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May 5, 2011 Issue

Future of Academy discussed
Why we fight
Buzzard Blast set for Saturday

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Future of Academy discussed

By Bonnie K. Sargent

The Jefferson County Board of Education has scheduled two public hearings to discuss whether to renovate Louisville Academy or build another school to replace it.

The first hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, May 3. The second hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10. Both meetings are scheduled for the board’s office at 1001 Peachtree St. at 6 p.m.


The board estimates a new building to cost more than $9 million. Funding from state sources are estimated to be about $3.6 million, which would leave $6,730,000 to be paid for locally with SPLOST funds.

Dr. Molly Howard, the county’s school board superintendent, said in an interview Tuesday the board has not made the final decision.

She said the hearings are required to comply with the state’s regulations.

“Students have to go outside the building to go to the media center, the lunchroom, the office, anywhere other than their classroom area,” Howard said about the current school building.

It’s been added onto; and, the central building is a 1950s building, Howard said.

To bring the building up to code would require major renovations, she said.

A new school would house the same classes, pre-k through fifth grade, and would be built with the current student population in mind.

Jimmy Fleming, the school board chairman, said the layout of the school makes renovations difficult.

“We haven’t ruled out a renovation,” he said in an interview.

The school system has already renovated two schools, both elementary, and Fleming said with those costs in mind, the board is trying to determine the best use of the system’s money.

“We’re going to look at both scenarios,” he said. “We haven’t really made up our mind one way or the other. It may not be that much difference in money.”

Howard said Tuesday they hadn’t heard from anyone wanting to be on the agenda for either meeting.

Both meetings are open to the public.

“If anyone does have any questions or concerns, please attend the meetings to get the facts,” Howard said.

Anyone interested in being placed on the agenda to address the board should contact Teresa King at the board office at (478) 625-3283.

Why we fight

By Bonnie K. Sargent

The 17th annual Jefferson County Relay for Life came to a close Saturday, April 30. The Relay lasted for two days.

This year’s Relay theme was “There is No Holiday for Cancer.” Team booths set up around the walking track in Wrens featured various holidays, including Mardi Gras, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.


Jefferson County Relay Chairperson Vicky McDonald said there were approximately 14 teams present at this year’s Relay. She said several new teams participated this year that had not in the past, including the Wadley Walkers, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Hospital, Woodmen of the World and Wrens United Methodist Church Youth.

A new feature at this year’s Relay was the “Cars for a Cure” car show that was held Saturday, coordinated by Adam Howard. The winner for Participant’s Choice was Charlie Stout. The People’s Choice winner was Glen Cooler. The winner for Ladies’ Choice was Bobbie Simpsons.

Several awards were presented to teams at the Relay. First place for most money raised went to First State Bank, which raised a total of $12,235. Second place went to Wrens United Methodist Church Youth, which raised $9,099.82. Third place went to KaMin Chalkwalkers, which raised a total of $8,909. The award for most money raised by a school went to Wrens Middle School, which raised $7,962.50. The award for best campsite went to Wrens United Methodist Church Youth.

McDonald said as of Saturday, the total amount of money raised at this year’s Relay was $68,811.97. She said none of the amounts are definite totals, because more money comes in later.

Valduga said they will have a great kids area this year, including about four different inflatables as well as the cow train from Kackleberry Farms. The story teller will also be around for about 3 hours.

“There’s gonna be a lot of good stuff all day long,” he said.

Sponsors for the Buzzard Blast are Queensborough National Bank and Trust, the city of Louisville, Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, Jefferson Hospital Foundation, The News and Farmer, WPEH radio, John Kitchens Website Design, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, The Book Worm, Rhodes Murphy, Twisted Sister, Blanchard Equipment Co., Fosters, State Farm Insurance, Cuttin Up, Sassy Stitches, Sandersville Technical College, Home Fresh Bistro, Compliments of Sam Eason, the Fire House Gallery, Jones, Jones, Davis & Associates, Jefferson County Financial Services, Davis McGraw Furniture, B&H Land and Timber, Dairy Queen, Kackleberry Farms, Taylor Funeral Home, Harvey Law Firm, Jefferson Energy Cooperative, Smith Sheppard, Hadden’s Auto Repair, Louisville Hardware, Don Handberry Cotton States, Farmers Home Furniture, Wasden Realty Inc., Louisville Drug Co. and Bargeron Insurance Agency.

Valduga said he wanted to thank the sponsors and all the volunteers that helped with the festival, including co-chair Becky Harrison, Susan Polhill and Wendy Davis.

Buzzard Blast set for Saturday

By Bonnie Sargent

Louisville’s fifth annual Buzzard Blast will be held Saturday, May 7, at Helen Clark Memorial Park.

There will be no admission fee this year. Billy Valduga, the co-chair for the event, said it is scheduled to last from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. He said there will be a 5K run starting at 8 a.m. Anyone who wants to participate can sign up the day of the event or register online at www.buzzardblast.com. The cost to participate in the 5K is $15. Participants should meet in front of the Wellness Center at Jefferson Hospital the morning of the race.


Entertainment throughout the day will include a presentation by Stephanie’s Dance Explosion, starting around 9:30 a.m., followed by Christian comedian Lanny Moody. After Moody there will be a professional story teller, music by the Ogeechee river Band and presentations by three concert bands, the Jefferson County High School Band, Louisville Middle School Band and Wrens Middle School band.

Arts and crafts vendors as well as food vendors will be set up throughout the day. Food will include barbeque, hotdogs, sausage dogs, funnel cakes, chicken tenders, onion rings, SnoCones, Italian ice and various baked goods.

Valduga said the Buzzard Blast has done really well in the past couple of years. He said it is very dependent on the weather and last year it rained.

“That really hurt us,” he said, adding that the forecast for this year looks good.

Valduga said last year the Buzzard Blast raised about $4,000 and the year before that was about the same amount. He said all money goes to the Downtown Development Authority. He said the awnings over the shops in downtown Louisville were recently replaced and it was money from the Buzzard Blast that helped make that possible.

Lil Easterlin, executive director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, said proceeds from the Buzzard Blast go to do the work of the Louisville Downtown Development Authority. She said right now they are still working on the façade program and trying to get that caught up.

“I think the vendors and entertainment has been great,” Easterlin said about the Buzzard Blast.

She said they did get hit with two years of rain and that does affect how things go. Even so, she said, the community has been really supportive. She said despite the weather, they have made money every year.

Easterlin said the Buzzard Blast is all volunteer-based and they have had a lot of good support from the media.

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