Mall shooting indictment: Today in the Tennessee news roundup

Associated Press • May 2, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Tennessee health exchange sign-ups nearly double

NASHVILLE — The number of Tennesseans signing up under the federal health insurance exchange nearly doubled in March, the last month of open enrollment for coverage.

According to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, more than 151,000 people in Tennessee enrolled through March 31. That's 28,000 people, or 23 percent, more than originally projected by President Barack Obama's administration before the signup period began.

About 28 percent of enrollees are younger than 34, a demographic seen as key to sustaining the health care system.

About 80 percent qualified for federal subsidies. For those enrollees, the silver plan was the most popular, with 83 percent choosing the mid-level plan. For those who did not qualify for assistance, 42 percent chose the lowest-level bronze plan.


Washington state sues Tennessee company over crowdfunding project

SEATTLE — The Washington state attorney general is suing a Tennessee company over a crowdfunding project.

The state says Edward J. Polchlopek III and his company, Altius Management of Nashville, raised more than $25,000 from contributors through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Their stated goal was to create a deck of playing cards designed by a Serbian artist.

More than a year later, the 810 contributors have received neither the playing cards nor a refund. At least 31 were from Washington state.

Polchlopek, also known as Ed Nash, did not immediately return a phone message left at his office.

The complaint filed in King County Superior Court alleges unfair business practices and seeks up to $2,000 per violation.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a news release Thursday that the state wants to send a message that it won't tolerate crowdfunding theft.


Tactical urbanism: Citizen projects go mainstream

MEMPHIS — The city painted a crosswalk and installed tennis-ball green signs, but the cars just kept on zooming through. But rather than wave a white flag, Sarah Newstok grabbed an orange one instead.

The Memphis mother of three zip-tied some recycled plastic shrubbery pots to the signposts on either side of McLean Boulevard and filled them with brightly colored traffic flags. On each bucket is a laminated sign: "Use a flag to help you cross."

And voila! She'd committed an act of "tactical urbanism."

The trend, which started out as a guerrilla movement but has increasingly gone mainstream across America and globally, can involve something as simple as the corrugated plastic speed limit signs going up around New York City or as large as a "pop-up 'hood" of rehabbed shipping containers to demonstrate the viability of a worn-out Salt Lake City neighborhood.

The main criteria for an act of tactical urbanism are that it be simple, relatively inexpensive and quick, says urban planner Mike Lydon.

"Tactical urbanism is the use of short-term or temporary projects to test out or to demonstrate the possibility for long-term change," says Lydon, a principal with the New York City-based Street Plans Collaborative, who takes credit for coining the phrase several years ago.


Suspect in Memphis mall shooting indicted

MEMPHIS — Prosecutors say a 21-year-old man has been charged with shooting a man in a busy Memphis mall.

Shelby County's district attorney's office says Otis "OJ" Reddic Jr. turned himself in to police Wednesday.

Reddic was indicted on attempted first-degree murder and eight weapons-related charges stemming from a March 6 shooting inside Oak Court Mall.

Authorities say 22-year-old Theodis Pitchford was with a group of friends near a kiosk when was shot by Reddic.

Pitchford was hit in the left side and was hospitalized in critical condition. He survived.

The case is being handled by the district attorney's Multi-Agency Gang Unit Prosecution Team.

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