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ROPER CORPORATION of LaFayette is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week. 
    Now hiring operators for all three shifts.  Great jobs with steady 8-hour base schedules, starting at $12.30 an hour... plus outstanding benefits and room to grow!   Apply at the Ga. Dept. of Labor office in LaFayette... or at the JOB FAIR held at the plant each Wednesday from 9 - 11 am.


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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   NORTHWEST GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE ROSE FOR THE FOURTH MONTH IN A ROW, IN JULY. 
    WALKER COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE FROM 6.3 IN JUNE TO 6.5 PERCENT IN JULY.
    CHATTOOGA COUNTY ROSE 6-10ths OF A PERCENT, TO 7.1.
    WHITFIELD WAS UP TO 7.1 PERCENT… A RISE OF HALF-A-PERCENT.
    ALL AREA COUNTIES REGISTERED AN INCREASE IN UNEMPLOYMENT IN JULY.  THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SAYS THE MAIN CAUSE IS NEW JOB SEEKERS ENTERING THE MARKETPLACE.  UNTIL THEY FIND WORK, THEY ARE CONSIDERED “UNEMPLOYED”.   THE NUMBER OF NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IS ALSO RISING, AS WQCH REPORTED LAST WEEK… AND THAT MEANS THERE HAVE BEEN MORE LAYOFFS, AS WELL.

*   THE RAMBLER NATION WILL OPEN THE 2015 FOOTBALL SEASON WITH A HOME GAME, FRIDAY NIGHT.   THEY’RE HOSTING GORDON CENTRAL, WITH KICKOFF AT 7:30.
    IN OTHER AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CONTESTS:
    GORDON LEE PLAYS AT LFO…
    RIDGELAND WILL HOST CHATTOOGA…
    AND TRION WILL HOST ARMUCHEE.

*   CONGRATULATIONS TO LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL'S JUNIOR OPTIMIST CLUB... THEY RAISED $1,600 FOR "JERRY'S KIDS" AT THE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION... MDA... IN THEIR ANNUAL LABOR DAY FUND-RAISER.   THE CLUB THANKED THEIR SPONSOR, DONNA SPEEGLE.

*   THE CHATTOOGA COUNTY FAIR IS OPEN AND CONTINUES THROUGH SUNDAY.  ENJOY FIREWORKS FRIDAY NIGHT AT 10:30… AND COUNTRY SINGER DARYLE SINGLETARY WILL TAKE THE STAGE AT 9 PM SATURDAY.
    THE LOCATION IS MIDDLE SCHOOL ROAD IN SUMMERVILLE.

*   TIME FOR ANOTHER “SUNSET ON THE POND” AT ROSSVILLE, THIS SATURDAY NIGHT.   THEY’LL HAVE MUSIC AND “SPLASH N’ PLAY” GAMES.   IT’S 6 - 9 PM SATURDAY, AT THE DUCK POND IN ROSSVILLE.

*   THE CITY OF TRION IS ABOUT TO RE-BUILD THE WATER DELIVERY SYSTEM, ACCORDING TO MAYOR LARRY STANSELL.
    THE TOWN HAS RECEIVED A 2-MILLION DOLLAR GRANT AND A 3-MILLION DOLLAR LOAN FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE… PLUS A 500-THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANT FROM THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS FOR THE PROJECT.  
    STANSELL EXPLAINED THAT THE USDA GRANT AND LOAN WILL ALLOW THE CITY TO REPLACE ALL WATER MAINS… BUT THE MONEY COULD NOT BE USED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.   THE ADDITIONAL DCA GRANT WILL BE USED TO CONNECT THE NEW WATER MAINS TO EACH HOUSEHOLD THEY PASS, WITHOUT REQUIRING HOME OWNERS TO PAY A NEW “TAP FEE”.
    “WE’RE VERY FORTUNATE”, STANSELL SAID.   “THESE GRANTS AND LOANS AVERAGE ABOUT 21-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH RESIDENCE IN TRION”.
    IN ADDITION… TRION LANDED ANOTHER 300-THOUSAND DOLLAR HOUSING GRANT TO REHAB A NEEDY NEIGHBORHOOD.  THE GRANT WILL BE USED TO DEMOLISH AND REBUILD THREE HOMES… AND POSSIBLY REHAB ANOTHER.   STANSELL SAID “IT WILL GIVE A WHOLE NEW FACE TO THAT NEIGHBORHOOD”.

*     LAFAYETTE POLICE INVESTIGATED A STABBING CALL… REPORTED NEAR THE SHOPRITE ON WEST PATTON, FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
    THE VICTIM TOLD OFFICERS HE HAD BEEN TO THE CARE MISSION AND WAS PUSHING HIS FOOD HOME IN A BUGGY.   HIS LADY FRIEND CAME OUT OF THE CABOOSE PARK AND FOLLOWED HIM, SHOUTING AND ACCUSING HIM OF SEEING ANOTHER WOMAN.  SHE REPORTEDLY ASSAULTED HIM WITH AN OBJECT, LEAVING A 1-INCH STAB WOUND IN HIS BACK.  THE WOMAN COULD NOT BE LOCATED WHEN POLICE ARRIVED. 
    44 YEAR OLD DARIN LAMAR HENDERSON WAS TREATED AT THE SCENE BY A PARAMEDIC… AND REFUSED MEDICAL TRANSPORT.  WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT A PENDING CASE OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AGAINST THE WOMAN, HE REFUSED TO PRESS CHARGES.   HENDERSON LATER REPEATED TO DETECTIVES THAT HE WOULD NOT BE PRESSING CHARGES… AND THE REPORT STATES THAT NO FURTHER ACTION WAS TAKEN.

*   A MAN WAS CHARGED WITH DUI FOLLOWING SOME STRANGE DRIVING AT THE FIRST VOLUNTEER BANK LOT IN NORTH LAFAYETTE, LAST FRIDAY NIGHT.  9-1-1 HAD RECEIVED SEVERAL CALLS ABOUT A DRIVER WHO HAD PULLED HIS CAR OUT INTO TRAFFIC NEAR THE BANK ON HIGHWAY 136 WEST.
    WHEN POLICE ARRIVED, THE SHIRTLESS MAN DOVE HEAD-FIRST INTO THE CAR AND BEGAN FUMBLING INSIDE.  THE OFFICER DREW HIS SERVICE WEAPON AND ORDERED THE MAN OUT.  WHEN HE DID EXIT THE VEHICLE, THE MAN RESISTED ARREST.  A SECOND OFFICER ARRIVED AND THE MAN WAS CUFFED. 
    A WITNESS TOLD POLICE HE HAD SEEN THE MAN’S CONDITION AND TOOK THE KEYS OUT OF THE CAR TO STOP HIM.  THE WITNESS THEN HANDED THE KEYS OVER TO POLICE.
    SEVERAL WITNESSES SAID THE MAN HAD DRIVEN THE CAR OVER THE BANK’S CURB AND INTO THE HIGHWAY, BLOCKING TRAFFIC.
    40 YEAR OLD MATTHEW SHANE HILBURN WAS CHARGED WITH DUI, OPEN CONTAINER, IMPROPER BACKING AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

*   THE LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE AMERICAN RED CROSS WILL BE INSTALLING SMOKE DETECTORS IN HOMES, FREE OF CHARGE, ON SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 12th.  
    THE PROGRAM IS A RED CROSS EFFORT TO CUT FIRE-RELATED DEATHS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.
    IF YOU LIVE IN THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE… AND YOUR HOME NEEDS A SMOKE DETECTOR… CALL TO GET ON THE LIST:   THE FIRE DEPARTMENT NUMBER IS 706 639 1555.

*   THE CENTER POST COMMUNITY CENTER WILL HAVE A FREE EVENING OF MUSIC THIS SATURDAY… FEATURING JUNE MCGILL & COMPANY, MIKE YOUNG AND THE PELL FAMILY.
    THE MUSIC STARTS AT 6:30 SATURDAY… AND CONCESSIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE.   THE CENTER IS AT 8125 HIGHWAY 337 SOUTH OF LAFAYETTE.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE WAS NOT AWARDED A HALF-MILLION DOLLAR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT… MONEY THEY INTENDED TO USE ON WATER LINE IMPROVEMENTS UNDERNEATH CHATTANOOGA STREET.
    IN THE BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM FROM THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, CHATTOOGA COUNTY RECEIVED 500-THOUSAND FOR WATER IMPROVEMENTS… AND THE TOWN OF TRION RECEIVED AN 800-THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANT FOR SEVERAL PROGRAMS.
    LAFAYETTE CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID THE NEWS IS A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.   “THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT HAD HUNDREDS OF HOURS INVESTED IN DOING COMMUNITY SURVEYS DOOR-TO-DOOR AS PART OF THE GRANT APPLICATION”, HE SAID.   “WE REALLY FELT LIKE WE HAD A STRONG APPLICATION”.
    CHATTANOOGA STREET IS THE LARGEST PROJECT UNDER THE CURRENT SPLOST PROGRAM… AND THE IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE DONE USING THAT FUNDING SOURCE.   HOWEVER, HAMILTON SAID THAT WILL CUT SPLOST FUNDING SHORT FOR OTHER PROJECTS, SUCH AS IMPROVEMENTS AT THE OLD LAFAYETTE HIGH FOOTBALL STADIUM AND A PROPOSED BOAT LAUNCH RAMP FOR QUEEN CITY LAKE.
    HAMILTON SAID A PAVING COMMITTEE MEETING WILL BE CALLED BEFORE THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING… AND THAT GROUP WILL MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO PROCEED.   THE CITY HAD ALREADY DECIDED THAT PAVING OF CHATTANOOGA STREET WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL NEXT YEAR… WHILE WORK IS DONE ON UTILITIES AND CULVERTS UNDERNEATH THE ROAD.

