Free Food At Central Avenue Baptist Today

There will be free food given away today at Central Avenue Baptist Church in Trion. There’s Hope for the Hungry will be giving away free groceries from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The church is located at 14074 Hwy 27, Trion, Georgia. No ID required.

Habitat Home Dedication December 18th

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The Habitat for Humanity Coosa Valley Chapter will be dedicating their 58th home on December 18th.  The organization serves residents in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga Counties.  Founded in Americus, GA in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped build, renovated and repair more than 1 million decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 5 million people worldwide. Habitat for Humanity – Coosa Valley was founded in 1984 based on the mission.  The home dedication will be held at the most recent Habitat house for the Bowers family.  Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Betsy or Taylor at (706) 378-0030 by December 15th. Attendees are asked to bring an ornament for the Bowers’ Christmas tree!

GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Graduation Held

Friends, family and the community gathered in the Conference Center at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus in Calhoun to honor 12 students graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class (BLETC) #2022 on Monday, Dec. 5.

The Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) program is designed to train and prepare graduates for employment as entry-level Georgia law enforcement officers.

“Do your job. Do it well,” guest speaker Tom Bojo, retired dean of Academic Support Services at GNTC, told the graduates. “Always ask yourself if you did the right thing.”

He reminded the graduates of the dangers that are part of their new profession, to maintain their perspective when dealing with people in the community and to tell their families they love them every day.

Jordon Millirons was the student speaker for the ceremony. Timothy Kittle was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship, and Lucas Dooley received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates recited their Oath of Honor at the conclusion of the ceremony, vowing “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”

Graduates of GNTC’s BLETC #2022 are Dawn Charles, Lucas Dooley, Vanessa Fajardo, Monica Foster, Shandi Hall, Timothy Kittle, Parker Lively, Eric Menzies, Jordon Millirons, Darlin Rendon Ponce, Jerec Roberts and Stuart Wishart.

Fajardo, Kittle and Rendon Ponce are employed by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office; Dooley and Foster are employed by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office. Charles is employed by the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.

Roberts is employed by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and Wishart by the Floyd County Police Department.

Hall is employed by the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, and Lively is employed by the Calhoun Police Department.

Millirons is employed by the Holly Springs Police Department while Menzies is employed by the Georgia Highlands College Police Department.

Cave Spring Police Fires Summerville Resident

This week, the Cave Spring, Georgia Police Department fired former Chattooga County Deputy and Summerville resident Marvin James Armstrong after his arrest on drug charges last week.

Armstrong is facing charges after an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into alleged drug activity.  Last week, the GBI said, “Cave Spring Police Department Officer Marvin James Armstrong, age 35, of Chattooga County, GA, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess fentanyl, conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess Percocet and use of a communication facility during the commission of a felony”.

Armstrong was fired from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office in August of this year.  Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News that Armstrong was fired for failing to follow procedures.

The Cave Spring Police Department began the termination process against Armstrong on November 29th.  That termination was complete as of Tuesday of this week.

 

LaFayette Attorney Arrested For DUI

A report from the Georgia State Patrol post in LaFayette details an accident that happened last month involving a LaFayette attorney.  The attorney, sixty-six-year-old Mary Jane Melton was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the report, the accident took place on November 14th inside the city limits of LaFayette, but since Melton works as the city clerk for LaFayette, it was a conflict of interest for LaFayette Police to work the accident and asked for a State Trooper to work the accident.

The trooper noticed that Melton had a strong odor of alcohol and one of her pupil’s was larger than the other.  Melton explained to the trooper that she had a fake eye and offered to take it out.  The trooper said in his report, “I told her several times that I did not want her to take it out. However, she did anyway. She then dropped her fake eye on the ground. After retrieving the eye, she attempted to hand it to me. politely declined the offer to hold it.”

The report from the trooper continued, “During field sobriety testing, Melton showed several signs of impairment and would not blow hard enough for a sufficient sample on PBT. The trooper had to manually capture the short breath. Melton blew positive for the presence of alcohol on her breath (.057). Melton was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol – less safe, and she agreed to the state test. Melton was transported to the Walker County Jail, where she was charged with DUI – less safe and following too closely.”

Chattooga Planning Commission Makes Recommendations That Include "Development Permits"

The Chattooga Planning Commission has sent a list of recommendations to Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry on proposed changes to the Chattooga County Land Ordinance that was adopted by Elsberry earlier this year.

One of the recommendations of the planning commission is to require landowners to get a “development permit” prior to building or modifying any permanent property.  The recommendation is a step beyond what the commissioner said the purpose of the ordinance was at the time he adopted it, according to the group Chattooga County Concerned Citizens.  The group posted on social media, “Another thing in the suggestion is references to state codes. At face value, you might not think much about them being there. However, they wouldn’t be referenced if the county didn’t have plans to enforce them locally instead of letting the state handle enforcing its own statutes.”
A review of the proposed changes shows that the planning commission is suggesting a fee of $20 to get an address from Chattooga 911 and a fee of $50 for a “development permit” before any structure is built or modified on a person’s property.
This is a PDF of the proposed changes : Planning Commission Suggestions 11.3.22
So far, Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry has been relatively silent about any changes to the land use ordinance.  The commissioner has only attended one meeting of the planning commission.  According to the planning commission, the commissioner is working with the county attorney to make changes to the ordinance.

Governor Kemp Plans To Cut Another $1 Billion In Income Tax

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp addressed Georgia legislators on Tuesday of this week and outlined plans to cut an additional $1 billion from state income tax in the coming years.  Kemp told the lawmakers that they couldn’t “rest on our laurels” and that there is still more to do to cut taxes in the Peach State.  The governor also talked about the pay raises for educators in the state.  In all, teachers have seen a $5,000 pay raise over the past four years.  Kemp also pledged to continue to crack down on crime in Georgia and to increase benefits from the HOPE scholarship.  Kemp made the remarks at a speech at the University of Georgia closing out the Biennial Institute, a three-day orientation session for newly elected legislators.

Compiled Sources

Three Alabama Residents In Jail In Georgia Facing Multiple Theft Charges

WZQZ reported last week about three Alabama residents who were arrested for a string of thefts that stretched from Northeast Alabama to Northwest Georgia.  The three suspects are now in jail in Georgia and will be facing charges from multiple jurisdictions.

The three suspects are  Rainsville, Alabama residents identified as twenty-five-year-old Jason Carter, twenty-five-year-old Kristie Cobb and forty-nine-year-old Tammy Walters.  The three were arrested at a Kirk Road, Rainsville, Alabama residence by Rainsville, Alabama police on charges from the Summerville Police Department here in Chattooga County.

Rainsville Police coordinated the operation with the Fort Payne Police Department as well as police departments in Summerville, Trenton and Trion, Georgia; the Dade County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office; and Lookout Mountain (Georgia) Judicial Circuit Task Force.

The Rainsville department said a truck used for the thefts was found at a residence in the 700 block of DeKalb County Road 311 in the Peeks Corner community. investigators then found a stolen trailer and four-wheeler in Hamilton County, Tennessee.

The Rainsville Police Department said all three suspects have been linked to thefts in Albertville, DeKalb County, Fort Payne and Rainsville in Alabama; and Chickamauga, Dade County, Ringgold, Summerville and Trenton in Georgia.

According to the Fort Payne Police Department:

  • Carter and Cobb both were charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft of property, two counts of criminal mischief, and possession of burglar tools.
  • Walters was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft of property, and two counts of criminal mischief.
  • They’ve been extradited from Rainsville to Georgia and are expected to face more charges.
WAAY contributed to this report

Summerville Woman Reports Debit Card Fraud

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A Summerville woman reported a case of debit card fraud to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office on December 1st.  Helen Nichols told a responding deputy that there were two charges to her debit card totally $70 that were not authorized by her.  Both of the charges were for a “lift ride company which is like Uber”, according to a report from the sheriff’s office.  The complainant told the deputy that she had allowed someone who had been staying with her to use the card for groceries and believes he might be the one that used the card.  The deputy advised the complainant to call the bank and cancel the card and advised that the case would be passed on to an investigator.

Christmas In The Park Postponed

Christmas in the Park in Lyerly--CHS Band will play!

Susan Locklear with the City of Summerville has notified local media that due to the forecast of rain on Friday, Christmas in the Park has been postponed.  Ms. Locklear said “Due to the foreacst of rain and the condition of the park, we are going to move Christmas in the Park to the rain date of Friday, December 16, from 6 PM – 9 PM”.

Arrest Report - Wednesday - December 7, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday, December 7, 2022:

Warnock Projected To Win Reelection To U.S. Senate

With 99% of the vote counted in Georgia, incumbent U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock has been projected to be the winner of the runoff election on Tuesday evening.  The Georgia Secretary of State’s office says Warnock received 51.28% of the vote to Walker’s 48.72%.  Chattooga County voters voted overwhelmingly for Walker and that was the case in every Northwest Georgia county.  Warnock’ victory came from a heavy concentration of votes in the state’s major metro-areas and a handful of southwest Georgia counties.

Ankle Monitor Scam Reported

A Chattooga County man was scammed out of hundreds of dollars by someone claiming to be with “Probation and Parole”.  According to a report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, Charles Akery said he got a phone call saying a family member was getting out of incarceration on December 1st and that they need payments for the family member’s ankle monitoring service.

It turned out to be a scam. Mr. Akery said that the scammers had charged his Cash App card two payments of $485.00, for a total of $970.00.  Mr. Akery said that he later heard from the family member who said that their release date wasn’t until next year.

The report from the sheriff’s office said, “Akery further stated that he checked his email and saw that he had emails that came from a generic Yahoo Mail account gdpap.prp411@Yahoo.com acting as a Parole Officer. Akery sated that the receiving parties’ name on the receiving end of the Cash App account was Charlene Elliston. After Akery verified information with is son and the Parole Office he realized that he had been scammed. Speaking with Akery, he never stated that he gave Cash App/ bank information voluntarily that it had all been scammed before he was ever contacted.”

Trion Mayor Addresses Mold Remediation At Trion Police Department

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WZQZ News heard from several Trion residents with questions about the Trion Town Council looking into mold remediation at the current Trion Police Department.  We reached out to Mayor Lanny Thomas who provided the following explanation:

The cause and effect of this situation first began due to the roof of Town Hall leaking in the area of the police department. Due to the constant moisture being held in the structure, mold began to grow. It was deemed unsafe for the personnel of the police department to remain working inside the building. Thanks to Trion City Schools and Dr. Phil Williams, the town is now almost ready to place the police department inside a very nice state-of-the-art building on the Trion School site. The site that the new building sits once was the “Bus Barn.” The cost of the building for The Town of Trion is $150,000. We hope to complete the building and have an open house sometime after the first of the year.

I do not know if the Town of Trion will do mold remediation at the facility. As Mayor, however, it is my job to provide options for the Council to consider. With the current situation, the Council must remediate the mold if it wishes to make this space useable as an enclosure. If the Council should decide the enclosed space is no longer feasible, the Council must still look to alleviate the mold issue by tearing out the space to prevent the spread of mold within Town Hall. To assist the Council in making an informed decision, obtaining bids for remediation is simply the first step. Once the bids are received, the Council may decide to proceed with completing the remediation or reject all bids and consider further action.

Mayor Lanny Thomas

Dog Attacks Owners In Trion, Injures Neighbor's Dog

Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a Maffet Street address in Trion after a Pit Bull attacked its owners and a neighbor’s dog.

When deputies arrived on the scene and spoke with the owners of the dog, they said that the dog had attacked them for no apparent reason.  According to the report from the sheriff’s office, ” “we located the brown Pit Bull behind the house that was pacing around with blood on its mouth. We were able to keep the dog contained until animal control arrived”.  Deputies could see bite marks on the owners and called for EMS.

While EMS was taking care of the owners, the deputies spoke with a neighbor who said that the Pit Bull had attacked his dog that was chained in his back yard.

The owners of the dog did not want a report filed about the incident, but the neighbor requested a report be made.

Chattooga County Animal Control took the dog away from the residence.

Floyd County Reports Third Vehicle Fatality In Eight Days

The past week or so has been a deadly one on Floyd County roadways.  Monday, a nineteen-year-old man was killed off Calhoun Road, marking the third traffic fatality in eight days.  One of those fatalities was a twenty-five-year-old Summerville man.

According to Hometown Headlines in Rome, the victim of Monday’s crash has been identified as Benjamin Burges of a Floyd County address, says Deputy Coroner John Hamilton. The family has been notified. Floyd County Police officers were sent to the scene overnight to investigate a property owner’s report about fencing being knocked down. The property owner did another survey of the area later in the morning and found Burges’ car upside down in a creek, says Sgt. Chris Fincher. Burges was pronounced dead at 8:30 a.m. The cause of death is pending, Hamilton says, as police are investigating what caused the wreck — including whether there was a medical situation prior to the incident.

Last Friday, thirty-nine-year-old Brian Daniel Byrd Jr. of Rome died following a three-vehicle collision on Martha Berry near Fifth Avenue.  On November 27th, Summerville resident Justin Little lost his life in a traffic accident in the Silver Creek area of Floyd County.  Seventy-year-old Nancy Smith of Silver Creek has been charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the incident.

Hometown Headlines

Inmate Being Held For Chattooga County Facing New Charges

A Floyd County Jail inmate, who is being held for Chattooga County, is accused of attacking a fellow-inmate and threatening to kill the other inmate.  According to Floyd County Jail reports, Anthony Dennis Walker, age 21 of Winterville, Georgia is facing additional charges after he allegedly repeatedly beat another person with his fist and feet while stating that he was going to kill him. Authorities went on to say that the victim suffered visible injuries to his face from the attack. Walker is charged with aggravated assault battery and terroristic threats and acts. He had been housed at the jail since Thursday as a hold for Chattooga County.

CVN

Today Is Pearl Harbor Day

Today is National Pearl Harbor Day, the day set aside to remember the attack on the United States by the Empire of Japan eighty-one years ago.

The day is set aside to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, which led to the United States declaring war on Japan the next day and enter World War II.

On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died as a result of the attack on U.S. military forces in Hawaii.

AAA: Safety First When Transporting Christmas Trees

If you plan to purchase a real Christmas tree this holiday season, AAA urges you to have a plan to get it home safely.

“Nothing will make you say, ‘bah humbug’ faster than losing the tree you just bought on the drive home,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If not properly secured, a tree can damage your vehicle or worse, fly off and become a danger to other drivers. Before you purchase your tree, please make sure to research the proper way to transport it or ask a professional to secure it for you.”

In a previous AAA study, nearly one in five real Christmas tree buyers reported having a tree fall off or out of their vehicle when trying to get it home.

Christmas Tree Mishaps

  • Road debris – which could include objects like improperly secured Christmas trees that fly off cars, landing on the road or on other cars.
  • Vehicle damage that results from an improperly secured Christmas tree, such as scratched paint, torn door seals, and distorted window frames, could cost up to $1,500 to repair: 
Potential Vehicle Repair Costs of Improperly Secured Trees
Surface scratches $100 – $150
Replace rubber seals on two doors (seal costs vary widely with the vehicle make and model) $220 – $550
Repaint a severely scratched roof (paint color, finish type, prep work, paint blending with adjacent panels and other factors affect this cost) $500 – $1,500

 

Tips to Safely Transport Your Tree

It is best to transport the tree on top of a vehicle equipped with a roof rack, but a pickup truck, SUV, van, or minivan can work just as well.

  • Come prepared  bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps, an old blanket, and gloves.
  • Wrap & Cover It – once you have found the perfect tree, have the lot wrap it in netting before loading it. Loose branches can also be secured with rope or twine to help protect the tree from damage.
  • Protect your vehicle  before loading the tree, cover the roof with an old blanket to prevent scratches to the paint and protect the car from any damage.
  • Trunk First – place the tree on the roof rack or in the bed of the truck with the tree trunk facing the front of the car. If the vehicle does not have a roof rack and is large enough – place the tree inside.
  • Secure It – tie down the tree at its bottom, center and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet straps. Avoid using the nylon offered by many tree lots. Use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop the rope or strap around the tree trunk above a branch to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement
  • Tug Test – once tied down, give the tree several strong tugs from various angles to make sure it is secured in place and will not come loose.
  • Nice & Easy – drive slowly and take back roads if possible. Higher speeds can create significant airflow that can damage your tree or challenge even the best tie-down methods.

Georgia DNR: Hunting / Fishing License For The Holidays

Looking for the best holiday gift idea for that special outdoor enthusiast on your list? No need to go to the stores – gift them a hunting or fishing (or combo) license to help them enjoy the wild places they love, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

A youth license, a lifetime license or an annual hunting or fishing license are all great examples of how to give access to the great outdoors and provide support for Georgia wildlife and state-managed lands. Youth and lifetime licenses come with a plastic card, and, putting annual licenses on a beautiful “collector’s hard card” (a credit card style license) gives you the perfect stocking stuffer!

Youth License
The Youth Sportsman’s License for $15 makes a great gift for resident youth under age 16 and allows you to give a gift valued at $70! This license provides for both hunting and fishing privileges, and is good through age 17, giving them a full year sportsman’s license once they reach age 16 (when they are required to have a license).

Resident Lifetime Licenses
With a lifetime license, the Georgia resident hunter or angler on your gift list will never need to purchase another state hunting or fishing license…ever! From hunting trophy whitetails to casting for lunker largemouth, their cherished recreation in Georgia is covered. Applications and document details are at GeorgiaWildlife.com/LifetimeLicense.

Annual or Other Licenses
Can’t purchase a lifetime license? How about giving an annual or 2-year license for that hunter or angler? This purchase provides your sportsman or woman access to the Georgia outdoors, and even if they already have a current license, if you purchase a same-type license, it will “stack” onto their existing one.

Licenses are Gifts That Keep On Giving …
The Wildlife Resources Division uses hunting and fishing license sales to fulfill its wildlife mission. The sale of paid licenses is a key measure through which states receive federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding. Uses of this funding in Georgia vary from operating public fishing areas to managing the state’s 1 million-strong deer herd.

More information on licenses at GeorgiaWildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes, and purchase a youth, annual, or 2-year license here GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com.