Roper Employees Getting $2 Per Hour Raise During COVID-19 Pandemic

Roper employees are getting a “thank you” raise of $2.00 per hour for production workers.

Some are not happy with the company’s choice to stay in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic… and over 1,700 people have signed an online petition asking the company for a temporary shutdown.

A GE news release said “we continue to be dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our employees and have implemented new procedures to promote a safe environment”.  These include no-touch temperature screenings, adjusted production lines for social distancing, installed barriers between work stations and enhanced cleaning and sanitation within the LaFayette range and oven plant.

The release concludes:  “The health and safety of our employees comes first… we are grateful to our production teams for the work they do”.

WQCH

Spring Creek Road Burglary Reported

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Chattooga County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a Spring Creek Road residence on Tuesday evening of this week to investigate a possible burglary.

When a responding deputy arrived they spoke with James and Jessica Brand who were waiting in the driveway of the residence.  Mr. and Mrs. Brand told the deputy that they check the residence every couple of days and when they were checking on Tuesday, they found the back door to the residence open.  A number of things were missing, including some items that were piled up by the back door.

The incident had been turned over to an investigator.

 

Department Of Labor Preparing For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Georgia Department of Labor is updating its current systems to distribute federal unemployment funds as part of the CARES Act… bringing relief to many Georgians currently not eligible for state unemployment benefits.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, or those with limited work history who will not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

Georgia is modifying its current online unemployment application, adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA.  This modified application is expected to be available next Monday, on the GDOL website. Once the application is received, it will take several weeks to process.

Gadsden State Delays Summer Semester

Several Chattooga County residents attend Gadsden State Community College in Centre, Alabama.  Gadsden State President Dr. Martha Lavender has announced that instruction will continue online, the summer semester will be delayed, and commencement ceremonies have been rescheduled.

“We are doing our best to evolve with the ever-changing environment caused by the COVID-19 virus,” she said. “Our students and their education remain our No. 1 priority, and the faculty is working hard to ensure that their online instructional experience is a positive one.”

In an email sent to students this week, Lavender encouraged them to contact their instructors if they are having difficulty completing the spring semester online. The College announced on March 27 that the remainder of the semester would be completed online.

Lavender also said Gadsden State is delaying the start of the full summer semester as well as summer II mini term to June 8. The previous start date was May 28. The third mini term this summer will begin July 2 as scheduled.

Lavender said the College will offer summer courses as online or in a hybrid setting, which combines online instruction and traditional classroom teaching.

Also in an email to students, Lavender announced that the previously postponed spring commencement ceremony has been rescheduled. The College is hosting two commencement ceremonies to accommodate both spring semester and summer semester graduates. Students may choose to participate in the ceremony planned for Aug. 10 at the Oxford Civic Center or Aug. 11 at Gadsden State Cherokee in Centre, Alabama.

More information will be released in the coming weeks concerning commencement ceremony registration. Stay up-to-date by visiting www.gadsdenstate.edu

WEIS Radio / WZQZ

 

COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Could Begin Arriving Next Week

Coronavirus stimulus checks could reportedly begin arriving as soon as next week.

According to various sources, the IRS has sped up its process and says it is now aiming for “early next week” for direct deposit checks.  Meanwhile, paper checks for those who do not have an address on file with the IRS will start going out April 20th.

Stimulus checks, which are designed to cushion the blow from job and income loss from the coronavirus pandemic, were originally set to start being deposited by April 15th.

The coronavirus stimulus provides $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000 and a total of $2,400 for married couples filing jointly who earn up to $150,000.

Recipients who earn more than those amounts will have their payments reduced by $5 for each $100,000 above the income threshold.  Single filers who earn more than $99,000 and joint filers who earn more than $198,000 are not eligible. The stimulus also provides $500 for each qualifying child.

Amounts are based on 2019 or 2018 tax returns.

Compiled Sources

FMC Converting Parking Deck Into "Field Hospital"

Photo Credit: WRGA

Floyd Medical Center is preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. The hospital is adding more hospital beds as models show we could see a surge in COVID-19 patients in late April or early May.

Floyd has utilized the 2nd and 3rd floors at the former Kindred Hospital and they are adding a 20 bed ICU hospital in the front parking lot. Now, work is underway to convert the first floor of the Floyd parking deck near the main entrance, according to David Early, Vice President of Support Services and Operations at Floyd.

“We believe by April 18 or 20, we are going to have this somewhat operational to service up to 200 patients,” he said.  “Both the 20-bed hospital and the 200-bed area, we hope that we never have to use them.  Certainly, we are going to serve the community and make sure that we are ready for it.  That’s our mission here at Floyd Health Systems.”

Floyd President and CEO Kurt Stuenkel explained why converting the parking deck made a lot of sense. “It has a concrete superstructure, it has a rooftop covering, and it has concrete flooring,” he said.  “Now, we are standing up walls and putting in HVAC, electrical and lighting.  it’s going to be a really fine field hospital.

In all, the additions will give Floyd more than 500 beds.

WRGA

Hosmer Releases Information About Chattooga County School System

Governor Kemp announced the extension of Georgia’s Shelter-in-Place order on April 8, 2020. As previously announced, Chattooga County Schools’ students will not be allowed to return to their brick and mortar buildings. Therefore, the system’s Digital Learning Plan and Paper/Pencil Packets will continue for the remainder of the school year.

In order to decrease the risk of exposure, beginning the week of April 13, we will change the schedule of Paper/Pencil packet pickup to Tuesdays only. Packets will be available for pickup from 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 14th, Tuesday, April 21st, and Tuesday April 28th.

In addition to this change, 7 days’ worth of meals will be available for pickup on Tuesdays only and will be delivered by bus on Tuesdays only. (See related news release)

Please continue to check the school websites, social media, and local media outlets for any additional information.

Chattooga County Meal Procedure

The Chattooga County School District will resume the distribution of free meals for our students next Tuesday, April 14, 2020 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. In order to reduce exposure for everyone involved, delivery will occur only once a week. However, each delivery will contain a full week of breakfasts and lunches. It is important to follow the food safety instructions included with the packaged meals. Many items will be frozen and must be stored in the freezer or refrigerator immediately.

Meals will be delivered to all bus routes in Chattooga County and will be given to anyone 18 years of age or under. If you do not normally ride a bus but would like to receive these meals, simply meet at the bus stop closest to your home.

The drive thru pick-up option will continue at each school from 10 a.m. – 12 noon once a week only and will also include a full week of meals. The distribution and pick-up schedule for the remainder of April is Tuesday, April 14, Tuesday, April 21, and Tuesday, April 28.

We anticipate continuing meal delivery through the end of May but due to the unpredictability of this pandemic, schedules are subject to change. We will keep you updated and hope that all students are continuing to practice safe social distancing.

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report - Thursday - April 9, 2020 - 7 PM Report

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report For: 04/09/2020

These data represent confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health as of 04/09/2020 18:28:28.
A confirmed case is defined as a person who has tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases: No. Cases (%)
Total 10885 (100%)
Hospitalized 2298(21.11%)
Deaths 412 (3.79%)

 

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases By County: No. Cases No. Deaths
Fulton 1336 48
Dougherty 1042 66
Dekalb 766 13
Cobb 653 32
Gwinnett 618 17
Clayton 298 11
Hall 247 0
Henry 233 3
Lee 217 15
Bartow 203 15
Carroll 195 5
Sumter 194 9
Cherokee 167 6
Douglas 134 5
Chatham 131 4
Mitchell 118 13
Muscogee 118 3
Forsyth 109 2
Houston 108 7
Early 105 5
Floyd 100 5
Terrell 98 10
Randolph 95 4
Fayette 93 4
Richmond 89 4
Coweta 87 2
Rockdale 85 2
Clarke 82 10
Colquitt 79 5
Thomas 72 3
Newton 70 3
Worth 70 4
Paulding 69 2
Crisp 60 0
Spalding 60 4
Columbia 58 0
Bibb 56 1
Tift 55 1
Troup 54 3
Lowndes 53 1
Coffee 50 2
Barrow 48 3
Ware 45 4
Upson 42 0
Pierce 40 1
Calhoun 37 2
Dooly 35 1
Oconee 34 1
Baldwin 32 1
Walton 32 2
Glynn 31 0
Bryan 28 2
Gordon 27 3
Laurens 27 0
Jackson 26 1
Butts 25 0
Decatur 25 0
Turner 25 0
Dawson 24 1
Greene 24 1
Polk 22 0
Burke 21 1
Washington 21 0
Whitfield 21 3
Peach 20 2
Camden 19 0
Effingham 19 1
Mcduffie 18 2
Meriwether 18 0
Brooks 17 1
Harris 17 1
Macon 16 0
Bulloch 15 0
Clay 15 1
Haralson 15 0
Lamar 15 0
Stephens 15 0
Johnson 14 1
Liberty 14 0
Bacon 13 0
Grady 13 0
Morgan 13 0
Seminole 13 0
Monroe 12 1
Murray 12 0
Pike 12 0
Baker 11 2
Habersham 11 0
Irwin 11 0
Schley 11 1
Toombs 11 1
White 11 0
Catoosa 10 0
Madison 10 1
Pickens 10 2
Dodge 9 0
Fannin 9 0
Jones 9 0
Lumpkin 9 0
Miller 9 0
Pulaski 9 0
Jenkins 8 1
Marion 8 0
Talbot 8 1
Wilkinson 8 0
Appling 7 0
Ben Hill 7 0
Emanuel 7 0
Telfair 7 0
Berrien 6 0
Brantley 6 1
Cook 6 0
Jasper 6 0
Lincoln 6 0
Rabun 6 0
Warren 6 0
Wilkes 6 0
Banks 5 0
Lanier 5 0
Oglethorpe 5 1
Putnam 5 0
Screven 5 0
Taylor 5 2
Union 5 1
Wilcox 5 0
Atkinson 4 0
Candler 4 0
Chattooga 4 1
Gilmer 4 0
Jefferson 4 1
Quitman 4 0
Stewart 4 0
Walker 4 0
Chattahoochee 3 0
Clinch 3 0
Crawford 3 0
Elbert 3 0
Franklin 3 0
Hart 3 0
Heard 3 1
Mcintosh 3 0
Tattnall 3 0
Wayne 3 0
Webster 3 0
Charlton 2 0
Dade 2 1
Echols 2 0
Towns 2 0
Twiggs 2 0
Wheeler 2 0
Bleckley 1 0
Hancock 1 0
Jeff Davis 1 0
Long 1 0
Treutlen 1 0
Unknown 951 8
*Based on patient county of residence when known

Commissioner Winters' Daily COVID-19 Report - Thursday - April 9, 2020

FOR APRIL 9, 2020 1:00 PM RELEASE

CHATTOOGA COUNTY OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Chattooga County is working hard to ensure the health and safety of our employees that deliver critical services as well as the safety and welfare of our residents. With 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1 confirmed death certain departments within Chattooga County will be limiting operations until further notice. All County facilities will operate under limited access to the public according to the Governor’s Emergency Health Order and the Governor’s Shelter-In-Place Order. In accordance with that Order some county employees that are able to, will telework or in staggered shifts. Please contact the specific office that you are needing to access to allow them to assist you in providing essential services. Specific information for the departments is listed below. With the fluid nature of this pandemic, operations can change at any time. Chattooga County will continue to update citizens through local media channels and social media on the Chattooga County, Georgia EMA/ 911 on Facebook. Please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 for more information and all department contacts and phone numbers are listed on our County website www.chattoogacounty.org by clicking on the Government Tab. Our intent is to update this daily with any new information or changes for departments that may occur and post on the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook and the www.chattoogacounty.org website.

*Governor Kemp has issued a Shelter-In-Place for the State of Georgia to take effect Friday April 3, 2020 at 6:PM and will extend to April 30, 2020. Governor Kemp’s Emergency Public Health Order has been extended to May 13, 2020. Please contact any office with any questions concerning the order.

Monitoring Data for Chattooga County

· 5 confirmed cases and 1 death in Chattooga County per Georgia Department of Public Health. Please watch the Georgia Department of Public Health Website at https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-department-public-health-covid-19-daily-status-reportfor COVID-19 official case counts released each day at 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

· Urgent Care Patient In-take Level- MODERATE with Increases

· Unacast Cell Movement Data- County Score of D with 40%- 55% decrease in cell phone movement data and less than 55% decrease in non essential trips. This information can be tracked at https://www.unacast.com/covid19/social-distancing-scoreboard. This information was last updated 4/8/2020 on Unacast.

Please limit movement and take social distancing steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office- The Commissioner’s Office will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0700 or 706 857-0701.

Superior Court— The Judicial Emergency Order has been extended through May 13, 2020.

Clerk of Court Office— The Chattooga County Clerk’s Office is open for ESSENTIAL matters. We will be at work and able to help you by phone or through online services. See information below. THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED FROM 12:00 PM TO 1:00 PM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Clerk’s Office – 706/857-0706 Pay your (County) traffic tickets – www.payyourtix.com Real Estate efiling & search – www.gsccca.org

Real Estate search – gasearch.kofile.us Civil efiling – www.peachcourt.com

Probate Court & Elections – Our office has been and will continue to be open for ESSENTIAL matters with the exception of the following directions. We are alternating our work days manning the office with one person at a time. Judge Payne is getting his messages and can operate from his home.

There is a correction sent from the State Office of Vital Records: We will continue to accept ESSENTIAL walk-in requests. You need to complete a written request form in the hallway with your pertinent information, present photo ID, and pay $25.

Marriage licenses may still be applied for only under ESSENTIAL needs. You must apply online at georgiaprobaterecords.com, call our office to verify we have received the transmittal, and make an appointment for a marriage license. You must present photo ID and a final divorce decree or death certificate if you have a previous marriage. Marriage licenses are $66 without counseling and $26 with 6 hours of certified counseling.

New gun permits cannot be applied for during this time. If you already have a license and your expiration date is coming up we will extend the time period with no penalty.

Chattooga County EMA/911- The office will be closed to the public but citizens can access the non emergency number at 706-857-3400 or in an emergency call 911. Also please follow the Chattooga County EMA/911 Facebook Page for the most updated information.

Chattooga County Health Department- Currently, the Chattooga County Health Department is providing essential services only, such as for Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. We are trying to provide WIC via telephone with an online nutrition component. This can change quickly daily based on our role. Please call our office for details in place of coming into the clinic. 706-857-3471

Chattooga County Extension Service (4-H) – The Chattooga County Extension Service will operate under limited access to the public but will be accessible by contacting 706-857-0744 or uge1055@uga.edu . Individual Staff can be reached through email as follows: Rebecca Thomas, County Extension Coordinator rbt@uga.edu ; Kim Snow, Administrative Assistant kpsnow@uga.edu ; Zach White, 4-H Agent zwhite@uga.edu ; Kendra Stallings, ANR Program Assistant ks6@uga.edu ; and Claudia Navichoque, EFNEP Program Assistant cnavichoque@uga.edu . We are still open and conducting business practicing social distancing via teleworking. Citizens can stay updated on resources through our webpage www.ugaextension.org/chattooga or exploring the Chattooga County Extension Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/

Some Current Points of Interest within Extension Programming: · https://extension.uga.edu/topic-areas/timely-topics/emergencies.html – COVID- 19 resources from Governmental and Agency Resources along with virtual resources for families · Home Gardening Resources – https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/chattooga/agriculture-and-natural-resources/home-gardening-.html including a growing calendar, planting chart, Starting a Home Garden, Gardening in Containers, and several videos for reference · https://extension.uga.edu/content/extension/publications/series/detail.html?id=71&name=Home%20Garden Home Garden Publications · https://www.facebook.com/chattoogaext/ – Daily post surrounding educational zoom sessions and learning opportunities

· Sign Ups are being taken for Cooking on a Budget On-line Classes. All interested individuals must send an email to rbt@uga.edu for registration information

· The CDC Diabetic Prevention Program is meeting weekly via Zoom on the virtually on-line platform.

District Attorney’s Office— To be updated

Juvenile Court— To be updated

State Court – ( Judge John Dennis) Because the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court has signed another order extending the Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency and because of the current state of affairs in Georgia, including Chattooga County, I have conferred with Solicitor Sanford Hill and Clerk Kim James and moved our next State Court Date to June. (This date, if conditions improve, will be almost a month past the last expiration date.) State Court is held in the Annex, our courtroom combined with the large number of people whom we see on a monthly basis dictates our erring on the side of caution.

As you may know, once I became Judge of State Court, I signed an order that would allow for OR bonds in almost every misdemeanor case that necessitated an arrest and a booking. (Many citations are written that do not require arrests.). Pursuant to my order, the only people who have to see a judge before a bond is set are those charged with some kind of battery—namely, family violence. Also, individuals arrested and charged with DUI have to sit, usually four hours, before they are released. The

policies that we have instituted are such that Citizens of Chattooga County, even those in jail, will have little close exposure to other individuals.

Sheriff’s Office/Jail— Deputies respond to and meet with many citizens throughout their shift and often times within the citizens home. Sheriff’s Office staff have been asked to avoid shaking hands, stand about 6 feet away from citizens that they are meeting or talking with. Also, if you request a deputy for a report or other reason please step outside, if feasible, and meet with them. Deputies have been authorized to handle certain reports via telephone. These precautionary measures will not hinder or damper a criminal investigation.

Jail: Since we have a large population of individuals housed in a confined space, we will be taking precautionary measures at the jail as well. The one that will most likely affect family of incarcerated persons are revised visitation schedules. Also, services where outside individuals are allowed to meet with inmates i.e. church services and drug counseling services are suspended for now.

Registrar’s Office- Our office is closed to the public at this time.

The Primary has been moved to June 9, 2020.

Absentee By Mail ballots are a great way for voters to cast a ballot from the privacy of their homes. We are working to process these applications as quickly as possible. Due to the high number of returns, the initial processing period might take longer than normal. You can check the status of your absentee application on the My Voter Page located at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do Absentee By Mail Information: * Absentee By Mail Applications were sent to all active registered voters. Inactive and some Pending voters are still eligible to request an absentee ballot but will not automatically receive a request from the State. Anyone who registered after these applications were printed will not automatically receive an application either. There have been several of these applications returned to our office undeliverable. * All requests must include a signature of the person making the request. You may make a request on behalf of a family member who is disabled or temporarily living outside of the county. All other requests must be made by the voter. * Electronic signatures are not accepted. * Party selection is required because this is a primary. Voters may choose between Democratic, Republican, or Non-Partisan. (Non-Partisan ballots do not contain Democratic or Republican races/questions.) * For an application for an absentee ballot, visit https://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/Absentee_Ballot_Application_2018.pdf * Absentee ballot applications may be accepted by mail, email, or fax. * Absentee By Mail Ballots must be received by June 9, 2020 and are accepted through the mail. (After our office opens to the public, ballots may be hand delivered as well.) Registration/Record Update Information: * To find an application to register to vote, go to registertovote.sos.ga.gov * Registration applications (or an application updating information for an already registered voter) are accepted by mail. They are not accepted by fax or email. You may also submit a registration application online if you have a Georgia Driver’s License or State Issued ID card (ID only card issued by the Department of Driver Services), your name has not changed since your ID was issued, and you give permission to the Department of Driver Services to share your signature with our office. Advance Voting Information: * Advance Voting is scheduled to begin May 18, 2020 for the General Primary and the continuation of the Presidential Preference Primary. * During this time, individuals who have not already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary who select either a Democratic or a Republican ballot will also receive the Presidential Preference Primary on the ballot. Individuals who already cast a ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary will only receive a ballot for the General Primary. We will have one member of staff available in the office from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm on weekdays. You may contact us by phone at (706) 857 – 0739, email us at chattoogaregistrar@gmail.com, or fax us at 706-857-0739.

Public Works—Chattooga County Public Works will continue to operate with appropriate distancing procedures in place.

Chattooga County Sanitation and Remote Dump Sites— The Transfer Station will remain open and the Remote Dump sites will remain open. Remote Site attendants have been directed to keep a safe distance and not assist with dumping trash or recycling material. Citizens will need to be able to dispose of their refuse and recyclable items without the assistance of the attendants. Please remember that only household garbage may be disposed of at the remote sites.

Tax Assessors’ Office—Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the Chattooga County Tax Assessors’ office, located at the Chattooga County Courthouse Annex, will be closed to public access. Citizens can visit https://www.qpublic.net/chattooga to determine a method of application and/or delivery for Real Property Returns, Personal Property Returns, Homestead Exemption Applications, etc., which will still be accepted. The property appraisal staff will continue to visit properties during this time but will refrain from as much face-to-face interaction as possible.

The Tax Assessor’s Office is waiting on guidance from the Department of Revenue on extensions for certain filing deadlines. Once this notification is made it will be released and possible extensions put in place.

Tax Commissioner’s Office—The Chattooga County Tax Commissioner’s office, including the tag and property tax offices, will be closed to public access. We strongly encourage all tag renewals and property tax payments to be made through our website at www.chattoogatax.com . To help our customers, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 we will waive late penalties on payments and the credit card transaction fee on online payment will be waived for property taxes. Mobile Home property taxes

that are due April1 will be extended to May 1 and Fi Fas will not be filed until May 1. Tag and new registrations from person to person sales are extended to May 15 with no penalty. Once again the office will be operating with limited personnel and if you call please leave your name and a contact number and we will get back with you to process your need.

Magistrate Court—The Magistrate Court will work with the Superior Court and the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office to ensure the safety of all citizens who use Magistrate Court and our employees. We realize this may delay the scheduling of cases beyond the normal times and hope that the citizens understand the reason why. We continue to monitor the situation and appreciate the understanding of our customers. Citizens are urged to call our office if they have any questions or concerns.

Chattooga County Animal Control– We currently are asking all citizens who wish to surrender a pet to call and make an appointment. We will take all the information needed over the phone for the surrender and email a surrender form to be signed and sent back. When you arrive, we ask that you please stay in the vehicle and call the shelter at 706-857-0679. We will come out to the vehicle to retrieve the animal and complete the process.

Chattooga County Water Department—The Chattooga County Water Department will continue to offer current level of services as long as staffing is available to support. They request that customers attempt to make payments via mail, online, or by telephone instead of in-person, if possible. Any customers wishing to start a new service should make the initial request via telephone at 706-734-2827 as opposed to in-person. In some instances, the transaction may be completed without an in-person visit. At any rate, the initial phone can provide an opportunity to share any information necessary to minimize the amount of time required in the office. You can pay your bill online at www.chattoogawater.org.

Chattooga County Senior Center- The Chattooga County Senior Center will be closed for activities for the next two weeks. Home meal delivery will continue. Currently all Senior Citizens that normally attend the Senior are being delivered a meal now. Extra meals have been ordered and we currently are able to fill all requested assistance needs.

Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce- The Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce office is closed, but Executive Director Cindy Rivers is available by phone (706.857.4033) or email (chamber@chattoogacounty.org). All Chamber events have been suspended until further notice. Updates to our website and Facebook page are kept current, and a new Facebook group has been created: Together4Chattooga in order to offer an environment for businesses to post their updates and connect with consumers.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) now offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in Chattooga County affected by coronavirus. Access more details on how to apply at https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 or call our office for help.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services. Claims may be filed through their website: dol.georgia.gov or call our office for help. Facebook is launching a $100 million grant program for small businesses. They’ve also created a Business Hub with tips on how businesses can survive the coronavirus outbreak.

Chattooga County Agricultural Center- The Ag Center will be closed until further notice.

Chattooga County Civic Center- The Civic Center will be closed until further notice.

Chattooga County EOA Office- Closed to the public until further notice. If you are in need of assistance please call the Jasper Office at 706-692-5644. Please leave your name, number and need and they will get back to you. We ask for patience and understanding at this time.

Chattooga County Library- (Trion and Summerville Locations) – Based on recommendations from the CDC, Governor Kemp, and Commissioner Winters the Chattooga County Library System will be closed to the public through at least April. At that point, a decision will be made whether to reopen. While libraries normally invite people to come to libraries during emergencies, that is not the best option at this time because virus containment works best when all gathering spaces are closed.

People can park in our parking lot and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi at both library locations in Summerville and Trion. The password for Summerville is chattooga1234 and the Trion Public Library password is trion1234 . Our patrons are invited to take advantage of our FREE online resources including e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines for both adults and children through GADD, e-read kids, and TumbleBooks. You can also search a recipe database. Available through the library system’s website: chattoogacountylibrary.org . You can use a smartphone as well as other Internet capable devices to do this.

If you have a library item due, your due date will automatically be extended until May 1st. All overdues fees will be waived during this time. Limited email support will be provided during this time. Email either sstephens@chattoogacountylibrary.org or sbaker@chattoogacountylibrary.org . Watch our Facebook at Chattooga County Library for other activities such as a preschool storytime on Thursdays at 10:30.

Chattooga County Transit- We will be transporting Dialysis patients to and from the dialysis center until further notice.

For more information, please contact the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office at 706-857-0700 or e-mail at chattcom@windstream.net or jwincom@windstream.net

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report - Thursday - April 9, 2020 - Noon Report

CHATTOOGA COUNTY IS NOW REPORTING 5 COVID-19 CASES 

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report For: 04/09/2020

These data represent confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health as of 04/09/2020 11:45:04.
A confirmed case is defined as a person who has tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases: No. Cases (%)
Total 10566 (100%)
Hospitalized 2159(20.43%)
Deaths 379 (3.59%)

 

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases By County: No. Cases No. Deaths
Fulton 1276 45
Dougherty 1020 62
Dekalb 742 12
Cobb 629 29
Gwinnett 603 17
Clayton 297 11
Hall 238 0
Henry 225 3
Lee 212 14
Bartow 196 12
Sumter 190 5
Carroll 183 4
Cherokee 159 6
Chatham 131 4
Douglas 127 5
Mitchell 116 14
Early 105 5
Forsyth 104 2
Houston 103 7
Floyd 99 4
Muscogee 98 2
Terrell 96 9
Randolph 91 4
Fayette 89 3
Rockdale 85 2
Coweta 84 2
Richmond 84 4
Clarke 81 9
Colquitt 78 5
Worth 68 3
Newton 67 3
Paulding 65 1
Spalding 58 4
Thomas 57 2
Columbia 55 0
Bibb 53 1
Crisp 53 0
Tift 52 1
Troup 52 3
Lowndes 50 1
Coffee 48 2
Barrow 46 3
Ware 45 4
Pierce 40 1
Upson 40 0
Calhoun 35 2
Oconee 33 1
Glynn 31 0
Baldwin 30 1
Dooly 28 1
Laurens 27 0
Walton 27 2
Gordon 26 3
Bryan 25 2
Dawson 24 1
Jackson 24 1
Butts 23 0
Greene 23 1
Polk 22 0
Turner 22 0
Decatur 21 0
Burke 20 0
Peach 20 2
Whitfield 20 3
Camden 19 0
Effingham 19 1
Mcduffie 18 1
Meriwether 18 0
Brooks 16 1
Harris 16 0
Washington 16 0
Haralson 15 0
Lamar 15 0
Liberty 15 0
Macon 15 0
Stephens 15 0
Bulloch 14 0
Clay 14 1
Bacon 13 0
Johnson 13 0
Seminole 13 0
Monroe 12 1
Morgan 12 0
Murray 12 0
Pike 12 0
Baker 11 2
White 11 0
Irwin 10 0
Madison 10 1
Pickens 10 2
Schley 10 1
Catoosa 9 0
Dodge 9 0
Fannin 9 0
Jones 9 0
Lumpkin 9 0
Miller 9 0
Pulaski 9 0
Grady 8 0
Jenkins 8 1
Toombs 8 1
Wilkinson 8 0
Appling 7 0
Habersham 7 0
Marion 7 0
Talbot 7 1
Telfair 7 0
Ben Hill 6 0
Brantley 6 1
Emanuel 6 0
Lincoln 6 0
Rabun 6 0
Warren 6 0
Chattooga 5 1
Cook 5 0
Jasper 5 0
Lanier 5 0
Putnam 5 0
Taylor 5 2
Union 5 1
Wilcox 5 0
Wilkes 5 0
Atkinson 4 0
Banks 4 0
Berrien 4 0
Candler 4 0
Gilmer 4 0
Jefferson 4 0
Quitman 4 0
Screven 4 0
Stewart 4 0
Walker 4 0
Clinch 3 0
Crawford 3 0
Elbert 3 0
Franklin 3 0
Hart 3 0
Mcintosh 3 0
Tattnall 3 0
Wayne 3 0
Webster 3 0
Charlton 2 0
Chattahoochee 2 0
Dade 2 1
Echols 2 0
Heard 2 0
Oglethorpe 2 1
Towns 2 0
Twiggs 2 0
Wheeler 2 0
Bleckley 1 0
Hancock 1 0
Jeff Davis 1 0
Long 1 0
Treutlen 1 0
Unknown 1020 8
*Based on patient county of residence when known

WZQZ Afternoon COVID-19 Report - Thursday - April 9, 2020

Many Chattooga County businesses are altering the way they do business during this COVID-19 pandemic.  WZQZ is committed to bringing you timely and relevant information as we all get through this period of time together.  Here are some updates regarding businesses and government services in Chattooga County.

