Ozment Selected To Replace Tucker

The City of Summerville is pleased to announce that Summerville Police Captain Brian Ozment has been selected to be the next Public Safety Director upon the retirement of the current Public Safety Director, Harold Tucker, on May 28, 2024.

Captain Ozment began his service to the Summerville Police Department in 1993. During his 30+ year tenure, he has worked as a police officer, investigator, and most recently as Captain where he performed the duties of Assistant Police Chief. Captain Ozment is a graduate of Chattooga High School, attended the Georgia Chiefs of Police Chief Executive Training Course, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University. He resides with his wife and family in Summerville.
Captain Ozment has a mindset of compassion and service to the citizens of Summerville and expects each employee of the Summerville Police Department to maintain the same mindset when performing their duties. “What may seem like just another call to an officer could quite possibly be the worst moment in the victim’s life.” Additionally, he wants to continue striving to make Summerville a better place to visit and live by maintaining the following priorities: community engagement, transparency, and accountability, and ensuring that Summerville receives the public safety services that it deserves.
Congratulations to Captain Brian Ozment on his promotion! He will serve the City of Summerville well.

Arrest Report - Friday - April 12, 2024

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, April 12, 2024:

GBI Gang Taskforce Arrests 20

A multi-agency gang investigation has led to the arrests of 20 criminal street gang (CSG) members and associates on multiple charges. The GBI’s Gang Task Force, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Cedar Park Police Department (TX), and the Texas Department of Public Safety, along with contributions from the U.S. Marshal’s Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force and the ATF, partnered in this significant investigation where charges included Violations of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Armed Robbery, weapons offenses, and drug trafficking.

The following people were arrested:

  1. Brandon Lovett Thomas, age 31, of Brookhaven, Georgia, charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Robbery and 1 count of Engaging in Organized Crime on Cedar Park, TX warrants.
  1. Jakai Tyere Lewis, age 18, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Robbery and 1 count of Engaging in Organized Crime on Cedar Park, TX warrants.  He is charged in Georgia with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. John Ben Frazier, age 19, of Decatur, Georgia, charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Robbery and 1 count of Engaging in Organized Crime on Cedar Park, TX warrants.  He is charged in Georgia with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Ashton Patrick George, age 17, of Decatur, Georgia, charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Robbery and 1 count of Engaging in Organized Crime on Cedar Park, TX warrants.  He is also charged, in Georgia, with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Donovan Lamar Logan, age 20, of Lithonia, Georgia charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. (DeKalb County Jail).
  1. Shadae Lasha Woods, age 18, of Decatur, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. (DeKalb County Jail).
  1. Joshua Demarquis Thomas, age 18, of South Fulton, charged with Possession of a sawed- off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine weapon, or silencer, Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Amarion Jacoby Pitts, age 20, of Covington, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Reniya Tatyana Armstead, age 23, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Fratavic Travarious Goodwin, age 20, of Jonesboro, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Caleb Nehemiah Dudley, age 19, of Lithonia, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Calvary Jackson Ray, age 20, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Tyrique Demarco Thomas, age 19, of Atlanta, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Daniel Kenneth Solomon, age 23, of Ellenwood, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Jammel Thomas Jones, age 19, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Naseem Umar Triplett, age 20, of Buford, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Jerry D. Johnson, age 25, of Lithonia, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Nashan Levonta Hutton, age 24, of Lithonia, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Cameron Anaya Byrd, age 23, of Lithonia, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  1. Darin Katharial Harris, age 19, of Lithonia, Georgia, charged with Violation of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Unlawful manufacture, delivery, distribution, possession, or sale of controlled substances, Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

In March of 2024, Cedar Park P.D. (Texas) began an aggravated robbery investigation.  Detectives linked the crime to metro Atlanta suspected CSG members and partnered with the GBI Gang Task Force and the DeKalb County Police Department. Agents served search warrants and arrest warrants in the early morning hours of April 5, 2024, in Brookhaven and Lithonia, and found a cache of weapons, drugs, and money in the Lithonia home. The gang was using the home as a drug distribution hub and a launching pad for the gang’s violent crimes.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Additional charges are expected. The local (Georgia) prosecution will be handled by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

The GBI Gang Task Force is a multi-agency unit that consists of the GBI, the Atlanta Police Department, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Department of Corrections, and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.

