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Long County commission to consider policy to limit tobacco
By Mike Riddle
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Parts of Long County may be on their way to a designated smoke-free status.

During the Feb. 7 county commission meeting, local high school student David Stewart and Youth Advisory Council advisor William Miller appealed to the commissioners to consider a resolution that would ban smoking at all of the county’s recreation facilities.

According to Stewart and Miller, a group of volunteers recently picked up 1,404 cigarette butts in one hour at the recreation department complex. On behalf of that group, Stewart said, he is asking the commissioners to consider banning the use of any tobacco products at county recreation areas.

Long County Recreation Department Director Michelle Crowley said that the complex’s current policy does not allow the use of tobacco products on the grounds or around those participating in activities, but she and one part-time staffer have trouble enforcing the rule at all times.

Miller, who helped pick up the cigarette butts, said that Chattam County, Tattnall County and the city of Reidsville all have tobacco-free policies. He also noted that Christina Gibson of the Coastal Health District said that if the county does adopt a tobacco-free measure, it would be eligible to receive several free resources to help people kick their habits.

Commission Chairman Bobby Walker said the commission will consider the measure and report back to Miller.

Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles also went before the commission and requested approval to buy new equipment for his department. Nobles wants to purchase three voice recorders for each of his detectives and four to eight laptops for his road deputies. He said the recorders would make the department’s investigative office more efficient because information could be recorded and shared much faster, and documentation would be more detailed.

The sheriff would like at least four laptops for his sergeants on duty and eventually hopes to have the equipment installed in each deputy’s car.

The commissioners voted to table the measure until the exact cost could be tabulated and the budget totals could be examined.

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