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Top stories from 2023 – The year in review.



Stewards of Lake Seminole and Corps of Engineers to work together on plans to 

save Lake Seminole

The mission of the Stewards of Lake Seminole is to secure funding as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, to manage invasive species on Lake Seminole, in a collaborative but timely manner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), for the benefit of the Lake Seminole stakeholders.  Critical to the success of this mission is a collaborative agreement with the USACE. 

On December 13th, 2022, Stewards of Lake Seminole Inc. met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Mobile, Alabama and secured that agreement.  Attending the meting were  Bobby Moore P.E-Operations Project Manager, ACF River Projects, Mobile District, Alex Jernigan- VP Stewards of Lake Seminole, Jeremy J. Chapman P.E., Colonel, U.S. Army, Mobil District Commander, and Steve Dickman-Founder and Executive Director of Stewards of Lake Seminole-  memorializes that historic event.   

“This is truly a historic step in our journey to save Lake Seminole,” commented Dickman.

For the communities, the agreement states “The Corps and the Stewards mutually recognize the value of hydrilla and other grasses, within limits, in creating an ecosystem where fish and wildlife can flourish. The Corps and the Stewards mutually recognize there are significant national and local community benefits, both economic and recreational (visitor spending totaled $68 million in 2021 for Seminole and Decatur Counties), associated with the collaborative management of invasive grasses in a balanced manner that preserves and enhances the dynamic ecosystem while addressing the needs of all beneficiaries.


Greene begins 41st year as State Representative

Gerald Greene began his 41st year serving the people of House District 154 and his first term as the Dean of the Georgia House of Representatives on January 9th – recognizing his tenure as the longest serving member of the House. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1982.

Greene represents Baker, Clay, Calhoun, Dougherty, Early, Miller, Quitman, Randolph and Seminole counties.  


Will Miller is the 2023 STAR Student for SCMHS

Seminole County Middle/High School proudly announces William (Will) Malory Miller, Jr. as its 2023 STAR Student.  Miller, selected on the basis of his SAT scores, class standing and scholastic averages, has chosen Keith Helms as his STAR teacher.

Will Miller is the son of Malory and Laura Miller and the brother of Jeb Miller. He has attended Seminole County Schools since kindergarten. Will is honored to be named the 2022-2023 STAR student and would like to thank his teachers, friends, and family for supporting him throughout his journey.

Will has received several academic and leadership awards in FFA. He served as the local Treasurer, Second Vice President, and currently serves as Vice President in FFA, and he was awarded FFA Highest Average in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade. Will participates in many contests, such as Farm Business Management, Swine Record Book, and Agricultural Mechanics. Outside of FFA, he was a recipient of the Georgia Certificate of Merit and the Rural and Small Town Recognition Award. In school, Will received the highest average in Honors Biology, Accelerated Pre-Calculus, Honors Chemistry, and many other honors courses. In addition, he is proud to be a member of the National Honor Society for the past three years. Even with his rigorous academic schedule, Will has been able to balance three years of baseball, one year of tennis, and two years of football. After high school, he plans to attend the University of Georgia majoring in Engineering.

Will has had numerous outstanding teachers throughout his years at Seminole County. After much consideration, he chose Mr. Keith Helms to be his STAR teacher.


New restaurant announces plans to open soon

Last Spring the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) purchased the building on Tennille Avenue, affectionately referred to as the former bus station, old auto parts store and frequently called “the Clarke building”.  

The DDA purchases local buildings with the purpose of revitalizing the structures and to bring new businesses to the community. For the past year work has been in progress rehabbing the building in the hopes of creating a commercial restaurant to provide more dining downtown. 

 A diverse variety of restaurants was sought after to include a coffee shop, a seafood restaurant, a steak house and a BBQ business.  After many months of searching, the DDA was actually approached by the Rodeo Mexican Restaurant and Cantina out of Dothan and Ashford, Alabama. 

The DDA, who has the governing authority to enter into agreements with the private sector,  has partnered with The Rodeo owners to continue to convert the Clarke Building into a commercial space.  The projected date of the official opening is sometime in April. 


 Young Farmers win top awards at GYFA Convention

The 53rd annual Georgia Young Farmers Association Convention was held this past weekend at the Westin Inn Convention Center at Jekyll Island.  The Seminole County Young Farmer chapter was well represented again at this year’s state event.  

To get the convention started off in the right fashion, Jeff Braswell opened the event with our National Anthem.  Jeff performed the Anthem both nights of the convention, and was commended for his great singing talents.

The awards program concluded the first night with the coveted “Farm Family of the Year” award announcement.  The North, Central and South region farm family winners were all called on stage for the announcement.  After watching each region winning farm family’s farm operation video footage, Dee and Paige Miller and their children IV and Wiley Miller were recognized as the 2022 State Winners.  

On the last night of the convention, the eight top students chosen from among the sixty-one GYFA chapters across the state were recognized for winning the Terrell Weeks Memorial Scholarship honoring the very best of the best agriculture students in the state of Georgia.  BethAnn Smith, SCMHS Senior and daughter of Dusty and Heather Smith, was named one of the recipients of this prestigious scholarship.  

At the conclusion of the GYFA convention, the 2022 GYFA Board of Directors was retired, and the newly elected board for 2023 was announced as they took the stage.  Jeff Braswell was announced as the 2023 GYFA Secretary and Dustin Bowen was announced as the new GYFA Jr. Director for the South Region. 


Hospital now provides the
latest in bone health and body composition assessments

Thanks to the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) Rural Hospital Stabilization Grant, Donalsonville Hospital received $900,000 to support initiatives and services that strengthen access to quality care for Georgia’s underserved communities. Donalsonville Hospital, in part, used this grant money to expand its health and wellness services available to men and women with the addition of the Horizon® DXA system from Hologic®.  The imaging technology of the Horizon DXA system provides superb image quality with advanced diagnostic tools to support early detection and treatment of osteoporosis and provide a full body, Advanced Body Composition® assessment.  


Rep. Gerald Greene named Chairman of the House State Properties Committee

The Georgia House of Representatives’ Committee on Assignments named State Representative Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert) as the Chairman of the House State Properties Committee. As the longest serving member in the House, Rep. Greene has also been declared the honorary “Dean of the House” for this legislative term.


2023 Miss Seminole Royal Court Crowned

The 2023 Miss Seminole Pageant was held on Saturday, January 21 at Persnickety  Studio in Donalsonville and was a huge success. The Miss Seminole Pageant is hosted and directed by Mindy Strickland and Dainyell Long.

A Miss Seminole Sweetheart title was awarded to the contestant who raised the most funds overall and those funds will be donated soon to the Olive Theater in Donalsonville to help with repairs. A Miss Seminole Songbird title was awarded to the girl who raised the most funds for the Seminole County Show Choir program at Seminole County Middle /High School. 

The new Miss Seminole royalty includes: Baby Miss Seminole is Emersyn Claire Croom. Teeny Miss Seminole is  Delilah Brown. Tiny Miss Seminole  is Jacksyn-Rheilee Furr. Little Miss Seminole is Chanley Jordann. Young Miss Seminole is Makenzlee Nicole Proctor. Junior Miss Seminole is Brinn Womack. Teen Miss Seminole is Caroline Maxwell. Miss Seminole is Trinity Poague. Miss Seminole Hospitality/Sweetheart  is Melanie Paige Whittaker, and Miss Seminole Songbird is Meredith Jolene Foster.



Beauty and the Beast
performances set for Feb. 2-5

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. is playing at Seminole County Elementary School Auditorium from February 2nd – February 5th. Six performances are scheduled.   

 The 60-minute musical is based on the 1994 Broadway production and Disney’s 1991 animated feature film. The elementary, middle, and high school casts include 140 students led by Seminole County teachers Tony and Joy Buczek and Maribeth Burke. 


Sam Watson wins
State Senate seat

Colquitt County farmer and former State Representa­tive Sam Watson coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special election for Senate District 11. Watson garnered 10,097 votes  in unofficial returns Tuesday, easily defeating De­mocrat Mary Weaver-Ander­son who earned 3,048 votes and libertarian John Monds who managed to earn only 134 votes.

An   examination  of   the local results shows that Watson was the favorite of a majority  of  Seminole  County voters with 702 casting their ballot for him while Weaver-Anderson came in with  228 and  Monds a dis­tant  third with four votes.

Senator-elect Watson is 44 years old and  has served in the Georgia House of Repre­sentatives for the  past 10 years.

Watson is a lifelong Geor­gian. He and his family live and farm on the family farm in southern Colquitt County. 


Buczek selected 

Citizen of the Year

One of themes for last Thursday’s Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting held at the Seminole County Middle-High School cafeteria was all about working together to make today just a little better than yesterday. 

That theme was echoed by the selfless actions of this year’s Citizen of the Year recipient, Tony Buczek.  He was cited for his efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty of his job description, giving  extra time and energy and helping to make the lives of all Seminole County citizens just a little bit better. 

Working annually to teach and direct our young citizens to dream, to believe in themselves  and to become the best person they can possibly be, his efforts have consistently provided a clear and positive impact on the future leaders of Seminole County and beyond.


