Planning commission defers two proposals

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission deferred two cases on Monday involving proposed riverfront apartments and new homes in East Brainerd.

An Atlanta group is proposing a new 300-unit apartment complex on a vacant waterfront tract off Manufacturers Road and adjacent to downtown Chattanooga's North Shore. However, the development group sought and received a 30-day deferral.

Deferred for 60 days was a proposal to build a new $30 million development amid tornado damage on what had been a wooded creek area prior to last year's tornadoes in East Brainerd.

Developer Guy Cherwonuk, a partner in Paces Ferry Builders, is seeking permission to build a planned unit development off Jenkins Road next to the Holly Hills subdivision.


Ford recalls Explorer SUVs over roof covers

Ford Motor Co. has confirmed a recall of more than 620,000 Explorer and Police Interceptor SUVs in the U.S. and its territories, one year after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration raised concern about roof rail covers that could potentially create a road hazard.

At issue is the problem of pins that loosen and allow the roof rail covers to detach.

Ford announced the recall Monday for Explorer model years 2016-19 built at the Chicago Assembly Plant. Ford dealers will secure the roof rails with plastic pushpins and replace damaged rail clips and roof rail covers, as needed.

This action affects 620,483 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 36,419 in Canada and 4,260 in Mexico, Ford confirmed Monday.

"A roof rail cover that detaches while driving can create a road hazard for other road users, increasing the risk of a crash," said a federal regulatory filing dated May 5.

The company said it is not aware of any reports of accidents or injuries.


Facebook urged to drop Instagram for children

A bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to drop company plans for a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Monday.

The attorneys general in the letter said they are concerned about social media's effects on the physical and emotional well-being of children, the potential for increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook's "checkered record" in protecting children on its platforms.

"It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account," said the letter, signed by the attorneys general of 40 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories.

Children under 13 are technically not allowed to use the Instagram app in its current form due to federal privacy regulations. But Facebook in March confirmed a report by Buzzfeed News, saying it is "exploring a parent-controlled experience" on Instagram.

"It's shameful that Facebook is ignoring the very real threat that social media poses to the safety and well-being of young children in an attempt to profit off of a vulnerable segment of our population," Healey said in a statement.

Facebook in a statement Monday said it is exploring Instagram for kids to give parents more control over what children who are already online are exposed to, will make every effort to protect children, and will not show advertising on the platform.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner