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Amanda Denton took her first solo flight recently as part of Candler Field Museum’s Youth Mentoring Aviation Program. Photo Courtesy Walter Geiger Barnesville Herald Gazette

The Candler Field Museum and Ron Alexander have announced the latest graduate from a member of Candler Field Museum’s Youth Mentoring Aviation program. Amanda Deaton made her solo flight Aug. 5. The Youth program includes working to rebuild planes and learning about aviation from local mentors. That are certified pilots, and mechanics retired from Delta Airlines and the Armed Services.


Open to students from 12 to 20 years old who are considering future aviation careers the program includes the disassembly and rebuild of a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub, Students are trained on how to remove the fabric covering and parts rebuild or installation of new parts in the air frame. Also replacement of a rebuilt engine. . preparing parts . They then went through the recovering process, including rib stitching and spray painting, and reassembled the aircraft.

The students can fly the aircraft when it is finished. They are working under the supervision of several adult certified volunteers and EAA 468 members.

Ron Alexander said :“One of our greatest needs, in addition to obtaining funding for the program, is more mentors to help with actual work sessions on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays,”. “The mentors don’t have to be licensed mechanics or even licensed pilots to take part. The main qualification is the desire to help the museum and this great program to prepare the students for a future in aviation.”

Youth Mentoring Aviation members meet each Wednesday at 5 p.m. and each Saturday at 9 a.m. to work on the project. It is free for young members who earn pilot training hours for their work.

The non-profit program is sponsored by Candler Field Museum. Becoming a member of the museum helps sustain the youth program and other classes and projects for younger participants. To become a member, go to

For information on the youth program, to donate tools and materials or volunteer, email 

“The students work on mostly older aircraft under the guidance of mentors who also have a great interests in aviation. Through their work on the aircraft students earn future flying hours provided by the museum,” said Ron Alexander. “Ultimately, the students can become aircraft mechanics and/or pilots. Some of the more active students have accumulated over 10 future flying hours. The goal was for them to accumulate 10 hours of flying time before they start flying so they could go through to solo.”
The aviation industry will be needing Pilots and certified Airframe and power plant employees right away due to the many employees that were Vietnam Veterans that have worked in the industry for many years and are reaching retirement age according to Ron Alexander himself a retired Delta Captain, and Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Griffin Spalding Airport Authority

Griffin Spalding Airport Authority

The Griffin Spalding Airport  Authority Chairman Dick Morrow met on Wednesday with Georgia Department of Transportation and FAA officials in relation to the new airport. Chairman Morrow said he was surprised over the massive amount of work already done by the Georgia Department of Transportation (Aviation branch) and the FAA.  Needed Paperwork was pre-approved by the State, and Region FAA and the next step is it will go before the FAA Main Office in Washington in the next week or so. We talked with Chairman Morrow about the meeting on Wednesday.( that interview can be heard by clicking on the link above). As mentioned by Mr. Morrow , as we are further down the road than expected, the next immediate plan is to start a major recruiting effort to attract additional businesses to the new airport which will probably be about 6 to 7 years to complete.  




In November, Spalding County Voters will decide whether to renew the SPLOST. The projects have been identified and Spalding County needs interested persons to apply for, or nominate individuals, for the 2014 SPLOST Committee. This Committee will be responsible for educating the public on the purpose of the SPLOST and why it is important to the citizens of Spalding County.
On November 5, Spalding County voters will go to the ballot box to decide whether to renew the current 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for six years. That would keep Spalding County sales taxes at 7 percent.
Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax by definition is money collected from the sale of items, subject to the State of Georgia sales and use tax, within the county and can only be used for specific capital outlay projects, as approved in the referendum by the citizens. SPLOST is also imposed on the sale of food and beverages, which are not subject to the state sales tax and unlike property tax, SPLOST is based on consumption and paid by all county residents and visitors alike.
The 2014 SPLOST could bring in an estimated $50.4 million to Spalding County and approximately 54% is dedicated to county projects, with the remainder of the funds going to projects for the cities of Griffin, Orchard Hill and Sunny Side.
The Board of Commissioners plan to appoint members to the 2014 SPLOST committee at the September 15, meeting. Nomination Forms can be found on the Spalding County Home Page ( Please complete
and email the form to or you can mail or fax the completed form to:
Spalding County Administration

WKEU has been advised that Gordon State College Student Center was evacuated Tuesday about Noon.  The reason for the evacuation was a malfunction of a piece of equipment in the Dinning Hall of the Student Center.The malfunction occurred in the Food preparation area causing some smoke in the area. Students in the dining hall were evacuated.

No one was injured and everyone was allowed back into the building around 12:20. The Student Center is one of  the largest buildings on the Campus over 50,000 square fee and contains The Book Store, Dining Hall, the Gordon Foundation Offices, and Mail room and administrative offices. 



During the Spalding County Commissioners meeting they approved: a proclamation declaring the month of September as Workforce Development Professionals month in Spalding County. To honor all those individuals in all Workforce Development Organizations and Partnerships that play a vital role in our economy.

Approved a Presentation to Union Baptist Church acknowledging and recognizing their volunteer efforts in assisting with the Spalding County Summer Food Program in the East Griffin Community. Union Baptist Church provided 35 days of service, and served 1,030 meals to children living in East Griffin. Additionally, they provided recreational activities during meal times.

Approved a request from Griffin Moose Lodge, 1435 Zebulon Road for outside amplification permit for an End of the Year Pool Event scheduled for September 5, 2014 from 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Approved a request from Flaticia Berry, 201 Hammerhawk Road, Griffin, Georgia for outside amplification permit for a birthday party to be held on Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Approved a request from Union Baptist Church, 1405 N. McDonough Road, Griffin, Georgia for outside amplification permit on Friday, October 31, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for their Fall Festival.

The Commissioners also approved and held a public hearing for the 2014 Capital Improvement Element (CIE) and Short Term Work Program (STWP).  The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 mandates a public hearing be held.  

After some discussion, prompted by questions from Commissioner Gwen Flowers Taylor the Commissioners scheduled a special called meeting at 8:am September 15th for a work shop to review the Spalding County 2025 Comprehensive Plan before authorizing transmittal to Three Rivers Regional Commission of the 2014 Capital Improvements Element (CIE) and Short Term Work Program (STWP) and incorporation of these changes into the Spalding County 2025 Comprehensive Plan.

The Commissioners approved  a street name change from “Evergreen Drive” to “Cobblestone Drive” in Sun City Peachtree Pod 37B.

The Commissioners approved on first reading Ordinance 2014-04 amending the Licensing and Regulation Ordinance relating to renewal of alcohol licenses in Spalding County.  

Approved authorizing Chairman Chipper Gardner to execute the ACCG-Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund Safety Discount Verification form. Spalding County is a member of the ACCG-Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund and is eligible for a 7.5% Safety Discount on it’s annual workers’ compensation insurance premium by complying with certain requirements.  Meeting the requirements resulted in a $24,100 discount on the 2014 insurance premium. 

Approved the Georgia County Internship Program Grant Application for the Spring 2015 Academic Semester. The Civic Affairs Foundation of ACCG is offering a Georgia County Internship Program Grant for the Spring 2015 Semester.  The Finance Department would like to submit a grant application for an intern to perform a fixed asset inventory of machinery and equipment and to update the fixed asset inventory listing for insurance purposes. The grant will pay an intern $10 per hour for up to 200 hours of work.

Approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Griffin to provide for the funding of a joint Comprehensive Transportation Plan update. The Atlanta Regional Commission is funding the majority of the cost and the City and County are sharing equally in the required local match. Total Estimated Cost $312,500 with a 20% local match of $62,500 to be shared 50/50 between the City and County.  Spalding County’s portion is $31,250 and is appropriated in the FY 2015 Budget.

County Manager William Wilson reminded the commissioners they need to set up a SPLOST committee to promote the SPLOST.  Anyone wishing to serve on this committee can contact the county office or their commissioner to get their name on a list . Members will be selected at the next commissioners meeting.

100 building permits for new buildings have been issued this year thru the end of July. The projection is for 200 by the end of the year. This is an indication that the economy is improving slightly.

The Spalding county fire department annual golf tournament will be September 18th.  The Ho-Ho-Hole in one fund raiser is for toys for kids at Christmas.

Drive by flu shots will be available behind the health department FREE of charge To Spalding County residents Sept 30th thru October 2nd. Takes about 8 minutes drive thru to get your free shot.

There will be no commissioners meeting Monday September 1st.  due to the Labor Day holiday.

Photo courtesy of Pike Journal Reporter at POlice vehicle in front Pike Courthoiusek duirng Bomb threat.

Photo courtesy of Pike Journal Reporter at POlice vehicle in front Pike Courthoiusek duirng Bomb threat.

Pike County Officials have received two bomb threats at the Courthouse that were called in last week, The Courthouse was evacuated Wednesday morning and Another call was made on Friday causing several deputies to check the building again Friday afternoon.

One call was received around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. All employees were asked to leave the building while it was checked for any explosive devices. 

Another call was made around 12:15 p.m. Friday and several officers responded, including sheriff’s deputies and a Zebulon police officer. 

There have been at least four bomb threats made in the past three months at the courthouse. 

When school was in session, several bomb threats were made to the high school as well as high schools in surrounding counties including Spalding County.. 

