published Friday, May 16th, 2014

Retired Chickamauga official 'fine' after surgery and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Longtime official 'fine' after surgery

CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. — Retired Chickamauga City Manager John Culpepper is recovering from a heart attack and had a stent installed Tuesday in a blood vessel that was 90 percent blocked, he said.

"I feel fine," Culpepper said Thursday.

Culpepper said he had chest pain over the weekend and drove himself to Hutcheson Medical Center on Monday. He then was taken Tuesday by ambulance to Dalton for surgery by a cardiologist who sees patients at Hutcheson, where Culpepper serves on the board.

Culpepper canceled his appointments for the next three weeks while he recovers at home -- including one involving participating as a Union soldier at a Civil War re-enactment in Resaca, Ga.

Culpepper, who belongs to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, usually portrays a Confederate soldier.

"There ain't no way Robert E. Lee would have let me into heaven with that Yankee uniform on," he joked, grateful the heart problem was caught before the re-enactment.


$20,000 reward offered in slaying

EATONTON, Ga. — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $20,000 reward for information in the beheading of a central Georgia man and the feared abduction of his wife from their home on Lake Oconee.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills tells The Telegraph that his office might arrange for more reward money.

Law officers have used sonar to search under the water in the lake and they've also combed wooded areas near the shore in their continuing search for 87-year-old Shirley Dermond.

Her husband, 88-year-old Russell Dermond, was found decapitated May 6 at the couple's home in their exclusive gated community on the lake.


City's recorder fired as TBI probes

GRAYSVILLE, Tenn. — It's been almost a year since Tennessee Bureau of Information agents began looking into allegations involving money missing from evidence that were brought against the City of Graysville Police Department, and the city's governing board of commissioners on Tuesday voted to terminate City Recorder Michelle Horton.

In September, Horton's powers to hire and fire were removed by the board in an executive session after a tumultuous turn of events that led to police Chief Erik Redden's suspension.

The vote to terminate Horton comes roughly two weeks before the TBI is expected to release the results of its investigation.


Southern official gets presidency

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Tennessee college administrator has been chosen the next president of Union College in Lincoln, Neb.

The college board of trustees announced the selection of Dr. Vinita Sauder on Wednesday to succeed President John Wagner, who is retiring in June from the Seventh-day Adventist Church college.

Sauder is vice president for strategic initiatives at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn., and was public relations director at Southern (then Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists) in the early 1980s. She's since taught in the School of Business and Management there and served as vice president for marketing and enrollment.

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