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May 10, 2012 Issue

Louisville to hold Buzzard Blast
Celebrating survival
Jordan pleads guilty in death of Javoris Lay

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Louisville to hold Buzzard Blast

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

The buzzards will be back looking for a blast in Louisville this Saturday as Buzzard Blast 2012 kicks off early that morning.

The morning will begin with the 5K at 8 a.m. at the Jefferson Hospital Wellness Center. Those who registered by April 27 will receive a T-shirt, others can still register that morning, but will not receive a shirt.


There will also a be a children’s fun run that begins shortly after the 5K. Trophies and medals will be given in the 5K to the overall male winner, overall female winner and first, second and third place winners for male/female for each age group.

After the 5K begins, the Jefferson Hospital Foundation and Rape and Crisis and Sexual Assault Services will hold a walk to prevent sexual violence, to celebrate the triumphs of survivors of sexual assault and to increase the community’s awareness of sexual victimization.

Walkers will follow the runners of the 5K race and will not be eligible for awards.

There will be a $15 entry fee to enter the 5K or walk and the children’s fun run will be $5. For more information, contact Judy Jones at (706) 832-0792.

The Buzzard Blast will continue with a day full of events at Helen Clark Memorial Park beginning at 9 a.m.

“We have about 30 vendors so far,” Committee Chairman Billy Valduga said. “We will have a children’s play area and live entertainment on the stage area all day.”

William Toulson will begin the morning with The Star Spangled Banner, followed by the invocation by Rev. David Hibberts.

Entertainment includes Stephanie’s Dance Explosion at 9:15 a.m., Carver Elementary School Dancers at 10:30 a.m., Elizabeth Wehmeyer at 11 a.m., Bethany Kathleen at noon, Oraleethia Morgan and Cody Turner at 1 p.m., and the Jefferson County High School and Middle School bands.

Thomas Bland, a chainsaw artist, will also do chainsaw carving all day.

“We have vendors with funnel cakes, fried Oreos, monogramming, a whole host of arts and crafts and even more food vendors,” Valduga said.

Buzzard Blast T-shirts will also be available for sale for $15 at the festival tent.

The carved buzzards that have been decorated by local businesses will also be on display at the tent.

Sponsors include Queensborough National Bank and Trust, City of Louisville, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Hospital Foundation, The News and Farmer/The Jefferson Reporter, WPEH, John Kitchens Website Design, The Bookworm, Rhodes Murphy, Twisted Sisters, Blanchard Equipment, State Farm-Billy Valduga, Jones, Jones, Davis and Associates, Firehouse Grill and Pizza, Law Office of Jeff Harvey, Ready.Set.Relaxx., Best Office Solutions, Sam Eason, Jefferson County Information center, Jefferson Energy Cooperative, Jefferson County Financial Services, Davis-McGraw Furniture, W.B. Miller, Inc. General Store, Taylor Funeral Home, The Fire House Gallery, Otis Tree Service, W.D. Handberry Insurance, Louisville Drug Company, Wasden Realty Inc., Randi’s Inc., Bargeron Realty Company, Clean ‘n Wash, Dr. Tonya Gunby and Bargeron Insurance Agency.

“I do want to thank all the sponsors we have this year,” Valduga said. “I also want to thank Becky Harrison who is co-chair and Wendy Davis. They have really helped so much with this festival.

“It looks like the weather will be great. There will be lots of different gifts for mom, being it is Mother’s Day weekend. And we have lots of family oriented things to do together. We hope everybody will be able to come out and support their community and make this a great day.”

Celebrating survival

By Bonnie Sargent

A parent, a child, a spouse, a grandparent, a co-worker, a friend…whatever their reason to Relay, an overwhelming number of people came out to attend the Relay For Life and each one had a different story to share.

The 18th annual Jefferson County Relay For Life took place Friday, May 4, starting at 6 p.m. and lasting until 5 a.m. on Saturday. The theme for this year’s Relay was “Making Cancer Walk the Plank.”


About 11 teams had booths set up around the track at Jefferson County High School, decorated with pirate ships, parrots, treasure chests and other pirate themes. The teams sold a number of items, including hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, coffee and Sno-Cones.

