A Hit and run incident on old Atlanta road on Monday night about g 6::30  took the life of a 38 year old Spalding County resident.
Coroner Sonny Foster said that the young man was identified as Shaun Wright age 38.  Mr. Wright had been  working on a mobile home.  He was struck close to his home when he was riding a bicycle to another location. He was struck by a vehicle like a mini van or possibly Dodge Caravan type vehicle. The coroner said that the vehicle may have a headlight missing.  Sheriffs Department officials and area law enforcement are continuing a search and following leads on the vehicle that fled the scene.  Coroner Foster indicated that EMT personnel worked on Mr. Wright 30 to 40 minutes at the scene before he was pronounced dead.   The Coroner said that Mr. Wright suffered massive blunt trauma injuries.  The investigation is continuing by The Sheriffs Department investigators. 

Terrelll Michael Tidwell, age 61

A suspect identified as Terrell Tidwell allegedly opened fire on BPD officers early Tuesday on Willow Wind Circle here. He barricade himself in a residence and later was arrested by several agencies that responded tom the scene.
Terrelll Michael Tidwell, age 61, is charged with four counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, reckless conduct and three counts criminal damage to property. He had a previous arrest in Lamar County in 2007 for attempting to obtain drugs by fraud.

The Barnesville Police Department said that on February 20, 2018 at approximately 12:05 a.m. dispatch received a 911 call in reference to a verbal domestic problem at 939 Willow Winds Apartment. As Barnesville Police Department officers were en route they were advised that shots had been fired. As Sgt. Mark Evans and Patrolman Daniel McEachern exited their vehicle the suspect fired a shot from behind a closed door.

The suspect had barricaded himself inside of the residence and multiple shots were fired from within striking three vehicles parked in front of the apartment. Additional agencies assisted Barnesville Police Department with apprehending the suspect: the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, Gordon College Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol CERT and SWAT teams.

Tidwell surrendered around 3:35 a.m. and was transported by EMS to be checked and was then transported to the Lamar County Detention Center by Sgt. Freddie Oates. Once again he is charged with four counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, reckless conduct and three counts criminal damage to property.

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

Georgia Department of
Early Care and Learning

 

 

In Barnesville the Herald Gazette has reported that the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has filed suit against a Lamar County firm for over $144,000 allegedly misappropriated funds earmarked for the local summer feeding program.

Problems were found during fiscal reviews of A.D. Smith Community Services’ handling of funds conducted in the summer of 2016. The firm, headed by April Smith-Scott, began administering the feeding programs in March, 2009.

A complaint for Breach of Contract and a demand for repayment of $144,062.83, interest and other relief, were filed in Lamar superior court Feb. 2 by the Georgia attorney general’s office.

The original reviews turned up money spent on disallowed expenses in the amount of $59,036.47 and disallowed meals in the amount of $3,237.88 in fiscal year 2016.

DECAL moved to terminate its relationship with the Smith organization in March, 2017. Neither Smith nor her partner Stead Walker appealed. They were officially removed as providers of the program on April 4, 2016.

DECAL conducted a second review in early 2017 and an additional $80,474.48 in misappropriated funds was also discovered.

Neither Smith nor Walker responded to three separate demand letters issued over the balance of 2017, resulting in last week’s legal action.

According to Walter Geiger the case should appear on an upcoming civil court docket in Lamar County within a few weeks.

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

 

 

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Office of Spalding County Coroner Sonny Foster, are releasing that the body found in the wall of the former Howard Johnson’s Hotel on February 11, 2018 has been positively identified as Timothy Johnson. Johnson, who was last seen on December 6,2017 was found lodged in a wall in a plumbing chase between 2 rooms in the abandoned hotel.

