Local couple charged with cruelty to children

Arrest, News
Hiawassee child abuse

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Thursday, Sept. 13, a criminal investigator with the Hiawassee Police Department responded to a residence on Rolling Acres Road to meet with Towns County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) concerning an alleged child abuse case.

Joey Johnson Hiawassee

Joey Malone Johnson

According to Hiawassee Police Department records, DFCS stated to the investigator that a report had been made by one of the children living at the residence to Towns County School officials and the Towns County Sheriff’s Office regarding physical abuse.

DFCS relayed to the investigator that there were three children in the household, living at the residence with their mother, Kristen Renee Watson, and father/step-father Joey Malone Johnson. Furthermore, it was discovered that another family resided in the home, consisting of a mother and her three children.

Kristen Watson Hiawassee

Kristen Renee Watson

Upon investigation, Joey Malone Johnson, 32, and Kristen Renee Watson, 26, were arrested and charged with three counts of cruelty to children, first degree.

The three children involved in the investigation were removed from the home by DFCS.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

The suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting over 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week, and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, dial 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Routine Traffic Stop leads to Heroin Arrest

Arrest, City Police, News
Hiawassee Police Department

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Police Department conducted a routine traffic stop on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 15, upon witnessing a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu improperly traveling east on Main Street, unlawfully occupying the center turning lane. State law prohibits the use of a central turn lane in excess of 300 feet of travel.

The driver was identified as Lisa Beth Bradley, 55, of Roswell, Georgia.

Lisa beth bradley

Lisa Beth Bradley

“I noticed as I was talking to the driver that she was sweating more so than seemed normal, her eyes were very constricted, and she seemed very nervous,” the officer stated in the report obtained by FYN, “The driver then advised me that she was distracted due to her vehicle overheating.”

Upon requesting Bradley exit the vehicle, and observing additonal behavior which led the officer to question the condition of the driver, the officer inquired as to whether Bradley was taking medication. According to the officer’s report, Bradley stated that she was not, shortly thereafter divulging a methadone prescription. Hiawassee Police Department purportedly retained consent to search Bradley’s vehicle – with Bradley documented as repeatedly responding “if you have to” – prompting law enforcement to subsequently discover the methadone and a pipe, resemblant to that of a narcotic smoking device, “burnt on both ends” along with a “small clear baggie with what appeared to be heroin or possibly crack cocaine.”

Hiawassee Police Department

According to the Hiawassee Police Department, nine syringes were found in the suspect’s vehicle

Hiawassee Police Department stated that when asked if the substance was heroin, Bradley replied, “I believe so.”

Methadone, a powerful narcotic, is often legally prescribed to heroin and opioid users as replacement therapy to quell the harsh withdrawl symptoms experienced from discontinuation of the initial drug of abuse.

Bradley was taken into custody and charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession and Use of Drug-Related Objects, and Improper Use of Central Turn Lane. Bradley was transported to the Towns County Detention Center, with the investigation turned over to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office. Bradley’s vehicle was towed and impounded.

Bradley is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Community advised to check for counterfeit cash

City Police, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith advised citizens to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills that could be circulating in the area. Smith delivered his department’s monthly update during Monday’s council work session at City Hall.

Smith received a call from United Community Bank earlier in the day, stating that the branch had received several counterfeit bills with Japanese script printed on the rearside. Smith presented a counterfeit $20 bill that the police department had on file as an example of what to potentially look for. While some counterfeiters produce shoddy replicas, other fraudulent bills can be more difficult to detect.

Hiawassee Paul Smith Police

Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith updates the council and citizens

“Sometimes what they’ll do is take actual dollar bills, and bleach them, and then print on top of them so they feel like a real bill,” Smith said, “Take a good look at the money before you accept it.”
Smith suggested holding bills against a light source to check for the embedded security strip, or using a counterfeit banknote detection pen to determine authenticity.

At the beginning of the report, Smith recapped the manhunt which took place in the vicinity of Upper Bell Creek Road the previous week. What began as a traffic stop initiated by Hiawassee Police Department led to a multi-agency search, the capture of two fleeing suspects, four arrests, and the recovery of stolen firearms. “It was a happy ending to a stressful three days,” the police chief concluded.

In addition, Chief Smith relayed that the department had recently received an anonymous, hand-written letter stating that an individual residing within the community has been driving under the influence of alcohol on a daily basis, with the author inquiring as to why the agency is allowing the habit to occur. Smith said that due to the appreciated information, he is now aware of the situation, and his agency can investigate the matter.

“We don’t get to see everything,” Smith explained, “There’s a thousand cars going through here at any given time so it’s hard to pick out that one car that might be drunk. So if you see something, please let us know. If you’re aware of something that’s going on, please let us know. You don’t have to make a formal report or anything. You can send an anonymous letter.”

