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Top Stories Around Northwest Georgia

Calhoun & Gordon County

Two Injured in Wednesday Night Accident...Around 9:45 pm (5/24) a two vehicle accident happened at Peters Street and East Belmont Drive. Calhoun Police responded and found at least one person trapped inside their vehicle. One of two patients was taken to Gordon Hospital, while the other was transported to Floyd Medical Center. Police Detectives are investigating to determine what factors contributed to the cause of the accident.

No Damages Locally from Wednesday Storms...Gordon County Deputies responded to some weather related-reports of trees blown over into roadways after Wednesday's storms; Trees were reported down and blocking SR 136 near Nickelsville and US 411 near Ranger. Crews worked diligently to get debris removed from roads so that traffic could resume normal flow again. There were no reports of major structural damages or injuries associated with the storms in Calhoun and Gordon County on Wednesday.

Wanted Man Captured...Saturday (5/20) morning reports indicate that a man entered the Gordon County Sheriff's Office who had an active warrant for his arrest. Upon learning this information, reports stated that the man fled the Sheriff's Office on foot, but was apprehended at Smith Motel, where law enforcement officers were met by EMS, because the man was apparently having a seizure. He was treated and then taken to jail. Gordon County Jail records show that Derrick Jovaughn Collins. age 24 of Chickamauga, was booked on a probation violation warrant and a new charge of Obstruction. He remains in jail pending bond and judicial proceedings.

Five Face Meth-Related Charges...A two week long undercover, counter-drug investigation culminated Friday afternoon (May 19) with the arrests of five (5) Gordon County residents. Jeremy David Parker, age 42, who gave his address as Holbrook Road, Calhoun, was arrested about 2 p.m. by deputies in the parking lot of a local business on South Wall Street where he’d been followed by undercover deputies. During the course of the investigation, a number of undercover purchases of methamphetamine had been transacted. Parker was apprehended without incident and a large amount of methamphetamine was found inside his pickup truck. He stands charged with multiple counts of Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Sale/Distribution of Methamphetamine. Simultaneously, deputies executed a search warrant at a private residence on Quail Hollow Road near the Sugar Valley community. This residence had been under surveillance by deputies for some time. During the execution of this search warrant, deputies discovered more methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. Kayla Gayle Underwood, age 29, was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Heroin, and Possession of Marijuana; Karen Alanna Locke, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Marijuana; Roger A. Locke, age 49, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and of Marijuana; Rodney Dale Locke, age 51, 1was charged with Possession of (less than one ounce of) Marijuana. At the time of his arrest Friday afternoon, Parker was free on bond and under indictment in Gordon County Superior Court for a December, 2015 arrest for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, and a number of firearms-related offenses.

Two Arrested After Home Invasion...Neighbors were looking out for each other after a home invasion in the Pine Chapel Community around 8:15 pm Wednesday night. Deputies arrived within minutes and found one of the perpetrators incapacitated in the house. A second suspect was chased into a nearby, thickly wooded area by a group of armed neighbors who held him until deputies placed him under arrest. Gordon County Sheriff's Deputies said that the two suspects, both wearing masks and gloves, armed with bricks and a baseball bat, burst into the home while the victims, a man and his wife, were having dinner. After the suspects hit the man with a brick, he was able to wrestle the bat away from one of the perpetrators and used the bat to defend himself and his wife. Gorodn County Sheriff's Officials have identified the suspects. Dustin Eugene Freeman, age 17, of 421 Beamer Circle, Calhoun, is confined in the county jail. The second defendant is identified as Alex Alcantar, age 17, of 200 Spring Valley Boulevard, Apartment 25, Calhoun, Georgia. Alcantar remains hospitalized under guard at this time. Both defendants will be charged by Sheriff’s detectives with: Home Invasion, Armed Robbery, Burglary, Aggravated Assault, and Cruelty to Animals. Detectives have recovered masks, gloves, baseball bats, tape, as well as other items of physical evidence. detectives also determined that the defendants took measures to keep from leaving trace evidence at the scene. The Cruelty to Animals charge stems from one of the defendants striking the victims’ dog with a baseball bat during the struggle as the animal attempted to protect it’s owners.

Suspect Sought After Motorcycle Pursuit, Crash...Gordon County Sheriff's Deputies are still searching for a suspect who managed to evade arrest after crashing a motorcycle into Johnson Lake Tuesday (5/16) night. A Deputy began chasing the man riding a motorcycle on Union Grove Road at around 7:25 pm. Minutes later, the pursuit came to a halt when the suspect crashed into the lake, then fled on foot. A search of the area was performed, and included the use of a K9 officer, but the man was not found.

Calhoun's Owen Security Solutions Ranks in Top 100 Nationally...Calhoun-based Owen Security Solutions has been recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 security companies, according to the SDM 100 Report. Owen made the list at number 99, and is one of only five Georgia-based security companies to make the national annual ranking by SDM magazine, which has been producing the report for the past 27 years.

100 Days of Summer Heat...The Calhoun Police Department is participating in the Governors Office of Highway Safety National Mobilization, which is part of 2017 One Hundred Days of Summer HEAT from May 22 through September 3. The first mobilization is the Click-it or Ticket Campaign and is part of The National Mobilization and will be conducted by the Calhoun police department during the weeks of May 22 – June 4, 2017. Officers will be setting up safety check points looking for un-restrained drivers and passengers. Chief Moss encourages all drivers and passengers to buckle up and be safe this summer.

Man Wanted for Child Cruelty Apprehended...36 year-old Terry Junior Young of a Mt. Olive Church Road address in Fairmount, was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol on Monday night around 7:00 after a chase was initiated by the Gordon County Sheriff's Office. He was wanted on outstanding warrants for Simple Battery and Felony Cruelty to Children, for which he is being held without bond. He was also charged with several misdemeanor traffic offenses. Terry Junior Young remains in the Gordon County Jail.

Plainville Woman Faces Felony Drug Charges...44-year-old Brittnie Naomi Diane Moore, who lives at a Franklin Road address in Plainville, was arrested at the Calhoun Wal-Mart Saturday (5/13) morning around 8:30, according to an incident report from Calhoun Police. Officers said they found Moore in the store's parking lot. They said she was slumped over the driver's seat and passed out in her vehicle. Police added that they found her in possession of a glass pipe, suspected meth and two hydrocodone pills. Moore is in the Gordon County Jail without bond on felony chages of possession of meth, possession of schedule II drugs and possession of drug-related objects.

Allegations of Sex Crimes Under Investigation...Tuesday (5/16) around noon Gordon County Jail records show that 17 year-old Adrian Enrique Brito of Calhoun was booked and charged with Statutory Rape. His charge comes on the heels of three other Calhoun teens - 17 year-old Steven Guerrero; Raul Perez-Llamas, age 19; and 17 year-old Juan Alexander Aguilar - all recently arrested for similar charges after Calhoun Police began investigating allegations from a female juvenille under the age of 16 that, on different occassions, she was the victim of several offenses. An investigation into all the allegations is ongoing. Guerrero, Perez-Llamas, and Aguilar are all out of jail on bond. Adrian Brito is being held in the Gordon County Jail pending bond proceedings.

Three Arrested on Drug, Forgery Charges... Calhoun Police arrested three people on drug related offenses early Sunday (5/7) morning. 30 year-old Alisha Danielle Barton, 55 year-old Mark Thomas Griffiths, both of Calhoun, and Larry Bryan Phipps, age 31 of Kingston, were all arrested at the Econo Lodge motel on Hwy 53 around 1:30 am Sunday and charged with (Misdemeanors) Marijuana Possession and Possession of Drug Related Objects, as well as Second Degree Forgery and Possession or Distribution of Meth, both felonies. Griffiths has been released on bond, while both Barton and Phipps remain in custody at the Gordon County Jail. They have a bond amount set at $20,000 each.

Burglary In Progress Yields Arrests... At about 2:30pm, Sunday afternoon (May 7), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Cline Road in the Resaca community in response to the report of a burglary-in-progress. Deputies arrived and subsequently arrested four individuals;Derik Lee Ray,age 23, 308 B Daisy Street, Resaca, GA; Gage Tyler Stokes, age 21, 263 North Airport Circle, Resaca, GA; Larry Neal Estes, age 34, 616 West Boundary Street, Dalton, GA; Kristy Lynn Albright, age 39, 4222 Keith Valley Road, Cohutta, GA. The house was a vacant residence. Detectives collected physical evidence at the scene and interviewed witnesses. Ray has been charged with Residential Burglary and the other three defendants were charged with criminal Trespass. Ray, Stokes, and Estes remain in custody.

Long Investigation Leads to Arrests...An investigation spanning 3 months resulted in two (2) arrests Tuesday afternoon (May 2nd). William Hoyt Whittenburg, age 48, of Calhoun, was arrested in a commercial parking lot on State Route 53 in Calhoun and involved over a kilo(gram) of cocaine. A second individual whose name is being withheld was also arrested at the scene. Whittenburg has been charged with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Cocaine, Trafficking in Cocaine, Multiple counts of Possession of Schedule II Narcotics, Possession of Schedule IV Narcotics, Possession of Drug Related Paraphenalia, and 39 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. A search warrant was executed at Whittenburg’s residence at 320 Waterford Drive yesterday afternoon (May 3rd) with Sheriff’s detectives taking computers and other electronic devices taken into custody. The investigation is expanding and more arrests are probable before this case reaches a grand jury.

County Animal Shelter Destroyed in Fire...The Gordon County Commissioners want to thank everyone that came out to help during the fire that destroyed the animal shelter recently. The county has set up a temporary location in the old EMA Building, located at 4543 Fairmount Hwy. S. E Calhoun, until a replacement shelter can be constructed. Portable kennels and facilities will be used to allow the county to continue Animal Control services. In 2011, county voters approved a $1.5M Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to replace the aging shelter. Based on recent sales tax revenue, we expect approximately $1.3M to be available after the collections are complete in April 2018. The county will be able to use non-SPLOST funds to get the work underway. The SPLOST budget of 1.3 million dollars that has been set by the voting public will include the design, construction, furniture, fixtures, equipment and construction administration.

Dalton & Whitfield County

Low Level Dalton Tornado Confirmed...The National Weather Service confirmed what most in the area already knew, that a tornado consistent with a high end EF0 or a low EF1 with top wind speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour formed in Whitfield County during Wednesday morning’s storms that toppled numerous trees and left some residents without power temporarily throughout northwest Georgia. And while there was heavy tree damage in the area, officials said there are indications the tornado perhaps never touched the ground.

DA's Son Arrested After Allegedly Posting Explicit Photos... The son of District Attorney Bert Poston was arrested recently by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office and faces charges related to posting to the internet nude photos and videos of his ex-girlfriend. Roman Christopher Poston, 25, of Dalton, was charged with posting of video or photo depicting nudity or sexually explicit conduct without consent. According to the sheriff’s office, he also faces misdemeanor theft by taking charges after being accused of stealing a watch valued at $100 and $23 in cash from the woman’s home. Chief Deputy Brian Ingle said the investigation was turned over to the GBI because of Roman Poston’s relationship to the Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office. Roman Poston was released on a $1,000 bond. Special Agent In Charge Greg Ramey of the GBI Calhoun office said the state Attorney General's office will determine who will prosecute the case.

Teen Charged with Selling Rx Pills at Dalton High School...A student at Dalton High School has been arrested for selling prescription pills. A female student with "extremely slurred" speech and "partially closed" eyes who "was swaying side to side and back and forth in her seat" said she had taken Xanax she had bought from a fellow student earlier Tuesday, according to Dalton Police. Anthony Louis Flores, 18, of Dalton, was charged with drugs not kept in original container, possession of a schedule 4 drug, possession of a schedule 4 drug with the intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. He was released on a $5,000 bond. The girl who had taken the drug at school was evaluated by the school nurse, released to her parents and suspended from school. Flores, a senior member of the school's baseball team, will not be allowed to participate in the school's graduation ceremonies scheduled for May 26.

Tire Slashing Suspects Being Sought...The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying two males suspected of slashing tires of a car parked at the Shugart Road Walmart at approximately 5:00 am on May 10th. The victim works 3rd shift at the store. Police say that after the alleged incident the two men walked into the store, rode electric scooters, ran around and then left without buying anything. Their images were captured on store surveillance. Anyone with information is asked to call Dalton Police.

Engineered Floors Expands Dalton Operation with New Facility...Dalton-based Engineered Floors will open a new carpet tile plant in Dalton. The company has broken ground on a carpet tile manufacturing facility in Whitfield Countyon Old Dixie Highway, just south of Gaz Road. The initial phase of the plant, expected to open in January 2018, will total 520,000 square feet. A company spokesman could not immediately say how many people the plant will employ.

Man Found Guilty of Murder in Whitfield County...After a weeklong murder trial in Whitfield County, Aaron Jerome Howell was found guilty of the December 2014 murder of Paul Guerrant. District Attorney Bert Poston said Guerrant had been struck 24 times with a ball-peen hammer by Howell and was left to die on the pavement of Dozier Street. The jury consisted of eight men and four women. Sentencing before Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris is set for June 13.

Rabies Found in Whitfield County...An outbreak of rabies cases in north Georgia has officials on high alert. There have been more cases of the deadly virus reported in Whitfield County over the last six months than the area has seen in the last five years. The intersection of Wolfe Street and Mount Olivet Road is where officials found a rabid fox last month. Officers euthanized and tested the animal to confirm Whitfield County's seventh case of rabies in less than six month. Rabies has recently been found in raccoons, skunks, a cat and now a fox. If you see an animal being aggressive, having difficulty walking or appearing to choke-- Stay away and report it immediately. In the event of a bite, see a doctor immediately. The best thing you can do is get your pets vaccinated. For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact your local county environmental health office or log on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Chatsworth & Murray County

Murray County Man Gets 15 Years in Prison... David Eugene Morrison, 50, of Murray County, was sentenced to 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole by Superior Court Judge William Boyett. Morrison turned himself in by calling Murray County 911 in September of 2016 and admitted to a child molestation charge. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him back in December, when the indictment was handed down by the Murray County grand jury, but pleaded guilty before Boyett on May 3.

Chatsworth Woman Killed in Accident...A woman killed in a head-on two-vehicle collision Saturday evening in southern Murray County has been identifed, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The wreck occurred about 6:27 p.m. on Old Highway 411 near Smyrna-Ramhurst Road south of Chatsworth. Olivia Mechelle Rogers Craig, 35, of Chatsworth, was driving a Dodge Avenger at a high rate of speed westbound when she lost control of the car on a curve and crossed the center line, striking an Infiniti QX56 driven by Jennifer Shosner, 36, of Cumming. Her passengers were four daughters, ages 2, 5, 9 and 11. They were were injured and taken to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton. Craig died at the scene.

Murray County Man Convicted of 1992 Murder Executed by State...Condemned State Prisoner J.W. Ledford, Jr., convicted in the 1992 stabbing death of his Murray County neighbor, 73 year-old Dr. Harry Johnston, was served a last meal Tuesday afternoon of filet mignon wrapped in bacon with pepper jack cheese, large french fries, 10 chicken tenders with sauce, a fried pork chop, a bloomin' onion, pecan pie with vanilla ice cream, sherbert and Sprite, according to Jackson State Prison officials. Despite his request for death by a firing squad, Ledford met his demise in accordance with Georgia law, which mandates lethal injection. Court records show that Ledford, who was 20 years old at the time of the crime, stabbed Dr. Johnson, hid the body, then stole guns and a truck from his home while holding Mrs. Johnson at knife-point.

GNTC's Whitfield-Murray Campus Eyes Expansion...On Monday, Governor Nathan Deal signed off on the State of Georgia’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Included in the legislation is $18.7 million to build a 75,000-square foot facility located on the GNTC campus serving Whitfield and Murray Counties. This will be the first new construction on the Whitfield Murray campus of GNTC since the establishment of the campus in 2010. The addition of the new building was made possible by the transfer of about 23 acres of land to the Technical College System of Georgia by the Whitfield County School Board. A groundbreaking for the expansion will take place this summer. The new addition could host its first classes in late 2018 or early 2019.

Cartersville & Bartow County

Historic Church Set to Close...The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church has determined that the 179-year-old Poplar Springs United Methodist Church in Adairsville will celebrate its final worship service June 4 at 11 a.m., and some long-time church members are trying to change that. Some members say that the Dalton District Conference cited low attendance numbers as their reasoning behind closing the church. Members added that the Conference may sell or tear down the antebellum church. In a statement, a representative for the North Georgia UMC Conference said that "The Board of Trustees of the North Georgia Conference will determine the best way to utilize the property going forward.” In the meantime, members said they have been given the church cemetery, but have less than two weeks to find a way to keep their beloved church building.

Late-Night, Multi-County Chase...Law enforcement agencies from Gordon, Whitfield and Bartow Counites, along with Georgia State Troopers, were involved in a late night chase. It began in Bartow County on I-75 near mile marker 300. Reports said the suspect vehicle, a late model red Infiniti sedan, led authorities on a chase that at some points reached speeds of up to 145 mph. In Gordon County, law enforcement deployed stop sticks around the area of Red Bud Road, but the suspect managed to avoid those before finally coming to a stop at mile marker 326, close to Carbondale Road. Authorities have taken suspects involved into custody, and more details, investigators said, will be released soon.

Adairsville Nurse Charged with Sexual Assault... A Registered Nurse who lists his address as Rail Drive, Adairsville, turned himself into the Fulton County Jail last week for allegations of sexual assault at a Sandy Springs hospital. Fulton Co. Jail records indicate Michael Morgan, age 33, is charged with two counts of sexual assault by facility employee licensed under O.C.G.A. and sexual battery. Police said that two of Morgan’s pastors told Sandy Springs police they were given information that Morgan had sexually assaulted several women while they were under anesthesia between February and April of this year. Anyone with additional information regarding this case is asked to contact Sandy Springs Police.

Man Charged with Kidnapping...Bartow County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to Kingston Highway Sunday to a kidnapping. The suspect picked his wife up from work because he had her car. She asked for him to let her out and he refused. She told deputies he told her they were both going to die today. Randall Lamar Wood, 37, is charged with possession of methamphetamine and two counts of kidnapping.

Teen Dies After Camping Accident...The Bartow County E.M.S. responded to a campground in Red Top Mountain State Park around 11:30 Friday night and found Joelle Dalgleish, 16, unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to the head. Dalgleish was injured when the tree holding the hammock she was sleeping in snapped and fell on her. She was transported to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga where she died Sunday afternoon. Dalgleish was a 10th grade student at Harrison High School in Kennesaw.

Multi-Motorcycle Accident Leaves Several Injured...An accident involving numerous motorcycles on Highway 411 just north of I-75 left several people injured Saturday. A convoy of around 100 motorcycles had just left for the Bikers Against Child Abuse ride when two motorcycles that were not part of the ride tried to join them causing one of the motorcycles to hit their brakes, swerve and cause a chain reaction crash. Bartow County E.M.S. said three ambulances responded. Two medical helicopters were dispatched due to the severity of injuries. A male with abdominal and chest trauma with possible abdominal bleeding was airlifted to Grady Hospital. A female with a fractured pelvis was aiflifted to Atlanta Medical Center. Two males and female were transported by Bartow E.M.S. to the Cartersville hospital.

Woman, Two Men Charged, After Thursday (5/18) Night Interstate Accident...A Cartersville woman has been charged in connection with an accident in Bartow County that involved a semi-truck and shut down I-75 North around 8:30 pm last Thursday night. The Georgia State Patrol has charged Amanda Passmore of Cartersville with two counts of serious injury by vehicle, concealing the identity of a vehicle, expired license plate, improper lane change, possession of methamphetamine, DUI alcohol, driving within the emergency lane, and reckless driving. She was treated at Cartersville Medical Center, then arrested. State Troopers said that two injured men were flown to Grady. Both sustained non-life threatening injures, however, according to investigators, both men were intoxicated, have warrants in Bartow County and, upon release from the hospital, will face charges, too. The semi-truck operator was not hurt.

Several Arrested in Connection with Shooting Incident...Cartersville Police were dispatched to shots fired around 7:45 Tuesday night on Hannon Way. Officers arrived to find a male had been shot and suspects had fled the scene. With coordination with the Bartow Co. Sheriff's Office and Cartersville-Bartow Drug Task Force, the suspect, Jordahni Julian Rimpel, Akron St., was found and arrested. Rimpel is charged with possession of a firearm during commission or attempt to commit certain felonies, affray (fighting), willful obstruction of law enforcement officers, aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Also arrested were Cecil Grant Harrish, Kameron Rainer and James Dams, who are each charged with affray. At last check, the victim's condition was listed as being stable.

Several Entering Auto Incidents Reported... The Bartow County Sheriff's Office investigated several entering auto reports throughout Bartow County in recent days. In some instances, thieves broke the back glass. Detectives said that in some instances, thieves stole money, at least 6 handguns and a GPS. Vehicles outside approximately 8 houses were broken into and at least three employees' vehicles at the Bartow Co. Fire Station 13, Camp Wilderness Rd. were entered. Remember to remove all valuables from your vehicle when leaving it unattended.

Family Suing Bartow County Deputies...A family is asking for a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Rome for the death of their father, Darren Billy Wilson, who died from three gunshot wounds in July 2015. That's when the deputies were called to the scene of an argument between Wilson and himself. Wilson's family filed a civil action lawsuit against Bartow Co. Deputies Anthony Parker and Nick Thompson. Court documents claim the Fourth Amendment was violated arising from the Defendant's objectively unreasonable use of deadly force against Wilson as well as under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and further claims that deputies gave "multiple inconsistent accounts of what occurred, none of which justified the use of deadly force."

Etowah Mile Markers Contribute to Kayakers' Rescue... New river markers came in handy after a kayaker needed help. Bartow Co. Fire was dispatched Thursday to Etowah River mile marker 21.5 after the man called 911 when his kayak overturned and he was stuck in the river. The man and another person were found and rescued. When floating the Etowah be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the mile markers. In case of emergency, Bartow County Fire Department personnel installed the mile marker signs along the banks of the river. Stations with response boats near the river now have maps identifying the location of the markers to speed up response time to victims who are trapped, lost or injured on the river. The mile marker signs are also expected to be installed along the Etowah in Floyd County.

Rome & Floyd County

Plainville Woman Hit by Pick Up Truck in Rome... 57 year-old Robin Hennon of Plainville was struck by a vehicle at the corner of Broad Street and 2nd Avenue on Sunday around 5:00 pm, according to Rome Police. The driver of a pick up truck was cited for failure to yied, as Police investigators said Hennon had the signal and was crossing when the truck turned right and struck Hennon and one of her two dogs she was out walking. Both Hennon and the dog sustained only minor injuries.

Plainville Man Arrested in Floyd County...Tristen Drake Frix, 20 of Plainville, was booked into the Floyd County Jail on Friday (5/19) and charged with criminal trespass, giving false information to police and possession of alcohol by an underage person. Police reports said he was picked up at the Coosa County Club after allegedly showing a fake ID to officers while drinking alcohol. Frix was released from jail on bond.

New Yorker Arrested in Floyd County...Alexander George Ford, 27 of Albany, New York, is in the Floyd County Jail after he was arrested on charges of first degree forgery, financial transaction card fraud, tampering with evidence, obstruction, battery and giving false information to police. He was arrested at Kroger in Rome over the weekend when police said he tried to make a purchase with a stolen bank card, then knocked down a woman who was standing nearby when he tried to run from police.

Phone Scam Affecting Northwest Georgia Residents...Floyd County Police said they have been receiving complaints about people getting phone calls telling them that they have missed jury duty, and that they are about to be fined or arrested. This is just the latest in scams hitting the Northwest Georgia area. In recent weeks, Dalton Police said con artists have been calling people and posing as Dalton Utilities representatives, and in Gordon County scammers went so far as to claim they were a high ranking Sheriff's Official. Citizens are urged to disregard any such calls and especially to never reveal any personal information. Remember, Law Enforcement and the Government doesn't do business on the phone.

From Other Places Around Our Area

GDOT Suspends Activities for Memorial Day... The Ga. D.O.T. will scale back its construction projects across northwest Georgia, suspending construction related lane closures on all interstate and major state system highways to ease Memorial Day weekend traffic congestion. Starting at noon, Friday and extending until 5 a.m. Tuesday there essentially will be no construction related scheduled lane closures on any Ga. interstate highway.

Walker County Man Gets Life in Prison...A Walker County man pleaded guilty Thursday to murdering his wife back in November, 2015. Soon after 43-year-old Steven Denson's arrest a year and a half ago, he admitted he shot his wife at their home on Kemp Road in LaFayette. Denson told investigators it was accidental, but detectives concluded his explanation was not consistent with physical evidence. Walker County Superior Court Judge Don Thompson sentenced Denson to serve the rest of his life in prison. He won't be eligible for parole until November, 2045.

Walker County Getting New Resort...A new resort coming to Lookout Mountain could bring hundreds of jobs to Lafayette and Walker County. State and local dignitaries and Scenic Land Company President Duane Horton recently announced the master plan for Canyon Ridge Resort. They said a hotel, resort, and conference center will provide 2,000 construction jobs and 280 permanent jobs. Phase I of the project is slated to cost approximately $106 million. The resort has been in the works since 2008, but due to a legal battle development efforts weren’t re-engaged until last year.

"Sanitizing History"?... A conference committee will decide what to do with an Alabama bill that would prevent Confederate monuments from being taken down. The group of will try to resolve House and Senate differences in the bill that would prohibit the removal of any historic marker or monument. Late last week, the House of Representatives appointed conference committee members so the panel can meet in the final week of the legislative session. Black lawmakers have opposed the legislation as it moved through both chambers. The bill, supporters of which say that we should not "sanitize history", comes as some cities across the South consider taking down Confederate monuments.

Mohawk Makes Forbes List... Mohawk Industries has been named to Forbes list of America's Best Large Employers. This year, Mohawk placed 106 among companies that employ at least 5,000 people. The company rose from its 2016 ranking of 188 on the Forbes list. Mohawk is the only flooring manufacturer on the 2017 list.

GA Power Says Beware of Scam Artists...Georgia Power issued a warning for customers of criminal "scam artists" trying to defraud both business and residential customers over the phone. The scam artists are known to pose as Ga.Power employees asking customers to provide credit card information or purchase a pre-paid debit card and provide the card's account number to avoid disconnection. Customers should be reminded to be cautious and never provide personal information such as a credit card or social security number to an unverified person.

North Georgia Cities Ranked "Must-See"...Cartersville has been named the 4th must-see stop in Georgia according to travel website The Crazy Tourist.com. The site said there are hundreds of noteworthy small towns in Georgia., there are some that stand out above the rest. Cartersville made the list along with 14 other towns in Georgia. Tunnel Hill ranked number 12 on the list, and Dahlonega was at number 13.

Oil Companies Eye North Georgia...Shale gas drilling is slowing across the country, but a few companies are poking around the state looking for the next natural gas "play." An Oklahoma-based company that leased 7,500 acres of land in Whitfield County has two test wellsalready in place and they say they plan another. In Floyd County, near Cave Spring, a Texas oil conglomerate plans a well. At least three other companies have recently researched the Conasauga shale field, a swath of land that runs from Alabama across Georgia and into Tennessee. Georgia joins Tennessee and North Carolina as Southern states newly popular with wildcatters and major gas and oil companies.

Calhoun City & Gordon County Government News

Gordon County Unemployment Numbers Down...The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced that Gordon County's unemployment rate was down last month, checking in at 4.7%, three-tenths of a percentage point lower than March. The Georgia Department of Labor also said the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in April was 4.6 percent, which is down from 4.9 percent in March. In April 2016, the rate was 5 percent.

GCSO Receiving Reports of New Phone Scams...Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said his Office has received reports of an individual posing as a deputy sheriff telling citizens that they have missed jury duty, and must send money for a fine via wire/internet services. Sheriff Ralston says this is absolutely bogus, and that his staff - or any local, state or federal law enforcement agency. NEVER collects fines, and certainly never solicits any type of funds by telephone. This fictitious caller may even use a familiar sounding name, Ralston said. DO NOT SEND MONEY to such callers by any means or under any circumstances. Anyone who misses jury duty would be visited by a uniformed deputy sheriff in a clearly marked vehicle, and no fines are collected by deputies. The criminals orchestrating these scams use untraceable cellphones, and are often located outside the United States. If you receive any such suspicious call, contact the Sheriff’s Office to verify the identity of the caller. BEWARE of all internet and telephone scams and do NOT release any personal or financial account information to anyone.

SHS Phoenix Nation Gets Two New Members...The Gordon County Board of Education has hired former CHS cheerleading coach Ginger Reeves as the new Sonoraville High School cheer coach, and Ricky Ross was approved for the position of defensive coordinator of the Sonoraville High School football team. Former Defensvie Coordinator Denver Pate was recently named the new Head Football Coach after the sudden resignation of Jim Kremer, who is moving to South Georgia for family reasons.

Townsend Named Gordon County Schools' Social Worker...Molly Townsend, counselor at W. L. Swain Elementary School for the past three years, will transition to a new role for the 2017-18 school year. Townsend was recently named to fill the role of social worker in the Gordon County Schools' Student Services Department. Prior to coming to Gordon County Schools, Mrs. Townsend served as a therapist and professional school counselor in Whitfield County, as well as a social worker for Georgia Sheriff's Cherokee Estate.

Timms Named Principal at Belwood Elementary...Gordon County Board of Education held a called meeting on Friday, April 28, where Justin Timms was approved as the principal of Belwood Elementary School, beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Timms’ appointment comes following the resignation of Chad Moore earlier in the month.

Gordon County Schools Names Teacher of the Year...Caroline Stephens from Tolbert Elementary School was named Gordon County Schools’ District Teacher of the Year during the Teacher of the Year Banquet held recently. Other finalists included Christy Smith from Fairmount Elementary and Julie Thomas from Sonoraville Elementary School. n addition to the gifts presented to the other finalists, Caroline received an Apple Watch, as well as the opportunity to attend any conference of her choice during the 2017-18 school year, with all fees and expenses paid by the school district. Caroline will go on the represent Gordon County Schools in Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.

Gordon County Renews Storm Ready Certification...Gordon County was first certified as a Storm Ready community in 2005. Gordon County has continued to improve capabilities each year with each renewal of the Storm Ready designation. This 2017 renewal marks the 5th renewal of Storm Ready in Gordon County.
Storm Ready is a nationwide program that helps communities better protect their citizens during severe weather from tornadoes to tropical storms. The program encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations. Storm Ready provides emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.
For more information, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gordoncountyema and follow us on Twitter @gordoncountyema. Sign up for Code Red Emergency Weather Warnings here.

This Week's Gordon Environmental Health Scores:
-BAYMONT INN AND SUITES - 189 JAMESON ST CALHOUN - 94
-ECONO LODGE - 915 HWY 53 E CALHOUN - 96
-SUPER 8 - 115 HAMPTON DR CALHOUN - 98
-FIREHOUSE SUBS - 1131 S. WALL ST CALHOUN - 100
-CALHOUN MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL - 315 S RIVER ST CALHOUN - 100

State & National News

AAA Projects Record Number of Travelers Memorial Day Weekend...AAA projects 39.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from home this Memorial Day weekend. Almost 35 million of those travelers will be hitting the road. That is the highest number in 12 years and it presents a distinct danger when combined with holiday related impaired driving. To help reduce those needless tragedies this weekend, AAA and Budweiser urge everyone to plan ahead if they are celebrating with alcohol. This means choosing a designated driver, calling a cab, staying where you are celebrating or finding another safe way home. For those that did not plan ahead and need the Tow To Go program, it is available Friday, May 26th through 6am Tuesday morning, May 30th. Just call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 for a confidential local ride to a safe location within 10 miles. Motorists will not have to worry about surging gas prices this holiday weekend after all. Thursday’s average price for a gallon of gasoline in Georgia was $2.22 – 5 cents less than last year’s holiday, and 41 cents less than Memorial Day 2015. AAA said that retail prices should hold steady, with only the possibility for minor fluctuations of only a few pennies at the pump.

6th District Race Most Expensive in American History... The special election for Georgia's sixth district, which comprises parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton Counties in Metro Atlanta, is on its way to being the single most expensive House race in American history. The pricetag for the race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff is at $30 million and counting -- eclipsing the $24.4 million spent on TV advertising in the 2012 Florida 18th district race. The election is being held on June 20th to determine a replacement for Republican Tom Price who resigned the post following his appointment by President Trump to serve as US Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Food Stamp Recipients Drop Dramatically... More than half of food stamp recipients in 21 Georgia counties have been dropped from the program after the state instituted work requirements. State figures released this week revealed that 11,779 people considered able-bodied without children were required to find work by April 1 to continue receiving food stamps. Sixty-two percent were dropped after the deadline, whittling the number of recipients to 4,528. State officials began enforcing the work mandate in 2016, and plan to expand work requirements to all 159 counties by 2019. About 1.6 million Georgia residents use food stamps, which are funded with federal dollars managed by the state Department of Family and Children Services.

Drug Deemed Deadly to Touch...The G.B.I. says a new drug is so dangerous that if someone touches it they could die. Numbers just released show a drug called furanylfentanyl caused several deaths in Georgia from 2016-2017. The GBI said that the first confirmed case of "gray death” in Georgia claimed the life of a 24-year old woman from the Atlanta suburbs earlier this year. Lauren Camp, 24, had ingested a mixture of heroin and fentanyl known as ‘gray death,’ before she was found submerged in a bathtub in February. There have been 50 confirmed seizures of gray death in Georgia this year, according to the GBI. One of the drugs in the mix, furanylfentanyl, killed at least 22 Georgians within the past year.

Summer Burn Ban in Effect...Now through Sept. 30, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division's open burning ban is in effect for 54 Georgia counties, prohibiting citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris during the months of May through September. Counties in our area included in the ban are: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, Floyd, Forsyth, Gordon, Haralson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Polk and Walker counties. The DNR's Mountain District Office in Cartersville has more information by calling 770-387-4900 or online at http://epd.georgia.gov/air/.

Hunting & Fishing License Fees Increase...Governor Nathan Deal held a signing ceremony for House Bill 208 at the Ga. D.N.R. Coastal Regional Headquarters in Brunswick, recently. H.B. 208 makes changes in Georgia law to simplify the hunting and fishing license structure while also adjusting fees for resident hunting and fishing licenses for the first time since 1992. The legislation becomes effective July 1, 2017. Hunting licenses will increase from $10 to $15 and fishing licenses increase from $9 to $15. The additional revenue will improve wildlife and fish habitat and management on public and private lands and waters; create more shooting ranges, improve boating access, add youth education, increase fish stocking and add about 40 conservation rangers.

Tuition Hike in Georgia... Tuition at Georgia's public colleges and universities will increase 2% next fall. The University System of Georgia estimates that full time, undergraduate students who live in state will pay an extra $27 to $98 a semester

Avian Flu in Neighboring States Shuts Down Exhibitions in GA... After avian flu outbreaks among chicken flocks in Tennessee and Alabama, the Georgia Department of Agriculture has ordered an immediate suspension of various methods of poultry sale. A release from the Department of Agriculture states that the suspension applies to all poultry exhibitions, shows, sales, swaps and meets in Georgia. Robert Cobb, the Georgia State Veterinarian who wrote the release, said chicken farmers can still sell chickens on eggs on private property. The suspension is on events where chicken of different flocks would interact, possibly spreading the disease. Those who experience sudden death of poultry or fowl should contact the Department of Agriculture at (855) 491-1432.

FCC Warns of "Can You Hear Me" Phone Scams...The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to be on the lookout for scam callers seeking to get victims to say the word “yes” during a call and later use
a recording of the response to authorize unwanted charges on the victim's utility or credit card account. According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer. The scam begins when a consumer answers a call and the person at the end of the line asks, “Can you hear me?” The caller then records the consumer's "Yes" response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone. If you receive this type of call, immediately hang up. If you have already responded to this type of call, review all of your statements such as those from your bank, credit card lender, or telephone company for
unauthorized charges. If you notice unauthorized charges on these and other types of statements, you have likely been a victim of “cramming”. Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker and to the FCC Consumer Help Center. Consumers should always be on alert for telephone scams. The following tips can help ward off unwanted calls and scams:
Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls,
just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. As the Agency that implements and enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC reviews all consumer complaints. The Agency will continue, when appropriate, to issue consumer alerts based on
those complaints and other public information related to possible scams and frauds in hopes of informing
and empowering consumers.

State Attorney General Warns of E-Mail Scam...GA Attorney General Chris Carr is warning the public about a phony email circulating that purports to be from the “Department of Consumer Affairs.” The email, which allegedly targets attorneys, says that a complaint has been filed against the recipient’s company and urges recipients to click on a link to view the complaint. This email is NOT from the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit or any other legitimate government entity. It is a fake email. Clicking on the link or attachment provided may allow the scammer to install malware on your computer. The scam has been reported in Georgia and South Carolina.

What Else Is Happening?

Clean Out The Attic! Dixie Highway Yardsale Coming Soon... The annual Dixie Highway 90 Mile Yard sale is about a week away. The large yard sale returns June 2-4. The sale takes place from Ringgold through Acworth and includes many yard sale booths through Calhounn, Dalton, Cartersville, and Adairsville. The gigantic yard sale began in 2006.

May is National Water Safety Month...With summer right around the corner, experts say this is a good time for parents to teach their children how to swim or reinforce swimming skills. It is also a good time to remind parents to watch their children while in the pool or lake, even if they know how to swim. Remember to have constant adult supervision, have "reach supervision" which is an adult always an arm's reach to a new swimmer, if you have a pool or spa make sure it's protected with a fence and self latching gate and wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Red Cross certified swimming lessons are available through the Calhoun Aquatic Center by calling 706-263-7008 or visiting www.calhounaquaticcenter.com.

Annual Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival...Oostanaulan Community Center will host their annual Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival on Monday beginning at 10:00 am. Admission is $5 per person, plus the cost of food. Several bands are slated to perform. Everyone is invited. Call 770-608-2050 for more information.

Fairmount Memorial Day Celebration...Fairmount's Annual Memorial Day celebration, with proceeds benefiting the Gordon County United Way, will be held on memorial Day, Monday, May 29th from 10:00 am til 3:00 pm at Tate Park on The Square in Fairmount. Cost is $15 for kids to participate in all activities all day. Everything from a petting zoo, car show, food and craft vendors to a ceremony honoring veterans is scheduled for the event.

GA Trust Seeking "Places in Peril"...The Georgia Trust's Places in Peril program is seeking nominations for the 2018 list of Places in Peril. The program wants to identify and preserve historic sites threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The top ten designees are selected in the fall. Nomination forms are available at www.georgiatrust.org.

Gordon County BOE Approves Calendar...The Gordon County Board of Education has approved school calendars for the next three academic years, and approved a recommendation concerning make-up days for this year. You can view the system's approved calendars here.

2017 Car Seat Mini-Grant...The Calhoun Police Department was recently awarded the 2017 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the mini-grant, Calhoun Police Department, Gordon County Fire Department, Georgia State Patrol, Safe Kids Dalton, Calhoun Fire Department and Gordon EMS provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Calhoun and Gordon County. This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. For more information about the Calhoun Gordon County car seat program, contact Calhoun Police at 706-629-1234, County Fire at 706-629-8851, GSP at 706-624-1477 or Calhoun Fire Department at 706-629-2244. If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at injury@dph.ga.gov or by calling 404-679-0500.

The Web Can be a Dangerous Place...The internet can be a highly dangerous place, especially for impressionable tweens and teens. The internet is crawling with predators, and if your child comes into contact with one, their life could be in danger. Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s computer, cell phone and tablet. There are numerous sites parents can view that offer advice and tips pertaining to internet safety for kids and teens. Here are just a few that may prove helpful: safekids.com, webmd.com, kids.usa.gov and kidshealth.org.

For Local School Events
Calhoun City Schools - www.calhounschools.org
Gordon County Schools -
www.gcbe.org
Georgia Cumberland Academy -
www.gcasda.org

Help Build A Home for a Desrving Family
Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County is searching for talented volunteers to build a new home. Anyone interested is invited to call 706-625-9929 for more information.

+ Save A Life: Give Blood +
Find out how you can save a life. Go to www.bloodassurance.org or www.redcrossblood.org

Do You Have A Kickin News Tip?

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