Lieutenant General Retired Bill Caldwell President of Georgia Military College (GMC) in Milledgeville

PRESIDENT GMC COLLEGE LTG (R) WILLIAM R. CALDWELL                                                          

has announced that Pike County and Zebulon have been approved for an extension of the GMC campus in Fayetteville. Pike county was selected due to its unique location, community, and welcoming from the City and County Commissioners from the very beginning of negotiations.

Lieutenant General (R) Caldwell will be at the WKEU studios for an interview on Wednesday.

WKEU’s Bill Taylor made the initial contact with


GMC vice president Brigadier General retired Curt Rauhut who was originally from Fayetteville and was well aware of the Pike and Zebulon areas. The work with Taylor and the GMC officials began in 2014. Taylor indicated that GMC officials are extremely excited for the support they received in Pike County and the facility.

Most instrumental for this area acquiring the college was


State Representative Johnnie Caldwell, who has been a huge supporter of GMC over the years and saw the future of the district with the location in Zebulon for GMC.  We talked with State Representative Caldwell who stated this is a huge move for the entire district and beyond.  Caldwell said that GMC is a very unique college, one of only 5 in the entire nation, that was founded in 1879 and they are not only a junior college with 11 campuses, but they are, like the other four in the nation, a prep school for the service academies allowing those young individuals desiring a military career to attend the “corps of cadets” in Milledgeville for two years. Upon graduation students are commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and then completing the last two years at any service academy they desire. 80 percent of the GMC students are not members of the Military Corps of Cadets and the military programs are only offered in Milledgeville.  Students may attend one of the more than 40 universities or colleges which GMC has articulation agreements.

The Zebulon GMC campus will be in the same complex with the City Offices on South 19, which was a school that was renovated in 2007.  Representatives of GMC visited the location about 3 weeks ago indicating that the facility is one of the best ever for an extension campus. Wiring for computers and all necessary furnishings will be accomplished by GMC and the facility is expected to be ready by the first of the year.


Brigadier General Rock Donahue, Director of the Fayetteville Campus, has indicated that the opening for students will be in early 2018, possibly as early as March.

All Zebulon commissioners and Pike Commissioners have given their total support to GMC and stated they are very proud and excited to have this great academy in Zebulon to serve students in the district. GMC officials said this was one of the main factors in their choosing Zebulon and Pike County for their new extension campus.

The Zebulon Commissioners will be voting on the final approval on Tuesday, August  8th.

Work on the facility is expected to begin in the next few days or weeks.


Gordon State College Public Information Officer Tamara Boatwright has announced that  President Max Burns has announced his plans to retire effective December 31, 2017.

“It has been my great honor to serve as president of Gordon State College,” said Burns. “I have been fortunate to have a dedicated team of colleagues, all of whom have made significant contributions to student success at Gordon State College throughout the course of my term. The support from the Barnesville community is also one of Gordon State’s biggest strengths, and the strong partnership benefits students and the region alike. I’ll always be cheering for Gordon State, which has an incredibly bright future.”

Burns was named president of Gordon State College in January 2012. Prior to being named president, he served as dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia.

“The success of Gordon State College can be directly attributed to President Burns’ outstanding leadership,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “President Burns’ emphasis on creating learning opportunities and building a campus community that cares about its students has helped Gordon State achieve greater student success. On behalf of the University System, we are grateful to Max for his commitment to Gordon State’s students and the State of Georgia.”

Under Burns’ leadership, Gordon State’s graduation rate has increased by 12 percent and the full-time, first-time freshman student retention rate has increased by 24 percent. The college has also updated its strategic plan, initiated the Gordon State College Presidential Scholars program and added $25 million in new and renovated facilities.

Additionally, since 2012, Gordon State has changed how it supports students, starting with those in need, by increasing the number of scholarships awarded by 81 percent and increasing the dollar value of scholarships awarded by 125 percent. The Gordon State College Foundation endowment has increased by 31 percent.

In regards to academic programs, under Burns’ leadership, the college has experienced significant achievements, including the development of six new baccalaureate degrees focused on high demand professional programs, bringing the total number of baccalaureate programs at Gordon State College to 13. The college has also implemented 13 associate degree programs to meet regional and state workforce needs. Gordon State has received accreditation reaffirmation from SACSCOC through 2027.

Burns holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Georgia State University, a Master of Business Information Systems from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Information regarding the search for Burns’ replacement will be announced at a later date.




Five teenagers were rescued overnight Saturday after calling 911 and reporting that they had overturned a boat on the Flint River. The caller stated that they did not know the exact location they were at , and only knew that they were between Flat Shoals Road and Highway 18. Sheriff’s Deputies made an initial check of the area and requested additional resources to further check the large area.

Department of Natural Resources, Pike County Fire and EMA and Upson County EMA responded and after several hours located the teenagers. All of the victims were returned safely with no injuries.









911 dispatch notified the Griffin Police of a three vehicle collision on the North Expressway close to Crestview church Sunday afternoon.  The accident sent several individuals to area hospitals and closed the southbound lanes of highway 19/41. Traffic was routed through the Belks shopping center parking lot.  Units from the Griffin Police Department, Griffin Fire Rescue and 3 ambulances from Spalding Regional EMS responded to the scene. Two Troopers from the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol also responded to the scene. Initial reports indicated that two individuals were sent to Egleston Scottish Right Hospital in Atlanta, Two to the Atlanta Medical Center, who were identified as Johnny and Samantha Lowrimore, of Wesley Drive Griffin, and one individual to Spalding Regional. The inclement weather at the time kept helicopter air ambulances grounded until a storm passed. The incident is being investigated by the Griffin Post of the Georgia State Patrol and more information is expected  to be release later.


About 8:05 Sunday night units of the Spalding Sheriffs Department, Spalding Fire Department and Spalding Regional EMS responded to the trailer park on Wood Road near Sunny Side to the scene of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival at the scene fire department personel said that a female resident of lot 14 just off wood road was complaining of a knee injury after being struck by a vehicle.  Investigators indicated that the incident was possibly domestic related.

The Georgia Department of Transportation and Zebulon Police Department have been notified by the contractor of scheduled lane closures next week for maintenance work along US 19/SR 3; on the western side of the Courthouse. Weather permitting; work will be performed daily, Monday through Wednesday beginning at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Motorists should expect slower moving traffic and delays along US 19/SR 3; Main Street during construction times. There will be no parking and a left lane closure along the western side of the Courthouse. This lane closure will allow crews to work more safely and quickly as they improve the turning radius from Main Street onto SR 18.

Drivers are urged to slow down and proceed cautiously through this work zone.

Griffin Police continue an investigation piecing together information on a Tuesday night incident, where two individuals were shot in the Waterford Subdivision.  According to reports from the police department, one individual was shot in the leg and the other was grazed.  The victims were identified as Senquavious Dyquan Driver, age 18, and former Spalding High School football player A.J. Moses, also age 18.  Both were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.  Investigators are on the lookout for a gray Nissan Altima, which was identified as the vehicle that pulled into the front of 128 Crystal Brook from which multiple shots were fired.  Investigators also questioned multiple witnesses at the scene, but no description of the suspect or suspects could be obtained.  Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Detective Cary Jackson at 770-229-6452 ext. 535, or email cjackson@cityofgriffin.com


 The Board of Commissioners of the City of Griffin, Georgia will conduct public hearings on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in their Workshop and at 6:00 p.m. in their Regular Scheduled Meeting for the purpose of receiving public comment on a proposal to amend the Charter of the City of Griffin, 2004 Ga. Laws, p. 4232, as amended, to change the title of the At-Large Commissioner to “MAYOR”, with the duty to preside over all meetings of the Commission and perform the other traditional duties of a Mayor as now performed by the Commission Chairperson. Both hearings will be held in the W. Elmer George Municipal Hall, One Griffin Center, 2d Floor, 100 S. Hill Street, Griffin, GA 30223.

The present Charter provides for an elected governing body, under a “Commission-Manager” form of government. Commissioners are elected from 6 single-member districts, apportioned based upon population, and an At-Large Commissioner. The Chairperson is elected annually by the Commission and cannot succeed himself. The Chairperson appoints a Chairperson pro tem on an annual basis to serve during his absence or disability.

The proposed Charter change, to be introduced as a local or special act of the General Assembly at its 2018 General Session, would retain the present form of government. The title of the At-Large Commissioner would change to MAYOR; the Mayor would retain all duties of the At-Large Commissioner, and would serve as the Commission’s presiding officer, performing those added duties now vested in its Chairperson. The Mayor would annually appoint a Mayor pro tem.

If local legislation is approved by the General Assembly, a referendum will be conducted for all qualified City electors, in conjunction with the Statewide Primary Election to be held May 22, 2018, to consider the Charter amendment. If approved by a majority of the electors voting in the referendum, candidates for Mayor would run in the General Municipal Election (Non-Partisan), to be held November 6, 2018, for a four (4) year term, commencing effective January 1, 2019.

A draft of the proposed amendment is available for inspection and copying in the City Manager’s office, One Griffin Center, 3rd Floor, during regular office hours. Citizens and electors desiring to comment on the proposed Charter change may attend either hearing and address the Commission, or comments may be filed, in writing, with Executive Secretary Teresa Watson prior to close of business on August 22, 2017, either in person, by mail addressed to: P. O. Box T, Griffin, GA 30224, or by email addressed to: twatson@cityofgriffin.com.

It is the policy of the City of Griffin to ensure that communications with participants and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. The City will make reasonable accommodations where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, any program, service, or activity conducted by the City, including its public hearings. Persons desiring accommodation should contact ADA Coordinator Miles Neville, at (770) 233-2923 as far in advance of the hearing as possible.








On August 2, 2017 at approximately 9:46 Deputies with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to 1343 Apt B Jackson Street Griffin, GA to attempt serve an arrest warrant for battery on Stephen Blanton. Deputies searched the area for the wanted person but were unable to locate him.

While still on scene, Deputies found Felix Brownlee and William Brownlee in the back yard of the residence with a brown and white dog. The dog was chained to a tree with the other end of the chain around its neck. The men had a pair of channel lock pliers and they were pulling on the chain when the Deputies observed that it was deeply embedded in the flesh of the dog’s neck.

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, “The chain had been on the dog’s neck for such a long period of time that as the dog grew its flesh had actually grown over and through the links of the chain and it was under its skin. It was horrible and the dog was in considerable pain. The photographs taken at the scene are disturbing”

Spalding County Animal Control was contacted, took custody of the dog, and transported it to a local Veterinary hospital for treatment.

Dix continued, “Based on the investigation and the Veterinarian’s observations, Jennifer Brownlee, William Brownlee and Felix Brownlee were arrested and charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals which is a felony.  All three have been taken in to custody and are being held in the Spalding County Jail.”

According to Sheriff Dix, “Initially it was thought that the dog, “Jake”, would have to be euthanized. After consulting further with the Veterinarian it was determined that instead of euthanizing Jake, surgery would be conducted to remove approximately 7 inches of skin as deep as 3 inches from his neck in order to fix the damage caused by the chain. The surgery was completed yesterday and as of this morning Jake is doing fine. Captain Keith Duncan, Sgt. Michael Chadwick, Corporal Ryan Bowlden, and I have volunteered to help offset the cost of the surgery and treatment that right now stands at a little over $1000.00. According to the Veterinarian more treatment will be needed before the Jake gets a complete bill of health. If you are interested in helping out you can call Sgt. Chadwick or Corporal Bowlden at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, 770-467-4282 for more information.”



It didn’t take long for the jury in the Bobbie Jo Sumner hit and run trial to come back with a guilty verdict Wednesday in Monroe County Superior Court.  Sumner had been accused in the 2013 death of Alexandra Noelle Desir, when she was struck by Sumner’s vehicle in Lamar County.  Closing arguments were presented to the jury late Wednesday afternoon.  After closing, the jury deliberation took less than 45 minutes.  Judge Tommy Wilson sentenced Sumner to 20 years in prison and 15 years probation on the guilty counts of first degree vehicular homicide, hit and run and four counts of making false statements.  Sumner’s attorney had argued that she did not know she struck a human being late that night.  Officials located fibers from Desir’s clothing on the front of Sumner’s Saturn Vue during the investigation.   Desir’s body was said to have been found 70 feet from the point of impact.