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Gas Prices Up Slightly Around The Nation–Down Slightly Locally

gas prices 5For the first time in more than 100 days, the year-over-year difference in the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline fell below $1 per gallon this past Tuesday (-99 cents). Today’s price of $2.70 per gallon represents a new high for 2015. The national average has moved higher by 4 cents per gallon since last Sunday.
“Thanks to fluctuating oil prices, gasoline keeps inching up at a time of year when prices typically begin their fall,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Supply disruptions on the U.S. West Coast and increases in the price of crude oil are likely to keep upward pressure on gas prices in the near-term. Despite consecutive weekly increases at the pump, consumers are still expected to pay some of the lowest prices for the Memorial Day Holiday in nearly five years.”
Crude oil rose above $60 a barrel again last week, but finished the week at $59.69 on the NYMEX.
The average price in Tennessee ($2.46) is the highest since December 10, 2014. In Manchester the low price as of Tuesday night was $2.39 and in Tullahoma the low price per gallon was $2.36.

Rescue Squad Week In Tennessee

Standing:  Leonard Pike, Mike Cassady, Dan Eydt, Neal Simmons, Stuart Carroll, Ricky Brown, Les Blackford, Patrick Bowles and Phillip Cyree. Sitting:  Beverly Carroll, Doris Pike, Jennifer Simmons, Polly Brown, Lynn Taylor, Linda Forrester and Michelle Jackson. Not Pictured:  David Spy, Eric Francisco, Ashley Francisco, Raymond Jeter, Eric Reed and DeAnna Reed.

Standing: Leonard Pike, Mike Cassady, Dan Eydt, Neal Simmons, Stuart Carroll, Ricky Brown, Les Blackford, Patrick Bowles and Phillip Cyree.
Sitting: Beverly Carroll, Doris Pike, Jennifer Simmons, Polly Brown, Lynn Taylor, Linda Forrester and Michelle Jackson.
Not Pictured: David Spy, Eric Francisco, Ashley Francisco, Raymond Jeter, Eric Reed and DeAnna Reed.

This week is Tennessee Rescue Squads Week and the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads encourage all citizens to join them in this worthy observance.
The members of the 105 squads of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, including Coffee County tirelessly give of their time and energy in humanitarian efforts and make themselves available every hour of the day, every day of the year to help save lives.
The Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads is concerned with accident prevention and works to promote research which will serve to advance techniques of rescue squads and lifesaving work throughout our state.
The Coffee County Rescue Squad is celebrating 52 years as a volunteer service. They have a total number of combined years of service of 289 years. The Coffee County Rescue Squad is always looking for dedicated volunteers.  If you are interested they meet the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm. The rescue squad is located at 2270 Murfreesboro Highway in Manchester. You can give them a call at 931-728-1785.

New Abortion Law In Tennessee

abortionWomen seeking an abortion in the state of Tennessee will now have to wait 48 hours after consulting with a doctor before coming back in for the procedure.
Governor Bill Haslam signed the measure, which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, into law late Monday.
Doctors who fail to comply with the new law could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
Currently, Tennessee is among 28 states that require women to undergo some sort of a waiting period before having an abortion.
Haslam also recently approved a measure making facilities or physician offices be licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers if they perform more than 50 abortions in a year.

Haslam Signs $33.8 Billion State Budget

Gov. Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed Tennessee’s $33.8 billion annual budget plan into law.
Haslam spokesman David Smith said the governor signed the appropriations legislation this week that establishes spending priorities for the spending year that starts July 1.
The plan does not include the first installment of a $2.8 billion plan to extend health insurance to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans. Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal would have had state hospitals cover the $74 million state share to draw down the money, but fellow Republicans in the Legislature twice rejected efforts to allow the governor to proceed with the deal.
The budget does include about $166 million in economic incentives for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Former Inmate Files Lawsuit

lawsuitA lawsuit has been filed against the City of Tullahoma and Coffee County government. The suit was filed in Coffee County Circuit Court by a former inmate at the Coffee County Jail.
Terry Justin Vaughn was working on May 14, 2014, while serving time in the county jail, perform law care for a cemetery at the Citizens Cemetery located on Montclaire Street in Tullahoma. Vaughn was told to weed eat the cemetery around a tall concrete gravestone.
According to the lawsuit, the gravestone fell over crushing Vaughn’s leg. “The gravestone was not attached to the base, but rather just sitting on top of the base,” according to the lawsuit. “The gravestone was a dangerous and defective and unsafe condition, which caused Vaughn’s injury.” The suit alleges that the gravestone had deteriorated to the point where the structure had separated from its base.
The suit which was filed May 12, alleges that the gravestone had fallen over prior to the date of the accident and was “placed back on its base by unknown employees of the City of Tullahoma, acting in their capacity as employees to maintain the cemetery.”
The suit alleges that two employees of the City of Tullahoma had picked the gravestone up on prior occasions and placed it back on its base. Those same two employees worked with inmates on the grounds of the cemetery and the employees had “reported the dangerous condition.” The suit claims that the workers supervisor was “negligent in supervising the employees.”
The suit also claims that Coffee County had the duty “of reasonable care to inspect and maintain areas where inmates are required to work so to keep areas in a reasonably safe condition.” The suit also claims that the county should inquire into the safety of inmates work areas.
“Coffee County failed to keep Vaughn, an inmate, reasonably safe by failing to inspect and failing to maintain the cemetery and gravestone where inmates of the Coffee County Jail worked,” the suit alleged.
The suit ask for Vaughn to be awarded an “amount in compensatory damages to be determined to be fair and just, but not to exceed the separate maximum allowed under state law. The suit also ask for that Vaughn be awarded appropriate prejudgment and post judgment interest the cost of litigation, as well as other expenses.
This information includes only one side of the legal matter. (News Source Tullahoma News)

Hates Crimes Down and Other Statistical News From The TBI

TBIThe Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its annual statistical studies on the state of hate crimes and officers violently targeted while on-duty in 2014.
Hate Crime in 2014:
The report found in 2014, Tennessee law enforcement agencies reported 340 victims of 295 bias-motivated incidents that occurred in the state.
The number represents a 2.6 percent decrease in the number of victims since 2013.
According to the report, 42 victims and 43 offenders involved in the hate crimes were juveniles.
Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted 2014:
In 2014, according to the report, law enforcement departments reported 1,704 victims in 1,378 incidents involving officers being assaulted.
The report stated the most frequently reported offenses were simple assault.
No officers were killed in the line of duty last year while a felony was being committed.

Almost 11,000 Adults Apply For Free Technical College

tennessee reconnectMore than 10,700 adults have applied for a state grant that would send them to technical college for free.
The Tennessean reports the number of applicants for the Tennessee Reconnect grant has exceeded initial estimates by more than 2,000.
The grant offers eligible adults the chance receive training in nursing, cosmetology, early childcare, manufacturing and other programs from a Tennessee College of Applied Technology. It is part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 plan to ensure 55 percent of Tennesseans have a college education by 2025.
It will take a few weeks for colleges to know how many applicants ultimately will enroll in classes.
The state will pay only tuition and fees that aren’t covered by existing grants and scholarships.

Some Tennessee Residents To Receive Refunds From The Affordable Care Act

affordable care2More than 336,000 Tennessee residents will split $10 million in refunds from health insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.
The refunds will average $53 per family and came about because of the medical loss ratio rule in the law. That provision requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on patient care and quality improvement efforts. The refunds are for premiums paid in 2013.
For 2012, refunds to Tennesseans totaled $5.6 million.
The actual total for refunds in Tennessee is $10,037,932.

Boat Crash Injures Two

Authorities pulling the wreckage from Normandy Lake... Photo provided

Authorities pulling the wreckage from Normandy Lake… Photo provided

A boating accident occurred late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning on Normandy Lake.
Two occupants received minor injuries from the crash. One victim showed up at United Regional Medical Center on Thursday around 1pm. That’s when the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency was notified.
Agent Tim Hancock says that it appears the vessel struck the Anthony Bridge (Fire Lake Bridge) and veered off and hit the bank. The two occupants were thrown from the ski boat into the water. The vessel then sank.
Authorities were able to identified and accounted for the occupants. The TWRA and Coffee County Rescue Squad recovered the boat and remain in possession of vessel until the investigation is completed.

Young Female Facing Charges After a Fire at the New County Jail

The new Coffee County Jail... Photo by Barry West

The new Coffee County Jail… Photo by Barry West

Officials and inmates at the new Coffee County Jail found out Thursday night that the fire sprinkler system in the facility works like it is supposed to do.
The sprinkler system in one cell was activated after Faith Marie Tomes, 20, of Tullahoma apparently set fire to an item and held it up to the sprinkler, according to Coffee County Sheriff’s Investigator Sgt. Danny Ferrell.
“The sprinkler immediately activated in the cell and extinguished the fire,” the investigator said. Tomes cell was quickly filled with water and it also ran out into the day room of the jail.
Jail personnel removed her from the cell and cut the sprinkler off. Tomes was then moved to an isolation cell.
She has been charged with arson and vandalism. Her bond was set at $10,000 and she is to appear in court on May 18.
Last week female inmates set a fire in the old jail causing officials to quickly move inmates outside while Manchester Fire Department made sure the fire was out.
“Six inmates will be charged in connection with that fire this week,” Ferrell said. He explained that he is concluding his investigation into that fire.
Tomes was serving time in the Coffee County Jail on charges of forgery, domestic violence, burglary and theft of property.

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