The True Citizen
P.O.Box 948
Waynesboro, GA
(706) 554-2111

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BCHS Graduates 156 Seniors:
27 Get Certificates of Participation

By Jimmy Ezzell
True Citizen Editor
Burke County High School held its 2004 graduation exercises Sunday, May 23, with 183 seniors participating. There were 194 candidates for graduation but 11 of them failed their final exams and did not take part in the service, which was the 18th graduation for Burke County High School.

The graduation was held before a full house in the J.D. Smith Auditorium with an overflow to the 200 hall where the exercise could be seen via closed circuit television. The class of 183 seniors participating was the smallest senior class in years.

Diplomas were awarded to 156 seniors with 27 seniors receiving certificates of participation because they had completed all their required courses, but had failed the Georgia High School Graduation test. They are eligible to retake the exam this summer and if successful, will receive their diplomas.

Doug Day, the school superintendent, awarded the diplomas assisted by Johnny Jenkins, chairman of the county board of education. In 2003, the high school had 250 candidates for graduation with 206 of them being awarded their diplomas. Thirty-seven were given certificates of participation, and seven failed their final exams.

The valedictorian for the 2004 class was Shavonda Vernise Thomas, daughter of Robert and Verlinda Thomas of Sardis. The salutatorian was Randall Smith, grandson of J.D. and Doris Smith of Waynesboro. (Read Rest of Story in The True Citizen.)

Burke County Residents Gear Up For Long Memorial Day Weekend
By Jimmy Ezzell
True Citizen Editor
Burke County residents are gearing up to observe the first long holiday weekend for 2004 – Memorial Day. The holiday period will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 28, and end at midnight Sunday, May 31.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, 13 persons are predicted to lose their lives on state highways during the 72-hour period. In 2003, 11 persons were killed, the patrol said.
State troopers augmented by local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force on Friday night, May 28, and Monday night, May 31, looking for drunk drivers and other motor vehicle violations.

As usual during a holiday period, the patrol also will be strictly enforcing the state’s seat belt laws and use of child restraint seats as part of the national enforcement program, Click It or Ticket. While Monday, Memorial Day, is a holiday, American Legion Post 120 will hold a memorial service at City Park at 11 a.m.

As usual, on Friday, May 28, American Legion members will be placing small white crosses on South Liberty Street, each bearing the name of a county resident who has given his life in the various wars. On each cross will be a miniature American flag.
Here is a look at closings in the county for the holiday. All Burke County offices will be closed, as will be the county landfill. All Burke County libraries also will be closed in observance of the holiday.

City offices in Waynesboro, Sardis, Midville, Girard and Keysville will be closed on Monday.
All banking and other financial institutions will be closed, as will the Waynesboro Post Office. Only Express Mail will be delivered that day, a postal official said this week.
The True Citizen will be open on Memorial Day.

Public Hearing Set June 14 to Determine Use OF Grant
A joint public hearing will be held Monday, June 14, for the purpose of determining how a $35,743 Law Enforcement Block Grant from the U.S. Justice Department can best be spent in Burke County.
The hearing will be held by the Burke County Commission and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. It will be held at 11 a.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room on the second floor of the courthouse.

County administrator Merv Waldrop said the sheriff’s office applied for the grant and has recently received approval of $35,743, with the county to match it with $3,574. However, before the grant can be released, the county and the sheriff’s office must hold a hearing to get public input into its use, the administrator said this week.

A citizens’ advisory board has been named by Sheriff Greg Coursey to administer this grant. They include Chief Superior Court Judge William M. Fleming Jr., district attorney Danny Craig, board of education chairman Johnny Jenkins and Dr. Al Wright, as the non-profit representative.

Sheriff Coursey said this week that his office also has received a second grant in the amount of $11,185. This grant is a 2004 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant. The county also will match it by 50 percent the sheriff said.
“ These grants will enable our office to secure needed equipment and protection gear for our personnel that benefits us as well as the citizens of Burke County.”
Legal Organ of Burke County, Waynesboro, Sardis, Midville, Keysville, and Girard