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VOL. 01 NO. 24
F R E E GRIFFIN'S GREAT AND GROWING GANG PROBLEM:
What it's like living in the hood - pg 2 What local law enforcement is doing about it - pg 2 Commissioners and officials reactions to it - pg 7
Georgia citizens can earmark their tax dollars for local schools
Though HB1133 was enacted in 2008, allowing Georgia to issue income tax credits to individuals or businesses who donate to student scholarship organizations (SSOs), many remain unaware of this opportunity. The house bill was recently tweaked, but the premise has remained the same: taxpayers can reduce their Georgia state income tax liability by donating money to an SSO. The donation acts as a credit against taxpayer tax bill, not a deduction. This means that dollar-for-dollar, the donation amount is deducted from Georgia income tax liability. Limitations do apply pre-approval is necessary because a maximum of $50 million can be allocated each year to the entire program, and caps of $1,000 and $2,500 exist for single or married couples, respectively. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their income tax liability. As of november 8, 2011, the $50 million cap for the Georgia Student Scholarship Organization was reached, which was the first time the cap has been met since the enactment of the bill. Anyone interested in donating will now have to submit an application for 2012. The Dinoff School, a local private school, participates in the Golden Dome, one example of an SSO. "Over half of our students are on a Golden Dome scholarship," said Headmaster Leslie Dinoff. "I have at least 30 students here on it and am able to employ 7 people that I couldn't otherwise." "It's an awesome way to bring money back into our community," she continued. Sky Hardin, President of Golden Dome, explains that the tax credit program helps stretch the state's education budget a little further, since the cost to educate a private school student is roughly half that of a public school student. "The law reads that I cannot give the school more than the state average tuition ($8,000) or the max that the school charges. I would say 90 percent of schools I deal with, their tuition ranges from $4 - 5,000 per year. So what we’re doing in south Georgia is we’re giving a private school education to two children for the price of one public school education," said Hardin. Several other SSOs exist, including Georgia GOAL, in which St. George's Episcopal School in Milner and 115 other Georgia schools participate. For more information, visit www.doe.k12.ga.us and click the "tax credit information" link on the bottom left. Ω
Mistletoe Market mules draw large crowd
Families gathered in the parking lot on the corner of Broad and Hill on Saturday, Dec. 3 to catch a ride on the mule-drawn carts during this year’s Mistletoe Market, held annually at Griffin’s Regional Welcome Center. Vendors sold their handmade goods and children took photos with Santa upstairs in the welcome center while mules pulled cartloads of people around the streets of Downtown Griffin.
FDA pulls HCG weight-loss products from the market
stop selling them. noting that the product labels call for the pellets, liquids, and sprays to be taken in conjunction with a very low-calorie diet, an FDA official said it did not appear that oral HCG offers any extra weight loss benefit. Warning letters sent to manufacturers of the products note that HCG has not received FDA approval for any weight-loss indication. The substance is approved as an injectable drug for certain forms of female infertility and is therefore subject to FDA regulation. Several local weight-loss centers in Griffin currently offer HCG as a weight loss solution, and for now, will be able to continue to do so, as long as someone on staff has the ability to write a prescription for it. Lisa Mobley Mullis, family nurse practitioner of On Dec. 6, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission deemed over-the-counter weight-loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) fraudulent and illegal, and told seven manufacturers to Absolute Healthcare in Griffin, commented upon the FDA press release by saying, "The fake or homeopathic HCG products that are sold over-thecounter at health food and vitamin stores and on the internet...were pulled from the market. Real HCG is only legally obtainable by prescription from a licensed health care provider with a DEA number allowing prescriptive authority." Though there are many critical of the HCG diet, citing a lack of FDA approval; that anyone would lose weight on 500 calories, and that such a restrictive diet is not safe, many HCG dieters swear by its success,
COnT, HCg, pg 2 »
D. McGirt comments upon financial investments, while a new columnist talks about her Funky time in the bathroom. pg 4 What to do if someone you love is having a "Blue Christmtas" pg 5
Budding recording artist returns to Griffin for concert
The Griffin Area Community Concert Association is proud to present Griffin native Emily Hearn in concert at the Griffin Auditorium on Thursday, January 17, 2012. The daughter of Tim and Robin Hearn of Griffin, Emily was a senior in high school when she taught herself to play the guitar. While attending the University of Georgia, she began writing songs and performing them for close friends. It wasn't long before her hobby became her passion. She professionally recorded her first song, Maybe, in Charleston in June of 2009, which led to her collaboration with Trey Roth and Jason Hoard of Griffin for her 5 song EP, Paper Heart, released in May of 2010. Only a year and a half after independently releasing her debut EP, Paper Heart, Emily is touring all over the southeast. Emily’s manager, Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, guided Emily
COnT, artist, pg 3 »
City and county officials comment upon Griffin's great and growing gang problem. pg 7
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO OUR WONDERFUL READERS - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT DURING OUR FIRST YEAR OF BUSINESS! WE LOOK FORWARD TO 2012!
TOP STORIES Griffin's great and growing gang problem: 75% of crime in Griffin is gang-related
2 Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
The gangs are real, ensures law enforcement
With a consensus among local law enforcement agencies that a minimum of 75 percent of Griffin’s violent and property crime is directly tied to gang activity, officers remain on the front lines of what is described as an increasing and potentially explosive surge in gang-related activity. Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam cited family dysfunction, saying, “The gangs seem to be attracting younger and younger people. With some, the gangs are almost like a second family – for some, their first family. They look at it as a home. It gives them something they’re looking for.” Despite the many factors that contribute to the growing number of gang members located in Griffin – now estimated to exceed 500 strong – the end result is a significant
danger posed to the public, a danger that some say is poised to increase with potentially deadly consequences. “There’s no such thing as wanna-bes,” said Sgt. John Hayes, of the GPD Criminal Investigation Division. “When you have kids who are tired of hearing that, they’re going to go out there and prove themselves by whatever means is necessary.” Towards that goal, he said local gangs are much more highly structured, with rank, as well as specific tasks. “When you talk about the West Side Bloods, they’re actually broken down into groups by streets, like Slaton Avenue and 19th St. They’re all Bloods, but they’ll put groups together for specific purposes, whether it’s drugs, prostitution or robbing crews,” Hayes said. “Within the gangs, they also have structure just like the military and law enforcement. They have captains, lieutenants and OGs, which is Old
Gangsters – guys who have been in a long time, maybe been locked up in
learn in jail, but we’re also having people come in from other cities. They bring their knowledge of what they were doing there here.” Cpl. Kelly McKinney said one hindrance law enforcement officers face is the lack of acknowledgement that Griffin actually does have a serious gang problem. “Most people out there don’t think there are gangs. They’re oblivious to the fact that there are gangs here,” she said. “There are 16 that we can come up with off the tops of our heads. Drugs and gangs are the biggest problems in this city. Drugs help finance the gangs – you can’t separate the two.” Investigator Chip Johns said for those who doubt the gang problem exists, he suggests looking no farther than local football games, where metal detectors are required along with a heavy off-duty police presence – typically at least 20 to 24 officers. Sgt. Gene Mathews and Johns are only two of many at the GPD who say they have seen an increase in gang-related crime that
they believe is only the tip of the iceberg. “Within the past three or four months, we’ve seen more gang-related activity than we did the rest of the year,” Mathews said. “It’s just the natural progression of it. And the ones who use to have this so organized have been locked up, but they’re getting ready to get out. They’ve been in prison for 10 or 15 years, but they’re about to be back. By summertime, it’s going to be off the chain.” “It’s about the East Side and the West Side – it’s cause and effect,” he said in reference to the cause of many past gang fights, a number of them fatal. “Where you use to earn your way up, now you beat or kill your way up. The harder you are and the more stuff you do, the higher you rise in the ranks.” Lt. Mike natale also warned parents who think their children are immune from exposure to Griffin’s gangs to think again. “It’s in the schools now and they’re recruiting from within,” he said. “It’s just like drugs. We can get this guy
and that guy, but there’s always ten more behind them.” The result? natale said it is not unusual for him to encounter 12- to 13-yearolds with gang tattoos. Meanwhile, local law enforcement agencies continue their efforts, albeit using different approaches, to curb the increase in gang-related criminal activity. Strickland said the GPD does not have personnel specifically assigned to work anti-gang operations, with the task falling to investigators as they work their individual caseloads. Beam, however, has opted to designate personnel specifically to the work gang-related matters. “We do have several people in our investigative unit who are assigned to try and stay on top of that, and I wish we had more people we could designate,” he said. “The crimes that are being committed by the gangs are violent crimes. The drugs, murders, assaults and thefts – they all go hand-in-hand.” Ω
A "West Side" gang tag
prison and come back out to the streets. It’s a lot more structured than a lot of people think they are.” In addition to structure, Griffin’s gangs are also becoming more sophisticated in criminal endeavors, Hayes said. “The gangs are coming up. They’ve moved from only street level crime to Internet crime – identity theft, tax fraud, things of that nature,” he explained. “Counterfeiting is also a huge problem and that’s not just money. It can be clothes, checks, anything. Just like everything else, the gangs are evolving. Some of the techniques they
Griffin crime statistics report an overall downward trend in crime based on data from 10 years with violent crime decreasing and property crime decreasing. Based on this trend, the crime rate in Griffin for 2011 is expected to be lower than in 2009. The city violent crime rate for Griffin in 2009 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 77.13% and the city property crime rate in Griffin was higher than the national property crime rate average by 100.99%. In 2009 the city violent crime rate in Griffin was higher than the violent crime rate in Georgia by 78.53% and the city property crime rate in Griffin was higher than the property crime rate in Georgia by 66.42%. Officials at the Griffin PD say a portion of the past year was much "quietier" than usual, but that it's picking up a lot now, with the anticipation that 2012 will see a crime spike.
Life in the midst of violence
While some remain skeptical of the existence of violent organized gangs in Griffin, those who live and work in their midst are forced to accept their reality, as well as the impact they have on their daily lives. Charlotte Hall is one such Griffin resident. Having worked for 17 years at the Fast Food Mart at the intersection of n. Hill Street and northside Drive, she has witnessed firsthand the tremendous destruction these gangs wreak on families and the community. “I’ve been here at this job for 17 years and I’ve never been as scared as I am now,” she said. “As long as I’ve been there, I’ve never had the fear of going to work like I do now. I’m just
so afraid that somebody innocent is going to end up getting hurt in the crossfire.” A typical week for Hall includes violence she attributes to gangs, and she said the incidences are increasing in frequency and magnitude. “Every week, we’re going to have at least one fight – sometimes three, four or five people on one person – because someone is where they aren’t suppose to be,” she said. “It’s pathetic. From what I can tell, it’s about respect. I try to tell them they’re doing wrong, but they say, ‘We don’t go on there side of town, so we feel like they should respect ours.’ I tell them they don’t own anything – it’s not theirs’. They don’t work. They don’t pay taxes. How the hell do they think they can tell someone what part of town they can go to? It’s ridiculous. The gang members just don’t care about what they do – what happens. They’ve got something to prove.”
Hall said she does not know what it will take to curb the rampant crime that has torn much of Griffin apart, but she believes any effort is worthwhile, including education for both children and parents. “I also think that jail sentences would make a difference sometimes. I think that for these violent crimes, serving some time instead of getting probation might deter some of this gang activity,” she said. Despite her deep fear, Hall said she continues to reach out to those she knows to have gang affiliations in the hope that it may one day make a difference in someone’s life. “”They’re ignorant and I tell them that. As a mother, as a grandmother, I would really like to see it stop, but it just goes on and on and on,” she said. “It tears my heart apart, but it doesn’t make them stop. All they’ll say to me is that I don’t understand. I try to
make them see that I can’t understand it because it just doesn’t make sense. We share the same history – we should respect and support each other. Instead, all they’re doing is destroying our community.” Ω
« HCG, cont.
stating that the HCG helps curb their appetite. Mullis also stands by the effectiveness and use of HCG, stating, "HCG, like many other medications used to aid in weight loss, has never been approved by the FDA to be used for weight loss. However, real HCG has been proven clinically to aid in weight loss. In my opinion, HCG is a safe and effective method of quicker weight loss when under close supervision of a licensed health care provider who performs thorough exam and monitors the patient closely. " Ω
2011 YTD Crime
# Incidents % change from 2010 0 9 42 94 290 1188 48 9 1680 -100% -25% -14.29% 4.44% -2.68% -8.76% -38.46% 50% -8.75%
Homicide Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Theft Arson Total
*Statistics provide by www.cityrating.com
Gone away is the bluebird Here to stay is a new bird
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Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
Commissioners negatively biased toward Country Rock?
Despite strong opposition by some members of the Spalding County Board of Commissioners, Country Rock Bar & Grill has been granted a renewal of its alcohol license. Commissioner Gwen FlowersTaylor led the discussion by stating she has received complaints from constituents who are concerned about activities taking place at the local club. “Every year it’s something different, with someone else, but it’s always a mess,” she said. Commissioner Bob Gilreath joined the dissent by asking, “Does this Board know what’s going on at this place?” He went on to say he has viewed clips recorded on Country Rock premises that have been posted online. “It’s vulgar. There are women in panties doing a shake-amaroo,” he said. “Is this what we want in this community?” Sheriff Wendell Beam then responded to commissioners’ questions regarding possible illegal activity taking place at the club, but Beam said there have been no substantiated reports. He went on to say that his office has responded to disturbance calls at Country Rock, but that the typical scenario is that no witnesses come forward. Beam said he does have investigators monitoring the club, but at this time, he cannot state that any laws are being broken. County Attorney Jim Fortune then informed the Board that he does not believe legal grounds exist to deny the alcohol renewal request. “Right now, you don’t have anything concrete to deny them a license,” he said. By a 3-2 vote, with FlowersTaylor and Commissioner Chipper Gardner opposing, the board ultimately granted conditional approval of the renewal request, pending verification that Country Rock was otherwise properly licensed. That additional license verification has since been obtained. Gardner later explained his grounds for opposing the request. “If they were having problems with them (Country Rock) three years ago, and having problems two years ago, having problems one year ago and the Sheriff says it’s under investigation now, I’m not going to vote for it. For me, there’s a problem. In the fire service, we say, ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,’” he said. “They’re licensed. I just want them to stay within the confines of the law. I just expect them to maintain order and control, and for whatever reason, they seem to have a problem with that up there. I think there are some issues that need to be addressed and I’m not one who’s afraid to say it.” Ω
Commissioners respond to potential conflict of interest concerns
Spalding County officials have responded to concerns that Board of Commissioner’s Chairman Eddie Freeman may have participated in a recent discussion and vote regarding Conservation Use Land, actions that could indicate a conflict of interest. According to Spalding County Chief Tax Assessor Tim Whalen, the board was addressing changes to the county code that would require property owners to own a minimum of 25 acres designated for conservation. “Actually, there was no minimum set in the state law,” Whalen explained. “About three years ago, the legislature decided to allow counties to set their own acreage requirements. It still has to be agriculture and standalone 25 acres or greater now.” Freeman, who currently holds a Conservation Use exemption on a 9.46 acre parcel, stood to be negatively affected should the BOC approve this measure. Because of this, some residents expressed opposition to Freeman’s participation in the discussion – during which he vigorously argued in opposition to the proposed change – and vote. With Freeman casting the lone dissenting vote, the BOC ultimately approved the measure by a 4-1 vote. Consequently, upon the Dec. 31, 2012, expiration of his current easement, Freeman will see a tax increase totaling $949.46. In response to concerns raised with regard to these actions, Freeman said he remain comfortable with his decision to participate. “I vote on everything, whether it’s for or against,” he said. “I don’t understand the question – just because I opposed it? I did not see it as a conflict.” Instead, Freeman said his position was that the county should not single out only those with parcels less than 25 acres. “It’s just not a fair way to do this – to go after one to 25 acres and not even look at anything over that,” he said. A question of whether a commissioner has a conflict of interest basically comes down to a personal decision on their part, said County Attorney Jim Fortune. “I think that anytime there is an issue where any elected official has a financial interest, that is a matter that certainly might be a conflict of interest, but that is an individual decision,” he said. Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor said she was unaware of any potential concern regarding Freeman’s participation in the matter, but added, “Anything that we do that benefits the taxpayers will benefit us, too, as residents. I’m not here to make legislate anyone’s morality, but speaking for myself, if I’m aware or even think that I have a conflict, I’ll speak to the board before any discussion.” Commissioner Chipper Gardner said Freeman’s district is largely rural, so it is possible the chairman was contacted by constituents who expressed their opposition to the conservation use change. “Then, if he doesn’t vote, those constituents don’t have a voice,” he said. “I mean, if it affected him and no one else, he would have a real big problem, but it affects a lot of people in the county.” Commissioner Raymond Ray did not specifically address Freeman’s vote, but did say, “When a commissioner is personally affected by the outcome of a vote, it is incumbent upon that commissioner to recuse himself from that vote because we are here for the good of the people, not ourselves.” Ω
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The Tiger Lily
136 S. Hill Downtown Griffin
« artist, cont.
to a licensing deal with All Media Music Group in 2010. This led to an opportunity for her to perform in February 2011 at the Sunset Sessions in Carlsbad, CA alongside acclaimed bands and artists including REM, Stevie nicks, Iron and Wine, and Augustana. In addition Emily has been the opening act for Hootie and the Blowfish, Grace Potter and the nocturnals, and Darius Rucker. Emily released a music video for her song Rooftop in February 2011 co-starring Bill Murray. Most recently, Emily performed in Houston at the 100 year celebration for The Girl Scouts of America. She has also been chosen as a featured performer for the national Association for College Activities, which will give her the opportunity to perform at colleges and universities all over the nation. Her song, not the One will be used on the new
ABC family show, Jane by Design. Emily will release her first full-length album Red Balloon, also recorded in Griffin with Trey Roth Productions, in January of 2012. Emily's unique sound is characterized by her ability to write from deep vulnerability that translates across a wide range of audiences with charming, lighthearted melodies. Currently residing in Athens, GA, 21-year-old Emily Hearn will entertain and move the audience with her songs and stage presence. The Griffin Area Concert Association is proud to present one of Griffin’s greatest young talents in concert for the first time in her home town. Tickets are $20 for adults with all minor children accompanying a paid adult admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by mailing a check to Griffin Area Community Concert Association, 1131 Skyline Drive, Griffin, GA 30224 or by calling 770-228-3229. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Ω
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Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
“GET A GRIP”: POLL OF THE WEEK Valid Concerns and Helpful Each week at www.the-grip.net a “Get A Grip” poll will be posted. The results and any related content will be Solutions: Financial Planning
published in the consecutive print edition of The Grip. DIRT MCGIRT Visit www.the-grip.net to vote today!
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Do you plan to vote for Should the city or against the School commissioners cease SPLOST next year? funding the City Golf Letters to the editor concerning this Course? subject and others should be sent to
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Like most people, my 401(k) has taken quite a hit during this economic downturn and I have been looking for a way to recoup some of the losses to my portfolio. I have looked into possibly investing my money in international currency or trading commodities, but the uncertainties of the financial markets in Europe make that a risky proposition at best. I have also talked to several financial planners and they seem to think that rather than pull my money out of the market, the better strategy is to sit tight and hope for a recovery of both the domestic and international economies. I had all but given up hope until a recent drive through downtown Griffin when I realized that the solution to my economic woes was located on nearly every corner. While Griffin may lack certain industries, it more than makes up for those shortcomings in title pawns and gold buyers and I decided to stop by one of these establishments to see if they could assist with my financial needs. Before entering I had a conversation with the guy in the Statue of Liberty suit dancing by the road with the sign that says “Title Pawn” and “Top $ for Gold”. I was certain that his financial stability was
The Tiger Lily
136 S. Hill Downtown Griffin
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the reason for his dancing joy and that he would be a useful source of financial advice. He agreed that the debt crisis gripping both Greece and Italy coupled with the European Union’s slow response to Standard and Poor’s downgrading of France’s credit rating make a foray into the international markets untenable at this time. He also said he had a cat named Russ who only has one eye and that he really wished McDonald’s would leave the McRib on the menu all year long. After this enlightening discussion, I decided that I would rather have the security of cash in hand than risk the uncertainty of investments. Thus I decided to pawn the title to my 1986 El Camino and sell my excess gold chain. After all, a car title is just a piece of paper and I can only wear one diamond encrusted dollar sign necklace at a time, lest I appear ostentatious. I was able to pawn my car title for $600 at only 194 percent interest and I received $150 for my extra gold chain. With the extra cash I was able to get racing stripes painted on my El Camino and a customized license plate that says “2 kool 4 skool”. now when I see the dire financial predictions on the evening news, I can’t help but feel sorry for those who have not planned for their financial security as thoroughly as I have. Ω And by the way, in case you are wondering, Thomas Andrew Hendricks was vice president of the United States under Grover Cleveland, but died within eight months in office. I know you were wondering about that. Ω Anne is a stay-at-homemother, former librarian, and a NBCT certified educator. She holds a BA in Communications from Mercer and a M.Ed. in Media from West Georgia College.
25 total votes
Having a Funky time in the bathroom (How to get your kids reading)
ANNE HENDRICKS CHILDRESS
Annechildress@ymail.com As a former librarian, I am asked every day by someone, “How do you raise up a reader?” My answer is always the same: there are two types of readers: informational and leisure. An informational reader seeks to find answers or read to find out something. A leisure reader is someone reading and does it often for fun. Sometimes, a reader wears both hats – they are leisure readers and informational readers. What is the trick to raising a reader? Keep a variety of books, magazines, and newspapers all around the house. And the key to success? Location, location, location! Beside the bathroom door. Or within the bathroom. Why? to and even then, I didn't want to. In desperation, my mother came up with the idea to buy a set of Funk and Wagnall Encyclopedias and put them by the bathroom door. I was intrigued by the shiny cover of the books and most importantly, how they were lettered. I was also curious to see if there were any famous people named Hendricks inside. “Look it up” my mother told me and having no clue as to how, I just figured out any famous Hendricks would be in the “H.” I think I must have heard that somewhere in my Crescent Elementary. And thus, I became a huge informational reader. Within a year, my brilliant mother began putting novels and magazines on the shelves and I started a variety of reading, but I would always return to my Funky Time. I discovered, through my librarian, that encyclopedias were huge volumes of information, but I could go further into fiction to experiment with my dreams besides the world of nonfiction. Thanks to nancy Baird, my Crescent librarian, I discovered Victoria Holt, Judy Blume, and Laura Ingalls Wilder – both of which, in turn, had me in Funky Time, and I learned about the Westward Expansion, Boar Wars, Queen Victoria, and Esther Williams. I know – what a wide variety in such a short time!
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- is it time to change your life? - thinking of retirement? - want to start a business? - can’t seem to make your dreams come true? Working with a Certified Life Coach can help you push beyond the limits you may have set for yourself.
Because everyone uses the family bathroom. By simply putting a bookcase or a basket of a variety of literature by or in the bathroom, your child will be reading. Here is my story on how I became an informational reader: Both of my parents were educators and by the age of 9, I was not an avid reader. I did, however, visit the bathroom often to hide from my brother. I only read when I had
All because of “having a Funky time in the john.” I recently asked my mother where she got the idea and she informed me that she got the idea from her childhood librarian, Miss Lena Mae Scott (a subject for another day). But all I can say is that the simple idea of having a Funky time in the john” gave me an exciting and rewarding 16-year career where I inspired students to read for information and maybe, if I was lucky, got a few reading for leisure.
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If someone you know is having a blue Christmas...
Question: My sister has been withdrawn recently. She appears depressed. She has been in poor health, but her mood has really darkened in the past few weeks, especially as Christmas gets closer. Is she depressed? “Tis the season” to be jolly, but many people struggle at this time of the year. There are some good reasons for this, and it is quite common. I heard in a sermon once, “While the orchestra proclaims celebration and joy, if you listen closely enough, you will hear the melancholy sound of the French horn, reminding us that someone somewhere has need of consolation.” I found the thought so profound and expressive that I have remembered Bruce Morgan’s words ever since. There is a well-known condition known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder”, or SAD, that occurs in winter months. Your sister may be more prone to it related to her state of overall health, since there is a nearly 100 percent correlation between chronic pain and depression. There is a gland in the brain that secretes substances that affect mood, and the gland is stimulated into action by ultraviolet light from the sun. When the sun is behind clouds in cold weather, or when there is less of it because the days are shorter, the gland is less active. If you are teetering on depression, this can send you over the edge. taking any medications that increase sensitivity to light, this is not a good option, and you would need to consult your doctor first.
Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
The thrill of Hope
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Have a question for Dr. Bob? Send it to IrisCity@aol.com.
