published Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Teens charged in crime spree and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Teens charged in crime spree

ATHENS, Tenn. — A group of teens who Englewood, Tenn., police say operated a crime ring are due to appear Monday in McMinn County Juvenile Court.

After a Jiffy Market was burglarized twice, officers were keeping a close eye on it. The Daily Post Athenian reported that officer Nick Purkey saw a back door open Saturday night. He saw juveniles running through tall grass behind the market. He caught two of them.

Purkey and sheriff's office Detective Gary Miller interviewed the youths and their parents and charged seven, all between 15 and 17.

Police say they tied the youths to break-ins and vandalism at markets, a church, McMinn Central High School and a number of mailboxes.

The teens were released to their parents pending their court appearances.


Welcome centers to be redone

ATLANTA — Georgia's state transportation board has approved spending up to $3 million to renovate eight of the state's welcome centers.

The board approved the plan Thursday, and the money will come from the Georgia LOGO program, which offers businesses advertising space on highway signs near exits. Board member Sam Wellborn said rehabilitating the welcome centers is a perfect use of the LOGO funding.

Board Chairman Johnny Floyd said many of the state's welcome centers have been around since the 1960s and are in need of updating.

Officials said they plan also to look at ways to improve the state's 16 rest areas.


Couple charged as fake dentists

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A husband and wife are in the Maury County Jail after police say they were practicing dentistry without a license.

The Daily Herald reported Michael and Lana Richardson are wanted in Glasgow, Ky., on similar charges.

Michael Richardson also has a criminal hold from Warren County, Tenn. That stems from a probation violation after a 1994 conviction on impersonation of a licensed professional and unlawful practice of dentistry.

Columbia police say Michael Richardson was practicing at Amazing Smiles.

The two are being held without bond and were scheduled to be arraigned Friday.


Body found in Etowah River

KINGSTON, Ga. — Authorities in Northwest Georgia are trying to identity a body found in the Etowah River.

Bartow County Sheriff's Office officials said the body was found Thursday night. Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said someone fishing off Jones Slough Road near Kingston saw the body and called 911.

Rogers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that authorities planned to take the body to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for identification.

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