GSP Prepares for Memorial Day Travel Period

The Georgia State Patrol is making final preparations for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Troopers will be on full patrols, concentrating on impaired drivers and seat belt violations. The travel period is 78 hours long, and officially begins on Friday, May 25, at 6 PM, and ends at 11:59 PM on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.

In 2017, during a similar 78-hour travel period, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 452 traffic crashes over the Memorial Day weekend.  The crashes resulted in 274 injuries and six people losing their lives. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 255 people for driving under the influence, while issuing 9,433 citations and 11,862 warnings.

“Travel with caution and put safety first this weekend,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Traffic will be heavier than usual as graduation ceremonies, special holiday events, and vacation travelers will add to the regular weekend traffic patterns. Also, be prepared should rain make driving conditions hazardous,” he said.

Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, obey the posted speed limit, and do not drive impaired. If you know that you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead to have a designated driver. “These are some of the best steps we all can take to prevent serious injury and fatal crashes,” said Colonel McDonough.

During the Memorial Day travel period, the Georgia State Patrol will again be participating in the national mobilization of the ‘Click It, or Ticket’ program. State troopers will be working alongside sheriffs’ deputies and police officers to enforce Georgia’s seat belt laws and to educate the public on the importance of wearing seat belts while traveling in motor vehicles. This program is coordinated in Georgia by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The holiday traffic fatality count will be updated throughout the travel period on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter account:

Floyd Co. Police Seek Info on Armed Suspect in GSP Office Incident

Photo Credit: WRGA / Hometown Headlines

The Floyd County Police Department is seeking information about a man who threatened a secretary at the Georgia State Patrol Office on Martha Berry Hwy across from Food Lion. According to the GSP, the man walked into the post and produced a handgun and fled the scene. No one was injured.

The man is described as a slender white male, 5 foot 8 inches tall with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark color shirt. The incident occurred around 4 pm. Floyd County Police request that if anyone saw someone crossing the highway or in the area they are asked to please call Floyd County 911 or message their Facebook page.

According to Hometown Headlines, Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation canceled all evening baseball games at North Floyd Recreation Center on Wednesday evening.  One parent tells of walking up to the fields and seeing everyone leaving. The coach told him they were clearing out. Some of the families were sheltered in the Thornton Center across the parking lot for a bit.



Gaylesville Man Arrested on Burglary and Drug Charges

On Tuesday, Cherokee County, Alabama investigators arrested a Gaylesville man in connection with a burglary that occurred over the weekend in the Cedar Bluff area.

Investigator Tony Monroy charged Dustin Charles Watwood with Third Degree Burglary.

Sheriff’s Office investigators also located illegal drugs in Watwood’s possession, and he was additionally charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on the burglary and drug charges, as well as a parole violation.

101 To Graduate Trion High School This Weekend

This Saturday one hundred and one graduates will receive their diplomas from Trion High School; sixty boys and forty-one girls.  Trion High School Principal Bryan Edge says that if you are coming to graduation on Saturday morning, you may want to get there early in order to get a good parking place.

Principal Edge told AM 1180 that doors to the Trion High School gym will open at 8:30 on Saturday morning.  Seating is all first-come-first-serve, there is no reserved seating for the graduation.

Mr. Edge says that the school will have handicapped parking places marked off near the entrance to the gym, but those spots will fill up quickly.  The school will also operate a golf cart to help transport people who need assistance.

Graduation is at 10 AM on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio would like to congratulate all of the Trion High School Seniors on their achievement.

Beer Sales on Sunday Coming in July

Chattooga County voters voted in two new alcohol ordinances on Tuesday of this week.  One new ordinance will allow for the sale of liquor by the drink in county restaurants.  That measure passed with 62.81% of the voters in favor.   A second ordinance will allow for package beer and wine sales on Sunday.  That measure passed with 58.6% of voters approval.  Chattooga County Attorney Chris Corbin says that the new ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2018.


Graduation Gift Money Stolen From Mail

A Filter Plant road resident told a Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputy that someone had stolen cash from an envelope in her mailbox.

According to the complainant, there was an envelope in her mailbox that had been opened.  When she checked with the person who had sent the mail, they said that they had enclosed $40 in cash as a graduation gift.

The responding deputy checked with the letter carrier who said that the envelope was unopened when they placed it in the mailbox.

The case has been turned over to an investigator.

Neelley Denied Parole

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole for convicted killer Judith Ann Neelley Wednesday morning.

Neelley was originally sentenced to die for the brutal slaying of Lisa Ann Millican in DeKalb County, Alabama nearly 36 years ago. In late September 1982, Neelley kidnapped the child from the Riverbend Mall in Rome and took her to a motel room for her husband Alvin to rape. After several days, Neelley took Lisa to Little River Canyon outside Fort Payne where she injected Lisa six times with liquid drain cleaner in a botched attempt to kill her.

