STARS AND STRIPES
Chandel Carpenter, 7, Pendergrass, got a special star painted on her face during the July 4 festivities Saturday night in Jefferson as her mom, Deborah Carpenter, (L) looks on. The Jefferson Area Business Association organized the event, which included a fireworks display presented by the Jefferson Fire Department.
Prison fire crew shut down over funding
Volunteer firemen say the group is needed to help; warden says he needs more guards
BY ANGELA GARY
An apparent struggle over funding has led to the shutdown of a local prison firefighting group, a move that other firemen say hurts local firefighting efforts.
Jackson County Correctional Institute warden Joe Dalton said Tuesday night that he stopped dispatching the prison firefighting crew in May after county commissioners told him his overtime budget was too high. Dalton said prison guards had been handling the firefighting crew on their "off time," which led to a jump in the JCCI overtime budget.
But the move has left other firefighting departments in the county complaining about the loss of manpower. Members of the Jackson County Firemen's Association spoke at the Jackson County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night to ask that the county resume sending the inmates to fires.
BOC chairman Jerry Waddell said that in order for the practice to resume, the county would have to hire two new guards to respond to fires along with the inmates. But commissioner Pat Bell repeatedly asked who handled these duties earlier and why they could no longer do it. Dalton continued to point out that he was told his overtime was over budget.
James Lyle, vice president of the county fire association, said the inmates provided many services, including the clean-up at fires. He pointed out that some departments have only one or two volunteers on call during the daytime hours and that the six to eight inmates were a big help to them.
"We need them and we miss them," he said. "We need to do whatever we can to get them back in service."
Jefferson fire chief Doug Waters said he also believes the inmates are needed for the service they provide. He said they offer an "invaluable asset" to the county fire protection.
"This has hurt the fire association more than anything else," Waters said about the inmates no longer responding to fires. "...It's an asset you can't put a dollar figure on."
On other fire-related business, Tom Crowe again asked the BOC to consider funding a fire training facility with funds from the proposed special purpose local option sales tax.
Jefferson man seriously burned in Atlanta fire
A Jefferson man was seriously injured while fighting a fire in Atlanta Monday.
Matt Lindquist, who has been an Atlanta firefighter for eight years, was seriously burned when he fell through a flight of stairs and into the basement of the home. He is in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital's burn unit.
Linquist and his wife, who have a young son, live on Orr's School Road near Jefferson.
Charged this week
·Christopher Thomas Jackson, 21, 1114 Wages Bridge Road, Nicholson, no license.
·Shirley Ann Poole, 43, 164 Segars Street, Arcade, probation violation.
·Clyde Alvin Burnett, 47, 237 McConnell Drive, Gainesville, aggravated assault.
·John Zack Byrd, 18, 300 McCreery Road, Jefferson, probation violation.
·James Michael Reidling, 26, Rte. 1 Box 1178, Jefferson, probation violation.
·Michael Brian Stephenson, 19, 28 Andy Court, Commerce, gasoline drive-off.
·Amy Elizabeth Rhodes, 20, 494 Duncan Road, Commerce, first degree forgery.
·Jeffery Lynn Thomas, 31, 900 Romano, Orlando, Fla., disorderly conduct.
·Howard Jefferson Dorsey, 39, 2310 Davenport Road, Braselton, probation violation.
·Justin Todd Underwood, 19, 30 Maria Circle, Jefferson, disorderly conduct.
·Billy Ray Toney, 55, 34 Gilbert Street, Jefferson, disorderly conduct.
·Eloy Fortuanato Diaz, 23, 1054 Hwy. 59, Commerce, probation violation.
·Tracie Lynn Ervin, 32, 672 Yonah-Homer Road, Homer, bad check.
·Daniel Lorenzil Ramos, 29, 688 Hillside Way, Maysville, no license, operation of a vehicle without a current plate and turning violation.
·Becky Sue Hanley, 39, 221 College Ave., Commerce, theft by taking.
·Roger Paul Hanley, 17, 126 College Ave., Commerce, theft by taking.
·Danny Dempsy Cannon, 38, Lot 61 Hollie Springs Road, Arcade, simple battery.
·Faron William Segars, 38, 208 Chatham Road, Homer, possession of Dilaudid, giving false name or address to a law enforcement officer and probation violation.
·Margaret Dianne Murphy, 44, 2159 Old State Road, Pendergrass, criminal trespass.
·Jason Randall Bailey, 19, 2507 Golden Eagle Circle, Oakwood, theft by taking.
·Kevin Ray Bagwell, 31, 5826 Green Road, Buford, probation violation.
·John Richard Nash, 34, 3857 Bailey Road, Auburn, abandonment of a minor child.
Those charged by the Arcade Police Department include:
·William Junior Savage, 59, 7095 Smokey Road, Athens, driving while license suspended or revoked and no proof of insurance.
Those charged by the Hoschton Police Department include:
·Robert Charles Ingram, 19, 45 East Wright Street, Winder, speeding, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and no proof of insurance.
Those charged by the state patrol include:
·Stacie Nichole Diaz, 20, 1054 Hwy. 59, Commerce, driving while license suspended or revoked and violation of safety belt use law.
Three charged with DUI
Three people were charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI) last week in Jackson County.
Those cited and any additional charges filed against them are as follows:
·Bobby Van Griffith, 52, 1101 Simms Bridge Road, Commerce, also no proof of insurance.
·Joseph Lamar Reed, 57, 3466 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville, also criminal trespass, alteration of license plate and driving while license suspended or revoked.
·Brian Keith Hector, 28, 1060 Fuller Road, Watkinsville, also use of multiple-beam road lighting equipment.
July 4th brawl leads to arrest of three Jefferson men
Three Jefferson men were arrested Sunday after getting into a fight with three police officers who were called to a Maria Circle apartment on a domestic disturbance.
Justin Todd Underwood, 19, was charged with felony obstruction, disorderly conduct, simple battery on police officer, possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects.
Nicholas Leroy Sands, 18, was charged with felony obstruction, disorderly conduct and simple battery.
Mark Cheatum, 18, was charged with disorderly conduct, simple assault, felony obstruction, terroristic threats and making threats to prevent information being passed on to a law enforcement officer.
Sgt. Tony Kelley and officers Jay R. Maisonet and Andrew Fazekas with the Jefferson Police Department were called to the Maria Circle residence when the three men reportedly refused to leave a woman's apartment. The woman was also allegedly being assaulted with a stun gun. The three men fought with the officers and pepper spray had to be used before they were finally handcuffed.
When officer Maisonet arrived on the scene, he was called to a neighbor's apartment to meet with the victim. The three men were still at the scene and he ordered Sands and Underwood to sit on the front porch of the apartment. They refused and went inside an apartment where Cheatum was. Sgt. Kelley and officer Fazekas arrived and were watching the front and back door of the apartment while Maisonet went to talk to the victim. When Cheatum threatened the woman, the officer ordered him and the other two men to sit down, but they again refused.
Sgt. Kelley reportedly got between the woman and Cheatum and he was threatened and hit in the jaw by the suspect. Cheatum was then handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, according to the report.
At this same time, officers Fazekas and Maisonet were attempting to maintain control over the other two men, who were allegedly using profane language directed at the woman and the officers. Sgt. Kelley said he ran back to the porch area and Sands came after him and grabbed him around his upper body. The officer said he felt Sands' hand on his pistol. The officer said he pulled his pistol to prevent Sands from going any further. Kelley said he pointed it at Sands and told him he would shoot if he did not stop fighting.
At this time, Fazekas sprayed Sands with pepper spray, but the man kept fighting. Kelley put up his pistol and struck Sands in the lower left thigh with his baton, but the officer said it had no effect. He then struck Sands in the upper left calf area which caused him to "buckle some," but he still kept fighting. Sands was sprayed again and the officers were finally able to handcuff him. Kelley also inhaled some of the pepper spray.
Underwood was also reportedly cursing at the officers and started swinging at Maisonet. Underwood then threw Maisonet over his back and the officer held him as he was slammed backward into the outside wall. They fought into the apartment and the officer was forced into the wall where he injured his left shoulder and neck. Officer Fazekas then used pepper spray after which time the officers handcuffed Underwood and placed him in a patrol car.
The Arcade Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff's Department were called to assist in the incident.
After the three men were taken into custody, the officers investigated the apartment. Suspected marijuana seeds and stems, drug-related objects and the stun gun were found.
Fazekas and Maisonet suffered from secondary exposure to the pepper spray and Maisonet had shoulder and chest pains from being thrown into a wall.
filed on McNeal Road rezoning
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Jackson County Board of Commissioners over a recent zoning decision.
Emily Romfh filed the suit over a May decision by the BOC to rezone 196.9 acres owned by L&J Associates LLC at 1717 McNeal Road from A-2 to R-1 for a 189-home subdivision. The Jackson County Planning Commission had also recommended approval of the request.
Romfh owns a 218-acre farm adjacent to the property. She said the property has a suitable use under the A-2 zoning and the rezoning would adversely affect her property and other nearby property.
"Development of the property under the R-1 zoning classification will create a burdensome and dangerous situation with regard to traffic on McNeal Road," the suit reads. "...There is no property zoned or developed under the R-1 zoning classification in the vicinity of the property."
Romfh also says in the lawsuit that development of the property would damage the value of her property.
Romfh is asking that the court declare the rezoning invalid and grant her a permanent restraining order.
DOT sets hearing on Hwy. 129 widening plans
A public hearing is planned by the Georgia Department of Transportation on the planned four-laning of Hwy. 129.
The drop-in meeting will be held July 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. at South Jackson Elementary School. DOT engineers will be available at the meeting to discuss the road design and a display of the project will be provided. A draft environmental study on the project will also be available for review.
The project calls for the reconstruction of Hwy. 129 from Lavender Road in Clarke County to the entrance of the proposed Jefferson bypass south of Arcade. The project will upgrade Hwy. 129 from the existing two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting may send comments on the project to David Studstill, Georgia DOT, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, Ga. 30336. Leaders say the comments will be considered in the development of the final project design.
Herald - Jefferson, Georgia
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