Saturday, May 18 2013 11:42 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:42:57 GMT
A Lowndes County man is behind bars after deputies uncovered nearly half a million dollars of marijuana. Deputies responded to a complaint at Jose Sanchez's house on Highway 129 North Friday. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Lowndes County man is behind bars after deputies uncovered nearly half a million dollars of marijuana.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:42 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:42:03 GMT
Hundreds of people came out to Lake Blackshear Saturday to support law enforcement and the Crisp County Sheriff. It was the first annual pigs in the park event, put on by the Georgia Narcotics Officer'sMore >>
Hundreds of people came out to Lake Blackshear Saturday to support law enforcement and the Crisp County Sheriff.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:47 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:47:12 GMT
Thomasville Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob a store, scaring customers and clerks. Police say they responded to the Dollar General on West Jackson Street around 9:15pm Friday. EmployeesMore >>
Thomasville Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob a store, scaring customers and clerks.
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:59 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:59:02 GMT
Dougherty County police are searching for a motorist who hit a pedestrian and then fled the scene. Authorities say it happened around 11pm Friday near the 3900 block of Radium Springs Road. PoliceMore >>
Dougherty County police are searching for a motorist who hit a pedestrian and then fled the scene. More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:58:50 GMT
It's graduation time for high schools in Dougherty County and students are ready to embark on their next journey. 230 graduates received their high school diplomas from Westover Comprehensive High SchoolMore >>
230 graduates received their high school diplomas from Westover Comprehensive High School this Saturday morning.More >>
Suspended Dougherty County school board member Velvet Riggins should be back on the board soon after a jury acquitted her this afternoon.
She was accused of falsifying applications so her child could receive free school lunches... But she was cleared of all charges.
The week-long trial ended with three not guilty verdicts. The jury did not find proof that Velvet Riggins had criminal intent when submitting incorrect forms to get her child free or reduced school lunches.
Velvet Riggins sat quietly as Judge Stephen Goss read the verdict- not guilty on all three counts. It took jurors about an hour to make their decision.
"Just thinking about how good God is and how he's brought me through these nine months," said Velvet Riggins, acquitted Dougherty County school board member.
Riggins says the case weighed on her since she was arrested in December. In April, she was indicted on two felonies and two misdemeanors- public record fraud, two counts of theft by taking, and providing false information to obtain free school meals for child.
Yesterday, the judge threw out the public record fraud charge.
"I still knew we had an uphill battle on counts 2, 3 and 4," said Mark Brimberry, the defense attorney.
The trial came down to whether Riggins had criminal intent when she submitted her September 2011 free and reduced lunch application, which was incomplete. While it listed her main source of income- the Girl Scouts, the dollar amount was left off, leaving an annual salary of $9,000 dollars.
"It's $30,000 dollars missing income off the form, from the person who is charged to set the standards for the school system," said Heather Lanier, the prosecutor.
The former school nutrition director testified the school system should not have submitted the form to the USDA.
"Making mistakes on an application, is not necessarily a criminal act. Had the local school system followed the policy the mistake would of never gotten through the cracks," said Brimberry.
The jury ultimately agreed with the defense. Riggins hugged her attorney and supporters. Now her attention turns to the Governor and getting back on the School board.
"I'm just going to wait to see what the Governor decides to do, whether or not he reinstates me and we can get back to doing our job. What we need to do is make our citizens, to do those things I've been elected to do," said Riggins.
The Governor removed Riggins from the board in July, pending the outcome of this trial. Defense attorney Mark Brimberry says he's sending the not guilty verdict up to the Governor to get Velvet Riggins officially reinstated.
Former Morningside Elementary School principal Gloria Baker and her husband were also indicted in the school lunch investigation.