As 2009 came to a close, the Courier put together the year-in-review through front page stories from 2009 newspapers. The dates listed are the date the Courier printed the stories, not the date on which the events occurred. The following is a review of November and December news stories.
Fort Stewart opened the Warrior Restoration Center, a center for treating mild traumatic brain injuries such as concussions.
“We offer concussion management services, combat operational stress services, PTSD and neurology services, and chronic pain management services,” said Cpt. Jessica Parker.
Dorchester Academy in Midway was named to a 2010 list of 10 Places in Peril by the Georgia Trust. The trust recognized Dorchester as one of the state’s most important historical sites and determined that it should be preserved.
The Liberty County Health Department administered free H1N1 vaccines to those who gathered at Liberty Regional Medical Center.
“People ages 2-24, pregnant women and health-care workers are our target,” said Diedre Howell, director of the county health department.
Eight Liberty County schools met the requirements for adequate yearly progress for more than three years in a row and were included on the state Department of Education’s list of Title 1 Distinguished schools. That meant monetary rewards from the BoE, ranging from $712 to $1,068. The schools included were Button Gwinnett Elementary, Frank Long Elementary, Jordye Bacon Elementary, Joseph Martin Elementary, Lyman Hall Elementary, Snelson Golden Middle School, Taylors Creek Elementary and Waldo Pafford Elementary.
Five armed robberies, all taking place on Nov. 3 around Hinesville, were believed to be connected, according to Hinesville Police.
“The victims were out and about and these guys just confronted them,” said Det. Butch Kesner of the Hinesville Police Department. “The suspects left from one (robbery) and went to the next. Everybody (victims) did what they needed to do, which is give them what they wanted if they had it. Your life is more valuable than what is in your wallet.”
The Liberty County Board of Educated voted to take legal action against James W. Buckley and Associates. The board was looking to collect approximately $250,000 for problems they’d had with Liberty County High School’s Donell Woods Stadium.
“The money the board is seeking is for the work that was required to make the field satisfactory, including the re-design, re-installation of the irrigation/drainage system and the re-grassing of the field,” said Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer.
Marne Terrace family housing at Fort Stewart was bulldozed to make room for new development. The housing was determined substandard and was the source of many complaints.
“We have one common goal and that is to take care of the families,” said Christopher Curry, government division housing chief at Fort Stewart.
The down economy seemed to make Black Friday even more important for shoppers looking for a great deal and businesses looking for sales.
“We opened at 4 o’clock this morning,” said Sears Hometown Store owner Julio Rodriguez. “We’ve been busy all day.”
Georgia Sen. Earl “Buddy” Carter was sworn in as a state senator after a great deal of support from Liberty County voters. Carter received 85 percent of the vote over his opponent, Dr. Billy Hair.
Hinesville celebrated Christmas early at Christmas in the Park, organized by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Hinesville Development Authority. More than 1,000 people gathered for a tree lighting ceremony, singing, and Christmas characters including Santa and his reindeer.
“This is our first time here,” Sandie Reutzal said. “The kids didn’t believe the reindeer were real.”
Liberty County commissioners signed off on millage rates that should be the same as 2008. That meant that Liberty County property owners should not see any increase in their tax bills.
Downtown Hinesville’s 13th annual illuminated Christmas parade drew nearly 2,000 people. Although weather conditions were not ideal, the soggy scene was livened with colorful beach umbrellas and creative floats decorated to fit the “Christmas on the Coast” theme.
Hinesville resident, Donta Chatman, 21, was arrested and tied to daytime burglaries in Liberty County along with other counties. Chatman was arrested after a 20-mile car chase across Long and McIntosh counties.
“With the arrest of Chatman, we were able to clear 37 daytime burglaries, 15 of which were in Liberty County,” said Liberty County Chief Deputy Keith Moran. “We have reason to believe the suspect was selling the stolen items on the streets.”
The Liberty County Board of Education was recognized as a School Board of Distinction by the Georgia School Boards Association.
“The award is in recognition of the continuous effort of the board to improve education for all of the students of Liberty County and for its own efforts to upgrade and increase its own standards of performance,” Superintendent Judy Scherer said. “We are very proud of their accomplishment.”
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division deployed to Iraq for its fourth tour after many months of training and preparation. The brigade is returning to the Baghdad area, where they began with their first tour. Families said their farewells to their soldiers as they left for their 12-month deployment.
“I’m ready to get there and get it done,” said Spc. Travis Manship, father of two.
The Liberty County Board of Education bought the Brewton-Parker College campus in Liberty County. The Flemington property was purchased for $2 million and now officially belongs to the Liberty County School System.
Some H1N1 shots were recalled due to their potency. About 45 doses of the recalled shots were administered throughout the Liberty County district. The shots were recalled because they did not meet the required level of potency.