News

Thu
19
Jan

Rep. Rick Williams sworn into office

From staff reports

ATLANTA -- State Rep. Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville, was sworn into office as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives on Monday, Jan. 9, marking his first day of the 2017-2018 legislative term. Jan. 9 was the first day of the first term of the 154th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly.
“I am honored to represent the citizens of District 145, and I look forward to working hard on behalf of our district and this great state,” said Rep. Williams.
In addition to being officially sworn in, the Georgia House of Representatives’ Committee on Assignments named Rep. Williams to the Higher Education, Intragovernmental Coordination and Regulated Industries committees.
“Higher education greatly benefits our community, and regulated industries and intragovernmental coordination are essential in ensuring our state operates smoothly and efficiently,” added Rep. Williams.

Thu
12
Jan

'Funny money' continues to show up all around Eatonton

These fake $5 bills were confiscated by Eatonton police last month and are being turned over to the U.S. Secret Service, which is launching a probe of the rash of counterfeit bills currently circulating in the Briar Patch. (Photo by Lynn Hobbs.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- More counterfeit money is turning up around Eatonton, according to police reports.

A counterfeit $10 bill was turned in to Farmers and Merchants Bank Jan. 3. It was included in a deposit from the Eatonton Dollar General store, revealed a report by Eatonton Police Officer Gregory Gay.

On Jan. 5, a clerk at Quick Pantry on Oak Street turned over to Officer Harold “Buddy” Bowman a bogus $5 bill. The clerk said a woman tried to buy something with the bill, but the clerk noticed it was fake and said so to the customer. The customer “became agitated and left without the money or her items,” Bowman wrote in his report.

An article in The Eatonton Messenger last week reported 13 fake $5 bills were used at the Jet 44 Food Store and the Eatonton Huddle House Restaurant during the holidays.

Thu
12
Jan

County OKs expansion of planned addition to Fish Tale Marina

Putnam County commissioners Friday approved expanding an addition planned to be erected to the immediate right of this Lake Oconee boat storage complex. The expansion will be 893 square feet and is needed for boat-moving equipment to operate safely in the addition, according to a complex spokesman. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

The new Putnam County Board of Commissioners met for the first time last week. Three of the five faces on the board differ from those on the 2016 board. The board now includes, from left, new District 4 commissioner Trevor Addison, District 3 Commissioner Alan Foster, new District 2 Commissioner Daniel Brown; new District 1 Commissioner Kelvin Irvin; and Chairman Steve Hersey. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Don Richeson / Staff

LAKE OCONEE -- The Putnam County Board of Commissioners last week unanimously voted to allow Fish Tale Marina to increase the square footage of a proposed addition to its existing boat storage facility. The action drew none of the fire commissioners encountered in February 2016 when they approved the addition, which involved a zoning change from residential to commercial. The residents in nearby residential communities that spoke out against the commercial expansion last year may have decided it wasn't worth the trouble this time, because the additional square footage being requested is only 893 square feet.

Thu
12
Jan

More than 10,000 gallons of sewage believed spilled into Putnam waterways

By Shannon Sneed / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- An Eatonton-Putnam Water and Sewer Authority notice published last week reported that excessive rainfall led to a spill from the "Westside Treatment Plant and Eastside Treatment Plant" -- affecting Rooty Creek and an “un-named tributary” to Little River.

A spill requiring such a notice means that more than 10,000 gallons had escaped from the system, according to state Environmental Protection Division officials. The material that escaped is presumably raw sewage, but EPWSA officials have been unavailable to confirm this.

Wed
11
Jan

Putnam school officials react to recently released scores

Putnam School Superintendent Eric Arena, far left, discusses student achievement with, continuing from left, Putnam County School Board members Doris Clemons, Steve Weiner, Simone Jones, Tom Lawrence and Lynn Gilpin. The discussion came during Monday night's school board meeting. (Photo by Lynn Hobbs.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Unlike their previous meeting, Putnam County School Board members never used the words "I don't care" when discussing CCRPI Monday night and one thing was made clear: at least three board members want to make change for improvement.

Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) is the state’s accountability system launched in 2012 to replace No Child Left Behind’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement. CCRPI measures schools and school districts on a 100-point scale based on multiple indicators of performance.

The most recent scores, based on the data from the 2015-2016 school year, reveal Putnam County Charter School System is below the state average at the elementary school level and above the state average at the middle and high school levels.

Thu
05
Jan

Eatonton City Council OKs accepting gift of old Big Chick property

Eatonton City Councilor Alvin Butts, left, listens Tuesday as City Attorney Chris Huskins explains details about ownership of the old Big Chick building on East Sumter Street. (Photo by Lynn Hobbs.)

 

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- The Eatonton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept the gift-offer on the one-time Big Chick food establishment building on East Sumter Street at the intersection of Oconee Street. The vote came during the council's regular meeting. The building's owners, Jim and Nancy Marshall of Eatonton, offered it to the city for whatever purpose the city deems appropriate, City Attorney Chris Huskins said, noting the Georgia Department of Transportation had “left it unusable because there is nowhere to park.”

Wed
04
Jan

Funny money making the rounds in Eatonton

Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence prepares counterfeit bills to be filed as evidence. Thirteen counterfeit $5 bills were used during Christmas week at Eatonton businesses. (Photo by Lynn Hobbs.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Two businesses in Eatonton received counterfeit money for Christmas, according to police reports. A total of 13 fake $5 bills were received.

The first six counterfeit bills came in at the Jet 44 convenience store at 121 Gray Road around 11 p.m. Dec. 22. Eatonton Police Officer Harold Wilmot reported the Jet clerk said a customer paid for $30 worth of gasoline with the fake $5 bills. The cashier did not notice the money was phony at the time of purchase because she was busy, according to Wilmot’s report.

A few hours later around 6 a.m. on Dec. 23, Wilmot was called back to the same Jet store because ... 

Sat
31
Dec

Ivanditti murder suspect has extensive arrest record

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- The man charged with the murder of Lydia Huggins Ivanditti has other violence-related charges in his past, including cruelty to young children, and reportedly is no stranger to local law enforcement personnel.

Frank Don Causey, 26, most recently of the 202-B Putnam Ave., Eatonton, was charged Dec. 20 with one count of murder of 63-year-old Ivanditti, who was found dead in her 307 W. Walnut St. home Dec. 2.

On Sept. 11, 2013, Causey, then 23 with an address of 109 Lower Harmony Road, Eatonton, was arrested by Eatonton Police Department and charged with six counts cruelty to children, criminal trespass, and simple battery-family violence, according to court records.

Causey reportedly:

>> Hit his 4 year old son in the face, splitting open the child’s lip.

Thu
29
Dec

Eatonton woman locked disabled daughter in filthy room; gets 20 years

The victim in an Eatonton abuse case was found locked in a room on this mattress, with matted hair, open sores and covered in feces and urine -- almost “unrecognizable” as human. (Photo courtesy Eatonton Police Department.)

 

 

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- A mother who was arrested in March for badly neglecting her daughter who suffered cerebral palsy and keeping her confined in a bedroom behind a locked door has been sentenced to 20 years confinement herself, behind locked prison doors.

Felecia Nelson Clements, 41, formerly of 405 New St., pleaded guilty to five counts of neglect, exploitation and intimidation of a disabled adult in Putnam County Superior Court Dec. 14.

“You’re going to hear mistreatment so severe that we are asking she receive 20 years for each count … and to serve all 20 years in confinement,” Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen A. Bradley said to Judge E. Trenton Brown III. Bradley noted the case was “brought to light by responsible citizens, some of them blood relatives of the defendant, who called police.”

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