published Friday, March 14th, 2014

Multicar crash victim identified and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Multicar crash victim identified

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A man who died of injuries after a multivehicle crash Wednesday morning in the 7400 block of North Lee Highway has been identified as Kevin L. Byrwa, 26, of Etowah, Tenn.

Byrwa was traveling south when he crossed into the opposite lane and collided with two other vehicles, according to the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.

The drivers of those vehicles were injured. Sandra Overs, 51, of Athens, Tenn., was taken by emergency medical technicians to a hospital there. Terry D. Hickman, 59, of Cleveland, was taken to Skyridge Medical Center for treatment and later was transferred to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.


Religious displays bill passes House

NASHVILLE — Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Holt, of Dresden, Tenn., was overwhelmingly approved 83-4 on Thursday. The Senate version was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

The legislation says schools can display scenes or symbols associated with such celebrations on school property, if the display includes more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol. Messages that encourage adherence to a particular religious belief are prohibited.

The proposal also allows students and school staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, such as "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy holidays."

Sponsors say some groups have threatened to sue over such displays and greetings, and the legislation would protect schools.


Resolution regrets Trail of Tears

A resolution that expresses regret for the Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada, of Franklin, was unanimously approved 90-0 on Thursday.

Several Democratic lawmakers commended the sponsors for the resolution that acknowledges sincere regret to the tribes involved in the U.S. government's forced removal of more than 15,000 American Indians from ancestral homes in the Southeast to what is now Oklahoma in 1838 and 1839. Thousands died.

However, the lawmakers said they'd also like to see such a resolution for slavery.

Casada agreed and said he plans to propose one.


Hunters prepare for turkey season

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Georgia hunters are gearing up for turkey hunting season.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said turkey hunting season begins March 22 and runs through May 15.

Kevin Lowrey, the wild turkey project coordinator for the department's wildlife resources division, said 2014 might be a tough year in the state's Piedmont and Ridge and Valley areas because of low reproduction numbers and a good harvest of gobblers the last two years.

The state's turkey population is estimated to be 335,000. Hunters are limited to three gobblers per season.

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