2018-01-10 / Front Page

...2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, Now 2017 In the archives!

A glance back at stories from the past year!


Operations Manager Craig Tatum was named successor to Georgia-Pacific Cedar Springs Operations Vice President - General Manager George Cifelli who retired in April.

The City Council held the first reading of a proposed amendment to the Emergency Management Ordinance providing for fines for “false alarm” emergency calls.

The ECES fourth grade “Odyssey of the Mind” team headed to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University May 24-27.

Spring was a busy season at Kolomoki Mounds State Park with sunset cruises around Lake Kolomoki followed by a cookout.

Former Bobcat quarterback Joel Harvin was named the Bobcat’s new head coach.

Early County High senior Sydney Locke, 17-year-old daughter of Gina McNair and the late Leslie Locke was crowned 2017 Miss Georgia Peach.

The Board of Education named assistant principal Angela Bell to replace Early County Middle School principal Anthony Yarbrough.

Odyssey Team Odyssey Team Everyone’s been asking about Lent Houston. Well, the News received a report of a “Lent sighting” this week!

“He had lunch with me in California three weeks ago,” Blakely native Joann (Jordan) Fitzgibbons told the News during her two-week visit to Blakely.

ECHS Bobcat Alexis Powell signed with Enterprise State Community College.

The Historical Society released “Collections of Early County Historical Society 2017 Volume IV.” The book is dedicated in the memory of Mary Dunbar Grist Whitehead.

Two proposed Early County solar energy projects were among those submitted as part of Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI) 2017 Request for Proposal for solar, wind and/or biomass resources.

Lee Lee One project is proposed for a site near Hilton. The other was proposed for a 630-acre solar field on 1,500 leased acres on Five Bridges Road.

Junk vehicles are now in the crosshairs of City of Blakely code enforcement in addition to dilapidated structures.

Early County School Superintendent Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin was presented the Georgia School Superintendent Association President’s Award recognizing her as one of the top superintendents among the state’s 180 school districts.

Taylor Kilgore, a student at Early County High School, is one of nine students statewide to receive the 2017 Georgia Farm Bureau Scholarships for Agriculture for high school seniors awarded by the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.

Flags were flying at half mast across Early and Clay counties as Southwest Georgia mourned the death of First Lieutenant Weston C. Lee of Bluffton. Weston was the son of Aldene and Eddie Lee.

Cullifer, Hall Cullifer, Hall Lee, a 25-year-old platoon leader with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, was killed April 29 by an improvised explosive device outside Mosul, Iraq.

Six-year-old Felton Crawford bagged his first gobbler April 15 while hunting with his dad, Clay Crawford.

The ECHS boys’ tennis team finished the regular tennis season 10-3 and third place in the region 1-AA tournament, advancing to the first round of state.


1Lt. Weston Lee’s body was flown to Fort Benning. GSP and local law enforcement blue lights escorting Lt. Lee to Blakely stretched out of sight on North Main, along with flags and hundreds of people lining the street.

Graduation exercises for Southwest Georgia Academy’s 25 seniors was May 18 in the Wayne Proffitt Jr. Gymnasium. Eighteen honor graduates had special parts on the program.

The Browns The Browns Early County Elementary School teacher Brooke Hall was named 2017 Early County School System Teacher of the Year.

Approximately 168 members of Early County High’s Class of 2017 received diplomas May 27 in the Tommy Whitehurst Gym. Co-valedictorians Taylor Kilgore and Denver Knox challenged their fellow classmates to succeed in their future endeavors. The class had 49 honor graduates.

The Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce named Celia Bostwick to serve as interim president of the chamber.

A graveside service was held for U.S. Army 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., May 25. Lee was interred in Section 60 with full military honors.

The City of Blakely’s Fiber to the Home (FTTH) internet service — “BlakelyNet” — became available June 1.

JROTC Nine Early County High JROTC cadets were among approximately 250 cadets who participated in a weeklong leadership challenge camp. A local citizen won $5 million in Georgia’s lottery. JROTC Nine Early County High JROTC cadets were among approximately 250 cadets who participated in a weeklong leadership challenge camp. A local citizen won $5 million in Georgia’s lottery. Graham Lowe, a retired educator and his wife escaped serious injury Sunday when their Cessna 172 Skyhawk flipped upside down during a landing.


The Hospital Authority learned May 31 two bids were submitted in bankruptcy proceedings for the Sale of the Assets for Pioneer Health Services d/b/a Pioneer Community Hospital of Aberdeen and Pioneer Community Hospital of Early.

The bankruptcy court approved the Asset Purchase Agreement bid of Lilburn, Ga.-based LifeBrite Hospital Group.

At least some property owners were taken back by increases reflected by the estimated tax which appeared on the May 16 assessment notices mailed to property owners by the Early County Board of Assessors.

The Early County Board of Commissioners discussed the proposed $8.4 million FY 2018 budget and scheduled a public hearing June 15 to adopt the budget.

Adoption of the BOE’s $19.8 million FY 2018 budget was on the agenda for the June board meeting. The $19,804,527 budget is approximately $1.6 million above last year’s budget of $18,261,685.

Wayne Brown, 46, and his wife, Jennifer, 49, died when their 2016 Chevy SUV ran into the back of a semi truck with mechanical problems. Their 17-year-old son, Jacob, was airlifted to AnMed Health Center. Wayne, a 1988 graduate of Early County High, was the son of William and Merle Brown of Blakely. He was a pharmacist at Walmart in Cairo and Bainbridge.

The Blakely City Council held their June meeting at City Hall June 6 at which they heard a report on the BlakelyNet startup from Technology Director Matt Hammond.

Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts, a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company announced it is investing in its third expansion at the company’s production facility in Blakely.

Another eastbound vehicle failed to stop at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Ga. 62 bypasses Sunday afternoon sending six people to the hospital.

Lauren Lambert has been named site manager of Kolomoki Mounds State Park.

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