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Suspect arrested in Newton County murder


NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A suspect has been arrested in the Aug. 11 murder of a Newton County teen.

William Dontrel Winston was taken into custody without incident Friday. Winston, 20, is charged with felony murder, armed robbery and firearm possession in the death of 19-year-old Caylen Gooch.

The victim's body was found lying in a street inside the Pebble Brooke subdivision off Brown Bridge Road. He had been shot at least once. An autopsy will determine Gooch's exact cause of death.

A motive for the murder has not yet been determined.

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Newton Co. spends all night searching schools


 

COVINGTON, Ga. -- An emergency team in Newton County spent all night Wednesday and into Thursday morning searching every school in the district after two Facebook threats.

According to a post on the school district's Facebook page, the threats came in late Wednesday night. Law enforcement officials were immediately notified and the school district assembled an emergency team to start searching the schools. 

Every school in the facility was cleared by Thursday morning. "It was determined the threat was not credible," the district said. School district leaders decided to post the information before the start of class Thursday to get ahead of possible rumors about the threats. 

Sheriff's deputy celebrates 91st birthday


NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The oldest certified on-duty peace officer in Georgia celebrated his birthday last weekend.

Jack Simpson turned 91 on July 4. His colleagues at the Newton County Sheriff's Office held a birthday party Monday.

Simpson began working in law enforcement in the 1950's. He has been a Newton County Sheriff's deputy for more than 15 years, and also spent 23 years as a special agent with the FBI.

Officer-involved shooting confirmed in Newton County


NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office is on the scene after an officer-involved shooting three miles outside of Covington, Ga.

Sgt. Courtney Morrison told 11Alive news that the incident happened around 8:30 p.m. near Brown Bridge Road and Charleston Place. That's off of Salem Road.

According to Morrison, the shooting happened after deputies performed a traffic stop on a vehicle which they believe may have been connected to an earlier crime.

Both were shot however the extent of their injuries has not been released.

Morrison said officers involved in shootings are typically placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

11Alive will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Georgia utility's solar cost analysis draws fire


COVINGTON, Ga. -- Critics say a local utility is distorting the cost of solar power in a newsletter it's sending to its customers, suggesting the utility is trying to discourage customers from using solar power.

The utility is Snapping Shoals EMC, which has 85,000 members east and south of Atlanta. The source of the dispute is a newsletter that the EMC published a few weeks ago.

The newsletter posted information about a five kilowatt solar panel the EMC installed at its headquarters last year. The chart in the newsletter compares the monthly cost of its solar use against the cost of a typical electric bill.

Suspects shoplift $1,000 worth of contact lenses


COVINGTON, Ga. -- Covington Police are looking for two suspects accused of stealing contact lenses from a convenience store.

The crime happened June 3 at around 3 p.m. at the Chevron in the 10000 block of Alcovy Road, just north of Interstate 20.

Covington Police spokesman Ken Malcom said a female suspect distracted the clerk while a male suspect took an entire displayed of colored contact lenses. The merchandise is valued at $1,000.

The suspects are described as a black man and black woman. They left the Chevron in a dark-colored four-door sedan.

Surveillance cameras inside the store captured images of the suspects. Anyone who recognizes them is encouraged to call Covington Police at 770-786-7605.

Wrong-way driver killed in Newton County crash


NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- One person was killed in an accident on Interstate 20 in Newton County Tuesday night.

Newton County Sheriff's Deputy Felicia Jefferson confirmed the accident involved a wrong-way driver. It happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. on I-20 east near Exit 89.

The driver was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. That person's name has not been released.

Jefferson said the wrong-way driver may have hit another car. No other details were immediately available.