News

Wed
05
Oct

Putnam crash claims life, sends three more to area hospitals

The roof on this 1998 Honda Accord is smashed down so it touches the dashboard and seats after the car ran off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive early Friday morning and rolled multiple times. The crash claimed the life of a Milledgeville man and injured three others. (Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo.)

 

 

By Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- A Putnam County crash early Friday morning claimed the life of a Milledgeville man. The single vehicle wreck on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive also sent all the rest of the car's occupants -- two additional passengers and the driver -- to area hospitals.

Cedecki Stephens, 41, was pronounced dead on the scene, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills reported, after the southbound 1998 Honda Accord Stephens was riding in ran off MLK Drive a half mile southeast of Park Road. The car overturned and rolled multiple times before ...

Sun
02
Oct

Daily Report account: Shooting of Putnam woman was accidental

In this screen capture shot taken from a WSB TV newscast last week, Putnam County resident Claud "Tex" McIver, far left, waits with his attorneys Sept. 28 outside Atlanta Police headquarters where he was questioned, according to a WSB TV station report. The fatal shooting of his wife, Diane McIver, in Atlanta has placed in the top spot on several Atlanta media outlets last week.

From staff reports

ATLANTA – As of Sunday, authorities had yet to officially release any explanation of how a gun discharged in a car last week, fatally wounding a Putnam County woman. However, a man described as “a public relations agent and longtime friend” of the woman’s husband, is offering one -- even though he apparently did not witness the shooting.

Fri
30
Sep

Authorities keep tight lid on fatal shooting involving Putnam woman

In this screen capture shot taken from a WSB TV newscast this week, Putnam County resident Claud "Tex" McIver, far left, waits with his attorneys Wednesday outside Atlanta Police headquarters where he was questioned, according to a WSB TV station report.

By Don Richeson / Staff

ATLANTA -- Authorities continue to keep a tight lid on this week's fatal shooting case involving a Putnam County woman. However, an Atlanta Police Department incident report released Wednesday did offer a few more new details, including that the woman, Landa Diane Smith McIver, 63, of Pea Ridge Road, was seated in a vehicle's front passenger seat when a bullet pierced her back. Earlier reports failed to say whether she was in the driver's seat or a passenger seat, but did say the bullet came from a gun fired from inside the vehicle. Authorities have not said whether or not the vehicle was moving when the gun fired.

The report released Wednesday also names the type of vehicle she was seated in -- a 2013 White Ford Expedition, which is a sport utility vehicle. The shooting occurred while the vehicle was located at 1073 Piedmont Avenue N.E., which is near Piedmont Park in Atlana.

Thu
29
Sep

Putnam County woman fatally shot in Atlanta

This photo of fatal shooting victim Diane McIver of Putnam County is from her online LinkedIn page.

By Don Richeson and Lynn Hobbs / Staff

ATLANTA -- A Putnam County woman is dead after being shot in her car in downtown Atlanta early Monday morning. Landa Diane Smith McIver, 63, of Pea Ridge Road, died during surgery at Emory Hospital in DeKalb County around 1:20 a.m. Monday, a senior investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Tuesday. She had been taken by private vehicle to the hospital following the incident.

Wed
28
Sep

Plans for downtown murals move forward

At an earlier mural meeting, Putnam County High School Fine Arts Department Chairman Paige Barlow holds up a photo of a planned downtown Eatonton mural site -- the south wall of Nina’s Beauty Supply store. Barlow’s PCHS art students are expected to help create a mural there. It would likely depict Israel “Old Put” Putnam and William Eaton, the late 1700s-early 1800s military historical figures for which Putnam County and Eatonton are named. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- A mural could be one of those win-win projects, according to discussion at the Sept. 21 Eatonton-Putnam Tourism Arts Heritage Partnership meeting.

Some slight changes and progress have been made since the last report on the mural project, said Kevin Tomson-Hooper, a member of a committee seeking to put murals around downtown Eatonton.

The first mural, originally planned for the south side of the Pex Theater, instead is slated to go on the side of the Georgia Writers Museum’s permanent facility, the former county annex building also known as the old Eatonton Hotel. The Putnam County Board of Commissioners, which owns the building and leases it to the Briar Patch Arts Council, gave approval at its Sept. 20 meeting to put murals on it, with the caveat that the commissioners OK the final design.

