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Louisville doctor faces civil suit

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced last week the largest health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
One of the plaintiffs is Dr. Firoz Patka who has a practice in Louisville, Thomson and Hephzibah. Also named in the lawsuit are the physician assistants Andrea Chancey, John W. Farrior Sr. and William Paneral.

Wadley responds to allegations

A recent online story published by AllonGeorgia.com raised questions regarding a $1,280 check signed by Wadley’s Mayor Harold Moore and then City Clerk Sallie Adams.
The check was for asbestos testing on private properties that the city had identified as abandoned and posed health and safety concerns to surrounding property owners. 
A program to clean up abandoned houses in Wadley was tabled for more than a year, which may have led to confusion about what has been happening in the meantime.

Summer weather brings heat related dangers

Temperatures outdoors in Louisville have been in the 90s so far this month and are projected to stay there for the most part projections from accuweather.com show. A few days this week may see highs reach to 85 degrees; while, several days are expected to reach the mid-90s, including Friday, July 21, which is expected to get as high as 99 degrees. 
Temperatures in August are projected to stay in the low-90- degree range with some days not reaching beyond the high 80s.

New county budget includes tax increase for hospital

Jefferson County Commissioners are proposing a tentative budget that includes a 12.29 percent increase in the county’s millage rate. 
The first of three public hearings on the tax increase was scheduled for Tuesday, July 11. Two more are scheduled; one on Wednesday, July 19, at noon; and, the other for Monday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m. All hearings are to be held at the county’s commission office in Louisville.

National champs: Wrens Middle Beta team wins national robotics championship in Orlando, Fla.

Escorted by local law enforcement, Wrens Middle School Junior Beta members pulled into a crowded school parking lot last week with the song “We are the Champions” blasting over PA speakers.
On Wednesday, June 28, the school’s Junior Beta Robotics team was named Division II National Champions during the 21st Annual Jr. Beta Club Convention in Orlando.
Organizers called it the largest Beta Club convention in history, with just under 13,000 student attendees representing 1,050 clubs from across the United States.

Wadley returns grant funds to DCA

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) provided funds to the City of Wadley under an Employee Investment Program (EIP).
Wadley Councilwoman Beth Moore, the council’s finance committee chair, said it’s a local revolving loan fund (RLF).
“This is a program where the city can loan money to business. It’s supposed to be used to hire seven people on your payroll. As the borrower makes payments on the loan, the money can then be used to loan out to another business,” Moore said.

Wadley man hit by train

A 63-year-old Wadley man, Earnest Holliman, was killed as he tried to walk across railroad tracks on Martin Luther King Boulevard during the late night hours of Wednesday, June 28.
Wadley Police Chief Jimmy Butts said Holliman was a friend and former classmate. 
“I would see him every day, several times a day,” Butts said. “He was just easy going, didn’t worry about anything.”

Hospital to close wellness center

“The hospital will be closing the Wellness Center at least by the end of the year,” Jefferson County Administrator Adam Brett said during a commission meeting Tuesday, June 13.
Commissioner Tommy New said he does not want to see the facility close.
“In my opinion, there are more people that go to the Wellness Center than go to the hospital,” New said. He suggested the center could be relocated in an empty building nearby.

Wadley authority dissolves

During a Wadley City Council meeting Monday, June 12, Councilwoman Beth Moore told the council the city received a cashier’s check for $29,028.56 from the former Development Authority of the City of Wadley, which dissolved earlier this year. 
The amount was the balance the authority had in its account.
When the group held its last meeting, members agreed there was no longer a need for the city to have a development authority when the county has one.

County fills chamber position

Amy Howard has been selected as president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, a position she started last month.
A Louisville native, Howard previously worked as the community educator at Jefferson Hospital. Among other duties and responsibilities, she organized hospital events and developed an annual marketing plan.
Howard received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brenau University in 2006. 

Wheelin’ into town

Alone and in groups, just under 1,000 cyclists wound south from Thomson, passed farms and fields, clapboard churches, in and out of small towns, before parking in Louisville Tuesday, the midway point on their 350 mile trip to the sea. 
“We had about 980 riders who have pulled into Louisville today,” Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) Representative Franklin Johnson said. “They said it was a beautiful ride and unexpectedly hilly. Everyone is loving Louisville and this location.”

Hospital finances improve: Revenue up, expenses down in first four months of 2017 over same period last year

Next month Jefferson County commissioners are expected to follow the stated will of their constituents as confirmed in the March referendum, and levy up to 3 mills of support for Jefferson Hospital. 
In the weeks leading up to the election Hospital CEO Lou Semrad spoke at nearly 20 town hall meetings across the area explaining his goal for those funds to be temporary assistance to help the facility meet its obligations while he works on plans to make it independently profitable. 

Wrens man killed in fire

As of Tuesday the state crime lab was still working to confirm that the body discovered in a burning single-wide mobile home in Wrens Sunday morning are the remains of 37-year-old LaConte Lowe. 
Wrens Fire Chief Keith Boulineau said that the home, located at 100 Oak Street, was more than 50 percent engaged with flame when his firemen arrived on the scene at 3:08 a.m. According to his report heavy smoke and fire were showing from three sides of the structure and the roof had collapsed on that end.

More than 1,000 cyclists to visit county

Next week Louisville is going to offer more 1,000 tired and thirsty tourists some much needed rest. 
“We’re expecting the first of them to come rolling in here around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6,” former county Chamber President Lil Easterlin said last week. “The rest will meander their way down, resting when they want, but the bulk will come in between 2 p.m and 4 p.m.”
The Jefferson County seat is the midpoint of Bike Ride Across Georgia’s (BRAG’s) 2017 350-mile, week-long trek. 

Sheriff’s office adds new K9 officer

The latest addition to the Glascock County Sheriff’s Office is a 9-year-old; and, like most youngsters, he loves to play. He loves attention. He will even climb up onto your lap and lick your face. 
But with a word from the chief deputy, Chuck Cason, this youngster, PC, becomes a determined, focused K9. He has turned from a loving, playful, oversized puppy into the highly trained dog he is.

Two taken to hospital after chemical leak at plant

Two individuals were taken by ambulance to Jefferson Hospital’s emergency room Wednesday after a chemical leak at Coastal Processing exposed them to PAA. Another individual went to the ER by private vehicle.

The company processes chickens.

Jefferson County EMS Director Maj. Chad Parker identified the chemical as PAA, which is used as an antimicrobial.

Hospital CEO Lou Semrad said all three were treated and released. Semrad confirmed the individuals were decontaminated.

Rapper Rich Homie Quan arrested on way to concert

Dequantes Devontay Lamar, whose stage name is Rich Homie Quan, was arrested during a road check in Louisville at the intersection of East Broad Street and US Highway 1. Lamar, a rapper, was scheduled to appear Saturday, May 27, at Club Liquids in Wadley when he and five others were arrested.
Lamar, 27, of Fairburn was charged with possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug with intent to distribute.
Jefferson County Chief Deputy Col. Clark Hiebert said Lamar and three others face a bond hearing in Magistrate Court Tuesday.

Reinventing the wheel: Club Car’s challenge to area middle school students helps local system redesign educational process

A journey of transformative discovery may begin with a single step, but even eighth graders know that a good set of wheels will get you there a whole lot faster.
For the last few months 40 Jefferson County middle school students have been tackling a challenge set by Augusta-based Club Car Inc., an international golf car manufacturer, to custom design a 14-inch wheel for a new consumer line.

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