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A jury has convicted two ex-Vanderbilt football players of raping a former student inside a dorm room. Local 8 Now reports the jury deliberated for about three hours before finding Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey guilty. They face decades in prison. Prosecutors say Vandenburg brought an unconscious 21-year-old woman he had been seeing back to his dorm room after a night of drinking in 2013 and the assault occurred as he took pictures. Defense attorneys say Vandenburg took "deplorable" photos but did not take part in the assault. Batey testified that he was so drunk he didn't remember what happened until he later saw cellphone photos and video. The alleged victim testified she didn't remember the alleged assault. Two other former players are facing charges. Their trials have not been set. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)
When Alvie Ward’s wife woke him up at 3 a.m. Saturday, he had no idea it was to share amazing news—he had won $749,724 playing Tennessee Cash, a drawing-style lottery game offered only in Tennessee. Alvie, of Crossville, won the jackpot by matching all six numbers drawn in Friday night’s drawing. He said he selects the numbers to play using his children’s birthdays, which proved to be a lucky strategy. Alvie and his wife will celebrate their 52nd anniversary in March, and said the big win will help pay off their house, among other things. The winning ticket was sold at Lake Tansi Village Market in Crossville. (Photo Courtesy Tennessee Lottery)
Cumberland Mountain State Park received the East Tennessee Excellence in Innovation Award at the 2015 Tennessee State Parks Management meeting. Parks nominated for this award have demonstrated the ability to think outside the box to create new ideas for enhancement or improvement at their park. The innovative project must be long- lasting or far reaching. Cumberland Mountain was chosen for the award due to the park’s renovation of the historic CCC bathhouse. This renovation was accompanied by replacement and rehabilitation of the 1960’s stone walkways and patio. Cumberland Mountain State Park’s 1,720-acres were acquired in 1938 as a project of the Farm Security Administration to provide a recreational area for some 250 families selected to homestead on the Cumberland Plateau.
The 2015 Tennessee statewide youth waterfowl hunts are set for a pair of Saturdays on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. The dates that appear in the annual Tennessee Wildlife Magazine calendar were listed incorrectly. Youths between 6 and 15 years old may participate in these two youth hunt days and bag limits are the same as during the regular waterfowl season. Federal regulations require an adult at least 21 years of age to accompany youth hunters in the field. Adults are not allowed to hunt.
Voting has begun for the winners from TDOT’s first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Over the past two weeks, TDOT has received more than 3,400 entries for possible safety messages for the overhead signs located across Tennessee. The entries were narrowed down to 15 messages that cover safety issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive driving. To vote, just go to the TDOT website and check the box next to your favorite message. Voting will continue through Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The winning messages will be posted online the following week, and will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts. In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.