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May 27, 2010 Issue

46 dime bags, 69 crack rocks seized
Summer play opens June 3
Roadwork on U.S. 1 nears completion
County hires accounting coordinator

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46 dime bags, 69 crack rocks seized

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wadley police officers charged Verdree Cunningham III, 20, of Wadley with several crimes after finding illegal drugs in his home Tuesday, May 18, around 4:15 p.m.

Lt. Leroy Morgan, an investigator with the Wadley Police Department said in an interview Wednesday, May 19, he had noticed strange activity at a home he had under surveillance.

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“The majority of the activity was taking place in the afternoons,” Morgan said. “While I had it under surveillance, I was able to distinguish a type of drug activity going on at a particular time. I also received some information from a reliable source. This information was very truthful and was enough to conduct a search warrant.”

Morgan said he and two other WPD officers, Sgt. Rick Worman and Officer Chris Roberson, conducted a search on the residence after serving the search warrant to Cunningham, whom Morgan described as cooperative during the search and subsequent arrest.

The investigator said the officers found a large quantity of small, plastic bags of suspected marijuana and a large quantity of suspected crack cocaine in a medicine bottle during the search.

“We counted 46 dime bags of marijuana. A dime bag is the amount that generally sells for $10. There were 69 pieces of crack cocaine. Each one of those pieces sells for about $20. Total street value all together is about $2,000,” Morgan said.

“Also we seized cash money that was on this person in the amount of $2,228 in his pocket. There was a digital scale that was similar to a cell phone that was also seized,” he said.

Morgan said they also seized some razor blades inside of a jar. Razor blades are used to divide the crack cocaine in preparation for use or sale, he said.

“Warrants were issued for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug related objects, which covers the razor blades and the scale,” Morgan said.

Cunningham was transported to the WPD for questioning and then transported to the Jefferson County Jail. The drugs have been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for testing.

Morgan said field tests had already determined the substances were crack cocaine and marijuana. Sending the items for further testing by the GBI is standard protocol, he said.

The investigator said the possession and distribution charges are felonies. Possession of drug related objects is a misdemeanor, he said.

Other charges are pending on another related case, Morgan said. The investigation into this case lasted about two months, he said.




Summer play opens June 3

Special Report

The Schoolhouse Players summer production takes center stage beginning Thursday, June 3 in Bartow with “The Service at Rocky Bluff.” Bring the whole family to enjoy this musical comedy.

Welcome to Rocky Bluff! One of the friendliest churches you have ever had a chance to visit is located here. As with most churches, you will find wonderful members, who really believe in their pastor. That would be Reverend Meade. Well, two of these fine members, Betty (Meagan Arrington), the Minister of Music, and Marie (Ann Smith), the church caretaker have heard that a pastor’s search committee is coming to hear Rev. Meade. When you visit, you will see to what extent a church will go through to keep their preacher!

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Performances will be held June 3-5 and June 11-13. Curtain is 8 pm nightly and 3 pm on the 13th. The music is southern gospel with siblings Charlene (Connie Burt) and Briscoe Darling (John Mole) on the piano and guitar. Rounding out this service will be Floyd (Roger Berge) and Lloyd (Hubert Jordan), Wade (Wendell Stephens) their daddy and Floyd’s wife Amy (Rosie Berge). The service is unlike any service you have been to before and the music is fantastic!

Once again, the Schoolhouse Players offer to you a night of entertainment. You will leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Mancin Auditorium in Bartow is where the action takes place. Please call 478-364-3340 for reservations.



Roadwork on U.S. 1 nears completion

Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Road work on Highway 1 that began on April 29 is nearing its completion date. According to Department of Transportation Area Engineer Corbett S. Reynolds, with the weather’s cooperation, it should be completed in early June.

Corbett said 13.6 miles of roadway, from Clarks Mill Road to Highway 17, is being chip sealed to relieve cracking, leveled to fill in wheel ruts and resurfaced. This road work was one of the first to be approved for stimulus funding. Though this was a standalone project, according to Department of Transportation Press Secretary David Spear, similar projects are taking place in Richmond County.

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“The Department conducts a survey of all state routes each year,” Reynolds said of the reason for Highway 1 work. “The survey used by the Department is PACES, which measures the type of cracking and the severity of the cracking.

“PACES also takes into account rutting, potholes and patches, raveling, missing stone, etc. The Department will analyze the data gathered for each road to determine the level of maintenance required to extend the life of the road. Any route that scores below a 70 on the survey is subject for resurfacing. Routes that score above 70 may be subject for other types of maintenance like crack sealing or spot overlays.”

"It has been many, many years since this road was resurfaced and that has a great deal to do with why it is among the first to receive stimulus funding,” Spear said before the project began. “The pavement ratings that we use to measure the condition of all state roadways show this one very much in need of resurfacing and the work is ready to begin immediately which is in line with the intent of the stimulus program to focus on ‘shovel ready’ projects that can create jobs quickly.”

Reeves Construction Company won the bid for this work, which the Department of Transportation is investing $3,438,984.42 into the project.

“Maintenance of our roadways throughout the state is vital to the transportation needs of all our community,” Reynolds said.

He also added that Reeves Construction Company has contracted with Tucker Trucking of Wrens to haul asphalt to the job site.

Reynolds also stated that while there are no detours for the road work, there is one lane traffic that is escorted through the work zone by a pilot vehicle and wait times may vary, but should not exceed 10 minutes.

Reeves Construction Company was also awarded another resurfacing project on May 6, which should begin next month in the county. The contract is to resurface Highway 296 from U.S. Highway 1 to Highway 88. The total bid for this project was $1,741,290.35.




County hires accounting coordinator

Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

After hiring a finance director, who resigned after one day, Jefferson County Administrator Paul Bryan said the woman who will fill the vacant position will be the county’s accounting coordinator.

Susan Braddy, who had been hired to be the finance director, called Bryan the morning of her second day to resign, saying the trip to and from her home was farther than she had realized.

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Pamela Ann Turner, who lives in Davisboro, was a strong candidate during the interview process but is not a CPA, Bryan said.

Turner, whose first day is scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, had been a city clerk in Tennille, he said.

“She has experience in grants and municipal accounting. She will be responsible for payroll, grants management, accounts payable, accounts receivable and tax returns,” Bryan said.

Mary Lamb, the previous county clerk, had been on a medical leave of absence when she died April 9. Bonnie Wells is the county clerk now and also the personnel director.

“We never had a personnel director,” Bryan said. The accounting coordinator will take over the financial tasks that had been performed by Lamb, he said.

The combined salary for both women is less than Lamb’s salary; so, the salary for the new position is within the budget, Bryan said.




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