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The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will hear the case on April 24. It stems from prayers said during meetings of the Hamilton County Commission in Tennessee, though the court allowed the Kentucky League of Cities to file a brief in the case since any ruling would affect municipalities there.
The plaintiffs, Brandon Jones and Tommy Coleman, filed suit over prayers said during commission meetings last June and asked U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice to issue an injunction stopping the practice.
Mattice declined, allowing the prayers to continue while the case continues through the judicial system.
Jones and Coleman appealed saying prayers should be stopped while the merits of the case are decided.
Chattanooga attorney Robin Flores, who represents Jones and Coleman, said there's a lot riding on the court's decision because any temporary ruling likely would become permanent.
"Actually this is the critical point," Flores said. "If they put down the preliminary injunction, then we win."
No matter how the court decides, Flores predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would be asked to hear arguments in the case.
Flores said the brief from the Kentucky League of Cities adds another opinion on the issue, but he didn't expect it to have much sway with judges in the case.
Steve Duggins, who is lead attorney for the commission, said he thinks the court took the case because of its importance.
"I think it recognizes the widespread impact this case could have, because it impacts more than just Chattanooga. There is a long tradition of local governments, and federal, holding prayers before meetings ... I think by the court accepting this brief, the court is recognizing that impact," Duggins said.
Duggins said he welcomed the input from the Kentucky group, saying it took a "different angle" in its brief.
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Monday, March 11 2013, 03:44 AM CDT
Former Dyer County constable sentenced to prison
May 23, 2013 12:50 GMT
DYERSBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Dyer County Constable Derick Shane Hundley has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
The State Gazette (http://bit.ly/14UHydd ) reported Hundley was sentenced Monday after earlier entering a guilty plea to enticement of a minor through electronic means. The government dropped a child pornography count.
Prosecutors said Hundley, who is 30, used a cellphone to try to entice a minor female to have sex with him. Police arrested Hundley last July and found an external hard drive that contained numerous images of minors involved in sex. He resigned from the constable post he had won in 2010 after his arrest.
Information from: State Gazette, http://www.stategazette.com
Bernanke signals Fed to maintain stimulus efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs.
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