Local News

Fewer than 10 votes separate commission chairman from challenger

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Fewer than 6,000 of the 30,462 registered Jackson County voters took part in Tuesday’s primary, and the closely-watched contest between incumbent Commission Chairman Tom Crow and challenger Ben Stephens was separated by a mere eight votes, according to unofficial results.

Incumbents facing opponents fared well throughout the county with District 1 Commissioner Jim Hix outballoting Dan Torbett 68.9 percent to 31 percent, Sen. Frank Ginn receiving 76 percent of the Jackson County votes to opponent Tyler Hollifield’s almost 24 percent, Rep. John Wilkinson tallying almost 70 percent against challenger Roy Benifield’s 30 percent and Rep. Tommy Benton securing re-election in a 73 percent to 26 percent contest with Wes Lewis.

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First commercial StormReady site in Georgia: Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

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Braselton hospital is state’s first commercial StormReady community: On hand for the presentation ceremony was Northeast Georgia Health System Director of Security and Safety Services Mike Raderstorf, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist David J. Nadler, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton president Anthony Williamson, emergency preparedness manager Jennifer Davis and security coordinator for the Braselton campus and Northeast Georgia Health System emergency director Kristopher J. Prickett.

Braselton hospital is state’s first commercial StormReady community: On hand for the presentation ceremony was Northeast Georgia Health System Director of Security and Safety Services Mike Raderstorf, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist David J. Nadler, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton president Anthony Williamson, emergency preparedness manager Jennifer Davis and Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton campus security supervisor Kristopher J. Prickett.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton is Georgia’s first commercial StormReady site, and signs promoting the National Weather Service designated will be going up.

Thursday’s presentation  first hospital in the state to develop a proactive response plan to receive and monitor important weather information 24 hours a day and disseminate that information to staff, patients and visitors.

The hospital, which opened April 1, 2015, was already putting StormReady practices in action just days after it began accepting patients as a tornado seemed to have Braselton in its path, according to hospital president Anthony Williamson. Fortunately, the storm passed but the medical center’s staffers put preparedness exercises and efforts to the test.

The StormReady community designation began in 1999 and initially started with cities and counties but now is expanding to universities and beyond.

David J. Nadler, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, was on hand Thursday to present the certificate and initial StormReady sign.

Continue reading First commercial StormReady site in Georgia: Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

Four charged in attempted break-in at local convenience store

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Four suspects are in custody in the Madison County Jail on charges related to a May 3 attempted break-in at D’s Chevron in Jackson County.

An alarm sounded at the store and the alarm company notified the owner who found the store’s glass door had been shattered, according to reports from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Video footage revealed a black SUV-type vehicle pull to the front of the store and three males, dressed in dark clothing and appearing to wear masks, gloves and hoodies, exited the vehicle and begin hitting the door with an unknown object.  After a few seconds, the suspects left the scene.

A lookout about the attempted burglary was transmitted to area law enforcement and a copy was sent to the Hart County Sheriff’s Office because of similar burglaries at stores located there.

Continue reading Four charged in attempted break-in at local convenience store

EMS Appreciation Week marked by NGHS

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Georgia Health System is celebrating National Emergency Services (EMS) Appreciation Northeast Week during the week of May 15.

During this week, hospitals, communities, healthcare organizations, survivors and EMS agencies will recognize the EMS professionals who help save lives every day.  It is a time to reflect on the past year’s achievements, and for responders in Hall, Jackson, Barrow and Gwinnett, this includes the addition of a new hospital to their area.  In 2015, the new Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton opened, providing easier access to healthcare for the surrounding communities.

“Frequently, EMS is faced with driving a long distance to Gainesville,” says Jason Grady, Regional STEMI coordinator for NGMC.  “This can be problematic, depending on the patient’s condition.  With the opening of NGMC Braselton, however, EMS can now provide the same top notch care for their patients closer to their communities and have faster results.”

Continue reading EMS Appreciation Week marked by NGHS

Windstream contractor work interrupts 911, phones in Jackson County for approximately 4 hours

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Jackson County experienced a phone system failure just after 12:30 a.m. on May 9 which disabled the entire 911 facility in Jefferson, prompting 911 lines to be rerouted to Hall County. The outage also affected the Jackson County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Office.

After evaluation, it was discovered that Windstream Communications was having a private contractor replace some of the system components near the courthouse on General Jackson Parkway, and the replacement shut the phone systems down for the area.

No government offices were notified of this possible outage and only learned of the outage when the alarms in 911 sounded there was a problem. No lost calls were noted.

The phone system service was restored at 4:30 a.m.

The situation is being evaluated by government officials and Windstream to prevent future problems.