2015
05.26

LaFayette Fire is investigating the blaze that took out a house on North Flora St. last Friday. Home being renovated had no power, burned to the ground after a worker left for lunch.

May 22 Flora St House Fire / Walker County Messenger

No injuries, minimal loss of personal property.

This won’t do much to help that neighborhood. Hopefully the property owners at least clean up the mess.   Tiny Facebook

Former city leader Bryan Hall Jackson passed away Saturday in Tunnel Hill.

Bryan Hall Jackson in 1973 / Chattooga Photo History

Jackson served a total of 21 years on LaFayette’s city council. During that time he fought to add sidewalks, campaigned to have US 27 expanded from two lanes to four south of town, and worked to create Joe Stock Park. He made an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 1990.

He was also a local business owner, a thirty year military veteran who served in Korea and Vietnam, ran the local Legion post, coached ball for a decade, was active in the Boy Scouts, and was a major supporter of the Empty Stocking Fund.

His service will be Thursday in Varnell.   Tiny Facebook

We know most state legislators – like Jeff Mullis – don’t listen to their constituents, so who DO they listen to? Lobbyists.

What do the lobbyists want? We’re not supposed to find out; an Atlanta reporter who tried to attend a conference of lobbyists and legislators last week in Savannah was kicked out of his hotel for asking questions. And everything that goes on inside is exempt from open records law and political reporting requirements because of state nonprofit rules and a loophole intentionally added to state law by the legislators in attendance.

This is burning up the Internet, because it’s outrageous. But hardly surprising.

Because this event was closed, it’s not clear which legislators attended this shindig. Mullis is a probable; it’s unknown if Tarvin or Deffenbaugh participated. Rep. Tarvin has so far not responded to an inquiry from LU sent over Twitter.   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2015
05.24

An empty 1.88 acre lot of land in front of Walmart has been the focus of rumors, for years, involving various restaurants with plans to expand into LaFayette.

Bojangles Food

In recent weeks stories about the bank-owned site have solidified, and now it seems pretty clear LaFayette will soon get a Bojangles franchise between the Hi-Tech gas station and Stansell Furniture’s former store – much to the concern of Maryland Fried Chicken and Hardee’s, which will both be squeezed by the new competitor.

A deal to buy the lot and break ground on a new chicken n biscuits store is expected to finalize next month. LaFayette’s Bojangles will join one built a year ago in Summerville and 400+ other locations around the country.

Now for recent health scores:

The worst score of May, so far, was awarded to local institution Dari-Dip. Dari-Dip earned an 82 on May 4th thanks to a number of hot food items not kept hot enough and the placement of raw bacon above prepared food in a walk-in cooler.

Fellow downtown eatery Queen City Bistro came in just ahead of Dari-Dip with an 85, cited for meat not kept at proper temperature and an uncovered drink kept next to the microwave.

County-Owned Manor House Restaurant: 90
Chattanooga Street Tavern: 90
Arby’s: 95
LaFayette Healthcare / Pruitt Health Nursing Home: 100

Print Friendly

2015
05.23

Another local business that never made any sense now makes sense – North Georgia Liquidators is an alleged front for pot production.

North Georgia Liquidators

Store was busted Wednesday, Juan Luis Arellano – whose family also owns Rafael’s next door – charged with manufacturing and possessing marijuana.

If they were putting pot in the pizza and pasta, they’d have better business.. Just sayin.   Tiny Facebook

Benjamin Guest Mugshot

Ringgold plumber allegedly steals property from customers. After his arrest, authorities learned Benjamin Guest of Guest Plumbing (which had no business license) is also a registered sex offender.

Some $30,000 in jewelry taken, sold for scrap. Much of the stolen material was apparently scrapped before discovery; recovered material includes a scratched up Roper Corp service pin and what appears to be a couple of crushed LHS class ring from the 1950’s. Catoosa is looking for property owners.

Benjamin Guest / Alleged Stolen Property

Benjamin Guest / Alleged Stolen Property Benjamin Guest / Alleged Stolen Property Benjamin Guest / Alleged Stolen Property Benjamin Guest / Alleged Stolen Property

If you recognize this material, call the Catoosa Sheriff’s Office at 706 935 2424.   Tiny Facebook

Police have a lead on a suspect from recent vehicle break-ins at three LaFayette hair salons. Man, described as white and in his thirties, was seen stealing from a car parked at Bedazzled last Saturday. He was seen leaving in a silver Ford.

Vehicle Break-In At Bangz

Suspect is likely connected to two other vehicle robberies at Strandz and Bangz in April.

It’s unclear if the thief (or thieves) are targeting hair salons, or just businesses that use the letter “Z” in their names.   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2015
05.20

Last week during the May council meeting, LaFayette leaders decided to put a 90-day hold on allowing a “hookah lounge” to set up on Chattanooga Street.

Hookah Lounge / Stock

City wants to study the impact of hookah businesses on other communities before deciding to ban or allow such an establishment in this one, and adjust city codes accordingly.

    WQCH Radio, 05/13/15: “IN THE SHORT [May] MEETING, THE SUBJECT OF ‘HOOKA LOUNGES’ CAME UP, AS CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID THERE HAD BEEN AN INTEREST EXPRESSED FROM THE MARS THEATER DISTRICT ON CHATTANOOGA STREET.
    “..COUNCIL AGREED TO BAN THE BUSINESSES IN LAFAYETTE FOR 90 DAYS, WHILE A STUDY IS DONE TO GAUGE THE AFFECTS OF HOOKA LOUNGES OPERATING IN OTHER CITIES. CURRENT CITY ORDINANCES DO NOT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS THEM.”

Hookah is basically a communal tobacco pipe several people smoke (and slobber on) at the same time.

Is this something LaFayette should welcome?   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Walker County Dump / Times Free Press

Walker County is getting $800,000 from the state to expand the landfill. That amount is likely not close to what an expansion will ultimately cost, and even after an expansion the dump won’t accept regular trash – only construction debris as it does now..

Household garbage will continue being trucked off to the middle of nowhere in other states, using the Marble Top Rd. facility as a transfer station. So what’s the point?   Tiny Facebook

Notorious Goodwill donation thief busted for stealing Goodwill donations.

    WQCH Radio, 05/18/15: “LOCAL POLICE MADE AN ARREST FOR THEFT BY TAKING AT THE LOCAL ‘TRADE DAY’ PARKING LOT ON WEST VILLANOW STREET IN LAFAYETTE.
    “37 YEAR OLD SCOTT ALLEN RHODES WAS CHARGED AFTER POLICE GOT A TIP THAT SOMEONE HAD TAKEN ITEMS DONATED TO GOODWILL – ACROSS THE STREET – AND WAS TRYING TO SELL THEM AT THE FLEA MARKET.
    “IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT THE RESPONDING OFFICER WAS THE PERSON WHO HAD MADE THE DONATION OF TOYS TO THE LOCAL GOODWILL STORE IN THRIFTY CENTER, SO HE KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT THE GOODS HE SPOTTED WERE STOLEN. RHODES WAS ARRESTED ON THE THEFT BY TAKING CHARGE.”

People were reporting on Rhodes doing this very thing way way back in 2010 and 2011. This is, somehow, the first time he’s been caught by LPD.

Rhodes was arrested last fall for jumping on a woman’s hood and busting her windshield.   Tiny Facebook

Bebe Heiskell 2013 State of the CountyLast night Commissioner Heiskell held a previously-announced community meeting at the Lee School Rd. fire station. Meeting was attended by some of the station’s fire fighters and one citizen.

Monday night’s meeting at Naomi was apparently canceled, like the Thursday meeting from last week – putting the Commissioner at .500 so far for meetings actually held.

Next community meeting is scheduled for Thursday night at the East Broomtown Rd. fire station. Be there by 7 PM.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2015
05.18

Another report on Lori Baker’s alleged theft from Housing Authority residents. This article clarifies the exact value of what she allegedly stole – $11,720 in jewelry – and says which theft led to her outing.

Lori Baker Mugshot

Baker, Jewelry Chest, LPD, and the Housing Authority are all refusing to answer further questions about the case, at least for now.

Pro tip: Don’t unload your stolen goods locally. And don’t sell them all at the same place repeatedly until you’re caught.   Tiny Facebook

Walker Co. Schools will have a “public forum” tonight at LaFayette High School to discuss the district’s “strategic plan and pending system designation decision” regarding becoming a charter.

Walker County Schools HQ

Public meeting starts at 6, followed by a School Board meeting at 7.

If you’re interested in public education in the county, you should try to attend both.   Tiny Facebook

Normally LU reminds readers not to blame the city for problems with county roads, or the county for problems with city roads, etc. but now it seems the county IS responsible for lack of paving in LaFayette. Feel free to blame Bebe for this one:

    WQCH Radio, 05/17/15: “THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE’S STREET PAVING SCHEDULE HAS FALLEN BEHIND ORIGINAL PLANS.

Bebe Buck Stops Here

    “CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID THE REASON HAS BEEN A HOLD-UP IN THE AVAILABILITY OF WALKER COUNTY DUMP TRUCKS, WHICH THE CITY HAS BEEN USING TO HAUL ASPHALT. ‘THEY’VE BEEN BUSY ON COUNTY PROJECTS, SO WE’RE WAITING UNTIL THEY’RE AVAILABLE’, HAMILTON SAID.
    “FOSTER MILL DRIVE IS NEXT ON THE RE-PAVING LIST AND HAMILTON SAID WORK SHOULD BEGIN THERE, IN JUNE.”

You want your road paved? Too Bad. Bebe has the county’s dump trucks AND a private contractor all booked up hauling dirt for her friend’s projects on Lookout Mountain, and those might not be done until fall.

The city needs to bite the bullet and pay a contractor or the work might never be done.   Tiny Facebook

Hutcheson Lobby / WDEF TV 12

    Times Free Press, 05/16/15: “Hutcheson is accused of not paying its employees’ insurance premiums. Of all the industries out there that would appreciate the value of paying its insurance tab, hospitals would have to be at the top of the list.
    “This is either total incompetence or an accounting shell-game to make the ends meet. There seems to be very little middle ground.”   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly