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Good News
Elouise Whitten, past president of the Northeast Georgia Writers, received the club’s 2011 Snoopy Writer of the Year Award and the Woodstock Appreciated Worker of the Year Award.

Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County, led by Northeast Georgia Medical Center, celebrated its accomplishments of the past year at its annual awards banquet held recently at Riverbend Baptist Church.

Awards presented during the banquet included Community Agency of the Year, given to the Gainesville Fire Department. Patsy Moorehead, a teacher at Fair Street Elementary School, was named Teacher of the Year. Chris Robinson, a retired Hall County sheriff’s deputy, received the Tim Peebles Volunteer of the Year award. Debbie Wilburn, retired Hall County Extension Agent and the first Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County coalition coordinator, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

"In the last year, Safe Kids members provided an impressive 408 programs and events in the community, reaching an estimated 52,250 children, family members, teachers and caregivers," Kelley Robertson of the Hall County District Attorney’s Office said.

Robertson also reported that more than 5,936 safety devices such as bike helmets, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, child safety seats and life jackets were distributed during those programs.

She also spoke of member support for Senate Bill 88, which raised the child restraint age to 8, and the launch of the "Look Before You Lock" program to raise awareness of hyperthermia deaths.

Georgia State Patrol Col. Mark McDonough recognized the Lanier Child Passenger Safety Task Force instructor team for its work in certifying Georgia State Troopers as child passenger safety technicians.

Safe Kids also recognized businesses and organizations that have supported the Coalition’s child injury prevention efforts during the past year.

For more information about Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County, call 770-219-8095 or visit

American Legion Post 7 recently held its annual officer installation and banquet. Outgoing two-term commander Larry Emmett and Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic made award presentations.

Hall County Chief Deputy Col. Jeff Strickland was named public Safety Officer of the Year; Adjutant Ray Shubert was named Legionnaire of the Year; Senior Vice Commander Ron Hellner was named Officer of the Year; Junior Vice Commander Judy Rimeik was named Volunteer of the Year; and the Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jack Frost of Memorial Park Funeral Home.