January 17, 2022

The Heard Citizen’s Top 14 Good News Stories of 2014

(Franklin) — With the arrival of the year 2015 today, the Heard Citizen takes a look back at the best good news stories we reported on locally during the year 2014.

This list was comprised based on number of views, comments, and shares not just at our website but also on our facebook page.

We hope our readers enjoy this look back and we at HeardCitizen.com look forward to covering the best good news stories of 2015 as they happen.

You can click on the link provided with each story to read the entire article as originally posted. Happy New Year to all of you!


artworks-000014911241-oxeps6-original#1   2014 Dream Team: Lady Braves Capture Elusive State Championship

Softball FeatuireOur top good news story comes from the fall of 2014  was of course the article about the first GHSA State Championship in Heard County history won by the Heard High School Lady Braves varsity softball team on November 1, 2014. The lone senior and Class AA Player of the Year Cali Harrod, Class AA Coach of the Year Matt Hornsby, All-Everything junior Pitcher Jordan Watson and a host of other talented underclassmen led the way during the magical postseason run that ended with a 6-2 win versus multiple state champion winners Gordon Lee.


#2   Students Rally to Save Senior Prom for Classmate

One of the most heartwarming stories of the year came in the spring of 2014 when Heard High Senior Allison Crockett was surprised by a special Senior Prom after she was unable to attend her own official prom because she became ill on prom night. A lot of effort by many different people went into the miniature prom and Allison was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of her friends.


#3   The Gift of Life

One of the best stories of 2014 actually began in late 2013 when Trey and Sara Wiggins wrote a Letter to local newspapers about a Christmas Wish they had for a new kidney for their grandmother Beverly Wiggins. The story was eventually picked up by Fox-5 News in Atlanta and shared throughout the country. The best news came when a woman named Leslie Calderoni from all the way out in California read the story and decided to give Beverly “The Gift of Life” in the late summer of 2014.


#4   Community Rallies Around Teacher Fighting Cancer

The Heard County community came together during the year 2014 to help and support Mrs. Ginger Stutts, a local schoolteacher who faced a very difficult fight with cancer. Although she passed away on November 24, Ginger left a lasting legacy of strength, faith, and grace that will never be forgotten as she continued to teach everyone in our county young and old what it means to be a fighter. That legacy that Mrs. Stutts left with all of us and the amazing support shown by the entire community through fundraisers, prayer vigils, and other events is what makes this one of the good news stories of 2014.


#5   Brave Little Lady Surprised by Bert’s Big Adventure

Kaylee FeatureAnother joyous story of 2014 involved a kindergarten student at HHS, Ms. Kaylee Holcomb being selected for Bert’s Big Adventure. Kaylee, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, enjoyed and all-expenses paid, five-day visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with her family that she will never forget.


#6   Centralhatchee Elementary Receives National Blue Ribbon Recognition

One of the top stories from Heard County schools came in the fall of 2014 when Centralhatchee Elementary was recognized as a Blue Ribbon school for the second time in seven years. Students and faculty later enjoyed a free ice cream party compliments of Blue Bell and a visit via helicopter from the Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.


#7   Local Man Claims National Truck Driving Championship

One of the biggest accomplishments reported on by HeardCitizen.com during 2014 was attributed to lifelong resident Matt Awbrey. A Walmart Transportation professional truck driver, Awbrey was named as the National Champion in the Sleeper Berth Class at the 77th Annual National Truck Driving Championships held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 16, 2014.


#8   Police Thwart Suicide Attempt on Chattahoochee Bridge

In a story that might have ended in very bad news, the results turned out to be positive when local Franklin and Heard county law enforcement officers were able to save a distraught woman from attempting to end her own life by jumping off the Chattahoochee Bridge in downtown Franklin.


#9   Family Braves Icy Roads for Birth of “Blizzard Baby”

Blizzard-babyEasily the most exciting local birth happened during the winter storm in late January when one local family had to brave icy road conditions to get an expectant mother to the hospital in Newnan. Thankfully, a healthy little boy Awbrey Rue Adams (dubbed “Blizzard Baby”) burst into this world weighing in at eight pounds even and measuring out at 20.5 inches long after his family managed to safely get him to the hospital on time.


#10   Teen Wins USA National Cover Teen Model

Exciting beauty pageant news occurred in Heard County for the second year in a row as Ms. Abbie Padgett won the coveted national title of USA National Cover Model Teen 2014. The competition, which took place in Daytona Beach, Florida, and included young women from across the country, was held during the USA National Miss national pageant.


#11   Back-to-Back: Seniors Power Braves to Another State Crown

The Heard County Braves weightlifting team traveled to Jefferson County High School in Louisville during March in hopes of defending their title as GACA Class AA State Champions and they did it in a big way scoring 80 points to finish well ahead of second place Vidalia who finished with 60 points. Four senior Brave lifters led the way earning state titles including Austin James, Ta Freeland, Tori Rogers, and Taron Person.


#12   Heard Educator Honored as Georgia Teacher of the Year Runner-Up

Another huge accomplishment in Heard County education occurred when popular Heard High School journalism and economics teacher Mr. Paul D. Mixon was honored at the Georgia International Convention Center where he was named the Runner-Up Georgia Teacher of the Year in May. Mixon was one of 10 finalists announced in April by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.


#13   The Power of One Kind Heart: Student Honors Fallen Classmate

Heart FeatureThis inspiring good news story of 2014 was submitted to the Heard Citizen by June Barber at HCMS. The story was about Heard County Middle School student, Kailey Culbertson, who honored one of her good friends and classmates who had passed away in elementary school from Leukemia by raising money to purchase a nice headstone for her grave.


#14   Local Firefighter Uses Jaws of Life to Rescue Kitten

Heard County public safety workers check in again for our final good news story of 2014. Heard County Firefighter John Murray and Franklin Police Detective Tino Brooks aided a four-week old kitten that was trapped in a storm drain in front of Dollar General. Carrie Stryker first noticed the kitten when she stopped at Subway for lunch.




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