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SAVANNAH, Tenn — The Hardin County Tigers bowling team are one of the best bowling teams in the state of Tennessee. It seems as if every year you can pencil them in to make it to the state finals.

For the girls, their seeking their fourth straight team title while the boys are seeking their first ever. But head coach of the boy’s team, David Channel knows he has a special group on his hands.

“Well the boys are 19-0 going in and the girls are 18-0, so they’ve worked very hard all year long,” Channel said. “The key to us being where we’re at right now is our spare shooting ability and as long as we can continue to make spares, we should do pretty good.”

Coach Channel talked about what it would mean to win it all.

“For the girls to win their fourth in a row, that would be huge,” Channel said. “For my daughter Ashley to win her fourth in a row is unheard of. For the guys to win, it’s very possible and we got a great young team and I really want to get that win.”

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee State Library and Archives recently awarded more than $300,000 in technology grants to 114 public libraries across the state, and they did not leave out Jackson Madison County, who received a grant of $8,800.

“Videos, books, computers, newspapers; there can never be enough money spent on it,” says Jackson resident, Frank Ridley.

“I look up different information about history and just stuff that I need to know about filling out applications resumes; a whole lot of good stuff,” says Jackson resident, Mark Johnson.

And library employees told us, they already have big plans for the funds.

“MakerBot 3D Printer, were getting some RV Goggles, were getting green screen and AV equipment,” says Zoe Pride, Technology Service Manager at the Jackson Madison County Public Library, “were also getting a Microfim scanner for the Tennessee room.”

Staff we spoke with at the Jackson Madison County library say the community classroom is where most of the technology they hope to receive from the grant will be available for the community.

Currently computer classes are taught there, but the library is hoping, with the addition of new technology, it will offer an endless amount of opportunities.

“…possibly even think about even getting a career in that field. To be able to work with the technology and play with the technology. Something that they would not normally be able to do,” says Pride.

Either way, when it comes to the library.

“Its a wonderful place to be,” says Johnson

The grant is funded by Tennessee State Government and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. And those funds are then matched by the local government of the recipient.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jurors heard emotional testimony Wednesday during day two of the trial for a man charged in the deaths of an Arkansas State University football player and his stepfather.

“I started helping him fight,” Chermaine Owens-Shivers testified.

Owens-Shivers broke down in court Wednesday remembering the night police say two gunmen shot and killed her son, Markel Owens, and husband, Johnny Shivers, in January 2014.

Owens-Shivers said she tried to help her son fight off one of the gunmen. “I was just trying to take the gun away from the other guy,” she said.

Johnny Wade, on trial for felony first-degree murder, listened and took notes during testimony.

Chermaine testified she initially identified someone else as a possible shooter. Jonathan Shivers, Markel’s brother and Johnny Shivers’ son, pointed at Wade and identified him as one of the shooters.

“He was the guy that waved the gun at me and shot my brother,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan said he heard one of the suspects talking after hearing gunshots. “Cuz’ you shot me,” Jonathan recalled hearing.

Chermaine testified one of the gunmen had on something orange. Jonathan told the court the other gunman wore black and orange shoes.

Surveillance video from Regional One Medical Center in Memphis appears to show an injured man wearing an orange shirt come in the same night of the shooting. A man wearing black clothes and what appears to be orange shoes helps him in. Police said one of the suspects was shot.

A Jackson police officer also testified they found marijuana inside the home.

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — A fill-up at the gas pump could increase for drivers. On Wednesday morning, Gov. Bill Haslam proposed a 7-cent raise per gallon in gas prices.

It’s an increase some in Madison County including Commissioner Gary Deaton call unnecessary.

“They’ve got a fund for the highways that they’ve had for many years,” Deaton said. “If that fund was totally spent on highways, we would probably be in better condition than we are today, but they’ve robbed it a couple of times, and I’m not sure they’ve ever put it back.”

Haslam said the tax would pump into the state an extra $278 million each year and would cost the average driver about $4 extra a month.

It’s an increase some in West Tennessee say they could live with.

“If they’re going to fix the roads, yeah, I’d be willing to,” driver David Early said.

Others said taxpayers are running on fumes as it is.

“Raising prices for gasoline, taxing for road repair is ridiculous,” driver Bill Grubaugh said. “I think they need to outsource other avenues. Taxes are high enough as it is.”

Haslam said there are 962 projects in Tennessee’s 95 counties that need to be completed.

Deaton hopes West Tennessee will become a priority.

“It doesn’t appear that they’ve made Madison County a priority as they have in other parts of the state. That’s always bothered me,” Deaton said.

Haslam also said this proposal would allow 95 percent of the state’s projects to be under construction within six years of being passed.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Police are investigating after a convenience store clerk found what appears to be an electronic skimmer device attached to a fuel pump.

The Jackson Police Department provided this photo of the device.

The device was found at a store on North Highland Avenue near Interstate 40, according to a release from the Jackson Police Department.

“Skimmers” can be used to steal debit and credit card information from unsuspecting customers.

Police did not release the name of the store or when the device was found. They say as of Wednesday no crimes have been reported in connection with the device.

The devices are known as “skimmers” and are used to covertly gather information to commit identity theft, according to the release.

Police advise the public to be aware of these types of crimes. They recommend keeping an eye on your accounts for any suspicious activity.

If you see any unauthorized activity on your account, police say to immediately notify your financial institutions as well as law enforcement.

