2015
07.13

Vacation’s over, time to catch up…

Corinth Church sustained heavy damage last weekend in an accidental fire, only hours after worship services ended.

Corinth Church Fire / July 5

Investigators believe the devastating fire started accidentally in a church kitchen around 2 PM on July 5th, several hours after services ended. Fire crews from at least four stations needed about an hour to extinguish the flames.

A kitchen and classroom area were ruined, and the entire building sustained heavy smoke and water damage. Total estimates for repairs top $200,000.

Corinth’s congregation will meet in a smaller building on site until they can restore or rebuild the burned church structure.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

On July 4th, this group showed up at Chickamauga Battlefield with a variety of patriotic flags – including Old Glory, several Confederate flags, Georgia’s old flag, and the “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. They gathered on the museum porch for this photo.

July 4th Chickamauga Battlefield Rebel Flag Rally

Shortly after the pic was taken, multiple park rangers came in with sirens wailing and lights flashing to make the group leave the park entirely, banners in tow.

Per an attendee, rangers (who were as nice as possible considering the circumstances) deemed the gathering and photo-op as a “rally” and said they would need a permit to congregate. Permit for another similar gathering is forthcoming.

Other rallies in support of the Rebel Flag over the last two weeks have included a gathering at the Fort O and LaFayette Walmarts and an informal parade in Dalton that resulted in a viral video.

Meanwhile, government attacks on the southern symbol have continued unabated: Half of Congress has passed three measures restricting how the National Park Service can obtain or display Confederate flags, and bans private groups from placing Rebel Flags on cemeteries within park boundaries. The proposal (buried in a spending bill) awaits US Senate approval.

South Carolina voted to remove the flag from its Confederate memorial, which was next to (but not on top of) the state capitol building. And Memphis’ city council becomes the silliest of all with a vote to dig up a long-dead Confederate general and move him to a less controversial cemetery.

“It belongs in a museum” reactionary opponents say of the flag, even as they push its removal from museums, monuments, and graves.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

After 33 months of drama, two owners, and multiple bad health scores, Chattanooga Street Tavern has officially gone out of business.

Chattanooga Street Tavern Closing / Facebook

The bar’s owners, past and present, continue to blame this site for the closure. They also blame the city, unnamed possibly fictional people opposed to alcohol sales, and everything under the sun except themselves.

You can’t keep a business like that running with poor management, inconsistent food quality, and an attitude of hostility towards the community from day one.

Chattanooga Street Tavern Grand Opening

The Lovelady family (and later owner Tabby Holcomb) essentially had a screw-you attitude from the beginning about serving alcohol near a church, serving minors, abusing kitchen help, serving without a license, blocking traffic with their parking mess, dressing employees like prostitutes, etc… If you don’t like any of that, screw you, they basically said. Under two sets of management.

Save the Tavern F The Council

And now THEY got screwed. You can’t take that approach and stay open.

Will the building next become a Mexican Restaurant, a title loan office, or be burned down for insurance money?   Tiny Facebook

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2015
06.30

Local July 4th / Independence Day celebrations and fireworks:

LAFAYETTE FREEDOM FESTIVAL

2015 LaFayette Freedom Festival

SUMMERVILLE FIREWORKS SHOW

PATRIOTISM AT THE POST

LAKE WINNIE FIREWORKS

    Annual fireworks shows at Lake Winnie will be Friday and Saturday nights at 10 PM. Included in the price of park admission. Open 10 AM to 10 PM both days, $33.95 admission for Lake Winnie and adjacent SoakYA water park. 1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossvegas.

DRY CREEK TRACTOR PARADE

CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD

    “There will be ranger guided car caravan tours of the battlefield at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours will begin at the visitor center and last approximately two hours. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, wear clothing appropriate for the weather and bring water. There are no admission fees for programs at Chickamauga Battlefield.”

Also: real fireworks become technically legal in Georgia on July 1st, so the big home fireworks show you had planned anyway no longer falls outside of the law. Have fun.

Happy 4th of July!

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2015
06.27

LU will be on Summer Break through July 12th. During that time there will be no blog posts / Updates and limited posts on LU Facebook. Have a great Independence Day holiday.

It’s official: Walker County now owes $76,000 in fines for not fixing environmental damage on Lookout Mountain by the state’s deadline – which passed some six months ago.

Durham Railroad Walking Trail Bridge

The project is an unneeded, unwanted walking trail the county has spent nearly half a million dollars building (it’s not done yet and may never open) plus another $140k in fines and fees. All to benefit one family.

Commissioner Heiskell says the project WAS finished on time and the state is wrong, because rain/snow/weather days delaying the work should be overlooked. But residents in the area observed nothing done for weeks at a time, regardless of weather conditions.

Rock Creek Environmental Damage November 14 2014

This is something that wouldn’t have happened under a better commissioner or a BOARD of commissioners that listens to the voters instead of campaign contributors and political bedmates.   Tiny Facebook

Jeremy EllisWednesday night deputies went on a manhunt in Rock Spring, starting at the Mapco on Kay Conley and ended at the Smoke Shop vapor store.

23-year-old Jeremy Ellis of Chattanooga, who ran from deputies after a traffic stop on Kay Conley Rd, was finally arrested after being tased multiple times and punched in the stomach.

He faces a handful of charges including traffic violations, drug possession, and fleeing from law enforcement.

Mr. Ellis also has some legal trouble waiting for him in Rossville.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Tyler GatesWhile Sheriff’s Deputies were searching for Jeremy Ellis in Rock Spring, LaFayette cops were engaged in a high-speed chase and manhunt in West LaFayette.

Tyler Gates, age 20, fled from police in a high-speed chase down South Chattanooga St. which resulted in a crashed patrol car; he fled on foot and managed to escape. Cops searched for him around the Bomar Street area but came up empty-handed, as this is written he’s still on the run. (If you know where he is, call LPD at 706-639-1540.)

Including Ellis, Gates is at least the fourth person who got away from local officers during the last month; the other three were captured within days – hopefully Gates will be soon.   Tiny Facebook

Chickamauga Battlefield, under orders from the National Park Service, has pulled all stand-alone merchandise prominently featuring the controversial Confederate flag.

Confederate flag images without “educational value” will no longer be sold at any NPS location as of Thursday, joining a number of retail stores around the country that have banned flag products in the last week.

Sons of Confederate Veterans License Plate

At the state level, Governor Deal has publicly resisted calls to outright ban “Sons of Confederate Veterans” license plates (prominently featuring the confederate battle flag), suggesting instead the plates could be redesigned…

However, despite his statement of support for the tag design, the SOCV plate is now unavailable for purchase. Is it being “redesigned” out of existence?   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
06.23

LaFayette releases more details for an upcoming fundraiser concert at the old LHS football field.

Ross Abney Complex / Tucker Field / Patton Stadium Half Demolished

Event will be held September 26th, with performers still being chosen. The city plans to do about $20k of rehab work on the site before that event and fund further improvements with proceeds from the concert.

    “In 2010 a blog about the stadium’s potential, and how the city was leaving it to waste away, garnered attention to fixing up the facility.
    “That story resonated with residents and drummed up interest not only in fixing the old LHS stadium up but also in marketing Cash’s contribution.

The 2010 blog referred to here is an LU post, from five years ago this week: Wasted Potential

    “Residents Vic Burgess and Shannon McConnell saw potential in such a project and approached the city council in 2010 about hosting a ‘Cash Fest’ at the facility.
    “But city leaders at that time declined supporting such an event. Those officials agreed that to do something of that nature, the city would have to sell the property and feared it would lose control of the property if it was bought by a private party.
    “Johnnie Arnold, city manager at the time, said the only way the city could consider the sale would be by a petition from city residents.”

When ballfield upgrades were proposed to the old council and mayor in August 2010, they predicted the work would cost $300,000 and openly laughed at Shannon McConnell for suggesting such a thing be done.

Thank goodness we’re rid of 5/7ths of that bunch.

Five years later we’ve got a much better council and City Manager who actually take an interest in projects besides the golf course, drinking on the clock, and sleeping with high school girls.   Tiny Facebook

Keepin’ it classy:

    WQCH Radio, 06/19/15: “A LAFAYETTE WOMAN WAS JAILED AFTER AN ALLEGED ATTACK ON A PREGNANT WOMAN IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY, EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING. IT HAPPENED AT A HOME IN THE GORE COMMUNITY, AROUND 1:30 AM.

Lacey Stoker

    “22 YEAR OLD LACEY STOKER WAS CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT, CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND SIMPLE BATTERY. SHE IS ACCUSED OF REPEATEDLY STRIKING CHELSEA CHASTAIN, WHO IS SEVERAL MONTHS PREGNANT. CHASTAIN WAS TRANSPORTED FOR OBSERVATION AT A ROME HOSPITAL. THE RESIDENT OF THE HOME, AMBER FARMER, WAS ALSO ATTACKED.
    “DEPUTIES GOT A DESCRIPTION OF THE CAR AND ARRESTED STOKER AFTER SHE AND HER FRIENDS LEFT THE SCENE.”

Based on many, many, many comments on this arrest from Facebook, this conflict involved baby daddies and kids with cell phones that disappeared.   Tiny Facebook

Walker County Schools has chosen its direction for the future: A “waiver” type school structure, closest to how the system is being run now. Walker rejected the system-charter style Catoosa recently voted to adopt.

Charles Wilson Sworn In To School BoardThis won’t make much of a difference at ground level in the schools themselves except maybe to administrators.

(Per WQCH, the decision to go this route was chosen unanimously by the school board.)

Also decided recently by the school board: Walker Co students will be paying a little more for school meals this fall – prices for breakfast and lunch are going up 10¢ per day. That works out to an extra buck a week for kids who eat both meals at school every day of the week.

Price increase will not impact free or reduced-price lunch students, which means this only matters to a handful of the county’s public school kids.

(New federal standards result in food that the kids hate but it costs more than ever to purchase and prepare. We’re lucky it’s only gone up $.15 per meal in the last year.)   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
06.21

A special Father’s Day submission to LU. Per usual rules, the author is anonymous so the subject of this piece must also, unfortunately, remain unidentified.

Dusty, slightly beaten, not particularly eye-catching – the old toolbox blended in and more or less got itself lost over the years in my shed.

The black three-drawer Craftsman had been in my possession for over twenty years, one of several items snagged from Grandad’s shop shortly after his passing. It emerged back into my consciousness during a sporadic round of cleaning that accomplished little beyond moving piles of random things from one corner of my barn to another.

Grandad's Toolbox

Across several moves and a dozen-plus years, the locked box and its key had been separated from each other. In the past I had held out hope for a key to turn up so it could be opened, but finally it was clear no key would ever surface. One random afternoon a decision was made to open the box by force.

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