Morning News Briefs for 4-15-16

| April 15, 2016
The Blue Sky Grill in Moultrie was the gathering site for persons supporting small businesses and the attendees came from across the state of Georgia. Small business owners and mentors came together to explore just how to get the word out about Score-a non-profit agency of the Small Business Administration and the assistance provided to small businesses in South Georgia.

Turning Point Behavioral Health Center hosted former football great Herschel Walker. He is a national advocate for mental health care and he discussed his own struggles with mental illness. Walker stressed the need to get professional help for anyone dealing with a mental health issue.

Early graduation has been approved for students at Lowndes High School. Members of the County Board of Education had been considering the idea and they report that some students had previously graduated in December of their senior year. Now students can graduate within a three year period if all requirements have been met and if they have mapped out a college or career plan. Officials will begin accepting applications for early graduation in May.

A 12 count indictment has been handed down in federal court against a Valdosta dentist, and the allegation involves fraud connected to the Georgia Medicaid Program. The accused is Dr. Stanley Marable and court documents show that the alleged incidents of health care fraud took place from January of 2011 through April 2013. According to the report it is alleged Marable submitted claims for services that were not performed and was paid over $74,000 for the listed procedures.

A traffic shift will impact motorists on Old Clyattville Road near the area of the Interstate 75 interchange. Georgia Department of Transportation officials say that the previous four lanes of travel have been narrowed to one eastbound and one westbound lane. The plan is to shift traffic to the south/Florida side of the overpass to begin making repairs to the bridge April 21. Repairs will include replacing portions of the deck and some of the beams and rehabilitating other parts of the bridge.

There will be no tuition increase at Valdosta State University for the 2016-1017 academic year based on a Board of regents decision to hold current tuitions in place at the states’ public colleges and universities. Tuition for VSU undergraduate students enrolled full-time, taking 12 hours of course credit is $2,613.

Law enforcement officials in Colquitt County continue to investigate the death of 28 year old Austin Akridge; though the cause of death is yet to be determined foul play is not suspected.  His body will be taken to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime laboratory for autopsy. Colquitt County Coroner Verlyn Brock reports that the death appears to be accidental.

Tift County law enforcement officials have released a report on a high speed chase that started in Coffee County and ended in northern Tift County. A Be On The Lookout alert was issued by authorities in Jacksonville after 26 year old David Lambert failed to pay for gas. He was spotted in Coffee County and stopped and when the deputy approached Lamberts’ vehicle he smelled alcohol and saw an open bottle. That’s when the suspect decided to drive away leading officers through Irwin and Tift County before he was apprehended.

 Sholanda Henry is no longer a fugitive from the law. She was wanted in connection with a Tifton shots fired incident that took place in March. Henry was arrested in Cobb County and is now in Tift County to face charges that include aggravated assault in the shots fired incident that forced students to be dismissed from a Tifton school.

Whether or not to indict Linda Harris, the Mayor of Meigs, is an issue that will be decided by a Thomas County Superior Court grand jury when they meet May 2.  It will be determined at that time if there is sufficient evidence to indict her for charges connected to her arrest in October 2015 for allegedly stealing $80 from Meigs City Hall and her second arrest in February for allegedly using the city credit card for a Christmas party not approved by the Meigs City Council.
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Filed in: News, Regional News

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