2019-01-16 / Front Page

2018: The Bicentennial Year

But, it will always be remembered for the wrath of Hurricane Michael!

Looking Back “Part III”


• City attorney Tommy Coleman reported at a called city council meeting he had successfully negotiated with the Weaver family for the purchase of 18.9 acres owned by the Hamp Clark estate for the Gateway project.

• Mayor Anthony Howard swore in Marshal Jim Copp and assistant marshals Travis Jordan and Nathan Wimberly.

• The council adopted an ordinance allowing for Sunday sales of alcohol as approved by city voters in the May 22 special elections.

• The Primary Care of Southwest GA Board of Directors appointed LaDon Toole, a native of Bainbridge as the new chief executive officer.

• Maebelle “Granny” Everson Giles celebrated her 100th birthday July 5. She has three children, Dr. Eugene Giles, Joyce Corbitt, and Jimmy Giles.

• The Blakely City Council adopted an ordinance allowing for alcohol consumption on the premises of restaurants and hotels and Sunday sales of alcohol as approved by city voters in the May 22 special elections.

• A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting was held July 7 at the “Jeannette King Memorial Park.”

• The DOT notified the city in a Feb. 6 letter the solar-powered stop sign flashing lights are now flashing atop the stop signs at the deadly Hwy 27/Hwy 62 bypass intersection intersection.

• Bradley Grant, 32, of Colquitt was killed June 30 when the vehicle he was driving left the road and hit a culvert on Mayhaw Road.

• The 3rd annual “A Midsummer’s Evening of Hope” sponsored by Primary Care of Southwest Georgia and Horizons Community Solutions raised more than $7,600 to help Early County residents fight cancer.

• The Early County Sheriff ’s Office hosted the 6th annual “Back to School Bash” at the Early County High School cafeteria to provide students school supplies.

• Early County Family Connection partnered with ECSS to supply nutritious meal items and snacks for children over their long weekend breaks during the coming school year.

• Early Co. Sheriff’s investigators arrested Benjamin Wimberly, 24, Olajawun Douglas, 23, Deon James, 23, on warrants stemming from Mulberry and North Church Street shootings.

• Georgia-Pacific employees at Early County’s Cedar Springs operations worked one million hours without a lost time injury.

• Activities at Saturday’s Bicentennial Blowout kicked off with the “Color Run” fireworks capped the evening’s activities.


• Secretary of State Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination for Georgia in the July 24 runoff election defeating Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a surprising land slide victory.

• Henry Balkcom garnered 55.13 percent of the vote to defeat Chip Stewart in the runoff for Superior Court Judge of the Pataula Judicial Circuit.

• A “Birthday Luncheon” and celebration was held in honor of Mrs. Margaret Bruner Stokes who turned 100 years of age July 20.

• Col. Paul D. Howard was welcomed as the new commander of the 21st Signal Brigade at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

• Senator Dean Burke was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Hospital Association.

• “While Early County had it’s share of colorful characters 42 years ago, very little of their carrying ons were recorded in color,” the News stated in announcing the official publication of Early County’s Bicentennial Celebration. “But, you will enjoy the colorful pages and photos in the official publication of Early County’s Bicentennial Celebration.”

• County attorney Bill Mills noted a $700,000 indigent care payment withheld by the county after Pioneer Health Services filed bankruptcy had been determined to be “property of the bankruptcy estate.”

• Bicentennial event: Over 50 local artists’ works are on display this month in the windows of the old B.C. Moore’s building on Court Square.

• Outgoing Rotary president Steve Singletary passed the gavel to incoming president Lori Haddock.

• Alex Warr won the Georgia Outdoor News Youth Big-Buck contest with a buck he killed with his bow.

• Former Bobcat coach Trey Woolf was hired as the head coach at Daleville High School.

• The City Council signed an agreement providing for repayment of an over payment of the of vehicle Title Ad Valorem Tax (TAVT). The agreement provides for a $140,000 annual payment to the Tax Commissioner over a three-year period and a final payment of $167,000.

• Pearlee Gilbert celebrated her 104th birthday.

• Joyce Barlow of Albany announced she is challenging longtime Rep. Gerald Greene seeking election to House District 151

• The Jakin Community celebrated their 40th Jakin Georgia Family Reunion July 26 - 29 in Dothan.

• Jacob Brown, son of the late Wayne and Jennifer Brown and grandson of William and Edna Brown of Blakely was named valedictorian at Bainbridge High School.

• Amanda Renee Shelley of Damascus struck three vehicles and a pedestrian Saturday night near Damascus.

• The earliest issues of the Early County News are now available online, starting with the the Nov. 4, 1863, issue. The News was established in 1859. Access is available FREE online through Georgia HistoricNewspapers...https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu

• John Crane joined Georgia-Pacific as vice president and general manager of the Cedar Springs Containerboard Operations.

• The City of Blakely was awarded a $1,000,000 Community Development Block Grant by the Georgia Department of Community for neighborhood revitalization in the North Avenue neighborhood.

• Terrell McQueen of Blakely was arrested and charged with with animal cruelty when a dog was discovered in a kennel which had a severe neck injury.

• The Early County Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education set their 2018 millage rates.

• The Blakely City Council set their 2018 millage rate at 4.250 mills, the same as last year. The council increased the millage from 3.250 last year to provide funds to repay the TAVT overpayment.


• JW White, a senior at Early County High was critically injured in an Aug. 30 wreck.

• Ginger Weathersby was named the new director of the Pataula Center for Children following the retirement of Julia Houston.

• The Blakely High School Class of 1965 gathered at Kolomoki State Park for a picnic and a day of reminiscing .• Reports of problems with the city’s utility bills were circulating... some had not received their bills, some bills were outrageously high, some were obviously undercharged and some received bills for services they did not have with the city. The problems resulted from the city’s transitioned to a new utility billing software.

• The City Council adopted an ordinance to create the position of Municipal Court Clerk. The council also adopted an ordinance formally providing for a Planning Commission.

• Karlie Bridges, winner of the Distinguished Young Woman of Early County competition, participated in the Distinguished Young Women of Georgia competition.

• A search was underway for Rodney Eaford, 47, in connection with a woman who had been struck with a stick or tire tool before being struck by a vehicle as Eaford was fleeing the scene.

• Bluffton native Deborah Barnes was among eight people inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame.

• The city council adopted a resolution notifying the county and sheriff’s department the city was withdrawing from the Department of Public Safety.

• The Early County Bicentennial Committee and the First Baptist Church Blakely hosted a repeat Bicentennial Hymn Sing.

• Cliff Starr performed on the Bluegrass Trail on RFD-TV.

• The Early County Board of Commissioners discussed issues which will need to be addressed following the City of Blakely’s announcement it was pulling out of the Department of Public Safety.

• Before the Sept. 29 kick-off between Georgia and Tennessee four A-10C Warthogs performed a flyover of Sanford Stadium. The flight leader was 2007 UGA graduate, Major David “Gnome” Knighton, the son of Blakely natives, Jane Collier Knighton and Wayne D. Knighton.

• PBIS Director Priscilla Yarbrough announced all Early County Schools were recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Installing Schools.

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