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SCARE ON THE SQUARE is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week.  Safe Trick-or-Treating and fun on the Downtown Square in LaFayette... Friday, October 31st from  5:00 - 7:30 p.m!  It's sponsored by the Bank of LaFayette and the Downtown Development Authority.

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Our 60th year of service... 1954 - 2014.

TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

UPDATED WITH I.D. - A WALKER COUNTY ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF MADE A HEROIC EFFORT TO SAVE A CATLETT MAN FROM HIS BURNING HOME, THURSDAY MORNING… BUT LATER, THE VICTIM DIED OF INJURES AT THE HOSPITAL.
    FIRE CHIEF RANDY CAMP SAID HIS DEPARTMENT GOT THE CALL TO 963 ROUND POND ROAD, JUST BEFORE 9 AM.   ASSISTANT CHIEF MARLIN THOMPSON - WHO LIVES A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY - WAS FIRST ON THE SCENE.   HE COULD HEAR PETE WATTENBARGER INSIDE THE BURNING HOUSE, SHOUTING FOR HELP… AND SUITED-UP.  HE WAS ABLE TO DRAG THE MAN TO THE FRONT PORCH AS HELP ARRIVED.   WATTENBARGER, WHO LIVED ALONE… DIED ABOUT AN HOUR LATER AT HUTCHESON.  HE HAD BOTH BURNS AND SMOKE INHALATION… AND SUFFERED CARDIAC ARREST ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL.      
    CAMP SAID THERE WAS NOTHING SUSPICIOUS ABOUT THE FIRE… BUT AS WITH ANY CASE INVOLVING A DEATH… THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL WAS CALLED-IN TO INVESTIGATE.   THE FIRE APPEARED TO HAVE STARTED WITH A MALFUNCTIONING WOOD HEATER, ACCORDING TO INVESTIGATORS.  THERE WAS NO SIGN THAT THE HOUSE WAS EQUIPPED WITH A SMOKE DETECTOR.

*   FRIDAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR ADVANCE VOTING.  SATELLITE LOCATIONS ARE OPEN FROM 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM AT ROCK SPRING, FAIRYLAND, CHICKAMAUGA, ROSSVILLE AND THE COURTHOUSE IN LAFAYETTE.  ELECTION DAY IS NEXT TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4th.

*   THE CHANGE TO STANDARD TIME HAPPENS THIS SUNDAY.  TIME TO TURN CLOCKS BACK AN HOUR, BEFORE RETIRING SATURDAY NIGHT.

*   WITH THE FATE OF HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER IN THE BALANCE... COUNTY LEADERS ARE WORRIED THAT THEIR "LOAN GUARANTEES" FOR THE HOSPITAL MAY BE "CALLED".
    IN THE LATEST CHAPTER, LAWYERS FOR CATOOSA COUNTY FILED A REQUEST WITH LOCAL COURTS ASKING THAT HUTCHESON PROVIDE AUDITS FOR 2007 TO THE PRESENT.   THE CATOOSA COMMISSIONERS WANT TO EXAMINE THE HOSPITALS' PROFITS AND LOSSES... PRESUMABLY TO ASSESS THE OPERATION'S VIABILITY FOR THE FUTURE.
    BUT HUTCHESON OFFICIALS RESPONDED TO THE REQUEST WITH INDIGNATION.   HOSPITAL PRESIDENT FARRELL HAYES SAID IN A "LETTER TO THE EDITOR" THAT CATOOSA'S REQUEST FOR AUDITS WILL ACCOMPLISH NOTHING EXCEPT TO "ERODE CONFIDENCE IN HUTCHESON... AND PUT CITIZENS AT-RISK".
    WALKER AND CATOOSA COUNTIES EACH BACKED 10-MILLION DOLLARS IN LOANS FROM ERLANGER TO HUTCHESON... AND NOW, ERLANGER WANTS TO SELL THE HOSPITAL PROPERTY FOR REPAYMENT OF THAT LOAN.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S MOST FAMOUS TOURIST ATTRACTION… ROCK CITY GARDENS… HAS BEEN NAMED TO THE “NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES”.
    THE GARDENS OPENED IN 1932… AS AN “ENCHANTED TRAIL”… WITH STATUES OF GNOMES AND FAIRYTALE CHARACTERS.
    THE “HISTORIC PLACES” NOMINATION NOTED ROCK CITY’S “IMPORTANCE AS A TOURIST ATTRACTION, UNUSUAL LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE” AS SIGNIFICANT FEATURES.
    THE 42 ACRE PARK FEATURES A FAMOUS “VIEW OF SEVEN STATES” FROM THE BROW OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

