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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

BREAKING:   A SUMMERVILLE MAN IS CHARGED WITH DUI AND VEHICULAR HOMICIDE IN CONNECTION WITH A FATAL WRECK EARLY THURSDAY MORNING ON HIGHWAY 27.
    26 YEAR OLD DANIEL CRAIG IS IDENTIFIED BY THE STATE PATROL AS THE DRIVER THAT CROSSED THE CENTER LINE ON TAYLORS RIDGE SOUTH OF SUMMERVILLE, CAUSING A HEAD-ON CRASH THAT KILLED ONE PERSON AND INJURED TWO OTHERS.  CRAIG SAID HE FELL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL.
    85 YEAR OLD OPAL VAUGHN OF SUMMERVILLE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.   THE TWO VEHICLE ACCIDENT HAPPENED AROUND 7 AM THURSDAY, CLOSING HIGHWAY 27 FOR AROUND TWO HOURS.

*   THE KIDS-4-CHRIST MINISTRY HAS LOST THEIR BUILDING… BUT STILL PLAN TO MEET EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT.
    THE FORMER WITHERS STREET LOCATION HAS BEEN UP FOR SALE BY THE OWNER… AND THE MINISTRY HAS NOW MOVED THE THURSDAY NIGHT MEETING LOCATION TO GOSPEL LIGHT CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP AT 36 FORTUNE STREET IN LAFAYETTE, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
    BUSES WILL CONTINUE TO RUN REGULAR ROUTES.  DROP-OFFS START AT 5:45 PM… WITH CLASS STARTING AT 6 O’CLOCK EACH THURSDAY.
    THE KIDS-4-CHRIST MINISTRY OFFICE IS MOVING TO 102 NORTH MAIN, UNIT B.   THE MAILING ADDRESS FOR DONATIONS REMAINS THE SAME…
P.O. BOX 1124, LAFAYETTE.

*   MORE DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED IN THAT OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN SUMMERVILLE, TUESDAY.
    IN A RELEASE FROM SHERIFF MARK SCHRADER, HIS ACCOUNT INDICATES THAT THE SUSPECT WHO WAS SHOT HAD “CHARGED” THE OFFICER WHO SHOT HIM, AFTER SEVERAL MINUTES OF STRUGGLE.
    19 YEAR OLD DEVON DESHAWN WARD WAS BEING INTERVIEWED BY OFFICERS INVESTIGATING A “SNATCH AND GRAB” ROBBERY… WHEN HE HIT AN OFFICER AND RAN AWAY, ACCORDING TO SCHRADER’S ACCOUNT.
    DRUG TASK FORCE OFFICER CAINE RAILEY CHASED HIM DOWN AND THE TWO FOUGHT FOR SEVERAL MINUTES BEFORE SEPARATING.   RAILEY THEN DREW HIS GUN AND ORDERED WARD TO THE GROUND.  INSTEAD, THE SUSPECT CHARGED AT RAILEY… AND WHEN CONTACT WAS MADE, THE OFFICER SHOT HIM IN THE STOMACH.
    OFFICERS APPLIED PRESSURE TO THE WOUND UNTIL EMT’S ARRIVED.  WARD WAS AIR-LIFTED TO ERLANGER, WHERE HE IS IN “CRITICAL BUT IMPROVING” CONDITION, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.  THE GBI IS CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION, ACCORDING TO PROTOCOL.

*   GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINED FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH TO 4.8 PERCENT IN JUNE… DOWN FROM 4.9 THE PREVIOUS MONTH.
    STATE LABOR COMMISSIONER MARK BUTLER SAID “GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS THE LOWEST IT HAS BEEN IN ALMOST 10 YEARS, BECAUSE OUR EMPLOYERS CONTINUE TO CREATE JOBS AND PUT RECORD NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO WORK”.
    STATE-WIDE, THERE WERE SOME MANUFACTURING LAYOFFS… BUT IN OUR AREA, NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT WERE LOWER IN JUNE.
    WALKER COUNTY’S NEW CLAIMS DROPPED BY 4 OVER THE MONTH… AND IN WHITFIELD COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS WERE DOWN BY 79 WORKERS.

*   A 34 YEAR OLD SUSPECT WAS ARRESTED FOR METH TRAFFICKING BY THE DRUG TASK FORCE LAST WEEK.
    BILLY DEWAYNE ROBINSON WAS ARRESTED AT A RESIDENCE ON ROBINSON ROAD, OFF HIGHWAY 337 IN SOUTH WALKER COUNTY, ON WEDNESDAY.
    TASK FORCE COMMANDER PAT DOYLE SAID HE AND A LADY FRIEND WERE HIDING IN A SHED ON THE PROPERTY… AND BOTH HAD WARRANTS OUTSTANDING.
    ROBINSON WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE… AND POSSESSION OF SCHEDULE-4 PRESCRIPTION PILLS.

*    THE CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER OF THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT WILL HOLD A “BACK TO SCHOOL BASH” THIS SATURDAY, AT BARNHARDT CIRCLE IN FORT OGLETHORPE.   THE DAY WILL FEATURE GAMES, INFLATABLES, FOOD AND VENDORS… FROM 10 AM UNTIL 4 PM.   ADMISSION IS $5 PER FAMILY.

*   NEIGHBORS IN RINGGOLD ARE COMING TOGETHER THIS SATURDAY, IN A BENEFIT FOR POLICE OFFICER WILBURN DYCUS, WHO WAS RECENTLY INJURED ON I-75.
    THERE WILL BE A GOSPEL CONCERT WITH SEVERAL GROUPS, A CRUISE-IN, A BENEFIT MOTORCYCLE RIDE, PLUS FREE HAMBURGERS AND HOT DOGS.   BRING LAWN CHAIRS.
    IT’S SATURDAY FROM 4 - 8 PM, IN DOWNTOWN RINGGOLD. 

*   THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL SET QUALIFYING DATES FOR THIS NOVEMBER’S CITY ELECTION.   CITIZENS WILL VOTE ON THE OFFICE OF MAYOR, COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM WARDS ONE AND TWO AND CITY JUDGE.
    IT APPEARS THAT ALL OF THE INCUMBENTS PLAN TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION, INCLUDING MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD, COUNCIL MEMBERS BEN BRADFORD AND BEACHER GARMANY AND CITY JUDGE KENNETH MAPLES.
    THE QUALIFYING FEE IS 3-PERCENT OF THE SALARY FOR THE POSITION… AND THE DATES ARE SET MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21st THROUGH 23rd AT CITY HALL.
    AMONG OTHER BUSINESS ITEMS, THE COUNCIL VOTED TO HONOR LAFAYETTE’S FIRST RECREATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, HARRY AND SUE HARRINGTON, BY NAMING THE PARK RECREATION CENTER IN THEIR HONOR.   COUNCILMAN WAYNE SWANSON MADE THE MOTION, WHICH PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.   MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD SAID THE CITY WILL ANNOUNCE A CEREMONY TO HONOR THE LONG-SERVING COUPLE, AS TIME DRAWS NEAR.
    AND THE COUNCIL WILL PURSUE A GRANT AND LOAN FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO BUY A USED “QUICK ATTACK VEHICLE” FOR THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.   80-PERCENT OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE CALLS TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DON’T INVOLVE A BIG FIRE… THEY RANGE FROM WRECK RESPONSE AND EXTRICATION TO MEDICAL AND RESCUE CALLS.   THE QUICK ATTACK VEHICLE WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO ANSWER THOSE CALLS WITHOUT USING THE CITY’S FULL-SIZE FIRE ENGINES… AT MUCH LOWER COST ON A YEARLY BASIS.   
    THE ESTIMATED PRICE FOR A USED VEHICLE IS 50 TO 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS… AND THE USDA GRANT WOULD COVER A GOOD DEAL OF THAT COST.   THE REST COULD BE PAID-BACK AS A LOAN WITH SEVERAL ANNUAL PAYMENTS.   IT WILL BE NEXT YEAR BEFORE THE USDA WILL HAVE AN ANSWER ON THE GRANT-LOAN APPLICATION.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE AND WALKER COUNTY JAILERS FOUND SEVERAL ILLEGAL DRUGS IN THE POSSESSION OF AN UNLICENSED DRIVER… WHO HAD BEEN PULLED OVER FOLLOWING REPORTS OF RECKLESS DRIVING, FRIDAY.
    39 YEAR OLD TAMMY MICHELLE HAYES OF ROSSVILLE WAS FOUND TO HAVE A SUSPENDED LICENSE AFTER WITNESSES SAID THEY SAW THE DODGE DURANGO WEAVING ACROSS LANES, NARROWLY MISSING A COLLISION AT SEVERAL LOCATIONS ON MAIN STREET AND WEST MAIN.
    AN OPEN BEER WAS FOUND IN THE CAR… AND IN HER PURSE AT THE JAIL, A SEARCH TURNED UP METH AND TWO DIFFERENT SCHEDULE-4 PRESCRIPTIONS.
    HAYES WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION, DRUGS NOT IN ORIGINAL CONTAINER, CROSSING THE GUARD LINE WITH INTOXICANTS, OPEN CONTAINER AND DRIVING WITH WITHDRAWN LICENSE.

