State of Tennessee Newsroom http://tn.gov/news en Bledsoe Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud http://tn.gov/news/48737 48737 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Bledsoe County woman is charged in nearby Rhea County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment for the pills. Doctor shopping is the crime of visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Gracie Archbell, also known as Gracie Frazier, 35, of Pikeville. She is charged with three counts of doctor shopping for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment. “State leaders have given us the appropriate laws and authority to pursue people who are doctor shopping for drugs, whether it’s for personal abuse or with the intent of distribution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re intent on winning this war against TennCare drug fraud.” District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,801 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.” TennCare Fraud TennCare Fraud Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:06:00 +0000 Middle Tennessee Weekly Construction Lane Closures, February 23 - March 1, 2017 http://tn.gov/news/48734 48734 at http://tn.gov/news DAVIDSON COUNTY, Grading, drainage, & paving on I-40 eastbound at the interchange of I-440 Daily (excluding weekends), 12PM-2PM, There will be rolling roadblocks on I-40 in both directions at MM 205 for blasting. Thursday, February 23, 8PM-5AM, There will be lane closures on I-40 eastbound for scaling and excavation of rock at MM 205. Two lanes will remain open.   DAVIDSON COUNTY, Repair of 6 Bridges at I-440/I-65 Interchange over US31 (SR 6, Franklin Pike) From now through May 2017, There will be lane shifts on I-440 and I-65 at the 440/65 junction to perform deck repairs, expansion joint repairs, and approach slab repairs.                              DAVIDSON COUNTY, Bridge Repair on I-65 over Cumberland River at Cowan Street Starting Monday, February 27 and continuing nightly (excluding weekends), 8PM-5AM, There will be alternating lane closures on I-65 at MM 86 in both directions for bridge repairs. Two lanes will remain open at all times.   DAVIDSON and WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Expansion of ITS on I-65 Thursday, February 23, 9PM-6AM, There will be alternating lane closures on I-65 northbound at MM 57. At least one lane will remain open at all times.      Thursday, February 23, 9PM-6AM, There will be lane closures on I-65 in both directions at MM 64 to install DMS over the roadway. At least two lanes will remain open at all times. Friday, February 24, 9PM-6AM, There will be one right lane closure on I-65 in both directions at MM 76 to install DMS over the roadway. At least two lanes will remain open at all times.                MACON COUNTY, Bridge Replacement on SR 151 over Salt Lick Creek ( L.M. 2.46) From now through June 2017, There will be a lane closure on SR 151 for bridge repair work. The bridge traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic signals.   MAURY COUNTY, Intersection Improvement at the Intersection of SR 50 & SR 245 From now through June 2017, There will be lane closures on SR 50 (James Campbell Blvd.) for installation of traffic light poles & loops.    ROBERTSON & SUMNER COUNTY, ITS Expansion on I-65 Nightly, 9PM-6AM (excluding weekends), There will be a lane closure on I-65 northbound from MM 98 to 102 to install guardrail.      ROBERTSON COUNTY, Construction of New Interchange on I-65 at SR 109 Thursday, February 23 through Wednesday, March 1, 8PM-5AM, There will be temporary lane closures on I-65 northbound at MM 118 for pothole repair work. At least one lane will remain open.   SUMNER COUNTY, The Construction of Retaining Walls on SR 109 from Odom's Bend to the SR 109 Bypass of South of Gallatin Daily, 9AM-3PM, There will be temporary lane closures on SR 109 for blasting operations at Lorraine Drive. One lane will remain open.   WILLIAMSON COUNTY, The Random On-Call Pavement Marking On Various Interstate & State Routes Thursday, February 23 and Friday, February 24, 8PM-5AM, There will be temporary lane closure on SR 397 (Mack Hatcher Parkway) from LM 0-3 to install snowplowable markers. One lane will remain open.   Maintenance & Utilities   DAVIDSON COUNTY The week of February 6 and continuing through the end of 2017, Major construction is scheduled to begin on Metro Water’s Cumberland City Low Transmission Water Main Improvement project, which impacts the Donelson Pike/Lebanon Road area. For complete information visit the website at http://www.cumberlandlowwaterproject.com/home.html.   Sunday, February 26, 6AM-7AM, There will be a rolling roadblock on Briley Parkway at Exit 26B (Centennial Blvd) for Comcast to overlash fiber onto existing cables.     Motorists are encouraged to use caution and obey reduced speed limits in all TDOT work zones, regardless of lane closure activity.  Information in this report is provided to the Department of Transportation by the contractors.  Most work is weather dependent and subject to change due to inclement weather.    From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel.    As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel. Road Closures Transportation Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:51:00 +0000 Tennessee Forestry Commission to Meet http://tn.gov/news/48735 48735 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet March 2 at the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, Tenn. The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. – 1p.m. CST in the conference room of the Bruer building located at 406 Hogan Road. The agenda includes confirmation hearings and a review of membership terms, the 2016 Annual Report, fall fire season review, seedling sales and nursery operations, state forest timber sales preview, dates and logistics for 2017 scheduled meetings and possible revision of the Green Belt Law. The meeting is open to the public. The Tennessee Forestry Commission comprises seven members representing the public’s interests as they relate to forest resources in the state. The commission advises the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on forest issues. For more information, contact TDA’s Division of Forestry at 615-837-5520. Agriculture Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:43:00 +0000 West Tennessee Weekly Construction February 22-March 1, 2017 http://tn.gov/news/48725 48725 at http://tn.gov/news BENTON COUNTY - I-40 Truck Climbing Lane Wednesday, February 22 through Wednesday March 1: There are no scheduled closures. CARROLL COUNTY, SR-424: Construction of a concrete bulb-tee beam bridge on SR 424 over Roan Creek will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway from the construction zones and also crossing the roadways. Restrictions: Beginning Thursday, January 19, 2017, a signal system was put into place. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction with a 10’ lane restriction. DYER COUNTY, SR-104: Miscellaneous safety improvements on SR 104 from SR 181 (Great River Road) to SR 182 (Lenox-Nauvoo Road) will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway. FAYETTE COUNTY,I-40: Thursday, February 23 and Friday, February 24, 9:00 a. m.-3:00 p. m: There will be INTERMITTENT lane closures at various locations on I-40 east and westbound at LM-27.0 to LM-42.0 to allow for pavement repairs. Weather Permitting. * Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, 9AM-3PM will serve as backup dates.  FAYETTE COUNTY, SR-15 (US-64); Resurfacing work will cause possible temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from the 5 lane section to near Tomlin Road. FAYETTE COUNTY, SR-15 (US-64); Bridge Repair project on SR 15 over Howell Creek will cause possible temporary lane closures in both directions daily. GIBSON COUNTY, SR-420: Miscellaneous safety improvements from Luck Madden Road log mile 2.12 to SR 186 log mile 4.57. HARDEMAN COUNTY, SR-100: Bridge Repair project on SR 100 over overflow at log mile 7.58 Tuesday, May 31 through May 31, 2017, a signal system is being utilized. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway. Watch for flagmen. Restrictions: On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, a signal system was put into place. Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction with an 11’ lane restriction. HARDIN COUNTY, SR-15 (US-64): A widening project on SR 15 from Firetower Road to west of Bigbee Branch. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway from the construction zones and also crossing the roadways. HARDIN COUNTY, SR-128: A widening project on SR 128 from South of Opel Loop to US-64 (SR 15) in Savannah will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway from the construction zones and also crossing the roadways. HAYWOOD COUNTY-Bridge over I-40 at Hawkins Lane: Bridge Repair project over I-40 at Hawkins Lane log mile 0.47 will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. HAYWOOD COUNTY-Bridge over I-40 at SR-19 (Exit 60): Bridge Repair project at log mile 16.62 will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. HAYWOOD COUNTY-SR-19 (Brownsville Bypass): A widening project on SR 19 from west of Windrow Road to SR 76 south of Brownsville will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway from the construction zones and also crossing the roadways. LAKE COUNTY, SR-21: Bridge Repair project on SR 21 over Reelfoot Spillway will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. Restrictions: On Tuesday, July 19, through Tuesday, May 16, 2017, a signal system is being utilized. Traffic is reduced to one 9’ 9” lane in each direction. LAKE COUNTY, SR-21:  The construction of a concrete I-Beam bridge on SR 21 over Branch Creek LM 1.20, including grading, drainage, and paving.  Beginning Monday, September 12, 2016,  SR 21 was closed to thru traffic until approximately September 30, 2017. Detour route posted. MADISON COUNTY, SR-18: Construction of a concrete box bridge on SR 18 over Meridian Creek will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. A temporary signal will be utilized. Restrictions: Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction with an 11’ lane restriction. MADISON COUNTY, SR-197: Construction of 2 concrete I-beam bridges, grading, drainage and paving. Beginning Friday April 15, 2016 through Sunday, May 31, 2017: There will be lane a closure on State Route 197, just east of Beech Bluff Rd. over branch. Restrictions: Beginning Monday October 24, through Wednesday, May 31, 2017: Traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction with a 10’ lane restriction. A signal system is being utilized. MCNAIRY COUNTY, SR-117: Bridge Repair project on SR 117 over Snake Creek.​ Beginning Tuesday, June 14, a signal system is being utilized. Motorists should watch for trucks entering and exiting the roadway. Watch for flagmen.​ Restrictions: Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction with an 11’ lane restriction. A signal system is being utilized. OBION COUNTY, Future I-69: Grading, drainage, construction of eight bridges on future I-69 from 0.2 mile south of US 51 (SR 3) to 0.2 mile south of US 45W (SR 5). Speed limit is reduced to 45 MPH through the US 51 (SR 3) portion of the project. SHELBY COUNTY, I-40 at Canada Road Wednesday, February 22 through Wednesday, March 1: I-40 speed limit has been reduced to 55 MPH.  There are lane shifts on I-40 east and westbound.  Beginning December 5, 2014, there are transitions south and northbound on Canada Road. Friday, February 24, 7:00 a. m.–5:00 p.m.: There will be INTERMITTENT delays on Canada Road and I-40 west ramp to Canada Road for trucks entering and exiting the site for a concrete deck pour. Monday, February 27, 10:00 p. m.–2:00 a. m.: I-40 East and westbound lanes will have INTERMITTENT closures detoured up and over Canada Road via the ramps for paving operations. Traffic will be detoured for approximately 1 hour in each direction. Weather Permitting. *Tuesday, February 28, 10PM–2AM will serve as a backup date. SHELBY COUNTY Structural Arch Inspection on I-40 of the Hernando De Soto Bridge over the Mississippi River LOOK AHEAD: Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 12: The I-40 east and westbound outside lanes and shoulders will be CLOSED to provide a staging area for vehicles and equipment, as well as access for the man lift. I-40 Westbound lanes will be CLOSED Monday through Friday, 12PM–4PM, and on Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 a. m.-6:00 p. m. Eastbound lanes will be CLOSED (as needed) Monday through Friday, 9:00 a. m.–6:00 p. m. and on Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 a. m.-6:00 p. m. SHELBY COUNTY - Bridge Repair on I-40 over the Mississippi River (LM–0.0) LOOK AHEAD: Wednesday, March 1 through Wednesday, March 15: CLOSE the outside (right hand) lane of I-40 westbound from west of the arches and extend only to immediately past Pier W28 (near the west bank of the river). This will allow the repair of an expansion joint underneath the bridge. SHELBY COUNTY – I-55 Bridge Repairs to ITS EquipmentL OOK AHEAD: Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3, 9:00 a. m.-3:00 p. m.: There will be temporary lane closures, two left (inside) lanes reduced to one, on I-55 southbound between MM-1.0 to MM-0.0 for repairs to ITS equipment. * Saturday, March 4, 9:00 a. m.-3:00 p. m. will serve as a backup date. Weather Permitting. SHELBY COUNTY, SR-1: Construction of a welded steel plate girder bridge on SR 1 over the Loosahatchie River will cause possible lane closures throughout the project. SHELBY COUNTY, SR-14 (Austin Peay Hwy): Construction on SR 14 for a widening project from SR 204 (Singleton Parkway) to east of Old Covington Pike. Shoulders are closed north and southbound. There will be possible temporary lane closures throughout the project. Speed limit has been reduced to 45 MPH. As of May 13, 2015, Egypt-Central Road and Momosa Road have been CLOSED to thru traffic. SHELBY COUNTY, SR-385: Bridge repair on SR 385 over I-240 will cause possible temporary lane closures in both directions daily. Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26, 9:00 p. m.-5:00 a. m.: On I-240 east and westbound beneath the bridge there will be INTERMITTENT lane closures for removal of noise wall panels in the area above traffic. SHELBY COUNTY, SR-385: Bridge repair over Gulf Stream Road, the CSXT R/R & US70 (SR 1) Wednesday, February 22 through Tuesday, February 28: Lanes will have INTERMITTENT closures with one lane to remain open. Lane closure will allow for repairs to asphalt and install final pavement marking. Weather Permitting. SHELBY COUNTY, SR-385: Thursday, February 23, 9:00 a. m.