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Top Stories
January 26, 2006 Issue

JCSO deputy Barrow Walden works with the county's drug sniffing dog, Sarge, during a search of the student parking lot at JCHS.

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One charged in drug sweep



Other Top Stories
Wife shoots husband during altercation
County examines first responder program

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One charged in drug sweep

By Ben Roberts
Staff Writer

A Jefferson County High School student has been charged for drug possession after random searches were conducted on school grounds last week.

According to a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigator, Floyd Myers Jr., 18, of Louisville, was charged Tuesday afternoon with one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

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Myers is accused of stashing five individually wrapped baggies of marijuana in a computer room adjacent to a classroom. That room was not searched by officers with drug-sniffing dogs at the time, but the marijuana was located later and identified as belonging to Myers, authorities said.

JCHS principal, Dr. Molly Howard, explained that random classroom, locker-area and parking lot searches are conducted from time to time using drug-sniffing dogs.

JCSO's K-9 handler and dog were assisted by two other dogs from Richmond County during Friday's search that included seven classrooms, restroom areas and the student parking lot.

Howard said school administrators are not made aware of the searches beforehand. Even Howard herself does not know until shortly before officers arrive at the school.



Wife shoots husband during altercation

Willie T. Scott is in critical but stable condition at MCG after suffering gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen

By Ben Roberts
Staff Writer

Jefferson County authorities are investigating their fourth shooting of 2006; there have been five including the last week of December.

According to a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigator, Willie T. Scott, 60, was shot and critically wounded by his wife shortly before midnight last Saturday night inside their residence at the 1500 block of Middleground Road near Wrens.

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Scott suffered two gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen and was transported to Jefferson Hospital by EMS personnel. He was moved to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta Sunday where he remains in critical but stable condition, authorities said.

Investigators with the JCSO and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have charged Donnie Lorraine Scott, 55, with one count of aggravaged assault and one count of possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime.

She is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail awaiting bond.

Investigators say that at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, the Jefferson County 911 Center received a call from Mrs. Scott saying she and her husband were involved in a domestic dispute that had progressed from verbal to physical. Operators lost contact with the woman and then called her back minutes later, at which time Mrs. Scott said she had just shot her husband.

Mrs. Scott did suffer minor injuries during the altercation, according to investigators. It is not currently known why the couple was fighting.

The couple, who married in March of 2005, has a history of domestic disputes, investigators say, although Mrs. Scott has never reported those to the JCSO. However, she has been treated at the Veteran's Administration Hospital. Authorities are currently looking into those past allegations.

Saturday's shooting marked the fifth in four weeks in the county. On December 27, a man was shot and killed by his father-in-law near Bartow. Then, in the early hours of New Year's Day, two men were shot near Matthews. The fourth, a Wrens man, was shot and killed last Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 17.

Authorities have made five arrests in connection to the five shootings.



County examines first responder program

While county currently has no "official" first responder program, the possibility of creating one will be addressed at meeting Wednesday

By Ben Roberts
Staff Writer

Officials from Jefferson County and representatives from each of the county's six incorporated cities met yesterday, Wednesday, Jan. 1, to discuss issues surrounding "first responders" in emergency situations.

While results of the meeting were not available at press time, county administrator Paul Bryan explained the importance of sitting down with city and county officials on Tuesday before the meeting.

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Bryan said the biggest issue facing the group is gaining an understanding of what each individual city or fire department has and what each group's plans are in emergency situations.

In particular, Bryan says defining "first responders" is a priority. While there are a number of licensed first responders - individuals trained to deal with medical emergencies beyond first-aid, on-site care, rescue or extrication - employed by various fire departments in the county, there is no licensed first responder unit, which Bryan says is required by state regulations.

"The bottom line is there is no organized and licensed first responder agency or department within Jefferson County," Bryan said.

Because of this, he has instructed county Emergency 911 operators not to dispatch units as "first responders," even though some fire department personnel have requested just that. Other departments have specifically asked that they not be dispatched as first responders on their own.

"If an agency is dispatched as a first responder unit and arrives on scene under that designation, then all entities would naturally assume the liability for the actions of its personnel," Bryan said. "It is the organized action of an organized government."

Bryan says that because of the lack of a recognized and licensed agency, he is not even sure how many legitimately licensed first responders may be employed as fire and rescue within the county.

While such additional training is certainly beneficial to personnel, Bryan said it is a major liability issue when an employee acts outside the realm of the organization with which he or she is employed.

Bryan compared the issue to a post-licensed, but unemployed, police officer attempting to make arrests and write tickets all over town.

"Licensed or not, you can only work within the bounds specified by your employer," he said.

Bryan also wanted to make clear that fire and rescue units would continue to be dispatched for car accidents, particularly those requiring rescue or extrication, as well as first-aid emergencies such as cardiac arrests.

"Those incidents fall within the training and capabilities of fire and rescue units and they will still be called for such," Bryan said. "There is some confusion over the term 'first responder.'"

Bryan said that, overall, he hopes the meeting will alleviate such confusion between cities and their respective departments and the E-911 call center.

Bryan said it was possible the involved parties could decide to create a first responder agency or a group of agencies, but that the need and financial capabilities of creating such agencies would certainly have to be addressed.




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