Wrens chase ends in wreck
• A Glascock County man allegedly assaulted a woman and child, and got into a "scuffle" with the Wrens police chief before fleeing and wrecking his
18-wheeler in Waynesboro
By Parish Howard
A Glascock County man faces a host of charges after leading Wrens officers on a chase Saturday afternoon that ended with his 18-wheeler wrecked on its side in Waynesboro.
According to Wrens Police Chief David Hannah, the incident began with a call describing a domestic dispute in on Williams Street.
"Some family members called and said that this man had kicked in the door and was beating up this woman," Chief Hannah said.
During his investigation, Hannah said he saw evidence that the victim had been bruised and scratched and that her one-year-old child had been kicked in the back. But the subject, 23-year-old Dyneius Goodson, of Mitchell, had fled the scene in his 18-wheeler by the time officers arrived.
"We spread out to look for him," Hannah said. "And a short time later I came across him at the convenience store on Highway 80."
Hannah said that he pulled up beside Goodson and had him stop his truck.
"He jumped out of his truck and he appeared to be in some sort of rage," Chief Hannah said. "I was attempting to question him about what happened when he got verbally abusive."
That is when the "scuffle" began, he said.
About that time Eric Parker, 19, of Gibson, a passenger in Goodson's truck, got out and came around to where they were.
"I couldn't tell if he had some kind of weapon or what," Hannah said.
That's when Goodson climbed back into the truck and took off.
"Before the scuffle, he only would have faced minor charges," Chief Hannah said.
Goodson proceeded to lead about 10 units, including the Wrens Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies, game wardens, Waynesboro Police officers and Burke County Sheriff's deputies, on a chase, which topped over 70 miles per hour.
"I've never been in anything like this with a truck this size," Chief Hannah said. "We were lucky no one got hurt."
Burke County officers were able to close off intersections to allow the truck to pass through busy intersections without causing an accident. Shortly after crossing the railroad tracks in Waynesboro, Goodson apparently lost control of the vehicle, struck a light pole and turned the vehicle over on its side, Hannah said. The truck was pulling a trailer loaded with ceiling tiles.
Georgia State Patrol officers were still working on the report Tuesday, but said there would be some traffic violations related to the wreck.
"After wrecking they kicked out the windshield and came out running," Hannah said of the of the suspects.
They were apprehended moments later, taken into custody where they were treated for minor injuries. They were brought back to Jefferson County where Parker, the passenger, faces charges of obstruction of an officer, and Goodson faces charges which include failure to stop at a stop sign, fleeing to elude officers, obstruction, aggravated assault, battery and cruelty to children.
Glascock School Superintendent's AYP claims under investigation
• Some claim he falsified school attendance records; Holton claims he is completely innocent and falsely accused
By Faye Ellison
The Professional Standards Commission (PSC) is investigating Glascock County School System Superintendent Jim Holton for allegedly falsifying school attendance records to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
The complaint that resulted in the investigation apparently came from Board of Education (BOE) meetings held over the past year in which Holton gave reports on the school system's absentee status.
For the past two years, Glascock County has met AYP standards, but in previous years had not, causing the school system to be on the Needs Improvement List.
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BOE minutes from the February through June meetings show a projected absentee rate decreasing from 22 percent to 13.8 percent.
The fact that Glascock County met AYP's attendance rate requirement this year with a state figured rate of 11.6 percent allowed the school to be taken off of the Needs Improvement List.
Currently the PSC, at the request of an unnamed individual, is investigating allegations that Holton falsified records to lower this percentage. The complaint was filed with the PSC sometime before Sept. 14. Holton received a letter from the PSC around Sept. 16 stating he was under investigation.
Holton gave a statement Monday regarding the PSC investigation.
"A complaint has been filed against me with the PSC," he said. "Specifically the complaint alleges that I falsified attendance records in order for our school system to make AYP.
"The individual who filed this complaint is politically motivated. I have not falsified any records of any kind."
According to the PSC's website, it is their full responsibility for the certification, preparation and conduct of certified, licensed or permitted personnel employed in the public schools of the state of Georgia.
The PSC also handles any investigation, advisement, monitoring and due process of cases associated with educator discipline.
A PSC official said that Holton is under investigation, but could not elaborate on the nature of the case or the claims against him. The official also said, that unless Holton is found guilty, there will be no public records involving the investigation.
According to BOE minutes obtained by The News and Farmer, in February Holton projected the school system would not achieve AYP due to a high absenteeism rate. To achieve AYP, less than 15 percent of students in grades three through eight could be absent from school 15 days or less.
In February Holton projected the absenteeism rate would be 22 percent for the year. At the meeting, Holton said he planned to file juvenile complaints for students who had 10 or more unexcused absences, unless there were extenuating circumstances.
Board member Michael May suggested sending letters to parents explaining the significance of meeting AYP.
During April's meeting, Holton reported that 13.8 percent of students had missed 15 or more days. He said if the school system failed to meet AYP, they would move into the restructuring phase, a plan that had been approved by the Department of Education, and the plan was not significantly different from what the school system was currently implementing.
Holton later stated at the May meeting that less than 15 percent of students had been absent from school more than 15 days.
At that time, 60 students had been absent between 10 and 14 and one-half days. Parents were contacted and encouraged to help their children strive for perfect attendance for the rest of the school year.
At June's meeting, Holton presented the board with his projected AYP report.
He said that barring any "unforeseen difficulties," the school system would meet AYP.
In July, the state reported the school as meeting AYP standards in all categories for the second consecutive year, thereby removing it from the Needs Improvement List.
Glascock County had been on the Needs Improvement List for five years because the state requires two consecutive years meeting all requirements to move off of the list.
Absenteeism rates had been a problem for Glascock for some time with rates of 15 percent in 2002 and 2004, and 18.2 percent in 2003.
Holton has been superintendent in Glascock County for the last two years.