INVESTIGATION INTO SMYRNA NISSAN EMPLOYEE'S DEATH
Investigators are looking into the accidental death of a career Nissan employee, Sunday. Authorities say Michael Hooper, age 43, died early Sunday morning in the Body Assembly area of the Smyrna plant. Hooper was a 21-year veteran at the facility. His death marked the second fatality at the plant in two months. A Nissan spokesman says the company is working with safety authorities to investigate the incident. A contract employee died in late April after he was struck by an electrical panel. Since 2010, the Nissan Assembly Plant has logged three workplace safety complaints and one referral to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
RESTRAINING ORDER EXTENSION DELAYS LAY-OFFS
A Nashville judge has delayed plans by the Haslam administration to eliminate more than 200 workers in two government departments. Davidson County Circuit Judge Amanda McClendon extended her temporary restraining order against the firings for another week, saying, she wasn't ready to rule on the challenge brought by the Tennessee State Employees Association. Lawyers for the workers say the state has violated law in the lay-off process. They say the state hasn't provided employment counseling or offered information about other jobs that may be available. About 70 workers in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development are being terminated. Another 126 employees in the General Services Department are also being laid-off.
CITY GOVT. MOVE TO BAN PSEUDOEPHEDRINE SALES
Officials in Franklin County say they are moving to crack down on the sale of a cold medication used in making illegal methamphetamine. Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young says individual city governments in the county are in the process of voting on ordinances that would ban over-the-counter sale of pseudoephedrine. Young says state law now requires that cold medication containing the ingredient must be placed behind the counter and buyers must register for the drug. But, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports lawmen say Tennessee is on the path to reclaim the title as the nation's top meth production state. Sheriff Tim Fuller says counties in Missouri have limited pseudoephedrine sales to prescription only. Franklin County's move to limit the drug to prescription-only is the first in the state. Fuller says he's working with neighboring counties to enact a similar ban.
NO MAJOR CHANGES EXPECTED IN TENN. DUI LAWS
The Chairman of a State House Committee charged with overseeing DUI laws says he doesn't expect major changes to the legal limit for drinking and driving for at least three years. Representative Tony Shipley, a Kingsport Republican, says the cost of implementing a tougher standard must be considered. The anti-drunk driving group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or "MADD" is pushing to lower the legal alcohol level from .08 to .05. Shipley says lawmakers, next year, will likely focus on tougher sanctions against drivers who mix booze with prescriptions. A new law effective July 1 expands the state's ignition interlock program to first time DUI offenders with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher.
MANCHESTER ALDERMEN MEET IN REGULAR BOARD SESSION
Manchester aldermen are expected to approve a road maintenance contract with the state, during a regular board session set for tonight. Each year, the city agrees to be reimbursed by the state for upkeep of highways in the city limits including Routes 41, 55, and 53. Aldermen also expected to approved on second reading, an ordinance that would spend more than $1 million to expand the Greenway Project in the downtown area. The agenda also lists consideration of a $40,000 design project for a proposed soccer complex. The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 PM at City Hall.
REP. DESJARLAIS RELEASES FINANCIAL REPORT
4th District Congressman Scott Desjarlais says his personal wealth ranges from $370,000 to just under $1 million. The Jasper Republican released a broad financial report, as required by law, last Friday. Desjarlais lists 14 assets including bank and retirement accounts. His largest single holding is a share in the Medical Arts Plaza in Jasper. He values his interest in the clinic between $100,000 and $250,000. He lists liabilities including a first and second mortgage on his home, ranging from $165,000 to $400,000. Desjarlais also reports a bank credit line of $30,000 to $100,000. His district includes Franklin, Bedford, Rutherford, Grundy, and Warren counties.