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THE REAL DEAL is the WQCH featured business of the week.
     Celebrating LaFayette's HONEYBEE FESTIVAL with 20% off home decor, swan creek candles, spring wreaths and home arrangements!  They'll be closed Saturday, June 3rd for the Honeybee Festival... and you can park free that day on their lot!  


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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

BREAKING:      A ROSSVILLE MAN HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN THE ARSON-FIRE DEATH OF HIS FORMER MOTHER-IN-LAW.
    71 YEAR OLD NEVELY LEWIS DIED IN THE FIRE THAT TORE THROUGH HER HOME ON MYERS ROAD IN CHICKAMAUGA, BACK IN NOVEMBER OF 2015.
    WALKER COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL WAYMOND WESTBROOK TOLD WQCH NEWS THAT THE 18-MONTH INVESTIGATION LED TO CHARGES AGAINST 42 YEAR OLD CARLESS LEBRON CROSS, WHO WAS PICKED UP THIS WEEK.   HE IS ACCUSED OF STARTING THE FIRE THAT KILLED HIS THEN-MOTHER IN LAW… AND HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER AND 1st DEGREE ARSON.
    CROSS HAS SINCE RE-MARRIED AND HIS PRESENT WIFE, 43 YEAR OLD LISA MICHELLE CROSS, WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH A FELONY COUNT OF MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT TO INVESTIGATORS.
    AS THE CASE IS STILL ACTIVE, WESTBROOK WAS UNABLE TO COMMENT ON A POSSIBLE MOTIVE FOR THE SUSPECTED ARSON.  HE DID SAY THAT INVESTIGATORS “RULED OUT ALL ACCIDENTAL SOURCES” IN THE FATAL HOME FIRE. 

BREAKING:
    THE DRUG TASK FORCE MADE TWO ARRESTS AND SEIZED A LARGE QUANTITY OF METH AND SCHEDULE DRUGS THIS WEEK.
    58 YEAR OLD RICKY DON COOK AND HIS NEPHEW, 23 YEAR OLD DANIEL OLIVER COOK, WERE ARRESTED ON WARRANTS THURSDAY, ACCORDING TO TASK FORCE COMMANDER PAT DOYLE.
    THE TASK FORCE FOUND METH WHILE SEARCHING THE COOK FAMILY HOME ON COOK HOLLOW ROAD - OFF ROUND POUND ROAD JUST OUTSIDE LAFAYETTE.
    LATER THAT DAY, WHILE INVESTIGATING AT ANOTHER LOCATION ON HIGHWAY 136 EAST, DOYLE SAID BOTH OF THE COOKS PULLED UP IN A CAR.
    THE VEHICLE CONTAINED AROUND 2-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN METH, PLUS PRESCRIPTION PILLS AND PACKAGING EQUIPMENT.
    THE YOUNGER COOK WAS CHARGED WITH METH POSSESSION.
    RICKY COOK WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH, POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND TRAFFICKING.  

*   FINSTER FEST WILL BE HELD SUNDAY AT PARADISE GARDEN BETWEEN TRION AND SUMMERVILLE.
    THE ANNUAL ART AND MUSIC SHOW COMMEMORATES THE WORK OF FOLK ARTIST HOWARD FINSTER, WHO CREATED PARADISE GARDEN.  NEARLY 60 ARTISTS WILL BE THERE, ALONG WITH LIVE MUSIC AND CONCESSIONS.
    HOURS ARE 11 AM - 5 PM SUNDAY… ADMISSION IS $5 PER PERSON.

*   THE MAN ARRESTED AFTER A HIGH-SPEED CHASE THROUGH CHATTOOGA COUNTY WEDNESDAY, HAILS FROM ROSSVILLE IN WALKER COUNTY.
    28 YEAR OLD MICHAEL BRANDON SIMMONS WRECKED HIS VEHICLE ON HIGHWAY 337 JUST INSIDE WALKER COUNTY.   THE 120 MILES PER HOUR CHASE STARTED AFTER A CITIZEN TIPPED AUTHORITIES OF AN “ERRATIC DRIVER” NEAR SUMMERVILLE.
    SIMMONS WAS CHARGED WITH DUI, POSSESSION OF METH AND SCHEDULE-4 DRUGS AND OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.

*   THE PARENT COMPANY OF SHOPRITE SUPERMARKETS HAS BEEN OPERATING UNDER BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS.
    COURT RECORDS REVEAL THAT AMERICAN CONSUMERS, INC. FILED FOR CHAPTER 11 IN JANUARY.
    AMERICAN CONSUMERS OPERATES EIGHT SUPERMARKETS IN THE REGION, INCLUDING THE STORE IN LAFAYETTE.
    THEIR NEXT HEARING WILL BE IN CHATTANOOGA NEXT MONTH.  A RELIABLE SOURCE TELLS WQCH NEWS THAT THE COMPANY PLANS TO CONTINUE OPERATING THE STORE IN LAFAYETTE… BUT WILL CLOSE AT LEAST ONE OTHER STORE LOCATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

*   WALKER COUNTY REGISTERED THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT SINCE SEPTEMBER OF 2007, IN APRIL.  THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REPORTS THE LOCAL RATE FELL FROM 4.7 IN MARCH TO 4.5 PERCENT.
    ALL AREA COUNTIES HAD LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE LATEST FIGURES… WHITFIELD FELL TO 5.1, CHATTOOGA DOWN TO 4.6 AND CATOOSA COUNTY HAD THE LOWEST AREA UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4 PERCENT, DURING APRIL.
    THE RATE FOR THE NORTHWEST GEORGIA REGION FELL TO 4.6 PERCENT IN APRIL… AS MORE PEOPLE BECAME EMPLOYED AND LAYOFFS DECLINED.

*   MONDAY IS THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY.  GOVERNMENT OFFICES, BANKS AND THE POST OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED.  THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE SWIMMING POOL WILL BE OPEN MONDAY AT NOON.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS CURRENTLY ACCEPTING BIDS TO CUT AND BALE SQUARE BALES OF HAY ON CITY PROPERTY… AND ALSO TO BUY SQUARE HAY BALES FOR DELIVERY TO THE UTILITIES BUILDING.   DEADLINE TO SUBMIT BIDS IS JUNE 2nd.   FIND OUT MORE AT CITY HALL.

*   THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL AGREED TO HELP WITH EARTH MOVING WORK ON A NEW INDUSTRIAL PLANT TO BE BUILT ON WEST MCCARTER ROAD.
    THE CITY ENTERED THE AGREEMENT TO DO THE WORK FOR THE LAFAYETTE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ON THE PROPERTY OF THE FORMER QUALITY CARPET CUSHION PLANT.  OWNER TIM TOOLE RECENTLY DEMOLISHED THE PLANT BUILDING, WHICH WAS HEAVILY DAMAGED BY FIRE SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
    HE PLANS TO EXPAND THE SIZE OF THE NEW BUILDING TO 114-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET… AND WILL REPORTEDLY LEASE IT TO ONE OF TWO PROSPECTIVE MANUFACTURERS.
    THE “LEAD PROSPECT” IS HIS NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR ON WEST MCCARTER ROAD, UNIQUE FABRICATING.   THEY PLAN TO EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS AND REPORTEDLY ARE CONSIDERING A CONTRACT TO LEASE THE NEW BUILDING FROM TOOLE.
    WALKER COUNTY’S DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY IS ALREADY ASSISTING TOOLE WITH THE RE-BUILDING PROJECT, THROUGH TAX ABATEMENTS.
    CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON TOLD THE COUNCIL IN A SPECIAL CALLED MEETING THURSDAY NIGHT, THAT THE PLANT WILL MEAN MORE JOBS IN THE CITY.  
    HE SAID THE CITY CREWS WILL BE BUILDING A DETENTION POND TO CAPTURE RUNOFF… AND WILL REMOVE TOP SOIL FROM A PORTION OF THE PROPERTY.   THEY WILL DO THE WORK FOR THE LAFAYETTE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, SINCE BY LAW, THE CITY CAN’T WORK ON PRIVATE PROPERTY… HAMILTON SAID.   THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, EXISTS IN ORDER TO HELP PRIVATE COMPANIES TO BUILD OR EXPAND THEIR BUSINESSES.
    ON ANOTHER TOPIC, THE COUNCIL APPROVED A CONTRACT FOR THE FIRST PHASE OF WORK IN CLEARING TREES FROM THE APPROACH TO THE BARWICK-LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT.   AN ENGINEERING FIRM WILL PINPOINT THE SPECIFIC TREES THAT MUST BE REMOVED, IN ORDER TO MEET FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION RULES.   THE CITY WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING FIVE PERCENT OF THE PROJECT TOTAL… WITH THE REST COMING FROM FEDERAL AND STATE FUNDS. 
    AS MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD PUT IT:  “IF WE PLAN TO KEEP THE AIRPORT… AND WE DO… THEN WE HAVE TO REMOVE THE TREES”.

*   WORK IS CONTINUING ON A PLAN TO REVITALIZE WEST LAFAYETTE.  ACCORDING TO CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON, THE NON-PROFIT COMPANY SOUTHFACE, IS WORKING ON A PRESENTATION TO BE MADE AT A FUTURE MEETING OF THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL.
    THAT PLAN WILL SUMMARIZE THEIR RESEARCH AND PUBLIC INPUT… AND WILL INCLUDE PROPOSALS TO UPDATE CITY ZONING ORDINANCES… WHICH THE COUNCIL MAY ADOPT COMPLETELY, IN PART, OR NOT AT ALL.
    AFTER THAT PHASE IS FINISHED, THE FOR-PROFIT ATLANTA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY… REA VENTURES LLC… PLANS TO APPLY FOR TAX CREDITS TO HELP THEM BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR RENT, IN THE WEST LAFAYETTE AREA.   DCA ISSUES THE TAX CREDITS IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BLIGHTED AREAS.   REA, OF COURSE, IS INVESTING IN PROPERTY RENTALS FOR PROFIT.
    HAMILTON CONFIRMED THAT LOCAL DEVELOPERS HAVE ALSO EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN BUILDING RENTAL COMMUNITIES ON THE WEST SIDE.
    WE’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WEST LAFAYETTE REVITALIZATION, WHEN SOUTHFACE PRESENTS THEIR PLAN TO LOCAL LEADERS.

*   A TAILGATE EVENT FOR LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI, 1970 TO 1979… IS BEING PLANNED FOR JUNE 23rd AT THE OLD HIGH SCHOOL TRACK.
    SPONSORED BY THE CLASS OF ’77… OTHER CLASSES FROM THE 70’s ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE AT THE FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT.
    BRING YOUR GRILL OR A PICNIC BASKET AND CHAIRS… BARBECUE WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.
    IT’S 6 - 11 PM ON FRIDAY, JUNE 23rd, AT THE OLD LHS TRACK… NOW KNOWN AS “THE ROSS ABNEY COMPLEX”.

*   PLANNING IS UNDERWAY TO WELCOME 4 TO 8-THOUSAND PEOPLE INTO THE QUEEN CITY, AT THE UPCOMING “HONEYBEE FESTIVAL”… ON SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd.
    THE MAIN EVENT THAT EVENING IS A CONCERT FEATURING COUNTRY STAR CRAIG MORGAN AT 9:30.   EARLIER ENTERTAINERS INCLUDE “SONS OF SAILORS”, A JIMMY BUFFET TRIBUTE BAND… AND “STEPPIN STONES”, A PROGRESSIVE ROCK BAND.
    THE CITY IS BUSY PLANNING VENDOR LOCATIONS, ADVERTISING, PARKING AND SHUTTLES FOR THE CROWD.  THE MAIN STAGE WILL BE ON THE SQUARE NEAR THE BANK OF LAFAYETTE, FACING NORTH…. WITH DISPLAYS AND EVENTS LOCATED UP TO THE MARSH HOUSE.
    THE DAY WILL INCLUDE OVER 60 VENDORS WITH ARTS & CRAFTS AND FOOD, A BARBECUE COMPETITION, CRUISE-IN WITH ANTIQUE TRACTORS, A FREE KID’S ZONE WITH INFLATABLES AND A TRAIN RIDE AT JOE STOCK PARK, A BIRDS OF PREY EXHIBIT… AND OF COURSE, HONEYBEE EXHIBITS AND DEMONSTRATIONS. 
    THAT’S SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd ON THE SQUARE IN LAFAYETTE… 9 AM ’TIL 11 PM… FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL HONEYBEE FESTIVAL.  ADMISSION WILL BE FREE.


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