“Local News’

Friday February 14th, 2020



The monthly meeting of the Sumter County BOE was held last night. The 2020-2021 school calendar was approved as presented. The financial report, accounts payables and preliminary cash flow report were all approved. New full-time Technology Specialist positions were then approved. Under personnel, the Board accepted 6 retirements and 10 resignations; 2 transfers within the system were approved; 9 were hired; 2 family medical leave requests were granted; and 4 long-term substitutes were hired. 1 policy was approved last night and another was laid on the table and will be voted on next month. The new 5-year local facilities plan resolution was passed unanimously. $310,000 was allocated to put lighting on the practice fields at the new high school site. Furlow Charter School was awarded the high bid for purchase of the property at 63 Valley Drive. An unused truck was declared as surplus and will be put up for auction. Discussion then followed on revisiting the name for the new high school. Only 2 Board members spoke. Meda Krenson started the discussion mentioning the confusion of looking for Sumter County HS when you have the same in neighboring Florida, Alabama, North and South Carolina. She mentioned the SACS mandate of listening to the stakeholders concerns and the fact that the students were not given the chance to have a say-so in this naming like they did with the College and Career Academy which the students named. Vice-chair Rick Barnes then spoke and eventually said he would NOT be in favor of changing the name. Mrs. Krenson then asked if she changed her motion stating Americus-Sumter High and it went nowhere. After announcements the meeting was adjourned.

A quick weather update: after some early morning clouds it will be sunny, cool but breezy on your Valentine’s Day with highs in the upper 50s. If you have plans for tonight, keep in mind that the overnight low will drop to near freezing. Saturday will be an almost exact copy of today—sunny, cool and breezy with highs around 60. Some clouds will roll in on Sunday and with it a chance of rain returning in the afternoon. Highs Sunday will still be cool in the upper 50s to around 60 if there’s more sunshine than clouds. More rain is the forecast next week with another early warm-up and then cooler again next weekend.

One week from today on February 21st, the 13th annual Josh Willis Memorial Blood Drive will be held in the Fellowship Hall at First Baptist Church. Josh, the son of Coach Carl and Karen Willis, was killed in an auto accident as he returned to class in Athens years ago. He had just given blood for the first time just months before his accident. Please schedule an appointment to donate at this special blood drive. Visit www.redcrossblood.org to make your appointment online using sponsor code: PSMC or you can call 1-800-733-2767 and make your appointment by phone. Those with an appointment will get top priority but any and all walk-ins will be welcomed. The blood drive will be from 8 to 6 next Friday the 21st in the Fellowship Hall at First Baptist Church.

Americus Police continue to make shoplifting arrests and all were at Wal-Mart. Ericka M. Swinnie was arrested and charged with shoplifting. Jenna N. Weaver was arrested for criminal trespass and shoplifting. Niya Goudelock was arrested and charged.

Following a traffic stop on E. Lamar at Cherokee, Alma D. Lopez-Mazariegos was arrested for driving while unlicensed.

Tybria L. McDonald and Hannah Blaisdell-Hunter were arrested for obstruction following an incident at 302 E. Furlow Street.

A criminal trespass complaint was made at 103-H Magnolia Court.

Investigation into an earlier incident this week led to the arrest of Clyde Reginald Mathis for obstruction.

Officers did respond to 3 domestic-related calls.

There were 4 accidents around town yesterday that had no reported injuries.

Basketball action continues on the high school level. The Southland girls lost to Brookwood 47-36 yesterday in the region tournament and will play at 4 this afternoon in the consolation game against Tiftarea. The Raiders beat Deerfield-Windsor 55-36 to advance to the region title game against Brookwood at 8:30 tonight. These games are being played at Georgia Southwestern’s Storm Dome.

The first round of state AAAA actions starts tomorrow afternoon in the Panther Den on the South Campus when the Americus-Sumter Lady Panthers will host Burke County at 4pm. Following that game, the number one ranked and 27-0 Americus-Sumter Panthers will host Thomson at approximately 5:30. Admission is set for $10 at the Panther Den tomorrow afternoon.


The Mayor and Council of the City of Americus have voted to suspend Charles L. Coney, City Manager, with pay until Friday February 21st pending completion of a personnel investigation. Mayor Barry Blount stated that the decision was made by the Mayor and Council following an executive session after the agenda setting meeting last night February 13th.


Sumter County Sheriff’s Deputies went to suspicious person complaints yesterday at 171 Moore Road, 363 Devoe Road and to US 280E. A simple battery complaint at 805 Harrold Avenue led to simple battery and disrupting public school charges against Shakeria A. Burney and Ta’Niah N. Reliford. 2 prisoner transports were made. 1 activated alarm was checked out. 2 cases of harassing phone calls were reported for investigation. Criminal trespass complaints were filed at 708 McMath Mill Road and 185 S. Freeman Avenue. 1 domestic-related call was answered. 2 motorists were given assistance. Deputies worked 3 total accidents with 2 being deer-related.

In the Sumter County Jail today is Jenna Nicole Weaver for criminal trespass and shoplifting. 3 were released from jail after posting bond.