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Tallapoosa-Journal

Judicial election sees all-new candidates for first time in three decades

Voters in Haralson and Polk counties will have an opportunity in May to do something they have not been able to do in nearly 30 years: elect a new Superior Court judge.

Haralson County High School Sports

Columnist Rhubarb Jones

Friday 04/11/2014
Peacock Perch provides venue for local artists, crafters
Posted: April 11, 2014

 An old building recently made over opened as a brand new venue on Saturday, April 5, for the benefit of hometown artisans who want to display and sell their creations, according to the volunteer heading up the enterprise.

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Wednesday 04/09/2014
Tourism Team launches Local Scenic Byway
Updated: April 11, 2014 - 1:36 pm

After more than a year of planning, the Haralson County Chamber of Commerce can boast the completion of the Haralson  County Local Scenic Byway project. 

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County honors multiple groups with proclamations
Updated: April 11, 2014 - 1:36 pm

The Haralson County Board of Commissioners had a slew of proclamations on their consent agenda during their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 1, showing support for multiple organizations and touting the deeds of local E-911 dispatchers. 

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Friday 04/04/2014
Dogwood Fair set to take over Tallapoosa
Updated: April 08, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Next weekend marks the 29th annual Tallapoosa Dogwood Arts and Crafts Fair as the area ushers in spring with a slew of vendors down Head Avenue and a line of parade floats winding their way around town.

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Crossroads closes doors after 65 years
Posted: April 04, 2014

A landmark Tallapoosa restaurant has turned off the stoves and locked the doors for the last time, leaving diners in limbo as to its future management and where to eat dinner next Sunday. 

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Wednesday 04/02/2014
County to hold town hall meetings to discuss budget
Updated: April 04, 2014 - 5:06 pm

Haralson County citizens and employees will have an opportunity to air their concerns and to speak their minds about the county budget during a series of town hall meetings scheduled throughout April.

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BOC reduces employees’ wait for health coverage
Updated: April 04, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Haralson County commissioners met on March 27 in a special called meeting to address a single topic: reducing the waiting period for new county employees to be covered under the county health insurance plans.

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Friday 03/28/2014
WHES Rebel Robotics Team’s innovation yields awards, patent
Updated: April 02, 2014 - 3:03 pm

A local robotics team has conquered new territory this year. Ten fifth-grade students from West Haralson Elementary School, known as the Rebel Robotics Team, designed an award-winning robotics project that will compete with projects across the nation for the winner of the National Innovative Solution Award.

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Bremen, Tallapoosa make new SPLOST proposal to county
Posted: March 28, 2014

The cities of Bremen and Tallapoosa have drafted an new Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) proposal and presented it to the county in the form of a letter with hopes the government entities can reach an agreement on a SPLOST referendum in time to place it on the Nov. 4 ballot.

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Haralson County vets, civilians show support for CVA
Posted: March 28, 2014

Reaction from an estimated crowd of 100 at Tallapoosa’s Helton-Howland Memorial Park last Tuesday ranged from wildly enthusiastic to inquisitive during a rally by the Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), whose national leader pumped a heavy dose of patriotism into veterans, governmental officials and involved citizens.  

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Buchanan man charged in shooting
Posted: March 28, 2014

On Monday, March 24, Haralson County Sheriff’s Office officers were dispatched to 1053 Bethlehem Church Rd. in Buchanan in response to a shooting. 

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Thursday 03/27/2014
Alabama student remains critical after head-on collision
Posted: March 27, 2014

The driver of the pickup truck in last Thursday’s head-on collision with a Haralson County school bus remained in critical condition Monday at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, according to Trooper Doug Shambling of the Rome State Patrol Post.  The accident involved 39 student passengers and the bus driver, none of whom were reported injured.

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Friday 03/21/2014
Mother sentenced in Downey baby’s death
Posted: March 21, 2014

The mother of an 8-month-old girl who died of an opiate poisoning was sentenced last week to 20 years in prison to serve a minimum of 10 years after her baby, Marnee Kay Downey, died on Oct. 10, 2012.   

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Buchanan moves forward with city park plans
Posted: March 21, 2014

The Buchanan City Council moved forward on plans to upgrade the city park and use signs to persuade passing motorists to explore the city, while also approving funds to replace city hall telephones, during their regular meeting on March 13.

