2019-01-09 / Front Page

2018: The Bicentennial Year

But, it will always be remembered for the wrath of Hurricane Michael!
This week’s “Part II” of the review of 2018 is abbreviated due to lack of space.


• Over 100 people attended a Community Improvement Meeting hosted by the Early County School System, City of Blakely, Early County, and the Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce.

• The Weston C. Lee Veterans Memorial Park added marker and flagpole at the park entrance in March. Also, installation of two benches and a picnic table was made possible by a $1,000 Golden Triangle Improvement grant.

• Deputy Rollins Davis and K-9 partner “Mocha” made a drug arrest and seizure on their first day on duty working as a team.

• The ECHS boys tennis team won the region championship. The Bobcats were undefeated in region play while compiling a 11-4 season record.

• Primary Care of Southwest Georgia announced the retirement of Dr. Ann Addison, chief executive officer.


• Annabelle Gowan was crowned Arlington’s 87th annual May Day Queen May 5 in Georgia’s longest active festival.

• Having operated without a signed agreement since January, steps were taken Monday to overhaul the Public safety agreement between the City, County and Sheriff.

• The Early County Elementary fourth grade “Odyssey of the Mind” team headed to the 2018 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The team won first place at regional competition and second place in state competition.

• Charles McGhee was arrested for murder and cruelty to children in the first degree in connection with the Dec. 21, 2017, drowning death of 23 month-old Kylen Smith.

• The Early County Board of Commissioners approved a permit for a poultry operation on a 134.6 acre tract of land on the Damascus-Hilton Road.

• The Blakely City Council adopted a resolution restricting the carrying of firearms by city employees while on duty, on or off city property.

• The city council voted to buy the Blakely Freezer Locker and the adjoining Sevola Jones house from the county.

• Early County Commissioner Jeffery Haynes received the Emory Greene Leadership Award at the recent Association of County Commissioners in Georgia annual conference.

• The First Baptist Church was packed with over 350 people for the Early County Bicentennial “Old Fashioned” Hymn Sing.

• Graduation exercises for Southwest Georgia Academy’s 14 seniors.

• A groundbreaking ceremony for the City of Blakely’s new Fire Station and Governmental Complex on Magnolia Street.

• The Early County Bicentennial Committee hosted approximately 160 second grade students at the Early County Courthouse.

• The oldest issues of the Early County News are available online, starting with the Nov. 4, 1863, issue.

• The 158 graduates of the ECHS Class of 2018, including 36 honor students, received their diplomas. Courtney Keith was Valedictorian and Meerah Patel was Salutatorian.


A Memorial Day weekend fire on Chipstead Avenue claimed the life of 22- year-old Datavis Efford.

• Early County voters approved the TSPLOST referendum by a margin of 858-795 (52%-48%).

• City voters approved “Sunday Alcohol Drink Sales” and “Sunday Alcohol Package Sales.”

•Henry Balkcom and Charles “Chip” Stewart headed to a runoff for Superior Court Judge of the Pataula Judicial Circuit.

• Candi Vickers was selected 2018 ECSS Teacher of the Year last week at the Teacher of the Year/Retiree Reception at Early County High School.

• Southwest Georgia graduating seniors Miller Pickle and Madisen Rathel have been selected as recipients of Georgia-Pacific Foundation Employees’ Children Scholarships.

• Pataula Charter Academy held its second graduation ceremony May 25 in Edison with 30 graduating seniors.

• Meredith Moseley Whitehead was appointed to the Board of Assessors, Dewana Fields was appointed to the Department of Family and Children Services board and Robert Chester was reappointed to the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council at the May County Commission meeting.

• The Peter Early Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held a memorial service and luncheon in honor of Sarah Pipkin King and Addie Kenney Mallory.

• The city council named the park on Plant Street in memory of Jeanette King

• Investigation into two shootings over the weekend has led to the arrest of three Blakely men. Javarious Dequan Price, 20, Erik Yarbrough, 20, and Darontae Favors, 20, were charged with eight counts of Aggravated Assault. Jordan Holmes and Olajawun Douglas were later identified as suspects.

• Members of the Washington High Class of 1958 held their 60th class reunion June 1, June 2 and June.

• Navy Commander Tyrone Bush, a member of the Early County High Class of 1987, assumed command of the USS LITTLE ROCK Gold Crew in Jacksonville, Fla.

• Authorities responded to the LifeBrite emergency room and a follow up investigation led to the arrest of Johntavious Stamper, 24, who was charged with rape and sodomy.

• Blakely native Carol Pryor was presented the Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection 2018 Service Award during the ADRC Healthy Communities Summit.

• A ribbon cutting and open house was held for

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