-3:00 p. m.: There will be INTERMITTENT lane closures on SR-385 at LM-6.4 to LM-7.2 to allow for asphalt repair. One lane will remain open.  * Friday, February 24, 9AM-3PM will serve as a backup date.  Weather Permitting. TDOT MAINTENANCE: Wednesday, February 22 through Wednesday, March 1, 9:00 a. m.-3:00 p. m.: There will be possible lane closures at various locations in Region IV in order to patch potholes on an as needed basis. Weather Permitting. TDOT REGION 4 On-Call Concrete Pavement Repair Wednesday, February 22 and Thursday, February 23, 8:00 p. m.-6:00 a. m.: The ramp from SR 300 to US 51 northbound, in Shelby County, Millington exit ramp will be CLOSED for concrete repair. THP will assist with traffic control. Weather Permitting. Friday, February 24, 8:00 p. m. through Monday, February 27, 6:00 a. m.: The ramp from SR 300 to US 51 northbound, in Shelby County, Millington exit ramp will be CLOSED for concrete repair. THP will assist with traffic control. Weather Permitting. Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 3, 8:00 p. m.-6:00 a. m.: There will be a temporary lane closure on I-40 westbound between MM 3.1 to MM 2.8, then MM 2.6 to 2.4 for concrete repair.  One lane will remain open. THP will assist with traffic control. Weather Permitting TDOT REGION 4 Retracing of pavement markings with spray thermoplastic  Wednesday, February 22 through Wednesday, March 1: There are no scheduled closures. TDOT REGION 4, On-Call Guardrail Repair Tuesday, February 21 through Thursday, March 2, 8:00 p. m.-6:00 a. m. (including Friday & Saturday nights): There will be night time lane closures at the following various locations to repair damaged guardrail. THP will assist with traffic control.  Weather Permitting. I-40, Shelby County, east & westbound (MM 1.0 to MM 32.0), one lane will remain open. I-240, Shelby County, east & westbound, southbound & northbound (MM 1.0 to MM 30.0), one lane will remain open. I-55, Shelby County, north & southbound (MM 0.0 to MM 12.0), one lane will remain open. SR-385, Shelby County, north & southbound, east & westbound (MM 2.0 to MM 49.0), one lane will remain open. LOOK AHEAD: Sunday, February 26 through Thursday, March 2, 8:00 p. m.-6:00 a. m.: There will be night time lane closures at the following various locations to repair damaged guardrail. THP will assist with traffic control.  Weather Permitting. I-40, Shelby County, east & westbound (MM 1.0 to MM 32.0), one lane will remain open. I-240, Shelby County, east & westbound, southbound & northbound (MM 1.0 to MM 30.0), one lane will remain open. I-55, Shelby County, north & southbound (MM 0.0 to MM 12.0), one lane will remain open. SR-385, Shelby County, north & southbound, east & westbound (MM 2.0 to MM 49.0), one lane will remain open. From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel or for West Tennessee follow https://twitter.com/NicLawrenceTDOT. As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel. Media Advisories Road Closures Transportation Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:03:00 +0000 Tennessee Highway Patrol Makes Traffic Stop and Arrests Wanted Fugitive from Virginia http://tn.gov/news/48717 48717 at http://tn.gov/news Fugitive had multiple active warrants for identity crimes Knoxville - On February 17, 2017, Trooper Carll Duryea II of the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) Interdiction Plus Team (IPT) of the Knoxville District stopped a vehicle in Sevier County for a traffic violation on I-40 East. During the stop, Trooper Duryea observed possible criminal indicators and requested consent to search the vehicle, which was granted. Trooper Duryea spoke with a female passenger who provided a name, date of birth and social security number. That information proved to be the identity of an identity crimes victim out of Virginia, whose identity was stolen by the female passenger. THP Knoxville District Trooper Keith Ogle and THP’s Identity Crimes Unit (ICU) Trooper Jonathan Scott responded to the scene to assist. The search revealed 21 personal checks and four deposit slips belonging to three victims. The search also produced 10 credit/debit and gift cards. The troopers contacted the bank named on the checks and confirmed all of the checks were counterfeit, forgeries and not associated to real accounts. Interviews revealed the true identity of the female passenger to be Sandra Delp, 39, of Chilhowie, Virginia. Delp is a fugitive wanted by multiple agencies in Virginia. Delp has numerous active felony warrants in Virginia for forgery, fraud-illegal use of credit cards, welfare fraud, bad checks, and obtaining money by false pretenses. Delp was arrested without incident and was charged with multiple felony counts of criminal simulation, forgery, identity theft, felony tampering with evidence, fugitive from justice and one misdemeanor for criminal impersonation. The driver, Marcus Ashby, 24, of Marion, Virginia, was cited for driving on a revoked driver license along with other traffic violations. All three vehicle occupants were from Virginia, and were all prior convicted felons. A booking photo of Sandra Delp can be obtained through the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee. ### Safety & Homeland Security Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:15:00 +0000 State Fire Marshal Warns Tennesseans of Fire Hazards Posed by Medical Oxygen http://tn.gov/news/48715 48715 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) reminds consumers that homes where medical oxygen is used need specific fire safety rules to protect people from fire and burns. “We urge Tennesseans to take extra care when using medical oxygen in the home,” said State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. ”Oxygen saturates fabric-covered furniture, clothing, hair, and bedding, making it easier for a fire to start and spread. Help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property by complying with the safety instructions that are provided with home medical oxygen supplies.” From 2011-2016 there were 34 fire fatalities in which medical oxygen was reported as present in the residence. Eight fire fatalities involving medical oxygen occurred in Tennessee during 2016, the second-highest number recorded in the state’s history (2014 was first with 9 fatalities). According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoking is the leading heat source resulting in medical oxygen-related fires, injuries and deaths. The SFMO encourages Tennesseans to remember the following important precautions regarding home medical oxygen use: SAFETY TIPS There is no safe way to smoke in the home when oxygen is in use. A patient on oxygen should not smoke. Candles, matches, wood stoves and even sparking toys can be ignition sources and should not be used in the home. Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from heat sources, open flames or electrical devices. Body oil, hand lotion and items containing oil and grease can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away from where oxygen is in use. Never use aerosol sprays – especially those whose cans indicate flammable contents – near the oxygen. Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs in and outside the home to remind people not to smoke. Ensure smoke alarms are working by testing them monthly and replacing any smoke that is 10 years old or older. Plan a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a designated outside meeting place. Practice the plan with every member of your household. For more information on making your home fire-safe, download and print the State Fire Marshal’s home fire safety checklist.  Tennessee residents can request a free smoke alarm for their home by visiting www.tn.gov/fire. ### Commerce & Insurance Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:52:00 +0000 Morristown Driver Services Center to Close and Relocate to New Facility http://tn.gov/news/48702 48702 at http://tn.gov/news Center is the first in 30 years to offer brand new accommodations in Hamblen County NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announces the current Morristown Driver Services Center will close and relocate to a new center to better serve the citizens of Hamblen County. The new location will be located at 1551 East Morris Boulevard, east of Liberty Road. The Morristown Driver Services Center, located on Buffalo Trail, will stop serving customers at the close of business on Thursday, February 23, and reopen in the new location on Monday, February 27 at 8:30 a.m. The new center will provide a larger space to accommodate the growth in the area, and offer comfortable furnishings. This center will also have a separate testing room, iPads, and the new Alico self- service check in Kiosk. “Driver Services Centers are constantly being updated by the state to provide a better customer service,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “Obviously, Morristown continues to serve as a regional hub for folks in the Lakeway Region who need in person transactions that can’t be comfortably handled on-line. I challenge the staff here at this new Center to serve our customers with a smile. I encourage citizens with renewal needs only, to visit our partner at the Hamblen County Clerk’s satellite office on Davy Crockett Parkway for even quicker service.” The new Morristown center is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday. This facility is a full-service center handling driver license issuance, identification card issuance, motor vehicle records, vision testing, knowledge and skills testing, handgun permit applications, voter registration, and organ donor considerations. There will be grand opening on Friday, March 3, at 11:30 (EST). The public and media are invited to attend. The mission of the Driver Services Division is to promote safe, knowledgeable, and competent drivers in the State of Tennessee. Using diversified program offerings, the Division is able to provide various services to Tennessee Citizens. The Driver Services Division is responsible for testing and issuing driver licenses as well as offering voter registration and issuance of driving records. For a full listing of center location and online driver services visit our website at www.tn./gov/safety and click on our Driver Services page. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee. ### Safety & Homeland Security Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:12:00 +0000 Tennessee Highway Patrol to Begin Accepting Applications for Trooper Cadet Lateral Class http://tn.gov/news/48593 48593 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is announcing the second lateral trooper class for the agency. THP will soon begin accepting applications for the next Trooper Cadet Academy. Men and women interested in a career as a state trooper can begin the application process online at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. Preferred qualifications for the lateral class will be Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified police officers, and those individuals who have graduated from a POST certified law enforcement training facility (i.e. Walter State Community College or Cleveland State, etc). As stated, this is the second year for the lateral that is scheduled to begin August 27, 2017, and scheduled to graduate December 15, 2017. The class will consist of 16 weeks of training condensed from the THP’s traditional trooper academies, which consist of 22 weeks. “In the interest of public safety, I believe that the lateral trooper class will make Tennessee a safer state to work, live and play by putting highly trained troopers on Tennessee roadways with a faster turnaround”, said Colonel Tracy Trott. In October of 2012, legislation called the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management Act (TEAM Act), revised the hiring method to incorporate an interview process that tests an applicants’ knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies. As a result, selected applicants will be required to successfully pass the physical agility test prior to being admitted for an interview. There is no longer an examination portion to qualify for the state trooper position. The THP anticipates the agility test and interview appointments to begin April 18th thru 21st at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center. Individuals interested in applying for the position of state trooper must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. Citizen and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Current Peace Officer Standard Commission (POST) certified law enforcement officers and/or graduates from an academy that allows eligibility to be POST certified by our agency are preferred. No applicants with felony convictions will be considered. If hired, individuals must obtain a valid Tennessee driver license prior to class graduation on December 15, 2017, and are required to successfully complete a Level II background investigation, which includes a credit check and polygraph test. Recruits must also pass a psychological and medical examination including a drug screening. Interested and qualified candidates for the position of state trooper should submit an employment application to the Tennessee Department of Human Resources. All applicants must apply online at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/tennessee/default.cfm beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8. Applications will not be accepted after March 21. Once approved by the Department of Human Resources, applicants will be notified of their qualification status via email. There are currently 897 authorized commissioned trooper positions within the THP. Trooper cadets will be assigned to vacant positions across the state upon graduation. The starting salary for a trooper cadet during the training academy is $2,859 per month. Upon graduation and commissioning as a Tennessee state trooper, the salary will increase to $3,163 per month and include a pension plan, health insurance and paid holidays. Troopers are also provided a uniform, equipment and patrol vehicles. With regular pay increases, a state trooper can earn $56,412 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure. For additional information on becoming a state trooper, visit our website at http://www.tn.gov/safety/article/trpqualifications. For more information about applications, interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Applicant Services Division at (615) 741-4841. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee. ### Safety & Homeland Security Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:40:00 +0000 Shelby Co. Man Charged with TennCare Fraud http://tn.gov/news/48699 48699 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Shelby County man is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting his income and marital status in order to obtain healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare. This arrest brings the total number of people arrested for TennCare fraud to 2,800 since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) began investigating and pursuing this criminal activity. Marquize Hardy, 37, of Memphis is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000. Charges accuse him of falsely reporting his income and the composition of his household in order to be eligible for benefits. Hardy claimed to be single when he is actually married. “People who have access to insurance, financial means or other resources should not be enrolled a program for those who truly need healthcare benefits through TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “We are pursuing and prosecuting these cases across the state.” District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,800 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.” TennCare Fraud TennCare Fraud Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:22:00 +0000 January Revenues http://tn.gov/news/48694 48694 at http://tn.gov/news NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee tax revenues were above budgeted estimates for January. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin today announced that overall January revenues, driven by a very large one-time franchise and excise tax payment, were $1.4 billion. Total revenues were $169.1 million more than the state budgeted and 10.54% more than revenues received in January of last year. “Adjusting the January recorded revenues for the substantial one-time payment reduces the underlying growth rate for total tax revenues from 10.54% to 1.90%,” Martin said. “Sales tax revenues recorded growth slightly in excess of the budgeted estimates, as sales tax growth returned to a now-normal level.” On an accrual basis, January is the sixth month in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. General fund revenues were more than the budgeted estimates in the amount of $158.9 million while the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $10.2 million more than the estimates. Sales tax revenues were $54.8 million more than the estimate for January and 4.03% more than January 2016. For six months revenues are $185.8 million higher than estimated. The year-to-date growth rate for six months was 3.71%. Franchise and excise taxes combined were $100.6 million more than the January budgeted estimate and the growth rate compared to January 2016 was 45.06%. This month’s revenues, as mentioned above, include a very large one-time payment. Adjusting revenues for this payment reduces the underlying growth rate for the month to negative 11.91%.  Year-to-date revenues for the first six months of this year are $283.5 million more than estimate and the unadjusted growth rate was 23.28%. Adjusting for the one-time payments received last month and this month reduces the underlying year-to date growth to 3.55%. Gasoline and motor fuel revenues for January increased by 14.66% compared to January 2016 and were $9.2 million more than the budgeted estimate of $71.7 million.  For six months revenues have exceeded estimates by $28.3 million. Tobacco taxes were $2.4 million more than the budgeted estimate of $19.0 million, and for six months they are $0.2 million more than the budgeted estimate. Inheritance and estate taxes fell short of estimates by $1.0 million for the month. Year-to-date      revenues for six months are $3.6 million more than the budgeted estimate. Privilege taxes were $1.5 million more than the January estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, August through January, revenues are $3.7 million more than the estimate. Business taxes were $1.7 million more than the January estimate. For six months revenues are $8.7   million more than the budgeted estimate. Hall income tax revenues were $0.8 million less than the budgeted estimate. All other taxes were above estimates by a net of $0.7 million. Year-to-date revenues, including the two substantial one-time franchise and excise payments, were $524.6 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $483.0 million above budgeted estimates and the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $41.6 million in excess of the estimates. The budgeted revenue estimates for 2016-2017 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of November 23, 2015 and adopted by the second session of the 109th General Assembly in April 2016. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2016 session of the General Assembly. These estimates are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/article/fa-budget-rev. VIEW TABLES Finance & Administration Revenues Tue, 21 Feb 2017 18:53:00 +0000