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September 18, 2014 Issue

Nine decontaminated as precaution
Cry out
Parents warned of potential threat

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Nine decontaminated as precaution

By Parish Howard

Nine people, including two police officers and one firefighter, went through decontamination protocols and were transported to Jefferson Hospital after an incident in Wrens Monday night.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. emergency personnel responded to a call requesting assistance because of a strong odor from a chemical used earlier in the day.


“Initial response by Wrens Fire Department and Wrens Police Department revealed that an unknown chemical had been used as an insecticide earlier in the afternoon and that the odor was getting stronger,” said Jefferson County Emergency Management Director Jim Anderson. “Initial responding officers reported a burning sensation to the throat and light dizziness at which time Hazmat protocols were initiated for precautionary measures due to the chemical being unknown and an immediate evacuations of the residents was conducted.”

Six individuals, all adults, in addition to the three emergency responders mentioned above, were decontaminated on site using large amounts of water, exterior clothing was removed and they were then taken by ambulance to Jefferson Hospital. Once there they were examined and a second decontamination was conducted by members of the Louisville Fire Department prior to entering the hospital, Anderson said.

Clairissa Miller, a spokesperson for the hospital, said standard protocols were implemented to protect the other patients from potential contamination.

Anderson said that all persons transported were assessed and released early Tuesday morning.

Wrens Fire Chief Robbie Prescott called in the Richmond County Hazardous Materials Team to assist in the investigation.

“The investigation revealed that the chemical used was concentrated Roundup but had been stored in an unmarked container and had not been properly mixed prior to usage,” Anderson said. “This incident was isolated to the area of the residence where the Roundup was used and that there was no danger to the general public. Hazmat Protocols were initiated at the scene by Wrens Fire Department as a precautionary measure.”

Cry out

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

For the sixth year, people in Jefferson County gathered at the courthouse in Louisville to pray. People throughout the United States held similar events.

For about an hour, people prayed and sang.


“God is not dead. He is very much alive,” said Judy Tatum, the county coordinator for Cry Out America, which was held at noon Thursday, Sept. 11. Dove Tracks Ministries sponsored the event.

“God’s heart is with us this morning,” Tatum said.

Steve Talbott led The Pledge of Allegiance.

“This is not just something we learn in grade school. It’s a promise, a pledge,” he said.

Prayers included those for the United States, the country’s military, education and family.

Carol Long sang, “America the Beautiful.” Jonathan Witt, pastor at First Baptist Church in Louisville, sang a spiritual.

“Lord, we are in desperate need,” Jackie Tyre prayed. “We confess today that there is evil in this land. That’s easy to see.”

“Louisville has a heritage; but, Louisville has a future,” she said.

“I remember one day, God said, ‘I’ve forgiven you. Why haven’t you forgiven yourself?’”

Tyre said there are a lot of needy people; and, it’s the church’s place to help the needy.

“We’re to love mercy and treat people with justice,” she said.

“Have no doubt He has heard us,” Tatum said.

Tatum said this week she was thankful for everyone at the event.

“We appreciate the attendance of everyone. I saw a number of county officials; and, I am grateful they took the time to be present. We appreciate everybody taking time out of their busy schedules to come and that they understand the importance of prayer,” she said this week.

“Jesus is lord of America; and, I don’t care what anybody else says.”

Parents warned of potential threat

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Law enforcement is warning parents to keep a close eye on their children after a woman tried to snatch a 13-year-old waiting for a school bus.

In the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 9, the teenager was waiting alone when a woman in a dark car drove by the bus stop.


“She was waiting on the steps at the house where the bus stop is. It was a few minutes before 7 a.m. None of the other kids had shown up yet,” a spokesman with the Wrens Police Department said.

The girl saw a car pass by, turn around and come back again. Then it made a U-turn and came back.

“The vehicle stopped on the road at a stop sign in front of the house. A white, blonde female got out of the vehicle, ran towards the girl and attempted to grab her arm. The girl ran and the offender got back in the car and left the scene,” the spokesman said.

The girl ran next door to a relative’s house. The relative notified the girl’s guardian who called 911.

“Wrens Police Department responded. Officers searched the area and knocked on doors of nearby houses to see if anyone heard or saw anything. We called for a GBI agent to assist us,” the spokesman said.

The agent spoke with the juvenile, he said.

Pat Morgan, special agent in charge with the GBI in Thomson, said the description they have of the woman is a white female with blonde hair driving a dark colored, four-door car.

“Wrens Police Department called us Tuesday. We’ve conducted an interview with the child and her family,” Morgan said.

“There are some measures we’ve put in place with the Wrens Police Department. We’ve talked to them about beefing up their patrols around the bus stops. We’ve spoken to the child and her parents about safety and some things they can do and right now that’s where we’re at,” he said.

Morgan said some precautions parents should take include making sure children are not alone, using common sense, watching your children get to the bus stop and being aware of strangers.

Wrens Middle School Principal Julia Wells sent a letter home with the school’s students. The letter, addressed to parents and guardians, states in part, “… there have been no incidents of suspicious people or vehicles in the vicinity of our school during the regular school day.”

Wrens Police Chief Garry McCord has stated people should be aware of suspicious people or activity around their children.

“If anything seems weird or suspicious please call 911 immediately with an accurate description of a vehicle and/or person,” he said.

“In light of the circumstances, we do have increased presence on the streets and at the schools,” McCord said.

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