OUR MISSION: To inform, support, unite and promote the residents of Jefferson and Glascock counties.

Top Stories
July 22, 2004 Issue

Abandoned stones...
An apparent case of vandalism was discovered Saturday along T.E. Buchanan Road near Louisville when community service workers found two headstones lying in the ditch. Both of unknown origin, one headstone reads Judy Dale McCoy, born April 20, 1970, died August 20, 1974 with the inscription "Asleep in Jesus." The second headstone read Joe Hammock, born Nov. 16, 1918, died March 16, 1946. The headstones were taken to the county shop until the owners can be located. Call Robert at (478) 625-4019 for information.























Other Top Stories
Turnover in four races
Foiled robbery turns into police chase

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Turnover in four races

Jefferson elects new coroner, while it and Glasocock both elect new commission chairmen; Both incumbent sheriffs supported

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

Jefferson and Glascock county voters stepped up to the polls Tuesday and when the dust cleared and all ballots were totaled handed a mix of victories to both incumbents and challengers in the 2004 primaries.

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Jefferson County results
Incumbent Sheriff Gary Hutchins defeated Alan Wasden by 1,538 votes. Hutchins received 2,806 total (or 69 percent) to Wasden's 1,268 votes (or 31 percent).

Voters gave challenger William Rabun the victory over Jefferson County Commission Chairman Dr. Gardner Hobbs by an even 400 votes. Rabun received 2,161 votes (or 55 percent) to Hobbs 1,761 (or 45 percent).

Incumbent Coroner Johnny Nelson was defeated by challenger Edward James by 847 votes. James received 2,411 votes (61 percent) to Nelson's 1,564 (39 percent).

Glascock County Results

Incumbent Glascock County Sheriff Bryan Bopp beat both democratic challengers with 407 votes (52 percent) compared to Cary Deal with 314 (40 percent) and Larry Blair with 59 ( 7.5 percent).

Incumbent County Commissioner Thomas Chalker was defeated by Anthony "Ant" Griswell. Griswell received 494 votes (65 percent) while Chalker received 268 votes (35 percent).

In the Board of Education Gibson District race, incumbent John Raley was defeated by Michael May by a mere seven votes. May received 430 (or 50.41 percent) to Raley's 423 or 49.59 percent.

In the Board of Education's At Large three-way race no one candidate received 50 percent of the vote, necessitating a runoff in November. James Moore received 357 votes (41.56 percent) to Tracy Bopp's 210 votes (24.45 percent) and Diana Rabun Reese's 291 votes (33.88 percent).

November Elections

Several local races will be decided in the November general election. Jefferson County races include the District 2 county commission race featuring Democrat Johnny Davis and Republican Ben Benson and the District 4 race between incumbent Democrat Tommy New and Republican John Lewis. Glascock County races include the Mill District commission seat featuring incumbent Democrat Johnny Crutchfield and Republican D'Ann Simpson and the sheriff's race between Republican James Stephens, Independent Dean Couch and Incumbent Bryan Bopp.





Foiled robbery turns into police chase

Homeowner caught them in her home

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

An early morning residential burglary July 13 in Glascock County turned out like a bad dream for the thieves whose actions were foiled by a determined homeowner.

Unwilling to let burglars get away, she initiated a chase that spanned portions of three counties and led to the thieves' apprehension.

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Brian Whitaker, 23, of McDuffie County and David Paul Ashley, 21, of Dearing, were each charged with two counts of burglary, according to Glascock County Sheriff Bryan Bopp. Whitaker was also charged with fleeing and attempting to allude an aggravated assault for attempting to hit the homeowner as she pursued them, Bopp said.

Homeowner Lynn Smith arrived at her residence on SR 102 at 8:15 Tuesday morning to find a man exiting her home carrying tools. Responding to Smith's inquiry as to why he was in her home, Whitaker said he was borrowing something for a friend, Smith said later. When Smith took issue with him, Whitaker entered his Nissan pick-up truck with Ashley already inside and sped away. As the burglars fled, Smith decided to take matters into her own hands.

"I didn't know what to think at first, seeing him coming out of my house," Smith explained. "And when he went to his truck, I thought to myself he's going to try and run. Maybe he thought I wouldn't do anything thing about it because I'm a girl, but I wasn't going to let him get away with it."

Smith went to her vehicle and began pursuing the fleeing truck down SR 102, meanwhile calling Bopp, who caught up with both vehicles minutes later on Log Cabin Road near the Warren County line. The chase proceeded onto SR 80. At one point Whitaker pulled over with Bopp pulling in behind him. Smith swerved in front of the Nissan and came to a stop in an attempt to block any possible forward progress. Whitaker quickly sped away, narrowly missing Smith who had jumped out of her car to confront him.

"I thought I'd get in front of him in case he tried to take off," Smith said. "I got out and started going toward his truck. I was going to beat him up, but he backed up and pulled away. I jumped out of his way to keep from being hit."

As the events were unfolding Warren County deputies were dispatched, but mistakenly to a different location. Bopp continued pursuing Whitaker and Ashley into Warrenton and then onto SR 278 heading toward McDuffie County, with Smith following behind him. McDuffie County deputies coming from Thomson converged with the approaching burglars and chase cars from Glascock and Georgia State Patrol approximately one-half mile inside McDuffie County. At that point the Nissan pulled onto the shoulder of the road traveling approximately 60 miles per hour, Bopp said, where it skidded and stalled. Bopp pulled around and rammed the front of the Nissan to disable it.

With the truck disabled, Whitaker jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot, leaving Ashley behind with the truck. McDuffie deputies took Ashley into custody while Bopp and a McDuffie deputy chased Whitaker into a nearby wooded area where they apprehended him minutes later.

The subsequent investigation of the burglary revealed that Whitaker and Ashley had entered the Smith residence earlier the same morning and had stolen a number of items and ransacked the house. Smith had arrived after they returned a second time to secure additional items they had boxed for transport. All the stolen items were recovered.

Reflecting on the incident, Smith said she was determined to protect her property. She considered it her right to not only confront those who burglarized her home, but also to pursue them as well.

"The stuff in my house is mine," said Smith resolutely. "We've worked hard for what we've got. I just wasn't going to let anybody come in and take it from me."


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