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Cleveland Man Charged Following
By: Rob Moore
(Cleveland) - A Cleveland man faces
charges after his vehicle collided head-on with a
spreader truck in Cleveland Thursday afternoon. The
wreck, that occurred just before 4 PM, resulted in
a section of Highway 129, South Main Street, being
closed for about 90 minutes.
A green Ford Ranger pickup was
traveling north on Highway 129 and collided head-on
with an International 4400 spreader truck that was
stopped in the center turn lane. The driver of the
pickup truck, 34-year-old William Wesley Bladen of
Cleveland, was injured and trapped in the wreckage.
Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said,
after being cut free by Cleveland Fire Department
personnel, Bladen was taken by ambulance to
Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The driver of the
spreader truck, 59-year-old Steve Arthur Allen of
Cleveland, was not injured.
According to Wright, the state
patrol obtained warrants for Bladen, charging him
with failure to maintain lane and driving while
license suspended or revoked.
During the time traffic was detoured
around the accident scene there was a minor
three-vehicle wreck on Old Highway 75. No one was
hurt in that wreck.
Warriors Shuts Down Dawson
(Cleveland)- The White County
Warriors dominated Thursdays baseball game
against the Dawson County Tigers, here in Cleveland.
The final score was 8-0.
The Warriors scored four runs in the
first inning, adding two more runs in the second and
didn’t ease up. Spencer Adams pitched yet another
spectacular game, throwing seven strikeouts back to
back, shutting down the Tigers.
White County is scheduled to travel
to Fannin County Friday for another game,
Yeh Named TMC Head Basketball
(Cleveland)- The Truett-McConnell College
Department of Athletics has announced Jon Yeh has
been selected as Head Men’s Basketball Coach, for
the school. Truett-McConnell College’s Director of
Athletics Dr. Stacy Hall. “Jon Yeh will be a
spiritual mentor and a role model for our young
people and has a proven record of supporting
academics and community service.”
selection was made after a national search of over
100 applicants. Hall added., “This strategic hire is
another example of how Truett-McConnell athletics is
committed to winning championships in discipleship,
academics, community service, and athletic
performance.” “Yeh is a proven winner”, said Hall,
Having coached teams in three consecutive National
Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National
Tournament appearances and one Final Four
is the Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach at
Grace College. Yeh is married to Corrinne and they
have four children and they will be moving to
Cleveland and begin his tenure as Bears Head
Basketball Coach on April 30th.
National Telecommunications' Week
(Cleveland)- This week, the second week of
April, is set aside as a time to remember
those who answer the call, every call, during times
of need. It’s your local 9-1-1 dispatch operators.
Whether it is a call for medical services, a law
enforcement call, or one for the fire department, a
9-1-1 dispatcher is ready. No matter the time of
day or the nature of your emergency, they are there
for you. They are the calm voice you hear when your
world is suddenly in chaos.
County Public Safety Director David Murphy said,
"White County dispatchers handled over 124,000 calls
for service in 2013, their motto is “When seconds
count-count on us.”
Trail Work Day Held
White County Park
YMCA Trail work was held this past Saturday.
Volunteers gathered to clear another section.
YMCA Director Lynn Adams said the Fitness
Trail is taking shape. She reported the trail
sections completed thus far have held up very well
to the hard rains recently.
Work Day is planned for Saturday May 24th,
additional volunteers are welcome, you are asked to
arrive at 9am and work until noon.
Clark Neal [L] with help from Bob Burt [R];
behind them are
Peggy Burt and Carmen Mellix, with Chris Ernst on
Juveniles Charged With Vandalizing
School Buses ( 4/10/14)
(Cleveland)- Three juveniles have
been arrested in Cleveland and charged with
vandalizing several school buses. Cleveland Police
Chief John Foster said youth ranging in age of 12-14
are accused of vandalizing 19 White County School
Foster said the incident took place
Monday and Tuesday and was discovered by a bus shop
employee who reported to work Wednesday morning.
The school system is on Spring Break this week, but
the employee was scheduled to report for maintenance
work on some of the buses.
Chief Foster said, “the juveniles
discharged fire extinguishers in and on buses,
poured oil inside busses and one bus had human feces
in it. “ The group also is suspected to have
entered the White County Cannery, which is located
next to the bus shop.
Foster said the juveniles, who live
near the school barn, are believed to have broken
into another building on the school campus in
Cleveland a couple of weeks ago. The investigation
is ongoing, according to Foster.
Easter Eggstravaganza This Saturday
(Cleveland)- The White County Chamber
of Commerce and the Cabbage Patch Kids at BabyLand
General Hospital in Cleveland are hopping with
excitement about the great weather predicted for
this coming weekend. Saturday the 26th
Annual Magical Easter Eggstravaganza will be held.
All of the activities will be held on
the grounds of BabyLand, except for the Easter
parade through downtown Cleveland. The days
activities include a pancake breakfast with Easter
Bunny and Cabbage Patch Kids, that begins at 8:00
AM. The parade, around the square in downtown
Cleveland, begins at 11 AM, cupcakes and carrots
with Easter Bunny at 1 PM., an egg hunt with 28,000
eggs will take place at 2 pm and an Easter bonnet
contest will be held at 3PM.
There will be arts and crafts
throughout the day. There will be a detour route
on city streets around downtown during the parade
and Cleveland Police ask travelers to plan
April Grand Jury Report Presented
(Cleveland)- The report for the April
term for White County Grand Jury was presented
before Superior Court Judge Raymond George on
Tuesday. The jury body led by foreperson Cynthia
Seaman examined 34 bill of indictment and true
The jury body heard reports from
White County Sheriff Neal Walden, Probate Judge
Garrison Baker and Tax Commissioner Cindy Cannon.
The body as part of their work nominated four
people; Lisa Manning, Bill White, Keith Ivey and
Mark Grizzard for two vacancies on the White County
Board of Registrars beginning July first this year
until June 30th 2018. Ronnie London was
appointed to the county board of equalization.
In their recommendations the grand
jury recommended that the White County Sheriff’s
Office be provided an additional budget allocation
for cost of living and merit increases for personnel
and for a capital expenditure for an update of the
sheriff’s department patrol car video capabilities.
Rainfall Deficit Remains Following
Heavy Rain ( 4/8/14)
(Sautee)- Northeast Georgia received
a good drenching between Sunday night and Monday
morning with some areas receiving close to four
inches during the period. WRWH weather reporter
Bill Kinsland kept a close check on the river
levels during that time and he said the
Chattahoochee here in White County remained below
According to Bill, the Chattahoochee
River at Helen crested at 3.05 feet at 10 AM Monday
the flood stage is six feet. By Tuesday morning
the river level had dropped down to 1.74 feet. At
the Duncan Bridge/ Buck Shoals location the
Chattahoochee crested at 8.59 feet Monday
afternoon. It was down to 3.54 feet Tuesday
As far as the rainfall totals Bill
reported Cleveland received 3.70 inches during the
rain period, Helen 3.67 and Sautee weather station
3.92 inches. Even with all that rain Bill reports on
average the year-to-date rainfall deficit is still
over 5 and a quarter inches.
Drug Take Back Initiative In
White County April 26th
(Cleveland)- The White County
Sheriff’s Office and the Appalachian Drug Task Force
will partner together with the Enotah Anti Drug
Coalition to participate in the nationwide
prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks
to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.
The White County Sheriff’s Office and
the ADTF will be collecting potentially dangerous
expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for
destruction at Wal Mart in Cleveland on Saturday,
April 26th, from 10 AM–2 P.M. This
service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The DEA reports that it’s state and
local partners have removed over 3.4 million pounds
of medication from circulation across the nation
through this program. Most people are not aware
that medicines found in home cabinets are highly
susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. The
rates of prescription drug abuse, accidental
poisonings, and overdoses are increasing throughout
the United States at an alarming rate.
White County Sheriff Neal Walden
said, “Prescription drug abuse is a rapidly growing
drug problem, and this take-back event is an
invaluable tool that we can use to reduce the threat
of drug abuse that these prescription drugs pose.”
He said the number of deaths this past year was
reduced because of these types of programs.
Cleveland Man Charged With Peeping
(CUMMING) - A Cleveland man has been arrested in
connection with that Peeping Tom incident at Belk in
Cumming last weekend.
Sheriff's Deputy Doug Rainwater said 38-year old
Randy William Wilson, was identified as the suspect
after investigators received a tip from someone who
had seen surveillance photos on local media.
Authorities from Forsyth County tracked Wilson to
his house in Cleveland. Rainwater said, "He
ran from us...there was a brief foot chase and it
lasted only a few moments and we were able to catch
him near his home."
For now, Wilson is in the White County Detention
Center, but he will be turned over to Forsyth County
authorities to face two felony counts of Peeping
Tom, according to Rainwater.
Rainwater said, "He's being held without
bond in the
Randy William Wilson
White County Detention Center based on a parole
violation...he has also been charged previously and
convicted with being a Peeping Tom in the past."
Rainwater said Wilson also was spotted by public
tipsters at North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawson
County earlier in the week.
Cleveland Resident Named Hall
County Clerk ( 4/4/14)
(GAINESVILLE) - The Hall County Board of
Commissioners has hired former Habersham County
Clerk Lisa Ritchie as the new commission clerk for
Hall County. Ritchie,
who lives in Cleveland, most recently worked as a
Customer Service Representative for Freudenburg NOK
in Cleveland , plus she serve as Human Resources
Clerk and Payroll Clerk for Truett-McConnell
Ritchie begins work with Hall County
on April 7th.
replaced Melissa McCain who resigned earlier this
year to take a position at clerk for the City of
White County Home Destroyed By
- White County fire personnel spent most of
Wednesday morning working a structure fire in the
northern part of the county. White County Public
Safety spokeswoman Ana Newberry said around 3:30
a.m. Wednesday, White County and Lee Arrendale State
Prison firefighters responded to a house fire on
Timber Wolf Road off Sims Road. The
3,000-square-foot home was a total loss.
Newberry said the homeowner was home
at the time of the fire, and was able to get out
safely. The homeowner declined American Red Cross
assistance, but Red Cross personnel were used for
Newberry said Wednesday afternoon, "Although not
deemed suspicious, the fire is being investigated by
the county fire investigator for a cause."No one was
hurt in the fire.
Fire fighters were busy Tuesday
afternoon, battling two woods and grass fires. The
first was reported at 2 p.m. on Runway Circle at
Aviation Boulevard inside Mountain Air Park.
Newberry said a homeowner was burning something in a
55-gallon drum and his controlled burn got out of
control due to the sudden increase in winds. Georgia
Forestry Commission was called to cut a break around
the fire. Total area affected was nine acres. No
structures or aircraft were damaged.
Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, while
personnel from numerous fire stations were still
working to contain the fire on Runway Circle, White
County firefighters were called to a fire on
Oglethorpe Lane at Eli Knob Road. Newberry said a
resident reported a fire in the woods. Firefighters
protected nearby structures until Georgia Forestry
arrived to cut a break around the fire. Due to
high winds, the fire jumped the break and the
process started over again until the fire was
contained, Newberry said. Six acres were consumed,
but no structures were damaged.
Helen Tubing Company Told It
Can't Use One Of It's Sites
By Rob Moore
(HELEN) - A Helen tubing company won't be able to
use one of its locations during the 2014 season.
Following a closed
session Tuesday, the Helen City Commission voted to
instruct City Attorney Carl Free to notify Water
Park Properties LLC that, in accordance with
previous court rulings, they will not be allowed to
use their Escowee Drive location this year.
officials maintain the company is operating its
Escowee Drive location on property zoned
residential, which violates the city's zoning
City of Helen filed for declaratory judgment against
Water Park Properties LLC, in 2010.
Senior Judge Robert
Struble ruled in the city's favor in White County
Superior Court on Sept. 26, 2012. Struble's ruling
was upheld by the Georgia Court of Appeals last
tubing operations continue on the property, located
across from the former Orbit building on Escowee
Drive, the operators could be fined up to $1,000 per
The prohibition letter does not
affect any of Water Park Properties LLC's other
locations or operations in Helen.
Commissioners Offer Another Look
At Land Use ( 4/1/14)
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
say they are ready to present another look at a Land
Use plan for the county and want the public to come
review it and provide input.
commissioners held a couple of public forums last
August on a draft plan and during those hearings the
citizens provided much input and that has been
incorporated in an updated plan. Now the
commissioners want the citizens to have a look at
the revised document at a public forum to be held
May first from 6 -7:30 PM at the White County Senior
Commission Chairman Travis Turner, during a meeting
Monday afternoon, made it clear they want to hear
from the public, he said, “I can not emphasize that
we are looking for public input, that the citizens
of White County have a say so in a proposed land use
plan that affects all of us that we can be pleased
the May first public forum the commissioners plan
to use the community input and develop a plan that
will be present to voters as a November referendum
New Passing Lane Georgia 11
North of Cleveland (
(Cleveland)- - The Georgia
Department of Transportation announced that a Quick
Response Project was finished Thursday and Drivers
can now use a passing lane on State Route 11 (U.S.Highway
129) southbound at the intersection with
Georgia DOT Board Member, Emily Dunn
said, “There was wide pavement in this area and
drivers were using it as an “unofficial” passing
lane. If a driver was waiting on State Route 11
south to turn left onto Hulsey Road, traffic would
back up behind the waiting vehicle turning left. Now
through traffic can continue using the new 300 feet
long passing lane. Dun also advised that this
addition will greatly improve traffic flow until
Phase Two of the Cleveland Bypass is open for use.”
Dunn represents the 9th Congressional
District including White County on the State
The Quick Response program allows low
cost, operational improvements to be made to the
State Route system. This improvement cost
One Killed In Friday Morning
(Cleveland) - Investigators with the Georgia State
Patrol have identified the person killed in a
two-vehicle crash in White County Friday morning
around 9 AM. According to investigating troopers,
the victim in the crash was 49-year-old Paula Jean
Densmore from Blairsville.
said she was driving southbound on Highway 129 near
Westmoreland Road south of Cleveland when she
crossed the center line and hit another vehicle
head-on. Densmore died at the scene.
driver of the other vehicle, 33-year old Jose
Jimenez, from Cornelia was taken to the hospital for
treatment. The extent of his injuries was unknown.
Strong Support For Liquor By
the Drink Ballot Question
(Cleveland)- The city of Cleveland
could decide soon to have a referendum on the sale
of liquor by the drink, if the support for the ideal
shown last night at a public hearing is any
indication. The city council set up the public
hearing to hear from the public about the issue.
An overwhelming majority of the 30 or
so people who attended the meeting indicated they
wanted the issue to be placed before the voters in
the city. Most of this speaking, including
restaurant owner Ed Ward, connected distilled
spirits sales to increased business and growth in
Ma Gooch's Owner Ed Ward speaks in
favor of liquor by the drink
Wards told the council, “we need this
to create jobs”. He pointed out where liquor by the
drink is allowed restaurant workers earn more
When asked about the tax revenue from
alcohol sale, Councilman Rush Mauney said from July
2012 until June 2013 alcohol tax revenue collected
was $103, 247. Mauney said, “ It’s nothing to
sneeze at, but its no windfall.” He pointed out
that alcohol incidents have went up since beer and
wine sales were approved in the city.
Cleveland Mayor Don Stanley said they
will now have to make a decision whether they want
to go ahead and call for the referendum or ask
citizens to collect signatures of 35 percent of
registered voter to have it placed on the ballot.
That could come at the April 14th
meeting of the city council.
Sunday alcohol was also discussed,
that is a different issue and will require that 35
percent of the registered voters in the city sign a
petition asking for it to be placed on a ballot. At
the end of the public hearing, Councilman Mauney
challenged those attending to get involved in with
other issues affecting the city like they have this
White County Schools To Outsource
Sub Teachers ( 3/28/14)
By: Buster Tallent
(Cleveland)- During the White County
Board of Education meeting Thursday night numerous
items were discussed, including 6th
graders’ participation in school sports, revisions
to the county wide Student Code of Conduct, and the
The primary budgetary concern for the
board was the effect of the Affordable Care Act on
coverage for substitute teachers. In an effort to
cut health insurance costs, the board voted
unanimously to outsource substitute teachers to
Michigan-based Kelly Services, which has an office
in Gainesville. Kelly Services is a temporary
staffing agency and currently has an account with
Habersham County Schools.
Board member Jay Westmoreland said
that insurance costs for all school system employees
will total over $440,000 this year, and is expected
to rise next year.
Also during the meeting, the board
recognized several middle and ninth grade students
for their extracurricular club achievements. The
recognitions included 22 ninth graders who earned
Microsoft Office Specialists in PowerPoint
White County Student Chosen For
(Clarkesville)- A White County High
School student is one of two local students
selected to attend the 2014 Washington Youth Tour,
a fully paid leadership trip sponsored by 38 of the
electric membership corporations in Georgia,
including Habersham EMC.
Morgan West a White County High
School student and Habersham Central High School
student Catherine Fain were selected locally. As
Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the
Washington Youth Tour is designed to teach students
about U.S. history, the role of democracy, the
importance of community and public service, and the
need for civic leadership and service.
Catherine and Morgan will be among
109 Georgia high school students participating
during the event set for June 12th -19th
beginning with stops in Georgia then moving to
historic sites and other events in Washington D.C.
Morgan is the daughter of Charlie and
Honey West of Cleveland and Catherine is the
daughter of Randy and Jean Fain of Clarkesville.
White County Unemployment Rates
Drops In February
(Atlanta) – The Georgia Department of
Labor announced Thursday that the preliminary
unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia region
decreased to 6.3 percent in February, down
three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.6 percent
In White County the unemployment rate
was 6.9 percent, down from the 7.3 percent revised
January rate. According to the labor department in
February the labor force was 12,933. Of those 12,039
had jobs, while 894 were unemployed.
Warrior Baseball Extends Winning
(Cleveland)- White County High School
baseball team dominated yet another game Wednesday
and pushed their season unblemished record to 13 and
0 by beating Fannin County 5-2 here in
While the game was back and forth for
the first two innings, the warriors caught a spark
in the third and didn’t turn down the heat until the
final out. Matthew Hambrick, allowing only two
runs, and scoring nine strikeouts over six innings
The victory was overshadowed by the
injury to Fannin County player Trent Galloway, who
was struck, on the corner of his helmet, by a
Historical Society To Receive War
Between The States Guns (3/26/14)
(Cleveland)- The White County
Historical Society will meet Thursday, April 3rd
at the Historic Courthouse Museum on the square in
Cleveland. There will be a special presentation of
four War Between the States era guns by Joe Black
Black is a descendent of Elijah
Thurmond and Issac Black who originally owned the
The regular program for the meeting
will be "Desperately Seeking Helen”, a discussion
of the History of Helen, by Matt Gedney, Bill
Huff and others. Everyone invited to attend.
White County 51st Healthiest
County In Georgia ( 3/26/14)
(Undated)- A new study ranks Lumpkin County as the
9th healthiest county in Georgia
with Forsyth County topping the list. Forsyth
was also at the top of the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation rankings last year.
Researchers say the
rankings offer a snapshot of overall health for
nearly every county in the country covering 29
factors, including smoking, high school graduation
rates, unemployment, physical inactivity, and access
to healthy foods.
Other counties in
the area in the area with top rankings were Hall
county 12th, Union 14th and
White County was 51st out of 159
counties in the state.
Announces Two New Faculty Members
)--Truett-McConnell College has added a former
Southern Baptist seminary president and an aerospace
engineer to its faculty ranks. Dr. Phil Roberts
presided over the Southern Baptist Convention's
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas
City, from 2001 to 2012. Dr. Mael Disseau, who
holds two doctoral degrees, previously was an
adjunct professor at The College at Southwestern,
which is a baccalaureate-level entity at
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort
Both will teach in the college's new Master of Arts
in Theology program beginning this fall, while
Disseau will also teach in the B.A. program.
Dr. Brad Reynolds, TM's vice president for academic
services said, "We could not be more elated with
the addition of these two colleagues to our faculty,
these men not only bring with them a vast knowledge
base combined with international experience in
education, they are committed churchmen whose lives
of service to God will enhance their impact upon our
students both academically and spiritually."
Warrior TV Wins National Awards
(Orlando, Fl.)- White County High School's award
winning broadcast program traveled to the 11th
annual Student Television Networks National
Convention held in Orlando Florida, over the
weekend. Thirty students and instructors from WTVN-Warrior
TV competed for $50,000 in prize money along with
Charles Dewalt, White County High School instructor
and WTVM Executive Producer said, “ WTVN was
honored to be chosen as one of the top three student
broadcast programs in the nation for "Best Overall
Network", a title we held last year, and "Best
He said, “The students also competed in four days
of contests for trophy prizes and took home the
second place award in the Sweet 16 TV
Sitcom category. In the sweet 16 contest students
spend 16 grueling hours producing a video.
This is a huge honor for our school and the
broadcast program to again be nominated and win on
the national stage, said Dewalt. The Warrior TV
team are expected to arrive back in Cleveland just
before the school day Monday.
Gigibit Speed Available For
Trailwave Customers ( 3/21/14)
(Clarkesville)- It’s all about speed when your
connected to the internet and now, Trailwave,
Habersham Electric Membership Corporation’s internet
serve is increasing residential internet service
speed to 1 gigabit per second making Habersham,
White, Rabun and some rural parts of Stephens and
Hall counties the first and only communities in
Georgia to have this high speed service. The
gigabit service provides access to speeds up to
1000 times faster than the one megabit per second
service offered to residents by other providers.
Todd Pealock, CEO of Habersham EMC said, “so it’s
simple: we want to bring the fastest, most abundant
connectivity to our members.” This new higher speed
service is provided over the North Georgia Fiber
Spring Clean Up Day Announced
(Cleveland)- Now that Spring is here it’s time to do
some spring cleaning, the White County Chamber of
Commerce has announced plans for their one day
Clean Up White County Day, in conjunction with the
Great American Cleanup/ Keep America Beautiful.
Chamber President Cindy Bailey said the date is
they will begin with breakfast refreshments at 8:00
AM, then following a quick photo op we will head
out to pick up trash on area roads.
said, if you are unable to participate on April 25th,
the entire week has been designated as Cleanup week.
The County Road Department will be available during
the week to pick up bags that are left on the side
of the County Maintained roadways by calling
Chamber will have a supply of bags and gloves to use
during the week for anyone who would like to help.
Just stop by the Chamber office between 8 a.m.-4:30
p.m. or call 706-865-5356.
Cleveland Woman Wins $520,00
(DULUTH) - A Cleveland woman will receive $26,000 a
year for the next 20 years after winning a Georgia
Lottery instant game. 27-year old Cassandra Rider
will get a total of $520,000 for winning " A Week
According to lottery officials, the mother of three
plans to purchase a new home and take a vacation
Ryder claimed her winnings this week. She bought
the lucky ticket at Clermont Food Mart on Cleveland
Highway in Clermont.
No Major Damage From Two Chimney
Fires ( 3/14/14)
(Cleveland)- No major damage reported as a
result of two chimney fires in White County. White
County Fire Department spokeswoman Ana Newberry
said, the first fire occurred Thursday night
around 8:30 PM on Little Rock Road. She said the
homeowner reported a fire in the chimney, but prior
to the arrival of the first fire unit the homeowner
had extinguished the fire with a garden hose.
Fire department personnel check the exterior of the
chimney and found very slight damage. According to
Newberry, the homeowner was advised to have the
chimney/fireplace professionally cleaned prior to
next usage. No injuries reported.
Another fire was reported early Friday morning on
Wingo Drive off Highway 17, near the Indian Mound.
Newberry said initially a motorist saw flames
shooting from a house and call 9-1-1, but when
fire, medical and sheriff department units arrived
in the area they could not locate a fire.
Later in the morning Newberry said. “a homeowner,
on Hwy 17 just passed Wingo Drive, called dispatch
and advised that they did have a flare up in their
chimney earlier, but they had put the fire out
themselves and did not want any assistance at this
Lady Bears Place Third In Spring
Truett-McConnell College Women’s Golf Team finished
third overall with a score of 750 at the Reinhardt
College Spring Invitational, held at the Callahan
Links in Canton, held Monday and Tuesday of
Watts, led the Lady Bears with an eleven over par
round of 83 in round one, the second best score of
the day tying her for second place at the halfway
point. Watts posted an 84 in round two and her two
day total of 167 earned her a 5th place
finish overall in the event and a spot on the events
All-Tournament Team. Junior
Laura Pickens was second in scoring for the Lady
The Lady Bears will return to action when they
travel to compete in the Emmanuel Springs
Invitational, March 24th and 25th
Senior golfer, Courtney Watts
TMC Bears Earn Third Place In
Spring Invitational (3/14/14)
(Cleveland)–The Truett-McConnell College Men's Golf
Team finished third out of eight teams with a score
of 628 at the Reinhardt University Spring
Invitational held Monday and Tuesday of this week.
top finisher in the two day event was freshman Drew
Schmidt, who competed as an individual. Schmidt
fired a 7 over par round of 79 in round 1 and was in
15th place overall at the events halfway
point. His two day total of 153 was good enough to
tie for 4th place overall, garnering a
spot on the All-Tournament Team.
The Bears return to action
when they travel to compete in the Emmanuel College
Spring Invitational, March 24-25. For more info, see
Freshman Drew Schmidt
Five Year Old Flown To
Atlanta Hospital Following Bike Accident
(CLEVELAND) - A medical helicopter was called to
Cleveland to transport an injured child Thursday
"A Life flight Helicopter was called to transport a
5-year-old child that received injuries from a
bicycle accident about 6:15 Thursday evening," said
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt. "The child was
flown to Scottish Rite Hospital with injuries."
Unicoi And Amicalola Falls State
Parks Getting Facelift
(Cleveland)- Two state parks in Northeast Georgia
are getting a major facelift as a result of an
allocation of state funds and a grant. Carol
Jackson, Deputy Director for North Georgia Mountain
Authority, which oversees private management
operations of the state parks for the Georgia
Department of Natural Resources says that the state
has allocated seven and half million dollars in bond
funds that will be used to give a new look to
Unicoi State Park north of Helen and Amicalola Falls
State Park north of Dawsonville.
Jackson said Unicoi was developed in 1968 and has
not seen major work since then and she said visitors
will notice the difference in the lodge rooms and
cabins. “ your gonna see a
new face on Unicoi, we’ve already started by going
in all the guest rooms putting in new flat screen
TV’s, we put in new mattress, box springs and
bedding, the bathrooms are getting a new facelift”,
said Jackson. According to Jackson both parks will
have many ADA adjustments made throughout.
In addition Jackson said the authority has received
a five plus million dollar energy conservation grant
that will be used to help make these aging
facilities more energy efficient. Work at these
two facilities is currently underway and she said
the work will be done in stages and the facilities
will not have to be closed during the work .
Jackson noted a year or so ago there was an
announcement that Unicoi would shut down for
renovation work, but Governor Deal stepped in and
arranged for it to stay open. After that
announcement over a year ago many companies and
organization made plans to meet elsewhere, she said
they are now trying to get the word out that Unicoi
has conference openings available.
The work is expected to be completed by next spring
and Jackson said they anticipate additional funding
that will be used to make upgrades at four other
parks under their management.
White County Unemployment Rate
Edges Upward ( 3/13/14)
(Atlanta)- The Georgia Department of Labor reported
Thursday that White County’s preliminary
unemployment rate for January edged up to 7-point 3
percent. That’s an increase from the revised
December rate of 6-point- 8 percent.
The labor department said in January the labor force
in the county was 12,859, of those 11,919 had jobs
and 940 were unemployed.
The unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia
region increased to 6.6 percent in January, up
two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.4 percent in
Strikes House In Northern Part Of White County
(Helen) - A home in the Scorpion Hollow community
north of Helen was damaged Wednesday morning
after being struck by a runaway vehicle. Capt. Tim
Chapman of the White County Sheriff's Office reports
that an unoccupied pickup truck owned by Jacob
Westmoreland popped out of gear and rolled down an
embankment, striking a house located at 7653
No injuries were reported and the extent of damage
was not released.
Area Fires Fill The Air With Smoke
(Cleveland)- Control and out of control fires
Tuesday helped to fill the air with lots of smoke
and it kept firefighters busy. The U.S. Forest
Service conducted a couple of prescribed burns that
began early Tuesday then during the day a big
control burn east of Cleveland provided a large
column of smoke that gained the attention of several
Firefighters were kept running from one end of the
county to the other. There was even a grass/brush
fire call around 1 AM Wednesday morning.
The Wednesday morning rain is expected to reduce
the out of control fires in the area.
(Photo by Rob Moore)
Wind And Freeze Advisories Issued
(Peachtree City)- We have two weather advisories
for our area Wednesday. The National
Weather Service said a Wind Advisory in effect from
2 PM Wednesday afternoon through 8 AM
Thursday. A Freeze Watch will be in effect for
late Wednesday night through Thursday
Forecasters say strong gusty winds from 25 to 45
miles per hour will accompany a cold front that
pushes across the area today. The strong winds will
increase this afternoon and remain strong through
tomorrow morning. Temperature will drop below
freezing between 1 AM and 10 AM Thursday.
The high winds could down weakened trees and limbs
from recent winter weather and the freezing
temperatures may damage or kill tender early Spring
HEMC Receives Community Service
(Nashville) The National Rural Electric Cooperative
Association has bestowed its Community Service
Award for Community Investment to Habersham Electric
Membership Corporation for the “Experience Northeast
Georgia—John Kollock’s Guide to 75 Special Places”
audio travel guide set.
Each year, NRECA recognizes and honors community
service with the National Community Service Awards
at their annual meeting. This award recognizes
investments of financial and other resources to
improve the economic conditions and overall quality
of life in the community.
HEMC President/CEO Todd Pealock wanted to do
something to benefit the community, he said, “ The
result exceeded our wildest expectations. It is not
only entertaining and informative, but it also
preserves an incredible amount of history.”
Susan Baker (c) Todd Pealock (r) accepts award
The guide’s purpose was to not only benefit the
retailers, but also many other sectors of the
tourism industry by visitors spending money on
lodging, food, fuel and shopping while in the area.
Another Control Burn (
(Gainesville)- The U.S. Forest Service is
conducting another controlled burn in the area today
(Tuesday). This is the second portion of a burn in
Fannin and Lumpkin Counties on the Big Stamp Burn
Unit within the Chattahoochee National Forest.
This controlled burn is approximately 1800 acres and
will require the closure of Forest Service roads and
trails adjacent to and within the Jake and Bull
Mountain Trail System for the health and safety of
the public and prescribed fire crew. With the wind
and right conditions we could see smoke from this
burn in White County area during the day.
The Forest Service uses controlled burns when
conditions are just right to reduce the amount of
vegetation and woody debris on the ground that could
contribute to destructive wildfires, and also to
reduce the risk of damage to the forest and
neighboring property in the future. The burns also
make the forest healthier and improve wildlife
habitat because of the high nutritional value of the
new growth that will take place this spring and the
more open conditions in the forest.
Cleveland Dentist Challenges
Allison For Representative Seat (3/10/14)
(Cleveland)- The upcoming May 20th
Primary election will see only one local or area
contested race for White County Voters. The
position is District Eight House of
Representatives. The incumbent Stephen Allision of
Blairsville, who qualified early last week,
picked up a challenge Friday, when Cleveland
Dentist John Crumpton qualified for the office.
Prior to heading to Atlanta to pay his qualifying
fee Crumpton told us ,” the main reason I’m getting
involved in this race is because we in White County
are not being represented by our current
representative in District 8. If someone does a do
diligence they will find out that not only are we
not represented in White County but the other
counties, Union County, Towns County and Rabun
County are also not being represented.“
Crumpton said he may be new to politics but he will
do what the job requires. He said, “ I have not
been involved in politics except as chairman of the
White County Republican Chairman, but it’s time
the people are hungry for someone an outsider, not a
career politician , not someone who has been in
there three, four or five terms and not serving the
people. We need someone, a fresh face a fresh
opinion on what needs to be done for the people.”
Dr. John Crumpton signing Qualifying
papers in Atlanta
qualified as Republican Candidates for the May
White County Not On Disaster
Funding List (3/8/14)
(Atlanta)- Gov. Nathan Deal announced this week
that President Obama approved his request for a
major disaster declaration for 39 counties that
sustained damage the Feb. 10-14 winter storm. The
declaration allows for the federal government to
reimburse 75 percent of eligible expenditures and
Pickens and Gilmer counties in Northeast Georgia are
included in the declaration. White and Dawson
Counties was included on the original request list,
but officials said that no federal funding was
granted due to the county not meeting the per capita
threshold of $3.50 per person.
White County Public Safety/Emergency Management
Agency Director David Murphy said, White County had
reported $70,000 in cost, it would have required
over $100,000 in cost to receive the assistance.
Governor Deal said, “ “The state of Georgia
mobilized significant resources to ensure the safety
of our citizens and our property during a time of
crisis, and our costs far exceeded the federal
threshold for disaster assistance. I appreciate the
cooperation of President Obama and FEMA during this
Collins Speaks Up For Fish
(WASHINGTON) – North Georgia Congressman Doug
Collins earlier this week appeared before the House
Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on
Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs to
provide first-hand testimony on the importance of
the Chattahoochee National Forest Fish Hatchery in
The subcommittee met for an oversight hearing on the
Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery
System’s Strategic Hatchery and Workforce Planning
Report. The planning report indicated the
Chattahoochee facility held low priority in future
funding and development, putting the future of the
hatchery in at risk.
Congressman Collins told the committee, “I was more
than surprised when I heard that the Fish and
Wildlife Service was thinking of closing [the
Chattahoochee] hatchery. It is beloved by the
community, it shows great return on investment, and
it is an economic engine of this rural part of
Georgia. This hatchery is a major source of revenue
for Suches, and Northeast Georgia in general, having
generated just over $30 million of total economic
output on just a $747,000 investment.”
Congressman Collins added, “I support the
Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery as it plays an
integral role in the sustainability of businesses
and communities in Northeast Georgia. From
providing environmental education and public
outreach opportunities to visitors, school groups,
and various other organizations to facilitating
recreational opportunities to 160,000 anglers a
year, Northeast Georgia would not be the same
without this facility.”
Congressman Collins also took the time to publicly
thank Deborah Burger, who is retiring as Hatchery
Manager at Chattahoochee, for her 36 years of
service to both the hatchery and the greater
Northeast Georgia community.
Truett McConnell College Signs
Sharing The Gospel Agreement ( 3/8/13)
former Muslim and former Hindu signed a pact to
share the gospel of Jesus Christ in North America.
Officials representing Truett-McConnell College
and the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American
Mission Board inked a partnership agreement that
will equip students, staff and faculty interested in
sharing the Christian faith via the telephone and
Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell
College and ex-Muslim, along with Dr. N.S.R.K. Ravi,
coordinator of NAMB’s Evangelism Response Center and
ex-Hindu, signed the pact during the college’s
chapel service last week, where Ravi also
President Caner told the crowd that, in signing the
agreement, he and Dr. Ravi would “officially
covenant together, and put our arms around each
other for one singular reason: that the world may
know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.”
The agreement specifies that Truett-McConnell will
supply the people, and North American Mission Board
will train them to use the Evangelism Response
Center, which offers 24/7 assistance – in English
and Spanish as the NAMB website describes “equips
and mobilizes Southern Baptists to offer prayer and
spiritual counseling via telephone or online chat
with people all over North America. ”
Joining dozens of students in the training sessions
were two of Truett-McConnell’s vice presidents, six
staff members, and two from the faculty, bringing
the total number of trainees to 49.
Ravi said about 2,000 people per year come to faith
in Christ through the ERC, and about 1,500 of them
join local churches.
John Yarbrough, Truett-McConnell’s director of
alumni relations, was vice president for evangelism
at NAMB as the ERC developed, and he helped
facilitate the TMC-NAMB partnership agreement.
Charged After Motor Vehicle Accident (
(Cleveland)-The driver of a
vehicle that ran off the road and flipped the
vehicle on its side in a ditch was not injured, but
was arrested on Driving Under the Influence.
The accident was reported just
after 8 PM last night on Glenn’s Drive off Duncan
Bridge Road in White County. White County emergency
personnel did have to assist the female driver in
getting out of the vehicle.
She was checked out by White
County Emergency Medical personnel and then she was
taken into custody by a White County Sheriff’s
Deputy and transported to the White County Detention
White County Sheriff's
Department Spokesman Captain Tim Chapman said, The
driver 53-year old Annette Beise of Cleveland was
charged with DUI and too fast for conditions.
Fitzpatrick Qualify For BOE Seats (
(Cleveland)- Two candidates
stepped forward and paid their qualifying fee
Wednesday to run for seats on the White County
Board of Education. Incumbent Barry Vandiver
qualified for district 4 seat and Roger Fitzpatrick
qualified for district 2 post.
County Commission incumbents
Edwin Nix and Lyn Holcomb were the first two and
only candidates to qualify on the first day,
Qualifying continues through
Friday at Noon for two Board of Education seats and
two County commission seats for the May 20th
Distilled Spirits Sales Public
Hearing Set (3/5/14)
(Cleveland)- The City of Cleveland has finalized a
date for a public hearing to discuss the sale of
Distilled Spirits, or liquor by the drink by food
establishments within the city. The city council
recently approved the sale of beer and wine and last
month restaurant owner Ed Ward ask the council to
put the question of Distilled Spirits sales to the
The council has set Thursday March 27th
as the date for a public hearing on the issue.
Mayor Don Stanley said at Monday’s council meeting
it’s a time for the public to speak up. Stanley
said, “ we’ll have the zoning board and also the
alcohol board both to be here for the meeting, of
course we would like to get the most input from as
many different people as we can.”
While discussing the issue, Councilman Rush Mauney
said he had heard from some business and city
residents wanting the council to let the citizens
decide on other alcohol sales issues. Mauney said,
“ I know Sunday sales is something that has come up
in all the surrounding communities around us in the
last two years, everybody has practically voted for
The public hearing will begin at 6:30 PM on March 27th
and will be held at the City Hall Annex on South
Cleveland Fire Month Report
(Cleveland)- The Cleveland Fire Department had a
total of 64 calls during the month of February.
Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said in his report to the
Cleveland City Council that they had 31 calls in
the city and 33 county assist calls.
During the month there were 3 Structure fires, 5
woods/ brush fires, 6 auto accidents and 27 medical
assist calls plus various other calls.
Name Change For Former Jail
Building ( 3/4/14)
(Cleveland)- The White County board of
commissioners Monday afternoon approved a
resolution to officially renaming the former White
County Detention Center to White County
Administration Building- Board of Commissioners
The commissioners said they wanted to make the name
change official to give the building its on
identity, since it was used for several years an the
county detention center, many people still refer to
the building and the former Detention Center/Jail.
The commissioners, in addition to remodeling the
building to house the commissioners office and
support staff also built a meeting room where they
conduct their work sessions and official monthly
Incumbents Nix And Holcomb Qualify
Commissioner Edwin Nix
Commissioner Lyn Holcomb
(Cleveland)- The two County Commission incumbents
Edwin Nix and Lyn Holcomb were the first two and
only candidates to qualify on the first day,
Qualifying for these commission seats and two Board
of Educations seats are open for qualifying through
Holcomb qualified as a Republican candidate for
District 2 and Nix qualified as a Republican for
District 4 seat. No candidates paid their
qualifying fees Monday for the BOE seats.
Qualifying fee for Board of commission seat is
$90.00, for Board of Education seats $27.00.
Qualifying For May 20th Primary
(Cleveland)- Qualifying for the May 20th
primary election locally and around the state is
underway. Here in White County Probate Judge and
Election Superintendent Garrison Baker said there is
two County Commission seats, District 2 and 4 seats
are open. The Board of Education two seats,
District 2 and 3 are open.
Baker said the commission seats only residents in
the two districts will vote for the candidates,
the board of education candidates run county wide
all voters participating. Qualifying continues this
week until Friday at noon.
Baker also reminded voters in the Tesnatee district
you voting location has changed effective now and
includes the May primary. The voting location has
been moved from the White County YMCA facility to
Mt. Yonah Baptist Church. All the other voting
locations remain the same.
Sautee Driver Faces Charges
Following Chase And Crash ( 3/3/14)
By Rob Moore
(CLEVELAND) - A sport utility vehicle that fled a
Georgia State Patrol road check east of Cleveland
early Saturday crashed after leading troopers on a
Sgt. 1st Class Chad Johnson of Georgia State Patrol
Post 6 in Gainesville said troopers were conducting
a road check at Georgia Highway 384 (Duncan Bridge
Road) and Georgia Highway 255 around midnight when
"a car came up and just blew through it headed south
on 255 toward Cleveland."
Cpl. Brian Roberts and Sr. Trooper Tony Saunders
began pursuing the fleeing 1997 Kia Sportage.
At the end of Georgia 255, the fleeing vehicle
turned right onto Georgia 115 toward Cleveland.
After turning onto 115, Johnson said the fleeing
driver went over onto the wrong side of the road,
traveling west in the eastbound lane.
Roberts, maintaining the westbound lane, accelerated
to move into position to implement a PIT maneuver if
conditions allowed, Johnson said. Before Roberts
could get into position, the Kia veered over into
Roberts' lane, striking his car.
The Kia then overturned several times, ejecting two
people - including 21-year-old driver Brandon R.
Nash of Sautee.
Nash, who was unrestrained, was airlifted to
Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
The front-seat passenger, 32-year-old Julie Susan
Harris of Sautee, was restrained and was not ejected
as the vehicle overturned. She was injured and was
taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center by White
An 18-year-old female seated behind the driver,
Christian Poulos of Cleveland, was unrestrained and
was ejected during the crash. She was injured and
was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center by
White County EMS.
A 15-year-old male seated behind the passenger,
Isaiah Hahola of Sautee, was unrestrained but was
not ejected as the vehicle overturned. He was
injured and was taken by ambulance to Northeast
Georgia Medical Center.
The crash happened around 12:15 a.m. Saturday on
Georgia Highway 115 near Shenandoah Drive.
Charges are pending against Nash, Johnson said.
Wild Start To The Weekend For
It was a wild start to the weekend for White County
fire, law enforcement and medical personnel.
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy
advised the marathon of activities begin Friday
morning when White County Fire units provided
automatic aid to Cleveland Fire Department at a
residential fire at 63 Charles Drive. That fire was
contained to the stove pipe at the residents.
Friday Afternoon at 5:13 PM White County fire units
responded to a fire call at Hogan Lumber Company on
Holiness Campground Road. Murphy said, “ A large
motorized piece of equipment was on fire with
exposures to the building.” He said, when
firefighters arrived they found a loader on fire and
quickly extinguished the blaze.
According to Murphy, lumber company employees had
removed the loader from inside the building prior to
fire units arriving.
At about the same time of the fire at Hogan Lumber
Company another call into the 9-1-1 center was
received about a large commercial vehicle that had
overturned on Highway 115 west of Cleveland and
the vehicle had begun leaking fuel. Murphy said,
one person suffered minor injuries in that accident.
The Georgia State Patrol investigated that
Around 9:50 PM fire fighters were dispatched to a
motorcycle accident, with a report of two
injuries, at the intersection of Cooley Woods Road
and Post Road. One patient was transported to
Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The Georgia State
Patrol investigated that accident.
Then just after midnight a single vehicle accident
was reported on Highway 115 east near Shenandoah
Drive. County fire personnel with automatic aid
from Cleveland Fire Department responded. Four
people were injured in that accident. Murphy said
two White County med units with mutual aid from
Habersham County along with a medical helicopter was
used to transport patients. The Georgia State
Patrol also investigated that accident.
If that wasn’t enough shortly after midnight Friday
night Hall County officials requested mutual aid
assistance from White County Fire Department to help
with providing water to battle a residential fire.
At about the same White County Units were called
to help with another residential fire in Hall
With so many units and personnel helping Hall County
Murphy said they had to move units and personnel
from other station to cover the county adequately.
Murphy said, “ A total of 12 calls with six
different fire stations responded to all the calls,
keeping firefighters busy during the day Friday and
into the early morning hours Saturday.” The final
unit retuned to station at 7:53 AM Saturday.
Murphy extended his thanks and appreciation to the
dedicated firefighters, men and women, in White
County who volunteer their time to assist those in
White County Motorcycle Chase Ends
With Crash (3/1/14)
By Rob Moore
(UNDATED) - Two men are facing charges after
separate wrecks that ended pursuits by the Georgia
State Patrol in White and Jackson counties Friday
The White County pursuit ended when 43-year-old John
Edge Sanders of Gainesville crashed his motorcycle
on Post Road at Cooley Woods after fleeing around
Sanders faces more than a dozen charges, including
felony fleeing and attempting to elude; reckless
driving; obstructing/hindering of law enforcement
officer; expired tag; speeding; failure to maintain
lane; following too closely; unlawful to purchase,
possess, or have control of any controlled substance
(suspected methamphetamine); driving on a suspended
license; driving under the influence; possession and
use of drug-related objects; possession of less than
one ounce of marijuana; and removing or affixing a
license plate with intent to conceal or
misrepresent, a GSP spokesman said.
The Jackson County pursuit began about 15 minutes
later when a trooper attempted to stop a 1995 Ford
Taurus with no tag on Georgia Highway 15 around
10:05 p.m. The driver lost control of the car and it
overturned on U.S. Highway 441 at Old Athens Road.
The driver, 54-year-old Benjamin Gillespie Jr. of
Commerce, was treated and released at Athens
Regional Medical Center. He then was taken to the
Jackson County Jail, where he is charged with felony
fleeing and attempting to elude; driving while
unlicensed; no tag, reckless driving; DUI drugs; no
insurance; seatbelt violation; obstructing/hindering
of law enforcement officer; speeding; and failure to
maintain lane, the GSP spokesman said.
Chimney Fire Does Minimal
(Cleveland)- Minimal damage was reported as a result
of a chimney fire Friday morning in Cleveland.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said the fire was
contained to the chimney pipe at a residence at 63
Charles Drive. Pruitt said they were dispatched at
He said the damaged caused by the dry chemical fire
extinguisher used to extinguish the fire, which was
caused by creosote build up in the pipe. In
addition to Cleveland fire units there was automatic
aid from the White County Fire Department.
Wintery Precipitation Possible
Saturday AM (2/28/14)
(Peachtree City)- The National Weather Service has
issued an advisory that says wintry precipitation is
possible overnight early Saturday morning in
Northeast Georgia. Forecasters say a quick moving
storm system will move across the Tennessee valley
overnight and early Saturday and could produce light
accumulations of snow.
During the time light precipitation is falling ..
temperatures are expected to drop to near or just
below freezing between midnight and 6 AM Saturday
morning. Forecasters also say a limiting factor for
precipitation accumulation is a layer of dry air in
place as the storm system approaches.
In spite of the dry layer we may see saturation
resulting in a quick light accumulation of snow,
sleet or freezing rain. Accumulation of snow is
expected to be less than ½ inch mainly on grassy and
exposed surfaces. A light glaze of ice is also
possible on elevated surfaces such as bridges and
Snow Makeup Days Added To New
School Calendar ( 2/28/14)
(Cleveland)- White County School officials have
their fingers crossed that there will be no more
snow and ice that will affect the operation of
school because they have worked in the makeup days
from the rest of this school year. A couple of
days will be forgiven, one has already been made up,
that was Presidents day, another day is March 17th
and then two days after Memorial Day will be used
as makeup days.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Wilson said they
did look at other options and didn’t want to mess
with Spring Break. Wilson has also proposed to the
board of education a school calendar for next year
that has some makeup days build in. The 2014-15
school calendar is being released to the public and
the board of education had a first reading of the
calendar Thursday night and are expected to approve
the calendar at next months meeting.
Third Rabies Case In White County
Reported ( 2/27/14)
(Cleveland)- White County Animal Control officials
report another rabies case in the county. Pat
Cooper Animal Control officer reports the latest
case occurred Wednesday at the county’s animal
shelter in the Industrial Park south of Cleveland.
Cooper said they let some dogs out in an outdoor
area for exercise when one of the dogs was attacked
by a skunk. The skunk was killed and test results
showed it had rabies.
This is the third rabies case confirmed this year.
Cooper said this is a good reminder to all pet
owners to keep your cats and dogs rabies shots
White County High Named An AP
Challenge School (2/27/14)
(Cleveland)- White County High School has been named
as an Advance Placement Challenge School by State
School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.
Superintendent Barge said, "There are so many
Georgia schools that have great success with
Advanced Placement, "I am so pleased to see this
success grow to more and more of our schools this
offer rigorous college-level learning options to
students in high school. Students who receive a 3,
4 or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.
White County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff
Wilson said following the announcement, “ I am
proud of our High School.”
AP CHALLENGE SCHOOLS are schools of 900 or fewer
students with students testing in four of the core
areas, English, math, science, and social studies.
Local Students Compete in PBL
Competition ( 2/27/14)
(Clarkesville)- The Georgia Phi Beta Lambda North
District Conference held a competition in
Milledgeville February 21st last Friday, for
colleges across North Georgia. Six North Georgia
Technical College PBL members competed there and
will now be heading to the State Competition that
will be held in Atlanta, in April.
NGTC Advisor Brad Cagle said, “They represented
NGTC with dignity, quality, and class. They are to
be congratulated on their accomplishments.
Mia Sharpton of Clayton placed first in Human
Resource Management and third in Accounting
Principles. Emily Sullens of Alto placed second in
Accounting Principles and second in Hospitality
Management. Susie Berry of Cleveland placed third
in Job Interview while Lachelle Mans of Demorest
placed fifth in Human Resource Management and
competed in Parliamentary Procedures. Phi Beta
Lambda is the post secondary extension of Future
Business Leaders of America. With chapters in the
majority of accredited colleges across the state.
TMC Wrestler Head To NAIA
(CLEVELAND)- Truett McConnell College grapplers,
Dustin Branom, a junior, and Nick Distasio, a
sophomore, placed fourth and fifth respectively at
the National Association for Intercollegiate
Athletics (NAIA) Eastern Qualifier held at Life
University in Marietta, February 21st..
Branom’s fourth place showing earned him a trip to
the 57th annual NAIA Wrestling Championship in
Topeka, Kan., March 7th and 8th. This is his second
consecutive year qualifying for the tournament.
Dustin Brannom (R) Nick Distasion
STAR Student And Teacher Announced
Kiwanis Club member
Shann Cash presents STAR certificates to
Padawer (L) and Johnston (R)
(Cleveland)- White County’s 2014 STAR Student and
Teacher were announced Monday night at the
Cleveland Kiwanis Club meeting. White County High
Senior Ella Padawer is the STAR Student and
White County High English, Language Arts teacher Tera
Johnston was selected by Padawer as her STAR
Padawer, who has the highest combined SAT score,
was also recently named as 2014 class
Valedictorian. Padawer said, “ I am so thankful for
my supportive teachers, my parents and my friends,
it been great, high school has been great with all
these people to help me and support me.” She is
the daughter of Ariel and Orly Padawer.
As STAR Teacher, this is the fourth time Johnston
has been selected for the honor. She said it
great to be selected, but there are many great
teachers in the school system.
STAR, Student Teacher Achievement Recognition is
sponsored by the Professional Association of
Georgia Educators Foundation. This is the 56 years
year for the program. The Cleveland Kiwanis Club
each year holds a special recognition dinner for the
Padawer will compete in the regional competition
with the winner to be announced March 18th
Suspicious Fires In Cleveland
Cleveland police and fire officials suspect someone
set three separate grass fires in the city Thursday
morning. Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said
they had three separate fires reported around the
One of the grass fires burned about ¼ acre. Two of
the fire were just south of the square and a third
was reported on Church in the city.
Pruitt ask the public to help them to be on the
lookout for anyone setting the fires and call 9-1-1
to report that.
Helen Updates Sign Ordinance
With Assistance by Rob Moore
(HELEN) - After months of discussion - including
heated comments from some merchants and even the
threat of a lawsuit against the city by the owner of
multiple businesses - the Helen City Commission has
approved a new sign ordinance.
At Tuesday afternoon's meeting, the commission voted
unanimously to approve the ordinance amendment
without hearing public comments at the time.
As Mayor Judy Holloway was about to close the public
portion of the meeting, some city business owners
said they wanted to comment about the sign
ordinance. Most just wanted to make sure their
business could comply with their specific
stipulations of the ordinance.
The amendment specifically addresses
internally-illuminated signs, including neon, which
have emerged in the city in recent years though they
were not permitted by local ordinance. During the
meeting, City Manager Jerry Elkins said city
officials will work, within reason, with the
The discussion about the sign ordinance led to other
business owners calling on the commission to help
promote the city to bring in more tourists -
especially during the winter months. Commission
members said they work with the Helen Chamber of
Commerce and the Alpine Helen-White County
Convention and Visitors Bureau to fund marketing
Three Weekend Residential Fires
(Cleveland)- Local firefighters were kept busy over
the weekend with at least three residential fire
calls. Two of those calls were in the county and one
in the city of Cleveland. White County Public Safety
Director David Murphy said a chimney fire Saturday
at 185 Cloverleaf Drive was contained to the
Firefighters checked for extensions of the fire and
assisted homeowners with removal of creosote
No details available on the other fire call in the
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said Sunday
night just before 10 PM they were dispatched to a
possible structure fire at 147 Kinsington Lane.
Pruitt said, upon arrival they discovered a house
full of light smoke. During an investigation they
discovered the motor on the heating and
air-conditioning unit had burn up and the smoke had
been pulled through the ducting in the house.
Cleveland Fire Department was assisted by stations 4
and 5 White County Fire Department.
Earthquake Felt In White County
By Rob Moore
(UNDATED) - Did you feel the earth move Friday
night? The U.S. Geological Service confirms
that a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred at 10:23
p.m., roughly seven west/northwest of Edgefield,
Social media lit up from Atlanta to Dawsonville to
North Augusta, S.C., shortly after the few-second
event shook tables, ceilings and other items across
White County Dispatch reported its 9-1-1 Center
received several calls from residents in the county
who felt it and wanted to know what happened.
No damage was reported.
Special Food Distributions
Announced ( 2/14/14)
(Cleveland)-This weeks snow storm has impacted
numerous operations in the area including the White
County Food Pantry. The local pantry did not
open Friday, but have planned a special
distribution day Saturday.
Wayne Burnett, White County Food Pantry Manager said
they know a lot of people may have exhausted their
food supply during this storm so they will be
holding a one time only Saturday opening.
Burnett said Saturday from 10 AM until Noon the
food pantry will be open for those in need to pick
up food. He emphasized that this is a special
one time distribution event.
In related information, the Cleveland
Seventh Day Adventist Church Life Changing
Ministries Food Distribution that is normally
held on the second Thursday of each month was not
held this week because of the storm and road
Organizers advise they will have a
special distribution next Thursday, February 20th
at 2:30PM. The distribution location is
East Kytle Street in Cleveland across from
Truett McConnell College in the building behind the
Chevron Convenience store.
Getting Back To Normal After The
Storm ( 2/14/14)
(Cleveland)- As we try to get back to a near normal
operation in the area White County Public Safety and
Emergency Management Agency Director David
Murphy advised that the county’s Emergency Operation
Center was deactivated Thursday afternoon at 4 PM.
Murphy said that county departments will
continue to monitor conditions and respond as
In his final operational period situation report for
the Emergency Operation Center said
county and city crews worked local streets and
roadways throughout the day removing snow build up
cleared all major first and secondary priority
roadways. Several trees had to be
removed that fell due to ice conditions.
Public works staff shut down operations at 4
PM yesterday with two personnel on call for
Georgia Department of Transportation want to thank
you for your help this week battling Old Man Winter!
Georgia DOT District Engineer, Bayne Smith said,
“By staying off state routes and interstates,
you gave GDOT room to work in the travel lanes. We
were able to remove winter precipitation and treat
the roadways more efficiently. With your help, a
forecasted ‘catastrophic” weather event became
better than expected on our road network. We
are grateful for your partnership with us.”
Smith said, our crews worked diligently for over 84
consecutive hours on the 5,600 lane miles of
interstates and state routes in the 21 County
Northeast Georgia District.
Weather is constantly changing so we will continue
to monitor roadway conditions in the Region and
respond to icing if it reoccurs.
Nicole Dover spokesperson for Habersham Electric
Membership Corporation advised that all power
outages from the storm were restored as of 4 PM
The Big Thaw Underway (
(Cleveland)- As temperatures moderate during
Thursday road conditions in the White
County area are expected to improve, but you
are still urged to stay at home, because there is
still a lot of ice and snow on secondary and less
traveled roads in the area. Public works crews for
the County and city are working to clear as many
roads as possible.
Wind is both a good and bad thing for us today. The
strong winds up to 30 miles per hour could bring
trees down on power lines and across the roadway.
This could lead to power outages. At last
report Habersham Electric Membership Corporation was
reporting limited scattered outages in their service
area. Last night the larges power outage area
affected 1119 members in the Loudsville and
Robertstown areas of White County. Power was
restored to all of these customers during the night.
Everyone is reminded to stay away from downed lines
and report to HEMC immediately.
Cleveland First Responders Busy
With Weather Related Calls ( 2/13/14)
(CLEVELAND) –It was a busy afternoon for Cleveland
Fire Department personnel Wednesday. First they
were called to assist with a sledding accident with
four injuries at Truett-McConnell College shortly
after that they were dispatched to a vehicle that
crashed in to a building.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said the vehicle
was traveling west on East Kytle Street, and when it
crested the hill in front of Truett-McConnell
College, the driver lost control on the snow and
ice. The vehicle then left the roadway and
struck and broke a porch pillar at the Law Office
of Stanley Lawson. There were no injuries and no
major structural damage, according to Pruitt.
In the other incident Chief Pruitt said four people
in their late teens and early 20s were inside a
kayak sledding down a hill when it crashed into a
utility pole. One of the victims suffered a broken
leg, and a woman who was knocked unconscious in the
crash lost several teeth. Two other people refused
Around the state emergency responders say at least
seven people have been hospitalized in sledding
accidents in the state.
WINTER WEATHER TIPS
Provided by White County EMA
sure your Ready Kit is stocked with all the items
you will need. (See Preparedness Tips below)
Include adequate clothing and blankets in your Ready
kit to keep you warm.
Allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather
to avoid freezing.
cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated
pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior
Fully winterize your vehicle and keep your gas tank
at least half full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel
an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car. In
addition to the basic essentials, consider adding an
ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and
to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for
a period of time.
you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing
wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out
your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney
cleaned and inspected every year.
Winter storms are often accompanied by power
outages. Always exercise caution when using
alternative light and heating sources:
flashlights during power outages instead of candles
to prevent the risk of fire, and have plenty of
extra batteries on-hand. Never bring portable
generators, camp stoves and grills into your home;
they should only be used outside. Keep them at least
20 feet away from your home's windows, doors and
vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make a Ready Kit just in case.
prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand
to make it on your own for at least three days,
to Include in a Basic Kit:
Water one gallon per person per day, for drinking and
Non-perishable Food at least a three-day supply and
a can opener if there is no
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather
Radio with tone alert
and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Important Family Documents
Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription
formula or diapers.
If you need to leave your home, make sure you
take extra clothing that is adequate
weather, as well as blankets in the winter.
For more information go to
A Double Barrel Winter Weather
Event For Northeast Georgia (2/10/14)
(Cleveland)- White County, Cleveland
City and School officials met this morning at the
county Emergency Operations Center situation room to
get the latest weather update from the National
Weather Service and to plan for the weather events
for the few days. They were told by the weather
service that northeast Georgia will get primarily
snow in two different events that will impact
A total of six plus inches of snow
could fall across the area and that will impact
driving, especially with colder temperatures
expected Tuesday night through Thursday morning.
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy
said it’s better if we just get snow and not ice
like some other areas of the state. Murphy advised
that the county fire stations will be manned when
precipitation starts affecting the road
County and city public works crews
have been preparing their equipment and crews.
Murphy said, arrangements have been made with the
Bridge Church in Cleveland to provide shelter should
there be major power outages and people need a place
to stay. The National Weather Service said these
latest weather events are ever changing and with new
weather models the amount of snow and or ice could
change, but in most cases it’s expected to go up
rather than down.
The Georgia Department of Transportation
announces they will begin winter weather
recon tonight checking bridges and shady areas
for icing and treating roadways as needed. Crews
in Northeast Georgia will begin working 12 hours
shifts at 8 p.m. tonight and continue until this
winter weather event is over.
Dangerous driving conditions are expected to
spread throughout northeast Georgia overnight.
Bayne Smith, GDOT District Engineer for
Northeast Georgia said, “We ask you to please
stay home and when they get there not drive
unless it is necessitated by an emergency.”
Habersham Electric Membership Corporation has
begun preparations for the impending winter
storm. Spokeswoman Nicole Dover says, personnel
and procedures are in place to handle the
wintery mix forecasted for our service area.
Additional crews have been contacted and are
ready to assist if needed.
As the predicted winter storm will impact the
entire six-county service area of HEMC, members
are encouraged to make preparations for the
possibility of extended outages. While the
average outage time is usually one to two hours,
a storm of this magnitude covering such a large
area is expected to cause several scattered
outages and could result in outages of one to
Dover advises residents can visit the Georgia
Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Georgia
website (ready.ga.gov) to create their own
HEMC warns everyone to stay
from any downed lines and to report them to HEMC
emergencies, please call 911.
Another Rabies Case Confirmed
In White County (2/9/14)
(Cleveland)- White County has another confirmed
case of rabies. White County Animal
Control officer Pat Cooper said, last week
another positive case was confirmed by the
state laboratory. Cooper said this time a
female dog and her puppies had an encounter
with a skunk.
incident occurred at the 4700 block of Highway
254. She noted that the last case reported
on January 24th was at the 4500 block
of Highway 254. Cooper urges all residents to
make sure your pets are vaccinated against
Way Of White County Makes Allocations
(Cleveland)- United Way of White County has
presented funding to area agencies that serve
the county. During the annual allocation
luncheon Thursday afternoon sixteen agencies
received part of the $75,000 raise
by the organization this past year.
Matt Adams President of White County
United Way said, “ what we work hard for
during the whole year for, is to be able to
come together and recognize the efforts of the
15 to 18 originations that we are able to
allocate money to in hopes that money will go
back in White County and make it a better
community to live in, raise a family in, work
During the year United Way holds three major
fundraising events, the Celebrity Golf
Tournament, Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown
and Christmas Festival of Trees,
which makes up the majority of the allocation
Adams said, they would like to see more people
join the convenient payroll deduction program.
He said, “any organization or employer that has
employees in White County that is looking for a
way to get involved with our efforts, it may
not be in a sponsor standpoint, we can set them
up on payroll deduction and they will enhance
what we’re able to raise from our three events.
Georgia’s Troubles With Indiana Bat, Regulatory
(WASHINGTON)-At a national press conference at the
U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Ninth District Congressman
Doug Collins spoke about how endangered species
regulations have impacted Northeast Georgia.
At the press conference, Members of Congress who
have been working on recommendations to revise the
Endangered Species Act of 1973 unveiled their
In his remarks, Congressman Collins shared Northeast
Georgia’s experience after the siting of an Indiana
Bat in Gilmer County. Because of the Indiana Bat’s
endangered species status, 182 projects in 30 North
Georgia counties now require testing before further
construction at a possible cost of more than
$100,000 per site. Congressman Collins used this
example to illustrate the economically prohibitive
nature of many ESA regulations.
“Show me the bat,” Congressman Collins said,
pointing out that a single siting via transmitter
has had the power to bring this issue to the
forefront. This additional testing makes these
Georgia sites vulnerable to more regulatory costs
due to “sue-and-settle” practices that cost American
job creators and often result in new regulations
born from lawsuits. Ending
the focus of Congressman Collins’ first bill,
and is among the group’s recommendations.
Suspect Flees Attempted Traffic
Stop ( 2/5/14)
(Cleveland)- White County officials say a
suspect who ran from an officer when he tried to
make a traffic stop is still at large. Sheriff’s
Department spokesman Captain Tim Chapman said,
Monday morning Cpl. Sims was attempting to
stop a 2003 Chevy pickup for a canceled registration
in Helen, the driver kept going traveling north of
Helen turning onto Tray Mountain Road.
The officer noticed the driver turning into a small
drive, but lost sight of the suspect and could only
follow the tracks. According to Chapman the
officer did located the vehicle, but by that
time the driver had fled the scene on foot.
A K-9 unit was called to the scene but they were
unable to locate the subject.
The case remains under investigation by the
Folk Pottery Museum Hold Free Open
House Exhibition ( 2/3/14)
Visitors are invited to view a special temporary
exhibition of early middle Georgia folk pottery at a
free open house this Saturday, February 8th,
at the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia.
“Our guests will be better able to put together a
fascinating historical jigsaw puzzle of how pioneer
migration patterns and natural resources in two
separate parts of Georgia from the early 1800s have
affected the shapes and glazing of items they once
needed for household use and now enjoy collecting as
folk art,” explains Museum Director Chris Brooks.
exhibition features pieces from the private
collection of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Gandy. Mr.
Gandy began collecting pottery from the Edgefield,
South Carolina, area and learned that 19th
century potters from that area had migrated to
Crawford and Washington counties in middle Georgia
and established shops there, passing down their
skills to future generations. Northeast
Georgia folk potter Steve Turpin will be at the
Museum from 11 am to 2 pm to talk with visitors
about the similarities and differences in making and
glazing pottery that help in determining the origin
and heritage of the items.
The Folk Pottery
Museum of northeast Georgia is located on Georgia
Highway 255, ¼ mile north of the intersection with
Georgia Highway 17. The Museum is open
Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday 1-5 pm.
Admission will be free this Saturday.
TMC Lady Bears Defeat The
(Cleveland)- The energy on the court was high as
the Truett-McConnell College Lady Bears Basketball
team faced Point University, defeating the Skyhawks,
57-43, Saturday. Despite the slow start, the Lady
Bears kept their composure and entered halftime with
a small lead, 22-16.
During the second half, the Lady Bears settled down
and found their groove; they made plays and worked
together as a team, adding to their lead. Rhandee
Haskett had a big night with 24 points while Helen
Simoes put up 19 points for the Lady Bears.
The Lady Bears will play away games this week
against Milligan College, Wednesday and Virginia
Intermont College, Saturday. Their next home game
is against St. Andrews University, February 15th.
White County To Do After
Action Storm Review ( 2/3/14)
(Cleveland)- The rumbles and grumbles about the
handling of last weeks snow and ice storm in Atlanta
continue, but in White County things seem to have
went very smoothly. Last Friday White
County Public Safety Director David Murphy and
County Manager Mike Melton held an after storm
review with local reporters.
During the review Murphy detailed the action plan
they followed, he said they began days before the
storm preparing and planning. During a
two period, Tuesday and Wednesday, Murphy said they
activated the Emergency Operation Center and 9-1-1
dispatch operators answered 790 calls.
For a couple of hours on Tuesday they were answering
100 calls per hour.
According to Murphy and Melton all agencies worked
Murphy ( L) talks with County
Manager Mike Melton in EOC
“ The county and city departments came together very
effectively to mitigate and work through and respond
to this latest winter weather event we had, with
the number of incidents taking place and the amount
of snow we had on the ground that eventually turned
to ice everyone worked very hard to make sure out
community was safe and the people passing through
were safe on the roads, everything went very well,”
There is always room for improvement and Murphy
said, “ what we are going to do is get all our
county management team together the middle of next
week and do an after action review. There’s
always an opportunity to continue to improve and do
better on what you do and that’s going to be the
time we sit down and do that and come up with some
objectives and goals and next time we can do even
New Food Ministry Has Great First
Organizers of a local food ministry at Mt. Yonah
Baptist Church, north of Cleveland, say they
were pleased with the way their first day of
operation went Saturday. Church members Susan
Dyer and Wayne Burnett said they worked for months
to get the program together.
Working with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia they
were able to serve 84 families in need on
their first distribution day. Dyer said they
plan to continue this program the first Saturday of
each month at the church and they want thank
the large number of students from Truett McConnell
College who came out and helped with program.
Dyer also said among those served there was 96
children under eighteen, 43 adults 65 or
older and 121 ages 19-64 for a total of 260
individuals served. Anyone wishing more
information more information about the food ministry
may call the Mt. Yonah Church office at
Payback For Missed School Days
(Cleveland)- White County students have now
missed a total of six days because of weather
related conditions this school year. Kids it might
have been nice to be out playing in the snow, but
there will come a time for payback and the White
County Board of Education talked about the need to
make up those days missed during a meeting Thursday
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson told the board,
there may be a couple of days that could be
forgiven by the state, but he suggested that
and 28th as make up days. Those days
had had already been put in the school calendar as
makeup days if they needed them.
During the meeting Wilson said, they wanted to stay
clear of the Spring Break days He said, “ just
so the public can hear clearly, I’m at this point
not making any recommendations that we take Spring
Break away, or anything like that. I can’t tell you
that if we have eight more snow days between now
and then, we may have to consider some things, but
as of right now that is not a recommendation, and
that isn’t something that the board has discussed
in any way. “
Wilson said he wanted to make this announcement so
parents could start planning around those makeup
W.C. Unemployment Rate Up In
(Atlanta)- The Georgia Department of Labor announced
Thursday unemployment rates for each of the
counties in the state. In White County the
preliminary unemployment rate in December was
6.8 percent that is up from the 6.6
percent revised rate in November.
The labor force said the county’s labor force
was 12,871, of those 11,998 had jobs, and 873
were unemployed. The rate one year ago was
Georgia Mountains' unemployment rate unchanged at
6.0 percent in December.
Officials Deal with Storm Related
((Cleveland)- A report from
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy on
activities from Tuesday Murphy said from 1- 6 PM,
9-1-1 operation center handled 296 calls for
service. Almost 200 of those came in a two hour
period. Additional staff manned the center Tuesday
and Tuesday night. Fire station in the county were
manned starting at noon Tuesday and during the
A few of the many accidents
that occurred Tuesday some drivers were trapped in
their wrecked vehicle and a vehicle caught fire on
Helen Police Chief Jim Couch said
they used the recently donated ATV to get around
town. He said, they worked great, but it’s a cold
ride. Chief Couch said they had two calls Tuesday
that would have been difficult to get to, even
with regular 4 wheel drive vehicle, but the ATVs
Black Ice Makes Morning
Driving Interesting (1/27/14)
(Cleveland)- Some patchy black ice caught motorist
and officials in White County off guard early
Monday. Patches of black ice formed following
some light rain. The ice formed as
temperatures generally were above freezing in the
area but some low areas the temperature was cold
enough to develop the slick spots.
White County Public Works spokeswoman Rolann Smith
said they sent trucks out to about a half dozen
roads. Town Creek, Asbury Mill and
Tesnatee Gap Valley Roads were the some of the roads
affected. Some areas of the county didn’t
receive the rain and the roads were ok.
White County Chief Deputy Bob Ingram said there was
several accidents but none with serious injuries.
Rabies Case Reported In White
(Cleveland)- White County Animal Control has reports
a positive rabies case in the county. Pat
Cooper Animal Control Officer said Friday afternoon
a kitten came in contact with a fox back on
December 30th. The kitten became ill
and this week had to be euthanized.
kittens remains were checked and tested positive for
rabies. According to Cooper the incident
happened in the 4500 block of Highway 254 in the
County. Cooper reminds pet owners to have
your pets regularly vaccinated against rabies.
Help Available Dealing With The
Cold Weather ( 1/24/14)
(Cleveland)- As Northeast Georgia continues to
deal with the dangerous cold temperatures, and with
no relief in sight, Caring Hands Ministries in
Cleveland advises those in need there are places
offering a warm place to stay. Caring Hands
Ministries Executive Director Ann Fleming said
anyone needing assistance can call their office at
706-219-1980 and they will provide additional
Warrior TV Makes History
With Governor's Interview ( 1/24/14)
(Cleveland)-White County High School Warrior TV, WTVN,
and hosts Garrett Rowland, Hannah Skelton, Josh
Oberlander and reporter Peter Gunnin made
history Thursday morning at the State Capital.
WTVN conducted a live interview with Governor Nathan
Deal at the State Capital.
The group made history with the event, the student
online television was: The First: Student operated
television station to broadcast live from the State
Capital. First: Student host to have a thirty
minute exclusive interview with the Governor. Also
the First: Student operated station to broadcast
live and simulcast with the State Capitals own
Charles Dewalt Executive Producer for the school TV
said, “that’s a lot of first on one day… and a lot
of valuable experience for the young students of our
Hannah Skelton, Garrett Roland
Interview Governor Deal
Power Outage Cancels Classes
At White County High
(UNDATED)- Some school systems in north Georgia
implemented a two hour delay in starting classes
this morning due to the dangerously cold
temperatures. White County was among those, but as
officials started arriving at the High School this
morning they discovered they had no power.
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said,
Georgia Power told them that a tree fell on the line
causing the power to surge off and on and that in
turn knocked out the transformer at the school.
Wilson also said their backup generator at the High
School failed with the extremely cold weather so
they had to cancel classes at the High School.
The remainder of schools in the county conducted
classes as usual.
Dr. Wilson said the incident occurred during the
time that they were transporting students to school
so some of the high school students had to be bussed
to the Middle School to await transport back home
later in the morning. Wilson said the incident
really gave them a chance to practice procedures
that they would use in case of an emergency and that
everything went smoothly.
The power was expected to restored to the school in
time for evening activities at the school includes
the basketball games against North Hall.
Fire Damages Helen Inn
By Rob Moore
(HELEN) - An overnight fire in the city of Helen
that damaged America's Best Value Inn appears to be
electrical in nature. That the word from Georgia
Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph
Local fire officials were unavailable for
comment Thursday morning. The fire was
reported early Thursday morning and was battled by
Helen Fire Department, with assistance from White
County Fire Department, Cleveland Fire Department,
and the Lee Arrendale State Prison Fire Department.
Photo by Rob Moore
Cobbs Named New TMC Wrestling
(CLEVELAND) – The Truett-McConnell College
Department of Athletics has named Marcus Cobbs, the
graduate assistant coach at Cumberland University in
Lebanon, Tenn., as the Bears new head wrestling
coach. Cobbs enters the Truett-McConnell College
family with a great deal coaching and personal
wrestling experience; to date, he is actively
involved in competitive wrestling. In 2013, he
finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Open.
TMC Director of Athletics, Dr. Stacy Hall said, “He
understands our vision as a college and as an
athletic department, and I am confident that he will
lead our wrestling program to great heights.” “I
am excited to accept the position of Head Wrestling
Coach at Truett-McConnell College,”
Cobb said. “I am determined to lead our young men to
championships on the mat and excellence in the
classroom while assisting them in making their walk
with Christ stronger. Cobbs will begin his coaching
duties March 10th. He and his wife
Jennifer have three children, ages six, five, and
Winter Weather Advisory Issued
(Peachtree City)- A Winter Weather Advisory has been
issued by the National Weather Service for Northeast
Georgia. The advisory is in effect until 7 PM
this evening for snow with accumulations up to an
inch and half at elevations above 2,000 feet.
The forecasters say visibilities will drop to
between one and two miles in heavier bands of snow.
Roadways may become slick especially at higher
elevations. The temperatures this afternoon
are holding above freezing, any precipitation
falling will melt quickly. Later this evening
when the sun goes down and temperatures start
falling conditions could get worse.
A wind advisory is also in effect until 10 PM
tonight. Northwest winds 20 to 25 miles
per hour with gust as high as 40 mph.
Photo by Rob Moore
More Cold Dry Weather
(PEACHTREE CITY) - If you are one of those who keep
saying that you are tired of this below
normal temperatures in Northeast Georgia
brace yourself because it looks like the cold
temperatures will hang around all this week.
The National Weather Service says two weak frontal
systems will quickly move through the area - one
Tuesday morning and the other Thursday
morning. There won't be any single-digit
readings like the ones that we say two weeks ago
when the year's first arctic blast of cold air moved
through. However, look for readings in the teens
Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Highs are expected
to be in the 30’s and 40’s. Forecasters say there
is very little moisture associated with the fronts,
but you might see a few light snow flurries.
WRWH Weather Reporter Bill Kinsland advises because
most of this air mass comes from the North Pole, it
is extremely dry and there is little opportunity for
moist air from the Gulf of Mexico to enter our area.
Hence this January is extremely dry compared to
January, 2013. Bill said, by this same date last
January, White County already had received 9.30
inches of rain.
As of Monday morning, we have received only 3.52
inches....our normal year-to-date rainfall for this
date is 4.50 inches. Hence we currently have a
deficit of -0.94 inch. That compares to this date
last year we had a SURPLUS of +4.57 inches.
Fred's Evacuated Following Report
Of Smoke In The Building (1/20/14)
(Cleveland)- A report of smoke in the building at
Fred’s, on the Wilford Ash Parkway in Cleveland
Sunday afternoon resulted in the building being
evacuated. Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt
said, the call came in at 3:39 P.M.
Pruitt said customers and employees were evacuated.
According to Pruitt, after Investigating for
almost an hour fire fighters were unable to
locate anything and the store was able to reopen.
Cleveland fire units along with automatic aid from
White County and Helen Fire Department responded to
the commercial fire alarm.
Melody Tenney Named Head
Volleyball Coach At TMC
(CLEVELAND)– The Truett-McConnell College Department
of Athletics has announced that Melody Tenney,
former assistant volleyball at Piedmont College, as
their new head volleyball coach. Effective January
23rd Tenney replaces former
head coach, Kevia Elkins.
Director of Athletics, Dr. Stacy Hall, "We are
very grateful to Coach Elkins who began our
volleyball program three years ago, she did a
tremendous job starting this program from scratch.”
Elkins will remain actively involved within the
Bears athletic department as she continues her role
as an assistant varsity softball coach and the head
JV softball coach. Hall voiced his excitement for
this new chapter within the school’s volleyball
program: “ Melody is an exceptional individual who
combines a passion for Christ, a tenacious
competitive spirit, a gregarious personality, and
years of experience in coaching volleyball; she will
be a great fit for Truett-McConnell College.”
In her first collegiate head coaching position,
Tenney said she looks forward to establishing a
winning tradition for the Lady Bears Volleyball
Team. “I am so
excited to be joining the TMC family.
Coach Melody Tenney
One Person Injured In Saturday
Accident ( 1/19/14)
By Rob Moore
(Photos by Ricky Pruitt)
(CLEVELAND) - One person was taken by ambulance
to the hospital with minor injuries after a
two-vehicle wreck Saturday afternoon. The
collision at 342 W. Kytle Street, occurred at
According to Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt,
a Jeep vehicle had pulled off the road into the
turning lane and apparently was attempting to
make a u-turn, in doing so the driver turned
into the path of a westbound pickup truck.
Bailey Named New Chamber President
(Cleveland)- The White County Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors have approved a new president
for the organization. Stacy Hall, Chamber Board
Chairman said they unanimously approved the
recommendation by the President Search Committee to
hire Dahlonega resident Cindy Bailey as their
president. Hall said, “We are very fortunate to
have someone of Cindy’s experience and skill set to
lead our Chamber. She is a veteran Chamber
executive with knowledge of our community and has
many key contacts at the regional and state level.”
The position has been vacant since October and Hall
said they were happy to complete this process.
He said, but it’s more than just an announcement,
he said, “most importantly we wanted to hire the
right person; you know it is a long process. There
is a lot of people involved in this process, because
we need broad representation from our membership but
we believe, more importantly in getting the process
done, we believe we’ve hired the right person.”
Hall said, “ we received 17 qualified applications
from all over the country. The search
committee decided to interview three candidates.
After the in-person interviews, the search committee
unanimously recommended to the board of directors to
Bailey has 20 years
of Chamber experience including time as Director of
the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for Calhoun
County, President of Dahlonega/Lumpkin County
Chamber of Commerce and for the past nine years she
has worked as the Sales and Marketing Director for
an international manufacturing company. She is
currently planning to move to White County from
Lumpkin County as soon as possible.
According to Hall,
with Bailey coming on board they can focus on the
true mission of the chamber, “We, as a board
representing in our membership, we have decided we
want to get back to our true mission statement and
vision statement and that is very simple; to help
every business flourish and grow and to encourage
new and quality industry into our community and to
provide jobs to everyone able to work. Now we are
not going to get away from doing a lot of community
type events we host but we want to get back to our
historical mission and vision that our membership
has set for us.”
Bailey will begin
her duties as president next Tuesday.
Transport Day Announced (1/15/14)
(Cleveland)- The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia
will be hosting the next spay/neuter transport from
White County on January 30th. On this
day, Humane Society of Northeast Georgia will
be transporting pets to its Spay/Neuter Center for
surgery as scheduled by owners.
Northeast Georgia residents who would like to
participate in the transport can schedule an
appointment by calling 770-532-6617. Due to space
limitations, the transport will be limited to the
first 20 pet owners who schedule an appointment.
Other restrictions also may apply. Animals
having surgery will be picked up at 8:00 a.m. on the
day of the transport and will board overnight at
the Humane Society, and transported back for
drop-off at 8:00 a.m on Friday. Pick-up and drop-off
for the transport will be at White County Animal
Control & Shelter, which is located at 680
Pet owners also can request additional services for
their pets at the time of surgery including
vaccinations, nail trims, heartworm testing, feline
combo testing, and microchipping. These low-cost
services are offered for additional fees.
HSNEGA’s Spay/Neuter Center is funded in part by
surgery fees, but also is subsidized by corporate
grants and donations. To learn more about the
Spay/Neuter Center, please contact HSNEGA at
770-532-6617 or visit www.HSNEGA.org.
Cleveland Sewer Project Hits A
Snag ( 1/15/14)
construction on Campbell Street
Workers unload replacement pipe
(Cleveland)- A major sewer project in the City of
Cleveland has hit a snag. City Engineer Brian
Rindt told the Cleveland City Council Monday
night that contractors for the Trulove Road project
discovered defective pipe while doing pressure
Rindt said this is a very unusual situation and that
the pipe manufacture has admitted they messed up.
Not all of the pipe will have to be replace, but
Rindt said the force main sections will have
to be dug up and replaced. Rindt said, the
replacement will affect the overall time frame
for the project, he said “ there will be a delay,
to get this project done. It’s not urgent, but
its just a pain in the rear end to go through this.”
The council was told that the pipe manufacture will
pick up the replacement cost and there would be no
extra expense to the city.
Warrior TV To Air Live Interview
With Governor Deal ( 1/15/14)
Students with White County High School
Warrior TV have announced they are working on a
special live show that will feature Governor Nathan
Deal. The broadcast is scheduled for January
at 9:15 A.M. from Atlanta.
WTVN students hosts Garrett Rowland and Hannah
Skelton will talk with the Governor at State
Capital. Charles Dewalt Executive Producer for the
school TV said the students will have about 30
minutes to talk about education in Georgia.
Dewalt said, WTVN hopes that the Governor will later
consider coming to White County for a live studio
audience broadcast where students across the
state would have the opportunity to ask the Governor
questions about education in Georgia.
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT
FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO
7 PM EST WEDNESDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR A WINTRY MIX WITH
ACCUMULATIONS...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS
EVENING TO 1 PM
* LOCATIONS...AREAS OF NORTH GEORGIA WITH EMPHASIS
ON AREAS ABOVE
* HAZARD TYPES...LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW CHANGING TO ALL
* ACCUMULATIONS...UP TO 1 INCH OF SNOW AT THE
A DUSTING TO A QUARTER OF AN INCH ELSEWHERE.
* TIMING...LATE TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY.
* IMPACTS...ONLY THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS ARE EXPECTED
ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL BUT HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS COULD BE
EXPERIENCED AT ALL LOCATIONS.
* WINDS...NORTHWEST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25
* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOW TO MID 30S.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT
PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE
PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE
Commissioners Approve Additional
Senior Center Funding (1/14/14)
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
have approved some additional local funding that
will help the White County Senior Center to continue
operating and providing full services, following
budget cuts from the federal government.
During Monday's commission meeting the board
agreed to take $25,361 from the contingency
funds to meet the shortfall.
During the meeting, Senior Center Director Bonnie
York told the commissioners there was a
waiting list of 28 people wanting to receive home
delivery meals and services, but the funding for
meals was not there. The commissioners
said they were unaware of the waiting list until
recently and wanted the waiting list
After discussion about the federal funding cuts
coming after the county budget was approved,
Commission Chairman Travis Turner said he wanted
the public to know that it wasn’t them that created
this problem. “ we just doubled the size of
our Senior Center” , Turner said, “ all of a sudden
there's a waiting list. The citizens of the
county look to us as if we , this body, caused
the problem. That we put them on the waiting
list and it was the feds. “ It kinda
hit a nerve with us , we’ve done our best to
support the seniors and the senior program, and it’s
the feds that’s been acting like the jerks on
The commissioners said in the future they want to
know in the beginning about any waiting list, saying
they want to maintain the current level of service
that our seniors deserve.
WCSO Receives State Certification
Chief Brian Kelly
reads certification plaque
Deputy Robyn Still with Sheriff Walden
while Sheriff Walden
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s office has
been recognized for achieving state certification, a
lengthy process that very few sheriffs
department have been able to complete. Gainesville
Police Chief Brian Kelly representing Georgia
Association of Chiefs of Police attended the White
County Board of Commissioners Meeting Monday and
presented the certification plaque to White County
Sheriff Neal Walden.
said, the agency certification program
identified 129 standards that are essential to the
efficient and effective operation of law enforcement
agencies. He said, “ to achieve this honor an
agency must be ahead of most in training, policy,
supervision, discipline and accountability.” Of the
over 100 law enforcement agencies in the state who
have gone through this process, only twenty are
sheriff’s offices. The White County Sheriff’s
Office became the 20th department out of
159 counties to successfully complete the
Sheriff Walden said he is proud of what this
certification means, he said “ it’s been a long
program , but it will benefit White County in
credited Sheriff’s office Training and
Certification Coordinator Robyn Still for
doing most of the work in this process.
Mrs. Betty Highsmith with her
family and W.C. Commissioners
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
paid special recognition to Cleveland resident
Betty Highsmith for her contribution to the
community and education field. A special
proclamation to honor Mrs. Highsmith was read by
Commission Chairman Travis Turner who acknowledged
that Highsmith was his 8th grade Georgia
History teacher. Highsmith has been an
active community leader, especially working with the
White County Historical Society.
Explosion Damages White County
By Rob Moore
(CLEVELAND) - Firefighters in White County were
called to a reported home explosion at 431 Arthur
Allen Road Sunday night. White County Public Safety
Director David Murphy said White County 9-1-1
received the call that a doublewide mobile home had
"The call received just before 7 p.m. reported a gas
leak under the residence and the home had exploded,"
Murphy said. "Fire could be seen under the
According to Murphy, White County Fire Department
Stations 2 and 3, Cleveland Fire Department and
firefighters from Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto
responded. No one was hurt in the
The home was damaged, and the American Red Cross was
called to assist the residents. Murphy said, "County
fire investigators were called to investigate the
The Last Time It Was This Cold
(Sautee)- Everyone is talking about the latest cold
snap in the area and some can remember the last time
we had similar temperatures. WRWH weather reporter
Bill Kinsland did some research and came up
with this. According to National Climate
Data Center, In Helen the last time it was
this cold was back on January 19th, 1994
when the low of zero was recorded also
on February 16th 1991. The
coldest minus 12 was recorded on January 21st
At Sautee weather station 6 degrees was recorded
during a four day span January 16th
– 19th. It was also 9 degrees on January
In Cleveland 3 degrees was recorded on January 19th
2003. It also was 7 degrees February 7th
Cold Weather Items Still Available
(Cleveland) – As temperatures get back close to
normal for this time of the year the community
effort to collect and provide cold weather items
for those in need in out area continue. Those in
need are asked to stop by Papa’s Pizza on the
Helen Highway in Cleveland where officials say they
still have some blankets, coats and a few space
Broken Pipes Cause Damage To
Helen Businesses ( 1/8/14)
By Rob Moore
(HELEN) – As the temperatures start to warm from the
near zero reading Tuesday morning in the area,
some Helen businesses sustained frozen pipes, one
resulting in significant damage. Capt. Lee
Poteat of Helen Fire Department said the now-vacant
Sunflower Chinese restaurant, a former KFC which he
described as about a 5,000-square-foot building, was
filled with about eight inches of water when
firefighters arrived Tuesday morning.
That's not counting all the water that ran out of
the building into the parking lot and onto
(Photo by Rob Moore)
City officials estimate that between 250,000 and
400,000 gallons of water flowed through the vacant
building's fire sprinkler system into the parking
lot, adjacent lots and even onto Edelweiss Street,
resulting in icing issues.
At Jameson Inn near the entrance to the city, a pipe
broke above the hotel's swimming pool, which
overflowed as a result. Tuesday afternoon,
City Manager Jerry Elkins said additional broken
pipes had been reported at several businesses in the
city, including Charlemagne's Kingdom, Huddle House,
and Alpine Village Inn. In addition, an outside
faucet burst at the River Street public restrooms.
Holloway Selected As Helen Mayor
By Rob Moore
(HELEN) - The Helen City Commission has elected
Commissioner Judy Holloway to serve as mayor for
2014. The vote came during Tuesday's city
commission meeting, in which the re-elected Holloway
was sworn in both as city commissioner and as mayor.
Re-elected Commissioner Helen Wilkins also was sworn
in during Tuesday's meeting. Joining Holloway and
Wilkins in receiving their oaths of office was
newly-seated Commissioner Fred
Garmon. Commissioner Dona K. Burke, who was not
present at Tuesday's meeting, was elected mayor pro
tem for 2014.
Also during Tuesday's meeting, Holloway presented
former Mayor Lynn Whitener with a plaque for his
service to the city.
(Photo by Rob Moore )
Effort Helps Cold
Weather Victims (1/7/14)
L-R Fire Chief Norman
Father Scott Kidd gets
ready to assemble cots
Kidd and White County Public Safety
(Photos by Bill Kinsland)
Director David Murphy unload the EMA
packed with cots and supplies
(Cleveland)- A large community
effort erupted Monday determined to provide warm
shelter for homeless and others in need of a warm
place during the frigid temperatures in White
County. That effort resulted in some churches
opening their facilities and numerous people
donating heaters, blankets, coats and other warm
The effort grew out of
discussions by White County Facebook community
group. Papa’s Pizza offered their business as a
donation location. The items donated can be
picked up anytime today after 9AM at Papa’s Pizza.
We still have several more
hours of below freezing temperatures so if you or
you know someone that needs any of the cold weather
items go by for assistance. Chris Nonnemaker, owner
of Papa’s Pizza told WRWH Monday that this is a
community effort to help those in need.
For anyone in need of a warm
place the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection,
Duncan Bridge Road, Restoration Point Church off
Highway 115 East in front of White County Christian
Academy and The Bridge Church, in Cleveland are
providing shelter and food.
Memorial Services Wednesday
For Water Authority Director (1/6/14)
(Cleveland)- The Director of the White County Water
Authority Gary Howe, has died following a battle
with cancer. Howe who was 58 lived in
He was born in Atlanta and joined the White County
Water Authority in 2001, as the director, a position
he held until his death.
A Memorial service will be held Wednesday at 6 PM at
Barrett Funeral Home Chapel in Cleveland.
Head On Crash Kills One In
Cleveland ( 1/3/14)
By: Rob Moore
(CLEVELAND) - A
Cleveland woman died as a result of injuries
suffered in a two-vehicle wreck in the city
Cleveland Thursday afternoon. Cleveland
Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said the wreck was in front
of Cleveland Post Office and closed Georgia Highway
75 (Helen Highway) for 90 minutes, with it reopening
around 4:10 p.m.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Chad Johnson of Georgia
State Patrol Post 6 in Gainesville, the wreck
involved a Ford Taurus driven by 70-year-old Jessie
Richardson of Cleveland and a Mitsubishi Protege
driven by 29-year-old Roy Nichols of Cleveland.
Richardson's Taurus was headed down Helen Highway
toward Cleveland, while Nichols' Protege was headed
toward Helen. The Taurus turned left into the path
of the Protege and the two cars collided head-on,
Chief Pruitt said.
"White County EMS, with the assistance of two
Cleveland firemen, rushed one of the people involved
in the car accident to the hospital with very
serious injuries." That person , identified by the
state patrol as 81-year-old Doris Logan of
Cleveland, died of her injuries.
Johnson said she was
the unrestrained passenger in the left rear seat of
Nichols' Protege. Others in Nichols' car included
front-seat passenger Laura Nichols and backseat
passenger 6-year-old Christina Nichols, both of
The Georgia State
Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team
is assisting with the investigation. Trooper Johnson
said, citations are pending.
Baby Of 2014 From Cleveland (1/3/14)
(DEMOREST) - Habersham Medical Center's first baby
of the new year arrived Thursday at 3:53 p.m.
April James spokeswoman for Habersham
Medical Center said, “ little Leah Harris weighed
six pounds, one ounce and was 18 and three-quarters
Her proud parents are Sandy and Donald Harris of
Cleveland. Leah is the third child for the Harris
family and joins brother Isaac and sister Rachel.
Leah was delivered by Doctor Thomas Hatchett.
Harris Family, (Comp. April James
Winter Weather Advisory For
Northeast Georgia ( 1/2/14)
(PEACHTREE CITY) - The National Weather Service is
calling for the possibility of some light snow
accumulation in mountain counties of Northeast
Georgia from Thursday night into Friday morning.
A special weather statement calls for a chance of
snow in Fannin, Gilmer, Union and Towns counties.
Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin and White counties were
Most of the precipitation is expected to fall as
rain as the front moves through. As colder air moves
in behind, forecasters said snow is possible in
higher elevations. The weather service statement
indicates locations about 1500 feet have the best
chance of seeing accumulations, with amounts around
an inch possible above 3000 feet.
While some snow may mix with rain in other parts of
north Georgia, snow accumulation is not expected,
according to the weather service. A winter weather
advisory means that periods of black ice and light
snow will cause travel difficulties. You are urged
to make preparations and use caution while driving.
The main impacts will be from the rapidly falling
temperatures Thursday afternoon while roads are
If that was not enough a wind advisory is in effect
from 5 PM Thursday afternoon until 4 am Friday.
Winds from the northwest 20- 25 miles per hour with
gust up to 35 are expected.
A wind chill advisory is in effect from 1 AM until
11 AM Friday. Very cold air and strong winds will
combine to generate low wind chills for the area. If
you must go outdoors, make sure to wear a hat and
Vehicle Destroyed By Fire
(Helen)- There were no injuries as a result of a
vehicle fire Sunday north of Helen. White
County Fire Department spokeswoman Ana Newberry
said, the fire was reported around 1:00 PM just
south of Top of Georgia Airstream Park on Highway
Newberry said the driver of a SUV reported the
right front tire was on fire. When firefighters
arrived the vehicle was about 60 percent involved.
Two people and two dogs were in the vehicle and all
were able to exit the vehicle.
Newberry said the highway was shutdown to traffic
fro about 30 minutes while firefighters extinguished
the blaze. Firefighters from the city of Helen
and a tanker from station 3 responded.
31 Participate In Polar Bear
What did you do for fun Saturday, well 31 brave
people participated in the first Polar Bear Plunge
in the lake at Unicoi State Park, north of Helen.
The family friendly event attracted local
participants as well as those visiting the area.
Debbie Turner drove up from St Petersburg Fl. to
make the plunge.
The water temperature was 46 degrees and the air
temperature was 35 at 11:00 AM, the time of
Officials say they organized the even, hoping that
people would attend and stay and joy the parks other
offerings. Each participant received a
commemorative iron on patch.
Photo by Jim Balaun
One Of First Managers
Of WRWH Dies (
(Jefferson)- Funeral Service are planned for
Saturday at Chapel of Evans Funeral Home in
Jefferson for a man who was one of the first
managers and help get WRWH Radio started back in
1958. He also started other radio stations in
Louisville, Washington and Jackson, Georgia, as well
as in South Carolina.
Bradley “Slim” Williamson, age 86, of Jefferson,
died Christmas day. Slim started his career in
Radio as a popular Georgia Radio Disk Jockey in the
1950’s and 60’s. He was also a part
time performer with the group “Slim and the Georgia
Peach Boys.” He also was involved in country
Slim, returned to the Arcade Community in Jackson
County, where he was born and raised. He became a
successful Real Estate Developer in the Jefferson
Evans Funeral Home in Winder is in charge of
Picture complements of
Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.6
Percent ( 12/27/13)
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced
Thursday that the unemployment rate in White
County in November was 6-point 6 percent. That
is down from the revised 7.2 percent in October.
nformation released by they labor department showed
White County had a labor force of 12,878 in
November, of those 12,025 had jobs and 853
did not. A year ago the rate was eight
The Northeast Georgia region unemployment decreased
to 6.1 percent in November, down six-tenths of a
percentage point from 6.7 percent in October. The
rate was 7.2 percent in November a year ago.
Fire Damages Main Cabin At
Smithgall Woods State Park ( 12/26/13)
(Cleveland)- A Christmas Day fire did moderate
damage to the main lodging cabin at Smithgall
Woods State Park north of Cleveland. White County
Public Safety Director David Murphy said,
firefighters received the call to 1333 Dukes
Hollow Road at 5:36 AM . The fire, located in
the main lodge cabin where visitors were staying.
Firefighters responded from Stations 6, 7, 2 with
Automatic Aide from the City of Helen. Murphy
said, they quickly extinguished the fire while
dealing with freezing temperatures, “ with the
temperatures being below freezing it caused an icing
situation when they were trying to extinguish the
fire, which made it much more difficult for them to
gain access and causes some safety concerns. “
(Photo from Ga. State Park
Murphy said not only does it cause problems for
firefighters the equipment they use as well.
No one was injured as the occupants evacuated the
structure prior to the fire departments
arrival. According to Murphy, residents were placed
in other cabins on the property and the fire is
Another fire call was reported at 8:35
concerning a residential fire at 3678 Helen Hwy
near Tom Bell Road. The occupant reported her
stove on fire with smoke coming from the rear of the
appliance. Firefighters from Station 3,
with mutual aid from City of Helen Fire and
automatic aid from City of Cleveland Fire
departments responded to the incident.
Murphy said, when firefighters arrived nothing
showing from outside of the mobile home, and the
fire was out upon arrival. No injuries were
reported and the fire was deemed electrical in
nature and confined to the appliance.
Public Safety Delivers Christmas
Dinner Packages ( 12/26/13)
(Cleveland)- Elderly residents in the city of
Cleveland were able to enjoy a happier Christmas
thanks to the efforts of the Cleveland Police
Department and others who helped deliver a
Christmas dinner package to those residents
earlier this week.
Cleveland Police Chief John Foster said his
officers, along with assistance from fire
department and city hall personnel prepared and
delivered a Christmas a ham and fixings to 76
elderly in the city. Foster said they also added a
pair of gloves and shocks in the bag.
According to Chief Foster most of the delivers were
made to elderly living in government housing and
many of those receiving the bags became very
emotional knowing someone cared about them. Foster
said this is something they do each year as part of
the public safety Christmas program.
Rash Of Weather Related Accidents
Sunday ( 12/23/13)
(Cleveland)- White County officials report several
auto accidents Sunday, most, if not all were
determined weather related. Tim Chapman, White
County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said, a Valdosta
man, Roger Beavers was charged with Driving Under
the Influence in an accident that occurred on
Highway 129 north at Tesnatee Gap Valley Road.
Another accident early Monday at Mossy Creek
Campground involved a single vehicle where a pickup
truck hat a tree that had fallen across the roadway
and power lines. Officials report they had to wait
for power crews to secure the power lines before
they could extricate the driver. Power was for a
while early this morning due to the downed power
line. The extent of injuries to the driver of the
pickup truck was not available.
Chapman said all other accidents were single vehicle
and were weather related.
Helen Records 100 Plus Inches Of
(Undated)- After the weekend rainfall Helen has now
surpassed the 100 inch mark in year-to-date
rainfall. WRWH Weather reporter Bill
Kinsland advised Monday morning with the past 24-
hour rainfall added Helen’s Year- to-date
measurement is 100-point 12 inches.
Earlier this month Sean Miller, Service
Climatologist with the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources advised that Helen and Sautee had already
recorded their wettest year on record. He said that
the previous records for these to areas were
in 1992 for Helen and 2009 for Sautee.
North Georgia got soaked over the weekend with
rainfall around four inches in many areas.
Most of that rain came down Sunday.
In Cleveland – rainfall totals from Friday morning
until this morning show 3.80 inches. Kinsland
reported in Helen the amount was 3.76 inches, and
Sautee's 3.79 inches.
Flu Illness On The Increase
(DEMOREST)- Habersham Medical Center in Demorest
reports they have seen an increase in the number of
patients suffering from the flu. In a news
release from the medical center, Teri Newsome,
the director of quality and patient safety said,
the medical center has been treating a growing
number of patients with flu-like symptoms including
cough, congestion and fever and several have had
confirmed flu tests.
“Habersham Medical Center has had 28 patients test
positive for the flu in the past week. ” “These
patients vary in age from children to senior adults.
While, no public outbreak has been reported, it is
suggest if you develop
flu like symptoms, contact your healthcare
provider, stay home and avoid contact with other
people; and cover your nose and mouth when you cough
or sneeze to prevent spread of the illness.
weeks meeting of the White County Board of Education
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson advised that the
school system here has been experiencing an increase
in the number of students and staff who were absent
as a result of the flu. The school system’s
Christmas break should help in curtailing the spread
of the illness.
White County Sheriff's Office
Receives Grant (12/18/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s
Offices has been awarded a $10,000 public safety
partnership grant from the Governor’s Office of
Highway Safety. The incentive grant, which
will last through September 2014, is designed for
smaller law enforcement agencies that have partnered
with the office of Highway Safety and excelled in
participating in highway safety initiatives as well
as making their communities safe during the previous
White County Sheriff Neal Walden said, “ this
will ensure that White County Sheriff’s Office
continues to promote traffic safety.”
The grand funds will be used to purchase the
new Intoxilyzer 9000 breath testing machine and
flashlights which will be used in DUI and traffic
enforcement activities. All agencies are
required to have the new breathalyzer in used
by January 2016.
Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office
of Highway Safety said, “ the goal of the grant is
to reward agencies for their proactive approach to
traffic safety and to provide them with the
necessary tools to effectively continue their
lifesaving efforts. “
Contract And Additional Funding
For Event Parked Approved (12/18/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
have approved a work contract and additional funding
for the planned event park in Cleveland. At a
called meeting Tuesday morning the commissioners
approved a contract with Charles Black Construction
to do the work, at the same time the board approved
some additional funds to complete the funding need
for the project.
Commissioner Terry Goodger has spearheaded this
project since the beginning and he said all their
work is beginning to payoff. Goodger said, “
It’s been a while that we’ve been working on this
to get it together and I think most of the people in
the community are excited about having it and we’re
ready to get started on it, Charles Black is ready
to start as soon as they get notice to proceed and
that could happen any day.”
Depending on the weather officials expect the park
to be completed in quickly, Goodger said, “ we are
looking for having the park ready for the spring.”
The board during Tuesday’s meeting approved
$165,000 in SPLOST tax funds for the
project. Other funds used will come the
Hotel/Motel tax and the city of Cleveland is
providing some funding. The total project cost
was placed at $860, 744.
Second Chance Graduate Honored By
BOE ( 12/16/13)
(Cleveland)- Following the news last week that
White County school system had the third
highest graduation rate in the state the school
system added one more graduate to the list
with a student receiving her second chance
graduation diploma during the White County board of
education meeting Thursday.
White County High School principal John Osborne
said, Shannon Coker, who was part of the Class of
2013, had three parts of the five part state
graduation test to complete before she could be
awarded her diploma. Osborne said Coker was
determined to finish the requirements, “ it’s kinda
ironic that it’s here on the cuspis of us
receiving that 94.4 percent grad rate. She’s one of
the reasons why, and we love that persistence in
kids, that makes them winners. “
After receiving word that Coker had passed all
required segments of the test White County officials
planned a special graduation ceremony during the
board of education meeting.
Shannon Coker receives
congratulatory hug from
Friday Fire Destroys One Home
Damages Five Others ( 12/16/13)
(Cleveland)- One home was destroyed and five others
were damaged by a fire Friday night in White
County. Public Safety Director David Murphy said,
White County firefighters with mutual aid from City
of Cleveland and City of Helen responded to Yogi
Bear Blvd in Mountain Lakes Resort. When the
first unit arrived on scene reported the initial
structure was fully involved with multi residences
Murphy said, the fire was quickly contained and the
five exposures received minor to moderate damage,
the initial structure was a total loss.
The call was received at 8:24PM, while the main
residence was a total loss, Murphy said, “the quick
response by firefighters saved the additional
structures in the immediate area.”
The American Red Cross was called to assist the
residents effected by the fire.
TMC Athlete's Donate Christmas
Stockings To White County Kids (12/13/13)
(CLEVELAND) – For the third straight year,
Truett-McConnell College athletes distributed
Christmas stockings, filled with toys, candy, and a
message of the Gospel, to children who visit the
White County Food Pantry in Cleveland this past
Tuesday. Each stocking was filled with toys
and other Christmas items, including a copy of the
Christmas story from the Bible.
The White County Food pantry distributes nearly
400,000 lbs. of food to 6,000 local families,
including 8,000 hungry children each year.
Recognizing this overwhelming need, members of
Truett-McConnell College’s Bears in the Community
(BIC), a group of student-athlete representing each
TMC sports team, spearheaded this year’s effort.
(left to right): Taylor Nix,
Rachel Crump, Rebecca Creswell,
Nicole Daniels, Ruth Dennis,
Meagan Taylor, Taylor Whitsel.
player, Hayden Fleming is president of the BIC
group said, “As a group, Bears in the Community is
always looking for opportunities to make an impact
in the lives of the people around us. ”
Members of BIC distributed flyers around the
Truett-McConnell College campus, inviting students
to participate in collecting Christmas stockings for
White County kids. “We simply told people what we
were doing,” said vice president, Rebecca Creswell,
a senior on the school’s softball team. “We asked
everyone to donate a stocking filled with Christmas
items for kids and told them about the need in White
County.” Nearly 100 athletes and other students
answered the call.
“We had boxes and boxes of stockings lining our
apartment,” Creswell said. “Some sports teams
brought so much stuff that the items wouldn’t even
fit into the stockings.”
State Superintendent Of Schools
Visits WCHS ( 12/12/13)
State Supt. Barge examines
graduation rates with W.C.
Supt Barge makes his way through the lunch line
Supt. Dr. Jeff Wilson and
Principal John Osborne
(Cleveland)- Dr. John D. Barge, State School
Superintendent paid a visit to White County
Thursday, one day after the White County system was
recognized as having the third best graduation rate
in the state. The visit was not related to the
graduation news, Barge said, this is part of his
commitment he made when became state school
superintendent, to visit each school district in the
He said it’s a great way to encourage teachers and
school administrators and find out what’s unique
about each system. Dr. Barge said, “ I have been
able to see some amazing things in the rural parts
of our state that I’m able to take back and share
with other people. Sometimes a lot of our rural
communities don’t have a lot of interaction with
other districts so it’s a great opportunity to share
the good things that are going on across the state
with other districts.”
White County High School Principal John Osborne
said, they have a lot to show the superintendent,
“we have such a well rounded program from arts, to
CTAE, to our academics and everything we offer
during the day, we are so proud.”
During his visit Dr. Barge enjoyed lunch with White
County High School students and dropped in on
some classrooms activities.
County Holds Christmas Luncheon
(Cleveland)- White County government employees
gathered Wednesday for their annual Christmas
luncheon and service recognition. This year’s event
was held in the ballroom at Babyland General
Hospital in Cleveland. In addition to a great
meal and time share friendship several employees
were recognized for their years of service to the
Sandra McAfee and Garrison Baker. (photo by
people were recognized for 30 year service and were
awarded $200 and their birthday off. Those were
Probate Judge Garrison Baker and Probate Court
Clerk, Sandra McAfee.
Magistrate Court Judge Joy Parks received a 15 year
recognition certification, $100 and her
Corey Hyde, Ana Newberry, Linda Holman, Linda
Chambers, Craig Bryant (photo by Krystal Davidson)
people were presented with 10 year certificates and
$50, the were : Commissioner Craig Bryant; Linda
Chambers, Clerk of Court Office; Linda Holman, Tax
Assessors Office; Corey Hyde, Magistrate
Court: Richard Kelley, Sheriff’s Office; Ana
Newberry, Fire Department; Travis Smith E-9-1-1;
Mark Taylor, Sheriff’s Office.
Tim Forrester, Brad Lamon, Katie Abernathy,
Marcia Thomas (photo by Krystal Davidson)
employees had 5 years of service and they received
$25. The included: Katie Abernathy, Clerk of
Court Office; Joseph Dan Autry, Detention Center;
Cassie Fincher, E-9-1-1; Tim Forrester, E- 9-1-1;
Brad Lamon, Sheriff's Office; Beverly Ngo,
Detention Center; Laura Riebold, Detention Center;
Anthony Sims, Sheriff’s Office; and Marcia Thomas,
Vogel Completes Basic Training
(Undated)- Air Force Airman Dylan M. Vogel has
graduated from basic military training at Joint Base
San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week
program that included training in military
discipline and studies, Air Force core values,
physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and
skills. Airmen who complete basic training
earn four credits toward an associate in applied
science degree through the Community College of the
Vogel is a 2007 graduate of White County High
W.C. Third Best Graduation Rate In
the State ( 12/12/13)
(Cleveland) - The Georgia Department of Education
announced Wednesday the 2013 Cohort 4-Year
Graduation Rate for the state school
systems. White County School System had the
third best 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate in the
state with a Rate of 94.4%. White County ranked
first among the state county school systems.
Dr. Jeff Wilson White County Superintendent said,
"I am so proud of our teachers, administrators,
staff, students and community. In White County, we
have made students graduating from high school a
priority." Wilson said. "Following the
announcement two weeks ago that Mount Yonah
Elementary and White County Intermediate Schools
being named two of the top performing schools in
the state, White County residents should be very
excited about the direction our schools are heading.
The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is
based on when a student first becomes a freshman.
The rate is calculated using the number of students
who graduate within four years and includes
adjustments for student transfers.
The U.S. Department of Education requires all 50
states to use the cohort rate to calculate
Statewide, the graduation rate increased from last
year – from 69.7 percent to 71.5 percent this year.
White County Shop Destroyed By
Fire ( 12/11/13)
(Cleveland)- White County firefighters
responded to a structure fire Tuesday
night at 10:42 PM. White County Public
Safety Director David Murphy said, “ 9-1-1 received
a call about a structure fire at 132 CH Drive off
Highway 356. The owner reported the blaze,
stating that fire was coming through the roof of his
shop located beside his residence.”
According to Murphy, when the first unit arrived at
10:57 PM they reported the structure was fully
involved in fire. Firefighters quickly begin
to protect the adjacent residential structure from
further damage and saved the home.
Murphy said, “ the residence did receive minor
damage and the fire is under investigation by
Stations 7, 6, 3 & 2 with mutual aid from Helen and
Cleveland Fire Department responded to the scene.
Truett McConnell College To Offer
Masters Degrees (12/11/13
(CLEVELAND)- Officials at
Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, have
announced their intentions to offer Master's
degrees following approval by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools, on Tuesday.
TMC President Dr. Emir Caner said, "The
hand of God we attempt to follow has in turn blessed
us in this expansion of our academic training and
spiritual influence. We are elated to announce the
launch of our graduate degree program for fall 2014.
According to Caner, their
academic offers is in response to the, “
near-miraculous growth of the college.” Since
2008, the school has grown from about 450 students
to more than 1,600.
Dr. Brad Reynolds, TMC's vice
president for academic affairs, said, With the
approval by SACS "Eventually, we will offer any
number of graduate degree programs. " we will
inaugurate this new level change by offering a
Master of Arts in Theology next fall," Reynolds
College officials say following
the first offering of Master degrees the college can
move forward in obtaining university status in
Cleveland Council Agrees To Help
Fund Park Project ( 12/10/13)
(Cleveland)- The city of Cleveland has come through
with a contribution to the White County
event park being built by the county behind
the courthouse in Cleveland. The county
is providing the majority of the cost for the
project, but the commissioners called on the city to
help with the project since the park is located in
the city and will benefit businesses located
downtown. The county had ask the city to
provide $150,000 toward the project.
During Monday night’s city council meeting
Mayor Don Stanley said they checked out the amount
they could use for street work and that amount was
around $88- thousand dollars. Mayor Stanley
said they did some further checking and they
discovered they could help with the street lighting
cost and providing a water hookup that brought
the overall contribution they could make to
Councilman Bradley Greene, who owns a business
on the square, said he sees the project as a
growth engine for the area. Greene made a motion to
commitment of $145, 744 and use SPLOST tax
funds. Councilman Ed Young seconded the motion
and it received unanimous approval.
Here is a breakdown of the funding provided by
the city for the park project:
Pavement and striping
Curb & Gutter
Record Rainfall For Helen And
Sautee ( 12/6/13)
(Cleveland)-This news might not be a surprise to you
but, it’s official both Helen and Sautee have
already recorded their wettest year on record for
2013. According to Sean Miller, Service
Climatologist with the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources, Helen has received 89.81 inches of rain
and Sautee 87.38 inches. That’s before the
rain Thursday night.
Miller said, “ with an active pattern expected in
the near future it will be interesting to see what
the final precipitation totals are by the end of the
year. He said that the previous records
for these to areas were in 1992 for Helen and 2009
Cleveland Fire Answers 56 Calls In
(Cleveland)- The Cleveland Fire Department had a
total of 56 calls during the month of November.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt reports that
during the month the department made 30 calls in the
city and 26 in the county for mutual aid.
The larges number of calls were medical assist calls
with a total of 25. There were 3 Structure
fire calls and 5 auto accident calls.
Cleveland Holds Annexation Public
Hearing ( 12/4/13)
(Cleveland)- The City of Cleveland will be hold a
public hearing on the proposed annexation of state
route right of way on Georgia 11/ Highway 129 south
of the city limits to Truelove Road. The
hearing will be Thursday at 7:00 PM at the
City Hall annex on South Main Street in Cleveland.
A copy of the map showing the proposed annexation is
available for public inspection during regular
business hours at the City Clerk’s office located at
Cleveland City Hall on South Main Street in
Any person wishing to be heard on the proposed
annexation may appear.
Rogers Gives Legislative Report To
Rotarians ( 12/4/13)
(Cleveland)- State Representative Terry Rogers sees
a unique legislative session next year. Speaking
to the White County Rotary Club Tuesday Rogers
told the Rotarians that the upcoming general
assembly will be, “ like a freight train.” He
said because of the moved up May 20th
federal primary, one of the first things that they
will take action on, when the session begins, will
be to move the state primary up to coincide with the
mandated federal election.
He indicated that the representatives will be
wrapping up things quickly so they can get out on
the re-election campaign trail. Rogers said he
doesn’t think there will be any controversial issues
come out of the session.
Rogers who represents the 10th district,
which includes part of White County said even
though his district covers only a small part of
White County he represents the entire county
Council Wants More Time
Before Deciding On Park Project (
(Cleveland)- The Cleveland City Council has yet
to jumped onboard as far as providing financial
support for a proposed event park that the
county is building and located in the city
behind the White County Courthouse. The
commissioners have called on the city to join the
effort, because of the parks location and the
benefit it will provide to city businesses.
During the Cleveland City council meeting Monday
night council members entertained a request from
the county to provide $150,000 toward that project.
City Clerk Connie Tracas advised the council that
$77,400 is what they could legally spend out of the
road money on the park project. She said, “
anything else you’ll have to take out of the general
fund.” After some discussion
Councilmen Edward Young said, “I’d like to wait
until next week to make a move on this, get some
better cost brought in.” No action was taken
by the council on the request.
Delays For Cleveland Annexation
(Cleveland)- The efforts of the City of Cleveland to
annex in the right of way along Highway 129 south of
the city continues to be delayed. During a council
meeting Monday night City Attorney Grant Keene
discussed with council members the wording of the
proposed document that will be submitted as part of
the annexation process.
The city is working on a proposal that will be
submitted to the White County Commissioners to get
their approval, prior to the city submits the
request to the state legislature, which must give
the final approve.
County Commissioner Terry Goodger, attended the city
council meeting Monday night and told the
council that they are awaiting information from the
city, so they can take the matter under
consideration. The city council advised they are
working on the project as part of the city’s
Unemployment Rate Up in October
(Atlanta)- The Georgia Department of Labor reports
White County’s unemployment rate in October rose to
7.2 percent, that’s up from the revised September
rate of 6.9 percent. The labor department
said the labor force in the county was
13,061, of those 12,118 were employed , 943 were
The county’s unemployment rate one year ago was 8.4
percent. Georgia Mountains region rate
increased to 6.8 percent in October, up three-tenths
of a percentage point from 6.5 percent in September.
Smoke Forces Evacuation Of Verizon
Store ( 11/29/13)
(Cleveland) - The Verizon Store in Cleveland was
evacuated briefly Wednesday afternoon after smoke
began pouring in from the heat vents.Cleveland Fire
Chief Ricky Pruitt said the incident, at 641 S. Main
St,, happened at 1:04 p.m.
Pruitt said, "Store employees heard a loud pop
and then smoke started coming through the heat
vents. " He said, "Upon arrival of Cleveland Fire
Department it was discovered that the compressor on
a heat unit had locked down."
Pruitt said there was no damage to the building,
adding employees were allowed to return to work
after about 20 minutes. White County Fire
Department and Helen Fire Department also responded
Winter Weather Advisory For
Wednesday Morning (11/26/13)
(Peachtree City)- National Weather
Service forecasters advise that Winter Weather is
likely late Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
A Winter Weather Advisory for sleet and snow
will be in effect from 1:00 AM until 1 PM Wednesday.
The area affected is elevations above 1500 feet
north of a Dalton to Jasper to Cleveland line.
Forecasters say accumulations up to
1 inch with light accumulation of sleet is possible.
Rain will mix with and then chage to sleet after
midnight, then change to all sleet and snow after 5
AM. The precipitation should end by noon Wednesday.
Icy roads are possible, especially on elevated
surfaces like bridges and overpasses.
It will be quite windy as well with
northwest winds will increase to 15 to 30 miles per
hour with gust up to 45 to 50.
Forecasters advise that temperatures
will be falling into the low to mid 30’s by sunrise
with temps remaining steady all day Wednesday. The
winter weather advisory means that periods of snow..
sleet or freezing rain will cause travel
difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads and
County Event Park Gets Some
(Cleveland)- The much talked about White County
Event Park, which will be located behind the White
County Courthouse in Cleveland received most of its
funding during a meeting of the White County
Commissioners Monday. Charles Black Construction
Company of Cleveland was selected as the low
bidder out 6 companies submitting bids.
The county and Charles Black Construction were able
to trim the overall cost of the project down
The Commissioners after a lengthy discussion agreed
to use 550-thousand dollars from county’s
hotel/ motel tax to help fund the project and in
doing so they called on the Cleveland City of
Cleveland, to as the commissioners put it,
“step up to the plate”, and help fund the project
since the park will be located in the city and city
businesses will benefit from it.
The commissioners say if the city doesn't come
forward with funding they will have to look at other
sources to complete the project. The event park
which will include a performance stage will used for
community events as well as the county’s farmers
market during the summer.
Some County Employees To Get Extra
Vacation Time Pay (11/26/13)
(Cleveland)- White County government employees who
have accrued over 80 hours of vacation time and
haven’t used that by the end of the year have been
given a early Christmas present from the county
commissioners. Those employees will receive pay for
the accrued hours over 80 hours.
Commissioner Craig Bryant proposed the pay during a
meeting Monday at the courthouse in Cleveland.
Bryant in making his motion said, “ employees
of the county if they’ve got vacation time and
it’s not used by the end of the year, they’ll get
paid for their time, rather than loosing it,
because we’ve got the money. We can either take it
out of contingency or we can take it out of general
fund and make a budget adjustment at the end of the
year, it don’t make no difference to me. My motion
is we pay them their time so they won’t loose it. “
One of the areas where the employees will benefit
most is the White County Sheriff’s office, Sheriff
Neal Walden said his employees have around 900
combined hours of vacation time accrued. The
extra vacation time pay will cost the county around
No Injuries In Cleveland
(Cleveland)- No injuries were reported in a single
vehicle accident that occurred Sunday afternoon
on Campbell Street in Cleveland. Cleveland
Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said, the accident occurred
around 5:45 PM when the driver ran off the road and
hit a tree.
Pruitt said the occupants were checked out by
Emergency Medical Service personnel and
refused transport to the hospital or treatment.
Busy Sunday Fore W.C. Firefighters
(Cleveland)- White County firefighters stayed busy
Sunday with a total of four reported residential
fires in the county. White County Public Safety
Director David Murphy said the First call was
reported at 4:57 AM at 260 J&J Drive.
Murphy said that when the first unit arrived
they reported a mobile home at that location was
90% involved in fire. There were no injuries
and the American Red Cross was called to assist the
occupants. Station’s 7, 3, 2 and Helen Fire
responded to the scene. Murphy advised that
the fire is under investigation, but appears to
have been accidental.
The second call was an fire alarm call
at 9:33 AM at 534 Escowee Drive in the City of
Helen. White County responded to assist the Helen
Fire Department with Stations 3 and 7. No further
Murphy said the third and fourth calls were
received at 7:16PM, one call was at 192 Spencer
Drive off Hwy 115W with a report of a chimney fire
Stations 5, 4 and Cleveland Fire responded to the
incident and the fire was out prior to arrival.
Firefighters from Station four checked the
residence for the home owner, no damage was
The last call for the day l was at 264 Campground
Road off Skitts Mtn Road. Murphy said, that
too was a chimney fire. Stations 4, 5 and
Cleveland Fire responded to the incident. Fire
was out upon arrival and no damage was reported.
Murphy said, “ It is important that residents check
smoke detectors, use safe measures while cooking and
have chimney’s cleaned as we begin the holidays and
set into the next few months of winter. “
Rotary Club Holds Meeting At
Cleveland Library (11/21/13)
(Cleveland)- During Tuesday’s meeting of the White
County Rotary Club, Past District Governor Bill
St. Clair present a Rotary Foundation grant check to
the local club president’s Melissa Gill. The grant
in the amount of $800 will be used for a community
project that Rotary supports, the summer feeding,
“Meals on the Bus “ program.
St. Clair also presented the club with two awards in
recognition of the clubs donations and commitment
to the Rotary Foundation program that program
provides funding for projects around the world.
Rotary President Melissa Gill
awards from Past DG Bill St. Clair
During a special vocational tour by the White County
Rotary Club Tuesday to the White County Public
Library in Cleveland the club got to see first hand
how their funding for books used in the children’s
section are being use.
The club was also treated to a special program from
preschool children who participate in the library’s
children’s story hour. Library Program Manager
Michael Humphrey explained to the club how their
donations as well as others help in providing the
much needed services at the library.
LaDonna Meaders, Children's
Director leads children
in presentation to Rotary Club
TMC Lady Bears Basketball
Holds Wesleyan To 8 Percent Shooting
Grooms -TMC Sports
(CLEVELAND)- The Truett-McConnell College Lady Bears
basketball team held the Wesleyan College Wolves to
32 points, Tuesday. The final score was
62-32. The Lady Bears played a strong defensive
game, holding the Wolves to 8 percent shooting and
only five points in the first half.
Head basketball coach, Matt Sanders said, “After
what I thought was our poorest defensive effort at
Montreat last week, it was nice to see us come back
and play that way.”
Truett-McConnell College sophomore, Rhandee Haskett,
played an outstanding game, scoring 18 points and
carrying 14 rebounds.
Krista Dixon was also a big contributor for the Lady
Bears; she put up 11 total points and five rebounds.
Krista Dixon brings the ball down
the court during an
exhibition game against Clemson
The Lady Bears currently hold a 2-2 season record
and a 1-1 conference record. Their next game is
against Union College in Barbourville, Ky.,
Saturday. For more info, see www.tmcbears.com
Renovation/Upgrade Projects ( 11/15/13)
By Rob Moore
(CLEVELAND) - White County is proceeding with
several projects to make its government services
better and more centralized. During a called
meeting Friday morning, the commission approved
nearly $100,000 in expenditures to renovate/upgrade
a couple of neighboring county buildings.
The commission approved $66,631.43 in Special
Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds to replace the
HVAC system at the White County Health
Photo by Rob
Department building, located in the former
Neighborhood Healthcare Building. That building
now houses the health department, White County
Emergency Medical Services, Ninth District
Opportunity, and WIC. The commissioners approved a
bid from A & A Electric even though it was not the
lowest bid. While A & A was not the low bidder,
commissioners followed County Manager Michael
Melton's recommendation to approve the expenditure,
citing previous dissatisfaction with the
customer service of Conditioned Air Systems, the
county's previous service provider.
Also, commissioners approved expenditures for three
renovation projects at the White County
Administration Building, formerly the county
detention center. The facility since July houses the
White County Commissioners Office, business tax,
finance, and human resources offices. The county
coroner's office also soon will be relocated there.
Currently, the commission meets at the White County
Courthouse, which now is a challenge because of
court functions, and because commission staff is not
housed in that building. Melton said he is
optimistic the renovation work at the administration
building can be completed by the first of the year.
In an item related to the administration building
renovation, commissioners voted November 4th to
spend $14,165.20 in SPLOST funds with Four Season
Heating, Air, and Refrigeration to purchase a larger
cooler for use by the coroner's office. At that
meeting, commissioners were told the cooler would be
capable of housing 15 bodies.
Cleveland Boil Water Notice Lifted
(Cleveland)- The City of Cleveland has lifted a
Boiled Water Notice they issued Sunday for a select
area of the city. The notice affected
Cleveland water customers located in Woodland
Forest Subdivision, Whitehall Commons and Whitehall
Manor. Tom Guy, Water/Wastewater Supervisor said
Friday morning that the EPD has
confirmed with the city that all test are clear and
the notice can be lifted.
Guy advised on Sunday that a water main break in the
Woodland Forest area prompted the notice. Due
to this main break and repair, the City as required
issued a boil water notice. Guy said, this notice
is to insure the safety of the drinking water to the
city’s customers in the event of the possibility of
a contaminant entering the system.
TMC Student-Athletes Garner 19 AAC
Awards ( 11/14/13)
(CLEVELAND) – The Appalachian Athletic Conference
announced All-Conference Awards for soccer and
volleyball, naming 19 Truett-McConnell College
student athletes, award winners.
In Volleyball- Ashley Davis, Sarah Conort,
Jordan Malaier, and Jessica Epting were named to the
2013 All-Academic Team.
Women’s Soccer-The Truett-McConnell College
Women’s Soccer team also garnered several awards,
including two 2013 2nd Team
All-Conference members, Joy Smith and Bethany
Murphy. Meagan Taylor was named to the 3rd
Seven members of the Lady Bears Soccer team were
named to the 2013 All-Academic team
Senior, Joy Smith (R), AAC's
2nd Team All-Conference
Men’s Soccer- Gavin Duff was recognized as a
part of the 2nd Team All-Conference, and
Stephon Williams to the 3rd Team
All-Conference. Duff and Craig Stephenson were
both named Academic All-Conference team members.
Truett-McConnell College’s Director of Athletics,
Dr. Stacy Hall, echoed the voice of each coach in
congratulating these athlete’s on their hard work:
“We are incredibly proud of these student-athletes
who exemplify what it is to be a Truett-McConnell
College Bear,” he said. “We believe in winning
championships in discipleship, academics, community
service and athletic performance, and these young
men and women have done a great job in fulfilling
these goals and representing Truett-McConnell.”
Two White County Schools Selected
"Highest Performing" (11/13/13)
(Cleveland)- The Georgia Department of Education
has announced their "2013 Georgia Reward Schools"
and two White County schools are among the 78 on
White County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff
Wilson said, “ White County Schools that made the
list for "Highest-Performing" schools in the state
were Mount Yonah Elementary School and the White
County Intermediate School.”
A “Highest-Performing School” is a Title I school
among the 5% of Title I schools in the State that
has the highest absolute performance over three
years for the “all students” group on the statewide
Wilson said, "I am very proud of all of our
schools. We have very strong community engagement
and a caring supportive school board. "
"I congratulate the teachers, students, parents and
administration at Mount Yonah and the White County
Intermediate School for all of their hard work.
Our faculty, staff and administration have a
passion to know, value, and inspire our kids and we
want to see all of our students success in school
and in life."
White County Recognizes Veterans
(Cleveland)- White County did it’s part in
recognizing veterans, during a special ceremony
Monday at the service monuments in front of the
White County Courthouse in Cleveland. The event
was sponsored by the Roy Head Post 16 of the
American Legion and honored each branch of the
country’s military. Living veterans as well as
those who have passed on were saluted for their
service to the country.
The Commander of the American Legion in Mike
Allen said during the program that veterans are a
special group of people he said, “Fortunately
our military is made up of ordinary people
accomplishing extraordinary things. Fewer than 10
percent of Americans can claim the title
military veteran. “
The ceremony was filled with music and individual
salute to all veterans.
After the ceremony Allen said, “ I think that White
County is one of the most exemplary counties in the
nation as far as dedication toward the
veterans and the veterans dedicated to the new
TMC Makes Food Bank Donation
(CLEVELAND) – As a result of the promotion presented
by Truett McConnell College Basketball and the
Cleveland McDonalds, TMC’s Department of Athletics
donated over 800 meals to the Food Bank of Northeast
Georgia, Saturday. The Food Bank of Northeast
Georgia serves 14 counties and distributes 12.8
million pounds of food annually, 400,000 of those
pounds going directly to White County.
Dr. Stacy Hall, Truett-McConnell College’s Director
of Athletics said, “The Food Bank of Northeast
Georgia provides an invaluable service to our
community, we are proud to be able to partner with
McDonald’s of Cleveland to help raise awareness of
hunger and to do our small part in fighting it.
I’m grateful for David Standard and his staff at the
Food Bank and encourage everyone to make a donation
to this worthy cause.”
To learn more about the Food Bank of Northeast
Georgia or to make a donation, go to
Dr. Stacy Hall, TMC Director of
David Standard of the Food Bank of
Georgia for his service to White
Kitchens Named EAGLE Winner
(Clarkesville)- Gabrielle Kitchens has been selected
as North Georgia Technical College’s 2014
Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education or
EAGLE winner. Students who have demonstrated
superior achievement in adult education programs are
nominated by their instructors for this honor.
Gabrielle is a student at the Rabun County Adult
Education Center and her Instructor is Judy Hall.
Also nominated for this award were Julia Elizabeth
Daunch of Cleveland, Olivia Green of Lula, Timika
Figueroa of Toccoa, and Cassie Lynn Hall of
Gabrielle will compete in the regional competition
in November and will attend the EAGLE conference
next March. “We are so proud of all of
our students,” said Dean for Adult Education Shelby
Ward. “We know that Gabrielle will represent the
college well during the next rounds of competition
at the region and state levels.”
Arrest Made In Club Escape
(Cleveland)- White County authorities have announced
an arrest in connection with the incident at
Club Escape in Helen on October 28th.
In a press release from the sheriff’s office, they
advised that on Friday afternoon they arrested
29-year old Christopher S. Burnett of 8600 North
Main Street Helen and charged him with
criminal damage to property in the first degree in
connection with the damage at Club Escape.
White County Chief Deputy Bob Ingram said, the use
of video surveillance and good investigative work by
a couple of their investigators is what led them to
Burnett. Ingram said Burnett had moved here
from Florida and had done some work at the club.
Christopher S. Burnett
The incident was first reported to Helen police and
investigator Ricky Gunter responded to probe
the damage and suffered chemical burns to his hands
and was treated at Habersham Medical Center, he was
able to return to work by the end of the week.
Helen Police Chief Jim Couch requested the
help of the sheriff’s office in part because Gunter,
their only investigator, being injured.
According to Chief Ingram, the investigation is
continuing and they expect other arrests. Burnett
remains in the White County Detention Center.
Winners Split Rotary Raffle
Prize ( 11/8/13)
Pictured: Don Allison,
representing winner Rebecca King, Melissa Gill
representing Jean Strong, Mary
Guinn representing the group ticket holders,
Susan Baker Representing Andy
Dowdy and Al Seale
(Cleveland)- The White County Rotary Club reports a
successful community night out and $10,000
scholarship raffle. The event was held Thursday
night at the Black Bear Dinner Theater north of
Cleveland. This is an annual event where the Club
members sells tickets for an elimination drawing
where the last ticket drawn wins $10,000.
Rotary Club President Melissa Gill said, “ the
Rotary Club of White County would like to thank
everyone for their support for the scholarship
raffle, that has now been named the Sam Dixon
Memorial Scholarship Raffle, and the funds go to
support our local students in their endeavor to
attend college. They receive a $1,000 scholarship
per year for four years.”
During this years raffle the elimination process
was down to five tickets and the ticket holders, or
persons designated to act on their behalf, agreed to
split the funds rather than go further with
the elimination. The winning ticket holders
were: Andy Dowdy, Al Seale, Jean Strong,
Rebecca King and a group of 4 people.
Each of the ticket holders will receive $2,000, with
the multiple ticket holders will split their amount.
In addition to the possible winnings those
attending were able to enjoy an nice meal and
participate in a silent auction of items donated for
J.P. Nix Student Salute Veterans
Kelsey Cleveland Performs the
(Cleveland)- Veterans Day is Monday, students Jack
P. Nix Primary School in Cleveland took time
Thursday morning to salute out local
veterans. The second grade students performed
several song and recognition of each of the veterans
Second grade student Kelsey Cleveland did an
outstanding job singing the National Anthem. The
school had a walk of honor down the hall of the
school for the veterans and a special lunch was
provided following the late morning program.
The schools music teacher Barbara Thomas
coordinated the program and Principal Stacie Ward
said the participation was wonderful.
Two Arrested In Connection
With Several Burglaries ( 11/7/13)
Courtney Rachel Duncan
Preston Dale Nichols
(Cleveland)- Cleveland Police report the arrest of
two people they say are connected to numerous
electronic burglaries across north Georgia.
Cleveland Police Chief John Foster said the
suspects identified as 22-year old
Courtney Rachel Duncan and 48 –year old Preston
Dale Nichols, both of Murrayville.
Foster said the two were taken into custody on
October 28th after being spotted
officers in front of Aaron Rentals in
Cleveland. The two have been charged with the theft
of electronics from the Walmart in Cleveland as well
as other Walmart stores. Chief Foster said. “ at
the time of arrest the individuals were in
possession of a magnetic Alpha S3 Handkey, which
they used to unlock the electronics from the
display.” The key is capable of unlocking other
locks on TV’s and electronic devices.
According to Foster, they have admitted to taking
items from stores in the North Georgia area. He
said they have heard from officials from as far away
as Henry County were the two are suspected of
selling items to pawn shops.
Foster said, they are still investigating this case
and more charges will be filed against the
two. Nichols remains in the White County Detention
Center, Duncan has been released on bond.
Helen City Election Results
(Helen)- The top three candidates in Helen City
election Tuesday winning seats on the city
commission board were Fred Garmon who
received 98 votes, incumbents Helen Wilkins with 94
votes and Judy Holloway with 82 votes.
two other candidate Phil Irish received 54 votes and
incumbent Lynn Whitner 41 votes.
voting in the city of Helen was the only voting
conducted yesterday in White County.
County Commissioners Seek Land And
Water Conservation Grant (11/6/13)
(Cleveland )- The White County Board of
Commissioners have taken the first step to obtain
funds to help with the improvement access to the
former Outdoor Therapeutic property north of
Cleveland. Monday the commissioners voted to apply
for a 50 percent matching grant from the Georgia
Land and Water Conservation.
The amount of funds available is not know now,
commissioners say this is just a paperwork to get
the grant process underway.
The commissioners deferred a paving project for
Leatherford Road east of Cleveland. The board felt
there was not enough time to get the paving done
this fall due to cold weather and the leaves falling
on the paving area. The commissioners agreed
to rebid the project next February or March for
Also during this weeks commission meeting the
commissioners pledged to do more paving work
in the future. Here is how commission chairman
Travis Turner put it “ I think I speak for everybody
up here, especially with the next SPLOST that starts
November of next year we are going to… anybody
disagree, we’re going to get some roads paved in
The commissioners said the attendance at this past
weekends Unicoi Wine Festival was strong.
Commission Chairman Travis Turner said, the success
of this event warrants further events like this in
promoting the wine and
Agritourism business in the
county. Turner had praise for the White County
Chamber of Commerce and other who contributed to the
TMC Soccer Teams Ranked
Fourth In Conference (11/5/13)
(CLEVELAND)- The Truett-McConnell College Men’s and
Women’s soccer teams were ranked fourth place in the
2013 Soccer Tournament bracket released by the
Appalachian Athletic Conference this past
The Lady Bears have an overall season record of
9-6-1 and a conference record of 6-3-1; they will
play in and host the first quarterfinal round,
against no.5 Columbia College, Saturday at 12:30
The Men’s Soccer team tied for fourth place with an
overall season record of 8-7-2 and a conference
record of 4-4-1. The Bears will also play in and
host the quarterfinal round against Point
University, Saturday at 2:30 PM.
TMC Bears Help With Food Drive
(CLEVELAND) – Truett-McConnell College’s Bears
basketball teams are partnering with McDonalds and
the Northeast Georgia Food Bank to offer a canned
food drive at the men’s and women’s basketball games
this Saturday. Those who present a canned food
product at the admission gate will receive free
During halftime of the men’s varsity game, all
donations will be given to a representative of the
Northeast Georgia Food Bank. The Lady Bears will
tip off against Bob Jones University at 2:00 PM in
their first regular season home game. The Bears take
on Young Harris College at 4:00 PM.
Cleveland Pharmacy To Close And
Team With Rite-Aid ( 11/4/13/13)
(Cleveland)- Customers of Cleveland Pharmacy in
downtown Cleveland are being advised that the
pharmacy will be joining forces with the Rite-Aid
pharmacy chain. Owner/ Pharmacist Josh Kinsey
said, he has decided to join Rite-Aid and merge
customer services. The decision means that the
downtown pharmacy will discontinue service after
Dr. Joshua Kinsey Owner/Pharmacist
Wednesday November 13th.
Kinsey said it was a bitter sweet decision for him.
He said, “ we love out customers, love taking care
of them, but at the same time the market for an
independent pharmacy is just different than it use
to be. Reimbursement rate are different, the
government is way too involved as they are with many
things, and it’s just a time when independent
pharmacies they can’t survive the big hits like
the corporate’s can.”
He said, “ the customer will benefit in the long
run with the merger with Rite-Aid, including things
that we could not offer as a small store. “ He said
that he and Mary Pardue, Certified Pharmacy
Technician are joining the Rite-Aid staff and the
personal touch will be there and Rite-Aid will join
According to Kinsey, current customer information
will be transferred so he said, “it will be a
seamless process as possible.”
Kinsey said even though the Cleveland Pharmacy ,
which has been open since 2008, will no longer serve
customers the Soda Fountain Café is not
affected by the move, “they are staying in the
same location, same hours and everything, they
hopefully will get the opportunity to expand a
little bit. “
Kinsey advised that the gift shop in Cleveland and
Clarkesville will also remain for the time being.
Cleveland Man Leads Police On 8
Mile Chase ( 11/4/13)
(Cleveland)- A Cleveland man faces several charges
after fleeing from White County deputies and leading
them on an eight mile chase Saturday afternoon.
White County Sheriff’s office Captain Tim Chapman
said, the chase was initiated on Highway 115 west of
Cleveland and ended up on Highway 284 just inside
According to Chapman 30-year old Steve Anderson of
Elza Road in Cleveland was arrested and
charged with, Driving under the influence,
reckless driving, fleeing and attempting to elude,
running stoplight, improper passing, suspended
license and open container.
No Serious Injuries In Duncan
Bridge Road Accident ( 11/4/13)
By Rob Moore
(Cleveland)- No one was seriously hurt in a
two-vehicle wreck that shut down Georgia Highway 384
(Duncan Bridge Road) just after noon Sunday.
Sgt. Anthony Coleman of Georgia State Patrol Post 7
in Toccoa said a tire blowout resulted in the crash.
A Honda Civic was traveling west when its right rear
tire blew out. The car crossed over and struck the
concrete bridge with its front, then rotated out in
front of a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, striking the
truck's front, Coleman said.
Coleman said a 61-year-old female was trapped in the
backseat of the car until the door was removed,
Coleman said. There also was a 4-year-old child on
the opposite side of the backseat.
The occupants of the Honda all were taken to
Northeast Georgia Medical Center, he said.
Coleman said the truck's occupants complained of
injury but were not taken for treatment.
The driver of the Honda was cited by GSP for failure
to maintain lane.=
Warrants Taken For Club Escape
by Dean Dyer and Rob Moore
(HELEN) - Law enforcement personnel across northeast
Georgia are searching for a Helen man who made
public threats against police officers Saturday
night. Helen Police Chief Jim Couch said
Friday morning his office obtained two warrants
Thursday for Mark Turner, co-owner of Club Escape.
Couch said the warrants were totally unrelated to
the burglary and chemical spill reported at Club
Escape reported Monday morning. He said,
"They had to do with a sign violation and threats
he made against our officers on Facebook."
Couch said officers spent most of the day Thursday
trying to locate Turner, but were unsuccessful.
According to Couch, the sign violation was in
connection with the unauthorized placement of a sign
on the front deck area of the business, which
resulted in Turner's arrest on disorderly conduct
charges Saturday night.
Helen Police Investigator Ricky Gunter, who was at
the scene Monday morning to probe the damage,
suffered chemical burns to his hands and was treated
Habersham Medical Center. Couch advised that
Gunter returned to work at the department Friday.
As far as the Club Escape incident, the chief said
sheriff's investigators, wearing protective clothing
and breathing apparatus, went into the building and
executed a search warrant. He said the results of
that investigation will be released by the sheriff’s
office since it is handling that part.
Couch said the toxic fumes are still present at Club
Escape. He said he tried to stand outside the door
while investigators conducted their search and had
to move because of the fumes. Couch said the
building owner and an employee went into the
building Thursday without protection after being
warned about the dangers.
Free Clinic Gets HEMC Roundup Fund
Grant ( 11/1/13)
(Cleveland)- The Community Helping Hands Clinic in
Cleveland has received a $10,000 Operation Roundup
grant from Habersham Electric Membership Corp.
Foundation. The grant will help the free
clinic continue to provide medical services to
uninsured White County residents.
A check presentation was made Thursday by
Director of Marketing for HEMC, Susan Baker. “We
are glad to support such a meaningful organization
in our community with funds generated through the
Operation Round Up program,” Baker said, noting that
HEMC members who voluntarily participate in the
program have their monthly electric bills rounded up
to the next dollar, providing funds to meet numerous
otherwise-unmet needs in its six-county service
Susan Baker, director of marketing
for Habersham Electric Membership Corp.,
left, presents a $10,000 grant
check to representatives of the Community Helping
Hands Clinic, from left, Gene
White, executive director; Cathy Villines, board
member; Carol Crossley, vice
chairman; Jeff Hunt, treasurer; Jean Lindsey,
secretary; Henrietta Sutton, board
members; and Terry Goodger, chairman
of the board.
(Photo by Paul Scott Abbott)
Gene White, executive director of help the Community
Helping Hands Clinic, in expressing gratitude said,
“The free clinic is abundantly grateful to HEMC for
this grant funding, which will ensure our ability to
furnish compassionate, high-quality healthcare to
our uninsured, low-income neighbors. ”
The not-for-profit clinic, which receives no
governmental funding of any kind, relies upon
community-based funding and volunteer efforts. Since
opening in 2009 as Caring Hands Health Clinic, it
has provided services to more than 1,000 White
Club Escape Investigation
Turned Over To Sheriff's Office
(HELEN) - Helen Police Chief Jim Couch advised
Wednesday night that the investigation
into an apparent burglary at Club Escape on Main
Street has been turned over to the White County
Sheriff's Office. That announcement followed a
meeting between Couch and White County Sheriff Neal
Walden Wednesday afternoon.
According to Couch he made the decision to seek the
sheriff’s office help because his only
investigator Ricky Gunter was injured while making
the initial investigation of the incident. Also
Couch said his department has been taxed because
they have been keeping a 24/7 security
presence at the building since Monday.
initially was reported as a burglary, but on Monday,
Couch said officials believe muriatic acid was
involved and is the substance that resulted in
chemical burns to officer Gunter. Officials
located containers for at least two gallons of the
The police chief
said they were waiting for chemical levels to go
down and hope sheriff’s investigators will be
able to enter the building Thursday to
conduct an investigation and gather evidence.
More Details Released On Helen Business Break-In
Helen Police Investigator Ricky Gunter,
who was injured Monday while investigating an
apparent burglar at Club Escape in the city,
is recovering at home and is feeling a little
better. That’s the word from Helen Police
Chief Jim Couch, who says Gunter has set up
another doctors appointment as he recovers.
Chief Couch advised
that the Hall County Haz Mat team was called
in Tuesday, as a precaution, to check the structure
and check the level of vapor. On Monday Couch
said officials believe muriatic acid was
involved and is the substance that resulted in
investigator Gunter being injured.
investigation officials located containers for at
least two gallons of the chemical. He said the
levels are acceptable if a Haz mat suit and face
mask is used. They advised there is no
structure damage that they could see. Chief
Couch said he has made a request to White County
Sheriff Neal Walden for help in investigating the
Couch said he has
consulted with the District Attorney’s office about
the case. He spent some time yesterday with DA
Jeff Langley and Assistant DA Jeremy Clough.
White County Public Safety Director has provided Haz
Mat equipment for the police department to use as
the investigation continues.
White County Firefighters Responds To Smoke In School
- Smoke in a White County school drew response from several fire units
throughout the county Monday night. Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said
at the scene that custodians at Jack P. Nix Primary School went into the
cafeteria area of the school and noticed the smoke.
Pruitt said the workers exited the building and called 9-1-1. Fire units
were dispatched around 8:30 PM. Chief Pruitt said when the first unit
arrived there was light smoke showing from the cafeteria area, he told reporters
what they did next “We went inside and started searching for the source,
still unable to locate anything but we have a bad electrical smell like a
ballast burnt out or a belt on a heating and air unit. So we’re still
searching everything out using thermal imaging cameras, checking
everything on the roof and attic”.
Firefighters talk w/ school officials during smoke
A thorough visual check of the building , as
well as checks with the thermal imaging cameras, failed to reveal a source of
Pruitt said they
had a large number of units dispatched because of
the type of structure and the unknown “We had 4
stations with engines responding, the ladder
from Cleveland and ladder from Helen also. Cause on
a commercial fire you don’t really know how much
equipment you’re going to need so its better to have
too much than not enough”.
remained on scene for about an hour before turning
over the building to the school superintendent and
school maintenance personnel. There was no
damage to the building, which is located on West
Kytle Street, and no injuries occurred.
Update- Chief Pruitt
advised Tuesday morning that, " school maintenance discovered what caused the
smoke and smell last night. It was a motor in one of the milk coolers.
School Bus Snags Utility Line, No Injuries (
(Cleveland)- A White County School bus got tangled
up in some utility lines early Monday morning
after a tree fell on power line and a power pole
was broken, south of Cleveland. The incident
occurred around 6:30 AM while the driver was picking
up students on Wooten Road. White County
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said there was
approximately 25 students on the bus at the time and
there were no injuries.
Wilson said the bus driver did exactly as trained
and kept the children on the bus. He said,
both the driver and the students did a great job.
Wilson also had praise for Habersham Electric power
crews who responded quickly.
HEMC spokeswoman Nicole Dover said, “it was a phone
line, not power lines that the bus ran into.”
She said, they were not sure exactly what caused
the power pole to snap. There was a couple of
different possibilities, the tree falling on the
power lines or the bus snagging the phone line.
The incident knocked out service to just over 600
There was another incident that involved a White
County School bus this morning. Superintendent
Wilson said, while turning around at one of the
stops a driver backed into a fire hydrant. No
injuries reported in this incident as well.
That incident occurred on Kanady Road, west
Addressing Child Sexual Abuse In White County (
Rev. Andy Chambers First Presbyterian Church
Bridgette Barker Executive Dir. Lumpkin County Family Connection
(Cleveland)- The White County Family Connection
Network has kicked off an initiative that address
child sexual abuse in the county, with a community
prevention program. Wednesday a group of
over 50 people gathered at the First Presbyterian
Church in Cleveland to hear about the program.
Spearheading this effort is Rev. Andy Chambers,
pastor of the church. He said the goal is to
stop sexual abuse of children and make White County
the safest place in Georgia to raise children.
Rev. Chambers said he was overwhelmed by the support
show by the people who attended.
According to Chambers it a subject some people don’t
want to talk about, but 1 in 10 children will
be sexually abused before their 18th
birthday and 30 -40 percent are abused by family
members. Chambers said a key to the initiative is
getting teachers and system employees involved. He
said, “Our teachers spend
probably more time with the kids than the majority
of our parents do. Just being with them every day
and they get to know them really well and we want to
make sure our teachers have the tools that they need
to recognize the sexual abuse in the students and
then learn what to do if they do suspect a case of
it. So we want our teachers to be empowered.”
Lumpkin County has a program already working in
their county, Bridgette Barker is the Executive
Director for Lumpkin County Family Connection
she attended the White County Meeting and said
they’ve see positive results, “We
did initially have a spike in reports. I was a
victims advocate in the sheriffs office prior to the
position I have now. So initially we saw that
it was empowering more people to come forward after
the very first community training I did. That
night, by midnight, someone from that training came
in and made a report, filed a report to protect a
child that was in their life. So I think it
defiantly shows it is making an impact and it is
Rev. Chambers said their goal is to have 1,047
adults trained to assist, currently they are 8-point
8 percent toward that goal.
