Road to close temporarily in Snellville

SNELLVILLE - As part of the $31 million widening and removal of the reversible lane system on U.S. Highway 78, the Georgia Department of Transportation has announced a detour to facilitate that reconstruction at the intersection of Britt Drive.

Beginning Tuesday, the Britt Drive side of the intersection with U.S. Highway 78 will close. It's scheduled to reopen June 9.

"The grade of Britt Drive will be raised about five feet to improve the sight distance a driver can see from Britt turning onto U.S. Highway 78," said DOT spokesman Russell McMurry. "If you are on U.S. Highway 78 westbound and need to get to Britt Drive the detour route will be U.S. Highway 78 to Parkwood Road to Elmwood Circle and onto Britt Drive. Britt will be closed from its intersection with U.S. Highway 78 to Elmwood Circle."

For more information about this project or other road construction, visit

Murder trial postponed

LAWRENCE-VILLE - The murder trial of Jason Paul Pirkle scheduled to begin this week has been postponed.

Assistant District Attorney Jon Setzer said Pirkle's defense attorney filed a motion for continuance. Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor is presiding.

In an e-mail, Pirkle's attorney, Mike White, confirmed filing a written motion but declined to go into specifics.

"I filed a written motion for continuance with the court which is public record and you are welcome to look at it," White said.

Pirkle is accused of fatally stabbing his brother, Tracy, during a drunken brawl last May.

Police believe fight was triggered when Tracy Pirkle, 30, struck his wife, Brittany, after the couple argued about a misplaced wallet in their Hampton Square Drive apartment in Lawrenceville.

Family members have disputed that, claiming Jason Pirkle was fueled by alcohol and prescription pills when he launched an attack on his brother with a pocket knife.

Tracy Pirkle died in an area hospital from a stab to his heart an hour after the fight, police said.

Setzer said the new trial date is undetermined at this time.