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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE MADE AN ARREST AT THE SCENE OF A HOUSE FIRE ON DAUGHERTY STREET, TUESDAY NIGHT.   RESPONDING TO THE STRUCTURE FIRE CALL AT 8 PM, POLICE SPOTTED MICHAEL CHANCE ELLISON EXITING THE RESIDENCE... AND REMEMBERED THERE WERE WARRANTS FOR HIS ARREST.   AFTER CONFIRMING THROUGH THE DISPATCH CENTER... ELLISON WAS PICKED UP ON TWO OUTSTANDING WARRANTS FROM THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.  NO ONE WAS HURT IN THE HOUSE FIRE.

*   ONE MAN WAS ARRESTED… AND HE AND HIS BUDDY WERE BANNED FROM WALMART… AFTER AN INCIDENT THERE, EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.
    JUST PAST 5 AM, POLICE GOT A REPORT THAT TWO MEN WERE PARKED AT THE STORE LOT… AND ONE WAS SEEN “LOOKING UNDER EMPLOYEE VEHICLES” ON THE LOT.
    THE DRIVER TOLD OFFICERS HE WAS “WAITING FOR HIS GIRLFRIEND TO GET OFF WORK”.   NO ONE WITH THE NAME HE GAVE, WORKS THERE.
    THE PASSENGER, WHO WAS HOLDING A FLASHLIGHT, GAVE POLICE A FALSE NAME.  HE WAS LATER IDENTIFIED AS 26 YEAR OLD NICHOLAS ALAN CURTIS OF LAFAYETTE… WHO WAS WANTED ON A FELONY PROBATION VIOLATION.   CURTIS WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH LOITERING AND GIVING A FALSE NAME TO LAW OFFICERS.
    THE STORE MANAGER INFORMED POLICE THAT BOTH MEN WERE BANNED FROM THE PREMISES.

*   THE LAFAYETTE DDA’S ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT HAS OUTGROWN THE JOE STOCK PARK… AND WILL BE HELD THIS YEAR AT THE ROSS ABNEY COMPLEX… BEST KNOWN AS “THE OLD HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELD”.
    12,000 EGGS WILL BE HIDDEN FOR CHILDREN, BY AGE GROUP… AND THE FREE EVENT HAS BEEN SCHEDULED THIS YEAR FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 19th.
    CITY OFFICIALS SAID THIS WEEK THAT A GREAT DEAL OF WORK HAS BEEN DONE TO IMPROVE THE FACILITIES AT THE ROSS ABNEY COMPLEX… WHICH IS OPERATED BY THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT.
    IN OTHER BUSINESS AT THIS WEEK’S COUNCIL MEETING, THERE WAS A DISCUSSION ON REMOVING THE DAMAGED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AT THE DEPOT PARK.   CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID THERE ARE PLANS TO REMOVE THE WOODEN STRUCTURE, WHICH WAS DAMAGED IN A FLOOD OF TOWN CREEK.   HE SAID THEY ARE LOOKING AT OPTIONS TO REPLACE THE BRIDGE WITH FUNDS RECEIVED IN A GRANT TO IMPROVE THE WALKING TRAIL, WHICH FOLLOWS THE CREEK FROM THE OLD LAFAYETTE HIGH FOOTBALL FIELD TO THE HOUSING AUTHORITY BUILDING ON OAK STREET.   THE 100-THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANT WILL BE SUPPLEMENTED WITH SPLOST FUNDING ON THE TRAIL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT.

*   WALKER COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL TAKE A “WINTER BREAK”... SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED THIS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY… AND NEXT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15th.   “BACK TO SCHOOL DAY” WILL BE TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16th.

*   IT WAS “ALL A’s” IN LAST WEEK’S RESTAURANT AND KITCHEN INSPECTIONS… LED BY TWO AREA SCHOOL CAFETERIAS:
    CHEROKEE RIDGE AND CHICKAMAUGA ELEMENTARY BOTH SCORED A PERFECT “100”.

*   COUNCILMAN BED BRADFORD MADE A PRESENTATION TO THE CITY COUNCIL MONDAY, ON PROGRESS MADE IN BRINGING LOCAL PROPERTIES “UP TO CODE” IN A NEW PUSH FOR NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION.
    THE CITY CODES DEPARTMENT HAS IDENTIFIED AROUND 100 STRUCTURES AND PROPERTIES THAT NEED ATTENTION.   BRADFORD SAID OF THE FIRST 20 PROPERTY OWNERS CONTACTED, 16 HAVE SAID THEY PLAN TO COOPERATE AND BRING THE PROPERTY UP TO CODE.
    THE CITY HAS NOW COMPLETED FIVE “NUISANCE ABATEMENT” CASES IN COURT… AND FOUR MORE ARE SCHEDULED FOR HEARINGS THIS MONTH.  BRADFORD CONGRATULATED THE CITY CODES DEPARTMENT FOR TAKING “A GREAT LEAP OF PROGRESS” IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION EFFORT.

