2015
01.23

Early Sunday morning, two men – Justin Lee Gilbreath and Hunter Brice Pettigrew – were arrested for breaking into a Dripping Springs Rd. home. The boys also allegedly fired at least nine shots from a .223-caliber AR-15 assault weapon during the attempted burglary.

Gilbreath & Pettigrew Mugshots

Sheriff Wilson speculates the two were seeking cash refunds for a drug deal gone bad, or simply trying to steal drugs they knew were in the home.

Two gentlemen who lived in the house being robbed – James Edward O’Quinn and Chad Franklin Hurt – were also arrested for possession of the drugs Pettigrew and Gilbreath presumably wanted.   Tiny Facebook

When visiting downtown LaFayette, be sure to stay at the beautiful Morgan Motel.

    WQCH Radio, 01/21/15: “AN ALTERCATION AT THE MORGAN MOTEL LED TO AN ARREST EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. LAFAYETTE POLICE RESPONDED TO A CALL COMPLAINING OF A COUPLE ARGUING LOUDLY IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE SOUTH MAIN STREET BUSINESS.

Morgan Motel

    “WHEN THEY ARRIVED, OFFICERS COULD HEAR LOUD CURSING COMING FROM ONE OF THE ROOMS AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR. THE MAN WAS COMPLIANT, BUT THE WOMAN INVOLVED REFUSED TO CALM-DOWN.
    “40 YEAR OLD RHONDA LANETTE SANCHEZ WAS ARRESTED ON A DISORDERLY CONDUCT CHARGE. WHEN SEARCHED, A SMALL QUANTITY OF MARIJUANA WAS ALSO FOUND ON HER PERSON – AND SHE WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION.

Here’s a statement from Motel Management: “YOU NO TAKE PICTURE I CALL POLICE.”   Tiny Facebook

Shady entrepreneur and defeated political wannabe Mike Lovelady says he no longer owns Chattanooga Street Tavern.

Chattanooga Street Tavern Ownership Change

Lovelady’s Facebook statement isn’t clear on details, but seems like he’s unloaded the entire Mars Theater block on Chattanooga St. to new owners.

Current Tavern management remains in place, for now.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.19

When questioned or challenged, Walker County’s leaders show their true colors.

They’re not used to dealing with public scrutiny, and they’re terrible, terrible people, as evidenced below:

Last week a citizen attending a Water Authority meeting suggested it’s unethical for the Sole Commissioner to appoint her friends like John Culpepper to multiple powerful boards.

Commissioner Heiskell, here acting as board chair, ended the public meeting for becoming too public after Culpepper cursed Aleq Boyle for daring question him and said his 40 years as Chickamauga City Manager is all the ethics training he ever needs.

Near the end of his time as Chickamauga’s manager, Culpepper was caught by LU illegally putting up Bebe! campaign signs in his city vehicle on city property. His response to that unethical behavior was almost identical to his response to the meeting question: maybe I did break the law but I don’t care. A giant “f-you” to ethics and voters.

Bebe Support in Chickamauga

Culpepper’s backwards ethics are exactly why he SHOULDN’T be on the Water Authority OR Hutcheson panels, but make him valuable to Commissioner Heiskell – he’s blindly loyal to her (right and wrong be damned) and will follow her lead instead doing the right thing for taxpayers and water customers.

As the meeting guest pointed out, it’s unethical even if technically legal in ethics-challenged Georgia. Sole Commissioner county government at its finest.   Tiny Facebook

Speaking of non-responsive, arrogant government…

Bebe National Bank

Months ago the county announced plans to rent the former Covenant Bank / Stearns Bank building in Rock Spring, for $60,000 a year.

That’s now off the table.

Instead, Commissioner Heiskell will BUY the building outright and remodel it, for about $880,000 – still claiming it’s needed because the old tax office is “nasty.”

Heiskell still blames the state for this, but as the article says “..county officials say they were going to buy the bank building anyway.”

Regardless of her phony baloney excuses she’s gonna buy what she wants to buy, taxes and wishes of the people be damned. $880,000 of your money, from the taxes that just went up. And you can’t do a single thing about it.

(Meanwhile the county owns an office building in downtown LaFayette it purchased about five years ago, and is renting it to a business for a couple grand a month.)

Sole Commissioner county government at its fi… hopefully you get the point.   Tiny Facebook

Busy few days for county EMT, fire, and law enforcement teams:

January 18 Mill Wee Hollow Rossville Brush FireLifeForce was called to a Browns Hollow Rd. address (off Halls Valley Rd towards Trion) after an unidentified woman attempted suicide with a gun. Her name was not released and her condition was not updated as local law enforcement and media generally do not share details of suicides or suicide attempts.

Around 8:30 Saturday night emergency crews responded to an accident on Lake Howard Road. Sole occupant of the vehicle said he fell asleep; no injuries were reported.

Then on Sunday, fire fighters found themselves battling three blazes at the same time: A barn fire on Lookout Mountain off 157, a brush fire on Mill Wee Hollow in Rossville [depicted at left], and an escaped leaf burn off West Reed Rd. The West Reed fire reportedly started back up this morning, along with an outbuilding fire at the Church of Christ on West Main in LaFayette.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.15

Naomi Church Rd House Fire / January 14

Traffic through Naomi was blocked for hours Wednesday as emergency responders battled a house fire on Naomi Church Rd. directly behind the church.

Fire is being investigated; older empty home looks like a complete loss.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Earlier this week Chattanooga media quoted county attorney Don “LSD” Oliver saying a tax increase is likely for this year in order to cover Hutcheson debt.

Now his boss, Commissioner Heiskell, contradicts that saying tax increases will probably NOT be involved in repaying the overdue $4.5 million debt to Regions Bank Walker County co-signed for the sinking hospital.

    WQCH Radio, 01/13/15: “FOLLOWING THE WEEKEND NEWS THAT WALKER COUNTY MUST REPAY 4 1/2- MILLION DOLLARS IN GUARANTEED DEBT FOR HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER, COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL ASSURED TAXPAYERS ON MONDAY: ‘THAT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THERE WILL BE A TAX INCREASE…’
    “THE COUNTY IS FORMING PLANS NOW TO MAKE THE GUARANTEED PAYMENT FOR LOANS MADE TO HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER. COUNTY ATTORNEY DON OLIVER SAID CHOICES MAY INVOLVE A TAX ANTICIPATION LOAN, OR A LONGER-TERM TYPE OF FINANCING.”

On the same page much?

In this case, for once, it seems ex-convict Don Oliver is more believable than Bebe… Notice she said “not necessarily” which leaves the door wide open for a tax increase later on.   Tiny Facebook

Joshua Nez

Joshua Nez was arrested Friday afternoon on Bradley Ave. for choking his girlfriend. Officers were called out to a domestic, observed marks on her neck, and took him in.

Mr. Nez and a lady friend were previously arrested last February after hiding from police in a Linwood attic.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.12

Walker County leaders hint that paying down Hutcheson’s debts to Regions Bank will cost about $4.5 million and will likely result in another tax increase for citizens next year because the county has no savings.

Hutcheson / December 2014

County Attorney Don Oliver says it was easy for Catoosa to repay its share of HMC debts because they have “cascades of tax dollars coming in” unlike Walker.

Why don’t they mention that lack of money when the Commissioner wants to buy farms, banks, and toys? Catoosa wouldn’t have “cascades” of cash either if they wasted cash like Commissioner Heiskell does.

Bebe's Mountain Cove Farms Easter Plans

Hutcheson is bleeding out, we’ve got a $1,000 fine every day they dont fix environmental damage on Lookout Mountain, and what’s the Commissioner focusing on? Easter eggs at the Farm. Somehow we have enough money to do THAT.   Tiny Facebook

LaFayette City Council will meet tonight at 7:30. Items on the published agenda include recognizing Christmas parade winners, closing out 2008 SPLOST funds, signing a contract for Freedom Festival fireworks, and new rules for pawn shops and metal dealers in the city.   Tiny Facebook

Hide yo wife, hide yo chillens – the Georgia General Assembly is now in session.

Georgia Capitol Aerial View

Educational issues to be discussed this session include whether or not to keep electing the state school superintendent or let him be appointed, probably by the governor, who appoints way too many leaders already.

Legislators will also consider the creation of a “state wide” school district to offload troubled students into so they can get better services and normal school districts can pretend some kids don’t exist, for statistical purposes.

The legislature will do the bidding of state car dealers by forcing Tesla to stop selling cars directly to consumers.

Another proposed new bill that could legalize marijuana-derived products for medical purposes would limit use to nine specific illnesses, including fibromyalgia, glaucoma, AIDS, and epilepsy. An expanded version of the rules would cover additional issues like PTSD, autism, and anything considered terminal.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.09

Jamie Ray Ward, who murdered a Villanow woman in 1989, has been back in court this week for resentencing – some 23 years after he was convicted of the crime.

Walker Co Messenger August 23 1989 Murder of Nikia Gilbreath

Per reports from the time, Ward stalked and killed 23-year-old Nikia Gilbreath (who was five months pregnant and already had a young child), leaving her abused body in a garbage dump off Hwy. 136 on Taylor’s Ridge. Ward was identified as her murderer during an investigation into another woman’s abduction.

Ward was originally given the death penalty, but his judgment was thrown out in 2010 due to improper communication between a Walker County Deputy and the jury that sentenced him – landing him back in the Walker County Courthouse this week. On Thursday, the second day of court, the judge agreed to let Ward’s lawyers review evidence from the 25-year-old murder and hold final (re)sentencing in March.

Worst case scenario he gets life in prison, best case he gets the death penalty again and dies of natural causes in prison before he’s executed   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Catoosa County has stepped up to pay off several loans it co-signed for Hutcheson. Essentially, the county has spent $3.5 million to wash its hands of the hospital’s inevitable bankruptcy, leaving Walker County alone to bear the brunt of punishment once punishment is handed down.

Save Hutcheson Whine Campaign Press Conference

Catoosa is now also able to sue Hutcheson for money the hospital owes it, as Erlanger already has. (Catoosa filed one lawsuit against Hutcheson last fall to gain access to the poorly-run hospital’s financial records, which haven’t been shared with its owners in five or six years.)

Walker County could do the same, to get some protection from whatever happens to the hospital, but Walker backed more loans than Catoosa did. Thanks to the wisdom of Commissioner Heiskell, it’d cost Walker County a lot more than $3.5 million to get out from under them.   Tiny Facebook

Brutal winter temperatures earlier in the week disrupted church services and delayed school and government activities for several hours Thursday morning. TVA reported near-record winter electrical usage, and NGEMC asked local customers to cut electrical use.

January 7th Cold

Temperatures today are more seasonal.

How have YOU dealt with the winter cold?   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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