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Archive By Author - Michele Hester


Festival founder dies

The man credited with founding what has become Dawsonville's Mountain Moonshine Festival died Sunday at age 75.

Born in Dawson County in 1936, friends called Fred Goswick a man of vision who recognized that tales of Dawsonville's pioneer heritage and sordid moonshine history had the potential to be something big.

February 15, 2012 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


County resident charged with trafficking meth

A Dawson County man who authorities say they had been watching for more than two years was charged with trafficking methamphetamine earlier this month.

Daniel Jeffrey Thompson, 46, is being held without bond at the Dawson County jail.

February 15, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Jury convicts driver

A Dawsonville man awaits sentencing after a jury found him guilty in connection with an incident that claimed the life of a 24-year-old Gainesville woman in 2010.

The jury took less than four hours Feb. 3 to reach its verdict against Colon Louis Hartzler, who authorities said was driving under the influence of alcohol when passenger Jenna Fitzgerald fell from his Jeep and was struck by a minivan on Ga. 400.

February 08, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


County holds meeting, court in new center

Commissioners held their first meeting in the Dawson County Government Center on Feb. 2.

The meeting room's new electronic system allows commissioners to cast votes electronically on agenda items. The votes are then displayed on several flat screen monitors inside the board's assembly room on the second floor.

February 08, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Parolee charged with battery

A woman recently released from prison to care for her elderly father was arrested over the weekend after Dawson County Sheriff's deputies reportedly saw her physically abusing the man.

Martha Ann Horvat, 45, is being held at the Dawson County jail without bond, authorities said.

February 08, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Third candidate enters sheriff’s race

The race for sheriff in Dawson County has become a three-man contest.

Last week, lifelong resident Johnny Glass said he has been encouraged to run and, if elected, plans to focus on the community.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Chief magistrate will seek second term

Dawson County's chief magistrate judge has announced she will seek a second term.

"I care about magistrate court, I care about the citizens in this county, and I want to represent them for another four years," said Lisa Thurmond, who was elected in 2008 after serving as associate magistrate judge for four years.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Amerson talks state issues over breakfast

A bill that would allow free tastings of distilled spirits at distilleries for educational and promotional tours topped the discussion Saturday morning when State Rep. Amos Amerson sat down to breakfast with voters in Dawson County.

Dawsonville City Councilman James Grogan said he attended the breakfast to gauge Amerson's interest in House Bill 514, which would allow free tastings of distilled spirits at distilleries. The bill could have a direct impact on one that is currently awaiting permitting to open in Dawsonville.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Wildcat buys fire truck

Volunteers have raised more than $38,000 over the past year for a replacement fire engine at Station 8 in western Dawson County.

The donation will be combined with $3,500 from the government of neighboring Pickens County and about $5,700 from Dawson County to buy a used engine.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Bank branch closing downtown

Community and Southern Bank plans to close its downtown Dawsonville branch at the end of April.

Bank officials announced last week the branch on Main Street will be combined with one at 4300 Dawson Forest Road, by Ga. 400.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | BUSINESS


Board moves meetings to government center

Commissioners will have their first meeting in the new Dawson County Government Center tomorrow.

The 6 p.m. voting session will be held in the assembly room on the second floor.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Equipment vandalized on construction site

The investigation is continuing into the vandalism of several pieces of heavy equipment last week on the site of Lanier Technical College's new campus near downtown Dawsonville.

Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said the property damage has been estimated at about $11,000.

February 01, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Commission sets qualifying fees

Qualifying fees have been set for the upcoming 2012 countywide elections.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted Jan. 19 to set the fees candidates seeking election must pay to qualify to run for office. Fees range from $10 to run for county surveyor to $1,779.87 for sheriff.

January 25, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Advocate to chair state registry board

Four months after being appointed to the panel that reviews the state's sex offender registry, a local victims' advocate has been selected to lead it.

Katie Strayhorn was elected chairwoman of the Sexual Offender Registration Board on Jan. 18.

January 25, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Tanner announces bid for State House

Dawson County's manager has announced his intention to seek the new District 9 post in the state House of Representatives.

"I am excited to announce my campaign ... and I am truly honored by the tremendous outpouring of support I have received so far," said Kevin Tanner, who'll run as a Republican.

January 25, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


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Articles By Author - Michele Hester


Lucky winners roll the dice at Roaring Rotary casino

Dawson County deputies raided an underground gambling parlor Saturday night and arrested several well-known wiseguys on alcohol and racketeering charges.

July 27, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Etowah votes to lay 12-inch waterlines on Nix Bridge

Residents along Nix Bridge Road will soon have the waterlines needed for improved fire safety, though there are no immediate plans by the county to ...

July 22, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Neikirk named interim county manager

Commissioners Thursday night voted to appoint Vicki Neikirk to serve as interim county manager following Randy Dowling's abrupt resignation earlier that day.

July 22, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Commission chair recommends full property tax rollback

Commission Chairman Mike Berg is calling for a full millage rate rollback that, if approved, would be the county's first tax reduction in 12 ...

July 20, 2016 | By Michele Hester | Government


Tax commissioner candidates make plea for runoff votes

Andi Henson Juliette and Nicole Stewart made final public pleas to voters last week asking for support in Tuesday's runoff election for Dawson County ...

July 20, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Sheriff’s candidates square off in debate

The men vying to be Dawson County's first new sheriff in 20 years squared off in a heated debate last week before a standing ...

July 20, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Weeklong revival begins Monday at Lumpkin Campground

Some say time seems to stand still on the hallowed grounds of Lumpkin Campground during the weeklong spiritual revival and celebration known as campmeeting.

July 20, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Magistrate judges to get raises

Commissioners last week approved a request to increase salaries for the county's two fulltime magistrate judges.

July 13, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


City threatens lawsuit over SPLOST documents

City officials last week sent a letter to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners threatening suit over alleged missing documents detailing sales tax expenditures.

July 13, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Prayers for the police

Hundreds from across the community were in downtown Dawsonville Sunday afternoon to show their support for law enforcement.

July 13, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


More parents indicted for children’s truancy

The Dawson County School System continues to crack down on local parents violating the state's truancy law.

July 13, 2016 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Star-spangled celebration

It's not always an easy task to impress an 11-year-old.

July 06, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Vandals damage teen’s military memorial

A local teen will not let disrespect by a chosen few detour him from supporting American servicemen and women.

July 06, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Dawsonville mayor elected to state municipal association board

Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan was recently elected to the Georgia Municipal Association board of directors during the group's annual meeting in Savannah June 27.

July 05, 2016 | Michele Hester | Government


Officials confirm rabies case in Dawson County

A Dawson County woman is receiving treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog June 24.

July 05, 2016 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


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