published Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Roadwork, rain could slow traffic and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Roadwork, rain could slow traffic

ATLANTA — Construction work and rainy weather as motorists head south for spring break could create weekend slowdowns on metro Atlanta freeways.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that multiple lane closures are planned on Interstate 85 this weekend.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said up to four southbound lanes on I-85 near Georgia 400 would be closed during parts of the weekend as crews work to put up new signs.

GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said that if weather permits, the work will occur on I-85 southbound from a half-mile north of Clairmont Road to North Druid Hills Road. Rain expected today could change those plans.


Man hit, dragged across bridge dies

GADSDEN, Ala. — Authorities in Etowah County said a Gadsden man has died after being hit by a car and dragged across a bridge.

Investigators said 45-year-old Matthew Paul Goddard was taken to Gadsden Regional Medical Center after being hit by a car Wednesday night on the Meighan Bridge. Deputy Coroner Michael Head said the man was pronounced dead early Thursday.

Head said the man was riding in the vehicle, tried to get out and was dragged the length of the bridge. Authorities said 28-year-old Keeley Jan Maddox of Kentucky is being held without bond and is charged with driving under the influence. It's unclear if she has an attorney.


Smokies camping lawsuit continues

KNOXVILLE — A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit over backcountry camping fees implemented last year at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can move forward.

However, Eastern District of Kentucky Senior Judge Joseph Hood dismissed part of the lawsuit that challenges an online reservation system.

According to media reports, Hood said in his ruling this week that plaintiff South Forest Watch "may prefer" the old reservation system, but had failed to show any harm from the new one.

However, he said the organization has the standing to challenge the fee under the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

The park began mandating use of an online reservation system and charging a $4 per-person, per-night fee for use of more than 80 backcountry campsites and 15 trail shelters on Feb. 13, 2013.

The case will be heard in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.


Crews dig up well in search for teen

DACULA, Ga. — Sheriff's deputies northeast of Atlanta are digging up an old well, following a lead in the disappearance of a teenager more than six years ago.

Investigators told WSB-TV that deputies who spent Thursday at the well near Dacula said they're following up on a tip in the disappearance of Justin Gaines. He was last seen leaving a nightclub in Duluth in November 2007.

Several searches and a $50,000 reward have failed to turn up any sign of Gaines.

Gaines, a student at Gainesville College, came home the night he disappeared and told his mother he was going out with friends. He was dropped off at Wild Bill's nightclub. Later that night, he called a friend to pick him up, but his friend told him that he could not.

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