Arrest Report - Sunday - June 23, 2024

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, June 23, 2024:

Man Arrested After Fleeing From Deputies

A fifty-year-old man was jailed last week after trying to outrun law enforcement on Highway 100 in a chase that originated in Chattooga County and reached speeds of 120 miles-per-hour and ended in Floyd County.

According to a report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy on patrol on Highway 100 noticed a black Corvette speeding and recognized the vehicle as one that had been pulled over the day before by the same deputy.

The deputy attempted to pull the Corvette over, but the driver accelerated refused to stop.

When the chase reached the intersection of Highway 20 in Floyd County, the driver of the Corvette headed west on Highway 20 and once again reached speeds of 120 miles-per-hour.  Then, according to report, the driver suddenly began to slow down and came to a stop near Fosters Bend Road SW.

Eric Allan Smith was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, speeding, reckless driving, failure to maintain a single lane and defective equipment and was booked into the Chattooga County Jail.

Resaca Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide In Death Of Rome Man

Rome Man Killed in Motorcyle Wreck, Elderly Resaca Man Jailed

An elderly Resaca man was released from Polk County Jail on a $2,000 bond on Friday after being charged with vehicular homicide in connection with an accident that happened on Thursday on Georgia 101 that killed a Rome man.

That accident killed thirty-year-old Jacob Pearson of Rome who was driving a motorcycle and collided with a Jeep Cherokee being driven by eighty-three-year-old Samuel William Johnston.  The Georgia State Patrol says that Johnston failed to yield while attempting to turn onto Dean Road and the motorcycle collided with the passenger side of the Jeep.

Pearson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Johnston was arrested and charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield while turning left, both misdemeanors. He was booked into Polk County Jail and released Friday on $2,000 bond.

AAA Expects Record Independence Day For Travelers

AAA projects Independence Day travelers will set new records both nationwide and in Georgia. More than 70.9 million people around the U.S. are expected to travel 50 miles or more away from home. Approximately 2.3 million of those will be Georgians.

“The summer travel season is off to a hot start, and we expect to set new travel records on the road and in the sky during the week of Independence Day,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “There will be 3.5 million more travelers than last year.  That means even more people at airports and popular attractions like beaches, lakes, and theme parks.”

Independence Day Holiday Travel Period

AAA’s Independence Day travel forecast measures domestic trips of 50 miles or more during 9 days from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7.

Economic trends influencing the travel forecast

Despite concerns about inflation, total travel is increasing due to growth in consumer confidence, wages, and continued strength in consumer spending.

  • Consumers are expected to increase spending by 5.5% compared to a year ago.
  • Real GDP growth will remain modest, rising by 2.5% from last year.
  • After falling steadily since January, consumer confidence moved up in May.
  • Gas prices for May averaged $3.62, $0.07 higher than a year ago.

National Independence Day Travel Figures

Total Auto Air Other
2024 (Forecast) 70.9 million 60.6 million 5.7 million 4.6 million
2023 67.4 million 57.8 million 5.4 million 4.2 million
2019 65.2 million 55.3 million 5.1 million 4.8 million

Georgia Independence Day Travel Volumes

Total Auto Air Other
2024 (Forecast) 2.3 million 2 million 161,732 100,113
2023 2.2 million 1.9 million 152,338 92,824
2022 1.9 million 1.7 million 139,954 75,445

Road Travel

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over the July 4th week.

Meanwhile, road travel in Georgia will set a record for the third consecutive year. More than 2 million Georgians are expected to take a road trip. That’s over 104,000 more than last year.

“Road travelers should prepare for congestion in the afternoon and evening hours, particularly near larger metro areas, theme parks, and popular attractions,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With so many people on the road, it’s important to be patient, minimize distractions while driving, and move over for people on the roadside.”

Gas Prices (Georgia)

Georgia drivers are currently paying more for gasoline than they did last Independence Day when the state average was $3.20. Gas prices have been moving lower as of late. However, that downward trend could reverse course if oil prices rise because of geopolitical tensions or a hurricane that threatens oil rigs and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

Air Travel

The number of domestic air travelers is also expected to set a record. Nationally, AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019.

AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2% cheaper this Independence Day week compared to last year, and the average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is $800. Airports will be packed throughout the week. AAA recommends arriving 2 hours early, reserving parking ahead of time, and traveling with carry-on luggage versus checked bags to save time and money.

Other Modes of Transportation

More than 4.6 million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. This category is seeing an increase of 9% compared to last year, but this year’s number is shy of 2019’s figure of 4.79 million.

“Cruising continues experiencing remarkable growth,” Haas said. “This time of year, Alaska cruises are in high demand, making Seattle and Anchorage top domestic destinations. Cruise travelers are also finding deals this summer. With new ships coming onto the market – and going for a premium – working with a Travel Advisor is a great way to ensure you’re getting the best value for your vacation. Travel Advisors are also able to help you choose a travel insurance policy that protects you and your investment from the impact of unexpected events before and during your trip.”

Best and Worst Times to Drive and Peak Congestion by Metro

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, says the worst times to travel by car before and on July 4th are between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Drivers should hit the road in the morning, and travelers returning on Monday, July 8th should avoid rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon.

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3rd, as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7th, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67% longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”

Please note that the times listed below are for the time zone in which the metro is located.

For example, Atlanta routes = ET and Los Angeles routes = PT.

Best and Worst Times to Travel by Car
Date Worst Travel Time Best Travel Time
Monday, Jul 1 Minimal Traffic Impact Expected  
Tuesday, Jul 2 2:00 – 6:00 PM After 7:00 PM
Wednesday, Jul 3 2:00 – 7:00 PM Before Noon
Thursday, Jul 4 2:00 – 7:00 PM Before Noon
Friday, Jul 5 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Before 10:00 AM
Saturday, Jul 6 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM Before 10:00 AM
Sunday, Jul 7 2:00 – 8:00 PM Before 11:00 AM
Monday, Jul 8 1:00 – 5:00 PM After 7:00 PM

Source: INRIX

Peak Congestion by Metro
Metro Route Peak Congestion Period Est. Travel Time Increase

Compared to Typical

Atlanta Birmingham to Atlanta via I-20 E Sunday 7th

6:30 PM

3 hours 36 minutes 42%

Source: INRIX

Top Destinations

This July 4th week, travelers are cooling off in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska – and by the ocean! Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage are top destinations because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Beaches in South Florida, Honolulu, Punta Cana, and Barcelona are in high demand. Historical sites in European cities like London, Rome, Dublin, Paris, and Athens are also popular. The top 10 domestic and international destinations below are based on AAA booking data.

DOMESTIC INTERNATIONAL
Seattle, WA Vancouver, BC, Canada
Orlando, FL London, England
Anchorage, AK Rome, Italy
Honolulu, HI Dublin, Ireland
Miami, FL Paris, France
New York, NY Calgary, AB, Canada
Fort Lauderdale, FL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Las Vegas, NV Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Denver, CO Athens, Greece
Anaheim/Los Angeles, CA Barcelona, Spain

Family Road Trip Checklist

With road trips expected to set a new record this July 4th week, AAA teamed up with Chicco to share safety tips for families with small children.

  • Check car seat fit. Before you hit the road, check your child’s weight and height to ensure they’re in the right seat and mode of use – especially when it comes to transitioning from rear to forward-facing. Children should remain rear-facing as long as possible for better protection of their head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. If you are unsure which car seat is best for your child, Chicco offers a car seat comparison guide.
  • Double check car seat installation. Even if your car seat is already installed in the car, it’s worth checking everything is safe and secure. An easy at-home way to do this is with the “inch test.” Simply grab the seat at the car seat belt path and pull side to side and front to back. If it moves more than one inch in any direction, uninstall and start over until a secure fit is achieved. For any questions, utilize the car seat manual, QR codes, or online resources like those offered by Chicco.
  • Secure loose items in the car. Take time to organize and clean up your car before hitting the road. Storage organizers that secure to the back of the driver and passenger seats are simple solutions to make sure everything has a spot, especially loose items that can become projectiles in case of a sudden stop.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Pack an emergency kit with first-aid supplies, water, snacks, blankets, jumper cables, and flares. Make sure your phone is fully charged – and keep a charger in the car – to call AAA or request roadside assistance digitally if your battery dies, you lock yourself out, or you need a tow.
  • Map your route. Families with young children should plan for frequent and longer stops along the way. Map out your route ahead of time with AAA TripTik and browse hotels, restaurants, and other activities along the way on AAA Trip Canvas.
  • Bring entertainment. Make sure to place toys and books within reach to keep children entertained. If your kids use tablets or other electronics, make sure the devices are fully charged and pre-downloaded before leaving home. Another fun way to get the whole family excited for the road trip is to create a family playlist of everyone’s favorite songs!

"Invasive Mystery Snail" Found In North Georgia

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) urges anglers and boaters to be aware and help prevent further spread of an invasive mystery snail recently discovered in Lake Lanier.

“While we initially hoped that this was an individual specimen found on Lanier, further investigation indicated that this is a viable, reproducing population of snails,” said Jim Page, WRD Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator.

A member of the genus Cipangopaludina, Chinese/Japanese Mystery Snails have been found in multiple waterbodies within Georgia, now including Lake Lanier. The invasive species was found while WRD officials were conducting routine sampling of the lake.

“While we cannot say with absolute certainty how this invasive snail was introduced into Lake Lanier, its presence in various food markets within the U.S. and its popularity as a pet for some aquarium owners are at least two possible sources,” said Page. “It should be noted, however, that recent regulatory changes prohibit individuals from possessing live mystery snails within the state of Georgia, regardless of their intended use.”

Invasive aquatic species can cause significant ecological and economic impacts across the state, from damaging vessels and other boating equipment, to impeding access to waterbodies to disrupting the natural ecosystem by displacing and out-competing native species. Concerns associated with the mystery snail species include its potential to negatively impact native snails and being a possible health risk (ex: can host intestinal parasites) if consumed raw or undercooked.

Introduction is Preventable
Prevention is the first and most important step to reducing risk of invasive species populating in Georgia waters.

“Prevention continues to be our best tool in fighting the war on invasive species, and prevention is only achieved with the help of the public,” said Page. “Whether it’s taking time to thoroughly wash down your boat, trailer, and fishing gear after each outing on the water; choosing to not dump aquariums; or simply not intentionally releasing non-native species into waterbodies where they did not previously occur are just a few ways you can help. Let’s protect our waters!”

For more information on invasive species and how to report sightings, visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/ans.

Hibbett Sports Closing Six Locations - Including Summerville, Georgia

Hibbett Sports, a Birmingham, Alabama-based sporting goods retailer, has announced the closing of six stores, including the one in Summerville.  The closings are a result of the company’s acquisition by a United Kingdom-based sporting goods company, JD Sports Fashion, that was announced in April of this year.

The company also opened six new stores in the first quarter of 2024 and is closing under performing retailers.  The company operates 1,169 stores in thirty-six states. Hibbett’s first-quarter financial report shows only slight losses in both their brick and mortar stores and online sales.  Overall, online sales represented almost 14% of the company’s total revenues.

On April 23, 2024, Hibbett entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a subsidiary of JD Sports Fashion plc (“JD Sports”). Under the terms of the agreement, Hibbett stockholders will receive $87.50 in cash per share at closing.  According to the company, “The transaction with JD Sports is expected to create immediate, certain and substantial value for Hibbett stockholders while ensuring that Hibbett’s brands are well-positioned to continue to serve the customers and communities that have always been the central focus of Hibbett’s business. As previously disclosed, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024, subject to Hibbett stockholder approval, receipt of required regulatory approvals”.

The location in Summerville, located at Hurley Crossing next to Marvin’s, opened in October of 2012.

Chattooga HS Youth Football Camp

The Chattooga Indians will be hosting a Youth Football Camp coming up next month.  The camp will be held from 6 PM – 8 PM on Tuesday, July 9th, Wednesday, July 10th and Thursday, July 11th from 6 PM until 8 PM at Buddy Windle Field at Chattooga High School.  Scan the QR code above for more information and forms to sign up.  Sign ups will also be accepted on site the first day of camp.

Walker County Saving Taxpayers By Settling Bonds Early

The Walker County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution this past week to settle the largest single debt still on the county’s books. The Board authorized using up to $10,755,000 from the general fund – unassigned fund balance to settle the Series 2019 bonds.

“I’d like to thank the Board for their support with the finances of the county and working toward the common goal of getting our county 100% debt free,” said Shannon Whitfield, Board Chair. “I also appreciate the taxpayers, who carried this burden. We will continue working toward getting this county completely out of debt by the end of this year.”

The Series 2019 bonds replaced the Series 2015 bonds. When the Series 2015 bonds were issued, the county’s credit was considered junk by the financial industry, resulting in a high interest rate and additional fees. The Series 2019 bonds were issued at 2.64%, compared to a 5.2% rate with the Series 2015 bonds. The refinance saved taxpayers $3,921,475 in interest and reduced the life of the bond by five years.

“During the refinance, we were advised to put a five-year call on that bond to allow this governing body five years, which is where we are today, to look at this and say do we want to pay these bonds off early,” Whitfield added. Clearing this debt will free up nearly $1.2 million a year in cash flow for the county and save taxpayers an additional $1.2 to $1.9 million in interest.

Once the Series 2019 bonds are settled later this summer, Walker County’s total debt will be reduced to about $19 million. The largest share of the remaining debt is $5,501,301 and is attributed to the landfill closure and post closure estimated cost.

Walker County’s credit rating was upgraded by Moody’s Investors Service from A1 status to Aa3 in June 2023, placing the county in the “high quality” category for obligations with a “very low credit risk.”

Deadline Approaching To Order Peaches From Chattooga 4H

The deadline is approaching to order Georgia Peaches from Chattooga 4-H.  The annual fundraiser is held to raise money for the many programs offered by Chattooga’s 4-H Program that is active in every school in both the county school system and Trion City Schools.   Peaches come from Dickey’s Farm in Musella, Georgia and are freestone peaches, which are excellent for freezing and canning.  The peaches can be purchased for $40 a box.  Orders are being taken until June 28th and will be distributed in mid-July.  To place your order, contact the Chattooga County Extension Office at 706-857-0744.

Arrest Report - Saturday - June 22, 2024

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Saturday, June 22, 2024:

Trion Police Thank Rosita's For Appreciation Meal

On Friday, Rosita’s in Trion provided area first responders with a free meal.  Trion Police Chief David Gilliland said, “The Trion Police Department would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to Rosita’s for providing our department, along with all of Chattooga County’s Public Safety Personnel and First Responders, with an Appreciation Meal on June 21, 2024. We are extremely thankful and humbled by their thoughtfulness and their desire to give back to those who strive to serve the community”.

Carr Calls For Jamming Technology At Georgia's Jails & Prisons

Georgia Attorneys General Chris Carr is hoping the Federal Communications Commission can stop illegal prison phone calls. This isn’t the first time Carr has made this request. In January of 2023, Carr signed a letter urging Congress to solve the problem along with 21 other attorney generals.  Earlier this month, Carr said Georgia’s prisons and jails need jamming technology, so inmates can’t use contraband cell phones.

“The easiest way to protect the public from the harms caused by contraband cell phones is to allow for the use of cell phone jamming technology in prisons and jails, but the FCC continues to block our efforts,” said Carr. “This outdated guidance limits legitimate law enforcement tools, presents dangerous conditions for correctional officers, and allows for the escalation of criminal networks both inside and outside prison walls. We’re committed to combatting violent crime wherever it occurs, which is why we continue to call on the federal government to remove this substantial barrier to public safety.”

In Georgia alone, 8,074 contraband cell phones were confiscated in 2023, with 5,482 confiscated to date in 2024. Recently, an incarcerated leader of the infamous street gang, “Yves Saint Laurent Squad,” used a contraband cell phone to order a hit which resulted in the death of an 88-year-old Georgia veteran. A gang leader in North Carolina was able to order the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father via a cell phone in prison. In California, prison gangs used contraband cell phones to order murders within the prison system and traffic drugs.

“There are hundreds of examples from across the country of how a contraband cell phone in the hands of an inmate can be used as a deadly weapon and gives them the ability to continue their criminal enterprise. We are incensed by the length these individuals go to in continuing those activities and endangering the public,” said Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “As attempts to infiltrate our facilities with contraband cell phones evolve, access to jamming technology is paramount in our efforts to combat those attempts. We appreciate the support of Attorney General Carr in our ongoing commitment to public safety and the safe operations of our facilities.”

In his letter, Carr notes that the FCC policy relies on a statute enacted in the early 1990s, years before prison inmates began using contraband cell phones to plan and engage in unlawful and dangerous activity.

Carr further states: “Nothing in the language of 47 U.S.C § 333 prohibits the FCC from revising its position to allow state agencies to use cell phone jamming devices in prisons. In fact, the United States Bureau of Prisons has recognized the potential value of cell phone jammers already and is permitted to use jamming devices at several federal penitentiaries, including at least one in Georgia.”

In January 2023, Carr joined a 22-state coalition of attorneys general in urging Congressional leaders to pass legislation that would allow states to implement a cell phone jamming system in correctional facilities.

Carr’s Gang Prosecution Unit has also partnered with the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) to investigate and prosecute currently incarcerated individuals who are alleged to have engaged in criminal gang activity and discussions regarding the packaging and shipping of contraband items into a GDC facility.

Georgia's May Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

Northwest Georgia’s unemployment rate unchanged at 5.6 percent, Rome Down

Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson announced Thursday that Georgia’s May unemployment rate was 3.2, up one-tenth from a revised 3.1 percent in April. The unemployment rate was eight-tenths lower than the national unemployment rate.

“Confidence in Georgia’s job market isn’t the only thing hitting all-time highs – a record number of Georgians have returned to the workforce as well,” said Commissioner Bruce Thompson. “Despite national economic challenges and inflation, Georgia’s businesses are stepping up and creating more opportunities for hardworking Georgians to secure high-quality jobs.”

Jobs were up by 9,200 (0.2%) over the month and up by 73,900 (1.5%) over the year to 4,973,700, an all-time high.

The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Local Government, 3,200; Accommodation and Food Services, 2,700; Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,300; Retail Trade, 1,800; and Wholesale Trade, 700.

Jobs were down in State Government, -1,600; Durable Goods, -1,500; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, -1,300.

Jobs were at an all-time high in Private Education and Health Services, 680,300, and Leisure and Hospitality, 528,700.

The sectors with the most over-the-year job gains included Health Care and Social Assistance, 23,500; Local Government, 15,200; Accommodation and Food Services, 13,900; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 8,900; and Finance and Insurance, 7,000.

Jobs were down in Transportation and Warehousing, -11,300; Information, which includes Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries, -9,700; and Administrative and Support Services, -8,700.

The labor force was up by 18,768 to 5,375,888, an all-time high, and was up by 74,803 over the past 12 months. The labor force participation rate was up from 61.5 percent to 61.6 percent.

The number of employed was up by 14,311 to 5,205,912, an all-time high, and was up by 73,518 over the past 12 months. The employment-to-population ratio was up from 59.6 percent to 59.7 percent.

The number of unemployed was up by 4,457 to 169,976 and was up by 1,285 over the past 12 months.

Initial claims were down by 1,518 (-7%) over the month to 20,034 in May.  Initial claims were down by 3,968 (-16%) over the year.

For personalized assistance, employers can reach Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) staff at https://dol.georgia.gov/employeremail. For more information on unemployment benefits, claimants should call 877.709.8185 or visit their MyUI Claimant Portal. GDOL’s Career Centers also provide in-person unemployment insurance benefit services for customers statewide.

For more information on jobs and current labor force data, visit Georgia LaborMarket Explorer to view a comprehensive report.

Rome Man To Be Sentenced For Killing Friend

A twenty-three-year-old Rome man will be sentenced next month after he pleaded guilty this past week to killing a mutilating his friend from Cumming, Georgia. 

Brandon Christopher Risner pleaded guilty to killing his friend Aaron William Davis, who was twenty-one-years old back in November of 2022.  The two men had grown up together and had attended  the Mormon Church together.  Davis was a recent graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho and had stopped in Rome to see his friend.  Risner stabbed, disfigured and disembowled Davis, according to reports at the time.

Risner pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, concealing the death of another, abandonment of a dead body and theft by taking, as well as misdemeanor removal of body parts from the scene of a death, tampering with evidence and obstruction of an officer.

He could face as much as a life without parole sentence alongside additional prison time in the case.

Private Event Fireworks Display In Lyerly Sunday Night

The fireworks that go off each year from a private event in the Lyerly/Holland area, will be happening this Sunday evening June 23rd. Area residents are asked to make sure your animals are secured. If you can’t see the fireworks from your house, they can usually be seen from the Pinhotti parking lot on Hwy 100.

Taste Of The South Festival Today In Summerville

One of the best things about living in the South is the food and southern hospitality. Summerville Main Street invites the public to celebrate southern foods and traditions as they host A Taste of The South Festival today from 10 AM until 3 PMat the Historic Summerville Depot and up the East Washington Street Streetscape. This free public event is planned to help eventgoers take a step back in time and share a fondness for good old fashioned southern food, fun and traditions.

Rail fans will be excited to welcome in the TVRM Steam Engine Passenger Train and see The Summerville Turntable in action. Special square dancing performances, line dancing, “Southern Sayings BINGO”, classic cars and trucks, demonstrations and musical performances will also be included in the day’s activities.

Featured Foods For The Day

Special foods featured at A Taste of The South will include but are not limited to: BBQ by Stan Rosser, fried chicken, collard greens, homemade mac n cheese, black-eyed peas, chicken & dressing, pinto beans & cornbread, and cold banana pudding by Tamme Shropshire “Mamma B”, tea cakes, tenderloin biscuits, meatloaf, fried okra, fried potatoes, fried corn, green beans, baked sweet potatoes by Betty Mosley, shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, crackling cornbread, homemade cooked style banana pudding by Sheila Stewart, fried catfish plates, fried chicken livers, and boiled peanuts by Larry Wilbanks, Jambalaya and more by LoLo’s Cajun

Food, homemade fried pies, homemade ice cream, jams, jellies, and a variety of relishes and pickled items by Reita’s Fried Pies, homemade breads, jams, jellies, farm fresh eggs by Faith Family Farm, roasted corn and fresh lemonade by Ronnie Beard, homemade pork skins by Mercy Me Pork Rinds, and bakery items by Black Cat Bakery Items just to name a few. There will be tables and chairs set up for dining inside the Summerville Depot Freight Room and outside as well.

 

Special Demonstrations and Performances

Mini Farmers Market across from Summerville Depot

Special Southern Backyard Flower Display by Chattooga Garden Club inside Depot

Free Mini Moon Pies To The First 480 Event Goers To Visit The Main Street Booth – Limit 1 Per Person

10:30 a.m. & 1:15 p.m. – Biscuit Making Demonstrations by Betty Mosely in Depot Freight Room

Chair Caining Demonstrations by Kathy Berry outside of the Summerville Depot throughout the day

11:15 a.m. & 12:15 p.m. Southern Sayings BINGO in Depot Freight Room ( Each round is limited to the first eight individuals to register) Registration at Main Street Booth

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Street Square Dancing By Western Promenades Square Dancing outside of Depot

12:00 -12:30 p.m. – K Ray Accompanied by Terry Ray on Depot Back Deck

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. – Dixie Stompers Line Dancing on Depot Back Deck

Picking Chair Prophets performing on Depot lawn through the day

 

Train Arrival, Special Vendors & Classic Cars & Trucks For Enjoyment

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s majestic steam engine 4501 is scheduled for arrival around 1:00 p.m. full of passengers for a short layover. The public is encouraged to give a true

southern hospitality welcome as the train pulls in to unload at the Summerville Depot. Rail fans will certainly enjoy observing the working of the Summerville Turntable.

A wide variety of art & craft vendors will be on hand at the depot area and on East Washington Street for special shopping and southern tradition displays. Classic cars and trucks will also be cruised in for the public to enjoy on East Washington Street throughout the day. Those with vehicles wishing to participate are encouraged join in. For additional information on this or other events, contact the Summerville Main Street Office at (706) 859-0900 Ext. 1337 or email slocklear@summervillega.org

Tapestry Hospice Pays $1.4 Million Due To Violations Of the False Claims Act

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

Tapestry Hospice of Northwest Georgia, LLC, and its owners and managers, David Lovell, MD, Stephanie Harbour, Ben Harbour, and Andrew Nall (collectively “Tapestry”), agreed to pay $1.4 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by entering into kickback arrangements with medical directors in exchange for referrals of hospice patients to Tapestry.

“By entering into kickback arrangements, health care providers can cause doctors to make medical decisions that are motivated by financial gain, rather than the patient’s best interest,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Our office is committed to ensuring the accountability of health care providers who put their own financial needs ahead of their patients.”

“The False Claims Act settlement in this case will hopefully be a deterrent to those who selfishly evade our federal healthcare programs for their own benefit,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The message is clear, the FBI will not tolerate companies operating corporate-wide schemes to illegally line their pockets.”

“Decisions regarding end-of-life care are incredibly difficult and personal, and families must be able to trust the intentions of their chosen providers,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Those who instead take advantage of the system for their own personal gain will be held accountable.”

This case began when a former employee of Tapestry filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Tapestry paid kickbacks to medical directors to induce them to refer patients to Tapestry.  These alleged kickbacks included monthly stipends and a signing bonus paid to the medical directors.  The compensation allegedly increased when the medical director referred more patients and decreased when the medical director failed to make referrals.

The Government alleges that these arrangements violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b), and caused the submission of false claims in violation of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq.

This civil settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by Kathy Erwin (the Relator) under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, U.S. ex rel. Erwin v. Tapestry Hospice of Northwest Georgia, LLC, et al., No. 1:18-cv-4320-AT.  Under the False Claims Act, private citizens may bring suit for false claims on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery obtained by the government.  The Relator has received $252,000 from the settlement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The civil settlement was reached by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam D. Nugent and Georgia Assistant Attorney General Rick Tangum. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Juveniles Suspected In Church Vandalism Incident

Summerville Police were called to Redemption Worship Center on First Avenue on June 18th concerning an incident of vandalism.  A deacon with the church told a responding officers that he suspects juveniles had written the letters “F” and “U” on the church’s sign.  Also, flower pots had been kicked over and trash was left at the front door of the church.  The vandals had also turned the water hydrant on and left it running.  The responding officer advised the complainant that the police department would put extra patrols in the area.

Arrest Report - Friday - June 21, 2024

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, June 21, 2024:

Town Of Trion Council Meeting Next Week

The Town of Trion will hold their workshop and regular council meeting for the month of June coming up next Thursday, June 27th.  The meeting will be held at the Trion Town Hall Council Room.  The workshop will get underway at 6 PM and the regular meeting will follow shortly thereafter.  Trion Mayor Lanny Thomas says that if anyone needs information prior to the meeting, they may contact him or Trion Town Hall.  The meeting is open to the public and they are encouraged to attend.