Sheriff Holds First of Two Church Safety Seminars

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader held the first of two church safety seminars yesterday at 9 AM. At least 60 pastors and assistant pastors attended.

The three-hour program was held at the Chattooga County Agricultural Center in Summerville, and was designed especially for pastors and assistant pastors. On his Facebook page, Schrader said that at least 60 pastors/asst. pastors attended.

Schrader instructed the attendants on how to improve and maintain church security, and how to be as prepared as possible for safety emergencies. The date of the second seminar, which will be open to anyone who is interested, will be announced after the start of the new year.

Schrader’s full statement from his Facebook page:


I appreciate the 60 Pastors, Assistant Pastors and other church leaders who braved the cold this morning to attend our 1st session of Church Security and Emergency preparedness for places of worship training class. I enjoyed the fellowship and look forward to session 2 which will be announced after the first of the year. Special thanks to Sgt. Josh Powell for helping to make this training available.

Arrest Report - Sunday - December 17, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Sunday, December 17, 2017:

Menlo to have Church Doors Checked Following Growing Reports of Break-Ins

Menlo security personnel will begin checking doors at churches in the city limits due to a problem of break-ins in the city. The approval by the Menlo City Council came at its meeting Tuesday.
The security personnel already checks the doors on businesses in the city.
he board heard a report from auditor Lloyd Williamson about the city’s finances.
The Summerville News

Hays Prison Fires Two for Sex and Drugs

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Hays State Prison has fired two employees in two separate incidents involving sex with an inmate and bringing drugs into the prison.

Forty-year-old Hinesville, Georgia man Luis Vega Diego was fired for allegedly smuggling illegal and tobacco inside. The warrant for his arrest was filed on December 5, and the smuggling allegedly occurred between June and October of this year.

Forty-eight-year-old Menlo woman Keitha Michele Vaughan was fired for allegedly sleeping with an inmate under her supervision. According to the warrant for her arrest, the prison claims it occurred between 3 and 4 AM between November 26 and December 3.

Vaughan has reportedly confessed to the accusation. The inmate in question is a twenty-three-year-old serving a twenty-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

Vaughan faces a charge of sexual assault.

Gas Prices a Pinch Cheaper during the Holidays

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline dropped two cents on the week last Monday to $2.46. East Coast and Midwest states are seeing the largest drops in gas prices – as much as six cents – in the last week.

While a small number of states, who historically experience ongoing volatility, are seeing increases: Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents), Ohio (+4 cents), Hawaii (+1 cent) and Illinois (+1 cent). Drivers can expect pump prices to continue to drop heading into the holiday season as supply strengthens and fall gasoline demand weakens.

“Nationally, gas prices are 10 cents cheaper on the month and will continue to drop as we count down the days to the holidays,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects gasoline demand to weaken throughout the winter, which translates to better prices at the pump.”

On the week, most South and Southeast states are seeing moderate gas price drops – two to three cents. The region is home to the top five states with the cheapest gas in the country: Oklahoma ($2.19), Alabama ($2.20), South Carolina ($2.21), Mississippi ($2.21) and Texas ($2.22). At $2.41, Florida carries the most expensive gas of all states in the region, which is about 20 cents more than one year ago.

There was a 1.5 million bbl build in gasoline inventory. With 78.4 million bbl in total, the South and Southeast region carry the largest amount of inventory in the country.

Arrest Report - Saturday - December 16, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department for Saturday, December 16, 2017:

Lookout Mtn. DTF Arrests Three in Walker Co.

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The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force made three arrests in Walker Co. on Wednesday.

  • Officers happened upon a suspect with outstanding warrants on Happy Valley Rd., north of Ridgeland High School. Thirty-six-year-old Wesley Cecil Sparks had several bags of methamphetamine packaged for sale along with numerous pills. He was charged with possession of meth with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The pills are still being identified.
  • Forty-eight-year-old Dennis William Bryson was arrested on E. Sherry Dr. in Rossville and charged with possession of meth.
  • In Lafayette, complaints led to the arrest of forty-one-year-old Chip Christopher Broom at the Lafayette apartments at 307 S. Main. Broom was found with a meth pipe and was subsequently charged with meth possession.

The LMJC DTF serves Chattooga, Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties.

A Finnish Told WEIS Radio He Listens to Them

Pictured: Hannu Niileksela listening to WEIS in Helsinki, Finland

You never know who’s listening to WEIS Radio. On Friday evening, WEIS Radio General Manager Jerry Baker received an email and recording from a Finnish from Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Hannu Niileksela said that in his 40+ years in the radio hobby, that this was one of the most miraculous and clearest signals he’s ever heard.

