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May 31, 2012 Issue

47 qualify for 27 positions
What all voters can expect to see on the ballot
Animals rescued

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47 qualify for 27 positions

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Candidates came out in droves in Jefferson and Glascock counties qualifying for the upcoming general primary election in July and the November general election.


Jefferson County
In Jefferson County, all but one partisan candidate qualified with the Democratic Party.

For Sheriff, incumbent Gary Hutchins and Johnny Lee Nelson will face off in July.

In the Probate Judge race, incumbent Judge Ashlynn Lampp was the only candidate to qualify and is running unopposed.

For County Commission Chairman, incumbent William W. Rabun qualified along with Mitchell McGraw and Robert Dwayne Morris.

Clerk of Superior Court incumbent Mickey Jones chose not to seek re-election, but Anne Durden, Amy Howard and Richard “Ricky” Sapp will face off in the general primary.

Also for Tax Commissioner, incumbent Jenny Gordy had already announced her intention to not seek the position this year. Running will be John Brent Dye, Nancy W. McGraw and Albert Young.

For the County Commission District 2, incumbent Johnny Davis qualified, along with Charles Washington.

The County Commission District 4 race will not be determined until the November election. While incumbent Tommy New qualified as a democrat, Jefferson County Election Superintendent Susan Gray said Russell Logue does intend to qualify as an independent, sometime between July 30 to Aug. 3, which is when independent candidates can qualify at the Jefferson County Board of Elections and Registration Office.

For the County Solicitor, incumbent Mickey Moses announced that he too would not seek reelection, but those that did qualify include Brannen Bargeron and Dalton Dowdy.

In the Coroner race, incumbent Edward James qualified along with Jerry Lee Taylor.

For the Magistrate Judge seat, both incumbent Murry Bowman and Betty Williams Kirby qualified.

In the State Court race, John Murphy is running unopposed.

The current seat holders for the Board of Education seats in District 1, District 2 and District 4 are running unopposed. Incumbents Farlyn Hudson for District 1, Charlie Brown for District 2 and Bobby Butts for District 4 were the only candidates to qualify.

Glascock County
In Glascock County, partisan candidates qualified in both parties, Democratic and Republican.

The following candidates will be running unopposed: Donald Kent for the Democratic Committee Member, incumbent Denise Dallas for Probate Judge, incumbent Carla Stevens for Clerk of Superior Court and incumbent Sharon Lyons for Tax Commissioner. Stevens and Lyons qualified as democrats, with Dallas’ seat being nonpartisan.

In the Sheriff race, both incumbent Sheriff Dean Couch and current County Commission Chairman Ant Griswell qualified as democrats. Brian Pritchett also qualified, but as a republican, with the race being decided in November.

For the Gibson District in the County Commission race, incumbent Mike Neal qualified as a democrat and Cary Deal and Lori Boyen both qualified as republican candidates. This seat will also be decided in the November election. As mentioned earlier, incumbent Ant Griswell will be running in the Sheriff’s race.

In the Board of Education races, neither incumbent Michael Gilmer of the Mill District nor incumbent John Raley of the Gibson District had any opposition.

James Stephens Jr. and Robin Usry both qualified in the nonpartisan race for the Board of Education At-Large seat left vacant by the passing of the late board member James Moore.

In the Coroner race, incumbent Connie Kitchens-Jackson will run unopposed.

Both Judy Deal and Linda Usry qualified as democrats in the County Treasurer race. This race will be decided in July.

What all voters can expect to see on the ballot

By Faye Ellison

While qualifying was held last week for republican, democratic and nonpartisan candidates, many of the upcoming races will be decided in the primary election on July 31, while other races will be decided in the general election on Nov. 6.

Both counties will have a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) on the ballot that calls for a 1 percent sales and use tax in the Central Savannah River Area for the counties’ transportation systems and transportation network. The taxes collected would be used to fund special transportation projects and programs in the counties for a period of 10 years.


Funds would be used in Jefferson County to convert Hoyt Braswell Road to a truck route, work on the Louisville bypass, and sidewalks, curbing, gutters and resurfacing of Walker Street from U.S. Highway 1 to Young Street.

Funds would be used in Glascock County for a Glascock County School Access Road.

Jefferson County
In Jefferson County, the Probate Judge, State Court Judge and the Board of Education District 1, District 2 and District 4 are the only seats with no opposition.

Most candidates in Jefferson County qualified as a democrat including candidates for Sheriff, County Commission Chairman, Clerk of Superior Court, Tax Commissioner, County Commission District 2, County Solicitor, Coroner and Magistrate Judge. Unless run-offs are needed, these seats will be decided in July in the primary election.

The only seat that will definitely be decided in November is for County Commission District 4, where incumbent Tommy New qualified as a democrat, while Russell Logue plans to qualify as an independent. Independent qualifying is held July 30 to Aug. 3 at the Jefferson County Board of Elections and Registration Office.

On July 31, all eight precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Avera, Bartow, Louisville, Matthews, Stapleton, Stapleton Crossroads, Wadley and Wrens.

Early voting will be held from July 9 until July 27, with a Saturday vote-in on July 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Board of Elections Office at 415 Green Street. Absentee ballot applications will also be available to be mailed or picked up.

Glascock County
In Glascock County, the Democratic Committee Member, Probate Judge, Clerk of Superior court, Tax Commissioner, Board of Education Mill District, Board of Education Gibson District and Coroner are unopposed.

Elections that will be decided in the July primary only include the seats for Board of Education At-Large and County Treasurer. The Board of Education seat is nonpartisan, while both treasurer candidates qualified as democrats.

In the Sheriff’s seat, the race will be decided in July between incumbent Dean Couch and Ant Griswell who both qualified as democrats. The final decision will be made in November with Brian Pritchett and the democratic winner going head to head.

For the County Commission Gibson District, the race between republicans Cary Deal and Lori Boyen will be decided in July, with incumbent Mike Neal facing the winner in November.

The County Commission seat for the Mitchell/Edgehill district will be decided in November with Audrey Chalker qualifying as a democrat and Danny Cantrell Jr. as a republican, as well as the County Commission Mill District seat with incumbent Wayne Williford as a democrat and Barbara Hadden as a republican.

All four precincts will be open on July 31 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., which includes Mill, Mitchell, Edgehill and Gibson. Early voting begins July 9 and there will be a Saturday vote-in on July 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Glascock County Registrars Office.

Those seeking an absentee ballot may request one from the Registrar’s Office and it will be sent in the mail.

Animals rescued

By Carol Mcleod
Staff Writer

A citizen driving by a farm outside Avera in Jefferson County couldn’t help noticing the sad shape of a handful of animals on her way to school. She told her teacher, who started a Facebook campaign to rescue the horses and cows and called the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Danny Norton, a Facebook friend of the teacher’s, happens to work on a farm and told his boss, Norma Wallace, about the animals’ plight.


Norton said his boss’ response was, like her, direct – “Bring them all.”

Norton ended up bringing three of the seven horses and the cows, there were two, to Wallace’s farm.

Another three of the horses were taken to another farm in Glascock County. One horse remained.

Mat Thompson, the DOA’s equine manager, said a home has been found for the remaining horse; but, the horse will not be picked up until this week.

Thompson said the horse is a cribber, which he explained means the horse sucks air.

“The horse that’s there is Sorrel and he has a low body score,” Thompson said. “It’s a 1. We don’t go any lower than that.”

Thompson said cribbers will go to anything, like a tree limb or stall door, bite down and and suck in, filling their stomachs air.

“So they fill up on air,” he said. “It’s just an acquired habit. It’s very easy to learn from one horse to another. He may not be able to gain weight.”

Concerns were that the horse might not make it through the weekend, Thompson said.

“It may have just been too late. He’s getting all the care that he can get at this point. Except for IVs; and, these people don’t have the money for that.”

Thompson said a lot of people won’t take a cribbing horse.

“It’s my understanding there’s two different people in fostering these horses,” he said. “This is an epidemic in the state because of the economy. We’ve helped almost 400 horses out of the same situation (malnourishment) already.”

Mary Kathryn Yearta, a spokesman with the DOA, said that usually the department works with about 1,200 a year, adding that the number of horses is about the same as in prior years but the animals are in worse shape.

“We’re getting 1s and 2s instead of 2s and 3s,” Yearta said.

“We have an article on our website about how to sell your horse; but, with the economy as it is, it’s becoming more difficult for people to sell their horses,” she said.

Yearta said about a year ago, Thompson decided to start working with the communities to find foster homes for animals that have been neglected rather than seize the animals as they have in the past.

“They’re able to work with more horses that way,” Yearta said.

On Tuesday, she said the cribbing horse has improved.

“He’s much better,” she said.

Last week, after the other animals had been taken to other farms, Thompson said the cribbing horse had a big round bale of hay, trees to get under and plenty of water.

“He’s got everything we would consider humane care,” Thompson said. “He’s in bad shape. We can’t order the owner to call a veterinarian out. The owners are pretty destitute.

“We’re not happy with the condition of the horses that we found; but, the first we heard of the condition was on the 21st,” he said.

Over on the Wallace farm, the two cows, T-bone and Ribeye, and the three horses, Caesar, Dakota and Dusty, were getting used to a shady pasture with plenty of grass.

One of the horses, Caesar, is an Arabian, Norton said. Another, Dusty, is a Palomino.

The third, a small horse named Dakota, could be a Paint, a Welch pony or some other breed. Norton said he’s not sure.

He and Wallace have been talking with a local vet and following strict feeding guidelines, keeping the five animals together but separated from the other animals on the farm.

Wallace has about 30 cows, Black Angus, Norton said and pastures other animals for other people but has no other horses.

Norton said the vet has given them advice about feeding and worming the cows.

“The horses, they’re doing wonderful,” Norton said. “We took the Arabian out and the Paint followed him right out. They’re doing real well.”

Norton said some friends have come to the farm and brought apples, a treat for the horses.

A local grocer has told Norton he can have certain produce, food about to be thrown out for example, at a discount.

While the horses like apples and carrots, Norton said the cows will eat anything.

Michelle Weatherford, the teacher who started the Facebook campaign and called the DOA, is in the process of setting up a fund with one of the area banks so people can make contributions to help with the initial cost of caring for the animals.

Weatherford said she called the DOA and an ag inspector, Tammy Cowart, came down the same day.

Weatherford posted pictures and information about the animals on her Facebook page and asked if anyone could help.

She said some people she works with donated some hay.

“We took it over,” she said. Weatherford said the owner said she had been out of feed for only a week.

“You don’t get that way in a week,” she said. “She’s just oblivious to what she’s done.”

“I commend our inspector,” Thompson said.

“To me, she did a very good response in aiding and getting this resolved. We did not get prosecution out of it; but, we did help the horses,” he said.

About the horse still on the owners’ property, Thompson said he believes the animal is being cared for now.

“We’re comfortable that the horse is getting adequate care now and hopefully it will be enough to get him to his new home,” he said.

Back on the Wallace farm, Norton said getting weight on the animals is going to be slow. He has a Facebook page, too, and plans to post weekly pictures to update people on the animals’ progress.

“I’m tickled to death to have these critters out here,” he said. “They’re nothing but big babies. We’re having fun with them.”

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