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Douglasville_sentinel
Douglasville man charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Updated

A Douglasville man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter stemming from an incident this summer at a bar.

Eddie Head, 30, faces involuntary manslaughter and battery charges for the death of Rann Vaughn, which occurred at Highlanders Bar and Grill on Concourse Parkway.

Head allegedly punch the victim in the face, which knocked him unconscious causing him to strike his head on the cement ground, according to an arrest warrant.

The warrant stated that Vaughn died from the injuries several hours later stemming from the 1:30 a.m. incident on July 21.

An autopsy report later ‘revealed that the cause of death’ was blunt force head trauma from the fall, according to an arrest warrant.

On Oct. 5, Head voluntarily turned himself into the custody of the Douglasville Police Department, according to court records.

He was granted a $50,000 with $25,000 stemming from each charge, booking records show.

Head posted bond on Oct. 6, according to jail records.

Previously, Head plead guilty to DUI and was given 12 months probation and 40 hours of community service work, according to court documents.

He was also had to pay $350 in fine and fees, according to court documents.


Douglasville_sentinel
Popularity keeps Farmer’s Market going through October
  • Updated

The Church Street Farmer Market was scheduled to end last month, however, its popularity among vendors and customers has extended the stay.

With a lot of farmers producing late crops, farmers market officials said it was the right thing to do.

“We have had a very good response from vendors and customers, especially our farmers,” said Susan Culpepper, UGA Cooperative Extension Coordinator for the county. “They have enough crops and some more crops coming on.”

The Church Street Farmers Market runs each Tuesday until Oct. 26 in the parking lot at the old Douglasville Police station.

Culpepper said they are planning a costume contest for the October 26 Church Street Farmers Market and kids will be able to trick-or-treat at the booths.

The farmers market is sponsors by Keep Douglasville Beautiful.

“This is a good outlet for local and West Georgia vendors to sell their products,” Culpepper said. “Over the last three years, there has been a renewed interest in West Georgia for locally-grown items.”

Local vendors agree.

“I love it here,” said Yalanda Lattimore, owner DryerBuzz, a handmade soap maker. “I love being around my neighbors. This is around the corner from my house. The customers have been amazing.”

Bryan LaFontaine said the extra weeks is perfect because of his late crops are coming in.

“Stuff is growing now that was hard to grow when it was really hot,” said LaFontaine, who alone with his wife, Julie, owns PB&J Farms in Lithia Springs.

“The weather is cooperating,” LaFontaine said. “I’m glad to see it go a little longer.”

Culpepper calls the local weekly market the perfect fit for the county.

“It is not too long, but large enough to offer a lot of variety,” she said. “We are excited to see it continue to grow.”

Lattimore said that Douglas County is conducive to this type of market.

“Douglas County supports its small businesses,” Lattimore said. “Douglasville makes it happen. This market is my family. This is a good town to do business in.”


Local
Ward 3, Post 1: Danley: City must continue to live within its financial means
  • Updated

Lashun Burr Danley has been on the Douglasville City Council for close to 13 years, the longest continuous tenure of any sitting member.

Danley, who works in education, represents Ward 3, Post 1 which covers the city’s north side. She is being challenged on the Nov. 2 ballot by Marvin Davis, an Army vet and former law enforcement officer.

Danley said she believes downtown Douglasville is “healthy and successful,” while admitting the pandemic has hurt the city’s downtown “and virtually every other downtown area.”

“To realize how much has been accomplished and maintained in our downtown, just think what the downtown area was like 20-to-25 years ago,” Danley said. “Downtown Douglasville is far more dynamic now. Of course, new initiatives must continue to be taken from time to time to keep the downtown area healthy.”

Asked whether it’s more important for the city to build new homes and commercial space or rehab and better utilize existing homes and storefronts, Danley said “it is not an either or situation.”

“We need both,” she said. “It is important to have new construction to enable our residential and commercial areas to keep growing, and it is also important to upgrade existing commercial buildings and residential properties. Also, it is very important to have these improvements and expansions going on throughout the City of Douglasville.”

