Planned Shutdown of GDR Computers May 24 – 27 To Affect Sale of Tags, etc.

“For a little while, it’s going to slow us down,” Chattooga County Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton said about a planned shutdown of Georgia Department of Revenue computers.
The revenue department is switching from a “DOS” operating system to a modern Windows based variation.
This change will affect the tax office. Tags, titles and other items can’t be processed on May 24-27, Hampton said.
“Web renewals will also be unavailable during these days. If you have a May birthday, please try to renew early. Again, every tag office in Georgia will be affected during these times, but some may have varying hours for property tax payments. Please call your local office to confirm their availability before making a trip,” Hampton said.
“We appreciate your patience with us while we change systems. Continue to be patient with us as we work to learn the new system. My staff is impressively efficient with our current system, but it will take time for us to move through the new system with the same speed. As the whole state of Georgia is going live on the same day, it is best to wait until Wednesday, May 29 or later in the week to conduct your motor vehicle business so that we can give you the best service.

John Turner To Remain On Chattooga BOE

After saying that he would quit the Board of Education, Board Member John Turner made a decision to stay last week.  All of the controversy stemmed from the Board of Education refusing to talk about an item that Mr. Turner had placed on the agenda at the last meeting.  At that meeting, Mr. Turner said that he could not be effective working with the current board and announced his resignation.

In the subsequent days, Mr. Turner says that he received overwhelming support from the community, urging him to stay on.  Turner said that he would continue to serve on the Board of Education, but questions how effective he can be, since he is outnumbered four-to-one.

Turner told the Chattanooga Times-Free Press last week, “I’ll be, I’m pretty sure, just a quiet observer, but at least I’ll be there….and really, I just don’t like bullies” – referring to the way the other board members removed the discussion of a four-day school week from the agenda.  In that vote, board members Dr. Julia Houston, Sam Ballard and John Agnew voted to remove Mr. Tuner’s item from the agenda, with Mr. Turner and board member Brad Hayes abstaining.

Turner is the only four-day school week supporter, and the only Democrat on the board of education.

Death of Rome Resident After Accident on Lake Weiss

A Floyd County resident died Saturday, almost two weeks after a freak accident on Weiss Lake. Cherokee County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton identified the victim as 66 year old Wendell Dean Crowe Jr. of Rome.

Dr. Deaton said that Crowe was initially hospitalized after the incident which occurred on March 10 while he was operating a boat on the lake.

Deaton did not know where on the lake the incident occurred.

The incident is being investigated by the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office. Deaton said a duck was flying low and actually struck Crowe in the head.

“While this is indeed a tragic, freak accident, area boaters should exercise extreme caution on the lake for objects both under and above the water,” Deaton said.

(The information contained in this story was officially released by the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office)

See obituary posted on obituary page.

Fatal Plane Crash In Gordon County Saturday

Just before 4:00 pm Saturday, Gordon County deputies were dispatched to the area of Spencer Drive south of Calhoun where a small plane described to be an (experimental aircraft) had crashed into a wooded area just a few hundred yards of a residential neighborhood. The plane was completely destroyed. The pilot, identified as Richard Hogan, age 63, of Douglasville, Ga. died in that crash. Fire/Rescue and several other emergency personnel also responded. The scene was secured and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was notified. The NTSB is also assisting in the investigation of the Experimental Commuter Craft.

Bad Guys, Guns, & Drugs Taken Off the Streets

Rome-Floyd Metro Drug Task Force members were responding to a complaint at 136 W. Peel Road. where 33-year-old Joshua Lee Burns, was arrested on various charges including Possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempted commission of certain felonies.Possession of controlled substances. Purchase, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of marijuana. Totals in the raid included: $14,420 cash, nearly 6 pounds of marijuana, 4 rifles, 4 pistols and prescription pills.

SPLOST Wins!

Once again the Special Purpose Option Sales Tax was approved by a wide margin. A total of 1,065 voters turned out to the polls with 62.35% voting in favor of the measure and 37.65% were opposed. This now keeps a one-cent sales tax in place that will be used by the county and municipal governments for infrastructure improvements. The SPLOST will be for a six-year term and is expected to bring in around $14.3 million in revenue for local government.

Direct Primary Care Act

The Georgia House  passed Senate Bill 18, or the “Direct Primary Care Act,” which would give Georgians the option to keep health care directly between the patient and a doctor without requiring insurance.

State Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) says that the Direct Primary Care Act would provide an alternative approach to affordable health care by allowing primary care providers to provide health care to a patient through a direct primary care agreement. This would allow patients to pay a monthly fee to a participating physician in order to receive care, and the agreement would not be considered insurance and therefore, would not be subject to state insurance laws or insurance billing.

Under the Direct Primary Care Act, a physician that is offering, marketing, selling or entering into a direct primary care agreement would not need a certificate of authority or license other than maintaining a current license to practice medicine in Georgia. The payment agreements would include a 30-day notice for either the patient or the doctor if either party chooses to terminate the contract.

Lastly, this measure would allow physicians providing health care services under a direct primary care agreement the right to decline a patient if the physician is unable to provide the appropriate level and type of health care services the patient needs. Senate Bill 18 would provide citizens with an alternative avenue towards efficient and affordable health care by removing the unnecessary red tape, according to Rep. Lumsden.