Sheriff Darrel Dix  has issued a statement of May 7, 2021.  The Sheriff said that approximately 6:45 am Friday, a group of inmates in a housing unit at the Spalding County Detention Center began creating a disturbance, eventually barricading the entrance to the unit with metal bunk beds and attempted to block surveillance cameras.

Sheriff Darrell Dix, “From the very beginning multiple attempts were made by our detention staff to de-escalate the situation including meeting face to face with the inmates. The inmates that were involved chose not to cooperate with those attempts and the situation began to slowly deteriorate.

Sheriff Dix said “By 9:45 am, additional de-escalation attempts had been attempted but failed. Before the event could deteriorate any further, I made the decision to deploy the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team armed with various types of less-lethal weapons into the Unit. The SWAT team along with our K-9 Unit and Detention staff made entry, deployed a distraction device, and secured the unit without incident. All of the inmates immediately complied when entry was made. There were no further incidents and no uses of force.”

“The inmates that have been identified as instigating the event have been removed and placed in lock-down pending disciplinary charges and further criminal charges. Sheriff Dix also said, we are continuing to review video to identify any others that may have been involved and determining the cause of the incident. Inmates housed in that unit that were not involved will remain there.

“The other inmates housed in the unit were put in a bad situation because of the behavior of a few instigators. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the incident ended peacefully. Our SWAT Team and Detention staff did an outstanding job in responding to, attempting to de-escalate, and containing this incident before it got out hand. There could not have been a better outcome.”




Sheriff Jimmy Thomas of Pike County has advised WKEU news that his Investigators have continued to work on the circumstances surrounding the escape of inmate Jason Goolsby.

Stephanie Bell , from Monroe County, has been arrested and charged with aiding the escape of Goolsby. The investigation has shown that Bell traveled to Zebulon and picked up Goolsby a short time after he left his work detail.

This incident continues to be an active investigation and further details will be released when appropriate.


State School Superintendent Richard Woods May 6th,  announced the 10 finalists for 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of applicants all previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

“I am incredibly proud to announce the finalists for 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent Woods said. “This is a group of creative, hardworking, talented teachers who pushed through great challenges this year to ensure students were still able to learn, connect, and grow. I am proud to call each of them my colleagues.”

Because the Georgia Teacher of the Year program was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s finalists were selected from the original 2021 cohort (those initially slated to be recognized in May 2020). This ensured that cohort would not miss the opportunity to be recognized by the statewide program.

Finalists will meet with a panel of judges for a formal interview and give speeches virtually. The winner will be announced August 7, 2021.

The 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and nation, as COVID-19 protocols allow, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. He or she will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The 2020 and 2021 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Tracey Nance Pendley of Atlanta Public Schools. To learn more about the Georgia Teacher of the Year program, click here.

2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by last name)

Natasha Nicole Berry, Third Grade Teacher, Sallas Mahone Elementary School, Valdosta City Schools

Tewanna L. Brown, Business and Computer Science Teacher, Mount Zion Middle School, Carroll County Schools

Rebecca Elizabeth Carlisle, AP World History and STEM Humanities Teacher, North Gwinnett High School, Gwinnett County Public Schools

Cherie Bonder Dennis, ESOL Teacher, Hesse K-8 School, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

Shanika Nichole Freeman, Fifth Grade Social Studies Teacher, Moreland Road Elementary School, Griffin-Spalding County Schools

Catherine Nichole Hampton, Elementary STEAM Teacher, W.L. Swain Elementary School, Gordon County Schools

Michelle Mickens, English Teacher, Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School, Wilkes County Schools

Maggie Johnson Pruitt, Self-Contained Special Education Teacher, Buford High School, Buford City Schools

Jennifer Hawthorne Smith, Kindergarten Teacher, Jeffersonville Elementary School, Twiggs County Schools,

Matthew Ellis Taylor, Fifth Grade Math and Science Teacher, Southwest Laurens Elementary School, Laurens County Schools


