- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Haslam favors cooling off period in domestic cases

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A high-profile domestic violence case in Nashville has led to talk of more restrictions for defendants in such cases.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1pFukNs) reports Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said on Monday that he would support making a 12-hour “cooling off” period mandatory after someone has been arrested on a domestic violence charge.

“I think that makes sense,” Haslam said. “I’m far from an expert on that, but from what I understand, it just feels like that is a common sense law.”

The statement comes in the midst of a controversy over a Nashville case involving a prominent contractor who was released from jail a few hours after his arrest on a domestic violence charge. Police say he assaulted his girlfriend a second time shortly after being released.

Lawmakers in Middle Tennessee have said they plan to introduce a bill next year that would require people arrested on domestic violence charges to remain incarcerated for at least 12 hours. The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene in January.

The 12-hour period is meant to help victims stay safe while making any necessary arrangements, such as packing or moving. While Tennesse law suggests such a cooling off period, it doesn’t mandate it and judges and waive it if they don’t think its necessary.

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‘Rocky Top’ publisher seeks to stop name change

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The publisher of the bluegrass standard “Rocky Top” is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a request to stop the East Tennessee town of Lake City from trying to cash in on the song’s fame.

The Lake City Council is scheduled to vote on Thursday whether to change the town’s name to the song title. A group of developers has promised to build a massive tourist complex in the town of 1,800 if the change goes through.

Gatlinburg-based House of Bryant owns the rights to the song. The company sued the town and developers in March.

A federal judge in Knoxville ruled in May against putting a hold on the development plans while the case works its way through the courts.

On Tuesday, House of Bryant appealed that decision.

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This year’s 1st case of West Nile virus confirmed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Officials say a Shelby County man is Tennessee’s first case of West Nile virus this year.

The county health department and the Tennessee Department of Health disclosed Tuesday that a 46-year-old man in Memphis has contracted the mosquito-borne illness.

Last year, 24 people contracted West Nile virus in Tennessee, nine of those in Shelby County. Officials say three cases resulted in death.

The health department in Shelby County has been conducting truck-mounted sprayings of insecticides in specific ZIP codes. Truck-mounted spraying kills adult mosquitoes currently flying at the time the insecticide is released.

Health officials say eliminating the potential for standing water to accumulate around homes and businesses is one of the most effective ways to help reduce mosquitoes.

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Woman climbs over barrier to lions at zoo

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis Zoo officials have banned a woman after saying she climbed over a barrier to the enclosure where lions are kept and tried to feed them cookies.

The woman’s actions were reported by other zoo patrons, who saw her jump the barrier and heard her singing to the animals. After the barrier, only wire separates guests from the lions inside the enclosure.

Zoo spokeswoman Abbey Dane says the woman’s behavior was dangerous for her and the lions. She said the woman won’t be allowed back into the facility.

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Information from: WMC-TV, http://www.wmctv.com/http://www.wmctv.com/

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