JACKSON, Tenn —  Less than two weeks ago the Madison County Democratic party hosted a health care rally, and Wednesday organizers protested again, calling out the U.S. Senate to take action against the proposed American Health Care Act.

Protesters chanted “We do all of this because? We care!.”

Many west Tennesseans lined the Madison County courthouse protesting the GOP’s plans for a new health care bill.

“We felt we needed to come together again as the senate continues to consider this bill and as time gets closer that potentially this bill may be voted on,” chairman of the Madison County Democratic Party, Byron Elam said.

Opponents of the bill urged Tennessee’s two U.S. senators to vote against it. “Senator Alexander and Senator Corker both are good men they mean well, but this bill has got them just wrapped around the Republican mantra that they have to give tax breaks to the wealthy,” advocate, Cindy Boyles said.

The senate has put the health care bill on hold, at least for now. “They weren’t able to get the support that they wanted to pass the bill before the July recess,” Boyles said. “So we feel good about that, but we know that this fight is not over.”

While protesters take the delay as a victory, some Republicans who support the President’s plan to replace Obamacare, say that will change after lawmakers return from break.

“They’ll go forward. I do anticipate a bill passing almost because it just about has to because (the Affordable Healthcare Act) is going to collapse on its own merit,” chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, Mike Peery said.

Democrats argue the proposed American Health Care Act is not in favor of all Americans.

“People’s lives hang in the balance,” Elam said. “And I think Jackson, Tennessee, rural west Tennessee is a poster child for the importance of health care and how disastrous the lack of health care can be upon population.”

More protesters chanted, “If you don’t vote no, you’ve got to go.”

The Congressional Budget Office reports the senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026.

“We’ve got this possible health care bill that will mean that even more Tennesseans will be without health care and people will die as a result of this bill,” Boyles said.

Republican party chairman, Mike Peery said the U.S. Senate is only trying to “fix a system the Democratic party has broken.”

At the end of the rally, protesters gathered for a candlelight vigil, which they say symbolizes those who have died from a lack of health care coverage.

After the short break, senators will reconvene July 10. They will once again try to iron out a plan towards passing the American Health Care Act.

JACKSON, Tenn.-Members of the Campbell Street Church of Christ gathered Wednesday night for their summer community prayer event.

Church members gathered at the Community Montessori School. The event led off with food and fellowship then members of the community gathered together for a time of prayer.

After the prayer, people walked around the neighborhood to share their faith and pray with people around the community.

“We are trying to be a light in the community say, come with us, join us, we think we have the answers to a lot of our problems and again that goes back to Jesus Christ being our, our authority,” said Michael Newsome, facility manager of Campbell Street Church of Chirst.

The next community prayer event will take place on July 12 at West Bemis Middle School.

Weather Update 10:50 PM CDT:

 

Tonight we’ll drop into the upper 60s overnight.  Otherwise it’ll be a quiet evening with a light wind out of the south at 2-4 mph at times.

Tomorrow we’ll warm into the mid to upper 80s for the High temperature. There could be a few isolated storms develop especially along and south of the I-40 corridor tomorrow afternoon. Main threats with isolated storms will be brief heavy rain and maybe small hail with any stronger cells.

The next several days we’ll have chance for storms. Friday night into Saturday we’ll track a cold front into West Tennessee. As of now there could be some strong storms with it. Latest data brings a weakening MCS into NW Tennessee by early Friday Evening, that outflow boundary is then used again Saturday afternoon for additional convection. It’s something we’ll keep an eye on over the next couple days. It is my weekend, Chief Meteorologist Tom Meiners will be on tomorrow to track the latest! I will see everyone on Saturday!

VIPIR 7 Storm Team Meteorologist

Facebook: Moe Shamell
Twitter: @WBBJ7Moe
Email: mshamell@wbbjtv.com

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — Jurors heard contradicting testimonies Wednesday morning in day three of the murder trial in Crockett County in which a man is charged with fatally shooting an elderly woman in 2011. One witness says it was a robbery gone wrong while others say Daniel Parker never said he was involved.

The prosecution’s final witnesses recalled statements they say Parker made at a bonfire in 2011. On the stand, Myranda Austin said everyone at that bonfire was high on marijuana or meth.

“Which part of it stood out to you,” a prosecutor asked. “The part where he said he said he shot the old lady,” Austin, the state’s witness, said.

“Isn’t true that you said you were so [expletive] high that you could have misunderstood and said you did not believe him either?” Parker’s defense attorney David Taylor asked.

“Yes sir, probably did,” Austin responded.

A woman Parker dated during the time says she was told Parker believed investigators were trying to pin a murder on him.

“Remember Daniel telling me that the gun was in his hand, but he didn’t kill anybody,” the state’s witness Sandy Henry said.

After two days of witness testimony, the state rests its case against Parker. The defense team took over, with witnesses telling a different version of this story.

Stephen Baker, the witness who was unable to testify during Parker’s first trial which ended in a mistrial, says no one was high at the bonfire and Parker never made those statements.

“Did he ever come over and talk to you or Crystal about being involved with a robbery or shooting or some killing or anything?” Taylor asked.

“No,” Baker said.

A Crockett County inmate says Dustin Cathey, Parker’s co-defendant, confessed he pulled the trigger.

“As he approached the shed, a light came on in back of the trailer,” defense witness John Anderson said. “And he looked and seen who it was, and he shot the gun ’cause he was afraid.”

Both the defense and prosecution are expected to make their closing arguments Thursday before the jury will be asked to deliberate the case.

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — What better way to celebrate your independence than out on the water?

