EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Georgia State Patrol has released its official report for the Yukon Road bus incident last Monday, Jan. 22.
According to the report, officials say the bus driver, 71-year-old Harold Moody, says he drifted onto the shoulder as he was reaching for his microphone and looking into his mirror at the students on his bus.
The report states Moody was “distracted” while he was driving by using the microphone and causing him to drift off the east side of Yukon Road before striking a culvert and veering back across both lanes before overturning and coming to rest blocking the road. Moody was not injured in the accident.
Vehicle 1 was traveling north attempting to negotiate a curve on Yukon Road. Vehicle 1 drifted and traveled off the east side of Yukon Road causing the driver to lose control.
Vehicle 1 traveled north on the east shoulder into a ditch. The undercarriage of vehicle 1 struck the ditch culvert. Vehicle 1 veered left and travel west across both lanes of the
roadway. Vehicle 1 overturned and came to an uncontrolled rest facing west on its right side across both lanes of Yukon Road.
Driver 1 stated that he reached up to grab the microphone and looked at the rearview mirror to address the student passengers. He stated that the student passengers were being loud and using profanity. Driver 1 became distracted by using the microphone and looking at the rearview mirror while attempting to negotiate a downhill curve.
School officials have already confirmed the use of a substitute driver after having placed Moody on administrative leave. Read more about the accident with “Bus wreck on Yukon injures students,” “Responding to Gilmer’s bus wreck on Yukon Road,” and “Ralston speaks on Yukon bus crash.”
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ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Education (BOE) began 2018 already considering changes coming for the 2018-19 school year.
The board is moving ahead with Administrative Renewals for the coming school year as they are already facing nine retirements and two resignations approved in January alone. Gilmer County Charter School System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes stated the board wanted to approve the administrative renewals now so they could move forward with their own recommendations for teachers to fill the empty spots.
The approved staff recommendations for January show those changes for January, but more are sure to come as the teacher hiring season begins with schools everywhere looking to fill positions for next year.
Even board personnel adjusted positions as new officers were elected. The position of BOE chairman came with a nomination for Michael Bramlett and appointed by acclamation. Vice chairman, however, saw more action with two nominations, one for Jim Parmer and one for Ronald Watkins.
The vote for Parmer came down to two for and three against (2-3). Nick Weaver, Tom Ocobock, and Ronald Watkins were the dissenting votes.
Watkins saw three for, none against, and two abstentions (3-0-2). Parmer and Watkins abstained on their votes.
In addition to the administrative and personnel approvals, the board set their meetings dates officially for 2018 as well as January 2019. The meetings will continue being held at 6 p.m. on these meeting dates:
Feb. 12 and 15
March 19 and 22
April 23 and 26
May 21 and 24
June 18 and 21
July 16 and 19
Aug. 20 and 23
Sept. 17 and 20
Oct. 15 and 18
Nov. 12 and 15
Dec. 10 and 13
Jan. 14 and 17, 2019
ELLIJAY, GA – According to the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, an ongoing investigation into a local “drug network” has brought 13 new arrests.
Gilmer deputies worked alongside agents of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force and other entities to perform the arrests warrants yesterday, September 6. The charges currently stand as Conspiracy to Violate the Ga Controlled Substances Act and Use of a communication device to facilitate a drug transaction. Those arrested include Eddie Adame, Brittany Alexander, Charles Bentjen, Ethan Bradburn, Dakota Burgess, David Cates, April Defoor, Tonya Garrett, Joseph Mann, Daniel Rittenberry, Brandon Sanford, Todd Stewart, and Bryson Timms.
When questioned about the arrests, Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson stated it was an “extremely good job by the drug task force with the investigation they have done.” These arrest come on the heels of 5 other recent arrests by the task force. Nicholson also told FYN the continued arrests are prime examples of the teamwork between the local counties and the task force.
FYN further questioned Sheriff Nicholson on his deputy’s role in the investigation’s success, to which he replied, “I attribute a lot of the success of this investigation to three things; hard work by the drug task force, the additional man power assigned to the task force by the Pickens,Gilmer, and Fannin Sheriff’s Offices, and last, but not least, the free flow of drug information that has come about in the last couple of months, not in light of, but after some untimely deaths in which drug use was involved.”
Be sure to read the full press release below:
September 7, 2017
The investigation of a methamphetamine distribution “network” continues.
Agents of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force, along with deputies from Gilmer, Pickens and Fannin County Sheriffs’ Offices, officers from Ellijay and Jasper Police Dept, Probation Officers and DA’s Investigators conducted a “round-up” operation on Wednesday, Sept. 6th, serving arrest warrants on individuals involved in the ongoing methamphetamine investigation. Thirteen (13) individuals were taken into custody. These individuals have been charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Ga Controlled Substances Act and Use of a communication device to facilitate a drug transaction.
Those charged are: Eddie Adame, Brittany Alexander, Charles Bentjen, Ethan Bradburn, Dakota Burgess, David Cates, April Defoor, Tonya Garrett, Joseph Mann, Daniel Rittenberry, Brandon Sanford, Todd Stewart (Pickens) and Bryson Timms.
At the time of this release, no bond has been set and they remain in jail.
ELLIJAY, GA – A special visitor made his way to Ellijay today as he continues a cross country trip to thank Police Officers for their service.
This time, 9-year-old Tyler Carach, the ‘Donut Boy’ as Police Departments and people across America have begun calling him, began traveling from Florida on June 26, and will continue all the way to New Hampshire before continuing his return trip home. Tyler began his project one day, according to his mother Sheena Carach, in Douglasville when they were in a gas station. Tyler noticed four deputies and decided to buy them mini doughnuts.
Sheena tells FYN that he couldn’t understand why the officers were making such a big deal out of the snacks. After explaining the atmosphere involving police in the nation today and telling him you cannot judge everyone by a few, Tyler promptly announced that he was going to buy every officer in America doughnuts to say thank you.
“I’ve always taught them that if you believe it, you can achieve it. You are the only person in this life that can limit yourself,” said Sheena who helped Tyler by traveling to “local” departments in Florida, some three hours away. However, she very soon began receiving calls from all over the country including Oregon requesting Tyler to stop by. Tyler isn’t just receiving support from community and citizens in his quest, Sheena also praised her husband who travels for work, putting in long hours to support the family as well as Tyler’s dream.
ALTAI, a company who sells Police Department approved boots, has offered a 2% donation of their profits to support Tyler as well as doughnut stores across America who donate and discount their products for Tyler and local officers. Ellijay’s Dunkin Donuts on 515 helped Tyler today by donating two dozen and discounting a third.
Having already begun the paperwork, Sheena tells FYN that she hopes to turn the whole thing into a 501c3 (non-profit) organization so that companies like ALTAI and anyone else can continue to support Tyler and his movement for Police everywhere.
The “I DONUT Need a Reason to Thank a Cop” campaign, and Tyler specifically, has been highlighted and noted numerous times across America, and was even invited to speak at National Police Week, the Georgia Chief of Police Conference, and even the Steve Harvey Show.
The family decided to add Ellijay to their trip because a friend visited and spoke so highly of the town. Being in town since Friday, Sheena says she and Tyler have fallen in love with it as they have yet to meet anyone who wasn’t “just as friendly as can be.” Unfortunately, Tyler may not be in town much longer as “duty calls.” He will continue on to Augusta and then to Pigeon Forge in the next few days.
Though leaving to continue his journey, Tyler has left a lasting impression on America and Ellijay as Police Chief Edward Lacey commented about the visit saying, “He’s a great kid, I love him.”
It’s not just a trip for Tyler, though. He wants to follow through to become a Police Officer one day. Although originally wanting to join SWAT, Tyler got a chance to try on the gear once and told his mother the gear was too heavy. Since then, he has switched to wanting to become a K-9 Officer instead.
His visits exchange far more than doughnuts, however, Sheena tells FYN that Tyler has amassed a noteworthy collection of Police Department patches, hats, coins, and other various items from the Departments he visits. He also secretly leaves something more than doughnuts at the Departments, hiding painted rocks as a part of the connections to Pensacola Rocks, Ellijay Rocks, and numerous other communities he visits.
Make sure to follow more with Tyler’s trip through his Facebook Page.
He is currently wanted by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office,
RICHARD EDMOND FIELDS, age 51, is currently wanted by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office for his involvement in a domestic-related incident that occurred at a residence on Willard Mountain Road in the Doublehead Gap area last night at approximately 8:30 pm. Fields is facing charges of Home Invasion, False Imprisonment, Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats, Battery, Burglary, Pointing a Gun/Pistol at Another, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.
The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by city units, GSP Aviation, and Cherokee County K9 searched for Fields Sunday night into the early morning hours.
Fields was known to the victims, therefore, it was not a random act. At this point, although we do not know, we do not believe he is still in the area. However, if anyone knows his whereabouts or has any information, please call 911 or Gilmer County CID at 706-635-4646.
Stay with FYN as the Gilmer Sheriff’s continue their search and update the public on their progress.
According to an incident report filed with the East Ellijay Police Department, an arrest was made on Demarcus Antonio Hobson, 22, and Zachariah Nicely, 18, at 1:40am on November 1 after a traffic stop led to discovery of drugs in the vehicle.
Lieutenant Shane Bowman has reported that both suspects could face similar charges including Possession of Firearms During a Crime, Possession of Cocaine, and Possession of Marijuana over an Ounce.
Within the Incident Report, Officer Tommy Long stated he “observed a vehicle traveling North on Highway 515 in the area of First Avenue failing to maintain its lane of travel.”
As he proceeded to stop the vehicle, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicles and both men inside the vehicle acting nervously which led to him calling an additional officer, Tony Heath, for backup.
Between the two officers, the report has indicated several drugs located in and around the vehicle including Marijuana, Crack Cocaine, Powder Cocaine, and Xanax Bars.
Though both denied knowledge of the drugs, they were taken into custody without incident.
“Focus” on the Courts…
The Ellijay Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held its meeting yesterday afternoon. Offering the Treasurer’s report, Jeff Riblet stated the Downtown Development Authority’s account ended the year with $5,305. The DDA is planning to move forward into the new year looking to further their City Development Plans with several currently undisclosed opportunities.
The Ellijay DDA also officially approved the slate of officers nominated in their December Meeting. These new officers officially took their places with this vote. Jim Stover took position as Chairman, Brad Simmons took position as Vice Chair, and Jeff Riblet maintained his position as Treasurer. The motion was put forth by Kent Sanford, the Vice Chair of the DDA. This is one of the final actions by Sanford as he and Al Fuller are set to rotate off of the Board as their terms are ending.
The first action after the restructure came as a presentation by Paige Green of the Gilmer Chamber. The Downtown Development Authority has agreed to host a Business After Hours event for the Chamber in June. Currently, they plan to hold this event on June 16 on the Boardwalk from 4:30 to 6:30.