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Category: News

Sheriff’s department needs help locating stolen vehicle

Coffee County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help locating a stolen vehicle. A 2001 black Audi TT 225 Roadster Quattro was stolen from the Ridgewood Drive area, according to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with information about this crime should contact Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Brandon Reed at 931-570-4191. 

Rutherford County growth strong near Coffee County

A data journalism professor at MTSU produced analysis using figures released in December by the US Census Bureau to show growth in Rutherford, Davidson and Williamson counties. The analysis shows that Rutherford County grew by 37,721 residents between the years 2013 and 2018. Davidson County grew by 46,000 people.

But perhaps more interesting to Coffee County residents is where the growth in Rutherford County is occurring. The professor, Ken Blake, produced an interactive map based on tracts and took raw data from Census estimates to produce this map. Tracts near the heart of Murfreesboro actually saw populations decline, as much as 8 percent on the east side of the city near The Oaklands. The west and southwest areas of the city saw population decrease of 1.3 percent. Many tracts outside of the city are seeing significant growth, including on tract south of the city that includes Salem Elementary, which experienced 42% growth, and the southern most tract, which bumps up against Beech Grove and Coffee County shows growth of nearly 23 percent during that time period.

Early voting numbers reported through first four days

Last week was the first for early voting in Coffee County for the March 3 primary – an election that includes presidential primary candidates. Locally, this election includes candidates for general sessions judge in Coffee County, a seat left vacant by the sudden passing of Judge Tim Brock in November of 2019.

Early voting began Wednesday, Feb. 12, and from Wednesday through Saturday, 890 voters cast their ballots in early voting, according to the Coffee County Election Commission. There are 32,075 registered voters in Coffee County.

Of those 890 voters, 680 voted in the Republican primary and 210 voted in the Democratic primary. Only those voting in the Republican primary will be able to select from one of the four judge candidates, as that is a Republican primary race. The winner of that primary will be the winner of the seat, as there are no  Democratic candidates.

Early voting continues through February 25, with election day on March 3. Those wishing to vote early can do so in Manchester at the Coffee County Election Commission office, located at 1329 McArthur St. Suite 6, from 8 am. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or 8:30- noon on Saturday. Voters in Tullahoma can vote from 9 until 4:30 Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. until noon this Saturday, Feb. 22. If you wait until election day you will need to vote at your assigned precinct. Hours for voting on March 3 are 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

For additional information, please contact the Coffee County Election Office at (931) 723-5103  

Census mail will begin arriving in mid March

The 2020 Census is quickly approaching across the nation – and now is a good time to remind everyone about important dates regarding this year’s census and how it can be completed.

Beginning around the time frame of March 12-20, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail that includes detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census either online, by phone or by mail. It is important to note, according to Census officials, mail sent to your home will not be addressed directly to anyone individual, but instead will be addressed to the “household of” or “resident of.”

“This is the first Census where you can self respond online,” explained Tia Zanghi, partnership specialist with the Census. “We are hoping the more people self-respond online, the more accurate it will be.”

April 1 is Census Day nationwide. By this day, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once your invitation arrives, you should respond for your home either online, by phone or by mail. Your official Census mail will include a code to use when you call or login online to complete your census. However, the code is not required, only your correct street address.

 “You will receive a postcard invitation … a very basic general letter,” explained Zanghi. “It has a unique code. You type that into the website and that’s how you can complete online. But you do not have to have that unique code. You can actually do it with just your address.”

Zanghi added that the invitation will have a phone number to call and complete the Census over the phone.

“After so long, you will receive the paper questionnaire through the mail if you haven’t yet completed online or over the phone,” Zanghi said.

Other dates of note:

March 30-April 1 – Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food fans, on the streets and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations.

April  – Census takers begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers and others who live with large groups.

May through July – Census takers will start visiting homes that have not responded to the 2020 Census through mail, online or over the phone to ensure everyone is accounted for.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about $675 billion in federal money will be distributed based on the census data compiled, meaning ensuring a complete count in Coffee County is a top priority for local officials.

For those concerned with privacy, the U.S. Census is completely confidential and bound by Title 13.

Title 13 protects private information from being published and under the U.S. Code, census workers take a lifetime oath of confidentiality as well.

By law, census responses cannot be used by any of the following agencies: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Those who violate Title 13 can face a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

 “Your information is completely confidential,” reassured Zanghi. “It is protected by law. For 72 years your info is completely locked up. Whenever we submit this information to the president it will be in statistical form only”

Tullahoma police need help identifying subject

Tullahoma Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest. This male subject is a person of interest regarding an incident on Monday, Feb. 17. According to police, he was observed taking an Apple iPhone 8. If you have any information to the identify of this person, contact TPD detective Johnny Gore at 931-455-0530 ext. 133 or email jgore@tullahomatn.gov.

70,000 fans sold at Lowe’s stores recalled

If you purchased a Harbor Breeze 48-inch Santa Ana Ceiling Fan from a Lowe’s Store or online at lowes.com between May 2014 through January 2016, that fan may be subject to a nationwide recall.

About 70,000 units were sold, according to United States Consumer Reports. The unit has been recalled because there are reports of the fan’s blade holders breaking and allowing the blade to be ejected from the fan.

There have been over 200 reports of the fan blade ejecting from the fan, including 10 reports of the fan blade striking consumers. This fan has two, dark walnut fan blades, brushed nickel blade arm holders and a frosted white glass globe.

For more information, call toll-free to 1-888-434-3797 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., email recall@fanimation.com or visit www.fanimation.com and click recalls.

Fire damages room at Econo Lodge in Manchester

Manchester Fire and Rescue Department responded to a fire Thursday night at the Econo Lodge. No injuries were reported but one hotel room sustained significant damage.

The Econo Lodge is located at 33 Paradise Street (near Cracker Barrell).

When firefighters arrived on the scene, crews witnessed light smoke emitting from a room. Firefighters entered the room and discovered remnants of a fire in the corner of the room. Firefighters pulled out smoldering clothes and a blanket before reentering the room to extinguish hot spots in the corner of the room.

No injuries were reported and the tenant of the room was not in the room when the fire started, according to Manchester Fire Department Chief George Chambers.

MFD crews  thoroughly searched other rooms on both floors and the chase area between rooms and found no fire extension.

The room tenant was able to collect belongings and was relocated to another room.

The fire is under investigation. Assisting on the scene were Coffee County EMS and Manchester Police Department

Bowling ‘kills’ controversial bill involving professional licensing

In an update to a story Thunder Radio news brought to you last week regarding occupational licenses, state senator Janice Bowling has announced that she moved the bill into a subcommittee, a move that effectively “kills the legislation.”

The bill in question would have waived license requirements for many occupations, such as cosmetologists, barbers, tattoo artist, real estate brokers, home inspectors and many others.

Had the bill passed, non-licensed workers could perform the work but would need to have the customer sign a waiver acknowledging that the work was being done by a non-licensed worker.

Senator Bowling issued a statement claiming that she never intended for the bill to pass in its current form. Her full statement is as follows:

“My intention in signing this bill was to only use it as vehicle later in the session to address any specific needs by opening up sections of Tennessee law dealing with occupational licensing. It was never my intention to run the bill in its current form. An amendment would have been necessary to significantly change its scope. There is obviously a lot of misinformation and confusion about this bill from well-intentioned people. For that reason, I have placed the bill in a General Subcommittee where it will not be acted upon, effectively killing the bill.”

Bowling sponsored the bill in the senate.

Hickerson students raise money for canine vest

Fourth and fifth graders at Hickerson Elementary School took part in a community service project that bought in pennies for an entire month to raise money and purchase a vest for Coffee County Sheriff’s Department deputy Brandon Gullett’s canine companion, Emi. Congratulations Hickerson students, Thunder Radio and the entire community thanks you for your great service project.

Fire damages room at Econo Lodge Thursday night

Manchester Fire and Rescue Department responded to a fire Thursday night at the Econo Lodge. No injuries were reported but one hotel room sustained significant damage.

The Econo Lodge is located at 33 Paradise Street (near Cracker Barrell).

When firefighters arrived on the scene, crews witnessed light smoke emitting from a room. Firefighters entered the room and discovered remnants of a fire in the corner of the room. Firefighters pulled out smoldering clothes and a blanket before reentering the room to extinguish hot spots in the corner of the room.

No injuries were reported and the tenant of the room was not in the room when the fire started, according to Manchester Fire Department Chief George Chambers.

MFD crews  thoroughly searched other rooms on both floors and the chase area between rooms and found no fire extension.

The room tenant was able to collect belongings and was relocated to another room.

The fire is under investigation. Assisting on the scene were Coffee County EMS and Manchester Police Department.(Pictured below, damage from the hotel room. Photo provided)