A local hotel sustained damage on Monday afternoon, when a vehicle struck the building.  According to an accident report from the Griffin Police Department, units responded just after 2pm to the Econo Lodge at 1616 North Expressway, and spoke with the driver of the vehicle, who is underage and not authorized to be driving.  The male subject advised he attempted to park the car and the brakes slipped.  The parent of the minor, identified as Latissha Deann Trice of Griffin, advised she allowed her son to drive her uninsured 2001 BMW in the parking lot just to park it.  There was extensive damage to the building and the vehicle.  There were no injuries at the scene.

 

GRIFFIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY

At the Griffin-Spalding County Airport Authority Regular Scheduled Meeting  Monday 
August 14th:
 
Chairman Morrow reported from GDOT:
..All problems with GDOT on the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) have been resolved. GOT has approved the Layout Plan and sent it to the FAA. This puts us in the que for Federal Funding.
..After a relocation study, the utilities at the new airport will be relocated whereever GDOT decides.
..The supplemental environment assessment is completed.
..Of the 41 parcels of of land in Phase One: 23 have closed and all paper work completed. 16 have closed and waiting final paperwork. 2 are going to condemnation.
..The last tenant is gone and we will put a gate on the roads to the property.
..While waiting on final paperwork and condemnation, the Authority approved putting out for bids the timber rights on the property. The money from the sale of the timber will be banked for future use.
..Chairman Morrow reported a new appaisel of the Walking Track at the Old Airport shows a reduction in value from $427,000 to $327,000. Spalding County wants to get their own appraisal.
 
The Authority:
Approved:  The release of unused Entitlements to GDOT.  The existing Airport gets $150,000 per year entitlement money for airport improvements.  Since approved for the new airport they have been doing the minimum improvements needed to maintain a safe operational airport.  There is $518,910 entitlement money unused. The Authority approved to release this money to GDOT to be used at other Georgia airports.
 
The Authority:
Approved:  to forward to GDOT and the FAA,  for their review and recommendations, a sales proposal agreement for the old airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man’s body was discovered in a wooded area near Woodhaven Estates in Stockbridge over the weekend.

Henry County police have identified the man as 58-year-old Robert Ezra Craddock and have determined his remains were in the area between 24 to 48 hours. His body was discovered Saturday afternoon by two people using a trail through the wooded area near Acacia Drive, commonly used as a cut-through. 

Henry County Po9lice Major Mike Ireland said:  “At this time the circumstances surrounding the death is uncertain pending the result of the GBI autopsy,” 

Investigators were unable to locate any obvious injury to the victim, Ireland said.

Local families will have the opportunity to help local firefighters while receiving a 10×13 portrait of their family at fall photo shoots at the Zebulon Opportunity Center. Excalibur Central LLC has started visiting local homes to schedule the photos as a fundraiser for Pike Volunteer Emergency Services Booster Organization. They will be asking for a donation of $40 but will accept any amount, and those who donate at least $40 will receive a coupon for a family portrait session and a 10×13 photo print after the picture is taken. Checks must be made out to PVESBO and proceeds will help purchase needed items for fire stations around the county – including the Meansville Volunteer Fire Station. 

 

“In the past, this fundraiser has helped us purchase thermal imagers,” said PVESBO president Teri Totten. “We’ve also bought additional gas detectors where needed and Cascade kits which are used to fill air cylinders after they are used.”

The photo session dates have not yet been determined and more information will be provided in upcoming editions of the newspaper. 

“This fundraiser benefits everyone in the county who may be affected by fire,” said Totten. “We hope people will continue to support this fundraiser and enjoy their family photos while helping out the fire departments.” 

Organizers for the fundraiser will visit homes during day and evening hours. Those who are interested in making a donation but have not been contacted, can email bhptotten@aol.com or call 770-468-8633.

 

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office now has areas designated as “Internet Purchase Exchange Locations”. According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “We have had several inquiries about a designated location at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office for internet purchase exchanges and use as child custody exchange sites. Within the last few days we have upgraded our video system to cover more of the Spalding County Law Enforcement Complex, including the main parking lot. Based on the areas now covered we believe that the locations would be ideal for the exchanges, making it less likely for an incident to occur.” The signs posted in the parking lot were provided free of charge through “Offer-Up”.

According to Natalie Angelillo, Vice President of Community at Offer Up, “Our meet up spots program helps serve the much needed purpose of providing an easy and free way to establish a community location that is public, surveilled, well lit, and monitored. Offer Up is the largest and fastest growing mobile marketplace for local buyers in the U.S., offering IOS and Android apps making selling an item as easy as snapping a picture from your mobile device. The privately held company is based in Bellevue Washington and is backed by top investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Warburg Pincas, GGV Capital, Altimeter Capital and Allen and Company. Offer Up is proud to partner with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to support our commitment to building trust in communities throughout the country. For more information consumers can go to offerup.com. Offer Up is proud to partner with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to support our commitment to building trust in communities throughout the country.”

Sheriff Dix continued, “Consumers and parents will use the areas at their own risk and assume all liability, but we believe that the designated areas will be safer than an anonymous meeting in a grocery store parking lot or unfamiliar location. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office parking lot has a great deal of traffic all hours of the day and night, including Deputies, Investigators, other employees, and civilians conducting business. This is another way we are reaching out to the public and making our facility available to them.”

 

 

On Thursday, August 10, 2017, at approximately 12:47 A.M., Monroe County deputies responded to the Monroe County Hospital Emergency Room regarding the death of a child.

The child, Sanchez Dyron Ussery, Jr., 8 months old, was deceased and had visible bruising on his chest and stomach. Investigators were called to the scene to further investigate the death. The child was sent to the GBI Crime lab in Atlanta, Georgia for an autopsy.

Sanchez Dyron Ussery, Sr. (25/M) Father

Latorrica Allen (23/F) Mother

 

The parents, Sanchez Dyron Ussery, Sr. (25/M) and Latorrica Forsyth, Georgia, were arrested following interviews by investigators on Friday, August 11, 2017.

Both Ussery, Sr and Allen are in the Monroe County Jail charged with Felony Murder, and Cruelty to children in the 1st degree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late last Thursday evening Griffin police, and Spalding EMS responded to a shooting incident at North 16 th street and Ray streets.The initial reports indicated that an altercation between the driver of a BMC SUV and a pedestrian.  Witnesses told police that the alteration started after the victim observed a BMC SUV traveling west on Ray Street and the vehicle almost struck them.  The vehicle came to a stop and an unknown black male driver began the verbal confrontation.  The witness stated he tried to end the altercation, which led to the subject in the vehicle producing a hand gun and pointed the firearm at the victim. then and shot the him twice.  Investigators indicated the victim was shot once in buttock area and once in the hand. The witness stated that he heard a total of five shots. The witness also said the subject pointed the gun at him but no rounds went off. The incident remains under investigation as police indicated the witness said the subject in the vehicle was wearing a white t-shirt but could not provide officers additional information or a further description of the subject, the vehicle, or the type handgun in question. More information is expected to be released later as the investigation continues.

 

Four young males – three white, one black – fled from a auto accident  on High Falls Rd in Lamar County Tuesday afternoon at about 3:30 p.m.

Sgt. Anthony Thompson leads one of the fugitives out of the woods off High Falls Road (Photo: Walter Geiger)

Sheriff Brad White indicated that the individuals may have been involved in a burglary.
The vehicle overturned near 295 High Falls Rd.  A passersby saw them exit the wrecked vehicle and flee on foot. One individual snapped photo that is on our web site wkeuradio.com. (photo courtesy of Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette.
One of the four, individuals  the white male in jeans was later captured nearby by Lamar deputies. He suffered a wrist injury in the wreck.

Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. personnel from the Lamar County Sheriffs Department,  Butts County Sheriffs Department and DNR rangers were searching the area with K-9 Units.

Sheriff White asks If you see anything unusual in the area, to p.ease call 911.
WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this new story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesville.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Spalding County family is dealing with tragedy this week after an accidental drowning at a Birdie Road residence. Units of the Spalding Sheriffs Department, Spalding Fire Rescue, Spalding Regional EMS, and Spalding Coroner Sonny Foster resounded to a residence on Birdie Road in relation to a missing child.   Four year old Leilani Kai Jackson had been reported missing for an hour and a half Monday, and was subsequently located in an above-ground pool behind the residence.  Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster pronounced the young girl deceased shortly before 8 pm Tuesday, and had the body transported to the State Crime Lab for a determination as to the exact cause of death.  .  He advised that no foul play is suspected in the case.  Officials say there was debris in the pool and had not been used in more than a year.

 

 

ZEBULON GEORGIA

 

 

Lieutenant General Retired Bill Caldwell President of Georgia Military College (GMC) in Milledgeville

PRESIDENT GMC COLLEGE LTG (R) WILLIAM R. CALDWELL                                                          

has announced that Pike County and Zebulon have been approved for an extension of the GMC campus in Fayetteville. Pike county was selected due to its unique location, community, and welcoming from the City and County Commissioners from the very beginning of negotiations.

Lieutenant General (R) Caldwell will be at the WKEU studios for an interview on Wednesday.

WKEU’s Bill Taylor made the initial contact with

VICE PRESIDENT GMC            BG (R) CURT RAUHUT

GMC vice president Brigadier General retired Curt Rauhut who was originally from Fayetteville and was well aware of the Pike and Zebulon areas. The work with Taylor and the GMC officials began in 2014. Taylor indicated that GMC officials are extremely excited for the support they received in Pike County and the facility.

Most instrumental for this area acquiring the college was

STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOHNNIE CALDWELL

State Representative Johnnie Caldwell, who has been a huge supporter of GMC over the years and saw the future of the district with the location in Zebulon for GMC.  We talked with State Representative Caldwell who stated this is a huge move for the entire district and beyond.  Caldwell said that GMC is a very unique college, one of only 5 in the entire nation, that was founded in 1879 and they are not only a junior college with 11 campuses, but they are, like the other four in the nation, a prep school for the service academies allowing those young individuals desiring a military career to attend the “corps of cadets” in Milledgeville for two years. Upon graduation students are commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and then completing the last two years at any service academy they desire. 80 percent of the GMC students are not members of the Military Corps of Cadets and the military programs are only offered in Milledgeville.  Students may attend one of the more than 40 universities or colleges which GMC has articulation agreements.

The Zebulon GMC campus will be in the same complex with the City Offices on South 19, which was a school that was renovated in 2007.  Representatives of GMC visited the location about 3 weeks ago indicating that the facility is one of the best ever for an extension campus. Wiring for computers and all necessary furnishings will be accomplished by GMC and the facility is expected to be ready by the first of the year.

BG (R) ROCK DONAHUE DIRECTOR GMC COLLEGE FAYETTEVILLE

Brigadier General Rock Donahue, Director of the Fayetteville Campus, has indicated that the opening for students will be in early 2018, possibly as early as March.

All Zebulon commissioners and Pike Commissioners have given their total support to GMC and stated they are very proud and excited to have this great academy in Zebulon to serve students in the district. GMC officials said this was one of the main factors in their choosing Zebulon and Pike County for their new extension campus.

The Zebulon Commissioners will be voting on the final approval on Tuesday, August  8th.

Work on the facility is expected to begin in the next few days or weeks.

DR. MAX BURNS

Gordon State College Public Information Officer Tamara Boatwright has announced that  President Max Burns has announced his plans to retire effective December 31, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Five teenagers were rescued overnight Saturday after calling 911 and reporting that they had overturned a boat on the Flint River. The caller stated that they did not know the exact location they were at , and only knew that they were between Flat Shoals Road and Highway 18. Sheriff’s Deputies made an initial check of the area and requested additional resources to further check the large area.

Department of Natural Resources, Pike County Fire and EMA and Upson County EMA responded and after several hours located the teenagers. All of the victims were returned safely with no injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE:

911 dispatch notified the Griffin Police of a three vehicle collision on the North Expressway close to Crestview church Sunday afternoon.  The accident sent several individuals to area hospitals and closed the southbound lanes of highway 19/41. Traffic was routed through the Belks shopping center parking lot.  Units from the Griffin Police Department, Griffin Fire Rescue and 3 ambulances from Spalding Regional EMS responded to the scene. Two Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol also responded to the scene. Initial reports indicated that two individuals were sent to Egleston Scottish Right Hospital in Atlanta, Two to the Atlanta Medical Center, who were identified as Johnny and Samantha Lowrimore, of Wesley Drive Griffin, and one individual to Spalding Regional. The inclement weather at the time kept helicopter air ambulances grounded until a storm passed. The incident is being investigated by the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol and more information is expected  to be release later.

 

About 8:05 Sunday night units of the Spalding Sheriffs Department, Spalding Fire Department and Spalding Regional EMS responded to the trailer park on Wood Road near Sunny Side to the scene of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival at the scene fire department personel said that a female resident of lot 14 just off wood road was complaining of a knee injury after being struck by a vehicle.  Investigators indicated that the incident was possibly domestic related.

The Georgia Department of Transportation and Zebulon Police Department have been notified by the contractor of scheduled lane closures next week for maintenance work along US 19/SR 3; on the western side of the Courthouse. Weather permitting; work will be performed daily, Monday through Wednesday beginning at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Motorists should expect slower moving traffic and delays along US 19/SR 3; Main Street during construction times. There will be no parking and a left lane closure along the western side of the Courthouse. This lane closure will allow crews to work more safely and quickly as they improve the turning radius from Main Street onto SR 18.

Drivers are urged to slow down and proceed cautiously through this work zone.

UPDATE:
Griffin Police continue an investigation piecing together information on a Tuesday night incident, where two individuals were shot in the Waterford Subdivision.  According to reports from the police department, one individual was shot in the leg and the other was grazed.  The victims were identified as Senquavious Dyquan Driver, age 18, and former Spalding High School football player A.J. Moses, also age 18.  Both were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.  Investigators are on the lookout for a gray Nissan Altima, which was identified as the vehicle that pulled into the front of 128 Crystal Brook from which multiple shots were fired.  Investigators also questioned multiple witnesses at the scene, but no description of the suspect or suspects could be obtained.  Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Detective Cary Jackson at 770-229-6452 ext. 535, or email cjackson@cityofgriffin.com

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
 The Board of Commissioners of the City of Griffin, Georgia will conduct public hearings on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in their Workshop and at 6:00 p.m. in their Regular Scheduled Meeting for the purpose of receiving public comment on a proposal to amend the Charter of the City of Griffin, 2004 Ga. Laws, p. 4232, as amended, to change the title of the At-Large Commissioner to “MAYOR”, with the duty to preside over all meetings of the Commission and perform the other traditional duties of a Mayor as now performed by the Commission Chairperson. Both hearings will be held in the W. Elmer George Municipal Hall, One Griffin Center, 2d Floor, 100 S. Hill Street, Griffin, GA 30223.

The present Charter provides for an elected governing body, under a “Commission-Manager” form of government. Commissioners are elected from 6 single-member districts, apportioned based upon population, and an At-Large Commissioner. The Chairperson is elected annually by the Commission and cannot succeed himself. The Chairperson appoints a Chairperson pro tem on an annual basis to serve during his absence or disability.

The proposed Charter change, to be introduced as a local or special act of the General Assembly at its 2018 General Session, would retain the present form of government. The title of the At-Large Commissioner would change to MAYOR; the Mayor would retain all duties of the At-Large Commissioner, and would serve as the Commission’s presiding officer, performing those added duties now vested in its Chairperson. The Mayor would annually appoint a Mayor pro tem.

If local legislation is approved by the General Assembly, a referendum will be conducted for all qualified City electors, in conjunction with the Statewide Primary Election to be held May 22, 2018, to consider the Charter amendment. If approved by a majority of the electors voting in the referendum, candidates for Mayor would run in the General Municipal Election (Non-Partisan), to be held November 6, 2018, for a four (4) year term, commencing effective January 1, 2019.

A draft of the proposed amendment is available for inspection and copying in the City Manager’s office, One Griffin Center, 3rd Floor, during regular office hours. Citizens and electors desiring to comment on the proposed Charter change may attend either hearing and address the Commission, or comments may be filed, in writing, with Executive Secretary Teresa Watson prior to close of business on August 22, 2017, either in person, by mail addressed to: P. O. Box T, Griffin, GA 30224, or by email addressed to: twatson@cityofgriffin.com.

It is the policy of the City of Griffin to ensure that communications with participants and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. The City will make reasonable accommodations where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, any program, service, or activity conducted by the City, including its public hearings. Persons desiring accommodation should contact ADA Coordinator Miles Neville, at (770) 233-2923 as far in advance of the hearing as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On August 2, 2017 at approximately 9:46 Deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 1343 Apt B Jackson Street Griffin, GA to attempt serve an arrest warrant for battery on Stephen Blanton. Deputies searched the area for the wanted person but were unable to locate him.

While still on scene, Deputies found Felix Brownlee and William Brownlee in the back yard of the residence with a brown and white dog. The dog was chained to a tree with the other end of the chain around its neck. The men had a pair of channel lock pliers and they were pulling on the chain when the Deputies observed that it was deeply embedded in the flesh of the dog’s neck.

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “The chain had been on the dog’s neck for such a long period of time that as the dog grew its flesh had actually grown over and through the links of the chain and it was under its skin. It was horrible and the dog was in considerable pain. The photographs taken at the scene are disturbing”

Spalding County Animal Control was contacted, took custody of the dog, and transported it to a local Veterinary hospital for treatment.

Dix continued, “Based on the investigation and the Veterinarian’s observations, Jennifer Brownlee, William Brownlee and Felix Brownlee were arrested and charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals which is a felony.  All three have been taken in to custody and are being held in the Spalding County Jail.”

According to Sheriff Dix, “Initially it was thought that the dog, “Jake”, would have to be euthanized. After consulting further with the Veterinarian it was determined that instead of euthanizing Jake, surgery would be conducted to remove approximately 7 inches of skin as deep as 3 inches from his neck in order to fix the damage caused by the chain. The surgery was completed yesterday and as of this morning Jake is doing fine. Captain Keith Duncan, Sgt. Michael Chadwick, Corporal Ryan Bowlden, and I have volunteered to help offset the cost of the surgery and treatment that right now stands at a little over $1000.00. According to the Veterinarian more treatment will be needed before the Jake gets a complete bill of health. If you are interested in helping out you can call Sgt. Chadwick or Corporal Bowlden at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, 770-467-4282 for more information.”

LAMR COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

 

It didn’t take long for the jury in the Bobbie Jo Sumner hit and run trial to come back with a guilty verdict Wednesday in Monroe County Superior Court.  Sumner had been accused in the 2013 death of Alexandra Noelle Desir, when she was struck by Sumner’s vehicle in Lamar County.  Closing arguments were presented to the jury late Wednesday afternoon.  After closing, the jury deliberation took less than 45 minutes.  Judge Tommy Wilson sentenced Sumner to 20 years in prison and 15 years probation on the guilty counts of first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements.  Sumner’s attorney had argued that she did not know she struck a human being late that night.  Officials located fibers from Desir’s clothing on the front of Sumner’s Saturn Vue during the investigation.   Desir’s body was said to have been found 70 feet from the point of impact.

On August 1, at approximately 2217 hours Griffin Police to 128 Crystal Brook, to a report of person shot call.

While Griffin PD patrol Officers responded to the scene dispatch advised that a gold in color 4 door truck was transporting a victim to the hospital.

A Griffin patrol officer spotted the truck and was following it to the hospital to make contact with the victims.

