published Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Nathan Deal signs bill on HOPE GPA and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Deal signs bill on HOPE GPA

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation to lower grade requirements for recipients of the HOPE grant program, which helps students attending the state's technical colleges.

Deal signed the bill during a Wednesday event at the Technical College System of Georgia's annual leadership summit.

He said the bill works to strengthen the state's workforce, saying "we need more college or technical college degrees in order to attract and fill the jobs of tomorrow."

The bill returns the qualifying grade-point average to 2.0 after it was raised to 3.0 two years ago because of budgetary concerns. In the years since, there was a notable decline in enrollment.

The governor's office says recent growth in lottery revenues, which fund the program, will cover the additional $5 million to $8 million cost.

Motorcycle deaths decline

New numbers show Georgia has seen a slight drop in its number of motorcycle fatalities.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety reported that new data made available Wednesday shows the state had slightly fewer deadly motorcycle wrecks in 2012 than during 2011.

The statistics show that most motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas and in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains.

Authorities say Fulton County had the greatest number of motorcyclist fatalities statewide.

Also, DeKalb County had a significant increase in the number of motorcyclist fatalities from 2011 to 2012.

Confederate buckle found

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — A visitor from Ohio recently found a Confederate belt buckle while walking through the Carter House garden in Franklin, a news release from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development states.

"The day after a hard rain in Franklin, a visitor approached me about an item he found in The Carter House garden," said Eric A. Jacobson, Battle of Franklin Trust COO.

Jacobson said a trust artifact specialist confirmed it was a civilian-style buckle often used by Confederate troops, and that such items are regularly found in long-abandoned camps.

For more information on the Carter House, visit

Antique club sets annual show

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. — The Everything Antique Club is hosting its annual show Friday and Saturday at the Rhea County Fairgrounds in Evensville.

The show, open to tractors, trucks, cars or any other antique equipment, will be held rain or shine, according to a news release.

For more information, call Andy Hood at 423-619-1350.

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