'Bodies in car ID'd as Alabamians' and more news from the Chattanooga region

'Bodies in car ID'd as Alabamians' and more news from the Chattanooga region

January 15th, 2013 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Local Regional News

Bodies in car ID'd as Alabamians

UNION CITY, Ga. - Authorities say they've identified two of the three bodies found in a car along a Georgia interstate as Montgomery, Ala., residents.

A police officer found two bodies in the car at an Interstate 85 exit ramp in Union City around 5 a.m. Sunday. He opened the trunk and found a third body.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday identified the woman inside the trunk as Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson, 32. One of the men in the back seat was identified as 33-year-old Quinones King.

WXIA-TV reported the third body has been identified as Rodney Cottrell, 43.

Authorities are handling the case as a homicide, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is involved.

Union City is about 20 miles southwest of Atlanta.

UGA increasing online courses

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia is increasing the number of undergraduate courses it offers online.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported that the change will begin this summer.

Georgia has trailed many other schools in moving into online learning.

But Vice President Laura Jolly said Georgia now is making it a priority to develop a stronger online curriculum.

This summer, the university will teach 34 courses popular with or required of undergraduates.

The tuition rate for the new courses hasn't been set.

Starlings came from New York

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A Tennessee biology professor says the noisy gatherings of European starlings in cities across Tennessee can be traced to an idea that seemed charming at the time.

The thick, loud roosting flocks prefer urban settings and have become a nuisance. Their feces can carry histoplasmosis, which is a respiratory disease.

East Tennessee State University professor Fred Alsop told the Johnson City Press the starlings found in Tennessee spring from a species found in western Europe. Alsop said a society studying William Shakespeare's sonnets in New York City in 1890 thought it would be fun to have some of the birds the bard wrote about.

By 1920, the 100 starlings released in New York had become large flocks and migrated as far south as Tennessee.

Sobriety checks coming Jan. 26

RHEA COUNTY, Tenn. - The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct sobriety checkpoints in Rhea County on Jan. 26, according to a news release.

The checkpoints are contingent on the weather and manpower availability, officials said.