By Cindy Eckles
According to current law, the Dodge County Board of Education will be forced to increase the millage rate from 12 mills to at least 12.5 before July 1, 2015, or equalization funds of more than 2.2 million dollars will be lost by the school system.
Rep. Jimmy Pruett was at the meeting and was asked if the possibility of upcoming legislation in January 2015 could change the current law. Rep. Pruett stated that he fought against the current law and praised the superintendents and board members in our area for presenting their case to the education committee to eliminate the mandate.
Rep. Pruett told board members that the only fair tax was raising the sales tax across the board. Forty percent or less of Dodge County’s citizens pay property taxes and the percent of sales tax that can be charged is limited by law, he added. Rep. Pruett stated that he was researching whether a sales tax could be added, that it would only be used to decrease property taxes.
According to Dodge County School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Dennis, the current law requires the school systems throughout the state to set a millage rate of at least 14.0 by 2017. [Full Story »]
By Cindy Eckles
After over two months of discussion, the Dodge County Board of Commissioners appointed three people to the Dodge County Hospital Board. The board positions of Mitchell Coffee, Dr. Dan Harrell and Dr. Todd Peacock were under consideration by the commissioners.
Dodge County Attorney John Harrington read a letter to the commissioners at their regular meeting on Monday, May 5, 2014, from the hospital board, requesting that Mitchell Coffee be reappointed for his current position; Mimi Dennis to replace Dr. Dan Harrell and Dr. James Tison to replace Dr. Todd Peacock.
Commissioner Terry Niblett made the motion to make the appointments, which was seconded by commissioner Jr. Howell. The motion passed unanimously with Niblett, Howell, Dan McCranie and Brian Watkins voting. Commissioner Karen Cheek was absent from the meeting. [Full Story »]
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp wants to remind Georgians of the mandatory Saturday Early Voting this upcoming weekend, May 10th. Polling locations throughout the state will be open this upcoming Saturday, enabling Georgians greater access to vote in the General Primary. The polling location in Dodge County is in the hallway of the Dodge County Courthouse.
“Every Georgian should have the opportunity to vote in the May 20th Primary Election,” said Kemp. “The good news is that it is easier than ever to vote early. Georgians have the opportunity to vote early this Saturday at locations across Georgia.”
[Full Story »]
Major General Jim Butterworth, the Adjutant General of the State of Georgia, has announced that the State Properties Commission will be transferring ownership of the Eastman National Guard Armory to the Dodge County commissioners in a ceremony to be held on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
The project is over a year in the making and has been led by Georgia State Representative Jimmy Pruett. Pruett has watched the armory sit vacant for some time and approached the State Properties Commission about the possibility of conveying the building to the local government to be put to use rather than allow it to sit vacant.
[Full Story »]
Many cases were heard recently in Dodge Superior Court. The following are the results of those cases.
Demetri Lakwan Parrish was found guilty on one count felony aggravated assault, which was reduced to battery and was sentenced to 12 months probation and pay a $600.00 fine.
James Helms was found guilty on one count felony aggravated assault and under first offenders act (FOA) was sentenced to 12 months probation and to pay a $250.00 fine.
Christopher Kyle Roland was found guilty on seven counts felony forgery first degree and under FOA was ordered to pay a $1,000.00 per count and sentenced to five years probation per count to run concurrent; and one count of felony theft by taking and sentenced to five years probation to run concurrent and to pay a $1,000.00 fine.
Erica Louise Walden was found guilty on one count felony possession of cocaine and under FOA was sentenced to six years probation and ordered to pay a $850.00 fine; and one count misdemeanor marijuana less than one ounce and was sentenced to 12 months probation to run concurrent and ordered to pay a $350.00 fine.
Danny Deron Smith was found guilty on one count felony burglary first degree, which was reduced to theft by receiving and sentenced to six years probation and to pay a $750.00 fine; one count felony burglary first degree and sentenced to 10 years probation to run concurrent and to pay a $1,000.00 fine; and one count felony entering a auto, which was reduced to misdemeanor criminal trespass and sentenced to 12 months probation and pay a $350.00 fine.
Willie Eldon Bennett was found guilty on one count felony possession/manufacture/distribution/etc of marijuana, which was reduced to possession of marijuana and sentenced to 10 years probation and to pay $1,250.00 fine.
[Full Story »]
After an investigation into the armed robbery of the Hop-In convenience store, Eastman police have arrested two suspects in connection with the robbery. The robbery occurred on April 12, 2014 at approximately 3:35 a.m.
William Thomas Jolly (age 34), and Rashad Marquis Mincey (age 18), were arrested by Eastman police and charged with armed robbery of the Hop-In store. In addition, Jolly was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and aggravated assault.
The Eastman Police Department made the following arrests recently.
Juvenile, age 14, unruly (one count).
William Pittman, age 59, 749 TJ Sappington, Eastman, shoplifting less than $500.00 (one count).
Vickey Parker, age 28, 69 Eastside Court Drive #614, Eastman, disorderly conduct (one count). [Full Story »]
Brown’s Farm at Chauncey, Inc. has been named Dodge County’s Conservationist of the Year by the Central Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District. The award was presented at the district’s annual program for their achievements in soil and water conservation.
Brown’s Farm at Chauncey, Incorporated is located in southern Dodge County and is operated by Roger, Jenny, Jaye, and Caitlin Brown. Brown’s Farm at Chauncey presently manages 600 acres of farmland. Almost all of the crop land and pasture is irrigated with center pivots using remote monitoring and control equipment. All center pivot irrigation systems on the farm have been retrofitted with low pressure sprinklers with drops and are utilized through an injection system to provide fertilization and chemigation. Their row cropping includes conservation tillage, terraces, water outlets and grass waterways. Wells and ponds are also being used for irrigation practices. Brown’s Farm participated in the cost share program with the NRCS and Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission to build an irrigation pond to aid in supplying water to their pivots. Besides row cropping, they manage a 100 pure bred Black Angus herd, permanent pastures, timberland and a beginning silvopasture. Brown’s Farm also participates in several experimental projects through NRCS and UGA; the current project is Alfalfa interseeded into a permanent Bermuda grass pasture. Brown’s Farm is cost sharing with the NRCS in a Hoop House program to be managed by Jenny Brown. The Brown’s goal is to manage and improve the land while utilizing all available conservation practices.
[Full Story »]
The 63rd Annual National Day of Prayer will be observed on Thursday, May 1, 2014. A Solemn Assembly for Prayer will be observed at 12:00 noon at the Dodge County Courthouse on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Christians across Dodge County are encouraged to participate in this special time of prayer or organize your own prayer group for the day.
The Day of Prayer is an opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power come to our country as we call on citizens to humbly come before Him in prayer. The National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The observance of the National Day of Prayer is founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans. The theme for 2014 is One Voice, United in Prayer, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.
[Full Story »]