Weather Impacting Graduation Exercises

Predicted inclement weather for Friday is impacting graduation exercises for Chattooga High School.  School officials have made the decision to move Friday’s Chattooga High School graduation indoors and it will be held at the Tribe Pride Arena – the Chattooga High School Gymnasium.  Because of limited seating, each senior will be issued 9 tickets to give to family and friends to attend Friday’s graduation exercises.

WZQZ News spoke with Trion School Supt. Dr. Phil Williams this (Thursday) morning about Trion’s graduation which is also planned for Friday at Sam R. McCain Stadium / Blevins Field.  Dr. Williams said that a decision about Trion’s graduation would be made by noon tomorrow.  Dr. Williams added that in the past when inclement weather impacted Trion’s graduation exercises, it was moved to Saturday morning.  That will NOT be the case this year.  Dr. Williams says that Trion will be graduating on Friday evening – whether that will be outside at Sam R. McCain Stadium or inside the Trion High School gymnasium, will be determined tomorrow.

Arrest Report - Thursday - May 23, 2024

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

Incumbent Sheriffs Win Primaries In Neighboring Counties

Beating an incumbent sheriff is always a historically tall order in Georgia as two challengers to two Northwest Georgia incumbent sheriffs found out on Tuesday.  Longtime Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson in neighboring Walker County proved able to win his eighth election as sheriff by defeating former State Trooper Don Stultz with over 74% of the vote.  Floyd County Sheriff Dave Roberson was challenged in the Republican Primary by Robbie Whitfield.  Roberson received over 80% of the vote from Floyd County voters.  In Chattooga County, Sheriff Mark Schrader ran unopposed in the Primary Election.  Sheriff Schrader was first elected in 2012 when he defeated incumbent Sheriff John Everett in the Democratic Primary.  Schrader switched political parties in 2019 and has ran unopposed twice as a Republican.

Prowler Armed With Knife Arrested

A forty-year-old Trion man was arrested on Saturday of last week after a call to 911 about a “peeping Tom” in the Airport Road area.  The complainant told a responding deputy that a man was peeping in her window.  When the woman retrieved a gun, the subject ran off.  The residence was inside a gated area, according to the report.  Deputies later located the suspect, identified as Matthew Ralls Jennings. Jennings was carrying a large knife.  Jennings told deputies that he had “heard noises” at that is why he had gone to the house on Airport Road.  Jennings was arrested and taken to the Chattooga County Jail on charges of loitering and prowling and being a peeping Tom. According to Georgia law, “peeping Tom” means: a person who peeps through windows or doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of the persons spied upon and the doing of any other acts of a similar nature which invade the privacy of such persons. Georgia Code § 16-11-61

Runoff Election For Democratic Challenger To Marjorie Taylor Greene

Clarence Blalock and Shawn Harris will face off in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for the 14th Congressional District, one of which will face off with U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene in the November 5th General Election.  Either will face a tough challenge in beating Greene, who is one of the most controversial members of Congress.  In Chattooga County, only 324 people voted in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday.  Blalock lead the vote total in Chattooga County, garnering 136 votes to Harris’ 127 votes.

Woman Charged With DUI After Running Into Ditch

A thirty-four-year-old Chattooga County woman was charged with DUI after she claimed an oncoming vehicle forced her car into a ditch on Back Penn Road last Thursday.  According to a report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy responded to a call about a single-vehicle accident shortly before 6 PM.  When he arrived he spoke with Allie Shropshire who said that she was traveling to Rocky Hollow Road on Back Penn when an oncoming vehicle was driving down the middle of the road and forced her car into the ditch.  The deputy noticed the smell of alcohol and that the driver’s eyes were bloodshot.  After a field sobriety test, Shropshire was arrested and charged with DUI and DUI / Child Endangerment and failure to maintain a single lane and was booked into the Chattooga County Jail.

Blood Assurance / Chattooga EMA / 911 Blood Drive In June

Blood Assurance and Chattooga County EMA / 911 will be sponsoring a blood drive coming up next month on Friday, June 14th from 2 PM – 7 PM.  Blood Assurance is a full-service regional blood center and serves more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.  Blood Assurance says that one blood donation can save three lives.  Each donor at next month’s blood drive will receive a Blood Assurance “color-changing” cup and a “cooling towel”, while supplies last.  You can find out more by visiting or by calling Pamela Vaughn at Chattooga EMA at 706-857-3400.  The blood drive will be held at the Chattooga EMA Building, located at 10 Farrar Drive in Summerville.

Georgia DOT Suspending Lane Closures For Memorial Day Weekend

In anticipation of an increase in Memorial Day Weekend traffic congestion, Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announces the suspension of all interstate lane closures on Georgia interstates and state routes beginning Friday, May 24 at noon until 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 28.
While construction-related lane closures will be suspended, Georgia DOT reminds motorists to exercise caution as crews may still work near highways, and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place. Additionally, emergency or maintenance-related lane closures could occur at any time on any route.

