published Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Motto rights claim filed and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Motto rights claim filed

CLINTON, Tenn. — A second criminal defendant is claiming his rights are violated by “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the Anderson County Courthouse.

Flyd Hammond Jr., of Knoxville, is being held on drug and theft charges. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Hammond’s lawyer filed a motion Tuesday seeking dismissal of the charges. The attorney is David A. Stuart, who filed a similar motion a week ago on behalf of another client, Kenneth Darrin Fisher.

The motions claim the placing of the national motto on the sides of the courthouse render it “a temple of fundamentalist self-styled Christianity.”


Students indicted in fake ID making

ATHENS, Ga. — A Clarke County grand jury has indicted 18 University of Georgia students and two others who are accused of producing and distributing fake IDs.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Thursday that the ring was led by two roommates who provided door-to-door services. Officials say they used couriers to take customers’ photos in their dorm rooms, collected personal information for the IDs and delivered the products for $50 to $100 each.

Officials said the investigation spanned Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Michigan, and more than 400 fake driver’s licenses were confiscated.

UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said the students may have distributed more than 2,000 fake IDs total.


Robbery suspect is charged

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Thomas Holland has been identified in a photo lineup, arrested and charged in the July 11 robbery of the Rite Aid pharmacy at 578 Paul Huff Parkway, according to a news release from the Cleveland Police Department.

The release states Holland had been arrested July 19 in Hamilton County on charges of robbery at a pharmacy in Chattanooga. He also has been linked to robberies in Texas and Arizona, police said.


‘Prayer caravan’ not school event

CULLMAN, Ala. —An Alabama school superintendent denies that the system is sponsoring a “prayer caravan” event that’s drawn complaints from an atheist group.

Cullman County School Superintendent Billy Coleman is also a pastor, and he has helped promote the event.

Coleman said his involvement in the religious event is causing confusion, but he denies that the school board itself is involved.

The Cullman Times reported that the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation still opposes the event, which is set for Aug. 10.

Christians plan to gather at each Cullman County school that day for prayer sessions before the opening of the academic year.

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