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Tennessee

April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. NPR's Noel King is traveling to Memphis, Tenn., to report on how the city has changed since MLK was killed.

To do this, we need your help. Are you from Memphis? Is your family from Memphis? If so, please share your story with us.

An NPR producer may be in touch, and we may use your responses to help guide Noel's reporting.

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  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill to require public schools to prominently display the national motto, "In God We Trust."

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  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee attorney general says lawsuits by local prosecutors over the opioid epidemic are complicating his efforts to reach a multistate settlement with drug companies. In response, the prosecutors, who represent about half of Tennessee's counties, say local communities lose out when lawsuits like theirs are rolled into one settlement.

Governor Bill Haslam (R-TN)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday proposed $30.2 million to improve school safety, which the administration says will be spread among mental health, law enforcement safety and education.

Southgate Hot Dog Chili Sauce
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee company has issued a recall of Southgate Hot Dog Chili Sauce distributed in 13 states due to mislabeling.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright won't face the death penalty if convicted of killing him more than seven years ago in Tennessee.

Shelby County prosecutor Paul Hagerman said before a hearing Monday that Sherra Wright won't not face death if found guilty of first degree murder in her ex-husband's shooting death. She has pleaded not guilty.

The Justice Complex, Jonesboro. Taken by KASU Photojournalim-Graphics Designer Intern Cynthia Barnhill
Cynthia Barnhill / KASU Photojournalim-Graphics Designer Intern

The Craighead County District Court is again offering amnesty for some minor offenses, which comes amid a lawsuit filed by a company who has managed the county's probation program for over 20 years.

Arkansas Public Media reported that the Justice Network filed a lawsuit against the county and district Judges David Bowling and Tommy Fowler.  The Memphis-based company claimed that they lost revenue because of the program.

Tennessee State Capitol
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Republican-led House has passed legislation seeking federal approval to ban TennCare payments to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, for non-abortion services.

In 2005, Jaime Mann was cited for several traffic violations in Craighead County — not having insurance, not wearing a seatbelt, and hazardous driving. She was charged about $500. She paid some of it, but then she started racking up fees and fines for the money and community service hours she owed.  

 

"And then it started spiraling out of control, and I was so mad, I remember, because I thought, ‘I paid this ticket,'" she said.

"My time today as your mayor concludes," Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony theft of property amounting to more than $10,000.

The resignation comes after she admitted last month to having an extramarital affair with the former head of her security detail, Sgt. Rob Forrest, that dates back to 2016.

Confederate Park in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Jefferson Davis statue
Thomas R Machnitzki / Wikipedia

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee comptroller's report says Memphis officials followed state open meetings law when they sold two parks to a nonprofit, which removed three Confederate statues.

The report Wednesday also says Memphis followed municipal law by selling the parks in December to Memphis Greenspace Inc. for $1,000 apiece.

Auditors said Memphis didn't make the nonprofit submit a financial stability application. The city said it met with the group to discuss finances and cited three other property sales without applications.

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TRUMANN, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has found probable cause to hold a Tennessee man on $1 million bail pending formal charges in what authorities say may have been a sex-trafficking ring.

Authorities arrested 52-year-old Craig Gillum of Dover, Tennessee, on Feb. 1 in an O'Neill, Nebraska, hotel room where he was found with a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing five days earlier from Trumann, Arkansas.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing legislation to exempt gun safes from the state's sales tax.

At a news conference Monday, Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said the bill shows how the state Senate can find common ground and work in a bipartisan manner.

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis said the bill would help address accidental shootings and gun thefts.

Trumann police car
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TRUMANN, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say a teenager from northeast Arkansas who was missing since Saturday has been found in Nebraska.

Trumann police say the 16-year-old girl was found early Thursday morning in O'Neill, Nebraska. The city is more than 12 hours away from Trumann.

Officers found the teenager with a male from Dover, Tennessee, who police say she met on social media and who officers had been attempting to locate for four days.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Former NBA player Lorenzen Wright's ex-wife has made her first court appearance since she was extradited from California to face charges in his shooting death.

News outlets say Judge Lee Coffee read charges against Sherra Wright during her Thursday arraignment in Memphis - first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Two lawyers who appeared with her said they needed more time to finalize their hiring. Coffee set a Feb. 26 hearing date.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A former Tennessee judge who oversaw a controversial trial about Islam is vying to replace U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

Bob Corlew announced his bid in a YouTube video this week, saying President Trump needs folks that work with, not against, him.

As a chancery court judge, the Mt. Juliet Republican oversaw a 2010 bench trial that was supposed to be about whether county officials violated open meetings law by approving a mosque's site plan.

6-pound bags of Member's Mark Casa Di Bertacchi Italian-Style Beef Meatballs
United States Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regulators say a New Jersey company has recalled more than 3,400 pounds of beef meatballs that may be tainted with a bacteria known to cause listeriosis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced the recall involving Rich Products Corporation of Vineland, New Jersey. The ready-to-eat frozen meatballs were produced Dec. 17.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal audit estimates Tennessee's Medicaid program overpaid managed care organizations by $2.7 million over seven years for patients who were already dead.

A December audit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general says TennCare should recover the money and return a $1.8 million federal share.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, says the city gave its "best shot" in trying to lure the second headquarters for Amazon.

The online retailer released Thursday a list of 20 cities that still are in the running for its second home, which is predicted to create 50,000 new jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion.

Memphis offered $60 million in cash incentives but did not make the cut. Nashville is still in the running.

Winter Weather Advisory Friday, January 12 from midnight to 9 p.m.

Jan 11, 2018

...WINTER WEATHER WILL SWEEP INTO THE MID-SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority welcomed 2018 with a request to about 9 million customers to reduce their power consumption amid cold weather and high power demand.

News outlets across the authority's 80,000-square-mile coverage area report that the power utility had asked customers to conserve energy use, predicting record high demand on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee chairman is rejecting as "categorically false" a report that Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was responsible for a provision in the final tax bill that could help him financially.

In a letter Monday, GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said he was unaware of either Corker or his staff contacting negotiators of the final bill.

Hatch said the provision regarding a tax benefit for real estate had been unveiled by a House chairman Nov. 2 and included in the House version of the tax bill.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee songwriter Lee Thomas Miller is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Congress.

Miller announced Monday he was ending his 7th District campaign about a month after launching it because running for office was causing him to "compromise" himself.

Miller is a three-time Grammy nominee who has written songs for Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Jamey Johnson and Chris Stapleton.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new poll says Tennesseans are more moderate than their neighbors think they are.

In the Vanderbilt University poll Thursday, more than six of 10 people surveyed believed fellow state residents are conservative or very conservative.

Only about half of those respondents described themselves that way, a 14 percentage-point gap between perception and reality. About three in 10 considered themselves moderate. Almost 2 in 10 identified as liberal.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democrat James Mackler says he's dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee to replace Sen. Bob Corker, a move that appears to clear the path to the Democratic nomination for former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Mackler said in a news release he's "stepping back" from the race, but will stay active with a political action committee named Believe in Service. The Nashville attorney and Iraq War veteran says the committee will support federal candidates who will protect and expand national service programs.

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High winds and dry conditions have prompted forecasters to again discourage Mid-South residents from outdoor burning.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the KASU listening area.  Areas under the warning include Northeast Arkansas including Craighead and Greene, all of West Tennessee, and Pemiscott and Dunklin Counties in Missouri.

A wind advisory is also in effect for the area.  Forecasters say wind gusts could get as high as 40 mph.

At least two grass fires have been reported today by Jonesboro E911.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Monsanto has asked a judge to prevent Arkansas lawmakers from banning the use of a weed killer that farmers in several states have said drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.

The Missouri-based agribusiness asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the state from banning dicamba's use while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An analysis has found that substance abuse annually costs Tennessee more than $2 billion, with most of it attributed to lost income from people who've fallen out of the labor market.

Tennessee State Capitol
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Congresswoman Diane Black wants Tennessee's General Assembly and Congress to disclose sexual harassment claims and settlements involving lawmakers and staffers.

Black told The Tennessean Thursday that victims should be released from non-disclosure agreements and Congress and the Assembly should identify perpetrators, but shield victim identities.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Four of the seven major candidates for Tennessee governor are declining to release details of their federal income tax returns.

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