Morning News Briefs for 6-2-17

| June 2, 2017

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says the number of child suicides is on the rise. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids ages 15 to 17, with the state reaching an all-time high of 51 incidents in 2015. At least 18 children under the age of 17 have taken their own lives this year alone.

Our Daily Bread, a local non-profit, is kicking off its summer food program for kids. They provide free breakfast and sack lunches to hundreds of kids throughout the area. Due to high demand, they’ve added 12 new stops in Valdosta.

Cases of dog flu that have popped up in Florida may have originated from dog shows in Perry, Georgia and Deland, Florida. This strain of flu has been making the rounds the past two years, but just recently showed up in Florida affecting a dozen dogs as of Wednesday.

Valdosta police have arrested a man who allegedly broke into a cell phone store early Tuesday morning and stole several phones. 38-year-old Nelson Harrison was arrested Wednesday and reportedly confessed to the crime and has been charged with two counts of burglary.

Decreased fire activity will allow officials to partially reopen the main entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on Friday. The West Mims wildfire is still active, but fire officials and refuge staff are confident the public can access some of the visitor facilities. The fire is currently 65 percent contained.

On Thursday evening, the Humane Society of Valdosta-Lowndes County hosted an open house at their new building. They moved in late December, at 1740 West Gordon Street in Remerton. They say the previous building was older, smaller, and rented. The new site now has adoption rooms and all new pet furniture.

The Peach State Summer Theatre kicks off a 16-performance run of “Shrek the Musical” tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Valdosta State University’s Sawyer Theatre. Tickets are on sale now at

Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant has a new name. The newly named HOPE Career Grant provides financial assistance to HOPE Grant-qualified students who enroll in select majors specifically aligned with one of 12 industries in which there are more jobs available in Georgia than there are skilled workers to fill them.

Georgia’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was honored last week at the nation’s capitol. The Unit partnered with Alabama’s task force in 2016 for a special operation that led to 29 arrests and the seizure of over 700 digital devices. “Operation Southern Impact” included more than 70 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to seek out child predators who use the internet to sexually exploit children.

Valdosta State University just became the first University System of Georgia institution of higher education to sign articulation agreements with all 22 units of the Technical College System of Georgia. On Wednesday, VSU and Columbus Technical College entered into a Pathways Program partnership designed to increase the number of West Georgians pursuing and earning advanced training and education.

Main entrance of Okefenokee refuge to open amid wildfire
Valdosta police arrest alleged cell phone store burglar
Filed in: News, Regional News

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