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Local News Archives for 2023-09

Cherokee Fire Promotes Fire Prevention Week

CANTON, GA (September 29, 2023) – As Fire Prevention Week approaches, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services (CCFES) reminds residents: “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.” 

CCFES is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention WeekTM (FPW) for more than 100 years — to promote this year’s FPW campaign, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire preventionTM.” The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to keep themselves and those around them safe. 

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. 

“Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “These numbers tell us that there is still much work to do when it comes to better educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.” 

“Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services encourages all residents to embrace the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Cooking safety start with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention”, said Fire Marshal Chad Arp. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.” 

CCFES offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire: 

  1. Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  2. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. 
  3. Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried. 

CCFES is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s FPW campaign, including Safety Superhero Day on October 14th from 10am-1pm at the Ball Ground Community Center located at 250 Civic Drive in Ball Ground. 

To find out more about FPW programs and activities in Cherokee County, please contact the Cherokee County Fire Marshal’s Office at 678-493-6290. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit For fire safety fun for kids, visit 


Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services is a full service, county-run organization, providing firefighting and emergency services to the residents and visitors of Cherokee County. The agency boasts an Insurance Service Office rating of 2 and International Accreditation through the Center of Public Safety Excellence. The agency has 27 stations covering 434 square miles and serving a population of nearly 275,000. To learn more about CCFES or how to join the team, visit 

City of Canton Launches Sustainability and Historic Preservation Project

(CANTON, Georgia, September 29, 2023)—The City of Canton is excited to announce a strategic sustainability and historic preservation program with the help of Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and sustainability driven infrastructure projects. This project will seek to advance the City of Canton’s Roadmap for Success with a specific focus on the tenet, “Sustaining Our Natural Environment.”

With the help of Schneider Electric, the City will make its facilities more energy efficient, add more solar energy to the City’s renewable energy portfolio, and achieve certification for the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Green Communities Program. It will also address critical infrastructure needs in two of the City’s most historic buildings: City Hall (established in 1924) and Public Safety/Municipal Court (established in 1925), ensuring that these buildings will continue to serve the City’s needs while maintaining the historic integrity of Downtown Canton.

Over several months, Schneider Electric completed a comprehensive analysis of the City’s energy usage, conducted detailed site audits across the City’s facilities and crafted solutions that aligned with the goals above. The solutions include:

  • City Hall Renovation: mechanical renovation of obsolete HVAC system to improve indoor air quality, staff comfort and energy efficiency; replacement of 25-year-old roof 
  • Public Safety Complex Renovation: total HVAC system overhaul to decrease costly maintenance and provide individual zones ensuring comfort for all public safety staff 
  • City Hall Rooftop Solar Array: when combined with the existing solar-covered parking, this 70kw DC array will result in days when City Hall is 100% solar-powered. 
  • Community Education and Engagement: demonstration solar installations at City parks to educate citizens on the importance of green energy; development of a sustainability roadmap for future sustainability goals; interactive kiosk at City Hall to share educational resources with the community. 
  • Operational Enablement: City-wide building automation system to streamline operations and save energy; telecommunications solutions to reduce City expenditure by 64%; audit of City-owned streetlights to streamline maintenance and evaluate future lighting project opportunities. 

The recommended improvements and strategies will reduce the City of Canton’s utility and operational costs by 28% and generate lifecycle savings of $2 million over the life of the program. These savings will help offset the City’s investment in this program, stretching taxpayer dollars further while leading to streamlined operations, stronger financial stability, and strategic sustainability advancement.

“The City of Canton has a long history with adaptively reusing historic facilities for public purposes," explained Billy Peppers, City Manager. "As we continue our operations in these structures, we look for opportunities to introduce green infrastructure that improves building operations. We are excited about the opportunity to utilize one-time capital funding through sales tax revenues to offset annual operational costs carried by our general fund."

Construction will begin this summer with completion expected early 2025. For more

information and to follow along with the project progress, visit the City’s website at

Photo Caption: Work begins at Canton City Hall on the mechanical renovation of the obsolete HVAC system and replacement of 25-year-old roof.

Red White and Blue BBQ announces Guest Chef from Food Network is coming to the Event on October 27 and 28th. You may have seen him on Food Networks "BBQ Brawl".

Canton, GA September 27th

Chef Brian Duffy, who has appeared on several Food Network shows to include BBQ Brawl will be coming to the Red White and Blue BBQ to be held in Canton on Saturday October 28th at the Canton American Legion as part of the program.

This award winning BBQ pitmaster will be providing his talents as food critic and judge for the mystery food cook-off, pitting amateur and professional BBQ’r on Friday night as part of the RWB Corn whole competition.  He will be back as judge again on Saturday, October 28th,  for the main BBQ event as judge and will host a cooking demonstration open to the public as part of the Saturday events.

Jim Lindenmayer, who is heading up the event, stated that he is very pleased that Food Network and Brian reached out to us to come to our event.  Canton is a great place for BBQ and for other local foods and we look forward to having someone of his stature coming to our event.

The cooking demonstration is being worked out at this time and we will have more information about the time and topics of the event shortly.  Updated information will be posted on our Facebook page and other social media.  There will be no charge for this event, but space will be limited.

In addition to having Chef Brian at the event, Stouts Growlers, a Veteran owned local Canton Business, has worked with Service Brewing, another Veteran owned brewery from Savannah, Ga, to be able to provide their line of beers at this event.

All proceeds from this charity event will go to funding programs in Cherokee and Pickens Counties supporting Veteran mental health awareness and Suicide prevention.  More than 22 Veterans a day commit suicide nationally,

For more information on Service Brewing, please go to

Brian Duffy BIO

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Chef Brian Duffy had his first experiences in the kitchen as a young child with his big Irish-Italian Family. Those experiences introduced him to culinary life, and led him to study at Philadelphia’s The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. Culinary school may have taught him technique, but it was those Sunday nights cooking with his family where he developed his passion.

After graduation, Chef Duffy worked under James Beard Award winning Chef Jean Marie LaCroix at The Four Seasons in Philadelphia. From there, he partnered in opening restaurants for employers & even a few of his own (CBD & his Consulting firm DEG have been involved in over 100 restaurant & venue openings) It was during this time that Duffy began to travel & create the experiences that would shape the next stages & steps in his career & life.

In the Meantime, Duffy formed "Duffified Experience Group,” a consulting firm with the realization that most of the smaller restaurant and bar operators that are out there needed someone who spoke their language & worked the way that they do. Through this firm, Duffy has been able to work and oversee restaurants, bars and nightclubs around the globe. On and off camera, Chef Duffy works with restaurants across the country updating their concepts, menus and coaching. His proven success has made him one of the most in-demand restaurant, and hospitality consultants across North America and overseas

Duffy is perhaps most recognized from his abundant television appearances on the wildly popular Spike TV series Bar Rescue, where he tours the country (sometimes on his Harley) reforming failing bars and restaurants with his “tell it like it is” style. His most recent show “Opening Night” follows Chef Duffy through HIS 7-day process of opening a restaurant & the roadblocks that come along the way. Duffy made his national on- camera debut over 17 years ago on the Food Network and has appeared on countless networks & streaming platforms. 

Currently Duffy has collaborated with Ugly Brother Studios (Duffy Brothers) to launch the highly anticipated “World Chef & Yum Crunch” platforms, an interactive portal for Foodie’s that pair the world’s best chefs with an interactive platform & shoppable celebrity chef content. Chef, having his hands in multiple levels of business is also the Creator & Host of "Duffified Live" a talking & travel show with an over-the-top approach to eating, drinking, and experiences. His Current Love of BBQ & Travel have exploded after winning the Coveted “Barn Smoker” event in Dallas during the summer of ’22 & his most recent appearances on the Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl” have him as a Fan Favorite .

When he isn’t with clients, taping or traveling, he is working on his classic entrepreneurial spirit, continuing to write his first book or hanging out with his family and friends in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Chef Duffy has his own line of signature spices, “Duffified Spice” as well as a line of t-Shirts, kitchen aprons, hats, and chef-driven Grills & Smokers which are all available on his website at  |

Breast Cancer Screening & Awareness Events are Scheduled in North Georgia

North GA - October is all about raising awareness for Breast Cancer, and IT'S TIME for screening! Join us in the fight against this all-too-common cancer by attending free screening and awareness events at various clinics in the North Georgia Health District.

Did you know that one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime? Early detection is key in winning the fight against breast cancer, so don't miss out on these important breast cancer awareness and screening opportunities.

Check out these upcoming events below at our county health departments (listed alphabetically), and stay tuned for more updates! Let's make a difference together. #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

Cherokee County Health Department

Tuesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Cherokee County Health Department's Woodstock Health Center is presenting Breast Cancer Awareness Days on Tuesday, October 10th, from 7:30 AM to 5 PM and on Thursday, October 26th, from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Free Breast Checks and Referrals for Mammograms will be offered to all women ages 40 to 64 or to any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s), and Pap Smears will be offered to those who need it. Appointments are required for these exams. Call (770) 928-0133.

Come learn about early detection of breast cancer through self-examinations and health screenings. Get to know the signs and symptoms that help detect breast cancer as early as possible. Eligible women can enroll in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP). Get a FREE Goodie Bag and Breast Cancer Awareness Literature, and Raffle for Prizes!

The health department's Woodstock Health Center is located at 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Cherokee County Health Department's Canton Health Center will offer FREE Breast Exams to all women ages 40 to 64 or to any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s) on Thursday, October 19th, from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Pap Smears will be provided for those who need it. Please call for an appointment for these services at (770) 345-7371.

Goodie bags and breast cancer educational brochures will be given away! Plus, eligible women can enroll in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).

The health department's Canton Health Center is located at 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115.

