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September 30, 2010 Issue

Bank sponsors food distributions
Attendance needs to be high on Oct. 5, say school officials
Two charged with gang activity, third sought
LA reunion kicks off Oct. 8

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Bank sponsors food distributions

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Steve Thames, a vice president with Queensborough National Bank & Trust, said in an interview Thursday, Sept. 16, the bank will be lending support to the Golden Harvest Food Bank, which is based in Augusta.

Thames said bank president, Bill Easterlin, wanted to make an alliance with some kind of non-profit organization the company could support as a way to give back to the community.

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“So we made the decision as a company to adopt Golden Harvest Food Bank because we have branches in just about every community they serve in Georgia,” Thames said.

“Plus it allows us to support the local food banks through them,” he said.

Thames said starting in October all branches of the bank will have barrels in the lobby for canned food donations.

“Plus we’re going to have collection cans at all of the teller lines for monetary donations,” he said.

Queensborough sponsored a manna truck on Saturday, Sept. 25, in Bartow. The truck, with fresh fruit, milk, rice, canned goods and other items, had enough food for 300 people, a volunteer with the bank said that day.

“We’re also sponsoring a manna truck on Oct. 23 in the parking lot of our operations center,” Thames said.

The event in October will be in the parking lot behind Foster’s in Louisville at 10 a.m., he said.

“Our employees are encouraged to participate and help with it, as well as our customers. We give an incentive to our employees to donate their time to the community,” Thames said.

“It will be an ongoing participation. It will be something we continue to do throughout the year. We want to be able to give back to the community,” he said.

“The nice thing about the organization is for every dollar that’s given, it grows seven times. And it stays in the community,” Thames said.

Ashley Loshniowsky, public information specialist with the Golden Harvest Food Bank, said in a recent interview there are income restrictions when trucks have USDA products on them.

are going to be USDA distributions,” she said of the two trucks delivering food in Jefferson County.

Loshniowsky sent The News and Farmer / The Jefferson Reporter a copy of the form people will have to complete to receive food from either of these manna trucks.

The form states a one-member household must have an income of $260 a week or less. Higher incomes are allowed for each additional family member. A family of eight, for example, is allowed an income of up to $890 a week. There is no verification process. The income form is a requirement of the USDA.

Not all of the products will be through USDA funding.

Travis McNeal, director of special projects for the food bank, said in a press release the non-profit is excited about the partnership between their organization and Queensborough.

“It demonstrates how we can work together towards reaching out to our local rural, un-reached communities by collecting money, food and providing large food distributions to those in need,” he said.

“It really means a lot to us that Queensborough Bank cares about hunger and wants to serve its community by giving back. We hope their testimony will spark others to do the very same thing,” he said.




Attendance needs to be high on Oct. 5, say school officials

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

A child’s attendance at school has a lot riding on it. Attendance is one of the main focuses of No Child Left Behind, as well as the key to a student’s academic success, but it also contributes to the government funding a school receives.

Tuesday, Oct. 5, will be one of two FTE (Full Time Equivalent) Count Days for public school systems, including Jefferson and Glascock counties. With constant cuts in funding for education, area school systems want parents and students to realize that they have to make every child count to receive state funding per each student.

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Using the FTE formula, which is based on the number of students who attend school on the first Tuesday in October each year, the Georgia Department of Education allocates funding to the local school systems. Another FTE day is also held in the spring of the academic school year to help aid in a more exact count of students for the following year’s funds.

“This is important,” Jefferson County Assistant Superintendent Donnie Hodges said. “It is certainly important for students to be there to learn, but this formula drives our funding.”

In the past, an average was taken of the number of students attending a school system throughout the year to determine state funding.

“There is a count in the fall and in the spring,” she said. “This is what you earn for educating the students; the funds go towards textbooks, equipment and so much more.”

Both, Hodges and Glascock County Superintendent Jim Holton, said that a student’s attendance is the key to their educational success.

“Student attendance is not only important for state funding, but also for student success,” Holton said. “Consistent attendance is directly linked to high student achievement. One of the most important things parents can do to ensure their child’s success in school is to make regular attendance a top priority.”

Regardless of the amount of funding received per students, school systems must still provide an education for students that may not be counted. It is unclear at this time, what each school system will receive per student for the next academic year.



Two charged with gang activity, third sought

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wadley police have arrested two men and charged them with participation in gang activity.

Lamar Keyshonn Brown, 21, of Wadley was arrested Monday, Sept. 13, and also charged with simple battery.

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The second man arrested in the same incident was identified by police as Rodney Sentle Richardson, 19, of Wadley. Richardson was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, superior court probation warrant, two counts of possession of firearm or knife while trying to commit crimes, possession of arms by convicted felon and first offender probation violation.

As of press time Tuesday, police were still looking for a third man, Eric Price of Wadley, in connection to the incident. Price is thought to be about 20 years old.

Lt. Leroy Morgan, an investigator with the Wadley PD, said last week in an interview that a man grabbed a handkerchief from Price’s pocket and threw it on the ground.

The color of the handkerchief, which Morgan said gang members display from their back pocket, identifies the member’s gang affiliation, the investigator said.

“Red is Bloods; blue is Crypts; black is Disciples,” he said, adding these are the only gangs in Wadley familiar to the police at this time.

“That’s what initiated the fight,” he said. “They consider the bandana as their flag. The (victim), when he threw the flag on the ground and stepped on it, that’s what initiated the confrontation.

“The victim stated he was just playing when he removed Price’s handkerchief and threw it down and stepped on it. During an interview with Mr. Brown and Mr. Richardson, they said Price saw this as disrespect to his flag.”

Brown and Richardson told police Price called them and they came to the scene and assaulted the victim with a gun and a knife, Morgan said.

The victim, whom police said is not affiliated with any gang, was pistol-whipped in the head, Morgan said.

“After the pistol fell, they started sticking him with the knife in the back and the legs,” Morgan said, describing the wounds as small, light jabs.

“It was enough for him to go to the emergency room, but he was not admitted,” the investigator said.

Morgan said a search warrant was served.

“A search was conducted at one of the men’s residences and the knife was found but not the gun. The knife has been sent to the GBI crime lab for DNA comparison to the victim. It was a pocket knife with a blade of more than 3 inches,” he said.

“After talking with the Disciples, they said their motto is to handle their own business and don’t call the police. They said calling the police would be the last resort,” Morgan said.

“We have heard bits and pieces. Some suspects have been under surveillance based on certain information. There was one a while back called the Folk Nation. We still hear bits and pieces about that one but it’s not like these other three,” he said.

Morgan said one of the men said there were some more gangs outside of the county area.

Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said the gang activity started about seven or eight months ago.

“They’ve been jumping on different people, beating up people, people from different gangs, they’ve been jumping on (each other), painting different gang signs on buildings around town,” he said.

“We started having a lot of activity out of them. Before then, you’d hear about groups of boys hanging out but they weren’t doing nothing. They’re shooting guns, jumping on people, jumping on people for wearing different colors,” he said.

Lewis said the first gang has not been active in the area lately. Currently, he said about three gangs are active in the Wadley area.

The chief said the police are seeing about one or two incidents related to gangs every two to three weeks.

Morgan is asking that anyone with information on Price contact the Wadley PD at 478-252-5214.

“This guy is associated with the Disciples,” Morgan said. “His parents were contacted and stated they did not know his whereabouts.

Lewis said gang activity is a felony.




LA reunion kicks off Oct. 8

By Bonnie Sargent
Apprentice

The Louisville Academy Raiders Gathering will be held Friday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct.10, for former staff, teachers and students from any year.

Louisville Academy was closed after integration was enacted in 1970 and Louisville Academy became an elementary school only. High school students were sent to Louisville High School. The old school building was no longer used. The Raiders Gathering will be an event for Alumni who attended the school before it closed.

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The event will begin Friday, Oct. 8, with a morning golf outing at the Ogeechee Valley Country Club. Larry Veatch, who helped organize the event, said it will not be a competitive game and duffers of all levels are welcome. Green fees will apply.

Alumni of Louisville Academy and guests will start signing in at 5 p.m. for the first major event, an outdoor festival downtown, which will feature live music provided by a group of alumni-musicians. Businesses such as The Fire House Gallery, The Pal Theater and The Gatherings will be open. The Louisville Fire Department will be selling hamburgers and hotdogs. There will be a presentation of photos from the era of the school at The Pal. Alumni are encouraged to dress in some attire that reflects the time they were in school.

Saturday morning at 8 a.m. there will be an opportunity to run, walk or peddle around the town. The gym will also be opened at this time. There will be a group of volunteers decorating. Others will be putting out memorabilia for the whole of the alumni to view after 3 p.m. The volunteers will also decorate at the National Guard Armory, across from the Lions Club Fairgrounds.

At 9 a.m. Leroy Lewis, a local historian, will conduct a historical tour around town, providing information about Louisville’s rich history. At 10 a.m. attendees will gather at Helen Clark Memorial Park for a picnic. A lunch may be purchased at the park, from the Louisville Fire Department, or attendees may bring their own food.

After lunch, the group will move to the football field for a grouping by age, to help reconnect old classmates. Then a photo shoot for the alumni will be held in the old school archway. Afterwards, alumni may visit the gym to view memorabilia and to remember those who have been lost since Louisville Academy closed 40 years ago.

Memorabilia displayed in the gym will include a copy of the article that appeared in The News and Farmer in 1970 regarding the closing of the school. There will also be yearbooks from the last few years the school was open and an LA pendant. Veatch said he encouraged others to bring mementos they have.

“I look forward to being surprised by what they have saved for all these years,” he said.

After a brief rest for everyone, the alumni will gather at the armory for the final major event, a party, complete with a dance, more live music and recorded music from the past few decades. The Orient Express, a local band that was active in the ‘60s, will play old favorites. A DJ will provide recorded music.

On Sunday, Oct. 10, there will be a farewell breakfast.

A $20 fee will be asked of each alumni and guest to help offset the cost of arranging and staging the events. Former Louisville Academy staff, teachers and administrators will not be required to pay the fee. The fee will be required of anyone planning to attend the party Saturday night.

“The funds we have after expenses will be donated to a local charity or organization,” said Veatch.

Everyone is encouraged to register beforehand and to pay the fee in advance to help with expenses. They will also have the opportunity to register Friday at the downtown festival and at the armory Saturday night.

“Louisville Academy’s ‘The Gathering’ has generated an enthusiastic response,” said Veatch. “Many have expressed an interest in getting together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the closing of the school in 1970.”

Veatch said they have had offers to help with planning, staging and paying for the events. He said people have been making calls, writing letters, collecting photographs, providing information and offering suggestions.

“Two of our own set up a bank account and a FaceBook page for us,” Veatch added. “Others have offered to make a cake, decorate, make banners and signs and even help clean up. The Gathering seems to have tapped a need for people to do some reconnecting with others from their youth.”

Veatch said the number of people registered so far is close to 100, but expects two or three times as many to come.

Veatch said they are proud of being associated with a school that was open for 174 years and maintained a reputation for excellence. He said most anyone who attended Louisville Academy or assisted the students in some way has fond memories of the era.

“It has been 40 years since the school closed and having this reunion for all those who are still around promises to be very special,” said Veatch. “We want to provide for those who are still around an opportunity to remember, reunite and reminisce.”

Veatch said anyone connected with the school who is unable to attend the October event is encouraged to contact them in regards to their plans for future gatherings as well as methods to help people stay in touch.

For more information regarding the Louisville Academy Raiders Gathering, contact Larry Veatch at larryv8@cox.net or visit the Louisville Academy Raiders Gathering on FaceBook.




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