BREAKING NEWS: Shooting in Dawson County

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Sheriff Jeff Johnson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said authorities are investigating a shooting that took place this afternoon at the Chevron station at Georgia 400 and Dawsonville Highway.

Johnson said one of his deputies was giving a man a courtesy ride to the store and had planned to give the man some money to buy a few things when the man started striking the deputy in the face.

According to Johnson, a woman who witnessed the incident pulled a handgun and shot the suspect who then fled across state Route 400 to the McDonald’s restaurant where he assaulted a woman.

Johnson said the deputy, the woman who was assaulted and the suspect have been taken to an area hospital.

No names have been released at this time.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they become available

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Cumming Woman Charged in Hit-And-Run Death

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Sherri Lynn Jennings

CUMMING, Ga. – A Cumming woman has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of 80-year-old Bobby Eugene Wells of Dawsonville Oct. 9 on Dawson Forest Road in Dawson County.

The Georgia State Patrol Post 37, Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision  Reconstruction Team, along with investigators from the Dawson County District Attorney’s Office, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office,  Dawson County Communications, and Lanier Technical College Police, arrested Sherri Lynn  Jennings, 44, of Cumming Wednesday.

Jennings is charged with homicide by vehicle, first degree hit and run, fnailure to report an accident and failure to maintain lane in connection with the incident.

The vehicle in the suspected hit and run was located by investigators at an address inside Forsyth County on Wednesday.

Further Details will be forthcoming at a later date as the incident is still under investigation.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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County, Sheriff Spar Over Budget Request

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Chairman Billy Thurmond

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson and the Board of Commissioners butted heads over the sheriff’s budget request during a called meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson says he cannot provide the services required of his office on the $7.3 million budget commissioners have proposed. He requested $8.1 million. But commissioners say Johnson’s predecessor, Billy Carlisle who retired last year, provided those same services on a budget of only $6.8 million. They say the half million dollar increase they have proposed plus a significant pay raise for all county employees, including the sheriff’s office and another $300,000 for capital expenditures, is all the taxpayers can afford.

Sheriff Jeff Johnson

Commissioners will consider the arguments made by Johnson and his attorney, Joey Homans, until Thursday when the final budget is set to be adopted.

In initiating the discussion, Chairman Billy Thurmond said, “It is our goal to help you meet your needs. By no means do we want to run your department. We have no idea how to run your department. That takes money and we’re looking for every means and every way to generate the revenue.”

Commissioner Chris Gaines echoed that sentiment, saying, “I want the very best Sheriff’s Office this county can afford.”

Commissioner Chris Gaines

It is worth noting that the sheriff’s budgeting process is unlike any in state government. Commissioners control the budget, but sheriffs are constitutional officers, elected by the citizens. Their budgets cannot be cut unless the sheriff agrees. If push comes to shove, the sheriff can take his appeal through the court system.

Johnson may have been setting the stage for that when he said, “If you look at our budget, just the line items, take away the salaries and benefits, our budget was reduced. Our overall budget was reduced. That’s where we’re at. We come into this process short on staff, short on uniforms, short on equipment and short on a long laundry list of items.”

Both sides would like to avoid litigation because taxpayers would be forced to pay the legal fees of both the commission and the sheriff’s office, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Commissioner Sharon Fausett

Commissioner Sharon Fausett opened the door to future opportunities for the sheriff’s office to achieve some increases, saying, “This budget isn’t written in stone but we have to start somewhere.” She indicated that she might be open to future adjustments in the budget if revenue rose above expectations and the need was warranted.

“But I don’t want to get below the 15 percent contingency fund,” she said. “I don’t want to raise property taxes and I don’t want to borrow money. I want us to be fiscally responsible.”

Commissioners questioned why the sheriff chose to make purchases outside the county’s purchasing department where discounts and other efficiencies are available. They say that is a duplication of services that costs taxpayers more money.

Johnson explained that for big ticket purchases, in excess of $100,000, he does use the purchasing department but added, “I’m accountable to the voters of Dawson County for how I spend my money and why I choose certain contractors. But often times, the lowest bid will get you just that, the lowest quality. He cited two examples of contractors the county selected in the past that he felt failed to do live up to their contract.

Commissioners have argued in the past that the Sheriff’s Offices in Lumpkin and White counties serve a larger population but have a smaller budget than what is being proposed for Dawson, a county with a population of about 23,000.

For example, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office budget is $6.6 million and its population is 29,966 while the budget for White County Sheriff Neal Walden is only $5.4 million for a population of 28,000.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drowning Victim Was a Dawson County Man

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Authorities have identified the man who drowned at War Hill Park Tuesday as David Howser, 55, of 711 River Valley Road in Dawsonville.

David Manke, a friend of the victim, told Forsyth County Deputy C.A. Miller that Howser was attempting to swim back to shore when he went under water and never resurfaced. Manke said he swam out to Howser, pulled him back to shore and attempted CPR before calling 9-1-1.

Dawson County EMS was first to arrive on the scene. Paramedics attempted CPR for approximately 30 minutes but were unable to revive the man.

The body was transported to the Forsyth County Coroner.

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Area Businesses Reopen after Bomb Threat

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A bomb threat called in by phone to the Sonic Drive In on Dawsonville Highway (Hwy. 53 East) sent employees and customers scrambling and Dawson County Emergency Services personnel into action Friday afternoon.

Hwy. 53 between Ga. 400 and Dawson Forest Road was closed for two hours while authorities investigated the threat. The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office turned vehicles around at the light near the old Kroger shopping center.

Several other businesses near the restaurant were also closed from about 3:50 p.m. until about 5:50 p.m. when the restaurant was cleared.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Body Discovered Near Amicalola Falls State Park

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — At approximately 9:41 a.m. today, the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received a call of a possible dead body on the Appalachian Trail in the area of the Amicalola Falls State Park.  Upon officers’ arrival, a male was found deceased. There were no apparent signs of foul play, however the investigation is still active.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they become available.

 

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Sheriff’s Office Employee Charged with Forgery

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Katie Ann Moore worked at the Dawson County Detention Center

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A Dawson County Sheriff’s Office employee was arrested Tuesday and charged with forgery in the first degree, a felony charge.

Moore, who has worked at the sheriff’s office since May 2015, was a detention officer at the Dawson County Detention Center.

A resident of Murrayville and member of the Georgia National Guard, Moore is accused of presenting a false document regarding the date she was to report for duty with the National Guard.

After an investigation, it was determined the document was fictitious.

Multiple messages left on Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson’s office and cell phone have not been returned.

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Dawson County Motorcycle Crash Kills One Person

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – An unidentified man was killed Friday afternoon when the motorcycle he was riding crashed near the intersection of Ga. Hwy. 400 and Industrial Park Road in Dawson County.

Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said Georgia State Patrol requested Dawson County’s help at approximately in pursuit of a motorcycle rider that refused to stop for officers at approximately 2:13 p.m. today.

The crash occurred shortly thereafter and involved a passenger vehicle. No one in the automobile was injured.

As of 3:15 p.m. today one southbound lane and one northbound lave of Ga. 400 were closed down.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they  become available.

 

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