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Celebrate the "Great American Eclipse" with Catoosa County Public Schools

Catoosa County Public Schools will have an extended day on Aug. 21st to celebrate the "Great American Eclipse."

Superintendent Denia Reese said, "We are meeting with a representative from NASA, and we are planning lessons and activities to celebrate this momentous event. I know some of our teachers have been planning activities for over a year in anticipation of this total eclipse. We are very excited about sharing this experience with our students."

Superintendent Reese explained that safely observing the eclipse will be the highest priority for the day. Parents will receive a permission slip to indicate if they would like for their child to view the event outside or inside. She said, "We have already purchased safety glasses for students who will be outside during the eclipse."

She added, "I know some parents may want to experience the eclipse with their child, so absences and early dismissals will be excused. Parents are also welcome to join their child for the event at their school."

General information

- Catoosa County Public Schools will be open on Aug. 21. Dismissal will be about 30 minutes later than normal so buses, student drivers, and car rider parents are not traveling during the eclipse.

- Parents must return a permission slip for students to observe the eclipse outside.

- Every student who has permission to observe the eclipse outside will be given protective eyewear for safety.

- Students who are inside will observe the eclipse virtually so everyone has the opportunity to participate in this significant event.

- Absences and early dismissals will be excused so parents who don't have to work can experience the eclipse with their child.

- Parents are welcome to come to school to observe the eclipse with their child. (Parents must bring their own protective eyewear. The school system purchased glasses from rainbowsymphony.com.)

Superintendent Reese said, "This is the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years. I am glad we have the opportunity to share this experience with our students and parents."


IT'S UDGET TIME
Catoosa lowering property tax rate in prep for 2018 county budget

Catoosa County commissioners unanimously approved a property tax rate decrease during its meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 1, the first step in approving the county's 2018 budget.

During his presentation Tuesday night, Aug. 1, Chief Financial Officer Carl Henson explained that the county is looking at a millage (property tax) rate rollback of approximately 4.7 percent.

"Since the county does not operate any utilities, the county is forced to rely heavily on property tax and local option sales taxes (LOST) as its two major sources for funding operations," Henson said.

Henson said last year's 2016 millage rate of 7.295 will be rolled back to 6.95 for the budget year, which begins Oct. 1.

"Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate be computed that would produce the same total revenue on the current year's digest that last year's millage rate would have produced had their been no reassessment," Henson said. "It's a difference of 0.345 mills. The Catoosa County Board

The Catoosa County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing regarding the new budget on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. and will then adopt the budget resolution during a special called meeting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31.

of Commissioners proposes to establish a millage rate which would not exceed the calculated rollback, therefore, there will be no property tax increase (overall) for the public."

"The budget includes collected input from all the department heads, elected officials, and outside agencies," Henson said.

Henson added that the plan for the budget is to keep expenditures flat through the next fiscal year, and that the county is projected to take in approximately $225,000 in additional revenue.

The proposed budget is available to the public at the front desk of the Catoosa County Government building.

Henson said it's also posted on the bulletin board at the facility and available online at catoosa.com.


Drug Task Force busts up pot distribution ring

Authorities have broken up a marijuana and hashish distribution ring operating in Walker County, said Pat Doyle, commander of the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force.

Doyle said hashish comes in wax form, also known as "dabs." Hashish is a highly concentrated form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive component of cannabis.

An arrest was made for methamphetamine, but Doyle said that was not part of the distribution. One person had brought the small amount of meth to the residence at the time of the search warrant.

The search warrant was executed Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 5091 Lula Lake Road in Lookout Mountain, Ga.

The task forces seized three pounds of marijuana with a street value of $1,500 and hashish with a street value of $6,000, Doyle said.

Six people were arrested: 29-year-old Timothy W. Vaughn III of Lookout Mountain, 23-year-old Terry Labron Mitchell of Lookout Mountain, 25-year-old Noah Lee Carter of Chattanooga, 24-year-old Caleb H. Harper of Lookout Mountain, 29-year-old Alisha Dianne Cardorette of Lookout Mountain, and 25-year-old Lauren Taylor Lyons of Lookout Mountain.


Officials break ground on new sports medicine facility in Ringgold

Progress was the word used most often Tuesday morning, Aug. 1, as numerous elected officials, board members, and medical staff joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new sports medicine facility coming to Catoosa County.

Members of the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners, Ringgold City Council, and the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority (EDA) were on hand to dig up the first bits of dirt for the new Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.

The new 17,000-square-foot facility is the first business being erected in the "Project Jump" location on Battlefield Parkway, a 20-plus-acre development taking shape across from Battlefield Imaging.

Later that evening, during the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board unanimously approved an intersection improvement and site development agreement with Ringgold, the EDA, and the developer, Larry Armour Commercial Real Estate.

"This is a project very similar in nature to the ones that we have done with the city of Ringgold that resulted in the college (Georgia Northwestern), and like with the city of Fort Oglethorpe with the Buffalo Wild Wings development, and the Costco and Cabela's development," said County Attorney Chad Young. "The obligation of the county, the city, and the development authority together are to prepare the site, do

some roadwork, and ultimately when the site gets developed, traffic signals will go in."

Young also said eventual turn lanes, signage, and sewer and stormwater will all be handled as a joint effort.

"The total estimated budget for all of those items is $1,933,512, a total cost that will be equally divided between the county, the development authority, and the city of Ringgold, and would be repaid through property and sales tax over a seven-year period starting when the Center for Sports Medicine opens," Young said.

Officials say the new facility will house patient rooms, office space, physical therapy, and on-site digital imaging.

The center is expected to open in 2018.