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July 24, 2014 Issue

DA seeks death penalty
ID cards offered to area Latinos this Sunday
Celebrating her 104th birthday
Liquor sales will be on ballot

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DA seeks death penalty

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer


Lemon, 37, of Wadley was arrested in June because he is on the sex offender registry and had failed to register his current address with law enforcement. He was later charged in connection with the death of Jamillah Mia Holmes, 29, of Sandersville.

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Holmes’ body was discovered Monday, May 12, by a county worker at a trash dump site on River Road in Jefferson County outside the city of Wadley.

Lemon was charged with one count of murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of kidnapping, one count of false imprisonment, one count of rape and one count of aggravated sodomy.

After Special Agent Hayle Deloach described the evidence against Lemon and was questioned by Lemon’s attorney, Reeves bound the case over to the grand jury and denied Lemon bond.

Altman has said Lemon has a prior conviction of rape and served 10 years.

Testimony during the hearing described the evidence that led to Lemon being charged in this case.

Deloach, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, stated the GBI had been contacted by Capt. Robert Chalker for assistance. Chalker is an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO).

Deloach said when she arrived on the scene where Holmes’ body had been discovered, she saw trash bags on top of the body, drag marks, several spots of what appeared to be human blood, a pole with a concrete block attached that appeared to have blood on it and a white T-shirt with what appeared to be blood on it. The T-shirt was in a tree, she said.

Holmes’ body was taken by the coroner to the GBI’s crime lab.

“She didn’t have any identification on her,” the agent said, adding there was nothing near the body that would help with identification.

Lemon, who was Holmes’ cousin, was among some family members who came to the JCSO Monday night.

Deloach said they talked with several individuals. One said he had plans to see Holmes that Sunday night, May 11.

About 12:30 p.m., Holmes called this person and said she was about 15 minutes away. He did not hear from her again; although, he did call her about 12:47 p.m. when she didn’t arrive. He got no answer.

Law enforcement interviewed a woman who said she had lived with Lemon at a house in Wadley until early this year.

“She said he tried to kill her,” Deloach stated. The woman filed a complaint with Wadley Police Department and did not return to the house.

“She never went back,” the agent said.

Lemon was charged with simple battery in that incident, she said.

Deloach testified officers found evidence that Lemon lived at the house in Wadley rather than in Bartow where his registered address is.

She said they found a blood droplet in the living room and blood spatter under the bed in the west bedroom.

Another agent got permission from Lemon’s mother to search her home. His mother told them he routinely brings clothes for her to wash. She had some of his clothes but hadn’t washed them yet.

The officers found a pair of his jeans with what appeared to be blood on them.

Deloach said there was DNA matching Lemon and Holmes on the jeans.

A car believed to be one Holmes had been driving was discovered at a parking lot in Wadley.

“There was blood all throughout the vehicle and in the trunk,” Deloach said.

The agent said a woman said Lemon called her and told her if anyone asked where he was at 12:52 a.m. Monday to say Lemon was with her. The woman refused.

“She said she wouldn’t because he wasn’t with her,” Deloach said.

The agent said a witness said she saw Lemon about 7 a.m. Monday, May 12, with a black trash bag. When he saw her, he hid. Later she saw Lemon again without the bag.

She said the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.

The agent said during one of the times Lemon came to the JCSO for an interview, her supervisor, Pat Morgan, noticed what appeared to be blood on Lemon’s shoes.

“The shoes were seized. The blood was tested. It tested positive for Miss Holmes’ blood,” Deloach said.

Reeves bound the case over to the grand jury and denied bond.




ID cards offered to area Latinos this Sunday

By Parish Howard
Editor/Publisher

In an effort to build trust with the area’s Latino community, a CSRA-based non-profit is putting their name on the line.

Sunday, July 27, Asociacion Latina de Servicios del CSRA (ALAS) will offer area residents an identification card at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Louisville from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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“We are seeing a need for documentation,” said Loyrett Cain, a Jefferson County-based interpreter and cross-cultural consultant. “A lot of these residents don’t have any card to show who they are. A lot of people, officials, don’t trust what they do have. They think they put a lot of names on there and think it’s not real. A lot of times, in our countries, we use two first names and two two last names, each parent’s name. But, we want them to be legit, so people will trust them. Mainly so the police can trust that this is legit. And that the person in the picture, this is their name and their address, so they can see they are a part of the community.”

Cain, who moved to Jefferson County with her husband in 1985, said that she has been volunteering with ALAS for nearly a year. ALAS, she said, is a non-profit organization that provides Spanish-speaking community of the CSRA with quality of life services.

The organization’s primary service project is a twice-monthly medical clinic and health care program, Cain said. The clinic provides primary care for acute and chronic conditions while taking linquistic and cultural needs of the patients into consideration.

“The number one thing right now is Clinica Latina,” she said. “We moved the facility and the grand opening for the new facility is Aug. 19. Doctors, nurses and interpreters volunteer their time. They’re finding many of these people only go to the doctor when they are dying or when they have a horrible accident.”

The clinic provides routine health checks, diabetes education and nutritional counseling in Spanish. ALAS also works with its patients and clients to provide other services such through area clothes closets, food banks and even teaches some basic English classes.

The identification cards, Cain said, grew out of a need ALAS saw while providing services for this demographic.

“We think it is important for people who may not have U.S. driver’s licenses to have a document that will show their first name, last name, address and the doctor’s phone number if they want to call someone who is responsible for that card,” Cain said. “This is not a government deal. This is the organization. We are a group of Latinos from all over, Panama, Columbia, Nicaragua, Honduras, etc. We all want them to have the right card to show so no one thinks they are making up their name or false papers or nothing like that.

“We want this to be legit, so we’re asking for a birth certificate, a passport, a driver’s license from their country.”

Requirements to receive the ALAS data card include: identification documents such as a passport, birth certificate or any valid document of country to establish their identity, at least one of which must have a photo; two proof of current address, a receipt, power bill or other pieces of delivered mail; and two emergency contacts, one in the United States and one in their country of origin (name, address and phone number).

These cards cost $25 and are renewable annually.

Cain, who has volunteered with Jefferson County schools, hospitals and law enforcement for years, says she has spoken to local law enforcement about the ID cards. She said they had concerns about the legitimacy of the cards.

“This is an association that is well respected and known in Augusta and South Carolina,” Cain said. “They want every Hispanic to show this documentation so that they will respect that this is legit. If someone doesn’t bring in the documents and picture ID to prove they are who they say they are, then we are not going to put the integrity of ALAS in question.”

Cain said that she expects a large turnout on Sunday at the church in Louisville.

“Once we do this we will even be able to tell you what the percentage of Hispanics who are in Jefferson County, because we’re going to be accounting for them,” Cain said. “The Census wasn’t right. They came here and they miscounted. We have a big percentage in Jefferson County. Because they are afraid of immigration, of course they were going to hide. They were not going to come forward. But now they are seeing the necessity of having something that says who they are.”

Census data for 2013 claims that Hispanic people make us 3.2 percent of the county’s total population. According to the Jefferson County School Board, the Hispanic population in county schools was 1.04 percent in 2004 and was 4.42 percent in the spring of 2014.

The percentage is growing and Cain believes that it is more important than ever that they have some sort of identification card.

“And even though it is not a license, it is nothing like that, at least it says who they are and they can do some things with it,” she said. “So this can open doors. People can trust this card is legit.”

For more information, contact Cain at (706) 399-7884 or (706) 877-7707.




Celebrating her 104th birthday

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

On July 19, Alma Jean Cunningham (Cousin Jean), celebrated her 104th birthday in Bartow. Family members said Cunningham picked cotton and pulled corn before moving to New York City in her early teen years to 1935. She returned to Bartow in 1970 and has been there since.She joined Tarver Grove Baptist church in Bartow at the age of 6 and after 98 years, she is by far the oldest member. She credits her longevity to her belief in God and is always willing to help others. The centenarian still cooks her own meals and does most of her own shopping. Cunningham has no special diet and occasionally enjoys fried and smothered pork chops. She also enjoys a good salad with all the trimmings.Cunningham, or Aunt Jean as she is known to many, is twice widowed and has no children of her own, however she has help raised countless nieces and nephews by her two sisters, who have since passed. Cunningham says she never smoked tobacco or drank liquor but does a pinch of snuff occasionally. She often visits the senior centers in Louisville and Wadley. She celebrated her birthday this year with a few friends and family.

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Liquor sales will be on ballot

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County and Louisville will be adding alcohol referendums to the ballot for the General Election in November.

The county will have two of these.

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“Number one would be whether Sunday packaged sales of beer and wine will be allowed between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.,” said Jefferson County Attorney Dalton Dowdy.

“The second one is to decide whether the county shall be authorized to issue licenses for the sale of distilled spirits by the drink. Such drinks would have to be consumed on the premises where the purchase was made,” he said.

“Only the unincorporated areas of the county are under the jurisdiction of the county. The cities can and do make their own ordinances,” Dowdy said.

Louisville will also have alcohol referendums on the November ballot.

Louisville Administrator Ricky Sapp said one is for Sunday package sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits.

“The second one is for sale on premise or pour by the drink of distilled spirits,” he said. The third is Sunday sales by the drink of distilled spirits from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“Currently you can sell packaged beer, wine and distilled spirits Monday through Saturday and on premise drinking of beer and wine Monday through Saturday,” Sapp said.

The three referendums for Louisville will be added to the county ballot. Voters registered in Louisville will receive those ballots and will vote at the county polling place on Green Street in Louisville.

In Wrens, sale of beer wine is allowed; liquor is not.

Wrens City Administrator Arty Thrift said Sunday sales of alcohol are not allowed in the city.

“The only other thing we do is allow beer and wine by the drink at a restaurant, to be served at your table,” Thrift said.

Bartow has an ordinance that allows a store to sell beer and wine, said Bartow City Manager Susan Scarboro.

“We do not have an ordinance that allows the sale of liquor by the drink, as at a restaurant. Open containers are not allowed on premises of sale. There is a liquor ordinance that allows a liquor store in the town; but, there is no consumption of any alcoholic beverage allowed in public,” she said.

In Stapleton, there is an ordinance that allows stores to sell beer and wine; although, such sales are not on Sundays.

Avera allows sale of beer and wine Monday through Saturday.

The proposed changes are expected to increase revenue from the taxes levied on alcoholic beverages. Wadley added a Sunday sales ordinance effective in January. City voters had passed a referendum last year.

Wadley City Clerk Sallie Adams said there had not been a significant increase in revenue because of Sunday sales.










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