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Archive By Section - Local


Jurors give convicted killer life without parole

A jury's sentence of life without parole for a convicted double murderer Thursday brought an end to one of Hall County's longest-pending criminal cases.

Ignacio "Nacho" Vergara, 26, showed no emotion as Senior Superior Court Judge John Girardeau, after a tense pause to look over the verdict form, read aloud the sentence of the nine-man, three-woman jury. The panel spent more than four hours over two days deliberating his fate.

September 02, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Gainesville's budget in the black, despite sales tax slump

Gainesville ended fiscal year 2008 with money to spare, but sales tax revenues were down over last year, the city's chief financial officer said Thursday.

September 02, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Hall County Commission: Residents worry about changes

Proposed changes in their neighborhoods drew many people to Thursday's Hall County commission meeting.

September 02, 2008 | Melissa Weinman | Local


Uga VII to be introduced prior to Saturday's game

Uga VII, the latest in the storied line of University of Georgia mascots will be introduced Saturday in pre-game ceremonies before Georgia's season opener against Georgia Southern.

The new mascot succeeds Uga VI, who died in June of heart problems. He will be escorted onto the field by members of the Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler family of Savannah who have owned the continuous line of mascots since Uga I took up the mantle in 1956.

September 02, 2008 | From staff reports | Local


Local Republicans happy with McCain's choice as running mate

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., said he had heard his Alaska colleague talk about the state's maverick governor but knew little more about Sarah Palin, who was named Friday by Sen. John McCain's as his vice presidential running mate.

September 02, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Nobody protests planned big development in Flowery Branch

FLOWERY BRANCH - A proposed $15 million mixed-use development planned for downtown sailed through a public hearing Thursday night with input coming only from the project's developer.

September 02, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Police arrest two for robbery

Two men attempted to rob an elderly man at his home on Jesse Jewell Parkway around 9 p.m. Thursday.

Howard Mahaffey, 78, heard a knock on his door and when he opened it, two unarmed black males asked him for cigarettes.

September 02, 2008 | Melissa Weinman | Local


Labor Day holiday: Some will venture out on lake, roads

Labor Day traditionally is considered the last hurrah of summer, one final chance for a cookout or a swim before the season gives way to autumn.

But it's not clear how many people will be in the mood to celebrate this year.

September 02, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Dog bites hospitalize Jackson EMC meter reader

A Jackson EMC contract employee was hospitalized after he was bitten by four dogs while working Tuesday, suffering severe injuries.

September 02, 2008 | Melissa Weinman | Local


Japanese woman finally gets to be U.S. citizen

Izumi Igarashi cannot speak. But her joy in becoming a U.S. citizen was clear in the smile on her face and the tears in her eyes as she was sworn in Thursday at New Horizons North in Gainesville.

Igarashi was naturalized in front of her friends, family and teachers after waiting 10 years to become a citizen.

September 02, 2008 | Melissa Weinman | Local


Beware of scams when picking repair contractors

As sure as there are tornadoes and other storms, there likely will be scam artists attempting to take advantage of the situation.

September 02, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


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


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Articles by Section - Local


Campaigns may rake up even more money under new rules

A recent Supreme Court ruling allows individuals to donate to any number of federal candidates they want and promises to pour millions more dollars into an election system already swamped in money.

April 12, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Animal shelter works to raise funds, awareness

Wagging tails, barking, laughter and smiles were found on the Gainesville square Saturday as the Hall County Animal Shelter held the first Mutts On Main fundraising event.

April 12, 2014 | Charles Phelps | Local


Coinciding cleaning events beautify county

Under a clear weekend sky, volunteers on land and water did some spring cleaning to make Hall County a bit more pristine.

April 12, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


Deal to sign criminal justice bill at Gainesville event

Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the third phase of his criminal justice reforms today at Antioch Baptist Church in Gainesville.

April 12, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Fifth fire in 3 days destroys North Hall home

Fire destroyed a house Saturday afternoon, causing $150,000 in damage, not including the contents.

April 12, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Shred Day raises money for Relay for Life

The Times held a Shred Day event Friday in Gainesville to benefit Hall County Relay for Life. The public was invited to bring their documents to be shredded and to offer a donation. The Times Relay for Life team also will host a community yard sale at The Times from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 26. Residents interested in participating can rent a space for $20, with proceeds from space rentals going to Relay. Participants will need to provide their own tables. For more information or to reserve a space for the yard sale, call Dana Erwin ...

April 12, 2014 | | Local


Fire destroys shop

A fire Friday night at a personal shop in the 5600 block of Raintree Trace caused $70,000 of damage to the structure and contents, authorities said.

April 12, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


UNG club sponsors event to support LGBT community

Students at the University of North Georgia's Gainesville campus gathered Friday to silently support members of the school's LGBT community.

April 12, 2014 | Andrew Akers | Local


Drug court graduates do well, statistics show

Hall County's drug court program is an alternative to incarceration for drug offenders. Successful completion ensures there is never a conviction on their record.

April 12, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


Rabid raccoon found Friday

A rabies alert has been issued for the Persimmon Tree Road area of North Hall County after a rabid raccoon came in contact with a dog.

April 12, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


School resource officers brush up on safety protocol

When the kids are away, school resource officers get in their training.

April 12, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Study: Atlanta sprawls while Hall County hangs tight

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta region - perhaps not surprisingly - is the most sprawling large metropolitan area in the country.

April 12, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Two overnight fires in N. Hall deemed suspicious

Two overnight fires in North Hall County are believed to be suspicious but not connected, according to Hall County Fire Services.

April 12, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Curriculum, budget hot topics at school board forum

Common core, board transparency and fiscal accountability were the main topics discussed during a Thursday education forum for Board of Education candidates hosted by the Lanier Tea Party Patriots.

April 11, 2014 | Lisa Laskey | Local


Rabid raccoon found in North Hall

A rabies alert has been issued for the Persimmon Tree Road area of North Hall County after a rabid raccoon came in contact with a dog.

April 11, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


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