Stephens County Hospital

Stephens County Hospital is purchasing a new microscope. The Hospital Authority approved the purchase during Monday's meeting. Stephens County Hospital Administrator Ed Gambrell says the microscope is for Dr. Jack Harris. Gambrell said Dr. Harris needs a new microscope for his cataract surgeries. The Hospital Authority approved the purchase unanimously.



The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development announces Stephens County graduates from the 2010 Region Two Multi-Day Training Program. Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from thirteen counties in North Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.

Stephens County graduates at the November 10th ceremony included: Dean Scarborough, Stephens County Board of Commissioners, Kayla Carpenter, Stephens County Development Authority, Jay Johnson, former Toccoa City Manager, and Greg Roach, North Georgia Technical College (pictured with Rope Roberts, Georgia Power Company, Mike Grundmann, Quickstart, and Niki Knox, Georgia EMC)

Created in 1993 by then-Governor Zell Miller’s Development Council, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy consists of 22 members representing public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia. Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Saralyn Stafford, Executive Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, quality planning, redevelopment and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program, and the program is certified for 3.25 CEUs through the UGA Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

The next Region Two Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August 2011. For more information on this, please contact Kathy Papa at 770-965-8561 or by email at

Five Georgia schools receive Energy Star rating

Five Georgia schools have been awarded the Energy Star by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Big A Elementary School, Estanollee Elementary School, Toccoa Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School and Stephens County Middle School all in Stephens County School System, were awarded the distinction by using an average of 35 percent less energy than the typical school building and releasing 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

According to the EPA, Stephens County School System reduced its energy use by monitoring the temperatures in its buildings, making sure lights were turned off in unoccupied areas of the buildings, working with custodians and staff on implementing energy reducing ideas throughout the day and night and making sure thermostats cut off and on at the correct time.

The EPA introduced the Energy Star rating as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

“(Our principals are) pleased to accept EPA’s Energy Star in recognition f or energy-efficiency efforts,” said Sherrie Whiten, superintendent of Stephens County School System. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

By Liz Carey
Independent Mail

Toccoa is GA's Best of Living History

Toccoa was selected as the Official Best Living History of Georgia. The Official Best Of is a travel website that selects the best tourist sites states have to offer.

Toccoa will be in the Official Best Of Georgia's television special, airing on WSBTV Channel 2/ABC on December 11 and on the Travel Channel on November 17 at 8 am.

The special highlights Toccoa's cultural and tourist attractions and is sponsored by Main Street Toccoa and Stephens county Historical Society.

Main Street Toccoa