By Cindy Eckles
Dodge County Probate Judge John Kelly retired effective March 31, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. after more than 29 years in office.
Kelly was elected in November 1984, and began serving Dodge County as the probate judge in January 1985.
When asked what the biggest change he had seen over the past 29 years, he stated, “Elections. The probate court should not have to work the elections, they should have a board of elections.”
According to the law, currently there is not a chief clerk in the probate office and there is not a state court judge in Dodge County, so Dodge County Clerk of Superior Court Rhett Walker will assume the duties of Kelly. Georgia law will set the salary for Walker. [Full Story »]
A Dodge County teen is trying to change lives without having to leave her home.
Taylor Mullis’s twitter account, @WhyToStayStrong, has more than 4,700 followers and is nominated for a Shorty Award.
“I saw how many people needed help. They were alone and I just wanted to help them,” said Mullis.
The national Shorty Awards recognizes advancement in social media and has several categories.
Taylor’s is Teen Activism.
Through her account, she sends tweets that have personal quotes, pictures and notes that are aimed to inspire and encourage others.
Her mother, Alicia, says she was thrilled to find out what her 15 year old was doing online. [Full Story »]
Dodge County should soon be filled with the delicate blooms of Dogwood trees after 500 seedlings were given away at the county’s annual Arbor Day Celebration.
The Eastman-Dodge County Chamber of Commerce hosts the yearly celebration, but it is a community event that involves the chamber, the City of Eastman, the Georgia Forestry Commission as well as many volunteers from around the county, including the 4-H Club and garden club.
[Full Story »]
Calen Reece Dennis has been named 2014 PAGE STAR Student for Dodge County High School. Judy Hemphill Madden, president of the Eastman-Dodge County Chamber of Commerce, local sponsor of the Dodge County STAR program, made the announcement March 12, 2014.
Dennis, the son of Ronnie and Melinda Dennis of Eastman, selected Selena Woodard, South Dodge Elementary first grade teacher as his STAR teacher. Dennis stated, “I’ve always had a passion for learning and it wasn’t until later that I realized that Mrs. Woodard was the reason for that. She was the first teacher to make learning fun.”
Though she was surprised and elated to be chosen as STAR teacher, Woodard was not surprised at Dennis’s success. “He was always curious and driven,” Woodard said of the qualities that Dennis possessed as a child. “He always had the drive to learn more and to go the extra mile, but was never arrogant. He was and still is a very cool kid.”
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, in its 56th year and is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 24,0000 students and teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic achievement.
[Full Story »]
It’s spring break at the University of Georgia (UGA). Students are hitting the beaches and returning home to relax and take a break from studying and writing papers. This is a highly anticipated time for time for students, especially student athletes.
Georgia Bulldog football player number 84 and Chauncey native, Leonard Floyd, returned home to Eastman, to do the same, but after visiting with family and friends, he decided to do a little something extra. “I knew coming home that I still needed to stay in shape and work out so I called one of my former coaches who I knew would push me and asked him to help me. Coach Fordham works at the Milan YDC and we had an idea that I could come out and talk to the kids about pursuing their dreams in life,” Leonard stated. [Full Story »]
By Dr. Melinda M. Dennis
The Dodge County School System Teacher of the Year (TOTY) was announced on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the Eastman Rotary Club. Dodge County School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Dennis announced that the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for the Dodge County School System was Donna Purvis.
Dr. Susan Long introduced Donna Purvis, the TOTY from Dodge County High School (DCHS). Dr. Long shared that Purvis was an outstanding student at DCHS, and when she applied to come back home to teach in 2008, all were excited.
Prior to returning home, she taught at the Alternative Learning Center in Pulaski County and at Hawkinsville High School. She is married to Stacy Purvis, and they have two kids: Ina, a daughter, who is in third grade, and one son, Will who is attending Central Georgia Technical College.
In her application for the TOTY, Purvis writes: “My mom was an educator for 34 years. By watching her, I learned that every child can learn. Through example, she taught me that the most powerful gift a teacher can give her students is high, realistic expectations tempered with love and acceptance. She taught me that a teacher is a life-changer.” [Full Story »]
A man and his girlfriend have been charged in the death of a three year old boy.
On Friday, March 14, 2014, a call was placed to the Dodge/Wilcox 911 center about a child that was injured. When emergency medical personnel arrived at a mobile home at 27 Arthur Cooper Road just outside Eastman, they found that three year old Zackory Dean Smith had severe injuries and called for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department. After sheriff’s deputies arrived, they called for assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Zackory was taken to Dodge County Hospital and efforts to revive the child were made, but to no avail. Dodge County Coroner Joe Smith pronounced the child dead at the hospital. The child was sent to the Georgia Crime Lab to determine the cause of death. [Full Story »]
Kenzell Montrell Walker was found guilty on one count felony aggravated assault, which was reduced to felony obstruction of officer and sentenced to serve four years in prison.
Bridget Roberson was found guilty on one count felony theft by shoplifting, which was reduced to misdemeanor theft by taking and sentenced to 12 months probation, pay a $400.00 fine and was banned from the property.
James Alexander Warren was found guilty on one count headlights and sentenced to 12 months probation and pay a $185.00 fine.
Samuel Warren was found guilty on one count felony possession/manufacture/distribution/etc of marijuana and was sentenced to 10 years probation to run concurrent with prior and pay a $1,250.00 fine.
Milton Evans was found guilty on one count felony theft by taking, which was reduced to misdemeanor theft by taking and sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a $350.00 fine.
Diana Blash was found guilty on one count felony aggravated assault, which was reduced to misdemeanor reckless conduct. She was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay a $250.00 fine. [Full Story »]
The 2014 Leadership Dodge class recently traveled to Atlanta to catch a glimpse of the state legislative process and also to gain an understanding of the economic development process for the State of Georgia.
The group visited the Centergy Center, which is home to the State Economic Development Department and houses the economic development leaders of Georgia Power and Georgia EMC.
The class was introduced to economic development strategies that can be useful in Dodge County. [Full Story »]