Polk County joins cities in extension of burn ban past Oct. 1

Polk County joins cities in extension of burn ban past Oct. 1

Residents in the unincorporated parts of Polk County hoping to get rid of brush starting on Saturday will have to wait a while longer to light the fires as Polk County joins the cities of Rockmart and Cedartown in extending the burn ban. 

The decision was made during Polk County’s Public Safety meeting on Saturday citing concerns from Georgia Forestry Commission Chief Ranger Senior Denise Croker and Polk County Public Safety Director Randy Lacey. 

Lacey and Croker cited too dry of conditions as their reasoning for wanting to extend the ban, which Commission chair Stefanie Drake Burford agreed to without hesitation. 

The ban will be extended indefinitely, or as Lacey put it “until we get a good amount of rainfall.” 

Rockmart and Cedartown extended the bans as well this week, also citing dry conditions as their reason. 

Croker said a recent fire near Cave Spring burned 500 acres and was enough reason to keep the ban in place. She also said there’s been an increase in accidental fires sparking in Polk County due to the drought. 

Lacey and Croker ask all residents in Polk County to take careful steps to prevent fires from starting for the time being. 

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Cedartown joins in extension of burn ban past Oct. 1

The City of Cedartown is joining with Rockmart in extending the expiration of the burn ban in the area past the beginning of October. 

According to Cedartown Fire Chief Darrell Stephens, the ban is being extended until the western portions of Polk County within the city limits get more rain. 

The City of Rockmart announced earlier this week it would extend its ban past Oct. 1 in order to prevent the potential spread of fire during drought conditions. 

Stephens said the extension is currently indefinite, but that an announcement will be made when the burn ban is lifted and permits are being issued again. 

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The Tech Corner for Sept. 28, 2016

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.

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Ensley: Surviving a drought

Ensley: Surviving a drought

We find that some parts of our county are very dry. How do you survive a drought?

Prioritize: Most grasses will go dormant and return when normal rainfall and irrigation return. Consider the value of the plant when deciding what to save and what measures to take. For example, lawns and ornamental flowers are easily replaced. The value of a 150-year- old tree is clearly greater than easily replaced elements of your landscape.

Think about alternate sources of water: Traditional irrigation is not the only source of water to help your most prized plants survive the water restrictions and drought.

Air conditioner condensate: Most air conditioners release a small amount of water (condensate). This is the result of the cooling your home. Some units produce as many as 20 gallons a day. This can be a precious resource to assist you in maintaining those plants you most value.

Attach a hose to the relief pipe: Some air conditioner units have a release pipe and a hose can be attached to this pipe and directed to a particular area. The hose can be moved and directed at different areas each day. This will deliver water to the roots of these plants slowly and deeply.

Catch the water in a bucket: For those who cannot attach a hose and direct the flow of water to certain plants, place a large bucket beneath the release pipe and catch the water.

When the bucket is full you can carry it to select plants and apply the water.

Utilize what rain we receive: When we do a get rain event, even a pop up afternoon shower, do not waste that water. One-inch of rain on 1,000 square feet of roof produces 650 gallons of water.

Make a rain barrel: In order to make the most of the rains we receive build your own rain barrel. For instructions and supplies visit


Purchase a rain barrel: If you do not want to make your own

rain barrel some garden supply store carry them.

Tree bags: Purchase tree or gator bags to maintain trees.

These can be found by doing a web search. Use the alternate water you have captured to fill the bags. Water will be delivered to the roots of your trees slowly and deeply.

Plant maintenance techniques: How you maintain your plants during the current drought will make a difference in the survival of the plants.

Mulch: Four to five inches of mulch around the plants can hold in what moisture the plants receive and protect the roots from heat.

Types of mulch: The best mulches to use are fine textured woody mulches, shredded hardwood, pine straw, and pine bark mini nuggets are the best choices.

Avoid: Using rocks in landscape areas with plants. The rocks hold and radiate heat increasing moisture loss. Do not mound mulch over the trunks of plants; it encourages infestations and disease.

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Polk County Jail report for Sept. 26, 2016

Polk County Jail report for Sept. 26, 2016

The Polk County Jail releases arrest reports on weekday mornings. Click the attached PDF to find the Sept. 26, 2016 report. 

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Crews will reinforce retaining wall while Big Spring Park is closed for repairs

Cedartown’s Big Spring Park will be closed to the public over the coming weeks due to repair work along the historic waterway’s overflow channel.

The retaining walls that direct the spring’s overflow away from the water plant are deteriorating. Some parts of the 1930s-era retaining wall are visibly crumbling, while other parts have been completely eroded. Work crews will be at the park on Monday bringing in equipment needed to replace the retaining walls and starting work site preparations. Actual replacement of the walls is scheduled to begin the first week in October.

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JH Benefield & Sons Inc. contracting company will oversee the project. Both sides of the channel will be repoured with concrete and the small footbridge will be replaced.

During this time, the park will be closed to the public.

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