The Griffin Spalding School Stem Announces New Principal of Griffin High School Griffin, GA – The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) Board of Education voted 5-0 at the board meeting on Tuesday, May 4, to approve the superintendent’s recommendation to appoint Herbert Chambers as the principal of Griffin High School. Chambers has served as assistant principal at Veterans High School in Houston County since 2018. Throughout his educational career, Chambers has served in multiple roles such as assistant principal, freshman academy director, behavior specialist, athletic director, teacher and coach. He holds his bachelors, masters and specialist degrees, all earned at Georgia College and State University at Milledgeville. Superintendent Keith Simmons stated that “Mr. Chambers began his career in 2002 as a 6th grade science teacher. He has served in middle school, alternative education and high school settings. Mr. Chambers has served the last six years as assistant principal in both Veterans High School and Houston County High School. Both schools were designated Schools of Excellence but the Georgia Department of Education during his time there. A formal interview process was completed, including a panel interview with members of GSCS, and Mr. Chambers spent time in Griffin High School observing day to day operations.” Superintendent Simmons also shares that “He traveled to Houston County and conducted a surprise visit to Mr. Chamber’s high school campus and observed his interaction with staff and students. He said it became clear to him that Mr. Chambers can lead Griffin High School into the future while creating the relationships that will help students and staff prosper.” Chambers thanked the board and said, “I am honored and humbled. I am a pure example of what education can do for a young man.” He reported that he was born in a small town, his father was killed in the military and his mother promoted education constantly.” Chambers said, “My focus in coming to Griffin High School is to ensure that it is a place that is safe, productive and it is respected. I am a person of character and I like to do things the right way. I am honored to serve you.” Mr. Chambers said he is “dedicated to creating a positive and safe learning environment for all students, teachers and staff.”

WKEU and our staff and all listeners wish the very best for Mr. Chambers.







Justin Tyler Davenport


Following an extensive manhunt, authorities from the Butts County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Police Department made an arrest in connection with a fatal shooting that took place Tuesday evening in the parking lot of the Ingles location on Highway 16.

After the deadly shooting, which occurred shortly after 6 PM Tuesday and claimed the life of a still unidentified male victim, the suspect reportedly fled through a wooded area to the Masonic Lodge adjacent to the store then was later spotted in the vicinity of state Highway 42, headed in the direction of the Jackson city limits.

Authorities were able to locate the suspect early Wednesday morning several hours after the incident at an undisclosed location and took him into custody without further incident.

The suspect has been identified as Justin Tyler Davenport. He has been charged with murder and a number of other offenses and is being held in the Butts County Jail while the investigation into the shooting continues.



Law enforcement officials in Butts County are searching for a person of interest after a man was found shot to death in the parking lot of a Ingles supermarket on Tuesday evening about 6 pm. .

The Butts County Sheriff’s Office,  Jackson Police Department , and the GBI are searching for Justin Tyler Davenport (PHOTO ABOVE) .
He was  identified by investigators as a person of interest in the deadly shooting.

The shooting happened in the parking lot of the Ingles shopping center located at 1305 W. 3rd Street in Jackson shortly after 6 p.m.

Investigators said they believe the shooter and the 47-year-old victim were meeting in the parking lot for some reason when the shooting happened.

Police said they know the identity of the man, but are waiting to notify his next of kin to release his name.

Investigators said Davenport was last seen running behind the Masonic Lodge next to the supermarket. He is considered armed and dangerous, police said.

Anyone who sees Davenport should call 911 or call 770-775-8232.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has called in to help with the investigation. More information is expected to be released as the investigation continues.



Board of Zoning Appeals of Spalding County will meet
Thursday, May 13, 2021
7:00 PM
119 E. Solomon Street, Room 108


A. Call to Order

Note: Persons desiring to speak must sign in for the appropriate application. When called, speakers
must state their names and addresses and direct all comments to the Board only. Speakers will be
allotted three (3) minutes to speak on their chosen topics and relate to matters pertinent to the
jurisdiction of the Board of Zoning Appeals. No questions will be asked by any of the
commissioners during citizen comments. Outbursts from the audience will not be tolerated.
Common courtesy and civility are expected at all times during the meeting.

