The Spalding County Senior Center is excited to announce Come Grow With Us, the innovative, raised bed gardening project for senior citizens ages 50 and over is a proven success!

Cool season crops that include English peas, radishes, lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage were planted on February 3, 2017 and are now being harvested.  Warm season crops will be planted within the next few weeks and include green beans, peppers, tomatoes, okra herbs, and cucumbers.

The Senior Center gardening project teaches vegetable gardening practices. Raised bed gardening is a simple, effective way for anyone to enjoy small plot gardening.

This project was made possible through a partnership between Spalding County Parks, Public Grounds and Leisure Services, Spalding County Cooperative Extension Office, the Georgia Resource and Development Council/Two Rivers RC&D and the Griffin Home Depot.

For information, call the Spalding County Senior Center at 770-467-4384.

 

If you are between the ages of 5-12 and love the game of  football this is event is for you!

This camp style event is for girls and boys of all experience levels and will feature football fundamentals like catching, passing, blocking, and punting.  Players will learn the mechanics of football and the rules of the game! 

Who:         Boys and Girls ages 5 to 12 

When:      Saturdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
April 22- May 13, 2017

Where:     Volunteer Park 1410 Varsity Road, Griffin, GA 30223

Fee:           Free

To join in on the fun please register online at www.spaldingparks.com, or visit:

Spalding County Parks, Public Grounds and Leisure Services located at 843 Memorial Drive
Monday through Friday 8am-4:30 pm

Registrations will also be accepted on site
For more information contact Robby Milner at 770-467-4750.


(Brian Thomas Thompson (center, green shirt) listens as Julie Holland gives her victim’s impact statement in court Tuesday alongside her husband, Frankie.) (Photo: Walter Geiger)

Judge Fears sent Thompson to prison after heart-wrenching testimony from the parents of the victim, Julie and Frankie Holland.

Thompson made a statement. He said he and his wife Rebecca, who was also in the crash, often encouraged Kara in her school work. He said he enjoyed outings with the Holland family. He said he broke his back in the crash and the pain is a daily reminder of his guilt.

Assistant district attorney Mark Daniel said Thompson was driving his 2005 Dodge Ram pickup at 89 mph. around a sharp curve on Morgan Dairy Rd. when he crashed at 3:35 a.m. on the fateful night. He said another couple, David Coln and Jessica Bowers, was behind Thompson’s truck in another vehicle on the way to a Morgan Dairy Road home.

“The speed limit there is 45 mph. and, to me, that is too fast for that curve. The truck slid over 500 feet. There were clothes up in a tree. Kara and Rebecca were ejected. Thompson was knocked into the back seat. It was a horrendous night for everybody at the scene said. The assistant district attorney

Thompson, who left the courtroom in handcuffs, underwent blood-alcohol testing sometime after the crash. His alcohol level was .085. Georgia’s DUI threshold is .080.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local law enforcement officers in Barnesville and Lamar County have made several arrests following arrest warrants on a dozen alleged local drug dealers. Arrests were made on Suddeth Road, Gordon Road and Carey J. Buckner St. Tuesday afternoon.

The operation involved LCSO deputies, officers from the Barnesville and Gordon police departments and Narcotics Task Force agents, among others.

Those arrested included:
 Sale of marijuana:

Jarvis Akins

Courtland Akins

 

Sale of cocaine:

Johnnie Davis

Dawn Brown

Johntavius Harris

Waltavious Collier

Fredrick Walker

Curtis Jackson

Sherman Williams

Edmond Harris

Andrickes Roussaw

Dayvauntay Slaughter

In the early morning hours of Monday unit of the Georgia Forestry Service was called to 1932 Hollonville road to a large woods fire. Initial reports indicated there was about 100 to 150 acres involved in the fire. The Forestry Service cut  fire break around the blaze and were on the scene until early Monday morning. Then Monday evening about 8:00 pm The Spalding Fire Department resounded to an apparent rekindle and the Georgia Forestry Service was again called to the scene. And kept an eye on the area and a reportedly cut a second break dug around the hot spots of the fire.

 

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that on April 17, 2017, at 7:40 p.m., deputies responded to 508 Terry Drive to a report of a shooting.

Upon their arrival they discovered a female victim inside the residence. The scene was secured and investigators from the Criminal Investigative Division responded to the scene.

WellStar Spalding Regional EMS was dispatched and arrived at the location.

It was discovered that the female victim was deceased.

 

 

Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster  was notified and responded to the scene and pronounced 57 year old Joanne Redding of 507 Terry Drive dead. Coroner Foster had the body transported to the State Crime Lab for a determination as to the exact cause of death.

Deputies arrested 53 year old Johnny Johnson Jr. of 507 Terry Drive at the scene. Johnson has been charged with Murder.

Additional details and charges may be released as the investigation continues.

Four individuals from Williamson died as the result of a plane crash on Sunday in Williston, FL.  Husband and wife, Nate and Laura Enders, along with two of their children were flying in a 1948 Cessna 170 tail dragger, which crashed into a treeline around 1:15pm near the runway of the small airport, located 100 miles northwest of Orlando.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the cause of the crash.   According to the Candler Field Museum at the Peach State Aerodrome in Willamson, the Enders played a vital role in their flying club.   Nate was an air traffic control specialist and flight instructor.

Beginning April 17, 2017 Deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office will begin wearing body worn cameras as a part of their issued duty gear.

The cameras were ordered in early February arrived in March. According to Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix “The delay we had in issuing the cameras to the deputies as soon as they came in was arranging for computer storage space for the videos. Retaining videos using state mandated retention limits takes up a massive amount of storage. Fortunately we were able to work with one of our detention center vendors and they donated approximately $14,000.00 for the storage space needed. Liberty Technology set the storage up and has it running. The cameras themselves were purchased with asset forfeiture money so there was no cost to the taxpayers for this program at all.”

Sheriff Dix stated, “We are issuing them out as we speak to deputies that are working and will continue to do so until they are all distributed. Once completely issued the cameras will be worn by Deputies in Uniform Patrol, Warrant Division, Court Services, School Resource Officers and Detention officers. Basically, if you wear a uniform on a day to day basis you will have on a camera.”

Sheriff Dix continued, “This project was a priority due to the expectations placed on law enforcement officers in this day and age, coupled with the demands of citizens and the courts for video evidence and transparency. It’s been my experience that the cameras have led to reductions in complaints filed on officers, reductions in internal investigations, less time spent in court proceedings, and fewer use of force incidents. I believe that they will also increase convictions in a broad spectrum of criminal cases because you are seeing what the deputy saw during the initial call for service, encounter, or arrest.”

The policy for camera usage and data storage has been distributed and is modeled after state law, policies that meet State Certification and CALEA standards, and have also been court tested.

“We believe this program will be an asset to the agency and the community. It will further our efforts to continue building trust and adding transparency for the citizens of Spalding County.”

Forty more students are expected to attend the Spalding County Jr Deputy trip to Washington DC this year, as compared to last year, bringing the total to 315 6th graders and 40 chaperones.  The eight chartered buses depart Sunday evening, April 30 for the annual multi-day trip to our nation’s capital.  In order for those 6th graders to attend the trip, they are required to take part in the sheriff’s department’s C.H.A.M.P.S. program, in coordination with the school system.  Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety (C.H.A.M.P.S.) is designed and accredited thru the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.  Deputies teach and discuss subjects, such as Choices and Consequences, Peer Pressure, and Bullying, along with other topics. The classes go throughout the school year and at the end of the year, the students will graduate from the C.H.A.M.P.S. program. We hope this will build self-esteem and courage; so when faced with a situation of doing right or wrong, all children will make the right decision. Our goal is to have every child in Spalding County be a CHAMP in life.  We inquired as to why there is a significantly larger number of attendees for this year’s DC trip, and Sgt. Frank Clark says the C.H.A.M.P.S. program and a new sheriff administration may have led to that increase.  WKEU will once again be part of the Jr Deputy trip, by interviewing the students on each bus on the way up to Washington, DC as well as during the event.  You will be able to hear those interviews beginning the morning of Monday May 1 on AM 1450 and 102.3FM.

The City of Griffin is soon starting registration for DEMO Days, in an effort to improve its community and neighborhoods by removing blighted property.  The city will provide free dumpsters and disposal fees on a first-come first-serve basis.  At the March 28th city commission meeting, the board approved the Nuisance Abatement Amnesty Program.

Eligibility requirements are:

1) Obtain a demolition permit:

2) Must provide an asbestos report/letter at the time of permitting:

3) Removes structure within ten (10) days of permitting:

4) Must be within the city limits of Griffin:

5) Must be a residential structure only.

The City anticipates spending $50,000 of SPLOST funds to demolish approximately 25 structures with this program. An average of $2,000 per structure.  Registration begins May 1.  You can call 770-233-4130 or visit cityofgriffin.com for more information.

A Barnesville man who was allegedly driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs when his speeding truck went off Morgan Dairy Rd. in 2015 and killed 21-year-old Kara Holland entered a guilty plea in Lamar superior court April 6.

