Grand Jury indicts Shelby of cruelty to children, child molestation, sexual battery

News

CLEVELAND, Ga. — A White County Grand Jury last week indicted 44-year old Scott Shelby of Cleveland on 10 counts of cruelty to children, four counts of aggravated child molestation, sexual battery, two counts of simple battery and aggravated assault.

Those charges are in connection with alleged incidents that occurred at a residence on Rocket Drive February 7.

At the time of the arrest, Capt. Rick Kelley said there were four children in the home ranging in ages from 10-15 years old. The investigation showed a history of abuse. Shelby is charged with three counts of cruelty to children in the first degree and one case of aggravated assault.

The grand jury heard a total of 43 bills addressed and all were true billed.

The grand jury also inspected the White County Detention Center and heard reports from White County Sheriff Neal Walden, Probate Judge Garrison Baker and Superior Court Clerk Dena Adams before recommending the county make the pay of law enforcement personnel commensurate with the hourly rate paid in surrounding counties.

 

 

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Commissioners Set Series of Monday Meetings

News

CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a series of meetings in the County Administration Building Monday starting at 3 p.m.

The first will be a called meeting to finalize plans for the Yonah Preserve project. During that meeting, commissioners will review current draft plans, receive additional input on design plans and summarize guidance for the project.

That meeting will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by public hearings to consider rezoning applications filed by Mark Byrd for two parcels of land at 36 Cannon Road. The first is an application to rezone 3.5 acres of land from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District. The second is to rezone 1.8 acres of land from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District.

A work session/called meeting will follow the public hearings. Commissioners will consider a request by the Northeast Georgia Veterans Society to fund and erect a statute of the late Private Rondall Glaze at Freedom Park.

Other issues to be discussed during that meeting include:

  • An application for the 2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to fund the multi-jurisdictional drug task force and a memorandum of understanding for the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office;
  • A presentation by Sheriff Neal Walden on recommended improvements to the county courthouse;
  • A final three-year lease-purchase document with BB&T for a 2017 Kenworth 4,000-gallon pumper/tanker for the fire department at a cost of $251,450 plus interest;
  • Quotes for the replacement of Information Technology equipment;
  • A lease with WRWH for tower space at the Long Mountain Tower site;
  • An addendum to the FY 2018 contract with Legacy Link for nutrition program services at the senior center;
  • Bids for certificates of deposit held at Mountain Valley Community Bank;
  • Appointment of the county’s voting delegate for the 2017 ACCG legislative leadership conference;
  • Year-end amendments to the FY 2017 budget.

 

 

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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BOC Tables Requests for More Funding

News

CLEVELAND, Ga. — The White County Board of Commissioners tabled requests for funding from Hardman Farm for the 2017 Fall Festival and the Chamber of Commerce for Spirit of Appalachia Food, Wine and Art Festival at Monday’s joint called meeting and work session.

The county recently voted not to increase the millage rate, but instead draw down the reserve fund to help balance the budget so they were reluctant to approve additional funding until the tax digest has been reported later this month.

The board did agree to purchase a new mower for the Parks and Recreation Department for $12,294 which will be paid for out of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax receipts and a new Ford F-150 pickup truck for Animal Control for about $22,000 which was already included in the budget.

Finance Director Vicki Mays provided the monthly financial report which showed year-to-date revenue of $15,471,758 and expenditures of $15,548,338. The 2017 General Fund budget was set at $16,299,730.

Kevin Hamby presented a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) update.

“I have some real good news,” Hamby said. “Folks are spending money up here. There is no question about that.”

In June, the county reported more than $300,000 in SPLOST collections. The current SPLOST was projected to raise approximately $19 million and less than halfway through, the county has already collected $9, 727,213.

Sheriff Neal Walden took time to congratulate the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) which conducted a raid last week that dismantled a major drug trafficking organization operating primarily out of Stephens and Habersham counties but supplying drugs to a much wider section of north Georgia including White County.

“The drug task force took a bite out of the drug trade in northeast Georgia over the weekend,” Walden said. “That was about a 6-8 months investigation. They did a good job taking a lot of drugs, guns and money off the street. It didn’t show any stats in White County but trust me, for these dealers here it’s just a hop skip and jump over to Habersham and Stephens counties. That’s where they’re going to get most of it.”

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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ARDEO Dismantles Drug Trafficking Ring

News

 

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Officers with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) conducted a raid over the weekend that dismantled a major drug trafficking organization operating primarily out of Stephens and Habersham counties but supplying drugs to a much wider section of north Georgia including White County.

White County Sheriff Neal Walden congratulated ARDEO officers which includes officers from White at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

“The drug task force took a bite out of the drug trade in northeast Georgia over the weekend,” Walden said. “That was about a 6-8 months investigation. They did a good job taking a lot of drugs, guns and money off the street. It didn’t show any stats in White County but trust me, for these dealers here it’s just a hop skip and jump over to Habersham and Stephens counties. That’s where they’re going to get most of it.”

Together with the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Habersham County Sheriff’s Office and Toccoa Police Department, ARDEO agents served 10 search warrants and 25 arrest warrants for members, suppliers and customers of Donna Beard and Amber Null’s drug trafficking organization.

Execution of the search warrants began with a traffic stop of the alleged suppliers, Brandon Davidson and Jody Higgins, prior to their delivery of methamphetamine to Beard and Null.

Over the course of the eight month investigation, ARDEO agents with the cooperation of the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, used all available investigative techniques at its disposal to bring down a drug trafficking network that has plagued Stephens, Habersham, White and surrounding counties.

The search warrants resulted in the seizure of one pound of methamphetamine, numerous firearms and $38,600 in cash.

Acording to an ARDEO press release, the drug trafficking organization has distributed multiple kilograms of methamphetamine in North Georgia.

This particular investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, Agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization. This investigation developed as a result of intelligence that was gathered after the previous arrests of Luke Norton, Tonya Loundermilk and Melanie Brock. The investigation continues and additional arrests are expected.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, and Rabun County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, the Georgia National Guard, Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of 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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Fallen Police Officers, Families to be Honored During National Police Week

Business, News

CLEVELAND, Ga. –  White County Sheriff Neal Walden wants to remind everyone that Sunday May 14th  through 20th  is National Police Week, a time to honor law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their sworn duty.

In an email, Walden said that of the 394 officers killed in the line of duty, 134 were killed in 2016. Nine of those are from Georgia. Those names are being added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC www.lawmemorial.org

Georgia law enforcement officers killed last year are: Officer Nicholas Smarr of the Americus Police Department, Deputy Anthony Freeman of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Timothy Smith of the Eastman Police Department, Officer Jody Smith of the Georgia Southwestern University Police Department, Deputy Justin Scott White of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriffs Darryl Smallwood and Patrick Sondron of the Peach County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Gregory Barney of the Riverdale Police Department and Deputy U.S. Marshall Patrick Carothers .

The names of all 394 fallen officers will be formally dedicated during the 29th Annual Candlelight Vigil the evening of Friday, May 13 to be held on the National Mall between 4th and 7th streets. So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be webcast live over the Internet beginning at 8 pm EDT on Friday. To register for the free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast

The candlelight vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week. The observance is organized by a group of organizations led by the National Officers Memorial Fund. Concerns of Police Survivors, the Fraternal Order of Police and Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.

In tribute to the American law enforcement officers and, at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15th National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their US flags at half staff.

 

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Two New Candidates Meet Qualifying Deadline

News, Politics

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Two new candidates were added to the list of qualifiers for the May 24, 2016 primary election Friday in White County. Shawn Henderson will run for County Commission in Dist. 4 and Ronald Hood will run for County Commission in Dist. 1.

Coroner Candidate
Ricky Barrett

Sheriff Candidate
Neal Walden

Aaron Autry

Tax Commissioner Candidate
Cindy Cannon

County Commissioner Dist. 1 Candidate
Terry Goodger

Ronald Hood

County Commission Dist. 4 Candidate

Shawn Henderson

Commission Chairman Candidate

Joe R. Campbell
Travis Turner

Superior Court Clerk Candidate
Dena Adams

School Board Dist. 1

Jon Estes

School Board District 3 Candidate
Charlie Thomas

Probate Judge Candidate
Garrison Baker

School Board Chairman Candidate
Kendyl Brock

Chief Magistrate Candidate
Joy Parks

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