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Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Plan to save state welcome center could become prototype for other programs

An innovative solution that combined community efforts to save the state welcome center on U.S. Highway 301 from the governor’s budget cuts now be explored as a partner-type plan to creatively reduce other agency expenses, which, in turn, may kind keep some of Georgia’s facilities in operation.
Gov. Sonny Perdue sought to close the Screven County center and fire its two employees for an annual savings of $139,400. State lawmakers, however, restored $100,000 in the budget to operate the center and introduced a way to make up the additional $39,400.

Police chase like a ‘TV show’

Screven County resident Lynn Dickerson was on her way to a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, May 13, when she met a car coming at her head-on – going the wrong direction on Highway 301 in Sylvania.
“It was like watching TV – one of those cop stories or something,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, my God, he’s on my side.’”
But the oncoming car veered off the road. “It was like he thought, ‘I’d better not kill this person and went in the ditch.’”

Kile wants wet T-shirt contests to hit dry spell

Sheriff Mike Kile says he’s going to do everything he can to make sure no more wet T-shirt contests are held in Screven County.
“I don’t like them. I don’t think it’s right to have them. I don’t think it’s good for Screven County,” he said. Kile said he got three complaints from area ministers about a wet T-shirt contest held at the Savannah River Dragway on Saturday, May 9.

Graduation Countdown

The Screven County High School graduation ceremonies routinely are efficient — sometimes taking just an hour, including the speeches by some of the seniors.
Even so, it may take a little longer Friday night when the members of the Class of 2009 get ready to receive their diplomas.
At least 215 are expected to graduate in front of the crowd at Kelly Memorial Stadium.

Doyle, Boddiford lead Class of 2009

The honor to represent your high school as the valedictorian and salutatorian always is a prestigious honor. Years of dedication go into becoming the top two academic scholars of an academic class.
The Screven County High School Class of 2009 valedictorian is Jase Mitchell Doyle, the son of Rodney and Karol Doyle, and the brother of Kayla Doyle. Eric Pfeiffer Boddiford, the son of David and Debo Boddiford, and the brother of Andrew Boddiford.

Newington man dies in Effingham County crash

A 59-year-old Newington man died May 7 when his pickup truck was broadsided by a tractor trailer as he tried to cross Highway 21 at Clyo-Kildare Road, just south of Newington in Effingham County.
George “Bug” Perry Jr., of Pitts Road, died in the accident at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The driver of the tractor trailer, Randolph Wayne Bradley of Savannah, was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah where he remained in serious condition Tuesday night.

Welcome center not one of Perdue’s line-item vetoes

The state welcome center on U.S. Highway 301 is not one of the items that the governor vetoed Wednesday.
The center located in Screven County will be funded by state dollars and assisted by local technical college students.
Funds, however, to construct a biofuels facility at the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center in Savannah was one of just three budget items Gov. Sonny Perdue.
But Perdue said the facility could still be built with other funds.

New animal shelter to be built

In front of a standing-room-only crowd, members of the Screven County Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday to begin building a new animal shelter on Rocky Ford Road.
“This is long overdue,” said Commissioner Gregg Ellison. “The conditions are such that we cannot put this off any longer.”
About 25 people waited through two hours of other business at the commission’s regular meeting to show their support for the new shelter, filling all the vacant seats in the meeting room at the courthouse. A few stood the whole time.

Commissioners ponder cutting hospital funds

Screven County commissioners who are struggling to meet a budget deficit between $500,000 to $800,000 are considering cutting funds for the county hospital by $100,000.
Commissioners agreed Tuesday to hold a workshop soon with hospital officials to discuss the idea.
The county had given the hospital $600,000 for each of three years and then $800,000 last year. Commissioners J.C. Warren and Will Boyd said they are interested in possibly cutting that $800,000 to $700,000 this year.

‘You’ve never heard of a used car dealer that people loved that much’

Wilton Grooms wasn’t your typical used car dealer.
Grooms spent 36 years selling used cars in Screven County, frequently to people who couldn’t afford to buy a car elsewhere.
The owner of Screven Auto Sales on Highway 301 in Sylvania died Saturday at the age of 69.
The funeral home was packed. The procession to the cemetery was long.
“You’ve never heard of a used car dealer that people loved that much,” said Sheriff Mike Kile, who knew Grooms for decades. “I don’t know what folks will do without him.”

Individuals unite to help reduce the abandonment of puppies, kittens

Some Screven County residents who are fed up with finding puppies and kittens abandoned at dumpsters are banding together to do something about it.
They also want to see conditions improve at the county animal shelter, where one prison inmate and one animal control officer do their best to take care of the 1,500 dogs and cats that come through the open-air facility on Rocky Ford Road each year.

January teacher supplements nixed

Tuesday evening the school board voted to not provide county educators with a January supplement for the 2009-2010 school.
The board then voted to change the supplement policy to allow the members more flexibility on whether supplements will be provided to teachers in the future.
This latitude, board members say, may be benefit during the tough economic times.

80 more layoffs at local Timken plant

The Sylvania Timken plant will have an additional 80 layoffs effective by the end of this month, say company officials.
The dramatic worldwide economic decline is the reason for the layoffs.
Plant manager David Burke declined to comment on the layoffs. He rather referred all questions to Lorrie Paul Crum, the manager of Global Media & Strategic Communications for the Timken Company, headquartered in Canton, Ohio.


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