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Two People Die in Fiery Crash on I-24

Vehicle involved in Tuesday’s deadly crash. The car was hauled by Hullett’s Wrecker Service.

Two unidentified people were killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 24 early Tuesday morning.
The accident occurred around 1:15 a.m. under the exit 110 overpass in Manchester.
According to a report by Tennessee Highway Patrolman Randy Euler, the truck was operated by a 70-year man from Chicago, Illinois. He was injured in the accident. According to the THP, the truck caught fire after the wreck.
According to the trooper’s report, the truck was in the right lane of the interstate and struck another vehicle that was sitting stationary on the interstate. Both vehicles burst into flames and came to rest off the right side of the roadway.

18-wheeler involved in accident… Photos by Barry West

According to the trooper’s report, the vehicle that was struck was damaged so badly that the markings on the vehicle were impossible to make out to identify what type of car it was. Also, it was not possible to identity the two people killed in the crash at this time.
Traffic was rerouted off I-24 to Highway 41 through Manchester and even though the accident occurred at 1:15 a.m. traffic was still snarled at 4pm Tuesday afternoon. Traffic was reported to be backed up about 8 miles at one point during the clean-up.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the crash.

Tennessee Promise Deadlines Coming Soon

Two important Tennessee Promise deadlines occur on Dec. 1, 2017. All current Motlow State Community College students have until Dec. 1 to complete eight hours of community service in order to remain eligible for the Tennessee Promise scholarship. The same deadline applies for anyone interested in volunteering to become a Tennessee Promise mentor.
Students who still need to complete their community service hours can visit the Motlow Tennessee Promise webpage at for an up-to-date listing of community service opportunities in their area.
Students can also visit the tnAchieves website at for a listing of community service opportunities for students in their local region. Community service hours can be submitted to the tnAchieves website as well.
Motlow Tennessee Promise Coordinator Debra Smith is urging anyone interested from Motlow faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the general public to apply to the tnAchieves mentor program. Mentors play a critical role in assisting students as they navigate the challenges of post-secondary education.
For further information regarding the Tennessee Promise program at Motlow, contact Debra Smith at or 931-438-9766.

Travel News for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving travelers will not be delayed by construction on Tennessee roads during the busy travel holiday. TDOT will halt all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. All construction-related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon Wednesday through 6am Monday, Nov. 27th.
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said over a million travelers in Tennessee are expected to drive to their holiday destinations this year. He said halting all road work during this busy time will provide maximum roadway capacity on our highways and help alleviate congestion.

More Americans will travel this Thanksgiving than the past 12. The travel organization AAA released its annual holiday travel forecast Thursday.
It predicts nearly 51 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles to celebrate the holiday. That’s a 3 percent increase from last year, and the highest number since 2005.
Travelers can expect to pay more for gasoline than years past, but less for airfare.
AAA expects 89 percent of travelers to get to their destination by driving. Travel experts said the high number of travelers is a good indicator people are earning money and feel comfortable spending it.

Sheriff’s Dept. Christmas Box Sign-Ups begin Monday

The Coffee County Sheriff’s Department will start taking sign-ups for the Christmas boxes beginning Monday November 27, 2017. If you want to sign your children up for this program, you will need to come in person to the sheriff’s department at 76 County Jail Lane in Manchester. Names will be taken Mon-Fri from 8am-4pm.
You will need to bring the child’s birth certificate or court documents showing you have full custody of your child or children. You will also need to bring proof of residency that you live in Coffee County, such as an electric or water bill with your name on it. You cannot be on any other agency’s list.
If you have any questions you may contact Shannon or Lesley at the sheriff’s department at 931-570-4409 or 931-570-4410.

TCI Approves Jail Annex to Open at Old Jail

Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves

On Thursday, (Nov. 16, 2017) Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) approved the Jail Annex to hold up to 42 inmates. The annex is the former location of the Coffee County Jail and located next to the Justice Center in Manchester.
The workhouse is for certain non-violent offenders to be housed. These inmates do work for non-profits in the community.
Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said, “I would like to thank Coffee County Maintenance Supervisor Robert Gilliam, who oversaw the renovation of the facility.” The Sheriff also thanked Administrative Captain Frank Watkins for the work he did to get the cameras, computers and safety equipment online. He added that he thanks Captain Rick Gentry for his hours of work on employee job descriptions, standard operating procedures and fire evacuation plans.
Sheriff Graves said that it has taken many hours of hard work and dedication from his staff and for that he said he was very proud of all involved in this process.

Man Killed in Grundy County while Walking in the Roadway

A Grundy County man is dead after he was hit by a car.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said 67-year-old Thomas Argo of Gruetli-Laager was walking in the middle of the road on State Highway 56 when he was struck by a car heading north.
The THP said the driver did not see Argo.
The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office confirms the 67-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle on Hwy 56 in the Cumberland Heights community.
Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum says it appears the man’s vehicle may have broken down in the Cumberland Heights community, and he was walking in the roadway when he was struck.
Officials say no charges have been filed on the driver.

Man who Allegedly Sold Heroin Laced with Fentanyl Arrested in Murfreesboro

Authorities say a Tennessee man has been arrested after two people suffered overdoses of heroin laced with the opioid fentanyl.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says two people in Murfreesboro suffered non-fatal drug overdoses on Friday.
Heroin recovered from the victims was examined at a TBI forensics lab, and it tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Agents arrested Richard Dale Bain and charged him with being the source of the heroin. He was booked into the Rutherford County Jail on a charge of possession of a Schedule I substance.

Wide Awake: Screen Time Affects TN Children, Study Finds

Experts recommend reducing access to screens to improve the sleep patterns and health of children. (Wicker Man/Flickr)

There’s new research about the importance of minimizing screen time for children during the evening hours.
If children are falling asleep watching TV or with a cell phone tucked under the covers, they’re probably going to bed later and getting much less sleep than children without access to electronic devices.
Monique LeBourgeois is the lead author of a new study published in the journal Pediatrics that says children are uniquely vulnerable to sleep disruption from electronic screens.
She says because young children’s eyes are not fully developed, the light has a greater effect on their internal body clock.
“And many parents believe that media – like watching a video or playing a game – actually calms their children before bedtime,” she relates. “But in fact, it may be the exact opposite, and we may be creating the perfect storm to disruption of the both the circadian clock and sleep.”
Other studies have found that screen time is associated with delayed bedtimes, fewer hours of sleep and poorer sleep quality.
According to Better Tennessee, a project of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, 1 in 3 children in the state watch more than three hours of television daily.
A report from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media shows mobile media device use has tripled among children ages 5 to 16 in the past six years.
LeBourgeois describes light as the brain’s primary timekeeper, and says for children and adolescents, self-illuminated devices, including smartphones and televisions, bathe their eyes in blue light that can keep sleep at bay.
“So, this immature eye allows more light to actually hit the retina that signal the internal biological clock,” she explains.
LeBourgeois encourages parents to turn off their children’s electronic devices before bed and charge them somewhere outside bedrooms.
She adds parents can set an example by keeping TVs, computers, tablets and cellphones out of their own bedrooms as well.

Motlow Closing for Thanksgiving

Motlow State Community College will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday from Thursday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 26, according to college officials.
The closing applies to computer labs, libraries and other facilities at all Motlow State campuses, including the Moore County, Fayetteville, McMinnville and Smyrna campuses.
There will be no classes on Wednesday, Nov. 22, although Motlow facilities will remain open. Classes scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 26, will also not be meeting.
All classes will resume their normal schedules, and all campuses their normal hours, on Monday, Nov. 27.

Indoor Practice Facility Approved for Coffee Co. Middle School

PROPOSED” building plan. There have been a few small changes made since this picture. One change is the bathrooms are now in the back of each locker room instead of having to walk through them to get into the locker room. 

In August, talks began between local businessman Robert Gilley and Coffee County Middle School (CCMS) Athletic Director Kyle Harris about a possible indoor practice facility for football at the school.
As Communications continued between Gilley, Harris, Principal Kim Aaron and others it became evident that there was a need for other sports as well. It was after those talks that it was decided that if a facility was going to be built that it should be used by other outdoor sports including football, baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ soccer. The facility being proposed would have a 60 by 75-yard practice facility with artificial turf, locker rooms, weight room and offices for the coaches.
The proposed building would be erected near the softball field at CCMS.
As talks continued it became about money and how much this facility would cost. Gilley, the owner of Gary Crane talked to other businesses and community leaders and they decided that they should be able to get a lot of the work and needed materials donated. This brought down the need for money drastically.
Gilley told WMSR Radio that there is still a need for monetary donations for equipment and other various needs for the complex. Harris says that people can make donations to the CCMS Athletic Facility and he added that NO taxpayer money will be used for the facility, it will be 100% funded by donations. Donations can be made at the Coffee County Schools central office, CCMS or Robert Gilley.
The school board has approved the building of the facility on the campus of Coffee County Middle School but there is no money in the budget for such a facility, so it would take the community to get this done. Gilley added that this complex will be built, and he has great confidence in the community that they will help in every way so that the young athletes we’ll have a fantastic facility to practice in, no matter what the weather brings.
Gilley and Harris will be special guest on the Coffee Coaches Show on Thunder Radio this Saturday with Dennis Weaver from Al White Motors beginning at 10 a.m. They will have additional information about the building of the facility and making donations.

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