Arrest Report - Sunday - June 26, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, June 26, 2022:

Kingston Man Caught After Allegedly Stealing Power For Two Years

A forty-two-year-old Kingston, Georgia man was arrested last week after investigators charged him with stealing power from Georgia Power – something that had been going on for over two years, according to arrest records.

Joshua Winfield Pilcer allegedly connected “an illegal cord” to the main Georgia Power line and ran it to his residence.  In all, Pilcher is accused of stealing over $7,900 worth of power over the two-year period.  That figures up to almost $330 each month.

Georgia Power says, “Stealing electricity is a serious crime that results in a higher cost to produce electricity, which is passed down to customers. Theft of electricity includes, but is not limited to, tampering with connections or meters and establishing service with fraudulent or stolen identities. Energy theft does more than just increase the cost of electricity, tampering with electric meters and wiring can result in serious fires, injury and even death. This poses serious danger to the thief, to their neighbors and to Georgia Power employees.”

Pilcher has been charged with felony theft of services.

CVN

Fourteen COVID Patients In Rome Hospitals

As of Friday, there were fourteen COVID patients in Rome area hospitals.  Atrium Health Floyd had nine patients and Advent Health Redmond had five patients.  According to the latest COVID report from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Georgia has seen the largest increase in the number of COVID cases since mid-April over the past week.  The Georgia Department of Public Health reports 287 additional cases in the region for the week ending Wednesday. The previous high since weekly reporting began in mid April: 197 through June 8th.  Georgia also reported 43 COVID deaths, the fewest in four weeks. Three of those deaths came from Northwest Georgia and included residents of Floyd, Polk and Chattooga Counties.

Chattooga Tax Commissioner: 16 Properties Up For Sale In July

Chattooga County Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton will hold a sale on the courthouse steps next month for properties with unpaid property taxes.  There are sixteen properties on the list. At her most recent tax sale, two properties were sold – one on at Cloudland and one off Highway 100 in Summerville.  Hampton says she started with 83 properties for the last sale, but 81 property owners came in and either paid the taxes, or set up payment plans.   In addition to the tax sale next month, the tax commissioner says she will hold one more tax sale this year – in October. Find out all the details below:

CHATTOOGA COUNTY JULY 2022 TAX SALE
SHERIFF’S SALE
JOY COOPER HAMPTON
EX-OFFICIO SHERIFF
STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF CHATTOOGA
Under and by virtue of certain tax Fi.Fa.’s issued by the Tax Commissioner of Chattooga County, Georgia, in favor of the State of Georgia and County of Chattooga against the following named persons and the property as described immediately below their respective name(s).

There will be sold for cash or certified funds at public outcry, before the Courthouse Steps in Summerville, Chattooga County, Georgia, between the legal hours of sale, on the first Tuesday in July 2022, the same Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

The following property will be sold between the legal hours of sale, 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The below listed and described properties, or as much thereof as will satisfy the State and County tax execution on the respective individual and property. The properties hereinafter described have been levied on as the property of the persons whose names immediately precede the property description. Each of the respective parcels of property are located in Chattooga County, State of Georgia. The years for which said Fi.Fa’s are issued and levied are stated below the name of the
owner in each case.

This is a buyer beware sale and all property will be sold as is. The Tax Commissioner makes no warranty, neither expressed nor implied, as to title, and all properties are subject to all recorded covenants, easements, and right of ways.

Properties are sold under the power of a tax sale deed with specific rights of redemption

Each defendant and tenant in possession, if applicable, has been notified of levy time and place of sale. Purchaser shall pay for title, all transfer cost, all taxes, advertising cost and recording fees. At the discretion of the Tax Commissioner’s office, payment will be required within two (2) hours after the completion of the tax sale. In the event a bid is not properly paid, the property shall be re-offered at 2:00 PM on the day of the sale, or the following day that being July 6, 2022.

