Summerville Rec Announces Fall Sports Registration

The Summerville Recreation Center will begin registration for FOOTBALL, CHEERLEADING and SOCCER on July 23 and will continue through Saturday, August 11.

There is a $10.00 registration fee for city residents and a $25.00 fee for county participants. A $25.00 uniform deposit must be paid for football.

Football – Age Control Date is age prior to May 1 – Ages 5-12

Cheerleading – Age Control Date is age prior to May 1 – Ages 5-12

Soccer – Age Control Date is January 1 – Ages 4-11

For more information contact the Summerville Recreation Center at 706-859-0910.

Friends Of Sloppy Floyd Park BBQ & Ice Cream Lunch Saturday

The Friends of James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park will host a BBQ and Ice Cream lunch this weekend, Saturday, July 21, from 11 AM until 1 PM.

The lunch will be for sale at Picnic Shelter #4, across from the park office. The Friends of the Park will smoke Boston Butts for pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. Various volunteers will be making homemade ice cream.

A sack lunch consisting of a smoked BBQ sandwich, chips, and a drink will be $6.00; a cup of ice cream from a variety of choices–chocolate, strawberry, peach, and vanilla will be $1.

The Friends of James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park say if you are anywhere near the park fishing or boating or just hanging out, please plan to have your lunch with them and help them raise money for projects to improve the park. All proceeds go to Friends of the Park for the building of a future Educational Classroom. (

Reminder: All Georgia State Parks require a $5.00 parking pass per car.

Woman Reports Stolen Handgun On Long Hollow Road In Trion

A Long Hollow Road, Trion woman reported the theft of a firearm to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office over the past weekend.

According to the sheriff’s department, Ashley Rowland came to the sheriff’s office on West Washington Street in Summerville on Saturday to report the theft of a handgun.  Ms. Rowland told a deputy that when she came home on Friday, July 13th, she discovered that someone had gone through a dresser in her bedroom and had stolen a .45 caliber handgun.

The complainant told the deputy that the gun was a  Taurus PT145 Pro SS .45 caliber ACP displaying serial number NAU97055.

Ms. Rowland said that she was the only person in her house that knew where the gun was kept and was not sure who might have taken the firearm.  She also told the deputy that there did not appear to be any signs of forced entry into her residence.

The deputy entered the information from the stole handgun into the Georgia Crime Information Center database and the case is being investigated by the sheriff’s office.

 

Georgia's "Gang Crisis" Statewide According To Law Enforcement & Prosecutors

According to the FBI, the state of Georgia has a gang crisis.  Federal officials say that street gangs are responsible for about forty-eight percent of violent crimes in the majority of jurisdictions in the state and up to ninety percent in other areas.

According to the feds and Georgia’s Gang Investigators Association, the problem isn’t just an Atlanta or big-city problem.  The association says that gang activity is taking place in 155 of Georgia’s 159 counties, including Walker, Floyd, Gordon and Chattooga Counties in Northwest Georgia.  Both Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson and Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader have confirmed the arrests of verified gang members responsible for crimes in Northwest Georgia over the past few years.

The Georgia Gang Investigators Association says that it is estimated that Georgia has somewhere around 71,000 gang members that cover the state from Savannah to the Tennessee line – many of those gang members are now operating in more rural areas of the state.

The Georgia Gang Investigators Association says it plans to partner with schools and churches to look for ways to prevent young people from joining gangs. They also want to educate parents on what to look for to see if their children are showing signs of gang activity.

 

Compiled Reports / WZQZ 

Lisa Millican's Family Says "Lisa's Law" Would Protect Victim's Families

 – Lisa Ann Millican

The family of Lisa Ann Millican, a thirteen-year-old-girl who was kidnapped in Rome in 1982 and tortured and murdered at Little River Canyon, says that they are asking lawmakers to adopt “Lisa’s Law”.  The bill would give more rights to victims of violent crimes and their families, in honor of Lisa Ann Millican.

Cassie Millican told WZQZ Radio Local News over the weekend that they plan to present the bill to Alabama lawmakers during the next legislative session, and that the idea for the bill is getting a lot of support.

The measure would require the Governor of Alabama to give the family thirty days notice if he plans to commute the sentence of a convicted murderer.  In 1999, then Alabama Governor Fob James commuted the death sentence of Judith Anne Nealley who was sentenced to die for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican.  James commuted Nealley’s sentence in his final days before leaving office.

The bill would also protect the rights of victim’s families in protecting their name.  The Millican family says that due to current law in Alabama people can profit from a murder victim’s story without the family’s permission. Cassie Millican says,  “The profit for murder system works. It’s happening every day, and there’s nothing to stop them and it’s time to stop them.”

The Millican family says that they are hoping to help out other families of murder victims, through Lisa’s Law.  They plan to present the bill to Alabama lawmakers in next year’s legislative session.

Summerville Woman Discovers Account Opened In Her Name

A Summerville woman told a Chattooga County sheriff’s deputy that she had been the victim of cell phone fraud, after discovering that someone had opened an unauthorized account in her name several years ago without her knowledge or permission.

Mika Millican said that she went to Verizon to open a cell phone account and Verizon told her that there was already an account opened with her social security number.

Ms. Millican told the responding deputy that she had not authorized an account and had no knowledge that the account had been opened in her name.  The account was activated in 2014.

Verizon fraud department told her that she needed to file a police report in order to get the issue resolved.

According to Consumer Reports, if you ever discover a cell phone account has been opened using your information, you should put a freeze on your credit report and notify your bank.  They say that crooks will sometimes sell the information that was used to open the account and your identity can be further threatened.

Summerville Man Arrested On Warrant After Traffic Violation Stop

A Summerville man was arrested on Friday with an outstanding warrant after he was stopped on Highway 48 by a Chattooga County Sheriff’s deputy.

According to a report released Monday by the sheriff’s office, forty-four-year-old Brian Heath Ezell was traveling near the intersection of Highway 48 and Dogwood Circle in Summerville when he passed a deputy and began to squeal his tires.

The deputy stopped Ezell’s 1998 Ford Escort and asked Ezell for his license.  Ezell told the deputy that he did not have a valid drivers license due to his license being suspended.  After the deputy checked with Chattooga 911, he discovered that Ezell had an outstanding warrant for probation violation.  The deputy also discovered that Ezell had multiple suspensions on his license.

In addition to the driving violation and no drivers license, Ezell told the deputy that the car he was driving belonged to his sister and the tag on the car was taken from his daughter’s wrecked 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Ezell was booked into the Chattooga County Jail for laying drag, driving with suspended or revoked license, improper tag and on the outstanding parole violation warrant.

 

Final Week To Vote Early In Runoff Election

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With just days to go before the July 24th run-off election, voters have until Friday of this week to vote early.

Things heated up on Monday between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp in the race to see who will be the Republican nominee for governor in Georgia.  Cagle got the endorsement of Governor Nathan Deal, and the Kemp campaign quickly lambasted the governor for not remaining neutral in the race.

Republican Primary voters can vote in the run-off election between Cagle and Kemp and Democrats have a race to choose to see who will be their nominee for State School Superintendent. On the Democratic ballot, Sid Chapman, and Otha E. Thornton, JR. are running for state school superintendent.

Voters who skipped the May Primary can choose either run-off election to vote in, but if you voted in May, you have to stick with that ballot in the run-off election.

You can vote early at the Chattooga County Registrar Office located on Commerce Street in Summerville, just south of the courthouse through Friday of this week.

There are no local races on the ballot.

 

Calhoun Police Release Information About Two Bodies Found Sunday

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Calhoun Police have released more information regarding the discovery of two bodies within an hour of each other Sunday at separate ends of the city.

At around 11:30 a.m. Gordon County Sheriff’s office contacted Calhoun Police in reference to a body being discovered in a wooded area off Kirby Road.

Deputies had searched the area over the weekend after receiving a missing person’s report.

The body was that of 31-year-old Jordon Luke Baldridge of Calhoun, who had been reported missing by his family Friday Morning.

His body has been transported to the GBI Crime Lab for examination as part of the investigation process.

A couple of hours later Calhoun Police were called out to Conference Drive where another man, 45-year-old Aaron Erick Lee of Dalton, had collapsed and died.

It appears as though Lee died of natural causes.

WRGA

FDA Recalls Blood Pressure / Heart Failure Medicine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and patients who take medication for high blood pressure and heart failure about a new recall.

