From the desk of Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton
This week I would remind everyone that in Towns County we have an increasing amount of pedestrians as well as motor vehicle traffic. Pedestrians are crossing the roadways at designated crosswalks and other areas more frequently than in the past. Combined with an increasing number of motorists this can be a recipe for disaster.
Some areas with frequent pedestrian crossings are the crosswalk in the City of Hiawassee that runs between the post office and Hiawassee Hardware, as well as the crosswalks in the City of Young Harris. In addition, although there is no designated crosswalk, pedestrians are crossing Highway 76 in the area between the Sand Bar and the Blue Otter.
At your sheriff’s office we are concerned for the safety of all drivers and pedestrians. Because of our concern there will be an increased presence of deputies in areas that are frequently used by pedestrians to cross roadways. We would ask that pedestrians and drivers alike be alert and help keep everyone safe.
The following laws define the duties that both drivers and pedestrians have when pedestrians are crossing a roadway. Please help us make others aware of the duties and responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians at crosswalks and other crossing areas. Please remind those you love to be extra mindful of the increased traffic and the dangers involved.
§ 40-6-91. Right of way in crosswalks
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.
(c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92.
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
§ 40-6-92. Crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway if he uses the roadway instead of such tunnel or crossing.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
Tip leads to arrest for growing marijuana
The following news release has been issued by Towns County Sheriff’s Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In August 2013 Investigators with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office had received a tip regarding a possible marijuana grow in the area of Konahetah Road in Towns County. Corporal Brandon Barrett, K9 Deputy with the Sheriff’s Office, relayed the GPS coordinates to the Governor’s Task Force and Appalachian Drug Task Force to be used during their Drug Interdiction Surveillance Flights.
On September 5, the Task Force conducted flights in Towns County and identified possible marijuana plants growing in the yard of a residence on Konaheta Road. A ground team consisting of ADTF agents, Department of Natural Resources Rangers, and the Towns County K9 unit, arrived at the residence to investigate further. Seven suspected marijuana plants were found in the yard of the residence.
While agents were on scene, home resident Mark Anthony Woody arrived. Mr. Woody was on probation, and agents found that he had a Fourth Amendment waiver which allowed TC deputies and ADTF to enter the residence and continue the investigation. An additional 26 suspected marijuana plants were found inside the residence, growing in several different rooms. Also allegedly found were numerous starter kits and items used for indoor growing.
Sheriff’s Deputies and Appalachian Drug Task Force agents seized the 33 marijuana plants which have a street value of approximately $36,900. Mark Anthony Woody, 45, of Hiawassee, was arrested and charged with Possession and Manufacture of Marijuana. At press time Woody is still being held in the Towns County Detention Center awaiting bond.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton urges citizens to continue to report information on suspicious activity or illegal drug operations to the Sheriff’s Office. All information received is strictly confidential and can lead to seizures such as this one. Citizens can call the Towns County Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444 or the Tip Line at 706-896-3697.
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