Morning News Briefs for 2-1-16

| February 1, 2016

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Morning News with Lee Henderson

A mother and her two children are safe today after safely escaping a burning Virginia Street residence. The weekend fire destroyed the home.
Congratulations go out to students from three schools in the area; Sallas Mahone Elementary, Valdosta Middle and Valdosta High all took top honors over the weekend at the Valdosta City School’s Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. This was the third year for the event and the winners will now take part in the regional competition on February 13th on the campus at Valdosta State University.
February 16th and 17th are the dates set for the annual Ham and Egg Show now in its 66th year. Lowndes County is the only area in Georgia continuing to host the annual farm show. The sponsors include the Lowndes County Improvement Association and the County Extension Office. The event takes place at the County Extension Office 2102 E. Hill Avenue beginning at 10 a.m. on February 16th and at noon February 17th.
Court Appointed Special Advocates from the Alapaha Judicial Circuit will have their day at the State Capitol February 9th. The gathering is hosted by the Georgia CASA affiliate, volunteers, staffers and board members state-wide. The advocates for children will have sessions with state lawmakers, briefings and a luncheon to thank members of the Georgia Legislature for their continued support. The organization is involved in a three year growth plan with the hope of being able to service the needs of 75 percent of the children in the Foster care System and that plan includes increased state funding for the program.
Permitted-Licensed gun owners could be allowed to take their weapons onto college campuses if a bill brought back before the Georgia Legislature gets passed. The age requirement is 21 years and the measure would impact public colleges, technical schools and universities. The weapons would not be allowed at sporting events, in student housing, nor in housing associated with Greek organizations on campuses. There is much opposition and yet much support for the proposal.
The Associated Press reports that Investigators have identified the three people killed in a plane crash at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport this weekend. David Knight, Brittany Kerfoot, and Kevin Coalson, all died when the small aircraft crashed during take-off.
The news of the closing of the Thomasville Caterpillar Plant is still reverberating throughout the region. The fuel-systems manufacturing area of the facility will cease operations as part of a world-wide plan to lower the company’s costs. The plant has been open in Thomasville since 1998 and will be phased out over the next 12 to 18 months impacting 200 workers.
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department has released a report stating that one of its own has died. Officials say that Lt. Robert Guthrie a dedicated husband, father and deputy has passed away.
The fifth suspect sought in connection with the recent Pelham murder surrendered himself in to authorities. The search was on for 19-year-old Shaquille Crimley. He and four other suspects that are in custody are allegedly responsible for the murder of 32-year-old Anthony Williams, Jr.
Local sixth grade students are encouraged to enter the If I Were Mayor Essay Contest sponsored by the Valdosta Youth Council. The contest gives 6th grade students—from public, private or homeschools—a chance to creatively use grade-specific language arts skills and civics knowledge to express, in 350 words or less, how they would make a difference if they held the position of Mayor. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place local winners will be selected and recognized by Valdosta Mayor John Gayle at the April 21 City Council meeting. All local essays entered in the contest will be displayed at Valdosta City Hall during Georgia Cities Week, April 18-22, 2016. The entries may be mailed or hand-delivered by Friday, March 4, 2016 to:  Public Information Office, Attention: Essay Contest, 300 N. Lee Street, #102, Valdosta, GA 31601.  Students and teachers may also contact Valdosta Youth Council Advisory Committee Member Lynn Orenstein at lorenstein@gocats.org to schedule the pickup of essays, or visit the Valdosta Youth Council Facebook page for additional information.
Woman indicted for vehicular homicide, DUI for the death of Lake Park man
Pavo woman charged with DUI Hit-and-Run
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