Skip to main content
A1 A1
Walker County expands transit hours, adds Saturday

Walker County is expanding transit operations to include additional weekday hours and Saturday service.

Beginning May 14, Walker Transit will offer trips on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We look forward to this new growth and the opportunity it brings to serve the transportation needs of the citizens of Walker County,” said John Logan, Transit director.

Along with the new Saturday service, Walker Transit will offer extended weekday hours. Beginning May 16, transit will run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The expanded services are designed to make it more convenient for riders who need additional times to get to and from work, medical and personal care visits or for shopping.

“The Walker Transit team has been working diligently to hire and train new drivers to accommodate this expansion of service,” Logan said. Several transit positions remain available. Those interested in driving full or part-time can apply online at

Local Memorial Day week things to do for free (or almost free)

After two years of feeling isolated, local residents are ready to get out and celebrate with their neighbors and see their communities again.

Here are a few options for going out without spending a bunch of money. There are many more options. Most cities and counties have playgrounds, walking trails and other things to do, and many of them list local attractions and recreation opportunities on their websites and social media sites.

♦ Stable 41: New farmers market in Fort Oglethorpe. 214 First St. Open Sundays 1 p.m.-5 p.m. beginning May 22.

♦ 1890 Days Jamboree: Downtown Ringgold. May 27 (6 p.m.-10 p.m.) and May 28 (9 a.m.-10 p.m.). Food, arts & crafts, live music on multiple stages, parade, classic car show, fireworks display Saturday night and more.

♦ New Dolly Parton mural: Downtown Ringgold at Tennessee and Nashville streets.

♦ Honeybee Festival: Downtown LaFayette. June 4, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Beekeeping demonstrations, honey competition, BBQ competition, Honeybee Bike ride, cruise-in, live music, food, arts & crafts, free kids zone and more.

♦ State of the art playground: Fort Oglethorpe. 19 Van Cleve St.

♦ Chickamauga Battlefield. 3370 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe. Visitor Center and Museum, multimedia presentation, drive/tour, hike, bike, walk your dog, picnic.

♦ The History Company and Southeast Veterans Museum. 2949 Lafayette Road Museum displays from Civil War to war in Afghanistan.

The Sixth Cavalry Museum. 6 Barnhardt Circle, Fort Oglethorpe. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Covers Fort Oglethorpe♦ military history from 1919 to 1942.

♦ Several canoe launches in the area (see city and county websites).

Meet the candidates: Walker County Board of Education District 2

Incumbent Karen Hardin and challenger Tony Ellis are running against each other for the District 2 seat on the Walker County Board of Education.

Tony Ellis

Tony Ellis, 59, is a resident of Rossville and has lived in the district for 56 years.

Education background

♦ B.A. in physical education

♦ Master’s in physical education

♦ Educational Specialist in administration and supervision

Work background

I have been a teacher/coach for the past 33 years. I retired from teaching May of 2021. I am currently the Director of Recreation and Leisure Services for the City of Fort Oglethorpe.


♦ Attend Peavine Baptist Church

Why should voters trust you?

I have dedicated my life to working with students and have seen firsthand the needs of students and teachers. I will do the right thing for our students as I have throughout my teaching career.

What can a school board do to improve schools and education?

The school board can ensure that our schools are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of the community.

Do you believe parents have a right to see all curricula and other classroom materials used in their children’s schools?


What do you feel are the main concerns parents have about their children’s schools and education?

That their child is ready for college and/or the workplace. That the school system is providing the necessary resources to their child.

People who have influenced your thinking

My grandmother and my mother

How voters can contact you


Phone: 423-413-2776

Karen Harden

Karen Harden, 65, is a resident of Rossville and has lived in the district for 46 years.

Education background

♦ Graduated from Lookout Valley High School in 1975

♦ Attended Gadsden State to pursue nursing/business degree

♦ Several leadership certificates

Work background

I have been a healthcare manager for 45 years. I have supported Parkridge Medical Center in the past and currently support Memorial Healthcare system. My job is to pay close attention to details and implement best practices to benefit the company and the patients we serve. I am a good steward of the budget.

