Sheriff honored for bravery

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 13, 2002

News Editor

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas, Captain Doug Wheeler and a security guard were honored by the Pike County Commission at Monday night’s workshop prior to the regular commission meeting.

Sheriff Thomas, Wheeler and the security guard, who was taken hostage by a gunman at the Pike County Courthouse on Jan. 14, were presented with certificates by the commission recognizing them for their actions, which resulted in the situation being resolved peacefully.

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On Jan. 14 around 8:30 a.m., Charles Kelvin Johns, 41, of Brundidge entered the building armed with a handgun and took the female security guard at the front door hostage and demanded to see Pike County Probate Judge William C. Stone. Johns was allegedly upset over a land dispute.

During Monday night’s meeting, Commission Chairperson Karen Berry read a proclamation recognizing Sheriff Thomas and Wheeler for their quick response and calm thinking in handling the situation. The female security guard was also recognized for her ability to remain calm during the incident.

In other business:

*The new E-911 director for the county Tina Jones introduced herself to the commission and asked for their support. Jones began her job as the county E-911 director full-time on Monday.

*Pike County Engineer Herb Huner told the commission $350,000 in funds were being made available for the resurfacing of 5.9 miles of County Road 73, located south of Brundidge. He said $280,000 of the money will come from federal funds and will be matched with $73,000 from the state.

*During the regular commission meeting, commissioners voted to allow County Engineer Herb Huner to remove the weight restriction on Carter Road if an agreement was reached between Wiregrass Construction, landowner Ravon Graham and residents who live on the road, concerning a set speed limit for the road and upkeep of the road’s condition. The restriction of a five-ton gross weight limit was placed on the road during the Jan. 21 meeting at the request of Commissioner Ray Goodson on behalf of the residents on the road, which is in his district. Wiregrass Construction uses the road to access a sand and gravel pit owned by Graham, which is located at the end of the road.

*The commission voted 5-1 to approve allowing Myra Adams to assume temporary duties of the County Administrator until a full-time administrator is hired. Commissioner Charlie Harris voted against the motion, stating that he felt Adams did not meet the requirements stated in the handbook for the administrator position. County Attorney Allen Jones said since Adams would be only be filling in temporarily, the measure was legal.