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Jonesboro City Council approves changes, upgrades to police department
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JONESBORO — Jonesboro City Council has approved three requests by the city’s police chief for upgrades to the department.

The items were discussed during the Feb. 1 work session and unanimously approved during the board’s Feb. 8 meeting.

The first request was an approval to purchase a sergeant promotion exam at a cost of $4,250.

Police Chief Tommy Henderson said the written and oral exam will help with promotions and “level the playing field” in the department.

Henderson said he is expanding the chain of command within the department, which will make an officer’s move to sergeant more competitive.

The chain of command expansion includes the creation four new positions at the rank of corporal. The inclusion of corporal, and anytime a promotion is granted, requires a new badge. Henderson said the current vendor requires a 16-week turnaround time. The change in vendor will shorten the time to four to six weeks and includes a lifetime warranty on each badge. Additionally, a die cast will be made at a one-time charge of $2,500. The cast will allow for unlimited usage at a cost of $107.50 per badge.

Finally, while evaluating the department, Henderson said he found that firearms used by officers need both upgrading and standardizing. The department is currently using two different caliber of weapons and some are more than 20 years old.

He intends to change all weapons to fifth general Glock 17 9MM.

Doing so the department will need to purchase only one caliber of bullet, saving the department money and allowing for the sharing of ammunition during emergency situations.

Henderson said the department will receive a trade-in value of $350 per gun, bringing the cost of the new weapons to $78 each. A total of 35 weapons will be purchased at a cost of $2,747.50.

Georgia parks, historic sites spring break destinations

ATLANTA — Did someone say “road trip?” With domestic travel at an all-time high and some attractions providing a “too-close-for-comfort experience,” many are looking to explore the great outdoors this spring break. Georgia’s State Parks range from mountains to lakes, and everything in between, offering exhilarating, rejuvenating and one-of-a-kind experiences.

A visit to any of Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites will leave guests wanting to experience even more. From parks listed as one of the “Top Places to Visit in the U.S.” by Buzzfeed, to parks considered to be one of the “20 Wild and Beautiful State Parks in the U.S.” by National Geographic, the options are endless, affordable and allow families to check adventures off their bucket lists. Experience the opportunities available to parkgoers as the weather warms up and gear up for the seven can’t-miss adventures.

Astrotourism: Camping Under the Stars – Pack the tent and build cherished memories while toasting s’mores. Camping encourages the entire family to enjoy the simple pleasures of swapping stories while looking up at the stars. All campgrounds have water and electric hookups, hot showers and site-specific reservations. Many have full hook-ups, and leashed dogs are welcome. Visit GaStateParks.org/Camping for more information.

Insider Tip: Stephen C. Foster in the Okefenokee Swamp, a certified Dark Sky Park, is a perfect location to start for awe-inspiring views of the stars and more.

Glamping Yurts – Want to camp without the hassle of pitching a tent? A yurt is the perfect option and provides a unique and affordable way to escape to the great outdoors. These funky wood and canvas structures are a blend between a tent and cabin, with furniture inside and fire rings outside. Guests can even walk to nearby hot showers. Yurts are available at Cloudland Canyon, Red Top Mountain, High Falls, Fort Yargo, Sweetwater Creek and Tugaloo state parks. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/UniqueAccommodations.

Insider Tip: Anglers, High Falls’ yurt village lets you stay on a premier fishing lake in middle Georgia.

Basecamp for Exploration: Cozy Cabins – For an affordable and cozy staycation, book a cabin or cottage surrounded by beautiful scenery. Ranging from one to three bedrooms, state park cabins come with fully equipped kitchens, screened porches and a wide range of activities right outside the door. Choose from mini golf, nature trails, archery, disc golf and more. Bring the four-legged family members along when you reserve a dog-friendly cabin in advance. Visit GaStateParks.org/Cottages for more.

Insider Tip: Many parks have added more dog-friendly cabins for 2021, including Richard B. Russell, Elijah Clark and Hard Labor Creek.

Junior Rangers – Open to all ages, each park has its own badge (59 of them). Children will have fun learning in the outdoors as they work toward earning Junior Ranger badges from more than 50 state parks and historic sites. By following the activity books, those who partake in this fun opportunity will experience nature first-hand and explore Georgia’s fascinating history. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/JuniorRanger.

Insider Tip: The newly revamped Junior Ranger program is open to all ages, good for day-dates with friends or mid-day “schoolcations” while homeschooling.

Club Challenges for all ages and skill levels – Discover the wonders of nature through your children’s eyes. Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of hiking, padding and biking paths, from easy paved loops to challenging backcountry trails. Energetic explorers can join Canyon Climbers, Park Paddlers or Muddy Spokes clubs while wearing members-only T-shirts. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities, GaStateParks.org/ParkClubsand GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrailsClub.

Insider Tip: Bring Fido along for the Tails on Trails Club, and he will get a matching bandana, too.

Go Fishing – Grab your rod and reel and head out for a day of fishing at parks like High Falls or Reed Bingham. There is no fee for casting a line, but a license is required for ages 16 and older. For families who would like to take their adventure up a notch, many state parks rent boats by the hour. GaStateParks.org/ParkFishing

Insider Tip: The state record blue catfish – 80 pounds – was caught in 2019 at Florence Marina State Park on Lake Walter F. George.

Travel Back in Time – Mix entertainment with education when you step back in time at Georgia’s state historic sites. Children can explore colonial times at Fort Morris and Fort King George, or Civil War bunkers at Fort McAllister. To learn about Native American history, visit Kolomoki Mounds, New Echota, Chief Vann House and Etowah Indian Mounds. Even more historic sites are listed on GaStateParks.org/History.

Insider Tip: 2021 marks the 300th anniversary of Fort King George, the first British fort in colonial Georgia.

The list of exploration opportunities does not stop here. During the day, park-goers can enjoy a number of activities including kayaking, geocaching, paddle boarding, hiking, bird watching, waterfall chasing and so much more. Start planning a spring break excursion at GaStateParks.org/Map.

Shooting leaves one dead in Forest Park
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FOREST PARK — Police are looking for leads in a Thursday shooting incident that left one man dead and another wounded.

According to Forest Park Police Sgt. A. Zackery, police were called to the Wingate apartment complex on Courtney Drive shortly after 10 p.m. in response to a person shot call. When officers arrived, they found one man who had been shot in the foot. He was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital.

As police continued to investigate they discovered a deceased man in the parking lot of the apartment complex.

The investigation is ongoing, and the names of the victims have not yet been released. Forest Park Police Department Criminal Investigation Division is working on the case and following all leads.

The Police Department is asking for anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact the Forest Park Police Department at 404-366-4141. You can also submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

Clayton County Water authority to host Hazardous Waste Collection Day
  • Updated

JONESBORO — The Clayton County Water Authority will host its annual Hazardous Waste Collection Day next month.

The free event is open only to Clayton residents on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility, 8890 Roberts Road. Participants must show their driver’s license or utility bill as proof of residency.

Residents can dispose of the following items free of charge:

♦ Household Paints (Latex and Oil);

♦ Cooking Oil/Grease;

♦ Bleaches and Chlorine;

♦ Pesticides and Herbicides;

♦ Solvents and Sealers;

♦ Automotive and Household Batteries;

♦ Drain cleaners;

♦ Paint Thinner;

♦ Wood strippers;

♦ Motor Oil/Transmission Fluid/Antifreeze;

♦ Aerosols;

♦ Fluorescent Bulbs;

♦ Oven Cleaners;

♦ Insect Sprays and Rodent Killers;

♦ Fire Extinguishers;

♦ Propane and Butane Tanks;

♦ Over-the-counter and prescription medications and;

♦ Non-hazardous wastes such as cleaners, polishers, cosmetics.

For more information, visit www.ccwa.us or call 770-960-5200.