Possible Scam in the area affecting local hardware establishments
The Griffin Police Department has received a report of a small sized U-Haul truck being used in connection with a scam involving stolen credit card information. This is also related to another incident reported in Jackson, involving the same suspects and U-Haul. An unknown caller claiming to be a doctor in California calls ahead to pay for materials for a nearby rental property, and then claims their workers will come pick them up in the U-Haul. The materials are picked up and then it is determined that the credit card information was not authorized. If you are aware of this type of issue occurring at your business or encounter it, make sure to confirm the card being used is given by its owner and ask to see the card and/or ID upon arrival. Contact Investigator Stacy Beckom of the Griffin Police Department at 770-229-6450 Ext. 672, should you have any information on this or related incidents.
Sheriff Wendell Beam has advised WKEU news that a Spalding County woman was injured in a Saturday shooting. The incident took place on Highway 41 close to the Williamson Road Intersection. The Sheriff indicated that the victim sustained a single gunshot wound in the back.
Captain Tony Ranieri, of the Sheriffs Department, said the victim was sitting in the front passenger seat and was shot by a male subject seated in the vehicle’s back seat. The male subject allegedly fired one shot.
The victim was then transported in that same vehicle to the emergency room of Spalding Regional Hospital.
Emory Air Flight Helicopter Air Ambulance, based at the Griffin Spalding Airport transported the victim too an Atlanta hospital trauma unit.
Officers of the Griffin Police Department responded first to the hospital, but upon learning the shooting occurred in the county, the Spalding Sheriffs Department is investigating initiated the incident.
No arrests have been made in this case, and investigators are continuing to gather information.
The incident remains under Investigation.
Sheriff Beam said the victim was able to briefly speak to investigators prior to being airlifted to Atlanta.
The victim did give investigators a name before she was flown out. Also she identified other people that were in the car. Investigators are looking for those individuals now so they can interview them and determine if any charges will be filed in this incident, according to Sheriff Beam.
The City of Griffin will host a Paint Recycling Day on Saturday April 25, at the Griffin Regional Recycling Center located at 1515 Industrial Drive. From 8:00 am until noon, residents will be able to bring their old paint to the center where it will be collected and properly recycled. “It’s inevitable that you always buy more paint than you need. When you’re done with the job or project, the extra paint just sits in your garage or storage because there’s nothing to do with it. This event is an opportunity for us to provide a convenient and environmentally safe way to recycle that old paint,” said Phill Francis, Director of Central Services for the City of Griffin. “We’ve been working hard to increase our recycling efforts across the City, and this event is another step in that direction.” If you’re interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, here are a few guidelines to consider:
Griffin Choral Arts, under the direction of Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, will present “CELTIC BLESSINGS,” on Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 pm at Griffin First Baptist Church (106 W. Taylor St.). The season finale features special guest fiddler Jamie Laval performing music inspired by Celtic lands and traditions. Choral classics, folk songs, and crossover repertoire will conclude our season with a celebration of this musical culture rich in Celtic soulfulness. Tickets are $15 general admission (all ages) at the door or in advance in Griffin at Artistic Flowers and Gifts, Safehouse Coffee Roasters, and First United Methodist Church, in Barnesville at Goggans Florist, and in Zebulon at A Novel Experience bookstore. Griffin Choral Arts is a 50-voice, auditioned community choir known for its innovative and diverse programming. The mission of Griffin Choral Arts is “to bring the best choral music to the community.” For more information about Griffin Choral Arts call 888-SING1-88 (888-746-4188) or visit the GCA website: www.griffinchoralarts.org.
At the April Board of Education meeting, Karen Mizell was named the 2015-2016 assistant principal for Cowan Road Elementary. Mizell joins the school system from Fayette County. She was named 2002 Georgia Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, nominated for the Presidential Award in Elementary Science, named an 11 Alive Class Act teacher and a Disney Teacher Award Nominee.
Mrs. Mizell “ believes in a strong school community that fosters an educationally simulating, highly motivated and safe environment where all students are given the opportunity to be their best.”
Interim Superintendent Jim Smith said, “Mrs. Mizell is a team player, student-focused and dedicated to excellence.”
Two men were arrested today, April 8, 2015, after robbing a Dollar General store in High Falls.
Around 2:00 p.m. the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received a call that an armed robbery was in progress at the Dollar General store. A Department of Natural Resources Ranger and his K-9 partner, who were nearby, responded to the store on High Falls Road within minutes. Witnesses at the scene told the DNR Ranger that the suspects, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, fled the store to a nearby wooded area. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with deputies from Lamar County and Butts County Sheriff’s Offices surrounded the area and a DNR canine tracking unit searched for the two suspects. During this time deputies received a tip that the suspects were at a residence on High Falls Road. The suspects were located there and arrested without further incident.
The suspects have been identified as D’Andre Jackson, 18, of Jackson and Marvin Mann, 21, of Atlanta. Mann had been living at the residence on High Falls Road where deputies arrested them. The two men are brothers. Both are being charged with multiple counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
During the robbery the suspects took cellphones from store patrons and about $300.00 from the store’s till. Those items, along with the cash taken from Dollar General, were recovered at Mann’s residence. A 12 gauge pump action shotgun thought to be used during the commission of the robbery was located inside the house as well.
WKEU would like to thank Allison Selman-Willis Public Information Officer and Accreditation Manager with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for her assistance in this news story.
Mary Therese Grabowski
Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth
The state of Georgia will pay nearly a half million dollars to a whistleblower who alleged wrongdoing by the Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth, following a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former Guard employee.
The whistleblower questioned the propriety and even the legality of actions taken by former National Guard commander Jim Butterworth. After she did, she lost her job.
“I was giving honest suggestions,” said Mary Therese Grabowski, the plaintiff in the lawsuit. She said Monday she was more than just the publicist for the Georgia National Guard.
“I ask a lot of questions. That’s my job. I’m kind of the reality check,” said Grabowski, a former TV news anchor in Macon.
Her lawsuit said that when Butterworth then Guard’s commander took what she viewed as an improper taxpayer paid trip to Paris, she questioned it. When Jim Butterworth, appeared with soldiers at an event at Turner Field, then watched the game from a sponsor’s suite, she questioned that also.
And she says, when Butterworth used government resources to help raise money for a private hospital, she questioned that — and eventually lost her job for calling what could be considered improprieties to the Adjutant Generals attention.
Grabowski said, “I stand by my lawsuit and I believed I was doing the right thing,”. She worked for the Georgia National Guard for 17 months.
The state settled her lawsuit for $480,000. The Guard issued a statement saying “the case was settled to avoid the cost and resources associated with protracted litigation” and admitted no wrongdoing.
Grabowski’s attorney, Kim Worth, noted that the settlement comes from taxpayer dollars. “The amount involved is unfortunate because at the end of the day, we’re the ones paying for this.”
Worth also represented Stacey Kalberman, the former state ethics commission director who won a jury verdict worth $1.1 million.
Since Grabowski’s lawsuit, Governor Nathan Deal transferred Butterworth to become director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency..
Butterworth’s appointment to the Georgia Department of Defense as Adjutant General, by Governor Deal came at that time, under the Official Code of Georgia that was illegal. But, The Governor and the State Legislature changed that code section a short time later. Previously the code stated that to be appointed Adjutant General the candidate must be a federally recognized Field Grade Officer (Major, Lieutenant Colonel, or Full Colonel or General Officer) eligible for promotion to General. Butterworth had been in the Air Guard as Captain and pilot before allegedly refusing to take a immunization vaccination as each member of his unit was required to be administered, before his unit was mobilized for overseas service. Butterworth then resigned his commission as a captain, having allegedly never commanded any unit or been in a position of Command other than a B-1 crew. He was the ONLY non-federally recognized Adjutant General in the United States or any of our territories. He wore two stars on his uniform as a “quasi” General as a member of the Georgia State Defense force a non-paid organization of Georgia that becomes caretaker of the armories in the state upon mobilization of Guard units. The Georgia State Defense force has no requirements for being an Officer in that organization, and no educational requirements, as do active and reserve enlisted soldiers and officers. The educational requirements for active and reserve officers include: the Officer basic Course, Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Command and General Officer Staff College, and The War College. Every active and reserve Commissioned Officer must complete this requirement to be a federally recognized Officer and General. Captain Butterworth could have never qualified to become a federally recognized General, as his tenure as Georgia TAG would have been over before he was able to complete the educational requirements for promotion to that level. Plus his age level.
Many active and retired officers have stated that Butterworth was way below his level of grasping the real military issues, requirements, and directives from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, and Department of Defense at Federal level of issues that a General Officer faces every day of his career. This comes with experience from serving in Command Positions over years of service.
Many retired General Officers, had questioned Butterworth’s appointment from the outset, Now taxpayers are paying out almost a half million dollars in this case, and over a million in another incident in the State relating to whistleblower litigation from additional law suits.
The City of Griffin will host a Career Fair on April 22, 2015 from 2pm to 6pm at the Griffin Welcome Center located at 143 North Hill Street. The City of Griffin’s Career Fair is a chance for job seekers to learn more about the types of jobs available and meet face to face with hiring managers from every department including but not limited to Police, Fire, Electric and Water/Wastewater. The dress code for the Career Fair is Business Casual. Job seekers should bring resumes and an ink pen.
One of the areas favorite family events the 2015 Easter Bunny Hunt was held Thursday Night April 2 ND and was broadcast on WKEU AM 1450.
Thousands of local residents and their families participated in the Easter Bunny Hunt. Six little stuffed bunnies were hidden around the City of Griffin and clues were read on WKEU AM 1450 beginning about 7:45. Thousands of dollars in prizes were awarded to the six lucky winners.
The WKEU van was located at the Main Office Downtown of the First National Bank which is our broadcast headquarters for the Bunny Hunt, and Black Cat Hunts.
The broadcast hosts for the evening was WKEU’s Ted Taylor, and Tony Broski., we especially wish to thank not only Ted and Tony, but Donna Taylor, Lee Taylor, Ronnie Lowe. Larry Johnson, for their untiring efforts to insure the Hunts success. Especially to our sponsors that made the broadcast possible. Chuck Copeland and his staff at the First National Bank that always supports all family and youth events in our community. And their assistance of providing their facilities as the Broadcast Main location of our Ester Bunny and Black Cat Hunts each Year.
Most of all the Great Businesses and Sponsors that made the broadcast possible by not only with their advertising support to WKEU but to our area families in the Griffin area by providing all the prizes for the hunts each year. It’s because of businesses like these, the First National Bank that make Griffin Georgia a great place to live and raise a family.
Bunny number 1 was found by Jody Bell of Griffin at Orchard Hill Post Office.
Bunny number 2 was claimed by Leeanne Gregg of Williamson found the Bunny at the old Anderson’s Restaurant.
Bunny number 3 went to Michelle Gregory and was located at South Side Baptist Church.
Bunny number 4 was found by Mary Passmore, found at McIntosh Trail close to the North Expressway.
Bunny number 5 was found hiding Tyler Metts of Griffin found the Bunny Hiding at Norcom on Carver Road.
Bunny number 6 was located by Lauren Redmond of Williamson she found number 6 at the City Archives Office close to the old Sam Bailey Building.
Spalding County Fire Chief Kenny West announced today the promotion of Captain Willie Lyons to Battalion Chief. A panel style interview process was conducted and Captain Lyons was named to the position.
Battalion Chief Lyons began his career with the Spalding County Fire Department in January 1992 as a Firefighter. Throughout his career, Lyons has worked to obtain advanced certifications in Fire Investigations, technician levels of Hazardous Materials Technician, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trench Rescue Technician and Rope Rescue Technician. Battalion Chief Lyons is an active member of the Georgia Search and Rescue Team.
Battalion Chief Lyons was born and raised in Spalding County. He has worked his way through the ranks within the Spalding County Fire Department being promoted to Lieutenant in 1999 and Captain in 2005.
Spalding County Fire Chief Kenny West stated that, “Lyon’s knowledge and understanding of the position of Battalion Chief will serve this department and community well. Willie has been and will continue to be a valuable part of the Spalding County Fire Department.”
For more information, contact Spalding County Fire Department at (770)228-2129.
SPALDING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE ANNOUNCED THAT THE SPALDING COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED FRIDAY APRIL 23RD IN OBSERVANCE OF GOOD FRIDAY. OFFICES WILL RE-OPEN MONDAY APRIL 6TH FOR NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.
A local memorial service is scheduled for Saturday in Barnesville at 3 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene on Veterans Parkway for Jason Shirey age 39 assistant City Manager, who worked for over 9 years for the City of Barnesville. He was initially the Project Manager on the Water Treatment Plant Project for OMI.
He got progressively worse Thursday morning. His breathing became so labored he asked his mother to call 911 at about 11 a.m. He stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest at his Redbud Drive home. EMTs were unable to revive him.
WKEU joins with our listening community in Lamar County offer our sincere sympathy to the Family an the Barnesville employees that knew him so well.
Spalding County 4-H Awards from Northwest 4-H District Project Achievement
Six Hundred Seventy Five 4-H members from 36 counties in northwest Georgia competed against each other at Rock Eagle 4H Center during District Project Achievement. This was the culmination of project work done during the last 12 months. 4-H members gave oral presentations and completed project portfolios for this competition. Spalding County took 34 participants. Carrianna Simmons, 2014-2015 Senior District Board Officer served in a leadership capacity during the weekend. Isabel Rutledge was a candidate for Northwest District Senior Board of Directors which she won and will serve on this board for the 2015-2016 school year. Eight 4-H members won the opportunity to compete, in their project areas, on the State level during 4-H State Congress in July: Dani Gibson, Isabel Rutledge, Hannah Rutledge, Tyler Gibson, Elizabeth Evans, Abigail Rutledge, Nathaniel Haulk, and Annabeth Branton.
Those placing in project competition are as follows.
1st place winners:
Isabel Rutledge Companion Animal
Hannah Rutledge Food Safety & Preservation
Dani Gibson Veterinary Science
Tyler Gibson Outdoor Recreation
Elizabeth Evans Health
2nd place winners:
Abigail Noulis History
Nathanial Haulk Physical, Biological, Earth Science
Addy Burrow Target Sports
Will Alexander Science of Engineering & Mechanics
Gabriel Whitlock Plant and Soil Science
Anna Mayo Environmental Science
Emily Resmondo General Recreation
3rd place winners:
Jessie Bohler Performing Arts Vocal
Jenna Mae Paz Sports
Korre Trimble Cat Care
Rebecca Haulk Crafts
Emily Ruiz Veterinary Science
Units of the Spalding Sheriff’s Department, Spalding Fire Department, Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State patrol, and Spalding EMS responded to the scene of a one vehicle accident at 3841 Newnan Road. The accident occurred about 12:45 am Wednesday morning.
Upon arrival Sheriffs Deputies found that the driver was still inside the overturned Oldsmobile vehicle. The Spalding Fire Department had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the driver from the vehicle. Initial reports indicated that the driver had lacerations on his face and hands. He was alert and talking with EMT and Investigators when he was taken to Spalding Regional for treatment. The accident was close to Jacquelyn Lane and about 20 feet off the roadway.
The accident remains under investigation by Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol, and more information is expected to be released later.
In 2011, America’s Most Wanted featured a story on the fugitives. A description of the incident can be found at amwfans.com. A excerpt from the site is included below:
“Roger and his wife Kelly Jones are wanted in connection with a 1992 murder in Kansas. They were aired as BOLO alert cases in 2011.On April 13, 1992, a survey crew found the body of 25-year old Patrick Howe on a roadside ditch just west of Dodge City, Kansas. An investigation determined that Patrick was beaten and strangled to death and that the murder took place at the motel where he worked. The motel was run by Roger and Kelly Jones, Roger had met Patrick in Colorado and brought him to Dodge City to help manage his motel. Investigators believed that Roger killed Patrick in a rage when Patrick told Roger that he wanted to move in with family in Oklahoma. Arrest warrants were issued in 1996 when investigators had enough evidence to charge Roger and Kelly in connection with the murder.
A Pike County man saved a truck driver’s life after he wrecked his tractor trailer into the woods near the Flint River bridge on Highway 362 and the cab caught on fire. According to Cpl. D. Stewart of Georgia State Patrol Post 34, the driver was Decota Thomas, 25, of Griffin. Cpl. Stewart said the wreck caused lacerations to his face, a bloody nose and an injured shoulder after his truck left the roadway, hit several trees, buckled the vehicle’s frame and punctured the fuel tank – but he was lucky to be alive.
Her husband gave the driver a knife to cut the seatbelt that was holding him in but he was unable to cut the safety belt free.
“When we arrived, the truck had started blazing and smoking and I didn’t know if my husband was going to be blown to bits, but I was yelling, ‘You’ve got to save him, you’ve got to save him.’ It was frightening. He was screaming for his life,” she said. “My husband went into the truck and cut the seatbelt off him and drug him out of the window.”
Cpl. Stewart said it appeared the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel, especially since he did not remember how the wreck occurred and there were no indications that he applied the brakes at all before hitting the trees. He said there were also no indications of mechanical malfunctions that would have led to the wreck. Cpl. Stewart said he has no doubts that Proctor saved the young man’s life.
“The entire cab was engulfed in flames; it burnt everything in the cab and even melted the engine components,” he said. “Mr. Proctor was a genuine hero. If it hadn’t been for him stepping in and helping out, it would have been a tragic wreck.”
Marlene Proctor said she is always prepared with supplies and since they were returning from a test run to Roanoke, Alabama to find the best route to carry cattle to a sale yard there, she had blankets in their vehicle.
“We put blankets around him to try to keep him from going into shock and stayed with him to try to keep him awake and alert,” she said. “My husband will be 77 on his birthday in June, but he is still very strong and very active and he works hard all the time. When his girls found out what he did, they were really proud of him. He got some burns on his hands and he is keeping antibiotics on them but when it comes to saving a life, of course most anybody is going to do what they have to.”
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PIKE JOURNAL REPORTER AND WALTER GEIGER FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE IN THIS NEWS STORY. WHAT A PLEASURE TO REPORT ON A LOCAL HERO. THANKS VERY MUCH. BILL TAYLOR WKEU FM THE ROCK.
On March 17, 2015, Officer’s with the Griffin Police Department responded to 837 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA (Amin’s Food Mart) in reference to an armed robbery in progress. According to the clerk, a black male wearing all black and a black ski mask entered the store and brandished what appeared to be a silver semi-automatic pistol and demanded money. The suspect then locked the clerk in the office and fled the scene on foot. The Griffin Police Department Crime Scene Unit and Investigator Sgt. Sommer Bales responded to the scene and took over the investigation. After further investigation Sgt. Bales was able to identify the suspect as Jermaine Lawrence, aka Jermaine McKibben, and determined that he lived at 503 Hallyburton St. in Griffin. A search warrant was obtain for the residence and during the execution of the warrant the weapon used during the robbery was recovered along with additional evidence from the scene of the robbery. Unfortunately Lawrence was not present. Based on the evidence Sgt. Bales obtained arrest warrants for Jermaine Lawrence. He is currently wanted for Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault with several additional charges pending. Jermaine Lawrence is considered to be armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jermaine Lawrence should contact 911 immediately or Sgt. Bales at 770-229-6450, ext. 507.
Following a presentation by Spalding Sheriff Wendell Beam on Gang activity in the Spalding County area recently, now Lamar County has announced increasing gang activity there.
At the Lamar County Family Connection Collaborative meeting March 12 th Collaborative team members heard from Barnesville Police Department Captain Maggie Moreland who asked for help combating local gang activity. Several people signed up to be contacted for upcoming meetings and others are asked to join as well.
She stated at the meeting “We have three gangs trying to form here in Lamar County and these gang members are going out and jumping on and beating up kids who have said they don’t want to join the gangs. She also said we have got to find an answer and figure out how to save these kids because they are our future. Also, we are looking to be more involved in community events and if anyone would like to have an officer present, please call us.”
Lamar County School Superintendent Jute Wilson said the problem with gangs is starting as early as middle school aged kids.
Gangs are a Georgia Wide problem and agencies are now working to combat further growth and prosecute those hat break the law.
If your Civic Club, Church, or group meeting would like more information about Gang Activity in the area you may contact Sheriff Wendell Beam of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Department for further information.
If you receive a counterfeit bill call your local police agency or 911, in Barnesville call the Police Department at 770 – 358 – 1244 or 911.
Agents of the Griffin Police Department, Spalding Sheriff Department and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have arrested suspects following an investigation into alleged illegal gun dealing.
Rashard Jones, Octavious Hasting, Xzavius Ogletree, Tony Anthony Goodman, David Combs, Demetrice Coggins and Shedrick Howard have been charged in two separate federal indictments with illegal firearms dealing, possession of firearms by convicted felons, illegal possession of “sawed-off” shotguns and rifles and distribution of narcotics.
The indictments are the result of an undercover investigation, of federal and local law enforcement to work together to address the problem of illegal guns and drugs in our communities,” according to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.
Both Chief Steve Heaton of the Griffin Police Department and Sheriff Wendell Beam said that they both were appreciative of the cooperation between the departments and ATF.”
The ATF and Griffin Police, as well as the Spalding Sheriffs Department said that as the result of the investigation removed several dangerous people and illegal weapons from the local community.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney charges and other information presented in court included the following:
After learning that several Griffin men were allegedly involved in the illegal sales of firearms, ATF and the Griffin Police Department, and Sheriffs Depart met launched an investigation. The investigation led to the identification of two groups of defendants who allegedly were involved in the illegal sales of firearms and narcotics. Each of the defendants is a convicted felon and as a result was prohibited by federal law from possessing a gun, including unregistered “sawed-off” shotguns and rifles, in violation of the National Firearms Act.
Rashard Jones, Octavious Hastings and Xzavius Ogletree are charged in one indictment with illegal firearms dealing. Defendant Jones allegedly sold guns directly to a confidential informant in addition to serving as a middle man between the confidential informant and Octavious Hastings and Xzavius Ogletree.
In total, the defendants allegedly sold and possessed seven different firearms, including five hand guns, an assault rifle and a shotgun – many of which had previously been reported stolen. In addition to dealing in firearms, Defendant Jones is charged with distribution of cocaine.
A second indictment charges Tony Goodman, David Combs, Demetrice Coggins and Shedrick Howard with illegal firearms dealing. Tony Goodman, aided and abetted by Demetrice Coggins, Combs and Howard, allegedly was involved in the sale of ten different firearms including three “sawed-off” shotguns and a “sawed-off” rifle.
Howard allegedly sold nine different firearms including a “sawed-off” shotgun. In total, the defendants allegedly sold and possessed 22 firearms, many of which had previously been reported stolen.
Goodman and Howard are also individually charged with the distribution of MDMA.
Defendants from Griffin include Rashard Jones, a/k/a Bulldog, age 26; Octavious Hasting, a/k/a Tay Lay, age 29; Xzavius Ogletree, a/k/a Zay, age 35; Tony Anthony Goodman, age 50; David Combs, a/k/a Bishop, age 24; Demetrice Coggins, a/k/a Meechie, age 37; and Shedrick Howard, a/k/a Petro, age 24.
Ogletree, Combs and Coggins were arraigned before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King on March 18. Goodman was arraigned before Judge King on March 20.
After detention hearings, Ogletree, Combs, Coggins and Goodman were detained pending trial.
Jones, Hastings and Howard are awaiting arraignment.
All were indicted by a federal grand jury in two separate indictments on March 4.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Griffin Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew S. Carrico is prosecuting the case.
Mark your calendars on April 2 for The 2015 Bunny Hunt. We will be set up once again at First National Bank Main Branch located at 318 South Hill Street. We will have 6 Bunnies hidden in and around Griffin and Spalding County. WKEU’s Tony Broski and Ted Taylor will be hosting The Bunny Hunt, and will be giving out clues to the whereabouts of the bunnies. If you find one of the bunnies return it to us at First National Bank, along with keeping the bunny we will also issue you your prize package for that bunny. The 2015 Bunny hunt is brought to you in part by WKEU, The Griffin Police Department D.A.R.E. Program, and the Griffin Downtown Counsel. Be sure to tune into WKEU AM 1450, or our live stream on wkeuradio.com click on listen live AM 1450, or on our free app for all smartphones and tablets. We will kicking off the Bunny Hunt at 7:30 Thursday evening. Good Luck and Happy Easter!
THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FIREARMS INSTRUCTORS (G.A.L.E.F.I.) IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE GRIFFIN GUN CLUB WILL BE HOSTING A HANDGUN SAFETY COURSE ON
Thursday, 16 TH April & Saturday, 18th April 2015.
ON THURSDAY, THE 16 TH, THE COURSE WILL BE HELD IN THE GUN CLUB’S TRAINING ROOM (550 Amelia Road, Griffin, about 7 miles east of Griffin) FROM 6:30 PM TO ABOUT 9:00 PM. COURSE WILL COVER FIRE-ARMS SAFETY AT HOME AND ON THE RANGE; LEGAL USE OF A FIRE-ARM AS RELATED TO THE GEORGIA 16 CODE, TO INCLUDE INFO ON THE GEORGIA’S CARRY PERMIT AND RECIPROTIVE AGREEMENT WITH OTHER STATES; MARKSMANSHIP; AND CARE AND CLEANING OF THE HANDGUN.
ON SATURDAY, THE 18TH, EACH STUDENT WILL BE ABLE TO FIRE A HANDGUN. CLASS WILL START AT 8:00 AM. EYE AND EAR PROTECTION, HANDGUN, AND AMMUNITION WILL BE PROVIDED AND OTHER SUPPLIES WILL BE FURNISHED BY G.A.L.E.F.I. IT WILL COST YOU $20.00 PER PERSON OR $15.00 PER COUPLE.
ONLY PERSON(S) 21 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER MAY ATTEND THE SESSION.
TO RESERVE A SPOT IN THE COURSE, CALL LIEUTNANT RETIRED DAVID L. TAYLOR OF THE GRIFFIN POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 678-544-2906
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN FIREARMS SAFETY
The City of Griffin Fire-Rescue will be conducting its inaugural Citizen’s Fire Academy beginning May 5th. The Citizen’s Fire Academy is a four-week program designed to educate and inform citizens about fire and emergency services achieving a greater understanding of the inner workings of Griffin Fire Rescue. Classes will be held at Griffin Fire Rescue Station 2 located at 401 N. Expressway, Griffin, GA 30223. The instruction includes practical demonstrations in which all participants are encouraged to participate. Due to the voluntary nature of the program, physical limitations of applicants will not be considered a reason for exclusion from the academy.
The Citizen’s Fire Academy is educational in nature and intended to be an informative experience to provide insight into how Fire-Rescue functions and what services they provide. It is not intended to train participants as firefighters or assistants at any fires. It is not the Academy’s intent to train participants to a level where it is safe for him/her to involve themselves in any firefighting activity.
Through Citizen’s Fire Academy, citizens and Fire/Rescue Service members have an opportunity to work closely together. Citizens gain a basic understanding of the tactics and strategies of firefighting and rescue operations. Citizens also gain a better understanding of how their Fire/Rescue Service works in order to develop a more safety conscious and informed community. Our goal is to create an enjoyable, interactive atmosphere in which Fire-Rescue members and citizens can share information and concerns. It is our belief that this will produce more safety conscious and informed citizens. We hope the graduates of the Citizen’s Fire Academy become more aware and better informed about how the Fire/Rescue Service operates, and will encourage friends, coworkers and families to join Griffin Fire and Rescue in this rewarding program.
The classes are held twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Classes are free of charge, but involve a commitment to attend all four weeks. The Academy will begin May 5 and run for four weeks ending May 28, 2015. The application deadline is May 1, 2015. Potential candidates for the Citizen’s Fire Academy must be at least 18 years of age, live in the City if Griffin, and complete and return the signed application.
Participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis. Class sizes are limited to twenty-five students per session. All other applicants will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted as vacancies become available.
For more information on the Citizen’s Fire Academy, please contact (770) 229-6415. Download and print the application at http://www.cityofgriffin.com. Fax your completed application to (770) 229-6453 or mail to Griffin Fire Rescue, 401 N. Expressway, Griffin, GA 30223.
The FBI has contacted a Spalding County Family in relation to an ISIS threat for Soldiers with families in America. The ISIS threat includes the photos of soldiers, and family members to include their children. Also in the threat ISIS threat calls for ISIS members in the United States to kill all Family members of the Soldiers. All families were briefed by the Department of Defense to NOT put anything abut their husband being deployed. Especially photos. Most of the information ISIS has was taken from the Social Media on the Internet.
The City of Griffin Police Department issued the following statement. The Griffin Police Department and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office are aware of the recent threats by ISIS that have been reported in the news. We have been in contact with FBI officials and briefed regarding the list published by ISIS of individual targets. There is no credible information at this time that would indicated that the City of Griffin or Spalding County are direct targets of these alleged threats. As you are aware in the recent National News reports the alleged targets are military service members. According to the FBI the individuals listed to include a local Service Member who resides in Spalding County, have been notified and briefed regarding the alleged threats. Additionally, all City of Griffin Police Department personnel and Spalding County Sheriff’s Office personnel have been briefed and are aware of the situation. In the event an incident was to occur, as in any case, PD and SO personnel will quickly respond and take all necessary actions to secure the safety of the public, and individuals involved. We will continue to communicate with FBI officials regarding the situation. If anyone sees or suspects any suspicious activity please call 911 immediately.
A free, outdoor egg hunt will be held Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Rock Ranch, a 1500-acre property in Upson County created by the late S. Truett Cathy. This event, called The Easter Eggstravaganza, will feature 40,000 plastic prize-filled eggs. Age-specific egg hunts will begin at staggered times at different locations across the ranch. Groups include: toddlers under 2 years old, ages 2 and 3, ages 4 to 6, ages 7 to 12 and ages 13 and older. There is no charge for the Easter Egg Hunt, and participants should bring their own baskets. Baskets and other items will also be sold in the gift shop.
Egg hunts begin at 12:45 p.m., but make sure to come early to join in the Easter festivities. There will be photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny beginning at 11 a.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own cameras. The Easter Story will be presented at 12:30 p.m. by Greg Smith, pastor of New Life Church in Thomaston, GA. This event is a collaborative effort with local businesses who participated by sponsoring cases of prize-filled plastic eggs. The title sponsor is Zoe Pediatrics of Thomaston, GA.
The Rock Ranch “Cow-A-Bunga” Zip Lines will be open for guests who are not too chicken. These amazing attractions transport guests, at a treetop level, across the corn field and over ponds at speeds of up to 35 mph. A single guest may ride the fast lines (800 ft. long) for $8 or the long lines (1400 ft. long) for $12.75. The 50 ft. tall rock climbing wall is $5. The Rock Ranch will have 3 concessions locations offering treats such as Chick-fil-A sandwiches, kettle corn, chicken salad croissants, pizza and ice cream.
In response to feedback from guests, The Rock Ranch will be offering more fun attractions after the egg hunts and will allow families to stay until 4:30 p.m. For $8 guests may purchase a wrist band that allows them to ride the new carousel, the locomotive train, the pony rides and jump on the jumping pillow as much as they like. Guest may also purchase a ticket to enjoy just one attraction for $3. There is no cost to attend and enjoy the Eggstravaganza but the attractions will be an available option for those who wish to extend their day, this year.
The Rock Ranch Farm Market and Gifts location (open Monday through Saturday March to November) will be open during this event. The Farm Market offers local honey, homegrown, steroid-free, antibiotic-free premium beef, fresh fruit, garden vegetables and their famous homemade strawberry Ice Dream.
New Spring Season at The Rock Ranch
The Rock Ranch is offering a spring season this year. Called ”Spring-A-Ding-Ding,” this new season offers families a fun day trip opportunity during spring break for only $10 per person. The ranch is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during select weeks in April. Visit www.therockranch.com for a calendar of events. Also receive updates at www.Facebook.com/TheRockRanch.
William Florian, former lead vocalist of “The New Christy Minstrel,” celebrates the spirit of the 1960′s in his show “Those Were the Days” at the Taylor Street Auditorium, Griffin, Georgia, on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets for this performance are $20.00; children are admitted free with an adult ticket holder. A group rate of $15.00 per ticket is available for parties of ten or more.
Tickets may be purchased at the door beginning at 7:00 p.m., online at www.brownpapertickets.com, and locally at Griffin-Spalding County Chamber of Commerce, FNB Main, Zebulon branches, and A Novel Experience Bookstore in Zebulon. For more information visit www.griffinconcerts.org or call 770-228-3229 or email at GACA1958@yahoo.com
The Griffin Area Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed performers to the community since 1958. This all-volunteer nonprofit organization is committed to enriching the cultural life of the Griffin-Spalding County area through live performances. Thanks to the generosity of Patrons and Sponsors, these concerts can be offered at affordable, family friendly prices.
The Griffin Police Department would like to welcome its newest recruits, Officers Brian Bowen and Dustin McNeil. On Friday, March 20, 2015 the two new Officers graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Police Academy located in Bibb County. Both Officers started their new assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division, Sunday, March 22, 2015. Pictured from Left to right: Officer Brian Bowen, Chief Steve Heaton, and Officer Dustin McNeil.
Dr. Curtis Jones has advised WKEU news that he has signed a contract with the Bibb County School System. He also said that his last day will be April 6 th. Dr. Jones will assume his duties as Superintendent of the Bibb County School System and with that move will inherit some major problems that face the Board of Education in Bibb County according to the Macon telegraph.
Units from The Griffin Police Department, Spalding Regional EMS, Griffin Fire and Rescue, and Emory Air Flight all responded to the 1200 block of Taylor Street near Sonic Drive-In, where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. The incident occurred about 5:00 pm Sunday afternoon April 8 th. Investigators indicated that the severity of the injuries were called to Spalding Regional and the decision was made to transport the individual to the Egleston Hospital. The pedestrian was taken by Emory Air Flight based out of The Griffin-Spalding County Airport to Atlanta about 5:25 when a landing zone was established in the open field behind Margo’s restaurant. The accident is still under investigation and more information is expected to be released later by the Griffin Police Department.
On March 6, 2015 at approximately 9 pm, Officers from the Griffin Police Department and Spalding Regional EMS, and Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster responded to 223 West Tinsley Street in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival units discovered one male victim that had been shot through the arm and into the left side of his chest. Emory Air Flight based at the Griffin Spalding Airport was placed on standby for a possible air lift to Atlanta. Due to the immediacy of medical attention it was decided that the victim be transported to Spalding Regional Medical Center by Spalding Regional EMS, where he was later pronounced dead by Coroner Sonny Foster. The Victim was identified as Walter Horton, 49 years old of Griffin, Georgia. There were several other witnesses in the residence at the time of the robbery, but no other injuries were reported. The Criminal Investigations Division of The Griffin Police Department was notified and several Investigators responded to the scene.
According to multiple witnesses two black males wearing masks and gloves entered the residence, and ordered everyone to the ground and demanded that they “give it up”. During the alleged robbery attempt, for reasons unknown at that this time, the suspects fired three shots at the victim striking him once. The suspects then fled the scene in a black in color SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee.
Anyone with information regarding the Homicide of Walter Horton can contact Lt. Mike Richardson with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Griffin Police Department at (Office) 770-229-6450, ext. 543 or (cell) 678-233-4001. All tips can remain anonymous.
Friday morning two school buses from the Griffin Spalding School system were taking a group of Cowan Road students to Atlanta for a field trip. The Buses were on highway 41-19 in Clayton County and the back bus was apparently too close to the lead bus and struck the rear of the lead bus. The accident resulted in a headlight being knocked out on the second bus. Dr. Curtis Jones Superintendent of the Griffin Spalding School System, was advised of the accident and immediately took school officials to the scene along with school nurses as some of the children had complaints of minor injuries. Upon investigation by the Clayton County Police, and EMT personnel no injuries were found. One parent picked up their child as a precaution and took the child to their local doctor. Two additional buses were sent to the scene and carried the students into Atlanta for their field trip. Again Dr. Jones said there were there was no injuries from the incident, and he thanked the Clayton County Police and EMT personnel for their assistance in the incident. Dr. Jones told WKEU’s Bill Taylor that the safety of our children remains our first mission, and we are all are dedicated to this effort. Dr. Jones also thanked the School Nurses for their assistance at the scene and dedication to our children every day.
The Griffin City Commissioners will meet Tuesday night at 6pm March 10, 2015 at 100 south Hill Street.
During the meeting the Commissioners will recognize Darrion Johnson, Equipment Operator III with the Solid Waste Department, as the February 2015 “Strongest Link” award recipient. Also the Commissioners will Recognize Tom Ridgway, Assistant Director for Griffin Power, who will leave the employment of the City on March 13, 2015, to become the Utility Director for the City of Fairburn
They will also recognize Calvin Vallee, Line Construction Foreman for Griffin Power, who will retire on March 13, 2015, after 29 years of dedicated service to the City of Griffin.
Mr. Tim Jones would like to address the Commission to explain a program on which his group is working with the youth of the community.
Consider denying liability to Charles Bohannon for injuries allegedly sustained on August 12, 2014 at approximately 7:30 a.m. when she fell in the City parking lot behind 134 N. Hill Street.
Consider on second and final reading an ordinance requesting the de-annexation of approximately 30 +/- acres located along Williamson Road just west of South Pine Hill Road to include property known as tax parcel numbers 054 Block 01 Lot 001 submitted by Bankston Properties LLC.
Consider approval of a contract with Net Planner Systems, Inc., the sole source provider for the upgrade of the City’s fiber communications network, in the amount of $17,645.89.
Consider approval to nominate 5 megawatts of Project 1 resources to the MEAG Excess Power Pool for use by any MEAG Participant for a period of up to five (5) years. 11.
Approve the creation of three LED Street lighting rates as follows:
ST LED 2C – $12.50/month
ST LED 4C – $20.00/month
ST LED 6C – $26.00/month
Consider submitting S. 8th Street from Poplar Street to S. 9th Street to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s LMIG program for the City of Griffin
Consider approval to reject all bids for construction of North Griffin Revitalization Area – Zone 6 Project, City of Griffin Community Development Block Grant and rebid project.
Consider approval to amend Clean Water State Revolving Loan package approved May 27, 2014 in the amount of 8.0 million dollars to 12.606 million dollars from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for the upgrade and expansion of the Potato Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department.
Consider approval of the Griffin Spalding County Hospital Authority’s 2015 allocation of funding of $13,000, to the Spalding County Board of Health for flu shots.
Consider a request by 1888 Mills to change the street name of “Nacom Way” to “Weaving a Better World Drive.”
Consider Intergovernmental Agreement between City of Griffin and Spalding County to establish a basis for addressing the administrative, operational, and maintenance cost of the 800 MHz radio system.
Kelly Bartram said her business, Smokin’ Swine, was saved by a fire wall.
“The firewall is holding. We’re looking at smoke damage, water damage. Hopefully it will stay that way,” Bartram said.
Saxi Steakhouse’s roof collapsed due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. The exterminating business also sustained significant damage.
Henry County’s fire chief says they are still working to find out how the fire started. They say it started in the back of Saki Sushi and Steakhouse.
The Pike County Commissioners are becoming more concerned over the amounts of trash on roadways and areas of Pike County.
The Concord Garden Club talked with the Commissioners Tuesday, Feb. 24 meeting. Several commissioners said they recently received complaints about the amount of trash along roads in Pike and noted it is time for some action to be taken. The Garden Club has asked that April be designated as Pick Up Pike Month and Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously.
County manager John Hanson said he is working with probationers to start picking up trash along roads and plans to set up an entire week of work starting April 6.
Additional considerations are for signs that specify littering is punishable by an increasd fine, are also being considered. The Current Pike ordinance says the fine shall not exceed $250 but adding some language to provide for some community service for violations is also being considered. The County manager said It’s only fitting that the people throwing out the trash should be out picking it up.
The Commissioners were also asked to reactivate the program Keep Pike County Beautiful since it is a national organization and offers resources Pike could use. Citizens can join the Pick Up Pike group on Facebook.
A map will be placed in the Commissioners office so citizens can claim a section or road and clean those areas.
The group Pick Up Pike is doing everything it can to combat the litter problem. And there is a huge support group for this initiative. One individual told the Commissioners all you really need to do is mobilize them.
Commissioner James Jenkins said he and his family walk along the road they live on picking up trash, adding, We’ve got to set the example.
Chairman Briar Johnson said as a Pike deputy, when he would see bags of garbage, he would put on gloves and search for mail or other items identifying the owner and serve them with a summons so they would have to explain to the judge how their trash ended up on the side of the road. He suggested asking the sheriff’s office to take the same approach now.
The Concord Garden Club’s 19 th annual community lecture series known as Lunch and Learn which will be held at the Concord Building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 16.
The free public event will showcase ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and re purpose for the home, garden and community. Commissioners and citizens were asked to join in an effort for a county-wide clean up weekend April 11 and 12 before the grass really starts to grow and litter becomes an even bigger problem.
An anti-litter poster contest is being held for public, private and home school students in third, fourth and fifth grades with $50 for first and $25 for second and third place winners. The posters will be displayed at the April 16 Lunch and Learn and possibly other places around Pike County.
Special thanks to the Pike Journal Rporter for their assistance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Pike Journal Reporter at pikecounty.com.