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Jasper, Ga – Authorities have met a major incident as they executed a search warrant at the local A1 Smoke Shop in Jasper, Georgia.
During the execution of the search warrant today, September 14, members of the Drug Task Force, Pickens Sheriff’s Office, and Jasper City Police were exposed to an unidentified substance that immediately brought down one detective. Others also became exposed in attempts to help treat the detective. According to an official release by Sgt. Jody Weaver, Administrative Services Division of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office, “As of this release, two Detectives, a DTF Agent and two EMS personnel are being treated now for symptoms.”
Unconfirmed reports indicate the substance may have been made airborne during the search, but reports at this time indicate the exposure is not life-threatening.
According to their official release, “The Cherokee County Hazardous Materials Team has dispatched to the scene to assist, along with all surrounding public safety agencies including the Pickens Fire & EMS and City of Jasper Fire.”
Additionally, authorities have closed businesses in close proximity to the location and evacuated citizens from the area for safety.
With Haz-Mat teams investigating the substances, authorities are declining to release certain details of the active investigation, but indicate that they will be releasing more information about the incident later.
With the recent rise of vaping devices being used to inhale drugs ranging from Methamphetamines to THC Oil to Synthetic Marijuana, it is likely this warrant could be part of an official response to the trend in our schools, though no official statement identifies why they were executing a search warrant. The District Attorney’s office is currently undertaking a series of assemblies at the middle and high schools of Pickens, Fannin, and Gilmer.
At this point, it is actually quite common to find controlled substances in vape devices across America, especially in schools as reports continue to flood the media about students falling unconscious or having severe reactions, even seizures because of what they may or may not know they are inhaling.
See the full media release below:
“Pickens County law enforcement have encountered a suspected unknown powder substance during execution of a search warrant – Deputies and other public safety adversely affected.”
On the morning of Friday, September 14, 2018, the Drug Task Force, along with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office and the City of Jasper Police Department executed a search warrant at the A-1 Smoke Shop located at 684 West Church Street in Jasper, Georgia. During the search of the premises, a Detective with the Pickens Sheriff’s Office came in contact with an unknown substance which immediately resulted in the Detective experiencing adverse health conditions and symptoms. The affected Detective was transported to the local hospital for immediate treatment. Public safety personnel who were exposed while treating the affected Detective also began experiencing similar reactions. As of this release, two Detectives, a DTF Agent and two EMS personnel are being treated now for symptoms.
The Cherokee County Hazardous Materials Team has dispatched to the scene to assist, along with all surrounding public safety agencies including the Pickens Fire & EMS and City of Jasper Fire. Businesses in close proximity to the location have been evacuated as a safety precaution, and Haz-Mat teams are preparing to enter the premises to thoroughly investigate and identify the cause of the health issues with our public safety personnel.
As this is an active investigation, more information will be provided as it becomes available.
ELLIJAY, GA – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners held the budget review sessions in preparation for the 2018 Budget.
The videos below document the departments with which the Commissioners spoke. Citizens can attend the Budget Finalization Meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. or stay with Fetch Your News for updates after the meeting.
Probate Court, Elections
Code & Regulatory Compliance
Whitepath Golf Course
Tax Assessor, Board of Assessors
Road Department, Solid Waste, Maintenance Shop, Airport
Planning & Zoning
Clerk of Superior Court, Board of Equalization
Park & Recreation
Sheriff, Detention Cener, E-911
Fire & EMS, EMA
Courthouse & Facilities
CHERRY LOG, GA – FYN has obtained the 911 call from the passerby who attempted to stop and help the 61-year-old Kathy Nichelson who was injured and later died from the dog attack.
The caller was bitten in his attempt to aid Nichelson. However, he did manage to get away from the dog and back to his car before dialing 911, according to authorities.
The call is short but the caller does say the lady was bit on her throat, while he was bit on the chin. Further details are not available at this time, but stay with FYN as further updates become available.
CHERRY LOG, GA – Updates are coming now for the woman found dead in Cherry Log yesterday, September 28.
According to the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, Kathy Sue Nichelson died from an attack by a pit bull on Goose Island Road. It is now confirmed that a second person was attacked when trying to help Nichelson, but did not receive serious injuries.
Deputies were forced to fire upon the animal, according to the Sheriff’s Press Release, killing it.
Officials are not releasing details at this time on the dog or its owner, but are assuring citizens that the investigation is continuing.
The official press release from the Gilmer Sheriff states:
A-61-year old woman died after being attacked by a Pit Bull Thursday, Sept. 28th, at 890 Goose Island Rd. The woman, identified as Kathy Sue Nichelson, was attacked shortly after arriving at the residence. A passerby saw Ms. Nichelson on the ground and stopped to render aid. The dog attacked him as well, and he escaped to his vehicle where he was able to call 911. He received non life-threatening injuries.
Law enforcement and EMS arrived soon after. Law enforcement attempted to keep the animal at bay while EMS tried to treat Nichelson. During this time, the animal came towards public safety personnel aggressively, and the animal was put down by deputies.
An investigation into the animal’s behavior and its owner are ongoing. More information may be available once the investigation is completed.
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Several items are setting the path for the Commissioners to move through the end of the year and even to already begin looking into next year in the county.
Even what some call minor items like the Commissioner’s Memorandum of Understanding to allow the Gilmer County Boys and Girls Club to start processes for attaining the County’s Lease Agreement to expand their facilities at the Civic Center show that the Board is looking forward to the process. While Chairman Paris mentioned at the meeting that this is not a full resolution for the agreement, it is a type of agreement to say they will offer the lease in an effort for the Club to begin fund-raising for the project and processes before the County sits down to formally enter an agreement with the Club. This process also allows the early processes for the Club to begin such as designs. Basically, a “pre-agreement” allows these situations to develop with the understanding that the lease will be offered at the correct time. The Commissioners also set the Memorandum of Understanding to include that the Boys and Girls Club will follow Building Code Regulations and regulations on the Flood Zone as they look to construct a new building next to the Civic Center. This agreement has been discussed over the last severl Commissioner Workshops and will continue as the process develops into rest of this year and on into 2017.
Another item many citizens were paying attention to may have surprised many. A failure to motion may actually be considered by citizens as a type of Approval. Indeed, the Board allowed an item to fail at the meeting with a specific reason. As consideration was held for an ordinance to allow registration and use of UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles, otherwise known as “Side-by-Sides”) on the County Roads, Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stated, “We don’t find anything prohibiting this and we see no need for a county ordinance specifically allowing it.” The Commissioners then moved to take no action on the item, however, the statement seems to allow the usage of these vehicles as there is no restriction against it currently.
New action came for the EMS and Ambulance Transport Fees Ordinance as a Public Hearing and First Reading for the Ordinance were held Thursday, October 13. No citizens came to speak at the Hearing, and the Commissioners approved the First Reader. However, there is still time to contact Chairman Paris at the Board of Commissioners office or to attend November’s Commissioner Meeting to voice any questions citizens may have. If the second reading is approved, Gilmer County could see these Fees implemented as early as December 1st, pending the actual language in the Approval. As they are collected, these fees will be put into the General Fund of the County, credited as revenue generated from Emergency Medical Services for Budget purposes.
Financially, the Commissioners also made moves to support future services in the County by awarding a bid to Pictometry as part of a proposal for Ortho and Oblique Imagery Deliverables. This is a part of the Counties recent moves toward updating the aerial photography for the County. Another item discussed over several months, this item began with an initial proposal from Pictometry, but was later put to Bid as required by County Ordinance. The project comes on the heels of a previous Consent Order to the County, but also as the County looks forward to using this in Planning and Zoning to verify information as well as other possible County departments including a potential Law Enforcement usage once discussed in specific situations requiring an area view including buildings. While Pictometry was not the lowest bid offered, Chairman Paris offered a description stating the two received bids were not actually an “Apples-to-Apples” comparison. Meaning the other bid did not include all wanted options in its base bid. After adding in all desired options put in the Bid Requests, Pictometry became the lowest bid.
The Road Department is also receiving budget amendments as they seek to move forward on projects. One such project was approved up to $25,000 to cover repairs to the Parks Road Bridge. The Bridge was primarily damaged in the early December floods of last year, but has continued slowly degrading in the proceeding months as continued use and heavy trucks wore on the damage.
The second approval covered up to $40,000 for the cost of a Paving Roller to continue maintenance of Gilmer’s Roads. The County’s previous Roller’s bearings were damaged. Due to the age and difficulty to find parts, Chairman Paris has said it is a question of reliability and cost-effectiveness of continuing to repair the current Roller, and instead the Board has decided to began looking for a newer used Roller for usage.
For more information about these stories or to follow the Commissioners process through both its Work Session and Regular Meeting, check out FYN’s videos of the Meetings below.
Though not fully approved yet, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners are considering an addition to the County’s EMS Services, specifically in the Ambulance Fees.
The new fee would encompass Ambulance calls to people who then refuse transport to the hospital. Originally presented to the Commissioners by Tony Pritchett, the new fee is said to be an answer to repeated calls by individuals who will then refuse transport in order to avoid paying for the medical care rendered.
One example offered at a Commissioners work session involved a person requiring services and an ambulance rushes out and administers Epinephrine to the patient. The patient then refuses transport to the hospital for follow-up care. Pritchett states that EMS then has no way to recoup the cost of medicines for the service.
While originally seemingly hesitant to begin applying a fee on all non-transport calls, the Commissioners are currently considering the following structure including a “zero-cost” for first time non-transport calls, but a $100 fee for repeated calls to help recover costs.
- “Fire chief” shall mean the Fire Chief of Gilmer County Fire and Emergency Services, Gilmer County, Georgia.
The following is the schedule of fees that shall be charged by the fire chief for ambulance and transport services rendered by the Gilmer County Fire and Emergency Services:
- Advanced Life Support Transport …..$550.00
- ALS LVL2 Transport …..$750.00
- Advanced Life Support Emergent …..$650.00
- Basic Life Support …..$400.00
- Basic Life Support Emergent …..$500.00
- Specialty Care Transport …..$850.00
- Non-transport …..$0.00 for the first non-transport, each successive non-transport $100.00
- Mileage (ALS and BLS), per mile …..$15.00
Mileage shall include the distance between the patient’s point of pickup and the receiving facility. This charge shall be applied for both in and out of county transports.
From time to time, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Gilmer County Fire Services, the above ambulance and transport fees may be revised as deemed necessary by resolution of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners.
Collection of fees.
The fire chief shall issue invoices for such services as set forth in this chapter and shall collect such fees on behalf of Gilmer County.
Citizens are invited to offer their opinions on the change at a Public Hearing next Thursday, October 13, at 5:00 pm. The Commissioners are also holding their Regular Meeting following that hearing to vote on the First Reader of the change before a second-and-final reading would be held in November’s meeting.