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Marietta Daily Journal Podcast

23-year-old died in West Cobb wreck

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  A 23-year-old died from injuries sustained in a Sunday car wreck in west Cobb, police announced.

Amarjeet S. Ranhotra of Acworth was killed in the crash, which occurred on Due West Road near its intersection with Lanesborough Drive, according to the Cobb County Police Department.

Ranhotra was driving eastbound in a 2002 silver Honda Odyssey, police said. At around 7:30 a.m., while negotiating a left curve, Ranhotra lost control and crossed into the westbound lane. The right side of the Honda collided with the front of a brown 2012 Ford F-250.

Ranhotra was fatally injured and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the Ford was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with injuries described as non-life threatening.


A Smyrna man was arrested Saturday evening, accused by police of causing a crash at South Cobb Parkway and Spinks Drive that left another man seriously injured.

Selvin De Jesus Herrera-Lopez, 31, is charged with seven misdemeanors, including DUI, open container and reckless driving, according to jail records. Marietta police say his 2021 Toyota Tacoma struck the rear of 62-year-old Christopher Okabah’s Toyota Camry around 6:50 p.m. Saturday.

Marietta police said Herrera-Lopez was speeding, traveling south on Cobb Parkway, when he failed to yield for Okabah. After being struck by Herrera-Lopez, Okabah’s vehicle struck the rear of a stopped 2020 Jeep Gladiator driven a 41-year-old man from Florida.

According to police, Herrera-Lopez’s truck rolled over once before landing back on its wheels and coming to rest on the side of the road.

Okabah sustained serious injuries and was transported to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital for treatment, police said. Herrera-Lopez and the Florida man sustained minor injuries.

Hat tricks are usually kept for soccer or hockey.

It's not often you find one on the football field, but that is exactly what happened over a 7 minute period in McEachern's 26-0 victory over Alpharetta in the second round of the Class 7A flag football playoffs on Tuesday.

Senior Kye Giddens intercepted three passes on three consecutive Alpharetta drives. She set up two short touchdown drives on the first two, but on the third, she returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 40.3 seconds left in the first half.

The effort helped the Indians remain undefeated at 18-0, and they will host Milton, which they beat 7-6 in the season opener, in the state quarterfinals on Thursday. 

Giddens, who is mainly a wide receiver on offense, made one of her few times on defense count against Alpharetta.

Crunch time came with 7:39 to play in the first half. Amber Kirkpatrick had just thrown her first touchdown pass of the game to give the Indians a 7-0 lead. On the first play of the ensuing Alpharetta drive, Giddens grabbed her first interception to set the offense up with a short field. 

Two plays later, Kirkpatrick connected with De'Aysia Williams for a touchdown with 3:48 to play for a 13-0 lead.

The win was the 12th shutout of the season, and now the Indians will try to do something they haven't done before. All three years they have advanced to the state quarterfinals, but they have yet to advance to the semifinals. 

Of the eight teams remaining in the Class 7A playoffs, McEachern is one of four Cobb County teams still alive. 

Marietta advanced to quarterfinals by beating Wheeler 26-0 in opener, then defeated Archer 6-0. Allatoona downed Westlake and Centennial by identical 26-7 scores, and Pope (beat Osborne 27-7 in Round 1 and followed by rolling past Grayson 32-12. 

The Blue Devils will host North Gwinnett, the Buccaneers will host Roswell and the Greyhounds will travel to Blessed Trinity on Thursday. The winners will advance to the semifinals December 5 at the Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch

A new bike station in Cobb’s commercial hub was unveiled Tuesday, now the eighth of the network.

The station is next to the Battery’s Silver Deck on Circle 75 Parkway, steps from Truist Park. Riders will have direct access to the Cobb Galleria across the pedestrian bridge over I-285, along with dozens of miles of trails around the area.

With the launch of the station by the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID), it brings the program’s total fleet up to about 40 bikes.

As with the rest of Cumberland’s fleet, the bikes are unlocked using a QR code printed on their body. The first hour of a ride is free, followed by a fee of $3 per hour. Ali Nuckles of Georgia Commute Options, a group that aims to reduce pollution by encouraging alternative transportation modes, said the bike share program would help reduce emissions and traffic.

Other stations are located near the Galleria, Cumberland Mall, the Rottenwood Creek trailhead, and on the far side of the Battery.

The CID hopes to soon open a ninth station along Akers Mill Road, between Cumberland Boulevard and Powers Ferry Road. That expansion will bring the fleet up to 45 bikes.

Interested residents can look up the full trail network along with bike station locations at cumberlandtrails.org.

On Giving Tuesday, the day of charitable giving that follows the commercial holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a Cobb County YMCA distributed food to local families at Smyrna’s Brumby Elementary.

The Northeast Cobb Family YMCA distributes food every week. This Tuesday, each family could receive fresh onions, apples, cabbage, cucumbers and bread, along with canned goods. Gayle Battersby, the director of operations at the Northeast Cobb Family YMCA in east Cobb, said they partner with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to provide the produce.

YMCAs across the country scaled up their food distribution programs in March of 2020. Battersby said when the pandemic hit, the number of families requiring help shot up. At one point, the Northeast Cobb YMCA was providing food to about 475 Cobb families weekly. That number declined as the pandemic receded, but she said it recently spiked again to around 270 as the cost of rent and gas has increased.

The food is distributed almost entirely by a team of volunteers, and the funds for the program are raised entirely by the Northeast Cobb YMCA.

According to volunteer Joan Cotter, the crowd of people receiving food on Tuesday was small compared to the usual turnout. She said last week, before Thanksgiving, the volunteers had to organize the cars into five separate lines.

On Giving Tuesday, the Journal counted 15 cars in line 30 minutes after the event began.


Troop 353 held an Eagle Scout ceremony on November 19 at Burnt hickory Baptist Church.

The scouts were:

  • Tyler Clement, a senior at Hillgrove High School, whose project was a Tranquility Garden at Cobb Hospital.
  • Jacob Fisher, a senior at Allatoona High School, whose project was building a Gaga Ball pit at Due West United Methodist Church.
  • Luke White, a senior at Living Science Academy, whose project was a playground fence at Cobb Vineyard Church in Kennesaw.
  • Sean Cauffiel, a senior at Harrison High School, whose project was a Butterfly Garden at Ford Elementary.
  • Daniel Hurley, a senior at Harrison High School, whose project was an outdoor clasroom at Ford Elementary.

All of these scouts started together as Cub Scouts, rose through the ranks and crossed over to Troop 353. They all stayed in their own patrol and made Eagle together.

#CobbCounty #Georgia #LocalNews     






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