Visit for Georgia DOT’s traffic forecasts and best practices for traveling across the state over the holiday weekend.

AtriumHealth Floyd Awards Scholarships To Area Students

Seven area high school seniors received scholarships through Atrium Health Floyd’s Center for Clinical Excellence, which supports and encourages students who wish to pursue higher education in the health care field. The scholarships, which totaled $7,000, were announced during awards day at the various schools. Alexis Lemmings is graduating from Chattooga County High School. She has been in the health career pathway all four years of high school. She will attend the University of Georgia in the fall where she will pursue a major in biochemistry, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.  You can see other scholarship award recipients from other area counties below:

Aubrey Brock is graduating from Cedartown High school and took classes at the Polk County College and Career Academy. She has completed health care pathways in phlebotomy, emergency medical responder and certified nursing assistant. She plans to attend Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Caroline Cross is graduating from Model High School. She took classes at the Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy and plans to attend Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah after graduation.

Dei’ Gibbons is graduating from Rome High School and was a student at the Rome City Schools College and Career Academy. She completed the nutrition and health care pathways and plans to attend the University of Georgia as a pre-med/biology major.

Hailey Otten is graduating from Cherokee County High School. She also attended the Cherokee County Career & Technology Center and received her certified nursing assistant credentials. She will attend Gadsden State Community College to pursue a career in nursing.

Lexie Pavon is graduating from Rockmart High School and was a student at the Polk County College and Career Academy, completing the emergency medical responder and diagnostics/phlebotomy pathways. She plans to attend Kennesaw State University to pursue a career in nursing.

Madison Reaves is graduating from Model High School and was a student at the Floyd County College & Career Academy. She plans to attend Jacksonville State University to study exercise science and wellness with a clinical focus.

Jail Employee Arrested

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Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader says one of his employees has been arrested on sexual battery charges. Sheriff Schrader issued a press release on Wednesday:

On Saturday May 18, 2024, I was notified by Captain Ozment of the Summerville Police Department of a complaint against an off-duty jail officer that had been made to his office earlier that morning.
As his office began investigating the complaint, my office began a simultaneous internal investigation.
During the internal investigation the jail officer resigned his position stating that he felt that it was best for him and his family.
During the late afternoon on Tuesday May 21, 2024, I received a warrant charging Corey Lee Hunter with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery.
On Wednesday May 22, 2024, Hunter was arrested and booked into the county jail. –
Sheriff Mark A. Schrader

Melissa Hise Defeats Fiddler To Win Superior Court Judge Race

Melissa Gifford Hise will be the new Lookout Mountain Superior Court Judge after defeating Ann Willard Fiddler in the nonpartisan election held on Tuesday.  Hise, a Walker County resident who practices law in Chattooga County, will be replacing longtime Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham who announced her retirement earlier this year.

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit includes Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Chattooga Counties.  Hise won handily, garnering 5,980 votes to Fiddler’s 3,834 votes across the circuit.

Judge Graham, the daughter of famed Summerville Attorney Bobby Lee Cook, was first appointed to the bench by then-Georgia Governor Zell Miller and went on to serve for over three decades.  Judge Graham won eight election since her appointment to the bench.  In her tenure, Graham has established three accountability courts and obtained state funding for those courts.

Arrest Report - Wednesday - May 22, 2024

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

US EPA Grant For Cleanup Of Northwest Georgia Regional

A grant of $2 million has been awarded to the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority for clean-up of the former site of the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday that 178 communities were selected to receive 181 grant awards for a total of $231 million in funding for Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant programs. These Brownfields Grants will be used to assess, clean up and redevelop underutilized properties while protecting public health and the environment.

For more information about the grant and other award recipients, visit

Trion Graduation This Friday

The Trion High School Class of 2024 will have commencement exercises coming up this Friday.

Trion School Supt. Dr. Phil Williams told WZQZ News, “The Trion High School Class of 2024 leaves behind a legacy of excellence that will be remembered for years to come.  The achievements in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities are a testament to their hard work and dedication.  Beyond the awards and accolades, this graduating class is brimming with future leaders who will undoubtedly shape the world in positive ways.  They have set an example of excellence and dedication that will inspire future Trion High School students to reach their full potential.  We are incredibly proud of everything they have accomplished and we will sincerely miss their presence in our halls.  Congratulations, Class of 2024 , and best wishes for a bright future”.

Graduation exercises will take place at Sam R. McCain Stadium on Friday, May 24th at Clarence Blevins Field at 8 PM.

Summerville Looking For Homemade Ice Cream Makers - And Eaters!

