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Council nixes NAACP plans to demonstrate outside Cairo High School

Cairo Mayor Bobby Burns had the rare opportunity of casting a vote Monday night to break a tie vote and deny a permit application sought by the Grady County Chapter of the NAACP to conduct a demonstration in front of Cairo High School next week.

Addleton garners support to invest in “smart” meters

After several months of consideration and discussion, the Cairo city council voted 4-1 Monday night to authorize the city manager to solicit bids for new "smart" meters for the city's water distribution system.
By moving forward with the new, automated water meters the council is also committing to shifting to "smart" meters for both electric and gas.

Council wants Hammett charged if right-of-way not cleared

The Cairo city council wants the city police and building department to begin issuing citations to Jimmy Hammett, owner of A&R Metals, if he continues to store scrap and salvage material on the city's right-of-way on 20th Street.
During Monday night's council meeting, Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas asked council attorney Thomas L. Lehman for an update. Earlier, Lehman said he would research previous court action taken by the city against A&R Metals.
"All I know is it’s getting worse," Douglas said.

Audit reveals city’s financial health

A draft of the city's audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2016 was presented to the mayor and council Monday night.
The document shows that the city collected higher than projected revenues for the year, expenses were lower than budgeted, but long-term debt inched up slightly.
Auditor Tom Carmichael of Carr, Riggs & Ingram gave an overview of the audit to the council finance committee and then later to the full city council.

Probe underway in death of local man found in Midway community

Body sent
to GBI
crime lab
A worried family frantic to find their missing loved one made a tragic discovery Monday morning in Grady County’s Midway community.
With the help of about 15 first responders including Georgia State Patrol’s aviation unit, the family canvassed a large area in the 2400 block of GA 93 South for a couple of hours before finding the 61-year-old man’s body.

Cairo High School’s Tammy Donalson honored for service

Cairo High School’s Tammy Donalson honored for service
An association for math teachers across Georgia has awarded Cairo High School’s Tammy Donalson with its highest accolade for distinguished service.
The Georgia Council Teachers of Mathematics honored Donalson with the Gladys M. Thomason Award for her service in the field of mathematics education at the local, regional and state levels.

Tobar settles lawsuit against former employer

Grady County administrator Carlos Tobar recently accepted a $45,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit he brought against his former employer, Jeff Davis County.
The Messenger obtained copies of the settlement documents from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia this week after attempting for weeks to gain access to the public records. ACCG's Interlocal Risk Management Agency hired Richard K. Strickland of Brown, Readdick, Bumgartner, Carter, Strickland & Watkins, LLP to represent Jeff Davis County in the matter.

Commissioners likely to ask solons to raise their pay in 2017

Grady County commissioners have instructed the county attorney to move forward in preparing a resolution seeking local legislation to increase the pay for county commissioners here.
Last week, Kevin S. Cauley, attorney for the commissioners, told the elected officials it should not be an issue for Representative Darlene Taylor and Senator Dean Burke to champion the passage of the local legislation increasing the compensation provided the board votes unanimously in seeking the new legislation.
By going with local legislation, Cauley said the pay hike would take effect sooner than with other options.

Commissioners seek bids on new pool

Grady County commissioners on Tuesday night refused to move forward with Grady County administrator Carlos Tobar's recommendation to construct a splash pad facility at Barber Park.
Tobar sought authorization from the board for Chairman Charles Norton to execute a grant agreement with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on a $100,000 grant awarded to the county for Barber Park improvements and authorization to spend 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds for the architectural design of the splash pad facility.

Health officials monitoring chickenpox cases at CHS

Regional and local health officials are monitoring a pair of confirmed cases of chickenpox at Cairo High School. Officials with the Grady County Health Department, Southwest Health District say they along with the Grady County School System are keeping an eye on the situation.

Artisan fair to be held on downtown sidewalks Dec. 3

To ring in the first holiday shopping season with Cairo’s new streetscape, Cairo Main Street is sponsoring an artisan fair along the broader sidewalks of downtown’s retail district on the first Saturday of December.
Nearly 20 local artisans will be on hand with their hand crafted items for sale, ranging from fresh produce and beeswax products to woodwork and artwork as part of Elevate Grady Artisan Fair, An Intentional Gathering of Artistic Flair.

Deadline to enter Yule Parade is Friday

The chamber of commerce is giving people a little more time to submit their applications to participate in this year’s annual Cairo Christmas Parade. The deadline to turn in a form is Friday, Nov. 18.

Noise study and cultural resource study for Old 179 project is complete

Work could begin on the rehabilitation of Old 179 within the city of Whigham before the end of the year, according to Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar.
The board voted unanimously to award a contract to Oxford Construction in the amount of $293,276.50 for the portion of the former state highway within the Whigham city limits. The county is investing $149,776.50 of its Local Maintenance Improvement Grant funding and the City of Whigham is contributing $43,500. The remaining $100,000 will come from an additional LMIG allocation, which Chairman Charles Norton signed the application for Tuesday night.

Baldwin Braves to make first trip to Cairo Friday

The Region 1-AAAA first round match up is set for this Friday night as the Cairo Syrupmakers are ready to host the Baldwin Braves at Wayne Tootle Field at West Thomas Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Baldwin and Cairo have met once before, in 2009 in the second round of the state playoffs. Cairo won that game, 9-7 on the road in Milledgeville.

Playoff tickets on sale

Tickets for this Friday night's Cairo-Baldwin Round One AAAA Football Playoff Game will be on sale at Cairo High School Wednesday from 8 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. All tickets are $8 as specified by the GHSA in advance or at the gate. Tickets will remain on sale in advance until Friday at 2:45 p.m. All other tickets may be purchased at the gate Friday night.
Season ticket holders should present a 2016 reserved seat ticket stub to claim their seat this Friday night.

Monds takes on school board

Monds takes on school board
The demeanor of local political activist John Monds at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Grady County Board of Education was in sharp contrast to how Monds reacted following the board's unanimous vote on Oct. 25 to accept School Superintendent Dr. Kermit's Gilliard's recommendation to dismiss Cairo High School guidance counselor Cindy Williams.

Veteran local nurseryman retires as head of Flowerwood Nursery

Veteran local nurseryman retires as head of Flowerwood Nursery
After more than 40 years at the helm of Flowerwood Nursery in Cairo, Jim Rinker has stepped down as general manager. “I love it. ... I’m really going to miss it,” Rinker says.
The Pennsylvania native began working at the nursery in 1972 after serving in Vietnam 1968-1969. He was named Flowerwood’s general manager in 1974, succeeding Corbett Connell, father of Rinker’s wife, Sandee.

Commissioners planning on giving themselves a raise

Grady County commissioners want to be paid more for their public service to the community and have instructed the county attorney to proceed with the process of increasing the pay for commissioners.
According to Grady County Commission Chairman Charles Norton, the salary for commissioners has been the same since 1939.

Boys and Girls Club Diamond Affair is Thursday night

An encore presentation of the musician with the famous name and a voice that reminds listeners of his renowned Georgia-born father, Otis Redding, will rock Cairo this week in support of Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club of Cairo and Grady County.

Local graduation rate continues to improve

Local education leaders say they are proud that Cairo High School’s graduation rate is going in the right direction.
This week’s release of the 2016 statewide numbers shows the school’s rate rose from 83.2 percent in 2015 to 84.2 percent. The local rate is five points above the statewide average, which was 79.2 percent.

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