Arrest Report - Wednesday - January 20, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday, January 20, 2021:

Chamber Of Commerce Is Hosting Virtual Lunch And Learn Today

Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce
The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce would like everyone to know that there is still time to register for the Virtual Lunch and Learn with Diane Vinyard that will be hosted today.

It’s not too late to join us on Wednesday, January 20th for a Virtual Lunch & Learn with Diane Vinyard of Living Life On Target. This will be a virtual workshop to identify what we can do to proactively approach the recent and upcoming changes in our life and businesses. We will identify up to three tangible things we can do to move our life forward with greater confidence, intention, and influence to live a life on target.

Diane is also offering an in-person workshop at her location in Summerville: 10034 Commerce St (the old DIRT store) on January 26th 5:30-630p. You can choose to come to one or both. The webinar is open to all. The first ten to register for the workshop are guaranteed a spot.

You may register for the event here. The Virtual Lunch and Learn will be held today from 12p.m to 1p.m and will be held via Zoom.

Rome High School Graduate Named To Biden Administration's National Security Council


The Rome News Tribune reports that Carlyn Reichel, a Rome High School graduate, has been named to the Biden Administration’s National Security Council.

Reichel will serve as senior director for speechwriting and strategic initiatives under the direction of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, according to a release from the transition team.

The NSC’s primary role is to advise and assist the president on national security and foreign policies, and to coordinate those policies across government agencies.

Reichel is currently a member of the transition’s National Security Council Agency Review Team. On the Biden-Harris campaign, she served as both director of speechwriting and foreign policy director.
Rome News-Tribune

Car Reported Stolen After Bank Account Of Buyer Frozen

Last week Chattooga County Sheriff Deputies responded to a call about a 2015 Dodge Challenger being reported as stolen.

On Friday January 15th, 2021 Deputies spoke with Stephen Cordell about a theft. Mr. Cordell advised that he decided to sell his vehicle and found a buyer. Mr. Cordell had called his bank to make sure payment was made and it was all paid off before he released the car to the subject. The Bank confirmed that the transaction was complete and mailed the title free and clear to Mr. Cordell. Mr. Cordell then signed the title and mailed it to the offender. Mr. Cordell then received a letter in the mail from the bank advising that he still owed $30,239.24 and that the account of the buyer was frozen. The bank advised Mr. Cordell that he need to report the vehicle stolen.

The vehicle has been entered into GCIC and the case turned over to investigations.

Mount Vernon Mills Buying Coal As A Precaution Says VP Randy Henderson

Reports that Mount Vernon Mills may not be buying gas from the Town of Trion anymore are not fact, that according to Mount Vernon executive, Randy Henderson.

Henderson states that the mill bought coal last week due to a gas curtailment that was imposed by the Town of Trion.

On January 8th Mount Vernon was notified that natural gas could be curtailed due to colder weather and more natural gas would be needed for  residential use. This would have caused a delay in the mill starting back up on Monday as planned.

Henderson said the decision was made to purchase enough coal so that in the future Mount Vernon Mills could run operations for about a week, without being dependent on natural gas from the Town of Trion.

In reference to earlier reports Henderson said, “This was a miscommunication between several parties, however the lines of communication are now open.”

Mount Vernon insists that coal was purchased to make sure operations can stay on schedule as planned.

Henderson also stated that in the past Mount Vernon Mills has ran on both natural gas and coal, however right now they would prefer to use natural gas, as it is cheaper.



SCAM: Undeliverable USPS Mail

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) says that customers should be aware of email scams that are circulating that say you have a delivery “on hold.”

The scammers send an official-looking email, complete with US Postal Service logos that say you have a package that can’t be delivered because of insufficient address.  Next they ask for a small amount of money to “re-deliver” your package.  Then they ask for credit card information and after the information has been entered a screen pops up that asks for your birthdate and social security number to “verify and protect” your identity.

Don’t fall for it!  It is a scam.  Often if you look closely, you can find that the email address sending the scam email isn’t from the USPS at all.  In the example above, the email address was based in the United Kingdom.  Obviously, the United States Postal Service won’t be using an email address based in another country.

The USPS has clarified that they and their officials will not reach out to customers to ask for money or personal information.

Emails with subject lines such as “Delivery Failure Notification” could include a link that, when clicked, activates a virus to steal personal information, such as passwords or financial details.

The Postal Service does not alert customers of package delivery attempts via email.

Customers should never give personal information out over email.

The Postal Service provided tips to help detect fraudulent emails. Poor grammar and spelling often indicates that an email is spam. Emails that request immediate action from the recipient could also be bait.

If you receive any emails regarding a package delivery failure, or any emails that seem like a fake from the Postal Service, forward it to, and then delete the email.


Commissioner Elsberry Is Settling In; Looking For New Dump Sites

Chattooga County Commissioner Elsberry is settling into his new role and already has several projects going including finding a new Public Works Director, along with finding new dumpsites.

WZQZ reached out to Commissioner Elsberry about the Public Works Director position and how the tax collection was going this year for the county.

Elsberry bragged on Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton and the employees for a job well done. “We are at 90.05% of tax collections for the year, so that is a record for us.  Joy Hampton, the tax commissioners office staff, and the tax assessors office has done a fantastic job during this tax season. Especially given the circumstances with the pandemic.”

Additionally as much as the new Commissioner would like to start moving away from the Tax Anticipation Notes, it doesn’t look like this year he is going to be able to. “As much as I would like to not have to rely on a TAN note this year, getting away from that is going to be a work in progress. In years past we have had to use it as early as January, but right now it looks as if we may be able to hold off using it until the end of February.”

Commissioner Elsberry also has the task of finding two new dumpsites for the county. One will be located on the east side of Taylor Ridge, and the other one will be in Menlo. The current dumpsite on Hwy 48 across from the Barn Dance is being sold by the property owners. That dump site will be closing on February 28th. No new sites have been named as of yet.

Today was officially the last day to turn in an application for the position of Public Works Director and so far about 12-15 applicants have applied. Elsberry hopes to start reviewing them soon and will hopefully be able to make a decision by the first week of February.

Chattooga BOE January Meeting To Be Held Virtually

The Monthly Chattooga County Board of Education’s January meeting will be held via teleconference.

Chattooga County Board of Education announced today that the January meeting will be held virtually.

Per the BOE:

Due to rising Covid-19 cases in the county, the Chattooga County Board of Education’s January 21, 2021 meeting will
be conducted via teleconference. The Work Session will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the Regular Session directly following.

Directions to join the meeting:
-Dial: 470-485-9668
-PIN: 768 48 1206#

Arrest Report - Tuesday January 19, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday January 19, 2021:

A Summerville Man Facing Additional Charges After Attacking Jailers.

An inmate at the Floyd County Jail, James Walter Busbin III, 30 of Summerville, is facing additional charges this week after reports said he attacked two jail officers.

Reports stated that Busbin hit a law enforcement officer in the face with a closed fist and a kicked a deputy in the chest.

Busbin is now charged with two counts simple battery against a police officer, two counts obstruction, and unlawful violence in a penal


PREVIOUS January 11 2021

James Walter Busbin III, 30 of Summerville, was arrested this week after reports said he began to act disorderly and refused to comply with officers at Walmart on Redmond Road.

Reports stated that Busbin was told by security to leave the property but refused to do so.  Reports added that Busbin then acted in a manner that placed security staff in danger of getting injuries.

When police arrived he continued to act disorderly and resisted arrest.

Busbin is charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and three counts obstruction of law enforcement.


Gov. Kemp To Use $5 Millions In Virus Aid To Help Students Finish College

Some juniors and seniors at Georgia’s public universities and colleges are in line for a little financial boost to help them reach their degree. Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday in his State of the State speech that he would use $5 million in federal coronavirus relief that he controls to provide small grants to help students with unmet financial need pay their college bills.

