• Two women are airlifted after accident
By Ben Roberts
Two out-of-county women were airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) on Monday after a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 1, just south of Wrens.
According to Jefferson County EMS personnel, one of those women, Angela Walker, 25, of Keysville, was 28-weeks pregnant. Surgeons performed an emergency C-section, but the baby was lost.
Although the investigation has not been completed, Georgia State Patrol personnel say the other driver, Rebecca Boyett, 34, of Statesboro, has been found at fault. Charges are still pending, however.
Troopers said the accident will be reviewed by the Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team later this week or early next week.
EMS personnel say they were told Walker was headed south on U.S. Highway 1, about a mile-and-a-half south of Wrens when the accident occurred, shortly after 11:30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 22. Walker's Oldsmobile Achieva and Boyett's Chevy Lumina collided head-on, apparently spinning around and coming to rest side-by-side in the center of the roadway, facing east.
Both women were trapped in their vehicles for approximately 20 to 25 minutes while fire fighters worked to cut away the wreckage and extricate the women.
Walker suffered multiple fractures, including a compound leg fracture, as well as abdominal trauma. She was flown to MCG by LifeNet.
Boyett suffered fractures to her right arm and knee and possibly her pelvis. She was airlifted by Air Med to MCG.
EMS said both victims are currently in stable condition and expected to recover.
Lamar Baxley, Director for the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday's extreme temperatures combined with the firefighters' heavy gear were an issue for personnel as they worked to free the two women. Baxley said four men suffered from symptoms of heat exhaustion, but none were admitted to the hospital. All four were resting as of Tuesday.
Counterfeit bills turning up
• Fake $20 bills turning up a month after over $10,000 in counterfeit bills were seized during a drug buy
By Ben Roberts
and Parish Howard
Staff Writer and Editor
Local law enforcement officials are recommending area businesses keep a close eye on customers paying with cash after nearly $11,000 in counterfeit bills have turned up in Jefferson County in recent weeks.
Over $10,000 of those fake bills were seized during a drug buy in July set up by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) investigators in which Steve Gabriel Cody, 29, of Sparta, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. Investigators believe Cody was attempting to spread the bills in the area.
Carlos Rap Brown, 31, and Chenika Marie Williams, 29, both of Atlanta, were also arrested in connection with Cody and the counterfeit bills.
United States Secret Service agents from the Atlanta field office were called in to investigate and JCSO investigators say the work of the two agencies together have led to three more arrests in the Atlanta area, including the printer himself.
Secret Service officials declined to comment on the investigation and are still looking for a fourth Atlanta suspect.
Louisville Police Department (LPD) officials say they've had $470 in counterfeit money passed in the city since the start of 2005. In just over one week at the end of June, $350 in bad bills were passed to two area businesses and one private citizen.
A portion of those bills were $20-bills with matching serial numbers, CE42711291A, to $80 worth of counterfeit bills recently found in Wrens.
An employee of First State Bank in Wrens first noticed the counterfeits while going through local business deposits.
"The complainant stated when she got two fake $20 bills from a deposit from Haddens' IGA she looked at the other deposits from the other businesses in town and found two more fake $20 bills," the incident report reads.
The others were passed at McDonalds and Wendy's, and all four bills had the same serial number.
"The easiest way to tell if one is a counterfeit is by using one of those pens," Chief Hannah said. "Other ways include the serial numbers and the color of the bill. Often the edges are uneven."
All four of the bills found in Wrens had a corner missing.
Carl Gibbons, of the LPD, said he has been recommending that business owners mark every bill.
"Don't take a chance," he said. "We're advising everyone to use pens on all the bills and to pay attention to cut off the bills. Don't take anything for granted and notify law enforcement as soon as possible if a bill turns out to be fake. Especially, if the person is still in the store, it could be someone we're interested in talking to."
Wrens fires officer over complaints against chief
By Parish Howard
One week after clearing the Wrens Police Chief of allegations including extortion, bribery and sexual harassment, the city council voted to dismiss the officer who penned the "meritless" complaints.
Wednesday afternoon the council unanimously voted to dismiss Lt. Willie Nelson from employment with the city effective Sept. 3 and to place him on administrative leave until that time.
In June Lt. Nelson turned a hand-written list of some 20 crimes and policy violations allegedly committed by the chief in to the city's attorney.
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Earlier this month the city cleared Police Chief David Hannah on all charges, found all allegations against him "wholly without merit" and began an investigation to determine the effect the complaints have had on the department.
After a short closed session WednesdayMayor Dollye Ward said the investigation had found that considerable disruptions exist in the department.
"The city administrator's investigation has shown: 1. Lt. Nelson's complaints have disrupted working relationships within the department, 2. have interfered with the operation of the department, 3. have undermined the chief's authority to run the department, 4. have affected morale in the department, 5. have the potential to create disrespect for leadership in the department, 6. have damaged the department in the public eye," Mayor Ward said.
In her motion, councilmember Sydney McGahee said the dismissal was based on Lt. Nelson's insubordination and gross misconduct.
"Lt. Nelson refused to provide documents to the city in the course of its investigation into the complaints relating to Police Chief David Hannah," McGahee said in her motion. "Also, Lt. Nelson committed gross misconduct for recklessly filing complaints/charges against Chief Hannah."
Lt. Nelson was not at the called meeting Wednesday afternoon.
City Administrator Donna Scott Johnson and City Attorney Chris Dube said that to their knowledge, there have not been any other official complaints filed against either officer over the last several years.