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Governor visits LaFayette manufacturer to celebrate announced expansion

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp touted the resiliency of Georgians in responding to the pandemic as the reason the state and manufacturers like Roper Corp. are faring so well.

Kemp, speaking Jan. 7. during a visit to Roper Corp. in LaFayette, commended Georgians for not being “too scared to work” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor and several state and local officials were on hand to celebrate last month’s announcement that GE Appliances, Roper’s parent company, will invest $118 million to boost production capacity, advance manufacturing technology and add more than 600 jobs at the range manufacturer. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

“Protecting livelihoods meant just as much as protecting lives” during the pandemic, he said, adding that his administration wanted to make sure the state’s current and future workforce will have economic opportunity and prosperity.

He asserted that “this great victory” happened because state government allowed manufacturers to control their own destinies, rather than taking a top-down approach and shutting them down during the pandemic, he said.

Roper President Lois Crandell said the plant is hiring and offers competitive pay and benefits, including offering benefits on the first day of employment; Roper recently increased the wage $1 per hour. Kemp shared that an employee could earn the same pay at Roper without commuting to Chattanooga.

Roper is working with local educators to ensure students will be prepared for the increasing technological sophistication of manufacturing equipment when they enter the workforce, Crandell said. STEM education is one component of that strategy.

The state will allocate more money into its budget for working with the university system, technical college system and K-12 education to get robotics, medical and other technology training into schools to enhance workforce development, Kemp said.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce division partnered with Walker County Development Authority, the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, Georgia Quick Start and North Georgia EMC on the project.

Roper is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GE Appliances, a Haier company and one of the largest employers in northwest Georgia, according to GE. GE Appliances has contributed more than $2.4 billion to Georgia’s Gross Domestic Procuct (GDP), and the company and its affiliates employ more than 2,400 people in Georgia. Roper, at 1507 Broomtown Road in LaFayette, currently employs 2,000 people and produces cooktops, free-standing ranges and wall ovens under the Monogram, Café, GE Profile, GE, Haier and Hotpoint brands.

New opportunities at the facility will include supervisory and management positions and careers in production and assembly. To apply for open positions, go to https://ropercorp.com/work-with-us/.


Catoosa_walker_news
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Johnny Isakson celebrated as compassionate bipartisan

ATLANTA — Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was remembered Thursday, Jan. 6, as a bipartisan leader in partisan times who believed in doing the right thing regardless of politics.

“I saw the real Johnny up close and personal,” former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who served with Isakson in the Senate for a decade, said during a memorial service at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. “The conversation always came down to, ‘We’ve got to do what’s right.’ “

Isakson died Dec. 19 at age 76 after a six-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. The Republican from Cobb County had retired two years earlier due to Parkinson’s and other health issues.

Isakson, who founded a real estate business, spent 45 years in public service, winning seven straight elections from 1976 through 1988 and 14 of 17 elections overall.

His career included a stint in the Georgia House, where he served as minority leader. After losing the 1990 gubernatorial election to Democrat Zell Miller, he bounced back to win a seat in the state Senate.

Isakson lost in the 1996 Republican primary for U.S. Senate but came back in 1999 to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, succeeding former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Five years later, Isakson was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he became the first Georgia Republican to win three terms. He also is the only Georgian to have served in both chambers of the General Assembly and Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Isakson was known not only for working with Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation but as someone whose compassionate nature drew a lot of friends from both sides of the aisle.

McConnell said he never saw so many senators and staffers from both parties on the Senate floor as the day Isakson gave his farewell speech in December 2019. The same thing happened last September when the Senate restarted the annual Johnny Isakson Barbecue Lunch in their late friend’s honor, he said.

“We all know this is a polarized time. Unity is in short supply,” McConnell said. “[But] the gigantic, diverse Johnny Isakson Fan Club has never failed to pack a room.”

Other speakers at Thursday’s (Jan. 6) service included Isakson’s two sons and daughter, a longtime friend and neighbor from East Cobb and Senate Chaplain Barry Black, who met Isakson in 2004 and became his prayer partner.


Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was memorialized in a service Thursday in Atlanta. Local, state, and federal elected officials packed Peachtree Road United Methodist Church to pay tribute to the late leader.


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Restaurant inspections for Catoosa and Walker counties for Dec. 16-31, 2021

During Dec. 16-31, 2021, the Georgia Department of Health conducted inspections at 16 food services in Catoosa and Walker counties.

Of those inspected, five earned a perfect score of 100, while 11earned a score in the 90s (A).

Scores are original and do not necessarily reflect on-the-spot changes, which sometimes lead to upward adjustments.

CATOOSA COUNTY

TURNBUCKLE BAR & GRILL INC.

61 RBC DR RINGGOLD

Inspection date: 12-16-2021

Score: 100

BURGER KING

831 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FT. OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-17-2021

Score: 95

Observed grease build-up on the walls in the kitchen near the to-go monitor. Food debris was also observed on top of the fryer equipment station. CA: PIC will schedule a deep cleaning with staff. Repeat Violation. Correct By: 12/27/2021

Observed back door to the kitchen with a damaged self-closing device. The door was unable to close on its own and is a potential risk for pest control. CA: PIC stated a repair order had already been placed and will call again to emphasize the need for service. New Violation. Correct By: 12/27/2021

Remarks: Discussed employee health records, hand-washing procedures, & plumbing maintenance with PIC.

FAMOUS WOK

3040 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FORT OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-17-2021

Score: 92

Observed cooked foods held over 24 hours without date mark. Food included various batches and containers of cooked chicken and cooked noodles. CA: PIC discarded TCS foods Corrected On-Site. New Violation.

