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awarded to the Wheeler County Schools to build a telemedicine and distance learning network.

Elementary school teacher Karen Walker was named the Montgomery County School District’s Teacher of the Year.

Ronnie Bates of Laurens County was named to the Little Ocmulgee EMC’s Board of Directors following an election at the LOEMC annual meeting in Alamo.

The names of 16 veterans were added to a memorial in downtown Alamo during a Veterans Day ceremony. Middle school instructor Elizabeth Adams was named the Montgomery County Schools Teacher of the Year.

November 24:

The Special Redistricting Session wrapped up at the State Capital with Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties in the Senate District 19 and House District 156. The changes, based on population shifts, will take effect in 2023. The Vidalia Airport received a $2.2 million federal grant for runway repairs. The airport is a local rock star as it continues to operate in the black.

Memorial Health Meadows Hospital introduced the community to its new Da Vinci XI robotic surgical equipment during an open house on November 18. The new equipment will help minimize invasive surgical procedures.

December 1:

Following a multiyear, multicountry federal probe, 24 suspects were indicted on charged related to human smuggling and labor trafficking operations traced to Mexico and Central America. The laborers were brought in to work on South Georgia farms and two of the suspects were from Toombs County. Julie Caraballo, a seventh grade teacher and 18-year veteran educator, was named Vidalia City Schools Teacher of the Year.

December 8:

Captain James Jermon was named Chief of the Vidalia Police Department on December 3. His promotion following the exit of Commission Brian Scott in August. Two Toombs County Schools—Lyons Upper and Toombs Central Elementary— earned the Lighthouse Award, the highest prize give by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. Little Ocmulgee State Park has a new manager, Brad Smith, who brings with him an extensive background in the hospitality field, as well as a love of the history of South Georgia where he grew up.

December 15:

After closing during the pandemic in 2020, Meadows Fitness Center reopened under new management in November. An open house was held December 16. Malique Rheam Harrington, Jr., was found guilty of three of five charges in the 2018 shooting death of Jerry Clark, Jr., at Raymonia Apartments.

December 22: The Vidalia Woman’s Club, which disbanded this year, donated proceeds from the sale of its club building to various community projects, including paving Pinecrest Cemetery roads. Funeral home director Ron Hall who has launched an effort to pave streets at Pinecrest Cemetery. Hall was presented a check for $20,000 to assist the project. Higgston’s annual “Christmas in Dixie,” presented by the Robert A. Toombs Camp #932 Sons of the Confederacy, raised funds to benefit needy families, as well as $7,000 to heart transplant candidate Tim Evans of Dublin. Elementary instructor Laura Hart was named Toombs County Schools Teacher of the Year.

Photo by Deborah ClarkPRESS CONFERENCE — Natalie Ammons, Director of Public and Government Affairs for the GBI, makes a statement at the Wheeler County Courthouse on the shooting death of Alamo Policeman Dylan Harrison in October. Also shown, from left, are: Wheeler County Sheriff Randy Rigdon, GBI Special Agent in Charge Lindsey Wilkes of Eastman, Alamo Police Chief Karen Zanders, and Commander of the Oconee Drug Task Force Trey Williams.

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