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An Internet-only news site devoted to issues regarding Warrenton, Ga., and its environs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

State patrol: Warren County's 'boring landscape' leads to high rate of I-20 traffic deaths

You've heard of the dangers of "distracted driving"? Well, apparently, the Georgia State Patrol has a new theory for the high rate of traffic deaths on Interstate 20 in Warren County: Undistracted driving.
From a story published today in the Augusta Chronicle:
DeKalb County, which has seen 13 fatal incidents in the five-year span, averages 0.77 fatalities per mile. Warren County, situated between McDuffie and Taliaferro counties, averages 0.93 fatalities per mile.
“There is a tremendous problem (in Warren County) and we’re aware of it,” said Lt. Donnie Smith, assistant commander of the Georgia State Patrol’s Troop E.
Smith attributed that problem to several theories. The “boring landscape” in the rural area tempts drivers to brave texting and talking on their cellphones.
The area is also 45 to 50 minutes between Augusta and Madison, both cities with lots of restaurants. It gives travelers just long enough to get sleepy after filling their bellies, Smith said. It’s also one of the first counties on the stretch from the state line that does not have a restraint cable dividing the highway.
“Most of our fatal accidents are crossover accidents,” he said.

For those of you who have not traveled through Warren County in some time, there is still no commercial development at any of the three interstate interchanges in the county. (The UPS facility outside Camak is not terribly far from the Camak exit, but that's more industrial development than commercial.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TRW Automotive, Georgia-Pacific on federal polluters list

TRW Automotive's Warrenton Casting Center and Georgia-Pacific's Warrenton plant appear on a federal watch list of nearly 500 industrial polluters nationwide.

The list was the subject of a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and National Public Radio.

TRW's facility at 1117 Thomson Highway was for many years owned by Wheland Foundry. It was built some years ago, as I recall, as a facility for Georgia Iron Works, though I don't know if GIW ever actually operated the facility or whether it ran for very long. It sat largely unused for many years during my childhood.

TRW's health risk ranked three out of five, according to the report, while Georgia-Pacific rated just one out of five.

Other sites in surrounding counties also on the list:

McDuffie County: HP Pelzer Automotive Systems and Temple-Inland, both of Thomson
Wilkes County: Anthony Forest Products, Washington
Jefferson County: Glit-Microtron, Wrens
Washington County: Trojan Battery, Sandersville; Lamson Pipe Co.

Photo by flickr user aimeeorleans, used under a Creative Commons license. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warren superintendent, principal pass lie detector tests about coach's beating in Sparta

Warren County's school superintendent and high school principal have taken and passed polygraph tests regarding the beating of the county's high school football coach at a game in Sparta, Channel 6 reports.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Washington, Ga.'s racial-political rift profiled in Washington Post -- yes, *that* Washington Post

The hard-fought mayoral race between former state trooper Willie Burns, who is African-American, and businessman Ames Barnett, who is white, is profiled in depth in the Washington Post as part of its "Views from Washington" series. Burns lost a re-election bid to Barnett 837-747.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Warrenton's Travis Burley plays starring role in Jamestown College basketball victory

He had 27 points and 18 rebounds to help Jamestown come back in overtime to beat Doane College 80-78, the Jamestown Sun reports.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Warren had state's fourth-highest unemployment rate in September

Warren County had the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the state in September, according to data from the state Department of Labor.

The county's unemployment rate was 16.8 percent, compared to the statewide rate of 10.2 percent for September.

Topping Warren County's rate were Hancock County (22.6 percent), Jenkins County (18 percent) and Coffee County (17.7 percent).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Open Meetings Act violated as cameras shut out of public meeting about football coach beating

Hancock County officials wouldn't let cameras into a public meeting at a local church about the recent beating of Warren County High's football coach, an incident that has made national headlines. (Reports from Channel 6 and Channel 12)