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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   AN ARREST WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR A LOCAL MAN FOR FELONY SHOPLIFTING… AND POLICE ASK THE PUBLIC’S HELP IN LOCATING HIM.
    TIMOTHY TINDALE LIVES ON STRAIGHT GUT ROAD, JUST NORTH OF LAFAYETTE.  HE IS A WHITE MALE, AGE 36.
    AS REPORTED EARLIER, HE WAS FOUND BY POLICE TO BE IN POSSESSION OF AN EXPENSIVE CHAIN SAW AND OTHER ITEMS… WHICH WERE TAKEN FROM SEARS IN LAFAYETTE LAST SATURDAY EVENING.   WITNESSES SAY HE WAS TRYING TO SELL THE STOLEN ITEMS “ON THE STREET” ACROSS FROM CVS IN LAFAYETTE, MONDAY MORNING.  HE IS ALSO IN VIOLATION OF HIS PROBATION.
    ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF TIMOTHY TINDALE… IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

*   THE RAMBLERS WON THE REGION GOLF TOURNAMENT IN A PLAYOFF WITH PICKENS COUNTY, YESTERDAY... AT NOB NORTH.   COACH TOM LANGFORD'S TEAM EARNED A BERTH IN THE STATE GOLF TOURNAMENT SERIES, WITH THAT WIN.  IT WAS LAFAYETTE'S FIRST REGION CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE 1999.
    LOW FOR LAFAYETTE'S EFFORT TUESDAY, WERE KURT INGRAM, SHOOTING A 74... COLE INGRAM AT 77... AND JACOB MORGAN WITH A 79.  

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE REPORT A BURGLARY AT LOUGHRIDGE EQUIPMENT ON SOUTH MAIN STREET, OVER THE WEEKEND.
    THIEVES CUT A HOLE IN THE SECURITY FENCE… AND SPENT QUITE SOME TIME ON THE PROPERTY, ACCORDING TO DETECTIVES.  THEY GAINED ENTRANCE TO THE SHOP AND TOOK NUMEROUS TOOLS… MANY BELONGING TO MECHANICS WHO WORK FOR THE BUSINESS.  TOTAL VALUE OF THE LOSS THERE WAS OVER 2-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
    THEN THEY BROKE THROUGH A WINDOW AND RANSACKED THE BUSINESS OFFICE.  THEY OPENED A SAFE AND TOOK $750 CASH, AND GUITAR AND A HAND GUN.
    THE BREAK-IN OCCURRED BETWEEN SATURDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING, ACCORDING TO OWNER, BILL LOUGHRIDGE.  ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE BREAK-IN SHOULD CONTACT LAFAYETTE POLICE.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT NUISANCE PROPERTY ABATEMENT.
    BECAUSE IT’S OFTEN A COMPLICATED LEGAL PROCESS… THE CITY HAS AMASSED A FAIR QUANTITY OF BURNED-OUT AND OTHERWISE UNINHABITABLE STRUCTURES OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS.
    DISCUSSED BY THE CITY COUNCIL MONDAY NIGHT… THE PROPOSAL INCLUDED NO NEW ORDINANCES.  IN FACT, THE DETERMINATION WAS SIMPLY TO ENFORCE THE EXISTING CODES ON NUISANCE PROPERTIES.
    CODES DEPARTMENT HEAD PHILLIP JEFFERS TOLD THE COUNCIL THAT HE ESTIMATES THE COST OF DEMOLITION AND REMOVAL OF SUCH STRUCTURES SHOULD AVERAGE UNDER 3-THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH.  CITY MANAGER MAX MORRISON ADDED THAT WITH THE CITY’S IMPROVING FINANCES… THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO HANDLE ABOUT 3 TO 5 DEMOLITIONS EACH YEAR.  A LIEN IS THEN PLACED ON THE PROPERTY, IN HOPES OF RECOUPING THE EXPENSE OF DEMOLITION.
    ON THE LEGAL-COST SIDE… THE WOMACK LAW FIRM IS HANDLING THE CITY’S NUISANCE CASES AT HALF-PRICE… ALSO IN THE INTEREST OF CLEANING UP LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS.
    ONE VERY NOTICEABLE PROPERTY WON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE “WRECKING BALL”.   THE FORMER PARSONAGE AT THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH IN THE 700-BLOCK OF NORTH MAIN…. WILL BE BURNED LATER THIS MONTH FOR FIRE-FIGHTING PRACTICE.  CITY MANAGER MORRISON SAID A SPECIAL PERMIT FOR THE HOUSE-BURNING HAD TO BE PROCURED FROM THE STATE.

