News

Fri
25
Aug

Putnam County Finance Department awarded highest marks for reporting By Shannon Sneed

The Putnam County Finance Department, including, from left, Jennifer Fricks, Barbara Vargo, Finance Director Linda Cook and Donna Todd, recently received recognition for outstanding financial reporting by the GFOA.

Putnam County has been awarded The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). On Aug. 7 at their regular monthly meeting, commissioners and county administrators recognized the finance department, which includes Finance Director Linda Cook, Jennifer Fricks, Barbara Vargo and Donna Todd, thanking them for their hard work and excellence. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. “The Finance Department is excited to receive the award for Putnam County,” said Cook.

Wed
23
Aug

Two new candidates qualify for Eatonton City Council

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Qualifying for the General Election for the City of Eatonton ended Wednesday, Aug 23 at 4:30 p.m.

Up for grabs were Eatonton City Council Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4, currently held by Bill Mangum,  James Gorley, Alma Stokes and Teresa Doster respectively.

Mangum, Gorley and Doster each had qualified by Tuesday evening and they received no opposition on Wednesday.

Stokes did not qualify, but two new candidates did. Janie Reid and Gwenette Little will be vying for the Ward 3 seat.

Fri
18
Aug

Putnam County Courthouse under new security plan By Shannon Sneed and Lynn Hobbs

A shortage in deputies has caused Sheriff Howard Sills to pull deputies doing security out of the county courthouse at times when they are needed for other duties. That occasion came about Aug.

Fri
18
Aug

Sheriff Sills requests increase in pay for Putnam deputies By Shannon Sneed

A large shortage in law enforcement officers in Putnam County left Sheriff Howard Sills with one main request during budget hearings this year: “A phenomenal increase in personnel.” Sills said the sheriff’s department is currently nine deputies short, and by October, that number may increase to 10. “I assure you that if one-third of the Atlanta Police Department was empty today they couldn’t function,” said Sills. “They’d have to call in the National Guard.” “We’re not alone,” said Sills.

Fri
18
Aug

Eatonton man arrested when drugs, liquor, guns, ammo found in recently-purchased By Lynn Hobbs

An Eatonton man driving a SUV that had a “Test Drive” cardboard tag instead of a license plate, apparently had filled the vehicle with contraband in the short time he had it. Seeing the brown Ford Expedition traveling along Sumter Street Tuesday evening, Aug. 8, Eatonton Police Officer Barry Petzold noticed the cardboard tag and pulled the vehicle over. The driver, Kemuel Donte Hurt, told the officer he “had just bought the vehicle”, and when asked when he purchased it, Hurt said three weeks ago. As they were talking, Petzold noticed the driver’s eyes were blood shot and glassy, and the officer smelled marijuana on Hurt. A check of Hurt’s license revealed it had been suspended a few months ago for neglecting child support payments. When questioned, Hurt told the officer he and a friend had shared a marijuana joint before leaving work that afternoon. Petzold arrested Hurt for driving while unlicensed, and then learned he was on probation for a prior felony drug conviction.

Fri
11
Aug

Putnam County terminates P&Z agreement, citing spot zoning by the City of Eatonton By Shannon Sneed

BOC Chairman Dr. Steve Hersey and Planning and Zoning Director Lisa Jackson discuss TSPLOST projects with the City of Eatonton at a recent work session. PC Manager Paul Van Haute now suggests “telling (the city) to pass the TSPLOST and use those funds to establish their own planning and zoning department.”

Putnam County Commissioners decided Aug. 7 to terminate their current agreement to handle planning and zoning issues for the City of Eatonton and enter into negotiations for a new contract. Citing fears of the loss of their soil and erosion permit powers because of the city’s decision to do “spot zoning,” County Manager Paul Van Haute told board members situational zoning that the city has undertaken has been problematic in the past couple of years -- referencing one case in particular, the Cotton Warehouse. “The zoning for that place, when it went to get its alcohol license was exceptionally close to that church behind the railroad,” said Van Haute.

Fri
11
Aug

By Lynn Hobbs lynn@msgr.com

This counterfeit $100, used to purchase cigarettes at Ingles, has a yellow feather pen/ink well and pink oriental markings on it.

A local cashier didn’t realize the “crispy” $100 bill handed to her was counterfeit, but when she learned of it later, she at least had recognized the person who gave it to her. After an investigation by Eatonton Police Investigator Howell Cardwell and Police Chief Kent Lawrence, one arrest has been made in connection with the counterfeit money. Lamiro Datress Pennamon, 24, of 115 Town Creek Road, Eatonton, was charged with felony forgery in the first degree. Pennamon used the fake bill to pay for two packs of Newport Cigarettes at Ingles Gas Express on Monticello Road shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. He reportedly returned to the gas station a few minutes later to get change for another $100 bill, but the cashier didn’t have enough change. Both incidents were captured on the business’ security video.

Fri
11
Aug

Aircraft

Two V-22 Osprey Aircraft were circling the skies over downtown Eatonton Monday, Aug. 7, and capturing a lot of people’s attention as they sometimes hovered close to the treetops. The vertical/short take-off and landing planes were brought in by Tytan. The company’s CEO, Jim Stone, said they were doing “safety checks for an upcoming film.” He added they are working on a couple of different film concepts to utilize the former state prison for both Tytan Pictures and Tytan Tactical. More will ben anounced later, he said.

Sun
06
Aug

Crime victims in Georgia need Marsy’s Law By State Representative Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) Guest Columnist

A young girl’s careless actions by driving under the influence of marijuana would soon cost my father his life. James A. Williams was a man of faith, humility and selflessness. After serving as a private in the U.S. Army, he went on to carry his heart of loyalty and courage to his duties as a father and husband. An unjust act that resulted in an unjust loss left my family in a state of darkness, even more than 10 years later. Injustice, however, was not something we were prepared to receive from our legal system. As we geared up for trial, my family sought to receive a certain level of closure in the accused’s sentencing. One day before the trial was set to take place, the defense attorney made a plea deal with the defendant, which gave her a lesser sentence. My family was not told about the plea deal in advance. My family was not given a say in the fate of my father’s killer.

Sun
06
Aug

Cancer rates found to be higher downstream of some power plants By Shannon Sneed shannon@msgr.com

Baldwin County, which is directly downstream from Lake Sinclair and Plant Branch, ranks fifth in the state for pancreatic cancer incidences, according to CDC statistics.

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