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TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS SOME DONATED BOX FANS TO HELP THOSE WHO CAN’T AFFORD ONE, DURING THE SUMMER HEAT.
    FIRE CHIEF STACEY MEEKS SAID THEY ARE PARTICULARLY CONCERNED WITH ELDERLY HOUSEHOLDS… AND WOULD BE GLAD TO SEE LAFAYETTE RESIDENTS-IN-NEED GET A FREE FAN.
    CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEPTION FOR MORE INFORMATION, AT (706) 639-1540.

*   GILBERT ELEMENTARY’S NEW PRINCIPAL IS READY TO MEET THE STUDENT BODY WHEN SCHOOL STARTS ON AUGUST 3rd… SHE IS AMY ASHLEY, WHO PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT STONE CREEK ELEMENTARY IN THE WALKER COUNTY SYSTEM.
    THE 16 YEAR WALKER COUNTY SCHOOLS VETERAN SAYS SHE BELIEVES IN “RELATIONSHIPS, HARD WORK, COLLABORATION AND COMMUNITY”.

*   IF YOU’D LIKE TO EXPERIENCE “PADDLE BOARDING”… THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT HAS ARRANGED A DEMONSTRATION ON QUEEN CITY LAKE.
    A STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD DEALER WILL BRING SEVERAL MODELS FOR PARTICIPANTS TO TRY.   HOURS WILL BE 4 UNTIL 7 PM TUESDAY JULY 25th, AT THE CITY LAKE DAM NEAR LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL.   BRING DRINKING WATER, TOWELS AND SWIMWEAR.

*   THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS NOW 100-PERCENT “UP TO DATE” ON ALL BUILDING CODES.
    THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED ADOPTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE, THE NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING STANDARD AND THE INTERNATIONAL EXISTING BUILDING CODE, AT THE JULY MEETING.
    CITY ATTORNEY RON WOMACK AND CODES SUPERINTENDENT PHIL JEFFERS WORKED TOGETHER TO REVIEW THE CODES FOR LOCAL ADOPTION.
    WOMACK TOLD THE COUNCIL THAT CITY CODES WERE FIRST ADOPTED IN 1979… AND THE LAST MAJOR AMENDMENTS WERE ADOPTED IN 1999… SO HE SAID, IT WAS TIME FOR AN UPDATE.   
    “WE’RE NOW ALL-CURRENT ON TECHNICAL BUILDING CODES”, WOMACK SAID.

*   WALKER COUNTY GOVERNMENT HAS SUBMITTED A “PLAN FOR CORRECTIVE ACTION” ATTACHED TO THE FISCAL YEAR 2016 AUDIT, WHICH WAS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC LATE THURSDAY.   THE AUDIT PERIOD ENDED LAST SEPTEMBER, DURING THE CLOSING MONTHS OF THE BEBE HEISKELL ADMINISTRATION.
    CURRENT COMMISSIONER SHANNON WHITFIELD, WHO TOOK OFFICE IN JANUARY, SUBMITTED THE “CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN” TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF AUDITS AND ACCOUNTS IN ATLANTA.
    THE CORRECTIVE ACTION LETTER SAYS VARIOUS COUNTY OFFICES HAVE THE OPTION TO SET UP BANK ACCOUNTS THAT ARE NOT MONITORED BY THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE.   ONCE ALERTED BY AUDITORS, THE LETTER STATES THAT THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED THE OFFICES AND ADVISED THEM OF THE NECESSITY OF HAVING THOSE ACCOUNTS DESIGNATED AS “PUBLIC FUNDS”.
    IN OTHER REPORTS, THE CLERK OF COURT’S OFFICE ALLEGEDLY FAILED TO RECONCILE CASH BALANCE AMOUNTS… ALTHOUGH THE CLERK’S OFFICE IS ON RECORD AS DISPUTING THAT FINDING.
    THE TAX COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE WAS FOUND TO PROVIDE “INSUFFICIENT MONITORING OF CASH RECEIPTS”.
    THE REPORT ENDS BY SAYING THAT COMMISSIONER HEISKELL FAILED TO ADOPT AN AMENDED BUDGET FOLLOWING THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR… AND THE CORRECTIVE ACTION LETTER REFERS TO THAT FINDING AS A “FAILURE TO ALLOCATE ACTUAL EXPENDITURES IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE BUDGET ALLOCATION”.   COMMISSIONER WHITFIELD STATES THAT HE CHOSE NOT TO ADOPT AN AMENDMENT, SO AS TO AVOID GIVING THE APPEARANCE OF APPROVING THE ACTIONS OF THE PRIOR ADMINISTRATION.
    THE AUDIT IS AVAILABLE TO VIEW HERE.

*
    A SUMMERVILLE MAN IS CHARGED WITH DUI AND VEHICULAR HOMICIDE IN CONNECTION WITH A FATAL WRECK EARLY THURSDAY MORNING ON HIGHWAY 27.
    26 YEAR OLD DANIEL CRAIG IS IDENTIFIED BY THE STATE PATROL AS THE DRIVER THAT CROSSED THE CENTER LINE ON TAYLORS RIDGE SOUTH OF SUMMERVILLE, CAUSING A HEAD-ON CRASH THAT KILLED ONE PERSON AND INJURED TWO OTHERS.  CRAIG SAID HE FELL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL.
    85 YEAR OLD OPAL VAUGHN OF SUMMERVILLE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE.   THE TWO VEHICLE ACCIDENT HAPPENED AROUND 7 AM THURSDAY, CLOSING HIGHWAY 27 FOR AROUND TWO HOURS.

*   A 20 YEAR OLD LAFAYETTE MAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER HE AND HIS JUVENILE HALF-BROTHER RAN FROM THE CHATTANOOGA STREET PIT STOP STORE WITHOUT PAYING FOR A THIRTY-PACK OF BEER.
    WITNESSES SAY THE TWO SPED AWAY FROM THE STORE IN A CHEVY PICKUP TRUCK LATE LAST FRIDAY NIGHT… STRIKING AND DAMAGING 8-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN CITY OF LAFAYETTE GARBAGE CANS IN THE PROCESS.
    POLICE TRACED THE SUSPECTS TO A HOME ON WALNUT GROVE ROAD… AND FOUND BOTH THERE, ALONG WITH THE TRUCK.
    A JUVENILE COMPLAINT WAS FILED AGAINST THE YOUNGER BROTHER… AND BUDDY WAYNE MASON WAS CHARGED WITH SHOPLIFTING, RECKLESS DRIVING, STRIKING A FIXED OBJECT, UNDERAGE CONSUMPTION AND ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL UNDERAGE.

*   THE KIDS-4-CHRIST MINISTRY HAS LOST THEIR BUILDING… BUT STILL PLAN TO MEET EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT.
    THE FORMER WITHERS STREET LOCATION HAS BEEN UP FOR SALE BY THE OWNER… AND THE MINISTRY HAS NOW MOVED THE THURSDAY NIGHT MEETING LOCATION TO GOSPEL LIGHT CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP AT 36 FORTUNE STREET IN LAFAYETTE, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
    BUSES WILL CONTINUE TO RUN REGULAR ROUTES.  DROP-OFFS START AT 5:45 PM… WITH CLASS STARTING AT 6 O’CLOCK EACH THURSDAY.
    THE KIDS-4-CHRIST MINISTRY OFFICE IS MOVING TO 102 NORTH MAIN, UNIT B.   THE MAILING ADDRESS FOR DONATIONS REMAINS THE SAME…
P.O. BOX 1124, LAFAYETTE.

*   MORE DETAILS HAVE BEEN RELEASED IN THAT OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN SUMMERVILLE, TUESDAY.
    IN A RELEASE FROM SHERIFF MARK SCHRADER, HIS ACCOUNT INDICATES THAT THE SUSPECT WHO WAS SHOT HAD “CHARGED” THE OFFICER WHO SHOT HIM, AFTER SEVERAL MINUTES OF STRUGGLE.
    19 YEAR OLD DEVON DESHAWN WARD WAS BEING INTERVIEWED BY OFFICERS INVESTIGATING A “SNATCH AND GRAB” ROBBERY… WHEN HE HIT AN OFFICER AND RAN AWAY, ACCORDING TO SCHRADER’S ACCOUNT.
    DRUG TASK FORCE OFFICER CAINE RAILEY CHASED HIM DOWN AND THE TWO FOUGHT FOR SEVERAL MINUTES BEFORE SEPARATING.   RAILEY THEN DREW HIS GUN AND ORDERED WARD TO THE GROUND.  INSTEAD, THE SUSPECT CHARGED AT RAILEY… AND WHEN CONTACT WAS MADE, THE OFFICER SHOT HIM IN THE STOMACH.
    OFFICERS APPLIED PRESSURE TO THE WOUND UNTIL EMT’S ARRIVED.  WARD WAS AIR-LIFTED TO ERLANGER, WHERE HE IS IN “CRITICAL BUT IMPROVING” CONDITION, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.  THE GBI IS CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION, ACCORDING TO PROTOCOL.

*   GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINED FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH TO 4.8 PERCENT IN JUNE… DOWN FROM 4.9 THE PREVIOUS MONTH.
    STATE LABOR COMMISSIONER MARK BUTLER SAID “GEORGIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS THE LOWEST IT HAS BEEN IN ALMOST 10 YEARS, BECAUSE OUR EMPLOYERS CONTINUE TO CREATE JOBS AND PUT RECORD NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO WORK”.
    STATE-WIDE, THERE WERE SOME MANUFACTURING LAYOFFS… BUT IN OUR AREA, NEW CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT WERE LOWER IN JUNE.
    WALKER COUNTY’S NEW CLAIMS DROPPED BY 4 OVER THE MONTH… AND IN WHITFIELD COUNTY, NEW CLAIMS WERE DOWN BY 79 WORKERS.

*   A 34 YEAR OLD SUSPECT WAS ARRESTED FOR METH TRAFFICKING BY THE DRUG TASK FORCE LAST WEEK.
    BILLY DEWAYNE ROBINSON WAS ARRESTED AT A RESIDENCE ON ROBINSON ROAD, OFF HIGHWAY 337 IN SOUTH WALKER COUNTY, ON WEDNESDAY.
    TASK FORCE COMMANDER PAT DOYLE SAID HE AND A LADY FRIEND WERE HIDING IN A SHED ON THE PROPERTY… AND BOTH HAD WARRANTS OUTSTANDING.
    ROBINSON WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE… AND POSSESSION OF SCHEDULE-4 PRESCRIPTION PILLS.

*   THE LAFAYETTE CITY COUNCIL SET QUALIFYING DATES FOR THIS NOVEMBER’S CITY ELECTION.   CITIZENS WILL VOTE ON THE OFFICE OF MAYOR, COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM WARDS ONE AND TWO AND CITY JUDGE.
    IT APPEARS THAT ALL OF THE INCUMBENTS PLAN TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION, INCLUDING MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD, COUNCIL MEMBERS BEN BRADFORD AND BEACHER GARMANY AND CITY JUDGE KENNETH MAPLES.
    THE QUALIFYING FEE IS 3-PERCENT OF THE SALARY FOR THE POSITION… AND THE DATES ARE SET MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21st THROUGH 23rd AT CITY HALL.
    AMONG OTHER BUSINESS ITEMS, THE COUNCIL VOTED TO HONOR LAFAYETTE’S FIRST RECREATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, HARRY AND SUE HARRINGTON, BY NAMING THE PARK RECREATION CENTER IN THEIR HONOR.   COUNCILMAN WAYNE SWANSON MADE THE MOTION, WHICH PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.   MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD SAID THE CITY WILL ANNOUNCE A CEREMONY TO HONOR THE LONG-SERVING COUPLE, AS TIME DRAWS NEAR.
    AND THE COUNCIL WILL PURSUE A GRANT AND LOAN FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO BUY A USED “QUICK ATTACK VEHICLE” FOR THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.   80-PERCENT OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE CALLS TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DON’T INVOLVE A BIG FIRE… THEY RANGE FROM WRECK RESPONSE AND EXTRICATION TO MEDICAL AND RESCUE CALLS.   THE QUICK ATTACK VEHICLE WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO ANSWER THOSE CALLS WITHOUT USING THE CITY’S FULL-SIZE FIRE ENGINES… AT MUCH LOWER COST ON A YEARLY BASIS.   
    THE ESTIMATED PRICE FOR A USED VEHICLE IS 50 TO 60-THOUSAND DOLLARS… AND THE USDA GRANT WOULD COVER A GOOD DEAL OF THAT COST.   THE REST COULD BE PAID-BACK AS A LOAN WITH SEVERAL ANNUAL PAYMENTS.   IT WILL BE NEXT YEAR BEFORE THE USDA WILL HAVE AN ANSWER ON THE GRANT-LOAN APPLICATION.

