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In light of recent school shootings, Calhoun City Schools continues to focus on improving school safety procedures

This week, Calhoun City Schools continues to meet with local law enforcement to discuss ways in which the system can improve school safety procedures. Administrators and staff appreciates Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss and his staff for providing support to the City schools and community.

Pictured, left to right: Michelle Doane-Beeler, Campus Assistant Principal; Beth Holcomb, Complex Principal, CPD Chief Garry Moss; Mark Waycaster, School Resource Officer: Superintendent Michele Taylor; Tom Griffith, Director of Facilities and Operations and CPD Major Larry Gilbert.

Annual Coulter Hampton Day event raises more than $28k to help kids in Gordon County

Fun was had by all in the community who attended the annual Coulter Hampton Day this past Saturday, where more than $28,000 was raised to help sick children and their families in Gordon County.

"We had a great day," said an excited Nikki Hampton, who organizes the fundraising event for the Coulter Hampton Foundation each year.

The event is held in memory of her son, Coulter, who was born with Dyskeratosis Congenita, a rare, progressive bone marrow failure disorder. Coulter Hampton Day began as a special day to uplift Coulter and raise money for his treatments. The event continued after the young boy lost his fight with the disease, and every year, the special day continues to remember Coulter, raise awareness and collect funds to help local families and organizations who are also dealing with medical issues.

According to Nikki Hampton, more than 100 volunteers from various churches and community groups showed up to help with the event; Waffle House donated all the food, Ryo Baptist Church had a cotton candy machine, the Rock Bridge Ladies Group hosted the Sweet Shop, Kitty Weaver provided the horse for handprints, while other businesses and individuals from all over Gordon County donated silent auction items, garage sale items and cakes.

The American Legion Riders held a car show that was popular with the crowd, and singers and groups including Calhoun Primary School, Calhoun Elementary School, Sonoraville Elementary School, Fairmount Elementary School and Hallie Black performed. SMA Athletics held a demonstration and Nicholas Najera donated hair during the event.

The Coulter Hampton Foundation would like to thank all sponsors and volunteers, along with the community for supporting this event.

Flu lingers but is dropping significantly

The latest Georgia data continue to show the flu epidemic trending downward in the state.

Hospitalizations for flu in the eight-county metro Atlanta area dropped to 49 during the week of Feb. 18-24. The number had been 91 the week before. And the proportion of outpatient visits for flu-like illness in Georgia during the same period dipped to 6.5 percent, from 11.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll from this flu season increased to 118 from 98, the state's Department of Public Health reported. Included in the total are four pediatric deaths.

That total is double the 58 deaths the state recorded in 2009, the first year when all flu deaths here had to be reported to Georgia Public Health.

Nationally, the disease is "widespread" in 45 states and Puerto Rico. But health officials in Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, New Hampshire, Hawaii and the District of Columbia report that they're seeing only regional or local flu activity.

"That's a very good sign that activity is decreasing. There still is a lot of flu out there," Dr. Alicia Fry, who works in the influenza division at the CDC, said Friday, according to NPR.

Nationally, the CDC reported 17 flu deaths among children last week, bringing the total pediatric deaths to 114.

"We could have six more weeks of flu. Now, it could be shorter. We don't know. It's really hard to predict flu, but it could be a month and a half," Fry said.