North Carolina woman arrested on trafficking methamphetamine charges

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methamphetamine

The Towns County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol makes a vital bust confiscating about a pound of methamphetamine.

Sunday, June 6, 2021, the Georgia State Patrol initiated a traffics stop resulting in the arrest of Jennifer Lynn Williams 31 of Crumpler, NC. The Towns County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit in conjunction with the Georgia State Patrol took up the investigation confiscating the vehicle.

According to Sheriff Ken Henderson, this is part of an ongoing investigation with this arrest impacting the supply chain and large amounts of dangerous drugs coming into the community and potentially into the hands of local youth.

Based on our investigation Jennifer Lynn Williams is a major supplier of drugs in the area.
Jennifer Lynn Williams is being charged with the following.

• Drug related objects
• Damage to government property
• Drugs not in original container
• Trafficking in methamphetamine
• Giving false name
• Possession of schedule II-controlled substance
• Possession of methamphetamine
• Obstruction of officer
• Possession of a firearm during commission of a felony

Sheriff Henderson would like to thank the Georgia State Patrol, Towns County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, and Drug Unit for their continued commitment to combating drugs in our great county.

Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black launches Senate campaign

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Gary Black

JEKYLL ISLAND, GA – Gary Black, Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner who received more votes than any candidate for U.S. Senate or Governor in 2018 and 2014, today launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Raphael Warnock.

“Warnock and Biden promised to ‘fundamentally change America,’” Black said. “They’re five months into it and job growth and opportunity are down, inflation, debt and gas prices are up, the Middle East is back at war. Satisfied? Or sickened? I fundamentally object. I’ll stand in the gap and say the wave comes this far, and no further.”

A longtime champion of agribusiness — Georgia’s largest economic driver — Black has made the “Georgia Grown” brand one of the most successful marketing efforts of its kind in the nation.

Black was a founding member of President Trump’s rural and agriculture advisory group started in June of 2016. He also hosted President Trump in a visit with Georgia farmers hit hard by Hurricane Michael and worked with the administration to utilize China tariff money on expanded marketing efforts in Taiwan. He was a vocal backer of Congressman Doug Collins’ Senate campaign last year.

He received more votes than any candidate for U.S. Senate or Governor of either party in Georgia in 2018 and 2014.

Biography of Gary Black

Gary W. Black has championed innovation, solutions, support, and growth in Georgia’s largest industry for over 40 years.

Gary grew up on his family’s beef cattle farm in Commerce, GA where he and his wife Lydia also raised their children, Ward and Caroline. He is a University of Georgia graduate, and a past president of the college’s alumni society.

Under Gary’s leadership, the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s divisions for information technology, animal health, homeland security and food safety have garnered national acclaim. Commissioner Black has led innovation in domestic and international promotion through the renowned Georgia Grown branding program, helping Georgians start businesses and expand markets. Since taking office in 2011, Gary has also improved the department’s fiscal responsibility and performance, as well as strengthened career paths for employees.

Gary Black is a Leadership Georgia Pattillo Award recipient and the 2017 Georgia Trend Magazine Georgian of the Year. He currently serves on advisory committees for the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Gary and Lydia continue to raise commercial beef cattle at Harmony Grove Farms, and serve together in various ministries at Maysville Baptist Church.

Ralston and leadership issue Israel statement of support

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ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) and the leadership of the House Majority Caucus issue the following statement in support of Israel:

“In the last two days, more than 1,000 rockets have been fired at innocent men, women and children in Israel. The Israeli people are being attacked by Hamas terrorists bent on killing as many civilians as possible. It is appalling, and it must end.

“We send our love and prayers to our friends in Israel — a nation that remains one of the most loyal and important allies the United States has ever known. May God protect them and keep them safe.

“We call on the White House to denounce these barbaric acts of terrorism and to rally the peace-loving nations of the world in defense of Israel and its people.”

            The House Majority Caucus leadership team includes Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-Newington), Majority Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), Majority Whip Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), Majority Caucus Vice Chairman Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville) and Majority Caucus Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe).

Kelvin King announces campaign for U.S. Senate in Georgia

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Kelvin King

Marietta, GA – Today, Kelvin King announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. King, a Georgia native, proud veteran, Republican activist, and successful business owner, had the following to say about his campaign.

