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December 3, 2009 Issue

Citizens illegally discarding dead animals
Young and dependent
Louisville Post Office burglarized
Pedestrian hit crossing U.S. Highway 1

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Citizens illegally discarding dead animals

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County Code Enforcement Officer Jimmy Kitchens said he has received calls recently about people discarding dead animals.

“We have had complaints filed by the citizens of Jefferson County that there is a problem with illegal dumping of animal carcasses upon private property,” Kitchens said, adding a county ordinance against this type of activity was adopted by the county commission in February 1993.

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The ordinance states it is unlawful to discard litter, which includes dead animals or their carcasses, on public or private property. The ordinance states this includes the right-of-way of any road or highway; any body of water or water source; any park, playground, building, refuge or conservation or recreation area; and residential or farm properties, timberland, or forests.

Violating this ordinance is a misdemeanor. Anyone charged under the ordinance faces a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or up to 60 days imprisonment or both, the ordinance states.

Kitchens said wild hogs have been shot and the sow and pigs were thrown onto private property. Deer carcasses have been thrown out in the creeks, streams, onto county roads and left out on county roads.

Kitchens said the deer have been harvested.

“There’s no question that a person or persons have taken these animals, done what they wanted and then threw out the carcasses,” Kitchens said, adding the wild hogs were obviously shot.

Kitchens is asking anyone who observes this type of activity to call law enforcement.

“Don’t confront the people if you see this happening,” he said.




Young and dependent

By Jared Stepp
Apprentice

At 15, a self-described carefree, happy-go-lucky kind of guy began to feel unusual. Hank Gilmore started experiencing problems without having a clue as to what might be causing them.

“All my friends said I was getting skinny and pale. I brushed it off at first,” said Hank.

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Hank, a senior at Thomas Jefferson Academy in Louisville, said he began drinking a lot of water and milk, adding he never was a fan of milk until this time. He also began drinking a lot of soft drinks, which he said resulted in his vision becoming blurry for a few moments after drinking.

“We thought he was just going through changes,” said his mother, Charlotte Gilmore.

In early March of 2008, Hank began experiencing extreme leg cramps at night. Hank said this caused him to have a shorter temper, getting angry at nearly anything. He continued to attend his football camps and practices, but would always be tired and angry as a result.

“I would cry they hurt so bad,” said Hank about his leg cramps.

Hank’s family began to get concerned about him after receiving his prom photos, noticing the contrast of him then to a picture taken earlier in 2008. Initially, Hank did not tell his parents about any of the symptoms he was experiencing.

“He didn’t tell us about any of this until afterwards,” said Mrs. Gilmore.

As spring football practices got tougher, the demand on Hank began to increase. Hank said Head Coach Chuck Wimberly called him into his office one day after noticing a difference in his physical appearance. He asked Hank what the problem was, only for Hank to reply he was tired because of the leg cramps. On Thursday, May 18, Wimberly called Hank’s parents and suggested they take him to a doctor that same day.

Hank’s dad Rocky Gilmore took him to see Dr. Jim Polhill in Louisville. Hank had blood work done and other medical tests, expecting a remedy for his leg cramps. Looking at him, Dr. Polhill didn’t apparently suspect much. After the tests Hank and his father were walking out into the parking lot when they were asked by the nurse to come back into the office. They sat Hank down and told him his blood sugar level was at 537, the normal range being 70-150, meaning he had type 1 diabetes.

“It was the worst feeling ever. I’d give my left arm to have it and not him,” said Mr. Gilmore, adding that almost no one had a history of the disease in his family.

"I wasn’t happy,” said Hank, adding he was upset and angry and would wonder, “Why me?”

Hank was then hospitalized for four days to control his blood sugar level. Each day he had friends and family by his side in the hospital.

Dr. Polhill then began to explain diabetes to Hank, giving him a pen and paper to take notes, adding he would be tested over the information. Hank, not being a fan of needles, was told he would have to give himself a shot three times a day for the rest of his life. Polhill also told him about how his soft drink drinking caused his vision to blur, which turned out to be common with diabetes patients.

The amount of insulin he has to take reflects his blood sugar level, if his level is at 100 he takes eight units of insulin. Hank must check his insulin three times a day before meals. He pricks his finger then places his finger on an indicator to see the blood sugar level.

After the information, Hank had one final test.

“He said, ‘You have to do it before you leave,’” Hank said. “I hated needles. Still do. Four shots to myself but I gotta do it...my fear (of needles) was not as great as my want to get out.”

Hank’s levels took weeks to regulate. Over this time, his weight increased from 150 pounds to close to 175. Hank said water and Sprite Zero are now his drinks of choice. His family began cooking more healthy foods and became very conscious of sugar in his life, as well as their own. He began counting carbohydrates and restricting many foods in his diet. Soon Hank was able to tell when his blood sugar was high or low by how he felt. He said when he feels more tired, he has high blood sugar, and when he is shaking, hungry or having a cold sweat, he has low blood sugar. Hank’s family, including his sisters Abbie, 25, and Amy, 22, said each other, their faith and friends helped them through his diagnosis.

Hank’s mother explained because of diabetes, sugar can be carried through the bloodstream into the eyes, causing the blurry vision he experienced when drinking excessive amounts of soft drinks. The lack of insulin also leads to problems with the feet, resulting in Hank getting a foot and eye specialist, along with an endocrinologist. Polhill also continued to call and check on Hank frequently.

Hank then had to decide if he would continue playing football.

“Hank was unsure about playing,” Coach Wimberly said.

He learned that exercise is actually the best thing to help reduce his blood sugar level. The sugar in his body is more quickly broken down during exercise.

Facing challenging academics and demanding extra-curricular activities, Hank said he was afraid that diabetes would interfere with his everyday life, making it impossible to live the life of a normal 16-year-old. He learned to adapt and control his diabetes to help him live a normal life.

“It’s made him work harder,” said his father on Hank’s playing after the diagnosis. “It’s the best thing and the worst thing. He would have to work through it.” Hank said there are still times when he doesn’t want to do what is necessary for his diabetes.

Hank played football all year and helped push his team to the top.

Soon he would be back at the top of his game, receiving different awards for his playing as defensive lineman and making the CSRA all-area team.

“He’s overcome those odds and made himself into an all-region all-state football player,” said Wimberly adding that Hank characterizes this year’s team. “He has made the team highly motivated.”

Hank said after high school, he wants to attend the University of Georgia to study in the medical field adding that he might have been inspired by his diagnosis. A fan of science and history, he thought the medical field would be a great thing to study. “I like helping people,” he said. His mother said she definitely has concerns about his leaving. She said she is mainly scared about the what-if’s, like what if he forgets to carry his insulin with him or he skips a meal and doesn’t realize it. “It’s going to be really hard to let him go,” she said.

Recently Hank took part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes on Nov. 7 in downtown Augusta. The walk helped raise money for research that could one day cure diabetes. Hank’s group, Hank’s Heroes had a goal of raising $2,000 but surpassed that with an extra $2,000. Hank’s Heroes had approximately 100 people show up for the walk to support Hank, helping him get the $4,000.

Many other people took part in the walks in Augusta, as well as many people across the country to reach a goal of $100 million. After the walk it was announced that $40,000 was raised in the Augusta walk.

To make a donation to Hank’s Heroes, go to www.JDRF.org or mail a check made out to JDRF to Hank Gilmore (Hank’s Heroes) at P.O. Box 468, Louisville, GA 30434.

Hank is not alone in his diagnosis at TJA. Two other students at the school also have been diagnosed. The school’s Key Club began collecting money for JDRF on Oct. 19 and would for three weeks, eventually earning $1,411.

According to the American Diabetes Association, each year, about 15,000 youth ages 20 and under are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United States. With a rising death rate, diabetes kills nearly 300,000 people each year, more than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Almost 24 million American children and adults have diabetes.

“I learned to adapt to my new situation,” Hank said, “and I am in control of my diabetes; it does not control me.”

Hank’s story is one of millions, but his leadership could very well help to find a cure.



Louisville Post Office burglarized

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Someone broke into the U.S. Post Office in Louisville early Tuesday morning, Louisville Police Chief Jimmy Miller said.

“It wasn’t robbed,” Miller said. “Somebody kicked in the door. It’s an inside door to the mailroom.”

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Miller said around 3:24 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, something activated the alarm at the back door, the employee entrance. Officers responded but found nothing wrong.

Miller said the alarm was activated again about 45 minutes later, at 4:16 a.m.

“Officers secured the building,” Miller said. “They went in and checked it and nobody was there.”

Miller said nothing was reported stolen and no other damage was reported.

The door is an interior door that leads to the mail room from the lobby, which is left open to allow customers access to their post office boxes.

Any investigation will involve both the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Louisville Police Department, Miller said.

“It is a federal building,” Lt. Teddy Jackson said regarding the post office. “But it’s in the city limits of Louisville. We’re going to work the investigation along with the postal inspection service.”

Jackson, an investigator with the LPD, said it appeared someone did enter the mail room area and went through some drawers.

“The only damage is to a door and I would imagine it’s less than $500’s worth,” he said.

Police are asking that anyone with information about this incident contact LPD at 478-625-8897, Jackson said. All information will be kept confidential, he said.



Pedestrian hit crossing U.S. Highway 1

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A driver who struck a pedestrian crossing U.S. Highway 1 north of Wrens Saturday, Nov. 28, sometime between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. will not be charged, a spokesman with the Georgia State Patrol said Tuesday.

The victim, identified as C. W. Stiddons of Wrens, was crossing the highway when he was struck by the car. The spokesman said Stiddons was wearing dark clothing and was not seen by the driver in time for her to stop.

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Stiddons, who was reportedly not seriously injured, was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment, a source said.

Stiddons was walking across the highway from Meadow View Trailer Park when the accident occurred, the GSP said.




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