Gas spill closes intersection alongside 515

News
The truck dumped nearly 40 gallons of diesel fuel along the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and 1st Avenue.

The truck dumped nearly 40 gallons of diesel fuel along the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and 1st Avenue.

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Authorities have shut down the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and 1st Avenue in East Ellijay after a semi-truck lost its gas tank and spilled the contents on the road.

Authorities on-scene confirmed no injuries as the truck lost one of its gas tanks after turning off of Highway 515. After dragging the tank several feet, the driver pulled into the parking lot by the river. But authorities say the tank dumped nearly 40 gallons of diesel fuel across the pavement before he could pull off.

 

Quick response by authorities did manage to keep the fuel out of the river, averting potential environmental damage.

Quick response by authorities did manage to keep the fuel out of the river, averting potential environmental damage.

The quick response from emergency services was able to keep the diesel fuel from reaching the river and causing environmental damage. As of now, units from both East Ellijay and Ellijay are working in conjunction to aid and redirect traffic around the site by sending people to the on-ramp further north, Greenfield Road, where Highway 52 travels under Highway 515.

Authorities have already begun the clean-up process, but are not sure exactly how long it could take. Citizens can still access the area via the detour, but may also wish to seek alternative routes when traveling today.

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GHS Threats see arrest

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reports are coming in after school today as a student began threatening Gilmer High School.

According to confirmation from the Gilmer School System, a parent reported the threats to administrators who promptly contacted authorities.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office quickly investigated and arrested the individual. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will also have extra staff monitoring the High School on Wednesday, March 27.

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Traffic stop finds a quarter of a kilogram in drugs

News, Police & Government

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer authorities are reporting today that a routine traffic stop led to much more as officers and a K-9 unit discovored almost a quarter of kilo of what they suspect to be Methamphetamine.

Officers have taken two men into custody earlier this week when officials say that officers noticed the truck, turned on their lights, and proceeded to follow the vehicle before finally getting it to stop.

The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has released the following information:

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at approximately 1937 hours, Deputies from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a green Ford Ranger for an expired tag, defective equipment, busted windshield, and tire requirements on Mountaintown Road. The green Ford Ranger failed to stop for Deputies and threw a brown plastic grocery bag out of the vehicle. Once Deputies got the vehicle stopped, Mr. Richard Drennon Sanford, age 63, and Mr. Charles Leon Hollifield, age 53, were taken into custody.

Deputies then deployed a K-9 for an open air sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 alerted on the vehicle. A probable cause search of the vehicle revealed the following: a clear plastic Ziploc bag containing a white crystal substance (suspected methamphetamine), a set of black digital scales with residue, hypodermic syringes, a food vacuum sealer with vacuum sealing bags that were cut.

A search incident to arrest of the suspects revealed that Mr. Sanford had $7,413 in U.S. currency, and Mr. Hollifield had a small amount of marijuana along with $998 in U.S. currency. The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office seized the $8,411 in U.S. currency.

Deputies conducted a search of the area and recovered the brown plastic grocery bag that was thrown from the vehicle. The bag contained six vacuumed-sealed bags containing a white crystal substance (suspected methamphetamine) that weighted approximately 223.4 grams (7.880 oz.’s).

Mr. Sanford is charged with the following: V.G.C.S.A. Trafficking (Methamphetamines), V.G.C.S.A. with Intent to Distribute (Methamphetamines), V.G.C.S.A. (Methamphetamines), Drug E Related Objects, No Seat Belt, Expired Tag, Defective Equipment, Littering, Tampering with Evidence, Open Container of Alcohol, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, Reckless Driving, and Driving on the wrong side of the road.

Mr. Hollifield is charged with the following: V.G.C.S.A. Trafficking (Methamphetamines), V.G.C.S.A. with Intent to Distribute (Methamphetamines), V.G.C.S.A. (Methamphetamines), Drug Related Objects, No Seat Belt, Littering, Tampering with Evidence, and Possession of Marijuana less than 1 oz.

Author

Sheriff’s warning for floods in Gilmer

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – With confirmation of roads in and around Ellijay and East Ellijay, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has issued a statement for drivers.

Gilmer Dispatch, deputies, and city police officers are reporting that several of the main roadways in town, as well as others throughout the county, are beginning to flood.

The Sheriff’s Office has suggested you stay in if possible, but if you have to drive, they ask that you please be on the lookout for standing water in the roadways.

DO NOT attempt to drive through roads that are under water!

This rain is in our forecast for at least the next 2-3 days, so we expect there is a possibility that the flooding on the roads may get a lot worse before it gets better.

At this time, Gilmer county remains under a Flash Flood watch until at least Thursday evening.

Author

Clear Creek Threat cleared

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Authorites at Gilmer Schools have cleared the threat at Clear Creek Middle School with the following information.

The lockdown is now clear. There was no threat found. In an effort to prevent this from happening, we have several procedures in place to monitor restroom use. We will continue to investigate the situation to find who is responsible. If found, students will receive school consequences and be charged for making terroristic threats. Please know safety is always the first priority at CCMS. We will continue to treat any and all threats seriously to protect our students. As parents, you are always invited to our monthly SGT meetings to provide us with feedback and suggestions. Our next meeting will be Feb. 28 at 7:25 AM. We need to work together as a school community to prevent these issues.

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GCSO honors employees

Community, News


ELLIJAY, Ga. – “It’s easy to stand up and be the leader of an agency that is doing so much positive every day,” said Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson on February 7, 2019, as he honored members of his staff.

Emphasizing how much his staff and employees help to make his position easier, Nicholson offered thanks for people who have “turned a job into a profession.”

The awards night saw several GCSO employees and even some officers from Ellijay Police Department honored from recent events.

Nicholson went on to note that discussions and debates among the Command Staff for these awards is one of the hardest discussions he has. He said that so much has changed since he started his time as Sheriff. With increasing issues and dangers in the profession, he took extra effort to express how much he cares and concerns himself over protecting the safety of officers as they perform their duties.


Sid Turner (right) and Jared Ogden (left) present the Sons of the American Revolution Commendation Medal to Sergeant Jason Reed.

The first award came with from Sid Turner and Jared Ogden of the Sons of the American Revolution who presented their Sons of the American Revolution Commendation Medal to Sergeant Jason Reed.

Turner said, “Sergeant Reed started his career with Gilmer County in March 27, 2007. He started his career as a Detention Officer. He later transferred to the Office of Professional Standards and he currently oversees the Sex Offender Registry. He serves the citizens of Gilmer County with integrity and he is really an asset to the department.”

Sheriff Nicholson presented the remaining awards for the Sheriff’s Office.

Sarah Raynes received the Communications Officer of the Year award.

Nicholson commented on how upbeat and energetic she has been in 2018 including a jarring move from day shift to night shift to fill a need in the department. He went on to note that her attitude throughout all of the positions hardships and trials makes her a pleasant dispatcher and great worker.

Detective Jeffrey Shelton received the Detective of the Year award.

Nicholson shared the words he received about Shelton saying it was his tenaciousness and his attitude as he was assigned several cases that blew up into much larger ordeals than originally expected. Through these cases, he continued his efforts, “sticking with it” as Nicholson stated.

In a position like Detective, Nicholson said certain cases can be very easy. But, in one day, they can become an investigation spanning several generations.

Corporal Tommy Humphries received the Deputy of the Year award.

Nicholson spoke about Humphries’ specialized talents as Deputy able to go to neighbors dispute, mediate the process, settle the issue, and be invited back for coffee later.

The effort and the nature of a person required to see that kind of success in the role of Deputy is an indispensable member of the office.

Nicholson said that dealing with tense situations is part of the job that Deputies must deal with, but handling those issues so well that you’re invited back, “That’s a good Deputy Sheriff.”

Lieutenant James Knight received the Court Services Deputy of the Year award.

Nicholson stated that most people don’t understand all the work that goes in to being a Court Services Deputy. With issues that arise from short notice events, securing the courthouse, checking between 400 and 800 citizens a day as they enter the courthouse, logisitcs issues with ID’s and courts, these deputies must be flexible and responsive to the special needs of their post. Lt. Knight does this with ease as he attends to the daily issues in the courthouse.

Kim Rogers received the Civilian Employee of the Year award.

Nicholson admitted the excessive work that gets put on the civilian employees that the office has saying, “They do a lot of work, they give above and beyond. They keep the agency running straight. They keep the agency in good graces with the District Attorney’s Office by providing reports. They keep the jail records straight. They keep bonds straight. They keep the money we take in. They keep everything going in the right direction.”

Nicholson went on to note the Rogers came to the Sheriff’s Office to fill the gap of a big role. She took the spot to a new level in everything she keeps track of. He noted the extra work she has taken in since joining the office and rolling with everything asked of her.

From left to right, Sheriff Stacy Nicholson, GCSO Lieutenant Joshua Chancey, EPD Sergeant Aaron Mashburn, EPD Officer Trevor McClure, GCSO Deputy First Class Lesse Sippel, GCSO Sergeant Daniel King, and GCSO Corporal Gene Hefner.

The final award of the night actually hosted several officers and deputies as Nicholson presented Combat Citations along with a ribbon, to be worn on their uniforms, for those involved in the November 6, 2018, incident.

Those receiving the Combat Citation included Ellijay Police Officer Trevor McClure and Sergeant Aaron Mashburn and Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office’s Deputy First Class Lesse Sippel, Corporal Gene Hefner, Sergeant Daniel King, and Lieutenant Joshua Chancey.

These men and women served honorably in the face of danger and threat to their lives this night. Nicholson delivered the award saying, “On November 6, 2018… Members of the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ellijay Police Department responded to Corals Lane in reference to a man with a gun call. As officers approached the location, a known violent felon, armed with a pistol, attempted to ambush them. When the subject refused to drop the weapon and pointed it at officers while shouting his intent to shoot them, deadly force was employed to protect themselves and the citizens, who were in the residence, from death or harm. The officers’ actions during this life-threatening incident are to be commended.”

There were also two awards not delivered as the recipients were not available at the time of the awards ceremony.

Kurtis Parks received the Detention Officer of the Year award.

Deputy Joshua Easley received the Student Resource Officer of the Year award.



Author

Pro and Joannides charged

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Yesterday’s events saw two arrests at Rose Court when Michael Kevin Pro and Sean Robert Joannides were taken into custody.

Through a joint effort from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and Cherokee SWAT team, the two men were arrested after barricading themselves inside the house.

Joseph David Cain is a third suspect still being sought by authorities as well.

Pro and Joannides are currently in custody and the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has released the booking reports for each.

Michael Kevin Pro faces felony charges of Probation Violation, as well as a Misdemeanor Willful Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers, according to the arrest records.

Sean Robert Joannides faces charges of Burglary and felony charges of Probation Violation, as well as a Misdemeanor Willful Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers, according to the arrest records.

Author

Financial expenses on focus in East Ellijay

News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Council approved a new patrol car for the city police as they trade in two older cars. The 2019 Dodge has a base price of $28,900, but East Ellijay City Police Chief Larry Callihan said they are continuing to negotiate the trade in value of their two cars and is unsure yet how the exact amount of the trade in.

The council has already budgeted for the new car in the amount of $30,000 for the vehicle and $8,000 for equipment, a total of $38,000. With the trade-ins negotiations, Callihan is hopeful to make the final price closer to $32,000.

The council also approved a resolution to amend their payments for their citizen representatives on the Gilmer County Library Board, lowering the pay by $200 because they “misconstrued” the number of meetings the Library Board had in a year according to Mayor Mack West. The reduction goes from $600 to $400.

The Council also approved the expenditures for their yearly Christmas dinner program. Delivering a total of 34 hams and 5 turkeys, the expense for the city reached $648.60 at program end.

Also, two major additions could be coming to Highland Crossing near Walmart in East Ellijay. The Buffalo Luke’s in Jasper is looking to expand in Ellijay. City Manager Mack Wood also noted he had received site plans for a Moe’s Southwest Grill looking to build in the area between Longhorn and Mountain Cinemas.

The City Council is also seeking suggestions of roads in need of restriping. West said he will keep the item on the agenda in coming meetings and is asking for people to add to the list of needs.

Author

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