Hello WEIS Radio – very warm Season´s Greetings to you all from Northern Finland – 200 miles beyond the Arctic Circle ! Would you ever have imagined that WEIS 990 AM might be heard as far away as in Finland, some 4500 miles ? In any case that is what just might have happened early this morning, December 15, 2017 – provided that you can agree to the details of my reception…Let me take a moment of your precious time to explain in a bit more detail… My greatest passion is for distant AM radio reception and every now and then I spend a couple of weeks 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle here in Finland – with a hope for distant signals with my communications receiver and several 3000 -foot long wire antennas.

I strongly believe that if the Lord wants me to hear a far away station, that kind of miracle happens. I am currently again “up here” for 2 weeks of intensive listening. I´m glad to report that the atmospheric skip is quite favorable in the direction of your great country .At around 5 am your time was monitoring 990 AM. Normally it is quite seldom that I can hear any stations on 990 AM due to the low powers. Not much came through this time either, but a station fades in just after 5 am your time Central (exactly 5.02 to 5.04 am) with a male voice.

It is fairly weak, but upon listening to my recording very carefully and twisting my ear, I think he (Merry Jerry) is saying details like : “…CLEAR SKIES IN THE…LAKES AREA… …ON 100.5 FM AND 990 AM….CALL THE AMERICAN AUCTIONEERS TODAY 256-927-5263 OR STOP BY THEIR OFFICE AT 1033 WEST MAIN STREET IN CENTRE… …AND A GOOD MORNING, IT IS TIME FOR THE WEATHER UPDATE….HIGH TODAY WILL BE NEAR 85…” So this was just a short “burst”, but I hope that what I think is being said would match with what was broadcast early this morning at little past 5 am. I am also enclosing an mp3 recording of the underlined part of the material, starting with “100.5 FM and 990 AM”. It is weak and partly under a strong Canadian station, but all the length of this recording (1 minute and 20 seconds) your signal can be recognized. I hope that you have a chance to listen to them with good speakers or headphones, since otherwise this may be hard to hear. !

This place is Lemmenjoki, Finland. If you want so see how far north I am, just put “Lemmenjoki ” on Google Maps. I am at about the same latitude as Barrow, Alaska… I hope that I have correctly identified your station…In that case, thank you for extending a little bit of your programming all the way over here. Should you confirm back to me this being your station, it would definitely be one of my greatest success stories in this hobby ! Hoping to hear back from you with positive news, Very best regards and Season´s Greetings !

– Hannu Niileksela, Helsinki Finland

Read more on WEIS Radio.

"Rocket" Wheeler Back as Rome Braves Manager

The 2018 Rome Braves field staff has been announced and Ralph “Rocket” Wheeler has been named as the team’s manager.

Wheeler, in his 16th year with the Braves organization returns to Rome after managing the Florida Fire Frogs in Kissimmee in 2017.  He was the first Rome Braves manager in its 2003 inaugural season, led the team to a South Atlantic League Championship and was named Braves Minor League Manager of the Year.

In 2008, Wheeler garnered the prestigious honor of being named by Baseball America as the Minor League Manager of the Year as well as the Carolina League Manager of the Year.  Rocket resides in Myrtle beach, S.C. and has a son Marty and a daughter Kate.

Also returning to the Rome staff is hitting coach Bobby Moore, who will serve his sixth season with the team and his 22nd with the Braves’ farm system.  Moore is in his second stint in Rome after serving as the hitting coach from 2003-2010.  Dan Meyer will return as pitching coach for the third year and actually played for Wheeler in the 2003 championship season.  Vic Scarpone joins the Rome club from the Danville Braves as trainer, where he spent 2017, his first full season in the organization.

Rome opens the 2018 campaign at home against the Hagerstown Suns on April 5th.  Special season ticket plans are now on sale and make great holiday stocking stuffers.

Coosa Valley News

Health Inspection Scores – First Half of December

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Here are the latest health inspection scores from the Chattooga County Health Department for the last half of November:

Bojangles (Food Service Inspections)
View inspections:
December 15, 2017 Score: 84, Grade: B

Date: 12/15/2017 Grade: B
No. Description of code requirement not in compliance Occur
6-1B Proper hot holding temperatures 1
12B Personal cleanliness 1
12C Wiping cloths: properly used and stored 1
17B Garbage/refuse properly disposed; facilities maintained 1
18 Insects, rodents, and animals not present 1

Jalisco (Food Service Inspections)
14222 HWY 27 TRION, GA 30753
View inspections:
December 1, 2017 Score: 89, Grade: B

Date: 12/01/2017 Grade: B
No. Description of code requirement not in compliance Occur
1-2A PIC present, demonstrates knowledge, performs duties* 1
2-2A Management knowledge, responsibilities, reporting* 1
2-2E Response procedures for vomiting & diarrheal events 1
12A Contamination prevented during food preparation, storage, display 1

*Poses a known risk for food-borne illness(es).

