Little Richard, flamboyant rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, dead at 87
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Little Richard, one of the chief architects of rock ‘n’ roll, has died. He was 87. Pastor Bill Minson, a close friend of Little Richard’s, told The Associated Press that Little Richard died Saturday morning after battling bone cancer. Known for his piercing wail, pounding piano and towering pompadour, he irrevocably altered popular music while introducing black R&B to white America. His hits included “Long Tall Sally” and “Tutti Frutti.” The trailblazing rocker helped shatter the color line on the music charts, joining Chuck Berry and Fats Domino in bringing what was once called “race music” into the mainstream.
Visitors flock to Smoky Mountains park on reopening day
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — The reopening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a little too tempting of a draw as scores of nature lovers from dozens of states crowded trails and trekked into blocked-off areas. A park spokeswoman on Saturday said parking lots were packed and lines of cars snaked down tree-lined streets. Many people did not wear masks. Visitors also walked past heavy barricades on one of the park’s most trafficked trails, Laurel Falls, which was closed off to heed federal social distancing guidelines. On the Tennessee-North Carolina border, the Great Smoky Mountains is the county’s most visited national park. It was closed March 24.
Tennessee providing virus patient info to first responders
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The names and addresses of Tennesseans who've tested positive for COVID-19 are being provided to first responders, law enforcement and paramedics under a state agreement deemed necessary to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the agreement was finalized April 3 between Tennessee’s Department of Health and the state’s Emergency Communications Board. The agreement — known as a memorandum of understanding — wasn't publicized when it was signed, but instead distributed to local leaders across the state.
Rangers, IRS volunteers lead in returns of federal workers
WASHINGTON (AP) — IRS volunteers getting bonus pay and workers at a handful of national parks are among the first federal workers venturing back under Trump administration guidelines for the coronavirus outbreak. The Trump administration says its phased plan for returning some 2 million federal workers is strongly based on local conditions in the pandemic. Some unions representing federal workers say those guidelines are too loose, and fear the administration will rush back federal workers to try to kick the U.S. economy back on its feet. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park - the country's most visited national park — was reopening Saturday.
Tennessee AG opposes push to delay executions due to virus
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general is opposing motions to delay executions scheduled in August and October due to the coronavirus pandemic. In two state Supreme Court filings this week, Attorney General Herbert Slatery wrote that attorneys for Byron Black and Harold Nichols are speculating about about future public health conditions in their delay requests. Slatery wrote that that court can take whatever actions necessary if public health circumstances worsen. Nichols' execution is scheduled for Aug. 4 and Black's is slated for Oct. 8. The state Supreme Court previously delayed inmate Oscar Smith’s execution from June to February 2021 due to the coronavirus.
FATAL FIRE-PARENTS ARRESTED
Parents charged after 1 child dies in fire, another injured