Summerville Main Street is looking for contestants for the 2024 Chill & Churn Homemade Ice Cream Contest to be held at the Summerville Depot on June 1 as part of the festivities to welcome in the Double Steam Engine arrival of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Passenger Train. There is no registration fee to compete in this contest. Registration forms are currently available at the Summerville Main Street Office, located at 179 Union Street, or you may register on site the day of the event beginning at 10:30 a.m. Contest registration closes at 11:30 a.m.

This competition is for amateurs only. Ice cream may be mixed off site, but must be churned on site and accompanied by a recipe to be turned in at registration. Judging will begin at 12:45pm. Contestants are also encouraged to compete for the People’s Choice Award. Tasting wristbands will be sold to the public beginning at 12:45 p.m. to taste all ice cream entries for the cost of $5 cash. Voting will end at 2:00 p.m.

The Judge’s Choice 1st Place winning recipe will receive recognition as the Best Homemade Ice Cream in Summerville and a prize of $500 sponsored by Meter Service & Sales, LLC! The 2nd Place Judge’s Choice will be awarded $250 sponsored by Rapid Water Recovery Services, and 3rd Place Judges Choice will be awarded a $100 gift card sponsored by Chattooga Farm Bureau. People’s Choice Winner will receive half the monies collected from wristband sales and a plaque.

In addition, there will also be an Ice Cream Eating Contest at 11:00 a.m. with Adult and Youth Divisions. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. inside the depot. There will be a limit of 5 contestants in each division. First Place Winners will receive $25 sponsored by GP Federal Credit Union.

The Chattanooga Modular Modelers will have a special N Scale Model Train display running at the depot in honor of the Double Steam Engine arrival. Food and craft vendors and live music will also be featured at this event. For contest rules, registration forms or more information contact Summerville Main Street by email or phone (706) 728-0456

Valley Head Woman Charged With Stealing Flowers From Graves

A sixty-nine-year-old Valley Head woman was arrested by the DeKalb County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office for stealing flower arrangements from cemeteries.  According to reports, Martha Jane Bowes was arrested last Saturday and charged with theft of property in the fourth-degree and desecration of a gravesite.  Last week, cameras caught Bowes stealing two sets of handmade floral arrangements from a cemetery.  On Saturday, authorities contacted Bowes and tried to get her to turn herself in but she said she was currently in Mississippi and couldn’t. However, investigators say she lied and was in Fort Payne. Authorities say that they found more floral arrangements inside Bowes’ home when she was taken into custody.

Second Round Of County Road Paving Projects Released

Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry has announced the second road of road paving for 2024 in Chattooga County.  Roads included are:

  • James Street from Highway 48 to the stop sign. – .4 miles
  • East Peach Orchard Road from Highway 48 to the stop sign – 1.4 miles
  • West Tate Road from Dry Valley Church Road to Tate Road – .6 miles
  • Old Justice Road from Welcome Hill Road to Ridgeway Road to Ridgeway Road Loop – .4 miles
  • Cooper Pit Road from Ridgeway Road to Ridgeway Road Loop – .8 miles
  • Halls Valley Road from Davis Road to Walker County Line – 1.1 miles
  • Long Hollow Road / Welcome Hill Road to Walker County Line – 1.1 miles
  • Lon Reynolds Drive/ Lyerly Dam Road to dead end – .3 miles
  • Garvin Road from LM Thomas Road to McWhorter Road – 2.1 miles
  • Henry Allen Circle off of Johnston Cemetery Road – .3 miles
  • Calico Lane from Old Highway 27 to dead end – .1 mile

Commissioner Elsberry says that the cost to pave has gone up exponentially over the past year.  According to the commissioner, in 2023 it cost $85,000 to pave 2.2 miles of road.  This year, that same amount is costing $150,000.

Town Of Trion Holiday Notice

The Town of Trion Business Office, Gas Department, Maintenance Department, and Recreation Department will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, for Memorial Day. Garbage normally picked up on Monday will be picked up on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. All other days will be on a regular schedule. For any emergency calls for the Gas Department or Police Department please call Emergency 911 and they will contact the proper person.

Twilight Hike Will Feature Bats At Sloppy Floyd State Park

Want to know more about bats in our area?  This Saturday, May 25th,  rangers at Sloppy Floyd State Park will be giving you a guided tour of the Marble Mine and will be discussing what bats call the Marble Mine home.  The “Batty about Bats” Twilight Hike is free of charge and will take place from 8 PM until 10 PM and those planning to take the hike should meet at the Visitors Center.  Remember, there is a $5 parking fee required at all Georgia State Parks.


Walker County Election Results

Don Stultz – 2,437
*Steve Wilson – 6,986
*William H. “Billy” Sims – 6,027
W. Dwayne Wilson – 3,102
*Angela “Angie” Teems – 5,574
Shannon K. Whitfield – 3,802
*Brian Hart – 1,628
Courtney Johnson – 246
Melvin Von Moody – 613
Jamey Husley – 1,225
*Gene Wilson – 1,325