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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   A MASSIVE OAK TREE FELL OVERNIGHT SUNDAY, NARROWLY MISSING TWO RESIDENTS INSIDE THEIR HOME IN LAFAYETTE.
    THE BIG TREE CAUSED EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO THE HOME OF JOHN EVANS ON WEST WITHERS STREET… JUST BEHIND THE DARI DIP.
    A LIMB FROM THE BIG OAK SMASHED A WINDOW NEAR THE SPOT EVANS AND HIS DAUGHTER WERE SITTING.
    EVANS’ CAR WAS CRUSHED BY THE TREE.  IT FELL DURING HEAVY RAINS AND WIND IN THE SUNDAY NIGHT STORM THAT SOAKED THE AREA.

*   THE RUBBLE HAS BEEN CLEARED AWAY… THE THREATENING WALLS ARE DOWN… AND EAST VILLANOW STREET HAS BEEN RE-OPENED AT THE SQUARE IN LAFAYETTE.
    THE ROAD, WHICH ALSO SERVES AS A PART OF STATE ROUTE 193 THROUGH LAFAYETTE, HAD BEEN CLOSED SINCE THE BUILDING COLLAPSE ON FEBRUARY 22nd… A LITTLE OVER EIGHT WEEKS.
    CITY OF LAFAYETTE ZONING AND THE BUILDING OWNER ARE WORKING TO COME UP WITH A SUITABLE RE-BUILDING PLAN FOR THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF LAFAYETTE’S DOWNTOWN SQUARE.
    THE BRICK BUILDING THAT COLLAPSED WAS THE FIRST ONE BUILT ON THE SQUARE IN THE 1830’s.  IT WAS VACANT WHEN THE EXTERIOR WALL FELL INTO THE STREET BELOW… AND NO ONE WAS INJURED.

*    ON LOCAL NEWS TODAY, AN INTERVIEW ON "THE HAVEN"... LAFAYETTE'S NEW MISSION-CHURCH.  YOU CAN LISTEN HERE:

*   NO ONE HURT IN AN EARLY MONDAY MORNING HOUSE FIRE.   WALKER FIRE OFFICIALS BELIEVE THE HOUSE, AT THE CORNER OF EAST WARREN AND WHEELER ROADS, WAS UNOCCUPIED.  IT APPEARED TO BE A TOTAL LOSS.

*   SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF LAFAYETTE WILL HOST A DENTAL GROUP OFFERING FREE SCREENINGS, FILLINGS AND EXTRACTIONS TO WALKER COUNTY RESIDENTS THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25th.
    EVALUATIONS WILL BE DONE FROM 2 UNTIL 5 PM.  APPOINTMENTS WILL THEN BE MADE FOR TREATMENT ON APRIL 26th THROUGH 28th.
    YOU MUST BE THERE IN PERSON WEDNESDAY… AND BRING ALL MEDICAL INFORMATION WITH YOU.  AGES 10 TO 18 MUST HAVE A LEGAL GUARDIAN PRESENT.
    THAT’S THIS WEDNESDAY FROM 2 ’TIL 5 FOR THE FREE DENTAL SCREENING.  SECOND BAPTIST IS AT 500 WEST MAIN STREET IN LAFAYETTE.

*   TUESDAY APRIL 24th IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE MAY 22nd ELECTION.  WALKER COUNTY RESIDENTS MAY REGISTER TO VOTE AT THE ELECTIONS OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE, ROOM 110.   OR IF REGISTERING BY MAIL… APPLICATIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY APRIL 24th.

*   YOU CAN REGISTER NOW FOR SUMMER SWIM LESSONS FROM THE YMCA… TO BE HELD AT THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION SWIMMING POOL OFF SOUTH MAIN.
    LESSONS BEGIN JUNE 4th… AND THE WEEKLY SESSION COSTS $80.   THE PRE-REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MAY 22nd.
    CALL THE YMCA TO REGISTER AT (706) 935 2226.

*   A “MISSING JUVENILE” REPORT IN LATE MARCH, LED TO THE ARREST OF A 28 YEAR OLD MAN ON CHARGES OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND ENTICING A CHILD FOR INDECENT PURPOSES.  ACCORDING TO THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL HAIR WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN THE CASE THIS WEEK.
    THE MOM, LIVING IN FLINTSTONE, ALERTED A DEPUTY THAT HER 15 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS MISSING.   SHE HEARD THE DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM DOOR OPEN AND THEN CLOSE, AT AROUND 9:30 PM.   A SEARCH TURNED UP NOTHING… BUT THE GIRL RETURNED HOME AT AROUND MIDNIGHT.   HER STATEMENTS THEN LED TO THE INVESTIGATION AND SUBSEQUENT MOLESTATION ARREST.

*   NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS SPIKED SHARPLY HIGHER IN MARCH, ACCORDING TO LATEST FIGURES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS JUMPED FROM 126 IN FEBRUARY TO 765 IN MARCH… AN INCREASE OF 639.
    CHATTOOGA COUNTY ALSO SAW A LARGE INCREASE… 550 MORE NEW CLAIMS IN MARCH.   CATOOSA COUNTY WAS 50 PEOPLE HIGHER IN NEW CLAIMS.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY MANAGED TO BUCK THE TREND, WITH NEW CLAIMS DOWN BY 221 OVER THE MONTH.

*   ROSSVILLE IS NOW A “QUALIFIED OPPORTUNITY ZONE”, ACCORDING TO AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE THIS WEEK.
    THE DESIGNATION WAS CREATED BY THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT TO SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES… BY ALLOWING INVESTORS TO DEFER FEDERAL TAXES.  QUALIFIED OPPORTUNITY ZONES RETAIN THEIR DESIGNATION FOR 10 YEARS.   
    STATE SENATOR JEFF MULLIS SAID “I AM CONFIDENT THAT ROSSVILLE WILL CONTINUE TO BE A CITY ON THE RISE… THIS IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH”.
    ROSSVILLE WAS THE ONLY NORTHWEST GEORGIA AREA TO BENEFIT FROM THE “QUALIFIED OPPORTUNITY ZONES” ANNOUNCEMENT.

*   THE LAFAYETTE ROTARY CLUB IS ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL “SERVICE ABOVE SELF OUTSTANDING TEACHER AWARD”.  ANY TEACHER IN ANY LAFAYETTE HIGH FEEDER SCHOOLS IS ELIGIBLE TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE AWARD, WHICH WILL BE PRESENTED AT THE HONEYBEE FESTIVAL IN JUNE.  THE ROTARY CLUB’S INTENT IS TO RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE IN TEACHERS FROM LAFAYETTE-AREA SCHOOLS.    NOMINATION FORMS ARE AVAILABLE AT EACH AREA SCHOOL… INCLUDING NORTH LAFAYETTE, GILBERT, NAOMI, ROCK SPRING, LAFAYETTE MIDDLE, SADDLE RIDGE AND LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL… AND ON THE ROTARY FACEBOOK PAGE.
    ALL SEVEN FINALISTS WILL RECEIVE A PRIZE… AND THE WINNING TEACHER WILL RECEIVE A PLAQUE AND A CASH AWARD, ALONG WITH THE SCHOOL THEY REPRESENT.
    THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT NOMINATIONS IS FRIDAY, APRIL 27th… SO NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER HERE.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER’S ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, APRIL 26th AT THE LAFAYETTE COURSE.   A CATERED LUNCH IS INCLUDED… AT $135 PER GOLFER.  CONTACT THE CHAMBER, TO REGISTER.

*   THE 30th ANNUAL WQCH RADIOTHON AND GOSPEL SING FOR ST. JUDE IS COMING UP ON SATURDAY, APRIL 28th.     
    SINCE THE LOCAL RADIOTHON DEBUTED IN 1988… LOCAL CONTRIBUTORS HAVE RAISED ALMOST HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE MEMPHIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.
    ST. JUDE IS FAMOUS FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER TREATMENT… AND HAS ALSO BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN RESEARCHING CURES FOR MANY TYPES OF ILLNESS.   BECAUSE OF THE PUBLIC’S SUPPORT THROUGH DONATIONS, NO FAMILY IS EVERY TURNED AWAY FROM ST. JUDE, FOR INABILITY TO PAY.
    BE READY TO CALL IN YOUR PLEDGE FOR THE KIDS OF ST. JUDE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 28th FROM 8 AM UNTIL NOON.

*   THE ANNUAL SUMMER BURN BAN GOES INTO EFFECT ON MAY 1st IN WALKER COUNTY AND THE CHATTANOOGA METRO AREA.  THE BAN CONTINUES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30th, TO KEEP OZONE LEVELS DOWN DURING THE HOT WEATHER MONTHS.

*   THE GEORGE W. WILSON MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT WILL BE HELD AT THE LAFAYETTE COURSE ON FRIDAY, MAY 4th… SPONSORED BY THE ROSSVILLE EXCHANGE CLUB.  THE TOURNAMENT WILL BENEFIT “THE COTTAGE” SHELTER… AND OTHER CLUB PROJECTS.
    ENTRY FEE IS $100 PER PERSON, OR $400 PER TEAM.  CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION:  706 375 9060.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S SECOND PUBLIC MEETING ON ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCES WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MAY 1st AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER.
    ABOUT 80 PEOPLE ATTENDED THE FIRST SESSION IN JANUARY.  SUGGESTIONS INCLUDED MAKING OWNERS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT SECURING THEIR DOGS, LIMITING THE NUMBER OF ANIMALS ALLOWED IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND CHANGING THE RABIES VACCINATION RULE TO RECOGNIZE THE THREE YEAR SHOT.
    WALKER COUNTY LEADERS HAVE REVIEWED SUGGESTIONS AND HAVE DRAFTED A COMPREHENSIVE ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE PROPOSAL… WHICH WILL BE RELEASED ON-LINE APRIL 23rd.
    FOLLOWING THE MAY 1st PUBLIC MEETING, FORMAL PUBLIC HEARINGS WILL BE HELD BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER’S MEETINGS ON MAY 10th AND 24th AT 6 PM.
    THE NEXT PUBLIC MEETING WILL START AT 6 PM, MAY 1st… AT THE CIVIC CENTER IN ROCK SPRING.

*   ADVANCE VOTING IN THE PRIMARY AND NON-PARTISAN ELECTION IN GEORGIA, WILL BEGIN ON MONDAY, APRIL 30th AT THE ELECTIONS OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE, ROOM 110.  IT CONTINUES THERE MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 8:30 AM UNTIL 4:30 PM DAILY.
    THE ELECTIONS OFFICE WILL TRY USING ONLY ONE SATELLITE VOTING LOCATION THIS TIME.  THAT WILL BE AT CHATTANOOGA VALLEY CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE, LOCATED AT 2853 CHATTANOOGA VALLEY ROAD IN FLINTSTONE.
     IT WILL OPEN ON SATURDAY, MAY 12th FROM 9 AM UNTIL 4 PM… ALONG WITH THE COURTHOUSE LOCATION… FOR THE ONLY SATURDAY ADVANCE VOTE.
    THEN, THE SATELLITE LOCATION AND THE COURTHOUSE WILL CONTINUE TO HOST VOTERS THE FOLLOWING WEEK, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY MAY 14th THROUGH THE 18th, FROM 8:30 - 4:30.
    ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY, MAY 22nd… AND AS ALWAYS, POLLS WILL BE OPEN THAT DAY IN EACH PRECINCT, FROM 7 AM UNTIL 7 PM.
    THE ELECTIONS OFFICE SAID THE SINGLE SATELLITE VOTING LOCATION AT CHATTANOOGA VALLEY, IS AN EXPERIMENT.   THEY MAY STAY WITH THAT IN THE FUTURE… OR MAY RETURN TO HAVING MULTIPLE SATELLITE VOTING LOCATIONS, AS IN THE PAST


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