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Man who assaulted south Ga. women was on bond for meth and molestation charges in Pickens

Bradley Cochran

Photo from Cochran’s Facebook page

Bradley Justin Cochran was out on bond for child molestation when he kidnapped and assaulted women before hanging himself. 

        A man authorities say hung himself after kidnapping and sexually assaulting women in south Georgia was a former PHS student also facing child molestation and drug charges in Pickens County. 

Bradley Justin Cochran, 40, had been released on bond from the Pickens County Adult Detention Center last September. Under conditions of his bond in a 2017 child molestation case, Cochran was required to enroll in a program at Journey to Sober Living, a “recovery residence” in Statesboro, Ga. 

Senator Gooch appointed as chair of Senate study committee on evaluating the school year calendar

Sen. Gooch 2014

        Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) has been appointed by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle to serve as Chair of the Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools.

“As we celebrate Labor Day each year as the unofficial end of summer, most of our public schools have been back in full swing for nearly a month,” said Sen. Gooch. “Additionally, August is typically the hottest time of year when energy bills reach their peak and student athletes’ safety is a big concern. I

PHS seniors to have choice of new graduation gowns


pickens P

PHS seniors will soon choose what type of graduation gown they will wear at their spring commencement ceremony as the previous green for boys and white for girls will change to a single color.

Superintendent Carlton Wilson said Friday afternoon that seniors will pick from one of three designs. Jostens, the company from whom seniors purchase their graduation gowns, will provide PHS with a selection of three different green gowns. One is all green with a white P logo on it, one is green with white stripes around the sleeves and another one that, while primarily green, will incorporate some white.

See statement from Principal Chris Wallace at the end of this story.

JeepFest bigger & smoother

good mud max

Max Caylor / Photo

This year, mud fun stayed at  the grounds of the festival due to successful changes and dry conditions.

Attendance at the yearly JeepFest in Marble Hill grew another 10 percent this year from last year – a trend that has held steady for the past several years at the off-road weekend mecca.

For 2018, Sheriff’s JeepFest saw between 2,350 -2,400 Jeep owners register for the weekend, up from 2,200 in 2017 and the 2,000 in 2016. This marked the seventh annual event. There is no charge for spectators or gates so there is no way to estimate how many thousands more showed up to visit the vendors and watch the four-wheel action in the obstacle course.

Drive safe this Labor Day weekend, urge state troopers


     (Atlanta)—It’s almost Labor Day, and the Georgia State Patrol is reminding motorists to practice safe driving habits as they travel throughout the state this weekend.

     “Troopers will be on special Labor Day patrols for 78 hours straight,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “They will be keeping an eye out for speeders, drivers who text, and those posing a dangerous risk to other motorists on the road,” he added. The patrols will take place from 6 p.m. on Friday, September 1, to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 3.

     Last year, during a similar holiday patrol period, troopers investigated 448 crashes, which resulted in 283 injuries. Four of those crashes were fatal, killing four people. In addition to crash investigations, troopers wrote 8,412 citations; 11,562 warnings; and arrested 249 motorists for driving under the influence.

     Traffic will be a bit heavier than on a normal weekend, as most people consider Labor Day the unofficial end of summer, and use the extended weekend to take their final summer trips, said Colonel McDonough. He added, the more vehicles on the road, the higher the chances are for a traffic crash to occur, which is why it is all the more important to observe the traffic laws and keep safety a priority.


Here are some travel tips to keep in mind this holiday weekend:

• Observe the posted speed limit. When you exceed the speed limit, you reduce the amount of available time needed to avoid a traffic crash.

• Do not drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, rideshare service, friend or family member to help you get home safely.

• Make sure everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt. Also, properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age, weight and height.

• Do not drive distracted. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off the road, such as texting while driving. On July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act became

effective. It prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. A link to the complete law can be found at

• Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Regularly check the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.

• Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.

Throughout the holiday period, the traffic fatality count is available on the Georgia Department of Public Safety Twitter page: