Covid-19 Concerns

Per the Murray County – Commissioner’s Office:

As the COVID-19 virus continues to impact the global community, Murray County is taking steps to protect our employees, their families, county residents and those with business to transact with our offices. At the same time, we want to maintain, as much as possible, continuity of operations.

Relying on recommendations and information provided by government authorities, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, Murray County will be closing all offices to public access at the end of day on Wednesday March 18, 2020. We expect to return to normal operations on Monday April 6, 2020.

During this period, all offices will be staffed Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm in order to provide essential services and information to our citizens. Of course, public safety operations will continue 24/7 services. Many of the services the county provides can be accomplished by phone, email or by the postal service.

Listed below are links to county offices with information regarding services available during this period and ways to contact each office.

Murray County Commissioner Greg Hogan encourages everyone to follow the recommendations of healthcare professionals in order to keep all families safe and to put this threat behind us as quickly as possible.

Please see for more information.

Rose Mary Waters Long

Rose Mary Waters Long, age 92, passed away Monday, March 16, 2020, at her home.

Gran, as she was affectionately known by her family, was a member of First Baptist Church of Chatsworth for 71 years where she taught the Rose Long Sunday School Class and was a member of several committees. For 38 years, she was a nurse for Dr. Willard Carson in Dalton. At 81 years old, she published her first book, Waiting for a Miracle, of which she was especially proud. She was an artist, writer and seamstress, leaving her family with many stories, poems, paintings and quilts that they will forever cherish. She was the family historian, tracing and recording her genealogy back many generations. Along with her husband, she built and lived in many of the houses along Long Avenue and Colonial Hills Drive in Chatsworth, the area where her children and grandchildren made so many childhood memories. Above all else, she was mostly proud of her big ol’ family.

Rose was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, William Clyde Long; parents, Will and Lucy Waters; brothers, James, Jack and Johnny; sisters, Sue, Juanita, Pauline and Aileen; great-grandsons, Sam Brock and James Bradshaw, III.

Surviving Mrs. Long are her loving daughters, Clydene (Gary) Brock and Becky (Billy) McAfee; grandchildren, Jodi (Craig) Matter, Lee (Julie) Brock, Jason (Sissy) Waters, Craig (Dani) Brock, Brittney (Benji) McConkey and Bekah (James) Jordan; great-grandchildren, Brock, Addison (Tyler), Mary Kathlyn, Will, Jack, Brianna, Jordan, Michael, Marilynn, Rylee, Reagan, Hinton, Ladd, Laine, Cass, Hudson and Cooper; great-great-grandchildren, J.R. and Jordan; special caregivers, Carol Mooney, Brenda Smith, Brandy Smith, Tammy Dalton and Jordan Moore; special friend, Danielle Arthur; sisters-in-law, Ava Nell Long and Virginia Waters. Nieces and nephews also survive.

The family will receive friends at First Baptist Church of Chatsworth on Thursday, March 19, from 12-2 p.m. The hour of service will directly follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First Baptist Church of Chatsworth in memory of Rose Long.

Peeples Funeral Home & Crematory of Chatsworth is in charge of the arrangements.

Mr. Thomas “Tommy” Crumbley

Mr. Thomas “Tommy” Crumbley, age 72, of Chatsworth, passed away Saturday, March 14, 2020, at his residence.

He was preceded in death by his father J.T. Crumbley; mother, Helen Crumbley; brother, Mickey Crumbley.

Survivors include son, John Crumbley, Ringgold; daughter and son-in-law, Andria and Jeremy Sheram of Chatsworth; sister and brother-in-law, Wanda & Larry Byrd of Chatsworth; grandchildren, Halen, Hali, and Lily Sheram, and Drew Crumbley; special niece, Kelly Page, and other nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews also survive.

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Peeples Funeral Home & Crematory of Chatsworth is in charge of the arrangements.

Mr. Tommie (Tommy) Ray Stoker

Mr. Tommie (Tommy) Ray Stoker, age 71, of Chatsworth, passed away Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Hamilton Medical Center. Tommie was a member of Opportunity Baptist Church.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Angeline Stoker, Andrew and Lula Mae Williams Green; parents, J.C. and Victoria Green Stoker; brothers in law, George B Rogers, Walter Roberts, and Harold Land; and previous wife, Judy Faye Stoker.

Mr. Stoker is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Marjorie Stoker; son and daughter-in-law, Tommy Ray Stoker and Melody Jo Tenney of Chatsworth; daughter and son in law,  Katie and Russell Bishop of Athens, TN;  stepchildren and spouses,  Patrick and Angie Carter of Etowah, TN, Ernie and Tracy Withrow of Omstead, KY, Paul and Donna Withrow of Newport, TN; grandchildren and spouses,  Brittany and Dustin Dills of Benton, TN, Amanda & Eric Gentry of Benton, TN, Kiernan and Cody Payne of Chatsworth, Lakota Withrow of Olmstead, KY, Kade Withrow of Olmstead, KY, Timothy Carter and, Austin Carter of Etowah, TN; sisters, Linda Rogers and Gregg of Chatsworth, Elaine Roberts of Chatsworth; brother and sister in law, Andy, Sr. and Dian Stoker of Dalton; sister in law, Paula Simmons Odom of Dothan, AL, Pamela Odom and Judy Odom, both of Summerville, SC; special friend, Pete Tillman of Chatsworth; great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews also survive.

Funeral services were held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Shawn Chapman Funeral Home with Rev. Gary Bowen and Rev. Dale Bowen officiating. The family received friends at the funeral home Saturday 5 until 9 p.m.

Arrangements made with integrity by Shawn Chapman Funeral Home, Crematory and Monuments.

Mr. Jim Rich

Mr. Jim Rich, age 73, of Dalton, passed away Friday, March 13, 2020. Jim was a loving husband and father and enjoyed fellowship with his friends. He was the owner and operator of Jim’s Service Station in Chatsworth until he retired.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Sheila Spivey Rich; mother, Margaret Bartenfield Rich; and mother and father-in-law, Cecil & Sally Spivey.

Jim is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Jeff McAllister; sister, Carol Souther; and special friends and caregivers, Bob “Bird” Barton, Pam Blair, and Sandy Dean.

A visitation to celebrate his life was held at Shawn Chapman Funeral Home on Monday, March 16, 2020, from 4 until 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rock Bridge Community Church, 120 Remco Shops Lane, Ringgold, GA 30736.

Arrangements made with integrity by Shawn Chapman Funeral home, Crematory and Monuments.

Perdue staff to work from home

ATLANTA, GA – In response to President Trump’s national emergency and Governor Kemp’s public health emergency declarations, along with the advice of our nation’s public health experts and medical professionals, U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today announced that his offices will begin telework procedures starting Monday, March 16. All staff will be available remotely in both Georgia and Washington, D.C.

“The health and safety of Georgians is my top priority,” said Senator Perdue. “At this time, we have decided to take additional measures to protect the safety of our staff and the constituents we welcome into our offices every day. Our team remains fully operational and ready to assist the needs of all Georgians, and that will not change. We all play a role in combating the spread of this virus, so I urge everyone to be vigilant and take extra precautions now to keep our communities healthy.”

While Senator Perdue’s team will be teleworking, staff members are ready and available to serve the needs of Georgians. Adjusting operations temporarily in order to ensure our staff and others stay healthy will not affect the quality of service that constituents have come to expect when they contact Senator Perdue’s offices.


If you or someone you know needs assistance during this time, you can still contact our offices by phone or by email, and we will get back to you promptly.

To help prevent the spread of viruses, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of coronavirus, and you develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within fourteen days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have coronavirus, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.

For additional information, visit Senator Perdue’s website, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s or the Centers for Disease Control’s websites.

General Assembly approves emergency declaration  

By Dave Williams
Bureau Chief
Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA – The General Assembly ratified Gov. Brian Kemp’s public health emergency declaration Monday in a one-day special session that took several hours longer than expected.
The governor called the special session last Friday, one day before he declared the first public health emergency in Georgia’s history to give him additional authority to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Lawmakers convened under the Gold Dome just three days after suspending the regular 2020 session indefinitely due to coronavirus.
Unlike the political conflicts that typify the 40-day regular sessions, legislative leaders called for and got bipartisanship on Monday.
“Now is the time for us to speak with one voice and act with one heart,” Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, the longest serving member of the state House of Representatives, told his colleagues from the House podium.
The emergency declaration gives Kemp the power to limit the size of public gatherings, a step the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending, and to restrict travel.
While the governor has yet to do either, he called up as many as 2,000 members of the Georgia National Guard during the weekend to work with local governments to ensure adequate supplies of medical equipment, food and shelter.
Georgia Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, said handing the governor unique executive powers is needed to “get in front of” the spreading virus. He noted the expanded powers include limiting truck operations and boosting support for the state Department of Public Health to keep elderly and chronically ill Georgians safe.
“This is one of those situations where half the population is going, ‘Are they overreacting? And the other half is going, Are they doing enough?’ ” Dugan said. “Unfortunately, the only way to know if we were overreacting is to not do anything and to see where the disease takes us.”
House Speaker David Ralston pledged his chamber’s help with the crisis in a brief address to House members before Monday’s vote.
“We will do what we must to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of the people of Georgia,” said Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. “There is no higher obligation that we have.”
While Democrats and Republicans stuck together in passing the resolution, the votes came only after House and Senate leaders spent hours behind closed doors hashing out a disagreement over the measure’s wording.
The original House version of the ratifying resolution called for the public health emergency declaration to last until April 13 unless Kemp acted to renew it beyond that date, subject to the General Assembly ‘s approval of the extension.
The Senate resolution, however, left the decision on renewing the emergency declaration strictly up to the governor.
Because of the dispute, a special session that began shortly after 8 a.m. lasted until after 3:30 p.m.
Lawmakers eventually agreed to schedule another special session April 15 to ratify any extension of the emergency declaration Kemp decides to issue. However, the governor will have the authority to renew the declaration unilaterally if the General Assembly is unable to return to the state Capitol because the coronavirus has rendered such large gatherings unwise.
Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Stone Mountain, said he thought the arrangement devised Monday would be enough to provide a legislative check on the governor’s power amid uncertain times.

“I think we have to be optimistic that he’s going to work for the best interest of Georgians and the state,” Henson said.
The Senate passed the resolution unanimously. It cleared the House 142-1, with Rep. Matt Gurtler, R-Tiger, voting “no.”

Staff writer Beau Evans contributed to this report.

Superior Court open, but limited

Following Governor Brian Kemp’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency due to the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Harold Melton of the Supreme Court of Georgia has entered an Order Declaring a Statewide Judicial Emergency affecting all courts and clerk’s offices in the State of Georgia through April 13, 2020.
In order to protect the health, safety and liberty of all citizens of this State, Chief Justice Melton has ordered that courts should remain open, to the extent feasible, but should give priority to “essential functions”. Some essential functions are: 1.) cases when an immediate liberty or safety concern is present requiring the attention of the court as soon as the court is available 2.) criminal search and arrest warrants, initial appearances and bond reviews 3.) domestic abuse temporary protective orders and restraining orders 4.) juvenile court delinquency detention hearings and emergency removal matters, and 5.) mental health commitment hearings.
It was further ordered that, to the extent court proceedings are held, they should be done in a manner to limi the risk of exposure, where possible.
As jury trials have not been designated as immediate essential function during this emergency, and as the selection of juries necessitates the gathering of large groups of citizens in one place, creating a greater risk of exposure, all Superior Court jury trial weeks scheduled in Whitfield and Murray Counties from today’s date up to and including April 13 are hereby canceled. Citizens who have received jury summons for any date up to April 13 shall disregard them and should not report for jury duet. Defendants who are scheduled for trial dates up until April 12 should not report on these dates and will be mailed a new court date as soon as possible.
All superior Court civil and domestic calendars are hereby canceled until April 13, with the exception of Temporary Protective Order hearing calendars. Ex Parte motions for Temporary Protective Orders and emergency custody matters will continue to be heard by the Presiding Judge. Judges will be available to rule on and issue orders on civil or domestic consent agreements.
Criminal Non-jury calendars will continue as scheduled, but the Superior Court Judges will work with the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, private attorneys, and the Clerks of Superior Court to restrict these calendars to essential cases only, focusing primarily on cases involving defendants who are currently in confinement.
For any further information, please visit the Whitfield County or Murray County websites at or call the Court Administrator’s Office at 706-278-5897.

Municipal Court suspends dates

City of Chatsworth Municipal Court will be rescheduling all court dates from March 18 until at least April 13. On March 14, the Honorable Harold D. Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, did order and declare a Statewide Judicial Emergency in the State of Georgia. The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the State and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.

Chatsworth Municipal Court will mail new court dates to the address that is on file with the court system. We would encourage anyone that is concerned about their court date to contact 706-422-3028 between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.