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Eight new COVID-19 cases impact Rutherford County
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FOREST CITY — Eight new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Rutherford County over the last 24 hours.

The new cases bring the total to 7,072. The percent positivity rate for the past 14 days is 4.7%.

The number of Rutherford County citizens who have been partially vaccinated stands at 17,407, while 12,736 people have been fully vaccinated.

The Rutherford Health Department announced an updated vaccination clinic schedule. The Health Department is now able to vaccinate anyone who wishes to be vaccinated, as long as they are 18 years old or older.

Vaccinations are being done in a drive-thru format in the McNair Field Parking Lot (214 McNair Dr, Forest City, NC). You do not need an appointment. The current schedule is: Monday, April 19 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Monday, April 26, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Monday, May 3, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, 9-11 a.m.

Vaccines are being administered in a drive-thru format (weather permitting) so individuals will not have to get out of their vehicles. You will need to wait 15 minutes after you get your vaccine to ensure you do not have an allergic reaction. If you need transportation to the vaccination clinic, call Transit at 828-287-6339. Transit is available to any citizen who needs an appointment Monday-Friday. There is no cost for this service. Vaccines are also available at many local pharmacies including Walgreens, Ingles, The Medicine Box, Spindale Drug, Smiths Drug, Walmart, Community Health Clinic in Spindale and Lake Lure, and others. Check with your local pharmacy to determine availability.

Firefighter Honor Guard raising funds to relocate memorial
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RUTHERFORDTON—Since October 2004, a monument has stood on the Courthouse lawn in Rutherfordton honoring deceased Rutherford County firefighters. An effort is now underway to relocate the memorial to the campus of Isothermal Community College (ICC) in Spindale.

Dwayne Craig, a local firefighter, who also serves as commander of the Rutherford County Firefighter Honor Guard is spearheading a fundraising drive to cover the costs of moving the monument itself and establishing and maintaining the new memorial at ICC.

The monument is inscribed with the names of deceased Rutherford County firefighters. Officials say there is currently no room to expand, no room for additional names. The new memorial will also have more space and will be more able to host memorial events.

The new location will be across from the ICC Student Center parking lot behind the Adaville Baptist Church Cemetery. The college will not be responsible for any costs associated with the relocation and construction or ongoing maintenance related to the project.

College officials say the new location would likely not impact any future college-related activities or expansions.

As a fundraiser, the Honor Guard is selling special bricks that will be used to honor a living firefighter or in memory of a deceased firefighter (from anywhere, including outside Rutherford County). The bricks will be used at the new memorial. Separately, all deceased Rutherford County firefighters will have their names inscribed at the new memorial.

The bricks will come in two sizes, (4 x 8 inch red brick, $125 with clip art, $100 without clip art; and 8x8 red brick, $175 with clip art and $150 without clip art). These can be ordered online through honor guard’s website (www.rchonorguard.com), or through the honor guard’s Facebook page.

Craig says the group will be exploring grant opportunities as well as other private donations as well.

“Ultimately we hope to raise $50,000-$60,000 for this project,” he said. “This is to relocate and construct the new memorial, and maintain it.”

The Honor Guard is a nonprofit entity, that works to honor, celebrate, remember, and protect the tradition of fire service in Rutherford County. The Honor Guard provides funeral details for active duty and retired members of the fire service, and color guard for service-related events and community groups. The Honor Guard provides assistance to the N.C. FallenFirefighters Foundation and the N.C. Fireman’s Association.

There are 17 fire departments in Rutherford County.

“Firefighters are brave men and women who put their lives at risk to protect our community,” Craig said. “The firefighters memorial is important, because they deserve to be honored.”

The idea of possibly moving the memorial has been discussed for several years, according to county officials. County government has not had recent discussions with the Honor Guard on the matter, but say they welcome those conversations.

Craig says once the bulk of the funding is secured, planning with county officials will be the next step.

“We appreciate the Rutherford County Firefighter Honor Guard’s participation in this endeavor, and we are glad to engage the Honor Guard and ICC in a discussion centered around this project,” said Steve Garrison, county manager.

For the county, Garrison said its due diligence will include ensuring that the move is permissible under current state legislation. County leader say they understand the current memorial isn’t large enough, and there isn’t sufficient space for the Honor Guard to memorialize all of the fallen firefighters.

County issues several proclamations
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RUTHERFORDTON — Rutherford County Commissioners made several proclamations at their Monday meeting, relating to public safety telecommunications workers, child abuse prevention, and Isothermal Community College.

The week of April 11-17 was declared Nation Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

The proclamation noted that the public safety telecommunicators of Rutherford County Emergency Communications Center have “contributed substantially to the apprehension of criminals, suppressions of fire, and treatment of patients; and dispatchers have exhibited compassion, understanding and professionalism during the performance of their jobs over the past year.

Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Rutherford County. The proclamation calls upon all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, medical facilities, elected leaders, and businesses to increase their participation in efforts to support families, thereby preventing child abuse and strengthening communities.

The proclamation said communities that provide parents with the social support, knowledge of parenting and child development along with concrete resources they need to cope with stress and nurture their children, ensure that all children grow to their full potential.

And, as requested by Isothermal Community College President Margaret Annunziata, the County Commissioners proclaimed April as Isothermal Community College Month. This is aligned with the national recognition of April as Community College Month that was originally initiated by President Ronald Regan and continues to be supported by the National Association of Community College Trustees.

The proclamation notes that Isothermal Community College has institutional resources including the Powers Promise and other scholarship programs that allow virtually every resident in Rutherford and Polk counties to attend the college tuition-free.

Four RCS teachers earn National Board Certification
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FOREST CITY — The most nationally respected professional certification available in K-12 education, National Board Certification, is an optional intensive certification process with extremely high standards for teachers.

Rutherford County Schools (RCS) celebrates four educators who have earned the credential from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

They are: Leigh Killian, of Spindale Elementary School, Literacy: Early and Middle Childhood; Roxanne Loving, Chase High School, English Language Arts: Adolescence and Young Adulthood; Marla Morgan, East Rutherford High School, English Language Arts: Adolescence and Young Adulthood; and Cori Wilson, Chase High School, English Language Arts: Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

As a part of the certification process, candidates build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. The rigorous performance-based assessment typically takes one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.

With 23,090 teachers in North Carolina with the certification, North Carolina leads the nation in having the most teachers with the credential, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Nationally certified teachers also account for a larger percentage of the total teaching force in North Carolina than any other state, with 23.04% of educators in the state having earned the credential, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.