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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

With your help, Georgia can gain another seat in Congress

In the year 2000, only 57 percent of the residents in Screven County filled out a U.S. Census form.
Officials for the 2010 Census, however, say a lot is riding on Georgians completing a scaled-down version of the Census this year as more-populated Peach State is expected to earn another seat in the U.S. Congress and federal dollars are at a premium with the rocky status of the economy.
In short, an increase in Georgia population could translate into benefits and upgrades of infrastructure.

Property owners, you better check the flood map

Heads-up if you own property in Screven County near a river or creek.
Screven County is going to get its first-ever flood maps next year, showing the areas most likely to flood in heavy rains. People who live in those areas will save money if they buy flood insurance before the maps are formally adopted, which is scheduled to happen in summer 2010.
That’s according to government officials and a Statesboro insurance agent who is listed at floodsmart.gov, the Web site of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Dress code to change, but how?

Superintendent Whit Myers announced Monday evening that the school board will make changes to its system-wide dress code, but BOE members will look longer at the issues for making a decision on what changes will be made.
Originally, the board was scheduled to come back with a school uniform policy format announcement by the December meeting.
Now an announcement may not be made until February or March, Myers said.
And whether those changes involve a school uniform or not has not been decided, he said.

Help is needed

Citizens are being asked to help their neighbors by making a pledge to the county’s United Way campaign effort.
“I have a passion for United Way,” said Cathy Kight, who serves as the county’s executive director. “We need the community’s help.”
United Way in Screven County assists 20 agencies.
“We are here year round,” said Kight of the need for the agencies.
Individuals and businesses can donate toward the cause or even enter an opportunity drawing for a Christmas wreath that has been donated by Mary joyce Florist. To enter, it costs only a dollar.

South Main rezoning proposal starts again

Here we go again.
The City of Sylvania’s plans and design commission is holding a meeting at 11 a.m. today, Thursday, at City Hall to consider an application to rezone two houses on S. Main Street so that one of them can be used for a lawyer’s office.
The public is invited to attend.
The commission will make a recommendation to the city council on the request to rezone houses at 305 and 307 S. Main St. from residential to professional.

Law enforcement dismantles meth lab

Screven County sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation dismantled a meth lab in Hiltonia and arrested three people.
Sheriff Mike Kile said deputies investigating a tip on Friday, Nov. 6, found the remains of a lab that had been used previously to make methamphetamine. The lab was at a house at 173 Forehand Lane in Hiltonia.
Arrested were: Audley Willette “Junior” Boddiford Jr., 39, of Forehand Lane, Hiltonia; Candice Reddick Boddiford, 28, of Forehand Lane, Hiltonia; and Henry Brooks Morris, 25, of First Avenue, Hiltonia.

‘Sign, sign, nowhere a sign’

Someone has stolen more than 120 traffic signs in Screven County in the last couple of weeks, worth a total of nearly $6,000.
The thieves are taking the signs – posts and all -- from all over the county, said Vernon Edenfield, public works director. The signs tend to be bigger ones, with such messages as “curve ahead,” and “caution.” No “stop” signs were missing as of Tuesday, he said.
The signs cost the county $39 each and the posts cost nearly $9 each.
The crime is a felony that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, Edenfield said.

Beasley joins Dees, Sheppard on council

Incumbent Preston Dees and appointee Tripp Sheppard won spots on Sylvania’s city council in Tuesday’s election, along with newcomer Connie Beasley.
The three seats on Sylvania’s city council attracted 20.5 percent of the eligible voters, while elections the same day in Newington drew 12.5 percent of the voters and in Rocky Ford, 41.3 percent of the voters.

Relay kicks off with chili cookoff Nov. 7

The 2010 Screven County Relay For Life campaign kicks off with a lot of fun Saturday.
A chili cookoff and three-hour street dance is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Cail Community Center, starting at 5 p.m. as one fine cook will earn a trophy for the “best chili” in Screven County.
The cookoff contestants will be David Burke, Pat Collins, Doug Dirst, Homer Hendrix, Mike Kile, Linda Rosier, Terry Stewart, Todd Wall, Gary Weaver and Jerry Williams.
Also, those who attend this community event will be able to listen and groove to the music of a live band.

Dickey Rotary's Citizen of the Year

She does so much for so many.
That may be the best way to describe this year’s Sylvania Rotary Club “Citizen of the Year” Willene Dickey.
Dickey impacts the business community with her restaurant and her church involvement, but it is her work with Relay For Life that puts her in a league all her own.
“We want everybody to come out,” said Dickey, sidestepping her individual honor to encourage Rotarians to be a part of the Relay kickoff at the Cail Community Center Saturday evening.

Number of break-ins doubles

Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile is asking residents to renew efforts to secure property and watch for suspicious activity, as burglary and theft cases have doubled in recent months.
County Commissioner Dennis Lawton was among the most recent victims. His house on Lawton Road was broken into during the day on Friday, Oct. 30. Lawton said he was gone for about four hours and someone forced their way in his front door and stole $6,700 worth of items: two flat-screen TVs, one 40-inch and one 32-inch; all of his wife’s jewelry; a shotgun; and a pistol.

Teachers of year honored

Teaching is never easy and especially with the current economic crunch.
But  three educators were chosen by their peers to be the teachers of the year for their respective schools.
Amy Dixon, a special education teacher, represents Screven County Elementary School. Kristy Weaver, a seventh grade educator represents Screven County Middle School. Vette Rountree, a science teacher, represents Screven County High School, although Rountree is instructing on the same hall as Weaver at the middle school during this 2009-2010 year.

Polls open Tuesday for local elections

As of mid-week, nearly 80 people had cast ballots in early voting in Sylvania, Newington and Rocky Ford, election officials said.
Early voting continues through 5 p.m. Friday at the county courthouse. No voting will be held on Monday, Nov. 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
On Tuesday, Sylvania voters can cast ballots at the county courthouse. Residents of Newington can vote at the Newington City Hall and residents of Rocky Ford can vote at the Rocky Ford City Hall, said county Registrar Dorothy Glisson.

Assistant manager arrested for theft

An assistant manager at McDonald’s in Sylvania has been arrested and accused of failing to deposit about $1,800 in a local bank.
Kimberly Patrice Scott, 21, of Foxlake Road in Statesboro, was arrested on Oct. 22 and charged with one felony count of theft by taking, said Lt. Tony A. Taylor of the Sylvania police department.
Scott is accused of failing to deposit the Sept. 4 receipts from the restaurant in Farmers and Merchants Bank. The bag put in the night depository was empty.

Advanced voting deadline approaches

Next week is the last week for early voting in the cities of Sylvania, Newington and Rocky Ford.
Voters in those cities haven’t exactly been burning up the polls so far. As of Tuesday afternoon, only 17 people had come to the courthouse to cast ballots early, said Registrar Dorothy Glisson.
Voters may cast ballots at the voter registration office in the Screven County Courthouse, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday next week. No votes may be cast on Monday, Nov. 2, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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