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Franklin businessman Bill Lee says he's jumping into the Tennessee governor's race.
The Republican tells The Tennessean that his campaign will formally begin Monday when he plans to roll out a recently purchased RV that he'll use to travel the state.
The 57-year-old Lee is chairman of the Lee Co., which was founded by his grandfather. The company's services include plumbing, electrical and HVAC for residential, business and government customers.
The only other Republican candidate actively campaigning around the state is Randy Boyd, Gov. Bill Haslam's former education adviser and economic development commissioner. Republican state Sen. Mark Green has put his gubernatorial ambitions on hold since being nominated by President Donald Trump to become the next secretary of the Army.
Tennessee legislative leaders appear to agree on a bigger property tax break for disabled veterans, which should put the finishing touch on months of work on Gov. Bill Haslam's bill that increases the gas tax to fund roadwork and cuts other taxes.
Both chambers passed the governor's roads bill Wednesday, with the property tax break unresolved.
Senators amended the legislation to increase property tax relief to disabled veterans to up to $175,000 in property value, from $100,000 currently.
House Speaker Beth Harwell says she's fine with that break and assumes her members are too. The House is expected to agree Monday, letting Haslam soon sign the package into law.
The bill cuts sales tax on groceries, corporate taxes on manufacturers and tax on earnings from stocks and bonds.
The Warren County Lady Pioneer softball team remains unbeaten in District 6aaa as they defeated Rhea County 9-8 Thursday night in a nail-biter at WCHS.
The Lady Pioneers will host Coffee County Friday at 5pm.
In baseball action, Warren County and Coffee County split a doubleheader Thursday night. The Pioneers won the opener 8-7, then Coffee County came from behind to win the nightcap 6-5.
The Pioneers get back to district play Monday night with a game at Cookeville at 5:30.
An elementary school teacher in Warren County has been arrested for buying drugs on school property. An investigation by the Warren County Sheriff's Department led to an undercover drug deal, resulting in the arrest of 45 year old Jason (Hawk) Moore, who is a fifth grade teacher at Hickory Creek Elementary School.
Authorities say Moore purchased $225 of the painkiller percocet from an undercover operative in the Hickory Creek School parking lot.
Investigators say the sheriff's department has received numerous complaints from parents who suspected the teacher was buying drugs on school property.
Moore has been charged with possession of schedule III drugs in a school zone. Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.
One person was airlifted following a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of Mullican Street and the 70 Bypass.
According to McMinnville Police, a 1997 Honda Civic, driven by Debra Robarge, was westbound on the bypass and attempted to make a left turn on to Mullican when it turned into the path of a 1996 Toyota Camry, driven by Neva England. The impact caused the Civic to crash into a 2013 Infinity that was in the southbound lane on Mullican, waiting for the light to change.
A passenger in the Civic, Marilyn Canzoneri, was airlifted. Robarge and another passenger in the Civic, Judy Hartupee, were transported to River Park Hospital.
England was not injured, nor was the driver of the Infinity, Jennifer Vanvuuren.
Robarge was cited for failure to yield.
All vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts.