WJHC Talk 107.5 Welcomes Scott Berns to our Staff

scott-bernsSmalltown Broadcasting and WJHC Talk 107.5 are thrilled to have Scott Berns in their stable of talents and personalities.

Scott will be taking over the position of G.M. at the station starting Monday. He will also be the host of the mid-day show, “In touch with Suwannee Valley” from 11am – Noon.

Please contact our studio if you would like to have your church, business, political or social event announced on one of our shows. We strive to help our community achieve the goals they have set.

Our office phone number is: 386-792-1075 10 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday.

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Soldier Opens Fire At Fort Hood; 4 Dead, Several Injured (Updated)

suspected shooter       Ivan Lopez

suspected shooter
Ivan Lopez

FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.

The shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez who served in Iraq in 2011, had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base. He was also undergoing psychiatric treatment for depression.


There was no indication the attack was related to terrorism, Milley said “although we are not ruling anything out.”

A Texas congressman said the shooting happened at a medical center. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also identified the suspect as Ivan Lopez. But additional details about the gunman were not immediately available.

The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to “quite critical.”  At last check, nine patients had been admitted to Scott and White.

The 2009 assault on Fort Hood was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.

After the shooting began, the Army’s official Twitter feed said the post had been locked down. Hours later, all-clear sirens sounded.

On Wednesday evening, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.

Meanwhile, relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.

Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.

“The last two hours have been the most nerve-racking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.

Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he could not even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.

“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still did not know how close the incident was to her husband.

“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.

President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of the shooting.

In a hastily arranged statement in Chicago, Obama said he was following the situation closely. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.

Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made – including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,” Obama said. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.”

The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.

The November 2009 attack happened inside a crowded building where soldiers were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in that mass shooting. He said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression.

According to testimony during Hasan’s trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great!” – and opened fire with a handgun.

Witnesses said he targeted soldiers as he walked through the building, leaving pools of blood, spent casings and dying soldiers on the floor. Photos of the scene were shown to the 13 officers on the military jury.

The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by Fort Hood police officers outside the building. He was paralyzed from the waist down and is now on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training and strengthening ties to local law enforcement, according to Peter Daly, a vice admiral who retired from the Navy in 2011. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.

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Milltown Murals Motorcade postponed due to weather

Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce

milltown 1

Milltown 2


LAKELAND — The Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce released the following statement today:

The Milltown Murals Motorcade scheduled for this Saturday, April 5 is being postponed due to the potential of rain during the day. In planning an event like this that depends so much on the vintage cars we have to consider the weather conditions. Some vehicles are driven here and some are trailered but most will need protection from bad weather. Our event is totally outdoors. After talking with some owners we have decided to it will be best to postpone.

A new date will be announced soon but our plans are to hold the motorcade on a Saturday within the next sixty-days.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support of the Millown Murals Motorcade.

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Shelter open house Plans SPLOST fund usage

Kristin FinneyThe Valdosta Daily Times


VALDOSTA — Regular visitors to the Valdosta Mall that are accustomed to seeing the shelter’s pet crates and tents outside PetSmart on the weekend will be disappointed to learn that these adoption events will be discontinued. Due to a corporate policy change, PetSmart will no longer allow these adoption events unless all of the cats and dogs involved have been spayed/neutered and have all of their vaccinations. This causes a huge financial struggle for the shelter, as they can’t afford to spay/neuter and vaccinate all of their animals, considering not all of them will be adopted.

As they will no longer be able to hold events at PetSmart, the shelter is looking for other store fronts in retail areas that would be willing to allow the adoptions on Saturdays.

The shelter is planning to hold events quarterly over the next year, beginning with their open house on Saturday, April 5. The open house will be from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter, located at 337 Gil Harbin Industrial Blvd.

During the open house, residents will be able to get free information on pet health, grooming, nutrition, training, proper shelter, cruelty prevention, rescue opportunities, low cost spay/neuter and more. There will also be many furry friends available for adoption.

Dogs are available for $105 which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, a vet exam, deworming, rabies tag and more.  Cats are available for $85 and receive the same procedures as dogs, in addition to a blood test for feline leukemia and FIV.

To allow the community to see their SPLOST dollars at work, the shelter would also like to announce that there will be many improvements made to the shelter this year thanks to the tax. With $800,000 in SPLOST funds set aside this year for shelter improvements, the shelter will be able to make many much needed improvements.

“Once SPLOST funds are collected, the following improvements will be addressed:  a total renovation to the interior of the existing animal shelter to include repairs to all walls, floors, windows and millwork; new sinks; the cleaning and painting of all walls; reconfiguration of existing holding pens to increase space using space saver kennels; added ventilation; expansions to add two new dog kennels; new HVAC; new feed and cat litter storage room and a security sally port to ensure animal and officer safety and security during intake,” said Paige Dukes, County Clerk and Public Information Officer.

“In addition to these improvements, the shelter is also in need of a new or used commercial dishwasher so that staff can more efficiently sanitize feeding bowls and related tools.  Additional fencing is also needed so the current exercise yard can be divided into smaller areas to allow more dogs to spend more time outside.  Outside exercise decreases anxiety, allows larger dogs to burn off extra energy and significantly impacts the likelihood a once calm animal might develop aggressive tendencies simply due to being housed in a strange place, by providing time outside the noise and confinement of the shelter,” said Dukes.

Over population has been a huge issue for the shelter in recent years. Due to the continuous issue, the shelter would like to inform the public of the importance of spaying/neutering their pets.

Dukes explained, “Lowndes County would like to remind citizens that spaying or neutering their pet has a direct, positive impact on the number of animals that enter the animal shelter each year.  While some pets survive their shelter stay by being rescued or adopted, the majority of shelter animals are euthanized.  Euthanization is a people problem, not an animal problem.  Low cost spay/neuter programs are available throughout Lowndes County.  Shelter staff and volunteers appreciate any opportunity to connect those that need financial assistance with a program or agency that can help.  Be a part of the solution, and have your pet spayed or neutered.”

If you are interested in volunteering your store front, donating funds, donating materials, or adopting an animal please contact Paige Dukes at (229)671-2400 or the Lowndes County Animal Shelter at (229) 671-2760

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