Summerville City Offices Closed Due To COVID Exposure

PUBLIC NOTICE
12/01/2020

Effective Wednesday, December 2nd, in accordance with the City of Summerville’s directive to reduce potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) through restricting access to City-owned buildings and facilities, the City of Summerville lobbies and offices will be closed to the public. Specific guidelines can be found for each department below. Services and assistance will still be offered by all departments.

The City’s weekend events are still scheduled to continue as planned.

City Hall and Floyd County Summerville Gas Office

The front lobby will be closed but customers may continue to receive assistance by calling during business hours, 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday, or utilizing the drop box on the outside of the building. The City Hall phone number is 706-859-0900.

Utility service cut offs will continue to follow normal schedules.

A utility bill may be paid the using the following options:

  • Pay Online: By going to http://www.summervillega.org and clicking pay my bill. You will need your last payment amount and your account number available.
  • Automated Phone Payment System: Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX and follow the prompts to pay your bill. You will need your last payment amount and your account number available.
  • Using the drop box on outside of building: You may drop your payment in the drop box on the outside of the building, please be sure to put your payment inside an envelope and include your account number.

Probation Department

The lobby for the Probation office will be closed until further notice.

Reporting will be via telephone: 706-859-0933

Payments may be made using the following options:

  • By Money Order: Mail any money orders to (do not mail cash or checks):    

Summerville Probation Services
PO Box 180
Summerville GA 30747

  • Pay online at: http://www.summervillepay.com You must contact the Probation Department to get your ID number.
  • Pay by phone: Call the office to pay by credit/debit card

Police Department and Municipal Court

The lobby for the Summerville Police Department and the Municipal Court Clerk will be closed to the public but all services will still be offered in a modified way.

FINE/TICKET PAYMENT

Pay online at: http://www.summervillepay.com

Pay by automated phone system: 1-877-575-7233

Pay by mailing money order to (do not mail cash or checks): 

Summerville Municipal Court
PO Box 180
Summerville, GA 30747

OBTAINING COPIES OF ACCIDENT / INCIDENT REPORTS

To obtain a copy of an incident or accident report, call the Summerville Police department (706) 859-0912 to make your request. We can send your report to you through email, fax, or U.S. mail at no charge.

SPEAKING WITH A POLICE OFFICER

To speak with a police officer about a non-emergency matter, call the 911 Center’s non-emergency number (706) 857-0750 and they will either dispatch an office to meet you or have one call you.  Many situations or incidents can be handled over the phone. As always, if you have an emergency situation dial 911 and emergency responders will be dispatched to your location.

Public Works

Public works will be operating as normal, but the office will be closed to the public.  To report a leak outside of business hours, please call 911.

Fire Department

The Fire Department will be closed to the public, but still responding to emergency calls. To report an emergency please call 911.

Recreation Department

Recreation Department guidelines will be provided within the next day and this notice will be updated.

Georgia DPH COVID Testing Sights Announce Delayed Opening For Wednesday

Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District free drive-up COVID-19 test sites in Bartow, Catoosa, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Paulding, and Walker counties will delay opening Wednesday, December 2, and Thursday, December 3, until 11 a.m.

Arrest Report - Tuesday December 1, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Tuesday December 1, 2020:

Surge In COVID-19 Cases Closes Walker County Courthouse

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Kristina Cook Graham took action on Monday to close the Walker County Courthouse after an increase in COVID-19 cases among employees and staff at the courthouse.

The order from Judge Graham closed the Walker County Courthouse “effective immediately” and the courthouse will remain closed until December 7th.

Judge Graham encouraged employees who work at the courthouse in LaFayette to work remotely to provide emergency and essential services during the period the courthouse is closed.  Judge Graham is allowing cleaners to continue their work in disinfecting and cleaning the building between now and December 7th.

Judge Graham noted in her order on Monday that there has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in all four counties in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit: Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Chattooga Counties.

Governor Kemp Rejects President's Call To "Overrule" Sec. Of State Raffensperger

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office responded Monday to President Donald Trump’s demands to help him overturn Georgia’s election results with a reminder that state law “prohibits the governor from interfering in the election.”

“Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections. The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,” said Kemp spokesman Cody Hall.

“As the governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps – including a sample audit of signatures – to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”

 

GNN

Chattooga Man Gets DUI After Hitting Mailbox

A Chattooga County man was arrested last weekend for DUI after taking out a mailbox.

On November 21st. Chattooga County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to Dry Valley Rd in regards to a call about a car that had hit their mailbox. The resident had stepped outside and noticed a car sitting in their driveway. The residents husband went out to speak to the driver of the vehicle and noticed that his mailbox had been hit. The homeowner stated that at this point the driver started acting “weird”, inquired about the homeowners uncle, and attempted to get out and fix the mailbox. When the driver started to leave, he then backed into the ditch.

The driver, Mr. Terry Gentry, was spoken to and there was a strong presence of marijuana coming off of his person. Mr. Gentry’s story changed several times in the course of questioning from the car just “stalled” out to where he was headed. It was also observed that Mr. Gentry did not have any shoes on and that his pupils were constricted. Summerville Police Department officers were dispatched for a field sobriety test. A search of the car turned up a handmade cigarette filled with suspected marijuana and a suspected Schedule IV narcotic. Mr. Gentry was placed under arrest and after being booked was found to have a both another handmade cigarette and suspected Schedule IV narcotic in his front shirt pocket.

Mr. Gentry was booked into the Chattooga County jail.

COVID Testing Available By Appointment At Chattooga County Health Department

The Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health announced on Monday that the drive-up testing for the coronavirus that was taking place at North Summerville Baptist Church has come to an end.  In the future, residents will need to make an appointment with the Health Department in Summerville, or use testing sites in neighboring Walker or Floyd Counties.

“Free COVID-19 rapid testing is now available at the Chattooga County Health Department,” says Chattooga County Health Department Nurse Manager Judy Wesson, “but by appointment for symptomatic people only.” Wesson advises people who believe they may be symptomatic to call the health department at 706-857-3471 for an appointment.

Free drive-up COVID-19 testing is no longer available in Chattooga County, but remains available to Chattooga residents in neighboring Floyd and Walker counties. No appointment is needed.

WHERE:

Floyd: Rome Fair Grounds, 1400 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Rome, GA.

Walker: Mount Zion Baptist Church, 289 Dunwoody Road, LaFayette, GA.

WHEN:

Floyd: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.*

*not available December 4, 24 or 25

Walker: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays*

*not available December 24

HOURS:

Floyd: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Walker: 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Deadly Holiday Weekend On Georgia's Roadways

Despite predictions for fewer Georgians to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic fatalities were dramatically higher compared to 2019.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety says 22 people died over the long holiday travel period in 2020; that’s nearly double last year’s 12 fatalities.

The Thanksgiving travel period began Wednesday evening and ended at midnight on Sunday night.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety confirmed the number of deaths in a tweet and called on Georgia motorists to slow down, buckle up, drive sober and put down their cell phones.

GNN

Georgia Gas Prices Increase Over The Past Week

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Georgia gas prices increased slightly at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $1.96 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 1 cent more than a week ago, 1 cent less than last month, and 46 cents less than this time last year.

It now costs motorists $29.40 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $11.70 less than what motorists paid in April of 2019, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.74 per gallon.

“Georgians who decided to hit the road for Thanksgiving found cheaper gas prices,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Despite the weekly increase, gas prices are more than likely to remain cheap through the end of the year.”

NATIONAL GAS AVERAGE

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 1 cent to $2.12. In its latest report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) measured demand, for the week ending November 13, at 8.2 million barrels a day. That is not only a weekly decrease, but the lowest demand reading since mid-June. As demand dipped, U.S. gasoline stocks increased to nearly 228 million barrels. Americans can expect gas prices to continue to push less expensive heading into December.

