//Morning News Briefs for 8-31-17

Morning News Briefs for 8-31-17

South Georgia attorneys are being called on to provide legal assistance to some of the victims of hurricane Harvey. The head of the Texas Bar Association is seeking volunteers to help the flood victims, especially those with experience in disaster relief. The Texas Supreme Court is expected to authorize lawyers from out of state to be admitted temporarily to help with disaster relief.

Armed robbery suspects 27 year old Darrell Perry and his partner in crime, Kealeeon Miranda age 20 were arrested in Thomas County but according to the latest release the duo are thought to have been involved in criminal activity in several Florida counties. Perry and Miranda have also been charged with burglary in Valdosta. Bainbridge officials report that the suspects were involved in as many as 10 armed robberies across the state.

Raycom News Writer Tom Ensey filed this report…The celebration continues over the Food and Drug Administration approval of a new cancer fighting drug that is cell-based gene therapy. The drug has been approved for use in the treatment of children and young adults with a certain form of leukemia. The FDA reports that the drug therapy involves the use of genetically modified immune cells from patients that attack their cancer. However, some advocacy groups fear that the treatment will be so expensive that it will be completely out of the reach of the average cancer patient; the cost-about $450,000 for a round of treatment, still, that price is well below the original estimated cost of $700.000 prior to FDA approval.

23 year old Geoffrey Jones was sought in Cordele as a suspect in a double homicide case. Officials report that Jones is now in custody thanks to the U. S. Marshals Service in West Palm Beach, Florida. The victims were identified as Shaquaveon Felder age 24 and Jacrro Odom age 35.

Bobby Baggett and Tracy Dutton confessed to law enforcement officers their crime that involved Felony Counts of Financial Transaction Card Fraud. The suspects were spotted on surveillance video at a Walmart store and identified by store clerks. The couple had also using the stolen bank debit card in Climax and Bainbridge.

Valdosta’s Second harvest of South Georgia is in need of donations to meet a goal of $25,000 to provide relief boxes for victims of hurricane Harvey. The organization plans to ship 1,200 of the boxes and they are asking for donations of $20 to help feed a family in need. On September 9th Second Harvest will be packing boxes and they are calling for volunteers to help.

The Wildcats will play Thursday night this week. “Due to impending inclement weather, the Valdosta High School vs. Wayne County High School football game is being moved to Thursday, Aug. 31, at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium with a 7 p.m. kick off,” according to a statement from Valdosta City Schools. “The Cat Walk will begin at 5:30 p.m.” The city school system canceled all scheduled Thursday games from feeder programs, such as middle school, junior varsity and ninth grade, according to the statement. Because of the change in the high school game, Military Appreciation Night is postponed until Friday, Sept. 8.

The two suspects involved in a Thomasville home invasion have now been identified. Brandy Turner and Jeffery Tabb III were taken into custody after the armed robbery of four victims; one of whom was struck with a handgun that discharged but the firing did not result in injury.

The City of Valdosta has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the 31st consecutive year. This Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the City of Valdosta’s Finance Department. The Finance Department also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award—the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting—from GFOA for meeting nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. This marks the 21st consecutive year that the city has achieved the significant award.

To ease traffic congestion statewide during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending interstate highway construction-related lane closures from noon Friday, Sept. 1 until 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5. In Southwest Georgia, one short lane closure will remain in place on Interstate 75 north and south at Exit 29 in Lowndes County. The inside (left) lane is closed for reconstruction of the interchange. Incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could also become necessary at any time on any route.

The Valdosta Fire Department will host its annual Muscular Dystrophy Association “Fill the Boot” Drive this weekend to raise money that will benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the Valdosta area. VFD firefighters will be at the following locations on Thursday, Aug. 31, and Friday, Sept. 1. from 3-7 p.m., and again onSaturday, Sept. 2, from 1-6 p.m.:

Wal-Mart Supercenters
340 Norman Drive
3274 Perimeter Road

Winn Dixie Supermarkets
4036 Bemiss Road
1105 Madison Highway
3200 North Ashley Street

Funds raised through the 2017 Fill the Boot Drive will help support the MDA’s programs such as research, specialized health care services, and day-to-day support for those struggling with the disease.
For more information, call the VFD at 229-333-1835.

This report from Atlanta’s WGCL…Sixteen U.S. Postal Service workers in Metro Atlanta have been charged with accepting bribes to deliver cocaine in a drug trafficking operation, according to the Dept. of Justice. The workers were charged in three separate federal indictments after it was discovered in a sting operation that the letter carriers were allegedly taking bribes to deliver packages of kilogram-quantities of cocaine. The indictments state the USPS employees allegedly accepted the bribes from a person they believed was a drug trafficker using the U.S. mail to ship cocaine, multiple kilograms at a time, into the Atlanta area. In exchange for the bribe payments, the letter carriers allegedly provided special addresses that the drug trafficker could use to ship the cocaine. The letter carriers then intercepted the packages and delivered them to the trafficker. However, the drug trafficker was working with law enforcement and the packages they delivered contained fake drugs. Some of the postal employees went on to recruit additional USPS employees to join the criminal scheme and accepted additional money for drug packages delivered by recruits.