2012
06.08

The guy who (we’re told) admitted to breaking into Cagle’s was arrested for burglary, because he stole a Jeep top. Investigating that theft revealed he had broken into a car dealership in February and took stuff. And then, supposedly, that burglary led them to connect him to stealing the Nissan XTerra weeks ago. But the arrest for the XTerra theft came well before the arrest for the Jeep top theft, and both crimes scream out a connection to the Cagle thefts but there’s no clear link? Your guess with this is as good as ours, but it all continues to smell very very funny.

So he broke into B&B Auto in February and stole scrap metal, batteries, and oil. He didn’t sell those things, rather chose to stack them up in a house in Linwood, and when they were found the Sheriff’s Office immediately recognized them as being.. from B&B. Because batteries and scrap metal and oil are recognizable that way.

Meanwhile the biggest local crime of the last six months, with at least four, if not seven or eight, people involved, has no clues, no leads, no ties, no suspects… They can arrest one guy for taking a Jeep top but not a half-dozen guys for taking a whole Jeep.

Not only does arsonist Marvin Chase get a light sentence, the 18 months he spends in custody will be spent at a facility not even classified as a prison.

In this piece Stacey Meeks says state law requires them to track down property owners of the burned homes before an arsonist can be charged.. So remember kids: if you burn down a house where nobody lives, not only will nobody care, they can’t even charge you with a crime if the police bother to investigate it.

WQCH Radio, 06/07/12:

    “THE NEW CEO OF ERLANGER AT HUTCHESON SOUNDED A POSITIVE NOTE THIS WEEK, SAYING HE EXPECTS THE HOSPITAL’S FINANCES TO ‘STABILIZE’ OVER THE COMING MONTHS. ROGER FORGEY SAID THE HOSPITAL HAS CUT $800,000 IN MONTHLY EXPENSES SINCE LATE 2011. HE GAVE THE HOSPITAL’S STAFF A ‘PAT ON THE BACK’ FOR THEIR EFFORTS TO TURN THE AILING HOSPITAL AROUND.
    “‘WE ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN OPERATIONS AND EXPENSES, BUT THEY ARE OVERSHADOWED BY BILLING AND COLLECTION ISSUES’, FORGEY SAID. A GOVERNMENT-MANDATED BILLING SYSTEM CHANGE HAS GIVEN THE HOSPITAL HEADACHES IN THE PROCESS OF COLLECTING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IT’S OWED. THAT HAS REQUIRED A ‘DRAW’ ON THE FORT OGLETHORPE HOSPITAL’S LINE OF CREDIT FROM ERLANGER… IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN CASH FLOW.
    “THE CEO SAID THOSE ISSUES ARE BEING ADDRESSED. AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE BOARD IS WORKING WITH HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATORS TO RESOLVE ISSUES WITH THE BILLING SOFTWARE AND TO IMPLEMENT A NEW ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS SYSTEM AS REQUIRED IN NEW FEDERAL STANDARDS. FORGEY SAID ‘THE HOSPITAL’S MONTHLY FINANCIAL STATEMENT WOULD HAVE READ MUCH DIFFERENTLY IN RECENT MONTHS, IF THE BILLING AND COLLECTION ISSUES HAD NOT OCCURED’.”

Their billing is atrocious, and overly-aggressive too.. Hopefully they won’t make it more aggressive and quick to call in collection agencies. They just need to make it competent.

Local governments in GA with budgets over $1 million (including cities, counties, and schools) are required by new state laws to send their financial reports to UGA for analysis and public access. So far about half of them haven’t, and many say it’s a waste of time and money.

Looks like LaFayette, Walker County, and Walker Schools are all compliant with the law.. The same info is supposed to be sent to a state audit agency and posted online there but it stays about a year behind.

New elements of the open records laws are also causing some confusion.. In Whitfield County they’re concerned that having someone in leadership visit a county department could be considered a “meeting” that would require minutes to be taken.. Dalton isn’t being quite as legalistic about it.

Meeting agendas also need to be posted a week in advance. LaFayette might be putting one on the wall somewhere, but we haven’t seen them going on the city Web site any earlier. There’s a council meeting next Monday night and the agenda for it still isn’t online as-of noon Friday. Probably will see it come up before the end of business today.

And on a related topic, here’s some info about filing an Open Records request. Meeting minutes, financial information, and a whole lot of other stuff is technically open to the public – but you have to ask for it, and be willing to pay some copying or retrieval costs.

WQCH Radio, 06/07/12: “THE GEORGIA DNR WILDLIFE DIVISION IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS ON-LINE, FOR ‘QUOTA HUNTS.’ THEY INCLUDE DOVE SEASON, WITH A DEADLINE OF AUGUST 15th AND DEER SEASON, DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 1st. THERE ARE ALSO SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES, SUCH AS ADULT AND CHILD HUNTS.”

Last year’s attempt to have criminals pick produce was a spectacular failure. But this year, using inmates instead of probationers (who chose to leave), the program is working pretty well.

Because no opposing candidates qualified in most of the state’s judge races, elections for those were decided during qualification in May.

Don’t forget to check the LaFayette Underground rundown of local races and candidates.

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