Summerville Mayor Spars with Resident and Council over New Speed Hump

At last week’s Summerville City council meeting, mayor Harry Harvey sparred with an attendee and members of the council over putting down a new speed hump on Oak Street. Pressed by Councilman Earl Parris, Harvey unsuccessfully tried to block a vote on waiving the application requirements for installing a temporary speed hump. 

Speaking before the council, one Busbin who lives on Oak St. began by reading a definition of the word ethics, “A problem in sharing that requires a person or organization a choice between alternatives that must be evaluated as right- ethical- or wrong- unethical”.

Mr. Busbin’s main grievance seemed to be that the council was giving the issue a apathetic, torpid treatment, and though he didn’t use the phrase himself, he seemed to believe the council was giving him ‘the run-around’. He said that when he had come before the council “four or five times” and when he first brought the issue before the council, there was no talk of a handbook or application. He said that he issue of the application comes four months after he first approached the council about the humps.

For the record, AM 1180 has not spoken with any city officials about these claims. Additionally, Busbin was also very upset there is a fee attached to the application when the speed hump would be for the public benefit.

“I pay for my street light… I pay $250 a year for mine. I’m willing to do anything- and so are all the niehgbors… But the audacity to tell us that for our protection, we’re going to have to pay for our protection- really?”

Mayor Harvey responded to Busbin’s comments by insisting that he follow proper procedure set by council. Though Busbin brought a petition from his neighbors on the street to the meeting, the mayor told Busbin he would need to submit a request in writing and that the process could move forward from there.

Councilman Earl Parris was more sympathetic to Busbin’s plea.

“Mayor, I would ask that we take this before a vote: I ask that we waive all the fees, the cost, the red tape to install a temporary speed hump in the name of speed and safety on Oak St. for the neighborhood,” Parris proposed.

Harvey then implored the council to not proceed with a vote on Parris’ proposal. He insisted that established city ordinances and customs be followed.

“e do have process and I should caution the council that we have things in place that we need to follow… We have a procedure- we need to be following procedures”.

According to Harvey, some residents in the affected area feel that speed humps would not be effective and that increased patrol in the area has ameliorated some of the problem. The council was headed in a different direction from the mayor, however.

Councilman Joe Money said, “This is safety issue, and he has been before us numerous times, and for us to ignore this issue would be against everything we’re here for… I’m with councilman Parris; I’d like to see these fees waived, because on this one instance, we’ve kind of made up the rules as we’ve went ”.

The mayor reiterated his disapproval of subverting rules and procedures. Councilman Zachary Martin then asked how the council would know if the temporary hump is effective; the question was apparently rhetorical, but when Busbin thought it was directed at him, he clashed with city attorney Albert Palmour over parliamentary procedure. According to Palmour, Busbin could not interrupt the council’s deliberatioins because the public comments section had ended, but Busbin still had choice words for the attorney.

“Well, sir, I don’t answer to you! I answer to them,” said Busbin.

Harvey tried to steer the conversation away from Parris’ proposal, but in the end, Parris ultimately motioned to take a vote on his proposal to wave the fees and the “red tape”, councilman Money seconded, and it passed 3-2. It was not immediately clear at the meeting how the issue will proceed from there.

City manager Tony Carroll read a summary of the city handbook’s formal process for setting down new speed humps, passed in April of this year, which is apparently what Parris was referring to as “red tape”:

Submit request in writing to city manager for the speed hump; attend pre-application meeting with primary property owner making request (Busbin); fill out paper application (with fee) signed by at least 75% of property owners in affected area; allow time for city staff and departments to review; if successful, a temporary device (most likely, a rubber device which the city would have to buy for ~$1500) will be installed for a trial period; if it is deemed successful, it becomes permanent, and if not, it is removed.

Brothers Arrested at Armuchee Pizzeria

A pair of brothers, Matthew Lee Owens, 17, and Gregory Alan Owens Jr, 31, were arrested at Pasquales Pizza in Armuchee after an altercation late this week.

Reports stated that the older Owens went into the restaurant and began to cause a scene by cursing and raising his voice with customers present. The younger reportedly got into a verbal altercation and uttered the words “let’s get him”, which in turned caused his older brother to “feel threatened”.

Gregory Owens is charged with disorderly conduct, and Matthew Owens with simple assault.

Lyerly Residents Angry w/ Tiny House Owners

Lyerly resident Robby White told town council members that he felt betrayed by their decision to allow a local builder to build four “tiny houses” on a small lot next to his home on Chattooga Street.

In June, the council voted unanimously to grant a variance to builder Jimmie Hartline, who plans to build four 485-500 square feet houses on .22 acres. An impassioned White told Mayor Josh Wyatt and council members Ellen Wyatt and Gwen Fisher that they should have consulted people in the neighborhood before giving Hartline the variance. Councilman Robert Thompson, who also voted in favor of the variance, was not at the meeting.
“I’m as upset as I’ve ever been at anything,” White said. “I can’t watch the stock car races. I can’t watch the football games. This is all I think about.” White had several complaints.
He argued that council did not advertise publicly that it would vote on a variance. He claimed they broke state law and its own ordinances. White disputed the lot parameters claimed by the builder’s survey. He also complained that the property owners would “put a bunch of Mexicans” on the property as renters.
Mayor Wyatt said he consulted with the town’s attorney before the vote on the variance. He said the decision was consistent with state law and the town’s ordinances. White characterized the variance as a zoning change which under state law requires prior public notice and a public meeting. Wyatt countered that Lyerly does not have any zoning regulations, so the state law is moot.
“So you’re saying I can raise pigs in my back yard if I want to,” asked White.
“Yes, you can,” replied Wyatt. Wyatt emphasized that the town has very few restrictions on property use.
Another Chattooga Street resident, Jan Kilgo, told the mayor and council that getting one or even two new neighbors was one thing, “but waking up with four new neighbors just isn’t right.” Kilgo, who uses a wheelchair, said she was concerned about the additional traffic the houses would bring to the street.
“Lyerly has always been a town of single family homes,” she sad. “I don’t think that should change.”
Wyatt pointed out that the “tiny homes” were separate homes and that each would have separate utilities hookups. He said that when the variance was passed he believed the neighborhood would prefer the small houses to the burned out residence that had sat on the lot for many years.
“Mr. Hartline bought that property and cleaned it off and is putting something new there,” he said.
White, who lives in a home built by his parents, referred to the tiny houses dismissively as “cracker boxes.” He loudly protested the process by which the council made its decision.
“There was very little discussion when they voted this thing in,” he said. “The public was ignored.” White asked the council to rescind its decision, even though construction on the new houses has already started.
Mayor Wyatt said that stopping the project now would make the town liable for a lawsuit. He also said the council could take no action at that point because with Thompson absent there was no quorum.
At that point an angry White left the meeting.
Council member Gwen Fisher asked the mayor if more could be done to block runoff from the construction site after Kilgo displayed photographs showing what she believes was muddy runoff from the construction site running into her yard.
The mayor said he would see what could be done. Hartline, who is one of three candidates for mayor of Lyerly in municipal elections in November, was not at the meeting.
The Summerville News: Jimmy Espy

Arrest Report – Sunday – September 24, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, September 24, 2017:

Summerville Man Arrested for Drunk Driving in Adairsville

A Summerville man was arrested by the Adairsville PD yesterday afternoon on a DUI charge. William Dax Moore of a Hwy. 114 address was charged with the following: DUI-Driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; following too closely.

Chattooga JGG Hosting "5K Zombie Run" Fundraiser; Block Party will Follow

The Jobs for Georgia Graduates program at Chattooga High School will be hosting a zombie-themed 5K race on October 28 at Dowdy Park in Summerville. Proceeds from this race will benefit the Jobs for Georgia Graduates program at Chattooga High School and to help fund the JGG’s trip to the National Student Leadership Academy in Washington D.C. to compete in National Competition.

