Local News

Tenn. House Passes Bill Calling For Monument to 'Victims of Abortion'

The Tennessee House has passed a bill that calls for a monument to unborn children to be placed on the state capitol grounds.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law, private funds would be raised for a monument to victims of abortion.

The House passed it by a vote of 63-15 this week following a brief debate that got so heated that Speaker Beth Harwell had to demand order.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jerry Sexton, a Republican from Bean Station.

Democrats from Nashville demanded to know why there was a need for such a monument because there is a memorial for children who have died at Centennial Park.

Sexton said that, unlike the park memorial, the capitol monument would be for those who were never born.

Finalists Named For Director of Greeneville Schools

Only two candidates remain to be the next Director of Schools in Greeneville.

The city schools board of education Thursday night whittled down a field of seven to just two finalists- Dale Landers, the principal of East View Elementary School and Steve Starnes the superintendent of Hawkins County Schools.

The two men will have final interviews on Wednesday night, after which a vote will be held on which man will be selected.

Bristol (VA) City Schools Faces $500K Budget Cut

Some big cuts are on the way for Bristol Virginia City Schools, but this time, the lack of funding isn’t coming from Richmond.

Superintendent Keith Perrigan sent a letter to parents and teachers this week, notifying them of a possible half-million dollar cut in funding, including a City Council budget proposal that would include a $300K cut to money that was already requested.

He said cuts will be expansive and across the board, from cutting band and choir to field trips, to cutting employee benefits and salaries. He said while the state has finally increased funding, they’re now facing “a recommendation to take it away.”

Tennessee Sees Increase in Rape, Murder Rate in 2017

Tennessee’s murder rate went up around 7 percent last year compared to 2016, that according to data released Friday by the TBI.

Other crimes also increased statewide- drugs and narcotics violations were up 5 percent, there was a 3.2 percent increase in rape. People under the age of 18 accounted for 6.4 percent of all arrests statewide.

There is a bit of good news, though, as DUI arrests dropped from 2016 to 2017.

Lane Closures Expected on Volunteer Parkway Later This Month

Get ready for some big traffic headaches in Bristol, TN starting later this month.

Construction is set to begin over the next couple weeks along Volunteer Parkway between the English Street and Hill Street/Holston Avenue intersections just south of downtown Bristol.

Crews will be replacing a retaining wall along the west bank of Beaver Creek. Lane closures will be in place on the northbound side of the parkway- it’s expected to take around 6 weeks to complete.

Mountain Music Museum Taking In Historic Fiddle On Loan

A rare fiddle believed to have once been owned by the late country music star Roy Acuff will be exhibited at a Tennessee museum after it was nearly sold at a Goodwill auction earlier.

WBIR-TV reports that owner Lamar Peek, of Missouri, is loaning the fiddle to the Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport, where it will go on display May 1.

Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas had put the donated fiddle up for auction in December, but after bidding began, a member of the family that mistakenly donated the fiddle asked to have it returned.

Virginia Getting $10M in Federal Grant Money To Fight Opioid Crisis

Virginia will receive nearly $10 million in federal grant money to help combat the opioid crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday its second year of funding through the Opioid State Targeted Response program. Virginia is getting $9.76 million.

A press release says recipients used the first year’s funding to implement medication-assisted treatment, promote prevention strategies as well as the use of the antidote naloxone, and build sustainable recovery support services.

Virginia’s health commissioner declared the state’s growing opioid addiction problem a public health emergency in November 2016.