WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
We begin with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and their use of your tax dollars. We've had lots of calls from viewers just like you concerned about double signage. When we went looking, we discovered this is just the tip of the iceberg.
All those signs are leaving drivers in rural Middle Tennessee seeing
double. John McClenney, a concerned taxpayer says, "There's 2 -4 6 7
8 9 10 11.. 12 probably 14 - 15 signs at this intersection."
This Shelbyville man showed us multiple intersections in Bedford and
Marshall Counties that now have duplicate signage. McClenney says, "If
you can't see one you don't need 2." The same sign on each side of
the road. Locals call it the land of lollipops in this Marshall County
community of Belfast.
Fern Greenbank, another concerned taxpayer says, "Oh it's so sickening just looking at it. Uck! "
And here, TDOT also added these raised concrete lane splitters.
Greenbank explains, "They actually butchered our town." This is what the area looked like before. This was the town center.... a gathering place.
Johnny Ray Cole has lived here his whole life, "I rope that off out
there to have cook outs and things and I know who owns it."
We checked too. It's NOT the state of Tennessee.
Greenbank says, "This is all privately owned. What we're standing on right now is privately owned."
That's right, the patch that divides Highway 431 from historic Fishing
Ford Road is owned by this woman, Peggy Mason, who didn't want to
talk. Johnny Ray Cole says he tried to tell them, "The guy from TDOT
told me I didn't know what I was talking about that anything under
asphalt belonged to TDOT."
Stacy Case asks, "Instead of that individual holding off --he kept going forward?"
Deanna Lambert with TDOT answers, "Unfortunately, we did presume that property there under concrete was state right of way. In hindsight we did go back and do a survey and we did realize that unfortunately we were on private property."
Lambert explains, "The plans are to remove the concrete that was laid down on her property."
Greenbank reacts, "They vomited cement and lines and now they have to dig it all up."
Stacy Case/ Fox 17 News says, "TDOT estimates the cost... once it's all dug up? $11 to 15 thousand dollars."
But TDOT's been down this road before. At this adjacent intersection,
you'll see conflicting instructions that also had to be torn out. A Do
Not Enter sign, but arrows that point forward.
Stacy Case / Fox 17 News says, "The cost to build that.. then tear it all out? Nearly another $15 grand."
Greenbank says, "When you look at the amount of cement. The amount of lines..how much $ they've spent.. You have to remember not a single accident has ever happened here." Use of the Federal Highway Administration money, your tax dollars, IS tied to these crash reports.
Lambert with TDOT says, "16 crashes in an area there where there are 4
intersections to us warrants adding some safety improvements."
While Fox 17 Waste Watch found there were some crashes at surrounding
intersections, we found none in this section that now has to be dug up.
Johnny Ray says, "If there had been 10 - 12 deaths over there I
could understand it, but ever since I was a child I can't ever remember
a wreck happening over there." As for seeing double at other
intersections like this one on Highway 64 in Bedford County and this one
on 431 in Lewisburg, TDOT calls it over signing and says it makes the
roads safer. Drivers have their own opinions---
John McClenney says, "Extra money they needed to spend. The government fund is if you don't spend it you don't get it again."
Greenbank, "It's almost like the TDOT playground."
We'll continue to follow this as TDOT digs up the intersection in question and we'll keep tabs on the actual cost.
Friday, February 22 2013, 11:58 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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