Possible Scam in the area affecting local hardware establishments
The Griffin Police Department has received a report of a small sized U-Haul truck being used in connection with a scam involving stolen credit card information. This is also related to another incident reported in Jackson, involving the same suspects and U-Haul. An unknown caller claiming to be a doctor in California calls ahead to pay for materials for a nearby rental property, and then claims their workers will come pick them up in the U-Haul. The materials are picked up and then it is determined that the credit card information was not authorized. If you are aware of this type of issue occurring at your business or encounter it, make sure to confirm the card being used is given by its owner and ask to see the card and/or ID upon arrival. Contact Investigator Stacy Beckom of the Griffin Police Department at 770-229-6450 Ext. 672, should you have any information on this or related incidents.
Sheriff Wendell Beam has advised WKEU news that a Spalding County woman was injured in a Saturday shooting. The incident took place on Highway 41 close to the Williamson Road Intersection. The Sheriff indicated that the victim sustained a single gunshot wound in the back.
Captain Tony Ranieri, of the Sheriffs Department, said the victim was sitting in the front passenger seat and was shot by a male subject seated in the vehicle’s back seat. The male subject allegedly fired one shot.
The victim was then transported in that same vehicle to the emergency room of Spalding Regional Hospital.
Emory Air Flight Helicopter Air Ambulance, based at the Griffin Spalding Airport transported the victim too an Atlanta hospital trauma unit.
Officers of the Griffin Police Department responded first to the hospital, but upon learning the shooting occurred in the county, the Spalding Sheriffs Department is investigating initiated the incident.
No arrests have been made in this case, and investigators are continuing to gather information.
The incident remains under Investigation.
Sheriff Beam said the victim was able to briefly speak to investigators prior to being airlifted to Atlanta.
The victim did give investigators a name before she was flown out. Also she identified other people that were in the car. Investigators are looking for those individuals now so they can interview them and determine if any charges will be filed in this incident, according to Sheriff Beam.
The City of Griffin will host a Paint Recycling Day on Saturday April 25, at the Griffin Regional Recycling Center located at 1515 Industrial Drive. From 8:00 am until noon, residents will be able to bring their old paint to the center where it will be collected and properly recycled. “It’s inevitable that you always buy more paint than you need. When you’re done with the job or project, the extra paint just sits in your garage or storage because there’s nothing to do with it. This event is an opportunity for us to provide a convenient and environmentally safe way to recycle that old paint,” said Phill Francis, Director of Central Services for the City of Griffin. “We’ve been working hard to increase our recycling efforts across the City, and this event is another step in that direction.” If you’re interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, here are a few guidelines to consider:
Griffin Choral Arts, under the direction of Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, will present “CELTIC BLESSINGS,” on Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 pm at Griffin First Baptist Church (106 W. Taylor St.). The season finale features special guest fiddler Jamie Laval performing music inspired by Celtic lands and traditions. Choral classics, folk songs, and crossover repertoire will conclude our season with a celebration of this musical culture rich in Celtic soulfulness. Tickets are $15 general admission (all ages) at the door or in advance in Griffin at Artistic Flowers and Gifts, Safehouse Coffee Roasters, and First United Methodist Church, in Barnesville at Goggans Florist, and in Zebulon at A Novel Experience bookstore. Griffin Choral Arts is a 50-voice, auditioned community choir known for its innovative and diverse programming. The mission of Griffin Choral Arts is “to bring the best choral music to the community.” For more information about Griffin Choral Arts call 888-SING1-88 (888-746-4188) or visit the GCA website: www.griffinchoralarts.org.
At the April Board of Education meeting, Karen Mizell was named the 2015-2016 assistant principal for Cowan Road Elementary. Mizell joins the school system from Fayette County. She was named 2002 Georgia Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, nominated for the Presidential Award in Elementary Science, named an 11 Alive Class Act teacher and a Disney Teacher Award Nominee.
Mrs. Mizell “ believes in a strong school community that fosters an educationally simulating, highly motivated and safe environment where all students are given the opportunity to be their best.”
Interim Superintendent Jim Smith said, “Mrs. Mizell is a team player, student-focused and dedicated to excellence.”
Two men were arrested today, April 8, 2015, after robbing a Dollar General store in High Falls.
Around 2:00 p.m. the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received a call that an armed robbery was in progress at the Dollar General store. A Department of Natural Resources Ranger and his K-9 partner, who were nearby, responded to the store on High Falls Road within minutes. Witnesses at the scene told the DNR Ranger that the suspects, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, fled the store to a nearby wooded area. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with deputies from Lamar County and Butts County Sheriff’s Offices surrounded the area and a DNR canine tracking unit searched for the two suspects. During this time deputies received a tip that the suspects were at a residence on High Falls Road. The suspects were located there and arrested without further incident.
The suspects have been identified as D’Andre Jackson, 18, of Jackson and Marvin Mann, 21, of Atlanta. Mann had been living at the residence on High Falls Road where deputies arrested them. The two men are brothers. Both are being charged with multiple counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
During the robbery the suspects took cellphones from store patrons and about $300.00 from the store’s till. Those items, along with the cash taken from Dollar General, were recovered at Mann’s residence. A 12 gauge pump action shotgun thought to be used during the commission of the robbery was located inside the house as well.
WKEU would like to thank Allison Selman-Willis Public Information Officer and Accreditation Manager with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for her assistance in this news story.
Mary Therese Grabowski
Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth
The state of Georgia will pay nearly a half million dollars to a whistleblower who alleged wrongdoing by the Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth, following a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former Guard employee.
The whistleblower questioned the propriety and even the legality of actions taken by former National Guard commander Jim Butterworth. After she did, she lost her job.
“I was giving honest suggestions,” said Mary Therese Grabowski, the plaintiff in the lawsuit. She said Monday she was more than just the publicist for the Georgia National Guard.
“I ask a lot of questions. That’s my job. I’m kind of the reality check,” said Grabowski, a former TV news anchor in Macon.
Her lawsuit said that when Butterworth then Guard’s commander took what she viewed as an improper taxpayer paid trip to Paris, she questioned it. When Jim Butterworth, appeared with soldiers at an event at Turner Field, then watched the game from a sponsor’s suite, she questioned that also.
And she says, when Butterworth used government resources to help raise money for a private hospital, she questioned that — and eventually lost her job for calling what could be considered improprieties to the Adjutant Generals attention.
Grabowski said, “I stand by my lawsuit and I believed I was doing the right thing,”. She worked for the Georgia National Guard for 17 months.
The state settled her lawsuit for $480,000. The Guard issued a statement saying “the case was settled to avoid the cost and resources associated with protracted litigation” and admitted no wrongdoing.
Grabowski’s attorney, Kim Worth, noted that the settlement comes from taxpayer dollars. “The amount involved is unfortunate because at the end of the day, we’re the ones paying for this.”
Worth also represented Stacey Kalberman, the former state ethics commission director who won a jury verdict worth $1.1 million.
Since Grabowski’s lawsuit, Governor Nathan Deal transferred Butterworth to become director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency..
Butterworth’s appointment to the Georgia Department of Defense as Adjutant General, by Governor Deal came at that time, under the Official Code of Georgia that was illegal. But, The Governor and the State Legislature changed that code section a short time later. Previously the code stated that to be appointed Adjutant General the candidate must be a federally recognized Field Grade Officer (Major, Lieutenant Colonel, or Full Colonel or General Officer) eligible for promotion to General. Butterworth had been in the Air Guard as Captain and pilot before allegedly refusing to take a immunization vaccination as each member of his unit was required to be administered, before his unit was mobilized for overseas service. Butterworth then resigned his commission as a captain, having allegedly never commanded any unit or been in a position of Command other than a B-1 crew. He was the ONLY non-federally recognized Adjutant General in the United States or any of our territories. He wore two stars on his uniform as a “quasi” General as a member of the Georgia State Defense force a non-paid organization of Georgia that becomes caretaker of the armories in the state upon mobilization of Guard units. The Georgia State Defense force has no requirements for being an Officer in that organization, and no educational requirements, as do active and reserve enlisted soldiers and officers. The educational requirements for active and reserve officers include: the Officer basic Course, Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Command and General Officer Staff College, and The War College. Every active and reserve Commissioned Officer must complete this requirement to be a federally recognized Officer and General. Captain Butterworth could have never qualified to become a federally recognized General, as his tenure as Georgia TAG would have been over before he was able to complete the educational requirements for promotion to that level. Plus his age level.
Many active and retired officers have stated that Butterworth was way below his level of grasping the real military issues, requirements, and directives from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, and Department of Defense at Federal level of issues that a General Officer faces every day of his career. This comes with experience from serving in Command Positions over years of service.
Many retired General Officers, had questioned Butterworth’s appointment from the outset, Now taxpayers are paying out almost a half million dollars in this case, and over a million in another incident in the State relating to whistleblower litigation from additional law suits.
The City of Griffin will host a Career Fair on April 22, 2015 from 2pm to 6pm at the Griffin Welcome Center located at 143 North Hill Street. The City of Griffin’s Career Fair is a chance for job seekers to learn more about the types of jobs available and meet face to face with hiring managers from every department including but not limited to Police, Fire, Electric and Water/Wastewater. The dress code for the Career Fair is Business Casual. Job seekers should bring resumes and an ink pen.