 

For more information, please call 770-467-4750.

The Griffin Municipal Court will conduct it’s annual amnesty program from March 10, 2017 until Friday April 28, 2017.

During this period, defendants with a Failure to Appear Bench Warrant may come into the Griffin Municipal Court office located at 100 South Hill Street, and pay their original fine in full and the Failure to Appear Bench Warrant will be dismissed. The fine of $200.00 will be waived.

Those with mandatory court appearance offenses will be given a new court date to appear before the Judge. This program does not include Violation of Probation Warrants.

For more information please contact the Griffin Municipal Court.

Skheriff Jimmy Thomas said that his Deputies responded to a motor vehicle collision on Highway 18 at Reidsboro Road in Pike county at 9:08 a.m. today. Upon arrival at the scene Deputies found that a BMW passenger car had attempted to turn onto Reidsboro Road from Highway 18 and struck a Chevrolet Blazer causing it to leave the roadway and rollover several times. The driver of the Chevrolet Blazer, Mikal Chambley , 18 years of age, was ejected from the vehicle. He was subsequently air lifted to Grady Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The driver of the BMW , Caleb Caldwell, 19 years of age, was not injured and has been charged with failure to yield while turning. Traffic Investigators will continue their inquiry into this incident as it remains under investigation.

The Griffin Spalding County Land Bank Authority and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation  are pleased to announce the sale of the old Haisten Funeral Home building located at 522 Meriwether Street to Mr. Justin Flynn. Mr. Flynn plans to renovate the building in accordance with a preservation easement and rehabilitation agreement entered into with The Trust and to utilize the building for commercial enterprises in the Griffin community. The parties are excited about the positive impact that this project will have on the continued revitalization of the Meriwether Street corridor that began with the redevelopment of the Griffin Housing Authority Meriwether Homes property.

Constructed in 1910, this building replaced an earlier hospital that was located in a home that was demolished to allow for the construction of the Griffin City Hall building. Harralson Bleckley, architect of the historic Griffin City Hall, donated his plans for the new hospital on Meriwether Street to help mitigate the loss of the old hospital. At the time of construction, the building was worth an estimated $25,000 but was built for $15,000, thanks to reuse of materials and generous donations. The building also served as a nurses’ dormitory and personal care facility. In May 2015 local groups partnered with Home Depot on a multi-day volunteer project to rehabilitate and secure the exterior of the building, which was threatened with imminent demolition. Since that time, the property has been maintained by the Land Bank Authority, in conjunction with the Griffin Spalding Historical Society, and marketed by the Georgia Trust.

The Haistens Hospital building was listed as a Place in Peril in 2015 by The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The Georgia Trust is a nonprofit statewide preservation organization which works to provide effective alternatives to demolition or neglect of architecturally and historically significant properties by promoting their rehabilitation and monitoring their preservation in perpetuity. Through the involvement of the Georgia Trust, the buyer of the Haisten Building has agreed to the imposition of conservation easements to ensure that the historic integrity of the property is retained. Additionally, the buyer was required to sign a Rehabilitation Agreement and all work done to the property must abide by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

  

 

On Thursday March 9, 2017, the Griffin Police Department received information from a citizen who wanted to turn over a Kel-tec 2000 9mm handgun that was obtained from 28-year-old Joseph Miller Jr., a family member.

The family member further advised that Miller was threatening to shoot up the Police Department and area schools.  The family member stated that Miller had three additional long guns in his room at his 305 B Louis Lane residence.

 

 

 

The Griffin-Spalding County School System was notified of the potential threat and initiated its Level 1 Lockdown Procedure.

Based upon information obtained throughout the morning’s investigation, a search warrant was obtained from Spalding County Magistrate Court. Personnel of the GPD Special Response Team and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit executed the search warrant at Miller’s Louise Lane residence.

Located were rounds of ammunition and a flare gun.

Simultaneously, Miller was located at the Spalding County Department of Family and Children Services where he was apprehended without incident.

He was transported to the Spalding County Jail where he is being held on one felony count of terroristic act.

WKEU would dike to thank the Griffin Police Department, Spalding Sheriffs Department, and Griffin Spalding School System for their quick response to keep all children safe, and for the fast work of Law Enforcement Officials for apprehending the individual within a few hours of the incident.

Stolen Suzuki where it was found behind Midway Church.
(Photo: Walter Geiger)

A high speed chase involving a stolen Suzuki motorcycle that began in Monroe County came to an end when the driver ditched the bike behind Midway Church off Hwy. 36 West in Lamar County Wednesday afternoon.The driver, a male in tan pants and a black shirt, fled into the woods. A Monroe deputy deployed a canine unit but were unsuccessful in locating the suspect. The suspect was still at large on Thursday afternoon. The investigation is continuing and a look out has been placed for the individual as the search continued on Thursday.

WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger nd the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesville.com .


Photo courtesy of Walter Geiger and Barnesille Heradl Gazette.

 

Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette have advised WKEU news that a home on Bowen Road on the Pike/Lamar county line was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived around 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6.

One person was injured at the 186 Bowen Road home and transported by ambulance to Grady in Atlanta.

Firefighters, sheriff’s officers and first responders from Pike, Meansville and Lamar County responded to the fire. Firefighters said the home was fully involved when they arrived and was completely destroyed.

WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesivlle.com

 

 

The Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education named Emily Johnson as an 2017-18 assistant principal for Cowan Road Middle School.

Johnson has been employed at the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) since 2009. During that time, she has served as the health and physical education teacher at Cowan Road Middle School, a technology instructor, a graduation coach and has taught history and physical education at Spalding High School since 2014.

Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, Health and Physical Education and her Masters of Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Georgia Southern University. She earned her Educational Specialist in Education Leadership from Columbus State University.

School Superintendent James D. Smith stated “Ms. Johnson’s eagerness and passion for education made her an excellent choice for this position. We look forward to continued success and great achievements for Cowan Road Middle.”

Sheriff Darrell Dix has reported to WKEU news on March 4, 2017 at approximately 9:45pm an inmate being housed in the Spalding County Jail fell ill and was later pronounced dead after attempts to save him were unsuccessful.

Darrell Jones W/M 60 years of age was being held in the Spalding County Jail for violation of probation and violation of the Georgia Family Violence Act when he became ill during a normal medication call. As Jones was standing with the staff nurse awaiting his nightly medications he suddenly grasped his chest, fell to the floor and became unresponsive. Medical staff and deputies began rendering aid and located a slight pulse. Jones was carried by staff to the Spalding Detention Center Medical facility where they were unable to locate any further vital signs. As a result they began administering CPR. Paramedics from Spalding Regional EMS were notified and were on scene in less than 5 minutes. Units of Griffin Fire Rescue also responded to the complex to assist. Jones was transported to Spalding Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead by the emergency room attending physician. Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster and his staff were notified of the death and responded to both the hospital and the detention facility. Coroner Foster has made arrangements for the state crime lab to conduct an autopsy on Jones.

Due to the fact that Jones died while he was in custody the housing unit where he was being held was placed on immediate lockdown, and Sheriff Darrell Dix contacted the GBI to investigate the circumstances surrounding Jones’ death.

According to Sheriff Dix “As of now the inmates that were close to the area where the incident occurred and detention staff that were present have been interviewed. The scene was also photographed and processed for any evidence. Autopsy arrangements have been made and hopefully will shed light on the cause of Jones’ sudden death. The entire incident was captured on the video system located in the housing unit where Jones was being held and there are no indications that any type of violence occurred on the video prior to his death. The statements of the witnesses that were present concur with the video that was captured. That video has been turned over to the GBI as a part of their investigation. At this point all we can do is continue gathering facts and await the results of the autopsy and investigation.”

 

Educators are invited to attend the 2017 Griffin-Spalding County School System’s Spring Job Fair, March 14, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Griffin High School (1617 W. Poplar St.). Registration is not required. School administrators will be interviewing.
Over 40 professional educator positions are available for the 2017-18 school year. We currently offer:
Elementary school positions for classroom teachers and academic coaches.
Middle school positions (16) available in language arts, math and special education.
High school positions (19) available with a high demand for educators in English, healthcare and special education.

Executive Director of Human Resources Stephanie Dobbins states, “The Griffin-Spalding County School System offers one of the highest teacher salaries in the south metro area. GSCS offers excellent benefit packages, quality professional learning and provides full credit for prior verifiable teaching experience that meets state requirements.”
To view our current open positions and apply at www.spalding.k12.ga.us. For more information call (770) 229-3700 or email humanresources@gscs.org.

The Henry County Police Department has advised WKEU News of a missing person and they are asking for assistance in determining the whereabouts of Jassyria Netaya Craft.

 

Craft is 16 years old, 5′ 9″ with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white and pink hoodie, dark jeans, gray tennis shoes, and carrying a black and pink Nike bag.

Craft was last seen on February 28th leaving Stockbridge High School. She was seen leaving in a silver 4-door Hyundai with a Fulton County tag.

The vehicle was believed to be driven by an unknown male.

Craft is NOT believed to be in any danger at this time.

Anyone with information on Craft’s whereabouts, please contact the Henry County Police Department at 770-288-8249 or contact 911. Sergeant Danny Gibbs

 

 

 

 

 

Internal Affairs Division
(770) 288-7577

L-R Deputy Chief Mark Amerman, Captain Mike Ireland, Lieutenant Keith Shumate, Sergeant Dwayne Harrison, Sergeant Anthony Militello, and Chief Keith Nichols.

The Henry County Police Department wishes to congratulate its newest officers that have been promoted. The promotion ceremony took place on March 3, 2017. Lieutenant Mike Ireland was promoted to Captain. Captain Ireland will be in charge of the Henry County Internal Affairs Division. Sergeant Keith Shumate has been promoted to Lieutenant. Lieutenant Shumate will be in the Criminal Investigations division. Officer Dwayne Harrison was promoted to Sergeant. Sergeant Harrison will be in the Uniform Patrol Division. Officer Anthony Militello was promoted to Sergeant. Sergeant Militello will be assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.

 

  LADY BEARS BASKSET BALL

Saturday, the Griffin High School Lady Bears basketball team will travel to the campus of Columbus State University for semifinal round action in the 5A playoffs where they will take on the Lady Wolves of Buford for the right to advance to next week’s state championship game.

 The Lady Bears, under the direction of head coach Veronica Lee, currently hold the best overall record in 5A with a mark of 28-1 with Buford right on their heels at 27-2.
The teams share other striking similarities as well:
Both carry lengthy winning streaks into Saturday’s Final Four match-up—Buford has won 7 straight outings while the Lady Bears are riding the crest of an 8 game streak.  The last loss for each team came back on Saturday, January 28: on that date Griffin suffered its only setback of the year against Columbia and Buford took just its 2nd loss when it fell to Wesleyan.  Both the Lady Bears and the Lady Wolves have been impressive on the defensive end of the court through the first 3 rounds of the playoff tournament: Buford has allowed an average of only 45 points per game while Griffin has given up just a shade over 40.  All the wins posted by both schools in the playoffs have come by double digit margins.
Saturday’s Lady Bears-Buford semifinal game is scheduled to get underway at 6 PM. The winner will advance to the state championship game against the winner of the other Final Four match-up which pits Southwest DeKalb against Flowery Branch. The 5A state title game will be played Wednesday, March 8, at Stegeman Coliseum on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

 

Last week, the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) transportation department had their annual Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) inspection. A total of 124 GSCS buses were inspected and no serious defects were detected. No buses were taken out of service and only eight minor defects were identified. None of the discovered defects were safety related but rather minor leaks.

