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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

City awarded $500,000 grant for improvements

The City of Sylvania received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administered by Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs.
Sewer improvements will occur on Cail Street, Thompson Street, South Main Street, and Lee Street in addition to the Screven Memorial lift station which handles pumping sewage into the waste water treatment facility.

Dusty keeps the spirit

Four-year-old Dustin “Dusty” Doyle runs around shirtless, barefoot in his bathing suit at the Screven Motorsports Complex keeping up with his 5-year-old brother Gary “Fatback” Doyle Jr. on the playground without any problems. Dusty and Fatback wear swimming trunks so they can be sprayed off after playing in the mud, sand and grass.
Dusty, or Tater if you know him, is a “Wildman” known for his heart, fighting spirit and unfortunately his cancer, Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), which causes bony tumors that can eat away and damage his skeletal system.

Bookmobile to no longer be mobile

Screven-Jenkins Regional Library Bookmobile driver Barbara Gilbert will retire after more than 33 years of being involved with the library and the bookmobile. Gilbert’s retirement will also mark the end of the bookmobile era that started in 1952.
Gilbert’s declining health led to her announcing her retirement, and the library’s decreasing budget sealed the bookmobile’s fate.

String of meth busts continue

Deputy Marcus Hartwell was on routine patrol when he spotted a man in a fenced in area of Boyd’s Fertilizer pumping anhydrous ammonia, a common ingredient in making methamphetamine and a potent fertilizer, into a small tank.
Hartwell pulled up and conducted a short investigation, and he then placed Robert Dale Boyles, 36, of 5308 Silk Hope Road, Savannah under arrest without incident for unlawful possession of anhydrous ammonia, criminal trespass and theft by taking.
Boyles was attempting to pump the gas-form fertilizer at around 4 p.m. Saturday.

Man spits on five officers, head-butts another

A Screven County resident allegedly spit on four deputies and one jailer, in addition to allegedly head-butting his arresting officer Marcus Helms Tuesday evening.
The story began when the Screven County Sherriff’s Office received a call about an unwanted person at a residence in the south end of the county.
Daniel Edwards Oliver, 30, of 1082 Twin Oaks Road, was outside on the address’s porch area hitting the support beams and being generally disagreeable.

Out-dated equipment cutting into county’s grass clearing time

Around Screven County, people may be having a problem keeping their yards cut with the last month of sunshine and rain being an almost daily occurrence, but the Roads and Bridges Department is having a terrible time trying to keep the county’s roads clear of tall, vision obscuring grass.
At Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Gary Crews said the grass cutting equipment is so outdated they have not been able to make a single lap around the county yet. Road Superintendent Travis Forehand made a “wish list” and presented it to the commissioners.

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.

Another arrested for meth

For the third time within a week, another alleged methamphetamine manufacturer has been arrested by the Screven County Sheriff’s Office.
Last Thursday probation officers checked on Arnold Lee, 59, of 353 Shrine Club Road, and there was enough evidence to prompt those officers to call the sheriff’s office for a full investigation.

Commissioners approve ‘dead’ budget for new fiscal year

The Screven County Board of Commissioners approved their FY 2014-2015 “dead” budget Tuesday morning at their regularly scheduled meeting.
Commissioner Gregg Ellison called it a “dead” budget as it had no real changes from last year and there were no big capital expenditures. The county is “just maintaining,” he said.

Law makes dual meth busts

A convicted meth cook was arrested Monday morning for manufacturing meth at his 281 Log Cabin Road address.
Law enforcement officers from the parole board, Screven County Sheriff’s Office and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search at 45-year-old Dennis “Dink” Godbee’s address after tips had been received and corroborated.
Ashley Lee Ingram, 30, of Springfield, answered the door when officers knocked asking to see Godbee. Ingram told officers he was not at the home which was not true.

Highlighting a new school year

School officials say the first days of the new year have gone well and they are are looking to continue that string.
“The 2014-2015 school year has gotten off to an excellent start,” said Superintendent William Bland. “The beginning of school is always exciting, with new faces and opportunities. We’ve had a few changes and additions to our staff and leadership teams that are working out very well.  
“Screven County Schools are special, and I am looking forward to everyone working together to guide each and every one of our students on a pathway to success,” Bland said.

Two weeks until the rededication

Over the last month, a group from the community has focused on publicizing the importance of Army Maj. Charles Kelly on this the 50th anniversary of his death during the Vietnam War.
This Aug. 7 morning more people living in the low country and coast will know about ambulance pilot Kelly and the plans for Aug. 23.

Courthouse employees take active shooter class

All Screven County courthouse employees are now prepared for an active shooter situation, should there ever be one in the courthouse after Sgt. Brett Dickerson of the Screven County Sheriff’s Office conducted a class based on the Run-Hide-Fight plan.
Law enforcement officials and courthouse employees were taught that in most active shooter situations the gunman will either turn the gun on themselves when confronted or be killed by the police. Very rarely, around 30 percent of all shootings, do active shooter situations end in arrest.

Open houses then open doors for school year

The return of school bells are almost upon us.
The official Screven County system-wide Open House for the elementary, middle and high schools will be Friday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 4.
Before the day of the open house, there also will be orientation sessions at the three schools for specific grades.

Jury duty phone scam creeps into Screven market

A new telephone call scam tactic has hit Screven County, using missed jury duty subpoenas as a reason to levy a fine which can be remedied by an over-the-phone payment or visiting the “clerk of courts office” and paying there.
Screven County Clerk of Court Janis Reddick said she’s had several people come into the clerk’s office trying to validate a missed jury duty and to pay their fine. But the Screven County clerk’s office does not use telephones to reach jurors, they send out mail or a deputy with the jury duty notification – never a phone call.

Culprits get dirty

In the month of July there have been two dirt bikes stolen, one motorcycle stolen and an attempted dirt bike theft across the county. Screven County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the missing recreational vehicles, which seem to go missing around Christmas or the summer.
Investigator Michael Lacienski said there are many ways to keep your vehicles safe from thieves, including locking the vehicle in the house or a shed, chaining the vehicle to a secure spot on your property, and keeping track of the last time you saw the vehicle for a better timeline if it goes missing.

WILD About Screven starting to gain momentum

The second WILD About Screven festival is shaping up, and the Screven County Chamber of Commerce and the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club are seeking venders, entertainers, crafters, and cooks to come make the second festival more successful than the wildly successful first event.
“We’re just pretty much trying to make it more accessible,” said Chamber Executive Director Latasha Roberts. “Registration forms are online, on our Facebook page now, and we’re promoting it as heavily as we can, including enticing the sponsors with a more affordable fee structure.”

Back stabbing attempt

After getting a sandwich from McDonald’s and heading over to the mechanic’s garage behind the fast food restaurant to talk to a friend, a 41-year-old man was nearly stabbed in the back by another man.
In the Sylvania Police Department report made by Officer Norman Royal, Lindsey Rafael Roundtree, 31, of 156 Quail Hollow Road, came at the man with a butcher knife inside the garage.

Pieces coming together for Kelly rededication

More individuals and groups have donated to the cause. Several people have have stressed their interest in buying an engraved brick for the monument.
Preparations for the Aug. 23 pregame presentation at Kelly Memorial Stadium will involving the unveiling of a new monument and a rededication ceremony befitting of an American hero.
And Maj. Charles L. Kelly certainly is a hero.
The “Father of Dustoff” Kelly, an Army helicopter pilot, died July 1, 1964, while rescuing the wounded in 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.


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