published Friday, September 27th, 2013

Abduction suspect denied bond and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Abduction suspect denied bond

ATLANTA — Bond has been denied for a man accused in the abduction of a suburban Atlanta teen.

Wildrego Jackson appeared in federal court in Atlanta on Thursday. Police identified 29-year-old Jackson as a suspect in the hours after the Sept. 17 abduction of Ayvani Perez.

Jackson was arrested the next day when he appeared in court for an unrelated case.

Authorities said armed men broke into the family's home in Ellendale early in the morning and took Ayvani at gunpoint. About 36 hours later, she was dropped off safe at her aunt's home in Conyers.

Jackson faces a federal kidnapping charge. Another man was arrested in the case and is being held on immigration charges.


Outdoors spenders boost economy

Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials said those who spend money on outdoor recreation in the state have added more than $5.5 billion to its economy.

Department spokeswoman Melissa Cummings said in a statement Wednesday that results of a survey showed the number of people participating in Georgia's outdoor recreational activities has increased by more than 400,000 since 2006.

Cummings said Georgia's figures were included in the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, which is conducted every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Cummings said state and federal organizations use the survey to plan and manage outdoor and wildlife-related recreation programs.

The department released the findings ahead of National Hunting and Fishing Day, which is Saturday.


Pregnant woman killed in crash

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville police said a man, a pregnant woman and her unborn baby have been killed in a head-on crash.

Authorities said a Toyota being driven by 66-year-old Frederick Bender, of Hoover, drifted across the westbound lanes of Interstate 565 on Wednesday afternoon, crossed the median and hit a car being driven by 26-year-old Marissa Baugher, of Athens.

Investigators said Bender's car first hit the tires of an 18-wheeler truck before it slammed into Baugher's car.

Bender was pronounced dead at the scene. Baugher was cut from her car and died at Huntsville Hospital.


Board OKs taking fluoride from water

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A fourth Middle Tennessee city has decided to remove fluoride from the municipal water supply.

The Daily Herald reported the Columbia Power and Water System board voted Wednesday on the measure after months of consideration. The proposal had sparked opposition from health officials and dentists who argued that adding fluoride to the water is an easy way to help prevent tooth decay.

The utility board was mulling the proposal for a couple of reasons, including that fluoride provides no water purification benefit but it cost $40,000 annually to add it to the supply.

Columbia City Council member Mike Greene, who sits on the board, voted to discontinue fluoridation. He said he grew up drinking well water without fluoride, and he still has all his teeth.

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