Georgia Red Cross Says Relief Efforts Will Continue For Weeks

The Red Cross of Georgia’s assistance in the areas impacted by Tropical Storm Florence will continue for several weeks according to Sherry Nicholson – Regional Communication Director, American Red Cross of Georgia.

Right now there are 47 Red Cross Gerorgia workers in the Carolina’s . There’s another wave of workers on stand by

Nicholson told the Georgia News Network  that once the agency was assured Georgia wasn’t in the storm’s bulls-eye, 30 Red Cross trucks began assembling in Middle Georgia last weekend at a staging center set up at the Macon Farmers’ Market. Each truck had at least two volunteers and the vehicles were loaded with supplies to assist with the cleanup: bleach, brooms, sponges, buckets, water and some nonperishable food.

The Red Cross has opened multiple shelters across North and South Carolina and Virginia and will continue with the relief effort in the weeks to come.

GNN

 

New Judicial Building My Be Named After Nathan Deal

A new judicial building being constructed in downtown Atlanta may end up being named after Governor Nathan Deal.

It’s a huge building project, and may end up being one of the most expensive in Georgia history. The state courts building is being constructed in downtown Atlanta on the site of the old archives building, not far from the State Capitol.

The new judicial building is expected to cost at least $110 million and is slated to open next year.

The AJC is reporting that House Speaker David Ralston said this week that he will propose legislation to name the building the “Nathan Deal Judicial Center”.

GNN

Lt. Governor Candidate Opens Party Headquarters In Chattooga County

The Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor was in Summerville yesterday to speak to local Democrats about her campaign and help open up the party’s campaign headquarters on Commerce Street in Summerville.

Sarah Riggs Amico has never run for political office before and has spend her adult career in business.  She is the CEO of Jack Cooper, a trucking company that employees over 3,000 people.  The Yale graduate is the mother of two small children and the spouse of an immigrant.

Amico says Georgia has a lot of potential and a lot of things going well, but she says the state isn’t looking forward enough.  Amico says that she is particularly concerned about health care in Georgia – and specifically rural health care.  She says there are 64 counties without a pediatrician, 79 counties without a OBGYN, a high maternal mortality rate and seven rural hospitals have closed in Georgia.

As the Executive Chairman of Jack Cooper, Amico says she saw other companies cutting back on health care benefits. Instead, she said her company went the other direction and paid for health care, all of it, for the company’s employees.  She says as Lt. Governor she wants to see more access to affordable health care.

Amico says that she can work across the aisle to get legislation passed that will benefit both working Georgians and businesses.

WZQZ News will broadcast a full interview with Amico in the upcoming days before the General Election in November.

Dade Co. Substitute Teacher Allegedly Sent Boys Inappropriate Texts, Pictures

According to law enforcement, a Dade County substitute teacher has been charged with sending lewd messages and pictures of herself to “several” 14-year-old boys.

35-year-old Amanda Lenea Pardue is accused by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations of furnishing obscene materials to minors and sending electronic pornography and child exploitation. Pardue turned herself in Thursday at the Dade County jailhouse. She was released in the afternoon on a$30,000 bond.

The GBI began investigating the case at the request of Trenton Police Department on Aug. 31, and a search warrant for Pardue’s phone. Dade County Schools fired Pardue shortly after the allegations surfaced in late August. She had reportedly been brought on as a substitute in September 2016, almost two years ago to the day.

“We are saddened to learn about the arrest of a former substitute teacher,” Dade County superintendent Jan Harris said in a statement Thursday. “We are cooperating with law enforcement officers as they investigate this matter.”

Pardue’s attorney, Larry Stagg, said Thursday night he still had not heard the GBI’s specific allegations. He said Pardue told him that the problems began when she was included in a group text with multiple boys. Based on what his client told him, he believes the GBI is targeting communications between Pardue and the boys on Snapchat. Stagg recently told Chattanooga newspaper the Times Free Press,

“My greatest concern is had one thing that they saved and not the rest,” Stagg said. ” Anything can be taken out of context if you had one sentence of conversation.”

Read more by Tyler Jett at the Times Free Press.

Summerville's Search for a City Manager to Take Center Stage at City Council Meeting

At the city of Summerville’s next city council meeting, the council will consider reimbursing the travel expenses of city manager applicants coming in from out of town. The council has received almost 30 applications, and Mayor Harry Harvey has said that though they are all “regional”, some are much closer than others. The search for a new manager will be the main topic of the next council meeting, which is slated for 5 PM Monday at city hall.

The items on the agenda include

  1. Discuss the progress and procedures for the City Manager Search
  2. Discuss preferred dates and times for City Manager interviews
  3. Discuss reimbursement of travel expenses for out of town candidates

Outdoor Adventure Day at Sloppy Floyd; Free Fishing Statewide

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Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day today by heading over to‘Outdoor Adventure Day’ at “Sloppy” Floyd State Park. Families can enjoy a day on the water with the kids’ fishing event and canoe instruction. On land, a live reptile show will be offered. Children can learn more about hunter’s safety at the archery range, and BB gun range. Hot dogs and drinks will be available. Parking is $5 and the event will run 9 AM-2PM. For more information, call 706-857-0826.

In addition, a free day of fishing will be available to all of Georgia’s residents: for the entire day, all Georgia residents can fish at at of the state’s public waters without a fishing or trout license, free of charge.

The Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources division is sponsoring these and other fun activities at all of Georgia’s state parks in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day. For more information on NHF Day in Georgia, including a complete listing of all events in the state, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/get-involved/nhfday.

Annual LaFayette Fly-In Today

The annual Fly-In & Cruise-In at the Lafayette Airport will be today. This FREE event will start at 10 AM and finish up at 3 PM. Attendees will get to see a historic DC-3 airplane, one of the world’s first airliners.

Helicopter and airplane rides will be available and there will be inflatable bounce houses for children. Cotton candy, popcorn, and other concessions will be sold.

The 1937-build DC-3 Flagship Detroit will anchor this year’s Fly-in Saturday,  According to the Flagship Detroit website, the plane was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company (founded in 1921) at its Santa Monica, Calif., plant in 1937. It was assigned serial number 1920 and factory number 43. Upon completion, it was delivered to American Airlines as a model DC-3, G102, and assigned the registration number NC17334. American accepted the Detroit delivery on March 2, 1937.

The plane went through at least 18 different owners, including being owned for a short time by the U.S. Government, prior to its purchase by the Flagship Detroit Foundation and an authentic restoration to her 1937 glory.

Football Recap: Both Teams Score Impressive Wins

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The Bulldogs and the Indians both had impressive wins at their home stadiums last night.

The Bulldogs were hosting their long-time rivals, Chickamauga’s Gordon Lee Trojans. The Trojans have had a very rough season so far, their first game of the season (against Dade county) being their only win so far. That losing streak was continued last night at Sam R. McCain stadium in Trion, despite a respectable improvement from Trojan offense. Both teams scored back and forth, but Gordon Lee ultimately never overcame a 14-point lead established by the Bulldogs n the first quarter. The game ended 40-34 Trion.

Here is WZQZ’s Ben Groce and Jeremy Burke with a recap of last night’s game:

The Chattooga Indians dealt heavy blows to Calhoun’s Gordon Central Warriors. The Warriors only managed one touchdown in the third quarter,. Warrior offense was no match for Indians defense, and Chattooga held the ball for the better part of the game. That game finished 34-7.

Both teams will hit the road next week at 4-1 for the season. The Indians will be up against Rockmart’s Yellowjackets. The Yellowjackets have been a force to be reckoned with this season, winning all 5 of their matches this season with respectable margins. Trion will be facing Mt. Zion’s Eagles, who have also had a strong season, falling only to Christian Heritage on 9/14.

ou can expect WZQZ to keep you updated with all the latest from both the Indians and the Bulldogs.

Trion TSA Officers Attend Fall Officer Training

This past weekend, September 14-16th, Isaac Cothran, Jason Herring, and Mr. Scott Petty attended the Chapter Officer Retreat for Excellence (CORE) for Georgia Technology Students Association.

The event was held at the Ramah Darom Camp, an overnight camp in the North Georgia Mountains, just two hours from Atlanta near Clayton, GA.

Mr. Petty attended as a teacher, and loved the whole weekend, commenting, “I felt like the conference was very beneficial to our local TSA chapter. They participated in team building, leadership, program of work training, and got to compete in the CORE Olympics.”