Like with other depression states, you may notice changes in appetite; loss of energy and ability to concentrate on tasks later in the day; slow, lethargic body movement; withdrawal from social activities; and, irritability or unhappiness. It can be extraordinarily frustrating for the family, coworkers, and friends who may not understand what is happening to your sister. There are some conservative measures that may help. Since lack of exposure to light is contributory, take your sister on walks during the daylight hours. You can also use very bright fluorescent lights in the home to mimic sunlight. If light exposure is going to help, it should work in three or four weeks. Of course, if your sister is
“I’ll be home for Christmas” echoes in my Talk to your sister about her head. I’ve listened to it played every Christmas feelings. SAD can usually season, and until now, be turned around with it was just a sweet time and understanding, sentiment for those who but if she is bipolar or has really don’t get to be a history of other forms of depression, it is particularly home for the big day. But, since this year my important to identify husband will be flying any suicidal thoughts. If over Christmas, I kind she has any thoughts of of get it. And, really, I’m harming herself, get her okay. to her doctor as soon as possible. I’m okay, because my children will still wake up If these conservative to more than they need. measures do not help Their little eyes will turn the condition within a to wonder as they run month, consider taking to touch the things they your sister to her doctor to wished for. discuss whether she needs mediations to help her. I’m okay, because they Medications should never will fill themselves that be your first option, but morning with a traditional they are helpful in some breakfast feast where they cases where conservative can pour the syrup to their measures do not succeed. heart’s content. Most of us have been touched by a serious illness or death of a loved one during a major holiday, so the very happy events that make it memorable can be a problem for people who are reminded of those losses. All of us should remember that while there is much celebration going on at Christmas, it is a SAD time of the year for some. As you hear the happy sounds of the orchestra of Christmas, listen closely for the mournful French horn. Reach for whoever is blowing it, and hug them.Ω I’m okay, because they will join me at the altar Christmas Day to take communion, remembering the One who was sent that day to become Savior to the world. And, I’m okay, because my husband will return home. I’m not okay, because there are children who will wake up to the same. The same need for food. The same need for shelter. And, the same anticipation that Santa remembered them. I can easily become overwhelmed by the
immensity of needs that surround me. And, if I let it, the magnitude of it all can make me feel helpless. Until, I’m reminded of HOPE. It’s all throughout scripture. Love hopes all things…. Of faith, hope, and love….. Hope does not disappoint…. But for hope to exist, hopelessness must abound. A hard concept? Yes. But, we do not live in a perfect world. And, a perfect world would not need hope. So, on the first Christmas, God became flesh in the form of a baby to provide a once and for all sacrifice for our poor choices and short-comings. So, we would remember that where things look bleak, hope lives. Max Lucado writes, hope is an “unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be
there in the flesh to see our reaction.” I hope in the One who continues to surprise me. I hope in the One who loves those hurting children more than I do. I hope in the One who says, to “hold on to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23) Because Christ lives in us, hope lives in us. And that hope inspires me to give what I can, and do what I can do. May you be inspired with the hope living inside of you to give what you can, and do what you can do to help meet the needs around you. And, may we all be thankful this season for that thrill of hope. Ω “A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” – O Holy Night
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Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
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December 15; Friday; American Business Women’s Association; 6:30 p.m.; Christian Enrichment Center of First Methodist Church; for more information call 770467-8752. December 15; Friday; Spalding County Democratic Party; Spalding County Courthouse Annex; 7 p.m.; meeting is open to the public. December 16; Saturday; Impact Griffin 5k; The mission of Impact Racing Ministries is to partner with at-risk kids and their families in running life’s race for the Glory of God; Race day packet pick up and registration will be 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at Journey Church. The 5k race starts at 8:30 with awards at 9:15. The fun run will start at 8:45. Both races will start at Journey church; For more information and to register online, go to impactracing. org December 21-23; Wednesday through Friday; Christmas Jam Pub Crawl; Three nights, three bars, three chances to win; Sidney's Carryout, Chill's Sports Bar; The Rusty Buzzard in Thomaston; For more information search for 2011 Christmas Jam Pub Crawl on facebook. December 15 - 25; Gift of Lights; Atlanta Motor Speedway; a nightly drivethrough event with over one million LED lights in hundres of displays; 6 pm. to 10 p.m. Our community calendar is sponsored by UGA Griffin Campus & 92.5 FM The Bear
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New autism support group
A new autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group called “Jeremiah’s Promise” is meeting at Rock Springs Church the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are now held in The Chapel which is the building located to the left of the Rock Springs Church Sanctuary. the rest of the school year which ends Fri., June 1, 2012. All school days for prekindergarten are full length school days. Pre-K classes were held four days per week, Monday through Thursday, from August 8 through December 1.
To have your information appear in the this section of The Grip, (space permitting) e-mail a press release to email@example.com. In addition, H.E.L.P. Spay neuter Clinic will hold a “HO HO HO” event. For any December or January appointments scheduled by December 23, 2011, all surgery packages include free vaccines for dogs and cats (DHPP & Rabies for dogs, FVRCP & Rabies for cats). This represents a $20 value to clients taking advantage of this great offer. As always, there is no extra charge for in heat or pregnant cats or dogs. For female dogs, the cost ranges from $70-80; male dogs $60-70. Female cats are $55 while male cats are $45. Pets will be returned to Spalding County Animal Shelter at 11:30 a.m. on the morning after surgery. Appointments are required. H.E.L.P. accepts cash, checks, or pet owners may call in a credit card to the clinic on the day of their surgery. Each pet MUST have a Rabies Vaccination, or bring proof showing they have received one within the last year. If not current on rabies, the pet may receive the vaccine on the day of surgery. Additional Vaccinations are available for $10 each. To schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions, please contact Cindy Leopard at (770) 304.7911.
Mother-daughter duo begins etiquette training
LauraLee Happel and her mother, Patricia Lee, will begin teaching etiquette classes starting in January 2012. The Etiquette School of Central Georgia will focus on today's etiquette, feeling comfortable with peers and adults, dining skills, communication skills, and confidence-building selfesteem programs. Happel graudated from Valdosta State University with a degree in Theatre, Radio and Television Communications. Though currently without a location, Happel and Lee plan to either find a location soon or base themselves inside a local church. Their classes will consist of teaching children as young as six basic etiquette of formal introductions, dining protocol, and communications skills. For older children, proper attire, cleanliness and social skills will be taught. Collegiatelevel students will be consulted on image, dating, interview preparation and anger management. They also plan to offer freelance classes for civic, church and business groups. For more information, visit their website at www. etiquetteofcentralga. vpweb.com. Ω
“Pre-K education is important because it provides the child with Participation is open to a strong base of skills everyone and church for which to build upon membership is not for the rest of his or her required. Thanks to an educational career,” said experienced volunteer child Louisa Melton, the PreOUTDOOR care is now provided! To kindergarten Coordinator FIREPITS reserve a space in child care for the Griffin-Spalding or for more information County School System. please call Kelly Leger at “Even though we’ve had 404-861-6341. severe budget cuts to our QUALITY PAVERS • RETAINING WALLS • program, I’m grateful that COLORED MULCH • RIVER STONES we can still offer public EDGING MATERIALS & MORE school pre-kindergarten.” CUSTOM
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Pre-Kindergarten students start 5-day weeks
For more information, contact Louisa Melton at 770-229-3796 or louisa. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Griffin-Spalding prekindergarten program transitioned from a fourday per week program to five-days per week with its first Friday on December 9. State budget cuts slashed the prekindergarten budget for the 2011-2012 school year changing it from a 190-day school year to a 169-day school year.
HELP Spay/Neuter having Dec/Jan specials
821 Old Woodbury HWY Woodbury, GA (706) 553-9000
The HELP Spay/neuter Clinic’s transport van, “The Snip Ship” will be meeting residents of Spalding, Butts, Henry and Pike counties on January 3 On Friday, December 9, and 16, 2012 in the back pre-kindergarten students parking lot at Spalding began attending five school County Animal Shelter, 208 days per week. Justice Boulevard, Griffin, to transport pets to the The five-day school week surgical hospital in newnan. for pre-kindergarten students will remain for
Flowers-Taylor: We've got real gangs here; beginning a dialogue may help
SHEILA A. MARSHALL
While many Griffin and Spalding County officials agree that gang-related activities present not only a clear and present danger to residents, but also an impediment to growth and development, opinions on causes and potential solutions are as disparate as their own life experiences. Some blame the proliferation of local gangs on the destabilization of the traditional nuclear family while others say economic factors are responsible. Spalding County Commissioner Chipper Gardner says the problems presented by gangs is largely driven by economics, and is not isolated to Griffin, but appears to be permeating the country. “With the economy we’re in right now, it’s only getting harder on communities,” he said. “I don’t mean to minimize the issue, but the problems we’re dealing with here, it’s not that uncommon from what other communities are dealing with. The gangs are all over the place and it’s really scary to think that it’s that bad. I can see that it will be a big hindrance to continued development.” City of Griffin Commissioner Dick Morrow said although he has been told there are gangs operating locally, he was unaware of the extent of the problem. Upon learning of the crime level local law enforcement agencies attribute to gangs, he said it is something he has not experienced in his day-to-day life. “I’m told there is gang activity around my office on Solomon Street, so it is near me, but I have to say I don’t know the signs to look for – I don’t see it,” he said. “I’m just stunned. I had no idea the gang problem is so prevalent. It’s extremely sobering.” Discussing primary causes, Morrow pinpointed poor personal decision making as a key factor that creates conditions ripe for the increase in Griffin’s gangs. “I know we have a large under-educated group of drop outs, and unwed mothers are another huge problem,” he said. “Among the African-American community, I believe the figure is around 72 percent of children born and for whites, it’s around 38 percent, so that means that around 50 percent or more of children born in Spalding County are to unwed mothers. I don’t mean to trash unwed mothers, but that’s the fastest track you can take to poverty.” Beyond the root causes of Griffin’s increase in gangrelated criminal activity, officials agree that steps must be taken to stem the tide. “I think it’s going to be incumbent upon those of us who live in these affected areas to stand up against the gangs, but people don’t want to talk about it because they’re worried about retaliation,” said Gwen Flowers-Taylor, who then told the story of an elderly constituent in her district. Young men who congregate at his home routinely terrorize the elderly gentleman on his front porch, threatening him and, at times, physically assaulting him. “I can’t imaging living where you’re afraid to come out of your house, but it’s prevalent,” she said. “We’ve got gangs here; we’ve got real gangs. This is my district I’m talking about. If it’s addressed, if it’s talked about, if we can begin a dialog, it will help.” She said she hopes the near future will see the intervention of neighborhood Watch groups, as well as a potential task force, used as options used to address the growing gang problem. “This city and this county are only as strong as its weakest area,” she said. “Until it starts hitting people in their pocketbooks, it isn’t going to affect people, but you can’t stay enveloped in that nice safe neighborhood forever.” Ω
