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January 27, 2011 Issue

Officers find cocaine after chase
The Art of Karate
Organizers kick off plans for Relay

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Officers find cocaine after chase

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Officers arrested Brandon Martell Hicks, 23, of Louisville Friday, Jan. 21, about 11:53 p.m. after failed to stop for an officer.

Lt. Clark Hiebert, an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday, Jan. 24, officers have charged Hicks with reckless driving, open container/operator of vehicle, obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers, striking unattended vehicle, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, forgery in the second degree and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.


Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Logue initially attempted to stop Hicks for a traffic violation, the investigator said, adding that Hicks increased his speed.

“Naturally, Officer Logue notified 9-1-1 and advised them he was in a 10-80, which means a chase in progress,” Hiebert said.

Other officers from the JCSO and the Louisville Police Department were dispatched to that area and began assisting in the chase, he said.

Hicks led the officers on various streets in the Wrens Quarters area of Louisville, the investigator said.

“He led them down several streets, circling the area. Officers said it appeared to them that Mr. Hicks was looking for a place to bail out. As officers were trying to keep up with Mr. Hicks, Mr. Hicks struck a parked, unoccupied vehicle and landed in a ditch,” Hiebert said.

The officer said that once Hicks’ vehicle struck the parked vehicle, both air bags deployed; and, Hicks started to exit the vehicle.

Hiebert said Hicks also tried to drive his vehicle out of the ditch but officers surrounded him.

“Mr. Hicks then exited the vehicle and began to run down the road and was tackled by one of the officers,” Hiebert said.

“Officers involved in the chase also reported that as Mr. Hicks was running down the road he was pouring suspected marijuana out of a bag,” he said.

“Shortly thereafter, the other officers converged on the scene and helped take him into custody. There was a small plastic bag containing suspected cocaine found along with a number of empty baggies and an electronic scale when he was apprehended,” Hiebert said.

The investigator said a hundred dollar counterfeit bill was found in Hicks’ possession.

The wreck totaled both cars, Hiebert said.

“One more drug dealer taken off the street,” the investigator said of the arrest.

“It was a consolidated effort by the Louisville Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office that led to an effective arrest,” he said.

Hiebert said the amount of cocaine found on Hicks was estimated to be about an eighth of an ounce with a value of less than $1,000.

“He’s currently on probation,” Hiebert said.

The Art of Karate

By Bonnie K. Sargent

The Family Y in Wrens began offering karate classes several months ago. The classes are being held every Monday and Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Approximately 20 children have signed up for the classes overall. The kids range in age from 6 to 14 years old.


Christian Tiller, the senior program director at the Family Y, said in an interview that when they started the kids were all beginners and were just learning the basics. “They are learning the correct terms for things and basic discipline, that sort of thing,” said Tiller.

Tiller said the classes will continue every month and at some point the instructor will divide them into a beginner’s class and an intermediate class.

Tiller said they got the idea for the class from the YMCA in Thomson, which was already offering the class.

“We were looking to expand our options,” said Tiller. “To help out the community.”

Tiller said the instructor, John Pereta, was suggested to him through Cory Thomas at the YMCA in Thomson.

There is an ongoing registration to sign up for the class. The cost of the class is $35 a month for members of the Family Y and $55 for people who are not members.

Organizers kick off plans for Relay

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Event coordinators and committee chairmen held a kick off for the 2011 Relay For Life of Jefferson County Monday, Jan. 17, in Wrens.

About 30 people attended the event, which had been rescheduled from Monday, Jan. 10, because of inclement weather.


“A low pressure system is expected to develop over the northern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, then track across north Florida and off the Georgia Coast through late Monday,” the statement said. “This system will begin spreading moisture into the state Sunday afternoon and continue through at least early Tuesday.” This year’s event will begin Friday, April 29, with a survivor walk at 6 p.m. and will last through Saturday, April 30.

The theme for this year’s Relay is, “Cancer doesn’t take a holiday.” Each team will choose a holiday upon which to base their tent. Teams will be able to choose any type of holiday, Vicky McDonald, the event chair said.

Walk By Faith’s female trio, The ROC Trio, provided entertainment during the meeting.

McDonald talked about the beginnings of the Relay For Life, which was founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt.

A video Klatt posted on YouTube was played.

Klatt said when he first walked a track in Tacoma, Wash., in 1985 he had no idea what Relay For Life would become.

“No one really knew,” he said. “We hope to make a difference in the fight against cancer; but, what’s happened has been nothing short of inspirational.”

Klatt said the Relay raises not only funds for cancer research but also raises awareness of cancer and brings communities together.

“I sincerely thank you for taking up the fight,” he said.

Virginia Garrett, honorary chair for 2011, has been involved in the Relay every year since the second year of the event in the county, she said.

She told the group she has been working as an advocate now.

“I didn’t know how political medicine was,” she said. “And I work for a doctor. Working with advocacy is not hard. The American Cancer Society makes it so easy.”

Garrett said because of the role the ACS plays in promoting cancer issues to the federal government, some things have changed. One example she gave was health insurance providing coverage towards the cost of mammograms.

She said current treatment for cancer has improved greatly.

“Hopefully, one day we will have a cure,” she said.

“Unless you’re a cancer survivor, you don’t know what the Relay means. It gives us hope,” Garrett said.

Goals for this year’s Jefferson County Relay are to raise a grand total of $75,000, receive $15,000 in corporate sponsorship donations, have at least 15 teams and at least 270 survivors participating.

Andi Van Airsdale, the county’s current community manager with ACS, said 11 million people in America have survived cancer and the ACS’ toll-free number receives 1.3 million calls a year.

“Having cancer is hard but finding help is not,” she said.

Several donors provided door prizes for the meeting. An anonymous donor gave one gift certificate each from Outback’s and Applebee’s. Other donors were Barney’s Pharmacy, Louisville Hardware and Avera Industrial. The ACS provided some as well.

Some fundraising for the event has already started.

The Wrens Middle School team is selling heart shaped decorated cakes. Small cakes are $3, medium are $5, large are $10 and extra large are $20. All cakes will be vanilla unless chocolate is specified. To order, call Stacy Arnold at 706-547-6580 or email her at arnolds@jefferson.k12.ga.us. Pick up will be in the WMS cafeteria Monday, Feb. 14, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

First State Bank has a mystery box valued at $60. Tickets are $1 each. To purchase a ticket, contact any First State Bank employee. The drawing will be Friday, Feb. 11, at 4 p.m. For more information contact Kerissa Wenger at 706-547-6502 or e-mail kwenger@firststate.net.

A new event at the Relay this year will be a car show, coordinated by Adam Howard.

Howard said the show is planned for Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“It will be held in the parking lot of the middle school,” he said.

He is looking for sponsors and volunteers. Anyone interested may contact Howard by email at ahoward9@hotmail.com.

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