NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House has passed a bill that would allow two Nashville bars to serve alcohol for 23 hours a day.

The House approved the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Sanderson of Kenton on Monday. It would require liquor service to cease only between the hours of 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

The measure would apply to the Diner in Nashville’s Broadway entertainment district and the Scoreboard Bar & Grill in the Opryland area.

Under current law, liquor-by-the-drink service must be halted between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m.

The owners of the Diner say they want to cater to service industry workers who get off work late and to serve as an overnight room-service option for hotels.

The measure is ready for a Senate floor vote.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House has cleared legislation to publicly disclose Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probes into deaths from officer shootings.

The House voted 91-0 Monday to open the investigative records into deaths from a shooting by law enforcement. Senators previously passed the bill 30-0. It soon heads to Gov. Bill Haslam.

The records currently are exempt from public disclosure, though some district attorneys general have moved to release some records.

The bill by Democratic Rep. G.A. Hardaway of Memphis says the records would become public after local prosecutors finish their role in the cases. It affirms that prosecutors can release them beforehand.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said he has no issue with opening up the files.

The bill would apply to officer shooting deaths that occur after the law takes effect.

 

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — “We got up around 5:30 and started working on the garage, getting it cleaned out, stuff moved upstairs, so it would be above the water level,” Bonnie Seawright said.

Seawright says she’s lived in Hardin County along the Tennessee River all of her life and has seen what flood waters can do to her home.

“When you live on the river — and people that have never lived on the river don’t understand — it can come up in four hours, six hours and be upon you,” Seawright said.

The Hardin County fire chief and EMA director said the Tennessee River has risen about seven feet since Sunday morning due to heavy rainfall, but the potential flood risk may have just begun for residents.

“The forecast is even if it’s sunshine and doesn’t rain a drop, it’s still going to flood here,” Fire Chief Melvin Martin said. “So the forecast is from the rain that has already happened in Chattanooga.”

Residents say it’s a numbers game when it comes to a potential overflow of the river, and to pay attention to how high the water rises.

“Somewhere around 378 is when you need to worry — 378/380 — about 380’s the worst time. You need to do something then,” Hardin County resident Stanley Cupples said.

Besides protecting your homes, Chief Martin also reminds people of the phrase “turn around, don’t drown.”

“The big thing we want to get out also is, if a road is flooded, don’t drive through the road,” Chief Martin said.

The chief said Coffee Landing Road is just one of the roads that is predicted to be underwater by Friday. He says to check the Hardin County Fire Department website for updates on all road closures throughout the county.

Officials said you can also use the website to keep track of the Tennessee River level.

JACKSON, Tenn. — State agencies spend Monday cleaning out streams, basins and wetlands clogged by trash.

Each year around Earth Day, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation picks a project to focus on.

“We have to get this cleared up today, so we’re working with the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Jackson field office, so we’ve got probably 20 or 30 people out here,” West Tennessee River Basin Agency Executive Director David Salyers said.

“Make this place safe for nature, for the animals — we’ve encountered several snakes today,” Sue Verbiest with TDEC said. “Other birds and wildlife really don’t need to mix with human trash.”

You never know what you might find when you’re wading through these areas.

“They could be driving down Highway 45 or anywhere near here and throw out a piece of trash, and with storm water and the rain runoff, it ends up in our streams,” environmental scientist April Caudill said.

Scientists encourage others to empty trash at convenient centers to keep it from getting swept away by flood waters.

This project was sponsored by the city of Jackson, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the West Tennessee River Basin Agency.

JACKSON, Tenn. — In a better look at some of the local flooding, this video captured Monday afternoon at the Forked Deer River, near the Jackson Fairgrounds Park along Highway 45.

On Monday, the area received well-needed relief from a weekend of rain. However, many that live along or near bodies of water in West Tennessee will have to be on the lookout as water levels rise over the next few days.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Students at the University School of Jackson had another successful year with their Math-A-Thon, setting a new record for the north Jackson school.

In just three weeks, fifth grade students raised more than $73,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

That amount breaks an all-time record amount raised by the school in 2015.

 

MILAN, Tenn. — The stress level in some area schools is a little higher than usual as students begin their state-issued standardized tests.

A host of problems led to the cancellation of testing all together last year. But so far, administrators said it’s been smooth sailing this year.

“They are super prepared. They are excited,” said Janon Cagle, a fourth-grade teacher for Milan Elementary school. “One of my kids told me today that they didn’t even need to take the test because they knew way more than the test actually had.”

Cagle said the assessments bring in some components the TCAP test didn’t, so preparing her fourth grade class for a different kind of test has been crucial.

“It is a lot different than the TCAP, which is a little nerve wracking,” she said. “They have not experienced this type of format.”

School officials say the old TCAP tests featured multiple-choice answers only. But now students can select multiple answers and write an essay for the TNReady.

Last year, a crashed server and delayed paper tests led the state to cancel the assessments. But the director of Milan Special Schools said they haven’t experienced any issues yet this year.

“Testing materials arrived on time, they’ve been distributed and everything has been there,” Director Jonathan Criswell said. “Everything has run smoothly so far in our district.”

He also says despite classroom preparations since last August, getting students ready starts at home.

“Get them in bed early, allow them to get up, have a good breakfast,” he said. “Come ready and be prepared to show what they’ve learned throughout the school year.”

The TNReady tests started last week with student testing continuing through the end of this week.

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn. — In a story we first brought you in July, a group of students from Kentucky built and sent off a weather balloon, and it was supposed to land just a couple hours later in West Tennessee, but they never found it — until last week.

The high school students were a part of a group project in the Governor’s Scholar Program.

“They advised us that they were going to be launching this balloon with different telemetry items and cameras, and they expected it to land in Weakley County,” Weakley County EMA Director Jamison Peevyhouse said. “The day of the launch, we tried to track it, and we weren’t able to find it that day.”

Nearly 10 months have gone by with no one really knowing where the balloon landed or what happened to it, until last Friday.

“The unit came back online, reported its location, and we drove out to the reported location, searched for it about 20 minutes and we were able to find it,” Peevyhouse said.

What caused the battery to come back to life we may never know, but the video recorded on the two-hour trip was out of this world.

“It actually landed in the cornfield while the corn was probably about two feet tall, which is probably why we couldn’t find it,” Peevyhouse said. “They actually cut the corn on top of it, and it was still laying there in several pieces.”

Peevyhouse said they will get the cameras and footage back to John Woodward with the program later this week.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – A fire at an apartment complex in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has left residents of 12 units displaced.

News outlets report that the Sunday fire is under investigation. Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Ashley McDonald says the fire started on the third floor of a building and spread to the attic. The apartments sustained fire, smoke and water damage, but no injuries were reported.

Firefighters arrived at about 4:45 p.m. and had extinguished the bulk of the fire by 6 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Daryl Alexander. Crews were expected to remain on the scene to monitor any potential hot spots.

McDonald says the cause of the fire is still unknown. The owners of the complex are working to house displaced residents.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says she isn’t interested in a plan by activists to create a civilian review board for the Metro Nashville Police Department.

WPLN-FM reports (http://bit.ly/2q6WsgS) there have been demands to create a civilian review board since 31-year-old Jocques Clemmons was fatally shot by a Metro Police officer on Feb. 10. A coalition of grassroots activists have proposed a 13-member volunteer board would oversee and arbitrate complaints brought against the department.

Mayor Barry says there are other ways to create a well-disciplined, professional police force. She says she favors outfitting officers with body cameras over “wrestling power from the police” with an independent oversight board.

The body cameras have a proposed $50 million cost. Activist Arnold Hayes says the board would cost Nashville about $1.8 million per year.

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