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News

Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Perdue’s more furloughs, cuts have school district adjusting again

As projected, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Friday that Georgia’s more than 250,000 teachers and state employees would be furloughed additional days and school systems’ budgets would be sliced again.
Screven County Superintendent Whit Myers said Tuesday the local administration will work with the three school principals to amend the calendar to accommodate the furloughed days before the end of the 2009-2010 year on June 30.

Commission votes Boyd as new chair

Screven County has a new commission chairman – Will Boyd.
Commissioners chose Boyd to replace Stan Sheppard during their regular meeting at the courthouse Tuesday. The ballot was secret, meaning how each member of the commission voted will not be released. In another secret ballot, commissioners chose Gregg Ellison to continue as vice chairman.
Boyd, who is starting his fourth year as a commissioner, said he was honored and hopes he can be half as articulate and run a meeting half as well as Sheppard did.

Hoping for a parade without rain Saturday

Organizers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Screven County are hoping it won’t rain on their parade Saturday.
About 40 groups had signed up to take part in the parade as of mid-week, including churches, businesses, day care groups, senior citizen groups and the high school band, said Rodney Williams, one of the organizers.
He said groups have been working on floats for the parade, which begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the high school and travels to the Screven County courthouse.

State budget crisis expected to affect school calendar

The discussions have begun, but the 2010-2011 school calendar possibilities could expand beyond the current three of choices before a decision is made.
Superintendent Whit Myers introduced a calendar proposal that resembled the current 2009-2010 version and two others that were arranged to reduce expenses in a budget-strapped economy. One of the alternative calendar options reduced the school year by five days, while the other cut the year by 10 days.

Keeping King's crowning achievement alive

Prayer, singing and worship are being planned for four days along with the annual parade celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Screven County.
Services will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12; Wednesday, Jan. 13; and Thursday, Jan. 14 at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Sylvania, where the Rev. Thomas Norman is pastor. An additional service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, at the same church.
Everyone is invited to attend the services, said Charlene Edwards, chairman of the MLK celebration committee.

Chamber EnRICHment

If you liked the speaker at last year’s chamber of commerce banquet, you are likely to enjoy this year’s speaker, too.
Last year featured Barbara Dooley, wife of former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley. This year, the speaker will be Barbara Dooley’s friend and fellow Southern sage and newspaper columnist, Ronda Rich.

Responding to a need

Something about squeaky wheels.
To say local volunteers for the American Red Cross were unhappy when they lost their emergency response vehicle in July would be an understatement. Telling them the news was “like drowning puppies,” said John W. Wright, director of emergency services for the Red Cross’s Savannah chapter.
The vehicle was moved from Screven County to Tattnall County as part of a reorganization meant to increase efficiency. Also as part of the reorganization, Screven County was moved from the Savannah Red Cross chapter to the Augusta Red Cross chapter.

Fundraisers planned for April 30 local event

Teams already have begun to assemble to raise money for Screven County’s version of the American Cancer Society signature event Relay For Life.
The 12-hour community gathering is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on April 30 and last until 4 a.m. on May 1.
Those already one or those who wish to be one are asked to attend the next Team Captain meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the county’s library on Community Drive. Future team captain meetings will be Feb. 9, March 9 and April 12.

Timken makes change to Koyo

Soon signs outside the Timken plant will be changed to read “Koyo, a division of JTEKT” to reflect the Sylvania plant’s new, Japanese owners.
The company announced in July that it would buy the needle roller bearings business from Timken for about $300 million, with the sale to be completed by the end of this year.  Everything is going as planned with the takeover, said David Burke, Timken’s plant manager.
The main difference people in the community will notice is the new company name, Burke said. Employees will notice their checks will have a different name on them.

City official, son charged in altercation

Phyllis Butts, the secretary to Sylvania’s police chief and executive director of Keep Screven Beautiful, was arrested Wednesday and accused of making false statements to police about a fight involving her 17-year-old son.
Her son, Garrett “Buster” Butts, also was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated assault and making false statements, said Cpl. Brett Dickerson of the Screven County Sheriff’s Department.
The charge of making false statements to police is a felony that carries a sentence of one to five years, Dickerson said.

2009's news remembered

The lead news story in Screven County in 2009 was Sylvania Yarn Systems closing after 40 years in business, putting 150 people out of work.
Despite the poor economy, business news wasn’t all bad in the county in 2009. Timken’s roller bearing business was bought by a Japanese company, which should mean some much-needed stability for the company’s 300-plus workers and, down the road, may mean more people will be hired at the Sylvania plant.

Homeowner wants her piggy back

Mary Nicholson wishes this little piggy would come home.
Nicholson said someone stole a blow-up pig that was part of the Christmas display at her house on Buck Road, off Old Ogeechee Road.
It’s the first time since the family began decorating 26 years ago that anything has been stolen.
She said she bought the pig at Kmart last year, for about $30 and she hasn’t seen another quite like it. Why does she think the pig was targeted? “I don’t know, unless just that it was so unusual,” she said.

As much as $9,000 IDA dollars available to bring state officials for airport

The Industrial Development Authority has agreed to spend up to $9,000 to bring state officials to Screven County in April and pitch the airport as a mega industrial site or inland port.
About 20 people from outside the area will be invited to the event on Thursday, April 22, including the governor, lieutenant governor, state director of economic development, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation, Ports Authority representative and various lawmakers.

Despite bleak economy, 73 percent of property owners pay by deadline

Seventy-three percent of Screven County property owners paid a total of $6.8 million in taxes by the Dec. 20 deadline, said Tax Commissioner David Long.
“I think 73 percent is good with the economy the way it is,” Long said. “People are really trying.”
He said the 73 percent total doesn’t include about 120 property owners who are making payments and paying late-fee penalties. Late fees are 1 percent a month, jumping to 10 percent after three months. Within a year, late fees add up to 22 percent, he said.

GBI: Couple charged with Wade arson

A Martinez couple has been charged with arson in two fires on Wade Plantation in Burke County a year ago, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.
No arrests have been made but an investigation is continuing into a third fire that occurred at the same time nearby. That blaze destroyed the historic railroad depot on Millhaven Plantation in Screven County.

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