WINDER - Lieutenant Kristi Bratcher has been appointed state certification team leader by Mike Edwards, Director of State Certification.

Bratcher has earned top honors in the Winder Police Department during her years of service there.

Police Chief Stanley Rodgers congratulated Bratcher and named just a few of her accomplishments since joining the Winder force from Ohio several years ago.

"She graduated at the top of her police recruit class and did outstanding work on a serial rape case that ended in a conviction," said Rodgers. "She is a certified POST instructor, has received two educational achievement awards and has earned a Masters degree."

Bratcher worked as an undercover narcotics agent while in Ohio. As state certification team leader assessor, she will be second in command only to the director.

Poetry Contest winners announced

The winners of the Winder Poetry Contest, held in April, were announced Tuesday.

City administrator Bob Beck and Mayor Chip Thompson presented the winners with a certificate and gave each a chance to read their winning poem.

Adult Division winners:

First place - Margaret Loggins; second place (tie) - Dru Jiles Hatcher and Kim Shupenia; third place - Maria Araceli Alvarado.

Youth Division winners:

First place - Michelle Tippens; second place - Kristy Evans; third place - Ronald Coleman.

The city of Winder holds a poetry contest every year in April, since April is National Poetry Month. Winder Friends of the Library will host the annual poetry reception at 7 p.m., May 19 in the Piedmont Regional Library.

Supplemental insurance retiree benefit discontinued

Employees age 65 and older who retire from the city of Winder have been receiving health insurance that is supplemental to Medicare. At an average cost to taxpayers of $800,000 a year, the cost of providing this benefit to retirees is burdensome to the city, according to Beck.

"Our finances and budget can not support this any longer," Beck said. "Our city benefit plan to all employees is still very rich."

City Council members voted to discontinue providing the supplemental health care insurance to retirees. Councilman Sonny Morris urged Beck to continue looking for a similar plan that the city can afford to provide its retired employees.