Passenger dies in single-vehicle crash near Wayne County line

APRIL 15 -- A 20-year-old Clifton, Tennessee man was fatally injured this morning in a single-vehicle crash on Tenn. 69-S in Hardin County, close to the Wayne County line.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Austin Blake Riley Melson, who died, was a passenger in a 2011 Ford Fusion operated by Danny Lane Franks, 22, of Florence Alabama. 

Franks was driving south on the highway when the vehicle failed to negotiate a left curve and went off the right side of the roadway. The Ford entered a ravine, struck a ditch and came to rest upside down.

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Sheriff's late withdrawal from ballot triggers 'Anti-Skullduggery Act'

APRIL 13– Sheriff Sammy Davidson’s last-minute withdrawal from the race for Hardin County sheriff has triggered a little-known law called the “Anti-Skullduggery Act of 1991.”

The act is intended to address situations where popular incumbents file to run for office and then withdraw too late for anyone else to file for the same race, deterring competitors and paving the way for the incumbent’s preferred candidate. It requires the Administrator of Elections to re-open the qualifying deadline for that race for seven days.

Davidson, who could not be reached for comment despite repeated efforts over two days, withdrew from the Aug. 2 ballot at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, just a quarter hour before the noon withdrawal deadline.

The race to be the county’s next sheriff as it stands now, is between Sgt. Johnny Alexander, a veteran Hardin County deputy sheriff, and T.J. Barker, a veteran investigator with the Savannah Police Department.

Because of the Anti-Skullduggery Act, however, qualified persons interested in running potentially have one more opportunity.

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Pig out, enjoy live music at Tennessee River BBQ Battle & Music Fest

APRIL 10 – A two-day celebration of barbecue, live music and family fun, sponsored by Southwest Tennessee Tourism takes place Friday and Saturday in Hardin County. 

The Tennessee River BBQ Battle and Music Fest will be held just south of Savannah, at Green Acres RV Resort, on Tenn. 128 between Savannah and Pickwick.

 “We have new things this year,” said Mary Beth Hopper, event coordinator and director of Southwest Tennessee Tourism Association. “In addition to the People’s Choice award where those attending can sample professional barbecue, there will be vendors selling barbecue by the pound and by the sandwich. And non-profits, like Savannah Lions Club, will be selling single serving homemade desserts.”

Beginning Friday afternoon, visitors can enjoy live music by some rising area bands. 

Friday’s line-up starts at 5 p.m. with Lady Sundown and Jacked Lightning. Saturday’s performances start at 2 p.m. with  John Spears and a Band of Jones, Step N’ Tyme, Stumpwater, Steve Hopper and Dead Horse.

The outdoor fun includes something for all ages – arts and crafts, muscle and classic car cruise-in, corn hole tournament and more. 

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