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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.
Lee Berger has fond memories of growing up in Screven County and living in the Bay Branch community.
Known as “Rod” Berger during his days as student in the Screven County School System, he took this education very seriously.
Berger was named the STAR Student in 1984 as he chose Dr. James MacLeod as his STAR Teacher.
Berger treasures the academia of the Screven County schools and, to this day, continues to rave about his localized education.
“Screven County High School. I have lots of degrees, but that’s the best education I have ever received,” Berger said.
Sylvania will have a new mayor in 2016.
Whether the winner of that post is one who was a veteran of the city council or a person new to local government will remain to be seen.
Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans decided to not qualify for re-election.
Preston Dees, Roger E. Cleland and Arnie Lerma did qualify for the mayoral race by the Sept. 4 deadline with city hall.
Incumbents Joe Cleland, Ben Mercer and Ben A. Smith qualified to remain their existing seats on the city council.
Friday, Sept. 11, marks the 14th anniversary of the terroristic attacks on America when airlines were intentionally flown into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. On Friday, Screven County residents are encouraged to gather near the cannons at the American flag in the downtown Sylvania park at 9:45 a.m. The bells at the Sylvania First United Methodist Church will toll at 10:02 a.m. -- the time 14 years ago when the last plane crashed into the field in Pennsylvania. Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA” and “Amazing Grace” will be played as the bells toll 14 times.
Five celebrity chefs will be preparing some pancake specialities on Sept. 17 at the “Flapjack Give Back” for the 2016 United Way of Screven County campaign kickoff.
The evening event to support the local United Way will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania on that Thursday night.
An automobile crash in Oliver left the driver of the vehicle dead, and its four other passengers injured on Sept. 4.
According to traffic reports released by Georgia State Patrol, Hayzel Ann Bowen, 27, of Clyo, Ga., was driving westbound on Georgia Hwy. 24 when she failed to yield and pulled out in front of a Freightliner truck.
The truck struck the van which sent the van into the oncoming lane.
While Bowen’s vehicle traveled into traffic, it struck a third vehicle before finally coming to a stop.
Bowen was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
U.S. Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) has announced his staff will hold Community Office Hours in Sylvania on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m at the Screven County Courthouse, Commission Boardroom.
Qualifying in local races for the November General Election concludes at noon Friday.
As of the Sylvania Telephone’s press time, the qualifying throughout the county had been sluggish.
Officials expect more to qualify as the deadline nears.
In Sylvania, Preston Dees, who resigned his seat on the city council to do so, has qualified to run for mayor of the city.
Joe Cleland who was voted into the role of mayor pro tem last month has qualified for a council seat. Dees served as the mayor pro tem.
Wade Goss has 28 years of experience with 60 programs in eight states, but he admits he had no previous experience with the setup at the Savannah River site. For years, Goss has supervised adolescent boys who were sent to his facility because of misconduct. However, the boys in the program now at the camp on Old River Road are at the facility for a different reason. They needed a place to call “home.” The boys are ones who have been turned away from group homes. “This is my first experience with those who are not juvenile delinquents. These are just kids who don’t have home,” Goss said.
The Flapjack Give Back to support the United Way of Screven County will be during the evening hours of 5 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania on Thursday, Sept. 17.
This campaign kickoff will have specialty pancakes prepared by local celebrity chefs as Rachel Thompson returns to defend her treasured title from last year’s Waffle-Off.
For $5 per person, you get top-notch celebrity-prepared pancakes, sausage and grits. Also you have the chance to put some “tip” money into the jar of your favorite chef.
The annual Wild About Screven event on the Screven County Courthouse lawn will be Saturday, Sept. 19.
Organizers of the event have some great plans for the festival this year, starting with something brand new: the first-ever Wild About Screven Opportunity Drawing.
Tickets for the opportunity drawing will be $5 each, and offer a chance to win your choice of the following:
n 30-minute spa treatment from Heavenly Excape OR
n $25 gift certificate from Georgia Wilderness Outfitters OR
n Gift basket from Zandra’s Kitchen Delights
Margaret Evans has been the mayor of Sylvania since 1998, but at the conclusion of this calendar year another city resident will assume the position as Evans has announced she will not seek re-election for mayor in the upcoming November 2015 General Election.
Evans will retire on Dec. 31 when her present term expires.
Approximately 1,250 Planters Electric Cooperative customers were without power Monday.
Randy Hill with Planters Electric said crews worked hard to restore power for the customers.
Hill said that in a wet area near Kimwood Drive and Highway 21 Bypass in Sylvania, a green tall pine tree uprooted and fell over onto a double circuit feeder from the Sylvania Substation.
Hill said the outage affected about 1,250 members and took more than three hours to repair damage and restore power to members.
A major spill occurred at the Sylvania Wastewater Treatment Plant on Friendship Road.
According to city officials, during the upgrade of the aeration basins, there was an upset in the sludge handling which overloaded the clarifier and allowed solids to enter Buck Creek.
Approximately, 36,000 gallons went into the creek.
The treatment plant city employees went to Buck Creek and shoveled as much of the solid material as they could to be disposed of inside the plant.