published Saturday, September 28th, 2013

I-75 lanes closed on weekend and other news from areas around Chattanooga

I-75 lanes closed on weekend

DALTON, Ga. — Two southbound lanes of Interstate 75 near Dalton are closed all weekend as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation's reconstruction of the Rocky Face interchange in Whitfield County, a news release states.

The two inside lanes of I-75 South at exit 336/state Route 3/U.S. 41 will be closed until 5 a.m. Monday so pavement can be placed on the inside shoulder in preparation for an upcoming traffic shift. Work will occur weather permitting.

The $34 million project also includes four bridges and installation of video detection systems.

Probe nets 55 on drug charges

WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga. — The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office has announced its arrest of 55 people in connection with a three-month investigation into abuse of prescription drugs.

A total of 64 people were charged, and more arrests are expected, authorities said.

Most of the charges involved the sale of prescription medication, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

Man found guilty in woman's death

CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. — Terry Saxton, charged in the 2012 slaying of Vicki Lacombe in Ringgold, Ga., was found guilty Thursday evening by a Catoosa County jury.

According to Times Free Press archives, Lacombe, 55, suffered blows to her head and stomach just before her death on July 9, 2012. Police originally investigated her death as a suicide.

The mother of three was dating Saxton, 50, and living in Ringgold. She was originally from Canton, Ga.

Saxton first told police he came home and found Lacombe on the ground. He was arrested on battery charges for pushing or striking Lacombe, which led to a head injury and broken bones, archives said.

Lacombe's autopsy showed blunt-force trauma to the head and abdomen, though, and Saxton's charges were increased to murder.

Times Free Press archives state that Lacombe had been physically abused by Saxton. Police believed the couple argued the night of Lacombe's death. WRCB-TV reported Saxton was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter by a jury that deliberated for more than seven hours.

Schools, ACLU agree on Bible giveaways

CUMBERLANDCOUNTY, Tenn. — The Cumberland County Board of Education on Thursday night approved a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee that prohibits nonstudent groups from distributing Bibles or other written religious materials on school grounds during school hours, a news release states.

"We commend the Cumberland County School Board for recognizing that children's religious decisions should be made with the help of their families and faith communities, free from pressure by school officials," ACLU-TN legal director Thomas Castelli said.

ACLU-TN sent a letter to the school board in April on behalf of a fifth-grader's parent, who contacted the group after his child reported feeling pressured to take a Bible during a classroom presentation by Gideons International.

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