- Associated Press - Monday, July 28, 2014
Official: Storms destroy E. Tenn homes, no deaths

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Powerful storms that raked across several states in the eastern U.S. on Sunday destroyed at least 10 homes in Tennessee, but there were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries, authorities said.

Spokeswoman Gina Breeding with the office of emergency management in east Tennessee’s Claiborne County told The Associated Press that officers searched ruined homes Sunday night in one particularly hard-hit community, Speedwell. She said the county sheriff and his wife safely took refuge in their basement when storms hit and destroyed their home.

“He and his wife are both OK,” Breeding said by telephone, adding law enforcement officials had set up a command post for operations and a school was opened for anyone left homeless.

Later Sunday night, she said a second shelter in the area had been opened but that authorities still had no reports of injuries or deaths.

Breeding said the county emergency management and homeland security office hadn’t confirmed whether the destruction was the result of a possible tornado, but noted there were high winds, lightning and heavy thunderstorms in the region Sunday.

“There are power lines and trees down,” she said by phone.


7 children, 4 adults, injured in highway crash

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say four adults and seven children were injured when their van blew a tire on Interstate 24 in Coffee County.

According to WKRN-TV (https://bit.ly/1l5ynOe), the crash occurred around 5 p.m. on Saturday near Tullahoma.

Authorities say the van was traveling east along I-24 when its back left tire blew, causing the driver to lose control. The van turned onto its side before landing back on all four wheels along the highway.

The driver, 41-year-old Zhameca Hall, was listed in stable condition at United Regional medical Center in Manchester.

Two other adults and two children, ages 6 and 4, were also taken to the hospital in Manchester. Each was listed in stable condition.

A 12-year-old was taken to Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga where the child was also listed in stable condition.


Man threatens to blow up airport runway

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say a Davidson County man has been arrested for threatening to blow up a runway at the Nashville International Airport.

Zachary L. Smith, 25, was charged with filing a false report and tampering with evidence.

According to an affidavit, Smith called 911 Saturday morning and made the threat, which prompted airport security to conduct a widespread search for suspicious objects or activity.

Investigators traced and recovered Smith’s phone at his home in Antioch, a community in southeastern Davidson County.

Smith denied making any phone threats, but investigators recovered deleted 911 calls from his phone. Authorities say he also made multiple calls to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Smith was being held Sunday in the Davidson County Jail on $35,000 bond. Jail records did not list an attorney for Smith.



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