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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   TWO OF THE THREE SUSPECTS IN A BREAK-IN AT THE CHATTANOOGA STREET TAVERN HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, ACCORDING TO WALKER COUNTY JAIL REPORTS.  
    WILLIAM CHASE GRIM, 22… AND HUNTER ALLEN RIDLEY, 19… WERE EACH CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF FIRST DEGREE BURGLARY AND ONE COUNT OF SECOND DEGREE BURGLARY IN THE CASE.  GRIM WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH A FELONY PROBATION VIOLATION.
    AN ARREST WARRANT HAS ALSO BEEN ISSUED FOR CHRISTIAN FLOYD OF LAFAYETTE, ACCORDING TO POLICE.
    SEVERAL ITEMS TAKEN FROM THE BUSINESS WERE RECOVERED LAST WEEK IN A NEARBY POND… AS DIVERS FROM HAMILTON COUNTY ASSISTED LAFAYETTE POLICE IN THE INVESTIGATION.  THE OVERNIGHT BURGLARY OCCURRED EARLIER THIS MONTH.

*   THE FIFTH DROWNING THIS YEAR IS REPORTED AT LAKE WEISS.  IT HAPPENED AT CEDAR BLUFF LAST SATURDAY EVENING.
    69 YEAR OLD WILLIAM JOHN WEAVER WAS PULLED FROM THE WATER AND TRANSPORTED TO A ROME HOSPITAL, BUT COULD NOT BE REVIVED.

*      THE LOCAL EXTENSION SERVICE IS SPONSORING A SPECIAL PROGRAM ON “MANAGING BACKYARD POULTRY FLOCKS”… ON TUESDAY, JUNE 30th.
    DR. CASEY RITZ, UGA POULTRY SPECIALIST, WILL BE THE SPEAKER… DISCUSSING BREED SELECTION, EQUIPMENT, NUTRITION AND DISEASE PREVENTION FOR BACKYARD POULTRY.
    THE PROGRAM IS FREE, BUT RSVP WITH THE EXTENSION OFFICE AT 706 638 2548.
    IT STARTS AT 7 PM ON JUNE 30th, AT THE WALKER COUNTY AG CENTER.

*   IT WAS “ALL A’s”… A GREAT WEEK FOR RESTAURANT AND KITCHEN INSPECTIONS IN WALKER COUNTY:
    AMONG THE “A” SCORES WERE CHINA BUFFET, THE SONIC AND WENDY’S IN LAFAYETTE… WALKER STATE PRISON AT ROCK SPRING… AND MARY AND MARTHA’S PERSONAL CARE IN ROSSVILLE.

*   A LAFAYETTE POLICE CRUISER WAS DAMAGED AS IT REAR-ENDED ANOTHER VEHICLE BEING PURSUED.   THE DRIVER OF THE CAR BEING CHASED IS STILL AT-LARGE, AFTER ESCAPING FROM OFFICERS ON-FOOT.
    SERGEANT STACY BLALOCK WAS ON PATROL WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, WHEN HE RECOGNIZED A DRIVER WHO WAS WANTED ON OUTSTANDING FELONY WARRANTS.   HE FOLLOWED THE CAR, WHICH TURNED AND STOPPED MOMENTARILY IN THE VICINITY OF ROPER… BUT THEN SPED NORTHBOUND ON BROOMTOWN ROAD.   THE VEHICLE PASSED FIVE OTHER VEHICLES… EACH TIME ON A “DOUBLE YELLOW LINE”… AT SPEEDS ESTIMATED UP TO 45 MILES PER HOUR.  
    AFTER AN ABRUPT STOP ON SPENCER STREET, THE MAN EXITED THE VEHICLE AND RAN.   OFFICER BLALOCK WAS NOT ABLE TO STOP IN TIME - AND HIT THE CAR IN THE REAR.   THE REPORT STATES THAT THE POLICE CAR HAD “MODERATE DAMAGE” TO THE FRONT BUMPER AND HOOD… AND A STATE TROOPER WAS CALLED-IN TO INVESTIGATE THE COLLISION SCENE.
    WARRANTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ARREST OF JASON TYLER GATES, WHO WAS DRIVING THE VEHICLE.   HIS PASSENGER, THE OWNER OF THE CAR, SAID HE HIT THE BRAKE FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT IN ORDER TO STOP THE POLICE CHASE.  

