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From the Chattanoogan…
The State Senate on Tuesday re-elected Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) for a third term as Speaker of the Senate. Senators met at noon on the first organizational day of the 112th General Assembly to elect their speaker. By statute, the Speaker of the Senate holds the title of Lieutenant Governor. He has served as Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor since January 2017.
After his election, Lt. Governor McNally gave brief remarks addressed to his colleagues and the people of Tennessee.
Lt. Governor McNally is only the second Republican Tennessee Senate Speaker in modern history and the first from Anderson County in nearly 150 years.
From NewsChannel 9…
The city of Etowah says a former funeral home employee now faces charges that he stole money from the funeral home and from its patrons during his ten years of employment.
A McMinn County Grand Jury has indicted Brian Miracle on charges that include two counts of theft of property and one count of burglary other than habitation.
The city of Etowah says the crimes were discovered back in September at the Serenity Funeral Home.
The incident was immediately reported to the Etowah Police Department, who opened an investigation.
After a lengthy investigation, the city says it was discovered the amount taken from the funeral home was estimated to be approximately $80,000. The city says it was also discovered an estimated $13,000 was taken from individuals and not turned over to the funeral home for payments made toward funerals.
Brian Miracle was arrested on two grand jury indictments for theft over $60,000.00 and theft over $10,000.00 on Tuesday, and he was booked at the McMinn County Jail.
Also from NewsChannel 9…
The Tennessee Department of Health reports great progress in rapidly vaccinating those at highest risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.
Officials within the health department say within four weeks of Tennessee receiving its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, more than 221,000 people in the state have received vaccinations, and the Tennessee Department of Health is distributing COVID-19 vaccinations as rapidly as supplies are received from the federal government.
Tennessee is one of the most successful states in the U.S. at quickly administering vaccine, having administered more than 50 percent of the vaccines received by the state.
From WRCB Channel 3…
Tennessee lawmakers are returning to Nashville on Tuesday to kick off their annual session amid a pandemic and an FBI probe that drew searches of multiple legislative offices by federal agents last week.
Tennessee’s legislative session is likely to stretch for several months, with a special session called by Republican Gov. Bill Lee on tap starting Jan. 19 to address education challenges that have popped up amid the virus outbreak.
The Republican supermajority General Assembly is also likely to consider some proposals that were paused last year due to COVID-19, including a permitless handgun, carry bill backed by Lee.
More could also come to light in the federal investigation that spurred last week’s searches of a handful of Republican House offices and the homes of a few lawmakers and at least one former staffer. Federal authorities have not revealed the reason for the probe yet.
Also from WRCB Channel 3…
The Collegedale Police Chief has been placed on administrative leave following a recent police chase they say he was involved in on January 2nd.
Collegedale City Manager says the information was received that Chief Brian Hickman was involved in a chase in Bradley County that allegedly involved his personal vehicle.
As a result of certain provisions of Collegedale policies, the City Manager Ted Rogers has placed Chief Hickman on administrative leave.
An investigation has been requested outside of the Collegedale Police Department because of the chief’s position.
Rogers has asked the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to assist with an internal affairs investigation. Pending the outcome, Chief Hickman will remain on administrative leave.