WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
January 9, 2013
It is one of the bills generating the most buzz on Capitol Hill.
Many Tennesseans support the idea of having wine in grocery stores, but now a new group is fighting against it.
Many lawmakers feel this is the year that Tennessee moves closer to allowing wine in groceries.
A group of police chiefs and sheriff's are making a public stance. They don't want the bill to pass.
"Loosening up Tennessee's laws to alcohol is a bad idea," says Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.
About 100 of the state's law enforcement officers have signed a petition opposing wine in food stores.
"If this proposed legislation passes, than you're just creating a monster," says Madison Co. Sheriff David Willfork.
The officers say wine in grocery and convenience stores will lead to more DUI's, underage drinking, and domestic violence.
"For economic gain to trade off public safety is not something that we support," says Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eads.
Another argument the chiefs make is that wine has a higher alcohol content than beer, and it shouldn't be in grocery stores.
"I don't see it as as big of an issue as what they're trying to make it," says Sen. Bill Ketron, (R) Murfreesboro.
Senator Bill Ketron has proposed wine in groceries for years. He feels it finally has momentum.
The new bill would allow referendums. Voters in each city or county would decide if they want to approve the change.
"When was the last time you saw someone with a DUI driving with a glass of chardonnay and some cheese on the front seat," says Sen. Ketron.
Grocery stores are also fighting for the change with a campaign called Red White and Food.
"Absolutely zero correlation between wine being on a food store shelf, and any information that available that shows that there's alcohol related crimes," says Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association President Jarron Springer.
The fight over wine is just beginning and law officers are the latest to join.
"It's not going to help public safety, it's not going to help our society, it's not going to help Tennessee," says Chief David Rausch.
Recent polls by Vanderbilt and MTSU have shown that more than 60% of Tennesseans support wine in groceries.
Liquor store owners are fighting hard against the change, saying it will kill jobs, and close businesses.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Tuesday, January 22 2013, 05:57 PM CST
Alexander: TVA to help fish hatchery stay open
May 18, 2013 16:33 GMT
ERWIN, Tenn. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says the Tennessee Valley Authority will help keep a federal fish hatchery in East Tennessee stay open for at least three more years.
The Erwin National Fish Hatchery has faced closure in the past due to federal budget cuts.
The Johnson City Press (http://bit.ly/11MN6tv) cited a statement by Alexander that says the TVA has entered into an agreement with state and federal wildlife agencies that has the agency purchasing fish from both of Tennessee's national fish hatcheries for fish mitigation. That also includes the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery.
Meanwhile, the statement says TVA officials will work with state and federal authorities to find a permanent solution.
The TWRA has said the two hatcheries are responsible for raising 60 percent of all trout in Tennessee.
Information from: Johnson City Press, http://www.johnsoncitypress.com
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