Morning News Briefs for 6-23-17

| June 23, 2017

An escapee from the Valdosta Transitional Center did not get to enjoy his freedom for very long. He walked away from the center Wednesday night but was captured Thursday afternoon. Now, Trayvon Terry has been moved for a more secure installation.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle brought his campaign for the office of governor to Thomasville to stress the need for more jobs, business growth and development and workforce preparation. Cagle says that he wants to create half a million Georgia jobs during his term in office and to increase the graduation rates from 70 percent to 98 percent.

An Interstate 75 fiery crash involving four semi-tractor trailers shut down south bound traffic between Exit 5 and Exit 2. One driver had to be air-lifted to a hospital. The Interstate was reopened after nearly eight hours of cleanup.

The leadership of the City of Valdosta has given its approval to a budget increase of over eight million dollars, taking this years budget to a total of 97 million dollars. The increase will cover pay raises for city employees and the cost of capital projects. The budget is balanced and there are no major departmental cuts or increases in property taxes.

Leaders in Tifton are not projecting a millage rate increase even though they report that more emphasis will be placed on public safety-and emergency response. The budget comes in at just over 42 million dollars. As much as 37 percent of the funding will be used to support the public safety efforts of the Police department and 19 percent will go to the Fire department for recruitment and new equipment.

Hurricane season is already here and Lowndes County governmental officials are spotlighting various safety measures and prepardness. The county will host a community hurricane planning meeting from 6 until 8 pm next Thursday at the Rainwater Conference Center.

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