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City Hall of Ringgold, Ga.

2nd Chronicles 7:14

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

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

About Us

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

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


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

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Richard Ball remembers his Golden Rule School Days. (Editorial Page)

Catoosa County Woman Featured in Sketch on SNL
A Catoosa County sign language interpreter had a pretty eventful weekend after she auditioned for a small role on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and was then featured in a digital sketch that aired Saturday night, Dec. 3.
Jodi Upton, a long-time sign language interpreter in the community currently working at Heritage High School, says she was informed of the opportunity by a friend in New York, and before she knew it, she was flying to the Big Apple to take part in the long-running sketch comedy show.
"I got an email saying that SNL was looking for an interpreter for a sketch after a friend in New York gave them my name," Upton said. "They sent me some lyrics and asked me to send a video of myself signing the lyrics and that they would show their director. I did, and then got an email later that afternoon saying they'd like to use me."
Before accepting the job, Upton says, she made sure she was being cast as an actual interpreter.
"If they were going to be doing a fake deaf person thing, then I wouldn't have taken the job because that would be stealing a job from a deaf actor," she said. "I was assured that was not the case, so I took the job."
Upton says she flew out of Chattanooga to New York at 7 a.m. Friday and spent most of the day at the studio shooting the sketch before returning home early Saturday morning.
"It was an amazing experience, everyone was ridiculously nice to me," Upton said.
The sketch was a 1990s-themed one called "The Christmas Candle" (https://youtu.be/_L5Xkb78KxY), featuring SNL regulars Vanessa Bayer, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and the night's host, Emma Stone. The musical sketch poked fun at a group of women who re-gift candles as last minute Christmas presents.
Upton says she had fun with the costuming, the great people, and even managed to run into a couple of the cast members.
When the sketch aired during Saturday night's episode, Upton says her Facebook page and phone blew up with congratulations from friends and family.
In addition to interpreting in the Catoosa County School System, Upton also interprets for theatre performances at the Catoosa County Colonnade.
Her adventurous weekend was kind of humorous considering her oldest daughter is currently away studying musical theater in Oklahoma.
"It's ironic that Arlena is away at theater school," Upton said. "She's dying to get to New York City, and I get a paid acting gig there before her."


Catoosa County Man Arrested for Theft and Burglary
A Catoosa County man possibly connected to multiple theft and burglary cases is in jail without bond after he allegedly ran from sheriff's deputies, and then spent the night hiding out in the woods, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Robert Dewayne Walden, 28, of Old Field Lane in Ringgold, was arrested Friday, Dec. 2, on charges of fleeing/attempting to elude, obstruction or hindering law enforcement, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, operating a vehicle without a valid tag, no proof of insurance, driving without a valid license, and acquiring a license plate for the purposes of concealing the identification of a motor vehicle.
Walden has been denied bond.
Deputy Brittany Gilleland was the first to encounter Walden Thursday night, Dec. 1, when she was called out to the 300 block of Hullender Hollow Road regarding a suspicious vehicle around 7:30 p.m..
An alert resident in that neighborhood called 911 after seeing a suspicious Dodge Dakota truck, which is believed to have been used in multiple burglaries in the area.
Gilleland arrived in time to confront the vehicle and driver as he was attempting to leave, reports show.
Gilleland says she got out of her patrol car, at which time Walden put the truck in reverse, and then led a chase down the street, through a resident's yard, and around a house.
Eventually, Walden ditched the truck and took off on foot into the woods, reports show.
Deputies quickly discovered the tag on the truck didn't match up, and the VIN number revealed the vehicle to be registered out of state.
Walden's father, who lives near the incident location, arrived and verified that his son had been driving the truck recently.
Detectives discovered electronics and hand tools in the cab and bed of the truck. An empty handgun holster was also found in the truck, which led deputies to believe Walden was armed.
The following morning, around 9:23 a.m., Detective James Stockard located Walden walking along Ga. Highway 151 not too far from the wooded area searched the night before.
Walden did indeed have a handgun in his jacket pocket, but he complied with Stockard, and was taken into custody without further incident.
Walden was visibly shaking when arrested, due in part to the cold temperatures and bad weather he'd endured overnight out in the woods.
According to captain Chris Lyons, Walden was wanted in another theft case.
"We don't know for certain right now, but he (Walden) could be a suspect in multiple theft and/or burglary cases," Lyons said.


LFO Open Stuido Hosts Annual Holiday Bazaar
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School's Open Studio invites the public to attend and shop at its annual Holiday Bazaar Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the atrium of the new gym. LFO is at 1850 Battlefield Parkway, in Fort Oglethorpe.
Handcrafted items such as Christmas decorations, ornaments, pendants, wind chimes, jewelry and decorative plates are available in a range of art mediums such as clay, ceramic and glass. Gifts range from $3-$35.
Open Studio is an art class held Tuesday nights by LFO art instructor Wendy Morgan and art club members and is open to the community. Created by Morgan in 2005, the program provides an authentic artistic experience for all ages.
For more information, call 706-866-0342; email wmorgan.lfo@catoosa.k12.ga.us

Rossville Teen Facing Assault Charges
A Rossville teen is facing assault charges after firing two shots at deputies Friday morning.
According to Walker County Sheriff's Department Lt. Richie Dye:
On Friday morning, Dec. 2, around 1 a.m., a male teenager, 16, was trying to hitch a ride from a motorist, who refused to give him teen a ride, and called 911 to report a suspicious person in the area.
Shortly after, a patrolling deputy pulled up to the teen and asked him if he needed any help. The teen continued to walk away and did not stop for the deputy. The teen told the deputy he lived close by, but continued to walk away.
Given the recent thefts in the area and the fact that the teen was out so late and carrying a book bag, the deputy ordered the teen to stop. That is when the teen brandished a firearm and fired one shot at the deputy.
The deputy called in backup, including a police dog, as the teen fled up Mission Ridge Road. Deputies arrived and set up a perimeter. The teen was located near Shaver Lane, about 75 yards away from the initial stop on Mission Ridge Road, in the wood line. He fled into the woods. Once the police dog tracked down the teen, he fired another shot at two deputies. A deputy returned fire with a shot gun and struck the teen in his buttocks.
The teen was taken to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. He faces three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. Additional charges are expected.
Sheriff Steve Wilson said the teen had two handguns, a 9-mm automatic and a revolver. The juvenile has a hearing in Chattanooga, Tenn., today and is expected to be sent back to Walker County, Wilson said.
Wilson said the police dog, Rocky, was able to pin down the suspect until he was taken into custody.
The teen could be tried as an adult under the "seven deadly sins" law that refers to the jurisdiction of Superior Court over the trial of any juvenile 13-17 years old who allegedly commits murder, rape, armed robbery with firearm, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, or voluntary manslaughter.
No deputies were injured.


Ringgold Re-evaluating Occupational Tax Certificate Fees
Ringgold is re-evaluating how it charges businesses for their mandatory occupational tax certificates, and could soon switch from an overall flat fee to a fee based on how much revenue each business brings in.
During the most recent City Council meeting on Monday night, Nov. 14, the council discussed and introduced its plan to gather information about the switch, which would ultimately be based on each business' gross receipts.
Council member Larry Black said, "We want to look at the possibility of changing our current ordinance in place now, dealing with our amount of money paid for occupational tax certificates with businesses in the city. It's an introduction of a new way of doing business where, instead of paying a flat fee regardless of the size businesses, we look at the possibility going forward and setting it up so businesses pay different amounts based on their gross receipts."
Currently, the city's occupational tax certificate costs $100 per year no matter the size of the business, meaning a small family-owned business like Caffeine Addicts pays the same fee as a big chain store like Walmart, even though it has nowhere near the same staff or revenue.
During the pre-meeting work session, City Manager Dan Wright gave an example of another city's ordinance, which instituted a fee of $100 for businesses that grossed between $1 and $200,000 per year. The fee in that town increased in subsequent brackets based on the gross receipts.
"It needs further study and more research to see how other municipalities use it and how it would affect local businesses before we make a decision on what we're going to do," Black said.
Wright also pointed out that the state law allows exemptions for some practitioners such as lawyers, doctors and dentists, which caps the fee for those businesses at $400.
"Those folks may want to just pay the $400. Or, depending on how much they make each year, they may choose to go by their gross receipts," Wright said.
During the meeting, the council unanimously approved a motion of intent to set the practitioner fee at $400, as it progresses with evaluating how it wants to amend the rest of the ordinance.
"We're not ready to move forward yet because we don't have specific numbers," Mayor Nick Millwood said. "When we get that put together, we can bring it back to the council."
The council will need to hold a series of public hearings on the matter, the first of which could take place at the next regularly schedule meeting slated for Dec. 12.


Rossville Residents to Vote on Sunday Alcohol Sales
Rossville residents will soon have the opportunity to vote on whether they would like to be able to order a margarita or cocktail with their meal as well as purchase beer on Sundays.
Following requests by La Familia Mexican Restaurant and Mega Star convenience mart, Mayor Teddy Harris said the City Council decided it was time to let residents weigh in on whether to allow liquor consumption in designated establishments and packaged sales of malt beverages and wine on Sundays.
Co-owner and general manager of La Familia Paulina Martinez said she knows the request is a touchy subject for many residents in the area. However, she hopes they will consider the economic impact of the decision.
"A lot of people are against it because they're worried it will bring crime," she said of the liquor-by-the-drink proposal. "But this is not a bar. There are grandmothers here; my mom is here cooking, my brothers are here. We're a family — that's why it's called La Familia."
Not allowing liquor to be consumed in such establishments is already hurting the area, she said.
" People will go to Chattanooga, take tax money to Chattanooga, if they can't have that margarita with their food. And that's depressing the city. It's hurting our city. We're trying to change that."
With her family's restaurant offering authentic Mexican food based largely on her mother's personal recipes, Martinez said she has started to see a customer base coming from the Chattanooga area, even as far as Hixson.
"In the restaurant business, when you think of Mexican food you think of margaritas, and a lot of people are looking for that," Martinez said. "Since a lot of recipes are Mom's recipes, we get people who wouldn't normally come to Rossville who come here just for the food — and they want margaritas."
Martinez stressed the importance of selling liquor responsibly, the same way she said her restaurant sells beer. She added that the end goal is for the restaurant to do well so she and her family can reinvest in the community that has supported them.
"As we grow and gain exposure and work to develop in the community, we want to help revitalize Rossville and gain exposure," she said. "We're a Christian family and as we grow we want to give back. The better we're doing, the more we can do that. But there's a very, very small profit margin with food, and not everyone wants to drink beer."
The special vote for both resolutions 644 and 645, which would allow for liquor consumption on premises and Sunday package sales of wine and beer, respectively, will take place in March. The date has not yet been determined.


Wildfires Spread Through Gatlinburg

Wildfires driven by wind gusts are prompting the evacuations of multiple areas of Gatlinburg including downtown Gatlinburg, fire officials said Monday night.
Some areas of Pigeon Forge also are being evacuated including residents and guests located in the areas between traffic light 8 and the Spur, according to spokeswoman Trish McGee.
"Three county school buses are available for emergency transport and are being dispatched as needed to transport those who need to evacuate," according to a statement from McGee.

Ohio State Stabbing Investigation
A Somali-born Ohio State University student plowed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus and then got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife Monday before he was shot to death by a police officer. Police said they were investigating whether it was a terrorist attack.
Eleven people were hurt, one critically.
The attacker was identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He was born in Somalia and was a legal permanent U.S. resident, according to a U.S. official who wasn't authorized to discuss the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The FBI joined the investigation.
The details emerged after a morning of conflicting reports and confusion, created in part by a series of tweets from the university warning there was an "active shooter" on campus and students should "Run Hide Fight." The warning was prompted by what turned out to be police gunfire.
Police vehicles and ambulances converged on the 60,000-student campus, and authorities blocked off roads. Students barricaded themselves inside offices and classrooms, piling chairs and desks in front of doors, before getting the all-clear an hour and a half later.
Ohio State University police Chief Craig Stone said the assailant deliberately drove his small Honda over a curb outside an engineering classroom building and then began knifing people. A campus officer nearby because of a gas leak arrived on the scene and shot the driver in less than a minute, Stone said.
Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student, was outside Watts Hall when the car barreled onto the sidewalk.
"It just hit everybody who was in front," he said. "After that everybody was shouting, 'Run! Run! Run!'"
Student Martin Schneider said he heard the car's engine revving.
"I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife," Schneider said, adding the man didn't say anything when he got out.
Most of the injured were hurt by the car, and at least two were stabbed. One had a fractured skull.
Columbus police Chief Kim Jacobs, asked whether authorities were considering the possibility it was a terrorist act, said: "I think we have to consider that it is."
Republican Vice President-elect Mike Pence called the episode "a tragic attack" and said "our prayers are with them all."
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the bloodshed "bears all of the hallmarks of a terror attack carried out by someone who may have been self-radicalized."
"Here in the United States, our most immediate threat still comes from lone attackers that are not only capable of unleashing great harm but are also extremely difficult, and in some cases, virtually impossible to identify or interdict," he said.
Ohio State's student newspaper, The Lantern, ran an interview in August with a student named Abdul Razak Artan, who identified himself as a Muslim and a third-year logistics management student who'd transferred from Columbus State in the fall.
He said he was looking for a place to pray openly and worried how he would be received.
"I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim, it's not what media portrays me to be," he told the newspaper. "If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen. But I don't blame them. It's the media that put that picture in their heads."
In recent months, federal law enforcement officials have raised concerns about online extremist propaganda encouraging knife and car attacks, easier to pull off than bombings.
The Islamic State group has urged sympathizers online to carry out lone-wolf attacks in their home countries with whatever weapons are available to them.
In September, a 20-year-old Somali-American stabbed 10 people at a St. Cloud, Minnesota, shopping mall before being shot to death by an off-duty officer. Authorities said he asked some of his victims if they were Muslim. In the past few years, London and other cities also have seen knife attacks blamed on extremists.
Neighbors said Artan was always polite and attended daily prayer services at a mosque.
Leaders of Muslim organizations and mosques in the Columbus area condemned Monday's attack while cautioning people against jumping to conclusions or blaming a religion or an ethnicity.
"It is particularly heartbreaking to see this random act of violence come to this community I hold so dear," said Ohio State graduate Nicole Ghazi, who is active in Islamic organizations.
Surveillance photos showed Artan in the car by himself just before the attack, but investigators are looking into whether anyone else was involved, police said.
The bloodshed came as students were returning to classes following the Thanksgiving break and Ohio State's football victory over rival Michigan, which brought more than 100,000 fans to campus on Saturday.
"There were several moments of chaos," said Rachel LeMaster, who works in the engineering college. "We barricaded ourselves like we're supposed to since it was right outside our door and just hunkered down."
LeMaster said she and others were eventually led outside the building and she saw a body on the ground.
Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.
The officer who killed the attacker was Alan Horujko, a member of the force for just under two years. Department of Public Safety Director Monica Moll said Horujko had done a "fabulous job."
The initial tweet from Ohio State emergency officials went out around 10 a.m. and said: "Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College." University President Michael Drake said the warning was issued after shots were heard on campus.
"Run, hide, fight" is standard protocol for active-shooter situations. It means: Run away if possible; get out of view; or try to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter if your life is in imminent danger.
Associated Press writers Alicia A. Caldwell and Eric Tucker in Washington, Collin Binkley in Boston and Mark Gillispie in Cleveland contributed to this story.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Heritage High School Band Member Selected for U.S. Army All-American Marching Band
For the third year in a row the Heritage High School band has had a member selected to be a part of the U.S. Army's All-American marching band that'll perform during halftime at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Tx., on January.
Military personnel, fellow band members, and friends and family filled the Heritage High School theater on Thursday, Nov. 10, to celebrate senior trombone player Micah Young, who was given his U.S. Army All-American bowl jacket and gear.
"I'm really honored to be selected," Young said. "I'd like to thank my family, my band family, and Mr. Callaway. Thank you to my mom and dad for all you've done for me."
Callaway described Young as a "great young man," who was nominated, auditioned for, and was selected to the prestigious group.
The U.S. Army All-American marching band performs each year at halftime of the nationally-broadcasted U.S. Army All-American Bowl. By becoming a U.S. Army All-American, Young joins an elite group.
Only 125 high school marching band members among the millions in the United States are selected each year. Band members are chosen not just because they excel musically, but because they are mentally and physically agile, know the importance of teamwork, and they are able to adapt to challenging situations, similar to U.S. Army Soldiers.


Progress Being Made for Improved Fire Protection
Progress is being made to offer improved fire protection for businesses and residents in the Graysville, Indian Hills and other areas adjacent U.S. Highway 41 between Ringgold and East Ridge.
Fire Chief Chuck Nichols invited a team from Pond & Company, a Peachtree Corners-based construction/engineering/architectural firm, to deliver a presentation detailing plans for a replacement of Fire Station No. 3.
For more than a year the county has considered the total renovation or replacement of the fire hall located slightly south of where Pine Grove and Wooten roads intersect the federal highway.
Formerly a garage, the current fire hall presents significant environmental and liability issues for the county. The barracks have been relocated to a modular building because fumes from fire trucks, when cranked inside the station, not only filled the air with noxious fumes but left hazardous residue throughout the structure.
In addition, the structure has a roof that leaks even after being patched.
The consulting engineers — whose bid was considered the best of six companies that were considered — explained why building a new station would be better than attempting to repair and remodel what is in use.
An expenditure of roughly $1.8 million would provide a 7,600-square-foot hall, one with three drive-through bays that would allow fire engines to enter and exit without having to back up and turn the trucks.
Not only would the planned purpose-built station be more efficient, it would serve as a template for future stations that might become necessary if the county's population grows.
Commission Chairman Keith Greene asked how the project would be funded and was told about $2 million of projected SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) revenue has been approved for Station No. 3's replacement.
Of the $1.8 million, about $80,000 would be earmarked for environmental cleanup at the site.
County Manager Jim Walker said Pond Constructors' bid was not "far different" from that submitted by others. He also noted having the architect and builder being one and the same should reduce change orders — which usually add to original cost estimates — being necessary as the project progresses.
As part of the presentation, a computer-generated 3-D "walk-through" of the proposed building was shown as were blueprints showing the building orientation on its site.


Ringgold Man Behind Bars After Napping in Stolen Car

A Ringgold man is behind bars after he was found napping in a stolen vehicle, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Julio Cesar Verdugo, 20, of Potts Road, was arrested Nov. 13 on charges of vehicle theft and receiving stolen property. His bond was set at $5,000.
Just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 13, Deputy Bobby Persinger says he was on patrol when he noticed a parked truck on a piece of private property near Jackson Lakes on Potts Road.
Persinger ran the tag of the beige Ford F-150, which came back as stolen out of Chattanooga, Tenn., reports show.
"I woke Mr. Verdugo up, who was asleep on the driver's side," Persinger said.
Verdugo was placed under arrest, and Persinger was further advised by dispatch that the tag didn't belong to the truck, and that the truck itself had been recently reported stolen from Service Lane in Ringgold.
Verdugo was taken to jail while the tag and truck were returned to the owners.


Rossville Man Arrested for Marijuana Dealership
A Rossville man was arrested in Catoosa County after sheriff's deputies discovered a rolling marijuana dealership in his car.
According the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Edward Lawuan Garth, 30, of Walker Avenue, was arrested Nov. 12 for possession of marijuana (more than one ounce), possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while attempting to commit a crime, driving on a suspended license, and a missing headlight. He has been released on bond.
"It's our understanding that all the marijuana from this incident was purchased legally in Colorado," Catoosa County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Lyons said. "We're not sure if he (Garth) purchased it out there himself, or if someone else did it for him, but it originated out there and was brought here to sell illegally."
Deputies pulled Garth over shortly after 11 p.m. on Lakeview Drive after noticing he had a headlight out on his 2005 Infinity G35.
Deputies quickly learned Garth's license was suspended, and placed him under arrest before being alerted by the K-9 unit that there might be drugs in the vehicle, reports show.
While searching the vehicle, deputies found $2,739 in cash rolled up and bound with a rubber band in a dashboard compartment.
A curious black backpack was also discovered in the trunk, which contained marijuana.
"The backpack contained two large glass jars," deputy Deric North said.
One jar contained four individually wrapped bags of marijuana, while the second jar contained a large amount of additional loose marijuana.
Deputies also found an orange plastic bag marked "choice organics" from Fort Collins, Colo., reports show.
Additional pill bottles containing marijuana were also found, as well as a Smith and Wesson .38-calibur Special revolver.


Toby Keith to Play Coke Stage at 2017 Riverbend
The Friends of the Festival announced early Monday morning that country music superstar Toby Keith will have the Coke Stage all to himself on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 9pm. 
Friends of the Festival says the familiar maxim of the triple threat – singer, songwriter, musician – doesn't begin to cover it for Toby Keith, one of the modern era's most complete self-directed hit makers. 
And Keith's most recent several months are a remarkably accurate representation of his entire career. He wrote, produced and released his latest single "A Few More Cowboys" to Billboard Hot Shot Debut status and the song is continuing to round up some amens and good-calls on its way up the charts. The release heralds new music following the successful and acclaimed 2015 album 35 mph Town.


City of Ringgold Burn Ban

The growing number of wildfires regionally has prompted the city of Ringgold to ban on all outdoor burning.
The decision was made during Monday's council meeting, where councilman Randall Franks pointed out the importance of the ban considering all the wildfires harming North Georgia and the Chattanooga, Tenn., area.
Walker County issued a comprehensive countywide burn ban earlier Monday.
"I serve on the local emergency planning committee and this issue came up at our meeting last week as far as the issues we're having throughout our region," Franks said. "I'll make a motion that we put in place a local complete burn ban giving us the discretion to take it off when advised by our EMA (Emergency Management Agency)."
The council unanimously approved the motion.
Catoosa County could also institute a ban, as the issue is on the Board of Commissioner's agenda for Tuesday night, Nov. 15.
According to Catoosa County Fire & Rescue Division Chief Steve Quinn, the state has already stopped issuing burn permits to residents due to the wildfire issue, but hopes the county, like Ringgold, will cease all outdoor burning for the time being.
"Ordinarily you'd have to call and get a burn permit for legal burning," Quinn said. "Small fires in fire pits for hot dogs, marshmallows, and things like that don't typically require a permit, but hopefully we can get the ban passed tonight."
Those who don't adhere to the bans could be subject to fines from city and county code enforcement, or the Georgia Forestry Commission.
"The fire department doesn't hand out tickets or anything, but we do try to make people of aware of the bans if they don't know about them," Quinn said. "If we get a call and tell someone who might not have known about the ban, it's not big deal. But if we have to respond to calls at the same place two or three times, it'd become a code enforcement or Department of Forestry issue."


White Christmas at the Colonnade This Weekend
Storyteller Productions' presentation of Irving Berlin's, "White Christmas" enjoyed a crowd-pleasing opening weekend at The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, in Ringgold to kick off the holiday season.
Final weekend performances are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m. and matinees are Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2:30 p.m.
"White Christmas is about friendship, loyalty and love," said lead actress Laurie Shaw, portraying Betty Haynes. "It's a family-friendly show that fits the bill for a heart-warming night at the theater. The sets are breathtaking, the choreography is charming and the costumes are exquisite. Storyteller Productions has done an impeccable job transporting us to an era of lighthearted entertainment that is sure to leave an impression."
Based on the beloved and timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters enroute to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander.
The sizzling score features well known standards including: "Blue Skies," "I Love a Piano," "How Deep is the Ocean" and the perennial favorite "White Christmas."
Show runs approximately two hours with an intermission.
Tickets range from $13-$15 and may be purchased online at colonnadecenter.org or call 706-935-9000.
White Christmas
Where: The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold
When: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19, 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Nov. 19, 1 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m.
Tickets: $13-$15


Ringgold Man Pulls Gun on Catoosa County Sheriff's Deputy

A Ringgold man created a scary situation for law enforcement on Wednesday night, Nov. 2, when he allegedly pulled a gun on a Catoosa County sheriff's deputy and threatened suicide during a foot chase, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Joshua Andrew Duncan, 24, of Mark Lane, was arrested Nov. 3 on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of a firearm while trying to commit a crime, obstruction or hindering law enforcement, possession of marijuana (less than one ounce), reckless conduct, and probation violation.
Two other people were also arrested: 29-year-old Mark Anthony Bredwell of Ringgold and 21-year-old Kaitlyn Ashley Ritchie of East Ridge, Tenn. Both have been charged with possession of methamphetamine.
All three offenders remain in Catoosa County jail with bond set at $8,565 for Duncan, and $5,000 each for Bredwell and Ritchie.
The incident involving the three began at approximately 11:15 p.m. Wednesday on Lakeview Drive in Rossville when deputy Aaron Thomas pulled over a Ford F-150 truck because of a faulty headlight.
The truck pulled over into a Mapco Mart parking lot, at which time Thomas learned that Duncan had outstanding warrants for probation violation and failure to appear.
After asking Duncan to step out of the passenger side of the truck, Duncan took running from Thomas, reports show.
During the chase, Thomas unsuccessfully attempted to hit Duncan with his taser, and soon learned that the man he was chasing was carrying a gun.
Thomas says Duncan pulled a silver handgun from his waistband and began yelling, "Stay back! Don't make me do it! I'm not going back to jail!"
Thomas drew his firearm in return, creating a standoff between the two, reports show.
"I pointed my service weapon at the offender and ordered him to drop the gun," Thomas said. "He (Duncan) then placed the gun under his chin yelling that he wanted me to kill him and that he can't go back to jail."
Deputy Thomas eventually got close enough to tackle Duncan to the ground.
While holding Duncan down, Thomas says he even had to go so far as to place his thumb between the cocked hammer and the base of the gun to keep Duncan from firing it.
Fort Oglethorpe Police officer James Davis also arrived at the scene to assist Thomas with getting the gun away from Duncan.
During the struggle, Duncan continued to resist officers, and wouldn't let go of the gun, which prompted Davis to tase him in order to get him to drop it.
After he was taken into custody, officers found marijuana in Duncan's pocket, and eventually transported him to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton for evaluation.
While interviewing Bredwell and Ritchie after the chase with Duncan, a sheriff's K-9 unit detected narcotics in the truck.
While searching the vehicle, deputies found a hypodermic needle containing liquid methamphetamine inside a backpack.
Ritchie claimed ownership of the backpack, but neither her nor Bredwell claimed to know anything about a plastic baggie of additional meth found in the passenger side of the vehicle.
Ritchie and Bredwell were also arrested without any further incident.


Two Catoosa County Burglaries Under Investigation
Catoosa County detectives are investigating two burglaries that took place last week, which resulted in not only hundreds of dollars worth of property stolen, but the vandalism of the homes as well.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, deputies were called to burglaries on Hillcrest Drive in Ringgold on Monday, Nov. 7, and on Trace Lane in Rossville on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Overall, an estimated $2,150 worth of theft and damage was accumulated during the incidents.
During the first incident, approximately $550 in cash was stolen from the home in addition to the offender(s) busting up the door frame of the residence while prying the door open.
The second incident, on Trace Lane, included multiple electronics being stolen, as well as multiple windows being busted out and spray paint applied to different curtains within in the home.
Anyone with information about the burglaries is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.


Administration for Children and Families Releases Finds to Help Low-Income Families in Georgia

The Administration for Children and Families released $49,887,842 to help low-income families in Georgia stay warm during winter months, cool during summer months and make cost-effective home energy repairs.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is run by the Office of Community Services at HHS' Administration for Children and Families, provides funding to states, the District of Columbia, territories and tribes to assist households with paying energy bills and weatherize homes for energy improvements.
"Unsafe indoor temperatures are unacceptable conditions for anyone to live in, especially for seniors and families with young children," said Jeannie Chaffin, director of the Office of Community Services at HHS' Administration for Children and Families. "With these LIHEAP funds helping households in Georgia with limited incomes pay their home heating and cooling bills, these families and individuals can use their income to pay for other critical necessities such as food and medicine."
LIHEAP funding assists households with meeting home energy needs, including vulnerable households with very young children, individuals with disabilities and older individuals.
Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local, state, territory or tribal LIHEAP agency or call 866-674-6327.


Army Chaplain Sharing Highlights from Recent Book
Army Chaplain Col. John Wesley Brinsfield, retired, will present highlights from his new book "Summon Only the Brave: Commanders, Soldiers and Chaplains at Gettysburg" at Dalton’s Civil War Roundtable Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 pm.
The Dalton Civil War Roundtable meets at the Crown Gardens and Archives Center, 715 Chattanooga Avenue, in Dalton, Ga. There is no charge for the meeting and light refreshments will be served.
Brinsfield, a former assistant professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has written 10 books, five of them on Civil War subjects. "Summon Only the Brave" is published by Mercer University Press and is his most recent work.
Signed copies of his book will be available at a special price for as long as they last.


CUFI Holding "Night to Honor Israel"
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), along with churches in North Georgia and the Greater Chattanooga area, invite the community to a "Night to Honor Israel" Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, in Ringgold, Ga.
Open to the public, the purpose of the free event is to show solidarity between Jewish people and Christians in their support of Israel. A complimentary reception will follow and all are welcome regardless of religion or denomination.
Keynote speaker is Erick Stakelbeck, director of Christians United for Israel's Watchman Project and host of "TheWatchman," a weekly newsmagazine program that airs Thursday nights on TBN.
Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on Middle East, terrorism and radical Islam. He is a frequent guest on Fox News. He has written three books on terrorism, his latest entitled "ISIS Exposed: Beheadings, Slavery and the Hellish Reality of Radical Islam," which will be on sale during a book signing at the event.
Other speakers include the Consul General from Israel to Southeastern United States, Judith Varnai-Shorer; Pastor Lyndon Allen, Central Regional Coordinator, Christians United for Israel and Woodmont Bible Church in Nashville, as well as Georgia State Senator Jeff Mullis.
Musical presentations will be given by Shiran Amir, Israeli Cultural Emissary with the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, the Lee University Symphonic Band conducted by Mark Bailey, and Melissa Stamper from Woodmont Bible Church in Nashville, Tenn.
The ROTC from Ringgold High School will act as Color Guard. Scouts from the Cherokee Area Council Boy Scouts of America will serve as parking attendants and ushers. Pastor Bret Yaeger, Temple Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., will serve as the master of ceremonies. The planning committee for the local CUFI area consists of members from Chattanooga and North Georgia and includes both Christian and Jewish people.
For more information about this program and local Christians United for Israel activities contact Margaret Bean at 423-645-1552 or e-mail: mrbean1@catt.com.


Three Month Investigation Comes to a Close
A three-month investigation into a Catoosa County burglary case was wrapped up recently when detectives arrested the second of two suspects accused of shooting at a Ringgold man in his driveway after burglarizing his home in July.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Victor Bentley Davis IV, 18, of Oglethorpe Ridge in Fort Oglethorpe, and Shadow Berry Barnett, 23, of Chattanooga, Tenn., have been charged with aggravated assault, first-degree burglary, criminal damage to property and participation in criminal street gang activity.
Davis also faces charges of possessing of a firearm while trying to commit a crime and theft by bringing stolen property into the state.
Barnett has been released from jail on bond, while Davis remains in Catoosa County jail with bond set at $21,000.
Detectives began searching for the two men after a dangerous burglary attempt on July 11.
At approximately 9 a.m. that day, Rossville resident Richard Brown pulled into his driveway on School Street and found two men inside his home.
The two black males exited the home through a side door, at which time one of the men began shooting at Brown as they attempted to enter their Honda Civic and make their getaway.
"They fired six shots at the vehicle, but the resident wasn't hurt," sheriff's Capt. Chris Lyons said.
Brown and detectives determined the two men had made off with a Sony Playstation, five Playstation games, four wristwatches, and a book of Brown's checks.
A few weeks later, on Aug. 2, detective Mike Helton was able to locate the Playstation and games at a pawn shop, and discovered that Shadow Barnett had pawned them there. The property was recovered for the owner.
As the investigation progressed, detectives found that Victor Davis matched the description of Barnett's partner from the burglary.
"We identified Barnett first, but determined that they did this (the burglary) together," Lyons said.
On Oct. 10, detectives located Davis in Fort Oglethorpe and arrested him on the four outstanding warrants. In the vehicle he and his girlfriend were traveling in, detectives found a large butcher knife under the passenger seat, as well as a stolen 9mm pistol.
It's unclear right now if gun found in Davis' possession was the same one fired during the burglary attempt.
"We have the gun at the crime lab and are waiting on the results," Lyons said.
After Davis was in custody, detectives learned that Barnett had been arrested in Hamilton County, Tenn. He was later extradited to Catoosa County on the burglary charges on Oct. 28.
Lyons says authorities in Georgia and Tennessee determined that both men have ties to area gangs.
"Both men are validated gang members out of Chattanooga," Lyons said. "They do have Georgia connections, so we had a situation where two violent gang members from Chattanooga were down here committing crimes. Outcomes like this are one of the good things about our agency being part of the U.S. Marshall's Task Force. One of the benefits we've found in being part of this task force is being able to go into Tennessee and go after our violent criminals."

Chapman Road Project to Begin Before the End of the Year
Ringgold's pending Chapman Road project took a big step forward Monday night, Oct. 24, when the City Council awarded a bid for the work slated to begin before the end of the year.
The project includes raising Chapman Road between Sonic and Spencer B's BBQ to alleviate some of the constant flooding issues that have plagued the street for years.
After evaluating the bids, the council unanimously approved awarding the project to Rossville-based Talley Construction in the amount of $920,919.
The bids came in higher than expected, which prompted the council to award the bid contingent on negotiations to the agreed upon funds being contributed by Catoosa County and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
Before the bidding process, GDOT agreed to kick in $350,000 towards the project, while Ringgold reached an intergovernmental agreement with the county to split the remaining cost.
The initial projections had the project costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $650,000, which would have meant a $150,000 commitment from Catoosa County.
Now, with the price tag at $920,000-plus, the council wants to discuss the matter to see if Catoosa County, GDOT, or even both would be willing to contribute more to get the project done.
"It's definitely a conversation worth having," said City Manager Dan Wright.
The project also includes a construction deadline of Dec. 31 by DOT, which gives the city a window to iron out the finances.
"The project needs to be underway by the end of the year," Wright said. "That's a DOT deadline."
Although the cost is higher than anticipated, council members Terry Crawford and Jake Haynes stressed the importance of trying to get the project underway.
"I think it's something we need to do," Haynes said. "It's higher than we planned, but it's never going to be cheaper than it is right now."
"We need to look at going down to Atlanta and talking to DOT," Crawford said.
Project manager Philip Schofield of CTI Engineering says the project also includes upgrades to U.S. Highway 41 in front of Chapman Road, which will hopefully help with traffic and flooding issues there as well.
"DOT is wanting a turn lane on Highway 41 between the bridge by the creek to Battlefield Parkway," Schofield said. "That'll include paving and striping highway 41, adding three concrete box culverts to Chapman Road and raising Chapman Road by two feet."
Schofield added that the culverts will help with the flooding issues that usually wash Chapman Road out due to the heavy buildup of water at the creek that flows under it.
In addition to relieving the flooding issues, Crawford says the project could also help towards solving another issue that residents near the road regularly deal with.
"A while back we went to DOT and requested a red light be put in there at Chapman Road and (Highway) 41, but they said it was too expensive and that a lot of things would have to be done there before they could get a light," Crawford said. "There's no guarantee we can get a light there, but I think this would help."

Nissin Brake HoldingRecruitment in Fort Oglethorpe
Nissin Brake will recruit about 40 full-time assembly workers to work in Rock Spring.
The recruitment will be held Monday, Nov. 14, from noon to 3 p.m. at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall located at 500 City Hall Drive. Georgia Department of Labor staff will be onsite to help screen applicants.
Due to U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, all applicants must be at least 18 years old.
While it is not required, a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma (GED), is preferred.
The company offers training availabilities for applicants chosen for the positions.
Chosen applicants will be required to pass a drug screening and background check.
Salaries will begin at $10.10 an hour and benefits include dental, health and vision insurance along with six paid holidays and five paid vacation days a year.
Applicants are encouraged to dress appropriately to improve their opportunities for jobs.
For more information about the jobs, or to apply online, visit employgeorgia.com to create an account and upload, or prepare, a resume. Having an Employ Georgia account expedites the interview process.
For more information about the recruitment, contact the GDOL’s LaFayette Career Center at (706) 638-5525. The center is located at 200 West Villianow St. and is open to serve the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 Regional Commission Announces Grant for GNTC to Train Die Maintenance Technicians

The Appalachian Regional Commission recently announced approval of a grant in the amount of $310,550 to Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) to provide residents in Northwest Georgia with advanced technical training repairing and maintaining die press equipment.  

In addition to ARC fund, state sources will provide an additional $133,093 bringing the total project funding to $443,643.


The funding will make it possible for GNTC to upgrade industrial lab facilities and provide industry standard equipment for the Die Maintenance Technician technical certificate of credit. The program was developed by GNTC, along with business and industry professionals, to train students with the skills necessary to obtain jobs in the advanced manufacturing and automotive manufacturing industries.

The program will be taught at GNTC’s Floyd County Campus in Rome and will serve students throughout the Northwest Georgia region.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. For more information visit the web site www.arc.gov.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

Georgia State Patrol Investigating Fatality on I-75

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating a fatality that occurred along I-75 near Ringgold Saturday morning, Oct. 29, in which a male pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle.
According to Georgia State Patrol Post 5 in Dalton, the incident occurred at the 342 mile marker near the Catoosa and Whitfield County line, claiming the life of 27-year-old Michael Neese of Kennesaw.
Troopers say Neese was walking south along the shoulder when a car ran off the road and struck him.
Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Shelton of Ringgold was driving the vehicle when it struck Neese and then hit a guardrail before rolling over and stopping back on its wheels.
Shelton and a male passenger were taken to the hospital and subsequently released. Neese died at the scene.
The incident is still classified as under investigation, and it's not clear at this time whether Shelton will face any charges in the matter.


Bridge of Hope Giving New Opportunities to Unemployed and Under-Employed Women in NW Georgia
Unemployed and under-employed women in northwest Georgia have new opportunities to develop life skills and enhance their careers because of the formation of the Bridge of Hope Northwest Georgia Christian Women's Job Corps. The Christian Women's Job Corps (CWJC) is a national, women-led, faith-based non-profit organization that assists women in transitioning from welfare to work by equipping them with the skills necessary to improve their lives.
"The idea behind this organization is that real life change can take place when women help women," said Ginger Mathis, president of the board of directors. "We owe much to the example and legacy of the national CWJC and especially the Chattanooga chapter for helping us form and launch this ministry in northwest Georgia. Jane Everett's experience in Chattanooga and her heart for women here in Catoosa County prompted her to serve as a founding member of our board and as site coordinator for the new chapter."
The program consists of 12 weekly classes, held Thursday evenings at Ringgold First Baptist Church. The curriculum includes topics such as goal setting, decision making, moving past your past, interview skills, writing resumes, interview skills, dress for success, positive first impressions, find my strengths, educational opportunities, money management and communication skills. Each week a respected female professional from the community is invited as a guest speaker to keynote the primary topic for the night.
"One key to success is that each participant is assigned a mentor to walk alongside them through the program," Everett said. "I think it makes a huge difference to have a friend, a partner, to help them stay on track and assist them in reviewing, understanding and applying the material we cover."
There is no charge for the program and it also offers free childcare during each class.
"An important aspect of this program is helping our women to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ," Everett said. "Each week we have a Bible study and prayer time to strengthen the ladies for the week ahead and help prepare them for their ongoing roles at home and on the job."
Mathis said Bridge of Hope is always in need of volunteers to serve as mentors and instructors.
"Each of these precious ladies want to make a change for the better in their life circumstances," she said. "God is using our volunteers as servant leaders who are pouring their hearts and talents into this work to change lives. Our students will reap the benefits of their hard work with job and life skills for today, and the impacts will be felt for generations to come."
Everett said the most notable outcome is enhanced self-confidence.
"Some of our clients entering the program don't even want to make eye contact in a social or business setting, but learn through our classes and practice that they have every reason to hold their heads up and speak with ease and confidence to their prospective employers."
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or registering to participate in a future class may contact Jane Everett at 706-861-4584 or Ginger Mathis at 423-902-3090.


City Council Approves New Shutters for City Hall
The Ringgold City Council recently approved the purchase of new shutters for City Hall, and to remove some of the dying bushes on the grounds to make it easier to erect flags during the city's bi-annual "Festival of Flags" celebration.
On Monday night, Oct. 24, the council unanimously approved awarding the shutter bid to Hullco Exteriors in the amount of $8,256, which will cover the 12 sets.
City Manager Dan Wright acknowledged that the shutters are expensive, but pointed out that the east and south sides of City Hall desperately needed to be replaced.
"Just the wear and tear ... they're expensive shutters, so we've tried to over the years salvage what we can," Wright explained.
Wright added that when the newer shutters are installed, the Parks and Recreation crew plans to piece together some of the damaged existing ones into serviceable backups.
The council also opted to remove a few bushes on the back of the City Hall property, per the request of former mayor Joe Barger who organizes the "Festival of Flags" celebration. The flag committee has plans to add at least 100 flags to the City Hall lawn in the spring of 2017.


6th Cavalry Museum "Remembering Our Heroes School Days" Program

Fort Oglethorpe's historic 6th Cavalry Museum on Barnhardt Circle had a lot of wide-eyed visitors last week when area students visited the museum as part of the annual "Remembering Our Heroes School Days" program.
The two-day event allowed students from Catoosa and Walker counties in Georgia and Hamilton County in Tennessee the opportunity to not only learn about military history, but allowed them to do so from a number of fine actors portraying historical figures.
"It's just a really good event, and it gives kids a chance to learn a lot," said Chris McKeever, director of the museum. "The kids just love it."
McKeever said this installment was the seventh year of the program, but the first to include two days.
"Before, it was just one day. But we had so many schools and so many kids wanting to come, that this year we stretched it to two days," McKeever said.
The students were able to hear different speakers throughout the museum such as a Woman's Army Corps officer, a WWII Parachute Infantry Regiment soldier, and Tennessee State Park Ranger Justin Rexrode, who portrayed war hero and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Alvin York.
Students were also impressed with an Army Jeep from 1945 that was on hand thanks to retired SSgt. Ray Gray, who spent 28 years serving the country.
"They liked the Jeep pretty good," Gray said. "They were excited to look at it, but it was a little windy, so they were ready to run back inside."
McKeever says the program allows local students the opportunity to learn about history in a more exciting way beyond the classroom.
"The kids really enjoy it," she said. "It gives the students the chance to experience history instead of just reading about it in books."


Tennessee Man Arrested For Sending Nude Pictures to Catoosa County Teen
A man was arrested in Catoosa County after he allegedly sent nude photos of himself to a Ringgold teen through Facebook's messaging system.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Jalen Arnold Swift, 19, of 1257 Fine St. in Newport, Tenn., was arrested Oct. 20 on charges of electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor and criminal attempt of sexual exploitation of a child. He was released on bond the following day.
The allegations against Swift surfaced when a concerned parent contacted the sheriff's department in late May claiming their 15-year-old daughter had received inappropriate photos from Swift over social media.
The mother turned the child's phone over to deputies and detectives, who found that Swift had sent pictures of his genetalia to the girl, reports show.


Catoosa County Man Being Held Without Bond on Child Molestation Charges
A Catoosa County man is being held behind bars without bond after he allegedly molested a young girl and had photos of the acts on his cell phone, police say.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department:
Steven Lee Coffman, 35, of 434 McDonald Drive in Ringgold, has been charged with two counts of child molestation, two counts of sodomy, and one count of aggravated child molestation. He has been denied bond.
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, sheriff's deputies received information that inappropriate photos were discovered on his cell phone. The photos allegedly show Coffman touching a young girl inappropriately and the disrobed child touching him, report show.
Detective Tim Deal began investigating the case and Coffman was arrested three days later on Oct. 21.

Catoosa County Detectives Investigating Convenience Store Burglary
Catoosa County detectives are investigating a convenience store burglary that occurred early in the morning on Thursday, Oct. 20.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, the incident happened just before 3:30 a.m.
Deputies were dispatched to the Corner Pocket CITGO store at 438 U.S. 41 near Cloud Springs Road regarding a burglar alarm going off.
Deputies found that the burglar(s) had forced their way into the building, reports show.
The intruder(s) had already fled the scene, but deputies found store merchandise strewn about behind the counter, with multiple cabinets opened.
The store's office door had also been kicked open, and it appeared as though the offenders rummaged through there as well.
The criminals did provide a slip-up by leaving a pry bar behind. Detectives found the bar lying on the counter.
According to Capt. Chris Lyons, detectives are working with the store to recover any possible video surveillance.
"We're looking into the video surveillance so we can hopefully get some sort of description of the suspects," Lyons said.
Detectives haven't specified how much cash and merchandise was taken during the incident, but store employees estimated there to be roughly $1,000 worth of property stolen.
Lyons says there have been similar burglaries in the area, another of which occurred in Ringgold a earlier in the week.
"The Ringgold Police Department had a similar case either the night before or two nights before, and there have been other cases like this in other nearby jurisdictions," Lyons said. "We think there are multiple offenders involved."
Anyone with information about the burglary is encouraged to contact Detective Daniel Thacker with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.


David Carroll Publises Second Book, "Volunteer Bama Dawg"
Recently voted the Chattanooga area's "Best Columnist" and "Best TV Personality," David Carroll has published his second book, "Volunteer Bama Dawg."
Carroll, who writes a weekly column in the Catoosa County News, Walker County Messenger and other newspapers, previously published "Chattanooga Radio and Television," a pictorial history of local broadcasting.
"The new book is totally different from the first," Carroll said. "While I was out promoting the first book, I spoke to several clubs and churches, telling stories about my career and the people I've met. People seemed to enjoy it, so I've put together my best stories, all in one place."
The title, "Volunteer Bama Dawg," is based on Carroll's life, and on one of his most popular stories.
"It represents the three states I've loved all my life," he said. "I grew up in Alabama, I now live in Tennessee and I drive through Georgia just about every day. It's who I am." Recently, he found the one spot where a person can stand in those three states at one time.
"I tell the story of the border that connects Marion, Dade and Jackson counties," he said. "You can have your big toe in Tennessee, your heel in Alabama, and your other foot in Georgia. It's become quite the little tourist attraction."
The book includes more than 60 photographs, and stories ranging from comical, to historical, to sentimental.
"I write about the worst songs ever, fun facts about our local history, my family, famous folks I've met, and some I never did. I write about my career in radio and TV, covering the schools, and I included more than a few jokes. Some of them are actually funny."
He added, "The new book also gives me a chance to follow up on the local personalities who were such a big part of my first book. People love reading about Luther Masingill, Miss Marcia, Tommy Jett, Harry Thornton and his wrestlers, Jim Nabors, and so many others. In this book, I can tell the stories I didn't have room for in the first book."
The book was published by Fresh Ink Press, and information on how to order is on Carroll's website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. It is available in softcover, hardback and audio (compact discs), read by Carroll.
"It serves several purposes," Carroll said. "It's not quite big enough to be a doorstop, but it makes for a nice coaster. It's a great bathroom book (especially the paperback), because you can open the pages anywhere, and a new story has just begun. No story is more than four pages long, so it's a perfect gift for your friend or relative who has a short attention span."
Carroll is a longtime radio and TV broadcaster in Chattanooga who anchors the evening news on WRCB Channel 3, and hosts a weekend radio show "The Vinyl Express" on Chattanooga's Big 95.3 FM. His weekly column appears in six area newspapers.
The book is priced at $19.95 (softcover), $21.95 (audio) and $27.95 (hardcover). All books purchased through ChattanoogaRadioTV.com are personally autographed by Carroll.
Books may also be ordered by mail, by sending a check for the amount listed above (plus $ 4.00 shipping) to "David Carroll Book," P.O. Box 15185, Chattanooga, Tenn. 37415. Please include names for autograph request.
Carroll is also available to speak for club meetings and church groups, with an entertaining program that includes a lot of laughs and prizes. To schedule an appearance, contact him at 423-267-5412, or 3dc@epbfi.com.


Share America Foundation Inc Preparing for Annual Drawing

The Share America Foundation, Inc. is in the last few weeks of donations leading up to its annual drawing at its Friday, Nov. 11, concert at the Ringgold Depot.
The Catoosa County 501-C3 focuses on perpetuating the Appalachian arts and presents the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship to youth continuing the traditional sounds of Appalachian music.
“We have been accepting ticket donations throughout the year at our concerts and some area businesses. Folks still have the opportunity to participate during October,” said Randall Franks, Share America president. “Just stop by First Volunteer Bank on Alabama Highway or It’s Sew Time on Nashville Street, both in Ringgold, and get your tickets.”
The drawing includes an acoustic Fender guitar with built-in pickup and case from Bigham’s Music of Dalton, a handmade quilt from Flowers Fabrics in Ringgold, a vintage Marilyn Monroe framed image from Vera Twiddy, a handmade oak table from Jim Ricketts of Dayton, Tenn., and a pureWash HR Molecule Generator from Ruth Worley.
Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and the participants do not have to be present to win. Winners will pick up item in Ringgold and pose for photos, Franks said
“We could not encourage youth without the help and support of those who attend our concerts and local business partners and donors who help with fundraisers such as this,” Franks said. “They have helped us make a difference in the lives of many young talented musicians. We are hopeful folks can help us reach our goal of raising $2,000 with this fundraiser.”
Ruth Worley volunteers each year to gather items for the organization’s concert door prizes, silent auctions and annual drawing.
"Ruth works throughout the year to bring a spirit of fun to what we do," Franks said. "We are so thankful to her and all our those who assist."
Share America will host the Nov. 11 concert with the Hullender Family at 7:30 p.m. at the Ringgold Depot. Donation for admission is $6. Visit shareamericafoundation.org for more information.


GFB Foundation for Agriculture Offering $60,500 in Scholarships
The Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Foundation for Agriculture is offering up to $60,500 in scholarships to Georgia students pursuing a degree related to agriculture, veterinary medicine, family and consumer sciences or a related field.
Since 1959, GFB has awarded scholarships to students entering college with plans to pursue a career in agriculture or family and consumer sciences. In 2016, the GFB Foundation expanded the scholarship program to offer scholarships to rising college juniors and seniors, technical college students and veterinary college students. In 2017 GFB will award scholarships in the following four categories.
Scholarship for Agriculture - This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enter a college that is part of the University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College during the 2017-2018 academic year to pursue an undergraduate degree in agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agricultural field. The GFB Foundation will award five scholarships of $3,000 each and seven scholarships of $1,500 each.
Technical College Scholarship for Agriculture - This scholarship is for high school students who plan to enroll in a Georgia accredited technical college who will be majoring in an area of agriculture or agriculturally related field of study. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each.
Rising College Junior/Senior Scholarship for Agriculture - This scholarship is for college students who have at least two semesters of college work remaining to receive an undergraduate degree from a unit of The University System of Georgia, Berry College or Emmanuel College and are majoring in agriculture and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences or a related agriculture field. The GFB Foundation will award 10 scholarships of $2,000 each.
UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship - This scholarship is for students currently enrolled in the UGA Veterinary Medicine program specializing in large animal/food animal practice. The GFB Foundation will award two scholarships of $2,500 each.
All applications must be received at the Walker County Farm Bureau or Catoosa County Farm Bureau office by Jan. 6, 2017. Applications and scholarship eligibility requirements may be obtained from Walker and Catoosa County Farm Bureau office or downloaded at the GFB Foundation for Agriculture website at gfbfoundation.org.
Recipients will be announced in spring 2017, and the scholarships will be distributed in the summer of 2017.


Greg Beasley Wins Water Board Run Off Election
Local business owner Greg Beasley won a special run-off election over Marion Foster on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to become a new commissioner on the Catoosa County Utility District Authority water board.
Following the initial Oct. 4 election, which also featured Sandra Powell and Ashley Bible as candidates, Beasley and Foster sweated out another election day, which ultimately saw Beasley win by a 470 to 291 tally.
"I want to thank each and every person that got involved in the process and came out to vote at Catoosa Utility," Beasley said. "I know you put your faith in me and I don't want to let you down. Thank you for enduring all of my Facebook posts and messages, texts, phone calls, emails. Thank you everyone for sharing my posts and telling your friends and family about me. My heart was warmed by your support. This election was all you."
Beasley will succeed long-time commissioner Jacob Bowman, who had exhausted all of his terms and wasn't eligible to seek re-election.
"Now it's time to go to work. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of me," Beasley said.
Beasley also praised his opponent for his work and dedication to the election.
"I also want to thank Marion Foster for running a great campaign," Beasley said. "I know he and his supporters worked just as hard as we did. I found out that people that know him, love him. I don't personally know him, but I hear from everyone that he is a decent, honest, and hardworking man."


Routine Traffic Stop Turns into Drug Bust
A routine traffic stopped turned into a drug bust for Fort Oglethorpe police, who found three men in possession of about two ounces of meth, authorities say.
According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:
Christopher Lee Hall, 42, of Chattanooga, Frank Lynn Giles Jr., 34, of Ringgold, and Bryan Keith Porter, 28, of Rossville were arrested Oct. 16 on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, trafficking methamphetamines, possession of oxycodone, possession of morphine, and possession of a Schedule II drug with intent to distribute.
Hall was also charged with a tag light violation.
All three men remained in Catoosa County jail as of Tuesday, Oct. 18, with bond set at $25,000 each for Giles and Porter and $25,500 for Hall.
The incident occurred just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, when officer James Davis pulled Hall over in the 3400 block of Cloud Springs Road.
After asking the men to step out of the car, Giles allegedly threw a marijuana blunt out into the grass on the shoulder of the road, reports show.
A Catoosa County sheriff's deputy also arrived at the scene with a K-9 drug dog after Davis says he could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle.
During the search of the vehicle, officers found a draw-string bag in a floorboard filled with various drugs.
"I located a clear back containing marijuana," Davis said. "I continued searching and located a large zip-lock back containing a crystal-like substance consistent with methamphetamine."
Davis also found additional bags of meth, a digital scale, more baggies, and pills later identified as morphine and oxycodone.
"The bags of the blue crystal substance were weighed on the offender's digital scale with the combined weight being approximately 60 grams," Davis said.
None of the offender's wanted to claim ownership of the bag, and the case was turned over to the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force.
The task force collected all the drugs and paraphernalia as evidence and seized the undisclosed amount of cash the men had on them.


"Festival of Flags" Volunteers Needed
Ringgold is nearing one of its most respected and patriotic times of year with its bi-annual "Festival of Flags" celebration, and organizers for the event are seeking volunteers to help with the setup.
Twice a year, for the two weeks surrounding Memorial and Veteran's Days, the city of Ringgold honors fallen soldiers from Catoosa County by erecting an American flag and wooden cross with that person's name and service on it.
With the fall portion of the year's celebration less than a month away, event organizers are seeking volunteers to help set up and take down the flags.
"We're needing some folks to help us get the flags up, and then some to help us collect them back up," said former mayor Joe Barger. "Each time we have more flags, so we need more folks to help us out."
Barger says November's festival will include 1,396 flags, which is 56 more than in May.
The setup begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, with the takedown scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the effort can call Ringgold City Hall at 706-935-3061, or Barger directly at 706-935-2019.


Walker County Sheriff's Department Investgating Shooting

The Walker County Sheriff's Department is investigating a Wednesday shooting at 205 Summit St. in Rossville.
The victim, 37-year-old Christopher Moore of the address was working under the hood of a car when he was shot two times in the back. He has been hospitalized, but his condition was no immediately available.
The suspect is described as a tall slender black male, wearing a jacket with a head covering. The suspect also had long dreadlocks as described by the victim and two witnesses. The victim stated he recognized the suspect as a former customer.
It is believed that the victim was shot with a revolver hand gun.
The suspect fled the scene and escaped in a white Jeep Liberty.
Information on the shooting can be sent anonymously to walkerso.com, Walker County Sheriff's Department's Facebook page, or by calling dispatch at 706-375-7810.


Spread Awareness of Forest Fires
Help keep our wildlife safe by bringing awareness to the Georgia forest fires in the local areas. Several wildfires have been occurring in areas around us. The 2016 drought is the worst the forestry commission has seen since 2007. Georgia Forestry Commission will not issue any burn permits until significant rainfall has occurred. Visit www.georgiafirewise.org   for more information on how to protect our wildlife.

Rocktoberfest at Rock City

This fall, Rock City offers family fun, beautiful foliage and a German-themed festival at Rocktoberfest, every Saturday and Sunday during October (1st-30th). This 11th annual event is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features live German bands, food, polka and lots of fun entertainment!
Interact with one-of-a-kind characters like Ik the Troll King, the fall fairy, German dancers, a mime, balloon artist and Rocky the elf, Rock City’s beloved mascot. Also see the popular Birds of Prey Shows at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kids can get a stamp in their passport as they visit different areas throughout the park. Adventure passports are given out upon entering Rock City and include activities and coupons.
Hear live German music from bands including The Wurstbrats, Die Mitternaechters and The Musik Meisters. Dancers also perform German and Bavarian folk dances.
Try some German food like bratwursts and beer cheese soup in the pavilion and German chocolate cake in the Big Rock Grill. Café 7 is also open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and is featuring the German dish, weinerschnitzel.
Set out on a guided heritage tour at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. or 3 p.m., to learn about Rock City’s founder Frieda Utermoehlen Carter and her love of German folklore and fairytales.
Rock City Gardens continues to partner with the MaryEllen Locher Foundation® honoring breast cancer awareness month during October. Stop by the new “Rock the Pink” photo booth and dress up in a fun assortment of pink attire. Several pink products including Survivor Birdhouses and ornaments are for sale, with a portion of proceeds benefitting this organization and their scholarship program. Visit Rock City’s gift shops or go to seerockcity.com/survivor.
For the event entertainment schedule, visit seerockcity.com/rocktoberfest.


Haunted Dppot Opens October 14th
Arguably Ringgold’s most popular event, the annual Haunted Depot, will kick off Friday night, Oct. 14, and is prepared to terrorize the community for three straight weekends in Oct.
This year’s Haunted Depot will be Ringgold’s 10th installment of the event, which is designed and orchestrated by city staff and volunteers.
Unlike a number of haunted attractions in the area, Ringgold’s Haunted Depot offers Halloween themed entertainment for all ages by not only turning the Depot into a haunted house, but also offering live entertainment, haunted ghost rides, hay rides with bonfire, and great food for everyone.
“This is our 10th Haunted Depot, and we have seen growth each and every year,” said city manager Dan Wright. “This is a family oriented event that promotes community. We always receive great cooperation from our school systems as well.”
Getting the Depot ready for a fright is always the duty of city Parksand Recreation director Stephen Middlebrooks, whose team spends two weeks building the haunt inside the Depot, and even begins the design process months prior to the build.
“Over the years we've collected a lot of props, masks, and other surprises for people,” Middlebrooks explained. “We're always trying to find a new use for things, and it's always a lot of fun….people love a good scare.”
Wright says the event is one of the city’s biggest, and says sponsorship from local businesses plays a huge role in bringing the event to life. 
"Ringgold's Haunted Depot is one of our most popular events bringing thousands of people into our community over several weekends," Said Randall Franks, Downtown Development Authority Chairman. "Over the years, as I volunteered, I have seen generations of families come together to enjoy one of the activities, finding the opportunity to build memories that will last a lifetime.”  While the Haunted Depot offers plenty of spooky fun, the purpose of the event is to raise funds for the city's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to assist in making improvements through the community.
“We appreciate the support of our corporate sponsors,” Wright said. “Without their financial support, volunteer hours, and equipment, this event would not be the huge success it has become.”
The event’s corporate sponsors include Ringgold Telephone Company, First Volunteer Bank, and Graham Dental.
The extra activities outside the actual Haunted Depot include the ghost tours, hayride, bonfire, free face-painting for children, and free nightly live entertainment.  
     The Ringgold Police Department will be offering a variety of products at their booth located at the venue.  Some of the items at the Haunted Depot event will include; hamburgers, hotdogs, caramel apples, pop corn, sodas, coffee, hot chocolate, candy, and other misc. items.  
     “The Ringgold Police Department looks forward to participating with the Haunted Depot event every year, and it is truly humbling to have the opportunity to interact and serve the people here in our community, City of Ringgold Police, Chief Dan Bilbrey explained.
Rhonda Johnson explained for the second year, the event will also include a coloring contest for grades K-5. 
“We’ll be awarding first, second, and third place ribbons in categories of K-1st grade, grades 2-3, and grades 4-5,” Johnson explained. “First place winners will also have their artwork framed.”
Dates for the event are Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. each of those evenings.
Ticket prices for the event are $8 for the Haunted Depot, $7 for the Ghost Tours,  $3 for the Hayride and Bonfire.
Combo tickets for everything at the event can be purchased for $15.
Visit cityofringgold.com. or call 706-935-3061 for more information.
What: Ringgold’s 10th annual Haunted Depot.
When: Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: $8 (Various smaller amounts for extra activities).
Address: 155 Depot Street, Ringgold, Ga. 30736
Phone: 706-935-3061


Catoosa County Sheriff's Detectives
Investigating Road Rage Case

Catoosa County sheriff’s detectives are investigating a road rage case that erupted into two men pointing guns at each other.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department, the incident happened just before 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 on Gentry Road and involved one man following the other to his driveway and threatening him.
The victim told Deputy Joshua Moore that he was attempting to back into his driveway when a black man riding passenger in a van began blowing his horn at him and then approached him with a gun.
“The victim stated the black male exited the passenger side of the vehicle, pointed the gun at him, and then stated, ‘I will bust a cap in your ass’,” Moore said.
The victim added that he too was carrying a gun, and in return, aimed his at the suspect.
The van was being driven by an unidentified black female, who fled the scene when the guns were drawn, leaving the offender in the victim’s yard.
Witnesses told deputies they saw the exchange take place and that when the victim pulled his gun in return, the offender began backing up and yelling out that the victim was going to shoot him because he is black, reports show.
Moments later, the female returned in the van and retrieved the offender.
One witness said the suspect punched out a window in the van and was yelling at the woman to get out of the driver’s seat, but that she too was yelling for the suspect to get back in the van before the two eventually sped away.
According to Capt. Chris Lyons, the sheriff’s office is treating the case as a road rage incident and investigating the aggravated assault aspect of it.
“We’ve had a couple of things like that, road rage type things, but we don’t have people waving guns at each other too often,” Lyons said. “We don’t have a whole lot of information to go on, but we hope that maybe somebody saw something or knows somebody that fits the suspect’s description with that type of vehicle. It (the suspect) may very well be somebody who is local to that area.”
The sheriff’s office is advising residents to keep an eye out for a black couple in a dark blue van, and encourages anyone with information about the incident to call detectives at 706-935-2424.


RHS Seniors Named Commended Students
by 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program

Ringgold High School seniors Christopher L. Beatty and Jack A. Gillispie were named Commended Students by the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. RHS Principal J.R. Jones will present them with a letter of commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program.
About 34,000 commended students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. They placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” a spokesperson for NMSC said. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”


Catoosa Man Arrested on Kidnapping
Charges and Other Multiple Charges
A Catoosa County man wanted for allegedly kidnapping and beating up his girlfriend in August was arrested Monday when deputies found him hiding in a bathroom.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:
Shannon Jacob Ray, 30, of Bowman Road in Ringgold was arrested Oct. 3, on charges of false imprisonment, kidnapping, battery, theft, theft by receiving stolen property, and probation violation.
A hold was also placed on Ray for outstanding warrants out of Walker County, and he has been denied bond.
Ray’s run-in with police began just after midnight when deputies were patrolling near a residence on Graysville Road and discovered a stolen vehicle in the driveway.
The Honda Civic was had recently been reported stolen out of Chattanooga, Tenn., reports show.
Additional deputies arrived, but no one would answer the door of the residence.
After about half an hour, Lt. Anthony Lawson says, Karla Harris answered the door claiming to have no idea how the vehicle got to her residence.
“Ms. Harris stated she knew nothing about the vehicle and that someone had dropped the vehicle off earlier that day,” Lawson said. “She also stated that only her three children were inside the residence.”
Eventually, after being detained, Harris changed her story and admitted that Shannon Ray had come to the residence in the vehicle and that he too was inside the home.
After running Ray’s name, deputies discovered he had outstanding warrants in both Catoosa and Walker counties.
During a search of the residence, Ray was found hiding behind the curtain in a bathroom shower, reports show.
In addition to Ray’s arrest, Harris was also arrested on a single charge of theft by receiving stolen property.
Ray’s outstanding Catoosa County warrants stem from an incident on Aug. 16, in which he allegedly beat up his girlfriend while driving her car and then stole that vehicle too.
The victim claimed she and Ray were traveling on Roach Hollow Road and that he refused to let her out of the vehicle while striking her in the face and the back of the head, reports show.
The victim told deputies she was eventually able to jump out of the vehicle at a stop sign, but that Ray took off with her vehicle.
Ray returned the vehicle to the victim three days later on Aug. 19, reports show.


Detectives Investigating Death from October 1

Catoosa County detectives are investigating a death that occurred Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1, in which deputies discovered a body inside a burning vehicle.
Deputies were called to the scene at 14726 Ga. Highway 151 (Alabama Highway) around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday after receiving a report of a possible body inside a burning truck, where they indeed found a person’s charred remains.
The Chevrolet truck was located in the backyard area of the residence with the victim inside, reports show.
Sheriff Gary Sisk says his office has yet to publicly release the gender or name of the person because they’ve been unable to make a positive identification.
“Honestly, we can’t confirm the identity yet,” Sisk said. “It’s not that we’re trying to keep information from the public. … We assume we know who it is, but until we can get that verification from the crime lab, we can’t say for sure. We’re not able to pull a wallet with identification or anything from the victim.”
Sisk says the body was scheduled for autopsy at the crime lab on Monday, but that it’s still unclear how the vehicle caught fire.
“The autopsy was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday,” Sisk said. “We also called the fire marshall into the investigation and collected the vehicle.”
The residence where the body and vehicle was found wasn’t being lived in at the time of the incident, but Sisk says it was being remodeled, and that a few people were there Friday evening before the discovery on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve interviewed and talked to people that were there the night before, but at this time, we don’t think there’s any foul play or anything suspect,” Sisk said.
More details in the case will be released as they’re made available.

Northwest Georgia Judge
Accused of Improprieties
As two judges squabble for control of the northwest Georgia courts system, one has accused the other of improprieties -- and he says he has been working against her for years.
On Sunday, according to a letter obtained by the Times Free Press, Lookout Mountain Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. told fellow Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham that he has been secretly reporting her to state investigators for years.
"Now that you have been made aware of this and knowing you, it will be impossible for us to be in the same room," Van Pelt wrote. "Similar train wrecks in other circuits have resulted in a requirement that some form of case assignment system (with judges taking specific trials to avoid each other) be assigned."

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


Fort Oglethorpe Police Receive Clown Complaints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Chattanooga Attorney Found Unfit to Stand Trial
A once promising Chattanooga, Tenn., attorney, who made headlines earlier this summer when he was shot by a resident during a home invasion attempt, has been found unfit to stand trial.
Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Jack Fitzharris faces charges of aggravated assault, first-degree burglary, simple assault, entering auto, and terroristic threats and acts from the July incident, but was deemed not competent to stand trail last week in Catoosa County Superior Court.
According to his attorney McCracken Poston, Fitzharris has been ordered to complete a 90-day evaluation at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development to hopefully determine a plan of treatment.
“It’s a sad story,” Poston said. “Sadder still because I am hearing reports of extremely erratic behavior and thoughts by my client from over six months before the Catoosa County charges.”
On July 13, Fitzharris was arrested after an elderly couple claimed he forced his way into the couple’s home through a carport door, and then threatened to kill them.
Eighty-four-year-old retired Marine Delbert Hanshaw confronted him with a gun.
Catoosa County sheriff’s deputies found Fitzharris in his newly purchased Jaguar suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper right arm, reports show.
Fitzharris’ activities that day were also traced to an incident in East Ridge, Tenn., approximately 45 minutes before the home invasion, in which he allegedly came close to running over two police officers in a hotel parking lot.
In court, Fitzharris claimed several members of the Chattanooga court scene, including judges and attorneys, were “out to hurt him.”
At the time of his arrest, Poston said that Fitzharris was having some sort of mental breakdown.
Poston added that he wishes Fitzharris had a better support system around him at that time.
“An intervention by other lawyers or a judge could have diverted the issues and perhaps avoided the Georgia incident entirely,” Poston said. “He will be re-evaluated in 90 days.”

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

General 100 Relay After Party!

general 100 after party

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

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

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


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

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


General 100 Relay in Need of Volunteers

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




Catoosa County Courthouse


Today in Georgia

From the archives of the Georgia Historical Society

Eli Whitney

December 8, 1765 - Savannah
King Cotton wound up owing Eli Whitney a lot.

Born in 1765 in Massachusetts, the unemployed Yale graduate came South for a teaching job. When that didn’t pan out, he came to Georgia in 1792. His friend Catharine Greene, General Nathanael Greene’s widow, invited him to her plantation outside Savannah. English Mills had created a huge market for cotton, but southern planters had a problem: long-staple Sea Island cotton could be cleaned for market easily, but it only grew on the coast. Short-staple cotton would grow inland, but required enormous labor to separate the seed from the fiber by hand.

Whitney had always been an inventive mechanic. At Mulberry Grove, Greene’s plantation, he perfected an engine, or gin, that effectively separated the seed from short-staple cotton. His invention revolutionized the southern economy, making short staple cotton production profitable. That spread the crop – as well as a renewed commitment to slavery—across the South.

Whitney went on to develop the concept of interchangeable parts, and mass production was born.

The teacher who came to Georgia and transformed the South was born in Massachusetts on December 8, 1765, Today in Georgia History.








Famous People in Georgia

(From-Georia Encyclopedia)

Robert Woodruff

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

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

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

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


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

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