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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*    SHANNON WHITFIELD IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER.   BY A 75% MARGIN, HE DEFEATED MIKE PEARDON IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARY… AND WHITFIELD WILL FACE INCUMBENT BEBE HEISKELL THIS NOVEMBER, IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.  THE VOTE TOTAL WAS 4,456 FOR WHITFIELD… 1,473 FOR PEARDON.
    PRACTICALLY THE SAME PERCENTAGE OF WALKER COUNTY VOTERS SAID “YES” TO A STRAW-POLE QUESTION ON A MULTI-MEMBER COUNTY COMMISSION.   IT ALSO PASSED WITH A 75 PERCENT MARGIN.
    STATE SENATOR JEFF MULLIS DEFEATED CHALLENGER LANNY THOMAS.
    IN THE RACE FOR WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD, POST 5… INCUMBENT PHYLLIS HUNTER WAS THE WINNER OVER CHALLENGER CASEY EADY.   HUNTER WON BY A 58% MARGIN.

    CHICKAMAUGA VOTERS PASSED A REFERENDUM ON A 2.5-MILLION DOLLAR BOND TO COMPLETE A NEW GORDON LEE HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING AND DEMOLISH THE OLD STRUCTURE.  THAT CLEARS THE WAY FOR THE NEW SCHOOL TO BE BUILT ON THE HISTORIC CAMPUS.   THE “YES” VOTE WAS 470 TO 142. 
    CHICKAMAUGA VOTERS ALSO APPROVED THE SALE OF DISTILLED SPIRITS FOR ON-SITE CONSUMPTION AT RESTAURANTS. 

    CATOOSA COUNTY SHERIFF GARY SISK SURVIVED A CHALLENGE FOR HIS JOB… WINNING THE PRIMARY BY 67%.
    CATOOSA WILL HAVE A RUNOFF IN THE TAX COMMISSIONER’S RACE BETWEEN JAMA HOUSE AND GARY WAYNE AUTRY.
    STEVEN HENRY DEFEATED INCUMBENT KEITH GREENE IN THE CATOOSA RACE FOR COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIR.

    IN THE RACE FOR CHATTOOGA COUNTY SOLE COMMISSIONER, JIMMY HOLBROOK WON THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION… AND INCUMBENT JASON WINTERS WON THE REPUBLICAN RACE.   THE TWO WILL FACE-OFF IN NOVEMBER.

    U.S. CONGRESSMAN TOM GRAVES WAS AN EASY WINNER OVER TWO REPUBLICAN COMPETITORS… BY A 76% MARGIN OF VICTORY.
    AND U.S. SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON ALSO WON AN EASY VICTORY IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.

*   GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL AND THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ANNOUNCED THAT 187 GEORGIA SCHOOLS WILL RECEIVE AWARDS FOR HIGHEST PERFORMANCE AND GREATEST GAINS… INCLUDING TWO LOCAL SCHOOLS.
    IN THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM - FAIRYLAND ELEMENTARY GOT A “GOLD” IN THE “GREATEST GAIN”… AND A SILVER IN THE “HIGHEST PERFORMING AWARD” CATEGORY.
    FOR CHICKAMAUGA SCHOOLS… GORDON LEE MIDDLE SCHOOL GOT A BRONZE IN THE “GREATEST GAIN” AWARD CATEGORY.
    THE NEW AWARDS, DEVELOPMENT BY THE OFFICE OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, ARE PART OF GEORGIA’S STATEWIDE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM.  ‘HIGHEST PERFORMING’ SCHOOLS MUST EARN A THREE-YEAR AVERAGE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY PERFORMANCE INDEX SCORE IN THE 93rd PERCENTILE.   ‘GREATEST GAINS’ SCHOOLS MUST EARN A THREE YEAR CCRPI PROGRESS SCORE IN THE 93rd PERCENTILE.
    CONGRATULATIONS TO FAIRYLAND ELEMENTARY AND GORDON LEE MIDDLE, ON THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

*   STATE SENATOR JEFF MULLIS HELPED THE LOCAL CHATTOOGA AND CHICKAMAUGA RAILROAD TO GAIN IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE FREIGHT LINE… WHICH SERVES WALKER AND CHATTOOGA COUNTIES.
    THE STATE-OWNED RAIL LINE WILL BE REHABILITATED AND IMPROVED THROUGH A BOND INITIATIVE IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2017 STATE BUDGET, ACCORDING TO MULLIS.   THE RAIL IMPROVEMENTS ARE EXPECTED TO DRIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE WALKER-CHATTOOGA REGION.  SENATOR MULLIS TOURED THE RAIL LINE WITH CHATTOOGA AND CHICKAMAUGA MANAGER, DONNIE OWENS… LAST WEEK.  
    THE C & C RAILWAY COMPANY IS OWNED BY GENESEE & WYOMING, INCORPORATED… WHICH LEASES THE TRACK FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA FOR OPERATIONS CHATTANOOGA TO SUMMERVILLE.

