- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Bush lauded at Tenn. GOP event, but will state vote follow?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The speakers at the Tennessee Republican Party fundraiser over the weekend took turns heaping praise on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the keynote speaker at the annual Statesmen’s Dinner.

While Gov. Bill Haslam and Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker stopped short of an official endorsement of the likely presidential candidate, their comments did more than hint that they would welcome his entry into the race.

But even if Bush ends up gaining the support of the heavy hitters in the state GOP, it’s uncertain whether primary voters in Tennessee will follow suit.

Despite endorsements from Haslam and Alexander in 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost in Tennessee to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. And another social conservative, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, won the primary in 2008.


Official: Man shoots self; bullet injures 2 hostages

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say a bullet a man used to kill himself also wounded two women he was holding hostage on a Tennessee highway.

Coffee County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Edward Knott says a 911 call came in about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Officials say that when a deputy arrived near on Interstate 24, he began speaking to the occupants of a Chevrolet Avalanche. Knotts says that during that time, 25-year-old Jose Luis Garcia pulled out a gun and shot himself.

Knott says the bullet apparently traveled through Garcia and struck two women in the vehicle. They were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. They weren’t identified. Witnesses told police Garcia had been holding the women at gunpoint for about six hours.

Garcia was on parole for aggravated robbery but had an active parole violation.


Army sergeant accused of taking bribes in Afghanistan

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - An Army sergeant from Fort Campbell has been accused of taking $100,000 and a Rolex watch in bribes from vendors seeking contracts in Afghanistan.

A document filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Paducah charges 43-year-old Ramiro Pena Jr. with conspiring to commit bribery in 2008 and 2009.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Pena’s supervisor in Afghanistan was Army Master Sgt. Jimmy W. Dennis of Clarksville, Tennessee, who pleaded guilty last year with another man for laundering about $250,000 in bribes. Dennis was sentenced to 41 months.

The prosecutor’s office said in a news release that Dennis worked with Pena to procure supplies for the Humanitarian Aid Yard at Bagram airfield by issuing contracts to local Afghan vendors. The release said Dennis and Pena processed approximately 217 contracts worth about $30.7 million.


Memphis-based food company expanding Virginia operation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says a Memphis-based food company is adding a warehouse and logistics center to its Henry County manufacturing operation.

The governor said Monday that Monogram Food Solutions LLC will invest $7.2 million and create 101 new jobs. The company has been making meat snacks at the Henry County Patriot Centre Industrial Park since 2009.

Monogram was founded in 2004 when a group of Memphis investors bought the King Cotton and Circle B Brand Meats business from the Sara Lee Corporation. The company’s products are sold under several brand names, including Wild Bill’s, O’Brien’s, Trail’s Best, Hannah’s and Bull’s.

McAuliffe awarded a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to help Henry County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission contributed $370,000.



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