News for Thursday, April 11, 2013



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SUWANEE, Ga. — A gunman who lured firefighters to his home with an emergency call, then held four of them hostage for hours, planned the kidnapping for weeks, targeting them so he wouldn’t be shot, authorities said Thursday.

NASHVILLE — The House has passed a bill to ban most warrantless surveillance by unmanned drones in Tennessee, but added a last-minute exemption for events featuring large crowds.

As of 9:30 p.m. about 2,000 North Georgia EMC customers are without power across NGEMC’s seven-county territory, with the majority of the outages occurring in Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield counties.

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs found a severed goat’s head at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, and they’re treating the cruel reference to a longtime curse as a crime.

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Hinting at a missile launch, North Korea delivered a fresh round of war rhetoric Thursday with claims it has “powerful striking means” on standby. Seoul and Washington speculated that it is preparing to test-fire a missile designed to be capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — After almost seven months of investigating vandalism and arson at Loftis Middle School, arrests have been made.

SHUQUALAK, Miss. — A strong spring storm that socked the Midwest with ice and heavy, wet snow made its way east, raking the South with tornadoes Thursday, with three deaths blamed on the rough weather and thousands of people without power.

ATLANTA — The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for areas of northwest Georgia.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A torrid 31 on the back nine lifted Marc Leishman to a 6-under 66 and the first-round lead at the Masters.

Two new staff members have been named to Chattanooga Mayor-elect Andy Berke’s team.

The Hamilton County government once again secured the highest marks from major credit rating agencies.

A large tree hit a vehicle when it fell onto two southbound lanes of I-75 earlier today, but officials report there were no injuries and the tree had been cleared from the interstate.

'42,' the life story of Jackie Robinson, premieres tonight in Chattanooga, where the movie was partially filmed. Follow LIVE coverage of the VIP premiere at the Carmike Majestic 12 downtown.

One of the top articles today on a popular news website,, is highly critical of Tennessee.

A lane on Lake Resort Drive will be closed for work beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday and will remain closed until the completion of the project.

Despite many starts and stops, TVA’s work on a second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tenn., is now 80 percent complete and progressing to the point that much engineering work is in the details of transferring completed systems from construction workers to operators.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

The DeKalb County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office has reported that explosives and a large quantity of detonation cord were found Wednesday after a search following information that two young men were trying to sell explosives in the Ider, Ala., area.

Two juveniles will be charged in a Sept. 17, 2012, arson fire at Loftis Middle School, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says.

A Chattanooga couple has won $1 million in the Tennessee Lottery, according to a news release.

Some school systems in the Chattanooga area are closing before storms hit today.

The Bradley County EMS has announced it has removed its part-time employee, Drew Ingram, from its scheduling pending the completion of an investigation into a fatal accident in which he was involved and as he recupterates from injuries.

Four students from UTC progressed to added rounds in the 2013 Mid-South Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference and Student Auditions held earlier this month at Western Kentucky University.

State Route 16 in Franklin County will continue to be closed near log mile 17.7 for two added weeks as cleanup continues from a rockslide that took place March 25.

James Seal has been arrested by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office after his vehicle was stopped in the 5400 block of Highway 58 as part of a speed check.

Let it be — as in billionaire.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has released the names of the final three candidates for the Mocs’ athletic director position.

NASHVILLE — A proposal that would dock the welfare payments of parents whose children fail school is dead.

NASHVILLE — A bill allowing Hamilton County to cremate instead of bury local residents who die penniless is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam after finally passing the Senate.

NASHVILLE — A bill placing restrictions on Tennessee police agencies’ use of drones passed the House and Senate today.

KNOXVILLE - After Tennessee finished Thursday morning's practice with only four healthy scholarship receivers, all Zach Azzanni could do was shake his head and count them on his hand.

NASHVILLE — Consideration of a bill that would open the way for whiskey distilleries in Chattanooga was delayed today in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond was over in salary expenses by $220,850 during the last fiscal year, according to an audit of constitutional officers.

Nissan Motor Co. will raise pay for its employees in Mississippi and Tennessee.

Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba in a new song.

A woman from Washington state has been charged with stalking singer Clay Aiken at his home in North Carolina.

Hamilton county commissioners voted today to appoint local attorney Rob Philyaw to replace Suzanne Bailey as Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge.

NASHVILLE — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s workers’ compensation overhaul passed the House today following a sometimes emotional debate with proponents saying the measure will benefit workers and lower employer costs while Democratic opponents charged that injured and “maimed” workers will suffer.

RAYMOND, Miss. — Federal and Mississippi authorities are investigating the death of an Alabama bicyclist who was struck and killed by a car on Natchez Trace Parkway near the historic Battle of Raymond site.

WASHINGTON — Gun control supporters won the first Senate showdown Thursday over how to respond to the December carnage in Newtown, Conn., defeating an effort by conservatives to derail a package of firearms restrictions before debate could even start.

WESTMORELAND, Tenn. — Sumner County authorities say a man ran over his friend with a tractor, killing him, and then fled.

TUPELO, Miss. - A circus veterinarian says the Asian elephant wounded in a drive-by shooting in Mississippi should be fully recovered within a few weeks.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Storms packing rain, snow and dangerous winds raked the Midwest and spawned a possible tornado outside of St. Louis that prompted an emergency declaration from Missouri's governor.

Cutting lines at airports used to be only for the rich, famous or very frequent fliers. But then airlines started granting fast-track access to anybody with the right credit card or who was willing to shell out a few extra dollars.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- From the Richmond County satellite office of the "Talks too much studios, fore please, the 5-at-10's now driving...

ATLANTA — Forecasters say damaging winds will be the main threat as storms move into Georgia on today, but some tornadoes will also be possible.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Storms moving across West Tennessee were not as severe as earlier expected, but they were a lot wetter.

The Chattanooga Police Department reported in a news release today on details of the death of Deborah Underhill, whose body was found in late March on the south bank of the Tennessee River.

The Hamilton County Highway Department has stated it is closing Pitts Road today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to let crews replace a drainage culvert.

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

We'll see showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. today with a high temperature near 78 degrees. Storms will continue tonight with a low around 51.

  • April 11th, 2013  |

WASHINGTON — Two pivotal senators announced a bipartisan deal Wednesday on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, an agreement that could build support for President Barack Obama’s drive to curb firearms violence.

WASHINGTON — The financially beleaguered Postal Service backpedaled on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery, conceding Wednesday that its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed.

NEW YORK — In an age when checks can be deposited by smartphone and almost everyone retrieves cash from ATMs, the corner bank can seem a relic, with its paper deposit slips, marble countertops and human tellers behind glass partitions.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s first budget of his new term is a political straddle, aimed at enticing Republicans into a new round of deficit negotiations while trying to keep faith with Democrats who favor higher taxes in service of more government spending.

SAN DIEGO — The man who was the voice of Charlie Brown in the first “Peanuts” television specials has pleaded guilty to threatening and stalking both his ex-girlfriend and a plastic surgeon who gave her a breast enhancement he paid for.

Gabriella "Gabby" Logsdon met Zoe McDonough in the summer of 2011 while they were day-campers at Girl Scout Camp Awahila.

Q: I have a 6-week-old baby girl and am wondering how old she needs to be before I can get her ears pierced?

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By Dr. Tonia Cox

Four Bridges Outfitters, 315 N. Market St., will present a series of workshops on "Gearing Up for Spring" over the next three Thursdays.

Self-confidence. If it could be reduced to a potion and drunk from a bottle, many of us would buy it.

Eric Blevins will bring his Dirty Energy Road Show to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga today.

The Chattanooga Lookouts were on the road in Knoxville this weekend but return to AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley, this week for a five-game series against the Birmingham Barons.

Christopher Michael McFarland gets why people leave John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" with a touch of sadness, but he says there are brighter feelings to take away as well.

Lake Winnie

Rossville amusement park's 88th season opens Saturday

The new water park is not quite ready, but a longtime favorite place for summer fun will welcome visitors this weekend.

Nearly 550 artists from across the country applied, but just 145 were chosen to show their work in this weekend's 4 Bridges Arts Festival at First Tennessee Pavilion.

Folk artist Derek Webb, a former member of contemporary Christian band Caedmon's Call, will bring his "She Must and Shall Go Free" 10-Year Anniversary Tour to The Camp House, 1427 Williams St., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.

Trails & Trilliums, an event founded a decade ago to promote the purchase of native plants and offer guided wildflower hikes on the Cumberland Plateau, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend.

It has the liveliness of traditional Irish music, the improvisation of jazz and the virtuosic complexity of classical music.

A hateful lie told by an angry student at an all-girls boarding school irrevocably tarnishes the reputation of the two women who run it, leading to the destruction of their careers, relationships and lives.

'Music in Honor of the Virgin Mary'

Bach's Magnificat is centerpiece of Chattanooga Bach Choir concert

The Chattanooga Bach Choir will offer "Music in Honor of the Virgin Mary" in a concert Sunday, April 14, at Grace Episcopal Church.

Brooklyn Rider, a quartet lauded for the innovation and imagination the musicians bring to the stage, will perform for the season finale of the String Theory chamber music series tonight, April 11.

It wasn't the phone calls before dawn or sleep-robbing calls after midnight that wore out Janna Jahn. It was being buried beneath the avalanche.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By By Shawn Ryan

It didn't take long for the supersized, custom-made black truck to draw a crowd outside Chattem's corporate headquarters at the foot of Lookout Mountain on Wednesday afternoon.

Rosemary Varner, of Signal Mountain, said Wednesday she's worried about protecting the region's watersheds and wetlands from over-development.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of North Alabama grabbed his glasses to scan page 51 of President Barack Obama's budget request Wednesday and turned red as he absorbed a seven-sentence proposal that could put TVA in private hands, alter rates for 9 million customers and jeopardize 12,000 employees.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Bubba Watson didn't bring his hovercraft golf cart. He hasn't been seen wandering around Augusta National Golf club in the overalls he wears during the YouTube sensation "Golf Boys" videos.

Tickets reserved by Friday, April 12, in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway come with an extra perk.

The Allen Thompson Band, fronted by a roots musician known for his mournful vocals and honest turns of phrase, is playing today, April 11, at The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Parkway.

When people learn that indie rock band Ivan & Alyosha took its name from Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" and that no one in the group is named Ivan or Alyosha, an impression is formed.

KNOXVILLE — The voice has become a staple of Tennessee's football practices.

Two of four men charged in a March 24 killing in Cowan, Tenn., are now listed among the TBI's Top 10 Most Wanted and are the subject of a $1,000 reward for information.

Be Cos

Versatile entertainer Bill Cosby to brighten Tivoli

The Greatest Generation remembers "I Spy," where Bill Cosby was the first black man to co-star on a television series.

Mayor-elect Andy Berke swept out City Hall on Wednesday, letting go 18 of 21 people who served under Mayor Ron Littlefield.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Good morning, spring. Hello, golf.

Folk rocker Scott Miller, left, along with The Whiskey Gentry, Roger Alan Wade and The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will be featured on April 11 in the next installment of Scenic City Roots at Track 29, 1400 Market St.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Steven Fox leaned up against the green railing by the practice putting green and yawned.

Kick it up a notch

Roller Girls open sixth season here Saturday

From the digital confines of their team profile portraits, they scowl out with malice in their eyes.

Champian Fulton, a critically acclaimed jazz pianist and vocalist based in New York City, will make her Chattanooga debut Saturday, April 13, with an 8 p.m. show at Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

Two neighborhood block parties are scheduled Saturday, April 13 -- one in downtown Chattanooga, the other in Brainerd.

Two family acts that represent the first and third generations of a gospel music legacy will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, for the monthly Sacred Sounds concert in Ringgold, Ga.

Starting pitcher Zach Lee allowed five hits and one run in seven innings to lead Chattanooga to a 6-2 win over the Tennessee Smokies in its road opener.

MIAMI — The Atlanta Braves’ latest victory was especially splashy: Evan Gattis’ three-run homer landed in the nightclub swimming pool beyond the left-field fence.

What do goldfish, strawberry plants and sustainable living have in common? Kindergartners, of course.

The UTC Theatre's production of “Middletown” continues its run through the weekend in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

Mayor-elect Andy Berke created a position of public safety coordinator to oversee a comprehensive crime strategy, but details about the job are few.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Former UTC golfer and assistant coach Ben Rickett has volunteered to provide a first-person account of his daily activities as caddie at the Masters for UTC senior and U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By By Ben Rickett

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Forget the Scenic City — this week Chattanooga is Bag Land.

Not every graduate of UTC's business school ends up in the school's Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, but that's exactly where Max Fuller's journey began.

Efforts are afoot in Walker County, Ga., and LaFayette, its county seat, to loosen restrictions on alcohol.

Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet managed to drive a third of the Union Army from the battlefield at Chickamauga nearly 150 years ago.

The 2013 graduating class of the Professional Actor Training Program at Chattanooga State Community College will present "Living Room in Africa" by Bathsheba Doran this weekend.

The U-Church season at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., will conclude with a performance by Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning Gungor at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in the Conn Center.

Buddhapalooza III

All welcome to day of meditation, lectures and performance

Continuing a celebration of Buddha’s birthday that began locally two years ago, the Zen Group of Chattanooga will return to Barking Legs Theater on Saturday, April 13, to offer a day of meditation, dharma talks (lectures) and performance to honor the great teacher.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said Wednesday afternoon that former Tennessee and Tennessee Tech receiver Da'Rick Rogers will be a mid-round selection in the NFL draft, which begins two weeks from today.

