published Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Tennessee Democratic fundraiser sets record for party — and more Chattanooga region news

Tennessee Democratic fundraiser sets record for party

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Democrats say the $500,000 netted from its Jackson Day fundraiser set a new record for the beleaguered party.

The event headlined by Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was held at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Saturday.

The party said its expenses to host the event are expected to come to about $25,000, meaning that 95 percent of the money can go toward elections.

Chairman Roy Herron said a 2009 fundraiser featuring former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore brought in more contributions but also cost more to put on, meaning the party earned less from the event.

Tennessee Democrats have not won a statewide election since 2006.

Former Jellico employee charged

Investigators say a former Jellico, Tenn., city worker accused of stealing from a police drug fund has been indicted on theft charges.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says a Campbell County grand jury charged 65-year-old Linda Darrell Douglas with one count of theft over $60,000. Douglas, who was the former Jellico city recorder, is accused of taking about $73,000 from the police drug fund and other city funds.

The TBI was called to investigate Douglas after a state comptroller’s audit revealed problems. The city later fired Douglas.

The TBI says she turned herself in before being booked into the jail and was released after posting $10,000 bond.

Attempts to reach Douglas were unsuccessful. Her phone number was not listed in public records.

Alabama woman guilty in arson case

DECATUR, Ala. — An Alabama woman who pleaded guilty to first-degree arson is scheduled to be sentenced June 10.

Police say 44-year-old Bridget Owens Easterly set fire to her house in Hartselle on Feb. 27, 2011, while she and her 16-year-old daughter were inside.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kyle Wilson said Easterly then broke out a bedroom window, and she and her daughter climbed out.

The Decatur Daily reports Easterly was arrested that afternoon at the scene. She pleaded guilty to first-degree arson in Morgan County Circuit Court on March 5.

She will be sentenced in Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Glenn Thompson’s court.

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