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January 11, 2007 Issue

Wadley discusses sewage
Glascock manhunt ends in arrest
Equipment could help save lives

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Wadley discusses sewage

• Water from toilet covered floor of apartments on Beddingfield Street, council upset over employee's statement

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A Wadley resident told city council members during a work session Jan. 3 that sewage had come into her apartment on Beddingfield Street. Sierra Gibbons brought with her a letter from Belinda Sheram, an environmental health specialist with the Jefferson County Health Department.In the letter, Sheram stated that Gibbons complained to the department about a sewage problem.“During my investigation,” part of the letter reads, “I found water that had flooded the apartment, this appeared to be sewage.

The house smelled horrible. There were clothes and furniture being ruined all over the apartment.

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”Sheram also stated she asked Herbert Brown, the city’s water and sewer supervisor, to come by the apartments. “Ms. Gibbons and I asked if he would take a look at the house. Mr. Brown stated everyone had sewage problems and did not take a look,” Sheram’s letter read.Gibbons said the problem has occurred in the past.

This time, she said, she woke on Christmas Day to a bad smell in the apartment. During Monday’s regular council meeting, the issue was discussed. An unidentified city worker told the council that the problem had been rectified.

“During the weekend, I was on call,” he said. “I kept monitoring it over the weekend and, as of 5 p.m. this evening, there has been no problem.” Messages left at city hall for Brown were not returned as of press time.

Gibbons said her landlord, Dana Blocker, said the fault lay with the city.

“I sent a plumber down there to see about it,” Blocker said. “I think everybody’s doing the best they can. From what I understand, the problem’s been fixed. I’ll be glad to do my part and work with the city.”

During the council meeting, Councilman John Maye said the problem has been addressed before. “The plumber just pushed the debris back in the line without fixing the problem,” Maye said. “That gave a reprieve.”

Another tenant at the apartments, Mary Heggs, said she has lived in the complex for about six years. She said when she has problems sometimes she takes care of it herself. At other times, she said, Blocker takes care of things. “I don’t have no complaints,” she said, adding that this most recent problem “wasn’t really too bad.”

Sheram said on Tuesday that she initially viewed the apartments because Gibbons called and asked her to come and view the site.

“There was evidence that they were working on some kind of pipes in the street area. And then after that I talked with the city myself and they said they were going to have somebody take a look at it,” Sheram said.

“I walked inside the apartment. It was in all rooms,” she said, although she did not go into the bathroom.

“All I saw was everything was water; the things that were on the floor, like shoes, the bedroom suite was standing in water. So pretty much everything in that room was standing in water. It just looked like water that had slowly seeped into the house. It was maybe throughout say a quarter of an inch,” she said.

“They should have cleaned up. They should have hauled it off. Anytime there is raw sewage, it is a health hazard and some people’s resistance to raw sewage is lower than others. There’s that one person who has a low resistance to any kind of bacteria and with the children – they take off their shoes and then may put their fingers in their mouth.”

Another concern for the health worker is disease, she said.

“There’s hepatitis B that derives from raw sewage. Hopefully any of these city workers who deal with this have taken the vaccine. Any type of waste on the ground will attract rodents. It’s going to attract dogs, cats, roaches. If it’s in water and the water’s stagnated, mosquitoes. I don’t know who was responsible for cleaning it up, but it’s not cleaned up,” she said.



Glascock manhunt ends in arrest

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

A McDuffie County man found himself in deep trouble after the Glascock County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Natural Resources made an attempt to arrest him on charges stemming from a Warren County incident, which turned into a man hunt.

Roy Wayne Axon Jr., 26, of Dearing was apprehended Monday night after more than 10 hours on the run from law enforcement. His girlfriend was also arrested after aiding in Axon’s escape.

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A spokesperson at the McDuffie County Jail said that Axon was charged in Warren County with theft by taking and theft by receiving for stealing vehicles and then taking them to scrap yards for money. DNR Ranger Brian Adams said that Warren County had chased Axon on two previous occasions the previous week.

According to the incident reports, Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch received a tip that Axon was staying at a residence on Beechtree Acres Road or a residence on Anthony Lane.

Around 11 a.m. Monday, Couch, along with Georgia Bureau of Investigations Agent David Leonard, and DNR Ranger Leroy Ficklin went to the residence on Anthony Lane, while Adams and DNR Ranger Jeremy Kelley went to the residence on Beechtree Acres Road.

The incident report states that when Adams and Kelley pulled in the driveway, they saw Axon walking from the residence out to a car that was being fixed.

“When Mr. Axon saw the patrol vehicle he took off running,” Kelley said in the report. “Adams and I started on foot pursuit after him. We ran him into the woods for approximately a mile and we lost sight of him.”

A perimeter was then set up to apprehend Axon with the help of Georgia State Patrol Aviation, Department of Correction K-9 Unit, DNR K-9 Unit, DNR Officers Cpl. Brian Hobbs, Cpt. Thomas Barnard, Ranger Michael Crowley, Sgt. Doyte Chaflin, Sgt. Mark Paggent, Department of Public Safety Officers Sgt. Jeff Land, Sgt. Michael May and Cpt. Winston Burmmett. Firefighters Frank McGahee, Mike Lyons, David Logan and Gary Usry also came to assist in the man hunt.

The search for Axon continued until 6:30 p.m., when it was called off.

“When we returned to the office a call came to the Sheriff’s cell phone that Mr. Axon was at a residence knocking on the door and wanting to use the phone,” Kelley said in the report. “We responded back out to a residence on Stapleton Lane and found nothing. While we were there we received another tip that Mr. Axon was across the road on Anthony Lane.”

The incident report says that they did not find Axon at the Anthony Lane residence. With the search called off again, Adams stayed behind hiding in the bushes to see if Axon returned.

At 8:05 p.m., Adams saw Axon walk up to the residence and he also saw Axon’s girlfriend Crystal Hammons, 27, of Gibson, retrieve some clothes from the residence and give them to Axon. Hammons gave Axon a pair of white pants and a jacket on the side porch of the residence.

Hammons had already been told by the GBI and Couch to not help Axon if he came back to the residence. The incident report states that she knew Axon had active felony warrants.

Adams then initiated another foot chase with Axon, but lost sight of him again. Adams returned to the residence where he placed Hammons into custody for aiding Axon.

The Department of Correction K-9 Unit and Kelley responded to Adam’s location. The K-9 picked up Axon’s trail and followed the trail into the woods.

“At that time, Mr. Axon jumped up and ran again,” Kelley said in the report. “The Department of Correction K-9 officer and I initiated another foot pursuit. Ranger Brian Adams joined the chase as we came out of the woods. Ranger Brian Adams finally captured Mr. Axon.”

Axon was finally put into custody at 8:24 p.m. Monday with the help of Adams, Kelley and Department of Correction K-9 officer Sgt. Chris Batche.

Axon added another charge to his theft warrants with obstruction of an officer. Hammons was charged with hindering apprehension of a criminal. As of press time both suspects were still booked in the McDuffie County Jail.



Equipment could help save lives

By Parish Howard
Editor

Technology available through a recently received grant will now allow Wrens fire fighters to see people in complete darkness or dense smoke and find hot spots in homes and businesses normally invisible to the naked eye.

"This should really help out tremendously,"

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Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Norton said Monday. "Say your house is on fire and your child is trapped inside, or hiding from us because he is scared."

Before we had this camera, I would have to crawl in, following the walls and hoses for direction and feel around for him." With the new Scott Eagle X infared camera the department can scan rooms, separating out different temperatures and distinguish the clear shapes and temperatures of human beings from everything else in the room."

It should help us in search and rescue and help remove individuals from fires all that much faster," Norton said.

The camera was just part of the gear the Wrens Fire Department has received from its first Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

The $44,508 grant, which they applied for in March of 2006, was approved this fall, and the first pieces of equipment has arrived. The city was only responsible for 5 percent, or $2,225."As a secondary use, we can use the camera to search for hot spots in a wall or ceiling after a fire has been suppressed," Norton said.

The grant also provided for portions of a Rapid Intervention Team pack that will allow fire fighters to refill fellow fire fighters air packs without having to take the heavy airbottles and hoses back out to the compressors. The tank, high pressure hoses, regulators and mask can also be used to take oxygen to trapped residents."

These can be used for a down or trapped firefighter or a victim who may be trapped inside a burning building," Chief Larry Cheely said.

The grant also allowed the department to upgrade safety features on 19 of the department's current air packs, including alarm devices that will sound if a firefighter lies prone on the ground, unmoving, for a certain length of time.

The department has also purchased a new bay station firefighting radio that will replace the department's 30-year-old transmitter and work in conjunction with new portable radios for each unit." We are working on plans with hopes to replace the antenna structure," Norton said. "

The new transmitter should help all of the firefighter transmissions on the north end of the county. Once it is in place we will be able to provide backup dispatch services for the north end if, say, for some reason 911 was to go down." The grant also allowed for a washer extractor to help the department clean carbon buildup from turnout gear." As carbon and other byproducts from fires build up in the cloth they degrade the gear's ability to insulate from heat," Norton explained.

"We were paying $300 to $400 to have these cleaned. This should save us some money." This grant came shortly after a Georgia Municipal Association grant the department shared with the city's police department.




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