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August 19, 2010 Issue

Free food at park
Former Wrens mayor passes away
Suspect injures officer, self in foot chase
Shop Glascock County program kicks off

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Free food at park

By Bonnie K. Sargent

George Cooper, an international celebrity hairstylist from Jefferson County, held a food giveaway at GC The Park on Thursday, July 29. Golden Harvest Food Bank, located in Augusta, donated more than 5,000 pounds of food which was distributed by GC The Park. About 200 families came to receive food. Volunteers unloaded the food truck, which was filled with a variety of perishables, canned goods, dry milk, vegetables, produce and cheese.

“It was a really good turnout,” said Kimberly Robinson, a representative of the Golden Harvest Food Bank. “There were a lot of volunteers. A lot of families showed up, ranging from elderly to young ones carrying boxes. They were all helping each other. It took two hours for the food to be gone. It was very organized.”


“I wanted to give back to the community that I grew up in,” said Cooper. “I wanted to let them know I am still part of the community.”

Cooper will hold another giveaway this month on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 11 a.m.

“I’m working on it really hard, but I need support,” Cooper said, “We would like to have more support for GC The Park from the community. Also, GC The Park is where friends and family come together. I want everyone to know what we’re doing here because it’s for the community.”

The Golden Harvest Food Bank provides food on a daily basis to families in need.

“Our goal is mainly to reach counties that have low income families in need of this type of product,” said Robinson, “We provide USDA-certified food which is geared to families that is just anybody who is low income.”

The Golden Harvest Food Bank is partnered with 77 agencies in Georgia alone. They have many other programs, including brown bag program for seniors and a backpack program for kids.

Former Wrens mayor passes away

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

John Judson “Juddy” Rabun retired in 2004 after serving as the mayor of Wrens for 38 years.

After serving in the Navy during WWII, Rabun joined his wife, Lena, in Wrens, a city he loved for the rest of his life.


Dollye Ward, who became mayor after Rabun, said her parents and Rabun were friends.

“Daddy did serve on the council with Mr. Juddy, too,” she said.

“When they built the city hall, his name’s on that plaque, too,” she said of her father, J.H. “Buck” Wren. “Mr. Juddy’s is, too, because he was the mayor. That was just one of his accomplishments.

“He did love this community and everything he tried to do and did was for the betterment of this community,” she said, adding Rabun made sure US Highway 1 came through Wrens without a bypass.

“A lot of things were changing at that time and he was involved in all of it,” she said.

After his retirement, the city held a J.J. Rabun Day on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2004, at the civic room in city hall.

In an interview earlier that year, Rabun said he had seen a lot of potential in Wrens. During his 10 terms as mayor, he not only helped make city hall a reality, he watched the Wrens airport take shape.

“We’re blessed,” he said then.

“I’m proud of the people of Wrens. We have people here who really care about the city and want to see it at its best,” he said.

Rabun announced his retirement after a bout with cancer.

“I’m 78 years old now and I want to spend some time with my family. If it wasn’t for my age and my health, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. I love this town,” he said.

When Ward took over as mayor, she said she had a lot to learn and would be talking to Rabun when she needed him and his advice.

“Daddy admired Mr. Juddy as I do,” she said then. “He has served this community well for the last 38 years. He has a great love for our city and he wants it to prosper.”

Lester Hadden, the city’s current mayor, served as a councilman during the late 1970s and early 1980s, which was during Rabun’s time as mayor.

“I remember him as a conservative man,” Hadden said. “He was the mayor and usually before council meetings, he would come and meet with each council member.”

Hadden said Rabun had really done his homework and knew about the items on the agenda for the council meetings. Hadden said those talks allowed the council members to become more familiar with what would be discussed at the meetings.

“I found him very helpful to me as a council person. He was always fair. He laid the groundwork for the growth of the city and I think he did a great job,” Hadden said.

The city’s administrator, Arty Thrift, said he was not working for the city during the time Rabun was mayor.

“But I knew him all my life,” Thrift said.

“He did a lot of work for the city of Wrens. We want to express our sympathies to the Rabun family and their loss. It’s a loss for their family and for the city. We’ll miss Mr. Juddy most definitely,” he said.

Rabun, 85, died Thursday, Aug. 12. He had worked as an independent insurance agent for 40 years. He served on many regional and state committees while mayor. Other service to the community included being an active member in the Wrens Kiwanis Club for more than 50 years.

Besides his wife, the former Lena McClesky, survivors include his son, Johnny Rabun, of Wrens.

Wayne Davis, the public works director for Wrens and a Jefferson County commissioner, also remembered Rabun fondly.

“Mr. Juddy was the driving force, or one of the driving forces, for J. M. Huber Corporation. He was very instrumental in getting the work in this area and to start the chalk plant,” Davis said. J. M. Huber is now Ka-Min.

“Glit was built as a spec building through economic development. Mr. Juddy and Mr. Ted Johnson were very instrumental, along with a group of other men, in getting that spec building filled up with the company that’s there now, which is Glit,” he said.

Davis said Rabun was also instrumental in getting Johnnycat to locate in the area.

“On the Johnnycat facility, Mr. Juddy had help from Mr. James Rogers,” he said.

“Mr. Juddy was very instrumental in the economic development of a lot of businesses, plants and jobs in the Wrens area.

“To me, Mr. Juddy was a very close friend of mine. He was instrumental in a lot of the beliefs that I have about the way that business should be conducted. He always, always, had Wrens and the county at heart in everything he done,” Davis said.

“There is no end to the amount of accomplishments that Mr. Juddy has done,” he said.

Suspect injures officer, self in foot chase

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A man police say ran from officers at a traffic stop also ran from officers during an interview at the Wrens police department.

“An officer, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation,” a spokesman with the WPD said in an interview last week.


“He noted the occupants weren’t wearing seatbelts,” he said.

The officer signaled the driver to stop; and, the driver pulled into the Park and Ride on Georgia Highway 4, the spokesman said, adding there were three people in the car.

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver and one of the two passengers jumped and ran. A search for the two individuals was conducted by the Wrens Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of a tracking dog from the Waynesboro Police Department. They were not located,” the spokesman said.

The driver of the automobile, 20-year-old Casey Everett Davis of Stapleton, reported his vehicle as being stolen to 911, the spokesman said.

“The driver was contacted by the police department and told that he needed to come in to the police department to file a stolen automobile report. He did come in and was interviewed,” he said.

During the interview police say he was advised he was seen exiting the vehicle on the police car video camera.

“During the interview the driver was cooperative but nervous and while the officer and the investigator had stepped from the room to discuss possible charges, the driver attempted to escape and ended up crashing through the front plate glass door of city hall, which was locked,” the spokesman said.

The police officer, Grant Matherly, apprehended Davis as he was going through the door.

“Both the driver and the police officer were injured by the shattered glass. The officer was transported to the Jefferson County hospital, treated and released. The driver was transported by helicopter to the Medical College of Georgia where he was treated for numerous lacerations. He was released to law enforcement officers who transported him to the Jefferson County jail,” the spokesman said.

Davis faces multiple charges including two counts of obstruction of an officer, open container, seatbelt violation, interference with government property and escape.

“One of the obstruction of an officer charges is a felony because the officer was injured; interference of government property is a felony because of the amount of damage to the door,” the spokesman said.

The passenger who remained in the car was not charged. The passenger of the car who ran was identified by police as Calvin Cunningham. Cunningham is still at large and charges against him are pending.

Shop Glascock County program kicks off

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

In the coming week, Glascock County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Lori Boyen is offering sound shopping advice to citizens in Glascock County, who want their area to prosper, Shop Glascock First!

Though two new businesses have recently opened their doors to the area, Dollar General and Southern Bank, the development authority wants to remind citizens to shop at home when they can. Usually a chamber of commerce promotes a county’s businesses, but because of the size of Glascock County, Boyen said it is hard to have a chamber.


“Basically, the development authority wanted to celebrate the businesses we have here already and to remind people to shop here first,” Boyen explained. “We know people know a lot about the dollar store that opened and the bank and it’s wonderful, but we have businesses that have been here for years, like Kitchen’s Grocery.”

Boyen added that Kitchen’s recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“We have hair salons, a hardware store, convenience stores, a grocery store and even a place for massages. We want people to shop here when they can and let the money work for the school system and our county.”

To help remind citizens of the ongoing local shopping drive, the development authority will have items they will give to businesses to, in turn, give to customers.

“We have items like a reusable shopping tote, pens, pencils and magnets, which we will give to area businesses to remind customers to shop at home,” Boyen said. “We want to remind people about all of the wonderful businesses we have here and we also want to let people in surrounding communities know as well.”

Boyen noted that many citizens shop in neighboring areas.

“It’s here, shop here,” she said. “Instead of driving to Thomson, Sandersville or Augusta, buy here when you can. Support your friends, family and neighbors who have businesses here. It is the only way we can grow as a community.”

Boyen said that beginning this week banners and give-a-way items will be placed around Glascock County, including Gibson and Mitchell.

“The development authority looks for businesses to come to the area, but we said we need to do this as well. We need to support businesses we have here that are providing jobs. I know we’re kind of stepping a little off course, but in keeping jobs here, not really.”

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