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A Fairmount man was booked into the Bartow County Jail Tuesday night. Michael Berry Sirmans is charged with child molestation and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Records indicate the felony charges occurred in July.

A Bartow County man was convicted Friday by a Murray County Jury. Diego Martin Pena, 39, 193 Bells Ferry Rd., White, was convicted of aggravated child molestation, child molestation and statutory rape. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 22. He faces a life sentence for aggravated child molestation and 20 years each for statutory rape and child molestation. Witness testimony indicated DNA test results showed Pena was the father of the victim's child. The investigation began in 2012. Officials said the acts occurred between 2008 and 2011 when the victim was 11-14 years old.

Gordon County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a couple Monday afternoon around 3:45 pm. Gordon County Jail records show that 40 year-old Christopher Bryan Brown and 41 year-old Pamela Jane Brown are being held pending bond on charges of possession of meth and drug related objects. In an unrelated incident, Gordon County Deputies arrested 24 year-old Dakayla Jade Birchfield of Springdale Drive in Calhoun on a heroin possession charge, and Charles Wilson Hardman, Jr. was arrested for meth possession. Both Birchfield and Hardman were each additonally charged with possession of drug related objects and remain in the Gordon County Jail pendng bond.

Monday Gordon County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a Sugar Valley man after serious charges were filed. Gordon County Jail records show that 31 year-old Randy Dean Lucas, of a Smith Road address, is facing two counts of felony aggravated child molestation, as well as charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and enticing a child for indecent purposes. Details surrounding the investgation have not been released.

A Calhoun man was arrested Sunday night around 6:00 pm and charged with Rape by Calhoun Police. 45 year-old Abel Gomez-Corona was booked into the Gordon County Jail where he remains pending bond proceedings.

56 year-old Kathy Leann Gibson was charged with 21 counts of theft by taking, according to Gordon County Jail records. She was arrested on Monday around 1:00 am by Calhoun Police and released from the Gordon County Jail on $8500 bond.

On Friday, August 25, 2017, at approximately 7:00 p.m. an officer with the Adairsville Police Department was performing routine patrol and observed a suspicious vehicle parked in a cul de sac In Barnsley Village subdivision. The officer observed two people inside the vehicle so he got out with them to further investigate. The male subject, identified later as Joseph Frank Williamson, age 30, of a Calhoun address was sitting in the driver’s seat and a female juvenile passenger, age 15, was sitting in the passenger seat. The officer asked Williamson what they were doing parked here and he stated they were just talking and that he was friends with the juvenile’s mother. The officer asked the juvenile female for her I.D. and she stated she left it at home. When the officer asked her age she first stated she was 18. The officer kept talking with her and she then stated she was 16, then finally revealed she was in fact 15. The officer asked if her mother knew she was with Williamson and she stated no. The officer then contacted the mother of the juvenile, who was at work, and the mother confirmed that the juvenile was not allowed to be with Williamson and also advised the officer that she had told Williamson to stay away from her daughter. The officer then contacted the on-call detective and Williamson was brought to the Police Department for further questioning. During the interview, it was discovered that Williamson and the juvenile had been having sexual relations for over a year. A later search of Williamson’s phone revealed explicit photographs and text messages between Williamson and the juvenile. During questioning Williamson stated the sexual activities took place at his residence located in Calhoun. Williamson was then placed under arrest and transported to the Bartow County Jail. Williamson was subsequently charged by Adairsville Police Department with 75 counts of Child Pornography, 1 count of Enticing A Child For Indecent Purposes, 1 count of Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Minor, and 1 count of Interference With Custody.
Captain T. Pyle with the Calhoun Police Department was notified and stated he would have his on-call detective follow-up with the Adairsville detective. More charges pending in Calhoun.

The City of Calhoun Road Department, through a contract bid awarded to Bartow Paving, have started working on the Peters Street/East May Roundabout Project. The intersection will be closed for approximately three weeks. Calhoun Police are asking motorist to avoid the intersection of Peter’s Street and May Street, which is currently under construction. Detours have been setup on Peter’s Street at Linda Lane and Circle Drive, however you cannot turn onto May Street from Peter’s Street. May Street can be accessed from Wall Street, but drivers are unable to crossover or turn onto Peter’s Street at its intersection with May Street. Motorists are urged to find an alternate route, if possible.

Qualifying for the November General Municipal Election has ended. The following names will appear on the ballot in November: Calhoun: City Council Post 3: Matt Barton (I); George R. Crowley; City Council Post 4: Ray Mitchell Denmon; Alvin Long; Ed Moyer; City School Board Post 1: Andy Baxter; City School Board Post 2: Rhoda Wahsingotn (I); City School Board Post 3: D. David Scoggins (I) Town of Resaca: Council Post 3: Michael Austin; Randy Barrin; Mitch Reed; Town Council Post 4: Sandra R. Adams (I); City of Plainville: City Council Post 3: James R. Miller (I); City Council Post 4: Frances Fossett (I); City of Fairmount: City Council Post 1: Steve Fain (I); City Council Post 3: Jim Dodd (I). You will also be asked this November to decide if there should be term limits on the office of Mayor of Calhoun (to be limited to two consecutive terms) and for the City Council (members to be limited to three consecutive terms). There's also a non-binding referendum asking if the number of city council members should be increased from four to six. A Candidates Forum will be held at The Depot tonight from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Local attorney Jesse Vaughn moderate the event for local candidates. The community is invited to attend. Early voting will begin and absentee ballots will be available at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office on Monday, October 16.

The Calhoun City Council recently approved a motion for the Rivers to Ridge Primitive weapons deer hunting season opens Saturday, October 14th. Last year, almost 42,000 hunters took to the woods with muzzleloaders, bringing in almost 6,000 deer, according to the Ga. Department of Natural Resources.

October is #BreastCancerAwareness Month. Gordon Hospital's annual fundraiser Run for Your Life 5K will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, October 24th. The proceeds of Run for Your Life will benefit breast cancer services at Gordon Hospital. Race-day check-in and registration begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Hospital, and the 5K begins at 6 p.m. Cherokee Capital Amateur Radio Society will provide and assist with communications for the event. For more information, visit Gordon Hospital.com.

The VAC is offering Senior Christmas Meal Boxes. If you or someone you know is 60 or older and would benefit from a Christmas meal box contact the VAC at 706-629-7283, go online to www.voluntaryactioncenter.org or stop by the VAC at 343 South Wall Street in Calhoun.

Calhoun and Gordon County Red Ribbon Week is being celebrated October 23-27, 2017. Red Ribbon Week is an annual drug awareness campaign that provides an opportunity to bring parents, schools, businesses and others together to help create a drug-free community. Area schools will hold special days to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. The 2017 National Red Ribbon Week theme is: Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free™. Red ribbons will be displayed all over Calhoun and Gordon County during the week, and all businesses and organizations are encouraged to display red.

Firearms deer season opens next week. Deer hunters can take to the woods starting next Saturday, October 21st and continue through January 14, 2018. During firearm deer season last year almost 320,000 hunters harvested 260,765 deer in the state. The use of regulated deer hunting ensures that Ga's deer population continues to be healthy and strong. Licenses can be purchased online at http://georgiawildlife.com/

Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said his Office has received reports of an individual posing as a deputy sheriff telling citizens that they have missed jury duty, and must send money for a fine via wire/internet services. Sheriff Ralston says this is absolutely bogus, and that his staff - or any local, state or federal law enforcement agency. NEVER collects fines, and certainly never solicits any type of funds by telephone. This fictitious caller may even use a familiar sounding name, Ralston said. DO NOT SEND MONEY to such callers by any means or under any circumstances. Anyone who misses jury duty would be visited by a uniformed deputy sheriff in a clearly marked vehicle, and no fines are collected by deputies. The criminals orchestrating these scams use untraceable cellphones, and are often located outside the United States. If you receive any such suspicious call, contact the Sheriff’s Office to verify the identity of the caller. BEWARE of all internet and telephone scams and do NOT release any personal or financial account information to anyone.

Caroline Stephens from Tolbert Elementary School was named Gordon County Schools’ District Teacher of the Year during the Teacher of the Year Banquet held recently. Other finalists included Christy Smith from Fairmount Elementary and Julie Thomas from Sonoraville Elementary School. n addition to the gifts presented to the other finalists, Caroline received an Apple Watch, as well as the opportunity to attend any conference of her choice during the 2017-18 school year, with all fees and expenses paid by the school district. Caroline will go on the represent Gordon County Schools in Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.

Gordon County was first certified as a Storm Ready community in 2005. Gordon County has continued to improve capabilities each year with each renewal of the Storm Ready designation. This 2017 renewal marks the 5th renewal of Storm Ready in Gordon County.
Storm Ready is a nationwide program that helps communities better protect their citizens during severe weather from tornadoes to tropical storms. The program encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations. Storm Ready provides emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.

This Week's Gordon Environmental Health Scores:
That Place - 80; Hardees Hwy 41N - 81; Hardees Hwy 53 - 86; Subway Fairmount - 87; SoHo Hibachi - 90; Peng's Pavillion - 90; Fairmount Drugs - 92; Cheeseburger Bobby's - 96

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

Georgia Power issued a warning for customers of criminal "scam artists" trying to defraud both business and residential customers over the phone. The scam artists are known to pose as Ga.Power employees asking customers to provide credit card information or purchase a pre-paid debit card and provide the card's account number to avoid disconnection. Customers should be reminded to be cautious and never provide personal information such as a credit card or social security number to an unverified person.

Shale gas drilling is slowing across the country, but a few companies are poking around the state looking for the next natural gas "play." An Oklahoma-based company that leased 7,500 acres of land in Whitfield County has two test wellsalready in place and they say they plan another. In Floyd County, near Cave Spring, a Texas oil conglomerate plans a well. At least three other companies have recently researched the Conasauga shale field, a swath of land that runs from Alabama across Georgia and into Tennessee. Georgia joins Tennessee and North Carolina as Southern states newly popular with wildcatters and major gas and oil companies.

The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to be on the lookout for scam callers seeking to get victims to say the word “yes” during a call and later use a recording of the response to authorize unwanted charges on the victim's utility or credit card account. According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer. The scam begins when a consumer answers a call and the person at the end of the line asks, “Can you hear me?” The caller then records the consumer's "Yes" response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone. If you receive this type of call, immediately hang up. If you have already responded to this type of call, review all of your statements such as those from your bank, credit card lender, or telephone company for
unauthorized charges. If you notice unauthorized charges on these and other types of statements, you have likely been a victim of “cramming”. Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker and to the FCC Consumer Help Center. Consumers should always be on alert for telephone scams. The following tips can help ward off unwanted calls and scams:
Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls,
just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. As the Agency that implements and enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the FCC reviews all consumer complaints. The Agency will continue, when appropriate, to issue consumer alerts based on
those complaints and other public information related to possible scams and frauds in hopes of informing
and empowering consumers.
GA Attorney General Chris Carr is warning the public about a phony email circulating that purports to be from the “Department of Consumer Affairs.” The email, which allegedly targets attorneys, says that a complaint has been filed against the recipient’s company and urges recipients to click on a link to view the complaint. This email is NOT from the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit or any other legitimate government entity. It is a fake email. Clicking on the link or attachment provided may allow the scammer to install malware on your computer. The scam has been reported in Georgia and South Carolina.

What Else Is Happening?

Public Health officials confirmed Ga's sixth West Nile virus death this year after a Polk County resident died. Officials said underlying health conditions contributed to his death. Public health officials have confirmed one nonfatal case in Floyd County and another fatal case in Catoosa County. In Georgia there have been at least 20 cases so far this year with at least three West Nile related deaths. The most effective way to avoid West Nile is to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellents, wear long sleeves and pants from dark through dawn when mosquitoes are most active, install or repair screens, Tip n' Toss standing water from flowerpots, gutters, discarded tires, etc. and use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking.

The Georgia Trust's Places in Peril program is seeking nominations for the 2018 list of Places in Peril. The program wants to identify and preserve historic sites threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The top ten designees are selected in the fall. Nomination forms are available at www.georgiatrust.org.

The Gordon County Board of Education has approved school calendars for the next three academic years, and approved a recommendation concerning make-up days for this year. You can view the system's approved calendars here.

The Calhoun Police Department was recently awarded the 2017 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the mini-grant, Calhoun Police Department, Gordon County Fire Department, Georgia State Patrol, Safe Kids Dalton, Calhoun Fire Department and Gordon EMS provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Calhoun and Gordon County. This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. For more information about the Calhoun Gordon County car seat program, contact Calhoun Police at 706-629-1234, County Fire at 706-629-8851, GSP at 706-624-1477 or Calhoun Fire Department at 706-629-2244. If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at injury@dph.ga.gov or by calling 404-679-0500.

The internet can be a highly dangerous place, especially for impressionable tweens and teens. The internet is crawling with predators, and if your child comes into contact with one, their life could be in danger. Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s computer, cell phone and tablet. There are numerous sites parents can view that offer advice and tips pertaining to internet safety for kids and teens. Here are just a few that may prove helpful: safekids.com, webmd.com, kids.usa.gov and kidshealth.org.

For Local School Events
Calhoun City Schools - www.calhounschools.org
Gordon County Schools -
www.gcbe.org
Georgia Cumberland Academy -
www.gcasda.org

Help Build A Home for a Desrving Family
Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County is searching for talented volunteers to build a new home. Anyone interested is invited to call 706-625-9929 for more information.

+ Save A Life: Give Blood +
Find out how you can save a life. Go to www.bloodassurance.org or www.redcrossblood.org

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