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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

BREAKING:   A WALKER COUNTY JURY CONVICTED A ROCK SPRING RESIDENT OF FELONY MURDER AND OTHER COUNTS, IN CONNECTION WITH A SHOOTING DEATH IN HIS FRONT YARD LAST YEAR.
    MICHAEL JAMES GOBERT SHOT A MAN WHO HAD BEEN VISITING AT HIS STEP-DAUGHTER’S HOME, LOCATED ON THE SAME PROPERTY OFF STRAIGHT GUT ROAD.
    HEARING A DISTURBANCE… GOBERT SAW THREE MEN IN A CAR, ABOUT TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY AFTER VISITING AT THE DAUGHTER’S TRAILER.   GOBERT YELLED AT THE MEN, TELLING THEM TO LEAVE… AND FIRED A WARNING SHOT FROM HIS PISTOL.  ONE YELLED AN INSULT BACK AT HIM.  AS THEY SPED TOWARD HIM IN THE DRIVEWAY, GOBERT FIRED SEVERAL SHOTS… ONE OF WHICH STRUCK THE DRIVER… JOHNNY MONTGOMERY, IN THE HEAD.   THE CAR CRASHED INTO AN OUTBUILDING ON THE PROPERTY… AND MONTGOMERY DIED MOMENTS LATER.  ANOTHER PASSENGER IN THE CAR WAS HIT IN THE LEG.  
    THE STEP-DAUGHTER HAD BEEN HURT IN AN ALTERCATION WITH ONE OF THE MEN… WHO HAD BEEN INVITED TO THE TRAILER TO “PARTY”.
    DISTRICT ATTORNEY HERBERT “BUZZ” FRANKLIN SAID GOBERT WAS ALSO CONVICTED ON AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND OTHER COUNTS, IN ADDITION TO FELONY MURDER.

*   AS MEMORIAL DAY APPROACHES, JROTC STUDENTS AT LAFAYETTE HIGH  SCHOOL HAVE RENEWED THE DISPLAY OF CROSSES AND FLAGS IN FRONT OF JOHN B. GORDON HALL IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE.
    EACH CROSS BEARS THE NAME OF A WALKER COUNTY SOLDIER, SAILOR, AIRMAN OR MARINE WHO DIED IN COMBAT FROM WORLD WAR I THROUGH VIETNAM.
    STOP BY, LOOK… AND REMEMBER THE COST OF FREEDOM, THIS MEMORIAL DAY.

*    THE TOWN OF TRION WILL DEDICATE A NEW "VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK", WITH CEREMONIES SATURDAY.  
    ACTIVITIES BEGIN AT 10 AM WITH A "CRUISE-IN".   THEN, STARTING AT 3 PM... THE DEDICATION CEREMONY WILL FEATURE SPECIAL PATRIOTIC MUSIC... AND A KEYNOTE SPEECH BY RETIRED COLONEL MICHAEL BARBEE.  LIVING WORLD WAR II VETERANS WILL BE HONORED.

*   THIS IS THE WEEKEND FOR "1890's DAYS" IN RINGGOLD.   A "STREET PARTY" OPENS TONIGHT AT 6 WITH A PAGEANT AND GOSPEL MUSIC.
    SATURDAY STARTS WITH A CAR SHOW AT 9 AM... A PARADE AT 11 AM... AND THERE'S LIVE MUSIC THROUGHOUT THE DAY.   FIREWORKS WILL CAP THE CELEBRATION SATURDAY AT 10 PM.    ADMISSION IS FREE, AT "1890's DAYS" IN DOWNTOWN RINGGOLD.

*   “FINSTER-FEST” WILL BE HELD AT PARADISE GARDENS IN PENNVILLE IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY, THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.  THE LATE HOWARD FINSTER CREATED MORE THAN 40-THOUSAND NUMBERED WORKS OF FOLK ART… AND MANY CAN BE SEEN AT PARADISE GARDENS.  SEVERAL DOZEN OTHER ARTISTS WILL BE DISPLAYING THEIR WORK, AS WELL.
    HOURS WILL BE 10-6 SATURDAY AND 11-5 SUNDAY.  TICKETS ARE $5 FOR ADULTS, CHILDREN UNDER 12 FREE.  THE ADDRESS IS 200 NORTH LEWIS STREET NEAR THE HAYS STATE PRISON.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE RESPONDED TO A CALL ABOUT “A PERSON IN DISTRESS ON QUEEN CITY LAKE” WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.   WHAT THEY FOUND WAS AN INEBRIATED TEENAGER IN A PADDLE BOAT.
    WHEN THEY TRIED TO GET THE BOY TO ROW THE BOAT IN THEIR DIRECTION, HE CURSED THEM… THEN STARTED PADDLING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.   ONE OFFICER BORROWED A NEIGHBOR’S KAYAK AND ROWED OUT TO ASSIST… FINDING A STRONG ODOR OF ALCOHOL AS HE APPROACHED.
    AFTER THE RESCUE, 17 YEAR OLD BRYSON WHITE WAS CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR.  NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE ARRESTED A 25 YEAR OLD LAFAYETTE WOMAN FOR METH POSSESSION THIS WEEK.   THE TASK FORCE WAS ASSISTING THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION ON A PAROLE WARRANT CALL ON CHLOE DRIVE, OFF ROUND POND ROAD.   THEY DIDN’T FIND THAT SUBJECT… BUT COURTNEY DAWN SCHRIMPSHIRE WAS ARRESTED ON THE METH CHARGE.

*
   WALKER COUNTY JUST REGISTERED THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN 9 YEARS… AN EVEN 5 PERCENT IN APRIL… ACCORDING TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
    ALL AREA COUNTIES WERE DOWN FROM MARCH FIGURES.   DADE COUNTY DROPPED TO 4.4 PERCENT… AND CATOOSA COUNTY FELL TO 4.6 PERCENT.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY… THE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT AREA IN THE STATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS… HAS NOW FALLEN TO JUST 5.2 PERCENT… ALONG WITH THE SAME FIGURE FOR CHATTOOGA COUNTY.
    TRADITIONALLY, ECONOMISTS HAVE CONSIDERED 5 PERCENT AS “NEARING FULL EMPLOYMENT”… MEANING THAT ALMOST EVERYONE WHO WANTS A JOB, CAN GET ONE.
    AGAIN… WALKER COUNTY’S LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL TO THE LOWEST LEVEL SINCE THE FALL OF 2007… FROM 5.6 PERCENT IN MARCH, TO 5 PERCENT IN APRIL. 

*   AN ACCUSED SHOOTER IS IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING A 6-HOUR STANDOFF WITH WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICERS WEDNESDAY NIGHT, NEAR LAFAYETTE.
    56 YEAR OLD ROXANNE P. HURLEY REPORTEDLY SHOT HER MALE FRIEND IN THE LEG DURING A DOMESTIC ARGUMENT AT HER HOME ON CORDELL AVENUE.  DEPUTIES WERE ALLOWED TO TAKE THE 49 YEAR OLD SHOOTING VICTIM, TROY L. HAWKINS, OUT OF THE RESIDENCE… BUT THEN, HURLEY BARRICADED HERSELF AND REFUSED TO COME OUT.   HAWKINS WAS HIT ONCE IN THE LEG BY A PISTOL SHOT… AND WAS TRANSPORTED FOR TREATMENT.
    AFTER 6 HOURS OF NEGOTIATIONS, THE WALKER COUNTY “SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP” WENT BACK INSIDE THE HOME AND ARRESTED HURLEY WITH NO ONE ELSE HURT.   SHE WAS CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AT THE WALKER COUNTY JAIL, ACCORDING TO SHERIFF STEVE WILSON.   THE STANDOFF ENDED JUST BEFORE 2 AM THURSDAY. 

*   THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A TRUSTY WHO WALKED OFF HIS WORK DETAIL IN ROCK SPRING.
    26 YEAR OLD RANDY BARFIELD JUNIOR WAS ON A MINIMUM SECURITY DETAIL WHEN HE DISAPPEARED AT AROUND 1:30 PM LAST FRIDAY.   HE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ESCAPE… AND A $200 REWARD IS OFFERED FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO HIS ARREST.
    BARFIELD ALSO GOES BY THE NICKNAME “BABO”… AND COULD BE IN THE CHICKAMAUGA OR ROSSVILLE AREA.
    IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION, CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 638 1909 EXTENSION 1238.

*   AFTER MAKING AN “UNDERCOVER BUY”… THE DRUG TASK FORCE EXECUTED A SEARCH WARRANT THIS WEEK, ARRESTING FOUR PEOPLE IN ROSSVILLE.  
    ABOUT $200 IN POT AND PACKAGING EQUIPMENT FOR RE-SALE WAS SEIZED AT THE RESIDENCE ON BETSY DRIVE.  OCCUPANTS THERE WERE CHARGED WITH POSSESSION FOR RESALE… INCLUDING:
    24 YEAR OLD MERCEDES LACHELLE BOND, 30 YEAR OLD JOSEPH BAYLIS SMILEY, 38 YEAR OLD ROBERT MICHAEL TANNAHILL AND 27 YEAR OLD DAVID LAMAR HENEGAR.
    SMILEY WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF HYDROCODONE, WHICH THE TASK FORCE FOUND “CUT UP FOR SNORTING”, ACCORDING TO TASK FORCE COMMANDER, PAT DOYLE.

*   AFTER THE BUSINESS MEETING LAST THURSDAY, WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL EXPLAINED WHY HORSES ARE BEING KEPT AT MOUNTAIN COVE FARMS… A COUNTY-OWNED FACILITY.   THE PRESENCE OF HORSES HAS BEEN CRITICIZED BY AN OPPONENT DURING THE CURRENT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.  
    HEISKELL SAID THE HORSES WERE SEIZED FROM OWNERS DUE TO NEGLECT OR ABUSE… AND THE COUNTY IS REQUIRED BY THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR CARE.  “AT MOUNTAIN COVE, THE SEVEN HORSES ARE IN A FENCED PASTURE AND REQUIRE VERY LITTLE CARE”, HEISKELL SAID.   “I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO KEEP THEM THERE TO AVOID PAYING BOARDING FEES, WHICH WE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO DO”.  SHE SAID ONCE COURT CASES INVOLVING THE ANIMALS HAVE BEEN SETTLED, THE HORSES WILL BE DISPERSED AS THE COURT ORDERS.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE SWIMMING POOL WILL OPEN FOR THE SEASON ON MEMORIAL DAY, MONDAY - MAY 30th.
    POOL HOURS THIS SUMMER WILL BE MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FROM NOON ’TIL 6 PM… SUNDAYS FROM 1 - 6 PM.
    THE POOL WILL BE OPEN FOR “LATE DIPPERS” ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY EVENINGS FROM 7 - 8:30 PM.  
    SEASON PASSES ARE AVAILABLE… $40 FOR INDIVIDUALS AND $100 FOR FAMILIES.
    DAILY ADMISSION IS $4 PER PERSON… AGE 3 AND UNDER FREE.
    TO BOOK A POOL PARTY, CALL THE REC CENTER AT 639 1590.

*   DOT IS CURTAILING LANE CLOSURES FOR CONSTRUCTION DURING THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.   THERE WILL BE NO LANE CLOSURES ON MAJOR GEORGIA HIGHWAYS FROM NOON FRIDAY THROUGH 5 AM TUESDAY. 

*   GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL AND THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ANNOUNCED THAT 187 GEORGIA SCHOOLS WILL RECEIVE AWARDS FOR HIGHEST PERFORMANCE AND GREATEST GAINS… INCLUDING TWO LOCAL SCHOOLS.
    IN THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM - FAIRYLAND ELEMENTARY GOT A GOLD AWARD IN THE “GREATEST GAIN”… AND A SILVER IN THE “HIGHEST PERFORMING AWARD” CATEGORY.
    FOR CHICKAMAUGA SCHOOLS… GORDON LEE MIDDLE SCHOOL GOT A BRONZE AWARD IN THE “GREATEST GAIN” AWARD CATEGORY.
    THE NEW AWARDS, DEVELOPMENT BY THE OFFICE OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, ARE PART OF GEORGIA’S STATEWIDE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM.  ‘HIGHEST PERFORMING’ SCHOOLS AND ‘GREATEST GAINS’ SCHOOLS MUST EARN A THREE YEAR CCRPI PROGRESS SCORE IN THE 93rd PERCENTILE.
    CONGRATULATIONS TO FAIRYLAND ELEMENTARY AND GORDON LEE MIDDLE, ON THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

*   STATE SENATOR JEFF MULLIS HELPED THE LOCAL CHATTOOGA AND CHICKAMAUGA RAILROAD TO GAIN IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE FREIGHT LINE… WHICH SERVES WALKER AND CHATTOOGA COUNTIES.
    THE STATE-OWNED RAIL LINE WILL BE REHABILITATED AND IMPROVED THROUGH A BOND INITIATIVE IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 STATE BUDGET, ACCORDING TO MULLIS.   THE RAIL IMPROVEMENTS ARE EXPECTED TO DRIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE WALKER-CHATTOOGA REGION.  SENATOR MULLIS TOURED THE RAIL LINE WITH CHATTOOGA AND CHICKAMAUGA MANAGER, DONNIE OWENS… LAST WEEK.  
    THE C & C RAILWAY COMPANY IS OWNED BY GENESEE & WYOMING, INCORPORATED… WHICH LEASES THE TRACK FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA FOR OPERATIONS CHATTANOOGA TO SUMMERVILLE.

*   LOCAL CONTRACTORS CONTINUE TO "FILL OUT" THE SPACES IN JULIAN'S PLACE SUBDIVISION IN LAFAYETTE.   DURING MARCH AND APRIL, THREE NEW HOMES WERE PERMITTED THERE BY THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE... PLUS, A NEW HOME WAS PERMITTED ON PROBASCO STREET.   TOTAL OF THE FOUR NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS WAS $435-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
    REMODELING PROJECTS AND OUTBUILDING PLACEMENT BROUGHT THE TOTAL OF BUILDING PERMIT VALUE TO OVER HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS... FOR MARCH AND APRIL IN LAFAYETTE.

*   YMCA SWIMMING LESSONS WILL BE HELD AT THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE POOL... COST IS $80 FOR STUDENTS AGES 6 MONTHS TO 17 YEARS.  SIGNUPS WILL BE HANDLED BY THE ‘Y’ IN FORT OGLETHORPE.   CALL FOR MORE INFO AT 706 935 2226.

*    SIGNUPS FOR THE “SUMMER READING PROGRAM” ARE OPEN AT THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY.  VISIT CHRL.ORG.

*   WALKER COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL PROVIDE SUMMER BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHES TO CHILDREN, THROUGH THE USDA “SEAMLESS SUMMER FEEDING PROGRAM”.
    STARTING MAY 31st, ALL CHILDREN 18 AND UNDER CAN HAVE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL AND RIDGELAND HIGH SCHOOL.   BREAKFAST WILL BE AVAILABLE WEEKDAYS FROM 7:30 - 8:30 AM… AND LUNCH WILL BE AVAILABLE EACH MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.  SEVERAL OTHER SITES WILL BE OPEN FOR LUNCH-ONLY.
    MEALS ARE FREE, BUT MUST BE EATEN ON-SITE.   THE PROGRAM CONTINUES THROUGH JULY 8th… EXCEPT CLOSED ON THE 4th OF JULY.

*   LAFAYETTE’S RECREATION DEPARTMENT WILL HAVE “MINI DAY CAMPS” THIS SUMMER, FOR AGES 5 TO 12.
    FOUR WEEK-LONG CAMPS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JUNE AND JULY.   COST IS $50 PER CAMPER… WHICH INCLUDES A CAMP T-SHIRT.
    DAYS WILL BE FILLED WITH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES AT THE MUNICIPAL PARK.   RESERVE A “MINI CAMP” SPOT BY CALLING THE REC DEPARTMENT AT 706 639 1590.
 
*   REGISTER NOW FOR THE 80th ANNUAL “CHICKEN DINNER GOLF TOURNAMENT” AT THE LAFAYETTE COURSE, SET FOR JUNE 11-12.  ENTRY FEE IS $140 PER PLAYER.   CALL 706 639 1580.


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