(Link directly to this announcement at

Fannin County Health Department

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Fannin County Health Department will offer FREE Breast Exams to eligible women on Thursday, October 5th, from 8 AM to 3:30 PM. The breast exams are for all women ages 40 to 64 or for any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s). Appointments are required. Please call (706) 632-3023.

The health department will also offer breast cancer prevention education and will enroll eligible women in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).

The Fannin County Health Department is located at 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513.

(Link directly to this announcement at

Gilmer County Health Department

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Gilmer County Health Department will offer FREE Breast Exams on Wednesday, October 18th, from 8 AM to 3:30 PM, at their location at 28 Southside Church Street, Eliijay, GA 30540. The screening event is open to all women ages 40 to 64 and to any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s). No appointment is needed and walk-ins are welcome! 

Staff will also offer breast cancer prevention education and printed materials.

There is no cost for the breast exam. Eligible women will also be referred for a free mammogram through the health department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).

More information is available at the health department at (706) 635-4363.

(Link directly to this announcement at

Murray County Health Department

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Murray County Health Department is celebrating breast cancer awareness with a special Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 25th, from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.  Free Breast Exams will be offered to all women ages 40 to 64 or to any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s). No appointment is needed. Walk-ins are welcome!

Breast cancer prevention education and printed materials will also be provided. Plus, eligible women can enroll in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP)

The Murray County Health Department is located at 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705.

For more information, call (706) 695-4585.

(Link directly to this announcement at

Pickens County Health Department

Monday, October 16, 2023!

The Pickens County Health Department is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness on Monday, October 16th by offering FREE Breast Exams and breast cancer prevention education! The free breast exams will be offered to all women ages 40 to 64 or to any woman who detects a concerning change in her breast(s). Plus, eligible women can enroll in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP). No appointment is needed. Walk-ins are welcome! Clinic hours at the health department on Mondays are from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

The Pickens County Health Department is located at 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143.

For more information, call (706) 253-2821.

(Link directly to this announcement at

Whitfield County Health Department

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Whitfield County Health Department will have their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Thursday, October 19th from 8 AM to 12 PM. During this time, staff will provide Free Breast Exams to all women ages 18 and older, give away Goodie Bags containing a variety of breast health incentives and information, and offer light refreshments to patients. The Breast Cancer Awareness Day event will take place at the Whitfield County Health Department's Women's Clinic at 800 Professional Blvd., Dalton, GA, 30720. The Women's Clinic is at the back entrance. No appointment is needed – walk-ins are welcome.

There is no cost for a breast exam. Eligible women can also be referred for a free mammogram and enrollment in the health department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).

For more information, please call the Whitfield County Health Department at 706-279-9600.

(Link directly to this announcement at

North Georgia Health District

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

To view the press release on our website, please click here.





Atlanta, GA (September 21, 2023): After receiving a warm reception from homebuyers in Woodstock for its recent Glenhaven at Ridgewalk and Heritage at Towne Lake communities, David Weekley Homes is delighted to expand its Cherokee County presence with Crescent Pointe at Great Sky in Canton. Showcasing six LifeDesign? floor plans from the Encore by David Weekley Homes’ 55+ lifestyle product line, the new active adult section of the established master-planned community is now open for home sales – with the construction of several stunning homes already underway. To help homebuyers envision what life might be like at Crescent Pointe, the award-winning national homebuilder recently debuted its professionally decorated model home, featuring the 1.5-story, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom Ridgeford floor plan.


“With a mission of ‘Building Homes. Enhancing Lives.’ our model homes present an excellent opportunity for us to paint a picture for prospective homebuyers,” said Adam Cornett, Atlanta Division President for David Weekley Homes. “This is particularly true for our 55+ lifestyle buyers. Our newest model in Crescent Pointe at Great Sky is wall-to-wall luxury you can live in. It’s a place where our guests can envision spending everyday moments with the one they love but can also visualize countless gatherings with family and friends in the very entertainment-friendly Ridgeford. Our incredible design team at Kathy Andrews Interiors took great care to emphasize the architectural details of this plan with their interior design choices. The result is a warmly welcoming home with an elevated sense of sophistication.”


The professionally designed interior of Crescent Pointe’s model home features a transitional aesthetic with pops of navy blue and neutrals against a crisp white backdrop. Virtually every room offers a memory point – from the contrasted tray ceiling and stone tile accent wall in the Owner’s Retreat to the rough-hewn timber beams above the dining room table to the stylish built-in workspace in the home office. Thoughtfully crafted with the active adult in mind, like the model, homes in Crescent Pointe will feature a blend of livability and flexibility with entertainment-friendly open concepts at their core and bedrooms positioned to offer the ultimate in privacy.


In addition to the newly opened model home and beautiful collection of homes, future residents of Crescent Pointe will enjoy HOA-included lawn maintenance and a soon-to-be-realized clubhouse with a dedicated lifestyle director to plan activities, events, and excursions. They will also be granted access to Great Sky’s resort-inspired amenities with a newly renovated Community House, lighted pickleball and tennis courts, walking trails, community gardens, and three pools – including a family pool with a splash pad for when the grandkids come to visit. Additional benefits include Great Sky’s proximity to the shops, restaurants, and events in historic downtown Canton and its convenience to Publix, Aldi, Walmart, Target, and Costco Warehouse nearby. Its ease of access to I-575 will give future homeowners a direct route to Downtown Atlanta to the south and the mountains to the north.


Located at 1005 Pine Bark Lane in Canton, the model home in Crescent Pointe at Great Sky will officially open to the public on September 30. Its hours of operation will be Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, 1-6 pm. Several homes will be available for quick move-in – projected for completion between October 2023 and January 2024. To learn more and have your name added to the 55+ Cherokee County community’s VIP list, call (470) 823-9140 or visit  For more information about David Weekley Homes and its communities throughout metro Atlanta, visit


About David Weekley Homes

David Weekley Homes, founded in 1976, operates in 19 markets across the United States and is headquartered in Houston. David Weekley Homes was the first builder in the United States to be awarded the Triple Crown of American Home Building, an honor which includes “America’s Best Builder,” “National Housing Quality Award,” and “National Builder of the Year.” Weekley Homes has been recognized 17 times by Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Since its inception, David Weekley Homes has closed more than 115,000 homes. For more information about David Weekley Homes, visit the company’s website at

History Cherokee Offers Unique Space for Events

CANTON, GA - History Cherokee announces the availability of event space for rent in the beautiful new Cherokee County History Center. This venue provides a one-of-a-kind setting for a wide range of events, from intimate gatherings to corporate meetings and everything in between.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Canton, the Cherokee County History Center preserves and celebrates the history of Cherokee County. Now, you can become a part of that history by hosting your event in this unique museum space. 

“We are excited to offer the Ken White Main Hall and Myra White Classroom to the community for rent,” said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of History Cherokee. “We’ve received a number of inquiries about rentals since the History Center opened last November. We are pleased to say that we’re ready to welcome the community and look forward to connecting with our guests through their events.”

The History Center provides a stunning venue for a reception, holiday party, corporate seminar, meeting, or milestone celebration. The Museum Galleries can also be available for guests to enjoy.

The Ken White Main Hall is perfect for larger events. The space comfortably accommodates 100 people, and rental includes use of the Myra White Classroom for staging and food preparation. The Myra White Classroom seats between 30 to 50 people, and is great for smaller events and meetings. Both spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities including wifi, ceiling projector, ceiling camera, and a projection screen. 

In addition to spaces at the Cherokee County History Center, History Cherokee also operates the historic Rock Barn, a long-time rental facility popular for weddings, fundraisers and parties. “Adding the availability of spaces at the Cherokee County History Center to what we already offer at the Rock Barn allows us to better serve a wider range of event needs,” said Joyner. “We can host everything from weddings to corporate events, workshops and lectures, and more.” 

For more information about renting the event space at the Cherokee County History Center or at the historic Rock Barn, visit


About History Cherokee

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

Scarecrow Invasion Coming to Woodstock, GA

A Scarecrow Invasion is Coming
to Woodstock, GA

WOODSTOCK, GA – Downtown Woodstock is about to be invaded! By scarecrows, that is. As you drive into Downtown Woodstock from East Main Street during the month of October, you will be welcomed by more than 230 scarecrows.

The 2023 WDSTK Scarecrow Invasion features amazing scarecrow designs from local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. The Scarecrow Invasion officially begins on October 2nd and will be displayed throughout the month. The event brings thousands of people to Downtown Woodstock during the month of October, encouraging both locals and visitors to the area.

This year will feature a new layout for the scarecrow displays, with all Main Street locations situated north of Arnold Mill, and the majority of displays visible within the Park City Center and Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater. With thanks to the Woodstock Parks and Rec Department, who have allowed the majority of scarecrows to now be on display within the Park and Amphitheater; this change will allow visitors to more safely walk and admire the designs.

Throughout the month of October, the public can also vote for their favorite Scarecrow at the Woodstock Visitors Center, located at 8588 Main Street, and open weekly Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm. A $1 donation equals one vote. All proceeds benefit INSeason, the design committee for IN WDSTK, and will be dedicated to Downtown Woodstock beautification projects. The winners of the Scarecrow Invasion contest receive bragging rights, and an awesome trophy.

Another popular part of the event is the Woodstock Scarecrow Invasion Scavenger Hunt, which features ten clues related to specific scarecrows scattered throughout the area. Participants set out to find the correct scarecrows aligned with the associated clues. The Scavenger Hunt is a fun, free activity and both adult and child friendly. The clue sheets are available at the Woodstock Visitors Center, beginning Friday, October 6th. When participants have solved all ten clues, they can turn in results to the Visitors Center to earn a special prize. This is a fun way to deepen the experience and explore all of the scarecrows on display at the Woodstock Scarecrow Invasion.

