News

November Dates Added for Low Cost Pet Care Services

Rock Spring, GA – My Kids Have Paws will return to Walker County in November to host additional spay/neuter + walk-in vaccine clinics.  The Dalton-based clinic offers many common preventative shots at a low cost to the public.

The My Kids Have Paws mobile clinic will set up shop at the Walker County Ag Center on Tuesday November 5th and Wednesday November 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The following services will be available:

  • Spay/neuter* (by appointment only, call 706-671-1104)
  • Exams
  • Vaccines (rabies, heartworm test, distemper/parvo, etc.)
  • Prevention (flea/tick and heartworm available)

*Spay/Neuter pricing

Female Dogs

  • 2 to 40 lbs – $80
  • 41 to 70 lbs – $90
  • 71 to 100 lbs – $100
  • Over 100 lbs – $110
    *no pregnancy or in heat fees

Male Dogs

  • 2 to 40 lbs – $70
  • 41 to 70 lbs – $80
  • 71 to 100 lbs – $90
  • Over 100lbs – $100

Domestic Cats

  • Under 5 lbs – $40
  • 5 to 10 lbs – $45
  • 10 to 15 lbs – $50
  • Over 15 lbs – $55

Feral Cats – $30 package

  • Must come in humane trap
  • Will be ear tipped
  • Comes with rabies, revolution & pain medication

For more information about My Kids Have Paws Veterinary Service, call 706-516-4249, email: Info.MyKidsHavePaws@gmail.com or visit their website.

Walker County Schools Integrates “Incident Management System” with E-911 Center to Create A Safer Learning Environment

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Schools will conduct a lockdown drill during Fall Break to review the integration of new technology designed to enhance student safety and improve response times for law enforcement dispatched to schools.

The drill will take place at Saddle Ridge Elementary / Middle School during a teacher’s in-service day on October 15th.  Staff from all county schools, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Walker County Emergency Management and E-911 Center will be part of the exercise.

Walker County Schools recently invested state school safety funds to enhance its Incident Management System.  The improvements will result in Walker County becoming the first school system in the state to fully integrate dynamic mapping of each school, push button intercom notifications and closed circuit cameras with the county’s E-911 Center.

In the event of a crisis on a school campus, E-911 dispatchers will be instantly alerted when a lockdown occurs.  Dispatcher will then be able to access real-time information at the school to relay accurate, firsthand visuals to officers.  This will save emergency responders valuable time, while also letting them know what kind of situation they are walking into.

Walker County Schools partnered with South Western Communications on the technological enhancements to the school system’s Incident Management System.

Commissioner Meeting Calendar Adjusted for Remainder of 2019

LaFayette, GA – The Governing Authority of Walker County, GA will hold regular public meetings on the following dates for the remainder of the 2019 calendar year:

October 24, 2019

November 14, 2019*

November 26, 2019**

December 12, 2019

Please note, while meetings are typically held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, there will not be a meeting on October 10th or December 26th.

*The November 14th meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate citizens who plan to attend the community Veterans Appreciation Banquet at the Civic Center that evening.

**There will not be a meeting on Thanksgiving Day.  The November 26th meeting serves as a replacement.

Unless otherwise noted, all public meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex III at 201 S Main Street in LaFayette, GA.

Oral Rabies Vaccination Bait Drops Occuring in Walker County

Chattanooga, TN – Over the next several days, you may notice a helicopter flying in a pattern over Walker County.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is dropping oral rabies vaccination baits across our community and others, in an effort to protect people and pets — by preventing rabies in wildlife.  

Operating out of the Chattanooga Airport, USDA teams are currently targeting urban and suburban areas in Walker, Catoosa, Hamilton and Bradley counties.  They stock each helicopter with bait to toss into wooded areas while airborne. The baits are about the size of a ketchup packet and are coated with fishmeal.  

USDA distributes more than 10 million baits across 17 states every year.  This year, 1,270,000 baits will be dropped across Walker and surrounding counties.

Walker County sits right in the middle of the bait zone, which means after the USDA makes bait drops by helicopter to the northern end, (PIC) they will return in a couple of weeks to spread baits across the southern end using a fixed wing plane.

Rabies-Vaccine-Drop

While not harmful for pets, officials say you should leave these baits alone unless found in areas where children play.

Because of efforts like this, there hasn’t been a positive animal rabies case in Walker County since 2014.  

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Is My Tree Dying? UGA Extension Addresses Tree Flagging in Walker County

Rock Spring, GA – You may have noticed, trees across the region have started changing, and not for the better.

“We are seeing some early leaf drop,” says Wade Hutcheson, UGA Extension Agent for Walker County.  “I hate to tell you, unless we get some rainfall and some cool nights and bright sunshiny days, we’re not going to have very much fall color again this year.”

Hutcheson explains what we’re seeing now is limb dieback, often referred to as flagging.  The extended period of dry weather has impacted the transportation of water throughout the tree, also known as transpiration. 

“A tree loses an enormous amount of water on a daily basis.  It’s estimated that a mature tree will use or lose 20 gallons of water per trunk diameter.”  Hutcheson adds, “If we are prone to invest especially in specimen trees, or those sentimental mature cant live without this tree because my grandfather helped me plant it a long time ago, remember that the best thing we can do for water through this time is long slow watering.”

Hutcheson recommends soaking the tree’s root system every 7 to 10 days.  He says one watering is better than two… provided its long enough to seep into the hard, clay surface and wide enough to make a difference.  “To water a trees root system, it can be two and a half to five times the canopy, the width of the canopy is the width of the dripline.”

