Counties near Chattanooga get disaster declaration

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday that President Barack Obama has declared 18 counties, including Marion, Sequatchie and Bledsoe, federal disaster areas due to storms that swept the state in June.

State and local governments and electric utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts. The disaster declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for debris removal, emergency protective measures and rebuilding and repairing roads and other facilities.

"This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery," Haslam said. "State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance."

Marion prepares for an emergency

WHITWELL, Tenn. - Emergency response agencies are partnering to hold the Marion One Disaster Preparedness Expo for Marion County residents.

The event is set for 9 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT Sept. 6 at Whitwell City Park. Admission is free.

Activities will include hands-on exhibits and training in various areas, from creating a 72-hour emergency kit to emergency financial planning to protecting pets in disasters. There will be exhibits and vendors for such survival gear as emergency food and home generators, a dutch oven cooking demonstration and more. See more details at Marion One Disaster Preparedness Expo.

Sponsors include the Marion Emergency Management Agency, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Disaster Animal Response Team.

For more information, call Robert Payne at 423-658-2006.

Help needed for annual battle event

TUNNEL HILL, Ga. - Volunteers are needed to help put on the 21st annual Battle of Tunnel Hill reenactment, which is coming up Sept. 6-7 and which marks the 150th anniversary of the actual battle.

Helpers are needed to set the stage, attach Union and Confederate flags to fence posts, drive golf carts to transport participants, help with parking and escort guests, among other needs.

"And we could use another EMT or paramedic on site, too," said Boyd Whitfield, president of the Tunnel Hill Historic Foundation

Contact him at or 706-271-8478 or 706-673-5654 as soon as possible to volunteer.

2 dead, 2 hurt in Friday shooting

KNOXVILLE - A Knoxville police cadet and another person have been killed and two other people have been injured in a shooting stemming from a family feud.

Police Chief David Rausch told media outlets the shooting happened at about 11:30 p.m. Friday when Michael Little, 21, went to see his former girlfriend, 18-year-old Ashley Womack.

Officers say Little shot Womack's mother, Rhonda, and Travis Wegener, 28, before Womack's brother shot Little several times. Wegener died at the scene. Rhonda Womack was in serious condition at UT Medical Center.