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Newly released records show that Tennessee taxpayers have paid more than $8 million since 1992 for health insurance premiums for sitting lawmakers. The Tennessean reports those records show that the state has paid out the most for Johnson City Republican Sen. Rusty Crowe and his family. Records obtained by the newspaper through a public information request show the state paid out $200,000 for Crowe's premiums since he enrolled in the plan in 1992. Premiums paid for the top 10 lawmakers account for $1.9 million of the total. Others in the top 10 include House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville, Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville, Democratic Rep. Sherry Jones of Nashville and Democratic Rep. Thelma Harper of Nashville.
A well-known attorney facing his own terminal illness has filed a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law that prohibits assisted suicide. The Tennessean reports attorney, businessman and political candidate John Jay Hooker filed the complaint Tuesday in Davidson County Chancery Court against a law which makes it a felony for a doctor or another person to assist in someone's death. Hooker says the law violates the state constitution, which says "power is inherent in the people." The 84-year-old Nashville attorney was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but says his fight for euthanasia is not just for himself. Hooker won the 1970 and 1988 Democratic nominations for governor of Tennessee and most recently ran for the position as an independent in the 2014 election.
Prosecutors say a third man has been charged with murder in the case of a slain Tennessee nursing student. The Shelby County District Attorney's office said Wednesday that John Dylan Adams has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and murder in the perpetration of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape of Holly Bobo. Adams' brother, Zachary Adams, and another man, Jason Autry, also face the same charges. Bobo was 20 when she was reported missing from her home in rural Parsons in April 2011. Her disappearance and the subsequent lengthy search attracted national attention. Authorities say her skull was found in woods in Decatur County in September.
If you’re traveling through the Volunteer State this Memorial Day holiday, you better wear your seatbelt or be prepared to face the consequences. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign in Tennessee runs through May 31st. Law enforcement agencies across the state will be looking for unrestrained drivers and passengers. More than 50% of vehicle occupants killed in crashes in Tennessee were not wearing seat belts. The good news is that seat usage was up almost 88% in 2014.
This summer, Tennessee Valley Authority is encouraging families to go outside and enjoy lakes and recreation areas. TVA has a summer photo contest. They’re asking anyone hiking, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, bird watching, or even just having a quiet picnic in a TVA recreation area to share a photo on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win prizes. A first place winner will receive a GoPro Hero4 Extreme Camera Kit, a second place winner will receive a Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch and a third place winners will receive a Eton Hand Turbine Rechargeable USB Battery pack.
There are three ways to enter. Contestants can post using the hashtag #TVAsummer on Twitter or Instagram and include their username in the caption. They can also upload their photo to Facebook by going to facebook.com/TVA and clicking on the photo contest tab. For more information on entering visit tva.com/photocontest.