A man prosecutors say was the driver in a 2015 robbery which left a man dead and others wounded was sentenced to prison Thursday.
Javarick Javon McCain, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and participation in criminal street gang activity in Floyd County Superior Court.
Judge Tami Colston accepted the state's sentence recommendation of eight years in prison followed by seven years of probation.
McCain, along with Zjuantavous Jackson and Joseph Jackson, was charged in connection with the shooting.
According to prosecutors and testimony in Zjuantavious Jackson's trial:
Prosecutors said on April 7, 2015, the three men were hanging out and planned to rob a man who'd had some recent luck at gambling. They knew he'd be at 20 Copeland St. that night, so McCain borrowed a car and then dropped off the other two men near the home.
The two men reportedly entered through the back door and Zjuantavious Jackson opened fire; killing Detavious Jamalcom Milner and wounding several others. They then followed the man who they'd planned to rob outside the home, shot him in the face and robbed him.
"(McCain) was unaware of what was actually going on in the house," Assistant District Attorney Randall Schonder told the judge.
McCain later met up with the two men.
A police officer testified he'd seen Zjuantavious Jackson and McCain together at a convenience store later in the evening.
McCain was a professed member of the Bloods, along with Zjuantavious Jackson.
McCain's attorney, Monte Davis, told the court his client maintains he didn't know there was going to be a robbery but realizes there's enough evidence to possibly convict him on more serious charges.
Both McCain and Joseph Jackson testified in Zjuantavious Jackson's trial. He was convicted on murder and armed robbery charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 25 years. His attorney said he plans to appeal his conviction.
Read this story online for a link to the Floyd County Superior Court website and to see previous reports about the case.
Elvis fans may want to check out Rome High's musical this weekend.
"All Shook Up" is the tale of a Midwest town in the 1950s that is a little dreary and suddenly becomes more exciting when Chad, a roustabout recently released from jail, rock 'n' rolls his way into the hearts of the townspeople. There's a law against music and dancing and public necking and tight pants. Chad sets a series of events into motion, including several interesting — occasionally confusing — love stories.
The musical features several of Elvis' most popular songs, such as "Jailhouse Rock," "Teddy Bear," "Hound Dog" and "Love Me Tender."
"I think of the show as a blend of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night,' 'Hairspray' and 'Footloose,'" explained assistant director Kelly Hill. "A girl dresses as a boy, the townspeople can't dance, there's a tyrannical mayor and an interracial relationship."
The show has something for everyone and will be fun to watch, according to drama teacher and director Angelica Delzer.
"It's a fun, funny romantic comedy," she said. "It's very silly."
The show opens tonight at 7 p.m. at the Rome High School auditorium. The run continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
The show has been a challenge for performers because it is very dance heavy, Delzer said.
"The music is difficult and there is a lot of dancing," she said. "But the kids have been doing a great job with it. We got a lot of great costumes from various places like Goodwill and Amazon and it's been fun for them to search out the right pieces."
The Elvis music was fun for everyone as well, she added.
"You could tell right away which songs they knew before," she said. "The school has a really strong choral program and they've been awesome."
Six students were responsible for choreographing the show, including senior Abigail Childers.
"This has been a new experience for me," she said. "I've been dancing most of my life and trying to combine the pop music with the musical style has been challenging, but fun."
"Jailhouse Rock" is her favorite piece that she choreographed, she said.
"I worked on several, but that one I'm really proud of," she said.
While the students were coming up to her and saying they couldn't dance at first, she said the response throughout rehearsals has been positive.
"They gave it a try and started enjoying it, and now they smile and laugh and have fun," Childers said. "It feels great as a choreographer, but also as a member of the cast, it feels like we are all just one big family."
Hudson Ivery, who plays Chad, the roustabout, was one who wasn't sure about the dancing at first, he admits.
"I've learned a lot about dancing," he said, laughing. "I'm not better. I'm not a good dancer, but I can do the moves. Still can't dance, though."
He said he hopes that people will come enjoy the show and promised that it would entertain.
"It is by far the funniest script I've ever read," he said. "I read through it several times when I first got it just because it was so funny. It's got this great, hectic, confusing love story, so you have to come out to see it."
TO SEE IT
What: "All Shook Up," Rome High School musical
When: Opens tonight at 7 p.m.; also Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Rome High School auditorium, 1000 Veterans Memorial Highway
How much: Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
Read this story online for a link to Rome High School's website and to see a Google map of the school.
The Floyd County school system stands to lose $1.5 million in tax revenue if Georgia Power's Plant Hammond were to shutter, system officials said during a called board meeting Thursday.
Georgia Power announced earlier this month it is cutting 80 jobs at the plant. Floyd County Schools Superintendent John Jackson said he isn't privy to any information that confirms the plant is closing, but since "Georgia Power is reducing the capacity at that plant ... we're just doing worst-case scenario."
"I think they're going to go to purchasing power on the open market and phase out that plant," he said. "So we're anticipating that eventually they will close the plant down. We're hoping they don't."
The school system's 18.58 millage rate generates over $4 million from Georgia Power property in Floyd County, Jackson said.
Chip Hood, board of education chairman, said that even if Plant Hammond closes, the school system would still be able to draw money from other taxable assets the utility has in the county.
System officials also are contemplating a deviation from the norm when it comes to the 2018-2019 school year calendar, with the major changes proposed being the pushing back of fall break by a week and spring break by two weeks.
Under one of the three potential options for the calendar is the rescheduling of fall break from the first week in October to the second week. The move would allow for the school system to remain open on Oct. 2, 2018, during the full-time enrollment count day, which is used to figure state funding per student based on the classes students take on that date.
According to Jackson, the shift is purely "a financial decision for us."
"We've lost some money because of that because we've had fall break on that count day," he shared, adding that the October count day is the first of three where the system must report their enrollment.
Jackson explained the issue through an example, if a Floyd County student is in the process of transferring to another school system, say Rome City, and Floyd County Schools are closed on the count day and don't claim them, then Rome can.
Floyd County Schools can claim the student the week after, but at that point they are secondary to whoever claims the student first, he added.
"If Rome City then claims him during that week, then they get the money for that student even though he's been with us since the very beginning of the school year up until that time," Jackson said. "The reason why it's wiser and smarter to have (fall break) on the second week is if you've got a student that you need to go ahead and claim on that count date, we're going to be in school and we'll be open."
Under the same calendar option, spring break in 2019 would be the second week in April as opposed to the 2018 break the last week of March. Jackson said input from teachers indicates moving spring break to April would help boost instruction time by opening up almost all of March — there would be one teacher planning day that students would have off.
The superintendent said altering the system's schedule would "break stride" with Rome City Schools. The Rome City board of education approved its system's 2018-2019 calendar last month, keeping fall break in the first week of October and spring break the last week in March.
Jackson will likely recommend the calendar change for approval during the May 2 board meeting, which will be held in the boardroom of the central office, 600 Riverside Parkway, starting at 6 p.m., with the caucus at 5 p.m.
The board also approved over 30 personnel changes, which includes the addition of five speech-language pathologists.
Read this story online to see a previous report about Georgia Power job cuts and for a link to the Floyd County Board of Education meeting agenda.
Today's art is by Hayden Hollingsworth, a third-grader at Model Elementary.