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BALLINGER'S RECYCLING is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week.  They buy aluminum cans, copper, brass, stainless steel, scrap iron... as well as old automotive batteries.  Open Sunday through Friday at 1007 South Chattanooga Street in LaFayette.

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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   A VAN AND HUMAN REMAINS WERE FOUND ON THE DADE COUNTY-SIDE OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, WEDNESDAY... AND THE VEHICLE BELONGED TO A MISSING TRENTON WOMAN.
    JUSTINE "MARIE" CREECH WAS LAST SEEN BY HER FAMILY BACK IN JUNE.   THE REMAINS FOUND AT THE SCENE HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO THE CRIME LAB FOR POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION.
    A HIKER SPOTTED THE VAN... WHICH THE DADE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT BELIEVES WENT OVER THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN FROM SCENIC HIGHWAY AT THE BROW.  IT WAS FOUND, ON IT'S SIDE, ABOUT HALFWAY BETWEEN SCENIC HIGHWAY AND BURKHALTER GAP ROAD, WHICH LEADS DOWN THE MOUNTAIN TO TRENTON.  
    THE MISSING WOMAN'S HUSBAND SAID THAT MARIE LEFT THEIR HOME, TAKING NOTHING BUT A SET OF KEYS WITH HER... AND NEVER RETURNED.   A FAMILY FACEBOOK PAGE ADDS THAT MRS. CREECH SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION.
    THE GBI IS ASSISTING DADE COUNTY WITH THE INVESTIGATION.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES HAVE BEEN WORKING A HEARTBREAKING CASE OF CHILD-NEGLECT THIS WEEK.  THE 9 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOWING OBVIOUS SIGNS… AND HIS SCHOOL ASKED FOR AN INVESTIGATION.
    POLICE PUT THE CHILD IN EMERGENCY CUSTODY AND PROVIDED HIM WITH FOOD.  “HE ATE AND ATE… AND APPEARED VERY UNDER-NOURISHED”, SAID CAPTAIN STACEY MEEKS.
    THE TWO-PARENT FAMILY WAS CARING FOR A TOTAL OF 9 CHILDREN IN A SMALL HOME.  MEEKS SAID SOME OF THE OTHER CHILDREN WERE ALSO REMOVED BY DFCS… AND A HEARING ON THEIR FUTURE-CARE IS PENDING BEFORE THE JUVENILE COURT.

*   LAFAYETTE’S CARE MISSION WILL BENEFIT FROM A “FOOD DRIVE GAME”… SPONSORED BY THE GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAMS, SATURDAY.   ADMISSION IS FREE WITH A FOOD ITEM FOR THE CARE MISSION.   THEY PLAY OXFORD COLLEGE, STARTING AT 4 PM SATURDAY, AT THE ROSSVILLE ATHLETIC CENTER.

*   FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF “CHRISTMAS IN THE COVE” AND THE GUY PENROD CONCERT IN DECEMBER, WALKER COUNTY’S MOUNTAIN COVE FARMS IS PLANNING AN EASTER CELEBRATION THIS SPRING.
    LARRY BROOKS SAID THE BALL BROTHERS GOSPEL QUARTET FROM CHICKAMAUGA… WILL PERFORM AN EASTER CONCERT ON FRIDAY NIGHT, MARCH 27th.   THEN ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON THE 28th, A COMMUNITY EASTER EGG HUNT AND OTHER FAMILY ACTIVITIES WILL BE HELD AT MOUNTAIN COVE.
    BROOKS SAID THE BALL BROTHERS ARE KNOWN NATION-WIDE FOR THEIR SINGING.   THE TENTATIVE TICKET PRICE IS $15 PER PERSON, HE SAID.
    AND SPEAKING OF GUY PENROD, BROOKS CONFIRMED THAT HE WILL BE BACK FOR ANOTHER CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT THE COVE THIS YEAR, ON DECEMBER 3rd.

*   THE LAFAYETTE ELKS LODGE HAS ANNOUNCED WINNERS IN THE ANNUAL “HOOP SHOOT” YOUTH BASKETBALL FREE-THROW COMPETITION:
    FOR AGES 8 AND 9… THE WINNERS ARE ZUNDRA JACKSON FROM NAOMI ELEMENTARY… AND EMMA BAKER FROM NORTH LAFAYETTE.
    IN AGES 10 TO 11… FIRST PLACE WENT TO AIDAN HADAWAY FROM NORTH LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY… AND SYDNEY BARKER FROM NAOMI.
    AND IN AGES 12 TO 13… BOTH THE BOY AND GIRL WINNERS ATTEND SADDLE RIDGE:   TRENT CURRIE AND TATYAH BARBER.
    LOCAL CHAMPIONS WILL COMPETE IN THE DISTRICT HOOP-SHOOT THIS SATURDAY AT GORDON CENTRAL IN CALHOUN.   BUTCH KING, LOCAL HOOP SHOOT COORDINATOR, THANKED P.E. TEACHERS FROM THE PARTICIPATING LOCAL SCHOOLS… AND THE LAFAYETTE REC DEPARTMENT… FOR THEIR HELP.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THIS YEAR’S CITIZEN’S ACADEMY, STARTING ON MARCH 2nd.
    GET AN UP CLOSE LOOK AT DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS OF THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.   CLASSES WILL BE HELD ON TEN MONDAY NIGHTS AT THE RALPH JONES TRAINING CENTER IN LINWOOD.   CALL SERGEANT PAT COOK AT
706 638 1909 EXTENSION 1252.

*   GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN HAS RELEASED THIS YEAR’S FINALISTS FOR THE “GOAL” AWARD… AND THREE OF THE FOUR ARE STUDENTS AT THE ROCK SPRING CAMPUS.
    CHASITY BAUGH IS IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM…
    BRENT FREEMAN STUDIES ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY…
    AND JENNIFER LIVELY IS IN THE SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM AT THE WALKER COUNTY CAMPUS.   THE FOURTH FINALIST IS ALICE TOWE FROM THE FLOYD COUNTY CAMPUS.
    “GOAL” STANDS FOR GEORGIA OCCUPATIONAL AWARD OF LEADERSHIP… HONORING EXCELLENCE AMONG GEORGIA TECH-COLLEGE STUDENTS.

*   THIEVES MADE A LOCAL FAMILY’S FLORIDA VACATION ABOUT 7-THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE EXPENSIVE.  WHILE THEY WERE AWAY… SOMEONE BROKE IN AND STOLE THE WASHER, DRYER, BIG SCREEN TVS, THE LAWN MOWER… AND EVEN TOOK OUT THE WALL HEATERS.
    THE HOME IS ON MAHAN AVENUE OFF CORINTH ROAD… JUST OUTSIDE THE LAFAYETTE CITY LIMITS.  THE BREAK-IN WAS DISCOVERED ON JANUARY 19th.   THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT IS INVESTIGATING.

*   FOUR WOMEN ATTEMPTED TO SCAM THE LAFAYETTE WALMART, BEFORE LEAVING THE STORE WITH $600 IN STOLEN MERCHANDISE.
    IT HAPPENED SATURDAY, ACCORDING TO THE LAFAYETTE POLICE REPORT.   THE FOUR BLACK WOMEN PICKED UP EXPENSIVE KITCHEN APPLIANCES… INCLUDING A BLENDER AND A COFFEE MAKER IN THE LAFAYETTE STORE.   THEY HAD WITH THEM, A RECEIPT FOR THE ITEMS FROM ANOTHER WALMART LOCATION… AND ATTEMPTED TO “RETURN” THE ITEMS FOR A CASH REFUND.  
    WHEN THE RETURN WAS DENIED, THE WOMEN ROLLED THE BUGGY WITH THE ITEMS OUT TO THE PARKING LOT… AND THEY ESCAPED WITH THE ITEMS IN A LINCOLN GRAND MARQUIS.   AN I.D. USED IN THE ATTEMPTED SCAM WAS FROM NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE… AND POLICE ARE CHECKING TO SEE IF THE I.D. WAS STOLEN, AS WELL.

*   LAFAYETTE POLICE REPORT A COUPLE OF BURGLARIES OVER THE WEEKEND:
    ON LANGLEY DRIVE OFF OF PLEDGER PARKWAY… THE HOME OWNER AWOKE AT 11 PM FRIDAY, WITH NOISE DOWNSTAIRS.  SHE DISCOVERED A MAN STANDING IN HER LIVING ROOM, BEFORE HE BOLTED OUT THE FRONT DOOR.   AFTER LOOKING AROUND THE HOME, SHE TOLD POLICE THAT ABOUT 50 PRESCRIPTION XANAX PILLS WERE MISSING.  THERE WAS NO SIGN OF FORCED ENTRY.
    AT 208 MAGNOLIA STREET, THE HOME OWNER REPORTED $1,300 IN ITEMS MISSING… INCLUDING A LARGE COMIC BOOK COLLECTION AND A COMPUTER.   POLICE FOUND NO SIGN OF FORCED ENTRY, BUT A DOOR IN THE HOME WAS POORLY SECURED.  THE OWNER HAD BEEN AWAY… AND THE BREAK-IN WAS DISCOVERED SUNDAY NIGHT.  THERE ARE NO SUSPECTS IN EITHER BURGLARY.
    POLICE ALSO REPORT A RASH OF BICYCLE THEFTS OVER THE WEEKEND.   FOUR BIKES WERE STOLEN FROM LAFAYETTE HOUSING AUTHORITY HOMES ON HALE AND CARVER STREETS.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER MADE SEVERAL AWARD PRESENTATIONS AT LAST WEEK’S MEMBERSHIP DINNER.
    SUSAN TANKERSLEY WAS NAMED “CHAMBER MEMBER OF THE YEAR”.   SHE WORKS AS THE MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR LANE FUNERAL HOME.
    SHELIA THOMPSON WAS NAMED “CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR”.   SHE IS WALKER COUNTY’S CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
    AND THE BANK OF LAFAYETTE WAS NAMED THE CHAMBER’S “SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR” FOR 2014.

*   THE LAFAYETTE-WALKER LIBRARY’S NEW “KNIT-CROCHET AND SEWING GROUP” WILL MEET THURSDAY AT 5:30 PM.   ALL AGES AND SKILL LEVELS WELCOME… BRING YOUR MATERIALS AND ENJOY THE FELLOWSHIP.  

UPDATED:     A DEADLY WEEKEND ON WALKER COUNTY ROADS... THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING A FATAL HIT-AND-RUN IN ROSSVILLE - AND THEY'RE ASKING FOR ANY INFORMATION THE PUBLIC MAY HAVE.
    A MAN IN A MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR WAS HIT AND KILLED BY A CAR AT AROUND 1:30 PM SATURDAY ON INDIAN AVENUE AT CEDAR STREET IN ROSSVILLE.  THE VICTIM WAS IDENTIFIED AS 56 YEAR OLD MICHAEL BURNS.
    DETECTIVES ARE LOOKING FOR A LIGHT-COLORED PASSENGER CAR THAT SHOULD HAVE DAMAGE IN THE FRONT.   THE DESCRIPTION SAYS THE VEHICLE COULD BE A 4-DOOR ACURA OR HONDA, WITH TINTED WINDOWS.
    ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE SUSPECT VEHICLE SHOULD CONTACT THE WALKER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.
    AND ON SUNDAY MORNING, TWO PEOPLE DIED IN A SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.  THE STATE PATROL SAID IT HAPPENED ON HIGHWAY 157, SOUTH OF THE INTERSECTION WITH 136... AT AROUND 11:30 AM.   THE SPEEDING VEHICLE LEFT THE ROAD AND STRUCK A TREE.   THE DRIVER HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS 52 YEAR OLD RICHARD GUINN BETHUNE OF ROSSVILLE.  THE PASSENGER'S IDENTITY HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED. 

*   UNTIL A LITTLE AFTER 3 PM THURSDAY… THE LAFAYETTE GOLF COURSE WAS ACTUALLY OWNED BY:   THE GOVERNMENT OF WALKER COUNTY.
    LAFAYETTE CITY MANAGER DAVID HAMILTON SAID HE AND COUNCILMAN BEACHER GARMANY FOUND THAT IN 1992, THE GOLF COURSE PROPERTY WAS DEEDED TO THE COUNTY AS COLLATERAL FOR A BOND ISSUE. 
THEN-COMMISSIONER ROY PARRISH JUNIOR FLOATED A BOND WHICH RAISED THE FUNDS TO EXPAND THE LAFAYETTE COURSE FROM 9 TO 18 HOLES.
    HAMILTON SAID THE BONDS WERE PAID OFF MORE THAN A DECADE AGO… BUT THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP WAS NEVER COMPLETED.  AT HER BUSINESS MEETING THURSDAY, COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL SIGNED THE QUIT-CLAIM DEED, RETURNING THE GOLF COURSE TO THE OWNERSHIP OF THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE.   HAMILTON CALLED IT “A FORMALITY THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF”.
    IN OTHER BUSINESS THURSDAY, COMMISSIONER HEISKELL ACCEPTED THE BID FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE CEDAR GROVE COMMUNITY CENTER BUILDING.   THE SPLOST PROJECT WILL COST 1-MILLION, 341-THOUSAND DOLLARS AND WILL TAKE 210 DAYS TO COMPLETE.   HEISKELL SAID HER CONSULTANTS DID NOT LIKE REPORTS RECEIVED ON THE LOWEST BIDDER… SO THE NEXT-HIGHEST BID WAS ACCEPTED.  IT WENT TO CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS OF CHATTANOOGA.

*   GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL TO 6.9 PERCENT IN DECEMBER… BUT AT THE SAME TIME, LOCAL COUNTIES EXPERIENCED A SHARP INCREASE IN NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.
    LABOR COMMISSIONER MARK BUTLER SAID THE RISE IN LAYOFFS WAS LARGELY DUE TO TEMPORARY CLAIMS FILED IN TEXTILE MANUFACTURING AND CONSTRUCTION, DUE TO SEASONAL FACTORS.
    THAT HIT WHITFIELD AND WALKER COUNTIES HARD:
    IN WALKER, NEW CLAIMS ROSE FROM 211 IN NOVEMBER, TO 937 IN DECEMBER… AN INCREASE OF 726.
    IN WHITFIELD COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS WERE UP BY MORE THAN 2,000 WORKERS.
    CATOOSA, CHATTOOGA AND DADE COUNTIES ALSO HAD HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS IN DECEMBER.
    GEORGIA’S STATE-WIDE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL BY 3/10’s OF A PERCENTAGE POINT IN DECEMBER… WHILE THE STATE’S NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE BY 102-PERCENT OVER THE MONTH.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS NOW OFFERING A SHINGLES VACCINE FOR PEOPLE AGE 60 AND OLDER… AND A PNEUMONIA VACCINE FOR AGES 65-PLUS.
    FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AT 706 638 5577.   MANY INSURANCE PLANS WILL HELP WITH THE COST… AND THESE SENIOR VACCINES ARE RECOMMENDED BY THE CDC.
    THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS AT 603 EAST VILLANOW STREET IN LAFAYETTE. 

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