2015
03.02

This notice was printed in last week’s Walker County Messenger:

Facilities Authority Legislation Advertisement / February 25 2015 Walker Co Messenger

It’s suggested the purpose of this proposed new county-controlled “Public Facilities Authority” would be to issue bonds for Hutcheson debt, but many rightfully worry it would also be an avenue for the Commissioner to hide the cost of pet projects like Mountain Cove Farms.

LU shared the ad last week; today the Chattanooga Times Free Press takes a look at the proposal, and finds it’s at least as bad as first suggested: It would not only be a vehicle for her to hide existing debt, she could use the authority to sell new bonds, new county debt, without voter permission. But it wouldn’t keep those voters from having to pay that debt down the road.

    Chattanooga Times Free Press, 03/02/15: “..This authority would have the ability to issue revenue bonds. Heiskell said Walker County could do that on its own. But according to Georgia law, local voters would have to approve the debt through a referendum. Creating an authority would allow the county to get the money more quickly, she said. Also: Without oversight.[Emphasis added.]

You can put a committee inside an authority behind another committee, but this is still the county, because the only money this entity will have is county tax dollars, and its leaders will all be chosen by the current sole commissioner. But the separate legal structure would make it easier for Bebe and her appointed friends to hide what they’re doing, both from citizens and from accountants.

Until the whole thing blows up in somebody’s face years down the road.

    “Dean Kelly, chairman of the Walker County Republican Party and coordinator for the Northwest Georgia Tea Party, believes this financial maneuver would still ultimately fall back on county taxpayers. He doesn’t think the hospital can pay the money back.
    “‘Bebe is kicking the can down the road so it doesn’t affect her in the next election,’ he said. ‘That’s what politicians do.’

This is the equivalent of getting another credit card in another name to pay debt you racked up with the first card. That’s fiscal responsibility in Bebe’s Walker County – the reason for the county’s destroyed credit rating – and the kind of accountability we’re going to continue struggling under with a single elected leader.

Call Steve Tarvin at 423 605 7328 and tell him NO on this. And while you’re on the phone, remind him that we need a vote on sole commissioner government so this madness ends.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Walmart Parking Lot Cameras In UseThursday week ago, a Walmart customer’s groceries were stolen while his cart was in the parking lot.

The theft was caught on security camera, unfortunately the only detail released is a vague description of their vehicle: a silver passenger car.

The victim declined to prosecute and Walmart replaced his $34 of stolen items.   Tiny Facebook

House fire Friday afternoon on Dunwoody Rd.

February 27 Fire / Dunwoody Rd

No injuries were reported.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
02.27

Snow in West Armuchee

Walker County and Northwest Georgia received a relatively heavy snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning, with upwards of 8 inches measured in spots. All local schools, local colleges, most non-essential government offices, and many businesses were closed Thursday and many – including Walker and Chattooga schools – remain closed today.

Road crews for the state, county, and cities have done well this time, out actively working Wednesday night during the snow and clearing major roads in decent time Thursday morning, despite at least one minor accident. [see below]

(Click to advance gallery – mouseover for captions.)



 The weather is nice today but a melt and refreeze means some roads may have black ice, more dangerous than the snow itself. Drivers should remain cautious through the next few days as the remaining winter detritus melts.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

The snow wasn’t without incident.

Snow Plow Flipped in Rock Spring

A dump truck with a plow blade, apparently a county truck, flipped over in Rock Spring late Wednesday night. An eyewitness who provided this photo said the driver was not injured.

Also on Wednesday, an ATV accident on Childress Hollow Rd. towards Chickamauga sent a teen to the hospital. County officials say there were multiple incidents Wednesday in the dark and Thursday involving 4-wheelers.

Enjoy the snow but don’t throw common sense out the window and get hurt.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
02.23

Hutcheson leaders blame state law, Erlanger, impoverished patients, and whatever else they can for the hospital’s poor financial condition. Some of that may be a factor, but HMC’s biggest problem is quality and poor reputation.

Hutcheson Bloody Bed    Hutcheson Bloody Bed

Quality problems haven’t gone away, as shown by this dried blood a patient’s parent recently found on a supposedly clean hospital bed. Hutcheson put somebody’s child in this bed with another person’s gunk still on it.

If they’d stop wasting money on pro-hospital-leadership advertising and legal battles, and focus that money and energy on getting the basics right, we might not see stuff like this.

You want the community to rally and “save Hutcheson” ? Work on this basic stuff and we might consider it.

Bebe at Hutcheson

Meanwhile, Bebe Heiskell, Don Oliver, and the Hutcheson boards have a NEW plan: open a federal VA hospital in a section of the building no longer used. Per news reports, they have petitioned US Senator Isakson to have a new VA facility for the Chattanooga area move into one of Hutcheson’s abandoned wings.

Terrible idea – combining two bads to somehow make a good – that will thankfully never move forward.   Tiny Facebook

Andrew PadgettAbsconded local sex offender brought into custody after a chase through two counties.

    WQCH Radio, 02/20/15: “LAFAYETTE POLICE ARRESTED A 41 YEAR OLD MAN ON TWO WARRANTS, INCLUDING ONE FOR ‘FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER’.
    “MELTON ANDREW PADGETT WAS ARRESTED AT HIS LAKESITE DRIVE RESIDENCE, OFF PLEDGER PARKWAY, MONDAY [2/16]. THE OUTSTANDING WARRANTS WERE ISSUED BY CHATTOOGA AND WALKER COUNTIES, ACCORDING TO POLICE.”

Per other news reports, Padgett was spotted in Floyd County and ran from deputies who pursued him in Chattooga. That added to the stack of outstanding warrants related to his non-registering.

Padgett was originally convicted in 1996 on two counts of child molestation and two counts of aggravated sexual battery, per the GA Department of Corrections. He got a 20 year sentence but was released in July 2011.   Tiny Facebook

ANOTHER local lawyer arrested.

Morgan Adams

Attorney Morgan Adams of Lookout Mountain charged with aggravated child abuse for spanking his 11-year-old over 100 times (in one session) during January.

Morgan has a law office in Chattanooga. Law firm Web site describes him as “THE SOUTH’S LEADING LAWYER FOR TRUCK & BUS ACCIDENTS.” He may need to brush up on his knowledge of laws regarding domestic violence and child abuse.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
02.21

Freds Sign

Local lawyer with a past criminal history busted this week for stealing from Fred’s.

    WQCH Radio, 02/20/15: “A LAFAYETTE ATTORNEY HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON A SHOPLIFTING CHARGE.. AND WHEN TAKEN TO JAIL, IT WAS FOUND HE WAS CARRYING ENOUGH CASH TO MAKE THE PURCHASE.
    “63 YEAR OLD WILLIAM DAVID HENTZ WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AT THE LOCAL FRED’S DEPARTMENT STORE IN LAFAYETTE’S THRIFTY SHOPPING CENTER, THURSDAY EVENING.
    “STORE PERSONNEL TOLD POLICE THEY OBSERVED HENTZ TAKE TWO KODAK 8-GIG FLASH DRIVES OUT OF THE PACKAGING. TOTAL VALUE: $21. THE PACKAGING WAS LATER LOCATED, HIDDEN BEHIND OTHER MERCHANDISE IN THE STORE.
    “WHEN CONFRONTED BY POLICE, HENTZ TURNED-OVER THE FLASH DRIVES ON HIS PERSON. HE WAS CHARGED WITH THEFT BY TAKING, ACCORDING TO LOCAL JAIL RECORDS.”

Hentz, who by most accounts is a horrible lawyer, was previously arrested in 2001 for mishandling prescription drugs while working for the Fort O. K-Mart pharmacy. (Before that he ran an unsuccessful campaign to become District Attorney

It’s not clear how his case worked out at the time but he lost his law license and had to reapply to the state bar in 2006.   Tiny Facebook

Frigid temperatures and (finally) ice and snow have disrupted schedules all over the region. School was canceled Friday in Walker and several adjacent counties, meaning kids were in school only one day of the four scheduled this week.

Cancelations and changes for the weekend:

    Nissin canceled 3rd shift Friday, opening 1st on Saturday at 9 AM.
    City Club canceled 9:30 Saturday yoga.
    Sonic will open at 9 AM.
    Queen City Bistro closed all day.

Roads aren’t good in many places, especially higher elevations. Be careful out there.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

That crazy “civil emergency message” sent to cell phones Thursday night wasn’t an invasion of commies or zombies, it was actually a mistake – surprise! – from the state.

Civil Emergency False Alarm Text

Apparently the alert was supposed to be a winter storm warning for most of NWGA instead of a nuclear holocaust alert for two counties near Atlanta. the mistake was sent – twice – to mobile phones all over Northwest Georgia.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
02.19

The snowpocalypse of February 2015 finally canceled school in Walker County two days this week, one day after students were already on their way to class.

Christmas Story / Frozen Tongue

Wednesday morning a previously announced 2-hour delay for schools was turned into no school at all, after busses were out picking up kids. Drivers turned around, took the kids home, and marked down another snow day. (Class was canceled outright Tuesday.)

Due to high temperatures, school was delayed 2 hours again today in Walker, Dade, Chattooga, Chickamauga, and Catoosa. Catoosa County school leaders advised parents to keep their kids in the house until the bus arrives, and directed bus drivers to blow and hold longer than usual for students to come out.

Roper is also feeling the impact of cold weather, not in its bones but in its gas supply. The manufacturing giant closed most of its operations today and tomorrow due to “anticipated energy curtailments.” That means they expect natural gas suppliers to cut down their gas flow as residential usage soars, same as last year.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

All those times we were warned not to throw stuff out the bus windows..

    WQCH Radio, 02/16/15: “A 17 YEAR OLD LAFAYETTE HIGH STUDENT WAS CHARGED AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY THREW AN OBJECT FROM A SCHOOL BUS WINDOW, BREAKING THE WINDSHIELD OF A PASSING SUV. IT HAPPENED ON SOUTH CHATTANOOGA STREET NEAR TRIANGLE PARK, ON FEBRUARY 5th, AT AROUND 4 IN THE AFTERNOON.

Zachary G White

    “A WOMAN CALLED-IN THE DAMAGE REPORT ON HER 2002 MERCURY SUV. SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER SKIPPER DUNN INTERVIEWED STUDENTS AND REVIEWED VIDEO FROM THE BUS, BEFORE MAKING THE ARREST.
    “ZACHARY GAGE WHITE WAS CHARGED WITH RECKLESS CONDUCT AND CRIMINAL TRESPASS. THE LATTER CHARGE INDICATES ‘DAMAGE TO PROPERTY OF UNDER $500 IN VALUE,’ ACCORDING TO POLICE.”

It’s not clear where the “criminal trespass” charge comes from in this.   Tiny Facebook

WQCH Radio reports that Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker’s car was side-swiped while parked at the tax office in a hit-and-run.

Carolyn Walker Parking Spot / Tag Office

Sad for Ms. Walker but maybe she shouldn’t park in the highway every single day, as marked by the arrow above.

How many people have almost gotten into accidents pulling into Main St. from Farris St. because Walker’s white Buick blocks their vision?

Parking at the soon-to-be-former tax office is tight, but other employees who work there leave their vehicles at the Methodist Church nearby. Carolyn would do well to try the same.   Tiny Facebook

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