- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015
Nashville seeks moratorium on Music Row condo onslaught

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The onslaught of high-end condo developments along Nashville’s storied Music Row looks to be coming to an end - at least for now.

City planning officials are recommending a moratorium on new projects seeking to raze or significantly alter buildings that helped build up Nashville’s reputation as the capital of country music.

The moratorium could run for a year and a half while officials work on a comprehensive plan to balance growth with the history of Music Row, city planning commission spokesman Craig Owensby said Friday.

“Local history and local culture are very important in Nashville and particularly in that community, because that’s what gives us our identity,” he said. “It’s what people think about when they hear about Nashville in other cities and countries.”

The panel’s decision came Thursday as it took up the latest proposal to turn Music Row structures into a condo complex. Owensby said commissioners decided to recommend a blanket moratorium rather than continue to evaluate individual proposals. The Nashville Metro Council has the ultimate say over planning decisions.

Music Row has long been home to an eclectic mix of recording studios, record label buildings, publishing houses and music industry office space. But its location just southeast of downtown has also made it a prime target for development.

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Tenn. Supreme Court to hear challenge of electric chair law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge over a law allowing the state to electrocute death row prisoners if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

The challenge is part of a lawsuit filed by 34 death row inmates over Tennessee’s death penalty protocols - both lethal injection and electrocution. The state wants the court to dismiss the challenge to electrocution protocols because none of the inmates are currently scheduled to die by electrocution.

The new electrocution law was meant to jumpstart the state’s stalled execution process, but it opened the door to new legal challenges.

The hearing is scheduled for May 6 in Knoxville.

The high court also is considering whether the state must release the identities of the people who carry out executions.

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TN Supreme Court upholds mother’s faith healing conviction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of an East Tennessee woman for child neglect for failing to seek treatment for her daughter’s fatal cancer.

Jacqueline Crank had claimed she was innocent because she relied on prayer to heal the girl.

Crank was sentenced to probation after her 15-year-old daughter died in 2002.

In Tennessee it is a crime to fail to provide medical care to children, but there is an exception for those who rely on prayer alone for healing. The exemption applies only to faith healing performed by an accredited practitioner of a recognized church or denomination.

Crank claimed that the exemption was too vague to give her fair warning that she could be prosecuted. The Supreme Court held that the law was not overly vague.

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Man sentenced for theft from Knox trustee’s office

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A judge has sentenced a man to 30 days in jail for drawing a paycheck from the Knox County Trustee’s Office without doing any work.

Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword on Friday sentenced Delbert Morgan to eight years for theft that totaled $200,000. The News Sentinel reports (https://bit.ly/1Mkfwijhttps://bit.ly/1Mkfwij ) Morgan will be on probation for the rest of the sentence.

Jurors in August spent more than seven hours deliberating before convicting Morgan, 58, of felony theft.

Morgan was accused of stealing $200,000 by collecting pay and benefits he did not earn. Prosecutors alleged he was a ghost employee put on the payroll by his college friend, former trustee Mike Lowe, as a favor.

Morgan’s attorney said Morgan would probably not file an appeal.

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