By Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014
Bill would punish drug-using pregnant women

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Opponents of a Tennessee bill that would punish pregnant women who abuse narcotics say it will have the unintended consequence of hurting the very people it’s supposed to protect: the babies.

Health organizations and women’s rights advocates have called on Gov. Bill Haslam to veto a bill that would allow women to be charged with assault if they abuse narcotics while pregnant and then give birth to a child who is dependent on drugs or harmed as a result of the mother’s drug abuse.

The bill passed in both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly last week and is headed to Haslam to be signed into law.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a New York-based advocacy organization, says despite attempts by other states, Tennessee is the first to pass such a bill.

The bill’s supporters have argued that it will help children and families by forcing women to finally get treatment.

Those opposed to the bill say it could force pregnant women to forgo vital medical care if they believe they will be arrested for taking illicit drugs.


First lady, Jill Biden to visit Fort Campbell

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are scheduled to visit Fort Campbell next week to speak with soldiers and their families at a jobs and career fair.

Obama and Biden are expected to be at the military post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line on Wednesday to deliver remarks to more than 1,000 service members and military spouses and over 100 employers at the Fort Campbell Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum.

The summit is a public, private, and nonprofit sector collaboration that, in coordination with the active duty military, aims to provide transitioning service members with employment resources.

During the meeting, Obama and Biden will also announce new government tools designed to simplify job hunting for veterans, transitioning service members, National Guard members, Reserve components and military spouses.


61 arrested in West Tenn. gang sweep

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities in six West Tennessee counties are reporting the arrest of 61 people on various charges during a gang sweep.

Officials said members of a gang task force conducted saturation patrols in Chester, Crockett, Gibson, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties on Thursday night and early Friday.

Authorities said 61 people were arrested on charges including aggravated burglary and firearm, drug and traffic offenses. Officers seized four firearms, three methamphetamine labs and drugs including marijuana and cocaine.

The operations included traffic stops and probation, parole and sex offender compliance checks.

The sweep was carried out by the Multi-Jurisdictional Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, which is made up of law enforcement agencies in the 26th and 28th Judicial Districts in West Tennessee.


Memphis officer charged after traffic stop

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis police say an officer has been charged with sexual battery after an encounter with a woman at a traffic stop.

The Memphis Police Department said Friday that 30-year-old Meeko Evans inappropriately touched the woman’s breasts before releasing her from the Feb. 11 traffic stop.

After receiving a complaint, the internal affairs unit conducted an investigation and charged Evans, who has been with the department since January 2011.

Online court records do not show if Evans has a lawyer.

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