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Florida State group to peform at annual chamber banquet

Officials with the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce have announced that the Florida State University AcaBelles will be the featured performers at its Annual Dinner program.
The 89th Annual Chamber Meeting and Dinner will take place at the Grady Cultural Center on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Lots of new chicken houses being built or on drawing board, Ivy reports

With stiffer regulations in neighboring counties preventing the expansion of chicken houses, agri-businessmen are looking to Grady County where there is no zoning and the county's chicken house ordinance is less stringent.
During the first week of 2015, Grady County Code Enforcement Officer Larry Ivy issued 12 permits for new chicken houses to be constructed in northeastern sections of the county.

Cairo High School faculty makes push to go back on block schedule

The Cairo High School administration and faculty are making a push to return to a 4x4 block schedule that the school operated under until five years ago when the school went to a seven period day.
Assistant Principal and College and Career Academy Director Todd Gainous and Instructional Coordinator Tammy Donalson presented the proposal to the school board Tuesday night.
"The way we are doing business now is not getting it done. We are focused on student achievement and growth. There will be a million questions about this and a million different stances, but we want to give you an overview of our thought process," Gainous said.

Grady County Health Dept. to host a Baby Bistro January 21

The Grady County Health Department is inviting all moms to a “breastfeeding social” on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon at the health department, says Nutritionist Kisha Evans.
“Baby Bistro is an opportunity for mothers to network, socialize and hang out with other moms,” Grady County Health Department Nurse Manager Peggy Connell added. “Dads, grandparents and babies are also welcome.”
Refreshments will be provided, and participants may drop in or stay a while, she said.
There is no charge. For more information, contact the Grady County Health Department at 377-2992.

Council approves big bump in CNS cable rates

The cost of retransmitting local broadcast stations including WCTV, WALB, WTXL, WTLH and others is driving up the cost of cable television, according to Cairo city officials.
On Monday night, the Cairo City Council approved a major rate increase to cover the additional cost to carry the local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates on CNS Cable, as well as to cover the typical increase in programming costs.

County side stepped the law in giving Tobar a raise

Over the course of the last several weeks it has come to light that last summer the Grady County Commission gave County Administrator Carlos Tobar a $10,475 raise, but it appears the action is not legal or binding since there was never a public vote on the matter.
Hired in 2013 at a salary of $67,500, Tobar is now being paid $80,000 annually.

Copleand is first woman to lead the Grady County commission

Copleand is first woman to lead the Grady County commission
LaFaye Copeland, the first woman elected to the Grady County Board of Commissioners, made history again Tuesday when she was elected the first female chairman of the county commission.
Ms. Copeland is only the fourth African American elected to serve as a Grady County commissioner, following in the footsteps of the Rev. Sylvester Williams, the late Howard Copeland and Albert Ball. The late Mr. Copeland is Ms. Copeland’s second cousin.

County bookkeeping still plagued by server issues Tobar reported this week

The year 2014 ended and Grady County still does not have its accounting software operating on a newly installed server which officials say is holding up the process of getting all financial records up to date.
County commissioners learned Tuesday morning that Rumbles had installed the new server, but County Administrator Carlos Tobar says the data migration from the old server to the new one has not happened yet.

County road department crew to focus on clogged drainage pipes

At least one Grady County commissioner wants to see county government become more aggressive in cleaning out clogged pipes and replacing rusted drainage pipes to prevent further damage to county roads.
Commissioner Elwyn Childs, who said he is beginning his 33rd year on the board, expressed his opinion Tuesday morning that more should be done to address drainage issues that are "eating up roads" because of clogged pipes and drains.

Lawmen on lookout for impaired drivers

While digging out noisemakers and champagne flutes for New Year’s Eve celebrations, take a minute to plan the end of your night, too. Designate a sober driver or make plans ahead of time to take a taxi home. That one minute of planning could ensure that you make it home to see the rest of 2015.
For many, New Year’s Eve involves consuming alcohol at parties. So it comes as no surprise that there’s a spike in drunk driving crashes at the end of the year.

Wet, wet weather ushered in Christmas

A snowy, white Christmas may have evaded Grady County, but the area did have plenty of wet stuff blanketing the ground as rainfall amounts of 7" to 10.5" reportedly fell here in a matter of three days.
The rain started on Monday, Dec. 22, and continued through Christmas Eve. According to, the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, which has a recording site at Monrovia Growers (formerly Wight Nurseries), .31" of rain fell here on Dec. 22; 5.19" on Dec. 23; and 2.13" on Dec. 24.

County employees were paid Christmas bonuses Dec. 19

Just over $31,000 was paid to Grady County employees in the form of a Christmas bonus on Friday following action taken by the Grady County Commission during a called meeting earlier that day.
The decision was not made until after extensive discussion and debate.

No space heaters are allowed in county offices

Courthouse workers and all others who work in county-owned facilities can no longer have space heaters at their workstations following action taken by the Grady County Commission on Friday.
During a special called meeting last Friday the board voted unanimously to ban the use of electric heating devices in county facilities.

County bringing in help to get books up-to-date

The financial picture of Grady County government continues to be unclear with bank accounts not reconciled as far back as July and now it has been learned that it took approximately eight months to take action on updating computers to speed up the backlog in the county's finance department.
During a special called meeting Friday, the Grady County Commission met with its auditor, Tom Carmichael, of Carr Riggs & Ingram, to discuss revisions the auditor had been forced to make to the long-delayed 2013 audit as well as discuss the need to bring the county's books up to date.
The county is facing the potential for hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased interest expense if the county commission cannot present bond underwriters with adequate financial data for 2014 in advance of a proposed bond issuance early next year.

With financial picture fuzzy, county may not pay bonuses

Grady County employees may not be paid a Christmas bonus this year as they have in the past due to uncertainties with the finances of county government.
With the clock winding down on 2014 and Christmas coming next week county officials have been working to bring financial records up to date in order to determine if there is money left unspent in the budget that could be used to cover the approximately $31,000 it would take to cover the bonuses for the county's 115 employees.

Nearly 60 percent of taxes have been collected, Saturday is due date

The deadline to pay ad valorem taxes without interest or penalties is Saturday and as of Tuesday only 57 percent of the total taxes due had been collected, according to Grady County Tax Commissioner Phyllis Gainous.
Through Tuesday, the tax commissioner had collected $7,841,724.74.

A total of 10 have been interviewed for chamber of commerce position

The Grady County Joint Development Authority heard an update from JDA Executive Director Chadd Mathis Tuesday on his progress in finding a replacement for Executive Vice President Jennifer Majors who resigned in October.
Mathis told authority members that he has interviewed eight candidates and had two more interviews scheduled for Tuesday.

County commissioners consider changing courthouse locks

Grady County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Ellis identified concerns he has with courthouse security and met with county commissioners Tuesday night to discuss possible remedies.
"As EMA director I look into a lot of things and this is something that has been pressing on me for sometime," Ellis said Tuesday night.
The EMA director told county officials he is concerned that on court days the north door to the courthouse is routinely unlocked at approximately 7 a.m. and remains unlocked until 8 a.m. when courthouse employees arrive at work.

Inmate succumbs just hours after being arrested

State medical authorities have performed an autopsy on a Cairo man who passed away while in custody at the Grady County Detention Center.
Franklin Edward Lee, 58, of 331 Loblolly Lane, was in a holding cell at the county facility when a jailer discovered he was unresponsive at approximately 9:40 p.m., Friday.
According to Steven Turner, special agent in charge of the GBI office in Thomasville, results of the autopsy are not yet released as the investigation continues.

Tobar questions numbers in audit report

Grady County auditor Tom Carmichael of Carr Riggs & Ingram presented the county's 2013 audit to county commissioners last week and some of the results are now being questioned by Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar.
The much anticipated audit was delayed this year due to turnover in the county's accounting department, according to Carmichael.

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