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Dekalb County raises salaries for first responders, medical personnel
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Dekalb County raises salaries for first responders, medical personnel

Dekalb County raises salaries for first responders, medical personnel

Dekalb County raises salaries for first responders, medical personnel

The people involved in keeping you safe in Dekalb County will see more money in their paychecks come November.

Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond tells WSB Radio "it's a recognition that we appreciate the work that they do."

The pay increase is four percent for Police, Fire, 9-11 Operators, members of the SWAT team, and those who work in the Medical Examiners office. 

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Dekalb Pay Raises

The money comes at a good time, right before Christmas. Thurmond tells WSB "These salaries will be in the paychecks 

of our men and women in uniform in the 1st pay period of November 2018."

 

 

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News

  • If you believe cats are antisocial, think again. The animals can develop bonds with their caregivers just like children, according to a new report. >> Read more trending news  Researchers from Oregon State University recently conducted a study, published in the Current Biology journal, to explore the attachment bonds between cats and humans. To do so, they observed more than 100 cats and kittens that underwent a “secure base test,” an examination often given to infants and dogs to assess their attachment behaviors. During the test, the cats spent two minutes in a new room with their caregiver before being separated from their owner for two minutes and then reunited with them for another two minutes. After analyzing the data, they found cats with a secure attachment seemed less stressed during their reunion, compared to cats with an insecure attachment. They said cats with a secure attachment were more likely to balance their attention between their caregiver and surroundings. For example, they continued to explore the room while also interacting with their owner. On the other hand, insecure cats showed more signs of stress by twitching their tail or licking their lips. They would also either avoid the person completely or cling to them by jumping on their lap but not moving. “In both dogs and cats, attachment to humans may represent an adaptation of the offspring-caretaker bond,” co-author Kristyn Vitale said in a statement. “Attachment is a biologically relevant behavior. Our study indicates that when cats live in a state of dependency with a human, that attachment behavior is flexible and the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort.” Overall, they said 64.3% of the animals were categorized as securely attached, while 35.7% of them were insecurely attached. The percentages remained relatively the same even when the team put the cats through a six-week training course. The goal was to determine whether socialization coaching would significantly alter their initial results. “Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale said. The scientists said they were surprised by their findings and noted this is the first study to prove cats can display attachment styles that are similar to dogs and babies. “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof,” Vitale said. “There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”
  • A Missouri couple were horrified to learn their house had once been a methamphetamine lab after discovering their unborn child had tested positive for amphetamines. >> Read more trending news  Elisha Hessel and her husband, Tyler Hessel, had been trying to have a child for three years, WFAA reported. The couple were elated to learn Elisha was pregnant, but when she went for her recommended blood tests she was in for a shock: the unborn baby had tested positive. 'When they called me, I didn't know what that meant. So I asked the nurse if that meant like, drugs in general,” Elisha Hessel told WAND-TV. “She basically just said 'Yes,' and asked me if I could explain that.' Neither one of the Hessels had taken amphetamines, so after researching several scenarios, they decided to have their house tested for traces of the drugs, CBS News reported. Thinking back, they recalled some hints the neighbors had made about the home. 'Just through normal conversations as we got to know them a little better they said they were so happy to finally have 'normal' people move in next door,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. 'They had also mentioned that the police were there for a possible drug bust type situation.' The tests showed the home's ventilator system was heavily contaminated with meth and residue used to make the drug, WFAA reported. Most states, including Missouri, require home sellers to disclose any material defects in their property to prospective buyers, according to Nolo Press, a database of legal articles. The state of Missouri specifically requires sellers to disclose if their property was used to produce meth, CBS News reported. However, state and county law does not have a penalty for anyone who fails to disclose a home’s meth contamination to a buyer or who doesn’t clean a property, WFAA reported. The Hessels said they were never told. After digging through records in Jefferson County for meth seizures, Elisha Hessel told CBS News she found her property listed in the database. On Oct. 3, 2013, authorities in Jefferson County responded to a tip at the home about a possible meth lab, WFAA reported. According to a police report, authorities found a burned barrel in the backyard when they apprehended a man at the residence, the television station reported. The barrel was full of empty allergy pillboxes, empty drain opener and camp fuel bottles and other supplies often used to make meth, according to the report. “When you look at the numbers, Jefferson County led the St Louis region, the state and the nation in meth lab seizures,” Jefferson County Undersheriff Timothy Whitney told WFAA. “We could have looked the other way, but as an agency, we decided to go headlong at the problem.” “There wasn't evidence that day at that time to suggest that distribution or manufacturing was going on,” Whitney told the television station In 2016, the house became the property of a bank, then it was sold to another buyer before the Hessels bought the property, WFAA reported. The Hessels have abandoned the house and have moved in with Elisha Hessel's mother, WAND reported. 'We have moved out and really do not know exactly what to do at this point,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. She said the insurance company denied their claim, and their attorney says the best option is to pursue the insurance company to cover the remediation of the home. That will be expensive. The Hessels said they got an estimate of approximately $100,000 -- what the house is worth -- to clean it up. While Elisha Hessel said her blood tests have been clean lately, the baby will be tested again when she is born in January, WFAA reported. If the child's amphetamine levels are detected that day, the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services will get involved, the television station reported. “Everybody wants to have their own home when they bring their baby home,” Elisha Hessel told WFAA. “A lot of it's the disappointment and being upset over it, but I have definitely been angry over it as well.” Relatives of the Hessels have set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of cleaning up the house.
