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New Charges For 911 Service

911 BTennesseans getting their first bills of 2015 will soon see new charges for 911 services.
Under a new law that took effect on Jan. 1, the surcharge for all landlines and mobile phones was set at $1.16 per month.
That’s a 16-cent increase for mobile phone users, and a decrease in the fee for business landlines in all 100 emergency communications districts in Tennessee. For residential landlines, the universal $1.16 fee marks an increase for subscribers in 45 districts, and a decrease for those in the remaining 55 where most people paid $1.50 per month.
Coffee County Emergency Communications District has levied a monthly 911 charge of 55 cents for each residential phone line and $1.75 for each business line.

McMinnville Schools Placed On Lock-Down

school_lockdown1Warren County High School and Hickory Creek Elementary School in McMinnville were placed on lock-down briefly Wednesday after a man wanted by authorities ran from a traffic stop near the schools.
Warren County Sheriff Jackie Matheny said a suspect, identified as Jeff Hodges, was spotted traveling near the high school and was pulled over by a deputy. Hodge was wanted on a burglary charge. Matheny said Hodges ran from the officer, prompting a foot chase just east of the high school. The Sheriff said Hodges was never on school property and students and staff at the schools were never in any danger. The schools were placed on lock-down as a precaution.
Matheny said Hodges remains at large.

Important Meetings Scheduled Over School Merger Issue In Manchester

city schoolsThe Manchester City School board will be holding an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 22). The meeting is being held at Westwood Middle School to further discuss the possible school merger issue with teachers, parents and citizens. The meeting is open to the public.
A joint meeting of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the city school board will take place next Thursday, Jan 29 beginning at 5:30pm at city hall.
In other city related news; at its regular board meeting on Tuesday night Manchester leaders voted to approve a 1% raise for city employees.

Talks Continue About New 911 Center

911A resolution by the 911 Emergency Communications District Board (911 board) in Coffee County to build a new, $3 million communications center at its current location could be delayed by the county commission’s recent vote to consider using the old jail and sheriff’s quarters for that purpose instead.
The existing center is located on Jack Welch Drive, between Manchester and Tullahoma, adjacent to the fairly new 911 communication tower.
Although the board’s long-range plans, which already included building the new center at its exiting site, were authorized by the county commission years ago, the commission voted 13 to 6 last Tuesday to at least study the idea of renovating the old jail and adjacent sheriff’s department’s quarters, which will be vacated once the new jail is in operation.

Man Shoots Into House and Escapes Scene On His Bicycle

Marc Andrew Castle intake photo from a previous arrest.

Marc Andrew Castle intake photo from a previous arrest.

Police in Winchester are searching for who they are calling a very dangerous man.
Police say 40-year-old Marc Andrew Castle fired more than 20 rounds into a home on North High Street Tuesday.
The bullets passed through the house and into a neighboring home. A 70-year-old woman was inside but was uninjured.
Castle is now on the loose and authorities are saying he heavily armed.
He fled the scene early Tuesday on a bicycle. Castle is described as a white male, 5-feet-9-inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds and is in his mid-30s with a normal build.
Anyone who has seen the suspect should call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department at 931-962-0123

Matheny and Others Removed From Leadership Roles

Rep. Judd Matheny

Rep. Judd Matheny

Two chairmen and an internal challenger have been moved out of leadership positions by state House Speaker Beth Harwell.
Rep. Judd Matheny was replaced as chairman of the Government Operations Committee, and Rep. Matthew Hill was removed a chairman of the Local Government Committee. Hill cast the deciding vote against Harwell’s measure to allow wine sales in grocery stores in 2013. The measure passed the following year. Matheny, in 2012, mulled a challenge to Harwell for speaker before deciding against it.
Rep. Rick Womick, who unsuccessfully challenged Harwell for the Republican nomination for speaker this session, is no longer vice chairman of the Civil Justice Committee.

New Photo Exhibit Opens At Motlow

One of the photos. Picture provided by Motlow College

One of the photos. Picture provided by Motlow College

The international Afghanistan photo exhibit “Unordinary Lives”, by Manca Juvan, will open at Motlow College’s Moore County campus on Thursday Jan. 22, according to Bobbie Underwood, secretary of academic affairs at the College.
Juvan’s work was previously displayed at the Motlow Smyrna Center in December and will be available for public viewing inside Eoff Hall until Feb. 5. The exhibit will commence with a reception, presented by the art department and international education, in the Eoff Hall lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Juvan, a Slovenian native, has also released the photos in a book entitled, “Unordinary Lives”.
According to an excerpt from the book, Juvan believes, “The stories of ordinary Afghans deserve to be both told and seen in order to remind us what the real images of war and poverty – of lives far from ordinary – look like.”
“The photographs are overwhelmingly moving,” said Underwood. “The public, students, faculty and staff should all try and see this powerful exhibit.”
For those unable to visit the exhibit, the Slovenian Embassy donated the “Unordinary Lives” book to Motlow. Students can find the book in the Clayton-Glass Library on the Moore County campus.
Underwood will be available for students interested in studying abroad. The final deadline to apply for the study abroad program is Thursday, Feb. 12.
For more information about viewing the exhibit or Motlow’s study abroad program, contact Bobbie Underwood at 931-393-1627 or bunderwood@mscc.edu.

Haslam Is Richest Politician In America

Gov. Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is now the richest elected official in America, according to Forbes.
Since August, Gov. Haslam has seen his net worth more than double, from $980 million to an estimated $2 billion. Forbes cites falling gas prices for Haslam’s financial success this year.
Gov. Haslam’s father, Jim Haslam II, founded Pilot Flying J in 1958, which is headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Haslam’s brother Jimmy is the current CEO of Pilot, but the governor still owns 15% of the $38 billion truck stop giant.

Coffee County Business Owner Charged With Tax Evasion and Theft

tax evasionThe Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of a Coffee County business owner. John Constantine, Sr. was charged with tax evasion and theft. Revenue Special Agents arrested Constantine in Manchester, Tenn. on Friday (Jan 16).
On January 13, the Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Constantine on six Class E felony counts of failing to file sales tax returns, one count of filing a false franchise and excise tax return and one Class C felony count of theft of property of more than $10,000. The indictments charge that from July 2010 through December 2011, Constantine failed to remit collected sales tax. The indictment also charges that Constantine filed a false franchise and excise tax return. Bond was set at $35,000.
“These charges are a symptom of organizational controls on my part,” Constantine told our news partner the Manchester Times. “Due to the complexity during the change of ownership and relocation of my business we encountered unforeseen difficulties.
“The Department of Revenue came to my business with guns drawn in March of 2014. This was the first I was aware of any problem. We have been in complete compliance since then. As soon as we were made aware of errors we tried to make things right with the state and that was our intention whether or not these charges were brought and that is what we will continue to do in the future.
“I have been in business in Coffee County since 1989 and I have never knowingly cheated a customer or the government out of a dime.”
“This investigation will serve as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies,” Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. “When sales tax revenues are collected by a retailer they are at all times property of the state or local government and must be remitted to the state.”
If convicted, Constantine could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each count of attempted tax evasion. He could also be sentenced to a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for theft of property.
This case was pursued criminally by the Department in cooperation with District Attorney Craig Northcott and his staff.
Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee’s revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

Pearman Guilty Of 1st Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault and Child Abuse

GuiltyJurors in Rutherford County have found Jacob Pearman guilty of murdering his wife Carla at their home in Murfreesboro on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pearman was found guilty of first degree murder. A first degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.
He was also found guilty of aggravated assault and child abuse against Carla’s then 7-year-old son.
Sentencing on those charges is set for March 16.
Pearman’s trial began last Monday, testimony concluded Saturday and the jury heard closing arguments Monday morning.
The prosecution had a videotaped confession in which Pearman admits he choked Carla to death while the two argued about the child abuse charges he faced. He was scheduled to appear in court on those charges just hours after Carla’s murder.
Pearman himself did not testify during the trial. His defense attorneys argued he was troubled, depressed and mentally ill.
Carla is the former Carla Dillard of Manchester and was a 2002 graduate of Coffee County High School. (WKRN)

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