Registration will start at 1 PM, and the race will begin at 3 PM. Early Registration fee is $30, and day-of registration is $35. T-shirts will be available to purchase for $15.”Zombies” are welcome to volunteer but must register and complete the liability waiver. Zombies who are not running can attend free. Registration fee includes a free T-shirt. Registration can be completed here.

Competitors will “run for their lives” in a 5 kilometer race, which goes through a zombie containment area filled with hungry, flesh eating zombies.Zombies will try to “capture” you by taking one of your three flags issued at the beginning of the race. Safe zones will be located throughout the race for water and assistance, free of zombies for your safety.The race is on sidewalks along city streets, through wooded areas, parks and around a school. Runners must have at least one remaining flag to be eligible to win a division. “Vaccines” available for an additional charge of $20 to protect you from zombies. These protect you from “death”, so if you lose all your flags, you can still “survive”.

First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in the following divisions: Men; Women; Student; and Senior.
After the race, beginning at 7 PM, will be an apocalyptic block party in downtown Summerville. A section of road on East Washington Street from Commerce Street to Economy Street will be blocked off so you can party with your favorite monsters and zombies. You will be able to enjoy live music by the Nose Cone Prophets and food from several local venders. Costumes are encouraged and appreciated.
For more information, the race’s webpage can be accessed here.

The Jobs for Georgia Graduates program has been at Chattooga High School for 17 years. It is an at-risk youth program who targets students with numerous barriers to graduation. The program addresses the needs of the students through classroom instruction, community service projects, leadership training, social activities and career preparation. It includes a student led club, the National Career Association. The JGG students at Chattooga High School have had a 100% graduation rate for the past 14 years.

Each winter, students from the program have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for the Job’s for Americas Graduates National Student Leadership Academy. They meet students from all over the nation and improve their leadership skills through luncheons, workshops and events. For many students, it is the first time they have ever traveled or been in an airplane. Along with this, at the NSLA, the students compete on the National Level. This event will help send students to National Competition.

West Nile Cases on Rise after Irma

Hurricane Irma created new breeding ground for mosquitoes, including those infected with the West Nile virus.

As we approach the end of the peak season for West Nile virus, health officials are reminding the public that prevention is the key to protecting yourself and your family as there are already 26 cases in Georgia and 6 in our area.

Epidemiologist Matt Bauer says about 70 to 80 percent of people infected by West Nile have no symptoms.

“If you do show symptoms typically from the time you’re exposed to the time you get sick will be anywhere between 2 to 14 days,” said Bauer with the West Central Health District.

About 1 in 5 of those who do show symptoms may have nausea, vomiting, joint or muscle pain, and maybe a rash. A small percentage of people will see more serious symptoms.

“About 1 percent of people can develop some neurological problems, this can be meningitis, encephalitis. It commonly affects people over the age of 65 often times with chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, renal disease.”

If these symptoms are accompanied by high fever, confusion and stiff neck, seek help immediately.

The best way to prevent West Nile is to keep from getting bitten by mosquitoes.  You can do that by following the Tip ‘n Toss plan or tossing out all standing water in old tires, bird baths, gutters and uncovered boats, places where mosquitoes can breed. Once the water is dumped, clean the vessel thoroughly to kill the eggs that can stick to the containers. Wearing long sleeves and long pants when outdoors and insect repellent with deet are also preventative steps.


Ingles Fined $1000 for Selling Booze to Underage Police Informant


At the Summerville City Council meeting Monday, Ingles Supermarket was hit with a $1000 fine for selling beer to an underage, undercover police informant in a multi-store sting operation. Ingles was the only store to fail the sting, which included every alcohol-licensed store and restaurant in the city. This was Ingles first violation.

Ingles store manager Randy Williams spoke to the council, which was serving in its capacity as the city’s alcohol board. Williams said that the employee who sold alcohol to the police informant broke a strict store policy stating that employees will be terminated immediately if they sell alcohol to underage persons. Consequently, the employee was fired the same day that management was alerted the incident had occurred.

Williams went on to say that it is part of Ingles store policy for all employees to undergo an alcohol training course every 6 months that is developed and provided by corporate leadership. He said that new hires have to sign a statement saying they understand that if they sell alcohol or tobacco to a minor, they can be fired on the spot. According to Williams, the employee in question signed that statement in late June, just a couple of weeks before the incident. Williams had all store employees resign the statement after the incident.

Per alcohol offense policies relatively recently adopted by the city, a motion was made by councilman Money and seconded by councilman Parris to fine Ingles $1000 and note that they had committed their first offense on the matter. None were opposed to the motion.

Arrest Report – Saturday – September 23, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Saturday, September 23, 2017:

Rome Babysitter Arrested after Child Hit by Car

Janay Shantell Collins, 24 of Rome, was arrested this week after she allegedly left a young child in the care of an intoxicated individual. Reports added that the child was later run over while in custody of the intoxicated individual.

Reports said that Collins was babysitting the child when she decided to go to Wal-Mart and left the child in the care of an intoxicated woman.

It was later the child walked into the road and was struck by a Chevy Impala.  A witness stated that the child had been jumping on a trampoline before getting down and walking to the road.

The child was transported to a local hospital, where the condition was not released due to their age.

Collins is charged with reckless conduct.


Trion and Chattooga Friday Night Football Scores

Last night, the Bulldogs and Indians played knockout games and both handed heavy blows to both of their opponents.

The Trion Bulldogs were at home at Sam R. McCain Stadium on Friday night and crushed Kennesaw, Georgia’s North Cobb Christian High School 31-6, with NCCHS snagging one touchdown for the night in the last quarter.

The Chattooga Indians were on the road in Calhoun up against Gordon Central High School, and they dealt an even harder defeat to Gordon Central than the Bulldogs did to North Cobb Christian. The Indians secured their dominance on the field in the first half with two touchdowns in the first quarter and three in the second, and then scored only one touchdown for the second half of the game in the third quarter, after Gordon Central lost hope of getting an edge over the Indians and lost steam. That final score came out 40-0 Chattooga.

AM 1180 will broadcast both games this afternoon; be sure to catch those games at 1 PM, starting with the Trion-North Cobb Christian game, followed by the Chattooga-Gordon Central game.

Next Friday, the Indians will come back to their home stadium Little Bighorn to face off against the Rockmart Yellow Jackets; and the Bulldogs will take off to Dalton to take on Christian Heritage High School’s Lions. As always, you can hear both of those games on the web at at 7 PM sharp, and we will rebroadcast them the following Saturday afternoon at 1. Best of luck to both of our high school football teams from AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio!

Annual Barwick-Lafayette Fly-In Today

The Barwick-Lafayette Regional Airport will have the Annual Fly-In today from 10 AM till 3 PM. A free breakfast will provided for veterans, police, and firefighters from 7 AM till 10 AM.

Opening ceremony starts at 10 AM with a skydiving performance. There will be a cruise-in on the airport grounds. Admission is free, and plane and helicopter rides will be available for purchase. There will be inflatables for kids, and the ‘$1,000 Golf Ball Drop’.

Lunch Consession sales will benefit the ‘Stocking Full of Love’. The free Fly-In is at the airport on Gasque Dr. off Foster Mill.


Birthday and Anniversary Club Weekly Winner

The winner of this week’s Birthday and Anniversary Club is Kim Blalock.  She will received a $25 gift certificate to Menlo Family Restaurant and an arrangement from Duff’s Flowers. Congratulations to this week’s Birthday and Anniversary Club weekly winner – Kim Blalock!.


GBI Says Lanham Death Was "Specific Incident"

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader says that the investigation into the shooting death of Edward Earl “Eddie” Lanham on Butler Dairy Road continues and investigators are still asking for the public’s help.

On Monday night around 10 PM Renee Lanham returned home to find 75 year-old Eddie Lanham dead.  Investigators say that the shooting death was a homicide. They say that Lanham died from gunshot wounds that were not self-inflicted.

On Wednesday of this week, Sheriff Mark Schrader confirmed that the death was a homicide.  The GBI was called in to help in the investigation.  GBI Agent Joe Montgomery from the Calhoun GBI Field Office said, “We just want to put everybody’s mind at ease; there is not some roaming gang out trying to hurt people. This was a specific incident.”

An autopsy on the body is being performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Dacatur.


Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call the GBI office in Calhoun at 706-624-1424 or the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office at 706-857-3411.

Flu Shot Clinic Today at Dry Valley Baptist

There will be a “Flu Shot Clinic” today at Dry Valley Baptist Church.  The clinic is sponsored by Wal-Mart Pharmacy and is open to the public.  If you are a Medicare participant, there is no charge for the flu shot.  The clinic will take place from 9 AM until 1 PM.


First Day of Fall Today

While Fall officially arrives for those of us in the Eastern Time Zone at 4:02 PM this afternoon, it will feel a lot like summer still this afternoon.

The four seasons are determined by shifting sunlight, which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis. Today we will have 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness and we will begin to see the days “get shorter”.  We are still about 6 weeks away from time change, which will happen at 2 AM on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Temperatures will remain in the upper eighties today, about 8 degrees above average for this time of the year.  Yesterday we had a high temperature of 89 degrees and a low of 65.  So far this month we have received almost 5 inches of rainfall, which is about 2.5 inches more than normal according to the National Weather Service.

The warm temperatures will remain with us for at least another week:

A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Patchy fog between 8am and 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. Calm wind.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.
Saturday Night
A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 64. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Sunday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 63.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 63.
Sunny, with a high near 88.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 64.
Sunny, with a high near 88.
Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 64.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Sunny, with a high near 85.

Arrest Report – Friday – September 22, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, September 22, 2017:

No inmates were listed as booked and released from the county jail.

Mother Calls Police When Daughter Takes Car without Permission

A Summerville woman called police when she discovered her daughter had taken her vehicle without her permission.

Around 8 AM last Sunday, a Summerville PD officer responded to an Orchard Rd. residence where Dodie Daniel claimed that her Nissan Pathfinder was missing, and that she believed her daughter had taken it, without Daniel’s permission.

Around 2 PM, her daughter, Leena Daniel, admitted to having taken the car without her mother’s permission, but said that she had permission to the past and that she :even had a spare key” to the vehicle. Leena said she had only used the car to go get breakfast, and started feeling sick, so she went to a friend’s house.

According to the report, Leena’s spare key was given back to her mother.

Hit and Run in Summerville

A local deputy responded to a hit and run near the intersection of Orchard Hill Rd.-Hairlake Rd. in Summerville Tuesday evening.

Around 5:45 PM, complainant Christina Bryson told the responding deputy that she was at the stop sign of Orchard Hill Rd. and Hairlake Rd. when a large white truck passed her too closely. Bryson stated she heard a loud noise and saw her driver’s side mirror break. She then traveled to the Dollar General on Commerce St. in Summerville, where she called 911 and the report was made.

The incident is neither active nor under investigation, and no evidence was collected.

Pecans, Cotton, & Fall Veggies All Hurt by Hurricane Irma

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to survey the damage to pecan and row crops from Hurricane Irma late last week. The tour included operations in Peach, Berrien and Colquitt counties. Initial assessments indicate damage to farms of pecans, cotton, and several fall crops.

Pecans were one of the hardest hit commodities with an expected thirty percent loss statewide.  The main concern for the industry long term is tree loss, with many farmers reporting a loss of over 5,000 mature trees.

“These losses are much bigger and greater than just this one crop year,” Commissioner Black said.  “Our farmers will certainly feel an immediate impact to their bottom line, but the greater concern is the generational impact.  These pecan trees are not something you can replant next year and turn around and harvest. You are looking at least a seven year gap from input to output.”

The Secretary and Commissioner also assessed damage to fall vegetables and cotton.  Early damage assessments for cotton currently stand at approximately ten percent; however those estimates could rise. In many cases the winds from Irma twisted or tangled the cotton which could lead to issues of boll rot and make it much harder to extract clean lint during the ginning process.

“It can be hard to quantify damages in situations like these. The losses that occur are not always clear-cut.” Black said. “Anytime you have a major disruption to the production cycle, you are going to have a cost associated with it as well”