- Associated Press - Friday, April 4, 2014
SC officers find teens wanted in Tenn. killing

NEWBERRY, S.C. (AP) - A 16-year-old wanted in the killing of his father in Tennessee hid from police dogs, officers and helicopters in central South Carolina with three of his friends for 10 hours Thursday before they were caught, police said.

The four teens planned to go to Myrtle Beach, but that trip was derailed around 5:30 a.m. when a trooper spotted their van at a rest area and started a chase that ended in a wreck and the suspects running into the woods, according to the police account.

The search ended around 3:30 p.m. when a strawberry farmer saw teens hiding in one of his fields. He called police, and the teens ran when they heard law enforcement approaching, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said.

A helicopter followed them and they stopped running, waiting for officers to catch up and take them into custody. The suspects, two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy and girl, were scratched up from running but not seriously hurt, Foster said.

“They all ran,” Foster said. “And they all stuck together.”

Officers had worried the suspects, who are 15 and 16 years old, were heavily armed. They took at least eight guns from Tennessee, and four pistols were missing from their van after it crashed, Foster said. But no guns were found on them when they were arrested and one of the suspects told deputies they threw the pistols into a creek.


For-profit charter schools bill fails in House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit groups failed in its final committee vote Thursday before reaching the House floor for debate.

The Calendar and Rules Committee voted 10-7 against the bill after House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville raised what she called “grave reservations” about it.

“We are in our infancy with public charters in this state, and I don’t want the financial aspect of for-profits to enter into what our ultimate goal is: To provide quality public schooling for our children,” the Nashville Republican said.

“I would ask us to be cautious of taxing our citizens to turn around and give a profit to an out-of-state company,” she said.

Democratic Rep. Bo Mitchell of Nashville agreed.

“The bottom line is educating our kids - not the bottom line,” Mitchell said. “We’re putting another hand in the cookie jar to take money away from our children’s education.”


City beer sales bill headed to governor’s desk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A bill to allow local governments to obtain permits to sell beer is headed for Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk after being approved by the House on Thursday.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Ryan Hayes of Knoxville was passed on 78-8 vote. The Senate voted 27-4 in favor of the bill last month.

The bill seeks to codify the wide practice of municipal facilities like golf courses selling beer after a recent state attorney general’s opinion found that state law limited permits to private entities.

That opinion was issued after Clarksville officials raised concerns about a 2012 ordinance allowing beer sales at city-owned venues for special events.

Other cities like Nashville decided to continue selling beer at golf courses while the Legislature considered updating state law on the matter.


Appellate judge appointed to Tenn. Supreme Court

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday named Criminal Appeals Judge Jeff Bivins to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court bench.

Bivins, 53, will replace Justice Bill Koch, who is retiring in July to become dean of the Nashville School of Law.

Bivins was a circuit court judge for Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties before Haslam named him to the criminal appeals court in 2011. He was an attorney for what is now the Bradley Arant Boult Cummings law firm in Nashville from 1986 to 1995 and again from 2001 to 2005.

Between those stints in private practice, he served as an assistant commissioner and general counsel for the Tennessee Department of Personnel during the administration of Republican Gov. Don Sundquist.

Sundquist named Bivins a circuit judge in 1999, but he lost an election to a full eight-year term the next year. Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen named him to the same judgeship in 2005, and he was unopposed for a full term the next year.

Bivins is a Kingsport native who earned his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1982 and his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1986.

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