2013
01.28

Two guards were stabbed early Sunday morning at Hays State Prison, the local ticking time bomb.

Hays Prison / SF Bay View Paper

Prison sources say the incident happened around 1 AM. One officer was stabbed in his shoulder from the rear, another was stabbed in the leg helping the first man. A third employee was beaten with a broom.

The inmates involved had their faces covered during the attack, but have been identified and transferred to the Hi-Max prison in Jacksonville. Hays’ SWAT team reclaimed that section of the prison and began extensive cell searches.

This is the fourth serious incident of violence at Hays in the last six weeks; two inmates were murdered behind bars on separate days in December, and another inmate was stabbed to death in the prison a week ago Friday. Special Cobra teams from Atlanta came, and went, but nothing really changed; It’s hard to do much in a prison with huge staff turnover, corrupt employees enabling inmates, broken door locks, and the state’s most violent men crammed in together.

This report about the dangerous conditions at Hays Prison was written and published before the stabbing. (It actually ran in Sunday’s paper, set in ink just as the stabbing occurred.) Reporters at the Times Free Press have either heard from the same prison employees who contacted LU, or heard from other employees saying the same things.

Hays Inmate

Employees at Hays who know they could lose their jobs for talking to the media, who normally wouldn’t go against the rules, are reaching out to LU and other media outlets because they’re at their wits’ ends. Insiders see nothing will ever be done until media attention drives the community to demand a change.

If the state doesn’t make changes – real changes like making repairs, increasing funding, and moving some inmates to other facilities – the prison is a ticking time bomb, not just for inmates and employees (as seen all too clearly this weekend) but also for the surrounding community. It’s only a matter of time before a mass riot leads to an escape.

Residents within a few hours’ walk of the prison should talk to their children and other family members about what to do if inmates do break out of Hays, and equip themselves as necessary if the unimaginable becomes reality.

    WQCH Radio, 01/25/13: “SEAFOOD PRODUCTION HAS STARTED AT ‘REAL BRIGHT SUNRAE’ LOCATED IN THE FORMER BARWICK ‘ARCHER’ PLANT AT KENSINGTON.
    “WALKER COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPER LARRY BROOKS SAID THE COMPANY HAS FILLED TWO OF IT’S GIANT TANKS AND RECEIVED IT’S FIRST SHIPMENT OF FISH TO ‘STOCK’ THEM. MIKE SCHIECK TOLD WQCH IN AN EARLIER INTERVIEW THAT SUNRAE WILL USE LARGE TANKS BUILT INSIDE THE PLANT TO RAISE SEVERAL KINDS OF FISH AND SHRIMP, AS FOOD PRODUCTS.
    “ANOTHER BUSINESS INSIDE THE ARCHER FACILITY, THE SUNRAE BOTTLED WATER OPERATION, HAS BEEN PUT ON-HOLD TEMPORARILY. BROOKS SAID WALKER COUNTY IS WORKING ON A NEW, LARGER-VOLUME WATER SOURCE TO SUPPLY THAT SIDE OF THE SUNRAE OPERATION. THE WATER-BOTTLING EQUIPMENT IS ALREADY ON-SITE AND WAITING FOR THE NEW WATER LINES TO BE INSTALLED.”

In May, this is what the same Larry Brooks was saying:

    “According to Brooks, no Walker County funds will be put into the new business. ‘They have not asked us for anything,’ he said. ‘They have not even asked us for any tax abatements.’”

Sunrae LogoThe county brought in fire trucks to fill the fish tanks and now we’re supposedly upgrading the water system in the middle of nowhere so they can do the bottled water.. This was supposed to only be bottled water, not fish, and open in July. The original announcement also claimed the business would use existing county water supplies.

LU said this businesses wouldn’t be what they claimed it was, and the commissioner and her people attacked the blog on TV for suggesting such a thing, saying the Underground was anti-business.

As noted last time SunRae came up, LU isn’t anti-business – just anti-bulls^%%.

The timeline and product haven’t been what the company owner said. The jobs haven’t been what he said. The county’s involvement hasn’t been what Bebe and Brooks said.

Just waiting now to see if they start processing garbage to feed the fish with.

An ATV accident out in Subligna/Gore area yesterday afternoon injured an 11-year-old boy. He’s been airlifted to “a Chattanooga hospital” presumably Erlanger. Child is step-grandson of a former Chattooga County commissioner, he was hurt on the grandfather’s property.

Fire Chief Camp

Walker County Fire and Rescue has some paid employees, but depends heavily on volunteers. The department has a call out for more volunteers, with training beginning in February.

Volunteers get Christmas bonuses and qualify for retirement if they serve long enough.

State workers face furloughs and (in some cases) layoffs, but employees of state-owned Georgia Lottery Corp. have gotten huge bonuses and raises despite a new law intended to keep lotto executives from getting.. huge bonuses and raises.

Mike Jinright Lotto Winner

A 49-year-old Dalton man won $250,000 from GA Lottery last week and kept a promise to split the winnings with three friends. They had all been playing for years, saying anyone who won would share with the others.

Cousin Mike!

Gov. Deal’s proposed $40.8 billion budget for next year includes small increases for education (but cuts to the State School Sup’t office budget), plus money for new college facilities, reservoirs, and the relocating College Football Hall of Fame – among many others.

The governor also proposes restoring $4.3 million to the state archives, which were transferred to the University System last year instead of falling under the Secretary of State’s office.

Johnny Cash in Prison

Haven’t posted any Johnny Cash links in a long time. In light of recent prison problems, here’s a nice look back at efforts taken by The Man in Black to make prisons more humane in an era when inmate abuse was the norm.

LaFayette has a role in Cash’s life (and his jail experiences) because he sat in the county jail here for one night in 1967, then came back in ’70 to play a fundraiser concert for the high school.

How do you feel about billboards along interstates and highways? Groups in Columbus are taking the state to court over a new law allowing billboard companies to cut down any trees that obstruct their signs.

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