State Route 248 Reopens over Interstate 65 in Williamson County

(FRANKLIN, Tenn.)  -- Just over 90 days after a tanker truck fire destroyed two bridges on State Route 248 over Interstate 65 in Williamson County, construction crews from the Department of Transportation have completed construction of a new bridge.

Two lanes of travel and a center turn lane opened on Tuesday, just before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, marking the end of an expedited effort to build a new bridge.

“One hundred and two days to demolish two bridges and build a new one is a record for TDOT,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “I want to commend the tremendous work of our contractors LoJac Enterprises, Inc. and Brown Builders, Inc., along with the TDOT staff overseeing this project.”

Contract crews will continue work on the interchange, which is being modified as part of a $46 million project to widen I-65 from SR 248 to SR 840.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2016.

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Search Continues for Missing Toddler from Searcy

Searcy Police Department(SEARCY, Ark.) -- Police in Searcy, Ark., continue to search for a 2-year-old boy who went missing over the weekend.

Malik Drumond hasn't been seen since around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Searcy Police said he disappeared after walking away from a home on the 700 block of West Park Avenue in Searcy, Ark. Since then crews have been searching for the toddler.

"Literally no stone has been unturned. Unfortunately nothing indicating Malik's whereabouts was located. We realize there is shared frustration, but please be respectful to all involved," Searcy Police said in a statement Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the boy's whereabouts is asked to call 501-268-3531.

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Gang Leader Indicted for Robbing Drug Traffickers 

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- A 28-year-old man has been indicted by a grand jury on federal charges that he robbed drug traffickers throughout Shelby County in 2011.

Federal prosecutors say James Earl McCracken of Memphis, Tenn. was the head of the FAM Mob, a street gang with members throughout Shelby County.

The indictment alleges that McCracken was responsible for calling membership meetings and enforcing violations of the group’s set of rules. The FAM Mob’s hierarchy consisted of a head governor, governors, CEOs, big “homies” and little “homies,” according to prosecutors.

According to the indictment, McCracken and others robbed an individual engaged in narcotics trafficking in July 2011.

McCracken was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury for a violation of the Hobbs Act. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

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Shelby County Reaches Agreement with CSX Railroad to Extend the Greenline

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Details have been worked out to extend the Greenline another four miles from Memphis to Cordova, Tenn.

The Shelby County Public Works Division negotiated a contract with CSX Railroad to purchase the deserted railroad right-of-way from Farm Road to the old Cordova train station on B Street.

“This is another significant step to provide our community a first-class recreational route for walkers, joggers and bikers. It will encourage physical fitness and provide a unique way to link our neighborhoods,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. in a statement.

The new extension will make the Greenline almost 10 miles long. Right now, it extends west from Farm Road to Tillman Avenue near midtown. It’s taken $4.8 million so far to build the urban trail.

Once the Shelby County Commission approves the railroad right-of-way contract, bids for the extension will go out in early 2015 with construction to begin in the spring.

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TN Highway Patrol Announces I-40 Challenge over Thanksgiving Holiday 

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol is once again participating in a traffic safety initiative during the busy Thanksgiving holiday period.

The Interstate 40 Challenge consists of increased patrols from state police or highway patrol agencies along the highway from coast to coast.  

I-40 has more miles in Tennessee than any other state with 455 miles.

Tennessee state troopers will be assigned every 20 miles of I-40 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on  Wednesday, Nov. 26 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30. Additionally, Colonel Trott has requested increased law enforcement visibility on all major interstates throughout Tennessee.

“Last year, Tennessee reported zero traffic fatalities on Interstate 40 during the challenge times,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said in a statement. “We hope to have the same success this year and will again deploy our resources to help ensure a safe travel experience through our state on the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving period.”   

In 2013, Tennessee state troopers investigated 29 crashes on the Wednesday before and 36 wrecks on the Sunday after Thanksgiving during the I-40 challenge times. None of those crashes were alcohol-related.

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