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News

Local news for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Open houses then open doors for school year

The return of school bells are almost upon us.
The official Screven County system-wide Open House for the elementary, middle and high schools will be Friday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 4.
Before the day of the open house, there also will be orientation sessions at the three schools for specific grades.

Jury duty phone scam creeps into Screven market

A new telephone call scam tactic has hit Screven County, using missed jury duty subpoenas as a reason to levy a fine which can be remedied by an over-the-phone payment or visiting the “clerk of courts office” and paying there.
Screven County Clerk of Court Janis Reddick said she’s had several people come into the clerk’s office trying to validate a missed jury duty and to pay their fine. But the Screven County clerk’s office does not use telephones to reach jurors, they send out mail or a deputy with the jury duty notification – never a phone call.

Culprits get dirty

In the month of July there have been two dirt bikes stolen, one motorcycle stolen and an attempted dirt bike theft across the county. Screven County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the missing recreational vehicles, which seem to go missing around Christmas or the summer.
Investigator Michael Lacienski said there are many ways to keep your vehicles safe from thieves, including locking the vehicle in the house or a shed, chaining the vehicle to a secure spot on your property, and keeping track of the last time you saw the vehicle for a better timeline if it goes missing.

WILD About Screven starting to gain momentum

The second WILD About Screven festival is shaping up, and the Screven County Chamber of Commerce and the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club are seeking venders, entertainers, crafters, and cooks to come make the second festival more successful than the wildly successful first event.
“We’re just pretty much trying to make it more accessible,” said Chamber Executive Director Latasha Roberts. “Registration forms are online, on our Facebook page now, and we’re promoting it as heavily as we can, including enticing the sponsors with a more affordable fee structure.”

Back stabbing attempt

After getting a sandwich from McDonald’s and heading over to the mechanic’s garage behind the fast food restaurant to talk to a friend, a 41-year-old man was nearly stabbed in the back by another man.
In the Sylvania Police Department report made by Officer Norman Royal, Lindsey Rafael Roundtree, 31, of 156 Quail Hollow Road, came at the man with a butcher knife inside the garage.

Pieces coming together for Kelly rededication

More individuals and groups have donated to the cause. Several people have have stressed their interest in buying an engraved brick for the monument.
Preparations for the Aug. 23 pregame presentation at Kelly Memorial Stadium will involving the unveiling of a new monument and a rededication ceremony befitting of an American hero.
And Maj. Charles L. Kelly certainly is a hero.
The “Father of Dustoff” Kelly, an Army helicopter pilot, died July 1, 1964, while rescuing the wounded in the Vietnam War.

State’s retailers ready for sales tax holiday

Georgia retailers are getting ready for the sales tax holiday this weekend, as residents enjoy a tax break on computers, clothes and school supplies on Friday and Saturday.
The sales tax holiday applies to both the 4 percent state sales tax, and any local sales taxes – in most Georgia counties shoppers will save from 7 percent to 8 percent total in taxes.
In Screven County, shoppers can take advantage of 7 percent tax savings on the purchase of such items as “S” T-shirts or polos that adhere to the county’s dress code.

School ‘daze’ nears

It may be hard to believe for some -- especially the students -- but the beginning of a new school year is only a dozen days away.
The first day of school for children will be Monday, Aug. 4, in Screven County.
However, before those pupils sit in their desk for the 2014-2015, multiple get-ready types of events are on the schedule.
The official Screven County systemwide Open House for the elementary, middle and high schools will be Friday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tax-free holidays begin Aug. 1

Georgia shoppers for school supplies again will have a chance to save money with the tax free holidays that will start at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1 and conclude at midnight Aug. 2. A second period will be later this year from 12:01 a.m. Oct. 3 and conclude at midnight Oct. 5.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue during the July/August sales tax holidays, the following items will be exempt:
• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item;

County sides with Kingston, but state goes with Perdue

The July 22 Primary Election Runoff has completed and Screven County was largely in direct opposition to the winners; as county voters picked U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston over David A. Perdue, Michael L. Buck over Richard Woods, and Alisha Thomas Morgan over Valarie D. Wilson.
Statewide each of those runoff elections would go the other direction.

