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Veteran's Kitchen Make-Over

Hello Canton, Woodstock, and Cumming!  We have an exciting announcement!
At Kitchen & Bath Tune-Up Canton Woodstock Cumming, we want to do everything we can to give back to and serve our community. Especially those who have fought for our country’s freedom and given their lives to build the country we love. Many of those who have served our country now face hardships due to their tremendous sacrifice for our country. So, to give back to our community and honor those who fought for our right for independence, we want to give a FREE Veteran's Kitchen Makeover to one of the military veterans in our community! (value up to $16,000)
Our purpose is to joyfully serve and enhance our community, and that involves serving those who served our country and sacrificed their lives so we could have the free country we love. To honor those in our community who fought for us, please think of whom you can nomintate that is a military veteran in our community.  We will send another email soon with a link to enter your nomination.
(*Nomination Eligibility Requirements: Nominator and nominee both must live in our community of Canton, Woodstock, or Cumming zip codes 30107, 30114, 30115, 30188, 30189, 30028, 30040, or 30041.)
We will announce the military veteran who will be awarded the Veteran’s Kitchen Makeover before Labor Day 2024. And for those of you who have served our country: Thank you for your service and for building the country we love!

Theo A. Ciupitu and the Team at Kitchen Tune-Up & Bath Tune-Up Canton Woodstock Cumming.

Greenways Master Plan survey extended until June 30

 

(MAY 17, 2024) -- Members of the public joined Cherokee County and partners for two in-person open houses and an online information session this week to get a first glimpse of the approach to a master plan encompassing all current and future greenways and trails in Cherokee County.

A project website that allows residents to provide input via a survey and interactive map will be open until June 30.

In November, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners engaged Gresham Smith for professional services to create the first-ever countywide Greenways & Trails Master Plan. The goal of the plan is to establish an intentional and cohesive approach to identifying potential locations for future trails, prioritizing trail connections and allocating funding for new projects with the cities and adjacent counties to develop the network.

The master plan will provide a framework and strategy for connecting the segments of trail, for connecting to key places and providing alternative options for transportation.

“For many years, the county and its cities have been working independently on trail creation, and we have a great network, from Woodstock’s Greenways Trail to Blankets Creek and Garland Mountain,” said Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds. “The intent of this master plan is to bring together stakeholders to create an all-encompassing plan for our county as a whole. Public participation is vital to the success of this process.”

Visit the project website to complete the survey at: https://greshamsmithplanning.mysocialpinpoint.com/cherokeecountygtmp.

Goshen Spring Luncheon

Goshen Valley recently hosted its annual Spring Luncheon, a cherished tradition that brings together our dedicated community of supporters to celebrate the spirit of giving and service. This year’s event was particularly special as we had the honor of recognizing eight outstanding volunteers with The Goshen Spirit Award:

  • Brian Venable – Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mike Gibney – Lake Arrowhead Church
  • Jesse Still – Bradshaw Farms Ambassadors
  • Heather and Devin Sanders – Goshen Homes Foster Parents
  • Dr. Tara Quinn-Schuldt – Cherokee County School District
  • Steve Kasha – Serv International
  • Dr. John Carter – Teasley Middle School
  • Melody Berger – Student and Goshen Alumni


The Goshen Spirit Award recognizes individuals who exemplify the mission of Goshen Valley through their selfless actions and unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of others. Each recipient was honored for their unique contributions and the positive influence they have had on our community.

Additionally, Zach Blend presented Connie Brown Blend with a scholarship in her honor, recognizing her decades of service to the Goshen Valley Foundation. Connie’s unwavering support has been instrumental in bolstering her husband’s vision as the foundation’s founder and nurturing her son’s leadership as its current CEO, showcasing her profound commitment to their family’s philanthropic legacy. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to one graduating female student from the Cherokee County School District in recognition of their superior commitment to their school and community. By awarding this scholarship, Zach and the Goshen Valley Foundation aim to celebrate and empower the next generation of leaders, honoring Connie’s enduring spirit of service and dedication.

The Connie Brown Blend Scholarship was awarded to Taylor King. Taylor is an exemplary student at Woodstock High School, actively participating in student government, the National Honors Society, Beta Club, and the Varsity Soccer Team. She plans to further her education at University of Florida in the Honors Program, majoring in Neuroscience. We are incredibly proud of her achievements and can't wait to see all the great things she will accomplish!

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to these recipients and to all our volunteers. Thank you to everyone who continues to light the path alongside Goshen. Here’s to many more years of spreading hope and making a difference together.

 

 

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The Children's Haven

WE'RE GROWING AND LOOKING FOR SOME GREAT PEOPLE TO JOIN OUT TEAM AT THE CHILDREN'S HAVEN!

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Our CASA program is hiring a full-time Advocacy Coordinator to support CASA volunteers serving children experiencing foster care. Apply here:

 

Advocacy Coordinator Application

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Our Wellstar Family Visitation Center is hiring Family Support Specialists. Weekend shifts available. Monitor supervised family visits and provide support to families on their road to reunification. 

 

Christina@CherokeeChildrensHaven.org

 
 
 

Falany at Reinhardt Announces Dates for Next Season

WALESKA, GA (May 17, 2024) – The Falany Performing Arts Center (FPAC) at Reinhardt University unveiled its next season of performances, providing patrons with a sneak peek of the exciting events to take to the stage. With over forty events confirmed for the upcoming school year, there’s something for everyone.

Professional concerts span musical comedy, classical, country, pop, Christmas music, and more. University Theater student productions include Cabaret and Romeo and Juliet. Students begin their season on August 30 with a fundraising murder mystery dinner and interactive show. The FPAC series runs September 7th through May 10th, with 3 Redneck Tenors launching the lineup.

The FPAC welcomes everyone to enjoy the arts and make memories. Professional show tickets are now on sale for patrons. Ticket sales for non-patrons become available 60 days before each event. Student performance tickets go on sale in August.

Click HERE to watch the Sneak Peek video. Click HERE for patron information.

Lemonade Day Cherokee County Rescheduled Due to Inclement Weather

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (May 17, 2024) – Due to the threat of showers and thunderstorms for this weekend, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce announces that Lemonade Day Cherokee County will be rescheduled for Saturday, June 1 from 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. at locations all over Cherokee County.

Interested third through fifth grade students are encouraged to participate, and advance registration is required. Register now by visiting LemonadeDay.org/Cherokee-County. Interested patrons can also visit this link to learn where the stands will be set up.

Want to know how you can be involved in Lemonade Day Cherokee County, email Christin@CherokeeChamber.com or visit LemonadeDay.org/Cherokee-County.

The mission of the Cherokee County Chamber, a Georgia Certified Chamber of Commerce, is to promote business to expand the economy and enrich the community.

Be Pro Be Proud Georgia Honors Cherokee County Graduates Following Launch of Second Mobile Workshop

ACWORTH, GA (May 10, 2024) – Be Pro Be Proud Georgia unveiled its interactive Mobile Workshop on May 7 in Woodstock, preceding Skilled Professions Signing Day. The launch event, hosted by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, highlighted the initiative’s commitment to inspiring young people to pursue fulfilling careers within skilled professions.

“We’re so excited about the new workshop, but the ones who will really benefit from this are the kids in Cherokee County and the rest of the state,” said Misti Martin, President & CEO of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED).

The new Be Pro Be Proud Georgia Mobile Workshop is a cutting-edge eighteen-wheeler with lateral sides that expand to provide a thousand square feet of showroom space. Designed to address Georgia’s critical skills gap, the Mobile Workshop is equipped with simulators and gamified stations to ignite student interest in various trades and encourage them to build successful futures without the potential burden of four-year university college debt.

The new Mobile Workshop opened its doors to attendees at Chattahoochee Technical College’s Woodstock Campus at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Attendees were able to tour the new Mobile Workshop, exploring career opportunities in nineteen skilled trades pathways such as advanced manufacturing, diesel tech, forestry, heavy equipment operations, construction, healthcare and commercial truck driving. Local employers, workforce development advocates, county leaders, state leaders and leaders in education experienced this engaging initiative.

Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell welcomed attendees. “What an absolutely outstanding effort,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Georgia is the number one state to do business today, and it’s going to be tomorrow, and ten years from now, and fifty years from now, because of programs like Be Pro Be Proud Georgia.”

Remarks followed from Cherokee By Choice, Inc. Chairman Mark Goddard, COED President & CEO Misti Martin, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Harry Johnston, Cherokee County School District Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis, Chattahoochee Technical College President Ron Newcomb and Georgia Power Workforce Development Manager and Be Pro Be Proud Advisory Board Member, Jamal Jessie.

“If you want to attract good jobs, and good companies that bring those good jobs, and the good tax digest that goes with it, you have to have a job ready workforce – that’s exactly what Be Pro Be Proud Georgia is for,” said Commissioner Harry Johnston. “We’re trying to attract the attention of middle and high school kids who have not yet made career plans.”

“Having the workforce which has the skills and knowledge, and having the businesses that need those skills and knowledge, and having communities that recognize and take advantage of that is a win-win for everybody,” remarked Ron Newcomb, President of Chattahoochee Technical College.

Following the launch event, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, COED and Chattahoochee Technical College hosted Skilled Professions Signing Day, an annual event that honors and celebrates the commitment of Cherokee County high school seniors pursuing skilled professions. Fifty-three students were honored.

“Being in these skilled trades programs are fantastic,” said Jacob Anderson, a 2023 Skilled Professions Signing Day honoree. “I work at North Atlanta Steel Supply…I sat in the same seats as all of you guys last year. I graduated and got my welding certificate from Cherokee High School and went straight into the career field. I had drive, and I learned, and I pushed myself to be better. Now, nine months in, I am being trained to be the foreman of the shop.”

COED brought Be Pro Be Proud to the state of Georgia in 2020, with the launch of its first mobile workshop. “We saw a need to introduce not just students in Cherokee, but students across the state to the skilled professions,” said Misti Martin, COED President & CEO. “That need has continued to grow. Be Pro Be Proud has been a vital tool in introducing students to key pathways and needed skillsets in our economy.”

The investment in the second mobile workshop allows for greater exposure and impact across the state. Since its inception, Be Pro Be Proud Georgia has made 307 tour stops across the state, reaching over fifty-seven thousand students – a number that continues to grow. The Be Pro Be Proud GA Mobile Workshop will continue to tour the state, engaging students and communities to explore the possibilities of skilled professions and build a stronger workforce for Georgia’s future. Visit BeProBeProudGA.org to learn more and join the movement.

Chattahoochee Tech Celebrates Graduates with Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremonies

ACWORTH, GA (May 10, 2024) – Chattahoochee Technical College honored graduates at two commencement ceremonies held Thursday, May 9, at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville.

Neary seven hundred Chattahoochee Tech students petitioned to graduate this fall, with three hundred and thirty of them participating in the commencement ceremonies. These students crossed the stage to receive associate degrees, diplomas and Technical Certificates of Credit (TCC) in a wide variety of programs of study. Popular areas of study for graduates who earned associate degrees included Cybersecurity, Business Management, Surgical Technology, Film & Video Production, and Accounting.

Delivering the commencement address at both ceremonies was political science instructor Dr. Natalia Meneses, the college’s 2024 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year award recipient. “Your struggles have not been in vain. They have shaped you into the resilient, compassionate individuals you are today,” said Dr. Meneses. “As you step out in the world armed with knowledge and determination, remember the transformative power of education. Education can change your life, your families’ lives and the communities that you live in.”

Included among the graduates were ten military veterans, ninety-five Dual Enrollment high school students and nineteen Dual Achievement high school students. Forty-nine of these Dual Enrollment students earned a Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit. A TCC, which may be embedded in the coursework for an associate degree or diploma, is designed to meet a specific educational need to prepare students, or update their skills, for the workforce. The Dual Enrollment program allows qualified high school students to maximize their education and career training by taking courses that earn college and high school course credit at the same time.

The nineteen high school Dual Achievement Program students simultaneously earned a high school diploma from the Chatt Tech Academy along with a college credential in a specific career pathway. The Dual Achievement program provides qualified students between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one with an alternate path to high school graduation.

A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Chattahoochee Tech has nine campus locations serving some of the state’s most dynamic counties. The college offers real-world training that helps students quickly start, change or accelerate their careers. The college also offers customized workforce training, continuing education classes, and adult education programs that include free GED and HiSET preparation classes. For more information, visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.

Assessment notices set to be mailed week of May 13

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (May 10, 2024) – The Cherokee County Board of Tax Assessors approved the 2024 Notice of Assessment list on at its regular meeting on Thursday, May 9, reflecting an overall digest increase of 6.5 percent, including new construction. The Assessor’s Office will begin mailing annual property assessment notices starting Monday, May 13.

The assessment notice is not a bill. The Tax Commissioner’s Office will mail property tax bills later in the year.

Assessors establish their appraisals as of January 1 of each year, as dictated by state law. A crucial part of the assessment process is to review the 2023 market sales and adjust the appraisals as closely as possible to reflect those sales.

“As you receive your assessment notices, please look at the Assessor’s Office value and consider if you could sell your house for that amount,” said Chief Appraiser Steve Swindell. “Due to the methodology utilized by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA), which determines whether or not the tax assessors are performing their duties properly, and the rapidly changing market we are experiencing, we have completed our appraisals to the absolute highest degree of the standard required by the State of Georgia for 2024.”

Residential properties with an existing homestead exemption will continue to receive the standard $5,000 exemption and the floating homestead exemption. The floating homestead exemption increases at the same rate as the property’s value increases, lessening the amount of County Maintenance & Operations tax the property owners pays on his or her property tax bill later in the year.

Those with a senior school tax exemption will see an increase in their exemption amount for school maintenance and operation and school bond taxes, up to $501,000 of fair market value. The senior school tax exemption is adjusted according to the Social Security Index. A referendum to eliminate the cap on value for the senior school tax exemption is on the May 21 General Primary ballot, but, if passed, will not go into effect until next year.

An estimated tax bill notice on the assessment notice currently is required by state law and is calculated based on the millage rates set last year. Historically, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners has reduced its controlled millage rate to, at least, partially offset the financial impact to property owners.

Property owners are encouraged to visit www.cherokeega.com/tax-assessors-office, click on Real Estate Search and ensure the details on their property are correct (number of bedrooms, basement, etc.). This tool also can be used to review sales in the neighborhood.

Those who wish to appeal their assessment value must file an appeal by Thursday, June 27, which can be done by mailing the appeal to the Board of Tax Assessors office at 2782 Marietta Hwy., Suite 200, Canton, GA 30114 or by faxing the appeal to 678-493-6125. To expedite the process, those wishing to appeal their property’s value should provide any reasoning and documentation in the initial written appeal. For questions, please call the Tax Assessor’s Office at 678-493-6120.

Highlights from the May 7, 2024 Board of Commissioners meeting

PRESS RELEASE

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (May 7, 2024) – 

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners invested in the maintenance and advancement of the fire service with approvals to spend more than $8 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax funds on new fire engines and aerial/ladder trucks.

At its May 7 meeting, the Board unanimously approved the purchase of five fire engines at a cost of $5.1 million and two ladder trucks at a cost of $3.7 million from FireLine, Inc.

One ladder truck is a 75-foot aerial apparatus, and the other is a 95-foot mid-mount platform apparatus.

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services expects to take delivery of two engines in 2025 and the remaining engines in 2026. The ladder trucks are expected in 2027.

The purchases are part of the fire department’s apparatus replacement plan in an effort to meet the standard of NFPA 1911, which sets standards and schedules for inspection, maintenance, testing and retirement of in-service emergency vehicles. CCFES currently has four frontline and five reserve apparatuses that exceed the benchmarks established in the department’s replacement plan, which indicates frontline engines and apparatuses should be replaced at the 15-year mark. Reserve fleet should be replaced at the 20-year mark.

District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby made the motion to approve purchasing the five engines, with a second from District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale. The vote was 5-0. District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter made the motion to purchase the ladder trucks, with a second from Commissioner Weatherby. The vote was 5-0.

In other business, the Board also:

  • Heard Sheriff Reynolds present awards to citizens who assisted in the funeral for fallen Georgia State Trooper Chase Redner. Trooper Rednar’s mother, Linda Redner, and former Sheriff Roger Garrison were in attendance to assist in presenting the awards to Steve Johnson and Katrina Ciccoli. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Ciccoli helped make arrangements for the North Carolina State Police’s caisson unit for Trooper Rednar’s funeral service.
  • Reappointed with a 5-0 vote, Rebecca Johnston to the Sequoyah Regional Library Board of Trustees for a new three-year term beginning July 1, as recommended by the executive director of the library system. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the minutes from the April 16 work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, Hensley West’s request to rezone 0.144 acres to General Agriculture from City of Holly Springs PDF-Mixed Use. The property was deannexed from the city of Holly Springs in 2023. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Postponed, with a 5-0 vote, at the applicant’s request, We2Friends Coffeehouse LLC’s request to rezone 0.92 acres from General Agriculture to Neighborhood Commercial for a coffeehouse and gift shop. The request also includes a concurrent variance to eliminate the required 30-foot zoning buffer, to reduce the required building setbacks and to reduce the minimum parking requirements from 12 to 9 parking spaces. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The case is postponed until the June 4 meeting.
  • Approved, 5-0, Spencer Stein’s request to hear an appeal of a Zoning Board of Appeals denial related to the removal of trees from the 50-foot undisturbed buffer in a conservation subdivision. The appeal will be scheduled for a later date. District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, Joshua Cooper’s request to hear an appeal from an April 11 decision by the Zoning Board of Appeals to deny a variance to allow an accessory structure to exceed 50 percent of the gross square footage of the principle structure. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby. The appeal will be scheduled for a later date.
  • Approved, 5-0, to re-establish a non-conforming use for a single wide home on Agriculture property less than 2 acres. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the consent agenda, which included: an amendment to the Senior Services ARPA subgrant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to extend the grant term to Sept. 30; two amendments to the Memorandums of Understanding with the Cherokee Office of Economic Development for ARPA projects; a budget amendment in the amount of $5,798 for a cash match to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council subgrant agreement on behalf of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office; and the updated Zero Tolerance Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for Cherokee Area Transit Service. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a municipal services agreement with the city of Holly Springs for Animal Control and Impoundment services. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, a municipal services agreement with the city of Canton for Animal Control and Impoundment Services. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, an agreement with the city of Ball Ground for Animal Control and Impoundment Services. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, awarding a Professional Services Agreement for the design of the Steels Bridge Road sidewalk project of the highest scoring proposal, Keck & Wood, Inc. The cost is $69,500. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, a standard construction agreement for the Creekview subdivision drainage improvement project to Ohmshiv Construction LLC, the lowest responsive bidder. The cost is $688,826. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, amendment three to the construction agreement with Bartow Paving Company for the Hames Road Improvement Project for reconstruction of the driveway at 245 Hames Road. The cost is $43,268.76. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, amendment one to the construction agreement with Bartow Paving Company to add additional roads for resurfacing and repair at the request of the city of Holly Springs as part of the 2024 Resurfacing Project. The cost is $188,878.29. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, amendment one to the intergovernmental agreement with the city of Holly Springs to provide resurfacing and road repairs to various roads in the city as part of the 2024 Resurfacing Project. The city will reimburse the county for the additional roadwork added to the construction agreement with Bartow Paving, as requested by the city. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from Fire & Emergency services for a lease renewal agreement with Holbrook Campground, a private non-profit entity, for property located at 2250 Holbrook Campground Road, for six years. The property is serving as Fire Station 25. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office to purchase two drones and implement a drone program through Axon Air for a total contract amount of $325,330 over a 72-month period. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request for the Chairman to sign letters of support and resolution of project support for county projects to be attached to the 2024 ARC TIP Project Solicitation applications. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, a waiver of conflict for Jarrard & Davis LLP to complete an intergovernmental agreement with Dawson County. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, an agreement with Curb-Tech, Inc. for annual concrete services for the Public Works Department, not to exceed $250,000 per year. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request to award a standard professional services agreement to the National Center for State Courts as a single source basis to update the 2015 Court Space Needs Assessment in the amount of $124,855. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.

Enjoy Cherokee Magazine, WLJA 101.1 FM Sponsor Retiring Educators Recognition

PRESS RELEASE

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (May 9, 2024) – The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, in partnership with Enjoy Cherokee Magazine and WLJA 101.1 FM, is recognizing retiring educators from the Cherokee County School District by donating funds to the Sequoyah Regional Library System. The funds will be used to purchase books for the library branches located in Cherokee County. The books will include a label recognizing all faculty, staff and administrators who retired during the 2023-2024 school year. Each retiree will receive notification that a book is being donated in their honor.

“This is the fifteenth year the Chamber has acknowledged retiring educators for their valuable contribution to the lives of students in Cherokee County. The Chamber is pleased to partner with Enjoy Cherokee Magazine and WLJA 101.1 FM in this tribute to Cherokee County’s educators,” shared Chamber President & CEO Pam Carnes.

About Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Cherokee County Chamber, a Georgia Certified Chamber of Commerce, is to promote business to expand the economy and enrich the community. For more information on the Chamber and its programs, visit CherokeeChamber.com.

Downtown Dawsonville will be having a Gospel in the Park Event this Saturday

Press Release: Downtown Dawsonville will be hosting the Gospel in the Park Event this Saturday, May 11th from 1:00–6:00 p.m. This event will be featuring local Southern Gospel Music Artists such as Randy & Mary Perry, The Raven Welch Band, Debra Perry & Jaidyn's Call, and also Karen Peck & New River.

To learn more visit the following sites:

Chamber Names Volunteer of the Quarter

PRESS RELEASE

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (May 2, 2024) – The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Paul Seals, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Barry Loudermilk, has been named the Chairman’s Council Volunteer of the Quarter for second quarter 2024. He was honored during the Chamber’s May Good Morning Cherokee networking event.

The Chairman’s Council is a group of key community volunteers who offer their time to help cultivate successful relationships with business owners across Cherokee County. Members are accepted by invitation only from the Chamber’s Board Chair. The Chairman’s Council members are invited to attend ribbon cuttings and ground-breakings, Coffee & Connections, For New Members, and special invitation Chamber meetings that aren’t open to the general membership.

Paul says of his time as a member of the Chairman’s Council, “I was excited when it was announced that I would be part of the Chairman’s Council this year and it has been awesome. The Chairman’s Council is such a wonderful group of people and the mission to be involved with the Chamber all over Cherokee County has been amazing. I look forward to continuing to serve and assist the Cherokee Chamber in any capacity they need me.”

In determining the Volunteer of the Quarter, attendance at Chamber events is evaluated for all members of the Chairman’s Council. “Paul has been a great addition to the Chairman’s Council, and we appreciate all the time and effort he has given to the Chamber,” said Eric Rein, Senior VP & Commercial Relationship Officer, Renasant Bank, and 2024 Chamber Board Chair.

The mission of the Cherokee County Chamber, a Georgia Certified Chamber of Commerce, is to promote business to expand the economy and enrich the community. For information on the Chamber and its programs, visit CherokeeChamber.com.

Lemonade Day Student Entrepreneurship Program is Back

PRESS RELEASE - CANTON, GA (April 25, 2024) – The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce has officially announced that Lemonade Day is back in Cherokee County. The program teaches leadership and business skills by encouraging students to launch a lemonade business in their community. Since 2007, more than 1 million students have learned about business ownership by participating in Lemonade Day.

Lemonade Day Cherokee County is planned for Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations all over Cherokee County. Interested third through fifth grade students are encouraged to participate, and advance registration is required. Register now by visiting LemonadeDay.org/Cherokee-County. Interested patrons can also visit this link to learn where the stands will be set up.

Through the program, students will engage with community leaders, financial institutions, elected officials, businesses, youth organizations, schools, churches, and non-profit organizations who are already demonstrating their commitment to helping students learn valuable lessons that will benefit them for a lifetime.

The impact of a program like Lemonade Day is four-fold: 1) teach financial literacy to students, which is often not included in school curriculum; 2) promote entrepreneurship, which is key to jumpstarting economic growth in the state; 3) teach students to be responsible and self-reliant, and to contribute to their community’s development; and 4) foster mentorship and bring families together.

Youth entrepreneurship is gaining momentum around the world. Studies have proven that introducing students to entrepreneurial experiences at an early age makes a measurable impact on their future decisions related to education, training, life, and work.

“Lemonade Day is an exciting way to impact the student’s lives through both learning and earning”, remarked Chamber Board Chair Eric Rein, Senior VP & Commercial Relationship Officer, Renasant Bank.

The learning side includes youth entrepreneurship lessons that are outlined via the My Lemonade Day app taking participants through the journey of planning, launching, and operating a business. The valuable lessons of Lemonade Day include setting a goal, making a plan, working the plan, and achieving their dreams. Once a student pays their investor(s) back, they keep all the money they earn and are encouraged to spend some, save some, and share some of their profit.

Want to know how you can be involved in Lemonade Day Cherokee County, email Christin@CherokeeChamber.com or visit LemonadeDay.org/Cherokee-County.

ABOUT THE CHEROKEE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The mission of the Cherokee County Chamber, a Georgia Certified Chamber of Commerce, is to promote business to expand the economy and enrich the community.

Celebrating Future Filmmakers with the 6th Annual Cherokee Student Film Festival

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (April 24, 2024) – The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), in partnership with the Cherokee County School District’s (CCSD) Audio/Video Technology and Film (AVTF) educators announced the winners of the sixth annual Cherokee Student Film Festival as part of a live screening and awards presentation on March 27.

26 student-made films were screened at Woodstock Arts for more than 200 attendees.

Student submissions are held to strict parameters to prepare them for real-world production requirements. Twenty groups qualified for judging and were assessed by post-secondary film instructors Steven Hames (Berry College), Dr. James “Jay” Hamilton (University of Georgia), Meredith Muse (Chattahoochee Technical College), Mitch Olson (Kennesaw State University), alongside Media Producer Justin Webb, and Peaberry Film Festival Founder Brent Lambert-Zaffino.

Awards were issued based on the judges’ total scores in the following categories: Best Cinematography, Best Sound Quality, Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Line and Best of Show. Festival attendees cast their votes in the Audience Choice category.

This year’s winners included:

After Years | “Best of Show – WINNER”; Tie, “Best Cinematography”; “Best Use of Line”; “Best Sound”
M12 Productions – Creekview High School
Chloe Feibus & Jack Estapa

The Kazoo Choir | “Best of Show – RUNNER UP”; “Best Use of Prop”
Mulberry Street Productions – Woodstock High School
Quintin Rodriguez, Hayden Nowiak, Christian Beswick & Khalil Pendleton

Just in Your Head | “Best of Show – 3rd Place”
Fifty Cents Productions – Sequoyah High School
Ava Roberts, Brooklyn Baggarly, Noah Popp & Justin Clark

Lost Interest | “4th Place”; Tie, “Best Cinematography”;
Aspect Studios – Sequoyah High School
Shiven Amrith, Liliana DeFiore, Noelle Graden & Emma Fistel

The Rise & Fall of Larry Yunker | “5th Place”; “Audience Choice Award for a Qualifying Entry”
Skat Play – Creekview High School
Nicholas Zaczek, Nate Melia, Preston Anweiler, Nolan Fader

The Pillow Fight | “Audience Choice Award for a Participating Entry”
JJSER Studios – Sequoyah High School
Rylee Steward, Jake Jira, Emerson Krantz, Jackson Jurnack, Sophia Lewis

The Cherokee Student Film Festival comes as the second partnership between COED and CCSD AVTF this year. The 5th Annual Cherokee Student Film Summit was held on March 14 at the YANMAR EVO//Center.

Students heard from a star-studded lineup of film professionals, including John Swartz, creative producer on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Mandalorian. Through engaging hands-on breakout sessions, students were able to ask questions and connect with producers, sound designers, lighting professionals, camera operators, prop masters and representatives of the Georgia Film Academy and Disney/Marvel.

The festival and summit were both created to build skills and connect students to jobs and post-secondary training opportunities, but the study of film itself can be transformative.

“Being in AVTF has really opened me up to the idea that film is subjective, and showed me that everybody’s story is unique,” said sophomore Shiven Amrith, a Sequoyah student who worked on Aspect Studios’ Lost Interest. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different people, and I’m going to continue to get different perspectives on my work.”

Lost Interest tied for Best Cinematography and finished 4th place.

AVTF educators collaborate with COED year-round to prepare for the summit and festival.

“Thank you to our talented Career Pathway film and video teachers and the valuable partner we have in the Cherokee Office of Economic Development,” said Superintendent of Schools Mary Elizabeth Davis. “Partnerships amplify the success of our schools, and this festival is shining example of collaborating effectively to benefit our students and the community.”

“A key aspect of our collaboration with CCSD is to help students hone their craft and sharpen their skills,” said Misti Martin, President & CEO of COED. “We want to challenge them while also connecting them with potential career opportunities in film and media.”

To learn more about film in Cherokee, visit cherokeega.org/film-media.

Recycling Center Service Interruption Expected April 26-May 7

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (April 24, 2024) – Single-stream recycling service at the Blalock Road facility of the Cherokee County Recycling Center will be interrupted for a little more than a week as improvements are made to help mitigate future service interruptions due to an increase in residents recycling.

The Blalock Road facility will not accept single-stream recyclables from April 26 to May 7 to allow crews to install an additional compactor. Due to work that needs to be completed, the existing compactor will not be operational.

The facility will remain open to accept glass and aluminum cans (bagged separately), as well as fee-based items including bagged trash, metal, paint and mattresses.

Work is underway at the Hobgood Park facility with the second compactor expected to be installed Monday. It will become operational when the striping and new entrance are complete at the facility. An update on operations will be posted to the Cherokee County Recycling Facebook page.

“We appreciate your patience as we work to bring more resources to our facilities that will help lessen service interruptions in the future,” said Recycling Center Manager Troy Brazie. “We are excited that more people in our community are recycling, and we are working to bring better service for you. We have been informing our Blalock Road customers as they visit the facility this week, and we are planning to be back up and running at full capacity by Wednesday, May 8.”

For any notifications or service updates, please make sure to follow the Cherokee County Recycling Center on Facebook.

Public Input Meetings Set for First-Ever Greenways & Trails Master Plan

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (April 24, 2024) – Cherokee County residents will have the opportunity to be part of planning for a master plan for trails and greenways throughout the county.

Two in-person public input sessions and a virtual meeting are planned for May.

In November, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners engaged Gresham Smith for professional services to create the first-ever countywide Greenways & Trails Master Plan. The goal of the plan is to establish an intentional and cohesive approach to identifying potential locations for future trails, prioritizing trail connections and allocating funding for new projects with the cities and adjacent counties to develop the network.

The master plan will provide a framework and strategy for connecting the segments of trail, for connecting to key places and providing alternative options for transportation.

“For many years, the county and its cities have been working independently on trail creation, and we have a great network, from Woodstock’s Greenways Trail to Blankets Creek and Garland Mountain,” said Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds. “The intent of this master plan is to bring together stakeholders to create an all-encompassing plan for our county as a whole. Public participation is vital to the success of this process.”

The first in-person open house will be held May 9, from 6:30 p.m.to 8:30 p.m., in the community room of Cherokee County’s Woodstock Recreation Center (“The WREC”), located at 7545 Main St., Building 200, Woodstock. The open house style will allow interested parties to learn more about the plan and process, as well as to provide input on an overall trail vision for Cherokee County.

The second in-person meeting will be held May 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the Etowah Room at the Northside Cherokee Conference Center at the Bluffs, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. The meeting format also is an open house style and will contain the same information as the May 9 meeting.

For those who cannot attend one of the in-person meetings, a virtual option will be held May 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The webinar will be more structured but will include public engagement and feedback opportunities throughout the presentation. A link to register for the virtual the meeting is available at www.cherokeega.com/community-services or www.cherokeega.com/planning-and-zoning. Interested parties can also click here to register. Registration is required for the virtual meeting only.

Chattahoochee Tech Foundation Presents Scholarships Valued at $86,000

PRESS RELEASE

ACWORTH, GA (April 23, 2024) – The Chattahoochee Tech Foundation awarded student scholarships with a total value of $86,000 at an awards reception held Friday, April 19, at the college’s North Metro Campus.

“We greatly appreciate the generosity of our scholarship donors in helping to make college education an affordable reality for our students,” said Jennifer Nelson, the Chattahoochee Tech Vice President of Advancement and Executive Director for the Chattahoochee Tech Foundation. “These scholarships make a real difference in the lives of our students.”

“When faced with increasing expenses or a sudden economic hardship, students are often forced to decide between continuing to invest in their education or devoting those funds to family needs or the general cost of living,” said Nelson. “These scholarships will help students reach the goal of graduation and enter community workforce.”

Students receiving scholarships represent a wide variety of programs at the college, with scholarships ranging in value from $500 to $2,500. The college’s Board of Trustees evaluated the applicants and then the top applicants were matched with the appropriate scholarship. In addition to meeting specific criteria for certain scholarships, these students also must meet specified GPA requirements, demonstrate financial need, and be enrolled in a certain number of credit hours.

The Chattahoochee Tech Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to provide financial support for the Chattahoochee Technical College, its students and programs.

For a complete list of the 2024-2025 Chattahoochee Tech scholarship award recipients, go to: www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.

ABOUT CHATTAHOOCHEE TECHNICAL COLLEGE

Chattahoochee Technical College awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in programs of study for students to become highly skilled professionals in some of the nation’s fastest-growing, high-demand career fields. A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Chattahoochee Tech has nine campus locations serving some of Georgia’s most dynamic counties. The college offers real-world training that helps students quickly start, change or accelerate their careers. The college also offers customized workforce training, continuing education classes, and adult education programs that include free GED and HiSET preparation. More information is available at www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.

PICKENS MUSIC & ARTS FEST 2024

The 2024 Pickens County Music & Arts Festival is this weekend at the Pickens Community Thrift Store!  Hear local musicians perform live as they compete for cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights.  All genres are up for grabs. Browse through the beautiful art being sold at unbelievable prices.  Looking for some good eats?  Our outside vendors will please any pallet and if you like hotdogs… they’re free, courtesy of your friends at the Community Thrift Store. Kids will love the free pony rides and games.  There’s truly something for all ages!  And I’m Asa Jones and I’ll be there broadcasting live on WLJA!  Don’t miss it!  The Pickens County Music and Arts Festival this Saturday, April 27th from 11-3 p.m. at the Pickens Community Thrift Store.  110 Samaritan Drive, Jasper.  We’ll see you there!

Highlights from the April 16 Board of Commissioners Meeting

PRESS RELEASE

The long-awaited Ball Ground Bypass is moving forward with the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approving a $1.1 million contract for design services.

The Board unanimously approved highest scoring proposer, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), to design the new alignment roadway that begins around the southside of the city of Ball Ground.

District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion to approve, which was seconded by District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby. The vote was 5-0.

The bypass is proposed from the intersection of Howell Bridge Road and Ball Ground Highway/SR 5 to the intersection of Flatbottom Road and Ball Ground Road (SR 372).

“During the 2022 Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) project solicitation process, the county was successful in securing a commitment from the ARC to fund portions of the design and engineering for the Ball Ground bypass project,” said County Manager Geoff Morton. “Federal funding includes $3,074,537 for design and engineering with a county local match of 20%, which equals $768,634.”

The proposed section is expected to include two 12-foot travel lanes, an 8-foot rural shoulder with a 6.5-foot paved bike shoulder. A 21-foot urban shoulder, consisting of 2.5-foot curb and gutter, 6-foot grass strop and a 10-foot shared use path is proposed near the proposed roundabouts. The total project length is about 1.5 miles.

In other business, the Board:

  • Heard Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds announce the winners of the Inaugural Board of Commissioners Art Competition. Linley Lowe, of Woodstock High School, won first place for “Autumn Rivers,” acrylic and oil pastels. Lowe’s prize was a $500 scholarship, certificate and ribbon. Addison Daniel, of Woodstock High School, earned second place for her untitled piece utilizing nail art supplies. Her prize was a $250 scholarship, certificate and ribbon. Third place went to Etowah High School student, Regan Kadlub, for her oil painting, “Dragonfly.” Kadlub’s prize was a $150 scholarship, certificate and ribbon. Cherokee High School student Dina Becovic won the Cherokee Choice award and received a $50 gift certificate. Her work, “What We Eat,” was created with acrylic and tempura paint.
  • Heard a proclamation highlighting Senior Hunger Awareness. Gov. Brian Kemp has issued a state-wide proclamation for Senior Hunger Awareness Month for the month of April 2024. According to a recent report on the State of Senior Hunger from Feeding America, Georgia is ranked 9th in the percentage of food insecure seniors in the nation, meaning one in twelve seniors do not know how they will purchase their next balanced meal.
  • Announced the 2024 Great American Cleanup on behalf of Keep Cherokee Beautiful.
  • Approved, 4-0, the minutes from the April 2 work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Ragsdale abstained due to his absence on April 2 meeting. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Held a public hearing on board-initiating zoning modification for Big Door Vineyards, LLC. Related to alcohol sales and service, food trucks, noise and outdoor speakers. Seven people spoke. Commissioner Carter made the motion to approve the zoning modification, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, the consent agenda, which included: a request from Information Technology to surplus several computers, monitors and miscellaneous equipment; a request from the Tax Commissioner’s Office to surplus a broken conference table and chairs; acceptance of the annual Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Violence Against Women Act formula grant totaling $93,333 on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office; a request from Emergency Management to submit annual federal grant application totaling $100,000 to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security and for a budget amendment of $50,000; the first amendment to the ARPA subrecipient agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta/Malon D. Mimms Boys and Girls Club to add additional scope of work; the countywide Equal Employment Opportunity Plan and EEO Utilization Report as required by the Prosecuting Attorney Council of Georgia in order to receive the Victim of Crime Act grants from the U.S. Department of Justice; calling for a public hearing on May 21 for proposed text amendments to the zoning ordinance related to non-conforming uses; calling for a public hearing to modify zoning conditions related to AOA Properties; and calling for a public hearing on May 21 regarding a board-initiated rezoning for 1.5 acres at 6699 Bells Ferry Road in addition to acquired right of way, as well as concurrent variances. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Nelson for animal control and impoundment services. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Woodstock for animal control and impoundment services. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a right-of-way acquisition fee schedule with Atlas Technical Consultants for the SR 140 at Univeter Road Intersection Improvement Project. The amount is not to exceed $299,900. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, awarding a standard construction services agreement to Bartow Paving Company for the roundabout at East Cherokee Drive at Mill Creek Drive. The cost is $2.2 million. Bartow Paving was the low bidder. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from Public Works to submit a list of 31 roadways and eight alternate roadways totaling 11.681 miles to the Georgia Department of Transportation for consideration under the 2024 Local Road Assistance Administration Funds for phase two of the 2024 resurfacing project. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from the Building Department to adopt local amendments to the Georgia State Minimum Standard Plumbing Code. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from Information Technology for renewal of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement for three years through authorized reseller Dell Technologies, the lowest priced vendor. The amount is $540,425. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from Property Management to enter into a professional services agreement with Bug Busters, Inc. for pest control services for all county facilities. The cost is $35,200. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from Senior Services to purchase a Ford Escape, from a yet to be determined dealership, at a not-to-exceed cost of $27,840. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request from the Building Department to purchase one Ford Ranger pick-up from Krause Family Ford in the amount of $37,753. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a condemnation resolution authorizing the county to proceed with the condemnation process for parcels 13 of the SR 140 at Batesville Road and Hickory Road Intersection Improvement Project. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

Winners of County Art Competition Announced at April 16 Commission Meeting

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (April 18, 2024) – The winners of the inaugural Cherokee County Board of Commissioners Art Competition were announced Tuesday during the regular meeting of the board.

“I want to thank the artists for participating in this first ever art competition,” said Cherokee County Chairman Harry Johnston. “We expect that this competition will grow in the coming years with the school system engaged.”

The project was spearheaded by Diana Ruslin, a local resident and member of the Rotary Club of Towne Lake, which sponsored the event. The Cherokee County School District and Friends of the Libraries also partnered for the competition.

The theme of the inaugural event was Rivers of Cherokee County, and artists were invited to use the medium of their choice.

Linley Lowe, of Woodstock High School, won first place for “Autumn Rivers,” acrylic and oil pastels. Lowe’s prize was a $500 scholarship, certificate and ribbon.

Addison Daniel, of Woodstock High School, earned second place for her untitled piece utilizing nail art supplies. Her prize was a $250 scholarship, certificate and ribbon.

Third-place went to Etowah High School student, Regan Kadlub, for her oil painting, “Dragonfly.” Kadlub’s prize was a $150 scholarship, certificate and ribbon.

Cherokee High School student Dina Becovic won the Cherokee Choice award and received a $50 gift certificate. Her work, “What We Eat,” was created with acrylic and tempura paint.

Sheriff Frank Reynolds, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; Katie Caldwell, president of the Woodstock Arts Board of Directors; Harmony Reid, Visual Art Education Manager for Woodstock Arts; and Nicole Lampl, director/curator of the Reeves House Visual Arts Center in Woodstock were judges and chose the winners of the competition based on a points system.

The Cherokee Choice award was voted on by residents who visited the Community Room at R.T. Jones Library to view the artwork.

Honorable mentions were given to the other entrants including Becovic; from Etowah High School, Sophia Wadsworth, Kayla Brown, Kate Rowell, and Megan Torres; and from Woodstock High School, Rebecca Edison, Elisa Williams-Morales, and Lukas Parrado.

“Thank you to Diana and the Rotary Club of Towne Lake for bringing this competition to our attention and to CCSD and Friends of the Libraries for their partnership,” said Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds, who managed the competition for Cherokee County. “I would also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the judges who took time from their busy schedules to judge the submitted artwork.”

Reinhardt Athlete Qualifies For Olympic Trials

WALEKSA, GA (April 18, 2024) – Never having touched a javelin before college, David Friedberg breaks NAIA records, strives for his third championship title, and aims to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic games. A record-breaking javelin throw in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) qualified Reinhardt University’s David Friedberg (RU-2024) for the U.S. Olympic Trials. At the recent Berry Field Day Invitational, he threw 76.08 meters which equals nearly 250 feet, or over 83 yards.

Named an Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Men’s Outdoor Field and Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season, Friedberg now ranks first in the NAIA in the javelin and eighth in the nation, on both pro and collegiate levels.

The 2024 Olympic trials take place this June in Eugene, Oregon. Whether or not he makes it to the Paris games in July, Friedberg already has his eye on the 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles and plans to keep training. In the meantime, the NAIA national championship on May 22nd could become the All-American’s third consecutive title.

The senior from Ellabell, Georgia also plays wide receiver on Reinhardt’s conference-winning football team and scored several touchdowns each season. Until he came to Reinhardt, he never touched a javelin and learned from the ground up. Friedberg says he was competing in the triple jump his freshman year when a coach asked if he’d be interested in learning, “I picked up a javelin for the first time, and as things progressed, I started competing. I fell in love with the javelin and it just stuck with me.”

After winning his first national championship during sophomore year he says, “That’s when my mentality changed of what I want to do in the future. Over the past few years, I’ve been working hard and now it’s to the point that I think I can do this professionally.”

Friedberg has a strong connection with Coach Josh White and believes their decision to train all spring, rather than participate in spring football, contributed to his successes this season. He is excited to see how much further he can go, “This is only my third season ever throwing javelin so I’m still really young to the event. I have a lot of room to grow.”

While training six days a week, usually twice daily, Friedberg says school is still his priority. His grades earned him dean’s list recognition several times. Following graduation on May 3rd with a degree in sport studies, he plans to remain at Reinhardt to earn a master’s degree in business and play one last football season. During track and field season, he will compete individually, primarily at professional meets to gain points toward the world rankings.

Someday, Friedberg hopes to own an athletic-related business and train kids. He plans to work toward that while training and competing, “Honestly, one of the big goals now is to eventually make the Olympics and win a gold medal.”

ABOUT REINHARDT UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1883, Reinhardt University is a private, comprehensive institution grounded in the liberal arts. Reinhardt offers over 40?graduate and undergraduate programs online and on campus, including business, education, music, theater, and nursing. Reinhardt’s 525-acre campus is ideally located in?Waleska?in the heart of Georgia’s high country and near Atlanta. The University operates with three values at its core: Learning, Serving, and Leading. www.Reinhardt.edu.

And They're Off! Local Artists "Race" For The Crescent Farm Cup

CANTON, GA (April 17, 2024) – History Cherokee is thrilled to announce the launch of the Crescent Farm Cup, an art contest that has engaged fourteen local artists in a creative venture to paint wooden horses, which are now displayed across Cherokee County. These stunning artworks are up for public viewing and voting, from now through April 30.

In this inaugural event, each artist has transformed a plain wooden horse into a vibrant piece of art to reflect their personal style. Residents and visitors are encouraged to tour the county to view these artistic creations and vote for their favorite horse or artist. Voting is pay-to-vote where $1 equals one vote and is done online. Each horse has a QR code which will take viewers directly to the artist’s unique voting page where they can learn more about the artist and cast their vote. To view all the horses online, visit https://tinyurl.com/ywe3x8xr.

The Crescent Farm Cup is a new addition to History Cherokee’s Annual Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser, which will be held on May 4 at The Mill on Etowah, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All of the painted horses will be on display at the event and will be available for guests to take home through a silent auction where attendees can bid on their favorite pieces. Tickets for Kentucky Derby Day are still available at historycherokee.org/derby-day. All proceeds from voting, the auction, and the Kentucky Derby Day Fundraiser benefit History Cherokee and the operation of the Cherokee County History Center.

“Through the Crescent Farm Cup, we aim to celebrate our local history and art in a fun and unique way,” said Kathy Lyles, marketing and communications manager of History Cherokee. “The name Crescent Farm Cup is in honor of the farm which Canton’s beloved Rock Barn was originally a part of.

We invite everyone to vote on their favorite horse design or for their favorite artist. Your vote not only supports our mission but also spotlights the incredible artistic talent we have right here in Cherokee County.”

Voting is open to the public. Join us in this colorful celebration of history and creativity in Cherokee County!

For those wishing to see the horses in person, here is a list of where to find the horses.

  • Pink Flamingo Tori Hilton on display at Canton City Hall.
  • Paint Cheryl Ruffer on display at R.T. Jones Library.
  • Ceru Lee Jordan on display at Thrive Canton (Jones Building).
  • Bizarre Horse by Sabrina Kaylor on display at Bizarre Coffee
  • Sea Horse by Nitasha Ginn on display at Fairways of Canton.
  • Blue Dapple Dream by Kathy Duke on display at the Woodstock Visitors Center (Dean’s Store)
  • Running for the Ribbons by the Cherokee High School Art Club on display at Thrive Canton (The Mill on Etowah).
  • Fun in the Sun by JJ Arthur on display at the Ball Ground Public Library.
  • Roses and Gold by Janet Clukie on display at Holly Springs City Hall.
  • Cumberland Wild by Shanna Coulter on display at the Cherokee County History Center.
  • Running Free by Lori Thompson on display at the Woodstock Public Library.
  • Dragon Horse by Josh Williams on display at Canton City Hall.
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart by Shanna Coulter on display at Ball Ground City Hall.
  • Braves Horse by Amy Krumrey on display at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Prayer Pony by Maggie Shaw on display at P.O.P.S. Canton.

For more information about the Crescent Farm Cup and the 21st Annual Kentucky Derby Day, please visit historycherokee.org/derby-day.

ABOUT HISTORY CHEROKEE

History Cherokee operates the Cherokee County History Center and the Historic Rock Barn. History Cherokee’s mission is the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Cherokee County history.

Black Business Roundtable Launched to Connect with Black Entrepreneurs

WOODSTOCK, GA (April 17, 2024) – The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) has partnered with Cherokee By Choice investor Georgia Power to enhance the relationship with the Black business community and residents and create a deeper understanding of their distinct viewpoints and specific needs with the launch of the inaugural Black Business Roundtable.

Eleven business owners attended the first meeting on April 9, to exchange thoughts, experiences, and expertise to strengthen the collaboration and support among Cherokee’s Black community. They discussed empowering entrepreneurs through mentorship, fostering connections and resource sharing among minority-owned businesses.

William Thomas of Golf2Grow emphasized the importance of including Black business owners in the conversation and encouraging and supporting the next generation of Black entrepreneurs. “We want to change the narrative and encourage black entrepreneurs to delve into industries that don’t typically feature people who look like us,” said Thomas.

The Black Business Roundtable comes as part of COED’s Cherokee By Choice (CBC) 2.0 strategic plan’s minority-owned business support initiative – made possible by CBC investors and Georgia Power. CBC 2.0 aims to strengthen Cherokee’s business community as a whole.

“We don’t want people to think that we only want black customers,” said Thomas. “I want to be a business that caters to the needs of the community that I serve; so I expect my customer base to reflect Cherokee’s demographics.”

In October of last year, COED also launched the Latino Business Roundtable to create a communication pipeline for Hispanic business owners. The Latino Business Roundtable meets monthly, tackling issues like transportation, education and language barriers.

CBC 2.0 is COED’s next-level five-year economic growth and resiliency initiative. Developed in partnership with private and public sector leaders, partners, and stakeholders in and around Cherokee, CBC 2.0 attacks three main goal areas: talent, business and product.

To read the full five-year plan or invest in Cherokee By Choice 2.0, visit cherokeega.org/CherokeeByChoice.

Woodstock Announces Georgia Cities Week Events

WOODSTOCK, GA (April 16, 2024) – From April 21st to the 27th, the City of Woodstock will celebrate Georgia Cities Week. This year’s theme is “Soaring to New Heights” and the city will host events to highlight the many services it provides and its contribution to a better quality of life.

The City of Woodstock is kicking off Georgia Cities Week celebrations early. The City-Wide Yard Sale and Greenstock Day Recycling Event will take place on Saturday, April 20. The Woodstock Farm Fresh Market kicks off its 2024 Season on Saturday, April 20 beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Market Street in downtown Woodstock.

On Monday, April 22nd from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, the City of Woodstock will host a Georgia Cities Week Touch-A-Truck event to introduce our youngest residents to the value of local government. See vehicles used by Woodstock Fire Department, Woodstock Police Department, Woodstock Public Works, and Woodstock Parks and Recreation on East Main Street in downtown Woodstock.

On Monday, April 22nd beginning at 6 pm at the Chambers at City Center, engage with elected officials and representatives from the city’s ten departments at a Towne Hall Open House. Then join us for the Regular Meeting of Mayor and Council at 7 pm where Mayor Caldwell will announce the winner of Woodstock Elementary School’s “I Love Woodstock Because…” Art Contest.

Woodstock Municipal Court is offering Amnesty Week April 22-26. Those who missed a court date in the past year may come into the City of Woodstock Municipal Court’s office and take care of the citation without any additional penalty (Note that this is not amnesty for the underlying charge; this amnesty applies to the failure to appear bench warrant that was issued when the failure to appear occurred). A breakfast honoring all city employees sponsored by the Woodstock Lions Club will take place on Thursday, April 25th from 8 am to 10 am in the Courtroom at the City Annex. Thank you, Woodstock Lions!

The topic for the Downtown Woodstock Walking Tour Series on Thursday, April 25th is “How Downtown Woodstock Revitalized” and will explore the re-development of the downtown district. Learn how Woodstock underwent a planning process that led to the creation of one of the top and most visited downtown districts in the southeast. Tours run every half hour beginning at 6pm to 7:30pm, and cost $5 per person.

Woodstock is an arts-centered city. On Friday, April 26th at 8 am at the Woodstock Arts Theater, IN WDSTK‘s Morning INfluence features Woodstock Arts Executive Director, Christopher Brazelton and his team sharing plans for the 2024-2025 season. Registration is required at inwdstk.org.

Visit Woodstock GA invites you to participate in the 11th annual Discover Woodstock Scavenger Hunt until April 27th. Team up to gather photographic evidence of a journey through 100 different venues in Woodstock. Find the scavenger hunt clues at visitwoodstockga.com/scavenger-hunt.

“City of Woodstock employees provide services that make this city a great place to be for both residents and visitors,” said Deputy City Manager Coty Thigpen. “Our employees love helping businesses grow and setting the stage for events where we can gather as a community.”

Cities across Georgia will be celebrating Georgia Cities Week, sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its 538 member cities.

ABOUT CITY OF WOODSTOCK

Located just 30 miles north of Atlanta, Woodstock’s City limits include more than 12 square miles and over 35,000 residents. Woodstock is a Georgia PlanFirst Community and a recipient of Georgia Municipal Association’s Live Work Play City Award.

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