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News
Paulding 911 has option for thumbs
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Paulding 911 has option for thumbs

Paulding 911 has option for thumbs
AT&T said text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls during the winter storm because they require fewer network resources. The company said it is prepared for heavy call volume. (AJC)

Paulding 911 has option for thumbs

Beginning April 1, Verizon Wireless customers in Paulding County will be able to send a text message to 911 for emergency help.  Paulding County will be the first in the state to offer the service.

This service is intended primarily for two scenarios: for someone who is hearing impaired and in a case when someone is unable to make a phone call during a home invasion or abduction.

Paulding County 911 Director David Mumford says text to 911 "could be a life-saver, especially for people who are unable to make a voice call." 

Mumford reminds people, "When possible, a voice call should be placed to 911, but text is available in case you cannot."

Mumford expects this service to be available state-wide very soon.

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News

  • Struggling to advance his agenda in Washington, President Donald Trump traveled to the Midwest on Wednesday for a raucous rally with his loyal supporters — the kind of event he relished before winning the White House. Trump touched down Wednesday evening in rainy Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and headed to a local community college, where he got a look at agriculture technology innovations before leading a campaign rally. He reveled in Georgia Republican Karen Handel's congressional victory in an election viewed as an early referendum on his presidency. 'We're 5-0 in special elections,' Trump said in front of a boisterous crowd that packed a downtown arena. 'The truth is, people love us ... they haven't figured it out yet.' He also applauded Republican Ralph Norman, who notched a slimmer-than-expected win in a special election to fill the South Carolina congressional seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, and mocked Handel's challenger, Jon Ossoff, saying the Democrats 'spent $30 million on this kid who forgot to live in the district.' Trump, no stranger to victory laps, turned his visit to a battleground state he captured in November into a celebration of his resilience despite the cloud of investigations that has enveloped his administration and sent his poll numbers tumbling. With the appearance in Cedar Rapids, he has held five rallies in the first five months in office. The event underscores Trump's comfort in a campaign setting. He laughed off the occasional heckler, repeated riffs from last year's rallies and appeared far more at ease when going after Democrats in front of adoring crowds than trying to push through his own legislative agenda from the confines of the White House. Trump's aides are making a renewed push to get the president out of Washington. The capital is consumed with the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election and Trump's firing of his FBI director. Campaign rallies energize Trump by placing him in front of supporters who have stuck by him and are likely to dismiss the investigations as Beltway chatter. Iowa, with its large share of independent voters, could be a proving ground for whether Trump can count on the support of voters beyond his base. Unaffiliated voters — or 'no party' voters, as they are known in Iowa — make up 36 percent of the electorate, compared with 33 percent who register Republican and 31 percent registered as Democrat. Self-identified independents in Iowa voted for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 13-percentage-point margin last year, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. That margin helped Trump take the state by nearly 9 points after Barack Obama won it for Democrats the previous two elections. Trump held a Des Moines rally in December as part of his transition-era 'thank you' tour of states he had won, but has not been back to Iowa since. Wednesday night, he touted his administration's efforts to roll back regulations, mused about putting solar panels on a Mexican border wall, derided wind power for killing birds in a state that uses a lot of it and revealed that he urged the Senate to create a health care plan 'with heart. Add some money to it!' He avoided any discussion of the scandals surrounding his presidency, other than one brief reference to the 'witch hunt,' which is what he has dubbed the probes into his campaign's ties to Russia. Trump's evening in Iowa began with a tribute to former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, whom he had just appointed the United States' ambassador to China. He hailed Branstad, the longest-serving governor in the nation's history and an early Trump backer, as 'a legend' and 'one great man.' Trump's stop at Kirkwood Community College was intended to draw attention to the school's advancements in high-tech agriculture, but he resisted sitting behind the wheel of a virtual reality device that simulated a giant combine harvester. He was joined by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as part of the administration's latest theme week, this time to highlight the importance of technology. He later touted the wealth of Ross and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, saying: 'Those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?' But much of Trump's attention was on the suburbs of Atlanta, in the 6th Congressional District race. Democrats had lavished attention and money on Tuesday's special election, hoping for a victory that would underscore Republican worries about Trump and serve as a harbinger of a Democratic wave in 2018. Instead, Handel's victory, in a traditional Republican stronghold that rarely produces a competitive contest, was met with a sigh of relief among the GOP. Trump tweeted several times during the night and capped the night off with a text message to supporters referring to his 'Make America Great Again' slogan: 'The MAGA Mandate is stronger than ever. BIG LEAGUE.' ___ Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report. ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire
  • It was a rather pleasant spring and now the first summer month too has been cooler than normal. Hot weather has not lasted more than a couple or few days so far this year. It sure saves the lawn and bushes a lot of stress and saves the watering bill and the A/C bill, so I like it. But I am sure sun tanning fans are not thrilled. It still looks like from today past the 4th of July real hot weather will continue to be hard to come by. Then odds of some heat go up if the new Weekly European Model Ensemble run is right. 1-15 Day GFS Ensemble average temperature departure from normal: End of June-early July rainfall amounts GFS Ensemble and Euro Ensemble: Hope for some drying beyond the current wet spell:      European Model the week ending July 7th: Then the model suggests more upper-level ridging which would bring warmer and drier if correct. The week ending July 14th: The model projects not dry weather in Georgia but less wet to open the new month, as the bigger rains are projected to shift north of here. None-the-less, it looks like odds for rain will be above-normal right into the start of August. So no drought and no extreme heat here. Week ending July 21st: Week ending July 28th: FOLLOW me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB
  • Connecticut native Brett Stegmaier shot a 6-under 64 to tie Johnson Wagner for the early lead on opening day of the Travelers Championship. The 33-year-old Stegmaier made five birdies on his front nine, but bogeyed his final hole. He made grew up about 25 miles from the course in Madison. Wagner made birdies on four of his first six holes. Rory McIlroy, playing for the first time at TPC River Highlands, shot a 67. The No. 3 golfer in the world started on the back nine and his lone bogey came on No. 18 when he missed a 13-foot birdie putt by 3 feet, then lipped the cup on his par attempt. The tournament's strong field includes McIlroy, fourth-ranked Jason Day and No. 6 Jordan Spieth. Day shot a 72. Spieth birdied his first two holes.
  • Americans have long had a complex relationship with guns. Now, a new study shows that the country's deep political divide is reflected in attitudes toward gun control. The Pew survey released Thursday found a sharp drop in overall support for gun control despite common ground on some key issues. For example, when people were asked whether it was more important to protect gun rights or control gun ownership, 51 percent favored gun control and 47 percent favored gun rights. Compare that with responses in 2000, when two-thirds of those surveyed said they supported gun control measures. People in the new survey were in broad agreement when asked about specific gun control measures. Some 89 percent supported preventing the mentally ill from buying guns and 84 percent of all adults supported background checks for private sales and at gun shows. Barring gun purchases for people on no-fly lists won support from 83 percent, while 71 percent of adults, including a small majority of gun owners, supported a federal database tracking gun sales. The survey showed wide disparities in how people view firearms along political, gender, racial and geographic lines. The gaps come at the start of President Donald Trump's term. He is seen as one of the most gun-friendly presidents and could be supported by a GOP-controlled Congress, although there has been little action on gun issues since January. About half of the public said making it more difficult to purchase a firearm would mean fewer mass shootings, while a little over one-third said it would have no impact. Most people attribute gun violence to the ease in illegally getting access to a firearm, and the public can't decide whether making it easier to legally purchase a firearm would lower or raise the crime rate. Republicans have made the most significant shifts on guns while Democrats have remained consistent in their views, said Kim Parker, Pew's director of social trends research. 'This reflects that the issue has really become more polarized, more driven by partisan attitudes,' Parker said. The study also showed that people in the United States, whether they own a firearm or not, have broad exposure to guns. At least two-thirds have lived in a household with guns and about 70 percent have fired a gun. The main reason most cited for wanting to own a gun? Protection. Two-thirds of gun owners say they own a gun to protect themselves or loved ones. Nearly one-third of gun owners have five or more. Still, just one-quarter of them said they usually carry a firearm outside the home. That willingness to purchase a firearm is despite the fact that 44 percent of adults said they personally know someone who was shot and about one-quarter say they or a family member have been threatened or intimidated by someone with a gun. The Pew Research Center sought to better understand Americans' 'complex relationship' with firearms. Researchers wanted to see people's views on various policy issues — from safe storage of firearms around children to limits on who and where someone can carry a gun.
  • The Latest on Senate Republicans' health care bill (all times local): 1:50 p.m. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he and three other Republican senators are preparing to announced their opposition to the Senate health care bill as it's written. Their opposition puts the bill in jeopardy, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose only two Republican senators and still pass the legislation. Paul tells The Associated Press in an interview that the bill released Thursday resembles 'Obamacare' too closely and does not go far enough to repeal former President Barack Obama's law. Paul says that he and the other senators are 'definitely open to negotiation' but that they need to make their opposition clear in order to ensure negotiations happen. McConnell is pushing toward a vote next week but Paul's stance throws that into question. ___ 1:30 p.m. U.S. Capitol Police are arresting dozens of people who are protesting cuts to Medicaid in the Senate Republicans' health care bill. The protesters have filled a hallway in one of the Senate office buildings, outside the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Some of the protesters are being escorted individually. Others are much more reluctant to leave and it's taking four or five officers to carry them out. The protesters are yelling 'no cuts to Medicaid' as they are being led away. One protester says he's with the disability rights group ADAPT. Phillip Corona says he traveled from Wisconsin to make his voice heard. Corona says Medicaid helps his son Anthony get out of bed every morning. Phillip Corona fears that changes to the program 'would possibly mean putting him in a nursing home.' Alison Barkoff — director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation — helped organize the protest. She says the protesters rely on Medicaid to help them live and she says the health bill amounts to 'tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of people with disabilities.' ___ 11:35 a.m. Democrats are roundly criticizing the Republican plan to scrap the Obama health care law. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the Senate floor Thursday moments after the GOP's 142-page discussion draft was posted online. Republicans had been briefed on the plan behind closed doors. Schumer says, 'We live in the wealthiest country on earth. Surely we can do better than what the Republican health care bill promises.' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assails the GOP bill as a tax break for wealthy Americans. The bill would eliminate the requirement that Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty. ___ 11:20 a.m. President Donald Trump is expressing hope that the Senate will pass a health care plan 'with heart' following the release of a Republican plan to dismantle President Barack Obama's health law. Trump says at the start of a White House event on technology he is hopeful Congress will get something done on health care 'with heart.' The president spoke shortly after Senate Republicans released a 142-page draft of their bill to get rid of much of Obama's law. The bill faces broad opposition from Democrats. But Trump says that Republicans would love to have Democratic support. ___ 11:18 a.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is praising the Republican plan to scuttle the Obama's health overhaul, arguing it's the right alternative to a 'failed' law. Moments after the 142-page discussion draft was unveiled, McConnell spoke on the Senate floor, renewing his criticism of the seven-year-old law. He outlined the GOP plan that would cut Medicaid, slash taxes and waive the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance. Senate Republicans had been briefed on the plan earlier Thursday. Emerging from the session, McConnell did not answer when asked if he has the votes to pass the GOP proposal. A vote would occur next week after budget analysts assess the package. ___ 10:56 a.m. Senate Republicans have released a 142-page draft of their bill to eliminate much of the Obama health care law. The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income and disabled people. It would repeal tax increases Obama's law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage. And it would end the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't buy insurance — in effect, ending the so-called individual mandate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to push the measure through the Senate next week. But its fate remains uncertain. It faces uniform Democratic opposition. And at least a half-dozen Republicans — both conservatives and moderates — have complained about it. ___ 10:20 a.m. Senate Republicans are holding a private meeting to hear from leaders about their long-awaited plan for eliminating much of President Barack Obama's health law. Lobbyists and congressional aides say the Senate bill would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and rescind tax increases that Obama imposed to help pay for his law's expansion of coverage. Republicans plan to make their plan public later Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell developed the bill behind closed doors. The measure represents his attempt to satisfy GOP moderates and conservatives who've complained about the measure. McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week. But it remains unclear whether he will have enough votes.
  • A homeless man in Texas has been charged with the rape of an 88-year-old woman, police said Thursday. Justin Glenn Ellis, 21, was arrested on Wednesday for the June 11 attack, KHOU reported.  The rape took place at a senior housing complex, where the woman was a resident. She was in bed, watching television, when she was attacked, authorities said. >> Read more trending news Ellis is believed to have gained access to the woman's apartment via an open bathroom window, police said. The woman fought Ellis, and he tried to smother her with a pillow, according to court documents reviewed by The Houston Chronicle. Ellis is well-known to authorities in the area and has a long misdemeanor arrest record, Houston police officials said during a news conference. Most of those arrests were for criminal trespass, according to authorities. Ellis faces up to life in prison if convicted of sexual assault of the elderly, KHOU reported.