*   THE FIRST FREE “MOVIE UNDER THE STARS” AT LAFAYETTE’S JOE STOCK PARK, WILL BE A TIE-IN WITH A LOCAL LIBRARY FUND-RAISER.
    THE LAFAYETTE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WILL PRESENT THE JOHNNY CASH MOVIE - “WALK THE LINE” - THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 26th.
    THE EVENT IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LAFAYETTE OPTIMIST CLUB, THE LAFAYETTE WOMAN’S CLUB AND THE DDA.  PRE-ORDERS WILL BE TAKEN FOR THE “FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY” JOHNNY CASH CONCERT POSTER… CELEBRATING A 1970 APPEARANCE BY THE FAMOUS ENTERTAINER AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL.
    THE MOVIE STARTS AT DARK, SATURDAY - APRIL 26th AT JOE STOCK PARK IN LAFAYETTE.

*   A COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE OUTREACH WILL BE HELD THIS THURSDAY, AT THE LOWELL GREENE REC CENTER ON WEBB WHEELER ROAD, IN LAFAYETTE.  IT’S THE SECOND IN A MONTHLY SERIES OF SERVICES.
    HEALTH SCREENINGS WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM 10 AM ’TIL 4 PM.  PROFESSIONALS WILL BE PRESENT TO ANSWER HEALTH QUESTIONS OR DIRECT PATIENTS TO A SPECIALIST.
    THE HEALTHCARE OUTREACH IS A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PRIMARY HEALTHCARE CENTERS, LAFAYETTE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE AND OTHER LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS.

*   ANTICIPATING THE BIGGEST CROWD YET… THE 4th ANNUAL “MUSIC ON THE SQUARE” WILL REQUIRE A 24-HOUR CLOSURE OF BUSINESS-27 IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE.
    WITH COUNTRY STAR MARTY STUART AS THE HEADLINER… LOCAL PROMOTERS WANT TO MOVE THE STAGE FROM THE FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSE, TO THE MIDDLE OF BUSINESS 27 IN THE CENTER OF LAFAYETTE’S SQUARE.  THAT’S BEING DONE TO ACCOMMODATE THE EXPECTED LARGER CROWD.
    THE MOVE MEANS THAT MAIN STREET DOWNTOWN WILL HAVE TO BE CLOSED FOR A FULL 24 HOURS… AS THE STAGE IS SET-UP THE NIGHT BEFORE.  SPECIAL PERMISSION IS BEING SOUGHT FOR THE CLOSURE FROM THE STATE D.O.T.   POLICE CHIEF BENJIE CLIFT IS WORKING AN PORTABLE SIGNS TO ALERT MOTORISTS TO THE ROAD CLOSURE.
    THIS YEAR’S MUSIC ON THE SQUARE WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, MAY 17th… WITH LOCAL BANDS PLAYING THROUGH THE DAY.   MARTY STUART WILL TAKE THE STAGE AT 9 PM.  ADMISSION IS FREE… EXCEPT FOR V.I.P. SEATING, WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE WITH PAYMENT IN ADVANCE.

*   GEORGIA'S "HOME-GROWN" EDUCATION RATING SYSTEM SHOWS MOST ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS IN THE STATE HAVE IMPROVED PERFORMANCE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS.
    IT'S CALLED THE "COLLEGE AND CAREER-READY PERFORMANCE INDEX".
    LATEST FIGURES SHOW THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM TRAILING CATOOSA AND DADE COUNTY SCHOOLS... WITH AN INDEX OF 75.6 OUT OF A POSSIBLE "100".
    CHICKAMAUGA CITY SCHOOLS SCORED HIGHER, AT 85.9.
    IN GENERAL, THE INDEX SHOWED HIGH SCHOOL SCORES FAILED TO SHOW MUCH IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, IN THE PEACH STATE.

