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Watkinsville man sentenced to life in prison for killing parents in 2021

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Athens News Podcast

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Athens Script for Saturday, November 3, 2023

And here are your top stories presented by Drake Realty.

Story 1: Watkinsville man sentenced to life in prison for killing parents in 2021

A 21-year-old Watkinsville man, Peyton Moyer, was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his mother and step-father. The crimes occurred on December 28, 2021, when Moyer killed Benjamin “Benji” Smith, 54, and Ashley E. Schutza, 41, at their home. Moyer pleaded guilty to two counts of malice murder, but mentally ill, along with other charges such as possessing a gun during a felony and cruelty to children. The court imposed a life sentence followed by 15 years in confinement. Moyer's two sisters, ages 16 and 4, were present during the killings. Family members expressed the impact of the crime during the hearing, describing it as "beyond crippling." Moyer did not address the court, but his attorney stated that his client's mental instability played a significant role in the events…..This from the Athens – Banner Herald


Story 2: Athens Lumberyard Bursts Into Flames

No one was injured in an early Friday morning fire at a Tallassee Road lumberyard, Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services said. Crews were at Hogan's Lumber around 6:30 a.m. battling the blaze. The fire department shared scene photos on Facebook, showing the large flames and billowing smoke filling the air. The cause and origin of the fire are unknown….. This from the Patch


Story 3: GA homeowner shocked after neighborhood kids tell her about ‘giant lizard’ found under home

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding reptile owners about new regulations requiring the tagging and registration of six newly regulated reptile species in the state. This reminder follows the capture of an Argentine black and white tegu, an invasive lizard, under an Athens home last month. The tegu was discovered when children in the neighborhood reported seeing a "giant lizard" in the yard. Owners of these reptiles must tag them with a passive integrated transponder tag and register them with the DNR by the deadline of December 3. The new regulations aim to prevent the release of such species into the wild, where they can establish populations…. This from WSB-TV


Story 4: Scammers call Athens residents; one falls for it, but one won't bend

In Athens-Clarke County, two separate incidents involving scams were reported. In the first incident, a 46-year-old man fell victim to a caller posing as a Clarke County sheriff’s deputy. The caller claimed the man's wife was in jail and demanded $1,785 to bail her out. The man followed the scammer's instructions, sending $1,000 through Wells Fargo and the remainder in gift cards from Walmart. The next day, another victim named Meagan Porter received a call from someone claiming to be Lt. Butler, who stated that there was a warrant for her arrest due to missing jury duty. He demanded $1,800 to avoid arrest. Porter became suspicious, asking for the caller's full name and badge number, which he couldn't provide. After some red flags, Porter refused to send money and reported the incident to the sheriff’s office. It's concerning that the scammer had access to personal information, such as previous jury duty summons details…. This from the Athens – Banner Herald


Story 5: UGA to offer state’s first Ph.D. in regenerative bioscience

The University of Georgia (UGA) has introduced a Ph.D. program in regenerative bioscience, marking the first such program in the state. Set to begin in spring 2024, the program will be jointly administered by the Regenerative Bioscience Center and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It aims to provide interdisciplinary training opportunities, focusing on areas such as biomanufacturing of cellular therapies and tissues, biomaterials for tissue engineering, gene therapy, biomedical imaging, and biomedical computation. Students will conduct research in various health-related fields, including stroke, heart disease, musculoskeletal disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and more. The program will also prepare students for non-academic careers, offering entrepreneurship and technology commercialization training in partnership with UGA's Innovation Gateway…. This from The Red & Black



Story 6: 2 shot during large brawl in downtown Athens early Sunday morning

A large brawl near the University of Georgia campus in Athens led to two people being shot early on a Sunday morning. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. at the intersection of West Clayton Street and Hull Street. Athens-Clarke County Police, who were in the vicinity, heard gunshots and responded immediately. They found a crowd in the middle of the road and worked to disperse those involved in the fight. Two individuals with gunshot wounds to their torsos were discovered and taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries; fortunately, both are expected to survive. The victims' names and ages have not been released, and investigators are seeking photos or videos of the brawl to help with their inquiry. Those with information are urged to contact Det. Hovie Lister or Sgt. Scott Black….. This from Fox 5



Story 7: Hickory horned devil might sound like a scary Halloween creature, but it's actually a caterpillar

The hickory horned devil caterpillar (Citheronia regalis) is a fascinating and intimidating-looking creature found during this time of year. It has a mint-green body covered in tubercles with black tips, creating a fearsome appearance. However, it's not dangerous to humans. This caterpillar feeds on various tree leaves and, after reaching a substantial size, buries itself underground to undergo metamorphosis. The fearsome appearance serves as an evolutionary defense mechanism to deter predators. When disturbed, the caterpillar writhes and twists to fend off potential threats. In its final form, it transforms into the regal moth, displaying beautiful autumnal-colored wings…. This from the Athens – Banner Herald


Story 8: Drunk UGA student attempts to steal wooden pallet from Sanford Stadium

On October 21, a female UGA student was found unconscious and shaking uncontrollably in a McWhorter Hall bedroom. It was determined that she had consumed one and a half 10-milligram Delta 9 THC gummies along with multiple alcoholic beverages. The responding officer attempted to wake her, but she remained unresponsive. Emergency medical services were called, and they discovered that the student had a high heart rate, suggesting an overconsumption of the THC gummies. This incident highlights the potential risks associated with combining THC edibles and alcohol, emphasizing the importance of responsible consumption and awareness of potential health consequences….This from the Red & Black


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Some of your top suggestions were:

Meagan Smith-Williams from Buford tagged Martavious Foster and said “Martavious Foster did mine today and it looks amazing!”


Holly Berejikian from Athens said “Hunt for Details is the best!”

Logan Strayhorn from Bethleham commented “Hey there! I’d love to help you out! Natural Finish Auto Detailing 470-549-4880”

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