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Category: News

Truck overturns on I-24 in Manchester Tuesday

Traffic on Interstate 24 through Manchester was snarled for a short while early Tuesday morning after a tractor trailer overturned.

The accident happened at the 111 eastbound at approximately 8:20 a.m. Manchester Fire and Rescue Department responded to the scene and extricated the driver from the vehicle. The driver was then transported by Coffee County EMS to the hospital.

The truck spilled a large load of grain at the crash.

UPDATE: Juveniles shot in Winchester reported in stable conditin

The two juveniles who were allegedly shot by their father in Belvidere Saturday afternoon are reported to be in stable condition.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement updating the public on their conditions Tuesday morning.

The two juveniles, ages 14 and 13, were allegedly shot by their father, Christopher Maxwell, Saturday afternoon in a domestic violence situation at the home, an incident which led to the death of Maxwell’s wife, Holly Raquel Maxwell.

Deputies were called at approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday to a domestic violence situation and, while in route to the scene, shots were fired. Deputies discovered Holly Maxwell deceased on the floor when they arrived. Christopher Maxwell was found in an adjacent milk barn on the property and he was taken into custody. The two juveniles, reported to be Christopher Maxwell’s children, were shot and transported to Vanderbilt and Erlanger.

Christopher Maxwell faces charges of first degree murder, homicide, criminal attempt and aggravated child abuse and neglect. He is being held with no bond.

Officials warning parents of new social media challenge that poses fire risk

School officials at various districts around the country are warning parents about a dangerous challenge making the rounds on social media – primarily on the popular app called “TikTok.”

It is called the “penny challenge.”

The challenge calls for users to record a video of themselves sliding a penny between a partially plugged in cellphone charger and a wall outlet. Users are asked to film and post the results on TikTok.

Placing the penny across an active electrical connection creates sparks that can damage the outlet and potentially start a fire. A child performed this challenge in a school in Massachusetts, causing damage and setting off the school fire alarms. Damage has been reported in other states, as well.

Parents are urged to monitor their children’s social media use and explain the dangers of electrical outlets.

Manchester City Schools, PD teaming up to to educate students on dangers of vaping

Manchester City Schools will be holding anti-vaping events this week, with the primary focus on providing educational materials to their students and making them aware of dangers present in vaping.

Students at Westwood Middle School will be asked to sign a pledge that they will not vape.

The event comes in conjunction with numbers provided by the Coffee County anti-drug coalition, which conducted anonymous surveys of 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade students across the county conducted in November of 2018.

The survey found that among 12th graders, 66% admit to having used e-cigs with nicotine within the past 30 days. Of the entire survey group, 40% admitted to having vaped nicotine in the past 30 days.

Fifty-seven percent of 12th graders and 28% of 10th graders bought e-cigs from the store.

The study also discovered a high percentage of RX misuse, particularly among 10th graders at 14% and 12th graders at 15%.

While vaping is on the rise, there have been significant drops in use of regular cigarettes, dropping from 20% in 2012 to 8% in 2018. Alcohol and marijuana use also decreased. There were also drops in what students saw in perceived risks, including a drop of perceived risk in illicit use of RX drugs from 81% to 48%.

Authorities release name of shooter, deceased in Saturday shooting

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department authorities have released names in a shooting incident that happened in Belvidere Saturday that left one woman dead and two juveniles in the hospital.

Christopher Maxwell, age 47, has been identified as the shooter, accused of shooting and killing his wife, Holly Raquel Maxwell, age 46, and shooting and injuring his two sons, ages 14 and 13.

Deputies say they entered the residence at 1620 Vernon Ridge Rd. shortly after 4:30 p.m. Saturday and found Holly Raquel Maxwell on the floor of the residence. She was deceased. While processing the scene, authorities made contact with Christopher Maxwell in an adjacent milk barn, where he was taken into custody.

As we previously reported, two juveniles, ages 14 and 13, were transported to Erlanger and Vanderbilt hospitals for treatment of gunshot wounds.