*   THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS SERVICE OFFICE IN LAFAYETTE HAS A NEW MANAGER:  WESLEY PHIPPS WILL SUCCEED HUGH DOWNEY, AS MANAGER OF THE LAFAYETTE OFFICE.
    DUE TO TRAINING, ITINERANT SERVICE WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE LOCAL OFFICE ON TUESDAYS FROM 9 AM ’TIL 3 PM, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  THE LAFAYETTE VETERANS SERVICE OFFICE IS LOCATED IN THE JUDICIARY ANNEX… 108 EAST VILLANOW STREET.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S ANNUAL “RABIES CLINICS” FOR PETS, WILL BE HELD THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 26th… VACCINATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT

    EAST BROOMTOWN ROAD FIRE HALL, NOON ’TIL 1 PM.
    KENSINGTON FIRE HALL, 1 - 2.
    NAOMI ELEMENTARY, 2 - 3 PM.
    GORDON LEE HIGH SCHOOL, 2:30 - 4:30
    AND WOODSTATION BAPTIST CHURCH FROM 4:30 - 5.

    THE COST IS $10.  PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND PETS FROM THE DEADLY DISEASE, RABIES.

*   LAFAYETTE’S FIRE CHIEF, ROBERT BUSBY, IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE A NEW, LOWER I.S.O. RATING FOR THE CITY.
    THE INSURANCE SERVICE ORGANIZATION RECENTLY SURVEYED THE LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT ON FACTORS SUCH AS EQUIPMENT, WATER SUPPLY, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE NUMBER AND TRAINING LEVEL OF PERSONNEL.
    CHEIF BUSBY SAID THAT AS OF MAY 1st, THE NEW RATING FOR LAFAYETTE FIRE WILL BE A 3-9.   ONLY 2,200 FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN AMERICA HAVE A CLASS 3 OR BETTER RATING, BUSBY SAID.   LAFAYETTE HAD A RATING OF 6 FOR MANY YEARS… AND IN I.S.O… THE LOWER THE NUMBER, THE BETTER THE RATING. 
    CHIEF BUSBY SAID IT’S ESPECIALLY “REWARDING” TO GET A 3 RATING IN A DEPARTMENT WITH BOTH PAID AND VOLUNTEER STAFFING.
    “THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF OUR MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, OUR FIREFIGHTERS, WATER DEPARTMENT AND DISPATCH CENTER”, BUSBY SAID.  A NEW 75-FOOT LADDER TRUCK, IMPROVED WATER SUPPLY AND TRAINING FACILITIES ALL HELPED WIN THE NEW, IMPROVED RATING.
    CITY OF LAFAYETTE INSURANCE CUSTOMERS SHOULD EXPECT A LOWER COST OF FIRE INSURANCE IN THE FUTURE, DUE TO THE IMPROVED I.S.O. NUMBERS.

*   GEORGIA CREATED MORE JOBS AND HAD FEWER LAYOFFS… GREAT NEWS IN THE LATEST FIGURES FROM MARCH OF THIS YEAR.
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED FROM 534 IN FEBRUARY, TO 354 IN MARCH… THAT’S 180 FEWER WORKERS WHO LOST WORK OVER THE MONTH.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY HAD A HUGE DECLINE IN NEW CLAIMS… 1,153 FEWER IN MARCH.
    DADE AND CHATTOOGA COUNTIES HAD A SLIGHTLY HIGHER RATE OF NEW CLAIMS.
    MEANWHILE, GEORGIA’S STATE-WIDE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED TO 7 PERCENT IN MARCH… THE LOWEST RATE SINCE 2008.  IT’S THE 9th MONTH IN A ROW THAT THE STATE’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS DROPPED.
CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES TO BE THE FASTEST-GROWING JOB-CREATOR IN THE STATE, ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

