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January 4, 2007 Issue

Glascock road project under way
Wadley man killed in saw mill accident

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Glascock road project under way

• Commission chair says this is one of the county's largest projects ever

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Glascock County Commissioners received five bids for work replacing old street and highway signs with brand new ones and striping of the roads in Glascock County.

The proposals included furnishing all labor, material, equipment and services necessary for the road work.


The description commissioners gave to the bidders included the work of stalling traffi c safety elements consisting of various highway signing, various centerline and edge line roadway striping, thermoplastic stop bars, railroad at-grade crossing signing and markings and bridge delineation with some u-channel posts.

Removals of all the existing signs and posts to be replaced as part of the project will be the responsibility of Glascock County.

The grant received by the county in October from the Georgia Department of Transportation was for $340,000.

The winning bid was Diversified Traffic of Blackshear. Diversified bid the job for $191,940.50.

Glascock County Commissioner Anthony Griswell said with the extra funds left after the low bid, the county was able to upgrade some of the striping to be thermoplastic, which will be used on the more traveled roads.

Griswell said Friday that road rejuvenation project is one of the biggest team efforts and the most expensive projects that the county has been able to undertake.

team efforts and the largest dollar wise projects that the county has been able to do.

“We’ve been wanting to better the roads for a long time,” Griswell said. “We’ve been working on this project for about a year. The citizens have been mentioning how bad the striping was looking. It has really been a safety issue.”

Griswell said the federal grant money was passed down to the state Department of Transportation.

“DOT was a part of the team,” Griswell said. “So was my fellow commissioners, the county’s clerk Tracy Hutcheson, many private citizens and Joe Dean Usry.”

With the help of Usry, Griswell said the county was able to prepare the proposal for the state.

“All the roads had to be measured, each intersection had to be drawn off, each sign had to be labeled,” Griswell explained. “It was like a Sears Roebuck catalog of things to do.”

Griswell said that Diversified Traffic plans to start the project in May.

“This was a true team effort from fellow commissioners and everyone involved in the project,” Griswell said. “I hope there’s more to come.”

Wadley man killed in saw mill accident

• OSHA has taken over investigation of death of Florentino M. Hernandez, 53, who was killed in Wadley

By Parish Howard

A man was killed at Battle Lumber Company in Wadley last Friday, Dec. 29, when he was crushed in machinery in a tragic accident.

Florentino M. Hernandez, 53, of Wadley, had been employed by the saw mill since March 7, 2000.


According to Jefferson County Coroner Edward James, the equipment Hernandez was working with had reportedly been shut down at 12:49 a.m. to change a saw blade when for an as yet unknown reason pieces of lumber apparently began moving backwards through the machinery pushing Hernandez into the equipment.

According to the coroner’s records, Emergency Medical Technicians were called at 1:08 a.m. and the coroner himself was called at 1:25 a.m.

James transported the body to the Augusta crime lab, which later determined cause of death as blunt-force trauma to the head, neck and chest and ruled the death accidental.

The investigation has since been turned over to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which James believed has already been to the plant.

OSHA's offices were not open and further information on its investigation was not available at press time.

Although it could not be confirmed by press time, James said he was told at the scene of the accident that this was the first fatal accident the plant has ever had. Messages left for saw mill owner Tommy Battle were unreturned as of Tuesday evening.

According to its website, Battle Lumber Company, in business since 1967, is “one of the most modern hardwood grade lumber and pallet manufacturers in the southeastern United States.”

The Wadley plant and worksite, which spans 462 acres, employs more than 250 people and produces three million pallets and 50 million board feet of grade lumber annually, the website claims.

A memorial service for Hernandez was held Jan. 1 at Smith Funeral Home in Wadley. Survivors include his wife, Andrea Martinez; children, Maria Gudalupe and Citlally Janet Hernandez, all of Mexico; a brother, Isadore (Maria) Hernandez-Martin, of Wadley; and a sister, Paiola Hernandez, of Houston, Texas.

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