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Villa Rica teen charged with hit and run

A Villa Rica teenager faces multiple vehicle charges for allegedly causing an accident last month.

Thesky Marcelin, 19, was charged with hit and run after leaving the scene following a collision with another car, according to an arrest warrant.

In addition, he was charged with obstruction or hindering law enforcement, failure maintain lane and tire requirements, according to four separate warrants.

He was arrested March 29 at around 9 p.m. after being involved in an accident earlier that day, according arrest records.

A warrant stated that Marcelin was the at-fault driver of a black Mercedes Benz that struck another vehicle on Stockmar Road in Villa Rica at around 5 p.m. on March 29.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim was trapped inside his vehicle and sustained injuries to both legs.

After the collision, Marcelin fled the scene without providing required information, the arrest warrant states.

A failure to maintain lane warrant stated that he crossed the double yellow lines on the road and struck an oncoming truck.

According to an obstruction or hindering law enforcement warrant, Marcelin allegedly removed the license plate on the vehicle before leaving the scene.

He is also charged with tire requirements because the tires on the Mercedes Benz he was driving were observed to have no tread and had wires protruding from the sidewalls, according to an arrest warrant.

It was determined that the worn tires contributed to the accident, the warrant stated.

Marcelin is free on $5,000 bail, which was posted on March 30, according to court records.

Premier, Tito's, councilman team to bring walk-up shots to Douglasville
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Premier Drugstore has been doing walk-up vaccine events at Tito’s Lounge in downtown Douglasville each week on Tuesday and Wednesday to give COVID-19 vaccines to the community.

Douglasville City Councilman Sam Davis, together with Premier owner/pharmacist Bryan Green and Tito’s owner Daniel Arrington have teamed up to take on the daunting task to acquire vaccines and get them into the arms of people in Douglasville. Premier promotes the two-day vaccine events and posts updates on Facebook.

Tito’s Lounge, located at 12353 Veteran’s Memorial Hwy. in downtown Douglasville, just opened last October, according to Arrington, who was contacted by phone.

Arrington said he met with Davis and Green, who were searching for a suitable space in which to deliver the walk-up vaccines events, and he green-lighted the use of Tito’s’ space.

Green was also contacted by phone for comment about the effort. Walk-up vaccinations have served well to supplement the appointments that continue to be done in the pharmacy, Green said. As of last week week the number of vaccines Premier had administered locally was over 3,000.

“I’ve been working with Davis since January. He was helping to get appointments set-up at our store and we started getting too many to handle. Sam reached out to some businesses, and we’ve been going to Tito’s for about five weeks now,” Green said.

Green said how much vaccine Premier receives week to week from the state tends to fluctuate, and they don’t know until Sunday or Monday how much they’ll be getting, but they’ve also been able to pick up some additional leftover doses from other sources.

Green said they routinely request 1,000 doses from the state and usually receive much less than that. Additional doses have come through hospitals or, in some cases, doctors who ordered the vaccines when they began to become available, but had since opted out of the program for one reason or another.

“That’s how we’re getting more than most other pharmacies, actively reaching out to the state, trying to go pick them up from other places,” he said.

Green is administering the two-dose Moderna vaccine. Second doses, which follow about a month later, can be done by appointment or back at Tito’s, he said.

For the second dose group, Premier is posting updates on its Facebook page letting people know when to come back, he said.

“We just have everybody go back to Tito’s when they’re due; they have like a two-week window; they don’t have to go on an exact date,” Green said.

Davis is a big supporter of this effort and promotes it on his Facebook page. Davis, contacted by phone, provided some back-up info.

“Well, I just went to Premier and [Green] said they needed a bigger location and we asked a new lounge downtown and they said OK.”

The two-day events at Tito’s are strictly walk-up and that was the idea, Davis explained, and added that a Douglas County address is not necessary to get a shot.

In some cases seniors or others with limited access to going online were struggling to obtain appointments, which was compounded by the limited supplies at any one location. Walk-up events have helped open up access to the vaccine, Davis said.

“You just walk in, show an ID, get a shot and go; I didn’t want people in the community to continue to go online and couldn’t get an appointment. It’s been working well, the Health Department loves it and it’s been a win-win situation,” said Davis.

The events are done on Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning around 9:30 a.m. and continue as long as supplies last. The event initially delivered about 100 shots a week and that number is now averaging to about 300 over the two days, Davis said.

Davis said that will continue probably on into the summer, or as long as it takes.

And, according to Green, outside of Douglasville, they’ve been doing more events, including about 100 vaccines done a little over a week ago at a church in Fairburn.

“Those churches talk to other churches and we’re getting a lot of requests to come and do clinics on the weekends,” he said.

And that work continues as, late last week, less than 20% of the state’s population had been vaccinated and the goal is up around 70%, Green said.

Late last week, Federal health officials gave the green light for fully vaccinated people to resume travel as an estimated 100 million Americans have had at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and evidence mounts of the shots’ effectiveness.

Networking, delivering teddy bears part of Jolivette’s Texas trip
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Roderick Jolivette had a twofold mission in traveling to Austin, Texas, last month.

The Douglas County fire chief wanted to ensure that teddy bears collected by his department made it to the Lone Star State, and in addition, he wanted to gather more information in the aftermath of the storms that ravaged the state.

For about a month, the county fire department collected new teddy bears for a program they called #BearHugsforTexas in an effort to show support to the children in Austin that were affected by Winter Storm Uri.

Many areas of the state were left without electricity and water because of power outages.

“Our deepest gratitude to Chief Jolivette and his department — as well as the generous community members of Georgia cities of Lithia Springs, Douglasville, Villa Rica and Austell — who created, coordinated, and collected these hundreds of bears, all unbeknownst to us, until we received the call they were ready to come to Austin,” Austin Fire Chief Joel Baker said.

“They were well received,” Jolivette said Monday morning.

Jolivette said he met with Baker and his staff to learn about the struggles to provide services to residents because of logistics issues as a result of not having water or electricity.

It has been reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) that about 111 residents in Texas died as a result of the February storm.

According to DSHS, a large majority of the deaths were associated with hypothermia.

“There have also been multiple deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, medical equipment failure, exacerbation of chronic illness, lack of home oxygen, falls, and fire,” the report read according to CNN.

“We learned what we can do if we are put into that position in Douglas County,” Jolivette said. “My main goal being there was to learn how to handle that type of situation if we are ever effected by that kind of storm. It was a sharing of ideas in a effort to keep our citizens safe.”

Jolivette said the AFD has a $199 million budget with 50 fire stations.

“They were willing to give back and offered help to us in gaining more knowledge,” Jolivette said. “They have a department that has many programs and a grant writer.”

In addition, Jolivette said that students in the Austin school system would like to begin being pen pals with students in the county.

He said he will speak with Douglas County Schools Superintendent Trent North when the school system returns from spring break.

“They want to get our school system involved,” Jolivette said. “I think it will be good for networking and relationship building.”

North leaves proms up to schools; Chapel Hill, New Manchester, DC going to Atlanta; AHS, Lithia staying on-campus
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Prom season will look different this year.

However, most administrators and students at Douglas County’s five high schools are just happy that barring something unexpected they will actually have a prom this year.

All proms, and most other school activities were canceled last year about this time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All five county high schools are planning on having proms for their upperclassmen next month.

Alexander and Lithia Springs will hold on-campus proms while while Douglas County, Chapel Hill and New Manchester have contracted theirs to be offsite.

Douglas County Schools Superintendent Trent North left the decision on the proms up to each school’s administrative staff.

“Each high school principal is expected to be responsible for ensuring that students safely adhere to guidelines established by the Douglas County School System, and the Douglas County Board of Education,” North said in a statement emailed to the Sentinel. “Prom participants will also be required to adhere to additional guidelines put in place by the CDC and the local jurisdictions hosting the event.”

Last week, Gov. Brian Kemp signed executive orders easing some of the restrictions on gatherings and restaurants.

Some schools are placing restrictions on their prom.

Lithia Springs Principal Travis Joshua said that both juniors and seniors are welcomed but guests of juniors must be students at the school. Seniors can bring an outside guest.

The school will transform its gymnasium into the prom site.

“The event planning company assured us that it won’t feel like a gym,” Joshua said. “We feel our gym is big enough to accommodate all who wants to attend.”

Alexander will utilize both its gyms and the outdoor space between the gyms to hold its junior/senior prom.

Alexander Principal Chris Small said some staff who graduated from the school said it has the nostalgia of previous proms before they were taken off campus.

“There were a lot of places that weren’t big enough,” Small said. “We will have control over the facility and be ability monitor the protocols. If you talk to some of the teachers that were around a few decades ago, they remember the uniqueness of having it on campus.”

Douglas County will hold its prom at The Cellar, and it’s only open to the senior class.

Douglas County Principal Andre Weaver said the prom decision was made in February with the goal of keeping every one safe.

“We were trying to limit it,” Weaver said. “I think the kids getting one prom for their high school career is better than none. The seniors can bring a date.”

Chapel Hill and New Manchester will both hold theirs at Domaine Night Club in Atlanta on opposite weekends. New Manchester’s prom will be May 1 while Chapel Hill’s is May 15 at the same Atlanta location.

Chapel Hill Principal Nicole Watson said they have averaged about 300 students at previous proms.

“We feel this venue has plenty of room,” Watson said. “We had planned to go there last year before it was canceled.”