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Archive By Author - Michele Hester


Courthouse on track for December opening

Officials are predicting an early December opening for the county's new courthouse.

Bob Ivey, manager of special projects for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, said a rough winter followed by frequent rain storms in spring delayed construction by about 12 weeks.

July 06, 2011 | Michele Hester | Government


Wreck kills 1, injures 3

A Dawsonville man was among the 19 people killed in wrecks statewide over the July Fourth holiday weekend.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said Michael Martinez Moreno, 27, was pronounced dead Saturday night at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

July 06, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Thousands celebrate

Dressed in red, white and blue, Sam Bailey and two friends squealed Saturday night as they ran through a field at Rock Creek Park.

"It's her birthday," said 5-year-old Samantha Cohen of her friend. "And it's America's birthday."

July 06, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Hearings announced on millage rate increase

The Dawson County Board of Education has scheduled several public hearings this month on a proposed tax hike.

The school board recently announced its intention to raise property taxes by 3.25 percent over the rollback millage rate to help offset a projected $300,000 budget deficit for the coming year.

July 06, 2011 | Michele Hester | Education


Hilton indicted in N.C. murders

A former drifter serving a life sentence for one slaying and sentenced to death for another has been indicted in the murders of an elderly couple in a third state.

For years, authorities have called Gary Michael Hilton, 65, a suspect in the killings of John and Irene Bryant, who disappeared in 2007 while hiking in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

July 06, 2011 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


County plans to settle with gun club

The nearly five-year saga over a controversial gun club, a dispute that has cost the county thousands of dollars in legal fees, could soon come to an end.

Last week, Dawson County commissioners said they anticipate settling the lawsuit with Richard Becker, owner of Etowah Valley Sporting Clays, as early as next month.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | Government


Residents raise fuss over utility tower

Residents of a gated subdivision in southeastern Dawson County are angry about a utility tower recently erected without warning near their homes.

"Would you like to have that tower next your home? I want you to be honest with me. Would you want that in your backyard?" Ivan Ruiz asked representatives of Etowah Water and Sewer Authority last week.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


System fares well on CRCT

Dawson County students as a whole exceeded the state average on the Criterion-Referenced-Competency Test, according to preliminary systemwide scores released last week.

"The scores were outstanding," said Superintendent Keith Porter. "Our students and teachers did a great job for us again this year."

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | Education


‘Keep kids safe’

A new state law that takes effect Friday will keep children in car safety seats until their eighth birthday.

Signed into law in May, the requirement is designed to reduce the risk of child injuries and fatalities on state roads.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


City mourns loss of icon

A man who spent nearly four decades serving the city of Dawsonville died Monday at age 92 following a period of declining health.

Born about 10 miles outside of town, G. L. "Pete" Gilleland and his family moved to Dawsonville when he was 7.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Area man Vietnam vet of the year

If David Hildebrand knew the truth behind his invitation to the Georgia State Council of Vietnam Veterans' meeting earlier this month, he said he would have stayed home.

It was there in Macon on June 18 that the Dahlonega man was named Georgia's Vietnam Veteran of the Year.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


5 arrested after party in WMA

A recent report of possible underage partying in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area resulted in the arrests of five metro Atlanta men on drug, alcohol and firearms charges.

Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said Department of Natural Resources officers alerted deputies June 21 after they saw several men drinking alcohol and firing shotguns into the air.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Firework extravaganza offers fun for family

Red, white and blue sparks will soar over Rock Creek Park on Saturday night when Dawson County kicks off the Independence Day weekend with a fireworks extravaganza.

Presented by the Dawson County Board of Commissioners and Dawson Community News, Dawson Day Sparks in the Park begins at 5 p.m. with activities for the entire family.

June 29, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


‘Celebrities’ connect

Nearly a dozen local "celebrities" have new respect for the food-service industry after they donned aprons Friday for an annual fundraiser

"This was my second year doing this," said Dawsonville Councilman Calvin Byrd. "I should have been way better this year. That's some hard work."

June 22, 2011 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Ex-clerk pleads to charges

GAINESVILLE - Dawson County's former clerk of courts pleaded guilty Friday to federal tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud.

Appearing in U.S. District Court, Becky McCord, 62, admitted falsifying her 2009 federal income tax return and lying about her income during a bankruptcy hearing.

June 22, 2011 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


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