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Hamilton Medical, Downtown Development bringing Winter Wonderland to Calhoun

An exciting, affordable, one-of-a-kind event is coming to downtown Calhoun over a three-day period in December that's sure to please all ages.

Beginning Thursday, Dec. 14, and running through Saturday, Dec. 16, downtown Calhoun can enjoy Winter Wonderland, the community's very own ice skating rink.

Hours on Thursday, Dec. 14 will be from 4 9 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 15 hours are 4 10 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 16, the rink will be open all day from 10 a.m. 10 p.m. The event is very affordable at $6 per person, which includes ice skate rental and 30 minutes of ice time. It is highly recommended for anyone wishing to ice skate to purchase tickets in advance to prevent standing in line at the event. Tickets can be purchased online at downtowncalhounga.com or by calling Suzanne Roberts at 706-602-5570.

The event is sponsored by Hamilton Medical Center, who is also a sponsor of Calhoun's BBQ, Boogie & Blues each year.

"Andy Baxter and I came up with the idea. We looked into the venture and realized we would need a sponsor," said Suzanne Roberts, director of the Downtown Development Authority. "That's where Hamilton comes in; they have gladly sponsored the ice skating rink."

"We have been a part of the community for some time, in our entire system," said Kim Reynolds, director of Planning and Marketing with Hamilton Medical Center, who resides in Calhoun. "From our physician practices to the Medical Center, we have a large percentage of our associate population that work for Hamilton that are from Calhoun. We really feel like we are part of this community and want to continue to have that presence here, and support what is going on in the Calhoun-Gordon County community. When Suzanne contacted us about this event, we jumped on it because it's such an exciting event that's coming to Calhoun. To raise my family here, and to see my kids involved in this type of activity and knowing what all it's going to do and how the community invests in its people, we are very excited about it."

Artificial Ice Events will be bringing an ice skating rink to the parking lot of the Downtown Calhoun Depot, located off of King Street. The rink will be 30 x 40 feet and will accommodate up to 30 people in 30 minute time increments. According to Roberts, there are boards and fencing around the rink to provide stability for skaters.

Throughout the three-day event, Andy Baxter of Baxter Dean Studios will be taking photos. Santa Claus will be on hand each evening from 7 9 p.m. for children to visit. Copper Creek Farms will have their food truck on hand each night and other food vendors, including a funnel cake truck, will be on hand providing tasty treats for ice skaters.

The annual Downtown Calhoun Christmas Parade of Lights will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. Ice skating will be held during and after the parade until 9 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit downtowncalhounga.com or call Suzanne Roberts at 706-602-5570.


Gordon County Youth Leadership attends latest Board of Commissioners meeting

The Gordon County Board of Commissioners met with Gordon County Youth Leadership at Tuesday's work session, where they advised the local students on ways to get involved in the community. The discussion focused on opportunities to serve and how to give back to the Calhoun-Gordon County Community.

"It doesn't always have to be political. Serve where you feel like you can give back," said Becky Hood, chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

"When you get involved, it ingrains in you the desire to serve," said Commissioner Bud Owens. "There are so many opportunities where you can truly impact other people."

The commissioners answered questions about procedure, voting and their impact on the community. This year marks the 24th Youth Leadership class sponsored by the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce. In total, more than 1,200 students from all Gordon County high schools have graduated from the program.

In other news:

Employee of the month was Dottie Payne, with 23 years of service to the Gordon County Fire Department.

The Board voted to re-appoint Dr. Devin Handley to the Gordon County Board of Health for a six-year term, ending December 31, 2023.

Approved contracting with Ceres Environmental Services and Crowder Gulf to lock in the prices for debris removal and disaster clean up. The federal government will reimburse

the county for having a company in place for emergencies.

Approved the declaration of surplus property for the Gordon County Sheriff's Office for a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2006 Nissan Altima.

Approved a contract extension with the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia for Personnel. This allows the county to hire contract attorneys to assist the District Attorney's office.

Approved a contract with Georgia D.O.T. for Section 5311 Funds for Transit Operating & Capital Assistance Program.

Approved a budget amendment to transfer $109 to George Chambers for lawn care services.

Approved a budget amendment for employee appreciation check.

Approved the 2018 Board of Commissioners meeting schedule.

Approved the proposal award to Prevent Child Abuse for lease and use of mental health building and approval to draft lease.

Approved the Memorandum of Understanding with City of Calhoun for Georgia DNR Trail Grant Program.

Approved a budget amendment for the Gordon County Sheriff's Office from fines and forfeitures for operational supplies. This allows the county to turn over money seized to the Sheriff's Office in the amount of $37,050.

The next meeting of the Gordon County Board of Commissioners will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 in the County Administration Building located on North Wall Street in downtown Calhoun.


Ledbetter named new administrator of Gordon County

James F. "Jim" Ledbetter, who has served as attorney for Gordon County since June 2014, was named the new administrator of Gordon County on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. This comes after the resignation of John King earlier this year.

The administrator position has actually been merged with the county attorney position, where Ledbetter will serve the role. The county leaves open the option to bring in outside legal counsel as needed.

"It keeps me busy and challenges me, and I really like that," said Ledbetter of the

administrator job, which he has filled in for since late April. "It's exciting and I've enjoyed the change."

Ledbetter received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia in 1983 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1986, also from the University of Georgia.

He has practiced law in Gordon County for 31 years. Locally, Ledbetter has provided counsel to the Gordon County School district since 2001, and had his own law firm prior to taking on the role of county attorney.

Ledbetter is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, United States District Court N.D. Ga. and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

"During the interim period of searching for an administrator for Gordon County, Jim was doing the job of both county attorney and county administrator," said County Commission Chair Becky Hood. "His expertise and knowledge of the law, partnered with his ability to manage the daily functions of the county, proved that he was highly qualified for the position and he quickly became our top choice. We are excited to have Jim as our administrator and running the day-today operations of Gordon County."

Ledbetter will now focus on upcoming SPLOST projects including the Gordon County Courthouse renovation, the building of the new Gordon County Animal Shelter and the new Gordon County Health Department.