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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
July 24, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 24, 2019

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Page 6B July 24, 2019 AP orter By Richard Dumas Monroe County Commissioners have appointed county manager Jim Hedges to take over the renovations to the Hubbard dormitory after a rift between twocommissioners. District 3 Commissioner John Ambrose motioned to appoint Hedges to be in charge of the Hub- bard dorm renovation project in place of District 1 commissioner Larry Evans, a motion seconded by District 2 commissioner Eddie Rowland. Evans had informally been overseeing the dorm project, which is being partially funded by federal grant money, for several years and it has not yet been completed. After learning of recent water damage at the dorm, Ambrose suggested condemning the build- ing and questioned why county funds were being spent on the renovations Ambrose asked Evans: "Why didn't we save Bessie Tift College? Why is that Hubbard Alumni so important to take people's taxpayer money?" After Evans fired back that the county did save Tiff College and presently houses the Georgia Department of COrrections on the campus, Evans said sharply: "You (Ambrose) cannot comprehend helping people, q-hat's not in your vocabulary." The argument began after Hedges told commis- sioners there is a considerable amount of water seeping into the dorm basement and its brick walls. Hedges said the water could be causing mold or mildew and said county maintenance supervisor Ray White took bids on fixing the problem. One bidder, Juliette-based Greg Rice Waterproofing Se ces, LLC, suggested installing an outdoor French.drain system and a waterproofing sealer while twoo r bidders, Locust Grove-based American:Crawlspace Solutions and Norcross- based Foundation Worx, suggested installing inte- rior tab drain systems. White said he preferred the exterior system recommended by Greg Rice Water- proofing Systems, but commissioners unanimously approved to take other bids for an exterior system before signing offon a contract. Ambrose then said he wanted county offices currently housed on Monroe County Hospital property to be moved to the Hubbard dorm. But Evans said the federal grant gives specifics on what offices can operate in the dorm. Hedges then clarified that the only grant stipulation is that lo- cal non-profit Save the Children and the Monroe County Workforce Development Center must be housed in the renovated dorm. However, Hedges said commissioners had the latitude to decide where in the building the offices are located and what other county offices would go there. After Evans then told commissioners a Hubbard history museum needed to occupy the center room of the dorm, Ambrose motioned to put Hedges over the dorm renovation. After about 15 minutes of discussion, Evans agreed to allow Hedges to head up the project as long as he included commissioners and other stakeholders like the Monroe County Board of : Education in the decision-making. Ambrose said he was opposed to BOE involve- ment: "The Board of Education ain't saying noth- ing. They let these illegal immigrants go to school here at my expense Don't let them have a say in anything" When Hedges agreed to get input from commis- sioners, commissioners voted 5-0 to put the county manager in charge of determining which entities will have offices in the Hubbard dorm and to for- mulate a plan for finishing the dorm renovation. zes a By Richard Dumas Nicholson told Brown heblack plastic bag contain- just bought the car anding two white tubs filled wasn't sure its registration with suspected marijuana A Monroe County deputy was correct, in addition to a black scale was briefly hospitalized after Brown then determined and marijuana pipe. Depu- touching suspected drugs Emiel Nicholson's license ties also found a small during a traffic stop on 1-75 was suspended and he was plastic baggie filled with one South on July 7. wanted in Clay County, Fla. Ecstasy pill and two more According to the incident When Brown tried to arrest baggies of suspected mari- report, at about 11:52 a.m Emiel Nicholson, the driver juana. On the rear passenger Dep. Jaleel Brown of the resisted, so Brown and seat, Brown found a purple Monroe County Sheriff's Monroe County Dep. WadeCrown Royal bag contain- Office saw a blue 1998 Buick Kendrick handcuffed himing a large amount of cash LeSabre traveling 93 mph against the hood of Brown's wrapped in rubber bands. in a 70 mph zone on 1-75 patrol car. Brown then seized the South near mile marker 190. Deputies then found cash and the drugs. As Brown smelled marijuana on the passenger side Brown became exposed coming from the car, and floorboard a Morehouse to the salt-like substance, the male driver, Emiel Saint bookbag containing two his fingers went numb and Paul Nicholson, appeared blunts filled with suspected his heart rate and blood very nervous. Nicholson, marijuana. They also found pressure elevated. Brown whose hands were shak- in the center console a salt jumped out of his car and ing, said he and his brother, shaker covered with plastic got fresh air. Monroe Coun- Sean Anwar Nicholson, containing an unknown ty EMTs then instructed were traveling from their white substance that did Brown to go to the hospital mother's home in Atlanta not appear to be salt. Inside for treatment, and he was to Jacksonville, Fla. Emiel the trunk deputies found a released later in the day. Deputies then took both Emiel Nicholson and Sean Nicholson to the Monroe County Jail. Once at the jail, deputies watched the salt- like substance dissolve in the liquid test solution. They then put the substance into a biohazard bag and sent it to the Georgia Bureau of In- vestigation (GBI) for testing. Deputies also confiscated $6,698 cash from the car. Emiel Nicholson, 32, and Sean Nicholson, 28, both of Jacksonville, Fla were each charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug related objects, posses- sion of Ecstasy and obstruc- tion. Emiel Nicholson was also charged with driving while license suspended and speeding while Sean Nich- olson was also charged with possession of marijuana. usiness license requi By Ric rd Dumas Monroe County Commissioners postponed on Thursday, July 18 a decision on whether to require county business license,citing a need for public input on the matter. County manager Jim Hedges and Middle Georgia Regional Commis- sion (MGRC) representatives Susan Landfried and Sara Dusenberry recommended Monroe County adopt a flat fee structure for business licenses similar to that of Jones County. Jones County charges an initial license reg- istration fee of $175 per business with an annual renewal fee of $125. Hedges also proposed starting implementation of business licenses at the beginning of 2020. According to Hedges' proposal, license fees would be due prior to Janu- ary I each year, and businesses would be subject to penalties ffthe fee is not paid by March 1. Dusenberry said Jones County took in $34,425 in revenues from business licenses in 2018 while Butts County earned $40,500 in business license revenue. District 3 commissioner John Am- brose said he thinks businesses based outside of Monroe County who do work in Monroe County should also have to get a Monroe County business license. Ambrose, who said he sup- ports a graduated fee structure based upon business size instead of a flat fee structure, then motioned to approve the requirement of county business li- censes, which was seconded by District 2 commissioner Eddie Rowland. Monroe County code enforcement officer Dep. Jeff Wilson said requiring business licenses would better enable him to crack down on zoning viola- tions in which business owners are operating companies illegally in resi- dential areas. Wilson said he supports business licenses because they would give him operational parameters that he could enforce. Monroe County zoning officer Kelsey Fortner said she too supports requiring business licenses because they would help the county's law enforcement of- ricers and fire/EMTs know if hazardous chemicals exist at locations. She also agreed with Wilson that they could identify businesses not complying with county zoning regulations. However, Rowland said he's con- cerned that only "legitimate" business owners would get licenses and said the "fly-by-night" business owners who wouldn't comply with the pro- posed license requirement could gain a greater advantage. Rowland said he wouldn't support requiring business licenses unless the county has sufficient manpower to enforce compliance. Rowland said possible county solu- tions to his own concerns include: requiring that any business or sub- contractor that does work for Monroe County have a valid business license in some municipality, hiring neces- sary labor to inspect businesses to guarantee compliance and creating and maintaining a business database on the county website. District 1 commissioner Larry Evans said the county has never required business licenses because of the dif- ficulty of enforceability and noted that county business owners have always had an option to buy one if they choose. Fortner, who said she's in favor of Rowland's idea of creating a county business database, said 168 Monroe County businesses have purchased licenses in 2019 at a cost of $50 per li- cense. District 4 commissioner George Emami said he thinks a system of buy- ing and renewing licenses could be cre- ated entirely online at little additional county expense. Emami said, "Rt be for it if I knew it wouldn't cost the county more than we potentially could take in." After about 40 minutes of discussion, Evans said he wants commissioners to hold a public hearing for citizens to discuss business licenses before mak- ing a decision. After Emami agreed with Evans on the need for citizen input, Ambrose then withdrew his motion to approve, and the matter was postponed to an unspecified date. At the conclusion of Thursday's meeting, three county citizens said they opposed the county requiring business licenses. Frank Bunn Drive resident Nipper Bunn said the most notable reason for the county want- ing to require business licenses is for additional information about what businesses are operating locally. He said county business owners shouldn't have to pay a fee for the county to get that information and suggested the county issue business licenses for free. Maynards Mill Road resident Fred Dungan questioned why com- missioners would want to copy what Butts and Jones counties do and said Monroe County could stand alone by not requiring business licenses. Sleepy Creek Road resident Mike Bilderback, a former commission chairman, said the problem with requiring business . ) . licenses is enforcement, saymg hcenses won't improve businesses' quality of work. I -i INCIDENTS Continued from 5B Florida driver charged with meth possession A 22-year-old white Orange City, Fla. woman was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine after a traffic stop on Hwy. 41 South on July 16. At about 1:20 a.m Cp1. Chris- tian Sawley saw a white 2011 Kia Rio with a Florida tag traveling northbound with a tag light out on Hwy. 41 