Tag Archives: stops

A New Anti-Meth Campaign

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today rolled out a comprehensive statewide campaign designed to inform Tennesseans about the consequences of violating the “I Hate Meth Act,” which took effect on July 1, 2011. The announcement took place in coordination with the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association meeting in Nashville.
“The goal of this campaign is to communicate the harsh consequences of violating our anti-meth law,” Haslam said. “We want to deter people from making and using meth in our state, which will save lives, protect children, save taxpayer dollars, and make Tennessee safer overall.”
The “Meth Stops Now” campaign is an action step in the administration’s public safety action plan and specifically addresses the portion of the anti-meth law that increases the penalties for making or using meth in the presence of children and for purchasing pseudoephedrine products for non-medical uses.
The communications campaign targets the counties in Tennessee where there have been the highest number of children removed from homes due to meth-related incidents and the greatest number of meth lab seizures. In 2011, the Department of Children’s Services removed 321 children from their parents’ custody due to meth use or manufacturing. Law enforcement officials also seized 1,687 meth labs in Tennessee last year, the second highest number in the nation, according to the Tennessee Meth Task Force.
The governor also announced $750,000 in his budget amendment for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to assist local governments with training and equipment costs related to meth clean-up. This funding was originally appropriated for the current fiscal year but required matching funds from local governments of 25 percent. The current budget proposal eliminates the matching requirement.
Created by the Tombras Group, the anti-meth campaign is funded by the Department of Finance and Administration’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, and by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. It includes radio public service announcements, billboards, gas pump advertisements, in-store signage, informational pharmacy bag fliers, a website (www.methstopsnow.com), and bumper stickers for law enforcement vehicles.
Partners in the effort include the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Department of Children’s Services, Tennessee Meth Task Force, Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association, Tennessee Pharmacists Association, and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

TBI Charges Deputy Sheriff With Stealing Drugs in Traffic Stops

News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation:
Chattanooga, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a former McMinn County Sheriff’s Office deputy for one count of official oppression after he was indicted by the McMinn County grand jury earlier this week.
Justin Hester, 28, of 263 County Road 587, Englewood, Tenn. was charged as a result of a TBI investigation that began in November 2011. While working as a McMinn County deputy, Hester made numerous traffic stops between the summer of 2011 and November 2011 which were not documented with the county’s dispatch. The investigation revealed that Hester removed prescription narcotics, such as oxycodone, from the individuals and the vehicles he stopped and searched. He did not arrest or charge the individuals nor did he turn the pills into the evidence room at the sheriff’s office, keeping them for himself. Many of the individuals did not realize Hester took the pills until after the traffic stop was concluded. Hester resigned from the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office in December 2011.
Hester was booked into the McMinn County Jail and booked on a $5,000 bond.

Jimmy Haslam to Lawmakers: Don’t Commercialize Rest Stops

James A. “Jimmy” Haslam III, CEO of Pilot Flying J and a board member of the National Truck Stop Operators Association, is urging state and federal lawmakers to block further “commercialization” of highway rest stops.
In his home state of Tennessee, where Haslam’s brother is governor, his viewpoint appears likely to prevail — at least for now. Several state legislators, while saying they are willing to explore the idea if it helps the state budget, also say they have no plans to push it.
And John Schroer, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam, is opposed to such rest stop privatization efforts in Tennessee.
Current federal law generally prohibits states from setting up commercial operations at rest stops along Interstate highways except those states — mostly in the Northeast — where Interstates were in place before 1960. But some states and organizations are pushing for change in the law by Congress at a time when state governments are seeking new revenue.
“While at first glance this may seem like an easy way for state DOTs to generate revenue, the fact is it will devastate private businesses like mine that for the last 50 years have operated under the current law and established locations at the highway exits,” said Haslam in his letter. “The advantageous location of state-owned commercial rest areas establishes virtual monopolies on the sale of commercial services to highway travelers.”

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Va. Privatizes Rest Stops

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration has awarded a contract to a Pennsylvania-based catering company to sell food, drinks and merchandise at Virginia highway rest areas.
CRH Catering of Connellsville, Pa., will pay the Virginia Department of Transportation about $2 million a year for vending and advertising rights at the state’s 42 rest areas and welcome centers. Most are along interstate highways.
The new program means travelers will soon see ATM machines and interactive kiosks at the rest stops, as well as more choices for food, souvenirs and on-the-road needs.

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