2014
10.08

Sunnyside Church Arson

Early last Friday morning Sunnyside Church on Roundpond Rd. was intentionally set ablaze. The building remains standing but is considered a total loss due to heavy damage inside. Sunnyside’s Brandon Dale Harriscongregation will meet at LHS on Sunday mornings until further notice.

Shortly after the fire was discovered, deputies arrested 21-year-old Brandon Dale Harris, age 21, on charges related to the intentional blaze. Per authorities, Harris wrecked a stolen truck, broke into the church, set four fires inside, and fled on a bicycle. He was apprehended near the high school and transported to Hutcheson for injuries related to the wreck.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

LaFayette dodged another storm-related bullet earlier this week when a weather system with tornadic looking activity and large hail passed over the area doing minimal damage. Video below shows hail falling in Catlett:

Losses in Walker County are limited to downed trees and hail-dinged cars, while our neighbors around Ringgold saw homes damaged once again by an EF1 tornado. There were no major injuries in Northwest Georgia, but the weekend’s storm will probably be considered the worst to pass over Catoosa County since a tornado killed eight in April 2011.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

After a year of delays due to county budget shenanigans, LaFayette library renovations are on the cusp of completion.

New Library Floor

The temporary library in Food Lion will close November 10th. Employees will move everything to the newified old place on Duke Street and reopen there on Monday November 24th.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2014
10.01

Rudelle Greene Late In Life

Retired LPD officer Rudelle Greene passed away in Mississippi last weekend. Greene, who served the city for decades, was 85. Services will be held in Leland, MS where he lived (near family) after retirement.

Per the 1940 census he grew up on Cove Rd. which is now Culberson Ave. Greene’s father Lowell donated land for the Lowell Greene Rec. Center back when the city didn’t allow non-whites to use the main recreation department. Rudelle was one of the city’s first black cops after desegregation.

Rudelle Greene and LPD in 1975

Rudelle Greene spent roughly 40 years with LaFayette PD; the photo above shows him with other officers in 1975.   Tiny Facebook

Walker County Sheriff’s Office says whoever left oil and tacks in the road to disrupt Ironman bike competition Sunday will face criminal charges.

Ironman Oil in Road from Channel 9

Finding them, however, will not be easy.   Tiny Facebook

Open up those wallets folks, we’ve got a fire fighter in need.

Carrie & Tracey Carter

Carrie Carter, wife of Walker County volunteer fireman Tracey Carter, passed away Sunday. The family is in need of financial assistance both for Ms. Carter’s final arrangements and for a stack of medical bills left from her ten year battle with cancer. (She had no life insurance.)

Anyone interested in helping can give online via GoFundMe, or directly to the fire department, designated for the Carter family. WCES says donations will be accepted at the office (107 Alex Drive Chickamauga off Hwy. 136) or the Fairview station (207 Jenkins Road Rossville) where Tracey serves.

As of 4 PM Wednesday, $570 has been contributed online. The family owes $1,900 just for a downpayment on Carrie’s funeral services. (A report on this situation is scheduled to run on Channel 3 news today at 5 PM.)   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2014
09.29

Ironman Bike Race at Pigeon Mountain

Sunday thousands of Ironman Chattanooga bicyclists raced through Walker County. The event put Walker on a world stage, seen and visited by thousands of athletes, their families, support teams, fans, and curious onlookers who spent money in the county and may be convinced to return and spend more later on. The event also disrupted traffic and inconvenienced residents for an entire day while consuming law enforcement and emergency response resources, with little immediate benefit.

The race was temporarily disrupted by multiple incidents of “sabotage.” Per various reports, nails or similar sharp objects were left in the roadway on West Cove and Hog Jowl Road, taking out at least thirty bike tires. Vandals also spread out oil in two locations on Cove Road, near South Cedar Rd. (shown below) and Tatum Rd.

It’s unclear if the disruptions were done by locals angry about the bicycle invasion or by someone involved in (or following) the race. Ironman officials said “sabotage” is (for some reason) common during these events.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

(Click to advance gallery – mouseover for captions.)

During Thursday’s business meeting, Commissioner Heiskell approved her 2015 county budget, $3 million higher than the county’s last formal (2012) budget.

Bebe Buck Stops Here

Two newspaper articles have been released since, and both contain errors or omit major details – but they also contain information not previously known: the budget has $1 million for something the Commissioner refuses to explain, and she still hasn’t legally adopted a real budget for fiscal year 2014, which ends tomorrow.

Times Free Press mistakenly says the budget is only an 18% increase. That might be what the Commissioner said, but (as discussed here previously more than once) it’s 69% over the previous year for the portion set by the general government.

    Here’s the interesting part of THAT link: “Compared to last year’s budget, these are the biggest increases in Walker County spending: A $1 million increase for something listed on the budget as ‘other financial services.’ Heiskell has not been clear on what specifically that money goes toward. ..”

The local paper glosses over all that and claims all the increases are due to state laws, but adds a new fact about the 2014 budget:

    “The operating budget for 2014 has been amended to reflect changes in revenue and expenditures. Such adjustments are normal, as the state requires balanced budgets. Public hearings on the amended, and final, budget for 2014 and its adoption are now scheduled for Oct. 9.”

So we won’t have a real budget for fiscal 2014 (Which runs October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) until nine days into the next fiscal year. Complying with the letter – but absolutely NOT the intention – of state law. That’s Our Bebe!™   Tiny Facebook

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2014
09.27

Bebe Heiskell Pirate Christmas Tree Outfit

When you have one person in charge, funding priorities match that person’s priorities.

If the sole commissioner doesn’t like libraries or public transit, and wants her own farm to play with, guess what happens? Exactly.

Time to end Sole Commissioner in Walker County. Join the 1,450 who have already signed LU’s petition online; volunteers going door to door in subdivisions all over the county have collected a few hundred more and have barely gotten started.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

As LU reported earlier this week, 16-year-old runaway Brittany Clift was located Tuesday and taken into custody after trying to hide from police. LPD credits “social media” for helping find her and convincing her to contact her family.

Brittany Clift

Clift was taken into police custody and appeared Wednesday before a juvenile court judge, due to having run away three times in the last year.

The judge did nothing, advising Clift not to run away again, and returned her to the care of her mother. Clift then went on social media to brag about eating ice cream and sleeping with a boy while police were beating the bushes to find her and half the town was worried she had died.   Tiny Facebook

LHS Football vs. Northwest Whitfield

Last night the Ramblers were defeated by Northwest Whitfield, 20 to 41. LHS falls to 2-2 for the season, Bruins are now 3-1. That’s a tough score, but somewhat better than the one posted by Channel 9 at halftime:

LHS Football Vs. Northwest Bad Score Report

Next week is a road game vs. undefeated (4-0) Southeast Whitfield.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Duke St. man arrested, charged with statutory rape and sending inappropriate images to an underage girl. He’s 21, she’s now 15 but was 14 at the time of their contact. He faces a total of four charges for the incident(s).   Tiny Facebook

A high-profile county employee has responded to tax meeting videos and the LU sole commissioner petition with a comment on Facebook:

James Alfred Jones Bitch Bitch Bitch Comment

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2014
09.24

Missing teen Brittany Clift has been safely located by LPD.

Brittany Clift Full Photo

Per law enforcement sources she had been hiding out at a friend’s home since disappearing last Thursday. When approached by detectives Tuesday morning the 16-year-old fled on foot into the woods, but was taken into custody later in the day after calling her mother for a ride home.

Clift is in YDC, will appear before a judge today due to having run away three times during the last year. The friend whose house she was in cooperated with police; that teen’s parents were not home during the week due to a medical situation.

Whatever “help” her behavior was crying out for, hopefully now she’ll get it.   Tiny Facebook

During tax increase meetings, the Commissioner’s office admitted she has no legal control over a five-person board: it’s all done at the state level by legislators like Jeff Mullis.

Up until now, Mullis, Steve Tarvin, and John Deffenbaugh have refused to consider the idea or let the voters have a say in the board vs. commissioner issue, instead listening to the Commissioner and her wishes. (As sole commissioner, she of course doesn’t want to share power.)

That may soon change; LU’s Sole Commissioner Vote Petition has reached 1,400 signatures plus hundreds more who have signed the paper petition offline. If enough sign, local legislators will have no choice but to listen or be voted out along with Heiskell in 2016.

[The offline petition is now available to sign seven days a week 6 AM to 9 PM at Catlett Grocery on Round Pond Rd. Stop in and put down your name if you haven't signed the online petition, and be sure to tell Bill thanks for standing up for change in Walker County.]

Also note from the video, Mr. Brooks (who wears a variety of job hats, including Walker Transit director, Development Authority director, and video camera operator for business meetings) says the Commissioner can’t have meetings at night when people could actually participate because she would have to pay overtime.

They have no problem with “overtime” during the Commissioner’s weekly UCTV Hee-Haw Dumpster Fire TV show, and had no problem making county employees work overtime earlier this month setting up and working the County Fair, or last fall when everybody with a county job worked overtime for weeks setting up the failed Civil War reenactment.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Eyewitnesses report a minor accident Monday at the county fire station in Chickamauga: an ambulance drove through the station’s garage door.

Chickamauga Ambulance Accident

No pics of the wreck but here’s the station Tuesday with the door covered up.   Tiny Facebook

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