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TODAY: Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High near 90°...TONIGHT: Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 73°...SATURDAY: Scattered thunderstorms. High 83° SUNDAY: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 84°
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Top Stories Around Northwest Georgia

Calhoun & Gordon County

Gordon County School Board Member Arrested...Gordon County Schools released a statement concerning the most recent arrest of at-large, county wide school board member Ricky E. Smith:

“Gordon County Schools has been made aware of the recent arrest of Ricky E. Smith. Because Mr. Smith is a constitutional officer, elected by the voters of Gordon County, the Gordon County Board of Education has limited authority over Mr. Smith’s position on the Board of Education. As the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office completes its investigation, we will update the community on any information related to or impacting the Board of Education and Gordon County Schools.”
Smith, who was arraigned in March in Gordon County Superior Court on 19 counts relating to an August 2016 incident of credit card fraud and theft allegations, was arrested on felony charges of possession of Schedule IV and V controlled substances and misdemeanor traffic violation around midnight on Monday by Gordon County Deputies. Jail records indicate he has been released on bond.

Three Arrested for Meth Possession...Three people were arrested Thursday afternoon just after 5:00 pm by Calhoun Police on charges of possession of meth, marijuana and drug related objects. The meth possession charge is a felony for each of the suspects. Gordon County Jail records show that Calhoun residents Nathan Andrew Burchett, age 29, 17 year-old Tiffany Brooke Hillegeist and 20 year-old Shermion Haven Woods all remain in custody pending bond proceedings.

CPD Investigating Burglary... A late-night burglary alarm call from a liquor store sent Calhoun Police out to investigate. It was reported around 1:20 a.m. on Thursday (6/22) at the ABC Liquor & Tobacco Outlet in the 200 block of Hwy 53, near it's intersection with US Hwy 41. No details surrounding the incident have been released as Calhoun Police Detectives continue their investigation.

Two Airlifted After Head-On Crash... Two people were taken by two air ambulances to area hospitals after a two-vehicle accident happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 3300 block of Highway 225. We are told the collision was head on and that one person was trapped inside their vehicle. Emergency officials had to close down a stretch of the highway for several hours while they worked to clear the scene. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating. No word on the patients' conditions today.

Adairsville Man Accused of Hit & Run, DUI... An Adairsville man is out of the Gorodn County Jail on bond after the Georgia State Patrol arrested him on charges of DUI and Hit and Run. 56 year-old Ralph J. Amos was arrested around 8:00 pm Tuesday night. Amos also faces charges of failure to report an accident, following too closely and an open container violation.

Two Arrested on Meth Charges...Early Tuesday (6/20) morning Calhoun Police arrested two men for possession of methamphetamine and tools for the commission of a crime. 34 year-old Christopher James Buckley of Summerville and 37 year-old Jeremy Charles Fisher of Chattanooga were taken into custody around 3:30 am after a traffic stop. Buckley is also charged with a headlight violation. Both men have been released from the Gordon County Jail on bond.

Accused Meth Traffickers Busted by Gordon County Deputies... A two week investigation into methamphetamine trafficking and distribution has resulted in four people being arrested while a fifth person is being sought by deputies. At approximately 9:30am this morning, June 9, deputy sheriffs and sheriff’s detectives executed search and arrest warrants at a private residence at 186 Pack Road near Ranger in eastern Gordon County. The residence had been under surveillance for several days, and the investigation involved a number of undercover drug purchases. The deputies executing the search warrant found more methamphetamine, as well as illegal and illegally held firearms in the home. Four persons were arrested at the home without incident:
Carl Lee McNabb, a.k.a. “Peanut”, age 44, of Ranger, charged with Trafficking and Distribution of Methamphetamine, and firearms related offenses.
Joey Shane Wooten, age 47, of Ranger, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Prescription Drug-related offenses and firearms-related offenses.
Pearl Lucille Kirby, age 51, of Ranger, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Prescription Drug-related offenses and firearms-related offenses.
Jessica Jollen Pratt, age 40, of Ranger, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Prescription Drug-related offenses, and firearms-related offenses
These four defendants are being held in jail pending bond, while deputies are seeking a fifth defendant, DAVID LEE MONTGOMERY, age 44, of 198 Pack Road, Ranger. The Sheriff’s Office holds outstanding warrants for his arrest for multiple counts of Trafficking in Methamphetamine. MONTGOMERY is believed to be driving a black, 1994 Dodge Ram pick-up truck bearing Georgia license plate PWR 9219. If anyone sees MONTGOMERY or knows of his whereabouts, they are urged to call 911 immediately.

Adairsville Police Officer Arrested by Gordon County Deputies... At about 10:15am Tuesday Gordon County Deputies arrested 35 year-old Nathan Lee Henderson of a Jeep Street Address in Calhoun after they were called to a report of a domestic disturbance. The victim told officers she’d been physically assaulted and held against her will by her husband for several hours. The deputies observed that the victim’s clothing had been torn and that she had visible injuries. Henderson, who is an officer with the Adairsville Police Department, has been charged with Felony Aggravated Assault, Battery, and False Imprisonment, all under the Family Violence Act. The Adairsville Police Department has suspended him with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation. Detectives believe alcohol played a part in this incident. Nathan Lee Henderson remains in jail without bond.

Fraud & Bribery Allegations Under Investigation...On Thursday, May 25, Gordon County Tax Commissioner Scott Clements notified the Sheriff’s Office of discrepancies in the issuance of automobile titles and tags within his Office. Tax Commissioner Clements immediately terminated a clerk and provided detailed information to the Sheriff’s Office that same day. The Sheriff’s Office and the GBI then initiated an investigation which spanned several days. On Friday morning, May 26, GBI agents and Sheriff’s detectives arrested Juan Lopez-Alzate, age 26, who gave his address as Atlanta, after he appeared at the Tax Office to acquire what agents and detectives believe to be fraudulent vehicle registration documents. Lopez-Alzate was jailed and later that same day, the agents and detectives arrested Jaime Hernandez-Alzate, age 35, who gave his address as Marietta, after he, too, arrived at the Tag Office to acquire fraudulent registration documents. Both Lopez-Alzate and Hernandez-Alzate have each been charged with 50 counts of Computer Document Fraud, 50 counts of False Statements Registering Motor Vehicles, and Bribery of a Public Official. Both Lopez-Alzate and Hernandez-Alzate are believed to be Colombian nationals, and are being held pending judicial proceedings. On Thursday morning, June 1, Janna Renee Mauldin, age 40, of Calhoun, turned herself in to the Sheriff’s Office and was booked on charges of Computer Forgery and Bribery. She has appeared in court and was released upon her own recognizance. A number of search warrants have been executed in this investigation resulting in the discovery and seizure of fraudulent automobile titles and registrations, US currency, and electronic devices as evidence. GBI agents, Sheriff’s detectives, and special agents from the Georgia Department of Revenue are continuing their investigation focusing on other jurisdictions and individuals which may have been involved. Although at least one additional arrest is expected, agents and detectives do not expect the arrest of any other local individuals, and have found no evidence that anyone else in the Tax Office was involved or even was aware of any wrongdoing.

City Approves Utility Rate Resolution Amendments...The Mayor and Council of the City of Calhoun have authorized amendments to the Calhoun Utility Rate Resolution for those living outside the city limits. Changes include a 14% rate increase for outside the city water and sewer rates, a 5% wholesale accounts increase, and includes that all water meters are subject to the appropriate monthly minimum charges. The increases will be effective as of Thursday, June 1.

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. 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. June 23, 2017 thru July 5, Calhoun Police will join the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s “OPERATION ZERO-TOLERANCE sobriety checkpoint program – the nation wide law enforcement crackdown on alcohol and drug-impaired drivers. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is working in partnership with more than 350 law enforcement agencies across the state implementing the program.

Tolbert Elementary Gets Renovations... Phase One of a renovation and reconstruction project at Tolbert Elementary is underway. The SPLOST funded project should be completed by August. The process includes renovating the entire Kindergarten-2nd Grade building and kitchen/cafeteria area, installing a new roof, electronic sign and playground, crafting an enclosure from the main building to the gym and Pre-K building, and improving upon the current driveway. Once Phase One wraps up in August, Phase Two of the project will begin with gym renovations and improvements to the third through fifth grade classrooms.

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

Autopsy Results from Toddler's January Death Released, Mother Charged... An autopsy released by Whitfield County Sheriff's Office reveals that a 19-month-old boy from Whitfield County died from meningitis back in January. His 5-year-old sister discovered Terry Gibson dead in his crib back on January 15. Gibson's mother, Tiffany Diane Gibson, has been charged with two counts of felony child neglect in the first degree in connection with Terry's death.The GBI completed Terry Gibson's autopsy on May 10th. The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office released the report on Wednesday.

Georgia Police and Fire Games...The City of Dalton is hosting this year’s Georgia Police and Fire Games now through Saturday. The Georgia Police and Fire Games were established to recognize and honor those who work full time in the profession of law enforcement and or fire fighting. Toughest competitor, Pistol Match, Combat Shoot and Toughest Cop competitions will all take place at the Whitfield County Training Center on Old Praters Mill Rd. Around 15 games will be played. For more information, visit their website: or call the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Dalton Police Credited with Saving Man's Life... Three officers from the Dalton Police Department are being credited with providing life-saving care to a patient. Dalton Police were sent to the North Georgia Fairgrounds on Tuesday night at approximately 8:00 pm with a report of a man who had stopped breathing. When Officer Dexter Kapur arrived, he found a 65-year old man unresponsive. Officer Dexter Kapur, Sergeant Woody Cantrell and Officer Blake Edwards performed CPR until Dalton firefighters and Hamilton EMS arrived to take him to Hamilton Medical Center, with normal heart and respiration rates, where at last report he was being treated.

Dalton PD Searching for Missing Woman... Dalton Police are asking for help from the public locating 34-year old Stacy Griggs Leadingham (formerly Stacy Griggs), a former Dalton resident who now resides in West Virginia, but was visiting Dalton around Memorial Day. Leadingham was staying at the Motel 6 in Rocky Face and clerks there reported that she checked out on May 29th. She was reportedly last seen by her friends here on May 29th. Leadingham is a 34 year old white female standing 5’4” tall and weighing approximately 130 pounds. She has blue eyes and blonde hair, but has also had brown hair in the past. Anyone who has information on Ms. Leadingham’s whereabouts should 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.

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

Crandall Woman Charged with Neglect...The Murray County Sheriff's Office and the GBI have arrested and charged 46-year-old Lisa Alexander of Crandall with one count of neglect of a disabled adult, reckless conduct and six counts of cruelty to animals. EMS responded Sunday and said they found a 45-year-old bedridden disabled man suffering from open wounds and extremely poor living conditions. The man was taken to a local hospital, and EMS reported the man's condition to the MCSO. The MCSO and GBI report that the home's toxic conditions required their officers to wear protective clothing and breathing equipment during the investigation. Law enforcement are working presently to condemn the property. A GBI spokesman said Monday that the disabled man is in intensive care.

Murray County Tag & Tax Office Closure...If you who live and work in the Chatsworth area, be advised that the Murray County Tag and Tax Office will be closed June 20th for system upgrades and installation of new software. Regular business hours will resume June 21st.

Ellijay Man Arrested in Murray County... The Murray County Sheriff’s Office arrested 39-year-old Charlie Randall Sexton II, of Ellijay on Monday and charged him with enticing a child for indecent purposes and use of electronic devices to seduce, lure or entice a child to commit an illegal act. The girl, who is under the age of 14, reportedly passed the very explicit communications along to her parent, who reported the activity to the Murray County Sheriff's Office. Sexton is in the Murray County jail pending bond proceedings.

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.

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

Theft Reported at Adairsville Residence...A Case 850B track loader was reported stolen from a house on Madison Circle in Adairsville. It's believed the equipment was taken May 8 through May 15. It wasn't reported stolen until Friday because it was believed a family member came to pick it up.

Multi-Vehicle Accident Leads to DUI Charges...Two people were injured after a four vehicle accident on Highway 20 near White, Monday around 1:00 pm. Bartow Fire, E.M.S. and the Georgia State Patrol responded. Reports said that a Ford Explorer rear ended a car in front of it causing a chain reaction. The driver of the Ford Explorer, Teresa Burrows, 54, White, was charged with 4 counts of D.U.I.-endangering a child under 14, following too closely and D.U.I.-alcohol. The Georgia State Patrol said three children were in the vehicle under the age of 8. The accident is still under investigation. Burrows is out of jail on a $7,650 property bond. Any injuries sustained by those involved were non-life threatening, officials said.

