Category: Georgia News

More Details Released on Kevin Van Ausdal Pulling Out of Race for Congress

The Georgia 14 Congressional Race became a subject of national conversation in a way that no one expected this Friday.

Kevin Van Ausdal had been running a longshot, but surging, campaign for Congress in a battle against QAnon Candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene when it abruptly came to an end on Friday. The campaign posted an announcement to their social media pages and sent out a statement to the media that due to personal reasons involving his family, Kevin would be removing himself from the race. He detailed further that he was no longer going to be able to reside in Georgia and thus was disqualified from running for Congress in the state.
The Van Ausdal campaign later gave details that Kevin had been unexpectedly served with divorce papers late Wednesday evening and ordered to vacate his home in Rossville. Thursday, when Kevin met with his attorney and then conferred with his campaign, it became clear that the divorce was not going to be resolved quickly, and there was no clear timeline when he would be able to return home.
Van Ausdal was already living on a tight budget with his wife and two-year-old daughter, leaving no money for a secondary residence and divorce attorney costs. After conferring with his Campaign Manager Vinny Olsziewski and his core team, they had to face the campaign’s end. Until he could get his divorce sorted, Van Ausdal would have to relocate to Indiana, where he was originally from, and his family still lived. Since Kevin was moving from Georgia, he was constitutionally barred from being on the ballot for Congress.
State Election Law in Georgia states that no candidate can withdraw from the race 60 days before an election and be replaced on the ballot. Van Ausdal was not withdrawing, though, a point that initially caused significant confusion in media reports and response from the Georgia Secretary of State. Instead, he was barred from continuing his Congressional campaign as a non-Georgia resident. Constitutionally Kevin Van Ausdal cannot appear on a Georgia ballot for Congress even if he was disqualified less than 60 days before the election.
“We had no choice,” said Campaign Manager Vinny Olsziewski. “The campaign was raising tens of thousands of dollars, we were gaining major attention, but we had a candidate that legally couldn’t be on the ballot and risked major Federal penalties if he continued. We had to stop the train.”
Olsziewski detailed how after numerous conversations with the Democratic Party of Georgia, Van Ausdal, and the campaign team, they realized that the situation would be messy at best but that there were no other options. The campaign noted they legally could not use campaign funds to house Van Ausdal, and if the situation changed and he was eventually forced to move to Indiana anyway, it would only be much worse.
“Our first job is to respect the Constitution,” said Olsziewski. “It’s the very first thing they check when you put your name on the ballot. As heartbreaking as it was, we had to protect Kevin, his family, and respect the office.”
The Van Ausdal Campaign has been working to help Kevin close out the last steps of his move and then make the official changes with the Georgia Secretary of State. Once that is complete, the Secretary of State will have to determine how to deal with Kevin’s disqualification and replacing him on the ballot.

Missing Plane Found, Pilot Deceased

A search and rescue effort to locate a plane that went missing in Etowah Co Thursday evening, has ended after both the aircraft and the body of the pilot were found Saturday morning.

The pilot has been identified as 76-year old William “Bill” Elliot McClain, of Acworth Georgia.

The plane was reported missing Thursday evening after it disappeared from radar near the New Union and Egypt Community.

According to the pilot’s brother, Gary Mcclain of Arkansas, Bill had built the plane, a Zenith CH750, over the last few years and was planning to fly to Arkansas to celebrate his 77th birthday with his brothers on September 15.

It appears the plan was to do a test flight from Georgia to Tupelo, MS and refuel and return to Georgia. Tupelo was the halfway point and refueling location on Bill’s intended flight to celebrate his birthday with his brothers. According to officials, the aircraft appeared to reached Tupelo, however, it circled the airport without fueling and went back the direction it came before disappearing from the radar over a wooded area in Etowah Co around 12:47 p.m. Thursday.

Starting Thursday night, search and rescue personnel from various jurisdictions and organizations conducted air and ground search in a concentrated area between Lawson Gap Road and Lackey Gap Road near Aurora Lake.

The crash site was located around 10:26 a.m. behind a residence in the 200 block of Old Baker Gap Road in a heavily wooded area.

The investigation into the cause of the crash and removal of the aircraft will be combined, continued efforts of the FAA and the NTSB.

Officials say they do not suspect foul play.

WBRC Fox News/WEIS Radio

Democrat Candidate Drops Out of Race

The Democratic candidate running against Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, is dropping out of their race for a U.S. House seat representing Northwest Georgia’s 14th District.
Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal bowed out of the race on Friday.  He is exiting the race for quote, “personal and family reasons”.


Gordon County Man Tells of Scary Moments When Texas Fugitive Tried to Enter His Home

A Gordon County man who spoke to Channel 3 recalled the scary exchange he had with Potter who attempted to break into his home just moments after he’d shot his neighbor.

“You could tell there was something off about him,” the man said of Potter.

The resident, who did not want to be identified, says he and his two sons were on their porch when Potter approached their cabin and tried to enter through a side door.

“It was scarier watching him walk toward the house,“ the resident explained. “I hurried up I took the boys back inside the house, called 911…there is one door that separates our cabin from the addition. He was on one side, I was on the other and we were basically face-to-face.”

Hiding his two and five-year-old children in a closet and with a bat in hand, he told Potter to leave and he complied.

“I told my older boy just hold the younger one’s hand. Keep him quiet. Keep him safe, and he did,” he said.

While his neighbor is recovering, the man told Channel 3 he’s grateful no harm came to his family and authorities were able to track down Potter.

“He shot this neighbor without any warning, so yeah, of course there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t do that to us,” the resident said.

Authorities say Potter was injured after his exchange with the resident he shot, so he was taken to a local hospital for treatment and released.

He is currently in custody at the Whitfield County Jail along with a second suspect, 47 year-old Jonathan Hosmer.

Potter will answer to charges of Aggravated Assault and Home Invasion in Whitfield County before he is extradited to Texas.

Sheriff Chitwood says Potter could have his first appearance in court as early as Friday.

It’s still unclear where Potter and Hosmer were traveling or what their plans were for the explosives the GBI found inside the truck they were driving.


Suspect Accused of Shooting Officer Has Been Captured


After a 3-day manhunt, the suspect accused of shooting an officer during a traffic stop in Whitfield County Monday, has been captured.
Texas fugitive Dalton Lee Potter was found in a wooded area of Gordon County, after he shot and wounded a resident there.  Both shooting victims will survive.
Potter and another man were pulled over while pulling a stolen trailer which reportedly contained explosives, according to the GBI.  Both suspects are now in custody.

Authorities surrounded Potter outside the town of Resaca in northwest Georgia, where they said he shot a man earlier Wednesday.

Noah Cloer said his father Eddie Cloer fired back despite being shot in the arm and grazed in the head.

Investigators said Potter had fled into the woods after firing multiple shots Monday night at Whitfield County Sheriff’s Deputy Darrell Hackney, who was saved by his ballistic vest.


Arrest Made in 25 Year Old Homicide

A 25-year-old homicide in Georgia has been closed with the arrest of a man in Tennessee, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Robert Allen Mowry, 50, on Friday and charged him with one count of malice murder in the December 1994 death of James Richard Harris, 54, the GBI said in a news release.

Harris was found dead at the entrance to his property in Chickamauga, Georgia, on Dec. 22, 1994. Harris was killed and robbed by the gate as he was leaving for work at Miller Industries in Chattanooga, Tennessee, investigators said.

In 2009, the GBI said it received a tip from CrimeStoppers about the identity of the person who possibly killed Harris and investigators were able to bring the case closer to a resolution, but there was not enough evidence to make an arrest. This year, police developed new evidence that led to a match of evidence found at the original crime scene leading to Mowry’s arrest, the GBI said.

Mowry was arrested in Nashville. It was unknown if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

3 Arrested for Thefts of 4 Wheelers, ATV’s, Chop Shop Shut Down; 4th Person Sought

Over approximately the last 2 months, the Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) has received several reports regarding thefts of four-wheel-all-terrain-vehicles (“4 wheelers”) from a variety of neighborhoods county-wide. These thefts had not been concentrated in any particular area. No video surveillance footage or eyewitnesses were available in these cases, leaving detectives very little to follow as leads.

However, employing a different tactic, detectives consistently questioned a large number of persons arrested on other charges about their knowledge, if any, of any such activity regularly. Some of these interviews resulted in the development of suspects in some of these thefts. The detectives gathered information about a particular address connected to the case as well. As most suspects with whom deputies regularly interact are inevitably on probation or parole, GCSO detectives paid a visit to a private residence on Michael Drive near Calhoun on Tuesday (Sept 1), and there conducted a probationary search. During this search, GCSO personnel found Tyler Stanley, age 22, of 800 Blance Road, Cedartown, Georgia, who was being sought pursuant to warrants charging him with unrelated crimes. He was arrested without incident. The detectives also discovered 2 stolen ATVs, a motorcycle with an altered/removed serial number, another ATV with an altered/removed serial number, and a stolen trailer.

Robbie Dotson, age 35, and Linda Dotson, age 33, both of 110 Michael Drive, Calhoun were both also arrested without incident. Tyler Stanley faces charges of : 3 counts of Receiving Stolen Property, Operating a ‘Chop Shop’, Removing/Altering VIN Numbers, and Possession of Methamphetamine. Robbie Dotson faces charges of 3 counts of Receiving Stolen Property, Operating a ‘Chop Shop’, Removing/Altering VIN Numbers, and Possession of Methamphetamine. Linda Dotson, faces methamphetamine related charges. All 3 defendants were already serving sentences of probation for previous offenses, and are being held in the county jail. A fourth defendant is being sought in connection with this case.

3 Arrested, 1 sought in Connection with Thefts of ‘4 Wheeler’ ATVs, “Chop Shop” Shut Down by Deputies

Two Arrested for Meth Trafficking

Deputies Arrest 2 for Methamphetamine Trafficking in Joint Investigation


Gordon deputy sheriffs and Sheriff’s detectives joined authorities from Whitfield County in the investigation of methamphetamine trafficking between the 2 counties. Based upon information developed in Whitfield County and in the early morning hours of September 3, detectives and deputies executed a search warrant at a private home on Fite Bend Road in the Resaca community.

Deputies used a GCSO K9 in executing this warrant. Two persons, Ricky Grant, age 42 and Lisa Johnston, age 50, both of 1181 Fite Bend Road, Resaca were arrested without incident after investigating officers discovered a large amount of methamphetamine in the home. Detectives also found packaging and distribution materials. Both defendants will face charges of Methamphetamine Trafficking and were lodged in the county jail pending bond proceedings.