GPD “Operation CARE-ington” nets 11 narcotics arrests

STAFF REPORT ::: The Griffin Police Department Special Investigations (SIU) and Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement (CAGE) units conducted “Operation CARE-ington,” which resulted in numerous drug- and weapons-related arrests. According to a press release, Operation CARE-ington resulted from numerous complaints of alleged drug activity in the 1700 block of Carrington Townhomes. During the operation, 11 […]

Spalding County Homeland Security to offer Community Emergency Response Training and CERT refresher course

STAFF REPORT ::: The Spalding County Office of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Spalding County Fire Department, will offer training to Spalding County citizens through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. This program is designed to promote understand and cooperation between emergency services and the people they serve. The CERT Program educates individuals […]

Judicial Qualifications Commission seeks Judge Mack Crawford’s removal from office

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) has filed formal charges against Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert M. “Mack” Crawford and is seeking to remove him from office. According to the formal charges filed in the Supreme Court of Georgia, the JQC Investigative Panel conducted a full investigation of multiple complaints, […]

Commissioner Don Hawbaker responds to ethics complaints and hearing

Publisher’s note: During the Aug. 6, 2018, Spalding County Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Don Hawbaker produced a written statement he requested be placed in the public record. This is his complete and unedited response to the Ethics Review Panel hearing regarding three complaints filed against himself, and one filed against Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor. At […]

Ethics Review Panel determines Hawbaker did not violate code

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The Spalding County Ethics Review Panel has determined Commissioner Don Hawbaker did not violate the county’s code of ethics. Hawbaker faced complaints by three individuals who alleged he violated the code in social media discussions. The Ethics Review Panel unanimously voted in favor of Hawbaker in each of the three complaints. […]

Ethics Review Panel determines Flowers-Taylor did not violate code

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: It has been determined that Spalding County Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor did not violate the county’s code of ethics. The Spalding County Ethics Review Panel, in a unanimous vote, determined Flowers-Taylor did not violate the code of ethics in a verbal confrontation with resident Bobby Peurifoy during a recess of the May […]

Deputy Chief Glenn Polk named Spalding EMA director

STAFF REPORT ::: Spalding County Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Polk has been named director of the Spalding County Emergency Management Agency. According to a press release, Polk’s appointment as deputy was on May 2, approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Office of Homeland Security. In that position, Polk will be responsible for performing technical and […]

Spalding’s May 22 primary voter turnout rate only 19.48 percent

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Spalding County Election Supervisor Marcia Ridley has released the breakdown of votes for Tuesday night’s primary. Reported below are the vote totals by precinct. Please note that three precincts – numbers 4, 15 and 18 – have been consolidated, thus no data was collected at those previous polling locations. The data […]

Beleaguered deputy resigns from SCSO

This photo of Terry Belvin, right, and Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix was released on social media by the SCSO upon Belvin’s swearing in as a deputy. Belvin has now resigned his post. SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Terry Belvin, whose employment with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office was met with strong criticism from some in […]

Griffin Watershed Protection Specialist named statewide trainer of the year

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: City of Griffin Watershed Protection Specialist Alexa Robinson has been selected as the 2017 Adopt-a-Stream Trainer of the Year. The Adopt-a-Stream program is the environmental education arm of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and the award represents Robinson’s efforts to teach classes, certify volunteers and monitor and participate in the crucial […]

GBI: Wendell Beam denied David Gibson used knowledge of infidelities as blackmail leverage

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: During its 2015 investigation of David Gibson, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, interviewed Wendell Beam, the former Spalding County Sheriff, in part seeking to determine if Gibson was blackmailing Beam using sexual infidelity as leverage. In records maintained by GBI Special Agent Jared Coleman, he wrote, “Agent Coleman asked Sheriff Beam […]

Dix says there will be no investigation of Beam, narcotics tracker operation

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix has weighed in on a proffer agreement that was part of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation of David Gibson. The GBI refused to release those specific records, but The GRIP obtained the proffer through the email account of former Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard. […]

Local Forestry Service professionals named Outstanding Agency of the Year

STAFF REPORT ::: Six area professionals with the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) have received special recognition for their exemplary performance with the state agency. Ranger Jonathan Butts and Ranger Adam Edmondson, of Thomaston, Ranger Geoffery Dean, of Yatesville, Ranger Tyler Mameli, of Williamson, Ranger Kolby Lynch and Chief Ranger Jeffery Kenerly, both of Zebulon, are […]

Department of Revenue questions Spalding County tax appeals process

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioner Lynette Riley has contacted Spalding County officials to express concern that local property owners may not be receiving their due process rights with regard to the appeal of property taxes. In a letter addressed to William Norris, whose service as the chairman of the Spalding County […]

2017 ELECTION SPECIAL

PUBLISHER’S NOTE – As a service to its readers, The GRIP once again contacted candidates running for local office and requested their participation in a question and answer forum. The questions were sent in a group email to ensure no candidate had an unfair advantage in the length of time they had to respond. Candidates […]