Governor's Task Force assists law enforcement

Screven County motorists probably got a little more police presence than they’re used to on the county’s roads last Friday, but it wasn’t because law enforcement officers were hunting down a murderer or wanted individual. More than 50 law enforcement officers from various areas came to help the Screven County Sheriff’s Office run their new tag reader.

Driver dies in single-vehicle crash

The second traffic-related fatality this month occurred Sunday afternoon on Georgia Highway 17 near Rocky Ford.
Amy Suzanne Dailey Flanders, 40, of Rocky Ford, died from head and chest trauma after she was ejected from her Honda CR-V.
Screven County Coroner James Strickland said Flanders did not appear to be wearing her seatbelt when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled over more than once, struck a sign, and eventually came to an upright rest a little more than a foot from the fog line at the side of the road.

Kirkland pleads guilty to rape

A local 20-year-old man pled guilty last week during the Screven County Superior Court plea date to a charge of statutory rape.
Thomas Shawn Kirkland was charged with statutory rape and child molestation for his part in an incident with a 14-year-old girl. His child molestation charge was dropped as a condition of his plea deal.
The co-defendant, Davious Marques Boyd, has elected to have a jury trial for his child molestation and statutory rape charges. That court date is set for Aug. 14.

Local man faces charges in Texas

A local man may head west to face criminal charges that allegedly involve a minor.
Gregory Milliken, 38, of 2325 Burton’s Ferry Highway, was arrested Tuesday and is expected to be extradited to Liberty County in Texas for a charge of indecency with a child.
Milliken – who received a not guilty verdict in a separate July 2012 case in which he was charged with aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, statutory rape, and child molestation – is accused of inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl in March of this year in Texas.

2 reports of Lyme disease in Screven County

Over the past month, there have been two confirmed Lyme disease patients at Optim Medical Center – Screven.
According to the CDC, there were only 31 confirmed cases in Georgia in 2012. The exceptionally rare disease is transmitted from blacklegged ticks which inhabit this area.
Blacklegged ticks are very difficult to spot due to their small size, and when they are feeding on a human for at least 36 hours the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, can be spread. Adult ticks are easier to spot and are thus not as likely to transmit the headache-inducing disease.

SCES protocol changes for its arrivals, dismissals

Morning arrival and afternoon departure changes will be implemented this 2014-2015 year at Screven County Elementary School to strengthen staff and student safety and also make better use of valuable teaching time.
SCES principal Brett Warren, who has transferred to the elementary after 15 years as a SCHS administrator, received the backing of school board members Monday evening to amend the policy of escorting students to class in the a.m. and pickups of students in the p.m.

Bragg promoted to SCHS assistant principal

Lydia Bragg for the past 22 years has taught mathematics at Screven County High School and has served as the SCHS department chair since 2008. Bragg also taught at Georgia Southern University for two years.
With her new position of assistant principal at the high school, Bragg now will be counted on to handle various new roles for grades nine through 12. Bragg was promoted Monday evening upon the approval of the Screven County School Board at its monthly meeting.

25-year AP journalist met a who’s who of historical figures

There are many great men and women living in Screven County. There are the war heroes, the farming businessmen, the down-to-Earth politicians, and even beloved newspapermen. Screven County houses some of the most interesting people and one such example is Neil Gilbride, a veteran of World War II and an Associated Press news reporter for 25 years.
Gilbride is not from Screven County, but lives here with his daughter Kathleen Gilbride after his retirement from newswriting and failing health.

For an American Hero: Maj. Charles Kelly

Local groups and ones from around the state are collaborating for the Aug. 23 pregame presentation as Kelly Memorial Stadium will be rededicated to honor Maj. Charles Kelly, a helicopter pilot who died rescuing the wounded during the Vietnam War.
Before the Screven County Gamecocks take on their regular-season opening opponent St. Johns (S.C.) High School in a rare Saturday night contest, a granite monument will be unveiled in honor of Kelly and a special ceremony will be held on the field before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

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