Arrest Report - Thursday June 17, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday June 17, 2021:

Salvation Army To Hold One Day VBS In Summerville

The Salvation Army of Rome, which serves both Floyd and Chattooga Counties, will be holding a one-day Vacation Bible School this Friday at the Summerville Recreation Center.

The Bible school will be held on June 18th from 10 AM until 12:30 PM at the Rec Building located at 220 Highway 100 in Summerville.

Children age 5 to 12 are invited to attend.

No New Developments In Hays Investigation

The Georgia Department of Corrections is continuing their investigation into the stabbing death of an inmate at Hays State Prison last Saturday.

Chattooga County Coroner Earle Rainwater confirmed to media outlets that a Cobb County man was stabbed to death in his cell by another inmate – or inmates, but has referred reporters to the Department of Corrections for further details.

The Department of Corrections says no more statements about the death of Jorge Renberto Ventura will be released until the investigation is complete.

FBI: Georgia One Of Top States For Elder Fraud

Georgia is among the top states in the nation for elder fraud, with residents aged 60 and over reporting losses of nearly $26 million to con artists last year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Last year, scams targeting the elderly bilked 105,301 victims out of about $1 billion in the U.S., according to the FBI. The average loss per victim was about $9,175, and nearly 2,000 of the victims in 2020 lost more than $100,000.

Georgia ranked No. 17 in the nation, with 2,145 victims.

The FBI 2020 Elder Fraud Report may be found here. Anyone who receives a scam call should report it to the FBI, Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3, www.ic3.gov.

Press Release / Compiled Sources

Redistricting Committees Set Town Hall Meetings Across The State

Every ten years, after the United States Census is complete, the politically-charged task of redrawing districts for Federal and state representation takes place.

The State of Georgia is an interesting position.  On the one hand, the state voted Democratic in the most recent Presidential Election.  Yet, the lawmakers who will draw up the new districts are overwhelmingly Republican.  As the Democratic Party continues to make strides statewide, the GOP leadership will be looking to solidify the power that they have gained over the past fifteen to twenty years.

The House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee and the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee held the first hearing on Tuesday at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

The committees will now travel the state to hear from constituents on the proposed redistricting. The closest town hall meeting to Chattooga County will be held in Dalton on Wednesday, June 30th.

Here is a complete schedule of the town hall meetings:

Monday, June 28: Atlanta

Tuesday, June 29: Cumming

Wednesday, June 30: Dalton

Tuesday, July 6: Athens

Wednesday, July 7: Augusta

Monday, July 26: Brunswick

Tuesday, July 27: Albany

Wednesday, July 28: Columbus

Thursday, July 29: Macon

Friday, July 30: Virtual only

All of the hearings will run from 5 PM until 7 PM. Locations will be announced later.

Harbin Clinic Welcomes 10 New Physicians

For 150 years, Harbin Clinic has demonstrated its commitment to providing high-quality, local medical care to patients throughout Northwest Georgia.

As the state’s largest privately owned, physician-led healthcare organization with an established and trusted reputation in the communities it serves, Harbin Clinic recognizes the critical importance of recruiting world-class physicians to the area.

This summer, ten new physicians will join Harbin Clinic representing the specialties of Cardiology, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Rheumatology, Pediatrics, and Cardiothoracic
Surgery.

Harbin Clinic is pleased to welcome the following physicians serving Adairsville, Calhoun, and Rome.

Ademola Adeseye, MD; Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Cardiothoracic Rome, begins seeing patients Aug. 16

Anandita Arora, MD; Internist, Family Medicine Rome, begins seeing patients July 14

Bennett Brock, MD; General Surgeon, General Surgery Rome, begins seeing patients Sept. 16

Daniel Grant, MD; Rheumatologist, Rheumatology Rome, begins seeing patients Aug. 4

Lacey Johnson, DO; Family Medicine Physician, Family Medicine Adairsville, begins seeing patients Aug. 9

Spencer Maddox, MD; Cardiologist, Cardiology Calhoun, begins seeing patients Aug. 9

Andrew McCue, MD; Cardiologist, Cardiology Calhoun, begins seeing patients Aug. 9

Justin Tanner, MD; Cardiologist, Cardiology Rome, begins seeing patients Aug. 9

Chelsea Tehan, MD; Pediatrician, Pediatrics Adairsville, begins seeing patients Aug. 9

Alan Wilson, MD; Dr. Wilson will be providing acute care surgical services at Floyd Medical Center as a trauma surgeon.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new physicians to Northwest Georgia and we are honored they selected Harbin Clinic as the place to establish their medical practice,” said Kenna Stock, CEO.

Throughout the summer, Harbin Clinic will highlight the stories, inspirations and powerful philosophies of these physicians as they continue to carry out the organization’s mission of caring completely.

Health Inspection Scores - First Half Of June 2021

Sample Image

Here are the latest health inspection scores from the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department for the first half of June:

  • HOME TOWN WINGS N THINGS

  • 111 RIEGEL CROSSING TRION, GA 30753
  • Phone Number:
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 84
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-15-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • THE GREAT AWAKENING COMPANY

  • 9881 COMMERCE ST SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Phone Number: (706) 409-7733
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 99
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-14-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • LYERLY DRIVE THRU

  • 11 OAK HILL DR LYERLY, GA 30730
  • Phone Number:
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 82
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-11-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • EL PUEBLITO MEXICAN GRILL

  • 11392 HIGHWAY 27 SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Phone Number: (706) 822-0382
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 73
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-10-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • CAMP JULIETTE LOW

  • 321 CAMP JULIETTE LOW RD MENLO, GA 30731
  • Phone Number: (706) 862-2169
  • Permit Type: SP
  • Last Inspection Score: 100
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-08-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • LITTLE CAESARS

  • 11600 HWY 27 SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Phone Number: (423) 855-8790
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 83
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-08-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377
  • CAMP JULIETTE LOW

  • 321 CAMP JULIETTE LOW RD MENLO, GA 30731
  • Phone Number:
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 97
  • Last Inspection Date: 06-04-2021
  • For More Information Call: (706) 857-3377

Should you ever have any complaint with any food service or tourist accommodation that operates in Chattooga County, you can register that complaint by calling the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department at 706-857-3377.

Commissioner Discusses County Water System Well Pump

Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry said this week that the repair to a well pump with the county’s water system will cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

The commissioner said that the well is now back online with a new pump but the exact cause of the pump’s failure wasn’t known.  Elsberry said it could have been “normal wear and tear or it could have been a lightning strike.”

When asked about the possibility of keeping a well pump on hand for instances such as the one that shut down one of the county’s wells, Eslberry cited the cost of the pump as being prohibitive.

The commissioner also commented that no progress has been made on securing a new dump site to serve the citizens of the Menlo area.

Drinking Natural Lights While Driving Lands 20 Year Old In Jail

The consumption of several Natural Lights while driving ended with a 20 year old man going to jail last weekend.

According to reports from the Summerville Police Department, on Friday June 11th, Officers noticed a car traveling down Commerce Street that was swerving side to side in the lane. Officers initiated a traffic stop and when approaching the vehicle did notice the odor of alcohol. Officers then observed 3 open Natural Light cans in the cab of the vehicle.

The driver, 20 year old, Koby Chandler Bunner, did admit to the beer cans being his and admitted that he had drank at least 2 of them. Bunner refused a field Alco Sensor test after which Officers did place Bunner under arrest for a DUI Less safe, along with providing alcohol to a minor and consuming alcohol by a minor.

Bunner was transported to the Chattooga County Jail without further incident.

Arrest Report - Wednesday June 16, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday June 16, 2021:

High Demand For Fireworks Could Lead To Shortages

It seems like everywhere you turn this year there are things that are in short supply.   Experts say that a high demand for fireworks this year could lead to a shortage for backyard Fourth of July Celebrations.

Right now, most retail outlets are well-stocked in anticipation of the upcoming Independence Day celebrations, but industry leaders say that you may want to buy your Fourth of July fireworks early because of slow supply chains that deliver the pyrotechnics.

With a return to public gatherings many areas are planning fireworks displays this year including LaFayette, Cedar Bluff, Alabama, Rome, Ringgold and Summerville.

Larger, professional fireworks displays such as the City of Summerville’s Celebrate Independence display won’t be affected as those fireworks are ordered well in advance of the event.

Compiled Sources

Portion Of Big Texas Valley Road To Be Closed June 21-23

Floyd County Public Works will be replacing a failed cross-drain on Big Texas Valley Road starting on Monday, June 21 at 8:00 a.m. through Wednesday, June 23 at 4:00 p.m.

The cross-drain is near address number 6825 which is approximately .75 miles south of Sike Storey Road.

Traffic can access Big Texas Valley Road north of the work zone by using Highway 27 to Sike Storey Road to Big Texas Valley Road.

Traffic can access Big Texas Valley Road south of the work zone by using Highway 27 to Scenic Road to Little Texas Valley Road to Texas Valley Road to Big Texas Valley Road.

Traffic can also access Big Texas Valley Road south of the work zone by using Highway 20 to Huffaker Road to Big Texas Valley Road.

WRGA

Summerville City Council Member Resigns

Summerville City Councilwoman Kristy Dennis resigned from her seat at Monday night’s Summerville City Council meeting.

Dennis said in a resignation letter, “Never would I have thought that just 2 1/2 years into my term, I would be writing a letter of resignation. But due to circumstances that were beyond my control, I am now forced to resign my seat from the council effective 06/14/2021. It has weighed heavily on my heart knowing this day was coming. Summerville will always hold a special place in my heart. It has truly been an unforgettable experience to be one member on a five-member board of such integrity and passion for this city.”

Dennis was elected to Council Seat Number Three in 2019 replacing Councilman Earl Parris who did not run for re-election.  Dennis defeated local business manager Lorraine Roberts with 82% of the vote.  She was sworn in to the city council on January 14, 2020.

The city council has yet to determine how to fill the seat that was vacated by Dennis on Monday.

 

USDA Announces RISE Grants For Rural Communities

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Karama Neal unveiled a new grant program to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields.

Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) is intended to help rural communities identify and maximize local assets and connect to networks and industry clusters within their region. The new grant encourages a regional, innovation-driven approach to economic development.

“USDA is innovating the way we do business,” Neal said. “The RISE program ensures that critical funding supports long-term and sustainable economic growth in the rural communities and regions that need it most.”

RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, and support economic growth in the rural areas of their region.

Funding may also be used to establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships, such as integrating rural businesses into new supply chains, providing workforce training and identifying community assets.

To help ensure long-term and sustainable community and economic development, award recipients must support projects for at least four years.

Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development State Office ahead of the application deadline for more information about the program or application process.

Starting June 16, 2021, applications will be accepted electronically at Grants.gov. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 2, 2021. Information about the application process is available in a notice in the Federal Register. For additional information about the program, see the final rule on page 31585 of the June 15 Federal Register.

USDA is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to help stakeholders and potential applicants learn more about this funding opportunity. To register, please visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9046642451030677262.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

Insurance Commissioner Issues Cease & Desist Order Against DirectPay

Last week, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King issued a Cease and Desist Order against TRPN DirectPay, Inc., a Nevada-based company that is alleged to have been unlawfully acting as an unlicensed Third Party Administrator in Georgia.
“DirectPay was mailing $15.00 checks to the billing departments of various medical providers along with language that would purportedly make DirectPay the provider’s exclusive third party administrator for the processing of out-of-network claims,” said Commissioner King. “Provider billing department staff would then often deposit these checks without noticing the contract language.”

Commissioner King’s office became aware of DirectPay when it received evidence of this scheme from the Medical Association of Georgia. The Cease and Desist Order requires DirectPay to discontinue any business that would require licensure in Georgia and to stop mailing checks to medical providers in the state. The order will become effective on June 21st.

GNTC Announces Free Application Week For Fall Semester

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) will host a Free Application Week, July 12-16, to help those who are seeking to enroll in the fall semester.

During Free Application Week, GNTC will waive the $25 application fee for all new applicants. The admissions deadline for the fall semester is July 26. Classes are scheduled to begin on Aug. 16.

“We understand that many in our community are experiencing hardships and waiving the application fee is just one of the many hurdles we are removing for our students,” said Selena Magnusson, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success at GNTC. “During the Free Application Week when you apply online your application fee will be waived.”

GNTC is available through our call center Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at (866) 983-4682. For more information on applying for the fall semester, visit GNTC’s main webpage and click “Apply Now.” For any questions about GNTC’s Free Application Week, contact the Office of Admissions at (866) 983-4682 or via email at admissions@gntc.edu.

GDC Appoints New Statewide Mental Health Director

This week, Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the appointment of Dr. Ioannis Ioannou, to statewide Mental Health Director, effective July 1, 2021.

As the statewide Mental Health Director, Dr. Ioannou will be responsible for planning and assisting in the development and implementation of mental health related policies and procedures. In addition, he will assist in planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the delivery of mental health services within GDC facilities.   Furthermore, he will oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the mental health programs.

“I am confident that Dr. Ioannou’s comprehensive background in the delivery of mental health services will prove beneficial to GDC’s ongoing commitment to providing support to our offenders requiring those services,” said Commissioner Ward.  “We are fortunate to have him join the GDC team.”

Dr. Ioannou has served in varying clinical psychology positions in both private practice and hospital settings since 2003, including an internship with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.  In 2010, he was appointed Clinical Director of Sexual Offense Resource Services in Denver, Colorado and later served as a Forensic Psychologist with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at Georgia Regional Hospital, and an Intake & Evaluation Outpatient Psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital.  Dr. Ioannou has most recently served as a Correctional Psychologist – Clinical Director with Centurion/MHM Services, Inc., supporting Burruss Correctional Training Center, Phillips State Prison, Augusta State Medical Prison, Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison, Pulaski State Prison, Bleckley Probation Detention Center/RSAT, and Georgia State Prison.  Prior to beginning his career in psychology, Dr. Ioannou served in the Greek Armed Forces.

Dr. Ioannou holds a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Denver, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Deree, the American College of Greece.  He is certified as a Correctional Healthcare Professional with a specialty in mental health through membership in the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare.

GFC Announces Changes To Georgia Burn Notification Requirements

Sample Image

Changes are coming to laws affecting Georgians who burn outdoor yard debris. As of July 1, 2021, landowners will no longer be required to notify the Georgia Forestry Commission of their intention to burn hand-piled vegetative matter. However, the legal responsibilities of those burning outdoor yard debris will be strengthened.  Also, the new rules do NOT change the annual burn ban that takes place in the spring and summer for Chattooga County and fifty-three other North Georgia counties.

Under Senate Bill 119, GA code section 12-6-90 was changed to eliminate the notification requirement to burn hand-piled natural debris. Agriculture, silviculture and land-clearing burns for residential or commercial development will continue to require notification to the county forest ranger and a permit IS still required for these activities.

“Escaped debris burning is the number one cause of wildfire in Georgia,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “The Georgia Forestry Commission responds to more than 3,500 wildfires a year. With a strong focus on individual burning safety as required with these new changes, we can bring that number down significantly, together.”

The Georgia Forestry Commission has launched a communication campaign emphasizing the new changes that must be taken before burning: adequate space between fire and woodlands/structures; sunrise to sunset time frame; person on site responsible until fire is extinguished; and reasonable precautions to prevent escaped fire. As always, household garbage and man-made waste products may not be burned, and it is unlawful to move debris from one location to another for the purpose of burning.

Local burning ordinances supersede the code requirements. In addition, restrictions on burning in 54 northern Georgia counties under the Environmental Protection Division summer burn ban from May 1-September 30 continue to be in effect.

For more information, contact:

Wendy Burnett

478.365.6233

wburnett@gfc.state.ga.us

Burning of debris generated by machine clearing of an area for the purpose of establishing a small garden spot or land clearing is considered a land type change. These are subject to the EPD land clearing burning rules and may require the use of an Air Curtain Destructor (ACD), depending on the county in which you live. Click here for GA EPD Open Burning Rules. To clear land with or without an ACD, or burn off acreage or understory, please click here to contact your local GFC county office.

For more information about these changes and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, go to GaTrees.org.

# # #

There's Hope For The Hungry At South Summerville Baptist

In Georgia, 1 in 7 people live with food insecurity – not knowing where their next meal will come from.  There’s Hope for the Hungry is a Christian ministry, founded in prayer in 2003 and committed to evangelizing and feeding people who are in need.  The group is active in Chattooga County and will be distributing food this week in Summerville.

The organization describes their mission saying their “major goal is to feed the hungry; additionally, we believe our ultimate goal is to bring people to a place in their lives through short term food relief, salvation, and prayer to where they depend upon themselves and Jesus Christ for their short term, long term, and eternal needs.”

The food program There’s Hope for the Hungry will be at South Summerville Baptist Church on Wednesday, June 16th from 10 AM until 1 PM.

The church is located just past Mason Funeral Home on Highway 48 in Summerville.

 

Arrest Report - Tuesday June 15, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday June 15, 2021: