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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


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


Hospitals file suit, say rule change will cost them paying customers

Northeast Georgia Medical Center is among a group of 59 nonprofit hospitals that filed suit last week against the Georgia Department of Community Health, claiming that the agency illegally changed its certificate-of-need policy.

January 20, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


After hiker's death, residents say they are shocked, more cautious

A dark and heavy cloud hung over the city of Buford Tuesday as grim details kept emerging about the discovery of Meredith Hope Emerson's remains.

Residents of the Atlanta suburb went about business as usual, but some of them said they will never look at their town the same after hearing of the 24-year-old hiker's death.

January 20, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Suspect charged with murder in hiker case

On New Year's Day, 24-year-old hiker Meredith Emerson disappeared after setting out with her dog for a day of hiking near Union County's Vogel State Park.

January 20, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Thompson Mill Road plans: Residents want more shopping, no more houses

An outdoor shopping mall accompanied by offices and homes is planned at the Village at Deaton Creek active adult community off Thompson Mill Road.

January 20, 2008 | Nikki Young | Local


For runners, there is a free lunch, and a YMCA membership

To get people to participate in its March 20 "Get Fit Stay Fit" 5K run/walk, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is making an offer that's hard to refuse.

January 20, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Local


Language academy could be permanent home for much traveled South Hall students

A group of South Hall families who have seen their children moved in and out of three elementary districts over this decade could find a home in Hall County's new World Languages Academy.

January 20, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Local


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Articles by Section - Local


Georgia leads country in growth of women-owned businesses

There's no one road for a woman to take when it comes to owning and operating her own business.

April 11, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Hall County commercial, industrial tax notices mailed today

Annual tax assessment notices for about 4,200 commercial and industrial properties in Hall County were dropped in the mail today, but it's not time to pay up quite yet.

April 11, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Deal backs medical marijuana trials

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday announced two separate efforts to pursue clinical trials on a cannabis-based drug that has shown promise in helping children who suffer from seizure disorders.

April 11, 2014 | By KATHLEEN FOODY Associated Press | Local


DA seeks tougher penalty in stabbing

The Gwinnett County District Attorney's office has given notice of intent to increase the punishment in the slaying of a Gainesville woman.

April 11, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


Forsyth assistant principal on leave following arrest

April 10, 2014 | From regional reports | Local


Dawson County commissioners seek back taxes from hotel

April 10, 2014 | From regional reports | Local


Construction continues on new Clarks Bridge

Work continues on a new Clarks Bridge across Lake Lanier in Gainesville. The project, which also calls for a new pedestrian tunnel under Ga. 284, is set for completion by Dec. 31, 2015. When completed, the new bridge will have 12-foot lanes and an 8-foot shoulder in each direction.

April 10, 2014 | | Local


Fire damages home on Tulip Drive

A fire caused by unattended cooking damaged a home in the 1800 block of Tulip Drive in Gainesville, but the occupants got out without injury, authorities said.

April 10, 2014 | From staff reports | Local


Gainesville parks department proposes increased budget

As it looks to expand recreational opportunities, renovate park facilities and increase staff, the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department has proposed a $5.261 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year.

April 10, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Emerging partnership benefits local housing programs

A partnership between the Gainesville Nonprofit Development Foundation and Habitat for Humanity of Hall County to build and rehabilitate homes and neighborhoods across Gainesville is beginning to pay big dividends.

April 10, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Camp Merrill debate alive in US House

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville argued Wednesday before the House Armed Service Committee for control of Camp Frank D. Merrill near Dahlonega to be transferred from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Department of Defense.

April 10, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Lanier Plaza business owners oppose redevelopment

Aurelio Guzman has fond childhood memories of the El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.

April 10, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


Ex-jailers, former inmates enter mediation

Two former Hall County Sheriff's Office employees have entered into mediation with three then-inmates alleging civil rights violations in a Dec. 22, 2010, incident at the jail.

April 10, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


Badge and Bar: Trial date set on child sex trafficking charges

A tentative May trial date has been set for three Gainesville residents accused in a child sex trafficking case in Hall County Superior Court.

April 10, 2014 | Emma Witman | Local


UNG-Gainesville project brings students, seniors together

It may seem an odd pairing: College students, from the nearby University of North Georgia's Gainesville campus, showing older adults at the Senior Life Center how to bowl digitally.

April 10, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


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