Keeping hooves happy is farrier Mitchell’s job
Mike Mitchell dons his apron in preparation for changing a horse’s shoe.
Mike Mitchell came to McDuffie County nine years ago hoping to escape the equine world, but he could not escape what was in his blood.
“I actually moved to Georgia from Michigan to never touch another horse,” said Mitchell, 37, who operates the Top Line Equestrian Center on Wheless Drive. Mitchell relocated for a job that did not develop to fulfill his needs so he returned to what he knew — being a farrier and training horses.
As a farrier, he shoes horses and trims their hooves. As a trainer, he prepares horses for customers for national shows, for trail riding, for pleasure and hunting, among other things.

McDuffie retires 15 faculty and staff
The McDuffie County Board of Education retired 15 teachers, educators, trainers and monitors during a May 19 ceremony at Thomson High School. The retirees, with 363 years between them, were given words of thanks for the contributions they made to the McDuffie County School system. Pictured are (left to right): Chi Engle Pinkston, Sharon Reese Burns, Jeanette Usry, Jennifer Harrison, Dorothy Samuels, Robin Johnson, Edith Smith, Daphne Roberts, Deborah Dent, Geraldine (Peggy) Hester, Sarah Cobb, Janie Kate Blasingame, Robyn Rutkowski and Beverly Guy.

Troosie’s on the Square celebrates ribbon cutting
Warren County Chamber of Commerce board members and members of the Troosie’s on the Square staff are shown at the May 20 ribbon cutting for the new restaurant in Warrenton.
People in Warrenton now have a new restaurant to frequent in downtown.
Troosie’s on the Square opened on April 17, and they celebrated their ribbon cutting and Warren County Chamber of Commerce membership on May 20. The restaurant, specializing in Southern cooking, is owned by Kenyetta “Boosie” Grissom and Tricia Wright, both of Warrenton.

Smith wins Relay for Life basket
Lenny Schaeffer, a State Farm agent in Thomson, and his office raffled off a gift basket at the office’s 2016 Relay for Life tent. The winner of the Lenny Schaeffer, State Farm Relay for Life Basket is Alphonso Smith, of Warrenton. He is shown on the right with the State Farm Bear and Lenny Schaeffer.

Long-time McDuffie educator reflects on hall of fame career
George Drake served as a teacher, administrator and coach in McDuffie County from 1959 until 2013.
Although in retirement now, George Drake was a mainstay in the McDuffie County school system for more than 50 years.
“I got a call that summer that I didn’t get the job at a school in Selma, Alabama, so I called Mr. R.L. Norris, who had also offered me a job teaching and coaching here, to make sure he hadn’t gotten any one for the job,” Drake said. “He hadn’t, so I came to Thomson to talk to him and Mr. Maxwell, the superintendent, and he hired me that day. Mr. Norris was an honest, humble and straight man. He was a great administrator, and he had a very good school. He treated me like a son.”

Dr. Jared Mitchell cuts ribbon at Thomson office
Dr. Jared Mitchell, with the assistance of his staff and University Healthcare officials Kim Taylor and Bob Kepshire, cuts the ribbon at a new office located adjacent to the hospital.
Community leaders and many from the local medical community gathered Wednesday, May 11, to cut the ribbon at University General Surgery - McDuffie, the new office of Dr. Jared Mitchell.

McDuffie County Schools accounting department receives award
The accounting department for McDuffie County Schools received the Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts on May 9 for the second year in a row. This award was established to recognize excellence in financial reporting and controls. It encourages governmental organizations to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and recognizes individual organizations that are successful in achieving this goal. Shown from left are Rachel Brooks, Jacqueline Morris, Judy Bullard, Kim Jones (back), Kelly Worth (Audit Dept), Craig Bruntz (back), Charisa Carter and Jennifer Welch.

Crawley carries on the family tradition of fire service
Four generations of public servants in the Crawley family have given more than 128 years of collective service to the City of Thomson and McDuffie County.
Johnny Crawley’s grandfather John Hershel Sr., father John Hershel Jr. and brother James Hershel as well as himself and James Hershel (Jimmy) Crawley have all worked or are working for the City of Thomson or McDuffie County public service.
Crawley said his father served as the assistant chief for the Thomson Fire Department for 42 years until he died in the line of duty in 1974. Crawley’s brother was an assistant chief for 30 years.
Crawley himself has continued the family tradition with the fire service and has been serving for 48 years in various capacities including McDuffie County,

Campbell is new office manager
Belinda Campbell is the new Office Manager of Forward McDuffie as of April 18. Campbell comes to Forward McDuffie with more than 20 years of experience, having served as the Director of Legal Compliance and Human Resources at University Hospital McDuffie.

Adams and Boone named top seniors of the year
Adelle Dozier Adams and Mellot Dean Boone were named McDuffie County’s Senior Citizens of the Year 2016 on May 4. They received proclamations from the McDuffie County Commission and a plaque from the McDuffie County Senior Center.
Two individuals who have performed unselfish service to the citizens of McDuffie County and beyond have been named the county’s Senior Citizens of the Year for 2016.
Adelle Dozier Adams, who was the first woman on the Thomson City Council and served under three mayors, and Mellot Dean Boone, who drives senior citizens to doctors appointments and to church, and member of the Hospital Auxiliary, were named top seniors and recognized with proclamations during the May 4 meeting of the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners.

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress