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Badge and Bar: Registration closed on sheriffs office teen driver program
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Spots are filled for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office teen driving program, Community Service Officer Chad Mann said.

This is the 12th year the sheriff’s office has offered the new driver curriculum to Hall County students, Mann said. The program was established in 2002 and redesigned in 2007 to include a 30-hour classroom component as part of state legislation known as Joshua’s Law.

The four-day course also involves hands-on driving exercises, with the goal to prepare students for both predictable and unpredictable real world driving situations.

In addition to the Joshua’s law requirements, students will complete an alcohol and drug awareness training program. Both certifications are required prior to a student’s obtaining his or her license.

The six sessions will run June 9 through July 31.

For questions or more information, contact Cpl. Vic Gazaway, Teen Driver Program coordinator, at; or Deputy Jeff Fleming at

Governor honors Hall employee named state’s best firefighter

Hall firefighter and paramedic John Murray, named Georgia Firefighter of the Year in September, was honored at the state Capitol on Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

John Murray was awarded the designation at the annual Joint Fire Services Conference in Albany. He was nominated by colleagues from both Hall and Rabun counties.

As a field training officer, Murray mentors and tutors Hall County’s newest paramedics, Hall County Fire Services said.

He is also chief of the Lakemont/Wiley Fire Department in Rabun County, where he participates in the community’s Foxfire program, the Lake Rabun Association and acts as a liaison to civic groups.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: