Allgood Street Closed Next Week For Repairs

Coming up next Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Allgood Street in Trion will be closed for repairs between Park Avenue and the red light.  The work will be going on during the day on Tuesday, and it is possible that the work will continue into Wednesday.  Use Park Avenue and Simmons Street for a detour.

Deadly Accident Claims Life Of Chattooga County Man

The Georgia State Patrol has released a preliminary report about a fatal accident on Wednesday that took the life of a forty-five-year-old Chattooga County man. 

Troopers responded to the scene on East Armuchee Road at 4 AM.  The crash investigation determined a 2006 Nissan Titan truck was traveling south on East Armuchee Road, approaching a curve. The driver, Robbie Ferguson, age 45 of Chattooga, failed to properly negotiate the curve and left the roadway striking a tree, as well as a large tree stump, traveling over the stump. The vehicle continued south traveling over a fire hydrant and fence before striking another tree head on and coming to a final uncontrolled rest.

Mr. Ferguson was pronounced deceased at the scene by Chattooga County Coroner Earle Rainwater.

Funeral services for Mr. Ferguson will be held today at 2 PM at Earl Rainwater Funeral Home.

See obituary here

Chattooga County Schools Name Teacher Of The Year

The Chattooga County School System has name the “Teacher of the Year” for 2023.  This year, the designation goes to the Leigha Burnham, who is the director of the media center at Summerville Middle School.  Chattooga County School Supt. Jared Hosmer told WZQZ News, “We are extremely proud to have Mrs. Burnham on the staff at Summerville Middle School. She goes above and beyond her duties and responsibilities to make the media center a special place for students”.  Martha Templeton, principal at Summerville Middle School said, “Congratulations to our own Leigha Burnham, the Chattooga County Schools’ District Teacher of the Year. We are blessed to be represented by this amazing educator. Thank you, Ms. Burnham, for all you do at Summerville Middle School”.  Congratulations to Leigha Burnham, the 2023 Chattooga County School District Teacher of the Year.

Bud Owens Wins Distinguished Service Award From Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association

Bud Owens, executive director of Atrium Health Floyd Emergency Medical Services, has earned the prestigious Dr. Zeb L. Burrell, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association.

The award recognizes Owens for his contribution to the development of pre-hospital emergency medical care across the state. Burrell, who died in 2009, is considered the father of Emergency Medical Services in Georgia.

Owens began his career in 1983 as an emergency medical technician at a Calhoun funeral home where 911 services were based. He later designed and developed Gordon County’s 911 system and Emergency Management services.

He was hired by Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center in 2008 and now manages a team with nearly 200 members that provides emergency and non-emergency services throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd’s EMS is the designated 911 ambulance service provider for residents in Floyd, Chattooga and Cherokee County (Ala.).

“To be recognized by your peers means a lot,” Owens said. “I have dedicated my career to helping others and working toward improvements in pre-hospital care locally, as well as regionally and statewide.”

Owens teaches regularly and lectures during GEMSA leadership courses. Owens is an active member of Region I EMS Council, the Georgia EMS Association, the National Association of EMTs, and the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, for which he has served as State Council Chair for the past eight years.

Under his leadership, Atrium Health Floyd EMS has received numerous prestigious awards, including Region I EMS of the Year several times and Georgia EMS Service of the Year.

Owens has received the Georgia Region One EMS Director of the year six times and recently received the Dr. Richard Creel EMS Pioneer Award, in addition to being recognized as the Georgia EMS Director of the Year.

He also has received a National EMS Administrator Award. In 2008, then Gov. Sonny Perdue awarded Owens the Governor’s Public Safety Award for his contribution to the EMS profession.

Called Chattooga BOE Meeting Monday

The Chattooga County Board of Education will have a called board meeting on Monday, April 3, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.  The purpose of this called meeting is:
-Tennis Courts
The meeting will be held at the Chattooga County Education Center located at 206 Penn Street in Summerville.

Clean-up Day at Macedonia Cemetery Postponed Until April 15th

Clean-up Day at Macedonia Cemetery in Teloga has been postponed until April 15th.

Rain Delay For Summerville Spring Market Saturday

Due to the forecast of rain, the Spring Market planned at Dick Dowdy Park in Summerville is being delayed by one hour.

Summerville Main Street Director Susan Locklear said, “Despite the fact that some may say  this is an ‘April Fools’ joke, Spring Market will have a one hour rain delay”.

The festival will now open at 11AM and have an extended hour to run through 4PM.

This time adjustment will allow for any forecasted rain to pass for vendor set-up and allow for the public to enjoy the market for an extended hour of nice weather.

Spring Market vendors invite you to come enjoy the great food, arts, crafts, and entertainment at the market.

Arrest Report - Friday - March 31, 2023

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, March 31, 2023:

State Budget Will Allow For Full Tuition For HOPE Scholarship

Georgia lawmakers are agreeing to a state budget that will pay full tuition for all college students receiving a HOPE Scholarship while boosting pay for all state and university employees and public school teachers.

House and Senate leaders signed an agreement on Wednesday for the $32.5 billion state budget that begins July 1. The Senate voted 54-1 to approve the measure, with the House then approving it 170-3 in the closing hours of the 2023 session.

The budget cuts some teaching funds at the state’s public universities, but not as much as the Senate had initially proposed. The Senate proposed the cuts as part of a dispute with the House over rules to allow new hospitals to be built and funding of Augusta University’s hospital.

Counting federal and other money, the state would spend nearly $56 billion.

Lawmakers agreed with Gov. Brian Kemp’s plans to pay full tuition for everyone receiving a HOPE college scholarship and to give all state employees and public school teachers $2,000 raises. In the agreement, some state law enforcement officers would get $6,000, up from a $4,000 bump sought by the House.

GNN/ Compiled Sources

Unified In Recovery Looking For Yard Sale Items For Fundraiser

Donations in Chattooga County can be dropped off  at 11574 Highway 27 in Summerville. They are the suite between the loan place and the Boys and Girls Club and someone will be there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm.

Physical Therapist Dedicated To Meeting Patients' Needs

Helping someone in need shouldn’t be complicated, and for Atrium Health Floyd physical therapist Tonya Hillis, it isn’t.

Last summer, Tonya had a patient, a retired veteran, who had been an inpatient rehab patient a couple of times before. Over the course of her patient’s hospitalizations, Tonya had built a rapport with the gentleman and his wife.

She had witnessed firsthand his wife’s slow decline and his own health care battles. Tonya, who has worked at Atrium Health Floyd for seven years, learned that the family had limited financial resources and that their loved ones don’t live close by.

In their absence, Tonya had become a frequent visitor during the gentleman’s hospital stays and a helper to his wife.

After her patient’s last hospitalization, he was transferred home and confined to his bed. With no family support nearby, his frail wife was his primary caregiver.

A mechanical lift had been delivered to their home, but neither the patient nor his wife received instruction on how to use it.

When her husband asked to be moved to the recliner, his exasperated wife called Tonya, who had given them her telephone number and instructed them to call her if they ever needed help.

“We kind of became friends,” Tonya said. “I worried about them, so I stayed in touch. She called me, and I was able to help them. I knew that the wife needed help and that she was not physically capable of helping her husband. I know their children are very busy and aren’t always able to get over there.”

Tonya drove to the family’s home, provided her patient’s wife with instructions on how to use the lift, then, rearranged their furniture to make it easier and safer for them to navigate their home. But Tonya didn’t stop there.

Knowing her patient was a veteran, she contacted a veterans’ group and secured an electronic lift for her patient.

Brian Talley, who works closely with Tonya, said her help for this family is not an isolated event.

“She’s invested in many of our patients,” Brian said. “When they go to nursing homes, she goes and visits them. Everyone here knows her and considers her the hardest working person we have ever met.”

Tonya has a big heart, and she became somewhat emotional when she spoke about her patient.

“He’s a decorated war veteran,” she said. “He was a fighter pilot, and he flew helicopters.”

His physicians would like him to come to Atlanta for treatment, but Tonya said that’s just not possible. So, she offered to help them herself. Her decision was as uncomplicated as any decision can come.

“I told them that if they ever needed help to call me, and she did,” Tonya said. “It wasn’t a big deal. I came, and I helped. It’s just that simple.”

County COVID Farm Grant Deadline Today

Local farmers and agricultural producers who were adversely affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for a local farm grant, and today is the deadline to apply.The grants are available for farms located in Chattooga County that employ less than fifty people and that have no past due taxes or fees due to Chattooga County Government.

The grants can be used for working capital or operational funds to be used for a specific purpose; COVID-19 impact recovery needs, including personnel, physical construction and/or renovation.  The money can also be used to purchase equipment or machinery, expand the farm’s business or improve tenant or leasehold property.

All applications will be reviewed by the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and representatives from the farming community, representing different businesses and economic development related entities within the county.

The applications must be submitted to the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce by March 31, 2023.

You can find more details here: ChattoogaCountyLocalFARMGrant.ApplicationPacket

Georgia Warehouse Alliance Formed To Promote Safety

Cartersville Man Crushed in Workplace Accident

On Feb. 22, 2023, OSHA and the Material Handling Institute’s Ergonomics Assist Systems and Equipment Council agreed to form the Georgia Warehouse Alliance to promote best safety and health practices through programs at warehouse workplaces in the state.

The alliance focuses on the industry’s ergonomic safety and health concerns for the council’s members, and owners of other public and third-party warehouses. The participants will work together to promote training, sharing information, developing workplace plans and tracking results.

The OSHA-Ergonomics Assist Systems and Equipment partnership seeks to reduce musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace among warehouse industry workers.

Members of the public interested in more information should contact OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office at (678) 903-7301, the Atlanta-East Area Office at (770) 493-6644, or the agency’s Savannah Area Office at (912) 652-4393. Additionally, more information is available on OSHA’s website for protecting workers and improving work practices with ergonomics in mind.


COVID Cases Continue To Decline In Northwest Georgia

Dr. Gary Voccio — health director for the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District — says COVID-19 numbers are “dramatically falling.” People are continuing to get sick, however, and regional deaths since March 2020 are now at 1,46 from the virus and another 281 from “probable” causes.  Around 21% of the current COVID-19 cases are people over the age of 70.  In Chattooga County, there was only one COVID-19 case reported over the past seven days – that compares to two in the previous reporting period.  The Georgia Department of Public Health updates COVID-19 cases by county on Wednesdays of each week.

Chattooga Unemployment Rate Down From January

The unemployment rate in Chattooga County was down in February, compared to unemployment numbers in January, but was higher than this time last year.  The Georgia Department of Labor released the latest unemployment numbers on Thursday that show Chattooga County with an unemployment rate of 4.2%.  For the Northwest Georgia region, the unemployment rate was 3.3% for February, compared to 3.1% in February of 2022.  However, the number of employed residents was up 3,055 from January and up 4,812 from February 2022 to 420,418, another record.


TVA Taking Steps To Return Native American Ancestral Remains

The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking steps to return the ancestral remains of nearly 5,000 Native Americans, according to federal records.

The TVA filed notice in the Federal Register for publication Wednesday that it intended to repatriate all ancestral remains and associated funerary objects it possesses, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The remains and associated objects were removed from their original resting places in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

TVA has identified ancestral remains of at least 4,871 Native Americans and 1,389 lots of objects that the utility corporation believes were placed with or near the ancestral remains “at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony,” the notice said.

The process of repatriation allows tribes and descendants to take possession of the remains and associated funerary objects. The TVA said the remains would be available for return on or after April 29 and it listed 21 tribes that could make requests.

If competing requests are filed, TVA would determine “the most appropriate requestor.”


Arrest Report - Thursday - March 30, 2023

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday, March 30, 2023:

SnapChat Video Leads To Underage DUI Arrest

If you’re underage and drinking, you should know that is illegal.  You should also consider not putting yourself on video on social media while consuming alcohol.  Furthermore, you might not want to be driving a modified vehicle while doing so. 

Summerville Police spotted a 2008 GMC pickup on Farrar Drive on Sunday shortly after 8 PM.  Police say that the truck’s rear bumper was lower than factory recommendations and there was no tag light.  Police already had knowledge that the people in the truck were underage and consuming alcoholic beverages because of a video posted on SnapChat showing them drinking.

After getting voluntary consent to search the pickup truck, officers found multiple alcoholic beverages inside the vehicle.

Eighteen-year-old Lane Forrest Brown of Menlo was charged with underage DUI, operating a vehicle with altered suspension and tag light required.  Also, eighteen-year-old Albert Eugene Keith of Summerville was charged with underage consumption and possession of alcohol.

Summerville Police Find Trailer

On Monday of this week a man called the Summerville Police Department to report a stolen trailer.  He told police that he had gone to pick up a refrigerator on Highway 114 and when he turned on Union Street in Summerville, he discovered that the trailer was not behind the tow vehicle.  He went back and searched for the trailer that had come loose from his vehicle, but was unable to locate it and assumed someone had stolen it.  Summerville Police retraced the man’s route and found the trailer, and the refrigerator near Mason’s Funeral Home on Highway 48.

Boat, Truck & Trailer All Go In Weiss Lake

Well, the boat made it into Weiss Lake, but unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

According to Cedar Bluff Police Chief Brody Moses – all of the trailer – and most of the truck wound up way wetter than expected when everything went into the water at about 6:00 pm Sunday at the state docks on Highway 9.

The driver of the truck was luckily only shaken up, telling Chief Moses it was simply a matter of brake failure that led to the “swim”.

The Centre Fire Department and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.