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THE MANOR HOUSE RESTAURANT at Mountain Cove Farms is the WQCH featured advertiser of the week.  Open for lunch and dinner 7-days a week... with delicious food and the most beautiful scenery in Northwest Georgia!   Try the Saturday night all you can eat seafood and prime rib buffet... or the Sunday brunch!

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Our 60th year of service... 1954 - 2014.

TOP LOCAL NEWS STORIES:

*   WILL HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER BE “SOLD ON THE COURTHOUSE STEPS”, ACCORDING TO ERLANGER’S STATED PLAN?
    WALKER COUNTY ATTORNEY DON OLIVER, WHO HAS WORKED CLOSELY WITH HUTCHESON IN THE TROUBLED HOSPITAL’S BID TO STAY AFLOAT… SAYS “THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN”.
    OLIVER EXPLAINED THAT HUTCHESON’S DEBT TO ERLANGER IS SUBORDINATE TO THE HOSPITAL’S DEBT TO REGIONS BANK.  IN OTHER WORDS, IF THE HOSPITAL PROPERTY WERE TO BE SOLD, REGIONS WOULD HAVE “FIRST DIBS” ON THE PROCEEDS.
    HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT REGIONS CAN’T FORECLOSE ON THE HUTCHESON MAIN CAMPUS… BECAUSE THEIR DEBT WAS SECURED INSTEAD WITH THE HOSPITAL’S PARKWAY PROPERTY.
    ERLANGER’S NOTE IS SECURED BY THE HUTCHESON MAIN CAMPUS… BUT THEIR NOTE IS NOT “FIRST IN LINE” FOR REPAYMENT.
    OLIVER ALSO SAID HE HAS BEEN TOLD THAT IF ERLANGER ATTEMPTS TO FORECLOSE, REGIONS WILL BRING SUIT AGAINST THE CHATTANOOGA HOSPITAL… SINCE THEIR NOTES HAVE SUPERIOR STATUS.
    THE SCENARIO HAS OLIVER “CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC” THAT HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER WILL SURVIVE AS THE TRI-COUNTY AREA’S LOCAL, INDEPENDENT HEALTHCARE PROVIDER.

*   THE LAFAYETTE HIGH RAMBLERS OPENED THEIR FIVE DAYS OF FOOTBALL CONDITIONING DRILLS FRIDAY, AS COACH CHAD FISHER PREPARES HIS TEAM FOR A NEW SEASON.   GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS ALLOWS ONLY PRACTICES IN T-SHIRTS AND SHORTS TO START… BUT TEAMS CAN GO TO FULL CONTACT IN PADS, STARTING THIS FRIDAY.
    THE RAMBLERS HAVE CLOSE TO 80 STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN FOOTBALL PRE-SEASON PRACTICE.   THEY WILL HOST A SCRIMMAGE AGAINST DADE COUNTY ON AUGUST 8th… AND TRAVEL TO L.F.O. FOR ANOTHER SCRIMMAGE ON AUGUST 15th.
    WQCH WILL FEATURE A WEEKLY EDITION OF “LET’S TALK RAMBLER FOOTBALL”… THE PRE-GAME COACH’S INTERVIEW PROGRAM ON FRIDAY MORNINGS.  ANDY ARNOLD WILL HOST OF THE SHOW.

*   A 49 YEAR OLD LAFAYETTE MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTEMPTING TO SELL DRUGS ON THE LOT OF A LOCAL CONVENIENCE STORE.
    JEFFERY LYNN GEORGE WAS CHARGED WITH VIOLATION OF THE GEORGIA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED ON SOUTH CHATTANOOGA STREET WEDNESDAY.
    EMPLOYEES OF THE KANGAROO STORE ON WEST MAIN ALERTED POLICE THAT A MAN WAS ATTEMPTING TO SELL PRESCRIPTION PILLS TO CUSTOMERS ENTERING AND LEAVING THE STORE.   HE LEFT ON A BICYCLE BEFORE POLICE ARRIVED… BUT THEY GOT A VERY COMPLETE DESCRIPTION.      GEORGE WAS ARRESTED AT AROUND 4 IN THE MORNING… AND WHEN PATTED-DOWN, POLICE FOUND A SYRINGE AND A BAGGIE WITH 10 NARCOTIC PILLS… LATER IDENTIFIED AS KLONOPIN.

*   LAST THURSDAY, COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL ACCEPTED BIDS FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT… AND HELD A SECOND PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPERTY “SETBACKS”.
    WQCH REPORTED EARLIER ON THE FIRE EQUIPMENT.  ONE BID EACH WAS RECEIVED FOR A PUMPER-TANKER TRUCK AND POWER UNITS FOR HYDRAULIC TOOLS… AND THOSE WERE ACCEPTED THURSDAY.   THE PURCHASES ARE BEING MADE WITH THE FIRE SERVICES’ SHARE OF SPLOST TAX FUNDS.
    THE CHANGE IN SETBACKS ADDS PRIVATE DRIVES TO SETBACK STANDARDS IN THE COUNTY.   THE CURRENT DEVELOPMENT STANDARD SAYS THAT A HOUSE MUST BE 60-FEET OR MORE, FROM THE CENTER LINE OF ANY COUNTY ROAD.   THE WORDING IS BEING CHANGED TO ALSO INCLUDE PRIVATE DRIVEWAYS, IN THE 60-FOOT SETBACK.   COMMISSIONER HEISKELL SAID THE PLANNING COMMISSION HAD REQUESTED THE CHANGE TO PREVENT SETBACK PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE… SHOULD A REQUEST BE MADE TO ACCEPT A PRIVATE DRIVE AS A COUNTY ROAD.  THE THIRD AND FINAL READING AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHANGE IS SCHEDULED FOR THE NEXT COMMISSIONERS MEETING.

*   A DAY OF FUN IS BEING PLANNED TO BENEFIT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AUSTIN WHITTEN, IN HIS JOURNEY “FROM WHEEL CHAIR TO WALKING” AGAIN.
    THE EVENT WILL BE HELD AT THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT THIS SATURDAY FROM 2 ’TIL 9 PM.   ACTIVITIES INCLUDE A CRUISE-IN CAR SHOW… LIVE ENTERTAINMENT… BARBECUE PLATES… INFLATABLES AND CONCESSIONS.
    AUSTIN HAS BEEN ACCEPTED INTO A STEM CELL REPLACEMENT PROGRAM… AND HIS FAMILY NEEDS 40-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO MAKE THE TRIP.
    AGAIN… THE BENEFIT IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 2nd AT THE PARK REC CENTER IN LAFAYETTE.  DONATIONS CAN ALSO BE MADE TO THE AUSTIN WHITTEN BENEFIT FUND AT THE BANK OF LAFAYETTE.

*   A WALKER COUNTY TEACHER HAS BEEN APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR TO SERVE ON THE STATE'S PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMISSION.  JAMES BARRETT TEACHES 7th AND 8th GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES AT SADDLE RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL... AND ALSO SERVES AS PRESIDENT OF THE WALKER ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS.  THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMISSION CERTIFIES TEACHERS IN GEORGIA - AND OVERSEES THEIR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT. 

*   THE LAFAYETTE MAYOR AND COUNCIL HEARD A REPORT THAT THE CITY’S FINANCIAL PICTURE IS IMPROVING.  CPA LLOYD WILLIAMSON GAVE AUDIT RESULTS THURSDAY NIGHT, FOR THE LAST FISCAL YEAR - 2013.
    THE MOST PROMISING TREND IS INCREASED REVENUES FROM THE SALE OF UTILITIES.   MAYOR ANDY ARNOLD SAID AT ONE POINT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, THE CITY WAS PAYING MORE FOR ELECTRICITY THAN THEY TOOK-IN.
    BUT WILLIAMSON POINTED OUT THAT UTILITIES MADE AROUND 2-MILLION DOLLARS IN PROFITS FOR THE CITY… AND THAT MONEY GOES INTO THE GENERAL FUND FOR THE OPERATION OF CITY GOVERNMENT.
    WITH AN INCREASE IN UTILITY FEES… THE ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT ALONE WENT FROM A YEAR OF LOSING REVENUE, TO OVER 520-THOUSAND IN PROFIT LAST YEAR.   THE GAS DEPARTMENT DID EVEN BETTER, OVER 611-THOUSAND IN THE BLACK… AND THE WATER DEPARTMENT MADE OVER HALF-A-MILLION IN PROFIT.
    COUNCILMAN WAYNE SWANSON NOTED THAT THE PROFIT FROM UTILITIES HAS ALLOWED THE COUNCIL TO REFRAIN FROM RAISING PROPERTY TAXES FOR AT LEAST 15 YEARS.
    WILLIAMSON NOTED THAT NOT ALL DEPARTMENTS ARE PROFITABLE:  THE AIRPORT, THE GOLF COURSE AND THE RECREATION DEPARTMENT ALL LOSE MONEY EACH YEAR.   BUT HE ADDED “THIS YEAR SHOULD BE EVEN BETTER THAN 2013… AS REVENUES CONTINUE TO EXCEED EXPENDITURES”.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY HAS BEEN ‘WORKING OVERTIME’ ON NEW PROJECTS.
    ANNOUNCED LATE THURSDAY WAS AN AGREEMENT WITH UNIQUE FABRICATING IN LAFAYETTE, TO EXPAND THEIR PRODUCTION CAPACITY WITH A NEW PLANT.  NEGOTIATIONS HAD BEEN ONGOING FOR SOME TIME, AS THE COMPANY SOUGHT TO PURCHASE INDUSTRIAL PARK LAND FROM THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE, WHICH IS LOCATED JUST ACROSS THE STREET FROM UNIQUE’S PRESENT LOCATION ON MCCARTER ROAD.
    EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LARRY BROOKS SAID THE LETTERS OF INTENT HAVE NOW BEEN SIGNED… AND THE PROJECT IS A “GO”.   UNIQUE FABRICATING MAKES PLASTIC PARTS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY.
    ON THE COUNTY’S “PROJECT EAGLE”… PLASTICS MANUFACTURER AUDIA INTERNATIONAL, BROOKS SAID THAT D.O.T. APPROVAL HAS BEEN SECURED AND WORK TO BUILD AN ENTRY ROAD FROM HIGHWAY 27 INTO THEIR BUSINESS PARK SITE AT NOBLE, COULD BEGIN AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK.   ENGINEERS WILL BEGIN WORK ON THE PROJECT’S GRADE PLAN NEXT WEEK… AND THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE IS PLANNING TO RUN NEW WATER LINES INTO THE BUSINESS PARK, PROVIDING AUDIA WITH ENOUGH PRESSURE FOR FIRE PROTECTION SPRINKLERS.
    AND BROOKS OUTLINED PLANS FOR THE “INDUSTRIAL VERSION” OF “MUSICAL CHAIRS”.   WHILE THE PLANS ARE NOT FINALIZED AS YET… HE SAID THAT SEVERAL WALKER COUNTY MANUFACTURERS ARE PLANNING MOVES THAT WILL INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTION… AND ULTIMATELY, THEIR EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS.
    NORTHERN GEORGIA LOGISTICS… NOW LOCATED AT THE ROCK SPRING INDUSTRIAL PARK, IS PLANNING A TEMPORARY MOVE INTO 50-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET IN THE FORMER IMPERIAL CUP PLANT.   THE REST OF THAT FACILITY WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED BY EUCLID CHEMICAL.  LOGISTICS IS PLANNING TO BUILD A NEW, LARGER PLANT HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, BROOKS SAID.
    OLD MILL KETTLE CORN OF CHICKAMAUGA IS CONSIDERING A MOVE INTO THE NORTHERN LOGISTICS BUILDING AT ROCK SPRING, TO INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTION.
    AND BROOKS SAID ANOTHER FIRM IN A NEARBY COUNTY IS CONSIDERING A MOVE INTO KETTLE CORN’S LOCATION AT CHICKAMAUGA.
    “IN EVERY CASE”, BROOKS SAID, “THE BUSINESSES ARE MOVING TO INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTION CAPACITY”.
    COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL CONCLUDED BY SAYING:  “WE’RE ON A ROLL”.  

*   UNEMPLOYMENT TRENDED HIGHER IN NORTHWEST GEORGIA… CLIMBING FROM 7.3 PERCENT IN MAY, TO 7.7 IN JUNE. 
    HERE IN WALKER COUNTY, UNEMPLOYMENT WAS UP FROM 6.5 TO 6.9 PERCENT… WITH 149 MORE PEOPLE ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT ROLES OVER THE MONTH.
    DADE COUNTY’S UNEMPLOYMENT JUMPED A FULL PERCENTAGE POINT TO 7.5 PERCENT… AND IN CATOOSA COUNTY, THE RATE WAS UP TO 6 PERCENT IN JUNE.
    WHITFIELD COUNTY ALSO EXPERIENCED A BUMP-UP IN UNEMPLOYMENT, BY 6-10ths OF A POINT.
    CHATTOOGA COUNTY’S RATE WAS UNCHANGED AT 8.9 PERCENT.

*   TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR THE BATTLEFIELD FARMER’S MARKET’S SECOND ANNUAL “FARM TO TABLE” FUND-RAISING DINNER.  IT’S SET FOR SATURDAY AUGUST 9th AT THE WALKER COUNTY AGRICULTURE CENTER.
    THE FUND-RAISER HELPS TO MATCH “SNAP” DOLLARS AT PRODUCER FARM MARKETS, LIKE BATTLEFIELD.  THAT HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED TO PUT HEALTHIER FOODS ON THEIR TABLE.
    ENTERTAINMENT AND A SILENT AUCTION WILL ALSO BE A PART OF THE EVENING.  TICKETS ARE $25 EACH… AND CAN BE PURCHASED DURING REGULAR HOURS ON WEDNESDAYS AND SATURDAYS, AT BATTLEFIELD FARMERS MARKET.

*   THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM’S FACILITIES DEPARTMENT WORKS RIGHT THROUGH THE SUMMER MONTHS.   DIRECTOR CHRIS JONES GAVE WQCH NEWS AN UPDATE ON PROJECTS FOR LAFAYETTE-AREA SCHOOLS.
    THE STATE D.O.T. IS WORKING THIS WEEK ON NEW CAUTION LIGHTS TO BE INSTALLED ON U.S. 27 AT THE ENTRANCE TO SADDLE RIDGE ELEMENTARY.  JONES SAID THE FLASHING LIGHTS ARE BEING INSTALLED OVER THE 5-LANE HIGHWAY… BUT IT IS HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SPEED LIMIT WILL REMAIN AT 55 MILES PER HOUR THROUGH THE SCHOOL ZONE.
    SADDLE RIDGE IS ALSO SET FOR FOOTBALL SEASON.  THEIR FOOTBALL FIELD IS COMPLETE WITH A PRESS BOX AND BLEACHERS.   THE BOARD HAS APPROVED A NEW CONCESSION STAND WITH RESTROOMS, FOR THE FOOTBALL FIELD… AND THAT SHOULD BE READY BY OCTOBER.
    AT LAFAYETTE MIDDLE SCHOOL, WORKING CONTINUES ON NEW CLASSROOMS AND AN AGRICULTURE LAB.  JONES SAID THAT PROJECT WILL PROBABLY BE COMPLETED IN JANUARY.   THE NEW CLASSROOM SPACE WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR MOBILE UNITS, EXCEPT FOR STORAGE.  LAFAYETTE MIDDLE SCHOOL’S AGRICULTURE PROGRAM WILL ALSO BE GETTING A NEW GREENHOUSE, IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
    AND LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL’S AG DEPARTMENT IS GETTING A NEW POLE BARN… FUNDED BY A GRANT.   JONES SAID THE BARN WILL BE PERFECT FOR LIVESTOCK SHOWS AND EXHIBITS.  

*   THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT WILL OFFER FREE SATURDAY FOOTBALL CAMPS TO KIDS AGES 6 TO 12.   THE CAMPS WILL BE HELD ON AUGUST 2nd AND AUGUST 9th AT THE LAFAYETTE REC… FROM 9 AM - 2 PM.  
    THE FOOTBALL CAMP WILL FEATURE SKILLS TRAINING, SWIMMING AND SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS.
    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FREE FOOTBALL CAMPS BY CALLING THE RECREATION PROGRAM AT 706 639 1590.

*   PARENTS OF RISING 7th GRADE STUDENTS ARE BEING REMINDED BY THE WALKER COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM, THAT A NEW IMMUNIZATION IS REQUIRED THIS YEAR.  THIS FALL, ALL 7th GRADERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE “TDAP” AND MENINGOCOCCAL VACCINES, PRIOR TO ENTERING SCHOOL.  MANY STUDENTS WILL HAVE ALREADY BEEN IMMUNIZED… AND SIMPLY NEED TO PROVIDE THE SCHOOL WITH DOCUMENTATION FROM THE FAMILY HEALTH PROVIDER.  THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS THAT PARENTS HAVE RISING 7th GRADERS IMMUNIZED NOW, TO AVOID A LAST-MINUTE RUSH.

*   THE LAFAYETTE RECREATION DEPARTMENT HAS OPENED REGISTRATION FOR FALL SPORTS… INCLUDING YOUTH FOOTBALL, SOCCER AND CHEERLEADING.
    REGISTRATION CONTINUES THROUGH AUGUST 3rd AT THE PARK REC CENTER.  CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FALL SPORTS:  706 639 1590.


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