University of Memphis Silent on Whether it Will Allow Player Who Plead Down Nine Gun Charges Back on Basketball Team

Mikey Williams Basketball

The University of Memphis (UM) would not say Saturday whether it plans to allow Mikey Williams, a star basketball player, to return to the team after he pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony gun charge in order to avoid prison time. 

According to several reports, Williams pleaded guilty to one felony count of making a criminal threat stemming from am April shooting outside his California home. 

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DOJ Joins ACLU In Attacking Tennessee over Law Meant to Stop Spread of HIV

Gay Couple

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that the enforcement of a Tennessee law meant to prevent the knowing spread of HIV violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, according to a DOJ press release. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”

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Tennessee State Senator Says Crime Is ‘Out of Control’ in Memphis

State Senator Brent Taylor Fox News

A Tennessee State Senator joined “Fox & Friends First” Friday morning to discuss violent crime in Memphis, which has been the subject of national news and viral videos in recent weeks. 

“It’s really bad here, Todd,” State Sen. Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) told Fox News’ Todd Piro. “The crime is really out of control here in Memphis. Matter of fact, just last week I sent a letter to the governor asking him to send in additional state troopers to Shelby County. Just in a weekend, Todd, we had 21 shootings, five murders, four smash-and-grabs, we had a FedEx truck stopped in traffic by a group of people that then opened up the back of the truck and looted the back of the FedEx truck.”

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TBI Identifies Remains of Another Cold Case Victim

Betty Lou Wisley

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) identified the remains in yet another cold case victim, according to a Thursday press release from the organization. 

Betty Lou Wisley, born on December 30, 1935 and originally from Clinton, Missouri, was identified as the Jane Doe whose body was discovered on August 29, 1987 in Roane County. Wisley had been dumped behind a dumpster. 

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Lawsuit Challenges Legality of New Tennessee Election Integrity Law

Voting Booths

The League of Women Voters – Tennessee (LWVTN) filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of a new law that requires Tennessee primary voters to be affiliated with the political party whose primary elections they plan to vote in, according to a Wednesday news release. 

“The League of Women Voters of Tennessee and Tennessee voters Victor Ashe and Phil Lawson filed a federal lawsuit today challenging state laws that require voters to be ‘bona fide’ members of a political party to vote in the state’s open primary elections,” the release says. 

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DOJ Announces New Resources to Help Memphis Fight Violent Crime

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will provide more resources for Memphis, which is battling a wave of violent crime and has already broken its annual homicide record. 

“Violent crime deprives communities of a fundamental sense of security in their own homes and neighborhoods,” said Acting Assistant Attorney Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in a DOJ press release. “This violent crime initiative will bring additional tools and resources used to investigate and prosecute violent crime and apply those tools to gangs and groups who are harming and disrupting communities here in Memphis.”

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With Homicides on the Rise, Tennessee to Honor Victims in ‘Season to Remember’

The Tennessee Board of Parole announced Tuesday that it will honor homicide victims with a “Season to Remember” event that is scheduled for December 7.

“For more than two decades, state and local public safety officials, along with families of homicide victims, have gathered to honor and remember victims and survivors of homicide during the holiday season,” said a press release. “This year will mark the state’s 21st annual ‘Tennessee Season to Remember’, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, December 7 at First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville.”

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Logistics Company Expanding Knoxville Headquarters, Adding 650 Jobs

A logistics company will located in Knoxville plans to expand and add 650 employment opportunities, a news release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNEDC) says. 

According to the release, Axle Logistics will invest $37.9 million to expand logistics operations at its Knoxville headquarters. It will reportedly construct an 85,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its existing facility in order to “better meet the ongoing growth it has experienced since its founding in 2012.”

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‘Known Street Racer’ Arrested After Meetup Causes $100,000 in Damages

A street racer has been arrested after a meetup that he allegedly organized caused more than $100,000 in damage to a Nashville street. 

“A known street racer has been charged with felony vandalism after allegedly facilitating an unsanctioned meetup earlier this year on Airpark Center Drive East that caused more than $100,000 in damages,” the city of Nashville said in a press release. “Austin Scott, 25, of Murfreesboro was arrested by [Tennessee Highway Patrol] in Rutherford County on the outstanding warrant after being identified as a suspected lead organizer for Night Riderz.”

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Chattanooga Trucking Companies Forced to Pay Fine for Asking Immigrant Applicants to Prove Legal Status

A Chattanooga trucking company will be forced to pay the federal government $700,000 for what the government says were discriminatory hiring practices. 

“The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a $700,000 agreement with Covenant Transport Inc. (Covenant), as well as the affiliated entity Transport Management Services LLC (Transport), two transportation logistics and long-haul trucking companies headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” said a press release from the Department of Justice. “The agreement resolves the department’s determination that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by routinely discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers when checking their permission to work in the United States.”

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Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Up 14 Percent, Study Finds

Turkey Dinner with all the Trimmings

According to a University of Tennessee (UT) study, American families will be spending more on this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. 

A team from the university, led by Professor and Consumer Economics Specialist Ann Berry, surveyed grocery store pricing for Thanksgiving staples between November 1 to November 8, “including turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, English pea salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and rolls.”

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Nashville, Business Owners Looking for Public Feedback on Traffic Reduction Plan

The city of Nashville in conjunction with a group of business owners is seeking feedback on a plan to reduce traffic in the metro area. 

Connect Downtown is a joint project by the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT), WeGo Public Transit, the Nashville Downtown Partnership, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), whose goal is “to improve mobility and address traffic congestion in the downtown core.”

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Tennessee Department of Labor Pushing Apprenticeships During National Apprenticeship Week

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TNDOL) is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, which began Monday and runs through Friday. 

“It’s National Apprenticeship Week. [Gov. Bill Lee) talks about the importance of apprenticeships in creating a critical pipeline of skilled workers in Tennessee. The Governor also signed a proclamation marking this as Apprenticeship Week in Tennessee,” the department said in a Monday video posted to X, formerly Twitter. 

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Knox County Sheriff Says Viral TikTok Challenge Lead to Officer-Involved Shooting

Knox County’s Sheriff said in a Tuesday press conference that a shootout between two teens and his deputies, the result of a car theft, stemmed from a TikTok challenge. 

“This case involved a TikTok challenge where you steal a vehicle, drive it for a day or two and then ditch it,” Sheriff Tom Spangler said in the press conference. “Some of the TikTok challenges that are out there are pretty disturbing. I’m sure that if some of our parents were aware of some of the things that are going on, I hope it would be safe to say they wouldn’t be real happy about that.”

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FBI Working with Knoxville Police to Crack ‘Anti-Trans Banner’ Case

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly been called in to help the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) solve a pressing case involving a banner being left outside the Knox Pride Center.

On Monday morning, according to a police report filed by a complainant named John Camp, someone hung a banner outside the Knox Pride Center reading “Kill Count 3 Whites Kids 3 White Adults.”

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TBI Joint Operation with Federal Law Enforcement Results in Locating 13 Child Victims of Human Trafficking

blonde girl outside

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in conjunction with federal and local law enforcement completed an operation in Memphis to rescue 13 children who are suspected victims of human trafficking. 

Participating in the operation, which was called Operation Not for Sale, were the United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Memphis Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Force and Organized Crime Unit, and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services’ Absconder Unit and Human Trafficking Response Team, according to a release. 

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Father of Belmont Freshman Killed in Nashville Says Violent Criminals Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Return to Streets

The parents of Jillian Ludwig, an 18-year-old freshman at Belmont University who died after being struck and killed by a stray bullet in Nashville, appeared on “Good Morning America” Friday morning and called for criminal justice reform.

Ludwig’s killer, 29-year-old Shaquille Taylor, had a lengthy rap sheet for violent crimes, and in 2021 was released back onto the streets after being deemed mentally unfit to stand trial on a felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge. 

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Teacher, Assistant Principal Arrested for Allegedly Paddling Student

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), a Jackson County school administrator and teacher have been arrested for their respective roles in allegedly paddling a student. 

“At the request of 15th Judicial District Attorney General Jason Lawson, on October 10th, TBI special agents joined the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children’s Services in investigating a complaint of an assault of a student in a Jackson County elementary school,” said a TBI release. 

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YouTube Censors Babylon Bee After Sharing Covenant Killer Manifesto

Alphabet-owned YouTube is censoring The Babylon Bee after the publication shared the leaked partial manifesto of Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who shot and killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville in March. 

“Normally we’re flagged for misinformation, incitement, or hateful conduct. This is our first ‘violent criminal organizations’ policy violation,” said Seth Dillon, CEO of The Babylon Bee, Wednesday on X, formerly Twitter. 

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Belmont University Freshman Not Expected to Survive After Being Struck by Stray Bullet in Nashville

A Belmont University freshman who was shot in the head in Nashville Tuesday afternoon is not expected to survive, according to multiple reports.

“An 18-year-old female Belmont [University] student from NJ was very critically wounded by a gunshot [Tuesday] afternoon while walking on the track in Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park,” the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) said on Twitter Tuesday. “The gunfire came from public housing across the street. Investigation active.”

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‘Tennessee Three’ Silent After Covenant Killer’s Anti-White Manifesto Leaked

Three of the most prominent Tennessee Democrat lawmakers who used Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s mass shooting at The Covenant School to push a left-wing gun control agenda offered no response to Monday’s revelation that Hale’s crime was motivated at least in part by anti-white racial animus. 

State Reps. Justin Jones (D-Nashville), Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) and Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) did not return The Tennessee Star’s Monday comment requests seeking a reaction to the manifesto’s partial release. 

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Tennessee Far-Left Gun Control Activist Announces Race Against GOP Whip

A far-left gun control activist announced earlier this week that she will run against Tennessee House Majority Whip Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville) in the state’s 45h House District. 

“I’m a mom, former teacher, and gun violence prevention advocate who is ready to fight for our kids. Join the movement today,” said Alison Beale Wednesday on X, formerly Twitter, imploring followers to visit her website to donate to her campaign. 

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BREAKING: First Page of Alleged Hale Manifesto Leaked

The alleged first page of The Covenant School shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s now-infamous manifesto, which has been hidden from the public since the mass killing in March, was leaked to the public Monday. 

Conservative podcaster Steven Crowder said early Monday morning that he would release the document on his daily show, “Louder With Crowder” at 10 a.m. The contents of the partial manifesto surfaced online shortly before the show aired. 

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Wants to Remove 50,000 Pounds of Litter During ‘No Trash November’

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is encouraging residents statewide to participate in its annual No Trash November, with the goal of picking up as much litter as possible from Tennessee’s roadways.

“Litter on our public roads is detrimental to safety, the environment, and the economy, while also detracting from Tennessee’s natural beauty,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a press release. “We want to ensure our roadways are safe from the harmful effects of litter, especially with the upcoming holidays and increased travel.”

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Pro-Hamas Socialists Plan Saturday Rally in Washington, D.C.

A coalition of far-Left groups are organizing a number of protests in major U.S. cities across the country in solidarity with a national march on Washington, D.C. on Saturday to demand a “ceasefire” in Gaza. The move comes after four weeks of marches, protests, and demonstrations in support of vicious surprise attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas militants on October 8th.

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Centrist Party ‘No Labels’ Says They Will Not Support Down Ballot Candidates if Granted Access in Tennessee, But May Back a Presidential ‘Unity’ Ticket

A described “radical centrist” party that is seeking ballot access in Tennessee will not run candidates lower than the presidential level if granted that access. 

“We are pleased to potentially have No Labels on the ballot in Tennessee for the 2024 presidential election,” Ryan Clancy, chief strategist at No Labels, told The Tennessee Star. “We will not offer our ballot line to candidates for any office other than the presidency. We’re just creating an opening for an independent Unity presidential ticket if that’s what the people of America — and Tennessee — want and need.”

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Centrist ‘No Labels’ Party Attempting to Get on 2024 Tennessee Ballot

According to multiple reports, the centrist No Labels Party is attempting to gain access to ballots across Tennessee for the upcoming 2024 election cycle.

Veteran political operator Ryan Clancy is the chief strategist of the group, and it boasts support from high-profile figures like former Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan, former Democrat Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory, and former Democrat Senator Joe Liebermann of Connecticut.

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Tennessee AG Skrmetti Sues Biden Administration Over Withheld Federal Funds During Abortion Battle

After the Biden Administration bypassed the state of Tennessee completely and decided to give the state’s Title X funding directly to Planned Parenthood in September, Tennessee’s attorney general is taking action. 

“We are suing to stop the federal government from playing politics with the health of Tennessee women,” Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter. “Our lawsuit is necessary to ensure that Tennessee can continue its 50-year track record of successfully providing these public health services to its neediest populations.”

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Voluntary Recall of Kroger Collard Greens Announced After Tennessee Department of Agriculture Investigation

A company from Georgia is voluntarily recalling collard greens sold in Kroger supermarkets in Tennessee after the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Consumer and Industry Services Division (CIS) found possible contaminants during a routine investigation. 

“Baker Farms of Norman Park, GA is voluntarily recalling a single production run of Kroger 16-ounce bagged Collard Greens, due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

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ACLU Suing Tennessee over Law That Punishes People Who Knowingly Spreading HIV

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on X, formerly Twitter, that it is suing the State of Tennessee over a law meant to prevent people from knowingly spreading HIV.

“BREAKING: We’re suing Tennessee for their ‘aggravated prostitution’ statute that targets people with HIV with harsh punishment and lifetime sex offender registration. This law is unconstitutional and disproportionately affects Black and transgender women,” the group said Tuesday afternoon. “The law elevates engaging in sex work from a misdemeanor to a felony based on someone’s HIV status – a protected disability.”

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Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Highlights New Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is highlighting a new anti-human trafficking team, which was formed as part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat the practice. 

“We’ve had over 500 reports since the beginning of the year,” Kate Greer, the Director of the Human Trafficking Response Team, which is part of DCS, reportedly said. 

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Attorney General Skrmetti Leading Coalition of More than 40 States in Suing Meta over Children’s Mental Health

Tennessee’s Attorney General is leading a bipartisan coalition of 42 states in suing Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, alleging that Instagram causes mental health harms to its young users.

“Meta has known for years that Instagram causes psychological harm to young users,” said General Skrmetti in a Tuesday press release. “Rather than take steps to reduce or disclose the harm, Meta leaned further in to its profit-maximizing approach that hurts kids.  Targeting kids with a harmful product and lying about its safety violates the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. Meta knows every last design decision that made Instagram addictive to kids and that means it knows exactly how to fix the problem. We’re suing to make the company fix the problem.”

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Tennessee Republicans: Far-Left’s Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza ‘Embarrassment,’ ‘Abhorrent’

Members of Tennessee’s federal congressional delegation Monday slammed some of their Democrat counterparts who have called for a ceasefire in Gaza after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel.

“The fact that some of our leaders are calling for a ceasefire instead of supporting our ally Israel is an embarrassment,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) told The Tennessee Star Monday. “There is no compromising with the animals who brutally murdered innocent civilians and targeted women and children. Hamas is a terror group, and we should treat them like one.”

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Knoxville Man Convicted for Providing Support to ISIS

A Knoxville man was convicted for attempting to provide material support to ISIS, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

“On Oct. 19, following an eight-day trial, a jury convicted Benjamin Carpenter, 31, of Knoxville, Tennessee, aka Abu Hamza, of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization,” the release says. 

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Hamilton County ‘Queer Activist’ Substitute Teachers Busted in Prostitution Sting

According to several reports, a “queer and trans activist couple,” both of whom were employed as substitute teachers in Hamilton County Schools, were cited on prostitution charges after an August sting operation. 

A police report says that 22-year-old Ezra Fry and 25-year-old David Acevedo were cited in late August, and that Chattanooga Police Narcotics and Vice Detectives carried out the undercover prostitution sting.

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Nashville NAACP President Suspended for ‘Undermining’ Organization

The President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Nashville has been suspended by the group for allegedly undermining the organization’s principles. 

“The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President/CEO Derrick Johnson has suspended former NAACP Nashville Branch president Venita Lewis for actions that under mind [sic] the mission and work of the NAACP. Her behavior provided cause for the suspension and her membership removal from the organization,” said a statement from the NAACP Tennessee State Conference. 

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Rep. Burchett Says Lobbyists Are Fighting Rep. Jordan for House Speaker

A member of the U.S. House of Representatives said Wednesday that Washington lobbyists are to blame for holding up the election of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) as Speaker of the House. 

“Since the lobbyist (K STREET) are coming out full force AGAINST [Jordan] I know I made the right decision voting for him,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) said Wednesday morning on Twitter/X. 

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