Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Knoxville.


TBI Launches Program to Protect Agents from Painkiller Risks 

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched a program Monday to help protect agents from painkiller risks.

Law enforcement agencies have reported an increase in exposure to fentanyl, a "powerful and potentially deadly painkiller" used in heroin recoveries.

TBI crime labs have received several samples of heroin laced with fentanyl and pure fentanyl packaged as heroin, according to officials. The drug can be absorbed through the skin and accidentally inhaled, with effects of overdose ranging from breathing problems to death.

Through the initiative, agents will receive naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdose.

“Every day, our Agents and Forensic Scientists work tirelessly to pursue justice for the people of Tennessee,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “This new program better protects them from the risks they might encounter while doing that important work. It also gives them a resource to potentially save the lives of citizens who might unintentionally overdose on opioids.”

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Jefferson County Man Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- Officials charged a Jefferson County man with TennCare fraud after he allegedly used the insurance program to obtain prescription drugs for selling.

Brian Edward Workman, of Strawberry Plains, is accused of acquiring the painkiller Opana through TennCare benefits, authorities said Monday.

"The Office of Inspector General is sending a strong message to anyone who is attempting to defraud the TennCare program - TennCare fraud is a crime and you will be prosecuted for it," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.

Workman faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

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Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle in Fort Saunders Area

(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- A woman has been hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle in the Fort Saunders area Tuesday morning.

Police said in published reports that a woman was hit by a vehicle while attempting to cross the street around 6:45 a.m. in the area of 22nd Street and White Avenue.

She was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Unleashed Dog Leads Cops to Burglary Suspect


(HAMBLEM COUNTY, Tenn.) -- A complaint about an unleashed dog on Saturday led police to a man accused of burglarizing several vehicles in Hamblem County.

Robery Larry Chappell, of Talbott, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of auto burglary and one count of vandalism, among other charges.

While patrolling the west end of town on Saturday in response to a Friday-night car theft, deputies were notified of a local resident seeking to make a complaint about an unleashed dog.

During an interview with resident Matthew Kindler, Kindler told officials that his wife had been hearing people during all hours of the night. Deputies became suspicious of the proximity to recent burglaries and travelled to Brooks Drive to speak with area residents.

Officials discovered that Brooks residents had several outstanding warrants, and noticed two small stolen change purses in a home.

Chappell, 27, later confessed to the string of burglaries and admitted to walking around the neighborhood searching for unlocked vehicles.

He is being held without bond and is scheduled for arraignment Monday.


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TN Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer 

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol is asking motorists to exercise caution on state roads as deer-mating and hunting season begins.

“The fall season is the most active time of year for deer-related crashes. We want to remind drivers to watch out for deer on or around the roadways, especially at dawn or after sunset,” Col. Tracy Trott said in a statement Monday.

State officials recommend motorists be attentive and drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside at daybreak and dusk. Experts say as one deer crosses the road, more are expected to follow. Drivers are also discouraged from swerving to avoid contact with the animals as the car could flip or crash into oncoming traffic.

Drivers are encouraged to dial *847 (*THP) for assistance in the event of deer incident.

In 2013, two people were killed in traffic collisions involving deer. Officials also reported 6,135 deer-related crashes last year, a 3.2 percent increase from 2012.

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