Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 2, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 2, 2018

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O w/be Mo, roe Co ty Reporter May 2, 2018 Itll I ff~lllll I lll I ' I~l Ili ~l : !~F! i~iii!t I~illl Illi!iH Ill il IIIHIIllHiiI|llllllll CAROLYN'S CORNER by Ccsr01yn Martel a shocking sight! I was doing some work in my backyard and suddenly my attention was diverted by a scene I will never forget. First, I heard dogs barking. Then I looked up from what I was doing to see two dogs chasing a small deer The little fawn was nmning for its life! In a frantic attempt to allude the dogs, the fawn raced across the lawn and landed in our pool. I ran the two dogs off, only to see the little deer struggling for its life once again. EXHAUSTED BY the chase, the deer was floundering in the water. Unless I could get him out of the water, he was going to drown. I jumped into the pool and pulled the deer to the steps. I released him and he wearily stumbled to the grass and collapsed. Panting and thoroughly exhausted, the little fawn had no strength left to escape. It looked up at me and bellowed with a faint cry. Bloody bite marks were evident on his back legs. My heart ached and I prayed, "Oh Lord, please help this poor creature7 I CALLED Animal Control and they came and picked up the deer. The next day I called to check on the fate of my rescued friend. I was informed that Dauset Trails Nature Center had offered to take "Bambi? They nursed him back to health and gave him a new home. What a relief! This happened fifteen years ago, but I still shutter to think what would have happened had I not been there to lend a helping hand to a little deer who fell into a watery pit. THIS INCIDENT reminds me of the story ofaman who fell into a precarious situation. Maybe you've heard this before. A man fell into a pit and could not get out. One passerby came along and said, "I feel for you down there in the pit? An objective person said, "It's logical that someone would fall into that pit." A Pharisee said, "Only bad people fall into a pit2' A mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit. A geologist asked about any rare specimens in the pit. A news reporter wanted an exclusive story on his pit. An evasive person came along and avoided the subject of the pit all together. A self- pitying person said, "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit:' An optimist said, "Things could get worse:' A pessimist said, "Things will get worse7 But Jesus seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit. THIS SHORT story is filled with imaginary scenes, yet it confirms the mercy of God. Psalms 40:1-2 says;'I relied com- pletely on the LORD, and he tumed toward me and heard my cry for help. He lifted me out of a watery pit, out of the slimy mud. He placed my feet on a rock and gave me secure footing" (New English Translation). Are you in a pit? Look up. Jesus is passing by today Carolyn Martel is the advertising manager for the Reporter. Email her at ON THE PORCH Continued from Front Head to answer critics who wonder whether someone who home schools his kids can lead the school system. We asked incumbent Phil Walker why he's missed seven of the last 25 BOE meetings. We asked incttmbent Nolen Howard to answer questions about the hiring of a substitute teacher with a convic- tion for attempted child molestation as a Bibb County substitute several years ago. Would there be an apolog or consequences for anyone for exposing our kids in this way? Howard continued to insist they had nothing for which to apologize, waving the court order that said ]avis Stewart had been ' xonerated". He thanked the Reporter for bringing the other details to light after which Stewart "was fired", before cor- recting himself to say Stewart may have quit. "I thought this was behind us ' said Howard. When I pressed Howard for a yes or no answer on whether the school administration knew Stewart had a prior conviction for attempted molestation before hiring him, some of Howard's friends and family members got rowdy with the moderator "This isn't a debate!" one screamed. 'gtctuall ' I answered, "it is a debate7 But nothing thus far in the 3-hour debate compared to what was about to happen. I had one last question. A simple ques- tion for the candidates. A one word answer would suffice, I told them. While school board candidates don't have to dedare a partT, I thought it would be helpful as voters try to decide which candidate most dosely reflects their philosophical and political beliefs, to know the following: "For whom did you vote in the most recent presidential election?" By the reaction of Howar& and Walker's supporters, you w6qld have thought I had asked them to share details of their deepest, darkest secrets. "This is ridiculous!!!" one yelled. "You're out of line!" another shouted. "Don't answer it!!!" supporters shouted at Howard and Walker. For one minute, they carried on yelling and not allowing the candidates to answer the question. Fin,when the yelling subsided, Greg Head, Tanya Williams and Mart Morris said.they voted for the Republican ticket. Nolen Howard and Phil Walker refused to say how they voted in 2016. Tneir supporters had bul- lied them into submission. Afterward, one Walker supporter and his wife insisted to me that the school board was NOT a political office. While the debates were lively and helpful, one candidate who couldn't debate left a strong impression. City council candidate Ronald Bearden stayed the whole three hours waiting for his debate, but his opponent, former mayor John Howard, never showed up. When the BOE debate was over, the crowd got too loud and prevented Bear&n, who wanted to briefly address voters, from having a But he didn't Fie gave the Reporter an interview and posed for a debate photo with his op- ponent's empty seat. He was a good sport. It was a good night for Monroe Count. New leaders have stepped up to offer themselves for public service. Voters learned more about them and the incumbents. We have done our job. I think we succeeded in making it somewhat interesting. Despite some Jerry Springer audience members, we found actual policy and philosophical differences between the candidates. Now, may the best man (or woman) win. To the Editor: spect the President of the United lease cancel our subscrip- States for over a year now. Would tion to your paper. You have you have allowed a conservative allowed the racist Marilyn to do the same to Mr. Obama? We Langford to openly disre- think not. We will find another paper product to line the bird cage with in the. future. Cindy Renno Forsyth care at Monroe County 'tal To the Editor: some reason my pain is back and to Monroe County Hos-much worse. Anyway, at the hospi- pital tonight and it was one of tal, Dr. Garrison and Nurse Dawn the best experiences I have ever were so educated about this disease. I have trigeminal neuralgia. Most people know nothing about it. It's called the No. 1 suicide disease in They knew exactly how to treat me. America. I have had this for going He called my neurosurgeon and he on eight years now. I've had a bad told me he wants to see me imme- flare up for two weeks. I had brain diately this week. My face is swollen surgery in October 2017, but for from my hairline to under my chin and burning on my face, and ice pick stabbing pain from top my head to my chin. I just wanted to say thank you very much Dr. Garrison and Nurse Dawn. You both deserve to be recognized. Thank you so much. Scherry Whitaker Forsyth SHERIFF a suspect who commit-merous capacities at the ContJnued from Front ted an armed robbery sheriff's office, starting at the High Falls Dollar as a radio dispatcher in General and completing 1975 before stints in the years older than his fa- a three-week-long out- jail, on patrol, 15 years ther and Bittick predeces- of-state FBI-LEEDA law in the criminal investiga- sors were when they were enforcement executivetions division (CID), 8 first elected sheriff, leadership development years heading up the war- Bittick, a 2006 Mary program, rafit division and a stint Persons alum, started Bittick said, if elected, with the Forsyth-Monroe as a radio operator with he will maintain the County Drug Task Force. the Georgia State Patrol "community-friendly" Among his notable career (GSP) when he was just office environment that achievements was be- 18 years old. He eventu- his predecessors created ing named the Monroe ally worked for GSP in but said voters should County Exchange Club Forsyth, Newnan and view him as his own man lawman of the year in Atlanta before joining the and not just another link 1987 and being named Monroe County Sheriff's in the Bittick chain of the CID employee of the Office as a civilian jail command, year by his peers in 1995. officer in 2010. Bittick "I'm Lawson Cary Evans said if he's elected then moved up through Bittick III. I'm totally sheriffhe will work to the ranks to the patrol different," Bittick said. enhance the technology division and then to "We're all hard-headed in options at the Sheriff's criminal investigations our own little way, but we Office, reestablish a full- in late 2013, where he treat everyone fairly:' time warrant division, went through 288 hours Bittick married wife increase patrol visibil- of training to be a fatal Taylor, a Macon-basedity and make Monroe accident reconstruction- civil attorney, on Dec. County Schools safer ist. He recently moved 31, 2017, and they live in for students and staff on to the support serf Forsyth. members. To do this he vices division and was Longtime Monroe said he supports adding promoted to lieutenant County Sheriff's Office metal detectors at school while also serving as the investigator Lt. Ron-entrances and increas- Office's public informa- nie "Jocko" Evans also ing the number of school tion officer, announced over the resource officers. Bittick said he grew up weekend his intent toEvans said, "We need around law enforcement run for the vacant sheriff to protect our children his whole life, often at- position, because you never know tending National Sheriff's Evans, who retired inwhat might happen:' Association events with January 2018, has worked Evans has four chil- his father and discover- in local law enforcement dren, two sons (Jarrod ing alternative ways that for 42 years, 34 years and Brandon) and two other bureaucracies fight with the Monroe County daughters (Ansley and crime. He said he has Sheriff's Office and 8 Chelsea), as well as seven already implemented with the Forsyth Police grandchildren and an- some of these ideas at Department. Evans, 61, other one on the way. the Monroe County said he's ready to take Former Monroe County Sheriff's Office, including on the responsibilitydeputy Troy Copelan, computerized updates of being sheriff, saying who worked at the sher- toenhance accident and the position became aiff's office for eight years, incident records. Other "dream" for him as his has also announced his achievements during career wound down candidacy for sheriff. Co- his seven-plus years on while saying he decided pelan, who has worked as the job include: putting to accept the challenge a Navicent Health police out more positive stories of running because ofofficer for the past two about Sheriff's Office encouragement from years, said there's been a deeds to the Middle Monroe County citizens. Bittick at the helm of the Georgia media, nabbing Evans worked in nu- Monroe County Sheriff's Office for long enough. Copelan said, "We need someone who will make changes that need to be done:' Copelan said those changes include stop- ping wasteful spending, hiring more deputies and cleaning up crime- riddled parts of the com- munity like High Falls, where Copelan's parents' live. Copelan said if he's elected he won't be like John Cary Bittick who he said frequently "travels all over the country saying it's for the good of the county:' During Copelan's stint at the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, he served as a jail sergeant, a patrol deputy, a school resource officer and served war- rants for the Monroe County Magistrate Court. Copelan said as jail sergeant he was known among inmates for being tough but fair and said he would prevent special treatment for certain community members, "I'm invested in this county and would like to see changes" Copelan said. "It's time for the old ways to go:' Copelan, 50, is married to wife Tonia, a Monroe County Schools lunch room manager, and they have four children and two grandchildren. Other candidates for sheriff expected to an- nounce their candidacy in upcoming days in- dude: longtime Monroe County Sheriff's Office Capt. Brad Freeman and Macon-Bibb County Sheriff's Office Dep. Michael Bittick, a distant cousin of John Cary Bit- tick. ii!!iliiiiii!iiii!?!~i~iiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiii!i!iiiiiii 1