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Jury keeps pondering Vergara’s sentence

Jurors will resume deliberating today whether to sentence a convicted killer to death for the drug-related shooting deaths of two men on a isolated South Hall road.

The jury of nine men and three women deliberated for more than three hours Wednesday in the sentencing phase of Ignacio Vergara's death penalty trial before asking to be released from duty for the day at about 7:30 p.m. It was the eighth day of sequestration for the jury, which is staying in an area hotel.

September 01, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Ballowe, Gainesville school board settle for $190,000

The Gainesville City Board of Education voted 3-2 to enter into a mutual termination agreement with former Gainesville school system Superintendent Steven Ballowe.

Phil Hartley, attorney for the Gainesville school board, said the board agreed to settle with Ballowe for $190,000, the equivalent of his salary last year without benefits. Hartley said the board will pay Ballowe in two $95,000 payments, one during this fiscal year and one during the next.

September 01, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


Rainfall gives lake ‘a pretty nice jump’

Even as Hall County residents were dodging tornadoes Tuesday, you still could hear people remarking that "all this rain is going to be good for the lake."

There's no question that Tropical Storm Fay did benefit Lake Lanier. By Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey was reporting the lake's elevation at 1,055.44 feet, about 2 feet higher than it had been on Monday.

September 01, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Hall recovers from the fury of tornadoes

Until two days ago, Jesus Ramirez and Jane Gable only had seen a tornado in the movies, but three very real ones touched down in Hall County Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed.

Tuesday's tornado did not sound like the freight train tornado Ramirez had seen in the movies. Ramirez' experience had been a little more rural.

September 01, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Weather service says 3 twisters struck Hall, causing $3.36 million in damage

It has been three days since a fallen pine tree forced Ellen Cowart out of her home less than a mile from downtown Gainesville.

Cowart's property is one of nearly 107 properties that were either affected or damaged by tornadoes Tuesday in Hall County. Most of the damage was in an area between Lyman Hall Elementary and Cowart's home, according to an estimate from Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle.

September 01, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Roots building: Cochran returns to affordable housing

TALMO - In what he calls "an earlier life," builder and developer Broughton Cochran was a social worker for the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services in Forsyth County.

September 01, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Schools assess damage

Oakwood and Lyman Hall elementary schools resumed classes as usual Wednesday following a day in which two tornadoes swept through the school yards.

One tornado damaged four first-grade classrooms at Oakwood Elementary, and the other pulled the majority of the roof off the gym at Lyman Hall Elementary.

September 01, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


Flowery Branch schedules 3 hearings for tax increase

Flowery Branch residents who saw a rise in property values this year because of reassessments also could see a slight jump in taxes.

August 31, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Remnants of Fay hit Hall; homes damaged; schools evacuated

When there were multiple reports of funnel clouds near Lyman Hall Elementary Tuesday afternoon, secretary Elaine Ingram was glad that the school's staff had practiced what to do.

"Those drills do work," Ingram said.

August 31, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


4 twisters likely hit Hall, weather service says

It is possible that Hall County was hit by four separate tornadoes Tuesday afternoon, according to preliminary findings from the National Weather Service.

August 31, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Johnson High assistant principal has leg amputated weeks after wreck

An assistant principal at Johnson High School had surgery at an Atlanta hospital Wednesday morning to amputate his leg almost three weeks after surviving a one-car wreck on his way to work.

August 31, 2008 | From staff reports | Local


Storms bring a foot of relief to Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier has risen about a foot in the past two days as the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay have dumped several inches of rain across Northeast Georgia since Sunday.

The level is expected to continue to rise over the next several days as the rain that fell in the basin feeding the lake makes its way into Lanier.

August 31, 2008 | By Debbie Gilbert and Edie Rogers dgilbert@gainesvilletimes.com; erogers@gainesvilletimes.com | Local


Tree limb pierces child’s bedroom in North Hall

Robert and Jennifer Miller were in the process of fixing up their North Hall home, having just replaced their roof a few weeks ago, when fierce storms Tuesday afternoon brought about the need for more, unexpected repairs.

August 31, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


East Hall resident said he saw funnel cloud form

Trees and power lines were down. Debris from houses littered the streets and yards. And residents of East Hall experienced a tornado's raw power when it hit the area Tuesday.

August 31, 2008 | By Claire Miller Times regional staff | Local


Hall’s aquatic center splashes down Saturday

The Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center will make its first splash just in time for Labor Day weekend.

August 31, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


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Articles by Section - Local


Broken Bonds: Group homes sometimes help teens needing foster care

October 18, 2014 | Jennifer Jacob Brown news@gainesvilletimes.com | Local


Broken Bonds: Abused girl saved by foster system

Sierra Downs does not remember the beating.

October 17, 2014 | Bekah Porter | Local


Broken Bonds: Gainesville man overcame abusive foster home

The model car lay shattered on the basement floor, its pieces scattered in every direction.

For weeks, a young Tod Peavy had tinkered and toiled and thought of nothing but this car. But his foster mother resented the red roadster. She hadn't given it to him. Instead, a holiday well-wisher purchased the present for an anonymous foster child, and caseworkers put the toy in the boy's hands for Christmas.

October 17, 2014 | Bekah Porter | Local


Broken Bonds: Mom changes life to reunify with daughter

Lindsey Shubert dialed the numbers.

October 16, 2014 | Bekah Porter | Local


Broken Bonds: Family treatment court helps parents, children reconnect

Crystal Roughton hitchhiked to get to the Hall County Courthouse on time. After her newborn was taken at the hospital, Roughton had to get her baby back.

October 16, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Broken Bonds: Longtime foster parents share their stories

When Wendy Boswell said goodbye to her foster daughter last month, she literally ached with grief.

October 15, 2014 | Jennifer Jacob Brown news@gainesvilletimes.com | Local


Broken Bonds: DFCS caseworkers face obstacles

As she talks about the joys of working with foster children, Tyne Jackson can't help crying a little.

October 14, 2014 | Jennifer Jacob Brown news@gainesvilletimes.com | Local


Broken Bonds: What happens when children are removed from their home

The removal of a child often results in three types of trauma, according to Hall County Juvenile Court Judge Lindsay Burton.

October 13, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Broken Bonds: Foster kids have team working on placement

At 8:30 a.m., the briefs are organized and the coloring books are gathered. The robe goes on for Hall County Juvenile Court Judge Lindsay Burton.

October 13, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Foster care in crisis: Too many kids, too few homes

October 12, 2014 | By Jennifer Jacob Brown and Nick Watson jbrown@gainesvilletimes.com, nwatson@gainesvilletimes.com | Local


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