There was a low turnout for the General Municipal Election this year, with only 7.89 percent of the 27,340 registered voters casting ballots.
In what was being called an "important" election for the City of Calhoun, George Crowley unseated incumbent Matt Barton for Calhoun City Council Post 3. Crowley won with 55 percent of the vote.
"Thanks to all who turned out to vote," said Crowley Tuesday night in a message to the Calhoun Times. "This was an important election for the City of Calhoun. I look forward to working with Mayor Palmer and the Council as we plan for the future."
"Well it's been a fun ride serving the City of Calhoun," said Barton via social media after the results were declared final. "Didn't get results we hoped and worked for, but God's just opening something else up. Thanks to all the supporters that voted and stood by me."
Barton has faced criticism in the community the past year for being part of a 3-1 vote in November 2016 to remove Larry Vickery from his position as Director of Calhoun Utilities.
For Calhoun City Council Post 4, former City Council member Ray Denmon and former Gordon County Commissioner Alvin Long will face each other in a runoff election on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Long received 35.69 percent of the
vote, Denmon took 32.45 percent of the vote with candidate Ed Moyer taking 31.86 percent.
Calhoun City School Board Post 1 went to Andy Baxter, who ran unopposed for the seat vacated by Long. City School Board Posts 2 and 3 were unopposed, with incumbents Rhoda Washington and David Scoggins remaining in office.
Two special nonbinding votes were on the ballot for the City of Calhoun. The nonbinding vote for term limits for the Mayor and City Council members passed with 61.18 percent of the vote. The non-binding vote to add two more members to the council, taking it from a four member council to a six member council, passed with just 50.44 percent of the vote.
Resaca Town Council Post 3 will also see a runoff on Dec. 5 between Michael Austin and Randy Barron. Austin took 48.98 percent of the vote with Barron taking 30.61 percent. Candidate Mitch Reed had 20.41 percent.
Incumbent Sandra Adams had no opposition for Resaca Town Council Post 4, securing her spot on the Council for another four years.
The county-wide SPLOST vote passed with more than 77 percent of the vote.
A runoff election for Calhoun City Post 4 and Resaca Town Council Post 3 will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, with early voting starting later in the month. For more information on the runoff, visit the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office at http://gordoncounty.org/departments/board-of-elections.
The diligent work put forth by Calhoun Middle School Exceptional Student Services (ESS) teacher Justin Lindsey to make a difference in the lives of local students dealing with autism and autism spectrum disorder was recognized as he was named the North Georgia Educator of the Year at the North Georgia Autism Conference on Friday, Oct. 20.
Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Lindsey, who also serves as the head coach of the Calhoun High School cross country team, has worked with students that struggle with complications stemming from these disorders, both inside and outside of the classroom. Last December, Lindsey partnered with local parents and family members of autistic students to form the support group Calhoun Autism Network (CAN), which helps point those affected by the disorders in the direction of helpful resources in the area.
The third annual North Georgia Autism Conference, which took place at the Dalton Convention Center and is sponsored by the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership along with several other organizations, aimed to provide educators, parents and other young adults with the advocacy and resources needed to
help local individuals continue dealing with these disorders.
In addition to informative speakers and presentations, the conference decided to honor a Volunteer of the Year and Educator of the Year for the first time this year. Scott Kremer, who is on the board of the Autism Society of Georgia, was selected as Volunteer of the Year. Lindsey took home Educator of the Year recognition, which was both a special honor and a little bit of a shock for him.
"To be quite honest, the selection and honor came as a complete surprise," Lindsey said. "The selection was due to efforts in the classroom and the recent success of our local support group, the Calhoun Autism Network. It is an honor to be chosen for an award in education, especially when one considers the amount of high quality teachers we have at Calhoun and in north Georgia."
"It makes it more special when it brings light to the efforts of our members at the Calhoun Autism Network and local teachers. We have many teachers, parents and community members who work diligently to help our community."
It isn't just the North Georgia Autism Conference that has observed the efforts of Lindsey. The Calhoun Middle School administration and his colleagues have also acknowledged how important of an asset he has become to the school system and how well deserved this recent honor is.
"Justin Lindsey is an outstanding advocate for students with special needs, and we are extremely proud to have him represent our school system and community as the North Georgia Autism Conference Educator of the Year," Calhoun Campus Principal Peter Coombe said.
"In all things, Justin goes above and beyond the call of duty and we are pleased that his hard work is being recognized by others who share his passion for serving students with autism and other unique abilities."
Lindsey credits his this accomplishment and success in the classroom with his ability to form genuine personal connections with individuals of all ages that he interacts with, something he hopes others in the community strive to accomplish going forward. He learns just as much from the students as they learn from him.
"By working in my position inside and outside of the classroom, I learn something on a daily basis from a student or parent that has a positive influence on my perspectives and allows me to grow as an educator," Lindsey said.
"I have learned that the success of your classroom is highly dependent upon building positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Luckily, Calhoun City Schools embraces the idea of a strong connection to the community. We should all be excited about the potential we have to make a difference in the near future."
Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 is an official United States Federal holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans.
The Gordon County Clerk of Superior Court, Grant Walraven, is asking all veterans of all military branches of service to make sure their DD-214 discharge is recorded at the courthouse. Your DD-214 should have been recorded at the time of the service member's discharge from the military.
Walraven stated, "I have discovered that many veterans do not know about this service and did
not have their DD-214 recorded. Although veterans may have recorded their DD-214 in their home town or in a county or another state far away from Gordon County, you are encouraged to record them here as well. If your DD-214 has been recorded somewhere else and you are now living in Gordon County, simply bring your DD-214 to the Clerk of Superior Court's Offices, located at 100 Wall St., Ste. 102, and we will record it in our records. If there comes a time you need a certified copy, then we will be able to provide one for you and it will not be necessary to send to another county or state to obtain your record. This is a free service to all our veterans that my office is delighted to offer. You paid it forward for all of us. Thank you."
DD-214 is issued by the Department of Defense when a person is discharged by the military.
Outer Elements, a full service nursery and landscaping/hardscaping provider, officially opened their doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce.
Outer Elements offers design build, earth work and asphalt paving, in addition to landscape, and have two architects in the company to provide customers with quality
design and function.
Outer Elements carries trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, mulch, pine straw, topsoil, seed, fertilizer, stones, pavers and much more.
Outer Elements is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. 3 p.m. Outer Elements is located on West Belmont Drive in Calhoun, next to Northwest Georgia Paving. For more information, call 706629-8255.