Louisville mayor is remembered
• Byron Burt died Wednesday
afternoon of heart condition
By Faye Ellison
The City of Louisville lost a beloved
mayor Wednesday afternoon,
after he suffered what doctors believed
to be a heart attack.
According to City Administrator
Don Rhodes, Louisville Mayor
Byron Burt, 60, had suffered some
heart problems in the past, but was
working to improve his health. The
Athens native moved to Louisville in
1969 and was self-employed as an
“We spoke about [his heart condition]
several months ago and he said
he was feeling good and thought
things were looking good,” Rhodes
Before becoming Mayor in 2002
and being most recently re-elected in
2004, Burt served on the Louisville
City Council from 1991 until 2001.
During his time as mayor, Burt
was at the helm of many projects
involving the Louisville Airport including
the runway extension, planning
and construction of the terminal
building and parallel taxiways. Most
recently he was involved with a city
“Everyone was pleased with him,”
Rhodes said. “I think he was a wonderful
mayor and I enjoyed working
with him. It has been a real pleasure.
I am really going to miss him; we
talked just about every day.”
Rhodes went on to say that he
knew Burt was extremely devoted
to his church, the Louisville Associate
Reformed Presbyterian Church.
He had served as an elder and vicemoderator
of the Session. He was the
chairman of church's Music Committee
and Evangelism and Outreach
Church member Stephanie Blumer
said he also played the piano and organ
for the church occasionally.
“He was really into music,” she
said. “He was also quite a movie buff.
He was a respected church leader and
active in all aspects of the church.”
Rhodes said that Burt was on the
Board of Directors for the CSRA
Regional Development Cooperation.
He was part of the local Muckrunners
and made one of the group’s
first trips down the Ogeechee River
from Louisville to Savannah. He was
also involved with The Schoolhouse
Burt is survived by his wife Connie
Pritchett Burt of Louisville; one son
Major Joel E. Burt of Troy, Ill.; one
daughter Bonnie B. Jolley of Noraml,
Illi.; his mother Mildred
Saxon Burt of Winterville;
one brother Dennis M. Burt
of Anderson, S.C.; one sister
Crystal B. Gabriel of Jasper;
three grandchildren and several
nieces and nephews.
His funeral was held Saturday,
Oct. 14 at the Louisville
ARP Church with the Rev.
Will Anderson officiating.
Interment followed in the
Louisville City Cemetery.
Rhodes said that Mayor
Pro-tem Ricky Sapp will
step in as interim mayor. On
Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m.
the council will meet to appoint
a new mayor pro-tem.
Rhodes went on to say that he
believed the special election
to fill the mayor’s seat will be
• Johnny Hicks
felony charges to
those from the
By Carol McLeod
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Friday charged Johnny Hicks,
39, of Bartow, on child molestation
Hicks had previously been arrested
Sept. 22 on
In that case,
Hicks is being
of his wife,
and his mother-in-law,
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said Hicks may have some traffic
charges stemming from a wreck that
occurred Sept. 22 during the pursuit
that resulted in Hicks’ capture.
The spokesman said he was unsure
what those traffic charges would be.
The child molestation reportedly
occurred within the last year.
Upon being interviewed by law
enforcement officers regarding this
new charge, Hicks would make no
comment, the spokesman said.
Glascock woman airlifted
By Faye Ellison
A Glascock County woman had to be flown
to Augusta after suffering serious injuries in a
wreck Monday, Oct. 16.
Julia Ann Morgan, 78, of Gibson was traveling
west on Chalker Road in a burgundy 2002
Cadillac Escalade around 11:20 a.m. when she
ran off the north edge of the roadway, according
to Trooper Alan Williams of the Georgia State
Patrol Thomson Post.
“She panicked and snatched the wheel to
come back on the road and it caused her to lose
control,” Trooper Williams said Tuesday. “She
came back across the road onto the south shoulder.
Then she re-entered the roadway when she
began to rotate and overturn.”
Morgan's vehicle came to a stop in a ditch
located in front of the residence of Mr. and Mrs.
Jeffrey Chalker, where she was found pinned
under the overturned SUV.
When rescue units arrived on the scene, Morgan
was conscience and complaining of pain
in her back. Rescue workers lifted the vehicle
back onto its side before removing Morgan from
Mrs. Jeffrey Chalker was said to be a partial
“Mrs. Chalker didn’t witness the entire wreck,
but saw the vehicle come to rest on the lawn,”
Trooper Williams said. “She thought she saw
the vehicle overturn two times.”
Morgan was flown by helicopter to the Medical
College of Georgia, where she is still a patient,
according to Trooper Williams.
Snake bite victim still recovering
By Faye Ellison
Elvin Williford's “pleasure trip”
to Rocky Comfort Creek had barely
begun on Saturday, Sept. 16, when it
turned into a life-or-death situation.
“I rode down to Rocky Comfort
Creek just to take a look at the creek,”
he said. “I only planned to spend a
few minutes there.”
No sooner than he stepped out of
the cab of his pick-up truck, he realized
he better get right back in.
“All I know is I ran over the snake
with the front tires of the truck, not
knowing he was in the grass,” Williford
said. “I guess I pulled up just
enough that when I put my foot in the
grass it bit me. It was already mad
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At the time of the bite, Williford
said it took him a moment to realize
that it was a snake bite that was
causing the sharp pain in his foot.
The snake had bitten him between
one and three times below his ankle.
Williford said he could not determine
the number of bites because of the
swelling and discoloration.
“My two dogs were riding with
me in the cab,” Williford explained.
“When I opened the door, they
jumped out of the truck over me and
the snake. When I finally looked
down, I saw about 12 inches of the
“When I realized that it was a
snake that bit me, I backed out and
called my dogs. I drove into Gibson
to the Jet store and told the girls inside
to call 911.”
Williford said the pain may not be
the worst he has ever felt, but that it
had to be the most unusual.
“It was burning and stinging and
turning black and blue at the same
time,” he said. “The first bite felt like
a knife went straight to the bone. With
the poison going into the leg, it felt
like stinging fire. It just wouldn’t
quit stinging. It was really bleeding
a lot too. I didn’t think a snake
bite bled that much.”
Though he broke out in heavy
sweats about 45 minutes after the
snake bit him, Williford said he
never passed out. After calling
911, he waited for the first responders
“Mike Lyons picked me
up in the ambulance,” Williford
said. “On Highway
80 and Countyline Road we
met another ambulance with
EMTs. They started to check
my vital signs and ran IVs
until the helicopter came to
pick me up.”
He was flown to the Medical
College of Georgia. Doctors
said because of the bite
and location, that Williford’s
injuries were not that serious.
The snake bit him below the
ankle and because of his body
frame, he did not have much
flesh in that area.
“I had to stay three days in
the hospital,” he said. “They
had to give me eight anti-venin
snake bite platelets. I went
in that Saturday and they said
I would be able to go home
the next day. I swelled up to
my hips and waistline on the
whole right side.”
Williford had to keep his
leg elevated, take an antibiotic
for the snake bite and pain
medicine. Now after three
weeks, he still has to wear
a compression stocking and
still has some swelling and
redness around his ankle.
“Just because of my bite
(people) are more alert of
where (snakes) can be,” Williford
said. “Everybody has
told me that they have been
alert for rattlesnakes. People
are coming and telling me
stories that they have killed