2016
02.09

Snow, or the threat thereof, does another number on local school schedules.

Christmas Story / Frozen Tongue

After announcing a 2-hour delay, class in Walker County was canceled entirely today. Chattooga County also had a two hour delay today, then had class but sent students home at 11:30 – less than two hours after they arrived.

GNTC is closed today, LaFayette library closed early, and Walker Transit did not run due to weather.

Tomorrow Walker County Schools will be on another two hour delay, and may decide to cancel class again. (Not much point having school tomorrow; winter break starts Thursday.)

Chickamauga, Whitfield, Catoosa, and Hamilton will also be on a two hour delay Wednesday; Chattooga classes will start THREE hours late – if they start at all.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Summerville police have arrested two 18-year-old suspects from one recent convenience store robbery there.

Detectives say Dylon Dave Allen and Zaykives Banard McCray, both of Rome, are behind the January 15th holdup and shooting of a store clerk on Hawkins Dr. in Summerville. (That clerk is still in ICU at Floyd Medical.)

Robbery Suspect Zaykives McCray / Facebook   Robbery Suspect Dylon Allen / Facebook

Mr. McCray [left] held up a Rome convenience store with a shotgun a year and a half ago when he was 17. He faced a laundry list of charges from THAT crime but apparently spent little or no time in jail for it. Suspect Dylon Allen [right] has no record, at least not as an adult.

Two suspects other holdups (including the one in LaFayette at Steve’s Kwik Stop) went to jail days ago; no word yet if the two pair are linked at all. Authorities say only one recent robbery, at the Wildlife Market south of Summerville, remains unsolved.   Tiny Facebook

Loyal Hutcheson employees continue paying the price for their commitment.

Hutcheson Employee Creditor Letter / No Insurance

This family owes hundreds of dollars to a doctor’s office because insurance money Hutcheson took out of their paycheck never made it to an insurance company.

LU got permission to share this if the family name AND the name of the doctor’s office, which isn’t responsible for HMC’s crookedness, were both redacted.

To their credit, this medical facility cut the amount owed by about 2/3 when they verified there was no insurance. Also credit to Memorial for sending the letter below to other medical offices in the area explaining what Hutcheson did and why Hutcheson’s insured employees should be treated like lower-cost uninsured patients.

Hutcheson Employee Creditor Letter from Memorial / No Insurance   Hutcheson Employee Creditor Letter from Memorial / No Insurance

Even with the bill cut, $570 is still a good bit of money. Unfortunately others face not hundreds but tens of thousands in unpaid medical bills; at least one former Hutcheson staffer is filing bankruptcy to deal with a situation insurance would have covered IF they had actually been insured.   Tiny Facebook

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2016
02.07

UPDATED 02/10/16

LaFayette Golf Course Golf Carts

LaFayette’s elected leaders have finally recognized a huge problem that has been ignored for years: LaFayette Golf Course costs the city entirely too much money.

In January one council member actually spoke up and opposed extra golf course spending, hopefully signaling a long-sought change in city budget priorities.

    WQCH Radio, 01/14/16: “LAFAYETTE’S CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ENTERED INTO A CONTROVERSIAL DISCUSSION AT MONDAY NIGHT’S MEETING, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE LAFAYETTE GOLF COURSE.
    “THE AGENDA CALLED FOR A VOTE ON A FOUR-YEAR RENEWAL OF THE LEASE ON 60 GOLF CARTS, AT JUST OVER 140-THOUSAND DOLLARS. BUT BEFORE THE VOTE WAS CALLED, COUNCIL MEMBER BEACHER GARMANY HAD COMMENTS PREPARED.
    “HE REELED-OUT A LIST OF LOSSES IN THE OPERATION FOR 2015, SAYING ‘I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG THE TAX PAYERS CAN KEEP SUBSIDIZING THE GOLF COURSE’. GARMANY SAID THAT OF THE CITY’S PROPERTY TAX REVENUE, 55-CENTS OF EVERY DOLLAR GOES TO PAY FOR LOSSES AT THE COURSE.
    “COUNCIL MEMBER WAYNE SWANSON DEFENDED THE GOLF COURSE OPERATION, THEN MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE GOLF CART LEASE. HIS MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF A SECOND.
    “EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSION AGREED THAT THE GOLF COURSE HAD A BAD YEAR IN 2015. WEATHER PREVENTED PLAY FOR AROUND 100 DAYS WHEN THE USUAL NUMBER OF ‘UNPLAYABLE DAYS’ IS HALF-THAT.
    “MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD CALLED THE GOLF COURSE ‘AN ASSET TO THE CITY’ AND SAID THAT THE COUNCIL NEEDS TO ‘TRUST THAT THE CITY MANAGER WILL COME UP WITH A PLAN TO GET THE COURSE CLOSER TO BREAK-EVEN’ IN IT’S OPERATION.
    “AT THE END OF THE DISCUSSION, THE COUNCIL AGREED TO TABLE THE GOLF CART MATTER UNTIL NEXT MONTH’S MEETING.

Huge annual losses at the golf course aren’t new. LU first reported on the greens losing “green” six years ago in a report comparing the course’s 2008 loss of $193,000 to an excuse city leaders at the time made for not cutting taxes on Roper’s electric bill.

Since then the city has continued to throw good money after bad, spending money on golf cart batteries, pavement for the golf course access road, a $14,500 golf-only pickup truck, and replacement water pumps for the greens – all to support a hobby generally enjoyed by the city’s wealthiest residents.

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2016
02.05

Chattooga deputies raided a Trion motel and arrested two men they believe are responsible for (or at least involved in) the recent crime wave.

Chattooga County Robbery Arrests / James Tyrone Carmichael and Jake Lee Skuse

They found unspecified evidence that links the men to recent convenience store robberies in Chattooga, Walker, Floyd, and Whitfield.

Off the jail go James Tyrone Carmichael of Rome and Jake Lee Skuse of Leesburg, Al. They’re being held on robbery, drug, and gun charges.

Per investigators, Mr. Carmichael got out of prison on January 21 for previous armed robbery conviction(s). But the first robbery was on January 15th – indicating others are involved.

Meanwhile, Steve Wilson sends out press releases claiming credit for the Chattooga County arrest and LPD detectives grasp at straws theorizing the robberies specifically targeted retailers owned by indians.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

This week Walker County was hit again by heavy rains and flooding.

Andrews Ln Flooding

Floodwaters at Andrews Ln earlier today. Water over the road on the other side of the bridge.

Posted by The LaFayette Underground on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Water covered several roads and bridges along Chickamauga Creek, including Hog Jowl and Andrews Lane (seen above.) Kay Conley and a few roads in Chickamauga and Flintstone were also affected.

Rossville Bingo Hall Collapse

Rossville’s bingo hall, the city’s center of dubious economic activity, collapsed during the heavy rain – causing thousands of dollars in improvements to downtown Rossvegas. No other serious damage was reported.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Flames claims a life in the Gore community.

February 2 Fire in Gore - Little Sand Mountain Rd / Summerville News

A house fire on Little Sand Mountain Rd in Chattooga County Tuesday afternoon has resulted in one person dead. The victim was identified by The Summerville News as 30-year-old Joshua James Childers.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2016
02.02

Another gas station robbery, this one in LaFayette.

Steve's Kwik Stop

Saturday afternoon around 3, a suspect described simply as “black” carrying a silver gun robbed Steve’s Kwik Stop on South Chattanooga Street at Bronco Rd near Roper.

Afterwards he fled in a dark color older model car driven by a second person. That vehicle’s description matches one seen during a similar holdup in Rome the previous day, but doesn’t resemble anything seen during the robberies in Chattooga County.

Just to be sure, Chattooga’s sheriff is also involved in the investigation trying to figure out if there’s a link between the crimes.

LPD Facebook / Steve's Kwik Stop Robbery

LPD responded to the theft by “increasing patrol.”

Why can they do extra patrols for this but not on a regular basis?   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Friday night Walker County deputies were called to a house on Sheila Gale Ave. in Rossville after 64-year-old Jose Alegre shot at a man leaving his home.

Sheila Gail Ln Rossville - Site of Shooting / WTVC Channel 9

Per the GBI, Alegre fired a gun at a fireplace contractor. Deputies and Walker County SWAT responded, tried to force the suspect to leave his home with teargas, and were also fired at. Around 1:30 AM Saturday officers fired back and ended Alegre’s life.

Neighbors suggest the Cuban immigrant was dealing with mental illness; the GBI continues to investigate.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Tragic accident in Fort O. claims the life of a 32-year-old motorcyclist.

Motorcycle Wreck - Fort O - January 31 2016 / WRCB

Heath Brown of Soddy Daisy Tennessee was struck and killed at 27 and Cloud Springs Rd around 6:30 Sunday evening.

Be careful out there.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2016
01.29

LaFayette mom of the year candidate arrested after allegedly crashing her vehicle while high, holding a baby in her lap.

    WQCH Radio, 01/27/16: “A 33 YEAR OLD MOM WAS ARRESTED BY LAFAYETTE POLICE FOR DUI-DRUGS AFTER SHE REAR-ENDED ANOTHER DRIVER ON NORTH MAIN STREET, INJURING HER SMALL CHILD. AUTUMN LEIGH HICKS WAS ALSO CHARGED BECAUSE SHE DID NOT HAVE HER TODDLER SECURED PROPERLY IN A SAFETY SEAT.

Autumn Leigh Hicks

    “THE ARRESTING OFFICER NOTICED A STRONG SMELL OF MARIJUANA COMING FROM HICKS’ VEHICLE, BUT SHE REFUSED A DRUG TEST. HER PROBATION OFFICER ARRANGED FOR THAT, AT THE COUNTY JAIL. HICKS TESTED POSITIVE FOR METH AND MARIJUANA.
    “THE OTHER DRIVER INVOLVED STATED THAT SHE STOPPED FOR A RED LIGHT AT ROADRUNNER BLVD WHEN HICKS’ VEHICLE CAME UP FROM BEHIND AND STRUCK HER CAR NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE. SHE LOOKED UP TO SEE THE BABY IN HICKS’ LAP, ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT.
    “OTHER CHARGES AGAINST AUTUMN HICKS INCLUDE ENDANGERING A CHILD WHILE DRIVING DUI AND DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE. BOTH CARS WERE BADLY DAMAGED AND HAD TO BE TOWED. THE BABY WAS THE ONLY PERSON TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL.”   Tiny Facebook

Victim in Tuesday night’s Rossville killing named as Torry Creek, age 54.

Torry Creek

Neighbors say “The Chicken Man” loved raising animals and was a “father figure” for the neighborhood surrounding his Orchard Ave home. But he also had a dark side, and an arrest in December for domestic violence.

Sheriff’s Office investigators have decided Creek’s death was an extension of his domestic violence past and the killing appears to be a situation of self defense. Detectives say the man who killed Creek, still unnamed, was trying to break up a fight between Mr. Creek and his wife.

No charges have been filed in the case and likely never will be.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Lanny ThomasRetired teacher Lanny Thomas, a challenger to Jeff Mullis for GA Senate district 53, says his priorities are education and “representing industry” once he’s elected.

Thomas spent most of his career teaching and coaching in Trion schools, but graduated from LHS in 1980 and briefly taught there earlier in his career.

Mr. Thomas’ wife owns an accounting firm that audits businesses and governments, including many cities that would be inside Thomas’ district if he wins. No word yet how he’d address that obvious conflict of interest.

Meanwhile Senator Mullis’ office sent out a release claiming Jeff The Hutt is all about “financial accountability” – which is probably supposed to be a joke.   Tiny Facebook

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