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8,000 dictionaries and counting for 3rd-graders

For 10 years now, every third-grader in Catoosa County Public Schools has received a brand new dictionary from Catoosa Citizens for Learning (CCL), which has given away 8,000 dictionaries to date. Students also receive a special pen with their graduation year imprinted on it.

CCL director Shirley Smith says the center implemented the program because third grade is a critical year. "Third grade seems to be a hard year for reading," she says. "The kids love the dictionaries.

"They have a lot more in them than just words and definitions," she continued. "There are maps, a list of presidents, a lot of social studies-type things."

Catoosa Citizens for Literacy does not just drop the dictionaries off at the schools, says Darla Crawford, CCL education coordinator.

She says that CCL and Catoosa County Family Collaborative coordinator Phil Ledbetter present the dictionaries and pens to the children, Ledbetter dressed in a cap and gown, and impress upon them the importance of applying themselves to their studies and graduating.

"Phil is great with the kids," says Crawford. "He makes them laugh and gets them excited."

Crawford says the children begin looking through their dictionaries immediately and often find the sign language alphabet in the back and start spelling words with their fingers.

As has become their tradition, the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners has declared September "Literacy Month."

"In 1995," says Smith, "the Chamber of Commerce learned that over 36% of the people in Catoosa County lacked a high school diploma or GED. That was alarming and affected our ability to grow and attract business and industry in the county."

Smith and others set about remedying the situation. With a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the newly formed Catoosa Citizens for Literacy built a facility where they offered GED classes. Five years later, they had outgrown their space.

In 2005, thanks to Sen. Jeff Mullis (District 53), Rep. Jay Neal (District 1) and Gov. Sonny Perdue, CCL received a $500,000 grant. They expanded their building and bought a bus to transport those who have no vehicle. This year, CCL bought a second bus.

What has also expanded over the years is what CCL offers. Smith says when they started out, the cost to take the GED test was $25. "Now it's $160," she says, "and we pay that for people."

CCL also offers computer classes, English language instruction, computer literacy and more. Free childcare is available for those who need it.

All learning materials, computers and teachers are provided by Georgia Northwestern Technical College. CCL pays for the building, GED tests, childcare, transportation and other things.

Smith says the rate of those without a high school diploma or GED has dropped to 18% based on the last Census data and may be lower than that now.

"The hardest thing about working toward a GED," says Smith, "is the first step – just walking through the door."

Smith says that anyone seeking help to earn a GED or to learn English will find the CCL learning center a warm and welcoming place dedicated to the success of everyone who takes that first hard step.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

GED and other literacy classes take place at the Catoosa Learning Center at Benton Place Campus, 36 Muscogee Trail in Ringgold. For more information call 706-965-8275.


RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS
Inspections for Catoosa and Walker counties for Aug. 15-31

Thirty-one locations received perfect scores in Catoosa and Walker counties for inspections conducted during the second half of August.

There were no failures. But several facilities received less-than-satisfactory scores.

Rossville's "Rolling in the Dough-Nut" received a score of 83 after the inspector observed food being held at incorrect temperatures and stored improperly.

Zaxby's on Battlefield Parkway received a score of 88 when an employee was seen switching between raw animal product and ready-to-eat food without washing hands or changing gloves.

Also receiving a score of 88 was Station House in LaFayette, due to expired sauces and food containers without lids.

Catoosa County

Zaxby's (Battlefield Parkway)

2541 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 15

Score: 88

Inspector's notes: Observed food employee go from prepping raw animal product to working with ready to eat foods without washing hands (9 points). Observed food product with an improper label (3 points).

Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Pool

2120 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 15

Score: 96

Inspector's notes: Observed no 2-inch tile with a contrast of color between pool stairs and the background. (4 points).

CHI Memorial (Georgia)

100 Gross Crescent Circle, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 19

Score: 100

Pizza Hut Delivery

1919 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 19

Score: 100

Subway (Cloud Springs Road)

4257 Cloud Springs Road, Ringgold

Inspection date: Aug. 20

Score: 90

Inspector's notes: Observed employee beverage in a single service cup with no lid or straw (4 points). Observed food container without a label with the common name (3 points). Observed employee actively prepping and serving food with bracelet (3 points).

Trinity Services Group Inc. (Catoosa County Jail)

5842 Highway 41, Ringgold

Inspection date: Aug. 21

Score: 99

Inspector's notes: Observed single-service articles being reused (1 point).

Lake Winnie Waterpark (Winnie 500 Slide)

1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

Lake Winnie Waterpark (Waterworks)

1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

Lake Winnie Waterpark (Sprayground)

1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

Lake Winnie Waterpark (Kiddie pool)

1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

Lake Winnie Waterpark (River/Slides)

1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

City of Fort Oglethorpe Wading Pool

19 Norris St., Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 96

Inspector's notes: Observed cyanuric acid concentration above the maximum allowed concentration (4 points).

Rollin' in the Dough-nuts

400 Direct Connection Drive, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 23

Score: 83

Inspector's notes: Observed food being held above 41 degrees Fahrenheit (9 points). Observed no approved system for potable water. Although the food vendor booth has an approved potable water tank, it does not have permission to use the approved source of potable water in the facility to fill the tank (3 points). Observed food not being stored at least 6 inches off of the floor (3 points). Observed no approved method of conveyance for wastewater from 3-compartment sinks and hand-washing sink to an approved wastewater disposal system at the food vendor booth (2 points).

City of Fort Oglethorpe (Swimming Pool)

19 Norris St., Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 23

Score: 100

Battlefield Elementary School

1101 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 26

Score: 100

Farm to Fork Concessions

745 Scruggs Road, Ringgold

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 100

Firehouse Subs

882 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 99

Inspector's notes: Observed broken door handle on reach-in stand-up cooler (1 point).

Tiger Creek Elementary

134 Rhea McClanahan Drive, Ringgold

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 99

Inspector's notes: Observed debris buildup on the inside of the light covers in ceiling. Also observed dust debris build-up on vent covers in ceiling by walk-in cooler and freezer (1 point).

Ringgold Primary and Elementary Schools

322 Evitt Lane, Ringgold

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 100

Walker County

Tree Top Hideaway

576 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone

Inspection date: Aug. 15

Score: 100

Gilbert Elementary

87 South Burnt Mill Road

Inspection date: Aug. 15

Score: 100

LaFayette Middle School

419 Roadrunner Blvd., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 19

Score: 100

Subway (LaFayette)

108 North Main St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 19

Score: 100

American Legion

540 Park City Road, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 20

Score: 96

Inspector's notes: Observed can opener with excess build up (4 points)

La Familia Mexican Restaurant

516 Chickamauga Avenue, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 21

Score: 90

Inspector's notes: Observed sugar/spice mix bowl with lid off (4 points). Observed sanitizer buckets without sanitizer due to sanitizer mixer was empty (4 points). Observed food container missing common name of ingredients (3 points). Observed previous inspection and food permit not displayed (1 point).

Chickamauga Elementary

210 Crescent Ave., Chickamauga Inspection date: Aug. 21

Score: 100

Gordon Lee Middle/High School

105 Lee Circle, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 21

Score: 100

Cherokee Ridge Elementary

2423 Johnson Road, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 21

Score: 100

Pasture Plate (Mobile Unit)

5142 West Highway 136 Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

Pasture Plate Base of Operation

5142 West Highway 136, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 100

El Trio Mexican Restaurant

2078 North Main St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 22

Score: 98

Inspector's notes: Observed a broken water line near the sanitizer dispenser at the 3 compartment sink. Water was flowing into the floor in places (2 points).

Hidden Hollow Resort

463 Hidden Hollow Lane, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 23

Score: 100

Wanda's Restaurant

20 Pin Oak Drive, Rock Spring

Inspection date: Aug. 23

Score: 91

Inspector's notes: Observed potentially hazardous food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Walkin cooler items were 46 degrees near the door. Beans, beef were at 46 degrees (9 points).

Los Charros Taqueria y Restaurante

8019 North Highway 27

Inspection date: Aug. 26

Score: 96

Inspector's notes: Observed an area of the front food prep section of the kitchen missing a large light. This is the area of the ice machine and the drink dispenser (1 point). Observed a large gap at the bottom right side rear door of the kitchen (3 points).

The Cottage

467 Long Hollow Road, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 26

Score: 93

Inspector's notes: Observed milk and food container not date marked (4 points). Observed bottle drinks and water melons stored on the floor in dry storage (3 points).

Rossville Elementary

1250 Wilson Road, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 26

Score: 100

Pizza Hut Delivery/Express Chickmauga

55 Highway 813, Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 26

Score: 97

Inspector's notes: Observed hand sink drain clogged with debris (2 points). Observed deep fryer hood vent with build up (1 point).

Station House Chaisimple LLC

123 North Chattanooga St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 88

Inspector's notes: Observed several food containers without lids or sauce bottles without lids (4 points). Observed several tcs foods without date marks (4 points). Observed bottles of sauces expired (3 points). Observed cooler gaskets, cooler doors, deep fryer, and food containers with build up on the outside surfaces (1 point).

Saddle Ridge Elementary/Middle

9858 North Highway 27, Rock Spring

Inspection date: Aug. 27

Score: 100

Trading Post Smokehouse BBQ

11016 Highway 157, Rising Fawn

Inspection date: Aug. 28

Score: 100

Candlelight Forest

9862 Highway 193

Inspection date: Aug. 28

Score: 100

City of LaFayette Fountain

638 South Main St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 28

Score: 100

Snack Shack

923 Schmitt Road, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 28

Score: 100

Rick Buff's Hog Heaven

1105 LaFayette Road, Rossville

Inspection date: Aug. 28

Score: 100

Shuford's Smokehouse

505 West 9th St., Chickamauga

Inspection date: Aug. 29

Score: 100

South Walker Head Start

3 Probasco St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 29

Score: 100

Pie Slingers Pizzeria

56 Fieldstone Village Drive, Suite A., Rock Spring

Inspection date: Aug. 30

Score: 99

Inspector's notes: Observed several shelves in the main kitchen/front food service area holding single service items less than 6" off the concrete floor (1 point).

Dari Dip

302 West Villanow St., LaFayette

Inspection date: Aug. 30

Score: 100

EXPLANATION OF GRADE/SCORE

A: Food safety excellence with a numerical score of 90 to 100.

B: satisfactory compliance with a numerical score of 80 to 89. a

C: marginal compliance with a numerical score of 70 to 79. dd

U: unsatisfactory compliance with a numerical score of 69 or less.


FUN IN THE SUN AT LABOR DAY IN STREETS
'We had a great team of people who worked really hard'

A multitude of local folks turned out on Monday, Sept. 2, for Labor Day in the Streets in Fort Oglethorpe, in spite of the heat.

Several blocks of LaFayette Road were blocked off for the festival that featured food vendors, arts and crafts, music, inflatables for children, a cruise-in that included antique tractors, a talent show, a corn hole tournament, a Little Miss Labor Day pageant and much more.

Ryan Ralston, president of the Fort Oglethorpe Tourism Association and pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, headed up the event, along with a crew of volunteers from his church and other churches.

Good food, entertainment and handcrafted and homegrown gift items filled over 60 booths. Children could be seen at every turn wearing scaled down firefighter hats that were being given away by the Fort Oglethorpe Fire Department, which was also giving away pencils topped by fire hat and fire hydrant erasers. Perry's Promise, an animal advocacy group, was on hand to provide information about their spay-neuter aid and programs to help senior

citizens who have trouble affording food for their pets.

The festival spread not only down Lafayette Road but into the parking lots and onto the lawns of churches and businesses along the route.

Ralston says many people came together to make Labor Day in the Streets happen: "We had a great team of people who worked really hard."

The only complaints of the day were against Mother Nature for acting as if it was early September in the south and she had no right to blast anyone who stepped outside with heat and humidity. Fortunately, a lot of people thumbed their noses at her and went about having fun in the sun.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News and Walker County Messenger.