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Barnesville.com

Travis Ball going to prison for threatening to kill Joe Biden, blow up White House

From justice.gov:

A Georgia man was sentenced to prison for threatening to kill the President of the United States and blow up the White House, following an investigation that included multiple death threats issued against local judges, law enforcement and a threat letter containing a white powdery substance sent to the U.S. Courthouse in Macon.

Travis Ball, 56, of Barnesville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 33 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine by Chief U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell on Nov. 30 after he previously pleaded guilty to threats against the President. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Sending death threats and purported anthrax is not protected speech — it is a crime,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I applaud the investigative work by our federal and local law enforcement partners to secure justice in this case.”

“The sentencing in federal court of Mr. Ball is commensurate with the wasted resources and concern generated by his hate-filled hoax anthrax letter campaign,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “While Mr. Ball’s criminal conduct clearly illustrates his lack of concern and compassion for others, it also illustrates an unwillingness to be rehabilitated.”

“The U.S. Secret Service works closely with law enforcement and criminal justice partners at every level to investigate threats against our protectees,” said U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Clint Bush with the Albany, Georgia, Resident Office. “Our zero-fail mission requires a tireless dedication from thousands of agents and investigators across the country to ensure the nation’s highest elected officials are protected from criminals like Travis Ball. Those who perpetrate these crimes must be held accountable for their actions, and we are thankful for the strong partnership we enjoy with the Department of Justice.”

According to court documents and other evidence, Ball sent a series of letters using another individual’s name as an alias to a variety of local and county government offices and officials, including judges with the Superior Court of Jones County, Georgia, and the Jones County Sheriff’s Office in March 2021. On March 23, 2021, a threat letter signed with the same name and the same return address was received at the U.S. District Courthouse for the Middle District of Georgia, which contained a white powdery substance. At that point, federal law enforcement agencies, including FBI, began investigating the source of the letters and identified Ball as the suspected author.

On March 23, 2021, a warrant was executed at Ball’s residence and agents noted that Ball was residing in the front living room where he slept on a cot and spent most of his time on a laptop computer and writing letters. One of the items seized was a stack of white leaflet notebook paper that matched the threat letters found on the mantle above his cot. The top page had the impression of a letter. Investigators lightly shaded the page with a pencil and discovered that it contained an explicit threat against the President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, dated on March 8, 2021, which stated, “HATE YOU JOE BIDEN AND AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND EVERYONE IN THE WHITEHOUSE! I’M A PSYCHO KILLER AND AM GOING TO BLOWUP THE WHITEHOUSE AND KILL EVERYONE IN IT! IM SERIOUS AND NOT KIDDING! LOCK ME UP OR ALL OF YOU WILL DIE! HAVE SOME ANTHRAX YOU BASTARDS!” The White House Mail Sorting Facility received the letter on March 30, 2021, which was turned over to U.S. Secret Service.

Ball was convicted of felony hoax threats in the Northern District of Georgia in June 2017 after he sent letters to the State Bar of Georgia and to Atlanta Newspapers in 2016 that contained a white powdery substance with threats to “kill all of you” and “have some anthrax.” Ball was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on June 23, 2017.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Kalim prosecuted the case for the Government.

Hey kids: We want your Letters to Santa

Keeping a long-standing tradition, The Herald Gazette will publish Letters to Santa Claus from children of all ages in the Dec. 20 print edition. We don’t want your letter to be left out.

Letters may be e-mailed to missy@barnesville.com. They can also be dropped off at our office at 509 Greenwood St. in Barnesville or mailed to Santa Claus, P.O. Box 220, Barnesville, Ga. 30204.

The deadline to submit your letter is Dec. 9.

For more information, call 770.358.NEWS.

Going back in time to visit with Kenny Roberts, hog calling champion

The late Kenny Roberts worked for the City of Barnesville for most of his adult life and rose up through the ranks to the office of city manager. Back in the day, however, Kenny was a champion hog caller.

Andy Johnston, of Ideagroup in Acworth, hosted the highly-popular Georgia Traveler show on WSB TV back in the 1970s. He did this feature on Kenny and his hog-calling expertise back in 1974 and sent it to us.

Enjoy!

Early voter turnout strong again

Early voting in the December 6 general election runoff got underway Monday morning here and runs through Friday. Ballots may be cast at the elections board office in the county administrative building off Thomaston Street daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There is one local race on the ballot. Glen Allen and Ashley Gilles, both Republicans, will battle for the District 3 seat on the Lamar County commission.Ballots will also feature the highly touted battle between incumbent US Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

At noon Monday, elections supervisor Anita Reid and her staff had already served 203 early voters and processed 73 absentee ballots and turnout has remained strong since.

For more information, call 770.358.5235.

Milner Community Library has big Christmas events planned for Saturday

The Milner Community Library will ring in the Christmas season with multiple events Saturday, Dec. 3.

Santa will be at the library for pictures with the kids from noon- 2 p.m. There will be hot chocolate, cider and candy canes for refreshments.

After the photo op session, Santa will lead the golf cart parade which begins at the library at 2:30 p.m. The best decorated golf kart will win $100. Second and third place will receive gifts cards.

The parade entry fee is $10. Entry forms are available at the library. For more information, call 770.358.5063.

School bus, truck collide; no injuries

A Lamar County school bus collided with a red compact pickup truck early Monday morning. There were nine middle school students and a driver on the bus when the crash occurred in front of the high school at 6:54 a.m.

They and the female driver of the truck were assessed and no injuries were reported.

More to follow…

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