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The Crossville City Council in regular session on Tuesday passed the 1st reading of an ordinance changing the requirements for beer sales. The revision will remove any distance requirements in proximity to churches, schools or other places of public gathering. The change comes after a permit was issued to Bottom's Up on Highway 70 that was within 500 feet of the Place of Refuge Church. Since that permit was issued 3 years ago, Council was not willing to revoke it, and according to the City Attorney, the City could no longer enforce the distance rule with that permit still active. The revision will bring the City in line with state regulations on high gravity beers, wine and liquor, which have no distance limits.
Two firefighters were injured late Tuesday afternoon when their fire truck flipped on Roane State Highway. 21 year old Ty Puckett and 19 year old Travis May were traveling westbound on Highway 70 when the pumper/tanker ran off the road and landed on its top. Both firemen were wearing seatbelts and received only minor injuries. No charges will be filed.
A proposed constitutional amendment calling for the popular election of the state's attorney general has overwhelmingly passed the Senate. The measure, which has failed for a number of years, was approved 23-9. Under the state's constitution, the attorney general is appointed to an eight-year term by the state Supreme Court. The sponsor of the proposal, Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, says the current process is a conflict of interest because the attorney general is being "chosen by judges that he himself interviewed and helped put on the bench."
A proposal to do away with Tennessee's motorcycle helmet requirement has been shelved for the year. The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jay Reedy of Erin was deferred on Tuesday until the first calendar of next year's legislative session. Under the proposal, motorcycle riders at least 21 years old carrying private health insurance would be able to decide if they want to wear a helmet. The Tennessee Highway Patrol opposes the bill because it wouldn't allow troopers to verify the age and insurance status of motorcyclists. About 167,000 motorcycles are registered in Tennessee.
The Tennessee attorney general's office appears to have changed its position on whether felons and those convicted of domestic violence can legally possess antique guns. A 2008 opinion issued by then-Attorney General Robert Cooper said felons could lawfully possess the older weapons. However, state law has changed. The latest opinion by Attorney General Herbert Slatery says violent felony and drug felony offenders cannot possess the antiquated guns using muzzle loaders and black powder, even if they are hunting. But legal experts say the opinion is confusing and appears to limit all felons from using the older guns. The opinion was in response to questions posed by Mt. Juliet Republican Sen. Mae Beavers. Beavers asked what weapons felons could use to hunt.