  • WZQZ is committed to our community and making sure that we get out timely, relevant information to our area.  We are also committed to the small businesses that operate in Chattooga County.  They are the lifeblood of our radio station and our community.  For the month of April, WZQZ will be offering FREE RADIO ADS for small businesses in our county.  See details here.
  • The Crushed Tomato will be re-opening for carryout only starting Good Friday, April 10, 2020 at their Summerville location.
  • NGEMC lobbies are closed to the public for the health and safety of our community. New drive-thru hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at all locations. Member service representatives are available by phone from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and several 24/7 self-service options are available, including www.ngemc.com, the MY NGEMC Account app, and automated phone lines. There is also a new program called CheckOut, which provides members with the opportunity to complete transactions at Dollar General, CVS, and other local retailers.Residential disconnects for non-payment and late fees are currently suspended until further notice, so consider saving a trip and simply mail full or partial payments to avoid waiting in line at the drive-thru.
  • Jefferson’s in Summerville is now open for curbside and call-in orders.
  • Jerry’s Drive In –  Open Monday – Saturday 10 AM until 9 PM.
  • The Computer Shop is open Monday – Friday 10 AM until 6 PM and Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM.  People can come inside the store but instructions on safety will be posted inside.
  • Henry’s BBQ in Summerville has closed.  Check their Facebook Page for reopening information.
  • Jim’s Restaurant in Summerville is closed.
  • Pay – N- Tote is currently closed.
  • Merle Norman / Ga-Ga’s Boutique is closed.
  • Morris Jewelers – Closing today for two weeks
  • Duff’s Flowers & Gifts – is closed and will reopen on April 13th
  • Sub Delight in Summerville has closed.  Watch their Facebook Page for re-opening information.
  • The Academy for Little People will remain closed until April 10
  • The Factory Connection in Summerville is closed.  Check their Facebook Page for details on reopening
  • The Ruby Slippers is temporarily closed.
  • DIRT has closed, but is offering online service.  See their Facebook Page for details
  • Crossroads Family Pharmacy – is open regular hours but you are asked to use the drive-through only.
  • Guffin & Eleam – The office is currently closed for in-person visits. Call the office at 706-857-3494 or visit  www.guffinandeleam.com for more information.
  • Dollar General Stores are dedicating the first hour they are open to Senior customers, age 65 and older.
  • Sweet P’s current hours and days of operation  Tuesday and Wednesday 11-3pm, Thursday and Friday 11-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 11-3pm!
  • Connie Smith Tax Service is open by appointment only call 706-978-1996 to schedule an appointment..
  • The Willow Tree is now open Monday – Friday from 11 AM – 2 PM…they close daily from 2 PM – 4 PM for cleaning and then reopen from 4-8 PM.  Call 706-857-4007 for curbside and takeout orders.
  • Domino’s in Summerville is offering “No Contact Delivery” and “No Contact Carryout”
  • Pine Ridge Outdoor Supply will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 8AM -5:30PM and Saturdays from 8AM-3PM.  Closed all day on Wednesday.
  • The Breakers at Trion is open by appointment and can show units available.  Call 706-622-3323
  • Teloga Country Store will serve you at their drive-thru window.  All store items plus prepared food can be served at the drive-thru. Truck drivers can park and walk up to the window.
  • H&R Block in Summerville is offering “Drop Off Service.”  Drop your tax return off and they will take care of the rest.  They are open Monday – Friday 9 AM-6 PM and Saturday from 9 AM – 5 PM.
  • Lookout Mountain Community Services is still open but is altering their approach to service delivery.  See more information at www.lmcs.org
  • Thatchers in Summerville is now open for curbside & pickup only.  Their hours are Tuesday-Thursday 11am-8pm and Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm
  • Dirt Tow Deli in Gore is altering their hours.  They will be open Monday – Friday from 6 AM until 2 PM – closed Saturday & Sunday.  They will be doing curb-side service.  Call them at 706-857-1589 and they will bring your food or grocery order to your car. Truck drivers are welcome to stop and eat the phone number is posted outside the store.
  • L M TAX SERVICE is still open regular hours Monday through Friday 9-7 and Saturday 9-2. Please call 706-766-2064
  • Tax Masters 101 is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Other times are available by appointment. To schedule an appointment call 706-808-0777. Our office is located at 9733A Rome Blvd (Ingles shopping center).
  • North Ga Income Tax Service has a DRIVE THUR OPEN on Thursday and Fridays 1 PM until 6 PM unless appointment is made. 11195 Highway 27 Summerville across from McDonald’s..
    706.728.5926
  • Los MaGuey Mexican Restaurant will be offering Call -In and Car Hop (Sonic Style) Take Out Orders. (706) 859-8348. A 10 % Discount will be given for orders over $20.
  • The Chattooga County Farm Bureau is open for business. However, out of an abundance of caution, they have CLOSED their lobby. Please call the office at 706-857-3214 for assistance.
  • The Chattooga County Water Department on Old Highway 27 in Trion is closed to the public.  Use online payments or the drop box located at the Water District office.
  • The Chattooga County School System is delivering meals to children.  Children age 18 and under will receive the meals.  Meet at bus stops to receive the meals. Meals may be delivered by bus, van, SUV or truck. Please be watching for either a school bus or another vehicle, which will be clearly marked with an official Chattooga County Schools emblem. Please be at your usual bus stop between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.  Pick-up meals will continue to be available at each school from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon daily. Meals will not be delivered the week of spring break.
  • The Chattooga County Extension Office is closed to the public.  Gardening supplies will be available outside the Extension Office – WEATHER PERMITTING
  • Trion Drugs is open with drive-thru only service
  • CVS Pharmacy is now offering prescription delivery.  See their web site for details. CVS
  • Lucky’s in Menlo is accepting “Call-In Grocery Orders” from the Elderly & Anyone with a Compromised Immunity. Call in your order, and they will gather your items and call back to confirm amount and payment form. They will make you aware of any possible substitutions or out of stock items. They will arrange a pick up time with you. Lucky’s says, “During this trying time, we at Lucky’s Supermarket want to do all we can to protect the health and well-being of our most vulnerable customers. To place an order, or for any further questions, please call us at (706)862-6454 or (706)852-2425.” Lucky’s Supermarket in Menlo is reserving the right to limit quantities on certain items. No rainchecks will be issued.
  • The Teloga Fire Department announced that they would help out the elderly and those suffering from compromised immune systems by picking up groceries for them.  The fire department says that they are offering the service for the Teloga Community and close-by areas.  If you need some items from the store and are uncomfortable making that trip, leave them a message on their non-emergency number (706) 734-4430
  • Wal-Mart is now open from 7 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Oakview Nursing & Rehab remains closed to the public.
  • Morrison Surveyors is asking customers to call ahead and they will meet you outside if you need a plot or survey.  If you need a survey done, please call ahead at 706-857-4621.  They are not accepting walk-in customers.
  • Most law offices in the county are closed without an appointment.  If you need to speak to an attorney, you should call ahead.
  • McDonald’s in Summerville is offering FREE Breakfast and FREE Lunch to children under 12 Monday-Friday.  Breakfast hours are from 7-10 AM and lunch is 11 AM – 2 PM.   Breakfast can be a sausage, chicken or jelly biscuit.  Lunch can be a hamburger, cheeseburger or 4 piece McNugget.
  • Menlo Restaurant is offering curb-side service.  Call your order in at 706-862-2281.  You can find a copy of their menu on their Facebook Page.
  • Most county governmental offices are closed except for ESSENTIAL services.  The Chattooga County Tax Office is Closed to the public.  The Courthouse is open – but only for essential business.  Call ahead for the County Clerk or Probate Judge’s office. Menlo, Lyerly,  Trion & Summerville have closed their municipal offices to the public.  Payments can be made online or using their drop boxes.
  • In response to the recent development of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. In accordance with Governor Kemp’s recommendation, the GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services. HOW TO FILE Unemployment Claims
  • The Small Business Development Center is available to help. Their focus during this unique and challenging time is helping small businesses with a tactical plan, cash flow issues, and connecting them with resources that may be of help. This is a free service. Contact Richard Montanaro at the SBDC, Rome: 706.622.2006 | rome@georgiasbdc.org

