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Hinesville City Council recognizes resident for help in arresting robbery suspect
Bland recieves award from city council CK
Jerry Bland, left, looks on during Thursdays Hinesville City Council meeting as Mayor Jim Thomas reads a certificate detailing Blands actions Oct. 2 that led to the arrest of an armed robbery suspect. - photo by Cailtin Kenney

Mayor Jim Thomas and Hinesville City Council members recognized a resident who assisted in the capture of a suspected armed robber.

Jerry Bland was honored for his actions during the Oct. 2 robbery at Ameris Bank on Gen. Screven Way.

“I personally want to commend you for quick actions to aid local law enforcement in the capture of an armed robbery suspect,” Thomas said as he read the award description. “Your demonstration of courage and willingness to assist during a time of need is what makes Hinesville a great place to call home for so many people.”

As reported during the time of the robbery, Bland “saw the subject coming out of the bank with an arm full of money, and so (Bland) followed the suspect once the suspect got into his vehicle,” Hinesville police Detective Cpl. Joshua Heath said.

Bland followed the suspect while on the phone with 911 until police pulled the suspect over in the Heritage Bank parking lot.

Bland joked that he brought his wife to the council meeting to make sure he did not get arrested because he had to run a red light while following the robbery suspect.

Shopping center

Also at the meeting, 21.6 acres was rezoned for a new shopping center near the Wal-Mart Supercenter on West Oglethorpe Highway. The center will have about 130,000 square feet of floor space, Gabriele Hartage, zoning administrator with the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, said during her presentation to the council.

Thomas said he was not allowed to say which specific stores would be coming to the center during his report at the end of the meeting, but hinted that it would be good for the community and “especially good for our ladies.”

As reported previously, the center will have both retail stores and restaurants as well as outparcels for additional individual retail sites.


JJ’s Bar and Grill on East Oglethorpe Highway was noted to be in non-compliance of its class 2 license during the presentation of the quarterly alcohol, food and sales report.

Ordinances dictate the so-called “60/40” rule, which requires at least 60 percent of sales for food and no more than 40 percent for alcohol. The laws say that a restaurant with less than 60 percent of its sales going to food for two quarters is considered non-compliant, according to Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard. The owners will have to appear before the mayor and council for a “show cause” hearing to determine if the restaurant’s license should be put on probation, according to Howard.

Other business

New alcohol licenses were approved for Good to Go Jamaican Restaurant and SpeiseKammer, a new German grocery store. Good to Go applied for a consumption-on-premises license for beer and wine, and SpeiseKammer applied for a consumption-off-premises license for beer and wine.

The council also approved the city’s Homeless Prevention Program’s application for a $132,000 Rapid Rehousing Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care program.

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