Upon arrival on scene there were several subjects standing in the yard of the residence. A gray in SUV was parked on the shoulder of the roadway facing northeast just west of the driveway of 128 Crystal brook, a green in color Honda was parked in the driveway facing south, also a gold in color Chevrolet Malibu was facing west just east of the driveway.

Officers made contact with Ms Erika Jenkins advised officers that she was in the house but heard several shots, upon going outside was informed that a car pulled up to the stop sign and began shooting at the males who were outside in the front yard.

Officers talked with Sidney Hamm who stated that he and several friends were in the front yard of the residence when a car pulled up to the stop sign in the area of Tuscany lane at its intersection with Crystal Brook when he saw several shots being fired from the vehicle, and in their direction. As the vehicle pulled away A.J. Moses, a Spalding High Football Player stated that he had been hit, indicating he had been shot. Mr Hamm continued to state that “AJ” jumped in a truck and was driven to the hospital. The truck was later identified as a gold in color Ford F-150.

Officers also talked with Mr Dequan Driver, who stated that they were in the front yard and someone who was at the intersection began shooting at them. He continued to state that they all ran and was not able to give a description of the vehicle the subjects were in. He continued to state that “A.J.” was shot and was taken to the hospital.

Officers also made contact with Mr Dedrick Tyus who also stated that he was in the area of the other individuals when someone started shooting at them hitting his brother “AJ” before the vehicle fled the scene. He was not able to give a description of the suspects or the vehicle they were driving.

When Dedrick Tyus and Dequan Driver attempted to leave to head to the hospital, Dequan started the Chevrolet Malibu which began leaking a large amount of what appeared to be oil and water. Upon visually inspecting the front of the vehicle I noticed what appeared to be two bullet holes. Mr Tyus was advised to shut the car off and that it could not be driven because it was damaged and is part of the crime scene.

Police began to obtain statements from the subjects involved and began checking the area for any evidence. I proceeded to check several houses in the area for any bullet holes but was unable to locate any.

Several neighbors said that they thought 4-6 shots were fired.

Officers were able to make contact with four juveniles at 126 Crystal Brook who stated that they heard several shots but did not see anything.

The on call Investigator was contacted and responded to the scene.

Officers responded to the hospital where contact was made with Officer Chip Jones who had obtained the victims’ name and dates of birth. While on scene at the hospital Officers were advised that the two victims were being released from the hospital with minor injuries.

The community is mourning the loss of two lives this week after a weekend fire on East McIntosh Road.  As reported over WKEU, Spalding County fire personnel responded to the scene Saturday morning, and found 44-year old mother Christie Lewis non-responsive and her adopted 6-year old son, Zachary Sevenstar unconscious.  Lewis was pronounced deceased by coroner Sonny Foster a short time later, while the 6-year old was transported to the Augusta Burn Unit in critical condition.  On Sunday, the coroner revealed that Zachary had passed away as well, due to injury from the fire.  Husband Jimmy Lewis, who was working at the time of the incident, advised that firefighters found his wife on top of the 6-year old in an attempt to cover him from the flames.   Georgia’s Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said an investigation by his office revealed that the early morning house fire was caused by the improper discarding of a cigarette into a trash can that started the blaze.  Commissioner Hudgens said the fire was reported around 9:30 a.m.  Saturday and the blaze was extinguished by the Spalding County Fire Department.  Conner-Westbury Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements.

       

On 07/28/2017, City of Griffin Police Officer Mathew Boynton was arrested without incident and taken to the Spalding County Jail.  He was charged with one felony count of False Statements and Writings, and one felony count of Violation of Oath of Office.  This arrest was the result of a Griffin Police Department criminal investigation stemming from an incident report filed by his ex-wife Jessica Lester (Boynton), alleging that Mathew Boynton illegally deprived her of some of her personal items.  During the conduct of this exhaustive investigation facts and circumstances ultimately led to the arrest of Mathew Boynton as it was determined that he knowingly provided a false statement relating to the property in question and his possession of same. While his actions were unfortunate and disappointing, tarnishing our badge, the Griffin Police Department remains dedicated to providing the best possible police service to our citizens. Now, and in the future the department will strive to maintain the highest professional and ethical behavior.  In spite of the actions of this individual Chief Yates remains steadfast in his dedication to insuring that the Griffin Police Department will not stand for unethical, illegal or immoral behavior from its’ officers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 07/26/2017, Trooper T. Flournoy with the Georgia State Patrol stopped a white Mercedes for speeding in the area of N. 9th St. and West Ave. The trooper smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, and asked the Griffin Police Department for assistance. Members of the Uniformed Patrol Division and Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement Unit (C.A.G.E.) arrived on scene. The driver of the vehicle had cocaine, pills, and marijuana in his possession. Upon further investigation, a stolen firearm was found inside the vehicle.

Andre Noble DOB 5-8-84 AKA “5 Stakks”arrested by GSPCharged with multiple offenses.

The driver was identified as Andre Noble. Noble (DOB 5-8-84), also known as “5 Stakks”, who is the leader of the notorious Rollin 20’s Neighborhood Blood Gang. The case was turned over to the Griffin Police Department’s C.A.G.E. Unit. Noble faces charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Theft by Receiving Stolen Firearm, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Schedule 4 Narcotic, Possession of Marijuana Less than 1 OZ, Pills Not in Original Container, and several counts Criminal Street Gang Activity.

Suspected meth cooker Tony Abernathy is led to a decontamination shower by Deputy Kathryn Farr Friday morning. The trailer where the meth lab was found is owned by Georgia Ann Hunt of Concord, according to tax records. (Photo: Walter Geiger)

 

At approximately 9:00 AM on Friday , Lamar County Deputies attempted to serve a Houston County warrant on Tony Abernathy of Barnesville at 272 Aldora Street.  Mr. Abernathy barricaded himself inside the residence along with his wife Amy Abernathy for approximately 45 minutes before exiting through the front door of the residence.  After clearing the interior of the residence, Deputies determined it was being used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine.  Lamar County Deputies and Lamar County Fire and Rescue completed a decontamination process of the residence and one Deputy was treated and released by Upson Regional Medical Center for breathing issues.  Both suspects have been taken into custody and are pending additional warrants at this time.

WKEU offers our sincere thanks to Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their coverage of this breaking story and assistance to WKEU News. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesville.com.

Lance Kershaw (left) was in court in Lamar County July 20 seeking a reduction in his $75,000 bond. He allegedly concealed a camera in a shower at his home, photographed his granddaughter and hung those nude photos in boys’ bathrooms at the high school. Also pictured are defense attorney Selwin Patterson (center) and assistant district attorney Mark Daniel (right). (Photo: Walter Geiger)

A reduction in bond was denied on July 20 for a Barnesville man accused of placing nude photos of his granddaughter in boys’ bathrooms at Lamar County High School last October.

