In the tree’s twinkling glow
Patrons look on as Mayor Herman Baker light the Wadley Christmas tree downtown. Two children wearing Santa hats wait for other to arrive for the lighting of the tree.
Downtown Louisville is Bustlin’ this holiday season
By Bonnie K. Sargent
Thursday nights in downtown Louisville just got a little busier for the holiday season. Every Thursday between Thanksgiving and Christmas will be part of Bustlin’ on Broad, an event where downtown merchants stay open after-hours for shopping, dining and entertainment.
This will be the fourth year that Bustlin’ on Broad will take place. Lil Easterlin, executive director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, said it has been a very successful event each year.
“We have a lot of families that come and enjoy milling around after-hours downtown,” Easterlin said. “Almost every one of the downtown merchants participates.”
Easterlin said all the merchants who can are participating, adding that some aren’t allowed to stay open after hours.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is one of the main sponsors of the event. Easterlin said that one purpose of the Chamber of Commerce is to keep money local and to try and stop retail leakage.
“Bustlin’ on Broad allows people to come downtown and spend money. It allows merchants to sell more. It allows families to spend time together, whether they are shopping or not,” Easterlin said. “The Chamber is happy to sponsor the event because it helps serve those purposes.”
Other sponsors of Bustlin’ on Broad are Queensborough National Bank and Trust, Another Level Fashion, The Book Worm, Cotton States Insurance, Cuttin’ Up, The Fire House Gallery, Foster’s Restaurant, Gatherings, The Historical Society, Home Fresh Bistro, MWD DUI School, Louisville Finance, Randi’s, Sassy Stitches and Twisted Sisters.
“Each of these individuals gave what they could,” said Easterlin. “Some gave $25, some gave $50, some gave 100.”
Various events are taking place each Thursday and include musical performances, dance performances and book signings at the Book Worm.
“At each location, the merchant decides for themselves if they want to have refreshments or something special in their store,” said Easterlin.
Easterlin said there will be several new participants this year.
Casey Sullivan, an intern at the Fire House Gallery, is also a musician and she will be performing music with some of her friends on Thursday, Dec. 16.
“Having a different writer signing books at the bookstore every week will be something new as well,” said Easterlin. “It’s nice to have two restaurants open as well. I think last year the Bistro was just closing around this time.”
The first Bustlin’ on Broad event was Thursday, Dec. 2. The event was broadcast live with WPEH. There were performances by the Jefferson County High School Chorus, the Southern Dance Connection and Connie Barrow was signing copies of her book, “The Holland Grill Family Cookbook,” at the Book Worm.
“It was a great turnout, absolutely great,” said Margaret Newberry, owner of the Book Worm. “One of the best book signings I’ve ever had.”
“We always have a very good response,” said Easterlin. “The weather has helped a lot. We’re very weather-dependent, since most of it is outside. I think having it be a little nippy out helps because it makes people feel more of the Christmas spirit.”
The next Bustlin’ on Broad events will be Thursday, Dec. 9, with performances by the United Methodist Church Children’s Choir and the First Baptist Church Children’s Choir. Shirley Regel will be signing copies of her book “Poems from the Heart,” as well as her new book, at the Book Worm.
“Based on the turnout Thursday, I think it was a success and with choirs coming it looks like it’s going to be a very good year and I hope more people will come and enjoy it,” said Newberry.
“I want people to come and enjoy themselves in downtown, going shopping and visiting,” said Easterlin. “And just enjoy these community events.”
Wadley man charged in dumping 19 dead dogs
By Carol McLeod
Charles Frank Strother, a 52-year-old Wadley man, turned himself in to Burke County authorities Monday in a case involving the illegal dumping of 19 dead dogs.
Public works employees found the dogs’ remains Monday, Nov. 29, along Old Wadley Road near Midville in Burke County. He faces 20 counts of illegal dumping in Burke County, one count for each dog plus an additional count for a blue tarp that was dumped along with the dogs.
All these charges are misdemeanors, authorities said.
Wadley Police Chief Wesley Lewis said charges in Wadley will depend on the results of his department’s investigation, which was still ongoing as of press time Tuesday.
“We’ve been investigating it since we found out about it last Friday,” Lewis said in an interview Tuesday. “We’ve been in contact with the ASPCA and the director of the Georgia Humane Society,”
The chief said a determination whether WPD will press charges against Strother will be made based on the way the dogs were housed and kept and the manner in which they were put down.
Lewis said Strother admitted to killing the dogs in Jefferson County and transporting them to Burke County.
