Pike County Deputies responded yesterday afternoon to a report of a citizen’s car being shot on Bankston Road. Upon arrival it was learned that the victim had sustained a flat tire while driving on the roadway and had pulled over to change the tire on her vehicle. While inside of the vehicle gunshots were heard by the victim and a bullet struck her car going through a window and in to the interior of the car.

Investigators were able to narrow down the location from which the gun had been discharged to the area of 1927 Bankston Road. Initial attempts to contact anyone at this residence were unsuccessful. Several hours later two Deputies returned to the address to follow up on the initial complaint.

Deputies observed a door standing open to the residence and tried to contact anyone inside the residence through the open door. During this time the resident , Timothy Jones (60 years of age), began to verbally threaten the Deputies and fired a rifle at the Deputies narrowly missing them.

The Deputies were able to get to a safer location and request for additional personnel to assist them. A stand off ensued during which Jones refused to come out of the residence and told Deputies that he was armed and ready to fight.

Jones eventually came out on to the front porch of his residence at which time Deputies were able to deploy a taser and incapacitate him. He was taken into custody and transported to the Pike County Jail.

A search warrant conducted in the residence resulted in numerous firearms being recovered. Several spent shell casing were recovered that are believed to be from Jones shooting the vehicle earlier in the day and at the Deputies.

Charges for Timothy Jones include the following : two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement , aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime.

A historic structure at the heart of the University of Georgia Griffin campus will undergo a $1 million renovation thanks to a gift from the Dundee Community Association.

The nearly 100-year-old facility, which once housed mules that pulled plows and other farm equipment, will be repurposed into a café that will connect students and the surrounding community with the history of Griffin and Spalding County. The 3,900-square-foot Dundee Café at the Mule Barn is scheduled to open in summer 2018 in the historic structure near the campus student learning center.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Dundee Community Association for this generous gift,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “The new café will enhance the Griffin campus while further strengthening the ties between the university and the surrounding communities.”

The $1,023,000 gift will completely cover the cost of the renovation, which will create the first dining facility at UGA-Griffin and support a key pillar of the university’s Commit to Georgia campaign, enhancing the learning environment.

“As the second-oldest structure on campus, the Mule Barn represents a part of Georgia Experiment Station and University of Georgia history that will be preserved and cherished thanks to the generosity of the Dundee Community Association,” said Lew Hunnicutt, assistant provost and campus director at UGA-Griffin. “It will be the center and heartbeat of the academic quad, serving students and members of the Griffin/Spalding County community as well.”

The UGA-Griffin campus was established in 1888 as the Georgia Experiment Station, part of a national network of agricultural research stations that were the forebears of today’s Cooperative Extension programs. The Mule Barn was built in 1920 to demonstrate a new construction technique to the state, and original woodwork remains on several walls. Additional historical elements include the names of mules written on the interior walls where their bridles were hung, as well as crop weight calculations written in pencil and ink. These and other historic features will be protected during renovation and will be a highlight of the café, which also will host music and other events and house rotating exhibits on the history of the campus and surrounding community, including the nearby Dundee Mills.

Tom Gardner, chair of the Dundee Community Association, noted that textiles were a key industry in Spalding County, with Dundee Mills being the area’s largest employer for nearly a century.

“The Dundee Community Association was focused on being a good corporate citizen and an essential partner in Griffin and Spalding County,” Gardner said. “It was known for its dedication to supporting and enhancing the quality of life of the mills’ employees and their families. Today, the Dundee Community Association is truly pleased that we can make this grant of $1 million to the UGA-Griffin campus. We believe the campus will be a vital part of the future growth of Griffin and the Spalding County community as it continues to expand educational opportunities, provides additional employment, and gains even more worldwide recognition through its research, instruction and service.”

About UGA-Griffin
The UGA-Griffin campus was established in 1888 as the Georgia Experiment Station. It houses Extension services for the people of Georgia as well as internationally recognized research programs. It launched its first academic programs in 2005 and now offers undergraduate degree-completion programs and graduate degrees in fields ranging from agribusiness to education. UGA-Griffin is internationally known for its research in agriculture, food processing and food safety, among several other fields. Notable research centers at UGA-Griffin include the Center for Food Safety, the Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center, the Center for Urban Agriculture, and a Turfgrass Research and Education Facility. For more information on UGA-Griffin, see https://www.griffin.uga.edu/.