The Brad Thompson family is the 2022 Seminole County Farm Family of the Year

The 2022 Seminole County Farm Family of the Year was awarded to Thompson Family Farms – Brad and Amy Thompson.  Brad Thompson is a fourth generation farmer with a true love of the land. He developed his passion for farming at a young age by driving a tractor and working around the farm for 3R Thompson Farms. His grandpa, Jimmy Odom, Jr., allowed him to farm his first crop on forty acres of dryland free of rent back in 1993.

Brad is a 1993 graduate of Seminole County who married his wife Amy in 2001. Together they have grown their family and their farm. They have two teenage daughters. Ashlyn, who is 16 and Ava, who is 14. They grow cotton, corn, peanuts and soybeans and have grown green beans as well.  In 2014 Brad started crop-dusting with a helicopter and now owns and operates a successful crop-dusting business known as AAA Aviation. Brad and Amy have shown tremendous progress over the years as their farming operation now covers over 2000 acres.  


Congressman Bishop presents Donalsonville with $562,490

for internet expansion

Congressman Sanford Bishop was in town last Friday morning and presented the city with $562, 490 in funding to support the City of Donalsonville in its effort to expand wireless, high-speed internet service to underserved residents in Donalsonville and Seminole County.

The money will be used for broadband infrastructure that will provide 1,200 homes with high-speed internet in the very near future. 


Gravlee takes the lead as new director of the DDDA

Tori Gravlee has served on the Downtown Donalsonville Development Authority’s Board of Directors for the past few years, and now she is more than excited to take a more active role in serving downtown  Donalsonville as the new director of the Authority.

Hitting the ground running at full speed, Gravlee announced she is working to create an authority website, complete with new logo  and links to a directory of downtown businesses and community organizations.

She is also working with the Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce in promoting the Rural Zone grant and the Georgia cities loans that feature low interest loans that help with up to 40% of projects. 

Gravlee replaces longtime Downtown Development Authority director Virginia Harrison.


Jeffrey Hatcher appointed new Interim City Manager

On Tuesday, February 7, the City Council of Donalsonville appointed Jeffrey Hatcher to replace Billy Grantham as Interim City Manager. This change will take effect today, Thursday, February 16, and Hatcher will remain Interim City Manager until a permanent City Manager is selected. 

Grantham, who also serves as the city’s attorney, had served in the role of Interim City Manager since the previous City Manager, Steve Hicks, retired in October 2022. Grantham will continue his duties as city attorney.

Hatcher has been employed with the City of Donalsonville as Communications Director since 2018. Jeff has been responsible for the eDonalsonville LTE network and Information Technology operations for the City. He has worked with Federal and State Officials to secure other funding to upgrade the Internet system through eDonalsonville to improve speeds and add additional service areas. Hatcher also works as the Emergency Management Director for Seminole County. He will continue in these roles while adding the duties of Interim City Manager.


City to look internally for next Police Chief

The City Council of Donalsonville has voted to advertise and search internally for the vacant Donalsonville Police Chief position. Donalsonville Police Department’s Lieutenant Kem Pugh has been serving as Interim Police Chief since last December. He was appointed by the council shortly after the resignation of former Police Chief Woodrow Blue. 

The Council wishes to give existing, qualified officers within the police department a chance to apply for the position. These applications are due by February 24.

 The Council plans to make a hiring decision at the next City Council meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 7.


SCMHS named a
GaDOE AP Honor School

Seminole County Middle High School has been named a 2023 Advanced Placement Honor School by the Georgia Department of Education.

The GaDOE names 2023 AP Honor Schools in eight categories, based on the results of 2023 AP courses and exams. SCMHS was recognized as an AP Challenge School, a designation which recognizes schools with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in English, math, science, and social studies.

This award recognizes the dedication of the school and district to ensure that students are prepared for college. It also highlights the hard work of our AP teachers and students as they challenge themselves with rigorous coursework, culminating with the AP exam in May.



Kaiser awards $60,000 to Donalsonville Hospital

In an effort to address declining access to care in rural Georgia, Kaiser Permanente, an integrated managed care consortium, has donated $60,000 to Donalsonville Hospital and nine additional rural hospitals in the state. 

In addition to Donalsonville Hospital the nine other hospitals receiving $60,000 each are Candler County Hospital, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Elbert Memorial Hospital, Evans Memorial Hospital, Irwin County Hospital, Jasper Memorial Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Liberty Regional Medical Center Foundation and Wills Memorial Hospital Foundation. All of the hospitals are nonprofit organizations.


Mark Spooner selected
2023 Ag Person of the Year

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 24th Annual Farmer Appreciation event, held as a luncheon last Thursday, March 2nd, Mark Spooner was announced as this year’s recipient. 

Spooner has a love of farming that has been growing since birth. For the past sixteen years he has assisted the Seminole County and Southwest Georgia farming community through his position as partner and Chief Operating Officer of Seminole County’s Cook & Associates, Inc., an agricultural consultant business providing land management, grain merchandising and real estate and appraisal services.

Spooner also serves as a Seminole County Commissioner representing District 1, and is a member of the Donalsonville-Seminole County Industrial Development Authority.

In 2020 Spooner had the opportunity to be in present in Washington D. C. and witness President Donald Trump sign the Phase One Trade Agreement with China, a historic trade agreement that could significantly impact Seminole County’s ag-based economy.

Mark is married to Lisa Cook Spooner and they have two sons, Ray Spooner and the late Buck Spooner.


Les Robinson retires from Board of Education

At the regularly scheduled Seminole County Board of Education Meeting held on March  6, District 5 Board Member Les Robinson gave the board his letter of resignation. In his letter, Robinson stated, “Due to recent health  problems, I cannot continue to represent the citizens of District  5.”

Seminole County School Superintendent Mark Earnest and the members of the Board offered these words on Robinson’s decision, “Les Robinson has been a model school board member, never missing a meeting. He always put the students first in any decision made by the board. We are going to miss him, and we appreciate his service to Seminole County Schools.”


SWGA Farm Credit becomes a $5,000 Stewards of 

Lake Seminole supporter

Southwest Georgia Farm Credit employees Vic Hunter, Wendi Newberry, Kayla Johnson, Mandy Johnson and Dee Dow presented a $5,000 check to Steve Dickman, founder and president of the Stewards of Lake Seminole, a group dedicated to preserving the health of the lake. Southwest Georgia Farm Credit supports the mission of the Stewards of Lake Seminole and its commitment to work collaboratively for the benefit of property owners on Lake Seminole, bordering communities, recreationalists and local businesses. 

Stewards of Lake Seminole’s  goal is to raise $250,000.00 by April 1st, 2023, to fund its collaborative efforts. Community support in meeting this goal is imperative to pave the way for larger funding from other sources. 


Georgia Community Bank
donates $75,000 to Hospital through Georgia HEART

Georgia Community Bank recently contributed $75,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program. This is the largest Georgia Heart donation the hospital has received since the program’s inception in 2017. 

The Georgia HEART Hospital Program administers the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit, enabling individuals and businesses to redirect their Georgia income tax liability to help support qualifying hospitals.

HEART funds help provide and maintain the services that Donalsonville Hospital has implemented over the years including physical therapy, respiratory therapy, 24-hour emergency room coverage, labor and delivery, and upgrading and maintaining state-of-the-art technology like Dexascans, 3D mammography, CT scans, and more. 


SCMHS Literary Team wins Region Championship

The Seminole County Middle High School Fine Arts Department has done it again. 

The SCMHS Literary Team competed March 8 against five other schools in the Region 1A Literary Competition and walked away as the Region Champion for the 34th year in a row, winning first  place in six of the 12 Literary competition events. Seminole County competed against teams from Miller County, Baconton Charter, Pataula Charter, Early County and Baker County for Region 1-A’s Literary crown on the Southern Regional Technical College campus in Bainbridge.

 In the music categories, Zaravion Calloway won second place, and Hope Humphries won first in Indiviual Solo. Jobeth Kelley, Hope Humphries and Kelsey Nunnery won first in Trio; and Zaravion Calloway, Matt Burkett, Quinton Chavers and Pearson Fields won first place in Quartet. 

In the oral interpretation categories: Brian Sims won first place in Humorous, as well as Duo interpretation, partnered with Kerionna Moore. Leanne Pollock won first place in Dramatic interpretation. 

In the Extemporaneous Speaking events Lillie Hornsby won second place in Domestic Extemporaneous speaking, and Emma Godby won second place in International Extemporaneous speaking.

In the Essay categories Chloi Miller placed third in Argumentative Essay, Vinteria McLeroy placed in Personal Essay and Emma Gobdy placed in Literary Analysis Essay. 


Pugh hired as Chief of Police

The Donalsonville City Council has voted to hire Donalsonville’s Interim Police Chief Kem Pugh as the City of Donalsonville’s new Chief of Police.

Pugh was appointed Interim Chief in December, replacing Chief Woodrow Blue who resigned to accept the Chief of Police position for the City of Forsyth, Georgia. Blue had been Chief of Police in Donalsonville for the past seven years. 

Officer Pugh has been employed by the Donalsonville Police Department for the past 18 years,  working to protect the citizens of this area. A native of Seminole County, he was inspired at a young age to help people and his community through teamwork and service.

He graduated from Seminole County High School in 1980, attended Basic Law Enforcement Training, and has over 25 years experience in law enforcement.

Pugh is the son of Willie Fred and Susie Pugh. He is married to Betty F. Pugh  and he is the father of Kimves Pugh Hunter, Kemron Pugh, Mikel Wynn, Johnny Wynn and Schquanna Wynn.


FPCB becomes a $5,000 Stewards supporter

On Tuesday, March 21, First Port City Bank’s President Scott Ewing and FPCB’s Seminole County Market President Nancy Jernigan presented a $5,000 check to Steve Dickman, founder and president of the Stewards of Lake Seminole, a group dedicated to preserving the health of the lake.

First Port City Bank supports the mission of the Stewards of Lake Seminole and its commitment to work collaboratively for the benefit of property owners on Lake Seminole, bordering communities, recreationalists and local businesses. 


Drug bust results in two arrests

Seven days a week, and twenty-four hours a day, residents of Seminole County, including those in the city limits of Donalsonville, can take comfort in the fact that the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and its officers are always on duty protecting the safety of all. 

This was certainly the case on Friday, March 24th when Sheriff’s Office Investigators arrested Tessa Mills, age 44, of Donalsonville, with over an ounce of methamphetamine. She was arrested at the Seminole Inn motel located in downtown Donalsonville at 107 East Third Street. Mills is charged with trafficking methamphetamine and is being held in the Seminole County Jail without bond. 

Further investigation led to Sheriff officers arresting Charlie Lashley of Ochlocknee, Georgia on March 27th for criminal attempt to commit trafficking of methamphetamine. 


  Miss Donalsonville Royal Court crowned last Sunday

Another successful Miss Donalsonville pageant has come and gone! This past Sunday, March 26, thirty beautiful young ladies competed for one of the coveted crowns

The new Miss Donalsonville queens are as follows: Baby Miss Donalsonville  is Jackie Revells; Teeny Miss Donalsonville  is Blair Kirkland; Tiny Miss Donalsonville  is Adley Taylor; Little Miss Donalsonville is Kate Shingler; Young Miss Donalsonville is Londyn Davis; Junior Miss Donalsonville  is Copper Rose Chamblesss; Teen Miss Donalsonville is Anna Claire Mock; and your new Miss Donalsonville is Trinity  Poague. 

This year’s People’s Choice winner is Rowan Maze Mock; Miss Donalsonville Hospitality is Libby Miller, and the Directors Choice winner is Makenzlee Nicole Proctor.



Six Seminole County men 

arrested for Blakely burglary

In connection with a Friday, March 10th residential burglary that occurred on Evergreen Avenue in Blakely,  six Seminole County men, Cody A. Adkins, 23, Henry F. Bagwell, 18, Kerryan T. Davis, 19, John E. Henry, 18, Tamauze Marshall, 22 and Austin J. Toney, 26, have been arrested and each charged with burglary in the first degree.

Blakely Police Department Captain Brent Alderman  and additional BPD officers made the arrests after four firearms were reported stolen. 

The BPD would like to thank the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in this investigation.


DPD Officer Rain’a Butler suspended without pay

The City of Donalsonville has placed Donalsonville Police Officer Rain’a Butler on suspension without pay pending the outcome of her hearing on witness tampering charges in Miller County, and pending her Georgia Peace Officer Standards Training investigation. 

Butler’s suspension without pay is a direct result of her case being true billed by the Miller County Grand Jury, and her being placed under house arrest after having her bond revoked last week in Miller County for violating  the possession of dangerous weapons stipulation listed in her special conditions of bond.

Butler has been employed with the Donalsonville Police Department since 2020.  


Suspect arrested, escaped, chased, shot and recaptured

On the evening of Thursday, April 6, Wolfgang Espinosa, Jr., age 25, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was arrested in Seminole County after a car crash and subsequent DUI charge. He was taken to Donalsonville Hospital for treatment of his car crash injuries. Released from the hospital early the next morning, the suspect was picked up by Seminole County Sheriff deputies and transported to the Seminole County Jail. Upon arrival at the jail, he was able to get away from deputies and steal a patrol vehicle parked at the jail and race away.

Seminole County deputies chased after Espinosa, and once they caught up to him on Highway 84, a Seminole County deputy attempted to get him out of the stolen patrol vehicle. Espinosa and the deputy struggled, and during the struggle, he was shot by the deputy. Espinosa was shot once; however, he was able to escape and drive off again. The car chase began again.  Deputies continued the chase and at the second stopping of the vehicle, Espinosa fought several deputies while still resisting arrest. He was then tased without effect, and was even able to take a taser off of a deputy. Espinosa was eventually restrained and arrested. He was taken to a Dothan hospital for treatment of his non life threatening gun shot injury and then transferred to an Atlanta trauma center. Espinosa was later released from the trauma center and is now in custody in the Seminole County Jail.

Sheriff deputies received minor injuries during the incident.

Espinosa has been charged with aggravated assault on an officer and additional charges are pending. 


Hospital to end Labor 

and Delivery services

After 24 years of providing Labor and Delivery services at Donalsonville Hospital Women’s and Children’s Center, the board of directors and administration of the hospital regretfully announce the closing of the unit as of June 30, 2023.

 Donalsonville Hospital has collaborated with Bainbridge Memorial Hospital and Manor to ensure that its patients receive continuous care.  

Donalsonville Hospital has delivered more than 7,500 babies since opening the new Women’s & Children’s Center back in the year 2000.  Hospital authorities also comment, “Our patients and employees are our first concern in moving forward with this process.”


German educators,
agriculture personnel 

visit Seminole County
School System, community

The Seminole County Middle High School agriculture educators Levi Dunn, Holly Garcia and Wes Pace were accompanied by SCMHS administration Mark and  Kelly Earnest, Shane and Felicia Purdy as well as DOE Program Specialist for World Languages Patrick Wallace and his wife Maria on a trip back in October of 2022 to visit an agricultural partner school in Landshut, Bavaria.  

On Wednesday, March 29, a group of seven German educators landed at the Atlanta International Airport to travel south where they would make history visiting the Seminole County School System and our local community here in Donalsonville.  The German visitors included Veronika Ewender, head of English Department, Stephanie Muck, representative of the Agriculture Department, Peter Muck, Forestry Division, Irene Gruber, responsible for practical training, Bernard Maier, English teacher in the field of agriculture and Kathi Finsterer, English teacher in the field of health. 

Back in August 2021, Mr. Steve Bailey, farm manager of Seldom Rest Farm, hosted the very first meeting at the German guesthouse where Mr. Patrick Wallace, SCMHS administration and agriculture educators began planning to partner with a German Agricultural School.  Students from SCMHS have been working on projects virtually with the German partner school since returning back to school from school closure due to Covid.  

Both groups of educators from each country have now traveled to the other group’s school, and plans are being made for the first exchange of students.  


Kelly Denham appointed to 

Seminole County Board of Education as District Five representative 

Seminole County resident Kelly Denham has been unanimously appointed by the Seminole County Board of Education to replace retired board member Les Robinson as the District 5 board member.  She was appointed at the Monday, April 10th Board of Education meeting and will serve as District 5’s BOE representative until December 2024.

Denham  grew up in the small town of Pineview, Georgia.  She understands how important a great school system is for the hundreds of children that walk through the doors at Seminole County on a daily basis. Denham graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. 

She has always been passionate about education and the total school experience, which is highlighted by her involvement in the school system at Seminole County. 

She is currently serving as the membership chair on the Seminole County Athletic Booster Club, and is involved in the school council meetings at the Seminole County Elementary School.  

With her degree in nursing she has filled in as the school nurse at the Seminole County Middle High School, and has also  worked as a substitute teacher for the Seminole County Elementary School.  

Denham is married to Emmett Denham and they have three children in the Seminole County School System, Kendall, Ellis and Ethan Denham. 


Tennis teams win Region 

The 2023 tennis regular season ended with The Seminole County Middle High School girls and boys teams winning the Region 1A tournament.  The boys defeated Early County for the championship and the girls defeated Miller County.

Both the boys and girls teams advanced into the Georgia High School Association State Tennis Tournament and each earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The Indians and Lady Indians will host the next round of the State Tournament next week on Monday and Tuesday. The girls will host Hawkinsville on Monday at 1 p.m., and the boys will host Wilcox on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The Lady Indians ended the regular season with a record of 13 wins and four losses. The Indians ended the regular season with  15 wins and two losses.


Girls, boys tennis teams
reach the Elite Eight

Fresh off their Region Championship victories, the Seminole County Middle High School Indians and Lady Indians opened their play in the Georgia High School Association State Tennis Tournament at home earlier this week. Each team served notice that they are on a mission and have their sights set on the tournament’s
finals in Rome on May 13.

The 14-4 Lady Indians and the 16-2 Indians aced their opponents and advance into the tournament’s Elite Eight. The Lady Indians defeated Hawkinsville 3-0 and the Indians defeated Wilcox County 5-0.

Both the boys and girls teams advanced into the Georgia High School Association State Tennis Tournament after each earned a bye in the first round of state.



Diamond Indians advance to the Sweet Sixteen

The Region Champion Seminole County baseball Indians opened the first round of the Class A Georgia High School Association state playoffs at home on, Thursday, April 27th with a double header victory over visiting Echols County, the number four seed from Region 2. The Indians defeated Echols County 11-10 in the first game, and advanced to the tournament’s Sweet Sixteen with a 12-4 victory in the second game of the double header.

The Diamond Indians, now 20-10 overall, advanced in the tournament to play Mcintosh County Academy, the Region 3 Number 3 seed, on their home field in Donalsonville on Thursday, May 4th. The first game in the double header will begin at 2 p.m. and the second game will follow. A third game, if necessary, will take place on Friday May 5th at 1 p.m. Good luck Indians!


Indians serve, lob and
volley into the Final Four

The Seminole County Middle High School Tennis Indians continue to serve notice that they are on a mission and have their sights set on the state tournament’s
finals in Rome on May 13.

The Indians played themselves into the Georgia High School Association State Tennis Tournament Final Four this past Monday on the Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) courts in Dalton Georgia. 

The Indians, the #1 seed from Region 1A, defeated the Christian Heritage Academy Lions, the #1 seed from Region 7A, 3 to 1 to advance into the Final Four.

The Lady Indians did not fare as well as the Indians and lost their match to Christian Heritage Academy Lady Lions. 3-0. The Lady Indians finished their season with a 14- 5 record.


Deputy arrested in domestic incident in Decatur County

Seminole County Sheriff officer Lieutenant Craig Carr was arrested Monday evening by Decatur County Sheriff officers in a domestic incident with an estranged significant other in Decatur County. 

The incident happened at a home on Silver Lake Road in Decatur County.

Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin told the Donalsonville News Carr was arrested on the scene and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and acts of interfering with a 911 call.

Carr is currently in the Decatur County jail awaiting his first appearance bond hearing.

On Tuesday morning Seminole County Sheriff Heath Elliot suspended Carr from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office without pay and his employment was terminated. This case is still under investigation by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office. Updates will be reported as they become available.


Ben Burkett sworn in as an Assistant United States
Attorney for Southern
District of New York

Ben Burkett, son of Mark and Annette Burkette, was sworn in recently as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He joined the office after working as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Ben clerked for the Honorable Susan P. Graber on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and later for the Honorable Diane Gujarati on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Ben graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and suma cum laude from Auburn University. He is a 2010 graduate of Southwest Georgia Academy. He is the grandson of Brenda Broome and the late Hugh D. Broome and the late Lavert and Jolene Burkett.


County Commissioner

Shelia Williams to serve as ACCG Tenth District

Seminole County Commissioner Shelia Williams was recently elected to serve as Tenth District Representative on the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG or Georgia’s County Association) Board of Managers. The 2023-2024 Board of Managers was sworn in during a special luncheon at the ACCG Annual Conference in Chatham County.

While serving on the Seminole County Board of Commissioners, Williams has been actively involved on several boards including the Seminole County/Donalsonville Industrial Development Authority board, the local Chamber of Commerce, the ACCG Group Health Benefits Program, District Work Source board, and currently chairs the Southwest Georgia District of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) board. Williams and her team on the DBHDD board played a significant role in the state-wide initiative to provide more funding and services for mental health. 


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

First Port City Bank recently contributed $10,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program. 

HEART funds help provide and maintain the services that Donalsonville Hospital has implemented over the years including physical therapy, respiratory therapy, 24-hour emergency room coverage, labor and delivery, and upgrading and maintaining state-of-the-art technology like Dexascans, 3D mammography, CT scans, and more. 


Lakeside Festival and
Tournament event a success 

The inaugural Lakeside Festival and Bass Tournament, held this past Saturday at Reynolds Landing Park on Lake Seminole, has been declared a great success. 

“We had a great turnout at the Lakeside Festival, Team Bass Tournament and Car Show on Saturday! Congratulations to the winners. We appreciate everyone who came out to participate and thank you to every single person who played a part in helping to make this inaugural event a success,” commented chamber and county festival organizers.

Thirty-seven teams signed up and fished in the bass tournament and cash prizes were awarded to the top seven teams. 

The team of Brad Hambric and Gerald Zorn was the tournament’s first place winner, taking home the $3,000 grand prize with a catch weighing in at 17.85 pounds. Their 7.82 pounds catch also earned the duo $500 as the Biggest Fish Winner.


Art on Fire raises
more than $11,000 for
Cultural Center project

Art on Fire, an evening event of art, history, food, drinks, entertainment and more – staged to show us all what Donalsonville’s historic fire station facility can become – ignited in a fiery display of activity Saturday evening, May 13. The Woolfork Avenue Cultural Arts Center was announced as the facility’s future name, and more than $11,000 was raised for its renovation project.

More than 150 attended the fund-raising kickoff gala event to begin the campaign to transform Donalsonville’s historic Fire Station into a community art gallery, museum,  cultural center and event venue, held in Donalsonville’s historic fire station located at 220 Woolfork Avenue.

In addition to festive beverages  mixed by Estelle Brock, and entertainment by the True Blue Band, the May 13th event offered guests the opportunity to meander through a portion of the facility that had been staged to allow attendees to visualize how the facility can actually become an art gallery, historical museum, cultural center and event venue.

Featured attractions  included a 75+ piece fine art show and sale, museum exhibits of Indian artifacts, images of the days after Hurricane Michael, and historic Seminole County photos from the past 100 years – plus a memorial exhibit of the Alday tragedy – fifty years later.  A blacksmith and a potter were on hand showcasing their talents.


Houston Academy awards Lewis Carter IV, names AV Booth in his honor

Senior Awards Day was held in Houston Academy’s new auditorium recently where the facility’s Audio Visual Control Booth now bears Lewis M. Carter IV’s name in recognition and thanks for his many hours helping design and install its control systems. 

The announcement of the naming of the booth in Carter’s honor was the icing on the cake for him at the Awards Day ceremony as he was also presented with the Ronald Reagan Leadership Medal. Carter was also presented with honors for community service, fine arts, athletics, and for his work as a Raider Ambassador.

Lewis, who plans to attend Auburn University, is the son of Marcus and Katrice Carter, and the grandson of Lewis and Betty Carter and Tommy and Cheryl Newberry.


New era to begin May 28 for Friendship Methodist Church

On Sunday March 26th the congregation of Friendship United Methodist Church made the overwhelming decision to leave the United Methodist Church and join the newly formed Global Methodist Church. This was not a decision made lightly and involved a lengthy discernment process. The congregation desired to be a part of a denomination that was more in line with a traditional understanding of Biblical authority and values. 

On Sunday, May 21 the South Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church held a called special session for the purpose of processing current requests from local congregations for disaffiliation. Friendship Methodist Church was one of 194 churches to seek dissaffiliation from the United Methodist Church in South Georgia. 

Friendship Methodist Church was originally founded in 1850 as one of the first churches to serve the community. In 1968 through a denominational merger it became a United Methodist Church. Over the past 55 years the church has been led by many great servants of God, pastors who dedicated themselves to loving the congregation and the community. 



Beginning June 15 businesses within the city limits of
Donalsonville can apply up to $7,500 in ARPA funds

The City of Donalsonville has allocated a portion of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for distribution to qualified local small businesses in the effort to assist in alleviating any strain caused by, and lingering from, the COVID 19 pandemic’s social distancing restrictions and business closures. To be eligible for up to $7,500, businesses must have acurrent business license, and must be operating in a brick and mortar establishment. The business must be zoned commercial, maintain a local bank account, and have been in operation from March 2020 to the present. These funds are eligible for only one business per applicant, and the business must be locally operated inside the city limits of Donalsonville limits. Franchises may not apply.

Beginning June 15 applications can be picked up at City Hall, located at 127 East Second Street in downtown Donalsonville. Also beginning June 15 applications can be downloaded from the City of Donalsonville’s website – 


Two new murals, one bright and colorful statement 

In an unbelievable 29 hour time frame, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 27, and finishing around 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, four incredibly talented artists transformed the east side of the Seminole Hartzog Pharmacy building into Donalsonville’s newest photo backdrop and selfie spot.  

After many months of planning and preparation, it was exciting to see the Color the World Bright artists put their skills on display and bring these beautiful murals to life. The four artists, each students or graduates from University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, were Katie Brannen, Grace Bishop, Catie Cook, and Peyton Bailey. The crew was under the direction of Joseph Norman,  UGA Professor of Art


Donalsonville appoints Jeffrey Hatcher as City Manager

The City Council of Donalsonville appointed Jeffrey Hatcher to the position of City Manager during their regularly scheduled meeting on June 6th, 2023. Mr. Hatcher has served as Interim City Manager since March of this year. With this appointment, the City now has a full-time City Manager to replace Steve Hicks, who retired in October 2022.

City Manager Hatcher has been employed with the City of Donalsonville since June 2018. After leaving the Seminole County School System, Hatcher began his career with the City as part of the eDonalsonville project. Hatcher then included Information Technology work within the City as part of his Communications Director position.

Hatcher grew up in Seminole County and graduated from Seminole County High School. He has one son, who also graduated from Seminole County Schools. This family connection spurred Hatcher to apply for the City Manager position.


Seminole County Sheriff’s Office receives $1,549,248.80 for investment in equipment and technology 

Governor Brian P. Kemp has announced preliminary grant awards totaling more than $83 million for 118 qualified projects to improve community-level public safety measures and address law enforcement staffing challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Seminole County Board of Commissioners will receive $1,549,248.80 for investment in equipment and technology for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

In accordance with grant requirements, awarded funds will be utilized to supplement law enforcement staffing, support violent crime reduction or community violence intervention programming, and invest in technology and equipment to address and respond to the rise in community violence resulting from the pandemic.

 Full project summaries can be found at


Paper receives eleven awards 

Friday, June 9 the Donalsonville News was a perfect ten plus one in the Better Newspaper Editorial Awards Contests held during the 136th Convention of the Georgia Press Association at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. 

The Donalsonville News received 11 awards recognizing excellence in community service, local news coverage, lifestyle coverage, layout and design, photo essay, newspaper promotion, headline writing, advertising campaign, special sections, best use of color, and institutional advertising.


Justin E. Odom announced

as new Seminole County

Agricultural Agent

The University of Georgia and Seminole County Extension office welcomes Justin Odom as Seminole County’s new  Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent. In his ANR agent role Odom will be providing educational information and opportunities in production agriculture, horticulture, and natural resources for the benefit of all Seminole County residents. Odom was raised in Seminole County and is the son of Steve and Debbie Odom, the grandson of Gwen Adams, the late John S. Adams, the late Lamar Odom, and the late Gennell Turnage, all of Donalsonville. 

Justin graduated from Seminole County High School in 2010 and was active in FFA and 4-H; he participated in many competitions and held the office of Parliamentarian for the local FFA Chapter. 

He has lived in Tifton for the last 13 years. While attending ABAC, Justin was a Founding Father of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Rho-Rho Chapter, and held the office of Grand Master of Ceremonies. During his time at ABAC, he worked as a student worker in tobacco research, under Dr. J. Michael Moore, and peanut research, under Dr. Bill Branch, for the UGA Experiment Station. 

After graduating from ABAC with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Diversified Agriculture, he was hired as a Research Technician Assistant for the UGA Entomology Department, working under Dr. Jason Schmidt. The grant-funded position ended and he began his professional career with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Division. 

He later transferred to the Georgia Peanut Commission as Project Coordinator in Farm and Field Services before being promoted to Project Coordinator in Research and Education. 

Justin was also an active member of the Tifton Elks Lodge #1114 and held the office of Leading Knight. 

He and his wife, Paige, are expecting their first child in December and are excited to begin the next chapter in their life.


Chelsea Willis selected to lead the Green Machine Band as its new director

Seminole County Middle High School has announced that Chelsea Willis has been selected as the Green Machine Marching Band’s new director. Willis replaces long time Green Machine band director Dallas Burke who retired this year after 28 years of service to the band and the school. 

She will also be combining the band and its auxiliary unit into one cohesive program rather than being two separate entities. Chelsea Willis is an Arkansas State University 2023 Graduate. She started piano lessons as a young child before playing violin in first and second grade. In third grade Chelsea and her family moved from Port St. Lucie, FL to Jackson, TN. In sixth grade she picked up a Clarinet and continued playing and performing through high school before becoming drum major at her high school her Junior and Senior year. Chelsea continued her education at Arkansas State University where she picked up Sousaphone for the Sound of the Natural State Band her Junior year of college. 



APGG cuts ribbon on 

new API facility

More than 200 members and guests, including Congressman Sanford Bishop and Georgia State Senator Sam Watson, gathered at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 26, for the official ribbon cutting ceremony for American Peanut Ingredients (API) in Donalsonville. Construction on the new 140,000-square-foot facility, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Peanut Growers Group, is nearing completion and will contain an additional shelling plant and a Ready-To-Eat (RTE) peanut ingredient plant. API General Manager Jeremy Mayes commented, “Just shy of 100 news jobs will have been created when the plant is fully operational.”


American Peanut Growers Group, LLC was organized in 2002 to allow its members to process their peanuts into peanut products and obtain the benefits of such subsequent processing through the ownership of appropriate processing facilities. Owning the drying equipment, the grading facilities, the warehouses, and the shelling plant allows APGG and its producer-owners to be vertically integrated. Together they grow, process, promote, and sell their product while taking advantage of the strengths of their excellent soil and irrigation concentrated within Southwest Georgia. The concept is to secure market access and improve farm income and profitability through cooperatively shelling and marketing peanuts to manufacturers.  


Local leaders attend Rural Development Summit

Valdosta State University’s Center for South Georgia Regional Impact recently kicked off its second annual Rural Development Institute with a three-day Summit designed to help communities across Georgia develop an action plan for rural prosperity.

More than 40 economic development, city, county, and community leaders from Irwin County, Jones County, Pierce County, Seminole County, Tattnall County, and Ware County were selected to participate in VSU’s 2023 Rural Development Institute.

Seminole County’s attendees included Paula Granger, Mitch Blanks, Jeffrey Hatcher, Tori Gravlee, Sarah Avery, and David Maxwell.



2023 Farm Tour successful

The 2023 Seminole County Farm Tour was held on June 28. This marked the fifth year of the tour that is organized as a collaborative effort by the UGA Seminole County Extension/4-H, Seminole County FFA, and the Seminole County Young Farmers Association. The tour’s goal is to provide the local communities with an opportunity to visit agricultural entities found here in Seminole County. 

With around 50 in attendance, this was an excellent opportunity for those who attended to learn about a cattle operation, grain drying and storage, peanut production, and the UGA weather station.

The tour began and ended at the Seminole County Agricultural Center and included stops at the cattle operation at 3R Thompson Farms, the Mims Farm to tour an on-farm grain drying and storage facility where the group heard from Mark Spooner, a grain merchan, visited an adjacent peanut field and heard from local crop consultant Rome Ethredge, and rode by and discussed the local sweet corn cooler before heading to the final stop at the Donalsonville Airport to see the UGA Weather Station. 


Aerial assault begins on lake’s evasive plant species

On the morning of June 20th, the Department of Natural Resources, in coordination with the Stewards of Lake Seminole and the Corps of Engineers, sprayed 150 acres of Cuban bulrush and water hyacinths in Spring Creek, north and south of the Highway 253 bridge. This area is the source of the invasive aquatics that are flowing down Spring Creek to contaminate other areas of Spring Creek and ultimately the lake. This is the first time a helicopter has been used to spray on Lake Seminole. A helicopter is more efficient and cost-effective than other spraying methods that are hindered by underwater obstacles.

 Follow up spraying on Spring Creek by airboat will begin after the July 4th holiday. Upon completion, 250 acres of Cuban bulrush, water hyacinths and water primrose will be targeted up the Flint River.  This acreage will be equivalent to approximately 30 miles of shoreline. 


Mark Hanna named

Lion of the Year

At the Donalsonville Lions Club’s annual dinner and membership banquet held last Thursday evening, Lion President Wes Baldwin welcomed Lions and their guests, and during his final meeting as the 2022-2023 President, Lion Baldwin proudly named faithful and always-ready-to-lend-a-helping-hand community servant Lion Mark Hanna as Lion of the Year. Lion Hanna was cited for his active and enthusiastic involvement in the club’s year-long activities, especially his valued service as a tireless worker organizing and working at the club’s annual Chick-A-Que events. 

Lion President Baldwin  commented, “Lion Hanna is the type of Lion described in the club’s mission statement which reads, “We serve . . .  to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs.”


Luke Foster is Troop 700’s 

newest Eagle Scout 

Upholding a family tradition, Luke Foster followed his brothers, Nicholas Porter (Eagle 2019) and Jacob Porter (Eagle 2016), by earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He received his pin and formal recognition in a ceremony on June 24th at the beautiful home of Roger and Kaye Cook, surrounded by his fellow Scouts, family and friends. During the ceremony, Luke awarded pins of recognition to his parents Tom and Carla Foster, as well as mentor pins to Ronnie Joe Shiver, Sterling Davis (Eagle Scout), Doyle Foster, Chad White, Robin Cross, Jacob Porter and Nicholas Porter for their support along his journey.  


City of Donalsonville leaders attend planning retreat

The City of Donalsonville conducted a city planning retreat last Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Beall Center in downtown Donalsonville. Georgia Municipal Association’s Member Services Consultants Emily Davenport and Terrell Jacobs facilitated this retreat. Council Members, city staff, and the public were all invited to attend. During the full-day session, local representatives discussed the immediate and long term needs of Donalsonville, and how to best address each. Davenport and Jacobs also provided training on improving services provided by the City of Donalsonville to its residents. Topics discussed included housing needs and solutions, better communication with staff, council, and citizens, recreation options, economic development, and code enforcement. Participants then developed an action plan of items with a time line for completion. 

In addition to Mayor Johnson, and City Manager Hatcher city officials and staff attending the seven-hour planning retreat included Mayor Pro Tem Ed Bond, Council Members Mitchell Blanks, Travis Brooks, Flossie Smith and Lindsay Register, City Clerk Christina Corvers, Fire and Rescue Department Chief Dean King, Donalsonville Downtown Development Director Tori Gravlee, Public Works Superintendent Bert Adams, and Donalsonville Police Officers Lieutenant Shelby Gale and Captain Christopher Craft..

Donalsonville News Managing Editor David Maxwell also attended a portion of the session.



Art on Fire – Take Two raises more than $8,000 

More than 100 in attendance declared last Saturday’s  Art on Fire – Take Two, an evening of culture, cocktails, music, and conversation a huge success and one of the best social events of the Seminole County Summer.

The event, the second installment of the Woolfork Avenue Art, History and Cultural Center fund-raising campaign, was held at the Osceola Event Company inside the historic Osceola Hotel in downtown Donalsonville Saturday evening, July 29th from 6 to 10 p.m. 

The event where attendees were treated to a gracious presentation of heavy hors d’oeuvres, a fired-up drink menu, music from the True Blue Band, dancing, and a Seminole County student art exhibition, raised more than $8,000. Combined with the $12,000 raised in the May 19 Art on Fire gala kickoff event, the two events have raised more than $20,000.

All proceeds from these events will be used to fund the transformation of downtown Donalsonville’s historic Fire Station complex into the Woolfork Avenue Cultural Center. 

A huge thank you goes out to the event’s planning committee, every person who purchased a ticket, Danielle Barnard, who graciously sponsored the band for the evening, the Osceola Event Company and the Corner Bistro.

Tax deductible contributions to the project can be made by contacting David Maxwell at 229-524-2343.


Councilmember referred

to Ethics Board

In a majority decision, the Donalsonville City Council has voted to refer an Ethics complaint regarding Councilmember Mitzy Moye to the City’s Ethics Board. Councilpersons Mitchell Blanks, Flossie Smith, Lindsay Register and Ed Bond voted in favor, Councilperson Travis Brooks voted against.

This complaint was filed by Joseph Williams, a City of Donalsonville staff member working as a City Animal Control Officer, regarding conduct at a Donalsonville residence by Councilmember Moye in June of this year. The complaint alleges improper actions taken by Moye when she approached the staff member during an incident at a City of Donalsonville residence involving suspected animal abuse. Multiple complaints of potential animal abuse and violations of the city’s animal control ordinance at this location had been previously referred to the Donalsonville Police Department. 

The complaint further states that Moye instructed the Animal Control Officer to take specific actions with the property owners that the officer was not authorized to take. The City Council felt that requests and demands made by Moye to the Animal Control Officer violated the City Charter’s prohibition on Councilmembers being involved in the daily operations of local government.

A Public Hearing, where the City’s Ethics Board will discuss and review the complaint, and determine if further action needs to be taken, is scheduled for August 14th at 5:30 p.m. in Superior Courtroom of the Seminole County Courthouse. This Hearing is open to the public. 

The City of Donalsonville Ethics Board is composed of three residents of the City of Donalsonville; one appointed by the Mayor, one appointed by the Mayor and Council, and one appointed by the Council. 

They will review the complaint in a Public Hearing and make recommendations to be delivered to the City Council regarding the complaint. 

The Ethics Board will be able to ask questions and reach an unbiased conclusion regarding the facts of the complaint. After the board has made its decision, upon City Council approval of the recommendation, and in the event of a violation decision from the Board, Councilmember Moye can then appeal to the Superior Court if she desires.


Peanut Growers Conference honors Lewis M. Carter for his leadership and support

Lewis M. Carter, Jr., owner and former president of Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing,  was honored recently at this year’s annual Peanut Growers Conference when he received an award presented to him by Valor Herbicide in recognition of his leadership and support of the Southeastern Peanut industry.

The annual conference was held this year at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida.

“My first reaction was wow. What an honor to be recognized by my peers,” commented Carter. “The award is all about Team LMC, and the environment at the Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing Company where we all work together and support each other.”


Featherfield Farms sold to GDNR for habitat

Featherfield Farms, a pristine and picturesque property located in Seminole County and adjacent to Lake Seminole, renowned for its bountiful wildlife and ecological significance, has been acquired by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) in a landmark deal aimed at protecting critical habitats, enhancing public access, and fostering connectivity with existing state-managed properties. The acquisition marks a significant milestone in the state’s ongoing commitment to conservation and preservation of its natural resources.

Situated in Seminole County, Georgia, Featherfield Farms spans approximately 875 acres of diverse ecosystems, longleaf pine forest, native wiregrass habitat, and numerous ponds. The property is home to a wide array of native plant and animal species, making it an ecological hotspot of regional importance. Given its significance, the GADNR recognized the urgent need to secure this land for long-term preservation.


New date for ethics hearing

Due to the resignation of City of Donalsonville Ethics Board member Michael Wingertsahn, the Ethics Board hearing scheduled for last Monday was cancelled and plans will be made for its rescheduling. 

A called meeting is set for Friday, August 18 at 5 p. m. in the City Council chambers to discuss the appointment of a new Ethics Board member, and to make plans moving forward regarding the previously scheduled Ethic Board hearing.

As reported in previous weeks’ editions, the Donalsonville City Council has voted to refer an Ethics complaint regarding Councilperson Mitzy Moye to the City’s Ethics Board. 


Temporary moratorium 

established on vape shops

The Mayor and Council of the City of Donalsonville passed a Resolution at the last City Council meeting to temporarily restrict approval of applications for convenience store business licenses that include vape or coin-operated amusement devices. This Resolution will be in effect until November 8, 2023 or until repealed. 

Any changes to Ordinances will be required to have two readings at City Council meetings and then be approved by the Council.



Felony warrant fugitive

apprehended in Donalsonville

On August 29th Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Investigators received information from Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Investigators that Joey McMillan, wanted on multiple felony warrants from Decatur County, was hiding out in a motel room at the Econolodge located on U..S. Highway 84 in Donalsonville. 

Decatur County Investigators met with Seminole County Deputies at the Econolodge property and located McMillan hiding in a room with the door locked. McMillan was called out by officers, and after a short wait, he decided to exit the room and turn himself into law enforcement officials. 

After further investigation, it was discovered that the room McMillan was hiding in was reserved by Ruben Mathis and paid for by him.

In addition to prior Decatur County charges McMillan was charged with Obstruction of an Officer. Mathis was charged with a felony count of Hindering Apprehension or Punishment of a Criminal. 

Both subjects were transported to and booked into the Seminole County Jail.


Airport terminal taking shape

The construction of a new, larger, and more inviting terminal building for the Donalsonville-Seminole County Municipal Airport is taking shape and moving right along. Weather permitting, construction should be complete and the new terminal open for business in late November.

The construction of a new terminal is the culmination of over two years of work by the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport Commission, county, city, chamber, and community leaders.

The goal of the new facility is to provide a welcoming visual and favorable first impression of Donalsonville and Seminole County to the flying public when they come to Donalsonville as
either an industry leader, a sportsman, or just for a visit. 

The new terminal building will be a brick structure of approximately 2600 square feet and will contain a conference room, office space, and a pilot’s lounge. This replaces the original 500 square foot terminal building that had reached the end of its service life. Construction of the new terminal building is being funded by the State of Georgia and the Federal Aviation Administration along with matching funds provided by the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport Commission at no cost to local taxpayers. 


Four arrested in local drug bust

On Wednesday, September 6th Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Deputies served a search warrant at 3360 Bunko Road in Seminole County. During the search, fentanyl pills (M/30’s), methamphetamine, and marijuana were recovered.

Chiquita Owens was arrested and charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine).

Jamaya Lee was arrested and charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) and with Possession of Marijuana less than one ounce.

Quinderrius Grigley was arrested and charged with Sale of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) and Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl).

Timothy Rabb was arrested and charged with Sale of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) and Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl).

All subjects were booked into the Seminole County Jail to await individual arraingments. 


Georgia Peanut Tour to stop in Donalsonville Sept.  14

The 35th Annual Georgia Peanut Tour will visit Seminole County on Thursday, September 14. The tour brings the latest information on peanuts while giving a first-hand view of industry infrastructure, from production and handling to processing and utilization. Attendees can expect to see first-hand nearly every aspect of peanut production in the state. 

Day one of the tour began on Tuesday, September 12, in Bainbridge with a Hot Topics on Peanuts, and day two of the tour, Wednesday, September 13, included several stops in Decatur County at local farms, the Attapulgus Research and Education Center, and other agricultural industries.

On day three, today, September 14, attendees will make their way to Seminole County, where they will get to tour SunSouth LLC to learn about the equipment needed for peanut production and the latest technologies available to producers, LMC Manufacturing, where they will see the latest industrial separation equipment, and American Peanut Growers Group to see all aspects of peanut processing from the first delivery at the peanut buying point to the shelling plant and then a final finished food ingredient. 


Kirbo Charitable Foundation  donates  $25,000 to

Cultural Center project

The Woolfork Avenue Cultural Center’s steering committee, the group tasked with raising funds to transform Donalsonville’s historic fire station into the Woolfork Avenue Art, History and Cultural Center, received some very exciting news this week. On Monday, September 18, Ronnie Burke, on behalf of the Thomas M. Kirbo and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation, presented a $25,000 donation to BetterWay Initiative and the Woolfork Cultural Center project Chairman David Maxwell.

The Kirbo Charitable Foundation was established by Thomas M. Kirbo and Irene B. Kirbo, longtime residents of Jacksonville, Florida with family connections in Southwest Georgia. Thomas was active in business and real estate ventures, and Irene was involved in civic and cultural activities, so the foundation supports projects that are designed to make positive differences for all residents in communities, and projects that will improve the quality of life for its residents. 


Osceola renovation continues

For months now, a buzz of activity has been evident on Second Street in downtown Donalsonville as The Osceola Hotel renovation project continues. Jaimee Hornsby Underwood, and her brother, Victor Hornsby, along with family members and hard-working helpers, are painstakingly moving right along with the project of bringing the historic property back to life, as well as fulfilling a family dream first conceived by their father, Phillip Hornsby. The elder Hornsby purchased the property in 1990 with the hope of renovating; however, after his tragic death, the dream began to fade. Jaimee, Victor, and the entire Osceola Renovation Crew have re-imagined the dream and are working daily to make an even grander version of their father’s dream into a reality.



Avery Smith achieves 

Eagle Scout Rank

Avery Smith recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest and most coveted rank advancement award of Scouts BSA. He is a member of Troop 700 and is one of only approximately four percent of all Scouts who attain the rank of Eagle Scout. He was presented with the award in a Court of Honor ceremony at Trinity Crossroads Church on September 30, 2023. 

To achieve the rank of Eagle, a Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges as well as demonstrate leadership, including successfully planning and completing a community service project. For his project, Avery installed a flagpole at his church. 

Avery is a Senior at Southwest Georgia Academy, where he is a member of the football and track teams. He is the son of Rob and Candi Smith and grandson of Elaine Jones, all of Donalsonville.


Rejoice Run to sponsor free 

mammogram screenings at Donalsonville Hospital

In a wonderful long-standing tradition, Steffey Vines, Rejoice Run and Mom’s Mile race founder, presented Donalsonville Hospital with a generous $8,000 donation to help sponsor free mammogram screenings for the month of October. 

April Massey, Assistant Administrator at Donalsonville Hospital said, “We are so thankful to the Rejoice Run. Steffey continues to help bring awareness of early detection and prevention in our community through this annual race. Donalsonville Hospital is proud to offer the best in 3D mammography diagnostic testing and the earlier screening we can do, the better outcomes there are for patients.”

This year’s Rejoice Run and Mom’s Mile races will be held October 21st at 8 a.m. in Donalsonville. Participants do not have to run the 5K to register! All fitness levels are welcome, and everyone is encouraged to participate as many will walk the certified course instead of run. 


Harvest Festival set Oct. 21 

The annual Donalsonville-Seminole County Chamber of Commerce Harvest Festival, the community’s cornerstone event,  again this year the Festival will be held completely between Tennille Avenue and Wiley Avenue.  Food vendors will be located on Woolfork Avenue, musical entertainment and children’s activities will be set up on Cherry Street,  and Arts/Crafts vendors will line both sides of Second Street.  The Fine Arts show, held in the Woolfork Avenue Cultural Center, and the Old Iron Tractor Museum on Second Street west of Wiley Avenue, will be  open for tours throughout the day.

The day will begin with the annual running of the Rejoice Run & Mom’s Mile at 8 a.m., followed by the Harvest Festival parade at 11 a.m., and musical performances by Dylan Kelley, beginning after the parade. 


Georgia Community Bank

donates $175,000 to 

Donalsonville Hospital through Georgia HEART

Georgia Community Bank recently contributed $175,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program. This is the largest Georgia Heart donation the hospital has received since the program’s inception in 2017.   Georgia Community Bank made a $75,000 contribution to the Hospital earlier in the year for a total contribution of $250,000 in 2023.  

The Georgia HEART Hospital Program administers the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit, enabling individuals and businesses to redirect their Georgia income tax liability to help support qualifying hospitals.



Mark Carr to be inducted into the Georgia Military
Veterans Hall of Fame

Cairo native and Donalsonville resident, U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Mark Simpson Carr, will be inducted into the 2023 Class of the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 4. Announcement of the induction, together with 14 other deserving Georgia veterans, was made by 2013 GMVHOF Founder Col. Paul Longgrear (USA-Ret) of Pine Mountain.

Upon graduation in 1963 on a track scholarship from University of Georgia, Mark received a direct commission into the Medical Service Corps.

In 1966 Capt. Carr graduated from flight school and deployed to Vietnam as a dustoff medical evacuation pilot where he completed over 400 daring rescue missions. While assigned to the 45th Med Co(AA), during one of many dustoffs evacuating patients amidst intense enemy fire in support of the 25th Infantry Division near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam, he was forced to abort due to tail section damage. He then proceeded to a second hot landing zone. Despite the helicopter’s windshield shattering from arms fire while delivering the wounded, he obtained another aircraft with a second crew, eventually evacuating 28 wounded soldiers. Capt. Carr was awarded the Silver Star for these exceptionally heroic actions.

Months later, while assigned to the 571st Med Det(HA), in support of the 101st Airborne Division near Hue, Republic of Vietnam, Capt. Carr maneuvered his helicopter into a hot landing zone in a heavily wooded area four separate times, successfully evacuating 24 wounded for which he was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Installation of fiber to home broadband service has begun

Seminole County Manager Paula Granger announced this week that the Mediacom project to expand internet and broadband service throughout Seminole County has now begun.

Mediacom is proud to partner with the Georgia Office of Planning and Budget and the Georgia Broadband Office to extend high-quality, Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) broadband service to unserved or underserved homes in Seminole County. Through the state’s  Capital Project Fund grant, Mediacom will construct and manage a fiber network that will provide broadband service with speeds up to 2,000 Mbps download and 1,000 Mbps upload to an estimated 1,908 Seminole County homes that were pre-selected by the Office of Broadband in the county.

The build process for this network is now underway and should be completed by September 2026. This is a large build, with estimated 221.9 miles across Seminole County. This network will be constructed in phases to minimize any disruptions and ensure that any impact from this construction is as minimal as possible.


Citizens filed court action seeking the removal of City Councilman Mitchell Blanks

A group of Donalsonville citizens filed a petition in Seminole County Superior Court Monday seeking to oust Donalsonville City Councilman Mitchell B. Blanks from office.

Jon Ricky King, Amy Leigh Williams, Lynda McCorkle Spooner, Robert Michael Spooner Sr., William B. Dismuke, Judy M. Dismuke, James Perry Barrineau, Tabatha Dawn Barrineau, Deborah S. Heimstra, Nancy Sheffield Glisson, Curtis Lambert, Trudy Lambert, and Barbara M. Richter are the petitioners in the case and they are being represented by Donalsonville attorney William M. Shingler Jr.

The petitioners allege that Councilman Blanks violated the city charter by performing dry cleaning and uniform alteration services to various agencies of the city, including but not limited to the Donalsonville Police Department through his business, Leon’s Cleaners of Donalsonville.

Additionally, the petition states that Blanks has not recused himself or disqualified himself from discussions or votes related to the police department or any other agency of the city which he has done business with through Leon’s Cleaners, which the petitioners allege makes him guilty of malfeasance. Leon’s Cleaners is the only dry cleaning and commercial alterations service in Seminole County.

The petitioners also allege Blanks is guilty of self-dealing with regard to an application he filed with the Downtown Development Authority for an American Rescue Plan Act funded grant offered by the city to eligible businesses within the corporate limits of Donalsonville.

The petition also claims that Blanks failed to recuse himself or disclose a conflict as required by the charter when he and the other council members deliberated the hiring of a new police chief. 

The petitioners are requesting the court find that Councilman Blanks violated the provisions of the city’s charter as stated; find him guilty of malfeasance in office; remove him from office; and award petitioners all costs and expenses in bringing the action, including attorney’s fees.


Mitchell Blanks wins 

re-election to Council Seat

In the November 7th election Donalsonville City Councilman Mitchell Blanks won re-election to his District Two, Post 5 seat, easily defeating challenger Lillian Harris 246-29. 

275 votes were cast in the election; 122 votes were cast in advance, and 147 votes plus six absentee ballots were cast on election day. 

Elsewhere in the City of Donalsonville, incumbent City of Donalsonville Council Person Travis Brooks, running unopposed, won re-election to his District One, Post 2 seat.

In the Town of Iron City incumbent Mayor Ronnie Ingram and Post 3 incumbent Council Person John Gray chose not to run for re-election.

Zach Conoly, current Council Person representing Post 1, ran unopposed and was elected to the Office of Mayor. Laura Croom and Kevin Lovering ran unopposed and were elected to Council Person Post 1 and Council Person Post 3.


County receives 

$2,589,838 in community block grant funding

Seminole County Manager Paula Granger was all smiles this week after the announcement that Seminole County has received a total of $2,589,838 in Community Block Grant Funding. $1,554,288 of that amount was an infrastructure grant to be used for the paving project of Galilee Church Road, as well as street and drainage improvements.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the State of Georgia a total of $41,837,000 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds (CDBG-DR) to address unmet needs caused by Hurricane Michael. Funds were prioritized for use in the Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas to facilitate long-term recovery through the restoration of infrastructure and housing and economic revitalization activities. Seminole County, along with Decatur and Dougherty were the three counties designated as most impacted and distressed. 

The remaining $1,035,550 mitigation funding will be used for the Hebrew Road Bridge Construction Project. This funding became available when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $2,669,000 in Community Block Development Grant Mitigation funds (CDBG-MIT) to the State of Georgia.  DCA created a CDBG-MIT Infrastructure Program with this allocation for activities that mitigate against future disasters in an area affected by Hurricane Michael in October of 2018


Jillian Johnson crowned
2024 Miss Flint River’s Teen

Jillian Johnson was recently crowned the title of 2024 Miss Flint River’s Teen on October 22 at the historic Theatre Albany in downtown Albany, Georgia.  The Miss Albany Scholarship Competition sponsors the titles of Miss Albany, Miss Albany’s Teen, Miss Flint River, and Miss Flint River’s Teen and is a preliminary competition for the Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia’s Teen and Miss America and Miss America’s Teen scholarship competitions.  

 In addition to being crowned Miss Flint River’s Teen at the competition, Jillian was also awarded the first annual Mosby Hill Teen Style Award and overall teen interview award.  

As the recipient of the Miss Flint River’s Teen title, Jillian, along with her sister queens, will represent the organization and the city of Albany in Albany and across southwest Georgia leading up to the Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia’s Teen competition in June of 2024 in Columbus, Georgia. 

Jillian Johnson is the 16 year old daughter of Truette and Jill Johnson and is a Junior at Seminole County Middle High School where she is also active on the softball team and in the FFA.    


Corps and Stewards release 18,000 grass carp in lake 

As the growing season for invasive aquatic vegetation begins to slow, the Corps of Engineers and Stewards of Lake Seminole continue their work individually and jointly to better manage the growth of all types in Lake Seminole. Recently the Corps completed the fourth addition stocking of sterile grass carp.  The total stocking was 18,000 fish between 10” and 16” in length with 11,000 released in Cypress Pond and 7,000 released in Ray’s Lake.  These stockings were the primary control method in the collaborative action plans implemented earlier this year for these areas.  Supplemental sprayings were also conducted by both the Corps and Stewards because of the late deliveries of fish.  The Corps will also spray 65 acres in Ray’s Lake this week to help jump start the control process.


Indians advance in playoffs!

For the first time in 10 years, the Seminole County gridiron Indians hosted and won a first round playoff game. The Indians battled against the Wilcox County Patriots in a tight game last Friday night in Donalsonville. After four defense-dominated quarters, the game ended tied 7-7 – forcing an exciting overtime. 

The Patriots began overtime with the ball and quickly scored. A bad snap by the Patriots’ long snapper forced the kicker to scramble and attempt a throw which was picked off by Seminole County’s very own, Nicavious Henderson. 

Wilcox County up 6 points, 13-7, but it was the Indians turn on offense. Kamauri Johnson pressed through the Patriot defense for a touchdown to tie up the game once again, 13-13.

Indians kicker McKade Reynolds set up for the PAT and sent it booming successfully through the uprights. The 14-13 final score was the first playoff victory for the Indians in 10 years. 

With the win Seminole County advances into the second round of Georgia High School Association Class A State Championships. The Indians will travel Homerville and face Clinch County this Friday in hopes to continue their playoff run. 


Investigative committee
has more questions

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 22 the Donalsonville City Council’s Investigative Committee, consisting of Councilperson Mitchell Blanks and Councilperson Travis Brooks, along with its attorney Amos Sheffield, met to receive testimony on a ethics complaint filed by Donalsonville Police Department Cadet Joseph Williams regarding Councilperson Mitzy Moye.

Prior to questioning Cadet Williams, Sheffield, attorney for the committee, formally swore in Cadet Williams, compelling him to give truthful testimony. Cadet Williams then advised the committee that he had a statement that he had prepared and wanted to read it into the record, prior to any questioning. 

Reaching out to the committee members and the committee’s attorney the Donalsonville News was offered the following statement. “Testimony received in this hearing has raised numerous additional questions and additional people will need to be subpoenaed to answer those questions.”

 The committee has set the date of December 4 to reconvene and do just that.

In light of testimony heard in Wednesday hearing Moye’s attorney Billy Shingler offered the following in conclusion, “Going forward, we will be requesting a formal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) into the conduct of the Donalsonville Police Department and the City of Donalsonville, as well as the individual members and officers thereof, whom were also implicit in this egregious abuse of office, amongst various other violations of Georgia law.”



Holiday decorations are very merry, but not so bright

The subject of Donalsonville’s Highway 84 Christmas decorations remaining dark at night was not on the agenda or discussed at last Tuesday evening’s monthly meeting of the Donalsonville City Council. So, sadly, unless there is another Christmas miracle this year, or some type of divine intervention, those lights will remain very festive during the day, but very dark and unlit at night, for the remainder of this holiday season.

Unlike the illuminated decorations currently shining downtown along Second Street, which are installed on city–owned poles with available power connections, the 84 decorations are installed on Georgia Power owned poles – most of which do not have available connectable power outlets.

City officials commented that work is in progress and hopes are high the lights will be lit next year for the 2024 holiday season.

This year, as in the two past years, the installed decorations do provide a festive view as one drives along Highway 84 through the city of Donalsonville during the day time hours, but sadly, because of the lack of power connections, only a shadow of their festiveness is visible after dark. 


Rep. Gerald Greene named 2023 Friend of Education

 State Representative Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert) was recently recognized by the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) for his many decades of service to Georgia’s education system. GAE presented Rep. Greene with an award as part of their Legislative Honor Roll, naming him a 2023 Friend of Education award recipient, the organization’s highest honor.


Ashley Ingram hired as
Carson-Newman head coach

Navy football suffered a significant loss this week when longtime assistant coach Ashley Ingram departed the program for a different opportunity.

Ingram is leaving Annapolis to become head coach at Carson-Newman University, a Division II school located in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He spent 16 years on the Navy coaching staff after being hired by former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo in 2008.

Carson-Newman previously attempted to hire Ingram as head coach in 2019 and he declined. Offered the job a second time this week, the 50-year-old Georgia native could not turn it down.

A native of Iron City, Ingram, the son of Seminole County’s Coach Alan and Sue Ingram, is a 1996 graduate of the University of North Alabama (UNA) where he  was a four-year letterman on the offensive line and helped his team win Division II national titles in 1993, 1994 and 1995. 


First Presbyterian Church celebrates 125 years 

Sunday, December 10  marked a significant milestone in the history of First Presbyterian Church of Donalsonville as the community came together to celebrate the church’s 125th anniversary. The congregation gathered for an exceptional service filled with gratitude, reflection, and a strong community spirit.

The historic church, located at the heart of Donalsonville, has been a pillar of faith and a center for community engagement for over a century. Old and new members joined in worship, marking the occasion with heartfelt prayers and hymns that echoed through the church’s hallowed halls.

Former Seminole Countian and church member Dr. Gary Spooner led the anniversary service. 

During Sunday’s celebration, Dan and Mary Lou Ponder, two beloved former church members, were recognized and honored for their steadfast presence within the church and beyond.

Dan and Mary Lou Ponder have tirelessly contributed to the First Presbyterian Church and the broader Donalsonville community. Their selfless dedication and unwavering commitment to service have made a lasting impact on the lives of many.

Mark Hanna, Church Elder and a longtime congregation member, presented the Ponders with a beautifully framed illustration of the church, a token of appreciation for their years of devoted service.


BetterWay Initiative granted $5000 for fire house mural

The Seminole County BetterWay Initiative has been awarded a $5,000 Vibrant Communities Grant from Georgia Council for the Arts, a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, for fiscal year 2024. The Vibrant Communities Grant supports a variety of arts programming throughout the state, including murals, artist residencies and performances in schools, community theater productions, festivals, and concerts. The grant will be used to fund the painting  of a mural, on the north wall of Donalsonville’s historic fire station facility. A fundraising campaign in now in progress to transform the entire facility in to the Woolfork Avenue Art, History and Cultural Center. 

The BetterWay Initiative, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the DDDA is now in the process of assembling talented artists within the community to finalize the design of the mural and to begin the painting process. Plans are to have the project completed by early Spring 2024. 


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