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
Man pleads guilty to Memphis officer's murder
May 21, 2013 22:22 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A former death row inmate is set to be released from prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of a Memphis police officer.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Tuesday that she has accepted Timothy McKinney's guilty plea.
McKinney was convicted of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Officer Don Williams. The officer was killed outside a comedy club in December 1997.
McKinney appealed and won a new trial, which ended with a deadlocked jury. A third trial earlier this year also ended in a hung jury.
The Commercial Appeal reports that McKinney was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Since he's already served more than 15 years -- including 11 on death row -- McKinney will be released this week.
Williams' family opposed the settlement.
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