2013
07.03

Stephens House in Kensington

Due to the July 4th Independence Day holiday, this will be the week’s final Daily Update.

Sources say Walker Transit’s director was fired Tuesday morning. Looks like this is how the Commissioner covers up her own role in trying to shut the service down last week.

Responsibility for renewing the contract and failure to realize it expired on July 1 falls fully on Bebe, not anyone else.. Not sure if she’s trying to blame this employee for that, or pissed about the community response to what she planned to do.

Yesterday Channel 3 did a followup report on the Walker Transit issue, proclaiming that Walker County will “take care of medical needs.” However, transportation for medically fragile, elderly, and poor citizens will probably NOT through be Walker Transit since the county is looking to dump this service on another group, only six years after taking it over from some of the same entities. It seems Commissioner Bebe will still dismantle transit, just now she’s going to do it a piece at a time instead of all at once.

(The reporter behind this one, Jonquil Newland, isn’t the same journalist sent last week. Newland is the one who helped Commissioner Heiskell smear election opponent Dr. Paul Shaw last year with out of context interview clips.)   Tiny Facebook

Bebe Mind Trick

Editorial in Friday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press calls Commissioner Heiskell out for not having a 2013 budget:

    “How dare Heiskell demand Walker County taxpayers agree to pay more in taxes when she doesn’t respect them enough to accept, and operate within, a budget.”
    ..”In order for Heiskell to ask Walker County residents to reach further into their pockets, she needs to be able to point to places in the budget that are under-funded and justify her request for additional dollars. Since she can’t, county voters should laugh Heiskell’s sales tax off the ballot this fall.”

People beyond Walker County are beginning to smell the decay of what’s happening down here. If this level of media attention continues, something positive might actually begin to happen in county government.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

For those who have asked, LaFayette garbage pickup for Thursday July 4th will be done on Friday the 5th.   Tiny Facebook

Also, if you were planning to see fireworks in Fort O. tonight in the rain, the show has been canceled. No plans to reschedule.   Tiny Facebook

Sheriffs Office Seized Boat

Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Lookout Mtn Drug Task Force will conduct an auction on August 6th, selling off property seized without due process during the last year. Due to failures in state law, funds generated by this sale will go into a black hole of unaccountability.

Be sure to “mark this date on you calenders”

If you’re ever accused or suspected of having drugs, even if it’s later proven you did not, your car, boat, or cement smoother could be in the next auction.   Tiny Facebook

LaFayette DDA has obtained a $200k loan from the state to help finish renovations and improvements on Chattanooga Street. DDA chair Mike Lovelady, owner of Mars Theater District Inc, will benefit from the loan and is also responsible for paying it back. DDA is also looking to get tax breaks for businesses that open along Chattanooga St. and towards Linwood.   Tiny Facebook

New stop signs at the intersection of Chattanooga St. and Villanow St. are meant to fix “chaos” in front of Mars Theater. LPD Chief Clift would like to also install “rubber speed humps” in the area but will hold off due to expense and truck traffic.

The city wants Syntec to stop using city streets and only send its trucks down state highways. Problem is there’s no state highway TO Syntec. Article suggests the city wants Syntec trucks to use GA 193, but 193 doesn’t go directly to the Probasco Street carpet mill. In fact, from 193 the quickest way to Syntec is.. down Chattanooga Street.   Tiny Facebook

New Fairview Tax Office Trailer

Walker County’s new “modular” tag office will open in Fairview/Rossville next Monday. Here’s another look at the reasons behind replacing the old office with a retired bank trailer.   Tiny Facebook

July 1st means a new fiscal year and new laws in Georgia. The state’s immigration law is now tighter, requiring government agencies to verify their contractors’ employees’ legal statuses.   Tiny Facebook

Another new law requires child care centers to be inspected and certified, with ratings posted online like restaurants. So far the only place in LaFayette with certification is Headstart on Probasco Street.   Tiny Facebook

Also new on July 1st, control and care of Georgia’s State Archives was transferred from the Secretary of State to the University System. UGA will provide the archives with more funding and plans to integrate some of the material into college courses.   Tiny Facebook

Lots of funny money floating around Chattooga County.   Tiny Facebook

Freedom Fest Pie Eating Contest

Photo from the pie eating contest during Freedom Festival. The adult winner was Dell Montgomery.   Tiny Facebook

Sen. Jeff Mullis continues his campaign to make fireworks legal again in Georgia. He says the state would make $10 million a year in extra tax revenue if fireworks sales were taxed at 10% instead of being pushed across state lines. Mullis says traditional arguments about the danger of fireworks are overblown.

He’s right, but he’s probably motivated less by the revenue potential and more by the infamous illegal fireworks display neighbors say he hosts at his Chickamauga home every year.   Tiny Facebook

FIVE years ago this week, the Web site that would become LaFayette Underground launched with a manifesto and explanation of why Walker County needed a new media outlet.

That was the first abortive try, followed by two or three posts that summer and one the next summer that wasn’t shared for months. LU relaunched in October 2009 with a real site, a name, and some teeth.

Now some 300+ blog articles and six or eight thousand Facebook posts later, here we are.   Tiny Facebook

Around midnight on Friday a man sitting on railroad tracks in Sugar Valley was struck and killed by a train. Sugar Valley is just on the other side of the Walker/Gordon Co line heading towards Calhoun from Villanow.   Tiny Facebook

A state panel has decided GA Representative Tyrone Brooks should not be suspended from the General Assembly, even though he’s facing thirty indictments for fraud, because the charges don’t “relate” to his duties as a legislator.   Tiny Facebook

Library Group at Pettyjohns Cave

Last week Lafayette Walker County Library took teens on a trip to explore Pettyjohn’s Cave.

Not your typical library activity, that’s for sure.   Tiny Facebook

Owner and employees of an Alzheimer’s care facility down in Commerce, GA have been arrested for charges of cruelty and abuse. 21 different people are facing more than seventy counts, including elder abuse and financial exploitation.   Tiny Facebook

GBI director Vernon Keenan says his agency doesn’t operate in secret like federal investigators, hoping to reassure Georgians that his officers aren’t reading their e-mails and listening to their phone calls.

What he said sounded good until he referred to the state’s Open Records laws as the main reason they’re held “accountable” – the laws are good but enforcement is a joke.   Tiny Facebook

A Clayton County woman was asked by the state to have a doctor verify her gender when she attempted to correct a mistake on her birth certificate. After she complained, the state allowed her to use her own child’s certificate as proof she’s not a man.   Tiny Facebook

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