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October 14, 2010 Issue

Car and train collide
Flu shots abundantly available locally
Two charged with stealing iron from railroad

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Car and train collide

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A 2002 gold Chevrolet Impala traveling west on Kelly Quarter Road outside Wrens failed to yield to a train Thursday, Oct. 7.

Sgt. Brad Mosher with the Georgia State Patrol identified the driver as 22-year-old Jemeika Shontaye Stone of Stapleton. An adult passenger was identified as Brenyetta Shavette Tucker, 23, of Wrens, and a 2-year-old was identified only as Tucker’s son.

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Mosher said the train was not carrying any cars.

“It was just a single engine,” he said.

Mosher said at that particular crossing, line of sight is not an issue.

“There is actually a stop sign,” he said. “Miss Stone actually skidded 65 feet before the train struck her.”

The trooper said although he does not think Stone was speeding, he will file charges.

“I did charges on her,” he said.

“She had some driver’s license issues, failing to yield at a railroad crossing,” he said.

Mosher said he is fairly confident Tucker was not wearing her seatbelt. The child was not restrained.

The seatbelt violation is pending. The child restraint violation is not, he said.

“She’s going to get that one regardless,” Mosher said.

The trooper said wherever a train has access to cross a road, there will be a stop sign, a railroad crossing sign or some other posting that gives the right of way to the train.

“The train always has the right of way,” he said.

Mosher said the train had to have been approaching the crossing at the same time Stone was.

“She wasn’t going to make that stop,” he said.

A spokesman with Gold Cross, Jefferson County’s emergency medical service, said last week all three people in the car were taken to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

“The driver was airlifted to MCG,” she said, adding the driver’s condition appeared to be serious.

“There was a small child and another adult in the vehicle. They were transported by ambulance to MCG,” she said.

A spokesman with MCG said Friday the adults were listed in good condition. She would not release the condition of the minor child.

A spokesman with GSP has said none of the injuries were fatal.

The train’s driver was uninjured, the spokesman said. There were no other individuals on the train, she said.






Flu shots abundantly available locally

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

As the weather begins to cool, it seems more and more people begin to get sick. This year the influenza vaccine has been offered since September in health departments, doctor offices and even through pharmacies and other retail outlets.

“It is pretty much open to anyone that wants one right now,” Jefferson County Health Department Nurse Manager Janet Pilcher said. “We haven’t received any restrictions this year and we are running a little low right now, but we have more vaccines on the way.”

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Pilcher said that the health department has given almost 200 vaccinations, even giving some at schools and at local plants.

The Jefferson County Health Department, as well as the Glascock County Health Department, have the seasonal flu vaccine available. Vaccines are $25, but are covered by Medicare, Medicaid or State Health Benefit Plan Member Insurance United Health Care.

“We are above average for this time of year,” Glascock County Health Department’s Nona Lord said. “That is early and good for the flu season.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting against this disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.

This year’s vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses, an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus, which the CDC said caused so much illness last season.

“Getting the flu vaccine soon after it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season,” said a CDC spokesperson.

The CDC said the effectiveness of the vaccine can vary and depend in part on the match between the viruses in the vaccine and flu viruses that are circulating in the community. If these are closely matched, vaccine effectiveness is higher. If they are not closely matched, it can be reduced. During well-matched years, clinical trials have shown effectiveness to be between 70 and 90 percent among healthy adults.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly.

The CDC said people who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

-Fever or feeling feverish/chills, but not everyone with the flu will have a fever;

-Cough;

-Sore throat;

-Runny or stuffy nose;

-Muscle or body aches;

-Headaches;

-Fatigue (tiredness);

-Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, according to the CDC, but some people will develop complications as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections are three examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

People at a higher risk for contracting the flu includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women and young children.

The CDC also offers tips to stop the spread of the virus:

-Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

-If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

-Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

-Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

-Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

The flu season usually peaks in January and February, but flu can be seen as early as December and as late as March, Pilcher said.

“We will offer the vaccine through January or until we run out of the shot,” Pilcher said.



Two charged with stealing iron from railroad

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office have arrested two men and charged them with theft by taking regarding the theft of railroad iron, said Lt. Clark Hiebert, an investigator with the JCSO.

Hiebert identified the two as Michael Wayne Wood, 25, and Jon Paul “JP” T. Balser, 21. Both men are from Wadley.

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In an interview Monday, Oct. 4, Hiebert said the men had taken railroad tracks from the city of Wadley.

The tracks are government property, which makes the crime a felony regardless of the value, Hiebert said.

“Owners of the railroad have to give written permission to someone for them to sell it,” the investigator said, adding the men said during an interview they had tried to sell the iron to Iron Ax.

The men told Hiebert Iron Ax would not buy the iron, he said.

“They tried to sell it to someone in Swainsboro, they said. When we contacted the salvage yard, they said they had not been contacted by anyone trying to sell railroad iron,” he said.

The suspects told Hiebert someone at the yard had said they would buy the iron, the investigator said.






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