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Showcase Catoosa Business Expo to be held at Colonnade Thursday

The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce will be giving people the chance to see what all the community has to offer this week with its annual Showcase Catoosa Business Expo slated to take place at the Colonnade Oct. 19.

The free event, which highlights various businesses within the county, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and will feature information about local shops, food, and giveaways.

Catoosa County Chamber Membership Coordinator Amy Jackson says the event grows each year and helps push the local economy.

"We will have over 75 vendor booths, and eight or more of them will be restaurants and caterers giving away free food samples," Jackson said. "As the program continues to grow, the Chamber is able to showcase additional businesses and encourage the community to shop local. When you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. The Expo benefits the entire community as we continue to encourage 'shopping local'."

This year's event is being sponsored by Capital Bank, the City of Fort Oglethorpe, and NHC Fort Oglethorpe. The event will also include door prizes and a silent auction.

"We will have a large silent auction and attendees can register to win our grand door prize of two roundtrip airline tickets from the Chattanooga Airport to New York City," Jackson said. "For the airline tickets, people have to register the day of event, but do not have to be present to win."

Food vendors in attendance will include; Buffalo Wild Wings, Catering by Alan, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, McDonald's, Panera Bread, Richard's Restaurant, and Zaxby's.

"We're inviting the community to 'take a break and sample Catoosa'," Jackson said.

Early voting opens for Ringgold elections

Early voting for Ringgold's City Council election opened Monday and will run through Friday, Nov. 3.

The upcoming Nov. 7 election, which will decide two City Council seats, features four candidates that'll be chosen from an at-large voting process in which the top two votegetters will be elected.

The candidates include incumbents Jake Haynes and Randall Franks, along with challengers Kelly Bomar and Rhonda Bishop Swaney.

One difference this year compared to past elections is that the election process is being conducted by the Catoosa County Elections Office.

Voters will still vote at Ringgold City Hall during early voting and on election day, but the votes will be administered and tabulated by Catoosa County Elections Office staff.

"We're just holding the election for them as far as putting on the election," said Catoosa County Elections Director Tonya Moore. "Elections Superintendent Nicki Lundeen actually does the qualifying and ethics paperwork and then we handle the election — the setup, early voting, and counting the votes. It's just like us running a county election."

Early voting will take place Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 3. On election day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters will need to have a photo ID present when they arrive at the polls.

Anyone with additional questions about the election can contact Ringgold City Hall at 706-935-3061, the Catoosa County Elections & Voter Registration Office at 706-935-3990, or visit the Catoosa County Elections & Voter Registration Facebook page at

The city of Fort Oglethorpe will not hold elections because there are no challengers to the incumbents seeking re-election.

Ringgold Haunted Depot has record opening weekend

Downtown Ringgold was hopping with ghosts and goblins 'aplenty this past Friday and Saturday nights as the annual Haunted Depot event welcomed its biggest opening weekend crowd in its 11-year history.

The event, which features the transformation of the historic Depot into a haunted house, ghost tours, and a hayride and bonfire, entertained nearly 2,000 people during the first two nights.

"It's been a great turnout," said City Manager Dan Wright. "We had our biggest crowd ever for the opening night and it's been a good start."

Put on by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the event offers a family-friendly community atmosphere that appeals to not only locals, but out-of-towners as well.

"This is our first time coming, and we just love it," said Barbara Shaffer, who drove up from Cartersville, Ga., with her family. "We love hometown-type festivals and things, and our family really gets into Halloween, so it's been a lot of fun here."