“Republicans in our state are at a crossroads. We’ve seen what’s at stake in our country. The Biden Administration is currently wrecking our economy, creating a crisis at our border, and systematically dismantling every bit of the “America First” agenda implemented over the last four years. Career politicians, woke corporations, and the cancel culture are all empowered while our families and small businesses are left to pay the price. As the GOP, we have to decide right now if we are knocked down or knocked out. Personally, I am ready to take back our state and fight for the future of our country!

Many of you across Georgia know my wife, Janelle, and me. I am a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a proud veteran, and the owner of a successful construction company. At the same time, my story includes being born to a teenage mother, raised in a single parent home, and overcoming the challenge of poverty. Statistically speaking, I shouldn’t have made it. I truly am a product of the American dream, which makes me the fiercest defender of freedom, opportunity, and American exceptionalism.

I believe our nation deserves better than President Biden and his weak leadership, just as I believe our state deserves better than Senator Warnock’s divisive far left representation. This election for the U.S. Senate is bigger than you and me. Georgia truly is ground zero for taking back our country. Let’s win for America.”

Kelvin King was born in Macon, GA and raised in Mableton, GA. His mom, Janet, was a teenager when she had Kelvin. His mother, at a young age, had the courage to leave an abusive marriage, becoming a single mother to two children, Kelvin and his younger sister Tameisha. Kelvin spent most of his childhood in a single parent home and they oftentimes struggled to make ends meet. Though he became the man of the family early, his mother and grandmother worked hard to instill in him the values needed to grow into a successful young adult. It was these values he credits with earning him an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy where he was an All-Conference football player.

Kelvin graduated from the Academy and served 5 years in the Air Force as a Contracting Officer. He made the rank of Captain before deciding to leave the military and transition to corporate America. Upon completion of his service, he returned to Georgia to begin building his life as a civilian. He worked in procurement, business development and eventually became the General Manager of an international construction firm where he achieved numerous honors including being named to the Top 20 Under 40 in ENR Magazine and Manager of the Year in his company. After several years in this role, he decided to save enough money to start his own construction firm, Osprey Management. Kelvin’s firm has twice been named the fastest-growing business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kelvin is married to Janelle who serves as a panelist and commentator on Fox 5 Atlanta’s “The Georgia Gang.” The two of them have been entrenched in Georgia politics as leading conservative activists and are passionate about spreading the Republican message throughout the minority community. They founded “Speak Georgia”, a 501c3 organization designed to educate and provide resources to the community directly from subject matter experts.

The Kings attend the Church of the Apostles and in their free time enjoy cooking out with friends. Kelvin is also the proud father of a fellow Air Force veteran Christian Ward – GO AIR FORCE!

Rep. Clyde to Take Metal Detector Fine Case to Federal Court Following Rejected Appeal

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andrew clyde bills metal detectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Andrew Clyde released the following statement on April 12th, 2021:

“I recently learned that the formal appeal of my fines incurred as a result of refusing to comply with
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the floor of the
House of Representatives was rejected. This now provides the legal standing which I needed to challenge
this unconstitutional resolution.

Another aspect that greatly concerns me is the unequal enforcement and selective manner these fines have
been implemented, as noted in House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis’ letter to Acting
Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett on February 10, 2021 noting the existence of closed-circuit footage
providing irrefutable proof that Speaker Pelosi bypassed her own screening procedures.

While my team and I continue to await an announcement of a fine levied on the Speaker, we are preparing
for the next stage of this fight. I will take my case to federal court where I am confident justice will be
served.”

State employees and teachers paid parental leave passes General Assembly

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paid parental leave

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and State Representative Houston Gaines (R-Athens) announced that House Bill 146 received final passage in the General Assembly today. House Bill 146 provides three weeks of paid parental leave as a new benefit to full-time state employees and teachers. This is the Georgia’s first paid parental leave benefit for state employees and teachers.

“This paid parental leave benefit speaks to our hardworking state employees and teachers and tells them that we value their contributions and the sacrifices they make to serve our citizens,” said Speaker David Ralston. “I commend Representative Gaines for taking the lead on this important initiative which demonstrates our unyielding commitment to families and giving children the best possible start in Georgia.”

This new paid parental leave benefit would provide some 245,000 state employees and teachers with three weeks of paid leave upon the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. It applies to all employees with six months of creditable service regardless of the employee’s gender. It is limited to once in any 12-month period. This benefit does not impact the employee’s accrued leave or rights under any family medical leave policy.

“I am proud that this legislation received such overwhelming bipartisan support in the General Assembly,” said Rep. Houston Gaines. “We know this benefit will make a difference in the lives of young families across our state. This is a pro-family, pro-jobs bill that will set the right example in the nation’s #1 state for business.”

Co-sponsors of House Bill 146 included Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton), Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville), Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee), and Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn). House Bill 146 was carried in the State Senate by President Pro Tempore Butch Miller (R-Gainesville).

Speaker David Ralston announced a paid parental leave benefit for employees of the Georgia House of Representatives in July 2019. That benefit went into effect in January 2020. The State Senate implemented a similar policy at that time.

House Bill 146 now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for his consideration. More information about House Bill 146 may be found here.

Georgia Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility

News, Press Release

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Governor Brian Kemp today announced the state will expand its vaccine eligibility March 15, 2021, to include adults aged 55 and older, individuals with disabilities, and certain medical conditions.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are already eligible for vaccination. This expansion now includes disabilities caused by an injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury), a disability due to a longstanding condition that could cause vision loss, nerve damage or loss of a limb, or a disability due to illness such as ALS or multiple sclerosis.

The medical conditions referenced are:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart Conditions
  • Immunocompromised State
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurologic Conditions
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thalassemia

To find a vaccine location near you or to schedule an appointment, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. Please schedule an appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available to you.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Speaker Ralston Proposes Free State-Issued Photo ID for Georgians

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free state ID

ATLANTA – Today, Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) proposed that State ID cards through the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) be free to all eligible Georgians. Currently, DDS assesses a $32 fee for State ID cards. Similar in form to driver’s licenses, State ID cards are compliant with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID standard and may be used for voter identification among other purposes. Georgia already offers a free voter photo identification, but that document may only be used for voting.

“I am committed to eliminating barriers to voting for all legally eligible Georgians,” said Speaker David Ralston. “We have heard from Georgians who are concerned about fees associated with obtaining a voter identification. While Georgia already offers a free voter ID, this State ID card is more useful and will make it easier for Georgians to not only vote, but use the ID to open a checking account or show identification to a TSA agent at an airport. Ultimately, we want to make getting a government-issued photo ID as easy as possible and removing this fee is one more way to demonstrate our commitment that everyone has the tools necessary to vote in Georgia. I look forward to working with Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan, and my colleagues in the General Assembly to keep Georgia’s elections accessible and secure.”

State ID cards are one of many types of identification cards and licenses obtained through the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You can learn more about obtaining a State ID card through the DDS website at https://dds.georgia.gov/how-do-i-id-card.

Rep. Andrew Clyde formally appeals fines incurred for refusing to abide by Capitol’s metal detectors

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Fines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA-09) released the following statement regarding his appeal of fines incurred resulting from his refusal to abide by Speaker Pelosi’s unlawful placement of magnetometers outside the entrance to the Floor of the House of Representatives:

“Today, with the assistance of my private counsel, I appealed the fines I incurred as a result of my refusal to abide by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unconstitutional placement of magnetometers in front of the entrance to the Floor of the House of Representatives. Per House Resolution 73, which established this ridiculous break in Congressional precedent, I filed my appeal with the House Ethics Committee.

While my name formally appears on the documentation, I am filing this appeal symbolically on behalf of my constituents in the Ninth Congressional District of Georgia, because it is their vote that is being impeded by Speaker Pelosi’s egregious actions.

As I have said before, the installation of the magnetometers is part of the Democratic Party’s ongoing attempt to treat Republicans as a threat when no such threat exists. The ongoing militarization of Capitol Hill, including the placement of metal fencing, razor wire, and the deployment of National Guard troops, are also part of this perverse strategy. The Democratic Party’s motive in crafting this narrative is to silence us through fear and intimidation, with the ultimate goal being the creation of domestic terrorism legislation and a political litmus test for all elected officials, public servants, and members of the Armed Forces. Make no mistake, Democratic Party leaders would rid anyone who does not agree with their fringe ideology from public service and the political sphere if given the opportunity.

I look forward to continuing the appeal process, and I trust the Committee will review my case with the same fairness and due process they will surely afford the Speaker once her fine for allegedly breaking her own rule is processed.”

Feature image courtesy of the Associated Press.

Sen. Steve Gooch Assumes Additional Duties in State Senate

News, Press Release

ATLANTA (January 25, 2021) | Recently, Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) received his committee assignments for the 2021 legislative session.

Sen. Gooch will serve as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Vice Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, and as a member of the Ethics, Finance, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Additionally, Sen. Gooch will serve as an Ex- Officio member of the Rules and Natural Resources and the Environment Committees.  Sen. Gooch will also continue to serve as the Senate Majority Whip.

“I am grateful for the Lt. Governor’s office and the Senate Committee on Assignments for allowing me to serve our community, as well as our state, through these committee appointments,” said Sen. Gooch. “This session will be unlike any other that we have experienced and will require careful, responsible leadership, particularly when it comes to our state budget. I am honored to have an opportunity to lend my experience to the service of our state through these committees, as well as through my role as the Senate Majority Whip.”

“Sen. Gooch, as well as all members receiving committee assignments, have proven their ability to provide meaningful solutions to issues citizens face across the state,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Sen. Gooch brings a host of experience and knowledge to each committee he serves on and I look forward to continuing to work alongside him as he works tirelessly to advance policies in the best interest of all Georgians.”

The first session of the 156th Georgia General Assembly convened on January 11, 2021, at the Georgia State Capitol.

Pickens County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

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sexual exploitation

Jasper, GA (February 8, 2021) – On Thursday, February 4, 2021, Pickens County resident, Danny Wright, age 57, was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Wright’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the possession and distribution of suspected child pornography by Wright via the internet. This investigation led to a search warrant at Wright’s home in Jasper, Georgia, and the arrest of Wright on February 4, 2021. The GBI was assisted in the execution of the search warrant by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. Evidence from the search warrant conducted on February 4, 2021, led to additional criminal charges against Wright on February 5, 2021. On February 5, 2021, Wright was charged with Child Molestation and Invasion of Privacy.

Wright is currently in custody at the Pickens County Jail.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Pickens County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

News, Press Release
sexual exploitation

Jasper, GA (February 8, 2021) – On Thursday, February 4, 2021, Pickens County resident, Danny Wright, age 57, was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Wright’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the possession and distribution of suspected child pornography by Wright via the internet. This investigation led to a search warrant at Wright’s home in Jasper, Georgia, and the arrest of Wright on February 4, 2021. The GBI was assisted in the execution of the search warrant by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. Evidence from the search warrant conducted on February 4, 2021, led to additional criminal charges against Wright on February 5, 2021. On February 5, 2021, Wright was charged with Child Molestation and Invasion of Privacy.

Wright is currently in custody at the Pickens County Jail.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

More Georgians to Become Eligible to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

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remdesivir covid-19 vaccine

Atlanta – Governor Brian Kemp and Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.,  announced plans to add adults aged 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders to the current group of individuals eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group. The expanded administration of the vaccine is expected to begin within the next two weeks provided there is adequate vaccine supply available.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for prioritizing vaccination. States have the flexibility to tailor these recommendations based on their specific needs and available vaccine.

“Following the expert guidance of Dr. Toomey, the CDC, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Georgia will move to expand Phase 1a vaccination criteria within the next two weeks to include the elderly, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders – provided the state continues to receive adequate vaccine supplies,” said Governor Kemp. “We will continue to monitor the administration efforts of our public health workers and partners in the private sector, and the supply chain of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to ensure eligible Georgians are vaccinated without delay.”

“Different areas of the state are completing Phase 1a at different times based on the number of healthcare workers and LTCF residents and staff they have to vaccinate,” said Commissioner Toomey. “This expansion of 1a eligible vaccination criteria will allow vaccine to be administered as quickly as possible to our most at-risk populations in terms of exposure, transmission and severity. It also gives healthcare providers and public health staff time to plan and work with local communities across the state to ensure safe and efficient deployment of limited vaccine supplies.”

It is critical that even as vaccine becomes available to more people, all Georgians must continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. While the COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective in preventing illness in the individual being vaccinated, it is not yet known if the vaccine fully prevents person to person transmission or asymptomatic infections.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Bradley man arrested for attempted murder

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attempted murder
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on December 22, Bradley County deputies arrived at a residence on McClanahan Drive in northwestern Bradley County in response to a reported stabbing.
During the course of their investigation, they were alerted to flames on the residence from an apparent structure fire that was started after their arrival.
The investigation has revealed that a male suspect by the name of Michael Park stabbed one male victim. The two lived together in the residence that Park later set fire to. The victim is being treated and expected to be discharged later today.
Bradley County firefighters successfully cleared the structure. The residence received heavy smoke and water damage.
Michael Park is currently in custody and being charged with Attempted Murder and False Reports.

Governor Cooper Wishes North Carolinians a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper shared wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday as the third-annual turkey pardoning went virtual. Governor Cooper pardoned two turkeys, Cranberry and Drumstick. The pardon was held virtually, with Governor Cooper in Raleigh and Cranberry and Drumstick at home in Mount Olive at Foy III Farm. Governor Cooper highlighted the importance of celebrating Thanksgiving safely by wearing a mask and social distancing with anyone from another household.

“I’m grateful to the many North Carolinians who are looking out for each other’s safety by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing,” said Governor Cooper. “I know many of us are tired of being cooped up at home, but any time you go out – remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing. These are our berry best tools to slowing the spread of this virus. And I know we cran do it.”

Butterball partnered with the State for the third year in a row to donate 500 turkeys, which will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Butterball has helped to donate 1500 turkeys as part of this event over the last three years.

“Butterball is thankful for the opportunity to present two turkeys for pardoning by Governor Cooper on behalf of the state of North Carolina. Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday at Butterball, and I know celebrations will look different for many this year, but I’m hopeful North Carolinians will find creative ways to celebrate safely. This Thanksgiving, I’d like to give thanks to our teams and other food producers for their dedication to keeping food on tables during a challenging time,” Jay Jandrain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Butterball, said. “We are pleased to donate 500 Butterball turkeys on behalf of Governor Cooper to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to help fight hunger this holiday season.”

NCDHHS provides safety guidelines as early voting begins

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early voting

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing guidelines for voters and local polling locations to help protect the health of North Carolinians during the voting process. In addition, NCDHHS and the NC Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management provided personal protective equipment to local election boards and locations.

North Carolina residents who plan to vote in-person should wear a face mask and keep it on throughout the voting process, stay 6 feet apart from others while at the polling location, and wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after voting.

“Everyone should make their voting plan, and just like going to the grocery store, take your mask and wait apart from others. I’ll be voting in person during early voting,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

NCDHHS also issued guidelines to local polling locations to protect people while they vote, work or volunteer at voting locations. Masks are required in public and voting places must have enough masks to provide one to anyone who does not have one. If a voter has an exception for wearing a mask, election workers should try to accommodate them and should not turn voters away.

Election workers at voting locations must routinely clean and disinfect high-touch areas, such as doors, tables and chairs, with an EPA-approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — especially during peak voting times. Many locations are providing single-use pens to voters.

The guidelines, adapted from the CDC’s Considerations for Election Polling Locations and Voters, also require elections officials to post signage at each voting place reminding voters and workers about social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others. Officials are required to provide physical markers, such as tape on floors or signs on walls, to help ensure people remain at least 6 feet apart.

Additionally, county boards of elections must:

  • Require election workers and observers to wear a mask when social distancing is or may not be possible, unless they state an exception applies.
  • Require election workers to encourage people to wear a mask while they vote or campaign and offer masks to those who are not wearing them.

To monitor the health of elections workers, county boards of elections are required to:

  • Immediately separate and send home election workers who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day.
  • Conduct daily symptom screening of workers before opening the voting place each day.
  • Post signage at the main entrance asking people who have a fever and/or a cough not to enter. Signage from the NCDHHS Know your Ws campaign is available to download.

All 100 county election offices have received gloves and face shields for poll workers; disposable masks for workers and others who do not have a mask; and hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray and paper towels. Anheuser-Busch and McDonald’s donated a portion of the hand sanitizer to the Association of State Election Directors. NCDHHS and NCDPS are providing the rest of the supplies and equipment. Additionally, the NC State Board of Elections is sending single-use pens to county election offices for use as needed.

Interim Guidance for Election Voting Locations and guidelines for Voting Safely During COVID-19 can be found at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#election-voting.

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