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May 9, 2013 Issue

Praying for help
Shooting suspect arrested
City/County honor John Henson

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Praying for help

By Carol McLeod
Staff writer

People across the country gathered at noon Thursday, May 2, to pray. In Jefferson County, people came to the courthouse in Louisville and prayed on the lawn for the country, elected officials and our children.

Judy Tatum welcomed everyone to the hour of prayer.


"We’re so glad you decided to join us today to pray for our country,” she said. “I know you love America as much as I do and I know you are aware that she needs our prayers.”

Tatum said there were hundreds of thousands of people around the country observing this event.

“Evil is rampant around the world; and, we are not exempt from the consequence of it,” she said.

“I am here to tell you that we need to pray as never before. We must not just pray alone any more. It is time to come together and pray corporately,” Tatum said.

“God is calling His people to come together to pray. To set aside everything that would separate us and come together in unity,” she said.

Alvonia McCoy, associate pastor at New Way Christian Church, prayed.

“Heavenly Father, children are a gift from You and are precious in Your sight. How well they do in part depends upon how well we do,” she said.

“Father, cover our children with Your blood. Hide them from the insurrection plot of the enemy. Keep them from all evil – seen and not seen, and remove all temptation. Protect them from every spirit of calamity and every familiar spirit,” McCoy said.

She also prayed that the children would show love and have patience, understanding and loyalty toward family and the ministry.

“I pray that they choose righteous friends at school, home, work and in their social lives,” she said.

Others prayed for help for the churches, that the nation would repent as a whole, that people will put aside our differences and that a special love would come down from Heaven.

This was the third annual National Day of Prayer held in Jefferson County and the 62nd celebrated throughout the country, Tatum said.

She said, “We are joining our hearts and our prayers today with hundreds of thousands of people around America. It is our privilege and our responsibility to do so.”

Shooting suspect arrested

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A man wanted by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies in connection with a shooting turned himself in to the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Tim Moore said.

Moore is an investigator with the JCSO.


“Early Sunday morning, May 5, I received a call from dispatch that a subject had come to the emergency room with a gunshot wound,” Moore said.

“Upon arrival at the ER and because of the nature of the incident, I contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Upon Special Agent Tony Williamson’s arrival, the victim and witnesses were interviewed and evidence was collected. The victim and several witnesses were able to ID the shooter as Malcolm Antonio Lewis,” he said.

A warrant was issued for Lewis, 23, of Hephzibah.

“Sgt. Barrow Walden assisted me and was able to make contact and had Mr. Lewis turn himself in,” Moore said. Walden is also an investigator with JCSO.

“There had been a fight in the club and part of that spilled outside. The incident inside the club is still under investigation,” Moore said.

The incident occurred outside Ray’s Club, which is in the Louisville area.

Maj. Charlie Gibbons and Officer Michael Dallas, both with JCSO, work security at the club.

Gibbons said an argument started inside the club about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, adding he and Dallas closed the club for the night after the shooting occurred.

“They have to close at 2 o’clock anyway,” he said.

“My understanding is some bullying was going on inside, being done by the man suspected in the shooting,” Gibbons said.

“We broke up the argument momentarily and they walked away. I didn’t see the actual shooting; but, we heard the shots. I ran that way; but, they had already left. It happened rather quickly,” the major said.

The victim was in a vehicle when he was struck by a bullet, Moore said.

“The vehicle was struck multiple times. The victim was shot in the chest. He was treated and released,” Moore said.

Lewis has been charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony.

City/County honor John Henson

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Saturday, May 4, was John Henson Day.

If you don’t know John, you’ve probably seen him riding his bicycle around Louisville or perhaps you’ve seen him at the county’s recreation department or one of the city’s schools helping the kids and the coaches.


On Saturday, many of those coaches joined other fans of John’s to help honor him and his contributions.

Louisville Mayor Larry Morgan read a proclamation, which he said he wrote from his heart.

“Early on in his life, he became a sports fan and did he,” Morgan said.

