JUVENILE COURT INVESTIGATION
Juvenile judge in Memphis staying positive
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - On the heels of the U.S. Justice Department announcing measures to overhaul the Shelby County juvenile justice system, Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person remains upbeat and positive.
And he is encouraging his staff to do the same.
The Commercial Appeal reports Person gathered his 254 employees just before the holiday break and told them to focus on doing their best in 2013.
The speech comes after the Justice Department announced on Dec. 18 that it had entered into a comprehensive memorandum of agreement with the Shelby County system to resolve "serious and systemic failures" that violate children's due process and equal protection rights.
The agreement stems from an investigation into a complaint several years ago alleging that African-Americans were being treated more harshly than children of other races.
WINE IN SUPERMARKETS
Liquor stores rebuff grocery stores' wine proposal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An effort to reduce opposition to supermarket wine sales is so far failing to change the minds of the liquor store owners who stand to lose the most out of the proposal.
Under the bill taking shape before the Legislature convenes next week, local referendums would determine if wine could be sold alongside beer in grocery and convenience stores around the state. In exchange, liquor stores could branch out to sell items, like beer, mixers, ice and snacks.
The measure could also end the current law that allows owners to operate only one liquor store in the state.
But Chip Christianson, owner of J. Barleycorn's Wine and Spirits in Nashville, said he didn't buy his store to start a chain. He also raises underage drinking concerns about the proposal.
Re-enactors mark Parkers Crossroads anniversary
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - Civil War re-enactors helping celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Parkers Crossroads said it connected them with the past.
Stephen Hensley woke at 4 a.m. and drove over 60 miles from Hohenwald to Hick's Field to participate on Monday.
Hensley told The Jackson Sun that being there in the cold and mud helped him appreciate what Civil War soldiers went through and how tough they were.
Parkers Crossroads battlefield historian Steve McDaniel said the Dec. 31, 1862, battle was the culmination of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's raids against Union forces and was his most successful raid during the Civil War.
It also is the battle where, with Union troops on both his flanks, Forrest gave the command to "Charge them in both directions."
Oak Ridge visualization chamber get 3-D upgrade
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - A special chamber at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that lets scientists visualize their data is going 3-D.
The chamber is known as the Exploratory Visualization Environment for Research and Technology, or EVEREST.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports EVEREST features a 30-foot-by-10-foot display wall used to visually enhance the data from simulation and modeling projects on the lab's supercomputers.
The popular stop on laboratory tours has been off limits for a couple of months while it undergoes a $2.5 million makeover.
The upgrade does more than just add 3-D capability.
Jeff Nichols, ORNL's associate lab director for scientific computing, said the new system is LED, stereo, zero maintenance and "much more interactive." It should be ready for researchers early this year.
10-year-old donates savings to Kingsport family
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) - A 10-year-old Bristol, Va., boy has donated his savings to a Kingsport family who lost their home in a fire.
Damon Balogh (BAY'-loh) was saving the money to buy a train set. But when he heard about the Farmer family losing their rental home, Christmas presents and most of their belongings, he changed his mind.
He gave the family his jars of change totaling about $114.
Damon told the Kingsport Times-News the Farmers needed the money more than he did. He hoped they could use it to buy food or presents for their two children.
He said he could always save more money.
TennCare doctors will see reimbursement boost
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Doctors who treat TennCare patients are getting a New Year's pay raise.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports practitioners in family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics or a related subspecialty will start to be reimbursed at Medicare rates. On average, that is more than 25% above what they are paid now.
TennCare officials say that the boost will give qualifying Tennessee doctors an extra $55 million over the next two years.
Providing doctors an incentive to treat TennCare patients is important, because health experts expect the rolls to expand a lot next year. That's when the requirement that everyone have health insurance kicks in.
The state must submit a plan for the reimbursement boost for federal approval. The increases will be retroactive to Jan. 1.
DVDS FOR JOY
Girls collect DVD movies for children in hospital
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - A 9-year-old Oak Ridge girl and her sisters have collected 500 DVD movies for the East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
Kevin Corbett told The Oak Ridger his daughter KelliAnn wanted to do something to help sick children after hearing about another girl who took toys to a hospital.
Kevin Corbett called East Tennessee Children's Hospital to ask what they could use and was told they needed DVDs.
KelliAnn and her sisters, 7-year-old Emily and 6-year-old Victoria, came up with the name "DVDs for Joy" and put a flier together.
They passed it out at their school and put a gift-wrapped collection box in the lobby.
In 10 days, the girls collected more than 500 movies along with some CDs and toys.
Kevin Corbett said the donations were greatly appreciated.
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