Falcons fined, lose draft pick for pumping in fake noise

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has fined the Atlanta Falcons, stripped the organization of a draft pick and suspended team president Rich McKay from the league’s Competition Committee beginning April 1 following the team’s use of fake noise at home games.

In statement released Monday, the league announced that the Falcons have been fined $350,000 and will forfeit their fifth-round selection in the 2016 draft. If the Falcons have multiple picks in that round, the highest selection will be forfeited.

The NFL noted throughout the 2013 season and into the 2014 season the Falcons violated league rules that state “at no point during the game can artificial crowd noise or amplified crowd noise be played in the stadium.”

The league also said Roddy White, the team’s former director of event marketing, was directly responsible for the violation and would have been suspended without pay for the first eight weeks of the 2015 regular season had he still been with the club. The Falcons fired him.

The league determined that Falcons ownership and senior executives, including McKay, were unaware of the use of an audio file with artificial crowd noise. But as the senior club executive overseeing game operations, McKay bears some responsibility for ensuring that team employees comply with league rules. McKay can petition Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement to the committee no sooner than June 30.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank told The Associated Press in early February that he had seen enough of the NFL’s investigation to acknowledge wrongdoing by his club.

“It’s not really a fine line,” Blank told the AP. “I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It’s obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn’t represent our culture and what we’re about.”

The Falcons say 101 of 103 games have been sellouts since Blank bought the team in 2002. Actual turnouts declined during losing seasons the last two years.

Atlanta ranked 10th among the 32 NFL teams with its average home attendance of 72,130 in 2014. Construction is underway for a new $1.4 billion stadium that will replace the Georgia Dome in 2017. The new stadium will have a similar seating capacity.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Cedartown Standard

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Bids out for first One Door Polk renovations

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

The City of Cedartown has opened a bidding period for the first round of remodeling at One Door Polk for the expansion of Highland Rivers into portions of the former hospital it plans to use for healthcare-related services.

Cedartown city manager Bill Fann said the remodeling project will cover some 22,000 square feet of space, and bids will be due before the four week deadline. Fann said the city will be opening bids later in the month after the April 24 deadline to see which contractor comes in as the low bidder.

Prior to that, those who submitted bids or plan to submit bids will be given an opportunity to tour the space and figure out costs.

Much of the work on the old hospital space, Fann said, will be centered around making the space work for Highland Rivers.

“It’s just odd and assorted demolition,” Fann said. “We’ll be moving a wall here and changing out a doorway there, making some of the bathrooms ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) compliant.”

Fann said a number of the bathrooms at One Door Polk will actually be removed during the remodeling process, allowing for more service space overall compared to the previous layout of the hospital. Fann explained the need for individual patient bathrooms as part of the former hospital infrastructure won’t be needed. Their removal will help with the cost savings for utilities, since the building won’t require as much water use.

Fann said some contractors in the area have already submitted their sealed bids for the coming project – which will get underway this year – and hopes more submissions come in before the mid-April deadline.

“We want as many local general contractors to bid on the project as possible, because we’d love to keep this project local,” Fann said.

One Door Polk’s latest announced tenant, Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Adult Education Program, will require renovations as well. Fann said those will be handled once the project for Highland Rivers is completed. Until then, the Adult Education Program will remain in their building owned by the Polk School District.

The former Polk Medical Center facility on North Main Street was taken over by the City of Cedartown in 2014 following the hospital’s move to its new facility on Highway 278 at Kelly Road.

Besides Highland Rivers, Primary Healthcare remained as feature tenants of the facility.

Source: Cedartown Standard

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Monday forecast: cloudy morning gives way to sunny afternoon, high 68

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

The sun is coming out today as the National Weather Service calls for the clouds to clear out by this afternoon and bring temperatures up to the high 60s for the day and bringing along sunshine for Tuesday as well, but a chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Today’s forecast starts out with a 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 1 p.m. Cloudy early, then gradual clearing, with a high near 68. Northwest wind around 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 43. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. South wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 8 a.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph.

Wednesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.

Thursday: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 8 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 75. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59.

Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 79.

Friday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Saturday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.

Source: Cedartown Standard

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Hubbard resigns as Public Works director for Polk County effective April 10

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

Polk County will be looking for a new Public Works director in the coming weeks following Karen Hubbard’s announcement during the county’s public works committee meeting.

Hubbard gave her two weeks notice during the midway point of the committee meeting, handing letters to commissioners Jennifer Hulsey and Ray Barber, along with both county manager Matt Denton and assistant county manager David McElwee.

She said in a phone interview that in her letter to the county, she stated that she’s been in the department for more than four years, and tried to implement changes in the department during her tenure.

