News

Mon
29
Aug

Putnam crash claims life of motorcycle rider

By Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- A Putnam County crash claimed the life of a Milledgeville man Friday evening after his motorcycle slammed into a pickup truck making a turn.

Glenn Hathaway, 60, was pronounced dead at the scene after his brand new Harley-Davidson FLTRX collided with a 2015 Ford F250 being driven by Matthew James Fulton, 36, of Greensboro, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills reported Monday. Fulton, who had been traveling northbound on Old Phoenix Road, was attempting to turn into the business he owns at 637 Old Phoenix Road, Willow Oak Landscaping, when he pulled into the path of the oncoming motorcycle at 5:14 p.m.

Sills said Monday he expects to charge Fulton with misdemeanor homicide by vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

There was no evidence alcohol was involved with either man, the sheriff said.

Thu
25
Aug

Reid pulls out of Dist. 2 commissioner debate hours before its start

Republican Daniel Brown, left, is challenging Democrat incumbent Janie Reid for the District 2 seat on the Putnam County Board of Commissioners.

By Don Richeson / Staff

EATONTON -- The Putnam County District 2 commissioner debate scheduled for today, Thursday, Aug. 25, will still apparently go on, but with a major twist -- one of the two candidates scheduled to participate has pulled out.

The Democratic candidate, Janie Reid, announced in an email sent this afternoon that she will not participate. In the email, which contains a letter addressed to debate organizer Dorothy Adams, Reid questions if Adams could conduct a unbiased debate, writing, "Because many posts that are on the Putnam County GOP’s Facebook Page and on your personal Facebook page (which is public information) show that you have highly endorsed my only opponent, and because both of us will be on the ballot on November 8, 2016 regardless of the winner of this debate; I am respectfully declining your invitation."

Thu
25
Aug

Citizens can sound off on proposed county tax hikes starting Aug. 25

EATONTON -- Putnam County’s commissioners are eyeing tax hikes for the coming fiscal year and they have announced three upcoming hearings in which citizens can sound off the proposed tax increases.

The increases are 12.49 percent above the rollback millage rate for residents in the county’s incorporated areas and 13.45 percent above the rollback millage rate for residents in the county’s unincorporated areas, according to a county news release. This results in a 1 mill increase for either group of residents. The millage rate would work out to 9.001 mills for incorporated area and 8.001 for the unincorporated area.

Sat
20
Aug

U.S. Rep. Hice reaches out to Putnam leaders, pledges to help

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Monroe, left, speaks to a group of Putnam leaders during an Aug. 4 special called meeting of Eatonton-Putnam Tourism Arts Heritage Inc. EPTAH's Tom Thompson listens. Hice represents Putnam County in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

(Editor's note: This version of the story is an upadte of the version that appeared in The Messenger's Aug. 18 print edition.)

By Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Monroe, told a Putnam County group that he recognized Putnam's challenging economic situation and pledged to help, but he steered clear of offering specifics on what he would do to improve things. Speaking as the featured guest at an Aug. 4 special called meeting of the Eatonton-Putnam Tourism Arts Heritage Partnership Inc., Hice said, "I know that (Putnam County has) been kicked in the gut economically -- it's been the perfect negative storm in this area." Hice was apparently alluding to the major hits Putnam received with the loss of Georgia Power tax revenue associated with the shuttering of its Plant Branch power plant in Putnam and with the closing of Horton Homes and other large Putnam employers.

Fri
19
Aug

Agitated Eatonton woman bares breasts in front yard

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Cursing and removing her shirt while being interviewed by a DFCS worker led to an Eatonton woman being arrested for DUI the afternoon of Aug. 10.

A Division of Family and Children Services worker made a routine check on Kendra Dial and her children at their house on Sunset Drive around 2 p.m. that Wednesday, according to a police report. Dial came outside into the front yard. While the Department of Family and Children's Services worker was talking with her, Dial went back inside the house and came back out carrying a bra. Dial took her shirt off and, while momentarily standing there bare chested, put the bra on, then put her shirt back on, all in the front yard.

Thu
18
Aug

City OKs tax increase, despite citizen opposition

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- After hearing protests from residents on three different occasions, Eatonton City Council members unanimously approved the city’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget with a proposed tax increase at their Aug. 15 meeting.

The $5,932,772 budget requires a higher millage rate to be able to maintain and continue to provide much-needed services to the citizens of Eatonton, City Administrator Gary Sanders said. The millage rate will increase 2.034 over the current rollback rate, to 9.5.

At the first public hearing at 9 a.m. on Aug. 4, Tom Thompson, whose farm land was annexed into the city, suggested council should reduce the cost of government by combining the city and county governments.

Wed
17
Aug

PCHS Class of 2016's Angel Monroy receives $1,500 scholarship check

Putnam County High School Class of 2016 graduate Angel Monroy, third from left, receives a $1,500 Willie Lee and Minnie Tallulah Walker Scholarship Fund check Friday. Other ceremony participants include, from left, GMC Executive Director Ralph Kauzlarich, Larry Moore of Putnam County and the Putnam County Charter School System's Dr. Christopher Lawton. Dr. Lawton and Moore are the initial administrators of the scholarship fund. Other individuals from the community will be announced soon, forming the scholarship selection committee. (Contributed photo.)

 

 

By Larry Moore / Special to The Messenger

MILLEDGEVILLE -- The Willie Lee and Minnie Tallulah Walker Scholarship Fund has been created at the direction of Dr. Mamie Walker with initial funding by her and her sister Alice Walker in honor of their parents. The scholarship fund is intended to help college-worthy Putnam County students from poor families who receive limited or no aid for college. Also, the fund is not intended to pay all the costs of a student, but to provide significant aid for the initial semester(s). Funds, however small, are being sought from the community and other sources to help sustain this program and possibly broaden its application. Donations may be made to the Willie Lee and Minnie Tallulah Walker Scholarship Fund at The Peoples Bank of Eatonton (Doris Clemons).

Thu
11
Aug

Four-hundred students return to Gatewood Aug. 12

Gatewood teacher Kim Leach prepares her kindergarten class using a movie theme involving stars. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

From staff reports

EATONTON -- Students at Gatewood School will be in their classrooms on the first day, this Friday, Aug. 12, to begin the school's 46th year. Headmaster Christopher Charles said they are acting under the same mission statement upon which the school was founded in 1970: “To educated students in a nurturing, Christian environment while instilling life-long characteristics of faith, truth, honor, loyalty and pride. Gatewood School will provide an educational experience that prepares students for post-secondary education and lasting success.”

Charles said he anticipates the school year to start with an enrollment of 400 students in pre-K2 through 12th grade, with 47 teachers and nine support staff members.

Thu
11
Aug

Blaze destroys Twilight Shores mobile home

Barely visible Friday through overgrown vegetation, only parts of charred frame remain of a Twilight Shores Road mobile home that burned to the ground last week. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Don Richeson / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- Putnam County deputies and firefighters arriving on the scene of a reported Aug. 4 fire in the 200 block of Twilight Shores Road found a mobile home completely engulfed in flames.

A Putnam County Fire-Rescue news release described the residence's structural damage as severe and that it was a complete loss. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Thu
11
Aug

Eatonton Senior Center bustles with activity

Eatonton/Putnam County Senior Center Director LaToshia Maddox feeds center participants lunch recently in the former cafeteria of the old Eatonton Grammar School, where the center relocated to in 2013. The dining area is in part of a rear wing of the former school behind the main Plaza Arts Center building. The center shares different portions of the wing with the Eatonton-Putnam Arts Foundation. Typically, about 30 seniors participate in the lunch program. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

By Lynn Hobbs / Staff

EATONTON -- Hot and nutritional meals, exercise and fitness, helping children, arts and crafts, field trips and education are all happening at the Eatonton/Putnam County Senior Center, according to Director LaToshia Maddox’s presentation to Eatonton City Council Aug. 2.

Located in the Plaza Community Center behind the Plaza Arts Center (the rear wing of the old Eatonton Grammar School), the senior center is host to 20 “regulars” who attend for the congregate meals at the center, Maddox said, noting that 26 are registered for the program and another 12-15 come for the activities and to visit with their friends.

Maddox said from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, (the center’s fiscal year), 4,700 congregate meals were served at the center.

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