News MIDDAY UPDATE: Explosion at Dalton law firm causes injuries; Ga. teachers upset over proposed change to pension; man gets nearly 4 years for 3 Ga. bank robberies

An explosion at a law firm near downtown Dalton has resulted in multiple injuries.

Witnesses said the blast at about 10 a.m. Friday blew out the windows at the McCamy Law Firm. They said at least one person had his clothes burned off and was taken to the hospital.

Officials had a person in custody and were questioning him, The Daily Citizen newspaper reported. Area schools were placed on lockdown.

Steve Williams, an attorney at the firm, told the newspaper he was at the post office next door when he heard a loud explosion. He said he didn't know how many people were in the building at the time.

Police, fire and medical personnel were on the scene, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on its way.

Associated Press

Ga. teachers upset over proposed change to pension

A proposed change to the way Georgia doles out teacher pensions has retired educators angry that the state wants to change a 40-year-old policy on cost-of-living adjustments.

The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia is considering giving its board the power to decide how much pension payments should increase each year, which would halt a long-standing policy that guarantees 1.5 percent increases twice a year. The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at a Nov. 19 meeting.

The governor's office suggested the change out of concern that the retirement fund won't always be as financially stable as it is now. But critics say the move would shortchange retired educators who paid into the pension plans their entire careers.

Associated Press

Man gets nearly 4 years for 3 Ga. bank robberies

A 46-year-old traveling beef jerky salesman has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for a monthlong string of bank robberies.

Tony Alan Bell of St. Augustine, Fla., asked the judge for leniency before sentencing. He said he wanted to be able to raise his two daughters and not have "one bad mistake" ruin his life.

The former Bank of America branch manager had pleaded guilty to robbing one bank each in Thomson, Athens and Kingsland in December and January. A total of $35,530 was taken.

Bell testified earlier that he was desperate for money and feared becoming homeless.

He must pay about $9,000 in restitution. Upon release from prison, he will be under supervision for three years and must perform 150 hours of community service.

Associated Press


- We'll update you on two armed robberies that happened overnight in Macon.

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