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JeepFest roars out of the gate with new venue


       Sheriff office staff Kris Stancil, Sheriff Donnie Craig and Wayne Cooley at the new JeepFest venue in Marble Hill. Organizers wanted an event where they could leave structures in place for several years.

     The annual Sheriff’s JeepFest got into high gear immediately for 2015 with 364 Jeep owners registering in the first 24 hours after web registration was activated.
    Total registrations, t-shirt/hat sales, camping reservations and other online commerce for the September 4-6 event generated $24,100 in the first day of business at their website.

Local Vet discusses Canine Flu outbreak

[Originally published online on May, 5, 2015]



    By Dr. Lyn Lewis of Wayside Animal Hospital

     In the last few weeks my office has gotten a lot of calls about the canine flu epidemic in Chicago. It has been reported that well over a thousand dogs have been infected, and quite a few have died. Now it has been confirmed in four states and suspected in 10 more. It is unknown how many dogs may now be infected. Dogs have been presenting with a fever, lethargy, and coughing. The cases that have become

Students invoke inner superhero at library

library-superheroes-portraits By Laiken Owens

 Intern Reporter


      As a part of the library’s summer reading program children got to use their imagination to draw superhero self-portraits.   

     The craft was last Tuesday, led by Shanda McClonske. The craft allowed participants to be creative and use their imagination. Two of the participants were a father-son duo, Brent and Cade Turbeville, who were happy to both participate in the craft.

      Some superheroes resembled ones that already existed and others were completely new creations. They could make their portrait a robot hero, a masked hero or even a villain if they wanted.

      The craft went with the summer reading program’s theme, “Every hero has a story.” Other kids who participated were Sawyer Ray, 5, Cason Kendrick, 8, Henry Tanner, 6, Coleman Winn, 8, Camden Winn, 6, and Clay Winn, 4.

      The next event at the library will be the fire safety clowns on Thursday, June 18 at 3p.m.


Ga. Supreme Court reverses conviction of mentall ill man found guilty of murder


Published Monday, June 15, 2015

Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at .

State expands highway safety enforcement efforts


     Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the addition of 60 commercial vehicle enforcement officers to improve highway safety and help reduce motor vehicle crashes in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Ports Authority are partnering to fund this investment.
      “As Georgia’s population and its economy continue to grow, we must adapt to meet the needs of a vibrant state,” Deal said. “While an expansion of the Savannah Harbor means jobs for Georgians and a boost to our economy, it will also mean an increase in commercial vehicle traffic. The safety of our drivers and the effective transportation of goods are of critical importance. This investment is a significant step forward in meeting these goals.”
     There are currently 234 commercial vehicle enforcement officers serving in 10 regions. The additional officers will patrol areas identified by the Department of Public Safety as “high crash corridors.” These areas include I-16 and I-95, as well as the Atlanta metro area, and the area south of Atlanta along I-85.
      "With Governor Deal's announcement of this initiative today, the Department of Public Safety is able to fulfill a critical component of our long-term strategic plan,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mark McDonough. "This initiative will bring the staffing levels of our Motor Carrier Compliance division to 100 percent and it could not have come at a more strategic time with the beginning of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The department's primary mission is traffic enforcement and public safety and this will better equip our officers to serve the citizens of the state of Georgia as well as those that choose to travel and conduct business here."
     Deal and the Department of Public Safety announced this new initiative along the I-16 corridor in Bryan County, an area that recently has suffered two high-profile, deadly accidents involving commercial truck traffic.
      Additional safety measures have also been implemented as part of this campaign, including:
The Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks Program; Operation Safe Drive on 95 — a joint operation between Georgia officers and their commercial vehicle enforcement counterparts in surrounding states
Just Pull’em Over -- an enforcement campaign involving local agencies through the traffic enforcement networks with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Ongoing partnerships with the Georgia Motor Trucking Association and the Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association
Compliance reviews and safety audits on Georgia-based carriers by MCCD officers
Concentrated patrols to enforce speeding, distracted driving and safety belt violations and to conduct Level 3 inspections. A Level 3 inspection includes examination of the driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, pre-trip inspection, driver’s record of duty status, hours of service, seat belt and hazardous materials/dangerous goods requirements.