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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
November 27, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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November 27, 2019

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"Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; - . . - - -- - - - - - publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 OUT Continued from Front Ambrose said the loss of volunteers has meant almost all county house res lately end up as total losses. fWe ll save the chimn, deadpanned Ambrose. Commissioners also parted ways with re department training o icer Trey Piper in the shake up. Perry, who had served as re/EMS chief since September 2017, was noti- ed by county manager Jim Hedges upon arriving to work on Thursday that he could either resign or be red Sources within the county government said Perry intends to resign but had yet to submit his resignation by presstirne on Monday. Perry also stepped down from his position of county Emergency Manage- ment Agency (EMA) direc tor, a job he has held for a decade. Perry s re chief pay was about $55,000 per year and the EMA job paid about $10,000 more. Sources say the county has offered Perry two months of pay as a severance package. Perry told the Reporter on Monday: I can say it was a shock and I had no warning. But, when you re an appointed of cial the Board can make a change whenever they want. They ve decided to move in a different direction. I wish everyone well. The decision came less than 48 hours after commis- sioners held a closed meet- ing to discuss personnel on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Perry was recently cleared of wrongdoing in an inde- pendent re investigation report conducted by Evans based rm Excellence Exceeded after two elderly residents died in a house re on Strickland Loop on Aug. 17. Following the fatalities, several witnesses had pri- vately complained to county manager Jim Hedges and a couple of commissioners that it took 14 minutes from the time of Perry s initial arrival to pull the couple out of the re. Both District 2 commissioner Eddie Rowland and Emami said the ensuing query into the Strickland Loop re had nothing to do with Perry s ring. However, Emami said after commissioners began to look more closely into Perry s department, they learned that the chief had lOSt the con dence of a p number of subordinates. Perry s exit also comes less than a month before the county is expected to debut its new re headquarters on Juliette Road Perry had been a major part of the design process since being promoted to chief. In Perry s stead, commis- sioners promoted longtime re ghter/ paramedic Jason Lott as interim re/ EMS chief. The county has already begun a search for Perry s replacement, and Lott, who has worked for Monroe County for more than 20 years, con rmed Monday that he has applied for the permanent job. Rowland said commission- ers have not yet decided on whether to ll the EMA po- sition with a new re/EMS chief hire or whether to hire a separate EMA director. With Monroe County s re chief position once again vacant, Rowland and Emami each said they would consider consolidat- ing re departments with the City of Forsyth if the move could save both sides money. Rowland said he d had one-on-one discussions about it with city leaders but said nothing formal had ever been proposed. He added that he d seen similar situations where a county re department took over a city one but did not know of an instance when a city re department took over a county one. - Ambrose said he favors contracting out the ambu- lance service and letting the ing. Perry s stint as a-county department head will per- haps best be remembered for his witty social media posts, especially during inclement weather. Perry s last post as EMA director came on Nov. 15 when he warned Monroe County drivers of wet conditions on local interstates that he dubbed the I-75 and I-475 Slip-N Slide. Perry is the second county department head to resign under re since Hedges took over as county manager in October 2018. Hedges also gave longtime county zoning of cer and former county manager Anita Buice the option of resigning or being red in April 2019. It was Buice who recommended ring Perry s predecessor Donny Mercer in June 2017 and hiring Perry several months later. the Momma County porter is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President - Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer . OUR STAFF Will Davis M Publisher/Editor . Richard Dumas News Editor forsyth mym net Carolyn Martel Advertising Manager Trellis Grant Business Manager DianeGlidewell Community Editor Amy Haisten Creative Director Of cial Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St PO Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 Out of County: $48 - Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to Issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily re ectthe opinions ofThe Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 OTIS EDITORIALS AA PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield Appreciate it while it's there Don t it always seem to years the emotionally So we count ourselves go, that you don t know dif cult stage. I remem- lucky not only to be in this what you ve got til it s ber one of my old pastors sweet spot, but to be aware gone? . describing once how his that we re in it. No, Joni Mitchell, it own preteen son would And we know not don t. Not always. still hold his hand while everyone gets to be so For a walking in pub- lucky. We know there Can couple of lic, and how he be heartbreak and loss years now, knew those days within these very years, my wife were numbered. or before a child or parent and I have At the time, can even reach them. We occupied a I understood know heartbreak and loss sweet spot what he meant can come anytirhe. We in the life of on an intellec- can t take for granted that our family tual basis. But our current trajectory will Our boys as my older son, continue. will turn then my only In many ways, that 11 and 8 one, was still knowledge informs my in the rst just a toddler, work Statistics are an ag- part of next ,w his observation regation of ersonal sto- year. We re WW didn t have all fies, and glogmy statistics Past the the emotional about children struggling physically resonance it at SChOOl or with mental di iwlt stage with them: does now illness, about parents They can feed and enter- '11. -. .- 581; a c J -7 1-- -r tain themselves if they parents. All four of them a job, about grandparents wake up earlier than us are still relatively young struggling to nd qual on a Saturday morning, and healthy. They re still ity care, represent a lot of and playing with them no unquestionably the ones personal stories that could longer requires us to crawl helping us with child- have turned out better. on all fours pushing a toy care, with advice and not Finding ways to help . train or race car across a the ones being helped. people live happier stories hard oor. ' But we ve already is important to me. Those younger, more de watched our grandparents, I m also the kind of per- manding days are (mostly) all eight of them, grow son who makes plansz' who fond memories now. But older and less self su i- writes down budgets, who at the time, as another cient toward the end of sets goals, who saves and saying goes, the years were their lives. We have seen invests for the future. But short but the days could be aging. We know a pleasant I ve learned the one thing awfully long. youthfulness whether that you shouldn t plan for, On the other hand, we our children s, our parents that you shouldn t reserve haven t yet experienced the or our own won t last for tomorrow, is gratitude. crackup of their teenage forever. I m not arguing for 2019, 20,20I7, 2016 winner: EdilOllOl Page excellence 2019, ZOIB winner: Best Headline Writing 20I9 winner: Best Community Servrce 20W winner: Best layout and Desrgn 10W winner: Best Serious Column Don Daniel instant grati cation. They may begin with the same rst few letters, but there s a world of difference between gratitude and grati cation. And, being human, we get them back- ward far too often. Putting off a small pleasure today for some- thing more meaningful or satisfying tomorrow is a sound approach, but we must make time to be thankful here and now. Yet, how often do we do the opposite? I realize the start of this piece might have sounded like bragging about my own self-awareness, but I m far from perfect here. Too often, as a future-ori- ented optimist, I m $11th of our sins co much from tomorrow that I don t notice all the good already around me. Others, drawn toward nostalgia, can be equally blind to the present as they pine for yesteryear. If nothing else, be thank- ful this week for an annual occasion to know what we ve got, before it s gone. The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wing eld s column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. county just handle re ght- BACK N FORTH by gill Weaver Famin celebrates Thanksgiving Miracle t s been a hellacious week It s not my.desire to write col- umns about personal tragedies, but this one is more like a miracle than a tragedy. If you care to know what happened, feel free to read on. If not, have a wonderful Thanksgiv- ing. Molly, our pregnant 39 year-old daughter, was admitted into the Atlanta Medical Center on Tuesday, Nov. 12', as there were signs labor might be starting. It never did until Saturday, when all hell broke loose. She suffered what s called a placental abruption. It s rare. It s when essen- tial parts of the pregnant mother s body get torn during childbirth, the baby s life is in danger and massive bleeding occurs in the mother. Doc- tors don t know why it occurs and they cannot prevent it. Thank God Molly was in a hospital that recog- nized it quickly and had the medical professionals on hand to deal with it. The baby was removed as quickly as possible by emergency C-section. ' Although she spent a few nights in the NICU, she s been discharged and is at home with her father, sisters and grandparents. She is doing just ne. Back in the QR, they worked to save Molly s life. She d lost virtually all of her blood. Her organs were shutting down. They 1. . was pretty much herself again smiling, talking and communicating with the many nurses and doctors who checked on her. As her slow recovery continues, the remaining major issue is her heart, and that s a big one. It has some reduced function, which we hope will be only temporary. She will be medicated for it, and in many other cases patients have seen their heart function return to normal. But it will be a slow go. She was moved Monday from the ICU to the cardiac unit, where she 'will remain for some days. Though she s not going means her daughters in- started transfusions. cluding little Anna can Over the course of the visit her. week she was given r more than 20 units of This saga hasn t ended, blood as they wanted but with Thanksgiv- her kidneys and lungs,ing at hand we certainly and everything else " have plenty for which not to mention her to be thankful this year, heart to get going such as the doctors and again. nurses who saved our daughter s life; other It worked. The doctors and nurses who blood they had pumped in was slowly removed with several days of dialysis. Her own blood started being produced again, her organs started functioning again. By the eighth day (this past Sunday), she saved our granddaughter s life; the NICU nurses who cared for Anna; , the kidney doctor, liver doctor, lung doctor, heart doctor, blood doctor, OBGYN doctor, the trauma room doctors and nurses; the midwives; Sisters Mary Michael, 9, right, and Sally, 7, newbaby sister. home quite yet, the move thedialysis technician; the nurse who pumped air into the baby s lungs until she started breathing on her own. There are so many others to thank, like the husband who was so alone and scared as his wife was suddenly whisked away from him and into an operating room; paternal grandpar- ents who cared for the sisters; the caring brother and law; and Molly s godfather, the uncle who ew in from Colorado to help however he could. And, of course - and especially -- Molly s mOther. My God what a blessing she is and what comfort she has provided to everyone. This isn t the only time we ve been showered with such overwhelming kindness just before Thanksgiving. The last time, 16 years ago, also came after a medical emergency that didn t end so well. This time, like that time, we once again are in the debt of others who have given so much. Our bank of thanks runs dry, but not our hearts. It was said in 2003, and it will be said again this time, that to so many people who helped in ways large and small, we offer our heart- felt thanks for all the giving. Bill Weaver lives in northern Mon- roe County. He can be reached via email at billweaver81