Anyone with information about this or any other crime is urged to call Jackson police at 731-425-8400 or Crime Stoppers at 731-424-TIPS (8477).

You also can submit a tip online at www.jmcrimestoppers.org or by text message by texting CRIMES (274637) with the keyword “tips 911” along with your tip.

Weather Update – 6:15 p.m. Wednesday

Scattered showers have begun to develop in the Mid-South mainly south of West Tennessee and across the Mississippi River in Northeast Arkansas. Expect these to continue to develop this evening with more rain overnight.

Tonight will be mild with temperatures only dropping to the upper 40s and lower 50s. Remember, our average low temperature is 28°F and our average high temperature is 48°F during this time of the year! Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible tonight – especially after midnight.

Rain will continue to come and go through most of the day tomorrow. Most of West Tennessee has a chance to get 1″-2″ of rainfall but a few areas will get less than that. Either way, keep that umbrella handy tomorrow! There’s a small chance for a strong to severe thunderstorm in southwest Tennessee near the Tennessee River.

Warm weather is forecast for the end of the week with high temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s on Friday and Saturday! Another wet pattern of weather is expected to set up over the weekend. Stay tuned to WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for the latest forecast and with the VIPIR 7 Storm Team on-air and online for more updates!

Tom Meiners
Storm Team 7 Chief Meteorologist, CBM
Twitter – @WBBJ7TomMeiners
Facebook – facebook.com/WBBJ.tom.meiners
Email – tmeiners@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. — Civil rights pioneer Rev. Jesse L. Douglas started the week celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at a program hosted by the Lane College chapter of the NAACP. His visit to Jackson came to an end Wednesday with a special celebration honoring Dr. King.

“This is a great day in the life of Lane College,” College Historian Ameera Graves said. “It’s a testament to what we produce. We produce excellence.”

Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered to hear Douglas speak.

Douglas is not only a 1959 graduate of Lane College. He also had a significant role working with Dr. King to form the Selma to Montgomery March. Douglas also created voter registration drives in Alabama.

“I had the privilege of working with him about eight years,” Douglas said.

“This is a call for students to start studying and reading,” Graves said. “Because we can’t appreciate Rev. Douglas’ contributions if we don’t have context, if we don’t know what the Voting Rights Act is.”

Douglas said although the assembly is to commemorate the life of Dr. King, he hopes students will leave the event knowing to always strive for excellence and put education first. For some students, it was their first time hearing someone speak who had a major impact in civil rights history.

“I never thought that I would be able to have this opportunity to hear him speak, but I’m just grateful that I’m here and I do get to see a little part of history,” student Mariah McCullough said.

Douglas said if there’s one piece of advice he would give everyone, it would be the following. “Stand for truth, and never let hate overcome love. Love is the most powerful power in the world, because God is love.”

Lane College presented Douglas with an Outstanding Civic Leader award.

The people in this gallery were booked into the Madison County Jail between 7 a.m. on 1/17/17 and 7 a.m. on 1/18/17.

Their inclusion only indicates they were booked into the jail and does not indicate guilt.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing to raise Tennessee’s tax on each gallon of gasoline by 7 cents while cutting the state’s sales tax on groceries and income from earnings on stocks and bonds.

Haslam says average motorists would pay an extra $4 more per month as part of his plan to generate $278 million annually in new money to pay for road projects around the state.

The governor says he would balance the gas tax increase with proposed cuts of $55 million in the sales tax on groceries, $113 million in corporate taxes for manufacturing companies and $102 million in the Hall tax on investment income.

Haslam also wants to tie the gas tax to inflation and let cities seek a sales tax surcharge to pay for transit projects.

JACKSON, Tenn. — An escaped prisoner from Crockett County is back in police custody after missing for more than 24 hours.

Jeffery O’Neal Patterson

The search for escaped inmate Jeffrey Patterson, 29, is over Wednesday, thanks to a tip called in to Jackson Crime Stoppers. U.S. Marshals and Jackson police found Patterson hiding at his girlfriend’s house in east Jackson. Marshals say the couple refused to come out so officers had to force their way inside.

U.S. Marshals say after entering the home on Washington Douglas Circle, Patterson and his girlfriend, 28-year-old Tazara Alexander, were arrested and transported to the Crockett County Jail.

According to Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce, Patterson was a trustee inside to jail but didn’t have clearance to work outside when he escaped Monday night.

“Around 8:15, around that area, he mingled in with the trash crew and just walked off, basically,” Klyce said.

The sheriff says he is going to be more involved in the selection process of inmates becoming trustees so investigators and jail administrators are on the same page moving forward. Patterson was behind bars for aggravated burglary and his previous escape. He was just four months away from a parole hearing.

Tazara Alexander

“I think it was pretty stupid to walk off when you’re so close,” Klyce said.

Alexander faces a facilitation of escape charge after picking the inmate up in Bells and bringing him to Jackson. Felony escape will be added to Patterson’s current charges.

Sheriff Klyce says jailers knew Patterson was missing after about 15 minutes and that he was confident Patterson would be captured.

“Relieved that nothing happened, nobody got hurt or anything like that,” Sheriff Klyce said. “That’s the main relief.”

The sheriff says Patterson didn’t give a reason why he escaped from jail. He is currently serving seven years, but his new escape charge will be considered when he has his parole hearing in four months.

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