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The Knights:






A new 715,000-square-foot Five Below distribution warehouse is under construction in Smarr.

Amy Knight offers shoppers fashion and accessories, plus attentive customer service.

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ALSO INSIDE: AMERICAN CRAFTMANSHIP, page 26 A family of builders is leading Monroe’s housing resurgence.

CLOWN TOWN, USA Lee Andrews, a Forsyth native, is bringing clown college home to Forsyth and Monroe County. - MONROE FORSYTH

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The Knight Family together at the Towaliga River. Photo by Kim Holderfield A BUILDING RSYTH BETTER FO e 18 Pag

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Welcome Home 2018

REVIVING LIFE, page 48 Dr. Darryl Knight of Forsyth is taking care of local residents. THE FULL NELSON, page 60 Iowa native Brian Nelson is restoring glory to the Mary Persons football program. GATOR FARMING, page 90 Wesley Ham keeps up to 500 gators on his local chicken farm. FIND THE FOXES, page 100 A local artist helps a great idea come to life for Leadership Monroe. BUSINESS DIRECTORY, page 105

50 N. Jackson Street • Forsyth • 478-994-2358

Reporter the Monroe County

Will Davis

Richard Dumas


News Editor

Trellis Grant

Diane Glidewell

Business Manager

Community Editor

Carolyn Martel

Brandon Park

Advertising Manager

Creative Director

Lobby Hours:

Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Drive Thru Hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The 2018-2019 Welcome Home magazine is a product of the Monroe County Reporter, in conjunction with the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce

Internet Banking:

Phone Banking: (478) 994-6995

Drive-up ATM Available 24 Hours 88 North Lee Street• Forsyth, GA

(478) 994-5146

Forsyth-Monroe Chamber of Commerce Cheri W. Lance

Priscilla Caldwell

President / CEO

Program Coordinator

Valerie McCullough Office Manager

10 W. Chambers • Forsyth • 478-994-9239


Monroe County’s historic courthouse, shown at sunset, makes a picturesque backdrop to Forsyth’s growing courthouse square.

We’re Glad You’re Here! AT A GLANCE: FORSYTH - MONROE COUNTY POPULATION: Monroe County..................27,306 Forsyth..................................5,022 Culloden..................................227 (Source: U.S. Census, 2016)

The communities of Bolingbroke, High Falls, Juliette and Smarr are unincorporated Monroe County.

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Welcome Home 2017

One of the fastest-growing communities in Middle Georgia, Forsyth-Monroe County is the preeminent place to raise a family, start a business or enjoy your retirement years.

Photo by Chris Spence 4

This annual publication, the Welcome Home magazine, is designed to show you why that’s so. But please, just keep it between us because we don’t want the bestkept secret in the Peach State to be overrun by everyone at once. This publication is aimed at helping you learn everything you need to know about our charming neck of the woods. For new families and businesses, they’ll find how to set up utilities, when to register for school and what to do for recreation. For long-time residents, they’ll be reminded why Monroe County is a great place to live. From the original Whistle Stop Cafe in the town of Juliette to the beautifully-restored 1896 courthouse, our county is alive with color and history. The Towaliga River at High Falls offers the perfect place for a romantic picnic lunch while avid antiquers will delight in the treasures that abound in the shops throughout our county. Whether you seek the thrill of world-class hunting in the woods around Smarr or are hot on

DID YOU KNOW? Monroe County occupies 397 square miles. The population has grown 26 percent since 2000. Monroe County is 73 percent white, 24 percent black and 3 percent Hispanic.

the trail of your own family history in Forsyth. Monroe County offers something for everyone. Our area is a network of unique but interconnected communities each bearing its own distinctive personality and past, but all uniting in common strength as we look toward our county’s future. Here you will find the best of all worlds. Our proximity to major centers such as Macon and Atlanta, as well as the ease of travel afforded by the major north-south artery of Interstate 75, ensures access to a wealth of “big city” amenities -- and yet we retain our “small town” sensibilities and values. Those who work in Atlanta or Macon often choose to live in Forsyth-Monroe County; they appreciate the easier pace of our communities, the friendliness of our citizens and our wide array of superb educational, medical and professional services. Affordable property ensures commercial and residential prosperity Continued on Page 10

LOCATION: Monroe County is located in central Georgia, approximately 50 miles south of Atlanta and 25 miles north of Macon. Located conveniently on I-75, the county prides itself on being in “The Middle of Everywhere”. Surrounding counties include Bibb, Jones, Jasper, Lamar, Butts, Crawford and Upson. Both Forsyth and Culloden are located along the Peach Blossom Trail that follows U.S. 41/341 from Jonesboro to Perry.

AREA CODE: 478 CLIMATE: Monroe County enjoys the pleasure of a warm, mild climate. Spring temperatures approach the mid-80s (degrees F) by May with July and August high temperatures registering at nearly 91 degrees. Winter lows rarely drop below freezing. The county had a wet 2013 almost totalling its average annual rainfall of 60 inches per year by September. Spring and fall are generally the wettest times of the year. Snowfall averages barely over a half inch annually, though the county did get 4 inches of snow in 2010. (Source: Monroe County Extension Service)

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and expansion even as we preserve the ambience of charm and neighborliness for which we are renowned. Our low taxes show that our governments treat our property owners with respect, even while we offer one of the best school systems in the state.

Within these pages, you will find basic, but crucial, information such as numbers to call to get the utilities connected, information about Monroe County’s schools and health-care facilities, and more. We also offer you an overview of the economic strength of the area and suggestions for leisure-time activities from hiking in one of the state parks to dining and shopping opportunities. Our goal is to ease your transition as you make your home or locate your business within our county. Rest assured that the staff at the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will be happy to assist you with any questions about the area or to direct you to one of our member businesses who can best meet your needs. We warmly welcome you to Forsyth-Monroe County.

LIVING HERE: As of 2017, Monroe County’s population is estimated at 27,.306 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 26 percent, adding 5,555 residents, according to the census. The median home cost in Monroe County is $157,200. Monroe County’s cost of living is 7% lower than the U.S. average. The per student expenditure in Monroe County public schools is $8,200. There are approximately 17 students per teacher in Monroe County schools. Monroe County’s population is 73 percent white, 24 percent black and 3 percent other. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau estimates)

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Located Inside

WELCOME FOOD MART 37 South Jackson St • Forsyth, GA

478-993-2077 Kitchen Hours: Mon-Sat 9am - 8pm & Sun 11am-7pm Delivery Hours: Mon-Sat 12 Noon-7pm


Assorted Flavors! Hot, Mild, LP,Teriyaki Sweet Chili, Honey BBQ


Crispy Fried Chicken & Chicken Tenders Small or Large Orders Comes w/ Biscuit or Roll

Catfish - Whole or Filet Whiting or Talapia Filet Meals come with Fries, Coleslaw, Hushpuppies

Cheapest Prices in Town! Daily Menu Specials

SIDES: Fries, Onion Rings, Fried Okra, Fried Pickles, Corn Nuggets, Cheese Sticks, Eggroll, Corndog, Jalapeno Cheese Bites

Voted 2018

BEST HOT WINGS by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter

Groceries • Snacks • Candy Bars • Drinks • Cigarettes • Lottery WELCOME FOOD MART

Everything you need at the LOWEST PRICES!

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Residential & Commercial • Locally Owned & Family Operated We Service All Brands • Licensed & Insured • Service Agreements Financing Available • Honest & Reliable Service • Experience You Can Count On

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Central Georgia EMC Southern Rivers Energy

New residents and new businesses need a reliable supply of electricity. That’s why Central Georgia EMC and Southern Rivers Energy, along with their energy provider, Oglethorpe Power, stand ready to provide you with reliable, cost-effective and diverse power. As involved corporate citizens, Central Georgia EMC, Southern Rivers Energy and Oglethorpe Power are members of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce and participate in a variety of charitable and community activities every year. In addition, our operations, including the Smarr Energy Facility and the Robert W. Scherer Power Plant, put us among Monroe County’s highest taxpayers, employing numerous highly skilled professionals. Together, Central Georgia EMC, Southern Rivers and Oglethorpe Power provide our valued customer Members with more than electricity.

We are committed to providing power and opportunity to the many Monroe County communities our Members call home.

Central Georgia EMC


A Rich History T

he Georgia legislature created Monroe County in 1821 from a Creek Indian concession at Indian Springs. It is named for James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, whose famed Monroe Doctrine claimed American right to fend off European meddling in the Western Hemisphere.

The Antebellum Years

In the antebellum period, settlers chiefly from older portions of Georgia moved into the raw but rich lands of the county, carving out for themselves farms and plantations. A significant number of them had or acquired slaves, so that the population of the county in 1860 was 5,753 free and 10,177 slave. After the creation of the county, the towns of Culloden and Forsyth were founded. Culloden achieved importance as a commercial center and an educational center. Forsyth had, for a while, the original Southern Botanico Medical College and the Monroe Female College, which became Tift College.

The Railroad

Perhaps the most significant development for the county in this period was the construction in 1838 of a railroad that first linked Forsyth to Macon. It was the first railroad in Georgia. Later the Macon and Western joined Forsyth to Atlanta. The rails provided an economical means of transporting cotton and of bringing goods into the town, both from Savannah to the south and Atlanta from the north.

Civil War

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the inhabitants of the county were engulfed in an unparalleled situation. As the Battle of Atlanta raged in 1865, thousands of wounded Confederates were shipped by train to Forsyth where locals scrambled to convert homes and even the Tift College campus into war hospitals. Monroe County served as the center for sick and wounded soldiers in the wake of General Sherman’s destructive march through Georgia. Forsyth, with its central location, proPage 14

Welcome Home 2018


vided the most accessible hospital base for the nearly 20,000 injured soldiers following the epic battles in Atlanta, Stone Mountain and Jonesboro. Monroe County was spared much of the shattering physical violence of the Civil War, although a battle was fought in Culloden after the War had officially ended; word had not yet reached area troops that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered on April 9, 1865. The Battle of Culloden took place exactly 10 days after the surrender of the Confederacy.

Changing with the South

The Confederate defeat brought a new reality to the inhabitants of the county. In time citizens of the county embraced the New South ideology that Henry Grady and his associate Joel Chandler Harris, a former resident of Forsyth, preached in the pages of the Atlanta Constitution. Business leaders began to build textile factories. The Heads and Newtons established Trio Manufacturing Company. The Ensigns established the Ensign Cotton Mills.


In 1968 the federal government finished I-75 through Monroe County which changed the community significantly, putting it on the map so to speak. Monroe County has enjoyed growth with the rest of the South as its population has grown 26 percent to 27,306 between 2000-2016, and upscale residential neighborhoods cropped up in the northern and southern ends of the county. Many young families are drawn to the community because of its top-notch school system and its family-oriented, Mayberry-like small-town charm. Through all of these decades, what happened in Monroe County reflected developments in other parts of the American South. Welcome Home 2018

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IMPORTANT NUMBERS DIRECT CALL Using a smartphone or tablet: Scan the code, Push the call button

Chamber of Commerce 478-994-9239

Monroe County Reporter 478-994-2358

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office 478-994-7048

Forsyth Police Department 478-993-1005

Forsyth Fire Department 478-994-2040

Monroe County EMS 478-994-7004

Tax Commissioner 478-994-7020

Board of Commissioners 478-994-7000

Forsyth City Hall 478-994-5649

Culloden City Hall 478-885-2249

Board of Education 478-994-2031

Monroe County Hospital 478-994-2521

Monroe County Health Dept. 478-992-5082

Monroe County Probate Court 478-994-7036

Monroe County Magistrate Court 478-994-7018

Driver’s License Information 866-754-3687

Monroe County Library 478-994-7025

Forsyth Post Office 478-974-0776

Convention Center 478-992-8600

Monroe County Historical Society 478-994-5070

Core Values: 1. Inerrancy of Scripture 2. Expositional Preaching 3. Family Integrated Worship 4. Kingdom Minded 5. Elder Led

Our 50’s and older ministry gets together at least 4 times a year for fellowship meals. We have guest speakers and special music. We are looking forward to taking many more trips in the future!

We believe that kids matter to God! Our children’s pastor is Casey Robinson, a father of 8 with a heart for families. Our goal is not to take the place of parents as their children’s spiritual leaders but to support parents in raising children to know and love God. We accomplish this through family integrated worship, parents’ night out and by providing helpful resources to parents.  In addition, we have a thriving AWANA program (2 years old to 5th grade) that meets weekly on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00, Sunday school classes for children at 9:45am and other family friendly activities throughout the year.

We are a Church on Mission with a Kingdom focus empowering its members through the Holy Spirit to serve and spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in our Jerusalem (Monroe County), Judea (The State of Georgia), Samaria (The United States) and to the ends of the earth.

Sunday Schedule

8:30 a.m…….......................….Traditional Worship 9:45 a.m….............................................Sunday School 11:00 a.m….......................Contemporary Worship 5:00 p.m……....................................Connect Groups 6:00 p.m…….............................Celebrate Recovery

Wednesday Schedule The Upper Room NPBC Youth (6th-12th grade) The NPBC College Ministry meets Wednesday nights from focuses on impacting young people through 6:30pm-7:30pm, Sunday mornings from 9:45am-10:45am, the message of the Bible to create young men and Monday nights from 7:30pm-8:30pm. We enjoy fellowship, and women who love Jesus and are equipped to Bible study, and prayer during each of these meetings. reach Monroe County for God.

6:30 p.m. ..........................................Adult Bible Study 6:30 p.m. .........................Awana Children’s Ministry 6:30 p.m. .....................Youth Ministry (Jr. & Sr. High 6:30 p.m. .............................................College Ministry

“…So that the lost may be found, found may be strengthened, and God may be glorified!”

building A better monroe

By Will Davis


new 715,000-square-foot Five Below distribution warehouse is under construction in Smarr, and it may be the first of several big businesses coming to Monroe County, according to county officials. Continued on page 20

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building A better monroe

“We have three other projects looking at that [Rumble Road] site,” said Tom Baugh, chairman of the Monroe County Development Authority. “It’s going to be good for Monroe County.” Baugh said the new Five Below warehouse on I-75 at Rumble Road will serve as a giant billboard to passing traffic declaring that Monroe County is open for business. “When this building gets up,” said Baugh, “it’s gonna stick out like a sore thumb on that interstate.” There are reports that one unidentified company has made an adjacent parcel for a 1 million square-foot facility one of five finalists for a new manufacturing plant. The plant would reportedly create 500 jobs in Monroe County if the site is chosen. Whether more industries follow or not, county officials say landing the Five Below warehouse is a boon by itself. The fastgrowing retailer is kind of a combination of a Wings beach store and Dollar General, with its primary target audience being teen and pre-teen girls. All items are under $5. Five Below is expected to open a store soon on Bass Road in Macon that

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will be served by the warehouse. Dubbed Project Glitter by development officials, the distribution center will create 130 jobs with a $70 million investment. The initial investment includes $42 million in land and building and about $28 million in machinery and equipment. Additional investment will occur over the next five years. It’s thought to be the biggest construction project in Monroe County since Plant Scherer in 1982. The Monroe County Industrial Development Authority will continue to own the property with a long-term lease to Five Below. “This is a great day for all the citizens of Monroe County,” said Baugh upon the announcement. “The Development Authority will continue to work towards the additional growth


When this BUILDING gets up, its going to stick out like a SORE


of jobs and investment in the county. I appreciate the help and support from the Board, Bo Gregory and county government.” County commission chairman Greg Tapley concurred. “This is an exciting time for Monroe County. We are looking forward to welcoming our newest employer to our business community,” said Tapley. “This is a great example of what can happen when we work together as a team. A big ‘thank you!’ to everyone that helped make this project happen.” Monroe County apparently beat out several other sites for the project. Back in May, the MCR reported that Five Below was considering building a warehouse in Riverview Park in Butts County near the Brushy Creek subdivision and High Falls Lake. But High Falls residents opposed the plan for environmental reasons.

on that interstate.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced the new project in Smarr this summer. “Five Below’s decision to invest in Monroe County directly reflects the strength of our workforce and Georgia’s strategic location for accessing the Southeastern market,” said Deal. “Georgia is perfectly positioned to support this distribution center and Five Below will benefit by locating distribution operations here in the No. 1 state in which to do business. We appreciate this investment in Monroe County and I am confident that Georgia’s transportation infrastructure will help Five Below serve its growing customer base.” Workers have built a small concrete plant near the site to

Continued on page 22

The Development Authority of Monroe County is proud to welcome...

and its warehouse distribution center to Monroe County We are leading the charge for growth in Monroe County, The Middle of Everywhere Development Authority of Monroe County • 10 West Chambers Street • Forsyth, GA 31029 Phone: 478-994-9239 • Toll Free: 888-642-4628 •

building A better monroe

pour 13,000 cubic yards of concrete for the floor. They’ll have 24 people working on the project and they hope to be done so that Five Below can occupy the new warehouse in November. He added, though, that summer rains slowed them down. Asked to describe the site, the lead contractor said: “You can’t beat Georgia clay. It’s the best thing to build on.” Baugh said the authority’s decision a few years ago to extend

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a sewer line from the rest area to the property at a cost of about $250,000 was key to attracting Five Below. The sewer line was extended to serve the Electric Cooperative Training Center on Rumble Road, which had been on a septic tank but is expanding and needed sewer service. Nearby Gresco Utility Supply has also expanded recently, doubling the size of its warehouse. Baugh said IDI, the Atlanta company that manages the prop-


erty, is looking for a big retail developer, like Love’s, to put a gas station and restaurant on a nearby corner to serve the employees and truck traffic from the warehouse. Baugh said they can’t reveal what tax breaks the county is giving Five Below until they’re cemented in a memorandum of understanding. Bo Gregory, president of the Monroe County Development

Authority, said estimates show the Five Below warehouse will inject $23 million per year directly and indirectly into the local economy, including $11.7 million in sales and $6.5 million in payroll per year. Founded in 2002, Five Below operates more than 650 stores in 32 states. The company expects to cut the ribbon on approximately 125 new stores in 2018.

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WARREN ASSOCIATES, INC. 2760 Roff Ave—Macon, GA 31204 Phone: 478-746-7306 Fax: 478-746-6118

Connie R. Ham

MIDDLE GA REALTY 78 N Lee St Forsyth, GA 31029

building A better monroe


Welcome Home 2018


Craftsmanship Family builders leading Monroe’s housing resurgence By Will Davis


onroe County has begun to see significant residential growth again in recent years, and few companies have contributed more to that resurgence than American Craftsman Homes. It’s taken a decade for new home starts to return to their 2008 levels after the real estate crash, but it’s finally happening and family-owned American Craftsman is the leading the way. American Craftsman has built more than 50 homes in the last four years in River Forest and Riata, two upscale subdivisions in northern Monroe County. And brothers Pete and Thomas Williams, along with their dad Carleton, show no signs of slowing down. “The door is wide open,” said Pete Williams, who has now moved his wife and three kids from Henry to Monroe County. “Monroe County seems to have good, healthy growth. And we want it to stay that way.”

Continued on page 29

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Riata, an equestrian community with large lots off Johnstonville Road, had just 13 homes when the Williams family got involved in 2016. They’ve now built or started 18 new homes and don’t plan on stopping until they’ve erected homes on the remaining 80 lots. American Craftsman focuses on quality, custom-built homes in the $300,000-$600,000 range, and their unique work is attracting families into Monroe County, many of them out of Henry and Bibb counties. It’s an exciting time not only for Monroe County, but for the Williams family that suffered through the real estate recession starting in 2008. The Williams brothers started a construction business in Henry County in 2007, right before the crash. With the bottom falling out, they couldn’t sell their first home, had to convert it into a rental, and spent the next seven years surviving by doing renovations. In retrospect, said Thomas Williams, it was a blessing and good preparation for what was to come. By remodeling the work of other builders, the Williams brothers learned from real world experience the right way and wrong way to do things in home construction. They gained knowledge and experience that have made them better builders when the demand for new homes heated back up. “We got trained in how to take your time and install proper flashing and shingles and everything and do it right,” said Thomas. “If you look at our homes verses other homes, it’s higher quality. We stand behind our houses. When we’d do renovations, we’d see poor craftsmanship and we’d say, ‘we’re not going to do this or that.’” As they spent time in training, so to speak, a door opened to

prepare them for the opportunity to come. It was 2013 and Pete’s wife Stephanie was reading the Monroe County Reporter when she came across an ad offering lots in River Forest at good prices. “I said ‘something has to be wrong with them’,” recalled Pete. But when they checked out OK, Pete was sold. “I said ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do with them, but we’re going to buy them,” recalled Pete. After sitting on the lots for about six months, American Craftsman Homes built its first home in River Forest in 2014, and they’ve been building in Monroe County ever since. River Forest property manager Jay Pace told them about several more lots for sale in the gated community and they built at least 30 homes in the neighborhood before they began work in Riata. Pace said he’s heard nothing but good things about American Craftsman from buyers. “I haven’t heard any complaints,” said Pace, “and I can’t say that for many builders.” By 2016, the Williams brothers had bought all 80 remaining

Continued on page 30

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building A better monroe lots in Riata and brought their dad Carleton down from Fayette County to help with sales and marketing. They’ve already sold 18 homes in Riata since then with more on the way. Additionally, Thomas and Carleton have reserved lots for their future homes so they can get out of Butts and Fayette counties (respectively) and get to the greener pastures of Monroe. It appears those pastures will only get greener. They’ve recently hired Jennifer Mastronardi as the first Farm Manager for Pleasant Oaks Equestrian Center at Riata, which will make the subdivision even more attractive to potential homeowners. “When we came here, this [equestrian center] was a big piece of the puzzle that we were trying to figure out,” said Thomas. “But nothing was working and we gave up on it. Then out of nowhere we get a phone call with the perfect fit.” Thomas said the equestrian center has stables for 32 horses with room to add 32 more, giving them the opportunity to offer riding, lessons and events.

Shawnee Williams, the wife of Carleton and mother of Pete and Thomas, said she’s very proud of her young men and their success. “‘Thankful’ is one of the best words I keep coming up with,” said Mrs. Williams. “People say ‘they are so busy’, and I say I am so thankful they are.” And as they add more work in Monroe County, Mrs. Williams said it has her all the more anxious to leave Fayette County for Monroe. It’s been an amazing ride for the Williams brothers the past 17 years. It all started in 2001 when Pete called his brother Thomas to ask if he wanted to start a gutter business together. Pete responded with a sensical question. “I said ‘can we make money at it?’” laughs Thomas. “And 17 years later, we’re still trying to make money at it. We fought tooth and nail to make it to 2018, and we plan to keep going to retirement.” The way things are going, they, and Monroe County, will be just fine.

Building in River Forest and Riata I-75 Exit 193 East for River Forest and West for Riata

"Your new home is our business, we build homes with care,"Pete and Thomas Williams

Carleton L. Williams #285693 Elliott Real Estate & Land LLC

678-776-7412 Page 30

Welcome Home 2018

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Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. Michael Ketterbaugh Senior Vice President - Investment Officer 1425 Bass Rd Macon, GA 31210

Mid GA Property Enhancements Phillip Bunn 479-808-0691

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Free estimates


MAJIC 100FM Classic Soul Hits at 100.1 FM Serving Forsyth, Macon and All of Middle Georgia! Local news with Mike Roberts weekdays 3166 Old Macon Road • Forsyth,GA 31029



he hometown team at Hopkins & Associates, LLC is conveniently located in historic downtown Forsyth to meet all of your personal and business accounting needs. We strive to provide the best in financial services for each and every one of our clients, who are also our neighbors. AND 68 North Jackson St. • Forsyth, GA 31029 (478) 994-1820 •

“By Accident W



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tommycampbell@be Hwy 41 • Bolingbroke, GA • 478-994-2134 • Fax: 478-992-8411 Hours: Monday–Friday 7:30 • Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Isaiah 41:10

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Secure Entrance • Video Monitoring Nutritious Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Supervised Activities Before and After School Care Sutton Elementary & Hubbard Elementary Drop Off & Pickup at Smarr Location Family Discounts for 2 or More Children Lots of Tender Loving Care

2329 Highway 41 South, Forsyth, GA 478.994.3096

8197 Rivoli Road, Bolingbroke, GA 478.994.9933

Owner: Sarah Eidson


500 North Lee Street • Forsyth, GA 31029 Office (478) 974-0054 • Fax (478) 974-0055

Eddie Rowland 478-808-9354 Kathy Rowland 478-808-9353

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Experienced Realtors Who Know How to Get Results! Residential • Commercial • Rentals • Land



ill Da by W s o t Pho

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Reviving Retail Mother of five is

in Forsyth

By Diane Glidewell


my Knight is the hands-on owner of CoTique Boutique on the Forsyth Square at 19 N. Lee Street. Customers love her fashionable clothing and accessories and her attentive customer service. She also serves on various city and school boards, is a Leadership Monroe graduate and sponsors and participates in countless projects to boost the community.

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COVER FEATURE To describe Amy as an energetic multitasker is a vast understatement. She and her husband of 14 years, Dr. Darryl Knight, have two daughters and two sons, ages 7 to 13, and a one-year-old baby girl. The family moved to Monroe County in 2013 when Darryl accepted a position as a general surgeon at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston. Amy tried being a stay-at-home mom for a while when they came to Monroe County, but she soon found that didn’t keep her busy enough.

Live, Life

“I just


takes me.”

When she couldn’t find a red shirt that one of the children needed, she decided to open a clothing boutique where people could shop without leaving Forsyth. Consignment stores were popular in Douglasville, where the family had lived for eight years before coming to Monroe County; so CoTique Boutique began as a consignment store, where people brought her items they wanted to sell. She began mixing in new items, not on consignment. Finding that new items sold better in Forsyth, she transitioned away from consignment. CoTique Boutique has thrived because Amy has stayed tuned to what her customers like and to what is affordable for them. She uses social media to let them know of the latest arrivals and special features at the store. Amy opened a second CoTique

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“We Invite You to Shop Today!” -Amy Knight, 19 N. Lee St (ON the Square FOrSyth) 478-992-8371 • COtiqueShOp.COm Owner m-F 10-6 • Sat 9-5 • SuN 1-5

Clothing & Accessories for Women & Girls

Jewelry • Shoes • Purses • Scarves • Bath Products • Candles • Gifts & More!


Voted 2018 Best Boutique by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter


Boutique in Macon but recently closed it because the location did not bring in the traffic she expected. She said the biggest challenge lately has been finding employees who share the same enthusiasm for the store as she does. She says she is ‘weird’ about wanting things clean— No dust bunnies allowed!—and about wanting customers to find something to delight them every time they come in the store. Amy got her first job when she was 15 and worked in some well-known retail establishments, including Target, Macy’s and Old Navy. She met Darryl working at IHOP, where he trained her. They married in January 2004, but she had already enlisted in the U.S. Army and was waiting to attend basic training when she went to work at IHOP. She and Darryl were only married a few weeks before she was deployed to South Korea. They were married in their pastor’s study and planned a ‘real wedding’ in August after she got home. But

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when she got to Korea, she found she was pregnant. She didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a maternity wedding dress; so the wedding hasn’t happened, yet. Amy said that Darryl was the one who wanted a big wedding, anyway. Amy completed two years of active duty then transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves and continued her military service until 2016, when she was pregnant with baby Symone. She was an information technology specialist for the Army and completed a number of training classes in addition to her monthly drills and annual camps. Amy learns from whatever she is doing, but she also has a formal education, including a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on forensics. She is only a couple of classes shy of completing her Master’s. She studied electronics and engineering technology; she also earned her license as a CNA/ PCT, but decided after clinicals at the Atlanta Medical Center oncology unit

LOCATION: 19 N. Lee Street (On the Square) Forsyth, GA 31029

CONTACT: Amy Knight, Owner 478-992-8371 that it was not the job for her. As her husband completed medical school and then his five-year residency associated with the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Amy worked for the U.S. Post Office as a rural carrier for six years. She said it was a hard job initially but she got to like it and was sometimes finishing her route by 1 p.m. Then Darryl took the job at Upson Regional Medical because he wanted to work in a rural hospital, and the family


of six moved to Monroe County, which was close enough to commute to the hospital but far enough away not to see patients and work associates too often. Amy enjoys traveling with Darryl to medical conferences in places like Boston, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Savannah. While he is at the conference, she will check out other boutiques and shop for her store. She has researched how to find the best quality apparel, and she likes to offer something different from what she sees in other boutiques because sometimes they all seem to have the same things. Meanwhile, Makaya, 13; Malaki, 12; Josiah, 10; and Joriya, 7 are all involved in lots of activities while Symone, 1, just likes to go along to wherever Amy is going. There is dance, band, football, baseball, cheerleading, 4-H and horseback riding. Amy claims that she is not Super Mom or even super-organized, but she manages to get everyone where they need to be and pick them up again. Her mother and in-laws lend a hand when they can, but they are an hour away now, and her step-father passed away last year. “I always have to have somebody somewhere,” said Amy. “It would be easier if they were not in stuff, but I want them to experience life.” Darryl coaches his children even though he is on call every other weekend and can be seen answering his phone on the field. He came to pick up Symone last week when Amy needed to work in CoTique and Symone was having too much fun pulling out all the accessories on display. “I don’t let people keep my kids,” said Amy. “It’s not the way I was raised.” Following Darryl’s name, all of the children have six letters in their names, and all of the names have biblical ties. Amy said each name was chosen care-

fully. Asked about her goals, Amy said her immediate goal for CoTique is to increase the quantity and variety of merchandise available because she had let it drop off a little while she worked with the Macon store. She said she doesn’t really set goals for herself or her family. The children know they are expected to go to school every day and to do their best in academic and other endeavors. “It’s going to happen. There’s no other way—They’re expected to do their best,” said Amy. One child had some challenges in school; so they went to work to figure out what they could do to fix it and go forward. Amy feels the same way about her own goals. “I don’t really set goals. I just live life,” she said “I just live, wherever life takes

me.” She acknowledges that she loves people and loves talking with people. She loves her store because she loves dressing people up and making them happy. She also loves learning, and her store keeps pushing her to learn new things, about buying clothing and accessories, about marketing on social media, about managing the physical building, about hiring and keeping good employees, about taxes and paperwork, about being part of the business community. Amy may “just live life,” but she lives it at high speed with an amazing ability to take what it brings with a positive attitude and to grab opportunities that come her way, even those that might come disguised as adversity. Forsyth is lucky to claim Amy Knight and her family.

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Donny McKinney Owner

Locally Owned & Operated

Residential • Commercial • Agricultural

• Over 29 Years Experience • Experienced Drivers • Prompt and Friendly Customer Service • We Sell Holland & Broilmaster Grills • Gas Heaters & Gas Logs Gas Cylinders Refilled at Dodd Builders Supply in Forsyth & Country Oaks in Bolingbroke

Located in Downtown Bolingbroke

8323 Rivoli Rd • Juliette, GA 31046 Forsyth: 478-992-8326 Macon: 478-474-9973 Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm


Quality Plants & Personal service

478-796-2500 or

478-808-0513 Locally Owned & Operated

Grow With Us! • Native Plants • Annuals & Perennials • Shrubs & Flowering Trees • Succulents/other Exotic Plants • Gift Certificates





• Typesetting • Campaign Cards • Raised Print Business Cards • NCR Forms • Wedding & Graduation Invitations • Laminating • Party Invitations • Flyers • Brochures • Office Supplies • Rubber Stamps

Owners: Shelly Salter Shuman Steve Mason

Your Local Printer for over 50 Years!

478-994-6879 • 478-994-4635 (fax) Mon-Fri 10-6pm • Sat 9-5pm • Closed Sunday

3131 Hwy 41 South • Forsyth, GA 31029 We’re located between Forsyth & Bolingbroke, near Smarr

M, T, Thu, F 9:00-5:00 • Wed 9:00-Noon

14 E. Johnston St • Forsyth, GA 31029







Call Forsyth CableNet Today (478) 885-4111

9 N Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029

Martie Brown REALTOR

RE/MAX First Advantage-Forsyth 44 E. Johnston St • Forsyth, GA 31029

Office (478) 994-1118

Call Me Direct, Anytime!

Cell (478) 957-9522 Martie Brown

Voted 2018 Best Real Estate Company by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter

Health Matters

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Telling Dr. Knight he couldn’t only fueled his fire By Will Davis


arryl Knight of Forsyth was an undergraduate at Fort Valley State and considering medical school, but his chemistry professor was not impressed. “You’ll never be a doctor,” the professor told Knight flatly. For Knight, an East Point native and the oldest of two brothers, the words hit him not as a dig, but a dare. “That kind of told me,” laughs Knight, now a surgeon based in Thomaston. “I thought, I’ll make sure I go to med school now.” Telling Knight he couldn’t do something was just the fuel he needed not just to do it, but to excel at it. In fact, Knight wound up winning several department awards for academics at Fort Valley State and helped found an MCAT program to help pre-med students there get into medical school. Once in medical school, Knight learned that he had an

innate understanding of human anatomy and found surgery was the perfect fit. The decision was confirmed in 2012 when Knight was in his fourth year of residency at Columbus Medical Center. EMTs brought in a man who had been shot in the heart. Knight’s supervisor, the surgeon on call, hadn’t made it to the hospital yet, but the patient was losing his pulse. Knight had to go to work. As he surveyed the bleeding heart, suddenly an obscure chapter from a medical book popped into his mind that suggested using a folic catheter to plug a hole in the heart. Knight quickly performed the procedure in the operating room. In the throes of surgery and concentrating on the patient,

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Health Matters the fourth-year resident didn’t realize that everyone in the OR was watching him as he finished stabilizing the patient, whose pulse had returned. “Everyone was watching and they gave me the golf clap,” laughs Knight. “That’s probably my only moment that was made for TV, like one of those off ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. Everyone said they had never seen that procedure done.” Middle Georgians are now getting the benefit of those surgery skills as Knight practices at Upson Regional Medical Center in nearby Thomaston. Knight said although Upson Regional may be considered a rural hospital, they have the latest and greatest surgical and medical equipment, and can handle all kinds of surgeries from cancers and complex hernias to vascular, laparoscopic and endoscopy procedures, all just a short drive from Monroe County. “Surgeries that used to keep people in the hospital for two weeks,” said Knight, “now they’re out in two days.” While having a good hospital is one key to success, Knight says having a good spouse has been just as important. Knight said he wouldn’t be where he is without the patience and understanding of his wife, Forsyth businesswoman Amy Knight. “We have five kids,” says Knight, “but she allows me to devote time to take care of patients. A lot of my medical success wouldn’t be there without her. I never have to say sorry for being late, and never have to worry my wife will be mad at me for tending to my patients.” In fact, during an ice storm, Knight was stuck at the hospital for three straight days, but she never complained. “And it’s not like we don’t have kids,” laughs Knight. “She continues to handle that and allows me to devote time to take care of patients.” When he first started at Upson, Knight assured his wife that he wouldn’t be taking calls so he’d be home more. But then he did surgery on one patient and spent some time with the patient explaining the situation. Then the mama showed up and Knight spent more time going over the medical issues of her son. Then the father and a cousin showed up and he went over things again. A fellow doctor commented that he’d never seen a surgeon spend so much time with a patient, and after

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about four hours he finally went home with apologies to his wife. But she wouldn’t hear it. “You made a commitment to that hospital and community and this is where we’re at,” Amy replied. “You have been cast with that responsibility and you stay and take care of patients — I’ll handle what I need to.” And of course Knight doesn’t just take care of the kids, but also runs her popular clothing store on the Forsyth courthouse square, CoTique Boutique. Dr. Knight said he’s proud of his wife’s business efforts. “It’s something she had never done before,” said Dr. Knight. “She does all of this herself. There’s nothing I can take credit for in the business. I don’t give advice, and she handles all of that with an absentee dad and husband.” His kids notice that he has to work a lot. When his daughter was about four, she told him she wanted to be a doctor like her daddy when she grew up. Dr. Knight said he beamed until she added: “Not really. I just want to see you more.” “It almost broke my heart,” said Knight. While Dr. Knight does work a lot, he also finds time to coach his kids’ teams at the Monroe County Rec Department, while Amy Knight is the team mom. She also somehow finds time to volunteer with PTO in the Monroe County schools. He said they enjoy living and raising their family in Forsyth. “We’ve come to love the community and the area,” said Dr. Knight. And that’s why Knight said one of his goals is to someday also offer surgery at Monroe County Hospital. As a physician, Knight said he encourages his patients and his family to pursue good health by staying active, washing hands, eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep. He said he also thinks it’s important to teach kids how to deal with stress. And yes, as a doctor, extended family members ask him lots of medical questions about their own health, but Knight says that’s fine with him. “As long as they don’t want to show me their hemorrhoids at the family picnic,” laughs Knight.

Health Matters Hospitals Monroe County Hospital 88 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Forsyth, GA 31029 (478) 994-2521

Coliseum Medical Center 350 Hospital Drive Macon, GA 31217 (478) 765-7000

Medical Center Navicent 777 Hemlock Street Macon, GA 31201 (478) 633-1000

Ambulance Service Monroe County Emergency Service (478) 994-7004 MedPro EMS 21 N. Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029 (478) 974-6000

Health Department


Monroe County Health Department (478) 992-5082

Spalding Regional Hospital 601 South 8th Street Griffin, GA 30224 (770) 228-2721

Upson Regional Medical Center 801 West Gordon Street Thomaston, GA 30286 (706) 647-8111

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Scan the QR Code above, or visit for a full list of health providers in Forsyth and Monroe County

120 North Lee St / Suite E • Forsyth, GA 31029 • (478) 994-3390 (Medical Mall entrance on the left side facing railroad tracks)

Dr. Dana Peterman PT, DPT

Voted 2018 Best Physical Therapist

by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter.

At Monroe Physical Therapy it is our joy to provide the highest quality, physical therapy services available in the medical field today. Left/Right: Judy Robinson, Office Manager, Dr. Hope McCann, DPT, Wendy Brower, PTA, RN, BSN, Shania Hawkins, Rehab Tech, Yasmine Battle, Rehab Tech, Keri Hill, PTA and Jennifer McCowell, Billing Coordinator

Patients not only benefit from the state-of-the-art physical therapy services, they tell us that they love the comfort of a hometown atmosphere.

Professional and Caring with a Hometown Touch

Fit 4 Foxy Ladies

57 N. JacksoN st. • Forsyth, GeorGia (478) 993-2229

Come See US!

We are excited about our NEW BUSINESS & all we have to offer! ~ Carol Lindsey, Owner

Exercise Classes for Ladies All Ages! State of the art exercise equipment • Tanning

River Edge Makes Life Better for Monroe County River Edge provides evidence-based treatment and support services for children, youth, adults, and families who experience mental illness, addiction, co-occuring disorders, or developmental disabilities. Treatment is effective. Recovery is to be expected. 168 Old Brent Rd. - Forsyth 478.803.7700 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Health Matters

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The single-stop destination for all your medical spa treatments By Carolyn Martel


agnolia’s Atlanta Medical Spa of Georgia located at 10 N. Jackson Street in Forsyth has enjoyed great success since opening a year ago. In May of 2018, Magnolia’s was voted the Best New Business, Best Health Service, Best Employee and Best Place for a Birthday Party by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter. Magnolia’s Medical Spa is your single-stop destination for all

your medical spa treatments and more. Find peace of mind knowing you’ll receive the most advanced and comprehensive procedures, products and services all in a tranquil and relaxing medical spa in downtown Forsyth. Magnolia’s invites you to see their ad in the Welcome Home Magazine for a list of all the wonderful services they provide. You can also visit their website at To schedule your “Spa Day” call 478-993-2277.

10 N. Jackson Street Forsyth, GA 31029 478-993-2277

Plan Your Spa Day! Services:

• Best New Business • Best Health Service • Best Employee • Best Place for a Birthday Party

Facials, Waxing, Microneedling, Botox & Injectables, RED Light Therapy, Sauna, Foot Detox, Lash & Hair Extensions, Weight Loss Treatments, Laser Tattoo & Hair Removal, Spray Tan, Teeth Whitening, Body Sculpting, Cellulite Removal, Fat Freezing, IPL Products: Obagi • Revisions • Rustic Peach

Mon 9:30-8:00 • Tues 9:30-8:00 Wed 9:30-5:00 • Thurs 9:30-8:00 Fri 9:30-8:00 • Sat 10:00-2:00 Sunday Closed

We Also Have Event Rooms Perfect For: • Bachelorette Parties • Bridal Showers • Baby Showers • Corporate Events • Birthday Parties • Women’s Groups

Voted 2018

by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter

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94 Bennett Street Forsyth, GA 31029

(478) 994-0440

Comprehensive Dental Care for Children and Adults. And we are the only office in Forsyth offering surgical implant placement and restoration for your missing teeth. Love Your Life.... Meredith Davis, Jessica Williams, Carolyn Vinson Haley Vinson and Dr. Clell Morris

Love Your Smile!

We Are Always Accepting New Patients Voted 2018 Best Veterinarian by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter

General Dentistry for the Entire Family

60 S. Jackson St. • Forsyth, GA • 478-994-4986

Dr. Brandon Pinson & Staff

Ready To Meet Your Pet Needs • Boarding • Bathing • Medical Management • Surgery • Dentistry • Radiology • Wellness & Preventative Care includes vaccines, deworm and heart worm prevention • Pet food including prescription diets • After Hours & Emergency Care

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals.” ~ Proverbs 12:10

Front: Sam Bussell. Dr. Deena Smith & Melissa Tolbert Back: Denise Harpe & Barbie McCollum

Deena Holliman Smith, D.M.D., PC 205 Medical Court • Forsyth, GA 31029


We offer a variety of services including but not limited to: • 24-Hour Nursing Services • IV Therapy • Wound Care Management • Short-Term Rehab • Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy • Hospice Services • Pharmacy Services • Pain Management • Oxygen Therapy

Rebecca Minter, Administrator

Bola Sogade, MD, FACOG Chidinma Ogoh, FNP-BC Qualivia Cummings, AGNP-C


• Routine and high risk pregnancies • Birth Control • Prenatal Ultrasound and 3D Ultrasound • After Hours & Specified Saturday Clinics


• Robotic Surgery • Menopause Management Including Hormone Implants • Colposcopy • Endometrial Biopsy • Abnormal Bleeding Management • Pelvic Pain Management • MonaLisa Touch® Vaginal Rejuvenation

Accepting New Patients - Most Insurances Accepted Accepting New Patients - Most Insurances Accepted Including Pathway X BCBS Insurance Including Pathway X BCBS Insurance

Hours: Mon - Thurs 7:30 am -11 am “New Ultra Modern Location” Hours: Mon - Thurs 9 am12 noon

167 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. 100 Martin Luther King Jr Dr Forsyth, GA 31029 Forsyth, GA 31029 478-703-0406 478-703-0406

Personal PersonalTrainers Trainers&&&Group GroupFitness! Fitness! Personal Trainers Group Fitness! Selection of Cardio &Selectorized Selectorized Equipment •Extensive ExtensiveSelection Selectionofof Cardio Equipment ••Extensive Cardio &&Selectorized Equipment

• Extensive Selection of Cardio & Selectorized Equipment • GroupExercise ExerciseClasses ClassesOffered OfferedbybyLocals, Locals,Holli HolliShipman Shipman&&Rikki RikkiJohnson Johnson • Group • Group Exercise Classes Offered by Locals, Holli Shipman & Rikki Johnson • Free Weights • Women Friendly Machines • Daycare • Tanning • FreeWeights Weights• •Women-Friendly • Women-Friendly Women-FriendlyMachines Machines•• •Daycare Daycare •Tanning Tanning • Free • FreeWeights Machines Daycare •• Tanning • The Silver Sneakers Fitness Program

• Group Exercise Classes Offered by Locals, Holli Shipman & Rikki Johnson

FORSYTH FORSYTH FORSYTH 833 PATROL ROAD 833833 PATROL ROAD PATROL ROAD MACON 478-993-2202 478-993-2202 478-993-2202 4226 Hartley Bridge Rd Macon, GA 31216 478-973-2735 FORSYTH 833 Patrol Road 478-993-2202

open24 24hours hours aa day day open Quality Patient Care Since 1969

We continue to serve & support the Forsyth-Monroe County area for over 20 years.

994-5281 994-5281 (478)


101 MLK Jr. Dr. • FORSYTH

405 W. Main St. • THOMASTON

Skin Cancer Removal Routine Skin Exams • Mole Removal Acne • Warts • Rashes • Psoriasis • Eczema General & Surgical Dermatology for the whole family

Russell Harris, md Deb Moore, pa-c

New Patients, Referrals & Most Insurance Plans Accepted

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans is diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime?


Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance accepted • Full service pharmacy • Drive thru pharmacy window • Free in-town prescription delivery • Home health care equipment

• Fine gifts • Old fashioned soda fountain • UPS shipping

67 N LEE STREET FORSYTH, GA 31029 M-F: 8:30 A.M. - 6 P.M. SAT: 9 A.M. - 2 P.M. SUN: CLOSED 478.994.2051

128 years of fast, friendly service! This pharmacy is independently owned and operated under a license from Health Mart Systems, Inc.

Caldwell Veterinary Hospital, LLC • All preventive treatments, such as vaccinations and medications against fleas, ticks, and heartworms • Total medical management, including diseases such as diabetes and heart disease

• Surgery • Boarding


Butler Caldwell, DVM 951 Hwy 41 South • Forsyth, GA

(478) 994-8228

New Fiber Internet!

5 Lots SOLD in 2018 3 Lots Remaining! Located 5 miles from courthouse on Maynard Church Road

Quiet country living at its best!

LOT SIZES: 1 to 2 Acre Lots SQUARE FOOT MIN: Single Story: 2,000 • Two Story: 2,250

Here is the opportunity to purchase the county tract of your dreams! We have 12 Lots, 5 acres each in size surrounded by farmland and forests, and would be ideal for a small horse ranch/farm. Minimum 1800-2150 Sq. Ft. Less than 5 minutes from I-75. Just minutes from everything! Beautiful wooded country lots just 3 minutes from Forsyth and I-75, 25 minutes from Macon.

NOW PRE-LEASING 2 Bedrooms Opening 2019!

Commercial Property Retail, OďŹƒce, Profession Subdivision Lots Single Family Housing Multi-Family Housing







46 years in macon Call (478) 743-9331 for your complimentary consultation 120 north lee st., forsyth, ga 31029

Dr. John Ambrose

Dr. Brandon Pennington


120 N. Lee Street • Forsyth, GA • (Medical Complex) • 478-992-6507 160 Pierce Ave • Macon, GA 31204 • 478-743-0901

WWW•AMBROSEPD•COM Call us today!

478.994.7387 Overnight Boarding Grooming, Daycare Pony Parties “A place where your pets will want to check themselves in!” Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm Saturday 9am - 4pm Sun 4pm - 6pm (pick-up only)

Visit us on

Visit our website: Email: Conveniently located just off Hwy 41 in Bolingbroke, GA Easy access to I-475 & I-75

l l u F The it’s good to be a bulldog!

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He’s not looking back... Welcome Home 2018

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he’s moving this program...

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it’s good to be a bulldog!

Iowa native restoring glory to MP football


By Richard Dumas

any small southern towns love their high school football, but few towns adore their home team quite like Forsyth. And for good reason. The hometown Mary Persons Bulldogs, who recently won the 600th game in program history, have a rich and storied football tradition. This was true particularly during the heyday of former coach Dan Pitts, one of the all-

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time coaching legends in Georgia high school football. In the 24-season span between 1974-97, Pitts’ Bulldogs won at least 10 games on 16 occasions, won 14 region championships and played for the state title on four occasions, winning the whole thing in 1980. But upon Pitts’ retirement, MP’s run of statewide success came to a gradual halt. His replacement, Steve Chafin, led the Bulldogs to 11 wins en route to the state semifinals in his first


season in 1998. Things went downhill after that with MP failing to eclipse nine wins in all 13 seasons between 1999-2011 and not once getting past the second round of state. Things began to turn in 2012 with the hiring of a littleknown Iowa-born coach’s son who had served as an MP assistant coach for six seasons prior to his promotion. Brian Nelson didn’t walk straight out of the Iowa cornfields like Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams”, but he was the perfect fit for a dormant MP football program. With a more laid-back demeanor than most head men, Nelson brought a combination of competitiveness and fun that brought the energy back to MP football. In his very first season as head coach, Nelson had the Bulldogs back in the state quarterfinals. By his fourth season in 2015, MP captured its first region championship since Pitts’ final year while completing an unblemished regular season. And then in 2016, the Bulldogs got back to the state semifinals for the first time since 1998, repeating the feat again in 2017. Nelson, 43, whose father Bill won 194 games as a high school coach in Iowa, said he wanted to coach in a place that’s as passionate about football as Iowa. He said Georgia presented him with that chance but with the caveat of having an even larger quantity of talent and athleticism. “I’m not discounting football in any other states or anything like that, but I think it’s fairly well known that Georgia is probably one of the top two or three states in the nation for high school football,” Nelson said. “So the biggest difference is just the athleticism and the speed. And then apart from that, I think there’s a lot more devoted to the coaching part of

it. All of the teams have got good coaches on top of the good players. And community-wise, it’s probably about the same. I think communities in Iowa care about football. Especially in Iowa, it’s a lot of small towns that revolve around football. There’s a lot of Forsyths in Iowa. There’s not Atlantas. It’s just a bunch of Forsyths. That part is fairly similar.” Nelson, who first came to Georgia when he was hired as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia in 2002, stayed after he fell in love with and eventually married a Georgia girl from a coaching family. Lesli Nelson’s father, Jimmy Hughes, is also a successful Georgia high school football coach, having led Dooly County to the 2012 Class A finals. But beyond his personal reasons for staying (the Nelsons now have four kids), Nelson said he was drawn to the competitive nature of Georgia high school football. “If you’re coaching high school football, where do you wanna coach it at?” Nelson asked rhetorically. “Texas, Georgia, maybe Ohio. Those are the places with not only the competition and the atmosphere and all that other stuff, but then in those states you can make a good living doing it too. Probably expectations in towns in Georgia are a lot greater. There’s probably more coaching turnover per year in Georgia than there is in Iowa in 10 years. You kind of just get in a community in Iowa, and that’s kind of just where you’re at. If you do right and do good by the kids, then 4-5 or 6-4 will make it. That probably wouldn’t cut it in a lot of places in Georgia.”

