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Rescuers from Cumberland County assisted crews from Clay, Overton and Barren Counties in the recovery of a drowning victim on Dale Hollow Lake. Officials say that a man and his son were swimming in the lake on Saturday near the Kentucky state line and Trooper Island when the father went under the water and never resurfaced. The son was rescued by a passing boat. The father’s body was not found until Monday afternoon following and extensive search by divers. The victims’ names were not immediately released.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday addressed the criticism it has received for not immediately issuing an AMBER Alert for a missing Florida girl. That girl, 4-year-old Rebecca Lewis was found Monday in Memphis along with the man who allegedly took her. At issue is that the TBI refused to send out a statewide alert on Sunday after being contacted by officials in Florida.
In its defense, the TBI says when it receives such a request from another state it must have credible information that the suspect is planning on bringing the child to Tennessee. The TBI claims that Florida authorities said they did not have any reason to believe that Rebecca Lewis and her alleged abductor West Hogs were headed to Tennessee. Florida authorities also said that Hogs had no known criminal history. The TBI says under the circumstances an AMBER Alert could not be issued, however, the Bureau says that state law enforcement were immediately notified to be on the lookout for the man and child.
An AMBER Alert was issued Monday after a credible sighting in Campbell County. The little girl was later found unharmed in Memphis on Monday afternoon.
The TBI points out that Tennessee was not the only state to make the decision not to issue an AMBER Alert when first asked. Additionally, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York were asked to issue an AMBER Alert. Based on the information relayed at the time, those states also denied the request.
But not everyone is satisfied with the TBI’s explanation for not immediately issuing the alert. In a press conference on Monday, Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd said, “Here’s a news flash, Tennessee. She was there.”
Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced that the 2015-16 graduation rate of 88.5 percent is the highest on record since the state changed to a more rigorous calculation of graduation rates in 2011.
The latest statewide graduation rate was up nearly a full percentage point since last year and overall has increased three percentage points since the state implemented the more rigorous calculations. This year, nearly 60 percent of districts saw their graduation rates increase or stay the same when compared to last year’s rates.
12 districts improved their graduation rates by five percentage points or more. The districts with the most significant gains were Alvin C. York (18.1 percent), Tullahoma City (11.6 percent), Trenton Special School District (11.1 percent), and Grundy County (10 percent).
95 districts—over 70 percent of the districts in the state—have graduation rates at or above 90 percent, up from 81 districts last year. Fentress County, Alcoa City, South Carroll Special School District, Milan Special School District, Meigs County, and Crockett County all had graduation rates at or above 99 percent.
76 districts—roughly 60 percent of districts in the state—had graduation rates at or above 90 percent for both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
More information, such as graduation rates for individual subgroups, will be available on the State Report Card, which will be released later this fall.
A new report sheds lights on the millions of additional dollars announced earlier this year by the state for teacher salaries in Tennessee.
According to The Tennessean, the state Comptroller of the Treasury report explains that when Gov. Bill Haslam said in his State of the State address that he was putting $105 million into the Basic Education Program for teacher salaries, it didn't necessarily mean raises for educators statewide.
That's because the report says local school districts get to decide how to spend that money on positions, whether it be through employee raises or on hiring new staff.
The report states that because the BEP is a formula for funding education, rather than a spending plan, increases in BEP dollars don't necessarily mean larger paychecks for every teacher.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Defensive lineman Danny O'Brien was dismissed from the Tennessee football team for violation of team rules, according to a UT spokesperson.
In a news release, officials said the dismissal was not related to the injury he suffered against Texas A&M.
If O'Brien needs additional medical care, a spokesperson said it would be provided by the University of Tennessee.
This is not the first time O'Brien has found himself in trouble for a violation of team rules. As a red-shirt Junior back in September of 2015, O'Brien was suspended for an unspecified violation of rules. The defensive tackle would serve a 2-game ban before regaining a spot on the UT roster. At the time coach Jones said he, " understands the parameters and guidelines."
O'Brien was seeing significant playing time on the interior of the Vol defensive line prior to getting hurt against the Aggies Saturday in College Station.
He flew back with the team Saturday night. On Monday coach Jones said the big thing was that we wanted to be there for him and for his family and that his status, from an injury standpoint, was day to day.