Morning News Briefs for 2-24-16

| February 24, 2016

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The implementation of a permanent transportation operation for the area is one of the goals set by the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization. The current shuttle transportation system began operation last year and now citizen input is needed as plans are made for the expansion of the pilot program. An online survey is available on the website of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and planners want to hear all opinions on the issue of public transportation for the area.

A meeting with members of the Valdosta Board of Education has been requested by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The organization is questioning the the number of minority contractors involved in the construction of the new Valdosta High School. The spokesperson for the minority contractors-pastor Floyd Rose is still hoping that it is not to late for inclusion.

Thomas County resident Beverly White has been arrested and charged with intentionally setting a mobile home belonging to Joseph Graham on fire while graham slept. The incident was connected to domestic violence and abuse according to White. Graham was awakened by White and was able to escape. Graham’s companion had piled up straw and leaves around propane tanks outside but Graham was able to extinguish the fire.

Speaking to a Daily Times reporter Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress made it clear that he does not support the proposed legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to carry their weapons onto specified areas of college campuses. Childress also stated that he was bot contacted for his opinion on the issue by any members of the local legislative delegation. The chief has made his feelings on the subject known to the state association of chief’s of police. According to the report law local university campus law enforcement officials also oppose the campus carry legislation.

Anthony Jerome Thompson was arrested at the travel center in Thomasville while awaiting the arrival of a Greyhound bus so that he could leave the area. He was one of the suspect’s sought in connection with the robbery robbery of the Harvey’s restaurant earlier this month.

The Associated Press reports that after giving a thumbs up to a proposal that would allow guns to be carried onto college campuses, members of the Georgia House have now given their support to another bill that would permit Tasers and other electroshock weapons onto campuses as well. The bill did not get final approval and must pass in both chambers before being sent on to the governor.

After a thorough search that began in October 2015, the Brooks County Board of Education has named Dr. Vickie Reed as the finalist for the Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Reed currently serves as Superintendent in the Murray County School System. She has 28 years of experience as a teacher, building level administrator, curriculum director and superintendent in the Murray County school system. With the naming of the finalist, the Board must now wait at least 14 days before taking an official vote to employ Dr. Reed.

Hundreds of Special Olympians will come to Valdosta next week to compete in the Spring Special Olympics at Freedom Park. Students ages 8 to 21 from five area counties will compete in a variety of sports at the event. The Valdosta- Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority hosts the spring Special Olympics event each year. On Thursday, March 3rd, students will gather at Freedom Park for Opening Ceremonies, followed by friendly competition in track and field, softball, and various developmental sports. Teacher and volunteer registration begins at 9:30 AM. Opening Ceremonies will start at 10:00 AM, with competition beginning at 10:40 AM. VLPRA is looking for volunteers to help with the event. Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact Tammy Crosby at tcrosby@vlpra.com or call 229-259-3507.

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