Skip to content

What a Year – 2021 in Review

2022 is almost here and the Donalsonville News presents a look back at the top stories in 2021

2021 has been an unprecedented year with the continuation of a pandemic, political issues, protests, and progress dominating the headlines. 

The top stories affecting Seminole County and Southwest Georgia residents over the past twelve months appear below, and on pages 13-20 in the December 30th edition to the Donalsonville News.

 

JANUARY

Development Authority announces creation of Seminole County 

Industrial Park East

January 7 – The Donalsonville-Seminole County Development Authority is very excited and very positive about the acquisition of land and the creation of the county’s new Industrial Park East. Located on U.S. Highway 84 east of Donalsonville, directly north and across the fence from the Welcome to Donalsonville sign,  the  138 +/- acre tract,  purchased with a combination of loan funds and SPLOST funds, checks a lot of positive boxes in the world of industrial recruitment and development!  

The Development Authority is currently working on developing a marketing plan to identify and recruit potential target industrial candidates, as well as promotional materials to promote the property near and far.  The site will soon have a presence on the internet and will be visible to site selectors, both private and state, other Development Authorities in the region, statewide and nationwide.  For additional information call Sarah Avery at Donalsonville-Seminole County the Chamber of Commerce office. The chamber’s phone number is 229-524-2588, and the office’s address is 122 East Second Street in downtown Donalsonville. 

The Donalsonville-Seminole County Industrial Authority consists of chairman Brad Clarke and members Nancy Jernigan, David Maxwell, Jim Jernigan, Neal Rumble, Mark Spooner, Marcus Carter, Ron Johnson and Brinson Register.

Perdue, Loeffler win big locally

January 7 -As of presstime on Wednesday, Rev. Raphael Warnock was poised to defeat Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Tuesday’s runoff election, handing Democrats a Senate seat in Georgia for the first time in nearly 20 years.

 Warnock’s co-campaigner, Democrat Jon Ossoff, also declared victory over Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue early Wednesday with a slim 16,000-vote lead in an election that looks to shatter turnout records for Georgia runoffs with around four and a half million votes.

Should those results stand, Democrats will gain control of both chambers of Congress and the White House following President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 general election.

COVID vaccination now being scheduled for health care workers, first responders and those 

65 and older

January 7 – Following the recent announcement that people 65 and older and first responders will now be included in Phase 1A of Georgia’s COVID Vaccine Plan, Southwest Health District began making appointments this week. Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group. The COVID vaccine is available by appointment at all 14 County Health Departments in the Southwest Georgia Health District.

On Monday, January 4, only those meeting criteria began scheduling their vaccine by calling their local public health department. On Tuesday, January 5, those who qualify began scheduling an appointment through the public health call center hotline at (229) 352-6567. The Phase 1A expansion (65 and older and first responders) vaccinations will start on January 11, but appointments can be made now.

Seminole County Indians hire 

new football coach

January 14 – The Seminole County Indians have a new chief. In last Monday night’s meeting of the Seminole County Board of Education Cedric. L. Stegall was selected and hired as the next head coach  for the Seminole County Middle High School Indians. He succeeds Coach Trey Woolf, who retired from the post at season’s end last November.

Stegall is a Newnan, Georgia native and a graduate of East Coweta High School where he played football, basketball and baseball.  In 1995, he received a football scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University.  While at MTSU, Stegall was a four year starter, chosen as an Ohio Valley All-Conference Defensive Back and a third team All-American.  

He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physical Education and a minor in Health.  He has been fortunate enough to coach football and track at numerous schools, classifications and positions throughout Georgia.  Stegall began his teaching and coaching career at East Coweta High School in 2001 and later moved to Manchester.  From there, he moved to Worth County High.  

He has served as defensive coordinator for Worth County, Americus-Sumter and Upson-Lee High School football programs.  Presently, Stegall is the head football Coach and assistant athletic director of Central High School in Talbotton, Georgia. 

He is married to Allison, also in the education profession for nearly 20 years and together they have two daughters: Kensley (16) and Sydnee (11).  Stegall, who was introduced to the team on Tuesday,  and his family look forward to making their new home in Seminole County. 

LMC offers SCMHS welding 

students first hand look at 

career opportunities

January 28 -Last week Donalsonville’s Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing (LMC) hosted a group of welding students from Seminole County Middle High School. The group, chaperoned by SCMHS FFA Advisor Dusty Smith, CTAE Director Dr. Cindy Bryant, and SCMHS Principal Shane Purdy, was given a tour of the facility and presented with an opportunity to see the inner workings of the manufacturing operations.

As a leader in producing world class machinery for more than eighty years, LMC offers solutions individually tailored for each of its world-wide customers. From gravity separation machines and destoners to vibratory conveyors, LMC produces custom-built industrial separation equipment for unique processing requirements.

 LMC’s Parts and Service Manager Stan Kennedy led the group around the different parts of the facility and gave them an initiation to a real-world employment opportunity experience each of them could be a part of upon completion of their high school education. 

Following the orientation, the students were offered the opportunity to try their hand at an LMC welding test. A LMC spokesperson commented, “It spoke well of teaching talents of the students’ instructor, Mr. Smith, because each student did well enough on their tests to be considered for welding positions employment with LMC if they desire after graduation.”

As a world class leader and major manufacturer in Georgia, LMC has a vested interest to nurture these kinds of relationships, especially with students curious and eager to know what lies ahead, because their future and success is just as much our own. LMC thanks the students and the local school system for the opportunity to share what the company does and the employment opportunities it offers – right here at home.

Seminole County welding students participating in the tour included Nicholas Barber, Jesse Smith, Dahveon Kimble, D Jordan Hill, Owen Cross, Austin Robinson, Wendell Craft, Rob Weir, Clayton Burch, Michael Hopson, Kase Barber, Clay Towns, Carson Odom and Peyton Brown.

FEBRUARY

County-wide clean up program 

in the works

February 4 – If you have traveled down a street or roadway in Seminole County recently it is evident, from trash and debris scattered on both sides of the road, that Seminole County needs to clean up its act. Project Beautification 2023 is being developed to inspire all local citizens to do just that by working together to clean up and green up public and private areas – county wide.

From county line to state line, the two-year project being developed in cooperation with local governments, organizations, businesses and private citizens plans to have free trash dump and pick up days, and scheduled clean up days for all areas of the city and county. Details and plans are still in the works and will be announced as soon as they are set.

In the mean time, the project’s Adopt A Mile program is now accepting participants from any group, church, organization, business or individual wishing to participate by adopting a mile in the city or county and pledging to pick up the trash and keep your adopted mile green and clean. 

If you or your organization would like to adopt a mile in the Project Beautification 2023 program, contact Virginia Harrison at 229-400-3772.

Seminole County School System 

announces five 2021
REACH Scholars

February 4 – Five Seminole County eighth graders recently signed contracts agreeing to get good grades and attendance, meet with academic coaches and mentors and to graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education.

As their reward, the State of Georgia will provide them $10,000 ($2,500 per year) toward four years of college or technical education. 

The five Seminole County Middle High School students selected for the prestigious honor this year are Deshawn Edwards, Kynia Blake, Gabrielle Hunter, Madison Deese, and Jozlyn Cobb.

Seminole County Board of Education recognized, honored and congratulated the REACH GEORGIA Scholars of Seminole County Middle High School at a ceremony and reception held last Thursday morning the middle high school cafeteria. 

REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) Georgia is a mentorship and needs based scholarship program that begins in the eighth grade. The program provides scholars with the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school, gain access to college and achieve post-secondary success. Upon successful completion of the program, qualifying students earn a $10,000 scholarship ($2,500 max/year or $1,250/semester) towards the cost of attendance at a HOPE-eligible postsecondary institution.

Alton Harrison named
Market President of GCB 

February 4 – Alton Harrison has been named Market President of Georgia Community Bank (GCB)  in Donalsonville.

Harrison has more than four decades of banking experience including thirty nine years of experience in agriculture, commercial and mortgage lending.

In his banking career he has excelled in his roles as Market Manager, Branch Manager and City President for various financial institutions. Harrison is equally committed to community service, serving over the years as a Seminole County Commissioner, Donalsonville Lions Club officer and director for the Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce. 

Harrison commented, “Words cannot express my joy and excitement as I begin this new chapter in my life. I am so looking forward to becoming a daily fixture in this community – as a banker, and a civic-minded volunteer”. 

Harrison and his wife Virginia, have one daughter, Hannah, and one grandson, Blake. 

.One Act Players take 

region crown and honors

February 4 – We may be in the middle of a global pandemic, but as a reference to the show’s theme song, it was a whole new world for the Seminole County One Act Players  last Saturday, January 30.

The group performed “Aladdin Jr” for this year’s Georgia High School Association Region 1-A One Act Play competition held at Seminole County Middle High School,  and you don’t need a Genie to jump out of a lamp to tell you the Seminole County Players earned the first place trophy and more in Region 1A for their performance. 

Seminole County’s cast members Jayvione King was named Region 1-A’s best actor, Miranda Brannon was named Region 1-A’s best actress, Caden Kearns was named best all star cast member, and David Pollock was named Region 1A’s best supporting actor and all-star cast member. 

Joel Greene selected as
Ag Person of the Year

February 18 – Each year the Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and the Seminole County Young Farmers honor one individual  who makes valued contributions to the agricultural industry of Seminole County and presents them with the Ag Person of the Year award. 