Wed
28
Sep

Eatonton police rescue toddler locked in hot car

Eatonton Police Officer Pat Welch keeps the department’s inflatable auto unlocking kit and is quite efficient with it, according to Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence. (Photo by Lynn Hobbs.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- What potentially could have been a family’s worst nightmare was saved by an Eatonton Police Officer Sept. 16. Around 4 p.m. that Friday afternoon, a father was strapping his toddler son into the child car seat in the backseat of their car while the mother was checking out at the cash register inside. The father then closed the car door and went to get in the front door of the driver’s seat, only to realize the toddler somehow had grabbed the keys to the car and was holding them inside the closed car. All the doors were locked.

The frantic father called 911 and a couple of Eatonton police officers responded. They, in turn, called fellow officer Pat Welch, who keeps the department’s inflatable auto unlocking kit and is quite efficient with it, according to Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence.

Tue
27
Sep

>> WEB EXCLUSIVE: Thieves hit multiple cars in North Madison Ave. area

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- At least four people Eatonton woke up Wednesday morning, Sept. 14, to find their cars had been broken into and items were missing. Each of the incidents took place in the North Madison Avenue/Dogwood Lane neighborhood, according to police reports.

At approximately 8 a.m., a man at 410 N. Madison Ave. said his Filson wallet was taken out of his Chevy Tahoe, according to a report by Eatonton Police Officer Candace French. The wallet reportedly had five or six credit cards, other personal identification cards and approximately $100 in cash. The man said he had other items of value in the vehicle, but only his wallet was missing.

Fri
23
Sep

More volunteers needed to help with Sunday's world record attempt at PCMS

World record-breaking attempt organizer Pam Lancaster, far left, assists volunteers signing up at a meeting Thursday evening, including, continuing from left, George Pirie and Clay Lowery, both of Eatonton. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Don Richeson / Staff

EATONTON -- Plans are moving forward to gather 4,201 or more people at Putnam County Middle School's Al Reaves Field at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the hopes of breaking a world record. But organizers still need more volunteers.

The Ethen Richardson Foundation, an Eatonton-based organization that helps fight childhood cancer, is assembling the people at the PCMS field then, so that they can hold up colored placards that form the shape of a huge gold cancer awareness ribbon. The goal is to top the current record of 4,200 people. A camera-equipped drone will fly over and snap a photo of the giant human ribbon.

Most of the thousands of people forming the ribbon will need to be bussed in to PCMS and organizers need "bus hostess" volunteers to assist in the effort, as well as parking attendant volunteers and others.

Thu
22
Sep

Putnam commissioners vote to increase property taxes

By Don Richeson / Staff

EATONTON -- The Putnam County Board of Commissioners voted this month to increase millage rates for coming fiscal year, thus effectively increasing property taxes. But the approved rate hike -- .85 mills -- is less than the 1.0 mill increase the county earlier proposed.

The board voted 4-1 at its Sept. 2 regular meeting to increase the incorporated millage rate to 8.851 after the rollback, up from the current 8.038 millage rate. It also voted 4-1 to set the unincorporated millage rate at 8.287 after the rollback, up from the current 7.419 millage rate.

District 2 Commissioner Janie Reid cast the lone no votes, saying she couldn't support city residents being charged more than county residents. However Commission Chairman Steve Hersey said the different incorporated and unincorporated rates were because the city kept a rollback as revenue, rather than using it to reduce taxes.

Tue
20
Sep

Chief: Long arm of law catches Eatonton Walmart shoplifters in Baldwin County

Brandon Marshall Bloodworth

Malcolm Kennaugh-Easterby

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

BALDWIN COUNTY -- Social media helped capture two Milledgeville men who reportedly were videoed by security camera stealing a compound bow and two car stereos from the Eatonton Walmart store, according to Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence.

Walmart management called Eatonton Police to report a store employee saw two men walk into Walmart on Sept. 8, pick up two car stereos and leave the store through the garden center without paying for the items. The associate said the men got in a late model burgundy Ford Flex being driven by a third person and left, according to a police report. The manager said the two men had been with another man around 11 p.m. the night before, who had walked out the door with a compound bow that he did not pay for.

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