WQCH & Georgia 93.7 Local News Headlines 6-8-23


Authorities have made a breakthrough in a long-standing murder case. A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the 2016 killing of Donald Fickey, Jr. in Walker County. This arrest comes after the cause of Fickey’s death was initially labeled as “undetermined.”

Medical examiners and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) had initially ruled Fickey’s death as a homicide, but three years ago, the GBI reversed their findings. However, new evidence has now come to light, confirming that Fickey was indeed the victim of a murder.

Authorities took 50-year-old Marshall Ralph Payne into custody on Tuesday night in Murray County, where he resides. Payne is now facing charges related to the murder of Fickey.  In April, a Walker County Grand Jury indicted Payne, paving the way for his arrest. The details surrounding the motive for Fickey’s murder are still under investigation, and authorities are working diligently to uncover any additional information related to the case.

The Walker County Detention Center reports that 35 year old Sandougal Isidro Sanchez was arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation.  John Robert Beard, 36-years-old was booked on felony possession of a schedule II.  31-year-old Jacob Daniel Beard was charged with willful obstruction and selling schedule II.

The Walker County Animal Shelter says they have 83 adoptable dogs.  The number doesn’t include dogs at the shelter on a cruelty hold or a court hold.  The shelter has only 48 kennels, so most dogs are double penned.  To adopt a shelter dog, visit the Walker County Animal Shelter.

The world’s longest-running country music festival starts Thursday.  It’s CMA Fest’s 50th anniversary!

It’s all taking place in downtown Nashville Thursday through Sunday.  Festival-goers can take advantage of dozens of shows and meet-and-greets featuring some of the most well-known, and up-and-coming country music artists.