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Board accepts grants

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has received a $43,053 grant that will be used to purchase equipment for the Sheriff's Office.

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant requires no matching funds. The Newton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved acceptance of the grant at its Tuesday night meeting.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.

In other action, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved acceptance of two grants for the Newton County Juvenile Court. Neither grant requires matching funds.

One grant in the amount of $18,751 will be used to fund substance abuse treatment, drug testing supplies and training for court staff for the operation of the Juvenile Drug Court program. The grant is funded by the Statewide Drug Court Program.

In addition, a $9,774 grant from the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia will be used to fund community-based detention alternatives for juvenile offenders, including community service supervision, tutoring, group counseling, drug screening and supervision at the Evening Reporting Center.

Newton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan announced that the BOC will hold its regular Sept. 21 meeting in the jury impaneling room of the Newton County Judicial Center in order to make the commissioners' boardroom at the Historic Courthouse available for filming of the feature film "Footloose."

Ryan Schaetzle, location manager, thanked commissioners Tuesday night for their flexibility in allowing the filming to take place.

"This is not the kind of place you find every day," said Schaetzle, referring to the boardroom, which was formerly the courtroom. He promised commissioners the film crew would not make any changes to the courthouse that could not be reversed.

The movie stars Dennis Quaid, two-time "Dancing with the Stars" champion Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, the role originally made famous by Kevin Bacon.

Native Tennessean Craig Brewer is directing. Brewer had intended to shoot in Tennessee, like he did with his other projects, "Black Snake Moan" and "Hustle and Flow," "but our incentives are much better than Tennessee's and we were able to pull it down here," Thomas said.

"Footloose" is slated to film in Georgia from September to November.