Arrest Report - Tuesday - February 19, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday, February 19, 2019:

Chattooga FFA Students Advance To State Competition

Jesse Blalock (left), Jorja Cooper (top right) Mia Crider (bottom left)

Several Chattooga County Agriculture students have advanced to state competition.  The students have submitted their “Supervised Agricultural Experience” for judging.

The supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program involves real-world agricultural activities done by students outside of planned classroom and laboratory time. SAE’s provide a method for students to receive practical career skills in a part of agriculture in which they are interested.

Jesse Blalock – Jesse’s project is in Agriculture repair and maintenance entrepreneurship, Jesse got 1st in region and is one of the select few to make it to state competition.

Jorja Cooper – Jorja’s project is in Dairy Production – placement, Jorja got 1st in region and Is one of the select few to make it to state competition

Mia Crider – Mia’s project is in Agriscience – plant systems, Mia got 2nd place in region and will be awarded for this accomplishment at the Area 1 FFA banquet in May.

Bill Would Protect Those Who Break In Hot Cars To Save Pets

A Georgia lawmaker is seeking protection for people who break into cars to rescue pets in hot weather.

State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick is proposing legislation that would protect people from a lawsuit if they damage a vehicle to rescue an animal in danger, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported The idea came out of a Senate committee studying whether laws are needed to regulate support or service animals, said the Republican, who is from the Atlanta suburb of Marietta.

Kirkpatrick is adding language to an existing law protecting people who rescue children from hot cars, she said. It was passed after the 2015 death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris. Cooper was killed by his father Justin Ross Harris in a hot car in Cobb County. Harris, who moved to Georgia from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was sentenced to life without parole.

Kirkpatrick was put on the committee because she has a 14-year-old golden doodle therapy dog named Dobie, she said. While researching current laws, “I started noticing that there was nothing in there for someone trying to rescue an animal in distress,” she said. In her bill, anyone who breaks a window to rescue an animal in distress must also call 911 to be immune from civil liability, the Atlanta newspaper reported. “That would mitigate the possibility of someone just kidnapping an animal” or breaking a window and later claiming it was to save an animal, she said.

State Sen. Michael “Doc” Rhett, D-Marietta, has proposed similar legislation. That bill would make law enforcement officers not liable for breaking a vehicle window to save a person or pet.

Macon Telegraph

Vent Damaged At Summerville Home

A case of trespassing led to a report of damage to home on Kelly Street in Summerville.

According to a report release Monday by the Summerville Police Department, Linda Lawrence reported that someone had damaged a vent cover on the outside of her house on Friday of last week.  Ms. Lawrence said that the vent was damaged by an unknown subject.

Summerville Police said that the vent cover was on the east side of Ms. Lawrence’s residence, which was in clear view of a “no trespassing” sign that had been posted by Ms. Lawrence.

Ms. Lawrence requested that a report be filed with the Summerville Police Department.

 

Attorney General Warns Of Tax Related Scams

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says consumers need to keep their guard up because tax-related scams are likely going to increase as tax season gets underway.

His office reminds people that no one from the IRS is going to call you and ask you for tax money over the telephone. An IRS agent won’t email you either. Tax scams are like any scam, i.e. the idea is to get your money quickly and in a form that can’t be traced like money cards or wire transfers.

Here is more from Carr’s office on the “IRS Impersonation Scam”

In this type of scam, a fraudster contacts consumers by phone, claiming to be an IRS agent and insisting that the consumer owes the IRS money. The caller asks the consumer to pay by wiring money or loading money onto a pre-paid debit card and often threatens arrest or legal action if the consumer does not comply. Consumers can easily be convinced that these calls are real as the scammer may know a consumer’s full or partial Social Security number (SSN) or even use spoofing software that causes the IRS name and/or number to show up in your caller ID.

Here is what you need to know to avoid this scam:

    The IRS will never call a consumer about unpaid taxes or penalties – the agency typically contacts consumers by letter via the U.S. Mail.
They won’t leave a message threatening to sue you, arrest you or deport you if you don’t pay right away.
The IRS won’t demand a specific form of payment, such as an iTunes gift card, Green Dot Money Pak or wire transfer.
If you get a call purporting to be from the IRS, never send money. Instead, hang up and either a) report the scam to the FTC and to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov or by calling 1-800-366-4484; or b) If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.

    If you get an email that claims to be from the IRS, do not reply or click on any links. Instead, forward it to the IRS. 

Carr’s office also says more people may not have to be aware of “Tax Identity Theft” as well. That’s when someone steals your social security number and figures out to file a tax return in your name to try and get your refund.

This scam, unfortunately, is not something people know about until they file their return and are then told that their return was “already received.” The advice here is to file as early as possible each tax season which will give a crook less of a chance to file a fraudulent return.

Carr’s office says that Georgia consumers can get a special PIN number which provides more security when filing electronically.

If you are the victim of tax identity theft, contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490. You should also file a complaint with the FTC or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Georgia Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of DUI Law

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The Georgia Supreme Court has struck down a provision of the state’s DUI law.

In the 94 page opinion released Monday, the court concluded that the part of the law that allows a defendant’s refusal to submit to a breath test to be admitted into evidence at trial is unconstitutional, citing the right against self-incrimination.

The decision does not apply to tests of a driver’s blood and you could still face a civil penalty of losing your license for up to a year for refusing a breath test.

All of the justices concurred except Warren and Ellington.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Michael Boggs wrote: “The General Assembly may wish to revise the provisions of the implied consent law.”

You can read the opinion in its entirety here.

WRGA

Convenience Store Worker Reports Theft

A convenience store work in Summerville reported a theft over the past weekend.  The man told police that surveillance cameras show that two women stole parts from his car that was parked outside the store.

Brent Hawkins, who works at George’s Kwik Store on Highland Avenue in Summerville, told police that while he was working on Saturday a blue Mitsubishi Mirage pulled up at the store and parked next to Mr. Hawkin’s Mitsubishi car.

According to Mr. Hawkins, a woman jumped out of the vehicle and stole his left front wheel cover and then jumped back into the blue Mitsubishi which sped off.

The Summerville Police Department is investigating the theft.

AAA: Gas Prices On The Rise

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Gas prices in Georgia are on the rise and prices could get even more expensive this week. Oil and wholesale gasoline prices surged to their highest levels since November. The state average could soon jump another 10 cents as a result.

Georgia gas prices are already at 2019-highs. The state average rose a total of 5 cents last week. Still, Sunday’s average price of $2.19 per gallon remains nearly 20 cents below what drivers paid this time last year.

Click here to view AAA’s state and metro gas price averages

  • Most expensive gas price averages: Atlanta ($2.22), Brunswick ($2.21), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.20)
  • Least expensive gas price averages: Warner Robins ($2.07), Macon ($2.11), Augusta-Aiken ($2.12)
  • Chattooga County gas price average: $2.10 (As of Monday, February 18, 2019)

“Oil and wholesale gasoline prices made significant gains last week, which will likely lead to higher prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Prices rose after news that OPEC is making good on its promise to cut production, and reports of refinery issues at multiple plants in the northeast. One of the other key reasons for rising prices right now is refineries entering maintenance season. This is a time of year when refineries do ‘spring cleaning’ and to prepare for the switch to summer-blend gasoline. The process causes refineries to temporarily go offline, reducing the output of gasoline into the market.”

On Friday, crude oil reached it’s highest price since mid-November. The closing price of WTI was $55.59 per barrel on the NYMEX – an increase of nearly $3/b compared to the week before. That increase alone has the potential to carry a 7.5 cent jump at the pump. However, oil prices remain about $6/b less than the price this time last year; a primary reason that gas prices remain lower than last year. Meanwhile, RBOB rose 13 cents on the NYMEX last week, also reaching a 3-month high.

Flood Watch Issued For Chattooga County

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia has issued a Flood Watch that is in effect from Tuesday through Friday morning.  Three to six inches of additional rainfall is expected which could lead to flooding.  High water could persist for several days after the rain.  See details below:

..FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING...

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a

* Flood Watch for a portion of northwest Georgia...including the
  following areas...Bartow...Catoosa...Chattooga...Dade...
  Floyd...Gordon...Murray...Polk...Walker and Whitfield.

* From Tuesday morning through Friday morning

* Soil conditions remain very saturated and river levels remain
  high across the area. With 3 to 6 inches of additional
  precipitation expected across the area this will produce
  significant runoff and flooding of creeks and rivers. Even after
  the rain ends, high water could persist for several days after.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on
current forecasts.

You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible
Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be
prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Silver Hill Road Closed Due To Mudslide

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Officials in Floyd County have closed the Floyd County portion of Silver Hill Road, north of Big Texas Valley Road due to a mudslide.  Floyd County Public Works says that residents will have to access the road from the north end in Chattooga County.  There has been no estimated time on when the road will be reopened.

Trion Police Chief Warns Residents About Potential Flooding

Trion Police Chief David Gilleland is warning Trion residents about the potential of flooding over the next several days.  The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 8″ of rain for our area between now and this weekend.

In an open letter to Trion residents that was provided to WZQZ News, the chief says that his department along with the Trion Maintenance Department are asking citizens to be vigilant about keeping a close check on their property.  Both the Trion Police Department and the town’s maintenance department  are asking those who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas to make preparations in advance for the possibility of flooding.   In addition, Chief Gilleland reminds residents to remember their outside pets and also to check on elderly residents who may not be aware of the flooding potential.

Here is the full text of Chief Gilleland’s letter:

BOE Meeting Moved Due To Basketball Playoffs

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Chattooga County School Superintendent Jimmy Lenderman says that the scheduled meeting of the Chattooga County Board of Education that was to be held this coming Thursday, is being moved due to the CHS Indians Basketball Playoffs on Thursday.

Supt. Lenderman says, “Due to a scheduling conflict between the Chattooga Boys basketball playoff game and the monthly, scheduled BOE meetin, the BOE meeting has been moved to Thursday, February 28, 2019.”

The CHS Indians Boys basketball team will be taking on Callaway High School in the second round of playoffs this coming Thursday.  Doors open at 4:30 PM.

Extremely Wet Weather Ahead For NW Georgia

We experienced heavy rain overnight in Chattooga County, but that is just a taste of what is to come.  According to the Chattooga BOE Weather Link System, Summerville received 1.53 inches of rain, Holland – 1.37 inches of rain and Cloudland – .98 inches of rain.  Partly-sunny skies will rule the day for Monday and it will be cold tonight with temperatures back down in the mid 30’s by morning.  Then on Tuesday, multiple rounds of rain could bring 8-10 inches of rain to our part of the state.  With the rain comes the potential for flash floods.  See below for more information:

Impacts
– Flash flooding is possible in areas where rainfall accumulates quickly or where it overwhelms areas with poor drainage – extensive street flooding and road ponding could occur.
– Minor flooding of creeks or rivers is likely with the expected rainfall amounts, and even moderate flooding is possible.
Actions
Stay alert to changes in the forecast given the prolonged nature of this setup.
 – Take time to clear debris from drainage areas, culverts and storm water systems
 – Familiarize yourself with locations of local river observation equipment
 – Remove property from flood-prone/low-lying areas

Arrest Report - Monday - February 18, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Monday, February 18, 2019:

Union Street Woman Reports Damage To Vehicle

A Union Street, Summerville woman reported an incident of vandalism to the Summerville Police Department, saying someone had scratched a vehicle that was parked in her yard.

Cassandra Glass told a responding officer that a gold-colored, Ford Crown Victoria was parked in her yard and someone scratched the trunk and the quarter panel on the car.  The woman told police that she was going to retrieve video footage from her home’s surveillance cameras and bring it to the police department.

The incident is being investigated by Summerville Police.

Two Arrested For Drugs After Traffic Stop

Two people were arrested on drug charges last Friday in Summerville after city police pulled the two over for not wearing a seat belt.

According to a report from the Summerville Police Department, an officer observed the two in a vehicle near Highway 27 and First Street, and could see that neither occupant was wearing their seat belt.

