GBI Investigating Death In Calhoun

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Calhoun Police have called on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to help investigate a man’s death.

According GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles, James Balston was taken to a local hospital after he was found unresponsive, and he later died. He was 47. The Calhoun Police Department requested the GBI’s help in investigating the death at 10:35 Tuesday morning.

Miles says the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy on Balston’s body on Wednesday.

Arrest Report - Wednesday - April 24, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Wednesday, April 24, 2019:

Drug Task Force Makes Multiple Arrests

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Last week, the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force made multiple arrests for drug possession.

According to Drug Task Force Commander Dewayne Brown, forty-three-year-old Michael Alexander Pollard was arrested at a business near the Tennessee state line in northern Walker County and charged with selling crack cocaine at the business.  Fifty-seven-year-old Demetrius T. Jones was charged with possession of methamphetamine and thirty-eight-year-old William Zachary Bell was charged with methamphetamine possession.

Agents also arrested three while serving a warrant in Chickamauga.  Twenty-year-old Grace Miller was charged with meth possession; thirty-eight-year-old Amanda D. Holloway was charged with possession of meth and prescription drugs and twenty-one-year-old Alexes Lynn McCulloch was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Drug Task Force Commander Dewayne Brown says that a press release is forthcoming later today regarding more arrests made by the Task Force.

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force serves Walker, Dade and Chattooga Counties.

Siblings Arrested For Altercation In Summerville

A pair of siblings were arrested in Summerville over the weekend after a domestic incident was reported to the Summerville Police Department.

Summerville Police were called to the scene of a fight between a brother and sister on Fourth Street on Saturday afternoon.  The call came in around 1 PM and officers arrived to find the two involved in an altercation.

Thirty-seven-year-old Tameesha Shrophsire and her brother, forty-one-year-old Lasitory Shrophsire were found to be arguing loudly.

According to police, Mr. Shropshire was heavily intoxicated at the time.  Officers say that he was being “loud and boisterous and kept talking over officers.”  It was the second time on Saturday that the police had responded to the residence, according to the report.

Both were arrested and taken to the Chattooga County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to the report.

Menlo Barn Dance Burglary Reported

A burglary was reported at the Menlo Barn Dance, according to a report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department.

A sheriff’s deputy met with Diane Crowe at the Barn Dance after she discovered the burglary while feeding some cats at the location.  Ms. Crowe told the responding deputy that someone had broken a hasp on the door to the Barn Dance and gained entry into the building.

Ms. Crowe told the deputy that someone had stolen several food items, some liquor, prescription pills, cash and a flash light.

The responding deputy said that he could see where someone had pried the hasp off the door to the building.

The incident was turned over to an investigator.

Chattooga 4H Recognized For "Rivers Alive" Program Participation

Chattooga County 4H was recognized by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources “Rivers Alive” Program on Tuesday for their participation in the annual event.

The “Rivers Alive” program was started by the Georgia DNR in 1999 and is now celebrating twenty years of cleaning up Georgia’s waterways. Throughout the history of Rivers Alive, over 463 thousand volunteers extracted 110.0 million pounds of garbage from 32.0 thousand miles of waterway.

Chattooga County Extension Agent Rebecca Thomas says, “I have been fortunate to be involved with Rivers Alive for the past 20 years (from its conception). Today on its 20th year, Chattooga 4-H was awarded the state award for our involvement. Lots of memories over these 20 years and thousands of young people helping preserve our streams, rivers, and water ways. This award goes to those thousands of young people who made a difference.”

The recognition was given to Chattooga County 4-H yesterday in Atlanta.  DNR officials say that the “Rivers Alive” program has had a tremendous impact on communities and their watersheds in the past, and that the numbers from each successive year’s cleanups indicate that Rivers Alive will continue to grow into the next decade.

Rome Man Charged With Stealing Vehicle From Cherokee County, AL

A thirty-nine-year-old Rome man was arrested on Monday of this week after Floyd County Police recovered a stolen vehicle out of Cherokee County, Alabama.

According to Floyd County Jail records, David Stephen Miller II was pulled over on Turner McCall Boulevard after he was seen driving a vehicle without a license plate.

After officers made contact with Miller, it was discovered the vehicle he was driving was stolen previously in Cherokee County.

Miller was charged with operating a vehicle without a license plate, and felony theft by receiving stolen property.


Menlo Man Charged With DUI On Easter Sunday

A Menlo man was arrested for DUI this past Sunday shortly after 1 AM after he was stopped for speeding.

A Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputy was sitting on Highway 27 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Road when he saw vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.  According to the deputy, the vehicle was doing 81 in a 55 mph zone.

The deputy pulled the vehicle over at Sloppy Floyd Lake Road and asked the driver, identified as Tyler Owens of Menlo, if there was a reason he was driving so fast.  Owens told the deputy that his ex-girlfriend’s son was sick.  The deputy noticed a strong smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.  The deputy asked Owens how much he had to drink, and he told the deputy that he had a “fireball” about four hours previous.

After conducting a field sobriety test, the deputy arrested Owens for driving under the influence and speeding and booked him into the Chattooga County Jail.


Vidalia® Onions Have Arrived

Georgia’s official state vegetable is officially in season, beloved Vidalia® onions can now be found in grocery stores around the world.

Grown only from Georgia soil, the Vidalia® onion is available for a limited time. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black released the following statement about the world-renowned onion:

“The sweetest onions on earth are certainly living up to their reputation this year.  Thanks to the hardworking farm families of nature’s favorite state, the quality of nature’s favorite onion is exceeding expectations. We are proud to offer our sweet Vidalia onions to all those who have been patiently awaiting their arrival.”

Summerville City Hall Announces Lunch Closing

Summerville City Hall will be closed from 11:45-1:15 for Administrative Professionals Day today.

Arrest Report - Tuesday - April 23, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Tuesday, April 23, 2019:

Micro Farms Growing In Georgia

Georgia continues to loose small and midsize farms, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture.  Over the past five years 1,500 small and medium size farms have gone out of business, but there is good news – small “micro-farms” are increasing across the state.

While the number of small and mid-size farms has dropped, micro-farms, between one and nine acres, have increased to more than 4,500. That’s up from about three thousand in 2012. Micro-farms are generally food-producing enterprises from one to five acres.

Poultry and egg farms ranked number one in the state and country for total sales with nearly $5.4 billion. Peanut and hay crops came in at number two.

Gary Black, commissioner of the state’s department of agriculture, said overall, he’s pleased by the data, but farmers here still need help recovering from Hurricane Michael. “I really am troubled to see what these numbers will be five years from now,” Black said.  “And you know, that’s not smoke and mirrors, that’s reality.”

Congress has failed to pass a multi-billion-dollar relief package in the aftermath of the storm. Black said he hopes any partisan feuding will end to help the state’s citizens.

GPB / Compiled Sources


Read The Label When Selecting Tomato Plants

Tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes. If you prefer smaller fruit, Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Jake Price recommends you plant popular cherry tomato varieties like 'Jolly', 'Sweet Baby Girl' or 'Super Sweet 100' hybrids.
The desire for fresh, homegrown tomatoes is the main reason many homeowners plant gardens. Most tomato plants are planted in late March and April, and every spring some homeowners run into problems with their tomato plants.

Tomatoes are susceptible to a lot of diseases. Once infected, it is too late to stop most diseases from killing or limiting the production of the plant. Using a few cultural practices and planting varieties that are resistant to disease can make for a more productive tomato harvest.

Two newer, good-tasting, disease-resistant tomato varieties are ‘Red Bounty’ and ‘Bella Rosa’, both of which are resistant to tomato spotted wilt virus.