Further details can be found at


VISIT WOODSTOCK GA is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Woodstock, Georgia. Located thirty minutes northwest of Atlanta, Woodstock is home to a vibrant and authentic downtown full of local shops and restaurants, Georgia Small Business Rock Star Reformation Brewery, award-winning Woodstock Arts, the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, and a world class outdoor trails system.


Courts honored for excellent clearance rate

CANTON, GA (September 15, 2023) – Three Cherokee County courts have been recognized for their efforts in keeping cases moving forward through the judicial system.

Superior, Juvenile and Magistrate Courts all earned the Clearance Rate Excellence Award from the Judicial Council of Georgia. The award recognizes the top 10 percent in each class of court that demonstrate exceptional performance in maintaining clearance rates, a key indicator of a court’s ability to effectively manage its caseload. The award represents that each of these courts has either met or exceeded 100 percent or better clearance rate.

“We are honored to have received this recognition for the hard work done every day in our courts,” said Chief Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea. “We faced particular challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a backlog of cases when we were able to resume jury trials after being unable to have them due to a state-wide judicial emergency. It has truly been a team effort to manage our caseloads, and we appreciate the help of the Clerk of Courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff, Court Administration, and the local bar association.”

“This award validates all of Superior Court and Magistrate Court’s hard work over the past year and several years,” said Clerk of Courts Patty Baker. “I am so proud that we have received this award, especially because we received it on the heels of a pandemic and court closures. We made plenty of changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were successful in increasing our efficiency overall. Congratulations to all court personnel that made this possible. Cherokee County is truly the best place to live, work, and play.”

“While the courts work hard every day to meet the needs of the families we serve, we could not keep up with the volume of a rapidly growing community without an amazing staff of county employees that believe passionately in the mission of Juvenile Court,” said Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Jennifer Davis. “We are very proud of our team and the work that is done in Juvenile Court. We are grateful for the support that our Superior Court, our community and the county have provided to us as we continue to grow and meet the needs of our children and families in Cherokee County.”

During the pandemic, the Georgia Supreme Court issued several declarations that shuddered in-person court operations. Court personnel utilized innovative ways such as virtual courts and e-filing of criminal matters to help keep cases moving.

Ode to History: Free Fall Festival Celebrates Rich History of Canton's Cotton Mill


Ode to History: Free Fall Festival Celebrates Rich History of Canton’s Cotton Mill 

CANTON, GA – Pay tribute to The Mill on Etowah’s fascinating history as a top denim producer in the country! On Oct. 27 and 28, family activities fill The Green and the grounds at Denim Fest. 

On Friday from 4-8 pm, visitors enjoy free activities including a children’s costume contest, trick-or-treating, carnival zone, and fun music with a DJ. The Shoppes and restaurants of The Mill will be open. 

Saturday brings all day entertainment from 10 am until 10 pm with the UGA/FL football game on the Big Screen on the Green, carnival zone, live music and dancing, and adult denim overalls contest! Once again, don’t miss The Mill’s Shoppes and restaurants. 

Kids’ costume and adult denim overalls contestants should check in at Information Tent. Winners receive a $100 gift card and must be present to win. 

SECOND ANNUAL WHOLE HOG BARBECUE COOK OFF & TASTING Saturday’s highly-anticipated, ticketed portion of Denim Fest features eight local restaurants battling it out for the top spot! Guests will receive two tastings from each competitor, fill up a bingo card, and drop the completed card in their favorite restaurant’s voting box! The competitor with the most votes for favorite wins! 

Last year’s cook off and tasting sold out, so advanced tickets are recommended. Tickets are $50 each and include VIP tent admittance, private cash bar, and 16 tastings.  Find a detailed schedule of weekend events at

The Mill on Etowah is located at 225 Reformation Pkwy., Canton. Parking is free. 

Purchase tickets here:

Braves postseason tickets on sale next week

Photo Caption: The Atlanta Braves celebrate their sixth straight National League East title in the locker room after win against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Eric Hartline)

Single-game tickets for potential National League Division Series and National League Championship Series games at Truist Park will go on sale to the general public Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.

All Premium Club and A-List members will have early access, with a presale beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. Anyone who signs up for the Braves Insider newsletter at by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday will receive a code to participate in a presale the following day at noon.

Tickets are limited and fans are encouraged to sign up for the Braves Insider newsletter to access the presale.

Eligible presale purchasers will be limited to the seven states that make up the Braves’ footprint — Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Single-game postseason tickets will also be available through SeatGeek.



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Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic in Woodstock is Thursday, Oct. 5th

Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic in Woodstock is Thursday, Oct. 5th

Woodstock, GA – This year’s DRIVE-THRU FLU SHOT CLINIC, conducted by Cherokee County Health Department, is Thursday, October 5th, from 8 am to 2 pm at the Woodstock Health Center! Everyone 18 and older is invited. You’ll remain safely in your vehicle to get your flu shot from public health while conveniently driving through. The shot is no-cost if covered by one of several health plans. If paying out of pocket, the cost is still relatively low at $25 for regular flu vaccine and $65 for high dose flu vaccine for people aged 65 and older. Both vaccines guard against 4 different strains of flu. Cash, checks, credit cards, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry, Humana, Ambetter (most plans), and United Healthcare Insurance will be accepted. The Woodstock Health Center is at 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA 30188. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for more information or log onto


(Spanish translation option is available at that link) 


Fire Lieutenant Honored for Work in the Community

(Sept. 12, 2023) -- Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Lt. Michael Sims has been recognized for his work with youth in the community.

The Boy Scouts of America Atlanta Area Council recognized Sims and 12 others with the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award at a reception in Atlanta Sept. 7. The award recognizes outstanding service by an adult individual or by an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds.

“The Boy Scouts have played an integral part of my life, teaching me leadership skills and how to give back to my community,” Sims said. “My involvement in the organization has shaped who I am today and provided me an opportunity to find a career that I love. Thank you to the Atlanta Area Council for the honor.”

Sims currently serves as the public information officer and public affairs specialist for Fire & Emergency Services. In addition to his work with the fire department, husband and father of two small children, Sims serves as the lead advisor for Explorer Post 469, Georgia Advocate for Fire & Emergency Services Exploring, Fire & EMS Chair for BSA Winterfest and Health & Safety Committee member for the Atlanta Area Council. He worked 14 summers at Woodruff Scout Reservation as the Director of Health & Safety in the camp’s health lodge.

Fire & Emergency Services Chief Eddie Robinson, a 2008 Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award recipient, nominated Sims for the award. He witnessed Sims as a young Fire Explorer immerse himself in the fire service and volunteerism, and develop into a dedicated firefighter with strong leadership skills.

“He came through the Fire Explorer program at 15 years old. He was riding a day or two a week in the fire house. He was a great Explorer, always there and all in,” Robinson said. “I’ve watched him grow to be the lead advisor in the Explorer program. I’ve seen his contributions to the Woodruff camp. I’ve seen him mentor youth having trouble and get them on the right track.

“He’s a great leader, great member of our organization, and he’s continuously helping us improve our organization. It is a well-deserved honor,” Robinson added.

Sims has been involved with scouting since 2000 when he joined Troop 230 as a youth. In 2004, he became a Fire Explorer through the BSA’s Learning for Life program, leading him to a career as a firefighter. Sims has worked his way up the ranks to lieutenant where he now works with recruiting and helping to tell the fire department’s story through traditional media and social media resources.

He is a recipient of the Order of the Arrow’s Vigil Honor and a member of the Class of 2023 for the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce’s Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch Award.

Highlights from the Sept. 5 Board of Commissioners meeting

(Sept. 8, 2023) -- The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners got its first look at the proposed fiscal year budget.

A public hearing will be held Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. with adoption expected on Oct. 3 during the regular meeting at 6 p.m. All meetings are held in Cherokee Hall at the Cherokee County Administration Building, unless otherwise noted.

The overall budget is proposed at $396 million, up from $375 million. The overall budget includes operating funds at $288 million and capital funds at $107 million. The operating fund, also known as the general fund, is funded by mainly by property taxes, motor vehicle taxes (TAVT), Insurance Premium Tax, licenses and permits, and other items. The capital funds budget is funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and impact fees.

Nearly 80 percent of the total proposed increase in the general fund is due to inmate medical costs ($2.7 million), court appointed attorney costs ($659,000), computer equipment ($280,000), vehicle maintenance ($255,000), maintenance for the Motorola system for public safety ($232,000) and general supplies ($181,000).

The proposed budget accounts for using $7.3 million from general fund reserves, forecasted to leave $56.6 million at the end of the fiscal year. The proposed fire fund budget accounts for using $410,250 in fire fund reserves, leaving about $10.1 million in the reserve fund at the end of the fiscal year.

Cherokee County’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The Board of Commissioners also:

