published Friday, March 28th, 2014

Plea entered in Cash killing and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Plea entered in Cash killing

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee man has pleaded not guilty to killing the great-niece of late country music singer Johnny Cash.

The Tennessean reports 27-year-old Wayne Masciarella entered the plea Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Putnam County.

Police said they believe Masciarella stabbed 23-year-old Courtney Cash to death after getting into an argument with her and her boyfriend.

Cash's body was found March 19 inside a wooden box at her home in Baxter. Her boyfriend, William Austin Johnson, also suffered stab wounds.

No motive has been released, but Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews has indicated the stabbings likely were connected to drugs.


Main Street cities draw $59.8 million

NASHVILLE — State officials say a program aimed at revitalizing downtown commercial districts in communities across Tennessee generated nearly $60 million in public and private investment last year.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development released statistics this week from its Main Street program, which includes 26 towns and cities in the state.

The department says 646 jobs were generated and 182 new businesses sprang up in the 26 communities in 2013.

Officials say the program focuses on revitalizing downtown commercial districts by providing jobs and growing the tax base.

For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, visit http://www.tennesseemainstreet.org.


First Stratocaster brings $250,000

The first production model Fender Stratocaster has been sold for $250,000.

George Gruhn, of Nashville, sold the 1954 guitar on consignment for owner and guitar historian Richard Smith. Gruhn said Thursday that the guitar was shipped and the purchase was finalized this week.

Gruhn, who owns a Nashville guitar shop, says the buyer wanted to remain anonymous, but he said the private collector lives in the United States and is not a professional musician.

The sunburst-finish Strat bears the serial number 0100. Although some Strats have lower numbers that begin with 0001, Gruhn says they actually were manufactured later in that first year of production. He says the number-one Strat was originally sold to an amateur who evidently took good care of it.

The Fender Stratocaster, first produced in 1954, has been described as a guitar that changed the world. Buddy Holly played one. So did Jimi Hendrix, a decade later, when he transformed the psychedelic experience into sound. Bob Dylan chose a Stratocaster for his revolutionary electric set, when he fired a defiant shot at tradition during the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.


Woman sentenced in fatal shooting

MACON, Ga. — A Middle Georgia woman has been sentenced to life in prison in a fatal shooting and carjacking from January 2011.

Alexandria Renee Scott, 22, entered a guilty plea Thursday in Bibb County Superior Court. Scott will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years of her term.

Investigators have said Scott and a 23-year-old man forced their way into a woman's car in Warner Robins and ordered her to drive to a Bibb County pecan orchard.

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