Arrest Report Tuesday August 20, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Tuesday August 20, 2019:

Rep. Lumsden Says Rural Development Council Working To Expand Business in Rural Georgia

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State Representative Eddie Lumsden, (R-Armuchee), who represents Chattooga County and a large portion of Floyd County in the Georgia House, serves on the Rural Development Council.  The council is meeting for the next two days in Jasper, Georgia and Lumsden says that the council is addressing several issues.

Lumsden says that the biggest item that has been talked about, and addressed by the legislature in the last session is rural broadband.  Lumsden said that state had addressed different regulatory issues that were hindering the expansion of high-speed internet in rural Georgia, but there is still work to be done to be sure that remote areas of the state have access to broadband.

Lumsden said that aside from the internet, businesses are looking at other factors when they decide to relocate and expand to rural Georgia.  Quality of life issues are something that the Rural Development Council is working with local communities to make sure that towns and counties across the state can attract business.  Also, education is a key component of economic expansion.

Lumsden said that the legislature relies on the work of the Rural Development Council in coming up with legislation that directly impacts rural communities across the state.  The council is made up of about twenty members and will be meeting at various times between now and the next legislative session.

Click below to hear the complete interview with Rep. Lumsden:


Chase From Floyd County Ends With Spike Strips In Gore

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A car chase on Sunday on Highway 27 from Floyd County ended in Gore after the suspect ran over spike strips deployed by the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News that the Sunday afternoon chase started after Floyd County law enforcement attempted to perform a traffic stop on a subject that they believed to have some mental health issues.

The suspect fled from police and crossed over into Chattooga County.  Sheriff Schrader said that Deputy Nicole Sprague deployed her spike strip near the Gore Fire Station.  The spike strip successfully punctured three of the four tires on the subject’s vehicle.

The subject continued to travel with three damaged tires until she finally wrecked near the first flashing caution sign before Highway 27 goes from four-lane to two-lane.

The subject was taken into custody by Floyd County Police.

Cloudland Motorists See Shift In Traffic On Highway 48

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Residents in DeKalb and Cherokee Counties in Alabama and in Chattooga County, Georgia that travel Georgia Highway 48 were shifted a bit starting yesterday.

The shift in traffic started Monday afternoon on Highway 48 at the bridge over the East Fork of Little River at Cloudland.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says that the existing bridge, that was built over six decades ago, will be closed and traffic detoured onto the newly constructed road and detour bridge south and west of the existing alignment.

Due to the presence of known population of the federally threatened plant species Sagittaria Secundifolia near the existing bridge, the detour cannot be located parallel to the existing bridge.

The project includes 0.307 mile of construction of a bridge and approaches. The old bridge was built in 1937 and needed to be replaced. Work on this project began in February 2019. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2023, at a construction cost of $7,479,554.

Attempted Burglary Reported In Summerville

A Sagebrush Lane resident in Summerville reported an attempted burglary to the Summerville Police Department late Saturday night.

John Rollins told a responding officer that he when he returned home on Saturday night he saw a black male wearing a white shirt and blue jeans rummaging in his outbuilding. When the perpetrator saw Mr. Rollins exit his vehicle, the man ran through the woods.

Mr. Rollins said that nothing seemed to be missing from his outbuilding.

The Summerville Police Department assigned extra patrol to the area throughout the night.

Disgraced Former Alabama Governor Opens New Medical Practice

A former Alabama governor who resigned amid a sex scandal has now opened a dermatology office.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the office run by former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley opened Friday and offers services including general dermatology, body sculpting, skin cancer screenings and prevention.

Bentley resigned from office in 2017 as part of a deal, in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign-finance violations, agreed to never hold public office, and had to forfeit about $36,000 from his campaign account.

Bentley was accused of having an extramarital affair with a key staffer and using public resources to cover it up.

An Alabama House Judiciary Committee report says Bentley texted heart-eye emojis to Rebekah Caldwell Mason using his ex-wife’s iPad and threatened the first lady’s staff to keep the affair secret.


Fair Entries Being Received At Ag Building

A lot of activity is taking place at the Chattooga County Agricultural Building in Summerville in preparation for the 2019 Chattooga County Agricultural Fair.  On Monday, crews from Smith Iron Works were working on expanding the stage at the fair grounds. 

Fair council members told WZQZ News that the stage will be almost doubled in size courtesy of Smith Iron Works in Lyerly.  Work was also transpiring at the Mohawk Pavilion, getting ready for livestock shows later this week.  And, inside the Ag Building the Fair Blue Ribbon Committee was busy taking in blue ribbon items from area residents.

Blue Ribbon Committee Director Rebecca Thomas told WZQZ that there were quite a few entries on Monday and they will continue to take entries today from 9 AM until 1 pM.  Today, you can bring in items from home arts, needle work, quilting, home food preservation, and photography along with other entries.  Those items will be sorted and judging will take place on Wednesday.

You can find all the rules for the blue ribbon department at the Chattooga County Fair’s website at .

Remember, you have from 9 AM until 1 PM today to get those blue ribbon items into the fair.

Suspect In Walker County Deputy Shooting Released From Hospital

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The man accused of shooting a Walker County Deputy earlier this month has been released from a Chattanooga hospital and is now lodged in the Walker County Jail.

Forty-seven-year-old Sherman Travis Thomas is accused of shooting a Walker County Sheriff’s deputy back on August 11th.  Thomas reportedly opened fire on deputies who were called to a domestic disturbance in Rossville.  Sergeant Thomas Agredano with the Walker County Sheriff’s office was shot in the leg.  He was treated and released from the hospital the following morning.  Return fire from deputies struck Thomas and he was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Thomas is now charged with aggravated assault, assault on a police officer and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.


Title Pawn Business Reports Fraud

A Summerville title pawn business reported a case of fraud to the Summerville Police Department on Friday of last week.Employees with Title Max in Summerville say that Kaamal Baldwin fraudulently pawned a title with the company.  The manager of Title Max told a responding officer that Baldwin pawned a title for $3,000.  What the Title Max employees did not know is that Baldwin had fraudulently obtained the title for a 2011 Nissan Maxima from a used car dealer.

The Title Max employees say that Baldwin purchased the vehicle from Allisson Auto Sales in Rome.  Rome Police say that the car dealer took a payment of $5,052.85 over the phone on a Visa card last month.  Mr. Baldwin then went to the dealership and picked up the title, before the Visa credit card payment had processed.  After receiving the title for the vehicle, Baldwin allegedly called and cancelled the credit card payment.  The owner of the car dealership in Rome has reportedly tried to get in touch with Baldwin but has been unable to do so.  The car dealership has been able to recover the vehicle.

In the mean time, Title Max in Summerville is still out the $3,000 they loaned against the fraudulently obtained title.  When Title Max contacted Mr. Baldwin, he claims that he has been the victim of fraud.  The report from the Summerville Police Department did not explain how Mr. Baldwin feels he has been defrauded.

The case has been turned over to an investigator.

Sheriff's Office Recovers Stolen Tractor

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Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader says that a tractor that was stolen on Harrisburg Road recently has been recovered.

The sheriff told WZQZ News on Monday night that the tractor was recovered in southern Walker County in a wooded area off Oakton Road.

The tractor was stolen from the estate of Paul Lee on Harrisburg Road and was reported missing by Mr. Lee’s daughter.

The sheriff says that charges are pending against possible suspects in relation to the theft of the 2003 Branson Tractor.

Several Qualify Today For Seats In Trion

Several candidates qualified for seats on the Trion Town Council and the Trion City School Board on the first day of qualifying held today.

Don Harris, the incumbent for Council Seat Five qualified for another term on the council.  Also, former Trion Mayor Lanny Thomas qualified to run for Seat Number Four, currently held by Linda Ingle.

On the Trion School Board, Kari Maddux Brown and Jeff Maddux, both incumbents, qualified for their respective seats.

Qualifying continues through Friday of this week.

Parris Will Not Seek Re-election

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Summerville City Councilman Earl H. Parris told WZQZ News on Monday that he will not seek re-election to Seat Three on the Summerville City Council.

Parris told WZQZ News that because of his job commitments and time restraints he will not qualify for a third term.  Mr. Parris gave us the following statement:

I will retire as council member Dec 31 due to work load and a lack of time to give the community what they deserve. It’s been my honor to represent my community the best I know how and have met so many more new friends over the past four years. Friends I’m still here if you need help. This is our home, our community you are left in good hands. Again thank YOU Summerville !!!

Summerville resident Kristy Dennis qualified this morning for Seat Three on the Summerville City Council.  See previous story here. Qualifying continues until Friday at 4:30 PM.

Challenger Emerges For Council Seat Three In Summerville

Summerville resident Kristy Dennis has qualified this morning for Summerville City Council Seat Three, the seat currently held by incumbent Earl H. Parris, Jr.   Dennis is a newcomer to city politics and is seeking to become the first woman on the city council in over a decade.

Betty Bush was the last woman to serve on the city council when she was elected to fill the unexpired term of her late husband, Edward Bush, Jr. in 1993.  Ms. Bush continued to serve on the council until 2009.

Ms. Dennis told WZQZ News that she is running because Summerville is facing challenges as the city’s water and sewer systems “demand attention.”  She went on to state that budget concerns are also part of the reason she is running for the seat.