Lance Kershaw, age 60, of 1041 Hwy. 41 South appeared before Judge Bill Fears seeking a reduction in his bond which was previously set at $75,000.

Kershaw is charged with first degree cruelty to children, two counts invasion of privacy, criminal trespass, disrupting a public school and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

According to testimony at the hearing, Kershaw concealed a camera in a shower at his home to gather nude photos of his granddaughter. After some sort of conflict with the girl, Kershaw allegedly went to the high school on Oct. 17, 2016, entering at about 6:30 a.m.

He allegedly posted printouts of the nude photos in restrooms using zip ties. At the time, sheriff Brad White said Kershaw was spotted by a janitor and sent to the office but passed himself off as an employee of an outside company working on maintenance at the school.

Several male students, removed the photos and took them to the office. A review of surveillance video led to Kershaw’s arrest, according to Sheriff White.

At the hearing  earlier, attorney Selwin Patterson argued for a bond reduction, noting Kershaw was not a flight risk. Kershaw testified he had a home here, operated a local business and his wife wanted him back in the home. He said he could also live in a motel or camp out.

The prosecution countered that the wife had contacted Kershaw only for certain passwords she needed. The wife did not appear in court and Kershaw expressed surprise that she was
not there.

Sgt. Stephanie Melton testified Kershaw had been ordered not to contact the granddaughter but was somehow getting letters to her despite jail personnel monitoring his mail.

That testimony seemed to make up Judge Fears’ mind and he denied the bond reduction motion. Kershaw went back to the Lamar jail in chains.

WKEu NEWS would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this new story. You can subscrivbe to the Herald Gazette on line at barnesaville.com

Pike County Sheriff Jimmy Thomas had advised WKEU news that  his Investigators have charged a juvenile in reference to a vandalism case at the Old Mt. Calvary Outreach Center in Concord.  The staff had discovered damage that was done to the interior and exterior of the facility including broken windows and food items that were strewn about the building.  The juvenile that had been charged is awaiting a court date and has been charged with Criminal Trespassing , however the charge could be upgraded to a more serious charge once a tally of the damage is complete. The Outreach Center provides various after school and community programs for youth in Pike County and will continue to do so as repairs are made.

 

Units of the Griffin Police Department resounded to a two vehicle accident Near the Roses Shopping center on Friday about 1:00 pm.  The collision tied up traffic until investigators could get debris and the vehicles moved from the scene. Only Minor injuries wee reported from the accident.

The Spalding Fire Department was dispatched to Minter road about 7:25 AM Friday Morning to a reported home fire.  Upon arrival firefighters found the double wide building with smoke and fire showing.  Firefighters quickly extracted the one resident of the structure an elderly lady who was taken to Spalding Regional and later transported to the Grady Burn unit in Atlanta  Assistant Chief Jamie Clark said the incident remains under investigation and more information is expected to be released later.

The Butts County Sheriff’s Office Counter-Narcotics Division closed a one-year investigation this past Monday. Sheriff Gary Long said agents conducted a undercover investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine at a location on Forrest Avenue in Jackson. The investigation revealed the occupants at the Forrest Avenue home were operating a multi-county methamphetamine distribution ring.

The Sheriff also aid the drugs were distributed in Butts, Monroe, Pike, Henry, Clayton and Spalding counties.  

He identified those arrested as William David Carter of Jackson, Anthony Craig Scott of Jackson, Brent Bruce of Riverdale, Victoria Winters of Jackson and Amanda Chambers of Jackson.

Agents searched the Forrest Avenue home around 1 a.m. Monday and found more than 6 ounces of methamphetamine, a gallon of GHB, also known as the date rape drug, multiple hits of LSD, marijuana, prescription pills and anabolic steroids.

The Sheriff added Taking down this distribution ring, we have greatly reduced the methamphetamine flow not only throughout our county but many others.  I will see that anyone that thinks Butts County is a safe haven for the distribution of illegal narcotics will be identified, investigated and arrested. I will see that strong justice is served. I want to commend my entire Counter-Narcotics Division and the C.A.G.E Team for their outstanding work and their relentless pursuit to rid our county of illegal narcotics and its dealers. There are more arrest to follow related to this investigation. Said Sheriff Long”

 

 

The Griffin Commissioners will met Tuesday July 25, 2017 at the City Offices at 1000 South HIll Street at 6:00 PM

During the meeting the Comm9issioners will:

Recognize Jennifer Freeman, Associate Planner with Planning & Development Department, as the June 2017 “Strongest Link” award recipient.  Toussaint Kirk, Director of Planning & Development, will address.

Receive comments regarding a request to rezone the property located at 866 E. Solomon Street consisting of 0.3 +/- acres from Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Planned Industrial Development (PID), submitted by Newton Crouch, Inc. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Receive comments regarding a request to rezone approximately 0.79 +/- acres located at 1663 W. McIntosh Rd. from High Density Residential-B (HDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD) submitted by Pilkenton-Murray, LLC.  Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Receive comments regarding a variance request to subdivide property located at 527 S. Hill

Receive comments regarding a request to rezone approximately 0.33 +/- acres located along S. 8th Street from Low Density Residential-B (LDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD). Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider Minutes of the following:  June 13, 2017 Workshop and Regular Meeting, June 19, 2017 Joint Meeting with Spalding County, June 20, 2017 Special Called Meeting.

Consider approval of Task Order Form for the Pre Engineering of Community Development Block Grant Application 2018 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $8,300.00 for the City of Griffin. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval of Task Order Form for Engineering and Design of Lift Station #5 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $25,000.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Work and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval of Task Order Form for the Engineering and Design of Lift Station #7 to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $25,000.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval of a Task Order Form for the Bidding and Construction Management for the Downtown LCI Project to Paragon Consulting Group in the amount of $241,235.00 for the Public Works Department.Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval to purchase Aluminum 18N Culvert from Contech Engineering Solutions for the 12th Street Culvert in the amount of $29,500.00 for the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Pubic Works and Utilities Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval of the Bid and Work Contract for the 12th Street Culvert to Crawford Grading & Pipeline, Inc., in the amount of $178,959.99 for the Public Works Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval of the purchase of  a R-900 V4 Gateway Collector from Delta Municipal Supply Company in the amount of $19,750.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider agreement with United States Geological Survey for Stream Gauge Montioring Stations in the amount of $60,499.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Director of Public Works and Utilities Department Brant D. Keller will address.

