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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A quiet 4th of July

Friday, July 11, 2008

With the influx of out-of-town visitors to the area for the Fourth of July holiday and a river full of canoes and coolers, local law enforcement said they were pleased with the results.

"Actually, it was pretty good," Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger said. "There was more activity and more people out on the roads. Over on Spring River everything went pretty dog-gone-good this year," he said.

Although county deputies were busy with many alcohol related offenses, reports of river violence was down this year, Dillinger said.

Dillinger said this is due in large part to the river resorts themselves, which are a gathering place for many of the holiday visitors.

"They have got more security over there then they used to have and that makes a lot of difference," Dillinger said.

Although this year has shown a positive change, it was only two years ago that holiday was baring different fruits.

Dillinger said there was no reports of the once infamous nude stage shows that made headlines in 2006, when the owner of a Saddler Falls property had a river-side stage set up on which women stripped and performed sex acts, according to a July 2006 article in The News.

The August 2002 edition of Cosmopolitan magazine named the Spring River as one of its top six "Danger Zones," a list of party spots described as "hunting grounds for reality porn," the article said.

"We spent the biggest part of our time over there on the holidays and it is just nothing like it was," Dillinger said.

With the increase in people on the rivers and in the county it is normal for there to be an added need for law enforcement, Dillinger said.

"You try to use everyone that you have got during that time. Even if they have time off, they can take it some other time because we try to have them all out working then," he said. "The troopers were out in full force this weekend. The county and the state always works really well together."

Salem itself was the focus for many people who came to see the firework display at the Salem City Park and according to Salem Police Chief Albert Roork the event went off without a hitch.

"We had a good Fourth. We had lots and lots of people and we had no problems," Roork said.

"They had the biggest crowd we have ever had. We had a little bit of a nightmare with traffic afterwards but nothing that we couldn't handle," he said. "Just a real good bunch and a very good fireworks show."

With so many visitors to Salem, the opportunity for problems likewise increased but the fireworks stayed in the sky and off the streets, Roork said.

"I appreciate it. We didn't have anyone that was disorderly in anyway, that I am aware of. When you have that many people show up for a function and you don't have any problems at all, it says a lot for the caliber of the folks you're dealing with," Roork said.

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