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Tennessee news roundup: Truck driver pleads guilty to cargo theft

March 20th, 2014 7:52 am by Staff Report

Tennessee news roundup: Truck driver pleads guilty to cargo theft

Truck driver pleads guilty to cargo theft

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Tennessee truck driver has pleaded guilty in Missouri to taking part in a multi-state cargo theft ring.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 49-year-old Michael Lee Sherley, of Memphis, pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of an interstate shipment.

The charge stemmed from the May 2013 theft of a trailer containing $73,000 worth of canned corn from a truck stop in the south-central Missouri town of West Plains.

Sherley worked for Memphis-based Nu World Trucking for about a year.

Prosecutors said members of the ring used Nu World's resources to drive tractors without trailers attached through truck stops near interstate highways, looking for unattached trailers. They hooked the trailers up and drove to other states to sell the cargo.

The corn stolen by Sherley was bound for an Arkansas food bank.

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Jeb Bush: Follow through on Common Core standards

NASHVILLE — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday urged state officials to follow through on Common Core education standards despite what he called an "avalanche" of criticism from those who oppose them.

Bush said at an education forum with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that the standards are key to improving educational achievement around the country.

"This is a real-world, grown-up approach to a real crisis that we have," said Bush, who later brushed off reporters' questions about his presidential aspirations. "And it's been mired in politics.

"Trust me I know," he said. "There are not a whole lot of people who are standing up to this avalanche."

Bush ascribed the opposition to Common Core to what he called "myths" about the standards being part of a federal takeover of local classrooms.

Common Core standards spell out what math and reading skills students should have in each grade. They are designed to make students think and reason more than they do with traditional classroom work.

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Acclaimed singer Emmylou Harris to write memoir

NASHVILLE — Emmylou Harris is adding writer to her list of accomplishments.

The acclaimed singer-songwriter has reached a deal with Penguin imprint Blue Rider Press to write a yet-untitled book, aimed for publication in the fall of 2015. Blue Rider executive editor Sarah Hochman will edit.

It's the first book for the Country Music Hall of Fame member, but not her first look back. Harris also is re-releasing her groundbreaking and Grammy Award-winning 1996 album "Wrecking Ball" on April 8 as a three-disc set with new material and a DVD.

Harris won her 13th Grammy Award in January when she and Rodney Crowell took best Americana album for "Old Yellow Moon."

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Carr responds angrily to student singing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — College students breaking into a Civil Rights song after a voter ID bill they supported was punted by a legislative committee caused an angry outburst from Rep. Joe Carr, the panel's chairman and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The panel on Wednesday rejected amendments that sought to allow college ID to be used to vote in Tennessee, but agreed to send the measure to a legislative study group for further study.

When the students began singing, Carr angrily ordered them removed from the room and called a five minute recess. He gaveled the panel back into session one minute later and presided over a re-vote on the bill that saw it killed outright.

Carr said the students' actions amounted to what he called "a hijack of this committee."

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