Body Discovered in Pond Near Calhoun; Identified

Calhoun police have identified the body of a man found in a pond over the weekend as 18 year-old Michael Anthony Finnegan.

Reports said that Finnegan was found floating nude in the pond off Kent Drive on Sunday

Calhoun Police Chief Tony Pyle aid that it “looks like it may have been there a day or two.”

Police stated that Finnegan was from Florida, but had been staying at a home on Baxter Road in Calhoun.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of death and details around the case.

Earlier:

Calhoun Police are investigating the discovery of a body in a pond Sunday morning.

Authorities responded to the scene in the area of Kent Drive after a resident discovered the body floating in the water.

The body is that of a male.

Calhoun News / WRGA / CVN

Asian Longhorn Tick Is Now In Georgia

Georgia has a new and unwelcome resident… the Asian Longhorn Tick.
According to Walker Extension’s Wade Hutchison, the invader landed in New Jersey and has spread to 17 States… recently confirmed in Pickens County, Georgia.
It spreads rapidly laying 2,000 eggs per reproductive cycle and that often results in hundreds of ticks in a small area.
If you find an unusual tick, preserve it in a small container of alcohol and take it to the Extension Office in LaFayette, for positive identification.

WQCH

Arrest Made of Distraught Man Who Says He Is God

Polk County police officers with the Uniformed Patrol Division was dispatched to the Wesley Chapel Community Church (1348 Drummond Road) in reference to a subject with a knife call. The reporting party stated that there was a subject on scene stating that Milton Shane Bell, 41 of Buchannan, was God, and had made threats to cut the complainant after being asked to leave the service for disrupting it.

Upon the arrival of Patrol Officers, they immediately attempted to de-escalate the situation by speaking with Mr. Bell, who refused to follow verbal commands of officers.

Bell continued to tell officers that he was not going to give them the knife. At this time, Patrol Officers deployed their department issued X2 Taser after multiple attempts to get Bell to surrender his knife. Upon the deployment of the taser, Mr. Bell was placed into a pair of handcuffs, and first aid was rendered.

Redmond EMS was requested by our Patrol Officers to conduct a field evaluation of Bell, who refused any services.

Bell was transported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office without incident.

He is charged with: Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats & Acts, Obstructing Law Enforcement, Disturbance of Meeting or Gathering, Disorderly Conduct

2020 Census Numbers

Remember the 2020 Census?  Now the numbers are out and several area counties lost a percentage of their population over the last 10 years.
Walker County totaled 67,652 residents… down by 1.6 percent.
Dade County had 16,251, down 2.3 percent.
Chattooga County’s population was 24,965… down 4 percent.
In fact, 52 percent of Georgia’s counties lost population compared to 2010.
No surprise that Catoosa County… one of the fastest growing in the State… added 6.1 percent to its population in the past 10 years.  Their total is now 67,872.
Also on Interstate 75… Whitfield County gained 0.3 percent in population… for a 2020 total of 102,864.
And as we’re in the Chattanooga metro area… Hamilton County Tennessee grew by 8.8 percent in the past decade… reaching a population of 366,207.

WQCH

House Fires Ruled Arson

Three recent house fires within a few blocks of each other in the Lakeview community, have been ruled arson.  Two of the Catoosa County homes were vacant and one was occupied.
Anyone with information that can help investigators with convictions may qualify for a reward of up to $10,000 offered by Georgia Arson Control.
Call the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 800-282-5804.

WQCH

Man Arrested in Georgia for Sexual Exploitation of Children

On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, Richard Shane Arp, age 45, of Fannin County, Georgia, was arrested and charged with three counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material) and one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Arp’s online activity after receiving a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the online possession and distribution of images depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). This investigation led to a search warrant at Arp’s home on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, where digital devices were searched and seized, and Arp was subsequently arrested. The GBI CEACC Unit was assisted in the execution of the search warrant by the GBI Special Enforcement Team (SET), the Georgia State Patrol, and the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office.

Arp was transported to the Fannin County Jail upon his arrest.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Georgia News

Burn Ban Lifted, Some New Guidelines Are In Place

With the state-mandated annual burn ban over as of October 1st, it is now legal to burn hand-piled vegetation in Chattooga and surrounding counties in Northwest Georgia.  But there are some changes to what is required to be able to burn that also went into affect as of the first of the month.

Residents outside municipalities no longer have to call the Georgia Forestry Commission to receive a burn permit.  While that means that most Chattooga County residents can burn without a permit, residents that live inside city-limits of one of the counties four municipalities, must still call their local fire department to receive a burn permit before they plan to burn.

The annual burn ban in Georgia is mandated by the state EPA and goes into place on May 1st and is lifted each year at the beginning of October.

Rockmart Resident Fatally Injured in Accident on Hwy. 27

GEORGIA STATE PATROL

An electrical contractor worker was struck and killed by a work truck on Highway 27 near the Chattooga-Floyd County Line Wednesday afternoon.

According to preliminary information from the Georgia State Patrol, 29-year old Garrett Christian of Rockmart had walked onto the highway to block traffic in the outside southbound lane.

Another employee was backing a flatbed truck onto the highway from the shoulder.

The truck hit Christian, knocking him to the ground.

Christian sustained fatal injuries.

The mishap, which occurred at around 4:19 p.m. shut down both southbound lanes of the highway.

The Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is assisting with the investigation.