Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has temporarily stopped arresting people suspected of possessing marijuana because its drug-testing equipment can't tell the difference between marijuana and hemp.
The Georgia legislature legalized hemp production earlier this year. However, hemp is indistinguishable from marijuana, except for its lower THC content (0.3% or less). Tests used by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, ACCPD and other law enforcement agencies can only detect the presence of THC, not measure its potency.
New Gaines Elementary School principal Luther McDaniel's invitation to a now-canceled prayer event at the school this weekend raises "serious Constitutional concerns" because government resources can't be used to promote religion, and it could make non-Christian students unwelcome, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“In his personal capacity off school property, Dr. Luther McDaniel is, of course, free to invite Christians to pray for his school, and people of all faiths are free to pray for his school,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement provided to Flagpole. “There are other ways to invite the community to show their heartfelt good wishes for a successful school year for all of the students, teachers and staff in the school without promoting one kind of religion.”
Western Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin will not run for re-election in 2020, he announced Wednesday.
Mauldin, a Democrat, has served five terms as the DA for Clarke and Oconee counties. He released the following statement about his retirement:
Photo Credit: Blake Aued
Athens-Clarke County police arrested a Clarke Gardens resident Wednesday night and charged her with the murder of neighbor Auriel Callaway during a gunfight at the Eastside apartment compex Monday.
Although others were also shooting, police say Kiresa Shanice Cooper, 27, fired the bullet that killed Callaway, 24, who was walking with her 3-year-old son when the gunfire broke out. Callaway was trying to get her son to a safe place when she was shot, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. She died, along with the unborn child she was carrying, at a local hospital shortly after the shooting Monday night.
"I cannot think of a more tragic circumstance that for an innocent mother to be gunned down in front of her residence while her child looked on," Spruill said at a news conference this afternoon to announce Cooper's arrest.
An Athens woman was shot and killed Monday night while walking outside with her three-year-old son.
Athens-Clarke County police received a call about gunshots fired at the Clarke Gardens apartment complex off Barnett Shoals Road at 9:37 p.m. Monday. When they arrived at Carriage Court, they found 24-year-old resident Auriel Callaway on the ground, bleeding.
Police provided first aid until EMS arrived to transport Callaway to a local hospital, where she died. Callaway was four months pregnant, according to police, and the fetus she was carrying did not survive. Her son was unharmed and is staying with relatives, police said.
Former state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez is running for Western Circuit district attorney, she announced Thursday.
“All of us want to keep our communities strong and protected, but we know that the old tough-on-crime way of administering justice has been too tough on our communities,” Gonzalez said in a video posted online. “It’s left us all less safe, less whole and with less opportunity. It’s time for a new approach to justice and crime. It’s time for new leadership.”
Gonzalez is a media and entertainment lawyer with no experience as a prosecutor, but in the House she served on the committee that handles bills related to criminal justice, and she also served on a criminal justice task force for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
The U.S. Postal Service resumed delivering mail to Bethel Midtown Village today after a meeting with Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill.
Spruill met with Atlanta District Post Office Operations Manager Anne Berger to "clear up confusion and misinformation regarding crime in the community," according to an ACCPD news release. Berger agreed to temporarily resume mail delivery at Bethel, and a meeting on permanently restoring mail delivery is scheduled for next week.
Commissioner Ovita Thornton said at the July 2 commission meeting that Bethel residents had not received their mail for over a week.
Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry is joining what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field for U.S. Senate.
The Atlanta suburb, a city of about 13,000, is home to many refugees and often referred to as the most diverse square mile in America.
In his campaign announcement, the 36-year-old touted his record as the "millennial mayor," including decriminalizing marijuana, enacting a $15 minimum wage for city employees and making Election Day a holiday.
Athens-Clarke County police officers shot and killed a man with a knife earlier today at an apartment complex off Macon Highway.
Three officers responded to multiple calls at about 12:30 p.m. of a man with a knife who was covered in blood and "acting erratically" on the 1000 block of Macon Highway, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. He added that the blood was the man's own.
The man disregarded the officers' commands to drop the knife and began to advance on the officers, who retreated, Spruill said. When the man broke into a run, two of the officers fired multiple times, he said.
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