Arrest Report - Wednesday - December 8, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday, December 8, 2021:

Wanted Man In Custody

One of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office “Most Wanted” is now in custody.

30-year old Marquell DeAndre Dammond was being sought on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, third-degree cruelty to children, criminal trespassing, failure to appear, aggravated battery, family violence battery, theft by taking, second-degree burglary, and hindering an emergency phone call.

Dammond was taken into custody at Stephens Street and Calhoun Avenue on Sunday.

With Marquell Dammond being arrested on Sunday, Craig Jones has now been placed on the Top Ten Most Wanted.

Jones (pictured below) is wanted for the following charges:

Felony Cruelty to Children 2nd Degree

FVA Battery

From an incident that occurred in May of this year.

Press Release

Red Cross Says Blood Donors Needed

Nearly two years into the pandemic, everyone has earned a holiday break with their family and friends. But as the nation gathers again for celebrations this season, the American Red Cross, which provides 40% of the country’s blood, is facing historically low blood supply levels.

Busy holiday schedules, breaks from school and winter weather all contribute to a drop in blood and platelet donations this time of year. Those factors, combined with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, make it vital for donors to make an appointment to give as soon as possible. If more donors don’t come forward to give blood, some patients requiring a transfusion may potentially face delays in care.

Donors are urged to schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). There is no blood donation waiting period for those who have received a flu shot or a Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or booster, so long as they are symptom-free.

To encourage donors to help address the historically low blood supply this holiday season, all who come to give Dec. 17-Jan. 2 will receive an exclusive Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 17-Jan. 2




12/20/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fairmount Community Center, 11921 Fairmount Highway East




12/23/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Am Red Cross NW GA Chapter, 112 John Maddox Dr. NW

12/27/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Am Red Cross NW GA Chapter, 112 John Maddox Dr. NW




12/27/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church Calhoun, 205 East Line Street




12/28/2021: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cartersville Civic Ctr., 435 West Main Street




12/29/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Am Red Cross NW GA Chapter, 112 John Maddox Dr. NW

Save time during donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.


Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.


Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at

Georgia Tax Collections Running Ahead Of Schedule

Georgia’s state tax collections continue to run far ahead of what the state brought in last year, adding to already bulging coffers.

Figures released Monday show Georgia’s general fund collected $11.9 billion through Nov. 30. That’s about $1.7 billion or 17% ahead of last year’s pace.

Through the first five months of the 2022 budget year, the state is on pace to collect $28.5 billion, more than $1 billion above the $27.3 billion that lawmakers designated for spending. Georgia plans to spend $49.9 billion overall in the budget year that began July 1, once federal and other funds are included. But the K-12 funding formula is still crimped by cuts and most other agencies didn’t get back money slashed from the 2021 budget.

In July, budget director Kelly Farr again instructed agencies to not ask for more money in 2023.

The state finished the 2021 budget year with a nearly $2.2 billion surplus even after the state’s rainy day fund was filled to the legal limit of $4.3 billion.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp must decide how much he wants lawmakers to spend when he sets the revenue estimate in January. Lawmakers can’t spend more than what Kemp allows.

Georgia’s budget pays to educate 1.7 million K-12 students and 435,000 college students, house 45,000 state prisoners, pave 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) of highways and care for more than 200,000 people who are mentally ill, developmentally disabled or addicted to drugs or alcohol.


GNTC Honors Basic Law Enforcement Graduates

Seven Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students graduated from Basic Law Enforcement Training Classes #2021-01 and #2021-02 on Monday, Dec. 6, during a ceremony held at the conference center on the Gordon County Campus.

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Director James Pledger welcomed the graduates and guests and introduced the guest speaker, Retired Sheriff and GNTC Foundation Trustee Gary McConnell.

McConnell served as Chattooga County’s sheriff for 20 years and has continued to serve multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

A career lawman, McConnell served as a deputy under his father, Sheriff John Frank McConnell. When he was 22, Gary McConnell assumed his father’s duties as sheriff following his father’s death in 1967.  As the youngest sheriff in Georgia history, McConnell started the Junior Deputy Program, was the president of the Georgia Sheriff’s and County Office Statewide Association, served on the board of the NW Georgia Region Police Academy as well as the State Board of Public Safety.

McConnell’s emergency management experience includes formerly serving as the director of Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and as the chief of staff for state law enforcement during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also advised law enforcement officials preparing for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

“It is one of the greatest honors you can have to be in law enforcement,” said McConnell during his speech.

Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #2021-01 Graduates:

  • Emily L. Dillard (not present at ceremony)
  • Zachary D. Newman
  • Jose A. Ulibarri, Jr.
  • Joshua A. Walls

Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #2021-02 Graduates:

  • Benjamin Ayala
  • Chaz A. Shelton
  • Owen L. Towe

The firearms “Top Gun” Award for excellence in marksmanship and the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award was presented to Zachary D. Newman.

Five graduates are already employed with law enforcement agencies in the northwest Georgia community.

Newman is employed with the Ringgold Police Department. Benjamin Ayala and Jose Ulibarri are employed with the Calhoun Police Department. Chaz Shelton works for the Polk County Police Department and Emily Dillard is working for the Whitfield County Sherriff’s Office.

Stolen Information Used For Door Dash

Summerville Police responded to a call from a complainant saying that his personal financial information had been compromised and someone was using his financial transaction card to order food via the Door Dash delivery service.

The complainant told the officer that he had reported the incidents to his financial institution and that they requested a police report in order to investigate the transactions.  According to the complainant, his card had been used at least four times by someone ordering food from Jerry’s Drive-In in Summerville and Wendy’s in Trion.

The responding officer asked the complainant to bring his financial transaction information to the police department and the case would be turned over to an investigator.

Cloudland Fire Chief Honored

Cloudland VFD Firefighter Janice Tucker presenting Chief Cavin with award

The Cloudland Fire Department honors one of their own each year with a “Firefighter of the Year” Award.  Normally, the fire chief gets to pick the firefighter for the honor, but this year the departments members did things a little different.

The members of the Cloudland Volunteer Fire Department honored their chief, Bobby Cavin as the 2021 Firefighter of the Year.

Fire Department members said, “We are so proud to honor our Chief Bobby Cavin as firefighter of the year. He always gets to pick the award honoree but this year we were able to surprise him. No one is more deserving than this man. He asks for no recognition and does it all behind the scenes.”

The department held their annual Christmas party recently at the Menlo Restaurant and presented Mr. Cavin with the award.

The Cloudland Volunteer Fire Department has the distinction of being made of firefighters from two different counties in two different states.  The department serves an area on Lookout Mountain in both Cherokee County, Alabama and Chattooga County, Georgia and has three fire stations – one on County Road 66 in Cherokee County, the main fire hall on Gasden Avenue at Cloudland and the other on Highway 157 about a mile below the Walker County line.

Rome Woman Points Gun At Fast Food Employees

A Rome woman was arrested late Monday night after she pointed a gun at employees at a couple of fast-food restaurants.

According to Floyd County Jail records, 22-year old Hannah Faith Graves pulled up to the window at McDonald’s on Shorter Avenue, pointed the handgun at the victim, and demanded all the money in the till.

Minutes later, Graves was at Arby’s on Martha Berry Boulevard.

Once again, she pointed the firearm and demanded that the victim give her all of the money out of the cash register.

Graves is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, pointing a pistol at another, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Social Security Recipients Will See Largest Increase In Almost 40 Years

Those receiving Social Security Benefits, are about to see the largest increase in their checks in almost 40 years.

Beneficiaries are slated to receive a 5.9% increase, with the cost-of-living adjustment translating to an increase of around $92 a month for most retired workers – bringing the average benefit to $1,657 per month.

The easiest way to calculate your benefit is by taking your current monthly payment, then multiplying it by 5.9%; afterwards add that amount to the original payment and you will see the increase that will be reflected in your check.

Waiting for the next shoe to drop?  Well, it it goes:  Medicare Part B premiums will be increasing from $140.50 to $170.10 each month – and yes that increase of $29.60 per month will be taken directly from your Social Security check so whatever increase is added to your existing benefits, you’ll have to deduct $29.60 to get the final amount.

This year’s benefit is a substantial boost over the 1.3% retirees saw in 2021, and that increase is determined by using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners & Clerical Workers based on data through the third quarter.

Now, exactly when will new payments start?

According to – if your birthday is on the 1st through 10th of the month your benefits will be paid on the second Wednesday of the month; for January this means those benefits will be paid on the 12th; for those whose birth dates are on the 11th through the 20th of the month, benefits will be paid on the third Wednesday of each month starting on January 19th (2022); for those with birth dates on the 21st through the 31st of the month benefits will be paid on the fourth Wednesday of each month, so January’s payments will be made on the 26th.

Christmas In The Park Postponed Until Next Weekend Due To Inclement Weather

Christmas in the Park in Lyerly--CHS Band will play!

Due to the inclement weather forecast for Friday evening and Saturday, the City of Summerville Christmas In The Park, originally scheduled for Friday, December 10 and Mistletoe Market, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 11 will be postponed to the following weekend on December 17 and 18.

Christmas In The Park will be presented to the public on Friday, December 17 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Santa will arrive at Dowdy Park at 6:00 p.m. to visit and offer free photos with children. Vendors will also be on site. Free hot chocolate and popcorn will also be given out. There will be free miniature train rides, a Best Dressed Elf Contest, Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, The Christmas Cookie Smack Down Contest and lots of fun scheduled for the evening. Free tours of the Couey House will be given by the Chattooga County Historical Society.

Christmas fun and cheer will continue on Saturday, December 18 in Dowdy Park with Summerville Main Street’s annual Mistletoe Market. The event will run from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. in the park.  This year’s one day event will highlight a wide variety of food, baked items, merchants, artisans, and vendors. Admission and parking is free. For more information on these events visit The City of Summerville Georgia Facebook Page or

Arrest Report - Tuesday - December 7, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday, December 7, 2021:

Single Vehicle Accident On Welcome Hill Road

First responders were called to an accident on Welcome Hill Road on Sunday.  No one was injured in the single-vehicle accident that happened when a vehicle overturned in the roadway.  The road was shut down for a period of time while law enforcement and he Trion Fire Department worked the accident.

Georgia Gas Prices Down 4 Cents

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Georgia gas prices decreased at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $3.18 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 4 cents less than a week ago, 7 cents less than last month and $1.18 more than this time last year.

It now costs motorists $47.70 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $10.80 more than what motorists paid in January of 2020 when pump prices hit their peak of $2.46 per gallon.

“Georgians caught a slight break at the pump for the past few weeks, but are unsure how long this trend will last,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman. “Unfortunately, we don’t know if concerns of the COVID-19 Omicron variant will continue to push oil and gas prices lower for the remainder of the month.”

National Gas Price Average

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 4 cents to $3.35. Crude prices fell last week amid concerns about the COVID-19 Omicron variant and the travel restrictions announced by the Biden administration. With little known about the new variant, it is still unclear what long-term impact it may have on crude prices. Market watchers will keep their eye on the effect it will have on the oil market.

Regional Prices

Atlanta– $3.21

Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Brunswick ($3.27), Savannah ($3.25), and Hinesville-Fort Steward ($3.24).

Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Warner Robins ($3.06), Albany ($3.07), and Dalton ($3.11).

Area gas price averages –  Chattooga ($3.16), Walker ($3.08), Floyd ($3.12), Gordon ($3.05), DeKalb, AL ($3.07), Cherokee, AL ($2.94)

Today Is Pearl Harbor Day

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii by the Japanese Air Force in 1941.

The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt went before a joint-session of the United States Congress and asked for a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan.  President Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941 – a day that would live in infamy.

In a Presidential Declaration, President Biden said, “It was a day that still lives in infamy 80 years later.  As we mark National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the patriots who perished, commemorate the valor of all those who defended our Nation, and recommit ourselves to carrying forth the ensuing peace and reconciliation that brought a better future for our world.  Today, we give thanks to the Greatest Generation, who guided our Nation through some of our darkest moments and laid the foundations of an international system that has transformed former adversaries into allies.”

Local veterans advocates Odell Anderson and former State Representative Barbara Massey Reece say that there are only ten World War II veterans surviving in Chattooga County now.



Historical Society Christmas Ornaments Available

The Chattooga County Historical Society is encouraging everyone to purchase their 2021 Chattooga Historical Society Christmas Ornaments.

This is the fourth in a series of annual Christmas ornaments from the historical society.  Each of the ornaments celebrates historic places in the county.

This years ornament features one of the oldest churches, and one of the most historic places in Chattooga County.  The ornament has the historic Alpine Church on one side of the ornament and brief history of the church on the opposite side.

The ornament may be purchased online at or locally at DIRT in Summerville and Sweet Pea’s at the Tavern in Trion.

Our previous ornaments; The Summerville Depot, The Chattooga County Courthouse, and The Riegeldale Tavern are also available also.

Expect Lawsuits From Georgia's Redistricting Maps

Redistricting in Georgia is done. Now come the lawsuits. The Atlanta Journal Constitution says opponents of Georgia’s new political maps plan to ask judges to throw them out as soon as Gov. Brian Kemp signs them into law.

The lawsuits will allege that the maps are racially discriminatory, according to voting rights organizations and redistricting experts. Critics of the maps say Georgia’s redrawn districts reduce the voting strength of people of color who accounted for the state’s population growth over the past decade but could lose representation after next year’s elections.

Republican legislators who support Georgia’s new maps say they’re fair and legal, with equal populations in each district.


Rome Man Charged With Robbery & False Imprisonment

A thirty-year-old Rome man was jailed Saturday on charges of robbery and false imprisonment.

According to Floyd County Jail records, Dominique Xavier Smith pulled a woman back into his car and would not let her leave.

Smith then took the victim’s house key and threw it out of the window as he drove off.

Smith also kept the victim’s purse and iPhone.

The incident occurred at a location on Tamassee lane, according to the report.


Laptop Reported Stolen

A Trion man reported a stolen laptop to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.  According to a report released on Monday, the victim said that his HP laptop was in his mother’s car and had come up missing.  The complainant said that he was buying the laptop from Rent-A-Center and needed a police report to give the store.  The incident is still under investigation.

Christmas Cookie "Smackdown" Returns To Christmas In The Park

Attention Bakers: Summerville Main Street is looking for the best cookie bakers in the area to compete in the 2021 Christmas Cookie Smack Down.

For the bakers up to accepting the challenge, bring one dozen of your favorite homemade Christmas Cookies, along with your cookie recipe to the small gazebo in Dowdy Park during Christmas in the Park. Entries will be accepted from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Recipes are subject to be publicized by our local media. Your cookie entry should be accompanied by a registration form, which may be filled out on site.

Six of your cookies will be sampled for judging, with the remaining six cookies being packaged and donated as a Christmas Gift to Public Safety & First Responders.

Event winners will be announced at 8:00 p.m. trophies will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners and the winning entry will be proclaimed by Mayor Harvey as “Best Christmas Cookie 2021”.

Arrest Report - Monday - December 6, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Monday, December 6, 2021: