Associated Press


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee health officials say the state hit a record in drug overdose deaths in 2015.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday said 1,451 people died of drug overdoses last year. In 2011, 1,062 deaths were reported, and the total has grown each year since.

Last year's overdose death rate was 22 per 100,000 people. The rate in 2011 was 16.6 per 100,000 people.

In comparison, the health department says 14.7 per 100,000 people died in car accidents last year.

Nearly 72 percent of last year's overdose deaths involved opioids.

U.S. Senate

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Sewanee professor's chance encounter with Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker during a weekend hike gave him a chance to vent his frustrations about the former Chattanooga mayor's support for President-elect Donald Trump.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports David George Haskell, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his 2012 book "The Forest Unseen," says Corker responded by saying, "If you don't like it, leave."

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A jailed Tennessee sheriff faces suspension without pay while he awaits word whether he'll lose his job amid allegations he profited from the sale of electronic cigarettes to inmates.

The Tennessean reports that Davidson County Chancellor Bill Young ruled Monday to suspend Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold without pay.

A lawsuit by 12 Rutherford County residents wants Arnold removed from office due to the federal charges.

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three men charged in the kidnapping and killing of a Tennessee nursing student more than five years ago are scheduled to appear in court for a hearing.

Jason Autry and brothers John Dylan and Zachary Adams are set to appear before Judge C. Creed McGinley on Tuesday in Decatur County court.

The men are charged with murder, kidnapping and rape in the death of 20-year-old nursing student Holly Bobo, of Parsons.

ATLANTA (AP) — Wildfires near the Georgia-North Carolina line are spewing smoke so thick that residents are being urged to wear special masks if they must do outdoor activities.

The fires have prompted evacuations in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee in recent days.

The largest of dozens of ongoing wildfires in the South has now burned 13,300 acres — or more than a third of the vast Cohutta Wilderness area — in the north Georgia mountains just south of the Tennessee line, fire managers said in an update Saturday. It was only 20 percent contained.