Anyone wanting more information about the program
can call Judi Lawson at White County Family
Connection at 706-865-3215.
District 2 ACCG Holds Meeting In Cleveland
(Cleveland)- County leaders from across northeast
Georgia gathered in Cleveland Tuesday for a meeting
of the District 2 Association of County
Commissioners of Georgia. The meeting was hosted by
White County Board of Commissioners and was
held at the White County Senior Center.
In addition to networking time between the county
officials they received an update on ACCG’s
legislative priorities in the 2014 general assembly.
The group also had a time to share their concerns
and interest with area state senators and
representatives. Attending the meeting was
Senators Steve Gooch and John Wilkinson,
State Representatives Dan Gasaway, Terry Rodgers
and Kevin Tanner.
Todd Edwards Associate Legislative Director for
Senators Steve Gooch and
John Wilkinson, State Representatives
Dan Gasaway, Terry Rodgers and
Kevin Tanner talk with Commissioners
ACCG said it’s important that the county
commissioners keep an open line of communication
with area legislators. “ a lot of the bills covered
by the legislators, in fact almost half will impact
counties in some way because we are charged with
enforcing them, complying with them or following
them in some way or another. So it is good to
get on the front end and have the commissioners talk
with their legislators and partner together for good
public policy. Because they share the same
constituents and so much of what they do impacts
taxpayers at the local level.”
Edwards said shared with the group some of the top
legislative priorities in the coming general
assembly session includes: additional funding of
Juvenile Courts, a clean up of some tax reform
issues and telecommunications
infrastructure, as it deals with cell towers and
broadband internet services and 9-1-1 facilities.
Drug " Take-Back" this Saturday
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s
Office and the Appalachian Drug Task Force will
partner together with the Enotah Anti Drug Coalition
to participate in the nationwide prescription drug
“Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent
increased pill abuse and theft. The White
County Sheriff’s Office and the ADTF will be
collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused,
and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at
Wal Mart in Cleveland this Saturday, 3 from 10
A.M–2 P.M. This service is free and anonymous,
no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and
public health issue. Most people are not aware
that medicines found in home cabinets are highly
susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.
Most Americans do not know how to properly dispose
of their unused or unwanted medication, often
flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away;
both potential safety and health hazards.
White County Sheriff Neal Walden said, “Prescription
drug abuse is a rapidly growing drug problem, and
this take-back event is an invaluable tool that we
can use to reduce the threat of drug abuse that
these prescription drugs pose."
Collection site in every local community nationwide
can be found by going to
www.dea.gov. This site will be
continuously updated with new take-back locations.
There are two websites that will help explain the
dangers of prescription drug abuse;
www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com for parents and
www.justthinktwice.com for teens.
Coat And Blanket Giveaway Friday
(Clermont)- Caring Hands Ministries has announced
they will be hold a coat and blanket give away this
Friday (10/25) from 11AM-2PM at their service
center next to Papa's Pizza Hwy 129 in Clermont.
Officials say, there is a limited number of coats
and blankets that were left over from what Americans
Helping Americans sent last year, this year's supply
has not come in yet but it is cold now so it makes
sense to offer what is available now.
People coming for coats and blankets are asked to
park at the north end of the parking lot on the dirt
area and use the back door so that it does not
interfere with the Papa's Pizza lunchtime business.
This entrance is wheelchair accessible.
If you have coats, jackets, or sweaters your family
has outgrown that you want to share with someone who
may need them please leave those at the front
entrance of ministry Wednesday or Thursday. Please
label them for coat giveaway. Anyone needing more
information can call 706 219-1980.
Pless Road Dryer Fire Damages Home ( 10/16/13)
(Cleveland)- A fire in a laundry room prompted a
response from White County firefighters Tuesday
afternoon. White County Public Safety Director
David Murphy said, the blaze was at a residence, at
1462 Pless Road.
The caller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that they had
a fire in the laundry room and the residence full
According to Murphy due to a quick response by
firefighters the fire was contained to the laundry
room with some moderate damage.
Firefighters from station 2 and 3 along with
Mutual Aid from Cleveland Fire Department responded.
Murphy advised there were no injuries were reported
and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Groundbreaking Held For Helen Island Development (
By Rob Moore
HELEN - After more than a dozen years of planning, work is about to begin on
redevelopment of the Island in Helen.
Helen officials gathered Tuesday afternoon for a ceremonial groundbreaking for
the project, which is located roughly between city hall and the Festhalle.
The area, so named in the 1970s because it included a moat at that time,
is located below Helen City Hall between Main Street and Edelweiss Strasse.
"The purpose of this project was to see this area develop," said City Manager
Jerry Elkins. "It was to provide the necessary infrastructure, water and sewer,
drainage, streets, sidewalks and parking areas to encourage develop down here,
and to connect this area with the downtown area."
From left, Commissioner Jeff Ash, City Manager Jerry Elkins,
City Attorney Carl Free, Fletcher Holliday of EMI, Mayor Lynn
Public Works Director Ross Hewell, City Clerk Marilyn
Commissioner Judy Holloway, Commissioner Dona K. Burke,
Commissioner Helen Wilkins. (Photo/Rob Moore)
The work, being performed with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds,
will create some 64 free parking spaces.
"What we envision this to be one day is another small downtown Marketplatz
area," Elkins said.
Elkins estimates about a $700,000 investment in Phase 1 of the project.
"I know that sounds like a lot of money, but just the contract on it is
$430,000, and the city's added streetlights to that, and we're going to install
them while the contractor is here," Elkins said.
Phase 1, which is from Bodensee on Munich Strasse to Narr Weg between Country
Inn and Suites and The Hayloft, is set to be completed in early 2014.
During Tuesday afternoon's Helen City Commission meeting, EMI was authorized to
proceed with the engineering for Phase 2 of redevelopment of the Island. That
portion runs from Country Inn and Suites past Bigg Daddy's to Edelweiss Strasse,
and will include streets, sidewalks and streetlights.
Spangler To Serve As Interim Chamber President
By Rob Moore
(CLEVELAND) - A familiar face will be returning to the White County Chamber of
Commerce as it begins the search for a new president.
Today, (Oct. 16), is Chamber President Melissa Charles' last day with the
chamber and, consequently, Interim President Russ Spangler's first day.
Tuesday afternoon, Charles talked a little bit about her plans.
"I'm going to be going down to Gainesville to take a job writing proposals for a
pharmacy benefits management company, and I'm very excited about it," Charles
said. "It's going to be hard to leave everybody here in White County. They've
been so good, and things are picking up here in White County. I hope it will
continue to do so."
Russ Spangler (L) talks/ Helen Commissioner Jeff
Ash, Melissa Charles looks on
Charles has been with the chamber for about 18 months.
Spangler, who was interim president when Charles was hired, is excited to be
He said he was surprised to read of Charles' pending departure on the chamber
"Actually I was kind of hoping I would get a call," Spangler said. "I didn't
know if I'd get the job or not, but I was kind of hoping. It's nice to be wanted
once you pass a certain age."
Spangler praised Charles.
"We're going to miss Melissa," he said. "She was a great candidate when we were
looking. She was a great hire. She's done a good job and, like everybody who
does a good job, is going to be missed."
Dear Season Online Chat This
(SOCIAL CIRCLE)- Deer firearms season begins
statewide this Saturday. To prepare for the
season, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’
Wildlife Resources Division invites you to join
state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster, as he host
a live chat internet broadcast this Thursday,
October 17th at 3 p.m. EST.
Tune in at www.ustream.tv/channel/georgia-wildlife-live-chat
Have a question? Email it to
[email protected] and tune in to
our broadcast to see your questions answered live.
Learn everything you need to know about deer hunting
in Georgia! Charlie will cover many topics, give his
forecast, provide tips for success and answer your
emailed questions live during the broadcast. The
chat will last approximately 30 minutes, and we will
address as many questions as we can during the
City Council Addresses Verbal
Abuse ( 10/15/13)
(Cleveland)- The verbal abuse of City Hall
employees was addressed by the Cleveland City
Council during their meeting Monday night.
Councilman Rush Mauney said he was concerned about
the verbal abuse the employees have been subject to,
from people who are upset about their water bill.
In a majority of the cases the caller is the
reason there is a problem, for failure to pay their
bill on time and the water is cut off. Mauney said
it not a random thing, for some it’s people who
have repeated water cut offs. He said, we
should not stand for this type action, “ I think we
as a council should have a no tolerance policy, our
people should not be cursed at, period, “ he said.
Mauney told the council the employees have been
subject to the abuse both on the phone and in person
in the office and in a recent incident an employees
was in tears following the incident.
According to Mauney this is, “verbal abuse and
creates a hostile work environment and the city
could be sued by our own employees. “
Mauney said he didn’t know what they can do, but
they need a zero tolerance about this. He said,
anyone can call or come in and work out a payment
plan without being abusive.
Cleveland Police Chief John Foster said when this
type of action occurs by a person in the office
their attitude chances when an officer walks
Kids Learn About Fire Safety
(Cleveland)- As part of October, Fire
Education/Prevention Month, Cleveland fire personnel
visited Kids Korner in Cleveland Monday.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said around 40
children and staff that were there were able to see
a fire truck up close and learn about fire safety
Unoccupied House Destroyed By Fire ( 10/14/13)
(Cleveland)- A Sunday night fire in White
County destroyed an unoccupied abandoned house.
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy
said, White County firefighters were dispatched to
the blaze on Barrett Mill Road off Duncan Bridge
White County 9-1-1 dispatch received several call
because flames and the glow from this blaze could
be seen for several miles. White County
stations 2 and 4 with mutual aid from the city of
Murphy said, the first arriving units reported
the structure totally involved. Firefighters
operated in a defensive mode working to contain the
fire to the immediate area of the structure.
According to Murphy the cause of the fire has not
been determined. No injuries were reported.
One Person Injured In Sunday
Morning Wreck (
(CLEVELAND) – West Kytle Street in Cleveland was
shut down to all traffic for almost an hours early
Sunday morning, as a result of a two-vehicle wreck.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said his
department was called to the wreck on Highway 115
West ( W. Kytle Street) at Campbell Street at 12:18
"Upon arrival, we found a Suzuki Samurai on its top
with the two occupants out of the vehicle," Pruitt
said Sunday morning. "The passenger of the Suzuki
was transported to the hospital with injuries, but
they did not appear to be life-threatening."
Pruitt said both the driver of the Suzuki and the
passenger car involved declined treatment and
Pruitt said, "It appears the westbound Suzuki ran
out of the road, overcorrected, ran off the left
side of the road and rolled."
New Extension Agent On Duty In White County (
(Cleveland)- White County has it’s first
fulltime county extension agent in many years,
Nathan Eason was recently appointed to serve as
extension agent here. He began his duties
October first and said he has been busy
getting settled in, “ getting started, getting to
know people, that’s the basics starting to build
those relationships with the county, people within
agriculture, homeowners, just providing that
unbiased research that the University of Georgia
He said he wants to devote a lot of time to promote
4-H and reach out to the youth in the county.
Eason he said he’s glad he can concentrate on just
one county, “because of budget cuts, White County
was unsure if they were going to get one, but due to
some early retirements we were able to come in and
get a lot of younger new agents to come in these
counties and fill these positions. “
His background in is soil nutrition and pasture
Eason said he knows he has to be as he put it “ a
jack of all trades” to serve the diverse interest of
Eason was born in Tifton, but grew up in Athens/
Oconee County. He attended Georgia Southern and
University of Georgia. He is married, his wife
has secured a teaching position at Mt. Yonah
Elementary School and they live in
Woodman Recognize Community
Service Recipients (10/14/13)
Cleveland w/ Faye Franks
Annette Boswell w/ Faye Franks
(Cleveland)- The Woodman of the World in Cleveland
presented their annual Community Service
Awards Saturday at the Lodge Building.
Faye Franks President of the local fraternal
organization said this is a day that we “ put out
there things that begin with the power of one.”
Those efforts in some cases evolve to include many
During he ceremony six different areas of
recognition was made. The “Caring for Others”
award was presented to Annette Boswell for her
efforts in the community including assisting in
providing high school students, who can’t afford
them, prom dresses.
Chris Cleveland was recognizes with the “Lifesaver”
award, for his efforts in savings two young boys in
distress on Waters Creek in Lumpkin County.
On Demand Construction was presented the “Community
Partner” award for the efforts by that company to
assist the White County Food Bank.
Bill White w/ Faye Franks
Wes & Yvonne Bovill
Former White County High School Coach/Teacher Bill
White was recognized for his dedication to working
The “Community Leadership” Award went to
Annette Adams for her involvement and dedication to
the community, ( Ms. Award was presented during
another special ceremony going on at the same time
in downtown Cleveland).
And the Woodman “Fraternal Spirit” Award went to
Wes and Yvonne Bovill of Cleveland for they way they
Discovery Statue Dedicated ( 10/14/13)
(Cleveland)- Dahlonega may boast about the first to
discover gold in the area, but White County played a
part in the that as well and the gold rush of 1828
and now the county has an official “Discovery”
statue in the form of a gold miner sitting
on the north lawn of the historic courthouse in
Cleveland. Saturday an official dedication
ceremony and unveiling of that statue was
The statue was made possible by the denotation of
funds given by Annette Adams of Cleveland in memory
of her husband Eugene Emerson Adams.
During the ceremony held at noon at the historic
courthouse White County Probate Judge Garrison Baker
shared the fact that gold discovery was a
contributing factor for the early development and
growth of White County.
with artist Gregory Johnson
Ms. Adams was recognized for her efforts in
showcasing that part of the county’s history with
proclamations of “Annette Braswell Adams Day” by
both the White County Board of Commissioners and the
Cleveland City Council.
Cleveland Mayor Don Stanley
presents Proclamation to Ms. Adams
Special recognition was given to artist Gregory
Johnson who sculpted the bronze statue and artist
Mark Irvin who designed and constructed the rock
pedestal that the statue sits on.
J. P. Nix School Celebrates 25 Years
Former JPN Principals Jennifer King and Dr. June Parks
W/ Current Principal Stacie Ward
(Cleveland)- White County’s Jack P. Nix Primary
school is celebrating it’s 25 anniversary this
year and Thursday morning at the school there was
a special program to mark the occasion. The school
opened in 1988 and was named in recognition to
former Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jack
P. Nix. Attending the event was about 25
school officials who have served during the past.
One of those on hand was the Superintendent of
Schools in White County back in 1988, Raymond
Collins he said it’s seems like just a short time
ago when the school first opened it’s doors.
Collins said, “ it seems like a very short time, of
course it’s a remarkable progress in White
County over the years and I’m very proud that
it’s growing and educating kids in today’s world and
prepare them for what their future can be.”
J.P. Nix first principal Dr. June Parks,
shared her thoughts from back in 1988 and the
school’s dinosaur mascot, she said, “ when we
started this school it was a wonderful experience,
we gathered all the community together and all the
parents and they were all so supportive and that’s
how we came about with the dinosaur, the children
decided we needed a name for the it and they thought
Nixosaurs was an appropriate name, and I agree.”
First grade students at the school performed several
songs that highlighted the school including
recognition to the schools namesake Dr. Nix and the
schools mascot. The schools music teacher
Barbara Thomas composed the songs for the event and
she told us about the school namesake song “
Actually I just wrote it this summer, all the music
used today was written for this particular show,”
Among the other special guest for the day was former
principal Ms. Jennifer King and several former
teachers. The school’s current principal Stacie
Ward said the school has as solid education history
“ we have a very strong history and we look forward
to many years to come educating students,”
Lower Rainfall Recorded In September (10-10-13)
(Sautee)- WRWH weather reporter Bill Kinsland
reports the total average rainfall in White
County during September was 2-point 98 inches.
That is 2-point 14 inches below the normal average
The greatest amount of rain recorded during the
month was 1-point 58 inches on September 25th at
Helen. Bill advises that the total year-to date
rainfall is 79-point-77 inches which is almost 24 ½
inches above normal.
As far as temperatures are concerned the average
high temperature was 76-point 5 degrees and the
average low temperature was 57-point 2 degrees.
The highest temperature was 87 degrees reported on
September first in both Cleveland and Helen.
The lowest temperature was 48 degrees recorded
September 29th at Sautee and September 30th here at
Heating Assistance Program Dates
Announced ( 10-10-13)
(Cleveland)- Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. has
announced dates for this years heating assistance
program. White County Community Resource
Coordinator for Ninth District, Yvonne Cruse said,
pending the availability of federal funds,
households in which every member is 65 and older
or in which every member is completely unable
to leave the home due to health reasons, may apply
for assistance with their home heating bills
beginning on November first.
The Georgia Department of Human Services will help
pay heating costs for gas, electricity, coal or
kerosene. One time payments will be made by
checks issued to the home energy suppliers on behalf
of eligible households. Eligibility for the
program is based on the income of everyone living in
the home. All eligible households must be
responsible for their home heating bill.
Cruse said, when applying for assistance, the
applicant will provide verification of citizenship
and verification of age for everyone in the home,
verification of all household income received within
the past 30 days verification of Social Security
Numbers for everyone in the home, and the most
recent home heating bill.
All interested applicants are asked to contact Ninth
District Opportunity, Inc. after 8:30 A.M. beginning
November first, by telephone at 706-865-6220. No
walk-ins, please. Additional information will be
made available online at
Depending on the availability of funds, the regular
program will open to the general public on December
Commissioners Receive OTP Property Update (
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
received a progress report from a committee that
was appointed earlier this year to explore possible
uses of the former Outdoor Therapeutic Program
property north of Cleveland.
The county has a lease for that property from the
state and this committee was appointed to provide
the commissioners with ideas on how to use the
property. At Monday’s commission meeting
Tom O’Bryant White County Economic Development
Director reported that the committee has met 5 times
since June and have made on site visits to the
property. O’Bryant said they have looked
at different possible uses including hiking
and mountain bike trails, shooting range plus use of
the lake on the property.
O’Bryant also told the commissioners they have taken
several pictures of the property and provided that
to the Georgia Camera Program for possible film
production here. The committee will be
exploring each of these areas as well as ways to
access the property.
The committee has been requested by the
commissioners to provide an update on their work at
least each quarter.
Bridge Maintenance Program-
White County has been working on a program to
inspect and develop a plan for the maintenance of
bridges in the county. During this weeks
county commission meeting, county manager Mike
Melton said they are putting together a bridge
repair program now and they want to list the work
that might be needed and prioritize the list.
He told the commissioners that list should be ready
within 60 days.
Park/YMCA Pool Repair-
Some much needed repairs to the pool at White County
Park/YMCA got the approval of the White County board
of commissioners Monday night. The commissioners
awarded a contract in the amount of $43,005 to
Sunbelt Pools to do the repairs.
The county had to do the work on the pumps at the
pool this Spring to get them ready for this summers
use. The needed repairs are expected to be done as
soon as possible and will be ready for next summer.
Smoke Scare At Babyland (10/7/13)
(Cleveland)- Fire and emergency personnel were
dispatched to Babyland General Hospital at 300 NOK
Drive in Cleveland late Friday afternoon.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said,
Cleveland Fire Department along with automatic aid
from White County Fire Department responded
following a call that advised that there was strong
smoke in the building.
Pruitt said upon arrival almost everyone had exited
the building. According to Chief Pruitt the
fire department searched the building and determined
there was a problem with the heating and air
There was non injuries or damage.
Karen Not Expected To Have Major Impact On The Area
County officials were provided with an update on
what to expect with approaching tropical storm Karen
during a weather briefing from the National Weather
Service Friday morning and what they heard was that
current information indicates our area is not
expected to receive the brunt of the storm.
the briefing told emergency officials across the
state that, Tropical Storm Karen should make
landfall along the Mississippi-Alabama coast and
Florida Panhandle Sunday morning and then track
across central Georgia Sunday night and Monday.
this system will bring with it periods of heavy
rain to parts of north and central Georgia late
Sunday through Monday along with winds in some
areas of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to near 45 mph .
The heavy rain could cause minor river flooding and
isolated flash flooding late Sunday into Monday.
There is also the risk of isolated tornadoes across
central Georgia late Sunday
briefing White County Public Safety Director
David Murphy said, “ sounds like we’re going to be
in pretty good shape unless something significant
changes.” Murphy said they will monitoring the
weather briefings over the weekend for any changes.
He advised county department heads, it’s a good
time to review your operation plans for your
department to make sure they are up to par.
Shutdown To Affect Area Services (10/4/13)
(Gainesville)- The current government shout down
will result in some changes in the services provide
to Northeast Georgia residents, including White
According to a news release from the Ninth District
Opportunity, Inc in Gainesville beginning Monday
October 7th the agency’s staff will
be substantially reduced, all 13 community
services offices will be closed all 113 Heat
Start and Early Head Start classrooms will be
closed. 27 pre-K classrooms will be closed.
he news release said services will be restored as
soon as funding allocations are awarded.
Child Rescued From Locked Bathroom ( 10/2/13)
(Cleveland)- It was happy moment Wednesday morning
after a three year old boy was rescued from a
locked bathroom at Cleveland City Park.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said fire
department personnel were called to help get the
child out when he couldn’t get the door open.
Chief Pruitt said after he got out, he wanted to see
the fire truck so fireman Mark Gunter showed him the
No injuries In Single Vehicle Accident (
(Cleveland)- The Driver of a Jeep Cherokee
escaped injury early Tuesday morning after traveling
down a hill and an Embankment at 105 Bryant
Street in Cleveland.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said, the driver
told authorities that as they were turning around at
the apartments on Bryant Street the brakes on the
vehicle failed and it went off the hill. In addition
to the Cleveland Fire Department, Cleveland Police
Department was dispatched to investigate the
Student Safety Helmet Program Implemented (
(Cleveland)- Cleveland Police Chief John Foster
a few months ago started a unique program to raise
fund to provide all students within the White
County school district with storm helmets. This
morning as part of a safety drill at the Jack P. Nix
Primary School those new helmets were put to use.
Chief Foster explained how the idea got started, he
said “ we had all the bad storms in Oklahoma and I
got me to thinking, what do we need to do to
protect our school kids. We provide them with
bicycle helmets for bicycle rodeo’s at minimal cost
like $5.00 a helmet and I didn’t see why we
couldn’t provided these helmets for the school
Foster said, “We have provided all children from
Pre-K through Fifth grade with a bicycle helmet that
will be worn during all storm drills.” Foster
said this will be an ongoing project in the schools,
“ now we have a bases in place, from year to year
the helmets will go from one child to the next child
and we will have replacement cost which will be
minimal,” said Foster.
Chief Foster said they want to expand the program to
the other grades, but first he said we need to put
reflective tape on these helmets so they can be
found in the dark, should that situation occur.
Foster had special thanks to the major
contributors to project, Jacky Jones Ford and
Griffin Drug and Griffin Towing Service.
School and safety officials praised the students for
a good job in using the helmets as part of the
drill. White County Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Jeff Wilson said, they are glad to have the
added safety feature for the children. Dr. Wilson
said, “anything we can do, safety is first and
foremost, we feel a huge responsibility when we take
a child from the parents home and put them in one of
our school building to make sure above and beyond
they are safe.”
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy
said, they would like to see this program go
statewide. “we have been communicating with the
state school safety officers and the Georgia
Emergency Management Agency Director about this
program and they are all supportive of that, and we
do hope it goes as a statewide initiative, “ said
County Unemployment Rate 7.4 Percent
(ATLANTA) – The Georgia Department of Labor
announced Thursday that the August preliminary
unemployment rate in White County decreased to
7-point 4 percent, down from the revised 8-point
five percent last month. In August the labor
force was 13,082, with 12,108 were employed and 974
The unemployment rate in the Northeast Georgia
mountain region decreased to 7.3 percent in August,
down nine-tenths of a percentage point from 8.2
percent in July.
Documentary On The Indian Mound Gets First Viewing
(Cleveland)- A group of about 25-30 folks
from across northeast Georgia had the opportunity
Wednesday night to be the first to view a
locally produced documentary about the well
recognized Indian Mound, located at the intersection
of Highways 75 and 17 just south of Helen.
The documentary is bases on the book, Distant
Voices, written by local author Emory Jones. Jones
teamed up with Helen noted photographer David
Greear for the project. Jones said it’s been about
2 years in the making but it was well worth it.
Jones said they utilized the talent and knowledge of
several notable people in the area to make the
video. He said, “ we have everybody from Max Price
over at Piedmont, Dr. Tom Lumsden up here in the
mountains to Gordon Sawyer down in Gainesville, I
mean the history that these people know and telling
on this movie it’s going to be priceless.”
The documentary covers many aspects of this popular
tourist attraction from the pre-Indian settlement
days through current times.
Greear said, “ I think it’s going to be a long
lasting educational piece that will last a long time
and people will get some enjoyment out it for a long
time.” The actual DVD’s are not ready for
sale to the general public, Jones said it will be
another week or so before they are ready.
The project received financial support from
the White County Historical Society, Habersham
Electric Membership Corp. and Piedmont
There will be a public showing of Distant
Voices, Tuesday October 8th at 6:00
PM at the Swanson Theatre at Piedmont College.
New Patrol Vehicles Catching Motorist Eye
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s office
has just added two new patrol vehicles to their
traffic unit that sheriff Neal Walden says he hopes
will stand out and get the attention of the public
and help slow them down. The new Dodge vehicles
have been on the roads just over a week and Walden
said this is a model change for the department and
they want to compare these to the regular Ford
vehicles they have purchased in the past.
The new patrol vehicles have a totally different
look compared to the other vehicles in the
department’s fleet and Walden said, he’s not
looking at changing the look for the other
vehicles. “ I’m just going to distinguish them, hold
them out different from the other vehicles, there
won’t be any changes to
Charles Brantley, Sheriff Neal Walden, Officer
the others, we’re out there to slow the public down
and be more visible. I think it will key the
public in to, hey there’s those traffic units we
better slow down”, said Walden.
According to Walden in the past speed has played a
big factor in fatal accidents in the county and this
is another attempt to get the motorist attention and
slow them down.
Jared Baker and Charles Brantley are the officers
who will be using these vehicles. Both say
they like the vehicles here’s how officer Baker
described it like this, “ so far it drives
real good, it’s smooth, it handles real well, I
think it’s going to have an improved gas mileage
from what I’m seeing.”
Officer Brantley said it sure had turned a lot of
heads, he said “ oh yes, oh yes when you pass people
driving by or other vehicles that you pass on the
roadway people are really turning their heads, it’s
really catching their eye.”
Two Injured In Two Accidents Sunday (9/23/13)
(Cleveland)- Two people were injured in two separate
accidents in White County Sunday afternoon. The
first occurred just before 1 PM on Highway 75
north of Andrews Cove. White County Sheriff’s
office spokesman Captain Tim Chapman said the driver
of a Yamaha motorcycle was traveling south on
Highway 75 when he lost control and ran off the
The victim was transported by helicopter to Grady
Hospital in Atlanta. The extent of injuries was no
The other accident was reported around 3:20 PM
Sunday on Alternate Highway 75. Captain
Chapman said the driver was traveling south on
Alternate Highway 75 when, the driver struck a
squirrel and ran off the roadway and struck a tree.
According to Chapman the driver had scratches on
their arm, but not transported to the hospital.
Baker Marks 30 Years As Probate Judge ( 9/23/13)
(Cleveland)- White County Probate Judge Garrison
Baker has been serving the county for thirty years
and his staff thought that was a good reason to have
a celebration so last Friday family, friends,
co-workers and former employees dropped by the White
County Courthouse to congratulate Baker.
Baker told us those 30 years have passed so fast.
He said, “ yeah looking ahead 30 years seems a long
time, but looking back 30 years is just a snap of a
finger, but it’s been a great 30 years.”
Baker said there has been a lot of chances, he said
when he first run in 1983 the county had around
1,800 votes cast now we have up to 10,000 ballots
Judge Baker (c) and former Tax
J.H. Tow Jr. look at old newspaper
about about Baker
Even though he has served 30 years, and there was a
celebration doesn’t mean retirement is in his
future,” no no, we’re going to try to catch our
second wind thirty years is good but it’s not time
For more than two hours people came to help
celebrate. Baker summed up the day with the
statement, “ being the probate judge of a small
county is the best job in the world.”
Home Movie Day Celebrated At
Cleveland Library ( 9/19/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Library
announced Wednesday that this year’s National Home
Movie Day will be celebrated in Cleveland
Saturday, October 5th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the
White County Public Library-Cleveland Branch at 10
The event is being sponsored by the University of
Georgia Libraries’ Brown Media Archives and Peabody
Awards Collection. National Home Movie Day is a
worldwide celebration of amateur films and
filmmaking, held annually in October. The
event provides an opportunity for attendees to bring
in their home movies, learn more about their own
family films, how to care for films and videotapes,
and how home movies have helped capture personal
Michael Humphrey, Program Manager for White County
Libraries said, Home Movie Day is free and open to
the public and attendees are encouraged to bring
films, videotapes, and DVDs for inspection and
screening when possible, archivists will be in
attendance to answer questions. According to
Humphrey they will be able to screen 16mm, regular
8mm, and Super 8mm films, VHS videotapes, and DVDs.
For more information call Michael Humphrey at the
library in Cleveland at 706-865-5572.
Second Kitchen Fire This Week
(Cleveland)- Cleveland Fire Department responded to
the second kitchen fire this week, Wednesday
afternoon. Units were dispatched to 1,000 Campbell
Street and Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said, “ upon
arrival we discovered the occupant was cooking and
the pan caught fire and they threw a blanket over
the fire, which caught fire. “ He said, “ we
removed the pan and blanket to the outside and
extinguished the fire.
There was minor damage to the stove and exhaust
above the stove. Cleveland Fire Department received
automatic aid from White County Fire Department. The
other kitchen fire was reported Monday afternoon on
White Street in Cleveland. In both fires no one was
TMC's Gonzales Cross
Country Runner Of The Week (9/18/13)
(CLEVELAND)- Truett McConnell College’s Luis
Gonzales was named the Appalachian Athletic
Conference’s Men’s Cross Country Runner of the week.
A Gainesville native, Gonzalez is a sophomore
at TMC. He won the North Georgia Invitational, an 8k
race, Saturday, where he placed first out of 31
runners with a time of 28:14.
A record setter for TMC in 2012, Gonzalez was named
to the Southern States Athletic Conference All
Freshman Team and the honor of SSAC Freshman of the
No Injuries After Car Ends Up On A Front Porch (
(Cleveland)- Officials report no one was injured
Tuesday when a car ran off the road onto the porch
of a house in southern White County. The accident
was reported around noon on Skitts Mountain Road at
the intersection of Loy Dorsey Road.
After examining the house, the homeowners discovered
damage to the house.
Reportedly the driver ran off the side of the road
in a curve overcorrected and ran off the other side
of the road, hitting a small utility pole and then
running onto the porch of a house close to the road.
Utility lines were hanging low across
Skitts Mtn. Road and officials kept the road
closed until power and phone providers could
get the lines back up.
TMC Bears Win Second AAC Game ( 9/18/13)
(Cleveland)- The Truett-McConnell College Lady Bears
Soccer team won their second Appalachian Athletic
Conference game against Virginia Intermont College
Head coach David McDowell said, despite a number of
team injuries, the Lady Bears played “a very
assured game” against the Cobras.
While complimenting a number of players, McDowell
praised Joy Smith, a senior striker from Flowery
Branch, who scored two of the five goals for the
Bears. The Lady Bears currently have a 4-4 record
and are 2-1 in conference play. The next home match
is September 21st.
Development Authority Gets New
Brochure ( 9/16/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Development Authority
continues it’s work on seeking new businesses to
locate in the county. Last Friday the county
received a new color brochure that will be used to
share the good news about the county to prospective
businesses. A subcommittee of the Development
Authority has been working on the attractive
brochure for a few months.
Tom O’Bryant, White County Community and
Economic Development Director said they will be
distributing the document to company project
managers and businesses seeking information about
The a board meeting last week the development
authority had a lengthy discussion with Rope Roberts
Region Economic Development Manager At Georgia Power
and Tammy Caudell, Regional Project
Manager for Georgia Department of Economic
Development. A large part of that discussion
centered on White County working through a Joint
Development Authority that includes White, Lumpkin
and Dawson counties to attract business and industry
to the area.
The JDA has a meeting
in Atlanta at Georgia Power’s Resource Center to
talk with statewide developers.
Two Overturned Vehicle Accidents Thursday (9/13/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s Office
investigated two auto accidents Thursday that
involved overturned vehicles. The first accident was
reported around 7:30 AM on Highway 75 south.
Sheriff Department spokesman, Captain Tim Chapman
said in that accident a 16 year male old was
traveling north bound on Highway 75 south when
he ran off the road, overcorrected and loosing
control of the vehicle. Chapman said, the
vehicle turned over on its side. No report of
injuries in that accident.
The second accident was reported at 12:45 PM on
Highway 115 west of Cleveland. Captain Chapman
said the male driver was traveling east on Highway
115 and crossed the center line, ran off the
road and overturned several times.
According to Chapman, the driver, who appeared to
intoxicated, was transported to Northeast Georgia
Medical Center for treatment. That driver was
arrested after being released from the hospital.
TMC's Miller Hall Student Lounge Dedicated
Truett McConnell College held a dedication ceremony for the school’s Miller
Hall Student Center Lounge Thursday in honor of former Georgia Agriculture
Commissioner Tommy Irvin and his wife Bernice. The student lounge sits
prominently in the center of the campus landmark Miller Building.
As Tommy Irvin sat next to him, Dr. Emir
Caner, Truett McConnell College President talked
about Irvin’s service record to the state and his
commitment to Truett McConnell College, serving
two terms on the board of trustees, including
chairman of the board the last term.
Caner told the crowd that Irvin is an example of
what Truett McConnell stands for, “but it's
dedication like commissioner Irvin that we stand in
buildings like this that our students can
Dr. Emir Caner (L) James, Tommy
and Chris Irvin
be educated, and a reminder that Truett McConnell
is far different than many other universities, it’s
not a career here, it’s a calling. And as a calling
they are called to move into politics, called to go
into business, they are called to go into the world
and make a difference for the Lord Jesus and who you
and I see today is a representative of that very
Bernice Irvin was not able to attend, but their
oldest son James Irvin and grandson Chris were
Funding For Phase Two Cleveland Bypass Announced (
(Cleveland)- White County and Northeast
Georgia got some good news Monday as officials
announced funding has been secured for the second
phase of the Cleveland Bypass. State Senator Steve
Gooch made the announcement, at the White County
Courthouse, to a large group of County and
city officials from the area. Until now only phase
one of the project, which is under construction had
Senator Gooch has been a champion for this project
starting back when he served on the DOT board and he
said he wanted to see it finished. Gooch said, “
you have to have a cheerleader on any project in
state government to push something and stay focus
and the priority on that project, and that’s what I
did.” He further state, “ when I became state
senator I continued that drive and that push to make
sure we completed this project so I’m excited to see
it become a reality.”
Toby Carr, GDOT Transportation
Planning Director, Commissioner Terry
Goodger, Commission Chairman
Travis Turner, Sen. Steve Gooch,
Commissioner Edwin Nix,
Commissioner Lyn Holcomb and Edens Davis,
State Economic Development Policy
Gooch and state representatives Lee Hawkins, Stephen
Allison and Terry Rogers had written Governor
Nathan Deal saying, “ waiting several years to
complete this important road project will only delay
the congestion relief that is so critically needed
for the economic development of White County and the
surrounding communities.” Gooch said he received
word a couple week ago that Governor Nathan
Deal will recommend to the Georgia Department of
Transportation Board use State Transportation
Improvement Program (STIP) funds to construct phase
two of the bypass beginning with Fiscal year 2015,
which begins next July.
This funding, Gooch said, will allow the bypass
construction to continue over to US Highway
129 north of Cleveland and connect with Hulsey
Road. The phase two of the project calls for
almost $20-million dollars in expenditures. Gooch
said the right of way has already been purchases but
there are still a couple of environmental issues
that still need to be resolved, but those are
expected to be settled by the time the projects gets
White County Commissioner Travis Turner said,
yes White County will benefit, but so will the
counties to the north Town and Union.
GDOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the construction for
phase one is just slightly behind schedule, due to
the rainy weather this summer, but they are expected
to get back on track and the announcement of phase
Phase two in light blue
will allow for a seamless progress. Pope said, “
construction of phase one will wrap up right as the
construction of phase two starts, that’s our goal
here.” She said construction of phase two is likely
to begin in early 2015.
New Scout Troup Welcomed
(SAUTEE-NACOOCHEE) - Members of the Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection greeted their new Cub Scout
Troop with a special welcoming service recently.
Following the regular morning service, Troop #689
posed for a picture along with their leaders; The
Rev. Scott Kidd, rector of Resurection, and members
of the church's Brotherhood of St. Andrew who are
members of the troop's governing council: Bill Owen
- Council Chairman, Chris Geidel, and Curtis Hixon -
Rev. Kidd said the scouts had been displaced from
their previous sponsoring church in reaction to the
decision in June by the Boy Scouts of America to end
discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Shortly after the decision was announced, he
contacted local scouting authorities to find out if
any troops in White County had lost sponsors. Some
had. After several meetings, the new relationship
The scouts will meet Tuesday nights at Church of the
Resurrection, 1755 Duncan Bridge Road,
Sautee-Nacoochee. Church of the Resurrection is one
of 109 worshiping communities throughout Middle and
North Georgia that comprise the Episcopal Diocese of
7- Year Old Recognized For Helping In A Medical Emergency
Lynn Morris with her Mother Lisa
David Murphy Reads Plaque presented to Lynn
(Cleveland)- A 7-year old White County girl was
honored Wednesday afternoon at the White County
Emergency Operations Center for her actions that
helped save her mother's life.
August 23rd Lynn Morris was in the car
with her mother Lisa and two of her sisters. They
had stopped at the Dollar General Store at the
intersection of Highway 115 and 254 east of
Cleveland. Her mother suffered a medical distress
and she instructed Lynn call 911, then she passed
out. White County Public Safety Director David
Murphy said Lynn called 9-1-1 and talked with
dispatcher Elizabeth Howard.
said the little girl did an outstanding job giving
us the information, while dispatcher Howard was
obtaining information she asked Lynn to go into the
store and get an adult to help. Murphy said, “
she went inside, first of all though, she told her
siblings in the car, ya’ll stay here in the car
remain calm it’s going to be ok, he said she was the
adult in the situation that was taking place.”
went inside the Dollar General Store and made
contact with Sandra a store clerk and with the
assistance of Sandra they were able to direct rescue
personnel to location, where they assisted Mrs.
Morris and got her to the hospital. Murphy
presented the 7 year old with a plaque
recognizing her heroic action. Murphy also
presented Lynn with a couple of gift certificates
and a bag full of goodies that she could share with
Dispatcher Howard (L)
and Store Clerk Sandra
was asked about all the attention she was getting,
she said, “ I like it!” And mom, she is proud as
you can imagine, they did good.
Vehicle Theft Suspect Captured In White County
(CLEVELAND) - The driver of a suspected stolen
vehicle crashed that vehicle and ran from the scene
in White County Wednesday afternoon.
The incident started around 1 p.m. and White County
Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Chapman said the
vehicle was stolen out of Hall County.
A White County sheriff's unit got behind the suspect
at County Line Church Road and Georgia Highway 254.
Chapman said the suspect, identified as Jimmy Moss,
(age and address unavailable), while fleeing from
the officer lost control and wrecked. Following the
crash, Moss fled the scene on foot.
A Georgia State Patrol helicopter was called to
assist in the search.
According to Chapman, a Hall County K-9 unit and two
White County deputies tracked the man to Jackson
Road and U.S. Highway 129 South, where he was
In addition to the expected charges from Hall
County, Chapman said White County has three arrest
warrants for Moss.
Resurfacing Of Ga. 11 South Of Cleveland Begins Monday
(CLEVELAND) – The Georgia Department of
Transportation has announced the resurfacing of
State Route 11 (US129) from the Hall/White County
line through Cleveland to the intersection of State
Route 11 and Allison Drive/Kennemer Street north,
will begin this Monday, if weather permits.
The first phase of work is to remove damaged asphalt
and rebuilding those sections from the roadway base
up. The second phase of work is resurfacing and
finally placing the smooth driving surface is last.
A pilot vehicle will be used to direct traffic
through the work zone. Delays are expected as work
Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman,
Teri Pope said, the contract requires all work will
occur overnights from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following
day. No daytime lane closures are allowed.
This section of SR 11 was last resurfaced in 1998;
the pavement surface is damaged and needs replacing.
District Engineer Bayne Smith, said, “The section of
SR 11 that is being reconstructed as part of the
Cleveland Bypass is not included in this resurfacing
work. Please be patient as crews resurface the
work. We hope to minimize the inconvenience to you
by requiring the work to occur overnights only. “
This 7.382 mile long project was awarded to Colditz
Trucking for a contract cost of $2-point 07 million
dollars . The project completion date is March 31,
Rotary Supports Free Health Clinic ( 9/4/13)
(Cleveland)- As part of the Community Support
provided by the White County Rotary Club, the club
at the August 27th meeting presented a check for
$1,500 to representatives (and Club members) of the
Caring Hands Health Clinic in Cleveland.
The funds will be used by the clinic to help provide
medical service to residents in the county who have
no health insurance.
Terry Goodger, Board Chair, Gene White
Executive Director Caring Hands Health Clinic
with Rotary President Melissa Gill.
Aircraft Goes Down In Northeast Georgia ( 8/30/13)
(HELEN) – Authorities reported Friday an aircraft
had gone down in a remote area of the north Georgia
mountains between White and Union counties.
White County officials received a 9-1-1 call from
one of the aircraft's occupants and, with the help
of High Country Helicopters, which provides Ariel
tours of Helen, were able to locate the plane and
alert state officials to its location.
Pilots Steve Kilcourse and Andrew Mallis flew over
the area accompanied by White County Fire Chief
Kilcourse said, "We took off toward where the fire
department said the coordinates were - they
triangulated the cell phone signal, we were just
kind of flying around and looking and tuned in to
Kilcourse, Mallis and Fire Chief
Alexander exit helicopter
Emergency Locator Transmitter, signal and picked it
up, so we knew we were near it, but we couldn't
quite spot it.
Kilcourse said, "After doing maybe 15 minutes of
looking around, I finally saw it on the hillside,
pretty close to the top of the ridgeline there."
The private helicopter then notified a Georgia State
Patrol helicopter that was in the area of the downed
plane's location. Initial reports indicate the
occupants of the aircraft are not seriously injured.
Rescue officials still were on their way to the
scene shortly late this afternoon.
School Meal Charge Procedure Dominates BOE Meeting
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Education
spent most of their meeting Thursday night looking
at policy and procedure changes within the
school. One area that got the most attention
was a change in the school meal charge procedure.
School Nutrition Director Abby Rowland ask the board
for approval to serve an alternative meal to
students whose meal account has hit the negative
side. That alternate meal will be a cheese
sandwich, fruit and other items. In the
past Rowland said they did noting different letting
the student eat, but did try to get parents to pay
up overdue accounts.
Rowland said, “there was no incentive to pay
me, and they would not fill out free and reduced
meal application. “ The situation got out of
control, Rowland said the overdue accounts at
reached $16,000. In fact one family with two
children had a $900 past due account, they moved to
Habersham County leaving the unpaid account.
According to Rowland, she has been able to get some
of those parents to pay up or to sign up for free or
Board of Education Chair Kendyl Brock- Hunter said
this issue needs some attention, “ this whole lunch
thing has been such a mess everyone has been
trying to get the balance under control because we,
taxpayers, the system is going to have to pay
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said they hope
this will get the attention and help persuade some
parents to get assistance, he said, “ we’re hoping
this will push some people and fill out the
information so we can give you the free and reduced
lunch that you deserve, that you have.” Wilson
also said, “ I can promise you at the high school
those kids, there will be a lot of cheese sandwiches
until they kinda get their set together,
I can see mine eating a cheese sandwich every now
and then because she doesn’t tell me.”
School officials say they will be using several
avenues to notify the students and parents
about the change. They point out that at no
time will a child be denied a meal.
The board also looked at employee sick leave policy,
as well as out of county tuition.
White County Schools First Volleyball Team (
(Cleveland)- White County Schools has it’s first
ever Volleyball team. The team was introduced
and recognized Thursday night during the White
County Board of Education meeting. Assistant
Superintendent Laurie Burkett said there had been a
lot of interest shown by parents to begin the
She said they are starting with 7th
and 8th grade students and they hope to
expand the program to the high school next year.
Burkett said it expands the sports options for
the girls, “ It catches some kids that you don’t
catch in softball and you don’t catch in cross
country, so it catches a niche of kids, you know
it’s really important to them.” The new team will
be playing a limited schedule this year.
The WCMS 2013-14 Volleyball team: Faith Abernathy, Julia Marciano, Kassidy
Hofer, Lydia Myers, Madelyn Warwick, Michayla Fischer, Olivia Simmons, Brooke
Buffington, Georgia Marks, Gracie Everrett, Jasmyn Casper, LeAnn Dupree, Lexis
Chacon, Rachel Gearing, Sarah Estes, Sienna Wiley, and Coach Monika Knight
Qualifying Continues For Municipal Elections (
(Cleveland) – There were no new qualifiers
Tuesday for the city of Cleveland municipal
election, the second day of qualifying for the
election for two council seats.
Meanwhile Helen officials report that three
people have qualified for commission seats available
there. Helen Wilkins qualified Monday, and Judy
Holloway and Fred Garmon qualified Tuesday.
Three Injured In Single Vehicle Accident (8/28/13)
(Cleveland)- Three people were transported and one
was life air lifted to a hospital Tuesday
afternoon west of Cleveland as a result of a single
vehicle accident. The accident reported around
1: 30 pm Highway 115 West of Cleveland between
the entrances to Ferguson Circle.
White County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Tim
Chapman said officers advised that three of
the injured were transported to the hospital.
According to the investigating officer, the driver
advised while coming out of a curve the steering
wheel locked up and the car would not straighten up.
The vehicle ran off the road into a ditch hitting a
culvert flipping the vehicle over on it’s top,
coming to rest in front of Countywide Auto
Repair. The extent of injuries was not available.
Cleveland City Election Qualifying This Week
(Cleveland)- Qualifying for this years Cleveland
City election will be held this week. The
City of Cleveland will hold an election Tuesday,
November 5th for electing City Council
Members for Ward 3 and 4 for four-year terms each.
Edward Young is currently serving Ward 3 seat
and Bradley Greene is serving Ward 4.
Those wishing to qualify for
these positions may complete a qualification packet
with the City Clerk at Cleveland City Hall, 85 South
Main Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00
p.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning. Qualifying will end
Friday at 4:30 PM.
Cleveland Holds Groundbreaking For Major Sewer Project
(Cleveland)- The City of Cleveland made it official
Friday morning holding a groundbreaking ceremony
for the Truelove Road Sewer project a major sewer
improvement project for the south side of the city.
On had for the ceremony was city, county, state and
congressional representation along with
representatives from the agency funding sources.
Cleveland City Engineer Brian Rindt said, It’s a
project that’s been in the works for about four
years and today is the officials start. He
said, “ It is heavily funded through the federal
and state government, there are four different
funding agencies and it just took us a while to get
their needs satisfied, but standing her today
everybody’s ready to go and we’re kicking this off.”
Rindt said they actually began work a couple of
weeks ago and they have three different contractors
This project will have a major impact on the
commercial development in the south side of the
city and into the county.
According to Rindt, it’s on the fast track and
they expect the project to be completed early next
Cleveland Mayor Don Stanley said, they are glad they
got everyone together on this project, it will
benefit this section of the county that has been
needing this service for a long time.
Funding for the sewer projects is made possible by a
large grant from the Economic Development
Administration, plus grants from Appalachian
Regional Commission and
One Georgia, the city finished the funding with a
loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance
Land Use Regulations Gets Another Review ( 8/23/13)
property owners check out Land Use map
residents put their views on paper
(Sautee-Nachoochee)- The White County Board of
Commissioners held another in their Land Use
informational meetings Thursday night. The
latest meeting was held at the Sautee-Nachoochee
Center and like the other sessions was well
attending and according to officials they received
lots of feedback, both vocally and written from
White County Community and Economic Development
Director Tom O’Bryant said the input is
important to them. He said, “ we are taking these
comments and latterly looking at every single one of
them, the elected officials are reviewing the all
and then instructing what to do with the comments.
Anyone who has a question hopefully they have left
their name and contact information, we’re going to
try to contact them and answer their question as
County Commissioner Edwin Nix said they don’t want
to tell people what to do with their property,
he said, “ I don’t want to micro-manage this county,
I don’t nobody wants to do that, but we’ve go some
undesirables that could come into this community and
destroy property values we need to stay focuses and
targeted on that kind of activity and make sure we
don’t loose focus on what we want to do here.”
O’Bryant said, “ the commissioners have taken this
up because there have been expressed interest, we
certainly don’t want to do anything that’s not in
the best interest of the community and that is not
desired by the community, so the more input we can
have just makes this document that much better. “
After taking each of the comments and suggestions
under consideration the county expects to have a
revised, fine tuned document ready for early
next year and it is expected to be place on a
November 2014 ballot for citizens to vote on.
July Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly
(Atlanta)- The Georgia Department of Labor has
released the July unemployment rate for White
County. The unemployment rate was 8-point 6
percent. That compares to 8-point 7
percent revised June rate and 9-point 1 percent last
The labor department said at the end of July the
labor force in the county was 13,258 of those
12,121 were employed, 1,137 were unemployed.
The Georgia Mountains' unemployment rate unchanged
at 7.9 percent in July.
White County Rotary Gets
Transportation Update ( 8/22/13)
(Cleveland)- Georgia Department of Transportation
District One Engineer Bayne Smith was the speaker at
the Tuesday August 20th meeting of the White County
During his talk Smith gave an update on White County
Road projects focusing on the construction of the
Cleveland Bypass. Bayne told the Rotarians
that they have installed 1.5 miles of erosion
control for the bypass, with recent heavy rain that
has help protects nearby streams and property.
He also talked about two other upcoming
projects including a project that calls for a
turning lane at Hulsey Road on Highway 129 North of
Cleveland and resurfacing of Alternate Highway 75.
No Injuries After Vehicle Crashes Into House
(Cleveland)- A female driver was not hurt Tuesday
afternoon when she lost control of her vehicle, it
ran off the road crashing into a house,
northwest of Cleveland . White county law
enforcement and fire officials were dispatched to
the accident just after 5:00PM on Town Creek Road.
After officials arrived on scene they
determined the accident was not in White County but
about a quarter of a mile inside Lumpkin
County, on Damascus Church Road. White
County firefighters did a report as mutual aid for
Lumpkin County. White County Sheriff deputies
said they had no jurisdiction so they turned over
the investigation to Lumpkin County.
Reports on scene said the driver was from Baltimore,
Maryland, but was staying in Gainesville. The
resident of the house was no at home at the time the
accident occurred. Both the vehicle and the
house suffered heavy damage.
White County Fire Chief Norman Alexander said, this
was the maiden run for the new engine 6, just added
to the fire department fleet.
Fire Damages Home East of Cleveland ( 8/20/13)
(Cleveland)- A White County home was damaged as a
result of fire Monday night. Ana Newberry,
White County Fire Department spokeswoman said they
were dispatched at 11:00 PM to 5302 Highway 115 east
The blaze was in the basement of the building.
Fire investigator Robi Wilkins was called to
investigate and said, an old box fan appears may
have contributed to this fire. The home owner
is waiting for their insurance agent and
investigator to make a further determination.
Newberry said, “firefighters knocked this fire out
quickly, it could have very easily
believed contributed to fire
burned through the basement door into the “living”
quarters and destroy the remainder of the home”
One person was at home of the fire, but Newberry
said, no one was injured.
160 Percent Normal Rainfall Recorded ( 8/20/13)
(Sautee)- It seem that all we have talked about
this Summer is the rain and more rain and when
will it all end. WRWH weather reporter Bill
Kinsland doesn't have that answer, but he has
been keeping up with the rain this Summer, as he
does all year long. Bill advises that we passed our
annual normal rainfall last week when we reached
67-point 88 inches. In fact Bill reports as of
yesterday we are now just over three inches above
the full twelve month normal rainfall.
Figures for the average county year-to-date
rainfall is 71-point 06 inches, that’s 26-point
53 inches surplus for year-to-date. According to
Bill we have received 160 percent of our normal
Chamber Holds Annual Meeting ( 8/19/13)
Dr. Stacy Hall receives
gavel from Dr. Josh Kinsey Secretary Brian Kemp speaks to
(Cleveland)- The White County Chamber of Commerce
recognized several businesses and individuals
Friday night during the chamber’s annual banquet.
The event, with a Wild Wild West theme was
held at The Densmore Farm on New Bridge Road.
It was a time for Dr. Stacy Hall to accept
the chairman’s gavel from outgoing chair Dr.
Hall talked with the group about this years chamber
goals, he said they will be using the recent 2020
vision study as a basis. Hall said, “ we’re
all in it together, we got to help each other. You
can’t rely on the government to do all the work, so
part of these goals, part of vision 2020, it up to
the community and that’s us, we’re the community.”
He further state, “ so when we’re laying our goals
for this year that’s what we’re trying to do, our
part to help our elected officials to be successful,
we’re on the same team.”
Featured speaker for the banquet was Georgia
Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Kemp told the
chamber gathering that thanks to a federal judges
ruling next years election are a mess, “ so right
now and the way the law is, the way judges ruling
is, is we’re going to have our senate and
congressional campaigns on June 3rd and
we’re going to have the state and local races in
July. So we’re going to have two different
primaries which is crazy, it’s very expensive for
local governments it will be very confusing for the
voters and I think everybody is in agreement we
don’t need to do that.” Kemp said he will be working
with the state legislators, when they find out when
that federal election is and have the state and
local races on the same date, so we’re no over
exposing the counties and causing them extra money.
Mitch Ralston and
staff United Community Bank
HEMC's Mike Foor,Dan Thurmond,Hugh Rucker, and
w/ Chamber President
w/ Chamber President Melissa Charles
During the awards time, United Community Bank
was awarded the Business of the Year,
Citizens of the Year went to Jesse and Anna Nix.
The chamber’s Volunteer of the Year was awarded to
Russ Keen. Entrepreneur of the Year was
awarded to Habersham Winery and the Civic Merit
Award was presented to Habersham Electric Membership
RV Destroyed By Fire North Of Cleveland (8/16/13)
(Cleveland)- An unoccupied RV was destroyed by fire
early Friday at Yonah Mountain Campground north of
Cleveland. White County Fire Department spokeswoman
Ana Newberry said, the fire was reported at 10:30
AM. Newberry said, the unit was a total loss.
According to Newberry the RV was parked at the
campground for the owners to use at different times
of the year. Newberry said, the blaze is not
believed suspicious, but officials have asked State
Fire Marshall’s office investigator Brian Smith to
determine the exact cause.
Commissioner Hear From Public On Land Use (
Citizens review proposed maps
Chairman Turner addresses Citizen questions
(Cleveland)- About 100 White County property
owners showed up at the first of a series of public
information session concerning the development of
Land Use regulations being developed in the
county. The White County Board of
Commissioners held the meeting at the Mossy Creek
United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, in an
effort to hear from the pubic and each of the
commissioners said they got what they were seeking.
Commission Chairman Travis Turner said, many good
suggestions were offered. Turner said, “
tonight there were some very good points that
were brought out to us, that I haven’t though of.
There are some areas that I have actually
marked on my notes, areas that are too restrictive.
All these are items that will bee presented in a
document and the citizens of White County hopefully
in November 2014 will have an opportunity to
vote yes , no or indifferent. At the end of the day
we want the citizens to say, we had a say so.”
A large number attending expressed the concern that
this issued needs to be addressed by voters at the
polls. Commissioner Lyn Holcomb said that’s the
commission intention. Holcomb said, “ that was the
first thing that most of the people were asking me,
and that is only the right thing to do, I think, is
to let the people vote on this and decide.”
While many of those in attendance didn’t want to
comment publically, but express ideas from,
“something needs to be done” to “I don’t want
anyone telling met what to do with my property”.
Another information session will be held next
Thursday at 6:30 -7:30 PM at the Sautee
Nachoochee Center, for residents in the
northern part of the county.
TMC Bears Ready For New
Soccer Season ( 8/16/13)
The Truett-McConnell College Bears soccer team
reported for pre-season on August 2nd
to lay groundwork for the team’s first season as a
member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
Despite being a young team, Bears head coach Damien
Westfield believes the team’s talent and
determination will carry them throughout the season.
He said, “This year will be a great opportunity for
the community to come out and view the future of
TMC’s men’s soccer program. ” Participating in
nearly 20 matches, and over half against AAC teams,
the Bears look forward to the challenges which come
with adjusting to a new conference. “This is a big
season for us,” Westfield noted, “and we are
prepared and motivated to make a major impact right
Team captain, Gavin Duff, said he looks forward to
leading the Bears to a strong season: “I want for us
to win a lot of games this season; it’s my last year
and I want to go out on a high note.” The
Bears participated in two pre-season scrimmages
against Georgia Perimeter Junior College and Georgia
Military College August 10 and 14 where they won 1-0
and tied 2-2.
The team matches up against the University of the
Cumberland Patriots for their home opener on
Greene Awarded Heart of
(Cleveland)- The “Exemplifying the Heart of Rotary"
award for August was presented to member Chris
Greene at the August 13th meeting of the
President, Melissa Gill said in recognizing Chris
during the meeting, “I know that you have the
desire to see our Club succeed. I also know that you
are always watching to learn as much as you can. You
ask the right questions, are not afraid to approach
new people, and give gentle reminders when protocol
needs to be followed. Your patience and support are
very much appreciated and never go unnoticed. Your
wit and cynicism are always available at just the
right times, and in the correct measure to remind me
that the role is important, but not always ‘so
serious’ that I
with Melissa Gill
cannot take time to enjoy the year. My year will be
a successful one because I have the support of
people who are like you- dedicated to Exemplifying
the Heart of Rotary.
The ‘Exemplifying the Heart of Rotary award is
presented by president Melissa in recognition to
members who do just that.
Georgia Rotary Student Introduced to Club (
This years Georgia Rotary Student Program
student, Peter Korponai was introduced to the White
County Rotary Club at the Clubs meeting
August 13th. Korponai, from Hungary
will be attending Truett McConnell College this
He is being hosted by the Rotary Clubs of White
County, Peachtree Corners, Braselton, and Helen.
Peter said, “I am grateful to the Rotary
Foundation for selecting me through the Group Study
Exchange Program- I never would have known all of
the people I now think of as 'my Rotary family.”
Rotary President Melissa Gill exchanges Rotary Flags
with GRSP student Peter Korponai
Helen Centennial Birthday Celebration Held
Former Helen Mayor Bob Fowler talks about early days in Helen
(Helen)- The official 100 birthday celebration for
the city of Helen, complete with a big birthday
cake, was held Tuesday night. The Centennial
Celebration was held at the Helendorf River
Inn Conference Center in downtown Helen.
During the evening several speakers talked about
the development of the city of Helen from a
small sleepy town to a major tourist attraction in
One of the speakers for the evening was
artist John Kollock, he provided the
development design for the Alpine Village.
Kollock said, “ I take credit for the design, but
Pete Hodkinson gets credit for getting it
done.” Most of the speakers credited
Hodkinson as the motivating force behind the
Alpine Village and promotion of the city as a
tourist destination. He also started the
Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race.
The birthday celebration was hosted by the Helen
Arts and Heritage Center, Paula Ash with the center
said, they have planned many activates to celebrate
the city’s centennial, she said “ this is the
biggest one that tells the story and it’s the
closest to the actual birthday.”
Other events includes, Helen’s first ever
MUSICFEST, Saturday August
24th at The Festhall, a Floating
River Parade, Saturday and the city’s largest ever
fireworks display on August 31st.
Two Injured After Vehicle Collides With A Deer
(Cleveland)- Two people were injured Monday
afternoon in White County when a vehicle
collided with a deer and it crashed through the
windshield of the vehicle. The accident happened at
3:00 PM on Duncan Bridge Road near New Bridge Road.
Captain Tim Chapman, White County Sheriff’s office
said after the 2003 Nissan Murano hit the
deer the animal went through the windshield and come
to rest in the passengers seat. According to
Chapman a 19-year old who was sitting in the
passengers seat received visible injuries and the
youth’s mother who was sitting behind the
passengers seat was also injured.
Both were transported by White County Emergency
Medical Center ambulance to Northeast Georgia
Medical Center in Gainesville for treatment.
Constitution Booklets Presented To Ninth Grade Academy
(Cleveland)- Dr. Joe Cash, American history teacher
at White County Ninth Grade Academy,
recently was presented with the annual donation of
constitution booklets from the White County Patriots
group. Patriots representatives Jack Rawdin
and Fio Weaver made the presentation.
Rawdin said, “ It gives our members a great
deal of pleasure to help with educational material
for the students of American history, Americas
future is in the hands of our youth.”
Dr. Cash, Jack Rawdin and Fio
Weekend Thunderstorms Cause Problems In Northern
White County (8/12/13)
(Cleveland)- White County Public Safety Director
David Murphy said , Saturday and Sunday afternoons
flash flood warning were issued for White County due
to a near stationary storms that produced almost 6
inches of rain over the Sautee area both days.
Sautee being ground zero for these storms
experienced 3.27” of rain on Saturday and 2.65”
According to Murphy the weekend rain event
caused numerous calls to the 9-1-1 center for trees
down blocking roadways and flash flooding throughout
the area. Murphy said that city and county
agencies continue to evaluate the situation this
The National Weather Services said more scattered to
numerous thunderstorms are expected to develop
Monday afternoon and evening. The main threats
will be from locally heavy rainfall and perhaps
flash flooding and frequent cloud to ground
Congressman Collins Visits With Farmers And Seniors In White
County ( 8/8/13)
With a breathtaking backdrop of Cenita Vineyards located east of Cleveland
Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins spoke to and heard from area farm
leaders Thursday about what is important to them. The White County stop
was part of his district-wide tour of the agricultural interest.
Collins was the featured speaker at a special
Georgia Farm Bureau legislative tailgate lunch which
attracted farmers from Habersham, Hall and White
County as well as state leaders. Prior to
speaking to the group Georgia Farm Bureau President
Zippy Duvall called on representative Collins to
address two big issues they face; Immigration
and the Farm Bill.
Collins shared his views and the status of each
during his talk to the farm leaders. He said the
house has passed a true farm bill, one that deals
with the real needs of the agricultural sector.
Collins talks with farm leaders
Stanley London, White County Farm Bureau President
said it was good to have Collins meet with them and
hear how important agriculture is to the area
economy. London said, “ agriculture is still
very, very important to White County, not only White
County but northeast Georgia. I’m proud to be
a part of agriculture and Farm Bureau.”
Congressman Collins speaks to
White County Seniors
Collins meets with Center Director Bonnie York
Following the farm stop in Cleveland Congressman
Collins paid a visit to the White County Senior
Center and toured the newly expanded facility.
Collins shared, with a large group of seniors who
use the center, about his mother Dorothy’s love for
seniors and her work with senior centers in
northeast Georgia for many years. The
congressman let the seniors know they are important,
saying “ what stories you bring, please don’t loose
your story, don’t’ loose your song until you don’t
have your song anymore.” He further state, “
you are the shoulders the rest of us stand
CFD Monthly Report ( 8/8/13)
(Cleveland)- Cleveland Fire Department had a
total of 66 calls during the month of July.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said during the
months they answered 44 calls in the city and
22 county calls were made.
Of those calls, there were 3 structure fire, 26
medical calls, 8 auto accidents, 15 public assist, 2
smoke investigation and fire alarms.
Land Use Plan Public Meetings Set ( 8/6/13)
(Cleveland)- White County Board of Commissioners
announced at Monday’s meeting at the courthouse in
Cleveland they will be holding two open house
sessions to present a draft land use
plan to the citizens of the county and to receive
the input of the public about the plan.
Commission Chairman Travis Turner stressed this is
just a draft and not a finished product, he also
outlined their goal of these public meetings saying,
“ the goal of these input sessions is, (A) not to
cram anything down the citizens throat, our desire
is to, and I thing I speak for everyone here, we
want to hear pros, cons and indifference of anything
we can do better in presenting a plan to the
community. We want to do this in a correct
The first meeting will be held Thursday August 15th
from 6:00 – 7:30 PM at Mossy Creek United
Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. A second
meeting will be held Thursday August 22nd
at Sautee Nacoochee Community Center from 6:30
PM- 7:30 PM.
Citizens can get more information about the draft
land use plan and view a map of the plan by logging
onto the county’s website
Local Business Seeks State Tourism Grant ( 8/6/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County board of commissioners
have agreed for the county to be a conduit
for a local business VIP Alpine Tours to
submit a state funded tourism grant.
Christina Ernst VIP Alpine Tours wants to use the
money to develop what is called, a step on wine tour
of the county. The grant is in the amount of
$15,000 and will be at no expense to the
county. White County Commission Chairman
Travis Turner said this is a win, win opportunity, “
this type of growth is something we are wanting to
see, to see tourism increased in our local community
and I’m excited. I’ll be candid Ms.
Ernst has literally taken a step of faith here and I
think we need to do all we can do to facilitate
private industry to take these steps.
Turner said, this is a tremendous opportunity to
emphasize the vineyards and wineries in
the county. According to county officials,
White County has more of both than any other county
in the state.
Ernst said the tours will feature
up to 20 wine tastings, visiting at
least 6 of White County's tasting rooms,
lunch included. She said, with fingers
crossed, " we hope to be up and
running by labor day."
Fire Destroys Home Saturday ( 8/5/13)
(Cleveland)- White County Firefighters responded
to a structure fire on Saturday night. David
Murphy, White County Public Safety Director
said, “the call was received at 8:12PM with
County Station 2 & 4 being dispatched with mutual
aid from Cleveland Fire and Lee Arrendale Fire
Murphy said, upon arrival of first unit,
firefighters reported the structure fully involved
and all occupants were out of the residence.
The fire was knocked down at approximate 9PM.
The cause of blaze has yet to be determined and
according to Murphy, the incident in under
The American Red Cross was notified to provide
assistance to the occupant of the home.
Seatbelt Checkpoint Nets 74 Arrest In Cleveland (
(CLEVELAND) – It was a very productive operation for
the Georgia State Patrol Friday night in the city of
Cleveland. Several GSP units set up a
seatbelt enforcement checkpoint on north Main
Sgt. 1st Class Chad Johnson said troopers made 63
arrests for seatbelt violations, charged two people
with driving under the influence, arrested one
person for suspended driver's license, made one
misdemeanor drug arrest, arrested two people who had
outstanding warrants, and made several other
arrests, for a total of 74.
According to Johnson troopers also
issued 24 warnings during the enforcement effort.
CFD Provide Fire Safety Program ( 8/5/13)
White County student get back in the classroom Tuesday, last Thursday
Cleveland Fire Department went to Cleveland City Park for an education event.
At the park a teacher was hosting a meet the teacher back to school
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said they provided information on fire
prevention and safety for parents and kids. Pruitt said, “ at the end of the
event students and parents were able to check out the fire truck and
equipment used by the firefighters. “
Engineering Technology students visit GEM Plastics
(Clarkesville)- Taking advantage of world-class
resources here in the Northeast Georgia region, the
North Georgia Technical College Engineering
Technology students and members of the Society of
Mechanical Engineers recently visited the GEM
Plastics manufacturing facilities in Eastanollee for
an in-depth tour of plastics fabrication.
NGTC Instructor Elwin Northcutt said, “So much of
what we use every day comes from plastics and
knowing how it is made isn’t common knowledge.
Touring the factory which consistently operates near
100% capacity, the students were able to connect the
information discussed in the classroom with
real-world applications. Listening to their
comments afterward demonstrated how deeply they have
subsumed the vocabulary and concepts.
“We watched how the sheets of plastic were created
from melted pellets and extruded into sheets of
varying thicknesses,” explained Matthew Kliewer of
Cleveland. “There were fewer employees on the
floor than I had envisioned. It was impressive
to see the amount of fabricated material that was
produced and stored each day.”
Northcutt said, “This was an extremely valuable
experience for the students and members of the club.
We are planning on visiting a facility that involves
either metal forging or stamping next semester.”
Road Department To Close Wooten Road Friday (
(Cleveland)- White County Public Works advises that
they will be closing Wooten Road South of Cleveland
this Friday because of needed road work. Road
Department spokeswoman Rolann Smith said, “ we need
to replace a culvert on the road and it will require
us to close the road between 10 AM and 1 PM. “
According to Smith the road is a dead end and there
are no other way in our out. The work should be
complete by 1 PM and traffic will be allowed
to travel the roadway.
Signs have been place on the road advising residents
about the closing prior to the work begins.
Couch Attends Training Conference
(Helen)- As part of his continuing education and
training in the administration of law enforcement,
Helen Police Chief Jim Couch, recently attended the
2013 Annual Summer Training conference sponsored by
the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Heads of law enforcement agencies from throughout
the state participated in the four-day conference.
The Summer Training Conference was held at the
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.
Chief Couch, was among more than 485 heads of law
enforcement agencies attending the
Tax Rate Set, Bills In the Mail Soon (
(Cleveland)- Following meeting this week White
County and City of Cleveland tax millage rates have
been set and tax bills will soon be mailed to
property owners. T
he White County Board of Education met Thursday
night and approved the school system maintenance and
operation millage rate of 17.523 mills. The
White County Board of Commissioners met Friday
morning and approved the county’s tax millage rate
of 9.19 mills. Adding in the .15 mill the state
gets the total taxing rate for White County
property owners will be 26.863 mills.
The Cleveland City Council also met Thursday night
and approved the millage rate for city property
owners. That rate is 4.50 mills. The council
gave their approval after holding three required
public hearing on the millage increase from 4.244
mills last year.
The City of Helen set their tax millage rate at
6.739 mills earlier this month.
White County Tax Commissioner Cindy Cannon said
Friday afternoon that she must submit the taxing
rates to the state revenue department for approval.
She said she anticipates getting approval from the
state within the next two weeks at which time she
will begin the process of sending tax notices out to
Record Crowd Celebrates 75th Anniversary For HEMC (
Airy)- A record breaking crowd turned out Thursday
as Habersham Electric Membership Corporation
held its 75th Annual meeting at
Habersham Ninth Grade Academy in Mt. Airy. HEMC
officials said, there were 1,589 registered members
with approximately 4,000 to 4,500 people in
attendance, both were record numbers.
Nicole Dover, spokesperson for Habersham Electric
said, attendees enjoyed activities for children, a
wonderful barbecue meal, a special theatre
production and a door prize drawing with a
Tod Pealock with Tanya Champney
pickup truck as a grand prize. The Chuck Wagon Gang
provided musical entertainment prior to the business
Attendees were transported through time, with a
theater production, as they learned what motivated
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create the
Rural Electrification Administration (REA), how HEMC
began as a grassroots effort and experienced the
excitement created when the first portion of
electrical lines were energized in the area.
Darren Kendall from U.S. Congressman Doug Collins’
office, Representative Dan Gasaway on behalf of
Governor Deal, Senator John Wilkinson and
Representative Terry Rogers presented the
cooperative with proclamations in celebration of the
Habersham EMC President/CEO Todd Pealock recognized
the service of Director Carl Tallent, who passed
away earlier in the year, with a resolution and
presented a plaque to his sons.
Tanya Champney of Demorest had the winning ticket
and won the grand prize truck.
Ray Meaders, Dan Thurmond and David Wall were
elected to serve three year terms.
Dover said, the board of directors met and elected
officers for the upcoming year, Hugh Rucker will
serve as Chairman; Rick Wood, Vice-Chairman; and
George Fry, Secretary-Treasurer.
Unemployment Rate Up in June ( 7/25/13)
(Atlanta)- The Georgia Department of Labor announced
Thursday that the preliminary June
unemployment rate in White County was 8-point
7 percent, that is up from the 8-point
2 percent revised May rate.
The labor department said at the end of June
White County’s labor force was 13, 214. Of
those 12,058 were employed, while 1,156 were
unemployed. The county’s unemployment rate one year
ago was 9-point 3 percent.
The unemployment rate in the Georgia Mountains
region increased to 8.0 percent in June, up
seven-tenths of a percentage point, from 7.3 percent
in May. The rate was 8.3 percent in June a year ago.
TMC Launches New Athletic Website ( 7/25/13)
Truett-McConnell College has just launched a new school athletic website.
Truett-McConnell’s Director of Athletics, Dr. Stacy Hall said, “Our new
website will better position Truett-McConnell as a leader within college
athletics.” The new tmcbears.com offers a complete redesign, Hall said, noting
the measures taken to focus on student-athletes.
“We have in-depth bios of each athlete, scholar athlete of the week features and
student spotlights.” “Our desire for the TMC Bears is to be the best in
You can visit the TMC Bears new website at www.tmcbears.com
Rainfall Surplus Continues
(Sautee)- White County’s Rainfall deficit continues
to grow with all the afternoon showers we have been
having. WRWH weather reporter Bill Kinsland
advises as on Monday we have received 153 per cent
of our normal year to date rainfall.
The average surplus of rainfall in the county from
the three reporting stations, in Cleveland, Helen
and Sautee, is now 21-point 04 inches.
According to Kinsland, last weeks average
rainfall in the county was 3.44 inches.
COUNTY RAINFALL & HYDROLOGY THROUGH 7-22-2013
OBSERVED -NORMAL = DEPARTURE
Cleveland (WRWH, NWS
Observer)-------59.57" – 37.76" = +21.81"
Helen City Hall(NWS
Observer)--------63.84" – 41.86" = +21.98"
NWS Observer)-59.13” – 39.81" = +19.32"
Rainfall--------------60.85” – 39.81" =
WEEK’S AVERAGE WHITE COUNTY TOTAL RAINFALL: 3.44
(NOTE: White County has
received 153% of its’ normal YTD rainfall.)
WCSO Phone Service Restored ( 7/23/13)
(Cleveland)- Phone service has been restored
to the White County Sheriff’s Office/
Detention Center after being out for almost 12
hours. White County Sheriff Neal Walden said
the phone service for the entire facility went down
Monday night around 9:00 PM.
Jackie Dean Manager for Plant Operations for
Windstream advised they had their part of the
service back up by midnight Monday night and
the remainder of the problem was within the jail
facility which was the responsibility of the county
Information Technology Department.
Citizens with emergencies were still able to, as
they should do anyway, call 9-1-1 for
assistance. Walden reported phone services were back
up around 9:30 Tuesday morning.
It is unknown, at this time, what caused the
Man Shoots Himself In The Hand ( 7/22/13)
(Cleveland)- A 57-year old Cleveland man was
injured Saturday when he, according to the White
County Sheriff’s Office, accidently shot
himself in the hand. The incident occurred
around 11:00 PM on Moosewood Drive, Cleveland.
Spokesperson Captain Tim Chapman said when the
officer arrived on scene he observed a large amount
of blood on the front porch of the residence. Inside
the residence the officer talked with a male who
said he accidently shot himself in the left hand.
Chapman said the man was shot with a 38 caliber
The man was transported to the hospital for
treatment of injuries. No further details were
released about the incident.
Thunderstorm Brings Rain, High Wind and Flooding (
Before the storm (picture by Amber Burrell)
(Cleveland)- A late afternoon thunderstorm dumped
heavy rain, along with high wind and pea size hail
on the city of Cleveland Wednesday. The storm
rolled in from northeast of the city and covered
much of the southern part of the county by the time
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said, tree’s were
blown down knocking out power in the majority of the
city. Pruitt said, in one case a tree fell on a
house and punched a small hole in the roof.
Numerous city streets were flooded because of
large amount of rain in a short period of time.
Around 1 ½ inches of rain fell in about twenty
Through it all there was no reported injuries.
Author Ronda Rich Speak To W.C. Rotary ( 7/17/13)
bestselling author of “What Southern Women Know
(That Every Woman Should)” and a popular national
columnist was the speaker at White County Rotary
Club Tuesday July 16th.
highlights of her writing career and previewed her
latest book ‘ There’s A Better Day A-Comin’ “
She has appeared on dozens of television and radio
shows and recently appeared on TV’s Fox and Friends,
representing Southern Women’s views.
Also attending the
Rotary meeting with Ronda was her husband,
TV/Producer John Tinker.
Homeowner Interrupts Burglary ( 7/17/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Sheriff’s office is investigating an attempted
burglary that was interrupted by the homeowner Tuesday morning. Chief
Deputy Bob Ingram said, around 9:00 AM Brenda Pilgrim returned to her Turner
Road home and saw someone fleeing the residence.
Ingram said a K-9 unit was called to help track the
suspect. According to Ingram they are not sure if
anything was taken.
The case remains under investigation.
Helen To Hold 'Show Cause' Hearings For Underage
Alcohol Sales (7/17/13) By Rob Moore
(HELEN) - The Helen City Commission will convene
three hours early on Tuesday, August 20th,
to conduct six "show cause" hearings for businesses
in the city that allegedly sold alcohol to underage
patrons in June. Helen Police Chief Jim Couch
told the city commission Tuesday that six of 10
businesses visited by underage patrons workings as
part of a Helen Police Department undercover sting
operation on June 29th sold alcohol to
those not legally permitted to purchase it.
Those establishments include: Bigg Daddys American
Tavern and Music Club, Pies and Pints Deli &
Tavern, Hogpen Gap Grill, King Ludwig's Biergarten,
Circle K, and Hayloft Tavern & Grill. Couch said
of the underage patrons "They were both
underage, and both had their own I.D. - driver's
license." "The two went to these 10 locations and
either they were turned away, they were told no, or
the purchases were made," Couch said. "Out of the
six locations that actually served, to my knowledge
from my understanding six people have been
terminated from those businesses.
City commissioners weighed in on the operation. "We
have always been known as a place for underage
drinking," said Commissioner Dona K. Burke. "I'm
glad you did this. Normally this is done by the
state. They come in every year in October and it
makes us look so bad."
Asked by Commissioner Judy Holloway what prompted
the operation, Couch reminded her that the city set
aside funds last year for investigations such as
this. That money was used to purchase the drinks in
this undercover sting.
Places that didn't sell to the underage patrons
include: BP, Club Escape, Monday's, and Paul's
Steakhouse. Couch sent a letter commending
each of the four businesses that followed the law
and didn't serve to the underage patrons.
Rotary Recognizes Members ( 7/11/13)
(Cleveland)- At the beginning of a new Rotary year president Melissa Gill made a
special recognition to fellow member Mitchelle Johnson. Gill recognized
Johnson with the " Heart of Rotary " award for her service. during the
President Gill said, " In humble recognition of
your Service Above Self, I am proud to name you as the Rotarian who best
exemplifies the “Heart of Rotary” in our Club and beyond into the District and
International world of Rotarians. You are a treasured asset to our Club and my
Also during the meeting Rotarian Jena Payne was recognized as a Paul
Harris Fellow and member of the Rotary Paul Harris Society,
for her $1,000 donation to the Rotary
Foundation and the same commitment. On had for the presentation was
Rotary District 6910 Paul Harris Society Chairman David Haynes.
Rotary President Melissa Gill, Mitchell Johnson
David Haynes, Jena Payne, Susan Baker (past President) and
Mitchelle Johnson (Rotary Foundation Chair)
Sutton Wins Kindle Fire ( 7/11/13)
Misty Sutton of Cleveland Thursday received a new Kindle Fire from Dr. Don
Robbins Optometrist office in Cleveland. The Kindle was prize awarded as
part of the Summer reading promotion by Dr. Robbins office.
Misty said she was excited about the win, but she might have to get some of the
younger folks to help her figure out how to use it.
Marc Shubert, Misty Sutton, Kaity Sullens, Dr. Robbins
Development Authority To Get More Aggressive In County
(Cleveland)- The White County Development
Authority has made a decision to get a little more
aggressive in marketing the county to businesses
looking to locate in the county. At a meeting
this week during a discussion on the budget member
Marc Greene urged the group to take most of the
fund balance, that has been sitting there for a
while, and use it to move forward with promotion
Greene said that would be doing what they are
charged to do. He said, “ we have a small amount of
money, but it is an amount o money that we need to
start marketing the county to improve our image in
the state that we’re ready to have some economic
growth here. “
Development Authority Chairman Bob Oliver says,
this is a positive direction for the group, “ for
years we haven’t done much in trying to recruit, to
get new businesses here or to get some economic
development. I think we’re going to spend some
money to do it. We need to come up with a good plan
and I think that’s what we’re going to do.” Oliver
said they want to work closely with the White
County Chamber of Commerce 2020 vision plan
development recently. He said they have no set
timeframe for their projects.
Greene said they have a big responsibility as far as
economic development he said, “ not only
bring new businesses to town I think we need to help
create a positive business environment for the
businesses that are here already as they continue to
expand. And I have a passion for that, I’ve
been on this committee a number of years and I don’t
think we’ve been very active in creating a positive
business environment for our existing businesses and
draw new businesses in.”
The authority has already developed a marketing
brochure and working on a video presentation for the
Wet Summer But No Record (7/11/13)
(Cleveland)- Just in case you have been thinking
this Summer is the wettest on record for our area,
WRWH’s weather reporter Bill Kinsland says it isn’t,
at least so far. Bill did some research and
found out that during the three-month period of
June, July and August of 1967, Co-op Observer Mary
Lou Sutton of Cleveland recorded 33.68 inches of
rain....Helen recorded 39.01 inches.... White County
average was 36.35 inches.
Bill says to add perspective, on August 23rd, 1967,
Mr. C.L. Vandiver, US Weather Bureau Co-op Observer,
for Helen recorded 8.50 inches of rainfall in 24
hours. With that much rain the Chattahoochee River
flooded the entire area of downtown Helen all the
way up to the public housing projects.
According to reports, the entire area of the present
day Outlet Mall was completely under water....and
most of Nacoochee Valley around the Indian Mound was
under water....and the Highway 75 bridge near the
Indian Mound was buckling and impassable.
According to Bill, that was the date of the record
maximum flood level of the Chattahoochee River which
was 12. feet, flood level is 6 feet.
So even if we have received a lot of rain so far
this summer we have a long way to go to break the
records of 1967.
Council Approves Water/Sewer Rate Increase (
(Cleveland)- The Cleveland City Council has given
their final approval to a 2 ½ percent
increase in water rates. The water rate
increase will in turn increase the sewer rate since
it is based on the cost of water use. The rate
increase was approved by the council at a
meeting Monday night.
The Council also approved moving forward and
holding required public hearing in connection
with the tax millage rate increase from 4-point -01
mills to 4-point 5 mills. The three
public hearing will be held Thursday July 18th
at 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM and a final hearing at 7:00
PM on July 25th.
The council in making their decision to increase the
millage rate pointed to the fact that property
values have dropped in recent years resulting in
lower tax revenue the city uses to provide
Gold Miner Statue Arrives In Cleveland ( 7/9/13)
Ms. Annette Adams and Artist Gregory Johnson
Placing the statue on pedestal
(Cleveland)- The much anticipated bronze gold miner
statue recognizing the discovery of gold in White
County has finally arrived. The statue was
made possible by a donation from Annette Adams, of
Cleveland, in memory of her late husband Gene. The
announcement of the statue donation was made back in
January and since then the artist creating it,
Gregory Johnson, has
been working on the project.
The finished product was
delivered Tuesday morning. As workers
prepared the base for the placement of the statue
Johnson told us his feeling of seeing his work being
displayed, he said, “ there’s nothing like seeing it
in bronze, in the situation, with the landscaping
and the beautiful pedestal it just frames it all
with the mountains and the sky in the background,
you just don’t get the same feeling in the studio.”
The county played a
major role in the discovery of gold and the largest
gold nugget found east of the Mississippi occurred
Adams attended the statue
placement and expressed her thoughts about getting
to this stage of the projects she said, “ well, I
hope it will be a real asset to Cleveland.”
President Judy Lovell said they will soon have an
official dedication ceremony and recognition program
for the statue.
Commissioners And BOE Agree On Education Facility Use
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
and White County Board of Education Monday agreed
to terms in an agreement on the County Parks YMCA
use of education facilities such as gyms and ball
fields. The agreement call for the county to
compensate the education department for the use of
The two entities have had a working agreement for
several years, and recently the compensation was a
swap with the county for a school resource officer
provided through the Sheriff’s Office. This year
the resource office was taken out of the
agreement and a dollar figure was placed back in,
but when the commissioners received the agreement
last week the compensation cost had increased from
$25 to $30,000 so the commissioners got together
with the Board of Education to find out why.
Board of ed member Charlie Thomas explained at the
meeting it was inflation related. He said, “
part of our though in going up from 25 to 30 was
because of the utilities as ya’ll know has gone up
three or four times, the cost of keeping the fields
maintained and all that has skyrocketed because fuel
went up. “
After some discussion the commissioners and board of
education agreed to stick with the $25,000 fee.
With YMCA personnel required to be at the
facilities used to assume responsibility for the
The commissioners approved the agreement at the end
of the s meeting, the board of education deferring
approval until their next regular meeting later this
Welcome Sunshine After Week Of Rain ( 7/8/13)
(Cleveland)- With a week of rainy weather the sight
of sunshine across Northeast Georgia Monday
morning was a very welcome sight, but weather
forecasters say we have a chance more showers each
day this week. The rain is not expected to as
heavy and should only be on and off showers.
Rainfall data from this past week shows White
County has received 6.94 inches average rainfall.
This is from the three weather station in the
county. WRWH Weather reporter Bill Kinsland said, "
this figure is 1.59 inches greater than the 5.35
inches normal rainfall for the entire month of
July.” He said in other words, we got more than the
whole month’s rainfall in 1 single week. Bill also
reported with all the rain our year-to-date rainfall
surplus is 18.09 inches as of this morning.
The level of Lake Lanier is benefiting from all the
rain. The level this morning topped 1073 for the
second time since it reached summertime full pool of
1070 on May 19th. The lake level went up
1 ½ feet since last Monday.
River levels are also up, the Chattahoochee River
level was up so high and the currents were so strong
that tubing businesses in Helen were not
letting people get into the water, because of the
Lightening Strikes Tree Knocking It Down On Hood Street
(Cleveland)- Cleveland public works crews were
working Monday morning clearing the street right of
way near WRWH Radio where a tree fell across Hood
Street Saturday night during a thunderstorm.
Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt said, Saturday
night around 11:00 AM they were dispatched to a call
where the tree was blocking the entire street.
Pruitt said, “ the Poplar tree had been hit by
lightening and there were parts of the tree that had
been blown at least 50 feet away.”
Fire Department personnel cut the tree and removed
it from the roadway, until public works crews could
clear up the mess.
W.C Administrative Offices Open At
New Location ( 7/8/13)
The move has been made and the White County
Administrative office are now located at 1235 Helen
Highway, this is the former White County Sheriff’s
office building. The building is located behind the
White County Senior Center on the Helen Highway.
Offices making the move from the White County
Courthouse include : Board of Commissioners, County
Manager, County Clerk, Human Resources, Finance and
Future plans are to have the county Corner's office
located in the building.
The Board of Commissioners, will still hold their
meeting at the White County Courthouse, until
County Administrative office move will now allow for
the expansion of the White County Probate Court
office and have only judicial offices located in the
courthouse. The Commissioners have been
working on moving all the non-judicial offices out
of the courthouse for past year or so.
County Jail Inmate Dies From Attempted Hanging
(CLEVELAND) – Funeral arrangements remain incomplete
for an inmate at the White County Detention Center
who tried to hang himself this past week.
According to an obituary notice from Alexander
Funeral Home, 31-year-old Jason Grimsley died
According to White County Chief Deputy Bob Ingram,
Grimsley had been hospitalized since Tuesday night,
when he tried to hang himself in a jail cell.
At the time of the incident, Ingram said Grimsley
had been accounted for at 6:18 p.m. Tuesday, but was
missing during a head count at 6:36 p.m.
Ingram said Grimsley was serving time for theft and
probation violation at the time.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an
investigation of the incident.
Heavy Rain Results In Sinkhole ( 7/7/13)
(Cleveland)- White County officials spent most of
the pre dawn hours of Sunday checking out a sinkhole
on the side of the road in the parking lot of
Chattahoochee Grocery east of Cleveland near the
White-Habersham County line. The incident was
reported by a passerby just after 2:00 AM.
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy
said a power pole with a security light was affected
by the sinkhole, but there were no traffic problems.
According to Murphy the sinkhole is about 10- 15
feet across and bout 12 feet deep and is near a
storm drain pipe.
Habersham Electric crews were called to correct the
power situation and Department of Transportation
Crews will be working to fill the sinkhole.
Commissioners Tackle New Budget (6/7/13)
(Cleveland)- The White County Board of Commissioners
got their first hard look Thursday at the proposed
county "General Fund" budget for next year.
County Manager Mike Melton presented an overview
of the budget at a budget hearing at the courthouse
in Cleveland. When presented the budget calls for a
little over $16-million dollars in expenditures.
During the meeting the commissioners examined each
line items and were able to trimmed around
Commission Chairman Travis Turner said at first look
the bottom line figures it’s up quite a bit from
last couple of year, but Turner said they
have moved some special funds around, “we have
taken these special funds setting out there and
incorporated them into individual line items within
the general fund.”
The new budget does include the re-instatement of
retirement funding for county employees.
Chairman Turner said, they are still committed to no
tax millage increase for county residents, he said “
we have been able to cut expenses the last few years
to an acceptable manor that is allowing us, so far,
looks like we are going to be able to do this 2014
budget with no millage rate increase, not even a
If the commissioners are successful in not having
to increase the millage rate it will be the fifth
straight year that there has been no millage rate
increase for property owners.