Inmates mistakenly released returned to prison

July 18– A Hardin County man serving 10 years for killing one of his employees was mistakenly released from prison and was staying in Savannah when he was taken back into custody just before Independence Day.

Ken Qualls, 58, who had an address of “Wayne Road” on file with the Savannah Police Department, was released from the  Turney Center Annex in Wayne County on June 19, officials said.

Dorinda Carter of the Tennessee Department of Correction blamed an “electronic error” for the early release of “eight or nine” inmates from state facilities who had to be returned to prison.

The affected inmates had participated in a re-entry skills program designed to prepare inmates for release, but were not actually eligible for release upon completion of the program, she said, but most are due for release in a few months.

“We understand that to be discouraging” for the inmates, Carter said, “but after consulting with our legal department,  the right thing to do was to return them to custody.” 

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Early voting starts July 18

July 17– Starting Friday, registered voters in Hardin County can cast their ballot early in the Aug. 7 state primary and county general election.

This election will also have judicial retention questions on the ballot, to vote on whether three individual Tennessee Supreme Court justices and 20 individual appeals court judges should be retained or replaced.

Early voting is held at the Hardin County Election Commission office in the basement of the Courthouse at 465 Main St. in Savannah.

Voters can cast ballots Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m, Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Voters should note the office is closed daily for lunch between noon and 1 p.m.

The last day to vote early is Saturday, Aug. 2.

According to local Administrator of Elections Jeanette Cronise, there are 15,817 registered voters currently in Hardin County.

In the last state primary and county general election, on Aug. 2, 2012, there were 16,096 registered voters in Hardin County-and only 3,034 total votes cast. 

That means that while the vast majority of eligible citizens of Hardin County are registered to vote, just under 19 percent of registered voters took the time to decide who should be making decisions for them and holding positions of authority.

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Savannah man, 72, killed in ATV accident

July 16– A 72-year-old Savannah man died Sunday night of injuries sustained the day before in a four-wheeler accident, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

W.H. Simmons was removing a 2006 Yamaha Grizzly all terrain vehicle from the bed of a pickup truck when the ATV rapidly accelerated in reverse, throwing him off. The ATV then rolled off the north side of the highway, the THP said.

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