After that didn’t work, Neelley led Lisa to the rim of the gorge where she shot her in the back and shoved her into the canyon.

Neelley’s death penalty conviction was commuted to life in prison by Alabama Governor Fob James, just days before he left office.

Neelley also was sentenced to life in prison in Georgia in connection with a separate murder.  Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader traveled to Montgomery this week and was at Neelley’s parole hearing.  Schrader said that he was prepared to bring Neelley back to Georgia in the unlikely event that she was paroled in Alabama.

She will next be eligible for parole in 2023.

DOC: Vocational Certificate Completions Surpassing Goal for FY18

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The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) announced yesterday that the number of vocational certificates completed by incarcerated offenders has surpassed the agency’s goal of 7,000 for Fiscal Year 2018. By the end of March, the total number of completions reached 7,76, with that number growing to 7,799 by May 1.

In keeping with GDC’s commitment to ensuring offenders have programming available to aide in their successful reentry, six additional Education Program Specialists are in place and are dedicated full-time to provide support for career and technical education in each of GDC’s three regions.

“Completing a vocational program creates an opportunity for offenders to learn a skill while incarcerated and become productive citizens when returning to their communities,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “I am proud of our team for their commitment to helping offenders with successful reentry.”

“This team has been instrumental in increasing the opportunities for offender education and improving staff training on identifying, scheduling, and completing career technical education opportunities,” said Dr. Heather Corbett, Director of Career and Technical Education at GDC. “We are always analyzing data to look for ways
we can continue to improve,” she added.

The number of vocational completions, including career, technical, and on-the-job training, increased by 41.7 percent, from 4,298, in fiscal year 2016, to 6,090, in fiscal year 2017.

Summer Feeding Program in Chattooga County

School will be out soon, and the Chattooga County Summer Feeding Program will be underway in Chattooga County.  Hundreds of kids in the county receive free lunches throughout the summer thanks to the program.

AM 1180 spoke with Kelly Floyd who is coordinating the program.  She said that they are still working on the program and have several locations that have already been selected as summer feeding sights.  A list of those locations will be released in the upcoming days.

The summer feeding program will begin on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 and end on July 25th.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Summer Feeding Program or in hosting a sight, can contact Kelly Floyd at 706-857-8311.  Interested volunteers will be required to attend a brief, one-time training session before the Summer Feeding Program begins.

GNTC Two-Day Grant Writing Workshop

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant writing workshop on the Floyd County Campus in Rome, July 26-27.

The workshop will take place in Room 101 B of the H Building. Classes will begin at 9 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. on both days. Tuition for the workshop is $455 per person and includes workbook, access to alumni forums, and over 200 sample grant proposals.

The training will help beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county, and state agencies as well as K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits are available to educators that participate in the workshop. The workshop is endorsed by the Grant Professionals Association (GPA).

For more information or to register online, visit the web site or contact Samantha Bishop, academic affairs credentialing and grants assistant at GNTC, via email at or at 706.295.6849.

Chattooga 4-H Announces Annual Georgia Peach Sale

Chattooga County 4-H will once again be selling Georgia Freestone peaches as a fundraiser this year.

Sheriff Schrader in Montgomery for Neelley Hearing - UPDATED


Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader spoke with AM 1180 this morning and said that he traveled to Montgomery, Alabama last night to be at the parole hearing for convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley.  Sheriff Schrader said that in the unlikely event that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles should grant parole to Neelley, he will pick her up and bring her back to Georgia to serve time in Georgia prison on a murder conviction with a life sentence.  We will have more on this story as word from Montgomery becomes available.

AM 1180 / Summerville McDonald's Breakfast Biscuit Give Away Winners

Van Pelt Defeats Challenger Hise

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt won reelection in a non-partisan race on Tuesday, defeating his challenger Melissa Hise.

Voters in Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Chattooga Counties gave Van Pelt 52.6% of the vote with 7,533 votes to challenger Melissa Hise’s 6,788 votes.

Van Pelt is a Chattooga County native who grew up in Summerville and now lives in Catoosa County.  He has served twenty-two years on the bench and was endorsed by a large majority of politicians in Northwest Georgia.  Melissa Hise was his first challenger that Van Pelt has had to face.

Hise is an attorney that lives in Rock Spring and works at the Palmour Law Firm in Summerville.  She has worked in the past as a law clerk and as an associate judge (for a year each) and is the founder of Four Points, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping domestic violence, where she worked as director for 15 years.

Ballard to Face Massey in General Election

This fall there will be contested races for all three races for the Chattooga County Board of Education.  Two Republicans were running for a chance to unseat Chattooga County Board of Education Chairman and Menlo – Democrat, Eddie Massey.  Chattooga County Republican voters chose Menlo businessman Sammy Ballard in yesterday’s Primary Election.

Ballard won the Primary, garnering 784 votes to challenger Andy Stiver’s 458.  Ballard will go on to face Massey in the November General Election.

Most Chattooga County voters chose a Republican ballot on Tuesday.  There were no contested local races on the Democratic ballot.  In all, 2,248 registered voters voted in the Primary Election in Chattooga County – or 18.44% of those who were eligible.  There were 1,513 Republican ballots pulled, 630 Democratic ballots and 277 non-partisan ballots.

Two other Democrats and two other Republicans were on the ballot for the Chattooga County Board of Education.  Alma Lewis, the Democratic incumbent for the Pennville District received 516 votes.  Her challenger in November will be GOP candidate Brad Hayes who received 1,068 votes.  Julia Houston will be the Republican candidate facing off against Democratic incumbent Larry Weesner for the Lyerly seat.  Houston received 1,073 votes and Weesner got 481 votes.  Democrat Eddie Massey received 507 votes.

The General Election will be held on November 6, 2018.

Craniosyntosis Awareness BBQ and Fundraiser Rescheduled

Hunter Hines, a cranio warrior, is working alongside his family to raise awareness for a condition known as Craniosyntosis. Hunter, born with this condition, wants to give back to the non profit that so generously gave to him during his surgery.

Craniosyntosis is the premature fusion of an infant’s skull, a condition that Hunter Hines was born with. Hunter is an active 2 year old from Chattooga County participating many activities including his balance bike and running around chasing his siblings.

(before Hunter’s surgery)

At 8 months old, Hunter underwent CVR (cranio vault repair) a surgery which required a zig zag incision ear to ear, removal of his skull and reshaping of his skull before replacing it. The surgery lasted 5 hours with Hunter’s family waiting patiently for good news. Hunter has since made a full recovery and is working with his family to honor the organization that helped him before his surgery.

(following Hunter’s surgery)

Cranio Care Bears is a non profit that provides care packages for each cranio warrior before their surgery day. Hunter, a recipient of one of these packages, is celebrating his upcoming 2nd “cranioversary” and in honor of Hunter and Cranio Care Bears, the Hines family is collecting donations and items for Cranio Care Bears and their care packages.

Hunter and his family will be set up at the Trion Park on Sunday, May 27th, at 1:00 pm in order to collect items and donations and to celebrate Hunter and his journey.

The following items are needed:

Socks for mom and baby, toiletries, toys, teethers, snacks, gum, chap stick, body wash, tissues, blankets, pillow cases, prayer chains, etc.

For more information on what you can do to help, please visit:

Man Lies to Deputy About Identity

A Trion man was arrested after trying to convince a sheriff’s deputy that he was someone else.

A sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop near Penn Bridge Road after noticing a vehicle with a headlight not working.  The driver of the vehicle was able to produce a driver’s license but a passenger in the vehicle said that he didn’t have any ID on him.

The deputy asked the passenger for his name and date of birth.  The passenger told the deputy that his name was “Josh Brown”, and that he couldn’t remember his date of birth.  After further questioning, the passenger again said that he was “Joshua Lee Brown” and that he was thirty-four-years-old.

According to the report, “I noticed the passenger reach in his back pocket and take a wallet out and put it in the middle of the car. As I was looking inside the vehicle I looked at the wallet that the passenger said that he didn’t have and I found a Georgia ID card with a name of Guy Anthony Brown.”

The fifty-three-year-old Brown was arrested and charged with giving a false name and birth date to law enforcement.  Also, the deputy discovered an active warrant in Floyd County against the suspect.  The driver of the vehicle, Gregory Wayne Brown, was also arrested for giving false information about his brother’s identity.


Woman Accused of Harassing Parents

The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department was called to a Summerville residence recently due to a forty-two-year-old woman harassing her parents.

When a deputy arrived on the scene, the woman’s parents said that their daughter was bi-polar and has had a violent past. The parents said that the daughter had been calling them while she was intoxicated and cursing and threatening them.

The responding deputy called the adult daughter from her dad’s cell phone.  When the woman answered, thinking it was her father, the woman began to curse and said that she had been “drinking and smoking weed.”  When the deputy identified himself, the adult daughter told the deputy that she was “just joking.”

The parents also said that the woman had been harassing her half brother and had sent sexually explicit images to her half-brother on his cell phone.

The parents wanted a report to document their daughter’s behavior.