Around Our Area: Could horse racing come to Southwest Georgia?

Legalizing pari-mutuel betting in Georgia, which would allow for a horse-racing track to be built, is an idea that has been proposed by at least one state legislator for almost a decade.

House Resolution 1, authored by the late Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, is being brought back up again.

Sensing the time might be right to finally get the resolution out of committee, state Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, D-Dawson, and state Rep. Gerald Greene, R-Cuthbert, invited Dean Reeves, president of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, and coalition Vice President Tom Schultie to a small gathering of regional farmers and landowners for an informational session at Merry Acres on Tuesday.

“The reason we invited them down is because Southwest Georgia is starved for information,” Sims said. “This has been around for a very long time and instead of being the last in the state to learn about the benefits of this resolution, I wanted us to be at the front.

“This is why we are having this conversation this morning. We want these gentlemen to know we want a piece of the pie when the time comes.”

The path to getting a referendum on the state’s ballots is an arduous two-step process.

First, the General Assembly has to approve placing the resolution on the ballot for approval by the voters via an amendment to the Georgia Constitution. It takes votes in the House and the Senate, with supermajorities of at least two-thirds of the lawmakers in each house required for approval.

After that, the referendum would go on a ballot to be decided on by the voters of Georgia.

If the referendum is approved, legislators could set up a state racing commission to regulate horse racing and betting on horse racing. Racing industry lobbyists say legalizing horse racing and associated betting could indirectly and directly create as many as 5,000 jobs.

To read more about what types of horse racing might could be offered, and what betting revenue would be used for, visit The Albany Herald

Blakely woman dies in vehicle accident

A young mother of three was killed Saturday night when she lost control of the vehicle she was driving on Three Notch Road three miles south of Blakely.

Lauren Reneé Phillips, 27, of 1034 Two Bridges Road, Cuthbert, was traveling north on Three Notch Road when the 2004 Nissan Murano she was driving left the road, hit a culvert and overturned.

According to the GSP crash report, the accident occured on a curve near the intersection with Mays Mill Road at approximately 9:40 p.m. There were no passengers in the vehicle. (Information from The Early County News)

Thomas County man charged with shoplifting more than $8,000 worth of goods

An employee at Wal-Mart, 641 Veterans Parkway S., reported a theft earlier this week. Police and store security confronted Ashlen Divon Brown as he was walking out of the store, Moultrie Police Department reports said.

Stolen merchandise, including LG Bluetooth headphones, a wrist watch and earrings, were recovered, police said. The merchandise was valued at $8,264.

A store employee told police that Brown cut open a package while inside the store.

Brown, 19, 415 Roundtree St., Boston, GA was charged Saturday with theft by shoplifting. (Moultrie Observer)

Other Southwest Georgia News:

Camaro, cocaine, cash seized in Sumter Co. bust (WALB)
Prostitution complaints produce drug bust in Valdosta (WALB)

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