published Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Top 5 things to know in the Chattanooga area today (with video)

1) RAIN COULD TURN TO SNOW TODAY IN CHATTANOOGA AREA

Tired of rain? Don't fret: Forecasters say the wet stuff will be snow later today.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jessica Winton says the rain will transition to snow around noon. Chattanooga may get about a half-inch before the system clears out near 11 p.m.

2) TVA KEEPING AN EYE ON RISING RIVERS

As rain continues in the Tennessee Valley for the 10th straight day, local emergency officials aren't the only ones watching South Chickamauga Creek with worried eyes.

TVA weather and river flow experts are running continuous rainfall models and sending messages to open and close dam spillways -- all to keep Mother Nature from causing a flood mess.

Their planning has paid off: What was forecast less than a week ago as a 2-inch rain event for the Tennessee Valley had, by Wednesday, become 5 to 7 inches for the region.

3) CHATTANOOGA AREA LAWMAKERS IN D.C. DON'T LIKE GUN PLAN

One Tennessee Republican lawmaker says he's ready to blitz the violent video game industry. Another wants the president to tackle mental health.

Mention guns, though, and it's a totally different story.

Poised to overhaul the nation's gun laws to prevent another school shooting, President Obama shouldn't expect much help from anybody representing the Tennessee Valley in Washington.

4) CITY COURT JUDGE CALLS LITTLEFIELD 'VINDICTIVE'

Don't expect the simmering dispute between two City Court judges and Mayor Ron Littlefield to go away anytime soon.

As the mayor approaches his last two months in office, he pledged to keep up efforts to change how the City Court Clerk's office runs.

However, after a council agenda meeting Tuesday, City Judge Sherry Paty characterized the mayor's motivation differently.

"He's vindictive," she said. "He doesn't understand the separation of powers between the judicial and executive office. He thinks he should rule."

5) MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SLAYING OF CHATTANOOGA WOMAN

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 slaying and dismemberment of a Chattanooga woman.

Dana Wilkes, 48, was reported missing Nov. 10 last year. Her headless and handless body was recovered from a creek along Youngstown Road 15 days later.

Today the Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Tony Bigoms, 53, on first degree murder and abuse of a corpse.

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