April Employee Anniversaries
Thank you to the below employees for their years of service and dedication to the City of Covington!
- Dwayne Mask (Recreation) - 1987
- Chris Cain (CPD) - 1991
- Mark Jones (CPD) - 1991
- Homer McSwain (Water/Sewer) - 1992
- Michael Tinsley (CPD) - 1995
- Al Miller (CPD) - 1996
- Cathy Henderson (Community Devp.) - 1998
- Tiffany Johnston (Customer Svc.) - 2001
- Scott Cromer (Purchasing) - 2004
- Tim Smith (Public Works) - 2004
- Teresa Cleary (911) - 2007
- Dara Penland (911) - 2010
- Terry Nabors (CFD) - 2012
- Aaron Malcolm (CPD) - 2013
- Micah Cushing (CFD) - 2014
- John Jones (CFD) - 2014
- Amanda Leon (911) - 2014
- Brandon Cole (Electric Dept.) - 2019
- Joe Johnson (Gas Dept.) - 2019
- William Smith (Economic Development) - 2020
DJ WALLER, TOURISM COORDINATOR (COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPT.)
- Where were you born? Milledgeville, GA
- What was your first car? 1996 Lexus ES
- Last job before you worked at the city? Graduate Assistant Coach - Georgia Southern Women's Basketball
- How long have you worked for the city? Almost a year
- What is your favorite part about working with the city? Learning how each individual department works together to provide services for the entire city of Covington.
- What is your favorite book and/or movie? Book: The Alchemist | Movie: Matilda
- Where is your ideal vacation spot? Bora Bora
- What is your favorite food? Chicken and shrimp alfredo
- If you could have dinner with a celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be? Bernie Mac
- What is your hidden talent? I can wiggle my ears like Alfalfa from "The Little Rascals."
- Name one thing you are proud of in your life. Being the first person in my family to graduate from college.
Pictured: No, it's not Spirit Week, but Public Works Director Kevin Sorrow (seated) and Transportation Manager John King were twinning anyway!
- City Council Meeting on April 19, 2021
- Prepared April 19 Council meeting summary and minutes
- Right-of-way permitting meeting
- Lighting Solution Discussion with Schneider Electric
- Attended Fuzz Run kickoff luncheon
- ECG FY’ 22 budget meeting
- Worked on customer choice proposals
- Prepared for and attended April 23, 2021 Called Meeting
Pictured: Not to be outdone by the City Manager in the sock game, Assistant City Manager Freddy Morgan rocks his Dragon Ball Z socks (y'all do know Vegeta, right?) at the small group meetings.
- Attended Welcome Center soft opening
- Attended Board of Governors quarterly meeting
- Milestones retirement event
- Assistant & aspiring managers bi-monthly meeting
- Attended Telecommunicators Week E911 celebration & cookout
- Attended Safety Committee meeting
- Prepared April 19 agenda, packet and notes
- Met with Darrin Smith and Luther Bouchillon to discuss tree removal and new cemetery parcel
- Met with member of NC Historical Society to discuss Covington’s Bicentennial
Pictured: The Administrative Staff relieved each shift and covered radios and the phones so each team could go eat breakfast together. Pictured L-R: Trudy Henry, Crystal Stevens, Anessa Westmoreland, Christian Favors and Teresa Cleary
FIRE CALLS GENERATED APRIL 12-18: 171 (8.71%)
FIRE CALLS GENERATED APRIL 19-25: 193 (9.35%)
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR AWESOME COVINGTON-NEWTON COUNTY 911 STAFF AND TEAM MEMBERS!
The Milestones Celebration was a gathering of old friends, familiar faces and current employees to honor the unveiling of the City Hall "Milestones" which honor those employees who have retired after working for the City for 25-years or more. Hosted by Human Resources Director Paul Dailey, we were honored to have Mayor Steve Horton and City Manager Dr. Scott Andrews speak as well as Covington icons former City Councilwoman Janet Goodman and former City Manager Frank Turner, Sr.
Pictured: Laura Sullivan (HR), Robert Barber (Water/Sewer Manager) and Jonathan Vandenberg (Electric Dept.) were the panel for GIS Tech interviews.
We welcomed four new City employees:
- Eli Ridgeway: Apprentice Lineman IV
- Stone Cowan: Water/Sewer Line Worker
- Jonathan Benton: Meter Reader
- Valerie Lyon: Utility Locator
- Our department offered four positions at the Police Department.
- Laura Sullivan conducted interviews for GIS Technician and Gas Equipment Operator.
- Paul Dailey hosted the City’s Milestones event which celebrated those employees who worked at the City for more than 25 years (pictured above).
- David Powell followed up on various claims and filed an accident with our insurance company.
- Asher Dozier and David Powell hosted a Safety Committee meeting.
- Jackie Dial planned and finalized activities and materials for Open Enrollment coming up in May.
Shout out to Newton County Fire Department for their assistance after an uprooted tree landed on a High Pressure District Station supplying Deerfield Subdivision. Thank you to NCFD team members Patrick Slocum and Justin Wagstaff for assisting Jeremy Roden from our Gas Department in removing the tree so he could repair the station.
- Mayor Horton receives annual returns from Rai Trippe of the Gas Authority (pictured)
- Jeremy Roden responded to a tree that had fell on a regulator station at Deerfield subdivision.
- Staff responded to five emergency leak calls.
- Four new services were installed
- Assisted the Electric Department with a project on Lyda Sue Lane and repaired the gate at Academy Springs.
Pictured: Planning and Development Manager Marc Beechuk prepares to speak at the April 19 Council meeting
CITY PLANNER HIGHLIGHTS
- 18 Business Conformance Zoning Reviews
- 23 total meetings including Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Committee, Redevelopment Authority, Board of Adjustments Appeals, potential community developments, Arbor Day/Tree Board and Regional Commission
- 21 Project/Site Visits
- On April 13, CPD officers responded to the Shell gas station on Washington Street in reference to a female that the store manager wanted trespassed. Officers Couch and M. Johnson met with the female and discovered that she had an outstanding warrant. During the arrest, officers found more than 1 oz. of methamphetamine on Smith’s possession and she was also charged with trafficking.
- On April 13, Officer Nichols responded to an accident at Academy Springs Circle. Dispatch informed her that a gray SUV had fallen into a ditch and the caller on scene stated the driver seemed intoxicated. The driver was identified as Marcia Huff. While Officer Nichols was speaking with Huff, she grabbed Officer Nichols by the throat and began to fight her. Huff was subsequently placed under arrest and charged with DUI, felony obstruction and possession of crack cocaine.
- On April 7, CPD officers received a call about a suspicious vehicle at the OYO Hotel. When officers arrived, the 1999 silver Dodge Ram fled. Officers did not chase the vehicle but they were able to get a tag number and placed an alert in the FLOCK camera system. On April 13, CPD officers received a flock alert on the same truck in the area of Alcovy Road. Officer Holbrook located the vehicle at the Days Inn. He followed behind the vehicle after it left the area traveling to Hwy 142. The truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and Officer Holbrook attempted to stop it for speeding. The vehicle failed to stop and subsequently traveled onto Interstate 20 eastbound. Officer Holbrook deactivated his equipment and discontinued. A Newton County Deputy was behind Officer Holbrook and activated his equipment and began pursuing the truck. After a lengthy pursuit, Morgan County executed a PIT maneuver on the vehicle near Rutledge. The driver was arrested and was identified as Willis Williams. At the time of the arrest, Williams pants and underwear were down around his ankles and there were other adult themed related items in the vehicle. This was the second time Williams had fled from law enforcement from the hotels. The FLOCK camera system was an excellent tool in this arrest by passing along information on this vehicle. These actions may have prevented someone in Covington from becoming Williams’ victim.
