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DA had no knowledge of deal in Hilton case

Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh was left out of the loop when other prosecutors struck a deal with Gary Michael Hilton promising not to seek the death penalty against him in order to locate the body of slain hiker Meredith Emerson.

Darragh told reporters Wednesday after an initial court appearance for Hilton that he first learned Monday night of the discovery of Emerson's body in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area and the possibility she had been killed there, some 50 miles from where she was abducted in Union County.

January 21, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Two more school principals to leave at end of 2007-08

Hall County school system principals Wayne Colston of Mount Vernon Elementary and Terry Dover of Lula Elementary have announced they are retiring after this school year.

January 21, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Hilton considered suspect in Florida slaying

Law enforcement officials in Tallahassee, Fla., want to question Gary Michael Hilton in the case of a Florida woman whose body was found in the Apalachicola National Forest on Dec. 15.

Leon County Sheriff's Maj. Mike Wood said Hilton, charged in the abduction and murder of 24-year-old hiker Meredith Emerson, became a suspect after media reports led Florida investigators to run a check of Hilton's license plate.

January 21, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Safe hiking: Trust your instincts

Outdoor recreation experts have been inundated with questions about trail safety ever since hiker Meredith Emerson was abducted and subsequently murdered in the Northeast Georgia mountains last week.

"Everyone's afraid now. Even myself," said David Foot, superintendent of Vogel State Park, where authorities and volunteers spent several days searching for Emerson. "This experience has been so intense for us here."

January 21, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Residential developments dominate Hall County’s agenda

More residential development is on the agenda for the Hall County Commission meeting today.

In December, the Hall County Planning Commission unanimously recommended for approval the roughly 1,507-acre Hagen Creek development plan that calls for 2,736 residential units, a school site and 1,000,000 square feet of commercial and office space in Lula.

January 21, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


Dyer is one of Georgia's top principals

The Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals has recognized Merrianne Dyer, principal of Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School, as one of its nine Distinguished Principals for 2008.

January 21, 2008 | From staff reports | Local


Magazine says Gainesville is a good place to retire

In its January-February 2008 issue, Where to Retire magazine highlights Gainesville as one of eight towns in the U.S. that have low tax burdens on retirees.

January 21, 2008 | From staff reports | Local


Gainesville gets ready for auction

Gainesville is cleaning out its closets.

As they do every year, officials from city departments are planning to auction off and donate their surplus property. Each department has taken inventory of its property and decided which assets have served the department beyond their use.

January 21, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Hearings set for new World Languages Academy

GAINESVILLE - Public information hearings have been scheduled for the Hall County school system's planned new World Languages Academy.

January 21, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Police station could transform into hotel and office buildings

GAINESVILLE - Gainesville could earn at least $2 million if the City Council approves a proposed Midtown development.

January 21, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Sheriff’s officials train to detain illegal immigrants

Hall County deputies will soon begin deportation proceedings for any person booked into the county jail who is determined to be in the country illegally.

Sheriff Steve Cronic said nine of his deputies began training today for the 287(g) program, a local-federal partnership that gives sheriff's officials new authority in enforcing immigration law.

January 20, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Chambliss: Water talks on track

BUFORD - Standing on the shore at Lake Lanier Islands, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said Tuesday the record low lake level can be blamed, in part, on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"They've not done a very good job of managing the water supply we've got," Chambliss said. "When I think back over the past few years, when I've seen situations come up where we had plenty of water, the management of the water was not done in the way it should have been."

January 20, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Dawsonville Highway lanes open for your driving pleasure

The Georgia Department of Transportation crossed one big item off of its to-do list Tuesday with the opening of two new lanes on Dawsonville Highway.

January 20, 2008 | Edie Rogers | Local


Chambliss weighs in on presidential races

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' visit to Gainesville concluded long before the polls closed in New Hampshire Tuesday evening. The senator, however, said he was not surprised by last week's showing by his colleague, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

January 20, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Commission chairman wants to explore combining county, city fire services

County commission Chairman Tom Oliver sparked discussion Monday with the county fire chief and other commissioners on merging Gainesville and Hall County fire departments.

"The challenge is we see an opportunity here to work with the city to make services a little more uniform to save some money ... and have quicker response times," Oliver said. "I think (the merger) will eliminate the duplication of services."

January 20, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


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Articles by Section - Local


Ga. governor candidates talk ethics during 2nd debate

October 20, 2014 | By KATHLEEN FOODY Associated Press | Local


Officials: West Hall administrators manipulated test data

Two former administrators at West Hall Middle School were censured for manipulating Adequate Yearly Progress numbers in 2010, officials confirmed this month.

October 20, 2014 | Jennifer Brown | Local


Class Notes: UNG partners with neurological facility

Students at the University of North Georgia will soon have internship opportunities at a special facility for patients with neurological disorders.

October 20, 2014 | Jennifer Brown | Local


Talk of merging Hall, Gainesville governments reignites

The idea to merge the Hall County and Gainesville governments has been floating around for decades but is now taking on new life.

October 19, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


$750K grant to fund Department of Juvenile Justice service program

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice received a $750,000 federal grant for a re-entry program, with the intent to have a pilot program identified by next month.

October 19, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Hall trail plans get second wind

As a lifetime bicyclist and co-owner of a Gainesville bicycle store, Nathan O'Neill more than welcomes the idea of a developed network of area trails.

October 19, 2014 | Jeff Gill | Local


No one hurt in Atlanta Highway house fire

No one was injured in house fire Sunday evening on Atlanta Highway in Gainesville, fire officials said.

October 19, 2014 | Times staff reports | Local


Gainesville center to provide counseling for abused boys

Nearly one in 10 children will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18.

October 19, 2014 | Kristen Oliver | Local


Cagle faces challenge from Democrat Stokes in quest for 3rd term

Georgia's competitive races for governor and U.S. Senate have dominated media coverage in the run-up to the general election Nov. 4, overshadowing other contests.

October 19, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Pay is main morale issue for Gainesville firefighters

Inadequate pay for Gainesville firefighters is causing attrition within the department and costing city taxpayers dearly, according to multiple sources in the fire department.

October 19, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Wind keeps balloon festival grounded Saturday

Saturday was a bit too breezy for the hot air balloons to fly during the fifth annual Harvest Balloon Festival at Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch, but that didn't stop the fun. Wind and weather permitting, the balloons will try again beginning at 8 a.m. today.

October 19, 2014 | Times staff reports | Local


Poor give more in Hall County

Despite their deeper wallets, wealthier Georgians give less to charity than their lower-income neighbors, a study shows.

October 19, 2014 | Kristen Oliver | Local


From foster to forever: Some parents seek adoption

With big dreams come the possibility of worst nightmares.

October 19, 2014 | Bekah Porter | Local


Broken Bonds: Where do we go from here?

October 19, 2014 | BY NICK WATSON and BEKAH PORTER | Local


Hall County officials questions learning in the age of assessment

For Will Schofield, the question about testing is not whether it has value, but when enough is enough.

October 19, 2014 | Jennifer Brown | Local


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