Dec. 15 - Jan. 4, 2011
Listed below are the arrests made from Dec. 7 - 13. Any indication of an arrest does not mean the individual identified has been convicted of a crime. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
tony Lamar parks, Jr 4000 Jackson Rd. Parole Violation Armed Robbery Aggravated Assault On Law Enforcement Officer Dewayne Eddie presley 932 Hamilton Blvd. Theft By Taking (F) Criminal Trespass Alvis Eugene Thomas 1229 Edgewood Ave. Criminal Damage To Property 2nd Degree (F) Obstruct Person Making Emergency Call (M) Crawford Lewis Stodghill 419 Barlow St. Burglary Emanuel Kenny II Stith 2559 Clifton Springs Manor Decatur, Ga. Possession Marijuana (F), Possession Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Rashawn Antwane Giles 1611 Hallmark Dr. Armed Robbery Aggravated Assault On Law James W. Smith 721 English St. DUI, Drugs, Violation Of Limited Permit David Michael Stogner 453 Williams Rd. ,Lagrange DUI, Failure To Maintain Lane Rusty Tobey Strickland 355 n Ave Apt 603A nE, Atl. Executing Fictitious Checks Forgery 1st Degree Curtis Lamar Gibson 503 Wheeler St. Obstruction Of Officer (M) Theft By Shoplifting (F) Richard Bennett 526 Kincaid Ave. Speeding, DUI James William Hatchett 111 Cain Cir., Milner Burglary Theft By Deception <$500
Government Scorecard A roundup of recent public meetings
Spalding County Board of Commissioners: 6 p.m. Dec. 5, Spalding Co. Courthouse Annex
Action: Consider approval on first reading of resolution to amend Spalding County Animal Control ordinance 121016 (6) and (7).
The Spalding County Board of Commissioners has determined that a $75 fee will be assessed to residents who wish to voluntarily surrender domestic animals for euthanasia. An additional $25 fee will be applied to those requesting county officials pick up these animal.
Eddie Wade Bowen 1993 Browns Mill Rd. SE, Atl Forgery 1st Degree Smith, Glenda Sue 509 n Pine Hill Rd. Battery Tahron Zahir Robert Daniels 1876 High Falls Rd. Apt. B Armed Robbery Aggravated Assault On Law Larry Fuller, Jr. 817 Hammock St. Back to serve 10 yr. sentence Poss. Of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Eric Sebastian Mckibben 468 Paul Maddox Rd., Jackson Possession Of MDMA no Proof Of Insurance Failure To Maintain Lane Fernando Antjuan Beckham 522 Mulberry St., Jackson Possession Of MDMA Audrey Loretta Oliver 110 BJ Lane, Hampton DUI/Failure To Maintain Lane Jewel Kenneth III Padgett 459 Padgett Rd., Senoia Forgery 1St Degree Theft By Deception(M) Pamela Jean Thrower 104 Vineyard Pl. DUI/Speeding 86/55 Alford, Roger Jerome 411 Fawnbrook Cir. no Proof Of Insurance Operation Unregistered Vehicle Suspended License Clint Ramsey 5448 Blanton Mill Rd. Williamson, Ga. Theft By Shoplifting (M) Whitney Tyrone Smith, Jr. 824 W. Solomon St. Burglary Tina Marie Kuhl 70 School Rd., Hampton Possession Meth (VGCSA) Poss. Drug Related Objects
Action: Consider approval of agency contract for fire protection services for the city of Sunnyside & Orchard Hill for FY 2012.
Spalding County officials have approved agency contracts for fire protection services for the cities of Sunny Side and Orchard Hill. Terms of the contract include payment of $1,331.24 and $2,230.60, respectively.
Vote: Approved 4-1; Gilreath opposing
Vote: Approved 5-0
6 p.m. Dec. 13, One Griffin Center
Action: Consider Second and Final Reading of an amendment to the Code of the City of Griffin at Chapter 90, Traffic and Vehicles, to include a New Article X, Motorized Carts: to provide for motorized cart use on certain designated public roads, rights of way and other public property.
City of Griffin Board of Commissioners
The local ordinance states the motorized golf carts may be operated on all public roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, with certain exceptions. These carts must be registered at a cost of $15, maintain a current tag and be operated by a licensed driver, with minimum state insurance coverage also required.
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Vote: Approved 6-0; Will Evans was not present.
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We celebrate the birth of the Great Physician, who came to diagnose mankin’s terminal illness. He prescribed a life-saving transfusion, making the blood donation Himself for all the trasngressions of us all. In Him alone is
our cure. Merry Christmas to all!
Robert Hayden DC, PhD, FICC
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Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yule-tide gay. From now on, our troubles will be miles away. Here we are, as in olden days; happy golden days of yore. Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more. Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. Hang a shining star upon the highest bough. And have yourself a merry little Christmas, now.
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10 REASONS TO DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING RIGHT HERE IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY
Employment - Local business employ local residents. Economic Development - Every dollar spent locally does the work of five dollars. Quality Merchandise - Our merchants carry merchandise of superior quality. Community Committment - Our merchants financially support local area activities Saving Money - Local merchants offer products at competitive prices. Personal Service - Local merchants know their customers & will go the extra mile. Selection - We CAN find it locally! Convenience - Save time, avoid crowds, no metro traffic. Taxes - Our local purchases create local tax revenue. An Investment in our Future - Keeps our economy healthy and productive future.
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