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “All indications are that Johnson was in the wall stripping copper from plumbing when he died. Investigators found cutting tools, flashlights, and copper piping that had been cut for removal. An autopsy performed by the GBI Crime Lab showed that there was no trauma to Johnson’s body and foul play is not involved. The way that his body was positioned in the wall and evidence recovered around him indicates that he was not dumped there as has been rumored. It will be months before results of toxicology tests are available that may shed more light on the cause of his death.”

Dix Continued, “The hotel was searched by investigators from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office twice and Griffin Police Department and Spalding Sheriff’s Investigators combined an additional time during the period that Johnson was missing. Two of those times the searches were conducted with the use of cadaver dogs. Each of these searches, room to room, the office areas, and anywhere else we could access, including the searches with cadaver dogs, yielded no results. Even the rooms that we were specifically asked to search yielded no results. The location where Timothy Johnson’s body was found was in an area that was closed off, low to the ground, and dark. The area could not be accessed unless you cut into the wall in just the right place, and to recover his body, we had to remove an entire section of wall from one area. We met with Timothy Johnson’s mother and other family members at the hotel this morning and at their request, showed them the area and walked them through the events that led up to the discovery of the body.”

Dix added, “It appears that the person who located Johnson’s body was there to strip copper from the building as well when he stumbled upon the body. We have spoken to him, questioned him at length, and have determined that he had nothing to do with Johnson’s death. Due to the discovery being made during the attempt to commit a crime he will not receive the reward that was offered.”

The Griffin City Commissions met Tuesday Night February 13th at the city offices downtown.

The Commissioners recognized:  D’Marquivius King, Police Officer, with the Police Department, as the January 2018 “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”, which he will be the custodian of until a subsequent employee is recognized.

 

Police Chief Mike Yates Police nominated D’Marquivius King (DJ) who came to the police department over a year ago as an 18 year old intern. We immediately recognized DJ as “Different”, mature beyond his years, already a leader in his ROTC program in his high school. DJ performed admirably in his role as an intern, learning the records division operations, never late, always polite, again, showing a maturity beyond his years. DJ expressed his desire to become a police officer which, with skepticism due to his age, I agreed to consider. As DJ graduated from high school and submitted his application for police officer he was presented with the usual obstacles of that process but, in spite of skepticism, excelled. Given his maturity, work ethic, outgoing personality and commitment, I agreed to give him a try. He was hired and sent to the police academy where he would sink or swim on his own merits. Not surprisingly, he excelled at the academy and graduated as a certified officer in 2017, the first 18/19 year old I have ever hired. DJ was then placed into the rigorous FTO (Field Training Officer) program which lasts a minimum of 12 weeks and has about a 20% failure rate (even for older more experienced individuals). Again, not surprising to those of us who have gotten to know DJ, he again excelled. With an abundance of caution I required DJ to grudgingly complete extra weeks of FTO training, simply because of his youth, even when his FTO’s said “he’s ready”. Again, DJ excelled. He was released from field training a few weeks ago and continues to set an example for even the experienced officers. Even before his FTO program was complete the public commented frequently about his attitude, professionalism and willingness to help. Shortly after completing his FTO program he was recognized for changing a flat tire, in the cold and the rain for a citizen, AFTER he got off duty. He is an amazing young man and sets the bar high for himself in the service of others and I could use a dozen more just like him, in spite of his youth, given his exceptional maturity. He is an example for all of us to follow, enthusiastic, positive, ready to work and “Happy” to be part of the team…… We can all learn something from him.

Mike Yates Police Chief.

 

The commissioners:

Approved”   a Proclamation declaring Friday, February 16, 2018 to be Arbor Day in the City of Griffin.  The City of Griffin has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation and desires to continue its tree-planting ways. Arbor Day celebratory events bring focus to the efforts to protect our trees and woodlands, to support our city’s urban forestry programs, and to plant trees to promote the well-being of present and future generations. In that regard, everyone is invited to an Arbor Day celebratory event to be held at 10 a.m. on February 16, 2018 at the New Horizons – New Directions Preparatory Academy at 814 Experiment Street, at which time we will plant three Red maple trees on campus.

