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Tennessee lawmakers have approved a nearly $35 billion annual spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1, sending the measure to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.
While hot button topics like social issues and guns tend to draw much attention during the legislative session, passing a balanced budget is the chief responsibility for members of the General Assembly.
The Senate voted 32-1 in favor of the budget on Thursday, while the House approved it on an 87-7 vote.
Lawmakers spent much of this week hammering out agreements over smaller budget items, while leaving intact most of the spending plan the governor proposed at the start of the session.
One last-minute change approved by lawmakers was a 17 percent cut in the Hall tax on income from stocks and bonds.
A FedEx employee may be more cautious about where he takes his naps after he was accidentally shipped to Texas. The unidentified employee fell asleep in the loading area of a plane bound for Texas and woke up mid-flight surrounded by packages. According to reports, he knocked on the cabin door and spoke with the pilots. They instructed him to sit in the cargo hold until the plane landed. The man was questioned upon landing and FedEx says that neither the plane nor the employees were ever in any danger.
On April 14, 2016 several officers along with other city employees received recognition with the City of Crossville Police Department. The awards were presented during the City Council meeting, to recognize agency members who go above and beyond what is required in their job descriptions as well as going the extra mile to help protect the citizens of our community.
Listed below are the Officers of the Month for March, 2016:
Sergeant Dustin Lester K-9: On 3/13/16, Sgt. Lester made a drug bust at the Red Roof Inn, on 3/15/16, he was involved in a vehicle pursuit that turned into a foot pursuit when it ended in Roane County, where Sgt. Lester prevented the felon from “Car-jacking” another vehicle; and on 3/16/16, Sgt. Lester and his K-9 partner Mojo, tracked the I.D. thieves from the Verizon Wireless arrest, listed next.
Master Patrol Officer E.J. Williams: On 3/16/16 MPO. E.J. Williams investigated two suspicious males at the Verizon Wireless store, which led to the capture of a fugitive from the Dominican Republic, the seizure of computers, a credit card reader and equipment for creating credit cards. After the men ran away from the business, Sgt. Lester deployed K-9 Mojo for a successful track, capturing the suspects.
Sergeant Tim Vandever: On 3/14/16, Sgt. Vandever, while off duty shopping at Lowe’s, observed a thief exiting the store with merchandise. During a scuffle with the thief, in the parking lot, City of Crossville Public Works employee Jeremy Derosset went out and assisted with the apprehension. A special thank you and a separate award were presented to Derosset.
Senior Patrol Officer D. Coleman: On 3/16/16, Crossville Fire Department employees were conducting fire safety checks at Stewart Place Apartments, where they observed some suspicious activity. SPO. Coleman arrived and his investigation led to a search warrant and the discovery of a large amount of drug activity. A special thank you and a separate award were presented to the Fire Department.
Master Patrol Officer Matthew Green: On 3/17/16, MPO. Green investigated a stolen vehicle, subsequently recovering the vehicle and arresting the thief who had stolen it. On 3/22/16, he responded to and solved a burglary at Old Jamestown Apartments. MPO. Green was able to identify, locate and arrest the thief.
The Crossville City Council voted down a motion to hold public comment before the meeting, and a motion to rescind currently adopted rules that forbids public comment during discussion on a motion. Mayor James Mayberry made the motion to move public comment with a second from Pamala Harris. Harris stated that she supported the move in hopes of returning decorum and tact to the meetings. Council member Pete Souza opposed the effort, calling it a token attempt to appease those that had been denied the right to speak. The motion failed in a 2-3 vote. Souza later moved for recent rules to be rescinded and return to allowing comments from the public. That motion failed in a 2-3 vote.
In a 3-2 vote, the Crossville City Council in regular session approved the final resolution removing David Rutherford from the City Manager position. Council also approved an amendment to the budget to cover the expenses incurred in the removal of Rutherford. As part of his severance package, Rutherford received 6 months salary.
The search for a new manager may begin before the November City election, but any appointments will likely be made afterwards. Council unanimously approved a motion to consult with MTAS to help in the recruitment of a new manager with the stipulation that the selection process be conducted after the election.