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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL RELEASED EARLY FINDINGS FROM IT’S INVESTIGATION OF A FATAL WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENT.  THE REPORT SAYS THAT SCHOOL BUS DRIVER JOEL LEE HITCHCOX MADE NO CONTRIBUTING ACTIONS LEADING TO THE DEATH OF 6 YEAR OLD ZACHERY BRYANT.
    IT FURTHER STATES THAT THE 50 YEAR OLD DRIVER WAS NOT DISTRACTED AS HE PULLED THE BUS AWAY - AFTER UNLOADING STUDENTS AT CHATTANOOGA VALLEY ELEMENTARY, EARLY MONDAY MORNING.  THE REPORT SAYS THAT THE KINDERGARTEN STUDENT SIMPLY “STEPPED OUT IN FRONT OF THE BUS”.  THAT INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING.
    ZACHERY’S FAMILY WILL RECEIVE FRIENDS TODAY AT THE WILSON FUNERAL HOME IN FORT OGLETHORPE.   HIS FUNERAL WILL BE HELD THERE, SATURDAY AT 11 AM.
    AND SATURDAY NIGHT… THE ROCK SPRING ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WILL HOLD A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AT THEIR BALL FIELDS, STARTING AT 6 PM.  DONATIONS FOR THE FAMILY WILL BE ACCEPTED THERE.
    WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM SUPERINTENDENT DAMON RAINES SAID THE SCHOOLS PLAN TO DONATE MONEY IN ZACHERY’S NAME, TO START A SCHOLARSHIP AT ROCK SPRING.  IT WILL ALLOW ONE CHILD TO PLAY SPORTS FREE, EACH SEASON.

*   THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN THE MAY PRIMARIES, IS NEXT MONDAY, APRIL 21st.  CONTACT THE VOTER REGISTRATION OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE TO REGISTER.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S ANNUAL “RABIES CLINICS” FOR PETS, WILL BE HELD THE NEXT TWO SATURDAYS… SPONSORED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE AND LOCAL VETS.
    THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 19th… HAVE DOGS AND CATS VACCINATED AT:

    GILBERT ELEMENTARY, NOON ’TIL 1 PM.
    VILLANOW ANIMAL CLINIC, 10 AM ’TIL NOON.
    FAIRVIEW UNITED METHODIST, 1:30 ’TIL 2:30 PM.
    MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY HEADSTART, FROM 2:30 ’TIL 3:30.
    OSBURN SCHOOL, THE A.E.C…. FROM 3 ’TIL 4 PM.
    CHATTANOOGA VALLEY ELEMENTARY FROM 5 - 6 PM.
    AND ROCK SPRING ELEMENTARY, FROM 4:30 ’TIL 6.

    THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY, APRIL 26th… VACCINATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT

    EAST BROOMTOWN ROAD FIRE HALL, NOON ’TIL 1 PM.
    KENSINGTON FIRE HALL, 1 - 2.
    NAOMI ELEMENTARY, 2 - 3 PM.
    GORDON LEE HIGH SCHOOL, 2:30 - 4:30
    AND WOODSTATION BAPTIST CHURCH FROM 4:30 - 5.

    THE COST IS $10.  PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND PETS FROM THE DEADLY DISEASE, RABIES.

*   A BLOODY ASSAULT STOPPED TRAFFIC IN DOWNTOWN ROSSVILLE, THURSDAY MORNING.
    THE PASSENGER IN A CAR REPORTEDLY SLASHED HIS OWN NECK… THEN SLASHED THE DRIVER.  IT HAPPENED NEAR ROY’S GRILL ON U.S. 27.
     DAVID LEFLIE WAS TAZED AND TAKEN INTO CUSTODY.  BOTH MEN WERE TREATED FOR NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES.  ROSSVILLE POLICE STILL DON’T KNOW THE REASON FOR THE ATTACK.
    THEY WERE ASSISTED IN THE ARREST BY CHATTANOOGA POLICE AND WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES.