As residents exited the meeting, several stopped to shake the chief’s hand, thankful for his department’s service to the community.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Hiawassee manhunt leads to four arrests, recovery of stolen firearms

Arrest, News
HIawassee Police Department

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Towns County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist Hiawassee Police Department following a traffic stop at Chatuge Lodge, after two suspects exited a vehicle they were occupying, and fled on foot. Law enforcement officers established a perimeter in the area, and a sheriff’s bloodhound was deployed on scene in an attempt to locate the fleeing subjects. The suspects were not apprehended at that time.

The following day, Aug. 23, Towns County 911 received a call pertaining to two subjects fitting the description in the vicinity of Pioneer Trail, located off Highway 75 North. A responding deputy spotted the two suspects, whom proceeded to flee on foot. Additional law enforcement officers arrived on scene, and established a perimeter. A female subject was discovered hiding near a residential area, and was taken into custody without incident.Hiawassee manhunt

A CodeRed 911 alert call was dispatched to residents in the area, advising citizens to be on the lookout for the second suspect.

The male suspect, Shaun Ewing, 36, of Hiawassee, was spotted shortly thereafter on Upper Bell Creek Road. Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Hiawassee Police Department officers continued the search throughout the night, and into the following morning.

On the morning of Friday, Aug. 24, a tip was received that Ewing was at a location off of Highway 75 North. Law enforcement officers responded on scene, taking the suspect into custody without further incident. A second CodeRed alert was activated, alerting area residents that the manhunt had concluded due to the suspect’s arrest.

Towns County Sheriff's Office

K-9 Unit searching the Upper Bell Creek area

The suspects have been linked to an ongoing investigation by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office related to a burglary that was reported on Aug. 15, at a residence off of Fodder Creek Road. A victim reported that numerous firearms, along with other items, had been stolen.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office investigators teamed with officers from the Hiawassee Police Department to execute a search warrant at a residence on Kontahetta Way in Hiawassee.

Deputies arrested James Robert Gregory, 38, seizing items that had been stolen during the burglary, along with a quantity of methamphetamine.

On Friday, Aug. 24, law enforcement officers recovered additional firearms and items from a location off of Swallow Creek Road that had been reported as stolen from the Fodder Creek residence.

Hiawassee Police Department arrested and charged Bobbie LeAnn Saxon, 37, of Hiawassee, with the following offenses:

  • One Count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Possession of Methamphetamine
  • One Count Fleeing and Attempting to Elude
  • One Count Failure to Maintain Lane
  • One Count No Seat Belt
  • One Count Possession of Drug-Related Objects

Towns County Sheriff’s Office arrested the following suspects:

  • Sandi Pate, 29, of Hiawassee — Probation Violation Warrant
  • Shaun Keith Ewing, 36, of Hiawassee —- Probation Violation Warrant
  • James Robert Gregory, 38, of Hiawassee — One Count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Possession of Methamphetamine

According to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation into the burglary is considered active and ongoing, and additional charges are forthcoming.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office extends their appreciation to the following agencies for their assistance in the search and apprehension of the suspects:   Hiawassee Police Department, Georgia Wildlife Resources Department, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Towns County 911, Towns County Fire and Rescue, along with the residents in the area of Upper Bell Creek.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Loitering suspect arrested for methamphetamine at local store

Arrest, News
Hiawassee Police Department

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Tuesday, Aug. 7, Towns County Sheriff’s deputies, along with an officer from the Hiawassee Police Department, responded to the Lakeview store on Highway 76 East in Hiawassee, in reference to a subject who was loitering on the property.Kendall Hiawassee

Upon arriving on the scene, the officers located the subject whom the compliant was received about, still on the store property.

Upon further investigation, the subject identified as Carey Edward Kendall, 37, of Hiawassee.

Kendall was arrested and charged with One Count of Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer, and One Count of Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Possession of Methamphetamine.

The case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

North Carolinians ask police for directions, ultimately arrested on drug charges

City Police, News
HIawassee Police Department

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – What might appear to some as a seemingly innocent incident led to the arrest of two North Carolina men, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Drug Related Object, thanks to the work of an observant law enforcement officer.

On the evening of Monday, Aug. 6, a Hiawassee Police Department patrol officer was in the parking lot of a local business when the officer was approached by two white males in a white Ford F250, requesting directions. The officer advised the driver that an incoming call for service needed to be addressed, but if the individuals wished to wait, the officer would return shortly to assist in the matter.

According to the detailed incident report, the officer returned soon thereafter to where the men were awaiting directions, when the driver claimed that they had traveled from Cherokee, North Carolina, in search of a gated campground in the area.

As the driver was speaking, the Hiawassee officer observed that the man was “sweating profusely,” that his eyes appeared “extremely dialated,” in addition to “talking very rapidly.”

The officer asked the driver to exit the vehicle. Upon questioning the driver’s condition, the driver said that he had been in a motorcycle accident, and was currently on “Roxy 10’s,” a prescription pain medication, stating that he had taken the opioid an hour and a half prior to contact with the police department.

The driver was identified as Austin Cody Fuller, 20, of Cherokee, NC, and the passenger as Ronald David Warren, 42, of Bryson City, NC.

Upon requesting assistance from the Towns County Sheriff’s Office, the Hiawassee Police Department officer requested that Warren exit the vehicle. After speaking with the individuals and suspecting illicit activity, the officer requested permission to search the vehicle. According to the incident report, Fuller stated, “I don’t care,” along with “It doesn’t bother me.”

Once consent to search was granted, law enforcement officers located a glass smoking device containing methamphetamine, in addition to two additional baggies of methamphetamine, one within the vehicle, the other inside of the Warren’s pocket, following his arrest.

Allen and Fuller were transported to the Towns County Detention Center.

Both suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith marks first year as city’s top cop

City Police, Feature News
Hiawassee Police Paul Smith

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Today, August 1, marks the one-year anniversary of the appointment of Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith, and FYN sat down with the law enforcement official to discuss his year-long journey.

Chief Smith began his law enforcement career in Cobb County, Georgia, serving as an officer for three years prior to transferring to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in 2009. Smith attended Towns County Comprehensive, Young Harris College, Kennesaw State University, and Cobb County Department of Public Safety, and has been with the Hiawassee Police Department since 2010. Smith accepted an assignment as acting police chief of the agency five months prior to his official appointment on August 1, 2017.

Hiawassee Police Department

Hiawassee Police Department Mission Statement

Chief Smith shared that an affinity for community service spurred his decision to enter law enforcement.

“I grew up a community orientated family, doing litter clean-up together and things like that,” Smith said, “I had been in Boy Scouts from a young age, was an Eagle Scout, and began considering law enforcement in high school. Giving to the community, it had been a memorable part of my life, and becoming an officer was an extension that I could build on.”

The Hiawassee native says his goals for the department include “continuing to technically advance into the 21st century” while maintaining a “professional, positive community presence.” Smith recently revised the agency’s operations manual, which lists expectations of respect for citizens, officer integrity, commitment to service, and a strive for excellence among its mission.

Furthermore, Smith aspires to complete his degree in Criminal Justice. “I’m a few classes short. Cobb County came calling before I graduated. I took classes after the academy, but it was difficult to find any that worked with my schedule. That’s a personal, short-term goal of mine, to finish my degree now that online classes are more prevalent.”

Smith is proving to be a respected leader, highly-visible and easily approachable, available to address citizen concerns, and provide useful information to the public. When not actively enforcing the law and preserving the peace, Smith regularly steps in to offer other forms of service. Whether its shopping with local children during the holiday season, providing car seats to parents in need, ensuring that city activities go as planned, or taking on the responsibility of emptying trash cans on the town square during events, the humble public servant is an appreciated asset to the community.

As part of continuing education and training in the administration of law enforcement, Smith recently attended the 2018 Annual Summer Training conference, sponsored by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. Heads of law enforcement agencies from over 550 departments throughout the state participated in the Savannah conference. “It was informative. There was a series of classes on different subjects, and though some were geared toward larger agencies, the conference provided a good opportunity to network with other departments,” Smith said.

Additional articles related to Chief Smith are available.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Towns County GOP draws State candidates days before run-off election

Election 2018, News, Politics
Mayor Jim Conley
Towns County GOP

Vendors set up shop, selling their wares

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Republican Party hosted an “Old-Fashion Rally and BBQ” on Hiawassee Town Square, the weekend prior to the state run-off election. Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young organized and orchestrated the event, drawing Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle , and Secretary of State candidate David Belle Isle, to visit with constituents.

Commissioner Cliff Bradshawe

Towns County GOP Chair Betsy Young and County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw review the day’s agenda

Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon spoke on behalf of Lieutenant Governor candidate David Shafer, and former State Representative Stephen Allison represented Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. Kemp was unable to attend due to an engagement with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Macon, Georgia.

 

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton and his band rocked the Square

Vendors set up shop along Berrong Street, and K&K Killer Kue served smoked pork barbeque sandwiches to guests.

The Republican Party held a bake sale, and the President’s Team manned an information booth.

Radio host of EXtreme Carolina, Michael Levi Borkman, served as Master of Ceremony.

Former Towns County Republican Chair Mark Wolchko streamed music, leading up to the candidate “stumping”.

Michael Levi Borkman

(L-R) Master of Ceremony Michael Levi Borkman and Secretary of State candidate David Belle Isle

Chris Clinton, who serves as Towns County Sheriff, and his band provided live entertainment.

Hiawassee Police Department chipped in, providing not only security, but supplying a needed tent and table for visitors.

Betty Phillips Towns County

Local resident Betty Phillips visits the President’s Team booth

Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, staying throughout, and Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales made a brief appearance at the event.

The State Run-Off Election takes place tomorrow, July 24. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

(Feature Image: Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley shakes hands with Gubernatorial candidate Casey Cagle)

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

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