digital sm630 East Main Street
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: 770-213-7095
Fax: 770-213-7106

 icon-fb.png Instagram Twitter

Canton Main Street Named Quarterfinalist for America’s Main Streets Contest

The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, recently announced that Canton Main Street is one of the quarterfinalists in the 2019 “America’s Main Streets” contest. The winner of the $25,000 grand prize will be announced this month.

The Canton Main Street program was established in 2010 to enhance the quality of life for Canton residents. With a heart for historic preservation and an eye on the future, Canton is building an economy for the next generation while restoring buildings from past generations. In the last two years, over 300,000 square feet of historic buildings have been restored including former schools, a textile mill, and the historic Jones Mercantile in the heart of downtown. Canton has made a name for itself with exciting new possibilities for growth within an authentic, inviting community that deeply cares about the city’s future and unrivaled quality of life.

Brewery Opens This Month at The Mill on Etowah

Reformation Brewery’s new location at The Mill on Etowah is celebrating its grand opening on June 7-9. Located at 141 Railroad Street, Suite 500, the 20,000+ square foot space is in a mixed-use area still under construction along the Etowah River with future access to nearby shopping, restaurants, river use, and green space. Serving as the brewery’s main production facility and warehouse, the space also includes a public taproom and private event space.

“Canton has all the historic bones to create something unique to our state and region,” said Grant Schmeelk, developer. “We are fortunate to have the chance to participate in the restoration and transformation already started. We hope The Mill on Etowah, anchored by Reformation Brewery, will become a destination for all who wander into north Georgia and a place to celebrate its wonderful gifts.”

Rotary Club Honors Public Safety Officers

The Rotary Club of Canton held its 4th annual Public Safety Appreciation Luncheon at the Bluff’s Conference Center last month. The theme of the event was “Honoring Our Heroes.”

Sergeant Nathan Ernst, Holly Springs Police Department, was awarded the Public Safety Medal of Valor due to the tremendous bravery he demonstrated during a call earlier this year.

Three officers received the Colonel George Bailey Distinguished Leadership Award: Deputy Courey Carter, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office; Matthew Dunn, Woodstock Police Department; and Deputy Chief Tommy Keheley, Holly Springs Police Department.

Public Safety Employee of the Year awards were presented to Mike Adams, Holly Springs Police Department; Dale Belvin, Cherokee County E 9-1-1; Shane Bonebrake, Woodstock Police Department; Sergeant Chris Bryant, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office; Corporal Cody Jones, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office; Chief Mark Kissel, Cherokee County School Police Department; Animal Control Officer Viola Lynne Laux, Cherokee Marshal’s Office; Monica Moore, Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office; Cameron Smith, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services; Jenna Stoner, Cherokee County E 9-11; Michael Sweat, Canton Police Department; and Mike Thomas, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.

During the event, the Rotary Club also awarded the Public Safety Business Partner of the Year to Malek Eljiche, Tuscany Restaurant, and Chuck Cox, Chuck’s Auto Repair.

Keynote speaker was Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

New Commemorative Bricks Installed at Cherokee Veterans Park

Cherokee County recently added 164 new commemorative brick pavers to the Monument at Cherokee Veterans Park. The monument, located at 7345 Cumming Highway in Canton, opened to the public on Veterans Day last year. This brings the total engraved brick pavers installed since the monument opened to nearly 300.

The centerpiece of the design is a large United States flag with five granite walls and plaques depicting the names and mottos for each uniformed branch of service along with the year each branch was founded. The pentagon-shaped plaza includes a five-pointed star with a column at the point and the seal for each branch of the armed services on the column. The monument also includes a tribute to veterans who were prisoners of war or who remain missing in action. Each point of the star includes brick pavers to thank our veterans and commemorate their service.

Commemorative brick pavers are still available for purchase by visiting the Commemorative Brick Program at or in person at the Recreation Center in Woodstock. All proceeds are used for upkeep of the monument.

The next installation of bricks is scheduled prior to Veterans Day in November. The deadline to purchase a brick for installation prior to Veterans Day is August 31. For more information, please call 770-924-7768, or visit

Cherokee County Clerk’s Office Requests Teddy Bear Donations

The Cherokee County Clerk’s Office is excited to announce Buddy Bears, a program that benefits Cherokee County’s children in foster care. The office will be collecting donated teddy bears to give to children who come before the citizen review panels.

In cooperation with the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, the Cherokee County Juvenile Court participates in the Permanent Homes for Children program. Citizen volunteers meet monthly to review the case plans developed for children in foster care. While reviewing cases, these volunteers track the case plan’s progress, assess how parents are doing on their reunification plan, and ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

The Clerk’s Office would like to give teddy bears to the children to help ease their stress, trauma, and anxiety. New and gently used teddy bears will be collected through July 1, 2019 in the Justice Center lobby (90 North Street, Suite 230, Canton).

City of Holly Springs Receives 2019 Main Street Accreditation

The City of Holly Springs has been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history.”

The City’s Main Street Program’s performance is annually evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Office of Downtown Development, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

“We are proud to be a part of such a powerful national movement,” said Erin Honea, Main Street director. “We have a wonderful Main Street Board, chaired by Dr. Ollie Evans with Holly Springs Chiropractic & Massage, that tirelessly gives of their time and talents to make Holly Springs a great place to be. During 2018, special events brought in over 10,000 guests, and volunteers gave over 200 hours of their time.”

Plans for New History Museum Announced

The Cherokee County Historical Society is pleased to announce plans to develop a new and innovative Cherokee County History Museum and Preservation Center. The new History Center will be in the former Canton Police Department building at 221 East Marietta Street in historic downtown Canton following an extensive reuse and renovation project. The museum is planned be a major tourist attraction for Cherokee County, as well as a center for residents and students to explore the county’s rich and vibrant history.

Purchase price of the property from the City of Canton will be $1.32 million, with the Historical Society making the initial payment of $600,000 when the purchase is finalized later this summer. The remainder of the purchase price will be paid annually from a tourism grant the Historical Society receives from the City of Canton’s hotel/motel tax fund, according to a partnership agreement between the organization and the City.

The museum will engage visitors by telling and depicting the human stories behind the county’s history. Using artifacts, storyboards, and stunning audiovisuals, these personal narratives will bring the artifacts to life and connect visitors to Cherokee’s rich past.

“We are excited to finalize the location of the new History Center,” said Historical Society Director Stefanie Joyner. “This will bring a much-needed cultural attraction to Cherokee County and provide a place for students to learn about local history. We’re grateful to the City for working with us to make this a reality.”

When completed, the museum is expected to draw 20,000 visitors a year to Cherokee County. For more information, contact Joyner at 770-345-3288 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reinhardt Offers New Online Master’s Degrees

Reinhardt University recently announced two new master’s degree programs. Beginning in August 2019, the university will offer Georgia’s first 100 percent online sport-based master’s degree program at a private institution. The new Master of Science in Sport Administration consists of 30 credits, which can be completed in one year.

“We see a need for a fully sport-based online master’s program in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Joe Mullins, sport studies & PE program coordinator. “The program will provide advanced skills for sports professionals looking to enter leadership or administration positions in all aspects of the sports industry.”

Beginning in fall 2019, Reinhardt has also made it more convenient to earn a Master of Business Administration through a new online alternative to its successful on-campus MBA program. This MBA degree can be completed in less than two years. Some choose a graduate degree in business to increase their earning opportunity, while others want to learn new skill sets to use in their current positions.

“The new online MBA will open doors for those who have commitments preventing them from earning their MBA through the traditional on-campus option,” said Dr. Steve Morse, dean of the McCamish School of Business & Sport Studies. “The MBA will make our high-quality faculty available to many more students around the United States and the world.”

To learn more about these programs, call 770-720-9191, or visit The new Master of Science in Sport Administration and Leadership degree program is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Donates Fire Safety House to Gilmer County

Last month, Cherokee County Fire donated its old fire safety house to Gilmer County.

After the merger of Cherokee County and Canton fire departments, the consolidated organization ended up with two fire safety houses – one from Canton, one from Cherokee. After careful review and consideration, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency decided to keep the city’s newer fire safety house and donate the county’s older model.

Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather contacted the Gilmer County fire chief and determined that they did not have a fire safety house. Earlier this year, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved the transfer.

“On behalf of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners and Gilmer County Public Safety, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for your generous donation of the fire safety training trailer,” said Keith Kucera, director of Gilmer County Department of Public Safety. “Our Fire/Life Safety team at Gilmer County has already used this wonderful gift at Ellijay Primary School, which saw over 50 first graders pass through and learn about home safety. Our entire community truly appreciates you and your staff.”

CCSD Students Win State Leadership Awards

The 21st Century Leaders organization presented Georgia Youth Leadership Awards to Cherokee High School junior Michael Garcia and Etowah High School junior Kailen Kim.

Each year, the youth leadership and talent development program selects 21 youth leaders from throughout Georgia for the honor. The high school leaders selected are already making names for themselves as nonprofit founders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, authors, and community advocates.

CCSD Students Place at State Tech Fair

Cherokee County School District students excelled in this year’s Student Technology Competition, with six students placing first, second, or third at the state competition in Macon. The competition includes 16 categories for students in grades 3-12.

Clark Creek ES STEM Academy fifth-graders Dylan Fallin and Gavin Letendre won first in Audio Production (grades 5-6). Macedonia ES fourth-grader Bradlee Rodriguez placed second in Digital Photo Production (grades 3-4).

Three students placed third: Creekland MS eighth-grader Reagan Pastor in Internet Applications (grades 7-8), E.T. Booth MS seventh-grader Marissa Migneco in Animation (grades 7-8), and Indian Knoll ES third-grader Paxton Miller in Multimedia Applications (grades 3-4).

Empower Cherokee of GA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Empower Cherokee of GA, formerly Cherokee Day Training Center, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a ribbon cutting/re-grand opening.  

This organization for men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities offers community integrated services, based on the needs of the individuals it serves. Empower Cherokee provides support to help people maintain local jobs and to connect and contribute through activities such as volunteering and socialization.

Cherokee County District Attorney Receives Award

Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace recently received a 2019 Outstanding Women in Leadership award.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan honored 25 outstanding women leaders, including District Attorney Wallace, during a March event to celebrate Women’s History Month. During the presentation, Lt. Gov. Duncan said that the women leaders have made a profound impact on residents and communities throughout Georgia.

“I am honored to be recognized as an outstanding woman leader,” said Wallace. “I am proud to represent Cherokee County among a group of highly accomplished leaders from across our state. While this award honors me, I believe it truly represents all of the great work we accomplish in the District Attorney’s office.”

Indian Knoll ES Counselor Named CCSD 2019 Counselor of the Year

Indian Knoll Elementary School Counselor Colleen DeLosh has been named Cherokee County School District’s Counselor of the Year. Her focus on supporting the individual child, coupled with her education, experience, and dedication to enhancing and expanding programs for her school, led her colleagues to name her the Sequoyah Innovation Zone’s Counselor of the Year, and for Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower to surprise her with the district-level honor.

“I am so impressed with all she does: Response to Intervention, 504 special needs plans, the school food pantry, yearbook, small group counseling, attendance incentives, holiday toy drives, and the Seven Mindset Faculty group she created this year,” said Dr. Hightower. “She’s just done a phenomenal job.”

The award process begins with each Innovation Zone selecting a Counselor of the Year. A panel of retired educators and community leaders then reviews the honoree applications and selects the Counselor of the Year.

“Colleen is a valued member of our school leadership team,” Principal Kim Cerasoli said. “She is fully deserving of this award, extremely experienced, and a self-starter. Most importantly, she sets the example and shows compassion and positive character every day at Indian Knoll Elementary School.”

Upper Etowah River Alliance Presents Awards

The Upper Etowah River Alliance recently presented the City of Canton with its 2018 Partnership of the Year Award.

The organization also honored Professor Zach Felix of Reinhardt University with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Partner of the Year Award, Julie Moeller of Woodstock High School with the Educator of the Year Award, and Past Chair Lori Forrester with the Gene Cornelison Award for her many years of dedication to the Upper Etowah River Alliance.

