News for Friday, May 13, 2011




WASHINGTON — A sizeable stash of pornography was among the items seized when U.S. Navy SEALs raided the Pakistani hideout of Osama bin Laden, almost two weeks ago, U.S. officials say.

A little more than a day after 16-year-old Lauren Alaina Suddeth made it into “American Idol’s” top three, Chattanooga will welcome the Rossville singer home with a series of celebrations.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team is heading back to the Southern Conference tournament title game, and the Lady Mocs appear to be getting better with each game in the tournament in Statesboro, Ga.

Lanes of Interstate 24 will be closed in both directions over the weekend for resurfacing and repair and state transportation officials are urging locals to use surface streets to avoid congestion.

Tonight’s Evening Shade concert featuring the Collins Brothers and Peter Rivera, former lead singer and drummer for Rare Earth, will take place at Arnold Memorial Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, calling it “a rather historic moment,” on Friday signed a bill that cracks down on illegal immigration in the state by increasing some enforcement powers and requiring many employers to check the immigration status of new hires.

A plan to renovate an empty bank building and turn it into a visitors’ center connected by a walking trail to other historic areas was introduced to the community today.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield’s meeting on budgets cuts to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department is under way, but so far the discussion has focused on the Homeless Health Care Center.

As you read this, the 5-at-10 is either high above the Midwest or actually in Las Vegas contributing to the tourist economy around this great nation. (Hey look, is that Jimmy Two-Times? Is he going to get the papers, get the papers?)

Army Corps of Engineers Col. Ed Fleming leaned over a podium and warned the crowd gathered at a volunteer fire station that where they were standing was projected to be swamped by up to 15 feet of water from Mississippi River flooding. The crowd let out a collective gasp.

WASHINGTON — Despite having no Internet access in his hideout, Osama bin Laden was a prolific email writer who built a painstaking system that kept him one step ahead of the U.S. government’s best eavesdroppers.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Thousands of Southerners who lost everything last month to a pack of killer twisters will need new homes after they move out of shelters and relatives’ spare bedrooms, but the types of housing they find will vary widely depending on where they live.

CHICAGO — Before Oprah Winfrey looks west to Los Angeles and her new cable station the talk show queen finds herself saying goodbye to her beloved Chicago.

Martin Prado hit a tying grand slam in the seventh inning, then scored the winning run on Brian McCann's single to right field in the 10th, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

Chattanooga-based warehouse and logistics giant Kenco Group has shuffled its top management, inserting a new chairman, chief executive and president.

Whether the Baylor girls’ track team can claim a fourth consecutive Division II state championship may be decided not by a sprint to the finish, but how fast four seniors can cover ground in the three distance races.

It’s pretty obvious that the Republican-dominated Tennessee General Assembly puts the interests of banks ahead of those of the average Tennessean.

We, the people, have elected some great presidents in the history of our marvelous United States of America. Of course, we think of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as the greatest. And fortunately, voters have chosen some other presidents who have served with distinction as well.

A little more than a month ago, Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin was gunned down responding to a robbery on Brainerd Road.

Chattanooga wasn’t under consideration for Porsche’s new North American headquarters, but economic developers hope the proximity of Porsche’s planned facility may open the Volkswagen plant to more production opportunities.

Tennessee House members voted 72-19 on Thursday to cut back on the number of public foreclosure notices published in newspapers across the state.

  • May 13th, 2011  |
  • By Staff and Wire Reports
  • Comment  |

This weekend’s Finster Fest in Chattooga County will add a traveling circus troupe to the schedule of events celebrating the life and work of renowned folk artist Howard Finster.

Many people came to wish Dr. Rick Denning well Thursday as he retires as director of Cleveland City Schools. Don Baldree was a member of the board that selected Denning nearly 18 years ago.

A Walker County man accused of stealing from his tenant says his recent indictment shouldn’t hold up because a sheriff’s deputy he says was involved in the case was the foreman of the grand jury.

Students in Ringgold will be some of the only ones in Georgia this month not taking the standardized tests that could exempt them from the soon-to-be-obsolete Georgia Graduation Test.

A property tax increase in Red Bank would fund a sixth straight raise for the city’s 62 employees, according to a preliminary budget plan that also cuts services.

Lauren Alaina Suddeth is coming home from Hollywood — but this is the one week on “American Idol” when that’s good news. After a record 71 million votes were cast by viewers Wednesday night, Rossville’s teen singing sensation advanced to the final three contestants with Haley Reinhart and Scotty McCreery.

It has been known for some time that various tax credits and exemptions were reducing, bit by bit, the percentage of American households that have to pay federal income taxes.

Your home and wallet may take a serious beating as a result of the recent storms and tornadoes that struck our area. Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be wary of fly-by-night “storm chasers,” as well as fraudulent charities promising to provide relief.

  • May 13th, 2011  |
  • By By Jim Winsett
  • 1 comment  |

The Montgomery Biscuits beat the Chattanooga Lookouts 6-2 in Southern League baseball Thursday night.

This list is updated at least weekly. A short version including imminent events appears on Fridays in the sports section. Submit items by e-mail to, by fax to 423-668-5049 or by mail to Sports Dept., Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403.

Leading up to last week’s season opener, the Chattanooga Football Club had players with as few as one practice with the squad before taking on Jacksonville United.

In 2009, Train lead vocalist Patrick Monahan told the Chattanooga Times Free Press: “There’s never an environment I don’t dig playing music.”

I enjoyed the editorial (Gingrich’s chutzpah, May 11) and agree fully with the position taken by the author. However, I do have a nit to pick. What possible relevance is the color of Ms. Bisek’s hair? “... Bisek, a platinum blonde who would now accompany him around the country ...” (emphasis added).

It was hard to take President Barack Obama seriously when he recently declared that no matter how much his administration does to combat illegal immigration, his political opponents will “never be satisfied.”

With the news still fresh concerning President Barack Obama’s order for the successful U.S. military raid that killed terrorist Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the political popularity of Obama has pulled out of a slump.

Hixson resident and McCallie School graduate Sean Ryan, representing the Scenic City Aquatic Club, won the men’s 800-meter freestyle race Thursday at the Charlotte Ultraswim in a time of 8 minutes, 11.1 seconds.

Georgia Paturalski, the setter on Signal Mountain’s Class A state-championship team last fall, has signed a volleyball scholarship with NCAA Division II member Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. She took her visit a little less than a month ago.

Central’s softball team looks as though it’s at full strength moving forward in the TSSAA playoffs, and that’s not good news for other Class AA teams.

Polk County High School will field a girls’ soccer team starting this year.

Grace Academy backed its fifth consecutive District 5-A high school softball championship by winning its fifth consecutive district-tournament title.

Citing a need to be closer to home and an opportunity he couldn’t refuse, John Cherne has resigned as boys’ basketball coach at Red Bank.

There were two goalkeeper plays that ultimately decided the District 5-AAA soccer championship game Thursday between Ooltewah and McMinn County.

Although noted for record-breaking offensive numbers this season, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball team is proving in the Southern Conference tournament that it has a pretty good pitching staff as well.

Aaron Douglas, a University of Alabama and former University of Tennessee offensive lineman, was found dead near Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.

Looking for a return to the Class A state baseball finals, Boyd-Buchanan wrapped up its second District 5-A championship Thursday, beating Grace Academy 10-0 on Clayton Parker’s five-inning no-hitter.

The Cleveland girls’ tennis team celebrated coach Elizabeth Davis’s birthday Thursday by dousing her with Silly String.

Maybe it was the mid-90-degree weather that brought up the image. When Brent Tucker tried to find a way to analyze his baseball team’s GHSA Class AAA playoff series loss to Columbus, an Old West analogy came to mind.

As people swiftly gathered around the 800 block of Roanoke Avenue where police were tying up crime scene tape Thursday evening, the rumors flew: someone had been shot. Two people were shot. Someone’s cousin. Someone’s friend of a friend.

Rita Cooper was afraid it was bad news. “I knew the bishop was going to make an announcement,” she said, “but I thought he was going to dissolve the parish.”

The Alabama Legislature’s regular session is set to end in early June, but lawmakers may have to return to Montgomery later this year for a special session to deal with rebuilding schools and other issues related to the April tornadoes that caused death and destruction across the state.

Hamilton County commissioners on Thursday heard from Department of Education officials that they still are trying to figure out how to close a $14 million budget shortfall.

A morning breakfast allowed Whitfield County leaders to talk about positive changes in their communities, but leaders also brought up budget difficulties they expect to face in the next year.

Hamilton County commissioners said Thursday they like saving money as much as the next elected body, but sounded wary of a proposal to save $1 million a year by switching insurance carriers.

Georgia’s long-held reputation as a draw for young professionals is on the line as those in their 20s and 30s appear to be looking elsewhere for opportunities.

Hunter Easterly was determined to make his robot climb a raised track to complete its mission of carrying a payload up and over a hump.

Chattanooga’s access to mass transit ranks last among the nation’s top 100 metropolitan areas in a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

Campbell said that, thanks to his design consultations, his customers get exactly what they want and an heirloom-quality finished product. “I build things to last longer than I will,” he said. “I don’t build things that will be breaking down in a few years and be put on the side of the road. I build things to be passed down from generation to generation.”

Shares of Miller Industries rose Thursday to the highest level since October 2007 after the towing and wrecker company announced plans to buy back up to $20 million of its stock.

High-end carpet maker The Dixie Group reported first-quarter profit Thursday of $644,000 on sales of $66 million, marking a huge turnaround for the Chattanooga-area company.

The two teams that beat nationally third-ranked Walters State in the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII baseball tournament met Thursday for the championship, and Columbia State edged 10th-ranked Chattanooga State 9-8 in 10 innings to join Walters in a four-team playoff with Georgia’s top squads for a berth in the Junior College World Series.

Bubba and Earl decided they’d try duck hunting. They gathered their guns and the dogs and the ammunition and their orange hunting hats and tramped about for hours, but they had no luck whatsoever.

I have a few fundamental beliefs about food: coleslaw is a side, not a topping; my grandmomma’s biscuits are the best in the world; and everyone should have their own “regular” Mexican restaurant.

If it’s true weddings, funerals and babies bring out the worst in people, the Turpin family is a case in point.

When demure Mary Haines discovers her husband is cheating on her, she initiates a divorce. What happens next and how people react to it give the humorous and biting play that opens tonight on the Chattanooga Theatre Centre MainStage its panache.

Hot-air balloons, strawberries, folk art and contemporary art are themes of four big festivals taking place this weekend in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.

G-scale model train hobbyists from across the country will travel to Dalton, Ga., this weekend for the Southeast Garden Railroad Show, one of just five such shows held in the country.

The Nine Mile Bluegrass Festival has become so popular in its 26 years that campers arrived as early as Monday to claim a good seat for the show, according to founder Louis Edmons.

Proceeds from this Sunday’s annual Tommy Jett Entertainers Reunion will go toward helping those impacted by the recent tornadoes in our area, according to Jett.

From the street corners of New Orleans to St. Louis blues clubs to New York jazz joints, the road that brought saxophonist Greg Tardy to Knoxville was long and diverse.

When the heat of summer becomes too much to bear, the cool cavern of the cinema is often a welcome escape.

Though it takes place at the Chattanooga Convention Center this Saturday, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Guild Gala will take attendees to another time and place.

If all goes according to plan, sometime between 2 and 3:30 today, my son will receive his diploma from University of Tennessee.

Who judges the judges? That’s an important question in a nation where the rule of law prevails and where judges are charged with the equitable administration of those rules.

For more than a decade, Brian Olive was a slave to compromising with others. Four years ago, he made a successful break for freedom.

Chattanooga Times Free Press entertainment reporter Casey Phillips spoke with Knoxville-based jazz saxophonist Gregory Tardy about how his travels have impacted his music, his love of Rush and how his music is informed by his faith.

This year’s Coke Stage lineup at Riverbend is all snakes and sparklers.

Chattanooga Times Free Press entertainment reporter Casey Phillips spoke with eclectic rock singer/songwriter Brian Olive about his time with The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers, the freedom he has as a solo artist and working with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

I’ve always known it wouldn’t be easy. Love, that is.

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