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“That first year I came here it was all like,

‘Mary Persons! Mary Persons!’ We were 4-6.

We freaking sucked.” When asked if he thinks there’s too much emphasis in Forsyth on high school football, Nelson said he welcomes the attention because of what football success does to highlight other aspects of the community. “At some point you kind of like it because that’s what you do, and that’s what you put all your investment into really,” Nelson said. “You’re always going to have that faction of people that are like, ‘It’s just high school athletics. It’s not that big of a deal. There are more important things.’ And that’s true. And then there’s other people that live and die for football season. And some of that is probably true too. But I think because of the success of Mary Persons football, it’s probably brought more notoriety to Forsyth than the other way around. And it’s the same argument I have to the Board of Education about fixing up our stadium. When people from Blessed Trinity come down here for a football game, this thing right here is

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their only impression of Monroe County and Forsyth. They wouldn’t be coming otherwise. And if they stopped off at McDonald’s, they wouldn’t probably remember where they stopped off at.” Nelson said having out-of-towners come to Forsyth for playoff games has been one of the most gratifying things about MP’s return to form on the gridiron. “Visiting teams’ fans are not coming down here and living in our town for a week and seeing what it’s like and going to our schools and seeing how good they are and being in our community,” he said. “They’ve got an impression for three hours, and it’s what this stadium looks like and the atmosphere that they get. When they leave, that’s all they know. And I keep

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Thank You for Your Contiuned Support of Monroe County Schools BOARD OF EDUCATION • (478) 994-2031

Mary persons high school 300 Montpelier Avenue, Forsyth (478) 994-2812

James P. Evans, Jr.

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it’s good to be a bulldog! saying it’s getting harder and harder because 20, 30, 40 years ago when Coach Pitts was doing it, it was just Georgia people. Now those people from the Jeffersons and the Blessed Trinitys and places like that that come here, most of those people have been transplanted down here by now. They haven’t lived here their whole lives and know 1980 Mary Persons football. They just know 2000-and-on Mary Persons football and what it’s like and what it is. That’s why I think it’s important to get the name back out there, and it’s been nice to kind of re-establish it a little bit. . . I think having a good program and having a good team and getting that name out there on a state level, it helps the community.” While Mary Persons has re-established its brand on a state scale, Nelson said the importance of MP in the minds of its fans never wavered even during the lean years. “I think from an outside perspective, Mary Persons is getting more back to where it was,” Nelson said. “I don’t think people in Forsyth ever thought it went anywhere. For me, I think it did. That first year I came here it was all like, ‘Mary Persons! Mary Persons!’ We were 4-6. We freaking sucked. I think it helps a little bit when you win. It helps the school building run a little bit smoother when you’ve got a good football program. It helps the other sports, and I think some of the other sports have fed off of that. And that’s why in some of those other sports, we’ve been pretty good the last few

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years.” Nelson questioned early in his tenure if MP could even have the success again it once enjoyed under Pitts. He said he feared that Georgia’s changing demographics with the significant growth in the metro-Atlanta area was putting smaller rural schools at a disadvantage. He also bemoaned recruiting that was taking place at metro programs that potentially put rural schools in jeopardy of losing some of their most talented players. Now that MP has beaten the odds and re-emerged as a power under Nelson, the final step is to capture the program’s first state championship since 1980, a drought that has lasted 38 years and counting. Nelson said he doesn’t have an exact formula for taking the last step, but he said continuing to gain big-game experience is as good an answer as any. “You’ve got to continue to get in those games and play in those games to get used to them a little bit,” Nelson said. “It’s like those first two or three years, it was all building up to try to win a region championship because that’s what hadn’t been done in a long time. Every year there’s not a championship game but we played in the pseudo championship game. And then we finally got over that hump, and it’s kind of been rolling a little bit. So I think the more you get in those type of games and get that expectation among kids in your team, then hopefully if you can get back there then the more experience you have in those games and hopefully it turns out.”



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Forsyth’s farm to table restaurant. Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee, Drinks and Delicious Pastries. Owners, Alicia Record & Shawn Mentzer 12 W. Main St. Forsyth, GA 31029 • 478-583-1258

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the brighter side

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Forsyth native bringing clown college home By Diane Glidewell


ver 100 ‘entertaining’ people came together in Monroe County this summer, finding their way to Middle Georgia from throughout the U.S. and even Canada, and they say they plan to return at the same time next year. The American Clown Academy held its first annual session at the new location this year, and the reviews from students and faculty are heavily weighted toward the positive. The tie between the American Clown Academy and Forsyth is Lee Andrews, who is Lew-E the Clown when he is on stage and does about 500 performances each year around the U.S. and beyond. Lew-E only graduated from Mary Persons in 2010, but he has been clowning for 23 of his 26 years. He is one of those rarely blessed individuals who has always known what he wants to do and is also very good at his calling. Monroe County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman introduced Lew-E at the kick-off convocation for the 2018-19 school year as an example of a student who has thought outside of the box to create a successful career that his teachers would never have imagined or trained him for specifically. Hickman urged school personnel to encourage creativity and innovation like Lew-E’s in their students, understanding that not all children fit in traditional career pathways. Although Lew-E travels through much of the year (he spent the week before 2018 American Clown Academy perform-

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ing at the Michigan State Fair), he still calls Monroe County home. His wife (and business partner) Rebecca and young son, Ashton, and even his parents are here. But he did not plan to bring the ACA to Monroe County. Lew-E first attended the ACA, then in Newark, Ohio at Camp O’Bannon, about six years ago. He then returned as part of the staff, teaching other clowns some of the skills he had perfected as they shared the camaraderie of their unique


profession. Then after camp last year, he got a call from the owners, “You take it over.” “After a lot of praying and searching, Rebecca and I did,” said Lew-E. He started looking for a location, contacting camps in a fivestate radius of Georgia. Then he thought of Georgia Baptist Association Camp Kaleo. He called Kaleo manager Mike Flowers and within 20 minutes things began to fall into place for the 2018 ACA. Camp Kaleo was finishing up its busy summer session at the right time; Tattnall Square Academy Band Camp was there the preceding week. The cabins, gym and other facilities were perfect, and the food service and maintenance staff were still available. “We were golden. It came together. Incredible!” said Lew-E. “That’s the great thing about living in Forsyth, the community helps.” The Academy teamed up with the Board of Education to present The Big Top Show, a showcase of the talented individuals studying and working with the ACA, at the Monroe County Schools Fine Arts Center. Performers were thrilled with the state-of-the-art sound system and lighting and the

huge stage that has room for over a hundred clowns dancing at one time. They were also thrilled that the 1,200 seat facility did not seem too small for all of the people who came to see the first local Big Top Show. Proceeds from the $5 admission to the show benefited Monroe County Schools. The stunning balloon sculptures alone were worth the price of admission. Twelve unique creations adorned the tiers on the sides of the auditorium, a huge, wearable balloon owl costume greeted those arriving in the lobby, and many of the clowns created custom-designed balloons for children before the performance. At the end of the night, balloons were released to cascade from the Fine Arts Center ceiling onto the excited youngsters below, and they were encouraged to take home all the balloons they could carry with them. The Big Top Show offered an hour when children could meet the dozens of clowns one-on-one in the lobby of the

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Playing is

TRAINING Fine Arts Center, with face painting, stickers, balloon toys and photo opportunities for the asking. Puns, jokes and the laughter they evoked bounced off the high walls of the Fine Arts Center. Then the show began with Kelly Ballagh professionally handling the duties of Master of Ceremonies. Ballagh is an instructor at ACA, a member of the International Clown Hall of Fame, a former Ringling Brothers lead clown and a Major League baseball player before that. His wife, Becky Ballagh, also an instructor at ACA with a long list of credentials, choreographed the show, creating the impressive experience of dozens of clowns dancing together on stage and down the aisles of the Fine Arts Center. ACA students auditioned for the chance to be the acts showcased in The Big Top Show. They varied from spinning plates, skits with punch lines, slapstick physical comedy and musical numbers. One clown blew up a giant pink balloon, then climbed inside it and eventually back out the other side. (You had to see it to understand.)

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The clowns clearly drew energy from being together at the Academy all week. After all, this is a group of people on a mission to make other people forget serious concerns and be happy, at least for a few minutes. In addition to a track for beginners, the Academy offers four specialized clown tracks: hospital, ministry, hometown and circus. The tracks work together in classes during part of each day at the Academy. There was also a group of four Santas, with two wives, who came to the Academy to hone some skills that help them relate to their audience. The Santas go to hospitals; so they brushed up on hospital hygiene and tips for entertaining children in a hospital environment. They learned some sleight of hand magic tricks that will help remind children how magical Santa is. They listened at a workshop about body position and comfort zones in relating to people. One Santa is at home in Knoxville, Tenn., another in New Albany, Ind., another in North Carolina, and another insisted that home is the North Pole. “Clowns and Santa are a lot alike—Everybody is our audience. Everyone is a child in the eyes of Santa,” said one Santa. “We engage people so that they relax and let down their guard. It’s especially important when you approach a patient in the hospital.” One of the Santas is an instructor at ACA. Leon McBryde has 40 years experience as a clown and is in the International Clown Hall of Fame, famous as Buttons the Clown with Ringling Brothers Circus. Why did he change from clown to Santa? “Two heart attacks and a replaced knee,” said McBryde. “I spent my life learning to communicate as an entertainer, then

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Who is L

ew-e (aka/Lee Andrews) is a 2010 graduate of Mary Persons who is achieving success doing what he loves. Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman introduced Lew-e as a student who thought outside the box and has an amazing career, albeit not a conventional one. Lew-e performs at over 300 shows per year and has performed in seven countries. Lew-e and his wife, Rebecca, own the second largest online clown supply company in the world and have purchased the American Clown Academy, which held its first camp in Monroe County this past summer. A highlight of the camp for locals was the opportunity to see some of the entertainment skills perfected with the help of talented instructors at “The Big Top Show� on on Aug. 16 at the Fine Arts Center. After Lew-e worked to delight the crowd, Lew-e presented a local fifth grader with private magic lessons from a professional magician, $250 worth of magic supplies and encouragement to continue doing what he loves to do.

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LEW-E? The mission of the NEW American Clown Academy is to assemble a group of experienced, creative,and committed mentors to help guide you in the advancement of your entertainment skills in order to elevate your personal performance level and, in doing so, enhance the public perception and historical reputation of our chosen art form. Welcome Home 2018

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Santa picked me as one of his helpers. The character is an extension of your original personality.” McBryde started entertaining professionally at age 22 and is 75 now. He has performed around the world. “Laughter is the same wherever you go. Clowns speak the international language of love,” he said. “You learn every day; green grows, ripe rots. All they see is the good stuff; they don’t see how many times I’ve failed.” Steve has been helping out Santa for 15 years. He got a call from UNC-Chapel Hill Children’s Hospital to visit its five pediatric floors as Santa one Christmas and has been hooked from that moment on. He works at Duke and in hospice settings and stays in character year-round. Asked if working with sick children gets difficult, he said that it helps that his wife is a pediatric nurse. He said he has come to terms with the needs of parents and children. He reaches out to bring them into his world and visit there with stories of the North Pole and elves. “To learn you pick out the best possible source. That’s

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why we’re here to learn the clown aspect,” said Santa. “We share the wonder and the joy and make the North Pole the most magical place. The first house down the lane is mine, the second house is the candy factory, and down there a ways is where the cookies are baked…You have to have the biggest imagination to bring it to life.” Avner Eisenberg, “Avner the Eccentric,” taught a workshop on body position and non-verbal communication at ACA. Now living on an island off the coast of Maine, he has performed and taught across the globe in vaudeville, on Broadway and in movies, including the title role in “Jewel of the Nile.” He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of fame in 2002 and is an author, hypnotist, mime and juggler. “The body reacts more quickly than the mind,” Eisenberg told his students, as he talked about going below the level of consciousness to establish rapport with the audience. “Turn off cultural bias, go back to the neutral place and this becomes easier to do.”


Jed Crouse is the co-director of American Clown Academy. When asked how he got into clowning, he answered that he is from Baraboo, Wisconsin, the home of Ringling Brothers Circus. He said he grew up around clowns, and “Mom says I’ve always been a clown.” He got into magic and found opportunities to perform as a magician for several years. Now he is an Associate Pastor of Youth and Outreach, but finds many ways to incorporate his clown and magic skills in ministry. He feels particular fellowship with those who come to the ministry track at the Clown Academy. “It’s so much fun!” said Crouse. Wes Brock is a local clown who focuses on ministry. He and Lee Andrews connected several years ago at a clown class in Toccoa when they noticed they were both wearing Mary Persons rings. He enjoys working with balloons and puppets and has used both in ministry for

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the brighter side the last 15 years. Then there were classes with less serious tones, like pie throwing and water spitting. “In all the comedy movies in the day, everyone has the spit take,” said Kelly Ballagh. “There’s the simple spit, the fountain, the everloving sprinkler, the whirly, the V, so many different ways.” He said the diaphragm built up by inflating balloons is the best muscle for spraying water hilariously. The class also included how to throw a bucket of water on someone for laughs: Hold the bottom and sides of the bucket and aim for the chest for the best splash. There are also special props like buckets with a disappearing bottom. And when throwing a pie, aim for the nose for the best splash. The class used about 70 shaving cream pies, and one huge three-layered cake, to practice the art. Instruction culminated with Lee Andrews’ little son, Ashton, getting to put a pie in Dad’s face. Then the hoses came out and washed away the shaving cream in time to begin practicing jokes with water. There are classes on make-up and props. Andrews said that 99 percent of the props that clowns use are made of polyfiber foam. Stephen Long, known as “Peachy Keene,” was the Number One prop maker in the world. When he passed away, he left his legacy of props and prop-making supplies to the American Clown Academy. At Camp Kaleo, the prop room is under the camp store. “Here is where we come to create madness,” said Andrews as he pointed to a giant ear, frog, cookie and phone. “Here’s where we come to play, build, get creative.” A lot of time at the academy is spent in mentoring and critiquing. Instructors break apart the routines and ideas that students bring to ACA with them and work to make a more developed, uniform entertainment piece. And there is plenty of free time at the Academy because some of the most beneficial learning comes when students interact with one another and their instructors. Everyone at ACA has a story, a very interesting story. Even when they are officially out of costume, there will be something unique. They are wearing clown shoes (They’re feet can’t really be that big) or multi-colored socks or a

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big flower. They suddenly begin juggling or playing the ukulele and singing in rhyme. Puns fly through almost every conversation, and there’s always a laugh bouncing about. Lee Andrews is a perfect leader for the group. His theatrical voice carries across the crowd when it is time to demand attention. Although decades younger than some of the clowns, he has years of experience in various aspects of clowning. And he is always attentive to what everyone else is experiencing. Lee says he has known he was meant to be a clown since he was two or three years old, and he created ‘Lew-E’ at that young age. He had entertained at schools, libraries, festivals, state fairs, churches, birthday parties and corporate events around the U.S. and in other countries. He has worked for Cole Brothers Circus and Cirque du Soleil’s Cirque du Monde and had a featured role in the Zac Brown Band video “Goodbye in Her Eyes.” He and his wife, Rebecca, bought Bubba Clown Supplies. com in 2015, one of the major online clown supply companies. Together they manage Lee Andrews Productions. Is Rebecca an important part of the business? “Good Lord! We wouldn’t be able to do it without her!