Because it’s federal money, the Republican governor won’t need legislative approval to spend the money. Other details remain fuzzy. Kemp’s office didn’t answer questions on Friday about who exactly would be eligible, or for how much money.

In 2018, Georgia State issued more than 2,000 grants, ranging from $300 to $2,000. The university says that from 2011 through 2018, 86% of more than 12,000 grant recipients went on to graduate, most within two semesters.

Students don’t have to apply, with the money going to those who can’t register for the next semester because of unpaid bills, have unmet financial need, and have at least a “C” average. That success story, combined with similar experiences at other schools, have led dozens of other colleges nationwide to offer emergency grants.

“My understanding is that this is one-time federal funds. Gov. Kemp described it as a pilot,” Lee said. “But if implemented well, I am extremely confident this idea will be hugely successful and that lawmakers will hopefully decide to invest some sustainable state dollars to this strategy.”


Trion Lady Bulldogs #1 In Region 6-A Basketball

The Trion High School Lady Bulldogs are currently #1 in Region 6-A. In the week 9 GHSA ranking, The Lady Dogs are #7 in Class-A Public.

Coming back from a a 14 point deficit last Friday, The Lady Dogs beat Mt. Zion on the road 56-42, ensuring they continue to be undefeated in their region. They are 5-0 in region play and 11-3 overall.

The strong team is lead by 6 seniors Chloe Murdock, Gracie Tucker, Summer Vaughn, Jaycie Helms, Allsion Whitt, and Linzie Thompson, with Chloe Murdock scoring 32 points alone in last weeks region game against Bowden. Head Coach Justin Gentry is in his 3rd season as Head Coach and is happy with his teams progress. The Lady Dogs still have 5 region games left this season and Coach Gentry expects the girls to continue to improve and make a strong playoff run as they head into the region tournament.

The JV Lady Dogs also remain undefeated this season in region play, going 6-0.

The Bulldogs take on Drew Charter next this Friday with the JV Girls beginning at 4:30 and Varsity beginning at 6:00 at home.



Chattooga Middle School Girls Basketball Places 2nd In Region

The Chattooga Middle School Girls basketball team has placed 2nd in their Region this past weekend.

The CMS girls basketball team played for the region championship this past weekend at Coosa High School. They lost to Darlington 34-26, which earned them 2nd place in Region. The team is coached by Wes Maddux, with assistant Coach Shay Padgett.

Coach Maddux said about the game, “We never challenged Darlington in the 2 previous games this season, beating us by 19 and 20. I felt like we mentally backed down early in both those games. That was not the case Saturday. Early in the first Addie ran slap over their star player, she was called for a charge but the message was sent then. You will be in for a fight today. It was the hardest most physical game we played all year. We got after every loose ball, every rebound, hustled back on defense to stop easy layups and made big shots. The game was much closer than the score shows. Although we lost, it was the proudest I have been all year because I know they gave everything. I left the gym with a big smile on my face.”

Congratulation to the CMS Indian Girls Basketball team!

Georgia Gas Prices Increases At Pump

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Georgia gas prices  increased at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.23 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 7 cents more than a week ago, 20 cents more than last month, and 18 cents less than this time last year.

It now costs motorists $33.45 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $3.45 less than what motorists paid in January of 2020, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.46 per gallon.

“Gas prices are rising as supply tightens and crude oil gets more expensive,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If crude prices continue to sustain prices above $50 per barrel alongside higher refinery utilization rates and demand, drivers could see pump prices continue to climb through the week.”


Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 7 cents to $2.38. Pump prices have increased while gas demand remains low at 7.53 million barrels a day and total refinery utilization increased from 80.7 percent to 82 percent in the latest weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

At the close of last Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 66 cents to settle at $53.57. Crude prices continue to increase this week due to market optimism that coronavirus vaccines will help crude demand recover this year. Additionally, EIA’s new weekly report helped bolster prices, detailing that total domestic crude inventories declined by 3.2 million barrels to 482.2 million barrels last week.


Atlanta ($2.22)

  • Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.30), Savannah ($2.29), and Albany ($2.28).
  • Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($2.17), Dalton ($2.18), and Athens ($2.20).
  • Area gas prices average– Chattooga($2.19), Floyd ($2.18), Walker ($2.14), Gordon ($2.21), Dekalb, Alabama ($2.12), Cherokee Alabama ($2.10)


Sexual Abuse Awareness Training To Be Held

Hearts Cry Ministry will be holding a Child sexual abuse awareness training course.

The course will be held on January 23rd, 2021 at the Summerville Civic Center from 9:30-12:00.
CEU’s, or Continuing Education Units are available for this course. All Medical, Education, and Legal Professionals can get credit. This training will focus on learning how to protect children from sexual abuse.
Hearts Cry Ministry is a Christ-centered long-term residential restoration program for victims coming out of sexual abuse & trauma. To provide a safe environment for the mental, physical, and spiritual healing to take place.

Registration is not required but you may contact Paula Whitfield with further questions at

Paradise Gardens To Be Featured On Georgia Focus

The Georgia News Network’s weekly public affairs program is heard each week on WZQZ at 5:30 on Sunday mornings.  The next edition of “Georgia Focus” will feature Paradise Gardens in Pennville.

Promos for the next edition of Georgia Focus say, “Reverend Howard Finster, a self proclaimed  “Man of Visions”, was one of America’s most widely known and prolific self-taught artists. Today, his home and outdoor art exhibit known as Paradise Gardens, in Summerville, has been preserved and is open to visitors. The Paradise Garden Foundation works to preserve, maintain and showcase Paradise Garden and Tina Cox, Executive Director and Howard Pousner, board member, discuss the garden.”

GNN’s John Clark told WZQZ News that he recently came to Paradise Gardens and toured the facility and spoke with members of the Paradise Gardens Foundation.  Clark said that he enjoyed his trip to Chattooga County and described Paradise Garden as “an amazing place”.

In addition to our regular Sunday morning airing of Georgia Focus, WZQZ will also broadcast the program from Paradise Garden on Saturday morning, following the 7 AM newscast.

Arrest Report - Monday January 18, 2021

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Monday January 18, 2021:

Chattooga County Schools Weekly COVID-19 Report

Chattooga County School System has released last weeks Weekly COVID-19 Infection Report.

Students at all Chattooga County Schools started virtual learning last week, and will continue to do so for this week. Due to virtual learning the School System will not break down the report by individual school.

Trion Fire Department First Annual Event Was A Success

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Trion Fire Department hosted their first annual, Everyone Gets Out event. This event raised funds to install smoke detectors in local homes.

From the Trion Police Department Facebook page:

1st Annual Everyone Gets Out is in the books. To say it was a success would be an understatement. When you hear the beep, Get out of the heat. Chattooga County and the surrounding areas absolutely stepped up to the plate and assured that everyone in need will have smoke detectors’ installed in their homes. With a grand total of $2175.96 in donations followed by 75 smoke detectors donated. Car Show Award winners were Robin Burkhalter and Randy McNeese. Robin and her 55 Bel Air was awarded the Firefighters Choice Plaque. Randy and his 68 Camaro received the Peoples Choice Plaque. Smoke detectors will be installed or given to anyone in need at anytime no matter the location. #TRIONFIRESTRONG

Rome Police Looking For Suspect In Hit And Run

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The Rome Police Department Selective Enforcement Unit is seeking information in reference to a fatal hit and run traffic crash that occurred on January 13th on South McLin Street early in the  morning.

They are seeking information from the driver of a white newer model 4-door Nissan Frontier.

This vehicle was last seen in the area at 7:44 AM.

The white Nissan Frontier may have possible front and/or undercarriage damage.

The driver of this vehicle may be directly involved or may have other information relating to the death of a pedestrian from this crash.

Rome Police are encouraging anyone with information to please contact the Rome Police Department Selective Enforcement Unit.