News for Thursday, June 18, 2009

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Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a massive spending bill aimed at ensuring that the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan won’t run out of money in the coming months.

Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday adjourned the first session of the 106th General Assembly more than five months after it began with a tumultuous House speaker’s election.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will notify the owners of 26 nuclear plants Friday that they are not saving enough money to dismantle the reactors once they’re no longer operating.

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The global recession, plummeting pelt prices and the prospect of a European ban on seal products dramatically lowered the number of seals killed in this year’s hunt, Canadian officials said Thursday.

The attorney for R. Allen Stanford, chairman of troubled Stanford Financial Group, says the Texas billionaire has surrendered to FBI agents in Virginia.

Key Senate Democrats, bidding for bipartisan support on health care, pared back subsidies designed to make insurance more affordable on Thursday and floated a compromise that rules out direct government competition against private insurers.

Casey Phillips, our own wee-little music/entertainment reporter for the Times Free Press, is turning 24-years-old this coming Saturday. I thought it would be fun (probably not for him) to invite him up to play a few tunes and talk about himself for a while. It is his birthday after all. On this week’s MUSICcast, we’ll hear Casey perform a few songs, including the song that got him excited about Celtic music in general. Sit back, strap in and prepare for an onslaught of the one, the only Casey Lyons Phillips.

MUSICcast: Happy Birthday, Casey Phillips! in Studio ‘99 06/19/09 MP3 Download SUBSCRIBE

A state judge on Thursday ordered former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to pay nearly $2.9 billion to shareholders who sued over a massive accounting fraud that nearly sent the rehabilitation chain into bankruptcy.

The first tropical depression of the Pacific hurricane season has formed off the coast of Mexico.

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NASA launched its first moon shot in a decade Thursday, sending up a pair of unmanned science probes that will help determine where astronauts could land and set up camp in years to come.

A federal judge said Thursday that he wants to look at notes from the FBI’s interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney during the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative.

On the surface, the government seemed to signal Thursday that more Americans are finding jobs: The number of people receiving unemployment aid fell for the first time since early January.

A series of strong thunderstorms sweeping across East Tennessee for a second day caused power outages, downed trees and lightning that struck a child in Union County.

Many in the huge crowd carried black candles and lit them as night fell.

The NFL suspended Cleveland Browns star receiver Donte’ Stallworth, who killed a pedestrian while driving drunk.

The United States has positioned more missile defenses around Hawaii as a precaution against a possible North Korean launch across the Pacific, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Former mountain biking world champion Melissa “Missy” Giove was ordered held on $250,000 bail Thursday after federal authorities said they seized more than 200 pounds of marijuana from a truck she was driving in upstate New York.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said today that “cash for clunkers” legislation should not have been added in the dark of night to an emergency funding bill intended to support the mission of our troops overseas.

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Lincoln Meredith with Northshore Grille demonstrates how to prepare pan seared Picketts farm raised trout with a seafood risotto tomato beurre blanc.

Is Sandra Bullock the female Matthew McConaughey?

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“Year One” is this summer’s “The Love Guru,” this weekend’s “Land of the Lost.”

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A former janitor was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for trying to sell scrap hardware he stole from a shuttered plant that enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.

Attempts to let sitting state legislators, including Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, raise political funds for other offices such as governor while the General Assembly is in session failed in the House Calendar and Rules Committee this afternoon, likely killing the measure for the year.

Tennessee Aquarium officials are welcoming the first birth in its Penguins’ Rock exhibit.

To include a listing in the Music calendar, e-mail weekend@timesfreepress.com, call (423) 757-6354 or (423) 757-6281, or fax your listing to (423) 668-5102. a Requires drive time of an hour or more from downtown Chattanooga. LIVE MUSIC ACOUSTIC GOSP

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THEATER ATHENS ARTS CENTER -- 320 N. White St., Athens, Tenn. 423-745-8781, www.athensartscouncil.org. Auditions for Sweetwater-based Monroe Area Opera, roles of all ages and voice types for four productions during 2009-2010 season, 2 p.m. June 28. 423-35

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Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said the body found at the Bonnaroo campsite Tuesday has been identified as a 26-year-old Fort Payne, Ala., man.

Tommy Hanson allowed three hits in six impressive innings and Nate McLouth homered and drove in four runs, sending the Atlanta Braves to a 7-0 victory over the punchless Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.

