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Catoosa Co. Man Sentenced To Life, Plus 250 Years In Child Sex Case

Catoosa County Courthouse

A Catoosa County man, indicted on 46 counts of child molestation, was convicted this week on all charges.

James Martin Ferris, 34, was indicted in June 2013. He was charged with child sex abuse against five different girls. 

According to District Attorney Buzz Franklin, evidence in the trial showed Ferris had illicit sexual contact with the girls who ranged in age from 12 to 14 years old. He apparently gave the girls alcohol. The evidence included a video Ferris had made which showed him sexually abusing a child who was unconscious at the time.

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Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

gun rights expand in georgia

ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) — Under a law just signed by Georgia's governor, people with a license can carry a gun into bars, some government buildings and places of worship if religious leaders say it's OK.

A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered to watch Wednesday's bill signing by Gov. Nathan Deal with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse.

Also under the law passed this session, school districts would now be able, if they choose, to allow some employees to carry a firearm under certain conditions.

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Chattanooga City Council votes for light rail study

Chattanooga city leaders are developing a new vision for navigating the city and it takes us back to our roots.  City Council gave the city the a thumb's up to pursue a 400-thousand dollar grant for a light rail system. 

The proposed route would run from downtown to the airport and Enterprise South.   There would also be a south loop down Highway 27. 

Officials estimate a $35 million price tag to build the project.  The study would explore the economic impact on the city, including job growth and a boost in tourism.

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Catoosa Online Academy earns award of excellence

Catoosa Online Academy

In the first year of Catoosa County Online Academy, a pilot program to offer alternative technology-based high school courses, enrollment has doubled between the first semester and second semester.

The program’s popularity, coupled with an award of excellence from Apex Learning, is evidence of the program’s success.

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Grandmother, 2 Children Die In ATV Accident

Catoosa ATV accident

A huge family is suffering a huge loss.

That family is known by many in Catoosa County as "a family of faith." That faith will be very important after an ATV ride kills three of their loved one.

Josph Wingfield says he still can't believe members of a family he's known for his entire life are gone.

"Renee I would think would be what every lady would strive to be. An amazing wife, an amazing mom, amazing grandma. How many grandmas do you know that knock around the farm with their grand babies," said Wingfield.

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Georgia gets a C on state elementary, middle and high school scores

Georgia public schools score C

ATLANTA -- The results were mixed on the averages for the state's elementary, middle and high schools on theGeorgia Department of Education's scores released Monday.

All three registered in the 70s, which State Superintendent of Schools John Barge equated to a C letter grade.

"I think it's fairly accurate of where we are," he said.

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Ringgold awards downtown streetscaping bid, discusses parking issues with businesses

ringgold streetscaping bid

The city of Ringgold moved a step closer to revamping its downtown area, during its most recent city council meeting on Monday night, April 14, when it awarded the bid for its upcoming streetscaping project aimed towards making the area more accessible.

The bid was awarded to the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Talley Construction in the amount of $867,560.

During the work session prior to the approval of the bid, the council looked through an itemized breakdown of the bid, evaluating whether the city’s crews could perform any of the needs of the project.

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Ringgold updates outdated zoning, subdivision fees

The city of Ringgold recently approved upping the cost of some of its fees as it pertains to zoning, variances, and subdivisions, in an attempt line up with what Catoosa County currently charges.

The change was unanimously approved by the city council during its most recent meeting on Monday, April 14.

“We’re updating our fees because they’re outdated,” said city manager Dan Wright. “We’re going to align the fees with that of Catoosa County. We’ve charged the same amount for years, and it’s a lot less that the county charges.”

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Author of crime novel set in Chattanooga to host book signing in his native Ringgold

local author to hold book signing

A local Ringgold writer and author is proud to announce the release of his newest crime novel thriller, "Case File: #1948".  J. S. Marshall will be hosting a book signing event on April 25th-27th at Legendairy Ice Cream and Coffee.  J.S. Marshall has previous professional writing experience as the staff technical writer with four different national automotive publications, eventually, all four simultaneously. He has honed and refined his skills into this 1940’s based crime drama set in and around the Chattanooga area.

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Principal Sharon Vaughn leaving Ringgold High after 10 years

RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) -Some familiar faces will be in new places when Catoosa County students return to school this fall.  Sharon Vaughn is leaving her post as principal of Ringgold High School after ten years to take a similar post at the Performance Learning Center (PLC)  in Fort Oglethorpe.  The PLC is described as "another learning option to area high school students.

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