“It gets crazy out here on the lake, lots of lots of boaters,” boat owner Logan Collier said. “Especially these holiday weekends. There are a lot more boaters than a normal weekend.”

But with more boats and more celebration comes more potential for accidents.

“You’re going to have a lot of kids on the water fishing and bass boats that go really fast, and then you’ve got people drinking alcohol and other boats going fast,” Collier said. “And you know, bad things can happen when you mix alcohol and speed, and water and heat.”

So the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency along with agencies from Mississippi and Alabama have teamed up to keep the waters safe this Fourth of July weekend for the nationwide Operation Dry Water campaign.

“All across the country, officers will be out on the water patrolling, doing extra details to enforce BUIs, or boating under the influence,” said Lt. Ricky Barry of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Boaters we spoke with Wednesday say they’ve witnessed so much drinking and driving while out on their boat over the Fourth of July weekend that they now choose to celebrate on shore.

“People get wild. They get crazy, and safety is not one of their priorities,” boat owner Sandra Hill said. “And for us with families, that’s the most important thing is safety.”

Law enforcement also urges boaters to pay extra attention if out on the water at night.

“We encourage folks to come out on the water, enjoy their time out here,” Sgt. Ray Garton of the TWRA said. “Whether they’re recreational cruising, tubing, water skiing, whatever they’re doing out here, we want them to have fun, but we want them to do it safely.”

The legal limit for driving a boat under the influence is .08. The TWRA says, along with getting seriously injured, getting caught above that can also lead to jail time, significant fines and loss of boating privileges.

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Local law enforcement urges citizens to lock their vehicle doors at night after a sudden surge of auto burglaries in our area.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video in hopes of identifying those responsible.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office has released surveillance video from Saturday in Enville. It shows four males attempting to break into a pickup truck before lights flicker on, causing them to run away.

“Since then we have been canvassing the area that was burglarized, and we’re following up on various leads,” said Chester County Sheriff Deputy Branson Barnes.

Deputies have responded to 13 vehicle burglaries in the last 24 hours, according to a release from Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tom Mapes.

“What’s so amazing is people are not locking up their vehicles,” Mapes said. “I don’t understand it. I can’t imagine 13 people in Madison County not locking their vehicles, but man, they hit them.”

Deputies say the burglaries span from the south to north areas of the county and have involved the areas of Harts Bridge Road, Odell Road, Deep Gap, Misty Ridge, Crooked Creek, Winter Wood, Cambridge, Seven Oaks, Spring View, Eagle Ridge, Holly Hills and Clements Drive.

If you see suspicious activity or have other information about the burglaries, call the sheriff’s office at 731-423-6000 or Crime Stoppers at 731-424-TIPS (8477).

JACKSON, Tenn. — A Tuesday night traffic stop lands a man in court on child abuse and drug possession charges.

Lloyd Ambrose Sr.

Police pulled over Lloyd Ambrose Sr. Tuesday night after authorities say the 61-year-old almost ran into a patrol car at the intersection of Church and Chester streets.

Officers reportedly found 13 marijuana cigarettes along with Amrbose’s two grandchildren in the back seat, one 7 years old and the other 8 years old.

Ambrose is charged with child abuse and drug possession. He was also cited for DUI, according to an affidavit.

JACKSON, Tenn. — First responders from across West Tennessee gathered Wednesday in west Jackson to learn to better serve citizens with disability when disaster strikes.

The workshop gave local paramedics, police officers and firefighters a better understanding of residents who are hearing impaired, hard of hearing and visually impaired and how to approach them in case of an emergency.

Local EMA director Marty Clements says they need the input of those they serve.

“We’ve also asked people to register with us, 911 and dispatch, county fire, if there is someone in a house with a disability or whatever, we want to know they’re there,” Clements said.

Residents can pick up those forms at their local EMA office, police station or fire department and let first responders know ahead of time.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Firefighters encourage people to be careful if they plan to shoot fireworks for the Fourth of July.

“The Excalibur is probably one of our No. 1 sellers,” Payton Murphy, with Capital Fireworks, said.

If you plan to celebrate with fireworks this Fourth of July, know the law in your area. “Consumer-grade fireworks are illegal in Madison County,” Madison County Fire Chief Eric Turner said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks caused more than 15,000 reported fires in the United States in 2013. In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw more than 10,000 people for fireworks-related injuries, according to the NFPA.

“That’s why we recommend you go to see a professionally shot show,” Turner said. “It’s a lot safer for you and a lot more enjoyable.”

Even though fireworks are illegal in Madison County, workers at the fireworks stand in Medina said they still get a lot of customers from there.

Murphy said they post the dates and times when fireworks are allowed in Medina. “Just so they don’t get in trouble, they don’t have their neighbors calling the cops on them or anything like that,” he said.

Get caught shooting fireworks in Madison County and Turner said you could face a fine. In Jackson, police said violating the fireworks ordinance could result in a citation and up to a $50 fine plus court costs.

The Madison County Fire Department will host its annual Firefighters Freedom Festival on the Fourth of July at McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport. Gates open at 3 p.m. Live music begins at 5 p.m. The fireworks show kicks off around 9 p.m.

JACKSON, Tenn. — One of two men said to be behind an April armed robbery at Old Medina Market was arraigned Wednesday.

Rickey Wallick

An affidavit says Rickey Wallick told officers he drove another man to Old Medina Market on April 19 where he pointed a .380-caliber handgun at the clerk and demanded money.

Police reportedly found the two at a Milan residence with a gun, a large amount of cash and a vehicle that matched witness statements.

Wallick faces one count of aggravated robbery.

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