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December 5--  The Vidalia Police Department reports its November crime stats and other activities.

The department reports one murder, one rape, four aggravated assaults, 14 burglaries and 17 cases of family violence.

 

November

2012

YTD

Calls for Service

1354

16244

Homicide

1

2

Rape

1

4

Aggravated Assault

4

32

Burglary

14

152

Armed Robbery

0

4

Robbery

1

7

Arrest – ADULT

72

625

Arrest – JUVENILE

2

35

Criminal Trespass

14

186

Family Violence

17

175

Assault/Battery

21

210

Accidents

60

669

DUI

4

61

Traffic Tickets

183

2082

Warning Tickets

303

3682

Alarms

96

1240

Mileage

20664

214155

Fuel Consumed

1984

21660

 

December 4--  A drug suspect was shot in Vidalia Monday night during an attempted arrest.

District Attorney Hayward Altman says Mario McNeal attempted to flee the Forest Glen Village Apartments on Edwina Drive when he ran over Drug Agent Michael Clements of the Tri-Circuit Drug Task Force who was attempting to serve a federal drug warrant.

"In the process of executing the warrant, McNeal attempted to flee and he had the officer hung up on his vehicle.  Clements fired shots to protect himself and fired shots and McNeal was struck.  Clements was taken to the hospital and released and McNeal was flown to Macon where he is listed as critical, but stable," the DA reports.

Clements started his career in law enforcement with the Vidalia Police Department as an investigator and as a DARE officer.

The GBI is investigating the incident and will turn its findings over to the District Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.

December 3--  The Treutlen County Board of Education accepted the resignation of county School Superintendent Chuck Ellington at a called board meeting Friday night.

Ellington joins more than 1,700 Georgia educators who retired effective Saturday to take advantage of a pension benefit that's being eliminated. 

A one-time three percent increase in their base for yearly pension benefits that has been given to retirees for more than 20 years is being discontinued in January.

A Treutlen teacher also decided to retire and in Toombs County four teachers and a secretary submitted resignations.  No resignations were reported in the school systems in Vidalia nor Montgomery County.

Ellington has been the superintendent in Treutlen County since July, 2004. 

{mosimage}The school board named assistant superintendent Regina Harris as the interim superintendent.  She's been in the assistant's job for six and-a-half years.

 

December 3--  Nine people were injured in a Sunday evening wreck in Toombs County.

The Toombs County Sheriff's Office reports a GMC Jimmy and a Tahoe collided at the intersection of Highways 86 and 152 north of Lyons.

The Jimmy was being driven by Rodney Shumans of Swainsboro and held six passengers.  Two passengers were air-evaced to Savannah from the accident scene and the other four were later flown to Savannah from Meadows Regional in Vidalia.  They're identified as Tina Moore of Swainsboro, Susan Weaver of Reidsville and Megan, Koby, Ramon and Lissie Gonzalez, all of Reidsville.

The Tahoe was occupied by the driver Tonja Sellers and infant Rance Sellers, both of Tifton.

Trooper James Metts of the Reidsville Georgia State Patrol Post and the Sheriff's office are investigating.  According to the Sheriff's office, the Jimmy failed to yield at a stop sign and was hit in the side.

December 3--  The United Way of Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties is launching an initiative with the agencies it supports and local churches to make sure local charities are not being ripped off.

United Way Executive Director Patricia Dixon reports a data system called "Charity Tracker" is being considered to make sure only those who really need help get it and that there's no double dipping going on.

"We feel like we have to be good stewards of the money which people give the United Way.  We do have people who do try to work the system and then we have people who really have a need penalized.  If we join together, we have more accountability of who is getting help and who's not getting help," she reports.

Last week a representative of the United Way in Charleston, South Carolina was in Vidalia to meet with local agencies and explain how the system has been working in their area.

According to Cathy Easley, "We have been doing Charity Tracker for about four years and it has changed clients' lives.  We have a lot of generational poverty in our area and breaking the cycle and by working with all the agencies in our area and by knowing where they've been for help and what they need, we can better change their life."

The computer system links all the social service agencies together and allows them to track assistance to various individuals.

"I'm so excited about this coming to the table because I've been trying to get it implemented for several years," Dixon says.  "I just think if we can go out into the community and say this is what we are doing to track the funding, it will make a huge impact on what United Way and our whole community is doing here in the Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties," she believes.