Griffin Choral Arts, under the direction of Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, will present “CELTIC BLESSINGS,” on Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 pm at Griffin First Baptist Church (106 W. Taylor St.). The season finale features special guest fiddler Jamie Laval performing music inspired by Celtic lands and traditions. Choral classics, folk songs, and crossover repertoire will conclude our season with a celebration of this musical culture rich in Celtic soulfulness. Tickets are $15 general admission (all ages) at the door or in advance in Griffin at Artistic Flowers and Gifts, Safehouse Coffee Roasters, and First United Methodist Church, in Barnesville at Goggans Florist, and in Zebulon at A Novel Experience bookstore. Griffin Choral Arts is a 50-voice, auditioned community choir known for its innovative and diverse programming. The mission of Griffin Choral Arts is “to bring the best choral music to the community.” For more information about Griffin Choral Arts call 888-SING1-88 (888-746-4188) or visit the GCA website: www.griffinchoralarts.org.
At the April Board of Education meeting, Karen Mizell was named the 2015-2016 assistant principal for Cowan Road Elementary. Mizell joins the school system from Fayette County. She was named 2002 Georgia Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, nominated for the Presidential Award in Elementary Science, named an 11 Alive Class Act teacher and a Disney Teacher Award Nominee.
Mrs. Mizell “ believes in a strong school community that fosters an educationally simulating, highly motivated and safe environment where all students are given the opportunity to be their best.”
Interim Superintendent Jim Smith said, “Mrs. Mizell is a team player, student-focused and dedicated to excellence.”
Two men were arrested today, April 8, 2015, after robbing a Dollar General store in High Falls.
Around 2:00 p.m. the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received a call that an armed robbery was in progress at the Dollar General store. A Department of Natural Resources Ranger and his K-9 partner, who were nearby, responded to the store on High Falls Road within minutes. Witnesses at the scene told the DNR Ranger that the suspects, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, fled the store to a nearby wooded area. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with deputies from Lamar County and Butts County Sheriff’s Offices surrounded the area and a DNR canine tracking unit searched for the two suspects. During this time deputies received a tip that the suspects were at a residence on High Falls Road. The suspects were located there and arrested without further incident.
The suspects have been identified as D’Andre Jackson, 18, of Jackson and Marvin Mann, 21, of Atlanta. Mann had been living at the residence on High Falls Road where deputies arrested them. The two men are brothers. Both are being charged with multiple counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
During the robbery the suspects took cellphones from store patrons and about $300.00 from the store’s till. Those items, along with the cash taken from Dollar General, were recovered at Mann’s residence. A 12 gauge pump action shotgun thought to be used during the commission of the robbery was located inside the house as well.
WKEU would like to thank Allison Selman-Willis Public Information Officer and Accreditation Manager with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for her assistance in this news story.
Mary Therese Grabowski
Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth
The state of Georgia will pay nearly a half million dollars to a whistleblower who alleged wrongdoing by the Georgia National Guard’s former Adjutant General Jim Butterworth, following a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former Guard employee.
The whistleblower questioned the propriety and even the legality of actions taken by former National Guard commander Jim Butterworth. After she did, she lost her job.
“I was giving honest suggestions,” said Mary Therese Grabowski, the plaintiff in the lawsuit. She said Monday she was more than just the publicist for the Georgia National Guard.
“I ask a lot of questions. That’s my job. I’m kind of the reality check,” said Grabowski, a former TV news anchor in Macon.
Her lawsuit said that when Butterworth then Guard’s commander took what she viewed as an improper taxpayer paid trip to Paris, she questioned it. When Jim Butterworth, appeared with soldiers at an event at Turner Field, then watched the game from a sponsor’s suite, she questioned that also.
And she says, when Butterworth used government resources to help raise money for a private hospital, she questioned that — and eventually lost her job for calling what could be considered improprieties to the Adjutant Generals attention.
Grabowski said, “I stand by my lawsuit and I believed I was doing the right thing,”. She worked for the Georgia National Guard for 17 months.
The state settled her lawsuit for $480,000. The Guard issued a statement saying “the case was settled to avoid the cost and resources associated with protracted litigation” and admitted no wrongdoing.
Grabowski’s attorney, Kim Worth, noted that the settlement comes from taxpayer dollars. “The amount involved is unfortunate because at the end of the day, we’re the ones paying for this.”
Worth also represented Stacey Kalberman, the former state ethics commission director who won a jury verdict worth $1.1 million.
Since Grabowski’s lawsuit, Governor Nathan Deal transferred Butterworth to become director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency..
Butterworth’s appointment to the Georgia Department of Defense as Adjutant General, by Governor Deal came at that time, under the Official Code of Georgia that was illegal. But, The Governor and the State Legislature changed that code section a short time later. Previously the code stated that to be appointed Adjutant General the candidate must be a federally recognized Field Grade Officer (Major, Lieutenant Colonel, or Full Colonel or General Officer) eligible for promotion to General. Butterworth had been in the Air Guard as Captain and pilot before allegedly refusing to take a immunization vaccination as each member of his unit was required to be administered, before his unit was mobilized for overseas service. Butterworth then resigned his commission as a captain, having allegedly never commanded any unit or been in a position of Command other than a B-1 crew. He was the ONLY non-federally recognized Adjutant General in the United States or any of our territories. He wore two stars on his uniform as a “quasi” General as a member of the Georgia State Defense force a non-paid organization of Georgia that becomes caretaker of the armories in the state upon mobilization of Guard units. The Georgia State Defense force has no requirements for being an Officer in that organization, and no educational requirements, as do active and reserve enlisted soldiers and officers. The educational requirements for active and reserve officers include: the Officer basic Course, Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Command and General Officer Staff College, and The War College. Every active and reserve Commissioned Officer must complete this requirement to be a federally recognized Officer and General. Captain Butterworth could have never qualified to become a federally recognized General, as his tenure as Georgia TAG would have been over before he was able to complete the educational requirements for promotion to that level. Plus his age level.
Many active and retired officers have stated that Butterworth was way below his level of grasping the real military issues, requirements, and directives from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, and Department of Defense at Federal level of issues that a General Officer faces every day of his career. This comes with experience from serving in Command Positions over years of service.
Many retired General Officers, had questioned Butterworth’s appointment from the outset, Now taxpayers are paying out almost a half million dollars in this case, and over a million in another incident in the State relating to whistleblower litigation from additional law suits.
The City of Griffin will host a Career Fair on April 22, 2015 from 2pm to 6pm at the Griffin Welcome Center located at 143 North Hill Street. The City of Griffin’s Career Fair is a chance for job seekers to learn more about the types of jobs available and meet face to face with hiring managers from every department including but not limited to Police, Fire, Electric and Water/Wastewater. The dress code for the Career Fair is Business Casual. Job seekers should bring resumes and an ink pen.
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.
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.
SPALDING COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION ANNOUNCE NEW CREATIVE CLAY CLASS NOW BEING OFFERED!
Interested in learning more about the art of Creative Clay?
Please attend the Free Open House for this exciting new program on:
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 11:00am to 3:00pm Spalding County Senior Center. Hands-on demonstrations, will offered in a new Creative Clay Class taught by a well-known artist, Bonnie Mordas, aka “The Clay Lady” of The Clay Hangar. A “make and take” project and sample projects will be on display at Spalding County Parks and Recreation.
Classes will be offered at the Spalding County Senior Center, 885 Memorial Drive, Griffin, GA, on Tuesdays from 11am to 3pm beginning April 21 for adults age 50 and older. Classes will feature a variety of clays including earthenware and stoneware.
Introductory Class fee will be $40 for the first 6 weeks and then $40 per month or $15 per class. There will be additional fees for Clay and Glazes based on projects selected. Check out more on this creative art form on Facebook at “The Clay Hangar” or “Bonnie Mordas” on Pinterest!
Membership to the Senior Center is required to enroll in this class. Membership is $25 per year for Spalding County residents and $55 per year for out of county residents and all Silver Sneakers members receive free annual Senior Center Membership!
Register for this class on line at www.spaldingparksandrec.com or in person at the Spalding County Senior Center located at 885 Memorial Drive, Griffin.
For more information contact Bonnie Mordas @ The Clay Hangar 678-588-2044 or The Clay Hangar on Facebook.