REGIONAL PRICE AVERAGES

Atlanta ($1.95)

  • Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Savannah ($2.03), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.02) and Brunswick ($2.00).
  • Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($1.86), Rome ($1.88) and Dalton ($1.89).
  • Area gas price averages: Chattooga ($1.93), Walker ($1.86), Floyd ($1.88), Gordon ($1.90), DeKalb, AL ($1.88), Cherokee, AL ($1.79).

Sheriff's Deputy Responds To Breaking & Entering Call

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Chattooga County Sheriffs Office responded to a call of breaking and entering this past week.

On November 20th, Deputy Dawson responded to a call at a Mitchell Dr. Address. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Misty Anderson who stated that someone had forced the door open to her late mothers residence.

According to Mrs. Anderson, her mother has passed away and her stepfather is no longer living at the residence currently.

While a filing cabinet had been opened and some papers strewn over the floor, the only thing that appeared missing was a hand written will that Mrs. Andersons late mother had written.

Mrs. Anderson also stated that a family member has been making threats and accusations of theft toward her.

Chattooga Schools Closed Tuesday - Distance Learning For December 1st

Due to the possibility of winter weather on Tuesday, Chattooga County School Superintendent Jared Hosmer issued the following statement on Monday afternoon: “After consulting with our local EMA and looking at the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, the Chattooga County School System will have a distance learning day on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.  Weather permitting, all 12-month employees will report at 10:00 a.m.”  You can see the short-term distance learning instructions below:

Winter Weather Advisory Issued

Arrest Report - Monday November 30, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Monday November 30, 2020:

Wet Weather Gives Way To Winter Weather

After a soggy Sunday, we are in for some much colder temperatures starting today and continuing through the mid-week.  There is also a chance we could see a few snow flurries – or possibly some snow showers, but accumulations are not likely in Northwest Georgia.

Yesterday afternoon the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia issued a Special Weather Statement that said there may be some snow on the ground in the northern part of the state, but that was more likely in Northeast Georgia in a line from Canton to Dawsonville to Helen.

Channel 12 Meteorologist Patrick Core says that areas north of Chattanooga, especially higher elevations, could see some snow on the ground by Tuesday morning as well.

Residual, wrap-around moisture from yesterday’s rain coupled with falling temperatures throughout the day today will give the chance for a few flurries in the valley areas around Chattooga County and possibly some snow showers in higher elevations.

The biggest story is the cold temperatures – the coldest we have seen so far this season.  Tonight’s low is expected to be in the low 20’s with wind-chill values in the teens.

President Trump Blasts Fellow-Republicans Kemp & Raffensperger

President Trump wasn’t holding much back in showing his displeasure with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger concerning the certification of the General Election which will award Georgia’s electors to President-Elect Joe Biden.

“They had electoral officials making deals like this character in Georgia who is a disaster. And the Governor’s done nothing. He’s done absolutely nothing. I’m ashamed that I endorsed him,” President Trump said of his fellow Republicans on Fox News on Sunday.

For his part, Raffensperger isn’t remaining silent about his treatment from President Trump.  Raffensperger told USA Today, “By all accounts, Georgia had a wildly successful and smooth election. We finally defeated voting lines and put behind us Fulton County’s now notorious reputation for disastrous elections. This should be something for Georgians to celebrate, whether their favored presidential candidate won or lost,” Raffensperger writes. “For those wondering, mine lost — my family voted for him, donated to him, and are now being thrown under the bus by him.”

Compiled Sources

Rome Salvation Army Looking For Bell Ringers

It’s a familiar sight around the holidays – you see them when you are out shopping and nearly everyone is familiar with the “Red Kettles” that are manned by “bell-ringers.”

The history of the red kettle goes back to 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome – funding the project.  McFee recalled seeing a kettle at a local shipyard where sailors would drop coins to help out the poor.

Since that time, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles have become a holiday tradition. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

The Salvation Army in Rome, which also serves Chattooga County, says that they are in need of “bell ringers” for this holiday season.  They say if you and your family, co-workers, civic group or church group could volunteer some time to ring the bell at a kettle, you can call the Salvation Army office at 706-291-4745 and speak to Cathy.

 

"Giving Tuesday" Coming Up Tomorrow

 

We all know about “Black Friday” and most people have heard of “Small-Business Saturday” and “Cyber Monday”, but organizations that help families in need want people to remember “Giving Tuesday”, which is known as the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

That falls on December 1st this year, and is coming up tomorrow.

According to its website, “Giving Tuesday” was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.” “Giving Tuesday” has a mission to build a more just and generous world. And anyone can help out with that. On its website, the organization has a guide of basic ideas people can do to give back to those around them and their communities.

There are plenty of ways you can participate in “Giving Tuesday”:

  • Discover a local fundraiser or community drive or coordinated event to join others in your area or with your same interests in giving back — they need your help.
  • Give to your favorite cause or a fundraiser to help those in need.
  • Share kindness with your neighbors–check on those who are alone and may need help with errands or just a friendly voice to talk to.
  • Show gratitude to healthcare workers, service providers, and other essential workers who are making sure we still have the services we rely on, even at risk to their own health.
  • Post a poster or sign of support for your community workers, neighbors, and passers-by to cheer them up and on.
  • Volunteer virtually with an organization
  • Share a quick tutorial that offers up a skill or lesson to help others discover something new or helps students add to their at-home learning.
  • Encourage others to share kindness and be generous during this time

There are even more ideas listed on their website that involve social media.

If you are posting for GivingTuesday on social media, use the hashtags #GAgives, and #GivingTuesday

WXIA

Chattooga's Unemployment Rate Drops Drastically

Northwest Georgia’s unemployment rate unchanged at 5.6 percent, Rome Down

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced recently that Georgia’s unemployment rate for October decreased by 1.8 percentage points to reach 4.5 percent. The unemployment rate in Chattooga County has also plummeted over the past month.

Prior to the pandemic, Georgia’s unemployment rate was at an all-time low of 3.1 percent. Georgia has seen an 8.1 percentage drop in unemployment since April when the state reported a 12.6 percent unemployment rate, Georgia’s all-time high.

“The fact that we have so quickly reduced our unemployment rate to almost pre-pandemic levels demonstrates how strong our economy was prior to the crisis and how we are successfully recovering economically,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “We still have a lot of work to do in order for growth to continue, which includes filling the thousands of jobs that we currently have listed on EmployGeorgia. Our reemployment teams have been working with hundreds of companies across the state to assist in getting Georgians into higher paying careers.”

Chattooga County’s unemployment numbers showed the most dramatic drop in Northwest Georgia for October.  The September unemployment rate in Chattooga County was 6.5% and dropped to 4.6% for October.

Law Enforcement Catches Drunk Driver Over Holiday Weekend

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A drunk driver that nearly hit a Chattooga County deputy head-on this past Saturday wound up in jail on charges of DUI along with outstanding warrants.

The Alabama man was driving on Highway 48 near Menlo when he swerved over the center lane and into the path of an oncoming Chattooga County deputy.  Deputy Corey Fielding avoided hitting the driver, but initiated a traffic stop.

Sixty-one-year-old Billy Jack Mitchell was found to be driving with suspended or revoked license and over the legal limit for alcohol.  He also had outstanding warrants from the City of Summerville Police Department for DUI and associated charges.

Mitchell was booked into the Chattooga County Jail shortly after 11 PM on Saturday.

BOE Candidates To Speak At December Meeting

The Chattooga Board of Education has received the names of five men who are interested in the open seat on the board, representing the Menlo area.

The board was left vacant after the passing of Sammy Ballard, who had held the post since 2018.

Chattooga County School Superintendent Jared Hosmer submitted the names of the five at the November Chattooga Board of Education meeting.  The interested applicants are: Johnny Brady, Andrew Campbell, Steven Groves, Lynn Hall and Mark Pickle.

During this month’s meeting the current board members decided on having each of the five applicants come and address the Board of Education at the December meeting.

A vote will on who will fill the empty seat isn’t likely until the January meeting.