The Sun News

HOUSTON/PEACH NEWS ROUNDUP

Robins unit to hire up to 500

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE — The 402nd Maintenance Wing, a unit based at Robins Air Force Base, announced last week that it will hire between 400 and 500 workers in the coming six to eight months. The 402nd Maintenance Wing works on many of the Air Force’s busiest aircraft, including the F-15, the C-17, the C-130 and the C-5.

“We got two wars going on,” Karl Abernathy, chief of the Robins Employment Office, said in a phone interview from his office at Robins Air Force Base. “These aircraft fly an extraordinary amount of time and flight hours.”

And so Robins Air Force Base recruiters will be looking to strengthen their work force to keep the aircraft flying, specifically for applicants with sheet metal skills and experience in aircraft mechanical work.

Applicants should contact the Robins Employment Office at 926-6666.

— Thomas L. Day

School board names superintendent finalists

PERRY — The Houston County Board of Education announced its two finalists to replace retiring Superintendent David Carpenter during its March 9 board meeting.

The board will choose between Robin Hines, assistant superintendent for school operations, and Darryl Albritton, principal of Perry High School, said board chairman Tom Walmer. The school board will interview the candidates in a called meeting April 8 during executive session and plans to announce its choice at its April 13 board meeting.

Hines and Albritton were among four applicants for the position. Two of the applicants did not meet the minimum requirements set by the board in the superintendent’s job description.

— Andrea Castillo

GBI plans to narrow probe in Warner Robins tire case

WARNER ROBINS — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has agreed to look into the “circumstances of the decision not to prosecute” in a Warner Robins police case involving tires dumped illegally on city property.

Gary Rothwell, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Perry office, said the agency’s investigation will be “very narrow” in scope and will not include probing the illegal dumping.

The decision was reached after a meeting between GBI agents and City Attorney Jim Elliott, Rothwell said.

Elliott said his understanding was also that the GBI was only looking at the circumstances concerning the decision of whether to prosecute, or whether to halt the police investigation.

Rothwell said the GBI investigation will be geared toward identifying the circumstances of the decision and ensuring nothing criminal was a part of it.

March 5, Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen asked the GBI to probe the handling of the discovery of tires illegally dumped on the city’s industrial park property. Shaheen previously was accused of halting the investigation into the illegal dumping.

— Becky Purser

DA’s office bids Burke farewell

PERRY — Everyone thought Kelly Burke would be Houston County’s district attorney forever, one prosecutor noted at Burke’s farewell reception Friday.

Jason Ashford, chief assistant district attorney, joked that everyone expected to find the 51-year-old Burke in his office chair slumped over his computer at age 85.

Burke, whose resignation was effective Monday, has announced his intention to run for the Houston County Board of Commissioners chairman seat. He also is going into private practice with Jeff Lasseter, a Warner Robins attorney who previously worked for Burke as an assistant district attorney.

Ashford started serving as acting district attorney Tuesday.

Ashford noted during the reception that Burke is the longest serving district attorney in Houston County’s history. Burke’s tenure as the district attorney began Jan. 1, 1997. Burke previously served as Houston County’s magistrate judge.

— Becky Purser

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