2015
01.12

Walker County leaders hint that paying down Hutcheson’s debts to Regions Bank will cost about $4.5 million and will likely result in another tax increase for citizens next year because the county has no savings.

Hutcheson / December 2014

County Attorney Don Oliver says it was easy for Catoosa to repay its share of HMC debts because they have “cascades of tax dollars coming in” unlike Walker.

Why don’t they mention that lack of money when the Commissioner wants to buy farms, banks, and toys? Catoosa wouldn’t have “cascades” of cash either if they wasted cash like Commissioner Heiskell does.

Bebe's Mountain Cove Farms Easter Plans

Hutcheson is bleeding out, we’ve got a $1,000 fine every day they dont fix environmental damage on Lookout Mountain, and what’s the Commissioner focusing on? Easter eggs at the Farm. Somehow we have enough money to do THAT.   Tiny Facebook

LaFayette City Council will meet tonight at 7:30. Items on the published agenda include recognizing Christmas parade winners, closing out 2008 SPLOST funds, signing a contract for Freedom Festival fireworks, and new rules for pawn shops and metal dealers in the city.   Tiny Facebook

Hide yo wife, hide yo chillens – the Georgia General Assembly is now in session.

Georgia Capitol Aerial View

Educational issues to be discussed this session include whether or not to keep electing the state school superintendent or let him be appointed, probably by the governor, who appoints way too many leaders already.

Legislators will also consider the creation of a “state wide” school district to offload troubled students into so they can get better services and normal school districts can pretend some kids don’t exist, for statistical purposes.

The legislature will do the bidding of state car dealers by forcing Tesla to stop selling cars directly to consumers.

Another proposed new bill that could legalize marijuana-derived products for medical purposes would limit use to nine specific illnesses, including fibromyalgia, glaucoma, AIDS, and epilepsy. An expanded version of the rules would cover additional issues like PTSD, autism, and anything considered terminal.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.09

Jamie Ray Ward, who murdered a Villanow woman in 1989, has been back in court this week for resentencing – some 23 years after he was convicted of the crime.

Walker Co Messenger August 23 1989 Murder of Nikia Gilbreath

Per reports from the time, Ward stalked and killed 23-year-old Nikia Gilbreath (who was five months pregnant and already had a young child), leaving her abused body in a garbage dump off Hwy. 136 on Taylor’s Ridge. Ward was identified as her murderer during an investigation into another woman’s abduction.

Ward was originally given the death penalty, but his judgment was thrown out in 2010 due to improper communication between a Walker County Deputy and the jury that sentenced him – landing him back in the Walker County Courthouse this week. On Thursday, the second day of court, the judge agreed to let Ward’s lawyers review evidence from the 25-year-old murder and hold final (re)sentencing in March.

Worst case scenario he gets life in prison, best case he gets the death penalty again and dies of natural causes in prison before he’s executed   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Catoosa County has stepped up to pay off several loans it co-signed for Hutcheson. Essentially, the county has spent $3.5 million to wash its hands of the hospital’s inevitable bankruptcy, leaving Walker County alone to bear the brunt of punishment once punishment is handed down.

Save Hutcheson Whine Campaign Press Conference

Catoosa is now also able to sue Hutcheson for money the hospital owes it, as Erlanger already has. (Catoosa filed one lawsuit against Hutcheson last fall to gain access to the poorly-run hospital’s financial records, which haven’t been shared with its owners in five or six years.)

Walker County could do the same, to get some protection from whatever happens to the hospital, but Walker backed more loans than Catoosa did. Thanks to the wisdom of Commissioner Heiskell, it’d cost Walker County a lot more than $3.5 million to get out from under them.   Tiny Facebook

Brutal winter temperatures earlier in the week disrupted church services and delayed school and government activities for several hours Thursday morning. TVA reported near-record winter electrical usage, and NGEMC asked local customers to cut electrical use.

January 7th Cold

Temperatures today are more seasonal.

How have YOU dealt with the winter cold?   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2015
01.05

Plunging in to 2015 – feet first – LU is back.

2015 Blue Hole Polar Plunge
[Photo from 2015 Polar Plunge at the Blue Hole inside Pigeon Mountain WMA.]   Tiny Facebook

County and city emergency crews responded to a series of three accidents last night, all on Highway 27 between LaFayette and Rock Spring.

The first, described as a “bad accident” at the intersection of Wheeler Rd and 27, involved an entrapment; additional details for the 3-4 PM wreck are still thin.   Tiny Facebook

Jan 4 Noble Motorcycle Wreck

The second wreck occurred less that three miles away, at 27 and Bell Rd near Noble Fellowship Church. That one, around 8 PM, involved a motorcycle. Traffic was blocked and rerouted for a time in both directions as LifeForce landed to assist. The victim’s name and condition have not been released as this is being typed.

[Photo provided by JD Watters.]   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

The THIRD Sunday wreck happened in front of Days In around 9:00 when a minivan slammed into the back of a lumber truck parked on the shoulder. Reports say the semi ran out of fuel and the driver failed to see it; everyone involved in that accident is apparently OK.   Tiny Facebook

Stay safe out there.

Bud NestorSunday night week-ago, Jerry Lee “Bud” Nestor, age 24, led police on a “high-speed chase” through the Walmart parking lot. Nestor bailed after driving through the Murphy station, fell in the old Blockbuster lot, and was arrested near Big John’s.

    WQCH Radio, 12/30/14: “NESTER [sic] HAD A BAG OF MARIJUANA ON HIS PERSON, POLICE SAY. HE WAS CHARGED WITH THE PAROLE VIOLATION, FLEEING, OBSTRUCTION, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED AND POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA.”

Suspect originally had a parole violation, now the least of his legal troubles.   Tiny Facebook

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2014
12.23

Please note, this will be the final Update of 2014. LU is taking the remainder of the year off, both on the blog and (minus anything major) on social media. The Underground will return January 5.

On Friday volunteers from Empty Stocking Fund distributed groceries to needy families around the county. All told bags of food plus frozen chickens were handed out to about 630 Walker County families.

Empty Stocking Food 2014

Another good Holiday deed yet to be done: For the third year running, Twins Pizza will offer a free meal to the community – no strings attached – on Christmas day.

Meal will be served from 11 to 2.

Owner Key Koukos does this annually in memory of his son who died in 2008.

Library Pajama Day

The library will have a “Pajama Day” today featuring various movies and TV shows for kids, and adults, from 10 AM well into the afternoon.

More Christmas news for city garbage customers: Tuesday trash pickup will be held normally this week. Thursday trash pickup on Christmas day will be moved to Friday the 26th so you can get all that wrapping, food, and packaging trash out of your house.

Merry Christmas!   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Saturday, 12/20, was Walker County property tax day, but the office was closed. Good news though: The county generously extended the deadline to Monday without penalty – at least beyond the penalty of paying the tax to begin with. (Some who attempted to pay online Monday say late fees were still charged anyway.)

Manor House Shrimp Delivery

Bebe could really use your money, so be sure she gets it in a timely manner; Shrimp and steak aint free you know. Gotta keep the buffet flowing.   Tiny Facebook

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2014
12.17

A wreck around 7 PM Saturday night claimed the life of 66-year-old Daniel Ellis Jeter of Ringgold. The accident occurred at the notorious intersection of highway 27 and GA 151 near the Walker/Chattooga line.

December 13 Wreck / Hwy 27 & GA 151

GSP investigators say the deadly wreck was caused by a LaFayette woman, Ashley Romans, who ran the stop sign on 151 and t-boned Jeter’s car. Jeter’s vehicle also hit another car, but its occupants were relatively unharmed.

Romans is expected to face charges from the accident.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

More stupid kids stealing from their families:

    Tim BrumlowWQCH Radio, 12/13/14: “ANOTHER CASE OF THEFT FROM A RELATIVE NETTED AN ARREST THIS WEEK. POLICE CHARGED 17 YEAR OLD TIMOTHY LEVI BRUMNLOW [sic] WITH THEFT BY TAKING IN THE CASE.
    “ON NOVEMBER 22nd, A RELATIVE REPORTED THAT THE YOUNG MAN WAS DOING SOME WORK AT HER HOUSE ON MOORE AVENUE. WHEN SHE RETURNED, HER PURSE WAS MISSING.
    “SHE TOLD POLICE SHE WENT TO ANOTHER RELATIVE‚ÄôS RESIDENCE WHERE BRUMNLOW WAS STAYING AND CONFRONTED HIM, BUT HE DENIED STEALING THE PURSE. WHEN HE LEFT THE ROOM, SHE SAID SHE LOOKED IN HIS ROOM AND FOUND HER PURSE UNDER HIS BED. IT CONTAINED PRESCRIPTIONS, CHECKS AND A DEBIT CARD.
    “POLICE OBTAINED AN ARREST WARRANT AND PICKED BRUMNLOW UP, ON MONDAY.”   Tiny Facebook

Christy Sharp, who was in the news recently for stealing a car, got herself arrested again 12/7 for drug possession.

Christy Sharp

Sharp was commenting on LU Facebook over the weekend, making fun of a Linwood neighbor arrested for.. drugs.   Tiny Facebook

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