published Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Region Digest: Dalton police to set up more checkpoints

DALTON, Ga.

Police to set up more checkpoints

Dalton police will be setting up extra checkpoints starting Friday as part of the nationwide campaign Operation Zero Tolerance.

The campaign targeting drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs will continue through the Fourth of July weekend, police spokesman Steve Zahn said in a news release.

Concentrated patrols and random roadchecks will be conducted throughout the city, Zahn said.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration numbers show 410 people were killed in vehicle crashes on the 4th of July weekend in 2009, and 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, Zahn said.

FORT PAYNE, Ala.

Former officer sentenced

Authorities said a former Rainsville and Fort Payne police officer was sentenced in California on 17 counts of felony child molestation.

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said 47-year-old Mark Joseph Hawes was found guilty on May 17 of acts including lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, oral sex with a child 10 years or younger, unlawful sexual intercourse and sodomy.

He was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in California prison.

Scully said Hawes was molesting two girls for more than eight years.

Hawes worked with Fort Payne police from 1990 to 2001 as a patrolman, a DARE officer and a warrant officer. He worked in Rainsville before joining the Fort Payne department, but employment dates were unavailable.

NASHVILLE

State to get new meal program

Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois have been chosen as the first states for a federal program making it easier to provide school meals to children in low-income areas.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said in announcing the states’ selection that it will give needy children better access to healthy school meals and reduce paperwork for schools and parents.

Under the option, schools can use the percentage of children from households receiving food stamps as the basis to provide free meals to all children free of charge. The schools will be responsible for paying costs above the federal reimbursement amount.

The program will be available in all states by the 2014-15 school year.

GORDON COUNTY, Ga.

GBI seeking burglars

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents are asking for the public’s help finding suspects in a large-scale commercial burglary in Gordon County.

Several people broke into the Downing Clark Center on June 6 around 10 p.m. and stole about 50 computers, 20 to 30 Dell systems still in boxes, several printers, DVD players and other electronics, GBI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Scott said.

Anyone with information in the case can contact Special Agent Joe Montgomery at 706-624-1424 or via email at joe.montgomery@gbi.ga.gov.

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