2016
04.17

Rock Spring Drowsy Driver Crash / April 13 2016

Wednesday afternoon a drowsy driver crashed his car into the guardrail on Hwy. 27 near Rock Spring after falling asleep behind the wheel.

The driver, who was not seriously injured, identified himself on LU Facebook as Antwan Williams of LaFayette. Williams and his family say he was traveling from school to work when he fell asleep.   Tiny Facebook

Last month Fort O. police officers considered charging Elizabeth Ann Reyna with child neglect or abuse when her toddler wandered off (again) while left home with inappropriate caregivers.

FOPD, Catoosa DFCS, and District Attorney Buzz Franklin could never decide on a charge, so the matter wasn’t addressed.

Billy Ray Crawford / Elizabeth Reyna

Now Reyna and her boyfriend Billy Ray Crawford are facing serious charges of Second Degree Murder after the same 18-month-old drowned in a pool – thanks to their own neglect and lack of action from proper authorities.

Catoosa DFCS is really batting a thousand lately for kids ending up dead. But sounds like the biggest problem here is the District Attorney’s office telling police not to file charges on the earlier incident.   Tiny Facebook

City council seeks to update city zoning, to clean up the town’s southern entrance along South Main, by limiting chain stores and similar businesses from building there. The restrictions may expand to other roads like West Main and Villanow St.

    WQCH Radio, 04/13/16: “THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL HAS DECIDED TO UPDATE THE 40 YEAR OLD ZONING PLANS, AND VOTED TO ‘START THE BALL ROLLING’ TOWARD A CHANGE IN ZONING FOR SOUTH MAIN STREET. COUNCILMAN BEN BRADFORD MADE THE MOTION AT MONDAY’S COUNCIL MEETING, AND IT PASSED 5 TO NOTHING.

LaFayette City Council, Mayor, City Manager, & Clerk - January 2016

    “THE NEW PROPOSAL IS TO CHANGE FROM THE PRESENT BUSINESS ZONING TO O-1 ALONG SOUTH MAIN, WHICH WOULD ‘MIRROR’ THE ZONING ON NORTH MAIN. O-1 KEEPS A ‘RESIDENTIAL FEEL’ WHILE ALLOWING CERTAIN TYPES OF BUSINESSES TO LOCATE WITHIN A MOSTLY RESIDENTIAL AREA.
    “EXISTING BUSINESSES SUCH AS ACE HARDWARE, DOLLAR GENERAL AND WHOLESALE PLUMBING WOULD BE ALLOWED TO STAY UNDER A ‘GRANDFATHER’ CLAUSE. BUT IF SUCH BUSINESS BUILDINGS BURN WITH DAMAGE AT OVER 50-PERCENT, THEY COULD NOT BE REBUILT.
    “BRADFORD SAID THAT AS A CORRIDOR-ENTRY ROUTE INTO THE CITY, THE O-1 ZONING WOULD HELP SOUTH MAIN ‘IMPROVE IT’S IMAGE’ AS YEARS GO BY. HE HAS ALSO PROPOSED THAT THE COUNCIL LOOK AT CHANGES ON OTHER CORRIDOR ROUTES, INCLUDING EAST VILLANOW AND WEST MAIN. THE PROPOSED CHANGE TO O-1 ON SOUTH MAIN MUST GO THROUGH THE ZONING CHANGE PROCESS, WHICH INCLUDES ADVERTISEMENT AND A PUBLIC HEARING.
    “CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON ADDED THAT HE PLANS TO CALL A ‘WORK SESSION’ FOR THE COUNCIL, TO DISCUSS OVERALL CHANGES IN THE CITY’S ZONING ORDINANCES. MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD SAID FOR THE MOST PART, THEY HAVEN’T BEEN UPDATED SINCE THE EARLY 1970’s.”

It’s good to try and clean up the city, it’s also good to keep a lot of chain stores out of residential areas like Villanow Street.

But South Main isn’t a quality residential area, and it’s the closest part of town to the bypass. If we don’t allow chain stores there OR West Main, and they already can’t move in on North Main until about Hardee’s, where are we supposed to have stores and restaurants? (When’s the last time a chain store WANTED to set up on West Main anyway?)

Storage Unit Resale / South Main

Right now the problem on South Main isn’t chain stores, it’s local one-off businesses. The city should show it’s serious about cleaning up South Main by forcing existing non-chain businesses to clean up their lots and comply with existing codes. (A good place to begin would be with Lisa Gi—-t‘s “Storage Unit Resale,” which looks like a flea market threw up on the sidewalk.)

How do you feel about the council’s new proposal?   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2016
04.13

An attempted robbery at Pizza Hut around 10:20 Saturday night ended with a suspect in custody.

Hermon Teem52-year-old Herman Lee Teem of Noble allegedly held up a Pizza Hut waitress and manager at 10:22, taking $180 and then fleeing on foot. A witness saw a Mustang tear out of a parking lot nearby and notified PD. Teem was caught in that vehicle a few miles up North Main at El Trio.

The cash was found on Mr. Teem but the knife was not; he may have tossed it out the window somewhere between Pizza Hut and El Trio – so if you find one in the area, call 911 or LPD immediately.

Teem is thought to be the same individual who robbed the Kangaroo in Rock Spring twice during the previous week, also using a knife – so finding his blade might make solving those cases easier as well.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Michelle Dalene Shirley has turned herself in for alleged vehicular homicide.

Michelle Dalene Shirley

41-year-old Villanow resident is accused of killing motorcyclist Robert May on March 28th when she ran a red light in Fort Oglethorpe. (FOPD spent the last week identifying her, trying to find her, and negotiating for her to come in for arrest.)

