Volunteer for COVID-19 Response
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is receiving offers from medical
professionals and other individuals looking for ways to help with the COVID-19 response. An
effective response relies on volunteers who are pre-credentialed and organized. Georgia
Responds is Georgia’s health and medical volunteer program which matches the skills and
credentials of medical and nonmedical volunteers to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in
Medical volunteers may be used to answer medical questions coming into the COVID-19
hotline, or assist at test specimen collection sites. Nonmedical volunteers may be used in
administrative roles at either the call-center or test collection sites, or provide interpretation or
other skills as needed.
To volunteer, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-responds and click on the “Register
Now” box. Registering only takes a few minutes. Prospective volunteers will be asked for their
name, address, contact information and occupation type. In order to be eligible for some
assignments, responders are encouraged to complete a profile summary, which includes skills
and certifications, training, medical history, emergency contact and deployment preferences
Once your skills and credentials are reviewed, you will be notified by a DPH representative.
All Georgians play a critical role in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by adhering
to the following guidance:
• Practice social distancing by putting at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and
@GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.
For information about COVID-19, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or
Decatur, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab has identified counterfeit pills related to the reported overdoses in the Central Georgia area.
Analysis has confirmed that the pills contain a mixture of two synthetic opioids, cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700. Cyclopropyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue that is chemically similar to fentanyl. It is unknown how the human body will react to this drug since it is not intended for human or veterinary use. Cyclopropyl fentanyl had not previously been seen in Georgia.
U-47700 is a synthetic opioid 7.5 times stronger than morphine.
Both of these drugs are HIGHLY DANGEROUS and should not be handled. They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities.
Legislation was introduced this year to outlaw both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia. The law banning the substances went into effect after passage by the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor’s signature on April 17, 2017.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Poison Center, hospitals, local, state, and federal partners are working jointly on this investigation.
Over the past few weeks, many people have either called or come by the office with a
question about tiny, purplish-brown, hopping insects around or in their homes. These tiny
creatures are springtails.
Springtails are one of those insects that you may wonder why are they here on Earth. But
in reality, they serve a useful purpose by eating decaying plant material. They mostly live in the
soil, leaf mold, organic mulches or decaying logs. They are soft bodied so they are attracted to
moist areas to keep from drying out.
Usually springtails stay outside among the mulched areas of the yard. But on occasion
you will find them in the home around sources of moisture like sinks, bathtubs and toilets.
Keeping these areas as dry as possible is the first step in controlling springtails in the home. In a
dry environment, springtails will eventually dry out and die.
Chemical control is not necessary, but insecticides can be used. If you choose to use an
insecticide application make applications around windows and doors. Also spraying around
bathroom plumbing where the pipes come up from the basement or crawlspace will be effective.
When spraying outside of the house you have to apply insecticides with plenty of water in order
to get the chemical through the mulch and soil layers. Because it delivers a high volume of
water a hose-end spray is a good tool to do the job right. A pump-up sprayer will simply not
apply enough water with the chemical to penetrate through the mulch to the soil.
When applying an insecticide inside use an insecticide that is labeled for inside the home use.
Many of these come in a 1-gallon jug that is ready to use. For spraying outside, use an insectide,
which is labeled for scorpions, boxelder bugs or of course springtails. If you choose to use an
insecticide, remember to read and follow the labeled directions.
One other suggestion is to move any mulch away from the foundation of your home. Not
only will this help reduce the infestation of termites or scorpions by not allowing them a direct
pathway to get to the foundation, but also it will allow you to effectively spray in the soil layers.
Springtails are not going to cause major harm to your home, but they sure are annoying
and unsettling for most people. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by
phone at the office or send me an e-mail.
Did you know: Most of Pickens County’s early industry revolved around the marble industry. Polycor Georgia Marble is located in Marble Hill near Tate. For decades Georgia Marble has been mined and used to create historic architecture around the world, including the Archives Building in Atlanta, the New York Stock Exchange, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial and our local Tate Elementary School. The marble is also used for tombstones for the United States Military at Arlington National Cemetery. Most of the marble is white, but there is also very rare pink marble. It is one of the few places in the world where pink marble is found.
Eric Whitener was the winner of the Fannin County Young Farmers Association gun raffle. The drawing took place on Jan 15 at the association’s monthly business meeting. Chestnut Gap Farms donated the gun to the association for the raffle. The money raised will be used to promote agriculture in the community.
Pictured with Eric is FCYFA president Kenny Queen( on the left)
The Fannin County School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, creed, or disability in admission to its programs, services, and activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. For additional information or referral to the appropriate system coordinator, contact the system superintendent’s office at 2290 East First Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513 or 706-632-3771.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) made the following statement after Senate Democrats agreed to end the Schumer Shutdown and reopen the federal government:
“It is ridiculous that we were ever in the Schumer Shutdown in the first place. I’m glad to see that Senate Democrats came to their senses and stopped this nonsense. It is frustrating that this is the same proposal that was offered to them days ago before they decided to shut down the government over immigration. Senate Democrats took their political stunt a step too far since a majority of Americans support funding the federal government over continuing the DACA program. Clearly, Congress’ budget process is a complete failure. It has only worked four times in the past 43 years, and given the current political dynamics it will never work. Tying important policy decisions to the funding process is the reason we end up in these damaging situations. It’s time Congress gets serious about reworking the way we fund the federal government. That way we can start tackling other big ticket items such as fixing our immigration system and beginning to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.”
Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.
Decatur, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is issuing a public safety alert
regarding illegal synthetic opioids. In the last four months, 17 deaths have been caused by the
drugs U-47700 and/or furanyl fentanyl, equal to the number for all of 2016. U-47700 and
furanyl fentanyl are both Schedule I drugs and used in the same manner as heroin. Schedule I
drugs have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical treatment use in the
United States. The drugs are distributed in either powder or tablet form.
The GBI Crime Lab has received approximately 50 cases containing U-47700 and furanyl
fentanyl this year. Many of the cases contained three or four different additional opiates.
Because furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 are lethal at very low doses, law enforcement and the
public should use caution when handling these drugs. They can be inhaled or absorbed through
the skin and are extremely toxic in the smallest quantities.
U-47700 or furanyl fentanyl may cause symptoms such as shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils,
nausea or vomiting, dizziness, lethargy, cold or clammy skin, loss of consciousness, and/or heart
failure. Should someone come in contact with the drugs and an overdose is suspected,
administer Naloxone immediately and call 911. Multiple doses of Naloxone may be required.
One Metro-Atlanta law enforcement agency recently seized approximately 8 kilograms of the
furanyl fentanyl GBI Crime Lab and U-47700 mixture. A field test of the drugs was initially negative before
GBI Crime Lab testing identified the substance. The danger and complexity of the opioids led to
the GBI issuing a statewide officer safety alert. Law enforcement has been warned to use
extreme caution and utilize personal protective equipment when handling or packaging any
Due to the diligence of the Georgia General Assembly, legislation was introduced this year to
ban both U-47700 and furanyl fentanyl. The Governor signed this law and it went into effect on
4/17/2017 upon his signature.
Traveling for the holidays or a gorgeous get-a-way to beautiful Blue Ridge, GA! Check out the newly revamped Douglas Inn & Suites located at the heart of town within walking distance to shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, & more! Beautiful, convenient, & pet friendly! Bring your best friend! Douglas Inn & Suites ~ BOOK NOW
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
GBI Conducting an Investigation into an Officer Involved Shooting in Pickens County
Talking Rock, GA – On Saturday October 24, 2015, the GBI’s Cleveland Regional Office was requested by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer involved shooting by Pickens County Deputies and Georgia State Troopers that resulted in the death of John Harley Turner, 36, in Talking Rock, Georgia. Initial information provided to the GBI indicates that at approximately 8:30 p.m., Pickens County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 1607 Carver Mill Road in Talking Rock, Georgia concerning a dispute between two hunters and Turner who is reportedly a neighboring land owner. Turner had reportedly threatened the hunters with a pistol for being near his property. The hunters contacted 911 and deputies responded to the Carver Mill Road address where they encountered John Harley Turner who was armed with a pistol.
As deputies attempted to make contact with Turner, he began screaming at the deputies and pointing his pistol at them. The deputies shouted multiple verbal commands for Turner to put down the pistol. The deputies called for backup assistance and additional Pickens County deputies and Georgia State Troopers arrived on the scene. Officers attempted to disarm and arrest Turner with less lethal beanbag rounds fired from a shotgun. The less lethal rounds struck Turner but did not stop him from firing his pistol at the officers. The deputies and troopers returned fire striking and killing Turner. Two Pickens County deputies were shot during the exchange of gunfire. Both deputies were transported from the scene to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Turner will be transported to the GBI’s Medical Examiner’s Office in Decatur, GA where an autopsy will be conducted. The GBI is conducting an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. Once the GBI completes the investigation, the results will be forwarded to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for any action that they deem appropriate.
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