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Washington County may vote on plan to bail out hospital


Washington County commissioners are scheduled to vote next month on a plan to borrow money to help keep their local hospital open.

If they approve, the plan would go before county voters in May.

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Baby remembered at Washington Co. prayer vigil


 

Friends and family held a prayer vigil for the baby found dead last weekend in Washington County Friday.

Over 100 people turned out for the ceremony. They lit candles and released balloons. 

"This night is about honoring a child," one speaker said. "Whether he or she was here for one minute or 100 years, he was part of our community."

The family spoke to the crowd, thanking them for the support. Larry McGraw, the baby's uncle, said he had plans on making the newborn his very own child.

"We had planned to adopt the baby," he said. "We already had papers drawn up to adopt the baby. We had named the baby Camden."

He says his family has received lots of criticism from the public, and is asking people not to judge his niece Jessica Ballard, who has been charged with murder in the baby's death.

Washington Co. woman charged with murder after newborn's death


A Washington County woman is has now been charged with murdering her newborn child.

Sheriff Thomas Smith says 24-year-old Jessica Ballard was arrested this afternoon and is now in the Washington County jail.

He said Ballard was pregnant, gave birth late Saturday or Sunday and left the child in woods off Highway 15. Then she drove herself to an emergency room. The newborn's body was found dead around 3 a.m. Sunday. It was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy.

"It's a sad day, and I've been in law since 1985, and it's the worst case I've seen so far, because of a child having to suffer when so many people that can't have children would be glad to have that child," Smith said.

UPDATE: Washington County woman charged after child found dead


UPDATE: A Washington County woman faces charges in connection with the dead infant found this weekend.

According to Sheriff Thomas Smith, she is Jessica Ballard, age 24, of Warthen.

She is charged with cruelty to children and making false statements.

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Serving Up the Best Food Around for Over 50 Years!

People braved the rainy morning weather Saturday to watch the parade and a few sprinkles certainly didn't dampen spirits.


For more than 50 years the residents in Washington County have hosted the Kaolin Festival.

It's a chalky substance that goes into a bunch of stuff you probably have around the house. People braved the rainy morning weather Saturday to watch the parade and a few sprinkles certainly didn't dampen spirits. They also cheered on the fastest foul in a chicken race. There were local crafts and of course good food.

Christy Hinton, the president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said since the first festival in 1956, it has grown into an event that brings the community together every year.

"It was started because the Kaolin industry is so important to Washington County and, kind of, in honor of that industry," she said. "But now, it has grown into a huge festival with vendors from all over. "

Annual Kaolin Festival begins in Sandersville this weekend


This weekend, folks in Sandersville will celebrate their biggest business, Hollywood style.

It's time for the annual Kaolin Festival.

This year's theme is "Lights, Camera, Kaolin!"

Festival co-chair, Amber Veal, told our Lorra Lynch Jones they chose the theme because of Georgia's growing film industry.

"The entire county got involved with it this year and we're excited. They all wanted to participate and each downtown business and some businesses not located downtown, picked a movie that they wanted to promote and they've all got their shops decorated. They've got characters, all that fun stuff," said Veal.

Of course, Kaolin is the biggest industry in Sandersville.

The chalky substance is mined around Washington County.

Saturday's festivities begin with a parade in downtown Sandersville.

Let's Dance Off Epilepsy event to be held in Sandersville

Let's Dance Off Epilepsy event to be held in Sandersville

The 2nd annual Let's Dance Off Epilepsy will be held in Sandersville November 14 at 2 p.m. at the T.J. Elder Multipurpose Center on Hall Street.

According to a news release, the event is being held to help citizens understand the effects of epilepsy.

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month.

To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Shemekia Gaston at 706-399-3629.