Riders injured in motorcycle crash
The Tennessee Highway Patrol on Monday released details of a Sunday afternoon motorcycle crash which sent both riders to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
Troopers said the 5:21 p.m. crash occurred on Rock Hill Road near the intersection with North Highway 321. Knoxville resident Richard Clark Ford, 49, was operating the 2013 Harley-Davidson with his 52 year-old wife, Kimberly Ford, as a passenger. Both were wearing helmets.
Troopers reported they found the couple lying on the ground near the final resting location of the motorcycle. Ford was riding the motorcycle west on Rock Hill Road, negotiating a curve to the right. As the cycle came out of the curve, it crossed the center line of the roadway and ran off the left side of the roadway, according to a crash report.
Both riders were air lifted to the Knoxville hospital. Mr. Good was listed in critical condition. Mrs. Ford is no longer a patient at the hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.
DUI charges are pending against Mr. Ford, according to the THP.
VFDs battle grass fire on Kidwell’s Ridge
The West Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department, with assistance from the North Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department, responded to a grass fire on Monday that raged from Kidwell Ridge Road to Joe Stephens Road in Morristown.
The fire ran 500 yards on the side of the street adjacent to Cameron Road, burning the front yards of seven homes in the neighborhood. WHCVFD Chief Mark Hickman said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the combination of a disabled vehicle and dry weather conditions likely contributed to the blaze.
“We’re suspecting a tow truck was pulling a car, and sparks were flying off the road into the yards, according to one of the homeowners,” Hickman said. “With the dry conditions, the yards easily set on fire.”
No significant damage was reported to any of the homes whose yards were affected by the fire. The WHCVFD also said no injuries were reported.
Bounty hunters bring wrong man to Cocke County
Cocke County authorities say a man brought by bounty hunters to the local jail from North Carolina over the weekend apparently was the wrong man.
Deputy Lt. David Moriarty said Justin Lynch, 24, was transported from Brevard, North Carolina on a warrant charging him with failure to appear for a court hearing. The man insisted he was not the man that was wanted, saying he had never before been to Cocke County.
Cocke County Jail Administrator Josh Hartsell began to research the situation and found that the previous booking photo of Lynch did not match the man who was brought in, and the description of tattoos also was different. In addition, the fingerprints associated with the original arrest matched a previous arrestee Matthew William Lucas, not Lynch.
As a result, Lynch was released on his own recognizance and is to return to court in November as the investigation into the mix-up continues.
Trooper charged with drunken driving
PARIS (AP) — A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper has been charged with driving under the influence.
The Jackson Sun reports 36-year-old Daryl Veliz was arrested Monday in Paris, Tennessee, and later freed after posting bail.
A Paris police statement says an officer saw a man slumped over in an idling car near a roadway that morning. It says open alcohol containers were in plain view, and a loaded handgun was inside the car. Police say Veliz also did poorly on a field sobriety test. Veliz also was charged with possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test in violation of state law.
State authorities say the trooper was off duty. Now he’s on paid leave pending an internal investigation.
Tennessee lands $660K grant for behavioral health training
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has landed a $660,000 federal grant to expand a behavioral health training initiative to eight primarily rural counties.
A statement from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse says the three-year U.S. Department of Justice grant will expand crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers to Sumner, Wilson, Smith, DeKalb, White, Putnam, Overton and Cumberland counties.
The department says the program is a 40-hour training aimed at improving outcomes of officers’ encounters with people with behavioral health challenges.
Tennessee reports 49 cases of lung injury linked to vaping
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee health officials say they have received 49 cases of serious lung injury in people who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.
The Department of Health said Monday that no single product has been linked to the cases and the specific ingredient causing the lung injuries remains unknown.
The state is recommending Tennesseans refrain from using vaping products as the investigation is ongoing.
The CDC reported earlier this month that the number of vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. has reached about 1,300, with at least 26 deaths. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but others said they vaped only nicotine.
The CDC is advising Americans to refrain from using any vaping products.
AG opinion: New Tennessee law lets felons have antique guns
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee’s attorney general says a new state law allows felons to have antique guns.
An opinion last week by Attorney General Herbert Slatery’s office says the law removed a ban on guns manufactured before 1899, certain replicas and black powder-using muzzleloaders for people convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors.
The bill passed this year without any state lawmakers voting against it. The change took effect in May.
Federal law doesn’t prohibit felons from having antique guns. But a 2015 state attorney general’s opinion concluded that Tennessee law generally prohibited it.
Republican bill sponsor Sen. Kerry Roberts requested the legal opinion. He says the antiquated weapons do not use modern ammunition and said his research found they are seldom if ever used to commit a violent crime.
Woman, 3 kids die in wrong-way interstate crash
SOMERVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a woman was killed along with three children while driving the wrong way on Interstate 269.
The highway patrol says tests have been ordered to determine if Latricia Taylor of Collierville was driving under the influence.
Police say she was driving north on the southbound side of the interstate in Fayetteville County Sunday morning. A tractor-trailer driven by Khaleele Smith was driving south. The report says both vehicles swerved into the same lane and collided head-on, killing Taylor and three children: 9-year-old Kaylan Taylor, 7-year-old Dylan Stokes and 3-year-old Kaylie Stokes.
Police say neither Taylor nor the children were wearing seat belts. Authorities say Smith wasn’t injured. The crash is under investigation.
New Nashville mayor is reversing predecessor on immigration
NASHVILLE (AP) — The new mayor of Nashville is rescinding an executive order by his predecessor discouraging Tennessee’s capital city from cooperating with immigration officials.
The Tennessean reports Mayor John Cooper announced Monday he’s rolling back David Briley’s action, saying it provides “insufficient clarity” for immigrant families and government employees on how to respond to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests.
He’s given the city until Friday to address the order, or risk losing grants totaling more than $1 million.
Briley’s order last month also criticized a Tennessee law that allows the state to withhold funding from local governments if they adopt so-called sanctuary policies restricting compliance with federal immigration requests.
Cooper said he’s now forming a task force to track ICE requests.