*   THERE’S NO “BACK TO SCHOOL SALES TAX HOLIDAY” IN GEORGIA THIS YEAR… BUT IN LAFAYETTE, KIDS CAN GET FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES THIS SATURDAY, JULY 22nd.
    “LET’S MAKE A DIFFERENCE” OF LAFAYETTE IS SPONSORING THE SCHOOL SUPPLY GIVE-AWAY AT THE LOWELL GREEN RECREATION CENTER, LOCATED AT 301 WEBB WHEELER ROAD.   HOURS WILL BE 10 AM ’TIL 2 PM… AND YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO RECEIVE THE FREE BAG OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES.
    THE GIVE AWAY INCLUDES BASICS LIKE SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS, FILLER PAPER, PENCILS AND PENS, GLUE, MARKERS, CRAYONS AND THE LIKE.

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE MADE THREE ARRESTS FRIDAY, AT A HOME ON RAMEY ROAD NEAR THE WALKER-CHATTOOGA COUNTY LINE.
    73 YEAR OLD PATRICIA ANN GALLAWAY WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND TRAFFICKING IN METH… AS PACKAGING MATERIAL WAS LOCATED IN THE RESIDENCE.
    TWO OTHERS WERE CHARGED WITH METH POSSESSION AT THE SCENE…
    44 YEAR OLD KRISTINE MICHELLE SHIRLEY AND 46 YEAR OLD JAMES CARL SHIRLEY.

*   WALKER COUNTY AND CITY OF LAFAYETTE FIRE FIGHTERS ARE PRACTICING WATER AND BOATING RESCUE SKILLS, ACCORDING TO LAFAYETTE CHIEF, STACEY MEEKS.
    LAST WEEK, MEEKS SAID THEY WERE TRAINING AT THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE SWIMMING POOL.   LATER THIS WEEK, YOU MAY SEE THEM TRAINING FROM RESCUE BOATS ON QUEEN CITY LAKE.
    MEEKS SAID THIS WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, THE CITY AND COUNTY WILL BOTH HAVE BOATS ON THE LAKE… AND OBSERVERS MAY NOTICE SMALL GASOLINE MOTORS, WHICH ARE NOT NORMALLY ALLOWED ON THE LAKE.   “ONLY OUR RESCUE BOATS ARE ALLOWED TO USE GAS MOTORS, IN THE INTEREST OF GETTING TO A RESCUE SCENE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE”, MEEKS SAID.   
    THE CITY HAS RECENTLY MADE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE BOAT LAUNCH SITE NEAR THE QUEEN CITY LAKE DAM… AND MEEKS SAID THE PARKING LOT IS FULL OF BOAT TRAILERS ALMOST EVERY DAY.    A NEW 100-FOOT DOCK WILL SOON BE INSTALLED AT THE SAME SITE.
    “WITH THE INCREASED USE OF QUEEN CITY LAKE… WE’RE TEAMING WITH THE COUNTY TO PRACTICE OUR SWIMMER AND BOATING RESCUE SKILLS”, MEEKS SAID.
    THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE’S WATER RESCUE BOAT IS KEPT, STOCKED WITH EMERGENCY RESPONSE SUPPLIES, AT THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED AN 84.9 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET FOR THE COMING YEAR… AND A RAISE FOR TEACHERS IS INCLUDED IN THE SPENDING PLAN.
    THE 2-PERCENT TEACHER PAY RAISE WILL COME FROM STATE FUNDING… ALONG WITH THE ADDITION OF AROUND 30 NEW TEACHERS AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL SYSTEM-WIDE.
    THE GOOD NEWS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS IS THAT THE SYSTEM WILL REDUCE FUNDING FROM THAT LOCAL SOURCE, BY AROUND 400-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FILLED AN “AT-LARGE” VACANCY ON THE BOARD WITH A LAFAYETTE NATIVE LAST WEEK… MAX MORRISON.
    HE WILL BE INSTALLED AT THE NEXT MEETING.   MORRISON RETIRED FROM FLEX-A-BED… AND ALSO SERVED ON THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL AND AS THE CITY’S INTERIM MANAGER.
    EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS SAID THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY HAS THREE NOMINEES FROM THE CITIES, PLUS THE COUNTY COMMISSIONER AND TWO AT-LARGE SEATS.  THOSE TWO ARE VOTED-IN BY THE BOARD.