The staff is flying in today and she’s coordinating. She makes sure everyone learns and has a good time,” said Lee by phone from Michigan where he was performing at the State Fair the week before American Clown Academy. “It’s a crazy life, but we love it. It’s a rewarding profession.” Rebecca said she met Lee in art class at Mary Persons, first noticing him balancing a 10-foot ladder on his chin. “He had all the good candy” and they became friends. Then they were in the Mary Persons band together and starting dating. “We’ve been together ever since,” she said.

“If it wasn’t for the support of Monroe County, I couldn’t do what I do. Clowning is all about being real—vulnerable. Accept me for who I am,” said Lee. “It’s awesome to be able to share what I do. To share it with like-minded people [at ACA] is incredible!”

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Did you know there is a...

Local chicken farmer also raises hundreds of alligators By Diane Glidewell


amed the Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year in 2017 by the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents, Forsyth’s Wesley Ham is up to his elbows in alligators. The award goes to a successful farmer under 40, and Ham beat the age limit by over a decade. He says he fell in love with farm life by the time he was 7 or 8 and knew that it was the career for him. “I started working on the farm every day at 12 and doing tasks on my own by 16,” said Ham. “I was competent but always learning. I find a way to get things done.” Ham grew up in Monroe County, but his family lived in town until he was in 2nd or 3rd grade. They moved to the country, near his grandparents and other extended family, and he has never wanted to leave. He learned a lot about raising cattle from his

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family’s operation, and he still helps with the beef cattle and hay farming regularly. But it is as sole proprietor of W.C. Ham, Inc. that Ham has demonstrated the knowledge, determination and innovation needed to succeed in the demanding and risky business of farming. Ham owns 12 chicken houses with a capacity of 25,000 chicks each and an alligator house where he raises 500 gators at a time. Just out of high school, he agreed to run the operation, which was then eight chicken houses and the alligator house, for his uncle, Daryl Remick, who decided at age 46 to go to medical school. That was in 2008. After a year, Ham decided he was capable of running the farm and wanted to buy it. “It was a lot of debt load and responsibility for a 19-year-old,” said Ham. “It’s not only a job; it’s a way of life. I can’t work 9 to 5.” After 10 years, he knows he made the right decision. He said he has always been mechanically in-

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Did you know...

clined, which is a big asset in keeping things going on the farm. Mary Persons agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Bill Waldrep was a big influence in encouraging him to learn and practice skills he has used to make his operation successful. He said that his father, Phil Ham, uncles and friends in Smarr taught him a lot about farming and about how to run a farm. He likes to be able to take off a couple of days or an afternoon when he wants to, but in another sense he is always on call. The chicken houses have to be the right temperature every hour while there are chicks in them, from 92 degrees for the babies to 66 degrees for birds almost ready to harvest. They must constantly have water and feed available to grow properly. Fans must be working to circulate the air in the houses. Everything must be cleaned constantly, and dead birds must be removed daily. Most of the necessities are regulated by computer, but Ham must make sure the computer is working properly, adjusting to changes in weather and atmospheric conditions and responding to the growth rate of the chicks. He has recently bought four more chicken houses from a neighbor down the road and is familiarizing himself with the differences between those houses and the ones he has

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been running. Ham contracts with Perdue Farms to raise chicks. Perdue arrives with loads of chicks to fill the houses (200,000 chicks in eight houses), fills the silos with feed regularly and picks up chickens ready for processing in 38-44 days. In about 12-14 days that cycle begins again. While there are chicks in the houses, they must be cared for constantly, rain, shine, ice storm or heat wave. His four new houses will be on a slightly different rotation from the original eight. The turn-around time is based on the market demand for chicken. If those cows succeed in whetting appetites for Chic-fil-A, Ham gets a new batch of chicks sooner. Ham must remove the chicken litter from the houses. Six flocks of chickens in one house will produce about 160 to 175 tons of litter per year. This works well with his family’s beef cattle operation because the litter, high in nitrogen and pH neutral, is excellent fertilizer for pasture grass. Of course, there is a lot of labor involved in getting the litter from the chicken houses to the pastures. “We spread about 2,300 tons per year. Sometimes, it can be cheaper to use commercial fertilizer, like if the grass only needs nitrogen,” said Ham. He has implemented recommended practices to reduce chances of disease in the flocks. Water fowl are the main risk of carrying disease to commercial chickens; so chicks are never given surface water. There is a foot bath for anyone entering the chicken houses. In spite of the best management practices, there is always some death in chicken houses, and that’s where the alligator house comes in. What is a loss in the chicken houses becomes food and eventual profit in the Gator House at the end of the road below the eight chicken houses. At 50 ft. wide and 120 ft. long, it is a bit wider and shorter than the chicken houses. Ham’s Uncle Daryl built the gator house in 1999 for “mortality recycling.” It was built for 1,000 alligators, but has primarily been used for 500, which balances well with current chicken mortality rates. Ham said that Perdue came in with some technological advances over the years that has reduced the rates. Dead chicks are ground and frozen for feeding to the alligators. Commercial feed is added if needed, but Ham said the gators thrive on a straight diet of chicken. Alligator hatchlings come in a batch of 500 and stay for up to 36 months. They are only five or six inches long when they arrive; they leave when they are about six feet long. They usually leave about 100 at a time because they do not all grow at the same rate.

There are 10 separate pools in the gator house, each about 2-3 feet deep. As the gators grow, they are spread out among the pools so that they have more room. Periodically, it time for “gator sorting,” that is, catching up gators of similar size and moving them to a new pool. Ham and those who help him with this job almost all have some scars to show for it. Ham’s baby gators come from eggs that are harvested in the wild, primarily in Louisiana. Therefore, there is no control

over the genetics. Ham thinks this is the main reason he sees such a difference in the growth rate in the same group of baby alligators. One reason for sorting is that larger alligators will eat small ones. Gators eat proportionately to their size. Babies eat very little; in the wild they eat insects. “By the time they’re six feet, they eat a lot of chicken,” said Ham.

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Did you know... There is more value in the alligator hide than in the meat, although both are marketed, and Ham said there is little waste. He contracts with Mark Glass, who raises about 50,000 gators in Mitchell County, Ga., to market the hides and meat. The most valuable part of the alligator is the light colored smooth skin across its belly. In some gators part of this skin will be marred by a line from an umbilical-type birth attachment, decreasing its value. If the gators fight or injure themselves in any way and mark up their skin, it also decreases their value. If they have any fresh wounds, they will be put back for those to heal before they are slaughtered. Ham catches the alligators by hand, even the six-foot ones. When they have reached that size, they are killed on the farm with a cut to the spinal cord and inspected. Hides are graded for quality, with the value increasing by width. Most of the hides go to the fashion industry in Europe; the meat is marketed in the U.S. “It’s very specialized work,” he said. Does he have a favorite way to prepare gator meat? “Fried and blackened,” said Ham. “It’s like seafood, but it tastes like chicken. The taste of farm-raised gator is not as strong as the wild.” He said it is a white meat and pretty lean. Jim Shaw’s Seafood Grill in Macon and the Fish ’N Pig on Lake Tobesofkee serve alligator meat from Ham’s farm. Ham’s grandfather, Elmo Remick, also compared the taste of alligator meat to the taste of chicken. He said the processed alligator meat raised in Monroe County, in a clean environment, is mild. He said he tried wild alligator meat and it tasted like swamp. “All food is better fried, but you can grill it,” said Remick. He cooks alligator sausage for church breakfasts as a novelty, and the Vietnam Veterans booth at the Green Tomato Festival did well selling Alligator-on-a-Stick. Remick lives just down the road from the chicken houses

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and gator house, which are on land that Remick’s father bought in 1957, the year Remick graduated from high school. It was a dairy farm back then. Remick passed the bar exam and practiced law from his office on the farm until a fire at the office sent him to work for the State of Georgia. His son Daryl, who had worked at the chicken hatchery when he was in high school, built the chicken houses in about 1988 and then the gator house about 11 years later. “I was happy Wesley stepped up and kept it in the family,” said Remick. “Maybe that’s selfish of me. I have some mighty capable children and grandchildren. They amaze me.” Remick said that Ham and his brother Cody, who works with the family cattle operation, do most of the strenuous work with the gators, like catching them to move them between pools and catching the big ones for slaughter. Jose Garcia has helped care for the farm and the chicken houses and gators for about 25 years. Alberto Colin also works at the farm, and Smit Patel, a friend of Ham’s from Mary Persons, has been working with him this year. Other friends and family come to help, including Remick. Remick told of one daredevil friend who, for some unknown reason, was one of the few who never got a gator bite as a souvenir. “Dan Jeffers loved to get in and wrestle them,” said Remick. “There’s one man, two man and three man gators.” Remick said that he just “lost a fingernail” to a gator, but Ham had one rather serious bite to his arm. It prompted him to start catching the bigger gators with nooses instead of his bare hands. Ham said his Uncle Daryl, who was a doctor by that time, seemed to enjoy stitching him up on the kitchen table when he got bit; he said it has been a couple of years now and the scar is going away. He said that he thinks he may have kept the gator who bit him a little too long and it was becoming aggressive. He said it is easy to catch the little gators by hand,


and even if they try to bite they don’t latch on. But sometime after they reach three or four feet, they can do some damage if they bite. He tells anyone helping him to grab a noose instead of trying to catch gators with their hands if they don’t feel comfortable. And he wear gloves for gator sorting. The gators are much less aggressive when they are in water; they become agitated when they are taken out of the water. As Ham and those helping him wade into the gator pools, the alligators swim around the humans, not even showing much curiosity. Ham asks everyone to be quiet and not move around too much as he enters each pool to keep the gators he wants to catch as calm as possible. He also lowers the temperature of the pools, which makes the reptiles less active. The gators spend most of their time in the gator house in darkness, although some light filters through the cracks, but the flood light brought in to see them for sorting doesn’t seem to bother them. Their water is

kept warm enough so that they don’t hibernate, and they are fed once a day. They are always given a little more food than they eat so that they will not be tempted to fight over food or to turn the smallest gator in the pool into a snack. The pools are flushed and cleaned at least weekly. The run off goes to a retention pond below the gator house. The water from the pond could be used on pastures, but the amount of water used is not enough to need to lower it. Rumor is that one large gator lives in the pond. He (or she, it is hard to determine the sex of alligators and they don’t reach sexual maturity until they are about seven feet long) reportedly escaped shortly after the first load of little gators arrived at the farm and has been spotted in the retention pond occasionally ever since. Efforts to lure “Alli” Gator to the bank of the reservoir with a whole chicken carcass were unanswered. Either there were too many people around, he wasn’t hungry, or he didn’t want his picture taken. Alligator farms are mainly found in Louisiana and Florida,

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Did you know... although there are a few in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi as well as Georgia. There are about 11 licensed alligator farms in Georgia. There are stringent regulations on hunting wild alligators, and when eggs are collected for commercial farming, a percentage of the alligators hatched are returned to the wild. The U.S. is the top poultry producer in the world, and Georgia is the top poultry producer in the U.S. Ham said that in the most recent statistics he has seen (about 2012), if Georgia were a country, it would be No. 4 in the world in poultry production. Perdue Farms, which is based in Maryland, hatches the chicks that come to Ham’s farm in Forsyth and produces the feed it brings him to feed them at its mill in Forsyth. The finished chickens go from the Monroe County farm south to Perry for processing. Ham gives tours of his alligator farm periodically. Science classes from Macon’s Stratford Academy come out, and last November a group that included representatives of Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. David Perdue and Rep. Austin Scott, State Rep. Robert Dickey, two U.S.D.A. representatives, 11 Farm Bureau representatives and four members of Mary Persons FFA visited Ham’s farm along with Vaughn Farms and Sleepy Creek Farms, and Ham explained poultry production and aquaculture. Ham said he wants others, especially youth, to have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in agriculture. “So many people today are removed from food production. About 2 percent [of the population] produce for the rest,” said Ham. “We can get anything any time of the year now, but the trade off and risks of becoming a world market are that supporting the local becomes less important. It’s hard to compete with countries that don’t care about the environment.” As a farmer, every day is different for Ham—shoveling manure, working on financials, spending the day on the tractor, working on electronics, getting an alert at 2 a.m. that a controller in a chicken house isn’t working, figuring out why one of the gator pools is leaking and balancing things to have a life, too. He said he is always learning and is appreciative of those who have taught him, including his Uncle Jim Ham who passed away a couple of years ago. “Both sides of my family are involved in agriculture. I couldn’t have done it without mentors,” said Ham. “I’ve been on the shoulders of some pretty amazing people to get where I am.”

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Local artist makes a good idea look great By Diane Glidewell


he 2018 Leadership Monroe Class project of designing a “Fox Hunt� for downtown Forsyth was a good idea, but it became a much better one when local artist Patricia Devane Burns agreed to create the foxes that locals and visitors will be seeking on their hunt. The concept for the Forsyth Fox Hunt is that people, especially families, follow clues about the history and geography of the city to find six little foxes hiding at various spots around town. There is also one life-size bronze fox at Lee Street Park, next to the Welcome Center, to get you interested in the hunt and give you an idea of what you are hunting for.

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Animals like foxes are interesting, but when people infuse them with human characteristics and personalities that blend with their natural traits they can become magnetic to many of us. And that’s the idea behind the Forsyth Fox Hunt—inspiring people to walk around Forsyth and learn about it as they search for those wily little foxes that Pat Burns made. The Leadership Class named the foxes Doc, Bess, Rose, Libby, Tod-Lee, Thomas and Harris, tying the names to the clues of how to find them. The class members hope that interest in the foxes will grow so that they will inspire merchandise and mementoes like board games, T-shirts, children’s books, pins and pens. They would like to see the little foxes become mascots for Forsyth that will be ambassadors for the area. The Leadership class could not have found a more perfect artist for the task of creating the bronze foxes had they searched the country rather than the county. Burns has created drawings and paintings for many years, and her depictions of animals are immediately captivating. It is obvious that her powers of observation combine with her artistic skill for detail to capture what most of us only see subliminally for a moment, a glint in the eye, a flick of a tail, a way of frolicking, pouncing or relaxing. In 2013 Burns began a transition from two-dimensional art to sculpture. Enrolling in a class at Gordon College with master

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If you enjoy history, a little mystery, and like to walk, this is a fun activity for all ages. Please come down and join the hunt where you will discover the fun facts of Forsyth with your fox friends: Doc, Bess, Rose, Libby, Tod-Lee, Thomas, and Harris. If you’re a life-long Forsythian or just stopping by for a day visit, this scavenger hunt will be a wonderful learning experience for all who attempt to solve the clues of these mischievous mascots. The 2018 Leadership Monroe class decided to embark on a family-friendly project and thus was born “Forsyth Foxhunt”. The Forsyth Foxhunt is a scavenger hunt that uses clues to guide tourists and community members alike to various locations throughout the town square. The entire hunt is about 1.5 miles one way. Clues begin at the Forsyth Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) and continue to a variety of points of interest and historical significance along the town square and beyond. The clues are available online (https:// and in a hard copy brochure at the CVB. Each location that is found is marked by a small bronze sculpture, commissioned and designed by local artist Pat Burns. These furry fox friends are each individually named and they have a specific history lesson to share with the scavenger hunters who find them. Hunters are encouraged to post their pictures of the hunt on social media. The first official Forsyth Foxhunt will open in December of 2018 and will remain free to the public year-round. Local businesses and community sponsors will share in the delight of welcoming hunters and will display a Forsyth Foxhunt Sticker in their shop window to mark their partnership with this adventure. Leadership Monroe is proud to present the opening of an exciting, interactive, family-friendly community initiative, designed to highlight the rich history of Forsyth. Leadership Monroe is a program of the ForsythMonroe Chamber of Commerce that brings together a group of future leaders from all types of businesses in the community for a year-long program, designed to educate the participants. The leadership class is also challenged to create a project that will enrich the community and support future growth in Monroe County.

