This Saturday, the Peachstate Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum will host a Celebration of Life ceremony for it’s founder, Ron Alexander.  The facility is located 349 Jonathan’s Roost Rd in Williamson at the Peach State Airport.  Gates open to the public at 10am, with an 11am lunch featuring a DC3 fly by.  Following lunch, there will be a T-6 fly by and the beginning of the celebration, which will include music and a number of speakers, including WKEU’s Bill Taylor.  Once the ceremony is complete, Barnstormer’s Grill will open at 4pm.  For more information about the Celebration of Life of Ron Alexander, head to peachstateaero.com and click on the event schedule.

Two men scheduled to go to trial for four October 2016 shooting deaths on Moccasin Gap Road near Jackson will face the death penalty.  At a hearing in Henry County, district attorney Darius Pattillo filed the notice against the Jacob Cole Kosky and Matthew Baker, Jr, citing in a press release that the murders were outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible and inhuman in that the murders involved depravity of mind.  Both men were arrested after law enforcement officials found four individuals shot inside the home, after a late night bonfire.  Three were pronounced dead at the scene – Keith Gibson of Covington, Matthew Hicks of McDonough, and Sophia Bullard of Thomaston, while another – Destiny Olinger of Jackson was transported to Atlanta but passed away days later.  Kosky faces four counts of malice murder, eight counts of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault, and firearms charges.  Baker faces four counts each of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault. They are both scheduled to appear in court again and be arraigned on Tuesday, April 11.  In order for the state to seek the death penalty, there must be a charge of murder, rape, armed robbery, or kidnapping and have at least one aggravating factor.  There were six factors listed by the district attorney.

 

A Lamar County man suffering from injuries sustained in a house fire passed away this week at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.  As reported two weeks ago, a fire completely destroyed a home at 186 Bowen Road in Milner, on the Lamar and Pike County line.  When firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, the home was already fully involved in the fire.  Resident Gregory Bell, age 61 was immediately transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where he has been in treatment since.  Bell passed away Tuesday in Atlanta.

Just as Spalding County plans to prepare for discussions and public hearings for a Transportation Special

Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST, several surrounding counties overwhelmingly approved SPLOSTs of their own this week.  While the turnout was low in Lamar County at under 6%, voters approved an extension of the one cent sales tax for six more years, by a margin of 491 votes for and 84 against.  The sales tax is expected to bring in just under $10 million, most of which will be utilized by Lamar County and the city of Barnesville for items like roadwork, public facilities renovations, and construction, as well as a recreation area slated for Highway 36.  Milner will also receive a $375,000 chunk of that collection for public park improvements, water and sewer upgrades, and resurfacing.  Neighboring Butts County passed a continuation of its one-cent Education SPLOST, with 86% voting in favor.  It will last for five years and school officials say it should bring in around $18 million for construction and renovation projects across the school system.  In addition, Fayette County received a 10 percent turnout Tuesday and voted by a margin of 70 to 30 to start a one cent sales tax for six years.  It is anticipated to garner $141 million in revenue for transportation, stormwater infrastructure, public safety and facilities improvements.  The money will be split between Fayette County, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Tyrone, and Brooks.  In another March 21 referendum, Upson County voted in favor of Sunday sales for packaged alcohol.

 

 

Work has begun on taking down some of the brick walls that surround the Gordon State College campus, opening up views of the beautiful grounds and removing what was perceived to separate east and west campus.

“This is part of the Master Plan that was adopted in November 2015,” said Tamara Boatwright, GSC Public Information Officer.  “It is one of four principles of the Plan that will improve connectivity between the east and west side of the 235-acre campus, promoting the area as ‘one campus.’”

Some of the walls along Spencer Street — in front of the Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Building, Melton Hall, across College Drive behind the Fine Arts building and a short section of Stafford Avenue, near its intersection with College Drive  – were removed last week during Spring Break while students were off campus.

Other areas on campus will be addressed in the future.

The overall goal of the Master Plan calls for promoting consistency of quality among different program environments and facilities; strengthen the campus with strategic renovations that promote academic collaboration and facility upgrades, and establishing a cohesive arrival experience along College Drive.

The complete Master Plan is available for viewing on the Gordon State College website at http://www.gordonstate.edu/pdf/MASTERPLAN-11-2015.pdf

 

SPALDING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

The Spalding County Commissioners met this week at the county annex and discussed holding  a T-SPLOST referendum November 07, 2017.  They approved to hold 3-5 public hearings for citizen feedback.  With an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City a maximum of 1% could be levied. Without an IGA with the City the maximum would be .75%.
A .1% T-SPLOST would generate approximately $8,400,000 per year but would require an IGA with the City.
A .75% T-SPLOST would generate approximately $6,300,000 per year.  The time limit for a T-SPLOST is a maximum of 5 years.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners:
Approved:  a Joint Proclamation with the City of Griffin honoring Mr. Willie James Gault for his athletic accomplishments and the honor that he has brought to his family and his community.
This joint proclamation was awarded to Mr. Gault at the Induction Ceremony of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame held in Macon, Georgia on February 25th.
Approved:   a Joint Proclamation with the City of Griffin honoring Bonita”Bonnie” Pfrogner for the accomplishments and contributions that she has made to Spalding County and the City of Griffin as the Director of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce.
This proclamation was awarded to Ms. Pfrogner at her retirement party on Tuesday, February 28th.
Approved:    a Proclamation designating the week of April 9-15, 2017 as National Public Safety
Telecommunicators Week.
The week of April 9th through 15th is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It is designated as a time when citizens can thank public safety men and women who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. Americans can show gratitude to 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, communications center personnel, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help you during emergencies.
We are fortunate in Spalding County to have 21 Full-Time and 3 Part time  Telecommunicators, 1 Communications Manager, 1 Training Officer & 1 Administrative Staff Person to serve over 64,000 citizens.
Approved:    a Proclamation designating the month of March 2017,as March for Meals Month in Spalding County.
The Spalding County Meals on Wheels Program currently serves 90 Meals On Wheels 60 years and older clients and serves an additional 268 Congregate Meals Clients (Senior Center).
The commissioners:
Approved:     on second reading: an Application from  Shield of Faith Christian Center, Inc.,
Owner – Brenda Gibbons,Agent – 920 Harlow Avenue (0.74 acres)  – requesting a rezoning from R-2, Single Family Residential, to C-1B, Heavy Commercial.
The Board of Commissioners public hearing and 1st reading was February 23, 2017.
The approval was conditional as follows:
a.  .827 acre tract located at 920 Harlow Avenue shall be combined with adjacent 1.9 acre
      tract located at 916 Harlow Avenue.
  b.  Zoning shall be tied to church and associated uses only.
  c.  All site lighting shall be designed so as not to glare onto adjacent residential properties.
The commissioners:
Approved:  the health insurance renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of GA  for FY2018.
.there is a 3% increase in cost to the county
.the employee specialist co-pay increased from $35 to $45
.the employee regular doctor co-pay remained the same at $25
.formulary drug cost went from $30 to $40
.generic drug cost is a $10 maximum co-pay amount
.the employee monthly payroll deduct is no change
.the changes are effective July 01
The commissioners:
Approved:     a resolution authorizing the issuance of purchasing and/or credit cards for Spalding County Elected Officials and adoption of a Purchasing Card and Credit Card Ordinance.
The Spalding County Purchasing Card Policy is designed to enable authorized elected officials and county employees to purchase supplies, materials and services for County use within the rules and guidelines set forth in the Spalding County Financial Policies
The Board of Commissioners designated cards for the following elected officials:
Chair/CEO/, Commissioners, Coroner, Magistrate Judge, Probate Judge, Sheriff, Superior Court Clerk, Tax Commissioner, Solicitor, and State Court Judge.
Approved:    a lease with Griffin First Assembly at no charge for space to be utilized by the Spalding County Accountability Court for counseling by Judge Esary.
The counseling will be in the Royal Ranger Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm til 7pm.
Approved:   a contract with S.A.F.E. (SavingAnimals From Euthanasia, Inc.) for Spay/Neuter and Vaccination services to the Spalding County Animal Shelter.    S.A.F.E. has been providing these services for the Animal Shelter since 2014.
Approved:   of the Griffin + SpaldingArchway Partnership Memorandum of Understanding for FY18.  The terms of this Agreement shall be from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
Funding for the FY2018 Community Fee is Spalding County Board of Commissioners $20,000,
City of Griffin $20,000, and Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education $20,000.
Approved:     a resolution to clarifying the right of way on Hollonville Road.
There are various Right-of –Way’s depicted along Hollonville Road as shown on various plats and surveys indicating that the Right of Way of Hollonville road is a 60 Foot Right-Of-Way, an 80-foot Right-of-Way, and a 100-Foot Right of Way along the same stretch of road.
Spalding County, disclaims, releases and quitclaims any interest it may have in real property
that extends beyond the 60 foot right of way along Hollonville Road except for that certain portion near the Flint River where it becomes a 100 foot Right of Way.
Approved:    a revised contract Detail Officer agreements for FY2018.
Spalding County has existing agreements FOR USE OF INMATE WORK DETAILS with the City of Griffin; City of Thomaston; Upson County; Fayette County; Henry County;  and the G/S Board of Education.
Approved:   of submission of a grant application to the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank for improvements to the East McIntosh/Hill Street Intersection.
The Project is known as Intersection #3 on North Hill Street Corridor Improvements Projects. Total estimated project cost $1,533,171.  Grant funding $1,220,335 with a local match of $312,842 to come from 2008 SPLOST and 2016 SPLOST proceeds.
Approved:    a Spalding County Policy for Competitive Negotiation Qualifications-based Selection for Projects Using Federal Aid Highway Program (FAHP) Funding.
In order for the County to be LAP (Locally Administered Project) Certified they must adopt this Federal policy for the use of FAHP funds.
Approved:    of Title VI Non-Discrimination Agreement between the Georgia Department of Transportation and Spalding County for Federal Aid Highway Program (FAHP) funded projects.
This is a required agreement for Federal Funded projects.
The commissioners:
Established:  Monday April 17, 9:00AM  for a future workshop to discuss possible transportation projects utilizing 2016 SPLOST proceeds.
The commissioners:
Declared:    surplus weapons that have been forfeit to the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and county owned weapons that have become obsolete. These firearms may not be sold to the general public. The weapons will be available for viewing by licensed dealers and bids will be accepted for the entire lot. Funds received will be used for the purchase of equipment for the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.
Approved:   a request from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to declare surplus K-9 Rex and K-9 Luck.
This transaction will be for retirement of K-9 Rex 8 years of service approx. 11 years old, and K-9 Luck 8.5 years of service approx. 11.5 years old. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to transfer ownership of the canines to their respective handlers. This is customary due to the bond created between the handler and the canine. Both of these canines have served the community well and have reached an age that they are not as able to meet the rigorous demands serving in this capacity.
  Net cost to the County is zero dollars. We are exploring grants and donations to move towards replacing these canines in the future. Whatever balance is left to purchase new canines will be funded from asset forfeiture.
Construction on the Pickle Ball Complex was slowed by rain  but is still scheduled for completion by 05/15/17.  Commissioner Hawbaker asked the board about seeking a Corporate Sponsor for maybe $400,000 and naming the center after them? It was discussed but no action was taken.

