Five Memphis IRS Employees Charged with Defrauding over $1 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds

Five current or former IRS employees in the Memphis area have been charged with defrauding federal Covid-19 relief programs after spending relief money on Mercedes, Gucci, and trips to Las Vegas.

U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz, for the Western District of Tennessee, said, “These individuals-acting out of pure greed- abused their positions by taking government funds meant for citizens and businesses who desperately needed it. I thank our law enforcement partners for rooting out this fraud. Our office will not hesitate to pursue and charge individuals who steal from our nation’s taxpayers.”

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Metro Council Approves Mayor John Cooper’s $50 Million ‘Housing First’ Plan Tackling Homelessness

The Nashville Metro Council voted on Tuesday night to approve Mayor John Cooper’s $50 million four-part “Housing First” plan to address homelessness.

Following the Metro Council’s approval, Mayor Cooper issued the following statement, “I am grateful to Council for overwhelmingly approving my $50 million plan to get our most vulnerable off the streets and into the stable housing. Homelessness is a decades-old challenge for Nashville, and I believe the size, scope, and sophistication of this plan meets the magnitude of the problem.”

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Mass Resignation Leaves One Officer on Jacksboro Police Force

Tennessee’s Jacksboro Police Department has one officer remaining on the police force after Chief Jeremy Goins and several officers abruptly resigned Monday morning.

“Yesterday, we had four police officers turn in their guns and badges and walk off the job. They were not fired, and they did not formally resign; they walked off the job,” City Attorney Stephen Hurst told The Tennessee Star.

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‘Right to Work’ Amendment to Tennessee Constitution Allows Union Opt-Out

The citizens of Tennessee will have the opportunity to vote to add a “right to work” provision into the state constitution on election day this November 8.

Constitutional Amendment 1 would amend Article XI of the Tennessee Constitution to add:

It is unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or this state or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.

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1,000 Memphis First Responders Will Newly Qualify for Benefits from 1978 Pension Plan, Pending City Council Approval

The City of Memphis announced Wednesday that roughly 1,000 first responders will qualify to take part in the city’s 1978 pension plan, pending the Memphis City Council’s approval.

“I am happy to say that we have agreed with the association to provide those firefighters and police officers who currently do not qualify for the 1978 pension plan  – those hired since July 1, 2016, and all future hires – to have the option to choose the 1978 or the 2016 pension plan beginning July 1, 2023, subject to city council approval. Currently, there are about 1,000 firefighters, police officers, and dispatchers who would qualify,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.

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Tennessee Textbook Commission Requests Additional Staff Following Passage of Library Materials Law

The Tennessee textbook commission expressed their need for additional staff and an attorney, following the library materials law, requiring schools to catalog and publicize their list of library and classroom materials.

Director of Schools for Bradley County and Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission chair Linda Cash spoke to the legislative subcommittee that the law has added a lot of work “to people who already have a full load.”

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Memphis City Council Discusses the Enforcement of Curfew for Minors Under 18 Years Old

During a public safety committee, on Tuesday, The Memphis City Council discussed strictly enforcing the Memphis curfew for children 17 and under.  

Vice Chairman Martavius Jones said, “Juvenile Crime has spiked over the years…I commend our men and women in blue for all that they are doing. However, the things that are on the books, we definitely want to make those things happen…One thing that we do know, if they are in the house, a lot of this wouldn’t be happening. If they [children] were at home, under parental supervision, some of these things wouldn’t be happening.”

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Georgia-Pacific Announces $425 Million Investment in Jackson, Tennessee

Georgia-Pacific announced Monday that it would invest at least $425 million to construct a Dixie manufacturing facility in Jackson, Tennessee.

Fernando Gonzalez, Georgia-Pacific’s president of consumer business, said, “Although we have invested to expand existing sites, this is the first new Dixie plant the company has built since 1991. This added capacity will help us meet the needs of our customers as consumer demand for high-quality, durable paper plates and bowls continues to grow.”

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Number of Firearms Stolen This Year from Vehicles in Metro Nashville Will Soon Top 1,000

According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, this year, 998 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville, Tennessee, including 17 guns, stolen from vehicles last week.

In a video posted by the MNPD, Chief of Police Chief Drake said, “It’s become a disturbing trend, and it needs to stop; guns being stolen from vehicles. Criminals are continuously checking door handles, ready to steal, and if guns are left visible, they will do whatever it takes to break in. It takes just seconds for someone to grab your gun and go. Stats from this year shows a tremendous increase in guns being stolen from vehicles.”

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Representative Cepicky and Senator Hensley Request Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to Put Hold on Landfill Development Plans

State Representative Scott Cepicky and Senator Joey Hensley announced that requested the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to hold off on plans to put a massive landfill in Maury County, Tennessee.

In a letter to the agency, State Representative Scott Cepicky stated, “Myself and others have concerns about the new permitting at the Monsanto land. It’s been almost 10 years since we fought the mega dump in Maury County. We must protect the duck river and our water source for southern middle Tennessee. Senator Hensley and myself have sent this letter to the TDEC asking for everything to slow down and perform town halls in Maury County to get the opinions of the locals. We will stay on top of this from the state level making sure everything in process is transparent.”

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Uncle Dave Macon Days Returns to Murfreesboro October 7

Uncle Dave Macon Days returns to Murfreesboro for a root’s music celebration held October 7-8 at the Fountains in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Christian Hidalgo, producer of the Uncle Dave Macon Days documentary stated, “Everyone associated with this world-class festival is very excited to see it come back to Murfreesboro after being off for a couple of years. Old-time music lovers from all over the world have made this one of the most exciting events in the southeast.”

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Knoxville Neighborhood Initiative Receives $40 Million Federal Grant for ‘Transformation’

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) was awarded a $40 million federal grant for a plan dubbed, “Transforming Western Heights,” aimed to improve the area with more affordable housing and access to transportation.

“Transforming Western truly represents a collaborative effort after 14 months of intensive community engagement,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said in a press statement. “This plan is a synthesis of the dreams and ideas of the residents, community members and stakeholders, and will transform Western Heights and the Beaumont neighborhood into a community where families and residents can thrive.”

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Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents of Suspicious Mail as Unknown Powder Is Tested

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to the public Thursday to be aware of packages containing an unknown white powder sent by mail.

In a social media post, the Sheriff’s office said, “Many of you have seen this post being shared on Facebook, and we wanted to confirm that it is legit. If you receive a package like this, do not open and please contact us.

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Shaterra Reed Marion Appointed as Judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims

Shaterra Reed Marion was appointed as a judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Memphis, by new Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator Troy Haley the state Department of Labor & Workforce (TDLW) announced Wednesday.

“Shaterra Reed Marion will be a welcome addition to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Memphis. She has the heart of a public servant and, as a judge, I know she will be fair to all parties and reflect the values for which the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims is known,” Haley said.

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Memphis Record Pressing Predicted to Become North America’s Largest Producer of Vinyl Records

Memphis Record Pressing, located in Bartlett, Tennessee, is predicted to be North America’s largest producer of vinyl records by next year. Producing around 130,000 records a day, Memphis Record Pressing will produce over 10 million records this year.

Brandon Seavers, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Record Pressing, said, “It’s a humbling experience for me, and for Mark as well, to see where we are today. Literally every day when I drive up, I say, ‘This is not real. There is no way that we are manufacturing a legacy, analog format/medium in the 21st century, and we’re actually breaking ground and constructing a new facility to do this.”

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Tennessee SBA Director LaTanya Channel Tapped by Mayor Cooper to Run Newly-Renamed Office of Economic Growth and Small Business Development

Mayor John Cooper announced that effective October 3, LaTanya Channel will serve as director of the refocused Mayor’s Office of Economic Growth and Small Business Development, previously known as the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development.

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Hillsdale College Releases Statement to ‘Correct Factual Inaccuracies and Oft-Repeated Falsehoods in the Media’ About Its K-12 Education Work

HILLSDALE, Michigan- Hillsdale College has released a statement to provide answers to common misconceptions about its work in K-12 education and the nature of the relationship between Hillsdale College and the schools with which it is affiliated.

The statement has been released, following the appeal of American Classical Academy Rutherford to open a charter school in Rutherford County, Tennessee after the denial of their application by the Rutherford County School Board earlier this year. American Classical Academy intends to use curriculum provided by Hillsdale College and was launched with the financial assistance of Hillsdale College.

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