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UPDATE: Man thought to be police impersonator identified

     Press Release Cherokee County Sheriff's Office - Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division has identified the person who was originally said to be a police impersonator.  The male works as a certified peace officer for the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.  He was working in an off duty capacity, as a peace officer, inside of Cherokee County when he initiated the traffic stop. 

         While we appreciate all of our adjoining and sister law enforcement agencies not only here in metro Atlanta but throughout the state and nation we would always prefer that an officer from outside our jurisdiction request assistance from us prior to initiating law enforcement action within Cherokee County.  If it cannot be done prior to the law enforcement action then notify us immediately upon completion of that action.  We work very hard to cultivate the relationship we have with our citizens and would not want that jeopardized by the actions of an outside agency.

 

Rape charges dismissed; Man freed from jail, then deported

 

Rape charges against a Hispanic man who spoke little English were thrown out Thursday after several problems with the prosecution’s case and investigation arose in a magistrate court hearing.

Chief Magistrate Judge Allen Wigington ruled that Benjamin Chavez, 56, should be released due to lack of probable cause. Wigington said from the bench that probable cause is a very low threshold to meet, but in this case they had failed. Probable cause is based on a what a reasonable person would consider ample proof that a crime had occurred. 

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

Revolution Church breaks ground on North Main

The harvest is plentiful and the workers just got a lot more

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Revolution Pastor Jason Gerdes breaks ground at the site of their Jasper campus, near the Jasper Fire Department, with a Revolution-logo’ed shovel Sunday. The planned 20,000 square-foot church is expected to be complete in late 2018.

 

         Members of Revolution Church officially broke ground on a Jasper campus  with a ceremony Sunday at their site on North Main Street near the Jasper Fire Department.

        Jasper Campus Pastor Chad Elliott thanked local officials, including the county commissioners, Jasper mayor, school board and sheriff’s office, for help in seeing their vision move ahead.

Revolution Church began in Canton in 2004 and has grown to see attendance of 2,500 each week at their main campus.

        See full story in this week's print or online editions

  

Father on a mission to stop opioid overdoses

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  David Laws lost his daughter Laura to a drug overdose when she was 17. Laws helped get the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty law passed and wants to keep overdoses from happening to other families.

 

For Pickens County resident David Laws, opioid overdoses aren’t just statistics. Four years ago, Laws lost his daughter to an overdose and he has dedicated his life to keeping them from happening in the future. 

His daughter Laura’s battle with drugs began like so many others who become substance abusers. She was prescribed a liquid opioid after she broke her jaw playing sports in high school. That was when she was 15. It was just two years later when she OD’d at a friend’s house. Laura had been in and out of recovery, including detox and a 30-day residential treatment program, but her addiction finally won.

Drivers will see cellphone ban across the state if bill is passed

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By Diane Wagner

Staff writer

Rome News-Tribune

 

Legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving is being drafted for the upcoming Georgia General Assembly session and, this time around, Rep. Eddie Lumsden expects wide support.

Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the Armuchee Republican — who serves on the House Distracted Driving Study Committee — said the compromise bill failed to stem the rise of accidents with injuries or fatalities.

“The texting law is really ineffective,” Lumsden said Wednesday. “The penalties aren’t stringent enough and there are many loopholes.”