When the officer approached the driver’s side window he reported that he could smell a faint odor of marijuana.  The female driver handed over a pack of cigarettes to the officer; inside, the officer found rolling papers and a rolled marijuana cigarette.   Officers then searched the passenger and found “a glass pipe with heavy burn marks that is consistent with methamphetamine use.”  Also in the vehicle, officers discovered a bag of suspected marijuana and some “orange pills and white pills.”

The driver, Jennifer Marie Hines, was charged with no seat belt, possession of marijuana less than one ounce and driving without a license on person.  The passenger, David Lee Williams was charged with drugs not kept in original container, possession or use of drug related objects, possession of marijuana less than one ounce and Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act for possession of methamphetamine.

Lumsden Against Pay Raise For Legislators

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A bill in the Georgia Senate could steeply increase state legislators pay. Sponsors of Senate Bill 81 said they want state legislators salaries to reflect the annual median household income in the state of Georgia. Senate Bill 81 could increase state legislators pay from just over $17,000 to more than $56,000.  But State Representative Eddie Lumsden says that he would oppose the idea.

Sponsors of the bill say that Georgia has the sixth lowest paid legislature in the nation.  Right now, house and senate members receive $17,300 per-year in salary.  They also get a $119 per-day per-diam while the legislature is in session.

Representative Lumsden doesn’t think much of the bill and indicated that it probably wouldn’t make it through the legislature this session.  Lumsden told WZQZ News, “Any representative of senator can propose a piece of legislation. It doesn’t mean it is going to go anywhere. It is dead on arrival in my estimation.  I certainly do not support it.”

 

Governor Takes "Wait & See" Approach To Constitutional Carry - Sheriffs Support The Issue

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp campaigned heavily on Second Amendment issues and with “constitutional carry” on the minds of Georgia legislators, the governor says that he will take a “wait and see approach” on current legislation.

A bill is currently making its way through the Georgia legislature that would allow Georgians to carry concealed weapons with no permit needed.  When asked this past week about the bill, Governor Kemp said, “I’m not really commenting on that. There’s all kinds of pieces of legislation that are in. I’ve said and I’ll continue to be a strong supporter of the second amendment. I hunt and I shoot and I carry. I won’t just support, but I’ll advocate. We’ll see what the legislature wants to roll out this year. My positions from the campaign have not changed.”

The bill is receiving push-back from both Democrats and Republicans.  Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston has made it plain that he is not in favor of the bill passing.  The Speaker says that he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but has resisted efforts to push the idea through the legislature.

Locally, Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News that he supports constitutional carry.  Sheriff Schrader told WZQZ News last week, “I support constitutional carry. I believe that we should seek tougher penalties for violations of current firearm crimes.  In my opinion, law abiding gun owners are not the problem.”

The Georgia Sheriff’s Association echoes the views of Sheriff Schrader.  The GSA says, “The sheriffs took an oath to support the Constitution and will stand by the Second Amendment.  The sheriffs will aggressively oppose federal or state legislation which infringes upon law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms.  The sheriffs further agree to support any legilsation that would efectively penalize criminals to use firearms in the commission of crimes.”

Friends Of Sloppy Floyd SP Meeting

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The Friends of Sloppy Floyd State Park will he having a meeting coming up this evening.

The mission of Friends of the Park is to partner with, promote and preserve Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.  Friends of the Park work to raise awareness of the economic and intrinsic values of Georgia’s greatest treasures. They also work with state and community leaders to help make sure that our natural and cultural resources are well protected, well maintained and well preserved for generations to come.

Friends of Sloppy Floyd State Park will meet this evening at 6:30 PM in Cottage 2.  They invite you to come join them as they start making plans for upcoming events and projects for the year.

Chattooga Democrats Meeting This Evening

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Chattooga County Democrats have scheduled their next monthly meeting for this evening at 6 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Chattooga County Senior Center in Summerville.

From the Chattooga County Democratic Party:

The Democratic Party of Chattooga County believes all citizens deserve to be heard on issues that affect them. We believe policy decisions should be made based on facts, instead of bias.
Come to the next meeting of the Chattooga County Democratic Party. Meet like-minded individuals who care about our community and our future.
Next meeting is: Monday, February 18 at 6pm at the Senior Center.