Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
April 17, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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April 17, 2019

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a orter Ai!il 17, 2019 Around Monroe County Forsyth Juliette High Falls Bolingbroke Culloden Smarr UPCOMING EVENTS IN MONROE COUNTY April 18 High Falls Lake Association to meet High Lake Association will meet Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at the High Falls State Park group shelter. This will be an open meeting and all lake area residents are encouraged to attend. There will be a social time after the meeting, please bring snacks to share. An informative agenda is planned Monroe County Extension and Monroe County Cattlemen's As- sociation will host Meat Science 101: Learn all about different cuts of beef. quality, and" selection. The program will be from 7-8 o.m on Thursday April 18. Call 478-994-7014 to RSVP Birth to21 Profile April 19 4th Annual Tree Board Golf Tournament The Forsyth Tree Board will host its 4th Annual Golf Tournament at the Forsyth Golf Course 400 Country Club :orsyth or" Friday, Aari119. This is the Tree Board's ma or fundraise~ Registration begins at 8 a.m. There will be two flights with 1st and 2nd places in each flight Cash pay out. Four man ream: $400. Hole sponsorship: $100 and a door prize Close ups pay our Dar 3's. A outlet unch wil be provided. For more information call Rick Shannon (Tree Board chairman) al 478-550-7431. . April 20 Egg Hunt at Pruitt Health Monroe Pruiff Health Monroe (formeny Hilltop Nursing H omej, 4796 Highway 42 t~orth Forsyth invites ! ,',!i~aml'~!~. to Bring their ; ChilJ~:t~ its An- fiua[?~'aster Egg Hunt on Saturday April 20 from 4-6 p.m Come for an evening of fun and refreshments Bring fold- ~'-g chairs Dauset Trails Bluebirds & Bluegrass Festival Dauset Trails Nature Center wil hOST its 19th Annual Bluebirds & Bluegrass Festival on Saturday April 20 from 8 a.m.-4 o.m. The ive music begins at 11 a.m ncluding Edgar Louder- milk Band featuring Jeff Autry. There will ae out- door recreation booths activities demonstrations aria food and drink for sale. Free parking and free admission. The 911 Band Forsyth Main Street will aresent The 911 Band in concert on the Square on Saturday, April 20 from 8-11 P.m. They will bring performances ana aance music to the stage Ad-nission is free: concessions available: qo pets allowed For ~nore information call 478-994-7747 or visit ~nainstream.cityofforsyth neT. April 22 ; Gm n Cleaning Monroe County Exten- sion will host a Lunch Learn: Green Cleaning on Monday April 22 from 12-I P.m. at the Exlension Office, 90 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth. Come learn tips and tricks to get your spring cleaning routine more organic RSVP to 478-994-7014 - registration is $10: lunch will be Taco Salad See. CAIIq~ID~R Page .5C By Diane Glidewell Monroe County ranks 11 lth among Georgia's 159 counties for child, family and community well-being in the state's latest data that became available in early March. Monroe County has 9.8 incidents of child abuse or neglect per 1,000 residents as compared to the rate of 4.4 for Georgia as a whole. After review- ing the latest data, Monroe County Family Connection decided that it will focus its efforts this year on local child abuse and neglect. "It was a little over double the state average, and that stuck out," said Adam Swymer of the Georgia Family Connection Part- Monroe County Low-birthweight (percent) 2017 9.4 9.9 59 O Teen births ages 15-19 (per 1,000) 2017 9.2 21.8 4 .2:F' ' Child abuse and neglect (per 1,000) 201] 9 8 4:4 !1] O C h!.!d po vet. ty !pe rce.nt! 20.!.7 !8:2 2!: 5. 24 .0 Teens not in school and not working, ages 16-19+ 2017 11.5 8.6 89 O 4p.e ce@ Children whose parents lack secure employment* 2017 6.8 8.3 34 nership, who coordinated the annual planning meet- ing in Monroe County on March 12. Each year county Family Connection collaboratives identify what they consider the most important issues in their county and develop strategies for addressing them. Family Connection collaboratives are funded by Georgia in every county and are tasked with pulling resources in the county together and eliminating overlap if possible. Unfor- tunately, much of the data they have to work with is over a year old before it is released. The statistics for child abuse and neglect are from 2017. In 2017 there were 55 children per 1,000 in Monroe County with a substantiated incident of abuse and/or neglect, creat- ing the 9.8 percent rate. There were 29 children per 1,000 with a substanti- ated incident of abuse, 5.2 percent compared to the state rate of 1.9 percent. There were 30 children per 1,000 with a substantiated incident of neglect, a rate of 5.3 compared to Georgia's rate of 3.0. In related data, in 2017 there were 1 children in Monroe County whose parents lacked secured employment, a rate of 6.8 percent compared to the state's rate of 8.3 percent. In 2018, there were 11 children in Monroe County who left foster care to return to their families or were placed with a relative within 12 months of enter- ing foster care, 73.3 percent compared to the Georgia rate of 58.4 percent. The latest data of households with children receiving Food Stamps was in 2013; it showed 849 households in Monroe County. In 2017 18.2 percent of children in Monroe County were living in poverty, a total of 1,002, compared to 21.5 percent in Georgia. Monroe County ranks 24th in the state. Unemployment in Monroe County in 2017 was 4.5 percent compared to 4.7 percent for the state. The total population of Monroe County was 26,795, while the popu- lation of Georgia was 10,201,635. In Monroe County children under 18 made up 20.8 percent of that number while 24.5 percent of Georgia's population is children. The median household income in Monroe County was $57,038, and Georgia's median household income was $56,117, Anotherarea where" Monroe County compared unfavorably with the state as a whole was for teens, ages 16-19, not in school and not w6rking. Monroe County ranked 89th in the state at a rate of 11.5 compared to 8.6 in Geor- gia. In 2018, 8.2 percent of Monroe County children were absent more than 15 days from school compared to only 5.8 percent in 2014, showing a negative trend but still better than the state rate of 11.9 percent. Other trending data showed that children with a substantiated incident of abuse in Monroe County in 2013 was 2.9 per 1,000, but it grew to 5.2 per 1,000 in 2017. Children not attend- ing preschool, ages 3-4, in- creased from 40.4 percent (2008-12)to 55.6 percent (2013-17) compared to 50 percent in Georgia for the most recent data. Monroe County com- pares favorably with other Georgia counties (con- sidered 10 percent better than the state mean) in teen births to mothers ages 15-19 (4th lowest in state), child poverty (24th), 3rd grade students achieving proficient learner or above on Milestones assessment (10th) and babies born to mothers with less than high e t Georgia Family Conneaion is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Monroe County Family Connec- tion executive director Vickie Nickel explained that Family Connection was created by Gov. Zell M er after the Kids Count data released in the early 1990's showed that Georgia ranked No. 48 in Child, Family & Community well-being Miller started with a two-year pilot program in 15 counties; Family Con- nection assigned a coordInator to each 0tmty to pull together existing groups : i:to address the issues affecting children and resources available. Subsequently the state funded Family Connection for all 159 counties. Geor- gia is the only state with a state-wide program. The funding is the same for each county, large or small. In Monroe County the Board of Commissioners is com- munity center and indude an office for Family Connection there. Nickel said it would be a good place for Family Connection to have a presence. Plans include computers for children to use since so many homes in High Falls don't have them and maybe a basket- ball court Family Connection has a five mem- ber board. It currently includes Adam Blanks of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office C.A.R.E. Cottage; Kimberly Clayton of Monroe County Library; parent coordinator; Tammy Rafferzed: er of Habitat for Humanity and Lisa Lee, Monroe Counw Achievement } Center teacher and former director of j Monroe County ACE. Monroe County Family Confiection meets on the second Tuesday of each : month at 1 p.m. at the Monroe County i Commissioners board room in the County Annex on the square. Lunch the fiscal agent for F ilv Connection, is provided and meetings are kept to which means it administers the funds one hour to make it easy for those from the state. Family Connection from diverse groups to attend. Every- concentrates on five areas: Health & r one interested in the well-being of the Safety; Economic Well-Being; Educa- tion; Stable, Self-Sufficient & Produc- tive Families; Thriving Communities. Nickel said the fiscal year for Family Connection runs from July to June;- so the group is now busy reviewing community is welcome. Some of the organizations represented are the De- partment of Juvenile Justice, Central Georgia Technical College, Monroe County Health Department, River Edge Mental Health, Forsyth-Monroe school education (26th). data to plan its focus for 2020. She County Chamber of Commerce, In the crime rate for said one problem is that the newly- Monroe CountyBoys & Girls Club, violent crimes commit- released data they have to work with Pregnancy Center, Anchor of Hope ted by persons 17 or older, Monroe County had a rate of 5.3 per 1,000 people in 2017 compared with 5.5 in Georgia. But for other crimes, like burglaries, the is two years old. Another problem is that tracking information on births to Monroe County mothers is dif- ficult since babies are not delivered in the county. For example, one mother who is now fostering a baby born to Foundation, Workforce Development Center, Legal Aide Services, Depart- ment of Family & Children Services and local businesses. In addressing a meeting of the Blue Bridge Societyand explaining the rate in Monroe County was 36.8 percent whereas it was a drug-ad cted mother was told that goals of Family Connection, Nickel 27.7 percent in the state, there were babies born in Decem gave an example of a moment when One of the strategies ber to drug-addicted Monroe Co Wshe felt she made a difference, She was Monroe County Family Connection anticipates implementing or encourag- ing to combat child abuse and neglect in Monroe County is engaging faith- based leaders to create awareness of child abuse and neglect and develop- ing partnerships. Another action would be quarterly meetings of agencies like DFCS, Drug Court, COSA, emergency room and first responder representatives, school counselors and law enforcement to focus on child abuse and neglect. Other actions to address child abuse and neglect would be support of the C.A.R.E. Cottage, school attendance council, Young Men's/Lady's Clubs, Dark- ness to Light trainings, foster parent support and awareness events during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. To view &ita, visit gafcp. org/kidscount. mothers, but none of the births were in on the soccer field with her children tells her it identifies 750 children as therefore no heat. Because of her work homeless. Dyer the last year she has with Family Connection, Nickel was tried to develop a support system for able to make calls and help. grandparents and other older relatives "I made an impact in at least one aware person's life. It really does t/tke the group that needs whole community to make a differ- " " m " not well-informed about things hke e. school able with technology. They do not have support from others to give them any time for themselves or anyone to answer their concerns or questions. from became the Family Connection execu- tive director in March 2017. She and her husband, Greg, have three sons, attend- Office near Monroe County Hospital. The space does not have heat or her family responsibilities require her and is to be vacated as the Extension Office moves to the renovated Hub- bard Dormitory building, tion in March but has agreed to stay J