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General news and features

Ga. High court upholds axe-murder conviction


From Supreme Court of Georgia

 Jane Hansen, Public Information Officer

The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously upheld the murder conviction and life prison sentence given to a man in Lowndes County for killing his girlfriend with an axe in 2010 on Christmas Eve.

            In this high-profile Valdosta murder, Kenneth Brown, 58 at the time of the murder of 47-year-old Charlotte Grant, argued on appeal that the judge erred in refusing to instruct jurors that they could consider whether he was instead guilty of the less serious crime of voluntary manslaughter.

   In today’s opinion, however, Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines writes that the evidence presented did not support a voluntary manslaughter jury charge, and that the “evidence authorized the jury to find Brown guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes of which he was convicted.”

            According to evidence at trial, Brown and Grant lived together, along with her adult son, Keith Medley, and her disabled bed-ridden daughter. The couple recently had been arguing and sleeping in separate bedrooms, according to briefs filed in the case. In the early morning hours of Dec. 24, 2010, Brown found Grant in the living room talking on the phone to her estranged husband, from who she had been separated for five years.

Groom charged for fatal wedding day crash

See related -- Attorneys for Ryan Quinton issue statement


  The groom whose bride died in a wreck after their wedding reception December 29th will be charged with first degree vehicular homicide, driving under the influence (alcohol), reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane and “laying drag,” according to information from the Ga. State Patrol.

   Ryan Quinton, 28, was driving a borrowed vintage Pontiac Firebird from the reception in Ball Ground when the crash happened on Highway 5 just a couple of miles away from where he and Kali Shay were married.

 Kali Shay Quinton was killed after being ejected from the car when it rolled after leaving the roadway on a steep embankment. Mr. Quinton was injured and taken by ambulance from the scene. He had walked back up the embankment and summoned help from a passerby who stopped and called 911.

   The Ga. State Patrol special accident reconstruction team investigated and brought the charges in Cherokee County courts. 

         Quinton turned himself in to the Cherokee jail yesterday and was released on bond.

According to information from the Ga. State Patrol public information officer, "The blood alcohol result from the GBI Crime Lab was 0.114."

 From a GSP press release, "Warrants were taken on Monday by GSP. The driver, Ryan Patrick Quinton, turned himself in to the Cherokee Co. Sheriff’s Office yesterday morning.

He is charged with DUI, first degree vehicular homicide, laying drag, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane."


Jasper Rotary Club beating PANs to end polio




     The Rotary Club with participants at the Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours beats pans in celebration of endemic polio now only being in (P) Pakistan,  (A) Afghanistan and  (N) Nigeria.


By Max Caylor, Rotary member


     “We are beating pans this afternoon in recognition that only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria (PAN) remains endemic with polio reporting only 157 cases,” stated Jasper Rotary president Jack Short.   Since 1988 Rotarians have contributed $1.2 billion and has helped secure $9 billion given to the end polio initiative through donor governments.      

Art district in Jasper’s future?

Some say it could strengthen Pickens’ creative scene


    Sharptop Arts Association treasurer Dick Carlton (r) speaking at the non-profit’s February meeting held at the Sharptop gallery on D.B. Carroll Street in downtown Jasper.

    At this point the idea is barely in its infancy with no formal plans for execution, but at the Sharptop Art Association’s February member meeting both Sharptop leaders and members tossed around the notion of developing an art district in the downtown Jasper area to bolster the art community here.

Local races on May ballot - Qualifying begins March 3

Pickens County Seal    Three local races will appear on the May 20 ballot, including the latest one-cent sales tax plan, three school board seats, and one district commissioner seat.
    The  (west) district commissioner’s seat held by Jerry Barnes is up for grabs.