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New search tool allows residents to find local COVID-19 vaccination sites
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McDONOUGH — The Georgia Department of Public Health has launched a COVID vaccine locator, allowing residents to search by county for a vaccine provider.

Henry County is offering vaccines at the health department, 35 Henry Parkway in McDonough, in addition to vaccination events held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, by appointment only.

Similarly, Piedmont Henry Hospital is offering vaccinations to patients whom they’ve contacted.

“Piedmont is not conducting walk-in clinics,” said Communication Specialist Michael Boylan in a release. “As additional supply becomes available, we will continue to contact patients to schedule additional appointments for vaccinations.”

Hospital officials are asking residents not to call or visit Piedmont locations unless they have an appointment.

“Calling or visiting without an appointment or many hours before your appointed time interferes with our ability to provide patient care at this critical time.”

Georgia kicked off phase 1A+ of its vaccine distribution on Monday. Vaccinations are available to healthcare workers, long-term care facilities staff and residents, adults ages 65 and older and their care givers as well as law enforcement and fire department personnel.

DPH officials said additional locations will be added to the website when providers are ready to “safely administer vaccine and as vaccine supply allows.”

DPH noted that administering the COVID-19 vaccine is more complicated than other vaccines because it required providers to have more resources available and space to allow for monitoring following the shot.

“As both Pfizer and Moderna are able to ramp up production of vaccine in the coming weeks, supply should better meet demand for each phase of allocation and administration,” Georgia DPH officials said in a release. “Until that time, providers and the public are urged to be patient as we work together to get vaccine distributed in the most efficient and equitable way possible.”

Residents statewide, including those who have been vaccinated, are asked to continue following basic preventative measures including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands.

To use the new locator tool, visit www.dph.georgia.gov.

Henry Board of Education swears in members
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MCDONOUGH – Three Henry County Board of Education members were sworn into office to start the new year on Jan. 6.

District 1 member Dr. Pam Nutt and District 3 member Holly Cobb were re-elected to their positions last summer. Nutt will be starting her seventh term on the board, while Cobb begins her second term representing her district.

Makenzie McDaniel was elected to represent District 2 after a runoff election in August. This will be McDaniel’s first term on the board.

Each member was sworn in by Henry County Probate Court Judge Kelley Powell in a small ceremony in the Henry County Schools boardroom with family and friends present.

“We are excited to kickstart the terms of each of these exceptional board members with the first actions of the year for our Unified Governance Team,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis. “Each member knows that there is great work to build on from 2020, and we are looking forward to meeting the needs of our students, staff, and families while providing an exceptional education during this pandemic.”

Following the swearing-in ceremony, the board elected its chair and vice chair for 2021.

Cobb was elected to the position of chair and Annette Edwards was elected as vice chair. The positions carry a one-year term as the board conducts the same process to start each new calendar year.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my district, and I will work every day to make sure the needs of our students and staff are met,” said Cobb. “I am also grateful to my colleagues for the opportunity to serve in this leadership role as our work continues on the strategic plan and we lift our school district to even greater heights.”

For more information on Henry County Schools, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us.

Henry County sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Howell honored, laid to rest
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McDONOUGH — Family, friends and brothers in blue bid farewell to Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Howell Friday in a wreath laying ceremony, followed by funeral services on Saturday.

Howell, 36, died on Jan. 3 from complications of Covid-19. He leaves behind his wife, Jasma, and six children.

Sheriff Reginald Scandrett described Howell as “tremendous” and always a “humble man and peaceful guy.”

“We will never forget what our brother has sacrificed,” he said.

Pastor TJ McBride of Tabernacle of Praise Church said that while all will miss him on earth, Howell has made his entrance into the Heavenly Gates to be with the Lord.

“Stay encouraged and prayerful,” McBride said.

Howell was laid to rest in Dublin on Saturday.

Henry County mourning loss of third LEO in 2 weeks
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McDONOUGH — For the third time in two weeks, Henry residents and the law enforcement community are mourning the loss of another officer.

Longtime officer Henry County Police Department Sgt. David Crumpler, 60, died of Covid-19 on Jan. 7.

Crumpler served the community for 24 years holding many titles including criminal investigations, bomb squad and SWAT Team.

In a post on social media, the Henry County Police Department called Crumpler a “gentleman, a teacher, and a sprinkle-loving, joy-filled servant.”

Condolences flooded social media, calling the loss “great.”

“I had the honor of calling him dear friend. He was a character! He loved life and making people smile,” said Cathe Astin Fowler.

“He was a great guy,” said Barry Cooper. “I always feel he had our back when things were a little sideways. Rest In Peace brother.”

“Crump was one of the nicest, most respectful men I ever met. He took his oath very seriously and carried it out with class,” said Tracy Rodgers Yarian. “Rest In Peace, friend.”

On Jan. 3, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office announced the passing of Deputy Nicholas Howell, also from Covid-19 complications.

Sheriff Reginald Scandrett called Howell one of the county’s “finest sheriff’s deputies.”

“Please keep in your thoughts and prayers, Deputy Howell’s family, his friends and his Henry County Sheriff’s Office family.”

On Dec. 27, HCPD lost Sgt. Rick Snook, a 21-year veteran of the department. He died of a heart attack.

“Henry County didn’t lose an employee, we lost a genuinely invested public servant who loved this county,” department officials said on social media.