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Articles by Section - LOCAL


Q&A with the county county chairman

This is the first of a series of Q&A sessions with various top elected officials in Newton County. To suggest questions for specific city or county issues, email reporter Rob Dewig at rdewig@covnews.

July 19, 2014 | | LOCAL


Newton’s first police dog has died

Diva's favorite place in the house was the cool floor in front of the fireplace, and her mom's favorite picture of Diva is her doing just that.

July 19, 2014 | Kayla Robins krobins@covnews.com | LOCAL


Challenges facing farmers today and tomorrow

Though farming was once big business in the United States, by 2012 less than 1 percent of Americans were professional farmers. Many challenges face today's farmers, many of which are largely unknown to the general public.

July 19, 2014 | Staff Report | LOCAL


Ag teachersattend GVATA conference

Beth Galloway, Catrina Pollard, Marcus Pollard and Melissa Snyder, agricultural educators in Newton County Schools in Covington, Georgia, are four of the 405 teachers from across the state who attended the annual Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association (GVATA) Summer Leadership Conference held July 6-9, 2014 in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

July 19, 2014 | | LOCAL


Newton County FFA officers attend retreat

The 2014-2015 Newton County FFA Officer Team participated in a leadership retreat on June 23-27. The retreat was organized by Newton County FFA Advisor Melissa Snyder and took place at Newton High School in Covington, Georgia.

July 19, 2014 | Ashley Vilmenay Newton County FFA | LOCAL


What is Newton College and Career Academy?

I have returned to Newton County. It feels good to be back in the county with people in the community that I previously worked with when I was a Newton County Extension Agent. One change I have seen is that some of the adults I am calling upon for assistance in the agriculture program were my former 4-H kids. My new position as an agriculture teacher at Newton College and Career Academy has given me the opportunity to work in the subject area I love, agriculture, and with students in class and the FFA program.

July 19, 2014 | Beth Galloway Newton College and Career Academy Agriculture Teacher | LOCAL


Newton County FFA members attend summer leadership camp

This summer 19 students from Newton High School and Newton County FFA were challenged to grow as leaders to find their "hero within." They were part of more than 2,500 students who attended the FFA-FCCLA Summer Leadership Camp at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington. Summer Leadership camp provides a fun and exciting environment for students to develop their leadership and teamwork skills and to interact with other students from across the state.

July 19, 2014 | Ashley Vilmenay Newton County FFA | LOCAL


County OKs tax increase

The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to adopt a 5 percent tax increase as part of its new annual budget.

July 17, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


Hospital asks for more from county

Officials say the combination of Obamacare with an increase in people using the emergency room as their primary doctors is putting Newton Medical Center in trouble.

July 17, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


Starbound Dance Studio owner arrested

The former owner of Starbound Dance Studio in Porterdale was arrested on Wednesday by the Newton County Sheriff's Office on 13 counts of theft by conversion.

July 17, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


Newton Newsflash: More construction this weekend

If you're out and about this weekend, avoid sections of I-20 in Newton County as construction continues. Lane closures and long delays can be expected in the following areas and times:

July 17, 2014 | Staff Report | LOCAL


Social Circle home moving to new location

It took about five years to get funds and to complete the process to move the 186-year-old home, said Mike Owens, owner of Magnolia Manor, the new location of the home. The Historic Preservation Society of Social Circle (HPSSC) had pledged $10,000 for anyone who promised to move and restore the home, which was a significant chunk of the fundraising efforts needed to make the move official. The money was officially presented to Owens Monday by HPSSC President Dena Johnston and Treasurer Charles Thompson. Owens, utility workers and others who are invested in the preservation of the building worked ...

July 17, 2014 | Kayla Robins | LOCAL


County tightens Salem/Crowell zoning overlay

There will be no pawn shops or check-cashing businesses in the Salem/Almon/Crowell roads overlay district, according to changes adopted Tuesday night by the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

July 17, 2014 | Rob Dewig | LOCAL


Golfing for Laurie

More than six months of fundraising efforts by donors, including Covington residents, will come to a head this Saturday at the Golfing for Laurie golf tournament at Ashton Hills.

July 17, 2014 | Samantha Reardon | LOCAL


Get the beat

Students attending Arts Association in Newton County's Musical Theater Camp rehearse for their final performance of the summer.

July 17, 2014 | Kayla Robins | 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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