Morning News Briefs for 7-31-17

| July 31, 2017

Valdosta Police officials continue to make arrests in connection with auto break-ins in the area. Thanks to a tip from a concerned citizen two more suspects were taken into custody. Robert Burr and Kenyon Stancil both 17 were tracked down by a K-9 Unit ad taken to the Lowndes County Jail. They face multiple charges including felonies; the 17 year olds were in possession of guns.

This story from Dougherty County… A driver pulled up behind a vehicle stopped at a red light. Police report that when the vehicle carrying 26-year-old Treshuntina Smith and 24-year-old Courtney Smith did not move on the green light the driver behind them identified as Montoya Davis pulled around the two females and continued on his way. However, when Davis stopped at a convenience store-gas station he found that the women had followed him. The two females exited their car and began to beat Montoya Davis with an aluminum baseball bat until an unidentified man intervened and the beating stopped. The women were found and arrested a short time later and charged with aggravated assault. Davis suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The results are in and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that Operation Southern Shield was a success. The multi-state speeding awareness operation brought about a significant reduction in the number of fatal crashes on Georgia roadways between the operation’s period of July 17th and July 23rd in Georgia, Alabama and Florida in this region. Other areas involved in the speed reduction program included Tennessee and South Carolina. There were 17 traffic deaths in Georgia during that seven-day operation representing an overall 51 percent decrease in the number of fatalities reported; down from 35 reported roadway deaths for the same seven day period the previous week.

The Georgia Department of Revenue is considering the possible elimination of or cutting back on the use of the vehicle registration stickers which are required annually for vehicle tags. A $20 dollar fee would replace the tag decal. The Georgia legislature should have the Department of Revenue recommendations by the first of the year. According to the preliminary analysis millions of dollars could be saved by eliminating the decals.

An initiative started by University of Georgia sophomore Daniel Montgomery is called Immense Impact and the non-profit organization is calling on the community to help low income families by providing school supplies for students. The goal is to get donations of pens, backpacks, binders and paper; monetary donations are also accepted online at Immense Impact will be meeting Monday, July 31 at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Walmart on Inner Perimeter Road on the side closest to Publix.

A major Georgia Department of Transportation project to resurface 14 miles of Interstate 75 in Lowndes County is scheduled to begin Tuesday involving the section of interstate from south of the Cook County line to south of Exit 18/state Route 133. The Scruggs Co. of Valdosta plans to begin work around milepost 32 south of the Cook County line in the southbound inside (left) lane.The cost of the project is $10.6 million and the completion date is Sept. 30. Most work will be done at night to minimize traffic interruptions, but drivers should expect delays and lane closures. No work is permitted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Single lane closures are allowed during daytime hours on the weekends, from 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday.

The City of Valdosta received the 2017 Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association—Georgia Chapter for the construction of the Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) and the 6.2 mile Force Main Project. The award was presented in the category of Small City/Rural Communities Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair at the APWA-GA Annual Meeting, on July 26, in Jekyll Island, Georgia. In 2016, the city celebrated the completion of the $23 million Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant which was relocated to a new site approximately a mile from the former plant and approximately 60 feet higher in elevation to avoid future flooding concerns. The $36 million Force Main Project was completed at the same time and has successfully reduced stormwater inflow & infiltration issues and eliminated all sewer overflows in flood-prone areas of this watershed during heavy rain events.

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