Pike County School officials confirmed a teacher had inappropriate contact with a student. In view of the confirmation Superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan released the following statement that appeared in the Pike County Journal Reporter.

On Saturday May 20, a Pike County High School teacher reported to District Officials that they witnessed a male teacher engaged in inappropriate contact with a female student. As a result of the District investigation, the employee is on administrative leave pending a termination hearing. The School District is cooperating with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department to uncover the full extent of the relationship.”

“Although we are angry and heartbroken, the courage and sense of duty exhibited by the staff member who reported the incident is a reminder to our community that our teachers take their professional responsibilities seriously and care deeply for the welfare of each child,” said superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan. “It is disappointing that the actions of one shed a negative light on our school system.”
Sheriff Jimmy Thomas issued a press release in relation to ‘addressing rumors’. He reported the teacher, whom sources say is a coach, has not been arrested. The ‘contact’ between the pair reportedly occurred after a powder-puff game Friday.”

Here is the Sheriffs statement in full:

Due to the numerous rumors that are being passed around social media the Pike County Sheriff’s Office makes the following press release:

The Pike County Sheriff’s Office has an open investigation in reference to allegations that have been made against a teacher. The Sheriff’s Office , District Attorney’s office and School System have been in close contact as this case is being investigated. The case remains open and Investigators continue to follow leads as they develop. As in any investigation new information and “rumor mill” statements must be followed up on to determine fact from fiction.

Anyone with any information pertaining to this case can contact a an Investigator at 770-567-8431.

If there are any new developments in this case the media and public will be updated when possible. 

At this time no arrest has been made in this case.”



Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger and Barnesville Heald Gazette

On Tuesday a individual bust into a home in Lamar County at the 400 block of Brent Road. The man allegedly was armed with shot gun and shot and killed a dog and threatened the residents at a home of Rick and Cathy Hacht and also an employee. All managed to escape unharmed.

The unidentified man was later apprehended on Sappington Road.

Lamar County Sheriff Brad White indicated that there was a burglary at a home in the area just before the home invasion incident.

The arrest of the came on Tuesday afternoon and the individual reportedly had on shorts, no shirt, was heavily tattooed and wore dog leash for a belt. He reportedly told law enforcement personnel that he “woke up naked” Sheriff White indicated the man was on some type substance. The sheriff indicated that the arrested is believed to be the individual from the home invasion but the Hacht home was cleared to be sure it was safe.

Local law enforcement in Lamar and Upson counties have been quietly looking for a suspect identified as Joseph Priester, who was reportedly shot at a Tenneco gas station in Atlanta. That suspect had ties to Barnesville and Thomaston however when the arrest was made in the home invasion incident it was determined that the suspect was not Priester.

A GBI swat team arrived on the scene about 4:07 p.m. to assist with clearing the home.

The incident remains under investigation and more information is expected to be released later by Lamar County Sheriffs Department.


A Griffin man caused a lockdown at Peachtree City Elementary School last week.  According to officials, the Peachtree City Police Department received a call from the school of a suspicious man on the property.  Authorities advised that Kenneth Sampler, age 22, was told to leave the area by the  principal and was later spotted by an officer.  The school was put on lockdown for a short time, until Sampler was found in a wooded area nearby.  Sampler, was wanted for outstanding warrants for burglary in Spalding County and a failure to appear warrant in Coweta County.  Sampler was charged with loitering and resisting an officer.


On early Saturday night units from The Griffin Fire and Rescue and The Griffin Police Department responded to a house fire at 914 Mockingbird Lane. Upon arrival units discovered heavy smoke showing from the structure. Firefighters quickly determined no one was at home at that time. However, firefighters did discover a family dog that was unresponsive. Firefighters performed CPR on the dog for some time and were successful in getting the family dog back responsive and standing on its own. The residence suffered heavy damage due to the fire, and no emergency personnel were injured. WKEU would like to extend its appreciation to The Griffin Fire and Rescue personnel for a job well done.

Sheriff Darrell Dix has advised WKEU news that on May 20 th , Spalding deputies responded to 1580 Williamson Road (Big Jim’s) to a report of a dispute and threats involving a firearm. The initial call was received at 1:40 a.m.

After searching the area deputies located,


Robert Gigi and placed him under arrest. Gigi is charged with the following offenses:
Aggravated Assault
Possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime
Public Drunk
Terroristic Threats
Gigi is being held at the Spalding County Jail and bond has been set at $20,743.
Additional details will be released at a later date.

The Griffin Police Department Investigative Services Division conducted an investigation involving embezzlement from two local businesses.  Hughes Company and Oakley Pipeline and Grading both reported that they had several thousands of dollars stolen.   Griffin Police Department’s Detective Lee Ward investigated the case and made an arrest on an employee of both businesses.


Amber L. Eubanks of Jackson Georgia was charged with 43 felony counts of Forgery, Theft by Taking, and One count of Identity Fraud.  Ms. Eubanks was transported to the Spalding County Jail.    This investigation is still ongoing and possible future charges pending.

The Griffin Police Department in conjunction with the Griffin-Spalding County School System received information regarding inappropriate actions by a teacher with students.  The Griffin-Spalding County school system cooperated fully with The Griffin Police Department which subsequently resulted in an investigation.  The investigation is ongoing at this time but has resulted in the arrest of a Brandy L. Nickels of Williamson Georgia.  Ms. Nickels is initially charged with one count each of Child Molestation, Sodomy, Enticing a Child, Statutory Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Battery.  She is currently held at the Spalding County Jail.  According to the lead Investigator, Dexter McCune the investigation is evolving and there is a possibility of future charges and or victims.  The Griffin Police Department would like for anyone having information regarding this case to please call the Investigative Services Department at 770-229-6452.


The Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) received information regarding possible inappropriate actions by a teacher with students. An internal investigation was opened immediately to determine the basis of the information. Quickly, a cooperative arrangement between Griffin-Spalding County School System personnel and members of the City of Griffin Police Department was established for purposes of expediting the investigation.



Ms. Brandy Nickles, a ninth grade teacher at Griffin High School, was placed on administrative leave and not allowed to return to the classroom while the investigation proceeded. As the process continued, Ms. Nickles resigned her position with the school and is no longer employed by the Griffin-Spalding County School System. The City of Griffin Police Department continued their work which led ultimately to charges being filed against Ms. Nickles for various offenses against children.

Ms. Nickles, age 41, is in her first year as a teacher in the Griffin-Spalding County School System but has experience as an educator in other Georgia counties.

Superintendent Jim Smith said, “This is a sad event for our school district and the students and families involved. Our highest priority is the safety and welfare of our students. We are thankful that information was given to us that allowed a swift resolution to a bad situation. In truth, it takes a person who notices something that doesn’t seem right to bring that information and suspicion to someone who can act on it. We have to be a community that doesn’t turn a blind eye to situations that appear suspicious. That’s how we protect our children. Also, I want to thank the City of Griffin Police Department and Chief Mike Yates for their complete cooperation in the investigation.”


Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that Sergeant Josh Pitts, of the Special Operations Division, was on patrol in the vicinity of 615 Northside Drive (Northside Hills Apartments). He heard a loud verbal altercation in the vicinity of the L building. As he was approaching the area several gunshots were fired. Pitts located the suspect and gave chase on foot. With the assistance of the Uniform Division, Keundre Chappell was located in an apartment near the area of the initial contact and taken into custody.


Keundre Chappell, of Stockbridge, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, reckless conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

He is currently being held in the Spalding County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.









Wednesday night about 9:45 Units of the Spalding Fire Department, and Deputies of the Sheriffs Department responded to a large house fire on highway 155 close to the Teamon road intersection.  Deputy Chief Jamie Clark indicated the two story home located about 200 yards just behind a pond off 155 was a total loss.  Three large trucks, a squad and battalion of the Spalding Fire Department were at the scene until  after midnight.  There were no injuries to the residents as the Scott DugMiller family were able to escape the residence.  Also responding to the fire was the Spalding Fire Marshall,  The incident is under the investigation of the Fire Marshall however it is believed that the fire started in the Kitchen area of the home.  More information is expected to be released later by the Spalding County Fire Department.  


Sheriff Darrell Dix reports that on May 16th, Sergeant Chadwick and Corporal Bowlden of the Warrant Division were on patrol in the vicinity of the former Dundee property near Sixth Street. They observed two subjects walking away from the property, pushing a wheel borrow containing what appeared to be metal.

Timothy Barron

Tommy Bell









The two subjects were identified as Timothy Barron and Tommy Bell, both of Griffin.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that the metal in the wheel barrow matched the metal located in the former mill property. The property is now owned by Herman Holdings.
Barron and Bell were arrested and each charged with Burglary in the 2nd degree and Second degree Criminal Damage to Property.
They are currently being held in the Spalding County Jail.