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News

Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Monument unveiled to honor WWI Otranto sinking

A monument to commemorate the Otranto sinking during World War I was unveiled on Oct. 6 to pay respects to the casualties and survivors of Screven County.
Before hundreds who gathered in downtown Sylvania for the event, the names of the survivors and those gave their lives were read. When the names were called, any family members in attendance stood from their seats or waved their hand to honor their relative.
The sinking of the vessel came when it accidently collided with another liner during an intense storm at sea.

Smith, former council member, passes

Local business man and former Sylvania City Council Member Benjamin Alexander Smith II, 80, died on October in Sylvania.
Smith was born in Lakeland, Fla., to the late Lilly Faye Cawden and Benjamin Alexander Smith I and served his country during the Korean War in the U.S. Army. Upon his retirement, Smith and his wife resided in Sylvania, where he served eight years as a city councilman and established A. Austin Incorporated which consisted of numerous businesses, most notably Sylvania Antiques.

Voters to decide on e-commerce via referendum

The Screven County commissioners voted to have a referendum on the November ballot for e-commerce.
The referendum was proposed to the board by Screven County Development Authority Executive Director Dorie Bacon.
If passed by the voters, the e-commerce does not cover any existing busiesses in the county. It rather is for potential businesses to locate in the county.
The Freeport would exempt the inventory of businesses like Amazon.

REACHing out

Five eighth grade students at Screven County Middle School signed an agreement on Tuesday morning that is expected to hold great future opportunities for them.
With their family present as community leaders watched intently, the five signed the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program paperwork that afforded them the chance to earn tens of thousands of dollars toward a postsecondary education.

Grand jury indicts 22

Twenty-two were indicted in Screven County Superior Court on Oct. 2 by the grand jury in front of presiding judge F. Gates Peed.
Among those cases heard by the grand jury, James Allen Ponder on indicted on multiple offenses in two separate cases.
In the first case, Ponder was indicted on unlawful or any person to purchase, possess, or have under his control any controlled substance; purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of marijuana; possession of drug-related object; and possession legal when drugs in original container.

ELK on its way

Sylvania has a distribution center with potential for growth.
A grand opening on Thursday offered the local community and dignitaries statewide see first-hand the work that has been completed at the ELK Group International facility in the former Sylvania Yarn Systems plant.
When SYS closed its doors at the end of 2009, the older facility sat vacant and became considered a relic to the past.

Oct.12 an evening for good eating & food for thought

The 20th Annual Screven County 12th Congressional District Fish Fry will be today, Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Pathway Center, located three miles south of Sylvania, off U.S. Highway 301.   
The cost of the meal is $10 per person, which will  include a ticket for door prizes.
Candidates for Georgia governor, lt. governor, secretary of state and insurance commissioner are scheduled to attend along with state representatives, and other elected officials.
Congressman Rick Allen’s wife Robin will represent U.S. Rep. Allen, who is in session in Washington, D.C.

First grader dies in Hwy. 21 crash

A 6-year-old Screven County Elementary School first grader died on Sept. 29 from injuries sustained in a crash at the intersection of Poor Robin Road and Highway 21.
A Go Fund Me account has been established to help pay for funeral expenses for Sakiri Arielle Williams.
The account can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/sakiri-arielle.
As of the press time for the Sylvania Telephone on Wednesday, more than $2,000 of the $6,000 in funeral expenses had been raised.

Our 'Face' of Manufacturing

Torrington, Timken and now Koyo have been facets of manufacturing in Screven County for 40 years.

And now a veteran employee of Koyo is the “face” of local and statewide manufacturing.

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership officially named Bobby Jones a “2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award” recipient Wednesday morning at the Sylvania bearing plant in front of fellow Koyo employees.

In honor of Otranto crew Oct. 6

A monument to commemorate the Otranto sinking during WWI and to pay homage to the casualties and survivors of Screven County will be dedicated on Friday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m. in downtown Sylvania.
In case of inclement weather, the event would be moved inside the Sylvania First Baptist Church Family Life Center.
The sinking of the vessel was detailed in the book “Many Were Held by the Sea” written by R. Neil Scott. A copy of the book is available in the Screven County Library.

