Local News

February 8, 2014

Former Dalton man helps rescue girl from pond

Criminal attorney Ian Whittle, a 2004 Dalton High School graduate living in Virginia, was among a group of people who helped rescue a 6-year-old girl after she fell through some thin ice on top of a pond recently.

Whittle declined an interview, but his mother, Dalton resident Linda Whittle, said he didn’t mind information being taken off of his Facebook page where he shares his experience. There, Ian Whittle said that while in a news story a television news crew in Virginia portrayed him as the hero of the incident from a few days ago, he didn’t work alone.

“I was with my friend Laura Schinella while I was walking my dog,” Whittle writes. “I was actually a few houses up from the pond. She heard the screaming of the two kids and ran to see what was going on. Luckily, I saw her running down the path towards the pond and followed after her.”

Whittle said one girl was on the shore screaming and the other had fallen into the pond about 30 feet out. Schinella told the girl on shore to get her father, then Schinella went to the girl and helped calm her as she held on to the edge of the ice. Whittle said he hurried to catch up to the pair and saw the little girl begin to slip under.

“I ran into the lake. I fell in about 15 feet into the lake and had to break the ice and swim to get her,” Whittle said. “I was blocked by ice and couldn’t swim back. I also could not get enough leverage to get her onto the ice without it breaking. I was able to hold her high enough while treading water and getting a hand-hold in the ice.”

He said a neighbor called 911 and the first girl’s father came running up and threw an extension cord to him, first hauling in the girl, then helping Whittle make it to shore. The Spotsylvania, Va., police were on scene by the time he made it out of the water, he said. He estimated they were in the water less than five minutes.

“Without Laura hearing the screams and, amazingly, keeping a cool head, the brave girl on the shore who got her dad, her dad thinking quickly and finding something to throw to us, and the other neighbors who called 911 and helped, saving this girl might not have been possible,” he said. “Aside from the danger that a frozen pond represents, the importance of this story is that an entire neighborhood worked together to help save a little girl.”

Whittle still has several family members in Dalton. His mother works at a local bank and said her son had lived away from the area since about 2004. He is a graduate of George Mason Law School.

“I’ve always been proud of him,” she said. “I’m glad things did work out.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo