Extension Office Moves To Chattooga Ag Building

The Chattooga County Extension Office has moved from their former location on Commerce Street in Summerville to a new location at the Chattooga County Agricultural Building on Middle School Drive in Summerville.

County Extension Agent Rebecca Thomas told WZQZ-AM1180 Local News on Thursday that her staff is still in the process of moving and unpacking, but the new office is now open for business.  Thomas says that it will probably be a few weeks before everything is in order at the new location.

The office is located on the front of the Ag Building, facing Highway 100.  The new address for the Extension Office is 40 Middle School Drive, Summerville, Georgia 30747.  The phones at the new Extension Office are in operation as of today. The phone number for the Extension Office remains the same: 706-857-0744.

The Agricultural Building now houses offices for the Chattooga County Agricultural Fair, the Chattooga County Young Farmers and the Chattooga County Extension Office.

Judge Denies New Trial For Man Shot By Law Enforcement In Trion

A Northwest Georgia man who was shot by law enforcement in Chattooga County last year will not get another trial in his criminal case.

The Chattanooga Times-Free Press is reporting today that thirty-two-year-old Thomas Zane Campbell’s motion for a new trial was denied by Judge Ralph Van Pelt in Catoosa County Superior Court.

Campbell had skipped the last day of his trial in March of last year.  Campbell told his father that he was going to the hospital due to chest pains.  Law enforcement and family members of Campbell didn’t know where he was for two weeks, but he was later found in Chattooga County.  Law enforcement went to pick him up in Trion and when they arrived Campbell placed a gun under his chin.  It was at that point that law enforcement officers shot Campbell in the arms and legs.

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader requested an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the officer involved shooting (See related story from 2017 here).  A Chattooga County Grand Jury later found the officers acted appropriately in that shooting.

Campbell is now serving time at Coastal State Prison in Garden City, Georgia and his attorney had requested a new trial saying Campbell suffered a mental breakdown.

Judge Van Pelt denied that motion earlier this month saying, “The Defendant’s absence from the second day of trial, was not justified or reasonable based upon the reported physical or mental diagnoses outlined by the Cornerstone Medical Center emergency department. Defendant’s absence from the second of trial was a deliberate attempt to delay the proceedings.”

Campbell has until July 8 to decide whether to appeal the ruling.

GBI Receives NIBRS Certification

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) recently received notification from the FBI of successfully meeting the requirements for National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) certification.  This certification means that Georgia is now the 36th state capable of submitting incident-based data to the FBI.

Currently, crimes are reported using a summary reporting system.  NIBRS (incident-based) captures details on each single crime incident as well as separate offenses within the same incident.  This provides a more accurate picture of statistics on crime.

The FBI provided notification to states that they have until January 2021 to transition from summary-based to incident-based reporting of Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data. To meet this mandated deadline, the GBI established an aggressive timeline to implement a system capable of capturing detailed data that could be submitted to NIBRS.  The GBI worked with Optimum Technology to build a Georgia NIBRS repository and since February 2018 has been sending test transactions to the FBI.

The FBI provided notification that the GBI’s system successfully met the criteria for NIBRS certification:

system compatibility

system responsiveness

statistical reasonableness

satisfactory error rate

Georgia will begin accepting test data from local agencies in the coming weeks and plans are for the system to be available to all Georgia law enforcement agencies in the Fall of 2018 for manual data entry.  Georgia agencies using record management systems for the reporting of incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting data to GBI will have one-year from the GA NIBRS go-live date to remediate their record management systems to meet the new requirements.


LaFayette Police Seek Public's Help In Identifying Suspect

The LaFayette Police Department is asking for the pulic’s help in identifying the female shown above. (More pictures below).

On June 12th the female was caught on video committing a theft at the LaFayette Mapco. The female was caught on video taking the stores children charity fundraiser container. The female was seen leaving in a white Chevy S-10 truck.

Anyone with information is asked to contact LaFayette Police Department Detective Mullis at 706-639-1540. The police department is asking that anyone who would like to post information to please do so in a private message on their Facebook Page.

City of Summerville Plans For Independence Day Celebrations

The City of Summerville and Summerville Main Street have two events planned to celebrate Independence Day.  The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, and there will be celebrations the Saturday before and the Saturday after the Fourth.

