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MONDAY: Partly to mostly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High 88°...MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 72°...TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 92°

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Top Stories Around Northwest Georgia

Calhoun & Gordon County

Man Charged with Felony Assault... Gordon County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 58 year-old Edward Martin McNamara of Hall Memorial Road in Calhoun around 1:30 Thursday (07/20) morning, accroding to jail records. McNamara was charged with Felony Aggravated Assault and is being held in the Gordon County Jail. Detectives have not released details surrounding the alleged incident from which that charge stems.

Couple Facing Misdemeanor Charges from Fairmount PD... A man and woman were arrested by Fairmount Police Thursday afternoon on a couple of misdemeanor charges. Johnny eugene Elrod, age 43 of Fairmount and 50 year-old Barbara Marie McBrayer of Ranger were booked into the Gordon County Jail afte a routine traffic stop revealed a small amount of marijuana. Both were charged with misdemeanor possession. McBrayer was also charged with possession of drug related objects, also a misdemeanor. Her bond was set at $2,250. Elrod faces the added misdemeanor charge of concealing the tag of his vehicle. No bond has been set for him at this time.

Car Crashes Into House...Calhoun Firefighters were in the Spring Valley subdivision at 108 Larkspur Drive around 6:30 pm Tuesday evening after a vehicle reportedly crashed into the attached garage at the residence, which caused the gas and water lines to bust. No one was hurt, and officials said that it appeared to be an accident. It took crews about three hours to get everything cleared and back to normal.

TN Woman Charged with Drug Trafficking by GCSO...At about 8:30pm Thursday night (July 6), a deputy sheriff on patrol near the intersection of State Route 53 and Lovers Lane in Calhoun stopped a car bearing a Tennessee license plate for a number of traffic violations. The car pulled into the parking lot of a local business after the deputy activated his blue lights. A subsequent search of the car by deputies revealed a large quantity of methamphetamine. The driver, Kristy A. Helton a/k/a Heather Killen, age 34, of Old Fort, Tennessee, was arrested at the scene without incident. She was subsequently charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Giving False Information, and an array of traffic-related offenses. She is being held in the county jail pending bond proceedings.

Gordon County School Board Member Resigns...UPDATED: 07/11/17::: On Monday, the Gordon County Board of Education received a letter of resignation from County Wide, At-large school board member Ricky E. Smith. In response, the Board of Education released the following statement: "Gordon County Schools deeply regrets that Mr. Smith's personal circumstances have cast a negative shadow on the great work going on in our school district. However, with the resignation of Mr. Smith from his elected post on our Board of Education, it is our hope that we and our community can move forward in providing the quality education our students and parents have come to expect. "

UPDATE: 07/07/17::: Gordon County School Board Member Ricky E. Smith, 45, was booked into the Gordon County Jail on Thursday (07/06) after Gordon County Superior Court Judge David K. Smith revoked his bond. Smith, who was arrested on June 19th on charges of possession of Schedule IV and Schedule V narcotics, was out of jail on bond from an August 2016 arrest on 19 different counts, several of which are felonies and include financial transaction card theft, identity fraud, theft by taking, criminal trespass and influencing a witness. Smith, according to officials, will remain in jail until his next court date.

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.

Dalton & Whitfield County

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who used a credit card at four different Dalton locations after it had been stolen from a swim meet in Fort Oglethorpe on July 15th. The suspect also attempted to use the stolen card to withdraw money from several ATMs, but failed. The victim’s wallet was stolen after possibly being forgotten on a counter at a swimmiong pool concession stand in Fort Oglethorpe. The suspect is a skinny Hispanic male, who was recorded by store surveillance at the stores where the stolen AmEx card was used. He was a passenger in a silver Ford SUV. Anyone with information is asked to call Dalton Police.