*   LAFAYETTE’S FIRE CHIEF, ROBERT BUSBY, IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE A NEW, LOWER I.S.O. RATING FOR THE CITY.
    THE INSURANCE SERVICE ORGANIZATION RECENTLY SURVEYED THE LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT ON FACTORS SUCH AS EQUIPMENT, WATER SUPPLY, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE NUMBER AND TRAINING LEVEL OF PERSONNEL.
    CHEIF BUSBY SAID THAT AS OF MAY 1st, THE NEW RATING FOR LAFAYETTE FIRE WILL BE A 3-9.   ONLY 2,200 FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN AMERICA HAVE A CLASS 3 OR BETTER RATING, BUSBY SAID.   LAFAYETTE HAD A RATING OF 6 FOR MANY YEARS… AND IN I.S.O… THE LOWER THE NUMBER, THE BETTER THE RATING. 
    CHIEF BUSBY SAID IT’S ESPECIALLY “REWARDING” TO GET A 3 RATING IN A DEPARTMENT WITH BOTH PAID AND VOLUNTEER STAFFING.
    “THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF OUR MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, OUR FIREFIGHTERS, WATER DEPARTMENT AND DISPATCH CENTER”, BUSBY SAID.  A NEW 75-FOOT LADDER TRUCK, IMPROVED WATER SUPPLY AND TRAINING FACILITIES ALL HELPED WIN THE NEW, IMPROVED RATING.
    CITY OF LAFAYETTE INSURANCE CUSTOMERS SHOULD EXPECT A LOWER COST OF FIRE INSURANCE IN THE FUTURE, DUE TO THE IMPROVED I.S.O. NUMBERS.

*   GEORGIA CREATED MORE JOBS AND HAD FEWER LAYOFFS… GREAT NEWS IN THE LATEST FIGURES FROM MARCH OF THIS YEAR.
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED FROM 534 IN FEBRUARY, TO 354 IN MARCH… THAT’S 180 FEWER WORKERS WHO LOST WORK OVER THE MONTH.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY HAD A HUGE DECLINE IN NEW CLAIMS… 1,153 FEWER IN MARCH.
    DADE AND CHATTOOGA COUNTIES HAD A SLIGHTLY HIGHER RATE OF NEW CLAIMS.
    MEANWHILE, GEORGIA’S STATE-WIDE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED TO 7 PERCENT IN MARCH… THE LOWEST RATE SINCE 2008.  IT’S THE 9th MONTH IN A ROW THAT THE STATE’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS DROPPED.
CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES TO BE THE FASTEST-GROWING JOB-CREATOR IN THE STATE, ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

*   STATE SENATOR JEFF MULLIS WAS HONORED BY THE GEORGIA MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION, MONDAY… AT THE MONTHLY MEETING OF THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL.
    THE GMA GAVE MULLIS A “CHAMPION OF GEORGIA’S CITIES” AWARD… FOR HIS SUPPORT OF CITY GOVERNMENTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE.
    MULLIS WAS CITED FOR ENSURING THAT THE NEW “DOWNTOWN RENAISSANCE ACT” PASSED THROUGH THIS RECENT LEGISLATIVE SESSION.  THE ACT CREATES A FUND WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS THAT WILL PROVIDE GRANTS AND LOANS FOR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN GEORGIA.
    THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS ONE OF 519 MEMBER-CITIES OF THE GEORGIA MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION.

*   THE APRIL “LUNCH N LEARN” PROGRAM WILL BE HELD AT THE WALKER EMERGENCY SERVICES HEADQUARTERS, ON WEDNESDAY THE 23rd.  THE PROGRAM WILL FEATURE “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FIREFIGHTER”… YOU CAN “SUIT UP” AND PRACTICE SOME FIREFIGHTING SKILLS.   RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED BY MONDAY AFTERNOON… CALL 706 539 1255.  

*   NO NEW ONE-WAY STREETS IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE… THE CITY COUNCIL VOTED AGAINST A PROPOSAL TO MAKE NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS ONE WAY, ON THE EAST SIDE OF SOUTH MAIN.  THAT PROPOSAL WAS BROUGHT TO THE COUNCIL LAST MONTH BY WALKER COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER, CAROLYN WALKER… WHOSE OFFICE IS BOUNDED NORTH AND SOUTH BY THOSE TWO STREETS.
    AT MONDAY’S MEETING, LOCAL ATTORNEY BILL RHYNE PRESENTED THE COUNCIL WITH A PETITION BEARING OVER 140 SIGNATURES OF RESIDENTS WHO ARE AGAINST THE ONE-WAY IDEA.
    THE COUNCIL VOTED TO LEAVE BOTH NAPIER AND FARRIS STREETS AS THEY ARE… OPEN TO TWO-WAY TRAFFIC.
    ON ANOTHER RECENT “HOT-BUTTON” LOCAL ISSUE… THE COUNCIL VOTED TO RETAIN “BARWICK” AS A PART OF THE NEW NAME, GIVEN TO THE LOCAL AIRPORT.   THERE HAD BEEN A SUGGESTION AT ONE POINT, THAT “BARWICK” BE LEFT OUT… AND THAT THE NEW NAME WOULD BE “LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT”.   THERE WAS AN AIRPORT THAT ALREADY HAD THAT NAME IN ANOTHER STATE… AND LOCALS WERE NOT FOND OF DROPPING “BARWICK” FROM THE AIRPORT’S NAME.   E.T. BARWICK OF BARWICK MILLS HAD MUCH TO DO WITH THE LAFAYETTE AIRPORT’S EARLY DEVELOPMENT.
    THE NEW NAME ADOPTED MONDAY NIGHT, IS “LAFAYETTE REGIONAL AIRPORT - BARWICK FIELD”.
    THE COUNCIL ALSO APPROVED THE LOCAL, MATCHING SHARE FOR STATE D.O.T. ROAD-PAVING MONEY.   THE STATE IS PROVIDING OVER 70-THOUSAND DOLLARS THROUGH THE “LMIG” PROGRAM… AND THE LOCAL SHARE IS JUST OVER 21-THOUSAND.   IN ADDITION, THE COUNCIL VOTED TO UPGRADE THE WATER LINES ON LOACH AND ABNEY STREETS, BEFORE THEY RECEIVE THAT NEW PAVING.

*   FRIENDS OF THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY ARE SELLING A COMMEMORATIVE POSTER... REMEMBERING THE 1970 JOHNNY CASH BENEFIT CONCERT AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL.   THE POSTER IS 18 BY 24 INCHES... AND ADVANCE ORDERS ARE BEING TAKING NOW, ON-LINE.   THE SITE IS "JOHNNY CASH CONCERT.COM".  POSTERS ARE $15... WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS AT THE LAFAYETTE LIBRARY.

*   APPLICATIONS FOR PRE-K ARE AVAILABLE AT MOST WALKER COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.... INCLUDING GILBERT, NORTH LAFAYETTE, NAOMI, ROCK SPRING, SADDLE RIDGE, STONE CREEK, ROSSVILLE, CHEROKEE RIDGE AND FAIRYLAND, PLUS THE CENTRAL OFFICE IN LAFAYETTE.
    APPLICATIONS ARE DUE ON MAY 5th.  A LOTTERY-DRAWING TO FILL AVAILABLE SEATS WILL BE HELD MAY 16th.
    PRE-K IS FOR 4 YEAR OLDS… AND IS FUNDED THROUGH THE GEORGIA LOTTERY.   CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL FOR MORE INFORMATION.

*   WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT PLANS TO HAVE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR VOTERS, INCLUDED ON THAT MAY 20th GEORGIA PRIMARY BALLOT.
    COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SAID LAST WEEK THAT SHE PLANS TO ASK VOTERS IF THEY WOULD FAVOR A QUARTER-MILL OF PROPERTY TAX REVENUE DEDICATED TO THE OPERATIONS OF LIBRARIES IN THE COUNTY.
OTHER QUESTIONS INCLUDE:
DO YOU FAVOR SUNDAY SALES OF ALCOHOL?
DO YOU FAVOR LIQUOR BY THE DRINK IN RESTAURANTS?
AND DO YOU FAVOR PACKAGE SALES OF LIQUOR?
    THE ALCOHOL ISSUES TO BE DECIDED WOULD INVOLVE ONLY BUSINESSES LOCATED IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF THE COUNTY - AND WOULD NOT AFFECT BUSINESSES WITHIN THE FOUR CITIES.

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