published Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Motor home fire fatal for 2 and other news from the areas around Chattanooga

Motor home fire fatal for 2

MADISONVILLE, Tenn. — A motor home fire in Tellico Plains, Tenn., killed two people Wednesday, authorities said.

WBIR-TV reported Monroe County authorities identified the victims as Caleb Lawrence, 22, and Brittany Long, 17.

Sheriff Bill Bivens said arson investigators are trying to determine what started the fire, but there was no immediate indication that it was of suspicious origin.

The fire was discovered about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Three fire departments fought the blaze, which reduced the recreational vehicle to ashes.


Animals blessing to be Nov. 25

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Ringgold United Methodist Church will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals service at 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, a news release states.

The church's four-year tradition, a short service during which the Rev. John Purrington will ask God to bless each family's pets, will be in the multipurpose room at the 7484 Nashville St. church.

"Together we celebrate and bless the animals that are dear to us, serving both as servant and friend," Purrington said in the release.

Tina Pinkston, the church's coordinator of community worship, said all pets are welcome, but large ones should be leashed and small ones brought in carriers or crates.


Governor plans workforce group

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to appoint a task force to help provide seamless workforce development training from middle school through college.

Bentley told the Birmingham Business Alliance on Tuesday that development of a skilled workforce is the key to Alabama's attracting more industries. He said he's setting up a task force that will include representatives of K-12 schools, two-year colleges, four-year colleges and the state's job training program, Alabama Industrial Development Training. He said all education starting in the seventh grade ought to be geared toward workforce training.


Farmers getting tax break

MACON, Ga. — Leaders in Georgia's agriculture industry are urging farmers to get ready for a pending tax break.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black appeared Wednesday at the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon to urge growers to apply for a break exempting them from paying sales tax on the materials needed to grow their goods. That tax break starts Jan. 1 and is part of a package of tax changes that state lawmakers approved this year.

Before the law passed, Georgia gave farmers inconsistent sales tax breaks on the goods needed to grow crops.

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