Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top stories of 2013

Fifty-five year old Nathaniel Johnson was found dead in his backyard at 325 Mabel Avenue in Swainsboro at approximately 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2013. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds, the victim of an apparent homicide.

January 16

Officers of the Swainsboro Police Department and Georgia Department of Revenue conducted a raid on the Swainsboro Game Room, located on Hwy 1 South. Nine Joker Poker machines were found in a separate room at the back of the business.

January 23

Rayonier announced that it reached agreement to sell all of the assets of its Wood Products business to International Forest Products Limited (Interfor) for $80 million. The sale would result in an after-tax gain of approximately $40 million. The Swainsboro, Eatonton and Baxley sawmills were purchased and all 260 of its current employees hired by Interfor.

January 30

STAR students and teachers from Emanuel County Institute and Swainsboro High School were announced. JoBeth Walker was the STAR student from ECI, picking Glenn Turner as her STAR Teacher. Paige Ogletree was chosen as STAR Student from SHS, picking Angela Hooks as her STAR Teacher.

February 6

The East Georgia State College Bobcat basketball team was ranked 13th in the National Junior College Athletic Association, comprised of Division 1 schools, the "bigger, better basketball programs of the two-year schools across the country."

February 13

Officers arrested five juveniles at Swainsboro High School after the school was placed on lockdown on February 7, 2013. The juveniles were arrested facing charges related to gang affiliation.

February 20

Representatives of Emanuel County Schools, along with representatives of local law enforcement and emergency services, held a Crisis Management Organizational Meeting on February 13, 2013 to discuss plans for school safety in the event of a crisis.

February 27

The East Georgia State College Bobcat basketball team ended their regular season with a 72-56 win over Waycross College, putting them at 27-2 overall with a 19-1 record in the conference, winning the regular season conference title.

March 6

During the Annual Chamber Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 28, Jean Morgan was awarded the 2013 Person of the Year Award. Large Business of the Year went to Rayonier's Swainsboro Sawmill, and Small Business of the Year went to Southern Traditions Floral and Gifts.

March 13

Samantha Janes Scott and Randy Lee Scott were arrested and charged with murder and concealing the death of another after a missing persons case reporting Samantha's father, Kenneth Wiley Janes, resulted in a body being found in a makeshift grave in the Scott Family Cemetery in North Emanuel County.

March 20

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013, a body was discovered by residents of the Lincoln Street neighborhood in Swainsboro. The body was identified as Jennifer Sutton, 37, of Swainsboro.

March 27

The Emanuel County Institute boyfriend christmas cards baseball team claimed the Region 3 Championship with a 14-0 record.

April 3

The Emanuel County Hospital Authority and Emanuel Medical Center announced that, as of April 1, 2013, they had entered into a joint management agreement and lease with ER Hospitals, LLC of Salt Lake City, Utah.

April 10

Nordson Corporation was named Georgia Manufacturer of the year for its "commitment to manufacturing efficiency, community service and economic growth in Georgia," according to remarks read when the award was announced. They were nominated by Southeastern Technical College.

April 17

Robert A. Hill, 51, of Swainsboro and Roswell, was sentenced to more than seven years in a federal prison on the charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. On December 19, 2012, he was found guilty of selling several million dollars of stolen property through an eBay account and shipping it across state lines to customers.

April 24

Sunday, April 21, a birthday celebration was held for Jimmy Morgan at East Georgia State College, celebrating his 100th birthday and his many accomplishments in and for the community. His birthday is April 26, 1913.

May 1

The David Emanuel Academy Eagles baseball team won the GISA region 2-A baseball championship title, defeating Robert Toombs Christian Academy before a large crowd in Stillmore. They swept through region play with a perfect 4-0 record, capturing the region championship for the second year in a row.

May 8

During the 68th Annual Pine Tree Festival, Bill Rogers, Jr. was awarded the coveted Green Jacket in recognition of his involvement in many community projects and his part in the Pine Tree Festival for many years.

May 15

East Georgia State College expanded yet again as it entered a partnership with Georgia Regents University in Augusta. EGSC students will have the opportunity to take classes on GRU's Summerville campus and, following the completion of 30 hours in the program, those with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher can opt to transfer into a bachelor's degree program at GRU.

May 27

On Wednesday, May 15, Atlanta Gas Light experienced a gas outage that affected more than 2500 customers in Mount Vernon, Ailey, Vidalia, Lyons, Soperton, Swainsboro and Twin City. Repairs were made at crews began the process of restoring service to customers in the affected areas.

May 29

Emanuel Medical Center announced that a reduction of staff was implemented, affecting ten employees.

June 5

On Saturday, June 1, 2013, the Swainsboro High School Class of 1963 dedicated a granite bench in Pine Brook Nature Park and Bird Sanctuary in memory of Sgt. Ronald Bruce Price, who was killed in action on March 16, 1967 while serving in Vietnam. The ceremony was part of the Class of 1963's 50th class reunion.

June 12

Emanuel Medical Center was named to the prestigious Presidential Circle for its accomplishments in the patient safety arena. The Presidential Circle is one of three categories in the Georgia Hospital Association's Hospital Engagement Network's recognition program and places EMC in the 90th percentile or able.

June 19

Renovations have been made to improve the Emanuel County Jail/Detention Center at no cost to taxpayers. The Sheriff's Office used inmate labor and seized funds to give the facility a facelift, including a fresh coat of paint inside and out.

June 26

David Emanuel Academy's head varsity baseball coach Ty Mingle was selected to be the head varsity football coach. He replaces Andy Woodard, who left after one season to accept a position at Tattnall Square Academy in Macon.

July 3

In their regular monthly meeting, the Swainsboro City Council voted to approve a request by the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 103 to place3 a Veterans Memorial Wall in Pinewood Park featuring all veterans who died in battle.

July 10

On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, Freeman James Rountree, Jr., 41, of Swainsboro, negotiated a plea of guilty to the murder of his estranged wife, Meagan Salter Rountree, on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at 220 Watson Street in Swainsboro.

July 17

Officers with the Swainsboro Police Department made a big arrest after responding to a call regarding suspicious activity and individuals trying to pass fraudulent checks. The call led to five arrests, with all being charged with Racketeering under RICO act.

July 24

Dr. H. Lee Cheek, Jr., who has taught and served as a college administrator in Georgia for many years, returned to South Georgia as East Georgia State College's new Chair of the Social Sciences Division, where he will also serve as professor of political science.

July 31

Ken Warnock was chosen to serve as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and Swainsboro-Emanuel County Joint Development Authorities.

August 7

East Georgia State College announced its upcoming events to celebrate 40 years. A convocation, Capital Campaign Kick-Off Dinner, Investiture of Dr. Robert Boehmer as the fifth president of EGSC, and celebrations for the 40th anniversary were all planned. for September 26 - 28.

August 14

Judy R. Gay of Twin City Elementary was named Emanuel County's Teacher of the Year during the Emanuel County Board of Education's regular meeting on Monday, August 12, 2013.

August 21

Interfor announced that, less than six months after acquiing the Swainsboro sawmill, it has completed a new $2.8 million state-of-the-art Dual Path Kiln to replace the previous kiln, which was destroyed in a fire during Labor Day weekend in 2012.

August 28

Coach Leroy Jordan was selected to lead the Men's Bobcat Basketball Program this season at East Georgia State College as Interim Head Coach following the resignation of EGSC's Athletic Director and Head Men's Basketball Coach Neil Bailey.

September 4

A tribute was held to honor the life of the late Herman E. Talmadge, Sr., and a portrait was donated to the University of Georgia's Richard B. Russell Library Building by Talmadge's widow, Lynda Cowart Talmadge. The portrait will become part of the permanent collection.

September 11

Otis Alexander, 34, of a Swainsboro address, was arrested in relation to a bomb threat at Swainsboro High School and an armed robbery at the Swainsboro Branch of Robins Federal Credit Union.

September 18

After much work, the lighting at I-16 and US 1 was turned on. Lighting this interchange was part of an ongoing project started after Emanuel County's I-16 Industrial Park was built, and will have a significant impact on its development, both commercial and industrial.

September 25

The Investiture of Dr. Robert G. Boehmer as East Georgia State College's fifth president was announced. The event would take place in EGSC's Luck Gambrell Auditorium on Friday, September 27, attended by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby and delegate representatives from other colleges and universities, as well as local dignitaries.

October 2

The National Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center, Inc., based in Swasinboro, was in the news in June when their Multi Prototyping Lab won the Exhibiter Innovation award at the RAPID 2013 exhibition in Pittsburg, Pa. NNMC went on to be named a finalist in the NewSpace Business Plan Competition, which would be held at Stamford University on October 24.

October 16

Pineland Telephone Communications has been deploying its state of the art underground fiber optic network throughout Swainsboro since the beginning of 2011, and, as of October, the project was 50% completed and included the east side of Swainsboro.

October 23

A long-term investigation conducted by the Emanuel County Sheriff's Office led to the arrest of four suspects, the recovery of thousands of dollars in stolen property, and the closure of several residential burglary and theft by taking cases dating back to at least January of 2013 in Emanuel, Johnson, Jefferson and Burke Counties.

October 30

Swainsboro Masonic Lodge #244 was awarded the First District Sub District #1C Lodge of the Year with cumulative 990 points for their work in the community, charity and for the promotion of Masonic values and interaction throughout Emanuel County, as well as the state of Georgia.

November 6

Felony warrants of murder and cruelty to children were issued for Robert Michael Benton and Melissa Faye Fullmore in relation to an ongoing investigation of the death of four-month-old Rosalynn Fullmore on May 21, 2013.

November 13

During the regular meeting of the Emanuel County Board of Education, Superintendent Erma Jenkins announced her retirement effective June 30, 2014.

November 20

Southeastern Technical College observed their 50th anniversary with a celebration and groundbreaking ceremony for their new Health Science Building.

November 27

A traffic stop on a speeding motorist in Emanuel County led to a large-scale investigation related to credit card and identity fraud. Items found in the vehicle and during the subsequent search of a residence produced enough evidence to indicate the case has international ties.

December 4

Emanuel County firefighters were called twice to a home in Oak Park, located on Whipporwill Road. The first call saw the fire contained to the first floor master bedroom/bathroom area, but the second call saw the entire second floor and roof fully involved, destroying the house.

December 11

Samantha Janes Scott entered a plea of guilty to the charge of felony murder involving the death of her father, Kenneth Wiley Janes. She was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years to serve before the possibility of parole. She will also testify against her husband, Randy Lee Scott, at his trial for the same charge in January.

December 18

Emanuel County Institute and Adrian School of Performing Arts were named Title I Distinguished Schools by the Georgia State Board of Education for their focus on student excellence and building strong communities.

December 25

The Swainsboro Police Department proudly hosted their first annual Shop With a Cop event, which enables the police department to provide Christmas gifts for a selected group of children in the community. The program was made possible by a grant received through Walmart.

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