Arrest Report - Friday October 23, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday October 23, 2020:

Friday Night Football On WZQZ

Both local high school football teams will be playing on their home-turf tonight. 

The Chattooga Indians are coming off a two-week quarantine after the football team was exposed to COVID-19.  The Indians will be playing their Homecoming game and hosting Coosa.  Join Barry Peppers with the play-by-play on WZQZ 99.1 FM and with live audio on WZQZ’s Facebook Page.

The Trion Bulldogs will be at home taking on Augusta Christian School.  You can watch the game on WZQZ’s Facebook Page and hear the play-by-play with Ben Groce and  and Coy Hefner who if filling in for Jeremy Burke tonight.

Special thanks to tonight’s sponsors: State Senator Jeff Mullis, Mohawk Industries, North Georgia Equipment Sales, First National Bank, Loughridge Equipment, The Crushed Tomato, United Community Bank, Jimmy Holbrook for Chattooga County Commissioner, Harvey’s South End Auto, Holley Strawn-Gilliland for Chattooga County Probate Judge, Southern Living Farm and Garden and your Summerville McDonald’s.

UPDATE:

WZQZ regrets that we will not be able to broadcast tonight’s Trion Football game on our Facebook Page. One of our WZQZ Bulldog Broadcast Crew members has been exposed to COVID-19 and must quarantine. You can still listen to the Chattooga Indians this evening starting at 7 PM with the pre-game show. Barry Peppers will have the play-by-play on 99.1 FM and live audio on Facebook.

Winters Reappointed By Governor Kemp

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has reappointed Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters to the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission was formed to protect, conserve and improve the soil and water resources of the State of Georgia.  The Commission’s goal is to make Georgia a better place for its citizens through the wise use and protection of basic soil and water resources and to achieve practical water quality goals.

There are 40 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the state.  Each county has at least two supervisor representatives on the District Board of Supervisors.

The Commission was started by Governor Nathan Deal with five supervisors from different regions of the state.

The Commissioner members include Commissioner Winters, Kerry Van Moore, Bob Martin, Edwin Nix and Vikkie Townsend Consiglio.

 

GDOL Warning About Social Security Scam

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Georgia Labor officials are sounding the alarm about a recent phone scam in Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) says it received several reports of an automated call claiming that an individual’s Social Security number had been compromised in Texas.

The call, which appears to come from GDOL, asks whoever is on the other end of the line to press a button to speak with a representative about the next steps.

“This is just another example of how bad actors are slowing down the unemployment benefit process for Georgians,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “These tricks are being attempted all over the nation and we must be vigilant to not fall victim to these criminals.”

Officials say that GDOL is not calling anyone to address potential fraud in another state and would never ask for all nine digits of a Social Security number to identify an individual.

“If a claimant is contacted by the GDOL, the representative already knows the claimant’s account details and will not have to ask for specific identifying information,” a statement from the department reads.

If someone needs to verify their identity with GDOL, they’ll be directed to ID.me, a nationally recognized partner of the agency.

Anyone who has received a fraudulent call and has given out any personal information should contact the Federal Trade Commission to report potential identity theft online here.

GDOL also suggests filing a police report with local authorities.

To help identify potential fraud with an individual’s UI account, GDOL encourages reporting fraud and abuse on the agency’s homepage under Online Services.

The department says it continues to work with state and federal agencies to tackle crime, including phone scams.

Former Chattooga Sheriff & Wife Establish Scholarship At GNTC

Seated in the office of Dr. Heidi Popham, president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), former Chattooga County Sheriff and GEMA Director Gary McConnell and his wife Diane McConnell established a Public Safety Scholarship through the GNTC Foundation.

With a combined public safety career of over 75 years, the McConnell’s wanted to assist students in Basic Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice Technology, EMS Professions and other first responder related programs.

“First responders deserve this training and the public deserves properly trained first responders,” said Gary McConnell, a GNTC Foundation Trustee. “When I first started out as a deputy sheriff in 1965 we were just handed a badge and a gun.”

From serving as sheriff of Chattooga County to the director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, McConnell has lobbied for the State of Georgia to put into place basic police training such as the Basic Law Enforcement Program at GNTC.

“We are fortunate to be in the position where we can now give back to make sure needs are met,” said Diane McConnell. “Everyone needs a helping hand occasionally.”

During her tenure in public service, Diane McConnell worked with parolees, probationers and served as a license examiner.

“We are so grateful to Gary and Diane McConnell for establishing this scholarship,” said Popham. “It will ensure that students in our public safety programs will be able to reach their educational goals and begin their important work as first responders.”

The GNTC Foundation was established to encourage private contributions in order to build and maintain outstanding academic and support programs at the college. Donations to the Foundation support areas of institutional need including scholarships to deserving students, equipment purchases, materials for the library and staff development.

As of Oct. 1, the GNTC Foundation has awarded nearly $55,000 in student scholarships and financial assistance. The GNTC Foundation recently launched a year-end fundraising campaign, which will run until Dec. 1. The campaign’s goal is to raise $20,000 for student scholarship support.

The Foundation Trustees are Valerie Brown, Whitfield County; Linda Case, Dade County; Jay LeGrande, Polk County; Gary McConnell, Chattooga County; Sherrie Patterson, Murray County; Damon Raines, Walker County; Becky Redd, Gordon County; Mitch Sanford, Whitfield County; Jay Still, Whitfield County; Wil Stiles, Catoosa County; Scott Tucker, Floyd County; Carolyn Walker, Walker County; and Doris White, Walker County.

Sheriff Posts Deputy At Registrars Office

If you go to vote early in Chattooga County, you will find a Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputy posted at the door of the Registrars Office.

Apparently, a voter showed up at the polls to cast his ballot this week and had on a cap supporting a political candidate.  Georgia law is clear, there can be no campaign paraphernalia within 150 feet of any polling place.  The law has been in place for decades, but when a poll worker at the registrars office tried to enforce the rule the voter got upset.  A poll worker was shoved during the confrontation with the voter, prompting the sheriff to post a deputy at the door.

“There has been a couple of incidents where people have gotten agitated,” Sheriff Schrader said. “Some of them have gotten pretty heated.”

When you go to vote early, or on election day, remember that no shirts, caps or hats, bumper stickers, signs or any other political paraphernalia should be within 150 feet of the polling place.

 

Expect Delays At I-75 / I-24 Split This Weekend

If you are traveling on I-75 in the Chattanooga area this weekend, you want to be watching for road construction.

Be ready for delays on the I-75/24 split this weekend: I-75 North exit 2 in Tennessee to I-24 West will be closed for construction.  The exit closure is expected to cause delays northbound from Georgia into Tennessee.

The closure starts this Friday at 9 p.m. and continues through Monday at 6 a.m.

Local GOP Plans "Trump Parade"

The Chattooga County Republican Party is planning a “Trump Parade” on Saturday that will start in Trion and pass through downtown Summerville.  Those who want to participate are being urged to decorate their vehicles with Trump signs and flags. Organizers ask those who wish to participate to gather at the Triangle Shopping Center parking lot at 10:30 and the parade will begin at 11:30 AM.

Arrest Report - Thursday October 22, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday October 22, 2020:

Televisions Stolen From Storage Building In Trion

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A LaFayette woman reported a burglary at a storage unit on Highway 27 in Trion on Sunday of this week.

Jakerria Walker told a responding Chattooga County deputy that she hadn’t been to the storage in about two months.  When the complainant came to the storage unit to retrieve some items, she noticed she had a hard time getting her key to work in the lock and the door was hard to open.

Once inside, the complainant found several items had been taken including two televisions, a bed frame and mattress and several totes with various items inside.

The incident was turned over to an investigator with the sheriff’s office.

 

Red Cross Blood Drive In Trion Next Month

The need for healthy blood donors is constant – but this year it’s even more important as the U.S. braces for flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets to ensure a strong blood supply for patients as the U.S. braces for flu season while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There will be an America Red Cross Blood Drive at the Trion Recreation Center coming up next month on Tuesday, November 10th from 2 PM –  6 PM.

Red Cross officials are telling potential donors that the flu shot doesn’t affect blood donation eligibility

Medical experts are urging people to get the flu shot to avoid a flu epidemic on top of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Because blood can only be given by those who are feeling well, a severe flu season could create additional challenges to maintaining a sufficient blood supply for hospital patients in need.

There is no waiting period to give blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free. There is no risk of transmitting the influenza virus after receiving a flu vaccination.

For those that have the flu, it is important to wait until they no longer exhibit flu symptoms, have recovered completely and feel well before attempting to donate. Donors must feel healthy and well on the day of donation.

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

The American Red Cross needs your help to urge those who are feeling healthy to make a blood donation appointment and to bust myths that receiving the flu vaccination impacts blood donation eligibility.

 

Paradise Gardens Receives "Cultural Facilities" Grant

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Georgia Council for the Arts, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced the recipients of the Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities grant awards for fiscal year 2021.  Paradise Gardens in Chattooga County was the recipient of a Cultural Facilities grant.

The Vibrant Communities Grant supports a variety of arts programming opportunities in communities, and the Cultural Facilities Grant supports the restoration or renovation of a building to be used for arts programming. Seventy-seven entities in 58 counties will receive more than $585,000 in funding as part of this year’s awards.

“A thriving arts community creates thousands of jobs and contributes to a healthy and diverse economy.  The Georgia Council for the Arts is proud to continue to support our state’s arts organizations through the distribution of Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities grants,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “The arts community needs our support more than ever, and this funding offers immediate assistance in housing and facilitating arts programs that provide meaningful experiences for Georgians.”

Georgia Council for the Arts received 115 applications from arts organizations, schools, libraries, cities, historical societies, community theatres, Boys & Girls Clubs and more. The Vibrant Communities Grant is available to organizations in counties that did not receive a fiscal year 2021 Project, Partner or Arts Education Grant, and allowed applications to support online programming due to COVID-19. Cultural Facilities Grants are available to arts organizations for repairing, preserving or acquiring an arts facility, or for purchasing equipment.

Following precedent set by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Georgia Council for the Arts used Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications. These panels included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience and knowledge.

Georgia’s creative industries have a reported $62.5 billion impact on the economy, generating roughly $37 billion in revenue and accounting for about 200,000 jobs in the state.

Health Inspection Scores - First Half Of October 2020

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Here is the latest health inspection score from the Chattooga County Environmental Health Department for the first half of October:

  • SUMMERVILLE NUTRITION

  • 10523 COMMERCE ST SUMMERVILLE, GA 30747
  • Phone Number: (706) 331-0462
  • Permit Type: FS
  • Last Inspection Score: 96
  • Last Inspection Date: 10-15-2020

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

Rome Man Charged With Child Cruelty

A thirty-three-year old Rome man was arrested Monday at his Bollen Court home on charges of aggravated assault and 1st-degree cruelty to children.

According to Floyd County Jail records, Adam Corey Master applied pressure to the throat of a child, causing the victim to be unable to breathe.

Master also allegedly shoved the victim into a wire rack inside a bedroom.

He also reportedly placed his hand onto the mouth of a witness and shoved her into a lawn chair before throwing a glass beer bottle at her.

Master, who was stopped by police at Shorter Avenue and Horseleg Creek Road, was additionally charged with battery, simple battery, simple assault, and driving with a suspended license.

Third Georgia Probate Judge Dies From COVID-19

A third Georgia probate judge has died of complications from COVID-19.

Karen Batten, Brantley County’s probate judge since 2016, died Monday, said Kevin Holder, executive director of the state Council of Probate Court Judges. Batten was 62.
Batten died after nearly three weeks on a ventilator, Holder said. Her husband, who also contracted the virus, remains in intensive care on a ventilator. Holder said he doesn’t know how Batten contracted the virus.
Council president Kelli Wolk, Cobb County’s probate judge, called Batten’s death “heartbreaking.”
“Judge Batten was a genuinely kind soul,” Wolk said. “She was known to gently rib her colleagues, was always quick to share in a joke or funny story and absolutely loved her job as probate judge. … We will miss her sweet spirit, but we are heartened by the fact that we had the pleasure to cross her path.”
Batten served as the probate court’s chief clerk before she was elected as probate judge in 2016, Holder said. Batten won an uncontested race for reelection this year before becoming ill.
On Sept. 17, Batten notified Waycross Circuit Superior Court Judge Dwayne Gillis that she was closing probate court and placing herself and her two clerks in quarantine. Brantley County is in the Waycross Circuit.
Batten’s positive test prompted Gillis to temporarily close the courthouse after she informed him that an unspecified number of people “working regularly” at the courthouse also had likely been exposed or were experiencing symptoms of the virus.
Batten’s two clerks did not test positive for COVID-19 and have returned to work, Holder said.
Batten’s death follows a decision by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia to continue lifting restrictions that for months have limited the state’s courts to essential and emergency operations. On Oct. 11, Chief Justice Harold Melton issued a new emergency declaration lifting a seven-month suspension of in-person jury trials intended to curb COVID-19′s spread. In September, Melton allowed circuits to begin reconvening grand juries as long as they followed public health and safety protocols.
Melton said he was confident that judges can resume in-person jury trials while protecting jurors, litigants, lawyers and other trial participants from contracting the virus. The justice’s Judiciary Pandemic Task Force has paid for public service announcements to assure potential jurors and others that they will be safe.
Batten was one of 15 probate judges across the state who have been sickened with COVID-19. Eleven probate clerks have also contracted the virus, and one has died. Two other judges—Dougherty County Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson and Chattooga County Probate Judge Jon Payne—also died after contracting the virus.
Stephenson and her husband, Dougherty State Court Judge John Stephenson, were among a number of Dougherty County courthouse employees who contracted the virus after a juror in a high-profile murder trial was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early March.
Alcovy Circuit Superior Court Judge Horace Johnson Jr. died in July after testing positive for COVID-19.
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Lt. Governor Visits Roper Plant