Brian Thomas Thompson, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of first degree vehicular homicide before Judge Tommy Wilson. He is to be sentenced April 18. Thompson was at the wheel of a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 when he lost control, overcorrected and struck a dirt culvert at 3:35 a.m. Jan. 31, 2015. The truck overturned and Holland died at the scene.

Thompson and a third passenger, Rebecca Chappel, were seriously injured. The two have since married.

Holland was the daughter of Frank and Julie Holland who operate Frank’s Automotive and Towing here. Kara also operated a local business, Some Beach Tans.

 

CRESCENT ELEMENTARY

On Friday April 14th, there was a report of a student at crescent having a knife on a school bus. The School notified parents of the incident in a notification to all parents of Crescent students from the School Principal.

“This is Crescent principal Natalie Wood. A parent notified us that a student had a knife on a school bus. We immediately began an investigation and found that to be true. Immediate and appropriate action was taken. Law enforcement has been notified by the school. While the knife was never out at school, I have two issues, that need your attention and your help. Please, remind your student that they should always tell two adults when something is wrong. Secondly, remind your student not to bring any weapon to school. Thank you for your help and attention to this matter.”

It is not known at this time if the incident is still under investigation.

 

 

The Henry County Police Department would like to congratulate Traffic Investigator Brian Eck on his completion in becoming a Georgia State certified Drug Recognition Expert. To complete this course, Investigator Eck had to complete a total of one hundred and sixty hours of training and graduated on February 8, 2017.

Investigator Eck is one of only one hundred and sixty active Drug Recognition Experts in the state of Georgia. Congratulations on a job well done.

 

SPALDING COUNTY TO HOST VISIONING WORKSHOPS

Spalding County Government is hosting a series of Visioning Workshops to receive input on the vision for the future of the County. The workshops are an opportunity to share ideas about land use, housing, economic development, cultural preservation and protection of environmental resources in the County.

The dates and locations are:
Thursday, April 27 – 10:00 am
Spalding County Courthouse Annex
Room 108
119 East Solomon Street
Thursday, April 27 – 6:00 pm

Griffin Center Point Church
1427 US-41 Bypass South
Saturday, April 29 – 10:00 am
Spalding High School
433 Wilson Road

“The workshops will be interactive and allow attendees to participate in groups to identify local needs and opportunities, and design the County’s future,” said Spalding County Community Development Director Chad Jacobs.

All members of the public are encouraged to attend and you may attend the meeting that is most convenient for you.

A survey is also available to share ideas about the future of land use in the County and can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Spalding_Plan.

Updates to the plan will be posted to: www.spaldingplan.com.
# #

 

Board of Commissioners of Spalding County will meet April 17, 2017 at 6:00 PM in meeting room Room 108, Spalding County Annex.

Consider Proclamation declaring May 2017 Older American’s Month in Spalding County, Georgia.

Representatives from Headley Construction and Paragon Consulting are present to update the Boardof Commissioners on the progress of the Pickleball Complex.

The Zoning Attorney will update the BOC with regards to Full Blown Firearms Special Exception home occupation.

The Commissioners will conduct Public Hearings for the following applications  Wayne K. Duncan requesting a future land use map change from Low-Density Residential to Commercial for 2870 North Expressway 10.435 acres. And  a rezoning from C-1, Highway Commercial and AR-1, Agricultural and Residential, to C-1B, Heavy Commercial.

The Commissioners will also consider a request form McCoy and Elizabeth McCoy, Owners – 137 Ginny Lane 5.6 acres requesting a Special Exception to allow a Medical Hardship in the AR-1 District.

Consider approval of New 2017 Alcohol License for Retail Sale of Beer and Wine for: the Foodmart at 390 Airport Rd., Griffin, GA.

Consider bids for construction of a roundabout at N. Hill Street, Northside Drive and Tuskegee Avenue and replacement of the bridge on N. Hill Street over Cabin Creek with an arch culvert.

Conduct public hearing to consider the establishment of street light district for Hunts Mill Estates.

Consider appointment to the Spalding County Board of Health to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Bruce Reid to expire on 12/31/2022.

Commissioner Flowers-Taylor would like to discuss possible matching funds for Community donations to the youth football program from the Commissioners’ contingency fund.

Aaron Roquemore will address the Board concerning submitting an application for a 2018 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program.

 

GRIFFIN SPALDING AIRPORT AUTHORITY

 

Griffin Spalding Airport Authority Meeting  Monday, April 10, 2017.
 
