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Lee commissioners complete program

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Lee County Commissioners Betty Johnson and Rick Muggridge, who serves as vice chairman, were among more than 40 county officials across the state recognized recently by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia for completing the ACCG's Commissioner Training Program.

Lee Commission Chairman Ed Duffy made the announcement in the regular newsletter he compiles for citizens in the county.

Duffy also announced that the county will hold dedication ceremonies for its new Smithville fire/EMS station and the Fifth Friday Foundation Animal Shelter later this month.

The fire station dedication, scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, marks the official opening of the Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax V-funded project, which has been operational since Oct. 4. Fire Chief James Howell will recognize seven of the Smithville community's original firefighters -- Julian and Claudia Tye, Rick and Lori Mears, Thomas Jackson, Dwight Hickman and Henry Young -- at the ceremony.

"Lee County is fortunate to have citizens willing to volunteer their time and effort at risk to their own personal safety," Duffy said. "In addition to wonderful volunteer citizens, Lee County is fortunate to have citizens who generously donate to their county.

"Mr. John Haley donated this property for the construction of the Smithville fire/EMS station, and the Board of Commissioners is grateful for his generous donation. His land gift benefited the county by allowing all funding to go toward construction and equipment purchases."

The Fifth Friday Foundation Animal Shelter dedication is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Oct. 29. The shelter will be named for Dr. Phillip Hajek's nonprofit organization that donated more than $216,000 to the construction of the shelter, which has the capacity to hold 38 dogs and 21 cats.

Duffy also commended Sumter EMC for awarding a $5,000 grant to county EMS for the purchase of three defibrillators that will be placed at the Grand Island Club, the county tax commissioner's office and in the T. Page Tharp Governmental Building.

EMS Director Bobby Watkins told the commission at its Oct. 12 work session, "There will be individuals at each location trained to use the defibrillators."

The county also received six new defibrillators from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, which was acknowledged at the Oct. 12 meeting for its donation.

County Elections Supervisor Veronica Johnson reminded citizens that early voting has begun for the Nov. 2 general election. Voting will be held in the Kinchafoonee Conference Room of the governmental building Mondays-Fridays from 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m. The last day of early balloting is Oct. 29.