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 DAVID GIBSON

PRESS RELEASE

David Gibson, age 51, a 27 year veteran of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office retired on May 21, 2015 in lieu of termination.  Mr. Gibson was the Captain over the Uniform Patrol Division.  An Internal Affairs Investigation was being conducted on Mr. Gibson at the time he retired.  The allegations against Mr. Gibson are:

Sexual Harassment

Creating a Hostile Work Place

Conduct unbecoming a Deputy

Improper use of the Internet

Violation of his Oath of Office

The investigation is continuing and when it is completed it will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office to determine if any criminal charges are in order.

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Board Names interim Superintendnet Jim Smith as Sole Superintendent Finalist

 

The Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education agreed to name Interim Superintendent Jim Smith as the sole finalist for superintendent at a meeting on Thursday.

Under state law, the board must wait 14 days before taking an official vote to offer a contract.

James D. “Jim” Smith has been Interim Superintendent of the Griffin-Spalding County School System since March 2015.  Jim, a native of Griffin and graduate of Griffin High School, received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in accounting from Georgia State University in 1980. Upon graduation, he joined the local CPA firm of Hardwick and Hardwick and received his designation as a certified public accountant in 1982. After 16 years in public accounting, Jim joined the Griffin-Spalding County School System in 1997 as Director of Finance. Over the next several years, Jim earned a Masters degree in Education from the University of Phoenix and a Specialist in Educational Leadership degree from the University of West Georgia. He also completed the Superintendents Professional Development Program, a two year program designed by the Georgia School Superintendents Association. In 2009, Jim was named Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer of the local school district before being named Deputy Superintendent in 2014.

A lifelong resident of Griffin, Jim served as President of the Kiwanis Club of Griffin and as Governor of the Georgia District of Kiwanis International. He currently serves on the Spalding County Board of Health and Griffin-Spalding Land Bank Authority. Jim, his wife, Janet, and two children are members of Griffin First United Methodist Church.

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Griffin Spalding Board of Education Appoints Principals for Cowan Middle, A.Z. Kelsey and GHS

At a called meeting on May 21, 2015, the Griffin-Spalding Board of Education approved the recommended candidates for the principal positions at Cowan Road Middle, A.Z. Kelsey Academy and Griffin High School.

The 2015-16 Cowan Road Middle School principal will be current Jackson Road Elementary Principal Laura Jordan. Jordan has been with the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) for almost 20 years. She began her career at Taylor Street Middle School teaching language arts and reading.  She was then promoted to assistant principal at Cowan Road Middle where she spent eight years before being named principal of Jackson Road Elementary in 2012. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in middle education from Mercer University and her Educational Specialist in Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia. The district will fill the position of principal at Jackson Road Elementary by posting or by appointment.

Current Assistant Principal Stephanie Evans is the new principal of A.Z. Kelsey Academy.  After working in advertising and marketing, Evans began her career in education as a high school English teacher in 1999. She spent 12 years at Griffin High School serving as a teacher, academic coach and assistant principal. In 2012 she was named A.Z. Kelsey assistant principal. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Spelman College, master’s from Georgia College & State University and her Educational Specialist in Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.

Dr. Darrell Evans was named the principal of Griffin High School. Evans has been a high school educator and administrator for over 20 years.  He returns to GSCS from Sandy Creek High School where he has worked since 2004. During that time he served as a head basketball coach, health and physical fitness teacher, athletic director, assistant principal and then principal.  Evans was also at Spalding High School for four years as the head basketball coach, health and physical fitness department chair and chairperson of the student support team. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Fitness from Brewton-Parker College, Master’s in Education from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, Educational Specialist from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and Educational Doctorate from South Carolina State University.

 

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Press Release from Griffin Police Department.  

On Saturday May 16, 2015 Officers from the Griffin Police Department responded to Louise’s Cafeteria located at 426 East Solomon St. in reference to a report of a person on person armed robbery.   Upon arrival, officers identified the victim as Frank Storey of Lilburn Georgia.  Mr. Storey stated that a black male covered in tattoos driving a blue Lincoln Town car robbed him a gun point and then fled the scene.  The victim was able to provide a tag number which helped officers locate the vehicle and suspect quickly.  The suspect was identified as Early Evans of Griffin Georgia.  Mr. Evans was detained and transported to the Police Department for questioning.  Lt. Mike Richardson with the Criminal Investigative Division responded to the scene and took over the investigation.  The investigation revealed that there was no armed robbery and the incident was drug related.  Charges are pending upon completion of this investigation.

 

 

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NEWS RELEASE

Georgia State Troopers Preparing for Memorial Day Weekend Patrols

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is soon approaching. Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the 78-hour holiday patrol period will begin Friday, May 22 at 6 p.m. and end midnight on Memorial Day. Troopers and Motor Carrier Officers will be conducting roadchecks, high visibility patrols, and concentrated patrols across the state strictly enforcing seat belt laws and watching for impaired drivers.

