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8 workers fired in inmate's contraband operation 'escape'
AP Wednesday February 14, 2018

An inmate's alleged perimeter breach at a Tennessee prison has led to the firing of eight prison employees. In a Jan. 26 release, the Tennessee Department of Correction said 36-year-old Robert Fusco had "breached the secure perimeter" of the Morgan County Regional Correctional Complex with the intent of introducing contraband into the prison. Authorities did not provide a timeframe. Department spokeswoman Neysa Taylor confirmed Friday to the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the eight employees had been fired, but wouldn't say more. Fusco was a minimum security inmate, but has since been transferred to West Tennessee State Penitentiary as a maximum custody inmate. He's expected to be charged with escape because of the purposeful breach. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate.


Tennessee bill would limit licensing denials of ex-offenders
AP/Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday February 14, 2018

A bill in Tennessee would limit the ability of state licensing boards to deny occupational licenses based on the criminal history of applicants. It has been dubbed the "fresh start" bill and would only let boards deny licenses based on past crimes that are directly related to the job someone is seeking, or for certain felonies. The legislation also would let applicants petition a state licensing board upfront to see if a past crime will disqualify them. A news release from the lawmakers says Tennessee requires a license for 110 jobs, and almost every licensing board can deny a license due to past criminal records, including misdemeanors.


Ex-Tennessee staffer Spognardi receives judicial diversion
AP/Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday February 14, 2018

Former Tennessee director of football operations Chris Spognardi has received one year judicial diversion that eventually could enable the criminal misconduct charge against him to be expunged. Spognardi worked at Tennessee the first three seasons of former coach Butch Jones' tenure. His responsibilities included managing cash expenditures for team trips. The charge against Spognardi involved fabricating receipts from those trips. Spognardi has paid over $14,000 restitution to make up for money that was unaccounted for. If he maintains good citizenship throughout the next year, the case can be expunged. Spognardi was placed on paid administrative leave in August 2016. He was fired later that year for what former athletic director Dave Hart termed as "gross misconduct."


7 children, 1 pregnant woman have died of flu in Tennessee
WVLT/Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday February 14, 2018

The Tennessee Department of Health said Monday they had received reports of 7 pediatric deaths and the death of 1 pregnant woman associated with seasonal flu in Tennessee this season, WVLT reports. According to the TDOH, the pregnant woman died in Middle Tennessee, four children have died in Middle Tennessee, and three children have died in East Tennessee. TDOH only keeps records of flu-related deaths of children and pregnant women. Nationwide, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 4,000 people died from the flu during the third week of 2018.


Two Awarded Officer Of The Month For December
Crossville Police Dept./Peg Broadcasting News Tuesday February 13, 2018

Press Release:

Two City of Crossville Police Department officers have received recognition with the issuance of "Officer of the Month" awards for December 2017.

In the month of December 2017, Sergeant Dustin Lester observed a suspicious vehicle in the area of Myrtle Avenue, which had pulled into a driveway in an attempt to evade detection. Sgt. Lester made contact with the vehicle and the individuals located within and his subsequent investigation led to the discovery and seizure of over 4 ounces of methamphetamine, which had been hidden in the engine compartment of the vehicle, and multiple items of drug paraphernalia, which had been hidden about the passenger compartment. Sgt. Dustin Lester's diligence and thorough investigating efforts resulted in a large amount of dangerous narcotics being taken out of the hands of a suspected drug dealer and off of our streets. Sgt. Lester's efforts add to the effectiveness and professionalism of our agency.

Additionally, on December 17, 2017 Officer Chrystal Massey responded to Walmart, to assist another officer with a suspected shoplifter. Officer Massey conducted a thorough search of the female suspect and recovered methamphetamine and marijuana. Later, on December 26, 2017, Officer Massey stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Through her attention to detail and investigative efforts, Officer Massey recovered a stolen IPhone that was in possession of a female passenger, who is suspected of the theft. Officer Massey's dedication to duty and diligence is a fine example for our agency.

These officer's dedication and professionalism is to be commended. It is with exceptional officers and a determination to maintain the highest levels of service to the citizens of Crossville that our agency will continue to exceed the expectations of our community.

A special Thank You and Congratulations goes out to both of the award recipients. Job well done!

(Photo courtesy Crossville P.D. Pictured L-R Sgt. Dustin Lester, Officer Chrystal Massey and Chief David Beaty)


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