Local News

Friday's Docket In Cannon Circuit Court

Friday, 27 March 2009

Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III presided over Cannon County Circuit Court on Friday. Some of the results from the various cases which appeared on the docket included:

Carl Blankenship, Jr was reset for April 24, 2009. He is charged with violation of probation.

Roy R. Howell was reset for arraignment on April 24, 2009.

Jake Milligan was reset for April 9, 2009. He is charged with violation of probation.

Wesley Paul Scott pled guilty to the charge of theft under $500.00. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation and paying the court costs and restitution to the victim.

Crystal McMahon was set for a jury trial on April 24, 2009.

J.W. Bass, Jr was set for plea day on April 24, 2009.

Jeremy Leedom's motion to suspend payment of his court costs was granted. He will have to resume cost payments in 4 months.

Jaron C. Taylor was reset for plea day on April 9, 2009.

Joseph D. Moore was reset for April 24, 2009. He is charged with violation of probation.

The State's motion to revoke Teresa Certain's bond was denied by Chancellor Corlew. She was reset for April 9, 2009, but was ordered not to operate any vehicles.

Rodriguez Case In Circuit Court

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III presided over Cannon County Circuit Court on Thursday. The only matter on the docket was the case of Nohelia Rodriguez. Rodriguez pled guilty to 2 counts of sale or delivery of cocaine under .5 grams, sale of cocaine over .5 grams, and criminal attempt to sell or deliver cocaine in a school zone. She received a total prison sentence of 34 years but due to the fact that all of her sentences run concurrently she only received an effective prison sentence of 9 years.

Chancellor Corlew partially suspended her sentence upon and equal amount of time on state supervised probation, serving 180 days in jail, performing 200 hours of public service work and paying restitution to the Woodbury Police Department in the amount of $227.05. That amount constitutes the money used by undercover agents to purchase drugs from her.

HSUS Offers Reward in Deaths of Two Horses Killed in Barn Fire

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of two horses killed during a Cannon County barn fire in February.

The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department gives the following account: After midnight on February 27th, a Cannon County family heard their horses kicking in their barn. Looking outside, they saw orange flames shooting from the building. They attempted to rescue their two horses which were trapped inside, but the fire was too hot and they were forced to turn away. The fire department arrived within five minutes, but the family’s two horses had already perished in the fire. Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set and cordoned off the barn as a crime scene.

Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Anyone callous enough to allow two innocent animals to burn to death deserves to go to jail for their crime,” said Leighann McCollum, The HSUS’ Tennessee state director. “Americans have no tolerance for violence against the creatures who share our world.”

Several agencies are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the Cannon County 911 Dispatch Center at 615-563-4322.

Cannon County General Sessions Court

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Judge Susan Melton presided over General Sessions Court this week. Some of the results from the various cases which appeared on the docket included:

Hansen Duke was bound over to the May, 2009 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. He is charged with aggravated domestic assault.

Jonathan Pewitt pled guilty to the charge of simple possession of marijuana. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. He was ordered to serve his entire sentence.

Richard Hodge pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 60 days in jail.

Ronnie Gilley pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 53 days in jail. In another case, Gilley pled guilty to the charge of harassment. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, paying the court costs and staying away from the victim.

Melissa Brown pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. Her probation was revoked and she was ordered to serve her entire sentence. In another case, Brown pled guilty to the charge of simple possession of a schedule drug. She was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in jail and ordered to serve her entire sentence.

Charles N. May pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 60 days in jail.

Mark Dodd pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 30 days in jail.

Insurance Division Stresses Importance of Knowing Coverage

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The vast majority of Americans don’t know as much about their insurance coverage as they think, according to a recent survey. The Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is urging Tennesseans to educate themselves.

“Now more than ever, consumers need to be mindful of the impact their insurance decisions can have on their financial future,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie Newman. “By arming themselves with the facts – and improving their ‘Insurance IQ’ – Tennesseans can make sure they are adequately protected, without paying more than they should for that coverage.”

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners-sponsored survey found that Americans flunked a 10-question Insurance IQ quiz with, on average, only four correct answers – an “F” by most U.S. grading standards. The 1,000 Americans surveyed answered such questions as:

- Does auto insurance automatically cover a rental car?
- Can you own a house without homeowners insurance?
- In general, how much life insurance is recommended in relation to your annual salary?

This apparent lack of knowledge contrasts sharply with confidence levels expressed by the survey respondents. Before taking the quiz, nearly 60 percent said they felt “very confident” when making insurance decisions overall, with only 15 percent voicing any insecurity about their decision-making abilities.

With rising joblessness and falling home prices, Americans need to make sure they understand what their insurance policies cover. By making informed insurance decisions, consumers can save money and ensure long-term protection for themselves and their loved ones.

The following tips will help Tennesseans better understand their insurance policies:

- Get savvy. Before shopping for a policy, learn as much as you can about insurance.
- Shop around; do your homework. After learning the insurance basics, get premium quotes from several companies for the amount of coverage you require.
- Before committing: Stop. Call. Confirm. If you are unsure about an insurer or agent you are working with, stop before signing any paperwork or writing a check. Call the Tennessee Insurance Division at 1-800-342-4029 and confirm the company or agent is licensed to do business in the state.
- Review your policy. Do not wait until you need to file a claim before evaluating the scope of your coverage. By understanding your policies, you can be prepared for any situation and, potentially, save money by avoiding unnecessary costs.

Throughout the year, you may encounter changes in employment, salary, geographic location and/or family dynamics. These factors affect your insurance options and the amount of coverage you need. Any time your life situation changes, be sure to review your insurance coverage and make any necessary adjustments.

Among the key findings of the survey:

- Health: Fewer than half of those surveyed (49 percent) know that if they leave their job and choose the federal Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) to continue their health benefits, they must pay the full cost of coverage. However, 58 percent are aware that health insurance will not cover their living expenses if they became disabled and cannot perform their job.

- Home: Just one in five respondents (19 percent) realizes that the requirement for private mortgage insurance (PMI) on a newly purchased home depends on the size of the down payment and lender; almost 30 percent think PMI is required by law. Less than 50 percent of people surveyed realize they can legally own a home without homeowners insurance (although lenders will not allow it).

- Life: Only 14 percent of respondents correctly know that the amount of life insurance typically recommended for individuals is 5-7 times your annual salary; 29 percent believe 2-4 times an annual salary is the recommended amount; and nearly 40 percent simply say they have no idea. (This is a common benchmark; however, the NAIC encourages individuals to carefully consider their own needs.)

- Auto: Fewer than two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are aware of the top three factors that impact the cost of auto insurance coverage (i.e., accident history, vehicle safety features, geography). And, only four in 10 respondents (41 percent) know that auto insurance does not automatically cover a rental car. More survey results, as well as the quiz, can be found at www.insureUonline.org.

For more information, visit www.tn.gov/commerce/insurance/. The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

Bredesen Says Stimulus Money Will Help Short-Term Suffering

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Governor Phil Bredesen says the five-billion-dollars worth of economic stimulus money Tennessee is set to receive will buy a lot of time when it comes to making painful but necessary budget cuts. Instead of slashing spending over the next few months, department heads can take a more methodical look at potential reductions and come back with plans in 21 months. Bredesen warns that the stimulus money isn't a silver bullet. He adds that it's alleviating a lot of suffering now by expanding unemployment benefits and reducing the need for widespread state employee layoffs.

Higher education is one of the main beneficiaries of the stimulus bill. Bredesen says 500-million-dollars is earmarked for colleges and universities. As a result, he says proposed cuts can be delayed. However, Bredesen says higher education and all other areas of state government should plan now for 12-percent budget reductions once the stimulus money runs out. He advises any stimulus money recipients not to use it for any programs they can't afford to sustain.

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