Kelloree ( Tourist Accomodation Inspections)
View inspections:
December 13, 2017 Score: 100, Grade: A (2014)

Mountain Grove Bed & Breakfast ( Tourist Accomodation Inspections)
View inspections:
December 15, 2017 Score: 98, Grade: A (2014)

Date: 12/15/2017 Grade: A
No. Description of code requirement not in compliance Occur
25 Floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors clean, and in good repair; appropriate for location and operation 1

Should you ever have any complaint with any food service or tourist accommodation that operates in Chattooga County, you can register that complaint by contacting the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department at 706-857-3377.

Winters Holds Routine Public County Budget Hearing at 10 AM on a Friday

County Commissioner Jason Winters held a public meeting on the county budget for the year Friday morning at 10 AM.

The meeting at Winters’ office was a state-mandated forum for the commissioner to explain the current county budget and receive comments from the public. No comments were made by any in attendance. There will be a second and final hearing next Friday at 10 AM at which the budget will be delcared formally finalized.

About 10 people attended the meeting, mostly local elected officials whom Winters invited. They included, Judge Tracy Maddox, Tax Commissioner Hampton, and others. Notably, Judge Jon Payne was absent.

Santa in Uniform Basketball Tournament Tomorrow

The Santa in Uniform Basketball Tournament will be held tomorrow at the Summerville Rec Center and organizers say you should come hungry.

From the Summerville Fire Department:

Those coming to the Santa In Uniform basketball tournament this Saturday needs to come hungry at lunch time, we will have Chic Fil-A sandwiches being sold around lunch time from 11:00 until 1:00, so again come hungry and help support Santa In Uniform.

Arrest Report - Friday - December 15, 2017

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, December 15, 2017:

Trion Town Council Holds Meeting

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At the Trion town council’s last meeting for the year, the council voted to purchase new equipment for the local park.

The council will buy four black swings and four benches. The swings will have concrete pads placed under them. Precise locations in the park of the new equipment have not yet been determined, and a price for the town is still pending. 

Councilwomen Linda Ingle and Beck McWhorter wished the public a Merry Christmas. Don Harris said he regrets that the council was unable to form vet’s committee at the meeting, but hopes to do it at the January meeting.

Mrs. McWhorter also presented outgoing councilman Casey Brown with a formal commendation for his service on behalf of the Town of Trion. Brown lost his council seat to Jeff “Fro” Wilson in November’s municipal election.

Mayor Stansell was not present at the meeting.

Summerville Woman's Car Stolen and Wrecked in Walker

In the early hours of last Wednesday morning, a local sheriff’s corporal informed a Summerville woman that her car had been stolen and wrecked in Walker Co.

Around 6:30 AM on the thirteenth, the corporal was dispatched to a Tate Rd. residence to ask the homeowner if a vehicle she owned that had been recently recovered in Walker Co. had been stolen or borrowed with permission.

The corporal arrived to ask title-owner Diane Reece if her vehicle had been stolen, and he told her that the vehicle (make and model not listed in reports) had been found in Walker Co. in a car wreck.

Reece told the deputy she had not given anyone permission to have her vehicle, and that she had last operated her vehicle the day previous and had parked it in her driveway with the keys in the ignition.

The case was turned over to a county investigator and the investigation is ongoing as of Friday morning.

Man Caught Selling Drugs in Lafayette Circle K

A twenty-three-year-old Rossville man was arrested Tuesday morning for trying to sell drugs in a Lafayette Circle K gas station.

Around 1 o’-clock, employees at the Circle K on West Main called polic. When they arrived, they found twenty–three-year-old Rossville man Jeremy David Morris coming out of the restroom with a plunger in his hand.

According to a person on the scene, Morris had allegedly tried to sell him drugs in the store. Morris was found with weed on his person.

After his arrest, Morris’ things were found in various places: his shoes were outside behind the store; his jack was on the hot dog rotisserie; and his backpack was outside in front of the store. All of the items were recovered and went with him to the Walker Co. jail. He was charged with possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct.


Secret Compartment in Trunk Used to Store Weed

Patrick Brammer (L); Aaron Gentry (R)

Last Tuesday, two 23-years-old Summerville men were arrested for possession of weed following a traffic stop.

Around 10 PM, a deputy parked near the intersection of E. St. and Curran St. in Summerville (near Jerry’s Drive-In) began a traffic stop on a Honda Civic with a broken taillight.

