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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

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.

Local elections set

It took longer than expected to fully finalize, but the qualifying for Screven County’s municipal elections is set.
What held up the completion was the Newington race for the position of mayor. There was a challenge being made about one of the potential qualifiers.
A decision was made by Judge Debbie Brown that only one of those qualifying for mayor would be accepted.
That would be for current mayor Albert S. Perkins. With Perkins and the two qualifying for council seats having no oppostion, no election will be held in Newington on Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Keep Screven Beautiful’s annual Rivers Alive Sept. 23

Keep Screven Beautiful has signed up for our 11th Annual Rivers Alive and we need your help!
Rivers Alive is a volunteer cleanup that targets waterways in Georgia including streams, rivers, lakes, beaches, and wetlands.  
The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness and involvement in the preservation of Georgia’s water resources.
Rivers Alive will be on Saturday, Sept. 23; 9 a.m. until noon.

Prepare now for Hurricane Irma

With Hurricane Irma on an uncertain course and gathering strength in the Atlantic, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging Georgians to prepare now for severe weather, including reviewing their property insurance.
Hudgens recommends that property owners make copies of their insurance policies, obtain insurance company’s phone number; inventory their personal belongings; and keep all of these documents with them should they be forced to leave their homes. Hudgens also reminds property owners and renters of the following tips:

Little bit of intrigue on horizon for elections

While qualifying for Screven County municipal elections were set to conclude last week, the race for the position of mayor of Newington still remains unclear on how many and who will be on the ballot.
As of Tuesday, qualifying for the Newington mayor was being challenged. Newington’s current mayor is Donald Scott.
However, the council candidates in Newington have been determined for the election to be held on Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at town and city polling sites.

Dozens plea, are sentenced to avoid trials

The month of August was filled with individuals who made pleas before Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed as sentences were rendered.
Gary Antwone Rountree pled guilty on Aug. 7 to burglary-first degree; and criminal damage to property-second degree.
In a separate charge, Rountree pled guilty on the same day to burglary-first degree; criminal damage to property-second degree; and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers-misdemeanor.
For the charges, Rountree was sentenced to 15 years with seven to serve.

Flapjack Give Back puts pancakes in bellies and helps your community

The annual Flapjack Give Back event to benefit the United Way of Screven and its supported agencies will be Sept. 14 as school system club advisors serve as celebrity chefs.
Each celebrity chef will prepare her own versions of specialty pancakes. Sausage, grits and beverages will be available in the Sylvania First United Methodist social hall from 5 to 7 p.m. The meals are $5 and can be either dine-in or carry-out at the Give Back that is sponsored by Neighbors Express.

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.

CDL site coming to Screven County

A CDL training site is in line to come to Screven County via Ogeechee Technical College.
A discussion of where the site would be located raised questions at the Screven County Commission’s July meeting, but now the site will be placed at the originally planned location just off Rocky Ford Road, across from the animal shelter.
The helipad that currently occupies the location will be relocated elsewhere in the county so OTC will have access to the location.

Students take in eclipse despite cloud cover

As the nation gazed skyward on Monday, so did Screven County students to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse.
Although the clouds did block the view in the county, some were able to see the moon passing in front of the sun in between the breaks in the clouds.
“I was pleased that the Screven County School system was able to provide the opportunity for students to observe the eclipse event in an educational and safe environment,” said Superintendent William Bland.

City votes for tax hike as no one attends the public hearings

Well it looks like the property owners in Sylvania are OK with the newly approved tax increase.
No one attended any of th public hearings except for the city manager, mayor, council members and the Sylvania Telephone editor.
The third and final public hearing was Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. just before the start of the regularly scheduled city council meeting.
During the meeting, the council unanimously voted in favor of the increase.

Williams maintains his innocence against two dozen indictments

The Sylvania Police Department says Joseph Williams committed 24 counts of felony printing, executing, negotiating checks, drafts, etc. knowing information is in error or fictitious.
The police report that Williams used a computer to print checks that were not valid.
Williams has since been indicted in July by the Screven County Grand Jury on those two dozen counts.
Also charged with Willliams in May was Shantell Francois and James Grant.

Jones ‘faces’ need for top 10 votes

Let’s face it -- he needs our votes.
Bobby Jones from Koyo Bearings has made the top 10 for the “Faces of Manufacturing in Georgia” contest.
And Screven County residents and beyond can help Jones advance even further in the competition with just a few clicks thanks to the vastness of the Internet.
The voting began at 9 a.m. Wednesday and will conclude at 4 p.m. on Aug. 23.

Screven schools to enlighten students about solar eclipse

While some school systems in the region have chosen to take Aug. 21 as a “weather day” and close the schools, the Screven County system saw the solar eclipse event as a potential learning experience.
Screven County schools will stay in operation 30 additional minutes on Aug. 21 so students can witness the eclipse of the sun that will be visible to all of North America.
While Bulloch County schools will join Screven County in staying open extra minutes that day, Effingham County and Savannah-Chatham County Schools will be closed on Aug. 21 for students.

Well-traveled winged guests

Many visitors come through the southern Georgia and western South Carolina region in search of tasty cuisine found primarily in this part of the nation. There is homemade biscuits, flavorful barbecue, and even fresh-caught catfish.
However, for one grouping of visitors who fly in from southern Brazil the delicacy is June bugs and dragonflies. While that may not seem like primetime vittles for most, for unusual types of birds known as swallow-tailed kites those winged insects bring the birds back each year in the spring and summer months to the area.

Arrest made in theft of $20,000 worth of jewelry

A Metter man has been charged by Sylvania police with the theft of $20,000 worth of jewelry from a residence.
Gregory Lee Schultz, 27, was charged with felony theft by taking. Schultz was arrested at his residence in Candler County on July 25 and officers were able to recover all of the missing jewelry.
Sylvania Police Department responded on July 17 to a residence on South Lake Drive to investigate the report of a residential burglary. The complainant advised officers that she was missing approximately $20,000 of jewelry.


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