WQCH and Georgia 93.7 Local News Headlines 1-4-23

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A 41-year-old man in Walker County faces charges after investigators say they found evidence of child sexual abuse material at his home.  Agents arrested Sean Ferguson on Tuesday, according to a release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  The investigation into Ferguson’s online activity began after a tip came in from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  After Ferguson’s Tuesday arrest, investigators searched his home. Ferguson is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of children. He is now in the Walker County Jail.

An update on a story we told you about yesterday.  A 41-year-old veteran and Ringgold native was shot and killed in North Dakota on Christmas Eve.  A Homeland Security officer is charged with his murder.  Nick Van Pelt and a woman were both shot several times according to police.  Despite her wounds, the woman has survived and remains in the hospital.  39-year-old Daniel Breijo is charged in the case.  Breijo is an officer with the Department of Homeland Security.  The shooting happened just before 9pm on Christmas Eve.  Police responded to a shooting call.  A woman called police and said she heard six loud bangs from the apartment next door and people were screaming.  When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Van Pelt in a pool of blood in the hallway near the front door.  The woman has found in the laundry room suffering from gunshot wounds.  Breijo was found in the bathroom and a firearm was found nearby.  Breijo is in custody and has been charged with felony murder and felony attempted murder.  Local judges in North Dakota have recused themselves from the case because they knew Van Pelt and the woman that was shot.  Van Pelt is the son of Walker County Judge Ralph Van Pelt who served on the bench for 25 years.  Nick Van Pelt worked for the Ward County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Drug Task Force.  The funeral for Van Pelt will happen Friday, January 12th at the Catoosa County Colonnade in Ringgold.  Visitation will start at 10am.  The service will begin at 1pm. 

Just one day after it’s roof caught on fire, the boiler room at the Mohawk Plant in Dalton caught fire.  Fire crews responded to a blaze on the roof of the textile plant on Tuesday night.  The blaze was quickly put out and operations inside the plant resumed.  Last night the Whitifield County Fire Department responded to another fire at the the plant.  This one, inside the boiler room.  Again the fire was quickly under control  Whitfield County’s Fire Department was on the scene.   

Chickamauga Police helped a hawk this week.  Officers were dispatched to the area of Hamel Drive where a Hawk had been found in the roadway.  Officers took the hawk and kept it overnight until the Georgia Department of Natural Resources could arrive.  The hawk has been taken to a rehabilitation center in Rome for observation.  The hawk is a Red Shoulder Hawk which is common to our area.