Drugstore hit twice in two weeks
• Officers believe culprit may have taken thousands of pills between the two incidents
By Parish Howard
Officers are looking for a suspect they believe has taken possibly thousands of percocet and hydrocodone pills after breaking into Louisville Drug Company twice in the last two weeks.
According to Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller this is part of an ongoing problem involving seven or eight instances of vandalism culminating in at least three illegal entries.
The previous broken windows he believes may have been attempts to investigate the business's security.
"We know we're looking for a white male, 25-30 years of age, about six feet tall and 200 pounds," Miller said. "He's gutsy."
Officers believe the suspect entered the drugstore first on Oct. 5. Miller said items were scattered on the floor, but it appeared that nothing had been taken.
On Oct. 20 he struck again early in the morning, between 3 and 4 a.m. and apparently got away with what they believe is a minimum of 800 percocets. He was in the building all of about 26 seconds, Miller said. A patrol car discovered the break-in a little more than five minutes later.
Early Monday morning, Oct. 31, a little after midnight, he broke in again.
Miller said the subject apparently struck the front window and door, which have been replaced with vehicle-grade glass, 10 times with a hammer before gaining entry.
"He tried both doors before breaking out the glass on the side of the front display," Miller said.
This time he was inside for about three minutes, but was able to get away with a lot more drugs. Officers discovered the broken glass a little more than four minutes after the suspect left.
"With that many, he has to be selling them," Miller said.
He asks that anyone who sees any unusual activity on Broad Street after hours please report it to law enforcement. Apparently, at least one local resident heard the breaking glass on Oct. 31 but did not think anything of it at the time.
"If anyone has any information about anyone trying to sell or in possession of large amounts of prescription medication please report it to the authorities," Miller said.
Miller said that he is currently working with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on this case.
They are currently looking into similar incidents in surrounding counties which may have some connection.
Polls open Tuesday in local elections
• Nov. 8 elections will determine eight councilmen and two mayors across Jefferson and Glascock counties
By Ben Roberts
Voters in Louisville, Wrens, Wadley and Gibson will take to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 8, in various city elections that include three council and two mayoral races.
Polling stations for each of the four cities are their city halls, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters may cast advance ballots up until this Friday, Nov. 4, at each of the city halls. Voters should call their respective polling station to find out the hours for advance voting.
Absentee ballots must be received at a polling station by 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
The city of Wadley could see the biggest change in its council with its mayor's seat and three council seats up for grabs.
In the mayor's race, incumbent Herman Baker will square off against Jerry Powell. Council incumbents Randall Jones, Izell Mack and John Maye will face opposition from Elizabeth Moore and Patrick Bell for the three "at large" council seats.
Louisville voters will cast ballots in a mayor's race only, with incumbent Byron Burt facing Lloyd Long, his same foe from the 2001 race. Burt won that election 514 to 236 to begin his first term as mayor.
In Wrens, incumbents Willie Huntley, Erskine Lane and William Lester Hadden will face Spence Norton and Dave Hastings for three "at large" seats on the city council.
Voters in the city of Gibson will cast ballots for two "at large" council seats currently held by Carol Markins and Lester Hadden. Hadden has chosen not to run, however, so Markins will face Marilyn Peebles and Chester Chalker for the two seats.
While the cities of Bartow, Avera and Mitchell will not hold elections, they will see slight changes to the makeup of their councils.
Current Bartow Mayor Hubert Jordan will take over the council seat currently held by John Mancin; while Mancin will become Bartow's next mayor. Neither man faced opposition after qualifying for the two seats.
In Mitchell, William Wilcher will take over the council seat currently held by Mary Howell. Howell chose not to run again and Wilcher faced no other opposition.
The remaining seat in Mitchell, currently held by Jacky Haywood, had no one to qualify for it. The city will most likely be forced to hold a special election to fill the vacancy next spring.
Warren Mathis will face no opposition for the Avera council seat formally held by Ricky Norton. Norton resigned his seat earlier this year.
The cities of Stapleton and Edgehill will have no changes in their current council's makeup and therefore canceled their cities' elections.
The state's new Voter ID law requiring one of seven forms of photo identification in order to cast a ballot was suspended last month by U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy and will not be in effect for Tuesday's elections. Instead, voters will be allowed to use one of 17 formerly accepted proofs of identification. Included among those are a valid Georgia driver's license, a valid U.S. passport, a valid employee ID card with a photograph, a valid student ID card with a photograph from a school located within the state of Georgia, a valid Social Security card, a certified copy of the elector's birth certificate, a government check or document showing the name and address of the elector, or a bank statement or current utility bill showing the name and address of the elector.
• See our Meet the Candidates section on Page 6A of this week's edition for more on each of those running.
County investigates cell life
• Landfill cell now expected to possibly last another year and a half
By Ben Roberts
Someone was wrong about the Jefferson County landfill and the Board of Commissioners would like to know who is responsible for the mistakes and just how they were made.
After being told by engineers in February that the landfill's current cell could reach capacity within six to nine months, commissioners voted in March to construct a new cell that should last close to five years. Construction of that new cell was estimated to take up to six months.
With that construction currently underway, it appears the active cell currently being used is nowhere near reaching its limit as originally estimated.
This page has been accessed times.
At the commission's regular work session this past Monday morning, County Administrator Paul Bryan and Chairman William Rabun guessed it could have anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half's life remaining. If correct, that estimation would be in line with the original life expectancy of about five years.
Bryan went on to say he had some other questions for engineers regarding the new cell's construction and that he would like to meet with them soon.
Among issues that must be addressed are whether or not to immediately proceed with the new cell's construction or could it be halted until a later date.
"It was essential (to build the new cell), we were going to run out of room at the landfill by November," Tommy New said, reminding fellow commissioners of the engineers' recommendations.
"I think we need to sit down with our engineers," New continued. "When they make a mistake, we should not be billed for that … In my opinion, we got the cart before the horse. I want some answers. Why was this so miscalculated?"
In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Bryan said he had already been in contact with the county's engineering firm of Chasman & Associates and that he expects to meet with them this week.
In other business, Commissioners also voted to reappoint the county's Chief Tax Appraiser, George Rachels, to another three-year term on the county's Board of Tax Assessors.
Commissioner Gonice Davis expressed his reluctance at reappointing Rachels to the board because he is employed by that very board as Chief Appraiser.
Davis said he had no problems with Rachels' work as an appraiser, but he questioned the appearance of the make-up of the board to citizens with Rachels acting as a sitting member.
"He's the Chief Appraiser," he said. "We really need somebody else on the board."
The issue then turned to timing. With Rachels' term ending Dec. 1, 2005, the commission would not have time to appoint a new board member and have him certified for the position within the next 30 days. Without Rachels serving on the board and the absence of remaining members at critical hearings and meetings, commissioners worried about the board being unqualified to conduct the necessary business. The Board of Assessors is currently in the process of hearing property evaluation appeals.
In light of the time frame, Johnny Davis made a motion reappoint Rachels to another term which was seconded by Gonice Davis. That measure passed by a vote of 4-0 to be placed on the consent agenda of the regular meeting, next Tuesday, Nov. 8.
In other business, the commissioners voted 4-0 to not proceed with the application for "Brownfields" grants through the Regional Development Center for grants to clean up hazardous substance or petroleum contaminated sites.
Commissioners say they were led to believe there would be no initial out-of-pocket expenses to the county for the grant application process. Bryan said since that time he has learned otherwise. He said he was also unclear as to how much work would have to be done on the county's part to complete the application.