LEADERSHIP MONROE artist Marlin Adams, she found a love for working with clay and has since learned various techniques for turning clay models into more permanent types of sculptures, including the bronzes that the Leadership Class envisioned for the Fox Hunt. Burns said the finished bronzes of the foxes will come back from Utah in November. Resin models are with the Leadership Class now. She was not satisfied when she picked up the models in Atlanta; the silica had blurred some of the fine details that she wanted to show in the faces. “Foxes are such neat creatures,” said Burns. “They are whimsical but noble.” She emphasized the nobility in the bigger fox for Lee Street Park and focused on capturing the whimsy in the little foxes that would be hidden around town. “We want them to look natural on the landscape,” she said. “They will be anchored in concrete on threaded rods.” After the Leadership Class approved her fired clay and resin models, the molds were sent to the Baer Fine Art Foundry in Utah. She would have liked to have sent them to a foundry in Georgia but found it would be twice as expensive, supposedly because Georgia foundries have little competition. Burns said the Baer Foundry does a lot of work with fine arts and has an excellent reputation. Burns said she did a lot of research to see the essence of what she wanted to portray in a fox. She looked for videos of foxes online. She went to Dauset Trails Nature Center and watched the red foxes there. She has observed the red foxes that occasionally make their appearance on her Monroe County property. Burns even took care of a gray fox for a while. She got it when it was six weeks old, helped it rehabilitate, got it shots and medical care and released it back to the wild. Burns has always loved animals, especially watching them. When she was 4 or 5-years-old she would visit her grandparents and watch cows in the pasture for hours, fascinated by them. She has raised many possums and “birds of every ilk” as

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well as lots of rabbits and chickens. She presently has six cats, one dog and a yard full of chickens. “I’ve been through everything,” she said. “If it was living, breathing, I’d bring it home.” She did several two-dimensional drawings of foxes as well as three-dimensional preliminary pieces as she prepared to design the foxes for the Forsyth Fox Hunt. “Animals are different from people; each animal has a different construction,” she said. “Most artists see with a different eye—That would make a great painting or sculpture!” She said that sometimes a photo is perfect. A photo may be the only way to make nature believable; if an artist painted the hues of a sunset, it would seem contrived compared to the reality. It is difficult to capture motion and emotion in clay, but it can be done, and Burns likes the challenge. “Each medium [in art] has its place,” she said. “Things I respond to make the best sculptures. The clay has memory. It portrays what I was feeling when I created it.” One of Burns’ bestknown works is of Zoo Atlanta orangutan Chantek, who passed away at age 39. She observed him and she talked to his curators about him extensively. Chantek knew sign language and talked with his curators. He played games with them and made them guess what he was thinking before he would confirm it. His face was very expressive, but his hands were important to Burns because of the sign language. She also sculpted gorillas at Zoo Atlanta and realized by observing how very different one was from another. Burns’ favorite among the little foxes is the fellow stretching himself. He is natural and playful. She is also partial to the one that is sweetly curled up to rest. Burns has been a full-time artist since she retired from the business world in 2008. From painting on canvas, she painted on stone and then moved into sculpture beginning in 2013. She has recently tried printmaking, including some interesting results with ghost printing, which is done after the primary print. But she has found the most fulfillment in working with clay.


“There are so many ways you can finish a piece,” she said. “You are more connected when you do research. It’s nice to breathe the same air as the animals, to bring it back to the studio with you. You can connect your brain and heart together.” Burns said bronzing is an expensive process, but it will last forever, even exposed to the elements outdoors. She loves clay but it breaks; resin is something in-between in both price and durability. The bronzing process, which will take place for the foxes at the Baer Foundry in Utah, will take 4-6 weeks of going from mold to model to shell to wax to artist remodeling. The piece may be dipped a dozen times in creating the hard shell. Trained artists will use blow torches to bring back the details of the model in the finished piece. There are expenses for equipment, people and materials in the very hands-on process. While completing the commission for the 2018 Leadership Monroe Class, Burns has continued to create other art. Her husband built a studio for her sculpture work in a building outside their home, and she has a studio in the house for her

paintings. Works of art on the porch and in the yard identify it as an artist’s residence. Burns has nine pieces entered in the Georgia State Fair at Perry. She will serve as Artist in Residence at the State Fair Oct. 13 and 14. She will be working on a sculpture on site that will demonstrate the stages a sculptor goes through and will encourage people to try sculpting. Last year Burns won 1st place at the Georgia State Fair in the Open Professional Sculpture category with a sculpture of a friend’s service dog entitled “Ever Watchful.” She also won two other first places, a second place and a third place. In 2017 she exhibited and/or competed in six other juried shows and has been part of at least four shows in 2018, with two more select presentations scheduled this year. She has won numerous awards in on-line competitions in 2017 and 2018, adding to her earlier accomplishments. “Art is a by-product of who you are, a way of communication,” said Burns. “It’s like an itch you have to scratch. It’s rewarding when something comes out like you want.”

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Forsyth - Monroe County C h a m b e r

A national survey of 2,000 people reveals that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy because two-thirds of consumers believe that such companies use good business practices, are reputable, care about their customers, and are involved in the community. It’s no surprise that the Chamber’s mission aligns with these attributes - to stimulate and promote Community, Commerce and Tourism. The study, conducted by The Schapiro Group, an Atlantabased strategic consulting firm, found consumer perceptions of chamber members to be positive in many ways: • When consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. • Consumers show a 73% increase in awareness of a small business if it’s a member of a chamber of commerce. • Companies enjoy a 68% increase in its reputation when consumers know they are a member of the chamber of commerce.

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o f

C o m m e r c e


he Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce strives to help its members by offering resources and programs to Inspire, Support and Lead, and to facilitate business relationships and opportunities. This includes our monthly Eggs & Issues, Business After Hours, ribbon-cuttings to welcome new businesses and new members, and advocate on behalf of our members. Our membership represents more than 300 diverse businesses, civic organizations, educational institutions, and individuals. We have a dynamic, engaging, welcoming and interconnected business community, where the collective experiences of our members are leveraged for mutual advantage. Investing in Monroe County’s communities through Chamber membership supports a program of work that includes community development, education and workforce development, governmental affairs, membership development, as well as business attraction, retention, and expansion Small businesses represent the largest segment of the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce’s membership and the study indicates that chamber membership has consistent and powerful benefits for small business members – if consumers are aware that the small business is involved with its local chamber. We have many ways that you can let consumers know that you are a member of the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. One of the best things to do once you’ve joined the Chamber - or if you are a long-standing member who needs a refresher on all that your Chamber offers - is to attend a member kickstart orientation. We host these twice a year to give our members a full overview of the benefits of membership.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Steve Coleman Chairman

Keith Anthony Vice Chairman

Ben Thomason Secretary/Treasurer

Nipper Bunn Past Chairman

DIRECTORS Kelly Hiers Mike Corrigan Chrissy Ham Donovan Stewart Barr Michael Bittick Wes Cone Rachel Garza

LOCATION: 10 W Chambers Street Forsyth, GA 31029

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Hopkins & Associates Mrs. Rachel Garza (478) 994-1820 68 N. Jackson St. Forsyth GA 31029

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ProBiz Media, LLC Mr. Browning Sandusky (478) 951-0374 1232 Montpelier Road Forsyth GA 31029


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Willingham Farm, LLC Mr. Lee Willingham 478-994-6745 590 Dames Ferry Rd. Forsyth GA 31092

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Mincey & Sherlock, LLC Mr. Joel Sherlock (478) 836-3148 16 E. Agency St Roberta GA 31078

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Auction Company Hudson & Marshall Mr. Steve Slocumb 478-743-1511 10761 Estes Rd. Macon GA 31210

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Carpet Cure Inc. Mr. Cory McCook (478) 405-9138 115 Zebulon St Barnesville GA30204-1150 Jani-King of Macon Brandon Guice 478-314-3940 544 Mulberry Street Suite 418 Macon Georgia 31201 GLEAM Cleaning Pros, L.L.C. Mrs. Tonya Gentle 478-994-0515 144 Brookwood Ave. Jackson Georgia 30233

Cleanup and Restoration Servpro of Thomaston, Forsyth and Ft. Valley Mrs. Deana Boone (478) 956-1214 211 Tift College Dr Suite 204 Forsyth GA 31029 Clubs & Non-Profits Better Business Bureau of Central GA & the CSRA, Inc. Mr. Kelvin Collins (478) 742-7999 277 MLK Jr. Blvd., Suite 102 Macon GA 31201 Forsyth Womans Club Mrs. Karen Leverett PO Box 922 Forsyth GA 31029 Forsyth-Monroe County Rotary Club Dr. Mike Hickman (478) 994-5146 Forsyth GA 31029

FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Hubbard Alumni Association Mr. Herbert Gantt (478) 992-9562 PO Box 671 Forsyth GA 31029

Friends of Jarrell Plantation Ms. Judy Comer (478) 986-5172 711 Jarrell Plantation Rd. Juliette GA 31046

Harbin Repairs Mr. Jordan Harbin (478) 992-3508 27 N Lee St Forsyth GA 31029

UGA Extension-Monroe County Ms. Caitlin Bennett 478-994-7014 90 Martin L. King Jr. Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity Mrs. Tammy Rafferzeder (478) 994-6411 147 Circle Street Forsyth GA 31029


Monroe County Historical Society Mr. Ralph Bass (478) 994-5070 126 E. Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029

America’s Home Place Todd Phipps 478-474-9070 4580 Sheraton Drive Macon GA 31210

Computer Services Infinity Network Solutions Mr. Brian Betzel (478) 475-9500 93 Gateway Drive Macon GA 31210

Exchange Club of Forsyth Mr. Tom Branch (478) 994-6489 610 Old Popes Ferry Road Juliette GA 31046 Friends of High Falls State Park Mr. Bud Queen (478) 394-3743 76 High Falls Rd Jackson GA 30233

Najera Design + Marketing Mr. Larry Najera (478) 361-4528 401 Cherry Street Suite 310 Macon GA 31201

Ivey Builders Stephanie Ivey 478-994-9246 4169 Johnstonville Rd Forsyth GA 31029 Hunt Development Inc. Mr. Donny Hunt 478-256-5668 5877 HWY 41 Bolingbroke GA 31004

Stroud Industries, dba Stroud and Company Mr. Charles G. Stroud 478-743-5097 1161 5th Street Macon GA 31201

Contractor Renfroe Construction Company Mr. Jimmy Melton (478) 471-9110 4611 Ivey Drive Ste. 400 Macon GA 31206 Hanson Aggregates Southeast Mrs. Susan Williamson 478-994-3017 4956 Highway 41 South Bolingbroke Georgia 31004 American Craftsman Homes Mrs. Shawnee Williams (678) 776-7412 120 Park 42 Drive Suite A & B Locust Grove GA 30248

Practicing PracticingLaw LawSince Since1984 1984

Practicing PracticingLaw LawSince Since1974 1974

Molly MollyHudson HudsonWatson Watson

A preeminent legal practice carrying the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register. Our firm is proud to trace its heritage for over 100 years to its roots in the 1890s.

87 N. Lee Street • Forsyth, GA 31029 478-994-5171 •

Walthall Oil Co. Mr. Phillip Sullivan 478-781-1234 2510 Allen Rd Macon GA 31202

We are committed to deliver the highest quality and most professional land surveying services to the citizens of Monroe County and middle Georgia. Please call us for your quote today.

Retired Retired1972 1972– 2018 - 2018

Front Row L-R: Katie Sykes, Molly Watson, Cheryl Bennett Middle Row L-R: Bob Harris, Jennifer Palacio & Emily Gay Back Row: Bobby Melton & Carol Sanders Not pictured: Charles B. Haygood & Larry P. Lynch

Convenience Store/ Gas Station

Monroe County Since 1997

Practicing PracticingLaw LawSince Since1998 1998

CharlesCharles B. Haygood, Jr. Jr. Larry B. Haygood, Larry P. P. Lynch Lynch Retired Retired 1968 - 1968 2018– 2018

Kent Mechanical, Inc Ms. Charleen Kent 478-994-1106 1095 W Main St. Forsyth GA 31029


Attorneys at Law C.C.Robert RobertMelton Melton

Montego Pools, LLC Mr. Scott Dolan (404) 642-4528 1367 Hwy 41 South, Suite C Forsyth GA 31029

Upward Construction Ms. Wendy Sherlock (478) 994-6263 7250 Alexander Court Bolingbroke GA 31004

Haygood, Lynch, Harris, Melton & Watson, LLP Robert RobertL. L.Harris Harris

Vulcan Materials Company Mr. Barry Lawson (478) 477-3833 3582 Pea Ridge Rd Juliette GA 31046

Specializing In:

• boundary surveys • subdivision surveys, • topographic mapping, • construction layout • road design

2016 2017 Best Surveyor voted by readers of the Monroe County Reporter




38 E. Johnston St. • Forsyth , GA



Serving Middle Georgia Since 2001


Carpet Cure Inc is owned and operated by Cory and Margaret McCook. Founded in 2001, Carpet Cure provides professional cleaning for carpet, tile and grout, upholstery, fine fabrics and oriental rugs. Carpet Cure is a distinguished company because of their reputation, experience, education, and guarantee. They are referred by middle GA's best floor covering experts and have found favor with realtors needing help in selling a home. Carpet Cure is quite decorated as a service company. They received the #1 Best in Business Award for Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Macon and Warner Robins • Brakes in 2008 and 2009, Best of Monroe County for 2013 and 2014, Best of the Best by the • Alignments Macon Telegraph & News for 2012, 2013 & 2014, Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2012 and 2013, and has an A + rating with the BBB. • Radiators Carpet Cure has vast education and experience and is one of the few textile • Tune-Ups cleaning companies in middle Ga certified by the country’s leading body of certifica• Timing Belts tion, the IIRC (The Clean Trust). Carpet Cure specializes in pet stain and odor ACremoval SERVICE and is certified for odor control services. Special urine detection tools allow • Batteries them to pinpoint problem 2 YR. WARRANTY ON areas and treat the source. For more information on • Oil Changes treatments offered&asLABOR part of the odor control service, visit their website at NEW A/C PARTS • Towing Carpet Cure founded the Middle Ga Rug Spa in November of 2008 in Forsyth. They now have a larger plant in Barnesville with • Minor & Major Mechanical Work multiple drop off and pick up locations from Perry to Forsyth. With two Master Rug cleaners on staff, The Middle Ga Rug Spa cleans rugs from around the world and We handle collision insurance claims offers pick up and delivery each week. Their website is

“A 3rd Generation Family Business” Computer Diagnostic Service


Professional cleaning for carpet, rugs, tile and upholstery.

Choose the Best Carpet & Rug Cleaning Company!