“Speed, a lack of seat belt use, and an impaired driver make for a deadly combination on our roads,” Colonel McDonough said.Last year during Memorial Day weekend, Georgia State troopers investigated 455 traffic crashes that resulted in 299 injuries, and nine traffic fatalities.“If you will be traveling this holiday period, make sure everyone is properly restrained, obey the posted speed limit, and designate a sober driver if alcohol consumption will be in your plans,” the commissioner added. In addition to the traffic crash investigations last year, troopers arrested 322 people for driving under the influence while issuing 7,492 citations and 11,137 warnings.

Use caution as you travel this holiday weekend. Traffic will be heavy as graduation ceremonies, festivals and vacation travelers will add to the normal weekend traffic.  “Celebrate the holiday period responsibly and keep safety at the forefront of everything you will do,” Colonel McDonough said.

Today is also the kick-off of All American Buckle-Up Week across the nation. Now through Monday, state highway patrols and state police agencies from across the United States and Canada are joining together to educate the public on the importance of wearing seat belts while traveling in motor vehicles.

NOTE:  The holiday traffic fatality count will be posted and updated throughout the holiday weekend on the Georgia Department of Public Safety web site: http://www.dps.georgia.gov.

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SPALDNG REGIONAL EMS  EMORY AIR FLIGHT
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PRESS RELEASE UPDATE ON FIGHT/ SHOOTING FROM GRIFFIN POLICE DEPARTMENT.

 

On Saturday May 16, 2015 Officers from the Griffin Police Department responded to the city park near North 9th Street and Georgia Avenue in reference to a person that hadbeen shot. Upon their arrival they witnessed a black female identified as Shehollanee Burden lying on the ground with a single gunshot wound to her hip.

According to Lt. Mike Richardson of the Criminal Investigative Division the Investigation revealed that two females met at the park on North 9th Street to fight because of an argument that occurred on social media (twitter). Multiple individuals were present at the fight and when one of the subjects involved was being jumped on by three people the sibling of thefight victim brandished a firearm and shot two rounds resulting in one of those rounds striking Ms. Burden in the hip.

The incident was captured on two separate cellular phones which helped determine the possible charges.   Lt. Mike Richardson advised 5 females were charged with Affray and shooting suspect was charged with reckless conduct and Affray

Saturday evening about 6:40 units of the Griffin Police Department responded to Georgia Avenue and North 9 th Street to a shooting incident.  Upon arrival officers found a 25 year old female identified a Shehollane Burden of 206 Quincy Avenue had been shot in the leg with a handgun.  Emory Air Flight, based at the Griffin Spalding Airport, was called to transport the victim to the Atlanta Medical Center with injuries not thought to be life threatening.  The hand gun was recovered.  Police indicated there were several black female individuals that had gathered at the scene for a fight.  During the fight Adina High allegedly fired a handgun several times.  She admitted to officers that she had fired the shots. One of the shots struck 25 year old victim in the leg.
Adina and her sister were transported to the Griffin Police Department for further investigation.

 

 

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One person has been arrested and charged after leading  Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a chase into Butts County on Saturday, May 16, 2015 shortly before 9:00 p.m.  Derrick Devon Cousin, 39 years old, of Atlanta,  the driver of the black Chevy Impala, was captured shortly after the chase ended on Hwy. 87 in Flovilla, Georgia along with a female passenger who was not charged. Two passengers, both African American males, possibly in their early 20s, have yet to be captured. Cousin is being charged with fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer and obstruction of an officer, both felonies, along with numerous traffic offenses. The Butts County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources and the Spalding County Aviation Unit participated in the search for the suspects, which lasted for several hours Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Anyone with information regarding the two fugitive suspects may call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 478-994-7048
LAMAR COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT.

LAMAR COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT.

 

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Convicted arsonist Stephen Brehaut was ordered to jail pending a July probation hearing by Superior Court Judge Bill Fears in Lamar County superior court Thursday.

 

Brehaut had been sentenced to 20 years on probation, ordered to pay $109, 241 in restitution and cleanup the Lighthouse Restaurant which he confessed to torching in 2012.

He only did part of the clean-up and was in arrears on his restitution in the amount of $6753.17, having not made a payment since December.

When his case was called Thursday morning, Brehaut told Judge Fears he was represented by a law firm in Thomaston. During a break in the proceedings, officials checked with the law firm and were told they had not been retained to represent Brehaut in the criminal matter.

Confronted with that information by Judge Fears, Brehaut stammered that the firm was advising him on estate matters.

Judge Fears immediately ordered him to jail until a hearing on July 9.

“At that time, we will take up your first offender status. You are looking at some serious prison time. Do not come up here again and tell me you have a lawyer when you don’t,” Judge Fears admonished.

Brehaut was handcuffed in the courtroom and seated with the rest of the cuffed prisoners. Just before noon, He is cruelty being held in the Lamar County Sheriffs Department Jail.
WKEU 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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A single vehicle car crash today on I-75, May 13, 2015, injured two Ontario women after the vehicle was engulfed in flames. The accident occurred near mile marker 185 southbound on I-75 in Monroe County shortly after 12:00 p.m. Evidence from the scene suggests that Ingrid Newberry, 76, was driving her Pontiac Montana in the far right lane, then crossed all lanes of traffic, hitting the median wall. The vehicle then caught fire. Newberry and her passenger, Karen Newberry Nutt, also from Ontario, Canada, were both pulled from the vehicle by Monroe County EMS. Newberry was transported to the Medical Center in critical condition and Nutt was transferred in stable condition.
The cause of the accidentremains under investigation.
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The Griffin City Commissioners met Tuesday night in the meeting room at 100 South Hill Street.
During the meeting the commissioners recognized Amanda Carmichael, with the Finance Department, as the April 2015 “Strongest Link” award recipient. The “Strongest Link” Award is given monthly to a deserving employee who has demonstrated excellent performance and productivity, loyalty, professional pride, and other noteworthy accomplishments.
The Commissioners recognition of Officers of the Griffin Police Department for the awards received at the Annual District Attorney’s Banquet held on May 5, 2015. 
Lt. Mike Richardson – Officer of the Year;
Sgt. Joe Hudson – Heart of a Hero;
Officer Emily Blackmon – Rookie of the Year;
Sgt. Richards Phillips, Officer Pete Spahn and Officer Chardannay Hurst – the Team Work Award; and The Griffin Police Department was awarded the Agency of the Year.  
The Commissioners approved a Proclamation for May 10 through May 16, 2015 as City of Griffin Police Week to coincide with National Police Week, and the day of May 15, 2015 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The Griffin Police Department is sending a two-person delegation to Washington D.C. to escort the Kevin Jordan Family during the week.  Officer Kevin Jordan will be recognized for his service and death in the line of duty,  during the National Memorial Ceremony.  Additionally, flags in the City of Griffin shall be flown at half-staff on May 15. 
The Commissioners also approved a Proclamation declaring the week of May 17-23, 2015 to be National Public Works week and Public Works Week in the City of Griffin.

During the Citizen Comments portion of the meeting Ralph Jones of the Kiwanis Club addressed the board in relation to the Purchase of the Fair Grounds property.  The plan will be reviewed with both City and County Officials and the FAA to see if the plan is within the requirements  of the FAA  for the sale of FAA Government Property.
After much discussion and by a 4/3 vote the commissioners denied a request for a Special Use Permit to allow an Adult Day Care Center to operate at 127 West Solomon Street, submitted by Cambridge House Enrichment Center.  The property is zoned Central Business District (CBD) which requires a special use permit to allow a daycare to operate at this location.
The Commissioners aapproved lifting from the table and dismissal of a request for a variance from Section 708, Medium Density Residential (MDR), of the City of Griffin Unified Development Code to subdivide a lot creating two non-conforming lots, for property located at 728 East Tinsley Street/228 Morris Street, it was discovered that the two lots are already zoned as two separate locations.
The Board approved a contract with PKF Consulting USA to conduct a feasibility study for a downtown hotel & convention center development. The cost of the study will be shared between the City of Griffin, Spalding County and the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority as approved in the memorandum of understanding on April 14, 2015.  The accepted proposal cost $31,000 and the City of Griffin will be responsible for 1/3 of the contract amount or $10,333. 
The Board also approved a contract with Preservation South, LLC to conduct an existing conditions report for the old  City Hall, which is on the historical buildings list of Griffin. The recommendations of the report will be used to estimate rehabilitation cost for this facility.  The cost of the study will be $5,000, which will give  an estimated rehabilitation cost.  Funds were not budgeted for this line item in FY 15. The funds will be taken from Commissioners’ Professional Services.
The Board approved tiered Distribution Generation Tariff for customers in all areas served by the City of Griffin. Recent State Legislation has mandated utilities allow a minimum of 177 kW distributed energy plants on their systems.  The tiered tariff, as discussed at a recent Board of Commissioners’ workshop, will prepare the City for the growth of distributed energy systems for many years to come.  Approximately 77% of the City’s purchased power costs are fixed plant costs.  The tariff will ensure that the City’s energy plant commitments are met. 
The Commissioners appointed Commissioner Joann Todd and Electric Director Bill Bosch as an alternate to represent the City of Griffin at the Annual MEAG meeting and board election, July 14, 2015.
The Board approved a budget amendment resolution reallocating funds for the settlement of Rights of Way for the Still Branch Regional  Reservoir  in the amount of $20,400.00.  The reallocation of funds is necessary to pay for legal fees and payments to the claimants for the acquisition of right-of-way on the transmission pipeline coming from the Still Branch Regional Reservoir back to Griffin.