Morning News Briefs for 1/6/16 (AUDIO)

| January 6, 2016

Morning news with Lee Henderson

Valdosta Police officials have announced the arrest of a person suspected to have been involved in the sale of rented machinery that had previously been reported stolen. Two other suspects are still sought in connection with the case and reported incidents in other parts of Georgia and in Florida. The arrested man is identified as Bobby Richardson, 46. Investigators are still seeking Terrez Ellis, 39, and Desmond Andrews, 37. The stolen forklift-trench digger and generator have been valued at $40,000.

This story from WALB News: A five hour standoff involving a SWAT Team in Decatur County. A suspect identified as Korrie Thomas, 36, reportedly held a woman and 11 children hostage in a motel room. The incident ended when Thomas stabbed himself in the neck. Thomas was last listed in critical condition.

According to the coroner in Russell County, two people are dead and another has been injured in Fort Mitchell, Alabama. Police have arrested Travon Harmon, 19, and according to the report from News 9 in that area, Harmon has confessed to the shooting. The victims are identified as Leroy Harmon, 76, and Bionka Harmon-the suspect’s grandfather and sister, 26. The third injured party, Devonte Howard, is listed in critical condition. Travon Harmon is no stranger to law enforcement and has been a suspect in a previous murder investigation. Harmon and Howard had argued prior to the shooting.

Valdostans and other local residents who want an inside look at their city government are urged to sign up for the 7th annual Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation, which takes place from April 4 to May 16. The program, an initiative of the Valdosta Mayor and City Council, also includes the participation of up to five high school seniors who have a parent or legal guardian also enrolled in the program. Applications are being accepted by the City of Valdosta through March 18. Participants of the program will meet on seven consecutive Mondays, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Contact Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews at (229) 259-3548 for more information.

In observance of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Lowndes County will present Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine and his department with a proclamation thanking the Sheriff’s Office for their service to the community.  The presentation will take place at the Administrative entrance to the Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, January 7, at 11:00 a.m.

The creation of a Downtown Development Authority for the city of Hahira is a priority agenda item for leaders in that area. It is expected to be a topic of discussion at the inaugural meeting in the new year for the city council. If plans for the development authority move forward, the authority would be charged with creating promotions and projects to enhance the downtown area. The development authority is not without opposition from some citizens who maintain that the area should remain a small, family-oriented community.

The search for Thomas County resident Toni Rayburn,44, continues. She was last seen just two days before Thanksgiving. Her family is asking for help from area residents who may have seen her. She disappeared November 24 and has not been seen or heard from since that time. She had argued with the persons with whom she lived on Spruce Lane and left the residence without clothing or transportation. Family members report that Toni Rayburn has a history of leaving them for a few days but not for such a long time without touching base with her children. She is white, 5’ 5” tall with brown hair and green eyes. The sheriff’s office can be reached at (229) 225-3300.

The details are sketchy, but Thomas County law enforcement officials report that skeletal remains have been found in the area of Spruce Lane. The investigation involves the sheriff’s department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

image credit: Ernest Duffoo

image credit: Ernest Duffoo

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