Lumpkin County Board of Education discusses communication improvements

Community

LUMPKIN CO., GA
The Lumpkin County Board of Education discussed the current protocol for communicating with parents, and the possible changes that will be made to those methods, during the Board of Education meeting on Monday, October 8.

LCSS Chief Operations Officer, Greg Trammell, explained their recent transition from PowerSchool to Infinite Campus and how this could impact their current robocall system, One Call Now. Trammell also explained that Infinite Campus comes equipped with Shoutpoint – a remote, dial-in program that commissions bulk-communication more accurately than One Call Now.

Lumpkin County Superintendent, Dr. Robert Brown, stated that One Call Now had flaws that could potentially violate the system privacy codes and why the change is an upgrade for LCSS, “Anybody that ever lived at an address in PowerSchool, showed up in Infinite Campus as part of that household. For example, the home that I was renting at one period, everybody that showed up that ever lived in that house, was showing up in my family’s registry, which could be a serious FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts] violation.” Lumpkin County Elementary School is the first school to test the new system.

The board also mentioned other LCSS system-communication errors that have recently resulted in negative attention for school administrators. According to Brown they need a system to determine, “How, and when, and in what ways will the board like for us to communicate. We’ve been ripped for not communicating enough, and we’ve been ripped for communicating too much.”
Although public concern was raised over not being immediately informed of an alleged event substantial enough to warrant a police investigation, Brown remained solid in his assertion that parental disclosure was not necessary, to avoid “negative attention” for the accused student.

Brown doubled down on his statement that Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard did not repeatedly advise him to do an all-call the night of the alleged threat. , “Contrary to some of the public opinion, the sheriff did not repeatedly tell us to call out,” Brown said. “I had one phone call from him, at 8:51 p.m. and he asked me were we going to put anything out.

Jarrard has publicly stated that he did, in fact, suggest the robo call go out to concerned parents “three different times” but was turned down each time.

Craig Poore, brought up an important issue – how would the parents and caregivers who are not on social media have received that information?

Despite the confusion and misunderstanding from board member, Jim McClure, over the public uproar, it did not occur out of assumption that administrators did nothing to ensure the students were safe. Negative attention was directed at school officials, because they did not effectively inform parents – and would not have informed parents at all – had there been no mention of the alleged threat on social media later that night. One parent of an LCHS junior told Fetch Your News that they feel they “have the right to be informed” of any possible incident involving their children while in the care of LCSS, regardless of the outcome.

Brown stated that there would be an upcoming Leadership meeting, and communication would be discussed in more detail. Hopefully, this has been a learning experience that will lead to proper and improved communication and stronger community trust, and will also help parents feel more at ease when we send our children to school.

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Coroner Jim Sheppard named Coroner of the Year

Opinion

Lumpkin County Deputy Coroner Frank Goss (left) congratulates Coroner Jim Shepherd on being named Coroner of the Year.

DAHLONEGA, Ga. –Lumpkin County Coroner Jim Sheppard has been named Coroner of the Year for the state of Georgia by the Georgia Coroners Association.

Sheppard received the AR King Award from the 2017 recipient Danny Galpin of Houston County during the Coroner’s Association annual meeting in Macon over the weekend.

It marked the second year in a row the Lumpkin County Coroner’s Office has taken home a top honor from the annual gathering. Deputy Coroner Frank Goss was selected Assistant Coroner of the Year last year. It marks the first time that any Georgia county has taken home top honors in back-to-back years.

“I am thrilled and very excited,” Sheppard said Sunday. “This is definitely a team effort. When I first became coroner, (County Manager) Stan Kelley and (Commission Chairman) Chris Dockery told to let them know what I need and they would get it and they have been true to their word. (Sheriff) Stacy Jarrard has been a wonderful mentor. Having their guidance has been an absolute blessing.”

Sheppard was elected in 2016 to replace Ronald Fortner, who was convicted felony theft by taking and violation of public oath of office. He and Goss quickly went to work to establish a reputation of honesty and integrity.

“The office did have a black eye we had to battle back from,” Sheppard said. “But, thanks to lot of help from a lot of people, we’ve managed to build better relations with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

County Mna

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School Superintendent said no to Sheriff’s request for robocall

News

Sheriff Stacy Jarrard

DAHLONEGA, Ga. –- Lumpkin County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Brown refused repeated requests by Sheriff Stacy Jarrard to issue a robocall last Thursday after a threat was reported by a Lumpkin County High School student.

“The first I heard about a threat was Thursday evening when parents started calling me at home,” Jarrard said. “I couldn’t hardly hang up the phone before the next call came in from parents wanting to know what was going on at the school.” Jarrard continued,“That went on until about 1:30 in the morning.”

Jarrard said he made his first call to school officials around 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, to request that a robocall be issued in order to keep parents informed about what had occurred and to let them know if it was safe to send students to school on Friday. Then he called twice more but each time, his request for a robocall was refused.

“They said they didn’t want to scare parents because they didn’t believe the threat was credible,” he said.

But as students got home from school on Thursday, word of the threat began to spread and soon, the Facebook pages began to blow up with frightened parents seeking information.

Jarrard said today the threat “doesn’t appear to be believable,” but he added that his office is still investigating. “I met with the principal, SRO, the child, and the child’s mother who was extremely cooperative and helpful. We have taken all of the child’s electronic equipment to see if there is anything of a threatening nature.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Sheriff Jarrard thanks public for help in identifying murder victim

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. –Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard thanked the public for helping to identify the woman who left the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering with John Bryan Capstraw and hitchhiked to Kentucky before being murdered there.

Jarrard reached out for the public’s help in a Facebook post over the weekend after learning from the Elizabethtown (Ky.) Police Department that she had been murdered.

“I would like to take this opportunity and thank everyone with the overwhelming response about the identity of the female victim involved in the murder in Kentucky,” Jarrard said.  “The victim has been identified. The response with Social Media was instrumental in getting the word out and I thank all that contacted me with information. At this time, we cannot release the identity of the female victim until we receive further notification from Elizabethtown (Ky.) Police Department.”

An investigator with the Elizabethtown Police Department said Capstraw, 20, admitted to killing the woman and has been charged with murder.

Capstraw told police he and the woman left the event and hitchhiked northward. An ABC affiliate in Elizabethtown reported Capstraw told police he blacked out and when he awoke the woman was dead and he had injuries to his hands.

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Woman murdered after leaving Rainbow gathering

News

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Authorities in Elizabethtown have arrested a Florida man they say met an unidentified woman at the Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Lumpkin County then hitchhiked to Kentucky together where he beat and stabbed her to death.

WHAS Channel 11 TV, an ABC affiliate, is reporting tonight that Joseph Bryan Capstraw, 20, has admitted to killing the woman during a blackout and he has been charged with one count of murder.

Authorities with the Elizabethtown Police Department say while investigating a call of a suspicious person, officers located Capstraw who said he needed a hospital and that he “killed her.”

Officers report Capstraw then took them to the body of the female victim.

According to reports, it is believed Capstraw was in a verbal altercation with the woman when he blacked out. Capstraw then allegedly observed the woman, beaten badly, and that he had multiple injuries on his hands.

This marks the second time in three years, a supposedly peaceful gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light resulted in the death of a participant.

In March 2015, a gathering in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida ended in gunfire when 39-year-old Clark Mayers of Milledgeville shot 24-year-old Wesley Jones three times. Jones survived the shooting but was paralyzed and when Jacob Cardwell of Arizona attempted to calm Mayers, he was shot twice and killed.

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard issued the following press release tonight:

“The Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance in determining the identification of a homicide victim. On July 7, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Elizabethtown, Ky. Police Department. They advised they had in their custody a 20-year-old white male (See booking photo) Joseph Bryan Capstraw who is charged with the murder of an unidentified female he says he met at the Rainbow Family of Living Light here in Lumpkin County.

“Please, I ask if you have any information about the female that accompanied Joseph Bryan Capstraw as they were hitchhiking from the Rainbow Family of Living Light, please contact the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office so we can help this victim be identified and help her be returned to her loved ones. Please pray for the family of the victim.”

To provide information, please call 706-864-0414.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbows stage protest before leaving Dahlonega

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Thousands of “Rainbows” left Lumpkin County over the weekend but not before staging a protest against what they believe was harassment by federal, state and local law enforcement.

Some 70-80 protesters who participated in the Family of Living Light gathering in the Chattahoochee National Forest lined the sidewalk across from the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office Sunday, singing songs and carrying protest signs demanding their fellow “Rainbows” be released from jail.

Local activist Frank Gilkeson, who joined the protest, said, “They’re protesting the fact that the local sheriff has incarcerated a whole bunch of people for a various assortment of crimes. We don’t know when these cases will come up and these people live all over the country. Their cases need to be expedited.”

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said releasing those in jail is as simple as paying the bond.

Steven Gilley, of Anniston Alabama, complained that he had been stopped multiple times by the authorities who searched his car for drugs.

“The first time, the Forest Service and state police stopped me for over two hours and had a dog running around searching my vehicle,” he said. “I told them there ain’t no drugs. They took everything out of my van and left it piled up on the road. They took my pipe and an open liquor bottle I had from New Orleans and gave me a citation on Friday. I forgot it was there. If I knew it was there, I’d have drunk it.”

Gilley said he paid his fine last Monday and, as he was leaving court, he was ticketed for an expired tag and no insurance.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates approximately 4,500 Rainbow Family members attended the gathering this year. Spokeswoman Cathy Dowd told WSB TV that overall things went well this year, although 30 people were arrested and approximately 900 citations were issued during the event.

The Rainbow Family began gathering in 1972. The movement is reminiscent of the counterculture, hippie movement sparked by protests of the Viet Nam war. It is billed as a peaceful gathering, but twice in the last three years, violence has ended in death to a participant.

In March 2015, a gathering in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida ended in gunfire when 39-year-old Clark Mayers of Milledgeville shot 24-year-old Wesley Jones three times. Jones survived the shooting but was paralyzed and when Jacob Cardwell of Arizona attempted to calm Mayers, he was shot twice and killed.

On Saturday, Elizabethtown (Kentucky) Police Department arrested Joseph Bryan Capstraw who admitted to murdering an unidentified woman after the two left the Rainbow Family gathering hitchhiking to Kentucky.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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UPDATE: Escaped inmate recaptured near Johnson St.

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The inmate who escaped from the Lumpkin County Detention Center this afternoon has been captured.

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard reports that James Dowd, Jr., who is charged with fraud, escaped around 4 p.m. from the sally port area of the detention center by pushing away from the guard and running into a kudzu patch behind the jail.

Jarrard said a helicopter and canine unit were used in the search. “He tried to steal a phone from a pedestrian on Johnson Street,” Jarrard said.

He was captured at approximately 5 p.m., about one hour after he escaped.

Author

UPDATE: Escaped Lumpkin County inmate identified

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said an inmate who had just been brought to the Lumpkin County Detention Center pushed guards away and escaped from the sally port area of the Detention Center as he was being processed today (June 29) at approximately 4 p.m.

The inmate has been identified as James Dowd Jr. of Dahlonega, who is charged with fraud. Jarrard said Dowd does not have a history of violence. He was wearing handcuffs and an orange jump suit.

Jarrard asks that residents secure their homes and while the search continues and if you spot any suspicious activity to call 911.

Fetch Your News will have additional details as they become available.

 

 

 

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