Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
December 26, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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December 26, 2018

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Page 6A December 26, 2018 P orter Continued from PAGE 5A the Florida panhandle. After retire- ment, he and Mimi enjoyed traveling from Hawaii to Nova Scotia and all points in between. His favorite vaca- tion was to Disney World. He wore a Mickey Mouse watch to remind himself to en)oy every day. Jimmy tel Blount-area farmer Jimmy Pettigrew died on Sept. 19, 2018 at the age of 79. He was retired from the National Resource Conservation Service and also raised cattle. Pettigrew was a veteran of the United States Army. His wife Judy is a member of the Monroe County school board. Wfllene Casfleberry of Forsyth died on Sept. 30, 2018 at the age of 92. She was the co-valedictorian of the Conservatory at Wesleyan Collage in Macon class of 1947, and then moved to Forsyth to teach music where she met and mar- ried local pharmacist Jeptha Edgar Castleberry Jr. W'tllene loved the arts, both music and painting. She stud- led at the Chatov Studio in Atlanta and exhibited frequently. Willene and Edgar were avid travelers to as many foreign countries as possible, and she usually took her easd and paint supplies as she painted her way around the world. Wfllene was a devoted mother and wife. She taught Sunday school at Forsyth United Methodist Church and was a found- ing member of the Forsyth Book Club. Carl TravUlian Carl Travillian Jr. died on Oct. 9, 2018 at the age of 61. He earned a criminal justice degree from Brenau University and worked as a University of Georgia police officer unlil becoming a parole officer. He later became a Firearms Instructor for the Georgia Department of Pardons and Paroles in Forsyth where he retired. He was president of the Forsyth-Monroe County Kiwanis Club. Other than lov- ing his grandchildren, Carl was an avid collector of hats, matches, and rocks from across the world. He loved watching the Dawgs play on Saturdays and was talented at woodworking. He was also an advo- cate for man's best friend and could always be found loving on his dogs. ,Dungy Wendell Big W" Dungy died on Oct. 15 at the age of 69. He and his beloved wife, Betty, moved to Forsyth in 1980. He was a retired sewing machine mechanic. He was mostly known for security work he did at the Left Banque Cafe and CT's Lounge in Forsyth. He never met a stranger and loved everyone he met and everyone loved him. Two-year-old Maverick Sundeen of Forsyth died on Oct. 23, 2018 from complications from a tonsillectomy. He loved trac- tors and spending time outside, and enjoyed working in the yard with his dad. He attended Eagles Landing Baptist Church. He was the son of Natalie and Chris Sundeen and the grandson of Judge Bill Fears and wife Joyce. Logan Jackson Private First Class Logan Jackson died in a traffic accident near Fort Bragg, N.C. on Nov. 14, 2018 at the age of 19. He was buried in the Fairview Methodist Church Cemetery in Forsyth where he was laid to rest beside his "Big Daddy" Marvin R. Jackson. Coining from a family with a long history of military service, he joined the Army on Sept. 5, 2017 as a Combat Medic and graduated Basic Training in 2017. ALWAYS ONLNE AT YEAR IN REVIEW Continued from Front A Boxankle Road man turned the tables on a would-be armed rob- ber, pushing him out the door to the ground, wrestling his gun away and holding him at gunpoint until cops arrived. Daiquavious Taylor of Thomaston was charged with aggra- vated assault and other crimes after Monroe County deputies saw the home's resident, Robert Jones, hold- ing Taylor on the grouncL Jan. 31 Korean War veteran and long-time volunteer Glover Smart was named Monroe County's Citizen of the Year at the annual Forsyth-Mouroe County Chamber of Commerce banquet. Monroe County's zoning board unanimously rejected a re-zoning request by a Pioneer Trail resi- dent that would have allowed for a drug rehab center to be built on his High Falls Property. The P & Z board denied the request by Wayne "Snooky" Heineman after about 50 High Falls residents opposed it. Feb. 7 A Savannah man was arrested after Monroe County deputies found a suitcase full of marijuana and $67,000 cash in his vehicle during a traffic stop on 1-75 South. The driver, Arks Flores, 27, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and was rdeased on a $15,000 bond. About 30 local leaders, includ- ing Forsyth mayor Eric Wilson and Monroe County commission chair- man Greg Tapley, visited the state capitol for what's thought to be the first-ever Monroe County Day under the Gold Dome. State lawmakers commended the group, noting that county leadership is more unified than it's been in a whil~ and said the county is on the cusp of big-time economic growth. Feb. 14 The Mary Persons Bulldogs boys basketball team finished as the Region 2-AAA runner-up for the third straight year, falling 78- 56 at home in the region championship game to eventual state champion Upson-Lee. Despite the setback, the Bulldogs set a new program record for sing/e-season victories with 23 and senior star Cam Holden became the first player in program history to eclipse 2,000 career points. Monroe County Hospital selected administrator Lorraine Smith for the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing outgoing CEO Darren Pearce. Smith, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native, has worked for Macon- based Navicent Health for 10 years and had served as MCH administra- tor since July 2017. Feb. 21 The Reporter learned that a new substitute teacher in Monroe County schools has a 2005 conviction for aggravated child molestation for making sexual advances toward a 13-year-old boy while substituting in Bibb County Monroe County school officials told Javis Stewart he was no longer allowed on the substitute teacher list. James Freeman Sr owner, direc- tor and operator of Freeman Funeral Home, died at the age of 84 after a brief illness. Freeman, a pillar of the Monroe County community, was a Korean War veteran, retired from Robins Air Force Base after 37 years and had operated the funeral home for over 65 years. Feb. 28 Monroe County businessman Todd Tolbert announced plans to run for the state legislature after Rep. Allen Peake decided not to seek re-dection. Tolbert, who was later defeated in a Republican primary; had only once previously run for office, unsuccessfully challenging incumbent Robert Williams for a Monroe County commission seat more than three decades earlier. March 7 A Barnesville couple was charged with animal cruelty after Monroe County deputies found 17 dogs, a dead cat and five cockatoos crammed into the minivan in which they lived during an 1-75 traffic stop. Billy and Loft Boyt told deputies they had fallen on hard times and were addicted to methadone. Three challengers, Greg Head, Tanya W~flliams and Matt Morris, qualified to run for the Monroe County Board of Education against longtime board members Phil Walker and Nolen Howard, respec- tivdy. Two other incumbent school board members, Eva Bilderback and J.P. Evans, and two incumbent Monroe County commissioners John Ambrose and George Emami, qualified without opposition. March 14 Thousands of visitors descended upon downtown Forsyth for the 31st annual Forsythia Festival. While Sunday was washed out due to rain, Saturday was one of the highest sin- g/e-day turnouts in festival history. The 2018 Leadership Monroe dass announced its plan to erect small fox statues around Forsyth to honor Forsyth's longtime nickname of the Fox City The project, called the Forsyth Foxhunt, was designed to increase foot traffic in downtown while giving local merchants a unify- ing theme. March 21 Forsyth dty councilman Dexter King died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident as he returned home from completing a night shift in the Atlanta area. King, who was hospitalized for several days at Atlanta Medical Center prior to his death, was a Forsyth native, U.S. Air Force vet and Georgia Deparlment of Corrections supervisor, who had served the city since January 2016. Mary Persons alum Keke Calloway scored 15 points in the first-ever NCAA Women's Basketball Toumament appearance ever for Mercer University During the Lady Bears' 68-63 first-round loss to Georgia, the junior Calloway set a new sing/e-season Southern Conference record for three-pointers with 99 while establishing a new Mercer career record for threes with 219. March 28 A Forsyth man shot by Monroe County Lt. Lawson Bittick during a domestic dispute at a Johnstonville Road home in October 2016 was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Richard Treadwell pled guilty in Monroe County Superior Court to aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer after he threat- ened Bittick with a weapon, which was later determined to a CO2 gun. The Monroe County Middle School boys soccer team won the Central Georgia Middle School Athletic League rifle, finishing the season unbeaten. The C-Team Bulldogs, coached by Tracy Buff, captured the championship 0-0 (3-2) in penalty kicks over Lamar County Middle when goalkeeper Adam Hamm made the ~ming save. April 4 An audit of Monroe County Hospital's finances revealed the facil- ity lost $827,000 during the 2017 fiscal year, a vast improvement from a $2.5 million loss in 2016. However, the hospital took on considerable long-term debt in 2017, rising from $486,000 to $10.4 million, as a result of the 2017 approval of additional county funding to keep the fadlity open. Three Forsyth homes were dam- aged by ovemight fires, and arson was suspected in at least two of them. All three homes, two of which were located on Sharp Street while the other was on MLK Drive, were vacant at the time, and no one was injured in the blazes. April 11 Just a week before the Mary Persons High School prom, longtime Johnston Street florist Flowers by Helen was destroyed by fire sparked by an electrical issue during the early morning hours of April 10. In the aftermath of the blaze, owner Angie Ellis, whose business had been locat- ed on the town square for 22 years, vowed to re-build. Former Monroe County com- mission chairman Harold Carlisle died at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. Carlisle, who spent 35 years in the Georgia Army Narional Guard, served as District 3 commissioner before moving into the chairman seat from 2004-08. April 18 Eight new members were selected as the second-ever induction dass of the Forsyth-Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame. The new mem- bers, who were officially enshrined in June, were: LaToya Davis, Charles Dumas, Rhonda Grif~ Hardy, Thomas "Sonny" Marsh, Steve Melton, Annie Ree Brantley Summers, Rodney Walker and Pepp'l ZeUner. Four-year-old Catie Phillips, who suffers from a rare form of anemia that requires regular blood transfu- sions, got a new Minnie Mouse- themed bedroom thanks to the Middle Georgia ministry Rooms from the Heart. Phillips, a pre-K student at Hubbard Elementary, is the daughter of Gregg and MicheUe Phillips of Monroe County April 25 A Monroe County seventh grader shot himself dead inside a vehicle in the garage of a Dames Ferry Road home. Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham was the keynote speaker at the armual Hubbard Mumni Association Banquet held for the first time at the Monroe County Conference Center. Benham told attendees that former Georgia Supreme Court Justice and Forsyth native Harold Clarke was one of his mentors. May2 Two Monroe County Board of Education incumbents and their challengers squared off in front of about 80 constituents at Alderman Hall in an often contentious debate hosted by The Reporter. The debate became heated with moderator Will Davis asked incumbent chairman Nolen Howard about the board's recent decision to hire a substitute teacher with a past child molestation conviction. The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Monroe County Sheriff John Cary Bittick as the new head of the U.S. marshals' office in Macon. Bittick was sworn into orifice later the same month, and chief deputy A1 Shackelford took over as Monroe County's interim sheriff. May9 Monroe County Commissioners rejected plans for a 72-unit, low- income apartment complex just inside the Monroe County line on New Forsyth Road after about 200 dtizens opposed the devdop- ment. Alabama-based Vantage Devdopment later filed suit in U.S. District Court against commission- ers, citing racial discrimination~ A cafeteria worker at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) was arrested and charged with having sex with a prison inmate in the cafeteria's walk-in freezer. Mayl6 Work began on a 715,000 square- foot distribution warehouse in the Rumble Road industri~ park that is expected to bring 130 new jobs to Monroe County It was revealed weeks later that the warehouse, which remains under construction at year's end, would be for popular retailer Five Bdow, which also plans to build a store in north Macon. Monroe County Sheriff's Office Capt. Brad Freeman announced his intention to run for the sheriff's posi- tion vacated by John Cary Bitticl Freeman joined a crowded field of six, which also included the formers sheriff's son Lawson Bittick as well as Michad Bittick, Troy Copelan, Ronnie Evans and Stacey Penamon. May23 The Monroe County Courthouse was the site of a send-off party for Towaliga Circuit District Attorney Jonathan Adams, who was leaving for a year-long deployment to Iraq with the Georgia National Guard. Adams was expected to gee oversee three military bases north of Baghdad in what he hopes will be his final overseas deployment. Forsyth city coundl got its first look at drawings for a new dty hall presented by Macon architectural firm Clark Nexsen. While initially city officials planned to build the new structure next to the dty's public safety building, council later altered that plan and decided to build doser to the Forsyth courthouse square. May30 Thousands filled Dan pitts Stadium to see 281 Mary Persons High School seniors, induding vale- dictorian Madeline Copeland and salutatorian Lori Smith, rece'we their diplomas. The 2018 senior class, the 88th in school history, racked up more than $1 million in college scholarship money. Incumbent Monroe County Board of Education chairman Nolen Howard narrowly defeated challeng- er Matt Morris 370 to 354 to remain in office for four more years while challenger Greg Head took another school board incumbent Phil Walker to a July runoff eventually won by Head. Meanwhile, former Forsyth mayor John Howard edged political newcomer Ronald Bearden 248 to 218 in a battle to replace late Forsyth councilman Dexter King. June 6 Two 17-year-olds from Jackson were rescued from the Towaliga River rapids by Monroe County EMTs and the Bibb County Dive team. The teens, Douglas Ellis and Miranda Scott, were cited for tres- passing after the rescue cost an esti- mated $10,000. A Macon man was arrested after he allegedly swindled Meredith Adarn~ the wife of Monroe County DA Jonathan Adams, out of $160. Timothy Crow was accused of approaching Adams at the Cirde K store on Hwy. 18 and falsely saying he was a mechanic at nearby Trophy Ford while offering to fix leaking flu- ids on her rental car. June 13 Monroe County manager Anita Buice was demoted and finance officer Ashley Wooley was fired after commissioners learned the county failed to pay federal and state payroll taxes for the second straight year, incurring over $50,000 in inter- est and penalties. Commissioners later hired Jim Hedges and Lorri Robinson, respectively, to fill the two positions. A Florida man was killed and his passenger severely injured after Monroe County deputies used the PIT maneuver to stop a vehicle in a high-speed chase on Hw~ 42 North. The driver, Guadalupe Garcia, who was pronounced dead on the scene, reportedly sped away from a traffic stop on 1-75 and was latex wrecked by Dep. Cody Maples, causing the burning engine of Garci~ car to land on the front fender of Maples' patrol car. June 20 Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle vis- ited the Monroe County Courthouse lawn as his campaign for governor swung through Middle Georgia. Although Cagle won Monroe County, he was defeated in the July primary by Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Mercer pitcher Axe'tin Cox, a Monroe County native, signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals organization after being drafted in the fifth round earlier in the month. Cox, a left -hander who pitched for FPD in high school, was the fifth- highest draft selection in Mercer program histo~ YEAR IN REVIEW Page 7A