Local man has guns stolen during armed robbery


Release from the Valdosta Police Department:

On October 15, 2014 at approximately 2:22 pm, the Valdosta Police Department responded to 4491 InnerPerimeter Road in reference to the report of an armed robbery that occurred in the 2300 block of Chattooga Drive.

Officers made contact with a 22-year-old man who indicated that an African American male pulled a handgun on him and stole his wallet and two handguns.

Detectives responded to investigate and are looking at persons of interest in the case. No one was hurt during the incident.

Anyone having any further information regarding this crime or any other crime is urged to contact the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145 or can remain anonymous at 229-293-3091.


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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Opening of Hill Avenue Overpass



Gone are the days when hearing the train blow while driving along Hill Avenue in Valdosta resulted in a likely obstruction of vehicular and pedestriantraffic for several minutes or more.

The City of Valdosta and the Georgia Department of Transportation invite the public to attend the ribbon cutting of the Hill Avenue Overpass, onTuesday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m.  The event, celebrating nearly three decades of planning, will be held on the east end of the overpass, in the parking lot of 610 W. Hill Avenue.  Ample parking is available near the event site at 602-606 and 509-511 W. Hill Avenue.

The $9 million structure, made from approximately 16,500 tons of asphalt, 5,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 115 tons of reinforced steel bars is a welcomed addition to the city in an area in which an average of 22 trains pass through each day.  Beginning Tuesday, motorists will be able to travel the 330-foot length of the bridge over the busy railroad tracks that symbolize our city’s roots and the continued prosperity of our area.

“According to traffic studies conducted by GDOT, roughly 18,775 vehicles a day are expected to travel east and westbound across the new overpass, and 26,875 vehicles a day on the same route are projected by the year 2034,” said Mayor John Gayle.  “While we celebrate our city’s past, present and future prosperity in regards to the railroad, the City of Valdosta is pleased with GDOT’s work on the overpass and for providing our citizens with a long-awaited solution to the train traffic on the west side of the city.”

The Hill Avenue Overpass project, which was completed within budget and two and a half months ahead of schedule, also features a sidewalk for pedestrians to travel safely across and adjacent frontage roads that allow access to businesses and homes in that area.

For more information, citizens may attend Tuesday’s event or contact the City of Valdosta Public Information Office at (229) 259-3548.



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City Informs Citizens of Drinking Water Violation Via Utilities Bill



Click here to view letter to water customers.

Click here to view Q & A sheet.

Click here to view City’s Water Treatment Plant webpage.

Valdosta water customers will receive a letter along with their October 2014 utilities bill explaining a violation of a drinking water standard that occurred in July 2014.

“Although this incident was not an emergency and poses no threat to water customers, citizens have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct the situation,” said Utilities Director Henry Hicks.  “In order to ensure that all of our customers receive this information, we have included a letter within the utilities bill and have posted pertinent information to our city website.”

Valdosta’s drinking water is among the best in the state—winning the Georgia 2013 Treatment Plant of the Year in its category—and strives to maintain that standard of excellence throughout the year.  However, the city experienced a rare challenge in July 2014, when a scheduled water sample of the Valdosta water distribution system showed a maximum contaminant level violation for coliform bacteria.

Coliform bacteria are indicator bacteria used to determine if there could be a potential problem in the water distribution system.  When coliform bacteria are detected, the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is contacted within 24-hours and additional tests are immediately scheduled and performed to determine if any more dangerous bacteria are present in those same samples.  In July, the city exceeded the three positive samples allowed per regulation. Repeat samples were tested, as required, until there were no positives for coliform bacteria.  No harmful elements were detected in any of the samples collected in July.

The city has a total of 180 sample locations approved by EPD—45 sample locations in each quadrant of the city.  The city samples at least 15 sites in each quadrant every month and samples every location throughout the city at least four times each year to ensure quality drinking water for its citizens.

Valdosta uses the latest available technology to provide safe, quality water for its customers.  The city is also in the process of acquiring a necessary easement to begin construction of a re-chlorination station in the southern most areas of the city’s water system, in an area known to have low chlorine levels.  Construction of this facility should begin in December 2014 and will allow the city to monitor and ensure that the desired chlorinelevels have been achieved in that area to prevent future violations.

The city respects the concerns of citizens regarding this issue and seeks to assure all water customers of the continued quality of the drinking water provided to them.  Additional information pertaining to this incident and about the city’s water treatment process in general can be found atwww.valdostacity.com.

Citizens may also contact the Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Jason Barnes at (229) 333-1832.


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Lowndes County joins Twitter (from Valdosta Daily Times )

VALDOSTA — As part of its online relaunch, Lowndes County has joined Twitter.

Twitter users can follow Lowndes County at @Lowndes411.

Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes said county residents will be able to receive updates from the county about the local services, notifications of public meetings, emergency updates, road closures, special events and community events.

“Twitter is just one tool in Lowndes County’s communications tool box,” said Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter. “Since public outreach must be as diversified as our community, social media is a format that cannot be overlooked.”

The county is in the process of revamping its online presence, and Twitter will be one part of it.

The county is working with CivicPlus in developing a new website, a site that should go live this fall. Because of this new site, the current Lowndes County site has seen limited updates, with the calendars, agendas, and payment information being the only updates.

Dukes said residents will be able to access government information on Facebook and a new website feature named “Notify Me.”

“‘Notify Me’ will allow citizens to choose their method or methods of notification and the type of information they would like to receive by simply registering through the county’s website,” Dukes said.

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