Region digest: Man thrown from tractor dies and other news...

Region digest: Man thrown from tractor dies and other news...

February 25th, 2011 in News


Man thrown from tractor dies

A Henagar, Ala., man was killed Wednesday when his tractor crashed down a bank and threw him off, according to a news release.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said Darrel Shankles, 70, was digging a ditch in his yard with a tractor-mounted backhoe when the accident occurred. A sanitation worker spotted Shankles lying next to the tractor and stopped. He called for emergency response, but Shankles was dead at the scene, Harris said.

"Darrel was a well-respected member of our community," Harris said. "It's just a terribly sad and unfortunate accident."

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Authorities seek home burglars

Catoosa County authorities are searching for thieves in two home burglaries last week.

On Feb. 17, a home was broken into on 192 Dug Road, but nothing appeared to be stolen, a police report shows. But a side door to the house that was locked with two dead bolts had been kicked in so hard the frame was broken all the way around, the report stated.

Meanwhile, another burglary was reported at 440 Greystone Drive, where several items valued at $6,200 were stolen Feb. 19, a police report shows.

A teenager was house sitting for a friend when he found the front door kicked in and the lights to the house on. A laptop, several items of clothing and jewelry and eight silver dollars were reported missing, the report states.

If you have any information in these cases, contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at 706-935-2424 or 706-965-6863.

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Bookkeeper pleads guilty to theft

A Knoxville bookkeeper whose over-the-top "Sweet 15" party for her daughter was the subject of a Knoxville News Sentinel feature story has pleaded guilty to stealing $4 million from her employer.

Leslie Janous was on probation for embezzling from a Sevier County landscaping firm when she was hired by Norwegian-based precious metals broker Scancarbon in 2004.

According to details of a federal plea agreement, Janous began embezzling money from that company two years later. She spent the money on luxury cars, an upscale house, jewelry and trips. She hid the theft by faking records.

Janous pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud and money laundering. Her sentencing is July 18.

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Man accused of bomb threats

An Oak Ridge, Tenn., man is accused of calling in three hoax bomb threats to the Anderson County Jail.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, investigators said 35-year-old Timothy Wayne Parham was trying to prevent someone from visiting an inmate.

A statement from Sheriff Paul White accuses Parham of using his cell phone to call the Oak Ridge Police Department on three occasions to report a bomb inside a vehicle at the jail's parking lot.

Parham was charged Wednesday, and White said he has admitted phoning in the threats.

Bond is pending an arraignment in Anderson County General Sessions Court.