Body of missing AT hiker found Wednesday

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Searchers Wednesday (Feb 19) located the body of 60-year-old Eddie Noonkester, who was reported missing Friday while hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

More than 200 staff personnel from 25 agencies and volunteers searched the treacherous terrain tirelessly through several downpours for four days looking for the North Carolina man.

The search had to be called off Tuesday evening when another downpour and lightning struck the area. The search resumed Wednesday and the body was located near Cochran falls in the afternoon.

The body was found at approximately 2:28 p.m. Wednesday approximately one mile southwest of mile marker 3 hike in trail.

Dawson County EMS Director Danny Thompson said foul play is not suspected, but the body will be transported to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy.

“I can’t thank the men and women enough for searching and assisting in the recovery effort. They made every effort to bring him home to his family.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Search for missing hiker enters third day

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Eddie Noonkester

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — A multi-agency search for a North Carolina man reported missing during what was to have been a through hike along the Appalachian Trail entered a third day Tuesday.

Dawson County Public Safety Director Danny Thompson said during a morning press that Eddie Noonkester, 60, was reported missing Sunday morning. He is described as 5-feet, 10 inches tall and approximately 200 pounds with gray hair and a gray goatee. At approximately 11:30 a.m. Noonkester spoke to a Dawson County a 911 operator who said the man appeared “confused” and could not identify his location.

“On Monday, searchers found some of the man’s personal belongings. Last night, we focused with K-9 a search of that area throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,” Thompson said.

“Today we called in assistance from numerous law enforcement agencies. The DNR, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Parks Service staff and numerous fire departments from Gilmer, Fannin, Union are all represented here today.”

The National Forest Service pinged the man’s cell phone and today’s search is focused on that area but there have been no further pings and it appears the cell phone battery is dead.

The area being searched today is from the approach trail down High Shoals Road which leads to Len Foote Hike Inn and the Len Foote Trail back down to the visitors’ center and the falls.

Thompson described the area that is being searched is “very, very treacherous.”

Heavy downpours can be expected in the area the next 72 hours as well as the possibility of winter weather moving in.

“We will continue the push for Eddie in hopes of a positive outcome,” Thompson said.

Thompson said an email has been set up for anyone who would like volunteer to join the search. If you would like to volunteer, email dcsar@dawsoncounty.org Please leave a phone number, your availability, and hiking level of experience.

If anyone has seen Noonkester, you are asked to contact the Dawson County 911.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Veteran firefighter Dooley promoted to Div. Chief

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Dawson County Fire Chief Danny Thompson has announced the selection of Jason Dooley, a 13-year veteran of the Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Department, as the department’s Division Chief of Operations and Training.

The announcement follows an extensive search where Chief Dooley excelled during the interview process against highly qualified external candidates.

In speaking of the promotion, Chief Thompson stated, “Chief Dooley possesses the experience, leadership and vision to bring a constructive and positive culture of professionalism and accountability to the Dawson County Fire Department.”

“I’m honored that the County has placed its trust in me. The fact that the department promoted from within is a testament to the training and leadership that I have received in my 13 years with Dawson County.” Dooley stated.

“I look forward to continuing that great legacy with the fine men and women that I am lucky to be able to lead.”

Chief Dooley assumed his new position on February 7, 2020.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Roads passable, no black ice reported in Dawson Co.

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga- Public Safety Director Danny Thompson said that as of 9 a.m. today all Dawson County roads are passable and there are no reports of black ice following a hectic Saturday that saw many cars stranded on impassible roads and a numerous minor accidents.

Thompson said the minor accidents were “too numerous to count” but fortunately there were no injuries reported. There was a minor multi-car accident on Hwy. 9 near the Abba House as one vehicle attempted to climb a hill but did not make it and slid back into other vehicles.

“GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) and our Public Works Department worked aggressively to clear the roads yesterday,” Thompson said. GDOT handles all state roads while Public Works handles county roads.

“One problem in getting the roads cleared faster was that so many cars would get stranded in the middle of the road and that made it difficult for the plows to get through,” he said.

“People are getting out now. I would just ask everyone to exercise good common sense. Slow down and take your time. If you approach an icy area, don’t try it. It’s not worth it to injure yourself or someone else or damage your car.”

Thompson also urged motorist to remember it takes bridges and shady areas of  highways longer to thaw than other areas.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The $29.9 million 2020 budget Dawson County Commissioners adopted in October grew by more than $900,000 during Thursday’s regular meeting.

The Board voted 3-0 – with Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix absent due to an illness in her family – to amend the budget by $836,000 to fund a pay raise for county employees. The increase was based on a salary study conducted by Management Advisory Group late last year. The Board also voted to approve upgrades to employees’ defined benefit and defined contributions plans that will add an additional $70,000 to this year’s budget.

Commissioners accepted a staff recommendation to award Jarrard & Davis a legal services contract at a rate of $200 per hour for attorneys and $100 per hour for paralegals. The contract is for one year with four one-year renewal options.

Each election year, local government is required to set qualifying fees for candidates who plan to run for elected office. The 2020 fees are set as follows: Sheriff $1,779.86, Probate Judge $1,491.65, Tax Commissioner $1,491.65, Magistrate Judge $1,491.65, Clerk of Court, $1,491.65, County Commissioner $288, Commission Chairman $360, Surveyor $10, Coroner $108, Board of Education $99.

Following public hearings, the Board unanimously approved Tim Stowers’ request to rezone 10.5 acres on Harmony Church Road from Residential Agricultural to Residential Sub- Rural and Michelle Taber’s request to rezone 2.67 acres on Frank Bruce Road from Residential Agricultural to Residential Sub-Rural.

Commissioners had a very busy slate of agenda items to consider during the 4 p.m. work session.

Court Administrator Jason Stephenson led off by advising commissioners Hall County had under billed Dawson County for the cost of one Administrative Assistant and a law clerk for each Superior Court Judge for several years. The amount that was improperly billed totals $15,200.

Other work session issues discussed include:

— The potential sale of a 77.67 acre tract of land located along Shoal Creek to Caballero Holdings, LLC for $311,111. The Tax Assessor’s Office appraised the property at $647,074. An appraisal performed by J & T Smith, Inc. valued this property at $1.1 million.

— A request by Public Works Director David Mckee to award a debris removal and disposal contract to Graham County Land Company. The contract will not have any cost to the county unless the company is called to report during a disaster such as a winter storm. The contract, if approved includes removing and disposing of vegetation in rights-of-way; hazardous tree removal; vehicle removal; freon management; electronic waste removal.

— A request to award a debris monitoring contract to Debris Tech, Inc. The contract, if approved, would fast-track federal and state disaster relief funding and allow county staff to work in other needed areas.

— A request  by Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to renew a statewide Mutual Aid agreement with GEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to provide assistance and support in managing a disaster that occurs within Dawson County and other participating agencies.

— A request to accept a 50/50 Georgia Forestry Commission Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant that requires a $5,000 county match.

— A request to apply for a 50/50 Georgia Emergency Management Performance Grant to cover a portion of the cost for RAVE emergency alerting, weather siren maintenance, and Crisis Track damage assessment. The grant is $15,568.00. Dawson County’s match is $7,784.

Items discussed during a work session are not typically voted on until the next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Chief Danny Thompson welcomes 11 C.E.R.T. graduates

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Chief Danny Thompson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Eleven Dawson County citizens willing to step forward to render aid to their neighbors during times of a disaster graduated from Community Emergency Response Training Tuesday evening.

Amy Crane, Chris Dewalt, Brittni Faulkenburg, Stephanie Fedoruk, William Goode, Ryan Jacobs, Alex Kinney, April Ketels, Dave Lenhardt, Mike Maciolek and Irene Voyles were honored in a graduation ceremony at Fire Station 2.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson addressed the graduates saying:

“We really hope we never have to use the C.E.R.T. team. It’s really one of those things you hope to teach, hope to prepare as a community but never have that natural disaster that requires us to rely upon our citizens to help us.

But here in emergency services, we 14 people every day so you take a simple tornado that touches down in a neighborhood and our resources are taxed at that moment. So we need to be self-sustaining. To be able to be self-sustaining, we need to rely on the citizens to be that transport element. You may be transporting sick or injured people that we just can’t get to. You may be effective going in and rescuing people, using these skills you have learned.

“You’ve shown an initiative to come in , participate over many weeks of classroom training to give back to your community and this is just a way for us in Emergency Services and the Fire Department to say thank you.”

C.E.R.T. Trainer Charley Hobgood encouraged graduates to “take the training you received back to your family. You’re going to make your families more strong, more prepared for whatever can go wrong, whatever disaster can happen. Share it with everybody you know in your community. Go to your HOAs, your churches. Work wherever you can to help other people get ready.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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County officials break ground for Fire Station 8

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PRESS RELEASE

Representatives from the architecture firm Clark Patterson Lee, general contractor CT Darnell, Dawson County Emergency Services, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners and Dawson County Administration gathered at the site of the future Dawson County Fire Station 8 to hold an official “Ground Breaking” ceremony. The site is on Sweetwater-Juno Road near the intersection of Reagan Rd.

Fire Chief Danny Thompson welcomed all in attendance and spoke of the importance of the new station. He explained how response times and insurance ratings will be greatly reduced with the addition of the new station. Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond also addressed the crowd. He stated that this station will bring a level of emergency response to this area of county that most of the rest of the county has been accustomed to for years.

Due to parking constraints the “Ground Breaking” ceremony was not open to the public. However, Chief Thompson stresses that once the new building is complete the public will be welcome to attend a “Grand Opening” ceremony and tour the community’s newest public safety facility.

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Commissioners meet Thursday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners have another busy schedule Thursday with the work session at 4 p.m., followed by a voting session at 6 p.m.

During the work session, commissioners will hear a request from Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lumpkin County concerning Emergency Radio use.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett will present addendum number 1 for the FY 2020 Legacy Link Contract for Nutrition Program Services.

Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk will ask the Board to consider a replacement for her department’s copier.

Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley will present a discussion of impact fees.

County Clerk Kristen Cloud will give a presentation of the Board of Commissioners meeting schedule.

Commissioners will consider the reappointment of Nancy Stites to the Department of Family and Children Services Board.

Board Chairman will present the proposed FY 2020 budget for discussion.

During the 6 p.m. voting session, commissioners will present a certificate of recognition to Boy Scout Troop 422 and Blake Wood for their Eagle Scout project.

Development Authority Chairman Brian Trapnell will give an update on the Development Authority activity.

There will be several rezoning requests for the Board to rule on.Jan Butterworth has requested the rezoning of 10.3 acres located at Holcomb Road from RA (Residential Agriculture) to RSR (Residential Sub-Rural). The purpose is to subdivide the land in order to gift 4 acres to her child.

Jim King on behalf of Charles Turner request has requested the rezoning of TMP 107-319-007 from CPCD (Commercial Planned Community Development) to CHB (Commercial Highway Business).

The law firm of Miles, Hansford and Tallant, LLC has requested the rezoning of property located at the northeast intersection of Price Road and Toto Creek Park Road from RSR (Residential Sub-Rural) and CHB (Commercial Highway Business) to CHB (Commercial Highway ) for the purpose of construction of a boat, RV and vehicle storage facility.

Commissioners will also hold the first and only public hearing on a proposed county vape shop ordinance.

The Board will get an update on the Land Use Resolution Fee Schedule that was tabled at the Sept. 5 meeting.

 The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority has extended service on several secondary roads in Dawson County — Herman Sosebee, Overlook Circle and Cleve Wright Road. Due to the reconfiguration of the Highway 9 and Dawson Forest Road project, a hydrant will be placed between the two roundabouts. There will be a line upgrade to 12 inch going from Perimeter Road to Highway 9 South and terminating in front of the new subdivision.

Thompson will ask commissioners for funding in the amount of $27,092 for the proposed addition of eight new fire hydrants in the above listed service delivery areas.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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