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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

BREAKING:   JILL WYSE AND STANLEY LOWE HAVE WON A LONG-STANDING DISPUTE WITH WALKER COUNTY, OVER A RAILROAD RIGHT-OF-WAY THAT WAS TO BE DEVELOPED AS A PUBLIC TRAIL.
    IN THE WANING DAYS OF THE BEBE HEISKELL ADMINISTRATION, COUNTY ATTORNEY DON OLIVER HAD A SMALL PORTION OF THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN PROPERTY CONDEMNED AND CLAIMED BY THE COUNTY UNDER EMINENT DOMAIN.
    IT WAS DISCLOSED IN DOCUMENTS THIS WEEK, THAT THE NEW COUNTY COMMISSIONER, SHANNON WHITFIELD, WILL NOT PURSUE THE TRAIL PROJECT AND HAS SECURED A COURT ORDER NULLIFYING THE CONDEMNATION.
    THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION… LOCATED NEAR HINKLE ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, WILL REMAIN THE POSSESSION OF WYSE AND LOWE… AND THE COUNTY HAS NO INTEREST IN CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROPOSED MULTI-PURPOSE TRAIL ALONG THAT SECTION OF THE FORMER MINING RAILROAD… ACCORDING TO THE COURT RECORD.

*   HENRY COUNTY ENDED AN OUTSTANDING SEASON FOR LAFAYETTE HIGH’S BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM AT THE “SWEET-16” PLAYOFF GAME, WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
    THE WARHAWKS BEAT THE RAMBLERS 82 TO 52 IN THE QUAD-A PLAYOFF GAME AT MCDONOUGH, GEORGIA.
    THE RAMBLERS END THE SEASON WITH A RECORD OF 23 WINS AGAINST JUST 5 LOSSES.

*   CHARLES WILSON, A MEMBER OF THE WALKER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, RECENTLY SUBMITTED HIS RESIGNATION FROM THE BOARD AS OF FEBRUARY 14th.   WILSON, WHO REPRESENTED DISTRICT TWO, GAVE NO REASON FOR HIS DEPARTURE IN HIS LETTER OF RESIGNATION.
    DALE WILSON, SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN, SAID THE BOARD HAS 45 DAYS FROM THAT DATE TO APPOINT A NEW BOARD MEMBER FROM DISTRICT TWO, TO FILL THE TERM WHICH EXPIRES IN 2018.
    IN OTHER BUSINESS AT THE BOARD’S PLANNING SESSION THIS MONTH, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM VOTED TO INCREASE IT’S ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE CHEROKEE REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM BY 15-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE COMING YEAR.   THE SYSTEM OPERATES THE LIBRARIES IN LAFAYETTE, CHICKAMAUGA AND ROSSVILLE.
    THE SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS AN ARCHITECT WORKING ON ESTIMATES FOR AN UPCOMING VOTE ON WHETHER TO RENEW THE E-SPLOST FOR THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM.   SPECIFIC EDUCATION SYSTEM PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED BY THE PENNY SALES TAX RENEWAL WILL BE “SPELLED OUT” FOR THE VOTERS IN WALKER COUNTY AND THE CHICKAMAUGA CITY SCHOOL SYSTEMS.
    AND IN THE FACILITIES REPORT, CHRIS JONES SAID THE NEW LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL ANIMAL SCIENCE LAB IS FINALLY COMPLETE AND THE BUILDING HAS A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORTS THAT A REWARD IS NOW BEING OFFERED IN THE CALF-KILLING CASE IN KENSINGTON, TWO WEEKS AGO.
    THE REWARD IS BEING OFFERED BY A CONCERNED CITIZEN FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING TWO CALVES AND BRUTALLY BUTCHERING ONE OF THEM, ON THE SPOT.
    ANYONE WITH INFORMATION SHOULD CALL DETECTIVE ANDY CASH AT 706 639 0898.

*   A JOB FAIR FOR UNIQUE FABRICATING IN LAFAYETTE WILL BE HELD TODAY, 2/23, AT THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY… 10 AM UNTIL 2 PM.
    AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY IS HIRING MACHINE OPERATORS AND MATERIAL HANDLERS TO WORK AT UNIQUE ON WEST MCCARTER ROAD.     
    APPLY TODAY FROM 10 ’TIL 2, AT THE LIBRARY ON SOUTH DUKE STREET IN LAFAYETTE.

BREAKING:
  CHICKAMAUGA POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING AN ARMED ROBBERY REPORTED TUESDAY NIGHT.
    THE “GREAT WALL” RESTAURANT, LOCATED IN THE FOOD LION SHOPPING CENTER ON HIGHWAY 27, WAS ROBBED BY A LONE MALE WITH A PISTOL, AT AROUND 10 PM.   POLICE SAY HE ESCAPED ON FOOT WITH A SMALL AMOUNT OF CASH.  NO ONE WAS HURT.
    THEY DECLINED TO GIVE A DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECT… AND THINK HE MAY HAVE HAD A CAR WAITING NEARBY.

*   NAOMI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS ACCEPTING DONATIONS TO HELP THE FAMILY OF THE TWO STUDENTS WHO DIED SATURDAY IN A WEST ARMUCHEE TRAFFIC ACCIDENT.
    DONATIONS GO TOWARD THE HUNT FAMILY’S FUNERAL EXPENSES.  MONETARY DONATIONS CAN BE LEFT AT THE SCHOOL OFFICE… AND PROCEEDS FROM ICE CREAM SALES AT THE SCHOOL WILL ALSO GO TO THE FAMILY.
    SUBLIGNA BAPTIST CHURCH, WHERE THE FAMILY ATTENDED, HAS ALSO SET UP A FUND FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES.
    FUNERAL SERVICES WILL BE HELD FRIDAY FOR 5 YEAR OLD BLAKE ELISHA HUNT AND 10 YEAR OLD BRANDON LANE HUNT… IN MADISONVILLE, TENNESSEE.

*   A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE:  THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS SELLING MORE ELECTRIC POWER THAN THEY HAVE CONTRACTED FROM THEIR SUPPLIER… THE MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC AUTHORITY OF GEORGIA.
    ANOTHER NEARBY “MEAG” CITY HAS AGREED TO SELL LAFAYETTE IT’S EXCESS POWER SUPPLY AT BELOW-MARKET PRICES.   CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON TOLD THE CITY COUNCIL LAST WEEK THAT CALHOUN GEORGIA WILL SELL PART OF IT’S SHARE OF MEAG POWER AT A RATE OF $2.00 PER KILOWATT.
    HE EXPLAINED THAT REGULATORS REQUIRE THAT THE CITY HAVE AT LEAST 15-PERCENT OF POWER CAPACITY AVAILABLE OVER THE ANTICIPATED DEMAND… AND THAT’S WHY LAFAYETTE REACHED-OUT TO OTHER MEAG MEMBER-CITIES.   HE EXPECTS TO PURCHASE THE POWER SUPPLY FROM CALHOUN AT THE PEAK ELECTRIC SEASON, THIS SUMMER.
    HAMILTON SAID “IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN ANYONE’S MEMORY THAT LAFAYETTE HAS BEEN SHORT ON ELECTRIC CAPACITY”.

*   THE US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HAS LOANS AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS THAT WERE IMPACTED BY DROUGHT, LAST YEAR.  UP TO 2-MILLION DOLLARS IS AVAILABLE AT 4 PERCENT.  THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS MARCH 21.   CALL 800-659-2955.   WALKER, CATOOSA AND WHITFIELD COUNTIES ARE ELIGIBLE IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA.

*   CHEROKEE RIDGE ELEMENTARY HAD THE HIGH SCORE IN KITCHEN INSPECTIONS LAST WEEK… A PERFECT “100”.
    ALSO SCORING AN “A” WERE CHINA BUFFET, HERITAGE HEALTH AT SHEPHERD HILLS, LOS GUERRERO’S AND THE SENIOR CENTER ON SOUTH MAIN IN LAFAYETTE. 
    WANDA’S AT ROCK SPRING, SCORED AN “80” FOR A “B”.

  THE BODY OF A FORMER LAFAYETTE MUSIC STORE OWNER HAS BEEN RECOVERED IN ALABAMA… AND HER SON IS CHARGED WITH MURDER IN THE CASE.
    68 YEAR OLD KAREN WILLMON OF CENTRE, ALABAMA OWNED DDK MUSIC IN LAFAYETTE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS… ALONG WITH HUSBAND DAVID, WHO DIED IN 2010.  SHE HAD BEEN MISSING FOR A WEEK BEFORE THE BODY WAS FOUND.  THE COUPLE ALSO PLAYED GOSPEL MUSIC AT CHURCHES AND EVENTS IN THE LAFAYETTE AREA.
    HER 48 YEAR OLD SON, LARRY BODILY, IS IN THE CHEROKEE COUNTY, ALABAMA JAIL CHARGED WITH MURDER.  SO FAR, NO DETAILS OF THE CRIME HAVE BEEN RELEASED.

*  
  A FATAL TWO-CAR CRASH NEAR THE LAFAYETTE POST OFFICE RESULTED IN VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CHARGES, ACCORDING TO LAFAYETTE POLICE.
    DEREK HANCOCK OF LAFAYETTE DIED AFTER HIS SUZUKI SIDEKICK WAS HIT IN THE SIDE AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE 27 BYPASS AND FOSTER BOULEVARD AT AROUND 8:30 FRIDAY NIGHT.   HANCOCK’S VEHICLE WAS NORTHBOUTH ON THE BYPASS AT THE TIME.
    THE OTHER VEHICLE INVOLVED HAD STOPPED AT THE GRANT STREET STOP SIGN… AND DRIVER MARSHA RENEE HARRIS SAID SHE LOOKED BOTH WAYS AND SAW NO TRAFFIC, SO SHE PULLED INTO THE INTERSECTION.
    HER CHEVROLET TRAVERSE HIT HANCOCK’S VEHICLE IN THE DRIVER’S SIDE, FORCING IT INTO A DEEP DITCH WHERE IT FLIPPED ONTO IT’S TOP.
    HANCOCK WAS TAKEN BY AMBULANCE TO THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER… AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO A LIFEFORCE HELICOPTER THERE… BUT DID NOT SURVIVE THE INJURIES SUSTAINED.  IT WAS THE FIRST OF FOUR FATALITIES IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN WALKER COUNTY OVER THE WEEKEND.
    HARRIS WAS CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE SECOND DEGREE AND WITH FAILURE TO YIELD RIGHT OF WAY, ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT.

*   A THIRD VICTIM HAS DIED FOLLOWING A SINGLE-VEHICLE WRECK IN WEST ARMUCHEE SATURDAY EVENING.
    10 YEAR OLD BRANDON HUNT DIED MONDAY IN THE HOSPITAL FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED, ACCORDING TO STATE PATROL REPORTS.
    THE 51 YEAR OLD DRIVER AND BRANDON’S 5 YEAR OLD BROTHER WERE DEAD AT THE SCENE… AND ALCOHOL MAY HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN THE CRASH.
    THE MINIVAN WAS TRAVELING AT HIGHWAY SPEED WHEN IT LEFT THE ROAD AND HIT A TREE.  
    GSP SAID THE DRIVER, CHRISTOPHER ROWLES, WAS THE FIANCE’ OF THE CHILDREN’S MOTHER.  HE WAS EJECTED FROM THE VEHICLE AND DIED.
    THE 5:30 PM ACCIDENT HAPPENED ON HIGHWAY 136 NEAR PONDER CREEK ROAD IN WEST ARMUCHEE.  THE GSP REPORTS A STRONG SMELL OF ALCOHOL AND AN OPEN CONTAINER AT THE SCENE.  A TOXICOLOGY REPORT HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO DETERMINE IF THE DRIVER WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE.

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE MADE AN ARREST THURSDAY AT A RESIDENCE ON QUAIL RUN IN JULIAN’S PLACE SUBDIVISION IN LAFAYETTE.
    42 YEAR OLD DORA MICHELLE MADARIS WAS FOUND IN POSSESSION OF METH, SCHEDULE 2 AND 4 PILLS, ACCORDING TO THE TASK FORCE COMMANADER. 

*    THE DRUG TASK FORCE GOT 130-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN “ICE” METHAMPHETAMINE OFF THE STREET IN ROSSVILLE, TUESDAY.
    38 YEAR OLD ELIZABETH LEE LAWSON WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING IN METH, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND CROSSING THE GUARD LINE WITH DRUGS.
    THE BUST HAPPENED AT NUMBER-ONE FINE STREET OFF MISSION RIDGE ROAD.   TASK FORCE COMMANDER PAT DOYLE SAID THE SEARCH WARRANT YIELDED 2.9 POUNDS OF “ICE” SEIZED.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S “STAR STUDENTS” HAVE BEEN PICKED… AND THEY, IN TURN, HAVE PICKED THEIR “STAR TEACHERS”.
    AT LAFAYETTE HIGH, THIS YEAR’S STAR IS REBECCA BENSON… AND HER STAR TEACHERS IS AMANDA LANIER.
    AT RIDGELAND, THE STAR STUDENT IS TAYLOR WILLIAMS… AND HE PICKED SANDRA WEATHERS AS HIS STAR TEACHER.
    THE “STAR”, OR STUDENT-TEACHER-ACHIEVEMENT-RECOGNITION PROGRAM HONORS GEORGIA’S HIGHEST ACHIEVING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS AND THE TEACHERS WHO HAVE BEEN MOST INSTRUMENTAL IN THEIR ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT.  THE PROGRAM IS SPONSORED BY PAGE, THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS.
    STAR STUDENTS HAVE THE HIGHEST SCORE FOR COLLEGE ENTRANCE… AND ARE ALSO IN THE TOP 10-PERCENT OF THEIR GRADUATING CLASS IN GRADE POINT AVERAGE.

*   A POPULAR RECREATION SPOT ON QUEEN CITY LAKE IS ABOUT TO GET A MAKE-OVER.
    THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED JUST OVER 25-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN SPLOST FUNDS TO IMPROVE THE PARKING LOT AT THE LAKE DAM… AND TO RUN UNDERGROUND ELECTRIC SERVICE FOR FUTURE LIGHTING THERE.   THE WORK WILL BE DONE BY CITY CREWS… AND WILL INVOLVE GRADING THE LOT, SPREADING A “PUG” UNDERLAYMENT… TOPPED WITH AN ASPHALT BINDER COAT.
    A NEW DOCK FOR THE SITE ON QUEEN CITY LAKE HAS ARRIVED… AND IS CURRENTLY BEING ASSEMBLED WITH THE HELP OF LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
    THE AREA IS AT THE END OF LAKEVIEW DRIVE NEXT TO THE HIGH SCHOOL.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER WILL HOLD THE SECOND ANNUAL “SPEED NETWORKING LUNCHEON” ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28th AT THE CIVIC CENTER.
    PARTICIPANTS WILL NETWORK FACE-TO-FACE WITH OTHER BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS FOR THREE MINUTE INTERVALS.   BRING BUSINESS CARDS TO EXCHANGE.
    PLAN TO ARRIVE AT 11:30 AM FOR FREE “HEADSHOT” PHOTOS.  COST IS $15 FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS.   CALL THE CHAMBER TO RESERVE A SPOT… 706 375 7702. 

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE CHARGED TWO PEOPLE WITH TRAFFICKING METHAMPHETAMINE IN THE LAFAYETTE AREA, LAST WEEK.
    WARRANTS WERE SERVED ON 26 YEAR OLD TAYLOR STEVEN BYRD AT A HIGHWAY 136 WEST ADDRESS.   WHEN AGENTS KNOCKED ON THE BACK DOOR, A 4-THOUSAND DOLLAR BAG OF METH WAS TOSSED OUT OF A WINDOW.   MORE DRUGS WERE FLUSHED… AND PACKAGING AND SCALES WERE FOUND INSIDE.
    ALSO ARRESTED WAS 22 YEAR OLD JOCELYN BREANNE ANDERSON.  ALONG WITH BYRD, SHE WAS CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING METH.

  THE FORMER HUTCHESON MEDICAL CLINIC ON EAST VILLANOW STREET HAS NOW BEEN PURCHASED BY THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE, IN COOPERATION WITH THE CITY’S DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
    CHI MEMORIAL HAS SIGNED A LEASE TO OPERATE THE CLINIC FOR A SEVEN YEAR TERM… WHICH WILL PROVIDE THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WITH A POSITIVE CASH FLOW IN PAYING BACK THE PURCHASE LOAN.  THE BANK OF LAFAYETTE ARRANGED THE FINANCING.
    THE FACILITY, FORMERLY RUN BY HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER, WAS PURCHASED BY THE CITY THROUGH THE BANKRUPTCY COURT… AND THE OWNERSHIP WILL SOON BE TRANSFERRED TO THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.  THE 250-THOUSAND DOLLAR PURCHASE PRICE IS WELL BELOW MARKET VALUE… AND INCLUDES 34 SURROUNDING ACRES OF LAND.
    PROFESSIONAL PARK ASSOCIATES, LOCATED ACROSS THE STREET,  WILL EXPAND ITS SERVICES AND WILL MOVE SOME PROVIDERS INTO THE NEW SPACE, INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY TO MEDICAL CARE IN THE LAFAYETTE AREA.
    THE NEW OPERATION WILL BE KNOWN AS CHI MEMORIAL CONVENIENT CARE… AND IT WILL BE OPEN SIX DAYS A WEEK, WITH ACCESS TO AN ON-CALL PROVIDER AFTER CLINIC HOURS.
    “CONVENIENT CARE” IS EXPECTED TO BE OPEN IN THE LAFAYETTE MEDICAL PARK IN LATE SPRING OR EARLY SUMMER.

*   THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED SOME HEFTY CONTRACTS FOR ENTERTAINERS AT THIS YEAR’S FIRST “HONEYBEE FESTIVAL”… SCHEDULED FOR THE DOWNTOWN SQUARE ON SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd
    THE HEADLINER WILL BE COUNTRY STAR CRAIG MORGAN, WHO COMMANDS OVER 31-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR HIS PERFORMANCE.
    MAJOR SPONSORS HAVE STEPPED-UP… AND WILL COVER THE ENTERTAINMENT COST FOR THE CITY.   THOSE INCLUDE PIGEON MOUNTAIN INDUSTRIES, WITH A SPONSORSHIP OF 25-THOUSAND DOLLARS… AND CHI MEMORIAL, PLEDGING 10-THOUSAND IN SUPPORT OF THE FESTIVAL.
    THE FREE CONCERT WILL BE HELD ON THE SQUARE THAT EVENING… WITH LOCAL BANDS PLAYING THERE ALL DAY.

*   LAFAYETTE WILL SOON LOSE A "NATIONAL BRAND" BANKING LOCATION.  THE REGIONS BANK BRANCH ON NORTH MAIN STREET WILL BE CLOSING AT THE END OF APRIL, ACCORDING TO LOCAL SOURCES.
    REGIONS HAS BEEN CLOSING LOCAL BRANCHES ACROSS THEIR 17 STATE NETWORK EACH YEAR SINCE 2009… INCLUDING MORE THAN 60 LOCATIONS LAST YEAR.  REGIONS IS BASED IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA.    IT’S AN INDUSTRY TREND:  AS MORE AND MORE CUSTOMERS BANK ONLINE, THERE IS LESS DEMAND FOR BRICK-AND-MORTAR LOCATIONS.

*   APPLICATIONS FOR WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL’S PRE-K PROGRAM WILL BE ACCEPTED MARCH 1st THROUGH 31st… FOR THIS YEAR’S PRE-K LOTTERY DRAWING ON APRIL 19th.
    APPLICATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND THE A.E.C. STARTING MARCH 1st.   CHILDREN MUST BE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA AND HAVE A BIRTHDATE BETWEEN SEPT. 2, 2012 AND SEPT. 1, 2013.

*   THE LAFAYETTE REC DEPARTMENT HAS OPENED SIGNUPS FOR SPRING SPORTS… BASEBALL, SOFTBALL AND SOCCER. 
    THE BASEBALL PROGRAM IS FOR AGES 3 THROUGH 12.  AGE 3 AND 4 ARE CO-ED.  
    SOFTBALL IS FOR GIRLS 5 TO 12.  
    SOCCER IS CO-ED FOR AGES 4 THROUGH 12.    
    FEES ARE $85 FOR BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL, $50 FOR SOCCER.
    PARENTS MAY REGISTER ONLINE… OR CALL THE REC AT 706 639 1590 FOR MORE INFORMATION.  THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS SATURDAY, MARCH 4.

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