City Hall of Ringgold,
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
Marshall M. Bandy Jr.
William B. Mills
Attorneys at law
670 Lafayette Street
Auto Accidents, Divorce, Bankruptcy,
Over 44 years
of experience as general practitioners in
Law in the City of Ringgold
Quote of the Day
28 Millennium Cir,
Ringgold, GA 30736
"What worries you, masters you."
WAAK Phone App
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 email@example.com or
give us a call and we will walk you through the
Do you have a picture you want published in the Catoosa
Send us little league/sports photos, school achievment
photos or anything you might find interesting to
Roper to Hire 100 Assemblers
Department of Labor (GDOL) will help Roper
Corporation recruit 100 assemblers to work
will be held on Friday, April 28, from 3-5
p.m. at the Fort Oglethorpe City Hall
located at 500 City Hall Dr. GDOL staff will
be on site to assist applicants.
begin at $12.65 an hour.
must be at least 18 years old.
No experience is
required for applicants who have a high
school diploma, or a General Education
Diploma (GED). However, applicants who do
not have a high school diploma, or GED, must
have at least one year of manufacturing
experience, or three years of any type of
without a diploma, or GED, who are hired and
subsequently get a GED, will be reimbursed
by the company for the cost of taking the
Tennessee Newspaper Completely Misleads its
Readers About Catoosa Republican Platform
In an op ed in the April
18 edition of the Times Free Press there is
a complete breakdown in reading comprehension by
He/she began the op ed by saying that the
"Catoosa GOP proposed doing away with all
public funding for education". Wow! what a
misrepresentation of the news. In no less that
14 places in the Catoosa GOP platform,
for government run and tax supported education
is laid out in great detail. How can anyone with
a 2nd grade education could miss this is beyond
comprehension. The author must suffer from an
aversion to the truth. As the scripture states
in Proverbs 12:17:
speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a
false witness utters deceit." Deceit has
been exercised by the Times Free Press.
In support of the foregoing,
following statements are taken directly from the
Republican Platform. Anyone with an average
education can clearly
that the Times Free Press is absolutely wrong.
1. Under the second
section of the Platform entitled "Public Tax
Supported Education Now" a thorough explanation
givingo Biblical, rational, and empirical
reasons why public tax supported education is
necessary. This support has over 320 words of
support for tax supported education.
2. Paragraph one
explains why parental support for public
education is important.
3. Paragraph two
explains how important support for teachers is
necessary to discipline in public education.
4. Paragraph four
supports partisan election for public school
5. Paragraph five
supports term limits for public school boards.
6. Paragraph six
supports publication of accounting expenditures
of public school systems.
7. Paragraph seven
supports public schools submitting there budget
to the county commissioners for approval.
Under section two
entitled "Education in the future" the following
support for tax supported education is noted:
8. Paragraph 1 public
schools (obviously tax supported) are listed as
a continuing option for educating children.
9. Paragraph 2 states
tax supported funding for education should be
used in grants to parents for educating children
in schools of their choice.
10. Paragraph 3
recommends tax support for education must
11. Paragraph 4
recommends tax support in the for of vouchers.
12. Paragraph 5
recommends tax supported grants.
13. In the preamble it states government control
"not government funding" should be ended. It is
an issue of liberty. Funding is a return of the
it has never been the governments money.
Catoosa Beautiful" Campaign
Lace up your working shoes or shine up
your canoe! Catoosa County is kicking
off an effort to become a prettier place
and officials are asking for citizens’
May 2017 will be the beginning of the
county’s "Keep Catoosa Beautiful"
campaign. Individual citizens, Scouts
troops and church, civic and school
groups are invited to join together for
a day of making Catoosa County more
"This county has been called one of the
few remaining Mayberrys," says County
Manager Jim Walker. "But it won’t remain
that way if we don’t take care of it."
The clean-up day on May 13 is a kick-off
for a more aggressive attempt to deal
with the problem of people dumping
everything from cigarette butts to
household trash to mattresses and
furniture along roadways, says Walker.
"This county belongs to all of us," says
Catoosa Commission Chairman Steven
Henry. "If we want to live in a
beautiful place, we need to all pitch in
to keep it that way. We hope to see a
greater sense of pride and
responsibility develop in our citizens."
Catoosa Public Works Director Buster
Brown and his staff have identified 12
roads that are in special need of
cleaning up. The county’s new Parks and
Recreation director, Travis Barbee, will
be heading up a crew of canoe and kayak
volunteers to help clean up a stretch of
"We don’t live downstream from anyone,"
says Brown. "The trash that gets dumped
in Catoosa County is dumped by our own
citizens, not outsiders."
Walker agrees. "This is an inside job.
We’re doing this to ourselves. It shows
a lack of interest in other people, a
lack of interest in the county, a lack
of interest in the environment and a
lack of self-respect."
Unfortunately, says Walker, the people
who love their county are the ones who
are left to clean up after those who
trash it. But the county plans to work
on a remedy.
"We’re going to buckle down on the Tarp
Law," says Walker. "That will keep trash
from flying out of trucks. We’re looking
into adding surveillance, and we’ll be
searching dumped trash for
identification. We’re also looking at
the possibility of starting a hotline so
citizens can easily report it when they
see someone toss trash on the road."
In the meantime, officials are hoping
those who love their county will join
hands on May 13 to get the
beautification ball rolling.
"This is our home," says Walker. "We
need to follow the Boy Scout policy of
always leaving a place better than we
found it. We should do it for our
children. For those who want to live in
a trash can, please go find one to live
in instead of making one out of Catoosa
Volunteers for road clean-up crews need
to gather at the Amphitheater at Benton
Place Campus (220 Catoosa Circle,
Ringgold) at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 13.
Each volunteer will be asked to sign a
release form and will be issued a safety
vest and equipment for cleaning up.
Volunteers will be taken to their
designated clean-up points by Trans-Aid
buses and will be accompanied by county
employees. Clean-up runs from
approximately 9 a.m. to noon.
Volunteers will be returned to Benton
Place Campus after clean-up and are
invited to stay for a free cookout
sponsored by Shane Catlett of Modern
Woodmen of America. Participants will be
recognized for their help in beautifying
their county. Volunteers need to call
706-965-2500 to sign up, or they can
sign up on the Catoosa County web site
Individuals, Scout groups, church, civic
and school groups, and others are
welcome to participate. Volunteers must
be 12 years old or older. All minors
must be accompanied by an adult.
Chickamauga Creek paddle pickup
Volunteers need to bring their own canoe
or kayak (or other appropriate boat) to
the Fort Oglethorpe Canoe Launch at 2542
Battlefield Parkway. Parking is next to
O’Charley’s restaurant. Launch time is 8
a.m., Saturday, May 13. Volunteers will
be supplied with clean-up materials.
Take out will be at West Chickamauga
Creek Launch at 82 Dietz Rd., Ringgold,
around 11 a.m. Grilled hamburgers and
hotdogs will be provided by the Catoosa
County Parks and Recreation Department
for volunteers at the take out location
from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. To participate
in the Paddle Pickup, volunteers must
RSVP by calling 706-891-4199.
at Catoosa County Landfill
Saturday, May 20, will be Amnesty
Day at the Catoosa County Landfill.
Citizens will be able to bring
trash, brush and yard debris, and
larger items for disposal at no
Amnesty Day is part of the "Keep
Catoosa Beautiful" campaign, an
effort to improve the appearance of
the county and inspire pride in
"When people dump trash," says
Catoosa County Manager Jim Walker,
"it impacts our environment, the
natural beauty of our area, our
property values and possible tax
increases in our county."
Of 159 counties in the state of
Georgia, Walker says, only 15 have a
lower property tax rate than
Catoosa. "That rate can’t stay so
low if the county has to hire extra
staff dedicated to picking up trash
people throw out on the road."
Catoosa Public Works Director Buster
Brown says he oversees 427 miles of
county-maintained roads. "We don’t
have the resources to keep up with
illegal dumping without more
employees and higher taxes to pay
To get citizens off on a good foot,
the county has worked with Santek,
the company that manages the
landfill, to sponsor a day of free
Citizens are urged to use this
opportunity to clean up their yards
and get rid of yard debris,
household trash, waste and
recyclables. Some restrictions do
Landfill Amnesty Day is May 20, 8
a.m. to noon. The landfill is
located at 75 Shope Ridge Rd. in
Proof of Catoosa County residency is
required (e.g., driver’s license,
power bill, voter registration).
No commercial waste will be
No mattresses, hazardous materials,
or refrigerants will be accepted.
Up to four tires per person will be
For more information: 706-937-4564
Franks Book to be Main Focus of One
Book One Community Event
Author, actor and entertainer
Randall Franks, "Officer Randy
Goode" from TV's In the Heat of the
Night, latest work A Badge or an Old
Guitar is the focus of a One Book
One Community event.
"I am so honored that my latest
labor of love is part of this
special program," he said. "Some
great books by amazing authors have
been featured. and to be included in
their ranks is definitely a
Mr. Franks will appear as the
featured author at the Catoosa
County Library, 108 Catoosa Cir.,
Ringgold, on Tuesday, April 25. He
will be on hand to visit with book
enthusiasts beginning at 5:30 p.m.
with the program starting at 6 p.m.
"A Badge or an Old Guitar shares a
small-town story of police officer
James Randall who finds his
anticipated path in life blocked
unexpectedly," he said. "Within the
midst of this experience, he is
catapulted into the middle of Music
City where his formally hidden
musical talents place him in demand
to fans and industry executives but
also to Nashville police as he finds
himself in the midst of a murder
The multiple music halls of fame
entertainer said he had a lot of fun
bringing together his background as
a Nashville music artist and his
interest in mysteries.
Mr. Franks is a nationally known
syndicated columnist reaching
readers through the South and
Midwest each week with his Southern
Style column which is found also at
. He is an
award-winning journalist who has
authored nine books including A
Mountain Pearl, a collection of
Appalachian stories inspired by his
late mother, cookbooks, a three-book
series on encouragement, and several
celebrity autobiographies that he
co-authored. The most recent
features the 100-year-old Silver
Dollar City fiddling star Violet
Hensley entitled Whittlin’ and
Fiddlin’ My Own Way.
Catoosa County Citizens for Literacy
and the Catoosa County Library
co-sponsor the annual One Book, One
Community to raise awareness about
reading and engage the community in
discussions about specific books.