Consider approval to award the purchase of seven (7) Ford F150s in the amount of $170,476.00 to Speedway Ford and declare certain listed vehicles as surplus. The vehicles will be assigned to the following departments:

General Fund: Public Works/Streets ($23,248.00) and declare surplus unit 427, a 1999 Ford F150 with 227,201 miles (VIN# 1FT2F1824XNA48681);
Stormwater ($25,960.00) and declare surplus unit 1108, a 1994 Ford F150 with a defective odometer (VIN# 2FTDF15Y7RCA79550);
Electric Utility Fund – Technical Services (2) units totaling $46,638.00.
First vehicle ($23,319.00), and declare surplus unit 3875, a 2008 Dodge 1500 with 168,886 miles (VIN# 1D7HA16K38J179886);

Second vehicle ($23,319.00) and declare surplus unit 3811, a 2008 Dodge 1500 with 148,047 miles (VIN# 1D7HA16K58J179887).

Solid Waste director ($25,794.00), transferring unit 928, a 2011 Ford F-250 (VIN# 1FT7W2B64BEC16630) to Landfill and declare surplus unit 958, a 1996 Ford F150 with 211,034 miles (VIN# 1FTFEF15N4LB48511).
Water-Distribution Division ($26,898.00) and declare surplus unit 803, a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 with 210,981 miles (VIN# 3D7MR46C95G863422).
Water-Meter Division ($21,938.00) is a new unit needed for the Meter Division.
Director of Central Services Phill Francis will address.

Consider approval to award the purchase of one (1) Ford F350 from Speedway Ford in the amount of $36,566.00 for Public Works, Streets division and declare surplus unit 445, a 2002 Ford F350 with 162,000 miles (VIN# 1FDWW36F62EB53036). Director of Central Services Phill Francis and Director of Public Works Brant Keller will address.

Consider the purchase of eleven (11) Dodge Chargers from Akins Ford Dodge Government Sales in the amount of $264,481.25 ($24,043.75 per vehicle);  approve additional equipment/installation by Dana Safety Supply in the amount of $119,482.99 ($10,862.09 per vehicle) and declare identified vehicles surplus. Police Chief Mike Yates will address.

Consider purchase of a 53′ bucket truck for the Electric Department in the amount of $159,674 from Altec under the NJPA (National Joint Purchasing Alliance) purchasing program. Electric Director Dan Thompson will address.

Consider renewal of Standard Office Lease between the City of Griffin and Tru Check, Inc. for Suite 114 of One Griffin Center in the amount of $6,837.48 for a one-year term. City Staff Attorney, Jessica Whatley O’Connor, will address.

The Regular Agenda includes items on which the Commission will individually consider and possibly take action.

Consider approval of a request to rezone the property located at 866 E. Solomon Street consisting of 0.3 +/- acres from Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Planned Industrial Development (PID), submitted by Newton Crouch, Inc.  Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider approval of a request to rezone approximately 0.79 +/- acres located at 1663 W. McIntosh Rd. from High Density Residential-B (HDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD) submitted by Pilkenton-Murray, LLC. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider a variance request to subdivide property located at 527 S. Hill Street. Director of Planning & Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider approval of a request to rezone approximately 0.33 +/- acres located along S. 8th Street from Low Density Residential-B (LDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD), submitted by John T. Newton, Jr. Director of Planning and Development Services Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider execution of agreement with Allen-Smith Consulting to prepare the City of Griffin’s FY2018 Community Development Block Grant application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in the amount of $10,000. Planning and Development Director Toussaint Kirk will address.

Consider Resolution determining the necessity for acquisition of two temporary construction easements for the 2017 Dewey Street Sewer Lift Station Replacement Project; determining a public use for said easements; establishing an initial offer for the easements; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to negotiate with land owners; and for other purposes. City Attorney Drew Whalen will address.

Consider approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with Spalding County to provide for reimbursement for the housing of City of Griffin pre-trial detainees and inmates at the Spalding County Detention Facility.  Staff Attorney Jessica O’Connor will address.

Consider approval of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between Atlantic Fiber Networks, Inc. (AFN) and the City of Griffin, Georgia, for acquisition of the fiber network owned by AFN in Spalding County to provide services to the Griffin-Spalding County School District; and a Data Transport Service Agreement with Education Networks of America, Inc. (ENA) for information services (data) though the above-described network to the School System and a resolution amending the FY 17-18 Budget accordingly to create the Telecommunications Fund and reflect the AFN-ENA transaction. Jack Poland, IT Director, Finance Director Markus Schwab, and City Attorney Drew Whalen will address.

 

On Thursday night about 7:35 pm Spalding 911 dispatch called Griffin Police to 434 North 5 th Street to the report of a individual laying in the yard with gun shots. The initial call indicated the man was not conscious.  Upon arrival by emergency res-ponders there was no patient at the scene.  911 received another call indicating that family members had moved the man to Spalding High School parking lot. Griffin Police investigators indicated the man was shot twice in the back with what was believed to be small caliber automatic pistol.

EMORY HELICOPTER AIR AMBULANCE

Emory Air Flight based at the Griffin Spalding Airport responded to a landing zone that was established at the Spalding High Parking lot.  The patient was transported to the Atlanta Medical Center for treatment.

Griffin Police Lieutenant and Pubic Information Officer  Mike Natel advised WKEU news that the suspect in the shooting is being sought and the incidents remains under investigation.

More information is expected to be released as the investigation continues.

 

Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb has reported that a Fayette County man and another man from Palmetto have been charged with child molestation.

PHOTO FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT.

 

Jose R. Colindres-Figueroa, age 22, of Forrest Drive, Palmetto, along with Christian Morales, age 19 of Town Lane in north Fayette, were charged with the felonies.

Both individuals have been charged with Statutory rape, child molestation, and aggravated child molestation.

Both men were arrested on 11 July.  Sheriffs investigators said that the chargers relate to an underage child and the offence occurred in Fayette County. Both individuals are being held in the Fayette County Jail.

The investigation is on going. More information is expected to be released later.

 

 

The course will be on the basics of beekeeping.  The date is Saturday, August 26, Beginning at 8:00 a.m. at The University of Georgia Extension office at 835 Memorial Drive in Griffin.

The event is sponsored by Potato Creek Beekeepers.  The course will cover the basics necessary to begin this fascinating hobby. Agenda topics include: honey bee colony biology, equipment, getting bees, working the hive, honey extraction and more.

Registration is $25 due by August 18th. Early registration is encouraged.

For more information or to register contact the UGA Extension Spalding County at 770-467-4225.

 

The business fire on highway 19/41 th north expressway has initially been ruled a unspecified ark from an electrical source by the Spalding Fire Department and Spalding Fire Marshall.  The Fire occurred on Sunday nigh about 7:45 when 911 received a call of heavy smoke and fire being seen at the Andrews Auto Salvage.  Units from the Spalding County Fire Department, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Spalding EMS, and Griffin Fire Rescue, responded to the scene. Upon arrival firefighters discovered a working fire. Assistant Chief Jamie Clark told WKEU NEWS,  several vehicles were in the area of the fire, and there were at several acetylene bottles that started exploding.  The Chief moved firefighters into a defense mode and called in ladder trucks from the City and County departments as the fire was quickly spreading. Additional  units of the Spalding County Fire Department responded with a ladder truck along with the City of Griffin ladder truck. The ladder trucks were able reach the flames of the building.  Spalding County Fire Department Ladder truck was set up in the south bound lanes of 19/41. Due to the intense fire both north and south bound lanes were closed and traffic was diverted onto Old Atlanta Road.  Captain Williams Spalding Fire Marshal said that the fire was still being investigated but preliminary evidence shows a possible electrical fire.

 

BUTTS COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

The former Jackson police officer accused of lying about being shot while on patrol last September has been indicted by a Butts County grand jury on 11 charges.

Sherry Hall, 42, was indicted July 11 on four counts of making a false statement, four counts of violation of oath by a public officer, two counts of interference with government property and one count of tampering with evidence.

Warrants for Hall’s arrest were initially filed Sept. 23 after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation alleged that she was not shot by an assailant while on patrol on Camellia Court around midnight as she claimed Sept. 13.

She was fired from the department following her arrest.

Authorities accuse Hall of planting a shell casing at the scene fired from a department-issued pistol she lied to investigators about having. Investigators said she claimed to have been shot by a black man in a green shirt standing near the wood line.

In a statement, the GBI said when Hall viewed footage from her patrol car camera obtained from its hard drive with the help of a digital forensic investigator and the camera’s manufacturer, she stopped cooperating with the investigation.

According to a search warrant application filed in the case, when investigators reviewed the camera’s footage, only two shots could be heard, though three shell cases were found at the scene.

The indictments charging Hall with interference with government property stem from accusations she defaced the Glock 27 she claimed not to have and damaged a department-issued vest.

Authorities have not said what they believe Hall’s motivation may have been for allegedly weaving a tale about being shot during an encounter that didn’t happen.

The incident sparked what appeared initially to be a manhunt focused on finding the shooter but the focus of the investigation turned to Hall herself when “it was revealed that inconsistencies existed with regard to Hall’s statements, witness statements, physical evidence and later examination of forensic evidence,” the GBI said in the statement.

“After following the leads and evidence, the investigation has now revealed that there is no, and never was, a suspect shooter at large in Jackson, Georgia,” the GBI said.

Hall was denied bond during a court appearance in October, but according to court documents was granted $35,000 bond Dec. 1.

In a letter to an Atlanta TV station, Hall purportedly wrote that she was innocent and her arrest was the result of a “cover up.”

“First and foremost, I am innocent of all charges and allegations,” Hall wrote, according to WSB-TV. “This is nothing more than a cover up in a small town.”

Attorneys Kimberly A. Berry and Christina Champagne, who according to court records began representing Hall June 28, could not immediately be reached for comment T

 

 

     MATTHEW PIPPIN

 

On Thursday the Monroe Country Sheriffs Department issued a lookout for an escapee identified as Matthew Pippin. Pippin escaped from the Monroe County Jail located in Forsyth, Georgia. He was in custody for a violation of probation in relation to a nonviolent drug offense. On Thursday afternoon WKEU was advised that Pippin was located and arrested by the Monroe County Sheriffs Department and is in custody. Sheriff J.C. Bittick said that he appreciated the local citizens, and area citizens  help with the lookout that lead to Pippin’s capture on Thursday afternoon. In addition to his charge of violation of probation for a non violent drug offense he will also be facing an escape charge.

 

 

On July 11th, 2017 at approximately 10:45 am deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 253 Liberty Hill Rd. in an attempt to locate:

ROBERT PUGH

Robert Pugh who had an outstanding warrant for Violation of Probation from Henry County. When Fugitive Apprehension deputies arrived, Pugh refused to exit the residence and surrender. The deputies entered and located Pugh taking him into custody without further incident. He is being held in the Spalding County Jail.

While still on scene Fugitive Apprehension Unit deputies made contact with another person who identified himself as Michael Wilson. According to Sheriff Darrell Dix “When the deputies were speaking with him they noticed multiple inconsistencies in his story about who he was and how he got there. When they confronted him about the inconsistent statements he admitted that he had given them a false name and that his true identity was:

CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON

Christopher Thompson.”  He admitted to the deputies that had an active Violation of Probation warrant from Pickens County from an original charge of kidnapping. Thompson was taken in to custody and is being held for Pickens County.

During their investigation Fugitive Apprehension deputies obtained information that Thompson had been seen earlier in a 2002 Burgundy Chevrolet Blazer. Deputies located the vehicle in a wooded area near the residence and learned that the vehicle had been reported as stolen from Lamar County.

Based on evidence obtained from the crime scene video in Barnesville, it was determined that Thompson fit the description of the vehicle theft suspect and he will be facing those charges in Lamar County.

Sheriff Darrel Dix said: “The Fugitive Apprehension Unit did an outstanding job in this instance. By being persistent, noting the signs of deception they saw, and following up, they were able to locate two wanted suspects from other jurisdictions, recover a stolen vehicle, and gather enough information to aid in charging one of the suspects with the theft of the vehicle.  The Sheriff also said:  “I’m proud of those guys, and all the other Sheriff’s Office employees for the hard work they do every day.”

MONROE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

 

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Final Holiday Traffic Count for July Fourth Travel Period, July 5, 2017.

Traffic crashes across Georgia during the July Fourth holiday travel period resulted in 17 traffic deaths. This year, the holiday travel period was 102 hours long. It began at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 30, and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4.

Statewide, Georgia State Troopers investigated 620 traffic crashes that resulted in 260 injuries, and 11 fatalities. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, 294 people were arrested for driving under the influence, while 9,945 citations and 14,767 warnings were issued.

Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the holiday period were: Richmond Co. S/O, Cherokee Co. S/O, Gwinnett PD, Columbus PD, and Atlanta PD.

In 2016, the July Fourth travel period was 78 hours long.

Independence Day Holiday Traffic Count 6 p.m. Friday, June 30 – 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4 esd , 102 Hour Holiday Period

Deaths
Total Fatalities Reported in Georgia

Fatalities Investigated by GSP Troopers 11

Fatalities Investigated by Local Agencies 6

Total Fatalities Statewide for Holiday Period 17

WKEU would like to thank our troopers from Post 1, the Griffin Police Department, and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts in keeping our county roads safer over the highly-traveled holiday weekend.

 

Don’t forget your garbage and recycling pick up schedule has been altered in the City of Griffin for the week.  Due to office closings on Monday and Tuesday, the normal schedule has been pushed back two days.  Those customers with a regular pick up on Tuesday will have their pickup today.  Wednesday’s regular pickup has been moved to Friday.  And, Thursday’s normal pick up will take place on Saturday.
 

 

A motor cycle accident close to Newnan  Sunday night took the life of Roy Bishop of Newnan.  Traffic Investigators said that the heavy at the time of the accident may have been a contributing factor. 

The accident occurred about 11:30 p.m., when Bishop was traveling north on Posey Road and was approaching an intersection of Baker Road Bishop was believed to have lost control and drove off the roadway.  GSP Trooper Lindsey Barber is the investigating officer. Barber indicated that the motorcycle traveled of the west shoulder of the roadway  into a wooded area where he struck a tree head on and was killed on impact. 

Barber said that the heavy rain may have led to a visibility issue which caused Mr. Bishop to miss the intersection of Baker Road, he would have been turning to the left on Baker to his home.

Barber also indicated that it is not believed that Drugs or alcohol was a factor in the accident.

 

Henry County Police were busy on Monday about 2:PM with a 18 wheeler spill of raw chicken innards parts on I-75 in the North Bound lanes.  Raw chicken parts spilled from a tractor-trailer near mile marker 201 close to the Griffin Jackson highway 16 exit.  The spill caused all North bound lanes of I-75 to be shut down until all the chicken debris could be removed. Traffic was stopped south of exit, exit # 212. Georgia Department of Transportation work crews used heavy equipment to clean up the huge mess.  One lane of traffic was reopened around 3:45 p.m. And most of the traffic was diverted onto highway 42  in Butts County to avoid the area.  There were no injuries reported from the spill.

Bobbie Jo Sumner

 

In Lamar County Superior Court Judge Bill Fears recused himself from presiding over the upcoming trail of Bobbie Jo Sumner. Sumner allegedly ran down Gordon State College student Alexandra Noelle Desir on Rose Avenue in Barnesville and fled the scene 4 years ago..

The judge’s recusal came the morning after Sumner’s attorney Bubba Head filed for the recusal and a change of venue.

Sumner is charged with first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements. Her case has languished in the court system for an extended period of time.

In his motion for a change of venue, Attorney Head cited the ongoing coverage of the case by the media. A hearing on the change of venue has been set July 6 in Butts County Superior Court in Jackson.

District attorney Jonathan Adams said Thursday his office plans to proceed with the trial of Sumner beginning July 24. Judge Tommy Wilson will take over the case. Adams expects it will be tried in Butts County.

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

Convicted serial arsonist Travis Ball, suspected of setting multiple arson fires in Lamar and surrounding counties, was convicted of mailing hoax anthax threats from state prison to the State Bar of Georgia, Church of Latter Day Saints and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April, 2016.

     TRAVIS BALL

He is also the prime suspect in mailing a hoax anthrax threat to The Barnesville Herald Gazette.

Ball was convicted of three arsons in Upson County and was housed in Coffee State Prison when he mailed the hoax letters.

Ball had admitt4ed the mailings and pleaded guilty in federal court March 7 and was sentenced to two years in prison and three years federally-supervised probation on top of his current term.

Investigators said that Ball mailed the letters using the return address of Upson County sheriff Dan Kilgore.

Special thakns to the Monroe County Shriffs Department.

The Griffin Police Department in conjunction with the Griffin-Spalding County School System received information regarding inappropriate actions by a teacher with students.  The Griffin-Spalding County school system cooperated fully with The Griffin Police Department which subsequently resulted in an investigation.  The investigation is ongoing at this time but has resulted in the arrest of a Brandy L. Nickels of Williamson Georgia.  Ms. Nickels is initially charged with one count each of Child Molestation, Sodomy, Enticing a Child, Statutory Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Battery.  She is currently held at the Spalding County Jail.  According to the lead Investigator, Dexter McCune the investigation is evolving and there is a possibility of future charges and or victims.  The Griffin Police Department would like for anyone having information regarding this case to please call the Investigative Services Department at 770-229-6452.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GRIFFIN SPALDING SCHOOL SYSTEM. 

The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) received information regarding possible inappropriate actions by a teacher with students. An internal investigation was opened immediately to determine the basis of the information. Quickly, a cooperative arrangement between Griffin-Spalding County School System personnel and members of the City of Griffin Police Department was established for purposes of expediting the investigation.

BRANDY NICKLES

 

Ms. Brandy Nickles, a ninth grade teacher at Griffin High School, was placed on administrative leave and not allowed to return to the classroom while the investigation proceeded. As the process continued, Ms. Nickles resigned her position with the school and is no longer employed by the Griffin-Spalding County School System. The City of Griffin Police Department continued their work which led ultimately to charges being filed against Ms. Nickles for various offenses against children.

Ms. Nickles, age 41, is in her first year as a teacher in the Griffin-Spalding County School System but has experience as an educator in other Georgia counties.

Superintendent Jim Smith said, “This is a sad event for our school district and the students and families involved. Our highest priority is the safety and welfare of our students. We are thankful that information was given to us that allowed a swift resolution to a bad situation. In truth, it takes a person who notices something that doesn’t seem right to bring that information and suspicion to someone who can act on it. We have to be a community that doesn’t turn a blind eye to situations that appear suspicious. That’s how we protect our children. Also, I want to thank the City of Griffin Police Department and Chief Mike Yates for their complete cooperation in the investigation.”

MATTHEW LITTLE VP OF ENROLLMENT AND DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS GORDON STATE COLLEGE

 

Matthew Little has been named Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions at Gordon State College.

Little comes to Gordon from the University of North Alabama in Florence where he served as Interim Director, University Success Center and as the First-Year Experience Director.

“My goals for Gordon State College are to help more students realize that Gordon State College is a great fit for them and to make sure that their experience here is a positive one,” he said.

He enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, an English instructor and two daughters, Maggie 8, and Penny, 2.

“Family time is important,” he said. “I’ve been known to occasionally dress up and participate in a tea party and I can do all the voices in my daughters’ favorite book, “The Monster at the End of This Book.”

Little earned his Bachelor of Science  in Integrative Studies: K-8 Focus at The University of Memphis; a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision: Higher Education at Middle Tennessee  State University and is working on a Doctor of Education in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration at the University of Alabama. He hopes to complete his dissertation in December.