At the Griffin-Spalding County Airport Authority Regular Scheduled Meeting  Monday 
April 10th:
 
Chairman Morrow reported:
 ..The final airport layout plan is forth coming and expected shortly and he is optimistic that any remaining issues are readressed.
 
..The utility relocation are moving along and the relocation of the power lines will stay on the airport property.  
..The suplemental environment assessment is moving forward pending the Phase One land acquisition. Of the 41 parcels in the Phase One Land Acquisitiion: 
..09 are completed including final recording at the courthouse.
..26 are completed except for final recording at the courthouse.
..02 have signed an offer and are awaiting closing.
..01 has had an appraisal update and is awaiting approval.
..03 have moved into condemnation proceedings.
 
Chairman Morrow reported: There are three residents still living on Banks Road and some previous  owners are still moving some of their belongings.
 
The Walking Track at the Old Airport is being appraised. The County wants to buy the Track  outright now instead of waiting until the New Airport is built.
 
The personnel committee reported they have reviewed and approved the Airport Directors annual evaluation. They gave the Director high marks for running and maintaining the old airport while working with the Airport Authority to build the New airport.  The evaluation  will be signed by Chairman Morrow and forwarded to the City of Griffin Human Resources Department.
 
Under New Business:
 
The Authority:
Approved: Task Order 26, Phase One Demolition. This is for properties acquired in Phase One.
 
Approved: Task Order 27, Tower Relocaton. This is for “TAC” the Realator Locators that are contracted to buy the properties for the New Airport to: 1) appraise the land and tower.  2) make and offer for buy out including relocation expenses.
 
Approved: Task Order 28, Phase Two Land Acquisition for four remaining parcels in Phase One.
 
Approved: Banks Road Hammer Head Agreement with Spalding County.  When Banks road is closed there will be a need for a cul-de-sac or turn around at the end of the road. To hire engineers and put the project out for bid is time consuming and costly. Spalding County has looked at the project and will construct a “Hammer Head” turn around for $2322.  This is a graval area you can pull into, back up, and turn around. This will save the Authority about $100,000.  

SPALDING COUNTY BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION TO HOST ELECTION OF GOVERNING BOARD

The Spalding Basketball Association will hold a Special Called Meeting to elect a governing board.

When:      Wednesday, April 26th at 6:00pm

Where:      Fairmont Community Center 241 Blanton Street, Griffin, GA.

Who:      Membership to Association is required to vote.  Membership Dues are $10 annually.
Membership is open to anyone interested in youth basketball.

Note:      New Member Dues must be paid by April 21, 2017  to be eligible to vote.

For information contact the association at 770-227-3321 or Robby Milner at 770-467-4750

A convicted sex offender was arrested after a tense standoff Friday afternoon at a duplex located at 378 Hwy. 36 West – just behind Flash Foods.
Sheriff’s deputies in tactical gear responded to the duplex after what was originally a suicide threat called in from the home.

Deputies evacuated women and children from a duplex located behind the one from which the suspect refused to surrender.

Eventually, tear gas was shot into the residence and Charles Donald
Ward, age 63 emerged with his hands up and was taken into custody.

Charles Donald Ward (center) is led to a patrol car in handcuffs by Sgt. Shannon Williamson (left) and Dep. Wayman Henson (right) after Friday’s standoff. (Photo: Walter Geiger)

       

Ward is a registered sex offender who was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes on Oct. 21, 1999.

More charges are pending after Friday’s incident. No one else was in Ward’s duplex and no injuries were reported during the incident that lasted about 90 minutes.  

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

On Friday, April 07, 2017 at approximately 09:00 hours, Monroe County deputies responded to the Marathon Gas Station located in Bolingbroke, Georgia regarding a female that had been allegedly kidnapped and had witnessed an aggravated assault in Crawford County, Georgia. Once the deputies arrived, it was discovered from an interview with the woman that a male,

THOMAS GARY PALMER age 58 of Lizella, Georgia had been dropped off on Harrison Road near Klopfer Road in Monroe County after shooting another male in Crawford County. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office regarding the incident. Crawford County deputies arrived at a location in Crawford and located a deceased male on the scene.

A search began in the area that Palmer had last been seen, and he was located at a business on Klopfer Road near Harrison Road in Monroe County. Palmer fired on the deputies with a handgun, and the three (3) Monroe County deputies returned fire. Palmer dropped the weapon, but when the deputies attempted to place Palmer under arrest, he pulled a secondary hidden weapon. Monroe County deputies then began to fight with Palmer, and took him into custody without further incident.

Both the deputies and Palmer were checked out by EMS, and cleared. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations Milledgeville Office was contacted to investigate the officer involved shooting in Monroe County and, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations office in Perry, GA was contacted by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the homicide and kidnapping. Any charges taken will be by the respective GBI field offices’.

 

Sunday morning just before 8 AM unit of the Griffin Fire Rescue, and Griffin Police Responded to a Large house fire at 908 Morning Side Drive in South Griffin.

Investigators said the resident of the home Mr. Albert C Jones age 72 apparently was awaken by the smell of smoke in his home and attempted to open the attic stairway as he did the apparent electric fire then burst into flames. Heavy smoke then cause Mr. Jones attempt to exit the home and apparently he was over come by the smoke and fumes and fell at the front doorway.  

Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster advised WKEU news that Mr. Jones was transported  to Spalding Regional Emergency Room where he was pronounced deceased upon arrival. 

Mr. Jones was well known to the Griffin Area having been in banking and running his own insurance company before his retirement. 

The hearts and prayers of the WKEU staff and indeed, our entire community, go out to the Jones family. 

 

 

 

About 9:00 on Saturday night units of the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol advised 911 dispatch that they were in a chase with a vehicle on North Hill Street.

Griffin police units responded to assist the GSP and one of the Griffin PD. Units being operated by Officer, Duon Dorsett was involved in a multi car collision at North Hill Street and Broad Street. Officer Dorsett was injured in the accident and was first taken by EMS to Spalding Regional.

He was then was transported to the Atlanta Medical Center by Emory Life Flight Helicopter Air Ambulance. It was initially believed that Officer Dorsett had a possible broken leg and other injuries. He was treated and released on Sunday April 9th.

As is standard procedure for a agency vehicle involved in a auto accident the incident is being investigated by the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol.

WKEU and the entire Griffin area wish for Office Dorsett a speedy recovery. We are all indebted to all our local first res-ponders for the job the do each day for all our citizens.

 

On Friday, April 07, 2017, Criminal Investigations Division Investigators and Crime Scene Investigators of the Griffin Police Department safely apprehended

 

Terry Keitt age 22

Terry Keitt, age 22, for several incidents of Peeping Tom. Terry Keitt was going into local businesses and going into the ladies restrooms using a cell phone to video/photograph women in the bathroom stalls. If you feel that you may have been a victim of this, or may have been a witness, please contact the Griffin Police Department.

 

On Monday morning and until after 2pm a large storm cell moved through the Atlanta Metro area, and North Central Georgia. The storms brought vivid lighting, heavy rains, and Tornado Watches and Warning to th Griffin area including Spalding, Lamar, Pike Butts, Upson, Fayette, Coweta, Fulton, and Henry County areas.  Two separate storm cells moved from Alabama into West Georgia. In Paulding County a tornado took the roof off a fire station, The Atlanta International Airport was closed temporality until the storm cell passed through the area. The storms were traveling at 60 miles per hour, with winds gusting above 60 miles per hour in some locations. In The Spalding County are the heavy winds took don power lines in many parts of the County and City. Many schools had move their children into th interior hallways of the buildings for safety precautions.  The massive storms damaged several roofs of homes in the area and downed several trees that fell across power lines including one on north 9th street that fell into house, and another that took out power when a tree fell onto power lines that affected Taylor and Poplar Streets. 
One area was on Ellis Road at a driveway to the UGA Griffin Campus.
 There were several trees down in many areas of the Griffin Judicial Circuit. No injuries were reported from the storm but damage was reported to several buildings. WKEU AM 1450 and 102.3FM  as well as The Rock 88.9 joined the WSB-TV action weather during their live tracking to the storm cells.  WKEU would like to thank WSB-TV Weather  for their coverage of wether conditions as the storm cells passed through the North  and Central Georgia areas until they moved into Bibb county in Macon. 

Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that on March 29, 2017 Spalding County deputies were called to Spalding High School regarding an altercation between a male student and a male substitute teacher.
The student involved notified Spalding High staff members who in turn contacted the School Resource Officer. Based on the nature of the allegation Spalding Sheriff’s Office Investigators were called to the scene to assist in the investigation. Investigators conducted interviews, obtained statements from both parties, interviewed another student who observed the incident, and viewed video of the encounter.
On March 30, 2017 the Spalding County District Attorney’ Office was contacted and after reviewing the statements and video, it was determined that the incident did not rise to a criminal level. The incident has been turned over to the school system for administrative review.  There has been no response for press release from the Griffin Spalding School System.