On a tour of LaFayette’s Roper Plant on Tuesday of this week, Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan learned that the range and oven manufacturer is “booming” during the pandemic which has greatly increased demand for cooking products.

Roper already employs 2,000 workers and needs to hire 100 more, according to plant manager Lois Crandell.

The Lt. Governor saw demonstrations of Roper’s new technology in oven products.  The company spent $43 million to launch new products in 2019.

Earlier this year, Roper closed the plant for a week to install dividers and align work stations according to CDC guidelines, to protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lt. Governor Duncan also toured Mount Vernon Mills in Trion on Tuesday.

Arrest Report - Wednesday October 21, 2020

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Wednesday October 21, 2020:

Cedar Bluff Man Sentenced For Sexual Abuse Of A Child

A Cherokee County, Alabama man, indicted back in December of 2018 on the charges of Sexual Abuse of a Child under the age of 12 and Sodomy 1st Degree, will be heading to prison, following a plea agreement to lesser included charges of two counts of the Attempted Sexual Abuse of a Child under the age 12.

On Monday, in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Hairston, 53 year old Timothy Lyn Culver of Cedar Bluff was sentenced to serve a “split-sentence” of five years incarceration in the state penitentiary with 18 months to serve on each count for a total of 36 months – that followed by five years probation on each count, for a total of ten years, with those sentences running consecutively.

Culver was additionally ordered to pay court costs.

He was booked in at the Cherokee County Detention Center around 11:30 Monday morning to await transport to prison.

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Area Football Games Postponed Due To COVID-19

The Pepperell High at Gordon Central High football game previously scheduled for this Friday, October 23, 2020, has been postponed to Monday, October 26 at 7 p.m. due to members of the GCHS football team having to quarantine because of direct exposure to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Armuchee High’s football game vs. B.E.S.T. Academy previously scheduled for Friday has been canceled due to members of the AHS football team being quarantined because of direct exposure to COVID-19.

Floyd County Schools say a separate announcement will be made if a make-up game date is finalized.

The Chattooga Indians will be returning to the field this Friday at home to take on Coosa after the Indians were quarantined for two weeks due to COVID-19 exposure.

 

NFPA Urges Caution With Halloween Decorations

As families find creative ways to celebrate Halloween in response to COVID-19, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges everyone to keep fire safety in mind, particularly when decorating with candles and electrical lighting.

“Because typical Halloween activities like trick-or-treating may be curtailed or even canceled in some communities, we suspect an even bigger focus on Halloween decorating in and around homes this year,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “We urge everyone to carefully consider fire safety to ensure that celebrations remain festively spooky, not hazardous.”
According to NFPA, candles are among the leading causes of U.S. home fires. NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Candle Fires report shows that an annual average of 7,610  home fires are started by candles, resulting in 81 deaths, 677 injuries and $278 million in direct property damage. In addition, an average of 770 home fires started when decorations ignited. These fires caused an average of two civilian deaths, 20 civilian injuries, and $11.1 million in direct property damage per year.
NFPA offers these reminders to make sure everyone’s Halloween celebrations don’t go from “boo” to “boo-hoo”:
  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
  • When using electrical lighting to decorate your home, make sure it is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. Make sure all smoke alarms are working.
For families still planning to attend Halloween parties or go trick-or-treating:
  • When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric that could come in contact with open flames or other heat sources.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.
  • Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes.
Visit the NFPA Halloween safety page for more resources of how to stay safe. Frightfully fun activities for kids can be found on NFPA’s Sparky the Fire Dog® homepage.
For release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the this NFPA press room.
As all of us continue to navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, NFPA remains committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. For information on NFPA’s response to the coronavirus, please visit our webpage.