  • Issued a proclamation in celebration of the 236th birthday of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Cherokee County.
  • Set the Board of Commissioners’ meeting dates for 2024. The meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter. The vote was 5-0.
  • Approved, 5-0, the minutes from the Aug. 15 work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale.
  • Held a public hearing to consider the transmittal of the 2023 Capital Improvement Element/Community Work Program Annual Report, which is part of the county’s impact fee program, to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review. No one spoke. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to approve transmitting the plan, which was seconded by District 1 Commissioner Steve West. The vote was 5-0.
  • Held a public hearing regarding the abandonment of an unnamed street off West Putnam Ferry Road. The road was platted but never built. No one spoke. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion to abandon the street, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 5-0.
  • Held a public hearing regarding abandonment of a permanent easement for slopes along a parcel along Woodstock Parkway. The purpose of the easement was for the construction of Woodstock Parkway and is no longer needed. No one spoke. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion to abandon the permanent easement, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 5-0.
  • Denied, 5-0, a modification to a zoning condition from a 2004 zoning case. The applicant is seeking to remove a 50-foot exterior zoning buffer. The case was tabled from the Aug. 15 meeting, as Commissioner Carter sought to find a solution that appealed to the applicant and the adjacent neighbors. Commissioner Carter said he could not support the modification, which was an after-the-fact request. The property owner already had encroached on the buffer, removing trees inside the fence line. Commissioner Carter indicated he did not want to penalize the property owner for what a previous property owner did in removing trees outside the fence line. Commissioner Carter made a motion to deny the modification request, to require the applicant to add plantings to the buffer as indicated by the county arborist and to instruct the zoning manager to notify the applicant’s homeowners’ association ensuring they are aware of the platted buffer. Commissioner West seconded the motion.
  • Tabled, 5-0, Barry and Dawn Scott’s request to appeal the decision of the zoning manager regarding a business license application for Dallas North Lawn Sprinklers, Inc. at 11397 Bells Ferry Road. Staff received updates to the proposed agreement from the applicant over the weekend before the meeting and believed the changes needed legal review before board adoption. Commissioner Carter made the motion to table the case until Sept. 19, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, Theodore Rowe’s request to rezone 26.6 acres from R-80 (Estate Residential) to General Agriculture, as well as a variance to reduce the 75-foot building setback to 0 feet for an open-air arena area. This is a private horse farm. No commercial equestrian activities can take place, no lighting or external sounds systems, and existing structures cannot be altered. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, Neighborhood Commercial zoning on a 7-94-acre portion of an approximately 20-acre parcel owned by the estate of Ovalene H. Cagle at 301 Lower Union Hill Road, based on recommendations from the Planning Commission. The applicant was seeking a rezoning from General Agriculture to General Commercial, as well as a concurrent variance to allow an existing telecommunications tower to not be setback from property lines a distance equal to the height of the tower. The Board of Commissioners followed the Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone the property to Neighborhood Commercial with conditions that no buildings shall be constructed within the fall radius of the adjacent cell phone tower as shown on the submitted site plan and the applicant shall place a restriction on any deed of conveyance of the applicant’s remaining Agriculturally zoned property that only residential land use shall be allowed on that property. The vote also included approval of the concurrent variance. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the consent agenda, which included: final acceptance of all public rights of way, roadways and appurtenant drainage structures in the East Ridge subdivision; an update to the Sheriff’s Office and Magistrate Court Warrant System in the amount of $20,000; amendment one to the Holbrook Campground Road at Midway Road Intersection Improvement Design Services Agreement with Practical Design Partners LLC to add roadway design for a right-turn lane extension on Bells Ferry Road at Towne Lake Parkway in the amount of $14,770; calling for a public hearing on Oct. 3 related to proposed amendments to the alcohol ordinance; and calling for a public hearing on Oct. 3 to receive comments regarding proposed amendments to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances related to Recreation and Parks. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. An item on the published consent agenda regarding an agreement between CATS and the Cherokee County School District was removed as part of the motion.
  • Approved, 5-0, an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Waleska for installation of a water line on Rampley Trail. The County as plans to improve Rampley Trail in the fall of 2023 and spring of 2024. The city of Waleska would like to install a 3-inch PVC water line to service the residences along the roadway and including it in conjunction with the road project allows it to be completed in a timely manner. The IGA defines the responsibilities, which include the City reimbursing the county an estimated $147,000 related to the installation of the City’s water line. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, an intergovernmental real estate agreement with the city of Canton to transfer the ownership of the former Tippens Elementary School parcel to the city of Canton in exchange for the City executing a Removal of Protective Covenant on the 4.4-acre Bluffs Parkway parcel. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, reimbursement to the city of Canton for relocation of an 8-inch water main in conflict with the Technology Ridge Parkway-Phase I project in the total amount of $141,836. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the fourth amendment to the agreement with VHB, Inc. for the Heard Road Extension/Technology Ridge Parkway project to complete final roadway design, environmental permitting and coordination for Phase IV and V of the project in the amount of $152,500. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the FY2025 application to GDOT in the amount of $526,000 for operating assistance and $301,420 for capital costs associated with the CATS 5311 Rural Transportation Program. The County’s obligation is $263,000 for operations and $30,142 for the purchase of two buses and equipment. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing microtransit software from Ecolane USA, Inc. for CATS in the amount of $487,058. The total cost is over five years. Year one is $234,822 and includes implementation, training and the first year of services. The Federal Transit Authority pays for 80 percent of the cost, and the county pays for 20 percent. Years 2-5 are $62,809 annually and the cost is split evenly between the county and FTA. The microtransit service will operate similarly to the private rideshare company models, providing better service and shorter wait times for Demand Response. Once fully implemented, microtransit will replace Demand Response. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing two salt spreaders from Interstate Truck Equipment, Inc. for Public Works in the amount of $61,900. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing veterinary diagnostic analyzers for the Animal Shelter from IDEXX Laboratories using Animal Shelter donation funds in the amount of $49,312.87. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing Wayfinder Software from Genium, Inc. for the Clerk of Courts in the amount of $36,859. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.


