Park: Crowds stayed manageable during reopening of Smokies
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Officials say crews had to rescue one hiker and dealt with congestion in a few popular places when the Great Smoky Mountains reopened over the weekend, but crowds stayed manageable. Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn said officials evaluated weekend events on Monday and determined conditions weren't overwhelming for staff or visitors. Major roadways, most trails and some restroom facilities became accessible for the first time Saturday when the Smokies became one of the country’s first national parks to reopen after closing in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Soehn says officials will continue a social media campaign aimed at helping visitors plan a safe visit that includes social distancing.
AP-VIRUS OUTBREAK-ONE GOOD THING-RETIREE SHOW
Retirees, isolated by virus, become DJs for new radio hour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Retirees in multiple states have become volunteer DJs for a new online radio hour known as “Radio Recliner.” The 60-minute show began airing last month, starting with retirees in middle Tennessee, recording from their recliners quarantined due to concerns over COVID-19. The show has since taken off, with seniors in assisted-living facilities in Georgia, Alabama and others jumping at the chance to be a DJ after being secluded because of strict social distancing rules. Listeners can also send song requests to dedicate to family or friends, which are included in the daily show. Fresh content airs weekdays at noon, with previous segments playing in rotation.
Absentee ballots now available for eligible Tennesseans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Eligible Tennesseans can now request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in the Aug. 6 election. According to a news release from the Secretary of State’s office, Tennessee law allows all voters 60 years or older to vote absentee. Other people who are allowed to vote absentee include those who will be outside of the county, those who are serving on a jury, members of the military, and those who cannot vote because of illness and their caretakers. Several groups have sued the state seeking to allow any voter to cast an absentee ballot this year over fears in-person voting could spread the coronavirus.
Officer fatally shoots man who fired gun after crash
MANCHESTER, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say a Tennessee police officer fatally shot a man who fired a gun after being involved in a weekend crash. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement it was investigating the circumstances that led to Saturday’s shooting in Coffee County. The statement says a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper responded to the crash along Interstate 24 and the driver retrieved a gun from the vehicle and began firing. The trooper returned fire, killing the man. The bureau says 49-year-old William Pound was pronounced dead at the scene. The trooper wasn’t injured.
Tennessee judges: It's OK to film clothed women in public
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — Three appeals court judges in Tennessee have ruled that it isn't illegal to film women fully clothed in public without their permission. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Sunday that the Court of Appeals judges wrote separate but identical opinions last month when dismissing unlawful photography convictions against David Eric Lambert. Lambert was convicted of the charges, along with a sexual battery count, after he was found to have taken “close-up” images of women in stores around Kingsport in 2016 for sexual gratification. He contended that he didn't commit a crime because he took the images in public. The judges agreed that there's no expectation of privacy in public places in the digital age.
'Bullseye' target found at Nashville NAACP president's home