South. Dispatchers told Sawley the female driver's license was suspended. The driver, who had multiple sores on her arms and neck, admitted to using drugs earlier in the day. The driver then revealed a small clear bag contain- ing suspected methamphetamine inside her pants near her knee. The driver then told Sawley she had a bong in her vagina and asked Sawley to get it out for her. When Sawley quickly refused, the driver reached inside her pants and pulled out a glass pipe used for smoking meth. Sawley ordered her to drop it, and she did so. When Sawley asked the driver if she had anything else illegal inside her vehicle, the driver revealed there was a loaded syringe in the glove box, which Sawley found. Sawley then took the driver to the Monroe County Jail, where she was also charged with violation of tag light requirements and driving while license suspended. Four-wheeler driver riding on Hwy. 42 At about 8:30 p.m. on July 17, a Forsyth woman told Dep. Judy Mercer that four-wheelers and dirt bikes are constantly riding up and down 42 North. The woman said she had notified law enforce- ment numerous times about the situation and was urged to provide photographic or video evidence. The woman then showed Mercer a video of a male driver riding a broken green Kawasaki four- wheeler on 42 North. Dep. Wade Kendrick then saw the driver tiding the four-wheeler down the road and cited him for operating an off-road vehicle on a highwa)n The driver said he wasn't going to pay for the ticket or sign it and said he would do time in jail first. When a wrecker driver came to impound the four-wheeler, he asked the driver who intended to pick up the four-wheeler. The driver replied, "Nobody. You can keep the thing since y'all are being nasa." The driver then agreed to sign the citation. Deputies find 25 vape pens with cannabis oil A 32-year-old white man and a 22-year-old white man, both of Melbourne, Fla were each arrested and charged with pos- session of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance after a traffic stop on 1-75 North on July 17. At about 8:29p.m Sgt. John Thomp- son saw a gray 2014 Toyota Camry with dark tinted windows and a Florida tag traveling on 1-75 North near mile marker 191. The male driver handed Thompson a Flori- da ID card while saying his license was suspended for a previous DUI. The driver said he was only driving because his male front seat passenger was sleep saying they were headed to Atlanta's Shepherd Center to visit the passenger's younger brother. Thompson smelled marijuana coming from inside the car and noticed both the driver and passenger appeared overly nervous and would not make direct eye contact. Both the driver and passenger denied smoking marijuana and said they didn't think there were any drugs inside the car. The driver said the car belongs to his aunt, the passen- ger's mother. Thompson and Dep. laleel Brown then found inside the center console two Ziploc bags containing marijuana. They also found in an ash tray 25 flavored cannabis oil vape pens that were 91 percent THC, according to their labels. Deputies then took the driver and passenger to the Monroe County Jail. The driver, the 32-year-old, was also charged with a window tint violation and driving while license suspended. Deputy sends liquid in needle to GBI lab A 21-year-old black Macon woman was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and a taillight violation after a traffic stop on 1-75 North on July 18. At about 9:10 p.m Cpl. Thomas Haskins saw a red Ford Mustang with a broken taillight traveling on 1-75 North near mile marker 193. Haskins smelled a strong odor of air freshener coming from the car, and the female driver, female front seat passenger and male rear seat passenger all appeared nervous. Dispatchers then determined the rear seat passenger was wanted out of Bibb County. Haskins then found inside the front seat passenger's purse small pieces of marijuana as well as IDs indicat- ing the front seat passenger had given him a fake name. The front seat passenger admitted she gave a false name because she was Monroe County Jail. The front seat passenger, a 21-year-old black Macon woman, was charged with giving a false name to law enforce- ment while the rear seat passenger, a 23-year-old black Macon man, was taken into custody for Bibb County. Deputy locates truck abandoned on railroad tracks At about 4:44 a.m. on July 20, Dep. Tyler Rodgers went to Hwy. 41 South near Klopfer Road about a silver 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche abandoned on a railroad track. Rodgers found the truck, which had a flat tire, stuck in a ditch perpendicular to the road. The truck appeared to have been driv- ing on the railroad tracks. Rodgers determined the trud& owner had a Statesboro address. scared. The driver then admitted Driver reports she had several grams ofmari- wallet missing juana in her purse, which Haskins found inside of a cigarillo package. A man went to the Forsyth Haskins and Dep. Jaleel Brown Police Department on July 8 to then found in the center console a report a missing wallet. He said loaded hypodermic needle with a fell from the clear liquid inside. "fhe driver ' vehicle when Haskins the car's previous owner he was near Florence, Kentucky. left the needle inside and said she smelled the substance and thought it was bleach. Haskins then sent the liquid to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab for testing. The driver and both passengers were then taken to the The wallet held a few dollars, the man's driver's license, and a credit card, which the man cancelled after the wallet went missing. t