Christopher Maxwell faces charges of first degree murder, homicide, criminal attempt and aggravated child abuse and neglect. He is being held in the Franklin County Jail with no bond. His initial court date is set for Thursday, March 5.

State senator introduces bill to allow Marijuana in Tennessee

Tennessee democratic senator Raumesh Akbari filed senate bill 1849 last week, a bill that would allow for the sale of marijuana along with a 12% tax that would go toward helping education and infrastructure.

According to the bill, a person or entity would need to have a registered business, a license from the state and be in compliance with the Business Tax Act. This bill would also apply for the growing, processing, manufacture, delivery and sale of marijuana. Sales would be for ages 21 and older and would be regulated to a half-ounce.

The 12% sales tax would be split, with 20% going to the state’s general fund, 50% toward education and 30% to infrastructure projects.

While the bill was introduced, it is far from any kind of formal law. It still needs to pass the house, senate and receive a signature from governor Bill Lee, a process that pundits see as unlikely during this legislative session.

In related news, senator Janice Bowling has said she intends to introduce a bill this session that would support medical marijuana in the state.

Currently, 33 states, Washington DC and four US territories have approved some form of medical marijuana program and 14 states and territories have approved recreational use of Marijuana for adults. Tennesseans can actually legally purchase marijuana at Illinois dispensaries, but it is illegal to bring it back to the state.

See the full bill below:


Longtime Coffee Co. Assistant DA Ken Shelton dies

Ken Shelton, who served as an assistant District Attorney General in Coffee County for 36 years, passed away on Saturday, January 25 at Tennova Healthcare-Harton in Tullahoma. He was 65. Visitation is from 11-2 p.m. Tuesday, with funeral services to follow at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Tullahoma. You can see the full obit here.  

Gas prices drop 4 cents in past week

The Tennessee Gas Price average  is $2.28 which is four cents less than last week, 3 cents lower than one month ago, and 23 cents higher than one year ago. Prices are expected to slip even lower in the coming days.

Gas prices have continued to drop over the last week as gasoline stocks grew again, measuring at 260 million bbl – the highest stock level ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) since it began recording the data in 1990.

The average price in Coffee County  is on par with the state average, at $2.28. Just up the road in Rutherford County, gas is $2.18.

“Increased total domestic stocks of gasoline have helped to ease pump prices,” said Megan Cooper, Public & Government Relations Consultant, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Typically, we see lower demand during this time of year. When combined with higher stock levels, pump prices usually decrease in response.”

Franklin County man in custody after shooting wife, kids

A Franklin County man is in custody after allegedly shooting his wife and his two children Saturday afternoon.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chris Guess told Thunder Radio News that deputies responded to a call of domestic violence at 1620 Vernon Ridge Rd. at approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

“While deputies were responding, the situation escalated with shots fired,” explained Guess.

Upon arrival on the scene, deputies entered the residence and found Holly Raquel Maxwell (age 46),  on the floor of the residence.

While processing the scene, authorities made contact with Christopher Maxwell, (age 47) in an adjacent milk barn, where he was taken into custody.

A 13-year old juvenile at the scene was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment of gunshot wounds, and a 14-year old juvenile was transported to Erlanger Barones Hospital in Chattanooga for treatment of gunshot wounds.

After being transported to Southern Tennessee Regional Health Systems for treatment of chest pains, Christopher Maxwell was booked into the Franklin County Jail on charges of first degree murder, homicide, criminal attempt and aggravated child abuse and neglect. He is being held with no bond. His initial court date is set for Thursday, March 5.

In addition to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, other responding agencies included the Lexie Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department and the A&E Emergency Services.

(Photo – mugshot of Christopher Maxwell)


Coffee Co Sheriff’s Department looking for stolen ATV

Coffee County Sheriff’s Department authorities are asking for the public’s help to find a Polaris Ranger XP900 side-by-side that was stolen from the Pea Ridge Rd. area early Friday morning. Anyone with information about this stolen Ranger is encouraged to contact CCSD investigator Sgt. Laura Nettles at 931-570-4425.