published Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Winter storm damage now at $25 million in Georgia — and more Chattanooga region news

Winter storm damage now at $25 million in Georgia

ATLANTA — The latest winter storm to pound Georgia with ice and snow caused an estimated $25 million in damage.

State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said Tuesday that's the dollar amount of claims filed with property and casualty insurers since the storm hit last week. Hudgens says he expects the total to rise as more claims are filed.

So far, Georgia's latest bout with brutal winter weather isn't turning out to be as costly as the first storm that struck two weeks earlier. State officials have said Georgians filed $75 million worth of insurance claims after the initial storm.

Gov. Nathan Deal has convened the first meeting of his severe weather task force, created after he took criticism of the state's response to a Jan. 28 snow storm that prompted a massive traffic jam in metro Atlanta.

Deal told the group he expects some good recommendations to be made.

Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed were criticized for their handling of the Jan. 28 storm, which left thousands stranded on icy, gridlocked roads.


Calhoun man charged in molestation

CALHOUN, Ga. — A 20-year-old Calhoun man is jailed and charged with child molestation and other counts in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl, police said.

Chief Garry Moss said in a news release that detectives arrested Marco Antonio Sontay Borar last Friday. He was taken into custody without incident, the chief said.

Borar faces one count of child molestation, one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes, one count of statutory rape, one count of identity theft, one count of having false ID documents and one count of forgery in the first degree.

He is in the Gordon County Jail pending a bond hearing, the release states.


Donkey killing 'not just cruel'

WINDER, Ga. — Sheriff's investigators in Northeast Georgia are trying to find out who shot and killed a donkey on a Bartow County farm.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports Todd Garrett's donkey, Bonnie, was shot under the neck on his family farm by someone using a high-powered rifle over the weekend.

Sheriff Judd Smith said the donkey appeared to have been shot from a distance by somebody who knew where to place a killing shot, such as an experienced hunter. He also said it's possible the shooter mistook the donkey for a deer. That would still be illegal because it's not deer hunting season.

Smith said the shooter could face a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty for killing the donkey. He said, "It's not just cruel, it's mean."


Candidate meet, greet planned

ATHENS, Tenn. — Republican candidates for three McMinn County, Tenn., offices will meet the public and answer questions Thursday evening.

Kelly Shepard, a candidate for county mayor; sheriff candidate Tim Smith; and Van Irion, who is running for Criminal Court judge, will be available starting at 6 p.m. at the former Derby Downs restaurant at the corner of Jackson and Washington streets, according to a news release.

For more information, call Ken Crisp at 423-745-1899.

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