Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
June 13, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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June 13, 2018

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June 13, 2018 Page 7A RepOrter Pictured are members of Shackelford's family who attended his swearing in ceremony on June 8; left to right, back, son- in-law Gabe Dobson, daughter Stephanie Kent, daughter Jennifer Dobson, wife Velda Shackelford, AI Shackelford, Judge Tommy Wilson. In front are grandchildren Audrey Dobson, Chase Dobson and Drake Dobson. Judge Tommy Wilson administered the oath of office to A1 Shackelford on Friday, June 8 to serve as Sher'fffof Monroe County until after an elec- tion for the office takes place on Nov. 6. Shackelford has been Chief Deputy since long-time sheriff John Cary Bittick became a candidate for U.S. Marshal position. Now that Bittick has been installed as Middle Georgia's Marshal, Shackelford will become interim sheriff. Shackelford's swearing in was held at the Monroe County courthouse, which was filled with supporters to witness his oath. Rev. Brian Moore, who serves as chaplain for the Sheriff's Office, offered a prayer to begin the ceremony. Shackelford thanked those present for attending and said that he is fortunate to inherit a good office, "a flagship office? He said that he is taking over a legacy and has some big shoes to fill. "But most of all we remember we work for the people," said Shackelford. Shackelford, who lives in Forsyth, had retired as head of security for Norfolk Southern. He dosed by citing Proverbs 11:14: "Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety having many advis- ers." Meanwhile, Monroe County has set qualifying for the election Aug. 6-10 and the fee to run for sheriff, set by the state as 3 percent of the salary, will be $1,779.86. Already six people have announced for sher'tffbut no word on whether Shackelford will change cur- rent policy forbidding current employ- ees from running for office. Continued from Front can and John Thompson approached the vehide and smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana, Garcia fled the scene. Garcia exited 1-75 and turned east on Johnston- ville Road with the pursuit reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour. Lt. Lawson Bittick said the vehicle was often half-way in the oncoming lane and nearly struck another vehide. The Camry then turned south on Hwy142 North toward Forsyth. Deputy Cody Maples joined the chase and performed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) in the straightaway on Hwy[ 42 North near Sutton Road. The Canary struck several trees on the shoulder and both Garcia and Perez were ejected from the vehide. Gar- cia landed on the road's shoulder and was killed instantly. It took deputies a couple of minutes to find Perez in the wood line with severe injuries. Bittick said they assume neither was wearing a seat belt. Bittick said Maples performed a "good PIT" on the driver's side to avoid damaging his patrol car and limit possible colli- sions with other vehides. Meanwhile, the engine of Garcia's car came hurtling out of it, while on fire, and landed on Maples' front fender, a total loss to the patrol car. Deputies found cocaine and marijuana in the ve- hicle, and Garcia had prior drug convictions, said Bittick. Perez had previous juvenile arrests. The Georgia State Patrol was summoned to inves- tigate the incident. Hwy. 42 North was closed for several hours while the scene was processed. Combined with the patrol car that fell into a hole on flooded Maynard Church Road on Sunday night, the sheriff's office has now totaled two patrol cars within five days. Bit- tick said the sheriff's office totals about four patrol cars per year, but they normally are Covered by insurance. Continued from Front his eyes or his heart. Chip Dunn took me as his child on the same day that he said "I do" to my Mama on March 18, 1989. I was five years old at the time and I wasn't the easiest of children. It had been just my Mama and I for a couple of years and I may have been a little bit rotten. He never shied away from stepping right into the role of my "Papa Chip" but he also treaded lightly and didn't interfere with the relationship I still had with my birth father at the time. A few years passed and we grew more and more like a family. I was eight years old when my Mama was expecting my little brother and one day while preparing his nursery I looked right at my "Papa Chip" and told him that I wanted the same last name that my brother would have and I wanted to call him "Dad' My birth father relinquished his