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

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Marine Corps League Detachment 1311 Elects New Officers

Detachment 1311 members elected five officers to serve the organization in 2019, including Rich Sabo who will continue his role as commandant of the organization.

Founded in April 2008 by 16 Marine veterans, referred to as “plank owners,” the Detachment received its national charter in September 2008. Its membership includes 130 Marine veterans, FMF Naval corpsmen, and FMF Naval chaplains. It is the largest and fastest growing Detachment in Georgia.

One of the major events that the Detachment sponsors is an annual George “Rip” and Barbara Masters Golf Tournament, which raises funds to sponsor worthy students for college scholarships. For more information, call Ron Welborn at 404-217-2246.

The Detachment also provides ceremonial rifle honors at Georgia National Cemetery and private grave sites for any honorably discharged military veteran whose family requests such a burial service. For additional information, call John Newport at 770-926-4752.

Local Student Receives Stamps Presidential Award and Scholarship

Lucy Renee Groves, 20, of Canton has been awarded Georgia Tech’s Stamps Presidential Award and Scholarship, which is the university’s top academic and leadership distinction. The scholarship includes full tuition, housing, books, meals, expenses, and $15,000 in travel of the student’s choice as well as sponsored attendance at numerous national and international conferences and events.

Groves also serves as the official campus liaison for the U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories, working to coordinate research for the Department of Energy in Georgia Tech’s nuclear engineering and cyber defense labs. In that position, she maintains federal security clearance and travels annually to headquarter labs in Albuquerque and Los Alamos, NM for training.

A technology and public policy major, Groves maintains a 4.0 GPA and the Zell Miller scholarship. She is a 2016 graduate of Cherokee High School.

17th Annual totes 2 tots Suitcase Drive

Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and Northside Hospital are gearing up for their 17th annual totes 2 tots suitcase drive for Georgia’s foster children on January 18 from 10:00am-2:00pm at Georgia Cancer Specialists’ office located at 228 Riverstone Drive in Canton. Last year, more than 6,000 bags were collected across the state. Donations of new or nearly new backpacks, duffel bags, and suitcases will be accepted

More than 14,000 children, from infants to teenagers, are currently in the foster care system in Georgia. Many of these children shuffle their belongings in garbage bags when they are removed from their homes — totes 2 tots aims to change that.

GCS and Northside Hospital partner with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to distribute the bags in the counties in which they’re collected. Tom C. Rawlings, interim director of DFCS, praised those who support the program, which helps to bring a measure of comfort and respect to Georgia’s foster children.

“The totes 2 tots program allows children in foster care the ability to transport their belongings with a sense of dignity,” said Rawlings. “By providing backpacks and luggage, totes 2 tots offers our children a sense of stability during an uncertain time.”

Chamber Names Volunteer of the Quarter

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce announced that Joan McFather, a longtime Chamber member and community volunteer, has been named the Chairman’s Council Volunteer of the Quarter for fourth quarter 2018.

Members of the Chairman’s Council are accepted by invitation only from the Chamber’s board chair. In determining the Volunteer of the Quarter, attendance at Chamber events is evaluated for all members of the Chairman’s Council.

“Joan is a committed volunteer who gives 100 percent to the Chamber and its programs,” said Julianne Rivera, Chamber board chair.

Optimism is Growing in Holly Springs

Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local clubs whose members work each day to make the future brighter by “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” through community service programs.

Optimist International believes the Holly Springs community would benefit by forming a new club. If you are interested in learning more about Optimists and how they are a positive influence in the community, and especially for kids, you are invited to attend a one-hour informational meeting to be held in the Harmony on the Lakes clubhouse at 1:30pm on January 8 or 7:00pm on January 16. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Bob Long at 404-502-9653 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Announces New ISO

Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services (CCFES) recently announced its ISO rating improved from Class-4 to Class-2, which may mean lower insurance rates for homeowners.

As a result of this change, CCFES Chief Tim Prather recommends that property owners check with their personal insurance agents to determine if there will be any significant change with their insurance rates. Most insurance companies have their own specific process in determining rates.

“ISO” stands for Insurance Services Office, a private corporation that evaluates industries for insurance rating purposes. There are approximately 46,000 fire departments in the United States. Approximately 242 departments have achieved the Class-1 status, and just over 1,325 departments have obtained a Class-2. CCFES now ranks in the top 4% of fire departments nationwide.

Deployment Send Off

On November 26, members of B-Troop, 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment (Rough Riders), 48th IBCT Georgia Army National Guard gathered at the Leland A. Bell National Guard Armory in Canton for a departure ceremony in route to Afghanistan. As family members and loved ones gathered inside the Armory, citizens were lining the streets in a show of support and solidarity for their fellow Georgians and their families.  

The turnout was a testament to the dedication these communities have to supporting those who give so much in the defense of our nation and way of life. These citizen soldiers have spent a great deal of time away from home preparing for this mission, whether individually or collectively. That absence has already begun to take a toll on the families, which is one reason ceremonies like this are important. They are to send a message to the family as well as the soldier that we, as a community, are here for them, to use the Rough Riders’ motto, “Come What Will.”  

The soldiers traveled to Fort Stewart to conduct necessary training and certification prior to their arrival in Afghanistan.

RFD to Install Free Smoke Alarms Through Operation Save-A-Life

Roswell Fire Department (RFD) will be installing smoke alarms free of charge for families in Roswell as part of the 2018 Operation Save-A-Life fire safety awareness campaign.

Five thousand smoke alarms were donated to fire departments in metro Atlanta through a partnership with WSB-TV, Kidde, Home Depot, and attorney Ken Nugent. The Operation Save-A-Life campaign increases public awareness of fire hazards and carbon monoxide poisoning, in order to reduce devastating losses that can occur as a result of these issues.

Smoke alarms are one of the best and least expensive ways to provide early warning when a fire begins. When properly installed and maintained, smoke alarms can help prevent injuries and minimize property damage.

While supplies last, RFD will install smoke alarms for Roswell residents in need. Families in need of a smoke alarm are asked to contact Lt. Ed Botts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 770-594-6225.

CCSD Adds App to Expand System for Reporting Safety Concerns

Reporting safety concerns to the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) is now easier than ever with the rollout of a new smartphone app.

CCSD’s SafeSchools Alert system allows students, parents, school staff, and everyone in the community to report safety concerns to CCSD school police and administrators by text, email, online message, or phone call, with the option to do so anonymously. To further increase accessibility, the system now includes a new smartphone app, which can be downloaded at no cost.

Through SafeSchools Alert, you now can submit safety concerns to CCSD five different ways:

1. By Phone - 1-855-4ALERT1, x1695
2. By Text - Text #1695 + your tip to ALERT1 or 253781
3. By Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
4. By Online Message -
5. By Mobile App - Download the SafeSchools Alert app from the iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android phones. The first time you open the app after downloading, you’ll need to enter 1695 for the ID and confirm your district is the Cherokee County School District.

You can use the SafeSchools Alert system to report information about threats to school safety, bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism, concerns about a classmate’s well-being, or any other safety issue. If you are experiencing an emergency, please continue to call 911.

Riverfest 2018 Raises Big Funds for Cherokee County Children

This year’s Riverfest event raised $126,962.82, all of which will go right back into the Cherokee County community to help underprivileged children. The funds will be used throughout the upcoming year to provide help with everything from health care and eyeglasses to rent and utilities for families.

Founded in 1935, the Service League of Cherokee County is the oldest volunteer service organization in Cherokee County. With its deep roots and rich heritage of caring for children, the League has grown to an organizational size of 100 women, all of whom commit to ten years of active service and contribute volunteer hours that collectively average 10,000 hours per year.

Wreaths Across America at Georgia National Cemetery

Wreaths will once again be placed to honor veterans at the Georgia National Cemetery on Saturday, December 15, as part of the non-profit Wreaths across America program.

At 11:00am, a prayer will be offered by designated leaders in each section of the cemetery prior to placement of wreaths, along with a moment of contemplation and expression of gratefulness. At 12:00pm, a short program will be presented at the assembly area. This year’s speaker is American Legionnaire Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans.

The objectives of the program are to remember our fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom. Members of youth groups, scouts, Young Marines, Civil Air Patrol, and ROTC units assist in unloading and unpacking wreaths and providing support.

