News Briefs for 3-7-16

| March 7, 2016


The investigation into the Inner Perimeter Road vehicular death of a Lowndes County man continues. Trooper Chris Kelch of Post 31 of the Georgia State patrol reports that Arica Ondrae Henderson lost control of his vehicle while traveling Southbound. It left the roadway rolling over multiple times and struck a culvert. Henderson was wearing a seat belt but was still partially ejected and was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was a busy weekend for a multi-agency task force in Dougherty County as they rounded up almost 50 people on probation. The suspects were believed to have been involved in gang activity or other violent crimes. Another round is already in the planning stage. The agencies involved included federal, state and local police and county officers.

A legislative proposal that has already cleared the House of Representatives would allow cameras to record speeders traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the legal speed limit in school zone areas. According to the report letter carriers with the Postal Service could deliver the tickets with the daily mail. However, there is opposition to the use of such technology and one state lawmaker Ed Setzler says that the use of the cameras to catch drivers speeding through school zones could also be used in multiple areas of municipalities over the next few years if the bill passes. The tickets could be as much as $150.00 and Setzler says that is just the beginning.

 It’s qualifying time for persons in Colquitt County considering a run for constitutional officers posts and other positions county-wide. Candidates will have until Friday to complete the process. The races will involve three partisan Colquitt County Commission seats and three Colquitt County School Board positions in the May 24 general primary and nonpartisan election. There is another race that is drawing a lot of attention and that involves a replacement for retiring Sheriff Al Whittington; so far four people have made public their interest in that post.

 This story involving embezzlement from a Marietta Church; 62 year old Gwendolyn Hawthorne has entered a plea of guilty to stealing over $93,000 from the Crown of Life Community Baptist Church where she was employed.  The church officials say that Hawthorne is responsible for the loss of $88,000 with $5,000 in overdraft fees at their bank. The 62 year old female has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.

 Supporters of legislation to bring casino gambling to Georgia say that even though the proposed bill failed to get a vote in the House of Representatives prior to last Monday’s deadline the fight is not over. Supporters point to the additional revenue to be derived from the casinos that would benefit the state’s education infrastructure along with health programs and initiatives to benefit persons with mental disabilities. However, opponents fear addictions to gambling, an increase in related crime and other social ills caused by gambling. The battle will continue in the next session of the Georgia Legislature.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will be out in force at the State Capitol today and Tuesday calling on the Legislature to improve drunk driving laws in Georgia. The organization is urging lawmakers to advance HB 205 to allow first-time drunk driving offenders to choose an ignition interlock instead of license suspension. Georgia is one of just a handful of states that does not have an ignition interlock law that applies to first offenders.  MADD will announce findings of a recent report that shows ignition interlocks have prevented 15,250 drunken driving attempts in Georgia going back to 1999 when the ignition interlock lock for multiple offenders was enacted. MADD supporters say that allowing first offenders to drive with an ignition interlock will save lives and prevent repeat offenses.


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Filed in: News, Regional News

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