2018-11-07 / Community

Area News Around Us

Bainbridge -The Oconee County School System announced last Friday that $12,400 has been raised by its students for Decatur County schools. Oconee is just one of many school systems and institutions that has donated. Others include Warner Robins, Statesboro, Harris County, Thomas County, the Department of Education and the American Association of School Superintendents.

At Oconee County, each of the 10 schools started a campaign to raise money to send to Decatur County. The idea was if 8,000 students brought in $1, it would make for a substantial donation.

“We were thrilled to see the number,” said Dr. Jason Branch, Oconee County superintendent. “We felt really honored to be able to help like that.”

It’s not just others in the education field offering support for the Decatur County School System. The Salvation Army had a school supplies drive, and First Port City Bank is having a backpack drive to help students and teachers in Decatur and Seminole counties obtain the supplies they need.

Donations like these help the school system continue to serve families who were affected by Hurricane Michael. Through these donations and grants, neighbors and friends of the Decatur County School System throughout Georgia demonstrated how the livelihood and success of its young minds is crucial.

Decatur County Superintendent Tim Cochran called the help “tremendous,” mentioning that several other school systems have reached out to offer any assistance if and when they are needed.

“The support has been phenomenal,” said Cochran.

While classes resumed in Decatur County last Wednesday, Cochran acknowledged that many families are still reeling from the destruction caused by the storm. To help families get back on track, Decatur County schools created the “Bearcats Have Heart” program.

Blakely - Fans watching the ballgame Friday night at Standifer Field knew something bad had happened as they watched emergency vehicles and a life-flight helicopter at the nearby Lifebrite Community Hospital.

They were right! A collision between a Honda four-wheeler and a GMC Envoy near the U.S. 27 Bypass had resulted in three injuries--two critical. The accident happened at 8:30 p.m.

The two critically injured victims were Kaleb Whitaker, 17, and Tiana Boozer, 17, both of Blakely, who were both on the four-wheeler.

Whitaker and Boozer were both air lifted to Dothan hospitals. Boozer died later from her injuries.

The GMC Envoy was driven by Bryan Antonio Paige, 35, of Blakely. He was transported by ambulance to the Miller County Hospital.

Official details of the accident were not available as the GSP accident report was not available. However, the four-wheeler was reportedly traveling east without any lights on the shoulder of Highway 200 near Baptist Branch Homes when it was struck from behind by the Envoy.

Camilla - The Mitchell County coroner has confirmed one person died in a vehicle crash on County Line Road, near the intersection of Whigham Road, on Wednesday.

Investigators said three people were in the vehicle that rolled over and wrecked around 5:00 p.m.

Sheila Marie Phillips, 46, of Bainbridge, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other two were airlifted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, according to the Camilla Fire Chief Jamie Sullivan.

The crash required extended extrication from the vehicle by Mitchell County firefighters.

The Georgia State Patrol’s Special Crash Reconstruction Team is investigating the fatal crash along with the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office.

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