Observed frozen chicken being thawed in still water. CA: Discussed proper thawing messages with PIC and PIC discarded improperly thawed chicken. New Violation.

Observed significant amount of grease build-up above the grill on the ventilation hood. CA: PIC will clean the hood so it is free of grease and schedule cleaning service for the ventilation system. New Violation.

Remarks: Discussed proper food storage & separation, general facility cleanliness, and proper cooling methods with PIC.

BATTLEFIELD BURGERS

794 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FT. OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-22-2021

Score: 98

Observed dust build-up on the air filter for the ice machine. CA: PIC will have the air filter changed and will clean the filter covers. New Violation. Correct By: 01/01/2022

Observed hood ventilation out of date for cleaning service. Potential for fire. CA: PIC will call for service. New Violation. Correct By: 01/01/2022

Remarks: Discussed equipment maintenance and pest control methods with PIC.

FIREHOUSE SUBS

882 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FORT OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-22-2021

Score: 96

There is insufficient cold holding equipment available in BOH area [back-of-house area; that is, the part of the restaurant that diners don’t see] to maintain TCS foods at proper temperatures. CA: PIC spread out TCS foods to different cooling units in FOH [front-of-house]/prep area. Corrected On-Site. New Violation.

Observed cooling unit in BOH not in good repair. Unit was not capable of housing the volume of food observed at appropriate temperatures. CA: PIC called general manager to schedule maintenance on the unit. Spread out TCS foods to different coolers. New Violation. Correct By: 01/01/2022

Remarks: Discussed reheating temperatures and cooling methods with PIC.

DOUBLE PORTION CATERING

175 WOODIE DR RINGGOLD

Inspection date: 12-27-2021

Score: 100

DONUT PALACE

390 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FT. OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-28-2021

Score: 100

FARM TO FORK LLC

120 GENERAL LEE ST RINGGOLD

Inspection date: 12-28-2021

Score: 96

Observed TCS food items not cooling with approved methods. CA: PIC removed plastic seal to allow food items to cool properly. New Violation.

Observed cold holding unit not in proper repair. One side of the unit able to keep food at proper cold holding temperatures. Other side was unable to maintain cold temperatures. No TCS food being stored out of temperature at the time of inspection. CA: PIC will call for maintenance and not store TCS in the unit. New Violation. Correct By: 01/07/2022

Remarks: Discussed proper cold holding and cooking temperatures with PIC. Also discussed frequency of cleaning for food contact equipment, non-food contact equipment, and the general cleanliness of the facility.

CAPTAIN D’S

668 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FORT OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-28-2021

Score: 92

Observed ice machine with residue built-up inside the unit. CA: PIC took apart the unit for a deep clean and will schedule routine cleanings for the equipment to prevent build up. Corrected On-Site. New Violation.

Observed back door and wall in poor repair. The door was unable to close on its own and there is damage to the wall that may be vulnerable to pest entry. CA: PIC will schedule for repair service. Repeat Violation. Correct By: 01/07/2022

Remarks: Discussed general facility cleanliness, cooling methods, and employee drinks with PIC. Also verified PIC’s CFSM status.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

37 PARKWAY PLAZA DR FORT OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-29-2021

Score: 99

Observed broken drawer for chicken wings on the cooking line and a damaged cooling unit in the walk-in freezer. CA: PIC will call for repair service. New Violation. Correct By: 01/08/2022

Remarks: Discussed sanitization methods, employee health policy, and cooling methods with PIC.

CHICK-FIL-A

1137 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FORT OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-29-2021

Score: 100

2A WINGS

1014 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FT. OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-30-2021

Score: 93

Observed bowl used to weigh raw shrimp not clean to sight or touch. CA: PIC removed bowl to be sanitized and discussed cleaning frequency. Corrected On-Site. New Violation.

Observed wiping cloths not being stored in sanitizing solution. CA: PIC filled sanitizing buckets and placed wiping cloths in the solution. New Violation.

Remarks: Discussed date marking/labeling methods, storing food on approved food contact surfaces, and cleaning frequency/batter sifting for breading.

SOHO HIBACHI

1022 BATTLEFIELD PKWY FT. OGLETHORPE

Inspection date: 12-30-2021

Score: 99

Observed fan in walk-in with significant dust accumulation. CA: PIC will clean the fan to sight and touch. New Violation. Correct By: 01/09/2022

Remarks: Discussed wiping cloth storage, cooling methods, and food storage in the walk-in freezer.

WALKER COUNTY

WENDY’S

399 N MAIN ST LAFAYETTE

Inspection date: 12-21-2021

Score: 99

Observed a set of tongs stored in the hand wash sink upon arrival; CA: PIC immediately moved the tongs to the dish wash area as soon as we observed the violation. New Violation.

Remarks: Discussed with PIC keeping hand sink clear of any food service articles or prep equipment; labeling vegetable sink; posting choking posters and ServSafe certificates; making sure all staff have hair restraints.

RAFAEL’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

150 PEARL DR LAFAYETTE

Inspection date: 12-28-2021

Score: 95

Observed tea nozzle with food accumulation. CA: PIC had nozzle washed and sanitized. New Violation.

Observed single-service cup being used as a scoop. CA: PIC removed cup and said it would be replaced with a scoop. New Violation.

DAIRY QUEEN

1882 N MAIN ST LAFAYETTE

Inspection date: 12-29-2021

Score: 100


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