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May 24, 2012 Issue

County gets new extension agent
Life-saving lessons
Burglar set house on fire to hide evidence

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County gets new extension agent

By Carol Mcleod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County has a new extension agent, Pam Sapp.

Sapp began her job Tuesday, May 1.


So far, she has met with farmers on one end of the county and is looking forward to meeting more.

“This morning, I was actually able to schedule with Mr. Jim Gay; and, he took me around the north end,” she said Tuesday, May 15.

“Tomorrow, I’m supposed to be meeting with Mr. Ron Dozier; and, he’s going to show me around the south end of the county. Then I’ll be looking to meet with the farmers in the middle,” Sapp said.

In her cover letter when applying for the position, she wrote, “Through my passion for education, agriculture, working with youth and helping others, I feel I will serve this position well.”

Sapp grew up on a small family farm and was involved in row crops, beef cattle, swine, hay and vegetable production.

During this time, she stated, she developed a strong work ethic.

“While my classroom agricultural education formed a solid foundation of knowledge, I credit my work experience and being ‘hands-on’ in many organizations and projects over the years for growing the branches to those strong roots. I understand the important ties that research and improved production practices have to one another and I value the place that extension fits in relaying research to where it matters – the producer and consumer,” she wrote.

Sapp stated in her resume that she has a bachelor of science degree in agriculture, animal science, as well as a master’s degree in animal science. Both degrees are from the University of Georgia.

Her work experience includes being a graduate research and teaching assistant at UGA for two years and working as an agent with several Farm Bureaus. She also was co-owner of her own business specializing in animal health products and livestock consulting.

She has had membership in a variety of horse and cattle associations, including the UGA Block and Bridle Club.

“I am a very committed person who enjoys building strong working relationships with others, learning, planning and creating,” she stated in her cover letter. planning and creating,” she stated in her cover letter.

In an interview this week, she said she is still getting oriented to the county.

“I still have trainings that I’ve got to fit into the schedule, too,” she said.

“Our next ag event is at the end of June. Production meetings are behind us because we try to get those done during the first of the year,” she said.

She also spent some time at an organic farm and said the county’s agriculture is very diverse.

She said she is still in the process of trying to get things organized in between the calls and the visits.

“My biggest thing right now is just getting around. There are a lot of farmers in the county. I want to touch base with all of them because I’m trying to be of service to everyone,” she said.

Life-saving lessons

By Faye Ellison

Saturday, May 5, area firefighters received instruction in Wrens from instructors with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency on extrication methods used during vehicle accidents.

“We did a crashed victim extrication class,” Wrens Assistant Fire Chief Mark Peebles said. “We used the jaws of life and other extrication tools we have in the county to practice in taking the cars apart to get the victim out in the event of a car crash.”


A1 Recycling donated three cars for the firefighters to use, while Sutton’s Garage in Stapleton provided transport of the vehicles to Wrens for the class.

“We try to have a class every couple of years as we get new people on the fire departments throughout the whole county, and then they can take this class,” Peebles said. “It is also a lot of those who are already here honing our skills so that we can get people out of vehicles as fast as we possibly can and as safe as we possibly can.”

Georgia EMA also provides updated information on new construction methods of vehicles, such as airbag technology, the different vehicle structures and new safety features.

“We try to develop new ways to move the victim from the car so as not to cause any more injuries to them,” Peebles explained.

There were 18 participants for the class, with firefighters coming from Wrens, Stapleton, Avera, Louisville, Hillcrest and Matthews.

"I think it went very well,” Peebles said. “The instructors were very informative and we had a good time and learned a lot while taking the class. I would like to thank Sutton’s Garage for towing the cars to Wrens for us and to A1 Recycling for donating the cars.”

Burglar set house on fire to hide evidence

By Carol Mcleod
Staff Writer

Authorities have arrested a man identified as Rasheed Larsha Jennings, 21, of Augusta in connection to a fire over the weekend.

Jennings was arrested by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies Saturday, May 19, at 11:18 a.m. He was charged with the fire Monday, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office


In an interview Tuesday, Allen said Jennings has been charged with first degree arson.

“The fire itself occurred on the 19th,” Allen said.

“We believe he forced his way into the home on the 18th, spent the night in the home, then he stole some items from the home. Before he exited the home, he set the home on fire,” he said.

“The home itself was approximately 43 years old. It was vacant at the time of the fire and it had been vacant for about two years. It looks like it’s going to be a total loss on the structure and it’s estimated around $50,000,” Allen said, adding that no one was home and no one was hurt.

Allen said arson is a felony, adding other charges may be filed by the JCSO.

The report filed by the Wrens Fire Department states the residence is located on Old Warrenton Road in Matthews and the fire was reported by a passerby.

The report states the passerby said he looked around outside the house to try and make sure no one was inside and turned off the gas at the propane tank.

“Upon arrival, front right corner of structure was fully involved with fire coming out of the front and rear windows,” the report states.

Firefighters deployed two hand lines and started knocking down the fire from outside the structure and then made entrance through the front door.

The report further states firefighters continued extinguishing the fire room by room throughout the structure, removing windows throughout to ventilate the home.

Fire was also found in the ceiling and in the walls, the report states.

The passerby was reported to say he noticed a black male walking along the edge of the road before he saw the fire. When the witness tried to speak with the man, the man ran into the woods. JCSO was contacted and sheriff’s deputies located the subject. A search of the man found items from the residence.

Sgt. First Class Barrow Walden with the JCSO stated Tuesday sheriff’s deputies Sgt. Alex Nelson and Cpl. Joe Mentor responded to the scene.

“They got out there quickly and searched the area thoroughly and were able to locate the subject,” Walden said.

“They did a good job. They were able to recover the stolen items and we will be able to return them to the family,” he said.

Walden said he is working with the state fire marshal’s office and additional charges are pending.

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