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November 9, 2006 Issue

More than 50 percent cast ballots
Loaded pistol found on man arrested at Stapleton polling station
Guild & Gallery A perfect union

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More than 50 percent cast ballots

• Fleming, Hunter, Kelley and Berry elected to school board positions in Jefferson and Glascock counties By Faye Ellison

By Carol McLeod & Faye Ellison
Staff Writers

Overall, incumbents appeared to garner the majority of the votes as citizens in Jefferson and Glascock counties headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots on several local and state races. With all but the provisional ballots, such as those being cast by soldiers overseas, left to be tallied, the result are:

In Jefferson County In Jefferson County there were two local Board of Education seats up for grabs.

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Incumbent Board of Education Chair Jimmy Fleming will keep his seat with 62.67 percent of the votes.

Fleming received 2,898 votes to Dr. Dennis Thompson's 1,726.

Incumbent Donald Hatcher lost his District 1 Wadley area school board seat to Georgia Hunter. Hunter received 648 votes, while Hatcher received 601, losing the seat by only 47 votes.

While the final, district wide results were not available at press time, Jefferson County carried State Senator from the 23rd District J.B. Powell over George L. DeLoach. Powell received 2,923 votes, with DeLoach only receiving 1,757. The county also carried Bobby Reeves for Judge of Superior Court of the Middle Judicial Circuit, succeeding Walter C. McMillan Jr. Reeves received 2,525 Jefferson County votes to Malcolm "Macky" Bryant's 1,921.

In the heated 142nd District Incumbent Jimmy Lord came out on top as the State Representative, beating Napoleon Jenkins for the county. Lord received 3,428 votes. Jenkins faired only 1,212 votes.

Out of the 9,283 registered voters in Jefferson County, 4,881, or 52.58 percent, cast ballots.

In Glascock County Glascock County’s votes were reported around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Probate Court Judge Denise Dallas said the results still remain unofficial, but the following results are from all precincts and absentee ballots.

In Glascock County, the Board of Education Edgehill District winner is incumbent Scott Jimmy Kelley with 387 votes. Mariann H. Dixon had 257 votes and Trey Franks had 169.

For the Glascock County Board of Education seat in the Mitchell District, incumbent Gail Berry won with 388 votes. Don Hilson had 340 and Debra Jordan had 95 votes.

Glascock County carried State Senator Jim Whitehead for the 24th District, as he ran unopposed. State Representative Sistie Hudson also kept her seat for the 124th District.

In one of the most heated Glascock County ballot questions in some time, voters decided to approve combining of the county's Magistrate and Probate courts. In all 486 registered voters cast yes ballots, while 328 voted no.

Dallas said of the 1,699 registered voters in the county, 863 cast ballots.

That is 50.79 percent of the voters turning out in this election.



Loaded pistol found on man arrested at Stapleton polling station

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

One man voted his anger Tuesday afternoon, venting at Stapleton poll workers and eventually having a verbal altercation with poll worker, Lamar Baxley. It was during this argument that Stapleton Police Chief TJ Taylor arrested 55-year-old Phillip Keith Tyner.

“They were arguing when I drove up,” Taylor said, adding Tyner insisted he would not leave until his son came out of the polling station inside City Hall.

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According to the chief, when Tyner’s son stepped out, Tyner called him over saying, “I’ve got something for you.”

“He tried to pass something to his son. I stepped between them,” Taylor said. The something was a .22-caliber handgun, loaded with five bullets. Taylor arrested Tyner, but not his son.

“We didn’t know he had a gun until he went outside,” said one of the polling officials who asked not to be named. She said there was a total of about 15 people in the polling station when Tyner walked inside.

“He came in to vote,” she said.

“One of the first things we have to ask for is some form of identification.

“After we asked for his identification, he had on a military jacket with his name on it, and he held that part up. I said, ‘No. That won’t do.’

“Then he did the other side. And I said that wouldn’t do either.

“That’s when he turned his butt up in the air to (another poll worker). He said, ‘Will that work?’”

The worker said Tyner finally produced a driver’s license and began complaining about the voter identification machine.

“He told Lamar (Baxley) that whoever came up with them should be shot,” the worker said.

A third poll worker, Peggy Thorne, said, “He just came in here spoiling for trouble.”

Thorne said Baxley had responded to Tyner’s complaints by saying the machines made the workers’ job easier.

“What made me mad,” she said, “(Tyner) kept trying to degrade Lamar because he stood up for us.”

Thorne said Tyner asked Baxley various questions about whether Baxley had been in the military.

“He looked at Lamar and said, ‘Are you a veteran?’ and Lamar said yes. He asked, ‘What were you in?’ and Lamar said, ‘Air Guard.’”

Thorne said Tyner’s response was, “Then you’re not a veteran then.

“That’s when I said my husband had served two tours in Vietnam and two in Korea,” she said, adding that she then asked Tyner, “Does that qualify him as a veteran?”

Thorne said Tyner continued to complain about illegal voting and “Republicans having the upper hand” at the polling booth.

“You could see it bothered the other voters,” she said. “Lamar asked him nicely twice to leave.”

Finally, Baxley said, the fourth request was, “Get the hell out of my polling booth.”

Baxley, who was near Tyner, turned and Tyner threw his voter access card at Baxley. The voter access card is the yellow hard plastic card voters insert into the polling machine in order to vote.

Tyner went outside and Baxley followed him.

According to a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's office, Tyner is a disabled veteran who was formerly employed as a teacher in Hancock and Jefferson counties. Tyner has been charged with one count of having a deadly weapon at a public gathering and one count of simple assault. Both charges are misdemeanors.




Guild & Gallery A perfect union

• County Art Guild's Fall Show scheduled to run Nov. 15 through Dec. 3, with an opening reception Nov. 18

By Jessica Newberry
Correspondent

Since the opening of the Fire House Gallery and the establishment of the Arts Guild, Louisville has gradually been working its way into the art community.

After playing host to various exhibits throughout the year, the Gallery will soon be spotlighting Jefferson County’s own talent in the Arts Guild’s 2nd Annual Fall Show.

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The show will be on display at the Gallery Nov. 15 through Dec. 3 with the opening reception on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 7-9 p.m. Hanging and setup will begin early next week after the closing of the Gallery’s current show, according to intern Maiben Beard, who anticipates the show’s success.

“Members of the Arts Guild will be staffing the Gallery over Thanksgiving, and I think it will be a great opportunity for visiting family to see local artists’ work,” she said.

The Guild hopes to have approximately 20 contributing artists as works are still being submitted, according to member Donna Borders.

“Each person usually shows two to three pieces, and the variety of mediums should provide something to please everyone,” said Borders who will be showing several of her own paintings. “Last year’s turnout was very good, and we expect the same this year because regional work always brings in bigger networks.”

Borders also created the show’s poster, a tribute to long-time Guild member Claire Irwin who passed away this summer.

“We are always delighted to host Guild exhibits,” said Gallery director Helen Aikman, “and we are especially excited about the homage to Mrs. Irwin.

She was always a bright light in the Gallery, both as exhibitor and patron. We miss her very much.”

The relatively new fall show, unlike the Guild’s annual spring exhibit, is displayed exclusively in the Gallery, according to Aikman.

“Nothing pleases us more than exhibiting our local artists,” she said. “Friends originally decided to open a gallery in the old fire station, after considering many other options, precisely because the Jefferson County arts scene is so active and our local artists are of such a high caliber. The Guild’s shows are our favorite events year in and year out.”

Since opening in April 2005, the Gallery has housed a variety of exhibitions, and the Fall Show will be the 18th with many more to follow, said Aikman.

“Very few galleries have an intense schedule like ours; hanging, publicizing, supporting exhibits is a lot of work, but we are committed to continuing at this impressive pace.”

With such a schedule, the Gallery has brought numerous artists into the community, artists who will be returning this weekend for the First Artist Reunion and Confab Nov. 10-12.

While talking with these rurally-based artists, Aikman and the Gallery’s Kathleen Galvin saw the perfect opportunity to bring them together.

“We heard them saying time and again that their urban peers don’t get the rural artistic experience that they don’t take rural artists seriously, even sometimes in the university context,” said Galvin.

After much planning, the Artist Reunion and Confab was created by the Gallery management with help from Friends board members Parish Howard and Hulet Kitterman.

“We tried to stay away from the word ‘conference,’ which frankly connotes something dry and dull,” said Galvin. “‘Confab’ seemed about right, just an informal airing of ideas and concerns among a community of rural-based artists.”

Hosted by the Friends of Historic Downtown Louisville and the Fire House Gallery, the three-day event will be sponsored by the Georgia Rural Economic Development Center in Swainsboro.

After check-in at the Old Town Plantation Bed and Breakfast, the first artist-led discussion, “A Sense of Place-Does a Unique Southern Creativity Live in the Visual Arts,” will be held at the Old Town Library.

Saturday will include the second seminar, “Beyond Nostalgia-Elements of a Rural Aesthetic” and a canoe trip down the Ogeechee River.

The third seminar, “A World Apart-Artistic Challenges and Advantages of Working in Rural Communities,” will be held on Sunday.

“We expect 20-22 former and future Gallery exhibitors to attend the Reunion and Confab,” said Aikman. “Our primary goal for this event is to provide a pleasant and congenial forum for a frank exchange of ideas among the participants, who constitute a remarkably talented and cutting edge group of artists working in the South and in other rural areas.”

With the constant motivation of bringing community development to the area, Aikman hopes that the Artist Reunion and Confab will one day become an annual event.

She also revealed that this reunion will serve as a model for future Friends events under “The Rural Circle” program to be launched in the upcoming year.

“Using this reunion and confab as a template, (The Rural Circle) will develop and sponsor gatherings, hopefully three in 2007 and at least twice that number in years to come, for professionals, business people, and other groups living their lives and doing their work in the rural South,” said Aikman.

“Louisville, with its remarkable history as a rural cultural and intellectual center, is a perfect locale for this project,” she said. “The Rural Circle, like the Reunion and Confab, will continue to advance our strategy of raising regional awareness of the magic of Louisville, but on a larger, broader scale.”

Through the upcoming reunion and the annual art show, the Fire House Gallery along with the Arts Guild and the Friends of Historic Downtown Louisville hope to continue providing the community with the recognition and encouragement needed to make an impact on the artistic world.

“Friends established the Gallery for two reasons, to give Louisvillians the sort of cultural experience they richly deserve and to provide the best rural and Southern artists with a serious, dedicated exhibition venue that it richly deserves,” said Aikman. “It’s a perfect union, really.”




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