At the chamber’s 22nd Annual Farmer Appreciation event, held as a luncheon last Thursday, February 11th, Joel Greene was announced as this year’s recipient. 

Joel is the son of Barbara “Miss Bobbie” Greene and the late James “Jim” Greene, and the brother of Lane Greene and the late Jud Greene.  He and his family own and operate J&J Farms Brinson.   

Joel graduated from SGA in 1980 and attended ABAC from 1980-1982.  In 1982, he was involved in a farm accident which resulted in eight surgeries on his left leg.  Joel transferred to Georgia Southern in 1983 and earned his degree in Ag. Management in 1985.  After graduating from college, he went to work for his uncle at Alf’s Farm & Garden.  Joel would soon be promoted to store manager while also managing the cattle herd near Iron City.  He helps at J&J Farms after work in planting and harvesting seasons and on weekends.  Joel cares for a fruit orchard on the farm as well.  He has dedicated his life to helping farmers get farm supplies, feed, medication for animals and just about anything else that can be thought of for the farm.  If Joel doesn’t have what they need, he will order it or find another store that does. 

He is a member of the Young Farmers and has always been a huge supporter of Seminole County FFA students and events.  He is also a member of the Iron City United Methodist Church, and helps support the Brinson UMC, the Gideons and several charity groups like St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  

Joel and “Alf’s” have always been a tremendous asset to the community in Seminole County. 

MARCH

Expanded eligibility for vaccine begins Monday

March 4 – Governor Brian P. Kemp joined Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey and Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Chris Stallings at the State Capitol last week to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and expanded criteria to receive the vaccine, effective March 8.

Effective March 8, the following groups will be eligible for vaccination:

D K-12 educators and school staff, public and private

D Pre-K and DECAL educators and staff

D Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and their caregivers

D Parents with children with complex medical conditions

Southwest Georgians mourn the loss of Capt. Justin Bedwell

March 4 – A blue and black fog fell over Seminole and Decatur counties on Monday, March 1 when Decatur County Sheriff Officer Capt. Justin Bedwell succumbed to injuries that were sustained in the line of duty, Saturday, February 27, 2021 in Brinson, GA, while assisting Seminole County Sheriff’s officers in a high-speed chase where shots had been fired at Sheriff’s Deputies. 

Bedwell, a 19-year veteran of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, was a Patrol Commander, Training Officer and a highly valued member of the Command Staff.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released the following statement on Bedwell’s death. “On behalf of all Georgians, the Kemp family sends our heartfelt prayers to Capt. Bedwell’s family, loved ones, and fellow officers in light of this heartbreaking news,” says Kemp. “His heroic sacrifice and dedicated service will not be forgotten.”

 The Governor ordered that the flag of the United States and the flag of the State of Georgia be flown at half-staff on the State Capitol  building and in Decatur and Seminole counties on Thursday, March 4, the day of Capt. Bedwell’s interment.

Bedwell began his career in law enforcement when he joined the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office on December 5, 2001 and was sent to the ABAC Police Academy. There, he graduated and returned as a certified deputy.

Public library’s doors
reopen by appointment

March 4 – On Monday, March 1, public libraries in the Southwest Georgia Regional Library system reopened its doors for in-person services by appointment only and with safety rules in place including a mask requirement.  In an effort to accommodate as many individuals as safely as possible, there is a one hour time limit per appointment per day.  

Patrons will have the opportunity to conduct business such as holds pick-up, computer use, access to materials, printing, copying, faxing, and reference services.  Curbside service will continue to be offered and WiFi is still available outside the library.

Seminole County Public Library’s hours by appointment are Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Curbside hours are Monday – Friday 9:30 to 11 a.m. To make an appointment, call 229-524-2665.  Additional information is available at swgrl.org.

Troy and Brad Phillips now charged with murder and more

March 4 – Troy Phillips and Brad Phillips have now been charged with the following for the murder of Decatur County Sheriff’s Officer Capt. Justin Bedwell: felony murder, aggravated assault of a Peace Officer, party to the crime of murder, attempted home invasion, aggravated assault – two counts for two occupants inside house they attempted to shoot their way into, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

On Saturday, February 27, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation GBI was requested by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer involved shooting. 

GBI preliminary information indicates that a Seminole County Sheriff Office deputy was attempting to conduct a traffic stop on two suspects, one later identified as Troy Arthur Phillips, driving in a white 2500 Chevrolet pickup truck with a Florida tag for reckless driving. The men refused to stop and a chase ensued. A second Seminole County Sheriff Office deputy joined the pursuit and the suspects began to fire a weapon from the truck in the direction of the Seminole County deputies. Seminole County Sheriff Deputy Garrett Wooten received non life threatening injuries from shots fired at the windshield of his patrol car. Wooten received medical attention and was released shortly thereafter.

The deputies continued the chase into Decatur County where Decatur County Sheriff deputies joined the pursuit. The suspects drove into the driveway of a Decatur County residence and attempted to gain entry by shooting through the door. The homeowner returned fire and the suspects left the residence. As Decatur County Sheriff Officer Capt. Justin Bedwell was arriving in the area, one of the suspects shot at the officer’s vehicle, striking Bedwell.

Capt. Bedwell was taken immediately to a Tallahassee hospital for treatment and surgery.

The suspects fled in their truck and wrecked a short time later in a wooded area. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter and crew responded to the area of the wrecked truck. One of the two suspects, identified as Brad Phillips was taken into custody on Saturday without further incident; however, Troy Phillips was able to flee the scene on foot. After an extensive man hunt involving multiple local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, Troy Phillips was captured and taken into custody on Sunday. Brad and Troy Phillips, at that time, were charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer and processed in the Decatur County Jail in Bainbridge

McFadden Nature Center to 

expand and open preserve 

for public enjoyment

March 11 – The McFadden Nature Center, located at 5540 River Road just west of Donalsonville, consists of 1260 acres of uplands and wetlands and includes two miles of river frontage on the Chattahoochee River. The property is less than half a mile from the Georgia, Florida, and Alabama state dividing lines.

Pat McFadden bought the property in 1999 and named it the Lokchasassa Wilderness Project.  He passed away in 2008 but not before he provided for the property to be protected. The property was renamed the McFadden Nature Center in his honor, and the dream to transform it into a nature center and natural preserve for all to enjoy began.

Recovery efforts from the devastation of forests caused by Hurricane Michael are ongoing as the natural preserve reestablishes native trees, grasses, and wildflowers as well as working to protect the wildlife’s natural habitat.  

Over the next two years plans are now in place to create an open to the public natural preserve offering indoor and outdoor events for the community, wetland and upland tours, and facilities and accommodations presented in a natural setting for educators, researchers, students, naturalists, and others to gather and meet other like-minded nature loving individuals.

The nature center’s main complex will be built with a view of the preserve’s open pastures, gently rolling hills and pond, and additional structures for education opportunities and lodging  are also planned.

“Mr. McFadden loved this property and he wanted it protected and its natural beauty preserved for all to enjoy,” commented center director Angela Hagen. “The Nature Center will ultimately become a community showplace and we welcome comments and  input from the local community on our plans moving forward.” 

Visit the center’s newly designed website at www.McFaddenNatureCenter.com and sign up to be included on the center’s  mailing and email list to receive timely progress updates and activity announcements.

For additional information or details on the project, email mcfaddenfoundation@gmail.com or call 229-254-2100.

New First Port City Bank 

location taking shape

March 11 – Work in and around the future home of Donalsonville’s First Port City Bank (FPCB), the former Ponder Enterprises location on Highway 84, is progressing daily. 

In addition to interior work and construction of the bank’s vault in the main building, clearing continues on the corner of Woolfork Avenue and U.S. Highway 84 to make room for the bank’s new drive through facility. Preparations are also being made for parking lot resurfacing, and the installation of
signage and new landscaping.

“We are excited to see the daily progress and look forward to offering full service banking in our new home in a date to be determined in the very near future,” commented FPCP Executive Vice President Nancy Jernigan.

Church of God’s vision of a Family Life Center is coming into focus

March 11 – The Donalsonville Church of God (DCOG) began a building project in the Fall of 2020 that is going to fulfill a vision held by many of the pioneer pastors of the church. The new facility, well on its way to completion, will be a multi-purpose Family Life Center to serve all age groups at various times. 

The Family Life Center will be 14,000 square feet and is composed of a gym/fellowship hall, state of the art industrial kitchen, two bathrooms, including showers, a youth room, a children’s church facility, a classroom, an office, and a storage room. 

The center will also house an evangelist/guest suite made up of a bedroom, private bath, living area and a study. 

The church believes the new facility will serve not only the church so much better, but the entire community – today and for years to come .

Booster Club’s Cow Pie Bingo event raises more than $10,000 

for Seminole County athletes

March 11 – The Seminole County Athletic Booster Club’s Cow Pie Bingo fund raiser event was a huge success last Saturday, especially for the three lucky
winners – chosen by three geographically placed bowel
movements from the event’s designated heifer cow. 

The cow dropped its first two cow pies in the squares purchased by Seminole County Middle High School
(SCMHS) Senior Parth Patel, and SCMHS alumni Clent Mims, winning each of them a $500 cash prize. The cow’s third, and grand prize cow pie, was dropped in the square purchased by SCMHS alumni Mitchell Womble, winning him the $5,000 cash prize.

Construction of new Pre-K-12 school facility proposed

March 18 – Citing the age of current school facilities, the need for continued and future repair and patchwork on facilities structurally damaged by Hurricane Michael, along with a list of other negative issues, Seminole County School officials are proposing the construction of a new Pre-K through twelfth grade school facility. The new facility would be located on property just south of the existing middle high school on Georgia Highway 39 South.

The decision to build an all-in-one Seminole County School System facility would also allow the school system to obtain more funding from the Georgia Department of Education than a separated elementary and middle/high school. 

A comprehensive facility study was recently conducted at all Seminole County schools and it has been determined that the cost of upgrading SCES and SCMHS is greater than the state funding to construct a new Pre-K-12 facility. School Superintendent Mark Earnest commented, “To maximize our money from the state and to insure all of our children are in modern, safe, and secure facilities, we are planning for a new PreK-12 facility. The new facility would allow the school system to start fresh and not have to allocate money each year to the high price of repairs and failures that are occurring in our current buildings. This will allow the chance to lower power bills substantially as well.” 

If the school system chooses to build south of the existing middle/high school site, all of the athletics and extracurricular activities would be on one master campus. The existing gymnasium could be kept for the community and after-school programs. This new school construction option also keeps the students functioning in their day to day lives during the duration of construction. 

The new Pre-K-12 facility would be paid for through a Seminole County ESPLOST. An Education Special Purpose Location Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) allows local districts to ask voters for the ability to levy and collect a one percent sales tax to help fund school facility and equipment improvements. It cannot be used to pay operation expenses, such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are enacted by referendum, and Seminole County’s ESPLOST vote will take place in November 2021. If approved, Seminole County’s sales tax would remain at its current level. This would not be a new tax, and a “yes” vote would simply extend the current 1% sales tax for education for an additional five years. 

The Seminole County School System qualifies for Low Wealth Project Specific Funding, which is designed to assist systems that rank in the bottom 25% in ESPLOST earnings to build schools. Through this program, Seminole County schools are eligible for approximately $32 million for  the new Pre-K-12 facility. The total cost of the project is approximately $44 million. 

Vaccine eligibility expands to
residents 55 and older

March 18 – Georgians ages 55 and older, judges and court staff as well as those with a variety of health issues are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines could also potentially be available for all Georgia adults starting next month if the current number of shots that federal officials are sending weekly to the state continues to increase as it has in recent weeks, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said at a news conference.

“Provided we continue to see increasing vaccine supply, it is our intent to open up vaccination to all adults the first part of next month,” Kemp said.

Along with adults 55 years and older, vaccines became available on  March 15 to all state judges and court staff and all Georgians with health conditions including cancer, moderate-to-severe asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, liver disease, COPD, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease and compromised immune systems.

The newly eligible Georgians add to a growing list of vaccine-eligible people including school teachers and staff, health-care workers, nursing home residents and staff, first responders, those with mental and behavioral health issues, parents of children with medical conditions and people ages 65 and older.

All Georgians 16 and older eligible for vaccine on March 25

March 25 – The long Winter of COVID-19 looks to be coming to an end in Georgia. All Georgians age 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting today, Thursday, March 25, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday.

 The long-awaited expansion comes as Georgia is set to receive another boost in the weekly shipment of vaccines, largely due to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine that increased the state’s allotment this week to 450,000 doses, according to the Governor.

The vaccine rollout has seen nearly 75% of the state’s residents ages 65 and older receive at least their first dose, setting Georgia on a path to having its most vulnerable population inoculated in the coming weeks.

Still, state officials continue to see “vaccine hesitancy” in rural areas, particularly parts of Georgia south of the Columbus-Macon-Augusta line.

Seminole County numbers

As of Wednesday morning, March 24, the Georgia Department of Health’s Vaccine Dashboard reported that the Seminole County Health Department has now administered 2,476 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Seminole County residents – administering dose one to 1,423 residents and dose two to 1,023. 

APRIL

Truett Johnson named new 

SCES Principal

April 18 – Seminole County School Superintendent Mark Earnest has announced that Truett Johnson, former Seminole County Middle-High School Assistant Principal, is the new Principal at Seminole County Elementary School. Johnson was appointed to the position by the Board of Education this week to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of SCES Principal Jay Winkler. 

“We are excited about Truette Johnson being the next Principal at Seminole County Elementary. Truette is Seminole through and through,” commented Earnest.

 Johnson is a graduate of Seminole County  and has taught almost his entire career in the district. He is very familiar with SCES, having served almost 20 years as a member of its faculty. 

Earnest added, “Truett has  become a very good instructional leader and this is key to becoming an
effective school leader. He will do a great job as our elementary school Principal.”

Seminole County Alternative School Director Gary Lowery will move into the SCMHS Assistant Principal post formerly held by Johnson.

Jay Palmer is the 2021 

STAR Student for SCMHS

April 18 – Seminole County Middle/High School has announced James Harris Palmer, III (Jay) as the 2021 STAR Student and Tina Fain as his STAR teacher. 

Jay is a member of the National Honor Society and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career while taking many AP, Honors and dual enrollment classes. Jay has been a member of the varsity golf and tennis teams all four years of high school, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Business Leaders of America, and the Pep Club. 

After high school, Jay plans to continue his education at Troy University. Jay is the son of Jim and Amanda Palmer. 

Jay has had many wonderful teachers at Seminole County over the years. After much consideration he chose Tina Fain to be his Star Teacher. Mrs. Fain was Jay’s science teacher in the fourth grade and his Explo teacher for several years. However, over the years Mrs. Fain has been so much more than just Jay’s teacher at school. Mrs. Fain has been like family to Jay since he moved to Donalsonville when he was two. 

Indian tennis teams win region, head to state

April 18 –With undefeated regular seasons under their belts, the Seminole County Middle High School Indians and Lady Indians tennis teams defeated the Miller County boys and girls teams on Tuesday to win the Region 1A championship.  

The Indians and Lady Indians were scheduled to open the first round of the state tournament against the Hawkinsville Red Devils in Donalsonville on Wednesday, April 14 at 3 p.m. Match results will be posted at donalsonvillenews.com

Literary team wins region
in a landslide

April 22 –Seminole County has done it again, winning first place in nine of the twelve Literary events in Region 1A’s Literary Competition last Thursday, April 15. Seminole County Middle High School’s literary team, along with teams from Miller County, Baconton Charter, Pataula Charter and Calhoun County, traveled to Bainbridge College to compete for the title.

In the music categories: Jayvione King and Macy Batchelor won first in Solo. Macy, Jobeth Kelley and Miranda Brannon won first in Trio; and Jayvione, Zaravion Calloway, David Pollock and Caden Kearns won first place in Quartet. 

In the oral interpretation categories: David Pollock won first place in Humorous, as well as Duo interpretation, and Caden Kearns won first place in Dramatic, as well as Duo interpretation. In the Extemporaneous Speaking events:  Will Pace won first in International speaking, and Moses James won first place in Domestic speaking.  In the Essay categories:  Jad Deal placed fifth in Argumentative Essay, while Rudra Patel and Will Pace placed third in personal and rhetorical essay. 

Seminole County baseball, golf teams win region, advance to state

April 22 –Seminole County Middle High School had a tremendous week last week with the girls and boys winning Region Tennis titles, Literary region winners, Baseball Region champions and girls and boys Golf Area Champions.

The Seminole County Region Champion Diamond Indians have an overall record of 22- 5, and 15-1 in region play. With two regular season games remaining on Thursday in Dothan against Northside Methodist Academy and Friday at Port St. Joe, the Diamond Indians will host the first round of the state baseball playoffs April 29-30 against an opponent TBA.

The Seminole County girls and boys golf teams dominated the Region 1A and 2A Area Championship. The girls team won by over 20 strokes and the boys team won by over 60 strokes.  Jay Palmer was the low medalist with a round of 78 while Landon Kirkland finished second in the area championship behind his teammate. Sierra Houston placed second overall for the girls competition. 

Both golf teams advance to state tournament competition.

Seminole County tennis teams 

advance to Sweet 16

April 22 –After completing undefeated regular seasons and defeating the Miller County boys and girls teams to win the Region 1A championship, the Seminole County Middle High School Indians and Lady Indians tennis teams entered state tournament competition on a roll.  

Last week the Indians and Lady Indians both defeated Hawkinsville in their first round match of the state tournament. 

Both teams are now in the state tournament’s round of sixteen and will play this week on their home courts. The girls will play Charlton County on Thursday, April 22 at 3 p.m., and the boys will play Metter this Friday, April 23 at 2 p.m.

Cody Bowling is Seminole County’s new Ag Extension Agent

April 22 –Seminole County has a new Ag Extension Agent in  Cody Bowling.  He began his duties as the county’s Extension Office Ag agent on Thursday,  April 15.

Bowling is originally from central Kentucky. He was raised on a small beef farm and also raised honeybees growing up. After high school  he enlisted in the Army National Guard as a field artillery crewmember. 

Bowling attended Eastern Kentucky University and received his B.S. in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. During this time he worked as a veterinary technician for both livestock and pets. After graduation he applied and was accepted to the University of Georgia graduate school. At UGA he worked on an invasive pest that destroys bermudagrass hay, as well as completing coursework on a multitude of other insects. Bowling received his M.S. in Entomology in December of 2020. 

Agriculture has always been a part of his life and he looks forward to learning more about all that Seminole County produces. 

