2014
04.16

6-year-old killed Monday in bus accident at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been publicly identified as Zackery Bryant.

Zackery Bryant

Flags flew half-mast at all Walker County schools on Tuesday, and a candlelight vigil in memory of the kindergartener will be held Saturday night from 6 to 8 at Rock Spring rec. center. So far there are no other memorials or services announced. A fund to assist his family with funeral arrangements has been set up at Wells-Fargo Bank.

Meanwhile, investigation into the school bus accident that claimed his life continues. Investigators have spoken to all the other students who rode the bus (none of whom apparently saw the accident) and videos retrieved from the bus and school grounds. The incident will be formally turned over to a prosecutor who will decide if charges are warranted.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

City reorganization moved animal control from codes to police department. Caleb Hartshorn named new animal control officer; Hartshorn is training with LPD while finishing a law enforcement degree at Dalton State.

Caleb Hartshorn with Benjie CLift & Stacey Meeks

Officer Hartshorn commented on LU Facebook that he appreciates the community’s support and feels great “being a home town boy working for the public.

Caleb seems to be a pretty good guy, hopefully he’ll stay that way.   Tiny Facebook

Walmart plans to build a new “Neighborhood Market” in Fort O. behind Chick-Fil-A. Site is less than 3 miles from the company’s existing superstore location, which will remain open.

New format from world’s largest retailer is an attempt to better compete with dollar stores and convenience/gas stations.   Tiny Facebook

How do you feel about one-way streets? Seems a good number of people in town don’t want them, especially not downtown:

    WQCH Radio, 04/15/14: “NO NEW ONE-WAY STREETS IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE. THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED AGAINST A PROPOSAL TO MAKE NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS ONE WAY, ON THE EAST SIDE OF SOUTH MAIN. THAT PROPOSAL WAS BROUGHT TO THE COUNCIL LAST MONTH BY WALKER COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER, CAROLYN WALKER, WHOSE OFFICE IS BOUNDED NORTH AND SOUTH BY THOSE TWO STREETS.

Map of Proposed One Way Streets

    “AT MONDAY‚ÄôS MEETING, LOCAL ATTORNEY BILL RHYNE PRESENTED THE COUNCIL WITH A PETITION BEARING OVER 140 SIGNATURES OF RESIDENTS WHO ARE AGAINST THE ONE-WAY IDEA. THE COUNCIL VOTED TO LEAVE BOTH NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS AS THEY ARE: OPEN TO TWO-WAY TRAFFIC.”   Tiny Facebook

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2014
04.15

A six-year-old child was struck by a school bus and killed in front of Chattanooga Valley Elementary early Monday morning. Kindergartener was hit after exiting his bus in front of the Flintstone school and, per Coroner DeWayne Wilson, died instantly.

April 14 School Bus Accident

GSP is reviewing cameras from the bus and the school as part of investigating the accident. Final results of the investigation aren’t likely to be made public for months, meanwhile a family and a community deal with the shocking loss.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Another article about upcoming property tax increase. Commissioner Bebe again blames the rise on cities, the school system, road work (which isn’t paid for with this money), and property values.

Bebe Buck Stops Here

Article is only notable because it shows property tax rates in Walker for the last fifteen years. Since Bebe took office in January 2001, taxes have more than doubled – going from 2.3 to 4.705 mils in unincorporated areas.

2013 SPLOST Billboard

Remember these billboards? Keep your taxes LOW by voting for TAXES!

The tax we COULD have lowered was renewed by gullible voters, and the taxes we can’t control are now being raised by the Commissioner.

Nobody’s ever lost money betting on the poor judgment of Walker County voters.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

LaFayette library staff talked to Jed Mescon on Channel 3 last Wednesday about the fundraiser featuring Johnny Cash.

All profits from sales of the Cash poster, and proceeds from the various raffles, will go to the library’s youth programs and to purchase books for kids.

Library officials also say the branch remodeling in LaFayette MIGHT be done this summer.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2014
04.08

Late Sunday night or early Morning morning a Dade County prisoner overpowered a guard and escaped while at Hutcheson. Authorities looked for him in the Fort Oglethorpe area but have abandoned the hunt there, apparently thinking he’s headed back to Dade for some reason.

Escaped Prisoner Joshua Bradford

As of early Tuesday morning he still hasn’t been located. Apparently the crimes he committed originally aren’t as serious as what he did to get away.

If you see this guy, contact local law enforcement.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Profitability has also escaped Hutcheson and seems increasingly unlikely to ever be found again.

During February the hospital lost over $1 million. A year earlier under Erlanger’s control the hospital made a profit of over $100,000.

Which, again, shows the stupidity of Hutcheson suing Erlanger for mismanagement when they managed the hospital better than its own people have.   Tiny Facebook

A “wild” pig, apparently an escaped potbelly, has been spotted recently in the Naomi area. This photo was taken in a yard off Hwy. 151 near Kemp Rd. late last week. He’s also been seen on Corinth Rd. and Coffman Springs Rd.

wild_pig

A few days after LU shared this photo, Channel 3 decided the escaped pig was newsworthy. Their report claims the hog has also been seen at LaFayette Walmart, which seems hard to believe considering the distance, number of busy road crossings, and the animal’s size.

(If you want to know what Channel 3 will be covering next week, read LU THIS week.)   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2014
04.05

LaFayette property owner recently got a surprise in the mail. How many mistakes can you spot here?

$12,000 LaFayette Power Bill

An employee at the building says typical bill for residents is $100 a month.. It’s a two-bedroom apartment recently emptied, building was given upgrades last year to make it more energy efficient.

This is why LaFayette utilities is a joke. Until they can fix meter reading/billing the city will never move forward regardless of who’s in charge or what financial changes are made.   Tiny Facebook

Commissioner Heiskell releases a video explaining her planned tax increase.

She says this increase has “nothing whatsoever to do with the SPLOST.”

But before the SPLOST vote, her people were all saying SPLOST would keep taxes from being increased. So it DOES have a SPLOST tie. It also has a SPLOST tie because she’s used SPLOST to buy a bunch of land and “lower the tax digest” because all the acreage she’s bought is no longer being taxed, and all the buildings she builds with SPLOST have to be maintained, insured, heated, lit, and whatever else.

“OUR budget, Walker County’s budget..”

Stop right there. Walker County has no budget. It isn’t lower, or higher, or anything else, because it doesn’t exist. She might have one on paper or in her head but she never formally signed off on one in a public meeting so we don’t actually have one. Regardless of what she actually looks at, we have no budget.

“..over the past years, since we’ve had a tax increase, gasoline, and asphalt, has quadrupled.”

In 2010 during her last tax increase meeting, Bebe said we’ve never paved roads out of the general fund. Not in the entire time she was in office. Even Wednesday night on UCTV she said they don’t pave roads with general fund money, they use state and federal and SPLOST for pavement. So the price of asphalt has nothing to do with this either, because the money she gets from your property tax doesn’t go to buy it.

All that talk, but she didn’t address the part where she told reporters she hasn’t raised taxes in ten years, which LU has shown is a lie times three.

It’s no wonder she isn’t planning any “community meetings” for 2014 like the ones held last spring.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Saddle Ridge School from Arnold Rd.

GDOT announces plans to finally set up a school zone with flashing lights and lower speed limits in front of Saddle Ridge school:

    CatWalkChatt Facebook, 04/02/14: “As the school year nears completion, Georgia Department of Transportation officials have finalized plans for a school zone along U.S. 27 at the entrance to Saddle Ridge Elementary and Middle School. Signage and flashing lights will be installed immediately upon approval, according to GDOT spokesperson Mohamed Arafa. School zones usually include a speed reduction zone during designated times as school buses arrive and depart.”

This fits with reports of GDOT-logo vehicles sitting at the school recently.   Tiny Facebook

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2014
04.02

Joshua Michael Fowler of LaFayette has now been formally charged with beating his grandmother to death over the weekend.

Mimosa Drive Chickamauga

Investigators say Fowler, who served a prison term for drugs, admitted doing meth and coke before allegedly murdering 75-year-old Joyce Ann Fowler on Saturday. They also say the interior of his vehicle was covered with blood. The truck, and a recovered likely murder weapon, are being analyzed by the GBI crime lab.

Addtional reports say the murdered woman, who lived in Chickamauga, had expressed fear that her SON would kill her, and was hinting to neighbors that family members were trying to steal her money.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Be careful and watch for new traffic signals today in Rock Spring at Kay Conley Rd.

    WQCH Radio, 04/01/14: “ROCK SPRING MAY NOT BE AN INCORPORATED TOWN, BUT THEY NOW HAVE A SECOND TRAFFIC LIGHT.
    “THE NEW SIGNAL ON HIGHWAY 27 AT KAY CONLEY ROAD WILL BECOME A REGULAR ‘STOP LIGHT’ THIS WEDNESDAY.
    “THE NEW TRAFFIC LIGHT IS ONE OF SEVERAL IMPROVEMENTS AT THE KAY CONLEY INTERSECTION, INSTALLED BY THE STATE D.O.T. DUE TO A HIGH NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS AT THE LOCATION.”

Rock Spring actually has TWO other traffic signals – at GNTC and the Hwy. 95/27 intersection. It still needs a fourth, in front of Saddle Ridge school.   Tiny Facebook

Two years ago last week, Covenant Bank (a/k/a Bank of Billy Teems) was declared insolvent and taken over, by government order, by Stearns Bank of Minnesota. Now Stearns announces both branches in Rock Spring and Dalton will close in June.

Stearns Bank Closing Letter

It was only a matter of time. Stupid location for a poorly-run bank, and a poor fit with the Stearns company which has no other local branches.

So what will we see moved into the Covenant Bank building after it closes? Flea market? Antique store? Someone suggested two years ago it’d make a classy spot for a Little Caesar’s in Rock Spring.   Tiny Facebook

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