Readers can check out a copy of the
book at the library, stop by the
Catoosa County Learning Center, 36
Muscogee Trail, in Ringgold, or on
the web at
and purchase a copy or purchase a
download an e-book at
Locally books are also available at
Sonshine Christian Bookstore in Fort
Oglethorpe, UnikTings!, Stuff 4
Less, and Cottage Treasures in
Readers are encouraged to join
Franks as he shares about his book
at the library and the Dual County
Defenders act out a scene from the
For more information about the
event, call the Library 706.965-3600
or the Learning Center
How to participate:
Read the book;
Engage with other readers on Twitter
(@RandallFranks) and on Facebook at
either Catoosa Citizens for Literacy or
Randall Franks - A Badge or an Old
Start a conversation; and
Attend CCL and Catoosa County Library
One Book One Community night with author
Randall Franks on Tuesday, April 25, at
Pennies for Prom in Need of Dresses
Three years ago--3 weeks before prom--Shay Love
got a call from the schools asking her help for
some local kids who couldn’t afford to attend
prom. After seeing this major need in the
community, she decided to make it an annual
fundraiser. She is partnering with the PLC in
Fort Oglethorpe to help get a list of students
in need. Along with Shay’s work and
donations—monetary and dresses--from the
community, Southern Charm is helping with Tuxedo
rentals for the boys.
She estimates that
between 20-25 seniors in Catoosa County will
need assistance with prom expenses—dresses,
tuxes, tickets, etc. Ladies, if you have any
prom, bridesmaids, or formal dresses that you
know you aren’t going to wear again, or some
dress shoes that you wouldn’t mind parting with,
this is a great way to give them new life!
Monetary donations can
be made at First Volunteer Bank to the “Pennies
for Prom” account. That money is designated to
help pay for tuxedo rentals and prom tickets,
and any money left over will go toward cap and
gown purchases for graduating seniors in a
financial bind. Please consider giving anything
you can to help make prom a great experience for
all Catoosa County students!
information, like them on Facebook or
Contact Shay Love:
(706) 965-2378 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shay is taking
dress, shoes, jewelry donations at 31 RBC Drive
behind the Remco shopping center in Ringgold,
across from the bus barn. Larger size dresses
are needed--14 and up.
Citizens for Animal Care to Host Pet Adoption
oriented Pet Adoption Event will be held by
Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care on Saturday,
May 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.am.
The event will
be held at Pet Sense in Ft. Oglethorpe next Home
Depot and behind the IHOP Restaurant.
There will be dogs and cats available for
adoption. There will also be games for children,
such as face painting and cornhole. Fire
departments and police departments will also be
attending to talk to the children.
New Restaurant in the Hands of the City Council
The fate of a new
restaurant in Ringgold is up in the air after
the city council recently denied a variance
request pertaining the appearance of the
In a March 27 public
hearing, local businessman Emerson Russell
requested two variances from the council: the
first to allow for a metal exterior on the
building of a new restaurant he's having built,
and the second asking for permission to erect a
sign larger than what the city ordinance allows.
Following a long back
and forth with the mayor and council, Russell
wound up one for two in his requests.
The requests were
related to a new Farm to Fork restaurant planned
next to the Hampton Inn hotel off Battlefield
Parkway, which was also a Emerson Properties
The existing Farm to
Fork at 118 Remco Shops Lane is one of the
city's most popular eateries, and Russell stated
he's been working with the owners of the
restaurant to build a newer version right off
the 350 exit.
"It's going to be a very
decorative building," Russell said. "I think
it's going to be a real good looking building
for Catoosa County and for Ringgold. Part of the
building is going to be metal. We obtained a
building permit with the understanding that we
were going to ask for this variance. We're
spending a lot of money, a little over a $1.75
million on this building and its contents. It's
a 10,000-square-foot restaurant with outdoor
seating on the side of the Hampton Inn there."
Mayor Nick Millwood and
all the members of the council welcome the idea
of the new restaurant, but having metal on
portions or the back facade of a new building
would be against the city's ordinance.
"I'm so happy that this
particular business is moving up there because
if there's anything I hear in our community,
it's the need for a nice, sit-down, steakhouse
type restaurant, so I'm happy you're looking at
trying to put this type of business there,"
Councilwoman Sara Clark
added that she too is in favor of the eatery as
long as it falls in line with current building
"As a former member of
planning and zoning, when we made these metal
building rules, it was for a reason. ... It was
to have all the buildings in Ringgold that you
could see from roads like Battlefield Parkway
look appealing," Clark said.
Renderings of the front
of the building included very appealing siding
and nice landscape. Clark asked if Russell and
his group could make the back of the building
look the same as the front so it would comply
with the ordinance and be more inviting to
people who would see it while traveling along
"We could, but it's cost
prohibitive for us to do that, you're talking
about another $50,000 or more," Russell said.
"It's going to be a very good-looking building
and something that everybody is going to be very
proud of once you go up there."
Russell said there are
landscaping plans in place to cover up a lot of
the back of the building.
"We will have some trees
and stuff up there to soften that look up, plus
the Farm to Fork sign is going to take away from
a lot of that," Russell said. "Everybody also
needs to keep in mind that I'm putting the
Spring Hill Suites up there behind the Hampton
Inn, so you want everything on that road to look
first-class, which is what we're trying to do.
On the back side of it, there are freezers and
things that are going to be on the back that
we'll need to cover up. There will eventually be
another building that will block part of the
view from the interstate anyway. In the future,
probably 70 to 80 percent of the building won't
be able to be seen from Battlefield Parkway."
Councilman Jake Haynes
admitted he too is excited about the restaurant,
but that it should be closer to what the
ordinance calls for.
"We want it to look a
little more finished than just a metal
building," Haynes said. "We want to work with
you. ... It's a great-looking building and we're
happy it's coming. We're willing to compromise
on some things, but we want it to look better."
Russell said adding
vinyl siding to the building would degrade its
value, which prompted Haynes to suggest adding
some of the hardy board-type siding similar to
what is planned for the front entrance of the
"That'd mean spending
another $50,000 to $60,000, and I'm just not
willing to do that," Russell said. "I'll just
stop the project. When you pull up to this
building, you're going to be going in the front
door. ... You don't go in the back door. From a
business standpoint, when people pull up there
to the building, you want it to be inviting,
which is what it's going to be. If we downgrade
that, it's going to downgrade the operation.
It's going to have a full sit-down bar, meeting
room, outdoor areas. I'm already about $400,000
over budget, and I'm just not willing to put
much more into this thing."
Towards the end of the
discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford
suggested holding off on a vote so Russell's
design team could take some time to possibly
adjust some of the details for the problem areas
of the building, but Russell insisted on a vote
"I'd rather y'all just
go ahead and do it (vote)," he said.
Councilman Larry Black
motioned to approve the request and added that
he trusts Russell when he says he'll make the
building as presentable as possible.
"Based on his past track
record, I would like to make the motion that we
approve the variance tonight, and we can make it
contingent on him dressing that up and blocking
the view from Battlefield Parkway," Black said.
"You've got my word,"
Russell replied. "We're not going to leave it
bare. We want it to be warm and pleasing to
The variance request was
denied by a 3-2 vote, with Black and Crawford in
favor of the request while Clark, Haynes, and
Randall Franks voted no.
Russell was less than
pleased with the outcome.
"I plan on deannexing
all my properties from the city, thank you," he
said before walking out of the courtroom.
Even though Russell had
already left, the council still took the time to
vote on the sign variance request for the
restaurant and unanimously approved allowing a
sign that is 16 square feet larger than what the
"In case Mr. Russell
decides that he re-thinks this and wants to do
something different, I move that we do allow
that variance for the sign," Clark said. "We
really have a long range plan for Ringgold, and
this end of Battlefield Parkway is going to
showcase where Ringgold is going. I just think
that needs to be dressed up more than just a
metal building. It needs to look better than a
metal building. I'm looking to the future, and
anything you put up there that meets those
standards we've set would just look so much
Couple Pleads Guilty for Death of Catoosa County
RINGGOLD, Ga. — An upstate New York couple
accused of taking a Navy veteran's money to buy
leaving him for dead
near Chickamauga Battlefield pleaded guilty
Robert Martin Brooks
pleaded in Catoosa County Superior Court to a
charge of voluntary manslaughter, receiving a
sentence of 20 years in prison. Within about an
hour, Jennifer Allison DeMott also pleaded
guilty. A prosecutor and her lawyers settled on
a charge of aggravated assault, putting her in
prison for 10 years.
Attorneys on both sides
prepared to pick a jury for a joint trial Monday
morning when they finally reached agreements.
The case against Brooks and DeMott began in
December 2015, when hikers found 59-year-old
Duane Hollenbeck dead near a trail in the
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
"This was as big a shock
to me as it was to everybody else," Lookout
Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District
Attorney Alan Norton said. "Eleventh-hour pleas
are sometimes reached, but rarely in a case like
Brooks and DeMott both
faced five charges, including malice murder. If
convicted of that offense, they would have gone
to prison for life. Attorneys for both
defendants said the plea deals at least give
them a chance to be free, eventually.
"There was a mountain of
circumstantial evidence," said Michael Webb,
Webb said he approached
the prosecutors last week about reaching a plea
deal. He said Norton's boss, District Attorney
Herbert "Buzz" Franklin, was not interested in
the offer of a reduced charge. Webb is not sure
what changed Monday, and Franklin did not return
a call or email late Monday evening.
DeMott received a
shorter punishment because police and
prosecutors did not find any evidence that she
killed Hollenbeck. Rather, she told
investigators she waited in the car while Brooks
led Hollenbeck toward the trail in the national
park. Brooks returned alone, telling DeMott he
hit the victim across the face with a rock.
DeMott said their original plan had been to
abandon him, unscathed.
The crime spree began
Dec. 5, 2015. DeMott, whose late mother dated
Hollenbeck, asked if he would drive with her
from Dryden, N.Y., to somewhere in the South.
She was dropping her boyfriend, Brooks, off at
some spot in the Bible Belt. It's not clear
where specifically they were going, but DeMott
said she didn't want to travel along with
"You can drink and get
some [women]," DeMott wrote to Hollenbeck,
according to text messages Georgia Bureau of
Investigation Special Agent Steve Rogers Jr.
reviewed during a March 2016 hearing in the
The three drove through
Tennessee. Rogers testified last year that video
footage from some banks showed Brooks
withdrawing money. Bank records also showed
Hollenbeck's account slowly draining, as
withdrawals of up to $700 at a time bled from
Hollenbeck, a Navy
veteran who struggled with alcohol abuse, had
suffered problems with his liver, Rogers said.
He also relied on a walker to get around. Some
days, he needed a wheelchair.
Rogers said Brooks and
DeMott wanted to use the cash to buy
methamphetamine, which they would sell at a
higher price back in New York. At one point,
while the two arranged a drug deal in a Wal-Mart
parking lot, according to a witness in the case,
Hollenbeck yelled at some customers and urinated
in the parking lot in front of people.
"Were you able to
determine a possible motive for this particular
case?" Norton asked Rogers during the pretrial
"I believe so," Rogers
"What was that, sir?"
"Ms. DeMott and Mr.
Brooks just got tired of having to deal with Mr.
Hollenbeck's disabilities," Rogers said.
Eventually, the three
arrived in North Georgia.
A medical examiner
concluded that Hollenbeck died Dec. 8, 2015. Two
days later, his neighbor reported him missing
and told New York State Police she saw DeMott at
his house days earlier. Police contacted DeMott,
who said she and Brooks abandoned Hollenbeck at
a restaurant in Ringgold. On Dec. 12, 2015,
hikers stumbled across Hollenbeck's body in the
methamphetamine in his system, according to an
autopsy. Webb, Brooks' attorney, planned to
argue the attack was a "rage killing" because
his client and DeMott had also been smoking
methamphetamine. He believed Hollenbeck did
something to anger Brooks just as Brooks was
about to abandon him.
Ed Wilson, who planned
to be a character witness for Brooks, said he
was "just flabbergasted" when he heard his
former employee killed somebody. He said Brooks
is from the Knoxville area and worked for him at
a couple companies, first as a mortgage broker
and then as a local radio station's ad salesman.
Brooks was handsome and
charming, and eventually he got married and had
a couple of children. But about five years ago,
Wilson said, Brooks and his wife divorced. He
fell apart. Wilson didn't see him for a while
and heard Brooks had jumped around from one car
dealership to another, struggling to hold a job.
After the killing,
Wilson heard suggestions that Brooks started to
use methamphetamine. That made sense. The last
time he had seen him, Brooks said something
about needing money, something about going on a
trip across the country. He looked like he had
lost about 80 pounds. Wilson gave him $100,
"The look on him, it was
pretty obvious what was going on," Wilson said.
"As soon as I gave him money, he was out of
there like a lightning bug."
Crash Shuts Down I-75
CATOOSA COUNTY, GA — A
distracted driver causes a chain-reaction crash
on I-75 Saturday.
It happened around mile
Sgt. Chris Harris with
the Georgia State Patrol says a man was driving
down I-75 when he got distracted and pulled into
the lane of a motorhome.
Once he hit that, he
then tried to get into the outside lane but
ended a truck.
That truck rear-ended
another car, causing a chain- reaction crash
involving two others.
GSP says the driver is
charged with driving without a valid license,
failure to use due care, following too closely,
failure to maintain lane and too fast for
GSP says several were
hurt but are expected to be okay.
Lauren Alaina Gets First #1 Hit
Lauren Alaina scored her
first No. 1 single Wednesday when Mediabase
released its chart stats for the week of March
"Road Less Traveled" was
No. 1 on Mediabase country singles chart,
unseating Luke Bryan's current single, "Fast."
Alaina wrote "Road Less
Traveled" with her good friend, pop star Meghan
Trainor, and Jesse Frasure. The female
empowerment song encourages young women to be
proud of their bodies and not worry about
meeting expectations of others.
The song began getting
air time in October, had cracked the Top 15 by
January and has risen up charts since.
Mediabase is a music
industry service that monitors radio station
airplay in 180 U.S. and Canadian markets.
Mediabase publishes weekly charts and data based
on the most-played songs. The charts are the
source for several radio countdown programs in
multiple music genres.
The Ringgold, Ga.,
singer, who placed second in Season 10 of
"American Idol," just shot a video with rising
country singer Kane Brown for his single, "What
Ifs." The two were classmates together at
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. Alaina is
also featured on a track on Rascal Flatts' new
album, "Back To Us."
Long Returns to Fort Oglethorpe
Less than 18 months
after being hired to head Walker County's roads
department, Jeff Long is returning to Fort
Oglethorpe to dually serve as that city's Public
Works and Recreation departments.
Long worked for more
than 20 years for the city, and held those same
dual roles, before tackling the task of
supervising maintenance of Walker County's more
than 800 miles of paved roads.
"I love both Walker and
Catoosa counties," he said after submitting his
resignation to Commissioner Shannon Whitfield on
Wednesday, March 29.
Long began a career of
public service as a teenage volunteer
firefighter in Walker County. In a manner
similar to how he rose to become a battalion
chief with the fire department, Long worked his
way up from being a mechanic in the Fort
Oglethorpe maintenance department to being its
After assuming his
Walker County road department duties, Long has
continued to serve as an elected member of the
Catoosa County Board of Commissioners.
This is the second
department head to depart Walker for Catoosa
following November's general election. Randy
Camp, who after overseeing Fort Oglethorpe's
fire department was Walker County's fire chief
for 15 years, has been chief of the Catoosa
County Fire and Rescue Department since Jan. 1,
Family at Sacred Sounds
performers the Watkins Family will bring their
distinct sound to Sacred Sounds Fridays, April
7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ringgold Depot at Depot
Street and U.S. Highway 41 in Ringgold in a
special concert for the Share America Foundation
Inc. Also appearing will be Southern gospel
artist Channing Eleton. Randall Franks, "Officer
Randy Goode" from TV’s "In the Heat of the
Night" will emcee. Ticket donation is $10.
One of America’s best
loved acoustic music families, the Watkins
Family – Judy, Lorie and Todd – share gospel
music across the U.S. and Canada.
"The blessings that the
Lord shares as we continue to travel sharing his
story through song are amazing," Judy said.
The Atlanta Country
Music Hall of Fame members made a name for
themselves in the fields of gospel, bluegrass
and country music.
"Whether the Watkins are
performing on a grand stage with country stars
such as Diamond Rio, bluegrass festival or
National Quartet Convention in front of
thousands, they raise the spirits and hopes
through their harmonies," Franks said.
The family will include
new music from their upcoming release as well as
top hits from their latest CDs.
"There is no greater
blessing than working each day sharing His story
of salvation through song," Lorie said.
"While the musical
legacy of the Watkins family reaches back for
generations in the mountains of northeast
Georgia, their music today reflects the best in
harmonies and musical instrumentation that can
be heard," Franks said.
For more information, visit
Channing Eleton is a
two-time Southern Gospel Musician of Year and
Dove Award nominee.
"We are honored to have
someone who has blessed so many people with
their talents to be part of our efforts to
encourage youth," Franks said.
Eleton performed as the
pianist for the award-winning 2017 Gospel Music
Hall of Fame inductees Gold City for six years
averaging 220 concerts per year and also for
five years with Poet Voices.
He has performed on Bill
Gaither Homecoming concerts, at the Southern
Baptist Convention, Opryland and countless other
His successful solo
career was inspired by artists such as Rich
Mullins, Fernando Ortega and James Taylor.
Eleton said he pours
these influences into his own style sharing
stories of frailties and shortcomings in the
human condition, giving the listener hope
through the redeeming grace and love of Jesus.
"My calling is to tell
stories and my life experiences through this
music," Eleton said. "To share the hope and
mercy that I have found in Jesus. To go and tell
someone to 'not give up'. It's really that
His main instrument is
the piano and his concerts find him performing
mostly from the keyboard. He does, however, come
out front occasionally to sing a song while
playing the accordion or acoustic guitar.
For more info
For more information, visit
The event is a
fundraiser for the Pearl and Floyd Franks
Scholarship Fund. The Share America Foundation,
Inc., a Georgia non-profit, presents
scholarships to talented musicians who excel in
the Appalachian musical arts.
Donations for tickets are adults: $10, Children
12 and under free with adult. Tickets may be
purchased locally in advance during business
hours at SonShine Christian Books (706) 861-7675
in Fort Oglethorpe. For more information, Share
America Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 42 Tunnel
Hill, Ga. 30755 or
Catoosa County Father
at Odds with Trans-Aid Department
A Catoosa County father
has been at odds with the county's Trans-Aid
Department for the past couple of months after
learning that a policy evaluation will leave his
grown son without transportation to his mental
health facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
George Battersby says
his grown son, 41-year-old Patrick, has been
transported to the Aim Center in Chattanooga for
25 years by Catoosa County Trans-Aid, a service
that will come to an end on March 31.
"On March 10, I got a
hand-delivered letter from Trans-Aid Director
Jason Warren stating Catoosa County would be
suspending transportation for my son, something
they've done for 25 years," Battersby said
during a March 21 commission meeting.
Warren, who took over as
Trans-Aid director in 2016, notified the
commission around the first of the year that the
county had not been following the right
procedure for years by transporting people out
of the county.
"We've been violating
our own policy for some time," Warren said. "We
can look at taking him (Patrick) in a way that
fits our policy."
Warren and the
commission began working in January to remedy
the problem, which started the controversy with
the Battersby family.
County Manager Jim
Walker says he, Warren, and commission chairman
Steven Henry had been trying to come up with a
solution to the issue, but that nothing ever got
"Jason Warren was just
doing the job he was hired to do," Walker said
in February. "He discovered that we were
breaking our own policy, and we needed to fix
Battersby says Warren
offered for the Trans-Aid buses to take his son
to the state line where a CARTA bus could then
take him the Aim Center for his treatment, but
that that wasn't a sufficient alternative.
Battersby says the
biggest issue with the CARTA arrangement would
be that once Patrick was taken to the state
line, there is no guarantee that a CARTA bus
would be there at a certain time for a seamless
"I talked to CARTA about
it, and they said sometimes buses run late,
sometimes they run early," Battersby said. "I
can't leave my son out on the street waiting
around if the buses aren't ready to pick him up.
Patrick has paranoid schizophrenia. If he gets
worried about something or thinks a stranger or
someone is looking at him, he could get
paranoid. CARTA even said they wouldn't do that
because it's too much of a liability."
Battersby said that
Warren's subsequent suggestion of putting
Patrick in a home for those with disabilities
was also out of the question.
"On January 10, Jason
Warren suggested that I might consider moving my
son to Tennessee and sticking him in a group
home," Battersby said. "I was disgusted at that
suggestion. Putting my son in a group home is
not an option, period."
Battersby has attended
every commission meeting since Jan. 17 asking
that the commissioners stick to what they've
been doing for years in transporting his son,
but says he received the letter mid-March that
the services for Patrick would end on Friday,
"I'm not asking to break
the law. I'm asking to simply change the rule or
grandfather my son in," Battersby said. "Mr.
Warren told me these rules have been in place
for decades ... Well, change them. Get with the
times. I don't think we're asking too much. They
say people sometimes fall through the cracks,
and I'm not going to let my son fall through the
Patrick Battersby also
addressed the commission on March 21 asking for
the issue to be reconsidered.
"Please don't take my
ride away from me," Patrick said. "I've been
riding for 25 years, and they've been real good
Walker insists that the
county has offered multiple solutions to the
problem, and that the decision was made after
Battersby didn't want to compromise.
"We did provide him a
letter, and we'll be terminating that
transportation on March 31," Walker said. "The
folks with the Orange Grove facility here in
Catoosa County gave a great presentation the
other night during the commission meeting. We
would be willing to take Patrick there because
it's within our policy. We also tried to arrange
to take him to the state line and then have
Patrick transferred to the Aim Center by CARTA.
Mr. Battersby wants to go another route, but I
think we've done everything we can do. If
they're not willing to take advantage of the
services we provide or the alternatives we're
offering, there isn't much else we can do."
Battersby says Orange
Grove isn't a feasible option for Patrick
because its work differs from that of the Aim
Center. He said that such a switch in routine
wouldn't benefit his son.
As for his son Patrick,
Battersby says he's not really sure what the
family's next course of action is.
"Where it goes from
here, I truly don't know," Battersby said. "It's
a sad day for us. They could change it in a
heartbeat if they wanted to and we are sickly
disappointed. It was never an issue for almost
25 years. They (Catoosa Trans-Aid) go to
Chattanooga every day. ... They take blind
people up there to learn Braille, which they
should. They'll take somebody to Erlanger or
Parkridge to see a doctor. But they won't take
my son to the Aim Center anymore for treatment
on his brain injury. We're just asking them to
do what's right and proper, what they've been
doing for 25 years."
Cheeburger Cheeburger Collapses; No One Injured
Forward thinking and
caution taken by the owners of Cheeburger
Cheeburger may have prevented injury and saved
The building on Market
Street collapsed midday Wednesday, but no one
was inside at the time, the Chattanooga Fire
Department confirmed. And that was thanks to the
decision of the owners, Charlie and Rene Eich.
"If anyone would have
been in there at the time, they would have been
injured or killed," Garner said. "So kudos to
the owners of Cheeburger for making sure they
were being safe and for closing their business
down until they could figure out what was
A building inspector had
warned them of structural problems a few days
ago, Garner said, and as a precaution, the
owners closed the restaurant for business last
The owners heard noises
while outside the restaurant prior to the
collapse, went in to investigate and soon
exited, catching the collapse on video, he said.
Police blocked off the
northbound lanes of Market Street and the
portion of Aquarium Way that runs along the
building's south face. Officers taped off the
area, citing concerns over the entire
A structural engineer,
demolition contractor and representatives of the
city's building inspection office were brought
in as the demolition process began.
The crew will remove
loose parts of the building until they are
confident the remaining portion of the building
is safe to leave up, according to the release.
They are not sure at
this time if any of the structure can be saved.
"This may be a long
operation," Fire Chief Chris Adams said.
"They're going to tear it down incrementally and
evaluate periodically. If they can leave part of
the building up, they'll do that. If they're not
satisfied it's safe, they may have to tear it
all down. Safety is the number one priority."
shares an interior wall with the now closed
Genghis Grill and Chattanooga Ghost Tours Inc.
Firefighters were able
to bring out some of the owners' personal
belongings including computers, frozen food and
pictures before the demolition, according to the
"We're just glad —
miraculously — nobody got hurt," Garner said.
Catoosa County Storage
Unit Suspects Arrested
East Ridge police have arrested two suspects in
a Catoosa County storage unit theft.
Police found Ricky Barnette and Jennifer
Murray in room 359 of the Rodeway Inn on
Ringgold Road Ringgold Road Wednesday.
Both suspects were arrested on outstanding
warrants. Police found a weapon stolen from
Chattooga County, GA as well as items stolen
from the storage unit.
A search warrant was obtained, and police
for even more stolen property from storage
units and Chattanooga and Chattooga County.
The investigation continues, and East Ridge
Police Department spokesman Captain Tim
Mullinax says and additional charges are
Some of the recovered property is awaiting
PREVIOUS STORY: The Catoosa County Sheriff's
Office is asking for your help with
identifying a burglary suspect.
The Sheriff's Office released surveillance
photos that shows the suspect at a storage
Investigators believe the man may be
responsible for several thefts from storage
units across Catoosa County.
If you have any information about the man in
the picture, you're asked to contact
Detective Tim Deal with the Catoosa County
Sheriff’s Office at (706)935-2424.
Gordon Lee Substitute Investigation
Chickamauga City police and the Georgia
Bureau of Investigation are investigating
allegations that a substitute teacher at
Gordon Lee High School sent inappropriate
photos to students at the school.
Melody Day, the superintendent of
Chickamauga City Schools, tells Channel 3
that the school system received a phone call
approximately one week ago.
The caller reported a substitute teacher had
sent an inappropriate photo to a student.
The caller was the husband of the substitute
teacher, but school officials did not know
if the allegation was accurate or not, so it
was reported it to authorities.
The Chickamauga police, in conjunction with
the GBI, have been investigating the report
this past week, and the case is still open.
No charges have been brought against the
substitute teacher at this time. This is not
a regular employee of the school system, and
she had actually removed herself from the
substitute list a short time prior to the
report, stating she had received another
Family Fun at Rock Springs Farm for Special
Any family dealing with autism could tell
you just how challenging it can sometimes be
to spend time together in public spaces.
Children and adults with autism often
experience sensory overload while out at
amusement parks or at the zoo, but with
anything from loud noises to large crowds
able to trigger a meltdown, even trips to
small restaurants or Walmart can be
That's why Walker County resident Becky
Reaves has created the Furry Friends Farm
Zone, a sensory-friendly farm experience
that's fun for the whole family and tailored
to those with special needs.
Reaves has long seen the need for facilities
like her farm. Not only was her grandson
born with autism, but in her biological
mother and brother, whom she reconnected
with years after being adopted and who have
special needs as well.
As society has become more educated about
special needs, more public attractions, like
the Creative Discovery Museum in
Chattanooga, have developed sensory-friendly
activities in addition to their regular
programming to cater to this community.
Furry Friends Farm Zone, however, was
designed specifically for the special needs
community, with all activities geared toward
those with sensory issues said Reaves, whose
internship at the Chattanooga Autism Center
made her aware of such issues.
During festivals and events, the farm avoids
anything that might trigger an overload —
whether it be bright lights or balloons that
could pop loudly. If someone does have an
overload, the farm has a quiet area where he
or she can rest in a cocoon hammock and
recompose before rejoining their family.
This area, called the Peaceful Zone, is one
of the six unique sections the farm offers.
Right now, families may visit the Pet Zone,
where they can meet animals like miniature
horses, goats, alpacas, rabbits, chickens,
pigs and more. Touching animals with
different coats can provide much-needed
tactile exposure for those with special
needs, Reaves said.
Many of the other zones incorporate that
same level of sensory exploration. The
Painting Zone, for example, houses paint
mixed with sand and various textures to
paint on, and the Play Zone is home to
several fun activities that focus on
developing gross and fine motor skills.
Other zones include the Plant Zone, the
Picnic Zone and the Perception Zone, where
visitors can experiment with different
sights, sounds and smells. There are three
more zones in development: the Puppy Zone,
the Play Zone and the Patio Zone.While
providing a therapeutic getaway for those
with special needs and their families, the
Furry Friends Farm has also created an
environment where adults with special needs
can work. Through its Farmers in Training
program, the farm has given three locals
ages 22-26 a place to learn teamwork and
other important social lessons while taking
care of the grounds and its animals.
"I enjoy working with the animals here,"
said Nate Jones, 22, who tends to the farm's
birds when not working on team projects like
moving lumber. "I love helping Mrs. Becky.
This is fun to me. Instead of staying at
home and being a couch potato, it gets me
Though the position is only voluntary, Jones
hopes it will eventually prepare him for a
paid position elsewhere; as does his
co-worker, Caleb Coulter.
"One of the best benefits from working here
would have to be learning the trade skills
every day," said Coulter, 22, who waters the
plants. "Not just farming, but [learning]
how to socialize well with others and how to
maintain those skills and use them in the
workforce or life."
Reaves is also working with the judicial
system to extend the farm's benefits to
at-risk youth. By making farm work an option
for fulfilling community service
requirements, she hopes to give non-violent
juvenile offenders a purpose that could
deter them from going down the wrong path.
The teens and pre-teens would be doing a
variety of tasks from cleaning pens to
building rabbit cages, but they would
primarily be learning to care for the
animals, she said.
"If you can get youth involved with animals
and help them find a purpose there, it
creates a bonding [experience] and you stand
a better chance of keeping them off the
streets and making bad choices," Reaves
Though the farm has been accepting visitors
since August 2016, it is still in an ongoing
opening process, said Reaves. Some of the
zones have not yet been constructed, and
funds are still needed to get the facility
up and running in its entirety. Donors will
be able to have an engraved brick placed in
the coming patio to honor or memorialize a
"Any support we have from the community in
sponsoring these areas will help us to get
this in place much more quickly," she said.
"I would like to snap my fingers and have
everything in place tomorrow, because the
need is great."
The goal is to have everything ready by
later this spring. In the meantime, Reaves
invites everyone — whether they have special
needs or not — to spend a day at the farm.
Furry Friends Farm Zone is at 1750 Highway 95 in
Grant Presented to
Battlefield Primary School
A grant Battlefield Primary School was
recently awarded is already paying dividends
in the classroom, according to Principal
The school won a $5,000 grant through State
Farm Insurance with the assistance of Erin
Crane, a local State Farm agent who has a
student at the school. The grant has been
used to further STEM activities and improve
reading and math comprehension for students
who are struggling, Rhodes said.
The biggest purchase for the school was a
series of intervention kits. The kits are a
series of extracurricular learning materials
designed to help teachers identify specific
needs in students who aren't performing at
their grade level in reading or math. With
the aid of the kits, the teacher can
instruct students either one-on-one or in a
small group setting to target their needs
and help the students understand what
they've been missing.
"Our sole goal with these is to get as many
kids reading below grade level up to at
least grade level," said Rhodes. "The math
intervention kits are the same story."
For example, Rhodes said a student might be
struggling with phonetic awareness, or how
to break a word down into its specific
sounds. The corresponding kit would include
scripted materials and visual aids for the
teacher to better explain the concept to the
In addition to the intervention kits, the
school purchased Osmo programs for students'
tablet devices designed to introduce them to
the basic concepts of computation and coding
to better prepare them for a technological
world. The school experimented with the
software on a small scale last year, and
Rhodes said it was a smash hit with the
"They love it. They don't realize they're
learning while they use it," he said.
Progress has already been visible. Based on
benchmark tests the school does three times
a year, there has been improvement in
reading and math comprehension above what
the school saw last year. Rhodes credits at
least part of that to the intervention kits.
Rhodes has more goals to further improve
Battlefield Primary's STEM offerings,
including e-book Accelerated Reader programs
for every student, and a variety of lessons
and activities centered around the school's
community gardens. Hopefully, with
additional grant money down the road, he
said, the school will work on making those a
Georgia Teachers to Get a Salary Increase
would get a 2 percent salary increase while
state employees that handle child welfare cases
will see a 19 percent raise under a House budget
The chamber approved the plan on Friday,
largely agreeing with Gov. Nathan Deal's
recommended $49.3 billion spending plan. Of
the total, nearly $25 billion comes from the
state with the rest coming from federal
The plan continues previously announced 20
percent raises for state law enforcement.
The plan also includes more than $1 billion
of planned projects around the state,
including local schools and colleges, a new
crime lab in Savannah and construction of a
new campus for Lanier Technical College in
The Senate now begins working on its version
of a spending plan.
Needs Your Help Finding Suspect
The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office is
asking for the public's help to identify man
suspect of taking a woman's wallet.
Detectives tell Channel 3 that the woman
left her wallet on the counter and it was
reportedly grabbed by the suspect, who used
the newspaper to conceal the theft.
The theft happened at the BP gas station at
10960 Hwy 41 and I-75 at 10:40am on February
27. The photos were posted on the
department's Facebook page.
The suspect’s vehicle is believed to be an
older model green Ford Mustang LX.
Anyone with any information about the
suspect is asked to contact Detective Tim
Busby with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s
Office at 706-935-2424.
High Speed Chase Ends in Fort Oglethorpe
Wednesday night around 11:00 p.m. a Hamilton
County Sheriff's deputy attempted to make a
stop for a traffic violation on Standifer
Instead of stopping, the driver took off
leading authorities on a chase that went
across the state line into Georgia ending
off of Cloud Springs Road.
During the chase, the driver, Phillip Wayne
Koger, tried several time to damage the
patrol units chasing him. Two Hamilton
County Sheriff's Office patrol units did get
The chase ended in Fort Oglethorpe when
deputies stopped Koger's vehicle after it
started having mechanical issues.
Deputies were able to get Koger from the
vehicle even though he was resisting arrest.
He was taken to a local hospital for medical
review and then to the Hamilton County Jail.
A search of Koger's vehicle revealed several
weapons, cash and narcotics.
Koger had outstanding warrants in both
Hamilton County and Georgia. He was booked
on numerous drug related offenses as well as
aggravated assault and other criminal
traffic related charges. More charges could
be pending as the investigation continues.
Numerous law enforcement agencies were
involved in Wednesday'night’s efforts
including the Fort Oglethorpe Police
Department and the Georgia State Patrol.
Bill Approved by Georgia
House for Domestic Violence Victims
domestic violence could change their names
privately under a bill approved by the
voted unanimously Monday in support of the
proposal from Rep. Mandi Ballinger,
R-Canton. The Georgia Coalition Against
Domestic Violence has also supported the
READ MORE | House
backs bill for domestic violence victims
Smith-Burk is the group's director of public
policy and says the change would give
advocacy organizations another tool to help
victims stay safe.
Name changes now
are required to be listed in public court
documents. Smith-Burk says that's
frightening for victims who worry that an
abusive spouse or partner will continue to
"They will try to find any way. If they want
to find them they're going to do whatever
they can to try to find those victims. And
that's the reason we try to come in and
offer a safe shelter or anything that we can
to help this process or keep the victim
safe," Northwest Georgia Family Crisis
Center Director Katora Printup said.
The bill would allow
a judge to keep name-change records sealed in
domestic violence cases.
Friday marks a key
deadline for lawmakers. Bills must pass at least
one chamber to remain alive
Ringgold Business Owners Finds
Purple Heart in
It was an emotional morning in Ringgold
on Thursday, March 9, when a local
business owner was able return a
long-lost Purple Heart award he found in
a storage unit to the family of a
deceased military hero.
A few years ago, Budget Moving & Storage
owner Paul Lee found a military Purple
Heart award in one of his abandoned
storage unit. Rather than tossing it out
with some of the other unwanted
property, Lee says he kept it at his
office hoping to one day find the owner
of the award, which is given to those
wounded or killed while serving in the
"We actually found this in a unit that
was abandoned two or three years ago,
but I kept it on a shelf in my office,"
Lee said. "I was cleaning up that shelf
recently and remembered we had it. Then
I contacted the VA in Chattanooga,
Tenn., and was told they usually just
dispose of them."
All Lee had to go on was the name of the
recipient, Derrell O. Fuller, which is
inscribed on the back of the heart.
Earlier in the week, Lee was finally
able to get in touch with Fuller's
nephew, Wayne, who hot-footed it down to
Ringgold to recoup the piece of his
"About three weeks ago I was contacted
by a group called Purple Heart Reunited
saying that they had found a Purple
Heart with my uncle's name on it in an
abandoned storage building," said Wayne
Fuller. "They'd done some ancestry work
and found out that I was the next of
kin. Derrell was my father's brother.
Tuesday, we hopped in the car from
Arkansas, and here we are."
An emotional Fuller could only muster a
"wow" when Lee handed him the box
signifying his uncle's sacrifice.
"I'm thrilled," Fuller said. "I actually
brought the letter my grandfather
received when they reinterred him in
France. This all is going to be put in a
shadowbox with the Purple Heart and hung
on my wall with my father's stuff."
Fuller says his uncle was one of five
brothers, who all served in WWII at one
time, and was the only one who didn't
make it back home.
"He was killed in Germany about three
weeks before the end of WWII, and then
they reburied him along with 23,000
other men in France at one of the
cemeteries. The family actually lived in
a little town south of Ringgold, called
Cisco in Murray County. They came out
here from Oklahoma."
Decades after his passing, Fuller is
ecstatic to have something so important
back in his family's possession.
"I'm very, very thankful about this," he
said. "I'm getting emotional, which is
hard to believe after 70 years. My uncle
only had one child who died in 1995. I'm
thrilled to death and shaking honestly.
It could have just been discarded or
whatever, but I'm thankful he (Lee)
pursued it and we were able to locate
Lee, who's owned his storage company on
U.S. Highway 41 for years, says he's
uncovered a lot of items in his time
there, but never anything so meaningful.
"They say another man's junk is another
man's treasure. ... Today he got a true
treasure," Lee said. "I'm happy that
it's back to the family."
Fuller says he's eager to get back home
and display it for the rest of his
"Once I get home, I'm going to Hobby
Lobby, and in a shadowbox it'll go."
Before Man was Shot and
Rossville couple who live near the
house where a
man was shot and killed
Wednesday say they heard a gunshot
earlier that day.
Robin Borders and her husband David
live on Gordon Street. Their house
is diagonal to where the shooting
occurred, 408 State Line Road, about
1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The couple said they heard a gunshot
about 8 a.m. that day. They called
police, who searched the area but
did not find the source of the shot.
The couple said they routinely hear
a loud ruckus of activity in the
area at night and into the early
Later that day, at the time of the
murder, the couple heard one ---
possibly two --- gunshots, Robin
Robin said they heard a woman
screaming and went outside, where
they found a red-haired woman bent
over a man laying on the ground and
Robin said she called Walker County
911, as well as an older woman from
the victim's residence.
Robin said she and her husband did
not see the shooter or the shooting.
She said the red-haired woman told
her she knew who the shooter was and
that he fled the scene.
Robin said the victim was not
breathing and was bleeding from the
ear. "It was awful," Robin said.
Vehicles Broken Into
on Cloud Springs
Catoosa County sheriff's
detectives are investigating an
incident in which someone broke
into multiple vehicles in a
parking lot on Cloud Springs
According to the Sheriff's
Department, the incident
occurred just before 7 p.m. on
Tuesday, March 7, when a person
discovered vehicle windows
busted out in business parking
The initial victim said she was
working out at Eubank's Boot
Camp to exercise when a person
walked in claiming multiple
vehicles had been vandalized.
The woman found her front
passenger-side window busted out
and her purse missing, reports
Deputies spoke with two other
victims, who discovered their
vehicle windows had also been
busted out, with purses and
other items missing.
All three vehicles were entered
between 6:28 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
Later in the evening, when the
victim was cleaning broken glass
from her Chevrolet Tahoe, she
noticed a smear of blood in the
vehicle, which she believed
might belong to the offender.
Detectives took a sample of the
blood for testing.
The value of the stolen property
is still undetermined, but the
victims stated they had cash,
credit cards, drivers licenses,
and checks in the purses at the
time of theft.
One victim even stated she had
her wedding ring and anniversary
band in her purse when it was
Anyone with information in the
case in encouraged to contact
the Catoosa County Sheriff's
Department at 706-935-2424.
Catoosa County Man Indicted
on Federal Drug
A Catoosa County man arrested in January for
attempted murder has been indicted on
federal drug charges in Tennessee and might
have to pay back more than a quarter-million
dollars in illegal drug money.
Wesley Gage Weldon, 41, of Ringgold, was
captured Jan. 26 following a two-day manhunt
that involved him running from police when
they tried to arrest him on active warrants
that included attempted murder, kidnapping,
false imprisonment, and theft.
A little more than a week later, the Drug
Enforcment Agency hit Weldon with the
federal drug charges.
According to the indictment, Weldon faces
charges of methamphetamine distribution and
possession of at least 500 grams of
methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The indictment claims Weldon raked in
$255,000 in cash through illegal drug sales,
a sum prosecutors want to get back if he's
Following a two-day manhunt, Weldon was
tracked to a Walker County residence where
he was taken into custody on Thursday night,
The federal charges stem from an
investigation from 2015-16, in which Weldon
allegedly provided an undercover agent with
at least an ounce of meth and claimed he
could get more.
The case involved Weldon meeting with the
undercover agent in Hamilton County, Tenn.,
in January 2016 and allegedly trying to
facilitate a deal to supply the agent with
large quantities of meth.
Weldon, the brother of Ringgold attorney and
former House District 3 state representative
Tom Weldon, has been denied bond, but was
moved to Gordon County jail in February.
The indictment adds to Weldon's ongoing
saga, which includes him allegedly holding a
man captive at his home while he and others
beat the man over accusations that he'd
stolen money and drugs from him.
The man was found wandering near Weldon's
home on Jan.13, which prompted Catoosa
County sheriff's detectives to take out
warrants for his arrest, and him
subsequently running from police Wednesday,
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives and
deputies tracked Weldon to his Potts Road
home that afternoon, at which time he
initiated a chase with police on a
While searching Weldon's home and property
after he fled, detectives discovered he had
stolen motorcycles in his possession.
In addition to the federal drug charges,
Weldon still faces attempted murder,
kidnapping, false imprisonment, and theft by
receiving stolen property charges in Catoosa
Ringgold Man Back
Behind Bars After Taking Drugs to Meeting
with Parole Officer
A Ringgold man out of jail on parole
landed right back behind bars late after
allegedly arriving to a meeting with his
parole officer with numerous drugs in
his car, police say.
According to the Catoosa County
Phillip Glenn Hooten, 22, of Riddle
Circle, was arrested March 2 on charges
of possession of marijuana (more than an
ounce), possession of marijuana with
intent to distribute, two counts of
possession of methamphetamine,
possession of tools for the commission
of a crime, and a parole violation.
Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 2, the
sheriff's office was notified that
Hooten had been taken into custody at
the Catoosa County probation office in
Ringgold for a probation violation.
After being arrested, Hooten admitted to
police that he also had a large quantity
of marijuana and other drug-related
materials in his vehicle.
When detectives searched Hooten's car,
they found two containers of marijuana,
one container of methamphetamine, two
sets of digital scales, a glass smoking
device, plastic bags, and over $2,500 in
Hooten also had two cell phones and $500
in cash in his pockets, reports show.
All the drugs and cash were seized as
evidence and Hooten was taken to jail
Craig Morgan to Headline Honeybee Festival
Lafayette, according to City Manager
LaFayette has booked country musician Craig
Morgan as the headliner for the June 3
The matter was discussed during the Feb. 13
City Council meeting.
The Tennessee native is known for several
hits, including "Almost Home," "Redneck
Yacht Club," "Little Bit of Life," and
Morgan is a U.S. Army veteran, television
host, and outdoorsman.
The city was able to book Morgan for a price
of $31,250 for the event.
He is the host of "Craig Morgan: All Access
Outdoors" on the Outdoor Channel.
There will be other headliner musical acts
as well, including Steppin Stones and Sons
Steppin Stones comes at a price of $2,250
and Sons of Sailors for $3,250
A host of talented local musicians in the
area will also be performing.
There will be arts and crafts vendors, food,
a free Kids Zone, inflatables, honeybee and
beekeeping tips, exhibits and
The three headlining acts will start around
6 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. show, and
Morgan to close it out at 9 p.m.
The first half of the day will be scheduled
"Our goal has been to get the headliners set
and work from there. This is a critical
component to the entire festival," City
Manager David Hamilton told the council.
Pigeon Mountain Trading Co. will sponsor the
event at $25,000.
CHI Memorial will be another big sponsor
with at a $10,000 sponsorship.
"We are still going to need more
sponsorship," Hamilton told the council as
the costs of the stage and advertising for
the event comes into play.
Councilman Ben Bradford said the previous
"Music on the Square" was a "tremendous"
event for the city and took time to perfect.
The difference, Bradford said, is this is a
city-funded event and the costs must be made
Councilwoman Judy Meeks asked if the funds
for the event come from the hotel-motel tax,
to which Hamilton said the advertising costs
would, but not for the concert itself. But
the main three headliners would be covered
by the sponsorship of CHI Memorial and
Pigeon Mountain Trading Co. as well as other
sponsors not named at this time.
Councilman Chris Davis said he has never
seen this much excitement for a local event
as he has seen with the organizers and
volunteers of the Honeybee festival.
The stage will be set on the north end of
the square between Patten Street and North
Police Chief Bengie Clift said the street
closure of North Main at the square is
already confirmed with the state.
Mark Lindsay Looking to Resurrect His Career
It's been a long seven-year journey for
former Fort Oglethorpe building
inspector Mark Lindsay, who had his
theft conviction overturned last year
and is now looking for the opportunity
to resurrect his career.
"I'm not wanting to slam anybody,"
Lindsay said. "I just want the public to
know that I'm an innocent man. I have to
let the world know that I'm an innocent
The now 50-year-old Lindsay, who lives
in Rossville, made headlines in November
2010 when he resigned from his position
as Fort Oglethorpe building inspector
and turned himself into authorities
amidst theft allegations. Authorities
said he had received multiple gifts from
a woman who'd been embezzling funds as
manager of the Gateway Business Center
on Cloud Springs Road.
A little more than four years later,
Catoosa County Superior Court judge
Ralph Van Pelt Jr. presided over a bench
trial and found Lindsay guilty of seven
counts of theft by receiving stolen
property and not guilty on a charge of
theft by taking.
Lindsay was sentenced to 10 years in
prison, but got good news in March 2016
when the Georgia Court of Appeals
overturned the conviction making Lindsay
a free man. The Georgia Supreme Court
upheld that reversal in October 2016.
After nearly a year of freedom, Lindsay
says he's trying to rebuild his
reputation, but that he's hitting
roadblocks in that process.
"You know, I'm trying to get my career
back, and this whole case has ruined
me," Lindsay said. "I'm an innocent man.
I've been proven innocent. I'm trying to
get back to my life and all people see
is that I was arrested and that I was in
jail on those charges."
Lindsay says he also interviewed for his
old job recently, but that we was passed
over for the position.
The city did announce the hiring of Mike
Fowler as building inspector on Feb. 13,
along with new city manager Jennifer
Payne-Simpkins and new chief of police
Mayor Earl Gray didn't return calls
seeking comment on the matter Wednesday.
"I did what they (the city of Fort
Oglethorpe) asked me to do. ... I filled
out an application, turned in my resume,
sat through two interviews, and they had
their minds made up before I went in
that they weren't going to hire me,"
Lindsay added that when he was arrested,
then-city manager Ron Goulart told him
that he'd be willing to hire him back
when and if he was cleared of the
Goulart has since left the city and
currently serves as judge of Catoosa
County's State Court, but did confirm
that he indeed had all intentions of
giving Lindsay his job back.
"I told Mark that once he got the case
resolved, and if it was resolved in his
favor, that I wouldn't hesitate in
bringing him back because he'd done
everything the way it needed to be
done," Goulart said. "Mark didn't want
the cloud of those charges hanging over
his office, and resigned his post. I had
no issues with the work Mark did as
building inspector. He ran the
department very well, and the employees
he supervised respected him."
Lindsay added that he had the best
interest of the city in mind when he
"I love Fort Oglethorpe, and I resigned
because I didn't want to bring that
negative attention to the city," Lindsay
said. "I applied to work there again
recently because I still love the city
and wanted do that job there again."
Burglaries in Fort Oglethorpe
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives
are investigating a pair of storage
unit burglaries on the outskirts of
According to the Sheriff's
Department, the first incident
occurred on Mack Smith Road in
Rossville, while the second took
place on Service Lane in Ringgold.
The Mack Smith Road incident was
reported on Feb. 23, when the victim
told officers more than $1,200 worth
of property was taken from her unit.
Missing items included furniture and
The Service Lane incident was
reported on Feb. 26, and involved
the theft of nearly $15,000 worth of
tools, and electronics.
Anyone with information about the
two break-ins is encouraged to
contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's
Department at 706-935-2424.
Baseball Players to play in Second Annual
Children's Fund Classic
Local high school baseball players will
be able to help underprivileged children
in the community on Saturday, March 4,
when they play in the second annual
Children's Fund Classic to be held at
AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to Dr. Lamar Brown, director
of student services for Catoosa County
Schools, the event began last year and
was a huge success.
"It raised a lot of money for the
Catoosa County Children's Fund, which
I'm a board member of," Brown said.
The Children's Fund was created to
provide Catoosa County school children
and families with short-term needs such
as food, clothing, shelter, dental and
medical care, educational related
supplies or fees, or short-term
emergency needs in an effort to develop
their physical, mental, and emotional
health and welfare.
The inaugural Classic last year was a
big hit and gave players the chance to
play in a professional stadium like AT&T
Field, which is the home of the minor
league's Chattanooga Lookouts.
"Teams are excited to be a part of it,"
Brown said. "Last year were some of the
highest attended games in AT&T Field
history, and some of the largest crowds
ever to see high school baseball games."
Last year's classic included two games
featuring LFO, Gordon Lee, Heritage, and
Southeast Whitfield high schools.,
This year's event will see LFO,
Heritage, and Gordon Lee again in the
fold, as well as Northwest Whitfield,
Ringgold, and Ridgeland high schools.
Notable players involved in the games
include Ringgold High School junior
outfielder Andre Tarver, who is
currently committed to play collegiately
at Mississippi State; Heritage High
School junior pitcher Cole Wilcox, who
has been selected for the 2017 Under
Armour All-American Game to be played at
Chicago's Wrigley Field; and Georgia
Dugout Preview All-state players Rhett
Baldwin of Ringgold High School and
Ethan Clark and Chaney Rogers of Gordon
Lee High School.
In addition to the three games played,
the event will include a silent auction,
with all of the proceeds going to the
"All of it goes to the kids and their
families," Brown said. "Donations,
concessions, ticket sales, the silent
auction ... it'll all be put towards the
Brown says some of the silent auction
items include autographed memorabilia
from Hall of Fame baseball players Tom
Glavine and John Smoltz, as well a Sky
Box tickets to the Chattanooga Lookouts
and other items.
"We're still looking for people and
businesses to make contributions," Brown
Tickets to the event are $5 for the
entire day and can be purchased at the
Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, the
Catoosa County Board of Education
building, or in the guidance offices of
any of the participating high schools.
The action will kickoff at 11 a.m., with
gates slated to open at 10 a.m.
Schedule of games
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School
vs. Ridgeland High School at 11 a.m.
Ringgold High School vs. Northwest
Whitfield High School at 1:30 p.m.
Heritage High School vs. Gordon Lee
High School at 4 p.m.
Hixson, Tennessee Man Being Held in Catoosa
County Jail Without Bond
A man is being held without bond in the
Catoosa County jail after he was found in
possession of methamphetamine and a gun
during a routine traffic stop in Fort
Oglethorpe, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police
James Robert Lawhorn, 32, of Forest Plaza
Drive in Hixson, Tenn., was arrested on Feb.
19 on charges of possession of
methamphetamine, operating a vehicle without
a valid tag, driving while unlicensed, and
Just before 8 p.m. on Feb 19, Sgt. Michael
Cannon pulled Lawhorn over on Battlefield
Parkway after noticing an expired tag on the
2010 Ford Edge he was driving.
Cannon quickly discovered Lawhorn didn't
have a license, and shortly there after
discovered drugs in the vehicle.
Lawhorn admitted there was a gun under the
driver's seat of the vehicle, and claimed
ownership of a black box found in the car,
which included multiple plastic baggies, a
digital scale, and an undisclosed amount of
Lawhorn was also wanted for probation
violation on a separate meth possession
A passenger was traveling with Lawhorn when
he was pulled over, but claimed he'd met
Lawhorn earlier in the day and had no idea
drugs were in the car, or that his vehicle
and license were invalid.
Lawhorn corroborated the man's claim, and he
was released from the scene without being
Sheriff's Detectives Investigating
Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are
investigating a pair of recent
residential burglaries that resulted in
more than $2,000 worth of stolen
According to the Sheriff's Department,
two burglary calls came in two days
apart between Feb. 18 and 20.
The first occurred on Wright Circle in
Tunnel Hill, with the second taking
place on Quiet Hollow Lane in Ringgold.
In the Wright Circle incident, the
offender(s) made off with about $1,400
worth of tools after breaking into the
home through the front door.
The Quiet Hollow Lane break-in included
the theft of multiple electronics and
prescription medication after deputies
found the back door of the home pried
Anyone with information about either
incident is encouraged to contact the
Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at
and Nail Salon
If you’re thinking about reinventing
yourself, you might want to visit
Tootsie’s Hair & Nail Salon in Fort
Oglethorpe, then go next door and
outfit yourself in upscale Bohemian
at Tootsie’s Red Bird Boutique.
Both shops are named for Amy
Franklin Gunnoe’s mother, Tootsie
Kuritz, who established the hair
salon and helps with the businesses.
"I took over the salon around 1994,"
says Gunnoe, who is a licensed
master cosmetologist, "and we opened
the boutique last December."
Gunnoe finds her unique fashions for
her boutique at shows, The Mart in
Atlanta, and as far away as Arizona,
Las Vegas and California. "What we
have is unlike anything you’ll find
in normal stores. We carry all kinds
of leggings, long tunic tops,
dresses, vests, jewelry, purses. We
have clothes suited for everything
from going to ball games to a night
out on the town." Gunnoe says Easter
styles will be arriving soon.
Tootsie’s Red Bird Boutique also
carries a wide variety of sizes,
from small to 3X. "We cater to
plus-size women," says Gunnoe, "but
we carry regular sizes, too. And we
have clothes for all ages, from
children up to as old as you get. We
have customers in their eighties who
love our off-beat styles."
The name "Tootsie’s Red Bird
Boutique" has a sad but reassuring
origin. "My father always told my
mother and the rest of us that if
anything ever happened to him, he’d
find a way to let us know he was
okay," says Gunnoe.
Gunnoe’s father, Drew, passed away
several years ago. "At his funeral,
a red bird kept hovering around the
grave site," she says. "I later read
that when a cardinal appears, it’s a
visitor from Heaven. Over the years,
the cardinals just always seem to be
around, and that helps us feel close
to my dad."
The atmosphere in the shops is both
professional and relaxed, says
Gunnoe. "We lavish our customers
with attention and respect. We also
have a lot of people who just come
to hang out and visit. We laugh and
cut up and enjoy each other."
John Belanger, a master stylist who
specializes in clipper fades and
used to manage a franchise salon
located in Walmart, says he much
prefers working at Tootsie’s Salon.
"This is definitely not a
franchise," he says. "Tootsie’s is a
very personal and friendly place."
Tootsie’s Hair and Nails is a
full-service salon that offers
styling, coloring, highlighting,
perms, manicures and pedicures,
waxing and electrolysis.
Armed Robbery at Chickamauga Restaurant
A man with a handgun robbed a Chickamauga
restaurant Tuesday night, Feb. 21.
According to Police Chief Ronald Roach, the
robber entered the Great Wall Restaurant
about 10 p.m. and demanded money from the
The restaurant is in the Food Lion shopping
complex at 13311 U.S. Highway 27.
The robber fled with the cash and escaped by
running towards the back of the shopping
He is described as possibly Hispanic. He was
wearing dark clothing with a bandana
covering his face.
Basketball Show Coming to Ringgold High
Hoops and hijinks are coming to Ringgold
on Saturday, March 18, when our very own
local challengers, the Ringgold
Locomotives, take on the Harlem
Ambassadors in a comedy basketball show
the whole family will enjoy. The show
starts at 5 p.m. at Ringgold High School
Gym at 29 Tiger Trail.
Event proceeds benefit the City of
Ringgold and the Downtown Development
"We have scoured the region for skilled
– and sometimes unskilled – players to
take on the powerful Ambassadors," said
Downtown Development Authority Chairman
Randall Franks. "What our team lacks in
skill, they make up for in heart. Buy
your tickets today and you'll be able to
witness how our enthusiastic local
talent stacks up against the
Ambassadors. It's going to be match-up
we won't soon forget."
"The Ringgold Locomotives features
Elected Officials, Local Business
Owners, Radio D.J.’s and Area
Athletes…..to name a few."
The Harlem Ambassadors' show features
high-flying slam dunks, dazzling
ball-handling tricks, hilarious comedy,
music, dancing, games with kids in the
audience, and free autographs after the
Ambassadors have performed more than
2,800 comedy basketball shows as
fundraising and community entertainment
events for non-profit organizations, the
U.S. military and community service
groups since 1998. These events have
helped raise over $10 million for
communities in 50 states and 20
countries. The Ambassadors have appeared
at Pearl Harbor, Bosnia, Kosovo,
Sarejevo, Korea, Japan, the Marshall
Islands, Guam, the Federated States of
Micronesia, the Republic of Georgia,
Mexico, Germany, England and Canada.
Learn more about the Ambassadors' team,
history and tour schedule at
"We're proud to give communities quality
family entertainment that parents,
grandparents and kids can enjoy together
and make memories that last a lifetime,"
Harlem Ambassadors president Dale Moss
said. "Even people who aren't basketball
fans love our show because it's two
hours of fun and laughter for a great
cause. Plus, where else can you see your
neighbor, your co-worker, your
granddaughter's coach, or your son's
teacher play against professional
athletes? This is an event you do not
want to miss."
Oglethorpe Man Arrested After Hit and
A Fort Oglethorpe man was arrested
on drug and traffic charges after he
allegedly crashed into another
vehicle on Cloud Springs Road and
fled the scene, police say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe
Ralph Elisha Long, 40, of Jefferson
Avenue, was arrested Feb. 14 on
charges of possession of marijuana,
leaving the scene of an accident,
driving on a suspended license, and
following too closely. He has been
released from jail on bond.
The incident occurred around 9:36
p.m. on Valentine's Day when a man
called in a hit-and-run crash,
The man claimed he'd been struck
from behind by a green Cadillac
Eldorado and the black male driver
Officers located the vehicle a short
time later at Long's residence on
Jefferson Avenue, where Long
admitted striking the other vehicle.
Long told officers he thought the
victim was going to follow him to
his home, and that when the victim
didn't, he assumed it was because he
didn't want to file an accident
Officers could smell marijuana
coming from Long and from inside his
residence when they arrived. They
arrested him on the accident charges
as well as a minor marijuana
Brush Fire Along Battlefield Parkway
Walker County Emergency
Services, along with the Georgia
Forestry Commission, and mutual
aid from Catoosa, Rossville and
Walker State Prison firefighters
were able to contain several
large brush fires from burning
residences on Friday afternoon.
According to WCES Chief Blake
Hodge, on Feb. 17 around 2 p.m.
several fires were reported
along Mission Ridge Road in
A large brush fire was reported
behind Talley Construction on
McFarland Avenue in Rossville as
One residential structure and
outbuilding were in harm's way
of the flames, but firefighters
were able to contain the flames,
The GFC fought the fire using
water drops from helicopters,
The fires may have been caused
by a passing train in the area.
GFC is investigating the matter.
Mutual aid to WCES included GFC,
Catoosa County Fire & Rescue,
Rossville Fire Department, and
Walker State Prison Station 8.
Band to Hold BBQ Dinner
The Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
High School band alumni will
present Jim Souders' 70th
Birthday Party and BBQ
Dinner fundraiser, which
will be held at The
Colonnade in Ringgold on
The evening will feature a
BBQ fundraising dinner, a
roast of Mr. Souders and
entertainment by the Kevin
Roberts Jazz Quartet and two
other bands formed by LFO
"Jim and his wife, Jensi,
made it cool to be in the
band," said Event Planner
and LFO band alumni Wade
Cardwell. "And nobody won
more than we did at LFO."
Proceeds raised from the
event will go toward
endowing a fund to buy large
band instruments that are
difficult for a student to
purchase. Mr. Souders was
always sensitive to the
needs of economically
disadvantaged students that
might not have been able to
participate in the band had
he not subtly steered them
towards the band-owned
All three Catoosa County
high school band programs -
LFO, Heritage and Ringgold -
are being given a chance to
sell both to-go dinners and
a VIP Dinner to the Party,
both served by Farm to Fork
Restaurant in Ringgold. The
high school band program
selling the most will
receive an additional $1,000
for their band.
The public is also welcome
to come to The Colonnade and
buy BBQ dinners on
as long as the food lasts.
The LFO band alumni are also
offering the opportunity for
any Group interested in
selling tickets to the event
to use it as a fundraiser
for their organization that
will mutually benefit both
"We want any good
organization to be able to
benefit from the work that
is already being done," said
the group's social chairman,
Ann Gullage Anderson. "It
will help us raise more
money to endow The Jim
Souders Band Instrument
The two other bands schedule
to appear are
Promise, formed by LFO band
alumni member Gene Ingram
(Class of 1985) and Neil
Brock and the Cover Up,
which features LFO band
alumni member Ed Sloan
(Class of 1987).
Entertainment will begin at
while dinner and the roast
will begin at 6.
Entertainment is scheduled
to continue until
Tickets are $30 in advance
and $35 at the door the
night of the event.
Donations will also be
accepted for the endowment
fund from those unable to
attend the event in person.
For more information,
contact Wade Cardwell
5-Year-Old and 51-Year-Old Die in
Auto Accident in Walker County
A 5-year-old boy and a 51-year-old
man died Saturday in LaFayette when
their van crashed into a tree.
According to Georgia State Patrol
Post 41 in LaFayette:
On Saturday, Feb. 18, about 5 p.m.,
Christopher Adam Rowles was driving
a 2000 Chevrolet Venture minivan
west on Ga. Highway 136 when he left
the roadway while rounding a curve
near the Ponder Creek Road
intersection. He was traveling 55-60
mph. The vehicle traveled about 300
feet before it crashed into a tree.
Rowles, who was not wearing
seatbelt, was ejected and pronounced
dead at the scene.
Blake Hunt, who was seated behind
the driver's seat and was not
wearing a seat belt, was also
pronounced dead at the scene.
A 10-year-old boy, Brandon Hunt, was
in the passenger seat and wearing a
seatbelt. He underwent surgery and
remains in critical condition at
Children's Hospital of Erlanger in
Oglethorpe Pastor Joins Navy
After six years serving
as pastor of First
(PCA) in Fort Oglethorpe
– and at 41 years old –
Doyle Allen is joining
In December last year,
Allen appeared before
five ranking Navy
chaplains at the
Pentagon in Washington,
D.C. The officers
questioned him at length
to make sure he was
suited for the position
he sought – that of
chaplain, serving the
spiritual and emotional
needs of men and women
serving their country’s
"This is something
that’s been on my heart
for a long time," says
Allen. "The cut-off age
for becoming a Navy
chaplain is 42, so it
was now or never."
Allen had been meeting
with the elders of his
church for months before
his Pentagon visit,
discussing his plans and
seeking their counsel
and prayer. "The elders
were very supportive and
patient with the
process," he says.
Allen announced to his
congregation in January
that he would be leaving
for the Navy within a
"There’s a tremendous
need for chaplains in
the military," says
Allen. "You have men and
women, often as young as
18 years old, stepping
off buses, about to face
pressures they could
never have imagined,
things that may wound
and scar them for the
rest of their lives. My
job will be to walk by
their sides, to help
them spiritually and
emotionally. I’ll also
be there for the
commanders – military
service places great
strains on their
relationships and they
need to be emotionally
and morally strong for
those under them."
Allen will be leaving in
the middle of February
for training – five
weeks of officer
training in Newport,
Rhode Island, then seven
weeks of chaplain school
in Fort Jackson, South
Carolina. From there, he
and his family will be
moving to San Diego
where he’s been assigned
to his first post as an
official chaplain. He
doesn’t know yet if
he’ll eventually be
Becoming a pastor was
not Allen’s initial plan
for his life. "I had two
big loves," he says,
"the church and golf."
Allen worked at a golf
course for six years
early in his adult life
and dreamed of making a
living in the industry,
possibly as a greens
keeper and instructor.
But the idea of going
into ministry or
becoming a missionary
also played at the edges
of his mind.
"An elder at my church
suggested I go to
seminary," Allen says.
"He told me to give it a
shot for a year and see
if I liked it."
Allen enrolled at
Covenant College in St.
Louis, Missouri, and
found his calling. He
married while he was in
seminary, served two
internships to grow as a
leader and a pastor,
pastored a church in
West Virginia for five
years and finally ended
up in Fort Oglethorpe.
Allen says he feels his
two sons are old enough
now to weather the moves
that might be involved
as children of a Navy
dad. "My wife and kids
are all excited about
the new experiences and
opportunities that might
come out of this," he
situations don’t and it
makes demands of you
that other situations
won’t," says Allen. "In
the military, a chaplain
will find himself
ministering to people
who wouldn’t normally
end up in his church in
civilian life. In
addition, chaplains must
faithfully navigate a
"My job will be complex,
from a faith standpoint.
I’ll help and counsel
those who want that, but
there are times I’ll
need to find another
person to help someone –
somebody within their
faith or someone they’re
comfortable with. Yet,
I’ll be there for them
if they need me."
Allen says part of his
job will be to
facilitate freedom of
worship for everyone.
"The Navy never expects
me to compromise my own
faith, but it will be my
job to assure that not
only people of my
denomination but all
service members are free
to worship as they
Allen recently had an
experience in his own
church that he says was
instructive along these
lines. "A young lady
wanted to be baptized by
immersion," he says.
"That’s not how we do it
in a PCA church, but the
elders and I decided
that she was sincere and
fervent enough in her
desire that we should
work with her."
Allen contacted Neal
Brown, pastor of
Heritage Pointe Baptist
Church, because First
Presbyterian didn’t have
an immersion baptismal.
"He was gracious enough
to allow us to hold a
service at his church,
to use their baptismal
and to coach me on the
logistics of safely and
reverently performing a
baptism by immersion.
"When the apostle Paul
departed from the church
at Ephesus where he had
spent three years
teaching, it was a
says Allen. "He knew
there would be hardships
ahead. He was leaving
people he loved and who
had loved him. They
prayed and wept together
before he left. The
congregation at Fort
Oglethorpe has been
family to me. They have
loved my family and me
well, and we’ve loved
them. It’s a sad and
happy time all in one."
Churches from Catoosa,
Walker and Whitfield
County Come Together
At a time when the
struggling with deep
divisions among its
churches in Catoosa,
Walker and Whitfield
counties are bucking
On a rainy January
evening, members of
gathered at The
located in the
Office Depot mall in
Fort Oglethorpe, to
as one for unity
for the courage to
reach out to others,
and for the
commitment to walk
by one another’s
sides as mentors.
It was the second
time the churches
something they plan
to do several times
a year, but their
pastors have been
meeting with each
other every Thursday
September 2015. The
with Pastor Doyle
Allen of First
of Fort Oglethorpe,
Pastor Zach de Vaux
of The Orchard, and
of the Chattanooga
House of Prayer
quickly grew to
"The weekly meetings
are helpful to all
the pastors," says
de Vaux. "We get to
share our common
vision and goals,
and you know someone
is in your corner.
members a chance to
worship right down
"We wanted our
fellowship that we
experience at our
January gathering by
accompanied by a
praise band, then
they split into
groups of four or
five throughout the
dimly lit sanctuary,
mixing with members
of other churches
The murmur of
punctuated from time
to time by one of
the pastors reading
a scripture passage
"Helping pastors and
with one another and
unity in order to
bring about change
in their communities
is a major focus of
helps coordinate the
and attends most of
the pastors’ weekly
pastors are very
busy with their
often work other
ChattHOP, which has
helped launch prayer
can be found in the
Jeremiah 29:7: "But
seek the peace and
prosperity of the
city to which I have
carried you… Pray to
the Lord for it,
because if the city
prospers, you too
Along with Doyle
Allen and Zach de
Vaux, the pastors
and churches that
include Frank Kelley
with Oakwood Baptist
of Chickamauga, Neal
Brown with Heritage
Pointe Baptist of
Randy Jackson with
of Dalton, Mark
Gregory with Hope
Michael Savadge with
First Baptist of
"Every revival of
says Allen, "has
been preceded by
groups of Christians
asking God to
reawaken his people.
Coming together to
pursue Christ leads
to unification in
teaches us to model
the fruit of revival
we hope to see in
Situation Leads to Ringgold Man in
A man is in the hospital in after he
allegedly cut his own throat during
a hostage situation Saturday night,
Feb. 11, in Ringgold.
According to the Catoosa County
Sheriff's Department, the incident
occurred Saturday about 6:18 p.m. at
the Mega Star 4 gas station at the
corner of Mt. Pisgah Road and
Deputies were dispatched to the
scene after receiving a call that a
man was trying to cut people with
glass and had taken a hostage inside
the store, reports show.
When deputies arrived, 19-year-old
Jacob Elbert Gregory was the only
person inside the store.
Witnesses told officers that he'd
broken wine bottles and started
cutting himself in the throat area.
Deputies carefully entered the store
and found Gregory lying floor
covered in blood.
"Mr. Gregory was bleeding from his
neck," Deputy Coby Cunningham said.
Gregory actually jumped up at
deputies multiple times and was
tased twice before officers were
able to get him safely detained,
Gregory was taken to Hamilton
Medical Center in Dalton for medical
His mother also arrived at the scene
and told detectives she hadn't seen
her son since the day before.
"She said she dropped him off at a
friend's house and that he was
fine," Cunningham said.
On Saturday, before the incident,
Gregory's mother told police she got
a call from one of her son's friends
who claimed Gregory had possibly
tried cocaine for the first time,
and had been acting out of character
According to Capt. Chris Lyons,
Gregory is still in the hospital and
charges could be pending.
"He's in stable condition now,"
Lyons said. "Apparently the young
man just flipped out. We don't know
for sure if it was a drug situation,
mental health, or both. He was sent
to Hamilton in Dalton and later
flown to Erlanger in Chattanooga."
Man Arrested on Multiple Drug and
A Ringgold man was recently
arrested on multiple drug and
traffic charges after he
allegedly crashed his car while
driving DUI, and then abandoned
the scene, police say.
According the Catoosa County
James Preston Potter, 57, of
Dove Road, was arrested Monday,
Feb. 6 on charges of DUI,
drug-related objects, cocaine
possession, driving while
license suspended, failure to
maintain a lane, failure to stop
at the scene of an accident.
Potter has been released from
jail on bond.
Around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb.
5, sheriff's deputies were
dispatched to the intersection
of Ooltewah-Ringgold Road and
Cardinal Road, where they found
an unoccupied vehicle that'd
Deputies learned the vehicle
belonged to Potter, and that he
lived a couple of blocks away on
Shortly thereafter, Potter was
located at his home, but claimed
to have no knowledge about who
might have been driving his car,
"At first he stated he didn't
know, but then he said he had
been driving," Deputy Spencer
Slatton said. "I could tell that
he was under the influence
because he was unable to keep
balance while on his feet."
Potter claimed his car ended up
off the roadway because he had a
tire blowout while driving along
"Mr. Potter stated he had a
blowout and lost control of the
vehicle, but I did not observe
any of the car's tires to be
blown out or deflated," Slatton
Potter failed multiple field
sobriety tests, and it was
determined that he was under the
influence of drugs rather than
alcohol, reports show.
Eventually, Potter admitted to
taking Xanax before driving and
claimed that's what caused him
While searching the vehicle,
Slatton says he found a glass
smoking pipe with a brown
residue that tested positive for
GoFundMe Page for Walker County
The family of a man whose
remains were found Feb. 3
buried in a shallow grave in
Walker County have set up a
GoFundMe page to cover costs
of a memorial service.
On Friday, Feb. 3, human
remains were found buried in
a shallow grave at 3694 Ga.
Highway 157 in Rising Fawn.
The remains were later
identified as 23-year-old
Bradley Powell of
Chattanooga, who had been
missing since early December
As of Sunday morning, the
had raised more than $1,800.
The memorial service will be
Friday, Feb. 17, from 5-8
p.m. at Hamilton Funeral
Home at 4506 Hixson Pike in
Oglethorpe 5-Year-Old Found
Fort Oglethorpe police were able to
recover a missing child Monday
afternoon, Feb. 6, but the child's
mother is still on the run after
abducting him over the weekend.
Demarious Holloway of Fort
Oglethorpe is wanted on a charge of
interference with custody after she
allegedly botched a visitation with
the child, and failed to return him
to his custodial grandparent last
Detectives say Holloway picked up
her son, Brody Waylon Vincent, 4, on
Friday afternoon, Feb. 3, to spend a
few hours with him, and then never
returned the child and was without
contact for the entire weekend.
On Monday morning, detectives were
notified of the situation and began
looking for both Holloway and the
According to Lt. Steve Blevins, the
duo was located late Monday
afternoon in Rossville where the
child was recovered safely.
"We found them in Rossville, and the
child was fine," Blevins said.
"Officers were talking with the
mother about the situation and
strapping the child into a car seat
to take him back to his grandparent
when the mother took off from the
scene on foot."
Arrest warrants were then taken out
Anyone with information regarding
the whereabouts of Amanda Holloway
is encouraged to contact Fort
Oglethorpe Police detective Tammy
Davis at 706-866-2512.
Catoosa County Courthouse
Today in Georgia
From the archives of the Georgia
April 24, 1999 - Atlanta, Macon
The largest state sports hall of fame in the country is here in Georgia.
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame began in 1956, when the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association established the Georgia Prep Sports Hall of Fame, which honored high school administrators, coaches and players. The organization dropped the word “prep” in 1963, honoring collegiate and professional athletes as well. The state archives building in Atlanta became its first home, and the first three inductees were baseball legend Ty Cobb, Georgia Tech football coach William Alexander, and golfer Bobby Jones.
The Hall became an official state entity in 1978, but it still lacked a permanent home. The state considered the World Congress Center in Atlanta before finally settling on Macon in 1994.
Of the 250 individuals nominated for induction every year, only seven are chosen, the highest honor the state can bestow on its athletes.
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame opened its doors on April 24, 1999, Today in Georgia History.
Famous People in
Coca-Cola is now a worldwide
phenomenon, but the man responsible
took over when the company was still
Robert Woodruff was born in Columbus
in 1889 and attended but didn’t
graduate from Emory College. He took
a job in sales with the White Motor
Company, where he quickly climbed
the corporate ladder. His father was
part of a group that bought the
struggling Coca-Cola company for $25
million in 1919 and they offered the
33-year-old Woodruff the presidency
of the company four years later. He
took a pay cut to accept the job,
but he and Coca-Cola were on their
Woodruff brought a savvy salesman’s
touch and a passion for principled
success to the company that made
Coca-Cola a worldwide household
name. Woodruff’s motto was “there’s
no limit to what a man can do if he
doesn’t care who gets the credit”.
His extraordinary philanthropy
included a $105 million gift to
Emory University in 1979 -- at that
time the largest donation ever to a
single educational institution. His
foundation also made the Today in
Georgia History series possible.
The man who built one of the great
companies in American history was
born in Columbus on December 6,
1889, Today in Georgia History.
Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
WAAK 94.7-FM Your LOCAL radio station!
Johnathan Edwards sermons are
broadcast on WAAK 94.7 every Sunday at noon and
repeated every wednesday at 10 Pm.
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,"and
one of America's greatest intellectuals.
Edwards played a
critical role in shaping the
First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the
revivals in 1733-35 at his church in