Arrest Report - Monday - December 6, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Monday, December 6, 2021:

Omicron Variant Detected in Georgia

Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant in GeorgiaThe individual recently traveled from South Africa and developed mild symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Genomic sequencing confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant. The individual is isolating at home and contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts at risk of infection. This is the first identified in-state case of Omicron. DPH was notified Dec. 3 of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who tested positive for the Omicron variant.

Scientists continue to study the Omicron variant to determine how quickly and easily it spreads, whether it causes more severe illness and how well the current COVID vaccines protect against it.

“Vaccination is key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and helps prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “It also is important to remember that even as Omicron is emerging, we are still in the midst of a pandemic currently being fueled by the Delta variant.”

All Georgians over the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults 18 and older who completed their first series of vaccine at least six months ago. The CDC also recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should get tested.

To find a COVID vaccine or COVID testing location near you log on to dph.ga.gov.

DPH will continue to monitor Omicron developments and provide updates as new information becomes available.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Christmas In The Park - Best Dressed Elf Competition

Christmas in the Park in Lyerly--CHS Band will play!

The City of Summerville will present “Christmas in the Park” this coming Friday, December 10th from 6-9 PM.  In addition to Santa Clause appearing at the park for free photos with children, there will be a Best Dressed Elf Contest, Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, The Christmas Cookie Smack Down Contest and lots of fun scheduled for the evening.

The Best Dressed Elf contest is open to all elementary aged children and sponsored by Summerville Main Street. Registration for “Elves” entering the contest will be held at the small gazebo in Dowdy Park between 6-6:30 PM. Judging is scheduled for 6:45 PM.

The contest winner will receive a trophy, be named “Head Elf”, and will do the honors of lighting the official park tree. The tree lighting is scheduled for 7 PM.

Free hot chocolate and popcorn will be available in the middle gazebo and free holiday miniature train rides will be offered around the park. The Summerville Fire Department will host a bonfire for crowds to warm up to.

Christmas in the Park is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

High Museum Of Art, Atlanta Remembers Rev. Howard Finster's Birthday

Howard Finster (American, 1916–2001), What Is the Soul of Man, ca. 1976, Enamel paint on plywood.
One of the most famous residents of Chattooga County would have celebrated his 105th birthday last week, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta took note of the Rev. Howard Finster’s birthday by encouraging people to come to the museum and see the largest exhibit of Finster’s work outside Paradise Garden in Pennville.

Rev. Finster was born in neighboring Valley Head, Alabama but spent his adult life and ministry in Chattooga County.  Finster pastored several area churches including Chelsea Baptist Church in Menlo, before turning his focus to painting.  His folk-art paintings are now world-renowned and the pictorial sermons he painted are sought after art collectibles.
The High Museum of Art in Atlanta posted a picture of Finster’s painting, “What Is The Soul of Man”, painted on plywood around 1976 and said, “Drawing upon his skills as a charismatic preacher, poet, painter, and visionary, Finster uses this pictorial sermon to describe the creation of Man’s soul. Visit the High to explore the largest public collection of Finster’s work outside of Paradise Garden, including slabs of mosaic sidewalk, other concrete sculptures, and many signs and paintings that once adorned the Garden.”
Rev. Howard Finster was born December 2, 1916.

Chattooga HOSA Mother-Daughter Dinner Tomorrow

The Chattooga High School HOSA club and Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition are hosting a #LetsTalk About Preventing Cancer Mother-Daughter Dinner at Chattooga High School coming up tomorrow evening, Tuesday, December 7th at 6 PM.

This FREE educational program offers a Mother-Daughter dinner and presentation designed to encourage open communication and discussion with families of middle and high school aged girls.

Dr. Douglass and Dr. Keith of Floyd Primary Care in Summerville, Ga. will present on “coming of age” issues, including the HPV vaccine, cervical and breast cancer early detection and prevention, PAP tests and breast health.

All community members are invited to attend.

To register for the event, can the code in the above flyer.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Chattanooga Offering Scholarships To Chattooga Residents

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga is offering scholarships to seniors in a nineteen-county, four-state area that includes students in Chattooga County.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Scholars Scholarship Program, a fund administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, provides scholarships to promising students who desire a college education and are eligible according to criteria based on academic performance, financial need and community service.

This scholarship is a one-year scholarship which can be used at any regionally accredited, non-proprietary, technical, community or four-year college/university.

You can find more information about the scholarships below:

Who is eligible?

For this scholarship, financial need is defined as an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of $25,000 or less.
The EFC amount is based on various information from your FAFSA and the EFC amount is determined by a formula used by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our 19 eligible county/four state areas are:
Alabama 
Jackson County (zip code specific 35772 and 35740)
Georgia
Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties
North Carolina
Cherokee County
Tennessee
Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties

Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Must be a United States citizen or legal.
Must be a 2022 graduating high school senior, under the age of 21.
Must have at least a 2.7 cumulative GPA.
Must have demonstrated financial need.
Plan to attend a regionally accredited, non-proprietary, technical, community or four-year college/university with a full course of study in the fall of 2022.

How do you apply?

Apply NOW for the 2021-2022 Award Year!

If you meet the requirements listed above you will create an account with the link provided when applications open and complete the 2022 RMHC Scholarship Eligibility Questionnaire. Applicants will be notified of their scholarship award status in May-June 2022. 

Award Amount:  Amounts may vary, but most scholarships are $2,000 for the academic year.

For questions about the application process, please email Jane Kaylor and use the subject line – RMHC Scholars.

Menlo Elementary Student In Hospital Shows Improvement

A Menlo Elementary School student who fell sick over the Thanksgiving Holiday and wound up in the hospital on life support is showing signs of improvement.  Over the past weekend, Harlyn was taken off oxygen and her family posted a picture online of the little girl eating a Reece’s cup and watching a tablet from her bed in the hospital.

While the news is good, the local chapter of Punishers LEMC, a motorcycle club made up of mostly law enforcement officers, says that the family will still need the community’s support and Harlyn still has a ways to go and needs all of our prayers and support.

The Punishers are planning a Brunswick Stew Sale.   To order the stew, you can contact the Punishers LEMC – Georgia Backwoods Chapter on Facebook here.  Orders for the stew will be taken through December 9th and the pickup for the stew will be held in front of the old Bi-Lo Building behind McDonald’s in Summerville on December 12th from Noon – 2 PM.

The Punishers are also raffling off a DeWalt Drill Set to help Harlyn.  You can find information on the Raffle on their Facebook page as well.

Trion Wrestling 10-0 After Weekend Tournament

The Trion High School Bulldog Wrestling Team is now 10-0 on the season after a weekend tournament in Carrollton.  On Saturday, the Bulldogs competed in the Trojan Wars Duals Tournament.  The team defeated Chattanooga Christian 84-0, East Paulding 78-0, Troup County 64-15, Spain Park (Alabama) 64-9 and Carrollton 58-18. The team will compete this week in Gatlingburg, TN in the Smokey Mountain Duals.  Congratulations to the Trion Bulldog Wrestling Team!

Chamber To Host Senator Jeff Mullis At Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce will be held on Tuesday, December 14th at Sweet P’s at the Tavern in Trion.  The luncheon will honor the 2021 Leadership Chattooga graduates.  State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) will be the guest speaker.  The Chamber says that seating is very limited for this month’s meeting and encouraging those wishing to attend to register.  You can find a link to register for the meeting here.

Arrest Report - Sunday - December 5, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, December 5, 2021:

U.S. Dept. Of Justice Investigating Georgia Prisons

U.S. Attorney’s Office for The Northern District Of Georgia Collects Over $108 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Georgia’s Department of Corrections. They’re looking at allegations of chronic under staffing in state prisons, meaning neither the incarcerated nor corrections officers are safe from violence, including self-inflicted harm.

Violence in prisons is nothing new, but the Justice Department is looking into the uptick in violent incidents in Georgia’s prisons.  This month, a prisoner at Hays State Prison in Trion appeared in Chattooga County Superior Court on charges of murdering a fellow prisoner following an argument.   Some believe that the lack of adequate staffing in Georgia’s prisons are causing more of these types of violent incidents.

Prisoner-on-prisoner violence has been identified as a focus of the Justice Department investigation.

The inquiry, officially launched in September and ongoing, follows spiking murder and suicide rates in Georgia prisons.

Since the beginning of 2020, at least 53 Georgia inmates have been homicide victims, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That’s more than double the total of 21 for 2018 and 2019.

The rise in deaths comes as the state’s prisons face critical staffing shortages because of COVID-19 and other factors.

WZQZ / Compiled Reports

Chattooga's Caroline Hodges Selected "Student Athlete Of The Week"

She has had an amazing high school football career and has set a lot of “firsts” for the Chattooga High School Football team – including being the first female to score points in a game for the Indians, and this past week, Senior Kicker Caroline Hodges was selected as the scoutSMART Student-Athlete of the Week for the state of Georgia in conjunction with Georgia High School Football Daily.

Carline Hodges also holds the distinction of being the all-time extra-point leader in Chattooga High School football history with a record of 35 of 36 PATs along with a field goal.  Hodges has excelled not only in football, but also has varsity letters in track and field and in golf.
Congratulations to Chattooga’s Caroline Hodges for being named the Georgia High School Football Daily “Student Athlete of the Week”.

Northwest Georgia Man Charged With Murder

Bartow County Man Arrested for Murder

The Bartow County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man after a domestic violence death investigation.

A call came into 911 about a violent domestic incident.

