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Tennessee official: Fear of virus not reason to vote by mail

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee election officials say the fear of contracting the coronavirus doesn’t meet the criteria to vote by mail due to illness in the state. Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said Tuesday the determination was made in consultation with the attorney general's office. Officials are advising their local counterparts to prepare as though all 1.4 million registered voters who are at least 60 will vote by mail in the August primary election due to the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance comes in Tennessee’s COVID-19 election contingency plan, which was prepared by the state Division of Elections. Two lawsuits seek to allow voting by mail for all Tennessee voters.


Tennessee county leads US in virus cases per capita

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Trousdale County has the highest per capita coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. and Bledsoe County has the fifth. That's according to an Associated Press analysis. In both counties, the high infection rates are attributable to their local prisons. Trousdale County has 1,363 cases of the virus. Nearly all of those are from the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center where 1,299 inmates and 50 workers have tested positive. Bledsoe County has reported 604 cases including 586 at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex. Nearly all the inmates completed 14 days of isolation without becoming ill. Two Trousdale prisoners and one Bledsoe prisoner have died after testing positive.


9-year-old boy in Tennessee catches 80-pound lake sturgeon

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A nine-year-old child in Tennessee has reeled in an 80-pound fish. The Tennessee Wildlife and Resource Agency celebrated Coye Price’s sturgeon catch, noting in a Facebook post that the boy weighs only 55 pounds. The agency says lake sturgeons are endangered due to habitat loss and overfishing, but they can grow to 300 pounds and live for 150 years. The boy had been targeting a catfish in Old Hickory Lake before he hooked the lake sturgeon. It took him 15 minutes to get the fish into the boat before his family weighed the catch, took a victory photo and and released it back into the water.


Civic leader Fred L. Davis dies in Memphis; marched with MLK

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Civic leader and businessman Fred L. Davis has died in Memphis, Tennessee. Davis supported the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was 86. A media representative for the Davis family said he died Tuesday at his home in Memphis. Davis had been ill for several months. Davis was elected to the Memphis City Council in 1967. He supported Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 to protest dangerous working conditions and low pay. Davis joined King on a march down Beale Street that turned violent in March 1968.


Tennessee widlife officials to name new agency chief

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State wildlife officials are set to meet online this week to name a new executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to meet Friday to name a replacement for TWRA executive director Ed Carter. Agency officials said in a news release Tuesday that Carter has announced his retirement. It is effective at the end of May. The commission also is scheduled to vote on a restructuring of it committees. Commission chairman Kurt Holbert says the state is “managing new challenges” with wildlife management, such as chronic wasting disease in deer and Asian carp.


Soldiers deployed for virus outbreak return to Fort Campbell

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — More than 200 soldiers who deployed to New York City to help with the coronavirus pandemic have returned to the post along the Kentucky-Tennessee line. The soldiers are assigned to the 586th Field Hospital, part of the 531st Hospital Center, and spent more than a month at the Javits New York Medical Station caring for COVID-19 patients. The commander of the 531st, Col. Brandon Pretlow, said the soldiers took care of more than 1,000 patients there. They deployed March 26. Other soldiers from the 531st remain deployed to New York.