//Morning News Briefs for 9-1-17

Morning News Briefs for 9-1-17

An investigation is now underway after a four year old girl was left on a day care van earlier this week. A police report has been filed by the mother of the girl. She went looking for her daughter after she had not arrived home at the usual time and found her child had been left on the van.

The Valdosta Firefighters campaign to aid multiple sclerosis patients continues through the weekend at Walmart Supercenters and at Winn-Dixie stores. The funds collected will go to help with research efforts, specialized care and daily support. The Fill the Boot drive donations can be made from 1 until 6 p.m., 3 until 7 pm, and Saturday from 1p.m. until 6 p.m.

Valdosta veteran Dewayne Tucker is doing his part to aid Texas victims of hurricane Harvey. He is filling his dump truck with various items to include water and diapers to help out in the relief effort. He is hoping to get others involved to provide assistance to the hurricane victims as well. To help Dewayne Tucker fill his truck call 404-736-7087.

South Georgia’s Peanut Proud is offering donations for Hurricane Harvey victims. The non-profit organization said it will send one case of peanut butter for each $12 you donate. If you would like to contribute, you can donate on the Peanut Proud Festival’s Facebook page or on the Peanut Proud Festival website.

Lowndes County officials are keeping a close watch on gasoline prices in the area. Hurricane Harvey has caused the closure of refineries causing the price of a gallon of gasoline to increase locally as high as $2.29. Officials say that the price could well go even higher.

The Valdosta Police Department announces the retirement of Officer Vernotis Williams, from the Valdosta Police Department. He has been with the department over 26 years. On Thursday, September 7th from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, we will be having a retirement ceremony for Vern at City Hall Annex. All members of the public are invited to attend. Please make every effort to be there and say thanks to this very honorable public servant.

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 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.

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.

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.

Dr. Kenneth B. Martin, President of the Georgia Missionary Baptist Convention is calling on churches state-wide to come to the aid of the victims of hurricane Harvey. All churches in the convention are asked to take up a special donation to be sent to Texas for disaster relief. After speaking with official there and here, we have agreed to allow FEMA, TEMA the ARC to do an assessment of the damages. Martin will personally travel to Texas to deliver donated items. He is asking all pastors to ask for a special offering this Sunday to go toward the victims in Houston, Texas donations can be sent to Baptist Headquarters; checks/money orders made payable to GMBC and the convention will process a check with the combined donations, sending to the area(s) identified in Houston, Texas. Dr. Martin can be contacted at (478) 746-3469 or (404) 688-4212.