2018-01-24 / Front Page

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

A glance back at stories from the past year!


The News learned the management transition of the hospital between Pioneer and LifeBrite scheduled to begin Sept. 30 had been delayed due to unresolved Pioneer Health Services legal issues

Authorities investigated a rash of break-ins and burglaries, asking the public to be aware and contact investigators with any information.

Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at the Quail Motel resulting in the arrest of Trent Johnson, 27, of Arlington.

Sheriff’s investigators also arrested Dominic Gee, 31, of Blakely after receiving information that a wanted Houston County felon was staying in a local motel.

The Georgia Historical Society has recognized

Georgia-Pacific with a Georgia historical marker as the latest honoree of the Georgia Business History Initiative

Former school superintendent and

Bobcat football coach, Ric Hall, was honored Friday night as honorary game captain. He was a member of the 1964 Blakely Bobcat State

Championship Team, but was honored

Friday night for 35 years of service to


Robert Turner, 25, of Blakely was critically injured after losing control and wrecking on Highway 39 just south of Blakely near the intersection with Old Lucile Road. According to the GSP, Turner exited his vehicle attempting to flag down a southbound motorist when he was struck by a second vehicle.

Jacob Gee, 21, of Blakely was seriously injured when he lost control of the van he was driving on Highway 39 approximately three miles north of Blakely at the intersection with Clark Road.

The Blakely City Council adopted an ordinance setting the city’s millage rate at 4.25 mills.

Karsyn Massey, daughter of April and Todd Massey of Donalsonville, was crowned Southwest Georgia Academy’s 2017 Homecoming Queen.

Southwest Georgia Academy retired 1Lt. Weston Lee’s jersey during a patriotic night.

Donald Eugene Naramore, 67, of Blakely was killed when the log truck he was driving left the roadway and overturned on GA 370.

Former ECHS JROTC Cadet Tyrus Summerset graduated basic training and is now at Fort Leonardwood, Miss., attending Advanced Individual Training.

The 8th ranked Thomasville Bulldogs defeated the Bobcats 38- 10 Friday night in Thomasville to remain undefeated.

Several thousand festival goers enjoyed Saturday’s 47th Kolomoki Festival, including the “Flyboard” demonstration.

Old friendships were renewed and memories relived as the Blakely High School class of 1962 celebrated their 55th reunion.


Georgia-based LifeBrite Hospital Group completed its asset purchase agreement assuming operational control from Pioneer Health Services. The Early County Board of Commissioners voted to take down three oak trees on Court Square deemed to pose a threat to cause damage should they be toppled by storm winds.

City Councilmen Al Hutchins and Charles Middleton won re-election in the Nov. 7 municipal election.

The Bobcats went undefeated during the 1977 season and were 13-0 when they went to Rome to play for the state championship. Sixteen seniors from the 1977 Bobcat team along with coaches Walt Landing and Joe Owens were honored.

The Blakely Fire Dept. moved in preparation of the construction of the city’s new municipal services building.

Dialysis Clinic, Inc. held an open house at its new facility in Blakely located on Columbia Highway.

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!” with the City installing Christmas decorations around Court Square and along the metal light posts along North and South Main streets, and the new LED skyline lighting is setting the stage for a joyous season.

Brown’s on the Square — formerly Brown Jewelers — hosted a celebration of their reopening.

Backpacks of Hope, sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Association, offered free backpacks to children ages 2-14.

Investigators solved a rash of break-ins and burglaries, filing juvenile complaints against four male juveniles and two female juveniles.


The 24th Annual Christmas on the Square was held Dec. 2. Early County’s own JoAnna Smith, a native of Arlington, returned to Blakely to perform.

Southwest Georgia Academy honored women’s basketball legend Lea Henry, a 1979 SGA graduate, in Damascus during opening of the 2017-18 basketball season.

The City of Blakely proposed a FY 2018 General Fund budget with expenses totaling $4,732,100.

James Copp was appointed to the new position of City Marshall. Copp was the assistant 911 director.

Jamison Jace A. Miliner, 22, of Arlington and two passengers, William Connor Cullifer, 22, of Cuthbert and Waylan Patrick Hewett, 20, of Damascus were injured when their vehicle left the road at a high rate of speed, struck a tree and overturned multiple times near the intersection of Hwy 39 and Three Notch Road.

Six persons were injured and transported to LifeBrite Hospital following a wreck at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Flea Hop Road north of Blakely.

Early County School System and Southwest Georgia Academy students got out of school early Dec. 15 for the Christmas break until Jan. 4.

Fifty years ago, in 1967, plans were underway for activities to celebrate Early County’s “sesquicentennial” — 150 years of life in Early County since its origin Dec. 15, 1818. Work is now underway to celebrate Early County’s bicentennial. The Early Co. Board of Commissioners has appointed Julie Jarrett and Robert Chester bicentennial committee co-chairs.

A Blakely man, Richard Lee Gleaton, 56, was killed in a wreck on U.S. 27 south of Bainbridge when the truck he was driving left the roadway, striking a driveway embankment.

The News learned the City of Bluffton had received enough contributions to proceed with the purchase of equipment for the Weston C. Lee Veterans Memorial Park.

Former Early County High School JROTC Captain C.J. Taylor completed Basic Training at Ft. Benning. He then went into AIT and graduated with his blue infantry cord.

An icon in the community for over 40 years, Blakely Chicken moved into a new modern facility on North Main Street.

Tifton man was arrested on drug charges Wednesday night after he was found asleep at the wheel of his work truck on Southside Drive.

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