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Tennessee news briefs

Tennessee news briefs

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 8:00 pm

Educator rejects deal
in teacher testing case
MEMPHIS (AP) — In a surprising legal move, a longtime Memphis educator is going to trial on charges that he led a three-state organization that helped teachers cheat on qualification tests.
At a hearing this morning, Coleman Garrett, a lawyer for Clarence Mumford Sr., told a federal judge that his client is not changing his plea and is not taking a deal offered by prosecutors.
Mumford earlier pleaded not guilty to more than 60 fraud and conspiracy charges.
Authorities say teachers paid Mumford to send someone else to take the tests in their place in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee over a 15-year period. The teachers allegedly used the passing test scores to get school jobs.
U.S. District Court Judge John Fowlkes set a trial date of March 18.

Law director asks state
to halt license revocation
KNOXVILLE (AP) — The Knox County law director has asked the state to not revoke more than a thousand driver’s licenses set into motion by the county Criminal Court Clerk’s Office.
The Knoxville News Sentinel cited court records in reporting many of the 1,279 licenses asked to be revoked belong to people who should not be sanctioned or, at least, not yet.
A 2012 law allows the state to revoke driver’s licenses of people who don’t pay fines and court fees within a year of conviction, including traffic offenders.
Clerk Joy McCroskey conceded Thursday her office didn’t verify the revocations. Among them were cases that had been dismissed, not yet resolved or had met all court requirements.
Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong asked the state to disregard the entire list.
Boy’s body found
in Conasauga Creek
BENTON (AP) — Searchers have recovered the body of a young boy from a creek where he, his father and his sister disappeared eight days earlier.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the body of 6-year-old Lazarus Alley was found about noon Thursday in Conasauga Creek in Polk County. The boy was in a canoe that overturned on Jan. 16 after heavy rain had caused the creek to flood.
A search continued for 6-year-old Helana Alley and 36-year-old Nick Alley.
Three other children of the same family had managed to swim to a creek bank and were rescued.
A funeral service was conducted Tuesday for the three family members who were missing.
Tenn. lawmaker: Block expanded Medicaid
NASHVILLE (AP) — Freshman state Rep. Jeremy Durham has filed a House bill seeking to block Tennessee from expanding Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.
Durham noted the experience of TennCare, the state’s expanded Medicaid program that was plagued by out-of-control costs until former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen made deep cuts to enrollment and benefits in 2005.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has not said whether he will pursue Medicaid expansion, which hospitals say would make up for heavy losses from changes in federal reimbursements.
The federal government would pick up the full costs of Medicaid expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.
Durham said Thursday that his bill has 21 co-sponsors, including Republican House Caucus Chairman Glen Casada and House Finance Chairman Charles Sargent. All three are Franklin Republicans.

Published in The Messenger 1.25.13