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Articles by Section - LOCAL


Back in session

Teachers and administration welcomed parents and students to an open house at Porterdale Elementary School Wednesday, July 30 from 5-7 p.m., meeting youngsters for the first time and welcoming returning students moving to the next grade. Faces full of smiles filled the halls, from pre-K classmates playing with toys to parents and principals introducing themselves and beaming about the new school year, which began this morning across the Newton County School System. "We're all aboard the train of excellence, and we have a committed staff to do that," said Lizzella Dodson, who has been Porterdale's principal for ...

July 31, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


Construction will continue during sales tax holiday

Parts of Newton County's stretch of Interstate 20 will close to traffic this weekend, one of just a handful of road construction projects underway statewide to not be shut down for the tax free weekend.

July 31, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


State releases school-level EOCT scores

The Georgia Department of Education released the 2014 school-level scores for End-of-Course Tests (EOCT), showing where each of the three high schools in Newton County improved, declined, passed the state or fell below Georgia average pass rates.

July 31, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


Out and about

The small rain showers that covered Covington Thursday afternoon didn't stop friends Hannah Bohanan, Morgan Conner and Lindsay Coker from getting out and enjoying an afternoon walk on the Square. When the rain came in they took the opportunity to take an ice cream break at Scoops on the Square.

July 31, 2014 | Darrell Everidge | LOCAL


Briefs: man shot at taking out trash

Man shot at while taking out the trash

July 31, 2014 | Bryan Fazio | LOCAL


New format, familiar concerns

Elected officials were able to hear directly from their constituents thanks to a new format tried Tuesday at the fourth of five public hearings on the 2050 Plan. What they heard wasn't necessarily new, but the small-group discussions were well worth it, county commissioners agreed Wednesday.

July 31, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


NCSS transportation department awarded for school bus emissions reductions

As the big yellow buses get ready to go round and round the county packed with students, they will be touting bragging rights for helping the environment.

July 31, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


Cell tower back on council agenda

A rejected cell phone tower on Monticello Street is on the Covington City Council's agenda again Monday, but Mayor Ronnie Johnston says it's essentially to complete paperwork. He doesn't expect anything to change.

July 31, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


Mansfield resident to be parent representative in House committee

A Mansfield resident was appointed to a Georgia House study committee as one of three teacher representatives across the state.

July 31, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


NCCA’s Woodward selected as Morgan County superintendent

A pillar in the Newton College and Career Academy was named as the only candidate for Morgan County Schools Superintendent Thursday.

July 31, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


Man shot at while taking out the trash

A Covington man was shot at while taking out the trash Tuesday.

July 30, 2014 | Bryan Fazio | LOCAL


Geocaching comes to Newton County

The Porterdale Yak Club sold out last weekend, and a worldwide trending hobby – that is not kayaking – may be part of an explanation.

July 29, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


Ready, set, teach!

Every public school in the county was empty Monday morning, but that's not to say teachers and employees weren't preparing for the first day of school.

July 29, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


County forms 2050 panel

After four public hearings and scores of pointed questions about the 2050 Plan, the Newton County Board of Commissioners is calling for help. County Chairman Keith Ellis told the Covington Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon that a citizens' panel will soon be formed to delve into the intricacies of the plan.

July 29, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


City to vote on code alternatives

The City of Covington will present some amendments to its fire code ordinance at Monday's city council meeting after reaching a consensus on it in a work session Tuesday.

July 29, 2014 | Bryan Fazio | LOCAL


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Archive By Section - LOCAL


SIU nets 3 in separate drug busts

Newton County Special Investigation Unit conducted three major busts in February, removing marijuana and cocaine dealers off the streets of Newton County.

On Feb. 11, investigators from the SIU arrested 42-year-old Tommy Lee Smith, known around Newborn as Superman. After requests from several of the Newton County Commissioners, who had received complaints from their constituents of drug activity in the area, investigators began looking closely at Smith, who lives in the area of The Settlement on Valley Street.

March 06, 2009 | Amber Pittman | LOCAL


911 center call volume up

Newton County has continued to experience growth, but the amount of calls for assistance to Covington/Newton County 911 went up only slightly in 2008 according to numbers released in their annual report.

Calls for service passed the 100,000 mark but calls for assistance increased by only .55 percent in 2008. The total calls generated by Covington Police were 27,209, Georgia State Patrol generated 93, Animal Control generated 899, Newton County Sheriff's Office generated 58,077, Oxford Police generated 1,731 and Porterdale Police generated 4,437 calls.

March 06, 2009 | Amber Pittman | LOCAL


BOC will not help fund July fireworks

Newton County will not provide funding for the Covington July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza. On Tuesday the Board of Commissioners voted not to fund their $3,790 portion of the annual display in a 3-2 decision, with Commissioners Earnest Simmons and J.C. Henderson voting to fund the display.

Henderson said the fireworks display was an important community event that should be funded.

March 06, 2009 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Economic Development Strategy unveiled this week

Leadership Collaborative officials presented their Economic Development Strategy for Newton County to the media Wednesday. The strategy was written because collaborative officials think that Newton County is at an important crossroad in its development.

"We need to focus on economic development," County Chairman Kathy Morgan said. "Where are we now? Where do we want to be in 2020? In 2050?"

March 06, 2009 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Senate targets tax delinquents

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Senate leaders are pushing a change that would allow the chamber to sanction or oust legislators who haven't paid their taxes.

It comes as a Department of Revenue report revealed that 22 lawmakers are delinquent on their tax bills, some owing taxes that date as far back as 2002. That's roughly 10 percent of Georgia's 236 state lawmakers.

March 04, 2009 | The Associated Press | LOCAL


NCSO helps nab internet predator in Alaska

An Alaskan man was arrested on various sexual charges after reportedly chatting with a Newton County Sheriff's Office investigator that he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

March 04, 2009 | Amber Pittman | LOCAL


Former county chairman, state legislator, businessman passes away

Most of those who had come to call Jack Hays Morgan Sr. a friend met him through business, politics, church or through the many acts of kindness he humbly performed throughout his life.

March 04, 2009 | Jennifer T. Long | LOCAL


Little Mr. and Miss Newton County

Bright smiles: The winners of the 2009 Mr. and Miss Newton County are Austin Wilson, 5, (left) son of Billy Wilson and the late Alisha Rowe, and Cali Smith, 5, daughter of Cindy and David Smith.

Super dancer: Antonio Shy Jr., 4, winner of the talent category performs the Superman dance from hit song of rapper Souljah Boy.

March 04, 2009 | Anthoney Banks | LOCAL


2 saved from house blaze

Fast thinking from a passerby likely saved the lives of two Newton County residents when their home caught fire and began burning without their knowledge Monday morning.

March 03, 2009 | Amber Pittman | LOCAL


Newton County pummeled with snow Sunday

Around 3,000 Newton County residents remained without power Monday afternoon because of the widespread nature of the power outages from Sunday's winter storm.

March 02, 2009 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Homestead tax exemption spared

Newton County property owners who received a homestead exemption last year won't have to give any of that money back thanks in part to the federal stimulus package. Stimulus money is allowing the state to reimburse Newton County entities for the $5.69 million in homestead exemptions they handed out in 2008.

March 01, 2009 | Gabriel Khouli | LOCAL


Keeping the arts alive

When budgeting for fiscal year 2009, Arts Association in Newton County Executive Director Buncie Hay Lanners anticipated a $45,000 shortfall because of a decrease in corporate funding.

March 01, 2009 | Jennifer T. Long | LOCAL


Mooner, drunk driver arrested

Newton County residents who happened to be at the area of U.S. Highway 278 and Turner Lake Road Thursday might have noticed an unusual sight - a full moon at around 5 p.m. when two women were driving around, one of them hanging her rear out of the window to moon those passing by.

March 01, 2009 | Amber Pittman | LOCAL


General Mills donates more than $240,000 to local groups

Employees of General Mills' Covington plant donated about $240,000 to Newton and Rockdale nonprofit organizations at a reception Friday.

March 01, 2009 | Jennifer T. Long | LOCAL


Snow predicted Sunday, 1-2 inches

On Sunday: Rain and snow in the morning, then snow likely in the afternoon. Windy, with a snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs are expected to be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. North winds from 20 to 30 mph. The chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

February 28, 2009 | National Weather Service | LOCAL


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