*   THE DISCOVERY OF A DANGEROUS OPIOID HAS LAFAYETTE’S POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS LOOKING FOR AN ANTIDOTE SUPPLY TO PROTECT FIRST RESPONDERS.
    DURING THE ARREST OF A SUSPECTED DRUG DEALER AT THE PARK RECREATION CENTER PROPERTY LAST WEEK, OFFICERS WERE EXPOSED TO A NEW DRUG CALLED “GREY DEATH” ON THE STREET.    IT CONTAINS HEROIN, FENTANYL AND OPIOIDS.
    40 YEAR OLD JAMES LEE SPATES OF CHATTANOOGA WAS “PASSED OUT” IN HIS PARKED VEHICLE AT THE REC WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED.  IN ADDITION TO THE “GREY DEATH”, HE ALSO HAD METH, SCALES AND PACKAGING MATERIAL.
    NOW, LAFAYETTE PUBLIC SAFETY IS LOOKING FOR A SUPPLY OF NARCAN, WITH IS AN ANTIDOTE TO OPIOID EXPOSURE THAT IS INGESTED NASALLY.  
    STACEY MEEKS, THE CITY’S NEW DIRECTOR OF FIRE SERVICES AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, IS CONTACTING LOCAL PHARMACIES TO SEE IF ENOUGH DOSES OF NARCAN MAY BE DONATED TO PROTECT THE CITY’S POLICE AND FIRE RESPONDERS.

   THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS RULED LAST WEEK THAT WALKER COUNTY OWES ERLANGER HEALTH SYSTEM 8.7-MILLION DOLLARS FROM AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT SIGNED BY FORMER COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL.   WALKER AND CATOOSA COUNTIES GUARANTEED REPAYMENT OF A LOAN FROM ERLANGER TO HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER IN A 2011 MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT THAT EVENTUALLY FAILED.
    SOME OF THE HUTCHESON PROPERTY EVENTUALLY SOLD OUT OF BANKRUPTCY TO APOLLO-MD… WHICH IS NOW OPERATING AS “CORNERSTONE MEDICAL CENTER”.
    CATOOSA COUNTY SETTLED WITH ERLANGER LAST YEAR, PAYING 6.2-MILLION.
    HOWEVER, THE COURT OF APPEALS AGREED WITH A FEDERAL JUDGE IN ROME, THAT WALKER COUNTY IS STILL ON THE HOOK TO REPAY ERLANGER 8.7-MILLION.  THAT AMOUNT IS EQUAL TO ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE COUNTY'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE YEAR.
    THE CURRENT COUNTY COMMISSIONER, SHANNON WHITFIELD, HAS SAID THAT THE COUNTY IS “BROKE”… AND HAS BORROWED 8-MILLION DOLLARS TO PAY EXPENSES SINCE THE FIRST OF THIS YEAR.  IT’S NOT KNOWN HOW THE CASH-STRAPPED GOVERNMENT WILL BE ABLE TO PAY THE ERLANGER JUDGEMENT.

*   THE EXTENSION SERVICE, COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE AND THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER WILL SPONSOR THE COUNTY’S FIRST “AG FESTIVAL” ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th.  THE EVENT WILL BE HELD AT THE WALKER COUNTY AG CENTER, BEHIND THE CIVIC CENTER AT ROCK SPRING.
    THE AG FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE LIVESTOCK SHOWINGS… LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC… INFLATABLES AND A PETTING ZOO… QUILTING, CANNING AND WILDFLOWER ARRANGING DEMONSTRATIONS… AND MORE.  VENDORS WILL ALSO BE WELCOME.
    MORE INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED AS AVAILABLE… ABOUT THE FIRST “WALKER COUNTY AG FESTIVAL”, ON SEPTEMBER 30th.

*   TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FOR THE BATTLEFIELD FARMERS MARKET’S ANNUAL “FARM TO TABLE” FUNDRAISING DINNER.
    IT’S SET FOR SATURDAY, JULY 22nd, 7 PM AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER… AND ONLY 100 TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE.  COST IS $25 PER PERSON. 
    THERE WILL ALSO BE A SILENT AUCTION DURING THE DINNER… AND “SERVERS” WILL BE MEMBERS OF THE LAFAYETTE MIDDLE SCHOOL FFA. 
    GET TICKETS DURING REGULAR HOURS AT THE FARMERS MARKET, OR CALL (706) 764 6923.

*   REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR FALL SPORTS IN THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION PROGRAM… INCLUDING FOOTBALL, CHEERLEADING AND SOCCER.
    FOOTBALL AND CHEERLEADING ARE FOR AGES 5 TO 12… MUST BE 5 BEFORE MAY 1st OF THIS YEAR.    THE COST IS $75.
    SOCCER IS FOR AGES 4 - 13… MUST BE 4 BEFORE JANUARY 1st, 2018.   COST IS $40.
    REC DIRECTOR JASON SHATTUCK SAID REGISTRATION FEES HAVE BEEN REDUCED FROM LAST YEAR, THANKS TO THE HONEYBEE BIKE RIDE IN MAY… WHICH RAISED MONEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING REC FEES FOR KIDS.
    REGISTRATION FOR FOOTBALL, CHEER AND SOCCER CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 12th.


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