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News from across Tennessee

News from across Tennessee

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 8:01 pm

Aluminum worker dies after falling into shredder
MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — A Maury County man has died after falling into a shredder at the aluminum processing plant where he worked.
Mount Pleasant Police Chief Tommy Goats told WSMV-TV ( that 44-year-old Keith Frierson had been using a Bobcat to clear scrap metal from the floor of the Tennessee Aluminum Plant.
At about midnight Thursday, Frierson went on top of a shredder for some reason. He lost his footing and fell in.
Frierson died almost instantly.
The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.
USDA funds buy more of Rocky Fork tract
ERWIN (AP) — A $5 million allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will hasten public ownership of a large undeveloped tract of land in the Appalachians.
The tract, known as Rocky Fork, is nearly 10,000 acres and lies in Unicoi and Greene counties in East Tennessee. The Johnson City Press ( reported the new funds from USDA will convey 1,200 acres of it — the last section that is privately owned.
Ralph Knoll of The Conservation Fund said preserving as much of Rocky Fork as possible became a priority of the U.S. Forest Service when it acquired the first parcel of it in 2008.
The fund will still own nearly 2,000 acres of the tract, but a state grant has funded much of it.
Governor’s civil service bill headed to his desk
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to overhaul state civil service rules is headed to him to become law.
The proposal passed the Senate 30-3 on Thursday, a day after being approved 74-19 in the House.
The measure would make it easier for executive branch employees to be hired and fired, and would allow for merit raises for high-performing workers — and pay decreases for poor ones.
Other elements of the bill would require written performance standards and annual evaluations, set a minimum of three candidates to be interviewed for openings, and reduce the minimum layoff notice from three months to 30 days.
Child killed in Greene County school bus accident
GREENEVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a school bus struck and killed a middle school student in East Tennessee.
Emergency personnel told The Greeneville Sun ( the child died Thursday morning after the accident on Holder Road.
Lt. Jarrett Ramsey of the Fall Branch district of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the 12-year-old boy was struck as the bus was making its first pickup of the day at about 6:40 a.m. Ramsey said the boy’s sibling had already boarded the bus.
Ramsey said boy, whose name was not immediately released, was a student at Chuckey-Doak Middle School in Greene County. Ramsey said he did not know whether any charges would be filed, but the THP’s Criminal Investigation Division was assisting with the investigation.
Rape charge filed in mistaken identity encounter
KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Knoxville man has been charged with rape after a woman told police he took advantage of a dark room to mislead her into thinking she was having sex with her boyfriend.
An arrest warrant reviewed by The Knoxville News Sentinel ( says the woman was asleep early Sunday when 31-year-old James Thomas Styles got into her bed.
The woman told investigators she called the man by her boyfriend’s name and didn’t realize she’d had sex with someone else until he turned on the light to get dressed.
Styles was arrested later in the day and denied to police having sexual contact with the woman.
He is being held in jail with bond set at $75,000. Jail records don’t indicate if he has a lawyer.

Published in The Messenger 4.13.12

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