The annual community campaign for United Way in Walker, Catoosa and Dade Counties has reached $574,000, approximately 98 percent of its $585,000 goal.
Saturday, Dec. 20
NEW YORK (AP) — Up for a good long listen? Check out the Associated Press' top albums of 2014 list:
1. "In the Lonely Hour," Sam Smith: Sam Smith's album was an emotional roller coaster — a ride you couldn't get off of even if you tried. The songs, anchored by his piercing voice, had the power to make you cry, smile, shiver and even dance. Tracks like the radio hit, "Stay With Me," and "Leave Your Lover" are intense and emotional, making for an honest, beautiful album that soothes the soul. There can only be only reply when he sings, "Oh, won't you stay with me?" That would be a resounding, "Yes."
2. "2014 Forest Hills Drive," J. Cole: J. Cole: Another honest man: J. Cole. The insanely talented rapper captures so much on his third album, tackling various topics from losing his virginity to growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina to contemporary rappers, who should take note. His rhymes are smart, and he is a powerful storyteller that, at times, echoes rap king Nas.
3. "LP1," FKA twigs: FKA twigs' ethereal and eerie album is heavenly. The English singer's soft vocals layered over weird beats make this 10-track set a must listen, thanks to addictive tracks like "Two Weeks," ''Numbers" and "Lights On."
4. "Sucker," Charli XCX: Let's boom clap for Charli XCX and her top notch album, "Sucker." The mix of rock and pop songs are confident and catchy, and prove that although Charli XCX was the side chick on songs like Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and Icona Pop's "I Love It," she's the real leading lady.
5. "Aquarius," Tinashe: Tinashe, who is also part of the alternative R&B movement, delivered an album that moved the needle this year. Though she had a huge hit with the addictive "2 On," the singer proves she's much more than a one-hit wonder on "Aquarius." Her whispery vocals glide over the songs' beats so nicely you'll constantly hit repeat. "Just Like Vegas" is only one of the many standouts.
6. "Evergreen," Broods: The parents of brother and sister duo Broods should be proud. The New Zealand group's album, "Evergreen," is a winner with instrumentalist Caleb Nott shining on the eclectic, alternative production, giving Georgia Nott a platform to showcase her calming vocals, especially on "Killing You" and "Mother & Father."
7. "My Everything," Ariana Grande: Ariana Grande has already launched four Top 10 hits from her second album, but there's so much more that bangs beyond "Bang Bang" on "My Everything." The powerful vocalist nails it with a cool blend of R&B and pop songs that's almost as good as her revering 2013 debut.
8. "Montevallo," Sam Hunt: Props to singer-songwriter Sam Hunt for blending country music with elements of R&B, electronica and hip-hop. It might sound wild, but it works on his debut album, mainly thanks to Hunt's swagger and sexy sing-talk vocal delivery. Sam Smith isn't the only Sam stealing hearts.
9. "Do It Again," Robyn and Royksopp: Swedish singer Robyn and Norwegian duo Royksopp 5-song dance EP is oh so good, and a tease. Full album please?
10. "1000 Forms of Fear," Sia: From "Chandelier" to "Elastic Heart" to "Eye of the Needle," Sia's latest album is just another laudable effort in her rich catalog, which is worth exploring if you've just discovered the gem this year.
Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin
The 40th annual LaFayette-Walker County Empty Stocking Fund food distribution kicked off Friday morning, Dec. 19, at the agriculture center.
The LaFayette police and fire department continued their "Shop with a Cop or Fireman" program at Head Start in LaFayette on Thursday, Dec. 18.
Friday, Dec. 19
Thursday, Dec. 18
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a special 30-minute program about the capture of Savannah, Georgia, at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 pm.
The Food for Fines program is being observed through Dec. 20 by members of the Cherokee Regional Library System, which includes public libraries in Walker, Catoosa, Dade and Chattooga counties.
Twins Pizza and Steaks in LaFayette will offer a free meal for citizens who are interested and need a place to go eat on Christmas Day.
Tuesday, Dec. 16
The Ringgold Playhouse will hold auditions for its first production of the 2015 season, “A Bad Year For Tomatoes,” Monday, Dec. 15, and Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the historic Ringgold Depot. Tuesday night's audition will be at Patriot Hall in Ringgold, 320 Emberson Drive, beside the Ringgold City swimming pool.
The Ringgold Downhome Christmas coloring contest celebrated its 21st year with about 3,500 students participating. Students enjoyed being on a float in the Christmas parade and their winning entries were framed and displayed at the Ringgold Depot.
The Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis Club continued its support of youth by presenting Catoosa sheriff Gary Sisk and Walker County sheriff Steve Wilson with a donation for the Stockings Full of Love program for each of their counties. Jim Coltrin, program chair, introduced each sheriff who spoke about their program and the great need met by the generous support of civic clubs, churches, businesses, schools and individuals.
First Volunteer Bank is pleased to announce that Lesa C. Downey has joined the bank as vice president and business relationship banker.
Audrey Herod, of Rossville, was recognized for 62 years of service and membership in the Georgia Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Outstanding Women Educators.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a special, 30-minute program about the capture of Savannah, Georgia. This talk will be at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 pm.
Eastern National, a partner with the National Park Service, invites the public to meet author Dave Powell on Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.
The Heritage High School band, under the direction of Blair Callaway, boasts marching grand championships, GMEA's Exemplary Performance Award and several All-state band members. This year, for the first time in school history, three students were chosen through audition for the Georgia All-State Jazz Band. The ensemble is reportedly one of the hardest ones to make in the state of Georgia. With only one person to a part, these three students are the top jazz band musicians in the state. The All-State Jazz Band rehearses and performs at the Georgia Music Educators Association conference held at the end of January in Savannah, Ga.
Saturday, Dec. 13
The city of Chickamauga will have a Christmas parade this year but not the usual Christmas in the Streets celebration.