published Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Alabama woman lived with dead husband — and more Chattanooga region news

Alabama woman lived with dead husband

DECATUR, Ala. — An elderly woman who suffers from Alzheimer's disease lived with her husband's body for a month after he died not realizing what happened, authorities said Monday.

The body of Jesse Kirby, 76, was found Friday in bed after police were sent to the home to check on the couple, Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn said.

Living inside the house police found wife Doris Kirby, 78, who was hospitalized after the discovery.

The man, who had numerous health problems including heart issues, apparently died in his sleep about four weeks ago, the coroner said.

The door to the bedroom where the man died was closed, Chunn said, and the woman continued living in other parts of the house with access to food.

"I don't think she even realized what was going on when [emergency medical workers] came to take her to the hospital," he said.

Police saw the man's body through a window after visiting the home because a relative had been trying to contact the couple and could not reach them. Two dogs that apparently died of starvation were found in the bedroom with the body.

Neighbors were unaware anything was wrong, said Dean Hayes, who lives nearby.

Hayes said the Kirbys were good neighbors but seldom went outside. Hayes said she saw Doris Kirby about two weeks ago.

"I had seen her on the porch and then going to the mailbox, so I thought everything was all right," she said.

Chunn said the man has two children in the Decatur area, but neither realized what had happened because the Kirbys were "sort of loners." The children, who are grown, believed the man was taking care of the couple's needs, he said.


Border dispute ruling reversed

ATLANTA — Georgia's highest court has reversed a lower court's ruling in a years-long border dispute between Monroe and Bibb counties.

In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Carol Hunstein and released Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fulton County Superior Court.

The justices determined that the lower court could compel Secretary of State Brian Kemp to resolve the dispute between the counties, but could not require him to pick a specific boundary.

A Fulton County judge in January 2013 ordered Kemp to set the border south of where it was marked. The judge ordered Kemp to use a controversial 2009 survey he has rejected many times.

Bibb County and Kemp appealed the trial court decision to the state Supreme Court.


Free guided hikes coming March 22

NASHVILLE — Tennessee State Parks is offering free guided hikes at each of the 54 state parks on March 22.

Officials said the 2014 Spring Hikes are designed for all ages and abilities.

Some hikes will be about one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said the hikes are a great way to get outside, exercise and enjoy nature with friends and family.

For more information, visit http://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/spring-hike.

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