On whether there are enough transportation options currently available, Danley said that more options would be beneficial but making people aware of existing transportation options and how those options can be used is much more important. She said her focus would be on increasing the number of bus routes and the “frequency of routes” within the current system.

Asked if she thought Douglasville had traffic problems and how she would mitigate concerns about traffic, Danley said, “Growth brings more congestion.”

“Overall, I think the city does a good job,” she said. “We can’t minimize the great importance the opening of the Highway 92 bypass and railroad grade separation crossing have on traffic flow. Also, once this project has been completed, it will further improve traffic safety and traffic movement. There must be continuous attention to traffic movement and traffic safety problems, because these situations change as new developments occur and as driving habits change.”

On the issue of making sure residents are involved in the decision-making process in the city, Danley said it’s important to get information out via avenues such as community meetings, social media and emails because she believes informed citizens will have “more meaningful involvement.”

“Elected officials need to receive input from citizens on the best times and the best ways for this two-way communication to occur,” she said.

Danley did not respond to a question asking what one thing she would change in the city’s zoning code and why.

Asked if someone proposed building a new piece of public infrastructure in the city such as a road or bridge how she would evaluate whether the project was worth implementing, Danley said the city reviews its list of capital improvement project needs every three or four years.

“Any citizen who believes a particular capital improvement project is needed is always welcome to make that request,” she said. “It is never an inappropriate time to make such a recommendation, because our staff constantly is reviewing current priority lists and sometimes changing priorities, or adding or deleting projects. Any time I receive such a proposal, I can tell you that I routinely turn this over to the appropriate staff member to evaluate and then communicate back to me. Subsequent followup depends on these evaluation results.”

Asked what three things she would do to put the city on firmer financial footing, Danley said Douglasville is already on firm financial footing and that she would do things to keep it there.

“The top priority is to live within our means,” she said, noting that even good projects need to wait if there isn’t sufficient funding.

Secondly, she said she would make sure revenue estimates are accurate and not inflated.

Finally, she said that for projects that will be paid for over a period of several years it’s important to make sure the revenue streams for the project will continue on a year-to-year basis.

Asked if she received a $1 million grant for the city to use any way she wanted, what she would do, Danley said she would look at the city’s priority needs and try to determine the need with the highest priority that “does not have much chance of being able to be funded elsewhere.”

She said before she would commit to any project she would make sure the city could afford any continuing costs for the hypothetical project after the grant money is used up.

Asked what makes Ward 3 unique, Danley said from a historical standpoint her ward is the part of Douglasville that “for decades of racial segregation was home to most of this town’s African-American citizens.”

“It has been, and is, unique and special because Ward 3 and our north side are one and the same,” she said. “Ward 3 is where the African-American community down through the years has continued to have its churches, neighborhood businesses, schools, funeral homes, and homes. Although African-Americans now live in all parts of Douglasville, Ward 3 (the north side) continues to be a special place. Many of Ward 3’s current older citizens still remember the discrimination and the struggles from their youth, and memories of those difficult times help make the north side and Ward 3 special even to its current residents.”


Local
Ward 3, Post 1: Davis wants to see more development on north side
  • Updated

Marvin Davis is challenging incumbent Douglasville City Councilwoman Lashun Burr Danley in the Nov. 2 election for the Ward 3, Post 1 seat that covers the city’s north side.

Davis, an Army vet and former law enforcement officer, said he believes the city’s downtown has improved over the years. But he says he would like to see more economic development on the city’s north side.

Asked if he thinks it’s more important for the city to build new homes and commercial space or to rehab existing homes and storefronts, Davis was unequivocal.

“I think it’s always better to repair existing homes and storefronts,” he said. “By utilizing our existing empty commercial spaces, we can revitalize the community.”

On transportation options, Davis said he favors public transportation like the county’s bus system. But he said “current routes are not helpful for the citizens that need it most.”

“This is why ridership is low,” he said. “I would like to see more purposeful use of the current transportation system as it relates to the north side of Douglasville.”

