Regional News Roundup: Officials seek comments on hunting rules

Regional News Roundup: Officials seek comments on hunting rules

January 17th, 2018 by Staff and Wire Reports in Local Regional News

Officials seek comments on hunting rules

NASHVILLE — Tennessee wildlife officials are seeking public comments on regulations for the 2018-19 hunting season.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says it's an opportunity for Tennesseans to offer ideas and share concerns about hunting regulations with the agency's staff.

The agency says the comment period is open through Feb. 15.

It says public comments will be considered by the agency's staff and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes.

Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2018-19 Hunting Season Comments, TWRA, Wildlife and Forestry Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to Please include "Hunting Season Comments" on the subject line of emailed submissions.


Oak Street crash leaves one dead

CHATTANOOGA — One man has succumbed to injuries sustained in a Jan. 5 crash, according to a release from the Chattanooga Police Department. William C. Chambers, 71, died after he was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries from a crash in the 2400 block of Oak Street.

On that Friday, Chambers' Honda Accord was struck by Deneisa Hemphill, 25, according to the release. The police investigation has concluded Hemphill is suspected of failing to yield to a stop sign, which caused her to hit Chambers' vehicle in the intersection.

Hemphill was taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for minor injuries from the crash.

The Chattanooga Police Traffic Division will continue the investigation after a final determination is made as to the cause of death by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner, according to the release. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding the incident to call 423-698-2525.


Four killed in Sunday house fire

SAVANNAH, Tenn. — Authorities say a family of four has died in a house fire in Tennessee.

Hardin County Fire Chief Melvin Marin said 35-year-old Jamie Franks, 37-year-old Robyn Franks and their children, 9-year-old Brody West and 3-year-old Josie Franks, died in the early Sunday fire in Savannah, according to media reports.

Martin said firefighters responding to a neighbor's report found part of the roof had already collapsed. Fire was "coming from just about every window," he said.

The blaze was extinguished within about 30 minutes. Martin said each victim was found in their bedrooms.

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation. Martin said it was likely accidental. It's unknown whether the home had working smoke alarms. According to a GoFundMe, Jamie Franks' two other children were with their mother.


Former transit official gets prison for false invoice scheme

ATLANTA — A former official with Atlanta's transit system has been sentenced to federal prison for a false invoicing scheme.

The U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta said in a news release Tuesday that former Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority senior director of operations Joseph Erves has been sentenced to serve two years and nine months and ordered to pay $522,825 in restitution.

Prosecutors say the scheme he orchestrated led to MARTA paying more than $500,000 for maintenance work that was never done.

Prosecutors say that from June 2010 to December 2016 Erves had fake invoices prepared for three vendors for more than 40 maintenance projects. He then authorized payment of the invoices, knowing no work was done. After receiving payment, the vendors funneled most of the money into Erves' personal bank accounts.


Corrections officials say inmate appears to have killed self

SUMMERVILLE, Ga. — Corrections officials say they're investigating the death of a Georgia inmate who they say appears to have killed himself.

The Georgia Department of Corrections said in a news release Tuesday that inmate Cecil Williams was found unresponsive in his cell at Hays State Prison in Summerville just after 1 a.m. Saturday.

The agency said prison medical staff attempted to revive him but he was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later by a doctor at the prison.

Williams was sentenced in 2015 to serve 10 years for robbery by intimidation in Lowndes County.

Corrections officials say they are investigating the death, which they say is standard procedure when an inmate dies in custody.


Alabama trooper shortage critical, says group

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama State Troopers Association says the number of troopers patrolling Alabama roadways is dangerously low.

The Troopers Association on Wednesday called on Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers to increase funding to boost the number of troopers on the road.

Trooper Association President David Steward said there are about 250 state troopers patrolling in Alabama. He said studies suggest there should be more than 1,000.

Steward said, "seconds count in an accident" and troopers are often handling multiple counties.

The concern is not new. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency in 2015 said trooper staffing was at "critical levels."

The organization for state troopers made the plea on the second week of the 2018 legislative session.


Police: Gunfire erupts in home, leaving man dead

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Authorities say gunfire erupted in an Alabama home, leaving one man dead. reported Monday that Birmingham police spokesman Capt. Sean Edwards said two men and a woman were inside the home hanging out and drinking when one of the men started acting erratic and bizarre.

Edwards said the man pulled out two guns and opened fire. One of the bullets struck a 24-year-old man in the back.

The woman ran out the house and hid in some bushes. The suspect went looking for her, broke into another home where there were two children and their grandparents. He then fired shots in that home.

As police were closing in on the suspect, he jumped out of a back window, got down on the ground and was taken into custody.