The City of Summerville’s annual Celebrate Independence Fireworks Display will be held on Saturday, June 30th at the Chattooga County Agricultural Building, located just off Highway 100.  That event will kick off at 6 PM with a variety of activities.  There will be free watermelon and inflatable fun along with a corn hole tournament and a greasy pole contest.  The fireworks display will begin at 10 PM.

The next Saturday, July 7th, Summerville Main Street will present “Stars and Stripes at the Depot.”  The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum passenger train is scheduled to arrive at 1 PM and will be using the Summerville Turntable at the Depot.  Also, “Uncle Sam” will be on hand throughout the day and there will be free watermelon, live entertainment and a fried apple pie contest.

Lyerly Approves Restaurant Alcohol Sales

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The Town of Lyerly currently has no sit-down restaurants, but town leaders are preparing for that possibility in the future.  The Lyerly Town Council voted last week to approve alcohol sales in food establishments, and is betting that the move will attract a restaurant to the town.

The move was not unanimous.  One town council member objected to the new ordinance.  Councilperson Shirley Davis said that she didn’t think the town was prepared for the ordinance.  Davis objected in particular to the section of the new ordinance that will allow alcohol at special events in Lyerly.  Davis said that other municipalities in the county that have “special pour” licences available for events also have a police force.  The Town of Lyerly does not.

In the end, the council voted in favor of the new ordinance; clearing the way for a potential sit-down restaurant to open up in Lyerly.

Menlo Man Says Company Defrauded Him

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A Menlo man called sheriff’s deputies in reference to a problem he was having with a company that put a new engine in his truck.

A deputy spoke with Michael Owens of a Peach Orchard Road, Menlo address about a problem he was having with a company that had came to his residence and put a new diesel engine in his 2013 Dodge Ram 3500 truck.  Owens told the deputy that he had paid $8,600 for the work and the company had told him he had a three-year, 100,000 mile warranty.  The work was done on the truck last November.

After putting 25,000 miles on the vehicle, Mr. Owens began having problems with the truck.  Owens said he attempted to contact the company but had not been successful.  Owens also told the deputy that after the mechanic left his residence, he was missing a Core Charging System.

The deputy advised Mr. Owens that he should speak with attorney about the problem with the warranty and that he could got to Chattooga County Magistrate Court about the missing charging system.


School Starts Back in Six Weeks For Chattooga & Trion Students

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It seems like kids just got out of school for the summer break, but classes will start in about six weeks for students in both the Trion City School system and the Chattooga County School system.

The first day of classes for Chattooga County students will be Wednesday, August 1, 2018.  Trion City School students will go back to school on Friday, August 3, 2018.

Teachers in both school systems will come back to work on Monday, July 30, 2018.

The Trion City School system has released this schedule for school orientations:

Fulmer Street, Summerville Woman Reports Debit Card Fraud

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A Fulmer Street, Summerville woman told police that she believes that someone stole her First National Bank debit card from her pocketbook and used the card multiple times and then put the card back in her purse.

The complainant told a responding Summerville Police Officer that the alleged fraudulent activity took place from around June 4th – June 11th.  The complainant gave the officer a long list of small debit card transactions that ranged from around $4 to around $30.  In all the transactions added up to several hundred dollars worth, but the complainant says they are not her charges.

The charges were made at gas stations, the Honey Bee Festival in LaFayette, Wal-Mart, other stores and numerous transactions at Pizza Hut.

The case is under investigation by the Summerville Police Department.


Rep. Lumsden On Georgia's "Hands Free" Law

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State Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) spoke with WZQZ-AM 1180 News about the new “Hands Free” law that goes into effect on July 1st.  Rep. Lumsden was one of the co-sponsors of the legislation that was signed into law earlier this year by Governor Nathan Deal.

Rep. Lumsden says that the new law came about after legislators reviewed statistics showing that hands free devices could save lives on Georgia’s roadways.  Lumsden said “The issue came to light as we started looking at data that was concerning.  We saw a real spike in the number of accidents and fatalities in Georgia over a two-year period and it became very obvious that the use of electronic devices was behind the spike (in injuries and fatalities)…..Georgia’s numbers were really higher than we were seeing in the rest of the country.”

The new law says that all cell phone users must have some sort of hands-free device in order to use their cell phone legally while driving.  Rep. Lumsden says that most vehicles 2010 and newer already come with blue-tooth technology and there are a variety of hands free devices on the market that are available for Georgia drivers.

Lumsden said that as he and other lawmakers were looking at crafting legislation they looked at other states that have implemented hands free laws and those states have seen a decrease in the number of accidents and fatalities caused by drivers using cell phones.

No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers. However, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. ban all cell phone use by newer drivers, while 19 states and Washington, D.C. prohibit any cell phone use by school bus drivers if children are present.

WZQZ- AM 1180 News will broadcast the complete interview with State Representative Eddie Lumsden coming up this Saturday morning following the 8 AM newscast and again on Sunday afternoon following the noon newscast.

Don't Fall For The "Grandparent Scam"

AARP , the Better Business Bureau and law enforcement are warning grandparents of older kids or young adults not to fall for a scam that is circulating.

Grandparent/Emergency scam calls are nothing new.  The scammers will call grandparents – and sometimes even parents and say that their child has been in an accident and was arrested on DUI charges. The con artist then requests payment be sent via money order or wire transfer to cover their bail.

Unfortunately, people across the nation are victimized by this scam every day. According to the AARP, “Grandparents of college-aged young people are the most frequent targets, reporting losses exceeding $110 million a year.” The details may be different, but the ploy is the same every time. Scammers expertly play on a victim’s emotions, to get them to act without thinking first. Once the victim wires the money, it’s gone and irretrievable.

How do you protect yourself? Here’s what to look out for if you receive a call like this.

  • “Don’t tell mom and dad….” Typically, when a grandparent receives a frantic phone call from a scammer posing as their grandchild, the scammer explains that he or she has gotten into trouble and needs help, and then pleads to the grandparent not to tell his or her parents.
  • “My nose is broken, so I may sound strange.” This is a well-known ploy to reduce questioning from the grandparent. Having a bone broken in the face can contribute to the voice sounding different than normal. Don’t believe this excuse.
  • “I need money right away to…. pay the traffic ticket…post bail…pay the ambulance.” If your “grandchild” asks you to wire thousands of dollars for reasons posting bail, repairing the car, covering lawyer’s fees, or even paying hospital bills for a person the grandchild has supposedly injured in a car accident, don’t believe it.
  • Don’t disclose too much information. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild in distress, don’t disclose any information before confirming that it really is your grandchild. If a caller says, “It’s me, Grandma!” don’t respond with a name, but instead let the caller explain who he or she is. People should also be careful sharing too much travel information on social media – a ready resource for scammers.
  • Ask a question that only your grandchild will know. One easy way to confirm their identity is to ask a simple question that the grandchild would know such as the name of a cousin or pet. Be careful not to ask something that can be easily identified via a social media profile (such as the name of the grandchild’s school).
  • Family communication is crucial. If a student really is traveling, he or she should share travel plans with family members before leaving the state or country. Let older loved ones know where you’ll be and when you plan to return. Make sure everyone in the family has contact information in case of emergency. This should include a cell phone number and email for the student and for anyone they are traveling with


Tomorrow Last Day For "Dwarf House" In Rome

The Chick-fil-A Dwarf House on Shorter Avenue in Rome will be no more after it closes for business tomorrow night.  Demolition of the Dwarf House is expected to begin immediately as the restaurant chain constructs a new restaurant at the same location.

Officials with Georgia-based Chick-fil-A say that it will take about five months to complete the new establishment.  Company officials say that the current kitchen is not keeping up with the volume of business that the restaurant does.  The current Dwarf House has been in place for twenty-five years.

Chick-fil-A is operating a containerized temporary drive-through restaurant in the RiverWalk shopping center on Riverside Parkway and that location will remains open through the rebuild at the Shorter Avenue site.  There is also a Chick-fil-A at Mount Berry Square Mall.

The new restaurant will feature a larger kitchen and a dining room that will be able to accommodate around 150 customers and will also feature addition to patio seating outdoors.  The new restaurant is expected to be completed sometime in November.

Mike Camp Honored By USMC League At Chattooga County Courthouse

A Chattooga County U.S. Marine veteran passed away on June 1st of this year, and on Wednesday the U.S. Marine Corps League presented his widow with a certificate honoring his service to our nation.

Mike Camp was a native of Trion, born to the late Furman “Fat” Camp and Robbie Greenwood Camp.  Mike’s brother, Rick,  earned notoriety as a major league baseball player for the Atlanta Braves.  Mike was noted for his service to his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Mike served in Vietnam and participated is some of the roughest battles that took place in Southeast Asia.  He was at the Battle of Khe Sanh which took place from January 21 – July 9th in 1968.  During that battle, two regiments of U.S. Marines and a small number of Army and Air Force and South Vietnamese troops were pitted against three divisions of the North Vietnamese Army.

Camp served as a “Scout Sniper”.   Scout Snipers must earn the rank of Lance Corporal and be selected by their battalion to join the scout-sniper platoon, and complete an approved scout-sniper course in order to receive this designation.

Camp assisted famed sniper Carlos Hathcock in the successful elimination of a North Vietnamese army officer while serving in Vietnam.  Hathcock, at the time, held the record for the most confirmed kills by a member of the U.S. military.

Chattooga County Probate Judge Jon Payne, a former U.S. Marine, said that Hathcock mentioned Mike Camp in a quote from a book about Hathcock’s military career, referring to him as “Iron Mike.”

Judge Payne and the U.S. Marine Corps League presented the certificate to Mike Camp’s widow, Donna Camp, in the main courtroom of the Chattooga County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.



Police Remove Juveniles Playing On Highway 100

Summerville Police were called in reference to four juveniles jumping in and out of the roadway on Highway 100 near the Summerville Recreation Center on Monday evening.

Police arrived on the scene and transported the juveniles to their home.  An officer told the mother of the juveniles where the kids were and what they were doing.  The mother told the officer that she was not aware that the juveniles had gone out to the highway, and that they were not supposed to be there.

According to the report from the Summerville Police, the mother told the officer that she would take care of the problem – “with a belt.”


Chattooga Residents Arrested In Walker County

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Several Chattooga County residents were cited or arrested over the past week in Walker County, according to an arrest summary from the Walker County Sheriff’s Department:

Mark Williams, 48, Church Street, Summerville, Ga., theft by shoplifting

Salvador Cordova, 25, Second Street, Trion, Ga., no proof of insurance, driving without a valid license, speeding

Richard Lamar Bice, 61, Old River Road, Summerville, Ga., improper lane change/failure to maintain lane, DUI-alcohol, open container violation beer/ale/porter/stout/other similar beverages

Christopher Alan Dover, 35, Maffett Street, Trion, theft by shoplifting (x2)

Hannah Caitlyn Elrod, 25, Edison Street, Menlo, Ga., failure to appear



Chattooga Jail Inmates Boosting Dade County's Jail Population

Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross is seeking additional funding from the Dade County Board of Commissioners to hire two new jail employees due in part to the influx of inmates being housed from Chattooga County.

Sheriff Cross recently told Dade County Commissioners that when he took office, the 110-bed Dade County Jail typically housed around thirty inmates.  Now, the jail houses around eighty inmates, and a large percentage of those inmates are being housed for Chattooga County.

Dade County is hoping that trend continues and that even more inmates are sent from Chattooga County to Dade County.  According to Sheriff Cross, about one-fourth of the inmates being housed in Dade County on any given day are being housed at the expense of Chattooga County taxpayers.

For the past several years, Chattooga County has routinely spent upwards of three-quarters of a million dollars to house inmates outside the county.  Chattooga County houses inmates in surrounding counties because there is a forty-seven person capacity at the Chattooga County Jail.  That jail capacity is the result of a decades-old Federal court order that limits the number of inmates at the Chattooga County Jail.

Dade County took in $94,000 for housing inmates from outside Dade County in the last fiscal year, with a large portion of that money coming from Chattooga County.

Read more from the Chattanooga Times-Free Press

Authorities Search For Missing Teen

Authorities are searching for a missing teenager from Northwest Georgia.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson is asking for anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of seventeen-year-old Kendall Grace Klimp to please contact his department.

Kimp is 5′ 9″ tall and weighs about 190 punds.  She has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Sheriff Wilson says that Kimp could possibly have red highlights in her hair.

Anyone with information about Kimp is asked to contact Walker County Detective Sgt. Hill at 706-638-1909, extension 1262.


Woman Damages Vehicle After Hitting Metal Shelf On Highway 27

A woman traveling on Highway 27 just south of J Bar Corporation on Monday hit an object in the roadway and caused damage to her vehicle.

According to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened on Monday afternoon.  The driver was traveling North on Highway 27 when she struck a metal shelf that was in the road.  The woman said that someone stopped and moved the shelf to the median after she hit it.

The accident caused damage to the front bumper of the 2012 GMC Acadia Denali the woman was driving.