Thursday, May 23 2013 12:25 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:25:08 GMT
Army Specialist Ciara Smith surprised her son Devin Lewis and her mother Carla Williams today at Devin's Kindergarten graduation at Harper Elementary School in Thomasville. Smith just returned from herMore >>
Army Specialist Ciara Smith surprised her son Devin Lewis and her mother Carla Williams today at Devin's Kindergarten graduation at Harper Elementary School in Thomasville. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:57 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:57:54 GMT
Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society Volunteer Lacey Williams and WALB's Stephen Abel drew the winning raffle ticket late Wednesday afternoon for a $100 gas card donated by Harold Jackson and PetroleumMore >>
A group of volunteers raised a total of $640 by selling the raffle tickets. The money will be used to fight animal cruelty through education and awareness.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:01 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:01:10 GMT
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, P. E. announced some road closures Thursday morning. Beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, the following streets will be closed for the Spring Fest and SBMore >>
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, announced some road closures beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, in downtown Albany.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:00 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:00:09 GMT
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany's unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent in April, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in March. TheMore >>
The unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region declined to 8.2 percent in April, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4 percent in March. The rate was 8.8 percent in April a year ago.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-05-23 11:30:38 GMT
Dougherty County Police believe a pair of convenience store smash and grabs may be the work of the same two men. The first smash and grab happened around 2:20 am at the Pit Stop convenience store atMore >>
Dougherty County Police believe two men are behind a smash and grab and a break in at two convenience stores within four miles of each other.More >>
LAKE PARK, GA (WALB) -
Tonight, aviation investigators and clean-up crews remain on the scene of that deadly plane crash in Lowndes County.
They're still not sure why the plane went down Monday night shortly after takeoff from Valdosta.
Jesup businessman and pilot Rick Poppell was in Valdosta to check on his Christmas tree lots. And we do know crews found a considerable amount of money at the crash site.
Mike and Cindy Hovanec say they were the last people to see 52-year-old Rick Poppell alive. Poppell flew into Valdosta Monday and stopped at the two Christmas tree lots he owned in Valdosta. The Hovanec's worked for Poppell for more than a decade and say his visit was unexpected.
"I turn around and there he was. And he goes, his favorite words were, 'what's goin' on?' and I'm going 'uh what's going on, what are you doing here?,'" said Mike Hovanec.
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine says, Poppell was in town to collect the profits from his Valdosta businesses. Prine says they recovered a considerable amount of money in envelopes from the crash site.
"I thank God for this man, I thank God for him trusting us, you know there's a lot of money that goes through that cash register and this man trusted us over these years," said Hovanec.
As FAA and NTSB officials continued their investigation today, clean-up crews arrived to start removing the wreckage.
Investigators have allowed us to come a little bit closer to the scene of the crash. But we're told even if you're standing right next to the yellow tape, you can't even see the wreckage. He crashed into thick woods.
An autopsy report came back this morning and Poppell died from multiple blunt force injuries. He death was ruled accidental.
"Here's a man that was prosperous, here's a man that had everything, here's a man that was in good health and had a great wife and all of a sudden he's here today and bam, he's gone. It's like your life is a vapor," said Hovanec.
The Hovanec's say they couldn't have been luckier to have such a great boss.
"We loved him, we loved him, he was a great man, he will be greatly missed," said the Hovanec's.
NTSB officials say a preliminary report could be completed by the end of next week.
According to the FAA's pilot registration website, Poppell earned his pilot's license a little more than a year ago.
His body was taken to his hometown of Jesup this afternoon.