Arrest Report - Tuesday September 22, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday September 22, 2020:

Welcome To The First Day Of Fall

Changing leaves, fall festivals, Halloween and cooler temperatures are things we all associate with fall.  Some things on that list are scrapped this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but today’s temperatures let us know that autumn is officially here!

The fall equinox takes place when the sun crosses the Earth’s celestial equator. Also called the autumnal equinox or September equinox, the first day of fall arrives today at 9:30 AM. After the fall equinox, the sun begins to rise later and nightfall comes sooner. This ends with the December solstice when days start to grow longer and nights shorter. Winter will officially begin on Friday, December 21st.

This year fall will be a good bit different.  The normal fall festivals and activities planned by communities have been canceled.  Also, the annual Halloween Walk in downtown Summerville has been cancelled.

We can enjoy some beautiful fall weather today. We woke up this morning to temperatures in the low 50’s with a few upper 40’s in the higher elevations.  We can look forward to sunny skies and a high temperature in the low to mid-70’s for this the first day of fall in Chattooga County.

Trion Town Council Meeting Thursday

The Town of Trion will have their regular Workshop / Council Meeting in the Town Hall Conference Room, Tuesday, September 29, 2020. The Workshop will begin at 6:00p.m. and the Regular Meeting will follow shortly after. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mayor Larry Stansell or the Town Hall Office.

Trion High School Releases Stadium Reminders

Trion High School has released some “stadium reminders” for fans headed to the Bulldog Home Football Games:

Man Dies At Weiss Dam In Cherokee County, Alabama

A DeKalb County, Alabama man drowned after falling into the water while fishing at the Weiss Dam on Saturday.

Cherokee County, Alabama Coroner Jeremy Deaton identified the man as 49-year old Gary Wayne Houston of Fyffe.

Deaton said Houston was fishing and dropped his pole into the water and while attempting to reel in a catch; he jumped in to retrieve his fishing rod and never resurfaced.

His body was later recovered.

WEIS Radio

Summerville Police Investigate Scam

Summerville Police were called about a possible scam late last week.

According to a report released on Monday, the complainant called to say that she had received a call from someone claiming to be from the FBI.  The caller told the complainant that her car had been found in Texas with “blood and drugs” in the car.

The call originated from an Alabama number and the caller claimed to be “Jeanny Wells”.

The complainant said that she gave the caller the last four digits of her social security number, but then hung up the phone when she got suspicious about the caller.

Remember to never give out your personal information over the phone to anyone claiming to be law enforcement.

Update On Summerville's Carbon Filter Installation

Summerville Public Works installing waterline on Filter Plant Road

The City of Summerville announced on Monday that the carbon filter system that was slated to be installed at the Raccoon Creek Water Treatment Plant has been delayed.  The city didn’t give a reason for the delay other than to say that, “The engineers have updated the previously provided date of the week of September 21st to October 8th. The goal is to complete the installation within 3-5 days of starting installation.  Once the filters are installed, samples will be collected and tested for the presence of PFOA/PFOS.”

In addition to the carbon filtration system, the city is working to lay several miles of water line to connect drilled wells to the water treatment plant on Filter Plant Road.  The city updated the progress yesterday saying, “The City of Summerville Public Works has laid 2,000 feet of 16” pipe on Filter Plant Road in preparation for connecting the new well to the City’s water distribution system.  Another delivery of 4,000 feet of 16” pipe is expected by September 1st. With the completion of this additional pipe installation on Filter Plant Road, the City will stop at the intersection of Highway 48 until Georgia DOT has approved plans for the installation of another 12,000 feet of 16” pipe to the City’s production well site off of Highway 48.”

The city says the first test well is producing 600 gallons (the max capacity of the pump used for testing) of water per minute (GPM) at a depth of 364ft.  City officials say that this well will still need to be developed into a production well, and then connected to the City of Summerville water distribution system upon approval from Georgia EPD.

You can find out more from The City of Summerville here.

Police Look For Man Who Stole Donation Jar From Homeless Ministry

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who stole a donation jar from the Providence Ministries thrift store earlier this month, getting away with approximately $500 in cash. The man was recorded on the store’s surveillance system.

The theft happened on September 10th at the homeless outreach charity at 711 S. Hamilton Street. At approximately 9:00 pm, employees had a back door left unlocked while they were using it to load in food donations. The suspect managed to sneak into the building using the unlocked door and then entered the thrift store area, sneaking around in the building and hiding until he made his way to the sales counter where he found the donation jar. The suspect took the jar and left through a separate door leading outside.

The suspect is a white male with a mustache who wore a blue t-shirt and shorts with a tan baseball cap.  Pictures of the suspect are included below. Anyone who knows the identity of this man is asked to please contact Dalton Police Detective Charles Williams at 706-278-9085, extension 9-280.

Georgia Gas Prices Decrease Over The Past Week

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Georgia gas prices decreased at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $1.99 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 3 cents less than a week ago, 1 cent more than last month, and 60 cents less than this time last year.

“Georgians continue to see cost savings at the pump,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Lower demand has aided gas prices to decline, which will likely last into fall.”

It now costs motorists $29.85 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $11.25 less than what motorists paid in April of 2019, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.74 per gallon.

LOW GAS DEMAND CONTRIBUTES TO DECREASE IN NATIONAL AVERAGE

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 1 cent to $2.18. In the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand saw a slight uptick from 8.39 million barrels a day to 8.48 million barrels a day. However, demand is still 461,000 barrels a day lower than where it was at this time last year. Low demand will likely help pump prices to continue their descent as fall approaches.

At the close of last Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 86 cents to settle at $41.02. Domestic crude prices decreased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels last week to 496 million barrels. Decreasing stocks could signal that supply and demand are beginning to rebalance, even as crude production grew by 900,000 barrels a day last week to 10.9 million barrels a day. Crude prices may continue to increase if supplies grow tighter, but demand challenges could contain potential growth in prices.

REGIONAL PRICES

Atlanta ($1.99)

  • Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Savannah ($2.08), Brunswick ($2.07) and Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.04).
  • Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Columbus ($1.90), Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($1.91) and Gainesville ($1.94).
  • Area gas price averages – Chattooga ($1.95), Floyd ($1.93), Walker ($1.91), Gordon ($1.94), DeKalb, AL ($1.92), Cherokee, AL ($1.86)

Town Of Trion Veterans Committee Meeting

The Town of Trion’s Veterans Committee will have a meeting in the Town Hall Conference Room on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 6:00p.m. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mayor Larry Stansell or the Town Hall Office and we will get the information you request.

Arrest Report - Monday September 21, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Monday September 21, 2020:

BOE Votes To Allow Young Farmers To Build A Pole Barn

Last Thursday, the Chattooga County Board of Education voted to allow the Chattooga Young Farmers to build a pole barn on the grounds of Summerville Middle School, located on Middle School Drive in Summerville.

The Chattooga Young Farmers are the local chapter of a statewide agricultural organization for adults that provides ongoing agricultural education for area farmers and agricultural producers.  Young Farmers have a long history of being active in the community and supporting the FFA and 4-H programs in the Chattooga County School System.

Last Thursday’s vote was unanimous as board members agreed to the plan to allow the Young Farmers to construct the shelter behind the school and adjacent to the Middle School FFA greenhouse and barn.  The building will serve the purpose of allowing the Young Farmers a place to store equipment that is used by the Chattooga County farming community and the school’s FFA programs.

 

Grand Jury Proceedings Will Resume In Georgia

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Since March, all courts in Georgia have been under emergency orders signed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton that shut down grand jury and jury trial sessions and limited court action to emergency and critical matters.

An order last Thursday by Chief Justice Melton has cleared the way for grand jury sessions and the resumption of jury trials.  The order, which runs through October 13th, says that all court proceedings must follow CDC safety guidelines.

For the past several months, the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit has been using Zoom or WebX online meetings to conduct hearings and important court proceedings.

Chattooga Voters Receiving Absentee Ballots

Voting is already underway. Chattooga County voters that have applied for absentee ballots for the November 3rd General Election have begun to receive those ballots in the mail.

Chattooga County Registrar Sheena Weaver told WZQZ News over the weekend, “We began mailing ballots on September 15, 2020 for the November General Election.  The State contracted a vendor to aid counties with the initial requests and I was told that our ballots were mailed on September 16, 2020 from the vendor.”

Several ballots that were received via the online portal were mailed locally on Friday afternoon. So far, over 1500 ballots have been requested for the November General Election.

Weaver says that voters may visit https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do to see if a request has been received.
Voter’s who didn’t receive their absentee ballots in the mail last week should receive those ballots this week.  The last day to request an Absentee by Mail ballot is October 30, 2020 but it is better to request early if at all possible to allow plenty of time for the ballot to arrive.
Weaver added, “Our office is open to the public.  Applications and ballots may be handed in at our office.  We do not have a ballot drop box.”

Cool Weather Brings Fall Pests

By Emily Cabrera for CAES News

As the weather cools across the state, several fall insects will begin to take center stage around Georgia homes. Be on the lookout for these nuisance pests and make preparations to deter them from entering your home for the winter.

Asian needle ants

University of Georgia entomologist Dan Suiter tells homeowners to be on the lookout for a particularly problematic ant called the Asian needle ant (Brachyponera chinensis). This invasive species was first reported in the U.S. in the 1930s in Decatur, Georgia. “For decades this ant hasn’t been considered an issue, but over the past several years population sizes have exploded, and they are now a major pest in Georgia, especially in the northeast and northwest,” explained Suiter.

Unlike the more widely known fire ant or Argentine ant — commonly referred to as the “sugar ant” — the Asian needle ant does not build mounds, so it can be difficult to spot this ant species. They establish colonies of up to a couple thousand ants by nesting under logs, stones and bark. When disturbed, they can deliver a very painful sting, similar to fire ants, but the venom can be quite toxic — even fatal, in some cases, should sting victims suffer from anaphylaxis.

Many pest ant species lay down pheromones to help establish a well-defined foraging trail for other ants of the same colony to locate food sources, but the Asian needle ant does not forage in this manner. They instead exhibit a very unusual behavior called “tandem carrying,” where one female worker ant will carry another worker ant in her mandibles. Once a food source is located, she will put her sister down and they will forage together.

“The other interesting and somewhat alarming thing about this species is its ability to quickly devastate other native ant species by either taking over their nest sites, consuming their food or by directly preying upon them,” Suiter said. “In the spring while temperatures are still cool, the Asian needle ant will become active and begin establishing colonies before other ant species, so they tend to dominate available habitat earlier and are driving local extinctions of other ant species where we’ve seen them colonizing.”

County University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and forest service employees have been reporting higher incidences of this species in the last few years, especially in northeast Georgia. “We’re not exactly sure of their range yet, but they are probably not as common in south Georgia as they are in north Georgia,” said Suiter.

Argentine ants

A familiar occurrence for anyone who lives in Georgia is the annual migration of Argentine ants into homes during the fall and winter months. “When we start having cold snaps beginning in October, this ant will start to invade homes looking for a warm place to overwinter,” explained Suiter.

Argentine ants don’t go into diapause like other insects, so this migration indoors is a survival mechanism to get through the winter. They will typically find overwintering spots in walls and around electrical devices that put off heat, such as printers or refrigerators.

“Argentine ants are what most of us call ‘sugar ants.’ They don’t really bother us during the summer, as they spend most of their time in trees foraging for honeydew from aphids and scale insects,” said Suiter. “This species can have hundreds of queens within a colony, so they spend all summer building their colonies and this is the time of year that population sizes peak — just before coming indoors — so they quickly become a nuisance of homeowners right about now and into winter.”

Suiter recommends heading off issues now before they become a problem in the upcoming weeks and months. He tells homeowners to clean up outside of structures to help prevent these ants from collecting and moving indoors. “Argentine ants thrive in mulch and leaf litter because they hold moisture, so horticultural mulches and leaf litter should be minimized. Try not to allow leaf litter to collect in gutters and around the base of homes,” instructed Suiter.

If insecticide use becomes necessary, available commercial products that contain fipronil, such as Termidor or Taurus — a liquid insecticide — can be mixed with water and applied directly to ants found outside. Never spray these products indoors! “It is sometimes advisable to find ant nests in mulch and leaf litter and spray nests directly,” explained Suiter. “Typically, no more than 1 gallon of diluted, finished product is needed to control Argentine ants on the outside.”

Suiter reminds homeowners to always read and follow the product’s label, as the label contains the manufacturer’s directions for use and provides instructions on what can and cannot be done with the product. Many insecticides, for example, are toxic to fish and other aquatic life and should never be used in areas where they can get into water.

Wasps and yellow jackets

Lastly, be mindful of wasps and yellow jackets this time of year. As the weather becomes cooler and more tolerable, people tend to spend more time outdoors, where entertainment often includes food and drink. This is also the time of year that wasp and yellow jacket population sizes are at their peak.

“As we know, tailgating and fall barbecues are always a favorite pastime this time of year, but this is also the time that yellow jacket encounters spike,” explained Suiter. “When we see wasps and yellow jackets in these social settings it’s important to understand they are not approaching you in a protective or aggressive manner, as they aren’t trying to guard their nest. They’re interested only in foraging from whatever food you have lying around. So, we recommend that people not swat at them or panic, but just be sure to check your soda can before taking a sip to avoid being inadvertently stung.”

To learn more about pests in and around the home, visit UGA Extension’s Structural Pest Management website at extension.uga.edu/programs-services/structural-pest-management.

Emily Cabrera is the public relations coordinator for the Integrated Pest Management program at the University of Georgia.

Health Inspection Scores - First Half Of September

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Here are the latest health inspection scores from the Chattooga County Department of Environmental Health for the first half of September, 2020:

  • CHATTOOGA HEAD START/ EARLY HEAD START

  • 262 CONGRESS ST SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Phone Number: (706) 857-1651
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 100
  • Last Inspection Date: 09-14-2020
  • TRION SCHOOL

  • 919 ALLGOOD ST TRION, GA 30753
  • Phone Number:
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 90
  • Last Inspection Date: 09-02-2020

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

 

Coach Smart & Wife Donate $1 Million To UGA Social Justice / COVID Causes

Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his wife Mary Beth have committed $1 million to the university for programs supporting social justice and athletes impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as an expansion of the Bulldogs’ football facility.

The Smarts joined Detroit Lions quarterback and former Georgia star Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, to endow the athletic association’s new social justice program.

A portion of the Smarts’ donation also will go toward scholarships for senior athletes whose final seasons were impacted by COVID-19. It will help defray funding shortfalls in the athletic department that could affect the ability to support athletes granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA.

“Mary Beth and I are where we are because of the University of Georgia, so we feel a duty to give back to the university that opened so many doors for us, brought us together and brought us home,” said Smart, who played football at Georgia in the 1990s and returned as the head football coach in 2016.

Smart is one of the nation;s highest-paid coaches. He agreed to a $49 million, seven-year contract in 2018 after leading the Bulldogs to the national championship game.

Smart has a record of 44-12 in four seasons as Georgia’s coach. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 4 by The Associated Press heading into their Sept. 26 season opener at Arkansas.

GNN / Compiled Sources

Arrest Report - Sunday - September 20, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, September 20, 2020:

Chattooga Reporting 12 Coronavirus Deaths

Georgia state health officials reported on Saturday there have been over 65 more deaths due to the coronavirus. The new total is 6,599.
There were 2,313 new cases as that total reached 305,021 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Hospitalizations are at 27,338 with 4,992 admissions to ICU units across the state.

Here in Chattooga County, there have bee a total of 12 deaths attributed to COVID-19.  73 new cases have been reported over the past two weeks, bringing the total up to 714 confirmed cases county-wide.

 

 

Aerial Pre-Show Added To Wings Over North Georgia “Drive-In Air Show”

The America Strong 2020 Wings Over North Georgia “Drive-In Air Show” will headline the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the Russell Regional Airport in Rome, Georgia on October 24-25. Additional military performers will include the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II,  F-16 Viper and C-17 Globemaster II demonstration teams.

In order to host a safe event compliant with state and local ordinances, air show organizers opted to shift to a drive-in/tailgate format for the 2020 show. The format will allow for proper social distancing while providing spectators with an amazing experience featuring one of the top military and civilian performer line-ups in a single air show.

“Ticket sales have been strong and front row parking spaces have already sold out,” said air show organizer and JLC AirShow Management President John Cowman. “General airfield parking spaces will be assigned based on guests’ arrival time with the earliest arrivers placed in spots closest to the show flight line. We have added an extra hour of pre-show flying demonstrations for those who arrive early to secure the best spaces.”

Parking Gates open at 10:00 a.m. and Pre-Show Aerial Demonstrations begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday & Sunday. The pre-show activities include 94th Airlift Wing airdrops & C-130H3 Hercules capabilities demonstrations from the aircrews assigned at  Dobbins Air Reserve Base.