- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014
Off-the-books adoptees hope to find family via DNA

An organizer says about 30 people showed up at a Tennessee motel to give cheek-swab DNA samples as people adopted through a nearby Georgia clinic hope to identify biological relatives before time for reconnecting runs out.

More than 200 infants in the 1950s and ‘60s were relocated in off-the-books adoptions at the late Dr. Thomas Hicks’ clinic in McCaysville. DNA testing may be their only way to confirm biological links because they have no records of their natural parents.

Several adoptees attended the free DNA sampling opportunity Saturday in nearby Ducktown, Tennessee. Organizer Melinda Elkins Dawson estimates about 70 percent of those who showed up to give samples could be potential relatives of adoptees.

Dawson was one of the newborns relocated from the clinic. She now lives outside Canton, Ohio.


3,000 new books at Chattanooga reading centers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Neighborhood reading centers across Chattanooga have been stocked with new books to help occupy the minds of children over the summer.

The United Way of Greater Chattanooga is behind the initiative to distribute 3,000 books to centers that are within walking distance for most children in the city.

United Way official Elizabeth Tallman told The Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/1prfkCL) that the centers should be stocked and ready to open Saturday.

“We believe when kids can read they will be more successful in life,” said Tallman, who is the associate director of community impact.

Tallman said there are a variety of books for school-age children, from kindergarten to 12th grade. Titles for younger readers include “Curious George” and “Mouse Paint,” while titles for older students include “Lord of the Flies” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”

The city’s youth and family development centers house most reading centers, but there a handful of other locations including the Public Library and the North River YMCA.


Nashville economy outpacing national average

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville’s economy ranks as one of the fastest-growing metro economies in the country, according to a report released at the United States Conference of Mayors.

The new report shows that Nashville ranks third in the country based on the rate of growth of the gross metropolitan product, or GMP, which measures the value of all goods and services produced in a metro area, The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1nrB8v0) reports.

The report shows that during 2013, Nashville grew its GMP by 4.2 percent, double the national average of 2.1 percent growth. In terms of GMP growth, only Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California, beat out Nashville.

Nashville’s high ranking isn’t surprising, said David Penn, an economics professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

“We’ve blown the top off the recovery for employment growth, we are way past our previous recession peak, and we have been the hot spot in the state for some time,” he said.

Though Nashville’s GMP has grown quickly, the city has not yet cracked a total GMP of $100 billion, but that is projected to happen this year, according to the report prepared by IHS Global. The report said that 33 U.S. metros surpassed $100 billion in GMP in 2013, led by $1.4 trillion in New York.


Doughnut mural safe for now

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A doughnut mural on display in Chattanooga is safe - for now.

The city attorney’s office has asked city inspectors to halt any action against Koch’s Bakery owner Barbara Davis, The Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/UYEkGC) reports. She had recently been ordered to paint over her doughnut mural because it was considered an advertisement.

The city order sparked a backlash.

A city inspector recently told Davis the doughnuts she paid $11,000 to have painted on a dilapidated building constitute an illegal ad and must go.

Davis said the inspector told her that because she has sold doughnuts for 31 years, the mural is advertising for her business and therefore is treated as a sign under the city code.

A group of local artists started a petition and the City Council asked the city attorney’s office to review the ordinance.

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