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Tennessee House Democrats Calling for Multi-Year Moratorium on TNReady Scores

Prominent Tennessee House Democrats are calling for a multi-year moratorium on holding students and teachers accountable on the state’s education test.
The call for a 3-year stay on accountability comes after another round of TNReady issues, the state’s standardized assessment. This is the second year in a row that Tennessee House Democrats have called for such a moratorium.
Last week, the state’s education department announced about 9,400 TNReady tests in high school grades were scored incorrectly. Legislative hearings have been called due to the problems.
A spokeswoman said the thousands of tests incorrectly graded represent a small portion of the 1.9 million tests taken during the 2016-17 school year.
Rep. Mike Stewart said taxpayers deserve money back from Questar Assessment after this year’s issues. Rep. Rick Staples added the state needs to get the test right for the future of the state’s children.
And while all questioned the job of Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen, the group stopped short of calling for her job.

Manchester Man Facing Serious Charges

Pernell James Rollins… Photo from the CCSD.

Pernell James Rollins age 31 of Murfreesboro Hwy in Manchester was arrested earlier this week by Manchester Police for theft of property, unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, 2 counts of aggravated assault and aggravated burglary.
According to arrest warrants, on Sunday (October 15, 2017) Rollins allegedly forced his way into a home on Evins St in Manchester. The warrant states that when Rollins entered the home he asked to use the phone. The female in the home handed him a phone and apparently turned away from the woman and then allegedly turned back around pointing a pistol at the victim.
The warrant goes on to say that the lady fell down and Rollins allegedly put the gun to female’s head and said he was going to kill her son. The son of the woman apparently left the scene. Her other son entered the room and allegedly Rollins pointed the pistol at the male victim.
The Mother apparently pleaded with the man to not to shoot her son. Rollins left the home after allegedly taking the phone from the home. The warrant states the woman gave a positive identification of the man.
Manchester Police Investigator Jonathan Anthony arrested Rollins the next day and he booked in at the Coffee County Jail under a bond of $252,500 and his first court date was set for October 26, 2017.

Charged Grundy Co. Students will go on Homebound after Suspension

Grundy County School Board attorney Chuck Cagle told the media on Thursday that Grundy County Director of Schools Jessie Kinsey and a judge have agreed on guidelines for the homebound education for the five students charged with attempted aggravated rape of a fellow student are currently suspended from school. They will be suspended for 10 days after they return from fall break on Monday. After the suspension, the students will receive a “homebound” education while on house arrest.
The five students are on house arrest with GPS monitors and will appear in court again on November 15, 2017.

Tennesseans Surrender nearly 43 tons of Pills and Pill Waste in 2016 although Overdoses are Up

Tennesseans have surrendered nearly 43 tons of pills and pill waste over the last year, a rise in volume even as the death toll from drug overdoses continues to climb.
The Tennessean reports that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration collection events over two days this past year collected more than 35,489 pounds, while the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reports that permanent drop-off sites around the state collected an additional 52,164 pounds between September 2016 and August 2017.
At least 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016.
Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force director Tommy Farmer says he’s surprised and heartened that the volume of surrendered pill waste hasn’t dwindled.
Farmer says collecting unused pills and reducing prescriptions enables law enforcement to focus on street drugs.
The Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition has permanent drop-off boxes at the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Manchester Police Department, and Tullahoma Police Department.

Study Shows Tennessee Ranks 4th in the Nation for Women being Murdered by Men Per Capita

A new study shows Tennessee ranks fourth in the nation for women being murdered by men per capita.
The study by the Violence Policy Center says 71 Tennessee women were murdered by men in 2015, which amounts to 2.10 per 100,000 people. Four of the victims were under the age of 18 and 10 were over 65. The average age was 40 years old.
Out of the 71 female homicide victims, 44 were white and 27 were black.
Seventy-one percent were shot and killed with guns, mostly handguns. Twelve were killed with knives or other cutting instruments, two with a blunt object and two by bodily force. Ninety-six percent of the female victims were killed by someone they knew. Only three were killed by strangers.
The Violence Policy Center says intimate partner violence is too common and takes many forms, the most serious of which is homicide. The U.S. Department of Justice has found women are far more likely to be the victims of crime committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. (WATE-TV)

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen Considering Senate Bid

Phil Bredesen… Photo from tennesseestar.com

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide race in Tennessee, is considering a bid to succeed retiring Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.
Bredesen said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that he is mulling an entry into the race after several people urged him to reconsider his initial statements that he had no interest in running.
Bredesen is a former Nashville mayor who was first elected governor in 2002. He completed his second term in early 2011.
Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has joined the race on an anti-establishment platform. Former Rep. Stephen Fincher is also considering a Republican bid.
Nashville attorney James Mackler is the only Democrat actively campaigning, though Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke is also considering a bid.

Fire Destroys Mobile Home in Summitville

Summitville Fire Truck

On Monday morning (October 16, 2017) around 5:45am, Sgt. Dwayne Mullins and Deputy Michael Sharp with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of a structure fire at 329 Summitville Road. Upon their arrival, the Summitville Fire Department was on the scene with a mobile home fully engulfed.
All seven people in the home were able to get out safely. Coffee County EMS was on the scene and checked out all the subjects due to smoke inhalation.
The mobile home was a total loss.

Lynchburg Man Charged with Burglary and Theft in Tullahoma

A Lynchburg man has been arrested in connection with the theft of items from a residence on West Carroll Street in Tullahoma.
According to a report by Tullahoma Police Officer Brooke Earhart, Alyson Forsyth reported to the officer that someone entered her residence through an unlocked bedroom window and took her Dell wide screen laptop computer.
The computer was found at KK’s Pawnshop and had been pawned by Noah Fults of Hurricane Creek Road, Lynchburg.
Investigator Johnny Gore charged Fults with burglary, theft of property and possession of drug paraphernalia as he allegedly found a meth pipe in the man’s back pack.
Fults was booked into the Coffee County Jail on the charges under a bond of $12,500 is scheduled to appear in Coffee County General Sessions Court Nov. 2.

Grundy County Football team will Keep Playing–Interim Coach Named

The Grundy County School Board voted 6-2 Monday night to allow the football team to finish its season. The school system forfeited the team’s game against Upperman this past Friday, due to five players being charged with attempted aggravated rape of a teammate.
Because of the cancelled game, school board Attorney Chuck Cagle says the school owes Upperman about $2,500, which is stated in a contract between the two schools.
School board members stated they wanted to be in charge of appointing a new head coach if the season continued; however, Cagle said that is illegal and the opposite of what the state statute allows.
Chairman Bob Foster also appointed an oversight committee responsible for making sure investigations stay transparent. That committee consists of board members Phyllis Lusk and Chris Grooms.
Now former Head Coach Casey Tate and Assistant Coach Greg Brewer are no longer with the team, but will remain teachers.
On Tuesday morning former Grundy County football player and current assistant coach Nick Meeks was named Interim Head Coach.
The Grundy County High School Football team will take on Sequatchie County on Friday.

Gas Prices Down Again this Week

Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.31 per gallon on Sunday, after dropping 8 cents during the past week.
As of Tuesday, the state average has declined for 37 consecutive days, falling a total of 28 cents during that time. Although Tennessee gas prices are 27 cents less than a month ago, the state average remains 19 cents higher than this time last year.
The national average price per gallon is $2.47.
The low price in Manchester was $2.12 per gallon as of Tuesday afternoon and in Tullahoma the low price was $2.17.

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