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Ball Ground woman charged with murder


     Press Release

     Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

      On May 14th deputies with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office were dispatched 515 Northwoods drive near Ball Ground in reference to a welfare check. At the location, authorities located the deceased body of James Reece, 77 years old of Ball Ground. It appeared Reece had been deceased for several days. Investigators learned that the daughter of Mr. Reece, Andrea Blanton, 45 years old of Ball Ground, lived at the home with Reece and was his primary caregiver. It was determined that Blanton had been staying in the home with her father’s body and despite the advanced stages of decomposition, Blanton had failed to report the death.
       Blanton was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with Concealing a Death. She was released Tuesday night on an $11,200.00 bond. On Wednesday an autopsy of Reece’s body was performed at the GBI Crime Lab and revealed that Reece had died of strangulation. Ms. Blanton was taken into custody this morning and charged with Murder.
                Blanton remains in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention with no bond.

Three horses killed in three wrecks

Drivers unharmed in Highway 53 accidents

            Three horses were killed after being hit by vehicles on Highway 53 West near Big Ridge Road last night in a string of three separate accidents.

   None of the occupants to the vehicles were injured.

   The accidents all occurred within a half mile of each other over a short span of time, but with the windy road, officers at the first collision could not see the other wrecks.

   According to Pickens Sheriff Office spokesman Kris Stancil four horses got out of the same pasture and wandered onto the road about 4:30 a.m.

   The fourth hourse was herded back into the pasture after it was discovered running loose. Deputies had already responded to the first call when the other two accidents occurred.            

  A pickup truck over-turned either after striking one of the horses or trying, unsuccessfully, to avoid it. One of the other vehicles was a transfer-truck. The third vehicle, also a pickup truck, only suffered minor damage, according to sheriff reports.

   In an interview this morning, Stancil said the owner of the horses was notified and came immediately to the scene. No charges are pending.

   Stancil said a livestock owner would be charged criminally only if it is shown that the animals were running loose because of neglect.


Powerball increases to $360M for Wednesday




Massive Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots combined at $530M

ATLANTA – As a result of brisk ticket sales, Georgia Lottery officials announced today that Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot was bumped from $350 million to a staggering $360 million.

The jackpot is $170 million for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing.

Combined, $530 million is up for grabs between both Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots.

The Powerball jackpot has grown since April 3 and has rolled 12 times.

Powerball offers two payment options: the $360 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments, or the cash option, which is approximately $229 million.

Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Players can add the Power Play feature for an additional $1 per play.

The Mega Millions jackpot has grown since March 15 and has rolled 17 times.

Mega Millions offers two jackpot payment options: approximately $6.5 million a year for 26 years with the annuity option, or a single payment worth approximately $126 million with the cash option.

It only takes $1 to play Mega Millions for a chance to win big. Players can multiply prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Mega Millions and Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia.

Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $14.3 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.2 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.

For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp., Mega Millions and Powerball, please visit: and

Development on Jekyll Island hinges on defining marshes





Spanish Moss hangs from trees around pristine parts of Jekyll Island if developers get their wish and marsh areas are counted as land, then more of the island will be opened for future use.



By Pam O’Dell


Capitol Reporter

The Jekyll Island Authority has asked the Attorney General’s office to weigh in on a task force’s recommendation that marsh not be considered in determining the island’s land base. The land measurement is significant because it determines, according to state law, the amount of development that can occur on the island. 


Hence, the determination on whether or not marsh is counted as land pits environmentalists and citizen activists against those who favor greater development on the island.