DPS Officer Daniel Dixon stated, “This is one of the best inspections I have seen in my 10 years of experience inspecting buses for the state.”
GSCS Transportation Director Todd Harris stated, “Officer Dixon is known for being one of the most meticulous and precise inspectors in the state so this is a huge compliment. In short, out of 124 buses and 6200 official individual inspection points we had eight minor defects. That equates to being 99.8% effective.  Our technicians and Shop Foreman Kenneth Brooks have set the bar extremely high.”
“This is outstanding! I am very pleased with the great work of our transportation department. Their daily efforts to ensure the safety of our students should be recognized,” stated Superintendent Jim Smith.
-Submitted by GSCS

 

  GRIFFIN FIRE RESCUE

 

About  10:50 on Wednesday evening several fire units of the Griffin Fire Rescue,  were called to a large house fire at 746 East Chapel Street. Upon arrival fire department personnel reported heavy flames to the entire structure.

City power crews also responded to the scene, as well as Regional EMS, and Spalding Chapter of the American Red Cross.  Fire Department personnel indicated the home was probably a total loss.

A Family of three was displaced due to the fire.  The Red Cross was on the scene to render assistance and aid to the family if you would like to assist the family, please contact the Griffin Chapter of the American Red Cross.  There were no reported injuries to the family members or firefighters at the scene.

WKEU would like to thank the Griffin Fire Rescue, and Griffin Power employees, and all members for the job they do each day protecting our Griffin and area citizens.  And also for the dedication and outstanding work done by volunteers of the Griffin Red Cross Chapter.

 

Heavy Storms accompanied by vivid lightning, high winds, and hail some as large as baseballs reported in North Atlanta struck Wednesday evening.  The Central Georgia area was under a storm watch for most of the early evening. As far south as Troop County, Bibb County and into the North Atlanta suburbs.
In the Spalding County area Griffin Police, Sheriffs Deputies, Spalding Fire Department, Griffin Fire Rescue  and Well Star Spalding Regional EMS were busy for the early evening hours.
There were numerous calls of trees across power lines in the City and County.  The Storms in this area lasted for about two hours.
Some of the areas that had to call for assistance to remove debris from the roadway included Birdie Road and the North Expressway, Morris Street and Central Avenue where a tree was reported across power lines.
At 1724 High Falls Road a Tree was reported across the roadway,
South McDonough Road and the Arthur K. Bolton Parkway was a location where Sheriffs Department Deputies responded when  a Red Ford Mustang ran off the roadway during the heavy rain. There were no injuries from that accident. 
Georgia power was called to 742 East Central Avenue where a tree had fallen on a power line. Electrical service was disrupted until Georgia power crews could reinstall the power lines.
Limbs were reported on power lines on High Falls Road, and Newton Road.
Also Utility pole fires were reported with transformers on fire at 1233 County line road with flames visible in that area.
There were also report of power pole fires in the City and North Pike County area.
at 1110 Futural Road Sheriffs Officials responded to a vehicle that ran off the rod way due to the heavy rains, upon arrival Deputies said there were no injuries from that incident.
City Police also responded to several alarm systems were activated by the storms at several business locations.
WKEU and Channel 2 news indicated that the area would be hit by the storm and WSB used much of their 6pm news cast covering the moving stomrs.

Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger and Pike Journal Reporter.

 

The Pike County Journal Reporter has advised WKEU news that “A recent groundbreaking took place for a 14,000-square-foot expansion of the TenCate Protective Fabrics plant in Zebulon. The $3 million dollar project is projected to increase efficiency and create six new positions for the company as the installation of new equipment will require trained workers to operate the machinery.

 

“We are glad we are getting to expand, adding some jobs and growing the business. It’s fantastic,” said TenCate’s VP of operations Mike Anderson. “Protective fabrics is really the future of fabrics so we may be seeing a lot of growth in different areas at our facilities.”

Anderson noted that fabrics created by TenCate are some of the few fabrics that are sent overseas to Asian markets, as most fabrics in the United States are imported from overseas.

During the planning stages of the Zebulon facility’s new expansion, it was discovered that a major hurdle was going to be the installation of a six inch gas pipe from the current terminus point at the Pike County Library down to the plant location on Highway 19.

“In a major cooperative effort consisting of TenCate, the Pike County Commissioners Office, The Development Authority of Pike County and Paul Teague of Atlanta Gas Light, it was negotiated that the estimated $139,000 expense for the gas line would be covered in full by Atlanta Gas Light,” said TenCate weaving plant manager Kevin Hilton.

The cooperative effort between local entities will benefit more businesses in the future and make the county more appealing to businesses.

“They recognized that the unique collaborative spirit between the parties involved in this endeavor would be a great platform to build future business on and Atlanta Gas Light wants to be part of that growth here in Pike County,” said county manager John Hanson. “The growth and expansion of existing industry is an important factor when new companies look for areas to locate and we are proud to showcase the hard work and success of the local TenCate plant in this partnership.”

The addition to the Zebulon plant will be on the north side of the existing building and will allow for the installation of new equipment and hiring of new employees. There are four TenCate plants in the area – including a plant in Molena – and together they produce flame resistant materials used for fabrics for emergency res-ponders, electrical and oil refinery workers, the military and more.

“Our whole goal is to use fibers that are inherently flame resistant so we don’t use chemicals to make the fabrics flame retardant,” said Hilton. “It is the hope of TenCate that these new positions will be filled by locals who are looking to invest themselves in the community.”

WKEU WOULD LIKE TO THANK WALTER GEIGER AND THE PIKE JOURNAL REPORTER FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THIS NEWS STORY.  YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO THE PIKE JOURNAL REPORTER AT pikecountygeorgia.com 

From the February 28th Griffin City Commissioners’ Meeting:
Approved:  rescinding the January 24, 2017 adoption of water and wastewater rate increases
scheduled for March 1, 2017 through March 1, 2021.
This topic is being revisited due to continued discussions about the water and wastewater rate increases that were implemented as a result of the January 24, 2017 vote by the Board. Further discussion led to a consensus to rescind this rate increase and reinstitute the MCI adjustment to water and wastewater rates for 2017.
Approved:    rescinding the January 24, 2017 Resolution authorizing the waiving of the
Municipal Cost Index rating system for water and wastewater rates for 2017.
The rescinding of the January 24, 2017 Resolution reapplies the original 2012 Resolution.
This means there will be a 3.46% rate increase for water and wastewater rather than a 9% and 3.5% respectively.
Approved:    a Proclamation honoring Dr. Tiffany Taylor as Georgia Secondary Principal of the Year.
Dr. Tiffany Taylor, Principal at Carver Road Middle School, was recently awarded the Georgia Secondary Principal of the Year designation. The Principal of the Year recognition program is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals and Association Member Benefit Advisor (AMBA). Dr. Taylor will represent the state in the competition for National Principal of the Year. The Principal of the Year program recognizes principals who excel in educational leadership, resolving complex problems, developing self and others, and community service.
The commissioners:
Recognized:     Police Department Retiree Mr. Eddie Bogan for 36 years of service to the city..
Mr. Bogan began his career with the Griffin Police Department as a sworn officer on April 16, 1978. In 1981, he left  City employment but returned to serve in various positions, concluding with the position of Accreditation Manager overseeing the Commission of Accreditation Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A) and State Certifications for the Police Department.
The the commissioners:
Approved:    a Request to declare the following vehicles surplus:
Year    Model    Make                Mileage
2003    Chev       Tahoe               215,000
2001    GMC      1500                 200,000
2003    Ford        F-150                UNKN
2001    Mercury Grand Marq      UNKN
2002   Saturn      L200                   UNKN
Approved:   to add miscellaneous billing module to Cogsdale GP in order to enable remote
billing and cash receipting functions.
This new software module will enable the city to automate accounting processes, streamline miscellaneous billing, enhance cash receipting and controls, and eliminate third party software from various departments.
Estimated cost is just under $18,000. However, total cost will depend on unforeseen implementation issues.  There is $51,042 budgeted for Cogsdale Contingency – Miscellaneous Billing.
Approved:   the purchase of a 2007 Mack CTP713 tandem truck from NEXTRAN Truck Center in the amount of $90,000 for the Street Department; $30,030 of which comes from insurance
settlement for 1999 International truck totaled in a collision; and amend the budget accordingly.
Approved:  to allocate $5,330 from Commission Contingency to Cemetery Operations
for the completion of cemetery marketing project for the Public Works Department and amend
the budget accordingly.Project consists of updating software, historic cemetery handbook, kiosks and street signage.
Approved:   accepting a petition to annex approximately 3.93 +/- acres of property located at 1459
Meriwether Street submitted by Landrum Family Limited Partnership.
The proposed annexed property will be zoned Planned Commercial Development (PCD) once annexed into the city limits of Griffin. The property is currently owned by Spalding County and is adjacent to property owned by Landrum Family Limited Partnership.
The annexation will allow for a proposed storage facility to be constructed at this location.
Approved:  on first reading a request to amend the Code of Ordinances, of the City of Griffin,
 Building & Building Regulations, Permits, Sections. The amendment addresses the length of time a property that has been deemed a nuisance shall have to make the necessary corrections. Further, the ordinance will stipulate that anyone who is indebted to the City must pay all fees prior to a permit being issued.  This will provide another way for the City to collect unpaid judgments, which should help increase revenue.
Approved:  on first reading an Ordinance amending the Code of Griffin, Fire Prevention section on Open Fires and Permits for Conrolled Burns.
This Amendment clarifies definitions for what can be allowed within the city limits of Griffin with regard to burning.  Any person who violates the provisions shall be cited for such violation and,
upon conviction, shall be punished by fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or imprisonment, or both.
Approved:    a Memorandum of Understanding with Spalding County to provide for
reimbursement for the housing of City of Griffin inmates at the Spalding County Detention
Facility (Jail).
The City has need to house and detain persons arrested for violating its municipal ordinances and certain state laws while those offenders await trial. Previously, the City has housed inmates through an agreement with a surrounding county, which presents some logistical issues with timing and transportation. The term of the MOU shall be February 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017 for a period of six months as a trial period. Spalding County has approved the MOU.
The City of Griffin shall pay $40.00 per day per inmate incarcerated by the Griffin Police Department to constitute complete housing and feeding reimbursement costs to Spalding County. The City shall also be responsible for payment of necessary outside medical care costs for City inmates.
 Approved:  the bid award and work agreement for the Still Branch Regional Reservoir
pumps replacement to T.W. Brown Contracting, LLC in the amount of $115,000 for the
Water and Wastewater Department.
Existing reservoir pumps have outlived their useful life and need to be replaced. The City purchased drive and motors, and this contract is for the installation of the units.
 

Franklin Smith of Griffin has a few new reasons to consider himself lucky. Smith recently won an impressive $25,000 prize playing the Mighty Jumbo Bucks scratcher. Chevron Foodmart, 3200 High Falls Road in Griffin, sold the ticket.  Smith, 33, said that he had stopped to grab a bottle of water when he decided to purchase two Mighty Jumbo Bucks tickets.

“I had a feeling,” he said. “Something told me to get two.”

After he scratched the second ticket and realized that he had won, Smith said that he was elated.

“I was overjoyed with happiness,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Smith, a heating and air specialist and father of five, said that he plans to put his winnings into a savings account. The lucky winner claimed his prize last week at the Georgia Lottery Macon District Office.  Mighty Jumbo Bucks offers players a chance to win $4 million.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $18.1 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.4 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

The Spalding County Comprehensive Plan is underway and there are a number of opportunities to learn about the project and provide input. The Plan will be an opportunity to assess current conditions and update land use, housing, economic development, cultural preservation, and protection of environmental resources.

The planning process will include a robust public involvement component. Activities, including public meetings, participation in local events, social media, surveys and other forms of communications, will be conducted to ensure public awareness and feedback.

“We need the public’s input to ensure that this plan reflects the needs and wishes of the people who will be living and working in Spalding County,” said Chad Jacobs, Spalding County Community Development Director.

A website is available and will be used to post information about the study so please visit often at www.spaldingcounty.com. A brief community survey is available both online and in hard copy and everyone is encouraged to participate. The survey link is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Spalding_Plan.

 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of a Jackson man, after he was tasered during the execution of a search warrant by the Butts County Sheriff’s Office.  Early Friday morning, officials executed the search due to a violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act.  Officials say that a physical altercation ensued with one of the residents of 231 Keys Ferry Road, Douglas Roger Tanner, Sr., age 53.  In the process of the altercation, Tanner was tasered by an officer.  Shortly thereafter, the GBI says Tanner was taken to Sylvan Grove Hospital due to signs of physical distress, where he later died.  Another resident, identifi ed as Chad Hoek, age 39, was arrested and charged with two counts of sale of methamphetamines. 

WKEUs Ted Taylor was in the area of a hoiuse fire around 3:30 Saturday afternoon as units from the Griffin Fire and Rescue, and Griffin Police Department, along with an ambulance from Wellstar Spalding Hospital responded to 1101 Dairy Lane to a structure fire. Upon arrival units discovered the fire was contained to the back porch, screened walk area between the home and the garage. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished by Griffin Fire and Rescue personnel. Two individuals were at home at the time of the fire, and were able to get out of the residence without injury.  The hoem is th first on the right close to the gates at Male Drive. 

On February 23, 2017 at approximately 0944 hours, Deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office received a request for a welfare check at lot 104 Pine Glen Mobile Home Park located at 1795 N. McDonough Road in Griffin. Co-workers of 50 year old Sandy Cherry, had requested the check of the residence due to Mrs. Cherry’s absence from work and failure to pick up another employee that she car pooled with.

EARL CHERRY

When Deputies arrived at the location they made contact with Cherry’s husband, 50 year old Earl Cherry. The deputies explained why they were at the residence and asked to speak to his wife. Earl Cherry refused to allow the deputies to speak with her or enter the residence or check on her. At one point even claiming that she was not home and had left after an argument. Based on their observations at the scene and conflicting stories by Earl Cherry, deputies decided to initiate a search of the residence to check Mrs. Cherry’s welfare.

As soon as they entered the residence, deputies observed a large crime scene and eventually Ms. Cherry who was deceased. Earl Cherry was immediately taken into custody without incident.

Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster and his staff, Spalding Regional EMS, Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder also responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.

Earl Cherry has been charged with 1 count each of:
Murder
Felony Murder
Malice Murder
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Battery
Concealing the Death of Another
Tampering With Evidence
Our thoughts and prayer go out to these families. We ask the community to keep them in their thoughts and prayers as well as they deal with this tragedy.

Sheriff Darrell Dix has advised WKEU news  that on February 19th, 2017, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division with the assistance of the Uniform Patrol Division conducted an investigation that lead to the arrest of two individuals for several narcotic and weapon related offenses.

As a result of the operation, agents seized one and half pounds of Marijuana, 18.24 grams of Cocaine, 23.76 grams of Methamphetamine, and quantities of Ecstasy, Hydrocodone, and Xanax pills. THC oil and THC “shatter” which is a marijuana extract were also recovered. An assault rifle, two handguns, $15,000.00 in United States currency, a truck, trailer and two four wheelers were also seized during the operation. The narcotics had a combined estimated street value of approximately $12,000.00.

RAFAEL F RIVERA

ALICIA L. LANIER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those arrested were Rafael Felipe Rivera and Alicia Lynn Lanier both of 1756 Pine View Dr. Griffin, Ga. They were each charged with:

Possession of Marijuana more than 1oz

Possession of Marijuana with the intent to distribute

Possession of Cocaine

Possession of Cocaine with the intent to distribute

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Possession of a schedule II narcotic (Hydrocodone)

Possession of a Schedule IV narcotic (Alprazolam)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (THC oil)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (Ecstasy)

Possession of a schedule I narcotic (THC Shatter)

9 counts of Possession of drug related objects

3 counts of Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime

Theft by receiving a stolen firearm

3 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Rivera was also charged with tail light requirement, driving while license suspended and tag light requirement.

Rivera and Lanier are currently being held at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Detention facility awaiting their first appearance hearing.

According to Sheriff Dix “This is a great example of the hard work that our agents and deputies put in to make Spalding County safer. We are proud of and appreciate these deputies and all the members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.” As a reminder, anyone who wishes to report illegal activity can contact the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division at 770-467-4210 callers can remain anonymous.

SPALDING COMMISSIONERS MEEGTING

The Spalding County Commissioners met Monday night.  The first order of business the
Commissioners recognized  John Carlisle with “The Honor Our KIA group” who presented a framed certificate of appreciation to each of the commissioners and thanked them for the support they have given to make the project successful. 
 
Chairman Bart Miller presented an award to Ms Gina Garrison for her 20 years of Management service in the finance department of Spalding County. 
 
The commissioners:
Approved:     on second reading an Ordinance amending Licensing and Regulation section,  to correct an oversight in the wording of the code for Retail Package Dealers. The wording was changed from  “offer for sale or distribution any LIQUOR ” to read “Offer for sale or distribution any ALCOHOL BEVERAGE”. 
 
Approved:  a request from Cindy Alexander, Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer in Spalding County to utilize the veranda at the courthouse on May 4, 2017 in observance of the National Day of Prayer. This is an annual event and notice has been sent to Sheriff Dix, for security, and all the offices in the courthouse. There were no objections.
 
After lengthy discussion the commissioners by a 3/2 vote:
Approved:  change order #3,  in the amount of $31,000, for the Pickleball Facility at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park. This was requested by Commissioner Hawbaker for adding the deco-turf to the 8 additional courts at the facility.  This type of turf has already been approved for 4 of the courts that will be covered. He is asking that all 12 courts be covered with this turf. Funding for this project is to come from the Pre-GSBTA Hotel/Motel Tax Fund. 
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Spalding County is slated to hold Regional and National Tournaments.
 
The commissioners:
Approved:     a contract with the City of Griffin, Sheriff Darrell Dix, and Spalding County for the housing of detention of persons arrested in the city for violating its municipal ordinances and certain state laws while those offenders await trial. Maximum 40 inmates at a cost of $40 per day.  This is a trial period from February 2017 thru June 30, 2017. The city has been housing the inmates in another county.
Sheriff Dix and staff estimates that this contract will generate approximately $250,000 per year for the county  with a minimum of 20 COG inmates per day housed at the jail.
 