*   THE DRUG TASK FORCE MADE THREE ARRESTS FRIDAY, AT A HOME ON RAMEY ROAD NEAR THE WALKER-CHATTOOGA COUNTY LINE.
    73 YEAR OLD PATRICIA ANN GALLAWAY WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND TRAFFICKING IN METH… AS PACKAGING MATERIAL WAS LOCATED IN THE RESIDENCE.
    TWO OTHERS WERE CHARGED WITH METH POSSESSION AT THE SCENE…
    44 YEAR OLD KRISTINE MICHELLE SHIRLEY AND 46 YEAR OLD JAMES CARL SHIRLEY.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED AN 84.9 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET FOR THE COMING YEAR… AND A RAISE FOR TEACHERS IS INCLUDED IN THE SPENDING PLAN.
    THE 2-PERCENT TEACHER PAY RAISE WILL COME FROM STATE FUNDING… ALONG WITH THE ADDITION OF AROUND 30 NEW TEACHERS AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL SYSTEM-WIDE.
    THE GOOD NEWS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS IS THAT THE SYSTEM WILL REDUCE FUNDING FROM THAT LOCAL SOURCE, BY AROUND 400-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

*   THE EXTENSION SERVICE, COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE AND THE WALKER COUNTY CHAMBER WILL SPONSOR THE COUNTY’S FIRST “AG FESTIVAL” ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th.  THE EVENT WILL BE HELD AT THE WALKER COUNTY AG CENTER, BEHIND THE CIVIC CENTER AT ROCK SPRING.
    THE AG FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE LIVESTOCK SHOWINGS… LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC… INFLATABLES AND A PETTING ZOO… QUILTING, CANNING AND WILDFLOWER ARRANGING DEMONSTRATIONS… AND MORE.  VENDORS WILL ALSO BE WELCOME.
    MORE INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED AS AVAILABLE… ABOUT THE FIRST “WALKER COUNTY AG FESTIVAL”, ON SEPTEMBER 30th.

*   REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR FALL SPORTS IN THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION PROGRAM… INCLUDING FOOTBALL, CHEERLEADING AND SOCCER.
    FOOTBALL AND CHEERLEADING ARE FOR AGES 5 TO 12… MUST BE 5 BEFORE MAY 1st OF THIS YEAR.    THE COST IS $75.
    SOCCER IS FOR AGES 4 - 13… MUST BE 4 BEFORE JANUARY 1st, 2018.   COST IS $40.
    REC DIRECTOR JASON SHATTUCK SAID REGISTRATION FEES HAVE BEEN REDUCED FROM LAST YEAR, THANKS TO THE HONEYBEE BIKE RIDE IN MAY… WHICH RAISED MONEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING REC FEES FOR KIDS.
    REGISTRATION FOR FOOTBALL, CHEER AND SOCCER CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 12th.


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