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Chamber presents annual awards

The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce hosted Celebrate Catoosa Gala Pearls and Poker Casino Night on March 3 at the Colonnade Civic Center. The event celebrated the business community and several individuals who have contributed greatly.

The following 2017 Chamber Business Awards were presented:

* Chairman's Award — Chris Hunt, Community National Bank

* Ambassador of the Year — Russell Fritze, AFLAC Insurance

* Non-Profit of the Year — Primary Health Care Centers

* New Business of the Year — Bee Still Spa

* Micro Business of the Year — True Life Chiropractic

* Small Business of the Year — The Print Shop

* Medium Business of the Year — Crye-Leike Realtors North Georgia

* Large Business of the Year — Food City, Fort Oglethorpe

The Catoosa County Citizen of the Year was presented posthumously to Patrick Sharrock. Patrick's parents Michael and Cindy Sharrock accepted the award. Patrick always had a smile and offered encouragement to others and was involved in a host of activities and organizations, including poster child for the Alhambra Shriners; advocate for the disabled at the Creative Discovery Museum; volunteer for the Miracle League and the Chattanooga Zoo; worked with Ringgold Telephone as a tornado relief volunteer; Kids Club at Catoosa County Library; Southern Jesters at the Colonnade.

He was amazingly cheerful even during his own struggles. Sadly, Patrick passed away in 2017.

Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce Business Person's Hall of Fame was presented to Randall Peters. Peters has served the community through individual contributions, patriotic support, and community activities which has resulted in a better community for all. He was president of Weeks and Peters Insurance, director of the Better Business Bureau, chair of the Chamber as well as the Economic Development Authority, and president of the Ringgold Rotary Club and more.

Peters has received the following honors: Small Business of the Year, Board of Education Business Partner of the Year, Ringgold Jaycees Member of the Year, Ringgold Rotary Club, Business Owner Award, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and Catoosa County Citizen of the Year.

Candy, marshmallows, "Magic: The Gathering" and teens at Catoosa library

Starburst candy, marshmallows, powdered sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch. Some food coloring thrown in for good measure. If you're thinking this sounds like an experiment more than a recipe, you're sort of right.

One Tuesday each month at the Catoosa County Library is "Play With Your Food" night for teens. Kids get to do things Mom isn't likely to allow at home. And they learn a few science principles in the process.

"With the Starburst Taffy and Marshmallow Playdoh we made," says Erica Tuggle, Teen/Tween coordinator for the library, "the kids learned about oxidization and caramelization."

The kids also have fun and they get to taste their concoctions. As gooey mixtures oozed through their fingers late Tuesday afternoon, the kids made appropriate comments, "Oooh, yuk, this feels like preparing a pork loin." This last from a young fellow who admitted that he had not actually ever

prepared a pork loin.

Characteristic of events for tweens and teens at the Catoosa Library is the relaxed atmosphere and easy camaraderie among even young people who have never met each other before. While four of the attendees worked on their food experiments, three teenaged boys sat at a corner table playing a game called "Magic: The Gathering" as a fourth gravitated between the two groups and all the kids exchanged banter and opinions about school and other things.

"We're really flexible about what we do," says Shannon Neal, head of the children's department at the library. "We have all kinds of activities for kids of all ages and we're always working on new ones. We also have a student advisory group that helps decide on activities."

On April 17, teens will be making Mochi (a Japanese rice cake) filled with things like Nutella, jelly and ice cream). But there's no need to wait that long to get involved. The library has activities many days every week.

For pre-teens and teenagers, the Catoosa Library is turning into the place to be. Besides "Play With Your Food" night (afternoon, really), there are game nights, a Mad Scientist Club, Art Club, Coffee Book Club, Guitar lessons, tween breakfasts, board game nights, movie nights and craft activities (how about "Make a duct tape wallet"?).

And for the younger crowd, there's just as much – crafts, science experiments, music, Legos, movie times and story hour.

When school lets out for the year, what the library offers for children and young people will increase to complement the Summer Reading Club.

"I'm really excited about what we're doing," says Neal. "The kids love it and our numbers keep growing.

To learn more about what the Catoosa County Library offers, visit or You can also email the library at or call 706-965-3600. Library hours are Mon. and Wed. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The library is located at 108 Catoosa Circle in Ringgold.

Fort Oglethorpe purchases land to build access road for U.S. 41 development

Fort Oglethorpe's City Council has approved acquisition of land that will be turned into an access road as part of a new development along U.S. Highway 41.

The development, dubbed the "Highway 41 Project," was approved on Feb. 28, and is expected to bring increased property value to that area and create approximately 100 jobs by April 2019.

The purchase of more than a half-acre will be used to create an access road to the development from Scruggs Road. The development will be located near the intersection of South Sanctuary Road and U.S. 41.

"This purchase directly relates to the intersection improvement and site development agreement that was fully executed on March 15," said City Manager Jennifer Payne-Simpkins. "This is a 0.67 acre parcel of land for construction of an access road as required by this development agreement."

The purchase includes funding help from the county, as both parties were instrumental in helping bring the development to the area.

"The total cost is $120,000," Payne-Simpkins said. "The

city of Fort Oglethorpe's portion will be $60,000 and our agreement with the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority (EDA) will commit that organization to pay the other $60,000. The location is preferable for the access road construction and the price per acre is reasonable considering fair market value and an accelerator."

In addition to the purchase of the land, the city already approved some of the engineering services involved during its last meeting; the design and overseeing of bidding and roadway construction, and the data studies and engineering of a traffic light at the U.S. 41/South Sanctuary Road intersection.

Both task orders were approved March 12 at a total cost of $73,400, which will require the city to pay $36,700 of the fee per the agreement with the EDA to split the cost.