published Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

'Hateful' post sparks outrage, and more Chattanooga region news

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'Hateful' post sparks outrage

COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. — A number of local and national Islamic advocacy groups are calling for an apology from Coffee County Commissioner Barry West after he apparently posted an anti-Muslim meme on his Facebook page.

It shows a man aiming a gun and bears the words, "How to wink at a Muslim."

The American Muslim Advisory Council urged Twitter readers, "Demand Coffee County Commissioner Barry West apologize for his hateful post on Saturday. Call him now," the Nashville Tennessean reported.

West responded in an email that he "did not create this picture ... yes I shared it ... so why am I being singled out?"


Mushrooms, spices lead to evacuation

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — An investigation that included the weekend evacuation of a college apartment building in Johnson City has come down to magic mushrooms.

The head of East Tennessee State University's police force told the Johnson City Press that one of four men charged had all the ingredients needed to grow hallucinogenic mushrooms. The attorney for student Rishi Malhotra of Germantown also told the newspaper other ingredients police seized were spices his 19-year-old client used in his Hindi diet.

Student Elias Rasmussen, who is 22 and from Harrogate, was arrested on drug charges, as were 25-year-old Brandon Buchanan of Johnson City and 22-year-old Wesley Miracle of Arthur.

All four are free on bond.


Panel offers new names for parks

MEMPHIS — A special committee formed to suggest new names for three Memphis city parks has made a recommendation to the City Council.

The committee on Monday proposed new identities for parks that formerly were named in honor of the Confederacy.

If the full council adopts the recommendation, the former Forrest Park would become Civil War Memorial Park. The graves of Confederate cavalry officer Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife would remain there, as would an equestrian statue of Forrest. The committee wants the former Confederate Park to become Promenade Park, and the former Jefferson Davis Park would become Harbor Park.


New record gar caught by archer

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has confirmed a new fishing record catch for spotted gar.

The record is for the largest fish of the species taken by a method other than rod and reel.

The agency said Jim Ulerick of Kokomo, Ind., took a 12-pound gar by bow and arrow in Reelfoot Lake on April 14. The gar was 39 1/2 inches long. The old record, also on Reelfoot, was 10 pounds, 8 ounces from April 2009.

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