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Marietta Daily Journal Podcast

Cobb boy who died in frozen lake called a hero for rescuing friend

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The 16-year-old who died after falling into a partially frozen lake in Kennesaw last week has been hailed as a hero by his family, who said he died after trying to save a friend from the icy waters.

The teen who died was identified as Koren Troy Brooks on social media, where his aunt paid tribute to him.

Brandy Wells, Brooks’ aunt, called her nephew a hero on Facebook, sharing a GoFundMe page she created to benefit her sister.

As of late afternoon Tuesday, the fundraiser had raised nearly $16,000.

Brooks was a junior at Kennesaw Mountain High School, according to Wells.

A Kennesaw Police Department report provides new details about the sequence of events which led to Brooks’ death on Wednesday, December 28. A KPD officer who was first on scene wrote that he arrived at Ellison Lake off Cobb Parkway around 5:10 p.m. There, he observed a juvenile male clinging to broken ice and calling for help about 25 yards from the shoreline. After removing police gear, the officer carefully ventured out onto the ice, making it about 15 yards before it began cracking. By that point, another officer and a sergeant had retrieved a garden hose from a nearby townhome. The officers on the shore threw the hose to the KPD officer, who in turn threw it to the juvenile, and he was pulled onto the ice and back to the shore.

That juvenile, also 16, was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and survived.

Once out of the water, the juvenile told police another juvenile male, Brooks, was still in the water. The KPD officer ventured back out onto the ice, “to about the same spot as before,” before the ice cracked, and the officer fell in the water. The officer was unable to continue his search as the cold water took his breath away. Cobb Fire arrived on scene shortly thereafter and began rescue operations. The fire department previously said that Brooks was not pulled from the water until about 6:50 p.m., roughly an hour and 40 minutes after the first officers arrived on scene. 

The West Cobb Senior Center, one of the three county facilities damaged during last week’s freezing temperatures, partially reopened Wednesday.

Two other facilities will remain closed for the time being after suffering water damage from burst pipes.

The West Cobb Senior Center, C. Freeman Poole Senior Center, and Vinings library branch were all damaged during Christmas weekend when temperatures dropped into the teens.

The C. Freeman Poole Senior Center is expected to reopen in mid-March, the county said on social media, with its winter quarter classes canceled.

Meanwhile, the Vinings library remains closed indefinitely. Patrons with pickup items at the Vinings branch can retrieve them at the Lewis A. Ray Library in Smyrna.

 Cobb County’s population grew by one a few hours into the new year.

Tyler and Lillian Tate welcomed a 7-pound, 15-ounce boy, Aiden, who was born Sunday at 5:09 a.m. at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta, according to a news release.

Baby Aiden, however, was not the first child of 2023 to be born in the Marietta-based health system, which includes nine hospitals in seven counties.

That distinction goes to Kaylor Lane, a girl who arrived at 2:02 a.m. at Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange.

The 7-pound, 14-ounce baby was born to parents Kaci Fowler and Cam Cobb.

Florida safety Rashad Torrence II found playing time as soon as he stepped on campus in 2020.

For the last two years, the former Marietta High School standout has been a starter in the Gators’ defensive backfield, and he wrapped up the 2022 season by making eight tackles against Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl last month.

Over the holiday weekend, the 6-foot, 202-pound Torrence decided to make that his final college football game.

With up to two years of eligibility remaining, he decided forego them and enter his name into the NFL draft. He made the announcement on social media. Torrence led Florida in tackles this year with 84, including 50 solo. He also had a forced fumble, fumble recovery and a pass breakup, and he had three double-digit tackle games, including a season-high 13 against Tennessee and 11 against Georgia.

For his career, Torrence started 28 games over three seasons. He finished with 196 tackles, including 111 solo, as well as three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and six passes defended.

The consensus of the draft websites has Torrence as a late second- or early third-day selection, going between the third and fifth rounds.

Torrence also becomes the second former Blue Devil to declare for the draft this year, joining LSU linebacker BJ Ojulari. If both are selected, they would join New York Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari, giving Marietta three players in the NFL.

 The profile of a major road project is starting to take shape.

Along Windy Hill Road from South Cobb Drive to Atlanta Road, workers are carving out a channel through which new express lanes will be built, meant to spirit commuters along the east-west artery. Above grade, existing lanes will one day be converted to one-way “frontage roads,” with slower speeds and better pedestrian access.

The road, a major thoroughfare, links to Interstate 75 in the east and becomes Macland Road in west Cobb. The Windy Hill Boulevard project, a $55 million makeover along a roughly mile-long section that runs through Smyrna, is jointly funded by the city and Cobb County, and began in February 2020.

The MDJ previously reported the city expects construction to finish after the originally scheduled end date of May 2023. The city was not able to provide an estimated completion date Tuesday, but longtime Councilman Charles “Corkey” Welch said the wait will be worth it. Welch said he’s supported the project from the beginning despite it being “plagued” with issues, such as difficulties moving utilities, inflation in the cost of building materials, and weather delays.

An Atlanta man who escaped from law enforcement custody in October has been apprehended again.

Authorities allege that Deontavious Robertson escaped from custody on October 12, fleeing on foot from a Mableton apartment where he had been detained by Cobb County sheriff’s deputies. Police searched for Robertson for hours, putting nearby City View Elementary on lockdown, according to arrest warrants.

While that search was unsuccessful, Robertson was eventually arrested last Friday and booked into the Cobb County jail, according to jail records.

According to warrants for his arrest, Cobb sheriff’s deputies encountered Robertson on October 12 while serving an eviction at the Mableton Ridge apartment complex off Mableton Parkway. Robertson, who was found sleeping in the master bedroom, told deputies he was staying there with his girlfriend. Deputies found a loaded 9 mm pistol on a shelf in a closet, after Robertson and his girlfriend had said there were no weapons in the apartment, per the warrants.

Robertson is accused in warrants of providing a fake name and date of birth to the deputies. He did, however, admit that “he had served time in prison, thereby violating,” state law, which prohibits convicted felons from possessing guns.

Deputies subsequently handcuffed Robertson. They were awaiting the arrival of a mobile fingerprint scanner to identify him when he “suddenly jumped up and began running from the scene,” according to the warrants.

Deputies chased Robertson but were unsuccessful in locating him. Cobb police assisted in a roughly two-hour search, using dogs and drones, per the warrants. City View Elementary, just around the corner, was placed on lockdown.

While the initial search was unsuccessful, investigators were able to learn Robertson’s identity, according to the warrants, and discovered he also had warrants out of Fulton County and Warren County, both for probation violation.

#CobbCounty #Georgia #LocalNews     






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