Q. What can I do if I think someone has stolen my identity?

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By By Gregory Holmes
  • Comment  |

A bank officer testified Wednesday that had she known Southern Group was funding down payments and monthly payments for land buyers, her bank never would have approved the loans.

NASHVILLE — With state lawmakers hoping to adjourn next week or soon after, House Speaker Beth Harwell said Wednesday that House members may not have time to take action regarding 10th Judicial District Attorney Steve Bebb if they decide it's needed.

The 13th annual Spring Plant Sale at Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St., is this weekend. Hours are 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Admission is free.

Chattanooga-area movie fans may see a few faces they recognize as “42” opens in theaters this weekend.

“The Odd Couple” ends its run this weekend at Tennessee Valley Theatre, 184 W. Jackson Ave. in Spring City.

  • April 11th, 2013  |

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A 500-pound bronze statue of Cleveland's namesake, American Revolutionary War hero Col. Benjamin Cleveland, will be unveiled on Patriot's Day, April 19.

Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (of beanstalk fame) are among the characters lurking in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods."

The Chattanooga History Center, 2 Aquarium Way, will present the fifth lecture in a special preview series, Gallery Talks, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Twenty-six ways to die.

"Optic," an oil and graphite on canvas by Sarah Grace Pendergrass is among the works by senior art majors to be presented at the University Art Gallery on Georgia Avenue at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

An elderly couple died in Polk County, Tenn., after a head-on car crash Wednesday morning, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol says the other driver had been drinking.

A Chattanooga woman claims in a lawsuit that city police spread rumors she was a snitch after she filed a complaint against an officer, and later arrested her under false pretenses on a charge that was recently dismissed.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen depth Wednesday by acquiring right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles for a minor-leaguer

Progress toward finding possible future members of the Southern Conference appears to have been made Wednesday when the league's top brass from its nine remaining schools met in Charlotte, N.C. How much, and whether enough was done, may depend on your perspective.

Victims of March 18's tornadoes and high winds in DeKalb County, Ala., and surrounding counties could be eligible for federal help after being approved recently for disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans.

Central High School has a new house for its diamond programs.

Preschool kids who want to run, jump and sweat at the inaugural Kiddie Olympics at Finley Stadium have until Tuesday, April 16, to register.

For the last couple of weeks, people have been calling with their "42" tales.

Technology stocks roared back Wednesday, driving the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones industrial average to record highs.

Baylor senior guard Clay Born will sign a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Sewanee, a NCAA Division III school.

Chattanooga Parks and Recreation’s therapeutic recreation division continues to add opportunities for area residents with disabilities.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By Ron Bush  |

Alabama middle linebacker Trey DePriest, who was the Crimson Tide's second-leading tackler last season, will miss the rest of spring after undergoing surgery for a broken right foot.

Chattanooga's AT&T Wireless customers can hold their heads high, no longer relegated to second place when it comes to 4G coverage.

By the time you read this, I will be gone.

An exhibit of quilts that demonstrate the artistry and skills of Marion County residents will be showcased Saturday, April 13, at Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, 329 Sulphur Springs Road, Whitwell, Tenn.

Soul food can come in slightly different forms and mean slightly different things to different people, but at its heart it means comfort food.

Life Force airlifted a 10-year-old boy to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after his bicycle collided with an SUV.

CHARLESTON, Tenn. — Charleston's proposal to incorporate 135 acres and about 270 people living southwest of the city will take effect May 9.

Chattanooga police arrested a Hamilton County corrections officer on charges of aggravated domestic assault and harassment after she allegedly phoned her ex-girlfriend 20 times and tried to run her off the road, according to an arrest report.

Residents seeking to renew their driver's licenses or state ID cards now have a high-tech option that may save them time.

Terry Kay

Dalton State hosts Georgia author at book festival

Georgia author Terry Kay, perhaps best known for the 1990 novel that became a Hallmark Hall of Fame film starring Jessica Tandy, will speak Wednesday, April 17, in Dalton about what he consid

  • April 11th, 2013  |

19: Celtic Woman at Memorial Auditorium 19: The Communicators Present: Rapper's Delight at Rhythm & Brews

Jerry Jones, owner of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, is like many Texans in his love of art.

If a deal sounds too good to be true it usually is.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By By Michael Tanner
  • 1 comment  |

Will history repeat? I spent 34 years in automotive quality management in the U.S., Canada and Mexico including VW when they were in Pennsylvania for eight years.

A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well.

Chair-ries Jubilee, a party that raises funds for arts in education programs, will be held Friday, April 12, at the Museum Center at Five Points, 200 East Inman St., in Cleveland, Tenn.

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