 

The commissioners:

Approved:    to amend the City of Griffin’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Operating and Capital Budget for Golf Course Fund in the amount of $102,730.00; and approve the transfer of $137,725.00 from Golf Course Escrow to Golf Course checking account.

The resolution and budget amendment appropriates to the Golf Course Fund $102,730.00 to be used for the irrigation system update.  Balance in Golf Course Escrow cash account is $165,385.77 as of January 30, 2018.  Transfer of cash $137,725.00 from Golf Course Escrow will leave $27,660.77 in the account.

 

Approved:   upgrades to City of Griffin’s Network Router equipment to purchase off State contract to move the existing network to a redundant environment in the amount of $149,632.00.

The City’s core router has reached life cycle replacement and network capacity.  The network upgrade is necessary to ensure existing network has redundant environment that is critical to the City’s Internet customers.  The upgrade will allow the network to run at optimum capacity for the City of Griffin to meet the network requirements and future expansions.

 

Approved:   renewal of Cooperative Facilities Use Agreement between the City of Griffin and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on behalf of the University of Georgia Archway Partnership for Suite 505 at One Griffin Center in the amount of $1,200.00 per year.

This an anual lease agreement.  The Archway Partnership offices have been located in One Griffin Center since February 2015.

 

Approved:   an additional Griffin-Spalding County Hospital Authority grant allocation for the year 2018, requiring City and County approval, for the County Senior Nutrition Program in the amount of $26,500.  In order for the Hospital Authority to grant the noted funds, both the City Commission and County Commission must give their approval for the County Senior Nutrition Program in the amount of $26,500.

 

Approved:  the purchase of Fluoride Feeder System from Water Treatment & control, Co., in the amount of $20,251.00 for the Harry Simmons Water Treatment Plant. This is a budgeted item.

 

Approved:   an agreement with JM Clayton for the installation and start-up services for High Service Pump #1 Still Branch pump station in the amount of $66,080.00 for the Water and Wastewater Department.

This is a sole source purchase. JM Clayton has institutional knowledge of the system and installed the High Service Pump #2 in 2015.   $405,000 was budgeted in FY2017 and 2018 for this project. This $66,080 agreement will conclude this project.

Approved:   construction of a new replacement scale house at the City of Griffin Transfer Station and Regional Recycling Center at a cost not to exceed $75,000.

Approval of this project will enable the City to construct a new, modern, and healthy environment for the employees and customers to report and conduct business as the existing scale house is approx. 25 years old and has become a harbor for rodents, and the air quality has become questionable.

No single contractor is being assigned or awarded this project as it will be constructed mostly in-house using City Staff as well as a Mobile Construction crew from the Department of Corrections. All building codes will be adhered to and City building inspectors will document same. Occasionally a contractor will be used on proprietary projects that require certifications or licenses. i.e. electrical, HVAC and plumbing.

The Commissioners Approved:   Resolution 2018 CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for water and sewer improvements in the City’s FY 2018 CDBG Target Area, Meriwether Street (between Park Road and South 8th Street) and authorized the Chairman to execute pertinent documentation.

The City commits to the required cash match for the project, $1,000 cash for the required audits and all additional cash and/or in-kind services needed to complete the project over the grant amount. The City of Griffin Public Works Department will commit $323,550 in cash and $10,000 in-kind services in FY18.

Approved:    on first reading an Ordinance amending Chapter 22 of the Code of Griffin, STATE MINIMUM CONSTRUCTION CODES, to recognize the mandatory state minimum construction codes, effective January 1, 2018, as enacted by the Board of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

In the early 1990’s the General Assembly enacted a law delegating to the Department of Community Affairs state minimum building codes in order to provide uniformity throughout the state in construction. This ordinance amends the City Code to reflect the latest changes made by the DCA Board.

Approved and authorized:   the City of Griffin Chairperson to sign application for a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Loan for Shoal Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in the amount of $8,000,000.

