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Gas Prices Continue To Decline

gas prices2Motorists in the southeastern United States should find the lowest Labor Day gas prices in a decade. The current state average price of $2.17 in Tennessee is $1.04 cheaper than the price during last year’s holiday. The current national average price of gasoline is $2.48 – 12 cents lower than a week ago, 19 cents lower than a month ago, 95 cents lower than this time last year.
“Low gas prices are added incentive for Americans to take a road trip this Labor Day weekend,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Low gasoline prices are an added boost in disposable income, giving travelers more money to spend on lodging, shopping, and dining out.”
Last week, the price of oil dropped below $40 a barrel, the lowest settlement price since February 2009.
As of Tuesday afternoon the low price in Manchester was $1.99 and in Tullahoma the low price per gallon is $2.09.

Two People From Coffee County Charged With TennCare Fraud

Wilford Frankenberry

Wilford Frankenberry

Two people are charged with TennCare fraud in separate incidents, both involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrests after a joint effort with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office. Both individuals were involved in the sale of prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The two arrested are:
Wilford Frankenberry, 58, of Manchester, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drugs.
Samantha Walden

Samantha Walden

Samantha Walden, 48, of Tullahoma, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion of the drugs.
“We dedicate much of our time and resources tracking tips and participating in undercover operations to stop people who are using TennCare to finance prescription drug trafficking, at the expense of the taxpayers,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison.  District Attorney General Craig Northcott is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,441 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 go to http://www.tn.gov/finance/topic/fa-oig.

New Gun Legislation Being Proposed

pistolTwo Democrats are introducing legislation to allow all firearms to be banned at major sports and music venues. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis and state Rep. John Ray Clemmons of Nashville say their bill would create an exemption to the new state law that bans local governments from prohibiting people with handgun carry permits to be armed in parks. A recent legal opinion from state Attorney General Herbert Slatery found that the law applies even to facilities rented out to private contractors. The proposed legislation would allow guns to be banned at events at public parks that require a ticket and would also make clear that the law does not apply to stadiums and other facilities used by professional sports teams.

Manchester Man Arrested On Several Charges After a Saturday Traffic Stop

Photo of Nathan Keith Layne provided by the Coffee County Sheriff's Dept.

Photo of Nathan Keith Layne provided by the Coffee County Sheriff’s Dept.

Nathan Keith Layne of Manchester was arrested on multiple charges on Saturday.
According to a report by Deputy Steve Sharketti, the man was seen driving on Ramsey Road with a tire missing from the wheel and he was driving on the rim. After being stopped by the deputy the man was asked for identification which turned out to be a license that was suspended.
The subject advised he had a small dog inside the vehicle and asked if he could retrieve it. Sharketti stated he could. When the subject leaned into the vehicle, he directed his attention to the floor area of the rear of the cab. Sharketti advised Layne to get the dog and to not move items around in the vehicle. Sharketti asked the subject if he had any weapons, drugs or any illegal items on his person or in the vehicle and he stated no. The deputy requested consent to search the vehicle and the subject granted consent. During the consented search, allegedly three (3) plastic baggies containing 9 grams of a crystal like substance which field tested positive as methamphetamine were found along with three (3) electronic scales, one (1) Altoids tin with crystal like residue inside and twenty-one (21) plastic baggies (same baggy type as the ones used to contain the crystal substance) were located and Layne was placed into custody. After the search was completed, Sharketti found Layne in the seat of his patrol car and he told them that he was having a seizure. Coffee County EMS was called to the scene and the subject was transported to Unity Medical Center, while there he allegedly struck two nurses.
While at the hospital Sharketti checked Layne’s wallet and found a driver’s license and a check revealed that they were revoked. It was discovered that the license that he first showed them was his brother’s.
Layne is being held in the Coffee County Jail under a bond of $42,000 on charges of manufacture/delivery/sell of a controlled substance, two counts of assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal impersonation, fifth DUI and fifth driving on a revoked license. He is to appear in Coffee County General Sessions Court on Sept. 14.

Lynchburg Woman Charged With Forgery

Close up of a hand signing a check.  Please note that the signature is fictitious... This is not the check in the alleged crime

Close up of a hand signing a check. Please note that the signature is fictitious… This is not the check in the alleged crime

Halie Morgan Walker of Lynchburg was arrested last week on forgery charges by Tullahoma Police Investigator Tyler Hatfield.
Walker, 20, of Old Fayetteville Highway, Lynchburg was arrested after a joint investigation by the Moore County Sheriff’s Department and the Tullahoma Police Department.
A Moore County Investigator discovered that a forgery had occurred at Ascend Federal Credit Union.
Moore County authorities discovered the check while investigating a case of a stolen check from a Lynchburg man.
A security video of Walker allegedly showed her depositing a $600 check into her credit union account.

Motlow College Is Fastest Growing College In Tennessee; Enrollment Up 19.4%

Eagleville High School graduate Dayton Hendrix proudly displays his status during Welcome Week student activities on the Smyrna Center campus.

Eagleville High School graduate Dayton Hendrix proudly displays his status during Welcome Week student activities on the Smyrna Center campus.

Fueled by an astonishing 60 percent increase at the Smyrna Center, Motlow College began the first week of fall 2015 classes as the fastest growing college in the state of Tennessee.
That’s not just community colleges, but rather all public universities, community colleges and Tennessee colleges of applied technology (TCAT) under the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system. Motlow welcomed a larger percentage increase of students than any other.
After three days of classes, Motlow’s enrollment is 5,249 students, a nine percent increase over the 4,822 during the same period in 2014. The full-time numbers are more impressive. College-wide full-time, which is a formula that determines how many students are attending full-time, is 3,576, compared with 2,995 last year; a 19.4 percent increase.
Smyrna Center’s full-time after three days of classes is 1,494.3 for this year compared to 934.1 in fall 2014. Headcount at the center is 2,093 compared to 1,722 last year. The full-time percentage increase is 60, while the headcount increase in Smyrna is 21.5 percent.
Motlow’s other three campuses also saw significant increases in full-time. The McMinnville Center grew at a 30.6 percent rate, Moore County’s increase is 24.2 percent and the Fayetteville Center grew at a 23.1 percent rate.

Don’t Leave Your Mark On The Park

great_smokyOfficials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are asking visitors to refrain from leaving their mark on the park.
Rangers say graffiti detracts from the park’s natural beauty and in some cases can permanently damage resources that can’t be replaced, such as log structures made from historic wood.
Park rangers and volunteers educate visitors about the results of defacing park resources through education programs, signs and a graffiti-removal program.
The park says last month, five men were arrested at a tunnel near Bryson City, North Carolina after park property was defaced. People who tag the park can be fined up to $5,000 and spend up to six months in jail.

Operation “Breaking Ice”

breaking iceIn December 2013, Manchester Police arrested two local major ice dealers. An investigation revealed that the illegal drug was coming from Mexico to Atlanta, GA and then to Manchester. The investigation also revealed that a suspect in Coffee County had connections in the Atlanta area. The person was making regular trips bringing ice back to Coffee County to distribute plus the suspects and drug sales were gang related.
In November 2014, the intelligence came to life and operation “Breaking Ice” went into full motion. Manchester Police worked with agents from the FBI as well as local officers and investigators with Coffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Tullahoma Police Department.
Breaking Ice continued until Friday when police began rounding up the alleged drug dealers. Sixteen of the 96 alleged drug dealers are already in federal custody and several more are being held in the Coffee County Jail. Two of the suspects are juveniles and will be cited in juvenile court. Over 150 drug cases were made during the Breaking Ice operation and many hours of hard work went into making this the largest operation to date by the Manchester Police Department. Drugs taken off the street include Meth (Ice), Heroin, Marijuana, synthetic drugs and diverted pills such as Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Adderall and Xanax.
Investigators Jackie Matheny and Jonathon Anthony took the lead and worked with other officers and departments to make the operation a success.

Shelbyville Man Arrested For Rape In Tullahoma

Raul Monroy intake photo provided by the Coffee County Sheriff's Department

Raul Monroy intake photo provided by the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department

Raul Monroy of Shelbyville was arrested Thursday night for raping a Tullahoma woman at her residence.
Monroy, 23, of Sims Road, Shelbyville has been charged with rape and domestic violence following an incident at a residence on Chestnut Alley.
The victim, who was someone that he had known in the past, told Tullahoma Police Officer Randy Baltimore that Monroy arrived at her apartment around 11 p.m.
She told the officer that Monroy entered her apartment and pulled her hair, chocked her and dragged her outside onto the porch. He then pulled her back into the house. A neighbor witnessed the attack and called 911 to report the incident.
The woman told the officer that Monroy then threw the woman down and began to rape her.
Police arrived and arrested Monroy on the charges. The woman was transported to Harton Regional Medical Center where she was treated for her injuries. Doctors determined that she had been sexually assaulted.

Shelbyville Man Charged With TennCare Fraud In Coffee County

Samuel L. Harris, Jr

Samuel L. Harris, Jr

A Bedford County man is charged in Coffee County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has announced the arrest of Samuel L. Harris, Jr., 40, of Shelbyville. A Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Harris on two counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Harris was served with the charges at the Bedford County Jail, where he is serving time for his first arrest, in February of this year, when he was charged in Bedford County with three counts of doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment. He pleaded guilty to the charges in May and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
“We cracking down on people using TennCare to finance their drug habit or business,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Healthcare providers and local law enforcement officers across the state are working with us to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”
District Attorney General Robert Carter prosecuted this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,434 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 go to follow the link on our website http://www.tn.gov/finance/topic/fa-oig.

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