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Fighting back: After years of struggling with Lupus, Calla Wilcher is raising money for research

For seven years, Calla Wilcher has lived with complications from the disease Lupus.
There have been times when she couldn’t open her hands, much less get up and move around. 
“When I get sick, I am in terrible pain that I don’t wish upon anybody,” she said. “I hurt so bad I couldn’t lie on my left side or my right side. I had to sleep in that chair right there. If I lay down, I gave out of breath.”

Hospital referendum passes

A majority of Jefferson County voters said Tuesday they would support an up to 3 mil tax increase to support operations at Jefferson Hospital.
As of Tuesday night at 9 p.m., the unofficial and incomplete results, with all precincts reporting, 80.62 percent voted in favor of the non-binding referendum that was the only question in the local election. In all, 1,810 voted yes and 435 voted no.

Hospital referendum on ballot

Next week local residents will be given the opportunity to vote on whether or not they feel county commissioners should raise the county millage rate by up to 3 mills to support operations at Jefferson Hospital.
On Tuesday, March 21, all precincts in Jefferson County will be open to voters and the only item on the ballot will be the non-binding advisory referendum. 

Jefferson Hospital officials meet with local legislators

Later this month Jefferson County citizens are expected to visit the polls to vote on a referendum regarding the future of its hospital. 
In the meantime, Jefferson Hospital’s leaders have been meeting with elected officials on the state and national level to discuss not just the referendum itself, but all it is doing to evolve its business to survive in the changing world of the American healthcare industry.

The future of farming: An Augusta area start up is looking to make drones available and affordable for small farms as well as large

Around 12,000 years ago, primitive man figured out that instead of moving from place to place, gathering whatever wild plants or animals were available to feed his family, he could push a stick into the mud, make a hole and drop a seed into it. 
That sharpened stick ushered in the Neolithic revolution that changed the human species forever. It was the development of agricultural technologies that made settled societies possible. 

Michell man arrested after barricading himself in home

A Mitchell man, 39-year-old Steven Joshua Hudson, was arrested and charged with interference with child custody, cruelty to children in the first degree and possession of drug paraphernalia, Glascock County Sheriff Jeremy Kelley said this week.
On Sunday, March 5, Glascock County Deputy Larry Blair received a call to meet with a Lindsey Martin, 31, of Martinez for the purpose of going to a Mitchell residence to retrieve her children, one aged 3 and the other aged 8.

Development authority in Wadley dissolved

During its February meeting, the Wadley City Council approved the city’s development authority’s request to disband.
Mayor Pro Tem John Maye said the authority had a bit more than $28,000 and some property, which will belong to the city. 
Mayor Harold Moore said the property comes with four downtown buildings. 
“That’s the old Wadley hotel, the old Wadley Café, … and there’s two other buildings downtown,” he said.
Councilman Izell Mack said he had a question.

Rabun joins newspaper as sales manager

Special Report
This week The News and Farmer/The Jefferson Reporter welcomes Michelle Rabun as its new advertising manager. 
She will be filling the position of 16-year newspaper veteran David Irwin who is retiring March 3. Irwin, a Louisville native, returned to the area in 2000 to take over the advertising manager position after a long career in the printing business in Atlanta. 

Trial in local sailor’s death ends in conviction

A Jefferson County jury found Betty Ayers Jones guilty of involuntary manslaughter last week in the 2015 death of Louisville sailor Matthew Good. Superior Court Judge Bobby Reeves sentenced 41-year-old Jones to serve 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for her conviction.  
William Knight, 22, of Bartow, pled earlier to involuntary manslaughter and has also been sentence to serve 10 years for that charge with five years probation on distribution of methamphetamine. 

Early voting begun in Jefferson County

Early voting in Jefferson County’s upcoming election began this week and continues through Friday, March 17, at 5 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, March 21. The only item on the ballot is the non-binding referendum to show the amount of support for a 3-mill increase in county property taxes. 
This is expressly to be used to support Jefferson Hospital. Although the county commission has the legal authority to add up to 7 mills for the hospital, the commissioners decided to see what voters think.

Pharmacy hit for third time in a year

Officers are looking for criminals who opened a wall in a Wrens pharmacy to steal drugs.
It is the third such attempt on the same Fred’s dollar store pharmacy in the last year said Wrens Police Chief Garry McCord.
The first attempt was around 10 months ago, the following was shortly after that. This is the second time burglars have actually entered the building.

Comment on Facebook leads to arrest

A 17-year-old Glascock County freshman was arrested last week after law enforcement became aware of a statement he posted on Facebook which read, “You’re giving me more reason to go shoot up the school.”
Glascock County Sheriff Jeremy Kelley said that within minutes of a parent bringing the student’s statement to law enforcement’s attention, Nicholas Barnhart was pulled out of  class and sequestered for questioning. 

Top county employee resigns: County Administrator Adam Mestres taking job in Morgan County

In a called meeting Monday, Feb. 20, Jefferson County Administrator Adam Mestres offered his resignation to the county’s board of commissioners in an executive session.
“We do want to thank Adam,” Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw stated in open session. McGraw said Mestres has done a wonderful job and saved the county money.

Wrens to shorten its airport runway

Wrens City Administrator Arty Thrift made a presentation to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners during its work session Monday, Feb. 2, explaining to the commissioners the need for the county to either close Lucky Bridge Road or lower the road 15 feet. 
“We’ve received a notification from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Communication about our airport. Specifically, the approach from the west,” Thrift said.

Karate kids: When his sensei died, Walker Tharpe, then 14, took up his teachers’ sword

There are times when an unanticipated blow lands hard. The light shifts, the world tilts and with your pulse roaring in your ears, you react.
Walker Tharpe knows what getting hit feels like. He knows how to take a punch as well as block them, how to anticipate wheel kicks, jabs and strikes, how to take and how to deliver. He knows that there are appropriate responses to what both opponents and life throw at you.

Local clerk charged for tampering with lottery

Annie Belle Griffith, 32, of Stapleton was arrested Sunday, Jan. 29, and charged with false making, altering, forging, counterfeiting lottery tickets.
“We do random compliance tests,” said Joseph Kim, senior vice president and general counsel with the Georgia Lottery Corporation, Monday.
During such a compliance test, a plainclothes investigator with the lottery presents a controlled winning ticket, Kim said.
It’s to make sure retailers are not palming tickets; and, the controlled ticket should have displayed as a winner, the lawyer said

School shooter threats investigated

An arrest was made Thursday, a handgun confiscated and an investigation is on-going into shooting threats written on a bathroom wall at Jefferson County High School.
Sheriff Gary Hutchins said his office is proceeding with an investigation into the threats written in two different bathroom stalls. Both warned there would be a school shooting that would occur on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Superintendent Dr. Molly Howard said the threats were discovered by students, who then informed teachers. Law enforcement was then notified.

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