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SOUTHERN LIVING FARM & GARDEN in Trion is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week. 
They have everything for Spring planting!   Bonnie plants, seed potatoes, onion sets, fruit trees... and for Easter, baby chicks!   Highway 27 just North of Trion.


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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

FREEZE WARNING FOR TONIGHT, WITH FREEZING TEMPS ALSO LIKELY OVERNIGHT SATURDAY.

*   A CRIME TIP HELPED LAFAYETTE POLICE RECOVERY A 40 CALIBER GLOCK PISTOL, STOLEN LAST WEEK FROM AN UNLOCKED CAR ON MORGAN STREET.
    POLICE CAPTAIN STACEY MEEKS SAID THE GUN OWNER GOT A TIP ABOUT TWO YOUNG MEN WHO MIGHT HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE CRIME.   POLICE TRACKED THE TWO TO AN APARTMENT AT WOODLANDS VILLAGE IN LAFAYETTE… WHERE ONE OF THE MEN WAS CARING FOR AN ELDERLY RESIDENT.
    23 YEAR OLD LAMONICA JAMELLE BROWN AND 22 YEAR OLD CLIFFORD WALLACE DIXON OF LAFAYETTE, WERE EACH CHARGED WITH A FELONY COUNT OF ENTERING AN AUTO.
    WHEN POLICE MADE A CONSENT SEARCH OF THE WOODLANDS APARTMENT, THEY FOUND THE STOLEN GLOCK HANDGUN UNDER A MATTRESS IN BROWN’S BEDROOM.
    AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO CHANGE THE SERIAL NUMBER ON THE GUN… SO THE LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS CONTACTED A.T.F. TO SEE IF THE GUN CAN BE RETURNED TO ITS OWNER.  IF NOT, IT WILL HAVE TO BE DESTROYED.  IT WAS VALUED AT $450. 

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE HAVE ROUNDED UP THREE JUVENILES IN CONNECTION WITH A SATURDAY MORNING BREAK-IN AT THE HANDI-MART ON SOUTH MAIN.
    DETECTIVES WESLEY STEELE AND BILLY MULLIS FOLLOWED-UP ON A CITIZEN TIP THAT THE THREE TEENS WERE “BRAGGING” ABOUT THE BURGLARY.  THEY BELIEVE ONE JUVENILE ENTERED THE STORE BY BREAKING THROUGH A SIDE DOOR… WHILE THE OTHER TWO HELPED HIM OVER THE FENCE AND STOOD WATCH.   CIGARETTES AND SMOKELESS TOBACCO WERE TAKEN.
    A JUVENILE COMPLAINT FOR BURGLARY WILL BE FILED AGAINST THE THREE… AND THEY WILL BE RELEASED TO THE CUSTODY OF THEIR PARENTS UNTIL THEIR COURT DATE.   POLICE SAY THEIR AGES RANGE FROM 13 TO 15.
    THE DEPARTMENT COMMENDED DETECTIVES STEELE AND MULLIS FOR THE QUICK WORK IN CLOSING THE CASE.

*   MOST AREA COUNTIES SAW A DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT FROM JANUARY TO FEBRUARY… ALONG WITH THE NORTHWEST GEORGIA REGION.
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED BY A TENTH-OF-A-POINT TO 6.3 PERCENT.
    THE BIG MOVE CAME IN WHITFIELD COUNTY… WHERE UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED BY 9-10ths OF A POINT TO 6.7 PERCENT.   AT THE PEAK OF THE RECESSION, WHITFIELD COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS TWICE AS HIGH AS THE CURRENT FIGURE… AT OVER 14 PERCENT.
    UNEMPLOYMENT RATES WERE DOWN SLIGHTLY IN CATOOSA COUNTY… AND UP SLIGHTLY IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY, FOR FEBRUARY. 
    FOR THE NORTHWEST GEORGIA REGION, THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REPORTS THAT LAYOFFS DROPPED BY OVER 60-PERCENT FROM JANUARY TO FEBRUARY… LEADING TO THE LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS.  ALL OF OUR NEIGHBORING COUNTIES ARE NOW UNDER 7 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE WILL PRESENT A PROGRAM ON “RAISED BED GARDENING”, NEXT MONDAY AT THE WALKER COUNTY AG CENTER.
    LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUILDING A RAISED BED GARDEN AND GROWING YOUR OWN VEGETABLES.  CALL THE EXTENSION SERVICE OFFICE TO SIGN-UP, AT 706 638 2548.
    THE RAISED BED GARDENING CLASS IS MONDAY, MARCH 30th FROM
3-4 PM, AT THE AG CENTER… LOCATED JUST BEHIND THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER AT ROCK SPRING.

*   IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AN “EGG HUNT” FOR THE KIDS… THIS IS YOUR WEEKEND.
    THIS FRIDAY NIGHT YOU CAN HUNT AT “PEEP FEST”… THE ONLY “GLOW IN THE DARK” NIGHTTIME EGG HUNT.  IT STARTS AT 7 PM FRIDAY AT COVENANT LIFE CHURCH AT CHICKAMAUGA.
    THIS SATURDAY, THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE EGG HUNT BEGINS AT 11:30 AM AT THE JOE STOCK PARK.
    THEN YOU CAN HIT “EASTER IN THE COVE” AT MOUNTAIN COVE FARMS, FOR A BIG EGG HUNT STARTING AT 1 PM SATURDAY.  
    AND ROCK SPRING UNITED METHODIST WILL START THEIR EGG HUNT SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT 2 PM.
    ALL EVENTS ENCOURAGE KIDS TO BRING THEIR OWN EASTER BASKET OR BAG TO COLLECT THE EGGS, CANDY AND PRIZES THEY FIND.

*   THIS SATURDAY IS “PARK DAY”… A DAY FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP IMPROVE THE CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELD. 
    THIS YEAR’S PROJECTS INCLUDE LANDSCAPE RESTORATION AND VISITOR ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS.
    BRING YOUR GLOVES AND SIGN-IN AT THE BATTLEFIELD VISITORS CENTER, SATURDAY MORNING AT 8:30.   PROJECTS WILL BE FINISHED BY NOON.  
    VOLUNTEERS GET A T-SHIRT AND PATCH, FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE ANNUAL “PARK DAY”, THIS SATURDAY.   IT’S HOSTED BY “THE CIVIL WAR TRUST”.

*   NEXT WEEK IS "SPRING BREAK" IN THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM... NO CLASS MARCH 30th THROUGH APRIL 3rd.

*   ANOTHER UPDATE ON WALKER COUNTY’S NEWEST INDUSTRIAL NEIGHBOR, AUDIA INTERNATIONAL:
    CONTRACTORS FOR GEORGIA POWER ARE CLEARING THE RIGHT OF WAY FOR POWER TRANSMISSION LINES TO THE NEW SITE… WORKING THIS WEEK JUST NORTH OF THE EMERALD ACRES SUBDIVISION AT NOBLE.
    WALKER COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS HAD ANOTHER INTERESTING STORY TO SHARE:   SINCE WEATHER HAS DELAYED CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW PLANT… AUDIA HAS ORDERED EQUIPMENT FOR THE NEW PLASTIC MANUFACTURING OPERATION, BUT WILL HAVE NOWHERE TO PUT IT, WHEN IT ARRIVES.
    ANOTHER LOCAL MANUFACTURER, EUCLID CHEMICAL… NOW BASED IN THE FORMER SWEETHEART CUP PLANT… WILL BE LEASING AUDIA AROUND 50-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF SPACE IN THEIR PLANT TO “STAGE” THE NEW PLANT’S EQUIPMENT.   BROOKS SAID IT’S A GREAT EXAMPLE OF “THE INDUSTRIAL COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER”.
    AUDIA PLANS TO OPEN THEIR NEW OPERATION JUST ABOUT A MILE NORTH OF THE EUCLID PLANT… SO WHEN THE NEW BUILDING IS READY, THEIR PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT WILL BE STAGED AND READY TO MOVE IN.   AUDIA PLANS TO OPEN IN THE LATE-SUMMER EARLY-FALL TIME FRAME.
    AND BY THE WAY… EUCLID IS ALREADY AN AUDIA CUSTOMER.   THEY USE THE COMPANY’S RAW PLASTICS TO PRODUCE REINFORCING FIBERS USED IN THE CONCRETE INDUSTRY.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE REPORT SEVERAL DRUG-RELATED ARRESTS OVER THE WEEKEND:
    29 YEAR OLD ERIC LYNN BRADLEY OF CHICKAMAUGA WAS CHARGED FOLLOWING A TRAFFIC STOP.   THE FEMALE DRIVER WAS STOPPED BECAUSE THE SHOULDER BELT WAS NOT BEING USED.
    BRADLEY, WHO WAS A PASSENGER, WAS FOUND IN POSSESSION OF METH AND DIGITAL SCALES.   HE ALSO GAVE POLICE A FALSE NAME… AND WAS CHARGED FOR THAT AS WELL.   THE TRAFFIC STOP HAPPENED SATURDAY AFTERNOON ON PATTERSON ROAD AT FOSTER BOULEVARD.
    TWO MEN WERE CHARGED FOLLOWING A SUNDAY MORNING TRAFFIC STOP ON NORTH MAIN.  9-1-1 HAD ISSUED THE LOOKOUT FOR A POSSIBLE IMPAIRED DRIVER.
    25 YEAR OLD TERRYL FREEMAN OF CHATTANOOGA, WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA.
    THE DRIVER, 22 YEAR OLD PAUL JERRARD WALTON OF ROSSVILLE, WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH, DUI AND FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE.
    POLICE SAY WALTON TOLD THEM THE TWO MEN HAD “BEEN TO A PARTY” AND DIDN’T GET ANY SLEEP.