Approved:   a Memorandum of Agreement with Hope Diamond Services Inc. for the purpose of serving after school snacks and supper meals to children enrolled in the Fairmont Community Center After School Program. This was requested by the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Department.
     Hope Diamond Services Inc. is a 501(C)3 non profit organization who Sponsors meals in high risk communities.  There will be no cost to the County for the program operations during the 2017/2018 school year.
 
Approved:   a Resolution to enact a moratorium on the approval of construction plans for improvements and the issuance of any permits or licenses for equestrian and rodeo facilities on certain real property within Spalding County. The moratorium period shall commence on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. and shall terminate on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 11:59 p.m., unless extended by the Board of Commissioners of Spalding County.
 
Approved:  a Resolution authorizing issuance of Bonds by the City of Griffin Housing
Authority. These bonds are for the Harmony Senior Living project at the Corner of SR92 and Cowan Road that has been in the planning stage for several years.
 
At the February 14th City Commissioners meeting the Commissioners:
Approved:  a Resolution for The Housing Authority of The City of Griffin, to issue Revenue Bonds in an amount not to exceed $62.0 million dollars to Regional Housing & Community Services Corporation, a California nonprofit corporation, or a designated subsidiary thereof, for the purpose of financing the acquisition, construction, furnishing and equipping of a senior living community.
This facility will be located at the NW intersection of Ga. Hwy 92 and Cowan Road, across from the First Assembly of God Church. The local subsidiary is Harmony Village Landowner, LLC. This facility provides various levels of care and particularly care for residents with dementia and related diseases. 
The type of facility is in high demand in Georgia, particularly in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The nonprofit  will own and operate the facility has an established record of operating similar facilities around the country. 
These bonds impose no obligation on the City of Griffin, however, The Griffin Housing Authority is deemed a “dependent” authority of the City of Griffin. 
 
The commissioners:
Went into a closed Executive Session for discussion on future acquisition of real estate.  

 

 

The Barnesville Police Department has advised WKEU news that On the evening of February 20th and early morning hours of February 21st the city of Barnesville had a rash of entering automobile reports. The locations of the incidents were on B Street, Atlanta Street, Carleeta Street, Forsyth Street, and Collier Road.

If anyone has any information regarding these incidents or saw any suspicious person(s) in these areas please contact the City of Barnesville Police Department at 770-358-1244 or e-mail al.moltrum@cityofbarnesville.com.

The Barnesville Police Department urges all citizens to take their valuables out of their vehicles and locked their vehicles.

Officials indicated these are crimes of opportunity.

The subjects are checking to see if vehicles are unlocked and then making entry. There have been no reports of smashing windows or prying into the doors.

All citizens are urged to call 911 if you observe any suspicious person(s) in their neighborhood, especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance with this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette online at barnesville.com .

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that on Sunday February 19th at 9:32 a.m. Spalding

County deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at 505 Barnesville Road.Upon their arrival,  they were informed that Kimberly Tullock had assaulted her husband and was barricaded inside the residence with a possible firearm. Her husband was located outside the residence.

Spalding deputies secured the area and called for assistance from the SpecialOperations Unit (SOU). SOU members arrived and, along with investigators of the Criminal Investigations Division, attempted to establish communications withTullock. After several hours, SOU members with the assistance of the Griffin Police Department Special Response Team made entry into the home. Kimberly Tullock was located and offered resistance. Team members were able to take her into custody without further incident. No injuries were reported. Ms. Tullock was transported by deputies to WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital for an evaluation.

Sheriff Dix would like to thank the Griffin Police Department’s Special InvestigativeUnit and their Special Response Team for their assistance. Additional thanks goes to members of the Spalding County Fire Department and to EMS personnel from WellStar Spalding Regional.

Michael Bowman, who this week was found guilty but mentally ill for murder charges, accepted a sentence of life in prison without parole, plus 30 years on Friday in Troup County Superior Court.  The jury handed out it’s guilty but mentally ill verdict late Thursday on the count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, and felony obstruction of a police officer.  The trial, which was moved from Griffin to LaGrange, lasted about two weeks.  The charges stemmed from a 2014 incident in which Bowman shot Griffin Police Officer Kevin Jordan five times in the back at the Waffle House on the North Expressway.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office is seeking motivated men and women who want to make a positive impact on our community by serving in the Sheriff’s Office.

The county is accepting applications for the following positions:

Non-Certified Detention Openings-Starting salary $28,858.00

Certified Uniform Patrol Division-Starting salary $30,877.00

Certified School Resource Officers-Starting salary $30,877.00

Pay incentives may be available based on experience.

Benefit package may include:

Take home vehicle for certain assignments

Opportunity for promotion and transfers

Education opportunities

You can obtain additional information and apply online by going to www.spaldingcounty.com Once on the site go to Departments and select the Human Resources tab. You will then select Careers with Spalding County

On February 13th, 2017 the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division conducted an investigation that lead to the arrest of two individual’s for methamphetamine.
Christopher Riordan of 112 Forrestwood Drive, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and driving without a license. He is being held at the Spalding County Jail with bond set at $3,507.

Christy McClure of 35 Briarcliff Road, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and littering. She is awaiting a bond hearing and is being held at the county jail.

 

Sheriff Darrel Dix has advised WKEU news that on February 14th, 2017 the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division concluded an investigation that lead to the arrest of Maggie Gregg, of 125 2nd Avenue.


The investigation was prompted after several complaints were received at Special Operations related to suspicious activity occurring at 125 2nd Ave. Griffin, Ga.
As a result of the investigation, Maggie Gregg was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug related objects. She is currently being held at the Spalding County jail awaiting her first appearance hearing.
Sheriff Dix would like to remind the public that every complaint in regards to illegal activity will be investigated. It is Sheriff Dix’s intentions to make every citizen feel safe in their homes and place of business.
Anyone who would like to report illegal activity can contact the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division at 770-467-4210. Callers can remain anonymous.

 

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that a Spalding High School student was arrested by the School Resource Officer and charged with Possession of a weapon on school campus.
The juvenile was in possession of a knife that was observed by a teacher of the school.
No confrontation or threats were reported against students or staff.
The student was released to the custody of his parents.

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that investigators with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a sexual assault that occurred at Tyus Park on February 13th.
According to investigators a suspect has been identified as an acquaintance and classmate of the victim.
This appears to be an isolated incident and does not pose a danger to people visiting the park.
Further information will be released as the investigation progresses.

Sheriff Jimmy Thomas in Pike county reportds that an early morning wreck involving an eighteen wheeler on Highway 18 at County Farm Road blocked the road for several hours this morning. A commercial vehicle driven by James Douglas , Hamilton, GA, ran off of the roadway and overturned after he apparently fell asleep. The truck was also occupied by two children and his wife. All four were transported by ambulance to Grady Hospital for treatment.

The trailer had to be unloaded due to the weight shifting and was transported from the scene by another truck. Charges are pending in this case as the Traffic Investigators conclude there inquiry into this wreck.

H

 

Upson County Man Arrested for Distribution of Child Pornography

 

Thomaston, Georgia – An investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit resulted in the arrest of an Upson County man.  On Monday, February 13, 2017, David Batchelor, age 45, was arrested at his residence, 825 West Moores Crossing Road, Thomaston, Georgia, by members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Upson County Sheriff’s Office.  Batchelor is currently being held at the Upson County jail where he is charged with Distribution of Child Pornography.

 

The arrest of Batchelor was the result of a proactive investigation initiated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s CEACC Unit. The unit is the host agency for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that seeks to target those that possess and distribute illegal child abuse images.

 

Several electronic devices were seized from Batchelor during this investigation. The GBI’s CEACC Unit will conduct forensic analysis of the electronic devices belonging to Batchelor and more charges may be forthcoming.

 

Batchelor is currently employed with the Georgia Department of Transportation and serves as Executive Administrator of the Rays of Hope Child Care Facility.

 

This investigation remains active and ongoing.  Anyone with related information should contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870.

City Commissioners approved $62.0 MILLION DOLLAR SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY.
 
At the February 14th City Commissioners meeting the Commissioners:
Approved:  a Resolution for The Housing Authority of The City of Griffin, to issue Revenue Bonds in an amount not to exceed $62.0 million dollars to Regional Housing & Community Services Corporation, a California nonprofit corporation, or a designated subsidiary thereof, for the purpose of financing the acquisition, construction, furnishing and equipping of a senior living community.
This facility will be located at the NW intersection of Ga. Hwy 92 and Cowan Road, across from the First Assembly of God Church. The local subsidiary is Harmony Village Landowner, LLC. This facility provides various levels of care and particularly care for residents with dementia and related diseases. 
The type of facility is in high demand in Georgia, particularly in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The nonprofit that will  and operate the facility has an established record of operating similar facilities around the country. 
These bonds impose no obligation on the City of Griffin, however, The Griffin Housing Authority is deemed a “dependent” authority of the City of Griffin. 
 
The commissioners: 
Recognized:  Nate Miller, Rescue Technician/Firefighter with the City of Griffin’s Fire Department, as the January 2017 “Strongest Link” award recipient. 
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”, for which he/she will be the custodian until a subsequent employee is recognized.
Rescue Technician Nate Miller stepped up in a major way recently by being a key instrument in an important departmental project. When the voters of this community approved a $1.1 million SPLOST for a new 100’ aerial truck, the need for advanced training was critical. Rescue Tech Miller had experience and expertise from another department operating aerial trucks. On his own initiative, he offered to create a comprehensive training program which would meet the requirements for safe operation of the vehicle. He spent countless hours both off and on-duty creating the program and training key personnel. This ensured key personnel is now certified to properly use the vehicle. This initiative saved the City time and money. 
 
Approved: on second reading an Ordinance amending the Code of Griffin, at Chapter 6,
Alcoholic Beverages, by deleting present Chapter 6 and adopting in lieu thereof a comprehensive
revision of alcohol regulations. 
Since the last revision of this Chapter In October 2016, the GA Dept of Revenue has rescinded some more regulations, leaving regulation of alcohol to local control with the State’s role focusing more on the revenue aspects. City staff has been approached by licensees to enact more changes in line with those in Atlanta, Athens, Macon and similar cities. It is felt many of these changes will promote economic development without sacrificing local regulatory control.
 
Approved:  on second reading an Ordinance amending the Code of Griffin,  to reflect action by the Department of Community Affairs Board adding the 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ICC) with 2014 Georgia amendments as a “mandatory” statewide code to be enforced locally. The Swimming Pool and Spa Code moved from an “optional” code, adopted by the City, to a “mandatory” code, effective January 1, 2017.
 
Approved: on second reading an ordinance amending the Code of Griffin by repealing present
Article II of Chapter 26, BUSINESSES, and enacting as Article VII of Chapter 82, TAXATION.
Recent changes in general law replaced the method of calculating interest due on delinquent occupation taxes. This ordinance reflects that change and also changes the due date for payment of the tax on businesses that commence operation after January 1 and the due date for imposition of penalty thereon. The location of the Occupation Tax provisions are moved from the Chapter on BUSINESSES to the Chapter on TAXATION to better reflect it is a revenue measure and not imposed as a means of regulating businesses. 
 
Approved:   on second reading  amending the Code of Griffin,  AMUSEMENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT, by deleting the present article in its entirety and enacting in lieu thereof a new article in compliance with State regulations on coin-operated amusement machines.
 
Approved:  to amend the City of Griffin Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Operating and Capital
Budget in the amount of $20,000.00 recognizing the Georgia Municipal Association Safety
Grant. The resolution and amendment will provide $10,266 to General Fund, $3,053 to Electric Utility Fund, and $6,681 to Water Wastewater Utility Fund.
 
Approved:   to allow MEAG Power to continue to make voluntary deposits into the City of
Griffin Flexible Short Term Portfolio and the New Generation and Capacity Intermediate
Portfolio and authorize the Chairperson and City Manager to complete the election form. These forms are completed each time the city gets a new Commission Chairperson or New City Manager.
 
Approved: Correction of the agenda item for an Easement Agreement between the City of Griffin and Georgia Power Company for ingress/egress access to Georgia Power Company for Substation #6 approved on 1-24-17. The address that was contained in the agenda item was incorrectly stated as 1303 Cowan Road, Griffin. It should have been shown as 100 Vaughn Lane, Griffin.
 
Approved:  to make repairs and seal coat the parking lot at Still Branch Regional Reservoir to
Spalding Concrete Company, lowest of 3 bids, in the amount of $41,730.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department. Budget amount was $60,000.
 
Approved:   a Resolution and authorization for the Mayor to execute the 2017
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for $750,000 to the Georgia
Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to make public water and sewer infrastructure
improvements along Meriwether Street (between Everee Inn Road and S. 8th St), S. 15th Street (between W. Poplar and Meriwether Street) and portions of Anne Street and Park Road.    
The City of Griffin Public Works Department will commit $313,550 in cash and $10,000 in-kind services in FY18. 
 
The commissioners:
Tabled: for further discussion the  first reading to amend the Code of Ordinances, of the City of Griffin,  Building & Building Regulations,  Permits  Sections, to add amendments that address the length of time a property that has been deemed a nuisance shall have to make the necessary corrections. Further, the ordinance  stipulates that anyone who is indebted to the City must pay all fees prior to a permit being issued.  This will give The City another way to collect unpaid judgments, which should help increase revenue.
 
The commissioners:  
Appointed: Eula Redding to the Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children.
 
Approved: a Resolution affirming the appointment of J. Kristi Lovelace as Municipal Court Judge Pro Tempore and approving the compensation for such position. 
The City Charter states that the Municipal Court Judge may appoint a qualified attorney to serve as Judge Pro Tempore during his absence or disability, to assist with arraignments, and/or to handle specific cases in which the Judge may have a conflict. 
Judge Johnston has appointed J. Kristi Lovelace as Judge Pro Tempore.  $6000 per year has been budgeted for the Associate Judge’s position payable $500 per month.   
 
Approved:  a Tourism Product Development Special Project Agreement Contract and
amend the FY 2017 Budget accordingly. 
This Agreement Contract provides funding for completion of this project during the period ending June 23, 2017 in the amount of $5,000.  The Griffin-Spalding Business Tourism Association (GSBTA) will provide $7,430, and the City of Griffin will provide the amount of  $6,644 in miscellaneous in-kind services. This project completes the Historic Downtown Sidewalk Film Marker Walking Tour for the City of Griffin with installation of approximately 40 bronze markers in the downtown area designating movies and television series that were filmed in Griffin and Spalding County. 
Submitted by Larry Johnson

Sheriff Darrell Dix has advised WKEU news that deputies from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office are assisting officers from the Griffin Police Department search for a missing person.
The helicopter and K-9’s from the Georgia Piedmont Region K-9 Search and Rescue team are assisting ground personnel as they search the areas of Hammond Drive and West Poplar Street.
A flyer is attached from the Griffin Police Department.
Any contact with Mr. Alfred Combs please contacts the Griffin Police Department at 770-229-6450 or 911.

 

Sheriff Darrell Dix has advised WKEU news that on February 2nd the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division, Warrant Division, and Uniform Patrol Division assisted by members of the Griffin Police Department’ C.A.G.E. Unit, Henry County Sheriff’s Office SRT and Georgia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, executed two search warrants as a result of a Marijuana distribution organization that was operating in Spalding County. The search warrants were executed simultaneously at 328 Futral Road and 133 Callie Road.


During the course of this investigation it was learned that Stanley Underwood, and others working in cooperation with him, were distributing multiple pounds of marijuana weekly from his mother’s residence located at 328 Futral Road, while he actually maintained a physical residence at 133 Callie Road. The Futral Road residence is within 1,000 feet of Futral Road Elementary School and Spalding High School.
During the searches, Agents located nearly two pounds of Marijuana, scales, packaging materials, a firearm, and nearly $10,000.00 in cash.
The following individuals were arrested and charged:

 

Stanley Underwood of 133 Callie Road, Griffin, GA
Felony Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute
Possession of Drug Related Objects
Two counts of Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school
Elder Abuse

CEDRIC GUIDER

Cedric Guider of 1447 Wesley Drive, Griffin, GA
Party to the Crime of Felony Possession of Marijuana
Party to the Crime of Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute
Party to the Crime of Possession of Drug Related Objects
Party to the Crime of Possession of Marijuana within 1000 feet of a School

BARBARA UNDERWOOD

Barbara Underwood of 133 Callie Road
Possession of Marijuana Less than One Ounce
Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute
Possession of Drug Related Objects
Cruelty to Children

 

BRANDON GUIDER

Brandon Guider of 611 Inman Road, Fayetteville, GA
Possession of Less than an Ounce of Marijuana (M)

Stanley Underwood, Barbara Underwood and Cedric Guider are being held at the Spalding County jail awaiting their first appearance hearing. Brandon Guider was released on bond of a misdemeanor charge.
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix this operation once again demonstrates the continued cooperation of Local, State and surrounding counties efforts in investigating illegal activity.
Sheriff Dix stated, “The fact that these crimes were committed in such close proximity to two of our schools, and that Underwood and others were using his elderly mother’s residence as a front for the
distribution of narcotics typifies the mentality that criminals demonstrate. This is even more evident in that fact that Underwood’s own children were placed in a situation where they were exposed to the dangers of his activities. With the new air of cooperation and communication between local and surrounding law enforcement agencies we are going to continue to put increasing pressure on drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals. You are not welcome here and we are taking our community back.”

 

 

Fire Chief Douglas Matthews