published Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

'Dentist charged with drug fraud' and other news from the Chattanooga region

Dentist charged with drug fraud

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Catoosa County authorities have arrested and charged a Ringgold, Ga., dentist with writing prescriptions for painkillers for himself.

Dr. Criston Clark, 44, of LaFayette, Ga., has been charged with 41 felony counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain a scheduled drug by fraud, Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said in a news release.

Sisk said authorities don't believe others were illegally receiving prescription drugs at Clark's office off Nashville Street but that Clark was acting alone. Police said he was writing the prescriptions for drugs such as hydrocodone and then trying to get them filled.

A monthlong investigation led to the arrest. Clark is being held at the Catoosa County Jail.


Two arrested in drug case

STEVENSON, Ala. — Members of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Stevenson Police Department went to a unit at the Shadow Wood apartments in Stevenson, Ala., where they found cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and nonprescribed prescription medications.

Arrested were Charlie Lee Rutledge, 49, and Peggy Dianne Young, 52, both of Stevenson.

Rutledge was charged with unlawful possession of controlled substances (cocaine), unlawful possession of marijuana first degree and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Young was charged with six counts of Illegal possession of prescription medications, unlawful possession of marijuana second degree and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both remain in the Jackson County Jail. No bond has been set for Rutledge, and Young's bond is set at $4,000.


Park, Indians offer road bonus

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians together are offering up to $500,000 for the early completion of repairs to U.S. 441.

The road was closed between Newfound Gap and Smokemont in January after a landslide took out a 200-foot section.

The park and the Cherokees are offering $18,000 per day for each day of completion before May 15.

Newfound Gap Road is closed to through traffic during construction.


Syringe found in Walmart seed

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Sheriff's officials say they believe the discovery of a syringe in birdseed at a Georgia Walmart is unrelated to more than a dozen syringes found in clothing items at the same store in late 2011.

In the latest case, a 52-year-old Bartow County man called police after buying a bag of seed from the Cartersville store. He told deputies that when he opened the bag, he was stuck by a needle.

The earlier cases, in November 2011, involved syringes being put in clothing items at the store.

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