- On April 14, CPD officers responded to an accident with Injuries at the intersection of Harland Drive and Hwy. 142. An SUV pulled out in front of a motorcycle. GSP responded and the investigation was turned over to them. The motorcycle driver was transported to the hospital in critical condition and several days later succumbed to his injuries.
- On April 16, CPD officers working security at the fair on Turner Lake Road had to address a large crowd engaging in a fight. As officers were trying to break up the fight, one of the people involved ran from Officer McFarlin. Officer McFarlin caught him and placed him under arrest. The subject was then discovered to be a juvenile and was charged with obstruction. The juvenile was released to his mother.
- On April 16, CPD officers were dispatched to The Depot in reference to a fight. A subject inside the bar had pulled a gun resulting in other patrons confronting him. While in route to The Depot, dispatch told officers that the perpetrator had fled the scene on foot and was behind Newton Federal Bank. Officer Nichols located the subject, Christopher Morgan, in the bushes beside the bank. He had been chased there and was held down by two witnesses from The Depot. Off. Nichols took him into custody without incident. Morgan was charged with reckless conduct and criminal damage to property.
- On April 22, CPD officers responded to an accident involving a pedestrian with minor injuries on Washington Street in front of Hester’s package store. Witnesses stated the subject appeared dazed prior to being struck and then walked in front of a car.
- On April 22, Joseph Taylor was arrested by CPD Officers for using heroin while parked at the Days Inn on Alcovy Road. A two-year-old and a 4-month-old were also in the vehicle. The mother was called to pick them up and when she arrived, it was discovered she had a warrant for a drug charge in Louisiana. Louisiana wanted to have her extradited. Both subjects were arrested and booked at the County jail. The children were turned over to a relative and DFACS was notified.
- On April 22, at approximately 5:45PM, CPD officers received a call at the hospital in reference to a female who had arrived with a gunshot wound to her abdomen. She initially stated she was shot in the abdomen in a drive by shooting on Flat Shoals Road. It was determined that the incident occurred at the Parkview apartments on the Bypass, which is in the County, and that it was not a drive by shooting. The case was turned over to Newton County and deputies responded to investigate.
- On April 22, CPD officers responded to an alarm at the Chevron on Alcovy Road and found the front door shattered. CID later watched video surveillance which showed a subject wearing all dark clothing using a pickaxe to break the door. The subject entered the store and then left on foot towards the direction of Super 8. The following morning, A Team was given the information and description of the suspect and began looking for him in the area. Later, the suspect was located at the OYO Hotel and transported to CID for an interview. He was then transported to jail where he was charged with burglary.
- On April 24, CPD officers responded to a belligerent subject at the hospital. The male had a 10-13 filed and upon trying to leave the hospital, he kicked and damaged a glass door. He was later charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. He was from Key West and traveling with the fair.
- On April 25, CPD officers working security at the fair at Covington Gallery were informed of a male onsite had a firearm. Officers located the male and found out he was 17 years old. The male had a pistol concealed in his waistband. He was arrested and transported to the NCSO jail.
- On April 21, CPD made four job offers. One individual is currently law enforcement certified while the other three will be attending the Piedmont Law Enforcement Academy starting May 17. Two more applicants PT tested on April 23 to advance in the application process.
- Retired CPD K-9, Doerack, was euthanized due to health complications related to old age. On April 21 at 3:00PM, Assistant Chief Phillip Bradford, as coordinated by K-9 Lieutenant Gene Nuqui, presented the remains and a flag to former CPD Sergeant Hayward DeRouen, Doerack's handler. Members of the CPD were present during the ceremony.
Pictured: C. Boggs and J. Cox were excited that they were actually tall enough to ride the ferris wheel, although they opted for climbing the ladder instead!
- Station and Yard Day
- COVID mitigation
- College course work/Dive Certification course work
- Onboarding new employee
- Hydrant maintenance
- Engine Operations class/promotional preparation
- Blue Card class
- 23 Calls for service
- 93 training hours
- A Shift responded to 12 Calls during the week
- Training consisted of paramedic classes, Fire Officer III classes (completed) and Pumping Practical classes and testing
- Total training hours for shift: 259 hours
- Stations completed yard day
- Station completed extensive cleaning
- Hydrant maintenance underway for A Shift zone assignment
Pictured: Assistant Finance Director Ashlan Webb is in Public Finance Leadership Academy training about economic development.
- Staff entered 491 invoices for payment to vendors
- The City issued 258 checks for 503 invoices
- Accounting department entered 115 journal entries to record transactions of the city
- Staff sent 17 invoices to customers for miscellaneous transactions
- Staff issued 303 payroll checks for the bi-weekly payroll
- TOTAL PURCHASE ORDERS ISSUED FOR CURRENT MONTH: 238
- TOTAL PURCHASE ORDERS ISSUED FOR CURRENT BUDGET YEAR: 3080
- CURRENT/UPCOMING RFP'S & BIDS: Ashley Drive Pipe Lining (out for bid) and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (out for bid)
- Trucks and equipment set to auction. Auction set to end May 5, 2021.
- During the week of April 12 - April 18, there were 48 new citations were processed and filed in the court. The following week there were 44 new citations and two trials were held.
- Over the past two weeks, $9,153.00 in fines and fees were collected from mail, web, probation and in-person counter payments.
- During the week of April 12 - April 18, 52 tickets were disposed of and closed. 47 tickets were disposed of and closed for the week of April 19 - April 25.
TOTAL TRANSACTIONS BY CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES FOR APRIL 19 - APRIL 25: 1,498
The Welcome Center, located at 1143 Oak Street S.E., welcomed about 50 neighborhood residents and businesses, along with elected officials and special guests, to a sneak preview on Monday, April 12, 2021 (pictured below). The Covington Welcome Center officially opened on Monday, April 19, 2021, seeing over 840 guests from 24 different states!
Thank You Andres Allen!
Andres Allen built a free "little library" for our Welcome Center.
Andres is a senior at Newton High School in the ALANHS (Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School) program. Each student in the program must complete an independent service project to help the community. Andres chose to create a “little library” to place in our town so children and adults can have easy access to books to enjoy whether they are relaxing on a hammock near the Welcome Center or reading the book at home to return or exchange a little later.
Thank you Andres for not only enhancing the experience at the Welcome Center but for encouraging the community to appreciate the joys of reading!
Pictured: Pop Woods weed eats along the Cricket Frog Trail.
- Completed the Weekly Reports for the weeks ending April 4 and April 11
- Filmed City Manager on the Cricket Frog Trail for State of the City segment
- Photographed the Milestones Celebration
- Assisted with the Fuzz Run Kickoff lunch
- Worked on Electric Department customer choice proposals and letters
- Updated social media and website
- Filmed City Council and Called Council meetings and placed them on the website
Community Development Department team members Rodney Powell and John Terrell helped hang banners for the Fuzz Run Kickoff Lunch on April 20. A few blocks away, Special Projects Tech Todd Adams received some assistance from the Street Department. Tyler Marshall's crew, including Larry Baines and Pat Wilson, helped spread mulch at Heirloom Park under the hammocks.
The below statistics are from the COVID-19 update phone call held with the GNR Health Departments on Friday, April 23, 2021.
- Cases – 1,089,497
- Deaths – 17,304
- State of Georgia has given 5,596,431 doses of vaccines.
- 22% of Georgians are now fully vaccinated
- 33% of Georgians have received at least 1 dose
NEWTON CO. STATS
- Cases – 10,790
- Deaths – 215
Please continue to be diligent about washing your hands, staying home if sick, wearing your mask and socially distancing.