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Chair lift scam exposed in Cherokee County

High potential for other victims throughout area

From   Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

In April, Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies took a report in which a white male, later identified as Samuel Mark Ellis, 58 years old of Dawsonville, scammed an Acworth woman out of $345.00. At one time Ellis legitimately installed stair lift chairs in homes all over the metro area.



Ellis had installed a lift chair in this Acworth home approximately 5 years earlier. When Ellis contacted the victim concerning a recall with her chair and that Ellis would be conducting the work, she wasn’t concerned at all. Ellis arrived, claimed to have replaced the part, charged the victim $345.00, and advised her the manufacturer would reimburse her for the repairs.



The homeowner quickly learned that the entire incident was a hoax and she had been scammed. She reported the incident. Fortunately, detectives were able to locate and arrest Ellis in Gwinnett County.


Ellis was booked into the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on May 20th charged with Exploitation and Intimidation and Theft by Deception. He remains in custody and his bond is set at $12,245.


Information discovered during this investigation reveals a high potential for additional victims in the metro Atlanta area, specifically in Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. If Samuel Ellis has contacted you in recent months about a recall on your lift chair please call Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator Bert Love at 678-493-6318.


Tatum Acres events have nearby residents up in arms

Updated -  See response from Tatum Acres owners in the July 2 e-edition.tatum-acres



Screenshots of Tatum Acres website. While saying the venue is simply a barn and cabin for rent, the website of Tatum Acres boasts wedding and gathering images. Neighbors are not happy with the noise from the property.

     For residents who live near Tatum Acres an east Pickens farm that was denied the permits to host commercial gatherings last year, the music can’t die a day too soon.
    At least a dozen Big Canoe residents and others with property adjacent to the farm attended Thursday’s commissioners’ meeting to air their grievances about noisy events they say are being held at Tatum Acres without appropriate permits and licenses.

See full story in the print and online editions.



Vietnam Vets honored at DAV meeting


     Pickens veterans of the Vietnam war being recognized (l-r): Robert Reitz, Russell Pendley, Michael O'Rear, Ron Caraway, Kiriko Kondos, James Reid, J.T. Swisher, Gene Teague, Daniel Fink, James Hefner, Charles Gillette, Joseph Ledbetter, and Eddy Washington.


By Hank Hollensbe
Progress contributor

    On March 20, the effort by Pete Wheeler, Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Service, to recognize the services of veterans of the Vietnam war culminated in the proclamation by Governor Nathan Deal that each of the 234,000 Georgia veterans of that war should be honored with a Certificate of Honor for meritorious services and that organizations throughout the State should assist in the holding of appropriate presentations.

Hwy. 53 plans threaten homes in Marble Hill


    Six Pickens homeowners and one business would be displaced and several more homeowners affected by a Ga. DOT passing lane project in Marble Hill if work proceeds as presented Thursday during an open house.
    Maps presented at the public hearing June 18th at Foothills Community Church had big red dots marking homes that are in the way of the proposed passing lanes or that lie so close to the work they would not be inhabitable.

See full story in the print and online editions.

UPDATED: Fatal wreck on Highway 515

fatal on 515

Ricky Maddron, an “outstanding young man” was killed on his way to work Monday on Highway 515.

[Click here to read our editorial on the need for Highway 515 dangers to be addressed.]
    Hwy. 515 was shut down for five hours Monday morning following an early morning wreck that killed Ricky Lee Maddron, 34, of Ellijay. This marks the second fatal wreck along the Pickens County stretch of the highway this month. 
    Maddron was killed when his 2010 Chevy Impala crashed into a concrete truck on Hwy. 515 around 5:24 a.m. Maddron was driving south along the highway. Georgia State Patrol authorities say speed was likely a factor in the accident.