Sheriff Clinton shares Christmas shopping safety tips

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton

From the Desk of Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton:

During the holiday season, busy people intent on trying to complete their Christmas shopping often become the target of criminals who seek to steal packages from vehicles parked in mall and shopping center parking lots. The following information is provided in conjunction with your Georgia Sheriffs’ Association and is intended to help you from becoming the next victim.

When shopping, look for the best lit parking spaces. Once in your chosen space, look around before leaving your car. Is there anyone in the vicinity watching you? Do you see anyone loitering? If so, remain in your car and watch them for a moment. If they move on, that’s fine, but if not, you might consider moving to a new parking space. If you feel uncertain or unsafe about a situation you observe, take steps to move yourself to a safer location. Don’t assume you are being foolish or paranoid.

Once you are in a safer location, lock your vehicle and move quickly and confidently to the store. Would-be thieves and robbers are looking for the easiest targets. If you show that you are aware of what is happening around you and move with a sense of purpose, you are less likely to become a victim. Walk against the flow and traffic.

Keep your head up and scanning—look forward, to the right and left, and even check behind as you walk. Awareness is your greatest defense. Don’t search through a purse or bags in the parking lot. If you must look for something, make sure you are in the safety of the store before you become absorbed in your hunt for a tissue, shopping list or other item.

If you store items in your vehicle, make sure they are covered or concealed. If you are putting bags in your vehicle and returning to shop, move your car from time to time in case someone is watching you.

Finally, if leaving late from a shopping mall or store, don’t hesitate to ask a store employee for help. Don’t accept the kind offer of the “stranger” who meets you outside the door and offers assistance. It may be a kind and generous offer, but it could also be ploy to gain access to your belongings.

Be aware, stay safe, and have a joyous and wonderful holiday season!

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

From the Desk of the Sheriff

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton Towns County GA

From the Desk of Sheriff Chris Clinton:

Most of us have family traditions that we enjoy during the Christmas season. Families with small children may spend Christmas Eve baking cookies for Santa or listening to Christmas carols while enjoying eggnog by the fire. As a small child, I remember the anticipation of Christmas being so intense. I was in awe and wonder, dreaming about what might be inside all those presents wrapped so nicely under the tree. I would just stare at the Christmas tree and daydream about Christmas Day.

For me, even at 49, Christmas is still the most magical time of year. I love Christmas lights and the sounds of Christmas carols everywhere. The world just seems to be a nicer place during the Christmas season. I love to watch young children open gifts and see their eyes light up with joy. There is no other feeling like the feeling of Christmas. While Christmas is about much more than material possessions, the spirit of Christmas is certainly captured in the joy of a child receiving a gift on Christmas morning.

So, what about the children who are less fortunate? Imagine the child whose family has fallen on hard times. Do they wake up to just another day of struggling to make ends meet? Imagine if you were a parent who loved your child, but had lost a job because of the poor economy. I doubt that there would be anything much harder than not being able to provide your child, whom you love, the wonder of Christmas morning. It breaks my heart to think that, as the rest of the world enjoys the most blessed day of the year, some families wake to another day of not having enough. While providing toys for these children isn’t going to make the rest of their problems go away, I can’t help but believe that, at least for a time, their world becomes a little brighter and things seem a little better than before.

Each year the Sheriff’s Office attempts to provide the joy of Christmas gifts for Towns County’s less fortunate children. This effort is only made possible by the help of generous people in the community who donate to this cause. Names of children in need are collected and toys are gathered. We try whenever possible to provide at least one item that the child has specifically asked for. The toys are then given to the parents of the child to handle Christmas in their family’s tradition. It is all done in such a way as to protect the dignity of the family and allow them to share in the joy that many of us take for granted.

This year has been a tough one for many local families. We are hoping to provide for each child, but we need your help. If you would like to help us with this effort or if you know of a family with children that needs help, please contact your Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444.

I hope that each of you has a blessed and joyous Christmas this year!

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw updates Towns County, Coach Jimmy Smith retires

News
Coach Jimmy Smith

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw announced several community updates and plans at his monthly meeting at the Towns County Courthouse on the evening of Nov. 21, 2017, before a large turnout of citizens.

Commissioner Bradshaw explained the county is in the process of completing the 2018 budget, and it will read similar to the 2017 quota, with expectations of ultimately landing below budget.

Towns County is set to host the Bassmaster Elite Tournament in September 2018, and the event expects to add an estimated $1 million to $2 million dollars to the local economy. “This is a huge thing for our county,” Commissioner Bradshaw divulged. “Towns County will feel the effects for many years.” The Bassmaster Elite is the highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments offered.

Three detainee road crews completed upkeep on the fire tower located on High Tower, which involved pressure washing the structure and replacing the roof, among other repairs.

The fire department sign on Highway 76, one of the first signs seen when traveling west into Towns County, was replaced with a more appealing version, and the parking lot at Fire Station 1 in Hiawassee was repaved.

Towns County Daycare installed a code pad at their entrance for security purposes. Parents will receive a code, and a doorbell system was added for vendors.

The Georgia Mountain Fair “Mountain Country Christmas in Lights” will open on Thanksgiving night. Commissioner Bradshaw praised the fair’s General Manager, Hilda Thomason: “Hilda has done a great job to grow it each year.”

Approval of the 2018/2019 Federal Transit Grant Application took place. The application amounted to $96,900, half of which will be matched by Towns County. The actual amount awarded may be less as it is dependent on operational costs and based on expenditures for the year. Towns County Transit operates Monday through Friday and provides transportation for residents without vehicles.

A resolution approving the purchase of state-mandated Firefighter Cancer Insurance was read and signed by Commissioner Bradshaw. The insurance was purchased through the ACCG program. Newly elected Hiawassee City Councilwoman Amy Barrett inquired whether future coverage could be acquired locally. The Commissioner replied that the concept is worth exploring.

An application for a grant to fund the development of ADA projects at the Highway 288 Lake Chatuge Recreational property was read and signed by the Commissioner. Handicap ramps, renovation of the parking lot, accessibility for kayaks and canoes and a water trail are expected to be completed. Towns County is requesting $200,000 in funding, but less is anticipated for approval. Towns County will be reimbursed for 80 percent of the total cost and detainee labor will be used accordingly.

Towns County Courthouse

Towns County Courthouse

Last on the new business agenda was approval of the Towns County Sheriff’s Office policy on the implementation and regulation of credit cards for deputies to purchase fuel while transporting inmates out of county. Sheriff Chris Clinton explained the deputies were paying the cost out of pocket, then receiving county reimbursement, prior to the policy’s adoption. Each card is assigned to the transport vehicle’s VIN number. The policy will save the taxpayers the cost of federal and state taxes that were included in out-of-pocket purchases.

The final segment of the commissioner’s meeting was dedicated to the recognition of Towns County Youth Program Coach Jimmy Smith, who is retiring after 21 years of service.

“It is amazing what this man has done,” Commissioner Bradshaw said as he presented the coach with an award. “I can’t say enough. You don’t know the impact you have made on the county and kids.”

“He’s not made a dime to do this. We would not have Little League football if not for Jimmy Smith,” the Commissioner expressed, defining the retiring coach’s love and compassion for children.

Commissioner Bradshaw holds his monthly briefing on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the courtroom of the Towns County Courthouse. Public comments and questions are welcome as the meeting concludes. Several citizens praised the commisioner’s efforts in the community as the November session adjourned.

Featured Image: Commissioner Bradshaw presents award of recognition to Coach Smith

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Sheriff Clinton offers tips to avoid Holiday fraud

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton Towns County GA

From the Desk of Sheriff Christopher M. Clinton

Towns County, Ga.

 

This week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, most of us will enjoy the time with family and friends or take part in some tradition. Many are already planning their Christmas shopping. While stores and consumers alike are getting ready for a busy season of shopping, criminals are planning to take advantage of unwary consumers.

Each year criminals and unscrupulous companies, many of them outside the United States, take advantage of consumers through the use of Internet fraud. In an effort to keep you safe we offer for your consideration the following guidelines suggested by the FBI to help you avoid becoming a victim:

• Only purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments.

• Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number; call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.

• Send them an e-mail to see if they have an active e-mail address and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

• Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

• Purchase merchandise directly from the individual/company that holds the trademark, copyright, or patent.

• Beware when responding to e-mail that may not have been sent by a reputable company.

• Guard your account information carefully. Don’t give out your credit card number(s) online unless the site is a secure and reputable site. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but might provide you some assurance.

We at the Towns County Sheriff’s Office are thankful for the opportunity to serve our citizens. As we all pause to give thanks this year, consider helping a child less fortunate by becoming a partner in the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. This annual project provides Christmas toys for Towns County children who otherwise would not receive gifts due to financial hardships.

Each year we hold the Sheriff’s Christmas Parade to benefit the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. Participants are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl. The parade this year will be held Nov. 25, 2017, and will start at 5:30 p.m. The parade will travel from the Georgia Mountain Fair to McConnell Memorial Baptist Church in Hiawassee. Participants are encouraged to be at the fairgrounds at 4 p.m. for parade line up.

If you would like to help a child in need by donating toys or making a financial contribution, you may do so at either the Towns County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center and Administrative Offices, located at 4070 State Hwy 339, Young Harris, GA or at the Towns County Sheriff’s Office located in the Towns County Courthouse, at 48 River Street, Hiawassee, GA.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Sheriff Clinton Explains Child Passenger Safety Laws

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton Towns County GA

From the Desk of Sheriff Chris Clinton:

Child passenger safety is an important topic. No one wants their child to be injured in a motor vehicle accident. Not only will improper precautions place a child in harm, but drivers can receive a citation for failing to follow state laws regarding child passenger safety. The following information is a paraphrase of the requirements of the law in Georgia.

Children under age eight are required to be in a child safety seat or booster seat. The seat or booster must be appropriate for the child’s height and weight and must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, children under eight must ride in a back seat, but there are a few exceptions to that requirement.

If a vehicle has no rear seating or all the rear seats are already occupied by other children, a child under eight may ride in the front seat. Still, any child riding in a front seat must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight. Drivers should be aware of the potential of the child receiving serious injury should an airbag deployment occur while a child is riding in the front seat.

When using a booster seat, a lap/shoulder belt is required, but again, there is an exception. A child over 40 pounds may use only a lap belt if the vehicle does not have shoulder belts or if positions that have lap/shoulder belts are being used to restrain other children. If there are only lap belts in the rear seat, a child may ride in the front seat. Again, any child riding in the front seat must be restrained in a safety seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. The seat must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There remains the potential for serious injury from an airbag deployment that should be understood and considered.

A child over 4’9″ in height may be restrained in a safety belt instead of a booster seat. A child under eight can be exempt for physical or medical reasons only if the parent or guardian has a written statement from a physician that a physical or medical condition prevents using a child safety seat or safety restraint system.

As always, it is our desire to help you and your loved ones remain safe. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call on your Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444. We are always honored to assist you in keeping yourself and your family safe.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Towns County Hosts Gratitude Luncheon for Veterans

Community, Feature News
Bud Johnson

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Local veterans from each military branch, ranging in service from World War II to Desert Storm, attended an annual luncheon sponsored by Towns County at the Foster Park Recreation and Conference Center on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.

A Towns County Fire and Rescue engine greeted guests as they arrived, the American flag flying high from the ladder’s peak. Tables were adorned in red, white and blue as patriotic music welcomed the veterans and their supporters to the festive recreation hall.

Opening words were offered by Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw. “I’m in awe to stand here before you today,” Commissioner Bradshaw conveyed in appreciation. “I thank you all so much. Freedom comes at a price. As commissioner, I will support you. Towns County will support you.”

L-R: American Legion Commander John Harkins, Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, Post 23 Adjutant Mel Halfon

American Legion Commander John Harkins lead the posting of the colors by the North Georgia Honor Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a powerful rendition of the National Anthem sung by Summer Rahn. An invocation blessing was recited by American Legion Chaplain Katie Harkins.

Guest speaker Senator John Wilkinson addressed the crowd: “I hope you’ll accept my sincere thank you.” Senator Wilkinson referred to the history of Veterans Day, once known as Armistice Day prior to 1954, and made mention of the cessation of hostilities during World War I in 1918 on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

Newly elected Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales extended words of gratitude to the group of veterans. “You are the true heroes of our nation. Your sacrifices are huge. I offer a humble thank you for your service,” Mayor Ordiales said.

Last to speak was Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton. “I’m truly honored to stand here today. I don’t feel worthy to stand before you. I thank God we live in a place where our officials and community truly honor our veterans,” Clinton said. Sheriff Clinton acknowledged his grandfather and hero, Mr. Harold Nicholson, a World War II serviceman who attended the event.

VFF POST 7807

L-R: Sylvia Kelly, Errol Cone, Bob Hass, Ashford Todd and Brandy Creel of VFW Post 7807

A buffet lunch was served by members of the community, catered by Happy Hawg restaurant, while a military tribute presentation played on a large screen hung in the dining hall.

Fetch Your News (FYN) had the honor of meeting several local heroes and listening to the stories they shared.

Retired Naval Chief Petty Officer Clarence “Bud” Johnson, who served “36 years, four months, and four days,” said he enlisted at the age of 17. “I got my feet wet early, gave my life to Jesus Christ and that’s why I’m here, for We, the People. May God bless America,” Mr. Johnson affirmed, asking FYN to quote his sentiment.

Towns County’s oldest veteran, Mr. Frontz Goring, 96, a serviceman during World War II in the 2nd Air Force Training Command Division, expressed, “The Lord has blessed and saved me.” Mr. Goring recalled rendering assistance to a stranger choking on a piece of candy while living in Florida in 1975. “I had just watched a program on how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, just before it happened. I know God put me in the right place at the right time to save the lady’s life. God is good.”

Frontz Goring

Towns County’s oldest Veteran, Mr. Frontz Goring, USAF, WW2

Friends reunited and new bonds were formed while memories of old and discussions of current events echoed throughout the hall.

“I’m privileged to host this event for our veterans,” Commissioner Bradshaw told FYN as the luncheon came to a close. “They served us and I’m deeply honored to serve them.”

A Veterans Day ceremony will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11:00 a.m. at the War Memorial, adjacent to the Towns County School, on Highway 76 East in Hiawassee.

VFW Adjutant Ashford “Ash” Todd invites the community to Post 7807, located at 1329 Sunnyside Road for a hot dog lunch following the ceremony.

 

Featured Image: Retired Naval Veteran Clarence “Bud” Johnson

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

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Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Sheriff Clinton Announces Christmas Parade; Empty Stocking Fund

Sheriff's Desk, Upcoming Events
Towns County Sheriffs Office Parade

From the Desk of Sheriff Chris Clinton:

This year, the Sheriff’s Christmas Parade will be Saturday, November 25, beginning at 5:30pm. The parade will start at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds and end at McConnell Memorial Baptist Church in Hiawassee. Anyone can enter the parade and participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy. Those who wish may also donate to the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. The proceeds from the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking fund go directly to benefit underprivileged children in Towns County, children who might not receive Christmas gifts otherwise.

Last year, thanks to all those who donated, we were able to provide gifts for hundreds of Towns County Children. This year we hope to continue to meet those needs for children who otherwise would not receive Christmas gifts, but we will need your help and continued support. We have already begun to receive donations for the children, and I would like to thank those who have joined us to help in this effort. Each year since 2007, I have had the honor to be a part of something that brings joy to the hearts of those who give, as well as to the children who receive. I am thankful to serve such a caring community.

This year we are again asking those who will, to continue their support of the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking fund. The program is designed in such a manner as to allow the parents to pick up the gifts, or if unable to pick them up due to transportation issues, we will deliver the gifts to the parents. The idea behind the program is to allow the parents to be the ones who give the gifts to their children. It is a wonderful program that brings joy to the hearts of many young children each year. I would like to take this opportunity to say a personal thank you to the entire Sheriff’s Office staff and our CLEA volunteers for working so hard each year to ensure that local children and families have a merry Christmas!

If you are interested in helping by participating in the parade, simply call the Sheriff’s Office at 706/896-4444. You may also drop off donations at the Sheriff’s Office Detention Center located at 4070 State Highway 339, Young Harris, or the Towns County Sheriff’s Office located in the Towns County Courthouse at 48 River Street, Hiawassee.

Thank you for your continued support of this wonderful program. We look forward to another successful year of helping Towns County’s children in need, made possible by your generosity this Christmas season.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Sheriff’s Desk: Fire Safety

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin@FetchYourNews.com

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