The chief said Strother called police and told the responding officer, Patrolman E.B. Marsh, his son called him and told him the dogs had attacked the other dogs.
“So he came home and called the police department,” Lewis said, adding the statements were recorded on a video device worn by Marsh. Each officer wears such a device, he said.
“On her camera, you can see the dogs were in there dead and torn apart. She contacted me because he wanted her to put the dogs down. I told her to let him know that we couldn’t put the dogs down and we couldn’t give him permission to put the dogs down,” the chief said.
“The only time he could do anything was in defense of himself or protecting other animals or the neighborhood from injury or damage being caused by an animal. He took it upon himself to destroy the animals,” Lewis said.
Lewis said Strother told Marsh he was upset because the dogs had killed his puppies and other dogs he had in the pen.
“And he wasn’t thinking when he disposed of them,” Lewis said.
“On the video, he told the officer he needed to put them down because they would probably get out and there were a bunch of children in the neighborhood and he didn’t want to be responsible for what those dogs could do to the children,” he said.
The chief said Strother had not been in trouble before.
“Never had any trouble out of him,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he thinks Strother still has two dogs.
“He says that a puppy survived that wasn’t torn apart by the other dogs and a female,” he said.
Lewis said officers will go to where the man keeps his dogs and make sure they’re properly housed and fed and don’t need to be taken to a veterinarian to be checked.
He said they will probably eventually require Strother to have the remaining animals checked by a vet.
“What we’re doing is waiting until we hear back from the ASPCA and the Humane Society. We’re going to document everything and get in touch with the DA’s office and talk with the district attorney,” Lewis said.
The chief said there are state guidelines that address what a person can do when confronted with a dangerous animal.
“It depends on what the investigation shows,” Lewis said.
Jefferson County District Attorney Hayward Altman said Tuesday the chief had contacted him.
“I told him I would contact the GBI,” Altman said. “The GBI will handle the investigation because of potential conflicts and the expertise of the GBI doing investigations of this nature.”
Merged technical colleges choose name
By Carol McLeod
Two months ago, Heart of Georgia Technical College and Sandersville Technical College announced plans to merge and create a new institution as of July 1, 2011.
Dr. Lloyd Horadan, president of Sandersville Technical College, said in an interview last month that work on the merger has already started.
“We’re looking at the accreditation application and we’ve begun working on that,” he said.
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The council on occupational accreditation, which is headquartered in Atlanta, is an accrediting agency for two-year technical colleges, Horadan said.
“And they happen to be ours, they’re our pre-existing,” he said. “At present, we’re working at developing the organization chart to the assignment of personnel that will staff the key jobs in our college. We’re excited about what the opportunities present for the people of the area because it will allow us to offer more jobs and more programs.”
This proposed merger will afford STC and HGTC the opportunity to expand program offerings and services, grow enrollment and cultivate new relationships in the expanded service delivery area the TCSG stated in a press release.
“It’s still very, very open. But a couple of areas that we have looked at are programs that are related to the electrical generation industry,” Horadan said.
“In the baseline structure of small, technical colleges, they offer many of the same programs. That is true in the case of Sandersville Tech and Heart of Georgia. However, when smaller schools look to expand, very often there are not sufficient students or demand for a full time program. In this case, by merging the two institutions, we’ll be able to create enough demand and enrollment to create full time programs where before there was not enough demand. An example of this might be a paramedic program,” he said.
Once the merger is complete, students will see very little change in the daily operations of the campuses. No buildings or facilities will be closed. There will be no changes to the colleges’ other programs, like adult education, continuing education and customized workforce training.
The colleges asked citizens in the 11 counties the colleges serve to submit names for the college.
HGTC and STC announced last week the name selected is Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
College officials said more than 730 suggestions were made. Three names were chosen from those names and presented to the combined board of directors from both colleges.
The name the boards chose was then presented to the colleges’ governing body, the Technical College System of Georgia State Board of Directors.
The new name was announced Dec. 2.
In a joint statement, STC Pres. Dr. Lloyd Horadan and HGTC Interim Pres. Beth Crumpton, said, “The new college name needed to reflect both service areas and unit us. Within our area are two dominant geographical features – the Oconee River and the Fall Line. These two features are important natural resources for business and industry and the economy for both of our communities.
“It was essential that the name send a clear signal to learners and employers in the region that we are their college.”
The statement also said the two will work together to ensure Oconee Fall Line Technical College continues to serve the communities with quality technical and continuing education, adult education, and business and industry services.
The winner of the naming submission contest was Felicia Clark of Dublin.