Spring Sports Registration

Swainsboro-Emanuel County Parks and Recreation Department will hold Spring Sports Registration January 25-29 at the Recreation Department, 632 McLeod Bridge Road, Swainsboro. Registration hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. First time participants must bring a birth certificate. Registration fee is $35 (insurance available for $6 extra) for the following sports:

T-Ball (for 3 & 4 year olds) & Coach Pitch (for 5 & 6 year olds.)— Player must be 3 before May 1, 2021, and cannot turn 7 before May 1, 2021. (Players who turn 6 years old before May 1, 2021 have the option of playing coach pitch or youth baseball or girls softball.)

Youth Baseball (Ages 6-12)—Player must be 7 on or before September 1, 2021 and cannot turn 13 before September 2, 2021. (Players who turn 6 years old before May 1, 2021, have the option of playing coach pitch or youth baseball.)

Girls Softball (Ages 7 through 17)—Player must be 7 on or before September 1, 2021 and cannot turn 18 before September 2, 2021. (Girls who turn 6 years old before May 1, 2021 have their choice of playing coach pitch or softball.)

For more information, contact the Recreation Department at (478) 237-8098.

Raymond Riner Named OurTown Hero

The January 2021 Hometown Hero recipient is Perry “Raymond” Riner who was nominated by Emanuel County retired sheriff Tyson J. Stephens and Derek Hartmeyer.

Mr. Perry Raymond Riner was born February 1, 1930 to Perry and Irene Claxton Riner. He graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1948. He has been a member of Swainsboro Primitive Baptist Church, known as United Primitive Baptist Church, from 1942 to date. In 1948, Raymond married Johnnie Clyde Curl and, together, they had two sons, Larry and Donny Riner. A member of the Georgia National Guard, he served in Korean Conflict. Raymond attended LSU Banking school for three years and worked at Central Bank for 12 years. He also worked at Perry’s Open Air Market and Perry’s Auto Auction with his father, becoming owner of the auction in 1962. In 1963, the Dixie Youth Baseball Complex named one field in his honor. Raymond served on the Emanuel County City Council for three years. He married Ava Hartmeyer in 1973, adding to the family her children, Steven, Derek, Shea, and Stormy Hartmeyer.

A letter of recognition from previous Emanuel County Sheriff Tyson J. Stephens read as follows:

I’ve known Raymond Riner all my life. Our families have had close relationships for several generations.

I know Raymond has touched the lives of countless alcoholics and other substance addicts and their families for the last 40 plus years. He always knew that alcoholism and drug addiction are family diseases.

The word “no” was not in Raymond’s vocabulary, along with others, he helped to get state funding of a medically supervised detox center on Anderson Drive, establishing a place for suffering alcoholic, addict and his or her family.

Raymond served on the Board of Directors of the Bridges of Hope in the early days of its infancy. Alcoholics and addicts could stay in their recovery program as “long as it took” and their families could pay for if they could. Many had no means to pay anything. Now, there are 6 or 7 Bridges of Hope throughout the state.

Family members would come to Raymond at their wit’s end for advice on how they could keep their loved ones from dying from the disease of addiction. He would always listen and then, if possible, help them.

Over the years, thousands of people have benefitted from Raymond’s life of service. Many times his help would be financial. He followed where God led him.

Most recently, Raymond and a group of local people bought 4 houses and began what is called “Crossroads-Swainsboro.” One has been dedicated for females and the others for men. These are half-way houses for men and women to live in and, eventually, find work and get back on their feet. The only requirement is to continue in their recovery program and to have some structure in their lives and when they can, pay their way.

One could go on and on about Raymond’s life of service to recovery and to our community that he loves so dearly! People have heard him say: ‘Don’t praise me for those who are successful but don’t blame me for those who failed, this time, because the next time we try to help them, they may succeed. Never give up.’

Mayor Charles Schwabe presents the OurTown Hero Award to Raymond Riner.
Mayor Charles Schwabe presents the OurTown Hero Award to Raymond Riner.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade & Services Cancelled

The Emanuel County Event Planning Committee has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and commemoration services.

To whom it may concern:

I, Al Huston, wish to express my sincere gratitude for all your previous participation in the recognition and celebration of a great civil rights leader’s life and legacy. The events that honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are a highlight of the Emanuel County community and are greatly supported by our elected officials and the community at large. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration for the commemoration service and parade for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., scheduled Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, 2021, has been cancelled.

The Emanuel County Planning Committee wants to make sure the community remains safe during this time and season. We are regrettably sorry that these events cannot take place as usual. We look forward to a safer environment next year for the festivities to take place.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. We hope everyone has a happy and prosperous New Year, on behalf of the Emanuel County Event Planning Committee.

Respectfully yours,

Al Huston, president chairman


Santa to Visit Swainsboro Neighborhoods Christmas Eve

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Chief Mike Strobridge received a very important letter from the North Pole. Once again, Jolly Saint Nick will visit the good boys and girls of the Swainsboro neighborhoods for the sixth year. Santa has asked Chief Mike Strobridge and the Swainsboro Firefighters to assist in guiding his annual trip to visit the good children on Christmas eve. Santa will ride upon his highly decorated #7 Sleigh accompanied by his Public Safety friends from Emanuel County.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Santa will travel down Main Street to Walmart, after a meet and greet with children, his journey will continue to the following streets:

South Main Street, Youmans Avenue, Soloman Street, Neal Street, Richard Street for the first stop; Harmon, Lakewood Drive, Meadowlake Pkwy, Injunction Road, South Main Street to Meadowlake Pkwy.to Industrial Way, Elmer Street, to Lambs Bridge Road, to Claxton Avenue, Jones Avenue for the second stop; onto Lambs Bridge Road, Market Street, to Stevens Drive, South Anderson Drive, Turner Drive, Fortune Loop, onto Prosperity Drive, Lake Luck Drive, onto East Main Street, to Advantage Ln, Friendly Way, Happiness Drive for the third stop; by Freedom Street, continue onto East Pine Street, onto Norwood Avenue, King Circle Drive for the fourth stop; Waller Pass, Ben Street, William Street, to Rentz Street, MLK to Center Street, onto Longview Road, Fowler Street, North Coleman Ext, Wells, Old Wadley Road, R.J. Holder Road, onto North Main Street, Stallion Road, Christopher Drive, McKenzie Drive and back to North Main Street, onto MLK, onto Wells Street, Shearhouse Street, Robin Street, cross Kite Road onto Golf Drive, onto Barbara Avenue, Oak Lawn Drive to Kite Road. Then McLeod Bridge Road to North Green Street, onto Lucky Street, North Racetrack Street for the fifth stop; between West Church and West Pine Street. West Pine Street, Roberts Street, onto West Main Street, onto Tyson Street, to West Moring Street, to Arden Drive, Azalea Cir, Rosedale Cir, back to Arden Drive, cross Old Nunez Road to Maurice Drive, Poplar Street, to Calhoun Street, Mary Ann Drive, onto West Moring Street, to Central Street and West Pine Street to Fire Headquarters.

Follow along with the ride with Facebook Live on the Emanuel County Live Facebook page.

City Hall Holiday Closures

Swainsboro City Hall will be closed December 24th and 25th in celebration of Christmas, and January 1st in observance of New Year’s Day. Utility payments may be placed in the drop box at City Hall or they may be paid online by clicking here.

Swainsboro Christmas Parade Cancelled; Other Activities Planned

After careful consideration, the planning committee for the Swainsboro Christmas Parade has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Christmas Parade. With the continued spread of COVID-19 within the community, the parade committee is working to organize other Holiday activities that the public can enjoy while social distancing.

Planned activities include a Holiday-themed Drive-In Movie experience, enhanced displays downtown with interactive elements at Patriots Park, and Holiday promotions to encourage shopping with local retailers. Additional details regarding these activities, and others that are currently in the works, will be announced soon.

While the parade committee is saddened by the cancellation of this year’s event, the decision was made in the interest of the community’s health and safety.  In the parade’s absence, the group looks forward to providing new experiences for the community to enjoy during this unusual Holiday season.

The Swainsboro Christmas Parade is held annually on the first Thursday of December. Next year’s event is scheduled for December 2, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of EGSC)

City Hall Closed Veterans Day

Swainsboro City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day. The drop box will be open for utility payments, or they may be made online by clicking here. City Hall will reopen on Thursday, November 12th at 9:00 a.m.

To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve, thank you for your service and sacrifice. Happy Veterans Day!