AG: Local governments can't create anti-meth rules
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State Attorney General Bob Cooper says in a legal opinion that Tennessee law prohibits cities and counties from enacting their own ordinances controlling the sale of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine.
The legal opinion released Tuesday comes as several municipalities have moved to require a doctor's prescription to buy pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines in hopes of cracking down on meth production.
Cooper said in the opinion that the General Assembly's intent has been for statewide rules enforcing meth precursors.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported this week that Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young has been spearheading efforts to enact local ordinances around the state. Those efforts have been criticized by several local government groups and by drug companies that make cold medicine.
Vanderbilt gets $3M grant for anesthesia training
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Vanderbilt University has received a $3 million grant to expand a medical outreach program that trains anesthesia providers in Kenya.
Anesthesiology professor Mark Newton directs the Vanderbilt International Anesthesia program and also serves as the chief anesthesiologist for Kijabe (keh-JAH'-bee) Hospital in rural Kenya.
Newton said in a news release that the grant will allow Vanderbilt to translate its Kenyan anesthesia education program to one that can be easily duplicated throughout the world. Ultimately they hope for several generations of trainers who can take the curriculum throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Newton says the training will directly save the lives of women in childbirth and people undergoing surgery.
The Impact Africa grant is part of the GE Foundation's Developing Health Globally program.
NASHVILLE ZOO-ENDANGERED TOADS
Tenn. zoo sends 5K endangered toads to Puerto Rico
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville Zoo has sent more than 5,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico as part of an effort to help saved the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad.
The species is the only native toad to the island, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as critically endangered since 2004.
The Nashville Zoo began efforts to breed the Puerto Rican crested toad since first acquiring the species in 2008 but was not successful until last year. A recent shipment of 3,774 tadpoles has brought the total number to more than 5,000 produced for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release back into their native habitat in Puerto Rico.
Adult Puerto Rican crested toads are on display at the Nashville Zoo's "Unseen New World" exhibit.
Funding Board to hear revenue estimates
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's general fund tax collections fell $22 million short of projections in November, the fourth month of the state's budget year.
However, Finance Commissioner Larry Martin said Tuesday that total revenues for the month were $799 million, which is about 4 percent above the same month last year. He says it's the strongest growth so far this year.
Corporate franchise and excise taxes came in about $16 million short of projections, while the state's sales tax collections were $2 million less.
November tax collections reflect economic activity in the previous month.
Year-to-date general fund collections have fallen $119 million short of projections.
Also Tuesday, the State Funding Board met to hear economists' revenue estimates for the upcoming budget year.
Following their predictions, the governor selects a number within the range in constructing the budget.
FORMER SHERIFF ARRESTED
Jury convicts former Henderson sheriff
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - A jury in Madison County has convicted a former Henderson County sheriff of attempted voluntary manslaughter and using a weapon during a felony.
The Jackson Sun reports the jury returned Monday with the verdict against Ricky Lunsford.
Lunsford's attorney, Mark Donahoe, said the verdict was a relief for his client, who initially had faced a charge of attempted murder. The jury acquitted him of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault charges.
Investigators had previously said that Lunsford forced his wife, Mary Lunsford, to leave a bar with him at gunpoint on April 29. She broke free and police said Ricky Lunsford fired several shots as Mary Lunsford ducked between cars in the parking lot. She was not injured.
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