Wrens Elementary Schoolhouse Rockers had inflatable slides that were popular with the children throughout the night. Several booths also offered face-painting, temporary tattoos and games or children and adults alike. Another most-frequented spot was the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office/SHP’s dunking booth.

A number of officers took a spot in the booth as well as school faculty, including Coach J. B. Arnold, Coach Matt Howard and Principal Alan Long.

This year’s goal was to raise $68,800 for the American Cancer Society. Andi Van Airsdale, community manager with the ACS, said the final figures aren’t in just yet, as not all of the teams have turned in their money.

Awards will be given out at the Wrap-Up Celebration, which is planned for the end of May.

“But Relay For Life of Jefferson County was a huge success on every level,” she said. “The American Cancer Society would like to thank the committee, the team captains, the sponsors, the high school and the county for coming out in support of the fight against cancer.”

The Relay For Life had 15 teams registered this year. Teams that registered were KaMin Chalkwalkers, Wrens United Methodist Church Youth, WMS Colts Kickin for a Cure, Disciples for Life, Louisville Middle School, Wrens Elementary Schoolhouse Rockers, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Wadley Plankwalkers, Heritage Healthcare, Jefferson High School Walking the Warrior Way, PaPa Charlie’s Angels, Queensborough Quackers, Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed, Wrens YMCA and Louisville Academy.

Carmen Bennett, the Relay For Life chairperson, said there were several new teams this year. Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed, JCHS Walking the Warrior Way and PaPa Charlie’s Angels were all new teams. Louisville Academy also had a team and raised money, she said, but they were not present at the Relay.

Some of the sponsors for this year’s Relay were Samsons Galaxy, Southern Health Partners, M.B. Jones Oil/Sprint Foods/ Town & Country Gas, Hiram Bobo III, CPA PC, Battle Lumber, Jefferson Energy, W. T. Lamb Investments and Avera Industrial.

Bennett said she thought the Relay was very successful.

“For it to be in a new place, I thought it went really well. We had a few kinks at first, but that always comes with change,” she said. “Overall it went well.”

Bennett said the only feedback she got about the change in location was positive.

“People liked that there was a lot more space,” she said. “We did have some kinks with electricity and that sort of thing, but people were very patient.

“I want to thank everyone in the community who came out to support the Relay and helped make this year’s Relay For Life possible.”

Van Airsdale said next year the American Cancer Society will celebrate 100 years of existence.

“Just imagine – in another 100 years, cancer will be gone,” she said.

Jordan pleads guilty in death of Javoris Lay

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

In a case that stunned the community, Anthony Rodrick Jordan, 21, of Wrens has pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his friend, 18-year-old Javoris Marques Lay of Wrens.

The two were playing a video game, “Call to Duty,” District Attorney Hayward Altman said Monday afternoon.


“They’d been playing around with a .22-caliber pistol,” Altman said of the incident, which occurred Aug. 30, 2011.

The district attorney said Jordan had removed the clip from the pistol and then, a few minutes later, pointed the gun at Lay and fired.

“There had been a bullet in the chamber. He pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which is a felony,” Altman said.

“The mother of the victim tried to speak but could not. Donna Moore, the victim advocate with the DA’s office read the mother’s victim impact statement wherein the mother said she has now forgiven Jordan for what had happened,” Altman said.

“She will always miss her son; and, he can never be replaced but she has forgiven Jordan. Jordan apologized to the mother and said they had been friends playing. He didn’t mean for it to happen, he said. He was sorry for what happened and he hoped she could find it in her heart to forgive him,” the district attorney said.

Altman said Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Cathy Palmer sentenced Jordan to 10 years, five to serve in prison followed by five on probation.

“He remained in jail since Aug. 30,” Altman said, adding Jordan was given credit for time served. “Jordan never asked for bond. The defendant actually called 9-1-1. He ran down the street, called 9-1-1 and then turned himself in.”

Lay was transported to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta where he was pronounced dead that afternoon after spending several hours on life support.

At the time of Lay’s death, a family friend had said Lay, a 2011 graduate of Jefferson County High School, planned to join the military.

“It’s a very tragic event but the sentence was just for what happened,” Altman said.

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