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Murder-Suicide Inspires First-of-Its-Kind US Law

It enables GPS monitoring of violent offenders, who foot the bill

(Newser) - A first-of-its-kind US law allows authorities in Tennessee to track violent domestic offenders with GPS monitoring. The law that went into effect Monday stems from the 2021 murders of Marie Varsos and her mother Debbie Sisco. Varsos had been staying with Sisco near Nashville after her estranged husband, Shaun Varsos,...

Woman Who Said Vax Would 'Dishonor God' Wins $700K

Tanja Benton wins settlement against ex-employer BlueCross for refusing COVID vaccine mandate

(Newser) - Tanja Benton was pink-slipped in November 2021 from the biostatistical research scientist job she'd held for years with federal contractor BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, due to her refusal to adhere to her employer's COVID vaccine mandate. Now, a federal jury has awarded Benton nearly $700,000 in a...

SCOTUS Takes Up Rare Transgender-Rights Case

High court will look at state bans on gender-affirming care for minors

(Newser) - The Supreme Court on Monday jumped into the fight over transgender rights, agreeing to hear an appeal from the Biden administration seeking to block state bans on gender-affirming care. The justices' action comes as Republican-led states have enacted a variety of restrictions on health care for transgender people, school sports...

Riley Strain Autopsy Released
Riley Strain Autopsy Released

Riley Strain Autopsy Released

Medical examiner says student died from drowning, intoxication

(Newser) - University of Missouri student Riley Strain's death is officially being classed as accidental, police in Nashville said after the release of an autopsy report from the medical examiner Tuesday. The report found that the 22-year-old died from drowning and intoxication, CNN reports. It said his blood alcohol level was...

Squeezable Food Pouch Killed Beloved Antelope, Zoo Says

This is why the pouches aren't allowed, the zoo says

(Newser) - A rare antelope choked on a squeezable food pouch and died over the weekend at a northeastern Tennessee zoo, officials said. Lief, a 7-year-old male sitatunga, died Saturday at Brights Zoo, the family-owned zoo in rural Limestone said in a social media post mourning the loss of the "beloved...

Buc-ee's Brings a World Record Home to Texas

Luling store officially recognized as world's largest convenience store

(Newser) - Sevierville, Tennessee, just lost its status as home of the world's largest convenience store. A larger Buc-ee's, with over 75,000 square feet of store space, 120 gas pumps, and "thousands of snack, meal and drink options," opened Monday in Luling, Texas, per a release . A...

Video of Congressman's Jokester Son Goes Viral
Congressman May Regret
Bringing Young Son to Work

Congressman May Regret Bringing Young Son to Work

GOP Rep. John Rose's 6-year-old goes viral for making faces behind his dad as he spoke at Capitol

(Newser) - Next time, Rep. John Rose may opt for a babysitter instead. The GOP congressman from Tennessee made a speech Monday on the House Floor defending Donald Trump over his recent felony convictions , and as the cameras rolled, Rose's 6-year-old son, Guy, whom he'd brought to work with him...

In Graceland Scam, Identity Thief Steps Forward

Plot using faked documents 'didn't succeed very well,' individual tells 'NYT'

(Newser) - An alleged identity thief claims to be behind the attempted foreclosure auction of Elvis Presley's beloved home, Graceland. "We figure out how to steal," the individual wrote in an email to the New York Times . "That's what we do." The Times had sent questions...

Chiefs Kicker to Female Grads: Best Job Title Is 'Homemaker'
Butker Doubles Down:
I Only Answer to Jesus

Butker Doubles Down: I Only Answer to Jesus

Kansas City Chiefs kicker doesn't back down from controversial remarks from commencement speech

(Newser) - Harrison Butker showed up Friday in public for the first time since his controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College earlier this month, with "zero regret" on those previous remarks, per Fox News . "I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it...

Lender Drops Foreclosure Claim on Graceland Amid Suspicion

There are indications loan signature was fraudulent

(Newser) - The lending company that planned to auction off Graceland, Elvis Presley's former mansion and burial place, is withdrawing all claims to the property after allegations of fraud, per Reuters . Naussany Investments and Private Lending sought a public auction of the iconic Memphis property, claiming previous owner Lisa Marie Presley...

Tennessee Judge Blocks Foreclosure Sale of Graceland

Temporary injunction means no one is buying the King's old digs on Thursday

(Newser) - A Tennessee judge on Wednesday blocked the auction of Graceland, the iconic former home of Elvis Presley, by a company that claimed his estate failed to repay a loan that used the property as collateral. As the AP reports, Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued a temporary injunction against the...

Sanitation Firm Fined $650K for Hiring Kids to Clean Factories

Fayette Janitorial Service has also agreed to no longer hire minors to work in meatpacking plants

(Newser) - A Tennessee-based sanitation company has agreed to pay more than half a million dollars after a federal investigation found it illegally hired at least two dozen children to clean dangerous meat-processing facilities in Iowa and Virginia. The US Department of Labor announced Monday that Fayette Janitorial Service LLC entered into...

Tennessee Could Soon Have Armed Teachers
Governor Signs Bill
Allowing Armed Teachers

Governor Signs Bill Allowing Armed Teachers

Tennessee's Bill Lee OKed controversial legislation, which goes into effect immediately

(Newser) - As expected, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed off on a new law permitting teachers and staff to carry handguns on campus in public schools. "What's important is that we give districts tools and the option to use a tool that will keep their children safe," Lee...

Family: Riley Strain Was 'Helped' Into River
Riley Strain
Was 'Helped'
Into River
in case you missed it

Family: Riley Strain Was 'Helped' Into River

Mom Michelle Whiteid says text message raises possibility that his drink was drugged

(Newser) - Having had nearly a month to process Riley Strain's death in Nashville, mother Michelle Whiteid says she's bothered by text messages the 22-year-old sent her before he was asked to leave a downtown bar on March 8. Strain, whose body was discovered less than two weeks later in...

American Idol Alum Found Dead in Nashville

No word on cause of death for 47-year-old Grammy winner Mandisa Hundley, on show's Season 5

(Newser) - A singer who performed on the fifth season of American Idol nearly 20 years ago died Thursday in Tennessee's capital. "We can confirm that yesterday Mandisa was found in her home deceased," a rep for the singer says in a statement, per People . "At this time...

Descendant of Cousins Loses Bid to Block Marriage Change

Tennessee Rep. Gino Bulso brings Supreme Court's gay union ruling into debate

(Newser) - The Republican-led Tennessee Legislature has overwhelmingly voted to send GOP Gov. Bill Lee a proposal that would ban marriage between first cousins. The House cast a 75-2 vote Thursday on the bill after the Senate previously approved it without any opposition. But a particularly vocal opponent, Republican Rep. Gino Bulso,...

Country Star Morgan Wallen Ends Weekend in the Pokey

Star arrested in Nashville after cops say he hurled a chair off a bar rooftop

(Newser) - Morgan Wallen had quite the weekend in Nashville, ending his Sunday night out in Tennessee's capital with an arrest. WKRN reports that the 30-year-old country star was detained after allegedly throwing a chair from the rooftop of the six-story Chief's bar, owned by fellow country performer (and Field ...

Glasses Found in Search for Teen Last Seen in February

Sebastian Rogers, 15, apparently vanished from his bedroom in Hendersonville, Tennessee

(Newser) - A pair of glasses has been found in the search for a glasses-wearing Tennessee teenager with autism, last seen 40 days ago. Sebastian Rogers, 15, was last seen Feb. 25 at his home in Hendersonville, a city 10 miles northeast of Nashville. His mother said she went to wake him...

Tennessee Appears to Want to Protect Itself From 'Chemtrails'

Though it doesn't say as much (and also, chemtrails don't exist)

(Newser) - Tennessee's new bill banning the release of airborne chemicals, which will become law July 1 if the governor signs it, does not mention "chemtrails" by name but is said to be inspired by the chemtrail conspiracy theory, in which toxic chemicals are said to be spread by airplanes....

Riley Strain Found Dead in Nashville
Riley Strain Found
Dead in Nashville

Riley Strain Found Dead in Nashville

Body of missing 22-year-old University of Missouri student found in Cumberland River

(Newser) - Some sad news regarding missing University of Missouri student Riley Strain, who disappeared earlier this month while on a fraternity trip to Tennessee: Authorities in Nashville say they've found the 22-year-old's body, reports the AP . An update from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department says that Strain's body...

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