'Student killed in Bradley crash' and more new from the Chattanooga region

'Student killed in Bradley crash' and more new from the Chattanooga region

February 20th, 2013 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Local Regional News

Student killed in Bradley crash

CLEVELAND, TENN. - A Bradley Central High student died in a car crash Monday night.

Officers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol found 17-year-old Caleb S. Harrod, of Cleveland, after a one-car crash at 1515 Hunt Road about 10 p.m. Monday. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Harrod drove his 2000 Dodge Neon off the left side of the southbound lane of Hunt Road before crashing into a telephone pole and a tree. Harrod wore a seat belt.

Several Bradley Central students took to Twitter to express sympathy Tuesday. A student under the name Hanna Blessing wrote, "Gonna miss that sense of humor. You were always laughing. Love you. RIP."

The school held a moment of silence, and students attending the boys' basketball district tournament matchup against Walker Valley High on Tuesday night were encouraged to wear all white as a tribute to Harrod.

Juvenile justice overhaul moving

ATLANTA - An overhaul of Georgia's juvenile justice system has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The proposal is intended to place nonviolent youth offenders into community-based programs that treat root causes of crime rather than putting them behind bars.

The Georgia House Judiciary Committee made several dozen changes to details of the bill Tuesday but didn't alter the general outline.

Chairman Wendell Willard said the latest version has backing from state and local agencies, including Georgia's district attorneys association. Youth advocates also are pushing the measure. And Gov. Nathan Deal has included money in his 2014 budget proposal to help expand the community programs.

Georgia spends more than $90,000 per year on each youthful offender behind bars. About 65 percent who are released end up back in jail.

Death row inmate gets hearing

ATLANTA - The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has heard from friends and family of a death row inmate set to be executed this week.

A clemency hearing for Andrew Allen Cook was held Tuesday in Atlanta. The board was expected to issue its decision sometime before Thursday's scheduled execution. The 38-year-old Cook was convicted in the 1995 slayings of two Mercer University students.

Rain, road woes hurt tourism

GATLINBURG, Tenn. - Officials of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park think above-normal precipitation and subsequent road closings drove down visits in January.

The number of tourists was off 3.5 percent from the five-year average for January. Fewer than 266,000 people came into the park during the month -- the second-lowest visitation in five years.

The park generally gets 5 to 7 inches of rain in January but received 14 to 17 inches last month.