Wreck on Scuffleboro

Three persons injured in head-on collision


Three persons have been injured in head on collision intersection of Scuffleboro and Old Copelan roads near Lake Sinclair. The accident happened shortly after 4 p.m. March 22.

The injured persons include two drivers: a teen boy who was driving a Mazda B4000 small pickup truck and a woman driving a Toyota Camry. Both were taken by ambulance to Navicent Medical Center in Macon by Putnam County EMS. They were in serious condition, according to authorities.


Roadwork starts Thursday

Downtown Eatonton roads getting patched

Lane closures and travel delays expected


A Georgia DOT patching contractor begins spot work in and around Eatonton Thursday, March 9. Crews will work the next two days and daily until Friday, March 17.


Queen to be chosen via photo contest


2016 Dairy Festival Queen Alaina Marie Finn waves from her float in the Dairy Festival Parade; runner-ups Lilly Claire Bridges and Samantha Collis ride with her and smile and greet parade watchers.

For the first time in 60 years, there will be no Dairy Festival Queen beauty pageant this year.

Instead, the Pilot Club of Eatonton will have a “Photogenic Contest” to select its queen of the 2017 festival.

“We feel like this will give more girls an opportunity to enter and be involved in the fun,” Glenda Ridley said.

Candidates for queen will be judged through photographs of them and on their written responses to specific questions.



Gatewood girls reach Final destiny

Photo by Dr. Robert Betzel

Gatewood cheerleaders are all smiles during the Lady Gators
victory over Trinity Christian at the 2nd Round of the State tournament in


Staff Writer


MACON – Defending state champion Gatewood girls basketball team imposed its will on Trinity Christian of Sharpsburg during Final Four action Thursday of the 2017 GISA tournament at Mercer University.

Gatewood notched a 53-28 win to advance to Saturday’s clash with Heritage for the Class AAA crown.

Gatewood was paced by Tanner Fuller’s 19 points, eight of which came in a fateful fourth quarter when the Lady Gators pulled out into a Four Corners offense and ate time off the clock like TV dinner in a microwave.

When the contest was still in doubt, Gatewood eventually pulled away behind the Joan of Arc performance by senior shooting guard Brenlyn Morris.

Morris bottomed five shots from behind the arc to tally 15 points. Morris, who was knocked to the floor twice, manned up and was helped off the floor after the second rather nasty foul.


Motorcyclist injured in U.S. 441 crash Thursday near PCHS

Traffic backs up on U.S. 441 near Putnam County High School Thursday as a crashed motorcycle rests on the side of the highway. (Photo by Don Richeson.)




UPDATE: The injured motorcyclist has been identifed as Homer Joel Hickox, age 67, of Macon, according to Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills.


By Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- A motorcycle crashed on U.S. 441 near Putnam County High School about 11 a.m. Thursday, sending its rider to the hospital. It was in a road construction area. The motorcycle was the only vehicle involved in the crash, according to a deputy on the scene.

Traffic was stalled almost a mile in both directions for several minutes as rescue workers converged on the scene.

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Messenger's Feb. 23 print edition for more on this developing story.


Lynn Hobbs named associate editor

EATONTON -- Staff reporter Lynn Hobbs has been promoted to the position of associate editor of The Eatonton Messenger according to an announcement made by Smith Communications President A. Mark Smith Sr. last week. Hobbs will begin her new role immediately and will oversee news reporting in Eatonton and Putnam County. "We are excited about having Lynn in this position. She has done a lot of good work for our publications and we look forward to seeing more of it as she moves into this role," said Smith.


Eatonton's new role as 'Hollywood South' moves closer to reality

Logo – This is the new “film-ready, film-friendly town” logo created by Tytan Creates for Eatonton.



By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Almost a year has passed since Eatonton Downtown Development Authority leased the old Putnam State Prison to Tytan Pictures, and much has been happening behind the scenes, Tytan CEO Jim Stone said recently.


County accepting bids to replace tornado-hit Oconee Springs cabins

Prior to a Jan. 21 tornado strike, this now barren area at county-owned Oconee Springs Park contained four rental cabins, docks and trees. The county is now accepting bids on replacement cabins. (Photo by Don Richeson.)


By Shannon Sneed / Staff

OCONEE SPRINGS -- Putnam County officials decided this month to replace the Oconee Springs Park cabins and large pavilion totaled in a Jan. 21 tornado.

The Putnam County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its Feb. 3 regular meeting to first accept bids on just four new rental cabins at the county-owned park. Some of the work is expected to be completed as early as Easter, when a large function is planned for the park. Bids are due by 10 a.m. Feb. 24, according to a county notice.


Burglars knock hole in Eatonton pharmacy wall to steal drugs

This hole in the wall in the back of the Eatonton CVS store is reportedly how intruders accessed the store during the night. (Contributed photo.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Two people of the Atlanta area have been arrested for breaking into CVS store in Eatonton Tuesday morning. Eatonton Police Department responded to an alarm at the pharmacy at 801 Oak St. “in the early morning hours of Feb. 7,” EPD Chief Kent Lawrence said via email Tuesday morning.

EPD Officers Jacob Strock, Johnny Campbell and Harold Wilmot discovered a hole approximately 24-inches in diameter in a wall in the back of the building, through which the intruders climbed into the store.


Man driving stolen county bus leads lawmen on 31-mile, 95 mph chase

Michael Douglas Freeman, 63, of 805 S. Steel Bridge Road in Putnam County, racked up an astonishing 35 charges in connection with the the theft last week of a Putnam County Transit bus. He was denied bond during a hearing Monday and remains in Putnam County Jail. (Putnam County Sheriff's Office.)

By Lynn Hobbs and Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- Not wanting to put out his cigarette, a Putnam County man instead stole a county bus and led deputies on a 31-mile, two-county, high-speed chase, where he ran other drivers off the road and rammed multiple vehicles before being stopped in the city of Sparta and booked on 35 separate charges.


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