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poeSeptember 30-- MEET YOU AT THE POLE- Robert Toombs Christian Academy's Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosted Meet You at the Pole on this past Wednesday.

Students of RTCA gathered at the flag pole for devotion and prayer.

FCA members Hannah Coursey and Hannah Keene led devotion and prayer.

September 29--  A local young lady won the title of Miss North Georgia State Fair in Marietta.

marybethNineteen-year-old Anna Beth Toole from Ailey is a freshman at Kennesaw State University and is the reigning Miss Vidalia Sweet Onion queen.  She was previously named Miss Vidalia High School and Miss Hobachee.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the 11-day fair drew about 300,000 people for rides, concerts and events

mollette By Dr. Glenn Mollette

 Professional football fans were treated to some relief Thursday evening as the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears stood arm in arm for the singing of the National Anthem. People in the stands either did likewise or put their hands over their hearts. Americans felt proud but mostly relieved.

 Owners of the National Football League teams employ the players.

Some of the owners obviously are okay with whatever the players do during the national anthem. I wonder how the owners would feel if a player decides they are simply going to let the other team score in order to make a statement? What if they decide they are going to stand back and watch while the other team kicks the field goal? Or what if they want to wear their own style of uniform? There are rules and expectations by the league and every team owner. The owners need to step up and be owners.

 The players are being paid and their job starts when they walk into the stadium and put on their uniform. What if a player wants to make a political statement by simply refusing to catch a pass? Where does it end? Players work for owners. If owners don't care then fans have to decide if they don't care and support the team or move their loyalty, money and support to another team. Fans always have options. Players average almost 3 million a year based on advertising and ticket sales.

 I totally support freedom of speech. I also support being a good employee. The owners and the league have to work this out and the fans have to decide who or what they can support. Fans as a whole will determine the future of the game and just how much politics they can stand at sporting events.

 I am hoping that all participates of sports in America will show up to play the game this weekend.  It has been reported that the Denver Broncos will be standing Sunday as Chicago and Green Bay did Thursday.

 If athletes want to go out on the street and yell and scream or get on their knees after the game then let it be.  This is where other Americans have to protest.

 My wife and I went into a restaurant to eat today. We had a peaceful enjoyable meal. None of the servers or cooks made any political remarks or political gestures that I saw.

 We went into a large grocery store and bought a few groceries. We walked the aisles and bought our food without any of the grocery store employees making any political speeches or political gestures. I would never expect to hear or see political commentary in a restaurant or a grocery store.

There should be other places where Americans can tune the daily cares of life out and think about something else. Sporting events should be one of those places where we can enjoy athletic competition, a hot dog and a fun time with family and friends. It should be a place where we can come together and for just a brief moment enjoy and celebrate being United Americans, even if only for a moment. 

Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of twelve books, including his newest "Uncommon Sense."

Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Learn more at   Like his facebook page at

September 29--  A press release from the Toombs County school system notes that Toombs County High School has achieved a double-digit increase in its graduation rate.

Toombs County High School boasts an impressive 80.967 percent graduation rate for 2017. This is up over 10 percentage points according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday. The 2017 graduation rate increased from 70.149 percent in 2016 to 80.967 percent.

Last spring’s senior class not only outperformed the Georgia state average of 80.5 percent, but for the first time topped an 80 percent graduation rate under the 6-year-old federal measure known as the “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.”

“When the new rate came into effect, our rate was at 66 percent,” stated Richard Smith, Superintendent of Toombs County Schools. “There has been a lot of hard work and effort by teachers and staff put into ensuring students stay in school, and that we are providing the opportunities they need to be successful. Every single student in our district matters, and our goal is to see each one graduate, on time, with the skills they need to continue growing a successful community.”

For the third straight year the Toombs County High School graduation rate saw an increase. The new four-year adjusted rate only counts students who graduate within four years of starting high school, and requires school districts to track and document the graduations of students who move away. When it was first imposed, Georgia’s rate, like those across the country, plummeted.

Senior counselor Christy Smesny was excited to see the improvement. "We are so happy to see the positive increase in Toombs County High School's graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year. While we are not yet where we want to be, we continue to make positive strides every year. I am so proud of the students and staff at TCHS."

"We are excited about what is happening at Toombs County High School,” said Interim Principal Barry Waller. “The recent growth only confirms the great things going on at our school. The faculty and staff have a renewed commitment to challenging our students with high expectations while building relationships that promote a great environment up and down the hallways, as well as, in and out of the classrooms. We are excited to exceed the state graduation average; however, it is our goal to graduate all of our students; and our staff is working hard to make this happen."

September 29--  September Student of the Month For TCES

We are all smiles for student of the month this year at Toombs Central Elementary.

tckidsBack Row:  Richard Delgado(4th Grade), Osvaldo Garcia (1st Grade), Jaycie Willet (5th Grade)

Front Row:  Ian Barton (2nd Grade), Makenzie Chambers (Kindergarten), Miley Smith (Pre-K), and Jalen Harvey (3rd Grade)

September 28--  Three state lawmakers from the Atlanta area are running for Georgia Lieutenant Governor next year and one of them paid a visit to Vidalia Thursday.

tilleryjeffaresAccompanied by State Senator Blake Tillery of Vidalia, Senator Rick Jeffares of McDonough (right) has three targets on his radar screen:  Reining in rules and regulations,  developing a work force for the state's economic development and controlling the cost of college tuition.

"I plan on introducing a bill this year that once your kid starts as a freshman, it will lock in tuition and all fees for the next four years.  That way parents can budget,  I raised four daughters and my first daughter graduated about six years ago and my third daughter just graduated this year and the cost of tuition has gone up about 33% during that six years.  That's got to stop, it's just way to much," Senator Jeffares said.

Jeffares runs a company that operates water systems for small towns around the state and has concerns about the state's workforce.

"The last three months as I've traveled the state, I've not had one business or industry that hasn't told me we might be the number one state to do business, but it's not going to last much longer because we can't find trained people to go to work.  Only about 40 percent of the people are going to college and the other 60 percent will go in the workforce when they're 18 years old and they're not trained.  We've got to get back to technical-type high school where they can learn a trade and hopefully go into a technical college where they can learn more.  We've got to get people ready to work," he said.

The Senator chairs the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee and sees a need to reduce the impact state regulations have on small businesses, "There are so many rules and regulations and it's too much paperwork to fill out.  We've got to make it more simple.  We've just gotten too involved and the government needs to back off and let people run their business and do their job," he said.

In the Republican primary next summer, Jeffares will be facing Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer of  Duluth and State Representative Geoff Duncan of Cumming.

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle is running for governor.


sharpeSeptember 28--  The Vidalia Kiwanis Club installed new officers this week including incoming President John Sharpe (right) who accepts the job from outgoing President Chris Keene.

Other officers and board members are President Elect - Beth Benton, Vice President - Mitch Johnson, Secretary - Heather Gourley, Treasurer - Darlene Chester, Heather Davis-Board member, Wanda Cline-Board member, Laura Brown-Board member, Hayne Brant - New Board Member, Mike Walton - New Board Member, Rebekah Arnold - New Board Member, Mary Moon - New Board Member.

Rolling off the board are Daniel O'Connor, Mike Hagan, Wanda Mobley and Blake Brown.

September 27--  The Georgia Department of Education released 2017 Scholastic Aptitude Test results and high school graduation rates. Vidalia High School came in second in area rankings in both categories.

Six area schools had mean scores of 1,000 or more while five others scored in the 900's.  Jeff Davis High School led the area with a score of 1,049 and Indian students followed with 1,024.

School Principal John Sharpe said urging students to take more rigorous courses is paying off.

"We try to encourage our students to take the most rigorous curriculum because that will help better prepare them to succeed on SAT and ACT testing and give them a better indication of success on the college level," he said.

Of eleven area high schools, Treutlen came in fifth, Toombs County High School ranked eighth and Montgomery County High School had the lowest area score. All area schools fell short of the state average of 1,050.  The national average  is 1,060.

2017 Area High School SAT Rankings

High School

Students Tested





Jeff Davis Co


















Appling Co






Treutlen Co











Tattnall Co






Toombs Co






Wheeler Co












Montgomery Co






State of Georgia









Vidalia and Metter High Schools led the area in 2017 high school graduation rates with 92%.  Montgomery County high school graduated nearly 91%.  The three schools are among only 50 high schools in the state to graduate more than 90 percent of their students.

Sharpe says Vidalia set a goal several years ago to crack the 90% mark and he'd like to make it 100%.

"We're still bothered by those who don't graduate.  We're not going to be satisfied, and it may appear to be unattainable, but we'd love to get to the point where we have a 100% graduation rate," he noted.

Toombs Counthy High School ranks seventh in the area with a graduation rate of 81% while two schools are under the state average of 81%.  Treutlen County High School graduated 78% followed by Swainsboro with 77%.

2017 Area High School Graduation Rate Rankings

Area Ranking

High School

Graduation Rate








Montgomery Co



Jeff Davis Co



Wheeler Co









Toombs Co



Tattnall Co



Treutlen Co





State of Georgia




WASHINGTON - Congressman Rick W. Allen (R-GA-12) released the following statement in response to release of the unified framework for fixing our broken tax code:

“It has been over 30 years since our broken tax code was last reformed, but today, President Trump and the Republican Congress laid out a tax framework that will provide relief for hard-working Americans and jumpstart our economy. Bold reforms will increase paychecks, grow local businesses, and expand our economy in ways that we have not seen in a long time. Our plan will accomplish all of these goals, making the tax code affordable, simple, and competitive. It will allow middle class Americans to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks and level the playing field for American businesses and workers to bring jobs back home. The unified tax reform framework will protect the American dream for families and remove the tax burdens strangling our economy.”

Please see below for highlights of the unified tax reform framework:

Lowers Rates for Individuals and Families

  • The framework shrinks the current seven tax brackets into three – 12%, 25% and 35% – with the potential for an additional top rate for the highest-income taxpayers to ensure that the wealthy do not contribute a lower share of taxes paid than they do today.

Doubles the Standard Deduction and Enhances the Child Tax Credit

  • The framework roughly doubles the standard deduction so that typical middle-class families will keep more of their paycheck. It also significantly increases the Child Tax Credit.

Eliminates Loopholes for the Wealthy, Protects Bedrock Provisions for Middle Class

  • To provide simplicity and fairness the framework eliminates many itemized deductions that are primarily used by the wealthy, but retains tax incentives for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions, as well as tax incentives for work, higher education, and retirement security.

Repeals the Death Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

  • The framework repeals the unfair Death Tax and substantially simplifies the tax code by repealing the existing individual AMT, which requires taxpayers to do their taxes twice.

Creates a New Lower Tax Rate and Structure for Small Businesses

  • The framework limits the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25% - significantly lower than the top rate that these businesses pay today.

To Create Jobs and Promote Competitiveness Lowers the Corporate Tax Rate

  • So that America can compete on level playing field, the framework reduces the corporate tax rate to 20% – below the 22.5% average of the industrialized world.

To Boost the Economy, Allows “Expensing” of Capital Investments

  • The framework allows, for at least five years, businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments, giving a much-needed lift to the economy.

Moves to an American Model for Competitiveness

  • The framework ends the perverse incentive to offshore jobs and keep foreign profits overseas. It levels the playing field for American companies and workers.

Brings Profits Back Home

  • The framework brings home profits by imposing a one-time, low tax rate on wealth that has already accumulated overseas so there is no tax incentive to keeping the money offshore.

Isakson Statement on Tax Reform

Welcomes commitment to middle-class tax relief, jobs and competitiveness

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance with jurisdiction over tax reform, today released the following statement regarding the tax reform framework released by leaders in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Trump administration:

“Today’s announcement is the result of years of work by our committee to overhaul the U.S. tax code and provide meaningful tax relief for middle-class Americans while boosting our economy,” said Isakson. “Our competitiveness as a nation is at stake. By simplifying our broken tax code and leveling the playing field, we can help strengthen America’s standing in the global marketplace, increase domestic economic growth, create more jobs with higher wages, and provide tax relief for hardworking Georgians.”

“I also appreciate the commitment by Congressional leaders and the president to move this important measure through the regular legislative process, which improves transparency and leads to a better final product,” Isakson continued. “I look forward to taking an active role in this overhaul as members of Congress and the administration work together to enact comprehensive tax reform for the good of our nation.”

Isakson plans to join U.S. Senate and U.S. House leaders later today at an event in the U.S. Capitol to mark the release of a unified framework for comprehensive tax reform.

Upcoming Congressional Art Competition Deadline


WASHINGTON - Each year the United States House of Representatives sponsors a Congressional Art Competition for high school students.  The “Artistic Discovery Competition” began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.  Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

For more information and official rules please visit

Please remember, artwork submitted must represent images that depict a scene from the 12th District of Georgia. All artwork must be submitted October 3rd – 5th at one of the following six drop-off locations:

  • Augusta District Office: 2743 Perimeter Parkway, Bldg. 200, Suite 225, Augusta, GA 30909 (9 am – 5 pm)
  • Dublin High School: 1127 Hillcrest Parkway, Dublin, GA 31021
  • Appling County High School: 482 Blackshear Highway, Baxley, GA 31513
  • Vidalia Heritage Academy Upper School: 207 East Second Street, Vidalia, Georgia 30474
  • Statesboro High School: 10 Lester Rd, Statesboro, GA 30458
  • Emanuel County Institute: 102 S College St, Twin City, GA 30471

If you have any additional questions please contact Christine Rhodes in our Augusta District Office at (706) 228-1980 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


September 26--  The United Way of Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties will earn more than $6,000 if it can get at least 300 people to test drive a Ford this weekend.

You can help by simply showing up at Vidalia Ford on Highway 280 East Saturday between the hours of nine a.m. and four p.m.

There is no pressure to buy, but a test drive will help the ongoing United Way campaign raise money for 23 local service agencies.

September 26--  Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits reports the following arrests.

Brewer, Ben Kevin- 22 YOA- B/M- 2104 W. Smalley Dr Vidalia, Ga- Warrant Served (Toombs County-Probation)

Woods, Kamarah Rashad- 38 YOA- B/M- Unknown/Homeless Lyons, GA- Theft By Shoplifting (Felony)

Wilson, Orlando Sebel- 46 YOA- B/M- 204 Washington St Vidalia, Ga- Warrant Served (Parole)

Beasley, Zonnie - B/F 21 YOA/ 102 W. Ninth St. Vidalia, Ga/ Simple Battery (2 Counts), Willfully Obstruction Of Police Officer Sever/Forceful (Fel.) (2 Counts)

Murphy, Cierra Shambre’- B/F- 23 YOA- 1208 Easter Dr. Apt. 25 Vidalia, GA- Theft by Shoplifting 2nd Offense

Wilson, Orlando Sebel - B/M 46 YOA/ 712 Sly St. Vidalia, Ga./ Loitering/Prowling

Crawford, Mahalika Keanna- B/F- 32 YOA- 1208 Easter Drive Vidalia, Ga- Theft By Shoplifting (Felony)

Hernandez-Andino, Jesus Anibal- W/M- 21 YOA- 706 Stuart Street Vidalia, Ga- Theft By Shoplifting- 1st Offense

Salazar, Justin Gage- W/M- 23 YOA- 181 Highway 56W Lyons, Ga- Possession of Marijuana

Woods, Jimmie- W/M- 29 YOA- 602 Bay Street Vidalia, Ga- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense/Criminal Trespass

Smith, Tayniesha Chivon- B/F- 34 YOA- 704 Stuart Street Vidalia, Ga- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense

Ramsey, Stephen Daniel-W/M- 29 YOA- 207 NW Main Street Vidalia, Ga- No Insurance 1st, Driving With Expired Tag, Fail To Change Name, Address W/in 60 Days

Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker reports the following arrests.

James H. Barber, Ailey, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

Dakota James Henderson, Blackshear, DUI, Speeding

Brandi Navy, Lyons, DUI, Hit and Run, Failure to Stop, Leaving the Scene

Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight reports the following arrests.

Elvin Jackson, Alston, Driving while License Suspended or Revoked

Joshua Page, Vidalia, Probation Violation-Felony

Narcelles Porter, Glennville, Deposit Account Fraud/Bad Checks

Beverly Beasley, Uvalda, Purchase/Possession/Manufacturing/Distribution & Sale of Methamphetamine; DUI, Driving while License Suspended or Revoked, Prescription Drugs Not in Original Container

Brett Teston, Lyons, Probation Violation

Cody Williams, Uvalda, No Insurance, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

Staci Williamson, Lyons, Theft of Automobile

Montgomery County Sheriff Doug Maybin reports the following arrests.

09/14     Dusty King                                            Wrightsville, Ga.                   Theft by Taking

09/15     Curtis Lee Powell                                  Ailey, Ga.                              Battery, Cruelty to Children-1st

09/16     Holly Amanda McDowell                     Mt. Vernon, Ga.                   DUI

09/16     Kimberly Martha Kent                       Mt. Vernon, Ga.                   DUI, Failure to Maintain Lane, Failure to Signal When Turning

09/16     Eliseo Gonzales                                    Dublin, Ga.                            No License

09/17     Mallory Ann Partin                             Uvalda, Ga.                          Driving While Revoked

09/18     Kelly Nakia Hart                                 Uvalda, Ga.                          Bondsman Off Bond

09/20     Daniel Thomas Roundtree, Jr.          Vidalia, Ga.                           Possession of Methamphetamine

09/20     Stephen Eric Lawrence                       Lyons, Ga.                            Obstruction of Officer (x2), Disorderly Conduct, Habitual Violator,         Suspended Tag, Felony Probation Violation

09/20     Valerie Amber Cobb                           Vidalia, Ga.                           Misdemeanor Probation Violation

 09/22     Corey Fields                                          Uvalda, Ga.                          Parole Violation







September 26-- Former U.S. congressman John Barrow announced on Monday he will run to become the Georgia Secretary of State.

“Today, we have too many people in Atlanta who act like they do in Washington; who put partisan politics ahead of what’s in the best interest of Georgia,” Barrow said in a news release. “As a county commissioner and a member of Congress, I’ve always put Georgia first, and that’s what I’ll do as our Secretary of State.”

Congressman Barrow represented our area as the 12th District Congressman before he was defeated by Congressman Rick Allen.

Elections for the Secretary of State will be held Nov. 6, 2018.

September 24--  The American Red Cross urges eligible donors of all races and ethnicities to give blood to help ensure a diverse blood supply for patients in need.

Some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups, so a diverse blood supply is important to meeting the medical needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.

Patients who need repeated transfusions, like 11-year-old Tymia McCullough who has sickle cell disease, must have blood that is matched very closely. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity.

Donors of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as all blood types, are needed to help

patients fight sickle cell disease, alpha thalassemia and other illnesses. Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at

Local Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 1-15

October 2, 1 - 7 p.m., Toombs County Agri Center, 377 Quint Shrine Road, Lyons

October 10, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Dixon Building, Ed Smith Complex, 102 Stockyard Road, Vidalia



























September 25-- Despite an ongoing membership drive, Hawks Point Golf Course owner Andy Page is closing the golf course in Vidalia.

In late summer, Page closed the course but later reopened it to see if more members would join. A membership drive attracted the most members the course has ever had, according to manager Paul Claxton.

"We're in a better position financially now than it's ever been since he's owned it.  We have more members here now than we've ever had since he's owned it.  I'm very surprised he's taking this course of action considering the positive response out of the community.  We added 50 new members and I feel it's not the right thing to do, but I don't own the facility and it was his decision solely.  He wants out of the golf business," Claxton said.

Page informed Claxton late Sunday that the course would close Friday, September 29.

"I tried to offer a fair lease and he said he will get back to me on that.  I tried to offer to buy it, but we're just too far apart on what he says it's worth and what the market says it's worth.

"Our deficit right now is $22,000 and at this time last year, it was at $118,000.  At this time two years ago, it was more than $250,000.  I'm very proud of the progress that's been made.  I don't understand why any business that's on a positive trajectory like we are would be considered for closing."

"The community is going to be the big loser here because so many charitable dollars are raised out here, so many positive things happen out here on this golf course, it's more than just a golf course.  It's an integral part of our society and we're about to lose it.  We've got a week and I need 50 members and some show of a strong push here at the end if we want to keep it going,"  Claxton said.

We reached out to Andy Page for a comment on his decison, but he has yet to return our call.


September 25--  Law enforcement officials are looking for the person who fatally shot a Brewton-Parker College student and wounded another student at an off-campus party early Sunday morning.

B.L. Horne with the Mount Vernon Police Department says 20-year-old Stevenson Derival of Decatur was shot during an altercation at 1106 Walker Street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.  Another person, 22-year-old Javar Bridges,a student from Florida, was shot in the arm.

GBI Agent Scott Whitley says there was a confrontation between Derival and the shooter which led to the shooting. Authorities are questioning witnesses who were at the party which was held in a house rented by non-students, Whitley reported.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Mount Vernon Police Department, 583-2323, or the GBI office in Eastman, 478-374-6988.


September 25--  A former Democrat state legislator is running as an independent for the 12th District Congressional seat in the 2018 election.

Mary West lives near Wrens in Jefferson County now, but back in the late 90's and early 2000's, she was both a State Representative and a State Senator in metro Atlanta.  Later she ran unsuccessfully for State Insurance Commissioner.

marywesttcWest introduced herself to the Toombs County Commission at its September meeting and told us, "I decided to get back in politics because I'm really disappointed at the change in political parties.  Over the course of years, they have become so solidified in their message and it seems their intention is merely to maintain power. In the meantime, they've pulled all the money that counties and local governments, and even states, have access to up to the federal government.

"The only way I can help rural communities is to go to Washington and try to make sure a rural voice is there and have more leverage because independents have more leverage in this kind of environment because they need my vote and I need their help for rural Georgia," she said.

West says she has to get over 6,000 names on a petition in order to get on the ballot in 2018, but says she is undaunted, "In my first race I ran as a Democrat in a 60% Republican district against a popular incumbent. I simply found out who all the voters were, went to see them personally, asked them what they wanted me to do and then communicated with them for the rest of the year.  It took a long time but I simply dedicated myself to it and that's what I'm doing now." 

West told Toombs Commissioners one thing she is hearing from 12th District voters is a need for more user-friendly constituent services.  If elected, she plans to field two mobile vans so her staff can make it easier for citizens to get help cutting government red tape.


September 23-- James D. Durham resigned effective September 22, 2017, as the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.  Mr. Durham served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office’s Criminal Division from 2002 to 2007, as the Office’s Criminal Chief from 2007 to 2010, and as First Assistant United States Attorney from 2010 to March 2017, when he became the Acting United States Attorney. 

Effective upon Mr. Durham’s departure, R. Brian Tanner was appointed as the interim United States Attorney by the Attorney General of the United States.  Mr. Tanner has served as the Office’s Appellate Chief since 2010 and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division from 2006 to 2010.        

U.S. Attorney Tanner said, “Jim Durham has been a relentless and formidable advocate for the people of the United States for over fifteen years.  From the start of his career here, Mr. Durham has prosecuted the most complex and important criminal cases in our district, rightly earning the full respect of our law enforcement partners.  His leadership has made this Office stronger and the people of the Southern District of Georgia safer.  We thank him for his selfless public service, and we wish him great success in his future endeavors.” 

Earlier this month President Trump nominated Bobby Christine of Columbia County to be the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District which includes 49 counties from Augusta to Savannah. Christine is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Augusta area and is now in private practice and is a Magistrate Judge in Columbia County.  He was appointed in 2012 as State Judge Advocate for the Georgia National Guard.

September 22-- The State Board of Education will hold the McIntosh County Board of Education suspension hearing on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 1:00 p.m.

The hearing will be held in the State Board Room, 205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE, 2070 Twin Towers East, Atlanta, Georgia.​

Click here to see the official documents.    

September 21-- Safe Kids Toombs & Surrounding Counties announced that certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will offer free car seat inspections and education to parents and caregivers Saturday, Sept. 23 beginning at 10:00 at Paul Thigpen Chevrolet.

safekids17The event is part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, and will include instruction on how to choose the right car seats for children, with an emphasis on how to install and use them correctly. Technicians will also explain the importance of registering the car seats with the manufacturer so parents and caregivers can be notified if there is a recall.

Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 17-23. The week, along with National Seat Check Saturday, is dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers about the importance of correctly choosing, installing and using car seats, booster seats and seat belts.

Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are often used incorrectly. Every 33 seconds in 2015, one child under 13 was involved in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“No parent ever wants to get it wrong when it comes to a child’s safety,” said Bonnie Brantley. “Parents – don’t just think you know, know that you know your child is secure in their car seat and are in the right seat for their age and size.”

Car crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA shows that nearly two out of three car seats are misused. Using age- and size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly are the best ways to reduce these deaths. More than one-third of children 12 and younger who died in crashes in 2015 while riding in cars, pickups, vans and SUVs were unbuckled. Many of those children could have survived if they had been buckled up.

Safe Kids Toombs & Surrounding Counties National Child Passenger Safety Week event is being held at Paul Thigpen Chevrolet from 10:00am – 12:00 noon. All parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free event.

September 21-- State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that the unemployment and jobs picture in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region looked bright in August.

Butler said Wednesday that in August the unemployment rate was just 6.1 percent, unemployment claims fell and employment growth continued to climb.  

“The August numbers show the area’s economy and outlook for employment remains healthy,” said Butler.

The August unemployment rate was down from 6.5 percent in July. A decline of 116 in the labor force contributed to the decline in the monthly rate which can be attributed to school age workers returning to their educational institutions. That compares favorably to last August when the rate was 7 percent.

Unemployment claims were down by 44.7 percent   – another good sign for the region’s economy. Claims were down in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 12.9 percent from August 2016.

The total number of employed residents in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha area rose to 109,686 in August. There were 2,469 more area residents employed than in August 2016.

“Georgia continues to be one of the leaders in job creation and employment,” Butler said. “It's great to see our employers continue to create jobs, and Georgians going back to work.”.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at showed 852 new active job postings in Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region for August.

September 20--  Federal and state officials were in Toombs County Wednesday to make a preliminary damage assessment as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Toombs County Emergency Management Agency Director Lynn Moore met with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to start the process leading to federal disaster relief for local governments.  Once documentation is provided, Moore believes it will be at least several weeks before financial assistance is provided.

Meanwhile, Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight briefed the Toombs County commissioners Tuesday regarding the county's response.  He said his department devoted 428 man hours and that 911 dispatchers answered hundreds of calls during the storm.

Commission Chairman David Sikes praised all concerned, "Everyone pulled together and did an unbelievable job.  Our EMA department and Lynn Moore, our Sheriff's Department with Sheriff Kight and all of our volunteer fire departments had a meeting two days before the storm hit.  I was thoroughly impressed once the storm hit with what they did.  They kept our roads open, they kept our people safe and they kept their people safe and the timeliness of their response was phenomenal.

"What I want everyone to understand is that the volunteer firemen are out here doing this stuff for no money, just for the love of people and wanting to help, what a huge deal!"

"So if you see someone who's a volunteer firemen, hug them.  If you see someone who works with the Sheriff's Department, thank them, and if you see Lynn Moore or anyone with the EMA, congratulate them on a job well done." he said.

The chairman also recognized that ordinary citizens also turned out to help, "We actually had citizens come out of their homes with their tractors and their chainsaws to help clear these highways, it was amazing," he said.

In actions at Tuesday's meeting, the commissioners:

*Awarded a $189,235 contract to McLendon Enterprises to make safety modifications to the intersection of Georgia Highway 178 and Johnson Corner Road.

*Agreed to spend $119,000 to install new lights at the county recreation department baseball field.

*Were informed a bridge on the Green Tippett Road closed for safety concerns will probably not be repaired by the Georgia Department of Transportation until December, 2018.

September 20-- The Toombs County Young Farmers Program in Lyons has been selected as the 2017 Georgia Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program. Mr. Joey Montford serves as the advisor for the program.

This award, given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), recognizes the nation’s most successful agricultural education programs by highlighting the local programs and teachers that achieve success.

ffaaward17Toombs County Young Farmers Program Advisor Joey Montford (left) and Greg Waits, President of the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association.

Winners are educators who have developed an outstanding agricultural education program at either the postsecondary or adult education level. Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships, and professional growth.

Toombs County Young Farmers Program will compete against Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Ag Ed Program Award winners from surrounding states for the opportunity to be named the 2017 NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Ag Ed Program for Region V. Regional winners will receive an expense paid trip to attend the 2017 NAAE convention in Nashville,TN, and an invitation to a special awards dinner.  

The NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Ag Ed Program Award is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. The mission of NAAE is “professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”

September 19--  The City of Vidalia is beginning the process of repairing six streets damaged by Hurricane Irma.

City Manager Nick Overstreet says bids will be sought as soon possible to repair damage on Darby Circle, Rocky Creek Drive, Lewis Drive, Stella Avenue, Kissingbower Road and Clydette Boulevard.  He estimates six to eight weeks for completion of the work.

At Monday night's city council meeting, he also praised Vidalia policemen, firemen and employees of Environmental Services Group for their response to Irma, "They've done a tremendous job taking care of different needs and things that our community was affected by during the storm.  In my opinion, they went above and beyond," he said.

