Arrest Report - Saturday - December 15, 2018

Here is the most recent arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Saturday, December 15, 2018.  Please note: The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department is having issues with their computer software and cannot provide pictures with the arrest report at this time.  WZQZ will continue to publish the arrest report with pictures when the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department has the issue resolved. 

County EMA Director Presents Information on Robocalls System to Summerville Council

At last Monday’s Summerville City Council meeting, Chattooga County EMA/9-1-1 Director Pamela Vaughn presented information to the council regarding a proposed automated, digital communication system for the city.

The mass notification system would be for the city government to communicate with residents in the event of emergencies, such as weather warnings, boil water advisories, missing person lookouts, city evacuations, etc. The system would also allow for alerts internally to just city employees.

Dir. Vaughn said the county had once hired a mass alert company called Code Red at one point, but since some residents were receiving notifications after-the-fact, and the county was paying good money at $10,000/year, the contract was let expire.

Hyper Reach is the company currently preferred by Vaughn’s office, is opt-in based, and is more cost-efficient, she said.

Additionally, a cell-phone based service by Hyper Reach called iPaws would allow the city to send out alerts to any cell phone- similar to “Amber alerts”, and the city can target specific areas, such as the park or a given street. Alerts can also be scheduled to broadcast in advance.

The service also includes social media communication capabilities for websites like Facebook and Twitter, and it offers an app for cell phones.

The 9-1-1 office’s name/number/address database would serve as the groundwork for the mass alert system if the city opted to sign up. Vaughn added that her office had been taxed to answer an influx of calls during emergencies several times in recent years, causing dispatchers difficulty in communicating with law enforcement in a timely manner. That would be greatly alleviated with a mass communication service for the city, she said.

It would cost the city approximately $1,500-2,000. Dir. Vaughn said that county commissioner Jason Winters has arranged for the Water District to bear the better part of the cost.

Trion has already opted in with a $1,000 price tag. Walker County recommended the Hyper Reach to Vaughn, she said, and Dade County uses it as well.

At the end of the presentation, Mayor Harry Harvey asked City Manager Janice Galloway to create a final information package for the council to review at the next meeting to vote on whether to contract with Hyper Reach.

Health Inspection Scores – First Half of December

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Here are the latest health inspection scores from the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department for the first half of December:

  • BOJANGLES

  • 11277 HIGHWAY 27 SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Score: 91
  • Inspection Date: 12-04-2018
  • BIG BOY’S BBQ & STEW

  • 12576 HIGHWAY 27 SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Score: 82
  • Inspection Date: 12-12-2018
Should you ever have any complaint with any food service or tourist accommodation that operates in Chattooga County, you can register that complaint by calling the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department at 706-857-3471.

Summerville Woman Arrested for Stealing SUV in Rome

Catherine Marie Reed, 41 of Summerville, was arrested in Rome this week after reports said she stole a Chevrolet Tahoe and $500 in items from a home on Maple Road.

Reports said that Reed has been in jail since December 4 on drug charges.

She is now charged with felony theft by taking.

CVN

Vehicle Pulled From Weiss Lake On Friday

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a single vehicle accident occurring on County Road 1008 north of Cedar Bluff shortly before 3:00 on Friday afternoon. Cedar Bluff Fire Department units arrived on the scene to find the Toyota SUV almost completely under water.

Law enforcement officers were able to make contact with the driver and he stated that he was not injured.

Cedar Bluff Police and Fire Department, Floyd EMS, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Cherokee County Rescue Squad personnel and officials with the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency were all on the scene.

Again, there were no injuries reported in the mishap.

WEIS Radio

Sentence Reduced for Lookout Mountain Man Convicted of Having Sex with Disabled Adult

At the request of the victim’s family, Superior Court Judge Don Thompson reduced the sentence for a Lookout Mountain man convicted of having an illegal sexual relationship with a person with severe autism.

Judge Thompson, in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, convicted Jimmy George, 79, on five counts of exploitation or intimidation of a disabled adult during a bench trial in August. George testified that he has a sexual relationship with the man, who was 23. But he believed the relationship was consensual.

The victim’s father told the Times Free Press that his son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and has an IQ of 69. He said his son is sometimes afraid to upset people and will go along with actions even if he does not want to. He could not consent to a sexual relationship.

Thompson sentenced George to 20 years in prison in August. But on Tuesday, he accepted an agreement between the defense attorney and the prosecution to reduce George’s punishment. He will serve 2 years in prison, followed by 18 years on probation.

The victim’s father said the family felt the original sentence caused too much pain to George’s daughter, Georgianna Pollock. She and George co-owned Rock Bluff Stables on Lookout Mountain, and Pollock oversaw an equine therapy program.

“We don’t want him dying in prison for his daughter Georgianna’s sake,” the victim’s father said in a text message Wednesday. “Between the devastation of what her father did, losing her therapeutic riding program … she’s suffered enough.”

Read Tyler Jett’s full story at the Times Free Press here.

Adoption Event at Walker County Pound

The Walker County Animal Shelter will have a Christmas Pet Adoption Event today.

Adoption fees will be discounted at $25 for dogs and $15 for cats. There will also be special police K-9 demonstrations from 10 AM until 12 noon, and pictures with Santa from 12 noon until 4 PM.

There will be door prizes and hot cocoa.

Those who would like to bring donations for the shelter may bring bleach, blankets, puppy food, canned pet food, treats, or pet toys.

The Walker County Animal Shelter is on marble Top Road, at the Landfill entrance. Hours are 10 AM until 8 PM this Saturday for the Christmas adoption event.

WQCH

Rome Teen Wanted For Murder Turns Himself In

The Rome teenager who was wanted in connection for Tuesday night’s shooting at the Cottis Inn on Martha Berry Boulevard has turned himself in at the Floyd County Jail.

Cody Deangelo Thompson surrendered himself to authorities inside the bonding lobby of the Floyd County Jail Friday night. Thompson, who had a murder warrant issued for his arrest on the night of the shooting, was wanted for killing 35-year-old Richard Jermaine Boatner. Thompson is being charged with felony murder.

Authorities issued a murder warrant for the Rome teenager for the Tuesday night shooting death of Boatner at the Cottis Inn off Martha Berry Boulevard. The warrant stated the police were seeking Thompson.

Read more in the Rome News Tribune

Arrest Report - Friday - December 14, 2018

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Friday, December 14, 2018:

Felon Arrested For Firearm Possession

A convicted felon was found to be in possession of a firearm earlier this week and was confronted by law enforcement after a traffic stop.

According to reports from the Summerville Police Department, Austin Blaker Akery was stopped just before 7 PM at the intersection of Commerce Street and West Washington Street on Tuesday evening.  Akery had reportedly fled from a probation officer a few days before the traffic stop.

The officer knew that Akery was on probation and found a .22 caliber bullet in Akery’s pocket.  Akery reportedly told officers that he was “going to grab the gun because he wanted to die.”  At that point the Summerville Police Officer, along with a Sheriff’s Department agent retrieved a .22 caliber Savage rifle from Akery’s vehicle that contained a single .22 caliber bullet.

Akery was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to an incident report.

Gas Prices May Go Up In Alabama

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If some Alabama lawmakers have their way, the days of driving across the state line from Georgia to get cheaper gasoline in Alabama may soon be over.

The Republican Majority Leader of the Alabama House of Representatives Nathaniel Ledbetter stated this week that the Alabama Legislature will be considering a six to ten cents gas tax increase in the next legislative session.  Currently, Alabama has one of the lowest gas taxes in the nation, which means that prices are always significantly lower than they are in neighboring Georgia.

According to Gasbuddy.com, today you can buy gas in Chattooga County for $2.01 a gallon on average.  In neighboring DeKalb County, Alabama prices are as low as $1.94 per gallon.

The Alabama Majority Leader said that there is a good chance the new gas tax increase will pass.  Proceeds are to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Yesterday's (Dec 13) Arrest Report

The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department continues to have problems with their computer software.  Yesterday’s arrest report was not made available until late Thursday evening.

Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office

24 Hour Arrest Report

Date: 12/12/2018 to 12/13/18

Lindley, Jordan – Disorderly Conduct SPD 119 G.Pruitt 12/12/2018 6:53PM

Harper, Diane – Obtaining Controlled Substance for Fraudulent Means SPD 105 T. Hutchins 12/12/2018 2:08PM

Henderson, David – Failure to appear- state court: o/c simple battery FVA, Battery, Criminal trespass CCSO 15 M. Armstrong 12/13/2018 10:50

Caldwell, Jacob – Probation Violation- Superior: o/c Burg 2nd aft 06/30/2012, Theft By taking, criminal trespass CCSO J100 C. Spraggins 12/12/2018 3:30PM

Grier, Scott – Hold For Dekalb Co Alabama SPD 110 M. Wilson 12/12/2018 11:15AM

Cardin, Angelina – Hold For Walker Co CCSO 07 W. Flood 12/12/2018 5:05PM

Brown, Casey – Driving While license suspended or revoked CCSO 15 M. Armstrong 12/13/2018 2:40PM

Perkins, Rocky – Failure to Appear- City of Summerville o/c: speeding CCSO 56 J. Stricklin 12/13/2018 10:00AM

Chattooga School History Club Selected For Smithsonian Educational Initiative

The Chattooga County School History Club, in conjunction with Summerville Main Street (Susan Locklear, Main Street Director), has been selected for the Smithsonian Educational Initiative. The Chattooga County History Club announced on Thursday that it has been selected to create one of sixteen projects nationwide for the Smithsonian’s Stories from Main Street: Youth Engagement and Skill building Program (Stories: YES).

The program is a collaboration between youth in the Chattooga County Schools History Club and Summerville Main Street to develop stories around the theme of the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition “Crossroads: Change in Rural America”, which will be hosted in the spring of 2020 at the Summerville Depot. Stories: YES participants weave national narratives from the exhibition into the history of their own hometown by conducting research and interviews to create a project highlighting their community. The program engages kids with regional history and contemporary local issues, while providing an opportunity to use professional equipment and learn real-world skills. Youth projects will be displayed locally and their digital stories will be shared on Museum on Main Street’s website at https://museumonmainstreet.org/. The Chattooga County Schools History Club will keep the equipment purchased through the program and continue to make it available for student access to display the oral history project as it grows.

The Chattooga County History Club was started two years ago at Summerville Middle School. Middle school students from Summerville Middle School, Menlo Elementary School, and Lyerly Elementary school participate in the History club and meet once monthly to research and investigate local history. History club advisors are Paula Buice, Kanissa Martin, and Megan Ray. An opportunity to participate in a two week summer program, which students learn about local history through field experiences and live histories, is another opportunity offered to the history club members. This past summer, the students, with the assistance from Marybeth Housch, CHS Audio/Visual Arts Teacher, produced a short documentary highlighting local Chattooga County citizens oral histories and a walkthrough of United States history as it pertained to Chattooga County. Additionally, during the 2018-2019 school year, the students who were promoted from SMS and began their freshman year at CHS, started a High School History club under the guidance of Mrs. Charis Baird, CHS History teacher. Students who express a great interest in history and a desire to learn more about the community in which they reside, are invited to join the history club at both the middle school and high school levels!

Funding for Stories: YES is generously provided to Museum on Main Street (MoMS) with internal Smithsonian Institution support from the Smithsonian Youth Access Grants Program. MoMS is a partnership between the Smithsonian institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils. It was created to serve museums, libraries and historical societies in rural areas, where one-fifth of all Americans live. SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for over 65 years. It connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.

Mark your calendars for the Smithsonian traveling exhibit and the students of Chattooga County Schools history club to make their debut in the spring of 2020 at the Summerville Depot!

(Submitted by Chattooga County School History Club)

Georgia Ag Commissioner Applauds Passage Of Farm Bill

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Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black issued the following statement on the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill. 

“I commend the Administration and Congress for coming to an agreement before the new year regarding this important piece of the puzzle for our farmers.  Given all the variables that our farmers must deal with on a daily basis, it is imperative that they have the certainty of clear and steady farm policies.  This farm bill will do just that by equipping our farm families, lending institutions and rural communities to plan for the future.”

Some of the bills features that will benefit agriculture in Georgia include:

• Protection for peanut and cotton farmers by preserving existing safety nets;

• Support for all members of farming operations by eliminating a provision that “limited certain family members from being considered actively engaged in the farm operation based on management;”

• Prolonged support and funding for American textile mills;

• Assessment of imported pecans to ensure foreign producers pay the same assessment fee as U.S. pecan growers to help pecan growers compete;

• Initiation of a pilot program to verify earned income for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients at the time of certification and recertification;

• Elimination of “unnecessary subsidy on all rural development loan programs to allow programs to become self-sufficient” to save approximately $50 million per year;

Georgia DOT Announces Funding For Bridge In Chattooga County

Georgia DOT suspends construction-related lane closures for Thanksgiving holiday

Yesterday, the Georgia Department of Transportation announce a grant that will fund a bridge replacement in Chattooga County.

The announcement yesterday stated that the project in Chattooga County was awarded $7.5 million. The money was awarded to fund the replacement of the bridge on Georgia Highway 48 that spans the East Fork Little River at Cloudland.  The current bridge was built decades ago and will be replaced.  According to State Senator Jeff Mullis, the money will be used for the bridge construction “and approaches on State Route 48.”

The project is expected to be completed by May of 2023.

Mullis said, “I commend GDOT for awarding these contracts for infrastructure improvements in these three counties,” said Sen. Mullis. “Bridge rehabilitation is critical when it comes to commuter safety, especially for our heavier vehicles carrying cargo or our school buses transporting our children.”

Chattooga Animal Advocates Fundraiser

Animal Advocates of Chattooga County are offering an opportunity for local residents to support their efforts in saving animals by purchasing a unique Christmas gift this year.

The organization that works to save animals that would otherwise be euthanized and to find homes for dogs and cats in Chattooga County is selling handcrafted, homemade goats milk soap.  The soap is available for purchase at Gaylor Insurance in the Save A Lot Shopping Center in Summerville.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to help the organization’s efforts here in Chattooga County.

Chattooga Dispatcher Honored By Redmond

A Chattooga County EMA – E911 dispatcher was honored this week as “dispatcher of the year.”

Redmond EMS named Chattooga County’s Chris Wilbanks as the District Four “Dispatcher of the year”.

Wilbanks has worked as a dispatcher for Chattooga County EMA – E911 since July of 2009.

Congratulations to Chris Wilbanks the Redmond EMS District Four “Dispatcher of the Year.”

Lyerly's Christmas In The Park Postponed Again

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The Town of Lyerly announced on Thursday evening that they are having to postpone Christmas in the Park once again.  The event was originally planned for Saturday, December 8 and was postponed due to rain.  The event was rescheduled for this evening, but due to the forecast of rain, town officials have once again decided to postpone the event.  Lyerly Town Clerk Sally Kerce told WZQZ News on Thursday evening that Lyerly’s Christmas in the Park has been rescheduled for next Friday, December 21st at Angus McLeod Park.

Multiple Accidents In Tuesday's Fog

The Georgia State Patrol was busy working accidents in Chattooga County on Tuesday when heavy fog developed.

The National Weather Service had issued a statement on Tuesday morning about the possibility of black ice in Northwest Georgia, but the real problem was the heavy fog in some areas.  Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader stated on Tuesday that his deputies had not encountered any icy patches on the roadways, but was warning motorists about the heavy fog.

Law enforcement and Redmond EMS were called to the scene of an accident on Highway 27 at Walmart on Tuesday.  The Georgia State Patrol was working an accident when another accident happened at the same location.  No life-threatening injuries were reported from either accident.

The heavy fog was an issue for motorists until later on Tuesday morning when the fog cleared and temperatures warmed above freezing.

Traffic Accident Leads To Drug Citation

A woman told Summerville Police on Monday that if she had known marijuana was inside her house she would have smoked it and wouldn’t have allowed them inside her home.

The incident happened while Summerville Police were working a vehicle accident at the intersection of Northwest Congress Street and First Street.  While investigating the crash, the police learned that someone had fled from the scene of the accident.  Witnesses told the police that the person fled to a house on Lewis Street.

When officers went to the residence they spoke with Deidra Adams and questioned her about the person who had fled from the scene.  Adams allowed the police inside her home.  Upon entering the residence the officers saw suspected marijuana “in plain sight, on the living room floor”, according to the police report.  Additionally the officers found other drug paraphernalia inside the residence.

Adams reportedly told the officers, “she did not know that the marijuana was there because if she did she would have smoked it and also would not have let (the police) in.”

Adams was issued a citation for possession of marijuana less than an ounce.

No announcement available or all announcement expired.