April 18, 2024


Catoosa and Walker County firefighters finally freed the man who was stuck in a storm drainage pipe on Battlefield Parkway. It took them working in the confined space, removing buildup for more than nine hours. They rescued him from the pipe at shortly before 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday. First responders then took him to a local hospital. The man has been identified as 22-year-old Thomas Loher. Loher’s mother reported him as missing early Tuesday morning. Then at around 3 p.m. that day, a motorist heard his cries for help while she was at the stop light and called 911. Authorities said he has been stuck in the pipe since some time Monday. He entered the drain several hundred feet away from where he became stuck.

Students will pay more to attend Georgia’s public universities and colleges in the upcoming academic year. Officials say schools face rising costs and must charge more to maintain a quality education. Regents voted Tuesday to increase tuition and fees at the system’s 26 schools. The typical Georgia school will charge in-state undergraduates $6,466 in tuition and mandatory fees for two semesters next year, up 2.4% from this year. Tuition and fees will range from $3,506 at Swainsboro-based East Georgia State College to $12,058 at Georgia Tech. Costs to rent dormitory rooms and buy meal plans will also rise systemwide.

The fight between candidates for the Catoosa County Commission and the Catoosa County GOP landed in federal court yesterday. A few weeks ago, three incumbent Republican County Commission candidates and a former County Commission chair attempted to qualify for the Republican ballot on next month’s election. The four were rejected by the Catoosa County GOP. Party leaders cited a new rule designed to block people deemed as “traitors” from running as Republicans. The battle has turned into a political and legal standoff. A federal just could soon decide on the merits of the policy. The group crusading for the new rules, the Georgia Republican Assembly, unsuccessfully pushed last year for policies that could have given the Georgia GOP the final say over who can run as Republicans for governor, legislative seats and other state offices. The organization has targeted Gov. Brian Kemp and other state incumbents who rejected then-President Donald Trump’s demands to overturn his 2020 defeat, and it has targeted legislative leaders deemed unworthy of the party’s brand. Superior Court Judge Don Thompson ultimately ordered the Catoosa election board to allow the four to qualify, and he threatened to slap a major fine on the Catoosa GOP if his orders are not followed. The party appealed the ruling and filed a separate lawsuit asking a federal judge to block the election board from qualifying the quartet as GOP candidates, saying Republicans would be “significantly harmed” if the four-won election as Republicans. More on this story as it becomes available.


There were nine felony arrests in Walker County on Tuesday. Among those arrested 43-year-old Aaron Fredrick Pitts faces felony kidnapping charges. 44-year-old Christy Marie McCulligh and 31-year-old Bobby Allen Smith were arrested on multiple drug charges including intent to distribute meth.