AP/WMOT

gema.ga.gov

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  There were reports of power outages and downed trees across the extreme Southeast corner of Tennessee monday morning, but otherwise the state seems to have been spared by the storms that killed 18 across the southeast over the weekend.

 

At least 14 people were killed Suday in Georgia as the fast-moving storms tore across the state, with at least one deadly tornado reported before dawn and violent storms still rumbling after nightfall.

 

Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee lawmakers have less than a month to file measures they want considered during this year's legislative session.

Bills filed after the Feb. 9 deadline must to get special committee approval.

House members are limited to filing 15 bills each. The chamber's rules also say the body won't take up legislation unless it also has a Senate sponsor.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An international drama featuring the illegal transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to China is playing out in a Tennessee courtroom. 

A Chinese-born U.S. nuclear engineer has pleaded guilty to helping a state-controlled Chinese nuclear energy company build reactors using U.S. technology.

The U.S. Department of Justice says 66-year-old "Allen" Ho has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally bypass U.S. regulations on production of nuclear materials outside the United States.

Ho faces up to 10 years in prison.

tn.gov

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Put Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh on the growing list of those considering a run for governor in 2018.

 

Rep. Fitzhugh has served in the state House since 1995.

 

The West Tennessee Democrat says he wants to wait until after the upcoming legislative session to decide whether to join the race, but pending decisions by other potential candidates may shorten that timeline.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) —  There was a little drama at the State Capitol building Monday morning as Tennessee’s electors cast their Electoral College votes.

The Tennessean says a protester shouting from the gallery was escorted from the building. No word yet if the woman was arrested.

The vote procedure began at 9 a.m. and took less than 30 minutes. The eleven electors voted unanimously for Donald Trump.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennesseans turned out in big numbers to cast early ballots in next week’s general election.

Early voting came to a close yesterday.

The state says 1,675,679 Tennesseans used the early voting option this year, up more than 100,000 votes over the 2012 early voting turnout and nearly 100,000 more votes than were cast early in 2008.

Turnout was highest in Shelby County, where about 182,000 ballots were cast. The next highest totals included 174,000 votes in Davidson, and 83,000 in Williamson counties.

 

scotthamilton1984.com/

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Olympic figure skating champion and mid-state resident Scott Hamilton has been diagnosed with a third brain tumor.

People magazine reports Hamilton has been diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor.

In a video for People magazine, the 58-year-old Hamilton joked that he has "a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness." Hamilton has survived two previous brain tumors and also a bout with testicular cancer.

Tennessee Citizen Action

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Members of his own party are asking Donald Trump to tone down his accusations that next month’s election is rigged against him.

Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett called a special news conference in Nashville Monday to say he sees no evidence of fraud in Tennessee.

Hargett noted that Tennessee’s voting system is not online so can’t be hacked.

ladygaga.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (AP/WMOT) —  Lady Gaga showed that she could rock a club just as hard as arenas, playing a short set at the 5 Spot bar in Nashville Wednesday night.

A small crowd of fans and guests got to hear her perform three new songs from her forthcoming album, "Joanne." Gaga says she'll appear at two more small bars this week, a nod to the album's "raw Americana" vibe and where she got her start

In a statement, Gaga said finding a way to bring people together is important to her.

faa.gov

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has unveiled its new drone system that deputies will use to gather evidence for court cases, detect bombs and find missing persons.

Media outlets report Sheriff Jim Hammond assured the public during a news conference Monday that the equipment will not be used to invade people's right to privacy.

Federal Aviation Administration records show more than 80 law enforcement agencies, colleges and other government agencies across the nation have been granted or applied for permits to fly unmanned aircraft systems.

Tenn. Dept. of Education

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he's concerned that a proposed update to social studies standards would strip too much Tennessee history from requirements in the state's public schools.

A draft version would remove a slew of Tennessee events from U.S. history courses, including major milestones in the civil rights movements for minorities and women and several key Civil War battles fought on state soil.

Haslam says he’s gotten several complaints about the proposals but hasn't yet studied them himself.

dea.gov

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Memphis City Council will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would make it the second major Tennessee city to drastically reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Nashville City Council approved a similar ordinance last month.

The proposed Memphis ordinance would reduce the penalty for possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana to a civil citation or a $50 fine or community service.

ATLANTA (AP) — The pipeline company working to repair a leak that led to gas shortages and higher prices for drivers across the South says its bypass repair is complete.

Colonial Pipeline says it expects to restart its main gasoline line to start flowing agian Wednesday.

Spokesman Steve Baker says crews have been working around the clock to get fuel to markets, and that it will take a few days for the fuel supply chain to fully recover.

The 500-foot bypass will move fuel around a leak that spilled 6,000 barrels of gasoline in Shelby County, Alabama.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Nashville’s Metro Council will vote again Tuesday on a bill to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Memphis is considering a similar move.

