published Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

'High winds delay bridge closure' and more Chattanooga region news

High winds delay bridge closure

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. — The planned closure today of Snodgrass Bridge on state Route 117 over the Tennessee River near Stevenson, Ala., has been rescheduled because of high winds, the Alabama Department of Transportation announced Monday.

Depending on the weather, the closure is rescheduled for April 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. CDT for removal of old navigation lights, transportation officials said.

Motorists who need to cross the river April 16 should use Alabama Highway 35 in Scottsboro or Tennessee Highway 156 in South Pittsburg, Tenn., officials said.


Man says guilty in invoice scam

LOUDON, Tenn. — A 54-year-old Loudon, Tenn., man pleaded guilty Thursday to mail fraud and money laundering violations, a news release states.

Sentencing for Jeffery Bryant Nichols is set for June 18 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, according to the release from the office of U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

Nichols faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the mail fraud and 10 years in prison for the money laundering.

The release states Nichols was working with Architectural Graphics Inc., a Virginia Beach, Va.-based company that designs and manufactures architectural interior and exterior sign systems.

Working as a project manager, Nichols conspired with another employee to create a fictitious company known as Outdoor Graphic Displays. That company was created solely to defraud AGI by generating fictitious subcontracting invoices and submitting them to AGI for payment, the release states. Between August 2005 and June 2007, 11 fraudulent invoices totaling $359,575 were submitted to AGI from Outdoor Graphic Displays, records show.

Nichols was indicted in February 2012 by a federal grand jury in Knoxville.


Deal praises National Guard

MARIETTA, Ga. — Gov. Nathan Deal is praising the Georgia Army National Guard for receiving a top military award.

Deal held a ceremony Monday at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta to honor the Georgia Army National Guard for receiving a 2013 Army Communities of Excellence award.

All Army National Guard organizations in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia participate in the annual competition that recognizes those providing excellence in facilities, services and support to soldiers and their families.

Deal said the award reflects the "hard work, integrity and commitment to excellence" of the Georgia Army National Guard's 11,000 citizen-soldiers.

The governor also signed a bill into law designed to help veterans use their military certifications and experience to obtain certain professional licenses in the state.

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