Tennessee

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They Tried to Save His Life. Before Death, He Thanked Them

Nicholas Sutton chose electric chair over lethal injection

(Newser) - A convicted murderer was put to death in Tennessee's electric chair Thursday, becoming the state's fifth prisoner over 16 months to choose electrocution over the state's preferred method of lethal injection. Nicholas Sutton, 58, was pronounced dead at 7:26pm at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in... More »

10 US States Where Your Vices Can Run Amok

Nevada is the most sinful, Vermont the most upright

(Newser) - Lent begins next week, and for many, the denial of certain vices and bad behaviors in an attempt to give something up during the religious observance. In some states, though, the temptation may just be too much. WalletHub looked at nearly four dozen metrics in all 50 states across seven... More »

The People Trying to Halt His Execution Are Unexpected

Among them: the daughter of one of the people Nick Sutton murdered

(Newser) - Death row inmate Nick Sutton has an unusual group of supporters seeking to block his scheduled execution Thursday. Among them are family members of his victims, as well as past and present prison workers calling for clemency. Sutton, 58, was sentenced to death in 1986 for killing fellow inmate Carl... More »

Armed Corrections Officer Shot Dead by Police

Travis Mullins allegedly pointed a gun at officers

(Newser) - A corrections officer accused of targeting a woman he had been dating in a store parking lot was shot and killed by a police officer in Tennessee. Travis Mullins, 29, was pronounced dead Monday evening outside a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Greeneville, WBIR reports. Greeneville police were called... More »

Alleged Thief's Mistake: Using Daughter's Journal

Prosecutors say dropped item contained hit list, identifying information

(Newser) - Authorities in Tennessee say they busted a well-organized burglar after he allegedly dropped a notebook during a break-in that contained a list of other places he planned to target. Robert Shull Goddard, 49, is accused of smashing a glass door and breaking into a Nashville area home on Jan. 29,... More »

Cops: Mayor Embezzled From His Own Grandmother

Tennessee's Chris Jones allegedly stole $394K while she had dementia

(Newser) - The mayor of a Tennessee town is behind bars, where he could remain for the next 25 years. Mount Carmel's Chris Jones was arrested Monday, days after he was indicted on charges of stealing nearly $400,000 from his grandmother, who suffered from dementia in the year before she... More »

Students Weep, Faint Over College Merger

Watkins College of Art is set to merge with Belmont University, a Christian institution

(Newser) - A Nashville art college is in turmoil after news broke earlier this week of a merger with Belmont University—a Christian institution that's known to crack down on staffers who go against its faith, Artnet reports. "There is rage and there is fear," said Quinn Dukes, an... More »

In These States, It's Driver Beware

WalletHub ranking considers infrastructure, traffic, and more

(Newser) - Traffic in New York City is notoriously bad, but it's not enough to sour driving in the state, which comes middle of the pack in a new ranking of the best and worst US states in which to drive. There's much more than traffic to consider. Indeed, WalletHub... More »

The 10 Most, Least Educated US States

Massachusetts comes in at No. 1, Mississippi is last

(Newser) - Looking to surround yourself with brainiacs? Some states have more of an emphasis on education than others, and WalletHub looked at the data to see which ones graduate at the top of the class. The site analyzed all 50 states in terms of educational attainment (meaning such factors as the... More »

Bear Caught Roaming University Campus

It was captured inside University of Tennessee stadium

(Newser) - No humans—or bears—were harmed early Sunday after a 200-pound black bear wandered onto the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. Campus police say they called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency after the female bear was spotted on the grounds, CNN reports. She was tranquilized and captured inside the... More »

Arrest Made in Stabbings Over 'Unwanted Advancement'

Michael Mosely, 23, was arrested Wednesday

(Newser) - Two men killed, four people of interest, and nearly four days without an arrest—until now. Authorities arrested 23-year-old Michael Mosely on Wednesday in the fatal stabbings of two men outside a Nashville bar, including the brother of San Francisco 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard, the Tennessean reports. An array of... More »

Boot Confederate General for Dolly Parton Instead?

GOP congressman wants a change at the state Capitol in Tennessee

(Newser) - It's an interesting idea to say the least: A congressman from Tennessee proposes removing the bust of a Confederate general from the state Capitol in Nashville and replacing it with one of Dolly Parton. Rep. Jeremy Faison, chair of the House Republican Caucus, floated the idea in an interview... More »

NFL Player's Brother Killed 'Over a Woman'

Clayton Beathard was just 22 years old

(Newser) - The San Francisco 49ers played with aching hearts Saturday after hearing about quarterback CJ Beathard's brother—who had just been killed in Nashville, USA Today reports. Clayton Beathard, 22, was one of two men fatally stabbed outside a bar in what police say was an argument over a woman.... More »

Boy Falls From Parade Float, Is Run Over by Dad

No charges laid in Tennessee

(Newser) - The Christmas parade had just wrapped up when a boy fell out of a trailer packed with kids and into the path of its tires. Rowan Frensley, 7, was run over, though the truck pulling the trailer—driven by his own father—was driving slowly as it prepared to unload... More »

State Sends Blind Man to Electric Chair

Tennessee executes Lee Hall for 1991 murder

(Newser) - Lee Hall never saw the chair he would be killed in. The 53-year-old convicted murderer was executed in Tennessee's electric chair Thursday night, making him the second blind man to be executed in the US since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. He was sentenced to die in 1992... More »

Electric Eel Keeps This Aquarium's Christmas Tree Lit

Miguel Wattson is providing the juice for seasonal lights at the Tennessee Aquarium

(Newser) - Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium may be shocked to learn that an electric eel named Miguel Wattson is lighting up a Christmas tree, per the AP . A special system connected to Miguel's tank enables his shocks to power strands of lights on a nearby tree, according to a news... More »

Tenn. University Finds 'It's OK to Be White' Signs

Signs cover memorial for first African-American students at East Tennessee State University

(Newser) - East Tennessee State University is the latest college campus hit by a white supremacist campaign started by an internet group. "I am disgusted by this act," Brian Noland, university president, says in a statement cited by NBC News . That act: signs proclaiming "It's OK to be... More »

County Lawmaker Rants About 'Queer' Running for President

Apparent reference to Pete Buttigieg has earned Tennessee's Warren Hurst condemnation

(Newser) - A commissioners' meeting in Sevier County, Tenn., went off the rails Monday during a discussion on a resolution to make the county a "Second Amendment sanctuary," per the Washington Post . While a couple of people showed up to push back on the resolution, things remained generally coolheaded—until... More »

4-Year-Old Saves Toddler Sister: 'I Grabbed Her Tummy'

Gray Forrester was in the right place at the right time when 2-year-old Andie fell in the pool

(Newser) - Gray Forrester is just barely school age, but the 5-year-old has already earned the label of hero. WBIR reports that Gray was just 4 during an incident in their Knoxville, Tenn., yard that led to his 2-year-old sister, Andie, almost drowning. Their mom, Laura, said on the day in question... More »

Fugitive Disbarred Attorney Captured After 8 Months

Richard Merritt is accused of killing his own mother

(Newser) - A disbarred attorney from Georgia who allegedly killed his mother and went on the run instead of surrendering to serve a prison sentence has been recaptured after eight months as a fugitive. Authorities say Richard Merritt was arrested by the US Marshals Service in a thrift store in Nashville on... More »

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