As 2011 shifts into high gear, the Courier takes its last look back at 2010’s front page stories. The dates listed are when the Courier published the stories, not the dates on which the events occurred. These following stories made headlines in November and December 2010.
Steve Sikes and Warren Waye were the top vote getters in a special election held Nov. 2, to elect a new Liberty County sheriff. The Courier published the unofficial results from 11 out of 13 actual precincts. Seven candidates had run for sheriff. Sikes and Waye would face each other in a run-off election scheduled for Nov. 30.
• Long County man Denzel Richardson, 18, was found dead from stab wounds in a Sand Hill area convenience store parking lot. Daniel Williams, 20, was later charged with Richardson’s murder.
• 3rd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo and 35 Division Special Troops Battalion soldiers returned home to Fort Stewart after a 13-month deployment to Iraq.
• Joseph Allen Newton, 75, pastor of Ludowici United Methodist Church, was killed in a single-vehicle accident on I-95 in Liberty County.
• The Hinesville City Council voted not to raise property taxes or furlough employees after officials adjusted the budget for fiscal year 2011 using the city’s $1.5 million reserve.
• The Hinesville City Council and the Liberty County Board of Commissioners both vote to hold their millage rates steady. The city kept its 9.5 millage rate and the county kept its 11.98 millage rate for fiscal year 2011.
• U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston announces his bid for the coveted chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, which is in charge of the federal budget. Kingston does not get the position.
• The return of about 5,000 troops appeared to boost local retail sales on Black Friday, the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday falls the day after Thanksgiving.
• Steve Sikes is elected Liberty County sheriff. Sikes received more than 50 percent plus one of the total vote needed to win. Brunswick police officer Warren Waye ran against Sikes in the run-off election.
• A Ludowici police officer shot a home invasion suspect during a scuffle as the man attempted to flee.
• A Long County jogger is shot in the ankle while jogging on Lee Place Road.
• A 3rd ID soldier died from an apparent stabbing less than a day back from Iraq. Army criminal investigators believed the stabbing resulted from a domestic incident. The soldier was later identified as Spc. Alante L. Whiting, 22, of Westland, Mich. Investigators said Whiting was likely the aggressor in the incident.
• Three former Blue Tide basketball standouts were arrested for suspected involvement in an armed home invasion and burglary in Long County.
• Liberty Regional Medical Center is named Hospital of the Year by HomeTown Health, a resource network for rural Georgia hospitals.
• Two home fires break out within minutes of each other. A mobile home in Pipkin Mobile Home Park burned and two families were displaced when their Bradwell Street house caught fire.
• Andrea Renee Wilson, a co-defendant in the murder of her cousin, Prince C. Davis, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole during a hearing at the county jail. Davis was about three years old when he died.
• Ezekiel Harris, 24, was shot and killed at the Pine Crest Village mobile home park in Long County. Mitchell Boston, 28, told investigators he shot Harris twice in the chest after Harris reportedly said, “You ready to go (expletive)?”
• Georgia Power regulators vote to raise the average rates for residential customers by more than $14.
• A 17-year old was wounded when gunfire erupted in the 900 block of Green Briar Trail. Hinesville police detectives believed the fight may have been over a girl.
• Bradwell Institute Spanish teacher Frank Boguszewski won $750,000 in the Georgia Lottery instant game Jingle Jumbo Bucks.
• Graig Ledbetter, 29, died from a gunshot wound to the face after reportedly forcing his wife, Sarah Ledbetter, to a game of Russian roulette. Hinesville police reported the husband first pointed the gun at his wife and pulled the trigger. He then pointed the gun at himself and fired three times. On the third attempt, the weapon discharged hitting Graig Ledbetter in the forehead, according to the police report.
A Richmond Hill woman who momentarily stopped her car to clean up a spilled drink was forced into the trunk of her vehicle by a man who then drove her car to Liberty County. The man reportedly fled and the woman was able to free herself and call police.