A year in review
by Halei Lamb | December 27, 2017 4:25 pm
On Christmas Eve 2016, Swainsboro Police Department (SPD) seized 23 pounds of marijuana from a local hotel. Four persons were arrested, including Mandisa Rebba Lege, 27; Samuel Evans, 29; Sean Rios, 18; and Arrick James, 21.
On Monday, Jan. 9, the Emanuel County Board of Education (BOE) welcomed new members Del Brown and John Allen Bailey, and Wynola Smith, Suzanne Hutchinson, and Zelda Sumner joined Adrian City Council.
On January 9, David Emanuel Academy’s softball team received their state championship rings. The Lady Eagles won the 2016 title on October 15, 2016.
On January 18, Swainsboro Cabinet Company succumbed to a fire. Fire units from across the county responded.
The Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet on January 28. Milton Gray was named Person of the Year, Berni’s on West Main received Small Business of the Year, and R&F Marketing was honored as Large Business of the Year.
Emanuel County Institute’s (ECI) middle school girls’ basketball team won the Southeast Georgia Middle School Championship on January 28. They defeated Glennville 28–31 for the title and finished their season 9–1.
On January 26, City Administrator Al Lawson, Mayor Charles Schwabe, and Councilperson Rita Faulkner met at City Hall to receive a check in the amount of $27,000. The funds were part of a grant dispensed by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
David Emanuel Academy’s varsity girls’ basketball team played in the quarterfinals of the GICAA 1A State Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 17, taking on Alleluia Community School at East Georgia State College. The Lady Eagles won 35–25 and moved on to the Final 4.
Jonina Brinson was named South Region Field Athlete of the Year on February 24. The Crossing Green native was a a junior on the University of Mobile’s women’s track team at the time of the bestowal.
On March 4, Swainsboro High School’s boys’ basketball team qualified for the GHSA Class AA Basketball State Championship by beating Dublin High School 68–64.
Rocky Davis, chief deputy of Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO), presented an update on the School Resource Unit during the BOE’s March 13 meeting. According to Davis’s report, the unit was still functioning exceptionally well, so much so that other education boards and law enforcement agencies had begun to model their own units around the local one.
On March 16, Darcy Canen Thompson reported to the Emanuel County Courthouse for his initial hearing. Thompson was accused of shooting Tyrone Cochran Jr. on Longview Road the day prior.
Jordan Brett, a senior at the time, broke Covenant College’s softball program’s home run record on April 24. Her 2-run blast helped Covenant sweep a doubleheader against Mary Baldwin.
During its March 28 meeting, the Swainsboro City Council proclaimed the month of April as Exchange Club Month. Twenty-seven Exchangites attended the meeting to witness the occasion, complete with a proclamation presentation from Al Lawson.
A trial involving Phillip Scott Kirby Sr., the man accused of killing Emily Pestana-Mason in 2002, was granted a change of venue. The news was huge for Emanuel County as the case had turned cold.
The Emanuel County Board of Commissioners voted Monday, April 17, to fund the Twin City-Emanuel County Recreation Department. The agreement sealed an alignment between the board of commissioners and the City of Twin City to jointly assume financial responsibilities of the department.
Trent Smoyer, an ECI senior at the time, earned the prestigious honor of being a 2017 Georgia Scholar. Also, Kirby’s trial ended with a guilty verdict. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The community waited in anticipation of the 72nd annual Pine Tree Festival held May 5-7, Dot Fagler was named Volunteer of the Year, and a group of concerned citizens reported to the Swainsboro City Council’s monthly meeting to formulate a plan to tackle community violence.
Held May 4-6, the 72nd annual Pine Tree Festival saw a huge turnout, as always. Mayor Schwabe received the coveted Green Jacket at the 4th annual Green Jacket Dinner.
SPD arrested two individuals, Jessica Cruz, 21, and Walter White, 26, for their involvement in a counterfeit money operation.
Daniels Chevrolet received the Mark of Excellence, Swainsboro High raised $10,000 through Ford’s Drive 4 UR School program, and fugitive Tony Williams was taken into custody after a year-long manhunt.
Tragedy struck the community when a local teenager, Taylor Hooks, suddenly lost her life in a traffic accident on May 26. Also, the Middle Judicial Circuit’s Office of the Public Defender welcomed two new lawyers, Sarah Yarborough and Trevor King.
At their meeting held June 5, the mayor and city council of Swainsboro unveiled signs in honor of Swainsboro High School’s girls’ state championship track team. The signage was to be erected later in the year.
Tragedy struck Emanuel County again when two more lives were claimed by a vehicle accident. On June 10, a mother and her son, Candy Renee Warren and Austin Davis, 17, with friend Steve MaCallin Thomas, 17, were traveling on Highway 80 East when their vehicle collided with another containing two more individuals, Sheena Vinette Huston and Terry Terrell Spikes. Warren and Davis were killed instantly, while the others were transported for treatment.
Emanuel County Institute standout Bulldog David Durden was drafted for the Boston Red Sox on June 14, and local pageant queen Alyssa Beasley was crowned 2017 Miss Georgia on June 17.
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