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D.A. Says No Evidence To Support Criminal Prosecution In Investigation Of The Manchester Police Department

District Attorney Mickey Layne

District Attorney Mickey Layne

On April 15, 2013, Coffee County District Attorney Mickey Layne requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation of the Manchester Police Department’s use of the money from the Police Officers’ Fund, aka the Flower Account, and the use and disposition of surplus equipment obtained from the United States Department of Defense during the year 2012 and prior to.
The Police Officers’ Fund had been in existence for some twenty (20) years and was funded by police officer contributions, fundraisers and from other sources. This fund did not contain public taxpayer money. According to Layne, the records of how the fund was used were either poor or non-existent. Thus, the investigation did not uncover evidence of any criminal violation in the use of the Police Officers’ Fund.
As to the surplus equipment, Layne stated that the Department of Defense requires items to be kept for twelve (12) months. The items may then be disposed of and records tracking their use and disposition is not required. Thus, few records of the use and disposition of this property were found, as they were not required to be kept. D.A. Layne added, “Thus, it was not possible to determine which, if any, items were actually missing, and which, if any, items had been sold. Also, if sold, it could not be determined how any money acquired was used after a sale”.
Layne said the investigation did not acquire evidence of any criminal violations in the use and disposition of the Department of Defense surplus property by the Manchester Police Department during the year 2012 and prior to.
The district attorney says there being no evidence to support a criminal prosecution, this investigation is closed.

Coffee Middle and New Union Back Open After Water Problem

Manchester Water Department pouring the final layer of flowable fill as they finished up work on Thursday afternoon... Photo provided.

Manchester Water Department pouring the final layer of flowable fill as they finished up work on Thursday afternoon… Photo provided.

Two Coffee County schools remained closed on Thursday following a water main break in Manchester on Wednesday.
The water main break occurred on State Route 53/Woodbury Highway.
Both New Union Elementary School and Coffee County Middle School were closed Thursday but are reopening Friday.
All Coffee County schools dismissed at Noon on Wednesday due to the rupture.
The Manchester Water Department worked for many hours to repair the damage. Director of the water department Brian Pennington, said this was the most difficult water repair that he has seen in his 17 years as director.

Manchester Man Charged With Criminal Attempt To Commit Murder


Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler of Spring Street Manchester is accused of stabbing Martin Anderson of Hillsboro in the throat on Monday. The incident allegedly occurred around 1am Monday.
The Coffee County Sheriff’s department received a call from 911 about a possible stabbing at a Hillsboro location.
After arriving at the scene, deputies found Anderson had a three inch cut to his throat and it was approximately three inches deep. He was transported by Coffee County EMS to a landing zone, so Air-Evac could fly Anderson to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
Butler was questioned at the Coffee County Jail and was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder. He is being held in the Coffee County Jail under a $150,000 bond.
According to Sgt. Danny Ferrell, Anderson underwent surgery to repair the cut to his throat.

THP Looking For Distracted Drivers

THP 3High school and college students are back in school, it means more teens and those just above their teen years are on the roads. New studies show how dangerous that can be. Wrecks are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds in the U.S.
The latest study from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association attributes distracted driving of all kinds — not just texting — to those statistics.
And with the Labor Day Weekend here, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is stepping up enforcement in a high-visibility campaign to help, among other things, combat distracted driving.
There’s a statewide texting ban in effect in Tennessee. But the THP is looking not just for those typing away on their devices, but for all kinds of distracted driving.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol knows the visual cues of distracted driving: frequent head nods, staring or gazing downwards, and swerving in and out of lanes. But it’s not just smartphones that are the problem and it doesn’t only involve teens. One state patrolman said he stopped a driving that was reading a book.
This Labor Day Weekend, the THP will have a trooper driving a semi-truck around a certain part of the state to get a good visual on distracted drivers. Another trooper in the passenger seat will radio a distracted driver’s license plate number and vehicle make/model to a nearby patrol car.
Some schools in Tennessee are also welcoming a Jeopardy-like game show into their schools called “ThinkFast Interactive.” The game combines the state’s teen driving safety rules with pop-culture and trivia to educate teens about safe driving.
We also remind you to buckle up as you travel.

Package Deal in Congress Could Include TN Wilderness Act

PHOTO: It would permanently protect some 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest, and supporters of the Tennessee Wilderness Act are hoping the passage by Congress will come yet this year. Photo credit: Mark Doliner/Flickr.

PHOTO: It would permanently protect some 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest, and supporters of the Tennessee Wilderness Act are hoping the passage by Congress will come yet this year. Photo credit: Mark Doliner/Flickr.

Congress returns to session next month, and while not much may get done pre-election, there could be moved afterwards on several bills, including one that supporters in Tennessee have been trying to get passed for years. There’s a chance that the Tennessee Wilderness Act could win approval by being grouped together with other bills, said Will Skelton, an advisory committee member with the group Tennessee Wild. “That’s the most likely outcome,” he said. “Everyone thinks that they’ll package several non-controversial Republican and Democrat bills together and possibly pass them after the election.” Approval of the act would permanently protect some 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest, with the expansion of five current wilderness areas and the creation of the state’s first new one in 25 years. Skelton said that new area would be the Upper Bald River Wilderness, which is more than 9,000 acres in Monroe County. “Upper Bald River is one of the very, very best,” he said. “It’s one of the gems of the whole forest, and so we really think it’s time to protect those areas. This bill would do that. It would protect the Upper Bald River and the additions to several other areas that also should be protected.” The Tennessee Wilderness Act was first introduced in 2010. It’s now awaiting a vote on the Senate floor and has the support of both of the state’s U.S. senators, Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Details of the legislation, S.1294, are online at

College Fair At Motlow

Motlow 3Motlow College invites its student body, students from area high schools and those who are home-schooled, and the general public to the annual College Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the Moore County campus.
The event is set for 9 – 11:30 a.m. inside Nisbett Center and will include representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities, technology centers, specialty schools and the Armed Forces; according to Brenda Cannon, director of student and campus relations at Motlow.
“The College Fair is an excellent service provided to area residents, high schools and Motlow students” Cannon said. “It reinforces Motlow’s commitment to serve and empower residents as well as strengthen the K-12 partnerships.”
Eric Fowler of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation will make presentations emphasizing the Hope Scholarship and the new Tennessee Promise opportunity. Reservations are required for these presentations and can be made by calling Cannon at 931-393-1548 or emailing
Those attending the fair will be able to gather information from representatives of Aquinas College, Art Institute of Tennessee, Austin Peay State University, Berry College, Bethel University, Carson-Newman University, Cumberland University, East Tennessee State University, Fayetteville College of Cosmetology, Hiwassee College, King University, Lee University, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, Love Beauty School, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nossi College of Art, O’More College of Design, Inc., Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Trevecca Nazarene University, Tusculum College, Union University, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of Memphis, University of North Alabama, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Sewanee: the University of the South, the United States Army, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, Western Governors University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
The College Fair is sponsored by Motlow and the Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. It is free and open to the public.

Two Accidents Keep Emergency Crews Busy

Crash scene photo of the accident on Volunteer Parkway.

Crash scene photo of the accident on Volunteer Parkway… Photo provided.

Wednesday morning, crews from Manchester Fire & Rescue, Manchester Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Coffee County EMS and the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene of a 2-vehicle accident. The accident occurred around 4:15am on the Woodbury Hwy at the I-24 overpass. One vehicle collided with the other and both drivers were injured. Both were transported to a local hospital via ambulance for treatment and observation.

The second accident occurred on Volunteer Parkway in the Interstate Industrial Park at 7am. According to a report from the Tennessee Highway patrol, Haley Whitsell, age 21 was driving an SUV on Volunteer Parkway when she collided with Thomas Duliba, age 52, also driving an SUV. Manchester Fire & Rescue was called out because drivers were pinned in the vehicles and crews used the Jaws of Life to free them. Whitsell was flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. Duliba and a passenger were transported via Coffee County EMS to Medical Center of Manchester. Duliba was later flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. We have no updated information on their conditions.

Water Line Problem Closes Schools

Manchester Water Department working to repair water main break on Wednesday... Photo by Barry West

Manchester Water Department working to repair water main break on Wednesday… Photo by Barry West

There was a main water line leak on the Woodbury Hwy yesterday that closed Coffee County schools early on Wednesday. The leak affected the new middle school and New Union Elementary. All schools were closed due to students that ride various buses and middle school being countywide.
The water line is somewhat new and was installed by the State of Tennessee during the state’s Highway 53 extension project. The Manchester Water Department responded to the scene and worked several hours on repairs.  Coffee County Middle School and New Union Elementary are closed again Thursday.  All other schools are open.

The problem was found to be about 13 feet deep... Photo provided

The problem was found to be about 13 feet deep… Photo provided

Tullahoma Man Facing Sex Related Charges

child_rape_genericA resident of North Polk Street in Tullahoma was arrested on sex charges involving a 15-year-old girl.
Felix Diaz-Castrejon, 32, was charged with statutory rape by an authority figure, incest and identity theft.
According to warrants obtained by Tullahoma Investigator Rana Pawlowski, on Oct. 8, 2013 the man is accused of chasing the 15-year-old through the house and then catching her and forcing her to have sex with him.
The investigator started an investigation into the allegations and obtained warrants.
Diaz-Castrejon used a Social Security number to gain employment illegally here and the number belonged to an individual who is deceased. He also used the name Felix Diaz. So he was charged with the identity theft.

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