Woman killed in wreck
By Faye Ellison
A 23-year-old woman was involved in a fatal wreck on Friday afternoon.
Bridget T. Jackson Espinoza of Wrens was on her way to an appointment at the Jefferson County Health Department when she veered into the path of oncoming traffic, then was struck by a tractor trailer in the front end of her Saturn.
The impact of the collision was in the northbound lane on Highway 1. The first call came into 911 at 12:33 p.m.
Espinoza was running late for her appointment at 12:40 p.m. and would have had her two children in the car if she would have not been running late, according to Deputy Coroner Mike Bennett who spoke to family members on Monday.
At the scene of the accident, rescue workers and EMS pried Espinoza from the crushed vehicle, where one leg was trapped under the steering wheel. With one push and a few cuts from the Jaws of Life, she was freed.
Shortly after the accident she was conscious and responsive to the paramedics in the ambulance.
Espinoza was suffering from multi-system trauma including head injuries.
Bennett said plans were to fly her to the Medical College of Georgia, where she was also an employee, but due to the low cloud cover, they were unable. She was rushed to MCG by ambulance, but died while in the operating room at 3:03 p.m.
Bennett said that according to the toxicology reports, there was no alcohol or drugs involved.
"It was just a very unfortunate accident," said Bennett.
The Georgia State Patrol reconstruction team is still working to reconstruct the accident, but have yet to complete a report.
A person on the scene of the accident, who said he was behind the victim at the time of the collision, said he saw Espinoza leaning over as if she were reaching for something in the floor. He saw the tractor trailer heading towards them in the other lane. The driver said he saw the truck swerve in an attempt to miss her car. However, the back tractor trailer tires ran over the front of the car, the witness said.
Espinoza's Saturn was then propelled into the ditch.
Democrats carry local elections
• Glascock County sheriff's seat will be determined in runoff
By Ben Nelms
Most of the political dust settled Tuesday night in Glascock and Jefferson counties.
What remains unsettled is the status of the Glascock County Sheriff. Incumbent Bryan Bopp received 495 votes compared to 428 for Independent Dean Couch and 343 for Republican James Stephens, necessitating a Nov. 23 runoff between Bopp and Couch.
Glascock voters chose Anthony "Ant" Griswell as Commission Chairman, besting Jay Dixon 744 votes to 432. The Mill District commission seat was narrowly won by incumbent Democrat Johnny Crutchfield, who received 593 votes compared to 588 for Republican D'Ann Simpson.
Probate Judge Denise Dallas retained her position by defeating Republican challenger Carol Price 1,014 votes to 229. In the Edgehill District non-partisan school board race to fill the unexpired term of the late Danny Milburn, Scott Jimmy Kelley defeated Trey Franks 596 votes to 506.
Glascock voters also approved the continuation of the county's one-percent sales tax for the county courthouse renovation and other projects 807 votes to 396.
In Jefferson County, incumbent District 4 Commissioner Tommy New defeated Republican challenger John Lewis 973 votes to 572. In the District 2 commission race, Democrat Johnny Davis defeated Republican Ben Benson 1,080 votes to 232.
A detailed analysis of these and other election results will be provided in next week's edition.
Board asks state assembly to prohibit landfills near schools
By Ben Nelms
Members of the Jefferson County Board of Education followed up on their recent resolution asking county commissioners to close the county landfill and give up the permit to operate it by adopting another resolution at the Oct. 14 monthly meeting. The second resolution asks the Georgia General Assembly to prohibit regional landfills within a three-mile radius of any public school.
Superintendent Carl Bethune said the measure was necessary due to the close proximity of Jefferson County High School, approximately one mile directly down wind, to the landfill on Mennonite Church Road.
"I am recommending that the school board consider a resolution relating to any possible further expansion of the Jefferson County landfill," said Bethune. "I hope the county commissioners will support this. If they don't support it, it is telling."
The school board voted unanimously in support of the resolution that read: "Be it resolved that the Jefferson County Board of Education is asking the General Assembly to restrict the placement of landfills. No regional landfill will be located within a three-mile radius of any public school in Georgia."
School board Chairman Jimmy Fleming told board members the resolution was a necessary step in helping guard against any possible future decision by the county commission that would result in selling the landfill to a waste company. Such an action would necessarily transform the current Municipal Solid Waste landfill into a regional landfill, resulting in vast quantities of trash being brought into the county from other counties or states. In that event, the commission would be unable to prevent any permit modification that would increase the size of the landfill or the type of waste brought there.
"I think we need to take all the steps we can to protect the high school property," Fleming said.
Fleming added that, as written, this might not be the final wording of the resolution.
Viewing a copy of the resolution, State Sen. Randy Hall and Rep. Jimmy Lord both said they would support the school board's measure. Both acknowledged that school board's concern that a decision by a future board of commissioners to sell the property could turn the county's landfill into a privately owned regional facility.
"I support the resolution and the board's call for a three-mile radius," Hall said. "I think the area around any public school should be safe. The only way to accomplish that is to restrict the placement of regional landfills."
Lord agreed, acknowledging that all local control would be lost if the Subtitle D landfill were ever to pass into corporate hands.
"I support the resolution 100 percent because if it ever becomes a regional landfill all local control is ended," said Lord. "And any future permit modifications requested would not be done with the local community in mind."
The school board's action followed a resolution adopted unanimously at an Oct. 6 called meeting where they called on commissioners to permanently close the landfill and give up the permit. Though unusual for an elected board to involve itself with the affairs of another elected board, school board members said they were compelled to do so. They cited the landfill's close proximity to the high school and, even though commissioners have said they will not sell the facility, the uncertainty still exists over what course of action a future board of commissioners might take regarding the facility.