CEDAR BLUFF, ALA. – Authorities have learned the identity of the man missing after being involved in a boating accident Tuesday evening in Cedar Bluff. According to family members at the location – the victim has been identified, as 67 year old Jerry Coker of Adairsville, Georgia. Coker was thrown from his bass boat, after apparently striking a log in the water, at around 6:30 that evening. A 9-1-1 call was placed by an individual on Savannah Drive in the Savannah Place Subdivision – off of Money’s Bend Road with the caller stating that he had heard a loud noise which he initially thought to be a car crash. The man then witnessed a person in the water in the distance with a boat circling the subject; the caller reported that he heard a single cry for help and at the time attempted to provide assistance by traveling to the location on a jet-ski – however the man had already gone under and could not be found. According to eyewitnesses the man was not wearing a lifejacket and failed to use a killswitch. The boat eventually ended up hitting the pier belonging to the caller and stalled out there. After running the tag number on the boat authorities had their first indication that the victim was from Bartow County, Georgia. Several boat teams continue to search the area where the man fell overboard. We’ll have additional information as it becomes available. Those responding to the scene, included the Cedar Bluff Fire and Police Departments; Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, including the Sheriff’s Office Lake Patrol; the Rescue Squad & Alabama Marine Police.
The Polk County Police Department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team has arrested 7 individuals on several drug charges after a month’s long investigation. Agents from NET, along with the DEA, FBI, GBI, and the Rome/Floyd Metro Task Force all participated in the investigation and arrests of the suspects. During the course of these arrests, 3 other individuals were arrested on unrelated charges. In all, eight individuals were placed under arrest and two others were already in custody. This group of individuals became known to investigators as “The Seney Group”, with Roderick McCullough heading up the organization. Investigators determined that the group was responsible for approximately 60% of methamphetamine sales conducted within the boundaries of Polk County, as well as the sales of large quantities of methamphetamine in surrounding counties. Arrested include Roderick McCullough of Cedartown, Tim Washington of Rockmart, Kevin Kent of Rockmart, Ray Washington of Rockmart, Demark Ware of Rockmart, Juan Maldonado of Cedartown, and Tommy Morgan of Lindale were indicted on federal charges after the meeting of a federal grand jury in May 2010. Narcotics agents expect more arrests to follow, due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing for 5:15 p.m. Monday, May 17 for comment on the proposed $18.1 million 2011 budget. A copy of the budget is available for public viewing at the Administrative Building, 144 West Avenue, Cedartown, prior to the hearing. Following the hearing, the board will set work sessions to receive input from department heads and review ways to meet expected expenditures for the next fiscal year. The proposed budget is the lowest since 2005, according to County Manager Clinton Lester.
Haralson County School officials are meeting today with area faith-based organizations to discuss transportation possibilities for students attending a brand new federally funded Seamless Summer Nutrition Program. Haralson County Schools Public Relations Coordinator Kersha Cartwright says the program offers free breakfast and lunch for children 18 years and younger, Tuesday through Friday. Menus and breakfast & lunch locations will be available on www.haralson.k12.ga.us.
The Polk School District Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve six furlough days for the 2010-2011 school year during their regular meeting. Superintendent Marvin Williams said that while this is a choice the board does not want to make, he said it is the only responsible choice. Williams went on to say that at this time the furloughs will affect all employees. Also on the agenda was a recommendation from the superintendent to proceed with an RFP for food service. That measure passed by a slim 6-3 vote with board members Bettie Fay Lewis, Tommy Sanders, and John Stone voting no. Williams said that this RFP or request for proposal is not a decision to outsource food service. The board also tabled a recommendation to reduce the school resource officers from 4 to 2. That will be revisited at the board’s special session coming up on Monday, May 24.
10-digit dialing is just around the corner for residents of Northeast Alabama. Beginning June 5th – those in the (256) area code will have to dial both the area code, and the seven digit phone number, even for local calls. According to the Alabama Public Service Commission, after June 5th anyone dialing a local number without first dialing the area code will get a recorded message instructing the caller to hang up – and then dial again – using all ten digits. The new 10-digit dialing has come about as existing phone numbers in the (256) region, are close to being exhausted – and the requirement will apply to all types of phone services within the (256) area code including wireless phones. Calls to 9-1-1 however, will remain the same and will continue to be dialed as they are now. Beginning in July a second area code (938) will be introduced into the area as well – a practice that is known as an area code “overlay”. All those already having (256) area codes will retain the area code along with the existing telephone number and will NOT be required to switch to a new one; anyone activating phone service after the 10th of July could receive a (938) number. Even after the new changes, all calls currently considered “Local” will still be “Local”, even though all 10 digits must be dialed – and – calls that are now “Long Distance”, will remain as such, after the 938 overlay goes into effect.
The Georgia Board of Regents approved a tuition hike for next school year. The board voted to increase tuition between 4 and 16 percent for many of the students at one of the 35 public colleges and universities. At research universities like Georgia Tech, University of Georgia and Georgia State University, tuition will be $3,535 per semester, up from $3,035. At other campuses like Georgia Southern University and Kennesaw State University, students will pay $2,298 per semester, up $300. Students at two-year colleges, like Georgia Highlands, will pay $50 per semester more, with tuition rising to $1,199. The first group of students coming off the fixed 4-year program will see massive increases. Students who do not graduate in four years will pay an additional 34 percent. Students who do not graduate in four years from Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia will see an increase of $1589 per semester which amounts to an 81 percent increase.
Cedartown City Commissioners Monday said that they are committed to dealing with a problem of bank owned and rental properties in the city that are not being kept up, especially grass cutting. Commissioner Scott Tillery discussed the issue in the commissioner’s regular meeting Monday addressing that several of the properties have detached ownership and that some of those properties are deteriorating. Code enforcement officer Joseph Martin told commissioners that not only high grass, but broken windows and doors wide open at vacant properties are also against code. City manager Charles Akridge said that it is grass cutting season and the city needs to go after the owners of neglected property.
One of the four individuals convicted in the burning of Rock Hill Church near Gaylesville, Ala,, more than 10 years ago – is once again behind bars in Cherokee County. On Wednesday (May 5th) – 30 year old David Ratliff of Lyerly, Georgia, appeared before Circuit Judge Randall Cole; Ratliff was in court for a Probation Revocation, in relation to his failure to pay restitution in accordance with the provisions previously outlined by the court. Judge Cole sentenced Ratliff to serve a period of 12 months, in the Cherokee County Detention Center. Ratliff along with three others from Chattooga County, Georgia – who were all in their teens at the time, were convicted in the burning to the ground of Rock Hill Church in late 1998 – at the time of the arrests all four were charged with both Burglary and Arson, in connection with Rock Hill, and the Oak Bowery Church. Ratliff pled guilty on October 15th of 2001, and was given two years to serve – receiving credit for time served prior to the plea (388 days). All four individuals were required to pay in the making of restitution to the church as a condition of their sentencing – the total amount ordered, has still yet to be met.
Colby is about one and a half years old. He is friendly and gets along well with other dogs and is okay with cats. He walks well on a leash. Enjoys attention and is content to sit in your lap to keep you company. He is a bit thin, weighing in at abut 12 pounds. Colby received a DA2PPvL vaccine and deworming. The adoption fee will be $35 to help cover the cost. Upon adoption, adopters are required to fill out a rabies and sterilization contract and will receive a Spay/Neuter Rebate Voucher provided by the Polk County Humane Society. Your new adoptive pet comes with a free 30 day health insurance policy. Activation information provided at time of adoption.