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Closed Primaries Bill Withdrawn
AP Wednesday April 5, 2017

The latest effort to end Tennessee's open primary system has been withdrawn for the year.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet and Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon was removed from active consideration in the Senate State and Local Government on Tuesday.
Tennessee voters aren't registered by party, and voters often participate in different primaries depending on campaign developments.
The bills sponsored by Beavers and Pody would have required voters to declare a party allegiance to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary. That declaration would then be added to voters' registration records and could only be changed with the election commission.
The bill sought to make any voter who did not select a statewide party affiliation ineligible to vote in a primary election.


Sherrell Bill Passes
Jay Walker Wednesday April 5, 2017

State lawmakers unanimously passed legislation sponsored by 43rd District Rep. Paul Sherrell designed to enhance security at state facilities.
The bill will allow the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to expand protection services outside of Davidson County in order to ensure all state facilities are safe and secure.
Rep. Sherrell serves as a member of the House Criminal Justice and House Health Committee and as well as the House Health Subcommittee.


Trial Date Set for Former Coffee County Coach
Tuesday April 4, 2017

Bradley Newton Weir, the former head baseball coach at Coffee County High School will return to the county for his trial on sex charges. Weir’s trial date is set for Oct. 4, 2017.
Weir was arrested over 2 years ago on Feb. 3, 2015 and has been free on $100,000 bond since.
The 46 year-old Weir is accused of having sex with a student.
He was indicted by the Coffee County grand jury on one count of statutory rape by an authority figure, one count of aggravated rape, one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, seven counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Weir worked for the Coffee County Raider Academy as a teacher and was head baseball coach at the high school. He was hired as baseball coach in late May of 2014 but never coached a game with the Raiders as he was arrested before the 2015 season practices even began.
He longer lives in the area.


WCHS Sports
Jay Walker Tuesday April 4, 2017

The Warren County Pioneer baseball team will be at Home Tuesday night as they host the Cumberland County Jets in a district match-up. Monday night's game scheduled to be played at Crossville was rained out.
Tuesday night's game starts at 5:30 at WCHS. The game will be broadcast live on 1230 WAKI.
In softball action, the Warren County Lady Pioneers travel to Rhea County for a doubleheader starting at 6pm.


School Bus Bill May Change
WRCB Tuesday April 4, 2017

New numbers are out revealing a cheaper option for putting seat belts on school buses if a bill passes making it mandatory.
A new proposal will exclude all buses purchased or ordered before July of 2019 drastically reducing the cost.
To retrofit all the school buses in the state, it would have cost around $82 million per year.
According to figures obtained by a Chattanooga TV station, removal of the retrofitting provision for school buses currently in service drops the price tag of the bill to around $15 million dollars per year.
Each year about 600 Tennessee school buses are retired. A replacement costs about $100,000 without seat belts.
Add the belts and you're looking at an additional $10,000 per bus.
State Representative JoAnne Favors first wanted all buses retrofitted by 2023, which some considered a pricey option.
A change to the bill would only require buses purchased after July of 2019 to come with seat belts.
It's a savings that could impact the future of the bill and how school districts do business.
The House Transportation Committee and the Senate Education Committee plan to take up the bill Tuesday.


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