Tennessee agencies have $121M in military surplus
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Since 1993, Tennessee law enforcement agencies have received more than 41,000 military surplus items worth at least $121 million, much of that going to the state's smaller cities and counties.
According to a Tennessean report based on data from the state Department of General Services, the Washington County Sheriff's Office leads the pack at $9.7 million in equipment. It is followed by the Loudon County Sheriff's Office, Livingston Police, Parsons Police and the Coffee County Sheriff's Department.
There are 31 mine-resistant trucks in the state, including in Lebanon, Gallatin and Hendersonville.
More than 300 M-14s and M-16s have been distributed to Tennessee agencies through the surplus program.
Over the past nine years, Tennessee has moved from 47th in the nation to the top 10 in acquiring military surplus.
County officials look for overcrowding solution
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - Madison County officials are trying to find a solution to overcrowding at their juvenile detention center.
One suggestion is to construct a new facility that could cost at least $10 million, but it would also include new courtrooms and offices.
Juvenile Court Judge Christy Little told The Jackson Sun the new facility should have 32 to 40 beds. The current center has seven beds and one cot.
When the center is full, Little has to send children to Murfreesboro or Columbia, where there is plenty of room. This costs the county thousands of dollars, and Little believes it will continue costing the county more because there is limited space at the detention center.
However, some county officials say the just don't have the millions of dollars needed for the construction.
STILL WALKING TALL
Officers mark 40 years since Buford Pusser's death
SELMER, Tenn. (AP) - Officers and constables from all over West Tennessee met at the McNairy County Fairgrounds on Thursday to honor the legacy of Buford Pusser.
The Jackson Sun reports the inspiration for the "Walking Tall" movies is still a legend in this area.
During Pusser six years as McNairy County sheriff beginning in 1964, he was shot and stabbed as he tried to rid McNairy County of organized crime. His wife, Pauline, died in an ambush in 1967. Pusser died in a car crash seven years later. Friends and family still believe the crash into an embankment that killed Pusser was no accident.
Officers gathered on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of that crash included Savannah Police Department Sgt. Allen Shelling, who said Pusser was in inspiration to him.
Tenn among states participating in DUI campaign
ATLANTA (AP) - Law enforcement officials in six states are launching their 23rd annual "Hands Across the Border" campaign aimed at catching motorists driving under the influence.
Sunday is the official start of the six-day campaign, which includes law enforcement agencies in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Police, sheriff's deputies and state troopers will be setting up checkpoints near their state borders and will also be on the lookout for drug offenders, fugitives, drivers with outstanding warrants and those driving without a license.
Authorities note the legal blood alcohol limit in every state is .08.
Tennessee officials appeal Occupy Nashville ruling
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two high-ranking Tennessee officials are asking a federal appeals court to rule that they did not violate the rights of Occupy Nashville protesters who were arrested on War Memorial Plaza in October 2011.
A lower court last year ruled against Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and former General Services Commissioner Steven Cates. The judge found Cates and Gibbons violated protesters' rights after issuing a last-minute curfew for the plaza, then arrested those who refused to leave.
State attorneys argue it was Gibbons' and Cates' job to protect state property and maintain order.
Because Gibbons is married to 6th Circuit Judge Julia Gibbons, all the judges in the circuit have recused themselves. A panel of three judges from other circuits will hear arguments in Cincinnati on Monday.
159th returns 118 soldiers from Afghanistan
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - The 159th Combat Aviation Brigade has brought 118 soldiers home to Fort Campbell after a nine-month tour in Afghanistan.
The Leaf-Chronicle reports the soldiers returned to the sprawling base on the Tennessee-Kentucky line on Saturday. They were welcomed by friends, family and recently arrived deputy commander for support Col. Frank W. Tate, representing the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) command group.
Capt. John Giaquinto is a spokesman for the 159th. He says the soldiers conducted a "multitude of missions" in Afghanistan.
He says they provided aviation support for American troops and helped Afghan troops with their missions as they take the lead.
And he says the unit is on track to return everyone home alive.
The returns continue with more flights arriving next weekend.
Tenn. drugstore punished for missing pills
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Smyrna drugstore's license has been suspended by the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy after investigators discovered thousands of doses of opioids missing.
The Tennessean reports that Corder's Community Pharmacy Inc. was shut down this month, according to a pharmacy board order.
The action came after law enforcement filed a complaint against the drugstore.
Investigators for the pharmacy board found that Corder's was short 5,841 of the 8,000 hydrocodone pills it received from its wholesaler since January.
The Murfreesboro Pain Management Clinic also surrendered its license as the result of another state investigation. And a doctor and pharmacist were put on probation for prescribing drugs to a friend or family member without proper documentation.
The actions are part of a crackdown by state licensing boards aimed at curbing addictions to prescription medicines.
Rebuilt Tenn. bridge could be open by November
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee transportation officials say a Middle Tennessee bridge demolished after a fatal tanker explosion is expected to be rebuilt by November.
The Tennessean reports that construction crews expect bridge beams for the Interstate 65 overpass will be ready to be set by early October.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says the bridge would then be set to reopen by Nov. 27 if weather cooperates and correct materials are available.
Two bridges in Franklin were damaged beyond repair when a tanker carrying gasoline slammed into one of the bridges and exploded. The driver died from the wreck.
The road's original bridge was torn down recently, while the second bridge is set to be torn down the weekend of Sept. 15. TDOT says construction on the second bridge will begin sometime in 2015.
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