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Rape, sodomy convictions upheld by Supreme Court



Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at .



The Supreme Court of Georgia has upheld a man’s rape and aggravated sodomy convictions for crimes against three young girls in Newton County. 

With today’s opinion, however, the high court has ruled that under Georgia’s Rape Shield Statute, state prosecutors may not introduce evidence of a victim’s past sexual behavior for any purpose.

In November 2014, a Newton County jury found Charles White guilty of three counts of rape, one count of statutory rape, 10 counts of child molestation, three counts of aggravated sodomy, three counts of incest, and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. According to the facts at trial, White had periodically lived

Read more: Rape, sodomy convictions upheld by Supreme Court

Laws say dogs can’t be seized because of weather concerns

“Three walls and roof” shelter, water required

by law says shelter director



        Last weekend a resident of the Hinton area was alarmed after spotting a dog in a kennel with no shelter from the driving rains and then frigid temps. The animal lover called the Progress on Monday after seeing the dog remain in the open kennel  over the nasty three-day weekend.

“There was no cover. No dog house, just a five-gallon bucket [likely for water]. The dog is probably dead by now,” the man said on January 21st. “Something needs to be done.”

After not getting a weekend response from the animal shelter, the man called and then went to the jail. Deputies went to the house to check on the dog but found no one home and could not make contact with the owners.

      See full story in this week's print or online editions

Inclement weather, early let-out How’s your child getting home?

school snow


From Pickens Schools


Now that it seems we have definitely entered into winter, the Pickens County School District wants to make sure you are aware of how we will proceed in case of inclement weather. Our number one priority is to make sure our students and staff are safe.


Early release/dismissal

At the beginning of every school year, each parent completes a form where a choice is made regarding what your child will do in case school is released early. Should school ever be released early, your child will go home based on your selection on the form. Following this procedure allows us to account for all students and make sure they are safe, which is the most important part of what we do.

Read more: Inclement weather, early let-out How’s your child getting home?

False snow alarm allows test run of county’s brine-making machine

brine spraying on cove road

The county spread 18,000 gallons of their own brine Monday ahead of an expected snow. While the weather took a turn for the better, the test run was still judged a success.

The first snow of the season turned out to be less of a snow, more of a wet mess  – but the winter weather “event” still gave the county an opportunity to test its new brine making equipment with “better than expected” results. 

“It went extremely well,” said Pickens Commission Chair Rob Jones. “Much better than expected.” 

In just four hours on Monday morning, crews put down 18,000 gallons of brine on dozens of the busiest county roads. They started treatment on school property, the hospital, county buildings, and moved on to

Read more: False snow alarm allows test run of county’s brine-making machine

Ball Ground 99 percent sure on 100-acre nature preserve

ball ground nature preserve map

         The location of the original 50 acres that will hopefully become a part of the Ball Ground Nature Preserve is shown here on this map (marked by diagonal lines, just right of center).  Planned access will be from both Calvin Farmer Park and Roberts Lake Road, which intersects Gilmer Ferry Road near the Wheeler House. The preserve will extend to the rear of properties located in the Preserve at Long Swamp subdivision east of town.


By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer


"There are a lot of moving parts and dotted lines have not yet been signed," said Ball Ground City Clerk Karen Jordan about the possibility of the town getting a nature preserve. When she was asked the chances of such a valuable asset coming to the community, Jordan replied, "I'm 99.9 percent sure it will happen."

In a recent statement released by City Manager Eric Wilmarth, he stated, "Mayor Roberts and the Ball Ground Council have identified the acquisition of additional greenspace and park land as a top priority for the city." He added, "We are working towards accomplishing those goals and we have made significant progress in our efforts to add two additional 50 acre tracts of permanent greenspace to the city parks inventory."

        See full story in this week's print or online editions