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Ex-firefighter confesses to touching teen

A judge rejected a former longtime Hall County firefighter and paramedic's request for special first-offender treatment in a sexual battery case Thursday, instead requiring that the defendant register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Hall County Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced 41-year-old John A. Bond to five years probation after he pleaded guilty to improperly touching a 15-year-old girl not related to him who was staying in his home in 2006. The sentence was negotiated between Bond's lawyer, Dan Sammons, and prosecutors with the Hall County District Attorney's office.

June 16, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Homeless man severely burned in fire

An elderly homeless man was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital with severe burns after a vacant mobile home caught fire Thursday afternoon at an Athens Highway mobile home park.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said the man, whose name and age were not confirmed Thursday, suffered third-degree burns to about 40 percent of his body.

June 16, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Suspect in road rage slaying enters not guilty plea

Hugo Tepanca never met Jose Vargas before a chance encounter in traffic six weeks ago, authorities say.

But investigators believe a confrontation between the two men as they drove on a Gainesville street ended in bloodshed, with Tepanca behind bars on charges of committing a murder prompted by road rage.

June 16, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Lyman Hall, Myers elementary schools shed 'needs-improvement' label

Preliminary data shows that Lyman Hall and Myers elementary schools will shed their needs-improvement labels this year, said Will Schofield, superintendent of the Hall County school system, on Thursday.

June 16, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Deputies provide teen driver education

Like most new drivers, getting behind the wheel with mom or dad in the car isn't exactly the most relaxing of experiences for 15-year-old Lauren Gregory.

"It's kind of stressful driving with them," Gregory said.

June 16, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


A graceful balloon race to the Atlantic

French author Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg lifted from London during the 19th century in a hot air balloon intending to travel around the world in 80 days.

June 16, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


Hall County confirms 23rd rabies case

The number of confirmed rabies cases in Hall County this year has climbed to 23.

June 16, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Jordan: Reporter wants to keep her feet on terra firma

As a kid, I didn't flinch when dared to climb the tallest magnolia tree in the neighborhood.

June 16, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Local


Official: Lake manual's update to be a challenge

ATLANTA - The man who has the task of updating the 50-year-old operating manuals for two river systems in Georgia said Thursday that the region has abundant water resources, they just need to be where people need them and can use them.

June 16, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Fishermen find drowning victim

Fishermen on Thursday discovered the body of a man who has been missing in Lake Lanier since drowning in early May.

Hall County Sheriff's Maj. Jeff Strickland said an autopsy confirmed the identity of the man as 46-year-old Broderick Bradford and that Bradford died from drowning. No foul play was suspected, Strickland said.

June 16, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Local contractors may get preference from Gainesville

The Gainesville City Council may soon legally move forward with an ordinance that would allow them to prefer local contractors on city construction jobs, but it may not get them very far.

June 15, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


East Hall Middle meets 'AYP' for first time in 9 years

For nearly a decade, East Hall Middle School has been mired in negative labels concerning its academic progress.

The skies finally began clearing Wednesday.

June 15, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


Corps selects YMCA of Atlanta to develop Bethel Park

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to turn over management of Bethel Park, a 62-acre corps property on Lake Lanier in Forsyth County, to the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta.

The YMCA has been trying since 2003 to develop a residential camp at the site. The corps was set to award the lease to the YMCA in 2006, but local residents around Bethel Park complained to the Forsyth County Commission.

June 15, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Gainesville officials: Budget memo at center of schools' financial mess might not exist

Nearly two weeks after Gainesville schools Superintendent Steven Ballowe recommended a 20 percent tax hike to make up for a nearly $7 million deficit in the school system's budget, school officials have yet to produce a March 2006 letter that he claims is at the center of the school system's financial debacle.

June 15, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Indictment accuses former manager of swiping $548,000 from doctor's office

A once-trusted employee who worked for a Gainesville doctor for more than 25 years stands accused of embezzling more than half a million dollars from his office.

June 15, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


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Articles by Section - Local


Hall County Board of Commissioners hires new clerk

Lisa Ritchie has been hired as the new clerk for the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

April 05, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Volunteers to bear the load at corps campground

It's taken a volunteer effort to restore operating days at Bolding Mill campground in northwest Hall County.

April 05, 2014 | Jeff Gill | Local


Ga. on track for new school tests next year

Nine months after dropping out of a national testing consortium, Georgia is still considering testing options for the next school year.

April 05, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Students ready for spring break travel

Time to pack the cars and hit the roads - when school ends today, students in both the Gainesville and Hall County systems are on spring break.

April 04, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Residents briefed on lakefront tax adjustments

Chris Slate didn't exactly leave the meeting a happy camper.

April 04, 2014 | Jeff Gill | Local


Flowery Branch approves quarry expansion

Flowery Branch City Council approved a request by Vulcan Materials to expand its quarry operation by an additional 41 acres.

April 04, 2014 | Lisa Laskey | Local


Boat fire on Lake Lanier remains a mystery

Authorities are investigating an early Thursday boat fire on Lake Lanier, including trying to find the vessel's owners.

April 04, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Gainesville man acquitted of growing marijuana

The attorney for a Gainesville man acquitted on charges of growing marijuana said it was much ado over bean sprouts and residue.

April 04, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


Serving up smiles

Twenty-two current and former sports figures and notable locals can add "celebrity server" to their resumes after working restaurant tables Thursday night for a local child abuse advocacy center.

April 04, 2014 | Nat Gurley | Local


Cox, Moore fill Hall County School District roles

Jamey Moore was officially approved Thursday morning as North Hall High School's next principal, and Matt Cox will join the Hall County School District's facilities department.

April 04, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


WomenSource hosts psychology professor at Brown Bag lunch

Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Alarm clocks that didn't sound. Kids who forgot their homework. Emails filling the inbox.

April 03, 2014 | Michelle Boaen Jameson | Local


Lanier Olympic Venue aims to recapture legacy

The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue fell into some disrepair in recent years, but the nonprofit Gainesville-Hall '96 Foundation is working to revive the legacy of the venue that hosted kayaking and rowing events during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

April 03, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


“Rain tax:” Gainesville looking at creating stormwater utility

The city of Gainesville is considering how to pay for upgrades and replacements to aging stormwater infrastructure, which has resulted in flooding and sinkholes.

April 03, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Holocaust survivor shares experience with Lyman Hall students

History was brought to life as Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat shared his story.

April 03, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Gainesville readies for spring event season

The Main Street Gainesville Advisory Board met Tuesday to discuss goals and priorities as it prepares to launch a series of local events this spring.

April 03, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


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