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University of Tennessee eyes fall semester back on campuses

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The University of Tennessee system plans to end its hiatus on in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic and bring students back to campuses for the upcoming fall semester. A university news release Wednesday says the decision comes after the creation of a systemwide task force in April, in addition to task forces for individual campuses. University system President Randy Boyd says school officials will continually monitor state and local health data and policies and be prepared to adjust and communicate plans when needed. The university switched to online coursework in March due to the pandemic. The university has campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis.


In reversal, Lee says state no longer implementing vouchers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee’s office says the state has hit pause on a new school voucher program, reversing course just a day after the Republican encouraged parents to apply despite a recent court declaring the program unconstitutional and unenforceable. Instead, Tennessee’s attorney general’s office on Wednesday sought permission to continue implementing a new school voucher program just days after a judge deemed the law unconstitutional and unenforceable. Lee raised eyebrows Tuesday when he told reporters that the state would continue to encourage parents to apply for the vouchers.


Vanderbilt University gets $20M grant for drug research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University has announced a $20 million gift to support the school's research into treatments for people with brain disorders. The university said in a statement Tuesday that the William K. Warren Foundation gave the grant to the school’s Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. The center has about 100 scientists focusing on transforming academic research into treatments for brain disorders including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. The university says one of its recent discoveries is a drug that could help slow memory loss. It's undergoing clinical trials.


Louisiana man embezzled $760K from Nashville-based Omnis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $760,000 from Nashville-based Omnis Health Inc. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville Robert Burton formerly served as president of Omnis, which sold diabetic testing kits. Between December 2013 and January 2017, Burton claimed he was using personal funds to purchase diabetic testing supplies. Instead he placed the supplies in online shopping carts and printed out the screen displays as receipts. Burton also fabricated credit card receipts. And he submitted false travel expense claims. He faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and up to five years for tax evasion.


Virginia man drowns after boat overturns in Tennessee lake

MOORESBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Wildlife officials say a Virginia man drowned in a Tennessee lake after falling from a small boat. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said in a news release that 71-year-old Edward McMillan was fishing with a boy on Cherokee Lake in Hawkins County when their vessel overturned Saturday afternoon. Officials say the boat looks like a flat-transom canoe with an outboard engine. It was near a boat ramp when both occupants were sent into the water. The boy was able to pull the man to shore. But McMillan did not survive. Officials say McMillan is from Gate City, Virginia.


Trucker from Iowa charged in 1990s slayings of 3 women

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Investigators in Iowa have arrested a former long-haul trucker suspected of killing two women in Wyoming and a third in Tennessee in the early 1990s. Police arrested 58-year-old Clark Perry Baldwin on Wednesday at his home in Waterloo, Iowa, on warrants from Tennessee and Wyoming charging him in the three killings. He’s being held in the Black Hawk County jail pending extradition proceedings. The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says in a news release that “advances in technology” linked Baldwin to the crimes. He's charged in the 1992 killings of two unidentified women in Wyoming and the 1991 slaying in Tennessee of a pregnant woman, Pamela McCall, and her fetus.