The information received was that a female was being assaulted with a hammer by a male suspect. Upon arrival at the residence, deputies made contact with the female victim who was determined to be deceased by medical personnel. Deputies and investigators received information from witnesses that the suspect had fled the area on foot.

After a four-hour search, a law enforcement drone located the suspect hiding in a wooded area nearby.

Investigators arrested Cory James Slaughter, 29, and he is being held at the Bartow County Jail for Murder and other related charges which are pending the continuing investigation.

CVN

BBB: Online Scams Flourish During Pandemic

A shift toward online shopping during COVID-19, global supply chain crisis and a resurging economy have all created a recipe for a breakneck holiday shopping season – one where online shopping fraud poses a tremendous risk to consumers. Online purchase scams have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and social media ads play a key role in the mushrooming problem; a new Better Business Bureau (BBB) study finds.

The in-depth investigative study – Theft on a massive scale: Online shopping fraud and the role of social media – finds the pandemic, along with lax social commerce shopping platforms, has opened the door for scammers in China to steal from desperate online shoppers. Read the full study here.

Online shopping fraud has been growing for several years, but according to BBB research, it dramatically increased during the pandemic as more people shopped online. A BBB survey found 29% of people shopped online before COVID, which increased to 37% by the end of 2020. In turn, BBB Scam Tracker reports about online shopping scams nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020, and the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust named online shopping scams as the riskiest scam of 2020, publishing special reports on this growing fraud in 2020 and 2021. Complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about online purchases more than doubled in 2020 and continue to increase throughout 2021. Also, online shopping has more BBB “F”-rated companies than any other type of business.

Most online fraud reports examined involve a response to online ads on Facebook and Instagram. After placing an order, victims report receiving nothing or receiving items that were counterfeit or inferior to what the ads promised. Scammers often take product photos or a landing page from legitimate businesses, post them on Facebook and Instagram and take online orders at websites they create. This leads to complaints against legitimate businesses, as victims often do not realize they have lost their money to a scammer rather than the business the scammer was portraying.

Counterfeit and pirated goods, the subject of a 2019 BBB investigative study, are rampant in online shopping scams. Other online fraud reports involve sites selling non-existing pets, vehicle shipping schemes, and deceptive free trial offers.

Many online shopping complaints registered at BBB and reports to BBB Scam Tracker can be traced back to Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.

BBB found it was common that people who were not actively looking for a product, but lost money in the transaction, began with Facebook or Instagram 70% of the time. Fraudsters understand how Facebook targets shoppers and have developed strategies to reach those interested in buying their bogus products. Many victims and legitimate businesses believe that Facebook and Instagram should do more to prevent this widespread fraud. A recent federal class-action lawsuit against Facebook contends that it is complicit in fraudulent sales and fails to abide by its own policies in addressing them.

In July, Helen Miller saw an advertisement selling a replica Game of Thrones baby dragon from a Facebook page. “I went to the website to order it, and everything seemed legitimate,” said Miller. “I checked out using PayPal and received an email confirming my order.” The confirmation email directed her to another website to track her purchase. “I was receiving several “updates” about my order traveling from Europe to the United States,” said Miller. Eventually, tracking information stopped, and updates were no longer being provided. Miller then escalated her claim to PayPal. The merchant was using one name, and when contacted by PayPal, Miller noticed that the merchant’s name was different and that the business provided a different tracking number. “ showed that a package from China was delivered to my town on June 30. It didn’t have my exact address — just my town. Now PayPal refuses to refund my money because a tracking number shows that it has been delivered, even though I never received my package,” said Miller.

While credit cards are still the most frequent payment method in online scams, online scammers are increasingly requesting payment through PayPal. Credit cards and PayPal offer a degree of buyer protection by allowing buyers to dispute charges, although scam victims have reported difficulty getting refunds through PayPal. In addition, scammers employ a variety of tactics to circumvent the dispute process, including exorbitant shipping costs to return items for a refund, supplying bogus shipping tracking numbers, and delaying the process to run out the clock for a dispute claim.

Online purchase scams originate from a variety of actors. Counterfeit goods operations, and those who sell goods online that are not delivered or send items significantly different from what was described, have been tracked to businesses or organized gangs based in China. While China has blocked its people from using Facebook’s social media platform in China, businesses there traffic counterfeit goods and spend billions to advertise on the site. Gangs from Cameroon primarily operate pet scams. Vehicle scams have been traced to gangs from Romania, and free trial offer scams have been found to be operated mainly by people in the U.S. and Canada.

Law enforcement actions mostly have been limited to scammers and their accomplices operating in the U.S. and Canada. In 2020, U.S. customs agencies seized $1.3 billion in counterfeit goods, arresting 203 individuals and securing 98 convictions.

