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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.

Residents protest closing of Kaolin Park in Sandersville

What Sandersville police are calling "illegal activity" shut down a Washington County Park earlier than usual this evening.

"We came in and we were told we had to leave the park at 4 p.m.," Tim McAfee, coach of Washington County's Little League team, said.

That's six hours earlier than Kaolin Park usually closes.

"It got cut short due to them closing the park down for some reason," McAfee said.

That reason, according to Sandersville Police, was illegal activity happening at the park on Sunday evenings.

"This is due to the fact that we have some illegal drinking, there's been some drag racing going on out here," Lieutenant Max Smith said.

Smith says crowds of up to 300 people have been warned to clean up their act.

"The park's been left in a mess with beer bottles, beer cans, littering."

Sandersville man wins $75K instant prize

A 20-year-old man won $75K off an instant lottery ticket Thursday purchased at Discount Tobacco, located at 640 Wilkinson St. in Milledgeville.

Christopher Williams, from Sandersville, played the Jumbo Bucks Classic - Anniversary Edition and told the GA Lottery he became flush with excitement, according to a news release.

Williams said he intends to help his siblings financially.

OFTC South Foundation Hosts Annual TOOLS Program

OFTC South Foundation Hosts Annual TOOLS Program

The OFTC Foundation-South, Inc. awarded tools to 17 Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) students at its TOOLS (Tools for Outstanding Occupational Leadership Students) program ceremony. During the 16th annual program held at the DuBose Porter Center, presenters shared the students’ inspiring stories of succeeding in the face of adversity and challenges.

“The students receiving the awards are a prime example of how OFTC provides the education for workforce development in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Lloyd Horadan, OFTC President.

The TOOLS Program is sponsored by the OFTC South Foundation, the Louie & Evelyn Livingston Family Foundation, and Morris Bank. The wide variety of essential tools, from stethoscopes, toolboxes to daycare items will help the following students to get a jump-start on their careers.

Cala Alligood, Radiologic Technology (Rentz)

Crystal Daniel, Medical Assisting (McRae-Helena)

Washington Co. remembers 150th anniversary of Sherman's March

150 years ago this weekend, an event on Washington County's soil changed the course of that town's history.

General William Sherman led 60,000 Union soldiers through Sandersville, on his way to Savannah.

The march helped lead to the freedom of thousands of slaves there.

The names of those slaves may have been forgotten without the work of one of their descendants.

Sandwiched in between Macon and Augusta, most roads don't lead to Sandersville. But perhaps, for history buffs, they should.

The Genealogy Research Center is where Adam Adolphus started digging 12 years ago, for long-buried stories of his own family.

Adolphus asked, "What kinds of life did they live? What did they do?"

Jimmy Carter campaigns for grandson, Nunn in Sandersville


With one week to go until Election Day, former President Jimmy Carter traveled to Sandersville to campaign for his grandson, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter.

Carter arrived at the Country Buffet in downtown Sandersville about 4 p.m. where about 200 people packed into the restaurant to hear Carter and other prominent officials plug the candidacies of Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

Sandersville prepares for 48th Kaolin Festival

This Saturday marks the 48th Annual Kaolin Festival in Sandersville, the festival offers your usual activities, arts and crafts, live music, and a variety of food.

But the biggest feature of the festival is touring a mine with a product you probably touch every day.

Come Saturday, the kaolin mine tours will involve learning all about the mining process.

"Permitting, overburden removal, mining techniques, kaolin usage, everything there is to know about kaolin because kaolin is definitely one of the most interesting minerals in the Earth's crust."

Gary Snow has worked at the Thiele Kaolin Company as the manager of mine planning for over 30 years, he says the heart of kaolin can be found in Sandersville.

He says, "We enjoy showing people what we do, and it gives us a great opportunity to showcase our activities."