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No decision on school superintendent contract
Chairman says school board still gathering information; state commission investigating case

Melody Day

Chickamauga Board of Education Chairman Corky Jewell said Monday, April 8, that the board is still gathering information on whether to continue its contract with Schools Superintendent Melody Day.

Day pleaded "no contest" on March 8 to a theft charge in which she was accused of changing price tags on clothes at a Belks in Chattanooga, Tenn. In a no-contest plea, the defendant does not "contest" the prosecution's case; at the same time, the defendant does not admit guilt.

Jewell, following the board's regular monthly meeting Monday, April 8, declined to comment on the matter. The meeting, which usually begins at 5:15 p.m., began at 4:30 p.m. to allow for annual training required state Board of Education. Day attended the meeting in her usual role as superintendent.

At last month's regular meeting, held March 11, just three days after Day's "no contest" plea, the city school board delayed any action on Day. In a prepared statement the board said, "... We have not had adequate time to consult our legal counsel to determine if a material breach of the employment contract has occurred or if there has been a violation of (Georgia Professional Standards Commission) standards."

City school officials, asked after Monday's (April 8) meeting when the board expects to make a decision, declined to comment. Day also declined comment, saying only that the Georgia Professional Standards Commission is investigating a possible violation.

Background

On Dec. 2, 2018, a police report was filed that accused

Day of theft from Belk in Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga. Day allegedly went into the dressing room with several items of clothing, some on sale and some that were marked at full price, and swapped the tags on these items. Police were called, and Day was cited for theft under $1,000.

At the time, the school board chose to keep her in position as the superintendent under the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.

On March 8, Day appeared at the Hamilton County (Tenn.) General Sessions Court, and under the advice of her attorney, she pleaded "no contest." She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $525.50, to stay out of Belk stores, and to seek counseling.


Shelter plans Earth Day event

"Reduce, Rehome, Relove." That's the mantra this Earth Day at the Walker County Animal Shelter.

The shelter staff will host a special Earth Day adoption event on Saturday, April 20.

Reduced adoption rates will be available for dogs ($45) and cats ($20) during the event and includes spay/neuter, rabies and core vaccination.

Those interested in adopting can save an additional $5 by donating recyclable items like newspaper, toilet paper and paper towel tubes and old T-shirts.

A number of activities will add to the excitement of adopting a pet. Drop by the shelter to learn how to make homemade treats at the nature's kitchen station, turn trash into treasure at the toy recycling station or discover all the ways you can help out by volunteering.

The Walker County Animal Shelter is located at 5488 North Marble Top Road in Chickamauga. Earth Day Adoption event hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Walker Co. Extension to hold rabies clinics in May

Walker County Extension will hold rabies clinics on Saturday, May 11, at these times and locations: 1-2 p.m. at Gordon Lee High School in Chickamauga; 3-4 p.m. at Rock Spring Elementary School; 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Naomi Elementary School. On Saturday, May 25, clinics will be held at these times/locations: 1-2 p.m. at Gilbert Elementary School in LaFayette; 3-4 p.m. at the Walker County Animal Shelter in Chickamauga; 5-6 p.m. at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School in Flintstone. Rabies shots are $15. Cash only please.


MILLS CHANGING
Peerless Woolen Mills Bobby Wilson gives update to Wilson Road Neighborhood Group

From the front, the old Peerless Woolen Mills in Rossville looks on the hopeless side — old brick blackened in many spots, dirty broken windows, dilapidated fencing — but deeper into the huge complex there is life and it's growing.

On Tuesday, April 9, one of the co-owners of Peerless Mills, Bobby Wilson, spoke to a meeting of the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group to let the public know how things are going with the old mill location that he and fellow investor Arthell Gray are working to revitalize.

The front building of the mill, Wilson told the crowd of about 75 gathered at Mission Glen Baptist Church, cannot be touched until the state returns its verdict on how to deal with the asbestos and other environmental hazards it found there during an inspection. "We can't just go in and start tearing stuff down," Wilson said.

But other things are happening. Wilson said Praters Flooring occupies a large area in another building on the nearly 27-acre property and has just contracted to expand its production at the location. "We're doing a 40,000-squarefoot expansion for them," said Wilson. "The building just came in today. It will take four to five months to erect."

Wilson says Praters plans to move 70-80 workers from its Chattanooga location to Rossville and is talking about moving its entire operation there.

Praters designs, produces and installs floor graphics and floors, both permanent and portable, for the NBA, the NCAA and other businesses and groups. It has done floors for the Olympics and for many schools, including Georgia Tech, Covenant College, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Heritage High School, Heritage Middle School and Ringgold Middle School.

Another project in the works for part of the Peerless property is a restaurant on a corner. Wilson didn't say what sort of eatery it would be. He said he's still working with the city of Rossville on zoning for it.

Wilson said that feedback from Georgia Tech consultants who are helping the city come up with revitalization plans will play a part in the decisions he and Gray make about moving forward with their business project.

"We're tickled to death about the investment being made in the Peerless Mills site," says David Roden, one of the founders of the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group. "We really appreciate the update they came to give us. If what happens with Peerless is good, more good will follow. Rossville has a lot to offer — fiber optics, plenty of water, a

ABOUT WILSON ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP

WRNG is a group of concerned citizens who started working two and a half years ago to improve living conditions in northern Walker County. "We work with anyone who is willing to be a part of improvement," says David Roden, one of the group's founders. "We provide a forum for residents and government to share their concerns and their ideas. We try to encourage individuals to be proud of their community and work to make it a better place." To learn more about the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group, visit facebook.com/wilsonroadneighborhoodgroup.

rail line."

The owners of Peerless made just one of the presentations at the April 9 WRNG meeting. Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson, a cofounder of WRNG, also offered updates on his department, as did representatives of emergency services, Redev Workshop (a group of volunteers devoted to redevelopment in Rossville), and Ridgeland Youth Athletic Academy (a new athletic group dedicated to bringing more opportunity and unity to youth sports).