A Spalding County man was arrested last weekend after leading law enforcement on a high speed chase through parts of three counties.  Pike County officials attempted a traffic stop on a car driven by John Leatherwood, age 37 on Williamson-Zebulon Road, but he sped away onto Highway 19 into Griffin and then onto Highway 92 towards Fayette County, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.  During the chase, officials say that bags of methamphetamines were dumped from the vehicle.  During a pit maneuver attempt by the state patrol on Highway 92, Leatherwood tried to go around it, but drove off the roadway and struck a tree.  Leatherwood and a passenger were both arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamines.  In addition, Leatherwood faces a number of traffic violations related to the chase.

The Griffin Police Department would like to announce two
newly promoted Sergeants. Sergeant Reggie Sutton and Sergeant Tony Brown will both be tasked with helping supervise one of the four Uniform Patrol Shifts.  They both have a combined 20 plus years’ experience in Law Enforcement.  The police department says it is proud of them and their accomplishments.  Also, the Griffin Police Department would like to announce two newly graduated police officers. Officers Michael Betsill and Joseph Stoy have both successfully completed the required 404 hours of the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course set for by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Please help us in congratulating these individuals on their achievements.

 

 

Six hundred and three 4-H members from 36 counties in northwest Georgia competed at the Rock Eagle 4H Center during District Project Achievement. Which is the culmination of project work done over the last 12 months. 4-H members are required to give oral presentations and completed project portfolios for this competition.
Spalding County took 39 participants. Hope Stewart, 2016-2017 Junior District Board Vice President served in a leadership capacity during the weekend. Jhaycee Barnes was elected to Junior District Board and will serve in the capacity of Vice-President for the 2017-2018 4-H year that will start in August. Kaylee Collins and Natalie Fowler were also elected as delegates to serve on the Junior District Board. Three 4-H members won the opportunity to compete, in their project areas on the State level during 4-H State Congress in July: Martha Hicks, Gabriel Whitlock and Nathaniel Haulk. Spalding County won the Outstanding Participation award for the weekend.
Those placing in project competition were:

1st place winners:
Bailey Champion, Dairy Foods, Rehoboth Road MD
Kaylee Collins, Outdoor Recreation, Carver Rd Middle
Heather Dorn, Food for Health & Spor,t Rehoboth Road MD
Martha Hicks, Performing Arts Piano, Home
Zaria Owens, Health, Griffin Christian
Jenna Pierce, Photography
Hope Stewart, Performing Arts Genera,l Cowan Road MD
Gabriel Whitlock, Plant and Soil Science, Griffin Christian
Natalie Fowler, Workforce Preparation, Kennedy Road MD

2nd place winners:
Denasha Chandler, Festive Foods, Cowan Road MD
Ny’Terriyae Davis, Wildlife, Rehoboth Road MD
Heath Dorn, Plant and Soil Science, Rehoboth Road MD
Nathanial Haulk, Environmental Science, Spalding High
Tyler Gibson, Science of Engineering and Mechanics, Home
Elyce Wages, Science of Engineering and Mechanics, Cowan Road MD

3rd place winners:
Jhaycee Barnes, Performing Arts Genera,l Carver Road MD
Jacob Hayes, Physical, Biological, Earth Science, Cowan Road MD

Authorities in Thomaston have advised that the body of a Ft. Valley man was found early Friday near a hunting camp in Upson County.


Upson sheriff Dan Kilgore said the body was found in a remote area off Triune Mill Road in southeastern portion of Upson County..

The dead man was been identified as Troy Maine Johnson, Age  33. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called into the investigation. The Upson County Coroner has had the body transported to the state crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. .