Dennis qualified this morning at Summerville City Hall.  You can read a full statement from Ms. Dennis below:

Almost ten years ago, Summerville became my home. A few short months later, my mother and father followed me, moving two houses behind John and me on the corner of College and University. The transition from Walker to Chattooga County was quick for all of us.

Though I have maintained my LPN license, I began working in Summerville with John. Living and working in Summerville, I realize the importance of city government. While I have recently become involved on the Main Street Board Of Directors, I have for some time now enjoyed my volunteer work, be it handing out candy during the Halloween Walks or spreading Christmas cheer. As a participant, I love the festivals at Dowdy (Veterans) Park, the train when it steams into town, Chattooga’s High School Sports, and the musical productions at the old Tooga Theatre. But it is not all fun and games.

The City Of Summerville now faces some daunting challenges. Our water and sewerage system demands attention. We are struggling, like many other small towns, to balance our budget while taking care of business. We have many downtown shops that sit empty, in need of repair and tenants. John and I worked on his law office, doing a complete remodel, endeavoring to make it an attractive addition to our city. While I recognize that it is not our city’s most beautiful office, we are proud of it and not ashamed when others visit. Outside our door, the East Washington facelift has served to beautify our city. While this project took longer than some might have liked and while some have been critical of the meandering sidewalk and loss of parking, I for one hope that when it is completed, the good outweighs the bad. As I understand it, a large portion of the project was funded by grant money, dedicated some years ago. ]

Just as I support our local businesses and citizens in our city, I am now asking for your support. I am excited to announce that I am running for City Council. I look forward to seeing you as I commence my candidacy for City Council Seat Three. I promise to work hard for you, to be a good listener, and to act in the best interest of this city and its people. I want to encourage growth while being mindful of budgetary constraints. Our city has so much to offer its citizens and its visitors. I think we are the best kept secret in Northwest Georgia. And I am proud to be a resident of Summerville.

So the secret is out. I want to serve on your city council. And if elected, I would be honored to serve on your city council.


Arrest Report Monday August 19, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Monday August 19, 2019:

Qualifying For Municipal Elections Begins Today

Qualifying for municipal elections in Chattooga County’s four incorporated municipalities starts today and goes until Friday of this week.  Election day will be Tuesday, November 5th.  Elections will be held in Trion, Summerville, Lyerly and Menlo for city and town council seats.

In the Summerville election, incumbent City Councilmen Earl Parris and Joe Money, Jr. and Zachary Martin have all indicated that they will seek re-election in November.

WZQZ News will have more on the qualifying as it takes place throughout this week in upcoming newscasts and online at .


Classes Back In Session At GNTC - Area Students Train For Local Jobs

Fall classes start today at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).  GNTC is the largest college in northwest Georgia and is one of the largest technical colleges in the state of Georgia with six campus locations in Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties.   Don Foley with GNTC told WZQZ News that students from Chattooga High School and Trion High School are proving to be prepared when they get to GNTC.

Foley said that GNTC is one of the most affordable educational opportunities in the area.  He also said that because there are many students that want to live and work in Northwest Georgia, GNTC is an excellent option.

Georgia continues to post record numbers of jobs across the state, according to the Georgia Department of Labor, and that means that there are a lot of job opportunities.  Foley said that many students from both Chattooga and Trion High Schools are choosing to attend GNTC to get prepared for jobs that are available right now – and here at home.

Foley said, “The one thing we have going for us, we are the most affordable option your going to run into…we have a lot of young guys and young girls that want to work here and live here.  That means you have to fill the jobs that are here.”

The cost per credit hour at GNTC is between $89-$100 per credit hour, making it very affordable – plus there are plenty of financial aid opportunities for students that attend a technical college in Georgia.

To find out more about GNTC and how they can help you fulfill your career goals, visit

Fines Going Up To Pay For Software Upgrade

The fine for a traffic ticket, and some other violations, will be going up in order to pay for upgraded computer systems for the City of Summerville.  The city council approved a measure last week that will increase the fines by around $15 per ticket in order to pay for the new software, which is expected to cost the city around $350 per month.

Mayor Harry Harvey said that there has been a problem with malware attacks on the city’s current system which has left it inoperable.  That system was provided free of charge by the state, but the state says the system cannot be fixed and local governments are now on their own to come up with a solution.

The new system will be provided by Courtware Governmental Software Solutions.

The rate increase will go into place, pending approval by Municipal Court Judge Tracy Maddux.


106th Trooper School Graduates Thirty-Three

The Georgia State Patrol graduated its 106th Trooper School on Friday, August 16, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth.  After 32 weeks of intense training, 33 new troopers will report to one of the 52 patrol posts throughout the state. Governor Brian P. Kemp was the keynote speaker and he also issued the Oath of Office.  Additionally, remarks were given by Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Capt. Joshua Lamb, Director of Training.
As Trooper Cadets, they spend 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training.  The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) requires all peace officers receive a minimum of 400 hours of Basic Mandate Training.  At the completion of Trooper School, these newly graduated troopers received over 1,500 hours of training, including driving, defensive tactics, vehicle stops, Spanish, criminal law and criminal procedure, firearms, accident investigation, and various other training.

“It  was an honor to go through this tough challenge of life together and I wish you all the best in your careers wherever it may lead you,” stated class president, Trooper Jerry Slade, during remarks to his fellow class members. “We’re right where we need to be,” he added.

Four of the graduates received special honors for top performance in various fields of study. The honorees were:

Driving Proficiency – Trooper Kyle Thompson
Firearms Proficiency – Trooper Clarence Johnson
Highest Academic Average – Trooper Nicholas Hawkins
Top Gun – Trooper Nicholas Hawkins

Trooper Hawkins also received a $1,000 scholarship towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University for having the highest academic average in his class.

Additionally, the following graduates were recognized for their leadership: Trooper Erik Austell, Vice President; Trooper David Allan, Secretary/Treasurer; Trooper Patrick Pollett, Chaplain; Trooper Rebecca Moran, Sergeant-at-Arms; and Trooper Evan Joyner, Pennant Bearer.

Each commissioned trooper will report to the following assigned post:

Erguens Accilien Columbia Post 21 – Sylvania
David Allan Hall Post 6 – Gainesville
Jalin Anderson Richmond Post 33 – Milledgeville
Erik Austell Bibb Post 15 – Perry
Evan Bauza Chatham Post 11 – Hinesville
Logan Beck Camden Post 23 – Brunswick
Christopher Cates Rabun Post 27 – Blue Ridge
Seferino Chavez Clayton Post 47 – Forest Park
Demon Clark Greene Post 17 – Washington
Christopher Cordell Catoosa Post 5 – Dalton
Clint Donaldson Coweta Post 49 – Motor Unit
Eric Guerrero Coffee Post 36 – Douglas
Jonathan Hayes Paulding Post 29 – Paulding
Nicholas Hawkins Walton Post 46 – Monroe
Bradley Hunt Muscogee Post 2 – LaGrange
Clarence Johnson Richmond Post 25 – Grovetown
Evan Joyner Muscogee Post 2 – LaGrange
Richard Justice Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Malcolm Martinez Cobb Post 47 – Forest Park
Rebecca Moran Gwinnett Post 51 – Gwinnett
Paul Osuegbu Barrow Post 6 – Gainesville
Jose Perez Colquitt Post 13 – Tifton
Patrick Pollett Columbia Post 25 – Grovetown
Troy Pudder Houston Post 30 – Cordele
Caleb Pyle Coweta Post 24 – Newnan
Daysi Ramirez Houston Post 15 – Perry
Gabriel Rampy Carroll Post 4 – Villa Rica
Adam Salter Pike Post 26 – Thomaston
Jerry Slade Crisp Post 30 – Cordele
Kyle Thompson Berrien Post 36 – Douglas
James Vaughan Sumter Post 10 – Americus
Brian Whelehan Bryan Post 23 – Brunswick
Kelley Whitaker Miller Post 14 – Colquitt


Man Threatens Neighbors He Thought Were Talking About Him

A Summerville man was arrested last week and charged with disorderly conduct after he confronted his neighbors, that he thought were talking about him behind his back.

Summerville Police Department reports indicate that fifty-eight-year-old Michael Lee Pickle of a Ramey Street address was “irate and upset” with his neighbors and another woman.  After the confrontation with Pickle, the subjects called police and reported his behavior.  They claim that Pickle was threatening them.

Pickle maintained that he did not threaten them, but he did admit to the confrontation.

Pickle was booked into the Chattooga County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct.

Rome Police Seeking Murder Suspect

The Rome Police Department is investigating the shooting of twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Lynn Hull of a Walnut Avenue Rome address. On Saturday at approximately at 5:27 PM a ‘shots fired’ call was reported outside an apartment complex located at 3 Cliff View Drive.

Hull was found outside the building and a resident began first aid measures and alerted responding personnel that it was an actual shooting at the location.

Hull was transported to Floyd Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.

The victim will be transported to the GBI Crime Lab awaiting an autopsy.

The incident is under investigation at this time by the Rome Police Department to determine the cause for the altercation.

The suspect has been identified as 18-year old Joe Paul Atwater (pictured) whose last address was Chambers Street in Rome. The suspect’s location is not known at this time. He is considered dangerous. Warrants have been issued for Aggravated Assault and Felony Murder.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Rome Police Department Criminal Investigation Division. If you have a location of the suspect call 911 immediately.