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November 24, 2011 Issue

County fills administrator position
Prize surprise
More than 230 bags of pot taken

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County fills administrator position

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County Commissioners named Adam Mestres to replace Paul Bryan, the county’s current administrator, when Bryan retires.

Bryan, who has been the county’s administrator since March 2003, announced his resignation during a meeting in October. Since that time, the commissioners have voted to accept his resignation as a retirement.


Mestres has been serving the county since May as the EMA/911 director. The job change reflects a promotion and therefore the county was not required to advertise to fill the position the commissioners have said.

Although Mestres has officially accepted the promotion, some details, such as his salary and the exact date he transitions jobs, have not been determined.

Bryan has told the commissioners he plans to leave in April but will leave anytime after Jan. 1 at the commission’s convenience.

Mestres has a master’s degree in public administration from Augusta State University. The degree had a focus in homeland security. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science.

After an executive session Tuesday, Nov. 15. Commissioner Tommy New made a motion to offer the county administrator position to Mestres and to advertise for a replacement for the EMA/911 director’s position.

Commissioner Gonice Davis suggested Mestres have a six-month probationary time; and, New amended his motion to include that. The motion was approved unanimously.

Prize surprise

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

After checking her mailbox, Jessie Farmer, found herself surrounded by Aaron’s trucks filled with furniture for her home.

Friday morning, Farmer found out she was the winner of Aaron’s National Lucky Dog Day Sweepstakes. Farmer’s entry was plucked from 2 million as the national grand prize winner.


Aaron’s representatives contacted Farmer and her family last week to tell her she did indeed win a prize, but the big secret was on hold until it could be delivered from the Grovetown Aaron’s to her home in Wrens.

Neighbors, friends and family were on hand at her residence as Aaron’s Vice President of marketing Tom Peterson announced her winnings, a prize package valued at $11,000. This is the third year Aaron’s has held the sweepstakes.

“We love to have engagement with consumers,” Peterson said. “This is a way we can give back to the community. We hope to change lives and help dreams come true. Without our customers we don’t exist.”

The prizes include an eight-piece living room group, with a sofa, loveseat, coffee table, two end tables, two lamps and a decorative rug, an eight-piece bedroom group comprised of a mattress, box spring, headboard, frame, chest dresser, mirror and nightstand, a 73 inch television, 42 inch television, a refrigerator, a washer, a dryer, a laptop and tablet.

“I’m excited,” Farmer, the wife of the late Olin Carter, said. “I didn’t know what they were going to give me.”

Farmer, 85, is a mother to eight, and a grandmother to 47 grandchildren. She retired from Fort Gordon at 65, when she was not able to work any longer.

“I am thankful for everything,” she said. “I thank God. He has been a good God to me. I have worked so hard for so many years.”

Throughout her life, she has taken care of her grandchildren and any friend that walks through her door. Now they are returning the favor and taking care of her.

Her daughter, Henrietta Farmer helped her to enter the sweepstakes.

“She is a lucky lady,” Farmer’s granddaughter Tiwanna Brinson said. “She is a kind, giving woman to everybody. She loves to cook and will feed anybody that walks through the door. She is always giving.”

Farmer’s mother moved into the home in 1965. Family and friends helped to move the furniture she had inside around to make room for her new interior pieces.

“She loves her family,” said Angela Brown, who attends church with Farmer at Stone Springfield AME. “She is a mother figure at our church and in our community.”

“A lot of people look up to her,” next door neighbor Lester Pitts said. “She is a nice, very beautiful person. They really respect her around here.”

Brinson said while her grandmother loves to hold onto things, she will have to make room for her new furniture. Even Lucky, the Aaron’s sweepstake mascot offered a helping hand.

“I just kept looking at him,” Farmer laughed. “I asked him to let me take off his (costume) head and he shook it no.”

More than 230 bags of pot taken

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A man found with more than 230 bags of marijuana has been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Lt. Clark Hiebert, an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday the man, identified as 28-year-old Michaelin Lowe of Stapleton, was found with the marijuana already packaged in the bags for resale. Hiebert said the marijuana totaled between 10 and 11 ounces.


“The subject has been reported to the sheriff’s office for the past 10 to 12 months, that he’d been selling a large amount of marijuana, continually in the Wrens area,” Hiebert said, adding Lowe was arrested at a Wrens address just outside the city limits.

“On the 17th, the sheriff’s office got information that he was selling a large amount of marijuana,” he said.

“Officers had outstanding warrants on this subject. He had a large amount of marijuana in his possession and was selling at this address. He had an individual in the back seat of his car who was wanted on a probation warrant,” he said.

The investigator said both subjects in the car had warrants outstanding on them prior to the sheriff’s officers approaching the car.

“They had packaged marijuana for the purpose of resale, which is a felony,” Hiebert said.

The officer said the value of the marijuana depends on the grade being sold.

“It was reported to us that he was selling each bag for $20. That price would indicate it was a higher grade of marijuana,” Hiebert said.

On the same night, approximately an hour and a half later, Hiebert said officers executed a search warrant in which the sheriff’s office and Wrens Police Department recovered 14 bags of cocaine packaged for resale and a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

“That case was the result of a joint investigation between officers with the sheriff’s office and the Wrens Police Department,” Hiebert said, adding Wrens officers assisted with both cases.

In the second arrest, officers apprehended Kenyatus Cornel Mack, 25, of Louisville.

At the time of Mack’s arrest, he had been living in Stapleton, Hiebert said.

“Approximately 8 to 10 grams of marijuana along with an electronic scale were also found in the subject’s possession at the time of his arrest,” Hiebert said. In addition, officers found between 50 and 75 empty bags of the type used to package the drugs.

Hiebert said the packaged cocaine would sell for about $20 a bag.

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