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Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary housed some of the state's most notorious criminals including James Earl Ray, the man who shot Martin Luther King Jr. But now a place you once never wanted to go will soon be a place for fun and entertainment. Local 8 Now reports that on Wednesday the state handed over the keys to the penitentiary to the Morgan County Economic Development Board. It's long awaited step towards a promising future for one of the state's most notorious prisons. The new Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary will be a little bit of something for everyone including a distillery, RV Park, concert venue, Bed & Breakfast, museum, gift shop and horse stables. They hope to hire more than 300 people to get it started then add more positions as they need them. The project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2016. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)
Knoxville State Representative Joe Armstrong is proposing legislation to install seat belts in all Tennessee school buses. According to Local 8 Now, the proposal is gaining favor with both Democrats and Republicans. Reportedly, the proposal would include installing seat belts on all new school buses, but phasing them in on buses already on the roads to help defray the cost. However, not everyone is on board with the idea, though. Representative Bill Dunn, a Republican for District 16, said this proposal has been brought up before, and studies showed seat belts aren't proven to be a cost-effective way to help save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done studies on this issue in the past. Several years ago, it recommended increasing safety standards for bus riders, including installing seat belts, but those regulations were never mandated.
The Cumberland County Commission in regular session on Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing the execution of contracts with AMK Services for enhancements and replacement of the existing P25 digital radio system. AMK has proposed changing the way the signals are distributed and adding additional tower locations. The enhancements were previously approved by the Emergency Services Committee at a cost of $2.2 million dollars. Representatives of AMK say the project will take about 12 months to complete with a large portion of that time being spent in acquiring the proper FCC licensing. The vote to approve the contracts was 15 in favor, 2 commissioners absent and Commissioner Tom Isham voting against, saying the system is too expensive to maintain and suggested looking at a return to a VHF analog system.
The results are in and the City was victorious in both the Salvation Army “Cops For Kids” and “Firefighters For Kids” challenges. The yearly competition pits the Crossville City Police Department against the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department; and the City Fire Department against the County Fire Department to see which departments can ring the bell and raise the most money for the Salvation Army. Norma Phipps and Trisha Steinman congratulated all the departments on what they said were very close competitions. But in the final tally, the City departments earned the bragging rights and will each display trophies until next year’s friendly competition to raise money for children in Cumberland County and the Plateau region.
Crossville Babe Ruth is now accepting sign-ups for boys age 13-16 through March 2. Applications are available at the Crossville Parks and Recreation office, Dunham Sporting Goods and all nine county schools. Fees are $45 for each player or a maximum of $135 per family. Mail the completed from with the fees to Babe Ruth Baseball, 326 Lincoln St., Crossville, TN 38572 or drop them off at the Crossville Parks and Recreation office on Industrial Blvd. League organizer Gaylord Harrison indicated he needs 45 players or 15 per team. There is also a need for coaches. Evaluations will be March 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at Garrison Park A. For more information or to be a coach, call Gaylord Harrison at 484-3554.