Arrest Report - Saturday - January 20, 2018








Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.

McDonald's in Summerville Gets New Owners

McDonald’s Restaurant in Summerville has been purchased by new owners.

The Chattooga Chamber of Commerce announced that theSummerville McDonald’s, located at 11240 Hwy 27 Summerville, is under the new ownership and management of Aaron Excellence, LLC.

A grand re-opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled by the local chamber for the restaurant.  The event will be held at 10 AM next Thursday, January 25th at the Summerville McDonald’s.

Trion High School "Rec Night"

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Trion High school will host “Trion Recreation Night” coming up this afternoon and evening. JV games begin at 1 pm with varsity contests following at about 3:30. All Trion Rec. players will be admitted free of charge if they wear their basketball jerseys.

Hise Seeking Judge's Position Held by Van Pelt

A local attorney has announced that she will be running for Superior Court Judge.

Melissa Gifford Hise is an attorney that lives in Walker County and works in the law office with Albert Palmour in Summerville.  Hise says that she is seeking the position that is currently held by incumbent Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt, Jr.

His is married to Mark Hise and has two children.  She and her family attend the Rock Spring United Methodist Church.  She is a graduate of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and began practicing law in 1993.  Hise served as a clerk for former Superior Court Judge “Bo” Woods who retired recently.  Wood’s position was filled by Summerville Attorney Don Thompson, who was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal.  Thompson will also be seeking his first full-term as judge in the upcoming election.

Hise says that she plans to use her background in business organization and management skills to assist in making the local court system more efficient.

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit serves Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Chattooga Counties.

Summerville Woman Says Brother Damaged Car

A woman living on Lyerly Street in Summerville reported damage to her vehicle on Tuesday of this week.

Destiny Browning told a responding Summerville Police Officer that her brother and her mother had gotten into a physical altercation at the residence where they lived and damaged her vehicle.

According to the report from the Police Department, Browning’s brother, Austin Campbell is alleged to have broken the windshield out of the 2015 Dodge Dart and kicked a dent into the left front door of the vehicle.  Campbell and the complainants mother, Jennifer Browning, were alleged to have been fighting in the front yard at the time of the incident.

The report did not indicate if anyone was arrested or cited in connection with the incident.

Mobile Home Tax Bills Going Out

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Chattooga County Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton says that mobile home tax bills will be arriving in mailboxes by the end of the month.

Payments can be made in person at the tax/tag office beginning on Monday.  Georgia law requires that mobile home owners obtain their location permit (decal) by April 1st of each year; meaning that the due date for these bills (as required by the state) is April 1, 2018.  Penalties and interest will be applied on April 2nd.  Additionally, Georgia state law states that failure to obtain and display mobile home decals can result in misdemeanor charges and/or fines of $100-$300.00- we never want to see this happen, so please do not delay in making arrangements to clear up any delinquent bills.
Payments can be left in the overnight drop box, mailed to PO Box 517, Summerville, Georgia 30747, or paid online at

Trion Council Does About Face on Economic Development Authority

The Trion Town Council voted 3-2 on Thursday evening to go against the wishes of Mayor Larry Stansell and the advice of Town Attorney Albert Palmour and reversed their decision to establish their own Economic Development Authority.

Mayor Larry Stansell, believing that the new authority was a “done deal” had a white board in the council room for last night’s meeting with the names of all the people who had been asked to serve on the new Authority.  The mayor had even invited many of those who were being considered to serve on the new board to the meeting last night.  The mayor was prepared for the council to select from the list of names of people who were willing to serve, but before the council could get to that order of business, they decided to cancel out their December vote to establish the Authority.

After Mayor Stansell told the council that they needed to select members for the new Authority, Councilman Mickey McGraw made a motion to reverse the decision to establish the Authority.  McGraw said, “I made a New Year’s resolution that I am not going to vote in favor of anything that is handed to me the night of a meeting.”  McGraw went on to explain his position saying that at the December meeting, the council voted to establish the Economic Development Authority and that they were not thoroughly informed about the Authority before that vote.  McGraw had reservations about how much power the new Authority would have and how the Town Council would work with the new Authority.

Mayor Stansell was visibly upset with McGraw’s motion and broke meeting protocol by not waiting for a second to McGraw’s motion before he launched into an explanation of why it was imperative that the council act last night on appointing members to the new Authority.  The Mayor said that time was of the essence and that their were 100 new, good-paying jobs at stake if the council didn’t act immediately on the new Authority.

Councilwoman Becky McWhorter then made a second to McGraw’s motion saying that she agreed that the council had not been well-informed before the December vote to establish the Authority.  At that point, Town Attorney Albert Palmour began reiterating the necessity of the council acting on the Authority and attempted to address some of the concerns of the council about the new Authority and urged the council to go into executive session to discuss some specific questions. McWhorter said, “I think it needs to be made clear, that all of this was put on us in December, and the mayor wasn’t even at the meeting…..we voted on it …it had to be done…urgency, urgency.  We went home and reviewed it and that is when all the questions came up.”

After the second to the motion, Mayor Stansell said, “This was brought up in December.  Y’all voted on it in December.  You have had from December to now to research…..and make a decision by now.  It’s been a month.”

Those opposing the December vote were not swayed by Mayor Stansell nor the town attorney.

When a vote was taken, McGraw, McWhorter and Councilwoman Linda Ingle all voted to reverse the December decision to establish a new Economic Development Authority.  Councilmen Jeff “Fro” Wilson and Don Harris voted against the idea.

The council then quickly moved through the rest of the night’s agenda, approving a memorandum of understanding between Mount Vernon Mills and the Town of Trion regarding costs at the waste water treatment plant.

Mayor Stansell declared the proceedings over without asking for a vote to adjourn the meeting and quickly retreated to his office.  Councilman McGraw told AM 1180 after the meeting that he wanted it to be clear that he was not opposed to the Town of Trion having their own Economic Development Authority, but that he still has unanswered questions about the new Authority.  Councilwoman McWhorter echoed McGraw’s sentiments saying “We aren’t against economic development and new jobs, we just need more time to make sure we are making the right decision.”

The subject is likely to be on the agenda for next week’s regular Town Council meeting.

Trion Council Reverses Itself

In a somewhat surprising move Thursday evening, the Trion Town Council voted to reverse their decision regarding the establishment of an Economic Development Authority.

Mayor Larry Stansell and Town attorney Albert Palmour attempted to persuade the council to go into executive session to discuss their concerns. The council refused and voted to reverse their ecember decision.

Council members who spoke with AM 1180 after the meeting said that they are not necessarily opposed to the council establishing a Economic Development Authority, but they feel that they need to have more information before doing so.

We will have more information on this story coming up later today on the radio and online.

Arrest Report - Friday - January 19, 2018


Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department.

Probate Office Helping with Local Food Bank

The Chattooga County Department of Family and Children Services’ Food Bank is in desperate need of food and the Chattooga County Probate Court is conducting a “Valentine Food Drive” to help out the pantry.

Lafayette Woman Charged with Loitering at Fairway Rec. Center

Fairway Recreation Facility

A Lafayette woman was cited for loitering and prowling at the Fairway Recreation Center in Summerville on Wednesday of this week.

According to information released by the Summerville Police Department, the eighteen-year-old woman was hanging around Fairway Recreation center “for the purpose of  marijuana consumption.”

Jenna Meredith Thompson, of a Smith Gap Road, Lafayette address, was cited by the officer for loitering or prowling.

There was no indication from the report that Thompson had any drugs in her possession.

Veteran Walker County Deputy Passes Away

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson expressed his sadness at the loss of a longtime veteran of the Walker County Sheriff’s Department who passed away this week.

Sheriff Wilson said:

It is with a deep sense of sadness and grief that I announce the passing of my friend and 42 year Walker County Sheriff’s Office veteran employee (Ret.) Captain Jackie Barksdale on January 17, 2018.

Captain Barksdale retired from full time service in January 2011. However, it didn’t take long for him to return to his post in the Courthouse as a Deputy Sheriff. A post he served last on December 27, 2017.

From 1975-2011 Captain Barksdale held positions in the Jail division, Patrol division and Court Services division. During those years he held the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. Captain Barksdale was named the Rossville Exchange Club’s Officer of the Year in February 1997. Captain Barksdale was the authority on civil process and warrant service. More than 21 years ago he taught this young Sheriff a thing or two about civil process in the Sheriff’s Office.

We, the employees and friends at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office extend our love and condolences to Captain Barksdale’s sons, grandchildren, sisters, brothers and to his very close friends.
Go rest now my friend your work is done.

Sheriff Steve Wilson
Walker County Sheriff’s Office

Click here for funeral arrangements by Mason Funeral Home

Dispute Over Furniture Leads to Police Intervention

Summerville Police were called to Bittings Avenue this week after a confrontation between two women over furniture.

According to the police report, no arrests were made, but police mediated the incident between the two women who were arguing over a piece of furniture.  The nature of the argument wasn’t clear from the police report, but both parties ultimately agreed on who was supposed to get the furniture.

Police remained on the scene until a man arrived in a pickup truck to pick up the furniture.

Woman Reports House Rental Scam

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A Chattooga County woman reported, what she believed to be, a scam to the sheriff’s department this week.

The complainant came to the sheriff’s office and said that she had been on a website that lists rental properties.  She found one that she was interested in and inquired about the property in Summerville.  When she contacted the number listed, the man named “John” claimed to be the owner and wanted her to go to Wal-Mart and wire money for the deposit.  When she went to look at the property, there were people there cleaning who told her that “John” was not the owner of the property and the price for rent that “John” told her was not correct.

The woman was suspicious and wanted to report it to the sheriff’s office.

According to the report, the deputy contacted the owner of the property, James Tidmore on Wednesday of this week.  Mr. Tidmore said that he did have the property listed on the web site, but the number listed was not correct.

The deputy advised Mr. Tidmore on removing the property, and one other that was listed, from the website.

Georgia Created 83,000 New Jobs in 2017


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that 2017 was a banner year for job creation, employment and workforce gains in Georgia.

Over the year, Georgia created more than 83,000 new jobs, employed thousands more residents, grew a much larger workforce, and drove unemployment down 1.1 percent.

“As we look back at the year, it was impressive,” Butler said. “Over the year every major measurement improved considerably. In fact, we set records in several areas such as jobs, employment and workforce.”

In December, Georgia added 5,600 new jobs to end the year with an all-time record high of 4,518,900. The previous high of 4,513,300 was recorded in November. The 1.9 percent growth rate compares favorably with the national growth rate of 1.4 percent.

Job records were also set in educational and health services at 589,300 and leisure and hospitality at 495,900. The previous record highs had been recorded in November.

The state grew jobs in all major employment sectors, except manufacturing where 3,800 jobs were lost.

Yearly job gains were recorded in:

professional and business services, 20,500;
education and health services, 19,600;
leisure and hospitality, 14,300;
trade, transportation, and warehousing, 8,400;
government, 7,000;
construction, 5,500; and
financial activities, 4,700.

While the number of employed residents declined by 816 in December, Georgia still posted its second highest number ever — 4,871,108. The number of employed residents grew by 162,351 over the year. The previous record high – 4,871,924 – was recorded the previous month.

“I’m encouraged with the exciting growth we saw in 2017,” Butler said.

Georgia’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, grew by 2,644 in December, ending the year with a record-high 5,095,939. The state’s labor force grew by 113,248 in 2017.

In December, 26,117 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed, down by 20 percent from 12 months ago. About one-half of the yearly decline in claims came in manufacturing.

For the year, Georgians filed 325,597 initial unemployment claims, the lowest number posted since 1997. The 2017 numbers were down by 46,535 from 2016.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent to 4.4 percent over the 12-month cycle. The December rate, at 4.4 percent, was up from the previous month by .1 percent.

Lawnmower Reported Stolen

An Oak Hill Road, Lyerly man reported the theft of a riding lawn mower to the sheriff’s department on Wednesday of this week.

The complainant came to the sheriff’s department to report the theft.  He told a deputy that he had been financing the lawn mower from Farmer’s Furniture in Summerville and had fallen behind on his payments.  He thought that maybe Farmer’s Furniture had picked up the lawn mower.  However, when he contacted Farmer’s Furniture, they said that they didn’t have the mower.

The report did not indicate any other possible explanations for the missing lawn mower, and the case was turned over to an investigator.


Just the word “snow” sends a burst of energy through Southerners – the panic for bread and milk and navigating treacherous roadways causes our senses, and sometimes sensibilities to go into overdrive. If you are under age twenty-five or so, you will most likely have to hear some stories about the “big one” that happened in 1993.  If you are over twenty-five, you will have your own stories to tell.  This is part of mine.

Over thirty years in the radio business, I have seen my fair-share of “snow events” in Chattooga County.  If you were old enough to remember, it is inevitable that you will reference the “Blizzard of ’93” in your conversation and minimize the severity of the current conditions, because they just don’t compare to that event. I had broadcast during snow events prior to ’93, but none before – or since – can compare to that year.

I went out of state the day before the big event.  Temperatures were spring-like on that March day when we left Georgia, and while forecasters were already beginning to use the “S” word in reference to the impending weather event, a lot of people – myself included – didn’t pay much attention.  Then on March 13, 1993 the “Storm of the Century” made its way through Northwest Georgia, dumping Minnesota-like snow on Chattooga County.  It was two days before I was able to make it over Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee and back to the promised land.

I will never forget my uncle and I driving over Monteagle around 6 PM that evening and seeing no lights – anywhere.  We made it to Chattanooga and were in awe of the amount of snow on the sides of the road and the darkened houses and business coming down Highway 27 through Walker County.  I tuned the radio to 950 AM to see if WGTA was on the air.  I heard Anthony Gilleland, sounding pretty tired, talking about road conditions in Pennville and power outages in Chattoogaville.

We made it to my uncle’s house in Trion and it was dark.  Outside it was dark.  All of Trion was dark.  I didn’t dare try to make my way up Lookout Mountain to my great-aunt’s house where I lived at the time, so I decided to stay in Trion.  My uncle’s phone was out at his house, and since this was long before cell phones, I couldn’t call WGTA, but it didn’t matter.  I knew that I would get put to work if I showed up.  I never told Anthony Gilleland, but I could have made it down to Bolling Road in Summerville that night and relieved him.  (Anthony, if you are reading this ole’ buddy, don’t hold it against me – I knew what was coming.)

The next morning I showed up at the WGTA studios.  Anthony was still there.  The ash tray was overflowing (yes, they still smoked in the studio back in the day), and there were blankets on the floor and empty food boxes all over the room.  Honestly, it smelled more like a locker-room than a radio station in there.  Anthony and David had been broadcasting for about forty-eight hours straight.  I took my place behind the mic and there I was for about the next thirty-six hours.

It was grueling, but we had a blast.  The phone calls from listeners were priceless.  The lack of power for TV’s and people being stuck in their homes undoubtedly led to the high-volume of phone calls to the radio station.  I remember one elderly woman in the Highland Avenue area of Summerville who called me and said “These people in my neighborhood would starve to death if it wasn’t for me knowing how to cook on my fireplace.”  She said people had bringing her food to cook for three days and she had been feeding the neighborhood.

We heard from Commissioner Jim Parker and Sheriff Ralph Kellett.  Former Sheriff Gary McConnell had been tapped by Governor Zell Miller to head up GEMA, so Chattooga County had a friend in a good position for 1993.  You didn’t have to exaggerate the sense of urgency, and there was no lack of local news.  There were reports from Georgia Power and we checked the AP “wire service” during those pre-internet days for news from areas that seemed distant from Chattooga County with most people snow-bound. Chattanooga, Atlanta and even Rome, seemed far away and for a short time, Chattooga County was bound together like we have been few times since.

We have had some pretty serious events in Chattooga County since 1993 that I have covered on the radio.  Hurricane Opal in 1995, the ice storms in 1997, the fire at the old Berryton Mill, the tornado that hit downtown Summerville, all were major events in Chattooga County, but none can compare to those couple of weeks in 1993 when Chattooga County was buried in snow and we came together as a community.

Jimmy Holbrook



Alabama Deputy Shoots Suspect While Deputy Dangles from Car Window

Photo Credit: WEIS Radio

According to Cherokee County, Alabama Sheriff Jeff Shaver, an officer-involved shooting investigation is underway after an incident on Wednesday.

Yesterday afternoon, deputies performed a traffic stop on Alabama Highway 273. Deputies learned of a warrant for the driver, 42-year-old Brett Dow Littlejohn of Cedar Bluff and attempted to arrest him.

As the deputy reached into the vehicle to apprehend the man, the suspect attempted to flee with the deputy dangling out of the window. While being dragged several hundred feet, the deputy managed to tase the suspect three times, attempting to stop the man and be freed from the vehicle. The Taser had no effect, and the deputy was forced to shoot the suspect to stop the vehicle. The suspect was airlifted to UAB Hospital and will face charges when he is released.

According to the Sheriff Shaver, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division and the JSU Center for Applied Forensics are investigating the incident. Upon completion of the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office will review it. Sheriff Shaver stated, “We are thankful our deputies were not injured or killed while performing their duty today.”

Arrest Report - Thursday - January 18, 2018


Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department.


Children Removed from Home in Summerville

Two children were removed from a home in Summerville last week after law enforcement responded to a call about a domestic incident.

Due to the sensitive nature of the facts in this story, we are not providing the address nor any names associated with the incident.

According to a report, Summerville Police responded to the call last Friday and when they arrived at the home in Summerville they found a woman passed out in a chair and two small children who were not being looked after.  The officer called Chattooga County DFCS who arrived on the scene.

When they were able to get the woman, who was the mother of the children, to come too, she said that she and her husband and “shot up with meth” earlier that day.  The woman’s husband was incarcerated on drug charges earlier that same day and the woman had been passed out for a period of time.

Officers took the woman for medical treatment and the children were removed from the home by DFCS.