When selecting plants, look for varieties that have a lot of letters next to the name. This means the plants have a built-in resistance to disease. An example would be a popular variety called referred to as the “‘Celebrity’ VFFNTA hybrid.”

The letters by the name tell the gardener the plant pests and diseases to which the variety is resistant. “V” refers to Verticillium wilt; “F” is for Fusarium wilt; “FF” is for Fusarium wilt races 1 and 2; “N” is for nematodes; “T” is for tobacco mosaic virus; “A” is for Alternaria (early blight); and “TSWV” is for tomato spotted wilt virus.

Tomatoes are classified as determinate or indeterminate types. Determinate varieties produce fruit that ripens over a short period of time, producing a large volume of tomatoes early in the season. Once the tomatoes have been harvested, the plants can be removed. Indeterminate varieties produce fruit continually throughout the season.

Popular determinate hybrid varieties include ‘Bush Celebrity’ VFFNTA, ‘Bush Early Girl’ VFFNT, ‘Celebrity’ VFFNTA and ‘Mountain Spring’ VFF. Popular indeterminate hybrid varieties are ‘Early Girl’ VFF, ‘Better Boy’ VFN, ‘Big Boy’ and ‘Beefmaster’ VFN.

Some gardeners prefer tomato plants that produce small fruit. Popular cherry tomato varieties include the ‘Jolly’, ‘Sweet Baby Girl’ and ‘Super Sweet 100’ hybrids.

In addition to buying disease-resistant varieties, gardeners should use good cultivation practices to prevent problems.

Tomatoes like well-drained, high organic-matter soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8. Gardeners should have their soil tested and follow test recommendations to correct any pH problems.

Tomatoes frequently experience problems with a condition called “blossom end rot.” This condition turns the bottom of the tomato fruit black. Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the fruit and is made worse when soil conditions fluctuate between wet and dry.

Adding dolomitic lime, which raises pH and contains calcium and magnesium, can help prevent the problem. If the garden soil pH is optimal but the calcium is low, apply gypsum at 1 pound per 100 square feet. Foliar applications of calcium can help provide a temporary fix if the problem is not excessive.

Placing mulch around tomato plants reduces soil moisture fluctuations and keeps weed pressure down. Layers of newspaper can be placed around plants, and mulch can be added on top to further prevent weeds. Pine straw, bark, leaves or most any type of mulch can be used.

Selecting disease-resistant varieties, following soil test results and adding mulch should make this tomato season more productive.

For more information on tomato varieties, see University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Bulletin 1271, “Georgia Homegrown Tomatoes,” at

By Jacob G. Price for CAES News

Calhoun Man Arrested For Breaking In Car Dealership

Floyd County Police arrested a Calhoun man on Sunday after he was caught trying to break in University Chrysler-Dodge- Jeep on Highway 53 in Rome.

According to reports, nineteen-year-old Justin Ray Weldon used a 2×4 to break a window out of the Dodge dealership.  Police say that Weldon was attempting to steal car keys from inside the dealership.

Weldon was apprehended and charged with felony first-degree burglary and felony possession of tools for commission of a crime and was booked into the Floyd County Jail.


Lyerly Man Arrested On Drug Charges

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The Summerville Police department assisted the Georgia State Patrol in traffic stop in the City of Summerville on Sunday night that led to the arrest of Lyerly man for multiple violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act.

The traffic stop happened on Montgomery Street in Summerville after a state trooper pulled over twenty-seven-year-old Braden Adarione Black for an improper left turn, reckless driving and speeding.

Summerville Detective Ty Hutchins assisted GSP Trooper Dexter Mitchell in the stop and called in Deputy Nick Robinson and the K9 from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department

A search of Black’s vehicle revealed around two pounds of marijuana.

Along with the traffic offences, Black was charged with violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for possession and distribution of marijuana.

McConnell Book Signing Thursday - WZQZ Radio Interview

Former Chattooga County Sheriff and Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Gary McConnell will hold a book signing coming up this Thursday at the Summerville Depot.

