2016
07.11

On the last day of June, Perry Lamb cut a check to Walker County for $3,412 – his qualification fee to be an independent candidate for Commissioner in November.

Perry Lamb Qualification Interview

Today Lamb will submit a petition signed by over 2,100 people to the elections office. If the elections committee certifies 1,650 of those signers as registered Walker County voters, Lamb’s candidacy will become official. That adds his name to the fall ballot against incumbent commissioner Bebe Heiskell and Republican challenger Shannon Whitfield.

For once, voters won’t have to hold their nose and vote for a flawed candidate just because he’s the only one running against Bebe. Lamb’s efforts to run outside the party structure mean voters will have real choices to pick from, not just the lesser of two evils.

Perry Lamb at Freedom Festival

About 200 of Lamb’s signatures were collected during LaFayette Freedom Festival on July 4th. Lamb met voters face to face during that event, shaking hands and answering questions while gathering more signatures and general support. Commissioner Heiskell wasn’t there, in body or spirit. Candidate Whitfield had a tent and spokesmen present, but couldn’t be bothered to show up himself.

A Whitfield mouthpiece later said their candidate was out of town all last week for an important family matter, and was still out of town Saturday during a candidate forum at Cedar Grove Community Center that was attended by both Lamb and Commissioner Heiskell.

Nobody can fault Whitfield for prioritizing his family, especially during a holiday week, but Team Whitfield has yet to explain OTHER community events and meetings he’s missed this summer, in Rossville, Villanow, Hinkle, and Fort Oglethorpe – all attended by Perry Lamb.

Shannon Whitfield Facebook - Freedom Festival Absence

Is Whitfield skipping events and phoning in his campaign because he assumes he’s got it won, or is he taking a laid back approach because he just doesn’t care? Either way, it’s costing him significant support. (Fortunately, since Lamb is in the race, that support isn’t shifting back to Commissioner Heiskell.)   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Thursday evening GA 151 near 95 in Catlett/Chestnut Flat was shut down due to a tragic accident.

Motorcycle Wreck, GA 151 - July 8

Emergency responders arrived to find motorcyclist Andre Stevens, 34, of Ringgold, dead on the scene.

Stevens was in a group of three cyclist and wiped out on a curve, then was struck by a truck. The cycle’s fuel tank leaked and caught the grass on fire beside the road. A woman and child in the truck were treated for minor injuries.

[Photo courtesy Tyler Bishop]   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

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2016
07.01

LU will be on Holiday break through the July 4th week. Updates will return July 11th.
Have a great Independence Day holiday.

Walker County’s most famous son has returned home after a long vacation.

Tommy Ray Brent Marsh - 2016 MugshotTommy Ray Brent Marsh, former operator of infamous Tri-State Crematory, was released from prison Wednesday after completing his 12-year sentence for hundreds of counts of theft. Theft for services he collected money for but never performed; 330+ bodies sent to funeral homes all over the region meant to be cremated and returned but instead left mouldering in the woods behind the Marsh family compound.

Brent, now in his 40’s, returns to the arms of his loving mom Clara.

Ms. Marsh was an owner of the crematory, its CFO, and lived literally yards away from where bodies were found – but for reasons known only to Steve Wilson and Buzz Franklin, she was never prosecuted for her role in the disaster. Only Brent was held responsible despite the role other family members played.

The Tri-State Crematory incident involved over 330 sets of human remains, cost Walker County millions of dollars, and put tiny Noble, Georgia on the world stage – for the worst reasons imaginable.   Tiny Facebook

Bebe Jung Il

As her time in office draws to a probable end, there’s a real risk that Commissioner Heiskell will sell every bit of county property she can, either to repay her past supporters with sweet deals or try and prop the county up financially through the election so we don’t know how bad things are.

Some assets, like the ambulance service she already sold and garbage dump she’s trying to sell now, could actually be moneymakers for the county under the right management – but if they’re already long gone, future commissioners won’t have them available to manage.

Perry Lamb Facebook - Bebe Fire Sale Injunction

Perry Lamb says an injunction to block Bebe from selling major assets could be filed for about $7,500, and challenges his opponent and leaders of both political parties to join him in raising the necessary funds. Will they respond and work together, or will they sit back and watch Bebe burn the county all the way down financially on her way out the door?

Lamb has to pay $3,400 Friday to the county so he can officially qualify as a commissioner candidate, and says he doesn’t have anything close to $7,500 left after that to get this taken care of legally.

There are plenty of people who recently joined the anti-Bebe bandwagon who have the funds (or the lawyer skills) to make this happen. If they can’t step up, it indicates where their loyalties really lie.   Tiny Facebook

Clara EdwardsClara Edwards won’t face a second trial for killing a foster child in her care.

Monday afternoon the 60-year-old Catoosa woman pled guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Combined with her earlier conviction for cruelty to children, Edwards earns a sentence of twenty years in prison.   Tiny Facebook

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2016
06.27

Summerville car dealer goes to jail after being caught speeding, in a stolen car, with drugs.

    WQCH Radio, 06/23/16: “LAFAYETTE POLICE RECOVERED AN 88-THOUSAND DOLLAR BMW, STOLEN IN ATLANTA, PLUS ILLEGAL DRUGS, IN A STOP [last] SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
    Jason Paul Vaughn“THE INITIAL REASON FOR STOPPING THE BMW M-4, WAS SPEEDING. THE ARRESTING OFFICER’S RADAR INDICATED THE VEHICLE WAS DOING 65 ON THE LAFAYETTE BYPASS IN A 45 MPH ZONE.
    “CAR DEALER JASON PAUL VAUGHN OF SUMMERVILLE WAS AT THE WHEEL, AND SAID HE WAS GOING TO HIS SON’S BALL GAME. AN NCIC CHECK SHOWED THE BMW HE WAS DRIVING HAD BEEN STOLEN IN ATLANTA. VAUGHN TOLD POLICE HE HAD BOUGHT IT FROM ANOTHER DEALER AND HAD NO IDEA IT WAS STOLEN.
    “INSIDE THE VEHICLE AND IN VAUGHN’S BRIEFCASE, POLICE FOUND METH AND LOOSE PRESCRIPTION PILLS.
    “HE WAS CHARGED WITH FELONY THEFT, OBSCURED VEHICLE I.D., POSSESSION OF METH AND SCHEDULE-2 PILLS AND SPEEDING.”

Being a car dealer, Mr. Vaughn would have absolutely no way to check out a vehicle or make sure if it was stolen or not before purchasing it.

Vaughn owns a car sales/rental business formally incorporated with a Summerville PO box only a few months ago; his brother Barry owns an RV dealership in Summerville, and both have connections to the owner of infamous TruckTown dealership.

Authorities would do well to closely check out all of those businesses.

[Mugshot from Vaughn’s Tennessee speeding/DUI arrest back in February.]   Tiny Facebook

The Perry Lamb campaign collected about 50 more voter signatures Saturday in Rossville, passing the 1,640 minimum (and 2,000 goal) needed to add Lamb’s name to the November ballot as a candidate for Commissioner.

Perry Lamb Campaigns in Rossville

Lamb himself showed up for an event called Sunset on the Pond, greeting people and answering questions. Shannon Whitfield wasn’t there personally, but he had people giving out t-shirts and water. (Bebe wasn’t there either, and neither were her people – if she even has people anymore.)

Do you want the next commissioner to be out in public, meeting voters, shaking hands, and answering questions for himself – or do you want a man who hides, sends others to speak in his place, and hands out party favors instead of answers?

Meanwhile, Lamb’s campaign was finally mentioned by local media last week, months after he announced plans to join the race.

Of course it’s a press release since the local paper and radio station have so far refused to acknowledge his campaign on their own, but maybe this will raise awareness among voters that they have an option besides the two candidates from Chickamauga.

Signing Lamb’s petition doesn’t commit you to voting for him, you can still vote for Whitfield (or even Bebe if you’re an idiot), but it gives us an alternative candidate if something happens to the others – plus he’s a representative of LaFayette who’s been a lot more enthusiastic about dumping the broken sole commissioner system than Heiskell or Whitfield have been.

The Lamb petition can be signed in a number of fixed locations around the county, including Stu’s Barbershop and Talespinner Outdoors in LaFayette.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Saturday afternoon a vehicle fire briefly disturbed the peace and quiet of Chattahoochee National Forest in southeast Walker County.

Hwy 136 Villanow Truck Fire - 06/25/16 Hwy 136 Villanow Truck Fire - 06/25/16

This Chevy truck burned to a crisp on Easy Hwy 136 past Villanow near the Walker/Gordon County line.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Ridgeland student Savannah Vann is battling lymphoma, blood cancer.

Savannah Vann

Vann’s family has been in and out of the hospital with her recently, and it puts a financial strain on the family – so Ridgeland has set up an account in her name, to help make things a little easier.

RHS will have staff available all summer Monday-Thursday 8-4 (except next week, for July 4th) who can accept donations for this purpose. You can also call the school at 706-820-9063.   Tiny Facebook

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2016
06.23

Commissioner Heiskell’s latest plan for the county? Selling a (literal) pile of garbage.

Walker Co Messenger: Landfill Sale Bids (06-22-16)

Walker County Landfill is now listed for sale. Bebe’s taking bids until mid-July.

In the last year Heiskell has taken out $1 million in loans to expand the dump, which can only accept construction debris. The dump also loses several hundred thousand dollars a year from its operations, despite being of little benefit to the actual county since it only buries construction debris – a majority of which come from outside the county. (Household trash left at the dump is trucked out of state and has been for the last twenty years.)

The landfill and its losses have been mentioned multiple times on LU, and this year have become a point of criticism from Heiskell’s primary challenger, Shannon Whitfield.

Is this how Bebe negates Whitfield’s critique? Does she have a plan to offload the money-losing dump, cheap, to one of her regular campaign contributors? Maybe she’s legitimately trying to sell the asset to make money for the county…

Or it’s an election-year scam to make voters think she’s trying, when she’s absolutely not.   Tiny Facebook

NWGA’s favorite soap opera, As The Hospital Burns, continues.

Open Hallway at Hutcheson

Catoosa County Commissioners agreed Tuesday night to pay Erlanger $6.25 million to settle its share of the outstanding Hutcheson debt. They save about $2 million over what’s owed, presumably for agreeing to settle instead of fighting in court as Walker County continues to do.

Walker County’s court battle, meanwhile, degrades further into something akin to a child sticking his fingers in his ears and going NAH NAH NAH when asked a question.

Members of the Hospital Authority (which owns/owned Hutcheson) have finally demanded Walker pay up its portion of the Erlanger debts, but Walker County’s hired-gun lawyer Stuart James says Authority chairman Darrell Weldon’s order is illegal and invalid.

Bebe GlareThe hospital authority’s lawyer, Tom Weldon, in return suggests Walker County’s bizarre actions are meant to protect a certain county leader’s reelection campaign.

Before Hutcheson closed Bebe could at least attempt to argue her poor decisions were meant to keep the place going. Now, with Hutcheson existing only on paper and the actual hospital controlled by another unrelated company, the situation is (As Weldon says) just about Heiskell delaying the inevitable until after the election – or possibly about her going senile..

Walker will end up owing Erlanger all $8.5 million plus Erlanger’s legal fees PLUS our own legal fees for fighting it… When it all hits the fan in November or so. We might also end up owing the interest on that debt Erlanger was at one point willing to overlook.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

During the last week, three men in Walker and Catoosa have been arrested on charges of child molestation.

Cagney Dyer

Cagney Darail Dyer, 28, of Rossville was arrested in Walker County on Saturday, hiding in a friend’s bathroom, after a Catoosa mom said he molested her daughter. (Dyer has some ties to LaFayette as well.)

Investigators say the child recounts abuses at Dyer’s hand from March of last year until this month.

Leonard Curry  Richard Smiley

Leonard Raymond Curry, 18, of Ringgold [left] arrested for allegedly molesting a middle school girl. The child he’s accused of abusing may be pregnant.

Richard Donovan Smiley, 24 [right], also arrested for molestation, involving a 14-year-old runaway found with him in a hotel room at the Ringgold Super 8, where he lived and was working as a manager.   Tiny Facebook

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2016
06.20

Hutcheson Titanic Sinking

Hutcheson has officially abandoned its idiotic lawsuit against Erlanger for allegedly failing to make the hospital profitable.

Judge Harold Murphy recently ruled, in part, that Hutcheson’s own paperwork shows its claim to be false and the now-bankrupt hospital WAS making more money than before (and obviously after) under Erlanger management.

With the core of its civil case hollowed out, the hospital authority – independent from Walker County’s ongoing case – wisely decided to throw in the towel.

Hutcheson - Where Babies CAME From

Meanwhile, anyone who set foot inside Hutcheson during the last few years it was open is at risk of being called by a collections agency known as Nationwide Recovery Services, demanding payment for bills already paid, covered by insurance, or never billed by the hospital initially.

The Times Free Press says they’ve heard from many about this, and LU has heard from at least ten more.

Most of the people commenting to LU say they asked Nationwide Recovery for a bill in the mail and never got anything. If they call you, demand they send it that way – by registered letter so they can’t claim it was sent when it wasn’t – and see if they follow through.

Nationwide Recovery has a bad reputation and a bad rating from the BBB. They’re not good people to deal with.   Tiny Facebook

** WARNING: POSSIBLY OFFENSIVE IMAGE FOLLOWS **

Someone’s stabbing horses in Trion – with a spear?

One animal involved in the incident on Old Airport Rd. died, the other was injured.

Trion Dead Abuse Horse

Someone in the neighborhood reported that the animals were being abused/neglected by their owner for some time before the tragic stabbing. Per this concerned observer, the animals were underfed and often wandering loose.

If that’s the case, there may be more to this situation than just a random act of animal abuse – hopefully GA Department of Agriculture will be involved and get to the bottom of what’s going on.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

FirstBank LogoAre you a FirstBank customer?

You might want to keep an eye on your accounts.

Dozens of customers of the Tennessee-based bank (which recently bought out Northwest Georgia Bank) say they’ve found suspicious charges made in their names during the last week.   Tiny Facebook

Area youth charity seeks help buying a new van.

Mountain Top Boys Home Villanow

Mountain Top Boys Home in Villanow, a group home for at-risk boys, has received some funding to buy a new van for its residents – but doesn’t have sufficient money to get a van that meets their requirements.

If half the people who read this on LU Facebook and here on the blog send them $5, they can get what they need and then some.   Tiny Facebook

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