Commissioner Winters' COVID-19 Report - Thursday - June 4, 2020

CHATTOOGA COUNTY OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Chattooga County is working hard to ensure the health and safety of our employees that deliver critical services as well as the safety and welfare of our residents. With 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 confirmed deaths certain departments within Chattooga County will be limiting operations until further notice. All County facilities will operate under limited access to the public according to the Governor’s Emergency Health Order.   In accordance with that Order some county employees that are able to,  will telework or work in staggered shifts.   Please contact the specific office that you are needing to access to allow them to assist you in providing essential services.     Specific information for the departments is listed below.  With the fluid nature of this pandemic, operations can change at any time.  Chattooga County will continue to update citizens through local media channels and social media on the Chattooga County, Georgia EMA/ 911 on Facebook.  Please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 for more information and all department contacts and phone numbers are listed on our County website www.chattoogacounty.org by clicking on the Government Tab.  Our intent is to update this daily with any new information or changes for departments that may occur and post on the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook and the www.chattoogacounty.org website.

* Governor Kemp’s Emergency Public Health Order has been extended to June 12, 2020.

 

  • Various County Offices will begin to open with more access to different County Facilities beginning June 1.  Each Office will vary in degrees of access.  Please contact the Office you are needing to contact with to see any changes to their operations.  Mask will be required before entering some offices. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring Data for Chattooga County

 

  • 25 confirmed cases and 2 deaths in Chattooga County per Georgia Department of Public Health at 1:00 PM today.  Please watch the Georgia Department of Public Health Website at https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-department-public-health-covid-19-daily-status-reportfor COVID-19 official case counts released each day at 3:00 PM.
  • Urgent Care Patient In-take Level-Low
  • Unacast Cell Movement Data- County Score of D- with less than 25% decrease in cell phone movement data and less than 55% decrease in non essential trips.   This information can be tracked at https://www.unacast.com/covid19/social-distancing-scoreboard.  This information was last updated 6/4/2020 on Unacast.
  • Chattooga Case Rate per 100,000 people :          100.94

Floyd-                  292.95

Walker-              255.71

Dade-                  247.49

Gordon-             311.80

Catoosa-            212.30

Bartow-              454.99

This information is to be used to compare case counts across counties.  This is a list of counties in our region and is provided from the Georgia Department of Public Health in their daily update. 

 

Please limit movement and take social distancing steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office-  The Commissioner’s Office will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0700 or 706 857-0701.

Superior Court—  The Judicial Emergency Order has been extended through June 12, 2020.

Clerk of Court Office—   The Chattooga County Clerk’s Office is open for ESSENTIAL matters.  We will be at work and able to help you by phone or through online services.  See information below.

Clerk’s Office – 706/857-0706

Pay your (County) traffic tickets – www.payyourtix.com

Real Estate efiling & search – www.gsccca.org

Real Estate search – gasearch.kofile.us

Civil efiling – www.peachcourt.com

 

Probate Court & Elections –    Our office has been and will continue to be open for ESSENTIAL matters with the exception of the following directions.  We are alternating our work days manning the office with two people at a time.  Judge Payne is getting his messages and can operate from his home.  FOR APPOINTMENTS BELOW:  Call 706-857-0709 or 706-857-0710.

For vital records (birth and death records) we will continue to accept walk-in requests.  You need to complete a written request form in the hallway with your pertinent information, present photo ID, and pay $25 for the first copy and $5 for secondary copies.

Marriage licenses may still be applied for.  You must apply online at georgiaprobaterecords.com, call our office to verify we have received the transmittal, and make an appointment for a marriage license.  You must present photo ID and a final divorce decree or death certificate if you have a previous marriage.  Marriage licenses are $66 without counseling and $26 with 6 hours of certified counseling.  We do not perform ceremonies.

Beginning Monday, June 1, we will begin accepting applications for Weapons permits.  FOR NEW PERMITS you must apply online at georgiaprobaterecords.com, call our office to see if we have received the transmittal, and make an appointment to come in and complete the process.  FOR RENEWALS you must call to make an appointment.  We appreciate your patience during the past weeks, and we will make every effort to assist you without penalty.

Chattooga County EMA/911–  The office will be closed to the public but citizens can access the non emergency number at 706-857-3400 or in an emergency call 911.  Also please follow the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook Page for the most updated information.

 

Chattooga County Health Department-   The health department is now seeing all patients. We are practicing social distancing so as not to have our lobby crowded, so please call our office for available days and times.  Currently, WIC will continue with virtual appointments at this time.

We are offering free COVID-19 testing to anyone regardless of having symptoms. The hours are Monday-Thursday 1-4 and Fridays 9-1. Saturday testing will be conducted at our large drive thru point of collections in Rome, Paulding, Walker and Bartow from 9-12. Please call the health department with any questions at 706-857-3471.

 Chattooga County Extension Service (4-H) –   The Chattooga County Extension Service will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0744 or uge1055@uga.edu .  Individual Staff can be reached through email as follows:

Rebecca Thomas, County Extension Coordinator rbt@uga.edu ; Kim Snow, Administrative Assistant kpsnow@uga.edu ; Zach White, 4-H Agent zwhite@uga.edu ; Kendra Stallings, ANR Program Assistant ks6@uga.edu ; and Claudia Navichoque, EFNEP Program Assistant cnavichoque@uga.edu . We are still open and conducting business practicing social distancing via teleworking. Citizens can stay updated on resources through our webpage www.ugaextension.org/chattooga or exploring the Chattooga County Extension Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/

Some Current Points of Interest within Extension Programming:

  1. https://extension.uga.edu/topic-areas/timely-topics/emergencies.html – COVID- 19 resources from Governmental and Agency Resources along with virtual resources for families
  2. Home Gardening Resources – https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/chattooga/agriculture-and-natural-resources/home-gardening-.html including a growing calendar, planting chart, Starting a Home Garden, Gardening in Containers, and several videos for reference
  3. https://extension.uga.edu/content/extension/publications/series/detail.html?id=71&name=Home%20Garden Home Garden Publications
  4. https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/ – Daily post surrounding educational zoom sessions and learning opportunities
  5. Sign Ups are being taken for Cooking on a Budget On-line Classes.  All interested individuals must send an email to rbt@uga.edu for registration information
  6. The CDC Diabetic Prevention Program is meeting weekly via Zoom on the virtually on-line platform.

 

District Attorney’s Office—  To be updated

Juvenile Court—  To be updated

State Court – ( Judge John Dennis) Because of Honorable Melton’s recently issued an amended order governing the Judicial Branch, the Supreme Court of Georgia down to lower courts.  The order addressed the Coronavirus and cases that must be heard and cases that should be continued.  Inasmuch as misdemeanors do not constitute a case that must be heard, State Court cases for Chattooga County, both arraignments and trials, will be continued until June of this year.  The arraignments will be on Monday, June 22, 2020, and the bench trials will be on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

As we will be handling three months of arraignments and trials, State Court will be held in the main courtroom rather than in the annex.  Subpoenas will be mailed later this week or early next week (the first full week of May or the second full week).  We will call a few Defendants at a time in order to do our best to maintain social distancing and to protect the Defendants and our employees.  While the Courts are open to the public, we would encourage Defendants to come alone particularly if their intention is only to enter a not guilty plea and to have their cases tried in July.

Probationers currently under sentence are to continue to report as directed by the Chief Probation Officer Hannah Goodrich.

 Sheriff’s Office/Jail— Deputies respond to and meet with many citizens throughout their shift and often times within the citizens home. Sheriff’s Office staff have been asked to avoid shaking hands, stand about 6 feet away from citizens that they are meeting or talking with. Also, if you request a deputy for a report or other reason please step outside, if feasible, and meet with them. Deputies have been authorized to handle certain reports via telephone. These precautionary measures will not hinder or damper a criminal investigation.

Jail: Since we have a large population of individuals housed in a confined space, we will be taking precautionary measures at the jail as well. The one that will most likely affect family of incarcerated persons are revised visitation schedules. Also, services where outside individuals are allowed to meet with inmates i.e. church services and drug counseling services are suspended for now.

 

Registrar’s Office– The General Primary (originally scheduled for May 19, 2020) and the continuation of the Presidential Preference Primary (originally scheduled for March 24, 2020) have been moved to June 9, 2020.  Advance Voting is underway for these primaries.  Due to social distancing and ballot length, there have been lines outside of our building most of the day.

Absentee By Mail ballots are a great way for voters to cast a ballot from the privacy of their homes.  It is also a great way to practice social distancing while casting your ballot and to avoid the lines of in person voting.  The My Voter Page (located at  https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do) is a great tool for voters. From the My Voter Page, or the GA Votes app, you can access the application for an absentee ballot, your sample ballots, check the status of your absentee ballot, find Advance Voting information, find links to information about your representatives as well as information on which candidates are running for the offices you elect, and see your name and address as registered.  (Note: Sample ballots for the June 9, 2020 primary contain the presidential race regardless if you have already voted or not.  Your actual ballot will not contain President if you already voted in March.)

Absentee By Mail Information:
* For an application for an absentee ballot, visit https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Absentee_Ballot_Application_2018.pdf or https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Fillable%20Absentee%20Ballot%20Form%2020.pdf  
* All requests must include a signature of the person making the request. You may make a request on behalf of a family member who is disabled or temporarily living outside of the county. All other requests must be made by the voter.
* Electronic signatures are not accepted.
* Party selection is required because this is a primary. Voters may choose between Democratic, Republican, or Non-Partisan. (Non-Partisan ballots do not contain Democratic or Republican races/questions.)  Sample ballots are on the My Voter Page for all three parties.  Note: The sample ballots will not reflect if you voted in March, but your actual ballot will.
* Absentee ballot applications may be accepted by mail, email, or fax and must be received by close of business on June 5, 2020.
* Absentee By Mail Ballots must be received by June 9, 2020 and are accepted through the mail or personally delivered to our office.

* Absentee ballots contain a privacy sleeve in place of an envelope.  The sleeves do not need to be sealed inside of the outer envelope.  A ballot is still valid if the ballot is not enclosed inside the privacy sleeve.

* The oath must be signed on absentee ballots and the signature must match our files.  If the signature is missing or does not match, the voter will have an opportunity to rectify the situation in order for the ballot to still count.

Registration/Record Update Information:

* To find an application to register to vote, go to registertovote.sos.ga.gov
* Registration applications (or an application updating information for an already registered voter) are accepted by mail. They are not accepted by fax or email. You may also submit a registration application online if you have a Georgia Driver’s License or State Issued ID card (ID only card issued by the Department of Driver Services), your name has not changed since your ID was issued, and you give permission to the Department of Driver Services to share your signature with our office.

* The registration deadline was May 11, 2020.

Advance Voting Information:
* Advance Voting will begin May 18, 2020 for the General Primary and the continuation of the Presidential Preference Primary.
* During this time, individuals who have not already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary who select either a Democratic or a Republican ballot will also receive the Presidential Preference Primary on the ballot. Individuals who already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary will only receive a ballot for the General Primary.

* There is a limit to the number of people in the Advance Voting location at one time.  Voters may need to wait outside until there is enough space to accommodate them inside.

* Voters are encouraged to review sample ballots prior to entering the voting area.

* Advance Voting hours are 8:30 AM – 5 PM on weekdays and 9 AM – 4 PM on Saturday, May 30.  There is no Advance Voting on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

Public Works—Chattooga County Public Works will continue to operate with appropriate distancing procedures in place.

Chattooga County Sanitation and Remote Dump Sites—    The Transfer Station will remain open and the Remote Dump sites will remain open.  Remote Site attendants have been directed to keep a safe distance and not assist with dumping trash or recycling material.  Citizens will need to be able to dispose of their refuse and recyclable items without the assistance of the attendants.  Please remember that only household garbage may be disposed of at the remote sites.

Tax Assessors’ Office—Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the Chattooga County Tax Assessors’ office, located at the Chattooga County Courthouse Annex, will be closed to public access.  Citizens can visit https://www.qpublic.net/chattooga  to determine a method of application and/or delivery for Real Property Returns, Personal Property Returns, Homestead Exemption Applications, etc., which will still be accepted.  The property appraisal staff will continue to visit properties during this time but will refrain from as much face-to-face interaction as possible.

The Tax Assessor’s Office is waiting on guidance from the Department of Revenue on extensions for certain filing deadlines.  Once this notification is made it will be released and possible extensions put in place.

Tax Commissioner’s Office—Beginning Monday, May 4th, the Tax and Tag office will operate with one window open to help one customer at a time.  We do ask that if a customer is inside, citizens wait until that person leaves before entering the office.  Employees will be wearing masks, and we ask that customers maintain 6 feet distance from the windows at all times.  This week will serve as a trial and this could change depending on how it goes.  We can still help customers by phone (706-857-0703), by using the outside drop box or online at www.chattoogatax.com.  The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced the renewal date for all vehicle registrations that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 13, 2020 has been extended through June 15, 2020.

Magistrate Court—The Magistrate Court will work with the Superior Court and the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office to ensure the safety of all citizens who use Magistrate Court and our employees. We realize this may delay the scheduling of cases beyond the normal times and hope that the citizens understand the reason why. We continue to monitor the situation and appreciate the understanding of our customers.  Citizens are urged to call our office if they have any questions or concerns.

Chattooga County Animal Control– We currently are asking all citizens who wish to surrender a pet to call and make an appointment. We will take all the information needed over the phone for the surrender and email a surrender form to be signed and sent back.  When you arrive, we ask that you please stay in the vehicle and call the shelter at 706-857-0679. We will come out to the vehicle to retrieve the animal and complete the process.

Chattooga County Water Department—The Chattooga County Water Department will continue to offer current level of services as long as staffing is available to support.  They request that customers attempt to make payments via mail, online, or by telephone instead of in-person, if possible.  Any customers wishing to start a new service should make the initial request via telephone at 706-734-2827 as opposed to in-person.  In some instances, the transaction may be completed without an in-person visit.  At any rate, the initial phone can provide an opportunity to share any information necessary to minimize the amount of time required in the office.  You can pay your bill online at www.chattoogawater.org.

 

Chattooga County Senior Center-  The Chattooga County Senior Center will be closed for activities for the next two weeks.  Home meal delivery will continue.  Currently all Senior Citizens  that normally attend the Senior are being delivered a meal now.   Extra meals have been ordered and we currently are able to fill all requested assistance needs.

Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce-  The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce office is closed, but Executive Director Cindy Rivers is available by phone (706.857.4033) or email (chamber@chattoogacounty.org). All Chamber events have been suspended until further notice. Updates to our website and Facebook page are kept current, and a new Facebook group has been created: Together4Chattooga in order to offer an environment for businesses to post their updates and connect with consumers.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) now offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in Chattooga County affected by coronavirus. Access more details on how to apply at  https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 or call our office for help.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services. Claims may be filed through their website: dol.georgia.gov or call our office for help. Facebook is launching a $100 million grant program for small businesses. They’ve also created a Business Hub with tips on how businesses can survive the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Chattooga County Agricultural Center- The Ag Center will be closed until further notice.

Chattooga County Civic Center- The Civic Center will be closed until further notice.

 

Chattooga County EOA Office-  Closed to the public until further notice. If you are in need of assistance  please call the Chattooga Office at 706-857-0729.    Please leave your name, number and need and they will get back to you.   We ask for patience and understanding at this time.

Chattooga County Library- (Trion and Summerville Locations) – Based on recommendations from the CDC, Governor Kemp, and Commissioner Winters the Chattooga County Library System will be closed to the public through at least April.  At that point, a decision will be made whether to reopen.  While libraries normally invite people to come to libraries during emergencies, that is not the best option at this time because virus containment works best when all gathering spaces are closed.

People can park in our parking lot and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi at both library locations in Summerville and Trion.  The password for Summerville is chattooga1234 and the Trion Public Library password is trion1234 . Our patrons are invited to take advantage of our FREE online resources including e-books, e-audiobooks,  and e-magazines for both adults and children through GADD, e-read kids, and TumbleBooks.   You can also search a recipe database.  Available through the library system’s website:  chattoogacountylibrary.org  .  You can use a smartphone as well as other Internet capable devices to do this.

If you have a library item due, your due date will automatically be extended until May 1st.  All overdues fees will be waived during this time.  Limited email support will be provided during this time.  Email either sstephens@chattoogacountylibrary.org or sbaker@chattoogacountylibrary.org .  Watch our Facebook at Chattooga County Library for other activities such as a preschool storytime on Thursdays at 10:30.

Chattooga County Transit– Transit will be operational with day ahead scheduling.  Please call the day before to schedule your trip and priority continues to be given to dialysis transport.

For more information, please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 or e-mail at chattcom@windstream.net or jwincom@windstream.net

Arrest Report - Thursday June 4, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday June 4, 2020:

Walker County Sheriff Seeks 7th Term - Unopposed

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson, is seeking re-election to a seventh term, unopposed.

Wilson began his law enforcement career with the FBI in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the police academy at Floyd Junior College in 1981. He served more than five years as a patrolman for the LaFayette Police Department until 1986.

He then became a Walker County Deputy.  He was promoted to detective the following year.  Wilson also served as an agent and Commander of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force for seven years, prior to being elected Sheriff.

“During the next four years, our #1 priority will be our continued drug enforcement efforts with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Drug Task Force”, Wilson said.  “If we can suppress the drug use and sales in Walker County, all other crimes will decline”.

Wilson says he also supports Governor Kemp’s efforts to eradicate gang activity in the State.