Petty went on to explain the uniqueness of the mountain retreat: “There were about 750 nerds with no cell service and no wifi all weekend and I loved it; it was like 1985, the students were actually talking to each other and getting to know one another.”

Everyone arrived on Friday and participated in different classes. Saturday night, they attended a tailgate party where they got to play various games. They participated in throwing a football through a hole, basketball, and cornhole.

The CORE Olympics is an annual tradition. When everyone gets there on Friday they are put into groups and given a color. They had to participate in different competitions with their group such as swimming out so far and then coming back, canoeing, and a race. They had to run about a half a mile around camp. Cothran’s navy blue team took the gold with the entire Olympics.

It was the first time attending for both Cothran and Herring, they enjoyed every minute of it. They both agreed having no cell service wasn’t bad because they stayed busy all the time. Herring added, “I must have shook over 100 hands on the first day there. I met so many new friends.”

 

Trion To Live Stream Tonight's Game

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You can listen to tonight’s game on WZQZ FM 99.1 and AM 1180.  You can also watch a live-stream of the game at www.trionschools.org/livestream .  Once there, just click on the live stream logo to be redirected to the streaming channel on You Tube.  You can hear Ben Groce and Jeremy Burke’s play by play.

Lt. Governor Candidate In Chattooga County Today

Chattooga County Democrats will be hosting a ribbon cutting at the party’s campaign headquarters in downtown Summerville today and will be hosting the Democratic Lt. Governor candidate at 12:30 PM.

According to party officials, the ribbon cutting will take place at 12:30 this afternoon and there will be a time of refreshments and fellowship.  Local school board candidates along with Lt. Governor candidate Sarah Riggs Amico will be on hand to talk with party members and voters.

Amico says she has “a long, consistent record of finding common ground with people across the political spectrum” and would continue doing that as the lieutenant governor.  She is a business executive that operates a company that bills itself as the “largest car-haul company in the U.S. and Canada with more than 3,000 employees.”  She will be facing off against former State Rep. Geoff  Duncan in the November General Election.

 

Football Friday - Coaches Interviews

Both local high school football teams will be on their home turf this evening as the Trion Bulldogs take on longtime rival the Gordon-Lee Trojans and the Chattooga Indians face off against Gordon Central.

The Trion Bulldogs are coming off a tough loss to the North Cobb Christian Eagles last Friday night.  Coach Justin Brown talks about tonight’s match-up against Gordon-Lee:

The Chattooga Indians defeated the Coosa Eagles last week giving the Indians three wins and one loss for the season.  CHS Head Football Coach Charles Hammon talks about tonight’s game against Gordon Central:

WZQZ will be broadcasting Trion vs. Gordon Lee on 99.1 FM and AM 1180 and you can hear the Chattooga Indians vs. Gordon Central on the web at www.chattoogainfo.com . Be sure to be listening for the United Community Bank touchdowns and Summerville McDonald’s First Downs in tonight’s games.  Tonight’s games are brought to you by: North Georgia Equipment Sales, Mohawk Industries, Trion Drugs, Save A Lot in Summerville, Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Floyd Medical Center.

Sparks Fly at Trion Town Council Meeting

Last night’s special called meeting of the Trion town council was a hotbed of tension. Over 40 Trion residents attended the meeting, held to discuss a significant increase in water bills experienced by many if not most Trion water customers. 

The increase in monthly bills follows the installation of new mechanical meters at residents’ properties. The meters were installed to begin a ‘pay-for-what-you-use- system, replacing the town’s long-standing $15 flat rate. The meters were installed by Borderline Waterworks, a company the city contracted with.

Jerry Pollard, a native Chattoogan, was at the meeting on behalf of the company to give Borderline’s side of the story. Pollard argued that because the new meters are so accurate (per standards set by government agencies), they have illuminated long-standing leaks at properties that were not being detected or billed. Even a small but regular drip, if left unchecked, can cost hundreds of dollars in a single billing cycle, Pollard said.

Many in the audience seemed skeptical of Pollard’s argument and some engaged in an agitated back-and-forth with Pollard. There were several moments of extensive crosstalk between the audience, the council, and Pollard, and at one point, mayor Larry Stansell looked at the audience and told them that they had simply been spoiled up to this point, referencing the former flat-rate billing system.  

Audience members were allowed to address the council and ask questions, and many did, asking questions that varied widely in substance. One resident expressed her frustration that a duplex she rents out to two separate tenants receives two water bills even though it only has one meter. Another resident explained she was recently billed almost $1000 for a house she owns that has been vacant for years. Two residents were asked to leave the podium after engaging in back-and-forth with the mayor, both of whom had insinuated that the mayor was too focused on making the city a profit.

Don Henderson, one of the attendees asked to leave the podium, told the mayor, “Larry, with the kind of money you’re making, it’s hand over fist- that kind of money would be acceptable to Donald Trump.”

Stansell replied, “Anything else, Don?” After Stansell repeatedly and sternly told Henderson “Thank you,” a few times, Henderson appeared to realize he was being told to sit down, if not in so many words.

This exchangecame as the council discussed a concern about remedies for the unexpectedly high bills: if the state government deems Trion’s government ineffective at raising minimal funds, it can take over billing rates. Everyone on the council clearly wanted to mitigate bills to some extent, but knew that if they were overly generous, the state might take over and the town residents would effectively lose their say in the matter.

Councilwoman Becky McWhorter voiced strong support for applying whatever remedy the council approved to all customers, instead of a case-by-case basis. She received support on this from the council’s newest member Jeff “Fro” Wilson.

Ultimately, the council decided to mitigate the August 1-31 AND Sept. 1-30 billing cycles’ rates back to the old $15 rate (the cycles charged on Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, respectively), and start the new rate system as advertised fresh on the October 1-30 billing cycle (billed on Nov. 1). This effectively gives the water department 9 days to get all leaks recorded and taken care of. Anyone who has paid already paid extra will have a credit to be applied on the next billing cycle.

Councilwoman Linda Ingle was not present at the meeting.

Georgia's Unemployment Below National Average

Georgia Labor Commissioner, Mark Butler, said Thursday that Georgia’s unemployment rate for August dipped below the national number for the first time in 11 years.

The rate, at 3.8 percent, is approaching the state’s record low of 3.4 percent, set in 2000. At 3.8 percent, it is down .1 percent from July. By comparison, the national rate is 3.9 percent.

Last August’s statewide rate was 4.5 percent.

At the same time, Georgia set records for jobs and employed residents. Unemployment claims also fell in August.

“This is a true milestone for us,” Butler said. “As a state that’s seen its workforce expand very quickly, it should be hard for us to drive the unemployment rate down so low. However, we have been employing new workers as fast as we have been adding them. These numbers show how dynamic our economy has been and continues to be.”

Georgia also continues to approach another milestone: the 5-million mark for employed residents. In August, Georgia hit a record high of 4.96 million employed residents. That number was up by more than 6,400 over the month and by nearly 115,000 over the year.Likewise, Georgia’s labor force fell slightly, decreasing by less than 400 in August to about 5.16 million. It has grown by about 82,000 over the last 12 months.

Jobs were also up by 12,000 in August to over 4.5 million, an all-time high. Over the past 12 months, Georgia added nearly 90,000 jobs. Butler said all of these numbers continue trends going back to the first of the year. “Georgia’s labor force and job market are not just strong, they continue to set records,” said Butler. Most of the monthly job gains came in the education and health services, government and construction.

Over the past year, Georgia has added more than 10,000 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, education and health services, construction, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Construction, in particular, is continuing to have a very strong year, seeing growth of 10 percent over the year. “When you see that big of a jump in construction jobs over the year, that points to a strong economy,” said Butler.

There were 21,182 unemployment claims filed in August, the fewest filed in over 20 years. Claims were down about 28 percent and remain down by 11 percent over the last year. There were 75,686 jobs posted on employgeorgia.com during August. Of those jobs, 36 percent were for STEM occupations.

Chattooga County had 36 first-time claims, up from July but down from August 2017.

GA State Superintendent Visits Trion City Schools Helping Hands Program

This past Thursday, September 6th, Georgia’s State Superintendent, Richard Woods, met with administrators and members of Helping Hands to discuss the growth and achievements of the Helping Hands Ending Hunger food distribution program. Students came from Chattooga High, Summerville Middle, Leroy Massey, Lyerly, Menlo, Cherokee Ridge, Gilbert, Stone Creek, Heritage Middle, Rome Middle, East Central, and Trion City Schools.

The meeting started at Trion Elementary School with Leadership members Bryana Whitaker and Kaylie Broome greeting Superintendent Woods. These two THS students, alongside other Helping Hands leaders, answered Superintendent Wood’s questions and showed him how the program operates at Trion.

From there, the meeting continued with a reception at Sweet P’s at the Tavern with the theme of “Apples,” the harvest fruit of the month. Here, Carla Harward, a Helping Hands volunteer, spoke about how the program began followed by Trion City Schools Superintendent Phil Williams. Dr. Williams also spoke about the ideas and beginning of the Helping Hands program.

Afterwards, Sophie Harward, a student at Trion High Schools, spoke about a new scholarship opportunity sponsored by the Helping Hands program. Requirements for these scholarships are that the student receiving them must be an Honor Graduate and receive food and other supplies from the Helping Hands program. To wrap things up, Richard Woods made sure to show his support for the organization.

Helping Hands distributes food to those in need every Friday after school as a way to give back to the community. This meet and greet greatly aided this non-profit organization.

McKenzie Hudgins

Walker County Inmate Back In Custody

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson says that an inmate that walked off a work detail on Thursday is back in custody.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office issued a “Be On The Lookout” for Guy Bowman yesterday morning after Bowman escaped from custody while on a work detail with the Walker County Jail.  Bowman was in jail on a meth charge. He was assigned to civilian supervisor detail at LaFayette City Hall for a remodeling project.

Guy Bowman was taken into custody at a house on Stubblefield Road in Catoosa County yesterday afternoon.

Georgia Grown Baby Barn Coming To Georgia National Fair

The Georgia Grown Baby Barn, a live birthing center and nursery for farm animals, will open its doors for the first time at the upcoming 2018 Georgia National Fair in Perry Oct. 4-14.  The Georgia Department of Agriculture – in collaboration with the Georgia National Fair Board, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and Georgia’s animal industry partners– are excited to introduce this one-of-a-kind agricultural education exhibit to promote familiarity with Georgia’s animal agriculture industry by showcasing live births of cattle.

“The Georgia National Fair has a rich tradition of serving as an educational cornerstone for Georgia’s agriculture industry,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said.  “The Georgia Grown Baby Barn will further enhance that effort by offering a unique experience for all fair attendees.  We want to help people make a connection with agriculture and have them leave the fair with a stronger appreciation for the work of Georgia’s farmers and farm families.”

The 10,800-square-foot facility was built as an annex to the existing Georgia Grown Building at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.  After visiting similar attractions at other state fairgrounds and experiencing the overwhelming positive reactions, the fair board voted to bring a similar attraction to Perry.

“The people in Minnesota were enthralled,” said Jack Spruill, director of marketing for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “There were families who stood attentively for up to four hours to see a cow have a calf.”

Spectators in the Baby Barn will have the opportunity to see 11 dairy calves born, one birth for each day of the fair. Newborn piglets will also be on display.  Certified veterinarians will be available throughout the duration of the fair to provide care for the animals.

The dates of each birth have been estimated with a high degree of certainty thanks to fertility science, but since the exact timing cannot be guaranteed, fair goers are encouraged to download the new Georgia National Fair app to receive notifications regarding upcoming births.  The smartphone application will be used to alert fair goers that the birth is imminent and encourage visitors to make their way to the Georgia Grown Building if they wish to be present at the time of birth and suggest names for the newborns.  The Georgia National Fair app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Public's Help Requested in Finding 2 Walker Co. Runaways

The Walker County sheriff’s department and the LaFayette PD have asked for the public’s help in finding two runaway teens.

The LaFayette Police Department is trying to locate 15-year-old Katie Marie Ellen Marks (pictured left). Marks was last seen at LaFayette High School on September 18 of this year wearing a navy-colored hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans with holes in them. If you have any information that might help, contact LaFayette Police Department Detective Owens 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.
Once the Juvenile has been located the post is subject to being taken down or deleted from the police department’s page.

The Walker County Sheriff Office is asking for the help finding 16-year-old Savannah West (pictured right). West is a white female with red hair and green eyes. She stands about 5’3”. If you have any information on her whereabouts, contact Walker Co. 911 at 706-375-7810 or Det. Andy Cash at 706-638-0898.

WQCH