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The first order of business at the Griffin City Commissioners Meeting Tuesday evening  Sept 27th:
 
The Commissioners Rrecognized,  Firefighter Marvin Clark of Griffin Fire-Rescue on his retirement after 27 years of service with the city.   It is a tradition at the fire department when a fireman retires the flag at his station is flown at half mast on his last work day. Fire Chief Tommy Jones presented that flag to Firefighter Clark and thanked him for his years of dedicated service.  Firefighter Clark said he is looking forward to his retirement and remarked that when he first came to work he was fireman hanging on the back of the truck and now he is retiring as the driver. 
 
The Commissioners aapproved on second reading, an ordinance amending the Code of Griffin, Chapter 25, BUSINESSES (Occupation Tax), and Chapter 82, TAXATION to conform the Code for collection of delinquent taxes to Ga. Laws effective July 1, 2016.
 
 Approved  on second reading,  an Ordinance amending the Code of Griffin, TRAFFIC & VEHICLES, Article XI, MOTORIZED CARTS, by replacing it with a new Article XI, PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES (PTV).
This revision brings The City Code in line with both state law and the practices in other local Georgia jurisdictions involving use of PTVs on public roads.
Since the City’s last revision to this Article in 2011, the General Assembly has amended state law twice and now refers to these vehicles as “personal transportation vehicles”, a term which incorporates the former definition of a “motorized cart”
The City has also seen an increase in the number of PTVs registered to operate on our public streets. Concern has been expressed by motorists about the use of PTVs on public streets and the frustration caused when these vehicles travel long distances on streets such as E. College and Maple Drive.
 
The Commissioners aapproved of Wayfinding Signs to the Oak Hill Cemetery enhancement project. 
Approved   a standard agreement with Georgia Department of Transportation for  streets cape  enhancement lighting assistance on the traffic signal project at the intersection of Broadway and North Hill Street. The City will be responsible for operating and maintaining the landscape and street lighting.
 Approved:   a standard agreement with Georgia Department of transportation for Streets cape-Enhancement Lighting assistance for SR 155/North Hill Street; Solomon Street & 5th Street.  The City will be responsible for operating and maintaining the  landscape and street lighting.
 
 Approved:   an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Griffin and Spalding County, as an addendum to the 2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance (JAG)  Grant awarded to the Griffin Police Department and Spalding County Sheriffs Department.
This award is to be used for the acquisition of fifteen Digital Ally body worn video camera systems with docking stations and extended life batteries to be utilized by GPD’s Uniform Patrol Division.  The County approved this Intergovernmental Agreement at its September 18, 2016 meeting.
 
Approved Chairman Dick Morrow to attend the MEAG Power 2016 Mayors Summit in Greensboro, Georgia, November 4-6, 2016. \
Approved  a request to rezone the property located at 1201 Meriwether Street from Low Density Residential-B to Planned Commercial Development. 
 
Approved:   a request submitted by Charles and John Neel,  to rezone the property located at 812 & 814 Everee Inn Rd.  from Low Density Residential-B to Planned Commercial Development.  
The request was approved with the stipulation that:  The sides and rear of the property must be screened by an eight (8) foot privacy fence.
 
Approved:    for the purchase of one Self Contained Compactor for use at Toppan USA Inc. located in the Greenvalley Industrial Park from Wastequip Inc., the  (National Joint Powers Alliance) and State of Georgia approved vendor, for the total price of $19,772.20 and amend the Commercial Division of Solid Waste Dept. FY-17 operating budget accordingly. 
 
Approved  a consulting agreement with Pamela Allen for Municipal Court.  
The City is conducting an efficiency assessment with the Consultant which will result in recommended best practices for Municipal Court.  The City wishes to implement recommended best practices in an efficient and timely manner to ensure judicious practices are followed in Municipal Court.
The cost to the City is $12,000.00 for the consulting services, which begins September 27, 2016 and is scheduled to conclude at the end of the year.  The rate includes 240 hours of on-site consultation with Ms. Allen, as well as all travel charges and other incidentals. A budget amendment is planned in the future to address court needs.

 

DR. JOSEPH BARROW

DR. JOSEPH BARROW

In nearby Fayette County School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Barrow is one of four finalists to be named Georgia’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year.

The Announcement was made September 14 th by the Georgia School Superintendents Association.

Each finalist will complete an application on line from which the GSSA selection committee will choose a winner.

The other candidates vying for the award include Dr. Jason Branch of Oconee County Schools; Dr. Allen McCannon of Madison County Schools; and Dr. Gordon Pritz of Douglas County Schools.

All four finalists will be recognized at the Fall Bootstrap Conference in Athens on Oct. 19.

The winner will be announced at the Georgia School Boards Association winter conference in early December.

 

 

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In Fayette County, the Fayette Citizen has reported an Atlanta man has been arrested and charged with robbery by force on Sept. 14 after he pulled a woman from her vehicle in the parking lot of a medical office building adjacent to Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville. The man was arrested and the vehicle recovered later in the day.Christopher Joseph, 19, was charged with robbery by force and simple battery according to Fayetteville Police Officials.

The incident occurred around 5 p.m. outside the medical office building adjacent to Piedmont Fayette Hospital. As a 51 year old female was leaving the area, Joseph allegedly grabbed her in the car and threw her onto the ground, then entered the vehicle and drove away,

The woman refused medical treatment according to investigators.
Deputies were dispatched to a south Fayette residence where Joseph’s relatives were believed to live, and the suspect was arrested and taken into custody, the vehicle was also recovered.

Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a suspicious person earlier at nearby Georgia Military College on Veterans Parkway about 4:20 PM. The College, which opened in August of 2015, is located close to the hospital.

Officials said in that incident A woman was in the parking lot told deputies that a young black male knocked on her window and asked for a ride. The woman rolled the window down and the man entered the vehicle, asking if she could give him a ride to a nearby gas station. The woman refused and asked the man to leave. The man thanked her and attempted to kiss the woman, at which point she said, “No thank you,” The individual then ran into a wooded area adjacent to the college.

 

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GRIFFIN BEARS            56

WHITEWATER               21  FINAL

 

 

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SPALDING JAGUARS         24

HOUSTN COUNTY             28 FINAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a press release on Friday Sept 23rd,  in relation an investigation of an incident in Butts County.

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SHERRY HALL
PHOTO COURTESY JACKSON PD AND WALTER GEIGER BARNESVILLE HERALD GAZETTE

The GBI secured four criminal arrest warrants through the Superior Court of the Towaliga Judicial Circuit on Sherry Hall.  They are as follows: False Statements, Tampering with Evidence, Interference with Government Property, and Violation of Oath of Office.

After following the leads and evidence, the investigation has now revealed that there is no, and never was, a suspect shooter at large in Jackson, Georgia.

The GBI was requested by the Jackson Police Department to independently investigate both the Officer Involved Shooting/ Use of Force and the alleged Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer.  The GBI Milledgeville Office committed all available assets and resources, which included personnel from two regional offices.  To date, there have been in excess of 600 investigative work hours expended on this investigation and certain aspects of this investigation are still ongoing.

The alleged incident began at approximately 12:08 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 when Sherry Hall called out over the radio that she had been shot.  Several law enforcement officers from the Jackson Police Department and the Butts County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to assist in the officer down call.  Sherry Hall alleged through three separate interviews with the GBI that she was shot by a black male subject who was positioned near the wood line at the cul-de-sac on Camellia Court. Sherry Hall further advised that she did not engage her in car video and audio recording equipment.

As part of this investigation, the GBI solicited input from the manufacturer of the in car camera system as well as a GBI Digital Forensic Investigator, in an effort to further this investigation. Video and audio evidence was recovered from the hard drive of the unit. After hours of subsequent examination of that video evidence, it was revealed that inconsistencies existed with regard to Sherry Hall’s statements, witness statements, physical evidence, and later examination of forensic evidence.

The GBI Milledgeville supervisory staff met with Jackson Police Chief James Morgan and District Attorney Richard Milam apprising the agency heads of the existing inconsistencies. It was agreed to expand the investigation as it began to appear that Sherry Hall was not in fact a victim of a shooting.

In an effort to reconcile inconsistencies discovered in the investigation, the GBI conducted a subsequent interview of Sherry Hall. During this interview Sherry Hall watched the video, and at that time Hall stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Sherry Hall failed to reveal to the GBI that she was in possession of an additional departmental handgun issued to her on July 1, 2016.  A search warrant was secured and executed earlier this week for Hall’s residence located in Butts County. This particular weapon was located and seized, which gave rise to certain warrants concerning this investigation.

has been determined that Sherry Hall is currently located in a private facility, of her own volition, and upon release she will be arrested, processed, and booked at the Butts County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

The GBI would like to commend all Butts County agency heads for their full and complete cooperation in regard to this investigation. Those agencies heads being Jackson Police Chief James Morgan, District Attorney Richard Milam, and Sheriff Gary Long.

WKEU News 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

 

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Sheriff Jimmy Thomas has advised WKEU news that his Deputies arrested Bill Whitley Friday afternoon after receiving a report of the individual trying to make entry into a residence on Highway 109.
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He had tried to enter the front door of a residence when he was scared off by an armed homeowner.

After seeing several Face book posts in regards to Whitley, from local citizens, he was identified as the suspect. With the assistance of the Upson County Sheriff’s Office Whitley was spotted driving a Lexus, and a traffic stop was conducted in Upson County. The vehicle he was driving was determined to have been stolen from another residence  on Highway 109. The homeowner was out of town and did not know the vehicle was missing.

Investigators went to the vehicle owners residence and discovered that Whitley had also burglarized the house and had been living there as the owner was out of town.

Whitley is in the Pike County Jail charged with criminal attempt  burglary, burglary and theft by taking motor vehicle.

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If you have noticed TV recently, and Movie Theaters you realize that the movie “Sully” a Clint Eastwood production is being shown Nationwide.  The movie is about Captain Chesley Sullenberger the airline pilot that had to make a force landing in the Hudson River in New York with no loss of life, when large birds near the runway were ingested into his engines on take off causing the aircraft to lose power in both engines. Tom hanks plays the part of Captain Sullenberger in the excellent movie.
The movie production also included several days shooting at the Barnstormers Grill, and Candler Field Museum.  Also museum air craft were used in several scenes.  Photos of the production and shots made at the Candler Field Museum are on display to include the exact aircraft a Sterman 1930’s trainer. 
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You are invited to visit the museum and review the photos and have a first hand look at the aircraft that was in the movie..
Aircraft of the Museum have been used in several movies in the past few years.   We will be positing a interview with Ron Alexander about the movie and the historic aircraft at the museum in the next few days.

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Pike County Sheriffs Investigators arrested Jeffery Allen , 47 years of age, for burglary on Thursday September 22 nd. 

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Several reports of thefts have been reported in various parts of the county over the past several weeks. Allen is believed to be responsible for a majority of those thefts , however Investigators are working to link him to the additional crimes.

He is currently under arrest for entering a garage of a resident in the Whitfield Walk neighborhood and stealing items. Allen has been seen at other residences in Pike County. The vehicle he was driving is pictured below.

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If anyone has any additional information you please contact The Pike County Sheriffs Department Investigative Department. r at 770-567-8431.

 

SPALDING GRAND JURY

SPALDING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

The first order of business at the Spalding County Commissioners Meeting September 19 th:
 
Webelos Pack 2 of the First Baptist Church of Griffin delivered the invocation and lead everyone  present in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and then each of the Webelos read a portion of a  Proclamation of Thanks to the Board of Commissioners for their public service.
 
The commissioners:
Approved:     a Proclamation designating October 1st thru October 31 st, 2016 as “Dysautonomia Awareness Month” in Spalding County, Georgia.
Dana Bradberry, a 19 year old Spalding County resident requested the proclamation. She was present to accept the proclamation and thanked the commissioners for making the community aware of Dysautonomia.
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe various conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls most of the essential functions of the body that we do not consciously think about, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation and constriction of the pupils of the eye and temperature control. 
Increased awareness about Dysautonomia will help patients get diagnosed and treated earlier, save lives, and foster support for individuals and families coping with Dysautonomia.
 
Ms. Claudet Gallman of the Griffin Lions Club presented cases of smoke detectors to the board for distribution to County residents by the Spalding County Fire Department. Since December last year to April this year there have been 7 fire related deaths in the Griffin / Spalding area. Hopefully these smoke detectors help prevent further lose. 
 
The commissioners: 
Approved:   on second reading an Amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance pertaining  to  Sensitive Land Flood Damage Prevention to be consistent with the National Flood Insurance Program regulations and definitions. 
This is to identify land on the flood insurance rate map that indicates it has a one percent chance of flooding in any given year.
 
Approved:   a request of the Humane Society of Griffin Spalding County for a letter stating that Spalding County has no objection to the State granting a one-day alcohol license for the Humane Society’s Annual Chili Cook-Off to be held on Saturday, October 22 nd 2016 at “The Pavilion “from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
 
Approved:   proposals for preparation of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update and AMEC Foster & Wheeler for the consultant for the update with a bid of $155,000.
In order to maintain QLG (Qualified Local Government) status the county is required to complete a Comprehensive Plan Update and Service Delivery Strategy Re-negotiations by October of 2017.  
 
Approved:   the 2016 LMIG request. This a priority list of 8.432 miles of roads and streets to be resurfaced in 2017 fiscal year. Projects consist of patching, leveling, and resurfacing of existing asphalt surfaces.  
 
Approved:     recommendation from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission to temporarily suspend tournament facility rental fees for current Associations contracted with Spalding County.  It is believed this will increase the number of tournaments thus making more money with the hotel/motel tax and increased spending of participants than would be made on the facility rental fees. Records will be kept to see if this is true. 
 
Approved:   on first reading an Ordinance to reduce the speed limit on Bates Road, Deason Street and Vickery Drive from 35 M.P.H. to 25 M.P.H.   Reduction of the speed limit was recommended by Sheriff Beam.
 
Approved:    on first reading an Ordinance  to reduce the speed limit on the following roads:
..Amelia Road – Beginning at Locust Grove Road and traveling north for a distance of 2 miles (to
the end of the pavement) reduce posted speed to 35 miles per hour.
..Amelia Road – Beginning 2 miles north of Locust Grove Road (where the pavement ends) to the
county line for a distance of 1 mile reduce the posted speed to 25 miles per hour on the unpaved portion of this road.
..Apple Road – Beginning at Sam Solomon Road and traveling west for a distance of 0.4 miles to
Amelia Road, reduce the posted speed to 25 miles per hour on this unpaved road.
..Sam Solomon Road – Beginning at the Dead End and traveling north for a distance of 1.5 miles
to Apple Road, reduce the posted speed to 25 miles per hour on this unpaved road.
 
Approved:    a resolution supporting a joint request with the City of Griffin for Employment Incentive Program (EIP) funds to provide a pre-treatment facility to assist Marukan Vinegar (U.S.A.), Inc.  
     The city is lead agent for the funds that will pay for a device that will pre-treat industrial waste water before it is discharged into municipal wastewater. 
  The City of Griffin and the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority will agree to transfer ownership of the pre-treatment facility to the GSDA. The GSDA will enter an agreement identifying Marukan as the entity to provide operation and maintenance of the facility.
Marukan Vinegar (U.S.A.) Inc. is a new business to be located in the Industrial Park. They are in the vinegar business and will provide new jobs for low to moderate income persons. 
 
Approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Griffin to establish funding allocations for 2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.
The City of Griffin and Spalding County Sheriff’s Department has applied for and received this grant for the last several years.  County to receive $11,054.    City to receive $19,419
 
Approved:   an agency contract with the City of Orchard Hill for Fire Protection Services for the period October 1, 2016 to October 1, 2017.  This is an annual contract in the amount $33,082.80 paid in increments of $2,756.90 per month as budgeted revenues into the Fire District Fund.
 
Approved:    an agency contract with the City of Sunny Side for Fire Protection Services for the period October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.  This is an annual contract in the amount $17,151.48 paid in increments of $1,429.29 per month as budgeted revenues into the Fire District Fund.
 
County Manager William Wilson gave a 2016 SPLOST Update:
..Long Term Debt for Fire Station, Fire trucks, Correctional Institute and Memorial Drive Plaza paid off March 1, 2016
..Senior Nutrition Capital expenditures reimbursed to General Fund – June 2016.
..Fire Department Wild land Response Unit (Brush Truck) – in operation April 2016.
..Soccer Lights – completed August 2016.
..E 911 Phone system – in operation April 2016.
..Judicial Computers/Software Upgrades – in progress – Oct 24, 2016 Go Live.
..Heritage Park Projects – Asbestos abatement completed 2016.
..Fairmont Gym HVAC – bids rejected in August 2016 to be re bid Oct 2016.
..Pickleball Facility – bids received and being evaluated.
..800 MHz Tower Relocation – in progress – completion November 2016.
..Fire Department Pumper/Tanker – to be delivered in September 2016.
..CAD/Sun guard – Kickoff October 11 2016.
..Fiber Optics – fiber ran to Annex and Courthouse in August, splicing now to be live October 2016.
..Bridge over Cabin Creek – in design with soil testing week of Sept 5.
submitted by Larry Johnson.

 

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