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Enoch Autry

Few attend first tax hike public hearings

The third and final public hearing to talk about the proposed Screven County Board of Education increase of the property taxes is scheduled for today, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m.
Since the 2008-2009 school year, the Screven County School System has endured cuts to programs and personnel because of reductions in state funding, while absorbing unfunded mandates through local dollars.

Missing man passes away

A Screven County man local law enforcement searched for with the assistance of many died at a hospital in South Carolina.
Steve Volf passed away on Aug. 5 following a search after Volf, who suffered from dementia, drove away from this residence the day before.
Working with Screven County Sheriff’s Office deputies, members of the community drove vehicles throughout the county in search of Volf.
Screven County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brett Dickerson said a concerned citizen in Dillon, S.C., saw Volf’s truck barely moving down the interstate.

2015-2016 school year begins

Screven County school officials say the start of the 2015-2016 school year has been a smooth one.
“I want to commend the teachers for their preparations to begin the learning environment in their classes through their dedication and hard work throughout the summer,” said Superintendent William Bland. “We have had many teachers working in their rooms preparing for their students well before preplanning week.

Rep. Allen says nation needs to pray more

Speaking to the weekly Tuesday gathering of men’s ministry at the Pathway Center on U.S. Highway 301, U.S. Rep. Rick Allen said he and other members of Congress pray for guidance.
Allen said the nation needs more prayer.
The congressman spoke against the recent rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court on its upholding of the Affordable Care Act, or known as Obamacare, and the approval of same-sex marriage.

Development authority still in talks with textile plant officials

A year ago Gov. Nathan Deal joined with local leaders to welcome PV Pittie Textiles officials to Screven County and Georgia with a groundbreaking ceremony in the county’s industrial park.
However, since that date in July 2014 residents have not seen much visible progression. But Screven County officials say that does not mean work on the project isn’t progressing.

Judge seeks more input on school attendance policy

A parent whose child reportedly had excessive unexcused absences during the 2014-2015 school year had her day in court Tuesday as her attorney contended the policy that the Screven County school system followed is not clear enough and that is takes fundamental rights away from parents and their children. Screven County State Court Judge Grady Reddick, after hearing from the school system and the defense for 43-year-old Julie Scott Giles during arraignment, requested both sides provide additional materials for him to review.

Female teens arrested for spray painting slurs

The Screven County Sheriff’s Office arrested three female teenagers in connection with the isolated property damage, arson crimes, and spray-painted racial slurs on residences and vehicles in the Twin Oaks Road area that is predominantly African-American.
The arrests were made on a trio of white female suspects; two juveniles ages 14 and 15 and one 18-year-old adult. The names of the juveniles are not released.
The 18-year-old is Shelby Leann Widener of Sylvania.

County to spend $50,000 on new firefighter gear

The process of unification of the city and county departments continues to move forward and now, thanks to a Screven County Commission Tuesday vote, the volunteer firefighers will have new gear.
Gary Weaver, who will oversee the combined fire departments that will be for the City of Sylvania, requested and received the permission to purchase $50,000 worth of gear for the firefighters.
The gear would include pants, coats, boots, hats and gloves for the volunteers. There will be four new sets of gear at the 10 fire stations located throughout the county.

Same-sex couple issued marriage license application

A same-sex couple in Screven County has been issued a marriage license application according to the county’s probate court office. The couple who potentially could be the first in the county’s history to take advantage of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages had not returned the form back to the probate court as of the Sylvania Telephone press time. Only once the completed paperwork is filed at the courthouse would the names of the two be public record. Georgia became one of the states that now have to recognize and perform same-sex marriages after a 5-4 U.S.

St. Patrick Farms keeping blueberries top pick in Georgia

Georgia is the Peach State. Well, at least that’s what the signs say.
License plates have the motto on it. So do billboards. And there’s lots of Peach-oriented names, especially in Atlanta.
However, in actuality, Georgia has fallen behind neighboring South Carolina in its production of peaches.
Georgia still produces its share of peaches, but it has become famous for another fruit as it has traded in the peach color for blue.The state is tops in its growth of blueberries.
Blueberries are Georgia’s most lucrative fruit crop.

Screven County vital part of U.S. history

Countless communities have history, but few have what Screven County has or eventually could have.
And nothing says “Independence Day” quite like an actual battle that led to our nation gaining its independence from the British.
In June, officials from the Department of Natural Resources met with local individuals who have remained very knowledgeable about the Revolutionary War Battle of Brier Creek that was fought on the soil of what is today the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area.

SCES amends its tardiness policy

Last year changes were made to reduce the number of parents walking their children to classrooms in the morning at Screven County Elementary School.
When the 2015-2016 school year begins on Aug. 3, another policy change will occur and it does involve walking.
If an elementary school student arrives after 8:05 a.m. on a school day, then the parent or guardian must walk into the school and check that student in for the day.

BOE mulls over millage increase

With the state providing fewer dollars toward public schooling in the state of Georgia, Screven County school board members are in considerations on raising the millage rate to offset the funding shortages.
The BOE currently is looking at a 2 mill increase which would afford the system to ability to maintain its current programs and personnel.
While other school systems in the past years have raised taxes, Screven County has not, but now, officials say, looks to be a necessity.
Local school systems statewide are having to fund more and more.

Tribute to Old Glory

The national day of observance for Flag Day was Sunday, June 14, but on the day before the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7116 and the Brier Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a Flag Retirement Ceremony at the Sylvania City Fire Department. 
The was community was encouraged to attend, bring any flags that needed to be retired, and to honor the American flag.
Hundreds of worn, tattered flags were retired following the ceremony.

Historical step for Battle of Brier Creek

On March 3, 1779, the Battle of Brier Creek was waged during the Revolutionary War on Screven County soil and wetlands on land that is now occupied by the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area.
According to journal records kept from the time the Patriots and British were in the area, it is believed that 150 soldiers perished in battle. Some died in combat while others perished in the waterways.
For decades, the local community has held a memorial at approximately the location where the battle and camps were established in the 1700s.

SCHS Gamecock athletics earn top sportsmanship honor

Reviewing the 2014-2015 Screven County High School Gamecock athletic season, it is easy to find winners -- both individually and as overall teams.
Region titles were won by football, cross country, baseball, and girls tennis, while the cheerleaders claimed fifth in state.
However, no matter in triumph or defeat in competition, the Gamecocks and everything connected to the athletics program were winners in another way.
SCHS garnered all the votes from Region 3AA for sportsmanship except for one cast ballot.

Police: Driver intentionally ran over geese

A resident of Sylvan Heights is accused of intentionally running over neighborhood geese, turning his vehicle around to drive over the animals again, and then striking at one waterfowl with a yard tool believed to be a shovel. Robert Reno, of 217 North Lake Drive, was charged with felony animal cruelty on June 3. Eye witnesses at the scene of the incident where geese are known to congregate reported to the Sylvania Police Department that Reno drove his truck through a group of geese that were crossing the road near his residence.

150 flags placed at Battle of Brier Creek for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a patriotic day, but when you actually can trace your ceremony back to the Revoluntary War then it takes on more significance.
With 150 flags -- including some British ones -- placed in the grounds of Brier Creek Battlefield, a gun salute and moment of silence was observed on May 24 for the Americans and British who lost their lives during the battle in Screven County. 

Parent disputes arrest on national airwaves

Ten parents or guardians have been arrested during the 2014-2015 school year for a count of failure to comply with mandatory school attendance.
But one, a former substitute teacher in the school system, has taken her displeasure with her arrest to the national television media.
Julie Scott Giles, 43, of Sylvania was arrested on May 14.
Giles has been on the Fox Network’s Fox & Friends. She had her story published on People.com and other major news outlets have picked up her story.

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