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Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office investigating alleged road rage incidents that resulted in fatal shooting

Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue their investigation into alleged road rage incidents Monday night, Sept. 6, that ended with the shooting death of 34-year-old Jack Pedigo.

Sheriff Gary Sisk said heated words were exchanged between Pedigo and Daniel Vaughn about 8:11 p.m. Monday while they were on Battlefield Parkway.

An investigation shows that Pedigo followed Vaughn and his wife to their home at 236 Elm Ave., where another heated exchange of words and threats erupted. Pedigo then left Elm Avenue and went to his home off of Three Notch Road.

Vaughn called 911 and reported the incident, and the Sheriff’s Office placed a “lookout” on Pedigo’s vehicle. At about 9:26 p.m. Pedigo returned to 236 Elm Ave. and more heated words were exchanged. Vaughn then fired a weapon, killing Pedigo.

“This appears to be a tragic event that is a result of a couple of strangers who lost control of their emotions in a war of words,” Sheriff Sisk said.

Sheriff Sisk said that no charges have been filed at this time as detectives continue their investigation.

Civil War era barehanded base ball coming to Ringgold this month

In the grandest display of living history, the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball (TAoVBB) invites the public to the grounds of the Clark Park in Ringgold for the 2021 Sulphur Dell Cup Championship.

Sept. 25-26 travel back in time to 1864, as all 10 teams from the TAoVBB will take the field in a display of 1864 era barehanded base ball for the chance to hoist the Sulphur Dell Cup.

Locally the Chattanooga/North Georgia area fields two teams — the Lightfoot and Mountain City clubs.

The clubs organized in 2015 and play on the parade ground/polo field of the former Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe (1902-47), on historic Barnhardt Circle.

Clark Park will be comprised of the Cheairs Field and the McKissack Field. Saturday games on both are scheduled for 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.. At the end of Saturdays matches there will be four teams left standing. Sunday will have two semi-final matches at noon, followed by the championship game at 2:30 p.m.

Admission is free to all TAoVBB matches.

The TAoVBB promotes living history by bringing the 19th century to life through America’s past time sport of base ball utilizing the rules, equipment (or lack thereof), attire and culture of the Civil War era. We use our game to promote cultural and educational programs for youth and adults alike. An emphasis is placed on honor, teamwork, respectful conduct and community pride throughout Middle and East Tennessee and North Georgia.

You will be witness to cheers of ‘huzzah” for outstanding catches, gasps as a daisy cutter whistles through the infield or a slap of the skin as a third-base tender paws a line ball from the willow of a muckle. You’ll hear the arbiter bellow out, “striker to the line” and see the great game of base ball as it was played by Civil War soldiers between battles.

Bring a chair or a blanket for comfort. Enjoy food trucks for your nourishment and come be a part of the Sulphur Dell Cup.

New lodge on Lookout Mountain at McLemore to break ground this month

The owners of McLemore have confirmed that nearly $188-million in bonds have been sold to fund the construction of a 245-room lodge, conference center and spa along the eastern edge of Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Construction on the lodge at McLemore will commence in September. Once opened in late 2023, the facility will employ more than 300 full-time, direct employees. Atlanta-based general contractor New South Construction has obtained permits for land disturbance, as well as for foundations. Chattanooga-based GenTech Construction will provide construction management services.

McLemore President Duane Horton noted, “McLemore’s world-class team has been together for the better part of a decade. This milestone is a testament to their commitment and perseverance to create a destination to serve our community and guests for generations to come.”

The five-star facility will be a Curio Collection Hotel by Hilton and offer multi-level dining and entertainment terraces, infinity edge pools and spas, as well as spaces that blend the building with the landscape, including a large outdoor events venue. The completed facility will provide banquet and meeting space for corporate events and weddings, as well as on-site lodging for golfers, families and couples looking for a romantic getaway.

“We met with a number of hotel groups and selected Hilton because of their enthusiasm for the project and location,” Horton said. “The Curio Collection by Hilton gives us the flexibility to design this project in a manner that respects the natural setting, local history and the vision provided by our world-class team.”

Numerous on-site amenities are planned for guests to the McLemore property, including swimming pools, a fitness facility, yoga studio and retail center. An outdoor program will also provide guests with guides and gear to enjoy the numerous outdoor activities available at McLemore and the surrounding area, including hiking, rock climbing and bouldering, mountain biking and road cycling, spelunking, hang gliding and paragliding.

“McLemore is surrounded by thousands of acres of federal and state parks and protected wildlife areas,” Horton said. “We are looking forward to introducing people to the undiscovered natural beauty of northwest Georgia and the tremendous opportunities the Chattanooga metropolitan area has to offer.”

Roland Aberg, Hart Howerton master planner, asserted, “McLemore is and will be a landmark destination. Every venue within the hotel is designed in response to the unique nuances of Lookout Mountain’s rugged terrain — from its dining options, indoor and outdoor bar options, to the conference center and variety of guest accommodations. The lodge will offer stunning views of McLemore Cove, Pigeon Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Providing hospitality management oversight is Atlanta-based Valor Hospitality, which is led by Glaswegian Euan McGlashan, whose launch of the Cape Grace hotel in South Africa secured the No. 1 spot in the world by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2000 Reader’s Choice award.

“McLemore provides us with the unique opportunity to continue our mission of reimagining hospitality,” said McGlashan. “The mixture of Southern hospitality with Valor’s service-based DNA gives us an extraordinary opportunity to position McLemore as a world-class destination.”

McGlashan’s team is currently managing club operations at McLemore, including The Creag restaurant and the Stay & Play program, with the oversight of general manager Tom Schreiner.

Adding to the line-up are Craig Peavy and Thomas Palmer, each a principal in Chattanooga-based firm Tinker Ma and architects of record for the hotel at McLemore. “We challenged ourselves to create a place that is both reflective of and complimentary to McLemore’s vistas,” said Peavy. “Bringing such an economic catalyst to the region is going to be a journey of a lifetime.”

Palmer added, “Our greatest desire is for our work to celebrate this place and create opportunities for more people to discover and appreciate the natural beauty of McLemore and Walker County.”

Horton noted that none of the progress made at McLemore would be possible without support from Walker County leaders.

“From the first meeting with Commissioner Whitfield and Robert Wardlaw, they were open to our ideas and encouraged us to do all we could to meet local needs,” he said. “We’re encouraged by the fact that our efforts will be transformational to the place that has been so supportive to our efforts.”

McLemore leadership worked closely with representatives from the State of Georgia and officials from Walker County.

“While a project like this will bring numerous visitors to Walker County, I’m also excited about the benefits it will yield for our citizens,” said Chairman Shannon Whitfield of the Walker County Board of Commissioners. “The creation of good paying jobs with benefits will provide economic stability and prosperity for many families in our community.”

Echoing Chairman Whitfield, Georgia State Sen. Jeff Mullis said, “I believe that northwest Georgia will quickly become a beacon of tourism in the southeastern United States as a result of this project.”

He added, “Increased revenue from out-of-state tourism dollars will have a ripple effect on the communities surrounding McLemore, impacting everyone for the positive. I, along with the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, Top of Georgia and our partners, are honored to take part in this phenomenal project.”

“Ultimately, this project has been a team effort by some of the best in their industries,” Horton noted. “Having been raised in McLemore Cove and Walker County, it is rewarding to have the opportunity to create something that will benefit our community and region for years to come.

“We are thankful for everyone contributing to this effort and the leadership of our board and executive team,” he said. “We are committed to the area and believe in the enormous possibilities of its future.”

Kemp says Biden playing pandemic politics; Biden says GOP governors ‘cavalier’ about COVID

ATLANTA – The war of words between President Joe Biden and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over new White House COVID mandates continued Friday afternoon, Sept. 10, with Kemp accusing the administration of playing “pandemic politics.”

“Look, the public already doesn’t trust the federal government because of the mixed messages about the coronavirus,” Kemp told Capitol Beat. “This is pandemic politics from a president who promised to unite the country, but instead is dividing us.”

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Biden White House issued a new, six-pronged series of COVID mandates, including a requirement for all employers with more than 100 workers to mandate either vaccinations or weekly tests.

“This is the wrong way to go,” Kemp said. “Small business owners already don’t have enough people in the workforce, and now they’re being asked to be the vaccine police.”

Earlier Friday, Biden responded to ABC News when asked about threats to challenge his vaccine measures in court.

“Have at it,” the president said. “Look, I am so disappointed that, particularly some of the Republican governors, have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier of the health of their communities. We’re playing for real here. This isn’t a game.

“It’s the president who’s being cavalier about the virus,” Kemp responded. “We’re allowing our local school superintendents to determine what is best for their kids. How in the world can President Biden figure out what is best for our local schools?”

Read the president’s latest six-point COVID plan here.

“I don’t know of any scientist out there in this field who doesn’t think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I’ve suggested,” Biden said. “We’ve got to come together. … The vast majority of the American people know we have to do these things.”

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan also criticized the president’s plan, saying the new mandates “only served to harden the partisan lines around an issue that requires all of us working together and not against one another. I believe the vaccine is safe, effective and the only real way out of this awful pandemic, but mandates have not and will not be the answer, as President Biden has previously stated before reversing course.

“Forcing hard-working Americans to choose between mandated personal health decisions and a paycheck will neither reduce vaccine hesitancy nor move this country in a positive direction,” Duncan added.

Georgia Democrats and Republicans also weighed in Friday on the debate over COVID-19 mandates.

“With Georgians dying and our state’s hospitals overwhelmed from COVID-19, Kemp is fighting everyone and everything except the virus,” said Rebecca Galanti, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Between banning local governments from trying to slow COVID-19 spread and picking public fights with the federal government, Kemp is putting his own politics ahead of saving Georgians’ lives.”

The Georgia Senate Republican Caucus issued a statement saying its members have worked “to ensure that vaccines are easily available to everyone who chooses to get the shot. We have encouraged unvaccinated individuals to take this virus seriously and make their health-care decisions in consultation with their doctor. Our approach has struck the appropriate balance between government responsiveness and personal responsibility.

“President Biden’s one-size-fits-all mandates are widely overreaching and exceed the bounds of his authority,” the caucus said. “They may also set a dangerous precedent for federal executive action beyond the issue of COVID-19.”

On Friday, the latest numbers from the state Department of Public Health showed 1.15 million Georgians have contracted coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020, with more than 20,580 deaths and 75,928 hospitalizations.

Kemp has long maintained that Georgia will not lock down again or impose statewide mask mandates. Biden’s new directives didn’t change his mind.

“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Kemp posted on his Twitter account.

Speaking from the White House Thursday, Biden said the estimated 80 million Americans who have not been vaccinated have made COVID-19 “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

“And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”


Ringgold kicker Landon Eaker (14) and holder Cole Carlock (35) celebrate Eaker’s last-second 43-yard field goal that completed the Tigers’ 31-28 comeback victory at North Murray. It was the Region 6-AAA opener for both teams.