"Hairspray" is chock-full of bright colors, peppy dance numbers and yes, hairspray, but at the heart of the show is a message about tolerance and acceptance. "It has a message of diversity and accepting other peop

LEISURE BATTLEFIELD BIKE RIDES -- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. History tours of Chickamauga Battlefield cover seven to 10 miles of mostly flat land in about three hours. Bike riders leave Visitors Center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and ot

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Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.

As you pass through the Peach State today, the Georgia Visitors Information Center at Ringgold will help you keep Georgia on your mind.

"Ring Round the Moon," which opens today on the Chattanooga Theatre Centre MainStage, apparently puts the fun in dysfunctional.

Even in an open-and-shut case, the tension in a jury room is bound to be heightened.

Tennessee and North Carolina State will meet for the first time since 1939 when they open their 2012 seasons in the Georgia Dome.

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/18/09

Chattanooga hosted the Tennessee State Criterium Championship Bike Races this weekend at Signal Mountain High School where cyclists from throughout the tri-state area competed.

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A 73-year-old Chickamauga, Ga., man was arrested this week and charged with sexual exploitation of a child, according to Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.

Chattanooga police arrested two men this week on charges they tried to arrange sexual trysts with minors.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee officials have submitted their bid to General Motors to try to persuade the company to choose its Spring Hill plant over two other finalists for the production of a new small car.

Beauty and Cosmetics

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The after-school play areas at the Children’s Home/Chambliss Shelter got a makeover today thanks to 150 local T-Mobile employees who volunteered for the job.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee surpassed its goals for participation by minority and women-owned businesses on its $299 million headquarters, officials said today.

Unemployment in Tennessee jumped into the double digits last month for the first time in more than 25 years, the state jobs agency reported today.

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A man wanted in Orlando, Fla., for attempted first-degree murder was arrested today in Hamilton County.

About 30 new employees will join Mountain View Nissan following the opening of its expanded dealership in Chattanooga, officials said today.

The Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday became the third local governmental body to ban guns in county and city parks, and several officials from area cities said they're considering doing the same.

DEAR ABBY: Privacy issues vary state to state.

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Legislation expanding the number of children eligible to attend charter schools passed the House today on a 79-15 vote.

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A 19-year-old woman was given a suspended one-year sentence today for drinking underage after an East Ridge bench clerk allegedly told the police officer who arrested her to let the woman go.

The Jukebox Junction Family Theater at CHATTANOOGA CHOO-CHOO, 7:30 p.m. ($15 - $22) Two fun family value shows for one price, In one night of fun.

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State health officials have confirmed three cases of swine flu at a summer camp in north Georgia.

The mother of a teen-age boy charged with the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl testified this morning in Hamilton County Juvenile Court about the days leading up to the death.

On a lazy summer night filled with reruns and reality time-wasters, fans of shows past and present can still find some of their favorite stars.

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Classification confusion

Prep coaches prepare for new format

With a little more than two months before the high school football season kicks off, several local coaches have as many questions over the new classification format as finding replacements for graduated star players.

For most of his life, John Barnes has suspected the couple who raised him were not his biological parents — and he’s waiting for DNA test results that could prove it.

A captain on a Continental Airlines flight has died during the flight, says a person familiar with the situation.

The number of animals poisoned, shot or snared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than doubled last year, and environmentalists who are critical of the killings are renewing their effort to cut the program’s funding.

The Veterans Affairs Department appears poised to hit a milestone it would rather avoid: 1 million claims to process.

When Beppe Gambetta first came to America 20 years ago, he was a man on a mission, a kind of pilgrim bearing a digital recorder instead of a cross.

A local version of ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" has proven just as popular as its television counterpart.

United Methodist pastors for southeast Tennessee were appointed for the next year at the denomination’s Holston Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C., earlier this week.

Spring Hill is tooting its own horn in hopes of keeping the General Motors Corp. factory open in that town.

Dana Rogers at Tremont Tavern

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The state says Georgia’s unemployment rate for May has hit the highest level in history — 9.7 percent.

Chattanooga police are investigating an early morning shooting near East Lake Courts that left two men with gunshot wounds.

The state Department of Revenue says budget cuts have resulted in having almost 500,000 state income tax returns still to be processed.

Russia played down North Korea’s belligerent threats Thursday, suggesting that the reclusive nation’s rhetoric may be more menacing than its actual intentions.

Israel bluntly accused the head of the U.N. atomic agency of political bias Thursday in his probe of Syria’s nuclear program, in an unusual direct attack on the agency chief.

European stock markets were steady today after sizable falls in Asia earlier as investors continued to worry that a global economic recovery later this year — the main driver behind the rally since March — could be choked off at birth by rising interest rates and oil prices.

The House and Senate agreed Wednesday on a $29.6 billion Tennessee spending plan and sent the budget measure for the governor’s consideration.

Somalia’s president says al-Qaida is behind a suicide bombing that killed the national security minister in a western Somali town.

Somalia’s information minister says the country’s national security minister has been killed in an explosion in a western town.

The Tennessee House voted 85-12 late Wednesday night to approve a compromise version of the 2009-2010 appropriations bill.

Local officials of Chattanooga and Red Bank have shown much better judgment than the majority of Tennessee legislators who voted to allow licensed gun-toters to carry their weapons in parks. The Chattanooga and Red Bank officials have begun "local option"

It was unwise when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., proposed during last year's presidential campaign to tax Americans' health care benefits (even though he promised credits to offset those taxes). We opposed the idea at that time. So did even liberal Sen. Bara

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Olivet Baptist Church pastor Kevin Adams see Volkswagen as a sign of globalized local politics that gives Chattanooga a big presence in what the legendary civil rights leader called “this New America.”

Over sandwich wraps and potato salad, Chattanooga business leaders plotted with high school principals about how to ready the next generation of local workers.

DALTON, Ga. -- Most Georgia homeowners will pay more property taxes in 2010 because they're not likely to continue receiving a state tax credit on their bills.

Unfortunately, there have been all too many instances of marital infidelity and other improprieties among some of our highest officials, presidents, senators, representatives and others. Nor is such misbehavior limited to people in politics. It is reprehe

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The problem with lots of "little taxes" scattered here and there is that none of them individually seems like much of a blow to your wallet. It's in their entirety that they are crippling.

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Chattanooga to meet with Volkswagen officials and to speak at Olivet Baptist Church.

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NASHVILLE — House and Senate leaders said Wednesday they struck an agreement on the state’s $29.6 billion spending plan for 2009-2010 that slashes recurring state expenditures but uses bonds to meet higher education construction commitments such as the new UTC library.

Rhea County baseball player Cory Gearrin, who now pitches for the Mississippi Braves, returns to Chattanooga as a professional for the first time in a Wedesday evening game against the lookouts.

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The economic recession is having a late but slowing effect on business at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

For the Martinez family, camping starts at a young age. The couple's two oldest daughters say they can't even remember going on their first camping trip.

Life Care Center of Collegedale is undergoing a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation that officials said will give the facility a new feel and a home-like appearance.

After a heated debate among trustees and administrators, the UT board approved a proposal Wednesday that allows North Georgia residents to attend UTC graduate programs at an in-state rate.

NASHVILLE -- House Speaker Kent Williams and Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, say reports that the Chattanooga lawmaker sought to boot the speaker out of a closed-door House Republican Caucus meeting on Tuesday are untrue.

A new report by TVA's inspector general confirms what was blatantly apparent in the aftermath of the massive Kingston power plant ash spill: That TVA deliberately and wrongly underplayed the catastrophic dimensions and toxicity of the spill which cascaded out of a decades-old retention pond when an earthen berm ruptured.

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Area educators agree with a new study showing that No Child Left Behind is living up to its name, letting fewer students fall between the cracks.

Child identification kits have come a long way since McGruff the crime dog advised parents to keep updated pictures and fingerprints of their children in the 1980s.

A federal judge's rare decision to drastically reduce the prison sentence of a former Chattanooga doctor convicted of possessing child pornography did not prevent his family from expressing deep disdain for the prosecution.

DALTON Ga. -- The team responsible for shaping the future of North Georgia's water found out what that future might look like Wednesday.

Before you call for a tee time, watch as Todd McKittrick, head golf professional at Black Creek Club, describes the mental approach of playing a hole backwards to get to the green as easily as possible.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association must be mightily impressed with the quality of the state's education system. Otherwise it would never have instituted a new football playoff format that only Einstein or Bill Gates could decipher.

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Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves is awaiting fingerprint information from the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s office in Nashville to identify a man found dead at the site of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

To counter an upcoming ABC special on health care reform featuring President Barack Obama, the Republican National Committee has put the word out that Republicans in the U.S. Congress should make themselves heard on their local airwaves.

With manager John Valentin out of town to attend his daughter's high-school graduation, Chattanooga Lookouts hitting coach Luis Salazar took over coaching third base Wednesday night.

ATLANTA — A police investigator said a teenager accused in the June 2 shooting death of his mother, a Ringgold, Ga., native, called the killing “an adrenaline rush.”

An unusual bass tournament will be held today and Friday on Nickajack Lake to help out a worthy cause and to showcase a different way to catch largemouth bass.

Jason Cox caught this fish in Chatsworth at the spill way on the Coosawatee River.

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Greg Goodman said some of the best friends he ever had he met while in the Order of DeMolay.

For the Martinez family, camping starts at a young age. The couple's two oldest daughters say they can't even remember going on their first camping trip. The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging families across the country to do just what the Martinez family is doing this summer with its Great American Backyard Campout campaign. The nationwide event takes place June 27, when people throughout the country are invited to participate in a campout close to home and enjoy the natural world in their own backyard.

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Alabama and Georgia State have agreed to play in 2010 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a matchup that will pit GSU coach Bill Curry against his former team.

If you went outside Wednesday, you likely felt stifling heat and humidity.

UT President Jan Simek talks about cuts at UT.

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Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey and several county commissioners took a stand Wednesday against Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield's plan to expand the city's boundaries.

Chattanooga: No pets allowed

Bikers, walkers split about pets on walkway

Josh Hildebrandt loaded his bike onto his car Wednesday on the Riverwalk just 20 feet away from a sign posted saying "No Pets."

DAYTON, Tenn. -- Dayton's downtown business district is in the early stages of a facelift, and some local leaders had a look at the master plan Tuesday.

The Chattanooga Housing Authority is seeking $2 million in city and charitable organization funding to apply for $15 million in stimulus money to build new public housing and renovate the Boynton Terrace Apartments.

When college classes begin in late August, Ryan Casteel will remain in Cleveland rather than traveling to Knoxville.

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NASHVILLE -- A Knox County Republican lawmaker acknowledged Wednesday that some of his GOP colleagues are upset with him after he questioned in a blog posting whether they were "Obama Republicans" for supporting the House's bipartisan budget proposal.

Last Saturday night, I experienced the dream of a lifetime, spending the night on the Delta Queen. It was one of the most awesome experiences of my life. The integrity of the boat has been maintained with all of the beauty of the antiques, stained glass, and even the mechanical systems, like even keeping the steam engine. And it didn’t hurt that it was the last night of Riverbend. Can you imagine experiencing Little Richard and the festival’s finale, the fireworks, from a rocking chair on the Queen’s deck?

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Who knew sweating to the oldies could be so rewarding?

Federal and state regulators on Wednesday reissued an advisory for the public to avoid recreational use of the Emory River near TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant.

It's almost impossible to believe, but a Democrat U.S. senator openly demanded that the independent, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office base its estimates of the cost of health care reform on what will make those reforms likely to pass, not on an obj

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NASHVILLE -- Despite an attorney general's opinion published Wednesday that supports a tax on Polk County whitewater rafting customers, the House sponsor of a bill to levy the fee says it may be too late to act on it this session.

BEATLES TRIBUTE -- Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., 7:30 p.m., $45.50, performance by Rain includes costuming and multimedia components. 642-TIXS.

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Overuse and inappropriate prescribing of narcotics (opioids) places millions of Americans at risk of addiction.

I love bakeries, and I love cafes, so Sweet Gipsy Bakeshop Cafe had the potential to double my pleasure as I savored the flavors from this charming eatery on Signal Mountain.

Heart failure class

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If you're a country music star, it doesn't really matter how well you yodel, but you'd better be able to Twitter.

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On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/18/09

The Veterans Administration is charged with providing life-long health care services to eligible veterans. Doing so honors a promise the nation makes to those who serve in the military. Fulfilling that pledge is sometimes difficult, but on the whole the VA works diligently to meet its mandate. A new grant initiative on hospice and palliative care demonstrates that commitment.

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