A1 A1
Early voting for June 15 special election ends Friday
  • Updated

McDONOUGH — This is the last week to vote early for the Board of Commission District 3 special election.

As of Monday, June 7, 1,420 residents had cast a ballot in person and 47 by mail. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through June 11 to vote early.

On election day, June 15, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the special election in which District 3 voters must choose a commissioner to represent them through December 2022. Candidates are Greg Cannon, Briana Clay and Sarita Dyer.

The following polling locations are eligible to vote: East Lake, Hickory Flat, Lake Dow, Lake Haven, McDonough, McDonough Central, McMullen, Mt Bethel, Timberridge, Wesley Lakes and Westside.

Several changes have been made to original polling sites due to unavailability for the June 15 election.

♦ The polling place for McDonough Central precinct will be relocated from First Baptist Church of McDonough Downtown Campus located at 101 Macon St., McDonough and reassigned to Southern Crescent Technical College, 300 Lakemont Drive in McDonough.

♦ The polling place for the Wesley Lakes precinct will be relocated from Griffin First Assembly Church at 45 Mt. Carmel Road in McDonough and reassigned to Wesley Lakes Elementary School, 685 McDonough Parkway.

♦ The polling place for the McMullen precinct will be relocated from Sharon Baptist Church at 571 North Ola Road in McDonough and reassigned to Ola Elementary School, 278 N Ola Road, McDonough.

♦ The polling place for the East Lake precinct will be relocated from the Salem Baptist Church at 1724 Georgia Highway 155 N, McDonough and reassigned to East Lake Elementary School, 199 Eastlake Road in McDonough.

To check your voter status or polling location, visit www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. For more information or to request an absentee ballot call 770-288-6448.

Absentee ballots can only be requested until June 11.

Piedmont Henry physical therapy assistant extends care to patient's pets
  • Updated

STOCKBRIDGE – Lynn Sinclair was admitted to Piedmont Henry Hospital late in 2020 after a serious fall.

Though she was concerned about her health and recovery, Sinclair was more worried about caring for her horse, Min Honanna (Anna for short), and her mule, Tinkerbell (Tink).

Sinclair’s physical therapist knew that her co-worker, Yvonne Ehrhart, volunteered with an animal rescue organization and asked if she might know someone who could help. She did not, but she spoke with Sinclair and offered to go out to her home and see if she might be able to do something. Since that final weekend of 2020, Ehrhart has gone out twice a day, every weekend, to provide care for the animals. For Sinclair, this act of kindness has made a tremendous difference in her life.

“Not only has she gone out of her way to provide care to my animals, she’s cared for me, and helped with my recovery, as well,” Sinclair said. “What she has done for me is a miracle.”

Doctors told Sinclair that her recovery would take close to 10 months. She knew that meant that she wouldn’t be able to perform the daily chores to care for her horse and mule, including feeding them, walking them to and from the pasture, mucking out the stalls, and any of the maintenance in and around the barn. A neighbor offered to help some and, after learning what the job entailed, Ehrhart volunteered to take the weekends.

“I have pets at home, and I foster pets for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue,” Ehrhart said. “I know that I am one accident away from being in the same boat as Ms. Sinclair, so I knew that if I could help her, I would.”

Ehrhart had always wanted a horse growing up but had never cared for one until now. She said she has come to understand Anna and Tink’s personalities and has learned some tricks of the trade to make caring for them easier. She has also built a friendship with Sinclair and has helped her with her recovery, giving her some tips on how to move around better and negotiate some tricky areas in her home. Sinclair has been amazed at Ehrhart’s dedication to her and her animals and was surprised that she has also taken on some of the maintenance in the area.

“She’s mowed the pasture, cleared the paddocks of weeds, and even fixed a door that broke when Tink kicked it,” Sinclair said. “She sees what has to be done and does it. She has truly been a blessing. I don’t know what I would have done without her.”

Ehrhart was recently recognized with an award at Piedmont Henry for going above and beyond for Sinclair. Leaders throughout the hospital praised her for her compassion and for seeing a problem and addressing it. Piedmont’s purpose is to make a positive difference in every life they touch, and Ehrhart’s actions show that purpose in action.

“This is a peaceful place and I love coming out here,” Ehrhart said. “I’m just glad I can help.”

To learn more about Piedmont Henry Hospital, visit piedmont.org/henry.

Henry water authority adds additional payment options due to pandemic
  • Updated

McDONOUGH — The Henry County Water Authority has added an additional drive-thru lane to its headquarters location to accommodate customers throughout the pandemic.

According to authority officials, prior to the pandemic the HCWA was averaging around 1,500 drive-thru customers per month. When the authority closed its lobby in March of 2020, those averages jumped to about 1,750 drive-thru customers per month for about four months, and then returned to numbers closer to the previous average.

The current average number of customers using the drive-thru windows is approximately 1,450 per month. The wait time, however, has been reduced since, according to HCWA officials, the self-service kiosk was removed and a second drive-thru lane installed last November.

“COVID protocol increased our traffic in the drive-thru, so we are trying to ease the wait time and congestion with the addition of the second lane,” says Darlene Johnson, HCWA customer service manager. “This should be of great benefit to our customers.”

HCWA Division Manager Allen Rape, who oversees the authority’s customer service department, said providing timely, efficient customer service is paramount and a top priority of the Authority and the HCWA staff. The Authority is continually looking for ways to improve customer service while protecting the safety and welfare of customers visiting the headquarters, he said.

“Closing the headquarters building for an extended period during the pandemic created a traffic jam in our drive-thru lane, prior to our second lane coming open, which caused frustration for our customers and added stress for our customer service employees,” Rape said. “Installing the pneumatic tube system in the second lane was key in reducing our customers’ wait time and relieving the stress on our staff managing the window.”

The Authority has also seen an increase in online bill paying in the wake of the pandemic of about 6%.

In addition to paying their monthly bill at the HCWA Headquarters or online via the “Pay Your Bill” portal on the Authority’s website (www.hcwa.com), customers can pay by phone by calling 404-341-9689, or toll-free at 1-855-985-1136.

Finally, customers can pay their bill via direct draft, either through their financial institution or by setting up this service through the Authority. This auto bill pay option does not incur a fee, making HCWA direct pay both convenient and cost effective. In conclusion, all electronic commerce saves the Authority time and money, according to HCWA officials.

“In retrospect, one of the positive developments as a result of the pandemic is our effort to provide additional safe, convenient payment options for our customers, especially those who may be vulnerable or still uncomfortable doing business in public settings,” said Lindy Farmer, HCWA general manager. “Our staff has been great at adapting to change and following the trends, so we can continue to provide the very best customer service possible.”

Three Henry County senior centers to reopen
  • Updated

The Bear Creek, Locust Grove and Hidden Valley Senior Centers will reopen June 7, with some restrictions, after more than a year of being temporarily closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Heritage Senior Center is set to reopen at a later date.

The centers will be operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. No meals will be served at the centers. However, dive through lunches will continue be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Senior center activities or events will be permitted only to those who pre-register for classes because of space limitations. Mask wearing is always required while in county facilities, and temperature checks will be taken prior to entering the centers.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, all areas where programs are conducted will be cleaned and disinfected immediately after usage and common touch points will be disinfected following CDC guidelines.

For more information on Henry County Senior Centers, visit henrycounty-ga.com/senior_services.