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COMING SUNDAY: The Best of 2007

During 2007, our reporters and photographers produced great stories and pictures about the people and events of Northeast Georgia.

Sunday, The Times will reprint a few of our favorite stories in a special keepsake edition called "The Best of 2007."

January 22, 2008 | | Local


Florida officials preparing to charge Hilton with murder

A Florida prosecutor says he has enough evidence to charge Meredith Emerson's accused killer with a murder in that state.

January 22, 2008 | The Associated Press | Local


Man stabbed to death

Karaoke night turned deadly at a Helen bar early Thursday morning, where a man was stabbed to death in the town's first murder in years.

January 22, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


City discusses mutual aid agreement with county

GAINESVILLE - The Gainesville City Council met with the city's fire chief Thursday to discuss the parameters of an expanded agreement that would mean city and county fire departments would share each others' burdens.

Hall County Fire Services and the Gainesville Fire Department have been hammering out changes to a 10-year-old mutual aid agreement. Though local fire officials have discussed expanding the agreement over the years, it has not been formally revised since its creation in 1997, said Gainesville's interim Fire Chief Jon Canada.

January 22, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Local


Shuler reappointed as Hall administrator

A Hall County commissioner tried unsuccessfully Thursday to seek a separate vote on the reappointment of Hall County Administrator Jim Shuler.

January 22, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


Emerson memorial: 'Meredith's love shines down on you today'

ATHENS -- The church pews couldn't hold everyone who came to pay respects to Meredith Emerson on Friday.

January 22, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Local


Clouds keep Gov. Perdue from Gainesville visit

Gov. Sonny Perdue hinted Thursday that Georgia, Florida and Alabama may face a challenge in trying to reach a tri-state water agreement by Feb. 15.

"That's optimistic," said Perdue in a telephone interview with The Times.

January 22, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Local


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


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Articles by Section - Local


Investigation begins into Thursday's fatal plane crash

A Gainesville diesel mechanic turned rescuer Thursday as a single-engine plane crashed and burned in front of his workplace, killing one of two occupants and seriously injuring the other.

October 17, 2014 | Jeff Gill | Local


False alarm at poultry lab

One person is being treated for minor respiratory issues after an incident at the Georgia Poultry Lab Network in Oakwood, said Scott Cagle, spokesman for Hall County Fire Services.

October 17, 2014 | Times staff reports | 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


Cumming school locked down for medical procedure

A medical lockdown involving the need to assist a staff member at Whitlow Elementary School in Cumming led to a reminder by the Forsyth County school system that not every lockdown means a crisis is unfolding.

October 17, 2014 | Times regional Staff | Local


Dawson County Authorities seek man impersonating officer on college campus

The Dawson County Sheriff's Office is asking people to be on the lookout for a man impersonating an officer on a local college campus.

October 17, 2014 | Times Regional staff reports | Local


Flowery Branch City Council says yes to land annexation

The controversial annexation and rezoning requests of a large portion of land in South Hall County has been approved by the Flowery Branch City Council.

October 17, 2014 | Carly Sharec | Local


Area craftsmen named masters of their trade

Societies are best remembered for what they built, and Thursday some of North Georgia's top builders were recognized for their work.

October 16, 2014 | Kristen Oliver | Local


Hall County officials eye sales tax extension to fund e-911 upgrades

Local government officials are sounding the alarm on Hall County's aging emergency 911 systems.

October 16, 2014 | Joshua Silavent | Local


$400K in heroin seized after search of Lula home

Officers seized $400,000 in heroin and three firearms Wednesday after searching a Lula home.

October 16, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Headmaster kisses pig following school's high reading scores

Lakeview Academy Headmaster John Kennedy kissed Purdy the Tamworth pig Wednesday at the Gainesville school as a reward for first- through fifth-grade students, who exceeded their goal in the Scholastic Reading Counts challenge.

October 16, 2014 | Jennifer Brown | 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


Talks underway between lawyers for Hall firetruck maker over training accident

Legal representatives for the maker of the the firetruck involved in a July 22 Hall County training incident have begun discussions with County Attorney Bill Blalock.

October 16, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


Badge and Bar: Man indicted in officer obstruction

A Gainesville man previously indicted on a kidnapping charge has been indicted on charges of kicking two correctional officers in a later incident.

October 16, 2014 | Nick Watson | Local


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