Cleveland woman ticketed for swim

ASBURY PARK, N.J. - A Cleveland, Tenn., woman was issued a summons after she had to be rescued while trying to swim in a dangerous inlet while vacationing in New Jersey.

An official said 23-year-old Amy Sartor jumped off the rocks in Point Pleasant Beach and tried to swim across the Manasquan Inlet on Thursday night.

Police Detective Clint Daniel said Sartor was 50 yards off the jetty when she was spotted and 200 yards off by the time Coast Guard rescuers reached her.

Sartor was ticketed for violating a borough ordinance of misbehavior. The ticket carries a fine of $200 to $500.

Grundy teacher honored nationally

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Sherry (Beth) Brown

COALMONT, Tenn. - Sherry "Beth" Brown, a language arts teacher at Grundy County High School in Coalmont, Tenn., has won the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, according to a news release.

Thirty-six educators will be honored at the NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education in February in Washington, D.C., the release stated.

Brown was nominated by the Tennessee Education Association, the National Education Association's state affiliate. Each recipient's school will receive a $650 award.

Five finalists will get $10,000 cash awards, and one will be named the nation's top educator and receive another $25,000.

Car dealer pleads in loan case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A North Alabama car dealer has pleaded guilty to refusing to adjust a vehicle loan for a National Guard member who went off to war.

Federal prosecutors say 75-year-old Carl Ralph Nuss, of Cullman, pleaded guilty Thursday to violating federal protections for active-duty service members. Sentencing is Sept. 12.

Nuss could be sentenced to as much as two years in prison and fined $200,000.

Authorities say a 22-year-old service member bought a Ford Sport-Trac from Nuss in 2011 and later was called to active duty in Afghanistan.

The guardsman last year requested a reduction in his 25 percent annual interest charge, as required by federal law. Nuss refused and repossessed the truck.

Killer's lawyers contest sentence

KNOXVILLE - Lawyers for a felon who was convicted for a second time in the torture slaying of a young Knoxville couple are contesting their client's sentence.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, defense attorneys filed court papers this week contending George Thomas should not have received consecutive terms in the 2007 deaths of 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom. The sentences add up to 105 years in prison -- two murder terms and a rape sentence.

The defense is asking Senior Judge Walter Kurtz to reconsider the sentencing, asserting the jury rejected the grounds for consecutive sentences.