Tennessee

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Tourists Separated From Sons Perished in Gatlinburg Fire

ATF agents investigating source of 'human-caused' blazes

(Newser) - Crews discovered the remains of more people as they searched the rubble of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses near the Great Smoky Mountains, bringing the death toll to 11, officials in Gatlinburg, Tenn., said Thursday. The Commercial Appeal reports that Memphis couple Jon and Janet Summers are... More »

Thanksgiving Visit Ends With Parents Dissolving in Acid

The couple's 28-year-old son has been charged with their murder

(Newser) - Authorities say a 28-year-old man home for Thanksgiving killed his parents, then tried to dissolve their bodies in an "acid-based solution" of bleach and sewer cleaners, WBIR reports. According to the Kingsport Times-News , authorities discovered the crime scene inside a Tennessee home on Monday—at least two days after... More »

For Gatlinburg's Mayor, Fire Brought Personal Devastation

He lost his home and 7 other buildings

(Newser) - Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner has been the voice of calm while the Tennessee city battled a 15,000-acre wildfire that killed at least seven people before it was put out with help from some much-needed rain. That didn't change Thursday as he noted cleanup efforts are now underway and... More »

3 More Bodies Found in Tenn. Wildfire Ruins, Toll at 7

It's unclear how many more people are missing

(Newser) - Three more bodies were found in the ruins of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area of Tennessee, raising the death toll to seven, the AP reports. Search-and-rescue missions continued, and Sevier County mayor Larry Waters said they had found three people who... More »

Father Searches for Family Amid Horrific Tenn. Wildfire

'We are just hoping for a miracle'

(Newser) - More than 14,000 people have evacuated as a wildfire engulfs the Tennessee cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, with hundreds of them ending up in emergency shelters around the area. Michael Reed hopes his wife and their young daughters are among them. Reed tells WATE he spoke to his... More »

'Apocalypse': Tenn. Wildfires Force Aquarium to Leave 10K Animals

Flames threaten Ripley's, Dollywood as much-needed rain finally falls

(Newser) - One of at least 14 wildfires raging in Gatlinburg, Tenn., is threatening thousands of animals at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Flames engulfed at least 30 buildings in the area late Monday—including a 16-story hotel outside the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge—leading aquarium employees to be... More »

A Breakup, Then a Cheerleader's Murder

William Gaul charged in Emma Walker's shooting death

(Newser) - In splitting from her boyfriend, Emma Jane Walker, 16, "had chosen to move on," her aunt tells the Knoxville News Sentinel . "He refused to accept it." Walker—a cheerleader at Central High School in Knoxville, Tenn., who hoped to become a neonatal nurse, per WATE —... More »

Bus Driver Left His Route to Take Winding Road

6th child died Wednesday, say investigators

(Newser) - A sixth child has died as a result of Monday's school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tenn., meaning bus driver Johnthony Walker, 24, will face an additional count of vehicular homicide, reports the AP . He's also charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving after three fourth-graders, a first-grader, and... More »

Dazed Kids Said 'Mama' When Asked Mothers' Name

One mom says she complained about driver for months

(Newser) - Doctors at a Chattanooga, Tenn., hospital say there were heartbreaking scenes of confusion when young children arrived after Monday's horrific school bus crash . "Many were scared or too dazed to talk to us," says Dr. Darvey Koller, emergency room chief at TC Thompson Children's Hospital, per... More »

Driver Arrested After Deadly School Bus Crash

The charges include vehicular homicide

(Newser) - School bus driver Johnthony Walker, 24, was arrested Monday night and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving over Monday's deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga , the Chattanoogan reports. Initial reports stated that six children died in the horrific crash, but Fletcher told reporters... More »

School Bus Crash Leaves 5 Dead

Police looking at speed as a factor

(Newser) - A school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Monday afternoon killed at least five and injured at least 20 more, authorities say. It was unclear Monday night whether all of the dead were children. Police haven't determined what happened, but they say early reports suggest the bus hit a utility... More »

Car Hits Deer, Deer Goes Airborne, Hits Pedestrian

'This is not a type of crash that happens often'

(Newser) - A deer hit by a minivan in Tennessee went airborne and struck someone walking by hard enough to break some of the pedestrian's bones, the AP reports. Police spokesperson Natalie Hall tells the Leaf-Chronicle that a driver hit the deer Thursday evening near downtown Clarksville. The animal flew off... More »

Woman Shot Dead at Her Toddler's Birthday Party

A 6-year-old boy was the youngest of the six others who were injured

(Newser) - The group had gathered on the porch of a home in Dyersburg, Tenn., on Thursday to celebrate a 2-year-old's birthday with balloons, a birthday cake, and a highchair. Then shots rang out. Authorities say up to three assailants on foot opened fire on the party around 6:20pm Thursday,... More »

Conjoined Twins From Nigeria Separated at Tenn. Hospital

The surgery lasted 18 hours

(Newser) - Conjoined twin girls from Nigeria have been separated after a lengthy operation at a Tennessee hospital, days ahead of their first birthday, the AP reports. Miracle and Testimony Ayeni were separated during 18 hours of surgery that began on Nov. 7 and finished Nov. 8 at Le Bonheur Children's... More »

Family Sues Amazon After Hoverboard Burns Down Their House

Family claims a defective hoverboard bought off Amazon caused the fire

(Newser) - Amazon is being taken to court after a faulty hoverboard caused a fire that destroyed an expensive Nashville home, USA Today reports. The gadgets, which were a hot item last Christmas, have an unfortunate habit of catching fire and exploding. The Fox family of Nashville, Tenn., found this out the... More »

Justin Timberlake's Voting Selfie Could Land Him in Jail

He'd be the 1st person prosecuted under a new Tenn. law

(Newser) - Justin Timberlake rocked the vote Monday in Memphis, but he could soon be rocking a prison cell thanks to a Tennessee law that prohibits taking pictures or videos inside polling stations, TMZ reports. According to CNN , the superstar flew to his hometown Monday to vote, taking a selfie in front... More »

US Has New Nuclear Reactor for 1st Time in 20 Years

It's the 100th commercial nuclear reactor in the US

(Newser) - The first commercial nuclear reactor of the 21st century—and the first in 20 years—was officially declared complete Wednesday in Tennessee, the AP reports. According to CNN , the Tennessee Valley Authority started work on the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in 1973. The first reactor didn't open until 1996.... More »

The Ladies 'Geek Out' at CMT Artists of the Year

Shania Twain was named Artist of a Lifetime

(Newser) - Country singers Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Kelsea Ballerini honored each other and celebrated their shared successes at the CMT Artists of the Year show. Female singers rocked the stage, geeked out over one another, and showcased women's impact on country music's past, present, and future during the... More »

Soldier Chased by Wasps, Then Hit and Killed by Cars

Police believe man was mixing painkillers and alcohol

(Newser) - A soldier stationed at Fort Campbell in Tennessee died after wandering into traffic on a major highway early Monday, the Tennessean reports. Austin McGeough, 21, died after being hit by several cars on Highway 41-A in Pleasant View. Detectives working the case believe McGeough was under the influence of crushed... More »

Girl, 4, Allegedly Abducted by Family Friend Found Safe

Rebecca Lewis found, West Wild Hogs in custody

(Newser) - Authorities say a 4-year-old central Florida girl has been recovered in Tennessee and that the man who took her is in custody, the AP reports. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on its Twitter page Monday afternoon that Rebecca Lewis and 31-year-old West Wild Hogs were located in Memphis. Authorities... More »

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