The council awarded a contract for $213,610.70 to Sikes Brothers to resurface 14 city streets including Northeast Main, Cambridge Court, Leslie Street, Thompson Street, West 8th Street, Lee Street, White Street, Allen Drive, Toombs Street, Queen Street, Woodlawn Circle, Everett Street, Ridgewood Place and Moseley Street.

In other actions:

*The council was informed the state has approved a $750,000 grant to help finance a $1.2 million project to improve streets, drainage, water and sewer in the Bay Street neighborhood.

*The council okayed transfer of up to $400,000 from the general fund to help finance projects normally funded by sales tax revenue.  The general fund will be reimbursed as sales tax collections accrue.

*The council approved a zoning variance adding 20 feet to the height of a proposed new motel on Mose Coleman Road pending approval by the Federal Aviation Agency.

*A millage rate of 4.352 mils was approved, the same as it's been for the past 24 years according to Mayor Ronnie Dixon.

*The city audit report indicates the city is in sound financial shape with no problems noted.

*The city has spent nearly $75,000 this year removing 50 dilapidated buildings from neighborhoods.

*The Vidalia Fire Department will be wearing Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirts during October and is selling them for $15 each to help local breast cancer patients.

September 19--  Fox News Channel confirms that talk show host Laura Ingraham will begin hosting a new show on FOX.  "The Ingraham Angle" begins Monday, October 30th at ten p.m. succeeding Sean Hannity who moves to nine p.m.

According to her national radio syndicator, Ingraham will continue her weekday radio talk show which is heard locally from nine a.m. till noon on NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3

September 19--  Students at Vidalia High School led area public schools in 2017 ACT testing according to the Georgia Department of Education.  ACT is a national college admissions test similar to the Scholastic Aptitude Test.  The highest possible score on the ACT is 36.

SCHOOL                                          # STUDENTS TESTED       AVERAGE COMPOSITE SCORE

1. Vidalia High School                                  62                                       20.3

2. Tattnall Co High School                            44                                       19.8

3. Appling Co High School                            47                                       19.4

4. Jeff Davis Co High Schoolo                       57                                       19.3

5. Toombs Co High School                            20                                       18.5

6. Emanuel Co Schools                                 58                                        18.3

7. Metter High School                                    37                                        17.7

8. Montgomery Co High School                     24                                         17.1

No students at Treutlen Co High School nor Wheeler County High School took the ACT during this period.

Georgia’s students showed continued improvement on the ACT in 2017, increasing the state’s average composite score and the percentage of students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

Georgia’s average composite score of 21.4 was higher, for the second consecutive year and the second time in state history, than the national average of 21. Georgia also outperformed the nation in English, reading, science, and mathematics.

“Georgia students continue to increase their scores – and outpace the nation – on the ACT,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This is a testament to the hard work of Georgia’s students and educators as they enjoy greater flexibility and fewer state restrictions in the classroom. We are seeing our students’ performance trending upward on multiple indicators of academic achievement, and seeing positive signs like a four-percentage-point jump in the percentage of students meeting the College Readiness Benchmark for reading is encouraging as we continue to focus on literacy.”

Georgia students’ scores increase

Georgia students’ average composite score rose from 21.1 in 2016 to 21.4 in 2017, with all subject area scores increasing as well: from 20.7 to 21 in English, 20.6 to 20.9 in mathematics, 21.8 to 22 in reading, and 21 to 21.3 in science. All of these subject-area scores outpaced the national averages of 20.3 in English, 20.7 in mathematics, 21.4 in reading, and 21 in science.

Between 2013 and 2017, the number of students taking the ACT in Georgia has increased by 8,926 students.

Gains across subject areas

In addition to a rising composite score, the percentage of students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks increased in all subject areas: from 65 to 66 percent in English, 40 to 41 percent in mathematics, 47 to 51 percent in reading, and 36 to 38 percent in science. The College Readiness Benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject-area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher, in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses.     

2017 ACT results also bought positive news in the area of equity, as the average composite scores for Georgia’s two largest minority groups increased. The average score for African American students increased from 18 in 2016 to 18.1 in 2017, and the average score for Hispanic students increased from 20.2 in 2016 to 20.5 in 2017. 


September 20--  Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits reports the following arrests.

Allen, Amanda- W/F- 30 YOA- 4765 Hatch Parkway N Baxley, GA- Disorderly Conduct

Martin,Demarcus Antonio- B/M- 19 YOA- 19565 US Hwy 17 Townsend, Ga 31331- Theft By Shoplifting-1st Offense

Cobb, Valerie Amber- W/F- 38 YOA- 505 S. Broadfoot Blvd. Vidalia, GA- Cruelty to Children, Battery (FVA)

Woods, Jimmy Earl- W/M- 29 YOA - 602 Bay St. Vidalia, GA- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense

Martin, Demarcus Antonio- B/M- 19 YOA- 19565 US Highway 17 Townsend, GA- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense

Kennedy, Misty Lane- W/F- 33 YOA- 307 Iler Rd. Pembroke, GA- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense

Brown, Ravin - B/M 35 YOA/ 119 Blake Dr. Vidalia, Ga. / Burglary 2nd Degree

Gibson, Perry Thomas- W/M- 32 YOA- 4982 Cambloeton Pike Culleoka, TN- Theft by Shoplifting 1st Offense

Beecher, Harvey Vincent - W/M 19 YOA/ 1011 Dead River Rd. Uvalda, Ga./ Theft By Shoplifting 1st Offense

Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker reports the following arrests.

Jamie Lynn Allen, Lyons, Warrant Served

Henry Lee Walker, Jr., Lyons, Possession of a Controlled Substance

Brian Lee Rolen, Lyons, DUI-Drugs, Stopping in Roadway, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

Abagail Castillo, Lyons, Impeding Flow of Traffic, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

Bobby Moore Mincy, Jr., DUI-Drugs, Driving Without License on Person, Failure to Maintain Lane, Warrant Served, Criminal Warrant

Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight reports the following arrests.

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September 18--  The Toombs County grand jury returned 26 criminal indictments during its August term.

Nearly half of the indictments were for drug-related accusations.

Christiana Bradley was indicted for possession of Hydrocodone and Cocaine while William Hatfield was indicted for possession of methamphetamine.  Both were indicted for shoplifting.  Other drug indictments were returned against Stewart Foster, Kerry Bryant, Robert Chalkley III, Wanda Toler, Celena Mead, Tevin Blount, Joseph Trobridge, Jr., Westley McGowan, and Jeramie Eason.

Four people indicted for burglary are Shyheim Cooper, William Lundy, Deandre Elliott and Steven Kirven.

In sex-related crimes, Antonio Tirsa faces five counts including rape, aggravated sexual battery and three counts of child molestation.  Leroy Smith was indicted on one count of child molestation and Kenneth Griffin was indicted for failing to register as a sex offender when he moved from 306 Henry Wolfe Road in Uvalda.

John Allen Dickson was indicted for aggravated assault and cruelty to children while Ramon Dixon was indicted for aggravated assault, battery, terroristic threats and cruelty to children.

In other cases, shoplifting indictments were returned against Otis Jackson, Tiquann Craig and Keonte Smith. Herbert Lee Harris was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and three people indicted for financial card fraud are Keisha Jolly, Christine Welk and Kasey McLendon.





September 18--  Vidalia Fire Chief Brian Sikes reports the department answered 31 calls in August.

Included were three house fires, one building fire, an auto fire, five grass/woods fires, two gas leaks, two dumpster fires, two rescues, one medical assistance call, one downed power line and 13 false alarms.

The department also installed 53 smoke detectors during the month.

September 18--  It's Homecoming Week at Toombs County High School.  The Homecoming Queen and Princess will be crowned at Friday night's football game with Bacon County High School.

tchomecoming2017Members of the Homecoming Court are (Back Row, L-R) Freshman-Leezett Castro, Senior-Reagan Benton, Senior-Casandra Castro, Senior-Lauren Floyd, Senior-Emily Conner, Senior-Brooke Morris, Freshman-Mikenna Salem, Sophomore-Baileigh Lowery

(Front Row, L-R) Sophomore-Aaliyah Spikes, Junior-Kassidy Matthews, Junior-Carlie Morgan, Junior-Divoria Gaffney, Junior-Shanne Fitzgerald, Sophomore-Sarah Kelley

September 16-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Georgia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma from September 7, 2017, and continuing. 

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Camden, Chatham and Glynn counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, in all 159 counties.  

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. 

Thomas J. McCool has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. McCool said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.

Individuals and business owners who sustain losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

September 15--  Two Baxley residents are facing charges of trafficking in methamphetamine by authorities in Montgomery County. 

mcmethAccording to Montgomery County Sheriff Doug Maybin, Sheanice Mobley and Wendell Williams were arrested after a police chase which yielded five ounces of meth and $1,000 in cash.  Later agents with the Oconee Drug Task Force searched Williams' residence in Baxley and seized more narcotics and more than a pound of marijuana.

The sheriff's office also reports the arrest of Christopher Lee Kennedy of Mount Vernon and Robert Austin Carver of Uvalda on felony probation warrants.

September 15--  Vidalia police are continuing their investigation of an armed robbery two weeks ago at Personal Finance and Tax Service on Church Street.

According to witnesses, two black men wearing ski masks entered the office.  One brandished a pistol while the other stole nearly $6,000 from the cash drawers.

The two then fled in what was described as a late model Ford Taurus or Focus with no tag on it.  Witnesses said neither of the men spoke during the robbery.


uw17September 14--  The United Way of Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties is raising money so 23 service agencies can help those in need  in 2018.

At the campaign kickoff Thursday, people who have benefited from United Way help told their stories including Karen Creamer of Cedar Crossing who said her family was on the verge of losing its home due to illness and injury before the Salvation Army stepped in, "It was a profound gift United Way was able to give us to help us during our darkest time and to get us out of that valley."

Other testimony came from those helped by "The Refuge" Domestic Violence Shelter, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and Open Doors to the Handicapped.

United Way Executive Director Patricia Dixon likened it to hurricane relief, "We have people who are hurting in our community and it's almost like a hurricane that hits their family.  We want to be there so when they do have a problem we can support them and help them.  We don't know what tomorrow is going to bring and we want to have a strong United Way to help ones who are hurting."

Last year the campaign raised $632,000, but this year's goal of $550,000 is lower according to campaign chairman Thomas Bowers, "Our goal is lower this year because we've have a few who have had to back out corporate-wise, but we plan to get out in the community and beat last year's goal."

Already the campaign has raised nearly $140,000 which is 27 percent of the goal.

The Spring golf tournament raised $10,360.58; Dancing for the Stars and the Power of the Purse has raised $15,264.88; employees of Dot Foods are contributing $44,776; Meadows Regional Medical Center $30,000; Vidalia City Schools $14,000 and the Vidalia Kiwanis Club is making a $1,500 contribution.

The campaign continues through November 9.


clydedrugsSeptember 14--  A search at 803 Clyde Boulevard in Vidalia turned up marijuana, prescription pills packaged for distribution and weapons.  Police Chief Frank Waits reports felony charges may be filed following an investigation.

September 14--  Georgia Power area manager Tray Leslie provides an update on power outages in the Vidalia area as of noon today.

"At this time, we currently have a little over 100 events remaining with right at 1,000 customers without power. At the peak of the storm, we had close to 15,000 customers who saw an interruption in service.

Through our damage assessment, we’ve found 15 broken poles, 40 spans of wire down, and countless fallen limbs and trees.

Along with our local area crews, we have approximately 20 men from Mississippi Power in the area assisting with the restoration process.

We are expected to restore power to 95% of our customers by 10pm on Saturday night."

Statewide Georgia Power Update

The hurricane, one of the strongest and largest storms to strike Georgia in decades, brought high winds, heavy rain and flooding to every county in the state and impacted service to nearly a million Georgia Power customers.

Damage assessment and restoration efforts started in earnest once weather conditions allowed following the storm and, by Wednesday night, more than 70 percent (719,610 customers) of Georgia Power customers impacted by the hurricane had service restored.

The company estimates that thousands of customers in some of the hardest hits parts of the state may not be able to reconnect to Georgia Power service due to extensive damage. Property owners should contact a qualified electrician to make repairs to private property prior to reconnecting to service.

Restoration Update – As of 8 a.m. Thursday

  • There are approximately 200,000 Georgia Power customers currently without power.
  • More than 8,500 cases of individual damage or trouble (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.
  • Restoration teams continue to face challenges including downed trees, blocked roads and bridges that had be inspected by the state following flooding.

The company continues to encourage customers to keep safety in mind throughout the restoration process:  

  • Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
  • Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
  • Don’t step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
  • Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
  • Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road – it’s the law in Georgia.


September 15--  Here's a list of items you can bid on at the Sweet Onion Classic Auction Thursday, September 21 at six p.m. at the Vidalia Community Center.

Sweet Onion Classic - 2017 LIVE Auction Items

3 Night / 4 Day trip to Havana – 4 Guests                                                 Ingley, Moore & Paradice/Million Pines

Visit the colorful city of Havana and stay within a few blocks from Parque Central for 4 days with a guided tour one day! What great romantic getaway for you and your favorite couple. Direct flight from ATL. Travel must be completed by September 15, 2018; some dates excluded.   

Lake Side Catered Dinner – 25 Guests                          Onion City Package Store, Tree House & Dixon Management

You and your guests will enjoy a delicious meal of steak and shrimp with all the trimmings from The Tree House and drinks (beer/wine) as you lounge around the Dixon’s Pool House and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Dixon Lake.                                        

5 Day / 4 Night Lake Oconee Retreat 4 BR/3.5 BA House                                                    Justin and Anna Franklin

Enjoy a week away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at this private lakefront home on Lake Oconee. Whether you take your family, friends or just your spouse, you’ll be sure to come back refreshed from the peaceful lake water and sunshine. (No holidays. Expires Sept. 14, 2018)

Dinner & A Movie, PAL Theatre – 30 Guests                                           City of Vidalia, Environmental Services Group

Forget the boring night out to dinner, bring your guests to the newly renovated PAL Theater for a delicious catered dinner served with beer and wine. Enjoy a private screening of your favorite movie with Coke and popcorn.

4 Day / 3 Night trip to Amelia Island – 8 Guests (2 BR/ 4 Queen Beds)          Findley Management, Tom Findley

Enjoy a 4 day/ 3 night stay in a lovely 2-bedroom condo at the Sandcastles Villas at Amelia Island Plantation. You’ll be on “island time” after a trip to this tranquil oasis with your friends or family. (Expires Sept. 14, 2018)

2018 Super Bowl Party at The Tree House – 30 Guests       Onion City Package Store, Robin Builders & Tree House

You’ve never really experienced an awesome Super Bowl Party until you’ve partied at The Tree House! Come enjoy the game with your closest friends and family in a fun environment with delicious food and drink!

Maine Lobster and Prime Rib Dinner at the Bishop Cabin – 14 Guests                     Howard & Rose Anne Holman,

Your taste buds will thank you for this delicious, intimate dinner of succulent             Brian & Lisa Bishop, Meredith Industries

seafood and steak. Save it for a celebratory dinner, holiday or whenever you feel like celebrating life!       

3 Night / 4 Day trip to New Orleans - 4 Guests                                            Arnold, Golden, Gregory, LLC and BMC

If SPICY is your flavor, then this is the trip for you! Enjoy a long weekend of Cajun food, music and art as you stay at the Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter! Direct flight from ATL. Travel must be completed by Sept. 15, 2018; some dates excluded.

BBQ Dinner at Rustic Venue– 50 Guest                                         Bi-Lo, Phillips Rx, Rusty Combs, Dixon Management

Need to feed a large crowd for a family get together, birthday or office party? Then you can’t go wrong with this BBQ dinner for 50 with all the trimmings, beer and wine. Your guests will be beyond satisfied with this southern favorite.      

$3,500 Quail Hunt, Meal and Lodging near Albany, GA – 4 Guests                                                  Draffin & Tucker, LLP

Love to hunt? Then you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hunt quail in the beautiful woodlands of Southwest Georgia at Piney Creek Plantation (Dawson, GA). Three delicious meals daily will be provided as well!

Mexican Band Dinner & Margaritas – 50 Guests     R.T. Stanley Family, Paul Thigpen Chevrolet, Bluwater Imaging,

Heat up your next party or family gathering with the                    Toshiba America Medical Systems & Jeremy D. Wood, DMD                                           delicious Mexican food of Juana Ocampo and dance the night away at the Stanley Lodge with Grupo Klave 4 Musical, a five piece Mexican band. “Dinner and dancing” will never be the same!

3 Night / 4 Day trip to NY City – 4 Guests                                                                                     Core/PET Services of FL

Want a taste of the BIG APPLE? You and your guests can experience a long weekend in the “city that never sleeps” at Radio City Apartments (2 min. walk to Times Square)! Fly direct from ATL-NY. Travel must be completed by September 15, 2018; some dates excluded.              

Oyster Party at Stanley Lodge – 50-60 Guests                                  Bishop-Durden Insurance, Bruce & Holly Vaughn

Waterfall pool, big screen TVs, scrumptious oysters, grilled sausage appetizers,             R.T. Stanley Family and Dustin Booth

beer, wine and a beautiful view… what more could you ask for?           

2-Day Family Friendly Whitetail Deer Hunt with Lodging and Meals – 4 Guests                                      Jake Cleghorn

You and your kids (or buddies) can experience some quality time outdoors with 2 morning and 2 evening hunts with fishing and skeet shooting options. The package will include a two day Family/Friend whitetail deer hunt and skeet shoot with several sumptuous meals. Taxidermy costs will be provided for children under the age of 16.  Taxidermy will be provided for hunters above 16 that harvest an animal with a net score above 140”. Hunts will be offered with stand selection opportunities in Worth, Turner, and Tift Counties in Georgia.  Transportation to and from lodging to stand sights will be provided. Lodging includes two bedrooms, full bath and shower, and full kitchen area.  There is also a living area with satellite TV to watch your favorite games between hunts.  The date of the hunt will be coordinated to the convenience of the buyer and no adult beverages will be allowed at lodging or during hunts.


Sweet Onion Classic - 2017 SILENT Auction Items

Gourmet dinner - 6-8 Guests                                                               

Arlene Davis, Dr. & Mrs. Spence with Georgia Hyperbaric and Wound Consulting, LLC

Dinner for 8 compliments of Ursalene's Kitchen featuring Chef Arlene Davis and Chef Ursula Spence! Come enjoy a simply gourmet meal for eight with excellent wine pairings compliments of Georgia Hyperbaric and Wound Consulting, LLC. Guaranteed fun time included. 

Fox tickets (10th Row) and hotel suite to see “The King and I – 4 Guests           

Kailey Dees – State Farm, Peoples Bank

2:00pm Saturday Matinee – September 30, 2017 – 4 tickets on the 10th row. After the show, enjoy exploring Midtown Atlanta as you will be staying across the street in a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite at the luxurious Georgian Terrace Hotel. (Date is not flexible.)

Holiday Party at the Altama Museum of Art and History

Altama Museum of Art and History

Historic charm and holiday cheer! You and 30 guests are invited to an exclusive holiday party at the Altama Museum housed in the stately Brazell House.  Heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine and live music will be provided in a festive atmosphere.  Guests will also have access to the Reflections Georgia exhibit featuring work by some of the Southeast’s most-respected photographers.  Date to be coordinated with museum director.

PAL Theatre Children’s Birthday Party with Chick-fil-A Lunch and Movie – 30 Guests

City of Vidalia and Chick-fil-A

Limo and dinner at Mill House Statesboro – 6 Guests

Charles Clements, Mill House of Statesboro

Travel to and from Vidalia to Statesboro in style and enjoy a great meal and beverages at the Mill House. 

Marlin Model 60 with scope by Remington Arms

Brantley’s Marina & Guns

Popular rifle that fires the .22 LR rim fire cartridge

Green Egg (Medium Size with Table)

Handy Andy

Steak Dinner for 10 at The Hopkins’ Cabin

Chris Hopkins

Enjoy a great steak dinner cooked to order with all the trimmings, including wine/beer in rustic cabin setting

$500 Bi-Lo Gift Card

Bi-Lo of Vidalia

Kitchenaid Mixer, Luggage Set, Biltmore Cookware Set

Belk of Vidalia

September 14-- The recent data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, has exposed the personal information of over 143 million Americans and approximately 5 million Georgians. Even if your information was not compromised in this particular hack, data breaches have become so prevalent these days that it is necessary to take extra precautions in order to prevent becoming a victim.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is urging those affected by this event and others to take protecting your identity very seriously. For more general information on how to do this, visit

“When a data breach occurs, our primary concern is protecting Georgia consumers who may have been impacted,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “To guarantee the best possible outcome for our citizens, we will work with law enforcement, the company who was targeted and others to identify how the breach occurred and to exhaust all efforts to help us ensure it does not happen again.”

The first thing you should consider in the wake of the nation’s most recent data breach is freezing your credit. Please see information related to this suggestion below.

Freeze your credit. First and foremost, consumers should strongly consider freezing their credit before they are impacted by a data breach in the first place. A security freeze (also known as a “credit freeze”) locks your credit file so that no one can see your credit report or credit score unless you lift the freeze. Since the information in your credit file will not be released to anyone, it makes it nearly impossible for an identity thief to open a new credit account in your name. Note that you will need to temporarily lift the freeze (by providing a password) if you wish to apply for a new loan or credit card. To place a security freeze, contact each of the three credit reporting agencies:




Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General would like to offer the following suggestions:

  1. Check your credit reports. You can get free credit reports each year by going to . Review your reports carefully. If you come across any accounts or collection items that you do not recognize, contact the credit reporting agencies to dispute the matter and get it resolved. Note that under federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Georgia residents are entitled to an additional two free credit reports per year from each of the reporting agencies.
  2. Monitor your credit cards and bank accounts. Check your accounts regularly for any charges you do not recognize. If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the financial institution right away to report it and have replacement cards issued. Also, if your statement does not arrive as usual, contact the financial institution to make sure that an identity thief has not changed the address on your account.
  3. File your taxes early. Filing your taxes early, (as soon as you have all the information you need), is one of the best ways to protect yourself from tax identity theft. After a breach, a scammer may commit tax identity theft by using your Social Security number to file a tax return and steal your tax refund. Most victims don’t find out about the fraud until they go to file their tax returns and are informed that someone has already filed a return using their Social Security number. 