Bowling comes to Seminole county with his wife, Kimberly,  and daughter, Huntleigh.

Contact Cody at the Seminole County Extension office by calling 524-2326, or stop into meet him in person at the Extension Office located at 426 North Friendship Avenue in Donalsonville.

SCES’s performance of Frozen, JR. was definitely worth melting for!

April 29 –Seminole County Elementary School’s production of Frozen, JR. melted hearts by the hundreds at four packed-house sold out performances last weekend. To say it was a magical hit, and one Disney himself would be proud to attach his name to, would be a Norwegian-sized understatement. 

The results of months of practicing, designing, preparing, constructing, sewing, painting and fabricating by Seminole County Elementary students, parents, school staff members and countless talented volunteers were on full display this past weekend during the school’s annual musical extravaganza.

The SCES auditorium and stage were magically and most impressively transformed into the mythical Norwegian Kingdom of Arendale, and its residents’ singing and acting were nothing short of Academy Award level of entertainment. 

The Disney favorite attracted people of all ages to a show whose lessons include the value of true friendship, letting go of the past, embracing who you are, and recognizing the importance of sisterhood.

This show was the perfect production for these uncertain times the world has been spinning in for more than a year now. 

Tony and Joy Buczek, along with each of the talented individuals they seem to attract, made the magic happen yet again on the SCES stage.  The exposure of our youth to the Buczek and Company’s high caliber forms of theater and music is a blessing and one that will have countless levels of positive influence on the brightness of their future.

Bravi to all!

Tennis teams advance into
state’s Final Four

April 29 The Seminole County boys and girls tennis teams are heading to the final four of the GHSA State Tennis Tournament. 

The number one seeded Region 1A Indians will face the number one seed Region 4A Dublin Fighting Irish at 2 p.m on Friday, April 30, with the winner of the match advancing to the state tournament title match. 

Dublin won a required coin flip to determine the host team in the match. The higher seeded team hosts all of the state tournament’s non title game matches; however since both the Seminole County and Dublin teams are number one seeds, a coin flip was required to set the match’s location.

The number one seeded Region 1A Lady Indians will face the winner of the Telfair County/Washington-Wilkes match, with the winner of that match advancing to the state tournament title match. 

The Indians began their run for the state title by defeating Hawkinsville 3-0 in the tournament’s first round. They aced Metter 3-0 in the second round, and overpowered the number one seed from Region 7A, Ace Charter, 4-1 to advance into the Final Four match.

The Lady Indians began their run for the state title by defeating Hawkinsville 3-0 in the tournament’s first round. They aced Charlton County 5-0 in the second round, and punched their ticket to the Final Four with their victory over the number three seeded Region 8A Lake Oconee girls on Wednesday in Donalsonville.

All final four and state title match results will be posted at donalsonvillenews.com.

Boots  & Roots Rodeo
packs ‘em in again this year

April 29 The Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Boots & Roots Rodeo, held this past Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24 at the Chris Thomas Arena, was a rip-roaring success – despite Saturday’s flooding rains and high winds. The annual rodeo is a rain or shine event; however, the rain part had never been put to the test until this year. The first class, fully covered Thomas arena graciously made available each year by Chris and Kay Thomas, kept everything high and dry, and right on schedule for the show to go on with weather interruption.

Justin Thigpen and his T-T Rodeo Company out of Waycross put on probably the best and most competitive rodeo in the event’s five-year history.  A packed-house audience each night was entertained with state, regional and world champion cowboys and cowgirls competing in eight of the world’s most action packed events which included bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, cowgirls break away roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, cowgirls barrel racing, and the always exciting bull riding.  

The event is a fund raising vehicle for future community projects of the chamber and a percentage of any final profits are annually donated to youth organizations in Seminole County.

Chamber President Sarah Avery praised Rodeo Committee Chairman Buck Goodwin, and the entire Rodeo planning committee, for a job very well done.

“This is a fine example of teamwork making the dream work. After having to cancel the event in 2020 due to
COVID-19, this year all of the planners helped make it possible for the rodeo to return and roar back with some rowdy and entertaining gusto. Despite the weather, it was a successful event.”

MAY

Ameris Bank contributes $40,000 

to Donalsonville Hospital

May 6 – As part of the Georgia HEART Hospital Program, Ameris Bank has donated $40,000 in financial support to Donalsonville Hospital, and $2,000,000 in financial support to 19 rural hospitals located throughout the bank’s footprint in Georgia. Ameris Bank has participated in the program since 2018, contributing over $6,000,000 to rural Georgia hospitals.

Ameris Bank participates in Georgia HEART, the statewide rural hospital organization expense tax credit program. The Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit enables Georgia businesses and taxpayers to redirect their Georgia income tax liability to help support these qualified hospitals. Participation in the Georgia HEART program is limited to Georgia rural hospitals that meet qualification criteria established by law.

Georgia income taxpayers who are interested in participating in the HEART program are encouraged to visit www.georgiaheart.org to learn more and submit a 2021 HEART tax credit application.

Seminole County Literary Team places second in State

May 6 – Seminole’s Literary Team traveled to Georgia Military School on Saturday, to compete with 28 other schools, to vye for the overall state title.  Seminole County came in second, receiving the State Runner-Up trophy.

The Region-winning Literary Team traveled to Georgia Military College on Saturday, April 24th to compete in nine of the 12 categories of State Literary. Several Seminole students placed first in the State within their categories: 

Caden Kearns placed first in Dramatic Interpretation. David Pollock placed first in Humorous Interpretation, and Zaravion Calloway, Jayvione King, David Pollock, and Caden Kearns placed first in Quartet.

Seminole won several Individual State Runner Up Titles, including:

Macy Batchelor, JoBeth Kelley, and Miranda Brannon in Trio; David Pollock and Caden Kearns in Duo Interpretation; and Will Pace in International Extemporaneous Speaking. 

Macy Batchelor and Jayvione King placed fourth in Solo, and Moses James placed fifth in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking.  After all points were totalled at the end of a long, rainy day, Seminole came in second overall, just under Georgia Military College’s winning total. 

Indians to play Screven County for tennis title on Saturday

May 6 – For the second time in school history, and for the second consecutive season, the Seminole County Indians’ boys tennis team will play for a Georgia High School Association State Tennis Championship. In 2019 the Indians lost a heart breaker in the weather-affected state final, falling to Telfair County  3-2. 

Memories of that bad feeling of defeat lingered in the players’ minds throughout the COVID-19-cancelled season of 2020 and motivated these Indians to aspire to an even higher level of play, and to focus on one single goal – to never feel that way again. 

This year, with an undefeated 15-0 regular season record under their belts, along with the Bainbridge Bearcat Brawl Boys Tournament championship, and the Region 1A Boys championship on their resume, these Indians have been red hot and on a State Championship goal-reaching mission in rounds one, two, three, and four of the state tournament. Seminole County is now just one more match victory away from completing its state championship mission.

This Saturday, May 8, on the courts at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, the Indians will play the Screven County Gamecocks in a 1 p.m. match for the opportunity to serve, volley and lob their way into the state title history books.

The Indians began their post season run for the state title by defeating Hawkinsville 3-0 in the tournament’s first round. They aced Metter 3-0 in the second round, and overpowered the number one seed from Region 7A, Ace Charter, 4-1 to advance into the Final Four.

In the semifinals, the number one seed Region 1A Indians faced the number one seed Region 4A Dublin Fighting Irish in Dublin.  The Indians persevered, and served their way into the state tournament title match with  a 3-1 win.

Each Indian faced mental and physical pain and adversity during the state playoff run, and each time, each Indian rose up, remembered the goal of the season, and stepped up on to that higher plane of play.

The 2021 Seminole County Indians are Carson Odom, #1 Singles, the son of Stephanie and Tracy Odom; Jay Palmer, #2 Singles, the son of Amanda and Jim Palmer; Jeb Burke, #3 Singles, the son of Maribeth and Jeremy Burke; Landon Kirkland, #1 Doubles, the son of Katina and Michael Kirkland; Bryson Grantham, #1 Doubles, the son of Holly and Bradley Grantham; (WC) Wendell Craft, #2 Doubles, the son of Laura and Wendell Craft; Parth Patel, #2 Doubles, the son of Madhu and Hemant Patel; Rand Mims, the son of Geeja and Clint Mims; and Rudra Patel, the son of Paral and Ashwinkumar Patel.

Indians win State Tennis Title!

May 11 – Mission accomplished!

On Saturday, May 8, the Seminole County High School Indian fans who traveled to Rome and filled the stands at the Berry College Tennis Center witnessed history. For the first time in the history of Seminole County High School sports, the Indians won the Georgia High School Association Class A State Tennis Championship with a 3-0 title match victory over the Screven County Gamecocks. It was also the first time in fifty-six years a Seminole County High School sports team won a state title with an unblemished and undefeated record. The 1965 girls’ basketball team of Coach N.P. Malcom and the “Famous Jackie Lane” was the last Seminole County team to reach that height of supremacy.

Last Saturday’s championship match was the second time in school history, and the second consecutive season, the Seminole County Indians’ boys tennis team played for the Georgia High School Association State Tennis Championship. In 2019 the Indians lost a heart breaker in the weather-affected state final, falling to Telfair County 3-2. 

The bad feeling of that defeat lingered in the players’ minds throughout the COVID-19-cancelled season of 2020 and motivated these Indians to never feel that way again – and they have not. That 2019 match was the last time these State Champion Indians lost a match.

GMC’s golfer Macy Williams 

competes this week in the

NJCAA National Championship

May 11 – In just the second full year of the program, Georgia Military College (GMC) Women’s Golf is making its presence known. GMC Freshman and Seminole County native Macy Williams will represent the Bulldogs at this year’s NJCAA National Championship. Macy is the fourth women’s golfer to earn the honor. In her short time with GMC, she has separated herself from the pack, establishing lofty records for future Bulldogs.

Macy Williams has had an outstanding Freshman campaign, with five top 10s, three top 5s, and a runner-up finish; she is the most decorated women’s golfer in GMC history. Williams has also set the record for the lowest tournament round and lowest scoring average. “We are very excited about her success,” said coach Van Horn. 

Williams’ success is no surprise; she is from Iron City, Georgia, and she attended Seminole High School. Williams has won three GSHA Area Championships and would have likely won four if the COVID-19 pandemic had not canceled the 2020 season. Williams began playing golf at the young age of six years old and credited her love for the game to her father. She is still passionate about the game and spends a lot of her time in the Mason Performance Golf Lab, on the range, or at the course when she is not in class.

Macy is a SCMHS graduate and the daughter of Micki and Jamie Williams of Iron City.

Donalsonville News receives 

District and State 4-H awards

May 11 – David Maxwell, managing editor of the Donalsonville News, was presented the 2021 Outstanding Support by Public Media Award for Southwest District 4-H. He was also selected as the 2021 State of Georgia winner in the same category.

Maxwell’s selection for these prestigious awards was announced Wednesday, May 5th, at the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents Awards Luncheon held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. 

In the presentation of the awards Maxwell was acknowledged and honored for the Donalsonville News’ outstanding coverage and support of Georgia Extension and 4-H programming and the promotion of ongoing agricultural educational and youth programming efforts of each. 

“Much thanks to David for all he does to keep the Seminole County citizens informed of the vital educational programming efforts of UGA Extension / 4-H. Thanks for your support,” commented Cindy Meadows, Seminole County 4-H and Extension Agent.

JUNE

Southwest Georgia becomes the first Age-Friendly Designated
Region in the country

June 3 – Effective May 27, 2021, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission and the Region’s 14 counties became the first Age Friendly Designated Region in the United States.  The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities is a program of the AARP Livable Communities initiative and serves as the organizational affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. 

With this designation, the Region is joining an elite worldwide network. Currently in the United States, more than 100 million residents live in an age friendly designated area, which includes more than 500 cities/counties, eight states and one territory.

Recreation Department to host Dixie Youth Tourney June 5, 6

June 3 – The District V Dixie Youth All-Star tournament for seven to eight-year old players, and nine to ten-year-olds, will be held at the Seminole County Recreation Department fields this Friday and Saturday, June  5 and 6. 

The 10:00 a.m. opening ceremony on Saturday, June 5 will include a welcome from Recreation Department Director Billy Fain, followed by the raising of the American Flag by Boy Scout Troop 700 and Scoutmaster Mitch Royal. The National Anthem will be sung by Tracey Bell, and Reverend Tim Bell will give the invocation. The ceremony will conclude with the announcement of players and closing remarks.  

Organizers are asking everyone, “As we go to the fields to play, let’s sing along with our theme song – Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. 

Teams are to be in position on Field 1 by 10:00 a.m.

4-H Junior Shotgun Team
places first in state

June 14 – The Seminole County 4-H Shotgun Team participated in the 2021 Georgia 4-H State Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays Match.  The event was held May 29 and 30 in Savannah.

The Junior team placed first in the state contest and the Senior team placed fifth.  Julian Harrison won first place in Junior Sporting Clays High Individual competition. 

Seminole County’s Junior Team members include Gage Trawick, Julian Harrison, Lyndon Touchton, Davis Fowler, Ty Weir, and Decatur Milner. Senior team members include Peyton Baker, Paul Hornsby, Peyton Brown, Gabe Williams, Cody Spooner, Rob Weir, Thomas Chance, and Gavin Womack.

Team coaches and volunteers include Steve Whitaker, Janet Whitaker, Celia Weir, Kim Chance, Ron Chance, and Josh Milner.

Georgia 4-H Project SAFE uses the shooting sports to teach many valuable life skills. Project SAFE (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) provides youth a place to develop a sense of belonging, learn teamwork in a safe environment and increase concentration skills.  Safety and the responsible use of firearms and archery equipment is a primary goal. Trained volunteers lead clubs in BB, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, 22 Rifle, Shotgun and Archery in over 110 counties.

Lake Landings to require parking pass effective July 1

June 17 –  Effective July 1, 2021, a ParkPass will be required at Sealy’s Point and Reynolds Landing Park (Spring Creek).   An Annual ParkPass for Georgia residents can be purchased for $20, non-residents $30, and a Daily ParkPass is $3. The ParkPass must be displayed on your rearview mirror at all times while inside the parks.

Beginning Monday, June 21, visitors can purchase an Annual ParkPass at the Board of Commissioners’ office located at 200 S. Knox Avenue, Donalsonville, GA, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Daily passes are located in the collection boxes at each park. Additional purchase locations may be added in the future.  All funds collected will be used for upkeep of the parks.  

Additionally, the Board of Commissioners recently voted in favor of leasing Cummings Landing Park.  As everyone is aware, the dock sustained damage during Hurricane Michael and repairs have not been made.  Once the lease agreement has been finalized with the Department of Natural Resources and the Corp of Engineers, a collection box will be set up and the Daily ParkPass fees collected will be used to offset the cost of replacing the dock.  The Annual ParkPass will include use of Cummings Landing.  The county will also be moving forward with reopening the camping area at a later date.  

For more information, call 229-524-2878.

Jonathan Jarvis, Tanner Trawick reel in state fishing title

June 24 – For most of their entire lives fourteen-year-old fishermen Jonathan Jarvis and Tanner Trawick have dreamed of one day catching the big one. Well, they did it last weekend, reeling in 27.69 pounds of fish, besting the 30 boat field, and capturing the state title in the Junior division of the Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship. The boys led the pack both days, bringing in 13.13 pounds on day one and 14.56 pounds on day two, for their tournament total of 27.69. Tanner also reeled in the tournament’s “Big Fish” with its outstanding weight of 7.28 pounds, giving him the Lunker award. 

The tournament was held at Lakepoint State Park Resort on Lake Eufaula Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19.  

Jonathan is the son of Jody and Jennifer of Jarvis and Tanner is the son of Kathryn and Spence Touchton and the late Brad Trawick, all of Seminole County.

Local Sheriff officers arrest suspect in national golf cart theft case

June 24 – Nathan R Nelson, age 45, of Ruskin Florida, was arrested by local Sheriff officers here in Seminole County in connection with the theft of “numerous” golf carts in several states including the Dakotas and Minnesota.

On June 11th, Seminole County Sheriff officers Sergeant Jim Shingler and Deputy Justin Henry received a call from the owner of Lake Seminole’s Fins and Feathers, located on County Road 374, of a bicycle parked along the fence. 

Upon investigation, the officers found shoe tracks that led from the bicycle along the dirt road leading to the Dixie Sales Golf Cart Shop.  They discovered that the fence surrounding the Dixie Sales property had been cut.  

The officers then received another call from the property owner, who stated he had observed a white Dodge truck leaving the area. Sgt. Shingler spotted the vehicle and stopped the truck at Cypress Pond Landing. The driver was identified as Nelson.

Sgt. Shingler requested and received permission to search the truck. Officers discovered a pair of wet boots, which matched the boot print tracks located earlier, bolt cutters, blank golf cart keys, a label maker, and several serial number labels for golf carts.  

Nelson was placed under arrest and the case was turned over to the Sheriff’s Office investigative division for follow up.  Locally Nelson was charged with two counts of criminal trespass, two counts of criminal attempt to commit theft, and computer forgery.  Nelson was released to federal agents on June 16th. 

An FBI affidavit says Nathan Rodney Nelson can be linked to 63 golf cart thefts in seven states since 2017. Nelson is charged with transporting stolen vehicles across state lines.

JULY

Animal Rescue Alliance preparing to open, serve Seminole County

 July 1 – It has been an unfortunate fact that stray and unwanted animals in Seminole County have long been a perplexing problem. 

“Over the course of more than  a year, a group of concerned citizens began petitioning the Seminole County Board of Commissioners, and attending multiple meetings, but a satisfactory solution could not be reached,” commented Carol J. Williams, one of those concerned citizens.

Private donors agreed to fund the purchase of a facility, if Williams  would establish the business. The vacant and former veterinary clinic building on Highway 91, north of Donalsonville, was purchased, and renovation plans have been completed.  Bids for the construction project are now being accepted, and it is hoped that the facility will be up and running by late Fall of this year.

Williams obtained 501(c)(3) status (non-profit), and the business name was selected to be Animal Rescue Alliance, Inc.  You can now find it on Facebook, the email address is:  aralliancega@gmail.com.  and the  company’s web site is located at:  aralliancega.com

If you would like additional information about Animal Rescue Alliance, or would like to become a donor or volunteer, contact them via email at aralliancega@gmail.com

Friendship Store moving downtown

July 8 – The Friendship Store is moving from its longtime Tennille Avenue location to 120 East Second Street, right in the middle of downtown Donalsonville.

A thrift store outreach ministry of Donalsonville’s Friendship United Methodist Church (FUMC), the Friendship Store offers affordable quality clothing and household items to those in need in the community. 

FUMC uses the proceeds from the sale of the store’s donated goods to fund the church’s food ministries and community outreach ministries that include the food pantry, the monthly manna drop, and storm recovery projects. 

Planning to be open in its new location as soon as possible, the store will be  open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Donations are welcomed and are accepted during store hours. For additional information regarding the services of the store call 229-524-2328. 

Will Pace places second in nation

July 8 – On Friday, July 2nd, the winners of the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference were announced, and Seminole County Middle High School FBLA’s own Will Pace was on the winner’s list for the job interview competition.  “This year’s competitions  have been quite different, to say the least.  Because of COVID-19 safety guidelines all conferences and competitions have been virtual, making each competition much more stressful and rigorous than usual,” commented Seminole County FBLA advisor Kathryn Touchton.  

However, nothing seemed to negatively affect Will Pace’s poise and performance. He mastered the competition and won at the regional and state level with almost perfect job interview scoring, and last Friday he impressed and flattered the national judges and was awarded second place in the entire country. 

Will has also been elected as a Georgia FBLA State Officer for the upcoming school year and has already begun working with a prestigious panel of students from schools all around the state. Touchton added, “Will is just an overall exceptional student and I honestly was not surprised at all when his name was announced as second in the nation. I am so excited about advising him this upcoming year as a Georgia State Officer and am thrilled the entire club will get to experience this with him”. 

Will is an upcoming Senior at Seminole County Middle High School. He is the son of Wes Pace and John and Mandy Buckhaulter.

Indians headed to World Series!

July 22 – The 11- and 12-year-old Seminole Recreation Department baseball Allstars had a great weekend in Roberta at the Dixie Youth State Baseball Championship tournament. Seminole County  secured a second place finish in Georgia Dixie Youth Baseball and earned the chance to represent the state in the Dixie Youth Ozone World Series, in Laurel, Mississippi, July 29 through August 5.

COVID relief funding awarded to Southwest Georgia Health Clinics 

July 29 – Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics, Inc. in Donalsonville has been awarded $889,375 in funding to aid COVID-19 response and overall healthcare access in rural Seminole County. This grant is the only one awarded in the state of Georgia and will enable the clinic to expand healthcare resources and improve COVID-19 response in the community. 

The funding will come from American Rescue Plan and is being administered through a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) program that supports “community-based health care providers that provide essential primary health care services to underserved communities and vulnerable populations” who do not otherwise have access to federal funding via HHS agencies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also approved a Rural Business Development Grant of $28,336 for the Donalsonville Seminole Chamber of Commerce. The USDA grant will be used to create a “pop-up” park located in front of The Corner Bistro restaurant for additional seating. The restaurant lost 50 percent of its seating during the pandemic due to public health precautions preventing indoor dining. The grant funds will provide 16 additional seats and can potentially create several new jobs as well as contribute to downtown revitalization
efforts.

1,346 students head back to school

July 29 – The first day of school for Seminole County schools is Wednesday, August 4. The elementary and middle/high school Principals and their staffs have about completed the scheduling process for all students for the new year, a task that takes a massive amount of time, energy and dedication for the approximately 1,346 students enrolled for the 2021-22 school year.  This number includes an estimated 638 students enrolled at Seminole County Elementary and 708 enrolled at Seminole County Middle/High School. 

The Green Machine Marching Band is already hard at work preparing for the coming football season and concerts they hold each year.  The Seminole County Gridiron Indians, under new head coach Cedric L. Stegall, open the season with a home field scrimmage game against Brookwood on August 13. The first game of the regular season will be at Early County on August 20. The first home game will be August 27 against Blountstown.

AUGUST

Newspaper receives thirty-one awards from Georgia Press

Judged the second-best
small weekly newspaper in Georgia

August 5 – Friday, July 30 was a historic day for the Donalsonville News in the Better Newspaper Editorial and Advertising Contests held during the 134th Convention of the Georgia Press Association on Jekyll Island. Winner of thirty-one editorial and advertising awards, the Donalsonville News was judged the second best small weekly newspaper in the state of Georgia, placing second in the General Excellence category, one of the association’s highest honors.

The General Excellence winners are chosen via a points system based on the awards won in the editorial and advertising contests. The award is based on an overall evaluation of the newspaper, including local news, sports and lifestyle coverage, use of photography and graphics and overall quality.

The Donalsonville News received first place honors in the categories of feature photograph, headline writing, layout and design, serious column writing, newspaper promotion, advertising campaigns, special editions, photo essay, lifestyle coverage, community service, apparel and jewelry advertising, service and institutional advertising, health care coverage, classified page design, and home furnishing advertising.

Second place awards were received in the categories of page one design, photo essay, special sections, miscellaneous advertising, motor vehicle advertising, home furnishings advertising, health care advertising, newspaper promotion, full color advertising, and service and institutional advertising.

Third place awards were received in newspaper promotion, religion coverage, signature page, small page advertising and best use of color.

Floyd James Harris arrested 

in Monday’s murder 

and assault case

August 12 – On Monday, August 9, around 8:15 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to assist in an aggravated assault and homicide investigation that took place in the 3000 block of Old Jakin Road in Donalsonville. Seminole County Sheriff deputies responded to a domestic situation at the above address and learned a female had been shot in the head, but she was able to get away from the area and seek help. Officers reported the vehicle the female was driving had also been shot multiple times.  She was later airlifted to a local trauma center for treatment of her wounds.  

A male victim was also located who had been shot and was deceased at the scene.  An autopsy for the male was scheduled for Wednesday morning at the GBI Crime Lab. Names of the female and male victim were not being released by the GBI at presstime.

A short time later, Seminole County Sheriff deputies arrested Floyd James Harris, 29 years of age from Attapulgus, Georgia, near the scene.  Harris was arrested for aggravated assault and murder.  

It is alleged that, through witness interviews, Harris was responsible for shooting the female and male after separate confrontations with both.  Harris was transported to the Seminole County Jail where he remains. Additional charges will be sought later as the investigation progresses. Agents and Seminole County investigators are continuing to locate and interview witnesses that were present Monday night or have knowledge of the incident.  This case is active and ongoing.

67% of county’s eligible residents

continue to remain unvaccinated

August 12 – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Southwest Georgia and across the country, public health officials at Southwest Health District 8-2 strongly urge those who are unvaccinated to make plans to get their shot(s) now.

As of Wednesday, August 18, all fourteen counties in the Southwest Health Distinct are shaded dark red on the Georgia State Department of Health’s COVID spread rate map. Red is the color indicating the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in the state.

Over the past two weeks, Seminole County has now recorded 105 additional positive COVID-19 cases, and counties throughout Southwest Georgia continue to report massive increases in that same time period. Miller County has reported 83 new cases, Decatur County has had 217, Early County reported 152 additional new cases, and Grady reported 148. As of Wednesday, August 18, Seminole County has been recorded with a total of 899 positive cases of the virus and eighteen deaths since the pandemic began in March of 2020.

As of Wednesday, August 16, only 33 percent of Seminole County’s eligible residents have been vaccinated – an increase of only one percent since August 2nd. 

Miller County’s vaccination rate is 40%, in Early County the rate is 36%, Decatur County it is 34%, and Grady County’s rate is 31% – tied with Colquitt County for the lowest vaccinated rate in the Southwest District.

Donalsonville News 

editions from 1940 to 1964
digitized and now available online

August 12 – The Georgia Public Library Service and the Digital Library of Georgia are pleased to announce the addition of nearly 60,000 pages of newspapers dating from 1882-1985 to the Georgia Historic Newspapers portal. The portal is the largest provider of free online access to digitized licensed and public domain Georgia newspapers, and currently includes titles dating from 1763-2018. 

For the first time since this project began, the Donalsonville News and the Miller County Liberal  are now included on the Georgia Historic Newspapers online site.

8,184 pages from 792 issues of the Donalsonville News from 1940-1964 are now just a click away at gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu

You will now also find 526 issues of the Miller County Liberal printed from 1907 to 1926 newly upload on the site.

Seminole County schools

transition to Distance Learning

August 26 – Due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19 Seminole County Schools transitioned to a system-wide Distance Learning model at the end of the school day on Monday, August 23. Tuesday, August 24th was a transition day and students were not required to attend school. This day was used for teachers to prepare and transition instructional plans for learning to resume on Wednesday, August 25. All Seminole County students will be in distance learning from Wednesday, August 25 through Friday, September 3. 

Face-to-face instruction is scheduled to resume in the classroom on Tuesday, September 7.

During the distance learning period, teachers will conduct daily attendance checks through Google Classroom. Students will be expected to participate in live, synchronous Google Meet Sessions, and those students who do not meet these attendance
requirements will be counted absent, per the Georgia Department of Education and Governor’s Office of Student Achievement guidelines for distance learning.

Seminole County’s population 

increases slightly in 2020 Census

August 26 – The U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2020 census last week and while Southwest Georgia as a region is shrinking in population, Seminole County recorded an increase of  5%. Over the past ten years Seminole County picked up 418 new residents, increasing the county’s population to 9,147, up from 8,729 in 2010. 

In fact Seminole County had the fifth largest growth in the region following Lee County with a gain of 4,829; Decatur County with a gain of 1,528; Grady County with a gain of 1,225, and Thomas County with a gain of 1,079.

As a region, the population dropped 2,928 over the decade while Atlanta and the Atlanta metro region grew.

Calhoun and Baker counties experienced a 17 percent drop and Dougherty County lost nine percent of its population over the decade. The decline was less significant in Miller County (two percent) and Early County (one percent).

The counties that grew over the past ten years are Lee County (17 percent), Decatur County  County (six percent), Grady County (five percent), Seminole County (five percent) Thomas County (two percent) and Colquitt County (one percent).

SEPTEMBER

Seminole Manor residents, staff volunteer to take the shot 

September 2 – Donalsonville Hospital’s Seminole Manor Nursing home is making a statement about what can be done to stop the spread of COVID-19  and end the pandemic in the community – get vaccinated. Without a mandate, 100 percent of its residents, and 96 percent of its staff have voluntarily chosen to get vaccinated. 

Jordan Harris signs to play

 basketball in Scotland

September 2 – Seminole County and the University of Georgia basketball standout Jordan Harris has signed his first professional basketball contract and is headed to Scotland to play for the The Glasgow Rocks in the upcoming 2021/22 season.

 The Rocks, a professional basketball club in Glasgow, Scotland, competes in the British Basketball League, the top tier of British basketball. Since 2012, the Rocks have played their home games at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. The Rocks’ traditional rivals are the Newcastle Eagles. 

Harris commented, “I’m extremely excited to start my professional career in Scotland. I want to thank God, my family, my community, and the University of Georgia for all the love and support. My message to the youth: I need all of you to continue to help each other, and inspire one another because at the end of the day that is what it’s all about.”

Harris, now 23 years old, stands tall at six feet, five inches. He is a 2016 graduate from Seminole County Middle High School where he was a four year basketball standout. Harris was a four year member of the All Region and All State teams, three time Region Player of the Year, State Player of the Year and a member of the 2015 Seminole County GHSA State basketball championship team. 

After high school, he went on to play successfully in the NCAA for four years as a member of the University of Georgia Basketball Dawgs.

Jordan is the son of Erica Harris of Donalsonville.

Millers receive UGA’s Peanut Achievement Club honor as 

one of state’s top producers

September 2 – The University of Georgia Peanut Team honored Georgia’s top peanut producers this weekend at the annual Georgia Peanut Achievement Club.

Seminole County’s 4 Miller Farms, represented by Dee and Eddie Miller, Jr. were the Georgia Peanut Achievement Club state winnes for 700 plus acres.

Eddie Miller and Dee of 4 Miller Farms in Seminole County, Georgia, produced the highest yield — 6,017 pounds of peanuts per acre. The Millers won first place in the 700+ acre category for District 2. Miller attributes part of his success to UGA’s plant breeding program, which is led by members of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Chamber awarded grant to create a pop up park on Second Street

September 23 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a Rural Business Development Grant of $28,336 for the Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce. The USDA grant will be used to create a “pop-up” park in downtown Donalsonville. The project will be located on Second Street in front of The Corner Bistro restaurant for additional seating. The restaurant lost 50 percent of its seating during the pandemic due to public health precautions encouraging social distancing and preventing indoor dining. 

One of the purposes of this type of grant is to give needed economic assistance to businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The grant funds will provide 16 additional seats for the downtown restaurant,” commented Chamber of Commerce President Sarah Avery. 

“This project can potentially create several new jobs as well as contribute to downtown revitalization efforts.”

Public Safety, First Responders to receive $1000 bonus

September 30 – Governor Brian P. Kemp announced earlier this week a $1,000 pay supplement for all eligible sworn law enforcement officials and first responders in Georgia. Local governments and employers of public safety officials and first responders are encouraged to visit the Office of Planning and Budget’s grant funding opportunities website for more information on how to apply, receive, and distribute these funds. Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

The money will go to all eligible public safety officers and first responders, including police and sheriff’s department employees, parole and probation officers, prison and jail guards, emergency-medical technicians and paramedics, criminal investigators, court bailiffs, fish and game wardens, 911 communications officers and dispatchers and evidence processors with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

The State will be utilizing funds made available by the American Rescue Plan Act to create this opportunity. 

OCTOBER

Abigail Grantham named 

Miss Congeniality

October 14 – Miss Donalsonville Abigail Grantham was named Miss Congeniality National at the Miss National Peanut Pageant held October 8 and 9 in Dothan. 

Abigail commented, “This was the highest form of praise, and my sister queens will never know how much this means to me.”

Reigning as Miss Donalsonville since 2019, Abigail made the Seminole County community exhibiting  grace, beauty, and focused determination. She was also named top ten overall, top five in interview, and top five in verbal communication.

Abigail added “With a fulfilled, grateful heart, I have completed my Peanut journey. I competed in my first pageant at four years old just for fun. I did it to put on a pretty dress to win a pretty crown. 15 years later, I realized that I was meant to have this journey so that I could let Christ’s love shine through me.”

Dr. Walker appointed to state healthcare board

October 21 – General Surgeon, Dr. Josh Walker of Wiregrass Medical & Surgical Group, has been appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to the “Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce” Board representing Seminole County. 

The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce is comprised of 15 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. The current Board includes practicing physicians, hospital/health system executives, health practitioners, and consumer members.

Its mission is to identify the physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, and dentist workforce needs of Georgia communities and to meet those needs through the support and development of medical education programs. The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce works to see Georgia communities, especially in medically underserved areas, have improved access to needed physicians and other health care practitioners, thereby enhancing the health and wellbeing of Georgia’s citizens.

Veterans Day parade, 

ceremony returns November 11th 

October 28 – The annual Seminole County Veterans Day Parade is set to return at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, November 11th in downtown Donalsonville. Last year, the COVID-19 Pandemic caused the parade’s cancellation, but this year, rain or shine “We are having a parade!”

All veterans, officers, enlisted military personnel and family member(s) of servicemen and women currently deployed are encouraged to participate. For all walkers and riders, the parade line up will begin at 9:15 on the corner of Second Street and Tennille Avenue, behind First Port City Bank, formerly Ponder Enterprises. 

Second Street businesses are encouraged to show the colors, and groups, churches and individuals are invited to decorate a golf cart or a vehicle, and join the annual salute honoring this community’s veterans. The parade will begin at approximately 9:40 a.m. and travel down Second Street beginning at Tennille Avenue and ending at the Courthouse for the 10 a.m. ceremony.  

The Seminole County Elementary School Seminole Singers will provide patriotic musical entertainment and the Veterans Day playing of “Taps” will be performed by the Seminole County Green Machine Band’s Destiny Jones.

Sponsored by the Donalsonville News, it is the hope of parade organizers to give our local veterans the honor they so richly deserve and have Second Street, from Tennille Avenue to the Courthouse, lined with cheering, flag waving citizens. .

NOVEMBER

Seminole County votes to renew E-SPLOST, Mitzy Moye wins 

city council seat

November 4 – With only 15 percent of Seminole County voters casting a ballot in the November 2 Special Election, the vote to continue the one-cent special purpose local option sales tax for education (E-SPLOST) overwhelmingly passed with 794 votes for yes and 85 votes for no. 909 out of the approximate 5,985 Seminole County registered voters made the effort to cast a vote in the early voting period and on Election Day. 

The approval of the E-SPLOST for the next five years means that one cent of every dollar spent in Seminole County will continue to benefit the Seminole County School System. A  maximum amount of $6,600,000 generated by the tax in that time period will be used by the school system in its plans to construct a new state-of-the-art K-12 facility for all Seminole County students. 

In the race for the District 1, Post 1 seat on the Donalsonville City Council, former city council person and challenger Mitzy Moye defeated incumbent city council person Moses James 135 to 65. 

Moye was originally elected to the council in November of 2017 and served until vacating her post in April of 2020 to run for Mayor. Council person James was appointed to fill that vacancy on the council, also in April of 2020.  

Seminole County’s
One Act Team wins Region

November 4 – The “One Act” Team at Seminole County Middle High School won first place in its region competition last Saturday at Seminole High School edging out Baker County and and Pataula Charter.  Anchored by JoBeth Kelly and Brian (B.B.) Sims, who play agents Gabrielle and Tom, the students performed Don Zolidis’s “The NSA’s Guide to Winning Friends and Influencing People: Or What We’ve Learned from Watching You.” Seminole One Act coach and director Ben Sasser utilized an eleven person cast to play twenty-six different characters in the eight short and diverse vignettes in this production.  

From role playing in the World of Warcraft to a meltdown during a Girl Scouts Award ceremony to students spying on other students through their home computers, this play pokes fun at the idea of continual government surveillance in our private lives.  The main character even describes “cameras in our shower heads” as a way to keep tabs on private citizens.  While some characters benefit, most realize the absurd overreach of such a system through the script’s humorous and lively exchanges.  Along with the NSA’s new recruit, the audience finds their way through the crisis of conscience and decides against the overreaching methods displayed in each scene.

Kennedy charged
in double homicide

November 4 – On Sunday, October 31, about 1:05 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to assist in what began as a missing persons / welfare check case that evolved into a double homicide investigation that took place in the 3000 block of Tom Mills Road in Donalsonville.  Seminole County Deputies responded to a welfare check at the above address and discovered an elderly male and female along with a missing vehicle.  Deputies discovered evidence at the scene that indicated a struggle and suspected assault of some kind had taken place there.

