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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Rivers Alive effort cleans up 1,200 pounds

A group of about 75 gathered Saturday morning to participate in Keep Screven Beautiful Rivers Alive event.  
Participants met at Brannen’s Bridge during the morning Sept. 26; were given trash bags; and disbanded into several groups to pick up litter around several of Screven County’s waterways.
About 31 youth from Boy Scout Troop 103, Cub Scout Pack 391, and Jesus on Wheels participated in the cleanup. The groups were taken by a guide to Miller Lake, Possum Eddy Lake, Cannon Lake, and Brannen’s Bridge.  

Time for the annual bike ride after those tasty pancakes

The organizers of the Sept. 17 “Flapjack Give Back” kickoff fundraiser for the 2016 United Way of Screven County campaign asked residents whether they were hungry for some pancakes.
The answer came back with a solid “yes.”
The social hall of the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania was busy through the two-hour event as 2015 celebrity chef champion Rachel Thompson of the Bank of Newington was able -- thanks to generous patrons -- claim the trophy again.

Sylvanian Hammond to run for state senate

While local races are heating up on the political scene, one Sylvania resident is eyeing a post in a 2016 election.
Stephen Hammond recently launched his campaign for Georgia State Senate District 23. About 45 supporters gathered at the Pathway Center in Sylvania to launch the campaign and show their support as Hammond seeks a position currently held by fellow Republican Jesse Stone, an attorney and former mayor of Waynesboro.

A Picnic in the Park

The Downtown Development Authority/Classic Main Street is having the annual Picnic in the Park on Friday, Sept. 25, from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. with the bag lunches being served from their office on the square in downtown Sylvania. The bag lunch includes a big bar-be-que sandwich, bag of chips, homemade brownie and a choice of drink -- all of this is delivered in a bag featuring artwork done by budding artists in Screven County. Elementary students from the Community Christian School and the Screven County Elementary School have created original works of art for each bag.

Annual waterways cleanup Sept. 26

Keep Screven Beautiful’s ninth annual Rivers Alive will be Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon at Brannens Bridges.
Supplies such as trash bags and gloves will be provided and after collection refreshments will be served
For more information, call 912-978-1076. Waivers are needed for all volunteers and minors must have a guardian signature. 
There will be a sign-up sheet and waivers available at the cleanup site.

SCHS graduate Berger discovers new species of ancestors

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.

Flapjack Give Back Sept. 17 to benefit your local United Way

Eat breakfast for dinner this evening and you will be giving to a worthy cause.
Five celebrity chefs will have some pancake specialities ready for consumption, today, Sept. 17, at the “Flapjack Give Back” for the 2016 United Way of Screven County campaign kickoff.
The evening event that supports the local United Way will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania.

County approves budget

The Screven County Commission met adopted the 2015-16 budget Tuesday.
The commission voted yes to adopt the fiscal year budget, which was distributed last week for public knowledge. 
The board also elected to increase the Community Center rental fee from $125 to $150. The increase was proposed by the Recreation Advisory Board.
The county will surplus four vehicles that belong to the Screven County Sheriff’s Department as well, as Sheriff Mike Kile proposed that the cars be sold off.

Wild About Screven event on Sept. 19

It’s time to go Wild!  
The annual Wild About Screven Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 19.  
Organizers have the FoSCA Wild About Animals 5K Fun Run/Walk at 7 a.m. on Saturday, starting in the Queensborough Bank parking lot and finishing up at Cail Center.
That would be right across the street from the Wild About Screven Arts & Crafts Festival starting at 10 a.m. and going on until 4 p.m.  
Funds raised by the 5K will go to support FoSCA’s mission to rescue and rehome the homeless pets of Screven County.

3 vying to be Sylvania mayor

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.

Ceremony for 9/11

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.

Motor vehicle fatality in Oliver

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.

Little Ogeechee Baptist to celebrate 225 years

It’s been 225 years since Little Ogeechee was established and God is still blessing this church.  
To commemorate the Little Ogeechee Baptist Church’s anniversary, on Sept. 20 speakers will be Dr. Kevin Smith from the Georgia Baptist Convention; Steve Longcrier, executive director of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails; and Rev. Bobby Braswell, Associational Missionary at Middle Baptist Association.  
Special music will be by singer-songwriter Archie Jordan. Pastor Vernon Edenfield and all members invite all to come to these special services. 

Only hours remain to qualify for many seats

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.

AMIkids starts program

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.

Tickets available for Sept. 17 Flapjack Give Back fundraiser kickoff

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.

Wild About Screven on Sept. 19

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

City purchases utility trucks

The Sylvania City Council made major purchases at Tuesday’s scheduled meeting, including one that was not originally budgeted.
The most expensive purchase the council agreed to make was for a utility line truck and a bucket truck. In total, both trucks will total about $140,000 that was not originally in the budget, but is needed primarily for safety reasons.


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