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Fire destroys Rossville business

Rossville Public Safety is investigating the cause of a Nov. 5 blaze that destroyed a linen service business.

Rossville Public Safety Director Sid Adams said multiple fire departments responded to the fire at Hodtex Healthcare Linen Services at 110 W. Lake Ave. Emergency 911 received the call at about 10 p.m.

"It was a large fire," Adams said, noting fire departments from Walker County, Walker Correctional Institute, Red Bank, Tenn., and East Ridge, Tenn., responded to assist Rossville.

The two-story structure was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived on the scene. Although firefighters remained there until 5 a.m., they had the fire under control within about an hour, he said.

No one was injured in the blaze.


Council members retain their seats

Two Chickamauga City Council incumbents, Lee Miller and Daymon Garrett, have been re-elected to the council.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, in a three-way race for two seats on the council, Miller received 263 votes (43%), Garrett 260 votes (42%), while challenger James Dale Powell received 92 votes (15%).

Miller is a State Farm insurance agent, Garrett is retired, and Powell is a vehicle processor.

Several candidates in other races ran unopposed.

Mayor Ray Crowder won his unchallenged bid for reelection, garnering 318 votes.

The Board of Education had three seats available. One of the seats was filled by appointment last year when school board member Billy Neal Ellis died. Insurance agent Cynthia Roberts was appointed to that seat and ran unopposed, receiving 302 votes. Two school board incumbents, Gary Parrish

and David Askew, ran unopposed.

Also, voters said "yes" to Sunday alcohol sales, 242 (69%) to 111 (31%).

The city has 1,958 registered voters. Seventy-seven people voted early. There were three provisional voters.

BY THE NUMBERS

Mayor

Ray Crowder — 318 (100%)

Chickamauga City Council (two seats)

Lee Miller (incumbent) – 263 (43%)

Daymon Garrett (incumbent) – 260 (42%)

James d. Powell – 92 (15%)

Board of Education (two seats)

David Pender Askew (incumbent) – 284 (50%)

Grant Parrish (incumbent) – 283 (50%)

Board of Education special election

Cindy solmon roberts (incumbent) – 302 (100%)

Sunday alcohol sales

Yes – 242 (69%)

No – 111 (31%)


Flu shot shortage reported

A flu shot shortage may force older patients to check multiple locations for vaccine availability.

Northwest Georgia has plenty of vaccine available for the current influenza, or flu, season, but a manufacturing delay has resulted in spot shortages of the high-dose vaccine recommended for patients ages 65 and over, said Logan Boss, spokesman for the Northwest Georgia Health District. In addition to advising those patients to contact other locations to check if they have the vaccine in stock, Boss suggests that they discuss other options with their doctor.

"Flu is one of our most unpredictable infectious diseases," Boss said.

Nasal spray, traditional flu shots and the new Flublok vaccine are

helping to combat flu this year. A trained medical professional can help individuals determine which preventative measure is most appropriate for them.

Flublok, which protects against four flu strains, does not contain eggs; it is a good option for patients who are allergic to eggs and could not take the flu shot in the past, he said. Flublok is recommended for patients ages 18 and older.

Although it has at best 70 percent efficiency if the vaccine matches well with the strain prevalent that season, it is still the best way to guard against contracting the disease, he said.

"Unlike some of those wonderful childhood vaccines, the flu vaccine is one of our least effective," he said.

Flu activity in Georgia and Tennessee

"Flu activity is still low in Georgia," Boss said. Flu season typically peaks in late January to early February.

Boss explained that it is difficult to confirm the number of cases of flu in Georgia because the Department of Public Health tracks influenza-like illness (ILI) cases, and doctors generally treat patients based on their symptoms, rather than waiting to conduct a flu test.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the ILI intensity indicator for Georgia during the week ending Oct. 26 was low, and the dispersion was local. No flu-associated deaths had been confirmed in Georgia, and there had been 24 flu-associated hospitalizations in the metro-Atlanta area.

Erlanger Health System, on Oct. 24, said it had reported 112 ILI cases to the Hamilton County (Tenn.) Health Department, compared to only 37 cases over the same period last year.

"Based on the number of reportable cases at this point in the flu season, we continue to stress the importance of area residents getting vaccinated as soon as possible," Dr. Steven Cooper, medical director of Erlanger's Community Health Centers said.

"Getting the vaccine is helpful because it may reduce the severity or duration of flu symptoms, as well as protecting vulnerable populations of the community who are at higher risk for serious illness such as young children, pregnant patients and the elderly," Cooper said.

Common-sense advice

To minimize the risk of contracting flu or another respiratory ailment this winter, Boss said to follow the common-sense instructions parents give their children.

• Wash hands frequently.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.

• Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

• Avoid people who appear to be ill.

WHO SHOULD GET A FLU VACCINE?

The Northwest Georgia Public Health District advises everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complication from the disease, including:

• Children younger than age 5, but especially children younger than two years,

• Adults 65 years of age and older

• Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum

• Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

• People who have medical conditions including asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

It is especially important to get the flu vaccine if you, someone you live with or someone you care for is at high risk of complications from flu.

DID YOU KNOW?

Erlanger Health System said the Centers for Disease Control reports:

• Most of the United States is currently experiencing minimal ILI activity.

• Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

• The annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza and its potentially serious complications.

• The CDC recommends everyone 6 months or older to get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

• Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medications that can be used to treat flu illness, and they work best when used within two days of getting sick.


ROSSVILLE ELECTIONS
Mayor, council member re-elected; former City Council member elected to council

Two incumbents and a former council member have won in Rossville's city elections.

Teddy Harris, who serves as fulltime mayor and has a retail business, was re-elected with 199 votes, or 53 percent, while his opponent Gary M. Anderson, who is retired, collected 175 votes.

Four candidates vied for two at-large seats on the council.

Incumbent Michael Hicks, a property manager, was re-elected with 202 votes, or 31 percent; Hal Gray Jr., who is self-employed and formerly served on the council, received 231 votes, or approximately 36 percent.

Larry Rose, who operates a motorcycle repair shop, received 135 votes, while Anthony Robinson, who is in car sales, received 70 votes.

Mayor's race

Harris has served as mayor of Rossville since 2012 and previously served eight years on the city council.

"I'm just grateful for the support I had," Harris said of his victory.

During the campaign, Harris stated his vision for the city is pro-business, continuing to court investors, applying for more grants, continuing work on the sewer system and making the John Ross Commons more pedestrian-friendly.

"We are going to continue with our revitalization" efforts the city has undertaken in recent years, he said. "We've got some great things in the pipeline."

Anderson, during his campaign, described his vision for the city as promoting business, encouraging investment in housing, recruiting more industry and retail and working with Chattanooga to clean up the state line.

Anderson, on Nov. 6, declined to comment on the election.

City council race

Gray captured the most votes among council candidates. He previously served on the council from 2008-15.

Gray said during his campaign that the city needs to recruit more restaurants and businesses and that the city needs more manpower on the police force.

Gray could not be reached for comment on Nov. 6.

Hicks won his second term on the council.

Hicks, during his campaign, stated his vision for the city includes more positive investment in the community, more grants or SPLOST money for recreation facilities and more activities for kids.

"I'd like to thank everybody for coming out to support me," Hicks said upon learning the election results. "I look forward to working with everyone for the next four years."

During his campaign, Rose identified crime as a "big issue" for the city. His vision for Rossville includes more openness and honesty in government, more police officers, a crackdown on crime and more lighting.

Rose thanked his supporters on his Facebook page and posted, "I was third out of four. I did come out a little ahead though, my first and second try I got 108 votes and on this third try I got 135. That's 27 more votes than the last two trys (sic). Slowly inching my way to the top."

Rose said he may consider another run for council in the future.

Robinson's vision for the city includes more entrepreneurship, with smaller businesses attracting larger ones. He emphasized economic development and parks and recreation, including educating parents about where their children can play safely.

Of the election's outcome, Robinson said people voted, and the results are what they are.

Rossville voters passed two referenda also on the ballot.

The Sunday brunch beverage sales, which allows for liquor by the drink sales from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., garnered 262 votes, 69 percent, in favor compared to 117 opposition votes.

Seventy-one percent, or 268, of votes cast favored Sunday beverage sales of liquor by the drink. One-hundred-seven voters cast their ballots against this measure.

BY THE NUMBERS

Mayor

Teddy Harris (incumbent) – 199 (53%)

Gary M. Anderson – 175 (47%)

City Council (two seats)

Hal Gray – 231 (36%)

Michael Hicks (incumbent) – 202 (32%)

Larry Rose – 135 (21%)

Anthony Robinson – 70 (11%)

Sunday brunch beverage sales (liquor by the drink, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

Yes — 262 (69%)

No – 117 (31%)

Sunday beverage sales (liquor by the drink)

Yes – 268 (71%)

No – 107 (29%)

VOTER TURNOUT

Nearly 20%, or 384, of Rossville's 1,939 registered voters cast ballots in the Nov. 5 city election, Walker County Director of Elections and Registration Danielle Montgomery said.

One-hundred forty-two ballots were cast early, and one provisional ballot was cast, which will be counted in a few days if it is determined to be eligible, she said.