Former Governor Zell Miller Passes Away

Miller Institute Foundation CEO Bryan Miller announced today that former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller has died after being treated for Parkinson’s Disease. Governor Miller was 86 years old. He passed away peacefully at his home with family by his side.

“My grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family,” said Miller. “The people of Georgia have lost one of our state’s finest public servants.”

“As his grandson, I learned more from Zell Miller both professionally and personally than from anyone else I have encountered. He was more than my grandfather. He was my dear friend and mentor. I cherish all the time we spent together. I will never forget the lessons he taught me, his witty sense of humor, or his contagious smile. Our family will miss him terribly.”

An obituary and public condolence book are available on the Miller Institute Foundation’s website at

The family is not receiving visitors and asks for privacy as they mourn this tremendous loss. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Miller Institute Foundation in memory of Zell Miller. Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

More on Governor Zell Miller

Zell Miller served as Mayor of Young Harris from 1959-1960. He served as a Georgia State Senator from 1961-1964. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Georgia for 16 years from 1975-1991. He is currently the longest-serving Lieutenant Governor in Georgia history.

Zell Miller, a Democrat, served as the 79th Governor of Georgia from 1991-1999. As Governor, he created the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship and Georgia’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program. He went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 2000-2005.

Today, more than 1.8 million students have gone to college in Georgia on HOPE Scholarships and more than 1.6 million four-year-olds have begun their education through Georgia’s Pre-K Program. These were his proudest achievements in his 46-year career in public service.

Arrest Report - Friday - March 23, 2018

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

Thursday Fire Destroys Tate Road Home

Photo Credit: Northwest Georgia Scanner

An early morning house fire on Tate Road in Chattooga County destroyed the home of a family that was not at home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters from several area fire departments including Teloga, Trion, Summerville and Hays State Prison responded to the call from Chattooga 911 that came in around 6:15 AM to 1510 Tate Road. Trion Fire Department and Teloga Volunteer Fire Department were the first on the scene and soon called for backup from the Summerville Fire Department and Hays State Prison.

The house was a total loss, but their were no injuries reported.  No word at this time as to the cause of the fire, that is under investigation.


Georgia Man Arrested in Alabama on Child Molestation Charges

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According to Cherokee County, Alabama Sheriff Jeff Shaver, a Georgia fugitive was taken into custody by deputies at a residence in the Ferrell community on Wednesday.

The fugitive, Damian C. Ingram, 26 of Cedar Bluff, is wanted in Floyd County, Georgia on charges of child molestation and a probation violation. A second individual, Magan N. Knight, 28 of Silver Creek, Georgia was also arrested at the residence after a significant amount of methamphetamine was recovered by Sheriff’s Office investigators. Both were charged with drug trafficking and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Ingram will be extradited by Floyd County upon release from Cherokee County.

Paradise Gardens Announces 2018 "Finster Fest"

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Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden hosts its annual Finster Fest again on Memorial Day weekend, May 26 and 27th, in Summerville, Georgia.  Finster Fest will feature more than 50 artists, live music, barbecue and other southern fare, a children’s art activity area, and, of course, the chance to tour Howard Finster’s famous folk art environment.

Finster Fest will feature nationally recognized self-taught artists including Missionary Mary Proctor (Florida), Michael Banks (Alabama), Peter Loose (Georgia), Deb “Miz Thang” Garner (Georgia) and C.M. and
Grace Kelly Laster (Kentucky).

Hours for the family-friendly festival are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. Admission is $5, with free parking at the Walmart on U.S. 27 just north of the garden, with complimentary shuttle provided. Handicap parking is available on site.

Proceeds from Finster Fest benefit the nonprofit Paradise Garden Foundation, which operates and continues restoration of Howard Finster’s 2-acre plus attraction.

Finster Fest launched in 1991 and is one of Summerville’s biggest annual events, drawing more than 1,700 guests mainly from the tri-state area of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

Look for updates at Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden on Facebook. More information on Paradise Garden visit
online at, or call 706-808-0800, or stop by 200 N. Lewis St., Summerville, GA 30747.

February Sees Dramatic Drop in Chattooga's Unemployment Claims

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Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said yesterday that February was another record-setting month for Georgia, as the state reached new highs for jobs, employed residents and labor force and locally, initial jobless claims were reduced by over half.

The strong start to 2018 matched the prediction Butler made at the end of 2017 when Georgia ended another year of strong growth.

“It’s good to see we picked up this year right where we left off,” Butler said. “I expect Georgia will have a very good 2018. And, it’s important that we have gotten off to a good start.”

Georgia posted 4.51 million jobs in February, an increase of 18,300 over the month. That number is more than 88,000 higher than what Georgia had last February.

The most significant gains were made in construction, professional services and hospitality.

“It’s important that Georgia is adding jobs,” Butler noted, “but it’s more important that people continue to get them. And, we continue to see both happening.”

In February, the number of employed residents climbed by 15,619 to 4.89 million. Georgia had 125,449 fewer employed residents 12 months ago.

In Chattooga County initial unemployment claims went from 41 in  January down to just 20 in February.




Atlanta Gang Member Charged with "Smash and Grab" Burglary

Floyd County officials say that another Atlanta area man accused of participating in smash and grab burglaries is now in the Floyd County Jail.

According to jail records, 26-year old Rahmon Evan Cain of East Point is a member of a criminal street gang based in Atlanta. He is charged with violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The alleged crime dates back to October of 2016, according to the arrest warrant.
At least four other Atlanta men have been charged with RICO violations in Floyd County since late last year in connection with the burglaries.

Easter Egg Hunt at Sloppy Floyd State Park

Kids of all ages are being invited to an Easter Egg hunt that will be held coming up on March 31, 2018 at James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park in Summerville.

The festivities will be going at Pavilion 1 and the egg hunt will start at 1:00 PM. All guest should plan on arriving no later than 12:45. Egg Hunt will begin promptly at 1:00 PM. Join park staff and the Friends of Sloppy Floyd for their annual Easter Egg Hunt coming up on Saturday, March 31st.

If you have questions, you can contact Sloppy Floyd State Park at 706-857-0826.  There is a $5 parking fee.

Chattooga Public Safety Day

Chattooga County’s Public Safety family wants to meet you.  Chattooga County’s Public Safety includes local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, Chattooga 911 and Redmond EMS.

They invite you and your family to come and join them for their 2018 Public Safety Day coming up on April 21st. All ages are invited to come out and meet your public safety responders.

Enjoy free food and fun, children of all ages can run through an obstacle course to become a Junior Fireman, Policeman, Deputy, Paramedic or Dispatcher.

Have a sno cone with a fireman or officer. There will also be free popcorn, hot dogs and drinks. They will have plenty of goody bags to give away as well as door prizes.

Also they will have medical and Georgia State Patrol helicopters, fire trucks, ambulances, patrol cars and more to view. The local CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) team will be there to tell you how you too can become a volunteer to help in your community.

Don’t miss out on a fun filled day coming up on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Arrest Report - Thursday - March 22, 2018

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

Georgia DNR Urges Turkey Hunting Safety

With Turkey Season starting this weekend in Georgia the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division is urging all hunters to review important turkey hunting safety tips.

You might be ready to get out there and get to the woods this Spring in pursuit of a gobbler or two, but before you do, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division encourages all hunters to take some time to review important turkey hunting safety tips.

“Firearms safety knowledge is critical to keeping you, and others, safe while in the woods,” advises Jennifer Pittman, statewide hunter education administrator with the Wildlife Resources Division. “In addition to firearms safety tips, hunters should review and practice safety precautions specific to turkey hunting.”

The 2018 statewide turkey season opens Saturday, Mar. 24; take time before then to review the following:

  • Never wear red, white, blue or black clothing while turkey hunting. Red is the color most hunters look for when distinguishing a gobbler’s head from a hen’s blue-colored head, but at times it may appear white or blue. Male turkey feathers covering most of the body are black in appearance. Camouflage should be used to cover everything, including the hunter’s face, hands and firearm.
  • Select a calling position that provides at least a shoulder-width background, such as the base of a tree. Be sure that at least a 180-degree range is visible.
  • Do not stalk a gobbling turkey. Due to their keen eyesight and hearing, the chances of getting close are slim to none.
  • When using a turkey call, the sound and motion may attract the interest of other hunters. Do not move, wave or make turkey-like sounds to alert another hunter to your presence. Instead, identify yourself in a loud voice.
  • Be careful when carrying a harvested turkey from the woods. Do not allow the wings to hang loosely or the head to be displayed in such a way that another hunter may think it is a live bird. If possible, cover the turkey in a blaze orange garment or other material.
  • Although it’s not required, it is suggested that hunters wear blaze orange when moving between a vehicle and a hunting site. When moving between hunting sites, hunters should wear blaze orange on their upper bodies to facilitate their identification by other hunters.

For more hunting information, visit .

Rome Man Charged with Raping Woman at Gunpoint

A Rome man is in jail accused of raping a woman at gunpoint Tuesday.

According to Floyd County Jail records, Daniel Jacory Williams returned to a residence on Butler Street after being served with a Temporary Protective Order and told to leave. He then reportedly took the victim’s phone as she was attempting to call 911, held a gun to her while he punched her and then forced her into the bedroom, where he raped her. The incident was witnessed by a child in the home. Williams then allegedly refused to exit the house when police arrived resulting in officers having to force their way in.

He is charged with rape, aggravated assault, obstructing someone from making a 911 call, aggravated stalking, burglary, false imprisonment, 3rd-degree cruelty to children, felony obstruction of officers, and battery. Williams was also charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drugs across the guard line at the jail.


Chattooga CERT Training Coming Up in May

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Have you ever thought about a way you can help out your community, including law enforcement and emergency responders?  Chattooga County CERT – or Community Emergency Response Team – is there in the times of need in Chattooga County, and they do a great job helping out with all kinds of community events as well.  If you have ever  wanted to be a part of the Chattooga County CERT Team, you can have the opportunity to get the necessary training coming up later this spring.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Join the Chattooga County CERT Team coming up on May 5th and May 12th at the Chattooga County CERT Building located on Farrar Drive in Summerville, right by the Chattooga County EMA.  This will be a two day training event. The training lasts from 8-5 both days. No need to register, just show up. Everyone over age 18 is welcome.

Lyerly Student Competes at State Spelling Competition

A Chattooga County student recently competed in the State-Wide Spelling Bee sponsored by the Georgia Association of Educators.  Jayla Rich  is a fifth grade student at Lyerly Elementary School and won the district competition by spelling the word “dichotomy”.

Jayla faced opponents from throughout the state when she traveled to Plains, Georgia to take place in the state-wide competition.  The state-wide event was held at Plains High School – now the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, and the alma mater of former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter.

After 156 words over 16 rounds, 13-year-old Kyu-Carlo Alegre from Carrollton Junior High in Carrollton City emerged as the winner of the 57th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee.  He will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in National Harbor, Maryland, May 27 – June 2, 2018.

Jayla was eliminated in the third round of the competition, but represented Chattooga County well at the event.  GAE President Dr. Sid Chapman said, “Simply by being here, they are all champions.  Everyone involved in their journeys should be very, very proud. Congratulations to all of these great young people who impressively represented their respective schools and communities.”

Summerville Woman Jailed in Rome for False Statements

A Summerville woman was jailed in Floyd County this week after being accused of giving a false name to police officers during a traffic stop.

Twenty-six-year-old Amber Dawn Bryant of a Second Avenue, Summerville address is accused of making the statements when she was pulled over for a traffic violation by Floyd County Police back in February.

According to jail records from the Floyd County Jail, Bryant allegedly gave a fictitious name during the traffic stop.  She was arrested on Monday of this week and charged with two felonies – forgery and giving a false statements to law enforcement.  She was also charged with driving on an expired tag, no insurance and giving a false name to law enforcement.

Bryant was being held in the Floyd County Jail on Tuesday pending a $5,700 bond.


Sexual Assault Center Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia serves residents in a five-county area that includes Chattooga County.  The Center recently welcomed two new board members who have a background in law enforcement.

Capt. Dave Roberson and Ghee Wilson are the newest board members.  Roberson is supervisor for field services at the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, where he has been employed for 23 years. He is a member of the Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police and participated in the SAC’s Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge in 2017.  Wilson is a special agent with the Special Investigations Section of the Georgia Department of Corrections, before which he spent 13 years with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office. He is a past president of the Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police.

Other members of the Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors are Frank Beacham, Tina Brinson, Lee Carter, Joe Costolnick, Dr. Ryan Cox, Melissa Hickman, Chip Hood, Martha Jacobs, Dr. Dan Pate, Jill Pate, Beth Pollard, Danny Price, Dr. Larkin Swartz, Andy Taylor, Amos Tuck, John Uldrick, Dr. Jamey Vick, Diane Warner, Chase Watterson and Tannika Wester.

The Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia – which serves Bartow, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon and Polk counties – seeks to facilitate healing for victims of sexual assault and their families through on-going crisis intervention services; to promote community awareness of the Center’s services; to educate our students and community about the nature of sexual assault; and to foster strong partnerships with all agencies involved in dealing with sexual assault.

For more information, visit or call 706-292-9024.


City of Summerville Taking Donations for Jacksonville, AL

On Monday evening of this week a tornado ripped through Jacksonville, Alabama – home of Jacksonville State University.  Damage was reported at Jacksonville State University as campus officials warned students and faculty against traveling to the school as trees and power lines were down throughout campus.  Numerous homes and businesses around Jacksonville were damaged as a result of the storm.  There is a local effort to provide relief for the storm victims.

The City of Summerville posted on social media that “The City Of Summerville will be taking up donations for our friends in Jacksonville Alabama who were hit by an F-3 tornado. Donations for basic Disaster Relief Items such as : Water,Toiletries, Clothing Etc… may be taken to Summerville City Hall.”

If you have questions, you can contact Summerville City Hall at 706-859-0900.

Former Rome Teacher Enters Plea

Former Rome Middle School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Contributing to Delinquency of Minor, More

A former Rome Middle School teacher, Kasey Christian Green, pleaded guilty in court this week even though she maintains her innocence in a case where a students cellphone was taken and destroyed. Green pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property and two counts contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Defense attorney Brad J. McCall said that his client pleaded guilty out of fear of an “unsuccessful” trial, as well as the impact that it could have on her family.  He added that Green entered an Alford plea, meaning that even though she pleaded guilty she still asserts her innocence.

Green was sentenced to 36 months of probation and during that time she cannot teach pre-K through 12th grade. She must also pay restitution and a $1,000 fine.

She was accused three years ago of taking up a students cellphone after she was videoed disciplining a student. Reports stated that she then told three other students to “get rid of the phone”.  She was then accused of telling the students that they would get in trouble if they told anyone.

Two of the students took the phone to the bathroom and ran water over it before smashing it on the ground and burying it on school property.

The prosecution obtained video of the incident and a GPS locator was used to find the phone

Coosa Valley News

Arrest Report - Wednesday - March 21, 2018

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday, March 21, 2018:

Fight at Summerville Motel Leads to Arrest of Carrollton, GA Woman

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Chattooga County deputies were dispatched to the scene of a fight that was taking place in the parking lot of The Summerville Motel on Highway 27.

While deputies were on the scene shortly after 2 AM, they discovered that a woman at the motel had outstanding warrants.  A deputy chased the woman around the back of the motel.  The deputy said that the woman was running between two mobile homes and then jumped over two fences.  He caught up with the woman as she was hiding in the woods behind the motel.  The deputy got the woman out of the woods and took her back to the parking lot of the motel.

The woman, identified as thirty-one-year-0ld Amy Waddell Wilburn of Carrollton, Georgia, had an active warrant.  Deputies asked Ms. Wilburn if she had anything illegal in her bags.  Wilburn told the deputy that she had a marijuana joint in her pocketbook.

When deputies searched the woman’s purse, they found the suspected marijuana joint along with a small clear baggy with suspected marijuana, a grinder and two pipes with suspected marijuana.  They also found another clear pipe containing a white residue.

Wilburn was taken to the Chattooga County Jail on the outstanding warrant and new drug charges.