There has been no press release or information from the Griffin Spalding School System at this point.

 

 

Public Notice: Untreated Wastewater Spill 1150 County Line Rd, From City
of Griffin.  

A total of 46,200 gals of untreated wastewater overflowed to the Potato Creek receiving stream. The spill flowed between the hours of 4:50pm and 5:10pm, on March 298th. The cause of the spill was a dry weather high flow incident resulting from the present construction upgrade of the City of Griffin Potato Creek WWTP.

In the instance of this overflow, the City of Griffin Water & Wastewater Division is following all Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) requirements. In addition, the City of Griffin Water & Wastewater Division will monitor stream conditions and issue public notices.

The City of Griffin Potato Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has a full staff of licensed, dedicated wastewater professionals who are committed to the protection of the receiving stream and watershed area. Upon start of the spill, immediate action was taken by all plant staff to identify the cause, minimize the amount, and stop the spill as soon as possible.

The City of Griffin Water & Wastewater Division would like to ask the public for assistance in reporting any potential sewer overflow or maintenance problem they may see in the city to assure a timely response and proper assessment and correction from the city staff. For questions, contact the City of Griffin Water & Wastewater Division at 770-229-6603.

On March 29, 2017 at approximately 5:42am Deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Willow Drive address in response to a burglary in progress and shooting.

According to the homeowners they were awoken by the sound of someone attempting to break in to their residence through a front window. The female resident armed herself with a handgun and walked toward the sound. As she entered her living room she saw an object hit the window and break it out.  At that point she could see a white male wearing a red shirt and blue jeans standing outside of the window. She then fired a warning shot out of the window in an attempt to scare the suspect away and began calling out to him that she had called 911. She continued to yell at him telling him to leave her home. The suspect then attempted force the front door open to gain entry to the residence. The male resident then fired one round toward the suspect causing him to fall off of their porch and run away. They then called 911 to report the incident not knowing if the suspect had been struck by the round.

As Deputies arrived and began searching the area they located the suspect, identified as Mac Chason W/M 53 YOA laying at the corner of Willow and Pine Streets. Chason had a single gunshot wound to his left shoulder. He was transported to Atlanta Medical for treatment.

Chason has been released into the custody of Spalding County Investigators and is awaiting transport back to the Spalding County Detention Center where he is facing charges of criminal attempt to commit burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and criminal trespass.

“We are thankful that the residents were not hurt during this incident and our thought and prayers are with them. These citizens were in bed asleep when this criminal attempted to break in to their house. It appears that the residents did all that they could do to stop the incident before it escalated to the point where they felt that they had no other choice but to defend themselves. A warning shot was fired, Chason was repeatedly told to leave, and was even warned that law enforcement officers had been called.  Chason continued to attempt to gain entry to the house and forced the residents to take action to defend themselves. Chason made a poor decision and paid the price for his actions. He alone is accountable for the outcome of this situation.”

On March 28, 2017 at approximately 1:19pm Deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Jackson Road Elementary School. Upon arrival, Deputies made contact with Emoni Taylor B/M 43 YOA and Shateema Daniel B/F 44 YOA who were near a red in color Dodge Ram pick-up truck stopped on the roadside just east of the School.

According to both Taylor and Daniels they became involved in a heated domestic dispute while travelling in toward Griffin. Both gave conflicting statements as to how the dispute occurred and the cause of the dispute.

Taylor stated that Daniel, who was driving the vehicle, began driving erratically and running off of the road. At one point he was able to gain control of the steering wheel, stop the vehicle, and cut the engine off. As the vehicle stopped his pistol slid out from under the seat. Daniel grabbed the pistol as she exited the vehicle, turned and fired a single shot at him.

Daniel stated that as they were travelling west on Jackson Road, Taylor began striking her in the head with his fist. As she stopped the vehicle, Taylor reached for the pistol and a struggle over control of the weapon started. Daniel stated that she gained control of the pistol, exited the vehicle, and accidentally discharged the weapon toward Taylor.

Based on their statements and evidence recovered, Daniel has been charged with aggravated assault under the Georgia Family Violence Act. Taylor has been charged with simple battery under the Georgia Family Violence Act.

Both are currently being housed in the Spalding County Detention Center awaiting warrants.

“At no time were there any threats of violence directed at the school, students, or staff. The domestic dispute which started at another location earlier in the day unfortunately ended near the school. Jackson Road Elementary staff acted quickly to ensure the safety of the students and remained on lockdown until I contacted them, and the Superintendent’s Office was notified by staff that the school was safe.”

Southern Crescent Technical College has just announced plans to hold a Groundbreaking Celebration for the Education and Training Complex at Ellis Crossing to be held on April 26, 2017 at 10am.

The Education and Training Complex was made possible through funds raised in the 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for Spalding County.   In 2015, the property was purchased and work on the redesign began shortly thereafter.

Lord, Aeck, & Sargent Architects redesigned the nearly 45,000 square feet in the first phase of the property which consisted of an abandoned grocery store and several retail locations to house the Southern Crescent Technical College Film Technology programs, classrooms and labs. Eventually, the additional 20,000 square feet will be renovated to house the Economic Development and Adult Education programs at the College although the infrastructure, mechanical and electrical improvements for the second phase will be completed during initial construction.  Parrish Construction Group began demolition in early March and they estimate that construction will be completed near the end of 2017.  The first classes will be held in the space Spring Semester 2018.

The Education and Training Complex at Ellis Crossing has been a collaborative project many years in the making between Southern Crescent Technical College, Southern Crescent Technical College Foundation, and the governments and citizens of the City of Griffin and Spalding County. In addition, Southern Crescent Technical College is one of a select few partner schools offering Georgia Film Academy courses which will be taught at this new location.

Southern Crescent Technical College President, Dr. Alvetta Thomas stated, “A project of this magnitude with multiple partners requires much planning and collaboration. We are beyond excited to finally see the construction underway on this important asset to our community.  We cannot thank the citizens of Griffin and Spalding County enough for creating this opportunity for our students and our community, for they will be the true winner with this addition.”

-submitted by SCTC

At the March 28th  City Commissioners meeting:
The commissioners:
With no discussion, and no reason given, voted 6 to 1 to TABLE  a Proclamation  proclaiming April 2017 to be Confederate History Month and April 26, 2017 as Confederate Memorial Day in the City of Griffin.  Commissioner Dick Morrow was the lone vote against tabling  the proclamation.
Although Confederate Memorial Day, April 26th, is a holiday in most Southern states, the tradition of having a Confederate History Month is not uniform. Georgia has declared Confederate History Month by proclamation since 1995, by legislative authority since 2009.
Nathen Deal, the  Governor of the State of Georgia, has proclaimed April 2017 to be Confederate History and Heritage Month in the State of Georgia and urges all its citizens to reflect on this Historical Period to learn more about Georgia Heritage and History and to observe this occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
The commissioners:
 Approved:    on second reading, an Ordinance amending the Code of Griffin,  at Chapter 50, FLOODS, to implement Flood Hazard Determinations, effective June 7, 2017, modifying the City’s Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Regional Map. There have been some new areas added to the map.
Implementation of the new Flood Hazard Determinations are required in order for the City to remain compliant with Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Hazard Insurance Program.
Approved:    for Commissioner Cynthia Reid-Ward to attend Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) Spring Training Event, March 31, 2017 at Lake Lanier Conference Center, for required training for certification. Training is $255 for the class. Travel is approximate $300. ($150 for the Hotel. $50 for meals. And $100 for mileage). Commissioner training is a budgeted expense.
 Approved:   canceling the June 27, 2017 Workshop and Regular Scheduled Meetings of the City Board of Commissioners, due to conflicts with the GMA Annual Convention.
Approved:    the purchase of 150 Aboravitae “Green Giant” trees, from Southern Nursery Products, in the amount of $15,000, for the landscaping completion of the corridor along the south side of Georgia SR 155, adjacent to the Norfolk Southern rail line. Funds to come from 2015 SPLOST.
The commissioners:
Approved:   a Nuisance Abatement Amnesty Program.
In an attempt to promote the removal of slum and blight, create stronger neighborhoods, and thank the residents for voting and approving the SPLOST, the city would like to provide containers and pay for tipping fees for property owners who demolish a residential structure within the city limits of Griffin. The program would be on a first-come, first-serve basis and run for approximately 60 days.
Eligibility requirements are:
1) Obtain a demolition permit:
2) Must provide an asbestos report/letter at the time of permitting:
3) Removes structure within ten (10) days of permitting:
4) Must be within the city limits of Griffin:
5) Must be a residential structure only.
The City anticipates spending $50,000 of SPLOST funds to demolish approximately 25 structures with this program. An average of $2,000 per structure.
The Commissioners;
Approved:   the purchase of twelve (12) roll off containers (30 yard) from the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) State Contract for $31,464, for use as part of the Nuisance Abatement Amnesty Program. Once the program has concluded, the Solid Waste Department has the ability to utilize the dumpsters until the program starts again.
The commissioners:
Approved:  to direct MEAG Power to place 100% of the City’s 2016 MEAG Power Year
End settlement refund of $1,837,678 into the City’s MEAG Municipal Competitive Trust Flex
Operation Account-Short Term Portfolio and authorize execution of the MEAG Power Projects 2016 Year End Settlement Election Form by City Commission Chair and City Manager. This deposit allows an increase in this account for any electric emergency operations and future reserve.
Approved:  to direct MEAG Power to place 100% of the City’s 2016 MEAG telecommunications Year End Settlement refund of $26,470 into the City’s MEAG Municipal Competitive Trust Flexible Operating Account – Short Term Portfolio and authorize execution of the MEAG Power Telecommunications 2016 Year End Settlement Election Form by the Commission Chair and City Manager. This deposit allows an increase in this account for any electric emergency operations and future reserve.
Approved:  a request for annexation and zoning to Planned Commercial Development (PCD) of   1515 Meriwether Street. The property is owned by Landrum Family Limited Partnership.  When rezoned  the property will be consistent with adjacent properties in this area.The annexation of this property will increase the City’s ad valorem tax base as well as be a utility customer for electric and stormwater.
Approved:  a request, submitted by Landrum Family Limited Partnership, to rezone the property located at 1459 Meriwether Street from Low Density Residential-B (LDR-B) to Planned Commercial Development (PCD). .  When rezoned  the property will be consistent with adjacent properties in this area.
Approved:   to convey a portion of the former right-of-way of Carver Road, where it originally intersected with Ga. Hwy 16 West, to FAA SOUTHERN FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, subject to reservation of a telecommunications easement for fiber optic cable.
Prior to the recent GDOT project on Ga. Hwy 16 to replace the bridge over Martin Luther King, Jr. Bypass, the City conveyed its interest in approximately 250′ of the former ROW of Carver Road, from its intersection with Ga. Hwy 16 West. GDOT then closed this portion of roadway, rerouting Carver Road to intersect Hwy. 16 further to the west. The closed portion was later conveyed by GDOT to the City of Griffin. GDOT owns the ROW east of this tract and the land west of this tract is owned by the FAA SOUTHERN FEDERAL CREDIT UNION.
The parcel is unserviceable to the City. The Credit Union has agreed to landscape and maintain the area, if conveyed to them. There is a partial telecom easement on this parcel, which was installed by AFN to serve Griffin High School. Staff recommends the City quitclaim its interest in this parcel to the credit union, subject to reservation of an easement.

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Other areas on campus will be addressed in the future.

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

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

 

SPALDING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

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

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

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

Please help us in congratulating these individuals on their achievements.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nominations should include the following:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Mail or deliver nominations to:

Spading County Parks, Public Grounds and Leisure Services

843 Memorial Drive

Griffin, GA 30223

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

 

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

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

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

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

For more information please contact the Griffin Municipal Court.

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

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

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

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

  

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

Located were rounds of ammunition and a flare gun.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo courtesy of Walter Geiger and Barnesille Heradl Gazette.

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Internal Affairs Division
(770) 288-7577

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

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

 

  LADY BEARS BASKSET BALL

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

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

 

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

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

 

  GRIFFIN FIRE RESCUE

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger and Pike Journal Reporter.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

EARL CHERRY

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAFAEL F RIVERA

ALICIA L. LANIER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Possession of Marijuana more than 1oz

Possession of Marijuana with the intent to distribute

Possession of Cocaine

Possession of Cocaine with the intent to distribute

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute

Possession of a schedule II narcotic (Hydrocodone)

Possession of a Schedule IV narcotic (Alprazolam)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (THC oil)

Possession of a Schedule I narcotic (Ecstasy)

Possession of a schedule I narcotic (THC Shatter)

9 counts of Possession of drug related objects

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

Theft by receiving a stolen firearm

3 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

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

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

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

SPALDING COMMISSIONERS MEEGTING

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

 

 

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

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

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

Officials indicated these are crimes of opportunity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The county is accepting applications for the following positions:

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

Certified Uniform Patrol Division-Starting salary $30,877.00

Certified School Resource Officers-Starting salary $30,877.00

Pay incentives may be available based on experience.

Benefit package may include:

Take home vehicle for certain assignments

Opportunity for promotion and transfers

Education opportunities

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

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

H

 

Upson County Man Arrested for Distribution of Child Pornography

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

CEDRIC GUIDER

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

BARBARA UNDERWOOD

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

 

BRANDON GUIDER

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

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

 

 

Fire Chief Douglas Matthews