Arrest Report Friday July 19, 2019

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

Man Flees On Foot From Accident Scene In Trion

A two car accident on Highway 27 near Peach State Credit Union left two people with injuries on Thursday afternoon.  One man fled from the scene of the accident and was later apprehended by law enforcement.

The accident happened around 3 PM.  The two occupants were transported by Redmond EMS to a Rome hospital.

Edward Ray Brand of Trion fled from the scene of the accident on foot.  Chattooga County Chief Deputy Kevin Wood told WZQZ News that Brand was not the driver of either vehicle.  He was apprehended a short time later by law enforcement.  Officers discovered that Brand was wanted on a warrant out of Bartow County.

Brand was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and giving a false name, address or birth date to a law enforcement officer and booked into the Chattooga County Jail.


Clouldand Teenager Continues Recovery

WZQZ reported last week about a person at Cloudland who was on a lawnmower when they were struck by an oncoming vehicle.  Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News that the person on the lawnmower was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga after the accident which happened around 10 AM last Thursday.

The victim was identified as seventeen-year-old Robert Westbrook.  The accident happened when Westbrook was attempting to cross Highway 157 on the lawnmower.  The mower was struck by a Honda Accord and ejected Westbrook from the mower.

Sheriff Schrader says that Westbrook’s condition is improving.  After several days in intensive care at Erlanger, he was moved to a regular room earlier this week.

Man Charged For Attempting To Bring Drugs Into Prison

A thirty-year-old  Covington, Georgia man was booked into the Floyd County Jail this week on charges of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Controlled Substances Act, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

According to jail records, Cortez Donte Dudley delivered 32.1 grams of meth and 37.8 grams of marijuana to the intersection of Trotter Lane and Hitching Post Drive in Rome back in October of 2018.

The drugs were intended for an inmate at the Floyd County Prison, who intended to smuggle the contraband into the facility.


Armuchee Man Arrested Twice In One Day For Same Violation

Two mug shots – same day – for Armuchee man at the Chattooga County Jail 

An Armuchee man was arrested twice in one day this week – for the same violation. 

Docket records from the Chattooga County Jail show that forty-six-year-old Bradley Thomas Hansard of a Floyd Springs Road, Armuchee address was stopped by Summerville Police around shortly before 1 PM on Sunday and was arrested for driving with suspended or revoked license.

A little over eight hours later, Hansard was stopped by a Chattooga County Deputy in the area of Highway 27 and Mountain View Road.  The deputy conducted a traffic stop after he noticed that the Toyota FJ Cruiser driven by Hansard failed to stop at a stop sign.  When the deputy spoke with Mr. Hansard he discovered that the man’s drivers license had been suspended for failure to appear.

Hansard was once again arrested for driving on suspended or revoked license and booked into the Chattooga County Jail.


GNTC Establishes "Patrick Doyle Scholarship"

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) recently established the Patrick D. Doyle Law Enforcement Scholarship to reward academic achievement and provide aid to Basic Law Enforcement students.

The scholarship honors the memory of drug task force commander Patrick Doyle who passed away at the age of 47 after a nine year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Dacia and son PJ. Doyle was considered a model peace officer in the northwest Georgia region by his peers and the community.

The scholarship awards $500 to one Basic Law Enforcement student per semester. Funds can be used for tuition, books, testing fees and program supplies.

The goal of the scholarship is to raise $7500 to support the fund for five years. If the goal is exceeded, more scholarships per semester will be offered. The scholarship is currently funded for the upcoming fall semester.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be enrolled full-time and either be in their third semester of the Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) program or be enrolled in the Criminal Justice program after completing the BLE certificate program. They also must be in good standing with the college and Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Council. A student must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher to be considered for the scholarship.

Originally from Carrolton, Doyle attended West Georgia College and in 1996 moved to Walker County to become a detention officer at the Sheriff’s Office. In 1997 he became a certified police officer for the LaFayette Police Department. Doyle became a task force agent for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task force in 2003 and was promoted to task force commander in 2012.

Doyle returned to college and earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

An active member of the community, Doyle was very involved with his church, the Boy Scouts, 4-H, the Future Farmers of America and PJ’s ball games.

At GNTC, scholarships are offered to students each semester in a variety of programs at all six campuses. For more information about scholarship opportunities available, please visit our website at

To learn more about establishing or contributing to a scholarship fund, please contact Michelle Beatson, GNTC’s foundation administrator, at

No New Information In Walker County Death

It has been over a month now since the body of thirty-one-year-old Britney Cole was found in a field in rural Walker County and Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says that there are still no new leads and no arrests have been made.

Sheriff Wilson says that he has requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation speed up their toxicology and autopsy reports, but admits that it can be a long wait for those reports to come back.  For now, the case is stalled until those reports are received.

Britney Cole was last seen leaving her place of employment, Wanda’s Restaurant in Rock Spring on Thursday night, June 13th.  Her body was discovered five days later by a couple of farmers who found the body in a field.

Cole’s husband, Bob J. “B.J.” Cole was arrested shortly after Britney’s body was discovered.  Cole is a convicted murderer who was out of prison on parole.  He was arrested for a parole violation.  He is not considered a suspect in Britney’s death at this time.

Sheriff Wilson says that his office has interviewed several people, but has no suspects in the case at this time.

Georgia Records Record Number Of Jobs In June

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Georgia added more than 20,000 jobs in June, pushing the state to a new record high, state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said on Thursday.

Butler also noted that preliminary numbers showed year-over-year gains in employment and workforce. At the same time, claims for unemployment insurance were near record lows.

“The numbers for June are very impressive,” Butler said. “We set yet another record for jobs, passing 4.6 million. Fewer people filed unemployment claims and our number of employed residents is climbing. There’s plenty to be encouraged about in the June report.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate inched up 0.1 percent points in June to reach 3.7 percent. Georgia’s rate dropped 0.1 percentage points to settle at 3.7 percent. A year ago, Georgia’s unemployment rate sat at 3.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia added 20,200 jobs in June, pushing the total to 4.61 million jobs – a new record for the state. That number is up more than 80,000 from the same time last year.

Georgia had four job sectors that added more than 2,000 jobs in June: Education/health services, 3,600; information, 2,900; professional/business services, 2,700; leisure/hospitality, 2,200.

In terms of annual change, education/health services, professional/business services, leisure/hospitality and construction and all added 10,000 or more jobs.

In June, the number of employed residents went up for the first time in four months. The gain of 2,175 in June brought Georgia’s number of employed to 4.91 million.

Georgia’s labor force slipped again in June, dropping by less than 1,500 versus a total work force of more than 5.1 million. And, even with the monthly loss, the labor force total was still higher than the same month a year ago.

At the same time, fewer residents were filing new claims for unemployment. The total number of claims filed in June, at 18,410, was the second lowest filed in the past 45 years.

New claims for unemployment were down by about 11 percent compared with last month. When compared to June of 2018, claims were down by 16 percent.

In June, noted just under 80,000 job postings.

THS Locker & Parking Information

Trion High School students will have the opportunity to rent lockers and obtain parking spaces coming up next Thursday, July 25th.

The cost for the lockers will be $25 each and parking permits are $30.   All fines, fees, tuition must be paid in order to rent lockers or parking spaces.

Seniors can rent lockers and get parking permits starting at 8:30 AM and going until 9:30.  Juniors will have their opportunity from 9:30 AM until 11 AM; sophomores from 11 AM until Noon.  Freshman will be able to rent lockers and get parking permits from 1:30 – 2:30 PM next Thursday.

Student who are purchasing parking permits must bring a valid driver’s license, insurance card, tag number and make and model of the vehicle.

Trion High School says no permits will be sold without all the information.


BOE Wrangles With Superintendent Search Timeline

The Chattooga County Board of Education met on Thursday evening for their regular work session and board meeting.  It was the first meeting for new board member Eddie Elsberry, who was appointed by the board to fill the position vacated by John Turner.

The board wrangled with the question of the search for a school superintendent and what kind of timeline they would follow in that search.  Board member Dr. Julia Houston said that she thought the search should go forward, but Mr. Elsberry said that he thought that it would be best to go throughout the year with Mr. Jared Hosmer as acting school superintendent.  Elsberry said that this time of the year would not be a good time to search for candidates, since most good – and interested – candidates would already be under contract with other school systems.  Board member Brad Hayes agreed with Mr. Elsberry and echoed the idea that most people who would be eligible will be getting ready for a new school year in their current positions.

Dr. Houston said that while it would most likely be next year before a new school superintendent is chosen, she would like to see the preliminary groundwork for the search to go forward.

Board Chairman John Agnew agreed with Dr. Houston, but said that he could see the point being made by Elsberry and Hayes.  Board member Sammy Ballard also said that his opinion was somewhere between Dr. Houston’s and Mr. Elsberry’s saying, “at some point we have to start the process.”  Mr. Agnew added that getting the process started didn’t mean that a new superintendent would be chosen before the end of the upcoming school year.


Summerville Officer Shoots & Kills Pit Bull Mix Dog

A Summerville Police officer was called to a Highland Avenue address on Wednesday morning after  a pedestrian was alarmed by a boxer-mix-pit bull in the neighborhood while walking down the sidewalk.  The pedestrian reported that the dog had charged toward them.

The dog was recently quarantined after biting someone who walked to the door of the Highland Avenue residence to ask about a vacant property next door.  The owners of the dog have an electronic fence to contain the dog.  The dog was quarantined by the owners for ten days after that incident.

On Wednesday, Summerville Officer Matt Pritchard went to talk with the dog’s owners about the incident with the pedestrian that happened around 7:30 Wednesday morning.  The police officer said that when he got out of his vehicle the dog growled at him and acted aggressively.  The officer then pepper sprayed the dog which ran to the patio area of the house.

While the officer was speaking with the dog’s owner, the dog charged the officer.  The homeowner got between the officer and the dog, but the dog made a wide sweep around the homeowner and tried again to attack the officer, allegedly biting him on the shoe.  It was at that point the officer pulled his service weapon and fatally shot the dog.


Georgia Music Foundation Honors Bill Anderson With "Flame Keeper" Award

Bill Anderson

Last night at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee the Peach Pickers honored country music legend Bill Anderson with the Georgia Music Foundation’s “Flame Keeper” award. The annual award is presented to someone who has impacted Georgia music.  Bill Anderson, a University of Georgia graduate, started his career in music as a disc jockey in Georgia and has long kept in touch with his Georgia roots.

Each year, the Peach Pickers – Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, and Ben Hayslip – assemble a blue-chip group of friends for an evening of music at the historic Ryman Auditorium to benefit the Georgia Music Foundation.  This year’s lineup included Jamey Johnson, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Colt Ford, Craig Campbell, John Berry and Bill Anderson.

“This annual night of music has been so successful because of the generosity of the artists who participate,” said Dallas Davidson, longtime chair of the Georgia Music Foundation. “The camaraderie on stage reflects the friendships and mutual respect that Ben, Rhett and I have for the musicians and Georgians who have been a part of and influenced our careers.” The efforts of the Peach Pickers and friends have enabled the Georgia Music Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting programs of music education, preservation and outreach, to award nearly $400,000 in grants to music programs at schools and non-profit organizations over the past five years.

Bill Anderson scored his first country music break in 1956 while he was working at a small country radio station in Commerce, Georgia.  Anderson penned the song “City Lights” which went to the top of the charts on a recording by Ray Price.  The song went to the top of the charts again in the 1970’s when it was recorded by Mickey Gilley.  Since that time, Anderson has a string of country hits for himself and has written hundreds of songs for other artists.   He and Alan Jackson – another Georgia native – were inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame last year.

Bill Anderson continues to show his relevance as a country music song writer and performer, even in his sixth decade of music making.  He, along with co-writer and friend Jamey Johnson, helped pen the hit “Give It Away” that was recorded by George Straight.  He also was a writer, along with John Randall, on the Brad Paisley – Alison Krauss hit “Whiskey Lullaby” Anderson is sought out by younger performers and song-writers and he says that he like to collaborate with the younger generation.

Congratulations to “Whispering” Bill Anderson – the 2019 Georgia Music Foundation “Flame Keeper.”


Floyd Named To Forbes List Of Best In-State Employers

Floyd Health System made Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best-in-State Employers for 2019.

The rankings are based on a survey of more than 80,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 500 people. Floyd Health System employs over 3,200 people and serves a six-county area.

Employees were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their employers to other job seekers. Participants also were asked to evaluate other employers either positively or negatively. In addition, participants were asked 35 questions about work-related topics such as working conditions, salary and potential for development.

“I’ve been at Floyd for 44 years. The people here are my family,” said Konda Dizon, Clinical Manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Floyd Medical Center. “Floyd has been good to me as an employee. Their benefits are great. They want to hear what employees have to say and always try to make improvements that would make our job setting better. Floyd also focuses on quality care. I know that if I bring my family here, the staff will provide the best care they can. And Floyd makes sure we have the supplies and equipment we need to do our job. Floyd listens and truly cares for you as an employee,”

“Floyd is a great place to work,” said Kurt Stuenkel, Floyd President and CEO. “This recognition by a highly respected magazine like Forbes reflects the efforts we have made over the years to be the health care employer of choice in our region. Floyd also regularly surveys employees and has historically ranked in the top 10% in the nation in engagement and satisfaction.”

Five other Georgia hospital-related employers were ranked in the magazine – Piedmont Healthcare, Emory Healthcare, Shepherd Center, Phoebe Putney Health System and Houston Healthcare. The list included a total of 56 Georgia employers.

Press Release


Thatcher's BBQ Now Open In Summerville

Thatcher’s BBQ opened their fifth location today in downtown Summerville.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held by Summerville Main Street and the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce.

The word about the BBQ restaurant coming to Summerville has been out for some time now, and there have been plenty of setbacks for the owners, John and Melanie Thatcher of Calhoun.  The couple now are ready for business and are looking forward to seeing folks from Chattooga County and all over Northwest Georgia.

Thatcher’s has locations in Trenton, Calhoun, Ringgold, Chickamauga and now, Summerville.

The restaurant is located in the historic Jackson Drug Store building which has stood empty since Jackson’s closed.  Local developer Larry Howard purchased the building and gutted the old drug store.  In 2018 Thatcher’s announced their intentions to open there next location in Summerville.

Thatcher’s started as a take out only shack located next to Jenkins Park in Trenton, Ga. Within A year, customers wanted a place to dine in so they moved a portable building next to the shack and made the first Thatchers dining room. They later added a screened in porch and demand grew over the years causing them to outgrow the original shack and move into a much better facility in the town square of Trenton Georgia.

Thatcher’s will be open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 AM until 9 PM.  The restaurant has no plans to serve alcohol.


Arrest Report Thursday July 18, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday July 18, 2019:

Forum On Rural Prosperity In Georgia

The University of North Georgia campus in Dahlonega will be the site for next week’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce forum: the Chamber says the focus of next Wednesday’s event will be the economy of rural north Georgia.The North Georgia Forum focuses on the unique aspects of rural communities in North Georgia and seeks to bring solutions that cultivates prosperity for these portions of our state. For the first time in the North Georgia community, guests will have the opportunity to hear from speakers about the local challenges and solutions that are often faced.

The Georgia Chamber says that there will be networking opportunities for attendees, local business owners, and industry leaders to make meaningful connections and build relationships that could strengthen their business.

The honorable Senator Steve Gooch and Representative Rick Jasperse will discuss the legislative outlook on rural revitalization. There will also be a North Georgia regional speaker, Chuck Reece, who is the Editor of The Bitter Southerner. Additional speakers include representatives from the Office of Attorney General of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia EMC, Paladin Wireless, Hart County IBA and many more.

Man Finds Out Motorcycle Is Stolen

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A Chattooga County man discovered this week that a motorcycle he purchased several months ago was stolen. 

William Sipsy told a responding deputy that he bought the motorcycle with no title.  Mr. Sipsy said that he had spent a sizable sum of money getting the motorcycle running and had purchased insurance for the motorcycle.

When the VIN numbers on the bike were checked in the process of getting a title, Mr. Sipsy discovered that the motorcycle was in the Georgia Crime Information Center and was listed as being stolen.

Sipsy told the deputy that he had paid a man from Chattanooga $500 for the motorcycle.

The case has been turned over to an investigator with the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.


Rome Authorities Tear Down Drug House

Photo Credit: WRGA

On Wednesday, authorities in Rome destroyed a known drug-house.  Rome Police say that the house was sometimes referred to as “the 7-Up house”, and was used by drug dealers and drug users.

Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace called the demolition a “shot across the bow” to people who own property that is being used to peddle dangerous drugs.  The house, located at the corner of East 20th and Wheeler Street, had no utilities hooked up and had been the scene of several calls to police and EMT’s regarding drug activity.

The demolition of the structure was the result of a partnership between law enforcement, the Floyd County District Attorney’s Office and Federal Authorities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was also on hand Wednesday to announce the unsealing of a federal indictment against Shane Terhune, who is accused of distributing heroin that resulted in a death.

Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson said the victim was Gabriella Leffew who was twenty-five-years-old and had a three-year-old daughter.

Authorities said that Terhune has an arrest record and a history of dealing drugs.


Drug Task Force Makes Multiple Arrests This Week

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On Tuesday of this week the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task force received information from the Dalton Police Department’s Narcotics Division about drug activity taking place on LaFayette Road in Rocky Face. 

Those arrested included James Hunt, age 59 of Rocky Face on charges of possession of meth with intent to distribute; Amanda Grimes, age 37 was charged with possession of marijuana; Danny Crook, age 59 was charged with possession of meth and possession of marijuana.  Donald Mark Brown, age 47 was charged with possession of meth; Heather Templeton, age 27, was charged with failure to appear; Robert Rouillier, age 47, was charged with possession of meth.  Thirty-nine-year-old Charles Stanley was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer; Jeremy Bingham, age 27, was charged with possession of meth; Carol Slaton, age 55 was charged with possession of meth.  Forty-one-year-old Robby Ferguson was charged with possession of meth and five counts of obstruction of an officer and fifty-year-old James Moore was charged with possession of meth.

Agents executed a Search Warrant at 2259 Lafayette Rd., Rocky Face, Ga. The search warrant on Lafayette Rd, then lead Agents to execute an additional Search Warrant at 327 Joe Robertson Rd., Rocky Face, Georgia. 

Drug Task Force Commander Dewayne Brown says that the investigation is ongoing and there could be more charges as a result of that investigation.

Chattooga County Board Of Education Meeting This Evening

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The Chattooga County Board of Education will hold their regular monthly meeting coming up this evening, and it will be the first meeting with new board member Eddie Elsberry.  The board will be considering options to address a budget deficit.

The board will have to decide if they want to cut spending further, dip into the system’s $4.6 million reserve or – raise property taxes.  Exact figures on how much revenue the school system will receive from property taxes won’t be known until August.

The board is facing a budget shortfall of around $500,000.  The board of education has already cut over half-a-million dollars from the budget after they discovered they were facing a deficit of about $1.09 million.

The board was split last month with a 2-2 vote on purchasing a new reading program for the county’s elementary schools.  They could revisit that vote this evening and have a different outcome with a new voting member.

Board members will be faced with some tough decisions on cutting spending, raising revenue or both. WZQZ News will have a report on tonight’s board of education meeting in Friday’s newscasts and online at .

You can see the board’s agenda here.