Fall apple season in full swing See Gilmer Living 1B Shutout! Dragons no match for Bobcats 2009 Apple Pageant winners & runners-up See Sports 1C See Around Town 1D Times-Courier Your Hometown Newspaper Devoted To The Progress Of Gilmer County VOL. 134 • NO. 41 • U.S.P.S. NO. 630-280 October 8, 2009 EST. 1875 • CONSOLIDATED 1916 • 50 CENTS Local restaurant robbed at gunpoint by Al Summers firstname.lastname@example.org A masked man had more on his mind than a takeout slab of ribs when he walked through the back door and into the Shane’s Rib Shack restaurant at Highland Crossing in East Ellijay about 9:30 p.m. Sunday evening, Oct. 4. He was demanding money while pointing a gun at two employees. The restaurant was virtually empty with the exception of a handful of staff cleaning up for the night. According to an East Ellijay police report, East Ellijay Police Sgt. Todd Gillespie was dispatched to the restaurant around 9:30 p.m., to respond to an armed robbery. Gillespie, along with East Ellijay Police officers Perry Branyon and Don Bailey learned that the masked gunman had entered the restaurant and demanded all of the cash in the restaurant’s safe. He then assaulted a cook and assistant restaurant manager Matthew Gary White several times before White gave the gunman over $4,000 in cash and coins. East Ellijay Police Lt. Kenneth Cox, Gilmer County Sherriff’s Det. Rick Clayton and Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent Dustin Hamby arrived and began processing the scene for evidence and questioning the witnesses while Branyon and Bailey began searching the area for a person fitting the gunman’s description. During the course of the investigation and interrogation of White, his stories began to fall apart, and officers learned the identity of the gunman. A lookout was posted for Jason Allen Pharr, 26, of Blue Ridge. The law enforcement officials then connected White, 25, of Ellijay to the crime and named him as a co-conspirator. The next day, Monday, Oct. 5, Pharr was spotted in the Morganton community of Fannin County. Gillespie, Cox, Hamby and GBI Special Agent Matt Howard, with assistance from officers of the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Pharr without incidence during a traffic stop in Blue Ridge. A search warrant was obtained, and items used during the commission of the robbery, including clothing, and a handgun, were discovered in Pharr’s home in Morganton. Also, items taken during the robbery, including currency and a cash box, were also discovered. White has been charged with armed robbery and making false statements. Pharr has been charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery and violation of parole. Additional charges are pending. East Ellijay Police Chief Greg Arp told the Times-Courier, “A debt of gratitude goes out to Lt. Cox, officer Gillespie, and Agent Hamby for their hard work and diligence in bringing this case to quick closing. They worked tirelessly around the clock to apprehend this violent perpetrator, and their efforts and sacrifices are greatly appreciated.” The capture of Pharr was made in less than 17 hours of the crime. Photo by Michael Andrews Georgia Apple Festival, Apple Arts roll into town for the next two weekends by Al Summers email@example.com Literally tens of thousands of people will descend on Gilmer County over the next two weekends as the 38th Annual Georgia Apple Festival gets underway Saturday, Oct. 10, and continues Sunday, Oct. 11. The whole event reconvenes the next Saturday, Oct. 17, before coming to a conclusion Sunday, Oct. 18. The Dedicated Ellijay Merchants and Associates (DEMA) will be hosting the Ellijay Apple Arts in downtown Ellijay during both weekends. In addition to the festival, the first Saturday also plays host to the Apple Classic Auto Show that is held on the recreation fields near the Apple Festival. The second Saturday will feature the annual Apple Festival Parade sponsored by DEMA. The parade is scheduled to begin around 10 a.m. Current Miss United States of America and former Apple Queen Erin Grizzle will serve as the grand marshal of this year’s parade. Historically, traffic has been the main topic of concern and frustration, and Ellijay Police Chief Larry Callahan said this year will be no different. “We always have traffic problems, but there is only so much we can do when we are trying to run thousands of cars through an area that is not much wider than it was when the horse and buggy were in use. Traffic comes off of four lanes and then is quickly narrowed to two,” he said. “We strive to keep the impact on the local residents to a minimum while keeping our visitors moving,” the chief added. Callahan urges everyone who is not attending the festival to avoid the area around the festival grounds and intersections that lead directly to the festival grounds. “We are going to try and keep the traffic backups south of Hwy. 282.” The shuttle busses are the recommended mode of transportation to and from the festival grounds. The shuttle will run back and forth between the parking lots and the downtown area. Weather forecasts at the beginning of the week called for cooler temperatures and a slight chance of showers, but attendance is expected to be high. Ellijay Lions set to begin collections for White Christmas Special to the Times-Courier Ellijay Lions Club It’s that time of year again, when you will soon see many dedicated Ellijay Lions Club members in their yellow vests and holding the white buckets, collecting money to buy Christmas gifts for the children of Gilmer County. This event is called White Christmas, and the goal is to provide In this issue... National/State Roundup ......2A Editorial................................3A Religion/People................6–7A Obituaries.............................8A TV Guide ...............................9A Arrests................................11A Gilmer Living ........................1B Scouts Popcorn Sale ............3B Legals...............................4–9B Genealogical News.............10B Sports...............................1–4C Focus on Education ..........5–6C Health & Fitness ............7–12C Restaurant Inspections ......13C Around Town .........................1D Movies/Calendar..................2D Kids Coat Swap ....................4D Classifieds......................5–10D children who might not otherwise have a Christmas, with presents to open. The Ellijay Lions Club is a service oriented group that strives to uphold the motto “We Serve.” Their many community projects are their way of giving back to our community. It is a civic service organization with a focus on youth and blindness. One of these services is the White Christmas which began 1997-98. In 2008, they received 978 applications and assisted 784 families. All of the contributions for White Christmas will go to provide presents for the children, so open your wallets and share the true meaning of Christmas with our children. Applications for recipients of White Christmas will be taken at the Lions Club building Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Applications will only be available at the Lions Club Barn on South Main Street. Applications will be taken in house by Lions Club members. Applicants must bring Social Security numbers, a piece of photo identification and provide proof of month- ly household expenses and incomes. The 2009 White Christmas program will not be able to provide any of the following items: bicycles of any kind, electronics (including but not limited to Ipods, Gameboys, Wii’s, CD players, DVD players, cell phones, etc.) The age limit for 2009 is 15 years. Applicants are asked to provide accurate sizes for all clothing requests. Children receiving assistance must be full time residents at the address on the application.