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Three Bodies Recovered from Yellow Creek area fire - UPDATED


From Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services

     Canton, Cherokee County, Ga. July 18, 2012 - The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office responded to a house fire at approximately 3:35 am Wednesday morning. When they arrived at 818 Spriggs Trail in Ball Ground, the spilt level home was fully engulfed and had already collapsed. After Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services put out the fire, 3 bodies were located deceased inside the home.

     The bodies have not been identified. The home belongs to 49 year old Ricky Norrell and his 46 year old wife Darlene. They lived at the home with their 19 year old daughter Lindsey. At this time investigators are unable to definitively conclude that the bodies are that of the Norrells, however no one has had any contact with them today and it appears likely that in fact it is them.

     Sheriff’s Office investigators and Fire Department investigators remain on the scene. At this time the cause of the fire is unknown.

Move over Tarzan, there’s a new jungle-king in town


Dr. Francis Cipullo of PAWS on Main treats domestic animals, but also treats non-domestic patients such as gorillas, orangutans and big cats, as pictured above.

By Taylor Perry

Intern Reporter

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     At PAWS on Main, a facility for after-hours pet care, there is a seasoned veterinarian who likes to take frequent walks on the wild side.

     Dr. Francis Cipullo DVM, doesn’t just work with domestic animals like cats and dogs. In his time spent treating animals for Zoo Atlanta and DEWAR Wildlife in northern Georgia, the University of Florida graduate has also worked with the wild side of the Animal Kingdom. His non-domestic patients include sloths, giraffes, rhinoceroses, orangutans, and large cats. His favorite animal to work with, however, is the gorilla.

Suspects arrested in Waleska home invasion case


    Above, Kenneth Piper, 26, Canton. Piper was one of four suspects apprehended in conjunction with armed robbery.

     Four suspects have been arrested in conjunction with Monday night’s home invasion on Rampley Trail. Shortly after the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office released the video of the suspects using the victim’s debit card at the Canton Wal-mart, detectives began to receive information on their Facebook page about the identities of those on the video. Investigators were able to determine that two of the suspects lived at an apartment complex in Canton. When investigators arrived at the location all four suspects from the video were present. A search warrant at the apartment yielded the victim’s purse, a 9mm handgun and three red bandanas believed to be used in the robbery. Investigators also found receipts where the suspects had used the victim’s debit card at other businesses in Canton. The cash stolen in the robbery has not been recovered.

     Kenneth Piper, 26 years of age, Heather Fernandez, 27 years of age, Willie Collins, 26 years of age and Mason Thompson, 27 years of age, have all been charged with Armed Robbery and Financial Transaction Fraud. All four suspects live in Canton and remain in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center without bond.

      The investigation remains ongoing. Investigators are still attempting to determine why the suspects chose to rob the specific location on Rampley Trail. Additional charges are likely and more arrests are possible.

Timber Rattlesnake killed at Pickens residence

canebrakeBy Taylor Perry, Intern Reporter, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     East Pickens resident Charles Wigington killed this “canecutter” rattlesnake, also known as a Timber Rattlesnake, outside his home Monday, July 16. The snake, which Wigington measured at 48” in length, was in his yard beside the driveway. Wigington believes the snake was flushed from its home after bush-hogging the previous day. Wigington noticed the snake after his dog began to bark at it. After it began to shake its rattle in warning, Wigington retrieved a shovel and decapitated the serpent.

Suspected murder-suicide in Big Canoe


A likely murder-suicide  occurred Wednesday evening in the Big Canoe gated community, according reports from Sheriff Donnie Craig.

The sheriff said two deaths are involved and the two people had been married. They have later been identified as Ross and Sharon Jernigan. Mr. Jernigan is thought to have shot Ms. Jernigan and then himself.


The couple, both in their 60s, was recently divorced but the husband had been allowed to continue living in the house for a period of time which was set to run out, according to a neighbor. They had no children. They were not known to be active in Big Canoe groups.