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Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe prepping for annual Christmas parade celebrations

The cities of Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe are gearing up for their annual Christmas celebrations with parades and gatherings slated for consecutive weekends beginning Dec. 1.

Ringgold

Ringgold's annual "Down Home Christmas" event will be first on the docket and will take place Friday night, Dec. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. The night will consist of the parade along Nashville Street at 6 p.m., followed by refreshments, entertainment, and a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus at the historic Ringgold Depot.

The following day, on Saturday, Dec. 2, the city will hold its "Down Home Christmas Expo" from 1-7 p.m., which will feature local crafters and vendors.

Also, Dec. 1-2 and 8-9, the Christmas festivities will be extended to include the "Ringgold Sleigh Rides" through the Nature Trail. The sleigh rides will take Christmas-goers from Depot Street down through the Nature Trail, which will be decorated with Christmas lights and on to the Kiwanis Pavilion for holiday treats and hot cocoa. The sleigh rides will run from 6-10 p.m. each of the scheduled nights at a cost of $3 per person.

"Our downtown businesses will also have a great shopping deals along with beautiful Christmas windows to look at," said Ringgold Main Street Manager Jamie Klementisz.

Fort Oglethorpe

Fort Oglethorpe's annual "Christmas at the Post" event will take place the following weekend on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The family festival will begin on historic Barnhardt Circle at 2 p.m. with live entertainment, crafts, vendors, and pictures with Santa Claus. The parade will follow later that evening beginning at 6 p.m.

"Christmas at the Post" will also be accepting additional unwrapped gifts from the public, which will be distributed as part of the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department's annual "Stocking Full of Love" effort to give a Christmas experience to less fortunate children of Catoosa County.

Additional information for each event can be obtained by calling 706-935-3061 (Ringgold), or 706-858-4639 (Fort Oglethorpe).


Drug bust turns up $400,000 worth of meth and marijuana

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force just had the largest drug bust since January, with more than $400,000 worth of ICE methamphetamine and marijuana being seized in Rossville last week.

According to Task Force Cmdr. Pat Doyle, on Nov. 14 around noon the drug task force searched a residence on 508 James St.

Doyle said this was a short investigation in which authorities had to act quickly.

Investigators found eight pounds of uncut ICE meth with a street value of $365,000, plus five pounds of high-grade marijuana.

Arrested at the scene were 39-year-old Danyale Renee Cooper and 39-year-old Todd Lee Harmon.

Two firearms were also seized as well.

Doyle said ICE meth sells for $80 to $100 per gram. The ICE meth confiscated was well over 3,000 grams, Doyle said. The uncut ICE meth is typically cut and then other ingredients like MSM, a horse vitamin supplement, is added. This amount of drugs came from a socalled "super lab," which is common in Mexico, Doyle said.

Doyle said this was the largest drug bust since January in Catoosa County.


Sheriff's Department gearing up for "Stocking Full of Love" toy drive

Gary Sisk

The Catoosa County Sheriff's Department's annual "Stocking Full of Love" toy drive is nearing, an event sponsored by the agency to help give area children a better Christmas season.

For more than two decades, the Sheriff's Department has sponsored the event, and each year the agency accepts names of needy children from county schools, civic organizations, and state agencies and provides toys for these children at Christmas.

"Last year approximately 1,200 children received assistance from the Stocking Full of Love program because of generous donations," Sheriff Gary Sisk said in statement regarding the event. "This year, beginning November 27, the Sheriff's Office will begin collecting names of those children (ages 12 months to 14 years) who would benefit from the program. Anyone needing assistance with Christmas should call either 706-965-7138 or 706-965-7139 for an appointment."

Those looking to nominate a child or children should leave a message if necessary and the call will be returned.

Names will only be accepted Nov. 27 through Dec. 8 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. After that date,

donated toys will be sorted and more toys will be purchased with the money donated to bring the joy of Christmas to hundreds of area children.

Anyone wishing to donate new toys can bring them to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department or contact the Sheriff's Department to have the toys picked up at a residence or business when convenient.

Sheriff Sisk stresses that the list of names continues to grow and the program is in great need of toy donations and monetary donations for the 2017 program.

All checks should be made payable to the Catoosa County Stocking Full of Love and may be mailed to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at P.O. Box 909, Ringgold, Ga. 30736.