Arrest Report - Wednesday - March 21, 2018

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday, March 21, 2018:

Fight at Summerville Motel Leads to Arrest of Carrollton, GA Woman

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Chattooga County deputies were dispatched to the scene of a fight that was taking place in the parking lot of The Summerville Motel on Highway 27.

While deputies were on the scene shortly after 2 AM, they discovered that a woman at the motel had outstanding warrants.  A deputy chased the woman around the back of the motel.  The deputy said that the woman was running between two mobile homes and then jumped over two fences.  He caught up with the woman as she was hiding in the woods behind the motel.  The deputy got the woman out of the woods and took her back to the parking lot of the motel.

The woman, identified as thirty-one-year-0ld Amy Waddell Wilburn of Carrollton, Georgia, had an active warrant.  Deputies asked Ms. Wilburn if she had anything illegal in her bags.  Wilburn told the deputy that she had a marijuana joint in her pocketbook.

When deputies searched the woman’s purse, they found the suspected marijuana joint along with a small clear baggy with suspected marijuana, a grinder and two pipes with suspected marijuana.  They also found another clear pipe containing a white residue.

Wilburn was taken to the Chattooga County Jail on the outstanding warrant and new drug charges.


Trion Kindergarten Registration Tomorrow

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Trion Elementary School will be hosting kindergarten registration from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM coming up tomorrow evening, Thursday, March 22.

The registration is for students not currently enrolled at Trion Elementary School.  Parents will be able to visit classrooms and talk with kindergarten teachers at the event.   The school will be providing hot dogs, chips and drinks.

Parents need to have the following information to register: birth certificate; social security card; photo ID of the parent or legal guardian; GA Immunization Certificate (Form 3231) and the Georgia Eye, Ear, Dental Nutrition Screening (Form 3300).

Those who live in the Trion District will need to provide a current power, gas or water bill in the custodial parent or legal guardian’s name.

Attempted Break-in Reported in Menlo

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A McWhorter Road, Menlo man reported a possible break-in attempt to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office late last week.

According to a report released this week by the sheriff’s office, Charles Toles told a responding deputy that when he and his wife returned home last Thursday around 3 PM they found the front two window screens of their home had been damage.  The responding deputy noted what appeared to be pry marks on them.

When the deputy entered the home with Mr. Toles he saw that a window, close to the door, had been pushed on and knocked off its track.

The complainant requested extra patrol in the area and the case was turned over to an investigator.


Hair Lake Road Man Says Dogs Killed His Rabbits

Last week, a Hair Lake Road, Summerville man reported to the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office that a dog in the area had killed several of his rabbits.  The complainant said that this was not the first time the dog had caused problems.

Justin Ward told a responding deputy that a dog had attacked four of his rabbits that he keeps in an above ground pen.  Mr. Ward said that one red rabbit and a spotted rabbit that were attacked were “probably not going to make it.”

Ward told the deputy that this wasn’t the first encounter that he had with the dog and requested a report be filed.  The responding deputy also alerted Chattooga County Animal Control about the problem.



Gas Prices Rise as Demand Increases

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Gas prices in Chattooga County have gone up some since last week. Experts say that consumer gasoline demand is at the highest level on record for March. According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, with demand more typical of summer months, not the first quarter of a year. U.S. exports continue to trend high, accounting for a large chunk of this week’s demand data.

“As demand strengthened, gasoline inventories declined, pushing the national gas price average two cents more expensive on the week to $2.55,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As a result, the majority of motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices at the start of this work week.”

This week’s national gas price average of $2.55 is two cents more than a month ago and more than a quarter (26 cents) higher than this time last year.

Locally reports gas prices in Chattooga County ranging from $2.31-$2.44 per gallon.  Statewide, the average price for a gallon of gas is at $2.46 per gallon.


Unpaid Bills at City Hall Cause Questions

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The Summerville News reports that late payments and un-filed reports by the City of Summerville have been blamed on poor accounting practices and vacancies in positions at City Hall.

The newspaper reported (See article in The Summerville News here) that city councilmen were raising concerns at a recent meeting saying that bills should be paid in a timely manner.  During the discussion, an independent audit recommends new policies to be put in place to eliminate problems like the City encountered with missing funds from the Santa in Uniform accounts last year.

Councilmen also discussed late payments by the city, including at least one payment of $13,000 that was due a local contractor for the city.  City officials say that the death of a city employee and another employee out on medical leave have caused some problems with bookkeeping for the city.

The independent auditor that looked at city accounts said, “As reported in audit findings, without procedures being in place, management oversight and monitoring funds can be misappropriated, fraud can occur and go undetected.”

City officials say that they are addressing the problems and instituting policies to prevent problems in the future.

Georgia School Supt. Urges School Safety

Georgia students outperform national average on ACT

Georgia’s School Superintendent is urging school systems around the state to review and update school safety measures due to the number of school shootings in recent weeks.  Locally, the Chattooga County Board of Education and School Superintendent Jimmy Lenderman have taken steps to improve school safety.

Richard Woods, Georgia School Superintendent says, “Each day we are entrusted with the safety of nearly 1.8 million students and hundreds of thousands of staff members who come through our doors. School safety is our top priority and responsibility. We are heartbroken for the students, educators and communities who have been impacted by acts of violence on school grounds, and I know you feel the same. We must take this time to review our own school safety procedures and plans and ensure our students and staff members are protected.”

The Chattooga County Board of Education recently approved the placement of gun safes in all Chattooga County Schools.  The safes were donated to the school system and will contain weapons and will be supervised by the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.  Also, the Chattooga Board of Education has approved more school resource officers for each of the schools in the county-wide schools system.

State School Superintendent Woods says, “Even though recent events certainly raise the issue to the forefront of public dialogue and discussion, school safety must continue to be an ongoing process and priority for us.”

Calhoun Police Make Arrest in Connection with Armed Robbery

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Authorities in Calhoun say that they have made an arrest in connection with an armed robbery that took place last month.

Calhoun, Georgia Police Chief Garry Moss states, On Friday, March 16, 2018, Calhoun Police arrested 30-year-old Lorie Jane Thacker of 238 Maple Drive, Cedartown, Ga. in connection with a January 31, 2018, armed robbery.
Detectives began an investigation into the matter, after receiving information she (Thacker) had physically attacked the victim.  While interviewing the victim, detectives were told he had been assaulted and robbed at gunpoint by Thacker, after meeting her on social media and inviting her over.
Thacker is facing one (1) count of armed robbery first degree, one count of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, one count of possession of a firearm by convicted felon and one count of battery, and is currently incarcerated in the Gordon County Jail with bond proceedings pending.
A second person of interest is being sought in this investigation, and more arrests are expected in the near future.
“This case is a stark warning to anyone who plans to meet someone following limited internet contact.  This meeting must take place in public until you feel you know more about the person you are interacting with” Captain Tony Pyle.

Arrest Report - Tuesday - March 20, 2018

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office.

Chattooga County Largely Untouched by Storms

Yesterday, much of the Southeast saw a heavy impact from storms that moved across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, but Chattooga County was largely spared from any damage.  A Tornado Watch was issued on Monday evening and by 11:11 PM, the Chattooga County EMA announced that the watch had expired for our area.  Neighboring Cherokee County, Alabama and Floyd County, Georgia were both under a Tornado Warning for a period of time.  There was some damage reported in Northeast Alabama.

Reports indicated that a possible tornado touched down near Jacksonville State University in Alabama.  According to Northeast Alabama media reports, the roof of a Dollar General store near the University was blown off and some housing units sustained damage.  Also, Jacksonville State University reported damage to Pete Matthews Coliseum, with a University official saying that the roof had been damaged.

In Cherokee County, Alabama there were reports of a roof being blown off a business in Centre and debris was reported in some area roadways.  In Floyd County, EMA officials say there was no major damage, but firefighters responded to a tree that was set on fire by lightning.

Compiled Reports


Red Cross Blood Drive Next Week

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Though spring has officially arrived, the American Red Cross blood supply is still recovering from severe winter storms in March. Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.

Winter weather in parts of the country forced more than 270 blood drives to cancel, resulting in over 9,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations in the first two weeks of March. No matter the weather, the need for blood to help cancer patients, those undergoing surgeries, trauma patients and others remains.

Volunteer blood donors from across the country are needed to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients this spring. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

You will have the opportunity to donate blood at the Chattooga County Red Cross Blood Drive coming up next week on March 27.  The event will be held at Summerville First United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall from 1-6 PM.


Unemployment Up Slightly in Chattooga County

The Georgia Department of Labor has released revised unemployment numbers for December to January.  According to the latest figures from the Georgia Department of Labor, Chattooga County saw an increase in unemployment at the first of the year.  The rate jumped from 4.1 percent to 4.9 percent, or eight-tenths of a percentage point.  It should be noted that Chattooga County and all of the region has seen decreasing unemployment for over the past year.  Chattooga County was not alone.  Walker County’s unemployment went from 4.1 to 4.4 percent and Whitfield County saw the most dramatic increase – up to 6.6 percent, for the same period.  Revised February numbers will be released in the upcoming days from the Georgia Department of Labor.



Alabama Man Lies About Drivers License

A man who says he is from Alabama, was arrested over the weekend after telling a deputy that he had “lost” his driver’s license.  The man eventually admitted to never having had a driver’s license at all.

This past Saturday, around 4:30 in the afternoon, a Chattooga County Deputy noticed a Chevrolet Tahoe with a busted windshield traveling on Highway 27 near Butler Dairy Road.  The deputy followed the vehicle into the Summerville City limits and pulled it over in the Burger Shack parking lot.

The driver identified himself as Misael Mendez of Huntsville, Alabama.  He told the deputy that he was traveling through Chattooga County on his way to his job in Atlanta.  When asked to produce his driver’s license, Mendez told the deputy that he had lost his license.  When the deputy attempted to run the license throughout the tri-state area, no license came back in Mr. Mendez’s name.

At that point, Mendez admitted that he has never had a driver’s license and was transported to the Chattooga County Jail.



Georgia Ranks #2 in the Nation in Consumer Fraud

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The Federal Trade Commission ranks Georgia second in the country for consumer fraud in 2017.  The FTC said it received 96,316 consumer reports of fraud from Georgia in 2017 – or 924 per 100,000 state residents.

The top states reporting fraud in 2017 were Florida, Georgia and Nevada, according to the agency’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, which was released on March 1st.

Here are three things that the Federal Trade Commission says can help you avoid scammers who try to call you:

  1. Hang up on robocalls. If you pick up the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal. And plentiful. Don’t press 1, 2 or any number to get off a list or speak to a person. That just means you’ll get even more calls.
  2. Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make caller ID look like anyone is calling: the IRS, a business or government office…even your own phone number. If they tell you to pay money for any reason, or ask for your financial account numbers, hang up.  If you think the caller might be legitimate, call back to a number you know is genuine – not the number the caller gave you.
  3. Talk to someone. Before you give up money or information, talk to someone you trust. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. Slow down, check out the story, search online – or just tell a friend. We find that people who talk to someone – anyone – are much less likely to fall for a scam.

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

If you suspect you have been scammed, please contact the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department as soon as possible.


Georgia Turkey Season Opens Saturday

Georgia’s Turkey Season is upon us, with the season set to open on Saturday, Mar. 24. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division expects that the 2018 season will be better than 2017.

“Reproduction in 2016 was the best we have seen since 2011, so that should mean a good supply of vocal 2-year old gobblers across much of the state in 2018,” says Kevin Lowrey, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator.

With a bag limit of three gobblers per season, hunters have from Mar. 24 through May 15—one of the longest seasons in the nation—to harvest their bird(s). With many pursuing wild turkeys on private land, hunters are reminded to obtain landowner permission before hunting.

What should hunters expect this spring? The Blue Ridge, Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain should have the best success based on 2016 reproduction information. The Lower Coastal Plain had two good years of reproduction in 2015 and 2016, and despite declines in reproduction in 2017, they should have a great 2018 season. The Ridge and Valley is very stable and hunters will not seem much change in this area compared to recent years.

Georgia Game Check: All turkey hunters must report their harvest using Georgia Game Check. Turkeys can be reported on the Outdoors GA app ( which now works whether you have cell service or not, at, or by calling 1-800-366-2661. More information at

Hunters age 16 years or older (including those accompanying youth or others) will need a hunting license and a big game license unless hunting on their own private land. Get your license at, at a retail license vendor or by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

Alabama Woman Arrested in Floyd County on Drug Charges

A woman that Floyd County Police say was seen attempting to conceal something during a traffic stop on West 11th Street at Martha Berry Boulevard was jailed on drug charges Saturday.

According to Floyd County Jail records, the item was a makeup bag containing a small amount of suspected methamphetamine, a small baggie of marijuana, pills believed to be Tramadol and a used syringe.

25-year old Kayla Breeann Moses of Centre, Alabama is charged with possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of drug-related objects, and possession of drugs not in the original container.


Sheriff's Department Responds to Incident on Mahan Road

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The Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department responded to an incident on Mahan Road in Summerville over the past weekend, after a woman called to report a dark vehicle and trailer taking items from a residence.

The incident happened on Saturday and was reported at 4429 Mahan Road.   According to the complainant, she has power of attorney over her mother’s property located at the address.  The woman told the responding deputy that she believed a dark vehicle pulling a trailer had loaded up items from the residence and taken them away without permission.

When the deputy spoke with a neighbor, they reported a white SUV having come to the residence and had video on their phone of the vehicle.  The complainant and deputy determined that the white SUV was a family member that had permission to be on the property.  No neighbors saw a dark vehicle with a trailer leaving the area.

The complainant said that the former tenant of the property had a drug problem and that the house had been raided by the Drug Task Force.  She was not sure what all items may be missing from the residence.

The deputy noted in his report that there was damage to the home, but some of the damage looked as if it had been done over the past several months.

The case was turned over to an investigator.

Rep. Lumsden's Weekly Report

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State Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), who represents all of Chattooga County and a large portion of Floyd County in the State House, has released his weekly legislative report.  Rep. Lumsden says that during the 10th week of the General Assembly the House has passed a measure that will better coordinate state health care policies.  The bill, Senate Bill 357, would establish a Health Coordination and Innovation Council of the State of Georgia under the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget to streamline and coordinate all components of our state’s health care system. The council would bring together academic, industry and government experts and leaders to share information, coordinate the major functions of Georgia’s health care system and develop innovative approaches to stabilize costs and improve access to quality health care. Also, the House passed a bill that would increase the age of coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments from six-years-old to 20-years-old and would increase the coverage limit from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. Additionally,the bill would require insurers to provide coverage for applied behavior analysis, which is recognized as a necessary medical treatment for autism.  You can read Rep. Lumsden’s complete report here:


Legislative Update

Week Ten

On Thursday, March 15, my House colleagues and I completed Legislative Day 35 and our tenth week of the 2018 legislative session, and we now only have five working days remaining until Legislative Day 40, or sine die. Legislative Day 40 is the last day the House will take up business for the year, and since we only have a few days left to wrap up our legislative work, this week was extremely busy in committees, and our agendas were very full as we reviewed and passed Senate measures in the House Chamber.

This week, the House passed a critical measure that seeks to better coordinate state health care policies in an effort to address the unique health challenges facing our state. Senate Bill 357, also known as “The Health Act,” would establish the Health Coordination and Innovation Council of the State of Georgia under the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget to streamline and coordinate all components of our state’s health care system. The council would bring together academic, industry and government experts and leaders to share information, coordinate the major functions of Georgia’s health care system and develop innovative approaches to stabilize costs and improve access to quality health care. The council would serve as a research forum to identify our state’s greatest health issues and promote cooperation between private and public agencies to test new ideas. The council’s responsibilities would include evaluating the effectiveness of previously enacted and ongoing health programs; determining how to best develop new approaches and promote innovation to improve Georgia’s health care system; and maximizing the effectiveness of existing resources, expertise and improvement opportunities. The 18-member council would consist of commissioners and

directors from health and human services-related departments and divisions, including a new position for a director of health care policy and strategic planning, and health care professionals appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives. The bill would also establish an advisory board that would provide guidance to the council. The council and advisory board would help lead the way to a higher quality and more effective health care system in Georgia and improve health care access and outcomes for all Georgians, and this bill is a major step forward in addressing the health care-related challenges our state faces.

My House colleagues and I unanimously passed a measure this week that would ensure children with autism in Georgia have access to vital treatments and therapies needed to lead full and healthy lives. Senate Bill 118 would increase the age of coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments from six-years-old to 20-years-old and would increase the coverage limit from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. Additionally, SB 118 would require insurers to provide coverage for applied behavior analysis, which is recognized as a necessary medical treatment for autism. If signed into law, SB 118 would take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. SB 118 would greatly benefit our state’s autistic youth and their families, as the measure would guarantee that more of Georgia’s children who are on the autism spectrum receive the therapies, treatments and care they need to thrive.

Elder abuse cases have risen significantly across the state in recent years, and on Thursday, March 15, the House passed a measure to address this alarming trend. Senate Bill 406 would create the Georgia Long-term Care Background Check Program, which would require elder care providers in personal care homes or other assisted living facilities to undergo comprehensive, fingerprint-based criminal background checks. This provision would apply to owners, applicants for employment and employees of personal care homes, assisted living

communities, private home care providers, home health agencies, hospice care, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities or adult day cares. If SB 406 is signed into law, the background check requirement would take effect on Oct. 1, 2019, for new applicants and on Jan. 1, 2021, for existing employees and owners. In addition, under SB 406, the Department of Community Health would establish and maintain a central caregiver registry so that a family member or guardian looking to hire a personal caregiver for an elderly person could access information on eligible and ineligible applicants and employers. SB 406 is based on the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform’s recommendations, and this significant measure seeks protect our state’s senior citizens and decrease cases of elder abuse.

As I have discussed in previous columns, the House has greatly prioritized legislation to boost economic development in Georgia’s rural communities throughout this legislative session, and this week, the House continued its commitment to rural Georgia by adopting House Resolution 1376. HR 1376 urges the House Rural Development Council (RDC) to solicit input from Georgia’s hospitals on their financial conditions, including profitability, community benefit, cash revenue and viability projections for hospitals in financial crisis. The resolution also suggests that the RDC receive recommendations from the hospital industry on any legislative or regulatory changes that could help sustain our state’s health care industry. Georgia’s hospitals are extremely important to the areas they serve, as they play a key role in a community’s economic development and provide indigent care to those in need. However, in Georgia, there is a wide discrepancy among hospitals in regards to how much indigent and charity care they provide. Some of Georgia’s hospitals are very profitable, while others, especially in rural Georgia, are at risk of closing, and the recommended provisions in this measure would provide the RDC with valuable information needed to help our state’s rural hospitals flourish.

Additionally, on Thursday, March 15, the House passed Senate Bill 330, the Georgia Agricultural Education Act. Under this bill, Georgia’s agricultural education programs for students in grades six through 12 would be required to be based on the nationally recognized three-component model of school-based agricultural education. The three-component model would consist of daily classroom and lab instruction; hands-on, experimental learning through a supervised agricultural experience program; and leadership and learning opportunities through participation in agricultural education programs, such the Georgia Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association. The Department of Education would develop curriculum and standards for the program with input from agricultural education teachers. Further, this legislation would authorize the Department of Education to establish an elementary agricultural education pilot program to determine whether such a program would be appropriate for statewide implementation. Georgia’s agriculture education programs provide our students with valuable and unique learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom setting, and it is essential that we preserve and expand these programs so that more of our state’s students can learn about agriculture and the agriculture industry, which is the biggest industry in Georgia.

Last legislative session, the House championed 12 military-friendly bills and six resolutions in honor of Georgia’s military, and this session, we have passed almost a dozen additional bills to benefit our state’s military, including Senate Bill 395, which passed the House unanimously this week. This bipartisan bill would establish the 18-member Georgia Joint Defense Commission, which would be responsible for advising the governor and the Georgia General Assembly on state and national-level defense and military issues; recommending policies and plans to support the long-term sustainability and development of Georgia’s active and civilian military; developing programs to enhance communities’ relationships with military

installations; and serving as a task force to prepare for potential base realignment or military installation closures in the state. The council would submit an annual report to the governor and the Georgia General Assembly on the state of Georgia’s military installations, as well as a tactical plan for navigating a possible base realignment or military installation closure. Finally, this bill would establish the Defense Community Economic Development Grant Program to assist military communities with projects, events and activities that promote military installations. The Joint Defense Commission and the Defense Community Economic Development Grant Program would help to further strengthen Georgia’s military-friendly reputation, bolster our state’s military installations and ultimately enhance the quality of life for Georgia’s active-duty military members and veterans.

In addition to SB 395, the House passed another bill to assist our service men and women on Thursday, March 15. Senate Bill 82 would allow members of the Georgia National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces located in Georgia to be classified as a legal residents under eligibility requirements for HOPE scholarships and grants. This expansion would only apply to Georgia National Guard or reserve members who are stationed in Georgia or who list Georgia as his or her home of record. Currently, only active-duty military service members, their spouses and their dependent children are eligible to receive Georgia’s HOPE scholarships and grants, and SB 82 would allow the brave men and women who serve in the Georgia National Guard and the reserves to reap the same educational benefits as their active-duty military counterparts.

With five legislative days remaining until we adjourn sine die for the 2018 legislative session, it is more important than ever that you reach out to me to express any concerns or share

any input you have regarding pending legislation. I highly value your thoughts and opinions, and I want to know what you, your family and our neighbors think about legislative matters that impact our community and our state. Please visit my Capitol office anytime, which is located at 612-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building across from the Capitol. I can also be reached by phone at 404-656-0325, or by email at

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative.

Eddie Lumsden

Democratic Party Meeting Canceled and Rescheduled

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Tonight’s meeting of the Chattooga County Democratic Party has been canceled due to the possibility of severe weather.  Democratic Party officials say that the meeting has been rescheduled for next Monday, March 26th at 6 PM at the Chattooga County Senior Center in Summerville.