Political experience

I currently have the honor of holding this position. I was selected to complete the term due to Carthell Rogers’ death. He considered it a great honor to hold this position and I take great pride in continuing his mission and vision for our school system.


♦ Certified Healthcare Access Manager

♦ Currently church secretary

♦ A recipient of the Dr. Frist Humanitarian award

Volunteer work

I have served as PTA officer; served on Ridgeland High school athletic booster clubs. I have served on multiple committees. I volunteer with the Chattanooga Head start program ensuring each child and family have Christmas.

Why should voters trust you?

My three children attended and graduated from schools within our district. I can relate to the parents in my represented district and Walker County school system.

I have a son and daughter-in-law that are currently educators within Walker County school system

I currently have two grandsons attending a Walker county schools and I have desire to see them have the tools and resource to obtain an education for their success

My desire is every student is prepared for graduation, ready to attend college and/or equipped to begin work life.

I believe an effective board member should have the following skills: listener, good steward of the budget, review the data and make unbiased decisions, be compassionate and empathic, transparent and truthful, voice for my District and the Walker County Districts, present and available.

What can a school board do to improve schools and education?

An effective school board has a collaborative relationship with staff and the community. Establish a strong communication structure to inform both parents and employees of the perspective schools.

What do you feel are the main concerns parents have about their children’s schools and education?

My children attended the schools within my district. My greatest concern was that they receive the best education to prepare them for success. I experienced wonderful educators that cared and went beyond to ensure my three children were prepared. This is my goal for the parents currently living in the Walker County district and for their children attending our schools. I can relate to your concerns and my wish is to be your voice.

People who have influenced your thinking

Grandparents that raised me taught me to be honest, truthful and treat everyone with respect.

Leadership mentor Marilyn Chaney taught me to be a good leader you must lead by example. Be accountable, be an active listener, effective communication, empathy, passion, respect, transparency, be trustworthy and do what is in the best interest of your team.

My children because of their desire to be successful and they worked hard to be successful. They have overcome their humble beginnings and they obtained the necessary education. I am proud of the adults they have become due to their resilience.

A favorite quote or book

“If everyone is moving forward together then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

How voters can contact you



Telephone: 423-432-1022

Man convicted of rape, child molestation in Walker County sentenced to life

A man convicted of raping his sister for years has been sentenced to life in prison by a judge in Walker County Superior Court.

Judge Don Thompson handed down the sentence on April 27 to 25-year-old John Anthony Shiver. He was sentenced to life behind bars, with 25 years to be served without the possibility of parole.

On Dec. 1, 2021, Shiver was convicted of rape and child molestation in Walker County after a two-day jury trial.

According to District Attorney Chris Arnt:

The victim was Shiver’s sister, whom he had molested and raped over a five-year period from ages 6-11.

The Shiver family moved to Northwest Georgia in 2013 from South Florida, settling initially in Catoosa County. It was here that the sexual assaults against his 6-year-old sister began.

Shiver continued to rape and molest his sister intermittently over the next five years until the family settled in Rossville in Walker County.

It was only after Shiver had moved to the state of Washington that his sister disclosed the abuse to their parents. The disclosure was immediately reported to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, where Detective Sgt. Zach Simpson was assigned to investigate the case. The victim was taken to the Child Advocacy Center, where a forensic interview was conducted and a medical examination performed.

A roommate of Shiver testified to overhearing him talk about how to groom young children to make them more pliable for sexual abuse and also observed Shiver looking up grooming techniques online. Shiver was also observed bragging about how he had control over a young girl.

The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney Bruce Roberts.

Arnt said this case illustrates the DA office’s dedication to protecting children and holding sex predators accountable. ADA Roberts and the team of administrative assistants, victim advocates, the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, “did a tremendous job working on this case and preparing the victim to face her abuser in court,” Arnt said.