Scam Reported to Summerville Police

A Summerville resident fell victim to a scam this past week, according to reports from the Summerville Police Department.

Police were called after local resident Jackie Hamilton reported a check that he took for a transaction turned out to be fraudulent.

Hamilton told police that he contacted by a woman in Powder Springs, Georgia about a piano that he had for sale.  The out-of-town woman sent a check to Hamilton for the piano, which he deposited into his account at Regions Bank.  Hamilton told police that after he purchased money orders and paid for shipping for the piano, Regions Bank contacted him and told him that the checks he had deposited for the piano and delivery were no good.

Hamilton told police that he lost $1,490 in the phony transaction.

The incident is under investigation by the Summerville Police Department.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Affecting Chattooga County

The Georgia Department of Public Health says that our state is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak.  Public health officials say that 316 cases of hepatitis A have been identified across the state. In Northwest Georgia 143 cases have been confirmed, according to the Northwest Georgia Public Health District.

Twenty-four cases have been reported in Chattooga County.

Recently there have been reports from the Chattanooga area and the Fort Payne, Alabama area about cases of hepatitis A being spread by food service workers.  Health officials say that the disease is a highly contagious liver infection is spread like many viruses. It’s ingested from objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of feces from an infected person.  Also, hepatitis A is also spread by sexual contact or even close personal contact.

High-risk groups such as drug users, men who have sex with men and the homeless are especially susceptible to the disease.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says that vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A and that frequent hand washing – especially for those working around food – is a way to prevent the spread of the disease.

You can find out more from the Georgia Department of Public Health

Scammers Impersonating Law Enforcement Warning

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader says that reports of scams regarding people impersonating deputies or other sheriff’s department employees is becoming more widespread, and the scammers are doing their research and becoming more sophisticated.

Sheriff Schrader said that the scammers impersonating law enforcement officers have been active in Floyd County and Polk County, and on Tuesday of this week, several of the scam calls were reported in Chattooga County.  On Wednesday, the scammers were back it, this time telling people that they had missed a court date and demanding payment.

Remember, the sheriff’s department, nor any other law enforcement agency will never call you and demand payment for any reason.  If you feel you have been a victim of such a scam, you can contact the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office and report the incident.

Chattooga Sheriff Warning About Scammers

Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader is warning area residents about a scam concerning outstanding warrants.

Sheriff Schrader said “Scammers are burning the phone up!  The Sheriffs Office WILL NOT call you about a warrant and ask for money.”

The sheriff says you should never give out any personal information to anyone who places such a call, and if you receive a call you should hang up and not discuss any information with the caller.

The sheriff said one number that has been used by the scammers is 706-623-8639.


Hays Prison Lieutenant Behind Bars

A lieutenant at Hays State Prison finds herself behind bars, charged with violation of oath by a public officer, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and trading with inmates without the consent of the warden.

According to Floyd County Jail records, 39-year old Lakeshia Katersa Thomas was found in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana during the execution of a search warrant at her residence on Leon Street in Rome. The marijuana was intended for distribution to members of the “Gangster Disciples” criminal street gang at the prison in Chattooga County, according to the report. Thomas reportedly received financial compensation in exchange for her participation in smuggling contraband into the facility.

She is also charged with association with a criminal street gang to participate in criminal activity through the commission of an offense.


Stan Smith Honored by Summerville City Council

A twenty-five-year veteran of the Summerville Fire Department was honored by officials at Monday evening’s Summerville City Council meeting.

Stanley Smith has served with the Summerville Fire Department for over two decades and recently retired.  He was serving as Captain of the fire department at the time of his retirement.

Fire Chief Robbie Lathem praised Smith for his leadership skills and calm demeanor when responding to fire calls.

Smith was presented with a plaque honoring his twenty-five years with the fire department at Monday night’s meeting.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Signs New Sex Offender Bill Into Law

Monday afternoon Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo “chemical castration treatment” as a condition of parole.

The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Steve Hurst of Munford, and passed on Thursday, May 30, the next-to-last day of the legislative session. Hurst had sponsored similar bills for more than a decade and said his intention has always been to stop sexual abuse of children.

“I’m very serious,” Hurst said. “Not only did I want it to pass, I want to follow it on through to the future where we can try to improve it. One of the ultimate goals that I want to do is for us to track it and to make sure what medication works for what individuals.”

Hurst said he’s heard from many victims of sexual abuse supporting the effort.

Other states have passed similar laws, including California and Florida in the 1990s.

The chemical castration law says sex offenders whose victims were younger than 13 will have to take “medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, that, among other things, reduces, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person’s body.”

The law requires the treatment to begin at least one month before a parolee is released. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless a court determines he cannot. The Alabama Department of Public Health will administer the treatments.

Pamphlets to Explain New Tethering Ordinance Being Prepared by City of Summerville

The Summerville City Council recently adopted amendments to the animal control ordinance for city residents.  Those new rule say that animals can only be tethered on approved tethering systems and also go further in providing penalties for neglect of animals.

The changes that were adopted include banning tethering of domestic animals to a stationary object.  Animals can be on a runner or “trolley system” under the new ordinance, although there are limitations and restrictions. The new provision is intended to prevent domestic animals from being left alone and tied and/or chained in a yard. It is also to protect the safety and improve the welfare of the animal.

Pamphlets are being made that will explain some of the key provisions of the new ordinance and hopefully answer any questions about the changes.  The pamphlets will be available at Summerville City Hall and other locations around the area once completed.