Connelly Considering Menlo City Attorney Position

The Menlo City Council has voted to fire longtime city attorney Arch Farrar and has expressed interest in replacing him with local attorney, Sutton Connelly. 

The council gave no clear reason for the decision to replace Farrar, except to say that there could be a “conflict of interest”.  The council did not elaborate on what that conflict of interest might be.  The decision to fire Farrar came at a meeting in which Menlo Mayor Allan Keen was absent due to a medical procedure.

WZQZ News spoke with Sutton Connelly on Thursday.  Connelly said that he is doing his due diligence in considering the offer and felt honored that the council would consider him for the position.  Connelly said that he has had some informal conversations with Mayor Keen about the position and expects to make a decision on the offer from the city council in the near future.

Connelly is the grandson of famed Chattooga County Attorney Bobby Lee Cook and the son of Judge Kristina Cook Graham and has practiced law in Chattooga County for over fifteen years.

 

Last Day For Chattooga FFA Plant Sale

Today is the last day for the Chattooga FFA Plant Sale at Chattooga High School.  The plant sale will be taking place from 9 AM until 5 PM.

Woman Escapes Out Of Patrol Car Window Before Being Apprehended

A twenty-year-old Summerville woman was arrested in the early morning hours of Sunday at the Jack’s Restaurant parking lot in Summerville on drug possession charges.  According to reports from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, Brooklyn Brown was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana.  After being placed under arrest, cuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, Brown managed to get out of the handcuffs, roll the window down and escape from the patrol car.  Brown fled on foot and was apprehended a short time later on Farrar Drive.  Brown was charged with drug charges, obstruction of law enforcement and felony escape charges in connection with the incident.

Georgia DPH Confirms Third Measles Case Of 2024

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated individual traveling with an international group of students. The individual, who does not live in the United States, is isolated and receiving treatment at a local hospital. DPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify and contact anyone who may have been exposed to the individual and to prevent further spread of measles.

Measles is very contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The measles virus can stay in the air for up to 2 hours after an infected person is there so you can become infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was.

Measles symptoms appear 7 to 14 days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out that usually starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive their first dose of MMR vaccine between 12-15 months of age and a second dose between 4-6 years old. More than 95% of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.

People with symptoms of measles should contact their healthcare provider immediately. DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms. Healthcare providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately.

For more information about measles, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/epidemiology/acute-disease-epidemiology/vaccine-preventable-diseases/measles or https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Federal Court Upholds Georgia’s Citizenship Verification Process

U.S. Attorney’s Office for The Northern District Of Georgia Collects Over $108 Million in Civil and Criminal Actions in Fiscal Year 2016

In Federal court in the Northern District of Georgia yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor Ross granted Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s motion to dismiss all claims challenging Georgia’s citizenship verification process.

“Ensuring that only U.S. citizens vote in our elections is critically important to secure and accurate elections,” said Secretary Raffensperger. “Georgia’s citizenship verification process is common sense and it works. With this ruling, we are able to continue ensuring that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections.”

The ruling in federal court today follows the ruling in favor of Georgia’s citizenship verification process in the Fair Fight Action case in 2022.

The case that Judge Ross dismissed today was brought by New Georgia Project, Common Cause Georgia, GALEO Latino Community Development Fund, ProGeorgia State Table, Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. It included claims that Georgia’s citizenship verification process violated the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and the National Voter Registration Act.

Judge Ross ruled in favor of Secretary Raffensperger on every count of their complaint, meaning that Georgia’s citizenship verification processes will remain in place for the 2024 election.

Career Fair At Roper Today

May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'ONSITE CAREER FAIR Friday, 4/12 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM On-site at Roper 1507 Broomtown Rd, LaFayette, GA 30728 Now hiring for Assembly Operators & Tugger Drivers! All candidatesattendingthejobf fair will be entered rafflefor small appliance! 2 CORPORATION ROPER'

Camp Hamby Registration Underway

Registration is underway for the 2024 Camp Hamby day camp.  Camp Hamby is a ministry of United Methodist Churches in Chattooga County.  This year, camp will be held from June 10-14 and then from June 17-24.

Campers enjoy a fun-filled day participating in numerous activities while learning about the love of Jesus. The children rotate to different activities throughout the day: nature, music, arts/crafts, Bible exploration,recreation, and discovery. It is tradition to build boats/rafts in nature each year and race them in the creek. On Friday they are treated with an inflatable water slide during their recreation time.The program for the families is on Friday where they share what they learned throughout the week and sing a few traditional songs.

Camp Hamby is special to a lot of people and is open to all denominations.

Find more information about registration HERE

Downtown Runway Show This Evening

Summerville’s Downtown Runway show will be held this evening at 8 PM on East Washington Street. All proceeds will benefit the Diane Marie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 2021 in honor of Diane Marie Jones. The young lady that raises the most money will receive a special prize and recognition on stage the night of the runway show.

The scholarship fund was established in January 2021 in honor of Diane Marie Jones. Diane grew up in Menlo and graduated from Chattooga High School and was a registered nurse. The organization created in her honor is committed to awarding scholarships to those seeking careers in the medical field. Last year, the organization awarded five $1,000 scholarships all to Chattooga County high school seniors.
It is the mission of the Downtown Runway Show’s Team to build self-confidence in a non-competitive way and empower young ladies to make a difference in their communities.

Trion Veteran's Committee Selling Boston Butts Next Month

Arrest Report - Thursday - April 11, 2024

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday, April 11, 2024:

City Council Votes To Charge $500 For Burials At Summerville Cemetery

At Monday’s city council meeting, the Summerville City Council voted 3-1 to charge $500 for burials at the Summerville Cemetery.  That move has some people who have purchased burial plots upset that they will now have to pay the fee, even though they have already purchased burial plots.

The city took over the cemetery at the request of the Summerville Cemetery Corporation due to dwindling funds to provide for the upkeep of the cemetery.  The same problems that the cemetery corporation faced are now causing city officials to institute the new fee.  The only revenue for the cemetery is the sale of burial plots – many of which were sold decades ago.  With no new sources of revenue coming in, the city council voted to start charging for burials.

Summerville City Councilman Joe Money was one of the council members in favor of the new fee.  Money told WZQZ News, “This is a one-time fee the Cemetery Corporation put in for any Maintenance or mowing needed. Plot fees aren’t frequent enough to pay for these. This $500 will be used to help pay for city employees time working in the cemetery and any tree work, mowing or any other maintenance needed in the cemetery. It’s really a bargain when you look at the big picture. Citizen’s loved ones will have a nice weed eated and mowed cemetery to rest in peace in from now on”.

Councilman Rickey Hughes was the lone council member to vote against the measure.  Hughes told WZQZ, “Well I couldn’t really justify charging someone for using something they already owned and I couldn’t really get a definite answer as to what it is for. Therefore, I voted no on adopting the rules”.

Five Arrested In Favor Street Drug Bust

Five people were arrested in a drug bust on Favor Street in Summerville on April 4th. 

According to a report released by the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office this week, sheriff’s deputies and investigators, along with agents from the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on the residence at 40 Favor Street due to suspected drug activity.

No one would answer the door, so law enforcement officers made a forced entry into the residence.  Pasqual London was in the kitchen area and attempted to flee but was subdued and handcuffed.  Four other suspects, Jamison “Jamie” Armstrong, Ethan Crider, Kara Mayers and Amber Bryant were also detained at the residence.

In addition to suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia was found inside the residence.

All five were charged with drug-related charges and were booked into the Chattooga County Jail.

Georgia To Distribute Opioid Settlement Funds

The state has launched a grant program for awarding the hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid settlement funds coming to Georgia.

A total of $638 million will flow into Georgia, with three-fourths of the funds being distributed through the grant process unveiled Monday. Another 25%, or $159 million, will be shared among the city of Atlanta and the state’s largest counties.

Starting next Monday, groups can begin applying for the first round of grant funding. More information can be found on the website for the Georgia Opioid Crisis Abatement Trust. A series of workshops are being held across the state to explain the grant criteria and process.

Of the money coming to Georgia, $479 million will be distributed through Georgia Opioid Crisis Abatement Trust using the grant process announced Monday. Groups can either apply for a regional grant or a state level grant if they can show the proposed project has broader impact.

Read more from the Georgia Recorder HERE

Georgia Recorder

Storage Unit Theft Reported

The Chattooga County Sheriffs Office was called to investigate a storage unit theft on Violet Lane in Summerville last week.  According to a report that was released on Tuesday of this week, the responding deputy spoke with the complainant who said that her storage unit at the Bolt Storage Facility had been broken into several times.  The deputy said that he could see no signs of forced entry into the unit, but the complainant said several items were missing.  The complainant claimed the value of the items was around $1500.  The responding deputy recommended contacting the storage unit company to see if any video footage could be obtained and promised a report would be filed.

Chattooga County Historical Society Meeting This Sunday

The Chattooga County Historical Society will be meeting this Sunday at 2 PM.for the spring meeting of the Chattooga County Historical Society. The program will feature an up date on the maintenance and restoration efforts underway by the City of Summerville and the Friends of the Summerville Cemetery. The highlight of the program will be a “virtual walkthrough” of the cemetery to visit around a dozen of the historical characters who rest there. This will include visits with some preachers, teachers, librarians, doctors, lawyers, trailblazing women, the poor and the well to do. Also those who attend will find out how many souls rest the in the Cleghorn  mausoleum and in the entire cemetery . The meeting is free and open to the public and you are encouraged to become a member of the Chattooga County Historical Society.  Be sure to visit the historical society’s Facebook page.

County Awarded Bid For Shredder Machine

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Chattooga County has been awarded a 2024 Recycling and Waste Diversion Grant from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) offers the Recycling and Waste Diversion (RWD) Grant as part of the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF) Grant Program. The EPD is offering $2,000,000 in funding for state fiscal year 2024. The grants provide financial support to projects in Georgia to reduce solid waste, recover valuable materials, support manufacturing, and encourage innovation.

Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry says that the grant will be used to purchase a shredder machine that can grind concrete, rubble, asphalt, bricks, wood, and other waste. Elsberry said, “This will give us the ability to recycle and reuse a multitude of materials which could inadvertently save money on the amount material purchased”.

The commissioner expressed his appreciation to the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission for their assistance in obtaining the $341,467 grant for Chattooga County.

Open House At All Six GNTC Campuses

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) is hosting an Open House at all six campuses to provide an opportunity to learn more about the programs offered at GNTC, tour the facilities and meet faculty and staff.

The event on Tuesday, April 23, will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each of GNTC’s campuses: Catoosa County Campus, Ringgold; Floyd County Campus, Rome; Gordon County Campus, Calhoun; Polk County Campus, Rockmart; Walker County Campus, Rock Spring; and Whitfield Murray Campus, Dalton.

Legare Price, dean of Student Success at GNTC, shared his excitement about the upcoming Open House.

“We are delighted to invite you to our Open House for our upcoming summer and fall semesters,” Price said. “This is your opportunity to explore one of our six campuses and take the first step in your college journey. Our goal is to simplify the process for you.”

The event will include information and assistance on admissions, advising, career guidance and financial aid. GNTC will waive the admission application fee for those attending the event.

“During your visit, you can tour our campuses, meet our experienced staff and faculty, learn about our student support services and even apply to GNTC for free—all in a single day,” Price said.

Attendees will receive GNTC giveaways.

For more information, contact admissions@gntc.edu or 866-983-4682.

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Locations: all six GNTC campuses

Catoosa County Campus, 120 College Park Drive, Ringgold

Floyd County Campus, One Maurice Culberson Drive, Rome

Gordon County Campus, 1151 Highway 53 Spur, Calhoun

Polk County Campus, 466 Brock Road, Rockmart

Walker County Campus, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring

Whitfield Murray Campus, 2310 Maddox Chapel Road, Dalton