published Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

AL grandma charged with murder in girl’s running death asks for charge to be dismissed

Alabama woman asks for dismissal of murder charge

GADSDEN, Ala. — The Alabama woman charged with capital murder in her granddaughter's running death is asking a judge to dismiss the case.

Joyce Garrard argues in court documents that prosecutors haven't abided by a judge's schedule to turn over potential evidence about the death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin in 2012.

For that alleged failure, the defense is asking a judge in Gadsden to dismiss charges. They're also asking the judge to limit some testimony by medical workers.

Prosecutors say Garrard's lawyers are wrong, and they say the defense is simply trying to win public sympathy for the woman before her trial next month. Etowah County prosecutors are asking the court to seal all future motions to prevent the same thing from happening again.

A hearing is set for Friday.

More regional news:

Board backs Conn as Lee president

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Dr. Paul Conn, president of Lee University, has been elected by the school's board of directors to serve a new four-year term beginning Aug. 1, according to a university news release.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Conn has accepted a new term as president," board Chairman Gary Sharp said. "He has led the university in many outstanding accomplishments, and we believe many more wonderful years are ahead."

Conn became president in 1986 after teaching for 15 years on Lee's psychology faculty. He is a Lee graduate and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University in psychology.

He holds the rank of professor of psychology and teaches an undergraduate psychology course for 100 Lee students each fall semester.

Fishermen charged in tourney cheating

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Two North Alabama men are free on bond after being arrested on charges of cheating at a bass fishing tournament.

Authorities say 45-year-old Robert Gallaspie of Boaz and 37-year-old Gary Lee Minor Jr. of Albertville are charged with tampering with a sporting event.

The men turned in enough big bass to win a fishing tournament at Lake Guntersville last week.

But officials say the men took the fish out of a hidden holding tank where they had been stored before the event began.

Court records don't show whether either man has hired a defense lawyer, but they are free on $5,000 bond each and face a court hearing on June 18.

Tournament organizers have barred the two from future competitions.

Firefighters plan drills at Six Flags

AUSTELL, Ga. — Firefighters from various jurisdictions are planning to spend today at Six Flags Over Georgia, but they won't be there for fun.

More than 40 firefighters plan to visit the amusement park for water rescue drills. The fire departments say swift water emergencies on area rivers and streams are among the most hazardous they face.

The departments say the Thunder River attraction at Six Flags mimics the turbulent conditions that rescuers find in this kind of an emergency.

Firefighters will work on swimming across strong currents, practicing swift water rescue techniques, dealing with obstacles in the water, and learning self-rescue and survival methods.

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