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July 17, 2008 Issue

Incumbents keep seats
Jefferson Hospital Foundation revitalized
Health fair focuses on community
S.O. to hold firearms defense class

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Incumbents keep seats

By Faye Ellison and Jessica Newberry
Staff Writers

All but one incumbent held onto their seats in the primary elections in Jefferson and Glascock counties Tuesday. For Jefferson County, all local elections were decided by the end of the night, while in Glascock County many of the local elections will be decided by a runoff in August and in the November regular election.


Jefferson County

Keeping their seats were Sheriff Gary Hutchins, Coroner Edward James, Commission Chairman William Rabun and County Commissioner Tommy New. Of the 10,463 registered voters in Jefferson County, 4,043 cast ballots. Provisional ballots, those cast by voters who lacked appropriate picture identification, will be counted later this week.

In the race for sheriff, Hutchins retained office with 2,280 votes. Wrens Police Chief David Hannah showed a strong front winning by 163 votes in his city of employment, but losing slightly in several of the other precincts. In all, Hutchins took 59.41 percent of the votes, 722 votes more than Hannah's 1,558.

In the coroner’s race, incumbent James kept a strong lead over former coroner Johnny Nelson, carrying every precinct. James garnered 2,346 votes, while Nelson received 1,394.

Jefferson County re-elected current County Commission Chairman William Rabun. Rabun took 53.05 percent, or 1,974 votes over former chairman Gardner Hobbs' 1,747.

The District 4 County Commissioner seat was kept by incumbent Tommy New. Incumbent New won with 686 votes. Sherrod had 309.

Former Assistant District Attorney Hayward Altman carried Jefferson County by 54.42 percent of the total vote. Altman chalked up 1,805 to current DA Steve Askew’s 1,512. The results from other counties in this district-wide race were unavailable at press time.

In November, the Board of Education race will be decided along with the Presidential nomination.

Glascock County

While some races were determined in Glascock County, others will be decided during the November election. On Tuesday, 1,021 of the 1,692 or 60.34 percent of registered voters in the county turned out to cast their ballots.

In the Republican Glascock County Sheriff primary, J.J. Cooper lost to Steven Mathis, with Cooper receiving 35 votes to Mathis’ 51.

In the Democratic Glascock County Sheriff primary, Incumbent Sheriff Dean Couch won with 673 votes to Bryan Bopp’s 230 votes.

Incumbent County Treasurer Audrey Chalker won with 556 votes. Judy Deal garnered only 281 votes.

Glascock County Commission Mill District incumbent Johnny Crutchfield lost his seat to Wayne Williford. Crutchfield received 395 votes to Williford’s 416.

In the Commissioner race for the Mitchell-Edgehill District, incumbent Anthony Griswell received 412 votes, while Tyler Fowler earned 287 and Trey Franks 153. On Aug. 5, there will be a runoff for Griswell and Fowler. There will be advance voting for this runoff as well.

Seats that will be determined in November include the Probate/Magistrate Judge seat between Denise Dallas and Misty May; the County Commission Chairman seat; Glascock County Sheriff seat between Couch and Mathis; County Commissioner in the Gibson District between incumbent Joe Dixon Jr. and Mike Neal; and Board of Education seats.

Jefferson Hospital Foundation revitalized

Jefferson Hospital's Foundation has been newly revitalized in an effort to help raise funding to assist the hospital in its mission to provide exceptional care and promote community wellness. Hospital CEO Heyward Wells III poses here with Foundation board members Mark D. Davis, Pat Darden, Stephanie G. Blumer and Betty Smith.


Health fair focuses on community

By Jessica Newberry
Staff Writer

Wondering how healthy you are? Try climbing a rock wall, navigating an obstacle course, or get a free health screening at Jefferson Hospital’s Family Fun Health Fair on Saturday, July 19. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., a variety of health screens as well as hospital tours, educational exhibits and activities for children will be available at Jefferson Hospital on Peachtree Street to promote healthy living.

“Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are the most pressing health concerns for our community,” said Heyward “Sonny” Wells III, CEO of Jefferson Hospital. “A lot of people don’t understand that diabetes and high blood pressure work a lot like termites on your body. You don’t realize they’re there until you have substantial damage. Our goal is to educate people on the signs of diabetes and heart disease. We want to catch them early, avoid damage and get people on a better treatment modality for a better lifestyle.”


The following health screens will be offered at Saturday’s fair: glucose/diabetes, blood pressure, bone density, height and weight measurements and pregnancy tests. Consultations with a nurse will be available as well as the opportunity to schedule follow-up appointments based on screening results.

A lipids/cholesterol screening will be offered for $15, but you must begin fasting the night before for accurate results. These screens may be paid for with cash or a check.

Wells hopes to have large health fairs like this one every three or four years in addition to smaller ones at the clinics annually. There are also plans to coordinate with the county’s schools in the future.

At the Wadley clinic’s health fair last October, 75 people were screened and 69 of those needed follow-up care, according to Wells.

“We’re hoping to see about 400 people at this year’s fair,” he said. “We’ll do screenings on as many as we can.”

The free screenings will be available for everyone, but the lipids/cholesterol lab tests will be given on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 150 people. PSA vouchers will be offered for $15 to men interested in having a blood test for prostate cancer at a later date.

Hospital tours will be conducted by Wells at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

“We want to give people an overview of the hospital and introduce them to services we offer and our updated facilities and equipment,” he said. “We will give people as much access as possible while preserving patient confidentiality.”

Dr. Brandy Gheesling will be joining the pediatric medical staff and will be on hand to answer questions on childhood obesity.

“Our number one health concern is childhood obesity, and we are currently coming up with programs to introduce to the community,” said Wells. “If this trend continues and disease develops as it has in the past, we will end up with a huge number of young adults with heart disease and diabetes, diseases that are typically found in the older population.”

Health fair participants can learn more about diabetes at classes offered at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Educational exhibits will also provide information on cholesterol management, cardiac health, asthma and more. Over 20 vendors will be in attendance.

Saturday’s fair will feature a free cookout, two inflatable moonwalks, a rock climbing wall, an obstacle course, train rides around the track, face-painting, the Jefferson Energy bucket truck ride, a fire safety smokehouse and a helicopter, fire truck and ambulance. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will also be on hand to take children’s fingerprints for identification records.

“We’ll have parking on the premises and transportation provided by Ingersoll Rand, Thermo King and ClubCar,” said Wells. “Signage has been provided by Mitchell McGraw and Coca-Cola, and the Kiwanis Club is sponsoring give-aways for the children.”

The Family Fun Health Fair is sponsored by the Jefferson Hospital Foundation which is composed of 25 board members working on committees for annual fundraising, rewards and recognition, planned giving and special events.

S.O. to hold firearms defense class

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Lt. Garry McCord, a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, plans to have a class for women interested in learning about firearms.

“We’ve done this in the past and it’s time to do it again,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins.


“We used to go to Waynesboro because we didn’t have an instructor. We’ve got an instructor now. We thought it would be good if we offered it to the community,” he said.

McCord said he and Brad West, a local parole officer and firearms instructor, will offer the class to women who want to learn about firearms, how to select a weapon, how best to carry a weapon and some of the laws regarding licenses and permits.

The class will be scheduled for two consecutive days, according to McCord.

“On a Friday, we’ll discuss home safety, carrying the weapon and the laws concerning your defense. We’re also going to discuss handling and shooting the weapon. On the following day, that Saturday, we’ll take the class to the firing range for practice,” he said.

“The class will be for women ages 21 and older. Georgia law says you have to be at least 21 to carry a pistol. This will be a two-hour portion of the class. We will probably spend about four hours on the range,” McCord said.

“At this time, we are hoping to have this class without cost to the sheriff’s office,” he said. “We will not be charging the students; although, they will have to provide their own firearms and ammunition.”

“There are two things that are really important,” Hutchins said. “We’re talking about gun safety and getting people that have never shot a weapon familiar with a weapon.”

Hutchins said instruction will include discussions about having and establishing a safe haven at home and other safety measures such as keeping shrubs trimmed, having someone pick up your newspapers when you are out of town and having a neighbor watch your house as a safeguard against intruders.

Any woman who is interested in this class is requested to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and ask for Lt. McCord.

“You can leave a message with your name and phone number if I’m not available when you call,” McCord said.

The number to the JCSO is 478-625-7538. The class will be offered only to residents of Jefferson County.

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