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Georgia Chamber President Chris Clark gives forecast at annual State of Industry

The Gordon County Chamber of Commerce breathed new life into its annual State of Industry event on Friday, July 27, by offering three sessions that concentrated on both local and state business conditions and forecasts for the future. The 2018 State of Industry was presented by Gordon Hospital.

The day began at the Gordon County College and Career Academy, where Mohawk Industries, a sponsor of the State of Industry, led the first session with their apprentice, Dylan Hill, explaining the apprenticeship program at GCCCA and taking questions from attendees.

The second session took place at Calhoun City Schools' STEM Lab, where guests enjoyed a luncheon and a video presentation of the school system's history and accomplishments.

The third session took place at the Calhoun Performing Arts Center where Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark spoke to the audience on the business and economic climate of both the State of Georgia and Gordon County, discussing current issues within the job market and solutions for attracting talent and bringing business and industry to Gordon County.

Other topics covered included projections on population and job numbers by 2030, the importance of obtaining job talent in the community, the importance of local business mentoring students and working with the local school systems, housing needs and projections of upcoming changes in workforce makeup within the next 10 years.

The engaging presentation ended with an interactive Question and Answer session where participants used their smartphones to provide feedback to the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce on their views of what Gordon County lacks, needs and the direction they'd like to see Gordon County take in the future.

For more information on Clark's presentation, see Saturday's issue of the Calhoun Times.

Calhoun police arrest mother, boyfriend in death of 3-year-old

According to a media release from the Calhoun Police Department, the mother of a 3-year-old that died under suspicious circumstances two months ago has been arrested in connection with the death.

Around 4:50 a.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018, CPD were called to Gordon Hospital concerning the death of a 3-year-old male, who had been taken to the hospital by Olivia Alexandria Groomes, 26, of 111 A Briar Patch Lane in Calhoun, identified as the mother of the child. Hospital officials told officers the child was dead upon arrival at the facility.

Detectives were immediately notified and began an investigation into the death. CPD and the GBI investigated for two months, and on Friday, July 27, 2018, arrested Groomes and her boyfriend, Robert Monroe Elder, 32, of 157 Wrights Hollow Road in Calhoun.

According to the CPD, Groomes has been charged with Felony 2nd Degree Murder and Felony Cruelty to Children. Elder was also charged with Felony 2nd Degree Murder and Felony Cruelty to Children. Both remain in Gordon County Jail.

DON'T FORGET: Annual Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen to be held this Thursday, Aug. 2

Dairy Queen of Calhoun will again be participating in the annual Miracle Treat Day, to be held this Thursday, Aug. 2. The store is located at 288 Highway 53 in Calhoun

The event is held in conjunction with Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals to benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Kenneth Abernathy, owner of the local Dairy Queen, has participated in this event for many years. "Each year, we get to donate a little more to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta," said Abernathy. "For every Blizzard sold on Thursday, the Calhoun Dairy Queen will donate $1 of that purchase to Children's Healthcare."

According to Abernathy, the offer applies to any size Blizzard treat, and the store is taking donations in lieu of Blizzard's. "If you do not want a Blizzard that day, we do accept monetary donations," said Abernathy.

The store will also sell cards for Blizzards to be used at a later date.

CMN Hospitals is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals across North America.

To make it easier to participate, the local Dairy Queen requests that larger orders and business orders be called in ahead of pick up.

This year's goal, according to Abernathy, is $5,000. The CMN Fundraiser is the only fundraiser the local restaurant participates in each year.

Dairy Queen will be open on Thursday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. For more information or to pre-order Blizzards, contact the local Dairy Queen by phone at 706-629-9522.

European officers tour law enforcement at GNTC
Investigating differences in policing on two continents

(Northwest Georgia) – Alain and Lydie Stempfle started one of the longest days of their lives by shooting across France at speeds of nearly 200 miles per hours to catch a flight in Paris, France. They would then spend the day flying 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean for nine hours at speeds nearing 500 miles per hour before touching down in Georgia.

As amazing as that race around the planet appears to be, none of that trip would be the most interesting part of their mid-summer's journey.

The Stempfle family came to the states to visit lifelong friend, Fabrice Sainton. A staffer at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Sainton works closely with the college's security and Law Enforcement Academy. But more than 30 years ago, he was a young man entering the police academy for the Police Nationale (National Police) in France with his friend, Alain.

Earlier this month, Alain, his wife, Lydie, and Fabrice got to visit with Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger at the Calhoun Police Department firing range in Gordon County, Georgia. Right away, there was a noticeable difference that caught the eyes of the visiting officers.

"There's just a big difference in the equipment available to a police officer here," said Alain. " The equipment officers have at their disposal is more intense. Rifles, heavy duty equipment, very high-powered patrol cars are all prevalent here. Officers aren't so heavily equipped in France. And, the cars are definitely smaller."

During the tour, Alain would get to sit behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger Calhoun (GA) Police Department Cruiser. The standard police version of the Charger comes complete with a 370-horsepower engine. The standard patrol

vehicle for the Police Nationale in Vannes, France is a Peugeot 307. The much smaller patrol vehicle has 110 horsepower when it comes off of the Peugeot assembly line in Sochaux, France.

Calhoun Police Department Sergeant Tom Petty spent some time with the tour at the area firing range, as well. Petty, who serves as the Assistant Supervisor of the Criminal Investigations Division, is also the Firearms Range Master for the department. "We have weapons available in our (patrol) cars," said Lydie. "However, we have two, or sometimes, three officers in a car when on patrol. The policing is a little different. We never have only one officer in a car or at any situation at any time."

Lydie, a 24-year veteran, and her husband, Alain, a 31-year veteran of the Police Nationale (National Police) assigned to the city of Vannes, France police force, both got to feel some of the training experience future law enforcement officers encounter at Georgia Northwestern. Both husband and wife hold the ranks of Brigadier (Sergeant) within the force. However, Mrs. Stempfle will soon become a Supervisor (Chief). "She is the chief whether we are at work or home," quickly answered Mr. Stempfle with a smile.

As for working on patrol, Alain rides a motorcycle in the force's escort division. Lydie is in a patrol car. However, both see big differences in how they work with the public and how U.S. officers do the job. "It's just a different society. It's a different way of thinking," explained Alain. "When someone gets pulled over in France, there isn't a defensive posturing by the person who is being pulled over or questioned. If there is a police situation, the people appear to be more willing to help or assist the officer."

In the couple's combined 55 years of police force experience, only the husband has ever used his service weapon in the line of duty. "During a traffic stop, the motorist fired his weapon at my patrol," said Alain. "It was the only time I ever fired my weapon on the job."

When it comes to being on patrol, Pledger says he teaches his students that you need to learn how to properly control a situation. "We are teaching students when it is necessary, and when it is not necessary, to take any action," said Pledger. "Knowing when to use force, and recognizing the amount of force necessary, is a huge part of doing the job well."

Georgia North we stern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. To learn more about the program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at, as well as on GNTC's Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC's credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.