2012 was a busy year in Upson County, filled with many notable events, such as the trial of a local businessman, the suspension from office of a county commissioner, a local business being recognized as one of the top businesses in the state, and heated negotiations between Thomaston and Upson County over sales tax. If we tried to remember every story of significance for the past 12 months, it would take several editions to get it all in. Instead, we have chosen to highlight the top news story (in our opinion) for each of past 12 months and present them to you as our look back at 2012. Below each of the stories are some of the other noteworthy headlines for that month. We are presenting our look back at 2012 in two parts. This first part will take us from January through June. The second part, which will be in the next edition of The Thomaston Times, will go from July through December.
Verdict is ‘guilty’ for Richard Harville
Thomaston businessman Richard Harville was convicted in Upson County Superior Court of a single count of theft by receiving. Testimony included details of the business transactions that prosecutors alleged resulted in the City of Thomaston failing to receive payment of approximately $473,000 for processing trucked in sewer system leachates. Harville claimed the shortage was not intentional, but was caused by changes in the process in which manifests were turned over to city representatives. A jury took less than five hours to find him guilty, and Judge W. Fletcher Sams sentenced Harville to the maximum penalty allowed under law – 10 years, with four to be served in prison, followed by six years probation. Harville must also make full restitution to the City of Thomaston.
- Thomaston City Council raises utility rates
- Trice pleads ‘not guilty’ at arraignment
- CDBG grant building new homes for some Lincoln Park residents
- BOC approves TAN for $5 million
- Police investigating break-in, assault
- IDA continuing search for Director
- Solar farm approved for Upson
Gov. Deal has Trice indictment
The Chattahoochee Circuit District Attorney’s Office forwarded a certified copy of the multiple felony count indictment against Upson County Commissioner Sandra Trice to the office of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. This is the first step in the process of determining if Trice will be suspended from office pending the outcome of her May trial. According to Georgia code, the Governor may not take action for 14 days.
- School system adjusts Pre-K Lottery policy
- Arrest made in elderly assault case
- Nuclear plants benefit Thomaston
- Stephen Ward is 2012 STAR Student
- BOE Chairman urging fight against HR 1162
- Upson receives $1.8 million water line loan
- BOC considering full-time Constable
Trice agrees to suspension from office
Upson County District 1 Commissioner Sandra Trice announced that she would authorize the Governor’s Office to take a temporary suspension of her position as County Commissioner for District 1 until charged related to her 39-count indictment are cleared. Trice was indicted last November by the Upson County Grand Jury for the unauthorized selling of pre-need funeral insurance. She is scheduled to go to trial in May.
- BOE hears options for expected budget shortfall
- Yatesville council okays lights for walking track
- Five home burglaries cleared with one arrest
- Animal Control under scrutiny
- ‘Make Thomaston Shine’ schedule set
- Dart buying Solo Cup Company
- Police notify residents to clean property
- Save the Ritz! Move to digital films could close The Ritz Theatre
Quad Graphics is Manufacturer of the Year!
One of the largest industries in Upson County, Quad Graphics, was awarded to the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year for a medium sized company by Governor Nathan Deal during the Manufacturers Appreciation Week luncheon held in Atlanta. Jeff Stribling, Plant Director, attributed Quad’s success to the partnerships that they have formed throughout the community over the years and noted that success in these economic times would not have been possible without them.
- The Rock Ranch featured by Georgia Tourism
- Music and BBQ draw crowds to Smoke on the Water
- Easter Sunday marred by violence
- School meal prices increasing next year
- Suspect arrested in Lincoln Park stabbing
- 2012 Relay for Life is a success
- IDA seeks local input on economic development
Trice accepts plea deal, gets probation
Trice Funeral Home owner and suspended Upson County Commissioner Sandra Trice will serve eight years probation, pay a $500 fine, and serve 80 hours of community service after accepting a plea deal on felony and misdemeanor charges related to pre-need funeral plans. Trice pled guilty to one felony count of giving false statements, please nolo contendere to four counts of failure to establish escrow accounts, and pled nolo contendere to one count of operating as an unauthorized insurer. She was given eight years probation, the fine and community service on the first count. On the next four counts, she received five years probation each, to be served concurrently with the first count, and eight years probation on the final count, which will also be served concurrently with the first count.
- Inmate facing charge for killing dog at shelter
- Two on the loose after prison break
- Biggs named interim District 1 Commissioner
- Plans underway to save The Ritz
- Thomaston suing Upson County, claiming violation of Open Records Act
- Qualifying starts Wednesday; 14 local seats to be decided
- 147th Emanicipation Celebration is Saturday
- ‘It’s time to celebrate!’ Upson-Lee High School Class of 2012 graduates
Upson taking over Sprewell Bluff, State WMA will be county park
After nearly eight years of hard work, the dream of Upson County taking over the operation of Sprewell Bluff has become a reality. The Board of Commissioners is in the process of going over an agreement with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources that would be for a 50-year lease, giving Upson County total operational control. If everything works out, Sprewell Bluff would then become a county park and would no longer be part of the state park system.
- 31 candidates qualify for local elections
- Sweet Georgia Violins earn rave reviews at Carnegie Hall
- Special election to fill BOC District 3 seat will be held July 31
- BOC approves change in alcohol licensing
- Chairman predicts no tax increase
- Thomaston Post Office named in memory of Bobby Hollar
- Thomaston City Council supports Macon to LaGrange corridor study
- Upson County Relay for Life exceeds goal, expectations
- T-SPLOST may be best way to bring industry to Upson
- Upcoming LOST negotiations important for future budgets of county, cities
- Five qualify for District Three Commission seat