published Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Region Digest: Swimming accidents claim 5


Swimming accidents claim 5

Five people drowned in separate swimming accidents in Tennessee over the Fourth of July weekend.

Rescue crews recovered the body of a 19-year-old who drowned in South Holston Lake in Sullivan County on Monday afternoon. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office told WJHL-TV in Johnson City that Pedro Robles was swimming in the lake with a church group from Charlotte, N.C., Sunday evening when his friends saw him go underwater.

In Middle Tennessee, police in La Vergne told WSMV-TV that 19-year-old Steven Bello drowned in Percy Priest Lake on Sunday evening while swimming with family members.

Two men drowned Sunday at Burgess Falls State Park near Sparta. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office told The Daily Herald that the men were identified as Raja Mahalingam, 26, and Jayaram Panangipalli, 27.

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said Hanin Mohamad Gibril was pulled from the Little River at Coulter’s Bridge late Saturday afternoon. Other swimmers located Gibril and pulled him to the surface. He was pronounced dead at Blount Memorial Hospital, according to WBIR-TV.


Chamber changes name, logo

The Dalton-Whitfield County Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

The change is part of a trend where many Chambers of Commerce include the word “Greater” in their organization’s name, according to a news release from the Chamber.

“This name change has been considered for a number of years, and we have been testing the waters by using it during presentations, in our articles and in our weekly President’s column,” Chamber President Brian Anderson said in the news release.

The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce also has unveiled a new logo, after using the same logo for more than 20 years.

Over the next several weeks, the organization plans to incorporate the name change and new logo as a retooling and rebranding process, the news release said.


Weekend travel fatal for 19

The Georgia State Patrol is reporting that 19 people were killed traveling in the state during the Fourth of July weekend.

This year’s deaths almost doubled compared with 2010, when 11 people died in traffic accidents.

The most deaths were reported in the Gainesville area, where seven people were killed. Three of those deaths were reported in two crashes within the city limits.

No deaths were reported in the North Georgia region.

The holiday weekend, which began Friday at 6 p.m. and ended at midnight Monday, also had 313 crashes that involved 230 injuries, according to the state patrol’s report.

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