Amber Alert issued for missing East Tenn. girl

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. — Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a 9-year-old girl from East Tennessee. Carlie Marie Trent was taken from her Rogersville school Wednesday by her uncle by marriage, Gary Simpson, under false pretenses, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.┬áSimpson has no custodial rights to Carlie. The two are believed to be in a white 2002…

Deputy shoots man while attempting to make arrest

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) – Authorities say a Tennessee sheriff’s deputy shot a man while investigating suspected illegal activity. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that the shooting happened Wednesday evening in Columbia. The TBI says a preliminary investigation has found that the Maury County Sheriff’s Department arranged to meet a male subject as part of the investigation….

Death row inmate challenges evidence to overturn conviction

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – A death row inmate is challenging bite mark evidence used to convict him of a 1992 slaying. The hearing is ongoing this week after the Mississippi Supreme Court last year instructed a lower court to determine if Howard’s arguments justify a new trial. Howard, now 62, was convicted and sentenced to death in the slaying of…

Tennessee man facing new charges over Muslim assault plot

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – An eastern Tennessee man accused of planning to burn down a mosque in a small Muslim enclave in New York is now facing more federal charges. Sixty-four-year-old Robert Doggart pleaded not guilty in July to one charge of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that a grand jury on…

Indictment: Ex-Boy Scout leader sexually abused 5 boys

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A former Boy Scout leader from Nashville has been indicted on statutory rape, sexual battery and other felony counts involving the alleged abuse of five boys. The Tennessean reports the recent indictment says the boys were abused by 44-year-old Darrell G. Fisher, with the abuse occurring between 2008 and 2015. The report says Fisher was arrested…

Man on ATV killed after tree falls on him during storm

MILTON, Tenn. (AP) – Authorities say a 64-year-old Rutherford County man died after a tree fell on him while he was riding an all-terrain vehicle during a thunderstorm. Rutherford County Fire Chief Larry Farley tells media outlets that the man had just finished cutting his yard when a large hickory tree fell on top of him Wednesday evening. Officials say…

Mississippi taxes lag $85M in April amid Revenue Dept. cuts

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi tax collections fell more than $85 million short of expectations in April. Officials say that’s partly because a Department of Revenue staffing shortage slowed the process of depositing checks. Department spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury said this week that 35 temporary mail room workers had been laid off because of budget cuts. That happened just as the…

Jackson and sales tax panel at odds over spending authority

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Jackson City Council is borrowing $11 million for water treatment improvements, but the leader of an oversight commission says the city can’t repay the loan using sales tax money without that panel’s OK. The Clarion-Ledger reports Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber says the City Council has authority to approve spending from the sales tax fund. But…

Tupelo buys lots to encourage new housing in historic area

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – Tupelo’s city government will spend nearly $70,000 to buy five lots, hoping to spark new life in its historic Mill Village neighborhood. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Tupelo City Council unanimously approved the purchase Tuesday. The city plans to clear the lots and resell them to a private developer, hoping to attract as many…

Gulfport: Slabs of Katrina-destroyed buildings being removed

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – A Gulfport city official says the city is making progress toward removing concrete slabs left on empty lots more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina. Several other Mississippi Gulf Coast cities last year instructed property owners to break up and remove slabs left from destroyed buildings. Gulfport Urban Development Director Greg Pietrangelo tells WLOX-TV that of…