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Coffee County Jail and Annex are Certified Facilities

Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and Jail… Photo by Barry West

The Coffee County Jail has been recommended by the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) for certification for the third year in a row and the jail annex for the first year.
Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves says the jail on County Jail Lane and the annex on Hillsboro Blvd. in Manchester both met the required standards for the certification.
TCI is required to establish minimum standards for adult local jails, lock-ups, workhouses and detention facilities in the state. The agency’s Board of Control establishes the standards to inspect and certify local correctional facilities. Inspections and re-inspections are conducted within the mandated timeframe to ensure compliance of all standards for the purpose of certification.
The Tennessee Corrections Institute is responsible for educating local correctional staff while providing and monitoring basic certification and annual in-service training for personnel within local adult correctional detention facilities.

Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves


Sheriff Graves said, “I’m very proud of my outstanding staff that has been working hard to have both locations certified. This is a very difficult task, but with the dedication of the staff, the goals have been met.” Graves went on to say that the new goal is to keep the jail and annex certified for the foreseeable future.

Applications being accepted for Adults to Enroll Tuition-Free for Community or Technical College.

Gov. Bill Haslam

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says applications are now being accepted for adults who want to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community college or technical college.
In a news release Thursday, the governor’s office says Tennessee Reconnect applications can be completed online. Enrollees need to apply to a community college or other eligible institution, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.
To be eligible, a student can’t have an associate or bachelor’s degree, must be a Tennessee resident for at least one year and must be determined an independent student on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Tennessee Reconnect builds off of Tennessee Promise, which provides high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college.

Grants Available for K-8 Student Feild Trips

Where can students go to learn about history and environmental science in a hands-on setting from leading state experts? The Tennessee State Parks Conservancy is offering more than $5,000 in grants to support public school field trips to Tennessee State Parks.
Students can explore an 18th century trade cabin at Bledsoe Creek State Park, wade in the Duck River to learn about the water cycle at Henry Horton State Park or learn about any variety of things from Park Rangers who are trained in interpretive programming.
The Tennessee State Parks Conservancy’s ‘School of the Great Outdoors Field Trip Fund’ provides resources for K-8 students in Tennessee who may not have the opportunity to visit a state park due to lack of funding.
Grant eligibility is open to public schools in several counties including: Coffee, Bedford, Cannon, Franklin, Moore, Warren and others.
Awarded field trips will take place in spring and fall 2018. Funding covers transportation, lunch, and project supplies. Funding is made possible by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the East Tennessee Foundation and Village Real Estate. The application and eligibility criteria can be found at www.tnstateparks.com/conservancy/field-trip-grants. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018.
The Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit partner of Tennessee State Parks.

Motlow College Offering ACT Prep Classes

Motlow State Community College is offering a five-week ACT preparation class for area high school students planning to take the national test this spring. The class will meet each Monday in March and the first Monday in April, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. in Simon Hall, room 132, on the Moore County campus.
The registration deadline is Feb. 28, and the course is limited to 35 students. Registration forms can be obtained on Motlow’s web site at mscc.edu/wdes. Completed forms can be mailed or faxed to the address indicated on the form, however, registration is not complete until payment is received.
The registration fee for the course is $65, plus $32.95 for the course textbook (required), with each to be paid separately. Registrants should write a check for the registration fee to Motlow State Community College. Students will need to purchase the textbook by the first night of class and textbooks will be available for sale on the first night only (exact change or check made payable to Motlow College Bookstore) and through the Motlow bookstore prior to the class.
The course is designed to prepare students for the four areas tested on the ACT by covering test taking strategies, pacing oneself, using logic, and reviewing answers. Preliminary tests will be given for diagnostic purposes. Students will work on areas, techniques, and skills that need improving before taking the ACT.
The National ACT exam will be given on Apr. 14. Taking the preparation class does NOT register a student to sit for the actual ACT. Students must register separately to take the national exam. For more information regarding the ACT, visit ACT.org.
For more information regarding the ACT preparation course, contact Motlow’s Office of Workforce Development and Extended Services at 931-393-1757, or 1-800-654-4877, ext. 1757.

Carjacking leads to Juvenile’s Arrest–Car Owner later Charged

Joesph Kurtis Brummett… Photo provided by the CCSD.

On Friday night a juvenile was allegedly involved in an incident at 989 Interstate Drive, Manchester, TN. Manchester Officer Jamie Norris spoke with Joseph Kurtis Brummett 29 year-old of Manchester who advised he was approached by the suspect with a pistol. The man told police he was forced from the vehicle and the juvenile left the scene in the Mercedes. The juvenile was located by Tennessee Highway Patrolman Randy Euler around Exit 97 on Interstate 24. He continued on I-24 leading officers on a pursuit into Rutherford County. The vehicle was spiked stripped by Rutherford County deputies near Medical Center Parkway. The vehicle crashed, causing damage.
The weapon described by the Brummett was located on the passenger floor board. Youth services was contacted and the 15 year-old juvenile from Nashville was charged by Manchester Police with aggravated robbery, unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, vandalism and evading arrest. He was later transported to Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center.
Brummett was transported to the scene and as the vehicle was being searched officers allegedly located several credit cards inside the vehicle with different names on them, credit cards scanners, a book with personal information of several different people in a back pack hidden in the trunk of the man’s vehicle. When ask about the cards, Brummett allegedly told officers that a friend had given them to him. Then he denied knowing anything about them.
Also, allegedly found in the vehicle was some methamphetamine, a glass pipe and 3 needles.
Brummett was charged by Trooper Euler with 8 counts of identity theft/use of another’s information and schedule II drug violation.
His bond was set at $302,500 and he is scheduled to appear in court on May 15, 2018.

Man Charged after Pipe Bombs Discovered

Robert Brandon Horn… Photo provided by the CCSD.

Robert Brandon Horn, 26, of Jackson Circle Tullahoma was charged Thursday night with four counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction and four counts of illegal possession of a weapon.
According to Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott, around 11 a.m. Thursday Tullahoma Police received information that Horn was in possession of explosive devices in his residence. The (THP) Highway Patrol Bomb and Arson Squad was notified and arrived at the scene. Officers sealed off the house and evacuated an area of 300 feet around the house, as a precautionary measure.
When the bomb squad arrived they used a robot to enter the house and to check what were thought to be pipe bombs. Officials determined they were indeed pipe bombs.
When officers first learned that there were “suspicious items” inside the house they started to search for Horn and learned that he was in Franklin County to testify for a friend. Officers located Horn and took him into custody to talk with him. Franklin County Sheriff’s Investigator Todd Hindman questioned Horn concerning the devices that Tullahoma Police had found. The investigator learned that the items were in Horn’s bedroom.
Franklin County deputies then searched Horn’s vehicle and found “several weapons” in it. Since Horn was convicted in January 2013 of domestic violence he is not allowed to have a weapon, so he was charged with illegal possession of a weapon and disorderly conduct in Franklin County.
He was transported to Jackson Circle where officers spoke with him. He was later transported back to the Franklin County Jail where he was booked in on the charges and his bond was set at $10,000. He was released from the Franklin County Jail around 9 a.m. Friday after the bond was posted and transferred to the Coffee County Jail. Horn is to appear in Franklin County General Sessions Court March 22.
Bond was set at $800,000 in Coffee County.

Local Candidate Petitions Questioned by Republican Party

Administrator of Elections for Coffee County Vernita Davis… Photo by Samantha Watters

On the agenda of the Coffee County Election Commission on Thursday afternoon was to approve petitions for the May 1, 2018 Republican and Democratic primaries. Motion was made to make a change on the agenda and move that part until a meeting on Thursday Feb. 22, which is the withdrawal deadline. The reason for that change is because there are some Republican candidates, who by new Republican bylaws, may not certify to be a bonafide Republican. The Election Commission is waiting on letters from the State Republican party, officially giving specific information, before they can approve those candidates. The local Republican party brought forth the questions to the election commission. There is also one Democratic candidate that the Republican party is questioning concerning another issue.
Letters from the state Republican party must be in the commission office by the withdrawal deadline, Thursday, February 22, 2018 at noon.
Coffee County Administrator of Elections Vernita Davis told WMSR that the Election Commission, does not evaluate the status of a person’s political party membership. It is their job to issue a petition to a person, regardless of voting history, for which they want to run.
No names of those candidates in question have been announced by the commission.
When all names have become official WMSR News will release all candidate names.

Saturday Night Fire at Westwood Middle School

Fire scene photos by Barry West

Manchester Fire crews responded to a structure fire at Westwood Middle School on Saturday night.
While enroute Manchester Police reported smoke coming out of the mechanical room in the rear of the school. Crews arrived on scene and found smoke coming from inside the reported room. There was a large water line above the fire area that ruptured and extinguished most of the fire.
Once crews were able to remove items from the room they began checking for any fire extension. Using a thermal imaging camera, firemen located some hot spots in the sub roof area around the hot water heater exhaust pipe and extinguished the area.
The fire is under investigation and only minor damaged occurred to the room.

Stabbing in Tullahoma leads to Attempted First-Degree Murder Charge

Terry Helton… Photo provided by the CCSD.

What started off as an aggravated assault charge turned into an attempted first-degree murder charge filed against a Tullahoma man.
According to Tullahoma Police, Terry Helton 51, of South Anderson Street was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after he allegedly stabbed a man while at Alibis Bar on Anderson Street Saturday night.
According to a report by Tullahoma Police Officer Clayton Harper, security video from the bar shows John Finney sitting at the bar and Helton is seen standing next to him. Helton is seen in the video looking back and forth while standing there.
Helton is seen “getting in the face” of Finney and then reaching in his pocket and producing what appeared to be a knife. He then stabbed Finney once in the left side of the chest.
Finney was transported to Tennova—Harton Hospital but was later flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment of the injury and was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Helton was originally charged with aggravated assault and public intoxication and was released after he posted a bond of $5,500.
On Tuesday Investigator Tyler Hatfield arrested Helton again on the amended charge of attempted first-degree murder. Bond was set at $250,000.

New Tennessee Gun Bill Shot Down

Rep. Judd Matheny

A Republican-led House committee has voted down legislation to let Tennessee handgun permit holders bring guns most places, including hospitals and professional sports arenas.
In the Civil Justice Subcommittee Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Hospital Association expressed opposition to Coffee County District 47 State Representative Judd Matheny’s bill.
Under it, permit holders would be barred from carrying only when it’s against federal law or court order; under the influence of alcohol or drugs; at judicial proceedings; on school grounds; at correctional facilities or law enforcement offices; or at private homes that post that guns aren’t allowed.
Several other controversial gun bills were delayed in the committee.

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