published Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Alabama grandmother's murder trial reset — and more Chattanooga region news

GADSDEN, Ala. — The trial of an Etowah County woman accused of making her granddaughter run until she collapsed and died has been rescheduled.

The Gadsden Times reported Tuesday that Etowah County Circuit Judge William Ogletree issued an order moving the trial for 49-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard to Feb. 23, 2015.

The case was rescheduled because of procedural issues. The order says jurors will be summoned to fill out questionnaires in mid-February.

Garrard's trial was expected to begin Sept. 22. Prosecutors said the woman forced Savannah Hardin to run for about three hours as punishment for a lie. The child collapsed and died days later.

Hardin said she's innocent and blames the death on medical problems.


Mayor broke meetings law

ATLANTA — A judge has ruled that the mayor of an Atlanta suburb violated Georgia's open meetings law by stopping a resident from videotaping a council meeting.

The judge last week ruled in favor of Attorney General Sam Olens in a lawsuit against the city of Cumming and Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt. The judge ordered the city and mayor to pay $12,000 in penalties plus attorney fees.

According to Olens' lawsuit, Gravitt ordered a citizen, Nydia Tisdale, to stop taping a 2012 council meeting and had her forcibly removed from the room.


Bond raised in band sex case

BREWTON, Ala. — A South Alabama judge is raising the bond for a high school band director charged with having sex with students.

WKRG-TV reports bond is now $750,000 for 32-year-old Jeffrey Lance Gainous after the ruling Monday. It was $350,000.

Outside court, Gainous said he loves his wife and children and he's sorry for the attention the case has brought.

Gainous was working at a school in South Georgia when he was accused last week on multiple charges of having sex with students at T.R. Miller High School in Brewton.

Police say the man had relations with at least eight students. They say girls were tied up and gagged in the band room and at Gainous' home.

Investigators say former students came forward after Gainous left Brewton in June.


UAB launches medical website

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The University of Alabama at Birmingham has launched an online medical site that will allow physicians to make medical recommendations and write prescriptions.

Director of Primary Care at UAB Dr. Stuart Cohen says the new site is meant to offer convenience for young, otherwise healthy people who develop common and nonurgent conditions like the flu, pink eye or a cold.

For a $25 service fee, patients can use the site to answer questions about their symptoms and a doctor will respond within an hour during business hours.

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