We Stand Behind Everything We Do! Parts & Labor

478-405-9138 478-994-1840 198 Harold G. Clarke Pkwy • (I-75 Exit 185) • Forsyth, GA

2014 Best Carpet/Rug Cleaning voted by readers of the Monroe County Reporter

Cory McCook, Owner

Cory McCook, own

FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Welcome Food Mart Ashu Raina (478) 993-2077 37 South Jackson Street Forsyth GA 31029 Dance Studio Instruction T & K Studios Ms. Kim Pitman (770) 775-1066 160 Mimosa Lane Jackson GA 30233



Southern Smiles Dr. Stanley J. Hickman, D.M.D. (478) 992-9104 275 N. Frontage Road Forsyth GA 31029

Monroe County Middle School Dr. Efrem Yarber (478) 994-6186 66 Thornton Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

Ambrose Pediatric Dentistry Dr. John Ambrose Jr. (478) 992-6501 120 North Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Central Georgia Technical College Dr. Tatrabian Jackson 478-757-3400 3300 Macon Tech Dr. Macon GA 31206

Development Authority Dance With Donna Mrs. Donna Brown (770) 480-6712 108 Stonefield Forsyth GA 31029 Simply Dance Mrs. Katie Whitley 478-397-5746 10 E. Johnston Street Forsyth GA 31029

Forsyth Main Street & Downtown Development Authority Ms. Tammie Pierson (478) 994-7747 68 North Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029 Development Authority of Monroe County Mr. Bo Gregory (478) 994-9239 10 W. Chambers Street Forsyth GA 31029

Middle Georgia State University Mr. Albert Abrams 478-471-2712 100 University Parkway Macon GA 31206 Mary Persons High School Dr. Jim Finch 478-994-2812 300 Montpelier Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

Monroe County Board of Education Dr. Mike Hickman 478-994-2031 25 Brooklyn Ave Forsyth GA 31029

Rock Springs Christian Academy Ms. Jennifer Symmes 678-692-0192 219 Rock Springs Road Milner Ga 30257

Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary Mr. Jay Johnston 478-994-7066 558 Hwy. 83 South Forsyth GA 31029

MCACE Monroe County Adult and Community Education Ms. Lisa Lee (478) 992-2880 PO Box 712 Forsyth GA 31029

Thomas G. Scott Elementary Dr. Richard Bazemore Ed. D. 478-994-3495 70 Thornton Rd. Forsyth GA 31029 K B Sutton Elementary Mrs. Becky Brown (478) 994-9906 1315 Hwy. 83 N ForsythGA 31029

Gordon State College Foundation Ms. Rhonda Toon 678-359-5739 419 College Drive Barnesville GA 30204 Electrician Residential & Commercial Piedmont Electrical Services, Inc. Mr. Danny Newton (478) 994-1827 1042 Benson Ham Rd Forsyth GA 31029


1 East Main St. • Forsyth • (478) 994–1000 •


Employment Agency Certitemp Inc. Mrs. Lisa Wheeler (478) 974-0086 180 Willingham Drive Suite E Juliette GA 31046 Randstad Staffing Ms. Jennifer Frankum (478) 757-0140 207 Tom Hill Sr Blvd. Macon GA 31210

Harbin Engineering, PC Mr. Steve Harbin (478) 992-9122 41 West Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029

Magical Mini Celebrations Tine Martin 478-994-7387 195 Klopfer Road Juliette Georgia 31046

The Gavi Estate and Barn Mrs. Kay Milliner-Kitchens (470) 234-9745 2845 Highway 42 N Forsyth GA 31029

Larry Burney Investment Advisor Mr. Larry Burney 478-992-6867 142 Fairway Run Forsyth Ga 31029


Pin Strikes Tim Mullen 706-599-1921 4318 Sheraton Drive Macon GA 31210


Bolder Investment Group, LLC Mr. Todd Tolbert (478) 471-1035 1701 Bass Rd Ste 200 Macon GA 31210

River Forest Golf Club Ms. Brittany Montgomery 478-508-2596 One Club House Drive Forsyth Georgia 31029


Wells Fargo Advisors Mr. Tom Baugh (478) 471-1111 1425 Bass Rd. Suite 100 Macon GA 31210

Engineers/Architects Kornegay Engineering, Inc. Mr. Garry Kornegay (478) 745-6161 363 Pierce Avenue Macon GA 31204

Meadows Gun Club and Shooting School Ms. Becky Rogers (478) 994-9910 1064 Rumble Road Forsyth GA 31029

Mitigation Management Mr. Matt Hughes 770-363-5770 96 South Berner Avenue Forsyth Georiga 31029

Raymond James Financial Services Brad Edenfield 478-994-0084 8129 Rivoli Rd Box 508 Bolingbroke Ga 31004

The Piedmont Group of Central Georgia Mr. Wes Cone (478) 960-0461 4931 Riverside Dr Suite 300B Macon GA 31210 Financial/Lending

Event Facility Fry Design Group Mr. Scott Fry (478) 737-3898 15 Stornoway Court Macon GA 31210

Charity’s Got IT! Contracting (dba INDNGRL Entertainment) Ms. Charity Atkins (678) 680-8481 1878 Richmond Hill Drive Lawrenceville GA 30043

Monroe County Conference Center Ms. Karinne Flemming (478) 992-8600 475 Holiday Circle Forsyth GA 31029

Middle Georgia’s


Dance Band

Call To Book Your Shindig Today!

Formed in April 2009, The Fabulous Boomers Band is a professional eightpiece group that features the classic oldies, beach music, progressive country, and contemporary adult hits. The Fab Boomers play all your favorite tunes from the 1960s forward.

• Wedding Receptions • Class Reunions • Fraternity Parties • Corporate Events Conventions • Birthday Parties


407 Plantation Dr. Macon, GA 31210

Home: (478) 474-7339 Cell: (478) 461-2351

Christy Capital Management Nick Morgan (478) 247-3139 2939 McManus Rd Macon GA 31210

1st Franklin Financial Mr. David Davis 478-994-9911 109 D Patrol Road Forsyth GA 31029

FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Security Finance Mr. Talmul Parker (478) 994-2505 100 N Bennett St Ste 2 Forsyth GA 31029

Garden Center Landscaping

Florist Flowers By Helen Mrs. Angie Ellis (478) 994-2611 9 W. Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029

AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA Mr. Terrell Selph (706) 647-8991 620 N. Church Street Thomaston GA 30286 Fitness Fitco Healthclub, LLC. Mr. Daniel Stickler (478) 993-2202 833 Patrol Road Forsyth GA 31029 Flooring Central Carpet Mrs. Angela Bullock (478) 471-0805 4492 Knight Rd Macon GA 31220

Monroe County Commissioners Mrs. Anita Buice 478-994-7000 38 West Main Street Forsyth GA 31029

Funeral Services

Cedar Pond Nursery & Landscaping Mr. Ryan Davies (770) 584-0102 428 Forsyth-Yatesville Road Culloden GA 31016

Monroe County Memorial Chapel Mr. Spanky Beck (478) 994-4266 86 West Main Street Forsyth GA 31029

Mossy Corner Nursery & Country Market Mrs. Barbara Woodward (478) 808-0513 3131 Hwy 41 South Forsyth GA 31029



Georgia Public Safety Training Center Ms. Judy Couch (478) 993-4000 1000 Indian Springs Drive Forsyth GA 31029

Cash Liquidations Mr. Alan Moore (478) 992-9901 684 Indian Springs Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

City of Culloden Ms. Lisa Elder (478) 885-2249 Main St. Culloden GA 31016

Senator John F. Kennedy Mr. John Kennedy 404-656-7454 109 State Capital Road Macon Ga 31208

City of Forsyth Ms. Janice Hall (478) 994-5649 26 N. Jackson St. Forsyth GA 31029

Al Burrus Correctional Facility Warden James Payne (478) 994-7500 P.O. Box 5849 Forsyth GA 31029

Department of Corrections Mr. Tim Williams (404) 656-4661 300 Patrol Road Forsyth GA 31029

Robert Dickey State Rep District 140 Mr. Robert Dickey 478-836-4362 P.O. Box 10 Musella GA 31064 Dale Washburn State Rep District 141 Mr. Dale Washburn 478-477-2324 3040 Riverside Dr, Suite C-2 Macon GA 31210 Susan Holmes, State Representative, District 129 Mrs. Susan Holmes (706) 468-6085 692 College Street Monticello GA 31064 U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson Ms. Laura Gower (770) 661-0999 3625 Cumberland Blvd Suite 970 Atlanta GA 30339

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Timber Sales - Timber Inventories Timber & Wildlife Habitat Plans Hunting Leases


Rural Properties Residential Commercial

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JOEL VINSON & ASSOCIATES, INC. Forestry, Appraisals & Real Estate Services JOEL R. VINSON, SR., President

5 North Lee Street P. O. Box 1491 Forsyth, GA 31029 Assn. of Consulting Foresters



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Visit us at the Welcome Center ysrof/moc.koobecaf 68 N. LEE ST. • FORSYTH, GA 31029 • 478.994.7747 OPEN MONDAY- FRIDAY 8AM TO 5PM


Office: (478) 994-1078 Cell: (478) 214-1851 Fax: (478) 994-0880

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BUSINESS DIRECTORY Office of Congressman Austin Scott Mr. Slayten M. Carter (478) 971-1776 230 Margie Drive, Suite 500 Warner Robins GA 31088 Middle Georgia Regional Commission Ms. Laura Mathis (478) 751-6160 175-C Emery Highway Macon GA 31217 Office of Senator David Perdue Mr. Greg Ziesenhene (404) 865-0087 191 Peachtree Street NE Suite 3250 Atlanta GA 30303 Office of the District Attorney, Towaliga Judicial Circuit Mr. Jonathan Adams (770) 504-2407 625 W. 3rd Street STE 8 Jackson GA 30233



Piggly Wiggly Mr. Wesley Littleton (478) 994-8481 171 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Monroe County Hospital Mrs. Lorraine Smith 478-994-2521 88 Martin Luther King Jr Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

Hobo Joe’s Mr. Trey Brown (478) 957-4487 7231 Hwy 42 S Culloden GA 31016

Macon Occupational Medicine Ms. Breanna Bassett (478) 751-2900 124 3rd Street Macon GA 31201

Hair Salon

Diagnostics Monroe Navicent Health Ms. Cynthia Busbee (478) 993-9900 120 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

West Mane Salon Mrs. Kelly Hiers (478) 994-3313 18 West Main Street Forsyth GA 31029 Hardware/ Building Supplies Dodd Builders Supply, Inc. Mr. Mike Dodd (478) 994-6403 63 Harold G. Clarke Pkwy. Forsyth GA 31029

Home Instead Senior Care Ms. Shannon Bell (478) 477-5501 2940 Riverside Drive Suite 103 Macon GA 31204

Royal Baby Doula Mrs. Chelsia Ogletree (504) 570-0013 113 Forest Overlook Drive Forsyth GA 31029 US Renal Care Forsyth Dialysis Kellie Crumpton 4789946488 91 MLK Jr. Dr. Forsyth Georgia 31029 Care Connect Health Ms. Jamie Crozier 229-273-8881 P.O. Box 39825 Richaland, GA 39825 Heating & Air R & R Repairs and HVAC Mr. Eddie Rowland (478) 974-0054 500 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Head Heating and Air Conditioning Mr. Greg Head (478) 992-0044 115 Industrial Park Road Forsyth GA 31029 M & W Heating and Air, LLC Mr. Mark McCranie (478) 935-3190 8305 Eisenhower Parkway Lizella GA 31052 Hotel/Motel New Forsyth Inn Mr. Arun Patel 478-994-5161 130 N. Frontage Rd. Forsyth GA 31029 Comfort Suites Ms. Cathy Bannister (478) 994-9774 343 Harold G. Clarke Parkway Forsyth GA 31029

FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Holiday Inn Express Mr. Ajay Patel (478) 994-9697 520 Holiday Circle Forsyth GA 31029 LaQuinta Forsyth Ms. Tressie Temple (478) 885-2500 400 Russell Parkway Forsyth GA 31029 Human Resources Middle Georgia Consortium, Inc. Ms. Amy Varnum (478) 953-4771 124 Osigian Blvd Ste A Warner Robins GA 31095 Precision Hiring and Development Mr. Larry Breed 478-994-3219 3682 Johnstonville Road Forsyth GA 31029

Individual Ham, Benson and Ruth Mr. Benson Ham 478-994-6042 PO Box 403 Smarr GA 31086 Donald J. Daniel Mr. Donald Daniel 478-994-1312 288 Blount Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

Isabelle Waldrep Tanner Mrs. Isabelle Waldrep Tanner (478) 957-4716 167 W. Main Street Forsyth GA 31029

Owens Insurance Agency Mr. Rick Owens (478) 994-1515 16 E. Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029

Modern Woodmen of America Ms. Montene Carroll (478) 361-8616 5263 Mt. Pleasant Church Rd. Macon GA 31216

Michael Bittick Mr. Michael Bittick 478-808-5658 104 Stonefield Drive Forsyth Georgia 31029

State Farm Insurance - Osborne Mr. Steve Osborne (478) 994-1041 80 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth GA 31029

State Farm - Tommy Johnston Mr. Tommy Johnston (478) 992-9945 281 Tift College Drive Forsyth Georgia 31029

Insurance Agency

Tapley & Associates Insurance Mr. Greg Tapley (478) 471-7655 885 Wimbish Road Macon GA 31209

State Farm - Charlie Pelt Mr. Charlie Pelt (478) 994-9600 12 E. Johnston Street Forsyth GA 31029

Secure Health Plans of Georgia Mr. Al Ertel (478) 314-2420 577 Mulberry Street Suite 1000 Macon GA 31201

Farmers InsuranceThe Megan Mays Agency Ms. Megan Mays 478-974-1819 105 Patrol Rd Suite D Forstyth Georgia 31029

George and Jeannine Berry Mr. George Berry 478-994-2754 1961 Collier Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

AllState - Jane Pennington Mrs. Jane Pennington (478) 994-0850 57 South Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

William H. Trigg Mr. Bill Trigg (478) 394-1109 779 Dames Ferry Road Forsyth GA 31029

Health Planning Associates Mrs. Donna Davis (478) 471-1220 125 Plantation Center Drive #750 B Macon GA 31210

Tolbert and Associates Mrs. Stacy Tolbert (478) 471-1035 1701 Bass Rd Ste 200 Macon GA 31210

8175 Rivoli Rd. Bolingbroke GA 31021 (Behind Southern Charm General Store)


(478) 342-2251



51 W. Johnston St • Forsyth, GA. 31029 • 478-993-2183 Hours: Tues - Fri 10–6 & Sat 10–4

Southern Insurance Partners Mr. Daniel Stickler (478) 238-1199 385 Tift College Dr Forsyth GA 31029

The place to find yarn, tools and instruction on knitting and crocheting. Join a yarn therapy group. Tue 2-7 • Wed 10-4 • Fri 12-5 • Sat 12-4 • Closed Sun, Mon & Thur

We Monogram Jewelry, Clothing, Wallets, Handbags, Caps, you name it! Come in and see all we have to offer! Visit Our Gift Shop!

See us for... Monogramming in Vinyl & Embroidery T-Shirts, Clothes, Jewelry, Home Decor & Home Fragrances

Looking to Buy or Sell? Call

Maricha Fry

Cell Office

478-737-4461 478-746-2000 Ext. 313

2618 Riverside Dr. Macon, GA 31204


Interior Design


Navy & Gray Designs Mrs. Lindsey Childs (706) 553-1205 1774 Maynards Mill Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

Bunn Logging, Inc. Mr. Nipper Bunn (478) 214-7045 274 Frank Bunn Dr Forsyth GA 31029



Middle GA Property Enhancement Mr. Phillip Bunn (478) 808-0691 459 Bunn Road Forsyth GA 31029

PMC Mr. Walter Alexander 478-994-2848 240 Industrial Park Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

Turf Magic, LLC. Mr. Jason Dorsey (478) 342-1689 506 River Overlook Forsyth GA 31029

Southern Forest Industries, Inc. Mr. Matt Strickland (478) 994-0000 3794 Old Macon Road Forsyth GA 31029

Martial Arts

Perdue Farms, Inc. Mr. Tim Little (478) 994-7800 133 Industrial Park Road Forsyth GA 31029

Prim Industrial Contractors, Inc. Mr. David Prim 478-742-0420 10724 Estes Rd Bolingbroke GA 31004


Transportation Services, Inc. Ms. Natalie Butler (478) 994-2188 10986 Hwy 87 Juliette GA 31046

Mobile Truck & Tire Service J & K Mobile Service, LLC Mr. Jeff Ayer

Gresco Utility Supply Mrs. Kimberly DiPonzio (478) 315-0850 1135 Rumble Road Forsyth GA 31029

D.I.M. Landscape, LLC. Silas Peed 478-808-1243 23 Cabaniss Ave. Forsyth GA 31029

Specialty Power Windows Mr. Robby Whitehead 478-994-9248 140 Industrial Park Drive Forsyth GA 31029

Okinawan Karate School Mr. Michael Brewster 478-994-0160 20 E. Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029 Mental Health and Recovery

Pallet One of Florida, Inc. Mr. Delynn Dykes (478) 994-4060 3794 Old Macon Road Smarr GA 31086

River Edge Behavioral Health Center Mrs. Vickie Welker 478-994-7600168 Old Brent Rd Forsyth GA 31029

Encore Plastics Mr. Tim Roberts (478) 994-0702 165 Industrial Park Rd Forsyth GA 31029

Towaliga Recovery Services Mrs. Patricia Gavel (770) 358-5029 130 Library Street Barnesville GA 30204

(478) 955-1161 133 Harold G. Clark Parkway Forsyth GA 31029 Newspaper The Monroe County Reporter Mr. Will Davis 478-994-2358 50 N. Jackson Street Forsyth GA 31029 Non-Profit Community Care Council, Inc. Ms. Donna Davis (478) 471-1220 Ext. 302 52 W Adams St Forsyth GA 31029

8/18 AD.qxp_Layout 1 8/13/18 11:16 Page 1

Forsyth United Methodist Church Fashions You’ll Love to Wear Accessories • Jewelry • Shoes

68 W. Johnston Street • Forsyth, GA 31029 In downtown–Just Off the Courthouse Square

(478) 994-5706

19 E. Johnston Street, Forsyth, GA 31029 (478) 993-2281

Tues-Fri 11am - 7pm • Saturday 10am - 4pm Closed Sun & Mon

STARR STARR Heating & A/C, Inc.

A Full Service Salon Offering the Latest Styles & Products Kelly McCook Hiers, Owner

west mane s





18 West Main Street Forsyth, GA 31029


We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units

Serving Monroe County & Surrounding Areas for over 40 years

Heating & A/C, Inc. Free Estimates Financing Available

We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units

Juliette Road• Forsyth, GA

Serving Monroe County & 478-994-6127 Surrounding Areas for over 40Ga.Reg.CU years 401419

Free Estimates Financing Available Juliette Road• Forsyth, GA


We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units Serving Monroe County & Surrounding Areas for over 40 years FREE ESTIMATES FINANCING AVAILABLE

Reporter the Monroe County

50 N. Jackson St. • Forsyth, GA 31029


Freeman Funeral Home 26 Brentwood Place • Forsyth, GA 31029 478-994-6483 • 478-994-6576 Serving Each Family With Equal Respect

Voted 2018 Best Funeral Home by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter

Beatrice Freeman, Funeral Director James Freeman, Jr., Funeral Director


• Full Service Collision Center • 40 Yrs. Combined Experience • Certified Technicians • We Work With All Insurance Companies • FREE Estimates!

177 N. Indian Springs Dr. • Forsyth, GA 31029 Phone: 478-974-0680 Fax: 478-974-0640

Monroe County Library Ms. Kimberly Clayton (478) 994-7025 62 W. Main St. Forsyth GA 31029 Save A Pet, Inc. Mrs. Pat Corley (478) 994-3882 618 Maynard Church Road Forsyth GA 31029 Anchor of Hope Foundation, Inc. Ms. Carrie Owen (478) 994-0438 41 West Johnston Street Forsyth GA 31029 Georgia Manufactured Housing Association Mr. C. Jay Hamilton (478) 994-0006 1000 Circle 75 Pkwy Atlanta GA 30339 Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia Ms. Vicki Mills 478-471-4842 5171 Eisenhower Parkway Macon GA 31206

Boys & Girls Clubs Central Georgia Forsyth/Monroe County Club Joel Tolliver 478.743.1453 500 GA 83 Forsyth GA 31029 Pavement Consultant The Miller Group Mr. Kimbel Stokes (478) 974-0009 914 Jenkins Road Forsyth GA 31029 Personal Care Home/ Assisted Living Facilities River Place Mrs. Kim Moore (478) 993-1246 3492 Johnstonville Road Forsyth GA 31029 All Care Ginny Wood (478) 254-3621 5797 Houston Rd. Suite F Macon GA 31216 Pest Control

Monroe County Moose Lodge #2424 Mr. Joey Proctor (478) 994-2424 524 Cabiness Road Forsyth GA 31029 Project Impact Community Development Organization, Inc. Mrs. Lareeta S Phinazee 478-994-0707 3056 Old Atlanta Hwy Forsyth GA 31029 Middle Georgia Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Landon Sparks Mr. Landon Sparks 678-770-8538 3539 Dames Ferry Rd Forsyth GA 31029 Monroe County Family Connection Ms. Vickie Nickel 478-508-4134 90 Martin Luther King Jr Dr Forsyth GA 31029 Monroe Reads with Ferst Ms. Maggie Glennon (706) 424-6127 P.O. Box 812 Forsyth GA 31029

Trammell Pest Control Mr. Sonny Trammell (478) 994-0134 1042 Ponder Trammell Road Juliette GA 31046 Pets-Kennels/Grooming Kottage Kennels & Suites, Inc. Ms. Tine Martin 478-994-7387 195 Klopfer Road Juliette Georgia 31046 Pharmacy Castleberry Drug Company Mr. Scott Tyree (478) 994-2051 67 North Lee St. Forsyth GA 31029-2133 U-Save-It Pharmacy, Inc Ms. Beverly Espy (478) 994-2015 25 West Johnston St Forsyth GA 31029


Photography Roaming Drone Solutions Mr. Chris Spence 478-227-9445 10414 Estes Rd. Macon Ga. 31210 Impressive Images Mr. Jim Barber 478-737-2244 161 Aaron Ct. Forsyth, GA 31029

Central Georgia Family Medicine Mrs. Mandy White 478-994-0437 120 N. Lee Street Suite A Forsyth GA 31029

Johnson Plumbing & Contracting, Inc. Mr. Herbie Johnson 478-994-2387 71 E. Chambers St. Forsyth GA 31029

ObGyne Consultants, Obgyne Birth Centers for Natural Deliveries Dr. Bola Sogade,MD (478) 745-3014 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Forsyth Georgia 31029

Portable Toilets



Davis Plumbing Co., Inc. Will Davis 478-994-2027 48 Berner Avenue Forsyth GA 31029

T-Screens, Inc Ms. Dena Mason (478) 994-0051 14 E Johnston St Forsyth GA 31029

Harvey’s Plumbing & Irrigation Mrs. Ansley Hunt (478) 994-2803 5877 Hwy. #41 Bolingbroke GA 31004


Seven 5 Promotions Mr. Patrick Whitley (478) 315-9944 495 Holiday Circle Forsyth GA 31029

Taylor Services of Georgia, LLC Ms. Angie Turner (478) 743-0021 705 Millerfield Rd Macon GA 31217

Physical Therapy Monroe Physical Therapy Dr. Dana Peterman P.T., DPT (478) 994-3390 120 North Lee Street Suite E Forsyth GA 31029 Physician Internal Medicine Associates of Middle Georgia Dr. Craig Caldwell M.D., F.A. 478-994-1010 97 MLK Jr. Drive Forsyth GA 31029

Apparel Authority LLC Mr. David Barwick (478) 361-7069 2081 Bethlea Ave Macon GA 31210

Forsyth Convention and Visitors Bureau Ms. Gilda Stanberry (478) 994-7747 68 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Public Safety Products Interceptor Public Safety Products, Inc. Mr .Mac Brown (478) 974-0105 1110 Indian Springs Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

Propane Gas Equipment & Sales

Red Dog Public Safety Outfitters Mr. Wiley Crosby (478) 994-1862 1020 Indian Springs Dr. Forsyth GA 31029

Evergreen Propane Mr. Tommy Busbee (478) 994-2119 149 Macon West Dr Macon GA 31210

Southern Safety Supply Mr. Jim Jones (478) 745-7018 2135 Broadway Macon GA 31206

Donny’s Propane Gas Mr. Donny McKinney (478) 992-8326 8323 Rivoli Road Juliette GA 31004

Real Estate & Investment Connie R. Ham Middle GA Realty Mrs. Connie Ham 478-994-5900 78 N. Lee St. Forsyth GA 31029

4917 High Falls Road • Across from the Water Park

478-994-1060 Mon-Sat 9-9 / Sun 9-8

Beer & Wine • Groceries • Boiled Peanuts • Firewood • Propane • Ice • Money Orders • Debit • EBT • ATM • All Major Credit Cards

A Southern Gift Boutique • Gift & Bridal Registry

478-993-7651 Tues - Fri: 11 am - 5 pm • Sat 11 am - 4 pm

Charlie Pelt, Agent 12 E. Johnston Street Forsyth, GA 31029


48 N. Jackson St • Forsyth, GA 31029

• Auto • Home • Life • Medicare Supplement • Vehicle Loans • Mortgages

Locally Owned & Operated

Call for a quote today! Save up to 40%!

FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Ingram Entities, Inc Mr. Otis Ingram (478) 475-6901 6 E. Johnston Street Forsyth GA 31029

Washburn & Associates Dale Washburn 478-477-2324 3040 Riverside Drive Suite C-2 Macon GA 31210

Sold-Sisters, Inc. Mrs. Chrissy Donovan (478) 808-7281 78 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029 Pioneer Land Group Mr. Kyle Gable (478) 257-3420 P.O. Box 340 Douglasville GA 30133

Real Estate Appraiser Vinson Ventures, LLC dba Vinson Appraisal Services Greg Vinson 478-714-5013 5 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029 Real Estate Management

The Brokery, LLC Mr. George Emami (478) 420-0023 10 N Jackson St Forsyth GA 31029 R & R Property Sales and Management Mrs. Kathy Rowland (478) 974-0054 500 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029


Plantation Hills Shopping Center Ms. Stacey Staton 770-643-4799 6525 Shiloh Road, Suite D-200 Alpharetta GA 30005 Recreation Marigold Stables Mr. Mike Leverett (678) 427-7570 75 Higgins Mill Rd. Forsyth GA 31029

Restaurant El Tejado Mexican Restaurant Ms. Irma Pena 478-994-1425 310 Cabiness Rd. Forsyth GA 31029 Grits Cafe Mrs. Leslie Waters 478-994-8325 17 W. Johnston St. #1185 Forsyth GA 31029 Hong Kong Palace Chinese Restaurant Ms. Caroline Ling 478-994-0973 465 Tift College Dr. Forsyth GA 31029 Schuster Enterprises Burger King Mr. Tom Wilson 706-563-3066 179 N. Lee St. Forsyth GA 31029 Whistle Stop Cafe Ms. Elizabeth Bryant 478-992-8886 443 McCrackin St. Juliette GA 31046


“Voted Best Painter by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter 7 Years in a Row!”

• Paint Interior & Exterior • Pressure Washing • Wall Paper • Small Repairs

478-957-8981 • Debbie Wilson, Owner & Operator

Offering Dance instruction in: • Ballet • Tap • Jazz • Creative Movement • Hip Hop • Lyrical and Pointe!

Captain D’s Mr. Aidan Dibble (478) 994-3851 149 N Lee St Forsyth GA 31029

Restoration-Water Mitigation Parker Young Construction, Inc. FireStar, Inc. Mr. Ralph Burris 478-757-9032 4039 475 Industrial Blvd Macon GA 31210

Forsyth Country Cookin’ Mrs. Helen Walker (478) 994-0603 15 E Johnston St Forsyth GA 31029


Taco Bell Mr. Mike Bender (478) 992-9058 152 North Lee St Forsyth GA 31029

Custom Creations by SS Dr. Jennifer Mize (478) 390-7557 283 Fuller Road Culloden GA 31016

Marco’s Pizza Mr. Jeremy Carrera (478) 974-5500 279 North Lee Street Off of Tradewinds Drive Forsyth GA 31029

Walmart Mr. Dennis Kent 478-994-0163 180 North Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Minori’s Italian Ristorante Chelsea Larkin (478) 993-2300 22 W. Main Street Forsyth GA 31029


WE ARE...“The Country Church That Cares” Keith Harris, Pastor 40 Rumble Rd • Forsyth, GA 31029 • 478-994-9282 Sunday School 9:55 am • Worship 11am •



• Fresh Flowers • Silk Flowers • Balloons • Stuffed Animals • Variety of Gifts

Simply Dance

Voted 2018 Best Florist by the readers of the Monroe County Reporter


10 E. Main St • Forsyth, GA

57 N. Jackson Street, Suite 101 • Forsyth, GA 31029 Email:

Belk Shoppes at River Crossing Ms. Yolanda Grimes (478) 474-1078 5080 Riverside Drive Macon GA 31210


Angie Ellis, Owner

(478) 994-2611


Holiday Bottle Shop Mr. Pat Patel (478) 994-8040 471B Tift College Drive Forsyth GA 31029 Cotique Boutique Mrs. Amy Knight (478) 992-8371 19 North Lee St Forsyth GA 31029 Tractor Supply Company Mr. TJ Newberry (478) 992-6630 130 East Main St. Forsyth GA 31029 Gottwals Books Mr. Shane Gottwals 4784779200 2834 Riverside Drive Macon GA 31210 Sage & Sparrow Mrs. Holly White (912) 660-2398 19 E. Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029 Hometown Treasures Monograms & Gift Shop Ms. Shauna Bramlett 4789932201 51 W. Johnston St. Forsyth Georgia 31029

Security Systems

Tax Service


BTV Systems Mr. Jimmy Shepard (478) 788-5281 2481 Rocky Creek Road Macon GA 31206 All Wired Up Mrs. Jennifer Simmons 478-755-9700 P.O. Box 5755 Forsyth GA 31029

H&R Block Ms. Betty Jo Pope 478-994-0065 138 North Lee St Forsyth GA 31029

Atlanta Gas Light Co. Mr. Trevor Quander (478) 476-2278 5472 New Forsyth Rd Macon GA 31210

Telephone Services

Central Georgia EMC Mrs. Christy Chewning (770) 775-7857 923 S. Mulberry St. Jackson GA 30233

Storage/Warehouse Secure Self Storage Jennifer Rivers 478-342-5611 51 W. Adams St. Forsyth, GA 31029

AT&T Georgia Mr. Paul Chambers Jr. (706) 353-1069 125 Reese Street Athens GA 30601 Macon Communications, Inc. Mr. Travis Ferrell (478) 788-6222 4470 Broadway Macon GA 31206

Surveyor Theatre Steve Coleman & Associates Mr. Steve Coleman 478-992-9900 38 E Johnston St. Forsyth GA 31029 Reference Point Land Surveying, LLC David Bennett 478-365-9809 5 N. Lee Street Forsyth GA 31029

Backlot Players, Inc. Mrs. Joy Smith 478-994-0443 23 W. Johnston St Forsyth GA1029

Georgia Power Co. Mr. Craig Stephens (478) 994-0022 10986 Hwy. 87 Juliette GA 31046 Georgia Transmission Corporation Ms. Holly Daniell 770-270-7528 2100 E. Exchange Pl. Tucker GA 31086 Oglethorpe Power Corporation Mrs. Diane McClearen (770) 270-7535 2100 East Exchange Place Tucker GA 30084

Timber Management Quality Forest Products, LLC Mr. Deck Trevitt (478) 994-6385 755 Hwy 83N Forsyth GA 31029

SCANA Energy Mrs. Helen Stembridge 1-877-467-2262 PO Box 26306 Macon GA 31221

Scan this code for a full listing off all businesses and services

Southern Rivers Energy Ms. Erin Cook (770) 358-1383 1367 Highway 341 South Barnesville GA 30204 Veterinarian Animal Medical Clinic of Forsyth Dr. Brandon Pinson 478-994-4986 60 S. Jackson St. Forsyth GA 31029 Caldwell Veterinary Hospital Dr. Butler Caldwell D.V.M. (478) 994-8228 951 Highway 41 South Forsyth GA 31029 Waste Removal Ryland Environmental Candy Carroll 478-272-4411 2599 Elberto Rd. Centerville, GA 21028 Wholesaler CCN Distributing, Inc. Callaway Blue Mrs. Nancy Gradwell 478-992-5757 PO Box 99 Bolingbroke GA 31004

Full Digital Directory

GeorGe emami, mBa Broker/owner 18 Years industrY experience


478-420-0023 office 706-207-0383 cell

Forsyth: 30 E Johnston, Forsyth 31029 • Macon: 4875 Riverside Dr, Ste. 104, Macon 31210

$2 Historic • Fine Homes 35 ,0 Commercial 0

Are you Team Emami Left /Right - Shelly Davis, Katie Magee-Harden, smarter Tomi Mitchem, George Emami, Denise Emami than your next home? 0 Team Brokery

Fasted Growing Real Estate Company in Middle GA!

th (Monroe County), GA 31029

a system - Remotely monitor from your ge door opener. Use your smartphone ’s closed when you are away. to play your favorite tunes right from mostat lets you turn up the heat or air

Good Reasons to Choose THE BROKERY:

• Creative Customized Marketing • Amazing Customer SATISFACTION • Rapid Response Systems • Full Time Marketing Manager • “Get it Done” Mentality • Amazing Process Knowledge • More Marketing $ per Listing • Higher End Exclusive Branding • Non-Franchised Local Owner • Professional Photography (Most Listings

Bottom Left /Right - Kelli Finch, Bonnie Bushing, Robyn Harris, Velvet Elrod Call for details) • And much, much, more!!! Row 2 Left / Right - Morgan Nichols, Denise Emami, Christine Schwartz Row 3 Left / Right - Shelly Davis, Beverly Savage, Cindy Canova, Jessica Bowers Row 4 Left / Right - Katie Magee-Harden, Mindy Attaway, Macie Mullis, Tomi Mitchem Row 5 Left /Right - Quyet Hoang, Denny Grimes, Christopher Cook, Corey Cox, INNOVATIVE Erik Paulin, George Emami REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS Not Pictured - Crystal Schoepf, Sarah Rangel, Aaron Gray . . . with an Old Soul

Welcome Home 2018  
Welcome Home 2018