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Personal Safety Tips

Personal Safety Tips

By Greg Norred, CEO, Norred & Associates

Over the course of your life, the chances of being the victim of a crime are at least one in three, higher if you live in a large city, and higher still if you’re a woman. The criminal’s objective is to maximize gain and minimize risk, and he’ll usually pick the easiest target with the most to offer. Given these odds, it pays to take precautions by following some basic safety rules:

Cherokee County court reporters charged with theft

Cherokee County court reporters charged with theft

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Three Woodstock women were arrested for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from Cherokee County.

Betty Petersen, 73, and Kimberly Probst, 50, have been charged with racketeering, theft by taking, theft by deception and giving false statements. They turned themselves in to police on Sunday.

The third suspect, 55-year-old Tammy Stine, turned herself in Monday. She faces the same charges.

Police began investigating the women in mid-July, when district attorney Shannon Wallace asked the sheriff's office to look into court reporter billing irregularities.

Baker said the suspects intentionally mis-formatted court records, then billed Cherokee County for non-existent pages. He said Petersen stole nearly $80,000, while Probst took almost $60,000. Stine is accused of stealing nearly $350,000.

Police discovered evidence of thefts as far back as 2006.

Ga. Supreme Court reverses judgment against Cherokee County teacher

Ga. Supreme Court reverses judgment against Cherokee County teacher

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a high school teacher who was arrested for failing to report a relationship between a coach and a former student.

Kristin Lynn May, who taught at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, was arrested in 2011 after not informing police that a student had sex with paraprofessional and wrestling coach Robert Leslie Morrow.

READ MORE | Cherokee County educators charged with sexual misconduct

According to information presented in court, the student was 16 at the end of the fall 2010 semester, when she transferred from River Ridge to Roswell High School. During winter break, she began her relationship with Morrow.

Exotic animals discovered during drug bust

Exotic animals discovered during drug bust


WOODSTOCK, Ga -- It wasn't your typical drug bust when narcotics officers went to a home in Woodstock last Friday. They found something more exotic than the drugs.

Living in a home on Creekbend Drive were dogs, cats, a squirrel, several snakes and two lizards. One of those lizards is illegal to own, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

A tip from a citizen led the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) to the home because of drug activity, according to Commander Phil Price. "There was a lot of animal feces," he said. "It was not what I would think of as a healthy environment."

Man shot while demanding debt payment

Man shot while demanding debt payment

CANTON, Ga. -- A 23-year-old Cartersville man was shot while trying to collect a debt in Cherokee County.

PHOTOS | Mug Shots: See 'em to Believe 'em

Ryan Jones was shot at around 4:30 p.m. Sunday outside a house in the 9900 block of Bells Ferry Road near Holly Street in Canton.

Witnesses told Cherokee County Sheriff's investigators that Jones arrived at the house with a BB gun and demanded to be paid for a debt he claimed he was owed.

A person inside the house, 43-year-old Brian Turner of Woodstock, shot Jones with a shotgun. Turner was a guest at the house, according to Cherokee County Sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker.

Jones was taken to Northside Hospital Cherokee with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Man killed by hit and run driver in Marietta

Man killed by hit and run driver in Marietta

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A 20-year-old man was killed after being hit by a car in Marietta Wednesday night.

The victim, Selvin Lopez-Lorenzo of Woodstock, was struck at around 10:30 p.m. on Interstate 75 north at Delk Road. His body was found by responding Marietta police officers.

Marietta police spokesman David Baldwin said Lopez-Lorenzo was trying to cross the interstate when he was hit by some type of vehicle. No one else was at the scene and no witnesses have come forward.

Anyone with information in the accident is asked to call Marietta police at 770-794-5356.

For the latest traffic conditions in metro Atlanta, visit 11Alive.com/Traffic.

Cherokee school board member to be in court

Cherokee school board member to be in court

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Cherokee County School Board member Kelly Marlow will have a court hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

PHOTOS | Mug Shots: See 'em to Believe 'em

Marlow was arrested last year when she accused superintendent Frank Petruzielo of threatening her and trying to run her over with his car after a board meeting. She and Petruzielo had been feuding for months about the way the school system is run.

A Cherokee County Grand Jury indicted Marlow in October on four counts of making false statements.

Two co-defendants -- Barbara Knowles and Robert Trim -- also face charges. They are accused of filing a false police report and making false statements when they alleged Petruzielo tried to run over Marlow.