File #: 9 2020-2047
Map/Parcel Number: 55–23
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Campbell, Glinda; 55–23, N & S of Cameron Rd LL 10
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 228/577
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 55–23, lying and being in Land Lot 108 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 228, Page 577, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 2740 Ridgeway Drive.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 10 2020-2186
Map/Parcel Number: 63B–59
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Case, Terry; 63B–59, Lot E of Old US27 LL146 6
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 677/648
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 63B–59, lying and being in Land Lot 146 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 677, Page 648, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 2502 Old Highway 27.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 16 2020-3701
Map/Parcel Number: 78–8-B
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Downey, Helen; 78-8-B / Tr 11 Pt 12 N G Products
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 513/653; 529/217; 538/275; 588/62
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 78–8-B, lying and being in Land Lots 73 & 108 of the 25th Land District, 3rd Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 25.66 acres, more or less, being Lot 11 and part of Lot 12, North Georgia Forest Products Inc Subdivision, shown in Plat Book 7, Page 73, being described in Deed Book 513, Page 653, Deed Book 538, Page 275 and Deed Book 588, Page 62, the descriptions contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 7093 Gore-Subligna Road. Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 19 2020-3975
Map/Parcel Number: 9–9
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Eller, James M; 9–9, West of County Rd LL 287 1
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 274/571;625/463;682/11
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 9–9, lying and being in Land Lot 287 of the 13th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 3.28 acres, more or less, described in Deed Book 682, Page 11, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on AMI Cemetery Road.
Years Due: 2020-20211
File #: 39 2020-5878
Map/Parcel Number: 78–15
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Hines, Claude L & Betty E; 78–15, SE of Gore Sub RD
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 197/484; 228/385
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 78–15, lying and being in Land Lot 108 of the 25th Land District, 3rd Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 2.0 acres, more or less, being Lot 8, described in Deed Book 228, Page 385, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 7084 Gore-Subligna Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 41 2020-6273
Map/Parcel Number: 55–52-L26
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Humphrey, Benny (aka Humphrey, Benny Joe) & Patricia; 55–52-L26, Lot 26, Corbin Prop
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 603/106
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 55–52-L26, lying and being in Land Lot 144 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 603, Page 106, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 1425 Airport Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021

File #: 47 2020-6521
Map/Parcel Number: 55-52-L18-B
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Jackson, Johnathan C (aka Johnathan Chase Jackson); 55-52-L18-B / Lot 18B Corbin Property
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 665/451
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 55-52-L18-B, lying and being in Land Lot 144 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 1.83 acres, more or less, being Tract 18-B, shown in Plat Book 11, Page 210, described in Deed Book 665, Page 451, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 1255 Airport Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 51 2020-7020
Map/Parcel Number: 68–62-B
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Kinnebrew, Alvin Lorenzo; 68–62-B, 1 Acre LL 214 5/4
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 579/53
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 68–62-B, lying and being in Land Lot 214 of the 5th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 1 acre, more or less, described in Deed Book 579, Page 53, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 246 Stamper Drive.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 58 2020-7897
Map/Parcel Number: 64F–2
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Martin, Ruth (aka Ruth Orene Martin); 64F–2 / Lt S of Sublinga Rd LL 18
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 103/101
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64F–2, lying and being in Land Lot 186 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 103, Page 101, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Mountain View Road.
Years Due: 2020-20211
File #: 59 2020-7898
Map/Parcel Number: 64–25
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Martin, Ruth O aka Ruth Orene Martin; 64–25 / East of Davis Rd LL 185 6T
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 103/103
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64–25, lying and being in Land Lot 185 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 103, Page 103, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Davis Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 60 2020-7919
Map/Parcel Number: 64F–3
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Martin, Winfield (aka Winfield D) & Ruth; 64F–3 / South of Subligna Rd
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 74/482
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64F–3, lying and being in Land Lot 186 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 74, Page 482, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Mountain View Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 61 2020-7920
Map/Parcel Number: 64F–1
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Martin, Winfield D; 64F–1 / Lot on South of Subligna
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 147/531
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64F–1, lying and being in Land Lot 186 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 0.50 acre, more or less, described in Deed Book 147, Page 531, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Mountain View Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021

File #: 64 2020-9240
Map/Parcel Number: 64–94-L32
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Palmer, Charles Lance; Dover, April fka Housch, April F; 64–94-L32, Lot 32 Corbin Property
Current Property Owner: Palmer, Charles Lance
Reference Deed: 470/49;702/222
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64–94-L32, lying and being in Land Lot 187 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 3.35 acres, more or less, being Tract 32, shown in Plat Book 11, Page 48, described in Deed Book 702, Page 222, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 180 Renee Road.
Years Due: 2019-2021
File #: 68 2020-10455
Map/Parcel Number: 63B–66
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Roach, Cynthia R; 63B–66 / Lot 64 Benny Stolaman Sub
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 310/623;274/411
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 63B–66, lying and being in Land Lot 146, 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 0.41 acre, more or less, being Lot 64, Benny Stolaman Subdivision, described in Deed Book 310, Page 623 and Deed Book 274, Page 411, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Stoleman Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 88 2020-13892
Map/Parcel Number: 64F–14-B
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Willingham, Mary Evelyn; 64F–14-B / Lot W Mountain View Rd
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 327/1
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 64F–14-B, lying and being in Land Lot 186 of the 6th Land District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, described in Deed Book 327, Page 1, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, located on Mountain View Road.
Years Due: 2020-2021
File #: 90 2020-14385
Map/Parcel Number: 72–34-8
Defendant(s) in FiFa: Zorzi, Robert Anthony; 72–34-8 / 3AC Lt 8 Valley Oak LL277
Current Property Owner: Same as Defendant(s) in FiFa
Reference Deed: 567/144
Property Description: All and only that parcel of land designated as Tax Parcel 72–34-8, lying and being in Land Lot 277 of the 6th District, 4th Section, Chattooga County, Georgia, containing 3.0 acres, more or less, being Tract No 8, Valley Oaks Subdivision, shown in Plat Book 6, Page 114, described in Deed Book 567, Page 144, the description contained therein being incorporated herein by this reference, known as 324 Maverick Drive.
Years Due: 2019-2021

Chattooga DFCS Has Job Openings

Chattooga County DFCS currently has two job openings.  Please put Chattooga County as the location when filling out the application.

TANF SE position:

 https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/dhsgeorgia/jobs/3406351/customer-service-associate-statewide?keywords=customer%20service&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Economic Support Specialist:

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/dhsgeorgia/jobs/3292257/economic-support-specialist-1-statewide?keywords=Economic%20support&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Dalton Business Owner Pleads Guilty To Dumping Hazardous Chemicals On Rock Spring Farm

A Dalton business owner has pleaded guilty in federal court to dumping more than 100 drums and other containers of chemicals, including hazardous waste, on property in Rock Spring, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The fifty-six-year-old  Amin Ali pleaded guilty to disposal of hazardous waste without a permit last week.

Prosecutors say Ali owned and controlled Goldstar Investment Group LLC, 7 Days Property Management Inc., and Rock Springs Farming LLC.

He owned a warehouse formerly owned by a chemical company in Dalton, as well as a farming property containing several old chicken houses in Rock Spring.

Read more from WTVC

Carr Asks Court To Reverse "Heartbeat Law" Decision

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is asking for a reversal of a court decision about Georgia’s controversial “heartbeat law”.

After the United States Supreme Court reversed the five-decades old “Roe vs. Wade” decision, Carr is now asking the United States Eleventh Circuit Court to reverse its decision on the Georgia Law.

Carr said in a press release, “I believe in the dignity, value and worth of every human being, both born and unborn. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is constitutionally correct and rightfully returns the issue of abortion to the states and to the people – where it belongs.”

A judge blocked the state’s bill from taking effect in July of 2020.

Georgia HB481, or Heartbeat Law, is a six-week abortion ban except in certain situations.

Physicians practicing medicine in Georgia would be prohibited from offering abortion services to pregnant women if a “fetal heartbeat” is present, which typically occurs in the sixth week of pregnancy.

Press Release / Compiled Sources

Ribbon Cutting At Floyd Helipad

A ribbon-cutting was held Thursday for the new helipad at Floyd Medical Center as Atrium Health Floyd celebrated another milestone in its expanding trauma program.

The helipad provides quicker and more direct access for trauma patients requiring treatment at the hospital’s Emergency Care Center (ECC). The helipad sits on the North Second Avenue entrance to the ECC.

“This effort actually began two years ago as we were building up our trauma center,” said Kurt Stuenkel, executive vice president of Atrium Health and president and CEO of Atrium Health Floyd. “In 1981 Floyd was the very first designated trauma center in the state of Georgia. We have been at this for over 40 years. In very real way this helipad is a symbol of our renewed dedication to deliver trauma care in this region for years to come. In fact, Floyd is now the only Level 2 trauma center in northwest Georgia and also serves and participates in Alabama’s trauma network for northeast Alabama.”

The helipad is only one piece in the advanced trauma services at Atrium Health Floyd. Floyd has worked closed with all physicians and especially with the Harbin Clinic general surgeons and neurosurgeons to meet the new American College of Surgeons Level 2 Trauma Standards.

These two specialties in particular require more dedicated resources under the new standards. The Harbin Clinic has historically supported our trauma service over these past 40 years and they likewise have stepped up and dedicated a higher level of coverage in the past 2 years.

Orthopedics is another key specialty and Harbin and the Rome Orthopedic Center provide that care, and are now anchored with a new sub-specialty provided through Dr. Chad Beck. Dr. Beck is the region’s first orthopedic traumatologist. He specializes in the repair of complex fractures that frequently occur with trauma. Cases that previously were transferred to other facilities are now cared for here at Floyd. Our enhanced services are making a difference and our trauma numbers are up. Healthcare providers in the region have recognized the high level of service at Floyd and are referring more cases here.

Stuenkel credited Dr. Clarence “Mac” McKemie with presenting the idea for the helipad. McKemie, a Harbin Clinic surgeon, is the trauma medical director at Floyd Medical Center.

“This is our commitment to the community,” Stuenkel. “We are going to be here for a long time. What we have done is keep trauma care local and that is good for both patients and family members.”

Floyd Medical Center is the only Level II Trauma Center in Georgia EMS Region 1, which covers 16 Georgia counties over 5,439 square miles. There are no Level I Trauma Centers in the region.

“This community is lucky to have the most advanced healthcare amenities there are, and Atrium Health Floyd’s new helipad can now be added to that list. We were honored to help celebrate this new addition to their facility,” said Pam Powers Smith, president of the Rome-Floyd Chamber.

Georgia Power Wants To Raise Your Rates

Georgia Power has filed a request with the Georgia Public Service Commission that would allow them to increase customer rates.

The utility said in a news release it needs to “support essential, critical investments in electric grid reliability, cleaner and more economical energy resources, and better customer experience.”

“We take our responsibility to plan, prepare and make the investments needed to meet our customers’ energy needs today, tomorrow and for years to come seriously, and Georgia Power’s request to the Georgia Public Service Commission today outlines and supports that focus,” said Georgia Power chairman, president and CEO Chris Womack.

Georgia Power says a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an increase of $14.32 every month starting in 2023. The utility would add another $1.35 per month in 2024 and $0.62 per month in 2025 for a total average increase of $16.29 per month or $195.48 per year.

The utility pointed out the proposed 12% increase is lower than the current projected rate of inflation.

The Georgia Public Service Commission must approve the new rates.

Hearings are set for later this year.

WSB

Arrest Report - Saturday - June 25, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Saturday, June 25, 2022:

Georgia Death Row Inmate Wins Case To Be Executed By Firing Squad

The Supreme Court sided with a Georgia death row inmate on Thursday who wants to be executed by firing squad instead of by lethal injection, which is currently the only authorized method of execution in the state.

Michael Nance was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 2002 for shooting and killing a bystander after a bank robbery in 1993.

Nance argued in a petition that sedatives used in the lethal injection protocol would fail to “render him unconscious” due to medicine he takes for back pain, and that his veins are “severely compromised,” which could cause “intense pain and burning.”

Execution by firing squad, on the other hand, would lead to a “swift and virtually painless” death, he argued.

The Supreme Court vote was 5-4 in favor of allowing the death sentence to be carried out by a firing squad.

No Public Input On School Board Budget

The Chattooga Board of Education met on Thursday evening of this week for a called meeting for public input on the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget.   There was no public input on the budget at Thursday’s meeting – or either of the previous two public meetings about the school system’s budget.  After the meeting at 5:30 PM Thursday, the board held their monthly meeting and adopted the budget.  The budget passed with all school board members voting to approve.

Georgia DNR Reminds Boaters About Safety

As temperatures rise with the official beginning of summer and more Georgians take to the state’s waterways to cool off, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is highlighting the importance of boating safety.

Each year, an average of 650 people die in boating-related accidents in the United States. More than 75 percent of these fatalities are caused by drowning, and most accidents are triggered by boater error or poor judgment, rather than mechanical or environmental factors. In Georgia alone, there were 14 boating-related fatalities, 67 injuries, and 114 incidents in 2021.

Capt. Chris Hodge, a supervisor for DNR’s coastal law enforcement Region 6, said boaters can help keep themselves and others safe by following a few simple rules while enjoying the Peach State’s waters.

“Whether you’re out on saltwater estuaries or freshwater lakes and rivers, safety should always be on your mind,” Capt. Hodge said. “It starts with wearing a life jacket. Over 85 percent of drowning victims would likely still be alive today if they’d been properly wearing their life jackets. The law says you must have a serviceable life jacket on board for every person on your boat, and we encourage people to actively wear them.”

Children under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket at all times on the water unless the child is within a fully enclosed cabin. While people 13 and older are not required to wear their life jackets, the practice is strongly encouraged.

Capt. Hodge noted that even experienced DNR game wardens, who are trained in high-stakes boat operations, wear life jackets every time they take to the water.

Boaters, like automobile drivers, also have personal responsibilities while navigating waterways. Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is just as illegal as drunk driving, Hodge noted.

“The same rules that apply to driving a car apply to boating when it comes to intoxication,” he said. “Our game wardens do not give warnings for boating under the influence. We cannot take the chance that you will not hurt yourself or someone else. On top of that, drunk boaters often become drunk drivers after they leave the waterways and head home. Don’t take that chance of ruining your life, or someone else’s life.”

And just like driving a car, there are “rules of the road” for operating a boat. Georgia’s “100-foot law” requires all vessels, including personal watercraft, to slow to an idle speed within 100 feet of people in the water, docks, piers, bridges, and shorelines. Boaters must also slow down when approaching other vessels unless they are passing or overtaking the other vessel.

In coastal Georgia, where creeks and rivers meander through sharp curves, it’s particularly important to understand the nautical “rules of the road.” State law requires boaters to move as far to the right of the channel as possible, to reduce speed in case an unexpected stop is necessary, and to sound a blast of eight to 10 seconds’ duration if a sound device is available.

Other “rules of the road” for boat operation include:

  • When meeting another vessel, boat operators should pass on the right side unless the boats are far enough apart that they are not meeting head-on or close to head on
  • In a crossing situation, the boat on the right should hold its course and the boat on the left should slow down and cross behind the other boat
  • Powerboats always should yield to sailboats

Operating a vessel at night can also add further challenges to safe operation, and boaters should take several extra precautions. Georgia law requires some form of lighting for every vessel–even nonmotorized—operating at night. Boaters can learn about the specific requirements for their boat by downloading “The Handbook of Georgia Boating Laws and Responsibilities” by visiting the case-sensitive link  https://bit.ly/3tVrDPJ.

“Boaters should always operate at a slower speed at night,” Capt. Hodge said. “And they need to keep a sharp lookout for the lights of other vessels. The same rules of navigation for daytime apply to night operation, but vessel captains need to be much more attentive. You cannot assume that every other boater out there is operating with proper lights. Your best bet is to slow down, be attentive, and pilot your vessel defensively.”

Other night navigation tips include:

  • Be sure your vessel’s lights are functioning properly, and carry extra bulbs
  • Use a 360-degree white light whenever the vessel is anchored
  • Reduce your speed and use caution; give yourself extra time to reach your destination
  • Keep watch for obstructions in front of you
  • Never travel alone; have an extra set of eyes to help you keep watch
  • Stop if visibility is severely restricted and wait for conditions to improve; use sound signals to alert other boaters to your presence

It’s also important to know what changes may have occurred on waterways, especially in the coastal environment. The U.S. Coast Guard issues regular “Notice to Mariners” bulletins which can educate boaters about new aids to navigation, hazards, and other important information. Visit https://msi.nga.mil/NTM to view the latest notices and sign up for notifications.

If using a computer-aided GPS, boaters should regularly update their software using the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the latest charts are at their fingertips. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updates navigational charts on a regular basis to indicate changes.

But while technology can help boaters navigate safely, there is no replacement for old-fashioned sight and sound, Capt. Hodge said.

“GPS and radar can be important aids for boaters, but technology is no substitute,” he said. “Boaters need to keep their eyes peeled and remain vigilant while navigating, especially at night. Slowing down can also drastically decrease the likelihood of an accident by giving the vessel operator more time to react to changing conditions.”

Georgia’s tidal amplitude is among the widest on the east coast and can create its own difficult circumstances. At certain times of the month, tides can range as much as 9 feet in places. This twice-daily tide cycle will impact the navigability of creeks and rivers and can produce fast-moving currents. Boaters can check the tide cycle before taking to the water by visiting https://CoastalGaDNR.org/CoastalBoating and navigating to the “Tide Chart” section to download a free 2022 tide chart.

Tides can also shift and shape sandbars in short order. Just because an area was passable last week does not necessarily mean it’s in the same condition this week. Slowing your speed in shallow areas can increase safety and reduce the chance of running hard aground.

Navigating Georgia’s waterways can be a challenge for even the most experienced vessel operator. That’s why Georgia DNR offers a free, online boating safety course for everyone from first-time boaters to seasoned mariners. The course is available at https://BoatUS.org/Georgia.

“A refresher is always a good thing,” said Capt. Hodge. “Sometimes we get complacent when we’ve been doing something for a long time. We see boating accidents on the news and think, ‘But that won’t happen to me.’ Unfortunately, it can, and it does. Taking a free refresher course can help boaters stay mindful of their responsibilities and proper boating safety and etiquette.”

Most of all, Capt. Hodge said he wants Georgians and visitors to the state to enjoy their time on the water, and head home safe at the end of the day.

“We are fortunate to have lots of opportunities to access the water here in Georgia,” Capt. Hodge said. “We want people to have fun, be responsible, and continue to make outdoor memories for many years to come. We can all do that by keeping safety on our mind and acting with respect for ourselves and other boaters.”

Walker County African-American Museum Exhibit Opens Today

Walker County African-American Museum and Cultural Center will host its premiere exhibit, Buildings We Built, today, from 3-6 p.m. at the Center, 309 N. Main Street, LaFayette or the Marsh House. This exhibit highlights the artistic interpretations of various Walker County’s historic buildings by the following local artists: Vince Stalling, Ashleigh McLin, Billy Smith, Paisley Larmon, Maurice Chaney and Jaseric Chaney. Admission is $5 per adult and $1 per student. This exhibit is supported by generous donations from the Georgia Council for the Arts and The Lyndhurst Foundation.

Chattooga Student Honored At Gadsden State

TheSpring Semester 2022 President’s List at Gadsden State Community College was released by President Kathy Murphy. Full-time students who earn a semester grade point average of 4.0 (with all A’s) and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of college-level work are named to the President’s List.  Holli Shaver of Trion, Georgia was honored on the President’s List.  Gasden State offers courses at their campus located in Centre, Alabama as well as the main campus in Gadsden.

Trion Man Charged With Shoplifting At Walmart

Earlier this week, a Trion man was charged with shoplifting at Walmart in Trion after he allegedly skip-scanned several items and then grabbed a bag of ice and proceeded to walk out the door without paying.  A Walmart employee stopped the man after he was seen skip-scanning some bratwurst sausages and grabbing the ice from the cooler at the front of the store.  When a deputy arrived on the scene, the deputy saw video footage of the incident. Sixty-two-year-old James Brad Kay was transported to the Chattooga County Jail on shoplifting charges.

Floyd County Schools Recover All Stolen Money

Floyd County Schools has been able to recover the remaining funds that were stolen from an outside source as the result of a recent spearphishing incident.

According to a news release from the school system:

“We are extremely grateful for the assistance of the Floyd County Police Department, Chief Mark Wallace, and Major Jeff Jones as well as Ana Rodriguez with Lakeside National Bank during this cyber security investigation and full recovery.”

Nearly $195,000 was stolen from the school system on June 7 after the school system was victim to a business email compromise.

Nearly $190,000 was recovered a couple of days later thanks to police and the bank.

Again, the remainder of the funds, just over $5,000, have now also been recovered.

WRGA

Unemployment Increased In Georgia

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Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that all Regional Commissions recorded a rise in unemployment rates in May.
“Even though the labor force increased in all of our regions, counties and metropolitan service areas, job postings continue to outpace those gains placing strain on employers to find talent for open positions,” said Comm. Butler.  “Many areas across our state are experiencing difficulty in filling many of the seasonal, temporary jobs normally filled with summer workers, due to the opportunities in full-time employment.”

The labor force was up in the Coastal Georgia Regional Commission, Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, Heart of Georgia Regional Commission, Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, River Valley Regional Commission, Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, and Three Rivers Regional Commission.

Northwest Georgia Regional Commission – Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties.

• The May preliminary unemployment rate was up four-tenths to 2.6 percent o-t-m, the rate was 3.3 percent one year ago.
• The labor force was up 901 o-t-m and up 6,949 o-t-y, to 430,046.
• The number of employed was down 890 o-t-m and up 9,832 o-t-y, to 418,761.
• Initial claims were up 339 (25 percent) o-t-m and down 5,054 (-75 percent) o-t-y, to 1,702.
• Initial claims were up o-t-m in Manufacturing and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, and down o-t-y in Trade and Accommodation and Food Services.
• There were 6,042 jobs posted on Employ Georgia.

Rock Spring Man Charged With DUI In Chattooga County

A thirty-three-year-old Rock Spring man was charged with DUI in Chattooga County recently after he was seen changing lanes without a signal and nearly striking another vehicle. A Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputy observed the improper lane change and performed a traffic stop near the Trion Water Treatment plant on Highway 27.  The driver told the deputy that he was not driving recklessly and said he was “driving normal like everyone else”.   The deputy smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and could smell “a strong odor of alcohol” coming from the driver.

The driver said that he had picked up food at Jefferson’s in Summerville and was taking it to his wife and kids.  He then told the deputy he had just came from Stonebridge Golf Course in Calhoun.  The deputy reminded the driver that Stonebridge is in Rome, not Calhoun.  The driver then told the deputy that “Rome and Calhoun are the same thing.”

After a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a marijuana blunt and beer inside the vehicle.  The driver failed three field-sobriety tests.

Adam Elijah Boggs was arrested and taken to the Chattooga County Jail on charges of DUI, failure to maintain single lane and reckless driving.

Arrest Report - Friday - June 24, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, June 24, 2022: