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Wednesday, April 19th

From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, here is your news for Wednesday, April 19th. From WRCB Channel 3… The school bus seat belt bill h

From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, here is your news for Wednesday, April 19th.

From WRCB Channel 3…

The school bus seat belt bill has passed the House Education, Administration, and Planning Committee and will move to the Government Operations Committee.

State lawmakers in the Government Operations Committee are expected to vote next week.

For several weeks, those affected by the Woodmore crash have made the trip to the state capitol. They’ve sat through long debates and seen close votes. With each committee the bill clears, they say they have hoped it will become law.

If the bill were to pass in the Government Operations committee it will go to the Finance, Ways, and Means committee, then to the Calendar and Rules committee, and then to the House floor for a vote before heading to Governor Haslam’s desk.

State lawmakers will have to work fast because the legislative session could wrap up as early as next month.

Also from WRCB…

Three search and rescue crews spent the night in the Grand Canyon Tuesday, to continue the search for a woman and her stepgrandson, a McCallie student.  

The two were swept down a remote creek in the northwest section of Grand Canyon National Park, but the family is holding out hope that the 62-year-old wife of a popular outdoor footwear company founder has the skills to keep them both alive until they’re found, a family member said.

Lou-Ann Merrell, wife of Randy Merrell – who helped found the Merrell Boot Co. in 1981 – and Jackson Standefer, 14, lost their footing Saturday during a family trip in the Arizona park and fell into the creek. Mark McOmie, Jackson’s uncle, said the water roars down through rocks, so the family is hoping the two could be on a boulder or have found a cave for shelter.

Officials were alerted when an emergency GPS locator beacon was set off below the canyon’s North Rim, said Chief Ranger Matt Vandzura of the National Park Service.

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

First he was charged, then those charges were dropped. The Bradley County grand jury then indicted him, and now Ricky Jan Stevison will appear in court represented by the Public Defender’s Office.

Stevison was arrested on warrants in January 2016, for knowingly exploiting an adult and theft over $10,000. According to Chattanooga attorney John Wolfe, who was advising Stevison earlier, those charges were eventually dropped.

However, the grand jury returned recently with an indictment, and an April 17 appearance in Bradley County Criminal Court was set. Stevison was arraigned on Monday before Criminal Court Judge Sandra Donaghy, and she appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent him in future court proceedings.

Stevison was reported to be the caregiver for Forrest “Jack” Coleman of Cleveland, who reportedly was suffering from dementia at the time of Stevison’s arrest, according to the family. Stevison and Wolfe, at a February news conference, claimed that Coleman was not suffering from dementia.

Stevison, who was 51 at the time of his arrest, was accused of stealing over $10,000 in jewelry, a watch and coins, according to BCSO Detective Mike Hughes, who was in charge of the investigation. These items were allegedly taken from a safe deposit box at a local bank in August 2015, reports said.

The accused man indicated that he had not been interviewed by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, either before or after the arrest, which has led him to consider taking legal action. Wolfe said that the lawsuit would name the BCSO and Bradley County government as plaintiffs. It is not known if such a suit has been filed.

Wolfe said at the February press conference that the charges were dropped last year as evidence led the District Attorney General’s Office to do so.

Yet, evidence presented to the grand jury led that group to indictment the Cleveland man.

District Attorney General Steve Crump, following the indictment by the grand jury, praised those who diligently worked the case.

Information on why the Public Defender’s Office has been appointed to represent Stevison, rather than Wolfe, was not available this morning. Stevison’s next court appearance is scheduled for a status hearing on June 26.

This has been your local and state news. You can get news anytime by visiting our website, mymix1041.com, powered by Pioneer Credit. From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, this is Jeremy Gault reporting.