Those receiving proclamations included Austin Herre, along with his parents Chelsea and Chad Herre.

Those receiving proclamations included Austin Herre, along with his parents Chelsea and Chad Herre. Austin is currently battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. More information on Austin's story can be found at The Mighty Millie Foundation, represented by Millie Mracek’s aunt Mandy Mracek, uncle Paul Mracek, and cousin Van Mracek accepted the proclamation on behalf of Millie who passed away in 2021 at age 3. Her parents, Nick and Claire Mracek, started the Mighty Millie Foundation in her honor to bring the community together to create awareness, funding, resources and research to fight childhood cancer. More information is available at Childhood cancer survivor Rylee Buchanan accepted her proclamation along with her parents, Brett and Jessica Buchanan.


Cherokee County's Annual Patriot Day Ceremony will be held Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. at the Public Safety memorial in Canton Rotary Park in downtown Canton.

Patriot Day 2023 set for Monday, Sept. 11

(AUG. 24, 2023) -- Cherokee County’s Annual Patriot Day Ceremony will be held Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. at the Public Safety memorial in Canton Rotary Park in downtown Canton.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Chief Eddie Robinson, who started the event in 2002. He led the planning and organization of the Patriot Day Ceremony until being named fire chief in 2022. Chief Robinson has been part of the fire service in Cherokee County since 1994, starting as a volunteer. He began his fire service career in his hometown of Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1979 and served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves.

The 2023 program will feature music from the Cherokee High School Band of Warriors and Cherokee Fire Pipes and Drums. The Cherokee County Multi-Agency Honor Guard will present the colors, and Fire Apparatus Operator Brice Futch will emcee the event.

New to this year’s program is representation of all public safety and law enforcement in Cherokee County during the wreath presentation.

The public is invited to the rain-or-shine event.

2023 Cherokee Career Expo: A New Way to Work

2023 Cherokee Career Expo

A New Way to Work

CANTON, GA — On Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, Cherokee County job seekers will flock to the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center to embark on a transformative journey in their career pursuits. The 5th annual Cherokee Career Expo, hosted by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), will help them do just that. 

This year’s Career Expo will feature nearly 40 of Cherokee’s employers — including Universal Alloy Corporation, Jaipur Living, Dumaplast and WellStar Health System. Job seekers can explore a wide array of local career opportunities, network with Cherokee’s top employers and even participate in on-site interviews. 

The impact of this annual event has been profound, having assisted more than 2,220 Cherokee residents in their job-seeking endeavors, solidifying its role as a pivotal opportunity for job seekers to connect with local employers. 

This year, COED has partnered with Goodwill of North Georgia to bring even more resources to job seekers who register. They will host a virtual Cherokee Career Expo Jobseeker Bootcamp Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. At the bootcamp, participants will learn how to navigate a career expo, develop an elevator pitch, receive resume assistance and prepare for interviews. 

Goodwill is providing resume and interview assistance in-person during the Career Expo as well. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Sept. 27, registered job seekers will have the opportunity to receive live feedback at the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center. Computers and printers will be available for updating and printing resumes before meetng with potential employers. 

The Cherokee Career Expo is part of COED’s Work In Cherokee campaign, aimed at helping Cherokee County residents forget the commute and get precious time back by working in-county. 

“I was driving to downtown Atlanta every day and wanted more quality time with my family,” said Pillow Perfect Media Manger Sean O’Kelley, who atended the 2018 Cherokee Career Expo, “I decided to give the career expo a chance, and the rest is history. I am now employed by a great company within five miles of my house and can spend more time doing the things I love.” 

The Cherokee Career Expo also gives local employers the opportunity to tap into Cherokee’s top talent. 

“Last year, we were able to fill our Direct Support Professional position at the Cherokee Career expo,” said Heddy Proctor of Next Step Ministries,” This hardworking professional has now been with us for over a year — she’s wonderful at her job, great with our clients and brings a smile to everyone’s face.” 

Cherokee County continues to boast a highly-skilled workforce and top-tier education system, along with vibrant communities — it is no surprise that Cherokee is one of the fastest growing counties in the Atlanta region. 

“Cherokee is no longer a temporary address before making a big move,” said COED Charman Marshall Day. “Cherokee is the move. The talent is here. The workforce is here. The community is here. And they are all in Cherokee by choice.” 

Registration for job seekers is free and can be completed online before the event here, or day-of the event. Cherokee-based employers who want to participate in the 2023 expo can register here until Sept. 15th. Please note that not all registered employers may be selected to participate. 

If you are unable to atend the event, you can still take advantage of current Cherokee career opportunities on COED’s Job Search portal online at: 

About the Cherokee Office of Economic Development

COED is Cherokee’s leading organization for business and film recruitment, and industry retention and expansion. For more information, visit


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