The Georgia National Cemetery has over 15,000 interned. They need over 14,000 wreaths but currently have only 6,500. To help ensure every internment has a wreath, contributions for the live wreaths at the Georgia National Cemetery may be made at

Cherokee Patient Relations Representative Wins Statewide Hospital Hero Award

Northside Hospital Cherokee Patient Relations Representative Kyle Porter was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the recent Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon in Atlanta. Porter, who was one of only five health care workers statewide to receive the award, was recognized for her innovative efforts in bringing a family together for a funeral via Skype.

In her role as patient relations representative, Porter works to ensure patients have everything they need to help them recover and to ensure their stay in the hospital is as pleasant as possible. She is a friend to patients and community members alike, keeping in touch with former patients and nurturing them for generations.

“Kyle Porter’s innovative ideas and ability to think outside the box have taken patient care to another level,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “She has a remarkable ability to connect with her patients.”

Mountain Road ES Wins Cherokee Chamber Recycling Competition

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Going Green and Education Committees co-sponsored a two-day Plastic Bag Recycling Competition in partnership with Waste Management. Nine of Cherokee County’s elementary schools who collected over 105,000 plastic bags in the competition. This year’s competition was altered to award the school with the highest average of plastic bags per student. This alteration was due to the large variance of enrollment across Cherokee County elementary schools, with some varying by nearly 1,000 students. Mountain Road Elementary School collected an amazing 25,073 bags during the two-day event, which brought them to a phenomenal 57.38 bags/student. Congratulations to the students at Mountain Road. Indian Knoll Elementary School should also be commended for an excellent job, as they came in second with a higher total of plastic bags at 27,925, but a lower per student average at 30.03 bags/student.

Through further partnership, the plastic bags collected were donated to MUST Ministries, Never Alone, and Papa’s Pantry, which will use them to support their ongoing projects. R & D Mechanical Services, Inc. and Papa’s Pantry, Inc. volunteered their time and cargo vehicles to collect plastic bags and deliver them to their respective final destinations.

City of Canton Brush and Leaf Collection

City of Canton residents can call the Canton Public Works Department at 770-720-7674 to schedule pick up of weeds, grass, hedge trimmings, leaves, brush, and tree limbs by using the following guidelines:

  • Leaves, grass clippings, and yard waste (small sticks and brush) should be placed in paper lawn waste bags to receive expedited service. Paper bags can be purchased at hardware and grocery stores. The use of plastic bags for yard waste is prohibited. Rocks and dirt are not accepted (including plants and shrubs with dirt attached to the root system) and should not be placed in lawn waste bags.
  • Do not combine leaves with any brush.
  • A maximum of six bags will be collected weekly per residential property.
  • Loose-leaf pick-up can be requested as well but will be scheduled based on availability.
  • Brush and limbs must have a diameter smaller than six inches and a length no greater than six feet. The overall size of the pile shall not be taller than six feet or wider than six feet.
  • The City of Canton will pick up brush once a week per residential property, upon request.
  • Removal of leaves, grass clippings, brush, and trees cut by contractors will be the responsibility of the resident’s contractor.
  • Do not stack yard waste in the street, blocking sidewalks, near fire hydrants, cable or utility boxes, stormwater catch basins, mailboxes, or any other public utility receptacles.

Advanced Disposal will also pick up yard waste as part of your regular weekly service with the following guidelines:

  • Limbs must be bundled and tied with rope or string. Bundles may not exceed thirty pounds and cannot be greater than four feet long and four inches in diameter.
  • There is a weekly limit of eight brown recycle bags, bundles, or a combination of the two (not to exceed the eight bag limit for trash and yard waste combined).
  • Items must be at the curb before 7:00am on collection day.
  • Grass clippings and leaves must be in bags or placed loose in a separate container labeled “yard waste.”

    The following items will not be accepted: tree trunks, limbs greater than four inches in diameter, whole trees, logs, dirt, rocks, or Christmas trees.

Children’s Haven New Director

Children’s Haven recently announced the addition of new Executive Director Marcie Smith to its team. Smith has a proven track record in nonprofit management, social services, strategic planning, and fiscal responsibility. She is excited to combine those skills with her passion for community collaboration and love for children to take the Children’s Haven into its next phase of growth and development.

Smith has experience in donor and community partner engagement at a national foundation and has served as director of a nonprofit, providing transitional housing for women and children. She has worked with Prevent Child Abuse and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in providing programs like First Steps, Triple-P Parenting, Parents as Teachers, and Darkness to Light, and she has served as a board member of the Department of Family and Children Services, Chamber of Commerce, and Young Professional Leaders. Smith also served as a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Committee and is a 2016 graduate of LEAD Atlanta.
Smith states that she is passionate about social innovation, family services, community collaboration, and efforts to work together to protect children. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 770-345-3274 x105.

Chamber Names Volunteer of the Quarter

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Lori Flink with Allegro Business Products has been named the Chairman’s Council Volunteer of the Quarter for third quarter 2018. Members of the Chairman’s Council are accepted by invitation only from the Chamber’s board chair.

In determining the Volunteer of the Quarter, attendance at Chamber events is evaluated for all members of the Chairman’s Council. “Lori is a dedicated Chamber volunteer, and we appreciate the countless hours of service she has provided this year,” said Chamber Board Chair Julianne Rivera.

For information on the Cherokee County Chamber and its programs, visit

Next Step Ministries Run, Walk, or Roll 5K Fundraising Results

The 5th Annual Run, Walk, or Roll was a wonderful success that raised roughly $24,000 with more than 350 registered runners! Money raised from this event will support continued programs for people with special needs. Family Life Publications was a proud sponsor of this event.

Chamber Recognizes Winners of Mayors’ Recycling Challenge

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Going Green Committee has concluded their Seventh Annual Mayors’ Recycling Challenge, which challenged cities in Cherokee County to encourage their residents to recycle during the months of June and July. Santek Waste Services of Georgia and Waste Management partnered with the Chamber on this event.

The winning cities for total pounds recycled, most pounds collected per capita, and the highest percentage increase over last year were recently awarded. The City of Woodstock collected the most recycling, which totaled 508,000 pounds, followed by City of Canton with 348,280 pounds, Waleska with 86,100 pounds, and Ball Ground with 61,720 pounds. The combined total collected by all cities was 1,004,100 pounds.

For the seventh consecutive year, Waleska collected the most recycling per capita with 97.95 pounds per resident, which was determined based on 2017 U.S. Census population estimates.

Canton was recognized for having the highest percentage increase of collected recyclables over the previous year. This year, Canton collected 348,280 pounds, which is an 11.6 percent increase over last year’s 312,080 pounds.

The mission of the Chamber’s Going Green initiative is to encourage the community to implement green practices that conserve community resources while helping businesses thrive. To learn more about the Chamber’s Going Green efforts, or to participate in upcoming events, visit, contact the Chamber at 770-345-0400, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Becomes Class 2 Fire Department

Recently, Fire Chief Tim Prather presented the results of the Insurance Services Office (ISO) review of the Cherokee County Fire Department (CCFD). The CCFD review was conducted earlier this year. Effective December 1, 2018, the CCFD’s new Public Protection Class will be Class-2/2Y. Prather emphasized that the credit for this success is to be given to his entire department. “It took each and every one of us working together and doing our part to reach this accomplishment. This is huge and history-making for Cherokee County Fire,” stated Prather.

“The ISO schedules to review all fire departments every three years. In general, the ISO, has a classification system of Class-1 through Class-10. Class-10 is basically an area where fire suppression capabilities do not meet any kind of minimum requirement of ISO, where the Class-1 is the best rating that can be achieved. There are approximately 46,000 fire departments in the United States. Approximately 242 departments have achieved the Class-1 status, and just over 1,325 departments have obtained a Class-2. Cherokee County Fire now ranks in the top four percent of fire departments nationwide,” said Prather.

Because of this change, Chief Prather recommends that property owners check with their insurance agent to determine if there will be any significant change with their insurance rates. Most insurance companies have their own specific process in determining rates.

BridgeMill Sixes Service League Upcoming Thanksgiving Food Drive

A Thanksgiving Food Drive will be held on Saturday, November 10. A bag will be delivered to every residence in BridgeMill the week of November 5. Please fill the bag with non-perishable items suitable for a Thanksgiving meal, and place the bag at the curb near your mailbox on Saturday, November 10. A Service League member will pick it up by 10:00am. All items will be delivered to MUST Ministries in Canton to be given out to families in Cherokee County. Together, we can make a difference.