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Raccoon attacks jogger in city park

Jasper officials seek info on any raccoon encounters in city


A raccoon attacked a jogger early Thursday morning, Jan. 28, in the Jasper City Park near the duck pond.


The small raccoon died after the jogger choked the animal to remove it from his pants leg and then held the animal to the ground using a broken umbrella a fellow jogger retrieved from a nearby trash can. A city police officer called to the scene noted the animal was dead when he arrived.


The incident left the jogger unscratched and city officials seeking more information on any other raccoon encounters in the city.


Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters asked anyone that may have had contact with a raccoon in the park or the densely populated area around the park call Jasper City Hall at 706-253-9100.



Waters and Mayor John Weaver expressed disappointment that the state lab would not test the dead raccoon for rabies because the animal did not break the jogger's skin.  City employee Gary Poole said the animal exhibited every symptom of a rabid animal.


But Waters said this is not a prime season for rabies cases. He said it’s possible this animal had become docile because of regular food handouts from people in the park, but city employees said they had never seen a raccoon in the park during daylight hours.


Waters said there is no reason to panic but that pet owners or anyone who had contact with a raccoon should consider that contact a cause for concern. Waters said he would like to discuss any other raccoon encounters inside the city limits.


Mayor Weaver said he wants the public to be aware of the raccoon incident so that anyone in contact with the animal can take needed precautions. Weaver said the city is working to see if they can have the animal tested. Weaver indicated he also wants the public to know the basic facts of the story to quell rumors that might blow the incident out of proportion. “Before long you’ll be hearing that the raccoon ate someone alive,” he said. He asked the public to take sensible precautions, such as avoiding a raccoon if they see one in the park, but there is no reason to believe there would be others.


See complete story in this week’s Progress print edition now on sale.


Above, Animal Control Officer Waters with the raccoon.


-3 #21 Chuck 2011-02-04 11:56
Melissa, I know sometimes things are hard to grasp for people that are closed minded and only see from the perspective they want to see. I have kids that are the same way. My debating about your posting was in response to your claiming that someone that is trying to better themselves by attempting to get a GED was somehow doing YOU an injustice because you pay taxes. Your posting went further to malign someone you do not even know as being lazy. Your opinion was that you should not have to pay taxes for somebody to get a GED. My posting said I did not think I should have to pay taxes for YOUR children to get an education. I attempted to show you that everyone pays taxes, not always for something that they utilize but because there is a NEED. When the taxes are collected or disbursed has nothing to do with your judgmental attitude towards people you do not even know. Nor your complaining about paying taxes.
0 #22 melissa 2011-02-05 19:26
Chuck, and my point is this...people pay taxes for others to go to school k-12. If someone leaves school for WHAT EVER reason, they should not be entitled to get tax payer money to get a GED. Kids in todays society ( even some adults) think everything should be given to them, and it is garbage. I am tired of getting hit every year by out of control taxes so others can have everything paid for them. The way the young lady posted was what upset me. She felt entitled to having her education paid for her. She wasn't polite about it, she was upset because something that she felt was owed to her was taken away. I know too many people like this and it is getting old.
0 #23 melissa 2011-02-05 19:30
BTW Chuck, I may be closed minded in your eyes, but at least I don't name call and insult when someone doesn't agree with me. As I said before EVERYONE is entitled to thier own opinion. You may not agree with mine and I may not agree with yours but that doesn't mean either of us are wrong. You have no right to tell me my opinion is wrong, it is my opinion. I said earlier that I don't agree with you but you have the right to think the way you wish, don't for one minute think you have the right to not treat me the same way. I don't insult you and say you are wrong, so don't it to me. Give me the same respect I show you.
+1 #24 Bob 2011-02-06 20:20
Lol I think Melissa and Chuck should go out to supper together. The way there chatting with eachother.
Chuck Hendrix
-3 #25 Chuck Hendrix 2011-02-08 08:37
Melissa you do not insult and call others names? Are you sure? I respond to a posting you posted and I am "straying into areas that have nothing to do with the topic at hand." and using a "ploy"? I was responding to your posting so apparently we both are off topic wouldn't you say?
"you were too lazy to get your highschool diploma the real way?"
"You can only talk to a wall for so long before seeing it is pointless."
You were ticked because you wanted to read something about the Sheriff's department, instead you read a comment from someone asking the Progress why this was a story and nothing was said about GED being cut from the budget. How dare they ask a question about what the Progress considers newsworthy instead of patting someone on the Sheriff's department on the back. That ticked you off so you took it upon yourself to insult that person. It was uncalled for. You can try to justify it anyway you want. The truth is apparent.
-3 #26 Wendy 2011-02-08 11:12
I figured as much Melissa that you didn't work, you fit the profile perfectly. In fact, I actually do own property in Pickens County- 3 to be exact. My husband works for the federal goverment and I work as well. So actually that does put me as paying more taxes than you. So your better than everyone else attitude DOES NOT work. Get a job and a life.
+2 #27 melissa 2011-02-09 12:58
News Flash CHUCK...Jasper Animal control has nothing to do with the SO's department. Nice try, who is the one who strays off topic??? NEED A MIRROR???
I am trying to figure out why you find the need to attack everyone in your life? Get over yourself. Insult away, all it does is close the door a little more. Go ahead and call me an idiot, a moron, stupid, redneck or any other name you wish, it's all you know how to do. You call me close minded...if anyone disagree's with you, you use the above names and attack attack attack. If people don't agree with your views they are WRONG no matter what. Who is the one who is close minded? I'm tired of your low self esttem, better than everyone attitude. When you decide to act like a grown man instead of a child, let me know. Sad how your actions effect more then just you, yet you refuse to see it or even attempt to change your ways.
+2 #28 Elle 2011-02-09 14:07
I'm a stay at home mom like Melissa. I can asssure you I work!
Dylan Hendrix
+2 #29 Dylan Hendrix 2011-02-09 15:35
I look at it like this...........

If you don't like it oh well the public lost it's voice along time ago and to be bitter and argue is a waste of time.

Oh and..... To say it isn't right to talk about someone you don't know, maybe you ought to get to know them instead of alienating them. makes for a better world to try to get along than to try to tear someone apart.
-4 #30 kk 2011-02-09 21:13
everyone needs help from time to time not everyone was a rich snot bag like urself i'm i totally agree with Christy!!!

Quoting Melissa:
Christy,why should the tax payers fund a program for you to attend, when you were too lazy to get your highschool diploma the real way? For what ever reason you made a decision not to finish highschool, now you are asking ME to pay money to a program for you to get a GED? Get real!

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