*   WALKER COUNTY'S TWO SCHOOL SYSTEMS WILL LIKELY CALL A VOTE THIS NOVEMBER, ON CONTINUATION OF THE “E-SPLOST” SALES TAX.
    WALKER SUPERINTENDENT DAMON RAINES SAID THE CURRENT PENNY SALES TAX FOR EDUCATION HAS ANOTHER YEAR TO RUN… AND IF APPROVED BY THE VOTERS… IT WOULD CONTINUE FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS, STARTING IN 2017.
    THE TAX FOR CAPITAL PROJECTS WOULD BE SHARED BY THE WALKER COUNTY AND CHICKAMAUGA CITY SCHOOL SYSTEMS.   RAINES SAID IT WOULD RAISE AN ESTIMATED 28-MILLION DOLLARS FOR WALKER COUNTY… AND SOMETHING OVER 4-MILLION FOR CHICKAMAUGA CITY SCHOOLS.
    SUPERINTENDENT RAINES SAID PROJECTS FOR WALKER COUNTY COULD INCLUDE A THIRD HIGH SCHOOL, TO BE BUILT ON THE SADDLE RIDGE CAMPUS AT ROCK SPRING.   OTHER IDEAS INCLUDE THE EXPANSION OF VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS AT LAFAYETTE AND RIDGELAND HIGH.   THE SO-CALLED “CAREER PATHWAYS” PROGRAMS MIGHT INCLUDE AGRICULTURE EDUCATION… OR “MECHATRONICS”, WHICH INCLUDES THE STUDY OF ROBOTICS FOR MANUFACTURING.
    RAINES EMPHASIZED THAT THE VOTE… WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE ON NOVEMBER 3rd IN WALKER COUNTY, WILL NOT BE A NEW TAX… BUT A CONTINUATION OF THE PENNY “E-SPLOST” SALES TAX THAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE.

*   THE NEW BUYER OF A HOME ON SOUTH CHEROKEE STREET IN LAFAYETTE GOT A RUDE SURPRISE… THE ENTIRE HOME HAD BEEN STRIPPED OF ELECTRIC WIRING.
    POLICE SAY A LOCAL ELECTRICIAN CONFIRMED THAT AT LEAST 2-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN COPPER HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM THE HOME WHILE IT SAT EMPTY.   IT APPEARED MOST OF THE WIRING WAS TAKEN FROM THE CRAWL SPACE.  THE NEW OWNER, FROM ROCK SPRING, NOTIFIED POLICE LAST WEDNESDAY.   
    THERE ARE NO SUSPECTS IN THE CASE… BUT IF FOUND, THEY WOULD FACE CHARGES OF BURGLARY AND CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.

*   REMODELING WORK IS NEARING COMPLETION AT THE FORMER STEARNS BANK BUILDING AT ROCK SPRING… BUT TAX COMMISSIONER CAROLYN WALKER SAYS THE OFFICE IS STILL A MONTH AWAY FROM MOVING INTO THEIR NEW “WORK HOME”.
    WALKER COUNTY PURCHASED THE EMPTY BANK BUILDING TO HOUSE THE TAX COMMISSIONER AND TAX ASSESSORS OFFICES… CURRENTLY LOCATED IN THE FORMER CLINIC ON SOUTH MAIN STREET IN LAFAYETTE.
    “WE HATE TO LEAVE LAFAYETTE”, WALKER SAID… “BUT THE PARKING AND HANDICAP ACCESS WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER IN THE NEW BUILDING”.
    WALKER SAID WORKERS ARE HANGING DOORS AND FINISHING TRIM AND PAINT WORK AT THE NEW ROCK SPRING LOCATION.  BOTH OFFICES ARE STARTING TO MOVE SOME “STORAGE” ITEMS… LIKE OLD FILES… BUT IT WILL BE MID-SEPTEMBER BEFORE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS ARE MOVED TO ROCK SPRING.
    ON AN INTERESTING NOTE, WALKER SAID THE STATE WILL COME UP TO MOVE THE “TAG” OFFICE RECORDS AND EQUIPMENT.   “WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THOSE”, WALKER SAID.   “THEY PAY US A FEE TO HANDLE THE TAG OPERATION… BUT IT’S REALLY A STATE OPERATION AND THEY KEEP THEIR RECORDS HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL”, SHE SAID.   

*   THE ANNUAL "LABOR DAY CAR SHOW"... BENEFITING THE AL MILLARD MEMORIAL STOCKING FULL OF LOVE IN WALKER COUNTY... WILL BE HELD SEPT. 7th AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER.
    REGISTRATION IS FROM 8 TO 11:30 AM ON LABOR DAY MONDAY... WITH GREAT FOOD AND SILENT AUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY.   THERE WILL BE CLASSES FOR ALL KINDS OF CARS AND TRUCKS, FROM ORIGINALS TO RAT-RODS.  ENTRANTS CAN SAVE MONEY BY REGISTERING BEFORE AUGUST 30th.  
    THE SUNDAY NIGHT SOCK HOP WILL ALSO BE HELD AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER ON SEPTEMBER 6th AT 7 PM.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE AT 706 638 1909 EXTENSION 1276.

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