Griffin-Spalding County School System will be closed for Friday. Teachers need to report at 10:00. Superintendent Jim Smith has advised WKEU news that many areas of the county are still coping with icy roads that have not thawed completely and  the falling temperatures will allow many secondary roads are still dangerous has promoted the decision to cancel school for Friday for all students.  The staff will report to all schools and central office for a delayed work day form 10:00 am until 4:30 pm.

Also Pike County and Lamar County will have all staff report at 10:00 with students returning to class on Monday Morning at the regular time.

Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger and Barnesville Herald Gazette.

A weather related accident in Lamar County on Wednesday took the life of an  18 year old female, a resident of Yatesville Road in Lamar County.  The individual was identified as Kala Hyder formerly of Williamson. She had moved to Lamar County recently.

She was a passenger in a pickup truck traveling south bound on Yatesville Road when the driver hit an icy portion of the roadway, and ran off the east side of the road and went nose first into a culvert.
The truck flipped and the female victim was partially ejected and trapped under the truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  A male who was driving the truck was shaken up but not seriously injured. 
Lamar County coroner Jim Smith had Ms. Hyder’s body transported to the state crime lab in Atlanta for a determination as to the exact cause of death. 

On January 4, 2018 Spalding County Deputies responded to the area of 1650 North Hills Street regarding an armed robbery. Deputies discovered that the victim had arranged to purchase a firearm from a private individual and that the purchase had been arranged on-line. While meeting the seller pointed the weapon at the victim demanded money, and once the money was turned over, the suspects fled.

Based on information gathered during the investigation, a suspect,




Delano Lee Watts, was developed and warrants were issued for his arrest on multiple charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. After investigators linked him to the gangster disciples, warrants were also issued charging Watts with 5 counts of violation of the Georgia street gang act and were actively seeking him.

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “Our investigators began following leads and were able to locate Watt’s girlfriends’ house using photos and information gathered from social media. After locating the residence Investigators were able to set up surveillance. On January 6, 2018 investigators with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit and C.A.G.E Unit located Watts at the residence and took him in to custody without incident.

Once Watts was secured, Investigators obtained a search warrant and located the weapon used in the armed robbery. When the weapon was checked it was found that it had been stolen from a location in Corpus Christie Texas. Ironically, Watts had checked in on Facebook from Corpus Christie in the same time frame that the theft occurred.”

Dix continued, “I think our Special Op’s, C.A.G.E. Unit, and Criminal Investigators did an outstanding job in making this arrest. They thought outside the box and came up with a creative way to locate and arrest this suspect. They did the background investigation that lead to charging Watts under the criminal gang act, and recovered a stolen weapon. Everyone from the first responding Deputies all the way through to the Investigators did an exemplary job in solving this crime and getting another gang member off the street.”

The investigation is ongoing and investigators are still interviewing witnesses and developing leads. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind citizens to use caution when conducting transactions arranged on-line. The front parking lot at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has a designated exchange site that is under video surveillance and is accessible 24 hours a day for your use.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and LexisNexis Risk Solutions, recently partnered to provide a new way for the public to stay informed about crime in Spalding County. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office now has an online crime map called Community Crime Map ( that maps and analyzes crime data, alerts Spalding County citizens about crimes in their area, and allows the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to quickly alert the public about crimes as they occur.
Spalding citizens can view a map and grid with all of the crimes in their area, sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically email a breakdown of recent crime activity, and submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to their law enforcement agency. Community Crime Map automatically syncs with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office records system to keep crime information updated online and in the mobile app. Community Crime Map cleans and geocodes the crime data, then displays all of the incidents on a map, grid and analytics dashboard along with some basic information about the incidents, including the type of crime, location type, block-level address, date and time.
For additional information go to:

Today, January 4th, 2018, I wish to announce my candidacy for the Georgia House of Representatives District Seat 130. Edie and I have discussed this opportunity and agree that placing my name in this election is the right thing to do for our community.

I am a native of Griffin, Georgia where I graduated in 1976 from Griffin High School. I am a 1980 graduate from North Georgia College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, I was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Engineer Corps. In 1991 I left active duty to join the United States Army Reserves to return to Griffin to assist with my father’s business and raise my family. I worked in Real Estate and law enforcement until recalled to active duty for Operation Desert Storm. I returned to Griffin as General Manager for Dan J Smith Distributors, Inc from 1996 to 2008. I then worked with PetroSouth Inc. as the Central Division Manager from 2008 to 2015. I am currently retired from the United States Army and the petroleum industry.

I worked toward my Masters Degree in Business Administration with Embry Riddle Aeronautical College while serving on active duty. I was elected and served as a member and Chairperson (2003-2008) of the Griffin-Spalding Board of Education from 2000-2008. I was a member and Chairperson of the Griffin-Spalding Educational Foundation and the Griffin-Spalding Partners in Education. I have been a member of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce since 1999. As Past President of the Griffin Daybreak Rotary Club (2008-2009), I was awarded the Sheffield Leadership Award. I was also awarded the “FOLLOW ME” leadership award by Rotary International District 6900 as the Assistant Governor of the Year in 2012. In 2016-2017 I was nominated and selected as the Rotary International District Governor for District 6900, comprised of over 4200 Rotarian’s in 69 clubs. In 2011, I was elected to the Spalding County Board of Commissioners, Second District Seat where I am serving in the last year of my second term as a Spalding County Commissioner.

I am happily married to the former Edith Dallas of Griffin, Georgia. Edith and I have five children between us and eight grandchildren.  Edith and I are members of the First Baptist Church of Griffin. My life priorities include God, family, country, education, children’s health with a passion for Rotary!

All my life has been about service. My years of service in the military as well as those serving in community and civic leadership positions total over 48 years. My local experience as a Griffin-Spalding Board of Education member/Chair and a Spalding County Commissioner has provided me the experience and knowledge to continue my service for the citizens of  District Seat 130. Over the next few months, we will be out and about discussing the issues and working to improve our communities. I will be requesting your assistance and vote.

I look forward to seeing and speaking to each of you soon. I thank you.

Raymond T Ray, Jr.
Candidate, District Seat 130
Georgia House of Representatives

On January 4, 2018 at 5:06 p.m. deputies responded to 1650 North Hill Street to a report of an armed robbery. The victim reported that she arranged an online purchase of a firearm from a private individual. During the exchange, the seller pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded money. The victim handed over an undisclosed amount of money and the perpetrator fled the scene in a black 4-door sedan (possibly a Toyota Corolla). The perpetrator was a passenger in the black sedan that was occupied by two other individuals.
Deputies and investigators responded to the scene and developed a suspect. The suspect has been identified as 21 year old Delano Lee Watts, a.k.a. “Movie”, “La’familia Movie” and “Mexico Movie”.
Arrest warrants were issued on Watts charging him with the following offenses:
Armed robbery with a firearm
Aggravated assault with a firearm
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime
Theft by receiving stolen property (firearm)
Watts has been identified by the Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement (CAGE) unit as a member of the Gangster Disciples. He has been charged under the Georgia street gang terrorism and prevention act for criminal gang activity (5 counts)
Spalding investigators are actively seeking Watts and consider him armed and dangerous. Investigators are also attempting to identify the driver and passenger in the black vehicle seen fleeing from the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Trahan with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office. He can be reached at 770-467-4282 or All callers can remain anonymous.



On January 5, 2018, members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division, at the request of the Griffin Spalding County School System, initiated a K-9 deployment at the parking lot of Spalding High School.
During the deployment, agents located a quantity of marijuana, alcohol, a TASER and several knives.
After a K-9 alert, agents searched a Spalding High School teachers’ vehicle that was parked in the student parking lot. During the search, agents located less than an ounce of marijuana. The teacher was identified as Jordan Hale of a Griffin address. Hale was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, less than one ounce and possession of marijuana, less than an ounce, within 1000’ feet of a school.
A juvenile was also arrested and charged with possession of a weapon (knife) on school grounds.
According to Sheriff Darrell Dix “No matter what your stance is on marijuana, school is not the place for it .We will continue to vigorously work and partner with the Griffin Spalding School System to cease weapons and narcotic activity in our schools.”