Driver John Patrick Brammer was advised of the reason for the stop, and he and his passenger Timothy Aaron Gentry provided their IDs to the officer. Gentry’s ID returned that he was on probation in Georgia.

The deputy recorded in his report that Brammer and the vehicle’s interior smelled heavily of marijuana, and he asked for Brammer’s consent to search the vehicle, which was given.

While searching the vehicle the deputy opened the trunk, and on the passenger side of the vehicle, he found a small hidden compartment containing a bag containing just under an ounce of marijuana.

Brammer and Gentry were placed under arrest and booked into the Chattooga County jail. Luallen’s towed the vehicle. The traffic stop was recorded on a body camera.

Tom Graves Supports the FCC's Killing of Net Neutrality

Representative Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to dismantle net neutrality regulations.

“I commend Chairman Pai and the FCC for approving this plan to restore internet freedom. It’s the result of an open and transparent process that provided all relevant documents and information to the public ahead of the vote. The plan will repeal Obama-era net neutrality regulations, which stifled innovation and competition on the internet and did nothing to protect consumers. Returning to a free and open internet will ensure the online marketplace continues to flourish while increasing broadband access for rural and low-income Americans.”

What are the imminent effects of ending net neutrality?

Fox News: Repealing net neutrality regulations means consumers could start paying more for their Internet services, critics have said. Consumers could also see Internet Service Providers start to “bundle” services — such as certain websites or applications — and charge more depending on what a person wants access to, experts said.

CNN: Net neutrality advocates worry how repeal will impact the “next” Netflix. Upstart companies may struggle to strike deals with providers and pay up to have their content delivered faster.

The repeal could change how customers are billed for services, both for good and bad. T-Mobile, for example, was criticized by net neutrality supporters for effectively making it cheaper for customers to stream videos from Netflix and HBO, putting other video services at a disadvantage.

CBS: The proposal will not only roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers from blocking or collecting a toll for services they don’t like — it also bars states from imposing their own rules.


The FCC vote does not make this a done deal, though. It’s very like this issue could end up being decided in court, or perhaps even by legislation in Congress.

“Whenever we do anything big and major, people go to court,” a senior FCC official said last month. “I certainly would not rule that out.”

Chattoga Students Leaving School Early Today

Chattooga Football

Chattooga County Schools will release students from school at 1 PM today. Bus routes will start at that time.

Shorter U.'s Nursing Program Among Best in State

Shorter University’s Ben and Ollie Brady School of Nursing has been ranked No. 6 on a list of the 10 Best Colleges for Nursing Majors in Georgia, according to a list compiled by Zippia.

“We are pleased that these rankings recognize the excellence of our nursing program, and it is gratifying to see our program ranked above larger state institutions, including Georgia College and State University, the University of West Georgia, Clayton State University, and Armstrong State University,” said Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless.

“At Shorter University, our nursing program is crafted to fit well with our mission of Transforming Lives through Christ. Our nursing faculty excel in providing the classroom and clinical training that future nurses need to be successful in their careers. Added to that is a strong emphasis on the calling of serving others with the love of Jesus Christ through the nursing profession,” Dr. Dowless said.

According to the organization’s website, the Zippia rankings (online at are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the College Scorecard data from, including career results, percentage of graduates who are nursing majors, and school performance factors.

Roxanne Johnston, dean of Shorter’s nursing school, said the rankings are an exciting development for the Brady School, which has also just learned of its graduates’ performance on the NCLEX (the nationwide examination for the licensing of nursing) during the 2017 calendar year.

“This is an exciting time for our school,” Johnston said. “We are happy the rankings recognize the work we are doing to provide excellent nursing education in a Christ-centered environment. Also, we’ve just gotten the results from our last student who took the NCLEX, and it brings our pass rate for the 2017 calendar year to 84%. Those results will most likely be updated on the Georgia Board of Nursing’s website in early 2018. In addition, we were pleased to note that, for the 2017 graduating class, the pass rate was 90%.”

The NCLEX scores reported on the state nursing board’s website record the pass rate for any graduates of a nursing program who take the test for the first time during a single calendar year. “Of the 2017 graduating class, those that did not pass have all retested and passed and are fully licensed nurses,” Johnston added.

“I am proud of our students; they have worked hard to do well on the NCLEX,” Johnston said. “I’m also proud of our faculty. They have taken extra time to develop plans to improve test scores and executed those plans well.”

Shorter’s School of Nursing recently received a 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which is the maximum length of accreditation awarded by CCNE for Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. The Brady School faculty is working on plans for its 2018 international/intracultural health care mission trip, which will take the junior class of nurses to Haiti where they will serve in health clinics during Spring Break.

Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review annually include Shorter on their lists of best regional colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and master’s programs.