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DOT finishes repairs to shopping area sinkhole

A sinkhole 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide is officially fixed.

The basketball-sized opening to the large hole was reported Aug. 4 in the Barry Better Menswear shopping center parking lot at the intersection of John Morrow and Pearl Nix parkways in Gainesville.

Department of Transportation crews finished repairs Thursday, and the property owner is responsible for striping the parking lot, said to DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope.


Man 1st charged under new state sex photo laws

A 20-year-old Dawsonville man is the first to be charged locally under a new state law that prohibits sending sexually explicit photographs without the consent of the person depicted.

According to Dawson County Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Wooten, Christopher James Smith was arrested Aug. 11 in connection with electronically sending photos to another man of a woman engaged in a sexual act without her consent.

Smith is charged with prohibition of nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions, a misdemeanor.

The charge is based on a new law that took effect July 1 after overwhelmingly passing both chambers of the 2014 Georgia General Assembly.

Wooten said Smith sent the pictures Aug. 6 and 7.

Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, authored House Bill 838, which makes the electronic transmission of such photos illegal when the intent is to harm or harass the individual in the pictures.

“I have not heard if anyone else in our state has been charged with this since it went into effect July 1,” he said.


Animal shelter to get new quarters

Forsyth County is slated to open its new animal shelter today.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 3 p.m. at the facility, which is off Ga. 400 at 4065 County Way in

North Forsyth.

Construction of the some 13,700-square-foot shelter, which began in March 2013, was funded by a voter-approved extension of the 1-cent sales tax program.

The facility will replace the county’s existing shelter on Old Atlanta Road.

The new shelter will be able to house 100 to 200 cats and dogs, which will be available for the public to adopt, at a time.

All incoming animals will receive several vaccinations on-site, and a veterinarian will be available to care for them.

After it opens, the shelter’s hours for adoptions will be 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The hours to drop off or reclaim an animal will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.