“That doesn’t seem to be a change that everyone is particularly favorable with,” she said.

Hubbard said she felt as other department heads were given more freedom in their decision making, her own decisions faced greater scrutiny.

“It’s a constant struggle to make Polk County a better place,” she said. “Having every decision questioned, overturned or undermined, it’s just a difficult situation to be in.”

Hubbard said she has found a new job, but declined to say where she was going after her final day.

“I think Karen Hubbard made positive changes at the Pulbic Works department during her tenure, and I hated to see her resignation and wish her the best in the future,” Denton said.

“I secured a position where I think my knowledge skills will be appreciated,” she said. “I love the goodness of the people in Polk County. I grew up here, and a majority of my family still lives here. I’ll miss many of my employees who are good workers.”

She said despite her feeling of sadness at departing from her job, she still wants to see improvements happen in her native county.

“I wish for the best for the citizens of Polk County and all my employees,” she said.

Source: Cedartown Standard

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Polk County Animal Control closed for PARVO outbreak

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

The Polk County Animal Control facility has been quarantined and no animals are being let out for adoptions after 2 cases of PARVO reported in just over a week.

The first case was diagnosed in a dog on March 20 after arriving at the facility on March 11, according to local veterinarian Dr. Todd Hughes, who spoke to the Polk County Public Safety committee Thursday evening.

He said another dog was diagnosed with PARVO again earlier this week, resetting the clock on Wednesday, March 25 on the quarantine currently affecting 32 dogs at the facility.

According to a report from the Georgia Department of Agriculture given to the Standard Journal by the county, the dog that first tested for PARVO was put down.

The same inspector who filed the report, Darlene Phillips, also responded in another report that accusations that Animal Control director Jeff Crawford refused to release a dog to a Canton resident named Dayna Crumley.

Crumley reported to the Phillips she believed the dog needed medical attention and needed to be let out for better care.

The report stated Phillips spoke with Hughes, who reported to Phillips the dog in question was examined on March 20 to verify if it was a medical emergency for the dog to be released.

“He states there is no medical emergency at all on this dog,” the report stated. “This shelter was abiding by the GDA (Georgia Department of Agriculture) rules of a quarantine which no dog could be pulled by any rescue after a quarantine is in place.”

Hughes went on to say in the Public Safety Commission meeting that selective vaccinations conducted by the Cedartown Humane Society – who began last year providing vaccinations to dogs at Animal Control – was part of the issue. Hughes explained the two animals who contracted PARVO were under 2-years-old and skipped by volunteers who administered vaccinations to animals.

Humane Society president Charlotte Harrison agreed in a previous meeting volunteers were only vaccinating animals under 6-months-old.

“Currently, we’re the only one providing any vaccines to the animals,” she said. “We’re a group of volunteers giving our time and privately raised funds to see that vaccines are administered. We welcome the county’s participation in this project.”

“No one has ever questioned or complained, or let us know that we should be vaccinating anything over 6 months of age until the last meeting of the Animal Control committee in February, and at that point it was mentioned that we should be vaccinating up to 2 years of age,” Harrison said. “We readily agreed to that policy.” 

The Humane Society said records indicate they’ve vaccinated 200 animals as of Friday. 

Previously, Polk County Animal Control was responsible for vaccinating all animals that came in to the facility. However, Polk County manager Matt Denton said the vaccination program was cut because of budget issues within the department. The adoption fees for dogs and cats were left at a raised rates to pay for vaccinations despite the program being discontinued at the time.

Now the county will look for ways to reinstate their own vaccination program, and look to raise the adoption rates on dogs and cats again – to $40 for dogs and $25 for cats – to help cover the costs.

Commissioner Jennifer Hulsey, who is chair of the Animal Control committee for the county for 2015, said she feels the county needs to control their own vaccination policy.

For Harrison and the Cedartown Humane Society, it would mean the money they raised will go toward their true purpose of preventing unnecessary increases in animal populations.

“The only value for vaccinating for us was the well being of the animal, but we were willing to spend our money to do that,” she said. “We’d much rather spend our money on spay neuter programs.”

Source: Cedartown Standard

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Study center draws participants

The Latest Local News from the Cedartown Standard

Polk residents are embracing the educational opportunity now available at the Study Center, located at Polk Haralson Christian Life “Camp Antioch”, 3900 Antioch Road, (across from Antioch Baptist Church).   Among students and volunteers using the facility this month are: Top photo, Susan Acree, Aspen Warner and Andrea Warner; Bottom, right, Janice Stewart, Karen Dingler and Emma Watkins.  For more information call Janice Stewart at 770-846-7760.

Source: Cedartown Standard

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