Griffin PD lieutenant fired for recording meeting with Police Chief Mike Yates

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin internal investigation of an audio recording of a meeting involving Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates and Lt. Chris Wilson has concluded and resulted in Wilson’s termination. Wilson, a nearly 15-year veteran of the Griffin Police Department and member of Yates’ command staff when the meeting was […]

Sun City Peachtree gate attendant killed early Monday when vehicle collided with building

STAFF REPORT ::: One man was killed early Monday morning in a single-vehicle collision at the entrance to Sun City Peachtree. Upon arrival, deputies of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office found that a vehicle had struck the gate attendant’s building located inside neighborhood’s main entrance. The attendant, 60-year-old Ebenezer Sowunmi, was at his post inside […]

GPD lieutenant placed on unpaid admin leave as IA investigation of leaked recording continues

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Lt. Chris Wilson, of the Griffin Police Department, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave. This disciplinary action follows the initiation of an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation related to an audio recording purportedly made during a meeting involving Wilson and GPD Chief Mike Yates. When asked to confirm information The GRIP […]

GSCSS, law enforcement increase school presence following social media school shooting threat

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Schools countywide had an increased law enforcement presence today, and that will continue tomorrow, in response to a school shooting threat circulating on social media. Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix on Wednesday said both his agency and the Griffin Police Department were aware of the photograph urging students not to attend […]

GPD Chief Yates says audio recording now part of Internal Affairs investigation has been altered

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Griffin City Manager Jessica O’Connor on Monday confirmed the city is investigating an audio recording posted last week on social media that purportedly represents a meeting involving Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates and Lt. Chris Wilson, a member of Yates’s command staff. The recording was posted to the personal Facebook […]

Domestic related incident leads to arrest of one Griffin police officer and two resignations

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Two Griffin Police Department (GPD) officers have resigned following an incident that resulted in one officer’s arrest. Lt. Jeff Smith was arrested at his Pike County residence Friday, Nov. 12, in what deputies of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) described as a domestic related incident. Smith was on unpaid administrative […]

Two suspects arrested for May fight at local restaurant that left man critically injured

STAFF REPORT ::: The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has taken into custody two motorcycle club members suspected of severely beating a man in a May 2021 fight at Big Jim’s Wing Shack. Deputies responded to the May 1 call in reference to a fight, and upon arrival, located a man who had been critically injured. […]

Veteran GPD officer succumbs to COVID-19

STAFF REPORT ::: The Griffin Police Department has lost a veteran officer to COVID-19. GPD officials say Sgt. Todd Thomas was hospitalized and died Tuesday morning a result of complications of the coronavirus. Thomas began his law enforcement career in 1999 and was planning to retire in spring 2022.

Third arrest made in April murders of two men set ablaze in truck

STAFF REPORT ::: The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has made a third arrest in the brutal April 2021 murders of Joshua Wyatt and Carlos Benford. Kristin Cordero-Rojas, age 29, was on Thursday arrested in an operation including the SCSO Special Operations and CAGE units, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Gang Task Force, United States Marshal […]

COVID case count increase sparks mask requirement in Griffin-Spalding schools

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Officials of the Griffin-Spalding County School System today announced a revision to its mask policy, now requiring students and staff to wear masks while on campus and in district offices. This change, effective immediately, is in response to an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases this weekend. “I realize […]

Hawbaker pleads guilty to five counts of aggravated assault against a peace officer

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Don Hawbaker, who has been held without bond in the Spalding County Jail without bond since Feb. 4, 2020, today accepted a guilty plea to five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer. The guilty plea was accepted by Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Scott Ballard. Hawbaker was on […]

BoC announces finalists for Spalding County manager

STAFF REPORT ::: Two finalists have been announced for the position of Spalding County manager to replace William Wilson, who will retire at the end of June after 35 years of service. The Spalding County Board of Commissioners on Monday conducted interviews with candidates and the two finalists have been identified as Jarvis Sims and […]

Former Griffin Central Services director, Motor Fleet manager face felony charges: GBI

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Phill Francis, former city of Griffin Central Services director, and Stevie Williams, former Griffin Motor Pool director, have been named in multiple felony arrest warrants obtained by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Altogether, Francis faces five felony counts and Williams stands accused of two felonies. According to the arrest warrants obtained […]

Three suspects in custody, fourth at large following Tuesday afternoon shooting

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Three Griffin men have been arrested and a fourth is being sought in connection with a Tuesday afternoon shooting. According to the Griffin Police Department, Investigator D.J. King was patrolling in the vicinity of 403 W. Taylor St. at approximately 2 p.m. observed what appeared to be an altercation including gunfire […]

Critical Race Theory has not been, will not be taught in Griffin-Spalding public schools: superintendent

STAFF REPORT ::: Griffin-Spalding County School Superintendent Keith Simmons has confirmed that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in Spalding County public schools. Simmons addressed the issue at the conclusion of the June 15 Board of Education work session. “I want to be clear. In the Griffin-Spalding County School System, we do not teach […]