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Harley Chastain, enrolled in the Lactation Consultant program on the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Calhoun campus, has been named the college's Exceptional Adult Georgia in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Award winner. She will go on to represent the college at the state EAGLE Leadership Institute in Atlanta in March.

The Leadership Institute recognizes students who have displayed high achievement in adult education programs.

Chastain is currently enrolled in the Lactation Consultant program at GNTC’s Go, who lives in Calhoun, hopes to one day become a midwife.

“GNTC’s adult education classes have prepared me for college by giving me the right tool belt of knowledge,” said Chastain in a press release from the college. “Within the first week of college I was using a few of the writing skills taught to me in the adult education classes.”

Chastain was nominated for the EAGLE award by Melissa Blevins, lead teacher and site manager for Adult Education in Gordon County.

“Harley is dedicated, honest and she really believes in the program,” said Blevins. “She wants other people to earn their GED diploma and achieve their goal.”

Jeffery Allen, of Rome, was selected as first runner up and alternate for GNTC’s EAGLE award. He was nominated by Karen Craven, lead teacher and site manager for Adult Education in Floyd County.

“I learn more each day with GNTC’s Adult Education program,” said Allen. “I call it a never ending journey.”

The program EAGLE is designed to create greater awareness of educational opportunities that are available in local communities across the state and to encourage people who may have left school to enter the workforce years ago and a chance for further achievement in life's opportunities.

DNR promoting First Day hikes

The Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites is joining with their counterparts across the country to promote First Day hikes to welcome the New Year on January 1.

Park personnel all over the state are scheduling hikes, many of the guided by park rangers or special volunteers to encourage families to start the year with a trek through nature.

According to Georgia State Park rangers, winter’s landscape offers hikers the chance to see a greater distance through the woods to scenery that is frequently hidden by the foliage of spring, summer and fall.

Across the Northwest Georgia region hikes are slated for Cloudland Canyon where the hike will take in a less traveled section of the Overlook Trail and, weather permitting the Bear Creek Trail. At Fort Mountain State Park, the hike will take in the historic Stone Wall, the old CCC Fire Tower and west overlook.

The First Day Hike at Sloppy Floyd State Park will be a ranger-led hike to the historic Marble Mine. Red Top Mountain State Park will also feature a ranger-led hike that will highlight the historic iron ore industry of the area.

The Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area in Floyd County will also host a hike on January 1. The three-mile trek will meander around the lakes in the shadow of Lavender Mountain.

Typical park parking fees will be in effect for the events.