More than 400 bills passed during the 2008 General Assembly session went into effect July 1. Among the legislation were new laws regulating everything from buying wine from wineries off the internet to changes in where sex offenders can live and work to being able to carry concealed guns into restaurants and public transportation. Here is a brief review of a few of the new laws affecting public safety.
With gasoline close to $4 a gallon, many commuters are now more open to exploring alternative modes of transportation, which raises the question 'Is Newton County finally ready for public transportation?'
The Newton County coaching fraternity and Union County community received sad news Thursday as former Newton County High School teacher and Lady Ram basketball coach Mike West was found dead at the age of 42.
Bennie Puckett, 70, of Locust Grove, died June 25 at Henry Medical Center. The son of the late Benjamin F. and Minnie Bell Smith Puckett, he was born in Thomaston. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1958 and later retired from ABF Freight Systems in 2001. Mr. Puckett was a member of The Potters House in Covington, serving God faithfully as a true man of God. He enjoyed working on small engines and working in the yard, loved the Georgia Bulldogs and was a history buff, especially interested in war eras.
Special Investigations Unit agents struck a known drug haven Thursday, which was also the site of an unsolved 2003 homicide, arresting five men and the home owner in connection with selling cocaine and Ecstasy, according to the unit leader.
Mrs. Bessie Sue (Ray) Wesson, 95, of Covington died June 27. Formerly of Macon, Mrs. Wesson moved to the Covington area in 1994. Her hobbies included gardening, quilting and cooking. Mrs. Wesson was a member of the First Congregational Holiness Church, Macon. The daughter of the late Otis Hamilton Ray and Sara Annie (Dobbs) Ray, she was born in Rockdale County in 1913. She was preceded in death by parents, husband Mr. Marion "Bill" Wesson and brothers Howard Ray from Macon and William Ray from Porterdale.
Mrs. Evelyn Sudduth Wiley, 84, of Covington, widow of C.T. Wiley Sr., to whom she was married for 58 years, died June 26 at Embracing Hospice in Cumming. Mrs. Wiley retired from CDC in 1995 after more than 30 years of service. She enjoyed traveling and spending time in the mountains and was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Irene Agnes Almand, 75, of Covington died June 26. A loving grandmother, she enjoyed cooking and crocheting and was an avid reader. She was predeceased by her parents, George and Lucile Mays Bynerd and her husband, William Joseph Almand.
Emily Stearns, 62, of Covington, died peacefully at her home June 26. The daughter of the late Marcus H. and Mary Hodges, Poppell, she was born in England. She worked as an LPN at Covington Manor Nursing Home for 18 years and worked for Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Star Crest Nursing Home in Conyers. Mrs. Stearns was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Perry. She enjoyed reading and traveling. She is preceded in death by daughter Millie Carrier.