published Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Tennessee Governor's Mansion open for holiday tours, and more region news

ALCOA, Tenn.

Smokies chase ends in arrest

A police chase through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has ended in a Blount County field, where a man was arrested.

According to WATE-TV in Knoxville, the incident began Sunday when a ranger noticed a man breaking into a vehicle parked at the Chimney Tops trailhead. When the ranger tried to stop the pickup, the driver took off.

Because of narrow mountain roads, the ranger broke off pursuit, but radioed Blount County deputies, who picked up the chase as the driver exited the park. The pickup was chased through Maryville and Alcoa, where the driver struck a sheriff's office car. Eventually, the driver crashed in a field and was arrested.

The station reported the driver was Brian Ivey, 38, of LaFollette, Tenn.


DALTON, Ga.

Police seeking bank robber

The Dalton Police Department is asking the public's help to identify a man who entered the Regions Bank on Thornton Avenue, told a teller he was armed and demanded money, a news release states.

Police department spokesman Bruce Frazier said in the release that the robbery happened shortly before 1:30 p.m. Monday. A black man between 5'5" and 5'7" tall and wearing a long dark wig with a white and black hat, gray jacket and large sunglasses with red Georgia Bulldog sweatpants or pajama pants came in the bank, witnesses said. He was carrying a black bag or purse, and he gave a teller a note demanding money and indicated that he was armed.

Frazier said the robber left the bank with an undetermined amount of money, at least some of which was recovered after apparently being dropped as he fled.

A witness told police that a person matching the suspect's description ran into a room at the nearby Downtown Motor Inn. Officers searched the room but found no one inside, Frazier said.

Anyone with information about the incident or the robber may call Detective Jason Bishop at 706-278-9085, ext. 214.


ATLANTA

Bethel named floor leader

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday named Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, and Sen. Rick Jeffares, R-Locust Grove, as new state Senate floor leaders.

Bethel and Jeffares will join Sen. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, as liaisons between the governor and the Senate when lawmakers return Jan. 14.

Bethel is a human resources executive with J&J Industries in Dalton.


NASHVILLE

Mansion open for holiday tours

Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam are inviting Tennesseans to tour the executive residence during the first two weeks of December.

For more information, go to www.tn.gov/firstlady.

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