School officials offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the bomb threats.
Joy Lynn Day 39

Joy Lynn Day 39 Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger, Barnesville Herald Gazette

A Milner woman accused of biting a Lamar deputy after claiming she was HIV positive and had Hepatitis C was denied bond Aug. 14 in Lamar superior court.
Joy Lynn Day, 39, is charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, obstruction and various drug counts stemming from an alleged attack on Maj. Leslie Holmes May 24. According to assistant district attorney Matt Bridges, Day was parked at a stop sign at the intersection of Brown Springs Rd. and Old Hwy. 41 at the burned out Lighthouse restaurant when Holmes came upon her. There had been property thefts and burglaries in the area so Holmes checked the driver.

At one point, Day walked away from Holmes with something in her hand. When Holmes attempted to stop her, an altercation ensued and Holmes acquired a “pretty nasty bite”. Day then tried to get away from the Deputy fired at Day 5 times hitting Day once in the arm.

Public defender John Geiger argued the bite occurred after Holmes shot Day. “We would argue Ms. Day initiated the altercation,”

Judge E. Byron Smith asked Day where she had been shot. Though in restraints, Day attempted to show the judge the wound on her upper arm.

“You’re lucky to be alive,” the judge admonished.

“I thank God for that every day,” Day replied.

‘You should have been thinking about God earlier. Bond denied,” Judge Smith concluded.
WKEU would like to thank Waler Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assistance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on line at


Units of the Spalding Fire Department, Spalding Sheriffs Department, and Spalding Regional EMS responded to a fire call at 1629 Vaughn Road Saturday morning about 12:50 am.   As fire fighters were en-route to the scene they saw a orange glow in the horizon and smoke.Upon arrival they found the home was engulfed in flame. Fire fighters were at the scene for several hours and had to be called back earlier in the morning due to a rekindle of the home fire.  The home was a complete loss.  The incident is still under investigation by the Spalding Fire Department. There were no injuries from the incident or firefighters. .

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Dr. Oscar Stokes Jr.

Dr. Oscar Stokes Jr.

Two doctors are facing charges after being accused of running “pill mills.”

The case involves multiple states, jurisdictions and arrests.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents interviewed patients of the pain management clinic in Alpharetta to learn more about the alleged pill mill.

Agents had the patients sit outside the clinic during the raid.

One patient said “I see some people come in here, you have a lot of meth addicts and stuff”,

Dr. Oscar Stokes Jr. is facing federal drug conspiracy charges in connection with prescriptions written at that clinic.

Sean Herrell said he saw the doctor only once and he had been going to the clinic since May. “Even sometimes I knew just sitting there, like it was a matter of time,” he said.

Another patient said he saw people with Kentucky license plates going to the clinic.

DEA agents also arrested Dr. Romie Roland in the case. He faces federal charges for running an alleged pill mill called Atlanta Pain Rehab.

Investigators said Anthony Licata is also a key player. Licata since has been charged with the same federal charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the cases. 

An unsealed indictment reveals how doctors involved in an alleged metro area pill mill scheme

 operated in multiple states and recruited patients to bring in more profits.

Another patient, says he was never even examined by the doctor at The Innovative Pain Management before being prescribed several strong medications.

“He just rushed me through the office,” said Richard Williams. “He didn’t ask me any questions. He didn’t get any exams. I didn’t fill out any paperwork. The only thing the doctor asked me for was my name and a picture ID,” said Williams

WSB TV crews were there wen agents raided the clinic and interviewed the witnesses on Upper Hembree Road and arrested the doctor in charge, Dr. Oscar Stokes Jr.

Stokes’ clinic is one of three clinics in the metro area raided by the DEA. The others included Atlanta Pain Rehabilitation, which is located right next to a day care in southwest Atlanta.

The indictment also names Dr. Romie Roland and seven (7)  others in a scheme that involved prescribing oxycodone, morphine pills, and other drugs “without a legitimate medical purposed for prescribing them.”

According to federal investigators, several people would “sponsor patients” for multiple visits. The prescribed pain pills were re-sold for profits.

The indictment says, “Specifically, they would contact the clinics and schedule visits for multiple patients. These defendants would supervise visits, financing the costs of both seeing the doctor, as well as filling the prescriptions. The goal of this sponsorship was to procure multiple prescriptions for controlled substances.”

Both doctors entered not guilty pleas and were released on bond.

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First Presbyterian Church to hold Old Fashion Hymn Sing


On Sunday, August 24th, First Presbyterian Church of Griffin at 1349 Macon Road will sponsor an “old fashion hymn sing” in their sanctuary from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. The community is invited to come join the congregation in singing the hymns that remind us of our heritage. The only requirement is that you will join in raising your voice in praise and join us for fellowship afterwards.

During the service, a love offering will be taken for the benevolent fund for police officer Kevin Jordan who was killed in the line of duty. This money will be used to fund Kevin’s House, a ministry serving youth in the community.

Any questions should be directed to the church office at 770-227-2055. We look forward to welcoming everyone to sing with us at First Presbyterian Church.