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A White County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with fraudulently claiming that she was pregnant in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the White County Sheriff’s Office, announced the arrest of Tonya Gist, 34, of Sparta. Gist has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and theft of services. An indictment accuses her of fraudulently submitting a positive pregnancy test in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Theft of services over $1,000 is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway is prosecuting. (Photo Courtesy tn.gov)
A Morgan County teenager has died after his dirt bike was hit by an SUV shortly after 6 a.m. Monday (1/26/15). The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports 17 year old Aaron Gunter was killed in the accident which occurred on Highway 62 at the intersection of Mountain Road, in the Petros-Joyner area. The THP said Sharon Morton was blinded by another vehicle passing in the other lane and did not see Gunter on his bike, which reportedly did not have headlights or taillights. Authorities also said the road conditions were wet and dark at the time of the accident. According to reports, the Morton was not injured in the wreck and is not facing any charges. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is making several more stops around the state to promote his Insure Tennessee plan to extend health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income people. On Tuesday, the governor heads to Walker Comprehensive Health Center in Clarksville, followed by a discussion at Cherokee Health Systems in Chattanooga on Wednesday. Local 8 Now reports that Haslam wraps up the statewide swing on Thursday, with visits to Johnson City Community Health Center, Highlands Medical Center in Sparta and the Primary Care and Hope Clinic in Murfreesboro. The governor has called a special session on his health care proposal that begins on Feb. 2.
The executive committee of the Tennessee Republican Party plans to meet next month to discuss a proposal that would change the primary election process. GOP leaders will discuss whether to pass a resolution that would require voters to register with their political party before casting a ballot in primary elections, and they could only vote for candidates identifying with the same party. For example, only those registered as Republican can vote for Republican candidates. Those in favor of the change have requested a special called meeting on the proposal on February 7 in Nashville.
A foundation helping national parks is giving $15,000 to help with a trail reconstruction project in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Local 8 Now reports the Richard Haiman National Parks Foundation made the gift to help restore the Alum Cave Trail, one of the park's most popular hiking paths. The foundation will also give $3,000 to upgrade the park's backcountry privies. The park plans to close the Alum Cave Trail and parking lot Monday through Thursday from May 4 through Nov. 19. Work will include repairing the cable handrail system, improving trail drainage and stabilizing trail sections that are eroding down slope. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)