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Staff reports

Reading gets dialed in with pep rally/kickoff

An AR pep rally and kickoff will be today, Aug. 31, at Screven County Elementary School.
The 10 a.m. pep rally for accelerated reading will have SCHS football players helping explain the importance of reading.
The community is invited to come read with the students as Tricia Singleton from E 93, in conjunction with Sylvan Learning, will be in attendance today.
E93 Radio at 93.1 FM presents “Road to Read,” powered by Sylvan Learning Center. E93 personalities go to classrooms and libraries to read to students to promote reading and education.

First public hearings for tax hike Aug. 8

The City of Sylvania Council has announced its intention to increase the 2017 property taxes it will levy this year by 15.76 percent over the rollback millage rate.
The budget adopted by the City of Sylvania Council requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate, therefore the City of Sylvania Council will set a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.

Public hearing dates change for proposed tax hike

The three hearing dates have been changed for the public to discuss the proposed Screven County Board of Education increase of the property taxes.
The BOE will levy this year by 13.52 percent over the rollback millage rate.
The proposed increase would be 1.846 mills.
The first two of the three public hearings originally was scheduled for today, July 30, but now the hearings on this tax increase will be in the Board Room of the Screven County School System located at 382 Halcyondale Road in Sylvania, on Aug. 6 at noon and 6 p.m.; and Aug. 13 at 4 p.m.

Students return to classes Monday

Screven County students will head back to school on Monday, Aug. 3, but they also will have a chance to attend orientations and an open house beforehand.
The systemwide open house for the Screven County School System will be Friday, July 31, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Orientations for those students who will be entering a particular school new will be today, July 30.

‘Cooter’ at speedway for July 25 ‘Rebel Yell’

Ben Jones, who played “Cooter” on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” was confirmed Wednesday as the grand marshal for the 16th annual “Rebel Yell” at the Screven Motorsports Complex on July 25.
Jones will meet with fans and deliver a message on all four PA systems at the complex between Sylvania and Newington on Highway 21.
His message will in part be about the Confederate flag and how recently the “The Dukes of Hazzard” has been taken off television because of the flag being painted on the General Lee that was driven during the series.

Tax-free sales holidays before school starts

Just in time for the first day of the 2015-2016 school year, sales tax holidays will be held in Georgia from July 31-Aug. 1 to help ease the burden of buying back-to-school supplies.
The exemptions will occur during a period to start at 12:01 a.m. July 31 and conclude at midnight on Aug. 1. Another set of set of tax-free holidays will be from Oct. 2-4.
The holidays provide exemptions from Georgia state and local sales and use tax. The exemptions apply to certain items of tangible personal property sold.

GSU’s Keel voted new GRU president

Georgia Southern University president and Augusta native Brooks Keel was approved Wednesday as the new president for Georgia Regents University.
The University System of Georgia approved Keel, the sole named finalist for the position, at a called meeting.
Keel has served as the GSU president since January 2010. He will replace Dr. Ricardo Azziz, who was appointed in July 2010 and resigned in January to take a year of paid educational leave beginning July 1.

Arrest made for child molestation

A Sylvania man has been arrested on charges of molestation of a child under the age of 10.
Following an investigation by the Screven County Sheriff’s Office, Jimmy Lee Price, 53, of Beaver Dam Road, Sylvania, was arrested and charged on June 24 with rape, aggravated child molestation, and aggravated sodomy.
Price currently is being held at the Screven County Jail without bond, awaiting court proceedings.
The victim in the case, which included acts of forced sexual intercourse and sodomy, was a female child under the age of 10.

New gas tax now in effect

Wednesday marked the first day of the state of Georgia’s newly imposed gas tax on its residents.
Gas prices were expected to rise around six cents per gallon in order to collect $900 million per year as a part of House Bill 170 that was passed earlier in the year.
The money collected for the new tax will go toward repairing roads throughout the state after Gov. Nathan Deal made transportation a priority. Georgia’s roads have slipped in national rankings from ninth to 13th since 2009.

Summer heat arrives

We knew it was coming and summer South Georgia heat has made its blistering appearance in Screven County.
With temperatures hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit and still climbing since the start of the week, everyone is urged to drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated. Unless it is necessary, it is wise to minimize your time in the blazing sun, especially during the peak temperature hours daily after noon.

