“Most people believe that alcohol, drugs and diseases kill most of our children in this country,” said Finn, who reviewed the new program during Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell’s regular weekly meeting on Thursday.
“In reality, when you put them all together, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface,” Finn said. “Last year, over 7,000 children died, and 120,000 children became permanently disabled from a little-known thing called ‘unintentional injuries.’”
Unintentional injuries include suffocation, poisoning, falling, firearm in-jury and water injury among others, Finn said. More than 7,000 children in Walker fit into a high-risk group for these types of injuries.
The program is designed to be incorporated into lesson plans for teach-ers to use in the county’s classrooms, Finn said.
Walker County is one of five state locations chosen for this pilot program, Finn said. A $30,000 state grant will provide funding for Risk Watch, which is expected to be implemented during the 2003-04 school year. No local tax will fund for the program, he said.
A five-person committee to oversee the program will consist of representatives from the fire department, law enforcement, emergency medical services, education and a local child safety advocate from the community, he said.
This committee will undergo training at the Georgia State Fire Camp before going to Massachusetts for more training. The state will cover travel expenses.
In other business:
* Heiskell announced the county received $100,000 from the state as re-imbursement for the Tri-State Crematory investigation after she, state Rep. Mike Snow, D-Chickamauga, and state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, vis-ited Gov. Roy Barnes office last week.
* Heiskell entered Walker County government into the Georgia Certified Local Government Program. This designation opens the county up to more opportunities for future grants.
* Heiskell applied for grant funds for the Children and Youth Coordinating Council to provide a prosecutor for juvenile offenders in Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit courts.
* Heiskell said the county received an $8,000 grant for the juvenile offenders program. From that grant, $800 will go to community works, $2,000 to tutorial assistance, $2,000 to individual counseling and $3,200 to group counseling.
* Heiskell said the county received $5,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for the Georgia State Patrol. The money purchase equipment and supplies to aid in DUI and traffic enforcement.
* Heiskell, upon Walker Planning Commission’s recommendation, re-zoned Ray Martin’s 31-acre property at 329 Gordon Lake Road from agricul-tural (A-1) to residential (R-1) for a future subdivision.
The next scheduled commissioner’s meeting is Thursday, Oct. 3, at 10 a.m. in Courthouse Annex 1 at 101 S. Duke St., LaFayette