*   NO NEW ONE-WAY STREETS IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE… THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED AGAINST A PROPOSAL TO MAKE NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS ONE WAY, ON THE EAST SIDE OF SOUTH MAIN.  THAT PROPOSAL WAS BROUGHT TO THE COUNCIL LAST MONTH BY WALKER COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER, CAROLYN WALKER… WHOSE OFFICE IS BOUNDED NORTH AND SOUTH BY THOSE TWO STREETS.
    AT MONDAY’S MEETING, LOCAL ATTORNEY BILL RHYNE PRESENTED THE COUNCIL WITH A PETITION BEARING OVER 140 SIGNATURES OF RESIDENTS WHO ARE AGAINST THE ONE-WAY IDEA.
    THE COUNCIL VOTED TO LEAVE BOTH NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS AS THEY ARE… OPEN TO TWO-WAY TRAFFIC.
    ON ANOTHER RECENT “HOT-BUTTON” LOCAL ISSUE… THE COUNCIL VOTED TO RETAIN “BARWICK” AS A PART OF THE NEW NAME, GIVEN TO THE LOCAL AIRPORT.   THERE HAD BEEN A SUGGESTION AT ONE POINT, THAT “BARWICK” BE LEFT OUT… AND THAT THE NEW NAME WOULD BE “LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT”.   THERE WAS AN AIRPORT THAT ALREADY HAD THAT NAME IN ANOTHER STATE… AND LOCALS WERE NOT FOND OF DROPPING “BARWICK” FROM THE AIRPORT’S NAME.   E.T. BARWICK OF BARWICK MILLS HAD MUCH TO DO WITH THE LAFAYETTE AIRPORT’S EARLY DEVELOPMENT.
    THE NEW NAME ADOPTED MONDAY NIGHT, IS “LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT - BARWICK FIELD”.
    THE COUNCIL ALSO APPROVED THE LOCAL, MATCHING SHARE FOR STATE D.O.T. ROAD-PAVING MONEY.   THE STATE IS PROVIDING OVER 70-THOUSAND DOLLARS THROUGH THE “LMIG” PROGRAM… AND THE LOCAL SHARE IS JUST OVER 21-THOUSAND.   IN ADDITION, THE COUNCIL VOTED TO UPGRADE THE WATER LINES ON LOACH AND ABNEY STREETS, BEFORE THEY RECEIVE THAT NEW PAVING.

*   APPLICATIONS FOR PRE-K ARE AVAILABLE AT MOST WALKER COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.... INCLUDING GILBERT, NORTH LAFAYETTE, NAOMI, ROCK SPRING, SADDLE RIDGE, STONE CREEK, ROSSVILLE, CHEROKEE RIDGE AND FAIRYLAND, PLUS THE CENTRAL OFFICE IN LAFAYETTE.
    APPLICATIONS ARE DUE ON MAY 5th.  A LOTTERY-DRAWING TO FILL AVAILABLE SEATS WILL BE HELD MAY 16th.
    PRE-K IS FOR 4 YEAR OLDS… AND IS FUNDED THROUGH THE GEORGIA LOTTERY.   CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL FOR MORE INFORMATION.

*   WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT PLANS TO HAVE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR VOTERS, INCLUDED ON THAT MAY 20th GEORGIA PRIMARY BALLOT.
    COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SAID LAST WEEK THAT SHE PLANS TO ASK VOTERS IF THEY WOULD FAVOR A QUARTER-MILL OF PROPERTY TAX REVENUE DEDICATED TO THE OPERATIONS OF LIBRARIES IN THE COUNTY.
OTHER QUESTIONS INCLUDE:
DO YOU FAVOR SUNDAY SALES OF ALCOHOL?
DO YOU FAVOR LIQUOR BY THE DRINK IN RESTAURANTS?
AND DO YOU FAVOR PACKAGE SALES OF LIQUOR?
    THE ALCOHOL ISSUES TO BE DECIDED WOULD INVOLVE ONLY BUSINESSES LOCATED IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF THE COUNTY - AND WOULD NOT AFFECT BUSINESSES WITHIN THE FOUR CITIES.

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