News for Thursday, March 20, 2014



WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has launched three separate reviews on how military medals are awarded, in the face of broad criticism over the inability to recognize heroism in incidents such as the Fort Hood shootings and aborted plans to create a new award for drone pilots.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Lawrence Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime and freshman Carlin Dupree scored four points in the final 75 seconds as No. 12 seed North Dakota State knocked off Oklahoma 80-75 Thursday night.

LINCOLNTON, N.C. — Police say a man in North Carolina sucked a woman's toes at a Wal-Mart after he convinced her he was a podiatry student and persuaded her to take off her shoes.

ROME — Rome's iconic Spanish Steps are getting a makeover.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping St. Louis wipe out a late 14-point deficit and pull away in overtime to beat North Carolina State 83-80 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night.

The Chattanooga Police Department reported that an accident on Highway 58 at Champion Road on Thursday morning resulted in one fatality and two people being taken to the hospital.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Shabazz Napier shook off a miss at the second-half buzzer to score nine of his 24 points in overtime and lead seventh-seeded Connecticut to a 89-81 win over Saint Joseph's in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.

MILWAUKEE — Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points and second-seeded Michigan started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four by beating 15th-seeded Wofford 57-40 on Thursday night.

SEATTLE — With the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death approaching, a Seattle police detective re-examined the case files in connection with the Nirvana front man's suicide.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points Thursday to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament with a 93-78 victory over Delaware.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The large cat that scratched a Portland toddler last week and then trapped his owners in a bedroom has gone home after a stay at the animal shelter.

STARKE, Fla. — A Florida man convicted of killing two female co-workers by beating them with a hammer and setting them ablaze during a robbery at the store where they worked has been executed.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat No. 16 seed Albany 67-55 in the NCAA tournament Thursday.

Results of Thursday afternoon men's NCAA tournament.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — New Mexico environmental regulators are blocking two companies from digging up an Alamogordo landfill in search of a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time.

NEW YORK — A teenage thrill-chaser slipped through a fence, eluded a security guard and climbed to the top of 1 World Trade Center, authorities said Thursday as concerns swirled about the audacious breach at what is supposed to be one of the world's most secure sites.

Members of the Hamilton County Board of Education voted Thursday to take their dispute over past-due liquor taxes with the city of Chattanooga to court.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A suspect in the killing of a sheriff's deputy in California has been linked to the case of a 79-year-old man who was shot and killed before his body was found by officials responding to a fire, authorities said Thursday.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A freighter used searchlights early Friday to scan rough seas in one of the remotest places on Earth after satellite images detected possible pieces from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean.

WASHINGTON — Seeking to intensify pressure on Russia, President Barack Obama on Thursday expanded U.S. economic sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine, targeting President Vladimir Putin's chief of staff and 19 other individuals as well as a Russian bank that provides them support.

Hamilton County attorney Michael Lee West has been temporarily suspended from the practice of law by the Tennessee Supreme Court because he misappropriated funds to his own use and "his continued practice of law poses a threat of substantial harm to the public.

ATLANTA — A plan to create a medical marijuana program in Georgia has hit a political roadblock.

NASHVILLE — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey today floated the idea of state lawmakers holding a veto override session this summer in the event fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam vetoes any bills passing the Legislature.

  • March 20th, 2014  |

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A lawyer representing the female captain at the center of an Army general's sexual misconduct case calls his punishment a travesty and serious misstep for the Army.

Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.9 percent, which was three-tenths of one percentage point lower than the January revised rate.

March Madness brackets are a tried and true office tradition. Nothing else can so efficiently bring cubicles together and tear them apart. There's a lot of pride – and sometimes money – on the line.

Norm Lewis has been tapped to be Broadway's next Phantom in the megahit "The Phantom of the Opera," a move that makes him the first black to slip behind the famous mask.

WASHINGTON — A military judge found a former U.S. Naval Academy football player not guilty of a sexual assault charge Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day trial.

Starbucks plans to turn more of its cafes into a destination for beer and wine in the evenings.

Gov. Bill Haslam today signed into law a bill allowing local voters to approve sales of wine in grocery stores.

A beagle’s nose may have caused her separation from her West Knox County family, but her microchip helped reunite them Tuesday — 5½ years after the dog went missing.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said today he still believes Volkswagen will bring production of a new sport utility vehicle to Chattanooga, but the automaker likely won’t make an announcement until an appeal over the plant’s union election is settled.

Pam McNutt Fleenor, a Republican candidate for a Hamilton County Chancery Court judge seat, has received an endorsement of retired Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice William M. "Mickey" Barker, according to a news release.

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The great-niece of the late singer Johnny Cash has been found stabbed to death and stuffed in a box in a house, authorities in Tennessee said Thursday.

DeKalb County, Ala., officials say Kelly Jack Mayo, the man charged in 2012 with the shooting in Rainsville of two Fred's store employees during a robbery attempt has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder.

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the fiery founder of a small Kansas church who drew international condemnation for outrageous and hate-filled protests that blamed almost everything, including the deaths of AIDS victims and U.S. soldiers, on America's tolerance for gay people, has died. He was 84.

NASHVILLE — The state Senate today approved a statewide "authorizer" for public charter schools that would affect Hamilton County and four other school systems that have schools falling into the state's bottom 5 percent.

The National Labor Relations Board has set a hearing in Chattanooga on April 7 on the United Auto Workers request for a revote on unionizing Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — The Navy's Blue Angels are returning to the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna.

The Chattanooga Police Department has reported that an accident on Highway 58 at Champion Road this morning resulted in one fatality and two people being taken to the hospital.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — People accused, but not convicted, of certain crimes in Alabama might soon be able to have their records cleared.

NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say nobody was injured when a runaway dump truck rolling downhill struck a car and sent it crashing through the wall of an apartment in metro Atlanta.

Before we get going today, we must tip the Tam O'Shanter to Grateful Dog, who at the horn whipped in two one liners Wednesday. The first one was about someone's finger roll and tippy-toed the edge of the in-bounds line, but the second — "If I was a fan of mixed signals and mood swings, I'd still be married" — was well-played indeed. Nice job sir.

The Dixie Group, Inc, is paying $17.5 million to acquire the Los Angeles-based Atlas Carpet Mills, a high-end manufacturer and marketer of commercial floorcovering products.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The mayor of Athens-Clarke County, who's seeking re-election this year, says possession and use of small amounts of marijuana should be legal.

ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers still have some tough issues to tackle on the final day of the 2014 legislative session.

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal for many, and at Hickory Valley: A Senior Living Community, residents embrace that truth head on.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Roy Orbison's three sons are all musicians but never really got to play music with their dad — until now.

WALLAND, Tenn. (AP) — A Blount County commissioner who had been reported missing after a neighbor spotted his disabled vehicle on a road Tuesday has been found dead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Closing arguments were expected today in the court-martial of a former U.S. Naval Academy football player accused of sexually assaulting a classmate.

DAYTON, Ohio — Tennessee took a bus a little more than 300 miles up Interstate 75 for an NCAA tournament game.

The Georgia Department of Labor has announced that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 7.1 percent in February, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.

Here is your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

The W Road and that part of Walnut Street between East Second and East Third streets will be closed today.

LOS ANGELES — The large cat that attacked a baby and trapped an Oregon family in a bedroom touched off an Internet uproar that worries Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell."

WASHINGTON — For President Barack Obama, Russia's aggressive annexation of Crimea is testing central tenets of his foreign policy philosophy: his belief in the power of direct diplomacy, his preference for using economic sanctions as punishment and his inclination to proceed cautiously in order to avoid creating larger long-term problems.

DETROIT — General Motors, beware.

NEW YORK — Countless theories have surfaced about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 nearly two weeks ago. Some are plausible, some are downright absurd.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Four military search planes were dispatched Thursday to try to determine whether two large objects bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean were part of a possible debris field of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

Will Ward can rightfully claim that he discovered Thor.

Rocker Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and indie newcomers Young the Giant with play the closing weekend of this year's Riverbend Festival lineup.

Acute lead poisoning affected millions of American children and caused thousands of deaths throughout much of the 20th century.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By By Dr. Clif Cleaveland

Finding Thor (and others)

Baylor grad working his way to the top

Will Ward can rightfully claim that he discovered Thor.

Q: I have frequent migraines in spite of taking medications. Are there other treatments?

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By By Dr. Jimmy Waldrop

Dr. Marc Cromie and other physicians at Chattanooga Allergy Clinic say they've fought personal battles with allergies and asthma, so they know the suffering their clients have gone through.

The winter that seemed as if it would never end officially does today, the first day of spring.

A season ago, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women saw their season come to a close in unspectacular fashion. Holding as much as a nine-point lead on Nebraska in the second half of their first-round NCAA tournament game, the Mocs faltered down the stretch in dropping a 73-59 decision.

Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts may top charts for student achievement, but it looks as if a new building for the campus is at best fifth on the county's priority list.

One free throw. For one trophy.

Congratulations, everyone. Spring starts today. We made it.

Rangers at all of the 54 Tennessee state parks will welcome spring with free, guided hikes on Saturday, March 22.

It was a move not every player would be willing to make and that speaks volumes not only for Chris Mayes' versatility but also for his character.

Some of the best American professional cyclists are going to hit a wall in North Chattanooga this Memorial Day. And they're going to hit it more than once.

Longtime local music fans might remember when the Zac Brown Band was playing in local clubs. Those days are long gone.

Little Owl Music and Arts Festival at Audubon Acres; Friends Under the Stars at Camp Jordan

Are you needing help with your bracket?

As more people choose to board buses, ride bicycles and use other forms of public transportation, Chattanooga transportation officials have identified key target areas in hopes of transforming the way people can travel in the Scenic City.

RINGGOLD, Ga. — A jury agreed with prosecutors Wednesday evening: A falsified Facebook photo is the same as lying to the cops.

A Chattanooga visit by best-selling author Christy Jordan won’t be just a book signing but a food sampling.

Will Wade attended Clemson with the career goal of becoming a high school history teacher and a high school basketball coach.

The Lee University School of Music will present The Omni Trio as the next guest in the Performing Arts Series.

Fresh off a stop at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Nashville electro-pop duo Cherub will be in Chattanooga on Friday, March 21, for a show at Track 29, 1400 Market St.

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If a round of drinks is in your immediate future -- say after work today, March 20 -- two Chattanooga eateries are offering alternatives to happy hour.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is positioned to take its biggest step in collegiate wrestling since Heath Eslinger arrived.

After two nights away, displaced residents of Jaycee Towers returned home Wednesday afternoon.

Chattanooga has aggressively tried to position itself as a town full of art and artists and, to a large degree, it has succeeded.

Faith Evans Ruch, a country/Americana artist from Memphis, will perform in the River City Sessions at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, at The Camp House, 1427 Williams St.

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Officials with Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center are looking for home builders who can think big and build small. The luxury accommodations they'll be creating are intended for the wee folk of the forest.

The Wichita State men's basketball team has gone on a magical run through the regular season, going 34-0 and earning to top seed in the Midwest Regional for the NCAA tournament.

Q. What is the best way to do business with Social Security?

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By By Gregory Holmes
  • Comment  |

The Georgia Board of Regents that governs 31 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia voted Wednesday to ban all forms of tobacco on all of its campuses.

NASHVILLE — The Senate sponsor of a House-passed bill that would impose a two-year delay on Tennessee's Common Core education standards says he's worried about "shenanigans" on a fiscal analysis that will send the measure to the Senate Finance Committee.

Musician Andy Grammer likens his in-the-works sophomore CD to meeting someone for the second time.

"Bright Ideas: African American Inventors and Inventions" has opened at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

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The vendor tents return to the Tennessee Aquarium plaza, 1 Broad St., on Saturday, March 22, as Chattanooga River Market begins a new season.

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More often than not, the NCAA men's basketball tournament champion needs at least one close victory along the way.

Backers of an effort to oust Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson have 19 days to collect 1,454 more signatures on a petition to force a recall of the first-term councilman.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Cleveland Planning Commission has recommended creating a special “Inman Street East Zoning District” as a way to encourage redevelopment of the city’s historic eastern gateway.

Talking turkey likely will be common over the next few months for three generations of hunters in Hixson.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By By Gary Petty

The Association for Visual Arts will showcase career artists in an upcoming exhibit and is seeking eligible works to display.

The Lee University Writers Festival will conclude with a presentation by poet Anya Silver at 7 p.m. Monday, March 24, in Rose Lecture Hall in the Helen Devos College of Education on the Cleveland, Tenn., campus.

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Amari Cooper has made plenty of plays during his first two years as an Alabama receiver, and he doesn't appear to be letting up.

Senior guard Hollie German got within 12 points of the Lee University women's basketball career scoring record as the top-seeded Lady Flames beat eighth-seeded host Grace College 66-58 in the quarterfinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association Division I tournament Wednesday in Winona Lake, Ind.

The Lee University Chamber Strings will present its annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, in the Dixon Center on the Cleveland, Tenn., campus.

Nationally renowned Americana singer/songwriter Nathan Bell, who lives on Signal Mountain, will perform as part of a CD release party for “Blood Like a River” at Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., Friday, March 21, at 8 p.m.

  • March 20th, 2014  |

The curtain will rise on the first major stage production at the Mars Theater in LaFayette, Ga., the next two weekends when Back Alley Productions presents Phillip King's classic British comedy "See How They Run."

The Taj Mahal Trio, featuring multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal, will perform an 18-and-older, seated show at Track 29 on Sunday, March 23, at 8 p.m.

Less than nine years after its start, Southern Community Bank will expand into Chattanooga with a new bank branch this spring — its fourth new market since the bank began as the Bank of Tullahoma in Coffee County in 2005.

A City Council meeting requested by Chairman Yusuf Hakeem to consider whether to sack the city's transportation director has been canceled.

Rhea County, Tenn., voters can look forward to an exciting election at the county level — in August.

Candidates for county mayor and sheriff in Bledsoe County, Tenn., will lead the biggest contests on the local ballot in May when voters head for the polls to decide four contested county primaries.

Former Atlanta Braves standout Dale Murphy, right, will be the keynote speaker at Junior Achievement of Chattanooga's Spirit of Achievement Awards luncheon on Tuesday, March 25.

  • March 20th, 2014  |

One person died from injuries sustained in a car wreck in Soddy-Daisy on Wednesday morning, according to a news release from the Soddy-Daisy Police Department.

New apartments should be added to Stringer's Ridge over the next couple of years, but the developer of the rental units was denied permission to build an entrance to the complex along Ashmore Avenue in Red Bank.

One of Agatha Christie's most celebrated mysteries opens Friday, March 21, at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. "And Then There Were None" plays through Sunday, April 6, on the MainStage.

Cedric Edwards, 20, suffered a gunshot wound to the right upper leg Wednesday while standing outside 7766 Basswood Drive.

Sarah Lanigan, curator and director of the Stickley Furniture Museum in Fayetteville, N.Y., will be in Chattanooga today for a presentation about the furniture company.

Playing with Fire

Jack Daniel’s set to launch red-hot cinnamon whiskey

The Jack Daniel Distillery is set to introduce a new red-hot cinnamon spirit in three test markets in April. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire is crafted with the company’s Old No. 7 whiskey and naturally infused with a proprietary red-hot cinnamon liqueur. It will be available in Oregon, Pennsylvania and the Lynchburg distillery’s home state of Tennessee.

So what’s your favorite side to an enchilada? Maybe an egg roll — with a fortune cookie for dessert?

Chattanooga Public Library is hosting a Dystopian Celebration Friday, March 21 for kids aged 12-18 to celebrate the release of the film.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By Roger Moore

Chattooine, a club for fans of movies and masquerade, will be at East Ridge 18, 5080 South Terrace, at 7 p.m. Friday, March 21, for the release of “Muppets Most Wanted.”

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A strange sense of doom hangs over the rebooted Muppets, and it's not from the Swedish Chef's cooking.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By Jake Coyle

Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile. Tina Fey turned the world on with her “Blerg!” “Dorp!” “Nerds!” and other off-kilter utterances as Liz Lemon on “30 Rock.”

The Gem Theatre in Calhoun, Ga., will host a screening of the acclaimed music documentary “Muscle Shoals” on Monday, March 24.

If you know anything about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, you know the rest of the quote.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • By By Mike Chambers

Chattanooga Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem's reaction Tuesday to an email from city transportation administrator Blythe Bailey, in which Bailey said he wouldn't attend a meeting where it appeared a sweetheart deal was being proposed for a private taxi company, was akin to a child having a favorite toy taken away from him.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • Comment  |

End union domination of education in Tennessee and return our schools to a Top 10 position instead of being in the bottom 10. Thank you, Sen. Corker, for facing down the threat of union domination of the auto industry in Tennessee.

City Council Chairman Yusuf Hakeem needs to take a deep breath.

  • March 20th, 2014  |
  • Comment  |

A reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is shut down because of a problem that occurred while it was being returned to operation after a refueling outage.

College freshman Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a devout Christian, finds his faith challenged by his dogmatic philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo), who begins the first day of class by telling students they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God or face a failing grade.

  • March 20th, 2014  |

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Are you glad spring is here?

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