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The 2015 Tennessee statewide youth waterfowl hunts are set for a pair of Saturdays on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. The dates that appear in the annual Tennessee Wildlife Magazine calendar were listed incorrectly. Youths between 6 and 15 years old may participate in these two youth hunt days and bag limits are the same as during the regular waterfowl season. Federal regulations require an adult at least 21 years of age to accompany youth hunters in the field. Adults are not allowed to hunt.
Voting has begun for the winners from TDOT’s first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Over the past two weeks, TDOT has received more than 3,400 entries for possible safety messages for the overhead signs located across Tennessee. The entries were narrowed down to 15 messages that cover safety issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive driving. To vote, just go to the TDOT website and check the box next to your favorite message. Voting will continue through Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The winning messages will be posted online the following week, and will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts. In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from farmers and producers interested in growing industrial hemp. As provided in the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project. Industrial hemp is Cannabis sativa L., the same plant species as marijuana. However, industrial hemp has significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and is distinguished by its use and chemical makeup. You will find industrial hemp in a variety of products, including fabric, textiles, fibers, and foods. More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. To download an application and Memorandum of Understanding go to tn.gov/agriculture. If your application is approved, the Ag Department will assist in obtaining your seed in compliance with requirements of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Individuals are not permitted to import their own seed.
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)