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Billy Joe Nelson GUILTY

A Coffee County Circuit Court jury needed a little over an hour to determine that a Tullahoma man was guilty of abducting and raping a Tullahoma woman Jan. 1, 2Guilty013.
The jury of eight women and four men found Billy Joe Nelson, 33, guilty of rape, carjacking, robbery, aggravated kidnapping with bodily injury and aggravated kidnapping with the threat of deadly weapon.
According to Coffee County Assistant District Attorney Jason Ponder, Nelson faces a sentence of 15 to 55 years in prison for the conviction. He is to be sentenced June 30.
Nelson was charged with abducting the woman from the parking lot adjacent to a Manchester restaurant on Hillsboro Boulevard in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2013.
Special Judge Paul Summers, who heard the case due to the Coffee County Circuit Judges either knowing the victim or some of the witnesses, revoked Nelson’s bond and ordered him held until his June 30 sentencing. He is being held in the Coffee County Jail.

Local Fire Department Not Receiving Local Funding

Fire 1-8-15 BThe North Coffee Volunteer Fire Department will not be receiving $22,000 for the Coffee County government.
The Coffee County Health, Welfare and Recreation Committee recently voted to not give the fire department the money until its Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating can be lowered.
North Coffee’s current ISO rating is at level 9, while a 10 is the rating equivalent to having no fire department at all.
More than one-third of the fire districts in the United States have a Class 9 rating, which indicates the minimum recognized standard of fire protection.
In comparison, Summitville is a 5 and all other departments are currently a 6. All ratings are within 5 miles of the fire hall.
The lower the number the lower the insurance rate can be for property owners.

Several Arrested On Drug and or Weapons Charges

ATFAn investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) along with several other law enforcement agencies has resulted in 22 people arrested on several drug and firearm charges.
The arrests, made Wednesday, canvassed nine counties across southeast Tennessee, northern Georgia and northern Alabama with the operation being centered in Marion County.
The investigation resulted in two separate grand jury indictments which includes charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by prohibited people.
Those charged in the first indictment include:

  • David Henderson, 45, of Wildwood, GA
  • Ronald Green Jr., 49, of Jasper, TN
  • James Ray Pritchett, 36, of South Pittsburg, TN
  • Dennis Reed, 44, of South Pittsburg, TN
  • Steve Hankins, 58, of Jasper, TN
  • Christopher Brian Janeway, 41, of South Pittsburg, TN
  • Kevin, Denney, 40, of South Pittsburg, TN
  • James Allen Sexton, 50, of Chattanooga, TN
  • Kelly Nance, 34, of Jasper, TN
  • Jason Boston, 35, of South Pittsburg, TN
  • Charles Meeks, 41, of Tracy City, TN
  • Michael Patterson, 40, of Philadelphia, TN
  • Robert Graham, 46, of Trenton, GA

Those charged in the second indictment include:

  • Monica Sha Newman, 38, of Jasper, TN
  • Mark Anthony Johnson, 33, of Tracy City, TN
  • Terry Jones, 53, of Crandall, GA
  • Ronald Terry Wilmore, 46, of McMinnville, TN
  • Tiffany Hadder, 32, of Gruetli Laager, TN
  • Nathan Carlton, 40, of Stevenson, AL
  • Rodney Craig Akins, 49, of Dunlap, TN
  • Jamie Harris, 43, of Whiteside, TN
  • Jeremy Toro, 40, of Tracy City, TN

In addition to ATF and the Marion County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, state and local law enforcement agencies who assisted with the arrests include: the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Tennessee Highway Patrol; Dade County Georgia Sheriff’s Office; Grundy County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Jackson County Alabama Sheriff’s Office; Loudon County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Murray County Georgia Sheriff’s Office; Sequatchie County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Warren County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Monteagle Tennessee Police Department; and the Chattanooga Tennessee Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Bay will represent the United States.

Some State Leaders Want More Physical Activity For Tennessee Students

PEA bill being considered in the state House would require students in kindergarten to fifth grade to participate in a physical education class at least twice a week.
The proposal was approved on a voice vote in a House Education subcommittee on Wednesday.
Currently, school districts must integrate a minimum of 90 minutes of physical activity per week into the school day for elementary and secondary school students. The latest proposal would be in addition to that.
Opponents of the measure question if there would be enough resources and time for the additional program.

Inmate Death In Franklin County

Jail2The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the recent death of an inmate in Winchester.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the investigation Tuesday after the female inmate died in their jail.
The Lincoln County woman from the Kelso community was arrested March 1 and died March 18. The TBI was asked to investigate on March 19.
Franklin County investigators say the case remains active and ongoing.

McMinnville Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

Taylor Renee Cantrell

Taylor Renee Cantrell

A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, which is going from doctor to doctor in a short period of time in order to obtain prescriptions drugs, while using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, announced the arrest of Taylor Renee Cantrell, 24, of McMinnville. She is charged with four counts of doctor shopping to obtain the painkillers Tramadol and Oxycodone.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, more than 2,310 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions.  Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”

National Youth Violence Prevention Week Aims to End Youth Violence in Tennessee

As National Youth Violence Prevention Week continues, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates youth violence is the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24 in Tennessee, and around the nation. Photo credit: Mconnors/Morguefile.

As National Youth Violence Prevention Week continues, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates youth violence is the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24 in Tennessee, and around the nation. Photo credit: Mconnors/Morguefile.

As National Youth Violence Prevention Week continues, health and education leaders in Tennessee say families, schools and communities each play a role in preventing violence before it occurs. According to the CDC, youth violence is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24. Carleen Wray, executive director of Students Against Violence Everywhere, says children should be taught respect, anger management and effective conflict resolution starting at an early age. “So many times they are desensitized to the violence that’s happening because they’ve grown up with it,” says Wray. “Whether through the media and TV, music or violence in their own homes, they need some help and guidance on what is appropriate behavior and what’s not appropriate behavior.” Wray says schools, churches, law enforcement, medical providers and social service programs can be a part of the solution by creating a safe community. At the policy level, she says strategies that reduce youth violence include ensuring children have access to high-quality education and recreation programs, equitable access to mental health services and common-sense approaches to gun violence prevention. Wray says young people learn what they see, so it’s important for parents, educators and other adults to be good role models. And she says the more trusted adults a child has in his or her life setting high expectations and showing support, the better the child will do. “Violence doesn’t have to happen, it can be prevented,” says Wray. “But it takes all of us working together to create a safer community and safer schools for our youth to attend.” All this week, schools and organizations around the Volunteer State are holding events to mark National Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Some Leaders Want To Strip Local Authority Power To Ban Guns In Public Parks

gun lawsLegislation that would strip local governments of the power to ban guns in public parks is advancing in the Legislature despite concerns from the governor.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Harrison of Rogersville was approved 15-5 Tuesday in the House Finance Committee and is now being scheduled for a vote on the House floor. The companion bill is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.
Currently, community parks, playgrounds and sports fields are among the few areas in Tennessee where local governments can ban people with handgun carry permits from being armed. Harrison’s proposal would change that.
Republican Rep. Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroads was unsuccessful in adding an amendment from Republican Gov. Bill Haslam that sought to prevent firearms from being carried on property used by any board of education, school, college or university.

AAA Wants To Stop New Motorcycle Helmet Legislation In Tennessee

helmet 2AAA motor club wants to put the brakes on proposed legislation that would allow many motorcyclists to ride without a helmet. Currently, Tennessee law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. But a bill under discussion would allow anyone who is 21 or over who has health coverage, as long as it is not through TennCare, to be able to legally ride without a helmet. AAA says the bill will be almost impossible to enforce and will lead to more deaths and injuries.

Motlow Closing For Good Friday April 3

Motlow 3All Motlow College facilities, including the Moore County campus and centers in Fayetteville, McMinnville and Smyrna, will be closed Friday, April 3 for a spring holiday administrative closing. The College, including libraries and computer labs, will operate under normal schedules Thursday, and then remain closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Regular business hours and class schedules will resume at Motlow College on Monday, April 6.

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