*   LOCAL CONTRACTORS CONTINUE TO "FILL OUT" THE SPACES IN JULIAN'S PLACE SUBDIVISION IN LAFAYETTE.   DURING MARCH AND APRIL, THREE NEW HOMES WERE PERMITTED THERE BY THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE... PLUS, A NEW HOME WAS PERMITTED ON PROBASCO STREET.   TOTAL OF THE FOUR NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS WAS $435-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
    REMODELING PROJECTS AND OUTBUILDING PLACEMENT BROUGHT THE TOTAL OF BUILDING PERMIT VALUE TO OVER HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS... FOR MARCH AND APRIL IN LAFAYETTE.

*   ALL GOOD SCORES IN LAST WEEK’S RESTAURANT AND KITCHEN INSPECTIONS.   WALKER ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH GAVE “A’s” TO THE SENIOR NUTRITION CENTER ON SOUTH MAIN, THE SONIC AND KRYSTAL… WHILE HARDEE’S IN LAFAYETTE, SCORED A “B”.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE MADE A COUPLE OF ARRESTS OVER THE WEEKEND: KERRI LEIGH STOKER WAS CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA POSSESSION FOLLOWING A TRAFFIC STOP IN NORTH LAFAYETTE.  THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE WAS ISSUED CITATIONS FOR A BURNED-OUT HEADLIGHT AND NO INSURANCE.
    STOKER, FROM LAFAYETTE, WAS ARRESTED AFTER A SEARCH TURNED UP MARIJUANA, USED NEEDLES AND A CRYSTAL-LIKE RESIDUE INSIDE A CASE IN HER POSSESSION.
    IN ANOTHER INCIDENT REPORT, RICHARD ALEXANDER BULLEN OF CHICKAMAUGA WAS CHARGED WITH THEFT BY TAKING, AFTER POLICE FOUND HIM AT THE WHEEL OF A PICKUP TRUCK IN THE ALLEY BEHIND SHOPRITE.   HE AND A JUVENILE PASSENGER ADMITTED TAKING PALLETS FROM THE GROCERY LOADING DOCK… AND THE STORE MANAGER WANTED TO PRESS CHARGES.

*   YMCA SWIMMING LESSONS WILL BE HELD AT THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE POOL... COST IS $80 FOR STUDENTS AGES 6 MONTHS TO 17 YEARS.  SIGNUPS WILL BE HANDLED BY THE ‘Y’ IN FORT OGLETHORPE.   CALL FOR MORE INFO AT 706 935 2226.

*    SIGNUPS FOR THE “SUMMER READING PROGRAM” ARE OPEN AT THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY.  VISIT CHRL.ORG.

*   WALKER COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL PROVIDE SUMMER BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHES TO CHILDREN, THROUGH THE USDA “SEAMLESS SUMMER FEEDING PROGRAM”.
    STARTING MAY 31st, ALL CHILDREN 18 AND UNDER CAN HAVE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL AND RIDGELAND HIGH SCHOOL.   BREAKFAST WILL BE AVAILABLE WEEKDAYS FROM 7:30 - 8:30 AM… AND LUNCH WILL BE AVAILABLE EACH MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.  SEVERAL OTHER SITES WILL BE OPEN FOR LUNCH-ONLY.
    MEALS ARE FREE, BUT MUST BE EATEN ON-SITE.   THE PROGRAM CONTINUES THROUGH JULY 8th… EXCEPT CLOSED ON THE 4th OF JULY.

*   ON GRADUATION DAY LAST FRIDAY, A LAFAYETTE HIGH SENIOR SIGNED FOR A COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAREER THIS FALL.
    CLAYTON LANE WILL PLAY ON THE FIRST FOOTBALL TEAM BEING FORMED AT ST. ANDREWS UNIVERSITY IN NORTH CAROLINA.   HE PLAYED ALL FOUR OF HIS HIGH SCHOOL YEARS AT LAFAYETTE… AND SAID HE ALWAYS DREAMED OF PLAYING COLLEGE FOOTBALL.   HE’LL BE ONE OF THE 50 PLAYERS RECRUITED TO BEGIN THE NEW FOOTBALL PROGRAM AT ST. ANDREWS… WHERE THE TEAM WILL BE KNOWN AS “THE KNIGHTS”.

*   WALKER COUNTY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO BORROW MORE MONEY TO FINISH AN EXPANSION PROJECT AT THE COUNTY’S CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION LANDFILL ON MARBLETOP ROAD.
    LAST YEAR, THE COUNTY RECEIVED AN 800-THOUSAND DOLLAR LINE OF CREDIT FOR THE PROJECT FROM GEFA… THE GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCE AUTHORITY.   AT THURSDAY’S MEETING, THE COUNTY UPPED THAT LINE OF CREDIT BY 200-THOUSAND… FOR A TOTAL OF ONE-MILLION DOLLARS.
    HEISKELL SAID THAT SOME UNFORESEEN ITEMS HAD TO BE ADDED… EVEN THOUGH THE COUNTY HAS ONLY DRAWN 140-THOUSAND ON THE PROJECT SO FAR.   SHE WAS UNSURE WHAT HAD SPECIFICALLY ADDED TO THE COST… BUT SAID THAT GEFA REQUIRES THAT ALL EXPENDITURES MUST BE LISTED.
    AS IT STANDS, WALKER COUNTY’S C & D LANDFILL HAS ONLY ABOUT TWO YEARS OF LIFE LEFT.   THE EXPANSION PROJECT WILL EXTEND THE LIFE OF THE LANDFILL TO 23 YEARS, ACCORDING TO ESTIMATES.
    THE COMMISSIONER ALSO APPROVED 47-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO EXTEND THE CONTRACT WITH THE WALKER COUNTY CONNECTION PROGRAM, HEADED BY SUSAN WELLS.   THE PROGRAM “PARTNERS WITH LOCAL AGENCIES TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT PLANS THAT ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES FACING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES”, ACCORDING TO THE AGENCY’S WEBSITE.
    THE COMMISSIONER ALSO MADE APPOINTMENTS TO FILL VACANCIES ON THE WALKER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION.   NEW APPOINTEES INCLUDED MICHAEL HANEY, GERALD COOK AND SAM BOWMAN.   ONE MORE BOARD POSITION REMAINS OPEN, ACCORDING TO THE COMMISSIONER.

*   AN ENCOURAGING SIGN FOR THE AREA ECONOMY… AS ALL NEIGHBORING COUNTIES HAD FEWER NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IN APRIL.
    IN WALKER COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS FELL FROM 176 IN MARCH, TO 102 IN APRIL… A DROP OF 74.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY HAD A BIG DROP… FROM 1,481 IN MARCH, TO 703 IN APRIL… DOWN BY 778.
    NEW CLAIMS WERE ALSO LOWER IN CATOOSA, CHATTOOGA AND DADE COUNTIES FOR APRIL.
    MEANWHILE, GEORGIA’S STATEWIDE UNEMPLOYMENT WAS UNCHANGED AT 5.5 PERCENT, FROM MARCH TO APRIL.

*   WHEN WILL THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE REPAVE CHATTANOOGA STREET?  CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID THAT SHOULD HAPPEN THIS SEPTEMBER.
    THE HUGE PROJECT IS BEING HANDLED “IN-HOUSE” BY CITY CREWS… AND HAMILTON SAID THERE IS PLENTY MORE “PREP-WORK” TO BE DONE BEFORE THE FINAL PAVING.  CITY CREWS ARE NOW ON THE THIRD AND FINAL PHASE OF WATER-LINE REPLACEMENT ALONG CHATTANOOGA STREET… AND TWO MAJOR CULVERTS MUST ALSO BE REPAIRED UNDER THE STREET SURFACE.
    “IF THE WEATHER COOPERATES, THEN WE’LL BE DONE BY SEPTEMBER”, HAMILTON SAID.

*   LAFAYETTE’S RECREATION DEPARTMENT WILL HAVE “MINI DAY CAMPS” THIS SUMMER, FOR AGES 5 TO 12.
    FOUR WEEK-LONG CAMPS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JUNE AND JULY.   COST IS $50 PER CAMPER… WHICH INCLUDES A CAMP T-SHIRT.
    DAYS WILL BE FILLED WITH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES AT THE MUNICIPAL PARK.   RESERVE A “MINI CAMP” SPOT BY CALLING THE REC DEPARTMENT AT 706 639 1590.
 
*   REGISTER NOW FOR THE 80th ANNUAL “CHICKEN DINNER GOLF TOURNAMENT” AT THE LAFAYETTE COURSE, SET FOR JUNE 11-12.  ENTRY FEE IS $140 PER PLAYER.   CALL 706 639 1580.


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