Bread and milk ran low in Summerville (and elsewhere) this week as snow entered the forecast and temperatures dipped to record lows.

Empty Milk Cooler in Summerville

Weather forecasts prompted closures of Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Whitfield schools. (Chickamauga, Chattooga, and others still on Winter break obviously had no need to close.) Walker County government offices and Walker Transit also closed for weather (more on that below). Roper canceled shifts on Monday night and all of Tuesday after its natural gas provider asked industrial customers to save gas for home heating by curtailing production.

When it was all said and done, snowfall was minimal or non-existent in most of the area, but temperatures hit and often surpassed forecasted lows. WQCH radio reported a low of 4° in LaFayette, surpassing the previous low temp. record for January 6th by two degrees. (The record of 8° for today was also broken.)

Schools will be open tomorrow but most will run on a delay. Walker, Catoosa, Chattooga, and Chickamauga schools will push everything back two hours. Dade schools will all start at 10 AM. Roper will open Wednesday for second shift. For any other schedule changes or cancellations, check LU Facebook.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Neal Florence Campaigning

Despite the cold weather, today’s an election day in parts of Walker, Catoosa, and Whitfield Counties. The special vote to pick a new representative for House District 2 continues today through 7 PM.

As this is being written, voter turnout has been pitiful all day (early voting was also low) because of the weather and odd schedule of the election.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Before voting, check the LU Q&A with House District 2 candidates. Also watch these videos from a November TEA Party meeting at Dari-Dip: Florence | Tarvin | Woodruff

All Walker County gov’t offices (except the courtroom and elections office) were closed today and yesterday due to the bad weather and cold. No tax office, no animal control, no Civic Center or Chamber, no Walker Transit.

Manor House Seven Kitchen Employees

The county’s restaurant in Kensington, however, was open both days, in case a customer stops by. (Hopefully they don’t have all seven of these people on the clock waiting for something to do.)

As someone commented elsewhere, you can’t renew your tag, you can’t get a stray dog picked up, your grandma won’t be able to get a ride to Bi-Lo or to vote, but if you need a damn grilled cheese sandwich it’s only a forty minute drive away.

Walker County government priorities.   Tiny Facebook

Nissin Brake’s expansion in Rock Spring is expected to add about 30 jobs to the manufacturer. In return for that growth, Walker County is giving the Rock Spring plant a $1.8 million tax break over eight years – that’s $7,500 per job.

Construction at Nissin

The tricky part is where Nissin INSTEAD pays $1.1 million to the Walker County Development Authority, which is money that will NOT be in the county’s general fund and will NOT be accountable to taxpayers.

Roper, Syntec, and a bunch of other businesses pay the Development Authority instead of paying taxes.. We don’t benefit from what they’re paying out but somebody does somewhere.

Larry Brooks, Virgil Sperry, and Commissioner Bebe have a whole lot of play money in the Development Authority that mostly flies under the radar. Where does it go, who benefits? We may never know.   Tiny Facebook

Over the weekend, missing 17-year-old Kayla Montgomery returned home on her own.

She WAS in Rome, not New York, and was with the boy they thought she was with.. He’s been taken into custody for running away from Mountain Top Boy’s Home.   Tiny Facebook

Last week House District 2 candidate Steve Tarvin sent out a mailer injecting himself into the “Duck Dynasty” controversy.

Tarvin Duck Dynasty Mailing

Regardless of your position on what Phil Robertson said, does it matter what Tarvin thinks about the issue? He’s running for Georgia House of Representatives and is discussing a TV show filmed in Louisiana, a magazine and TV channel both based out of New York, and a constitutional issue (maybe) that would be addressed in Washington DC.

None of which he can do a thing about in Atlanta.

Meanwhile nobody knows what he thinks about Georgia’s tax system, Hutcheson hospital, state asset forfeiture laws, state ethics laws, or the condition of roads in the Peach State – all things which he WOULD be able to have an impact on if he manages to win.   Tiny Facebook

Another thing Candidate Tarvin hasn’t been clear on are his campaign finances.

House District 2 candidates Florence and Woodruff released their 2013 campaign fundraising reports last week. Florence collected $58,000 and Woodruff pulled in $22,000. They both have a good bit left on hand in case of a runoff election. Candidate Tarvin has not filed his required report, or possibly mailed it in instead of doing it online.   Tiny Facebook

Sahara Palmer

Foster parents of the Catoosa 2-year-old who died over New Years say she fell down, twice, the day she was hospitalized – 24 hours before she passed away. Investigation into her suspicious death continues.

The girl’s bio mother has an interesting history, to say the least.   Tiny Facebook

LHS Wrestling finally faced a defeat last Friday, losing one match out of four played in Buckhorn, Alabama. The Rambler Wrestlers still have a great record, playing additional matches last weekend and scheduled to appear in playoffs next week.   Tiny Facebook

In other LHS sports news, senior Lance Estus – who spent several years playing basketball instead of football – went back to football last season. He made a good choice; performance on the field led to him being named Walker County Offensive Player of the Year. Congrats Lance!   Tiny Facebook

IRS has arrested more than a half-dozen Northwest GA residents for using prisoner Social Security numbers to file false tax returns.   Tiny Facebook

Hope Rebirth Homeless Shelter in Summerville is open for those who don’t have a warm place to stay this week. When temperatures drop like this, having the shelter available could literally save someone’s life. (Call 706-857-4804 to request assistance.)

Hope Rebirth Shelter

..for those of us who DON’T need a homeless shelter this week, the shelter could use some help. A little cash, maybe some of your time. Might think about checking into what you could do to help them.   Tiny Facebook

When the Georgia General Assembly meets next Monday (likely with the winner of today’s election present), one of the bills they’ll consider would allow county elections for offices like Sheriff and Commissioner to be non-partisan, or without party labels.

Does it really matter what party your sheriff, coroner, or surveyor affiliates with? Seems like party labels just muddy the water in local races.

Two years ago when Carolyn Walker and Steve Wilson changed from Democrat to Republican they both said it was silly to label someone at their level for a party. LU tends to agree.   Tiny Facebook

Wildflour Bakery has reopened in a new location on Patton Street, the former location of Music on the Square.   Tiny Facebook

David Pennington

Governor candidate David Pennington says one way he plans to save the state money is to cap the amount of money someone can get from suing a doctor or hospital. Reducing tort costs will cut medical provider expenses and result in lower medical bills for individuals and employers.   Tiny Facebook

Illegal fines charged by State Court Judge Mullinax get more attention from Georgia political blogs. Now if only they’ll get more attention from voters…   Tiny Facebook

So is it Rock Spring or Rock Springs with an “S” ?

Rock SpringS Sign

(It’s Rock Spring.)   Tiny Facebook

A new year means new laws for the Peach State. Here’s a look at several of the new rules.

Another new law tightens up background check requirements for people who work with kids.   Tiny Facebook

Video has been released from last September’s Civil War reenactment at Money Cove Farms. Still looks like hundreds of reenactors, not the thousands claimed – much less the 10,000 promised in advertising.   Tiny Facebook

If you’re pulled over, investigated, or detained by police what exactly ARE your rights? What are you required to do, what can you refuse to do, and what’s the right way to comply or refuse with police instructions?

Something good to know BEFORE push comes to shove.   Tiny Facebook

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