Unidentified Man Found Dead...Authorities are hoping someone reports a missing person to possibly identify an unidentified body found dead from a gunshot wound early Sunday in White. Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton said the G.B.I. has run fingerprints through two databases with "no luck." Bartow County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to Bells Ferry Rd. after the body was found in a driveway along the side of the road by a passerby. Guyton said the victim was a black male in his late teens or possibly early 20's. Anyone with information should contact the Bartow Co. Sheriff's Office.

Multiple Drug Overdoses Reported... Emergency officials responded to reports of overdoses in Perry and Warner Robbins. Authorities are trying to catch those responsible for selling street drugs linked to overdoses that resulted in four deaths and several people hospitalized. Overdose patients had difficulty breathing and slurred speech after taking pills they thought were pharmaceutical quality pain medication. Elsewhere, two people, one a teenager, were found dead in a Catoosa County Sunday morning. The Catoosa County Sheriff's Office identified them as 20-year-old Adam Ahlyege and 16-year-old Montana Whitten. It'll take weeks to find out how the two young men died. Early reports from investigators point to a possible drug overdose. Officials say both bodies have been transported to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy. Just this year, the GBI Medical Examiner's Office worked 37 overdose deaths in North Georgia.

Cartersville Mother Charged with Murder After Son Drowns...UPDATE: 06/01/17: Accused murderer, Bobbie Jessica Prather, 32, appeared before Bartow Magistrate Judge Brandon Bryson Wednesday in the courtroom at the Bartow Jail. He could not set bond due to the severity of the charges and bound the case over to Superior Court. Prather's 3 year old son was discovered unresponsive in an above ground pool behind the mobile home she lived in on Canter Lane off Peeples Valley Rd. The 3 year old who drowned, a 4 year old and 1 year old twins were left unsupervised for more than 14 hours. The remaining children were taken into protective custody. ORIGINAL STORY:A Cartersville mother has been arrested in connection with the drowning death of her son. Bartow Co. Sheriff's Investigators were called to a residence on Canter Lane off Peeples Valley Rd. around 1:30 p.m. Monday after a three year old boy was found in a pool unresponsive. A Bartow Co. Deputy who was first on the scene removed the child from the pool. He was pronounced deceased after life saving attempts were unsuccessful. Just after 6 p.m. his mother, Bobbie Jessica Prather, 32, was booked into the Bartow Co. Jail and charged with felony murder and four counts of cruelty to children in the first degree. Three other children in the home were taken into protective custody. Bartow County Sheriff's Investigators are continuing to work on this active case with assistance from the Ga. Department of Family and Children Services.

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.

Rome & Floyd County

Driver Charged After Patient was Killed in Ambulance Crash...Crystin Keys, 21 of Chattanooga, who was the EMT Driver of the Puckett ambulance which crashed on June 16th, and claimed the life of patient, 55 year-old Tony Patterson, turned herself in to Floyd County police Wednesday morning. Keys is charged with vehicular homicide in the 2nd degree and failure to maintain lane. Keys' attorney, McCraken Poston, said in a statement that several health factors contributed to the accident. Poston says Keys is 5 weeks pregnant, and had not recently consumed caffeine for that reason. He also pointed out that Keys was suffering from a heart condition which can cause her to unexpectedly passout. Bail was set at $2600 and Crystin was released Wednesday afternoon.

Home Invasion Suspect Caught...Teddy Eugene O’Neal Jr, 36 of Rome, is in the Floyd County Jail charged with Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault with the intent to commit murder, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon, Burglary in the 1st degree, felony burglary, and Theft by Taking. O'neal was arrested after Floyd County Police and Gordon County Deputies were sent to a reported home invasion on Everett Springs Rd just before 10 am Friday (06/09/17). Reports said that after beating the 64 year-old female victim with a baseball bat, O'Neal stole her burgundy 2007 GMC Yukon, but was arrested just before 3 pm after he was spotted at a Family Dollar in Lindale by Floyd County Police Officers. Police added that O'Neal has a lenghty arrest record, and remains in the Floyd County Jail without bond. Relatives said the woman "is still in ICU and is severely sedated because of blood on her brain, a broken vertebrae in her neck and multiple stitches on her face, neck and ears from being cut, and she had to have multiple staples in her head."

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

Father & Son Drown at Waterfall...A father and his 6 year old son drowned in Lumpkin County, Tuesday afternoon. They were swimming at Dick's Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The child was having trouble swimming when his father jumped in and tried to save him. It's believed the current from the waterfall pulled him under. The victims were identified as Joshua Kistler, 38, and Jaxon Kistler, of Dahlonega.

Canton Teen Killed in Car Accident...A Canton teenager died in an accident in Cherokee County. The Cherokee Co. Sheriff's Office responded to a one vehicle accident, Monday around 2 p.m. on Hightower Rd. east of lower Creighton Rd. A Dodge Ram truck left the road, traveled down an embankment and struck a tree. The driver, a 17 year old male from Canton was transported to an area hospital. His passenger, a 16 year old juvenile, died at the scene.

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 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

"Look Before You Lock!"... Calhoun Police remind you to "Look Before You Lock!" On average, 37 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside a vehicle. This is a number the Calhoun Police Department would like to see drastically reduced, if not completely eliminated. Even on a relatively mild day, the temperature inside a vehicle can get above 100 degrees. At those temperatures, kids are at a high risk of dehydration, heat stroke, seizures and even death. Our memory sometimes needs visual reminders, so the Calhoun Police Department would like to offer these tips. Place one of your shoes in the backseat with the child so you must grab it before leaving your vehicle, or place the child’s diaper bag or backpack in the front seat as a reminder the child is still in the vehicle.

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 and follow us on Twitter @gordoncountyema. Sign up for Code Red Emergency Weather Warnings here.

This Week's Gordon Environmental Health Scores:
- CHECKERS - 560 HWY 53 E CALHOUN - 89

State & National News

More Travelers for Independence Day...AAA forecasts more Americans will travel this Independence Day than ever before. A record-breaking 44.2 million Americans (1.3 million Georgians) will take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways; an increase of 1.3 million Americans (52,000 Georgians) from last year’s holiday. A new AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey shows Georgians will vacation more than last summer and spend more money in the process. The survey revealed that over two-thirds (69%) of Georgians are planning at least one vacation - of 3 days or more – this summer (Memorial Day-Labor Day). The most popular vacations are beach/lake getaways (79%), theme parks (48%), and ocean cruises (27%). Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) has launched its statewide summer construction season—the busiest in years—with 539 road improvement projects across Georgia. These construction and maintenance projects, representing an allocation of approximately $3.9 billion, are part of Georgia DOT’s overall transportation investment. This summer, GDOT also reminds motorists: be alert and use extra caution in work zones. GDOT has launched a Summer 2017 Construction webpage to keep motorists informed about key summer construction activities, and you can find a link here.

House Passes "Phase 3" of President Trump's Healthcare Plan...Continuing the healthcare reform process, the House has passed the Verify First Act (H.R. 2581), the VETERAN Act (H.R. 2372) and the Broader Options for Americans Act (H.R. 2579). These bills are part of Phase 3 of President Trump’s healthcare plan. Speaking of the bills, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) said, “...Each of these bills makes targeted reforms that help increase competition, improve access and control costs. When taken together, the president’s plan will reduce health insurance premiums, increase access to healthcare and put patients first.”

Escaped Inmates Captured, Reward to be Paid Out...Putnam County, Georgia Sheriff, Howard Sills said he is confident the $130,000 reward offered for the capture of two escaped inmates will be paid. Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe were arrested last Thursday evening in Christiana, Tn. Patrick Hale is the man authorities credit with holding the two escapees until authorities arrived. The two men will be extradited back to Georgia.

Back to School Tax Holidays Announced... Several states have announced the dates for their annual back to school sales tax holidays. Shoppers can purchase most clothing, computers and school supplies without paying sales tax during the holiday. Alabama July 21-July 23, Georgia July 29-30, South Carolina August 4-6 and Tennessee July 28-30.

"Georgia STABLE" Launches...Gov. Nathan Deal launched Georgia STABLE, a tax free savings program for eligible individuals with disabilities. A STABLE account has the features of a regular bank account and acts as an investment
account. Contributions and earnings are not subject to federal or state income tax if spend on qualifying expenses, such as education, health care, housing and transportation. Contributions to STABLE accounts are made with after tax dollars

VA Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Act Passes...Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) voted for and the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094), sending it to the president’s desk. Specifically, H.R. 1259 increases accountability at the VA by making it easier for the VA Secretary to punish or fire bad employees. It also improves whistleblower protections so employees who witness misconduct can report it without fearing retaliation. In March, the House passed the VA Accountability First Act (H.R. 1259). S. 1094 resolves the differences between the House bill and the Senate’s version. The bill is now sent to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Gas Prices Falling... Motorists are finding some of the lowest gas prices of the year, according to a report from AAA. On Sunday, the state average was $2.16. The most expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Atlanta ($2.19), Savannah ($2.18), and Albany ($2.12). In Northwest Georgia, the cheapest price for a gallon of regular unleaded was in Dalton at $1.90/g, Calhoun was next at $1.93 on Monday, followed by Rome at $1.97. In our area, reports Adairsville to be the highest price at $2.09/g.

911 Operations Being Coordinated Statewide...Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order creating a new state authority to coordinate local 9-1-1 operations across the state. The order takes effect July 1st and creates the "local government 9-1-1 authority" under direction of the Ga. Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Agency.

Sears, Kmart Stores in Northwest GA Closing Soon...Sears is closing 72 more stores, in addition to the more than 180 that have already been announced this year. The company released a list internally of the closing stores, which includes 16 Sears stores, 49 Kmart stores, and seven auto centers. Three stores in Georgia are on the list: Sears # 2615 in Dalton will close, along with K-Mart Store # 3083 in Ft. Oglethorpe and Calhoun K-Mart Store #9625. Most of the stores will close in September.

Peach Crop Suffering...Ga. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said almost 80% of the state's peach crop is suffering after an overly warm winter and a hard freeze in early spring. Black said the lack of peaches could mean a shorter season for Ga. consumers and farmers probably won't ship out of state. In South Carolina over 85% of the peach crop was lost.

Toyota Issues Recall... Toyota is recalling 36,000 Tacoma pickups in North and South America because they can stall without warning. The recall involves Tacomas with V-6 engines from the 2016 and 2017 models. The company says an engine crankshaft timing rotor may have been produced with excessive anticorrosion coating, which could cause the crank position sensor to malfunction.

Kroger Issues Recall...The Kroger Co., has recalled Kroger Dessert Cups, Yellow Sponge Cake (6.5 oz., 6 pack) because it contains undeclared milk. People who have an allergy to milk run the risk of a serious reaction if they consume these products. Customers who have purchased any of the products described should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Mosquito Season is Here...Mosquito season is arriving and with it the threat of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, now firmly entrenched in the U.S., and the emerging infectious disease, Zika virus. Public health officials in Northwest Georgia are ramping up their prevention efforts and urging area residents to help control local mosquito populations by tipping or tossing away any containers in their yards that can hold water, thereby eliminating potential breeding areas. For more information on how to prevent mosquito bites, visit

6th District Race Most Expensive in American History... Republican Karen Handel has been declared the winner of Georgia's 6th Congressional District runoff, which includes portions of Cobb, Fulton, and Dekalb Counties. Handel defeated Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff . Over $50 million was spent in the campaigns making it the most expensive House race in U.S. history.

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.

Dangerous, Lethal Substance in Central & South GA...The Ga. Department of Public Health said they have become aware of a dangerous lethal substance contained in street drugs surfacing in central and South Georgia. Dozens have been hospitalized and there are reports of deaths that may be associated with the drugs. The patients said they purchased yellow pills alleged to be Percocet, an opioid pain medication. The substance has not yet been identified but it is extremely potent and has required massive doses of naloxone (Narcan) to counteract its effects.

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

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?

GDOL Hiring 35 to Work in Calhoun... Georgia Department of Labor's Rome Career Center will help recruit 35 full-time manufacturing employees to work in Calhoun at a company which manufactures synthetic turf for athletic fields. The recruitments will be held on Thursday and Friday, June 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 175 North Industrial Blvd., N.E. in Calhoun. For more information about the recruitments, contact the GDOL’s Rome Career Center at (706) 295-6051 or to apply online, visit

Summer Feeding Programs for Students... Calhoun City Schools and Gordon County Schools Summer Feeding Programs are underway. Dates, times and locations can be found on our facebook page, or by calling Calhoun City or Gordon County Schools Central Offices. The programs offer free, nutritious meals to any child ages 18 and under.

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

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 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:,, and

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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.

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