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WDEF News 12 - Local News
Updated: 57 min 15 sec ago

Port Angeles sends support to the Senic city

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:55pm

Just a few months ago, Chattanooga was competing against Port Angeles, Washington for the Best Town ever designation, and they didn't let a little competition get in the way of reaching out to another town in their time of need.


They say competition brings out the best in people, and a competition connected two cities that are over 2 thousand miles apart when Chattanooga and Port Angeles faced off for the Best Town ever.... Chattanooga came out on top, then the community was rocked 2 weeks ago with the loss of 5 servicemen.....



"Well we don't heal alone," said mayor Andy Berke.


Today, a former rival sent thoughts and prayers, illustrations and maps to help lift up a community that they knew was in need.


"The original plan was to make a banner," said Leslie Robertson of Port Angeles.


What started as one banner, quickly grew into something much bigger today, 20 banners filled with love and support.  Then the next task was getting them to Chattanooga.


"We can't just ship these in the mail," said Leslie.


So they decided the banners had to be hand delivered..... All 20 banners reached their destination this afternoon and when mayor Andy Berke got his first chance to view them in person, one of the words he used to descibe them was incredible.

"I really feel a bond to the people here and certainly after the competition, we went through and Port Angeles made us closer together, and it is just incredible to see how many people turned out to sign these banners."


All of the banners will be on display at the downtown library starting on Monday, on the 4th floor where they will remain for at least a week while the city works on a more permanent plan for the messages from Port Angeles.


Walmart hiring in Dalton

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:50pm
Dalton, GA (WDEF) - The Walmart is hiring up to 95 associates in Dalton this upcoming fall.

You can apply for the new Walmart on Walnut Square Boulevard.

Applications will be accepted Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Interested applicants may also apply online by clicking on the related link.

Walmart will offer a benefits program to both full time and part time employees.

Help For First Responders

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 5:52pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - In response to the July 16 domestic terror attack, Chattanooga's Family Justice Center hosted a crisis intervention seminar Thursday.
Clergy and mental health professionals gathered to learn more about dealing with trauma.
The Family Justice Center's Crisis Intervention seminar is designed to teach the foundational principles of disaster behavoral and mental health.

Psychologist Doctor Sam Bernard believes crisis intervention helps us understand how people cope with disaster.

In turn, mental health professionals use this knowledge to assist those who have been traumatized by an incident; things like what Chattanooga has being going through the last two weeks .

"Many times folks aren't for sure how to wrap their heads around it. How to make sense of it so that they can file it away in their life filing cabinet so they can go on with their life doing what it is that they love doing."

Crisis chaplain Barry Bryant, a paramedic for 20 years, tells us its also important for responders to identify trauma in their own lives.

"What we're doing here today is learning more how trauma affects the responders and how through their reactions what their coping mechanism are or are not. So what we're learning here today is how to recognize those and to respond to those appropriately."

Considering the domestic terror attack in Chattanooga on July 16th, social worker Carla Davis feels the city has coped very well.

"The way that they have pulled together and bonded and supported one another has been a great support for everyone. I mean that's a really good way to deal with trauma and grief issues."

Dr. Bernard is a long-time Chattanooga psychologist and therapist who has specialized in treating trauma victims and counseling those who provide services to them.
More of the sessions are scheduled for August.

Car Containing William Moxley & Timothy Wilson Stopped at Exit 155 In Marion County

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 4:58pm
MARION COUNTY, TN, (WDEF)-William Moxley was last seen at his family home off Lake Swan Court in Hiram Georgia Wednesday night around 11.

When Paulding County Sheriff's deputies got to the house early Thursday morning they also discovered that Timothy Wilson had vanished.

Zachary Stahl, Paulding County Resident,"From what we heard he was a guest at the home and in the night they had left some time, its scary to think about."

Wilson a native of Winchester Tennessee was driving this Chevy Cobalt when investigators initiated a traffic stop at exit 155 in Marion County.

Zachary Stahl, Paulding County Resident,"Once we got here and you know we were pulling in to this gas station, we were thinking, what's going on you know and she looked and we passed it once and she screamed go back around, see if that's the car and it was".

12 year old Moxley was taken by Georgia State Patrol and he was unharmed.

Ranchhod Chaubhari, Kanku Exit 155, "So thank you for the cop, the police and everything, that's good, i hope this boy is okay, i hope he's not scared or anything".

Wilson was apprehended by Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The white Chevy Cobalt which was reported missing was towed away.

A high profile social media campaign as well as a Levi's Call, which is Georgia's version of an Amber Alert were issued throughout the morning.

The FBI, GBI and US Marshal's Service were all involved in returning the 12 year old to his Georgia home.

Search efforts continue for missing Cleveland teen.

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 4:08pm

Antonito, Colorado (WDEF) -- It’s been a full week since a Cleveland Tennessee teenager went missing in a mountainous desert of Southern Colorado and crews have yet to find any traces of him.

A recent post on the ‘Find Joe Keller ‘ Facebook page read," police have called off the search.” But it has since been updated to reflect the opposite.

“The search is continuing today. We pulled in search teams from other areas of the state to help today and the Sheriff is planning search efforts to continue through the weekend,” said Public Information officer Linda Smith who talked to News 12 via phone.

Last Thursday, Joe Keller, 19, of Cleveland Tennessee was reported missing after he became separated from friends he was running with. They were on vacation in a rugged high-desert and mountainous area of Conejos County Colorado.

Since last Friday, hundreds of people have been searching on foot and by horseback for Keller while a rescue helicopter and plane searched by air.

“We’ve been very fortunate that a lot of people have been here to assist with this because we do have a very small county here so our local resources are not sufficient for a search of this type,” Smith said.

Search and rescue dogs have reportedly not been able to pick up Keller’s scent. And authorities told News 12 they are not ruling out foul play by another individual. They are also considering the possibility that Keller may have been attacked by a mountain lion.

“Anything is possible. That has been known to happen. We do have mountain lions here but we haven’t ruled that out either,” Smith said.

Now that a week has passed since Keller was last seen alive, the next question is whether or not authorities will soon change the mission from search and rescue to search and recovery.

“That’s something I’m going to have to defer to the sheriff. I’m not sure what’s going to determine when that changes,” Smith said.

In the meantime, Keller’s family continues to hold out hope by offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

Suspect arrested for multiple bank robberies

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 2:49pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) - Chattanooga Police arrest one man for two recent bank robberies.

Officials say Christopher Joseph Dodd gave the teller a note demanding cash and claiming he had a gun.

He did this at both the First Tennessee Bank on Highway 58 and the Cohutta Bank Co. on Highway 153 this week.

The 32-year-old is also a suspect in thefts from businesses within the same time period.

Chattanooga Police worked with both the United States Marshals Service and the Red Bank Police on these cases.

If you know anything about these cases, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525.   

Only on 12: Levi's Call Missing Boy Recovered in Jasper

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 12:33pm
Jasper, TN (WDEF) The search for a missing boy in north Georgia didn't take long.

State officials issued a Levi's Call (the Georgia version of an Amber Alert) for him this morning.

Tennessee troopers pulled over the suspect vehicle on I-24 just before noon today, and recovered the boy.

Our James Mahon was on the scene at noon.

Levi's Call Missing Child Found on I 24 in Marion County

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 11:19am
Jasper, TN (WDEF) - Tennessee state troopers have pulled over a car in Marion County with the missing boy from Hiram Georgia.

Officials in Georgia had issued a Levi's Call for the 12 year old who was possibly abducted from his home overnight.

They believed he was with an adult who was living in the home.

Tommy Lee Wilson is from Winchester, and that could have been where they were heading.

Officials say troopers were able to safely stop the suspect vehicle and recover the child, who is okay.

Police Identify Fatal Stabbing Suspect

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 11:01am
Chattanooga (WDEF) - Chattanooga police are identifying the suspect they pick up last night at a fatal stabbing at Cypress Street Courts.

They arrested 46 year old Eric McCullough at the scene Wednesday night.

Investigators say he stabbed his niece, 23-year old Tyecha McCullough, who died later at the hospital.

A 25 year old man also suffered stab wounds.

The uncle was also treated for a self-inflicted stab wound.

Levi's Call for Missing 12 Year Old Who Could Be Coming Our Way

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 10:42am
Hiram, Georgia (WDEF)  A 12 year old who may have been abducted from the Atlanta area could be headed our way.

The state of Georgia has issue a Levi's Call for William Dorian Moxley.

He disappeared from his home in Hiram, Georgia last night.

The boy could be with an adult who was living with the family.

He is Timothy Lee Wilson, but also goes by the name of Lee Jacks.

The family car was also missing.

It is a white Chevy Cobalt with a Georgia tag of PZH 9125.

Police believe the two could be headed back to Wilson's home in Winchester Tennessee, so they could be coming through Chattanooga.

The family says Wilson did not have permission to take the boy anywhere.

The boy is 12 years old, with dark hair.

Timothy Lee Wilson/ AKA Lee Jacks/ has tattoos.

He was last seen wearing plaid shorts with blue strings.

If you think you have seen them, please call the Paulding County Sheriff's office at 770 443 3015 or your local law enforcement.

Person shot on Bonny Oaks Drive

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:30am
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF)-- Chattanooga police are investigating the city's latest shooting that happened Thursday morning.

According to dispatch, a person has been shot in the 4500 block of Bonny Oaks Drive.

Dispatch is also reporting that a gunshot victim arrived at Parkridge Hospital sometime around 6:30 A.M.

We have a news crew on the way to the scene and hope to have new details as they become available.

JOE FRUGAL: Dollar General add $250 in Back to School Savings to Digital Coupon Service

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 4:45am
     Dollar General is helping prep customers for back to school with the launch of its Fast Way to Save digital coupon program
     Now through August 15th, customers will see over $250 in savings on dozens of back to school items and everyday household essentials.
     To enroll or add these coupons, create a DG Digital Coupon account either through Dollar General's website at or through the DG mobile app.
     Then, enter your phone number on the checkout kiosk to have the coupons automatically subtracted from your receipt.

Follow me on twitter at @JoeFrugalTV

One Person Dead and Another Injured in Chattanooga Stabbing

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 3:03am

One person is dead and another injured after a Wednesday night stabbing

Chattanooga police responded to 1400 Cypress Street Court around 10:30 last night.

They found a female suffering from a stab wound. She later died from her injuries.

A second person received a minor laceration in the incident.

Investigators say the incident is domestic in nature and the suspect is in custody.

Investigation Continues Into Deputy Shooting in Bradley Co.

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 6:52pm
CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF-TV) - It's been more than 24 hours since the encounter between an assailant and a Bradley county sheriff's deputy.
Allan White died after he attacked deputy Tiffany Oakley.
Residents there are also puzzled by the incident in their neighborhood.
SHERIFF ERIC WATSON, BRADLEY COUNTY "We're living in a time where people..a minority not a majority a minority, small group of people that's just anti-law enforcement. They hate peace keepers, they hate law enforcement"

Early Tuesday morning, authorities say Bradley County Deputy, Tiffany Oakley, went home for lunch during her night shift around 2 a.m.

That is when she saw Allan F. White III in her driveway.

She said she spoke to him, but he did not respond.

Sheriff Watson says a scuffle broke out between Oakley and White.

SHERIFF WATSON "Used his hands and tried to smother her and cut off her breathing at the throat. She tazed him. The taze did not affect him."

Watson says Oakley then shot White an unknown number of times.

He later died.

A neighbor of Oakley believes that this incident is the result of a lack of respect for law enforcement these days.

JAMES BRIANNE, NEIGHBOR "That's one of the problems here in Cleveland, there's no respect for law enforcement. And uh as far as him attacking an officer, possible her being female, um but still she's armed. I'm mean I don't understand why he would attack someone that's armed."

Another resident is grateful that her neighborhood has someone like Deputy Oakley there to protect them.

JENA ROWLAND, NEIGHBOR "It, it's scary but I I'm glad that we have somebody like Tiffany in the neighborhood to protect it. I mean I'm glad that she protected the neighborhood like she did because had she not come home you know we don't know what he was doing or what his plans were."

Deputy Tiffany Oakley is currently on paid leave.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working to put together exactly what happened.

Tennessee Riverwalk reopens after Chattanooga shooting

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 6:38pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) - The Tennessee Riverwalk reopened to the public Wednesday.

The park was closed immediately following the July 16th domestic terrorist attack on the Naval Reserve Center.

Dozens of law enforcement agents swarmed the scene and yellow tape covered most of the parkway.

Chattanooga cyclist Doug Johnson tells us he has always felt safe at the park, but he is happy to be back on his regular route.

He says, "I came the other day, and it was closed, and that's okay. I understand you know with the, with what's going on, but I really couldn't wait to come back to, in a way to pay tribute to the fallen to kind of revisit you know where they left."

A roadside memorial continues to draw visitors to the park from across the south.

Blue Cross Blue Shield & Chattanooga Tech Council Host Code Camp

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 5:51pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Dots, Lines, Numbers and Squiggles or to those with I.T Minds, "CSS" and "HTML", two  of the most commonly used computer codes.

Annabelle Lauderman, 13 Years Old, "It comes a lot easier to me than languages, like i am learning French and it's definitely easier for me".

These 24 high school and middle school students were chosen from across Hamilton County and they are all on full scholarships thanks to the Chattanooga Technology Council".

Zoe Chamberlain, 13 Years Old,"Geeks rule the world in the future, this industry is growing, more people are needed, not many people can do this, it's incredibly nerdy but i find it fascinating".

The teens spent Wednesday designing film posters and writing code to customize their own computer software.

Josh Sliger, Red Bank, "I want to do it for a job because it's really fun and you can use it to make websites".

Teachers feel learning a computer language this young gives these kids a head-start both for a college degree and a STEM career.

David Hogan, Blue Cross Blue Shield E-Business,"Students need to understand the basics around technology and be familiar with technology is important not only for them for their personal growth but also for the type of careers that are in demand out in the work force".

In 2013 computer programmers were ranked amongst the highest paid workers in the US. Their average salary was just over 80,000 dollars.

The kids will also work on games design and web apps.
They will take part in a Demo Day this Friday.

Cohutta Bank robbery

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 5:48pm
Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) - Chattanooga Police say someone robbed Cohutta Bank Wednesday.

It happened on Highway 153 just after 4 p.m.

Investigators are questioning the staff to find out more information, but police said the bank will be back open Thursday morning.

Meigs County man arrested for murder

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 4:54pm
Meigs County, TN (WDEF) - Tennessee Bureau of Investigation authorities arrested 57-year-old Gary Wayne Ford for Second Degree Murder Tuesday.

The 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson requested the TBI investigate the death of Coleen Francis Turner. 

Meigs County Sheriff's Investigators found the body of the 51-year-old at a home on Lefew Road in Ten Mile on April 10th.

TBI agents and MCSO investigators gathered information leading to Ford being responsible for the murder.

The TBI got an indictment on Monday.

Officials arrested him Tuesday.

K-9 Dogs Demonstrate Their Skills

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 4:39pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) - The Chattanooga police department has eight dogs in its K-9 unit and they have a regular training schedule .
They were at the Moccasin Bend police range Wednesday, but there was another reason for this training session.
Law enforcement agencies have been using trained dogs for 150 years---with varied results.
Those days are gone now. The dogs in use these days, usually German Shepards, are finely tuned machines.
The 8 K-9's at the Chattanooga police deparment are used to search for drugs and explosives, search for lost people, and to look for crime scene evidence

MASTER PATROLMAN BARRY VRADENBURGH, CPD DOG TRAINER "We pay 7 or 8 thousand dollars for an untrained dog....and then we put 12 to 15 weeks of training into the dogs."

Using hand and verbal commands the handlers put the animals through a series of trials. Some were physical, like climbing over or jumping through obstacles. Then, they demonstrated a search for evidence.

SGT. TOMMY MEEKS, K-9 SUPERVISOR UNIT "He'll call him out, reward him and send him back in for another search ...and find the other evidence we want him to recover."

Yes, these dogs will chase you and bring you down if you are a fleeing suspect. It's called Criminal Apprehension.

SGT. TOMMY MEEKS "If it happens to be the wrong suspect, the wrong person that dog's going after, that dog has to listen to us..down..and come back to us so we can redirect."

The purpose of this demonstration is to remind the community about a fund-raiser on behalf of the K-9 units.

VICTORIA KIRSTEIN, CHIC-FIL- A, MARKETING DIRECTOR "Well,I am an animal lover at heart,and then I decided it would be really neat to give back to the community of Chattanooga, and so we though we would work with the Chattanooga Police department and help raise money for the K-9's."

The fund-raiser is a 5-K, and a one mile fun run to be held on August 8th.
Its sponsored by Chic-Fil-A, and it gets underway at 8 am at Finley stadium.

Phone scam alert from Dalton Police

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 3:58pm
Dalton, GA (WDEF) - Dalton Police warn the area residents to beware of a phone scammer claiming to be from the Atlanta Police Department.

A Whitfield County resident reported the scam.

She said she got a call from a man claiming to be with the APD and tried to verify her address.

The resident recognized it was a scam and hung up on him.

The phone number shown on the victim's caller ID is a number used by the APD.

Dalton Police contacted APD about the scam, and they are aware of it and others "spoofing" their number.

The scam is under investigation.

Dalton Police say if you're contacted by someone claiming to be with law enforcement, do not give out any information such as your social security number or bank information without first verifying that they are actually law enforcement personnel.

They say to contact your local law enforcement agency by phone to be sure.