As a new decade begins, the Courier looks back at stories that made headlines in 2010. The dates listed are the date on which the Courier published the stories, not when the events occurred. These following stories made the front page in August, September and October 2010.
• A 70-year old Hinesville man wins $100,000 playing the Georgia Lottery Instant KENO! game. Bernard Buono said he would pay all his bills and take a trip with his winnings.
Gunfire erupts in the wee morning hours in the vicinity of several Highway 84 businesses, including the Colleseum Sports Palace and Grill. One man is shot in the legs and a woman is cut by broken glass when a bullet enters and exits her parked car.
Fort Stewart soldier Michael Justin Quick, 30, is arrested and charged with child molestation after redeploying from Iraq. Long County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Tom Sollosi said the mother of a 3-year old Long County girl told law enforcement officers the girl made comments alluding to an alleged molestation attempt. The LCSO worked with Fort Stewart’s Criminal Investigation Division on the case.
Denisse Vega is credited with saving 13 lives, including that of a nine-month old baby, when she alerted Stewart Pines apartment residents to a structure fire. The blaze, which broke out shortly before 2 a.m., spread quickly and gutted one second-floor unit. Vega was visiting her sister and had stepped outside for a cigarette when she saw smoke coming from the rear of one of the buildings.
Joshua Works, 29, owner of Mission Essential, Inc., gun shop in Hinesville pleaded guilty to dealing in stolen military equipment. Works was indicted by a grand jury on charges of willfully and knowingly receiving two sets of PVS-14 night vision devices and several parts for M16 rifles with the intent to convert the property for his own use or gain. The indictment alleged the receipts occurred between May 2006 and July 2008 in Liberty County. Court documents indicated the stolen equipment was valued at $10,000.
Fort Stewart held its first active shooter scenario during a planned emergency exercise that locked down the installation.
The Hinesville City Council votes to decrease the raises they approved earlier in the year. The mayor’s annual salary would be $24,000 and the council members’ salaries would be $12,000 a year. The amended raises will go into effect in 2012, when the next administration is in office.
An archeological dig in nearby Bulloch County finds a civil war prison had been established at what was Camp Lawton.
Dorchester Academy was one of 10 historic schools from 250 applicants across the country and the only one in Georgia to receive a $50,000 preservation grant from Lowe’s.
Hinesville firefighter David Couch was arrested by Jesup police for allegedly participating in a barroom brawl at the Oyster Shack’s Daily News Neighborhood Pub. Couch was later let go by the city.
Allenhurst resident Shanika Jean Blackwell allegedly fired several shots at Tracy Octavia Rogers as the two drove near each other in County Manor Mobile Home Park in Long County. Rogers told the Long County Sheriff’s Office she and Blackwell had been involved in a fight at the Colleseum Sports Palace and Grill in Hinesville.
A two-year old Hinesville boy was flown to Savannah by helicopter ambulance with head injuries he reportedly sustained while in the care of his aunt’s boyfriend. Christian Ballard told Hinesville police the child had been standing on a toilet after a bath when he fell and his head above his left eye.
The Hinesville City Council granted the Colleseum Sports Palace and Grill a reprieve following a show cause hearing that lasted nearly four hours. The council did not revoke the club’s business or alcohol license, but did demand club owners take measures to curb its unruly late night clientele. Hinesville police officers and area business people testified about fights, noise and parking issues for which the club was allegedly responsible.
A former soldier allegedly demanded mental treatment as he took hostages at gunpoint at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart. Robert Anthony Quinones took three hospital workers hostage in a two-hour standoff. The gunman surrendered and no one was injured. One of the hostages was credited with helping persuade Quinones to surrender.
In a motion hearing Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich’s defense attorneys request their expert investigator be allowed to travel to Iraq to reinvestigate the crime scene and interview 16 Iraqi soldiers. Bozicevich was charged with two counts of pre-meditated murder in the shooting deaths of Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson and Sgt. Wesley Durbin.
Former Bradwell Institute principal Dr. Vicki Albritton officially resigned. At the beginning of September Albritton was moved to a curriculum-centered position at the school system’s central office. Her contract did not expire until June 2011.
In a two-to-one vote, the Hinesville City Council approved signing a contract with Richmond Hill Reflections to self-publish a magazine to promote the city. Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas had pushed for the vote to be taken to meet the magazine’s publishing deadline for its December issue.
John Leo Orr, a Fort Stewart contract employee who was found shot in a Long County wildlife management area in August, told law enforcement he had paid a convicted felon $200 to kill him. Orr reportedly met with Nathaniel Nix of Baxley and made arrangements for the former state inmate to shoot and kill him. Long County investigators said Orr was in the middle of a divorce and was allegedly depressed and suicidal. Orr reportedly had second thoughts after he laid shot and bleeding and called 911 from his cell phone.
Eight Liberty County delegates arrive in Hong Kong for a 10-day economic development mission to China. “We are opening doors for our residents to have a world view and provide (them) more opportunities,” said Hinesville spokeswoman Krystal Britton.
An alleged shooting at a mobile home on Rye Patch Road in Long County left two men dead, a two-year old child shot and a mother injured.
Gum Branch resident Lori Arrowood goes missing from her John Wells Road home. Arrowood’s daughter, Jessica Hardy, told police she last saw her mother when she left the house to go to work.
Two Fort Stewart soldiers deployed to Iraq, Spc. John Carillo and Pfc. Gebrah Noonan, were fatally shot following an altercation on Sept. 23. Spc. Neftaly Platero was arrested in connection to the shooting.
Mourners grieve for Lori Arrowood whose remains were found near Tower Road in Long County. Arrowood had disappeared from her home two weeks prior. Former Liberty County jail guard Kenneth Lumpkin was arrested for her murder. Arrowood’s husband was deployed to Iraq when his wife had disappeared.
Hinesville teenager Rodtavis Platt was shot and subsequently died from his wounds. A neighbor told police she heard four or five gunshots fired and saw Platt on the ground. She said she saw a man in a white, long-sleeved hooded sweatshirt flee the scene. Sanford Jackson, a Marine, and Quentan Coleman, a soldier, and an unnamed minor were later arrested in connection to the fatal shooting.
More than 1,000 people ride Hinesville’s new bus transit system its first week of operation. “I think the community is absolutely falling for this,” said Theodis Jackson, Liberty Transit system general manager.
Jessica White-DePriest, who, along with her five children, survived a vehicle fire on Sept. 9, was found dead in her Hinesville home. DePriest was 24. One month prior the family was hailed as lucky after North Carolina State Trooper Alan Humphrey pulled her 18-month old triplets and 2-year old son out of their minivan minutes before the gas tank exploded. DePriest was on her way back to Hinesville after visiting her parents in Dunn, N.C.
3rd ID soldiers begin returning home to Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield en masse. Homecoming ceremonies are held day and night as 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team troops redeploy from a 12-month deployment to Iraq.
The second annual Oktoberfest is held in downtown Hinesville. The 2010 festival coincided with the 200th anniversary of the first, original Oktoberfest in Bavaria, Germany.
Plum Creek Timber Company formally set aside 5,285 acres near Riceboro into a conservation easement. The corporation partnered with the Georgia Land Trust and the Georgia Conservancy to establish the Jelks Tract.
Fort Stewart authorities shut down Winn Army Community Hospital and the installation’s post office as a precautionary measure after a postal work complained of respiratory discomfort. The worker had handled a package containing a powdery substance. The package was tested for anthrax, but was found to contain powdered shaving cream.
Jurors returned guilty verdicts in the murder trial of Andrea Renee Wilson and co-defendant Corey Allan Brown, who had been charged with killing Wilson’s 31-month old cousin, Prince C. Davis on Jan. 16, 2007, at the couple’s Riceboro home.
A friendly card game turned into a night of terror when gunmen killed one man and injured two during an armed robbery at a Hinesville home. Orlejandro Mark Smalls, 35, was found dead of a gunshot wound and the renter of the duplex, Darrell McKenzie, suffered from a wound to his right arm. McKenzie’s cousin, William Fleming, 22, was shot in his left side. The two men were taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center and later released. Police reported Smalls was confronted by two armed men when he answered a knock on the door. “They began to rob the people, gathering cell phones, car keys and money,” said Hinesville Police Department Chief of Detectives Maj. Thomas Cribbs.