Beaulieu Group Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy... Dalton based flooring company Beaulieu Group filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Monday in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Rome. A company release calls the action a formal proceeding to restructure its balance sheet. They say lenders have agreed to continue to support the company to keep them going. The company was founded in 1978 and is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of wall to wall carpet in North America.

Five Charged with Drug Trafficking...Whitfield County Deputies arrested five people for trafficking illegal narcotics. After a routine traffic stop and investigation this past Thursday morning, deputies charged 25-year-old Nicolas Olguin from Chatsworth and 29-year-old Manual Hernandez from Oklahoma City with trafficking in methamphetamine. They also charged 27-year-old Megan Burkett from Dalton with trafficking in heroin and possession of methamphetamine. Additionally, David Gunter, age 32, from Chatsworth, and Jonathan Long, age 24, of Chatsworth, were both charged with possession of firearm by a convicted felon. All five are being held in the Whitfield County Jail.

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...UPDATE: 07/17/17::: Health authorities in Whitfield County want to hear from anyone who recently came into contact with a puppy who tested positive for rabies after a skunk bit it in the head several weeks ago. The Whitfield County Health Department says the puppy started to become ill on July 7th, and was too young for the vaccine. They want anyone who may have come into contact with the puppy since June 27th to contact the health department for an evaluation. The puppy is a cream-colored poodle-mix and had been in the area of the 900 block of Dawnville Road in Whitfield County. Anyone who came into physical contact with the puppy should contact Whitfield County Environmental Health. Health authorities report there have been additional rabies cases in Murray and Whitfield County this year.

ORIGINAL POST: 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

Rabid Raccoon Found in Chatsworth...Murray County officials are issuing a rabies warning after a raccoon tested positive for rabies on Saturday (07/08). The animal was in the area of Central Hill Drive near Chatsworth. Environmental Health officials are stressing how important rabies vaccinations are for pets, and they're saying residents should be wary of unfamiliar animals. If you come across an animal acting unusual or appearing sick contact your local health department or animal control office.

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

Teen Drowns in Etowah River...A 17 year old Dallas teen drowned in the Etowah River Tuesday afternoon. First responders in Bartow County received the call around 1:30 p.m. for a possible drowning adjacent to Old River Rd. between State Route 293 and Joe Frank Harris Pkwy by the railroad trestle bridge. Sergio Candenas went under while swimming and didn't resurface. Around 3:45 p.m., Ga. Department of Natural Resources personnel recovered his body about 200-300 yards down the river from where he went under.

Serious Charges for Cartersville Man...A Cartersville man faces serious charges after he was booked into the Bartow County Jail by the Cartersville Police Department Friday. David Lavon Turner, Old Allatoona Rd., was charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes, 2 counts of sexual battery, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine and parole violation.

Fmr Cartersville Cop Facing Federal Charges...A former Cartersville Police Officer allegedly tipped off drug traffickers to an active F.B.I. investigation. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District, Bryson-Taylor Wayne Banks, 31, Cartersville, was arraigned June 27th on multiple federal charges. Banks was assigned to a DEA task force and allegedly used his access to law enforcement databases to alert an informant and drug traffickers to an active federal investigation. Banks is charged with disclosure of confidential information, unlawfully accessing a law enforcement database and many other charges. The case is being investigated by the F.B.I.

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.

Rome & Floyd County

Fatal Crash Between Rome & Summerville... An accident involving two pickup trucks around 7:00 am Thursday (07/20) claimed the life of a Summerville woman. The Georgia State Patrol said Opal Vaughn died after the north bound truck crossed the center line on Taylor's Ridge between Rome and Summerville. That truck hit the south bound pickup head on. Reports said that three others were hurt and treated at Rome area hospitals. Daniel James Craig, 26, is charged with DUI, vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane and driving without a valid license. Police said that Craig was the driver who crossed into oncoming traffic.