rights, we went to court and I officially became Melissa DeeAnn Dunn. Now, I am 33 years old and we've been a family all this time. Chip Dunn has taught me all the typical lessons a father teaches their children. Beyond those lessons, he has exercised patience when that was the last thing I de- served. He has taught me to be respectful and hon- est, to love and appreciate others regardless of what they can do for you and to cherish the time you have with your loved ones, es- pecially the elders in your family. One of the most important things hehas taught me is to put your best foot forward every day and work hard at what you do. He has been there for every major milestone in my life: every birthday, every dancerecit,my high school graduation, my college graduation, he walked me down the aisle and gave me away on the day of my wedding and he was there for the birth of my first child which was' his first grandchild. I am forever grateful for his selfless actions and for taking me as his own: My life was com- pletely changed for the better the day he married my Mama and agreed to take me in as well. Chip Dunn deserves the title of "Father of the Year" for many more reasons than I have listed, some of those my sibling will point out below. These days he could even win "Papa of the Year" since we have promoted him to a grand- father and he's gone back to an original name that I once called him many years ago. *** To whom it may concern, if Chip Dunn is chosen as the recipient then Caleb Dunn and Lindsey Dunn Harris' entries should follow this entry. Thanks, Melissa Dunn Herndon ContJnued from Front The Reporter won two other first-place awards as well. A front-page photograph in the Oct. 11 Reporter by editor Will Davis of the surviving teenager awaiting rescue in angry waters of the Towaliga River at High Falls was named the top news photograph for 2017. ' nazing job of being on the scene as the news is unfolding,' wrote the judges. "Good cropping to show the enormity of the situation:' The Reporter also won best news photo in 2016. Davis also was awarded the Otis A. Brumby Trophy for best serious column writer in 2017 for three columns he wrote, "Sorry, not sorry" about how newspaper reporting prevent a "swingers" orgy from coming to a local hotel, "Leave them alone" about attempts to remove Confederate statues, and "Something special" about the Reporters circulation growth despite a downward trend among other news- papers. Davis last won the Brmnby trophy in 2012. The Reporter won two second-place awards on Friday, including one to sports editor Richard Dumas for his top-notch sports pages. "Impressive variety, color, photos, decent piece on the soccer kid going to England" wrote the judges. "Impressive senior portraits, great lead photo, parks and rec scores impressive and Monroe County Outdoors column is nice" The newspaper also picked up a second-place award for headline writing with entries whole new Baugh game" about new development authority chairman Tom Baugh, "Ir. Ma. Gosh" about chaos in Monroe County from Hur- ricane Irma evacuations (hat tip to famous Tyler Perry character Madea) and "Lovett, leave it" about county commissioner Jarod Lovett departing his post to move to Macon (with props to country star Merle Haggard). Finally, the Reporter daimed three third-place awards, including a com- munity service award for the newspaper's year-long coverage of the fiscal crisis at Monroe County Hos- pital, including 20 news artides and opinion pieces that led to the county hik- ing taxes and taking on the hospital debt to keep the facility open. The Reporter also won third place for its layout and design, as graphic designer Brandon Park was honored for his improvements to the look of the paper. "Fun graduation pack- age,' the judges wrote of the Reporter's entry from last May. Finally, Davis won third place for humorous column with three entries, ' All hail Asian" about his mischievous new dog, "Drama of a pack rat" about the hoarding lifestyle and "W'drs Wisdom for the beacla" with tips for enjoy- ing a summer vacation. All the awards earned the Reporter a No. 2 slot in the coveted General Excellence finals, which recognizes the top 3 overall newspapers in the state. That equals the Reporters best finish ever in the past 30 years, a No. 2 award from 2013. The Reporter was joined this year by two other Middle Georgia papers in the top 3, as the LaKe Oconee News finished No. I and the Jones County News at No. 3. Publisher Will Davis said the newspaper's advertis- ers and subscribers are the ones whose loyal support year after year allows the Reporter to assemble a talented staff to continue its success.