Victim identified in fatal crash
BRADLEY COUNTY, TENN. — A 46-year-old man was the victim of Monday afternoon's single-vehicle crash on Eureka Road in Bradley County, authorities said in a news release.
Jeffrey Scott Hunt, of Deer Trail, was traveling from Georgetown Road when he ran off the right side of the road and crashed into a tree, the release from the sheriff's office stated.
Hunt was trapped in the vehicle, which erupted into flames. Efforts to free him and extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, according to the release.
This is the fourth traffic death of the year in Bradley County. An investigation by the Bradley County Sheriff's Office is continuing.
Deal signs fiscal year 2014 budget
ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a $37.1 billion total budget for fiscal year 2014, saying the plan balances the budget without raising taxes and reduces government spending.
Deal signed the budget, which includes a mix of state and federal funds, during an event Tuesday at the Capitol. He said state government had to face another round of cuts even though revenue is increasing. He said the reason has to do with increases in education and Medicaid expenses.
State departments will have 3 percent in budget cuts with the exception of a few agencies offering public safety and human services.
Rain boosts river bacteria
Authorities say recent rains have sent bacteria levels soaring in the Chattahoochee River.
Sally Bethea of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Organization advises people not to touch the water. She said that E. coli is a major concern.
WSB Radio reported that the river had 76 colonies of bacteria per 100 milliliters of water before the rains came Thursday night. As of early Tuesday morning, that number has shot up to 1,145 just north of Atlanta.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says any mark above 235 is unhealthy.
24-hour lights costly for state
NASHVILLE — Tennessee taxpayers are spending more than $500,000 a year to keep the lights on 24 hours a day at Legislative Plaza and the War Memorial Building, where lawmakers have their offices.
The Tennessee Department of General Services is in charge of maintaining Legislative Plaza.
Department spokeswoman Kelly Smith told WSMV-TV the lights are needed so that people can find their way out of the building in an emergency.
Legislative Plaza, which was built in the 1970s, does not even have light switches in the offices.
Lawmakers recently approved a renovation plan for Legislative Plaza's electrical system, which includes the addition of light switches.
The renovations will cost about $3 million and take three years to complete.