*   THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WILL HOLD A RECRUITMENT IN DALTON THURSDAY.  THEY’RE HIRING 60 WORKERS FOR IVC, A DIVISION OF MOHAWK.
    IT WILL BE HELD AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CAREER CENTER IN DALTON… 1406 CHATTANOOGA AVENUE, FROM 10 AM - 4 PM.   CALL THE CAREER CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION, AT 706 272 2301.

*   A PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER, ON A 10 YEAR UPDATE OF THE “JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN” FOR WALKER COUNTY AND HER CITIES.
    RESIDENTS OF THE COUNTY AND THE CITIES OF LAFAYETTE, ROSSVILLE, CHICKAMAUGA AND LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE HEARING THURSDAY AT 7 PM.  EACH GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE APPOINTED REPRESENTATIVES THERE.
    UNDER THE PLANNING RULES OF THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, THIS UPDATED 10 YEAR PLAN WILL ALLOW EACH TOWN AND THE COUNTY TO EXTEND THEIR STATUS AS “QUALIFIED LOCAL GOVERNMENTS”… AND ALLOW EACH TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR STATE LOANS, GRANTS OR PERMITS.
    ALL ARE WELCOME AT THE PUBLIC HEARING… THURSDAY AT 7 PM, AT THE WALKER COUNTY CIVIC CENTER.

*   FOUR POINTS WILL BENEFIT FROM THE ANNUAL “FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE” THIS FRIDAY, AT THE COLONNADE IN RINGGOLD.
    COST IS $5 PER PERSON AND INCLUDES SNACKS, DANCING, A SILENT AUCTION AND DOOR PRIZES.   THERE ARE NO AGE LIMITS… AND PARTICIPANTS MAY ALSO INCLUDE GRAND DAUGHTERS, NIECES OR ANY SPECIAL LADY.   TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.  IT’S THIS FRIDAY FROM 6 - 9 PM, FOR THE ANNUAL FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE. 
    FOUR POINTS PROVIDES PROGRAMS THAT SERVE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

*   ON A CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT HELD-OVER FROM LAST MONTH’S MEETING, THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL VOTED 3 TO 1 IN FAVOR OF A 4-YEAR LEASE-PURCHASE OF NEW CARTS FOR THE LAFAYETTE GOLF COURSE.
    AT MONDAY’S MEETING, CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON EXPLAINED THAT THE PLAN WOULD BE LESS COSTLY THAN REBUILDING THE PRESENT FLEET OF CARTS… WHICH WILL BE TRADED-IN ON THE NEW LEASE-PURCHASE PLAN.   TOTAL COST FOR 60 CARTS OVER A 4-YEAR PERIOD, WILL BE $140,630.
    UNDER THE PRESENT CART LEASE, THE CITY IS PAYING ABOUT 59-THOUSAND PER YEAR.   THE NEW LEASE WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY LESS, AT 36-THOUSAND PER YEAR… AND AT THE END OF FOUR YEARS, THE CITY WILL OWN THE CARTS.
    COUNCIL MEMBERS BEN BRADFORD, WAYNE SWANSON AND JUDY MEEKS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE LEASE-PURCHASE PLAN.   COUNCILMAN CHRIS DAVIS VOTED AGAINST… AND COUNCILMAN BEACHER GARMANY ABSTAINED.
    AFTER THE PLAN WAS APPROVED, MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD SAID LAFAYETTE HAS BEEN INVITED TO A MEETING OF “GOLF COURSE TOWNS” BEING HELD IN DUBLIN, GEORGIA.  HE SEES THAT AS A GOOD WAY FOR MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE CITIES TO "BRAINSTORM" WAYS TO RUN THEM MORE EFFICIENTLY.   THE LAFAYETTE COURSE IS A PERPETUAL MONEY-LOSER.  
    IT WAS ALSO REPORTED THAT PHASE 1 OF THE CHATTANOOGA STREET WATER LINE PROJECT IS NEARLY COMPLETE… FROM HENDERSON TO WEST MAIN.   COUNCIL APPROVED PURCHASE OF PIPE AND MATERIALS FOR PHASE 2, WHICH WILL REPLACE WATER LINES FROM WEST MAIN TO MCLEMORE.  COST OF MATERIALS APPROVED WAS JUST UNDER 73-THOUSAND DOLLARS. 
    IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT BY DOING THE WATER LINE REPLACEMENT WITH THE CITY’S OWN WATER DEPARTMENT CREWS… A HUGE SAVING IS BEING REALIZED.   THE LOW BID TO REPLACE ALL OF THE CHATTANOOGA STREET WATER LINES BY A CONTRACTOR, WAS 1.2 MILLION.   TOTAL BUDGET WITH THE CITY DOING THE WORK, IS $204,576.

*   A CHICKAMAUGA RESIDENT REPORTED THAT HER PICKUP TRUCK HAD BEEN STRIPPED OF PARTS WHILE PARKED AT AN ADDRESS ON KING STREET IN LAFAYETTE, FOR THE PAST 10 MONTHS.
    GAYNELLE SMITH SAID HER 1999 GMC SONOMA IS MISSING 18-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN PARTS… FROM THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER TO THE DASHBOARD.   SHE TOLD POLICE THE TRUCK HAD BEEN PARKED AT THE VACANT RESIDENCE SINCE APRIL OF LAST YEAR.   SHE BELIEVES THE PARTS WERE TAKEN BETWEEN FEBRUARY 4th AND 5th, THIS YEAR.   A NEIGHBOR REPORTEDLY NOTICED A RED CHEVY S-10 PICKUP PARKED NEAR THE SCENE OF THE THEFT.   SO FAR, NO ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE ARE SEEKING THE PUBLIC’S HELP IN SOLVING A HIT-AND-RUN ON A CAR PARKED AT WALMART IN LAFAYETTE, LAST FRIDAY AFTERNOON BETWEEN 3:40 AND 4:15.
    SECURITY VIDEO SHOWS A BLACK CAR PULLING NEXT-TOO… AND STRIKING… THE VICTIM’S VEHICLE WHILE HE WAS INSIDE THE STORE.
    VIDEO SHOWS A BLACK MALE WEARING JEANS AND A HOODIE.  HE PARKED THE VEHICLE, WALKED INTO THE STORE RESTROOM… THEN LEFT, DRIVING AWAY IN THE BLACK CAR.
    ANYONE WITH INFORMATION IS ASKED TO CONTACT LAFAYETTE POLICE.  THE VICTIM WILL PROSECUTE ON A CHARGE OF “STRIKING AN UNATTENDED VEHICLE”.

*   WALKER COUNTY’S “STAR STUDENTS” HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED FOR 2016.  “STAR” STANDS FOR “STUDENT-TEACHER ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNITION”… AND THE ANNUAL PROGRAM HONORS THE SENIOR MAKING THE HIGHEST SCORE ON COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS.
    AT LAFAYETTE HIGH, THE STAR STUDENT IS LISA NICOLE LEE.  SHE NOMINATED AS HER “STAR TEACHER”… JOEL WARREN.
    AT RIDGELAND HIGH, THIS YEAR’S STAR STUDENT IS EMMA JONES.  SHE CHOSE ANTHONY GOSS AS HER STAR TEACHER.
    ALL WILL BE RECOGNIZED AT THE NEXT MEETING OF THE WALKER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.  THE “STAR” PROGRAM IS SPONSORED IN GEORGIA BY “PAGE”… THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS.

*   THE AREA'S "MOST WANTED" ARE UNDER ARREST:  SUMMERVILLE POLICE HAVE CAPTURED THE SUSPECT WHO THEY BELIEVE, SHOT A STORE CLERK IN A ROBBERY ON JANUARY 15th… ALONG WITH AN ACCUSED ACCOMPLICE.
     18 YEAR OLD DYLON DAVE ALLEN WAS IDENTIFIED BY POLICE AS THE SHOOTER… WHO CRITICALLY WOUNDED C. PATEL DURING THE ROBBERY OF THE MELANIE INN CONVENIENCE STORE.   PATEL IS STILL HOSPITALIZED.
     THE SECOND SUSPECT IS Z. BANARD MCCRAY, AGE 18.  BOTH MEN ARE CHARGED WITH ARMED ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING A CRIME WHILE WEARING A MASK.
     TWO OTHER ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECTS WERE ARRESTED LAST WEEK BY CHATTOOGA COUNTY AUTHORITIES.   JAMES TYRONE CARMICHAEL OF ROME… AND JAKE LEE SKUSE OF ALABAMA… HAVE ALSO BEEN CHARGED WITH A WALKER COUNTY ARMED ROBBERY AT A STORE JUST SOUTH OF LAFAYETTE ON BROOMTOWN ROAD.
     CHATTOOGA DETECTIVES SAY THE FOUR ARRESTS CLEAR ALL BUT ONE, IN A RECENT STRING OF ARMED ROBBERIES ACROSS NORTHWEST GEORGIA.

*   SEVEN PEOPLE FROM WALKER AND CHATTOOGA COUNTIES HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR CASHING STOLEN CHECKS… ACCORDING TO THE LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
    THE CHECKS WERE TAKEN FROM A RESIDENT OF LYERLY, IN CHATTOOGA COUNTY… AND A TOTAL OF 43 WERE CASHED.  THE TOTAL AMOUNT MISSING FROM THE MAN’S ACCOUNT WAS ALMOST 12-THOUSAND DOLLARS.  THE VICTIM TOLD INVESTIGATORS THAT HIS STEP-GRANDDAUGHTER AND HER BOYFRIEND HAD VISITED HIS RESIDENCE AT ABOUT THE TIME THE CHECKS WENT MISSING.
    19 YEAR OLD KELSEY LEANN WALLIN AND 24 YEAR OLD CODY TRIMBLE, BOTH OF TRION, WERE CHARGED WITH 4th DEGREE FORGERY IN THE CASE.
    THE LARGEST AMOUNT TAKEN WAS CREDITED TO 49 YEAR OLD CHARLOTTE ANN TRIMBLE OF TRION… WITH CHECKS CASHED TOTALING ALMOST 9-THOUSAND DOLLARS.  SHE AND FOUR OTHER SUSPECTS WERE CHARGED WITH FORGERY AS WELL. 
    OTHERS ARRESTED INCLUDE 25 YEAR OLD REBECCA L. WEBB OF CHICKAMAUGA, 20 YEAR OLD SIERRA SKYE PARKER OF TRION, 43 YEAR OLD JESSE JOSEPH TRAMMELL OF ROCK SPRING AND 46 YEAR OLD DEANNA PAIGE CLARK OF LAFAYETTE.
    THE MAJORITY OF THE STOLEN CHECKS WERE CASHED AT THE SHOPRITE IN LAFAYETTE, ACCORDING TO THE POLICE RECORD.

*   ADVANCE VOTING IS OPEN NOW IN THE GEORGIA PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY.   REGISTERED VOTERS CAN CAST A BALLOT DURING REGULAR HOURS, 8:30 - 4:30, AT THE VOTER REGISTRATION OFFICE… ROOM 110 IN THE WALKER COUNTY COURTHOUSE.
    SATELLITE VOTING LOCATIONS WILL OPEN ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20th… AT GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN TECHNICAL COLLEGE, BUILDING 500… THE CHICKAMAUGA CIVIC CENTER… THE ROSSVILLE CIVIC CENTER AND LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN CITY HALL.  ADVANCE VOTING ENDS FEB. 26th.
    THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY IS SET FOR MARCH 1st, IN GEORGIA.

*   THE MEMORIAL HEALTH COACH WILL BE IN LAFAYETTE NEXT MONDAY, MAKING MAMMOGRAMS.  THIS IS A RE-SCHEDULE FROM A CANCELLED VISIT TO LAFAYETTE BACK IN DECEMBER.   THE COACH WILL BE AT THE LOCAL LIBRARY ON MONDAY THE 29th FROM 11 AM UNTIL 2 PM.   CALL AHEAD TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT… 1 866 591 2254.  

*   WALKER COUNTY’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TEAM IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE RECENT NEWS CONCERNING ROPER’S SALE TO A CHINESE MEGA-FIRM.
    “THEY CONTINUE TO HIRE FOR THE LAFAYETTE PLANT… AND EVERYTHING WE HEAR IS POSITIVE ON ROPER’S FUTURE IN LAFAYETTE”… SAID DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY DIRECTOR, LARRY BROOKS.
    THE ROPER PLANT IN LAFAYETTE IS PART OF GE’S SALE OF IT’S ENTIRE APPLIANCE BUSINESS TO HAIER.   ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE, THEIR PLANS INCLUDE INTRODUCING GE APPLIANCES FOR SALE IN THE CHINESE MARKET… WITH 1.3-BILLION POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
    BROOKS ALSO SAID THAT THREE EXISTING MANUFACTURERS IN WALKER COUNTY ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON EXPANSION PROJECTS.  “IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS WE HOPE TO HAVE NEWS ON SOME NEW JOBS TO BE PRODUCED IN THOSE EXPANSION PLANS”, BROOKS SAID.  “WALKER COUNTY IS VERY BLESSED TO HAVE ENJOYED ECONOMIC STABILITY THROUGH THE RECESSION”.

*   SIGNUPS ARE OPEN FOR LAFAYETTE RECREATION SPRING SPORTS… YOUTH BASEBALL, SOFTBALL AND SOCCER.
    BASEBALL IS FOR PLAYERS AGES 3 TO 12…
    SOFTBALL IS FOR AGES 5 TO 12…
    AND SOCCER IS FOR AGES 4 TO 14…
    REGISTRATION WILL BE OPEN ONLINE THROUGH FEBRUARY 20th… CALL THE REC CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION AT 706 639 1590.

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