Crooks Target Christmas Shoppers with New Text-Message Scams in Time for Cyber Monday

Crooks Target Christmas Shoppers with New Text-Message Scams in Time for Cyber Monday

Christmas shoppers across the country, including Tennessee, are being targeted by criminals using a new, sophisticated scam involving text messages that appear to be advertising sales and other bargains from well-known stores, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned Thursday. 

Unsuspecting shoppers receive a text with an offer to participate in a survey about a recent Black Friday shopping experience. In exchange, the consumer receives valuable coupon, product, or gift card to a well-known store. The survey is typically shown as a limited-time offer, which entices consumers to fill out the survey as soon as they receive it.

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Nashville Metro Council Will Hold Two Day Public Discussion on Homelessness in the City

Nashville Metro Council Will Hold Two Day Public Discussion on Homelessness in the City

Nashville’s Metro will hold a two-day public discussion to tackle the homelessness problem in Nashville. Beginning next Wednesday, anyone who wants to discuss their ideas on how the city can tackle homelessness in Nashville is invited to attend and speak.

The event will be held at the Downtown Public Library at 615 Church Street, in the first-floor conference room. The meeting will be from 5 PM to 8 PM. The second meeting will be held on December 1st, at the same time and location. There will be an overflow room if needed.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Pens Letter to YouTube Slamming the Social Media Giant for Aiding the Chinese Communist Party by Demonetizing News Video

Senator Marsha Blackburn Pens Letter to YouTube Slamming the Social Media Giant for Aiding the Chinese Communist Party by Demonetizing News Video

On Monday, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) penned a letter to YouTube after it was revealed the social media giant demonetized a news video discussing a story how former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli allegedly sexually assaulted Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

An episode of Breaking Points, a popular YouTube show hosted by Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball, was demonetized after it ran a segment discussing the disappearance of the tennis star, the Federalist reports.

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Tennessee U.S. Rep. Mark Green Joins Colleague Diana Harshbarger on Natural Immunity Is Real Act

Tennessee U.S. Rep. Mark Green Joins Colleague Diana Harshbarger on Natural Immunity Is Real Act

U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) said he will co-sponsor legislation that U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) filed titled the Natural Immunity is Real Act. The bill, if enacted into law, would require federal agencies to consider naturally acquired immunity from a previous COVID infection when issuing any rules or regulations aimed at protecting from COVID-19.

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‘Private’ Church Group Funded by Government Resettling Refugees in Tennessee

‘Private’ Church Group Funded by Government Resettling Refugees in Tennessee

This week, 35 Afghan refugees were resettled in Knoxville with the help of two nonprofits whose sole focus is bringing refugees to America. 

Bridge Refugee Services Inc. is a Tennessee nonprofit whose mission is “to help refugees, those people who are fleeing because of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, a pertinence to social group or escaping wars and violence, to be self sufficient as soon as possible,” according to its Executive Director Drocella Mugorewera. 

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Metro Nashville Health Department Sends Letter Addressing the ‘Injustice’ of Kyle Rittenhouse’s ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict: Report

Metro Nashville Health Department Sends Letter Addressing the ‘Injustice’ of Kyle Rittenhouse’s ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict: Report

On his radio program Tuesday morning, Brian Wilson, the host of 99.7 FM WTN’s Nashville’s Morning News, discussed a recent letter distributed by the Metro Health Department addressing the ‘BIPOC’ community encouraging those that have been affected by the Kyle Rittenhouse ruling to seek remedy due to the injustice suffered by the jury and court ruling of the case.

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Tennessee Restaurant Saved by Barstool Sports Mogul Will Pay It Forward on Thanksgiving

Tennessee Restaurant Saved by Barstool Sports Mogul Will Pay It Forward on Thanksgiving

A Tennessee restaurant that was saved from going out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic by wealthy media and sports gambling mogul Dave Portnoy says it will give back this Thanksgiving. 

Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, bailed out Nick’s Family Restaurant in Kingsport in January. “The Barstool Fund” raised more than $40 million for small businesses that applied for relief and were selected by Portnoy, who promised to keep them afloat throughout the pandemic. 

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Peter Buckley Recommended to Serve as University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chancellor

Peter Buckley Recommended to Serve as University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chancellor

The University of Tennessee System on Tuesday recommended Peter F. Buckley to be the next chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).

Buckley, who serves as the dean of the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and executive vice president of medical affairs for the VCU Health System, will now be considered by the UT Board of Trustees. 

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More Headlines…

In Tennessee, Joe Biden Has Yet to Replace Donald Trump-Appointed U.S. Attorneys He Forced Out Several Months Ago

President Joe Biden asked U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Don Cochran — a Trump appointee — to resign in February, but nine months later Biden still hasn’t nominated Cochran’s replacement.

David Boling, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, told The Tennessee Star on Monday that he is not aware if Biden has nominated someone to take the position.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Urges Complete Boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Monday urged the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to boycott the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics.

In the letter to USOPC chair Susanne Lyons, the two lawmakers cited numerous human rights abuses as motivation for U.S. athletes to avoid the games.

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Blackburn Legislation Addresses Supply Chains in Tennessee

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a bill this week to engage public-private partnerships toward strengthening supply chains in Tennessee and the region.

Current bottlenecks in shipping have translated to fewer goods on store shelves and higher prices for American consumers. Their causes are multifaceted and include high labor costs, cumbersome union work rules and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Stimulus Accountability Group Eyes Two New Tennessee Public Health Labs for Combined $285M

As Tennessee’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group looks to approve its plan to approve $3.1 billion in federal stimulus spending, one lawmaker has questions about two proposed statewide laboratory projects.

The new labs, which would replace current labs in older facilities, would be located in Nashville and at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Medical Center. The Nashville lab has a $200 million price tag, and the East Tennessee Regional Health Office and Replacement Lab carries an $85 million cost.

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Nashville Police Form New Violent Crimes Division

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Chief John Drake last week announced a new Violent Crimes Division to investigate car jackings, armed robberies, and other violent incidents of an apparent serial nature.

According to an MNPD press release, this new division becomes effective December 1.

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More Than 70 Percent of Guns Stolen are from Vehicles

Nashville Metro Police reported that more than 70 percent of guns stolen are from vehicle thefts. In a media release, the Metro Police said that so far from this year, there have been 1,084 guns stolen from cars. The media release also said that from last week alone, 32 guns were reported stolen from cars and trucks in Nashville.

The media release continued, it said that vehicle burglaries typically go hand in hand with vehicle theft. And, that of 62 vehicles stolen last week, 74 percent were considered easy targets due to “the keys were left inside or made available to thieves. One of the 62 vehicles stolen was left running without the driver present.”

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Better Business Bureau Warns of Holiday Scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) posted a list of 12 scams to watch out for this year. The BBB, known for helping customers find credible businesses, brands, and charities, was founded in 1912 as a small nonprofit focused on advancing marketplace trust.

While the BBB said that most scams are sent through email, it added that customers should “Exercise caution when coming across social media ads about discounted items, event promotions, job opportunities, and donation requests, as well as direct messages from strangers.”

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Three Tennessee Towns Receive $785,000 in Justice Department Grants to Advance Community Policing

The United States Department of Justice awarded three cities in Tennessee a total of $785,370 out of a total of $139 million in the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The program, which was designed to provide funding directly to law enforcement agencies to hire and/or rehire additional career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

The three Tennessee cities were Lenoir, Ripley, and Gordonsville. Lenoir was awarded $375,000, Ripley $316,620, and Gordonsville $93,750. Both Lenoir and Ripley will be able to hire three new officers with the money, and Gordonsville will be able to hire one. 

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Congressman Tim Burchett Introduces Congressional Term Limit Bill

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) on Friday introduced new legislation that would impose term limits on members of Congress.

If enacted, the bill would amend the Constitution and only allow House members to serve three two-year terms, and Senators could serve two six-year terms.

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Tennessee Woman Indicted on Embezzlement Scheme

A woman from Loretto, Tennessee was arrested for Financial Fraud this week. Kimberly Hodge, who also went by the name Kimberly Hughen, was indicted with three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft related to an embezzlement scheme that exceeded $200,000.

In a release from the United States Attorney’s Office of Middle Tennessee, it stated that Hodge was the bookkeeper for Integrity Architectural Millwork (Integrity) and was responsible for, among other duties, making Quickbooks entries and recording payments to vendors.

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Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Travels Overseas to Repair U.S.-British Alliance After Joe Biden’s Afghanistan Exit

U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) said Saturday that he is in Oxford, England to meet with members of the United Kingdom Parliament to address lingering “raw emotions” over President Joe Biden’s exit from Afghanistan. Green livestreamed himself from Britain on Facebook. He said Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was shameful and hurt America’s longstanding political alliance with Britain. Green also scolded Biden for his “refusal to take [British Prime Minister] Boris Johnson’s phone call for 48 hours.”

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Eleven Individuals Apply for Tennessee Supreme Court Vacancy

The application deadline has passed, and eleven individuals submitted an application to the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments to fill a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

During the next round of the selection process, the Council will hold a public hearing to consider the candidates on Wednesday, December 8, where the public is invited to attend.

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