published Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Region Digest: Volunteer faces inmate sex charge

DUNLAP, Tenn.

Volunteer faces inmate sex charge

A volunteer at the Sequatchie County Jail has been charged with having sexual contact with an inmate and coercion of a witness, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Charles Rawlins, 63, of 198 Elm St., Dunlap, was arrested Tuesday on the charges, according to a news release from the state agency.

On July 22, the TBI and the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office began investigating allegations that Rawlins was having sexual contact with an inmate while volunteering with the jail ministry program and overseeing the county food bank where inmates work, the TBI release states.

Earlier this week Rawlins approached a witness in the investigation who felt threatened by a comment Rawlins made about the case against him, according to the release.

Rawlins is being held without bond until a court appearance set for Friday, officials said.

DeKALB COUNTY, Ala.

Two men arrested on drug charges

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and drug task force arrested two men late Tuesday on methamphetamine-related charges.

A deputy pulled over Mentone, Ala., resident Stephen Conrad Hawkins, 46, on Highway 117 when the deputy noticed what appeared to be a meth lab in the car, a news release stated.

Hawkins was arrested on charges of drug possession and manufacturing, according to the release.

That same night, a deputy and drug task force agent pulled over Fort Payne, Ala., resident James D. Craft, 34, and discovered he had meth and drug paraphernalia, a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office release said.

Craft was charged with drug possession, the release stated.

DALTON, Ga.

Coin, currency show begins

The Blue Ridge Numismatic Association’s 52nd annual convention, billed as the largest coin and currency show in Dalton, begins Friday and runs through Sunday, according to a news release.

The show will feature 200 tables of dealers, free educational programs Friday and Saturday and a program for young collectors on Saturday. “Robert E. Lee” will appear to talk about his life, his role during the Civil War and to present the young collectors program.

For more information, email forvm@CFL.rr.com or call Chairman Bob Hurst at 321-383-1742.

Zero Tolerance starts Friday

Starting Friday, the Dalton Police Department will take part in Operation Zero Tolerance, which runs through Labor Day on Sept. 5.

The operation is a nationwide program in which law enforcement agencies look for those driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and work to raise public awareness of the consequences of driving while impaired, according to a news release.

Concentrated patrols and random road checks will be conducted throughout Dalton at strategic locations, the release stated.

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