Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger.

Photo Courtesy of Walter Geiger.


A Lamar County man was severely injured when he lost control of his vehicle and was struck by a 18 wheeler on Hwy. 41 South near its intersection with Fredonia Church Road in Lamar County.  The accident occurred about noon Friday.

The victim was driving a green Saturn. The Saturn was southbound on Hwy. 41 just east of the Fredonia Church intersection when, according to witnesses, the driver crossed the centerline into the northbound lane where it was struck by a Conway tractor trailer rig that was headed north.

The truck driver was not injured. The impact knocked the Saturn into a field on the north side of the highway. Firefighters, deputies and other emergency personnel worked to extricate the driver from the Saturn. Emory Air Flight helicopter air ambulance landed in a field adjacent to the highway to transport the victim to the Trauma Unit at the Macon Medical Center for treatment. The victim was alive when the Helicopter Air Ambulance departed for the trauma center. His condition was extremely critical.

Investigators said the driver was James Hawkins.  He is in critical but stable condition at the Macon Medical Center. Hawkins works at Mid Georgia Service Center in Forsyth. He graduated from Lamar County High School and lives in Barnesville. 

He is married to his wife Airica Lauren Hawkins and they have a young child.
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


 easter bunny

One of the areas favorite family events the 2015 Easter Bunny Hunt was held Thursday Night April 2 ND and was broadcast on WKEU AM 1450.

Thousands of local residents and their families participated in the Easter Bunny Hunt.  Six little stuffed bunnies were hidden around the City of Griffin and clues were read on WKEU AM 1450 beginning about 7:45.  Thousands of dollars in prizes were awarded to the six lucky winners.

The WKEU van was located at the Main Office Downtown of the First National Bank which is our broadcast headquarters for the Bunny Hunt, and Black Cat Hunts.

The broadcast hosts for the evening was WKEU’s Ted Taylor, and Tony Broski., we especially wish to thank not only Ted and Tony, but Donna Taylor, Lee Taylor, Ronnie Lowe. Larry Johnson, for their untiring efforts to insure the Hunts success.  Especially to our sponsors that made the broadcast possible.  Chuck Copeland and his staff at the First National Bank that always supports all family and youth events in our community.  And their assistance of providing their facilities as the Broadcast Main location of our Ester Bunny and Black Cat Hunts each Year.

Most of all the Great Businesses and Sponsors that made the broadcast possible by not only with their advertising support to WKEU but to our area families in the Griffin area by providing all the prizes for the hunts each year. It’s because of businesses like these, the First National Bank that make Griffin Georgia a great place to live and raise a family.

Bunny number 1 was found by Jody Bell of Griffin at Orchard Hill Post Office.

Bunny number 2 was claimed by Leeanne Gregg of Williamson found the Bunny at the old Anderson’s Restaurant.

Bunny number 3 went to Michelle Gregory and was located at South Side Baptist Church.

Bunny number 4 was found by Mary Passmore, found at McIntosh Trail close to the North Expressway.

Bunny number 5 was found hiding Tyler Metts of Griffin found the Bunny Hiding at Norcom on Carver Road.

Bunny number 6 was located by Lauren Redmond of Williamson she found number 6 at the City Archives Office close to the old Sam Bailey Building.


Spalding County Fire Chief Kenny West announced today the promotion of Captain Willie Lyons to Battalion Chief. A panel style interview process was conducted and Captain Lyons was named to the position.



Battalion Chief Lyons began his career with the Spalding County Fire Department in January 1992 as a Firefighter. Throughout his career, Lyons has worked to obtain advanced certifications in Fire Investigations, technician levels of Hazardous Materials Technician, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trench Rescue Technician and Rope Rescue Technician. Battalion Chief Lyons is an active member of the Georgia Search and Rescue Team.

Battalion Chief Lyons was born and raised in Spalding County. He has worked his way through the ranks within the Spalding County Fire Department being promoted to Lieutenant in 1999 and Captain in 2005.

Spalding County Fire Chief Kenny West stated that, “Lyon’s knowledge and understanding of the position of Battalion Chief will serve this department and community well. Willie has been and will continue to be a valuable part of the Spalding County Fire Department.”

For more information, contact Spalding County Fire Department at (770)228-2129.






A local memorial service is scheduled for Saturday in Barnesville at 3 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene on Veterans Parkway for Jason Shirey age 39 assistant City Manager, who worked for over 9 years for the City of Barnesville.  He was initially the Project Manager on the Water Treatment Plant Project for OMI.

Shirey became ill about three and a half weeks ago. He thought he had a cold or sinus problems. He had experienced sinus issues before. A trip to the doctor resulted in a diagnosis of pneumonia and he was prescribed antibiotics and steroids. He took both prescriptions fully but still was no better and finally went to the emergency room on a Sunday night.X-rays showed pneumonia in both lungs and he was given a different antibiotic. His breathing was labored and he could walk only 20-30 feet.  He ran every day and once ran marathons. Last Wednesday, he returned to the doctor and X-rays showed two new spots of pneumonia on his lungs.

He got progressively worse Thursday morning. His breathing became so labored he asked his mother to call 911 at about 11 a.m. He stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest at his Redbud Drive home. EMTs were unable to revive him.

Funeral services for Shirey were held Sunday at Chapman Funeral Home in Swainsboro.He was buried with full Masonic rites at the Sardis Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery near Kite, Georgia.

WKEU joins with our listening community in Lamar County offer our sincere sympathy to the Family an the Barnesville employees that knew him so well.


Spalding County 4-H Awards from Northwest 4-H District Project Achievement



Six Hundred Seventy Five 4-H members from 36 counties in northwest Georgia competed against each other at Rock Eagle 4H Center during District Project Achievement. This was the culmination of project work done during the last 12 months. 4-H members gave oral presentations and completed project portfolios for this competition. Spalding County took 34 participants. Carrianna Simmons, 2014-2015 Senior District Board Officer served in a leadership capacity during the weekend. Isabel Rutledge was a candidate for Northwest District Senior Board of Directors which she won and will serve on this board for the 2015-2016 school year. Eight 4-H members won the opportunity to compete, in their project areas, on the State level during 4-H State Congress in July: Dani Gibson, Isabel Rutledge, Hannah Rutledge, Tyler Gibson, Elizabeth Evans, Abigail Rutledge, Nathaniel Haulk, and Annabeth Branton.

Those placing in project competition are as follows.

1st place winners:

Name                                                 Project

Isabel Rutledge                                Companion Animal

Hannah Rutledge                            Food Safety & Preservation

Dani Gibson                                     Veterinary Science

Tyler Gibson                                    Outdoor Recreation

Elizabeth Evans                               Health 

2nd place winners:

Abigail Noulis                                   History

Nathanial Haulk                               Physical, Biological, Earth Science

Addy Burrow                                     Target Sports

Will Alexander                                  Science of Engineering & Mechanics

Gabriel Whitlock                               Plant and Soil Science

Anna Mayo                                       Environmental Science

Emily Resmondo                             General Recreation

3rd place winners:

Jessie Bohler                                    Performing Arts Vocal

Jenna Mae Paz                                Sports

Korre Trimble                                    Cat Care

Rebecca Haulk                                Crafts

Emily Ruiz                                         Veterinary Science



Units of the Spalding Sheriff’s Department, Spalding Fire Department, Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State patrol, and Spalding EMS responded to the scene of a one vehicle accident at 3841 Newnan Road. The accident occurred about 12:45 am Wednesday morning.

Upon arrival Sheriffs Deputies found that the driver was still inside the overturned Oldsmobile vehicle.  The Spalding Fire Department had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the driver from the vehicle. Initial reports indicated that the driver had lacerations on his face and hands.   He was alert and talking with EMT and Investigators when he was taken to Spalding Regional for treatment. The accident was close to Jacquelyn Lane and about 20 feet off the roadway.

The accident remains under investigation by Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol, and more information is expected to be released later.



Two suspects wanted in connection with a murder in Kansas from 1992 were arrested in Monroe County on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Authorities in Kansas obtained a lead that Kelly J. Jones and Roger Jones, Sr. were living and working at a local campground. Last Thursday, an investigator from the MCSO along with an investigator from the Ford County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) made contact with a female employee at the KOA Campground named Jan Garner. Garner matched a description given in the lead of Kelly J. Jones obtained by FCSO and investigators confirmed that Garner was an alias being used by Kelly Jones. Her arrest yielded information leading to the arrest of her husband, Roger. The couple had been employed by and living at the KOA Campground since sometime in 2014. A search warrant was also served on March 26 on the camper and vehicle owned by the couple and investigators discovered evidence of multiple identities being used by the couple during their years as fugitives. All evidence was turned over to the Ford County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas.

In 2011, America’s Most Wanted featured a story on the fugitives. A description of the incident can be found at A excerpt from the site is included below:

“Roger and his wife Kelly Jones are wanted in connection with a 1992 murder in Kansas. They were aired as BOLO alert cases in 2011.On April 13, 1992, a survey crew found the body of 25-year old Patrick Howe on a roadside ditch just west of Dodge City, Kansas. An investigation determined that Patrick was beaten and strangled to death and that the murder took place at the motel where he worked. The motel was run by Roger and Kelly Jones, Roger had met Patrick in Colorado and brought him to Dodge City to help manage his motel. Investigators believed that Roger killed Patrick in a rage when Patrick told Roger that he wanted to move in with family in Oklahoma.  Arrest warrants were issued in 1996 when investigators had enough evidence to charge Roger and Kelly in connection with the murder.


 ga trooper badge

Marlene and Thomas Proctor dance at their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009. The two happened upon a wreck where Thomas saved a truck driver from his burning truck cab and Marlene wrapped him in blankets to keep him from going into shock.

Marlene and Thomas Proctor dance at their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009. The two happened upon a wreck where Thomas saved a truck driver from his burning truck cab and Marlene wrapped him in blankets to keep him from going into shock.


A Pike County man saved a truck driver’s life after he wrecked his tractor trailer into the woods near the Flint River bridge on Highway 362 and the cab caught on fire. According to Cpl. D. Stewart of Georgia State Patrol Post 34, the driver was Decota Thomas, 25, of Griffin. Cpl. Stewart said the wreck caused lacerations to his face, a bloody nose and an injured shoulder after his truck left the roadway, hit several trees, buckled the vehicle’s frame and punctured the fuel tank – but he was lucky to be alive.

“After the truck rammed into the woods, the trees caught the cab and rolled the tractor trailer on its left side and at some point, the diesel tanks were punctured and came in contact with the heat from the engine compartment,” said Cpl. Stewart. “The driver was entrapped by his seat belt.”That’s when 76-year-old Thomas Proctor of Williamson stepped in. According to his wife Marlene Proctor, when they arrived at the scene of the wreck, others had gathered around the truck’s cab and the driver was shouting for help as the fire crept toward him.

Her husband gave the driver a knife to cut the seatbelt that was holding him in but he was unable to cut the safety belt free.

“When we arrived, the truck had started blazing and smoking and I didn’t know if my husband was going to be blown to bits, but I was yelling, ‘You’ve got to save him, you’ve got to save him.’ It was frightening. He was screaming for his life,” she said. “My husband went into the truck and cut the seatbelt off him and drug him out of the window.”

Cpl. Stewart said it appeared the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel, especially since he did not remember how the wreck occurred and there were no indications that he applied the brakes at all before hitting the trees. He said there were also no indications of mechanical malfunctions that would have led to the wreck. Cpl. Stewart said he has no doubts that Proctor saved the young man’s life.

“The entire cab was engulfed in flames; it burnt everything in the cab and even melted the engine components,” he said. “Mr. Proctor was a genuine hero. If it hadn’t been for him stepping in and helping out, it would have been a tragic wreck.”

Marlene Proctor said she is always prepared with supplies and since they were returning from a test run to Roanoke, Alabama to find the best route to carry cattle to a sale yard there, she had blankets in their vehicle.

“We put blankets around him to try to keep him from going into shock and stayed with him to try to keep him awake and alert,” she said. “My husband will be 77 on his birthday in June, but he is still very strong and very active and he works hard all the time. When his girls found out what he did, they were really proud of him. He got some burns on his hands and he is keeping antibiotics on them but when it comes to saving a life, of course most anybody is going to do what they have to.”



 griffin pd badge

robbery suspect

On March 17, 2015, Officer’s with the Griffin Police Department responded to 837 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA (Amin’s Food Mart) in reference to an armed robbery in progress.  According to the clerk, a black male wearing all black and a black ski mask entered the store and brandished what appeared to be a silver semi-automatic pistol and demanded money.  The suspect then locked the clerk in the office and fled the scene on foot.  The Griffin Police Department Crime Scene Unit and Investigator Sgt. Sommer Bales responded to the scene and took over the investigation. After further investigation Sgt. Bales was able to identify the suspect as Jermaine Lawrence, aka Jermaine McKibben, and determined that he lived at 503 Hallyburton St. in Griffin.  A search warrant was obtain for the residence and during the execution of the warrant the weapon used during the robbery was recovered along with additional evidence from the scene of the robbery.  Unfortunately Lawrence was not present.  Based on the evidence Sgt. Bales obtained arrest warrants for Jermaine Lawrence.  He is currently wanted for Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault with several additional charges pending.  Jermaine Lawrence is considered to be armed and dangerous.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jermaine Lawrence should contact 911 immediately or Sgt. Bales at 770-229-6450, ext. 507.