Friday, September 30, 2016

16 New Firefighters Join Fulton County Fire Rescue Department

(Standing L-R) Training Officer-Captain Stan Hudgins, FF Marcus Brown, FF William Roberts, FF Nicholas Young, FF Fred Brown, FF Camille Dunnings, FF Kenneth Perea, FF Marquavious Taylor, FF Mikel Hernandez-Tito, Assistant Training Coordinator-FF Ricardo Carey; (Kneeling L-R) FF Matthew Maxwell, FF Quentin Dunn, FF Brandon Morton, FF Sylvana Davis, FF Dylan Karr, FF Joshua Carden, FF Sterling Hill, FF Brendon Serna, FF Janoah Fann

Fulton County Fire Rescue Department held its Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, September 27 for 16 of its newest members to celebrate their successful completion of fire recruit training and their transition as firefighters to the field.

“After completing 12 weeks of rigorous training, we are excited to have the 16 recruits to join us in our service to educate, serve and protect the residents South Fulton.” stated Chief Larry Few, Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “It is an honor and a calling to serve as a firefighter and I welcome them to the Department the call to service for Fulton County.”

For information about the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department, visit and follow them on Twitter @FCFRD.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grand Opening of Fulton County’s Newest WIC Office September 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Metro Atlanta / S. Fulton area parents and guardians are invited to attend the FREE grand opening of Fulton County’s newest Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program  located at the Oak Hill Child, Adolescent and Family Health Center, 2805 Metropolitan Parkway, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30315  on Tuesday, September 27, 2016  from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Attendees will learn about nutritional counseling and breastfeeding services for mothers and gather an array of empowering  information on effective parenting skills and tips for raising healthy babies.  The grand opening will also highlight the teen health services available at Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Health Center.  More than 25 community organizations will be on hand.

In addition to highlighting the WIC program, FREE HIV testing will be provided by Fulton County’s HIV Prevention program and representatives from Fulton’s Babies Can’t Wait and Fulton’s Adolescent Health & Youth Development  program will share information on developing positive parenting skills and preventing teen pregnancy.  The Wholistic Stress Control Institute (WSCI) will offer tips on stress management.  Free bags of produce and food will be distributed by World Changers Church International and Peach State Health Plan.  Information on Medicaid insurance will be provided by Amerigroup, WellCare , Peach State and Right to Start Medicaid.

WIC is a federally-funded program that  provides FREE nutritional counseling, breastfeeding support and food vouchers to pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers (up to one year) and for postpartum women (up to six months). WIC services are also available for eligible guardians with children under age five.    


Care Management Organizations offering Medicaid and Medicare
  • Amerigroup
  • Peach State Health Plan
  • WellCare Health Plan

Fulton Health & Wellness Services:
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Babies Can’t Wait
  • Fulton County Dental Department
  • Oak Hill Teen Clinic
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention program  - Adolescent Health & Youth Development
  • HIV Testing – HIV High Impact Prevention Program (HIPP)

Other Fulton County Departments
  • Atlanta Fulton County Library
  • Right to Start, Division of Family & Children Services

Community Nonprofits:
  • Center for Black Women’s Wellness
  • Grady Rape Intervention
  • Empowered Living Academy
  • Families First
  • Felecia Love, author and motivational speaker
  • Helping Mamas, Inc.
  • Job Corps
  • Parent University
  • Right to Start Medicaid
  • Teens Engaging as Mothers
  • Wholistic Stress Control  Institute (WSCI)
  • World Changers Church International – Food give away

For more information call, the WIC program at Oak Hill at (404) 612-3942.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fulton Commissioners Vote to Make County Parks Smoke Free

By a unanimous vote at its September 21st meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a ban on smoking in county parks and recreation facilities.  The decision comes as part of the county’s effort to reinforce its strategic priority area of making sure that “All People Are Healthy”.

“Today, I am happy to state that Fulton County has shifted its efforts to ensure safe outdoor air,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John H. Eaves.  “The amendment to the ordinance regarding parks and recreational facilities will ensure the health and well-being of our citizens from the harmful and negative effects of secondhand smoke.”

The Board took the stance against smoking after considering significant evidence regarding the dangers of second hand smoke in outdoor spaces, how this exposure increases healthcare costs significantly and from resident input on the need to create smoke free environments.  According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the estimated health care expenditures in Georgia from secondhand smoke exposure are $199.6 million annually. In 2016, the PICH Program conducted an opinion poll with 960 residents, who overwhelmingly at 76% favored smoke free parks and recreation areas. In addition to the passage of the ordinance, the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program will work collaboratively with the Department of Parks and Recreation to address the dangers of smoking and assist residents in achieving tobacco-free life styles through education and cessation efforts.

"The approval of this resolution is a major accomplishment for Fulton County,” said Fulton County District 4 Commissioner Joan Garner, the resolution’s co-sponsor. “It is our aim to protect the welfare of Fulton County citizens and to ensure public health and safety for residents who utilize our parks and recreational facilities."

“We wanted to make sure to protect our citizens, especially our youngest ones, from the dangers of secondhand smoke,” said Fulton County District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris, a co-sponsor of the resolution.  “We are pleased that this demonstrates our county’s continued commitment to public health.”

“This is a wonderful example of the leadership Board members continue to take regarding this very important health matter and represents a significant collaboration between the Fulton Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., District Health Director.  “It’s been proven that second-hand smoke poses serious health problems, especially for infants and children, but also for adults.  I applaud the decision to remove the hazard of smoking from our County’s parks and recreational areas.”

Violators of the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to a $1000 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

For more information, visit Fulton County’s website at or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @FultonInfo.

Fulton County Commissioners Approve Personnel “Living Wage” Plan

Fulton County Commissioners approved a plan to phase in a $31,000 annual living wage for its employees over a five (5) year period.  When the adjustments would be completed, permanent full-time county employees would make at least $14.90 per hour.  

“Increasing the wages of employees will not only help them make ends meet but also boost morale,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves. “Studies have found higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover and in the long run, that will save the County money in employment and training costs.”

The gradual salary adjustments would begin in Fiscal Year 2017.  In January 2016, the Board of Commissioners directed the county’s Personnel Department to undertake a feasibility study aimed at making salaries competitive with both neighboring jurisdictions and similar communities nationwide.

“I feel that the proposed course of action is a good one and strikes the right balance,” said Fulton County District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis.  “It will serve as not only a mechanism to help us improve employee morale and retain and recruit a strong workforce but also be phased in such a way that it works in concert with the pay and classification system which was adopted last year and doesn't cause unintended consequences to our workforce or service delivery.”

“The Board of Commissioners’ approval of our proposal to address this social concern will be impactful to more than 1/3 of the County’s workforce each year and will set the stage for the County to be a leader in public service -- thereby improving our ability to attract and retain employees at all levels within the organization,” said Fulton County Personnel Director Kenneth Hermon.

The Board of Commissioners undertook this plan to ensure its county employees receive wage and benefits packages taking into account the area-specific cost of living, as well as the basic expenses involved in supporting a family.  The Fulton County Personnel Department consulted data from jurisdictions nationwide at the State, City and County levels who have previously implemented Living wage policies for their employees.  The ultimate goals of the plan include increased employee morale and improved recruitment at all pay grades.  Currently, the salaries of approximately 10 percent of the county workforce would be directly impacted by the proposal. Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Birmingham are among the communities that have already addressed the living wage with legislation aimed at raising the salaries of municipal workers.

For more information, visit Fulton County’s website at or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @FultonInfo.  

A library card is the coolest card – September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most import school supply of all – a free library card.

Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits to the incorporation of high-tech tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.

Resources at the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. Students and patrons can also take advantage of the digital resources offered such as E-Campus, Galileo, Mango Languages, and much more.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Dr. Gabriel Morley, Executive Director of Atlanta-Fulton County Library System. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and storytimes to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, and for nontraditional students we offer GED resources. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

Throughout the course of the month, the library will host a number of activities, including Midday at Milton Book Club, Journey to Literacy with Junior League of Atlanta, and a Curiosity Day with Curious George.

Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.

Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit any of our 34 libraries system-wide or complete an online application at

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fulton County Registration and Elections Message for College Students

The Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections reiterates the importance of college students knowing the requirements to vote in Georgia. The voter registration deadline to vote in the November General Special Election is October 11, 2016.

“We are aware that voting requirements might not be clear for college students,” states Richard Barron, Director of Fulton County Registration and Elections. “College students are unique because of their residency status and we encourage them to do some research before heading to the poll to vote.”

Residency determines how and where college students can vote:

Fulton County Resident
If you are a permanent resident of Fulton County, on Election Day, you MUST vote at your designated precinct. If you choose to vote early, you can vote at any Early Voting site within the county.

Georgia Resident
If you are listed as a permanent resident in another Georgia county, on Election Day, you can ask for a provisional ballot, but to avoid any problems, if possible, return home to vote or complete an Absentee Ballot that can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s office website (make sure the ballot is returned before the deadline). If it’s discovered that you are not a registered voter in Fulton County by the voter registration deadline, your provisional vote will not be counted.

Out-of-State Resident
If your permanent residency is listed in another state, ask your parent(s) to send you an Absentee Ballot or visit your state’s Election website to download an Absentee Ballot. Make sure the Absentee Ballot is returned before the deadline.

Required Voter ID

Bring one of these six forms of identification to vote:

• Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
• A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
• A Valid out-of-state Driver’s License
• Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
• Valid U.S. passport ID
• Valid U.S. military photo ID
• Valid tribal photo ID

The Department of Registration and Elections regularly partners with groups and organizations to conduct voter registration drives. Groups interested in scheduling a drive can contact the Department of Registration and Elections by phone 404-612-3816, by fax 404-730-8839 or via email at

For more information about upcoming Elections, log on to or call 404-730-7072.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fulton Commissioners Approve Police Body Camera Program

By a unanimous vote at its September 7 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a program to equip Fulton County Police with body-worn and in-car cameras.  The Board voted in support of contracting with Utility Associates, Inc. to purchase the devices some law enforcement experts credit with enhancing transparency and public trust, promoting accountability, and improving community and officer safety.
“The dash cameras and body cams will be a beneficial tool to protect our police force on the front lines and respond to any citizen’s questions about an officer’s actions,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves. “We will establish policies and procedures for using the technology but in the end, it will enhance the accountability of our already top-notch police department.” 
 “I am very pleased that the BOC approved the purchase of in car and body cameras from Utility,” said Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles. “This product and company offers the equipment, storage, and support that best fits my department’s needs.”
The body-worn and in-car camera system enables video and audio recording from the perspective of the officer involved in interactions with civilians.  The body camera system is designed to archive, manage, and quickly retrieve video data that meets or exceeds federal, state, and local standards. The county will acquire approximately 170 body/in-car cameras. 
Among the features of the new devices are:
           Vehicle sensor - activates the body camera when the light bar is activated; officers also have manual activation capabilities
           Officer down activation – the camera automatically starts recording if an officer is down, which alerts 911 dispatchers
           Wi-Fi – the system turns each vehicle into a Wi-Fi “hotspot”
           Immediate wireless uploading – precludes officers having to use docking stations to upload at the end of their shift
           Mounting system built into the officer’s uniform - decreases the likelihood of the camera becoming dislodged
           Redaction capability - protects the privacy and identity of victims, innocent bystanders, and minors
In the past, body-worn cameras have also served as a valuable tool assisting police in their investigations.