August 13--  Schools in the area which were closed Wednesday are reopening Thursday including schools in Toombs, Montgomery and Treutlen counties.

 Emergency management officials in area counties are reporting early damage assessments in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

In Toombs County, EMA Director Lynn Moore reports, "We had at least three metal buildings that blew away, we lost a barn and a silo in the south part of the county, we had two houses with trees that went through the top of them, we had probably 200 to 250 trees that blew down and we had about five roads that the water washed out."

In Treutlen County, EMA Director Sid Love says, "At this time we know of two houses totally destroyed by trees and we've had several out buildings that were damaged.  Our biggest damage was the trees themselves and we've had power lines down throughout the county with both Georgia Power and the EMC still working to get power back up to our residents."

Montgomery County EMA Director Donnie Daniels reports, "We had 105 trees crossing roads that had to be removed, we had six houses damaged from minor to total and we had some erosion on roads and replaced one culvert.

"We had a power line come down across several vehicles and we got some people there real quick to make sure they didn't get out of their vehicles and there we no injuries."

Moore reports one man suffered a broken leg this morning when he went out on his porch and a tree limb leaning on the house fell on his leg.

Moore also advises citizens with property damage to make photos of the damages for use later when federal disaster claims are filed.



September 12-- Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits reports the following arrests.

Jimenez, Edward Anthony- H/F-22 YOA- 115 Chestnut Lane Vidalia, GA- Warrant Served (Henry Co SO/Theft by Receiving Stolen Property

Olea-Duque, Maiquel- H/F- 21 YOA- 115 Chestnut Lane Vidalia, GA- Theft by Receiving Stolen Property

Sanchez, Jesus- H/M- 30 YOA- 115 Chestnut Lane Vidalia, GA- Warrant Served (Cook CO)

Murphy, Cierra Shambre- B/F- 23 YOA- 1208 Easter Dr. Apt. 25 Vidalia, GA- Theft by Shoplifting 2nd Offense (Citation), Warrant Served (Lyons PD)

King, James Jared- W/M-23 YOA_- 216 Jean Dr Vidalia, Ga- Theft By Shoplifting 1st Offense

Gibbs, Michael Anthony - W/M 25 YOA/ 181 Totters Ln. Vidalia, Ga./ Possession Of Marijuana Less Than Ounce/Laying Drags

Williamson, Staci Leigh - W/F 39 YOA/ 4841 Tabacco Trail Vidalia, Ga./ Bench Warrant (Driving While License Suspended Or Revoked, Defective Equipment1

August 13--  This year's Sweet Onion Classic is being re-scheduled due to Hurricane Irma damage.

Classic officials say the pre-tournament silent auction will be held Thursday, September 21 at six p.m at the Vidalia Community Center with the tournament the next day, Friday, September 22nd at Hawk's Point Golf Course.

The charity events will raise money for worthwhile projects in the community and Classic board members are appealing for sjupport.

September 12--  The following school systems have reported school closures Wednesday, September 13th.

-Toombs County Schools

-Montgomery County Schools

-Jeff Davis Schools

-Treutlen County Schools - staff to report at 10 am if they can arrive safely

- Vidalia Coastal Plains Charter High School


The following school systems have reported that they will be open Wedesday, September 13th.

-Vidlaia City Schools

-Vidalia Heritage Academy

-Robert Toombs Christian Academy


Press Release
The City of Lyons Services after Hurricane Irma

From the Office of the Mayor
Lyons Georgia, September 12, 2017: The Mayor would like to update the Citizens regarding
storm damage from Hurricane Irma.

Trash Service for Lyons will be running on a one-day schedule delay. Republic Services is striving to
be back on schedule by the end of the week. Please make sure your carts are placed at their normal pick
up location as not to delay your services any further.

Debris Pick Up. The City will begin debris pick up this am. Our truck will run its regular zone route.
Please be patient as the amounts of debris are heavy. There is no need to call in your pick up as we are
assessing areas and routing our truck internally.

The Council meeting scheduled for Sept 12th at 5:30 pm will take place as scheduled.
The Mayor would like to thank all the Employees, First Responders, and Volunteers that worked so
diligently during this event. Your service to the community is greatly appreciated.

According to the City of Vidalia, Republic Waste Services will begin to pick up garbage Tuesday morning at 8am for the City of Vidalia. However, they will begin with Monday's route (on Tuesday) and be one day behind the remainder of the week.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, A reported that the peak outage numbered around 15,000 customers out statewide. Currently the number is closer to 7,000 and according to Tray Leslie of Georgia Power; linemen have been and will continue working to restore power to all of their customers. His message, “Be patient with us, work with us, we do know your power is out and we know it can be a trying time to be out for an extended period of time. We are working as diligently as we can and safety is our top priority. Keep in mind, this is not an isolated incident, it covers the entire state."

And when it comes to exactly how they restore power, customers must remember there is a strategic method in place to be the most efficient.

"We have crews in every area, but our pattern is to get the majority of the customers on first. In other words, we might have one device that has several hundred customers out versus another device that has a couple of ten out, so we are going two work on the one that has several customers out," Leslie stated.

Additionally, Altamaha EMC reported that the peak outage numbered around 15,000 of their 20,000 members. Currently the number is closer to 8,000 without power and that number is dropping according to Tammye Vaughn of Altamaha EMC. “In addition to the entire employee base of the Cooperative, EMC has three outside crews working with us and we are working as diligently and as safely as we can to restore power,” said Vaughn.

One of the biggest problems they have had to deal with, are broken poles due to trees, which according to Vaughn, extends the service time. Regardless of the extra time it takes, Vaughn assures members that Altamaha EMC is working around the clock to restore power.

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September 11--  The following curfew is in effect for Montgomery County until 6AM Tuesday, September 12th.










            WHEREAS, the Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor of the State of Georgia, has declared a state of emergency in Montgomery County, along with other counties in southeast Georgia, due to the impending threat of hurricane Irma; and

            WHEREAS, as designee of the governing authority of Montgomery County, the Chairman is authorized to institute a curfew pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Article I of Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances of Montgomery County, Georgia.

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners that a curfew is hereby instituted requiring all persons, other than those persons as being exempt in Section 12-6 of the Code of Ordinances which shall include persons who have entered Montgomery County solely for the purpose of evacuation, to vacate and remain away from the public streets and other public areas in Montgomery County, Georgia beginning on the ELEVENTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2017, AT NINE THRITY O’CLOCK A.M. and ending on the TWELFTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2017, AT SIX O’CLOCK A.M.




Leland Adams, Chairman

Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

September 11--  Chief Judge of Superior Court, Middle Georgia Circuit Kathy S. Palmer has ordered all Court business in Superior and Juvenile Courts for Emanuel and Candler Counties be closed for business on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12 and will repoen on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

All Court business in Superior and Juvenile Courts for Toombs County will be closed for business Monday, September 11 and reopen for business on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.