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