WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
"Over the life of the paper 3.5 million papers have been distributed on sidewalks of Middle Tennessee," says Contributor Executive Director Tasha French.
Some cities like Franklin see the sidewalk vendors as a problem because the newspapers are primarily sold to drivers while they're behind the wheel.
"It would still let those transactions happen on city sidewalks, they just could not happen in the middle of the roadway," says Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey.
French says in 3 years homeless residents have earned $7 million through tips and sales of the Contributor, and vendors are trained on safety.
"Sidewalk to vehicle sales have been done safely for some time and this effects people's livelihood," says French.
During Tuesday night's public hearing, residents weighed in.
"The Contributor does a lot of good in giving these men and women an opportunity to put structure in life and earn commissions for selling the papers," says resident Clyde Redford.
City leaders say it's a safety issue. Others say it's a risk the homeless should be allowed to take.
"This is no different than any other job," says French. "All jobs might have a risk assigned with them."
"I feel like the safety risk would only be in someone's heart maybe breaking when they come to the realization that they're in the car and not the ones on the street," says Mary Ellen Redford.
Brentwood was the first city to pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of merchandise from a public street. The Contributor and the ACLU filed suit and lost and are now appealing the ruling in federal court. Franklin won't vote on its ordinance until next month.
Wednesday, January 23 2013, 12:00 AM CST
Man facing extradition for murder claims innocence
June 17, 2013 20:24 GMT
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A former U.S. Marine facing extradition to the Philippines on double murder charges says he is innocent.
Timothy Kaufman has been in jail since his arrest in April at business near his grandfather's Albany-area home. The 35-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of three men charged by Philippine authorities with killing a retired Northern Ireland police officer and his girlfriend in 2011.
Authorities claim it was a premeditated killing in an area known for its sometimes-seamy club scene.
In a handwritten letter sent to the media from jail, Kaufman says he would never do something as "heinous and stupid" as killing the couple. He says he left the country after the killings because he feared for his safety.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for June 25 in Albany federal court.
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