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EDWARD JONES FINANCIAL ADVISER TY WILLIFORD is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week. 
    Making sense of investing... 503 North Main in LaFayette, phone 706 638 6673.  Member, SIPC.


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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*     A PHYSICAL ALTERCATION RESULTED IN "SIMPLE BATTERY" CHARGES LAST THURSDAY, ACCORDING TO LAFAYETTE POLICE.
    ANGELA DIANE ELLINGER WAS ARRESTED FOR HITTING HER NEIGHBOR, ON MAGNOLIA STREET.  THE REPORT STATES THAT ELLINGER'S FISTS BEGAN TO FLY THE MINUTE THE VICTIM OPENED HER DOOR.   THE RESIDENT FELL ON A TABLE AND THEN TO THE FLOOR... BUT REFUSED MEDICAL TREATMENT WHEN IT WAS OFFERED.   POLICE SAY SHE WAS BLEEDING FROM THE FACE.
    NO EXPLANATION WAS GIVEN FOR THE VIOLENCE.

*   GASOLINE PRICES HAVE BEEN STEADILY FALLING FOR WEEKS... AND IN LAFAYETTE, WE START THIS WEEK WITH A LOW PRICE OF $2.32 A GALLON FOR REGULAR.
    LOWER PRICES HAVE BEEN MAKING TRAVEL POSSIBLE FOR MORE FAMILIES DURING THE SUMMER OF 2015... AND ANALYSTS SAY GAS PRICES SHOULD CONTINUE DECLINING INTO THE FALL.

*   FOOTBALL AT MIDNIGHT... THAT'S HOW THE RAMBLERS OPENED THEIR FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE IN FULL PADS.
    THE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION RULES SAY THAT FULL-PAD WORKOUTS COULDN'T START UNTIL 12:01 AM ON AUGUST 1st.... AND RAMBLER COACH CHAD FISHER HAD HIS TEAM OUT RUNNING DRILLS UNDER A FULL MOON AT MIDNIGHT.
    FISHER SAID "THE KIDS WERE ANXIOUS TO GET BACK OUT THERE"... AND HE USED THE MIDNIGHT PRACTICE TO GET THEM "FIRED UP" FOR THE NEW SEASON.

*   THIS IS THE LAST WEEK TO SIGN UP FOR FALL SPORTS AT THE LAFAYETTE REC DEPARTMENT.   REGISTRATION ENDS THIS SATURDAY FOR YOUTH FOOTBALL, CHEERLEADING AND SOCCER.

*   
TWO LAFAYETTE POLICE OFFICERS ARE CREDITING WITH SAVING A LOCAL RESIDENT’S LIFE, BY PULLING HIM TO SAFETY FROM HIS BURNING HOME.
    CORPORAL NICK TERRY WAS FIRST ON THE SCENE AT NUMBER 11 SIMMONS STREET, EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.   HE SAW FLAMES AND SMOKE FROM THE RESIDENCE AND CALLED OUT, BUT GOT NO RESPONSE.  HE WENT TO A BACK DOOR AND SAW 50 YEAR OLD JEFFERY SCOTT HARRIS, FACE-DOWN ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR.  
    PATROLMAN DUSTY COKER ARRIVED AND HELPED TERRY DRAG THE MAN TO SAFETY.  THE POLICE REPORT INDICATED THAT MR. HARRIS HAS A HISTORY OF HEALTH PROBLEMS.   HE TOLD THEM HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW THE FIRE STARTED.   THE VICTIM WAS TRANSPORTED FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT.
    THE LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT EXTINGUISHED THE FLAMES, SAVING THE HOUSE FROM TOTAL DESTRUCTION.   THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL WILL BE INSPECTING THE SCENE TO DETERMINE A CAUSE.  THE FIRE CALL CAME IN AT 12:21 AM FRIDAY.
    CAPTAIN STACEY MEEKS SAID TERRY AND HARRIS WERE RECENTLY PRESENTED WITH A LIFESAVING AWARD FOR PERFORMING CPR ON A HEART ATTACK VICTIM, WHO RECOVERED.

  WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT HAS OFFERED TO SELL IT’S AMBULANCE SERVICE TO HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER… AND HUTCHESON’S BOARD APPROVED THE PURCHASE AT A MEETING THIS WEEK.
    WHILE IT’S NOT A “DONE DEAL”… BOTH HUTCHESON OFFICIALS AND WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL ARE PLEASED WITH THE IDEA.
    “WE HAD TO DO SOMETHING TO REDUCE THE COST OF GOVERNMENT”, SAID COMMISSIONER HEISKELL.  “HUTCHESON HAS BEEN WANTING THE AMBULANCE SERVICE FOR A LONG TIME… THEY SEE IT AS A BOOST FOR THEIR OPERATION”, SHE SAID.  “WE HAD TO GET OUT FROM UNDER IT… WE CAN USE THE MONEY TO COVER DEBT”.   WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT IS ASKING THE HOSPITAL FOR 2-MILLION DOLLARS TO PURCHASE THE AMBULANCE OPERATION.
    WALKER COUNTY DIDN’T WANT TO START AN AMBULANCE SERVICE… BUT TOOK UP THE CHALLENGE WHEN FORMER HUTCHESON CEO CHARLES STEWART ANNOUNCED ABRUPTLY THAT THE HOSPITAL WOULD BE DROPPING THE SERVICE IN THE TRI-COUNTIES.   “WE BUILT THE BEST AMBULANCE SERVICE IN THE AREA”, HEISKELL SAID… “THEY DID A GREAT JOB”.
    UNDER THE SALE AGREEMENT, HUTCHESON WILL BE OFFERING JOBS TO ALL CURRENT EMPLOYEES OF THE WALKER COUNTY EMS.
    AT THE SAME BOARD MEETING, HUTCHESON LEADERS ALSO APPROVED A RE-STRUCTURE OF DEBT INCURRED BY WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT… MONEY WHICH WAS LOANED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR OPERATING EXPENSES.
      THAT 4.8 MILLION DOLLARS WOULD HAVE BEEN DUE BY THE END OF THIS YEAR, ACCORDING TO HEISKELL… BUT THE RE-STRUCTURE WILL ALLOW THE DEBT TO BE PAID OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS.  THAT WILL BE  ACCOMPLISHED BY BORROWING THE MONEY THROUGH AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITY.
    COUNTY ATTORNEY DON OLIVER SAID IF THE HOSPITAL DEBT HAD TO BE “PAID IN FULL” THIS YEAR, IT WOULD HAVE COST THE TAXPAYERS AN INCREASE OF AROUND 4 MILLS.   WITH THE LONGER PAYOUT PERIOD… AN INCREASE OF ONE MILL SHOULD COVER THE DEBT PAYMENTS.
    OLIVER WENT ON TO SAY THAT THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WILL ONLY PAY-DOWN THE COUNTY’S DEBT FOR THE HOSPITAL RESCUE.  “BY THE END OF THE YEAR, WE WILL HAVE ALSO DRAWN-DOWN THE FULL 10-MILLION DOLLAR LINE OF CREDIT WE SIGNED EARLIER THIS YEAR”, HE SAID.  AT ANY RATE, IT APPEARS WALKER COUNTY PROPERTY OWNERS CAN COUNT ON AN INCREASE IN TAXES.
    HEISKELL CONCLUDED… “EVERYBODY IN THIS AREA WANTED ME TO SUPPORT HUTCHESON SO THE HOSPITAL COULD SURVIVE… AND THEY WERE HAPPY WHEN I DID IT.   NOW, THEY’RE BLAMING ME FOR CO-SIGNING THE NOTES… IT’S BEEN A ‘LOSE-LOSE’ SITUATION FOR ME.  BUT I WANT THE HOSPITAL TO SURVIVE.

*   WQCH NEWS HAS LEARNED THAT WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF STEVE WILSON HAS BEEN INSTALLED AS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE GEORGIA SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION… SWORN-IN BY LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CASEY CAGLE.   CONGRATULATIONS TO SHERIFF WILSON, ON THE HONOR.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED A 90.6-MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016, AT THE JULY MEETING.   ALMOST 30-PERCENT OF THAT AMOUNT WILL COME FROM LOCAL TAX DOLLARS… WITH THE REMAINDER TO BE FUNDED THROUGH STATE AND FEDERAL SOURCES.
    THE BOARD ALSO APPROVED AN AGREEMENT WITH PRIMARY HEALTHCARE TO PLACE A MOBILE UNIT AT GILBERT ELEMENTARY… WHICH WILL HOUSE A SCHOOL-BASED CLINIC.  IT’S TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED TO OPEN ON SEPTEMBER 4th.   THE CLINIC PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE SERVICES TO UNINSURED AND UNDER-INSURED STUDENTS IN THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM… AND WILL ALSO SERVE THE LAFAYETTE COMMUNITY ON A “SLIDING SCALE” OF PAYMENT.

*   PROGRESS CONTINUES AT THE SITE OF WALKER COUNTY’S NEWEST INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYER… AUDIA INTERNATIONAL AT NOBLE.
    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS SAID THIS WEEK THAT DIRT WORK IS ALMOST COMPLETE… AND THE RAILROAD TRACK EXTENSIONS ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION TO THE NEW PLANT.
    DOZENS OF CONCRETE TRUCKS HAVE BEEN POURING INTO THE SITE… AS THE COMPLEX FLOOR PADS ARE READIED FOR UPCOMING EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION.
    THE ELECTRIC SUBSTATION THAT GEORGIA POWER BUILT TO SERVE THE NEW PLANT IS READY TO GO ONLINE.
    BROOKS SAID IT STILL APPEARS THAT THE NEW PLASTICS MANUFACTURER WILL BE OPENING IN SEPTEMBER.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE NEXT “LEADERSHIP WALKER COUNTY” CLASS.   MEMBERS WILL MEET FROM THIS SEPTEMBER THROUGH MAY, 2016.
GET MORE INFORMATION HERE, OR BY CALLING 706 375 7702.

*   A LAFAYETTE RESIDENT WAS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY, AFTER THREATENING A CITY EMPLOYEE WHO WAS ORDERED TO DISCONNECT ELECTRIC SERVICE TO HIS CHATTANOOGA STREET HOME.
    POLICE WERE NOTIFIED AT 10:45 WEDNESDAY MORNING… AND ARRESTED 26 YEAR OLD JONATHAN DAVID BETTS ON A FELONY CHARGE OF “TERRORISTIC THREATS AND ACTS”.
    THE ELECTRIC WORKER REPORTED TO HIS SUPERIORS THAT BETTS TOLD HIM TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY… AND THAT IF THE WORKER RETURNED, HE WOULD BE QUOTE:  “SHOT IN THE HEAD”.  POLICE SAY BETTS ADMITTED TO THE VERBAL THREAT AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST.

*   GROUND HAS BEEN BROKEN FOR THE NEW BOJANGLES RESTAURANT IN NORTH LAFAYETTE.
    ECONOMIC DEVELOPER LARRY BROOKS SAID THIS IS A COMPANY STORE… NOT A FRANCHISE.   HE’S BEEN TOLD THEY EXPECT TO BE IN OPERATION BY THE END OF OCTOBER. 
    THE LAFAYETTE BOJANGLES WILL BE ON HIGHWAY 27 IN FRONT OF WALMART.
    IN OTHER DEVELOPMENT NEWS, FLOOR PADS ARE BEING POURED THIS WEEK AT THE AUDIA PLASTICS PLANT AT NOBLE.
    BROOKS SAID HE’S BEEN TOLD THAT SEVERAL NEWLY-HIRED SUPERVISORS ARE TRAINING THIS WEEK AT ANOTHER AUDIA PLANT IN KENTUCKY… SO THEY ALREADY HAVE LOCALS “ON THE PAYROLL”.

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