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.

Chattooga School System Weekly COVID Report

The Chattooga County School System released their weekly COVID-19 Report on Friday.  According to the report submitted by Chattooga County School Superintendent Jared Hosmer, there are no active cases of coronavirus in any of the county schools or the County Office.

Tree Stand Safety For Deer Hunting Season

Tree stands provide hunters a great way to pursue deer, but did you know that more than half of all hunting incidents are due to falls, or other safety issues, with tree stands?

Out of 36 incidents in 2019, 20 were tree stand use related, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Following are recommended tips for keeping you safe while utilizing tree stands for hunting:

  • When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent, and follow manufacturer’s usage instructions.  Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used.  Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.
  • Hunters should ALWAYS attach their FAS in the manner described by the manufacturer.  Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into the tree stand.  Be aware of the hazards associated with full body harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may also be fatal.
  • Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended.  If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have an alternate plan for recovery or escape.  If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device.
  • Consider your personal physical condition before going out. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape from a FAS, it is recommended that you hunt only from the ground.
  • Hunters should ALWAYS use a haul line to pull their gear and unloaded firearm or bow into their tree stand.  Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back.  Prior to descending, lower equipment to the ground on the opposite side of the tree.
  • Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness prior to hunting.  Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.
  • Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return.

For more information on tree stands or hunting-related safety, call 706-557-3355 or visit https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/huntereducation.

Georgia's Economic Recovery Slowing

New unemployment figures show Georgia’s recovery from the economic shock of the pandemic is slowing.

August saw the fewest number of new jobs added since the state’s labor market began bouncing back in May, with a large number of people dropping out the labor force. The slowing comes even as the state’s job market remains well short of where it was before COVID-19 caused many businesses to temporarily or permanently lay off workers.

The state’s unemployment rate fell in August fell to 5.6%. That’s down from 7.6% in July, but well above the 3.3% of August 2019. The number of unemployed Georgians fell by more than 100,000 to about 273,000. But the decrease in the number of jobless people and the jobless rate mainly stemmed from the labor force falling by nearly 90,000 people. Only an additional 20,000 people reported finding jobs.

The nationwide unemployment rate in August was 8.4%

Compiled Sources

Downtown Scavenger Hunt Yields Two Winners

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The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce and Summerville Main Street teamed up to put on a Downtown Summerville Scavenger Hunt on Friday.  There were ten downtown businesses that participated.  Scavenger Hunt participants had to visit each of the downtown retail establishments displaying the Smithsonian Museum Women’s Voting Rights poster exhibition and fill out the forms that were available at local businesses. Brialle Walker won the $100 first-place prize and Efren Foceca won the $50 second-place prize.  Businesses participating were: Blissful Daze (formally Duff’s Flowers & Gifts), DIRT, Jefferson’s, Los MaGuey, Merle Norman/GaGa’s Boutique, Morris Jewelers, Thatcher’s Barbeque & Grille, The Fix Health Bar, The Furniture Shoppe and The Ruby Slippers.

Chattooga Boys Basketball "Cow Patty Bingo" Fund Raiser

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The Chattooga Boy’s Basketball Team is having a “Cow Patty Bingo” fundraiser coming up next month.

A cow will be turned loose in an area with marked grids at the Chattooga County Ag Building on Middle School Drive in Summerville.  The cow will then roam around the area and when a cow patty lands on a square, someone will win $1,000!

If there are no cow patty’s produced, a ticket raffle will be held to determine the winner.

There are only 500 tickets available and tickets are $10 each.  You don’t have to be present to win.  You can find all the rules on the Cow Patty Bingo event here.

The event will take place on October 3rd from 10 AM until noon.

See a Chattooga Boys’ Basketball player to purchase tickets or call or text Jared or Rachel Groce at 770-547-4866

Arrest Report - Saturday September 19, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Saturday September 19, 2020:

GFB Seeks Part-Time Worker For Mobile Classroom Job

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is seeking applicants for a part time hauler to drive its Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom around the state, primarily middle to south Georgia and set it up for school visits. The hauler will coordinate with schools, county Farm Bureau offices or the foundation executive director to arrange delivery of the mobile classroom trailer.

Applicants should have experience driving a large pickup with attached large trailer, valid Georgia driver’s license, current medical certificate, ability to lift/carry up to 30 pounds. Hauler will be responsible for hooking classroom trailer to electricity at destination or to a portable generator, keeping the truck and trailer clean, assisting with setup and takedown of mobile classroom trailer as needed, and taking truck and trailer to repair shop for preventative maintenance as needed.

Hauler position training is expected to begin in November. The job will ramp up when the mobile classroom launches in January 2021. Starting pay is $16/hour. An ideal candidate must have a flexible schedule and live around Macon. To learn more or apply visit www.gfb.ag/Haulers-Apply.

The foundation is also accepting applications for a part-time education coordinator to work with the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom in the following counties: Clay, Crisp, Dooly, Houston, Lee, Macon, Marion, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Terrell, Turner, Webster and Wilcox. Applicants must live in one of these counties, have a valid Georgia driver’s license and three years of classroom or other student instruction experience.

The  education coordinator for Georgia Farm  Bureau’s 8th District will  be responsible for teaching ag-tivities using approved lesson plans and conducting a  Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) demonstration, maintaining a safe, respectful learning environment  for the students, working with county Farm Bureau representatives to ensure the schools are engaged in the pre and post visit lessons; notifying  teachers to submit survey results from teachers/students after each visit; speak with local media following foundation guidelines.

Applicants need the ability to: stand for long periods of time, lift/carry up to 30 pounds and handle a fast-paced environment.

The education coordinator will be paid $125/day, mileage reimbursement and hotel reimbursement if school visit requires more than two hours (120 miles) travel. Time commitment for this position averages 15 days of school visits and community events from Feb. 15-March 5, 2021 plus one full day of summer training and possible other dates in summer and fall.

Visit www.gfb.ag/Dist8EC for more information and to apply.

Chattooga Schools Ask Parents To Help Combat The Flu

Assistant Chattooga County School Superintendent Jeff Martin released a letter on Friday asking parents of students in the Chattooga County School System to help combat the spread of flu.

In the letter, the school system asks parents to keep their student at home if they test positive for the flu, and until they are free of symptoms.  If your student has a fever, they should remain at home another 24 hours before returning to school.

You can read the letter below:

Chattooga Students On GNTC President's And Dean's List

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is proud to announce the students on the President’s and Dean’s Lists for the 2020 summer semester. To be eligible for the President’s List, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.8 or higher during the semester with a course load of at least 12 credit hours. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.5 to 3.79 during the semester with a course load of at least 12 credit hours.

Students from Chattooga County on the President’s list include: Destiney Blackmon, Crystal Brady, Abigayle Bynum, April Edgeworth, Emily Patterson, Jessica Phillips.

Students from Chattooga County on the Dean’s list include: Taylor Ozment, Jarret Van Gurp, Risa Willbanks, Jonathon York.

The President’s and Dean’s lists for summer semester 2020 reflects students who successfully completed courses during that term. If a student has a grade of incomplete in any course, that specific course is not considered complete and is not considered in the calculation as a successfully completed course.