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

 

 

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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

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

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

Love for the Lord and the Law of the Land

Feature News
Sheriff Chris Clinton

Hiawassee, GA – Which words come to mind when asked to describe law enforcement? Narration of the enforcement of law? The preservation of peace? A balance of both?

In this day and age, the odds are stacked against “God” and “Love” making it to the top of the majority’s vocabulary list, yet that was the message bestowed upon graduates of the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA), a 20-hour course sponsored by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.

Pastor Steve Taylor of McConnell Baptist Church was the keynote speaker at the ceremony for the seventh edition class which took place on October 3, 2017, in the sanctuary of the majestic church on Main Street.

CLEA VII with Sheriff Chris Clinton and Pastor Steve Taylor

Dozens of graduates and guests gathered in the pews, seated in solemn silence, as Pastor Steve made mention of the Las Vegas tragedy that occurred mere days before, and his gratitude toward those willing to serve in support of peace officers.

The Pastor said he “understands why a program like [CLEA] is necessary. Law enforcement cannot do it alone.” Pastor Steve iterated the shared sentiments of Sheriff Chris Clinton, who listened among his supporters and staff, nodding in agreement throughout the lesson.

The solution to the strife returns to a wise Scripture, according to the Pastor’s teaching: Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Love God. All we do flows from there. And love people,” Pastor Steve Taylor emoted, “We see, but don’t say. We say, but don’t do…There’s confusion in society about what love is. We have to choose to love. Love is conduct, action. Not to get, but to give.”

Pastor Steve imparted his closing thoughts for the Sheriff, his staff, CLEA alumni, and graduates to ponder, “Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.”

The keynotes were followed by a digital presentation of the 10-week journey the graduates traveled in order to arrive with certificates in hand, followed by kind words of appreciation from Sheriff Clinton.

Sheriff Chris Clinton

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton presents certificates to CLEA graduates. Pictured: Colonel Terry Conner and Pastor Steve Taylor

When asked, CLEA alumni David Marrella shared his thoughts on his dedicated public service. He answered with earnest, “It’s a way to give back. The Sheriff’s Office has always taken care of us. I want to give back to them.”

CLEA VII graduate, Richard Parkman, agreed with Mr. Marrella’s response. “I see it as an opportunity to become involved. I support [Sheriff] Chris [Clinton] and law enforcement. This is a people-oriented community.”

It was an event those in attendance are unlikely to forget.

 

Featured Image: (L-R)

CLEA alumni David Marrella, Pastor Steve Taylor, Sheriff Chris Clinton

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

Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit Lands in Hiawassee

News

Hiawassee, GA – Soon-to-be graduates of the Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) were given a firsthand look at a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) helicopter on Tuesday, September 19, at McConnell Baptist Church on Main Street.

Georgia State Patrol helicopter, once owned by best-selling author Patricia Cornwell

The second-to-last session in the 10-week series began with classroom instruction from GSP Corporal Paul Wofford on the history and operations of the state police aviation unit.

CLEA Towns County Sheriff's Office

Georgia State Patrol Aviation Troopers, TFC Jamon Jones and Corporal Paul Wofford

Developed in 1974, the flight unit currently consists of 13 pilots and 12 aircraft. Each helicopter costs approximately $3.5 million dollars and each pilot flies an average of 250-300 hours per year.

There are six field hangars within the state of Georgia, located in Kennesaw, Albany, Gainesville, Perry, Reidsville, and Augusta.

The Georgia State Patrol aviation unit is dispatched to locate missing persons, aid in manhunts, assist with rescue missions, provide fire suppression, and capture aerial surveillance.

Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, Chief Deputy Colonel Terry Conner, and Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw were in attendance.

The final class in the CLEA program will be held at the Towns County Courthouse next week, followed by a tour of the Towns County 911 Dispatch center.

CLEA VII graduation is scheduled to take place at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at McConnell Baptist Church in Hiawassee.

Alumni are invited to attend.

For information on participating in a future Citizen Law Enforcement Academy course, contact the Towns County Sheriff’s Office at 706.896.4444

 

 

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

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