DULUTH, GA. — Federal and local authorities say agents have seized more than 86 pounds of heroin in a major drug bust in suburban Atlanta.
Three men – two Mexican nationals and a U.S. citizen – were arrested.
Harry S. Sommers, a special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, says the raid Wednesday was a follow-up to a bust from a year ago in which nearly 77 pounds of heroin was confiscated from the same drug organization.
Sommers says the investigation led agents to a “known drug stash house” in Duluth, where the heroin was found inside the cavities behind a wall. Agents also seized an AR-15 assault rifle and a .45-caliber handgun, two pounds of crystal methamphetamine and $50,000 in cash.
Valdosta prison’s warden reassigned
VALDOSTA, GA. — Valdosta State Prison’s warden has been reassigned in a statewide shakeup of the prison system in Georgia.
William Danforth was named the new warden of Telfair State Prison in Helena. The Georgia Department of Corrections say Danforth’s reassignment took effect Wednesday.
Cedric Taylor replaced Danforth and took over as warden the same day. Taylor was the warden at the Autry State Prison in Pelham and has more than 20 years of experience with the Department of Corrections.
Danforth had been warden at the Valdosta prison since 2008, but his last two years were marred by repeated outbreaks of violence among inmates.
The shake-up affects more than 20 percent of the state prisons and involves eight wardens throughout the state.
Hero Chihuahua finds lost girls
NEWNAN, GA. — A Chihuahua is being hailed as a hero after authorities say it sniffed out two girls who were lost in a Georgia forest.
Police, firefighters and neighbors searched for the children, ages 5 and 8, after they went missing while walking on trails near their wooded neighborhood in the Newnan area Monday.
Nearby neighbor Carvin Young said he grabbed his 3-year-old Chihuahua and joined the search.
Young said the dog, Bell, picked up their scent and began running until she reached them.
Rebecca Parga, the girls’ mother, says her children play with Bell almost every day, and the dog is very familiar with their scent.
Authorities say the girls, Carlie and Lacey, were scared when they were found but were not hurt.
Hiker missing in Georgia mountains
TALLULAH FALLS, GA. — Authorities are searching for a missing hiker in the north Georgia mountains.
Rabun County authorities said Thursday that 56-year-old Richard Arnold “Rick” Masters, of Kennesaw, disappeared, possibly while hiking in the Kelsey Mountain/Bartram Trail area.
Sheriff’s officials said several agencies have been using aircraft and dogs to search trails in the area. They’re also distributing photos of Masters to hikers.
Rabun County Sheriff Frank Andrews said Masters was reported missing by his brother Ken Masters, of Acworth, on July 21.
A week ago, sheriff’s deputies found the missing hiker’s vehicle – a dark-blue late 1990s Jeep Cherokee – unoccupied at the end of Kelsey Mountain Road. Investigators say no signs of foul play were found on the vehicle.
Former manganese mine in road’s way
CARTERSVILLE, GA. — An old manganese mine could force planners to come up with a new route for a planned highway in northwest Georgia.
The defunct Dobbins Mine is in the path of the planned 411 Connector, a 6.3-mile highway that would give drivers a quicker route to Interstate 75 in Bartow County.
The project has been opposed by the Rollins family, whose company includes the mine. The mine’s historic value is one of the environmental issues they raised in an attempt to force an alternate route selection.
Federal officials recently decided the mine is eligible for listing as a historic site.
A report from the Keeper of the National Register says the area produced large quantities of manganese ore for manufacturing steel during the two World Wars.
In other news
A SUSPECT HAS been apprehended and charged with murder in the slaying of a Savannah, Ga., musician who was shot to death in 2011. Malcolm Kwame Brown was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. Musician Jonathan Brazell played the recorder and sang with The Goliards, a Savannah ensemble that performs medieval music on period instruments.
– From wire reports