Mr. McConnell’s book “It’s All About The People” recounts his days as a deputy and later sheriff of Chattooga County.  McConnell tells about busting moonshine operations along with several high-profile murder cases during his long tenure as sheriff in the book.  He also recounts his time as head of GEMA after being tapped by former Georgia Governor Zell Miller to serve.

Mr. McConnell sat down with WZQZ News for an interview about the book.  We will broadcast that interview coming up Wednesday morning following the 8 AM newscast.  We will rebroadcast the interview at 6 AM on Thursday morning.  Also, we will post the interview online following the radio broadcasts.

Thursday’s book signing will feature refreshments and is free to the public.  It will be held from 4:30 until 7 PM at the historic Summerville Depot.

More Information On Last Friday's Police Chase

The Summerville Police Department says that the four out of town suspects arrested in Alabama after a high-speed chase that started in Chattooga County and ended in Cherokee County, Alabama last Friday, were all suspects in a theft from a Rome department store.

Summerville Police say that they received a “be on the lookout” call from Rome Police after the four Tennessee residents fled from Dunham’s Sporting Goods store at the Mt. Berry Mall in Rome following a theft from the store.

GA. Officer Phillip Cox and Officer Matt Pritchard made contact with the vehicle on Rome Boulevard. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle fled traveling northbound on Rome Boulevard turning left onto Highway 114. At one point during the high-speed pursuit, the driver tried to ram Officer Cox’s patrol unit.

The vehicle fled from officers on Highway 114 and crossed over into Alabama. Cherokee County (AL) deputies joined the pursuit. The vehicle wrecked into a wooded area passed the 4-way stop in Gaylesville, AL. All of the occupants of the vehicle tried to flee on foot but were apprehended by law enforcement. Four suspects were taken into custody and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center. Detective Ty Hutchins assisted the Rome Police Department and Cherokee County (AL) deputies in the investigation of the theft that occurred in Rome, GA and pursuit that ended in Alabama. Det. Hutchins obtained arrest warrants for 4 individuals who are:

Tywan Lamont Hatcher (22) of Madison, TN charged with Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude (Felony) (2 counts), Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Felony), Reckless Driving and several other traffic offenses.

Tavarus Tremonte Crutcher (22) of Nashville, TN charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Felony)

Adriana Omesha Christain (19) of Nashville, TN charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Felony)

Mykia Myshay Crutcher (23) of Nashville, TN charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property (Felony)

Woman In Bed Cited For Marijuana

A Summerville woman was cited for marijuana possession while she was in her bed, according to a recent report from the Summerville Police Department.

Officers were serving a warrant on Josh Able at a Blake Street residence when they noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from a bedroom of the residence.

Officers approached the room and found Lorrie Houge in the bed.  Officers asked Hogue if she had any marijuana at which point she produced a small bag with suspected marijuana.  There was also a partially smoked marijuana cigarette on a bedside table.

Officers cited Hogue for misdemeanor marijuana possession after she admitted to smoking marijuana in the bedroom.

"Ladies Night Out" Announced By Summerville Main Street

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Summerville Main Street invites ladies of all ages to come enjoy a sit down meal by Olive Garden, along with some good, clean comedy by Jennifer O’Brien, and a live auction, for the perfect Ladies Night Out.

O’Brien has performed at multiple comedy clubs, from the Punchline in Atlanta, to the Laugh Factory in NYC andnd was seen on Nick At Nite’s Funniest Mom in America.

All proceeds from this event benefit Summerville Main Street downtown projects, and community events. Doors will open at 7:00 with pre-show live musical entertainment. Advanced ticket purchase is suggested. Tickets are very limited (Only 90 Tickets To Be Purchased) and may be purchased for $20 at Merle Norman/GaGa’s Boutique or through Summerville City Hall (706)859-0900 and other participating sponsors

Arrest Report - Monday - April 22, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Monday, April 22, 2019: