Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — There's less than a month left for high school seniors to apply for Tennessee promise, the governor's free tuition program.

Gov. Bill Haslam's office said in a news release Monday that more than 15,000 students from the class of 2015 are using Tennessee Promise benefits this fall, the first year of study. The release said the number of students enrolling full time in community college immediately after high school grew by 14 percent over last fall.

The deadline for the class of 2016 is Nov. 2.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has issued a restraining order preventing two Rutherford County men from being arrested because they cannot pay court fines.

The Tennessean reports ( the men are two of seven plaintiffs accusing Providence Community Corrections of extorting money from probationers by threatening to send them to jail.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Author Rebecca Wells will discuss the art of writing in a free event at Middle Tennessee State University this week.

Wells wrote best-seller "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," two other books in the same series and a separate work.

She's appearing at 1 p.m. Thursday in the second-floor Parliamentary Room of the Student Union as part of the university's Tom T. Hall Writers Series. She will read from some of her works, participate in a question-and-answer session and sign copies of her books.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A recently released report says that if predictions of population and job growth for Middle Tennessee are accurate, the region's current transportation network is lagging far behind the increasing demand for services.

According to The Tennessean ( ), the September report found that Regional Transit Authority of Middle Tennessee services aren't suited for typical commuters, express buses aren't fast enough and park-and-ride lots aren't conveniently located.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A retired prison warden says the reclassification of maximum-security prisoners to medium-security has increased violence directed at both inmates and staff.

Jerry Lester, the former warden of West Tennessee State Penitentiary, made the accusations at a Friday news conference.

The Tennessean reports Lester said a 2012 presentation on the change by Tennessee Department of Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield suggested it was motivated, at least partially, by cost savings. Inmates classified as less dangerous require fewer guards to watch them.