2015
02.05

Hutcheson Aerial View

How many years has Hutcheson been bleeding cash, and how many years has Walker County been propping them up with loans?

Commissioner Heiskell tells reporters the county has no idea how our share of the hospital’s massive debt can be repaid, and she only started looking into the debts in January.

“‘I do understand that the hospital is doing really well and I really do hope that is true,’ Heiskell said.” Now that’s a proactive approach to $16 million in debt that will likely put the county into bankruptcy.

Apparently we expected the state to step in and cover everything if the hospital defaulted. Whups.

Bottom line: We’re screwed.   Tiny Facebook

Kid Math Test Error

Can you solve the middle math problem? (Instructions at the top.)

Homework sheet handed out this week to K students attending Gilbert.

The error wasn’t just made once on the sheet, but twice:

Kid Math Test Error

Page was pulled from a Carson-Dellosa “Common Core” math workbook, cheap filler homework worksheet. Looks like the book’s author(s), editor, publisher, the local curriculum buyer, and the classroom teacher missed something along the way here.

The book is “compliant” with Common Core standards, but the problem is likely not because of Common Core, but because of cheap books rushed into print to comply with changing guidelines.   Tiny Facebook

Tim Brumlow arrested AGAIN for stealing from relatives.

Tim Brumlow

    WQCH Radio, 02/04/15: “A 17 YEAR OLD YOUTH HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH FELONY THEFT FROM THE RELATIVES WITH WHOM HE WAS LIVING.
    “POLICE SAY TIMOTHY LEVI BRUMLOW WAS CHARGED IN JANUARY AFTER A SAFE WENT MISSING FROM THE HOME OF HIS AUNT, LOCATED ON STILES ROAD IN SOUTH LAFAYETTE.
    “THE SAFE AND IT’S JEWELRY CONTENTS WERE VALUED AT $1,500 ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT. HE WAS PICKED UP FOLLOWING A TRAFFIC STOP THIS WEEK, AND FORMALLY CHARGED WITH TWO COUNTS OF FELONY THEFT BY TAKING.”

Brumlow was arrested in December for stealing a relative’s purse, now he’s stolen an aunt’s safe.

He’s gonna fast run out of family willing to let him sleep on the couch.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
02.03

Radio Shack Corp is hashing out a deal that would turn half of its stores into Sprint cell phone outlets and close the rest under bankruptcy.

The fate of LaFayette’s Radio Shack, however, has already been decided – the store is gone.

Radio Shack Closed

Radio Shack Clearance Signs

Weeks ago employees were TOLD the store wasn’t closing, despite obvious signs, and then -surprise- it closed anyway over the weekend.

Sometimes you can’t believe the boss.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

February 2 Probasco St Wreck & Power Outage

Why was the power out over much of LaFayette Monday afternoon? Wreck at the notorious Probasco St curventersection took down city electric poles and lines.

February 2 Hwy 151 Wreck

There was also a wreck earlier in the day on Hwy. 151 south, show above.   Tiny Facebook

Dr Darrell WeldonDr. Darrell Weldon has been appointed chairman of the Hutcheson board. Weldon is also chair of the Hospital Authority, which owns the Hutcheson buildings, and chairs a third board overseeing other HMC businesses. That’s a conflict of interest, times three – more of the same that has taken Hutcheson to the point it is now.

Weldon is an OBGYN respected by both patients and employees of Hutcheson, and nobody’s saying he isn’t a quality doctor or a good man. But you cannot have the same people on all these boards, especially when they’re neck-deep in legal trouble and financially struggling.

The Hospital Authority is supposed to represent the interests of the counties, and Hutcheson Inc. represents the interests of the hospital’s business. Sometimes those issues come into conflict, and when they do the lead negotiator on both sides will be.. the same man.

Kinda like buying a house, and your realtor is the same realtor the seller is using. Nobody does that, for a reason.

Rep. Tom Weldon

Making matters worse, Weldon’s son Tom has been named as Hutcheson’s new lawyer in the Erlanger lawsuit; Weldon Jr is also a state legislator.

Having Representative Weldon as the hospital’s lawyer is another conflict (besides the nepotism), because he may be called on to vote on bills that impact the hospital. The only way to fix what’s broken is to restructure, and a restructure would require legislation. If Georgia actually had ethics laws worth a fart, this appointment would be against the rules.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.31

Earlier this month Commissioner Moneybags signed a contract to have Cedar Grove’s new community center in Kensington built for $1.3 million of your SPLOST dollars.

Cedar Grove Community Center Plan Excerpt

New building will replace an existing community center, but will NOT include a fire station due to cost. Cedar Grove’s existing fire department will remain on the site with minimal updating.

The structure will be within a few miles of Mountain Cove Farms, yet another expensive, locked, empty building the county is paying to build and will forever have to maintain, light, heat, water, and mow.   Tiny Facebook

Walker County Messenger

Bankruptcy sale of Rome, Catoosa, Walker, and Calhoun newspapers to a new owner was approved thursday by a judge. Official transfer of NPCo papers to Times-Journal Inc. will take place tomorrow.   Tiny Facebook

That doesn’t happen here, not in OUR community.

Child Abuse Closeup

It has, and does, and will in the future.

    WQCH Radio, 01/28/15: “LAFAYETTE POLICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES HAVE BEEN WORKING A HEARTBREAKING CASE OF CHILD-NEGLECT THIS WEEK. THE 9 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOWING OBVIOUS SIGNS, AND HIS SCHOOL ASKED FOR AN INVESTIGATION.
    “POLICE PUT THE CHILD IN EMERGENCY CUSTODY AND PROVIDED HIM WITH FOOD. ‘HE ATE AND ATE, AND APPEARED VERY UNDER-NOURISHED’, SAID CAPTAIN STACEY MEEKS.
    “THE TWO-PARENT FAMILY WAS CARING FOR A TOTAL OF 9 CHILDREN IN A SMALL HOME. MEEKS SAID SOME OF THE OTHER CHILDREN WERE ALSO REMOVED BY DFCS, AND A HEARING ON THEIR FUTURE-CARE IS PENDING BEFORE JUVENILE COURT.”   Tiny Facebook

Late last night a pedestrian was struck by car on Trion Highway south of town. Minor injuries reported, no updates today so far on what happened or how the victim is doing.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.29

LaFayette Golf Course

Tax records have, for years, shown LaFayette golf course deeded to the county. Now we know why:

    WQCH Radio, 01/26/15: “UNTIL A LITTLE AFTER 3 PM THURSDAY, THE LAFAYETTE GOLF COURSE WAS ACTUALLY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF WALKER COUNTY.
    “LAFAYETTE CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID HE AND COUNCILMAN BEACHER GARMANY FOUND THAT IN 1992, THE GOLF COURSE PROPERTY WAS DEEDED TO THE COUNTY AS COLLATERAL FOR A BOND ISSUE. THEN-COMMISSIONER ROY PARRISH JUNIOR FLOATED A BOND WHICH RAISED THE FUNDS TO EXPAND THE LAFAYETTE COURSE FROM 9 TO 18 HOLES.
    “HAMILTON SAID THE BONDS WERE PAID OFF MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, BUT THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP WAS NEVER COMPLETED. AT HER BUSINESS MEETING THURSDAY, COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SIGNED THE QUIT-CLAIM DEED, RETURNING THE GOLF COURSE TO THE OWNERSHIP OF THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE. HAMILTON CALLED IT ‘A FORMALITY THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF’.”

Three county commissioners and at LEAST four city managers have come through since 1992, and this is the first time anybody’s bothered to correct this.

Would be nice for the city to unload the money-hole golf course, but if LaFayette is going to keep spending tons of money on it year after year the city should at least own the place.

Who knows, maybe this is step one of selling or leasing the course to a separate entity that will stop the city from losing three or four hundred grand a year on tiny white balls and short grass. We can only hope.   Tiny Facebook

Mapco Rock Spring Gas PricesBefore their current session ends in April, Georgia legislators will probably increase your taxes, in some way or another, to better pay for road construction in the state.

Blame for the lack of road funds is being placed on lower fuel prices and fuel-efficient vehicles, and most of the suggested fixes involve raising gas taxes, keeping more of the current gas tax for roads, adding more toll roads, or taxing electric cars at a higher rate.

Most of the money raised (however it ends up being raised) will be spent in Atlanta and Savannah, not in Walker County or surrounding communities.

However, Rep. John Deffenbaugh says it’s fine to raise taxes here to pay for Atlanta roads because “As they rise, we all can rise from it.”

The rise of Atlanta has been SO helpful for Walker and Dade the last hundred years, yes, let’s throw more money into that mess. (Along with a majority of state lawmakers, Rep. Deffendum will do whatever Nathan Deal tells him to do.)

The problem HERE isn’t a lack of funds so much as a lack of good sense in how the funds already available are spent – which is why a majority of voters in this area don’t want to pay more.

If we spent every penny raised from SPLOST on roads, every county resident could have fresh black asphalt and a sidewalk in front of their house. But the current SPLOST for Walker County is already long gone, next do-over won’t be until 2021.   Tiny Facebook

Missing Woman Marie Creech

Marie Creech of Dade County went missing last June, without a word or a trace.

Dade investigators say they’ve located her Chrysler van off the side of Lookout Mountain, and the vehicle was covering human remains expected to be identified as Creech’s.   Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.28

Chattanooga Street Tavern Inside

Since opening in November 2012, Chattanooga Street Tavern has been the center of drama and controversy.

Owner Mike Lovelady’s political ambitions, his son’s fights with employees and various sexual escapades, uninspiring food, poor location, limited parking, conflicts with the city, and regularly bad health inspection scores – capped by last February’s party with legally-prohibited hard liquor – have given the establishment a troubled reputation.

Chattanooga Street Tavern Ownership Change

A week ago Lovelady announced he had transferred control of Chattanooga Street Tavern to a new owner, or owners, effective January 1st. He did not, however, identify the owner(s), leading to much speculation of who might be willing to take on such a troubled business and whether or not they can turn it into an eatery LaFayette might be proud of.

Unfortunately the Tavern’s new leadership may have the city wishing Lovelady would return.

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