Floyd County Coroner Resigns... Floyd County Coroner Barry Henderson has resigned the position, as of July 1st, citing health and personal reasons. He will continue to aide the office during the transition, however Deputy Corner Gene Proctor has taken over the position from Henderson, who was reelected last November. Proctor said he will run for election in 2020.

Accused Murderer Granted Continuance... A Rome man who is accused of murdering an elderly couple in 2015 will be granted another continuance after his attorney said he is incapable of continuing. Emerson Mack Abbott Jr, 30, was charged with the murders of James and Myra Reeves at their Terhune Road home back in January 2015. After a previous continuance, Abbott’s attorney Wade C. Hoyt III said that he suffered a detached retina in November 2016 and had surgery last May on the issue. He added that “hopefully this will be the last continuance”. Floyd County Superior Court Judge Bryant Durham said that he would review Hoyt’s ability to go on in September.

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.

Lafayette & Walker County

Man Chases Thieves After Truck Stolen...The Walker County Sheriff's Office said when someone stole a 2016 white Ford F150 early Thursday (07/06) morning, the truck owner got into a separate vehicle, and chased the suspect. The Walker County Sheriff's Office said another suspect was following the victim in a red 2012 Kia Optima. Essentially, the victim of the car theft was sandwiched in between two vehicles driven by theft suspects. Reports said that people in both vehicles were firing shots. That third car, the Kia Optima, wrecked and turned out to have been stolen in Walker County about a month ago. The victim was shot at about five times from each vehicle but was not injured. A .45 caliber shell casing was recovered from inside the stolen Kia. The Ford F150 is still missing. Anyone with information on this crime should contact the Walker County Sheriff's Office at 706-638-1909.

Serial Arsonist Suspected in Lafayette...Authorities in LaFayette said an abandoned building burned on West Villanow Street early Wednesday (07/05) morning, and investigators think the suspicious fire may be the work of a "serial arsonist." The fire caused minor damage to the building, and firefighters put it out with a fire extinguisher. Stacey Meeks, Director of Fire Services with the City of LaFayette, said investigators believe the fire is the latest operation by a serial arsonists. Meeks says there have been other recent arsons, including 2 commercial buildings, and 3 or 4 abandoned homes. One was at a hardware store. All the fires happened within a half mile radius of each other. The state fire marshal's office says a $10,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the serial arsonist.

Waker Co. Sheriff's Corporal Stabbed...Monday, July 3rd Walker County Sheriff's Corporal J.D. Holland was stabbed three times after a foot chase in Rossville. His mother says that he is is not only in stable condition, but is also in good spirits. Deputy Holland will be on paid leave during the investigation. Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says that is standard procedure. Sheriff Wilson added that the suspect who was shot, had surgery for his sustained injuries on the morning of July 4th.

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.

Calhoun City & Gordon County Government News

Open House Schedules for 2017-2018 School Year...

All Calhoun City Schools

Calhoun City Schools will hold one system-wide, drop-in Open House on Thursday, Aug. 3 from 1 - 6 p.m. Students and parents can visit their school between those hours and meet their for the new school year and get their schedules.

High School Parking Passes: Parking permits are issued by the school. They may be denied and/or revoked. In order to maintain a permit, students must remain in good standing with the school academically and behaviorally. Additionally, students must maintain acceptable attendance free from excessive unexcused tardies, leave earlies and/or absences. To register for a parking permit, you must bring the following to registration. Parking spaces will not be held for a student who does not have all required materials: -Drug Testing Consent Form signed by student and parent (can be printed from CHS website); -Valid Driver’s License; -Valid Insurance Card; -Tag number; -$60 nonrefundable check payable to CHS and Parking Permit Form (please include phone number)


Tuesday, July 25 9 -10 a.m. - Seniors with a 95 or above cumulative GPA and/or those who had perfect attendance 2016-2017; 1 - 3 p.m. - All other Seniors. Wednesday, July 26 9 - 10 a.m. - Juniors with a 95 or above cumulative GPA and/or those who had perfect attendance 2016-2017. 1 - 3 p.m. - All other Juniors. Thursday, July 27 9 - 10 a.m. - Sophomores with a 95 or above cumulative GPA and/or those who had perfect attendance 2016-2017. 1 - 3 p.m. - All other Sophomores; Any other student needing a parking permit. **Student and parents are able to verify GPA and attendance via Parent Portal. **Visit to access all parking forms.


Gordon County Schools Pre-K, Elementary and Middle Schools

All Gordon County elementary schools (Belwood, Fairmount, Red Bud, Sonoraville, Tolbert and W.L Swain) will hold Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 1 from 4 - 6 p.m.

All Gordon County middle schools (Ashworth and Red Bud) will hold Open House on Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 4 - 6 p.m.

Gordon County Pre-K Open House will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 8:30 a.m.

Gordon Central High School

Gordon Central Freshman Orientation will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. in the GCHS gym.


On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Gordon Central seniors can pick up their schedules and purchase parking permits beginning at 8:30 a.m.; Juniors can pick up their schedules and purchase parking permits at 10 a.m.; Sophomores can pick up their schedules and purchase parking permits beginning at 1 p.m.

For parking permits, students must bring the parking permit application completed with both the student and parent signatures to pick up a permit. It can be found on the GCHS webpage to print. Students will also need proof of insurance, car registration drivers license along with the $35 fee.

Sonoraville High School

Senior Early Bird Parking will be held from 8 - 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25. Students on the Honor Roll and Merit List will receive an invitation for privileged parking for the school year. Sign up will be in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.

Regular Senior Parking and Lockers will also be held on Tuesday, July 25 from 9 - 11:30 a.m. Sign up in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.

Junior Early Bird Parking will be held from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25. Students on the Honor Roll and Merit List will receive an invitation for privileged parking for the school year. Sign up will be in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.

Regular Junior Parking and Lockers will be held from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25. Sign up in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.


On Wednesday, July 26, Sophomore Parking and Lockers will be held from 8 - 10 a.m. Sign up in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.

Also on Wednesday, July 26, Freshmen Lockers will be held from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sign up in Building 4 Commons Area. This is Open Campus time for students to walk across the campus and visit as needed. Advisement Rosters will be posted. Schedules will not be ready until the first day of school, on Aug. 3, during advisement.


Sonoraville High School's offices and campus will be closed on Friday, July 28 due to a four day work week schedule.


On Thursday, Aug. 10, the annual PHOENIX PALOOZA will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. at Sonoraville High School. The event is open to the community, especially parents and family members. This will be a time for fun and fellowship for students and parents. Blow-ups and activities will be provided for younger students so parents can visit with SHS Staff members. Hot Dogs, Chips and Drinks will be served for $1.00 during this festive time at SHS. From 8 - 9 p.m. that night, a Bon Fire and Pep Rally for the 2017 school year will be held at the front of the school around the fire pit near the rock gym. This will be a Fall Kick-off Pep Rally which will include all Fall Sports, Fall Activities and Friday night’s scrimmage with Gordon Central at Sonoraville High School.

Posts Up for Election; Qualifying Begins Aug. 21st...Municipal general elections for the City of Calhoun will be held in November, and qualifying for several posts up for election begins on August 21st. Positions up for grabs this year are Council Post #3-Incumbent Matt Barton, and Council Post #4-Incumbent David Hammond. Also available are City School Board Posts 1,2 & 3 with Incumbents Alvin Long, Rhoda Washington and David Scoggins respectively. Early voting will begin and absentee ballots will be available at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office on Monday, October 16. The last day to register to vote for the municipal general election is Tuesday, October 10.

Poultry Operations Moratorium Lifted...At their July 11th meeting, the Gordon County Board of Commissioners approved the amendment to the Unified Land Development Code for Dry Litter Poultry Operation. The execution of the resolution lifts the moratorium on construction of new poultry operations in Gordon County.

2017 Assessment Notices Mailed...Gordon County Government officials said that the 2017 Assessment Notices were mailed June 21. You have 45 days to appeal the value. If you have any questions please contact the Assessor’s Office at 706-629-6812 or contact Chief Appraiser Dana Burch in the new Gordon County Government Plaza at 215 North Wall Street.

"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.

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.

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 now 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. 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.

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. Dog Days of Summer will be held on July 22, 2017 at Calhoun Park on McDaniel Station Road. There will be contest you can enter and all money raised from the contest will go to the Gordon County Animal shelter to help with the rebuilding process. Vendors and community groups are welcome to set up a booth., but must fill out an application with a $20 space fee. $8 entry fee for all 13 and up or bring an item from the donation list for free entry.

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.

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.

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:
Teriyaki Chef - Red Bud Rd - 71...Denny's - Resaca Beach Blvd - 80... Krystal - Hwy 53 E - 80...Little Caesar's - W Belmont Dr - 83...El Rayos - S Piedmont St - 85...Bojangle's - Hwy 53 - 86...Copper Creek Grill - Millers Ferry Rd - 95

State & National News

House Approves Funds for Pres. Trump's Border Wall...Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) on Tuesday voted for and the House Appropriations Committee approved the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, annual legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security. The bill includes $1.6 billion for the construction of physical barriers at the border -- President Trump's promised wall. The bill also includes $7 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and makes key investments in cybersecurity, including $1.37 billion to secure government networks and prevent cyberattacks.

Flesh Eating Bacteria Found in Mobile, AL...The Mobile Co. Health Department in Alabama said they have two cases of Vibrio Vulnificus--a flesh eating bacteria related to open wounds being exposed to the water around Mobile. A third case is from eating raw oysters in another state. Vibrio is a bacteria that is naturally occurring in warmer water. If you are exposed to it you will see symptoms within 24-72 hours. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, blisters around the wounded areas, swelling and redness.

Georgia's Back to School Tax Holidays CANCELED... Several states have announced the dates for their annual back to school sales tax holidays, but Georgia's has been canceled! There will be no tax free weekends in Georgia this year after state lawmakers failed to pass legislation during this year's Legislative session to provide for any 2017 tax holidays. If you're still wanting to savesales tax Tennessee will still have their tax free back to school weekend starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 28 and ending Sunday, July 30 at 11:59 p.m. Victory Fellowship Center, located at 925 Oothcalooga Street in Calhoun, is holding a Back to School Supply Giveaway on Saturday, July 22 from 9:00 a.m to 12 Noon or as long as supplies last. Free tennis shoes will also be given away on a first come, first served basis. Students must be present to get their supplies and shoes. For more information, you can call (706) 625-1106. Gordon Hospital will also be giving away school supplies and backpacks Thursday, July 27 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Sonoraville Recreation Complex, also on a first come, first served basis.

GA Power Closing Business Offices... Georgia Power officials said that plans are underway to close its last 27 business offices in the state by this October, including Rome’s office at 800 Broad Street, due to nearly 70 percent of all payments now coming from electronic means. About 200 employees statewide will be affected, and approximately 100 of those will be out of a job, according to the company.

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.

Gov. Deal Announces German Grocer's Investment in Cartersville... Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that German grocery chain Lidl, one of the world's largest retailers will create 250 jobs and invest $100 million over the next five years in a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville. The Cartersville facility will be the company's fourth regional headquarters and distribution center.

"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

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.

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

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 And with the burn ban in place, we are also reminded of how hot summertime can get in Georgia. Authorities also need the public to remember to not leave children or pets in a hot, unattended car. They also want you to remember if you're going to be outside in the heat for a long time, to take breaks in the shade and stay hydrated. Also be sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives.

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

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?

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

For Local School Events
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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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Find out how you can save a life. Go to or

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