Chattooga Schools Kindergarten Registration

Chattooga County Schools will hold Kindergarten registration for the 20-21 school year on June 23rd from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and July 16 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Chattooga Enrollment Center, located at 286 Maple Dr., Summerville, GA 30747. =

Child must turn 5 before Sept. 1st

  • Proof of residence (Utility bill, Rent/lease agreement, Notarized Residence Affidavit)
  • Driver’s License or picture ID of parent/guardian that is enrolling the child.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Immunization (3231)
  • New Eye, Ear, Dental Form (3300)
  • Custody papers when applicable
The dates above are dates we have set aside specifically for Kindergarten Registration, however, registration can always be done at our Enrollment Center, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. You are welcome to call the Enrollment Center at 706-859-8909 with any questions you may have.

Law Enforcement Aware Of Possible Protest At Courthouse

Social media posts about a possible peaceful protest at the Chattooga County Courthouse have been seen by local law enforcement.  WZQZ News has heard from several in the community who say that a flyer is circulating about a possible protest regarding the killing of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer. 

News clips over the past few days have shown peaceful protest turning violent in many big-cities, including Atlanta where Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told protesters to “go home.”  Mayor Bottoms stated, “What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., this is chaos.” The protests in Atlanta had started peacefully Friday afternoon, when crowds gathered in the city’s famed Centennial Park. But later that evening, demonstrators began moving toward the front of the CNN Center, where police had gathered. Over the next few hours, the gathering swelled as SWAT officers were called in to confront the crowds.

WZQZ News spoke with Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader and Summerville Police on Wednesday.  Both said that they were aware of the flyer that was circulating, but had not been contacted by anyone about the planned event.

Local law enforcement say that they have not seen anything to indicate that the protest planned at the Chattooga County Courthouse would be anything but peaceful.

Summerville Man Arrested After Choking & Beating An Elderly Woman

A thirty-three-year-old Summerville man was booked into the Chattooga County Jail on charges of criminal trespass and exploitation and intimidation of the elderly after he was accused of assaulting a seventy-year-old woman on Dry Valley Road earlier this week.

According to Summerville Police, Matthew Sprayberry came to the residence of Benjamin Clayton and asked for a place to stay.  Clayton told police that he and his wife told Sprayberry that they didn’t have a place for him.  Sprayberry allegedly came back that night and assaulted Clayton’s mother.

Police say that the victim said that Sprayberry knocked on the door, and when she opened it he came in and “choked and strangled her with his jacket by wrapping the jacket around her neck with a tight grip while beating her with his fist.”

Sprayberry was arrested on the charges and was listed as being incarcerated in the Chattooga County Jail as of yesterday.

Chattooga Schools Will Continue To Deliver Food This Summer

Chattooga County Schools will continue providing emergency meals each Tuesday throughout the summer. Buses will deliver their usual routes from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pick-up meals will be available at Leroy Massey Elementary and Chattooga High School from 12:00 – 12:30 on Tuesdays. Meals are for anyone 18 or under and includes 5 days of breakfast and lunch meals.

Summerville Police Called To Domestic Dispute Monday

Summerville Police were dispatched to a domestic dispute on Monday morning that started as a verbal dispute but ended with property damage.

According to police, when they arrived on the scene at a house on Kelly Street, they spoke with the complainant who said that he and his girlfriend got into an argument over cigarettes.  The girlfriend, identified as twenty-two-year-old Brittany Hope Ezell, stepped out onto the porch.  The complainant said that he closed the door because there were children inside that he didn’t want to go outside.

At that point, Ms. Ezell is accused of striking the living room window with a chair and breaking the glass in the window.  The woman left the scene before police arrived.

Summerville Police say that they have taken out a warrant against Ezell in connection with the incident.

GNTC Co-Sponsors Mobile Food Pantry

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Volunteers from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) joined volunteers from the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and Dalton Heritage Head Start to serve approximately 140 households during a mobile food pantry on Wednesday, May 27, held at Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy.

GNTC students enrolled at the Whitfield Murray Campus (WMC) as well as families with children enrolled in Dalton Heritage Head Start, received emails about Thursday’s mobile food pantry, which ran from 3 to 5 p.m. Volunteers loaded milk, meat, vegetables, diapers and wipes into the cars that circled the parking lot.

According to Jan Lanier, GNTC dean of Student Success, and Suzanne Harbin, director of Early Childhood Initiative for the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, the event was made possible by the collaboration of several Dalton-based organizations who are working to assist GNTC students in the area.

“We have been planning this since April,” Lanier said. “The original plan was to complete the resource center on WMC, but due to COVID-19 that wasn’t possible at this time. We saw the need for a social distancing food pantry and came up with this.”

A survey sent out by the University of Georgia’s School of Public Health showed a high number of GNTC students in the community were running out of basic food items by the end of the month, said Harbin. The survey also showed that 48% of GNTC students in the Dalton area had children, so in addition to food each family also received diapers, wipes and other childcare necessities.

“With the resource center on hold, I talked to Jan (Lanier) and the people over at Dalton Heritage Head Start about how to meet the needs of these families,” Harbin said.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Two-Generation Innovation Grant paid for both the resource center, soon to be open at WMC, as well as the mobile pantry. Harbin, who wrote the grant, said establishing a resource center will connect students not only with food but also with organizations like Dalton Heritage Head Start who can help with childcare for young children.

GNTC students from the organization Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) were also out helping load cars with food. “They called and asked if we could help and we showed up,” said Georgina Valderrama, Secretary of Academic Affairs and PBL coordinator at GNTC.

“We are looking to do more of this,” said Melanie Hammontree of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

The bank will be involved in the resource center once it is up and running she said. The Chattanooga Area Food Bank supplied the food for Wednesday’s mobile pantry.

New Attorney Sworn In Wednesday

A new attorney was sworn in at the Chattooga County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon by Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham.  Judge Graham introduced David Smith as a native of Chattooga County who later moved away and has now returned to Northwest Georgia to practice law.

Smith is the grandson of Summerville residents Larry and Connie Howard and Barbara and Tommy Woods.  He graduate from the University of Mississipi and received his law degree at American University in Washington, D.C.

Smith has been working as a law clerk at Cook & Connelly in Summerville and was recently sworn into the state bar of Tennessee.

Smith has been hired by the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Public Defenders Office.

General Assembly Reconvening June 15

Georgia lawmakers are set to reconvene the 2020 legislative session on June 15, roughly three months after the General Assembly hit pause due to mounting concerns over coronavirus.

In a memo Wednesday, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, agreed with Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan to resume the session on Monday, June 15. The two chamber leaders then formally signed a resolution to resume on that date.

The decision comes as lawmakers began work last week on crafting a budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which is poised for significant cuts due to the economic slowdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The General Assembly has until July 1 to pass the budget.

The resumption of the session also comes as businesses continue reopening after weeks of closures that started in late March as the virus spread in Georgia, sickening thousands of people including several state lawmakers.

Uncertainty over how much the virus may spread as businesses reopen created some tension between top General Assembly leaders over whether to reconvene the 2020 session sooner or later.

Ralston, who helms the House, initially called for a June 11 restart while Duncan, who presides over the Senate, pushed for May 18. The June 15 date marks a compromise between the two after weeks of disagreement on when to start wrapping up the 11 remaining days of the session’s 40-day schedule.

Online Athens

Commissioner Winters' COVID-19 Update - Wednesday - June 3, 2020

CHATTOOGA COUNTY OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Chattooga County is working hard to ensure the health and safety of our employees that deliver critical services as well as the safety and welfare of our residents. With 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 confirmed deaths certain departments within Chattooga County will be limiting operations until further notice. All County facilities will operate under limited access to the public according to the Governor’s Emergency Health Order.   In accordance with that Order some county employees that are able to,  will telework or work in staggered shifts.   Please contact the specific office that you are needing to access to allow them to assist you in providing essential services.     Specific information for the departments is listed below.  With the fluid nature of this pandemic, operations can change at any time.  Chattooga County will continue to update citizens through local media channels and social media on the Chattooga County, Georgia EMA/ 911 on Facebook.  Please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 for more information and all department contacts and phone numbers are listed on our County website www.chattoogacounty.org by clicking on the Government Tab.  Our intent is to update this daily with any new information or changes for departments that may occur and post on the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook and the www.chattoogacounty.org website.

* Governor Kemp’s Emergency Public Health Order has been extended to June 12, 2020.

 

  • Various County Offices will begin to open with more access to different County Facilities beginning June 1.  Each Office will vary in degrees of access.  Please contact the Office you are needing to contact with to see any changes to their operations.  Mask will be required before entering some offices. 

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring Data for Chattooga County

 

  • 25 confirmed cases and 2 deaths in Chattooga County per Georgia Department of Public Health at 1:00 PM today.  Please watch the Georgia Department of Public Health Website at https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-department-public-health-covid-19-daily-status-reportfor COVID-19 official case counts released each day at 3:00 PM.
  • Urgent Care Patient In-take Level-Low
  • Unacast Cell Movement Data- County Score of F with less than 25% decrease in cell phone movement data and less than 55% decrease in non essential trips.   This information can be tracked at https://www.unacast.com/covid19/social-distancing-scoreboard.  This information was last updated 6/2/2020 on Unacast.
  • Chattooga Case Rate per 100,000 people :          100.90

Floyd-                  281.20

Walker-              245.70

Dade-                  241.30

Gordon-             292.90

Catoosa-            210.80

Bartow-              447.80

This information is to be used to compare case counts across counties.  This is a list of counties in our region and is provided from the Georgia Department of Public Health in their daily update. 

 

Please limit movement and take social distancing steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office-  The Commissioner’s Office will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0700 or 706 857-0701.

Superior Court—  The Judicial Emergency Order has been extended through June 12, 2020.

Clerk of Court Office—   The Chattooga County Clerk’s Office is open for ESSENTIAL matters.  We will be at work and able to help you by phone or through online services.  See information below.

Clerk’s Office – 706/857-0706

Pay your (County) traffic tickets – www.payyourtix.com

Real Estate efiling & search – www.gsccca.org

Real Estate search – gasearch.kofile.us

Civil efiling – www.peachcourt.com

 

Probate Court & Elections –    Our office has been and will continue to be open for ESSENTIAL matters with the exception of the following directions.  We are alternating our work days manning the office with two people at a time.  Judge Payne is getting his messages and can operate from his home.  FOR APPOINTMENTS BELOW:  Call 706-857-0709 or 706-857-0710.

For vital records (birth and death records) we will continue to accept walk-in requests.  You need to complete a written request form in the hallway with your pertinent information, present photo ID, and pay $25 for the first copy and $5 for secondary copies.

Marriage licenses may still be applied for.  You must apply online at georgiaprobaterecords.com, call our office to verify we have received the transmittal, and make an appointment for a marriage license.  You must present photo ID and a final divorce decree or death certificate if you have a previous marriage.  Marriage licenses are $66 without counseling and $26 with 6 hours of certified counseling.  We do not perform ceremonies.

Beginning Monday, June 1, we will begin accepting applications for Weapons permits.  FOR NEW PERMITS you must apply online at georgiaprobaterecords.com, call our office to see if we have received the transmittal, and make an appointment to come in and complete the process.  FOR RENEWALS you must call to make an appointment.  We appreciate your patience during the past weeks, and we will make every effort to assist you without penalty.

Chattooga County EMA/911–  The office will be closed to the public but citizens can access the non emergency number at 706-857-3400 or in an emergency call 911.  Also please follow the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook Page for the most updated information.

 

Chattooga County Health Department-   The health department is now seeing all patients. We are practicing social distancing so as not to have our lobby crowded, so please call our office for available days and times.  Currently, WIC will continue with virtual appointments at this time.

We are offering free COVID-19 testing to anyone regardless of having symptoms. The hours are Monday-Thursday 1-4 and Fridays 9-1. Saturday testing will be conducted at our large drive thru point of collections in Rome, Paulding, Walker and Bartow from 9-12. Please call the health department with any questions at 706-857-3471.

 Chattooga County Extension Service (4-H) –   The Chattooga County Extension Service will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0744 or uge1055@uga.edu .  Individual Staff can be reached through email as follows:

Rebecca Thomas, County Extension Coordinator rbt@uga.edu ; Kim Snow, Administrative Assistant kpsnow@uga.edu ; Zach White, 4-H Agent zwhite@uga.edu ; Kendra Stallings, ANR Program Assistant ks6@uga.edu ; and Claudia Navichoque, EFNEP Program Assistant cnavichoque@uga.edu . We are still open and conducting business practicing social distancing via teleworking. Citizens can stay updated on resources through our webpage www.ugaextension.org/chattooga or exploring the Chattooga County Extension Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/

Some Current Points of Interest within Extension Programming:

  1. https://extension.uga.edu/topic-areas/timely-topics/emergencies.html – COVID- 19 resources from Governmental and Agency Resources along with virtual resources for families
  2. Home Gardening Resources – https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/chattooga/agriculture-and-natural-resources/home-gardening-.html including a growing calendar, planting chart, Starting a Home Garden, Gardening in Containers, and several videos for reference
  3. https://extension.uga.edu/content/extension/publications/series/detail.html?id=71&name=Home%20Garden Home Garden Publications
  4. https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/ – Daily post surrounding educational zoom sessions and learning opportunities
  5. Sign Ups are being taken for Cooking on a Budget On-line Classes.  All interested individuals must send an email to rbt@uga.edu for registration information
  6. The CDC Diabetic Prevention Program is meeting weekly via Zoom on the virtually on-line platform.

 

District Attorney’s Office—  To be updated

Juvenile Court—  To be updated

State Court – ( Judge John Dennis) Because of Honorable Melton’s recently issued an amended order governing the Judicial Branch, the Supreme Court of Georgia down to lower courts.  The order addressed the Coronavirus and cases that must be heard and cases that should be continued.  Inasmuch as misdemeanors do not constitute a case that must be heard, State Court cases for Chattooga County, both arraignments and trials, will be continued until June of this year.  The arraignments will be on Monday, June 22, 2020, and the bench trials will be on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

As we will be handling three months of arraignments and trials, State Court will be held in the main courtroom rather than in the annex.  Subpoenas will be mailed later this week or early next week (the first full week of May or the second full week).  We will call a few Defendants at a time in order to do our best to maintain social distancing and to protect the Defendants and our employees.  While the Courts are open to the public, we would encourage Defendants to come alone particularly if their intention is only to enter a not guilty plea and to have their cases tried in July.

Probationers currently under sentence are to continue to report as directed by the Chief Probation Officer Hannah Goodrich.

 Sheriff’s Office/Jail— Deputies respond to and meet with many citizens throughout their shift and often times within the citizens home. Sheriff’s Office staff have been asked to avoid shaking hands, stand about 6 feet away from citizens that they are meeting or talking with. Also, if you request a deputy for a report or other reason please step outside, if feasible, and meet with them. Deputies have been authorized to handle certain reports via telephone. These precautionary measures will not hinder or damper a criminal investigation.

Jail: Since we have a large population of individuals housed in a confined space, we will be taking precautionary measures at the jail as well. The one that will most likely affect family of incarcerated persons are revised visitation schedules. Also, services where outside individuals are allowed to meet with inmates i.e. church services and drug counseling services are suspended for now.

 

Registrar’s Office– The General Primary (originally scheduled for May 19, 2020) and the continuation of the Presidential Preference Primary (originally scheduled for March 24, 2020) have been moved to June 9, 2020.  Advance Voting is underway for these primaries.  Due to social distancing and ballot length, there have been lines outside of our building most of the day.

Absentee By Mail ballots are a great way for voters to cast a ballot from the privacy of their homes.  It is also a great way to practice social distancing while casting your ballot and to avoid the lines of in person voting.  The My Voter Page (located at  https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do) is a great tool for voters. From the My Voter Page, or the GA Votes app, you can access the application for an absentee ballot, your sample ballots, check the status of your absentee ballot, find Advance Voting information, find links to information about your representatives as well as information on which candidates are running for the offices you elect, and see your name and address as registered.  (Note: Sample ballots for the June 9, 2020 primary contain the presidential race regardless if you have already voted or not.  Your actual ballot will not contain President if you already voted in March.)

Absentee By Mail Information:
* For an application for an absentee ballot, visit https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Absentee_Ballot_Application_2018.pdf or https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Fillable%20Absentee%20Ballot%20Form%2020.pdf  
* All requests must include a signature of the person making the request. You may make a request on behalf of a family member who is disabled or temporarily living outside of the county. All other requests must be made by the voter.
* Electronic signatures are not accepted.
* Party selection is required because this is a primary. Voters may choose between Democratic, Republican, or Non-Partisan. (Non-Partisan ballots do not contain Democratic or Republican races/questions.)  Sample ballots are on the My Voter Page for all three parties.  Note: The sample ballots will not reflect if you voted in March, but your actual ballot will.
* Absentee ballot applications may be accepted by mail, email, or fax and must be received by close of business on June 5, 2020.
* Absentee By Mail Ballots must be received by June 9, 2020 and are accepted through the mail or personally delivered to our office.

* Absentee ballots contain a privacy sleeve in place of an envelope.  The sleeves do not need to be sealed inside of the outer envelope.  A ballot is still valid if the ballot is not enclosed inside the privacy sleeve.

* The oath must be signed on absentee ballots and the signature must match our files.  If the signature is missing or does not match, the voter will have an opportunity to rectify the situation in order for the ballot to still count.

Registration/Record Update Information:

* To find an application to register to vote, go to registertovote.sos.ga.gov
* Registration applications (or an application updating information for an already registered voter) are accepted by mail. They are not accepted by fax or email. You may also submit a registration application online if you have a Georgia Driver’s License or State Issued ID card (ID only card issued by the Department of Driver Services), your name has not changed since your ID was issued, and you give permission to the Department of Driver Services to share your signature with our office.

* The registration deadline was May 11, 2020.

Advance Voting Information:
* Advance Voting will begin May 18, 2020 for the General Primary and the continuation of the Presidential Preference Primary.
* During this time, individuals who have not already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary who select either a Democratic or a Republican ballot will also receive the Presidential Preference Primary on the ballot. Individuals who already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary will only receive a ballot for the General Primary.

* There is a limit to the number of people in the Advance Voting location at one time.  Voters may need to wait outside until there is enough space to accommodate them inside.

* Voters are encouraged to review sample ballots prior to entering the voting area.

* Advance Voting hours are 8:30 AM – 5 PM on weekdays and 9 AM – 4 PM on Saturday, May 30.  There is no Advance Voting on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

Public Works—Chattooga County Public Works will continue to operate with appropriate distancing procedures in place.

Chattooga County Sanitation and Remote Dump Sites—    The Transfer Station will remain open and the Remote Dump sites will remain open.  Remote Site attendants have been directed to keep a safe distance and not assist with dumping trash or recycling material.  Citizens will need to be able to dispose of their refuse and recyclable items without the assistance of the attendants.  Please remember that only household garbage may be disposed of at the remote sites.

Tax Assessors’ Office—Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the Chattooga County Tax Assessors’ office, located at the Chattooga County Courthouse Annex, will be closed to public access.  Citizens can visit https://www.qpublic.net/chattooga  to determine a method of application and/or delivery for Real Property Returns, Personal Property Returns, Homestead Exemption Applications, etc., which will still be accepted.  The property appraisal staff will continue to visit properties during this time but will refrain from as much face-to-face interaction as possible.

The Tax Assessor’s Office is waiting on guidance from the Department of Revenue on extensions for certain filing deadlines.  Once this notification is made it will be released and possible extensions put in place.

Tax Commissioner’s Office—Beginning Monday, May 4th, the Tax and Tag office will operate with one window open to help one customer at a time.  We do ask that if a customer is inside, citizens wait until that person leaves before entering the office.  Employees will be wearing masks, and we ask that customers maintain 6 feet distance from the windows at all times.  This week will serve as a trial and this could change depending on how it goes.  We can still help customers by phone (706-857-0703), by using the outside drop box or online at www.chattoogatax.com.  The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced the renewal date for all vehicle registrations that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 13, 2020 has been extended through June 15, 2020.

Magistrate Court—The Magistrate Court will work with the Superior Court and the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office to ensure the safety of all citizens who use Magistrate Court and our employees. We realize this may delay the scheduling of cases beyond the normal times and hope that the citizens understand the reason why. We continue to monitor the situation and appreciate the understanding of our customers.  Citizens are urged to call our office if they have any questions or concerns.

Chattooga County Animal Control– We currently are asking all citizens who wish to surrender a pet to call and make an appointment. We will take all the information needed over the phone for the surrender and email a surrender form to be signed and sent back.  When you arrive, we ask that you please stay in the vehicle and call the shelter at 706-857-0679. We will come out to the vehicle to retrieve the animal and complete the process.

Chattooga County Water Department—The Chattooga County Water Department will continue to offer current level of services as long as staffing is available to support.  They request that customers attempt to make payments via mail, online, or by telephone instead of in-person, if possible.  Any customers wishing to start a new service should make the initial request via telephone at 706-734-2827 as opposed to in-person.  In some instances, the transaction may be completed without an in-person visit.  At any rate, the initial phone can provide an opportunity to share any information necessary to minimize the amount of time required in the office.  You can pay your bill online at www.chattoogawater.org.

 

Chattooga County Senior Center-  The Chattooga County Senior Center will be closed for activities for the next two weeks.  Home meal delivery will continue.  Currently all Senior Citizens  that normally attend the Senior are being delivered a meal now.   Extra meals have been ordered and we currently are able to fill all requested assistance needs.

Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce-  The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce office is closed, but Executive Director Cindy Rivers is available by phone (706.857.4033) or email (chamber@chattoogacounty.org). All Chamber events have been suspended until further notice. Updates to our website and Facebook page are kept current, and a new Facebook group has been created: Together4Chattooga in order to offer an environment for businesses to post their updates and connect with consumers.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) now offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in Chattooga County affected by coronavirus. Access more details on how to apply at  https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 or call our office for help.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services. Claims may be filed through their website: dol.georgia.gov or call our office for help. Facebook is launching a $100 million grant program for small businesses. They’ve also created a Business Hub with tips on how businesses can survive the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Chattooga County Agricultural Center- The Ag Center will be closed until further notice.

Chattooga County Civic Center- The Civic Center will be closed until further notice.

 

Chattooga County EOA Office-  Closed to the public until further notice. If you are in need of assistance  please call the Chattooga Office at 706-857-0729.    Please leave your name, number and need and they will get back to you.   We ask for patience and understanding at this time.

Chattooga County Library- (Trion and Summerville Locations) – Based on recommendations from the CDC, Governor Kemp, and Commissioner Winters the Chattooga County Library System will be closed to the public through at least April.  At that point, a decision will be made whether to reopen.  While libraries normally invite people to come to libraries during emergencies, that is not the best option at this time because virus containment works best when all gathering spaces are closed.

People can park in our parking lot and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi at both library locations in Summerville and Trion.  The password for Summerville is chattooga1234 and the Trion Public Library password is trion1234 . Our patrons are invited to take advantage of our FREE online resources including e-books, e-audiobooks,  and e-magazines for both adults and children through GADD, e-read kids, and TumbleBooks.   You can also search a recipe database.  Available through the library system’s website:  chattoogacountylibrary.org  .  You can use a smartphone as well as other Internet capable devices to do this.

If you have a library item due, your due date will automatically be extended until May 1st.  All overdues fees will be waived during this time.  Limited email support will be provided during this time.  Email either sstephens@chattoogacountylibrary.org or sbaker@chattoogacountylibrary.org .  Watch our Facebook at Chattooga County Library for other activities such as a preschool storytime on Thursdays at 10:30.

Chattooga County Transit– Transit will be operational with day ahead scheduling.  Please call the day before to schedule your trip and priority continues to be given to dialysis transport.

For more information, please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 or e-mail at chattcom@windstream.net or jwincom@windstream.net

Arrest Report - Wednesday June 3, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday June 3, 2020:

BBB: Safely Support Local Businesses As They Reopen

Gradually, signs are flipping over from closed to open, with precautions for both customers and merchants. Some consumers are ready to step back into the retail world to see, touch, and buy products and services, while others are more cautious. While merchants are more than ready to receive business, they also want to keep everyone healthy and safe.

The Centers for Disease Control has a lengthy list of recommendations for business owners to follow to maintain a clean storefront. Consumers are encouraged to do their own part, such as carrying hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and keeping up with social distancing guidelines.

Human creativity, adaptability, and the desire to forge a different kind of normality in the coming months is the goal for both businesses and consumers.  Finding a way to balance it all is the responsibility for both parties.

BBB recommends these tips for consumers to safely support business owners:

  • Follow individual state and province requirements as businesses reopen.
  • Stay up to date on the merchant’s requests by email or social media; pay attention to the number of people physically allowed in the store and the store hours.
  • Remember to use any gift cards tucked away from the holidays.
  • Do comparison shopping online. If you’re purchasing a big-ticket item such as a major appliance, consider checking features and availability online rather than going from store to store.
  • Be patient as businesses restock shelves and begin new routines. Business owners are trying to reassure customers they’re clean, safe and willing to provide a good experience.

For Canadian residents and businesses, please visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

BBB.org/coronavirus has more information for consumers.

BBB.org/smallbusiness has more information for business owners.

For information about becoming a BBB Accredited Business, visit BBB.org/become-accredited.

Community Resource Center Plans $1 Yard Sale

Community Resource Center of Chattooga, (CRC) one of our local food banks in the county, is planning to have a $1-a-bag parking lot sale every Saturday in June – weather permitting.  The event will be held each Saturday from 8 AM until Noon at the corner of 7th Street and Fairground.

To clear out space for food over the next several months, CRC is having the parking lot sales to get rid of clothes.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CRC is not allowing anyone inside the building at this time.  They say that they will probably continue that practice for several months to come.  In the mean time, they are still giving out food boxes.  They prepackage the food and meet guests outside.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the CRC Thrift Store is no longer open.

 

Confederate Flag Stolen On Sloppy Floyd Lake Road

On Monday of this week, shortly after 1 AM, a Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to a residence on Sloppy Floyd Lake Road in reference to damage to property and
theft.

The deputy stated, “Upon arrival, I met with the complainants Joseph Hunter and James Hunter. Joseph Hunter advised me that he heard something outside and came out of the residence at 970 Sloppy Floyd Lake Road and observed several subjects in front of 980 Sloppy Floyd Lake Road. He stated that they got into a white or light gray passenger car and fled towards Highway 27. Joseph Hunter and James Hunter checked the area and discovered that the subjects had spray painted the word “Racist” in black paint in front of 980 Sloppy Floyd Lake Road and had also taken a lawn mower sign off the fence and a Confederate flag that was next to the driveway.

James Hunter was not able to make contact with the neighbor to advise them of the theft.

The deputy said that he checked the area for the described vehicle but did not locate it.

Summerville Gets Good News At Well Test Site

After months of bad news about the water supply in Summerville, city officials got some good news on Tuesday.

According to City Manager Janice Galloway, the city received word yesterday that a test well at a site located off of Highway 48 is a large production well – producing at least 1,000 gallons of water per minute.  Testing was slated to begin on Tuesday afternoon for flow data.

Galloway told WZQZ News that analytical testing will begin today towards the end of the twenty-four hour flow test.  Water samples will be sent off to the lab in order obtain the water’s chemistry.  The water also will be tested for PFAS.  Galloway says that the city is very hopeful because water from a spring near the test well site tested with no PFAS being found.

The city manager said that once the water is tested and if there are favorable results with the chemical analysis and bacteria testing, they will submit the water to be approved by the Environmental Protection Division.

After that, the next step would be to drill a production well.  Plans are to pipe the water over to the water filter plant on Filter Plant Road from the well site.  Galloway says that the cost is expected to be around $3 million to run the water line back to the water plant.

Gun Fired Last Week On Johnson Road

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A man reportedly discharged a firearm on Johnson Road last week as he attempted to ward off a family member that wouldn’t leave his property. 

Johnson Road is located off Filter Plant Road in Summerville.

According to Sheriff Mark Schrader, deputies were called to a domestic dispute and when they arrived they discovered that a man had fired a pistol into the air.  The man explained to the deputies that he had asked his daughter and two other people to leave his residence.  They refused to do so and at some point in the altercation, the man said that the three made threatening moves towards him.  At that point, he discharged one round from an handgun into the air.  With that, the three decided to leave the man’s residence.

Sheriff Schrader said that while firing a gun into the air is never a good idea, it didn’t appear that the man had broken any laws and he was within his rights firing a warning shot because he felt threatened.

No arrests were made in connection with the incident.

Convicted Child Molester Emails WZQZ

On Tuesday, convicted child molester Terry Lee Coleman sent an e-mail to WZQZ’s web site as he sits in jail awaiting transport to a state prison.  Coleman has been convicted of molesting two children, both under the age of 14.  He was also convicted of sexually assaulting a worker at CVS Pharmacy in Summerville last year.

Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News on Tuesday that inmates do have limited access to an internet kiosk where they can send e-mails.  Coleman chose to use that privileged to send a comment to our web site.

In the comment, Coleman blamed the child victims of his crimes saying “they were provocatively dressed” and saying that the came of their own free will.  Coleman went on to blame the CVS worker he was convicted of assaulting for that attack saying that she had “low morals.”  The message ended with the words “FREE TERRY COLEMAN” and asking people to email him if they believe he is innocent.

WZQZ will NOT be posting the full comment Coleman sent nor the contact information he provided.

Coleman has been sentenced to 13 years in prison on the child molestation charges.

Registration For Camp Hamby Next Week

Camp Hamby Day Camp will be held June 28 – July 3rd and again July 6-10.  Space will be limited due to social distancing restrictions.  Camp Hamby will abide by all CDC guidelines. Look for the registration form to be posted online this Friday.  Registration will take place at Trion United Methodist Church on Monday, June 8th from 5-7 PM.  Registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The registration form and money must be turned in by June 15th.