Cherry Log, Ga. – Amidst allegations and being wanted “in connection with kidnapping and sexual assault,” Bradley Justin Cochran was found dead yesterday in Metter, Ga from an apparent suicide.
Cochran lived in Cherry Log, Ga and was a former student of Pickens County High School, according to his Facebook Profile.
A release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) states the Cochran allegedly forced his way into a vehicle with three women at a grocery store in Statesboro. After they drove into Candler County, Cochran allegedly sexually assaulted two of the women before stealing the car and leaving the females on foot.
The Statesboro Police Department posted on their Facebook Page Monday saying, “As events unfolded, our officers were amazed by their strength and bravery. These women were just minding their own business, trying to leave the parking lot, when a stranger threatened them with a knife and forced his way into their vehicle.”
All three survived the encounter. Police say it is simply because of the quick action in a fight for survival. Hailing the girls as survivors and warriors.
They continued to praise the victims for their action as they “were able to create a diversion so one of them could escape, from a moving vehicle, to get help. She was able to give law enforcement vital information that led to the identification of the suspect and helped locate the other two women, and most likely saved their lives.”
The GBI was requested to join the investigation on Sunday, August 26, by the Candler County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesboro Police Department.
As the search for Cochran grew to include all three agencies, the Candler County Sheriff’s Office stated, “There was an extensive investigation and manhunt throughout the night and into the morning. All agencies and personnel involved demonstrated how a multi-agency operation should be carried out.”
At this time, the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, but the GBI did confirm that Cochran’s body will be sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah, Ga for official cause and manner of death.
Dave sits down each Tuesday with the head coach of the Pickens Dragons, Chris Parker. Together they discuss the game from the week before and the upcoming game.
Pickens County Government, like many other government entities is taking full advantage of the hot summer months to pave as many roads as financially possible. All paving projects are funded through LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) and SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) dollars. During the month of July, subcontractor crews repaved: Upper Grandview, Grandview Circle, Hickory Cove, Cove View Valley, Cove Hill Road, Old Cove Road, Scott Drive, Southbrook Drive, Eastwood Circle, Paradise Lane, East Eden Way, and West Eden Way. The 2018 paving contract is now roughly 65 percent complete with the remainder to be paved in the coming weeks. Pickens County Public Works repaved: Griffith Road and Tate Mill Way. Additionally, they completed a project to widen Pettit Road and plan to begin tar and graveling that road, along with Jordan Road, Thomason Road, and Evans Road. Public Works is continuing routine maintenance around the county while dealing with some inclement weather. Over the last few weeks, Public Works has cleaned up 95 trees downed by heavy rain and wind.
During the month of July, the 911 Operations Center received 1,809 total calls, 753 were medical responses and fire related. The Water Department installed 10 new meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 37 new building permits. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 101 animals, and 100 animals went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 7 cases. The Recreation Department concluded another successful year of Summer Camp with an average of 55 kids a day. Pickens County Fire Station #12 off Carlan Road is expected to be completed in approximately two months. The exterior of the structure is nearly complete with now the focus on the interior construction. Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working hard for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continues to do an excellent job of leading these efforts. As work progresses, and projects continue, I will do my best to keep you informed of these developments. To stay up to date like us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our website www.pickenscountyga.gov.
Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!
The Dragon football program held their 2018 Meet the Dragon event on Friday and excitement for the 2018 season filled the air. With Kindergarten through 12th grade participating, the afternoon started with the high school varsity scrimmage followed by junior varsity, ninth grade, eight grade and seventh grade. The Dragon youth teams also held scrimmages with the 6U and 7U, 8U and 9U, and finished up with the 10U scrimmaging the 11U.
Head varsity Coach and Athletic Director for Pickens County said the he was really excited to so many from the Pickens County area show up not only to support these athletes but also to support the Dragon program as a whole. Through out the evening, fans enjoyed jump houses and shaved ice from local vendors that support the dragons. Concessions were also available as well as raffle tickets for purchase with all proceeds going to assist the Dragons in purchasing both equipment for the players and other things needed to make a football program successful. At the end of the Meet the Dragon event, a silent auction took place to further support the Dragons. In the silent auction, last minute bids started with hopes of getting that special item and bring even more funds to the Dragons.
One of most exciting times in the evening was the 6U and 7U teams taking the field to scrimmage each other. If you have ever seen these age groups play you know that sometimes the helmets are bigger than the players but this did not stop these super young athletes from getting after it. These little guys did very well in making tackles and running the plays that their coaches have been showing them. The Dragon program looks really good for many years to come. It is obvious that some will move away and some will stop playing football to possibly move to other sports but either way someone will get good athletes in the future.
Over 400 players and cheerleaders participated in the event with at least twice that in attendance. The fans were very pleased with the execution of the event and look forward to next year’s Meet the Dragons for 2019. This season kicks of on Thursday August 9th as the Middle School welcomes the Indians of Lumpkin Co into Dragon Stadium for a scrimmage and the high school will hold their preseason scrimmage the following night as they take the field against Denmark High School out of Forsyth Co.
See all photos at Team FYN Sports on Facebook
On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of last week the Dragons held their annual youth camps for football and cheer. Coach Chris Parker and his staff along with high school players took to the practice field to teach kindergarten through 7th grade athletes.
The camp attendees moved across 10 skill stations to learn both new skills and also to enhance those skills already in their repertoire. Several of the stations focused on safety of the skills learned. Proper technique of tackling and blocking is vital for the safety of both the offensive and defensive players. Other stations consisted of passing, receiving and different types of set ups and schemes to be used in games. A large amount of success in the camp goes to the high school players for their dedication and of course patience with over 180 energetic youth.
Part of the camp gets the young ladies out to work with the high school cheerleaders and their coaches to teach new cheers, work on and learn additional skills and techniques to prepare the new and current little Dragons to get the crowds fired up and cheer on the guys on the field. The cheer side of the camp brought out around 130 working their way through several stations that taught them toe touches, tumbling and and as stated previously new cheer routines. The high school cheerleaders also were vital in the camps success with their time being volunteered and their heart for these young ladies to have fun and learn at the same time.
With almost 400 youth showing their interest in Dragons youth football and cheer, the high school program should be set for years to come. As Athletic Director for all of Pickens County, Chris Parker has to be excited as they move forward over the next several years.
Another busy month has passed for Pickens County with lots in store for the Summer. On May 22nd voters across the county went to the polls to vote on a variety of elections and ballot questions. The overall voter turnout of registered voters was 25.56 percent with a total of 5,101 votes cast. One local race (District One Commissioner) resulted in a runoff election that will take place on July 24th. Early voting for the runoff will be weekdays July 2-20 (excluding the July 4th holiday) at the Board of Elections. Additionally, the Chamber of Commerce helped to orchestrate a successful partnership for the BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia) that passed through town in early June. This event brought an increase of customers shopping at local establishments.
During the month of May, the Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 110 animals, and 94 animals went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 29 cases. The Department of Planning and Development issued 43 new building permits. The Water Department installed six new meters. The 911 Operations Center received 1,865 total calls, 726 were medical responses and fire related. The Recreation Department pool is now open, and several camps are ongoing throughout the Summer. To keep up to date on PCRD activities follow them on Facebook and Twitter and check out their website: pickrec.com. The Road Department is preparing to begin tar and graveling several roads across the county. They are also continuing to perform routine road maintenance. Subcontractor crews through LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) and SPLOST (Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax) funding are currently paving county-maintained roads within Hunters Ridge. After the crews resurface those roads, they will begin paving the remainder of the 62 roads set to be paved through LMIG. Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working hard for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continues to do a great job of leading these efforts. As work progresses, and projects continue, I will do my best to keep you informed of these developments.
Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!
By: Tucker Green – Pickens County Board of Education Post Three
Monday May 21st was an exciting day for outgoing senior Lizzie Haughwout and her teammates of Pickens High School Soccer. Haughwout put the pen to paper and signed her National Letter of Intent to lace up her cleats and play soccer for Coach Alizira Sisman and the Fillies of ABAC(Abraham Balwin Agricultural College).
Haughwout has played soccer from a young age starting in youth leagues, through middle school and the last four years as a Dragon. She plays probably the toughest position on the field. The Goalkeeper doesn’t like to do a lot but when they do it is physical and their focus has to be spot on.. Lizzie is coming off an injury to her labrum in her right shoulder but is expected to fully recover and get back in the keepers box soon. Haughwout will be an excellent fit for the Fillies both on and off the field. She will major in Pre-Veterinarian studies and plans to get her degree and become a fully licensed Vet after ABAC.
Best of luck to Lizzie Haughwout at ABAC and in her future beyond college.
The 2018 Football season will look different to all who enter the gates of Dragon Stadium this year as a multi-million dollar renovation draws closer to completion. Upon entering the stadium, the eyes of the fans will be immediately drawn to the new artificial turf that has been been put down to replace the natural grass surface that has seen many years of tackles and touchdowns.
As the history of the old field remains in the hearts of Dragons before, a new era of history will begin on Friday May 18, 2018 as the Tigers of Dawson Co. will come in as the first opponent on the new turf and will end the 2018 Spring practice session for the Dragons. As exciting as it will be to see the Dragons take the field on Friday, it is just as exciting to know what actually goes into creating a masterpiece. The new turf is being completed by Deluxe Athletics. Their name might not be known but you will definitely recognize their work. Probably the most recognized on their resume is Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. As the home of the Falcons and Atlanta United, the turf is obviously durable and in Dragons Stadium it will see both football and soccer action for years to come.
The process of installing a surface such as this is fairly complex. After the turf is unloaded from the trucks, it is placed on the ground and rolled into position. Each roll is attached together by a rolling sewing machine and the meticulous job of putting the hash marks, numbers and logos begin. Every hash is individually cut out of the green turf and white strips are placed using a rolling machine that heats industrial strength hot glue to secure them. This process also occurs for the numbers, the logo in the center of the field and also for the end zone logos. Once this is complete the turf is swept with a street sweeper to prepare the surface for the sand and rubber pellets that lie deep within the grains of the artificial grass.
As the sand starts going in, it is monitored to remain at a specific depth and the packed with a commercial roller to ensure firmness and consistency of the playing surface. Following the sand, the crews bring out the rubber pellets to spread over the field. After completion of layer one of pellets, a second layer of sand and pellets are applied and then swept again. In the final process in completing the field a new technological product will be used. Cool Play is a highly advanced pellet that has a surface temp of 35 degrees cooler than traditional pellets used in artificial surfaces.
Also new to the stadium is a state of the art 32 feet high definition Jumbo Tron video board. This will allow player bios and game highlights to stream throughout the game while still functioning as a normal scoreboard. Track and Field for Pickens will benefit from the renovation as well with a new track surface being installed.
The first of many non athletic events that will take place on the new surface is scheduled for May 26, 2018 with the Graduating Class of 2018 receiving their diplomas and heading out in to the world.