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Monday, January 22, 2018

Opioid Task Force
Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to announce a plan this week to "aggressively and comprehensively" address Tennessee's opioid crisis. The governor will be joined today by lawmakers as well as state Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Bivins to unveil a multi-strategy plan involving prevention, treatment and law enforcement. "Some of that will be for an actual bill," Haslam said. "Others will be things that won't take legislative action but be part of a comprehensive plan to address the opioid issue." Tennessee has one of the country's worst opioid problems with an estimated 6,000 residents dying over the past five years from causes attributed to both legal and illegal painkiller addiction. House Speaker Beth Harwell, who is running this year to succeed Haslam, last year created a House task force to study the issue and come up with recommendations which it did. Noting the impact of opioids "really touches so many aspects of state government," Harwell said, it will take somewhat of all-hands-on-board approach. In a related story, several Tennessee lawmakers are looking to address the link between opioid abuse and gift cards. Target, Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot, want a law that would enhance penalties for organized crime, which had cost them some $200 million in stolen goods in 2016 in Tennessee alone. Lawmakers say there is a connection between the growing shoplifting problem and opiod abuse. Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, says items are stolen by one group and returned for in-store credit by another. A third group then takes the in-store credit gift cards to a third party, often a pawn shop, and sells the cards for cash. Briggs said the $200 million lost to shoplifting equals approximately $14 million in lost sales tax revenue for the state annually, plus a large quantity to local governments.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

  • Starnes arrest
  • Alexander on Corker
  • TWRA considers a deer plan
  • Jimmy Dean recall

    Monday, December 10, 2018

  • First Baptist Church fire
  • Williams arrest
  • Williams arrest
  • Christmas parade winners
  • Greene County fire fatality

    Saturday, December 08, 2018

  • Friday evening hit and run in Cocke County
  • Friday evening hit and run in Cocke County
  • Pedestrian struck on West Broadway in Newport
  • Jefferson County carjacking

    Friday, December 07, 2018

  • Shots fired at Hamblen officer
  • Jail and justice center options
  • Inmates charged with assault
  • Alexander lauds Corker

    Thursday, December 06, 2018

  • TennCare fraud is alleged
  • Couple arrested in Evans assault
  • Judge Carter Moore hears pleas
  • King arrest
  • Pennington found competent
  • Tennessee attorneys provide more free service
  • New laws effective January 1

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