Local News

Wednesday January 17th, 2018



The overnight snow didn’t materialize as early as forecasters had predicted. The first signs of a wintry mix started about 5:20 and then as the temperature continued to drop, the first snow started around 5:35. It was spotty at first but by 6, there were BIG flakes falling along with the temperature. It was 36-degrees at 5:15 but by 6, it was 31-degrees, a 5-degree drop in less than an hour.  As far as our highs for today, it MAY reach 34-degrees by the afternoon but throughout the morning, it will stay right at freezing. There is a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 4 this afternoon. If you don’t have to be on the roads today, please stay at home. If you will be traveling, allow yourself a little extra time; drive slower than normal; be aware of black ice developing on the bridges and highways; make sure you have a fully charged cell phone just in case; and make sure you have plenty of gas in your vehicle. Road crews were out overnight checking on the bridges and put out sand or salt or a mix of the two on bridges. Because of the impending weather situation, many schools announced early yesterday that they would take the precaution of being closed today. Georgia Southwestern State University is open for classes but the annual MLK Convocation scheduled for 11 this morning on campus has been postponed until later in February.


Officials were being proactive yesterday when they opened up a warming station in the lobby of the Public Safety Building. In collaboration with Chief Mark Scott, the lobby of the Americus Police Department was opened up for those needing warmth and safety from the cold. It is anticipated that this warming station will be open again tonight as a HARD FREEZE is expected. Lows tonight will bottom out in the upper teens. If you factor in the winds today, the wind chills will approach the dangerous levels. The winds will be gusty at times around 25mph but will diminish by tonight. Expect wind chills to be as low as 10-degrees at times during the higher wind gusts. Again, if you don’t have to be out, stay in and if you have to go to work, exercise caution and drive slower and with care.



The Sumter County Board of Commissioners met last night with only 1 media representative in attendance (and it wasn’t anyone but me). The meeting started with closed session for a Board appointment and 24-minutes later, the meeting resumed. The discussion of Sheriff’s Office vehicle purchases was postponed due to the absence of Commissioner Clay Jones. Randy Howard was elected as Chairman and Clay Jones as Vice-chairman. Rayetta Volley was appointed County Clerk and Janice Jarvis as Deputy Clerk. Kimberly Reid was appointed County Attorney. Land at 130 Basket Factory Road was rezoned from Rural Residential (RR) to Light Industrial (L-1).  The FYE June 30 annual audit report was accepted. Approval was given for guidelines for traffic calming devices. James Russell Johnson was appointed to the Sumter County Board of Tax Assessors. An update was given on the progress of the livestock barn. The meeting then moved to another closed session for discussion of Board appointments. Once back in open session, the Board selected Crystal Cleveland to fill a spot on the Board of Elections and Voter Registration. This is a 4-year term. Another appointment of a 2-year term on the Americus-Sumter County Hospital Authority was made and that was Deborah Jones. With nothing further, the meeting was adjourned



From the Tuesday Americus Police incidents, burglaries were investigated at 1329-C East Lamar and at 260-A Lonnie Lane.


A criminal trespass complaint was made at 205-A Bessie Mays Circle.


A civil complaint was filed with police on Eastview Circle.


Following a traffic stop on Tripp at Parker, Darius M. Ford was arrested for driving with a suspended license and cited for speeding.


A theft took place from 108-B Vivian Way.


Hit-n-run accidents occurred at 101 Prince Street (twice) and on Lester Street at MLK Boulevard.


Officers worked 4 accidents that did have 1 injury complaint and that was when a juvenile drove his bike into the path of a car on Tripp Street. He was taken for treatment.





The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office made only 2 traffic stops yesterday. That stop was made on US 280W and Thomas C. Welch was charged with speeding and open container. A criminal trespass complaint was filed at 915 N. Lee Street. Thefts took place on Lexington Circle and at 18-B 121 Howell Street. A felony theft by deception is currently under further investigation. A civil complaint was filed at 106 Whisper Wood Court. A suspicious vehicle was spotted on Highway 308 at New Lebanon Church. Deputies worked 1 deer-related accident yesterday.


In the Sumter County Jail today are Monique Latosha Dowell for failure to appear and Darrell Tirell McDonald for theft by taking. 1 was released from jail by bonding out yesterday.