The one-eyed driver has been released from jail on $11,000 bond.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

You know Bebe’s in trouble when her most reliable constituents shift their support to Shannon Whitfield.

Shannon Whitfield Sign in Cemetery

If the dead vote for Whitfield next month, who’s left to back Heiskell?   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2016
04.09

A federal court judge has ruled against Walker County School Board and the superintendent in a freedom of speech lawsuit.

Damon Raines

Judge Harold Murphy says school system’s rule requiring citizens to contact the superintendent and wait on him to address their concerns before talking to the board is unconstitutional.

He also ruled against a policy prohibiting taxpayers from directly speaking to the board about school employees.

The board is now prohibited from enforcing either rule and must revise its policies determining who can speak during their meetings.

The lawsuit was filed by Saddle Ridge teacher Jim Barrett.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

During the last week two Walker County convenience stories have been robbed, one of them twice.

Posted by Walker County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Walker Sheriff’s Office says these two broke into SNR Grocery on Trion Highway about 10:40 last Friday night. Only one boy got inside before the alarm scared them off.

(An update from the SO says both boys were identified and arrested.)

Sunday morning the Kangaroo/Circle K in Rock Spring was held up around 5:15 AM. A robber grabbed the female cashier and held a knife to her – all for $60.

The white male suspect in that incident fled on foot and has not been located – but apparently struck the same store again TODAY, in the same manner.

Rock Spring Circle K Robbery / April 9 2016

Per the Sheriffs Office, a knife-weilding white man with a quite similar description demanded money a little before 7 AM Saturday (today) and ordered a store employee into a back room, then left on foot – practically identical to what happened six days earlier.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

In a seemingly unrelated incident, another convenience store was held up Thursday night in Summerville.

The suspect in that robbery at Pure Stop on Hwy 114 in Summerville is a gray-haired white woman. Reports say she did not show a weapon but claimed someone else was waiting outside with one.

As of this morning, the crime was still being investigated with no suspect identified.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2016
04.06

Three more arrests at LaFayette Ca-Booze park:

    WQCH Radio, 03/26/16: “LAFAYETTE POLICE ARRESTED THREE PEOPLE AND SENT ANOTHER TO THE HOSPITAL, FOLLOWING A DRINKING BINGE AT THE DEPOT PARK OFF WEST PATTON STREET.

Caboose Park Closeup

    “THREE MALES WERE HELPING A FEMALE GET UP OFF THE GROUND WHEN THEY WERE SPOTTED BY POLICE. THE 48 YEAR OLD WOMAN WAS BLEEDING FROM THE NOSE – AND WAS TAKEN TO HUTCHESON TO BE CHECKED.
    “ALL THREE MEN WERE CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT, INCLUDING 39 YEAR OLD JAMES RICHARD SILVERS OF CHICKAMAUGA, 62 YEAR OLD WOODY CLARENCE SHELTON AND 57 YEAR OLD RICHARD JACKSON, BOTH OF LAFAYETTE. JACKSON WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA POSSESSION.
    “POLICE MADE THE MEN PICK UP AND DISPOSE OF BOTTLES AND CANS OF ALCOHOL, BEFORE BEING TRANSPORTED TO JAIL.”

LU has mentioned past alcohol arrests at the Depot Park (which serves as an unofficial homeless shelter more often than not) here and here. Mr. Silvers was arrested a little over a year ago for domestic violence in a Housing Authority apartment not too far away.   Tiny Facebook

As the high-profile 2016 elections continue, the overseer of Walker County’s elections has stepped away from the job.

Barbara Berry Retirement

Walker County Elections Supervisor Barbara Berry [front] has retired, ending 36 years in public service.

For now her position is being held by interim supervisor Danielle Montgomery.   Tiny Facebook

LPD seeks woman suspected of a hit-and-run type accident at Walmart – nearly a month ago.

LPD Walmart Hit and Run Suspect

    “LaFayette Police Department is seeking assistance in identifying the female pictured below. She was involved in an accident at Walmart in LaFayette and failed to notify the owner or authorities. If you have any information, please contact Sgt. Wesley Steele at (706) 639-1540.”   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly

2016
04.02

Catoosa County seeks convicted child molester.

Gregory Northcutt in 2011    Gregory Northcutt in 2011

Thursday Gregory Scott Northcutt of Ringgold decide for some reason not to turn himself in to begin a 17-year prison sentence. He instead cut off his ankle monitor and disappeared. (A man with nothing to lose.. Why on earth was he out with nothing but an ankle monitor?)

It’s unclear how many charges he was convicted of, but last September Northcutt was arrested on two charges each of aggravated sexual battery, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, and enticing a child for indecent purposes. He has older arrests in Catoosa for disorderly conduct, theft by receiving stolen property, and lying to officers.   Tiny Facebook

If you couldn’t make it to last Friday’s candidate event at the Civic Center, here’s video from the forum.

Attending were GA Senate District 53 candidate Lanny Thomas and Walker Commissioner candidates Mike Peardon, Shannon Whitfield, and Perry Lamb.

Thanks to WAAK radio of Ringgold for putting the forum together and to Rick Tallent for shooting, editing, and sharing the video.   Tiny Facebook

Laundromat vending machine violated by three juveniles.

LPD says three boys ages 12-14 broke into the candy machine at Suds n Shine on North Main last Friday and stole candy. One was ID’d and arrested, which led to arrests of the others.

Juvenile Candy Machine Robbery Masks / Walker Co Messenger Josh OBryant

A mask and bandana worn by two of the kids [depicted] were found.   Tiny Facebook

Read More >>

Print Friendly