Team Covington Chronicles May 10 - May 23, 2021

On the cover are Water and Sewer Department team members (L-R) Mike Murphy, Dustin Nichols and Zachary McKibben.

Memorial Day Service on the Square

On Monday, May 31, at 10 a.m., American Legion Post 32 will host a Memorial Day Service on the Square. Post 32 Commander Don Floyd will speak and Marcia Floyd, Auxiliary Unit 32 President, will speak on the origin of the Memorial Poppy. The names of 83 Newton County residents that gave the supreme sacrifice will also be read. Please consider attending this service to honor and remember the many lives given to ensure our freedoms.

The Magnolia Drive-In Returns to Legion Field on Friday, June 4, 2021!

Make plans to join us at Legion Field on Friday, June 4, 2021 for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) at 6:15 p.m. and The Family That Preys at 8:35 p.m. Tickets are only $5 per vehicle and go on sale on Friday, May 28!

Limited number of tickets for each movie. First come, first served.


Kristi Greco, Information Systems Specialist (CPD)

  1. Where were you born? Monroe, GA
  2. What was your first car? Toyota Corolla Wagon
  3. What was your last job before you worked at the city? IT Director for Newton County Board of Commissioners
  4. How long have you worked for the city? Nine years
  5. What is your favorite part about working with the city? The people make you feel like a family
  6. What is your favorite book and/or movie? It's a Wonderful Life
  7. Where is your ideal vacation spot? Jamaica
  8. What is your favorite food? Mexican
  9. If you could have dinner with a celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be? Matthew McConaughey
  10. What is your hidden talent? I can play the Cajon really well
  11. Name one thing you are proud of in your life. My husband Ray and my son Tucker

At the May 17 City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Horton read and signed three proclamations honoring the Newton College and Career Academy HOSA chapter, National Poppy Day and Little Bethel Baptist Church 137th Anniversary. Later in the week, the Mayor, along with Newton County Chairman Marcello Baines, signed a proclamation declaring May 23-May 29 Salvation Army Week in appreciation for the Covington Salvation Army's 25-years of service to the community.

Top Left: NCCA HOSA officers and City Council members. Top Right: Rev. Reuben Jackson of Little Bethel Baptist Bethel Church with Mayor Steve Horton. Middle: American Legion Auxiliary Auxiliary Unit 32 President Marcia Floyd with Mayor Steve Horton and sharing information about National Poppy Day. Bottom: Mayor Horton and Chairman Banes sign the Salvation Army Week proclamation.

Pictured L-R: City Manager Dr. Scott Andrews, Assistant HR Director Asher Dozier and Assistant City Manager Freddy Morgan attended the Georgia City-County Management Association (GCCMA) spring conference.

  • Project transition plan
  • Small group meetings
  • Newton County City Manager meeting
  • Executive budget meeting with Finance
  • Attended May 17 Council Meeting
  • Prepared May 17 agenda summary and minutes
  • Leadership team meeting (pictured below)
  • Meeting with Newton County and the NCWSA (Newton County Water and Sewer Authority)
  • GCCMA spring conference (Georgia City-County Management Association)
  • Sustainability committee meeting
  • Youth leadership planning
  • RNG clean energy forum
City Clerk Audra Gutierrez attended the 75th Annual International Institute of Municipal Clerks Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.
Images from City Clerk Audra Gutierrez's trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Municipal Clerks Conference.
Top L-R: Public Works Director Kevin Sorrow, City Manager Dr. Scott Andrews, ICMA Fellow Maddi Powers and Deputy City Clerk Tiffany Johnston. Bottom L-R: Economic Development Manager William Smith presents to Council. City Clerk Audra Gutierrez and City Attorney Frank Turner, Jr.

New Employees & Summer Interns

We would like to welcome to new police recruits to the City of Covington: Daniel Screws and Jonathan Sugg.

L-R: Interns Kinsley Dozier, Jessica Swann, Dylan Fletcher, Lucas Harper and Ash King.

We also welcomed our summer college interns: Dylan Fletcher (Telecommunications), Jessica Swann (911), Lucas Harper (HR), Payton Smith (Finance), Kinsley Dozier (Community Development), Claire Bradford (Electric), and Ash King (Planning and Development).

Virtual Health Fair & Open Enrollment

At the conclusion of open enrollment, employees enjoyed a visit with Kona Ice and also utilized the opportunity to ask any questions they had about their 2021-2022 benefits enrollment plans.
The month of May has been extremely busy for Human Resources above and beyond their normal duties! Amidst onboarding new employees and interns, they also conducted Open Enrollment for all employees and a virtual health fair. The virtual health fair included different wellness activities, including fitness classes, health screenings, chair massages, webinars and a virtual scavenger hunt on the Cricket Frog Trail. For completing an activity, employees received a raffle ticket and four lucky employees won great prizes at the conclusion of the health fair.

Employees enjoyed a Barre Class during the health fair...

...as well as a Bootcamp fitness class.

Brian Thompson (CFD) won the grill from the Virtual Health Fair raffle!

Laura Sullivan (HR) won a set of chairs...

...and Rusty Anglin (Airport) also won a set of outdoor chairs!

And when they weren't doing open enrollment, a health fair or onboarding employees, HR took a moment to celebrate HR Specialist Jackie Dial's birthday, give the interns a tour of City Hall and Safety Risk worked on job site inspections.

Top: Laura Sullivan (HR) and Transportation Manager John King help celebrate Jackie Madera's birthday. Interns Dylan Fletcher and Jessica Swann test out the Telecommunications studio set. Middle: Birthday girl Jackie Madera! Bottom: David Powell with Safety Risk photographs Johnny Duke with the Electric Department on a job site inspection.


Contractors remove a tree from a drainage easement in preparation for the Perry Alley Stormwater Drainage Project.

Engineering Technician Michael Willis conducts a hydrant flow test at Flint Hill Elementary for a proposed territory swap.

Great Job Ali!

Alanetta McDowell received a citizen commendation about a call that she handled on May 19, 2021. In the caller's commendation, the caller stated that they "noticed an impaired or distracted driver in front of {them}" and called 911 while continuing to follow the driver. The concerned citizen also had the below to say about Ali.

She asked the right questions and helped to keep the situation calm as the driver continued to cross into incoming traffic. Due to this dispatcher's professional attitude and proper training, she was able to coordinate officers to stop this individual before anyone could be hurt or killed. This dispatcher did an excellent job and should be commended for her great work. Thanks so much for keeping your citizens safe.

We want to thank the citizen for taking the time to let us know about Ali's great work as well as the possible threat to our community's safety. Way to go Ali!

Congratulations Callie!

Callie Gibbs completed the Basic Communications Course at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. The Basic Communications officer course is 40-hour course that is mandated by Georgia Law. Upon completion of the course, students obtain certification as a Communications Officer through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Great work Callie!

Welcome Back Jovie & Adam Cooper!

The 911 Center had another visit from therapy dog Jovie and her handler Adam Cooper. We greatly appreciate these visits and want to thank Jovie and Adam for the happiness they bring each time they visit!

Krista Hipps with Jovie

Pictured: Caroline Almond and Jovie

911 Call Statistics for May 10 through May 16, 202

  • Total CAD Calls Received: 1,656
  • Total Agency Calls Generated: 1,854
  • Law Calls Generated: 1,485 (80.10%)
  • Covington Police Department: 429 (23.14%)
  • Covington Marshal's Office: 0 (0.00%)
  • Newton County Animal Control: 8 (0.43%)
  • Newton County Sheriff's Office: 973 (52.48%)
  • Oxford Police Department: 23 (1.24%)
  • Porterdale Police Department: 52 (2.80%)
  • Fire Calls Generated: 147 (7.93%)
  • Covington Fire: 41 (2.21%)
  • Newton County Fire: 106 (5.72%)
  • Newton EMS Calls Generated: 222 (11.97%)

Pictured: Callie Gibbs with Jovie

911 Call Statistics for May 17 through May 23, 2021

  • Total CAD Calls Received: 1,865
  • Total Agency Calls Generated: 2,149
  • Law Calls Generated: 1,687 (78.50%)
  • Covington Police Department: 461 (21.45%)
  • Covington Marshal's Office: 0 (0.00%)
  • Newton County Animal Control: 10 (0.47%)
  • Newton County Sheriff's Office: 1,114 (51.84%)
  • Oxford Police Department: 33 (1.54%)
  • Porterdale Police Department: 69 (3.21%)
  • Fire Calls Generated: 182 (8.47%)
  • Covington Fire: 42 (1.95%)
  • Newton County Fire: 140 (6.51%)
  • Newton EMS Calls Generated: 280 (13.03%)

Welcome New Trainees!

911 Administrative staff members Christian Favors and Crystal Stevens (second and third from left) took the new trainees on a tour of City facilities to introduce them to the COV team. Pictured with Christian and Crystal at the Covington Welcome Center are Adriana Sanchez, Lacie Kenney and Edith Onanuga.


  1. On May 20, officers were dispatched to the area of Wal-Mart in reference to a Flock hit on a stolen vehicle. Officers located the vehicle at Quick Trip with a subject, later identified as Jeremy Curtis, pumping gas. Officers made contact with Curtis and detained him. The vehicle was confirmed stolen out of Chattanooga. During a search of the vehicle, officers located a female’s purse and became suspicious that there may have been a female with Curtis prior to the officers' arrival. Officers went in QT and pulled the video which showed a female exit the vehicle and enter the store. Upon officers arriving at QT, the female went into the bathroom and attempted to hide out. Officers located the female, Rena Woods, and placed her under arrest. Inside the vehicle officers located suspected methamphetamine, multiple syringes and various drug related objects. Both subjects were transported to the jail and charged with theft by receiving, possession of methamphetamine and drug related objects.
  2. On May 20, officers executed an arrest warrant with the GBI and Oakwood MHP on Turner Lake Road. The subject was subsequently arrested for child pornography.
  3. On May 20, officers responded to an argument call at Walgreens on Hwy 278 after a tow company attempted to repossess a vehicle parked in the parking lot. The owner of the vehicle entered his car after it was loaded and tried to back it off of the racks. The car struck the rear end of the tow truck and caused damage to the owner’s car.
  4. On May 23, officers responded to a call at Rainbow Shelter. Clara Lett called stating that a white male and young female had come to the shelter looking for a room because she had run away from home. Lett told the individuals that she had notified police and the couple left the shelter prior to their arrival. Officers rode the area and were unable to locate the couple. A short time later, officers received a “Flock Alert” for the vehicle described by Lett. The vehicle was listed as having a missing juvenile from South Caroline and it was traveling back into the city on Flat Shoals Road from the Bypass at Taunton Road. NCSO got behind the vehicle as it made the turn from Flat Shoals onto Washington Street and attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield to the Sherriff’s Deputy and accelerated to speeds above 80 mph towards the square. CPD officers did not engage in the pursuit given the circumstances: there was a missing juvenile involved and there was a potential hazard of the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed towards the square. However, NCSO continued the pursuit. As the officers slowed their response, it was observed that the vehicle went around vehicles stopped for the traffic light at Washington Street at Emory Street and into oncoming lanes of traffic. The vehicle was struck by another vehicle as it passed into the intersection. GSP was called to work the accident by the Sherriff’s Department and there were no serious injuries involved in the accident. Both juveniles in the suspect vehicle were listed on GCIC as missing juveniles from South Carolina.

Support Services

  • Five new hires started the Academy at the Newton Campus Piedmont Law Enforcement Academy.
  • Two additional police recruits were hired.
Officer John Seabolt celebrated 35 years with the Covington Police Department. Congratulations John and thank you for the years of dedicated service to our community.


Firefighter Daniel Spell was promoted to Apparatus Engineer. Congratulations to Daniel and to his shift, A Shift, for their support in preparing for promotions.

Operations: A Shift

Top Left: Ladder climb. Top Right: Battalion Chief Bryan Jackson participates in training. Bottom: Realty group visited Station 21 and brought snacks for the firefighters.

Pictured: Station tour with Captain Steven Middlebrooks

  • 29 calls over two weeks: 11 calls for B-2, 10 calls for E-21, 10 calls for T-21, 8 calls for T-22 and 2 calls for S-21.
  • Training consisted of rope and knot, hose testing requirements, hydrants, pre-fire planning, basic EMS training and Blue Card command.
  • Assisted CPD with drone coverage for homeless around Turner Lake
  • Shift tested approx. 4000 feet of new hose for our new pumper (E-22)
  • Inspecting hydrants was on hold due shut down of pipeline and fuel supply
  • Assisted with car seat installation

A Shift responded to a significant accident due to a chase that ended at Emory and Washington. No serious injuries were noted but it shut down the intersection for almost an hour.

Operations: B Shift

B Shift had a busy couple of weeks with motor vehicle accidents. In the top left image, firefighters and paramedics attend to a motorcyclist after an accident on Hwy 278. The other pictures are from a wreck that occurred on I-20 that included an ejection down an embankment. The old Walmart was used as a landing zone for the air ambulance.

MVA's the weeks of May 10 - May 23, 2021

Pictured: Rescue drags with Jeremy Mathis and Timothy Martin

  • Completed station day
  • Completed yard day
  • Worked on Zone 1 Hydrant Maintenance
  • Conducted Rope and Rescue Training
  • Worked motor vehicle accidents including motorcycle accident on Hwy. 278 and I-20.
  • 11 fire calls, seven EMS calls, two service calls and two automobile/mutual aid calls
Rope Training

Operations: C Shift

Top: A vehicle fire on I-20 that Firefighter Dorean Generals extinguishes. Middle Photos: C shift conducts hose training and James Cox assists with a downed power line on Washington Street. Bottom: James Cox, Robert Ledford and Clay Boggs work on training exercises.

Great Job!

The Fire Department would like to commend Brian Thompson of the Fire Marshal's office for an internal letter of commendation he received from Captain James Cox. The letter was addressed to Fire Marshal Joe Doss and commended Brian not only on his current job duties but in his previous capacity as FAO with the Department. Cox said:

Brian Thompson has been involved as a member of the apparatus operator practical team and has shown himself to be trustworthy with our plans and to show great insight as a former FAO with our department. Brian has consistently worked within our team to ensure fairness and competence in our scenarios. His behavior within our team has been professional, direct and participatory. All of these aspects have made for a great working environment with the other personnel on the team.

Shout out to Brian for being a great representative for the Fire Marshal's office and the Covington Fire Department.

Street Department

Tyler Marshall's crew, including Brady Smith, Louis Robinson and Pat Wilson trimmed limbs on Corley Street and Spring Street (top left) as well as clearing limbs and the sidewalk on Elizabeth Street near Conyers Street (top right before, bottom photos after).

Tyler Marshall, Louis Robinson, Ricky Johnson and Jason Streetman clean up a tree that fell on Church Street.

The Street Department team also repaired sod in Dorchester after a contractor repaired the sidewalk. Tyler Marshall's crew, including (top left photo, L-R) Louis Robinson, Pat Wilson and Larry Baines replaced the torn up grass.


Pictured: The Administrative Department's summer intern, Payton Smith, prepared budget binders for the city council to review and approve.

  • Staff entered 530 invoices for payments to vendors.
  • The City issued 265 checks for 522 invoices.
  • The Accounting Department entered 107 journal entries to record transactions of the city.
  • Staff sent 16 invoices for miscellaneous transactions.
  • Staff issued 302 employee payroll checks and 11 payroll remittance checks.

Customer Service

Customer Service Representative Deanie Johnson just finishes a phone conversation with a customer.

Billing & Meter Readings

  • 567 work orders completed
  • 4 meter/ert change outs
  • 68 Tantalus meters changed
  • 3 Tantalus meters changed in BS & A
  • Routes read: 6, 11, 7 and 8
  • Total meters read: 12,859
  • Total disconnects: 301
  • Total reconnects: 281

Municipal Court

  1. There were in-person court and virtual hearings including bench trials.
  2. 82 new citations were processed and filed in the court.
  3. 247 tickets were disposed of and closed.
  4. A total of $9,684.00 in fines and fees were collected from mail, web, probation and in-person counter payments.
  5. Processed six refund requests and processed 15 failure to appear warrants.
  6. 32 criminal records were updated.
  7. There were 16 open record request, seven certified disposition requests and two verifications that warrants were removed properly.
  8. A total of 308 separate case files for the week that were scanned into Courtware Software.
  9. The office has received 349 emails and responded to internal and external customers accordingly.
  10. 354 calls to and from telephone customers
  11. Mailed out 100+ with solicitor’s recommendation for entering a plea.

Community Development

Members of the Community Development team met with 911 and CFD to discuss community outreach projects.

Left: Meeting with 911 to discuss upcoming PSA. Interns Kinsley Dozier, Dylan Fletcher and Jessica Swann attended the meeting to helm the project. Also in attendance were 911 team members Trudy Henry and Anessa Westmoreland; HR Specialist Laura Sullivan; and Community Development Team members Trey Sanders and Beth Ivey. Right: Members of CFD Admin listen to City Manager Scott Andrews as they discuss community risk reduction ideas.

Pictured: Filming Sweet Magnolias on the Square

  • Film Meeting with Sweet Magnolias
  • Youth Government planning meeting
  • Attended the GACVB Annual Conference in Savannah
  • Filming of Sweet Magnolias
  • Filming of Disney’s “Just Beyond”
  • Discover Covington Tourism Board Meeting
DJ Waller, Tourism Coordinator, attended the Georgia Association of Conventions and Visitor Bureau conference in Savannah, Georgia. The GACVB is a multi-day event of statewide networking and leadership training. Tourism professionals join together with industry suppliers and travel and hospitality affiliates to share successes and find solutions in promotions and product development. Below left, DJ is pictured with Tourism Directors from Nashville, Conyers and Bainbridge.
GACVB Conference

Pictured: New trash cans installed at Employee Park by Special Projects Technician Todd Adams and team.

  • Updated City's social media and City's website
  • Filmed City Council meeting and added to website
  • Completed COV Chronicles for April 26-May 9
  • New trash cans were installed throughout the City at various parks
  • The Welcome Center has been open for a full month and is seeing huge numbers of visitors and guests including over 500 visitors throughout the day on Saturday, May 22

The below COVID-19 case stats are from a phone call with GNR Health Departments on Friday, May 21:


  • 1.18 million cases
  • 17,869 deaths

Newton County

  • 11, 213 cases
  • 230 deaths

Schedule Vaccination Appointment

REMINDER: Georgia is currently vaccinating everyone 12 and over. Appointments are recommended and available for scheduling online or by calling 888-457-0186. Walk-in visits are available on a limited basis.

Flowers are blooming at The Welcome Center where the Mystic Falls sign (from "The Vampire Diaries") beckons visitors to take a picture with the iconic image!