“Not an average sports fan but an avid one. He was a water boy, a score keeper and whatever else one wanted him to do. But most of all, in his own way, he became a mentor to all around him.

“Just imagine how many young people and older ones, too, he has shared his life with, both faithfully and lovingly and always with a smile on his face. That’s why I’m proud to designate this 4th day of May, 2013, as John Henson Day,” Morgan said.

Jefferson County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw read a resolution naming the concession stand and crow’s nest at the county recreation department The John Henson Building. The crow’s nest is the part of the building where the score panel is located.

McGraw said John has served as a volunteer with Louisville Academy and the county’s recreation department for almost 50 years.

He has served in the baseball, football and basketball programs along with many other programs sponsored by the county’s rec department. McGraw pointed out that John has worked tirelessly and without compensation. The chairman also said John has been the one person the Jefferson County Recreation Department could always depend upon.

Gene Cunningham, athletic director of the county’s rec department, said John is a good guy.

“I’ve been knowing him ever since 1972,” he said in an interview.

“He probably goes back a long ways before that. He was our football trainer. I’m quite sure he was a football trainer over at Louisville Academy before the schools integrated. He’s been working with the rec department, he keeps the scores for the basketball, football and baseball seasons. He was the scorekeeper. And he was the scorekeeper for the Louisville Middle School in basketball, football, baseball and soccer. He also is the trainer for the Louisville Middle School football team,” Cunningham said.

He also is the trainer for the Louisville Middle School football team,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said the naming of the concession stand and crow’s nest was McGraw’s idea.

“I think that was a great idea, a good idea,” Cunningham said.

“John, he’s a good guy. He’s always volunteering to help with the football team, and at the middle school. He’s always willing to help with the recreation teams, keeping the score. Everybody loves him and he loves everybody. Everybody respects John. He doesn’t mind doing what he can do to help you. There’s a lot of good things you can say about John – his good spirit, his attitude,” he said.

On Saturday, McGraw welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming to the event.

Isaiah Thomas said a prayer and then said, “John means a lot to me; and, I just thank you for doing this for him.”

Jefferson County Commissioner Tommy New introduced John’s family and said it was an honor and a privilege to do so. New wore a Louisville Academy polo-style shirt in honor of the day.

New said he had spoken with Tom Brown, who started the county’s recreation department and who wanted to attend but could not.

“Tom said John was dependable. If he said he would be there, he would be there,” New said. “He would always greet you with a smile. He would always build you up and never tear you down.

“John, this is your day. The people in this community especially those who grew up knowing you, love you.” New then thanked John for being who he is.

McGraw read the county’s proclamation; and, then Morgan rose.

“We all love John,” Morgan said and then read the proclamation.

“When school integrated, that’s when I met John,” Cunningham said.

“John, I appreciate those years with you. John, I love you. We’re just here to show you how much you meant to us. I want to thank you, man, from the bottom of my heart. This day is for John. John, congratulations. I love you.”

Coach Mike Cofer said about three months ago, a friend of his came and stayed with him.

“The first thing he said was, ‘I want to go see John Henson.’”

Cofer said John represents the heart and soul of Louisville.

“John was always there. He’s always there. He’s dependable. Some of us are retired; but, John never retired.”

“Thank God for John because the program was in ruins,” said Ken Hildebrant, principal at Louisville Middle School.

“He helped me put it back together. We love John. We couldn’t do it without him. Don’t know what we’d do without him,” Hildebrant said.

J.B. Arnold, a coach at Jefferson County High School said John is an ambassador.

“I don’t know how many people realize what kind of ambassador John is. If someone comes to Jefferson County, you want someone to represent Jefferson County, it is John Henson,” Arnold said.

“He’s invaluable to me. I really appreciate him; and, I love him like a brother, too, and I want a hug,” said Jesse Beard, A LMS coach.

Thomas said John epitomizes something our parents told us – whatever you do, do your best.

“I use you as an example to my grandchild,” he told John.

“I tell Thomas to grow up and be just like John Henson.”

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