"on air, on line, and on target for Catoosa"
City Hall of Ringgold, Ga.

2nd Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Ringgold Downtown Development Authority plans to add a commemorative plaque at the site of old city hall building at 35 Mountain St. The site,  now the office of Lighthouse Foster Care, was destroyed by a tornado in April 2011. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

About Us

Marshall M. Bandy Jr.
William B. Mills
Attorneys at law
670 Lafayette Street
Ringgold, Georgia

Auto Accidents, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense,
Over 44 years of experience as general practitioners in Law in the City of Ringgold


Address: 28 Millennium Cir, Ringgold, GA 30736
Phone:(706) 965-2990

Quote of the Day (brainyquote.com)

"What worries you, masters you."

-John Locke

WAAK Phone App

K94.7 FM

WAAK now has an app for your cell phone. What does that mean? That means you can listen to WAAK anywhere that your cell phone works. If you happen to be out of the listening area, and you want to listen to one of our programs or our music, just click on the app and you’re listening to WAAK live. To get the app, visit the WAAK website on your phone and go to the listen live page. There will be a link that will direct you to the download page. Download the app and that’s all there is to it. If you should have any problems, email us at waak@catt.com or give us a call and we will walk you through the process.



Do you have a picture you want published in the Catoosa Dispatch
Send us little league/sports photos, school achievment photos or anything you might find interesting to waak@catt.com

Georgia Teachers to Get a Salary Increase

Georgia teachers would get a 2 percent salary increase while state employees that handle child welfare cases will see a 19 percent raise under a House budget proposal. 
The chamber approved the plan on Friday, largely agreeing with Gov. Nathan Deal's recommended $49.3 billion spending plan. Of the total, nearly $25 billion comes from the state with the rest coming from federal sources.
The plan continues previously announced 20 percent raises for state law enforcement.
The plan also includes more than $1 billion of planned projects around the state, including local schools and colleges, a new crime lab in Savannah and construction of a new campus for Lanier Technical College in Hall County.
The Senate now begins working on its version of a spending plan.


Catoosa County Sheriff's Office
Needs Your Help Finding Suspect
The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public's help to identify man suspect of taking a woman's wallet.
Detectives tell Channel 3 that the woman left her wallet on the counter and it was reportedly grabbed by the suspect, who used the newspaper to conceal the theft. 
The theft happened at the BP gas station at 10960 Hwy 41 and I-75 at 10:40am on February 27. The photos were posted on the department's Facebook page.
The suspect’s vehicle is believed to be an older model green Ford Mustang LX.
Anyone with any information about the suspect is asked to contact Detective Tim Busby with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office at 706-935-2424.


High Speed Chase Ends in Fort Oglethorpe
Wednesday night around 11:00 p.m. a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy attempted to make a stop for a traffic violation on Standifer Gap Road.
Instead of stopping, the driver took off leading authorities on a chase that went across the state line into Georgia ending off of Cloud Springs Road.
During the chase, the driver, Phillip Wayne Koger, tried several time to damage the patrol units chasing him.  Two Hamilton County Sheriff's Office patrol units did get damaged. 
The chase ended in Fort Oglethorpe when deputies stopped Koger's vehicle after it started having mechanical issues.
Deputies were able to get Koger from the vehicle even though he was resisting arrest.
He was taken to a local hospital for medical review and then to the Hamilton County Jail.
A search of Koger's vehicle revealed several weapons, cash and narcotics. 
Koger had outstanding warrants in both Hamilton County and Georgia. He was booked on numerous drug related offenses as well as aggravated assault and other criminal traffic related charges. More charges could be pending as the investigation continues.
Numerous law enforcement agencies were involved in Wednesday'night’s efforts including the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol.


New Bill Approved by Georgia
House for Domestic Violence Victims

Victims of domestic violence could change their names privately under a bill approved by the Georgia House.
House members voted unanimously Monday in support of the proposal from Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton. The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence has also supported the change.      
READ MORE | House backs bill for domestic violence victims
Allison Smith-Burk is the group's director of public policy and says the change would give advocacy organizations another tool to help victims stay safe.
Name changes now are required to be listed in public court documents. Smith-Burk says that's frightening for victims who worry that an abusive spouse or partner will continue to stalk them.
"They will try to find any way. If they want to find them they're going to do whatever they can to try to find those victims. And that's the reason we try to come in and offer a safe shelter or anything that we can to help this process or keep the victim safe," Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center Director Katora Printup said.
The bill would allow a judge to keep name-change records sealed in domestic violence cases.
Friday marks a key deadline for lawmakers. Bills must pass at least one chamber to remain alive


Ringgold Business Owners Finds
Purple Heart in Storage Unit
It was an emotional morning in Ringgold on Thursday, March 9, when a local business owner was able return a long-lost Purple Heart award he found in a storage unit to the family of a deceased military hero.
A few years ago, Budget Moving & Storage owner Paul Lee found a military Purple Heart award in one of his abandoned storage unit. Rather than tossing it out with some of the other unwanted property, Lee says he kept it at his office hoping to one day find the owner of the award, which is given to those wounded or killed while serving in the U.S. military.
"We actually found this in a unit that was abandoned two or three years ago, but I kept it on a shelf in my office," Lee said. "I was cleaning up that shelf recently and remembered we had it. Then I contacted the VA in Chattanooga, Tenn., and was told they usually just dispose of them."
All Lee had to go on was the name of the recipient, Derrell O. Fuller, which is inscribed on the back of the heart.
Earlier in the week, Lee was finally able to get in touch with Fuller's nephew, Wayne, who hot-footed it down to Ringgold to recoup the piece of his family's history.
"About three weeks ago I was contacted by a group called Purple Heart Reunited saying that they had found a Purple Heart with my uncle's name on it in an abandoned storage building," said Wayne Fuller. "They'd done some ancestry work and found out that I was the next of kin. Derrell was my father's brother. Tuesday, we hopped in the car from Arkansas, and here we are."
An emotional Fuller could only muster a "wow" when Lee handed him the box signifying his uncle's sacrifice.
"I'm thrilled," Fuller said. "I actually brought the letter my grandfather received when they reinterred him in France. This all is going to be put in a shadowbox with the Purple Heart and hung on my wall with my father's stuff."
Fuller says his uncle was one of five brothers, who all served in WWII at one time, and was the only one who didn't make it back home.
"He was killed in Germany about three weeks before the end of WWII, and then they reburied him along with 23,000 other men in France at one of the cemeteries. The family actually lived in a little town south of Ringgold, called Cisco in Murray County. They came out here from Oklahoma."
Decades after his passing, Fuller is ecstatic to have something so important back in his family's possession.
"I'm very, very thankful about this," he said. "I'm getting emotional, which is hard to believe after 70 years. My uncle only had one child who died in 1995. I'm thrilled to death and shaking honestly. It could have just been discarded or whatever, but I'm thankful he (Lee) pursued it and we were able to locate it."
Lee, who's owned his storage company on U.S. Highway 41 for years, says he's uncovered a lot of items in his time there, but never anything so meaningful.
"They say another man's junk is another man's treasure. ... Today he got a true treasure," Lee said. "I'm happy that it's back to the family."
Fuller says he's eager to get back home and display it for the rest of his family.
"Once I get home, I'm going to Hobby Lobby, and in a shadowbox it'll go."


Rossville Couple Hears Gunshot
Before Man was Shot and Killed
A Rossville couple who live near the house where a man was shot and killed Wednesday say they heard a gunshot earlier that day.
Robin Borders and her husband David live on Gordon Street. Their house is diagonal to where the shooting occurred, 408 State Line Road, about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The couple said they heard a gunshot about 8 a.m. that day. They called police, who searched the area but did not find the source of the shot.
The couple said they routinely hear a loud ruckus of activity in the area at night and into the early morning hours.
Later that day, at the time of the murder, the couple heard one --- possibly two --- gunshots, Robin said.
Robin said they heard a woman screaming and went outside, where they found a red-haired woman bent over a man laying on the ground and unresponsive.
Robin said she called Walker County 911, as well as an older woman from the victim's residence.
Robin said she and her husband did not see the shooter or the shooting.
She said the red-haired woman told her she knew who the shooter was and that he fled the scene.
Robin said the victim was not breathing and was bleeding from the ear. "It was awful," Robin said.


Multiple Vehicles Broken Into
on Cloud Springs Road
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are investigating an incident in which someone broke into multiple vehicles in a parking lot on Cloud Springs Road.
According to the Sheriff's Department, the incident occurred just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, when a person discovered vehicle windows busted out in business parking lot.
The initial victim said she was working out at Eubank's Boot Camp to exercise when a person walked in claiming multiple vehicles had been vandalized.
The woman found her front passenger-side window busted out and her purse missing, reports show.
Deputies spoke with two other victims, who discovered their vehicle windows had also been busted out, with purses and other items missing.
All three vehicles were entered between 6:28 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
Later in the evening, when the victim was cleaning broken glass from her Chevrolet Tahoe, she noticed a smear of blood in the vehicle, which she believed might belong to the offender.
Detectives took a sample of the blood for testing.
The value of the stolen property is still undetermined, but the victims stated they had cash, credit cards, drivers licenses, and checks in the purses at the time of theft.
One victim even stated she had her wedding ring and anniversary band in her purse when it was taken.
Anyone with information in the case in encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.


Catoosa County Man Indicted
on Federal Drug Charges
A Catoosa County man arrested in January for attempted murder has been indicted on federal drug charges in Tennessee and might have to pay back more than a quarter-million dollars in illegal drug money.
Wesley Gage Weldon, 41, of Ringgold, was captured Jan. 26 following a two-day manhunt that involved him running from police when they tried to arrest him on active warrants that included attempted murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and theft.
A little more than a week later, the Drug Enforcment Agency hit Weldon with the federal drug charges.
According to the indictment, Weldon faces charges of methamphetamine distribution and possession of at least 500 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The indictment claims Weldon raked in $255,000 in cash through illegal drug sales, a sum prosecutors want to get back if he's convicted.
Following a two-day manhunt, Weldon was tracked to a Walker County residence where he was taken into custody on Thursday night, Jan. 26.
The federal charges stem from an investigation from 2015-16, in which Weldon allegedly provided an undercover agent with at least an ounce of meth and claimed he could get more.
The case involved Weldon meeting with the undercover agent in Hamilton County, Tenn., in January 2016 and allegedly trying to facilitate a deal to supply the agent with large quantities of meth.
Weldon, the brother of Ringgold attorney and former House District 3 state representative Tom Weldon, has been denied bond, but was moved to Gordon County jail in February.
The indictment adds to Weldon's ongoing saga, which includes him allegedly holding a man captive at his home while he and others beat the man over accusations that he'd stolen money and drugs from him.
The man was found wandering near Weldon's home on Jan.13, which prompted Catoosa County sheriff's detectives to take out warrants for his arrest, and him subsequently running from police Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives and deputies tracked Weldon to his Potts Road home that afternoon, at which time he initiated a chase with police on a motorcycle.
While searching Weldon's home and property after he fled, detectives discovered he had stolen motorcycles in his possession.
In addition to the federal drug charges, Weldon still faces attempted murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and theft by receiving stolen property charges in Catoosa County.

Ringgold Man Back Behind Bars After Taking Drugs to Meeting with Parole Officer
A Ringgold man out of jail on parole landed right back behind bars late after allegedly arriving to a meeting with his parole officer with numerous drugs in his car, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Phillip Glenn Hooten, 22, of Riddle Circle, was arrested March 2 on charges of possession of marijuana (more than an ounce), possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and a parole violation.
Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, the sheriff's office was notified that Hooten had been taken into custody at the Catoosa County probation office in Ringgold for a probation violation.
After being arrested, Hooten admitted to police that he also had a large quantity of marijuana and other drug-related materials in his vehicle.
When detectives searched Hooten's car, they found two containers of marijuana, one container of methamphetamine, two sets of digital scales, a glass smoking device, plastic bags, and over $2,500 in cash.
Hooten also had two cell phones and $500 in cash in his pockets, reports show.
All the drugs and cash were seized as evidence and Hooten was taken to jail without incident.

Craig Morgan to Headline Honeybee Festival
in Lafayette, according to City Manager

LaFayette has booked country musician Craig Morgan as the headliner for the June 3 Honeybee Festival.
The matter was discussed during the Feb. 13 City Council meeting.
The Tennessee native is known for several hits, including "Almost Home," "Redneck Yacht Club," "Little Bit of Life," and "Bonfire."
Morgan is a U.S. Army veteran, television host, and outdoorsman.
The city was able to book Morgan for a price of $31,250 for the event.
He is the host of "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors" on the Outdoor Channel.
There will be other headliner musical acts as well, including Steppin Stones and Sons of Sailors.
Steppin Stones comes at a price of $2,250 and Sons of Sailors for $3,250
A host of talented local musicians in the area will also be performing.
There will be arts and crafts vendors, food, a free Kids Zone, inflatables, honeybee and beekeeping tips, exhibits and demonstrations.
The three headlining acts will start around 6 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. show, and Morgan to close it out at 9 p.m.
The first half of the day will be scheduled local talent.
"Our goal has been to get the headliners set and work from there. This is a critical component to the entire festival," City Manager David Hamilton told the council.
Pigeon Mountain Trading Co. will sponsor the event at $25,000.
CHI Memorial will be another big sponsor with at a $10,000 sponsorship.
"We are still going to need more sponsorship," Hamilton told the council as the costs of the stage and advertising for the event comes into play.
Councilman Ben Bradford said the previous "Music on the Square" was a "tremendous" event for the city and took time to perfect.
The difference, Bradford said, is this is a city-funded event and the costs must be made public.
Councilwoman Judy Meeks asked if the funds for the event come from the hotel-motel tax, to which Hamilton said the advertising costs would, but not for the concert itself. But the main three headliners would be covered by the sponsorship of CHI Memorial and Pigeon Mountain Trading Co. as well as other sponsors not named at this time.
Councilman Chris Davis said he has never seen this much excitement for a local event as he has seen with the organizers and volunteers of the Honeybee festival.
The stage will be set on the north end of the square between Patten Street and North Main Street.
Police Chief Bengie Clift said the street closure of North Main at the square is already confirmed with the state.


Mark Lindsay Looking to Resurrect His Career
It's been a long seven-year journey for former Fort Oglethorpe building inspector Mark Lindsay, who had his theft conviction overturned last year and is now looking for the opportunity to resurrect his career.
"I'm not wanting to slam anybody," Lindsay said. "I just want the public to know that I'm an innocent man. I have to let the world know that I'm an innocent man."
The now 50-year-old Lindsay, who lives in Rossville, made headlines in November 2010 when he resigned from his position as Fort Oglethorpe building inspector and turned himself into authorities amidst theft allegations. Authorities said he had received multiple gifts from a woman who'd been embezzling funds as manager of the Gateway Business Center on Cloud Springs Road.
A little more than four years later, Catoosa County Superior Court judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. presided over a bench trial and found Lindsay guilty of seven counts of theft by receiving stolen property and not guilty on a charge of theft by taking.
Lindsay was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but got good news in March 2016 when the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned the conviction making Lindsay a free man. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld that reversal in October 2016.
After nearly a year of freedom, Lindsay says he's trying to rebuild his reputation, but that he's hitting roadblocks in that process.
"You know, I'm trying to get my career back, and this whole case has ruined me," Lindsay said. "I'm an innocent man. I've been proven innocent. I'm trying to get back to my life and all people see is that I was arrested and that I was in jail on those charges."
Lindsay says he also interviewed for his old job recently, but that we was passed over for the position.
The city did announce the hiring of Mike Fowler as building inspector on Feb. 13, along with new city manager Jennifer Payne-Simpkins and new chief of police Mike Helton.
Mayor Earl Gray didn't return calls seeking comment on the matter Wednesday.
"I did what they (the city of Fort Oglethorpe) asked me to do. ... I filled out an application, turned in my resume, sat through two interviews, and they had their minds made up before I went in that they weren't going to hire me," Lindsay said.
Lindsay added that when he was arrested, then-city manager Ron Goulart told him that he'd be willing to hire him back when and if he was cleared of the charges.
Goulart has since left the city and currently serves as judge of Catoosa County's State Court, but did confirm that he indeed had all intentions of giving Lindsay his job back.
"I told Mark that once he got the case resolved, and if it was resolved in his favor, that I wouldn't hesitate in bringing him back because he'd done everything the way it needed to be done," Goulart said. "Mark didn't want the cloud of those charges hanging over his office, and resigned his post. I had no issues with the work Mark did as building inspector. He ran the department very well, and the employees he supervised respected him."
Lindsay added that he had the best interest of the city in mind when he resigned.
"I love Fort Oglethorpe, and I resigned because I didn't want to bring that negative attention to the city," Lindsay said. "I applied to work there again recently because I still love the city and wanted do that job there again."


Storage Unit Burglaries in Fort Oglethorpe
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are investigating a pair of storage unit burglaries on the outskirts of Fort Oglethorpe.
According to the Sheriff's Department, the first incident occurred on Mack Smith Road in Rossville, while the second took place on Service Lane in Ringgold.
The Mack Smith Road incident was reported on Feb. 23, when the victim told officers more than $1,200 worth of property was taken from her unit. Missing items included furniture and collectibles.
The Service Lane incident was reported on Feb. 26, and involved the theft of nearly $15,000 worth of tools, and electronics.
Anyone with information about the two break-ins is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.


Local Baseball Players to play in Second Annual Children's Fund Classic

Local high school baseball players will be able to help underprivileged children in the community on Saturday, March 4, when they play in the second annual Children's Fund Classic to be held at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to Dr. Lamar Brown, director of student services for Catoosa County Schools, the event began last year and was a huge success.
"It raised a lot of money for the Catoosa County Children's Fund, which I'm a board member of," Brown said.
The Children's Fund was created to provide Catoosa County school children and families with short-term needs such as food, clothing, shelter, dental and medical care, educational related supplies or fees, or short-term emergency needs in an effort to develop their physical, mental, and emotional health and welfare.
The inaugural Classic last year was a big hit and gave players the chance to play in a professional stadium like AT&T Field, which is the home of the minor league's Chattanooga Lookouts.
"Teams are excited to be a part of it," Brown said. "Last year were some of the highest attended games in AT&T Field history, and some of the largest crowds ever to see high school baseball games."
Last year's classic included two games featuring LFO, Gordon Lee, Heritage, and Southeast Whitfield high schools.,
This year's event will see LFO, Heritage, and Gordon Lee again in the fold, as well as Northwest Whitfield, Ringgold, and Ridgeland high schools.
Notable players involved in the games include Ringgold High School junior outfielder Andre Tarver, who is currently committed to play collegiately at Mississippi State; Heritage High School junior pitcher Cole Wilcox, who has been selected for the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game to be played at Chicago's Wrigley Field; and Georgia Dugout Preview All-state players Rhett Baldwin of Ringgold High School and Ethan Clark and Chaney Rogers of Gordon Lee High School.
In addition to the three games played, the event will include a silent auction, with all of the proceeds going to the Children's Fund.
"All of it goes to the kids and their families," Brown said. "Donations, concessions, ticket sales, the silent auction ... it'll all be put towards the Children's Fund."
Brown says some of the silent auction items include autographed memorabilia from Hall of Fame baseball players Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, as well a Sky Box tickets to the Chattanooga Lookouts and other items.
"We're still looking for people and businesses to make contributions," Brown said.
Tickets to the event are $5 for the entire day and can be purchased at the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, the Catoosa County Board of Education building, or in the guidance offices of any of the participating high schools.
The action will kickoff at 11 a.m., with gates slated to open at 10 a.m.
Schedule of games
€ Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School vs. Ridgeland High School at 11 a.m.
€ Ringgold High School vs. Northwest Whitfield High School at 1:30 p.m.
€ Heritage High School vs. Gordon Lee High School at 4 p.m.

Hixson, Tennessee Man Being Held in Catoosa County Jail Without Bond
A man is being held without bond in the Catoosa County jail after he was found in possession of methamphetamine and a gun during a routine traffic stop in Fort Oglethorpe, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
James Robert Lawhorn, 32, of Forest Plaza Drive in Hixson, Tenn., was arrested on Feb. 19 on charges of possession of methamphetamine, operating a vehicle without a valid tag, driving while unlicensed, and probation violation.
Just before 8 p.m. on Feb 19, Sgt. Michael Cannon pulled Lawhorn over on Battlefield Parkway after noticing an expired tag on the 2010 Ford Edge he was driving.
Cannon quickly discovered Lawhorn didn't have a license, and shortly there after discovered drugs in the vehicle.
Lawhorn admitted there was a gun under the driver's seat of the vehicle, and claimed ownership of a black box found in the car, which included multiple plastic baggies, a digital scale, and an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine.
Lawhorn was also wanted for probation violation on a separate meth possession charge.
A passenger was traveling with Lawhorn when he was pulled over, but claimed he'd met Lawhorn earlier in the day and had no idea drugs were in the car, or that his vehicle and license were invalid.
Lawhorn corroborated the man's claim, and he was released from the scene without being charged.


Catoosa County Sheriff's Detectives Investigating Residential Burglaries
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are investigating a pair of recent residential burglaries that resulted in more than $2,000 worth of stolen property.
According to the Sheriff's Department, two burglary calls came in two days apart between Feb. 18 and 20.
The first occurred on Wright Circle in Tunnel Hill, with the second taking place on Quiet Hollow Lane in Ringgold.
In the Wright Circle incident, the offender(s) made off with about $1,400 worth of tools after breaking into the home through the front door.
The Quiet Hollow Lane break-in included the theft of multiple electronics and prescription medication after deputies found the back door of the home pried open.
Anyone with information about either incident is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-3061.


Tootsie's Hair and Nail Salon
If you’re thinking about reinventing yourself, you might want to visit Tootsie’s Hair & Nail Salon in Fort Oglethorpe, then go next door and outfit yourself in upscale Bohemian at Tootsie’s Red Bird Boutique.
Both shops are named for Amy Franklin Gunnoe’s mother, Tootsie Kuritz, who established the hair salon and helps with the businesses.
"I took over the salon around 1994," says Gunnoe, who is a licensed master cosmetologist, "and we opened the boutique last December."
Gunnoe finds her unique fashions for her boutique at shows, The Mart in Atlanta, and as far away as Arizona, Las Vegas and California. "What we have is unlike anything you’ll find in normal stores. We carry all kinds of leggings, long tunic tops, dresses, vests, jewelry, purses. We have clothes suited for everything from going to ball games to a night out on the town." Gunnoe says Easter styles will be arriving soon.
Tootsie’s Red Bird Boutique also carries a wide variety of sizes, from small to 3X. "We cater to plus-size women," says Gunnoe, "but we carry regular sizes, too. And we have clothes for all ages, from children up to as old as you get. We have customers in their eighties who love our off-beat styles."
The name "Tootsie’s Red Bird Boutique" has a sad but reassuring origin. "My father always told my mother and the rest of us that if anything ever happened to him, he’d find a way to let us know he was okay," says Gunnoe.
Gunnoe’s father, Drew, passed away several years ago. "At his funeral, a red bird kept hovering around the grave site," she says. "I later read that when a cardinal appears, it’s a visitor from Heaven. Over the years, the cardinals just always seem to be around, and that helps us feel close to my dad."
The atmosphere in the shops is both professional and relaxed, says Gunnoe. "We lavish our customers with attention and respect. We also have a lot of people who just come to hang out and visit. We laugh and cut up and enjoy each other."
John Belanger, a master stylist who specializes in clipper fades and used to manage a franchise salon located in Walmart, says he much prefers working at Tootsie’s Salon. "This is definitely not a franchise," he says. "Tootsie’s is a very personal and friendly place."
Tootsie’s Hair and Nails is a full-service salon that offers styling, coloring, highlighting, perms, manicures and pedicures, waxing and electrolysis.
The salon and the boutique are located at 1422 Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe. They can be reached at 706-861-0287 and through Facebook: www.facebook.com/Tootsies-Hair-Nails and www.facebook.com/tootsiesredbirdboutique.


Armed Robbery at Chickamauga Restaurant
A man with a handgun robbed a Chickamauga restaurant Tuesday night, Feb. 21.
According to Police Chief Ronald Roach, the robber entered the Great Wall Restaurant about 10 p.m. and demanded money from the cash register.
The restaurant is in the Food Lion shopping complex at 13311 U.S. Highway 27.
The robber fled with the cash and escaped by running towards the back of the shopping complex.
He is described as possibly Hispanic. He was wearing dark clothing with a bandana covering his face.


Comedy Basketball Show Coming to Ringgold High School
Hoops and hijinks are coming to Ringgold on Saturday, March 18, when our very own local challengers, the Ringgold Locomotives, take on the Harlem Ambassadors in a comedy basketball show the whole family will enjoy. The show starts at 5 p.m. at Ringgold High School Gym at 29 Tiger Trail.
Event proceeds benefit the City of Ringgold and the Downtown Development Authority.
"We have scoured the region for skilled – and sometimes unskilled – players to take on the powerful Ambassadors," said Downtown Development Authority Chairman Randall Franks. "What our team lacks in skill, they make up for in heart. Buy your tickets today and you'll be able to witness how our enthusiastic local talent stacks up against the Ambassadors. It's going to be match-up we won't soon forget."
"The Ringgold Locomotives features Elected Officials, Local Business Owners, Radio D.J.’s and Area Athletes…..to name a few."
The Harlem Ambassadors' show features high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling tricks, hilarious comedy, music, dancing, games with kids in the audience, and free autographs after the show.
The Harlem Ambassadors have performed more than 2,800 comedy basketball shows as fundraising and community entertainment events for non-profit organizations, the U.S. military and community service groups since 1998. These events have helped raise over $10 million for communities in 50 states and 20 countries. The Ambassadors have appeared at Pearl Harbor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sarejevo, Korea, Japan, the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Georgia, Mexico, Germany, England and Canada. Learn more about the Ambassadors' team, history and tour schedule at www.harlemambassadors.com.
"We're proud to give communities quality family entertainment that parents, grandparents and kids can enjoy together and make memories that last a lifetime," Harlem Ambassadors president Dale Moss said. "Even people who aren't basketball fans love our show because it's two hours of fun and laughter for a great cause. Plus, where else can you see your neighbor, your co-worker, your granddaughter's coach, or your son's teacher play against professional athletes? This is an event you do not want to miss."
Tickets are on sale at Ringgold City Hall, 150 Tennessee Street. For more information, contact rhondajohnson@cityofringgold.com or call 706-935-3061.


Fort Oglethorpe Man Arrested After Hit and Run
A Fort Oglethorpe man was arrested on drug and traffic charges after he allegedly crashed into another vehicle on Cloud Springs Road and fled the scene, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
Ralph Elisha Long, 40, of Jefferson Avenue, was arrested Feb. 14 on charges of possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended license, and following too closely. He has been released from jail on bond.
The incident occurred around 9:36 p.m. on Valentine's Day when a man called in a hit-and-run crash, reports show.
The man claimed he'd been struck from behind by a green Cadillac Eldorado and the black male driver didn't stop.
Officers located the vehicle a short time later at Long's residence on Jefferson Avenue, where Long admitted striking the other vehicle.
Long told officers he thought the victim was going to follow him to his home, and that when the victim didn't, he assumed it was because he didn't want to file an accident report.
Officers could smell marijuana coming from Long and from inside his residence when they arrived. They arrested him on the accident charges as well as a minor marijuana possession charge.


Brush Fire Along Battlefield Parkway

Walker County Emergency Services, along with the Georgia Forestry Commission, and mutual aid from Catoosa, Rossville and Walker State Prison firefighters were able to contain several large brush fires from burning residences on Friday afternoon.
According to WCES Chief Blake Hodge, on Feb. 17 around 2 p.m. several fires were reported along Mission Ridge Road in Rossville.
A large brush fire was reported behind Talley Construction on McFarland Avenue in Rossville as well.
One residential structure and outbuilding were in harm's way of the flames, but firefighters were able to contain the flames, Hodge said.
The GFC fought the fire using water drops from helicopters, Hodge said.
The fires may have been caused by a passing train in the area. GFC is investigating the matter.
Mutual aid to WCES included GFC, Catoosa County Fire & Rescue, Rossville Fire Department, and Walker State Prison Station 8.


LFO Band to Hold BBQ Dinner Fundraiser
The Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School band alumni will present Jim Souders' 70th Birthday Party and BBQ Dinner fundraiser, which will be held at The Colonnade in Ringgold on Feb. 25. The evening will feature a BBQ fundraising dinner, a roast of Mr. Souders and entertainment by the Kevin Roberts Jazz Quartet and two other bands formed by LFO band alumni.
"Jim and his wife, Jensi, made it cool to be in the band," said Event Planner and LFO band alumni Wade Cardwell. "And nobody won more than we did at LFO."
Proceeds raised from the event will go toward endowing a fund to buy large band instruments that are difficult for a student to purchase. Mr. Souders was always sensitive to the needs of economically disadvantaged students that might not have been able to participate in the band had he not subtly steered them towards the band-owned instruments.
All three Catoosa County high school band programs - LFO, Heritage and Ringgold - are being given a chance to sell both to-go dinners and a VIP Dinner to the Party, both served by Farm to Fork Restaurant in Ringgold. The high school band program selling the most will receive an additional $1,000 for their band.
The public is also welcome to come to The Colonnade and buy BBQ dinners on Feb. 25 as long as the food lasts.
The LFO band alumni are also offering the opportunity for any Group interested in selling tickets to the event to use it as a fundraiser for their organization that will mutually benefit both groups.
"We want any good organization to be able to benefit from the work that is already being done," said the group's social chairman, Ann Gullage Anderson. "It will help us raise more money to endow The Jim Souders Band Instrument Fund."
The two other bands schedule to appear are Midnight Promise, formed by LFO band alumni member Gene Ingram (Class of 1985) and Neil Brock and the Cover Up, which features LFO band alumni member Ed Sloan (Class of 1987).
Entertainment will begin at 5 p.m., while dinner and the roast will begin at 6. Entertainment is scheduled to continue until 10:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door the night of the event. Donations will also be accepted for the endowment fund from those unable to attend the event in person.
Tickets may be purchased at Farm to Fork until Feb. 23 or online at jimsoudersbirthday.com.
For more information, contact Wade Cardwell (423) 762-1942, Ann Gullage Anderson (423) 309-7442 or Tammy Grimes (423) 432-0307.


5-Year-Old and 51-Year-Old Die in Auto Accident in Walker County

A 5-year-old boy and a 51-year-old man died Saturday in LaFayette when their van crashed into a tree.
According to Georgia State Patrol Post 41 in LaFayette:
On Saturday, Feb. 18, about 5 p.m., Christopher Adam Rowles was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Venture minivan west on Ga. Highway 136 when he left the roadway while rounding a curve near the Ponder Creek Road intersection. He was traveling 55-60 mph. The vehicle traveled about 300 feet before it crashed into a tree.
Rowles, who was not wearing seatbelt, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.
Blake Hunt, who was seated behind the driver's seat and was not wearing a seat belt, was also pronounced dead at the scene.
A 10-year-old boy, Brandon Hunt, was in the passenger seat and wearing a seatbelt. He underwent surgery and remains in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Erlanger in Chattanooga.


Fort Oglethorpe Pastor Joins Navy
After six years serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Fort Oglethorpe – and at 41 years old – Doyle Allen is joining the Navy.
In December last year, Allen appeared before five ranking Navy chaplains at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The officers questioned him at length to make sure he was suited for the position he sought – that of chaplain, serving the spiritual and emotional needs of men and women serving their country’s security needs.
"This is something that’s been on my heart for a long time," says Allen. "The cut-off age for becoming a Navy chaplain is 42, so it was now or never."
Allen had been meeting with the elders of his church for months before his Pentagon visit, discussing his plans and seeking their counsel and prayer. "The elders were very supportive and patient with the decision-making process," he says.
Allen announced to his congregation in January that he would be leaving for the Navy within a month.
"There’s a tremendous need for chaplains in the military," says Allen. "You have men and women, often as young as 18 years old, stepping off buses, about to face pressures they could never have imagined, things that may wound and scar them for the rest of their lives. My job will be to walk by their sides, to help them spiritually and emotionally. I’ll also be there for the commanders – military service places great strains on their marriages and relationships and they need to be emotionally and morally strong for those under them."
Allen will be leaving in the middle of February for training – five weeks of officer training in Newport, Rhode Island, then seven weeks of chaplain school in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. From there, he and his family will be moving to San Diego where he’s been assigned to his first post as an official chaplain. He doesn’t know yet if he’ll eventually be deployed overseas.
Becoming a pastor was not Allen’s initial plan for his life. "I had two big loves," he says, "the church and golf." Allen worked at a golf course for six years early in his adult life and dreamed of making a living in the industry, possibly as a greens keeper and instructor. But the idea of going into ministry or becoming a missionary also played at the edges of his mind.
"An elder at my church suggested I go to seminary," Allen says. "He told me to give it a shot for a year and see if I liked it."
Allen enrolled at Covenant College in St. Louis, Missouri, and found his calling. He married while he was in seminary, served two internships to grow as a leader and a pastor, pastored a church in West Virginia for five years and finally ended up in Fort Oglethorpe.
Allen says he feels his two sons are old enough now to weather the moves that might be involved as children of a Navy dad. "My wife and kids are all excited about the new experiences and opportunities that might come out of this," he says.
"Military chaplaincy affords you opportunities other situations don’t and it makes demands of you that other situations won’t," says Allen. "In the military, a chaplain will find himself ministering to people who wouldn’t normally end up in his church in civilian life. In addition, chaplains must faithfully navigate a pluralistic religious context.
"My job will be complex, from a faith standpoint. I’ll help and counsel those who want that, but there are times I’ll need to find another person to help someone – somebody within their faith or someone they’re comfortable with. Yet, I’ll be there for them if they need me."
Allen says part of his job will be to facilitate freedom of worship for everyone. "The Navy never expects me to compromise my own faith, but it will be my job to assure that not only people of my denomination but all service members are free to worship as they choose."
Allen recently had an experience in his own church that he says was instructive along these lines. "A young lady wanted to be baptized by immersion," he says. "That’s not how we do it in a PCA church, but the elders and I decided that she was sincere and fervent enough in her desire that we should work with her."
Allen contacted Neal Brown, pastor of Heritage Pointe Baptist Church, because First Presbyterian didn’t have an immersion baptismal. "He was gracious enough to allow us to hold a service at his church, to use their baptismal and to coach me on the logistics of safely and reverently performing a baptism by immersion.
"When the apostle Paul departed from the church at Ephesus where he had spent three years teaching, it was a bittersweet parting," says Allen. "He knew there would be hardships ahead. He was leaving people he loved and who had loved him. They prayed and wept together before he left. The congregation at Fort Oglethorpe has been family to me. They have loved my family and me well, and we’ve loved them. It’s a sad and happy time all in one."


Churches from Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield County Come Together
At a time when the country is struggling with deep divisions among its people, seven churches in Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties are bucking the trend.
On a rainy January evening, members of all seven congregations gathered at The Orchard Church, located in the Office Depot mall in Fort Oglethorpe, to pray together. Presbyterians, Baptists and independents prayed as one for unity among Christians, for the courage to reach out to others, and for the commitment to walk by one another’s sides as mentors.
It was the second time the churches had gathered, something they plan to do several times a year, but their pastors have been meeting with each other every Thursday morning since September 2015. The weekly prayer meetings started with Pastor Doyle Allen of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Oglethorpe, Pastor Zach de Vaux of The Orchard, and Adam Whitescarver, executive director of the Chattanooga House of Prayer (ChattHOP), and quickly grew to include other pastors.
"The weekly meetings are helpful to all the pastors," says de Vaux. "We get to share our common vision and goals, and you know someone is in your corner. The church gatherings give members a chance to meet other Christians who worship right down the road."
"We wanted our congregations to experience the sweetness of fellowship that we experience at our weekly meetings," says Allen.
The congregations started their January gathering by singing together, accompanied by a praise band, then they split into groups of four or five throughout the dimly lit sanctuary, mixing with members of other churches and denominations. The murmur of combined voices imploring God’s guidance and blessing was punctuated from time to time by one of the pastors reading a scripture passage and making suggestions for further prayer.
"Helping pastors and churches connect with one another and develop deeper relationships and unity in order to bring about change in their communities is a major focus of ChattHOP," says Whitescarver, who helps coordinate the church gatherings and attends most of the pastors’ weekly meetings. "Many pastors are very busy with their congregations and often work other jobs, too."
Whitescarver says the guiding principal of ChattHOP, which has helped launch prayer groups throughout the metro Chattanooga area, can be found in the scripture verse, Jeremiah 29:7: "But seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you… Pray to the Lord for it, because if the city prospers, you too will prosper."
Along with Doyle Allen and Zach de Vaux, the pastors and churches that gather locally include Frank Kelley with Oakwood Baptist of Chickamauga, Neal Brown with Heritage Pointe Baptist of Fort Oglethorpe, Randy Jackson with Grace Presbyterian of Dalton, Mark Gregory with Hope Fellowship Presbyterian of Chickamauga, and Michael Savadge with First Baptist of Chickamauga.
"Every revival of the Church throughout history," says Allen, "has been preceded by groups of Christians asking God to reawaken his people. Coming together to pursue Christ leads to unification in and among congregations and teaches us to model the fruit of revival we hope to see in the greater community."
Pastors interested in becoming part of a prayer group can contact ChattHOP at adam@chatthop.org or visit their web site at www.chatthop.org.


Hostage Situation Leads to Ringgold Man in Hospital

A man is in the hospital in after he allegedly cut his own throat during a hostage situation Saturday night, Feb. 11, in Ringgold.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, the incident occurred Saturday about 6:18 p.m. at the Mega Star 4 gas station at the corner of Mt. Pisgah Road and Alabama Highway.
Deputies were dispatched to the scene after receiving a call that a man was trying to cut people with glass and had taken a hostage inside the store, reports show.
When deputies arrived, 19-year-old Jacob Elbert Gregory was the only person inside the store.
Witnesses told officers that he'd broken wine bottles and started cutting himself in the throat area.
Deputies carefully entered the store and found Gregory lying floor covered in blood.
"Mr. Gregory was bleeding from his neck," Deputy Coby Cunningham said.
Gregory actually jumped up at deputies multiple times and was tased twice before officers were able to get him safely detained, reports show.
Gregory was taken to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton for medical treatment.
His mother also arrived at the scene and told detectives she hadn't seen her son since the day before.
"She said she dropped him off at a friend's house and that he was fine," Cunningham said.
On Saturday, before the incident, Gregory's mother told police she got a call from one of her son's friends who claimed Gregory had possibly tried cocaine for the first time, and had been acting out of character since.
According to Capt. Chris Lyons, Gregory is still in the hospital and charges could be pending.
"He's in stable condition now," Lyons said. "Apparently the young man just flipped out. We don't know for sure if it was a drug situation, mental health, or both. He was sent to Hamilton in Dalton and later flown to Erlanger in Chattanooga."


Ringgold Man Arrested on Multiple Drug and Traffic Charges
A Ringgold man was recently arrested on multiple drug and traffic charges after he allegedly crashed his car while driving DUI, and then abandoned the scene, police say.
According the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
James Preston Potter, 57, of Dove Road, was arrested Monday, Feb. 6 on charges of DUI, drug-related objects, cocaine possession, driving while license suspended, failure to maintain a lane, failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
Potter has been released from jail on bond.
Around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Ooltewah-Ringgold Road and Cardinal Road, where they found an unoccupied vehicle that'd been crashed.
Deputies learned the vehicle belonged to Potter, and that he lived a couple of blocks away on Dove Road.
Shortly thereafter, Potter was located at his home, but claimed to have no knowledge about who might have been driving his car, reports show.
"At first he stated he didn't know, but then he said he had been driving," Deputy Spencer Slatton said. "I could tell that he was under the influence because he was unable to keep balance while on his feet."
Potter claimed his car ended up off the roadway because he had a tire blowout while driving along Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
"Mr. Potter stated he had a blowout and lost control of the vehicle, but I did not observe any of the car's tires to be blown out or deflated," Slatton said.
Potter failed multiple field sobriety tests, and it was determined that he was under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol, reports show.
Eventually, Potter admitted to taking Xanax before driving and claimed that's what caused him to wreck.
While searching the vehicle, Slatton says he found a glass smoking pipe with a brown residue that tested positive for crack cocaine.


GoFundMe Page for Walker County Man
The family of a man whose remains were found Feb. 3 buried in a shallow grave in Walker County have set up a GoFundMe page to cover costs of a memorial service.
On Friday, Feb. 3, human remains were found buried in a shallow grave at 3694 Ga. Highway 157 in Rising Fawn. The remains were later identified as 23-year-old Bradley Powell of Chattanooga, who had been missing since early December 2016.
As of Sunday morning, the GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/bradleypowell) had raised more than $1,800.
The memorial service will be Friday, Feb. 17, from 5-8 p.m. at Hamilton Funeral Home at 4506 Hixson Pike in Hixson, Tenn.


Missing Fort Oglethorpe 5-Year-Old Found
Fort Oglethorpe police were able to recover a missing child Monday afternoon, Feb. 6, but the child's mother is still on the run after abducting him over the weekend.
Thirty-five-year-old Amanda Demarious Holloway of Fort Oglethorpe is wanted on a charge of interference with custody after she allegedly botched a visitation with the child, and failed to return him to his custodial grandparent last week.
Detectives say Holloway picked up her son, Brody Waylon Vincent, 4, on Friday afternoon, Feb. 3, to spend a few hours with him, and then never returned the child and was without contact for the entire weekend.
On Monday morning, detectives were notified of the situation and began looking for both Holloway and the child.
According to Lt. Steve Blevins, the duo was located late Monday afternoon in Rossville where the child was recovered safely.
"We found them in Rossville, and the child was fine," Blevins said. "Officers were talking with the mother about the situation and strapping the child into a car seat to take him back to his grandparent when the mother took off from the scene on foot."
Arrest warrants were then taken out for Holloway.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Amanda Holloway is encouraged to contact Fort Oglethorpe Police detective Tammy Davis at 706-866-2512.




Catoosa County Courthouse


Today in Georgia

From the archives of the Georgia Historical Society

Henry Tift

March 16, 1841 - Albany, Tifton
This Connecticut carpetbagger turned out to be mighty welcome.

Henry Tift was born in 1841 in Mystic, Connecticut. After the Civil War, he came to Albany, Georgia to manage his uncle’s manufacturing firm. He liked what he saw, and stayed for the next 50 years.

Tift started a lumber business in nearby Berrien County and built a sawmill and village. The village became a major economic hub when two major railroad lines later intersected there, connecting the boomtown to Atlanta.

Tifton was incorporated in 1890 and became the Tift County seat. Tift pumped his earnings back into the region, developing an infrastructure that gave people jobs, and fostered economic and physical growth. He built the Tifton Cotton Mill, the Bank of Tifton, established agricultural and industrial enterprises, invested in railroads, donated land for churches, and established a model farm north of town. It eventually became the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

One of south Georgia’s greatest benefactors was born in Connecticut on March 16, 1841, Today in Georgia History.











Famous People in Georgia

(From-Georia Encyclopedia)

Robert Woodruff

December 6, 1889 - Columbus
Coca-Cola is now a worldwide phenomenon, but the man responsible took over when the company was still struggling.

Robert Woodruff was born in Columbus in 1889 and attended but didn’t graduate from Emory College. He took a job in sales with the White Motor Company, where he quickly climbed the corporate ladder. His father was part of a group that bought the struggling Coca-Cola company for $25 million in 1919 and they offered the 33-year-old Woodruff the presidency of the company four years later. He took a pay cut to accept the job, but he and Coca-Cola were on their way.

Woodruff brought a savvy salesman’s touch and a passion for principled success to the company that made Coca-Cola a worldwide household name. Woodruff’s motto was “there’s no limit to what a man can do if he doesn’t care who gets the credit”. His extraordinary philanthropy included a $105 million gift to Emory University in 1979 -- at that time the largest donation ever to a single educational institution. His foundation also made the Today in Georgia History series possible.

The man who built one of the great companies in American history was born in Columbus on December 6, 1889, Today in Georgia History.

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

Listen to WAAK 94.7-FM Your LOCAL radio station!

Jonathan Edwards
Johnathan Edwards sermons are broadcast on WAAK 94.7 every Sunday at noon and repeated every wednesday at 10 Pm.
Jonathan Edwards
(October 5, 1703  March 22, 1758) was a Christian preacher and theologian. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian,"[3]and one of America's greatest intellectuals.

Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733-35 at his church in Northampton,Massachusetts.[6][7]