The recall involves drugs that contain the ingredient valsartan.

Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, according to the FDA.

It wrote that an impurity has been found in valsartan called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

“We have carefully assessed the valsartan-containing medications sold in the United States, and we’ve found that the valsartan sold by these specific companies does not meet our safety standards. This is why we’ve asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen based on lab tests.

Retail pharmacies in possession of any unused products including Valsartan Tablets, 40 mg, 80mg, 160mg, and 320mg; and Valsartan-HCTZ Tablets, 80mg/12.5mg, 160mg/12.5mg, 160mg/25mg, 320mg/12.5mg, and 320mg/25mg, within expiry dates from July 2018 to January 2020, should immediately return the product.

The FDA believes the sudden presence of NDMA is because of the way the substance was manufactured.

Some of the companies recalling the medications include Major Pharmeceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

(WSET)

Cagle Campaign Announces Deal Endorsement - Kemp Responds

Republican candidate for governor Casey Cagle’s campaign announced on Monday afternoon that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has endorsed Lt. Governor Cagle in his runoff bid against Brian Kemp.  Kemp’s campaign was quick to respond, blasting Governor Deal for not staying neutral in the Republican run-off election.

The runoff election is coming up next week on June 24th.  Polls show Cagle and Kemp neck in neck with Republican voters across the state.  Kemp has shown a slight lead in some polls, which means the endorsement of the governor for Cagle comes at a critical time.  The Cagle campaign released this statement this afternoon from Governor Deal:

“In order to get those major changes through the General Assembly, I had two partners,” Governor Deal said. “Because he has had a part in making these reforms happen, I think he is the best one to continue this tradition. My concern is let’s not undo or transform in a negative fashion the good reforms that have been put in place. For that reason, I believe that Casey Cagle will be the best candidate for that position as the next governor of our state.”

Cagle said Deal’s conservative leadership has elevated Georgia into the best state in the nation for business and delivered a red-hot economy and job growth that’s the envy of the nation.

Brian Kemp’s campaign responded to the news of the Deal endorsement with this statement:

“After vowing to remain neutral in the gubernatorial race, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. In response, conservative businessman Brian Kemp issued the following statement:

“Career politician Casey Cagle is collapsing in the polls and this endorsement is a last minute attempt to distract voters from the secret recording where Cagle insults conservatives and confesses to trading votes for campaign cash. I respect Governor Deal. He built on the success of Governor Perdue and I will continue that progress as Georgia’s next governor.

“Until then, I will work around the clock to earn votes from hardworking Georgians who will ultimately decide the winner of the Republican run-off June 24th.”

This programming note: WZQZ will be broadcasting an interview with both Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp coming up this Saturday morning from 6:30 to 7 AM.  We will rebroadcast the interview Sunday morning from 6:30 to 7 and again on Tuesday morning, the day of the run-off election, following the 8 AM newscast. 

No Back To School "Tax-Free" Weekend In Georgia - But Alabama's Is This Coming Weekend

There will be no back to school “tax free” weekend in Georgia this year.  Legislation to bring back the popular event stalled in the Georgia General Assembly this year and failed to pass.  However, back to school shoppers can take advantage of a “tax-free” weekend coming up in Alabama.

A tax-free weekend is approaching in Alabama as families prepare to do their back to school shopping. The 2018 Back to School Tax Holiday is set for July 20 to July 22.

Items excluded from sales tax include school supplies, clothing, computers, and computer software.

World War II Veterans Reunion This Thursday

Chattooga County World War II Veterans are invited to attend a reunion luncheon to be held this Thursday, July 19, 2018 at the Chattooga County Civic Center in Summerville.  Lunch will be served at noon with a brief program to follow.  Veterans are welcome to bring items from the war years to display.

Each veteran is welcome to bring their spouse, or a family member or caretaker.  All who served during World War II are encouraged to attend and visit with others who served during this historic time.
Organizers of the event are Barbara Reece, Odell Anderson, Probate Judge Jon Payne, the Chatooga County Extension Service and WZQZ Radio.  Numerous businesses and volunteers are assisting in order to make this a special event for our “Greatest Generation.”
For more information, please call Odell Anderson at 706-397-2394 or Barbara Reece at 706-862-2657.

New Georgia Law Speeds Up Adoptions

A new law that went into place July 1st in Georgia is being praised by adoption advocates, but some say that the new law doesn’t give birth parents enough time to change their minds about putting their child up for adoption.

Under the old guidelines, birth parents in Georgia had ten days to change their minds once a child was put up for adoption; under the new law that went into place this month, birth parents now only have four days to change their minds.

The law that received bipartisan support in the Georgia General Assembly was part of adoption reforms that were advocated by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.  Governor Deal said, “This critical and bipartisan bill streamlines the adoption process and updates Georgia’s adoption laws for the 21st century. The work has been years in the making, as we last updated these laws when I was in the state Senate, a full generation ago. With the signing of this bill into law, we are giving children, including the 13,500 children in foster care, renewed hope for a forever family.”

The changes were the first update in nearly three decades to Georgia’s adoption laws.

While the new laws are being touted as a good move for families waiting to adopt, some say that it doesn’t take into count the birth parents who are often under an extreme amount of emotional distress when they place a baby up for adoption.  Those birth parents will now only have four days to change their minds under the new law.

But adoption advocates say that many adoptive parents were traveling outside of Georgia to adopt due to the old outdated law and longer waiting period.  Adoptive parents will now only have to wait four days to adopt a child, which many say will lead to more Georgia children finding their “forever homes.”

Local Democrats To Meet Next Monday

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Local Democrats will be meeting next Monday evening – July 23rd for their regular monthly meeting at the Chattooga County Senior Center in Summerville.

Chattooga County Democrats will be hearing from a state senate candidate that is running to represent the 52nd State Senate District, which encompasses a small portion of Chattooga County that includes Lyerly and Holland.

Local Democrats will also hear from Laura Jacques, the Volunteer Coordinator from the Sarah Riggs Amico campaign. Amico is running for Lieutenant Governor.

Next week’s meeting will be held on Monday at 6 PM at the Chattooga County Senior Center in Summerville.

(WZQZ had reported earlier that the meeting was July 16 – the meeting is scheduled for July 23, 2018)

Georgia Man Arrested In Cherokee County, AL After DUI Crash

 – Photo Credit: WEIS Radio

Law enforcement and emergency workers responded to the report of a single vehicle rollover on Alabama Highway 9 early on Sunday morning, that resulted in the arrest of the driver.

According to reports, the accident happened shortly after 2 AM Central Time on Sunday morning.  When emergency workers and law enforcement arrived on the scene, just a few miles from the Georgia state line, they found a 2010 Chevrolet Impala that had overturned and was resting on its top on the side of Highway 9.

The driver was identified as twenty-three-year-old Christopher Trey Mitchell of Marietta, Georgia.  Mitchell was able to get out of the vehicle on his own before emergency workers arrived.

Mitchell was transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center on charges of DUI.

"Operation Southern Shield" Starts Today

Georgia joins Alabama and three other states in a week-long speed enforcement operation beginning Monday. “Operation Southern Shield” will run through Sunday, July 22.

Law enforcement in Georgia and Alabama will join Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina in pulling over drivers who are traveling above legal speed limits on interstates, major highways and local roads.

“Our troopers are dedicated to participating in collaborative enforcement efforts like Operation Southern Shield, that encourages motorists to drive safely and slow down,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Our main focus this week is reducing crashes and providing a safer transportation experience for motorists traveling in our state.”

According to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, speeding killed more than 10,000 people in 2016 across the nation and was a factor in 27 percent of fatal wrecks nationwide.

Preliminary numbers from the Georgia Department of Transportation said the number of traffic deaths during last year’s Operation Southern Shield were 35 percent lower than during the other three weeks of July.

Chattooga DFCS Warning About Scam

The Chattooga County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) wants to warn area residents about a particular scam.

The local DFCS office says that multiple residents have received a text asking them if they would like to find out if they are eligible for the SNAP/Food Program or Medicaid benefits.  If the person replies “yes” then the scammers begin to ask for personal information.

Jeannie Lane, and administrative supervisor with Chattooga County DFCS says that this is a scam.  DFCS will never text you and ask you for any type of personal information.  If you are interested in DFCS services, you should come by their office located at 102 Highway 48 in Summerville.

Remember, DFCS will NEVER send you a text asking you if you are interested in applying for SNAP/Food Programs or Medicaid eligibility.