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You heard it here: Good Samaritan gives local man a puppy
Frank Chilli, who lost his pitbull puppy in a house fire last week, got this new pitbull puppy, Mariah, thanks to a Good Samaritan.

After reading an article in The Times about Frank Chilli losing his pitbull puppy in a house fire last week, one Good Samaritan reached out and offered a new four-legged friend to help him cope.

Chilli, a Gainesville resident, said he’s excited about his new pitbull puppy, Mariah. They’re getting along great, he added.

For the time being, Chilli is staying at a hotel. He did say that insurance was going to cover everything from the blaze, which caused about $100,000 in damage Sept. 10.

Investigators ruled the fire at 2503 Gillsville Highway accidental. It claimed the life of Chilli’s 8-week old puppy, Lex Luthor.

Another familiar face considers run for chairman

Former Hall County Commissioner Bobby Banks is considering a return to politics.

With Chairman Richard Mecum saying he will not seek re-election next year, former county officials have spotted an opportunity to reclaim a leadership post.

Steve Gailey, a former District 3 commissioner, has announced his candidacy for the chairman’s seat. And Richard Higgins, who served 11 years as chairman of the Hall County Board of Education, also plans to run.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Billy Powell said he will not seek the chairman’s post and instead run for re-election to the District 2 seat.

Now, Banks thinks it might be time to jump back into the fold, though it remains “too early” to make a firm decision.

“I have not made a decision, but I am considering it,” he told The Times on Wednesday.   

Banks represented South Hall as the District 1 commissioner until being ousted by Craig Lutz in the 2010 elections.

He believes his brash honesty will play well again with voters.

“I’ve never been one to be politically correct,” Banks said. “Really and truly we don’t have any leadership up there right now.”

If he chooses to run for the chairman’s post, Banks said he will make the case that he best serves the public’s interest.

“One of my biggest concerns is transparency,” he said. “I know these days that’s a buzzword ... but I tried my best when I was up there to (be transparent) and, of course, I was shot down at every corner.”

Nonprofit gets free lawn service

Mowing the lawn can be quite a chore, but not at Eagle Ranch. At least not for those who run the home for troubled kids.

Kubota trucks were parked on campus during a recent visit by Times Publisher Charlotte Atkins.

Kubota approached Eddie Staub, founder and executive director, who said the tractor manufacturer needed somewhere to test its mowers and tractors and Eagle Ranch has a couple hundred acres of property, some of which are pastures and recreational and playing fields for the the kids on the ranch.

The partnership benefits both organizations.

Police buy groceries for woman without utilities

Without electricity or water, a 92-year-old woman caused concern for her family, prompting a call to Gainesville Police.

Officer Kristen Miller responded Sunday for a welfare check on the woman, who had a refrigerator full of spoiled food and no water.

“Officer Miller and (Cpl.) Jessica Van immediately took action,” according to the Gainesville Police Facebook page.

“Cpl. Van stayed with the female while Officer Miller went to the store and purchased some consumable items and water with her personal money.”

The extra mile from the Gainesville Police Department has not gone unnoticed, receiving more than 43,000 likes and 11,000 shares as of Friday evening.

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