BBB’s study makes the following consumer protection recommendations:

  • Facebook should do more to enforce its policies for third-party sellers.
  • BBB urges credit card payment processors to put more effort into combating those who provide merchant accounts to sellers who engage in fraud.
  • U.S. consumers would benefit from a program to help counterfeit victims with chargebacks like one operated in Canada by the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC). Such a program may help identify crooked credit card merchant accounts, bogus websites, and points of origin for counterfeit goods.
  • More regulatory oversight is needed regarding companies that use websites to market products from China but deliver counterfeit goods, items not as advertised, or nothing at all.

Tips for avoiding online purchase scams:

  • Check out the website before making a purchase:
    • Check BBB.org to check a business’s rating and BBB accreditation status. Some crooks may copy the BBB seal. If it is real, clicking on the seal will lead to the company’s BBB profile.
    • Scamadvisor.com can often tell you how long a website has been in operation. Scammers create and close websites regularly, so a site that has only been operating for a short time could raise red flags.
    • Do an internet search with the company name and the word “scam.” This may locate other complaints about the site.
  • Scrutinize reviews: Scammers frequently post positive reviews on their websites, either copied from legitimate sites or created by scammers. One resource to check reviews is at BBB.org; some review websites claim to be independent but are funded by scammers. Look at the bad reviews first. These are more likely to be real and can help identify scams.
  • Search for contact information: Use caution if the site does not have a U.S. phone number or uses a Gmail or Yahoo business email address.
  • Keep a record of what you ordered: Make a note of the website where you ordered goods. Take a screenshot of the item ordered in case the website disappears, or you receive an item that differs from what was advertised.
  • Pay by credit card: Credit cards often provide more protection against fraud than other payment methods.

Report online shopping fraud to:

  • Better Business Bureau – file a complaint at BBB.org or report a scam at BBB.org/scamtracker.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – file a complaint at reportfraud.ftc.gov or call 877-FTC-Help.
  • National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center – report intellectual property and counterfeiting violations to iprcenter.gov/referral/view.
  • Internet Crime Complaint enter (IC3) – file a complaint at ic3.gov/complaint.
  • Facebook – report ads that violate Facebook’s policies by clicking the *** next to an ad to go to facebook.com/business/help.
  • Instagram – report copyright infringement or other policy violations at help.instagram.com.
  • Amazon – report suspicious activities and webpages at amazon.com.
  • Google – report scams at google.com.
  • PayPal – call (888) 221-1161 to speak with a live person instead of using its automated system if you receive an item that is not as advertised.
  • Your credit card company – Call the phone number on the back of the credit card to report the fraud and request your money back.

Georgia Power "Holiday Lights Sweepstakes"

As the holiday season kicks off, Georgia Power is inviting customers to show off their light displays and festive decorations on social media for a chance to win weekly prizes including home energy saving kits, and tickets to top Georgia holiday attractions and sporting events. The sweepstakes begins today and runs through Dec. 24, 2021.  

Entering the sweepstakes* is easy: 

Step 1: Follow Georgia Power on Instagram and “Like” Georgia Power on Facebook.

Step 2:  Take a photo of how you are celebrating the holidays with festive decorations and lights at your home with friends and family.

Step 3: Share your photo on Instagram with #GPCHolidayLights and tag @Ga_Power in your post. Or, on Facebook, post your photo using #GPCHolidayLights and tag the Georgia Power page.

Each week during the promotion period, Georgia Power will randomly select one entry submitted to receive a prize. Winners will be chosen on the following days and contacted via direct message on Instagram or Facebook if they have won:

  • (Week 1) Friday, Dec. 10 – Two winners will be randomly chosen to win an Energy Savings Kit that includes four LED light bulbs, a faucet spray aerator, a chrome shower head, and an advanced power strip.
  • (Week 2) Friday, Dec. 17 – One winner will be randomly chosen to win a family four pack of tickets to their choice of Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights or Lake Lanier’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular.
  • (Week 3) Tuesday, Dec. 28 – One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a pair of tickets to the Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Jan. 9.

Save money, energy this holiday season

Throughout the holiday season, Georgia Power reminds customers that focusing on energy efficiency can help them save money and energy as they celebrate. Simple tips for the holidays include switching to energy efficient LED decorations, which use more than 50 percent less energy than traditional decorations and putting lights and inflatables on a timer to ensure they’re only on when people are home, or awake, to enjoy them. For more easy ways to save money and energy this holiday season, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com/EnergyEfficiency, and shop for energy saving devices on the Georgia Power Marketplace.

Put safety first as you decorate and celebrate

Georgia Power encourages customers to stay safe around electricity every day, and especially when decorating for the holidays:

  • Check your outlets – Look for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, exposed wires or broken plates. Have them fixed by a qualified electrician. Use safety covers on all outlets accessible to children.
  • Don’t let cords hang – Do not place appliance cords where they will come into contact with the stove or other heated surfaces. Do not hang appliance cords over countertops, where they might be accidentally pulled down.
  • Inspect cords for wear and tear – Worn or frayed appliance cords can cause fire, electric shock and even electrocution. As a basic home safety procedure, inspect cords regularly to assess wear and replace cords as needed.
  • Invest in Surge Protectors – Only use surge protectors with internal circuit breakers. To prevent overheating, these units will trip the breaker if the power strip is overloaded or shorted to prevent overheating. Do not plug a surge protector into an existing surge protector. When the surge protector is not in use, unplug the unit.
  • Avoid utility poles – Never attach lights or decorations or within proximity to a utility pole.

For more electric safety tips, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com/Safety.

*Sweepstake Rules:

No purchase necessary to enter the sweepstakes. Winners must be Georgia Power customer 18 years of age or older and will be randomly selected each week from that week’s entry period (the preceding Friday to Thursday). To be considered for weekly prizes, participants must “like” and “follow” Georgia Power on Facebook and Instagram and post their photo of their festive decorations and light displays using the hashtag #GPCHolidayLights and tagging Georgia Power. If their photo is selected for use on Georgia Power’s social media channels, participants will receive a direct message from the company’s social media team with a request to approve usage of their content.

GNTC Honors Fall Graduates

Close to 300 Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students crossed the stage of the Dalton Convention Center on Thursday, Dec. 2, to the cheers of their families, friends and instructors.

GNTC held two separate Commencement Ceremonies in order to practice social distancing guidelines and accommodate friends and families of the graduates.

A ceremony was held at 12 p.m. to recognize students in GNTC’s Business and Health programs and the second ceremony held at 4 p.m. recognized the students in GNTC’s Aviation, Industrial and Public Service programs.

At both ceremonies, Dr. Heidi Popham, president of GNTC, welcomed guests, congratulated the graduates and introduced Jeremiah Cooper, GNTC’s 2021 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year, as the keynote commencement speaker.

“After hosting three drive-thru ceremonies, we are thrilled to be hosting a graduation ceremony again indoors,” said Dr. Popham as she welcomed the graduates and guests.

Jeremiah Cooper has been an instructor at GNTC since 2013. He is the program director and instructor of Welding and Joining Technology on the Walker County Campus. This is his second time serving as GNTC’s Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year.

“Don’t forget the people who helped you get here today,” said Cooper during the commencement address. “Be that same individual for somebody else. We are all here today because somebody took time out of their lives to invest in us, invest in somebody else, somebody helped you get here today, help somebody else get here tomorrow.”

Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs at GNTC, recognized High Honor graduates with a 4.0 grade point average and Honor graduates with a 3.5 to 3.99 grade point average. Phillips also led a special recognition for graduates that are veterans, apprentices, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members, Student Government Association members, first generation college students and dual enrollment high school students.

Dr. Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, presented the graduates and Dr. Heidi Popham conferred the graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

The ceremonies concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Popham in which she challenged the graduates, “do not let this be the end of your educational journey, never stop learning.”

A special post-ceremony recognition was held by the Georgia Chapter Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) as they commemorated the GNTC Fox Systems, Inc. IEC Electrical Apprenticeship graduating class of 2021.

GNTC Fox Systems Inc. IEC Apprenticeship graduates included Wesley Cook, Noah Thomas Dutton, Caleb Edwards, Michael Gordon, William Curry Jennings, Brandon Michael McBee, Marvin George McDougle III, Tyler Philip Robbins, Miguel Angel Sanchez and John F. Tate. (not all apprenticeship graduates participated in the GNTC Commencement Ceremony)

In addition to four years of instruction, each GNTC Fox Systems Inc. IEC Apprenticeship graduate attended a minimum of 576 hours of classroom and lab instruction and completed a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Listed are graduates which participated in the 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremonies showing (from left to right) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students that have graduated, but did not participate in the ceremony, or students that registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:

12 p.m. Ceremony

Associate of Applied Science

Dalynn Nicole Adkins, Vascular

Rosa I. Aguilar, Accounting

Melissa Nicole Ahrent, Health Information Management Technology

Ally Smith Alred, Adult Echocardiography

Carlotita Arellano, Adult Echocardiography

Adolfo T. Arroliga, Computer Support Specialist

Harry Thomas Austin, Business Management

Ivan Avalos, Business Management

Gidget Baine, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Stacy Lynn Baker, Business Technology

Jennifer E. Baldwin, Accounting

Bethany G. Barton, Medical Assisting

Reanna Mae Bearden, Radiologic Technology

Savana L. Beldowski, Business Healthcare Technology

Laura Katelyn Boatwright, Adult Echocardiography

Kelsey M. Bollen, Radiologic Technology

Debbie Lynn Bryant, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

James N. Bryant, Cybersecurity

Hildred Michelle Bush, Surgical Technology

Tara Quinn Butler, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Daniel Lee Carroll, Radiologic Technology

Jaime Casillas Gil, Accounting

Joseph Pattana Chase, Cybersecurity

Stephanie Cisneros, Adult Echocardiography

Anna Robinson Cochran, Accounting

Krysta Coker, Radiologic Technology

Caitlin M. Crete, Paramedicine

Olibia Cruz, Vascular

Eric Douglas Davenport, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Grant W. Davis, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Heather Doperalski, Accounting

Sara L. Duke, Medical Assisting

Matthew J. Ellis, Health Information Management Technology

Kristen JoAnna Ely, Accounting

Gregory Walter Fish, Business Management

Emilee Hope Frady, Business Management

Kelsey Nicole Garner, Adult Echocardiography

Marielle A. Genter, Surgical Technology

Mallory Ellen Girod, Vascular

Jose Emanuel Gonzalez, Marketing Management

Amber Grant, Business Management

Taylor Alexis Grant, Medical Assisting

Maira Guzman, Surgical Technology

Kari Anne Hamby, Business Healthcare Technology

Jaweah L. Hamilton, Business Management

Jessica Nicole Hammock, Accounting

Julie Ann Hanson, Adult Echocardiography

Ileana Melissa Hidalgo, Business Management

Stacey Shrum Holifield, Business Management

Kelsey Ashea Holt, Adult Echocardiography

Lacey A. Jackson, Health Information Management Technology

Aletha R. Johnson, Computer Support Specialist

Willanda D. Johnson, Accounting

Kasey Jones, Medical Assisting

Danielle Joyner, Health Information Management Technology

Jacob Seth Keeton, Business Management

Stephanie Fumi Kuhrt, Marketing Management

Christian S. Langford, Radiologic Technology

Lauren K. Lindsey, Business Management

Dania Lopez, Health Information Management Technology

Diana C. Madero Hernandez, Accounting

Kolby M. Marsh, Networking Specialist

Magali Martinez Jarquin, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Matt L. Matteson, Networking Specialist

Haley L. McCown, Surgical Technology

Addison Elizabeth McCray, Radiologic Technology

Karen E. McCurdy, Health Information Management Technology

Jason W. McMullin, Business Management

Michelle Mendonca, Business Management

Lorena Mendoza, Health Information Management Technology

Stephanie Miles, Radiologic Technology

Ashley Brooke Mullins, Business Management

Viviana Nevarez, Radiologic Technology

Angel Nicholson, Business Management

Ulises Nunez, Accounting

Jaqueline Nunez-Cruz, Radiologic Technology

Joshua Ortiz, Radiologic Technology

Jessica B. Osborn, Business Management

Kira Gayle Osborne, Medical Assisting

Agnes M. Painto, Business Management

Ashley Paramo-Carmona, Medical Assisting

Dhruti Bharatkum Patel, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Caterra S. Pullen, Business Management

Vanessa M. Raminger, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Crysta Michelle Reed, Medical Assisting

Yesenia Rodriguez, Vascular

Desirae Marie Rogers, Business Management

Elsa Marleny Sales, Vascular

Hannah Grace Smith, Health Information Management Technology

Jordan B. Smith, Surgical Technology

Jessica Stanley, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Jennifer L. Still, Marketing Management

Estefania Toledo Pantoja, Adult Echocardiography

Ariel N. Tucker, Radiologic Technology

Krishauna Turner, Business Healthcare Technology

Melissa Valdez, Medical Assisting

Esther Maria Vera Sampedro, Vascular

Amber G. Wade, Accounting

Charles Kent Walsh, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Maia White, Business Management

Christil M. Williams, Business Technology

Lisa Winston, Business Management

Brandie M. Wooten, Accounting

Shannon York, Health Information Management Technology

Arely Sinai Zendejas, Business Healthcare Technology

Diploma

Maria Fernanda Arroyo, Human Lactation

Lacy N. Bailey, EMS Professions

Heather Marie Ballinger, Human Lactation

Makayla D. Barrett, Health Information Coding

Michelle Lee Barthlow, Business Management

Leah McCallie Bing, Dental Assisting

Brooklyn M. Bryant, Medical Assisting

Jordan Mckenzie Crider, Business Management

Miranda S. DelRosario, Practical Nursing

Carrie L. Dorsey, Surgical Technology

Ashley Danielle Faulkner, Medical Assisting

Evelyn Ruby Fraire, Medical Assisting

Jazmyn Gamble, Business Healthcare Technology

Nidia Gamez, Dental Assisting

Savannah Faye Hall, Business Technology

Adriana Hernandez-Reyes, Medical Assisting

Leah M. Holloway, Medical Assisting

Adan Lara Jimenez, Dental Assisting

Jeffery A. LeClaire, Paramedicine

Jesenia Lopez-Flores, Web Site Design/Development

Sydney Matthews, Human Lactation

Heather Brooke Moore, Surgical Technology

Maria D. Nunez Reyes, Medical Assisting

Maria Beatriz Orozco, Business Management

Brisa Resendiz Munoz, Dental Assisting

Maria Z. Reveral, Practical Nursing

Laci D. Reynolds, Medical Assisting

Tajion Richardson, Medical Assisting

Toni Lynn Sanders, Business Management

Denisse A. Sarmiento, Surgical Technology

Stephen Seals, Paramedicine

Darsey Carolann Shields, Dental Assisting

Gisselle G. Silva, Human Lactation

Heather Michelle Thompson, Medical Assisting

Rhiana Nicole Wayland, Surgical Technology

Italia C. Whaley, Medical Assisting

Technical Certificate of Credit

Tashina Lichelle Cagle, Phlebotomy Technician

Ricardo J. Cruz, Human Resource Management Specialist

Christie Lee Eldridge, Phlebotomy Technician

Paola Fraire Morales, Phlebotomy Technician

Brandy T. Gribble, Health Care Science

Bethany Diane Griffith, Medical Front Office Assistant

Rebekah Elaine Howard, Phlebotomy Technician

Christina B. Human, Medical Coding

Koby Taylor Legg, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician

Laranda Renee Mabry, Medical Front Office Assistant

Elizabeth Mariquez, Human Resource Management Specialist

Jesus D. Martinez, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician

Tina Marie Martinez, Phlebotomy Technician

Renae DeAnn Massey, Phlebotomy Technician

Yulma Phillips, Medical Coding

Alexis Hope Pothen, Medical Front Office Assistant

Amber D. Spires, Administrative Support Assistant

Samantha Tabares, Logistics and Supply Chain Technician

Amanda Leigh Thaxton, Phlebotomy Technician

Natalie Paige Turner, Phlebotomy Technician

Litzi Vail-Lopez, Phlebotomy Technician

Jaquelin Villafuerte, Medical Front Office Assistant

Maria Alondra Villalobos, Human Resource Management Specialist

Simone Sade Washington, Human Resource Management Specialist

Natosha Ann Weaver, Medical Front Office Assistant

 

4 p.m. Ceremony

Associate of Applied Science

Gustavo Acevedo Cruz, Construction Management

David Alexander Adsit, Construction Management

Jennifer Michelle Bailey, Social Work Assistant

Cory Jackson Clark, Instrumentation and Controls Technician

Holly Clark, Culinary Arts

Alexis J. Contreras Hurtado, Automation Engineering Technology

Amy Elizabeth Crawford, Horticulture

Jordan A. DeSalvo, Industrial Systems Technology

Matthew Caswell Dunn, Automation Engineering Technology

Kaitlyn Brook Epperson, Early Childhood Care and Education

Randall Arthur Franklin, Industrial Systems Technology

Hannah M. Godfrey, Early Childhood Care and Education

Sita C. Greene, Early Childhood Care and Education

Anna Grace Lively, Criminal Justice Technology

David Manuel Lopez, Industrial Systems Technology

Jose Lugo, Industrial Systems Technology

Courtney E. McBurnett, Criminal Justice Technology

Dustyn T. Morgan, Automotive Technology

Terry Jerome Morris, Industrial Systems Technology

Bren Nipper, Early Childhood Care and Education

Chidi-Ebere Edeubor Nnamani, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Sonny Apag Padayao, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Eneida Ivette Ramos Rivera, Early Childhood Care and Education

Bladdimir Reyes Alvarado, Automotive Technology

Kelly Rickett, Criminal Justice Technology

Jimmy Rivera Velasquez, Industrial Systems Technology

Madalynn Grace Renee Robertson, Industrial Systems Technology

Juan Carlos Sanchez, Industrial Systems Technology

Lauren Smith, Culinary Arts

Megan Swanson, Social Work Assistant

Tristan B. Taylor, Early Childhood Care and Education

Magan D. Trammel, Early Childhood Care and Education

Sondra R. Washington, Early Childhood Care and Education

Michael Gustav Wendt, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Micah Taylor Wyatt, Industrial Systems Technology

Chaney K. York, Social Work Assistant

MeKayla R. York, Early Childhood Care and Education

Diploma

Zitlali Aguilar Moreno, Criminal Justice Technology

Jason Ahrent, Welding and Joining Technology

Areli Avilies-Gomez, Cosmetology

Eddie Baez, Welding and Joining Technology

Savannah R. Beeler, Cosmetology

Christian Beltran, Industrial Systems Technology

Heather Byars, Cosmetology

Erick Carrillo, Welding and Joining Technology

Josue Chacon Alvarez, Auto Collision Repair

Connor Bryant Cohran, Air Conditioning Technology

Megan Dodd, Cosmetology

Wade Goolsby, Diesel Equipment Technology

Janan M. Hussein, Culinary Arts

Jacquera Marie Jester, Cosmetology

Clayton Scott Johnson, Electrical Systems Technology

Logan Johnson, Welding and Joining Technology

Brandon C. Lowe, Welding and Joining Technology

Tiffany D. Martin, Cosmetology

Wendy Molina-Gutierrez, Cosmetology

Hunter Trace Mullinax, Welding and Joining Technology

Axel Palacios, Welding and Joining Technology

Hailey J. Pilkington, Cosmetology

Matthew Ryne Rountree, Welding and Joining Technology

Nicholas Santos, Welding and Joining Technology

Jakelin Soria Cortes, Early Childhood Care and Education

Juan Manuel Sosa, Welding and Joining Technology

Tiacola C. Tolbert, Cosmetology

Technical Certificate of Credit

Rachel Lynn Alexander, Crime Scene Investigation

Jennifer Ann Anderson, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Laura Barrera, Cosmetology for Licensure

Avry L. Burns, Industrial Electrician

Ajay Cardamone, Industrial Electrician

Destiny N. Carter, Cosmetology for Licensure

Elizabeth Chihuahua, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jamey Beth Childers, Cosmetology for Licensure

Sabina Chilel, Cosmetology for Licensure

Wesley S. Cook, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Noah T. Dutton, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Ansley Edmondson, Cosmetology for Licensure

Caleb R. Edwards, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Marvin Benjamin Escobar, Cosmetology for Licensure

Micaela Odalys Francisco Jimenez, Nail Technician

Hernestina Molina Gutierrez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Clifford Rasheed Hill, Catering Specialist

Dacey E. Hunt, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Allie Gordon Ingle, Cosmetology for Licensure

William C. Jennings, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Antoinetta T. Jones, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Logan Tanner Long, Air Conditioning Electrical Technician

Alliyah Cassidy McBryde, Cosmetology for Licensure

Marvin McDougle, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Emily Mijangos-Melendez, Nail Technician

Savannah B. Money, Cosmetology for Licensure

Ashera Sloan Nixon, Nail Technician

Jessy Ortiz-Ramirez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Tyler Philip Robbins, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

TeCorian Leshay Rowland, Nail Technician

Maurica Eliza Rudolph, Nail Technician

Miguel Sanchez, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Mariah Snipes, Cosmetology for Licensure

Alyssa Rose Spurlock, Cosmetology for Licensure

John F. Tate, IEC Electrical Apprenticeship

Tina L. Tillery, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Brianna Leigh Turner, Nail Technician

Shaina Britt Underwood, Cosmetology for Licensure

Summerville's "Mistletoe Market" Saturday

The City of Summerville will hold “Christmas in the Park” on Friday, December 10th and Christmas fun and cheer will continue on Saturday, December 11 in Dowdy Park with Summerville Main Street’s annual Mistletoe Market.

The event will run from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. in the park. This year’s one day event will highlight a wide variety of food, baked items, merchants, artisans, and vendors. Special musical performances are scheduled throughout the day, along with Christmas carriage rides offered during this event.

Admission and parking is free. For more information on these events visit The City of Summerville Georgia Facebook Page or www.summervillega.org

Two Lanes Now Open On I-75

CARTERSVILLE – Crews opened two left lanes of I-75 southbound in Bartow County south of exit 296. All I-75 southbound lanes were closed last night after a tractor-trailer damaged the Old Grassdale Road overpass.

The two lanes will remain open until tonight at 11 p.m. when crews will again shut down traffic to continue removing the overpass. Two lanes will open Sunday morning at 6 a.m. A determination on traffic patterns for Sunday night will be made after the work tonight.

Detour Saturday night at 11 p.m.: Southbound traffic will take exit 296 and turn left on Cass-White Road. Traffic will then turn right on to US Highway 411 to reach I-75 at milepost 293.

Georgia Department of Transportation anticipates reopening all southbound lanes of traffic on I-75 Monday. Motorists should expect delays all weekend due to the overpass removal.

Advisory: Motorists are advised to expect delays, exercise caution, and reduce their speed while traveling through work zones. Before heading out, get real-time information on work status and traffic conditions. Call 511, visit 511ga.org, or download the Georgia 511 app. Our maintenance team members who repair roads and bridges and our project teams who oversee construction projects are continuing their essential work, while following sanitary work practices prescribed by health agencies to protect themselves and the public from the coronavirus, as are most state DOTs in the U.S.  

Omicron Variant Detected in Georgia Resident

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has been notified of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where the testing and sequencing were done.

The individual is fully vaccinated,  and is isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway there and in Georgia to identify close contacts at risk of infection. So far, no additional Omicron cases in Georgia have been identified.

“Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals less than 20% have received booster doses.”

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant.

All Georgians over the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults 18 and older who completed their first series of vaccine at least six months ago. The CDC also recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should get tested.

To find a COVID vaccine or COVID testing location near you log on to dph.ga.gov.

DPH will continue to monitor Omicron developments and provide updates as new information becomes available.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Arrest Report - Saturday - December 4, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Saturday, December 4, 2021: