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Trojan track stars qualify for nationals, need money to get there

Multiple track athletes from Lamar County High School have qualified for the Adidas Outdoor National Track & Field Championships June 14-16 in Greensboro, NC after excellent showings at the state meet last month.

Whether or not they get to attend will come down to community support in fundraising.

The entry fee alone for each athlete is $670. Lodging in the area runs $150-$179 per night along with other travel costs.

Among those qualifying was freshman Makayla Watts who is the defending state champ in the 100-meters and 200-meters. She set a new state record in the 200-meters at 24:27.

The state champion girls 4×100 relay team also qualified. That team consists of Watts, Aniya Barron, Samiya Smith and Armani Flewellen.

Additionally, Ross Hamrick qualified in the high jump after finishing fifth at the state level. Caleb Laster qualified in the 100-meters and 200-meters. DeJon Obermuller qualified in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles and Elijah Mitchell qualified in the 110-meter hurdles.

Entry fees are due by June 9.

If you can help financially, contact coach Rondez Fletcher at 678.588.0656 or e-mail coach Juan Diaz at

Driver hits downtown building after medical issue

A male driver suffered a seizure or some other sort of medical issue which caused him to lose control of a Ford Expedition early Thursday. The SUV, which was eastbound on Forsyth Street, then plowed into a building at 202 Main Street in downtown Barnesville.

The building is owned by Joe and Kristy Sims who operate Georgia Hometown Realty there. The building suffered significant structural damage and the street and sidewalk in the area are closed while the damage is evaluated and the building stabilized.

The driver of the SUV was transported to an area hospital by ambulance but did not appear to be seriously hurt.

The incident happened at about 8:25 a.m.

Turner out after 3-2 vote

The Barnesville city council voted 3-2 Monday night to terminate suspended city manager Tim Turner. Council members Sammie Shropshire and Butch McDaniel voted against the measure.

The hearing was run by city attorney David Penland. Turner represented himself with his wife and two daughters at his side.

Testifying against Turner were former city community development director Niki Sappington who retired earlier this year after 26 years at city hall; current city CFO and acting city manager Tammy York who has been with the city for 18 years; and current city clerk Tammy Folson who has worked at city hall for nearly 30 years.

Turner spoke in his own defense, questioning the witnesses and mayor Kelly Hughes.

In his closing, Turner said “I’ve made mistakes. Everybody does. I made a huge mistake in relying on city employees. They stabbed me in the back. This is happening at the darkest time of my life. Why am I being discriminated against? Why am I being targeted? This is not grounds for dismissal.”

Turner and multiple citizens who spoke out at the hearing, professed his love for Barnesville and its people. Council members Sims, Claxton and Hightower acknowledged that but said the decision came down to taking care of city business.

For much more on this story, see the 6.11.24 print edition of The Herald Gazette.

Free basketball camp Saturday at rec. gym

SGES star Julianna Gotell, known as Baby Goat, is one of the top junior high players in the country and she is giving back to the community with a free basketball camp for kids.

The camp will be held at the recreation department gym on Academy Drive from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 1. The camp is open to girls and boys ages 6-14. All campers will receive a free T-shirt.

For more information, call 770.358.5800 or 470.402.1153.

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