"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

Catoosa County Detectives Investigating Auto Theft in Rossville

Catoosa County detectives are investigating an auto theft, in which someone stole a vehicle from Fast Tech Motor Sports in Rossville.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department, the theft occurred sometime between Sept. 17 and 20.
Deputies were dispatched to the business on Mack Smith Road in Rossville on Sept. 20, at which time the owner reported that a white 2000 BMW 3CI had been taken.
The vehicle was last seen around 3 p.m. on Sept. 17, but wasn’t determined to be stolen until a couple of days later.
“The owner was unsure if another employee had moved the vehicle, and then realized on Sept. 20 that it had been stolen,” deputy Kayla Warren said.
The owner admitted that the key to the vehicle might have been accidentally left inside it, as the key wasn’t in the key box, and due to the business not having any signs of forced entry. The owner added that the businesses’ alarm system hadn’t gone off during the time period of the theft.
The vehicle is described as white with tan interior, black painted wheels, chipping paint, no front turn signal lenses, dents on the quarter panel behind the driver’s door, and tinted windows.
Anyone with information about the vehicle or the theft is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department at 706-935-2424.


Fort Oglethorpe Man Missing Since June
Authorities and concerned family members have continued their search for 44-year-old David Dewayne Abbott, who left his Fort Oglethorpe apartment on Wednesday, June 22, and hasn’t been heard from since.
According to Lt. Steve Blevins with the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, the investigation into Abbott’s disappearance has stalled.
“Regretfully, there’s nothing new,” Blevins said. “We still don’t have any new leads, and there’s been no financial use of his personal accounts, or anything thing like that.”
Abbott left his Battlewood Apartment on Fant Drive around 11 p.m. and simply disappeared.
His truck was discovered in McMinn County, Tenn., shortly after he disappeared, but his trail stops in the area of Athens, Tenn.
Fort Oglethorpe police held a press conference with Abbott’s girlfriend Regina Snyder on July 6, at which time Snyder stated Abbott suffers from schizophrenia and had recently gone off his medication.
There didn’t appear to be any sign of a struggle near or in Abbott’s vehicle.
“The truck was found to be running mechanically sound,” Blevins said. “Abbott’s keys to the vehicle and his cell phone were found in the vehicle.”
Blevins said the cell phone hadn’t been used in a couple of days.
“We’ve had reported sightings in Athens where he was seen on foot in that area, but nothing has developed,” Blevins explained. “His family still goes up there looking for him every week or two.”
Abbott was last seen wearing black basketball shorts, black flip-flops, a knee brace, and a red muscle-shirt. His longhaired appearance from the missing person photo has changed a bit as police now say he has a “high and tight” military-style cut.
He also has a significant scar on his right arm, and a wedding band tattoo on his left ring finger.
Anyone with information about Abbott’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Lt. Blevins at the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department at 706-866-2512.


CHI Memorial Mobie Health Coach Coming to Walker County Library
CHI Memorial’s mobile health coach will provide mammography screenings at LaFayette-Walker County Library Monday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
All women should have one screening mammogram between the ages of 35-40. After age 40, a screening mammogram is recommended every year. Any woman who meets these age guidelines and has not had a mammogram in the past 12 months may participate, with or without insurance.
For those with insurance, you must bring your insurance card and a photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Insurance will be filed for you. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for financial assistance. The MaryEllen Locher Breast Center receives grants and partners with Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program to provide eligible uninsured and under-insured women with breast and cervical screenings. If an abnormality is discovered, the diagnostic work up is covered.
Women need to know their doctor’s first and last name.
To schedule a screening, call 423-495-4040 or 866-591-2254.
LaFayette-Walker County Library is at 305 South Duke St., in LaFayette.



Fort Oglethorpe Police Receive Clown Complaints

Fort Oglethorpe police have received complaints in the past two days of suspicious people dressed as clowns frightening area residents.

Similar to what has reportedly taken place in North and South Carolina in recent weeks, residents have called the city’s Police Department after seeing “suspicious” clowns lurking in the Cloud Springs Road area.

“We had a call yesterday at a complex on Cloud Springs Road, and then we had another call this morning at the Battlewood Apartments on Fant Drive,” police Lt. Steve Blevins said Tuesday, Sept. 20. “Yesterday was the first report, but now there are multiple.”

The first incident involved a “creepy clown” chasing a couple of kids from a store parking lot back to their home, reports show.

“According to the complainant, a person dressed as a creepy clown and wielding what appeared to be a knife, allegedly chased her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece from the lot of the Mapco convenience store back to their Fernwood Drive apartment,” officer Mitchell Moore said.

One of the victims recorded a Snapchat video of the clown from inside the apartment following the incident.

“There appears to be a knife in his hand,” Blevins said. “We don’t know if it’s a real knife or a rubber or fake one used during Halloween.”

Blevins says the department is trying to nip the issue in the bud given the craze that has followed such incidents in other states.

“Things like this are already out there on the national news and on social media, so we surely don’t want the public to think we’re trying to conceal these types of things,” Blevins said. “Some people might not take it too serious, but we do. If you’re out terrorizing people you’re going to go to jail. Also, any individual responsible for falsely reporting a ‘sighting’ will also be prosecuted criminally.”

Although Halloween is a little more than a month away, Blevins reiterated that pranking or scaring residents won’t be tolerated.

“Concealing your identity with a mask isn’t okay except for one day of the year and that’s Halloween,” Blevins said. “We don’t want people out there terrorizing, threatening, or endangering our residents.”



"The Longes Table" Fundraiser

The city of Ringgold and Primary Healthcare Centers will host a fundraiser, “The Longest Table.”

All proceeds will go to benefit Primary Healthcare Centers’ school-based programs at Tiger Creek Elementary School in Catoosa County and Gilbert Elementary School in Walker County.

This outdoor dining experience will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, in front of the courthouse in downtown Ringgold in the center of Nashville Street.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting The Longest Table on Eventbrite or calling 423-285-7995. Tables of eight are $650, two for $165, or one for $90.

For dinner Farm to Fork restaurant in Ringgold will be presenting its most popular fare of Angus beef medallions with a burgundy mushroom sauce, fire-grilled asparagus, smashed sweet potatoes and starting the meal with a special “The Longest Table signature soup.”

Primary Healthcare Centers is a group of non-profit community health centers dedicated to improving the health care status of its patients and community by providing accessible, affordable, quality health and dental services to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. For more information on Primary Healthcare, visit www.primaryhealthcarecenter.org.


Picnooga Looking for Glass Plate Negatives

David Moon, founder of Picnooga in Chattanooga, is seeking glass plate negatives, which were used in photo processing in the late 1800s.
According to picnooga.org, “Picnooga began as a grassroots initiative to crowdsource vintage and historic photography of Chattanooga. Since, our focus has evolved into a hunt for historical items to catalog, preserve and share with the public. Our overall goal is to provide accessible resources to educate and stimulate an ongoing conversation about Chattanooga’s regional history.”
Moon said that a collection of more than 400 glass plate negatives depicting life in Chattanooga during the late 1800s was recently discovered. They are believed to have been taken by photographer Charles Gustavus Walline, who was employed at Chattanooga's D.B. Loveman's Department Store.
About 55 years ago a man named Charles Coulter of Signal Mountain attended an auction in Walker County and obtained 67 of Walline’s glass plate negatives. Coulter recently submitted them to Deep Zoom Chattanooga, as well as Picnooga.
Many of the photographs depict the same people, who are believed to be Walline’s friends and neighbors.
Moon believes there may be more glass plate negatives in Walker and the surrounding area.
Some of the photographs include an 1898 reenactment of the Battle of Chickamauga that took place during the Spanish-American War, which included some of those soldiers.
Moon said the long-term goal is to digitize the glass plates through a crowdfunding campaign and make those photographs available as an online exhibit.
Picnooga is asking the public to submit any other possible additional glass plate negatives, as well as information about those pictures, including the ones that are already in collection.
If the owners of the plates do not want to give them to the site, Picnooga could scan them for the owners and return the originals, Moon said.
The plan is to preserve, scan, digitize, and exhibit them, Moon said.
Moon said glass plate photographs started prior to the Civil War and started becoming obsolete around the 1920s.
Anyone who historic glass plate negatives they would like to submit to the project, or have scanned, is asked to email them to picnoooga@gmail.com, or contact the company on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/picnooga/?fref=ts, or by visiting Picnooga’s website contact link at picnooga.org/contact-us/.
Moon said some of these photographs are already available to be seen online at picnooga.org and others will be added in the near future.
David Moon, founder of Picnooga in Chattanooga, is seeking glass plate negatives, which were used in photo processing in the late 1800s.
According to picnooga.org, “Picnooga began as a grassroots initiative to crowdsource vintage and historic photography of Chattanooga. Since, our focus has evolved into a hunt for historical items to catalog, preserve and share with the public. Our overall goal is to provide accessible resources to educate and stimulate an ongoing conversation about Chattanooga’s regional history.”
Moon said that a collection of more than 400 glass plate negatives depicting life in Chattanooga during the late 1800s was recently discovered. They are believed to have been taken by photographer Charles Gustavus Walline, who was employed at Chattanooga's D.B. Loveman's Department Store.
About 55 years ago a man named Charles Coulter of Signal Mountain attended an auction in Walker County and obtained 67 of Walline’s glass plate negatives. Coulter recently submitted them to Deep Zoom Chattanooga, as well as Picnooga.
Many of the photographs depict the same people, who are believed to be Walline’s friends and neighbors.
Moon believes there may be more glass plate negatives in Walker and the surrounding area.
Some of the photographs include an 1898 reenactment of the Battle of Chickamauga that took place during the Spanish-American War, which included some of those soldiers.
Moon said the long-term goal is to digitize the glass plates through a crowdfunding campaign and make those photographs available as an online exhibit.
Picnooga is asking the public to submit any other possible additional glass plate negatives, as well as information about those pictures, including the ones that are already in collection.
If the owners of the plates do not want to give them to the site, Picnooga could scan them for the owners and return the originals, Moon said.
The plan is to preserve, scan, digitize, and exhibit them, Moon said.
Moon said glass plate photographs started prior to the Civil War and started becoming obsolete around the 1920s.
Anyone who historic glass plate negatives they would like to submit to the project, or have scanned, is asked to email them to picnoooga@gmail.com, or contact the company on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/picnooga/?fref=ts, or by visiting Picnooga’s website contact link at picnooga.org/contact-us/.
Moon said some of these photographs are already available to be seen online at picnooga.org and others will be added in the near future.

General 100 Relay After Party!

general 100 after party

It’s an after party, and you're invited! This Saturday, September 24th , The General 100 Relay is hosting a celebration at Clark Park right here in Ringgold, Georgia! Come celebrate and cheer on the runners at the General 100 Relay finish line! And best of all, it's FREE! Bring your friends and family for games, music, food, and more! Festivities begin at 5pm. We hope to see you there!

1890's Day Fiddler Contest Winner
Wins 45th Annual Fiddler Competition

Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was named Grand Master Fiddler Champion for 2016 at the 45th annual fiddler competition in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 3 and 4. The event was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Denton won the opportunity to compete in the finals of the competition at the 2016 1890s Day Jamboree Old Time Fiddle Convention in Ringgold, Ga., when she won the Randall Franks Trophy, named after local Ringgold fiddler. Franks serves as host for the event.
“All of us on the 1890s Day Jamboree Old Time Fiddlers Convention committee are so proud of Maddie's accomplishment,” Franks said. “She is an amazing talent who has come to Ringgold to compete and won several times. Ringgold has watched her grow in her skills as a musician and now attain the nation’s highest fiddling honor which we are all a small part of now.”
Denton took home $1,200 in cash, $500 gift certificate from D’Addario, a Grand Master Fiddler plaque and will appear on the Grand Ole Opry.


Rossville Man Arrested on Multiple Charges
After Crashing Into Ex-Girlfriend's Car

A Rossville man was arrested in Fort Oglethorpe after he allegedly crashed into his ex-girlfriend’s car while trying to run her off the road, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
Richard Joseph Howard, 36, of 2472 North Highway 341 in Rossville, was arrested Sept. 4 on charges of aggravated assault, reckless driving, stalking, not stopping at the scene of an accident, weaving, following too closely, striking a fixed object, and failure to obey traffic signs. His bond was set at $5,000.
A few days before Howard’s arrest, on Aug. 27, officers were called to a strange scene at the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Van Cleve Street, where they found two wrecked vehicles, but no drivers anywhere in sight.
Witnesses told Sgt. Greg Wingo the story of how a black Nissan Altima had crashed into a Honda Accord and subsequently ran into a power pole.
“The witnesses said the driver of the Nissan intentionally rammed the Honda, running it off the road,” Wingo said. “In the process, the Nissan struck and broke the power pole.”
Witness also stated the driver of the Nissan, which was later identified as Howard, ran over to the Honda after the fact, and attempted to get the female driver out of the vehicle.
“They (witnesses) said he jumped on top of the car and was jumping on the windshield, which shattered,” Wingo said.
Howard ran from the scene shortly thereafter, as did the female victim after Howard was out of sight, reports show.
The victim returned to the scene a short time later, claiming she went for help after the encounter with Howard.
Wingo says he interview the victim, who told the same story as the witnesses near the scene.
“The victim said her ex-boyfriend, Richard Howard, had been following her as she was going to her new boyfriend’s house,” Wingo said. “She said she turned from Van Cleve Street onto Patterson Avenue when Howard accelerated through the intersection and rammed into her car.”
Warrants were obtained for Howard's arrest, and he was located eight days later on Sept. 4


General 100 Relay in Need of Volunteers

Calling all volunteers! The General 100 Relay is looking for people to help for the event taking place September 24th. Any runners not participating in the relay but want to help? Students looking for volunteer hours before graduation? Or do you just want to help out this amazing event? We need you! Send us an email at general100relay@gmail.com if you're interested. All money raised benefits the Evitt Foundation, a non-profit (501c(3)) that promotes child welfare and education in North Georgia. 
And don't forget to register your team at http://general100.com

Ringgold Police Department Swear-in Two New Officers

The Ringgold Police Department got a little stronger on Friday, Sept. 2, following the swearing-in of two new officers to its agency.
Officers Christopher Faulk, formerly of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department, and Brison Strickland, formerly of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department, come to Ringgold with a lot of experience that Police Chief Dan Bilbrey says he’s very excited about.
“Officer Faulk has nearly 15 years of law enforcement experience and has been working with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department prior to his employment with the city of Ringgold, so he knows our county and the city of Ringgold well,” Bilbrey said. “Officer Strickland has nearly six years of law enforcement experience with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office. He has been assigned to their drug task force and drug interdiction programs, so he will be bringing some good knowledge and experience in dealing with people who are under the influence of controlled substances.”
Strickland currently serves in the Army National Guard.
Faulk has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Bilbrey described both men as having great work ethic, great values, and strong commitments to their faith.
“They’ll both make fine additions to the city of Ringgold,” Bilbrey said.


Former Catoosa County Sheriff's Deputy Killed by Train
A former Catoosa County sheriff’s deputy died Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 13, after his vehicle was struck by a train.
Sheriff Gary Sisk has confirmed the deceased as 63-year-old Robert Patrick Ingram, a retired deputy, who was working as a bailiff at the Catoosa County Courthouse.
“Please keep his family and friends in your prayers as we mourn the loss of a dear friend,” Sisk said in a statement Wednesday morning.
According to Georgia State Patrol Post 5 in Dalton, Ingram’s vehicle was struck when he attempted to make a left turn onto Graysville Road at the wrong time.
Troopers say Ingram was coming from Front Road and attempted to weave through the caution bars to cross the tracks when he was met by the train.
The train struck the middle of the driver’s side of the car and pushed the car hundreds of feet before coming to a stop.
Catoosa County resident Derrick Milner, who was in traffic near the accident, claims Ingram was driving recklessly.
“He went around cars that were already stopped at the intersection,” Milner said. “He was in a Camaro, so I guess he thought he could beat the train. He should have been more patient and just waited on the train to pass like the rest of us. … Nothing’s worth getting in that big of a hurry over.”
The GSP is still investigating the crash and more details will be released as they’re made available.


The Ringgold Playhouse Releases 2017 Season
The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) is mixing up its fourth full season by adding a few special improvisation and standup comedy shows to its card alongside the four mainstage productions that will make up its 2017 Season.
The 2017 lineup will feature a nice mix of comedy and drama with the hilarious Bible belt comedy, “Southern Fried Funeral,” the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Rabbit Hole,” the side-splitting farce “Lend Me a Tenor,” and Sam Shepard’s groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Buried Child.”
“We’re very excited about the upcoming season,” said TRP executive director Adam Cook. “We’ve had actors, directors, and audience members checking in with us for weeks about our 2017 lineup, so we’re happy to finally announce the diverse schedule we have planned.”
In addition to its regular lineup, TRP will also offer three single-evening comedy shows so to create a different artistic opportunity for local performers.
“We’re going to have what we call our ‘TRP Comedy Club’ throughout the season between shows so that we can create performance showcases for improvisation, stand up, and sketch comedies,” Cook said. “With our regular productions, a lot of time and planning goes into each show, but with improv and standup, we’ll be able to offer a performance platform for actors and writers in those genres of the performing arts. We hope it will get comics and new actors involved in our company, while at the same time offering our existing audience members something else see and enjoy between productions.”
The comedy club shows will be held in March, June, and August.

TRP’s 2017 season

“Southern Fried Funeral” by Osborne and Eppier
Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces….that is if they don't kill each other first. Not only does matriarch Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she’s also faced with church committee harpy Ozella Meeks sticking her nose in the family business, Dewey’s snake-in-the-grass brother making a grab for her house, and two grown daughters reliving their childhood rivalry. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people….and the Fryes are no exception. Penned by the duo of Osborne and Eppier, “Southern Fried Funeral” is a big-hearted comedy about family-Southern-style.
Performance dates are Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4.
“Rabbit Hole” by David Lindsay-Abaire
David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a couple’s struggle to deal with the loss of their young son. Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. “Rabbit Hole” charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.
Performance dates are April 20-22 and 27-29
“Lend Me a Tenor” by Ken Ludwig
This Ludwig farce is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli, II Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as “Otello.” The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant, Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli’s “Otello” costume and fool the audience into thinking he’s II Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to, and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with II Stupendo. A sensation on Broadway and in London's West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.
Performance dates are July 20-22 and 27-29
“Buried Child” by Sam Shepard
Shepard’s 1979 Pulitzer Prize winning story is set in a squalid farm home occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness. The characters are a ranting alcoholic grandfather; a sanctimonious grandmother who goes on drinking bouts with the local minister; and their sons, Tilden, an All-American footballer now a hulking semi-idiot; and Bradley, who has lost one of his legs to a chainsaw. Into their midst comes Vince, a grandson none of them recognizes or remembers, and his girlfriend, Shelly, who cannot comprehend the madness to which she is suddenly introduced. The family harbors a dark secret—years earlier the grandfather, Dodge, buried an unwanted newborn baby in an undisclosed spot. Will the family continue to suppress their past, or will the truth finally be unearthed?
Performance dates are Sept. 14-16 and 21-23.
Cook says 2017 season tickets will go on sale soon, and that audition dates for each production will also be finalized in the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for TRP,” Cook said. “We’re intrigued by our lineup. We feel like we have a nice collection of shows on deck, and we’re really excited to be able to offer improv and stand up opportunities to the talented people we have in our community.”
For more information about TRP and its 2017 season, visit them online at cityofringgold.com. or contact them via email at TheRinggoldPlayhouse@gmail.com.


Names Released of Child and Infant Killed in House Fire

Walker County Sheriff’s Department has released the names in Tuesday’s early morning house fire at 161 Carabou Lane, Chickamauga, Georgia.
The deceased are identified as Nataliegh L. Long, 6 years old, and Jocelyn K. Long, 9 months old.
Three other children in the residence escaped the fire. Sheriff Steve Wilson identified them as a female age 9, female age 7, and male age 4. All three children will be hospitalized overnight for observation at Children’s Hospital.
Two adults in the residence escaped the fire. Sheriff Wilson identified them as Richard A. Long, 38, and his wife, Heather N. Long, 28. Both adults were treated at Erlanger Medical Center and later released.


Big Rig Driving Academy Open in Dalton
Big Rig Driving Academy in Dalton, Ga., opened their doors in August to provide people in the community a better option when it comes to training for their Class A license and starting down the road to becoming a Professional Driver.
“We understand the responsibility that comes with what we do so there is no wasted time in our program,” owner John Smith said. “We are passionate and committed to helping each individual obtain their class A license and develop a basic understanding of the trucking industry and the role of a professional truck driver. We provide a great foundation for the graduate to build on for years to come. Our goal is to provide training that is informative and fun at the same time.
Smith said BRDA aims to be known for the quality of graduates, not the quantity. It only enrolls two people in each 20-day program.
“We provide great training in just a few weeks which means our graduates are working and earning a paycheck a lot quicker,” he said. “They can finish their on-the-job training while being paid a salary and getting their tuition reimbursed with great companies right here in our local area.”
BRDA offers many perks and bonuses to graduates, such as a retention bonus of $1000 for every five years they remain employed with the same company. Training trucks have automatic transmission and each trainee gets around 1,000 miles behind the wheel on the road.
BRDA offers training classes during the week or on weekends. Visit its website at BigRigCDL.com or call John Smith at 706-671-1601 for more information.


153rd Anniversary of Battle of Chickamauga
Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, are the days to hoof it on over to the Chickamauga Battlefield. Take the family, take your friends, or go by yourself if you must.
This year commemorates the 153rd anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War that left 4,000 men lying dead in the fields and woods of the park where folks today jog and walk dogs. Another 34,000 were wounded and limped or were carried off the field of battle.
The National Park Service wants to help you learn more about the history that took place in our back yard. Events include living history, a car caravan tour, a bike tour, and the firing of four cannons. “We usually only have one cannon,” says Park Guide Hugh Odom. “Four is going to get people’s attention.”
Saturday, Sept. 17
· 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.: 2-hour car caravan tour with a park ranger. Caravan will make regular stops to listen to the ranger describe the history of the area. Meet inside the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
· 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.: 45-minute program/artillery demonstrations called “A Most Unsatisfactory Place.” Program will take place along Glenn-Kelly Road. Follow the special event signs in the Battlefield.
· 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.: 45-60 minute program, including living history, called “Tell Pa I died right.” Moderate walking required. Two meeting points: You can meet at one of the designated times at the South Carolina Monument on Glenn-Kelly Road or at Tour Stop 8 on Snodgrass Hill where rangers will be waiting to guide you.
· 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.: 30-40 minute program. Learn how the impact of the Civil War affected men generations after the conflict ended, narrated by a Civil War re-enactor. Program at Visitor Center (3370 Lafayette Road).
· 9:30 a.m.: Bicycle tour of the Battlefield. Meet in the lower parking lot of the Visitor Center. Bring your own bike and helmet, or call the visitor center at 706-866-9241 to reserve a loaner bike from Outdoor Chattanooga.
Sunday, Sept. 18
· 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.: 2-hour car caravan tour with a park ranger. Caravan will make regular stops to listen to the ranger describe the history of the area. Meet inside the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
· 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: 45-minute program/artillery demonstrations called “A Most Unsatisfactory Place.” Program will take place along Glenn-Kelly Road. Follow the special event signs in the Battlefield.
· 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.: 45-60 minute program, including living history, called “Tell Pa I died right.” Moderate walking required. Two meeting points: You can meet at one of the designated times at the South Carolina Monument on Glenn-Kelly Road or at Tour Stop 8 on Snodgrass Hill where rangers will be waiting to guide you.
· 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.: 30-40 minute program. Learn how the impact of the Civil War affected men generations after the conflict ended, narrated by a Civil War re-enactor. Program at Visitor Center (3370 Lafayette Road).
Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center is located at 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. More information: Chickamauga Center/706-866-9241, Lookout Mountain Center/423-821-7786, nps.gov/chch.