For more information about getting involved in this organization, visit

Complimentary Community Prostate Cancer Screening in Canton

The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is offering a community screening to men, at no cost, to determine their risk for developing prostate cancer.

To be eligible, men must be between the ages of 45 and 75 and must not have had a PSA blood test within the past year or a previous prostate cancer diagnosis. Interpreters will be available free of charge, with advance requests.

Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Men who have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer, and men of African descent may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Pre-registration is required for screening. To schedule an appointment or for information about other upcoming cancer screenings, call 404-531-4444.


Thursday, May 16  •  5:30-8:00pm
Northside Hospital Cancer Institute
Radiation Oncology - Cherokee
460 Northside Cherokee Boulevard, Suite T10, Canton

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Presents Check to Goshen Valley Boys Ranch

The Cherokee County fire department recently presented a check for $5,364 to Zach Blend, CEO at the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch located in the Salacoa area of Waleska. The fire department donated their winnings from this year’s Guns and Hoses 5K and Fun Run. Goshen Valley Boys Ranch provides hope and a family-model home for boys in foster care.

Assistant DA Named liveSAFE Resources Woman of the Year

Rachel Ashe, assistant district attorney for Cherokee County, was honored as the liveSAFE Resources Woman of the Year for her tireless work on behalf of domestic abuse victims. Ashe received the award during liveSAFE’s 34th annual Tribute to Achievement benefit event at the Cobb Galleria.

“We are thrilled that Rachel has received this prestigious award that recognizes her commitment to seeking justice on behalf of our most vulnerable victims, those who have been affected by domestic violence,” said Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace. “We are blessed to have Rachel as part of our team.”

In the District Attorney’s office, Ashe is assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit, where she prosecutes felony cases involving intimate partner violence. She works alongside an investigator and victim advocate to ensure that victims have a voice throughout the legal process. Previously, Ashe worked in the Cherokee County Solicitor General’s office, where she prosecuted misdemeanor cases involving domestic violence.

Ashe was chosen from among 15 outstanding women leaders who live and/or work in metro Atlanta. The honorees were inducted into the Academy of Women Leaders during the event.

A nonprofit organization, liveSAFE Resources provides services to victims of sexual assault including 24-hour medical exams by registered nurse examiners trained in advanced assessment and forensic techniques.

Cherokee HS Debate Team Excels at State Competition

The Cherokee High School Speech and Debate Team competed in Valdosta at the Varsity State Competition and took home a School of Excellence award for the second year in a row for qualifying the most students to state competition. English teacher, Jamie Wills, won debate Coach of the Year, and John Peterson, a senior at CHS, won State Champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

CCSD Celebrates Partners and Volunteers of the Year at Recognition Ceremony

The Cherokee County School District (CCSD) celebrated outstanding school community partners and volunteers at its sixth annual recognition ceremony.

Former CCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo recognized a Partner of the Year and a Volunteer of the Year for each individual school and center. The evening also included the surprise announcement of the CCSD Partner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year selected from that pool of 79 honorees.

Ball Ground Police Department, the Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy Partner of the Year, was named the CCSD 2019 Partner of the Year, and Francisco Quintana, the Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy Volunteer of the Year, was named the CCSD 2019 Volunteer of the Year.

“It takes a community to make great schools. Our school district is a family, and outstanding partners and volunteers are an important part of our family,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Recognizing dedicated partners and volunteers is just one way we encourage these important relationships. The time, treasure, and talent they share is valuable beyond measure.”

In his Partner of the Year nomination letter, Principal Dr. Christian Kirby shared a story of how, due to the strong relationship the school had built with the Ball Ground Police Department, a student sought out a police officer for help when he couldn’t find his parents at the school’s fall festival.

CCSD Volunteer of the Year, Francisco Quintana, volunteers daily from 9:30am-2:00pm at Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy, even though he doesn’t have children attending that school. In August, when his wife began working as the school’s lunchroom manager, she told him about the needs of the children and staff. Knowing that he could make a difference, Quintana offered to be a volunteer, and now volunteers every day.