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Thursday 03/20/2014
Collision: Truck strikes school bus in Haralson County
Updated: March 26, 2014 - 11:42 am
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Wednesday 03/19/2014
Bud Jones discusses new book at annual library meeting
Updated: March 21, 2014 - 4:03 pm

The Friends of the Buchanan-Haralson Library are gearing up for their annual meeting, and they plan to have a special guest share his new book with the public as part of the program. 

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Friday 03/14/2014
Concerned Vets to testify before congress
Posted: March 14, 2014

Two combat veterans from Tallapoosa plan to testify before a congressional committee soon on behalf of the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, which would hold higher-ups in the Veterans Administration accountable for delivering improved services to veterans, according to Brenda Robinson, Haralson County liaison for the Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).  

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Wednesday 03/12/2014
Haralson County schools see dramatic reduction in absenteeism
Updated: March 17, 2014 - 1:10 pm

These days, a lot of clout is given to standardized tests, how well they measure student performance, and how school systems have been struggling with new rigorous assessments. However, not much talk is made about one underlying (and mostly avoidable) cause for poor student achievement that, according to the Georgia Department of Education, has a huge impact on test scores and graduation rates: attendance.

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Honda Lock: 'Seeking higher impact on community'
Updated: March 17, 2014 - 1:09 pm

When Tim Keesee came to Bremen’s Honda Lock as vice president, he said he improved communication, “which was the biggest thing I did to help stabilize the plant.”  

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Several qualify in local elections, two BOE posts unopposed
Updated: March 17, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Two members of the Haralson County Board of Commissioners will be challenged for their seats during the upcoming May 20 primary election, while one incumbent on the county Board of Education will also face opposition.

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Friday 03/07/2014
Haralson County schools hear more on buses, approve 4-day week
Posted: March 07, 2014

The Haralson County Board of Education’s combination work and regular meeting got off to an unusually loud and uproarious start Tuesday when two audience members were escorted out of the meeting within the first 10 minutes after making loud comments during the proceedings.

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Haralson County selects IT group, insurance provider
Posted: March 07, 2014

Haralson County Commissioners hired a new agency to provide liability insurance coverage for the county and signed up a Bremen-based company to oversee its information technology systems at their regular monthly meeting of March 4.

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Thursday 03/06/2014
Healthcare Act pay or play penalty – will I be fined?
Updated: March 07, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all stakeholders, including the federal government, state governments, insurers, employers and individuals, are given shared responsibility to improve the availability, quality and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. 

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Friday 02/28/2014
ACLU files civil suit against Haralson Schools
Posted: February 28, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Georgia and the Kendall Law Group, cooperating attorneys for the ACLU of Georgia, have filed a lawsuit against the Haralson County School System and Haralson County Schools Superintendent Brett Stanton to challenge the termination of former Haralson County Schools bus driver Johnny Cook.

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Thursday 02/27/2014
Sewell Mill hosts Taste Of Chocolate this Saturday
Updated: February 28, 2014 - 2:47 pm

One of the most basic issues of childhood literacy is the availability of books in the home so that parents can read to their children, and to help address this issue the citizens of Haralson County have an upcoming opportunity to raise money to help distribute free books to preschool children in the area.

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House passes synthetic drug bill adding new chemicals
Updated: February 28, 2014 - 2:47 pm

A new bill that adds new chemicals to the list of substances classified as synthetic marijuana passed the state’s House, but an advocate against the drug is calling the proposed law a “paper tiger.”

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Rabid animal identified in Haralson County
Updated: February 28, 2014 - 2:47 pm

Last week, Haralson County Animal Control positively identified a rabid raccoon in the county outside of Bremen. 

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Friday 02/21/2014
County hears plan to turn Boot Camp into jail
Posted: February 21, 2014

The long-vacant West Georgia Boot Camp can be converted into a “fully functioning jail” for $3.5 million, according to a proposal made this week before the Haralson County Board of Commissioners.

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Latest storm ‘not too bad’
Posted: February 21, 2014

Last week’s winter weather storm was gone as quickly as it came, with all traces of snow and ice virtually gone by noon on Thursday. Only trace amounts remained in shady areas as things returned to normal, although roads did have some ice on them Thursday morning and a few patches of black ice remained on wet roads Friday morning after melting snow and ice refroze in some areas.

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Wednesday 02/19/2014
Haralson cities, county reach tentative tax agreement
Updated: February 21, 2014 - 12:01 pm

It seems the Haralson County government and the government of the four cities in Haralson County have come to an agreement when it comes to how taxes will be levied against city and county residents and what services they will pay for. 

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HC schools hear details from staff on 5-day week possibility
Updated: February 21, 2014 - 12:00 pm

The issue of whether Haralson County schools should return to a five-day week dominated the discussion at a Board of Education retreat Feb. 7 and 8, as a representative for the county high school stood alone against the system’s other schools as being in favor of returning the school calendar to 180 days of instruction.

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Friday 02/14/2014
Tallapoosa moves forward with golf cart ordinance
Posted: February 14, 2014

The Tallapoosa City Council held a first reading for motor vehicle ordinance and changed the name of a street during their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 10.

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Thursday 02/13/2014
Haralson School Board considers reinstating five-day week
Updated: February 14, 2014 - 3:38 pm

During the Haralson County Board of Education, the board talked about the possibility of moving to a five-day school week, received a visit from Dan Weber and Pam Tallmage of the Charter System Foundation and heard updates from department heads.

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County votes down proposal to change policy for special called meetings
Updated: February 14, 2014 - 3:38 pm

 Haralson County commissioners rejected a proposal — offered by one of its own members — to reform their method of convening special called meetings during a regularly scheduled session that was dominated by issues not on the official agenda.

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Waco finalizes beer, wine ordinance
Updated: February 14, 2014 - 3:38 pm

The City of Waco approved a finalized version of their malt beverage and wine sale ordinance and approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2015 during their regular meeting Monday, Feb. 3.

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Monday 02/10/2014
Haralson County Schools closed tomorrow
Posted: February 10, 2014

Haralson County Schools released this announcement today: 

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Friday 02/07/2014
Haralson BOC votes down called meeting policy change
Posted: February 07, 2014

Haralson County commissioners rejected a proposal – offered by one of its own members – to reform their method of convening special called meetings during a regularly scheduled session that was dominated by issues not on the official agenda.

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Thursday 02/06/2014
Healthcare: What are my options in Georgia and what are the new requirements?
Posted: February 06, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following article is one in a series about the recently enacted Affordable Health Care Law, commonly known as ObamaCare. The Journal has asked residents to send in their questions about the law. Some of those are answered below.

A major milestone has been achieved, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. According to the department’s website, “As of Jan. 24, over 3 million Americans have enrolled in private health plans through the State and Federal marketplaces.”

Affordable Care Act (ACA) service provider Marcy Heath from Sanders Associates Insurance in Tallapoosa, Ga., echoed the department’s achievement saying, “Here in Haralson County, enrollments have been wide open, and I don’t foresee that changing in the next two months.”

Heath and business associate Crystal Davis are two of the only certified Affordable Care Act service providers in Haralson County.

“People are extremely concerned about making sure they have coverage before the enrollment deadline of March 31.”

Last week, the Newspapers of West Georgia received some questions from a concerned citizen regarding the Affordable Care Act. Heath provided answers to these questions.

Q.: Are other insurance companies, such as Humana, United Healthcare, etc., opting out of the federal marketplace locally, as Blue Cross/Blue Shield has done with Tanner

A.: The only carriers that made application and were approved to participate in the Federal Marketplace in the state of Georgia were Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA), Alliant Health Plans, Humana and Kaiser. 

Humana maintained their National Preferred Network. Kaiser expanded a little and now has a few physicians in the West Georgia area. BCBSGA went in the opposite direction with the new health maintenance organization (HMO) network, being very selective about whom they are allowing in their network. Alliant Health Plans has a very strong network in the West Georgia area with Tanner facilities and physicians.  If you purchase plans outside of the Marketplace, you may still have access to United Healthcare, Aetna, Coventry, Assurant and other carriers who did not wish to participate in the Federal Marketplace. As of now, the networks for those carriers have not changed.

Q.: Insurance companies have to meet 10 requirements now, including not refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions, covering children until they are 26, etc., but what are those other requirements?

A.: These requirements are referred to as the Health Reform Mandates and include requiring most U.S. citizens to have health insurance, no pre-existing condition rejections, allowing children to be insured on their parents’ plan up to age 26, and no annual or lifetime caps on benefits. “Essential Health Benefits” (EHB) must be covered and available on all plans – regardless of where you purchase.

EHB must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories:

• Ambulatory patient services

• Emergency services

• Hospitalization

• Maternity and newborn care

• Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment

• Prescription drugs

• Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices

• Laboratory services

• Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management

• Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

“Medical–Loss Ratios” have been tightened, ensuring that 80 percent of premiums are spent on customers’ medical claims and activities that improve the quality of care. Restrictions have been made on premium discrimination in an attempt to stabilize rate variances. These requirements represent a major step in the commoditization of health insurance, meaning that the ACA is helping health insurance become a product where one brand has no features that differentiate it from other brands, and consumers buy on price alone.

If you have a questions regarding healthcare reform, please send your questions to the Tallapoosa Journal, c/o Editor Amy Lavender, 901 Hays Mill Rd., Carrollton, Ga., or amy@times-georgian.com.

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Wednesday 02/05/2014
Haralson County weathers ‘snowmageddon’; Mass backups avoided
Updated: February 06, 2014 - 10:09 am

While some Georgia residents have harrowing tales from last week’s winter storm after spending hours on various interstates and state roads, most motorists who were on Haralson County state roads can boast a better experience.

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Saturday 02/01/2014
Shop with a Cop celebrates 30 years
Posted: February 01, 2014

This year, the Bremen Police Department celebrated 30 years of the “Shop with a Cop” Christmas giving program. 

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Thursday 01/30/2014
Snow Day
Updated: January 30, 2014 - 12:25 pm
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Chamber looks forward to new year with hope, promise
Updated: February 01, 2014 - 12:10 pm

The Haralson County Chamber of Commerce celebrated 25 years of connecting community businesses during their 25th Annual Meeting on Saturday at Mill Town Music Hall.

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County gets tech proposal, holds special meeting to approve bidding policy
Updated: February 01, 2014 - 12:09 pm

The Haralson County Board of Commissioners held their monthly work session last Wednesday, Jan. 22, and less than 24 hours later were back at the county seat on Friday, Jan. 24, for a special called meeting to discuss an additional item. 

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Tuesday 01/28/2014
Local schools closed, weather advisory in effect
Updated: January 30, 2014 - 11:55 am

Due to the inclement weather Carroll County and Carrollton City Schools will be closed today, Jan. 28. Faculty and staff are to report to work. Also Bremen City Schools closed today with staff reporting for half a day. Haralson County schools opened this morning for students and staff; however, they will be dismissing early. Haralson County bus riders will be dismissed at 11:15 a.m., and car riders will be dismissed at 11:30. Haralson County schools has also announced they will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 29.

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Friday 01/24/2014
Libraries hosting many upcoming events
Posted: January 24, 2014

Haralso County’s three local libraries and their supporters have many programs and events for the public coming up at the end of January and throughout the month of February. In addition, they all have exciting plans for the spring and summer months.

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Wednesday 01/22/2014
4.5 ton ship propeller intact after attempted theft
Updated: January 24, 2014 - 12:55 pm

A ship’s propeller weighing four and a half tons is still intact but disfigured at Tallapoosa’s Helton-Howland Memorial Park after a local man allegedly tried to make off with bits and pieces of it in a bizarre attempted theft, according to police and the park’s chief spokesman.

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Friday 01/17/2014
Haralson Chamber welcomes new CEO
Posted: January 17, 2014

The Haralson County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Eric Randall McDonald of Bremen will be the new President/CEO of the Chamber.

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Resident asks Haralson Commissioners to hire county manager
Posted: January 17, 2014

Haralson County commissioners were asked to consider hiring a county manager to oversee the county’s budget and postponed a decision on installing traffic-monitoring cameras on county school buses during their first meeting of the New Year.

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Haralson school board considers outsourcing buses
Posted: January 17, 2014

Outsourcing bus services was the main topic of discussion during the Haralson County Board of Education’s regularly scheduled work session last week, as the board had invited representatives from First Student Transportation to talk about the proposed contract and many residents turned out to hear the details.

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Tallapoosa City Council members sworn in
Posted: January 17, 2014

The Tallapoosa City Council witnessed the swearing in of three of its members as it opened its first regular meeting for 2014. 

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