published Monday, July 8th, 2013

Eleven rescued from Little River and other news from areas around Chattanooga


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Eleven rescued from Little River

KNOXVILLE — Crews in East Tennessee have performed swift-water rescues of 11 people who got stranded on the Little River.

Townsend Volunteer Fire Chief Don Stallions told the Knoxville News Sentinel that crews arrived Saturday afternoon to find a mix of adults and children holding onto tree branches.

He said the people were riding tubes on the river when the water level rose quickly and turned a relatively safe flow into a dangerous situation.

Police add 18 hybrid cars

ATHENS, Ga. — The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has added 18 hybrid cars to its patrol fleet.

Police Chief Jack Lumpkin tells the Athens Banner-Herald the hybrids are expected to translate to about $2,500 per car in fuel savings annually.

The department added Toyota Priuses and Ford Fusions to its fleet and is assigning them to uniform division supervisors. The hybrids have less room in the back for secure prisoner compartments, and officials say that makes them better suited for patrol supervisors who don't routinely pick up suspected criminals.

Boater falls into lake, dies

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Officials say a 52-year-old man has died after falling from his boat and being run over by the unmanned vessel on Lake Allatoona in Northwest Georgia.

Authorities say Robert Lewis, of Dallas, fell from his boat Sunday morning and later was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Melissa Cummings says the man's boat began circling after he fell into the water. Officials worked to regain control of it while keeping others away from the area. Cummings says the boat circled at full throttle for about 15 minutes before it ran out of gas and came to a stop.

Officials probe college readiness

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama education officials say more than a third of college freshman from the state needed remedial coursework last fall.

Deputy Superintendent of Education Sherrill Parris tells The Times Daily of Florence the number of students who graduated from high school and needed remedial coursework factored into Plan 2020 -- a statewide initiative to improve education over the next seven years.

Florence Schools Superintendent Janet Womack said students passing the Alabama High School Graduation exam to get their diplomas may contribute to a false sense of accomplishment.

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