Other tips include watering during the natural dew period to prevent the spread of disease and placing mulch near the trunk of a tree, but not on it, to help conserve moisture.  Hutcheson warns, “It’s going to take a good couple of soaking rains of an inch to an inch and a half or more to recharge our soil moisture to where we need.”

Other issues like insects, pruning and flare damage from lawn mowers and weed eaters can all affect how a tree performs in dry weather conditions. 

If you have concerns about the health of your tree, UGA Extension in Walker County has a great publication entitled “Is My Tree Dying,” which you can pick up a copy of in their office on Napier Street in LaFayette or view it online at extension.uga.edu.  The publication walks you through a full assessment of what to look for on your tree to determine the health of your tree.

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Walker County Health Department Now Offering Flu Vaccines

Release submitted by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northwest Health District

LaFayette, GA – The Walker County Health Department, located at 603 E. Villanow Street in LaFayette, is now offering flu vaccines.  Please call the health department at 706-638-5577 to schedule an appointment.

Public health experts say now is a good time for people to consider getting vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.  “Get your flu vaccine as soon as it is available each year,” says Tracy Pevehouse, nurse manager at the Walker County Health Department.  “There’s plenty of it available in our community right now, including at the health department, where we have the quadrivalent vaccine that provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses.  We also have the high-dose influenza vaccine, which is more effective for persons 65 years of age and older.”

Pevehouse says everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.  Flu season can start early, and it takes about two weeks after your vaccination for the full antibody effect to develop and provide flu protection.  That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated in early October before the flu season really kicks in.

“The flu shot will last through the flu season,” Pevehouse says.  “It’s never too early to get a flu shot, as we cannot accurately predict when the influenza season will begin, but it can be too late.”  Flu season usually begins in October, but can begin as early as September and last well into March.  Peak flu season in Georgia usually occurs in late January and early February.

Who should get a flu vaccine?  Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.  Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complication from influenza, including:

  • Children younger than five, 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.  It’s also recommended that pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy.  There’s added value to the seasonal flu vaccine for pregnant women, too.  Not only does it protect them against the flu, it also protects their newborn infants, for up to the first few months of life, at a time when infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves.

Acceptable payment methods include cash, credit-or-debit card, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, Cigna, and United Health Care SHBP.

Walker County Health Department hours are Monday – Wednesday 7:30 am to 5 pm, Thursday 8 am to 6:30 pm, and Friday 8 am to 2 pm.

For more information about seasonal influenza and flu vaccines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Overnight Work Planned on Nickajack Road

Lookout Mountain, GA – A state contractor will be working overnight this week making safety improvements to Nickajack Road.  Crews will be installing a high friction surface treatment on the road from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The surface treatment work will take six to eight days to complete.  Later this month, the contractor will return to install reflective thermoplastic striping and signage.

Motorists traveling this area should plan for delays.  While traffic will be impacted during this construction work, one lane will remain open for travel.

Walker County patched, leveled and resurfaced Nickajack Road last October in preparation for these safety improvements.

 

High Fire Danger Could Impact Open Burning Season

LaFayette, GA – With the arrival of October, Georgia’s seasonal burn ban, which impacts Walker and 53 other counties, comes to a close.  While burning is allowed from October 1st through April 30th, residents need to obtain a permit and be aware of what is legal and illegal to burn.

Fire Inspector Jeff Roerdink with Walker County Fire Rescue says “the things that you can burn right now are pretty much going to be natural vegetation. Which means, if you had a tree fall down on your property you can burn those limbs, you can burn those leaves.”

Burning construction materials, like treated lumber or shingles, is prohibited… as well as tires, plastics and household garbage.  “Garbage is a definite no go,” says Roerdink.  “There are a lot of chemicals in the trash we generally throw out, like plastic bottles, that would put off gases and smoke into the atmosphere that is harmful for people to breath.”

There is no cost to obtain a permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Simply visit GaTrees.org or call 1-877-OK-2-BURN. Permits are good for one day, from 8:00 a.m. to sundown. If caught burning without a permit, you could be fined.

This year, due to drought conditions, Georgia Forestry will be issuing permits on a day to day basis in an effort to prevent wildfires.  The decision to burn will be based on the weather and permits may be restricted due to the fire danger forecast.

“There’s a five step fire danger system used nationally, and right now Georgia is in the four to five categories, indicating very high fire danger,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Chief of Protection Frank Sorrells.

When you do burn, Roerdink suggests taking a few precautions to keep your burn pile from getting away from you.  “Keep it down to a small pile. And keep a 25 foot clearance around that area so if you are burning, it’s not going to get away from you. Make sure it’s down to the soil, bare dirt.”

You should also keep water and a shovel close by and never leave your fire unattended.

For additional information about open burning, permitting requirements and fire conditions, visit GaTrees.org.

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Walker County Voters to Receive Informational Precinct Cards

LaFayette, GA – Voters can expect to receive an informational mailing from the Walker County Elections Office, as the county prepares to transition to a Board of Commissioners form of government.

After working for months to update voter data to make sure every voter is placed in the correct district, Elections officials mailed out 39,723 precinct cards to provide voters with that information.  Each precinct card also notifies voters about where they vote and which Congressional, Senate, House and Judicial district they are in.

Voters DO NOT have to have these cards to vote, just a photo ID as usual.

The first election where the districts for the Board of Commissioners will be on the ballot will be the General Primary on May 19, 2020.