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Crash Injures Two in Manchester on Friday

Photo from the crash scene on Friday afternoon.

On Friday, (June 23, 2017) WMSR News reported live from the scene of an accident in Manchester. Around noon a Toyota Prius and Ford Explorer collided on McArthur Street near the Coffee County Administrative Plaza. Bystanders helped the drivers out of their vehicles as the Explorer caught fire.
Manchester Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and extinguished the burning vehicle. Manchester City Police assisted the fire department and controlled the heavy flow of traffic that had to be stopped for a period of time while the accident scene was cleared. Coffee County deputies were also at wreckage to help.
The female and male drivers were transported via Coffee County EMS to the hospital.

Correctional Officer Arrested in Moore County

Shane Hopkins

An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment and arrest of a former Moore County correctional officer.
At the request of 17th District Attorney General Rob Carter, on May 13th, TBI Special Agents began working with the Moore County Sheriff’s Office in investigating allegations that a correctional officer with that agency was having sexual contact with an inmate at the jail. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that Correctional Officer Shane Hopkins did have sexual contact with a female inmate between January and May, 2017. Hopkins is no longer employed by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday, the Moore County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Hopkins, age 29 with five counts of Sexual Contact with an Inmate, and 20 counts of Official Misconduct. Friday, TBI Special Agents arrested Hopkins. He was booked into the Moore County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Less than 1,000 people Unemployed in Coffee County

Following the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly 20 years, Tennessee’s county unemployment rates for May 2017 have decreased in 94 counties and remained the same in one, according to data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Rhea County’s 5.1 percent makes it the only area in the state with an unemployment rate above 5.0 percent in May. That figure represents a 1.5 percent drop from its revised April 2017 rate, one of the largest rate decreases for the month. The remaining 94 counties have unemployment rates of 4.8 percent or lower. Cannon County did not change from April’s rate of 3.4 percent. Williamson County had the state’s lowest rate at just 2 percent.
Coffee County dropped from the April unemployment rate of 3.6 percent to 3.1 in May. That drop means only 750 people are unemployed in the county. Bedford County’s rate also fell from 3.8 to 3.4. Franklin County went from an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in April to 3 percent in May. Moore County fell slightly from their April rate of 2.9 percent to 2.8 in May. Grundy County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.8 to 4.1 and Warren County’s unemployment in April was 3.6 percent falling to 3 percent in May.

Extension of the “Move Over Law” begins July 1

An extension of the “Move Over Law” to include Good Samaritans who have pulled over to help distressed drivers will go into effect in Tennessee on July 1.
The bill requires a motor vehicle to yield the right-of-way by making a lane change, if possible, or reducing speed when approaching a stationary motor vehicle that is flashing its lights to indicate an emergency on the shoulder, emergency lane or median.
State Senator Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, the Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee said, “This signing ensured that no one will be punished for stopping to help someone.”
The Good Samaritan addition to the bill was inspired by a 16-year-old Tennessean named Franklin Frazier. Four days after he received his driver’s license, Frazier passed a distressed motorist on the side of the road signaling for help. Frazier pulled his car over as much as he could on the narrow road to assist, turned on his hazard lights, tried to calm the driver and called emergency services. As he was assisting, another car struck Frazier’s. Insurance determined that Frazier was 50 percent liable for the accident as he was parked illegally. This bill extends to cover Good Samaritans, ensuring that no one will be punished for stopping to help someone.

Shelbyville Police Searching for Wanted Man

Jon Canada Lovvorn

The Shelbyville Police Department needs your assistance locating Jon Canada Lovvorn of Shelbyville. Lovvorn is wanted for violation of probation and felony theft.
He is also suspected of stealing a vehicle from a Shelbyville resident on Thursday night.

Possible stolen car

If you know his whereabouts please call Shelbyville Police Detective Cody Swift at 931-684-5811 or Crimestoppers at 931-685-4300.

Update on Tullahoma Church Fire

Photo provided

The Tullahoma Fire Department and the Tullahoma Police Department, assisted by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, has completed a preliminary investigation and are reporting that the fire at Pleroma Church located at 507 Cedar Lane does not appear to have been the result of arson. Investigators have determined that the fire began in the baptismal immersion tank area. The final investigation is not complete.
The Tullahoma Police Department is investigating the theft of the electric meter from the same location and is asking the public for information. Contact Investigator Tyler Hatfield if you have information at 931-455-0530.

Some Funding Requests Approved some Not by County Budget and Finance Committee

Members of the Coffee County Budget and Finance committee have been preparing for the full county commission meeting that will be held on Tuesday night (June 27, 2017). Recently, General Manager of the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center (MCCCC) Rebecca French, presented the budget request to the committee members. She asked for about $280,000 to cover projected losses during next fiscal year, which would be an improvement compared to this year’s losses, amounting to over $400,000.
Coffee County and the City of Manchester equally cover the costs for operating the center. Member Mark Kelly abstained, and Steven Jones voted against it and all others on the committee approved $140,000.
Also during the meeting, North Coffee Volunteer Fire Department (NCVFD) will receive $49,000.
Last year, NCVFD didn’t receive funds from the county until the department’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) was improved. The department recently provided documentation to the county showing an improved ISO.
Requests for county money from the Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Protection Against Abuse Works Inc. (CASA), Partners for Healing and Tennessee Backroads Heritage were denied.
The county contributions to nonprofits for 2017/2018, if approved by the full commission, will be $536,434.

MTSU and Meharry Medical College teaming up to help provide more Doctors in Rural Tennessee

A university and medical college have created a new program to funnel doctors to rural Tennessee.
The Tennessean reports that Middle Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College announced the partnership Thursday. Students accepted into the program will earn a bachelor’s degree from MTSU in three years, followed by three years of medical school at Meharry. Tuition will be subsidized by $750,000 in state funding. Students who complete the program must agree to work for at least two years in the parts of Tennessee hit hardest by the state’s physician shortage.
The public-private partnership brokered by school and state leaders is the first of its kind in the state. MTSU and Meharry anticipate 20-25 students will be accepted in the first batch for enrollment in fall 2018.

Record number of traveler expected on Independence Day

AAA forecasts more Americans will travel this Independence Day than ever before. A record-breaking 44.2 million Americans (872,000 Tennesseans) will take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways; an increase of 1.3 million Americans (34,000 Tennesseans) from last year’s holiday.
“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Traveler numbers are up and prices are down, adding to what has already been a bustling summer travel season.
Travel bookings at The Auto Club Group are up by almost 4 percent (3.8%) in Tennessee, compared to this time last year. The biggest factors driving growth are low gas prices, strong employment, rising incomes, and higher consumer confidence; but overall Americans just love to travel, and want to do something fun for this mid-summer tradition.

Feds Warn about Skimmers

A national warning was issued by the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday, warning people of card skimmers.
Skimmers are devices illegally placed on things like gas pumps and ATMs that “skim” a credit or debit card’s information, giving criminals access to your bank accounts.
The criminals then use the data to make online purchases or clone cards for use in person.
“You won’t know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice,” the Federal Trade Commission said.
While skimmers aren’t new, the commission warns advancements in technology has made them smaller and harder to find. They can even be hidden inside a gas pump.
The following tips are some ways you can avoid becoming a victim:
• Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. This is part of a voluntary program by the industry to thwart gas pump tampering. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read “void,” which means the machine has been tampered with.
• Take a good look at the card reader itself. Does it look different than other readers at the station? For example, the card reader on the left has a skimmer attached; the reader on the right doesn’t.
• You can try to wiggle the card reader before you put in your card. If it moves, report it to the attendant. Then use a different pump.
• If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way, the PIN is safe and the money isn’t deducted immediately from your account. If that’s not an option, cover your hand when entering your PIN. Scammers sometimes use tiny pinhole cameras, situated above the keypad area, to record PIN entries.
• Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.
• If you’re really concerned about skimmers, you can pay inside rather than at the pump. Another option is to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Thieves may target gas pumps that are harder for the attendant to see.
If your credit card has been compromised, report it to your bank or card issuer. Federal law limits your liability if your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but your liability may depend on how quickly you report the loss or theft.

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