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Aimee A. Jones

Stories by Aimee A.

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Newton's top educator

Ashley Rickard named Newton County’s Teacher of the Year

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Testimony ends in Mt. Zion case

Testimony wrapped up Tuesday in the lawsuit pitting members of a local church against each other, but not before the judge admonished all parties to consider the fruits of sowing disunity among believers.

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Blue Willow staff determined to carry on: Restaurateur Louis Van Dyke dies suddenly Thursday

The landmark Blue Willow Inn Restaurant will remain open, serving customers who often travel great distances to partake of the classically Southern cuisine, and continue the legacy of its founder, Louis Van Dyke, who died last week.

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Bank employees honored by Social Circle Council

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Pinnacle Bank employees were honored by the Social Circle City Council for their efforts in assisting the police department in the arrests and convictions of several people attempting to deposit or cash bad checks.

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E. Hightower Trail bridge closed indefinitely for fix

SOCIAL CIRCLE — The bridge at East Hightower Trail spanning the CSX rail line in Social Circle has been damaged and has been closed until repairs can be made.

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E. Hightower Trail bridge closed indefinitely for fix

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The bridge at East Hightower Trail spanning the CSX rail line in Social Circle has been damaged and has been closed until repairs can be made.

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Social Circle PD uses seized funds to help officers

The Social Circle Police Department is looking for ways to put funds seized from illegal activity to good use.

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Breast cancer not enough to derail Theresa Farmer

COVINGTON — Theresa Farmer and her family have proven true the time-tested cliché, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Social Circle millage rate unchanged

Social Circle residents will see no increase in their millage rate this year. The City Council adopted on Tuesday a millage rate of 7.411 mills -- the same rate it's been since 2008 when it was reduced slightly from the previous year.

Money raised by candidates varies widely

CONYERS -- If fundraising is a reliable indication of the outcome of the Nov. 2 elections, most of the races for the state Legislature will not be very close. The following is a breakdown of races for districts that represent portions of Newton County.

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Local's fight with cancer has been 'roller coaster ride'

It wasn't any big deal, nothing she couldn't put off. At least that's what Barbara Sands thought when she neglected to get a routine mammogram for a couple of years.

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Local's fight with cancer has been 'roller coaster ride'

CONYERS — It wasn't any big deal, nothing she couldn't put off. At least that's what Barbara Sands thought when she neglected to get a routine mammogram for a couple of years.

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Social Circle kicks off inaugural Junior Ambassador Program

The first members of the Better Hometown Junior Ambassador Program were introduced to the Social Circle City Council on Tuesday, kicking off the inaugural program.

City to cut credit fees on services

After eliminating credit card fees for utility customers, the Covington City Council voted last week to take it one step further.

Social Circle water, sewer rates to go up

Social Circle residents and business owners can expect to see an increase in their next water and sewer bills.

City votes to terminate Dixie Jet contract

COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council voted Wednesday to terminate the contract with Dixie Jet Services, the fixed base operator at the Covington Municipal Airport, a move that will cost more than $325,000 and bring all airport operations under the control of the city.

Not letting bedbugs bite becoming harder to do

COVINGTON — With the summer travel season officially over, returning vacationers may discover they brought home more than just a few souvenirs.

City Council gives 2 bills first reads

COVINGTON -- Two ordinance changes are under way for Covington.The first ordinance change to receive a first reading Monday by the Covington City Council was one that would allow the use of bows and arrows in certain parts of the city.

Chamber presents goals to Covington

COVINGTON -- "It's a new day at the Chamber." This was the pledge made by Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall to the Covington City Council on Monday.

Echols faces Douglas in Aug. 10 runoff

COVINGTON — Tim Echols believes he is uniquely poised to bring a fresh, statewide perspective to the Public Service Commission.

Scott, Douglas speak to Newton Republicans

COVINGTON -- Austin Scott, the Republican candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in his re-election bid for the 8th Congressional District, spoke to members of the Newton County Republican Party on Monday.

Handel visits, speaks with Newton GOP

COVINGTON -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel stopped in Covington on Monday to speak to the Newton County Republican Party as the date nears for a runoff election between her and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.

City mulls archery hunting for deer

COVINGTON -- A growing number of deer in the city has prompted the Covington City Council to consider an ordinance to allow hunters to use archery equipment to help thin the wildlife population.

City Council passes reduced budget

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- With no discussion or comment, the Social Circle City Council approved on Thursday its 2010-11 budget.

Council calls special session on airport fixed-base operator

COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council will meet next week to discuss any future arrangement with Dixie Jet Services Inc., the fixed base operator at Covington Municipal Airport.

State candidates hope to narrow field in runoff

Runoffs are in the future for many candidates vying for state elections.

Creation Museum shuts doors; artifacts to be auctioned

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- One of the anchors of the Blue Willow Village in Social Circle will soon go on the auction block.

Social Circle tightens its belt

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The city is preparing for another year of declining revenue and budget cuts, as well as another round of water and sewer rate hikes.

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Graduation marks turning point for Eagles

CONYERS -- They lined up as high school seniors and walked out as graduates.Eastside High School celebrated the graduating class of 2010 Saturday morning in a commencement ceremony at Church in the Now.

Water, sewer lines come in under budget

The construction of water and sewer lines and a water tank to serve the newly built General Mills distribution facility is expected to come in around $200,000 under budget, according to Social Circle officials.

Clack will take drag strip plans to Newton BOC

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- A zoning error has taken a proposed drag strip out of the hands of Social Circle, but now the controversial plans will be a matter for Newton County to consider.

Social Circle de-annexes drag strip land

The property at the center of the proposed drag strip controversy has now been removed from the city limits of Social Circle and is solely within the jurisdiction of Newton County. As a result, the property owner will have to wait at least a year before he could apply to the city for a rezoning that would pave the way for a motorsports complex.

Blue Willow foreclosure date stalled

The owners of the Blue Willow Village in Social Circle have avoided foreclosure -- at least for now.

National Endowment for Humanities donates books to local libraries

COVINGTON -- Area libraries recently received a collection of books as part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Annual concert series returns to the Square

COVINGTON — Let the music play!

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Young steer escapes from owner

The cow may not have jumped over the moon, but he apparently made it across woods, highways, parking lots and a few yards.

Meeting held on rail line

COVINGTON -- An informational meeting held Thursday about the potential acquisition of 15 miles of rail line left many in attendance wanting more information.

Fleming vying for Senate seat

COVINGTON -- Former Newton County Commissioner Ester Fleming said his experience in local politics will help him better serve the residents of the 17th State Senate District should he prevail in the November election.

Program offers help to victims

COVINGTON -- Crime victims are protected by the law, but many may not know they can take steps to protect themselves against violent acts before they happen.

$235K collected in annual Relay for Life

COVINGTON -- Team Becky finished ahead of the fundraising pack in this year's Relay for Life in Newton County.

Social Circle considers hotel/motel tax

Social Circle is poised to implement a 5-percent hotel/motel tax.

Copper levels at wastewater facility high

The City Council is mulling options for removing excess levels of copper coming through its wastewater treatment facility -- options that could cost millions of dollars. City Manager Doug White reported to the City Council on Tuesday that the city will likely need to spend $10,000 to $12,000 to temporarily set up a filter to the wastewater facility located off East Hightower Road.

Drag strip rezoning withdrawn, may come back

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- A proposed drag strip in Social Circle is off the table, at least for now.The Social Circle City Council unanimously accepted Tuesday a request by land owner Donnie Clack to withdraw his rezoning petition without prejudice.

Social Circle mayor: Deannexation not a fix

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Mayor Jim Burgess said proposed legislation to deannex a portion of Social Circle from Newton County would not necessarily resolve a conflict over a rezoning application to bring a drag strip to the city, but could actually cause more harm than good.

DRAG STRIP: Mayor tells history of annexation

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Mayor Jim Burgess said Tuesday that the present controversy surrounding a proposed drag strip in Social Circle could be traced to the actions of the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

Petition begun to de-annex Social Circle

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The calendar was a crucial factor in the decision of a group of residents to start a petition drive to de-annex a portion of Social Circle from Newton County.

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Opponents of drag strip still worried

Opponents of a proposed drag strip in Social Circle are unmoved by the property owner's offer to redesign his plans.

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Plans for drag strip could stop

State Rep. Doug Holt has crafted legislation that could de-annex property in Newton County from the city of Social Circle, putting the brakes on plans of one property owner to develop a drag strip there.

Property owner to submit new drag strip plans

The property owner seeking rezoning that would permit a drag strip in Social Circle said he plans to withdraw his rezoning request and seek to reapply in 30 to 45 days with amended site plans that should address many residents' concerns.

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Supporters, foes left with questions over drag strip

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Tuesday's work session appeared to leave Social Circle Planning and Zoning members as well as supporters and critics of a proposed drag strip with more questions than answers.