published Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Online forms aid military burials, and more Chattanooga region news

Online forms aid military burials

NASHVILLE — State officials announced what they call an “innovative” online registration form allowing veterans and their families to get pre-approval for burial in one of Tennessee’s veterans cemeteries.

“Our goal is to do all we can to assist and support veterans and their families,” Gov. Bill Haslam said in a news release.

According to Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder’s office, funeral directors traditionally contact the nearest state veterans cemetery when they receive a request to bury the remains of a veteran or dependent who previously expressed interest in burial at one of the four locations.

Officials say in many cases, family members are unable to locate the veteran’s discharge papers needed to determine eligibility. The process to request and receive the appropriate documents and determine eligibility can take several days, even weeks.

Now, veterans and their families can complete the online form, which is submitted securely to their preferred state veterans cemetery, and then mail their discharge papers to complete the application.

For more information regarding registration for burial at the State Veterans Cemeteries, visit http://www.tn.gov/veteran/burial_elg.shtml.


Man charged over moonshine

JOPPA, Ala. — Sheriff’s officials in northern Alabama said a man has been arrested for operating an illegal moonshine still.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Price told WAAY-TV Daniel England, of Joppa, was arrested Saturday night after police did a welfare check on a horse and discovered the moonshine still in his shed.

Authorities said England is charged with illegal possession of prohibited liquor and operating a moonshine still.

Investigators said they confiscated 20 gallons of moonshine, and Price said it’s illegal to produce any amount of untaxed, unregulated liquor.

Joppa is about 35 miles southeast of Decatur.


Gadsden State changes president

GADSDEN, Ala. — The president of Gadsden State Community College is out on paid administrative leave and an interim president is taking over.

The chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, Mark Heinrich, announced Monday that President Ray Staats was placed on paid administrative leave. Heinrich named William Blow acting president.

Blow is a retired executive from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. He served as interim president at Gadsden State before Staats was hired in 2011. His appointment is effective Aug. 1.

The change comes after a no confidence vote by Gadsden State employees in May. The vote among employees at campuses in Gadsden, Anniston and Centre was 312 expressing no confidence in Staats and 34 expressing confidence.

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