The GEFA Loan will pay for the dewatering of sludge lagoons and the construction of a new headworks for the treatment facility. The existing headworks has outlived its useful life, and lagoons need sludge sediment removed.

Approved:   to amend the contract with P.F. Moon for the Cabin Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Construction in the amount of $700,000.

In the construction process it has been discovered that the soil is unsuitable for the foundation of the Oxidation Ditch Process, and the sub-structure has to be designed, engineered and constructed. Original design and geo technical work was performed around the existing plant and results did not demonstrate unsuitable soils. The Original loan budgeted of $16,000,000 made allowance in case of such potential issues.

 

The Commissioners  Reappointed:  Marcus Allen to the Main Street Program for a three-year term to expire 12/31/20.

 

Approved:    a revised city administrative staff organizational chart. The Staff Attorney, Jessica O’Connor will assume responsibility as Chief of Staff, per a revised organizational chart and revised job description.

There is no impact to the Staff Attorney budget. Beginning FY 19, a solicitor will be needed to assist city court. Staff Attorney has been Solicitor, but will now assume role of Assistant Solicitor. Solicitor was previously budgeted at $20,000 and Assistant Solicitor was budgeted at $3,500. A new Solicitor should impact the budget around $18,000 in FY 19.

 

The commissioners:

Approved:  Denial of claim and rejection of Demand for Settlement in the amount of $1,000,000 of a purported ante litem notice from attorney Laquetta S. Pearson, on behalf of her client Larry Crawford, for personal injuries allegedly received in a motor vehicle collision with a Griffin Police officer on December 27, 2017 at approximately 6:30 p.m. on North Expressway.

The City of Griffin participates in the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA) which provides Motor Vehicle Liability Coverage on City vehicles.

 

The commissioners:

Approved to put into a short term portfolio an unexpected revenue of $1.1 million dollar credit from MEAG for the city’s share from Wholesale Supplier Natural Gas. The unexpected funds will be readily available when the commissioners decide where they may best be used.

 

The commissioners went into Executive Session for the purpose of meeting with the City’s attorney(s) to discuss pending/potential litigation, and acquisition of property.

 

Submitted by:     Larry Johnson

The Griffin and indeed many areas of Georgia were saddened on Monday to hear of the passing of a Griffin Icon Bill Haisten.  Bill was perhaps the biggest supporter of his beloved Griffin Bears, of Griffin High for years he worked with WKEUs Ted Taylor, and Tony Broski with his selections of the game of the week on our pre-game show of our Griffin Bears broadcast.

It was my privilege to have known Bill since I was 5 years old as a friend and neighbor in the early 1950s and until today.  Bills selections of the game of the week were phenomenal.  His success rate was amazing to us all.  I fondly remember when Bill was at the station during football season and several of us were sitting with Bill in the Lobby and I remembered I had not called the Coach at Lowdens County in Valdosta to get permission to broadcast the game. I said I wonder what the coach’s number is and Bill without hesitation said 912-and the rest of the number which was correct.  When I talked with the coach he said be sure and tell Bill Haisten hello for me.

He had a phenomenal memory and could recall action in many games played years before when we were students.

Bill was known throughout the State in sports circles.

The Griffin Spalding School System gave Bill the highest honor he said he ever received when they named the Football Field at Memorial Stadium “Bill Haisten Field.”

He was one of the largest supporters of youth events in Spalding County.  He always was present to waive or say goodbye to those 6th grade Junior Deputies that were taking the annual trip to Washington DC.

He was a friend to many.  Even when he fell into ill health he would call the station about sports evens. Or just chat a while. Bobby Chapell of WHIE was a great friend to Bill. And Bill would call as an active participant on the Lets Talk Sports program on Thursdays at 5:30.

Bill was one of those very rare individuals that never saw color in a friend or fellowman, he just saw another of God’s creatures with no reservations but innocence of great respect.

The hearts and prayers of our staff at WKEU and indeed my family got out to the Haisten family.  The one standard I always had in my life was my dear friend Bill.  When my twin grand boys were born I was in the room with Pam at the Hospital, she had just returned to the room she got a call thanked the caller looked at me and said Dad who’s Bill Haisten?  He was so nice and said how happy he was about the boys and every one was healthy. Pam just learned the value of a dear friend and met Bill several times. Bill watched the career of my twin grand boys when they were in High School and playing for Gwinnett County.

Several times he would call me when I was on active duty during my career in the Army.  Once at the pentagon, how he got my number I have no idea, but I was so happy to hear from my dear friend.  He even called me when I graduated Officer Candidate School, to congratulate me for the appointment to 2nd Lieutenant. There are those that you meet in life that may call you a friend. But to Bill Haistne you were his dear friend, and I felt the same. I have lost a Friend of a life time.

I will see you soon my friend we have a lot to talk about.

Funeral Servicers will be announced later by Haisten-McCullough  Funeral Home

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix on February 11, 2018, at approximately 3:00 p.m., an unnamed person committing a theft at the former Howard Johnson property, located at 1690 North Expressway, discovered a possible body inside an interior wall. The unnamed person left the scene and notified the Spalding County 911 system of his discovery approximately 3 hours later.

LT Joe Hudson, of the Griffin Police Department, responded to the scene and noted a foul odor coming from one of the rooms at the building. Lt. Hudson forced entry into the abandoned property and discovered a body in between the interior walls in the plumbing access area. Lt. Hudson notified Griffin Fire and due to his knowledge of a previously filed missing person report involving Timothy Johnson, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office was contacted.

Sheriff Darrell Dix, lead Investigator Ray Hightower, Coroner Sonny Foster along with other investigators and crime scene personnel arrived at the scene.

Entry was made to the area where the body was located and identification documents found on the remains indicated Timothy Johnson.

The body was extricated by personnel from the Griffin Fire Department with the assistance of Spalding Sheriff’s crime scene investigators. The body was transported to the GBI Crime lab for autopsy and positive identification. No foul play is suspected at this time but investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy. The autopsy is scheduled for early Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Dix, Coroner Foster and Investigator Hightower met with the mother of Timothy Johnson and discussed with her the discovery of the body.

Mr. Johnson was last seen on December 6, 2017 and was reported missing on December 11, 2017. His truck was located in an adjacent parking lot on December 7, 2017 by Griffin Police.

Spalding investigators searched the property on three occasions, and cadaver K-9’s searched the area twice earlier in the investigation.

Sheriff Dix would like to thank the Griffin Police and Fire Department for their assistance. According to Sheriff Dix “Griffin P.D. and Griffin firefighters provided valuable assistance in locating the remains. We appreciate their assistance with the investigation.”

 

Sheriff’s Deputies Michael D. Corley Photo 1

Sheriff’s Deputy Ralph “Sidwell”  Sid Calloway Photo 2

 Chase Maddox Locust Grove Police Department.  Photo 3

The GBI is releasing the names of the three officers in Thursdays Henry County shooting: Fallen Locust Grove Officer Chase Maddox Photo 3, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies Michael D. Corley (pic 1) & Ralph Sidwell “Sid” Callaway (pic 2)

THIRD UPDATE ON SHOOTINGS OF TWO DEPUTIES AND A LOCUST GROVE OFFICER WHO WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE..  

A Locust Grove Police Officer was killed and two Henry County Deputies were shot about 10:00 am Friday Morning while the Deputies were serving a Bench Warrant for failure to appear.

The subject of the arrest has not been identified at this time but the Locust Grove Mayor identified the 26 year old Police Officer as Chase Maddox of Patton Road in Pike County. He had been with the department for about five years.

Henry County Sheriff Kenneth McBrayer said his deputies Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies Michael D. Corley, and Ralph Sidwell “Sid” Callaway were in Locust Grove to serve a failure to appear warrant.

Reports of the shootings were confirmed by the Sheriff Brayer at a news conference about 2:05 Friday afternoon. The incident was reported to be in a residence on St. Francis Court in Locust Grove, near Tanger Mall outlet located on I-75 at Locust Grove Road.  When deputies realized that they were going to have resistance from the resident they called in assistance from the Locust Grove Police Department.  An altercation between the suspect and officers broke out and gunfire started inside the home, the resident was killed, as well as Locust Grove Officer Chase Maddox.

The two Deputies were air lifted by Emory Helicopter Air Ambulance based at the Griffin Spalding Airport to the Atlanta Medical Center for treatment.  The police officer was also sent to the Atlanta Medical center and pronounced dead shortly after being transported.

Sheriff McBrayer said he has called in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who will be investigating the incident. GBI agent and spokesperson Nellie Myers said more information will be release soon as the investigation continues.

WKEU news has been advised that the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church pastor Wade Corley is the Brother of one of the Deputies that was shot and severely wounded. Deputy Michael Corley lives at 277 Slaughter Road in Spalding County.  The second deputy was hit in his ballistic vest and received buses and trauma injuries and was later released Thursday by the Hospital. Both deputies are expected to recover.

Wade Corley, said of his brother “Thank God for the bulletproof vest.” The Bullet went through the vest and caught him on the right side of his ribs.

 

 

 

 

Twelve Spalding County 4-H’ers joined more than 400 4-H youth, leaders, and volunteers from across the state for 4-H Day at the Capitol on Thursday, February 1, in Atlanta, Georgia. Participants from Spalding County included: Jhaycee Barnes, Deron Brown, Baily Champion, Kaylee Collins, Isaac Daugherty, Mark Dover, Jalen Favors, Shelby Lane, Alyssa Laud, Jabri Nash, Marcoyia Sutton, and Korre Trimble.

4-H’ers visited the Georgia State Capitol to meet with their representatives and senators, tour the capitol building, and observe the legislative process. State 4-H President Mason McClintock of Bacon County addressed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly, thanking them for their continued support of 4-H and pledging Georgia 4-H’s commitment to work to improve Georgia’s communities. “Getting personally involved with government and the democratic process are essential steps to becoming an engaged citizen,” said Rebecca Heard, Spalding County 4-H Agent with the University of Georgia Extension program. “I’m so excited we were able to provide our 4-H’ers with an opportunity to engage in our participatory democracy to better understand the value of their voices and beliefs.”

Following the Capitol tour and visit, 4-H’ers enjoyed a luncheon sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees. The Honorable Governor Nathan Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and Dr. Sam Pardue, Dean and Director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, encouraged the 4-H’ers to continue serving their counties and communities though 4-H participation.
Resolutions in the House and Senate recognized several 4-H members for their outstanding achievements in leadership and citizenship, as well as 4-H’ers who have excelled in contests at the national level. The day’s activities concluded with a picture of the entire delegation with a number of representatives and senators. Georgia 4-H thanks Georgia’s leaders for their warm welcome and continued support of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Cooperative Extension, and Georgia 4-H.
For information on getting involved in Spalding County 4-H, please contact the County Extension Office at (770)-467-4225.
A kindergartner enrolled in the local school system was found in possession of a firearm Thursday morning. No injuries were reported.

The school system superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson said.

Thursday morning, a 6-year old Lamar County Primary student brought an unloaded small caliber pistol to school. After showing the weapon to a student, the classmate reported to an adult who immediately secured the backpack and notified administrators. There is no evidence the child intended to hurt anyone. The weapon was never loaded, brandished, or used to threaten anyone. We are proud of the classmates, staff members, and administration who handled the situation quickly and safely. We are especially proud of the young classmate who notified an adult of the matter. 

The Lamar County School System is working closely with the Barnesville Police Department and the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office. This incident will be handled according to state and district policies by both the school system and law enforcement.