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Skydiver Hits Power Lines During Event In Winchester

Photo courtesy of  the Winchester Herald-Chronicle.

Photo courtesy of the Winchester Herald-Chronicle.

Attendees at the “Red White and You” event in Winchester on Saturday saw something they were definitely not expecting. A skydiver hit power lines and fell to the ground.
The accident occurred at 5 p.m. during the National Anthem at Winchester City Park, next to Tims Ford Lake. Three jumpers were involved in the descent.
John Pitts, who hit the power lines was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center where at last report was listed as in stable condition.
The event featured “Fly Like You Mean It” skydiving team, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall and Lee Greenwood in concert.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

Graduation 2015 For CCCHS

373 Coffee County grads received diplomas on Friday night at Carden-Jarrell Field... Photo by Barry West

373 Coffee County grads received diplomas on Friday night at Carden-Jarrell Field… Photo by Barry West

Graduation was held Friday night for Coffee County High School seniors. A crowd estimated to be over 5,000 saw 373 graduates accept their diplomas. The seniors took their next step toward a future full of expectations as they heard from fellow classmates and Principal Dr Joey Vaughn.
Many of the grads will take a break from school for a short period before heading off the college and others will jump right into the workforce.
The 2015-2016 school year begins in just over 2 months.

Woman Facing Animal Cruelty Charges Was In Court On Thursday

Carolyn Irby

Carolyn Irby

A Coffee County woman facing 10 counts of animal cruelty was in court on Thursday in Coffee County. Carolyn Irby was charged earlier this year after nearly 100 small to medium dogs and several cats were found suffering and dying on her property on Hickory Grove Road.
In testimony Thursday, Coffee County Sheriff Sergeant Danny Ferrell said Irby admitted to him as being a hoarder, but was afraid to ask for help.
The animals were found in cages rusted shut and covered with cobwebs, some matted to the wire and unable to move.
Local authorities found they were living in “extremely neglectful conditions. Ferrell said on the night the animals were found, “It was immediately obvious that we were going to need assistance in removing this large number of animals and getting them to safety as quickly as possible.” He added, “Animal Rescue Corps was the only organization who could help us both document the scene and safely remove the animals.”
Irby’s case was bound over on Thursday to the Coffee County Grand Jury. She remains free on bond.

Tennessee Had 459 Non-Interstate Traffic Deaths In 2013

Fatal-Crash2A report from the nonprofit transportation research group TRIP shows Tennessee is among the 20 worst states when it comes to rural non-Interstate traffic deaths.
Citing U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Highway Administration data, Tennessee reported 459 non-Interstate traffic deaths in 2013, twelfth-most in the nation. Kentucky followed close behind with 449 deaths reported.
Both states also ranked among the Top 20 for the highest rate of rural road fatalities per 100 million miles of vehicle travel. Tennessee averaged 2.38 fatalities.
Tennessee tied Arizona with the tenth-highest fatality rate per 100 million miles of vehicle travel on ALL roadways with an average of 1.40 deaths.
The report cites a growing population which has led to more drivers on rural roads that lack “desirable safety features” and can lead to longer emergency response times because of their rural locations. A tendency for drivers to travel at higher speeds, narrow lanes, sharp curves, inconsistent design, limited shoulders and limited visibility are also to blame according to the report. (WZTV)

$46,000 Spent On New State Logo

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

Tennessee has spent $46,000 for the design of a new logo featuring the white letters TN on colors patterned on the state flag.
WSMV-TV reports that the state hired advertising and marketing company GS&F to design the new logo.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam said the new logo is needed to give the state a more unified look on signs and letterhead.
The governor’s office said the new logo will be gradually introduced as current stationary runs out.
The new state branding follows a decision by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to replace a green-themed symbol introduced by Haslam’s Democratic predecessor Phil Bredesen. The department in 2011 introduced a new logo featuring the TDOT acronym on a red field in the shape of the state.

Warrants Served On Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and The Sheriff’s Home

Sheriff Robert Arnold

Sheriff Robert Arnold

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and FBI have executed search warrants at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and the sheriff’s home.
TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said in a statement on Thursday that the warrants are part of an ongoing investigation into possible public corruption involving multiple targets within the sheriff’s department.
DeVine said he couldn’t discuss specifics because of the continuing investigation.
Last month, the TBI confirmed it was looking into connections between Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold and his family members who own companies that sell electronic cigarettes and snacks to inmates at the county jail.
The FBI says that it is too early to determine if any charges would be filed at this point.

Local Citizens Appointed To State Boards

Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman

Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the appointments of 201 Tennesseans to 87 boards and commissions.
“Tennessee will be well represented by these men and women from across the state, and we appreciate their time and effort in serving the state on these boards and commissions,” Haslam said. The governor continues to evaluate the state’s complete range of boards and commissions to ensure Tennesseans have a government that is responsive, effective and efficient. Appointment terms are varied due to differing statutory requirements or term limits determined by specific qualifications.
Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman was selected to serve on the Tennessee Duck River Development Agency and Sandra Ennis of Tullahoma was picked to be on the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Advisory Council.

Breaking News!! Floyd Resigns As Lady Raider Softball Coach

Terry Floyd resigned as head softball coach on Wednesday.

Terry Floyd resigned as head softball coach on Wednesday.

Coffee County Head Softball Coach Terry Floyd has decided to resign his position effective July 1st. Coach Floyd has been dealing with some health issues for the last couple of years and he says that it is time that he gets those under control as well as spending more time with his family. Athletic Director Richard Skipper said, “Coach Floyd will be greatly missed by everyone that has had the privilege to work with him at CCCHS”. Skipper added, “We wish Coach Floyd a complete recovery and want to thank him for all that he has done to promote our student athletes and Lady Raider Softball over that last 20 years”.
Floyd has been head coach for 12 years and before that was an assistant under Jeff Breeden. As the head coach, Floyd leaves the program as the all-time winningest coach with 351 victories, several district and region championships and two state tournament berths.
Floyd said Wednesday afternoon was a sad time because he told the players that he would not be returning, but added that this was the right time for him to step down as head coach.
Coach Floyd said the players are what makes the job so enjoyable, saying they are the ones that do the hard work. Floyd said that the parents of current and past players are to be commended for what they do and have done for the Lady Raider softball program. He went on to say that the community has been fantastic to work with and he would like to thank everyone for their support. Floyd said he wanted to also thank the previous and current administration for having the confidence in him to put a winning program on the field.
Incoming Athletic Director Ryan Sulkowski and Principal Dr. Joey Vaughn will start the process soon of hiring a new coach.

TDOT Suspends Most Road Construction For Memorial Day Weekend

TDOTRoad construction won’t slow motorists down as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 22 through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.
Motorists may still encounter some lane closures or restrictions while traveling through long term construction projects.  Drivers should be aware that reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
Travelers can dial 511 from any landline or cellular phone for travel information, or follow TDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel.

Report: It Takes a Village, and a Family, to Raise a Child

According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more Tennessee foster children are growing up in family settings instead of residential facilities.

According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more Tennessee foster children are growing up in family settings instead of residential facilities.

Tennessee is doing something right when it comes to caring for foster children in the state. According to a report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Volunteer State has reduced the percentage of children in custody who are housed in residential settings by nearly half since 2000. Linda O’Neal, executive director with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, says children have a lot to learn in a family setting. “Tennessee is definitely on the right track, with a great emphasis on placing children in family placements whenever possible,” says O’Neal. “We know how important it is for children to grow up in families, where they really learn how families should interact.” According to the data, since 2000, Tennessee has increased the number of children in family settings by 25 percent. O’Neal notes the progress made in the state is significant because Tennessee is one of a small number of states where data in this report includes dependent, neglected children and children who have been in the court system for crimes. The report, Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success, recommends agencies work with families to keep children in their own homes by providing the resources, skills and services they need. Tracey Feild, director and manager of the Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group, says when kids are removed from families without cause, there can be lifelong ramifications. “Kids who live in families, supported through tough times have the best chance for life success,” she says. “Separating children unnecessarily from families exacts too high a price in both human terms and taxpayer dollars.” O’Neal says more children can be helped if individuals step up and offer support to people in their lives who may be struggling to raise their children. “We know Tennessee could do better if more families would step up and provide support for their extended families that are struggling to care for their children if they have to come into state custody,” she says. “We know the state always needs more foster families that are willing to give the love and support to young people.” According to the report, relatives can offer a familiar relationship and connection to a child’s identity and culture, ultimately making an eventual return home easier.

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