published Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Georgia man dies in Polk County crash and other Chattanooga area news

Georgia man dies in Polk crash

Ducktown, Tenn. — A single-vehicle crash in Polk County claimed the life of a Blairsville, Ga., man late Friday night.

James Cearley, director of East Polk Fire and Rescue in Ducktown, said the wreck happened just before 11:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 64 east of the Ocoee Whitewater Center.

He said the driver apparently lost control and the car flipped and landed on the guardrail. The driver was pinned in the car.

THP spokeswoman Dalya Qualls identified the driver as Michael D. Kinnett, 58. The THP report said Kinnett was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora and was not wearing a seat belt.


Judge rules in river dispute

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A federal judge has ruled that Alabama is premature with most of its lawsuit seeking to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release more water for the Coosa River from Lake Altoona in North Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre said Alabama acted too soon because the corps' decisions involving the lake were not final administrative actions.

"While this delays Alabama's efforts to ensure that the state will get the water to which it is entitled under federal law, Alabama will be ready to refile the claims as soon as the law permits," said Jeremy King, spokesman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.


Deputy involved in death cleared

CANTON, Ga. — The Cherokee County district attorney has cleared a deputy involved in the May 1 shooting of a Towne Lake teen.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation cleared Deputy Jason Yarbrough of any wrongdoing in the shooting of 16-year-old Andrew Messina. The teen was killed in a standoff with Cherokee Sheriff's Office deputies last month.

The GBI released its 700-page report Monday, and District Attorney Garry Moss ruled he found no reason to arrest or prosecute Yarbrough.

Yarbrough is expected to return to active duty this week.


Swimmers honor dead brothers

DACULA, Ga. — Hundreds of Gwinnett County children turned area swim meets into fundraisers in memory of two brothers killed earlier this month in a boating accident on Lake Lanier.

The event came a day after 13-year-old Griffin Prince's body was recovered from the lake. His brother, Jake, 9, was found shortly after the June 18 crash.

The Gwinnett Daily Post reported swimmers wrote "families are forever" and "I swim for Jake and Griffin" on their bodies in support for the Buford, Ga., boys.

Paul J. Bennett, of Cumming, Ga., is charged with boating under the influence in the crash.

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