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Woodstock man sentenced to 20 years for domestic violence & drugs

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A Woodstock man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of multiple assaults on his girlfriend as well as drug charges.

Justin Cameron Finnegan, 22, was convicted of kidnapping, possession of Schedule II controlled substances, violating a family violence court order, family violence aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and other charges, the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen McElyea sentenced Finnegan on September 16, to 20 years in prison followed by 10 years on probation. Probation conditions include no contact with the victim or witnesses in the case, mental health and substance abuse assessments, completion of a family violence intervention program, no alcohol and drug use, and no firearms.

Charges stem from multiple domestic violence incidents over the course of five months in 2021.


A Helen woman has been arrested after authorities say she stole all the contents of a mailbox from a northeast Cherokee County business, including customers' checks.

Ashley Burgess is accused of taking all the mail from the mailbox at Longhorn's Sanitation on Franklin Goldmine Road near Cumming between March and May, according to an arrest warrant filed Oct. 18 by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office. The warrant says Gordon County sheriff’s deputies, during a traffic stop, found her in possession of the mail, which included over 30 checks from customers and registration information for 10 of the company’s vehicles. Burgess was booked in the Cherokee County jail early Dec. 1. She is charged with 44 felony counts of identity theft fraud.

As of December 1, she remained in custody with bond set at $214,500.


Herschel Walker brought his Senate campaign to Woodstock Thursday, where he spoke to supporters on the importance of voting for him and strengthening the military.

Over 100 people came to Black Rifle Coffee Company Thursday night to see Walker, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, Sen. Lindsey Graham and other speakers, according to local law enforcement at the event.

Walker, a Republican who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, started by thanking God, his family and everyone for attending. He urged everyone to vote for him in the December 6 runoff election. Walker first spoke about the problems he said he sees with the military, revolving around issues of "wokeness," COVID-19 vaccines and the need to "support the men and women fighting for this country and strengthen the military." Other issues he said he wants to address if elected include addressing racism and critical race theory and "not seeing color," "respecting law enforcement," reducing crime, controlling borders and inflation, as well as "putting Georgia and America first."

Bryce Leatherwood from Cherokee County has made it to the top eight on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Leatherwood was one of eight to move on to the next round from the Top 10 Live Playoffs this week. Three contestants will be eliminated next week. 

Monday, Leatherwood performed Morgan Wallen's “Sand in My Boots,” and received enough votes to make the top seven and automatically advance.

In the live shows, the top remaining artists compete against each other weekly during a live broadcast. In this round, the audience votes to “save” their favorite artists, rather than the coaches. You can watch Leatherwood’s performance on YouTube. “The Voice” airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC and Peacock TV.


Sequoyah senior Taylor Pecht was named a first-team All-American by MaxPreps on Tuesday, joining an elite group of 60 honorees from across the country.

Pecht, a setter, made the All-American team as a first-team all-around player after helping lead the Chiefs to a 37-4 overall record, a 7-0 mark in Region 6AAAAAA and a Class AAAAAA state runner-up finish. She finished the season with 1,200 assists, 286 digs and 52 kills. As a three-time all-state setter, Pecht capped off her high school career with 4,657 total assists, along with 999 digs and 232 kills. She crossed the 4,000-assist mark this season at the Rally High tournament in Emerson.

Pecht was one of five players from Georgia to be honored, along with Buford’s Ashley Sturzoiu on the first team and Polly Cummings on the second team, and Pope teammates Sophie Harvey and Cooper Abney on the second team.

Following the season, Pecht was also selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-America team alongside teammate and fellow senior Skylar Martin. Pecht was an honorable mention, while Martin, an LSU commit, earned first-team recognition with a team-best 588 digs.

Pecht finished her four-year career at Sequoyah with a 162-13 overall record, including a 50-win campaign in 2021. She led a dangerous Chiefs offense and helped elevate her teammates.


Woodstock Arts is bringing a traditional German Christmas market to downtown Woodstock this weekend.

Christkindl Market, part of Woodstock Arts’ festival series, will start at 11 a.m. Sunday and is scheduled to be open until 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Arts Event Green.

The market will be designed much like a traditional German Christmas market, with traditionally dressed carolers, food, activities for the whole family, local artists and crafters and a special performance from the cast of Woodstock Arts’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Activities include wreath making, gingerbread decorating, local music happening throughout the day and more. At the end of the evening there will be classic holiday shorts played on the Woodstock Arts LED Screen. All the Woodstock Arts festivals are free to attend.

#CherokeeCounty #Georgia #LocalNews          







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