Catoosa County Sheriff's Department Asking for Help Identifying Burglary Suspects

The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying two suspects who allegedly broke into a woman’s vehicle at a park and used her debit card to gain hundreds of dollars.
The incident occurred just after 6 p.m. on Labor Day evening, Sept. 5, at the Jack Mattox Recreational Complex on Pine Grove Road in Ringgold.
The victim told detectives she was at the park for a run and that she secured her vehicle beforehand.
“The victim advised that she placed her purse under the driver’s seat and locked up her vehicle, “ deputy Johnny Cunningham said.
Signs of forced entry were visible on the vehicle, and it appeared as though the suspects pried open the driver’s side door near the door handle.
Immediately after the theft, the victim’s debit card was used at a gas station on Ga. Highway 151 (Alabama Highway), at which time two ATM transactions were made for more than $800, reports show.
Deputy Cunningham says he was able to locate the ATM receipts for the transactions in the trash right near the machine at the gas station.
Detectives were able to pull video surveillance footage from the store, at which time they were able to designate a black male and female as the suspects.
The male was described as wearing a blue Nike T-shirt, blue and red shorts, and white shoes, while the black female was described as wearing a white tank top and dark Capri-style pants.
Anyone with information about the crime or potential suspect information is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department at 706-935-2424.

Ringgold Author Wins Award for Novel
Ringgold author Janie Dempsey Watts’ second novel, “Return to Taylor’s Crossing” (Create Space, 2015) was honored with an Indie B.R.A.G. (Book Readers Appreciation Group) Medallion, awarded to the best self-published books as evaluated by a panel of readers from around the world. The purpose of the award is to help readers discover talented self-published authors.
“Return to Taylor’s Crossing” is set in the fictional Catoosa County town of Taylor’s Crossing during the Civil Rights era and beyond, and follows the lives of a young couple whose lives are thrown off course by a racially-motivated attack. The story is told through the eyes of six different narrators.
The book also was first place winner in the Knoxville Writers Guild 2015 novel contest, and third place winner in the 2016 Frank Yerby Prize for Fiction.
A Chattanooga native, Watts also wrote another novel set in the fictional town of Taylor’s Crossing, titled “Moon Over Taylor’s Ridge” (Little Creek Books, 2012). That novel was chosen to be the community-wide read by the Catoosa Citizens for Literacy in 2013, and was selected to be part of the Appalachian Writers Series in 2014.
Both novels are available through amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and at Star Line Books in Chattanooga.

Two Others Charged in Child Molestation Investigation
After an elderly Rossville man and his daughter were arrested as part of a child molestation investigation last week, detectives say two other people have also been charged with trying to cover up the alleged abuse.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:
Robert Allen Shaum, 68, of Edsel Drive, was arrested Aug. 30 on a single charge of child molestation. He was released on bond Friday, Sept. 2.
Shaum’s arrest came a little more than a week after his 34-year-old daughter, Crystal Ann Shaum, was charged with interference in the case.
According to Detective Tim Deal, Crystal Shaum and her boyfriend, Jeremiah McClure, were charged with tampering with evidence, giving false statements, and hindering the apprehension of a criminal. Both have been released from jail on bond.
Deal said that Shaum’s son, Matthew, faces the same charges as his sister.
“Matthew Shaum has not been taken into custody yet,” Deal said.
On Aug. 12, a concerned woman filed a complaint with sheriff’s deputies claiming Robert Shaum had been allegedly molesting a young girl.
The woman told deputies that the child had a letter in her possession from Shaum asking her for sexual acts.
On Aug. 15, a forensic interview was conducted with the child, at which time she again disclosed inappropriate contact that she’d suffered at the hands of Shaum.
Detective Deal obtained warrant for Robert Shaum’s arrest on Aug. 16, but when detectives attempted to serve the warrant, they learned Shaum hadn’t been at the residence for a number of days.
Shortly thereafter, on Aug. 19, detectives determined that Crystal and Matthew Shaum and Jeremiah McClure had allegedly given false statements and tampered with evidence at the family’s residence.
“They were all living there together at the residence,” Deal said.

Catoosa Commissioners ask for grand jury to investigate Hutcheson staff

CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. — NewsChannel 9 has confirmed that commissioners in Catoosa County have voted to ask the Lookout Mountain Judicial District to convene a grand jury to investigate the actions of former staff of Hutcheson Medical Center, before it was sold and the name was changed to Cornerstone Medical Center.

According to documents listed in the commission's agenda, commissioners will call for an investigation into financial mismanagement.

Here's what the agenda item says in full:

"Hutcheson Medical Center declared bankruptcy in 2014 and closed its doors in 2015 after many years of financial problems and issues. The bankruptcy and closure of Hutcheson Medical Center imposed a significant financial burden on the taxpayers of Catoosa and Walker Counties due to re-payment of debts of Hutcheson that were guaranteed by the two counties. Both before and after its bankruptcy and closure, several allegations of financial and other mismanagement and acts of malfeasance have been made concerning the operations of Hutcheson Medical Center. On behalf of the taxpayers of Catoosa County and the former employees of Hutcheson Medical Center, the Board of Commissioners desires to request that the District Attorney of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit empanel a grand jury and open an investigation into the operations of Hutcheson Medical Center to determine whether any potential criminal activities occurred by any individual or individuals involved in the operations of Hutcheson Medical Center. The Board of Commissioners desires to further request that the District Attorney utilize the GBI and any other state or local resources available to conduct the investigation."

Rossville Man in  Jail After Killing Pedestrian
A Rossville man sits in the Catoosa County jail facing multiple charges after he allegedly killed a pedestrian late last week while driving on drugs and ultimately fleeing the scene, police say.
According to Georgia State Patrol Post 5 in Dalton:
Anthony Lee Moore, 36, of Seventh Street, was arrested Friday, Sept. 2. on charges of DUI, hit-and-run, duty to report an accident, and first-degree homicide by vehicle.
State troopers and Catoosa County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Lakeview Drive at Paige Road in Rossville around 11:30 p.m. Thursday after a witness claimed a man had been seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle.
An older white male, later identified as 60-year-old Joe Wilkinson, was taken to Cornerstone Hospital in Fort Oglethorpe, but died from head injuries, reports show.
The witness told authorities that Wilkinson was hit by a green Nissan Altima and was able to provide detectives with the license plate number of the vehicle.
While Trooper James Hensley processed the crime scene, Catoosa County detectives assisted by tracking ownership of the vehicle to Moore’s mother, who said she’d recently bought the vehicle for her son.
Shortly thereafter, Moore was located at his Rossville home and placed under arrest.
Moore’s girlfriend was also in the vehicle at the time of the hit-and-run occurred. She was interviewed after Moore’s arrest, but has not been charged in the case.

Lafayette Man Dies in Auto Accident

A LaFayette man died after he was ejected from his truck in a single-vehicle wreck in Trion Sunday evening, Sept. 4.
According to Georgia State Patrol Post 38 in Rome, on Sunday, Sept. 4, around 10 p.m., emergency responders report a 2000 Ford Super Duty pickup truck driven by Joshua Allen Yarbrough, 30, of LaFayette, was traveling east on Halls Valley Road when he ran off the right shoulder of the roadway.
Yarbrough overcorrected and the truck crossed the centerline into the westbound lane where it struck a ditch and embankment with its front end.
After the impact, the truck flipped over on its right side, partially ejecting Yarbrough.
The accident report has yet to be completed at this time.

A LaFayette man died after he was ejected from his truck in a single-vehicle wreck in Trion Sunday evening, Sept. 4.

Ringgold Teen Killed in Accident
Travelling Back to College
A Ringgold teenager died in a car crash on Labor Day.
Katherine Carter, 18, was driving on U.S. 278 around 3:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of a 2014 International tractor trailer hit her vehicle, according to a news release from the Alabama Highway Patrol. Carter was driving a 2011 Honda Accord. 
Carter was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where doctors pronounced her dead.
The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured.
The Alabama State Troopers are still investigating, according to the release.

Task force unveils options

 to cover uninsured in Georgia

A widely anticipated plan to reduce the number of Georgians without health coverage, unveiled Wednesday, takes a unique, conservative approach to Medicaid expansion.
The plan, created by a health care task force, contains three proposals with differing eligibility standards and designs. The group’s leaders said Wednesday that they hope the options will serve as a kick start for discussion this fall and into next year’s General Assembly session.
Included in the blueprint is an array of features that may please many Republican legislators, who are clearly the target of the task force effort.
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has been adopted by 31 states, the latest being Louisiana. Most of these follow a standard approach to expansion as specified under the ACA. Variant approaches require specific federal approval.
So far, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and leaders in the GOP-dominated General Assembly have opposed expansion, citing the costs to the state.
But some momentum toward expansion recently has surfaced, with state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, being the point person for a re-examination of the move.
The task force, created by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, did not release an enrollment estimate, a price tag or projected savings for its three proposed options. Those figures will come later in the year, the group’s leaders said.

Different levels of change

The first option presented would cover the fewest people.
It would provide new coverage through the state Medicaid program to childless adults who earn less than the threshold of 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
Currently, people above that poverty limit ($11,880 for an individual) qualify for tax credits in the ACA’s insurance exchange, so the first option would ease the “coverage gap’’ of people unable to get that financial help.
But the limit of 100 percent of the federal poverty level is lower than what the ACA calls for: covering people in Medicaid at up to 138 percent of the federal poverty limit, which is $16,394 for an individual.
The narrower span, though, would still cover up to 565,000 people – a much higher estimate than previous Georgia projections, Brian Robinson, spokesman for the task force, told GHN in June.

Medicaid or private coverage?

Options Two and Three would increase eligibility to adults earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level. The second option would enroll all beneficiaries up to that income level in Medicaid, while the third choice would place those who earn above the 100 percent threshold in a private insurance plan (paid for by Medicaid.)
There are additional features that aim to increase consumer responsibility, such as payment of premiums and co-pays, and includes one that relates to food stamp benefits.
“The ‘Georgia Way’ should present the most conservative, most sustainable pathway under U.S. law to close the coverage gap and to save or improve our health care provider network,” the task force blueprint says.
Each option would require obtaining a waiver from the federal government because they have features different from standard expansion. A handful of states have obtained waivers, including Arkansas, which moved most adults who were newly eligible for coverage through expansion into insurance exchange plans.
The task force, which included hospital industry officials, physicians and insurance company officials, clearly is aiming at igniting debate in the General Assembly.
Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement Wednesday that “any of these plans would serve as a game-ready playbook for lawmakers seeking a fiscally responsible and sustainable path to cover Georgia’s uninsured, revitalize a rural health care network in crisis and undergird our safety net hospitals. That’s important not just to the health of our families but also to the health of our economy, because no good jobs are going to come to a region that lacks access to quality health care.”
Five rural Georgia hospitals have closed since the beginning of 2013. The report also cites the state’s high uninsured rate of 16 percent. The more people who lack coverage, the more medical bills that go unpaid.
“All Georgians and Georgia businesses are affected by this uninsured burden through higher health insurance premiums and the corresponding cost shift on employer-sponsored health insurance,’’ said Earl Rogers, president of the Georgia Hospital Association, which participated in the task force.
Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University, said all three options would help reduce the uninsured rate and bolster rural health care in the state.
“Expansion would have a positive impact on private insurance coverage in the state, along with bringing in federal money to rural areas,’’ Custer added.
And adopting expansion “would probably lead to 40,000 to 60,000 new jobs in Georgia,” he said.
Custer said the task force’s third option resembles the plan pursued by Indiana when expanding Medicaid.
The Indiana plan demands something from all enrollees, even those below the poverty line, Kaiser Health News reported earlier this year. The poorest Hoosiers can get coverage with vision and dental benefits, but only if they make small monthly contributions to accounts similar to health savings accounts. Individuals who fail to keep up lose the enhanced coverage and face co-payment, KHN reported.
Features of all three Georgia options include cost-sharing by patients; health savings accounts; the “skinniest’’ Medicaid benefit plan possible; and intensive behavioral health care for former inmates leaving prison.
It also would extend statewide a work requirement for Georgians to get food stamp benefits. Currently, Georgia plans to extend that requirement from three counties to 24.
Robinson, the spokesman for the task force, said Wednesday that the next phase of the group’s effort is to discuss the plan with the governor’s office and key lawmakers.
“There’s a growing acknowledgment that we have to do something,’’ Robinson said.
He noted that states that haven’t pursued expansion have suffered the mandated funding cuts under the Affordable Care Act but don’t get the federal money from enhanced Medicaid to offset those reductions.
Adopting these changes “will inject billions of our tax dollars into our economy,” improve the health of Georgians and boost access to care, Robinson said.
“We’re going to keep a close eye on every penny and emphasize personal responsibility,’’ he added “No plan that doesn’t pass Republican muster is going to get consideration.”

Slammed as too risky

State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine), a strong opponent of the ACA, said Wednesday that the Chamber task force blueprint resembles the expansion framework adopted in Arkansas.
Adopting any of the Chamber plans, he said, “will put Georgia’s most needy at risk.’’
“This Georgia Chamber policy, if adopted, will do lasting damage to our state – not only to our taxpayers but also to the enrollees themselves by trapping them in a new welfare program,’’ Spencer said.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Deal, Jen Talaber Ryan, told the AJC that the governor “is always open to financially sustainable solutions or ideas to provide health care coverage to Georgians. However, any action in regards to this report will have to come from the General Assembly.”
Laura Harker, a policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, said Wednesday that the task force plan “is a big step forward that could open up the opportunity to accept billions of federal dollars to give our health care system a boost.”
Harker said that in other states, consumer cost-sharing measures such as premiums and health savings accounts led to drops in coverage. “The goal should be to reduce barriers to obtaining coverage, which will in turn help hospitals see reductions in uncompensated care.”
A consumer advocacy group that has supported Medicaid expansion praised the task force effort.
“We are encouraged that business leaders and health care industry stakeholders have prioritized health care coverage as a necessary component of economic vitality,’’ said Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “We look forward to a statewide conversation in the coming months about the best approach to ensure all Georgians have a pathway to coverage and access to care."


Chickamauga City Board of Education to Increase the 2016 Property Taxes
The Chickamauga City Board of Education today announces its intention to increase the 2016 property taxes it will levy this year by 1.14 percentage over the rollback millage rate.
The board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the city. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the city indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a roll back millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.
For equalization funding, a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate is required, therefore, before the Chickamauga City Board of Education recommends a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Chickamauga City Board of Education Central Office, 402 Cove Road, Chickamauga, on September 12 at 4:45 p.m. and on September 19 at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Comments from School Superintendent Melody Day
“Recent reassessment of property in Chickamauga resulted in increased values of many properties in the city. This is a positive indicator for the city digest and means the same tax rate will actually bring more money into the school system. However, even though the millage rate will remain at 14.25 mills, this is considered a tax increase due to the fact that more money will be collected. By law, the school system must advertise this as a “Notice of Property Tax Increase” and also host three hearings to allow the public ample opportunity to participate.
“In 2015, the state made changes to Georgia Law requiring school systems to increase the effective millage rate or lose equalization funding. At the time the millage rate for the city of Chickamauga was 12 mills and had been since 2010. It was necessary to increase the millage to 14.25 mills to continue receiving equalization funding from the state. The Chickamauga City School System will receive in excess of one million dollars in equalization funding this school year and must ensure the millage rate meets the state requirement to maintain this state funding. The tax increase due to the reassessment is minimal, $6.44 per year for a home with a fair market value of $100,000. I also want to stress this is not an increase in the millage rate, and has nothing to do with the current construction project or any need within the school system. It is solely for the purpose of meeting state law and will result in over a million dollars in funding from the state to the school system.
“Hearings will be held at the Chickamauga City Board of Education at the following date and times: September 12th at 4:45 p.m. and September 19th at 11:30 a.m. and 6: 00 p.m.
“If you have questions, suggestions, or need information, please feel free to attend a public hearing for clarification.”


Ringgold City Council Votes to Remove Rumble Strips

The Ringgold City Council recently voted to remove rumble strips from three roads near downtown after receiving complaints about the noise they create when driven over.
In October 2015 the council voted to install three-way stops at several intersections in town, most notably in the Bluff View subdivision and along Sparks and High streets near Ringgold High School.
That decision was made to help with speeding and traffic flow in those spots.
When the city’s Public Works Department installed the signs at Sparks and High streets, rumble strips were also installed to help with the transition to the new signs.
“When Public Works installed the signs, they put the rumble strips in too because of there being such a significant change and people not used to those stop signs being there,” city manager Dan Wright said. “Since that time I have received several complaints from residents who live near there about the noise of the rumble strips. I’m kind of torn. I know they serve a purpose, but I don’t live there. … I don’t have to listen to them every day.”
Mayor Nick Millwood and Police Chief Dan Bilbrey both said they too have been approached with complaints.
“They are loud if you live right by them,” Millwood said. “They do serve a purpose, but they’ve been there almost a year. … They’ve been there through school last year and the start of school this year. I believe that now, everybody is on the up-and-up and knows that there are stop signs there.”
Council member Jake Haynes discussed the initial importance of the strips, but believes they have served their purpose and it’s time to remove them.
“It was dangerous at first because there were so many years that we didn’t have those stop signs there like the mayor said,” Haynes said. “I believe people have had time to adjust, they know the signs are there, and it’s probably not fair to those neighbors to have to hear that every time somebody runs over them.”
Resident Mark Higgs also pointed out during the discussion that a patch of rumble strips also exists on Guyler Street.
“They all need to come up,” Millwood said.
The council unanimously approved the removal of the strips, with the thought process that they could be re-evaluated down the road if the safety measures are needed again.
“We put them down, so we can take them up,” said mayor pro tem Terry Crawford. “If we have problems again with the stop signs or people speeding, we can always put them back.”


WES Collecting Supplies to Donate to Flood Victims in Louisiana
Generosity and compassion have been running wild through the fifth-grade hallway at Westside Elementary School in Rossville during the past couple of weeks, as students have been collecting school supplies to donate to the flood victims in Louisiana.
According to reading and social studies teacher Caleb Parker, the students have really taken an interest in helping out their peers in Louisiana, who attend a different Westside Elementary School along the Gulf Coast.
“We started …. around Aug. 19,” Parker said. “The flooding had just stopped, but there was more rain coming. I was having dinner with my Dad one night, and we were talking about it. … Is there something we can do, maybe we can help and collect school supplies, and so on. People usually take money and clothes but we knew the parents would have to send the kids back to school and that they would need school supplies.”
As fate would have it, the students who were displaced actually shared the same school name.
“We found out there was a Westside Elementary School in Lafayette, La.,” Parker said. “We talked to the kids about it the next day and they were all on board with it. … Every single one of them wanted to help, take part, and do something.”
Parker coordinated with fellow teachers Heather Willis and Angel Davidson to make it a cohesive fifth-grade effort that has also expanded out into the community.
“The response we’ve gotten has just been incredible,” Parker said. “The amount of generosity the kids and their parents have shown … there are even people in the community that heard about it that have come and donated stuff. Walmart and Office Depot have chipped in with donations also.”
The school will continue to collect supplies through Sept. 9.
“When we’re done collecting, we’ll take a count and see what we have,” Parker said. “We’re going to try to use the United States Postal Service or UPS, but the thought is that we’ll even rent a U-Haul if we have to, to get it all down there. … I’ll take it down there myself if we need to.”
Anyone looking to donate supplies is encouraged to contact the school at 706-866-9211.
The school is only looking for school supplies. Money and clothing donations should be directed to the American Red Cross.
Parker says he's very proud of the students for how quickly and efficiently they’ve worked to help out fellow students they’ve never even met.
“It gives me goose bumps thinking about it. … These kids are great,” Parker said.


Drug Enforcement Authorities Working to Stem the Flow of "Ice" Meth
Drug enforcement authorities are working diligently to stem the flow of “ice” meth into Northwest Georgia from Mexico, said Pat Doyle, commander of the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force.
The task force, which serves the four-county area of Walker, Catoosa, Dade and Chattooga, recently dismantled a drug trafficking organization, seizing drugs — including “ice” — with a street value of more than $70,000.
Doyle said the distribution and use of “ice,” often referred to as crystal meth, coming from Mexico has grown significantly in recent years. The drug is linked to Mexican drug cartels. It’s made from the same chemicals as locally produced meth but is produced in “super” labs, he said.
“The market is being flooded with ‘ice’ from Mexico,” he said.
Between 2003 and 2005, authorities each year busted about 150 meth lab operations locally, he said. In 2016, there have been about 20 local lab busts because now most of the meth is being imported from Mexico, Doyle said.


Vehicle Break-ins Near Lakeview Middle School

Law enforcement authorities are investigating a series of vehicle break-ins in neighborhoods near Lakeview Middle School in Fort Oglethorpe.
According to Capt. Chris Lyons, the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department began receiving calls late last week.
“It started Wednesday night, Aug. 24, and on into Thursday morning,” Lyons said. “We had fifteen entering autos altogether, and all of them were in the Waverly Park area.”
Lyons said the acts seem like crimes of opportunity since none of the vehicles were — technically speaking — “broken into.”
“In every one of those cases in Waverly Park, the vehicles were unlocked,” Lyons said. “The majority of the time if vehicles are broken into, it’s because items of value like purses and computers are left in plain sight. … Somebody leaves their wallet in the console, things like that.”
Lyons said the department has had several tips in the case, but haven’t made an arrest yet.
Now, almost a week later, Fort Oglethorpe police are dealing with the same issue a couple of blocks away.
“We’ve been out in that area near Cross Street this morning taking reports,” Blevins said. “We’re not sure exactly how many vehicles were entered, but we’ve had multiple.”
Both agencies are advising residents to be more attentive to their vehicles and make sure they don’t leave them unlocked.
“Folks should lock their cars and take any valuables in the house,” Blevins said. “Don’t be a victim. … If you see something, say something. These criminals walk around shaking door handles looking for unlocked vehicles and whatever property they can see.”


Ringgold Convenience Store Robbed

A man brandishing a handgun robbed a Ringgold convenience store early Wednesday morning, Aug. 31.
The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an armed robbery at the Mapco at 2707 U.S. Highway 41 at the corner of Indian Springs Road.
According to Capt. Chris Lyons, a black male with a handgun entered the store about 3:15 a.m. and held up two employees before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
“There weren’t any shots fired and there was no assault of the employees or anything,” Lyons said. “He just made both of them get on the ground and took cash from the two registers.”
Lyons said detectives are looking over video surveillance footage and could post it online soon.
“We’ve pulled stills from the video and have guys working to get it where we can post it online,” he said.
Anyone with information about the robbery or suspect is encouraged to contact Detective Mike Tinker at 706-935-2424 ext.1012.


City of Ringgold Deciding Where to Place Recycling Container
The city of Ringgold is working to decide on a place to locate its new recycling container, and has narrowed its short list to a few possible locations.
After approving to engage in a temporary agreement with Republic Services Inc. on July 11, the city voted Monday night, Aug. 22, to evaluate the handful of locations before its next meeting.
During the work session and in the public meeting, Mayor Nick Millwood and council members discussed the site of the old City Hall on Mountain Street behind Ringgold First Baptist Church, the parking lot area near the Little General’s Children’s Park on LaFayette Street, the gravel lot across the street from the current City Hall, and an area of recently purchased property along Depot Street.
City manager Dan Wright says the ideal spot would be one that offers accessibility and visibility to residents, which prompted council members to discuss the locations.
“I like the idea of near the Little General’s Park,” said council member Jake Haynes. “But, I have concerns about that gravel lot there if we have trucks coming in there to haul off the container. … It’ll eventually erode the ground. This is a temporary basis right now that we’re doing this on, a trial run, so we could move it to one of the other locations if we see it erode the land or creating problems there at the park.”
Haynes also pointed out that the area of the former City Hall behind the church has concrete slabs that supported fire trucks in the past and wouldn’t be a problem housing a container or the trucks to move it.
However, the council expressed concerns that placing it there could create various issues for the business that currently leases the building.
The cost of erecting a fence is also something the council wants to consider before finalizing a spot.
“We want to be considerate to those around where we put it, whether it be residents or commercial,” council member Randall Franks said. “We’ve know it’s going to cost us about $5,000 annually to rent the container, so we need to look into the cost of put up fencing around it and getting cameras … look at those numbers, and then make a decision.”
The council unanimously voted to table the matter until the Sept. 12 meeting, and tasked city staff with gathering pricing information and quotes on the fencing that’ll be needed for the project.


Family Crisis Center Holding Special Events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
, The Family Crisis Center of Catoosa, Walker, Chattooga, and Dade Counties has a couple of community events coming up in October to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Center, which provides shelter and support for battered women and children in the area, will host its annual “Tea & Trends” Fashion Show fundraiser and be providing free self-defense classes for men, women, and children.
“We do these events to help educate the community on how domestic violence affects our community and to also educate them on what the Family Crisis Center is and what services we provide to help victims and their children,” said Center director Kristy Lawson.
Lawson says each event has been successful in recent years, and that small events like this can do a lot to raise awareness.
“We’ve done these events for the last three years,” Lawson said. “Each year our attendance increases, which is great. Last year at our ‘Tea & Trends’ event, there were over 200 ladies in attendance, so we hope to have that or even more this year.”
The “Tea & Trends” fundraiser event will include a speaker who was at one time a domestic violence victim and will also commemorate the domestic violence victims whose lives were lost within the past year.
The “Tea & Trends” fundraiser will be held at the Walker County Civic Center at noon on Saturday, Oct. 15. The self-defense classes will be offered free to anyone at Community Baptist Church in Rock Spring from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 4 and at the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School media center from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 11.
Lawson says that like last year, the classes are being taught by instructor Larry Scott.
“Larry is awesome and volunteers his time to do these for us,” Lawson said. “He doesn’t focus on you fighting, but rather on you being aware of your surroundings and how to safely get out of a violent situation.”
For information about the events contact Kristy or Angela at 706-375-7180 or via email at aclark@fccwdcc.org.


Out-of-Towners Arrested on Charges of Possession of Stolen Property
Five out-of-towners were arresting in Fort Oglethorpe after detectives were able to link them to a stolen vehicle out of Knoxville, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
Whitney Alison Washington, 28, John Russell Stone, 19, Ashley Nacole Plemons, 28, Terry Dewayne Griffin, 36, and Bobbie Fay Helton, 25, all of Tennessee, were arrested Monday, Aug. 22, on charges of possession of stolen property.
Washington was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
As of Friday morning, Aug. 26, Plemons and Washington had been released from jail on bond, while Helton, Stone, and Griffin remained incarcerated with bonds set at $5,000.
Griffin also has a hold placed on him on warrants out of Bradley County, Tenn.
According to Lt. Steve Blevins, the FOPD was contacted by the Knoxville Police Department and asked to keep an eye out for a 2015 Honda CRV that’d been stolen in the Knoxville area the day before.
“We were assisting the Knoxville PD and they had information that the vehicle was in our area,” Blevins said.
Investigators actually located the vehicle at a residence on Cloud Springs Road, after someone had taken a couple of not-so-subtle measures to throw off authorities.
The vehicle was found backed up to the residence, but the license plate had been swapped with another vehicle that was also located in the driveway.
“They had switched tags so it’d be harder to spot,” Blevins said.
During questioning, detectives were unable to determine who exactly brought the vehicle from the Knoxville area due to no one admitting guilt, and the fact that all the suspects were from places like Knoxville, Sweetwater, and Lenoir City, Tenn.
“All five of the suspects were charged because none of them would own up to the theft,” Blevins said. “Now that they’ve been booked though, we’ve worked to get that booking information to the Knoxville PD. I believe there was video footage of the theft, so maybe they’ll be able compare their booking photos to the video they have and determine who stole the vehicle.”
Blevins added that Washington was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia after being arrested.
“She had needles and things like that on her, and it wasn’t for insulin,” Blevins said.
One officer was actually stuck by a needle during the whole ordeal, and Blevins says the department has had that officer take the proper precautions and testing to ensure the officer’s safety.


Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force Dismantel Drug Trafficking Organization
Agents with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force worked around the clock to dismantle a drug trafficking organization operating in Chattooga, Walker, and Catoosa counties.
On Thursday, Aug. 25, LaFayette Police Department conducted a traffic investigation around 10 p.m. The investigation yielded approximately two ounces of ICE methamphetamine. The investigation was turned over to the Drug Task Force, and two individuals were arrested: Paul Dewayne Warren, 45, of 598 N. Ridge Estates, Trion, and Courtney Dawn Schrimpsher, 25, of 210 Champ Lane, LaFayette, each charged with trafficking methamphetamine.
The traffic investigation led agents to conduct a follow-up investigation at 687 N. Ridge Estates. With the assistance of the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department, agents with the DTF located two additional ounces of ICE methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana. This led to the arrest of Kenneth Lee Scholtz, 47, of 687 N. Ridge Estates for trafficking methamphetamine and various other charges. Kenneth Loren Scholtz, 18, of 259 Lorelei Farm Rd, Trion, was charged with possession of marijuana (misdemeanor).
Evidence obtained at 687 N. Ridge Estates led agents to secure a search warrant for Brothers Wholesalers, located at 400 Direct Connection Drive, Rossville, in Catoosa County. With the assistance of the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department and Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, agents executed the search warrant at 4 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26. The search warrant yielded 1½ pounds of suspected ICE methamphetamine.
An additional follow-up investigation was conducted at 544 French St, Rossville, in Catoosa County. Agents discovered a small amount of ICE methamphetamine, as well as Schedule IV prescription narcotics (Alprazolam). Amber Michelle Melville, 33, of 3613 12th Ave., Chattanooga, charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of Schedule IV. Jessie Samuel Simpson, 44, of 925 Hulana St., Rossville, was charged with possession of methamphetamine.
Agents returned to 400 Direct Connection Drive later on the afternoon of Aug. 26 and served an arrest warrant for Carol Dawn Stoner, 41, of 18 Walters Lane, Rossville. Stoner was charged with trafficking methamphetamine.
Total street value of the narcotics seized exceeds $70,000. The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are pending.


Living History Programs at Point
Park and Chickamauga Battlefield

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a variety of living history programs taking place at Point Park, on Lookout Mountain and at Chickamauga Battlefield during Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3-4.
At Point Park, living historians will share the experiences of Confederate soldiers on the mountain during the Siege of Chattanooga. Programs, which will include rifle firing demonstrations, are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission to Point Park is $5 per adult, ages 16 and older (children, ages 15 and younger enter for free).
At Chickamauga Battlefield, there will be artillery programs Saturday. Visitors will have the opportunity to see and hear a reproduction Civil War cannon firing and to learn about the role of artillery during the Battle of Chickamauga. Programs at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. There are no admission fees to Chickamauga Battlefield.
For more information about upcoming programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, please contact the Lookout Mountain Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, or visit the park’s website at nps.gov/chch.


Shaw Hiring Truck Operators
Shaw Industries will recruit 100 lift truck operators for its plant in Adairsville.
The recruitment will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College-Gordon County Campus located at 1151 Highway 53 Spur S.W. in Calhoun. Georgia Department of Labor staff will be on site to help screen applicants.
Due to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, all applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Salaries depend on experience.
Applicants are encouraged to dress appropriately to improve their opportunities for jobs.
For more information about the jobs, or to apply online, visit www.employgeorgia.com to create an account and upload, or prepare, a resume. Having an Employ Georgia account expedites the interview process.
For more information about the recruitment, contact the GDOL’s Rome Career Center at (706) 295-6051. The career center is located at 462 Riverside Parkway, N.E. in Rome, and it is open to serve the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Residents Uspet about Methadone Clinic
A number of Ringgold residents and business owners are upset about a methadone clinic set to open less than a mile from historic downtown.
Ringgold Treatment Center is being set up in the former City Electric Supply building on U.S. 41 just past the historic Depot and is expected to open in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, a number of the concerned residents created a Facebook page title “Stop Opiate Treatment Clinic from opening in Ringgold, Ga.,” to voice their opinions on the center.
The page had 244 likes as of Friday morning.
City manager Dan Wright says he’s heard some of the recent questions and concerns of residents, but that the city’s hands are essentially tied in the matter.
“The city really doesn’t have the final say on the issue,” Wright said. “Businesses come to us for an occupational tax certification because that’s what’s required if you’re operating a business inside the city limits, but medical facilities like this are licensed and regulated by the state.”
Wright added that in recent years, a number of “methadone clinics,” as they’re called, are looking to open in the state because neighboring states like Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina have stricter laws and requirements.
“We’ve had four or five different clinics looking to come into our area over the past couple of years, which is why we’ve worked closely with Senator Jeff Mullis and state officials to try draft legislation to regulate these types of clinics.”
Wright says a one-year moratorium on the matter was approved by the legislature in June, which will stop the issuance of licenses to opiate treatment clinics for the short-term, but that the Ringgold facility got its application in before that bill passed.
“The city doesn’t have the authority to say, ‘no, you can’t open this clinic here’, when it’s regulated by the state as a medical center…. It’s considered the same as a chiropractor or a pharmacy.”
Joy Thornton, who owns two businesses in town with her husband, says she too has concerns about the clinic opening in town.
“People are worried about drugs, drug dealers and druggies coming to town, but I think Ringgold people really try to take care of Ringgold,” Thornton said. “People shop here and we have a great town with great schools, but yeah, it could have an affect on new people and new businesses moving to the city if there’s a drug problem. If there’s a lot of drugs around, I think that just increases the potential for thefts and other crime.”
Catoosa County Coroner Vanita Hullender is also very passionate about the subject after dealing with drug overdoses on numerous occasions in her career.
“I see methadone overdoses all the time,” Hullender said. “We already have at least 62 of these clinics in the state of Georgia, and there were several scrambling to get licensed before the moratorium. There are 11 in Florida and Alabama and seven in Tennessee…. Why does Georgia need a 63rd?”
Hullender also said that the fault should not only lay with the clinic owners, but those making the regulations as well.
“It’s not working,” she said. “They’ve been trying to regulate it and it isn’t working.
“The majority of the clinics out there are doing it for the profit, not for the welfare of the people trying to get off the drugs. I am tired of having to tell families that their loved ones are passing away from methadone. It’s one thing to have to tell people their loved one died, but it’s another thing to have to tell them that it was a preventable death.”


National Treasures Event at Point Park
Created on Aug. 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act, the National Park Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2008, 21,989 employees of the NPS oversee 412 units, of which 59 are designated national parks.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There is nothing so American as our national parks .... The fundamental idea behind the parks...is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner’s description — “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst” — provided the title for film maker Ken Burn’s 2009 documentary film.
Since its start in 1872 with the founding of Yellowstone National Park and the addition in 1891 with Chickamauga and Chattanooga as the first National Battlefield Park, the ever growing number of parks have served as something unique to America and its people.
While the parks have a longer history, the National Park Service this week celebrates its centennial of preservation of the wilderness and history that remain the United States of America.
During the centennial, no admission fees will be charged at any of the facilities which are under NPS supervision.
As part of the nationwide celebration of the NPS, two major events are scheduled for components of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Park. One is a picnic the other a sporting event.
National Treasures 2016: Centennial Picnic in the Park — Aug. 25
The Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park are excited to announce plans for the eighth annual “National Treasures” event. On Thursday, Aug. 25, the iconic gates of Point Park will be thrown open for a casual evening of music, activities, and dinner to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
This year’s party at Point Park marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916, and celebrates the importance of our local national park. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., guests will gather atop Lookout Mountain to stroll along the park’s breathtaking paths along the brow, enjoy the music of the Power Players underneath the iconic New York Peace Monument, and toast the centennial of the National Park Service. Chattanooga’s first tourist destination — Umbrella Rock — will again be open for photographs and “selfies.”
“This year’s National Treasures event is even more special as it is occurring on the National Park Service’s Founders Day — the day the agency is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its establishment,” National Treasures Chair Becky Browder notes. “Each year, National Treasures honors our local national park and commemorates the important role it plays in our community but this year we will also celebrate the importance of the agency that manages 407 sites maintaining America’s natural and historic treasures.”
Along with the great music, the Centennial Picnic promises to be an evening of food, fun, and facts about our national parks as guests enjoy “trip around Point Park” to various trivia stations.
Tickets for this fundraising event are $75 per individual or $130 per couple and can be purchased online at friendsofchch.org/shop-tickets or by calling by calling 423-648-5623.
This special evening in Point Park only happens once a year and the Friends of the Park invite all National Park Service fans and supporters to attend the special Centennial Picnic.
Vintage Base Ball at Chickamauga Battle — Aug. 27
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend the fourth local event that celebrates the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service. Teams from the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball will play a special doubleheader in the recreation field at Chickamauga Battlefield on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Follow the “Special Event” signs to the field for designated parking. Visitors can bring a lawn chair, a blanket, a picnic lunch (or purchase lunch from a vendor on-site) and step back in time to the 1860s to watch America’s national pastime as it was originally played.
Kids will have opportunities to participate in other vintage games from the 1860s as well.
At noon, the Highland Rim Distillers will play the Mountain City Club of Chattanooga and at 2:30 p.m. Phoenix of East Nashville plays the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga. Both the Mountain City Club and the Lightfoot Club are still in the running to win the regular season pennant and the pennant will be determined by the end of the day.
For more information about upcoming programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park call the Lookout Mountain Visitor Center at 423-821-7786 or the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241.


Ringgold Police Switching to 12-Hour Shifts
Ringgold police officers will be going to longer shifts — and that’s a good thing, says Police Chief Dan Bilbrey.
Police department shifts were a big topic of conversation during the City Council’s Aug. 22 meeting, as Bilbrey proposed the change from standard eight-hour shifts to 12-hour schedules.
“For the 12-hour shifts, they will be implemented with no initial cost to the city and no major operational issues,” Bilbrey said. “This change would provide less fatigue for our officers and increase productivity. All of our officers are in favor of this proposed schedule.”
The council unanimously approved the change.
Bilbrey pointed out that the 12-hour shifts have become pretty standard with most law enforcement agencies, with the Ringgold and Tunnel Hill police departments being the only local agencies that still run eight-hour shifts.
He specified that the new schedule would create more of a routine for officers, help them plan vacations easier and make the department more efficient with fewer shift changes.
“It’s easier scheduling,” Bilbrey said. “The officers will work 36 hours one week and then 48 hours the next, for a total of 84 hours per two-week period. It will also save us a little wear and tear on our patrol cars. For officers with take-home cars, those vehicles will be on the road seven of every 12 days instead of 10 of every 12 days.”
Bilbrey added that the change could also benefit the department in the long term by helping to keep officers on staff.
“When we’ve done exit interviews with officers who’ve left us to go to other agencies, the number one complaint was the work schedule,” Bilbrey said. “Hopefully this will help us keep and recruit personnel.”
The 12-hour shifts are expected to begin around Oct. 1.


Police Officer of the Year
The city of Ringgold recognized its Police Officer of the Year during its Aug. 22 council meeting. Sgt. Anthony Gregory was honored as Police Officer of the Year for his out-standing on-the-job performance, as well as his continued commitment to the department. “He’s done a superb job and has shown true dedication to the police department and the city,” Police Chief Dan Bilbrey said of Gregory. “He was injured in the line of duty and kept attempting to come back to work even before he was medically cleared by doctors. He’s worked all three shifts during his time with us and has picked up more extra shifts than any other officer in our department.”


Two Catoosa Teens Spend Weekend in Jail

Two Catoosa County teenagers spent the weekend in jail after they allegedly forced their way into a residence, threatened two people inside, and fired shots toward the house while driving away, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:
Gage Everett Hodge, 17, and Nelson Jordan Burse, 18, were arrested Thursday, Aug. 11, on charges of simple assault, theft, criminal trespassing, and second-degree criminal damage to property.
Hodge also garnered charges of striking a fixture, three counts of terroristic threats and acts, and three counts of aggravated assault.
Both teens were released on bond on Monday, Aug. 15.
Deputies were dispatched to Shope Ridge Road in Ringgold early morning on Aug. 11 after a woman complained the two boys entered her residence, threatened her and her daughter, ran over a neighbor’s foot, and fired shots at the house.
The woman claimed the boys entered the house without permission around 4 a.m. and started an argument with her and her daughter, which eventually turned physical.
According to the incident report, Hodge and Burse knew the victims and showed up to confront them about statements they’d supposedly made to each boy’s girlfriend about them cheating on them.
The victim claims Burse punched a hole in a wall and that Hodge grabbed her by the throat, reports show.
The victim also said that after the altercation spilled out into the front yard, Hodge stole her phone and yelled, “I got a 38 and I’ll use it,” before getting in the vehicle to leave.
As the duo was leaving, Hodge allegedly ran over the foot of a 32-year-old man who had arrived at the scene after hearing the ruckus taking place.
The man said he heard screaming and fighting and came outside to find the altercation going on, and subsequently got his foot run over by Hodge after trying to break up the fight.
A few moments later, Hodge and Burse returned and drove towards the trio still in the driveway and wound up striking a fence and mailbox on the property before firing a gunshot in the direction of the house and driving off again, reports show.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the boys returned and tried to re-enter the residence.
When that attempt was unsuccessful, the boys allegedly drove through the yard striking chairs, flowerpots, and other items, while firing at least three more shots towards the house.
While deputies were gathering witness statements, Hodge called the victim.
The call was answered on speaker mode so deputies could hear the conversation.
“I heard Mr. Hodge make the statement that he was going to kill the victim, her daughter, and the neighbor,” Slatton said.
Detective Mike Helton took over the scene, and Burse and Hodge were apprehended shortly thereafter.
It was later discovered that significant damaged, possibly from the gunshots, had been done to windows of the victim’s car.


Man Accused of Rape Visited Church Where Incident Occured
A man accused of recently molesting two young girls in Catoosa County sometimes visited the church where the alleged incident occurred, police say.
Anthony Ray Stanley, 37, of Tunnel Hill, was arrested Friday, Aug. 5, on charges of child molestation and parole violation. He has been in jail for almost two weeks after having been denied bond.
Investigators say he allegedly touched two young girls inappropriately on Aug. 2 at Dogwood Christian Academy in Tunnel Hill, which is part of Dogwood Baptist Church.
Stanley, who was convicted of child molestation in 2002, has been a registered sex offender since 2007 after serving five years of a 15-year sentence and was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the alleged incident.
Deputies received a complaint on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from a woman who claimed Stanley had molested her girls at the school earlier that day.
The woman said her two daughters had been at the church with their grandmother that morning, when Stanley allegedly asked the girls inappropriate questions, touched them both, and kissed one of them.
The girls are both under 10 years of age.
The grandmother said she and the girls were at the church for about 4½ hours and that Stanley was working at the church at the time.
Sheriff Gary Sisk says investigators found out Stanley had attended church at Dogwood on occasion and that he was working construction at the time of incident in preparation for upcoming school year.
“He (Stanley) was working construction for a company out of Whitfield County,” Sisk said. “It’s my understanding that the owner of the construction company attends church there, and apparently Stanley had attended church there some too. The way it was presented to me, the company was moving or building some cabinets or something, getting ready for the school year, and sent Stanley to do the work because he lived close by.”
Apparently, Stanley wasn’t directly employed by the church, but was there working construction for the separate company.
“I think the company primarily builds log homes or something along those lines,” Sisk said. “That’s a different situation than this incident….on a job site like that, there usually aren’t children around.”
Sisk says he’s not sure at this time if there was a formal work contract between the church and the construction company, or if it was a situation where a church member who happens to own a business tried to help out his church with needed repairs, and happened to send a registered sex offender.
A Chattanooga TV news station reported earlier this week that long-time Dogwood Baptist Church pastor Roy Gentry hired Stanley to do the work after meeting him through a prison ministry. Gentry has not returned calls seeking comment.
Sisk says he’s more concerned with a child being harmed.
“There’s a bigger issue there if the church did know the history and brought him to the church to do work, but that’d be a liability question for the court system,” Sisk said. “That’s not part of our criminal investigation, how the person came about being on the property….all we’re concerned about are the acts with the children.”


Two Ringgold Women Arrested on Prostitution Charges
Two women were arrested at a Ringgold massage parlor following a month-and-half-long investigation into illegal prostitution.
According to the Ringgold Police Department:
Elysse M. O’Connor, 61, of Huntsville, Ala., and Myong C. Grayson, 50, of Lawton, Okla., were arrested Aug. 8 on charges of keeping a place for prostitution and massage in a place for prostitution. O’Connor was also charged with masturbation for hire. Both women have been released on bond.
According to Ringgold Police Chief Dan Bilbrey, the arrests came when his officers and detectives with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department served search warrants at K&M Massage Therapy at 250 Cassidy Lane during a joint investigation.
“A member of law enforcement was in there undercover and was propositioned,” Bilbrey said.
The investigation began in late June, when Ringgold police received information about some possible illegal prostitution being conducted at the parlor. Then, on Aug. 8, the search warrants were executed and the arrests were made.


Public Hearing for Proposed Millage Rate Increase
For the third year in a row, the city of Ringgold plans to increase its millage (property tax) rate and will hold three public hearings regarding the matter in the coming weeks.
The City Council opted for the tentative increase of 5 percent during the most recent city council meeting on Aug. 8.
The proposed increase will result in a new millage rate of 3.15 mills for 2017, an increase of 0.15 mills from the current rate of 3 mills.
Although the hike is less than last year’s 8.57 percent increase (2.763 mills to 3.0 mills), it still marks three consecutive increases after not having one for a number of years.

Public hearings on the proposed millage (property tax) rate increase will take place in the courtroom of Ringgold City Hall located at 150 Tennessee Street. The first hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, with the second and third to be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. respectively. All concerned residents are invited to voice their opinions on the matter.

Two years ago, the council raised the rate 0.08 mills, from 2.683 for 2014 to 2.763 for 2015, a 2.98 percent increase.
City officials say the recent increases are an attempt to recoup lost revenues the city experienced in the wake of the 2011 tornado that ravaged the town.
Cities like Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe assess property taxes based on county-assessed values and rates established by the municipal governing authority.
For example, the assessed value of a home is 40 percent of the fair market value (FMV), meaning that the assessed value of a $100,000 home would be $40,000. In a county where the millage rate is 25 mills the property tax on that house would be $1,000 — $25 for every $1,000 of assessed value, or $25 multiplied by 40 is $1,000.
The new increase would cause a home valued at $125,000 to see a $7.60 hike.


Medal of Honor Museum Should Be In City of Ringgold

It’s unfortunate but clear that the construction of a new Medal of Honor Museum anywhere in Chattanooga – but especially in Coolidge Park – is going to meet with more than mere lip service or token opposition. Be it a simple desire to retain all of the park’s available green space or a larger, less rational anti-war sentiment, it will be a battle to get it done. And even if it’s done, many have made it clear that it will never be welcome.
There’s a solution.
Bring the Medal of Honor Museum to Catoosa County. Specifically, downtown Ringgold.
North Georgia in general and Catoosa County in particular have a long and storied connection with the Medal of Honor and its recipients. Start with the very first Medal of Honor recipients (never call them “winners”), Andrews’ Raiders, 19 of them all told, were the first soldiers to receive what remains the United States’ highest honor for their heroic and spectacular attempt to disrupt the rail line between Atlanta and Chattanooga. The chase ended and the men captured two miles past the depot in Ringgold; a monument marks the spot where The General came to a halt.

(It is incorrectly assumed that James Andrews himself was one of those honored. But Andrews was a civilian; even though he was hanged as a spy, he was not eligible to receive the Medal of Honor and that stipulation remains to this day.)
Four of the Raiders who were hanged as spies and honored with the Medal of Honor posthumously, are buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery – Samuel Robertson, Marion Ross, John Scott and Samuel Slavens. The first recipient, Private Jacob Parrett, along with five of the other Raiders who survived POW camp, were given their medals on March 25, 1863.
On the other side of the county, Fort Oglethorpe will always be closely identified with the war effort in both WWI and WWII. Legends from John J. Persing to Dwight D. Eisenhower served as instructor there before it was decommissioned in 1946. It was home of the 6th Calvary, whose members were awarded three Medals of Honor for their roles in the Battle of Gettysburg and another 46 were awarded following the Indian Wars.
Neighboring Walker County was the home of the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, Desmond Doss, the final years of his life. The westernmost stretch of Highway 2A, which connects the two counties, is named in his honor. The quiet, unassuming Doss, who passed away in 2007, is ironically about to become one of the most famous Medal of Honor recipients when Mel Gibson’s biographical movie, “Hacksaw Ridge,” premieres in November.
Where to put it? Plenty of places, especially if those in charge of the project aren’t wedding to the dubious idea of making it a two-story knockoff of Monticello.
One of the prime locations in downtown Ringgold, facing the square, is the vacant Test Medical Supply building. Formerly the Ringgold Post Office, the 3,600-foot square structure was built to last with structural steel, and owner Ed Test, who is selling it himself, pointed out that the land for sale includes an alley and parking and could be covered or built over.
Another location worth considering is state highway 151. “Ooltewah Ringgold Road,” that parallels the tracks of the Great Locomotive Chase. Indeed, the MOH Museum could be built in the shadow of where the raid ended. History could come full-circle, and the two-lane road that connects Ringgold with East Hamilton County could rightfully take its place as a historic highway. But that land is outside the city limits of Ringgold, so its benefits to the community would be limited.
City manager Dan Wright is aware of the Medal of Honor controversy and would be prepared to get some of the big questions answered should there be any interest in the museum’s partners in locating it elsewhere.
Other area locations come easily to mind: the Alabama Highway in the shadow of the new college campus; on U.S. 41, close to or adjacent to the American Legion post, which could became part of the complex; we might even consider the Election Commission Building since so few voters used it for either local election this year.
But the main point is that the Medal of Honor Museum needs to exist in some permanent form. The memories of these men can’t all be renewed by a Mel Gibson movie. Arthur McArthur, father of Douglas, climbed Missionary Ridge just a few hundred yards from where I live just to keep his regiment’s colors from falling to the ground. There are a million such stories; all are worthy of a movie.
They need a home.

Woman Tries to Snuggle Meth into Catoosa County Jail

A woman garnered some extra charges by trying to smuggle meth into jail after being arrested, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:
Jacqulyn Kristin Conway, 35, of Fairview Drive in Hixson, Tenn., was arrested Aug. 8 on charges of aggravated stalking, possession of meth, and crossing state/county guard lines with drugs. Her bond was set at $5,000.
Deputies first encountered Conway around 8:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at a Ringgold residence, where her ex-boyfriend was claiming she was in violation of a temporary protective order (TPO).
The ex-boyfriend stated Conway hadn’t lived at the residence for weeks, but alleged that she’d followed him around Ringgold throughout the day while he was running errands and subsequently followed him to the residence.
He also claimed she refused to leave and was trying to take some items from the residence, at which time he called 911, reports show.
Deputies eventually verified the TPO and arrested Conway for the violation.
During the booking process, jail personnel stated a plastic baggie containing methamphetamine fell from Conway’s bra during a routine strip search.
A second plastic baggie containing meth was found inside Conway’s inhaler after she told deputies during her arrest that she wasn’t in possession of anything illegal.


"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" Coming to Ringgold Depot
The curtain will rise at the historic Ringgold Depot this week with The Ringgold Playhouse’s final production of its 2016 season, Tennessee Williams’ classic drama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The play opens for a seven-performance run beginning Aug. 18.
“We ended the season with ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ last year, and it was so popular, we figured we’d tryout another Williams’ work this season,” said Adam Cook, TRP’s executive director. “It’s a great piece of American theatre, and we’re really excited about the talented cast that’s involved with this project.”
The show is being directed by Ronald King, who directed Larry Shue’s “The Nerd” to open the season.
“This cast is so great,” King said. “It’s coming together better than I ever thought it would. This is one of the favorites I’ve ever directed….it’s going to be really good.”
The play is set in a plantation house in 1950s Mississippi.
The family celebrates the 65th birthday of “Big Daddy,” as they sentimentally dub him. The mood is somber, despite the festivities because a number of evils poison the gaiety: greed, sins of the past, and the desperate clawing towards the future emerge between family members.
The knowledge that Big Daddy is dying slowly makes the rounds. Maggie, Big Daddy's daughter-in-law, wants to give him the news that she's finally become pregnant by his favorite son, Brick, but Brick won't cooperate in Maggie’s plans and prefers to stay in a mild alcoholic haze the entire length of his visit.
Swarming around Maggie and Brick are their intrusive relatives, all eager to see Maggie put in her place and Brick tumbled from his position of most-beloved son.
By evening’s end, Maggie’s ingenuity, fortitude, and passion will set things right, and Brick’s love for his father, never before expressed, will retrieve him from his path of destruction and return him, helplessly, to Maggie’s loving arms.
The cast features Whitney Standefer as “Maggie,” Joshua Chisholm as “Brick,” Steve Jordan as “Big Daddy,” Aleatha Plott as “Big Mama,” Zack Jordan as “Gooper,” Nikki Sloan as “Mae,” Dexter Coley as “Dr. Baugh,” David Howard as “Rev. Tooker,” Lamar Bankston as “Sookey,” Carolina Price as “Lacey,” Carina Miller as “Trixie,” and Noah McKinnon as “Buster.”
Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for seniors and students, and can be purchased in person at Ringgold City Hall, over the phone at 706-935-3061, or online at cityofringgold.com.
TRP’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Production dates: Aug. 18-27 at 7:30 p.m. Special matinee Aug. 27 at 2 p.m.
Where: Ringgold Depot.
Tickets: $10 general admission. $8 for seniors and students
Phone: 706-935-3061
Twitter: @RinggPlayhouse


Brother of State Rep. Weldon Faces Assault Charges
The brother of state Rep. Tom Weldon of Ringgold is facing assault charges for allegedly shooting a man in the leg during a domestic dispute.
Wesley Gage Weldon, 41, of Ringgold, was arrested Friday, Aug. 12, for aggravated assault. He is the brother of long-time Ringgold attorney and current Ga. House District 3 representative Tom Weldon, who is not seeking re-election.
Also arrested in the incident was Jennifer Nicole Ray, 30, of LaFayette. Both were charged with possession of tools for the commission of a crime, possession of meth, possession of morphine, possession of a firearm or knife while trying to commit a crime.
Weldon and Ray were released on bond Sunday, Aug. 14, and Monday, Aug. 15 respectively.
Investigators say deputies were dispatched to Cornerstone Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe just before 11 a.m. Friday regarding a man who showed up a gunshot wound in the leg.
Ray told investigators she locked up the house and went to bed Thursday night, and then woke up to find 34-year-old Judson Cudd at the house with her and Weldon.
She said she went outside to smoke and left the two men alone inside.
After the two men argued for few moments, Ray said she heard a gunshot and went inside to find Cudd shot in the leg, reports show.
Ray told deputies that she quickly wrapped a makeshift tourniquet above the wound and transported Cudd to Cornerstone.
Cudd was later transferred to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Ray was immediately taken to the Sheriff’s Department for additional questioning, where Lt. Freddie Roden’s investigation led to her charges.
Roden also obtained the aggravated assault warrant for Weldon and served it on him at the jail.
It’s unknown at this time what led to the gun being fired in the residence but Ray told investigators that Cudd claimed to have entered the home with a key he wasn’t supposed to have.
She also stated Cudd and Weldon had been arguing over some missing items that had presumably been taken from the residence.
During the investigation at Cornerstone, a plastic baggie of marijuana was found in the grass near the vehicle Ray drove Cudd to the hospital in, but she claimed to not know anything about it.
She has not been charged with possession of the drug at this time.
Weldon has a criminal history in Catoosa County.
He was arrested in February 2015 on a handful of drug possession and manufacturing charges when detectives discovered a meth lab in the kitchen of his residence while serving a restraining order against him on behalf of his ex-wife.
Weldon’s brother, Tom, represented him in that case.


Man Arrested in  County on Charges of Child Molestation

A man allegedly molested two young girls at a Catoosa County church while working a construction job there, police say.
According to the Sheriff’s Department:
Anthony Ray Stanley, 37, of Scenic Drive in Tunnel Hill, was arrested Friday, Aug. 5, on charges of child molestation and parole violation. He has been denied bond.
Records show that Stanley is a registered sex offender who was convicted of child molestation in 2002. He’s been a registered offender since 2007 and was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the alleged incident.
Deputies received a complaint on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from a woman who claimed Stanley had touched her two young daughters inappropriately at a church in Tunnel Hill earlier that day.
The woman said her two daughters had been at the church with their grandmother that morning, when Stanley allegedly asked the girls inappropriate questions, touched them both, and kissed one of them.
The girls are both under 10 years of age.
The grandmother said she and the girls were at the church for about 4½ hours and that Stanley was working at the church at the time.
According to sheriff’s Capt. Chris Lyons, Stanley isn’t employed by the church, but was there working construction for a separate company.


Man Arrested in Catoosa County After High-Speed Chase
A man was arrested in Catoosa County for allegedly sporting a phony identity after wrecking a stolen car during a high-speed chase, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:
Aaron Thomas Parker, 34, of Dalashmitt Road in Chattanooga, Tenn., was arrested Saturday, Aug. 6 on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude, possession of a firearm or knife while trying to commit a crime, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of meth, theft by receiving stolen property, use of license plate to misrepresent identity of vehicle, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, weaving, stop/yield sign violations, no proof of insurance, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bond was set at $6,100.
A hold has also been placed on Parker by the East Ridge Police Department.
Around 1:18 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, officers observed Parker run off the roadway on Wooten Road in a black Volvo, reports show.
Lt. Anthony Lawson attempted to pull over the vehicle at the intersection of Wooten and Graysville roads, but Parker failed to stop and then took off, initiating a chase.
Parker was allegedly traveling on the wrong side of the road doing 80 mph in a 35-mph zone.
“The vehicle crossed the railroad tracks, losing control and crashing into a wooded area at Graysville Road and Lime Street,” Lawson said. “The driver exited the sunroof and fled into the wooded area.”
Parker was eventually located in the wooded area by a Georgia State Patrol trooper who arrived on scene, at which time he ignored police commands and pretended to act unconscious when emergency crews arrived.
A search of the vehicle revealed a driver’s license with Parker’s photo on it and the name “Quinton Johnson,” as well as a sawed-off shotgun, ammunition, and a plastic baggie containing methamphetamine.
“The Tennessee tag displayed on the Volvo returned registered to a 1999 Honda ULX,” Lawson said. “A check of the Volvo’s VIN number indicated the Volvo to be stolen out of East Ridge, Tenn.”
Parker was taken to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton and then transported to the Catoosa County jail after being medically cleared.
After initially being booked as “Quinton Johnson,” investigators were able to gather that his fingerprints showed him to actually be Aaron Thomas Parker, a convicted felon.


Lilly's Produce Burglarized, Antiques and more taken

On Saturday, Aug. 13, in the wee hours of the morning, thieves broke into Lilly’s Produce on Forrest Road in Fort Oglethorpe.
“We had just moved some antiques into the store,” says owner Lynn Bishop. “We were there until 11:45 Friday night unloading stuff.”
Bishop is still uncertain how the thieves got into the store, which is located close to the Fort Oglethorpe post office.
“They stole the antiques, our cash register, and they broke jars of relish and juice we carry,” says Bishop.
They also stole Bishop’s 1995 F150 Ford pick-up truck. The truck is red and white. “All my banking information was in the truck,” Bishop says, “so I had to close out all my accounts this morning.”
Stolen items include numerous antique butter crocks, an Amish butter churn, a large pedal tractor and a pedal fire truck, antique milk cans, hand saws, a sickle blade, milk bottles. The Bishops are still taking stock of their losses.
Bishop says she had a surveillance camera in her stolen truck that she was planning to mount in the store.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department at 706-866-2512.


Drug Task Force Investigating Drug-Trafficking Ring
Drug task force officials are investigating a drug-trafficking ring involving a wide range of prescription opiates that tie together in a tri-state operation that possibly goes even further as more arrests are expected.
As the result of a lengthy investigation, agents from the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force executed six search warrants in North Walker County in Georgia and South Hamilton County in Tennessee. The search warrants were in reference to a suspected drug trafficking organization operating throughout the Tennessee Valley, dealing primarily with Schedule II prescription narcotics.
According to Drug Task Force Commander Pat Doyle, the Schedule II narcotics are opiates ranging from oxycodone and roxycodone, to various other opiates.
“Any kind of opiates you can get your hands on,” Doyle said of the wide range of prescription pills being trafficked throughout the region.
The dealers are buying the narcotics wholesale and redistributing them in a classic prescription diversion case, Doyle said.
The investigation has spanned several months and the ring has been operating for quite some time, he said.
Doyle said the drug ring could reach even further than Walker County, Catoosa County, and Hamilton County, including their surrounding areas.
Multiple agencies assisted in the search warrant executions. These agencies include the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, LaFayette Police Department, Rossville Police Department, Dade County Sheriff’s Office, Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Hamilton County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are pending. The following individuals were arrested on Walker County warrants and charged with trafficking Schedule II narcotics. Additional charges on those arrested are pending the results of the search warrants.
· Johnny Boatwright, Sr., 51, of 1138 McBride Road, East Ridge, Tenn.
· Theodore H. Apostol Jr., 46, of 434 Jenkins Road, Rossville
· Cindy L. Boatwright Apostol, 29, of 434 Jenkins Road, Rossville, Ga.
· Joshua E. Hayes, 33, of 817 Lynn Lane, Rossville
· Krysten E. Hayes, 32, of 817 Lynn Lane, Rossville
· Theodore H. Apostol III, 23, of 777 Chickamauga Ave., Rossville


GDAA Presents Award to Catoosa County Public Schools
The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (GDAA) presented its Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting to Catoosa County Public Schools. This award was established to recognize excellence in financial reporting and controls. It encourages governmental organizations to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and recognizes individual organizations that are successful in achieving this goal.
Genevieve Silvia, GDAA manager, presented the award at the Board of Education meeting July 28.
“We audit 151 systems and we have released 75 reports,” she said. “Of the reports released only 33 systems have received this award, and we don’t expect to issue many more certificates from the remaining reports.”
The award was created in 2014, and is presented to organizations that submit quality financial statements and supporting documentation in a timely manner. To receive this award, the organization’s annual financial report must also be free of any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses, comply with all Transparency in Government requirements, and be given an unmodified audit opinion.
“It is an honor to receive this award from the GDAA,” said Denia Reese, Catoosa County superintendent. “I am very proud the employees in our finance department are diligent in maintaining the highest level of excellence, and they are very deserving of this award.”


"Bats, Beer, & Bluegrass" Concert Festival Scheduled
Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. will host a fundraiser in Chickamauga to protect the endangered gray bats living in Frick’s Cave.
“Bats, Beer, & Bluegrass” concert festival, set for Saturday, Sept. 24, will feature the Barefoot Nellie and Company band. Space is limited and only 200 tickets are available.
The goal of Chattanooga-based Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is to raise $2.5 million for the Stewardship Endowment Fund to pay for the conservation and stewardship of all of SCCi's caves, including Frick’s.
According to SCCI executive director Ray Knott, tickets for the event are only available online at www.scci.org/bats-beer-and-bluegrass.
“We currently manage 170 caves on 30 preserves in six southeast states,” Knott said.
The event will kick off with a dinner at 5 p.m., followed by a night of bluegrass music from 6 p.m. until dark.
Big River Brewery in Chattanooga will provide the beer, while 212 Market Street restaurant in Chattanooga will cater the food.
The dinner and concert is priced at $50 per person, with $25 for the concert itself.
Of the 200 tickets, 80 have been sold, leaving only 120 available tickets for the event.
Knott said about 30 bats remain in the cave year-round, while more than 9,900 others leave during the winter.
The 34-acre site includes a pavilion and is often used as a permitted campsite that has been managed by SCCi volunteer E.T. Davis for the past 20 years. Frick’s Preserve doesn't have bathroom facilities.
“It’s history,” Knott said of the importance of the cave’s preservation, adding that Cherokee Indian writings can also be found inside the cave.
About SCCi
Southeastern Cave Conservancy is calling this event its coming-out party, even though the organization was started in 1991 with a small group of cavers.
Now, 25 years later and with more than 1,000 members, the SCCi is the largest land conservancy devoted specifically to caves. SCCi owns and leases 170 caves on 30 preserves in six states.
According to the SCCi mission statement: “We are interested in caves anywhere in the Southeastern U.S. that need protection or management for conservation or access reasons. The SCCi is particularly interested in caves that are threatened with closure or destruction or those which provide a habitat for endangered species such as the gray bat, Tennessee cave salamander, or Hart’s Tongue Fern. Our mission is to preserve caves and cave environments and to manage them responsibly.”
Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc.’s “Bats, Beer, & Bluegrass” concert fundraiser
Where: 1536 Frick’s Gap Road in Chickamauga
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, from 5 p.m. until dark
Price: $50 for concert and dinner; $25 for concert.
For more information about SCCi, event details, or to make a donation, visit www.scci.org or email the group at info@scci.org. The group also has a Facebook page.


Public Hearings Set On Proposed Property Tax Increase

Catoosa County commissioners will hold three public hearings on a proposed property tax (millage) rate increase.
The increase, from 10.768 mills to 11.877 mills (1.109 mills more or 10.3 percent increase) is needed to fund — and balance — the county’s proposed new budget, which begins Oct. 1.
The proposed budget is available for public inspection at the Board of Commissioners’ office.
The hearings give the public a chance to comment on the proposed property tax rate hike and budget before they are adopted.
The hearings will be held at the Catoosa County administrative building, 800 LaFayette St. in downtown Ringgold, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, and at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Commissioners are expected to approve the property tax rate hike and new budget following the final hearing.
For property owners, a mill translates as $1 in tax for every $1,000 of property assessed value at 40 percent. That means a property owner pays taxes on 40 percent of the valuation, less a $2,000 homestead exemption for a residence.
A property worth $100,000 would be taxed on $40,000 and the homestead exemption would be deducted from that tax bill.
In general, this year’s millage increase (1.109), if approved, will add about $44 to the tax bill of a property with a value of $100,000.





Catoosa County Courthouse


Today in Georgia

From the archives of the Georgia Historical Society

Archibald Butt

September 26, 1865 - Augusta
Three Georgians died on the Titanic. One of them was Archibald Butt.  He was born in Augusta on this day in 1865.
Archie Butt became a journalist for the Macon Telegraph. The Atlanta Constitution made him its Washington correspondent.  The U.S. State Department appointed him Secretary of the American Embassy in Mexico. He was there when the Spanish–American war began in 1898 and he came home to join the Army.  His work in the Philippines with the Quartermaster Department impressed President Theodore Roosevelt, who made Butt his personal military aide. President Taft kept him on in the same role.
As Taft and Roosevelt became political enemies in 1912, Butt escaped to Europe for a vacation. He booked return passage on the Titanic, and died when it struck an iceberg on April 14.
President Taft came to Augusta to dedicate the Butt Memorial Bridge on the second anniversary of the Titanic tragedy in 1914.  Spanning the Augusta Canal, it is the only Titanic memorial in Georgia and honors the man born on September 26, 1865, Today in Georgia History.












Famous People in Georgia

(From-Georia Encyclopedia)

Macon resident Young Stribling was a leading boxer in the heavyweight division during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was defeated in several world title bouts, most notably against the German fighter Max Schmeling in 1931.
William Lawrence "Young" Stribling Jr. was born in Bainbridge on December 26, 1904, to Lily Braswell and William Lawrence Stribling. He grew up on the road as part of the Four Novelty Grahams, a traveling vaudeville company consisting of Stribling, his parents, and his brother, Herbert. As part of their act the two children fought each other in oversized gloves while their father acted as referee. As he grew older Stribling began to take on all-comers from the audience. At age sixteen he had his first professional fight, in Atlanta. Over the next nine years, he moved through seven weight divisions before settling as a heavyweight in 1929.
An 18,000-mile barnstorming tour across the country in 1925 earned Stribling the moniker King of the Canebrakes. Writer Damon Runyon invented the nickname to reflect Stribling's popularity in rural areas. (He didn't limit himself to visiting rural areas, however; in one publicity stunt he flew a plane over New York City and circled the Empire State Building.) Loved across Georgia, Stribling was an exemplary citizen, serving as an Elk, a Kiwanian, a Mason, and a Bible-class teacher who worked with disadvantaged children. He was also a lieutenant in the Army Reserve Air Corps and flew his own airplane to fights around the country. Black Georgians, though, were less sympathetic to Stribling, given his refusal to face African American fighters.
Despite a career record of 221 wins that included 125 knockouts (a record later broken by Archie Moore) and an armory of punches, including the Stribling Shift, Stribling never fulfilled his potential as a fighter. Experts from outside Georgia believed that his father was a poor manager and arranged too many bouts for his son. Indeed, Stribling participated in 285 professional fights in twelve years, often appearing outside the United States. Walk Miller, the manager of Tiger Flowers, also failed to improve Stribling's performances, however. Cynics suggested that the handsome pugilist was better suited for Broadway roles.
Stribling was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of twenty-eight, on October 3, 1933. He was on the way to visit his wife and baby son in a Macon hospital when a car hit his motorcycle. According to sportswriter Paul Gallico, Stribling "was afraid of nothing that rolled on wheels or flew on wings, but was a coward in the ring." Ralph McGill's obituary in the Atlanta Constitution was much kinder, stating that "Georgia ha[d] taken this great young man to her heart, not realizing herself what a place he held in her heart until he was gone."
Stribling's funeral in Macon further reflected the scale of his support. Twenty-five thousand mourners walked past his coffin in the town's auditorium and another 10,000 attended the service at Riverside Cemetery. Messages of condolence came from the likes of wealthy New York entrepreneur Cornelius Vanderbilt, golfer Bobby Jones, and Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge. A year later a group of prominent boxers, including famed Italian pugilist Primo Carnera, attended a memorial service for Stribling in Macon.
Stribling was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1965 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in Canastota, New York, in 1966.



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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]