Davis said the city has a traffic problem and that the first thing he would like to see done is synching all traffic lights “to ensure they are operating properly.” He gave the example of the Highway 5 intersection with Concourse Parkway near Walmart and Academy Sports, saying “traffic lights create congestion daily.”

He added that since the new Highway 92 bypass has opened to traffic, he’s aware of several accidents along that stretch of road caused by “traffic lights and lighting in the area.”

“If elected, I would meet with our city and state officials to develop a plan of action,” he said.

Asked what one thing he would change in the city’s zoning code, he started by saying the zoning codes haven’t been updated in the past 50 years. He said he would work with the city manager and department heads to update the zoning codes so they “reflect the growth of the City of Douglasville.”

He added that one zoning code he would change is the definition of Planned Unit Development (PUD).

“This zoning code is very broad as we give the developer/land owners too many options to build without restrictions,” Davis said.

To get residents more involved in the city’s decision making processes, Davis said he would form a community task force that represents the north side.

“This task force will consist of community leaders, HOAs, New Horizon, and any other group interested in creating a live, work, play environment,” he said.

Asked how he would evaluate a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in the city such as a road or bridge, Davis said he would look at future plans in the city, consult with the Georgia Department of Transportation and evaluate the needs in the community.

“Once I have all the input from the citizens and my colleagues, I would decide how to move forward on the proposal,” he said.

Asked three steps he would take to put the city on firmer financial footing, Davis said he would first meet with the mayor, city manager and finance director to discuss the budget. Second, he said he would meet with fellow city council members to “discuss the budget and how we can make it more fiscally responsible.” Finally, he said he would meet with each department head to see what services could be streamlined to save money.

If he received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way he wanted, Davis said he would focus on the “safety and security” of citizens by providing sidewalks and lighting in Ward 3. He said he would also look at meeting with developers to “implement a public/private partnership to create a YMCA or something similar on the north side.”

Asked what makes Ward 3 unique, he said the citizens.

“My ward is unique because of the citizens,” he said. “We have a wealth of long term citizens that have lived in Douglasville all their lives. The citizens in my ward are resilient, in that, they have waited for over 40 years for change in our community. If elected, my intent is to create equality, accountability and transparency.”


Douglasville_sentinel
Greene speaking engagement postponed
  • Updated

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene trip to Douglas County has been postponed.

The often controversial GOP lawmaker was to speak at the West Metro Church of God from 6-9 p.m. today, but House Speaker Nancy called representatives back to the Capitol to vote on a spending bill.

The event was sponsored by the Douglas County Ga Republican Women’s Club with a meet and greet with Taylor.

A strong President Donald Trump supporter, Green was elected to Congress in November 2020.

The Congresswoman from Northeast Georgia has supported Trump’s effort’s to overturn the 2020 Presidential election of Joe Biden. She called for the state’s election results to be decertified.

Greene filed articles of impeachment against Biden the day after his inauguration, alleging abuse of power.

The House of Representatives voted to remove Greene from all committee roles on February 4, 2021, in response to her incendiary statements and endorsements of political violence. Eleven Republicans joined the unanimous Democrats in the vote. She is running for reelection in 2022.

Three days ago, Greene tweeted a fundraising link for Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people during a Black Lives Matter protest in August 2020.

On Sept. 13, Douglas County Ga Republican Women’s Club brought in Gubernatorial Candidate (R) Vernon Jones for a campaign rally. The event was packed inside the West Metro Church of God’s gymnasium.

He spoke for nearly 45 minutes and then held a question and answer session with the attendees, which was close to 150 people.

“I’m Vernon Jones,” he said during the rally. “I’m a christian. I’m a country boy. I’m a NRA card-carrying member. I’m proud to be an American. I hope that flag means something to you.”

He proclaimed that Georgia is still a red state despite electing two U.S. Senators as President Joe Biden garnered more votes than incumbent Donald Trump in last year’s election.

“I was raised by conservative parents who never complained,” Jones said. “I had four brothers to serve. I grew up a patriot.”


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