*   A LAFAYETTE BUSINESS IS OUT SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS IN CASH, AFTER A COUPLE DISTRACTED THE MANAGER AND OPENED CASH DRAWERS.  IT HAPPENED TUESDAY AFTERNOON AT THE VERIZON STORE ON PEARL DRIVE.          
    MANAGER GABRIELLE TAYLOR TOLD POLICE THAT THE MAN KEPT HER ATTENTION, ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT PHONES AND ACCESSORIES.   MEANWHILE, THE WOMAN APPARENTLY OPENED BOTH CASH DRAWERS AND TOOK A TOTAL OF $628... ALL OF THE PAPER MONEY IN THE DRAWERS.
    THE COUPLE THEN LEFT IN A 90'S MODEL WHITE TOYOTA CAMRY... POSSIBLY WITH A GEORGIA TAG.  SHE DESCRIBED THE MAN AS 6 FEET TALL WITH A "BUZZ" HAIR CUT... WEARING A WHITE T-SHIRT.   THE FEMALE WAS ABOUT 5' 4" WITH SHORT HAIR AND ONLY TWO FRONT TEETH.
    THE POLICE REPORT STATES THAT THE CASH DRAWERS IN THE BUSINESS MAKE NO SOUND WHEN OPENED... AND THE STORE HAD NO VIDEO SURVEILLANCE.

*   A REQUEST FOR A ZONING CHANGE AT NOBLE WAS TABLED THURSDAY… SO COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL CAN VIEW THE PROPERTY INVOLVED.
    DENNIS KING WANTS TO REZONE 5.9 ACRES ON THE EAST SIDE OF HIGHWAY 27, TO BUILD NEW TOWN HOMES.   THE REQUESTED CHANGE IS FROM COMMERCIAL TO R-2 RESIDENTIAL.
    NEIGHBORING PROPERTY OWNER GEORGE CAHEELY OF DIXIE COLLISION, TOLD THE COMMISSIONER HE OPPOSES THE CHANGE.  HE FELT IT WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE VALUE OF HIS LAND.
    THE ZONING BOARD DID NOT APPROVE THE REQUEST.   COMMISSIONER HEISKELL SAID SHE WOULD MAKE THE DECISION WITHIN TWO WEEKS.
    IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE COMMISSIONER CUT-BACK THE NUMBER OF PRISON WORK DETAILS, IN A NEW CONTRACT WITH THE STATE PRISON SYSTEM.   THE COUNTY HAD THREE PRISON CREWS PICKING UP ROADSIDE TRASH A FEW YEARS AGO.   HEISKELL SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR ONE CREW TO COLLECT TRASH ON STATE HIGHWAYS… AS THE DOT ADVISED HER THEY HAVE NO PROVISION FOR REMOVING TRASH.   HEISKELL SAID SHE WILL SEND TRUSTEES FROM THE WALKER COUNTY JAIL TO REMOVE TRASH FROM COUNTY ROADS… SAVING MONEY COMPARED TO A SECOND STATE PRISON CONTRACT.
    THE SINGLE STATE PRISON CONTRACT SIGNED WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $39,500 FOR THE YEAR.

*   WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL ANNOUNCED THURSDAY THAT TWO $1,000 REWARDS ARE BEING OFFERED FOR INFORMATION ON RECENT VEHICLE VANDALISM.
    A WALKER COUNTY TRACTOR, USED TO MOW THE ROADSIDES, HAD TIRES CUT AND DESTROYED ALONG WITH OTHER DAMAGE… AND AT THE NEW BUSINESS PARK AT NOBLE, A CONTRACTOR’S TRUCK ALSO SUFFERED TIRE DAMAGE.   THAT OWNER IS OFFERING A $1,000 REWARD… WHILE THE COUNTY IS OFFERING $1,000 ON THE TRACTOR VANDALISM.   
    HEISKELL SAID SHERIFF’S INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE THE SAME PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BOTH CASES… AS THE METHOD USED TO CUT AND DESTROY THE TIRES WAS SIMILAR.
    INFORMATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.   INFORMATION THAT LEADS TO AN ARREST AND CONVICTION COULD BE REWARDED WITH CASH.

*   MAY UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES WERE UP FRACTIONS OF A PERCENT IN EVERY AREA COUNTY EXCEPT ONE… WHITFIELD.
    SEEMS THE FLOORING INDUSTRY IS BACK ON-TRACK… AND WHITFIELD’S UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED FROM 6.5 PERCENT IN APRIL, TO 6.3 IN MAY.   IT’S QUITE A COME-BACK, CONSIDERING WHITFIELD HAD THE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE STATE JUST A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO.
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS UP FROM 5.7 TO 6 PERCENT OVER THE MONTH.
    CATOOSA CLIMBED TO 5.4 PERCENT IN MAY…
    CHATTOOGA WAS UP TO 6.4…
    AND DADE COUNTY’S RATE WENT UP TO 5.8 PERCENT IN MAY.

*   WALKER COUNTY WANTS TO NEGOTIATE A STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FINE OF 76-THOUSAND DOLLARS ON THE ROCK CREEK TRAIL PROJECT.
    ATTORNEY FOR WALKER COUNTY, DON OLIVER, SAID THE ISSUE IS WHETHER THE COUNTY’S CONTRACTOR FINISHED THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN WALKING TRAIL BRIDGE PROJECT ON TIME.
    EPD’S FINE IS BASED ON THEIR CLAIM THAT WALKER COUNTY MISSED THE DEADLINE TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT BY 76 DAYS.   AN EPD LETTER DEMANDING PAYMENT WITHIN 30 DAYS, WAS RECEIVED AT THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE ON MONDAY.
    OLIVER SAID THE COUNTY HAD A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING FIRM, CONSOLIDATED TECHNOLOGIES, INCORPORATED… CALCULATE THE “WORKABLE DAYS” DURING THE WINTER WEATHER SEASON.   THEIR CERTIFIED REPORT TO EPD MAINTAINS THE COUNTY’S CONTRACTOR FINISHED THE PROJECT 40 DAYS AHEAD OF TIME… NOT BEHIND.
    A COMPLAINT LODGED BY A LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN LAND OWNER STARTED THE EPD INVESTIGATION AT ROCK CREEK IN 2012.   THE COMPLAINT ALLEGED THAT COUNTY ACTIONS HAD DAMAGED BOTH WATER QUALITY AND TROUT POPULATIONS IN THE STREAM.
    A WALKER COUNTY RELEASE ON THE SUBJECT, SIGNED BY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL THIS WEEK, SAYS:  “ALL WORK WAS DONE TO EPD’S SATISFACTION AND EPD HAS SIGNED-OFF AS ‘SATISFIED’ WITH THE FINISHED JOB.   THE ONLY QUESTION IS A CALCULATION OF THE TIME ALLOWED UNDER TERMS OF THE CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN, WHEN ACCOUNTING FOR THE DELAYS DUE TO THE WINTER WEATHER EXTREMES.   WALKER COUNTY IS CONFIDENT IN THE TIME CALCULATIONS PERFORMED BY OUR CERTIFIED ENGINEER… AND CONFIDENT THAT EPD WILL BE FAIR AND REASONABLE AS WE NEGOTIATE THE DIFFERENCES THAT HAVE SURFACED IN THE TIME CALCULATION”.   IT ENDS:   “WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING WITH EPD AND RESOLVING THE ISSUE”.

*   A SUPPLIER FOR THE CHATTANOOGA VOLKSWAGEN PLANT ANNOUNCED TUESDAY MORNING THAT THEIR NEW MANUFACTURING LOCATION WILL ADD OVER 500 JOBS THERE.
    WALKER COUNTY’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS SAID THE COMPANY, CALLED “GESTAMP”, LOOKED SERIOUSLY AT LOCATING IN THE NEW BUSINESS PARK AT NOBLE.   “THEY FLEW-IN TO LOOK AT THE PROPERTY AND WERE VERY POSITIVE IN THEIR REMARKS”, BROOKS SAID.   “I’VE HEARD THAT THEY CHOSE TO LOCATE IN ENTERPRISE SOUTH AT VOLKSWAGEN’S INSISTENCE”, HE ADDED.
    BROOKS SAID “WE’RE ENCOURAGED THAT THEY WOULD CONSIDER OUR LOCATION FOR THE PLANT… IT SHOWS THAT WE’RE COMPETITIVE IN WHAT WE’RE DOING”.
    THE PLANT THAT WILL OPEN SOON IN THE WALKER COUNTY PARK, MADE BIG CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS OVER THE LAST WEEK.  THE FIRST OF SEVERAL 80-FOOT TALL SILOS HAS BEEN DELIVERED AND CAN BE SEEN FROM HIGHWAY 27 AT THE SITE OF AUDIA INTERNATIONAL.
    THE UNDERPINNINGS OF THE ENTRY ROAD HAVE BEEN COMPLETED… BUT BROOKS SAID THEY WILL DELAY PAVING UNTIL ALL OF THE SILOS AND OTHER HEAVY LOADS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO THE CONSTRUCTION SITE BY TRUCK.
    ON ANOTHER TOPIC… BROOKS SAID THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY HAS ALSO BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE SWEDISH FIRM ELECTROLUX… WHICH HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS TO PURCHASE THE LOCAL ROPER RANGE PLANT FROM GENERAL ELECTRIC.   HE SAID THE COMPANY IS WAITING FOR APPROVAL FROM THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION BEFORE COMPLETING THE PURCHASE OF GE’S APPLIANCE DIVISION.   BROOKS SAID THEY SPOKE HIGHLY OF THE LAFAYETTE PLANT.

*   SOUTH WALKER HEADSTART IS OPENING A NEW PROGRAM FOR KIDS, BASED AT GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN TECHNICAL COLLEGE AT ROCK SPRING.
    THE HEADSTART AND EARLY HEADSTART PROGRAM WILL BE A CONVENIENCE TO PARENTS WHO ATTEND THE COLLEGE… AND THEY WILL BE GIVEN PRIORITY IN REGISTERING ELIGIBLE CHILDREN THERE.  THEY ACCEPT CHILDREN UP TO AGE 5.
    THE NEW PROGRAM WILL BE IN PLACE FOR THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR… AND APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED NOW FOR THE GNTC LOCATION… AS WELL AS THE SOUTH WALKER HEADSTART LOCATION ON PROBASCO STREET IN LAFAYETTE. 
    THE APPLICATION INVOLVES A GOOD DEAL OF REQUIRED INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE CHILD’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE, SOCIAL SECURITY AND IMMUNIZATION FORMS… AS WELL AS TAX RETURNS AND PROOF OF RESIDENCY FOR PARENTS.
    FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO APPLY FOR HEADSTART OR EARLY HEADSTART PROGRAMS, CALL THE SOUTH WALKER CENTER AT 706 638 0576.

*   THE ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED FOR THIS YEAR’S FREEDOM FESTIVAL IN LAFAYETTE… SET FOR FRIDAY, JULY 3rd.
    IT STARTS WITH VINCE STALLINGS, TAKING THE STAGE AT 6 PM.
    SIX-STRING SUGAR DADDY WILL PLAY AT 7.
    BLACK CAT MOON STARTS AT 8 PM…
    AND LOCAL BAND “SMALL TOWN RUMOR” WILL HIT THE STAGE AT 9 PM.
    THE ANNUAL FIREWORKS SHOW STARTS AT 10:30 PM.
    OTHER ATTRACTIONS INCLUDE A FISHING SIMULATOR… OLD TIMERS BALL GAME… FREE SWIMMING AT THE CITY POOL AND KARAOKE AT THE PARK CENTER GYM.   ADMISSION IS FREE… BRING A LAWN CHAIR AND ENJOY THE “FREEDOM FESTIVAL” AT THE MUNICIPAL PARK, ON FRIDAY - JULY 3rd.

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