Monday, October 18, 2021

Stone Mountain Memorial Association to meet on Oct. 25

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the state-chartered authority that oversees Stone Mountain Park, on Monday announced its next meeting will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 25 at the Evergreen Conference Center inside the park.

The agenda for the meeting indicates it will include a year-to-date financial report and an executive session not open to the public.

The last meeting of the SMMA was on September 20. The SMMA board is seeking a business to operate the park's attractions and replace a Herschend Family Entertainment subsidiary that is leaving the park next summer after more two decades.

A portion of the Oct. 25 meeting will include public comments, but the agenda says speakers must be "scheduled" prior to the meeting. Only five members of the public will be allowed to speak and they will be limited to three minutes each. 

In August, the association voted to adopt a new logo that removed a depiction of the mountain's carving of Confederate leaders. The carving on the mountain, the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world, remains. It portrays Confederate figures Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.

Get Out To Vote Rally in Stone Mountain on Saturday

A Get Out To Vote rally is scheduled to take place in downtown Stone Mountain on Saturday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event on Saturday will take place adjacent to the Stone Mountain Visitor's Center and the city's main parking lot on Main St.

The City of Stone Mountain granted a permit for the event to St. Paul AME Church, which is located on Third St. in the city's Shermantown neighborhood.

Speakers, candidates and music will be featured at the rally, which is intended to encourage voting in the upcoming November election.

Online child exploitation arrest made in Stone Mountain

A 45-year-old Newton County Man was arrested on Friday in Stone Mountain as part of a state and local investigation into online exploitation and child molestation.

Derrick Crooms was arrested by federal marshals acting on a tip. He was charged with two counts of incest, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. He was transported from Stone Mountain to the Newton County Jail. 

The GBI has been working on an investigation with the sheriff's offices in Newton and Oconee counties for almost a year, following a request from the Oconee County Sheriff's Office. Their probe alleges the crimes occurred in Newton County as well as at other locations around the country.

The GBI says the arrest is part of an ongoing effort by its Internet Crime Against Children Task Force, a program created by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Crooms' wife, Rachel Overton, a traveling nurse, was arrested in February in Wisconsin. Authorities said she was aware of but failed to report Croom's criminal acts to law enforcement. After she was returned to Georgia, she was charged with third-degree cruelty to children and failure to report as mandated. She has been released on bail.

Tips about similar crimes can be provided to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870 or submitted anonymously by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.