published Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

'Armadillos damage lawn' and more news from around the Chattanooga region

Armadillos damage lawn

ROCKMART, Ga. — A Northwest Georgia homeowner says she was surprised to learn that armadillos were responsible for damage to her lawn, and many of her neighbors didn't know the critters were living in her county.

Vicki Ferguson, of Rockmart, told the Rome News-Tribune that she first noticed her lawn was dying in patches. There were holes everywhere. She thought the damage was the work of grub worms, moles or gophers.

She said a landscape specialist, Brent Cooper, was the first to tell her that armadillos were responsible. The unwanted visitors had built several tunnels around her home.

Rockmart is about 45 miles northwest of Atlanta, in Polk County.


Whitfield seeks robbery suspect

DALTON, Ga. — The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in a Dec. 22 robbery.

It is believed the person purchased a newspaper from a convenience store at the intersection of Cleveland Highway and Dawnville Road before robbing National Title Pawn.

Anyone with any information on the robber's identity is asked to call the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office at 706-278-1233.


Inmates chilling in county jail

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Rutherford County is hoping to keep the heat on for about 800 inmates at the jail after one of the facility's boilers broke.

Sheriff Robert Arnold told The Daily News Journal one of the facility's two boilers broke on Friday and the only remaining boiler is showing signs of stress. Jail officials have started developing contingency plans to move inmates if the other boiler breaks, as well.

Temperatures dipped into the 20s overnight during the weekend.

To keep the remaining boiler from breaking, jail workers lowered the water temperature in the facility and moved some inmates to the workhouse. Arnold said the boilers are both about 15 years old, and both will need to be replaced.


Parks offering guided hikes

PELHAM, Ala. — Alabama's state parks have an alternative to sitting around the house today.

Six state parks are offering what officials are calling "First Day Hikes."

The events are free guided hikes that are meant to encourage people to spend time outdoors. Visitors still have to pay park admission fees, however.

The hikes will be held at Alabama's largest state park, Oak Mountain, in suburban Birmingham; DeSoto in Northeast Alabama; Gulf State Park on the coast; Joe Wheeler near Decatur; Lake Guntersville; and Monte Sano park overlooking Huntsville.

All 50 states are offering First Day Hikes.

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