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Ga. high court rules against evangelical runner in defamation suit

Kidnapper's sentence reinstated by Ga. Supreme Court in latest rulings

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Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .

COTTRELL V. SMITH ET AL. (S16A0013)

            A self-proclaimed marathon runner and Christian evangelist has lost his appeal of a Cobb County judge’s ruling that overturned a jury’s $635,000 verdict in his favor against five people he had sued for posting defamatory statements about him on the internet.

            According to the facts of the case, for a number of years, Stanley Cottrell, Jr. engaged in highly publicized running exhibitions that had a Christian evangelical and “friendship” emphasis. Cottrell gained public notice and his solo running achievements were often portrayed in movies, books and other media. He successfully parlayed his image as a “world-renowned ultra-marathon runner” into business endeavors, executive leadership roles, and motivational speaking.

Dam, both city & county interested

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Way down and going lower – Using a specially-engineered siphon, the Grandview Lake Company is lowering the water level ahead of expected dam construction this fall.


    Both Jasper and Pickens County are expected to make proposals to the Grandview Lake Company offering some type of assistance on their dam renovation in exchange for raw water deals.
    With an almost $1.5 million price tag to bring the dam up to state requirements for hurricanes and floods, the lake company is seeking to partner with a local government to sell water.

Fit at 50 - You can be in the best shape of your life

“The goal is to become healthy and strong,” says longtime fitness instructor
fit-at-50    Christie Pool/photos
    Punching and moving their way to fitness - The Functional Fitness class led by Karen Dobson at the Pickens Community Center is all about encouraging participants to be healthy and to feel good. Kathy Fellows, above middle, said the class is something she does for herself.
    If Kathy Fellows wasn’t working out in a group fitness class led by her friend Karen Dobson, there’s a strong possibility she’d be eating a bag of potato chips.
    Fellows is one of a handful of devotees to Dobson’s Functional Fitness class who, at 50 and beyond, are focusing on their health.

Open records case goes viral

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Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver

     The Georgia First Amendment Foundation, the Atlanta Press Club, Georgia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Georgia Press Association want all charges dropped against a Fannin newspaper publisher and his attorney, with Appalachian Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver accused of jailing them over open records requests.
    On Friday, June 24th, Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and his attorney Russell Stookey were arrested and charged with attempted identity fraud, identity fraud and making a false statement. The two men were jailed and released on $10,000 bond to await trial.

See full story in this week's print or online edition.

Habitat families “pay it forward”: First home dedicated in New Hope Acres

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    Angela Reinhardt / Photo
    Randy and Jessica Casey, with sons Trey, 2, and Zachary, 15, in front of their new home in New Hope Acres.

    Earlier this year the Caseys were living with parents in Hinton, but after taking a leap of faith and applying for a Pickens County Habitat for Humanity house, the family is in their own home in the New Hope Acres community. 
    “We just felt like if we applied God might be willing to help us get approved,” said Randy Casey, who along with wife Jessica and their sons were presented with keys to their new home at a Sunday dedication ceremony.