City Of Summerville Good Friday Closing

Secretary Of State Postpones May Primary Election

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Thursday postponed Georgia’s primary election for three weeks, until June 9, as the coronavirus spreads, poll workers quit and voters worry about getting sick at precincts.

The election must be rescheduled because of the health risk if early voting had begun later this month for the primary, previously scheduled for May 19, Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger said he lacked the power to delay the election until Gov. Brian Kemp extended Georgia’s public health state of emergency Wednesday.

“This decision allows our office and county election officials to continue to put in place contingency plans to ensure that voting can be safe,” Raffensperger said. “I certainly realize that every difficulty will not be completely solved by the time in-person voting begins for the June 9 election, but elections must happen in less than ideal circumstances.”

Georgia is one of 16 states that has either delayed their presidential primaries or switched to voting by mail with extended deadlines.

Read more from the AJC

Update On Chattooga Ag Student's Plant Sale

Chattooga County’s Ag students will be conducting their plant sale while observing social-distancing rules.  Please find relevant information below:

From David Yarbrough

As many of you have heard and are aware the Governor has extended the state of emergency and shelter in place order. However since agriculture is an essential business we will be able to sell plants one week only. It is our greatest concern to not spread any germs with our community so we will be following community distancing and ask that you help us by abiding by the rules we lay out in our order forms. Each school is unique but social distancing is the same no matter which school you decide to order from. We are going to do our best to give you the time spot you choose but we may have to adjust if certain slots become crowded.

As you are ordering plants make sure to note which school you are ordering from and what the procedure is at that school (noted in their order form). Also note the day and time you select. We are only going to be open 2 days next week after that we will be unable to sell. It all must go,so if you want wholesale please contact us directly for orders over $500.

Chattooga High School
April 16th and April 17th
https://forms.gle/Sjw1GjbSqcC9Gq2m8

Menlo
April 15th and 17th
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLScCgSb0T_9jKQRL2…/viewform…

Summerville M.S.
April 14th and 16th
https://forms.gle/5eydPkvF6pDdpT1y7

Arrest Report - Thursday April 9, 2020

According to reports released overnight by the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department, there were no arrests in the past 24 hours.

Georgia Electric Providers Urge Social Distancing

To help maintain safe and reliable service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s electric providers, including Dalton Utilities, Georgia’s EMCs, Georgia Power and MEAG Power, urge the public to keep their distance from utility crews working in their communities.

Whether it’s critical infrastructure work or emergency repairs due to damage from storms, trees or vehicles, crews are working hard every day to keep the lights on while maintaining safety standards and following guidelines of medical professionals when working inthe field.

Residents can help by not approaching crews and keeping a safe social distance of six feet or more.
Additionally, worksites often contain potential dangers and approaching our crews can lead to dangerous
distractions for workers or accidents for citizens. Utility workers provide an essential service during this crisis and
are critical to keeping the lights on. By giving utility crews space of 6 feet or more, residents can help ensure the
health and safety of all involved.
Ways you can help keep workers safe while they work in the field:
• If you see utility crews, please stay back a minimum of six feet – much more if they are working.
• Please, no cookies or treats for workers during this time. Give a wave or thumbs up to workers you see.
They’ll understand your gratitude as they work to keep the lights on.
• Don’t touch utility trucks or equipment. Electric providers are operating under modified conditions to keep
workers safe, which includes additional cleaning and sanitation of tools and equipment.
• Post your appreciation for lineworkers on social media using the hashtag #ThankALineman. April is
lineworker appreciation month.
Responding to COVID-19 and supporting Georgians with safe, reliable energy requires a whole-state approach.
These workers are focused on ensuring that families, businesses, healthcare facilities and more continue to have the
service they need throughout this public health emergency.

Patrick Named Head Football Coach For Bulldogs

The Trion Bulldogs have a new head football coach who comes to the job from Bleckley County.  Sean Patrick was named by the Trion City School System to replace Coach Justin Brown who had announced he was leaving Trion earlier this year.

Trion Superintendent Phil Williams said that over forty applications were made for the job. Williams said, “I look for big things out of Coach Patrick and the Trion Bulldogs.

Patrick began his career in South Georgia at Emanuel County Institute where he was part of three consecutive region titles and 15 win – 0 loss season that lead Emanuel County to a Class A State Championship in 2008.

Since then Patrick has worked in Lincoln County and Houston County before moving on to Bleckley County. In his fourteen year career, Patrick has taken teams to ten state playoffs, five Region titles and a state championship.

Superintendent Williams says that Patrick is anxious to get started coaching the Trion Bulldogs when state restrictions are lifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

Chattooga Farmers Share Dividend From AgGeorgia Farm Credit

Some good news for some Chattooga County farmers came last week when Ag Georgia Farm Credit announced that $181,319 in dividends would be distributed among some of the county’s agricultural producers.

Dave Neff, Chairman of the AgGeorgia Farm Credit board of Directors said, “We know that this is a particularly stressful time for many because COVID-19, and our board and staff are please to be able to give our members some good news and some extra cash in their pockets.”

The dividends are up over 58% over last year.

2020 marks the 32nd consecutive year that the agricultural cooperative has returned profits to its members through its Patronage Refund Program.  Since 1988 the program has distributed over $382 million in cash.  The refund from 2019 earnings consists of more than $4.1 million in cash and over $9.7 million in allocated surplus, with the surplus portion to be used to maintain the capital position of the cooperative and returned to members at a later date.

 

Georgia DOE Issues Guidance For Graduation & Testing

Georgia students outperform national average on ACT

 The Georgia Department of Education has announced formal plans for how the school system will handle testing, grades and graduation for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

“Students should not be held back in their expected progression – graduation, advancement to the next grade, etc. – as a result of the COVID-19 school closures,” the GaDOE said in a statement Tuesday.

Georgia School Superintendant Richard Woods, said the state is working closely with federal officials to make sure state schools get the funding they need during the pandemic and closures. The federal government has approved a series of waivers that address issues schools face for the rest of the year. Woods said for some, the issue is when to end online instruction.

Woods said the state is allowing teachers wider flexibility in grading so students can advance on to their next grade. Each district will have a lot of autonomy in making decisions. “Our school systems know their district better than anyone, and I trust what they are doing,” Woods said. Woods said officials are working to expand internet access for students in rural areas and provide more free meals.

Here’s what the announcement means for testing, grading and graduation:

Testing:

The GaDOE said Tuesday that it has received formal approval from the federal government to waive testing for the rest of the year.

“It became clear as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed that there was no realistic path to offering state assessments this year – and, frankly, that testing is not what students, parents, and educators should be focused on at this time,” Superintendent Richard Woods said.

Because Georgia Milestones testing is canceled, students won’t get end-of-year report cards, since those test results account for a significant portion of the scores.

Grading:

How students’ grades will be calculated will be up to each local district, but the DOE has issued guidelines directing districts to “be sensitive about the realities students and staff are dealing with during this time.”

The guidelines include possibly adopting a “no zero” policy for all assignments since schools closed, allowing students to redo or resubmit assignments.

For grades K-8, school districts will be allowed to grade courses on a pass/fail basis instead of by numeric scores.

The pass/fail option is not available for grades 9-12 because of how grades impact college acceptance requirements — so high school students will get numeric grades.

But districts are advised to adopt “no zero” policies for assignments since schools closed or allowing students to resubmit or redo assignments.

“Parents should be assured their high school student will not be penalized for circumstances outside their control,” GaDOE said in a statement.

Graduation:

No senior will be held back from graduating on time due to COVID-19 school closures. Districts may choose to graduate seniors and issue diplomas to seniors as planned, but hold formal ceremonies later in the summer.

The Georgia Department of Education does not dictate the last day of the school year or set ceremony requirements.

WSB

Centre Mayor Cracking Down On People Ignoring Barricades

Photo Credit: WEIS Radio

The City of Centre, Alabama recently erected a number of barricades blocking entrances to city parks, ball fields and other public gathering places in response to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s shelter in place order.  But Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie says that people have been ignoring those barricades and going into the areas.

The Alabama shelter in place order says that trips to go to work, to obtain food and medications, to receive health care and certain other basic needs are allowed however, recreational outings are restricted.

The Centre Police Department has received numerous reports that many barricades placed within the city limits are being ignored, with people parking across the street – then simply walking around them – and in other instances, removing the barricades before driving onto the closed property.

Mayor Tony Wilkie reminds everyone that the placing of these barricades has been taken in accordance with the governor’s directive and for the safety of the public at large.  Mayor Wilkie says that if the problem continues citations will be issued.