*   DALTON STATE COLLEGE HAS WON THE NAIA DIVISION ONE CHAMPIONSHIP... WITH A 71 TO 53 WIN OVER WESTMONT, SANTA BARBARA.  IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES IN KANSAS CITY, THE DALTON SQUAD HAD TO WIN 5 GAMES IN 6 DAYS, TO CLAIM THE TITLE.
    THE ROADRUNNERS ARE ONLY IN THEIR SECOND SEASON IN A REVIVED BASKETBALL PROGRAM.  THEY FINISHED THE SEASON WITH A RECORD OF 32 WINS AGAINST JUST 4 LOSSES.... AND A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE.

*   A TEAM FROM THE LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL FUTURE FARMERS CHAPTER HAS WON A STATE TITLE… THE FIRST IN OVER 50 YEARS.
    LAST SATURDAY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA IN ATHENS, KOBE RUSSELL SCORED A 92 OUT OF A POSSIBLE 100 POINTS TO LEAD HIS TEAM OF FOUR STUDENTS, TO A THIRD-PLACE STATE FINISH AT THE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT CAREER DEVELOPMENT EVENT.   OTHER MEMBERS OF THE TEAM WERE JESS ALDRIDGE, WHO PLACED 2nd IN THE WILDLIFE IDENTIFICATION EVENT… TAYLOR VEAL, WHO COMPETED IN WHITETAIL DEER MANAGEMENT… AND KYLE HORTON, WHO COMPETED IN AQUATIC MANAGEMENT.
    THE FFA PROGRAM PROMOTES STUDENT INTEREST IN THE FIELD OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT… AND RECOGNIZES THOSE STUDENTS WHO HAVE DEMONSTRATED THEIR SKILLS.     

*   A FRAUDULENT CREDIT CARD PURCHASE WAS HALTED AND A STOLEN CAR RECOVERED AT THE LAFAYETTE WALMART LAST FRIDAY;  POLICE WERE NOTIFIED THAT THE VEHICLE WAS LOCATED THERE THROUGH A "PINGED" CELL PHONE INSIDE. 
    35 YEAR OLD KEVIN PAUL VENIER… WHO LIVES ON “HOOTIE HOO HOLLER” OFF 136 WEST OF LAFAYETTE… WAS ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES.
    INSIDE THE STORE, VENIER TRIED TO MAKE PURCHASES WITH TWO STOLEN DEBIT CARDS, WHICH WERE DENIED.   WITH A THIRD CARD, HE PURCHASED TWO CELL PHONES AND AN AIRSOFT PISTOL, ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT.   HE AND HIS FEMALE COMPANION WERE STOPPED UPON LEAVING THE STORE.  A STOLEN LEXAS HE HAD BEEN DRIVING… REPORTED MISSING FROM CHATTANOOGA…  WAS RECOVERED IN THE PARKING LOT.
    VENIER WAS CHARGED WITH THEFT BY BRINGING STOLEN PROPERTY INTO THE STATE, FINANCIAL CARD FRAUD, CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO COMMIT A FELONY AND GIVING A FALSE NAME.

*   THE BALL BROTHERS GOSPEL GROUP WILL BE IN CONCERT THIS FRIDAY AT 7 PM IN THE SHOW BARN… AS PART OF “EASTER IN THE COVE” AT MOUNTAIN COVE FARMS.   TICKETS ARE $20… AND WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE’S DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WILL HOST THE THIRD-ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT AT JOE STOCK PARK… THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 28th.
    ADMISSION IS FREE.   IT STARTS WITH A “BUNNY HOP RACE” AT 11 AM… WITH THE EGG HUNT TO FOLLOW BY AGE GROUPS, AT 11:30 AM.
    COME EARLY TO MEET THE EASTER BUNNY AT 10:30 - AND HAVE A PHOTO MADE.  BRING YOUR OWN BASKET OR BAG AND HUNT FOR THE 12-THOUSAND EASTER EGGS… WITH GOLDEN EGG PRIZE BASKETS TO BE AWARDED.   GIRL SCOUTS WILL HAVE REFRESHMENTS FOR SALE.

*   THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WILL HELP ROPER WITH A JOB FAIR IN SUMMERVILLE - THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 27th.  IT’S 10 AM UNTIL 2 PM AT THE CHATTOOGA COUNTY CIVIC CENTER ON HIGHWAY 48.  THE LAFAYETTE MANUFACTURER IS HIRING FOR 80 NEW PRODUCTION JOBS.
     BRING DRIVERS LICENSE, HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD… AND VETERANS SHOULD BRING THEIR DD-214.   BE PREPARED TO INTERVIEW.
     FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE LAFAYETTE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR OFFICE AT 706 638 5525.

*   A LOCAL TEACHER AND HIS PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION ARE TAKING-ON THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM... AND THEIR POLICY ON ADDRESSING THE SCHOOL BOARD IN PUBLIC MEETINGS.
    THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS HAS FILED A FEDERAL SUIT ON BEHALF OF JIM BARRETT... A SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER AT SADDLE RIDGE SCHOOL.
    BARRETT SAYS HE WAS TOLD BY SUPERINTENDENT DAMON RAINES THAT HE COULD NOT SPEAK TO THE BOARD, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD COMPLIED WITH THE POLICY IN PLACE.   BARRETT HAS BEEN A VOCAL CRITIC OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM'S NEW GRADING SYSTEM.
    IN HIS STATEMENT, BARRETT SAID "THE FIRST AMENDMENT GUARANTEES ME THE RIGHT TO SPEAK AT THESE PUBLIC MEETINGS.  AS AN EDUCATOR CHARGED WITH UPHOLDING THE ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF THE PROFESSION, I WAS LEFT NO CHOICE BUT TO PURSUE THIS MATTER IN COURT".
    THE SUIT ALLEGES THAT THE SYSTEM VIOLATED BARRETT'S RIGHTS UNDER THE 1st AND 14th AMENDMENTS - AND SEEKS DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY FEES.  IT ALSO SEEKS TO STRIKE-DOWN THE PRESENT POLICY FOR ADDRESSING THE BOARD, AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
    THE POLICY REQUIRES THAT PEOPLE WISHING TO ADDRESS THE BOARD MEET WITH THE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT TWICE AND THEN MAKE A WRITTEN COMMENT REQUEST ONE WEEK BEFORE THE MEETING... ACCORDING TO BARRETT'S LEGAL COUNCIL... WHO ADDED THAT IT'S ONE OF THE MOST RESTRICTIVE COMMENT POLICIES THEY'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED.   -

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