  • Four baby squirrels will survive but may be scarred after someone tied their tails together.  The incident is being called a case of animal abuse, The Associated Press reported. The Kensington Bird and Animal Hospital in Berlin, Connecticut, said someone brought in the squirrels when they were found on train tracks.  >> Read more trending news  The animals' tails had been tied together intentionally, but hospital employees do admit that tail knotting can happen naturally, according to the AP. In this case, it was a man-made object that kept the animals bound and their tails were broken and braided together. The squirrels, according to hospital employees, were 'tangled, braided, and purposefully tied together,' the AP reported.  Officials also say since the animals were found on train tracks, that could be an indicator of animal cruelty. As for the squirrels themselves, the tails may have to be amputated because of the damage done to them.
  • Authorities in California on Monday canceled an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy in Merced County. >> Read more trending news  Officials with the Merced County Sheriff's Office said John Weir, 2, was last seen Friday with his father, Steven Weir, and that the pair might be headed for Tuolumne or Calveras County. Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: Authorities with the California HIghway Patrol said an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy had been deactivated. Authorities did not immediately provide information on why the alert had been canceled. Original report: Authorities are searching for a missing 2-year-old boy who may be with his 'armed and dangerous' father, the California Highway Patrol and Merced County Sheriff's Office said in an Amber Alert released Saturday. According to KTLA, police believe Steven Weir, 32, abducted John Weir from Merced County, where they were last spotted Friday evening. The pair 'could possibly be heading to the Tuolumne or Calaveras County areas,' the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. Authorities described John Weir as a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with tan shorts. Steven Weir, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs 300 pounds, has brown hair and eyes, the Amber Alert said. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with cargo shorts and may be traveling in a red 2005 Hyundai Elantra with California tag 5SKT544, police said. Authorities are urging anyone who sees the Weirs or their vehicle to call 911. Read more here or here.
  • He's lived almost 100 years and he's a member of the so-called Greatest Generation', having fought in World War II.  Now James South is asking for one thing to make his milestone birthday next month more than just another birthday. South went to Facebook with a simple request, for complete strangers to send him a birthday card -- 100 of them in fact, CNN reported.  He came from a family of sharecroppers. He joined the Army in 1940 and was sent to Normandy a week after D-Day, his son told CNN. Every day during his years of service, his girlfriend Sophie sent him a letter.  Sophie became his wife and they spent 55 years together. She died in 2001.  When he was 65, South retired but stayed active woodworking, gardening, golfing and attending church.  He finally moved into Brookdale Senior Living in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga, Texas, at the age of 98, CNN reported.  >> Read more trending news  His only child, Jim South, said there are big things planned for his dad's big day including a three-day celebration this year, including a round of golf, dinner of chicken fried steak and catfish and spending time with family. If you want to help mark the occasion, you can send a card that will be hung on the wall in his room. The address is: James South 5800 North Park Drive Watauga, Texas 76148.
  • Federal authorities have arrested a U.S. Army soldier accused of sharing information on how to build explosives online and suggesting attacks against activists, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke and a major news network. >> Read more trending news  Authorities arrested Jarrett William Smith, 24, on suspicion of distribution of information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Smith joined the U.S. Army on June 12, 2017, and most recently served as a private first class based in Fort Riley, Kansas, investigators said. Officials with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force opened an investigation into Smith in March after receiving a tip about his Facebook page. In an affidavit filed in court, FBI Special Agent Brandon LaMar said Smith shared information on constructing improvised explosive devices in several group chats and spoke about his interest in traveling to Ukraine to fight with a far-right paramilitary group called Azov Battalion. LaMar said authorities uncovered connections between Smith and Craig Lang, a man who traveled to Ukraine to fight from 2017 to 2019 with Right Sector, a group described as similar to Azov Battalion. Facebook communications showed Lang was mentoring Smith as he prepared to join the fighting in Ukraine, authorities said. Smith also spoke about carrying out an attack on the United States, authorities said. He discussed the plans in August with an unidentified, confidential source. 'Smith talked with the (confidential source) about killing members of the far left group, Antifa, as well as destroying nearby cell towers or (the) local news station,' LaMar wrote. Days later, Smith suggested an unidentified major news network would be a good target for a 'large vehicle bomb,' LaMar said. On Friday, Smith shared instructions for creating several explosive devices during a chat with an undercover agent who claimed to be targeting an unnamed Texas politician. 'You got anyone down in Texas that would be a good fit for fire, destruction and death?' the undercover agent asked Smith, according to a transcript shared by LaMar. 'Outside of Beto?' Smith replied, according to LaMar. 'I don't know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died.' LaMar said Smith admitted to sharing details for creating IEDs in online chat rooms and that he claimed he did so 'to cause 'chaos.'' 'He told me that if chaos results in the death of people, even through information he provided, it doesn't affect him,' LaMar said.