Arrest Report - Friday November 15, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Friday November 15, 2019:

Senator Mullis Named To Film Commission

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Wednesday named 18 members to the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Commission.  State Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) who represents a large portion of Chattooga County and Northwest Georgia in the State Senate was one of the members named by the governor. For over 40 years, the Georgia Film Office has been engaged in bringing film and television production to Georgia. The office maintains a locations database of thousands of properties and provides scouting assistance as well as certifying projects for the tax incentive.

Stephen “Steve” Weizenecker is an entertainment lawyer with Barnes and Thornburg in Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and law degree from J.D. Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He and his wife have two children.

Frank Patterson previously served on the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Commission. He is the president of Pinewood Atlanta Studios and a professor for Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts.

Daniel Rosenfelt is president of Third Rail Studios in Doraville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Film and TV/Integrative Arts at Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife reside in Dunwoody with their two children.

Daniel “Danny” Dawson is a county music singer, songwriter, and performer. He and his band performed “Georgia on My Mind” at Kemp’s inauguration. Dawson and his wife live in Pearson.

Chris Albrecht is a partner with Double A Productions, an event production company. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University. Albrecht resides in Johns Creek with his wife and two children.

Keith Perissi has been the director of the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program at Kennesaw State University since 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from Kennesaw State University, and he has been a recognized professional musician for over fifteen years. Perissi is experienced in the management, merchandising, touring, promotion, and booking of a self-owned business. He and his wife live in Roswell.

John Raulet is the vice president of Raulet Property Partners, a real estate brokerage firm. With the advent of the Georgia Film Tax Credit, he expanded the company’s services into the film and television industry in 2008. Since then, he has represented every major film studio in the nation, including Universal, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, Fox, and Paramount in securing production space. He and his wife live in Atlanta, and they have three children.

William “Craig” Miller is the executive producer for Craig Miller Productions, a full-service film production company that he founded in 1985. The company’s capabilities include creative strategy, script writing, production design, and production management. Miller and his wife live in Alpharetta, and they have six children.

Mala Sharma is an entertainment business executive who handles business affairs, marketing, and client relations with Wabi Sabi Sound, Inc. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. Sharma and her husband have two children and reside in Atlanta.

Cardellia Hunter works for the City of Atlanta and is the co-director of operations and productions for the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment. She and her husband have one daughter, and they live in Hampton.

John Neel, Jr. is the chief executive officer and principal of The Sandford Company, Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. Neel has several children, and he resides in Macon.

Michael Akins is a business agent with IATSE Local 479, a labor union that represents theatrical stage employees. He earned a master’s degree in Science from Oklahoma State University. He has four children and resides in Madison.

Representative Bert Reeves represents House District 34, and he serves as vice chairman of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. He is also the chairman of a subcommittee of Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and a member of the Ways and Means, Insurance, Higher Education, and Interstate Cooperation Committees. Representative Reeves is an attorney and partner with Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering, Collins, Reeves, Hobson & Hobson, LLP. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he received a bachelor’s degree in Management. Representative Reeves resides in Marietta with his wife, Amy, and their two children.

Representative Terry Rogers represents House District 10, and he currently serves as vice chairman of the Georgia House Economic Development and Tourism Committee and the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations, Defense and Veteran Affairs, Rules, Regulated Industries, and Human Relations and Aging Committees. Representative Rogers is active in his community, and he has chaired the Banks, Rabun, and Habersham County Joint Development Authority. He and his wife, Laura, live on their farm in Clarksville.

Representative Carl Gilliard represents House District 162, and he is a member of the Appropriations, Insurance, Interstate Cooperation, State Properties, and Transportation Committees. He attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta where his community career began. In 2012, he launched a multi-media communication company called Urban Media and also established the Gilliard Foundation, a media company and foundation that produces documentaries and television specials on history. Representative Gilliard resides in Garden City.

Senator David Lucas was first elected to the state Senate in 2012. He currently serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations, Economic Development and Tourism, Regulated Industries and Utilities, Transportation, and Urban Affairs Committees. Senator Lucas earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tuskegee Institute, a doctorate degree from Mercer University’s Medical School, and a honorary doctorate of law from Mercer University. He and his wife, Elaine, have four children and reside in Macon.

Stratton Leopold is the owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream in Savannah, and he has been in the film business for more than forty years. He previously served as the executive vice president of Paramount Pictures.

The Town of Lyerly Announces "Christmas In The Park"

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The Town of Lyerly has announced plans for “Christmas in the Park” at Angus McCleod Park.

The event will take place on Friday, December 13th from 5-8 PM.  Santa Claus will be on hand to visit with the children.  There will also be a tree lighting ceremony.  Hay rides, bonfires, hot chocolate and hot cider will be served.

The Chattooga High School Jazz Band Ensemble will be providing Holiday music.

The Lyerly Civic Club will be selling Brunswick Stew – all of the proceeds from the stew sale will go to scholarships.

The event is sponsored by Showa Gloves, Chrysan Thomas CPA, Ken Bruce – Attorney at Law, Palmour Law Firm, Reese Tire, Taylor’s Construction, T.J.’s Package Store, Sand Mountain Pallets, Hammonds Auto Parts and Smith Iron Works.

Walker County Sheriff Receives "Cash" Poster

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It is a well-documented story in country music history – Johnny Cash’s time he spent in the Walker County Jail in LaFayette.  It was a particularly low time in the life of the country music legend.  Johnny Cash was strung out on drugs and had even thought about ending his own life.  He set out driving and after spending some time in a cave in the area, was found wandering around LaFayette strung-out on drugs.

Distressed residents in the area said that Cash was knocking on doors in the middle of the night.  Law enforcement was called and Cash wound up in jail.  Long-time Walker County Sheriff Ralph H. Jones came to visit Cash in jail.  The Sheriff told Johnny Cash that he had much to live for and convinced the Man in Black to turn his life around.  It was an incident that Johnny Cash never forgot.

To show his appreciation for Sheriff Jones, Cash came to LaFayette and did a concert to raise money for LaFayette High School.  That was August 13, 1970.  Cash brought Mother Maybell Carter, The Carter Sisters, The Statler Brothers and Carl Perkins with him for the concert.

This week, The Friends of the LaFayette – Walker County Library presented a print of the poster depicting the August 13, 1970 concert by Johnny Cash in LaFayette to Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.

The framed print will be displayed in the Sheriff Ralph H. Jones Training Center in LaFayette. On hand for the presentation was Sheriff Jones’ son, Terry Jones.

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Warrants Taken For Wal-Mart Shoplifters

The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department took out warrants on two individuals that were observed stealing from Wal-Mart, according to a report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.

The two offenders were seen entering the store gathering items and then went to the self check-out station.  While scanning the items, the male offender was seen on video surveillance skipping items while he scanned.  The female suspect was taking the items and placing them in another shopping cart.

Wal-Mart loss prevention showed a security tape to a responding deputy and said that it was “Clearly evident what the male offender was doing.  The male offender was acting like he scanned every item, but only scanned certain ones.”   The loss prevention employee was able to identify twenty-seven different items that were not scanned.

Wal-Mart says the items taken were valued at $152.  The sheriff’s department identified the suspects and issued warrants for their arrests.

MECH To Be Featured At Chamber Event

The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting at Mountain Education Charter High School coming up on Monday, November 18th.

The new charter high school is currently accepting applications from anyone who needs to complete their high school education.  The school meets Mondays-Thursdays in the evening and allows students who need a non-traditional pathway to a high school diploma the opportunity to achieve their goal.

Enrollment at the school started slow, but they are currently up to around thirty students.  Enrollment is always open, because students work at their own pace to complete their high school diploma.

The ribbon cutting on Monday will take place at 5 PM at the school located at 32 Maple Drive in Summerville.  Then, on Tuesday, November 19th the staff at Mountain Education Charter High School will be featured at the monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting.  That meeting will take place at noon at the Civic Center on Highway 48 in Summerville.

GHC Holds Second-Highest Enrollment For State Colleges

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) continues to lead the University System of Georgia’s (USG) state colleges in enrollment for fall 2019, according to the USG’s “Fall 2019 Semester Enrollment Report.” GHC holds the second-highest enrollment for state colleges in Georgia next to Georgia Gwinnett College.

According to the USG, fall 2019 enrollment in the USG’s 26 colleges and universities had an increase of 1.5 percent over the previous year. This continues a six-year trend of modest increases in student enrollment within USG. This fall also marks the fifth consecutive year of growth to reach an all-time high in the number of students enrolled in USG institutions.

“Our overall purpose is to raise attainment levels for communities across Georgia, and the students at our 26 institutions are a critical part of that effort,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “More of them than ever are enrolled on our campuses, and we have also seen a substantial rise in the number of students awarded degrees annually. Getting more Georgians through college to a degree improves not only their quality of life but also Georgia’s economic competitiveness.”

The enrollment numbers were released in the USG’s “Fall 2019 Semester Enrollment Report,” which breaks down enrollment by institution, class, race and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students, as well as gender and age.

The full enrollment report is available here.

Passport Fair At Summerville Post Office Tomorrow

The U.S. Post Office in Summerville will be hosting a “Passport Fair” coming up this Saturday.

The event will be held from 9 AM until Noon.  Postal officials say if you plan to travel abroad this fall, or anytime, and need a passport you can come this Saturday and get your passport without an appointment.

Passports are also good for flight boarding I.D’s on commercial passenger airlines.

You will need to bring your original birth certificate and a recent photo of yourself.  Applications can be completed on site. Passport photos will be available and passports will be processed in the order they are received.

Basketball Signups Coming To An End At Rec Departments

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If you want your child to play basketball with the Summerville Recreation Center, you need to know that today is the deadline to get your child registered.  Trion’s deadline is tomorrow and Menlo’s signups have already ended.

At the Summerville Recreation Center, the age groups for boys and girls is from 7-12 years old. If you have questions you can call the Summerville Recreation Department at 706-859-0910, but you must get your child signed up today.

The Trion Recreation Department is accepting signups for basketball season through tomorrow, Saturday, November 16th. There will be no fee for Trion city residents and a $25.00 fee for residents outside the city limits of Trion. A birth certificate is required upon registration if there is not one on file with the Trion Recreation Department. NOTE: (Registration will not be accepted until payment of fee and birth certificate presented.) For more information please call Jeff, Rusty or Austin at the Trion Recreation Department (734-2011). THERE WILL BE NO LATE REGISTRATION.

Trion Lodge Selling Brunswick Stew Saturday

Trion Masonic Lodge # 160 will be selling Brunswick Stew Saturday Morning November 16th for a donation of $7 per quart or $27 per gallon.  This is the lodge’s annual fundraiser and all donations are appreciated.

Arrest Report - Thursday November 14, 2019

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Thursday November 14, 2019:

Georgia Executes Convicted Murderer

A man convicted of killing a Georgia convenience store clerk 25 years ago was put to death late Wednesday night, authorities said. Inmate Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday after an injection of pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson, authorities said in an emailed statement.

Cromartie was convicted and sentenced to die for the April 1994 slaying of Richard Slysz at a convenience store in Thomasville, near the Georgia-Florida line. The state said Cromartie had also shot and gravely wounded another convenience store clerk days before the killing.

Cromartie, when asked if he had any last words, declined to make a statement. He did allow a prayer to be recited on his behalf, however. Once the drugs began flowing, the inmate took some deep breaths, exhaling deeply before he went still.

Chattooga and Trion Football Teams Are Playoff Bound!

The 2019 high school football regular season is over and the GHSA state playoffs begin tomorrow night and both the Trion Bulldogs and the Chattooga Indians made the cut and will be on the road for the 1st round of the playoffs.

Chattooga went in to last Friday night with their playoff spot already wrapped up.  Chattooga lost 29-12 at home against Pepperell to finish in 4th place in Region 7AA with a 5-5 overall record which secured them the 4th and final playoff spot from the region.  The Indians will travel south about 2 hours and 15 minutes to Hogansville, GA to face the Callaway Cavaliers.  Callaway is the Region 5A Champion with a season record of 9-1.  Callaway has won their last 3 games by a combined score of 125-0 and are ranked 3rd in the state according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The Trion Bulldogs went into last Friday night needing a win to guarantee their playoff spot.  The Bulldogs went on the road and lost to Mt Paran 27-7 to finish the regular season with 4 straight losses and a 5-5 overall record.  However the Bulldogs finished ranked at # 23 in the final GHSA Power Rankings.  The top 24 teams in Class A Public Schools make the playoffs.  Trion will make a 3 hour trip to East Georgia to take on the Commerce Tigers.  Commerce is 8-2 overall this year and finished ranked 10th in the GHSA Power Rankings.

The Trion vs Commerce game will be the radio game on Friday night and can be heard on AM 1180 and 99.1 FM.  Both the Trion and Chattooga vs Callaway games will be streamed online at  Join Ben Groce and Jeremy Burke for the pregame show at 7pm with kickoff to follow at 7:30pm.

Summerville Man Wrecks Stolen Truck Fleeing From Trenton Police

Photo Credit: The Summerville News

The Summerville News reported on Wednesday that a  Summerville man is in a Chattanooga hospital after fleeing from a Trenton Police officer Wednesday morning.

A Trenton Police Department cop spotted a blue 1989 Chevrolet truck on a side street and thought it was a suspicious. A suspect immediately fled in the truck, which turned out to be stolen from Summerville. The truck was chased into Hamilton County, Tennessee.  The driver of the truck crashed into a patrol car.

Thirty-nine-year-old Curtis Joshua Ragsdale was transported to the hospital, the police officer involved in the accident wasn’t injured.

Ragsdale reportedly was an employee at The Corner Garage in Summerville and stole the truck from the garage where he worked.

Read more from The Summerville News here.


Georgia Cop Robbed Hotel Guests While In Uniform

A former Georgia police officer is in jail, accused of wearing his uniform while he committed crimes.

Surveillance video shows Justin Thorne inside a Cobb County hotel, where police said he robbed two guests at gunpoint. The robbery happened Oct. 17 inside the Comfort Inn and Suites off Windy Hill Road in Cobb County during the late morning hours.

Surveillance video shows Thorne dressed in his police gear that included a bulletproof vest, hat, full uniform, a gun and even a police badge. But what the hotel staff didn’t know at the time was that this 22-year-old, who is now under arrest and charged with multiple felonies, wasn’t there to conduct an investigation. Instead, Cobb County police say, he was there to commit an armed robbery.

The holdup happened inside a hotel room where two guests were forced to hand over $800 in cash and an iPhone valued at $700. Police worked the case for days and, through the help of APD, they identified Thorne as their suspect. Cobb police will only say this is an ongoing investigation

Thorne joined APD in 2017, working as a patrol officer on the city’s southeast side until earlier this year. In a statement, an APD spokesman said:“APD’s Office of Professional Standards was investigating then-Officer Justin Thorne after receiving an allegation in late September that Thorne had offered to take payment from a suspect with an outstanding warrant in exchange for making the warrant go away. When Thorne was asked by OPS to make a statement about the allegation, he chose to abruptly resign on October 1.”

Cobb police declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The two victims are from Arkansas and were not seriously injured during the incident.



Several Major Retailers Closing For Thanksgiving

A large group of retail stores are bucking the new trend and closing on Thanksgiving Day to allow employees to spend more time with their families.

According to BestBlackFriday.Com, the list for 2019 includes Ace Hardware, BJ’s, Costco, Guitar Center, Hobby Lobby, Homegoods, Lowe’s, Marshalls, Petco, Sam’s Club, Sierra Trading Post, Staples, Stein Mart, T.J. Maxx and True Value.

Additionally, BestBlackFriday expects Cost Plus World Market, Crate & Barrel, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Harbor Freight, H&M, Home Depot, Ikea, Pier 1, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, The Container Store. Sur La Table. Petsmart, Office Depot and OfficeMax to close. However, none of that group has officially confirmed.

A survey suggests 70 percent of shoppers believe stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day but that has not slowed spending as online sales on Thanksgiving Day reached more than $3.7 billion last year.


AJC Poll - Trump Faces Tough Re-Election Fight In Georgia

President Donald Trump won big in Chattooga County in 2016 with 71.8% of the vote.  Before Trump’s 2016 win in Chattooga County, the last Presidential candidate to get more than 70% of the vote was Democrat and Georgia native Jimmy Carter in 1976, when he took 81.2% of the vote. While there is a good chance President Trump will do well in Northwest Georgia next year, statewide it may be a different story – that according to a poll released yesterday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

While Northwest Georgia has gone solidly Republican over the past two decades, the State of Georgia as a whole is becoming a battle ground state according to many political analysts from both parties.

The AJC reported yesterday, “A majority of Georgians disapprove of President Donald Trump’s performance in the White House and he appears to be facing a hard fight against each of the five top Democratic candidates seeking to replace him, according to an exclusive Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll. In head-to-head match-ups, former Vice President Joe Biden ran strongest against Trump, leading the president 51% to 43%, fueled by solid support from women and independents…The findings help illustrate the political challenges facing both parties as Democrats target Georgia as a 2020 battleground, aiming to flip both U.S. Senate seats up for grabs next year and carry the state in a presidential election for the first time since Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory.”

Bill Clinton was the last Democratic Presidential candidate to win Chattooga County.  He won the majority of votes in Chattooga County in both 1992 (46.5%) and did slightly better in 1996 (47.5%).

Read more from the AJC




GNTC Students Receive Grant From Marine Corps League

GNTC President Heidi Popham (from left) stands with recipient of the Bobby Blair grant George News, Troy Bolt of the Rome Marine Corps League, and Michelle Beatson, Foundation Administrator at GNTC Foundation.

Two Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students were recently chosen by the Jake Puryear Detachment 1020, Rome Marine Corps League to receive grants of $1,000 each based on letters submitted by the students to the league.

The league awarded Calhoun resident George News the Bobby Blair grant. News is pursuing an Air Conditioning Technology degree while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  His grandfather is the late Jack News who served with the Marines in the Second Division during World War II.

Pamela Tallent of Ringgold received the Marine Corp League Detachment grant. Tallent serves her community in Walker County through various charity programs and is in the Social Work Assistant program at GNTC with a 4.0 GPA as well.

The Bobby Blair grant was established by a donation from Marine and League member, Bobby Blair, who passed away shortly after his donation. Blair was a long time resident of Rome and owned an appliance repair business. The Rome Marine Corps League officers and Scholarship Foundation Trustee members decided to establish a technical college grant with the donation since Blair spent his life in the technical field.

The Marine Corp League Detachment grant was established several years ago with the funds received from fund-raising activities such as the Belk Charity Sales, raffles and donations to the league. The Rome Marine Corps League Detachment 1020 was established in 1999 and has over 200 members.

Governor Sets Deadline For U.S. Senate Applications.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says he’ll stop accepting applications for U.S. Senate next week. Kemp will soon name a replacement for fellow Republican, Senator Johnny Isakson, who announced he would step down in December because of worsening health issues.

Kemp took the unusual step of opening an online application portal and invited everyone from ordinary Georgians to congressmen to apply. Kemp announced Wednesday that he would stop accepting applications November 18th.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and state House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones are among the top Republicans who’ve applied.
Whoever is appointed would need to defend the seat in a November 2020 special election. It’ll be one of two U.S. Senate races on the Georgia ballot: Republican Sen. David Perdue is also up for re-election.

Money Stolen From Oil Change Business In Summerville

Summerville Police are investigating the theft of money from the cash drawer of a local oil-change business.  Workers at the business say it isn’t the first time someone has walked into the office part of the business and stolen money from the cash drawer.

The latest incident was reported to police last Thursday.  Surveillance cameras at a neighboring business recorded a SUV pulling up at the oil-change business and someone entering the office and then leaving.

Police say that they were able to establish a time that the incident happened with the surveillance camera information.

The thieves got away with $45 in cash.

The Summerville Police Department is investigating the theft.