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City Council honors resident as crime fighter
Claire Pope gets Citizenship award
Hinesville Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier and Police Chief George Stagmeier flank Claire Pope as they present a citizenship certificate to her for reporting suspicious activity that led to the arrest of three individuals. - photo by Photo by Randy Murray

The Hinesville City Council began its Jan. 19 meeting at the City Council chamber by recognizing a local citizen.

On behalf of the Hinesville Police Department, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier presented Claire Pope a citizenship certificate for reporting suspicious activity that led to the arrest of three individuals suspected of armed robbery.

“On Oct. 5, 2011, Hinesville police officers were dispatched to Citi Trends after Ms. Pope reported a male wearing a mask entering the store,” Frasier said as he read the background information for the award. “The officers arrived on the scene while the assailant was still inside the store. Investigations led to two other arrests in connection with the robbery.”

Frasier presented the award to Pope as she was surrounded by each of the Council members, including Jason Floyd, David Anderson, Keith Jenkins and Kenneth Shaw.

The award presentation was followed by a summary by Leah Poole, director of the Liberty Chamber of Commerce, of an agreement between the Chamber and the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau to enhance tourism in Liberty County.

Chris Wood, the new weightlifting coach for Team Hinesville, then spoke to the council about the team’s progress and about an upcoming competition Feb. 11 in Beaufort, S.C. He reminded council members that Team Hinesville has participated in National School Age Championships, National Junior Championships, National Championships, Junior Pan-American Championships and Junior World Championships.

City Manager Billy Edwards discussed the status of quarterly construction projects, including a retention pond for Bryant Commons, drainage improvement for the Justice Center and reconstruction of Forest Street. There was also an update on the status of letters of credit for three developments at Cinder Place Phase 7, all of Oak Crest and the apartments at Independence.

The Liberty County Consolidated Planning Commission presented information about recent developments in signs, specifically billboards versus digital signs. Concern has been expressed about some digital signs around the city being a distraction to drivers, particularly when there’s unexpected brightness or glare. Council members learned digital signs can be regulated if there’s no content provision or differentiation between “on-premise” and “off-premise.” They also learned that digital signs cannot have a variation in light intensity, illumination cannot exceed 12-foot candles and lighting must adjust to natural light conditions.

The last two items discussed included revision the city’s vehicle policy and a continued moratorium on internet gaming/sweepstakes. The city first took a six-month moratorium on internet gaming in March 2011, then extended six months in September.

Three action items agreed to by the council included:

• Re-appointing Claudia Thomas, wife of Mayor James Thomas, as city representative to the Keep Liberty County Beautiful Advisory Council.

• Approving an alcoholic beverage license by Wu Ni, owner of Kyoto Inc. GA.

• Submitting a request for a Historic Preservation Fund CLG survey and planning grant to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division for the National Historic District nomination project.

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