Have a Picnic in the Park lunch Sept. 29

When you purchase a ticket for 2017 Picnic in the Park, you will be the proud recipient of an original piece of art that is done by our young artists at Community Christian School and Screven County Elementary. These young artists have decorated all the picnic bags. This Friday, Sept. 29, event hosted by Sylvania’s Downtown Development Authority, will be served from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. from the DDA office. The lunch bag contains a large bar-be-que sandwich, chips, homemade brownie and choice of drink for $7. Many of the bags will contain special treats.

Grants help provide city, county patrol cars

Maybe Kathy L. Ross should come visit Screven County more often. She brings good information.
Ross is the area director and acting Community Programs Director for Rural Development of the United States Department of Agriculture. When she came to Sylvania on Sept. 20, Ross provided grant information to the county commission and city council for two patrol cars for the sheriff’s office and a patrol car for the city police.
With those grants, the cars will be cost the government agenciedss half of what they would have cost fully equipped.

County manager declares plans to retire

Rick Jordan, the Screven County manager, has confirmed that he informed the county commissioners that he is looking at retirement in the coming months.
Jordan said he does not have a certain timetable for his retirement, but he wanted to let the commissioners know of his intentions.
Jordan told the Sylvania Telephone that he is willing to continue to work.
“I have humbly worked for 17 years,” Jordan said. “It is totally up to them. I just wanted to give them plenty of time.”
Jordan said he may decide to work for a few months up to a couple years.

Man faces gun, drugs, traffic charges

After leading law enforcement on chase through the county on Sept. 22, an Atlanta man now faces multiple traffic, drug and weapons charges.
Derrick Renard Taylor, 43, of 3909 Thaxton Road SW, Atlanta, was reportedly found in possession of a stolen gun and various types of drugs when Taylor was apprehended when his vehicle crashed near Beaver Dam Road.
According to a Georgia State Patrol report, a large bag was discovered near the suspect’s truck. The bag tained suspected illegal drugs. Reports are those drugs included meth, marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Market on Maple to be open an hour longer on Oct. 5

Heads up! Great news!
If you’ve been missing the Market on Maple because you work later than 5 p.m. organizers are going to try “extended hours” the first Thursday in October -- Oct. 5, 2017.
The market will be open until 7 p.m. (3 to 7 p.m.); our vendors have agreed to stay so you can come shop!! Please spread the word -- please come support the Market on Maple and our vendors who travel, set up, and stay for your convenience!

Driver, 73, dies from collision with EMS vehicle

A crash at Highway 21 and Highway 24 in Newington Sept. 14 was fatal for a 73-year-old Oliver man.
Tommy Jenkins of 183 Oak Street died from injures when his 1998 Chevrolet Lumina pulled out in front of a Central EMS transport that had eight occupants, including the driver.
The EMS vehicle had its emergency lights and sirens activated at the time of the collision.
Although the EMS bus received disabling damage, none of the occupants were injured in the crash that occurred at 6:04 p.m.

Widening of 301 still possible?

The notion has been talked about for decades. Even a multi-county transportation vote that would have made it happen did not come to fruition.
Now another chance has come into view.
U.S. Highway 301 through the years has remained two-laned, minus the addition of passing lanes for motorists to get around loaded-down tractor trailers that also use the route to get from Sylvania to Statesboro and back.

A sampling of Sylvania’s finest

The Sylvania Sampler Arts & Crafts Festival and Fun Day sponsored by the GFWC Sylvania Junior Woman’s Club enjoyed a sunny Sept. 16 as hundreds came to crafts, foods and listen to live entertainment.
This year the event returned to its traditional name of the Sampler after partnering with the Screven County Chamber of Commerce for Wild About Screven in recent years.
Opening the event, the Screven County High School Marching Gamecock Band performed the national anthem and selections from its halftime football show.

Storm does blow hard

She did not pack the wallop that she gave our neighboring state of Florida or even the hit other Georgia counties endured, but Screven County was glad to see Hurricane Irma leave Monday evening.
Irma passed over the area on Sept. 10-11 with blustery winds and heavy rain, said Ben Tapley, the Screven County fire chief and EMA director.
Officials and other residents from various fields and professions pulled together to create a plan the provided safety and assistance to citizens.

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