Deputies began looking for the missing vehicle and located it being driven by Kelly Dale Kennedy of Donalsonville later that Sunday afternoon in the area close to the scene.  Kennedy was stopped and taken into custody at this time and transported to the Seminole County Jail.  Further investigation by agents and deputies developed information that led to the discovery of  a female victim, Catherine Kennedy, age 77, on the property and the male victim, Sammy Ray Beasley, age 76, who had been carried from the scene and discarded in the Chattahoochee River.  The body of Beasley was recovered from the river with assistance from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Jackson County Florida Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.  An autopsy for the female will be completed at the GBI Crime Lab this week, and the male’s autopsy will be done in Florida due to his location in the river.  

Kelly Dale Kennedy, 36 years of age, of  3226 Tom Mills Road in Donalsonville has been charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, felony theft by taking, and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

American Peanut Growers Group to open new processing facility, expand shelling plant

November 11 – Governor Brian P. Kemp has  announced Georgia-based American Peanut Growers Group (APGG) will invest $85 million in expanding operations in the state, creating 90 jobs. In addition to expanding its current Donalsonville shelling plant, APGG will open a new food processing facility on its 45-acre campus just northwest of Donalsonville on Georgia Highway 39 in Seminole County.

Headquartered in Seminole County and grower-owned, American Peanut Growers Group produces approximately 200,000 tons of peanuts per year. In addition to local buyers in South Georgia, APGG utilizes the Port of Savannah to reach many customers around the world. APGG’s customers include major confectioners, peanut butter manufacturers, and snack-nut roasters.

APGG plans to build an additional 135,000-square-foot facility on its campus. This will encompass its new food processing operations, enabling APGG to manufacture peanut paste, granules, peanut butter, and roasted peanuts for its customers. The company will also invest in additional shelling equipment as it expands those operations.

APGG’s facility is located at 5212 Highway 39 North in Donalsonville. The company will begin hiring in June 2022 for careers in production, management, and maintenance. Individuals interested in opportunities with APGG are encouraged to visit APGG.com/careers for additional information.

First Port City Bank contributes $10,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through Georgia HEART

November 18 – First Port City Bank gave $10,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program for 2021. Donalsonville Hospital has been serving Donalsonville, Georgia community for the past 103 years, providing quality healthcare close to home for its residents. 

The Georgia HEART Hospital Program administers the Rural Hospital Tax Credit, which was enacted by the Georgia General Assembly in 2016 to increase rural hospital funding and to further the hospitals’ ability to care for the thousands of Georgians who live in the communities they serve.

Currently, 54 rural hospitals are qualified to receive these tax credit-eligible contributions from individuals and businesses across the state. Georgia taxpayers who are interested in participating in the HEART program are encouraged to visit www.georgiaheart.org to learn more and to submit an online 2022 HEART tax credit application.

DECEMBER

Southwest Georgia Healthcare
Clinics welcome family nurse 

practitioner Katherine White

December 9 – Donalsonville Hospital is proud to announce that Katherine Hutchins White, FNP-C, has joined the staff at Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner. 

White is the daughter of Keith Hutchins of Donalsonville and Claudia Tennille Hutchins of Bainbridge. Mrs. White is also the granddaughter of the late Wilkin and Willie Ree Hutchins of Donalsonville. 

Mrs. White attended Deerfield Windsor and Georgia Southwestern State University and received her FNP.  She has previously worked at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, Phoebe Putney in Albany and Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge. 

Katherine will be seeing patients at: Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics, Pediatrics & Family Medicine, located at 205 Bresee Street in Donalsonville. 

Officers Hank Bagwell, 

KP Boatright and Tony Cox 

presented Act of Heroism award

December 16 – On Friday, December 10th Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Major Hank Bagwell, DNR Sgt. Tony Cox and Game Warden KP Boatright were presented the Act of Heroism Award by Governor Brian Kemp at the annual Governor’s Public Safety Awards presentation.

The three were presented the award for their life saving efforts rescuing a waterfowl hunter on Lake Seminole on Christmas Eve 2020. 

Donalsonville Hospital named 

top medium-sized hospital

December 16 – Donalsonville Hospital has been ranked by Georgia Trend as the #1 medium-sized hospital in the state of Georgia. Georgia Trend compared Donalsonville Hospital with similar sized facilities throughout the state, hospitals with 100-249 beds, and evaluated each hospital based on information obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services including clinical process, patient experience, outcome, and efficiency.

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel healthcare organizations with staffing shortages, delivery disruptions, appointment cancellations and revenue loss, Georgia’s hospitals continue to strive to provide efficient, quality care. In addition, they are looking to the future and innovations that will improve care in the days to come.

Each year, Georgia Trend publishes a list of the state’s top hospitals. For this list, which includes hospitals that provide a range of services, the magazine evaluated each hospital that participated in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Value Based Purchasing program on their total performance score in FY2021.

The ranking is based on information in four areas: clinical outcomes, person and community engagement, safety, and efficiency and cost reduction. Hospitals are grouped by similar size and mission. The groupings are: Teaching Hospitals, whose primary mission is teaching regardless of size and are certified by the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems; Large Hospitals (250+ patient beds); Medium Hospitals (100 to 249 beds); and Small Hospitals (fewer than 100 beds). The American Hospital Directory provided the hospital bed size.

For more information on the services, physicians and clinics affiliated with Donalsonville Hospital please visit www.donalsonvillehospital.org

Scarborough named Falcons High School Man of the Year finalist

December 16 – Seminole County Middle High School gridiron Indian Hugh Scarborough has been named an Atlanta Falcons High School Man of the Year Finalist. Scarborough was recognized in person for the achievement on December 6 during an Atlanta Falcons home game in Merceded Benz stadium in Atlanta.

Nominated for the award by Seminole County head coach Cedrick Stegall, the High School Man of the Year recipient will be announced in January.

Modeled after one of the most prestigious awards in the NFL, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the Atlanta Falcons honors high school football student–athletes who embody excellence on and off the field.  This award is for players that have to overcome obstacles to perform on the field. SCHS is very happy to announce that Hugh Scarborough was recognized as a finalist at the Falcons game on Sunday, December 6.

In addition to playing football, Hugh plays baseball and has served as an officer in the FFA for three years. He helps with the Walker Baseball Clinic and also helps with the children at Little Indians Daycare. Hugh is an outstanding student, athlete and a true Seminole County Indian. Well done, Hugh, and good luck!

Hugh is the son of Andrea and Dave Lambert and Tracy Scarborough.

 Firefighter Brandon Lane 

receives 2021 Training 

Officer of the Year award

December 16 – Georgia State Firefighters Association President David Bullard recently awarded the association’s annual Training Officer of the Year award to Captain Brandon Lane from the Donalsonville Fire and Rescue Department. Captain Lane was chosen by the GSFA board from nominees that were submitted from fire departments statewide. 

“Captain Lane was promoted to the Training Officer’s position in 2015 and performs an outstanding job in that capacity,” commented Donalsonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Dean King. “We are proud to have Brandon as part of our team and appreciate all that he does for our department and the community. We congratulate him on receiving this well deserved award.”

Community’s generosity makes

holiday season brighter for
Seminole Manor residents

December 23 – Seminole Manor Nursing Home Director Shelley Hines and her staff wanted to bring joy to a special group of people in their facility during the holidays. They set up a resident’s Angel Tree in the facility’s foyer and invited the public to come out and choose a tag from the tree, purchase a gift for the tag’s assigned resident, and experience the joy of making that person merry and bright this holiday season.  Each tag provided needed information about a resident without giving their name.

Hoping to get some support from the local community they promoted the tree in the Donalsonville News and placed flyers on bulletin boards around town.  The response they received was overwhelming, and with the generous public support, multiple gifts were under the tree for every single resident in the nursing home when they opened them during their annual Christmas party last Friday. 

“Our community embraced the Christmas spirit to uplift our residents’ spirit during this season of giving and help make it the most wonderful time of the year for all of us. The people in our community went above and beyond the call of duty making Christmas extra special, and a holly jolly, magical event for all of our residents. This was a grand event for the residents and all gifts and donations were so greatly appreciated,” added Hines.

Seminole County’s Nick Cull
signs with Ole Miss

December 23 – Seminole County Middle School  football standout Nick Cull is now an Ole Miss Rebel.

The Senior signed with Lane Kiffin’s University of Mississippi program on Wednesday, December 15 at the middle-high school.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back is ranked as high as No. 20 nationally at his position by Rivals and No. 36 by 247 Sports Composite. He is considered a top 50 player in the state of Georgia by most recruiting services. He is rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports Composite, On3 and Rivals.

Cull had narrowed a list of 22 offers to six before deciding on the Rebels. Miami, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and South Carolina were other schools in his top six. In addition to playing on defense, Cull played quarterback and some running back on offense for the Class A Indian program this past season.

In nine games, he recorded 44 tackles, two interceptions and four pass break-ups on defense. He returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown. Offensively, he threw for 264 yards off 17-of-31, rushed for 199 yards on just 45 carries (4.4 yards per carry) with five touchdowns and caught two passes for 64 yards with one TD.

He is also a basketball standout for Seminole County.

Cull is the son of Adriane Adams, the nephew of Phyllis Rambo, and the cousin of former Seminole County and Georgia Bulldog star Bacarri Rambo, who played five seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Leave a Comment