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Local News for Monday, June 13th

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In news today…

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the old Highland Park Baptist Church on Friday evening after a passerby spotted smoke coming from the building at 7:13PM and called 911.

The old church, located at the corner of Union Avenue and South Orchard Knob Avenue, was a part of the Redemption to the Nations Church campus. The building dated back to around 1922.

Firefighters remained on the scene throughout Friday night. After an initial attack inside the building, church officials informed the fire department that the building was not structurally safe even before the fire. As a result, firefighters vacated the building and fought the fire from outside in order to prevent it spreading to other nearby buildings.

The Chauncey-Goode auditorium was destroyed by the fire, while the Phillips Chapel building was heavily damaged, but with a few walls still standing, including the bell tower.

Firefighters remained on the scene Saturday, and believe the fire is fully extinguished. The Chattanooga Fire Department and contracts worked to secure the remaining parts of the structure for the public’s safety. According to a Twitter post by the Chattanooga Fire Department, the church and contractors have indicated they are going to do what they can to save the bell tower and stained glass windows.

No injuries have been reported.

From the Chattanoogan…

A Chattanooga auto dealer and his two daughters were among six passengers in a helicopter that crashed in a remote section of Hawaii Wednesday evening. 

They included Clay Watson, and his daughters, Kennedy and Clayton Watson. There were five passengers plus the pilot, who had to be extricated from the wreck. Mr. Watson is president of Mountain View Auto Group.

Two of the passengers were seriously injured and one was airlifted to Kona Community Hospital.

Fox News said the condition of an 18-year-old passenger was “serious and worsening.”

The other four passengers were described as ambulatory.

The crash was a mile from the nearest road, so rescue personnel flew to the scene by helicopter. 

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

Allen Mincey reports: It’s been a part of his life for 35 years, and now, Rodney Murray will take the reins of the Cleveland Family YMCA after recently being named the facility’s executive director.

Murray began his career with the local YMCA on March 2, 1987, after growing up at the Y as a child.

Murray was 23 when he first began working at the YMCA, which at the time was located on Central Avenue where the present Denning Center is. He progressed up the ladder to being associate director at the YMCA until his recent move to the top spot.

The new executive director, a graduate of Bryan College in Dayton, said it is generally accepted that to move up the ladder, one must go to another YMCA location, but that was not going to happen with him and his family.