John Marek with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws says similar proposals have already passed in more than two dozen other U.S. cities.

Not everyone is onboard with the initiative. Republican State Rep. William Lamberth of Cottontown says he’ll sponsor legislation to penalize the two cities if they move to decriminalize pot.

2B NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The State of Tennessee has received more than 600 consumer complaints about price gouging in recent days amid an ongoing run on fuel.

The Tennessean says the state normally gets about 5,000 such complaints in a year. Some customers have reported seeing prices as high as $9.99 for a gallon of gas.

By law, retailers aren’t allowed to price gouge on essential goods during a disaster.

State officials insist that panicked motorists are creating the shortage by buying more fuel than usual.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say the man accused of placing a pipe bomb in an employee's car outside a Franklin nursing home was trying to kill his estranged wife.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes authorities saying GPS data from 41-year-old Mitchell Oakes' cellphone shows he was in the nursing home’s parking lot when the bomb was planted early Saturday in his wife's vehicle.

The unidentified woman noticed the device a few hours later after finishing her shift at the facility.

Oakes was arrested Sunday on a first-degree attempted murder charge.

vanderbilt.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A Nashville judge says he'll decide next week whether to order a new sentencing hearing for Corey Batey.

Batey is the former Vanderbilt football player convicted of participating in the gang rape of an unconscious student.

Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins sentenced Batey to 15-years in prison, the minimum sentence allowed for convictions on charges of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee lawmakers have repealed an underage drunken driving law that ran afoul of federal zero-tolerance standards.

The Senate passed the measure 31-1 Wednesday morning and the House later followed suit on an 85-2 vote.

The state law, that went into effect in July, raised the maximum allowable blood alcohol content from 0.02 percent to 0.08 percent for those drivers.

Gov. Haslam called legislators into special session to repeal the law to keep Tennessee from losing $60 million in federal road funds.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee State Rep. Jeremy Durham was a rising Republican legislative star, but his increasingly erratic behavior and mounting sexual harassment allegations finally caught up with him.

Durham’s  fellow legislators voted 70-2 yesterday to expel him.

Durham faced a grilling prior to the vote. Rep. Bill Lamerth of Cottontown was visibly angry.

"For God's sake, I want to know, 'Did you do it?'  If you did that affects my vote today.  If you didn't, we all deserve to know."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Following Tuesday’s vote to oust Franklin Rep. Jeremy Durham from his seat in the Tennessee House, lawmakers hope to move on to the reason they convened this week.

Gov. Bill Haslam called lawmakers into a special session to repeal a new state law on underage DUI. The law exceeds national standards, leading to a threat by Washington officials to withhold $60 million in federal road construction money.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Nashville prosecutors want a tougher sentence for former Vandy football player Corey Batey for his part in a gang rape at a campus dorm in 2013.

The Tennessean quotes prosecutors saying 11 emails were sent to presiding judge Montey Watkins prior to sentencing. They believe the emails influenced the judge's choice to give Batey the minimum 15 year sentence for the assault.

Prosecutors are asking another judge to give them access to the emails and a chance to argue for a longer sentence.

A hearing in the matters is scheduled for Thursday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Authorities have released more details about that officer involved shooting in Madison Tuesday morning.

Metro Police say that 38-year-old officer Jason Sweeney confronted an armed man while responding to a shots fired call. Police say 42-year-old Kevin Lillard pointed a gun at the officer during a foot pursuit.

The patrolman fired once, hitting Lillard in the mid-section. Officer Sweeney, who is white, wasn't injured.

Lillard, who is black, was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He’s reported to be in stable condition.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee sporting goods store is selling commemorative t-shirts to raise money for the family of a Maryville Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

Officer Kenny Moats was shot in the neck just above his bulletproof vest Thursday outside a Maryville home as he responded to a domestic disturbance call.

In the days since the 32-year-old officer's death, WBIR-TV reports Pokey's and Sports has sold more than $40,000 worth of t-shirts for Moats' wife and three children. The store expects to sell even more.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A police officer who was fatally shot responding to a dispute between a father and son in eastern Tennessee had been wearing a bullet-proof vest, but he was struck in the neck.

Authorities say Marysville Police Officer Kenny Moats was killed Thursday while responding to the second domestic disturbance call of the day at the home.

The Blount County Sheriff's office says Moats and a deputy were able to get the father to safety and were taking cover behind their vehicles when the son opened fire from the garage, striking Moats from about 70 yards away.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (AP/WMOT)  --  Two scandal plagued Republican State Representatives have lost their seats to primary challengers.

Longtime state Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville lost his West Tennessee seat to carnival operator Mark Lovell by 37 percentage points.

Todd was twice filmed removing opponents' campaign signs during the campaign. A retired Memphis police officer, Todd was convicted in 2011 for drunken driving with a loaded handgun in his car.

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