Trion Heights Live Nativity is canceled for Friday Night Due To Flooding

Trion Heights Live Nativity is canceled tonight (Friday night) due to flooding. They will play it day to day until the rain stops.

U.S. Highway 27 Designated First Georgia Grown Trail In North Georgia

Visitors traveling U.S. Highway 27 in northwest Georgia will see new signs indicating the route’s designation as Georgia Grown Trail 27. The trail, which was approved by legislation in 2021, stretches from the Tennessee line in Walker County through Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Polk, Haralson, and Carroll Counties, from the cities of Rossville to Roopville. There are four other Georgia Grown Trails in the state, but Trail 27 is the first in the north Georgia region.

“At Georgia’s Rural Center, we worked with each county, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Representative Steve Tarvin, and Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority to facilitate the designation process and erect signs,” said Janet Cochran, project manager for Georgia’s Rural Center. “Trail 27 brings together two of Georgia’s largest industries, tourism and agriculture, to support economic growth and sustainability in this rural part of the state.”

Georgia Grown is the marketing brand of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and like other Georgia Grown Trails, Trail 27 seeks to bring attention to the area’s local products by driving business to farms, farm markets, dining establishments serving Georgia-grown foods, shops selling Georgia-grown and -made products, wineries, meaderies and other area attractions and events.

“Our efforts at the Georgia Department of Agriculture are to help new agribusinesses grow and existing agribusinesses thrive,” says Cheryl Smith, agritourism manager at Georgia Department of Agriculture. “One way to achieve this is by fostering the development of Georgia Grown Trails. The existing Georgia Grown Trails are economic engines for rural Georgia, and an excellent way to showcase the agritourism operations scattered throughout the state. The new Georgia Grown Trail 27 in north Georgia will give visitors an opportunity to travel the backroads of the region while experiencing all the wonderful agritourism sites along the way.”

The destination marketing organizations in each county are moving forward to build trail membership and a plan for promoting the route to visitors. Information about how to join the trail is available at

Arrest Report - Friday - December 9, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Friday, December 9, 2022:

Pay Increase For County Officials Increasing County Budget

Last week, WZQZ News reported that the state has mandated pay increase for county officials.  Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry says that pay increase is going to affect the 2023 county budget.

The raises, which most state employees also received, were determined by the governor’s office and the legislature. The raises received by county-level elected officials must be funded by the counties. See related article from WZQZ

Commissioner Elsberry says that pay increases along with other factors, will mean an increase in the county budget of around 7.6%.

The pay raises were part of legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly in the last legislative session.  The commissioner will have a public hearing next Friday, December 16th at 10 AM at the commissioner’s office to review the 2023 budget.  The commissioner says a copy of the budget will be posted on the county’s website at

GNTC Graduation Announcement

More than 300 students from Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) nine-county service area will exit the Dalton Convention Center on Tuesday, Dec. 13, armed with the education and technical training needed to kick-start their careers.

The 2022 Fall Commencement Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.

After students, administrators and faculty march into place during Processional, the National Anthem will be presented. Invocation will be led by Leyner Argueta, program director and instructor of Business Management at GNTC.

Dr. Heidi Popham, president of GNTC, will welcome guests and introduce commencement address speaker Crista Howell, winner of the college’s 2022 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year.

Howell has been an instructor at GNTC since 2011. She is the director of all Ultrasound programs, which include Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Adult Echocardiography and Vascular Sonography. She is also GNTC’s instructor of Vascular Sonography.

Selena Magnusson, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success at GNTC, will recognize High Honor and Honor graduates. A special recognition for graduates who are veterans, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members and Student Government Association members will also be led by Magnusson.

Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs at GNTC, will present the graduates, and Dr. Popham will confer the graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Susan Bowman, assistant dean and instructor of Health Information Management Technology at GNTC, will administer the GNTC Alumni Association Oath.

Listed are graduates that are participating in the 2022 Fall Commencement Ceremony showing (from left) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students that have graduated, but are not participating in the ceremony, or students that registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:

Associate of Applied Science degree   


Latice M. Allen, Medical Assisting

Daisy Amber Azua, Surgical Technology

Arlyn Yamileth Balcarcel, Medical Assisting

Denver Kole Beamon, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Kaylee Dale Beard, Criminal Justice Technology

Caylin B. Beavers, Accounting

Gisselle R. Beltran, Adult Echocardiography

Cameron M. Blaney, Automotive Technology

Leandro R. Borges, Business Management

Jasmine Delynn Brewer, Business Management

Jessica R. Briggs, Web Site Design/Development

Raelyn A. Bryant, Business Management

Matthew Gregory Bryson, Applied Technical Management

Lindsey Nicole Byrd, Adult Echocardiography

Vannessa Lajuan Calhoun, Vascular

Ashley N. Camp, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Carolyn Lucile Casey, Business Management

Cassidy Alexis Causey, Surgical Technology

Hunter Shane Chambers, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Jonathan Tyler Clegg, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Alec R. Coker, Construction Management

Tara Crate, Business Management

Emily M. Cromer, Vascular

Mary Elizabeth Crowe, Radiologic Technology

Jose Antonio Cruz, Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Areli Cruz Garcia, Business Management

Magali Cruz Guzman, Medical Assisting

Richard Alan Davis, Accounting

Sebastian De Santiago, Business Management

Taylor Anne Dotson, Business Management

Stephanie Driggers, Adult Echocardiography

Cassidey A. Dunn, Business Management

Delaina Duvall, Business Management

Emma Victoria Evans, Construction Management

Marykate Fetters, Health Information Management Technology

Micala Yvonne Filiatrault, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Carla L. Freeman, Medical Assisting

Joshua G. Freeman, Industrial Systems Technology

Zacary Tate Goodwin, Business Management

Bennie Benjamin Gorham, Applied Technical Management

Amy Gray, Early Childhood Care and Education

Gregory L. Greene Jr., Aviation Maintenance Technology

William K. Grizzard, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Theresa Harper, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Anna M. Harrell, Business Management

Misty Fowler Hawk, Criminal Justice Technology

Makayla D. Heard, Early Childhood Care and Education

Jessica C. Heifner, Construction Management

Sean M. Henery, Business Management

Karen Del Rocio Hernandez, Business Management

Shannon Marie Hicks, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Amanda D. Hill, Surgical Technology

Monica Marie Hunter, Business Management

Brittany R Ingram, Business Management

Meredith L. Jacobs, Vascular

Maria B. Jaramillo Forcado, Radiologic Technology

Aletha R. Johnson, Business Management

Darrian Jones, Radiologic Technology

Logan Jones, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Mary Elizabeth Michelle Jones, Business Management

Tracey L. Key, Business Management

Katrina King, Surgical Technology

Justin L. Kirk, Business Management

Yamileth Landaverde, Business Management

Hanna La’Shea Leamon, Surgical Technology

Juan M. Lee, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Brittany Letner, Accounting

Danyell Holly Ann Lippincott, Medical Assisting

Emily Elizabeth Lippincott, Adult Echocardiography

Lisa M. Logan, Surgical Technology

Hannah Robison Longmire, Marketing Management

Nora Lynn, Health Information Management Technology

Danielle L. Maffetone, Business Management

Matthew Mathison, Automotive Technology

Jose J. Moreno, Automation Engineering Technology

Trixie Michelle Morgan, Early Childhood Care and Education

Olivia M. Moses, Surgical Technology

Brandis M. Nelson, Radiologic Technology

Thuan N. Nguyen, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Kenadi N. Nichols, Adult Echocardiography

Benjamin Eli Niles, Horticulture

Lorien H. Nunez, Web Site Design/Development

Elizabeth M. Nycum, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Ashley Paramo-Carmona, Radiologic Technology

Amanda Elizabeth Parker, Horticulture

Jamie Perez, Construction Management

Kristen Pickel, Paramedicine

Helen Shanee Pope, Early Childhood Care and Education

Trey Posey, Construction Management

Samantha Nicole Prewett, Vascular

Charles Rainer Reaves, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Trinity Alicia Reyes, Adult Echocardiography

Saul Reyes Jr., Instrumentation and Control Technician

Kaitlyn Elizabeth Richey, Vascular

Stefany Jaqueline Rodriguez, Surgical Technology

Sergio Andres Romero Vargas, Business Management

Chloe Rosser, Health Care Management

William Robert Rutledge, Drafting Technology

Osmar R. Sales, Radiologic Technology

Jocelyn Guadalupe Sanchez, Business Management

Alejandra Sandoval, Vascular

Aryn Autry Santos, Radiologic Technology

Selena Segura, Radiologic Technology

Jose A. Soto, Radiologic Technology

Ashley Renea Spence, Health Care Management

Tyler R. Stanton, Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Freddie Stewart, Automotive Technology

Jordan Lee Stroud, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Rachel Madison Sullivan, Aviation Maintenance Technology

Kyndall Le-Ann Sutton, Business Management

Charles Talbott, Industrial Systems Technology

Makayla D. Tate, Web Site Design/Development

Kasha Storm Taylor, Business Management

Lyndsey Alexis Teague, Business Management

Emily Anne Thompson, Business Management

Katlin Marie Thompson, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Heather R. Thrasher, Business Management

Bryson A. Thurman, Construction Management

Claudia B. Torres, Accounting

Isaac Torres, Industrial Systems Technology

Jenesis R. Trevino, Adult Echocardiography

Hanna Skyler Tzimenatos, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Husein Vajzovic, Industrial Systems Technology

Gabriela Vargas, Health Care Management

Kenya C. Vargas, Health Care Management

Destiny Velazquez, Horticulture

Yecica Meliza Vicente Vicente, Accounting

Analy Vigil Rico, Business Management

Keven Steven Vivas, Business Management

Cordelia Denenge’ Wells, Social Work Assistant

Tyler C. West, Construction Management

Brooklyn A. White, Business Healthcare Technology

Lexie Mae White, Adult Echocardiography

Tori Williams, Vascular

Dacey R. Willingham, Radiologic Technology

James Kaine Wilson, Construction Management

Cassandra Wood, Business Healthcare Technology


Juan Pedro Almaraz Covarrubias, Welding and Joining Technology

Francely Ang, Human Lactation

Dulce Arias, Medical Assisting

Juana Bautista, Accounting

Albert Belman, Welding and Joining Technology

Kayla N. Briggs, Cosmetology

Shanae Bruton, Health Information Coding

Abigayle M. Bynum, Cosmetology

Michelle Caceres, Criminal Justice Technology

Jennifer Jaqueline Calderon Barrios, Cosmetology

Kayla Marie Caldwell, Practical Nursing

Rosa Charlene Cruz, Business Healthcare Technology

Gelsley Dasinger, Cosmetology

Deja Nichole Davis, Business Technology

Joshua Matthew Davis, Electrical Systems Technology

Jorma Dickson, Welding and Joining Technology

Isaiah Javier Espinoza, Welding and Joining Technology

Oscar J. Flores Segura, Automotive Technology

Ashley N. Floyd, Medical Assisting

Maribel Fraire, Medical Assisting

Emily Daniella Fraire Gonzalez, Cosmetology

Joy Elaine Fredrick, Business Technology

Cesar Ramon Gracia, Air Conditioning Technology

Alex T. Green, Welding and Joining Technology

Cathrine Alleen Greeson, Human Lactation

Briana Renea Hall, Accounting

Thomas Cooper Hartley, Welding and Joining Technology

Sierra Rose Hawkins, Cosmetology

Martin Hernandez, Welding and Joining Technology

Esli J. H-Hernandez, Medical Assisting

Jamarkus T. Holcomb, Culinary Arts

Shauna Cox Ingram, Cosmetology

Luis Joaquin-Gomez, Air Conditioning Technology

Jose Lara Mendez, Welding and Joining Technology

Alicia Lewis, EMS Professions

Marissa Sarahi Lon Morales, Cosmetology

Selena I. Lopez, Medical Assisting

Crystal Mallory, Medical Assisting

Antonio Martinez Jr., Welding and Joining Technology

Madison H. Millhollan, Cosmetology

Ian Aurelius Moore, Networking Specialist

Ever Morillon Delgado, Automotive Technology

Karen Melissa Orozco, Dental Assisting

Connor Keith Padgett, Electrical Systems Technology

Cassandra Paramo-Carmona, Medical Assisting

Heather Michele Payne, Cosmetology

Isaac Phillips, Diesel Equipment Technology

Eva YanXiang Poe, Cosmetology

Makayla Nolen Powell, Medical Assisting

Samantha Pullen, Culinary Arts

Yajaira Ramirez, Medical Assisting

Widman A. Ramirez Calderon, Air Conditioning Technology

Josue Giovanny Reveles, Welding and Joining Technology

Tanya Reyes-Cornejo, Medical Assisting

Claudia Rodriguez, Medical Assisting

Scarlett Katherine Rogers, Medical Assisting

Maricelys Romero Campos, Cosmetology

Wilburn Salaices Jr., Diesel Equipment Technology

Alondra Hernandez Sanchez, Medical Assisting

Maggie A. Scruggs, Business Management

Johana Segura-Torres, Dental Assisting

Courtney Smith, Business Healthcare Technology

Lashekia Marshae Smith, Medical Assisting

Terra Nicolee Smothers, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Christian L. Stafford, CNC Technology

Presley N. Stone, Business Healthcare Technology

Jessica L. Strickland, Cosmetology

Katelynn Dawne Sturgill, Medical Assisting

Aleida Vail-Mendez, Cosmetology

Jesse Vargas, Cybersecurity

Alexis Vazquez, Welding and Joining Technology

Montserrat Villalobos Hernandez, Cosmetology

Lance Ronald Watson, Welding and Joining Technology

Logan Earl Watson, Welding and Joining Technology

Rebecca A. Watson, Cosmetology

Trenton S. Weaver, Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Holly R. Williams, Cosmetology

Shana Yarbrough, Cosmetology

Technical Certificate of Credit   

Kiley Alyssa Abernathy, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jaylyn A. Alvarado, Nail Technician

Flor A. Ambrocio-Vasquez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Juan Manuel Arellano, Air Conditioning Technician Assistant

Samantha Arellano, Cosmetology for Licensure

Alexis C. Asher, Clinical Office Assistant

Erica L. Baber, Cosmetology for Licensure

Moncerad Blanco Ortiz, Cosmetology for Licensure

Aleah Booth, Cosmetology for Licensure

Alli Brock, Cosmetology for Licensure

Laycie Davis Brookshire, Cosmetology for Licensure

Willie Cantrell, Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician

Kadie Carlene Cardin, Healthcare Billing and Coding Specialist

Esther Ruth Carswell, Cosmetology for Licensure

Courtney Carter, Cosmetology for Licensure

Bianca Lucero Cervantes, Nail Technician

LaMesha Brooke Chubb, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jaime Lynne Cooper, Cosmetology for Licensure

Alexandra Cornejo, Clinical Office Assistant

Wendy Crumley, Cosmetology for Licensure

Salma Cuna, Office Accounting Specialist

Emily Davis, Medical Coding

Alexa Rose Doherty, Cosmetology for Licensure

Amber Nicole Edwards, Phlebotomy Technician

Jessie Ely, Clinical Office Assistant

Nancy Felipe-Diego, Cosmetology for Licensure

Tesfa K. Francis, Aviation Maintenance Technician

Wendy Garner, Cosmetology for Licensure

Alyssa Corrine Gibbs, Cosmetology for Licensure

Deborah Godfrey, Medical Front Office Assistant

Cristian Gomez Ramirez, Aviation Maintenance Technician

Britenee Nikohle Graham, Clinical Office Assistant

Shayla Diane Graham, Phlebotomy Technician

Johnathan William Gregory, Industrial Motor Control Technician

Michelle Guzman-Benites, Criminal Justice Specialist

Mckayla Hall, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jamie Lee Hamilton, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jeremy J. Harris, Hair Designer

Andrew Hatt, Emergency Medical Technician

Eduardo Roman Huitanda, Electrical Contracting Technician

Cloie-Jean Albreanna Jenkins, Emergency Medical Technician

John D. Jenkins, Emergency Medical Technician

Calandra Jones, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jasmine Mariah Lanier, Cosmetology for Licensure

Monica Layne, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Tracy Lynn Lomax, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Deidra Long, Computerized Accounting Specialist

Kourtney Long, Clinical Office Assistant

Jennifer Lisbeth Lopez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Rachelle N. Loveless, Clinical Office Assistant

Mionica Shuntea’ Loyal, Pre-Hospital EMS Operations

Bernisha Madding, Hair Designer

Brianda Mayquel Martinez, Healthcare Billing and Coding Specialist

Desiree M. Mayes, Clinical Office Assistant

Aaliyah McCluskey, Nail Technician

Erica Keiser McGowan, Central Sterile Supply Processing Technician

Zoee Mercer, Cosmetology for Licensure

Emily Mijangos Melendez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Erick Murillo, Photovoltaic Systems Installation and Repair Technician

Karimar Negron Ramos, Cosmetology for Licensure

Kathy Joana Nolasco, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jenny Rafaela Nolasco Vasquez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Kaneisha Pace, Cosmetology for Licensure

Yaslin Melisa Perez Aguilar, Cosmetology for Licensure

Tori Melia Perez Fraire, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jonathan Perez Godinez, Cosmetology for Licensure

Le Anh Khoa Pham, Aviation Maintenance Technician

Mariela Pizano Cornejo, Clinical Office Assistant

Wanda Taylor Pratt, Cosmetology for Licensure

Chasiti D. Rosser, Cosmetology for Licensure

Matalyn Lace Ryan, Cosmetology for Licensure

Jaycee Camille Sisson, Cosmetology for Licensure

Misty M. Stone, Healthcare Office Assistant

Jessica Ann Stricklin, Clinical Office Assistant

Brittany Teems, Cosmetology for Licensure

Mollie Denise Teems, Cosmetology for Licensure

Binyam Teklehaimanot, Aviation Maintenance Technician-Airframe

Samantha M. Thomas, Cosmetology for Licensure

Maci Hannah Tucker, Phlebotomy Technician

Brianna Leigh Turner, Cosmetology for Licensure

Baylee Claire Vandall, Cosmetology for Licensure

Colton Whelchel, Aviation Maintenance Technician

Jade N. Whitaker, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Valerie Williams, Cosmetology for Licensure

Caleb M. Willis, Aviation Maintenance Technician

Ashley N. Young, Clinical Office Assistant

Downtown Shops Open Later On Friday's For Christmas Shopping

Often during the Holiday season we are reminded to shop local to support our local, independently owned businesses.  A group of downtown Summerville merchants are making that easier for Christmas shoppers.  Hayden Taylor Designs, The Ruby Slipper, Merle Norman/ Ga Ga’s Boutique, Dirt / Dirt Pour, Three Penny Treasure and D&S Mercantile are all extending their hours on Friday evenings.  The stores will all be open until 10 PM.  The store owners say that they came up with the idea to help shoppers with extended retail hours.  As you make your Holiday shopping plans, take time to support local businesses.

Menlo Man Shot At Residence Over Cell Phone Issue

A Menlo man was arrested last week after he fired shots into a residence on Reese Street in Menlo.  Reports from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office indicate that sixty-two-year-old Thomas Nelson Tucker was angry with a couple that lived at the residence because they wouldn’t fix his cell phone.  Tucker reportedly got angry after claiming that the couple had “locked his cell phone” and fired several rounds into the residence.  The shooting resulted in a soft lock-down of nearby Menlo Elementary School.  Tucker was apprehended last Friday evening and booked into the Chattooga County Jail on aggravated assault charges.

AAA: Unsafe Driving Behaviors Increasing


A new AAA report reveals that unsafe driving behaviors increased from 2020 to 2021. The increase comes after three years of steady declines.

According to the new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the rise in risky behaviors included speeding, red-light running, drowsy driving, and driving impaired due to cannabis or alcohol. The most alarming increase was among drivers admitting to getting behind the wheel after drinking enough that they felt they were over the legal limit – an increase of nearly 24%.

“The reversal in the frequency of U.S. drivers engaging in risky driving behavior is disturbing,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman. “While drivers acknowledge that certain activities like speeding and driving impaired are not safe, many engage in these activities anyway. This reckless attitude can be life altering.”

Traffic fatalities have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021. That’s a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. According to NHTSA, dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, alcohol impairment, and non-use of seatbelts account for a considerable proportion of the increased fatalities.


The proportion of people who reported having engaged in the following unsafe driving behaviors at least once in the past 30 days before the survey  


Unsafe Driving Behavior









Change from 2020 to 2021 (%)

Driven 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway






Driven while holding and talking on a cell phone






Driven while reading a text or email on a cell phone






Driven through a red light






Driven aggressively by switching lanes quickly or very close behind another car






Driven when so tired it was hard to keep eyes open






Driven when you had enough alcohol that you thought you were over the legal limit






Driven within an hour of consuming cannabis






“Traffic patterns have largely normalized since the start of the pandemic, yet traffic fatalities are at their highest level in nearly two decades,” Waiters continued. “We can reverse this trend if drivers slow down, avoid distractions and never drive impaired.”

As dangerous driving behavior becomes more common on the road, AAA recommends that drivers ensure that they are adequately protected against the growing risks on the road.

AAA Tips for Drivers

  • Make sure you are protected with adequate insurance coverage. If your policy does not include uninsured motorist coverage or has low minimal liability limits, you could be stuck paying some big bills out of pocket. AAA offers a free Triple Check to help you understand your insurance coverage—from any company. This analysis will determine whether you have enough coverage without paying for protections you don’t need, and it will help you identify discounts you qualify for with insurance through AAA.
  • Be mindful of your own driving habits. AAA members can sign up for AAADrive via the free AAA Mobile App. This tool helps you become a safer driver by giving real time feedback and providing resources that promote safe driving and reduce dangerous activities. It also helps you get a discount on auto insurance with AAA: up to 5% just for enrolling (10% if you enroll every family member on your policy). You could qualify for discounts of up to 25% based on your score. Learn more at
  • Be prepared in the event of a crash. Keep an emergency kit with first-aid and roadside visibility items (e.g., flashlight, flares) in your car. You should also keep a copy of your proof of insurance (plus a pen and paper) in your glove box and add your insurance company’s phone number and your policy number to your phone. If you have insurance through AAA, you can view your policy details on the AAA Mobile app.
  • Know what to do when a crash occurs. Check for injuries, call 911 and remain at the scene. If no one is injured and your vehicle is drivable, turn on the hazard lights and safely move it to an emergency lane or parking area. If the vehicle can’t be moved, turn on the hazard lights and go to a spot safely away from moving traffic until emergency services arrive. You should exchange information with all parties, take photos of the location, people involved and damaged vehicles, and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. If you are insured with AAA, you can start your claim online, over the phone or via the AAA Mobile app.

Multiple Positions Available At Chattooga Schools

The Chattooga County School System has multiple job openings.  There are job openings for bus drivers, custodians, para-professionals and a secretarial position.  Also the school system is in need of substitute teachers.  You can find a full list of the job vacancies below.  To find out more, contact Dawn Campbell, Human Resources Director for the Chattooga County School System at 706-859-3034 or stop by the Chattooga County Board of Education Office at 33 Middle School Drive in Summerville.

Weather Delay For Christmas In The Park

Christmas in the Park in Lyerly--CHS Band will play!

The decision was made on Wednesday of this week to postpone Christmas in the Park at Dowdy Park.  Originally, the event was to have been held this evening, but due to the forecast of rain, the City of Summerville moved the event to next week.  Christmas in the Park will be taking place on Friday, December 16th from 6PM-9PM .  The event will feature the Best Dressed Elf Contest, the Christmas Cookie Smackdown and music.  There will also be a drawing for a free bike for girl and a boy and a Christmas ham drawing as well.  Remember, Christmas in the Park is coming NEXT Friday, December 16th.

Rome Man Arrested After Punching Child

A thirty-year-old Rome man was arrested on Tuesday by the Rome Police Department for child cruelty and battery charges. According to Floyd County Jail Records, Isaac Sellers of a Muscadine Lane address was arrested at a residence on Watters Street after he allegedly punched a child in the back of the head leaving visible injuries.  Police stated that Sellers allegedly punched holes in the wall of a home on Watters Street. Sellers is being charged with battery family violence, cruelty to children in the 1st degree, and criminal trespass damage to property.


Arrest Report - Thursday - December 8, 2022

Here is the latest arrest report from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office for Thursday, December 8, 2022:

Governor Announces Plans For EV Battery Manufacturing Facility In Bartow County

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and SK On have selected a site in Bartow County for a new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility that will supply Hyundai Motor Group’s plants in the U.S. One of the largest economic development projects in state history, stakeholders estimate it will create more than 3,500 new jobs through approximately $4-5 billion of investment in Bartow County.

Hyundai Motor Group and SK On recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the partnership for a new EV battery facility in the U.S., with the details of the partnership still in development.

“Hyundai Motor Group and SK On are valued partners and key players in our state’s ever-growing automotive industry,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Since day one, my administration has been focused on bringing jobs and opportunity to communities across the state that may have been overlooked in the past. SK and HMG share this goal, and we’re proud they are choosing to invest even further in this No. 1 state for business.”

Established in 2021, SK On is the lithium-ion battery subsidiary branch of SK Innovation and currently employs more than 2,000 Georgians at its SK Battery America facility in Commerce. In July, SK Battery America announced it would partner with the Work for Warriors Georgia program to hire veterans, servicemembers, and their families at their Georgia operations.

Subject to execution of relevant agreements and HMG and SK On’s final board decisions, the new facility will be located at Bartow Centre, a zoned manufacturing and industrial site located on Highway 411, and is aiming to begin operations in 2025.

“Bartow County is very pleased with the decision of Hyundai Motor Group and SK On,” said Bartow County Sole Commissioner Steve Taylor. “We thank the owners of the former Bartow Centre Industrial property. Together, we pursued this extraordinary economic development project. The project will have regional benefit for job seekers in the area and establishes Bartow in Georgia’s EV ecosystem in a significant way. With Bartow’s strong history and talent-base built upon advanced manufacturing, the automotive industry, and innovation, the battery partnership should thrive in this environment. We look forward to welcoming HMG and SK in meaningful ways in the community and enjoying a long-term partnership together.”

Director of Korean Investment Yoonie Kim represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with Georgia EMC, Development Authority of Bartow County, the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, and Georgia Quick Start.

“HMG and SK have been pioneering partners for Georgia for decades as one of the major drivers for Georgia’s automotive renaissance and as the first Korean manufacturer to locate in the state, respectively,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “By supporting cooperation and partnerships across our growing EV ecosystem, we’re creating a fully integrated supply chain for automotive OEMs while also connecting battery manufacturers with recyclers to close the loop on battery manufacturing. We’re excited for the jobs of the future this will create for Bartow County and northwest Georgia, and we’re grateful for the support of our community and utility partners!”

Georgia’s prime location, major ports system and extensive infrastructure, skilled workforce, and pro-business climate have made it an attractive location for a diverse array of rapidly developing industries focused on creating a sustainable future. Building on the assets that make the automotive industry successful, Georgia is positioned as a hub for the electric transportation industry.

Excluding this announcement, EV-related projects announced in the state since 2020 total approximately $17 billion in investment and more than 22,800 new jobs in Georgia.

In addition to the two companies’ EV battery partnership, Hyundai Motor Group separately announced in May its plans to invest $5.54 billion in Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, an EV manufacturing facility in Bryan County. Hyundai Motor Group broke ground on the facility in October with Governor Kemp, other state leaders, and local and federal officials.

Free Food At Central Avenue Baptist Today

There will be free food given away today at Central Avenue Baptist Church in Trion. There’s Hope for the Hungry will be giving away free groceries from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The church is located at 14074 Hwy 27, Trion, Georgia. No ID required.

Habitat Home Dedication December 18th

Sample Image

The Habitat for Humanity Coosa Valley Chapter will be dedicating their 58th home on December 18th.  The organization serves residents in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga Counties.  Founded in Americus, GA in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped build, renovated and repair more than 1 million decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 5 million people worldwide. Habitat for Humanity – Coosa Valley was founded in 1984 based on the mission.  The home dedication will be held at the most recent Habitat house for the Bowers family.  Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Betsy or Taylor at (706) 378-0030 by December 15th. Attendees are asked to bring an ornament for the Bowers’ Christmas tree!

GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Graduation Held

Friends, family and the community gathered in the Conference Center at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus in Calhoun to honor 12 students graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class (BLETC) #2022 on Monday, Dec. 5.

The Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) program is designed to train and prepare graduates for employment as entry-level Georgia law enforcement officers.

“Do your job. Do it well,” guest speaker Tom Bojo, retired dean of Academic Support Services at GNTC, told the graduates. “Always ask yourself if you did the right thing.”

He reminded the graduates of the dangers that are part of their new profession, to maintain their perspective when dealing with people in the community and to tell their families they love them every day.

Jordon Millirons was the student speaker for the ceremony. Timothy Kittle was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship, and Lucas Dooley received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates recited their Oath of Honor at the conclusion of the ceremony, vowing “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”

Graduates of GNTC’s BLETC #2022 are Dawn Charles, Lucas Dooley, Vanessa Fajardo, Monica Foster, Shandi Hall, Timothy Kittle, Parker Lively, Eric Menzies, Jordon Millirons, Darlin Rendon Ponce, Jerec Roberts and Stuart Wishart.

Fajardo, Kittle and Rendon Ponce are employed by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office; Dooley and Foster are employed by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office. Charles is employed by the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.

Roberts is employed by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and Wishart by the Floyd County Police Department.

Hall is employed by the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, and Lively is employed by the Calhoun Police Department.

Millirons is employed by the Holly Springs Police Department while Menzies is employed by the Georgia Highlands College Police Department.

Cave Spring Police Fires Summerville Resident

This week, the Cave Spring, Georgia Police Department fired former Chattooga County Deputy and Summerville resident Marvin James Armstrong after his arrest on drug charges last week.

Armstrong is facing charges after an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into alleged drug activity.  Last week, the GBI said, “Cave Spring Police Department Officer Marvin James Armstrong, age 35, of Chattooga County, GA, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess fentanyl, conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess Percocet and use of a communication facility during the commission of a felony”.

Armstrong was fired from the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office in August of this year.  Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader told WZQZ News that Armstrong was fired for failing to follow procedures.

The Cave Spring Police Department began the termination process against Armstrong on November 29th.  That termination was complete as of Tuesday of this week.


LaFayette Attorney Arrested For DUI

A report from the Georgia State Patrol post in LaFayette details an accident that happened last month involving a LaFayette attorney.  The attorney, sixty-six-year-old Mary Jane Melton was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the report, the accident took place on November 14th inside the city limits of LaFayette, but since Melton works as the city clerk for LaFayette, it was a conflict of interest for LaFayette Police to work the accident and asked for a State Trooper to work the accident.

The trooper noticed that Melton had a strong odor of alcohol and one of her pupil’s was larger than the other.  Melton explained to the trooper that she had a fake eye and offered to take it out.  The trooper said in his report, “I told her several times that I did not want her to take it out. However, she did anyway. She then dropped her fake eye on the ground. After retrieving the eye, she attempted to hand it to me. politely declined the offer to hold it.”

The report from the trooper continued, “During field sobriety testing, Melton showed several signs of impairment and would not blow hard enough for a sufficient sample on PBT. The trooper had to manually capture the short breath. Melton blew positive for the presence of alcohol on her breath (.057). Melton was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol – less safe, and she agreed to the state test. Melton was transported to the Walker County Jail, where she was charged with DUI – less safe and following too closely.”

Chattooga Planning Commission Makes Recommendations / Updated With Comments From Commissioner

The Chattooga Planning Commission has sent a list of recommendations to Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry on proposed changes to the Chattooga County Land Ordinance that was adopted by Elsberry earlier this year.

One of the recommendations of the planning commission is to require landowners to get a “development permit” prior to building or modifying any permanent property.  The recommendation is a step beyond what the commissioner said the purpose of the ordinance was at the time he adopted it, according to the group Chattooga County Concerned Citizens.  The group posted on social media, “Another thing in the suggestion is references to state codes. At face value, you might not think much about them being there. However, they wouldn’t be referenced if the county didn’t have plans to enforce them locally instead of letting the state handle enforcing its own statutes.”
The document below  shows a fee of $20 to get an address from  911 and a fee of $50 for a “development permit” before any structure is built or modified on a person’s property.  Commissioner Elsberry says that the county’s fees will not change.  Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry spoke with WZQZ News on Thursday morning saying he wanted to clarify the planning commission suggestions referenced in the PDF below.  The commissioner said that those were notes from the planning commission on an alternative ordinance that was suggested by the Chattooga County Concerned Citizens Group.
This is a PDF of the proposed changes : Planning Commission Suggestions 11.3.22
The commissioner said that the proposed changes to the Chattooga County ordinance have been sent to the county attorney.  Once the attorney drafts a revised ordinance it will be sent to the Chattooga County Planning Commission before a vote.  After that, the commissioner will review the proposed changes and either approve the changes or make recommendations and sent it back to the planning committee for another vote.
The commissioner is still stressing that this ordinance will only apply to large land developments.

Governor Kemp Plans To Cut Another $1 Billion In Income Tax

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp addressed Georgia legislators on Tuesday of this week and outlined plans to cut an additional $1 billion from state income tax in the coming years.  Kemp told the lawmakers that they couldn’t “rest on our laurels” and that there is still more to do to cut taxes in the Peach State.  The governor also talked about the pay raises for educators in the state.  In all, teachers have seen a $5,000 pay raise over the past four years.  Kemp also pledged to continue to crack down on crime in Georgia and to increase benefits from the HOPE scholarship.  Kemp made the remarks at a speech at the University of Georgia closing out the Biennial Institute, a three-day orientation session for newly elected legislators.

Compiled Sources