*   SUMMERVILLE WILL HAVE “CRUSIN’ AND CRAFTS” THIS SATURDAY AT THE TRAIN DEPOT.
    THE NORTH GEORGIA CRUISERS WILL HOST A CRUISE-IN FROM 11 ’TIL 3 ON EAST WASHINGTON STREET.   THE TOURIST TRAIN WILL ARRIVE AFTER NOON… AND CRAFTERS AND VENDORS WILL BE SET UP AT DOWDY PARK.  THERE WILL ALSO BE GOOD FOOD AND LIVE MUSIC.
    ADMISSION IS FREE… HOURS ARE 10 AM ’TIL 3 PM SATURDAY, IN DOWNTOWN SUMMERVILLE.

*   THE TOWN OF TRION HAS A NEW POLICE CHIEF.  THE CITY COUNCIL PROMOTED OFFICER JASON KELLETT TO THE TOP POST.      
    KELLETT SUCCEEDS CHAD SPRAGGINS, WHO RESIGNED AS CHIEF RECENTLY - TO TAKE A JOB WITH THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY. 

*   BURGLARS LEFT A MESS INSIDE THE RESIDENCE AT 508 COLERAIN STREET IN LAFAYETTE, ON SATURDAY.  POLICE SAY THE RESIDENT LEFT BRIEFLY… AND RETURNED TO FIND THE FRONT DOOR STANDING OPEN.  IT APPEARED THAT THE RESIDENCE WAS ENTERED THROUGH A WINDOW… AND THE DOOR WAS LEFT AJAR AS THE THIEVES LEFT.
    AFTER THEY RIFLED THROUGH CABINETS AND DRAWS… IT APPEARED THAT STOLEN ITEMS INCLUDED MEAT FROM THE FREEZER, A BLUE-RAY PLAYER AND JEWELRY… VALUED AT AROUND $175.   THERE ARE NO SUSPECTS IN THE CASE.
    THIEVES ALSO MADE-OFF WITH ABOUT $200 IN STOLEN ITEMS IN AN “ENTERING-AUTO” CASE.  IT HAPPENED EARLY SATURDAY MORNING AT 506 MAGNOLIA STREET.   THE OWNER LEFT A MAZADA NAVAJO UNLOCKED… AND SOMEONE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE EASY-ENTRY.

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE MADE A COUPLE OF ARRESTS ON MONROE GREEN ROAD - SOUTH OF LAFAYETTE, THIS WEEK.  
    TASK FORCE COMMANDER PATRICK DOYLE SAID AN UNRELATED OPERATION WAS UNDERWAY NEARBY… WHEN THEY SPOTTED A SUSPECT WHO WAS WANTED ON DRUG CHARGES IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY.  AS HE RAN… 38 YEAR OLD CHARLES STACY STOKER DROPPED SOME METH, WHICH WAS RECOVERED.
    AND AFTER EXECUTING A SEARCH WARRANT AT A NEARBY HOUSE ON MONROE GREEN ROAD… THE RESIDENT WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH AND A SMALL QUANTITY OF MARIJUANA.  HE WAS IDENTIFIED AS 29 YEAR OLD DANIEL AARON CORDELL.

*   SEPTEMBER BUILDING PERMITS IN LAFAYETTE COMBINED FOR A TOTAL OF OVER 4-MILLION DOLLARS IN CONSTRUCTION.
    3.9-MILLION OF THAT IS ACCOUNTED-FOR BY THE NEW PLANT CONSTRUCTION AT UNIQUE FABRICATING, OFF WEST MCCARTER ROAD.
    WENDY’S IN LAFAYETTE ALSO GOT A 43-THOUSAND DOLLAR PERMIT FOR A BIG REMODELING PROJECT.
    AND A TELCOM COMPANY GOT A PERMIT TO INSTALL A NEW 15-THOUSAND DOLLAR CELL-PHONE ANTENNA ON AN EXISTING TOWER IN THE CITY.
    NO PERMITS FOR NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION WERE ISSUED IN AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER. 
    YEAR-TO-DATE… LAFAYETTE’S BUILDING AND REMODELING PERMITS REPRESENT A TOTAL OF OVER 6.6-MILLION DOLLARS IN CONSTRUCTION.

*   GENEROUS DONATIONS WERE ACCEPTED BY THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM, AT THIS MONTH’S REGULAR BOARD MEETING.
    THE JIM ANDREWS FAMILY FOUNDATION DONATED 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO HELP FURTHER THE AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS AT THE COUNTY’S MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS.   THE FUNDS WILL BE USED FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND TRAVEL COSTS THAT OCCUR WITH PARTICIPATION IN COMPETITIONS THROUGH THE SCHOOL YEAR.
    AND THE EDWARD P. BURNEY FOUNDATION GAVE A GRANT OF $6,200 TO CHEROKEE RIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.  THE GRANT WAS DESIGNATED BY GRACE WESTBROOK ON BEHALF OF THE BURNEY FAMILY.

*   THE DATE FOR THE ANNUAL “DINO RICHARDSON TOY RUN” HAS BEEN SET FOR THIS YEAR:   THE MOTORCYCLE RIDE FROM RIDGELAND HIGH TO LAFAYETTE HIGH, WILL BE HELD THIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd.  
    RIDERS BRING A NEW, UNWRAPPED TOY OR A CASH DONATION TO PARTICIPATE… WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO THE AL MILLARD MEMORIAL “STOCKING FULL OF LOVE” FOR WALKER COUNTY CHILDREN.
    THE TOY RUN WILL FEATURE LUNCH AND A LIVE BAND… IT’S SPONSORED BY THE BLUE KNIGHTS AND THE STOCKING FULL OF LOVE.  
    THE RIDE STARTS AT 2 PM SUNDAY.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 706 638 1909.

*   REPRESENTATIVES OF ANOTHER MANUFACTURING FIRM FLEW-IN TO SEE A SITE IN THE NEW WALKER COUNTY BUSINESS PARK AT NOBLE, WEDNESDAY.
    DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS GOT A CALL FROM THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THE NEXT MORNING, SAYING THE WALKER COUNTY SITE IS NOW ON THE COMPANY’S “SHORT LIST” OF SITES IN GEORGIA.
    EXECUTIVES ACTUALLY SET THEIR HELICOPTER DOWN IN THE BUSINESS PARK, FOR THE INSPECTION TOUR.
    BROOKS SAID THE NEWS THAT AUDIA INTERNATIONAL IS LOCATING A MAJOR PLANT IN THE BUSINESS PARK HAS REALLY INCREASED INTEREST AND INQUIRIES FROM OTHER PROSPECTS.
    OF THE VISITORS LAST WEEK, HE COULD ONLY REVEAL THAT IT IS “A MANUFACTURING FIRM”.

*   A VETERAN EDUCATOR WAS PRESENTED WITH THE ANNUAL “CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD” AT SATURDAY’S WALKER COUNTY GALA.
    FORMER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER JAMES A. SMITH WAS RECOGNIZED BY THE CHAMBER, FOR HIS YEARS OF WORK TEACHING SCIENCE TO SCHOOL CHILDREN IN WALKER COUNTY.  THE SYSTEM’S PLANETARIUM AT POND SPRINGS, IS NAMED IN HIS HONOR. 
    JAMES A. SMITH… THE 2014 “CITIZEN OF THE YEAR” IN WALKER COUNTY.

*   GREAT NEWS ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY… WALKER COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS DROPPED 2 FULL PERCENTAGE POINTS SINCE THE SUMMERTIME HIGH OF 7.9.
    THAT LATEST LOCAL RATE FOR SEPTEMBER HAS DROPPED TO 5.9 PERCENT.   IN HUMAN TERMS, THAT REPRESENTS 355 FEWER PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED, COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS MONTH.
    ACCORDING TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, ALL AREA COUNTIES HAD LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT IN SEPTEMBER…
    CATOOSA, DOWN FROM 6.5 TO 5.6 PERCENT….
    DADE, DOWN FROM 7.3 TO 6.1 PERCENT…
    CHATTOOGA, DOWN FROM 9.2 TO 8.2 PERCENT…
    AND WHITFIELD COUNTY, DOWN FROM 10.3 TO 8.8 PERCENT.

*   THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY IS REPORTING THAT THEIR HOPED-FOR “GRAND RE-OPENING DAY” MAY BE A WEEK LATER THAN EXPECTED.
    CHELSEA KOVALEVSKY SAID IN A RELEASE:  “WE GOT A BIT OF DISHEARTENING NEWS, THAT IT WILL PROBABLY TAKE US ABOUT THREE WEEKS TO MOVE, NOT JUST TWO”.   THAT PUSHES THE RE-OPENING DATE AT THE DUKE STREET LIBRARY IN LAFAYETTE, TO MONDAY, DECEMBER 1st.
    KOVALEVSKY SAID THE MOVE MAY TAKE LESS THAT THREE WEEKS… BUT THEY ARE NOW LOOKING TO DECEMBER 1st AS THE TARGETED “OPENING DAY” FOR THE EXPANDED LIBRARY.
    IN ANY CASE, THE MOVE FROM TEMPORARY HEADQUARTERS AT THE OLD FOOD LION BUILDING WILL BEGIN ON NOVEMBER 10th… AND LOCAL PATRONS WILL BE ASKED TO USE THE LIBRARIES IN CHICKAMAUGA AND ROSSVILLE DURING THE “BIG MOVE” IN LAFAYETTE.

*   THE ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WILL BEGIN TAKING APPLICATIONS FROM HOMEBOUND AND ELDERLY HOUSEHOLDS ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd.
    THE NORTH GEORGIA COMMUNITY ACTION OFFICE WILL TAKE THE APPLICATIONS AT THEIR LAFAYETTE OFFICE.   HOUSEHOLDS MUST PROVIDE VERIFICATION AND MEET INCOME CRITERIA… AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE COST OF ENERGY FOR HOME HEATING DIRECTLY TO THE SUPPLIER.   INDIVIDUALS MUST BE U.S. CITIZENS OR AN ALIEN ADMITTED TO THE U.S. FOR LAWFUL, PERMANENT RESIDENCE.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOME HEATING ASSISTANCE, CALL THE LAFAYETTE OFFICE AT 706 638 0818.

*   THE LAFAYETTE OPTIMIST CLUB IS AGAIN SPONSORING THE “REINDEER RUN” THROUGH DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE.   THIS YEAR’S DATE IS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6th.
    THE EVENT INCLUDES A 5-K RACE AND A 1-MILE FUN RUN.  WARM-UP BEGINS AT 7:30 AM… AND RACE TIME IS 8 AM… STARTING FROM THE JOE STOCK PARK.
    PROCEEDS FROM THE RACE GO TO THE LOCAL “SHOP WITH A COP AND FIREMAN” PROGRAM… HELPING DESERVING KIDS ENJOY CHRISTMAS.
    EARLY-BIRDS GET A DISCOUNT AT $25 PER PERSON, IF REGISTERED BEFORE NOVEMBER 25th.  
    TO SIGN UP, SEE AN OPTIMIST MEMBER OR SEARCH “REINDEER RUN 2014” ON FACEBOOK.

*   MOUNTAIN COVE FARMS WILL PRESENT:  CHRISTMAS IN THE COVE… WITH GAITHER VOCAL BAND FAVORITE, GUY PENROD.  THE EVENING OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS SET FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4th AT 7 PM… IN THE SHOWBARN AT MOUNTAIN COVE.  TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY, STARTING AT $20.   CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS… SEATING IS LIMITED.  A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE ON DUKE STREET IN LAFAYETTE.

*   THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT IS TAKING REGISTRATION FOR YOUTH BASKETBALL.   IT’S FOR BOYS AND GIRLS AGES 5 TO 12… THE COST IS $50 PER PLAYER.   TO SIGN UP FOR YOUTH BASKETBALL, CONTACT THE PARK REC CENTER AT 706 639 1590.   THE DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 25th.

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