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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.

Bartow boosts emergency radio system

After months of complaints and making do, Bartow Fire Chief Chip Evans said he has found an answer to a problem he and his firefighters have been have had their radio calls.
“For approximately a year or longer, the county has been paying for the active 9-1-1 system to be implemented on everybody’s phone, all the firemen in the county. So when we get an emergency call, it’s supposed to send it right out to our phones. And true enough, when it works, it’s perfect. But out of 30 calls this year, we have received two, since January,” Evans said.

Escaped convict caught

The escape of an inmate from the Jefferson County Jail has come at a price – his mother’s freedom.
Holly Elton of Stapleton was also arrested and charged in connection to the escape of her son, Jacob Hollis Wilson, 39, of Stapleton.
Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins said Tuesday no one is suspected at this time of assisting Wilson’s escape; but, as he was found at his mother’s home, she was arrested at the scene. 
Chief Magistrate Judge Anita Thompson said Elton has been charged with hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal.

County hears requests from hospital and solar company

Jefferson Hospital’s CEO Lou Semrad presented Jefferson County Commissioners an update on the viability of the hospital during the board’s monthly meeting May 9.
One project Semrad has been working on to increase hospital revenue is a geri-psych program, which would allow the hospital to treat geriatric patients with mental health problems. 
“We have the Certificate of Need,” he said and added they are seeking an extension. 

Deputy shoots man in car chase

A Keysville man was shot twice by a Jefferson County Sherriff’s deputy during a chase that ended with the suspect’s car upside down in a ditch early Saturday evening.
“The call came in as someone had run over a woman’s leg in Stapleton Acres,” Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins said Monday. “It was some kind of domestic thing. He ran over the leg and then left the scene.” 
A bulletin then went out with a description of a tan four-door sedan driven by the suspect, 32-year-old Marcus Rodriquez Brown.

Armed assailant at Jefferson Hospital now in custody

A Wrens man is in custody after entering Jefferson Hospital with a handgun, assaulting an employee and standing off with Louisville police officers Thursday afternoon.

“The assailant attacked a hospital employee in what appears to be an isolated, targeted incident,” a hospital spokesman said. “Local police responded immediately and apprehended the gunman and now have him in custody. The hospital immediately went on lockdown as a matter of safety protocol.”

The view from within: Mechanic growing business at Louisville Airport

James Watson is one of the few people who feel that the best view from an airplane isn’t out the window, but under the hood. 
While he does love flying, it’s the gears and compressors, the well-greased moving parts that truly fascinate him. After all, it’s a combination of the sheet metal wings and all those moving pieces turning the propellers that keep the plane in the air and him in business.

County extends EMS contract

Jefferson County Commissioners voted in a recent meeting to extend its contract with Gold Cross EMS to provide emergency medical services to the county.
The original contract began May 1, 2014, and ended April 30 of this year. An option allows the county to extend the contract by up to two additional one-year terms. In March, the commissioners heard a recommendation from Adam Mestres, the then county administrator.

Brutal lessons: JCHS students reminded of dangers just before prom

JCHS students were shown in vivid detail what can result from a poor decision. 
They had to watch as classmates were cut from a wrecked car. One was placed under arrest and the county coroner’s office loaded another into a hearse. Then, in the school gym, minutes later, a full funeral was held.
It was all a part of Gold Cross EMS Ghost Out program designed to save lives by teaching responsibility leading up to prom night. 

Louisville updates golf cart ordinance: Drivers license now required to operate carts on city streets

Louisville city council updated the city’s golf cart ordinance in February. It became effective March 1.
“The main problem is just abuse; and, that’s why we had to revisit the ordinance,” Louisville Mayor Larry Morgan said. 
Morgan said the changes address a variety of issues, including a minimum age for the driver and insurance.
Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller said the biggest problem for the city was unlicensed individuals operating golf carts in the city and not following the rules of the road. 

County hires local to replace Mestres: Adam Brett is taking over as county administrator

In a called meeting Monday, April 17, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners met to discuss personnel.
After the meeting, a vote was taken to hire Adam Brett of Bartow as the next county administrator. Brett will replace Adam Mestres who resigned earlier this month to accept another position elsewhere.
Jefferson County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw said this week the decision was unanimous and was voted on Monday during a called meeting.

Three Louisville homes damaged by fire in three days

A series of unrelated fires occurred last week in Louisville where at least one home was a total loss.
On Tuesday, April 4, a structure fire on Clarks Mill Road was reported to Louisville Fire Department (LFD) at 4:43 p.m. Firefighters were on the scene within 10 minutes and had the fire under control by 5:20 p.m. The scene was cleared at 9:10 p.m. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire was not stated in the report.

April is Donate Life Month

When you think of organ donation, you may think of the types of donations that save lives; but, organ donation can also make a difference in the quality of someone’s life. A kidney transplant, for example, could mean a person no longer needs dialysis, a process that cleanses the blood and may be required three times each week.
“This is a gift of life,” said Jefferson County Tax Commissioner Nancy McGraw.
McGraw said she had attended the Georgia Association of Tax Commissioners annual conference where she met Cynthia Jenkins of LifeLink Foundation.

Wadley mayor rocks the State House

It’s not every day a local mayor rocks the House; but, on Friday, March 10, Wadley Mayor Harold Moore did. He rocked the House of Representatives. 
“It was an honor and a privilege; and, it was deeply humbling,” Moore said recently. 
“Years ago when I was in high school, we went to the capitol with FBLA. I never thought I would be at the capitol one day speaking there. I appreciate our state representative (Mack Jackson) for having the confidence in me to speak before such a distinguished group of people,” he said.

One bad decision: TJA students taught the consequences

Thomas Jefferson Academy students watched as one of their classmates was handcuffed and another was zipped into a body bag.
Minutes later the driver watched from behind bars as a funeral was held for his friend in the school’s gymnasium. The service was followed by a trial.
Local emergency responders worked with the school and several other agencies recently to stage a day full of events, displays and programs aimed at promoting seatbelt usage and warning of the dangers of drunken and distracted driving.

Pot grower caught with explosive devices

A Glascock County man was arrested Thursday, March 30, after law enforcement officers discovered 13 marijuana plants growing in the backyard of his residence. 
Glascock County Sheriff Jeremy Kelley, Chief Deputy Charles Cason and DNR Cpl. Brian Adams were in the area of Mitchell-Warrenton and Friendship Church roads responding to complaints of dogs chasing livestock.
Kelley and Adams were at a residence on Mitchell-Warrenton Road when Adams spotted the marijuana plants. 

Former fugitive returned to county

A man who was wanted by Jefferson County law enforcement late last year, fled the area and surrendered to law enforcement after a standoff in Valdosta, is now in Jefferson County’s jail.
Christopher “Chris” Cash and his girlfriend, Olivia “Libby” Dodson, were wanted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on theft and weapons related charges.

Reward offered for information on recent fires

Arson is the cause of two fires set at two Wrens residences on the same road within 24 hours of each other according to a spokesman with law enforcement.
The first fire was Thursday, March 23. Wrens Fire Chief Keith Boulineau said his department responded at 1:34 a.m. to a report that a vehicle behind a residence on Gus Perdue Road was on fire. Boulineau said when units arrived on the scene the vehicle was fully involved with fire. 
“The investigation into the cause of the fire revealed the fire was intentionally set,” Boulineau said. 

Assistance for energy bills available

Glascock County has received additional energy slots for the Energy Assistance Program, said Jennifer Kelley, the youth development coordinator of the county’s Family Connections and Communities in Schools.
“It’s continuing from an earlier program through the EOA (Economic Opportunity Authority) in Augusta,” Kelley said this week. 
“We’re basically a site for people in Glascock County to come and apply for assistance through the program. They complete the application; and, we send it to the office in Augusta,” she said.

Celebrating heritage

There was a time when just about everything  you owned was made by hand, close by, probably by someone you knew. The Jefferson County Historical Society celebrated that era this past weekend by hosting its first Heritage Day event in downtown Louisville. Demonstrators ground corn into flour, taught Creek Indian cane weaving, blacksmithing, pottery, crocheting, butter making and spoon carving to interested residents.

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