THP takes aim at seatbelt violators, saturates I-40 for Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 27– Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott joined state and federal officials to announce the "Interstate 40 Challenge: The Drive toward Zero Fatalities" traffic enforcement campaign during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Jon Dierberger were also on-hand for the announcement.

The challenge was issued to seven other state police or highway patrol agencies and consists of increased patrols along the I-40 corridor over two 12 hour periods on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1–the busiest travel days during the Thanksgiving period–to help achieve the safest possible holiday travel. Law enforcement officials from the California Highway Patrol, Arizona Department of Public Safety, New Mexico State Police, Texas Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Arkansas State Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol have accepted and will participate in the I-40 challenge.

"Col. Trott has been instrumental in organizing this nationwide traffic safety effort to create a greater law enforcement presence on Interstate 40 from North Carolina to California and to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on the I-40 corridor. We’d like to thank all of the participating law enforcement agencies and highway safety advocates who are promoting this initiative and partnering with us to save lives," Commissioner Gibbons said.

Each agency has been tasked to assign a state trooper every 20 miles of Interstate 40 from noon to midnight on Wednesday, November 27 and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 1.

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ISR Group layoffs part of plan to 'right-size' UAV support company

 Nov. 20– Workers are losing their jobs as a major Hardin County business takes measures to readjust and realign its business model in an effort to shore up its financial picture and attract investors.

 ISR Group President Alfred Lumpkin said the Savannah-based company has substantially reduced its workforce in a series of furloughs and layoffs, the latest occurring yesterday.

 ISR provides service and support for unmanned aerial, ground and water vehicles often called drones and counts the U.S. military as a customer.

 Lumpkin declined to say how many employees were cut, but said the reduction amounts to about 60 percent of the company’s staff. Some of the employees were laid off, and some were furloughed and given a return date. The furloughed employees will retain active benefits with ISR, such as employee investment accounts and health insurance, until they return to work, he said.

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TBI arrests former Hardin County deputy clerk for stealing from office

Nov. 20– The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested a former deputy clerk who allegedly stole money from the Hardin County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office while she was employed after she was indicted by the Hardin County grand jury on Monday.

The TBI said today that Savannah resident Amber Renee Terry, 32, was indicted on one count of theft of property over $10,000 and one count of official misconduct.

In April 2013, during a routine county audit by the state comptroller’s office, money was discovered missing from the office of Hardin County Circuit Court Clerk Diane Polk.

The TBI said Terry told auditors she was robbed twice in 2012 while taking deposits to a bank, but never reported the robberies. The 24th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office requested a TBI investigation regarding the missing funds.

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