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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 27 sec ago

Ocoee opens after being closed for two days

4 hours 35 min ago
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF)- The Ocoee River opened back up Saturday to visitors. 

According to TVA, the river was closed Thursday and Friday due to the high levels of water. 

Rafting companies were told to keep people out of the water because of the intensity of the rapids.

"The weather has been rough, but it looks clear for the rest of the weekend and it looks like we are going to have a great summer," said Jamie Silver, General Manager of Adventures Unlimited. 

The whitewater rafting company said the river closing for two days didn't affect their Fourth of July turn out. 

Alleged sexual assault inside Chattanooga day spa

7 hours 43 min ago
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF)- A Chattanooga nail salon and day spa became the scene of an alleged sexual assault between an employee and a customer.

It happened early Saturday evening at Sunny Nails and Day Spa located in the 5300 block of Brainerd Road.

The alleged victim told police that while she was receiving a foot treatment, an employee who was administering the treatment sexually assaulted her after she fell asleep.

That employee has been identified as Cuong Nguyen, 42.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim fell asleep during her foot treatment, only to wake up and find Nguyen caressing and massaging areas of her body far from her feet. She told police that as she began to fully wake up, Nguyen moved his hands from between her legs and began to look upmat her in a suspicious manner.

The victim notified a supervisor and then called police.

When officers questioned, Nguyen about what happened, he told them she fell asleep. He then gestured with his hands how he was touching her above the knees.

When asked why his hand were so high up her legs, Nguyen reportedly did not have an answer.

Nguyen was immediately arrested and charged with sexual battery.

His bond was set at $5,000 and his next court date is July 22.

Nguyen was born in Vietnam and does not have any criminal history on file in Hamilton County.







Study: Ga. teachers, state workers pay more for health care

8 hours 34 min ago

ATLANTA (AP) — A new study finds teachers and state workers in Georgia are paying more for their health care than others covered by public-sector insurance plans.

The report shows Georgia's state employees and teachers are paying more in out-of-pocket costs, including payroll deductions, than colleagues in surrounding states and those on the University System's health insurance plan.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports the study was commissioned by Georgia's Department of Community Health. It has been sent to Gov. Nathan Deal and state lawmakers.

Analysts suggested several ways to cut costs, including some methods now in place. For example, the report suggested Georgia could lower costs using wellness incentives, telemedicine and creating health clinics.

It also suggested the state government could contribute more money toward the health plan so its employees could pay less.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

 

©2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Early morning fire destroys home on Smith Road

10 hours 27 min ago
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) - An early morning fire burned a Hamilton County home to the ground.

It happened shortly after 5 A.M. in the 7900 block of Smith Road. 

It's unclear what sparked the blaze but fire crews were on scene for more than two hours. 

When News 12 arrived on scene shortly after 8:30, the home was still smoldering as winds began to pick up. 

News 12 will have more information about the fire once that information becomes available.

Animal Care & Concern This Holiday Season

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 10:54pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Non-profit 4 Paws Pantry delivered more than 2000 pounds of food to the Scenic City's most needy pets in recent weeks.

They expect this holiday season to be even busier.

Betty Crawford, 4 Paws Pantry TN, "Don't not feed your pet, we have lots of food available, HES gave us a very generous donation so please call us and help you out."

 4 Paws Pantry are based in Red Bank but are working with pet owners across this city this 4th of July.

Betty Crawford, 4 Paws Pantry TN,"We have really given out more food in the summer months than we have in the winter months so i think a lot of people are relocating or they are starting new jobs or get laid off from their jobs so they are in between, we had 5 new clients sign up last month we already have one coming in tomorrow afternoon".

Over at McKamey, lines of pet owners are worried about Fireworks affecting their animals.

Jamie McAloon, McKamey Animal Center,"Play loud music so they don't hear fireworks in your house, put them in an area that is more isolated, that is safe, i know my own dog sleeps in the bathtub when these fireworks start".

McAloon also has this advice for dog owners whose pets reside outside.

"Keep your pets inside do not keep your dogs outside especially if you are used to tethering a dog or putting it on a chain get that dog off that chain and get it inside".


For More Information:
http://www.mckameyanimalcenter.org/
http://www.4pawspantrytn.org/

Local Fireworks Shows

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 4:12pm
Thursday, July 2nd

Collegedale- POSTPONED TIL Sept. 7th
Ft. Payne- On for tonight
Wilderness Theater Trenton


Friday, July 3rd

East Ridge, Camp Jordan Jams  Rescheduled to August 1st. 
Lake Winnie 10:00- called off tonight
Chattanooga Lookouts- still on for now
Camp Columbus- Definitely On
Patriotism at the Post Ft. Ogle. CANCELLED
LaFayette Freedom Fest- rain or shine
Copperhill Tater Hill
Summerville - moved to Industrial Park, fireworks still on
Wilderness Theater Trenton

Saturday, July 4th

Pops on the River 9:45 
Lake Winnie 10:00
Finley Stadium Chattanooga FC
Signal Mountain
Soddy Daisy
Cleveland (Bradley Square)
Cleveland (Hwy 64 Flea Market)
Athens Park 9:30 (Fireworks rain or shine.. other events move into Conference Center in rain)
Dalton Heritage Park 9:30
Dunlap 9:00 (Sat. decision)
Decatur 9:30
Ducktown Miner's Homecoming 9:30
Etowah Depot
Jasper Memorial Park 9:00
Graysville, TN 10:00
Monteagle Ballfield
Spring City Veterans Park
Wilderness Theater Trenton

Tenn. students seeking scholarships facing close deadline

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 3:32pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Only one in four students participating in a college scholarship program have completed the volunteer work needed to remain eligible.

If students in the Tennessee Promise program don't complete and submit their hours by Aug. 1, they will no longer be eligible for the scholarship program. It offers new high school graduates a tuition-free ticket to community and technical colleges.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1LOZXQY ) that the approaching deadline has triggered "a campaign of constant communication" from officials, says Mike Krause, executive director of Tennessee Promise.

Krause says he and his staff are flooding the more than 31,500 eligible students with text messages and emails encouraging them to finish the community service.

___

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

 

©2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

East Ridge SWAT Standoff leads to an arrest

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 10:56am
East Ridge, TN (WDEF)- East Ridge Police responded to a domestic assault call Saturday morning. 

It happened in the 3700 block of Whitehead Avenue at 2:30 am. 

The female victim told police that her 36-year-old brother, Tommy Durham, had assaulted both her and her boyfriend before chasing them out of their residence with a machete. Durham retreated back inside the residence prior to police arrival and would not respond when police attempted to make contact with him at the door. 

Police did observe through a window that Durham was still armed with the machete. That's when the East Ridge SWAT Team was activated and arrived on scene. A member of ERPD Patrol Division was able to eventually make telephone contact with Durham and convinced him to surrender peacefully to the police. 

Officials say Durham exited the residence unharmed and was taken into custody without incident. 

The two victims were transported by ambulance to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

Durham will be charged with one count of Aggravated Assault and one count of Aggravated Domestic Assault. He will be scheduled to appear in East Ridge Court on July 21, 2015. Bond has not been set. 


Independence Day Programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 9:47am
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WDEF) - Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will offer a full schedule of public programs at Lookout Mountain and at Chickamauga Battlefield on Saturday, July 4, 2015.

At Point Park on Lookout Mountain there will be artillery programs at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30. These programs will feature the firing of a Civil War cannon, and explore how our nation was both established and preserved through conflict. In addition, there will be 30 minute ranger guided tours of Point Park at 11:00 and 1:00. Admission to Point Park is $5.00 for adults aged 16 and over, and is valid for seven days. The Craven's House will be open from 1:00-5:00 and a park ranger will be available to answer questions and tour the house. There is no admission fee to go into the Craven's House.

At 2:00, there will be a free one hour program on the role that railroads played in the campaign for Chattanooga and throughout the Civil War. 

At Chickamauga Battlefield, a living historian will present a "common soldier" program at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center on Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe, GA at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30. These Programs will explore the lives of average people who fought at Chickamauga, and will include the firing of a Civil War era musket.

Throughout the day at both Point Park and at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, park staff will conduct short programs on the establishment of the park in 1890, and work with visitors to "Find Your Park."

July 4th kids parade

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 9:37am
FLINTSTONE, GA (WDEF) - Eagle Landing in Flintstone will have its annual July 4th kids parade on Saturday, July 4, at 9:30 am. 

This year will mark 4 years since the 4/27/11 tornado hit their small community. At last all rebuilding is complete and there are no longer empty lots. 

The disaster brought the community closer together and the July 4th parade is a simple way for them to celebrate. 



Pops on the river

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 9:21am
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - ArtsBuild announces that Pops on the River will take place on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4, in Coolidge Park, thanks to the support of the City of Chattanooga, along with sponsorship from Integrity Buick GMC Cadillac and Integrity Chevrolet. This popular community celebration will feature a FREE outdoor patriotic concert by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera at Coolidge Park as well as a large firework finale over the Tennessee River.

This year the entertainment will start early with a special tribute to veterans, featuring veteran songwriters from Operation Song and two other local and Nashville bands beginning at 5:00 pm. Taking the stage at 5:00 will be the all-veteran hard rock band from Nashville called Ironglide. Following their set at 5:40, a few veteran songwriters participating in the pilot music therapy program called Operation Song will take the stage along with Grammy-winning songwriter Bob Regan. Then from 6:00-6:40 Chattanooga-based Mitch Rossell and his band will perform a country music set in honor of veterans. The veterans' portion of the Pops on the River schedule is sponsored by SunTrust Bank. 

The fireworks display, shot from neighboring Renaissance Park, will begin immediately upon the conclusion of the symphony's performance at approximately 9:45 pm.

Coolidge Park will be closing vehicular traffic at 4:30 PM on the day of the show. There will be free shuttle service running from Republic parking lots between 4th and 5th streets from 6-11 pm. The lots are pay-to-park lots. Shuttle pickup and drop off on the north side of the river will be near the Chattanooga Theatre Centre at the intersection of Tremont and River Streets.

Salute to the Flag by the Tennessee American Legion

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 9:00am
The American Legion of Tennessee put together this video tribute to the American Flag.


18 Wheeler crash on I-24 westbound shuts down interstate

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 8:59am
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - Chattanooga Police responded to a crash this morning involving an 18 wheeler at the I-24/Hwy 27 split in the west bound lanes.

Officials say the call came in around 5:45 am this morning, and only minor injuries have been reported at this time. Traffic is being diverted down the Market St/Williams St exit ramp.

I-24 west is currently shut down due to a fuel spill from the crash. Emergency crews are still working to clear the roadway at this time.

Please find an alternate route of travel and avoid this area as it will be closed until crews are able to clear the roadway.

More information about the accident will be released when it becomes available. 

Woman kidnapped on Taft Highway; suspect in custody

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 8:44am
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A Mexican national was arrested and charged with kidnapping and assault after he allegedly pulled a woman into a wooded area.

Raymond Lopez, 32, was booked into the Hamilton County jail early Saturday morning.

Eyewitnesses told police; Lopez grabbed a woman by the throat and mouth and pulled her into a wooded area.

It happened Friday night outside Ayala's Mexican Restaurant.

According to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office, the victim was outside the restaurant talking on her cell phone when she heard a noise coming from the woods. She told deputies she hung up her phone when Lopez came running out the woods and grabbed her then dragged her back into the wooded area.

A witness reportedly heard the victim screaming and came out the restaurant only to see the victim being dragged against her will. The witness told deputies, that Lopez let her go and ran away into the woods.

According to both the victim and the witness, Lopez was a former employee at Ayala's Mexican Restaurant who went by the name “Chapias.” They told officers they didn’t know his real name.

Deputies later captured Lopez as he walked out of the woods.

Both the victim and the witness identified Lopez when deputies brought him back to the restaurant.

Walden Avenue shooting suspect captured

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 8:21am
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A Chattanooga man with a violent criminal history is back behind bars in connection to a recent shooting.

Kodi Johnson, 22, of Chattanooga was arrested and charged with:

  • Attempted first degree murder
  • Aggravated assault
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Illegal possession of a firearm

Johnson’s arrest is in connection to June 18 shooting in the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.

According to police, the Johnson shot Roger Heard in the face after Heard showed up at Johnson’s home to pay a sports bet.

A friend oh Heard drove him to Erlanger Medical Center.

Johnson has prior convictions for aggravated assault and robbery.

His bond was set at $440,000.

His next court date is July 13.

IndepenDANCE Day Street Party Joins With Nightfall

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 10:41pm

Friday night, there was a collaboration between the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and Night Fall for the first time ever.

"We are excited to have this Independence Day event where we'll have dancers, a DJ, activities for the kids. Just a family friendly event to kick off the fourth of July weekend," said Bessie Smith Cultural Center executive director Dionne Jennings.

Eclectic Movement is a Chattanooga dance team that performs all over the area.

They brought their dance moves - and a little bit of hip hop flavor - to Night Fall this year.

"I've always loved trying to go to Night Fall and I love dancing and my crew is here and we're gonna give you guys a show and it's gonna be good," said dancer Ryan Rowe.

The IndepenDANCE Day street party had people of all ages dancing in the lawn of the Bessie Smith, bringing the revitalized MLK culture further into the Chattanooga community.

"And having Eclectic Movement come out and teaching dancing to kids and adults who want to learn but just really a good fun way to say MLK is a very vibrant place for families to come out and enjoy after hours," said Jennings.

Hundreds showed up for the music, the dancing, the cooking, the celebration to bring Bessie Smith into Night Fall for the fourth.

"It's really nice to feel a sense of community here. Everybody's so nice and friendly. It just feels wonderful," said Anne Willett who attended the event.