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February 9, 2012 Issue

Charges pending in weekend wreck
Team Excavating opens headquarters in Wrens
County enforces alcohol regulations

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Charges pending in weekend wreck

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

An accident involving a 2006 double-cab Lincoln pickup truck and a 2006 Chrysler four-door car ended with three people, one an infant, going to Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta Friday night.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class David Holland said Monday charges are pending against Amy Thompson, 35, of Wadley.


Thompson, the driver of the pickup truck, was taken by ground to the GHSU, formerly MCG, from the scene of the wreck. She was released Saturday morning, a spokesperson with the hospital said Monday.

Sharon Walls, the GHSU spokesperson, said the other two, 21-year-old Sheketha Sinquefield of Wrens and a 1-year-old, had not been released. Sinquefield, the driver of the Chrysler, was listed in good condition Monday night. The infant, who had been in the car with her, was listed in fair condition, Walls said.

Holland, who is investigating the accident, said Monday the accident occurred on Georgia State Route 4 between Hoyt Braswell Road and Georgia State Route 88 about 10:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.

“The lady in the Chrysler was leaving Wrens along Georgia State Route 4 and had stopped at the traffic light at the intersection with Georgia State Route 88,” Holland said.

“When the light changed green, she proceeded south on Georgia State Route 4. The point of impact was about 350 feet from the light,” he said.

“The Lincoln was traveling north in the southbound lane according to witnesses. The Chrysler swerved trying to avoid impact and the Lincoln steered right back into her. That was pretty much based on roadway evidence and the damage to the vehicles and Mrs. Sinquefield’s statement, which she made to me in the hospital,” he said.

Holland said no one was in the vehicle with Thompson. Sinquefield and the infant were the only occupants of the Chrysler, he said.

An eyewitness at the scene said all three victims had been trapped inside the vehicles.

Sinquefield and the infant were flown by helicopter to GHSU. The helicopter landed in a parking lot near the scene.

The accident is still being investigated, Holland said Tuesday; and, charges against Thompson are pending.

Team Excavating opens headquarters in Wrens

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

It was time spent on the family farm during his formative years that prepared Wayne Yost for what he does today, working with large machinery while mining kaolin, grading properties and roads, and site work.

Today, his company, Team Excavating, employees 85 people, with a majority of them from Georgia, including the nine employees in the newly opened company headquarters building near Ingles in Wrens.


“I actually grew up on a farm, and so therefore I was familiar with equipment and machines, and the operation of them,” Yost explained. “With my background and experience, I knew what interested me was heavy construction equipment. I began working with this type of equipment in 1984. I started out as an owner/operator and it grew from there.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Yost along with around 80 family, friends, locals, employees, business associates, vendors and customers, attended the grand opening of his new Wrens headquarters.

“We’ve had job offices like mobile offices at sites,” Yost said. “We wanted to just establish a permanent building out in the public’s eye. Originally we liked to have our offices at the job site, like at a mine. I had my office in the mine for about 15 years so I could be right there by the work. We’ve expanded and outgrew that so much, that I just can’t be at all the work sites anymore anyway.”

Yost moved to Georgia from Texas in 1988 to be in the kaolin mining business.

“I actually started earth moving and construction work in 1984 in Texas, and then started the mining in Georgia in 1988,” he said. “We were working for J.M. Huber, contracted through them. Then in the early 1990s, we started to do grading work, site work, grading for new buildings, and even got into road building with the Georgia Department of Transportation.”

In 1994, Yost incorporated his company originally under the name W.A. Yost Company, but in 1997 changed the name to Team Excavating.

“I didn’t want the company to be about an individual,” Yost explained. “I wanted our company to be a team of all the employees, customers and vendors, which make up this company. There is not an I in a team.”

Since then, Yost said the company has landed one of its biggest jobs with Georgia DOT for the I-20/520 exchange in Augusta in 2007. The project was completed in 2009. They are currently working on Highway 24 from Sandersville to Milledgeville, and also completed work on Highway 56 between Waynesboro and Millen.

His company has also done the grading for Ingles in Wrens and the Jefferson Energy location in Wrens.

Yost said he returned to Texas in 2007, where he began contracting to mine coal in his home state, where he employs about 15 people from Texas along with some of his Georgia employees.

“No job is too small,” Yost said of work for his company. “We do a little work for area people and Augusta people. We do any type of grading work or driveway work. We have built subdivision roadways in Augusta. We put in the bids to get the work.”

Yost also said the company is doing the site work for the new Pyramax ceramic company that is locating to Wrens. He said the business is using local contractors like Team Excavating.

“I think it is a feather in their hat because they are hiring locally,” he said. “We definitely feel like we have a great community for our employee resource. There are good people here, which makes this area a good employee resource.

While Yost said his parents still live in Texas, he and his wife, Valerie, have raised their family here with four daughters, Bethany Yost, Cheris Yost, Tonya Yost and Alecia Yost, who all live in the Augusta and Wrens areas.

His daughter, Tonya, works for the company now.

“She went to school at Augusta State to get her business degree,” he said. “She worked with me some while going to school and then she took an interest in the business side of the company. She is now the chief financial officer of Team Excavating.”

Three months ago his daughter Bethany started working in the business also.

Yost’s family attends Wrens Baptist Church, and his company is a member of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, sponsors Relay For Life, and has supported and sponsored local recreational sports teams. He said his daughters attended Thomas Jefferson Academy, and they are happy to support the Louisville school.

“We want to thank the Chamber of Commerce, the local Wrens government and the mayor for what they have done for us,” Yost said. “We had an excellent turnout and the support from the community has been impeccable.”

County enforces alcohol regulations

By Faye Ellison
Staff writer

Jefferson County Commissioners recently amended the beer and wine ordinance to make sure businesses selling alcoholic beverages are complying with both the county and state regulations.

“You are supposed to have a state license and a county license to be able to sell beer and wine,” County Administrator Paul Bryan said.


After having an issue about the licenses brought to their attention, commissioners found that businesses could be selling beer and wine with only a county license. Before the amendment, the county would issue a beer and wine license without knowledge of whether the business had a state license.

“Right now, the state will not issue a state license, unless they have one from the county,” Bryan said. “Previously we could issue a beer license without the state license.”

Now with the amendment in the ordinance, the county will not issue a beer and wine license unless the business has a state license from the previous year.

The amendment states that all applications for renewal of an existing license must provide proof to the commissioners upon renewal of an existing license that the applicant has complied with the Georgia Department of Revenue regulations and has a license from the state of Georgia Department of Revenue to sell beer and wine, for the previous license period.

Failure to provide proof that the applicant complied with state law during the previous license period will automatically deny the applicant the right to have his or her beer and wine license renewed in his or her name or any other person’s name at the location of the establishment. Businesses are to display licenses in a plainly exposed area to view.

All applications for this year had to be filed in writing between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1, 2011. The fee to obtain a county license is $200 for a wine license and $500 for a beer license at a restaurant or club, while retail businesses that sell beer and wine only in the unbroken package for consumption off premises pay $200 for a wine license and $400 for a beer license.

Businesses must also pay a $125 application fee for a notice of the application to be published for three weeks in the county’s legal organ. During this time any citizen, person, firm or corporation residing or doing business in Jefferson County may file an objection to any application.

The county ordinance states that renewals shall be granted unless the commission has reason to believe that good cause exists for denying the renewal.

The county will give notice of why the renewal was denied and hold a hearing, where objections will only be heard if the person or a representative who made the objection is present. If the applicant does not attend, the license will be denied without a hearing.

County issued beer and wine licenses do not allow the sale, barter or giving away of beer or wine on Sunday, anytime between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., on Thanksgiving or Christmas, to any person who is obviously under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to any minor, to any mentally incompetent person, or on the day of any state or national election, including any primary or run-off election during the hours the polls are open.

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