Rick McKee’s cartoon

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Things to do in Cherokee County Thursday, Sept. 29

The Family Care Center in the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center in Centre includes a Thrift Store open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Family Care Center helps others by giving clothing, food and possibly hope to families in their time of need. The Center asks for your help by supporting its thrift stores. There are currently three locations, the one in Centre, another at 5511 Main St. in Hokes Bluff and another in Cedar Bluff. The Center is currently helping more than 100 families per week and thanks the community for its continued support. Director is Cindy McGinnis.

The Highway 411 Yard Sale begins Thursday, Sept. 29 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2.

In high school volleyball action, Cedar Bluff, Asbury at Fyffe, TBA; Jacksonville at Cherokee County, TBA; Collinsville at Sand Rock, 4 p.m.; Gaylesville, Sacred Heart at Spring Garden, 5 p.m.

An Art Class is held each Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Cherokee County Public Library. Participants are urged to bring two Number Two pencils and an 8 X 10 sketchbook

Visit the beautiful Rock Village, home of some of the best hiking and rock climbing throughout the world. Enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery. Go to the intersection of U.S. Highway, to the intersection of County Road 36 and County Road 70, turn left and follow 411 and Highway 68 in Leesburg, turn right, turn left on Cherokee County 36 the signs

The Tech Corner for Sept. 28, 2016

HP Accused of Sabotaging Non-HP Ink Cartridges

123inkt, a Dutch reseller of printer ink cartridges, has accused HP of intentionally sabotaging non-HP ink cartridges through a failure date, pre-programmed in the firmware of some HP laser ink printers.

Tests revealed that all the HP printers started showing the error during September 2013. After media coverage and complaints on its support forums, HP issued a statement via Dutch TV. HP stated “the failure point is there to protect innovation and intellectual property”. HP could face serious legal repercussions from the EU’s strict customer protection agencies.

USB Killer Damages Computers and Other Devices with USB Ports

A device allegedly has the ability to fry a number of electrical devices by sending an electrical charge to USB ports.

“Hardware designers/testers of public machines: photo booths, copy machines, airline entertainment systems, ticket terminals, etc. ­ with exposed USB ports should ensure that their systems resist electrical attacks via the USB port.

Leaked NSA Hacking Tools Were ‘Mistakenly’ Left By an Agent on a Remote Server

A former NSA employee carelessly left hacking tools on a remote server three years ago after an operation and a group of Russian hackers found them according to Reuters news services.

The leaked hacking tools enable hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in systems from big vendors like Cisco Systems, Juniper, and Fortinet, were dumped online by the “The Shadow Brokers.”

NSA officials have admitted to the FBI that their employee acknowledged the error shortly afterward, and hence the agency was aware of this for the last three years. Instead of warning the affected companies that their customers were at risk, the NSA maintained the silence.

“After the discovery, the NSA tuned its sensors to detect the use of these tools by other parties, especially foreign adversaries with strong cyber espionage operations, such as China and Russia.”

Cisco and Fortinet confirmed that the vulnerabilities were legitimate and issued patches to fix those exploits. Cisco and Fortinet are still waiting for comments from the NSA, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Yahoo Admits 500 Million Accounts Were Hacked by ‘State Sponsored’ Hackers

Over a month ago, a hacker was found to be selling login information related to 200 million Yahoo accounts on the Dark Web, although Yahoo acknowledged that the breach was much worse than initially expected.

User account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor,” reads the statement.

Users’ names, email addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, passwords, and in some cases, encrypted and unencrypted security questions-answers were stolen from millions of Yahoo users. Yahoo says it does not believe the stolen information includes credit card information or any bank details of the affected users.

These reports come just as the company is trying to negotiate a deal to sell itself to Verizon for $4.8 Billion. The breach could negatively impact its share price, if so it could cost the company and its shareholders a large slice of its buyout value.

iPhone 7 Jailbreak Has Already Been Achieved In Just 24 Hours!

It has only been a few days since the launch of Apple’s brand new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and it appears that the new iPhone has already been jail broken.

Someone is Dropping Malware-infected USB Sticks

Don’t plug in that found USB stick. It will probably infect your computer with malware and viruses. Smash it with a hammer.

A group of researchers from the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan and Google revealed that nearly half of people would not only plug a USB drive they’ve found on the ground into their PCs, but would also open files and click on unfamiliar links.

Photos on Dark Web Reveal Geo-locations Of 229 Drug Dealers

Two Harvard students have unmasked around 229 drug and weapon dealers with the help of pictures taken by criminals and used in advertisements placed on dark web markets.

Digital images contain image dimensions, date and time (when it was originally taken and modified), the model of camera and its settings, information about the software used for editing, it’s creator and copyright information, as well as GPS co-ordinates of the location where the photo was taken.

Thousands play Pokemon Go while driving, US research suggests

Thousands of people are playing Pokemon Go while driving, say US researchers who have studied social media posts. There were “more than 110,000 instances where drivers or pedestrians were distracted by Pokemon Go,” the study, which looked at 10 days of Twitter activity, suggests. Some of these distractions also resulted in crashes, doctors who worked on the research say.

Comcast is Getting Into Cellphone Service

Comcast is to offer cellphone service next year, targeting its existing customers. It will use a combination of cellphone towers leased from Verizon and its own wireless hotspots. Customers Own Routers Part of Network

That network is so large because it not only covers devices in public places such as coffee shops but also uses a “guest mode” on the wireless routers of many cable customers. That setup already allows customers to access the Internet wirelessly when they are near the property of another Comcast customer who also has the mode activated. Exactly how the cellphone service will work hasn’t been confirmed, but it appears voice calls and text messaging will go through the Verizon network. Data use such as mobile web browsing will go through the WiFi hotspots where available with Verizon’s data network used as a backup.

Comcast won’t be totally reliant on Verizon if the cellphone service takes off. It’s reported to be among the bidders in a series of secretive government auctions of unused wireless spectrum that could be used for cellphone services. Of course, there’s no guarantee it will win enough of those auctions to be able to go it alone, or that it would be prepared to build equipment such as cellphone towers to take advantage.

Floyd County open 3rd early voting station; Supervisor expecting record turnout

The Floyd County Board of Elections will open a third early voting location this year, at Garden Lakes Baptist Church.

“We’re going to have at least a 70 percent turnout and I want to push it up as much as possible,” Elections Supervisor Willie Green III said Tuesday. “All over the country …they’re predicting record turnout, the biggest in history. I want to make sure nobody has a long wait in line.”

Green said he chose the church at 2200 Redmond Circle because of its accessibility and the willingness of church leaders to make it available.

“Based on the survey I did on early voting at the Rome Civic Center and (Floyd County Admini­stration Build­ing), parking was a consideration,” he said. “Garden Lakes has plenty of parking.”

The church and the county administration building on East First Street will open for walk-in voters beginning Oct. 17 and the Civic Center will open Oct. 31. All three sites will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 4.

Green said there’s also a printable in-person ballot application on the county elections website that can help voters save even more time.

“Fill it out before you go, walk inside, show your ID and vote,” he said.

Oct. 11 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election. Infor­mation is available at the elections office, 706-291-5123, its Web page at romefloyd.com, or the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

As of Sunday, there were 43,976 active registered voters in Floyd County — an increase of 640 since the beginning of the month.

There also are another 11,498 voters listed as registered but inactive, which means they haven’t voted since before the last presidential election. Inactive voters eventually will be purged from the list, but that’s done in odd years, Green said, and only after a card is mailed to alert them.

“They’re still on the rolls now, they still can vote,” he said.

Five contested local races will be decided, along with the next president of the United States. Georgia also has a U.S. Senate seat on the ballot and a Public Service Commission contest.


Annual rock lighting at The Garden set for Sunday

For the past eight years, the lighting at The Garden, a popular attraction located at 1411 Rome Road behind the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has fascinated hundreds of people looking to experience the “peaceful, healing place to meet with God and other people.” Visitors call the annual lighting “quite magical” and “peaceful.”

Surrounded by hand built stone castles, beautiful foliage and a stream, The Garden will be lit during the annual event this Sunday, Oct. 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

According to organizers, at least 300 visitors each year visit the annual lighting. Candles will be provided at the ceremony to place along the pathways and in the miniature stone buildings in The Garden.

Organizer Old Dog Boyd told the Calhoun Times last year that The Garden was originally built as a place to play a game.

“Many years ago, when I had little kids, we invented a game where everybody has a clay person that you talk for,” Boyd said.

Boyd said the child would talk for their clay person and that allowed them take on an alternative personality

“When I moved to Georgia, I wanted a place for my family to play this game with me,” he said. “It was always traditional at the end of the game to light it up with candles, and so once a year, to honor that tradition, we light up The Garden with candles.”

The garden, which is owned by the Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church, began after Boyd first moved to Calhoun and began attending the church; he talked to a groundskeeper and asked to make the garden, which he has worked on since.

Boyd, an artist by trade, said he gave himself the name Old Dog because an old dog is as devoted to his master as he is to God.

“The name gives me the opportunity, whenever it comes up, to tell people how much the Lord has done for me,” he said.

The event is free to the public. For more information call 706-263-1937.

Torched slide, bathroom graffiti are latest incidents of damage to public facilities

A melted slide was removed from Banty Jones Park on Tuesday, the latest instance of vandalism plaguing Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation facilities.

Parks Supervisor Todd Wofford is asking people to be alert to what’s going on around them, and if anyone has information on the incident to call him.

“It was a big, stand-alone plastic slide and they just torched it,” he said. “It’s just so frustrating. It ends up costing everyone more money to replace things, or we just don’t replace them.”

The slide is valued at $7,000.

Wofford said new playground equipment for the park on Crane Street in Rome is budgeted in the 2013 special purpose, local sales tax package. A $1.1 million earmark is funding new units at 10 parks around the county.

But that’s not the point, he said, and money isn’t always available to repair damage or pay for the labor involved.

Garbage cans at Banty Jones Park also have been burned, and someone just spray-painted “SSL” on a wall and inside the bathroom at Wolf Park in Lindale — for the second time this month.

Wofford said vandalism is an ongoing problem and the RFPRA could use help from the community.

“There are a lot of eyes out there,” he said. “If anyone is walking or out in the park and sees something unusual, please call 911 and protect the parks.”


LEPC to host annual Health & Safety Fair this Saturday

The Local Emergency Planning Committee will be hosting the annual Health & Safety Fair at the Home Depot, located on Curtis Parkway in Calhoun, this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. – noon.

The LEPC will be giving away Home Depot buckets to the first 200 families, along with instructions on how to begin your own Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Various emergency service agencies will provide health and safety tips to children visiting, including the Calhoun Fire Department, Calhoun Police Department, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia National Guard, Gordon County 911, Gordon County Child Fatality Review, Gordon County EMA, Gordon County EMS, Gordon County Fire & Rescue, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Gordon Hospital and the U.S. Forest Service.

There will be a free Home Depot Kids Workshop, popcorn, slushies balloons and other freebies throughout the day.

GUEST EDITORIAL: Sexual harassment in national parks

With their towering peaks, foaming rivers, deep canyons, austere deserts and verdant forests, national parks offer some of America’s most gratifying escapes. They attracted a record 307 million visitors in 2015, and in this, their centennial year, they are expected to get even more.

But there is no escaping some social problems. This month, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform got the latest sorry revelations about workplace sexual harassment in the very places Americans go to be inspired.

Members of Congress heard Kelly Martin, chief of fire and aviation management at California’s Yosemite, recount three incidents in which she says she was victimized by a supervisor, who peeked through her bathroom window and tried to kiss her. He was allowed to keep his job until he got around to retiring. She decried a “clear failure of management to take action to investigate and advocate on a victim’s behalf.”

Yosemite is just one of the parks with problems. The Montana Pioneer recently said multiple sources, including a senior Yellowstone official, “have reported to the Pioneer allegations of recent sexual harassment or systemic financial misconduct, or both, at the Park.” The Interior Department’s inspector general reported in January that some male employees in the Grand Canyon demanded sex of female co-workers, and retaliated against those who refused.

Women at Canaveral National Seashore in Florida were often subjected to unwanted advances and lewd comments, according to the IG’s report. A former district manager blamed the conduct on “incompetent leaders and an attitude of, ‘Hey, I can do anything I want and there’s nothing you can do to me.’”…

The Park Service needs to do everything it can to encourage victims to come forward, investigate allegations promptly and thoroughly and hold harassers accountable. And, as Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has emphasized, the culture of the Park Service needs to change to prevent such behavior from occurring.


Cedar Bluff tumbles five spots in latest ASWA football rankings

The latest Alabama Sports Writers Association football poll was released late Tuesday evening, but not much changed for area teams.

The biggest movement came in Class 1A, where the Cedar Bluff Tigers (3-2) tumbled five places to No. 9 after their 35-14 loss at Class 2A Collinsville. Cedar Bluff looks to rebound when it hosts Region 6 rival Valley Head (1-3) on Friday.

Also in the Class 1A rankings, Spring Garden (5-0) held steady at No. 3 following its 45-23 victory at Donoho on Friday. The Panthers host Coosa Christian (2-4) this Friday in another Region 6 battle.

In Class 3A, Piedmont (6-0) continues to have a tight grasp of the top spot following its 29-14 victory over Class 4A, No. 8 Leeds on Friday. The Bulldogs earned 30 of 31 first-place votes in this week’s rankings and will host Weaver (4-1) in a Region 5 battle this Friday.

Two other area teams received consideration for this week’s poll: Class 2A Sand Rock (4-1) and Class 4A Cherokee County (4-2).

The Wildcats, winners of four straight, host the top-ranked team in Class 2A, the Fyffe Red Devils (5-0), on Friday in a crucial Region 6 contest. The Warriors, also winners of four straight, host a key Region 5 game against Saks (3-2).

Other area games this Friday include Collinsville (3-2) at Westbrook Christian (2-3) and Gaylesville (1-4) at Woodville (1-4).

This week’s complete rankings are listed below.



Sept. 28, 2016

(First-place votes and record in parentheses)

Class 7A

1. McGill-Toolen (31) (5-0) 372

2. Hoover (4-1) 268

3. Hewitt-Trussville (6-0) 256

4. Central-Phenix City (4-1) 212

5. Bob Jones (5-1) 177

6. Lee-Montgomery (5-0) 159

7. Davidson (4-1) 108

8. Enterprise (6-0) 101

9. James Clemens (3-2) 59

10. Mountain Brook (4-1) 46

Others receiving votes: Spain Park (3-2) 8, Vestavia Hills (3-2) 1.

Class 6A

1. Spanish Fort (13) (5-1) 312

2. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (11) (6-0) 303

3. Blount (7) (5-1) 262

4. Oxford (6-0) 217

5. Opelika (5-1) 176

6. Minor (5-0) 156

7. Park Crossing (5-1) 116

8. Hartselle (6-0) 105

9. Clay-Chalkville (4-2) 68

10. Chelsea (5-1) 25

Others receiving votes: Wetumpka (5-1) 15, Ramsay (4-1) 7, Gardendale (4-2) 2, Pinson Valley (4-2) 2, Decatur (4-1) 1.

Class 5A

1. Jackson (23) (5-0) 348

2. St. Paul’s (8) (4-1) 303

3. Beauregard (4-0) 239

4. Etowah (5-1) 190

5. Scottsboro (5-0) 184

6. Russellville (4-1) 152

7. Carroll (5-0) 121

8. Demopolis (4-1) 95

9. Mortimer Jordan (4-2) 52

10. Central-Clay County (4-1) 47

Others receiving votes: Briarwood Christian (4-1) 20, Sylacauga (4-1) 6, Guntersville (3-2) 5, Vigor (4-2) 4, Eufaula (3-2) 1.

Class 4A

1. UMS-Wright (28) (4-1) 361

2. Madison Academy (1) (4-1) 270

3. Haleyville (2) (5-0) 258

4. Andalusia (5-1) 214

5. Cordova (5-1) 173

6. Munford (4-1) 158

7. Rogers (6-0) 112

8. Leeds (4-2) 70

9. Jacksonville (5-0) 58

10. Thomasville (3-1) 47

Others receiving votes: Handley (3-2) 16, West Limestone (5-1) 13, North Jackson (3-2) 12, Cherokee County (4-2) 2, Montgomery Catholic (4-1) 2, West Blocton (5-1) 1.

Class 3A

1. Piedmont (30) (6-0) 369

2. Gordo (1) (5-0) 282

3. Montevallo (5-0) 235

4. Mobile Christian (4-1) 204

5. Opp (4-1) 154

6. Colbert County (4-1) 146

7. Ohatchee (6-0) 139

8. Oakman (4-1) 84

9. T.R. Miller (3-2) 81

10. Daleville (4-1) 38

Others receiving votes: Lexington (4-1) 9, Straughn (3-1) 8, Bayside (3-2) 5, Colbert Heights (3-3) 4, Lauderdale County (3-2) 3 Weaver (4-1) 3, Pike County (4-1) 2, American Christian (4-2) 1.

Class 2A

1. Fyffe (24) (5-0) 351

2. G.W. Long (2) (4-0) 274

3. Elba (5) (4-1) 253

4. LaFayette (5-0) 216

5. Cleveland (5-0) 193

6. Lanett (5-1) 134

7. Red Bay (5-0) 119

8. Tanner (2-3) 57

9. Aliceville (4-1) 56

10. Sheffield (5-1) 50

Others receiving votes: New Brockton (2-3) 32, Washington County (3-2) 22, Sand Rock (4-1) 6, Leroy (3-2) 3, Goshen (4-1) 1.

Class 1A

1. Maplesville (24) (4-0) 351

2. Linden (7) (5-0) 300

3. Spring Garden (5-0) 238

4. Addison (6-0) 202

5. Sweet Water (3-1) 165

6. Decatur Heritage (4-1) 133

7. Wadley (5-0) 117

8. Georgiana (6-0) 103

9. Cedar Bluff (3-2) 69

10t. Hubbertville (4-0) 34

10t. Pickens County (3-2) 34

Others receiving votes: Notasulga (3-2) 7, Isabella (5-0) 6, McKenzie (5-1) 4, South Lamar (4-2) 3, Brantley (2-3) 1.


1. Bessemer Acad. (31) (6-0) 372

2. Autauga Acad. (5-0) 274

3. Monroe Acad. (5-1) 246

4. S. Choctaw Acad. (5-0) 191

5. Marengo Acad. (4-1) 177

6. Chambers Acad. (5-0) 161

7. Escambia Acad. (4-2) 111

8. Fort Dale Acad. (4-1) 96

9. Lowndes Acad. (3-1) 68

10. Pike Liberal (3-2) 27

Others receiving votes: Lee-Scott Acad. (3-2) 13, Morgan Acad. (4-2) 12, Springwood (4-1) 9, Edgewood Acad. (0-6) 5, Glenwood (4-1) 4, Cornerstone Chr. (4-1) 1.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Cathy Higgins, Alexander City Outlook; Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News; Will Gaines, Anniston Star; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance; Gary Estwick, Birmingham News; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Tommy Hicks, Citronelle Call-News; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Johnathan Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; John McWilliams, Florence TimesDaily; Jeremy Smith, Freelance (Demopolis); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Eric Bacharach, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Daniel Evans, Selma Times-Journal; Baker Ellis, Shelby County Reporter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home; Joey Chandler, Tuscaloosa News; Cory Diaz, Wetumpka Herald.