B. New Business:

1. Application #21-38V: JDA Land & Cattle Company, LLC, Owner – Entrance of River Falls
Subdivision (35.06 acres located in Land Lot(s) 107 & 118 of the 2nd Land District) – requesting a
variance to increase the maximum sign height requirement from 5’ to 8’4” for subdivision sign

2. Application #21-39V: West 3rd Street, LLC, Owner – 101 Moreland Road (3.745 ac. located in
Land Lot 119 of the 2nd Land District) – requesting multiple variances to the Tri County Crossing

3. Application #21-40V: Elizabeth Christensen, Owner – 330 Edwards Road (2.0 ac. located in LL 28
of the 3rd Land District) – requesting a variance to reduce the front yard setback from 100’ to 92’.

C. Approval of Minutes:

4. Consider approval of April 8, 2021 Minutes.

D. Other Business:

E. Adjournment



Board of Commissioners .


Spalding County, through its Board of Commissioners, have requested the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) fund a specific plan for transit implementation study. The purpose of the Transit Master Plan (TMP is to understand the existing and future demands of regional transit demands within the County boundaries and the connections to adjacent municipalities. The TMP will be developed in coordination with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), affected local governments and other transit providers.

The Spalding County TMP will include:

  • Goals and objectives

  • Public Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Analysis assessing the existing and future transportation needs/demands in Spalding County and adjacent jurisdictions.

  • Cost Constrained

The first Public Hearing on the Transit Master Plan is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at the City of Griffin Historic City Hall from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  Citizens of Spalding County and the City of Griffin are invited to attend.

Atlanta Motor Speedway is opening its grandstands to full capacity, for the July 10-11 Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart NASCAR weekend.

NASCAR’s first July race at AMS in 47 years will also be the first race at AMS to host an expansive grandstand audience since the start of the pandemic.

“As we’ve seen millions across Georgia and the Southeast get vaccinated, public health restrictions have eased and that gives us the green flag to take a big step towards welcoming more people to enjoy race weekend,” said AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison. “Needless to say, we can’t wait to have thousands of fans join us for some thrilling NASCAR action this summer.”

As AMS opens its gates to a larger crowd, the facility will continue utilizing health and safety protocols for fans attending the event, such as expanded access to hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations, as well as cashless payments, mobile ticketing, and the clear bag policy to limit contact between fans and staff.

In addition, AMS will follow state and local health recommendations when determined for July regarding mask and social distancing protocols.

The NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series will each compete on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s high banks for the second time in 2021 during the July weekend. The rising stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, July 10, in the Georgia 250 and stars like Georgia’s own Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, and March winner Ryan Blaney will race for glory in the Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart on Sunday, July 11.

To find more information and purchase tickets for the July 10-11 Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart weekend, visit


P.O. Box 377 ▪ 331 Thomaston Street
Zebulon, GA 30295

The Board of Commissioners of Pike County will hold a  SPECIAL CALLED MEETING Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 1:00 p.m.
The Meeting will be at the Courthouse, Courtroom 2, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia


1. CALL TO ORDER ……………………………………………………………………. Chairman Briar Johnson
2. INVOCATION……………………………………………………………….…Silent Invocation
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE …………………………………………………….. Chairman Briar Johnson
4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA – (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))






Pike County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a motorcycle accident with injuries on Highway 362 Sunday morning at 8:03 a.m. , in Hollonville.  A group of six motorcycles was traveling westbound on highway 362 when one of the motorcycles made contact with another as they were negotiating a curve. This resulted in three motorcycles wrecking and causing injuries to all three riders. All of the injured are residents of Alabama and were transported for medical treatment. One individual was air lifted , while the other two were transported by ambulance to the nearest hospitals.