2023 Year In Review – April

Continuing WNEG News’ look back at 2023, we take a look at the top stories in April:


On April 25, Toccoa City Commissioner Jeanette Jamieson passed away at her home. Jamieson was a veteran public servant serving six-years as a Stephens County Commissioner, 24 years as an elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives and had served as a City Commissioner since 2014.

During her time in the Georgia House of Representatives, Jamieson was the first woman to chair a major committee and the first woman in Georgia’s history to serve as the Governor’s Floor Leader.

Jamieson received the “President’s Award for Innovative Government” from President George W. Bush for her role in Rural Development.

Toccoa Mayor David Austin talked about Jamieson’s impact.

“I was very sad about her passing. I’ve known Jeanette for about five decades now. She was County Commissioner, she’s been a State Representative and for the last few years, she’s been a City Commissioner. So, she’s had a tremendous impact,” Austin said. “Not only locally but across Georgia with the different offices she’s been in. She’s always been a good friend to me and I’ve always gone to her for advice on different things. She’s helped me both personally and professionally. You always knew where you stood with Jeanette and that was a good thing. Her wisdom and advice and help with the decision-making process serving on the commission – we’re going to miss that and miss her as a friend, too.”


On April 28, The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious person complaint in the area of Valley Drive, in Toccoa, and were met by 18 rounds of gunfire. According to Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, complainants in the area of Valley Drive, in Toccoa, called 911 to report a suspicious male walking in the area with a rifle. As deputies encountered the suspect, later identified as 37-year-old Jerry Wayne Dickson, of Toccoa, he was carrying a semi-automatic rifle, and began firing at the deputies striking two Sheriff’s Office cruisers. Shirley says one deputy was grazed by one of multiple rounds being fired. Deputies cruisers were struck numerous times in the windshield and the driver’s side. Deputies returned fire as the suspect fled on foot. Shirley says, while fleeing, the suspect threw his weapon in a wooded area and shed his clothing. The suspect was tracked and located a short distance later by the Sheriff’s Office K9. He was taken into custody without further incident. Shirley says Deputies recovered two clips from what appears to be an AR-15 rifle.