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Crews Receives Certificate of Excellence

Pictured: (left) Mara Shaw, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia, City of Dalton Alderman Gary Crews, and Boyd Austin, Mayor of Dallas, GA and President of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Dalton Councilmember Gary Crews received the prestigious Certificate of Excellence from the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta on Jan. 22.

The Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute, a cooperative effort of GMA and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, provides a nationally recognized series of training opportunities for elected city officials. To receive a Certificate of Excellence, a city official must complete a minimum of 120 units of credit, including at least 54 hours from the required list and the Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute. The training program consists of a series of more than 50 courses.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” said GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton. “We commend Crews for this accomplishment and for the de

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, research, training, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its 521 member cities.

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Whitfield County Emergency Management Urges Residents to Get Ready for Severe Weather

Severe Weather Preparedness Week Observed Feb. 6-10

(Dalton) – What do floods, tornadoes, lightning, and wildfires have in common? They have more in common than you think – they are all dangerous and can occur suddenly, sometimes with little to no warning as well as cause disruption to basic services such as telephone, power, and water. It is important to be prepared before they occur – it could be the difference between life or death.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week runs from February 6-10, and it’s a great time to make sure you and your family are prepared.

During Severe Weather Preparedness Week, each day focuses on a different type of threat that could be faced. Whitfield County Emergency Management encourages all residents to take a few minutes each day to learn about how to deal with each emergency and take steps to become more prepared.

“In an emergency, first responders may not be able to reach you immediately, basic services may be cut off, or you may be unable to leave home for several days,” said Claude Craig, Whitfield County Emergency Management Director. “I encourage everyone to take time each day during Severe Weather Preparedness Week to assess their level of preparedness and take steps to review and improve their plans.”

The week’s activities begin with Family Preparedness Day on Monday, February 6, when Whitfield County households are encouraged to make sure their NOAA Weather Radios are in working condition and change the batteries that are used when the power fails. Emergency Management staff can assist you in doing this by contacting 706-259-3730 or ema@whitfieldcountyga.com.

The theme for each day is listed below.

Monday, Feb. 2 – Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day

Tuesday, Feb. 3 – Thunderstorm Safety

Wednesday, Feb. 4 – Tornado Safety and PrepareAthon! For Tornado Safety

Thursday, Feb. 5 – Lightning Safety

Friday, Feb. 6 – Flood Safety (alternate PrepareAthon! For Tornado Safety)

On Wednesday, when tornado safety is emphasized, residents, schools and businesses countywide are encouraged to participate in a tornado drill. The drill will be held at 9:00 AM – and all you need to do to take part is to have a tornado drill wherever you are at that time. Think about “Low, Center, Cover.” Go to the lowest floor of the structure that is the most interior (center) area and cover your head. This tornado drill is held in conjunction with Ready Georgia’s PrepareAthon! For Tornado Safety, a statewide tornado drill.

Whitfield County residents can like the Whitfield County Emergency Management Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whitfield-County-Emergency-Management/193723213973178) for preparedness and emergency information. For more information about Severe Weather Preparedness Week, visit Whitfield County Emergency Management at 804 Professional Blvd in Dalton, call 706-259-3730, or email ema@whitfieldcountyga.com.

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DPD Seeks Suspects In Burglary-Updated

Update from Dalton PD:

To update the press release from yesterday on the two subjects we were trying to identify that were suspects in the burglary on Westerly Drive, those two individuals were identified and made contact with our investigator. After an interview this morning, they aren’t considered suspects in the burglary at this time. They’re not cleared completely, but our investigator does not consider them suspects at this time. He’s still working on the case.

By Bruce Frazier:

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying two suspects in a residential burglary. The suspects stole a number of Apple products from the home including three iPads, one iPad mini, two iPod Touch devices, and an iPhone 5s.

The burglary happened sometime between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm on January 26th at a residence on Westerly Drive in Dalton. After returning home, the homeowners noticed that their side door was standing open and noticed that several drawers in their bedroom were left partially open.

After an investigation, Dalton detectives obtained two pictures of suspects in the case which are included with this release. The suspects are a white male and a white female who both appear to be in their late teens or early 20’s. The female suspect has a piercing in her bottom lip.

Anyone with information on the identity of these two suspects is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 189.

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Ferret Stolen From Pet Store, Length Of Winter Unaffected-Updated

Updated: 

Our long national nightmare’s over, the ferret has been found and returned to the store. The suspect in the case was identified thanks to the help of multiple tips called in. The suspect is not yet in custody, but when we do charge him we’ll release his name and info. But thanks to all of you for helping us get the word out.

By Bruce Frazier:

It may be Groundhog Day, but the Dalton Police Department is more interested in finding a ferret. The theft of one of the furry critters from a Dalton pet store was recorded by store surveillance, and investigators are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect.

The incident happened January 27th at the Petland store at 1349 West Walnut Avenue. Shortly after 8:30 pm, a group of six people, two males and four females entered the store and spent several minutes walking around together. The group left the store and then came back inside a few minutes later before finally leaving together. Then at approximately 9:40 pm, one of the males and two females came back to the store. The females went to the area near the puppy cages while the male suspect went to the ferret cage. The male suspect spent several minutes with his hands in the cage, apparently concealing a baby ferret valued at $230 in his shirt sleeve. He then walked out of the store quickly (but not as quickly as if he’d been startled by his own shadow). A police incident report notes that the suspect “quickly walked out of the store while contorting his arm at odd angles and moving it around as if he were concealing something within his long sleeves.” After the suspect left, the two females quickly left the store together immediately afterwards.

The suspect is a black male with short black hair. He wore a thick black jacket inside of the store. Surveillance images of the suspect and the other five people he came into the store with are included with this release. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or the five people he was traveling with is asked to please contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 189.

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7 PARKING SPACES AT WHITFIELD COURTHOUSE CHANGING TO 30-MIN. PARKING ONLY

By Mitch Talley:

Within the next few weeks, residents will see a difference in the available parking at the public entrance of the Whitfield County Courthouse on Selvidge Street.

Some of the parking spaces will be converted into  “30 Minutes Parking Only” parking spaces following agreements between the Dalton City Council and the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners  that aim to provide better service to the public who visit the courthouse each day.

Converting these parking spaces into short-term parking will allow better access for those who only need to be at the courthouse a short time (for example, renewing or purchasing a vehicle tag.)

“We hope this will also assist our elderly citizens who find it difficult parking a longer distance from the courthouse,” said Capt. Steven Fields, Court Services Division, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. “No present handicap parking spaces will be changed.”

The short-term parking spaces will be identified by markings painted on the pavement of each parking space designated as “30 Minute Parking Only.” The spaces that will change are three spaces north of the entrance and four spaces south of the entrance

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Dalton State Athletics Announces Reorganization Plan

DALTON–(Jan. 26)–Dalton State College will cut four NAIA-sponsored sports teams, the cheerleading program, add one sport, and scale back two others as it reorganizes its intercollegiate athletics program into one it can afford to maintain.

Men’s and women’s tennis will be dropped from the 10-team roster as will women’s volleyball and men’s cross country. The cheer program, which is not an NAIA sanctioned sport at Dalton State, will be eliminated, and scholarships for men’s soccer and men’s golf will be scaled back unless or until private support can be developed to bring them back to full strength.

The other remaining sports: men’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s golf, and women’s cross country, will also be financially impacted but on a smaller scale. Women’s track and field will be added with athletes from the cross country team participating.

Administrators estimate that program cuts and other budget tightening measures will save approximately $1 million.

“The good news is that athletics continues at Dalton State but in a more sustainable fashion,” said Interim Athletic Director Jon Jaudon. “This plan allows us to maintain the excellent results we desire. Our goal is to compete for and win conference and national championships.”

The new configuration of seven sports teams will not only be more financially sustainable but will bring the program into compliance with Title IX requirements for gender equity. Jaudon explained that allocation of athletic participation and resources must ultimately reflect the 60/40 female to male composition of the Dalton State student population.

The new model takes effect July 1.

“To say this has been a difficult process is an understatement,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of the College. “These teams have performed spectacularly, and many of these athletes are also very fine students. They came here to play and earn a Dalton State degree. They will no longer be competing as Roadrunners, and some of them will leave us to continue their athletic careers elsewhere. That is understandable, and we wish them the very best. Those scholarship athletes who wish to stay to complete their degrees here will receive financial assistance to do so.

“I apologize to the athletes, their coaches, their families, and their fans that we have to take this difficult action; there just is no other alternative,” she said. “We must design an athletic program we can afford to maintain.”

Jaudon said he is cautiously optimistic that sufficient financial support will be developed to maintain men’s soccer and golf at or near their current levels. “The support for our teams and athletics as a whole continues to be very high. That support is needed more than ever as we strive for excellence,” he said.

The College’s athletic program grew from seven sports to 10 (plus cheer) in its first three years, outpacing financial resources available to sustain it. Despite generous support from private donors, disbursement of initial start-up funds was accelerated beyond their associated timelines. The financial model reflected revenue distributions where 65 percent were coming from private sources and only 35 percent deriving from predictable revenue sources, including student fees.

The program’s financial woes first came to light during a routine Presidential Transition Audit ordered by the University System of Georgia following the appointment of Venable as president in 2015. A deeper dive into the books revealed the weakness of the financial model and the fact that most of the start-up funds had been depleted years ahead of schedule. Jaudon joined the department as Interim Athletic Director last July after a search for a fulltime AD was suspended in light of financial shortfalls.

“Our athletic program remains a vital part of the Dalton State experience, and it is critically important as we strive to become a first-choice destination college to students of this region and beyond,” Venable said.

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Quick Change Flim-Flam Artist Rips Off Restaurant

By Bruce Frazier:

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who tricked a local cashier into letting him walk out of a restaurant with $92 in stolen cash. The suspect asked for change for a large bill and kept the cashier confused until he was able to walk out with his money and also the restaurant’s.

The theft happened at the Zaxby’s at 872 College Drive in Dalton. Shortly after 9:45 pm on January 5th, a man entered the Zaxby’s and ordered a chicken finger plate and handed the cashier a $100 bill. He then asked the cashier to wait, stating that he had exact change. When the cashier handed back the $100, the suspect started to argue. After a few rounds of the exchange, a penny was introduced into the equation. Eventually, the confused cashier gave the suspect $92 from the cash register without realizing the suspect had never handed back over the $100. The cashier didn’t realize the error until the suspect walked out of the restaurant, dumping his chicken finger order into the trash can on his way out.

The suspect is a black male who appears to be in his late teens or early 20’s. He wore a black quilted style jacket with slacks and black sneakers and a gray or green toboggan hat. He wore a stud earring in one ear. Pictures of the suspect are included with this release.

Anyone with information on the identity of this man is asked to please contact Detective Aaron Simpson at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 253.

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Dalton Area Weather from WDNN

Now on Optilink 216 – Charter 13

Now on Optilink 216 – Charter 13