At the Spalding County Commissioners regular scheduled meeting 10-16-17: 
 
Warden Humphrey formally recognized the counseling staff and programs instructor at the Correctional Institute.
The Spalding County CI has been awarded a commemorative plaque from the Department of Corrections for having the highest number of program completions this fiscal year than any other county facility in the State.  615 inmates completed various training courses.  Additionally the Spalding County CI had the second highest rate of program completions overall – State or County.
 
The commissioners:
Approved:  a Proclamation celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the Meridian Sun Lodge No. 26.
The Lodge has requested that Commissioner Ray present the proclamation at their celebration on November 19, 2017.
Freemasonry is the world’s first and largest fraternity, based on the belief that each man can make a difference in the world. Freemasonry enhances and strengthens the character of the individual by providing opportunities for fellowship, charity and education.
Meridian Sun Lodge No. 26, was chartered on November 12, 1842 and is just two years younger than the City of Griffin. During Meridian Sun Lodge’s 175 years of existence, it has been one of the most active and influenential Masonic organizations in the State of Georgia. 
In the early 1900’s, Meridian Sun Lodge was one of the leading lodges to assist in the erection and organization of the Masonic Orphans Home in Macon. The Meridian Sun Lodge has played a great part in providing relief work to Griffin area families over the Years. Many of the local leaders have become State and National leaders in the Masonic Fraternity.
 
The commissioners:
Approved:   on second reading to amend and replace in it’s entirety the Spalding County Code Of Ordinances, Part VII – Animals Control- Chapter 1 -with references to only “dogs/cats” changed to “Animals” due to pet owners have pets other than dogs and cats. 
 
Approved:  on second reading an Amendment to The Uniform Ordinance Code, Subdivision
Ordinance, adding criteria for extension of approval of preliminary plat after expiration of 2 years. 
In determining whether a request for extension of approval of a preliminary plat should be granted, the planning commission shall consider eight factors outlined in the code. If the extension request is approved, preliminary plat approval shall be effective and binding upon the planning commission for a period of no more than two (2) years from the date of approval. The planning commission shall not grant more than two (2) extensions for preliminary plat approval.
 
*******************
Pursuant to Spalding County Code of Ordinances, all alcohol license renewals must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.
*******************
The commissioners:
Approved:   2018 Alcohol Beverage License Renewals for Consumption on Premises for:
..Big Jim’s Wing Shack located at 1557B    Williamson Rd. 
..Griffin Moose Lodge #1503, located at 1435 Zebulon Rd.
..Mama’s Country Showcase, located at 2700 N. Expressway.
 
Approved:  the 2018 Alcohol License Renewal for:
.. Jackson Beverages, located at 915 S. Pinehill Rd.
..Carver Bottle Shop, located at 1557 D   Williamson Rd.
..Sam’s Package Store, located at 1301 N. Hill Street
 
Approved:  2018 alcohol license renewal for Retail Sale of Beer and Wine for:
..362 Express located at 1600 Williamson Rd.
..A-1 Food Mart located at 1650 N. Hill Street
..Circle K. Stores, Inc. d.b.a Circle K #2723331 located at 3420 Jackson Rd.
..Cole’s Corner located at 7051 Newnan Rd.,Brooks
..Expressway Food Mart located at 2903 N. Expressway
..Exxon Food Mart located at 2295 N. Expressway
..Food Station located at 1779 Zebulon Rd.
..Huckaby’s located at 7652 Hwy 16, Brooks, 
..JV’s Corner located at 1700 Zebulon Rd.
..Petro South located at 1639 N. Hill St.
.Prince Food Mart located at 3425 Jackson Rd.
..Super Food located at 2529 OldAtlanta Rd. 
 
The commissioners:
Approved:  2018 Alcohol License Renewals for Retail Sale of Beer for:
..Copeland Grocery located at 1578 Highfalls Rd.
..Highfalls Country Store located at 2662 Highfalls Rd.
..S & M Grocery located at 3244 Highfalls Rd.
..Valero Food Mart located at 2995 N. Expressway,
 
Approved:   a new2018 Alcohol Beverage License for Consumption on Premises for:
..Sun City Peachtree Golf Club for the new applicant, Eric Steele.
 
Approved:  a new2018 Alcohol License for Retail Sale of Beer and Wine for:
..Zetella Express, for the newapplicant Brittney Holloway, located at 4319 Newnan Rd.
 
The commissionrs:
Approved:  a request from Judge Thacker to introduce local legislation to use his authority to hold people in contempt for failure to appear in court. A failure to appear would fit under the definition of “contempt”.  The statute allows him to issue fines up to $1000 to offset administrative cost for a contempt offense.  This would include anyone who fails to appear, not just the criminals. 
 
Approved:   the cancellation of the November 20, 2017 Board of Commissioner’s Extraordinary Session due to the observance of the Thanksgiving Holidays.
 
Approved:  the 2018 Holiday Schedule. The 10 paid holidays per the Personnel Ordinance.
January 01: New Year’s Day
January15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
March 30: Good Friday
May 28: Memorial Day
July 04: Independence Day
September 03: Labor Day
November 22: Thanksgiving Day
November 23: Thanksgiving Day
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas Day
 
Monday 10/16 was the first day of early voting.

 


FINAL

GRIFFIN BEARS                             37

FAYETTE COUNTY  TIGERS        13

 

 

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office made huge strides in solving a cold case from 1983 after arresting five individuals involved in the death of Timothy Coggins.  On October 9, 1983, the body of Coggins was found on a power line off of Manley Road in Sunnyside. Investigators at the time gathered evidence from the scene, questioned suspects and witnesses but were unable to make arrests in Coggins’ death.  In June of 2017, spurred by information forwarded to the GBI through various sources regarding Coggins’ murder, Agents and Investigators began re-examining the case and all of the information gathered at the time of the original investigation. Investigators began re-interviewing old witnesses, conducting interviews with newly discovered witnesses, and gathering new evidence. Investigators from the GBI and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office working in unison also went door to door in their efforts to solve this crime.

 

At a press conference Friday, Sheriff Darrell Dix announced that 59-year old Frankie Gebhart and 58-year old Bill Moore, Sr. have both been arrested for murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and concealing the death of another.  Also arrested were 58-year old Sandra Bunn for obstruction, Lamar Bunn for obstruction, and 47-year old Gregory Huffman for violation of oath of office and obstruction.  The sheriff says Huffman was a detention officer and has been terminated.  Bunn has recently been employed by the Milner Police Department and previously worked for the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Dix recently said it does not matter who he was, or where he was from, this man died a horrible death and those responsible for his murder need to be held accountable. I can say without a doubt that if Mr. Coggins was murdered today, in 2017, it would absolutely be classified as a hate crime. 34 years have passed since this horrible crime was committed and those who killed him have believed that they would remain untouched.  More arrests are expected to be made in the case.

 

=

GRIFFIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY

 

The Griffin Spalding Airport Authority met  Monday Night October 9 th.
 
It was the first for new Chairman, Randall Peters, of the seven committees on the Authority none had anything new to report at this time.
 
Chairman Peters reported there was no GDOT meeting this month and had nothing new to report from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
 
The Airport Authority is waiting for the approval of the new airport layout plan from the FAA. It should be forthcoming in a few days. This will be the final footprint of the location of the new airport.
 
A request was forwarded to GDOT for obstruction removals on properties purchased in Phase I and a request to start Phase II.
 
Land acquisition in Phase I is complete except for 2 parcels in condemnation.
 
Chairman Peters reported the Court ruled on the condemnation of the MacLendon property at the  the old airport.  In 2014 the property was appraised at $60,000.  The Authority set aside $115,000 in anticipation of an unfavorable ruling. The jury returned a verdict of $432,000.  Our attorney will address this verdict.
 
The Authority Approved:   Amendment 2 to Task Order 23 and Amendment 2 to Task order 24. These task orders are agreements between the Griffin-Spalding Airport Authority and consultants Michael Baker International, Inc.
 
Task Order 23 is related to “Land Acquisition Assistance Services” for the new airport. All Phase I parcels are acquired and closed except two in condemnation. The amendment is to have no property inspections on the mobile homes the Authority purchased. They are going to be removed for the airport foot print.
Task Order 24 is related to  “Program Coordination Services” for the new airport. The Amendment is to account for a change in program duration. The first contract was thru purchases and up to condemnations. This amendment is for services thru condemnation. There are two properties in condemnation.
 
Airport Director Robert Mohl reported there has been no problems with the Spalding County Fair and the Airport.  No one walking across the runway to get to the Fairgrounds.

 

SPALDING COUNTY BASKET BALL ASSOCIATION

 

SPALDING BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES YOUTH SIGNUPS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS AGES 4 – 14 YEARS OLD.

Registrations for the youth basketball program for ages 4-14 will be held on Saturdays beginning September 30 and ending October 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at:
Fairmont Community Center
241 Blanton Avenue
Griffin, Georgia
Registration can also be done on-line at spaldingbasketballassociation.org for an additional $3 processing fee.
Registration fee is $65 for the Instruction League ages 4-6 and $90 for the Competitive League ages 7-14. There is an additional $30 fee for out of county residents.
Coach’s applications are available and can be picked up at the SBA office in Fairmont Community Center. All coaches must complete the Application to Coach, Background Check Consent Form, Protect Children Report Abuse, the National Association for Youth Sports (NAYS) Coaches Certification, and the online Concussion Training Program.
Bids for referees, uniforms, and team photos are being accepted. All bids should be submitted in writing by October 28, 2017 to the SBA office located at Fairmont Community Center, 241 Blanton Ave, Griffin, GA 30223.
Members and Volunteers are needed to make this a terrific program. If you are interested in working with the program by planning and carrying out big or small tasks, coaching, volunteering in any way, please contact the SBA office at 770-233-3321.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY BEN COKER GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

On October 3, 2017, the State began trying a murder case against two defendants, William Moore and Todd Jones, in front of the Honorable W. Fletcher Sams. Both defendants were charged with Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Battery, two counts of Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Crime. On October 10, 2017, a Spalding County jury returned a verdict of guilty on all 7 counts against both defendants. Judge Sams sentenced the defendants to two sentences of life without the possibility of parole plus 25 years in prison. Moore and Jones will serve the rest of their lives in prison under this sentence.

The State in the case was represented by District Attorney Benjamin D. Coker and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder. The State tendered 296 exhibits over the 6 day trial. The jury deliberated for over two hours before reaching the guilty verdict, today.

The jury convicted Moore and Jones for brutally murdering Kevin Harmon in a vacant lot of Runaway Lakes subdivision back on February 14, 2011. According to testimony during trial, the victim sustained 58 injuries, 40 to his head and face. Moore and Jones used a knife and baseball bat to kill Harmon. Both defendants were convicted at a previous trial in front of a different judge. A new trial was ordered on July 13, 2017 after legal issues with the first trial became obvious. Moore and Jones were retried over the past several days. Cody Tuggle, another defendant was also convicted at a prior trial. His motion for new trial is pending in front of Judge Sams.

District Attorney Coker said of the verdict, “the retrial of Moore and Jones was a difficult task for my office, and I am proud of the way that they handled it. The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office proved to its community that despite adversity, it would stand strong, press on, and continue to fight against those that insist upon doing evil. We would like to thank law enforcement for their hard work, the citizens that testified, and the jury for what was a difficult trial and verdict. Together, we ensured that justice and good prevailed today. We will continue to fight for justice, every day, in Spalding County and throughout the circuit. Our hearts are with the Harmon family.”

 

On Tuesday Morning Chastain Burdette a 12-year-old Monroe County  Boy drowned and his older 17 year old brother identified as James Burdette was later rescued after the pair went out on the rocks at High Falls State Park.

Chastain Burdette died just south of Joseph Proctor Bridge in northern Monroe County. Family and friends at the scene embraced each other as his 17-year-old brother James was later pulled from the water as he held onto a rocky area in the fast moving water. The rescue was made by a Georgia State Patrol helicopter. The teen reportedly got stuck at the bottom of the falls.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, GSP Helicopter, Department of Natural Resources, and Bibb County Sheriff’s Department water dive team responded to the scene.

High Falls State Park is a 1,050-acre Georgia state park located near the city of Jackson in Monroe County.

Sgt. Lawson Bittick said that the two youths went below the dam of High Falls and apparently one fell into the fast moving water and the second was swept downstream but later located in the river. Both individuals were from Monroe County.

The Georgia State Patrol Helicopter maneuvered into the area and was able to retrieve the young teen from the river.

As in many areas of the state Monroe County schools are on fall break.

WKEU would like to thank Sheriff John Carey Bittick, and his staff for the Departments assistance in this news story.  The WKEU family prayers go out to the Burdette family.

 

 

FINAL

GRIFFIN BEARS                      21

MORROW MUSTANGS          14

FINAL

SPALDING JAGUARS            25

WEST LAURENS                     27