What’s happening? Plenty. Get ready to mark your calendar

Screven County has plenty of different event scheduled over the upcoming weeks.
Along with various Screven County sports contests involving the school system and the county recreation department, here are just some of the local happenings --
On Sept. 18, the 17th annual fish fry for the 12th Congressional District will be at the Pathway Center on Highway 301 starting at 6:30 p.m.
On Sept. 20, a Plantation Airpark Fall Fly-In will start at 9 a.m.
On that same day, Wild About Screven will be held on the Screven County Courthouse Lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

GSU, Phinizy Center talk Ogeechee River Project

Georgia Southern University hosted the first of four Ogeechee River Research public information sessions on Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the Performing Arts Center, to discuss a two and a half year Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) titled “Assessment of Hydrological, Biological and Environmental Components of the Lower Ogeechee River Ecosystem.”
The project is an opportunity for the university and the Phinizy Center for Water Sciences to conduct basic research designed to ensure a long-term and holistic approach for research on the river.

Johnson named new United Way director

A life-long resident of the community has been named as the new executive director of the United Way of Screven County, according to the fund-raising organization’s board of directors.
Tina Johnson officially began her position Tuesday. She has quickly become acquainted with the various aspects of the county’s United Way. Johnson resides in Screven County with her husband Jody and the couple’s two children.
Johnson graduated from Screven County High School before obtaining her diploma as a nurse from Ogeechee Technical College.

Wild About Screven this month

The Wild About Screven Festival will be Sept. 20 as the Screven County Chamber of Commerce and the GFWC Sylvania Junior Woman’s Club have been working on several events.
First of these events is the Wild About Screven Catfish & Bass Fishing Tournament.
Starting Friday, Sept. 19, anglers are invited to fish the waters of Screven County for the biggest fish they can land. There will be a weigh-in at the Amphitheater behind the Screven County Courthouse at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20.  
For more information about this event, please contact Barry Durden.

Get your engraved bricks now for Kelly Stadium rededication

Friday night marks a home scrimmage football  game against Effingham County for the Screven County High School Gamecocks.
Kickoff at Kelly Memorial Stadium is at 7:30 p.m.
Next week on Saturday, Aug. 23, the season begins for real and Sylvania will have something extra to begin its 2014 campaign.
The stadium will be rededicated to honor Army Maj. Charles Kelly on the 50th anniversary of his death during the Vietnam War.

State’s retailers ready for sales tax holiday

Georgia retailers are getting ready for the sales tax holiday this weekend, as residents enjoy a tax break on computers, clothes and school supplies on Friday and Saturday.
The sales tax holiday applies to both the 4 percent state sales tax, and any local sales taxes – in most Georgia counties shoppers will save from 7 percent to 8 percent total in taxes.
In Screven County, shoppers can take advantage of 7 percent tax savings on the purchase of such items as “S” T-shirts or polos that adhere to the county’s dress code.

Tax-free holidays begin Aug. 1

Georgia shoppers for school supplies again will have a chance to save money with the tax free holidays that will start at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1 and conclude at midnight Aug. 2. A second period will be later this year from 12:01 a.m. Oct. 3 and conclude at midnight Oct. 5.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue during the July/August sales tax holidays, the following items will be exempt:
• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item;

Locals compete at state on county recreation fields

Two of the Screven County all star teams finished fourth while the other was seventh during the GRPA State Tournaments at the county recreation department.
The tourneys concluded Saturday, July 12, as the Screven County Flea Boys and Midget Boys were fourth and the Flea Girls were seventh. Twenty-five teams competed in the 8-and-under Fleas and 12-and-under Midget baseball.
Visiting Jeff Davis County did well as their Flea Girls and Midgets won the state titles. Jeff Davis’ Flea Boys were runners-up to Evans County.

Runoff early voting concludes Friday; election Tuesday

Screven Countians are reminded that in-person early voting continues through Friday, July 18, for three runoff elections.
On the Democratic Party ballot, Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie D. Wilson face each other in a runoff for the party’s state school superintendent nomination.
On the Republican Party ballot, J.H. “Jack” Kingston and David A. Perdue face each other in a runoff for the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, a seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss.


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