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This Hour: Latest Tennessee news, sports, business and entertainment

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TVA-ALLEN PLANT

TVA board to vote on replacing Memphis coal plant

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority's board is scheduled to vote on a proposal to retire the coal-fired Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis and replace it with a natural gas facility.

TVA's board is scheduled to meet Thursday in Knoxville.

The utility said in July that it completed a draft environmental assessment looking at replacing the Allen plant.

TVA committed to install emission controls or retire Allen's coal units by December 2018 under a 2011 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions across its coal-fired generating fleet.

Environmental groups say the Allen plant causes a pollution hazard and it should be shut down and replaced with a facility that generates cleaner energy.

TVA is the nation's largest public utility, supplying power to about 9 million people in several states.

PLANE CRASH

1 killed in plane crash in West Tennessee

PARSONS, Tenn. (AP) - One person has died in West Tennessee where a crop dusting plane went down.

Decatur County Emergency Management Director Kevin Cagle says the plane crashed about 3 p.m. CDT Wednesday in the Bible Hill community in the northern part of the county, about five miles north of Parsons.

Cagle says the person killed was piloting the plane and was the only person aboard. The person's identity hasn't been released pending notification of family.

Cagle says the cause of the crash hasn't been determined, and the Federal Aviation Administration dispatched someone to investigate.

HASLAM-FREE TUITION

Gov. Haslam promotes free tuition plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is urging students to take advantage of his free tuition plan.

The Republican governor has been visiting several schools throughout the state and wrapped up his trip on Wednesday at Antioch High School in southeastern Davidson County.

Haslam told a packed auditorium of students that he doesn't want affordability to be a reason why a person doesn't attend college.

Called "Tennessee Promise," the plan seeks to cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate.

After graduation, students who choose to attend a four-year school will be able to do so as juniors.

The application period for the program opened last Friday. So far, more than a thousand students have applied.

For more information about Tennessee Promise, visit http://driveto55.org/initiatives/tennessee-promise/ .

NISSAN FRAUD

California man sentenced in Nissan fraud scheme

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A California man has been sentenced to serve 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution for his role in a scheme to defraud Franklin-based Nissan North America.

According to the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville, Bruce Young and others helped gather information on Nissan owners and former Nissan employee Kenneth Carter filed and approved false claims requesting settlement checks. Prosecutors say Young and others directed the Nissan owners to "kick back" a portion of the settlement.

According to court documents, Nissan paid more than $571,000 on about 80 false claims between March 2007 and April 2008.

All six people charged in the case have pleaded guilty.

The 50-year-old Young, of Compton, California, is the fifth person to be sentenced. Carter is to be sentenced Nov. 14.

SAFE ROUTES GRANTS

Grants to encourage students to walk, bike

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nearly 20 Tennessee communities are getting grants to encourage elementary and middle school students to walk and bike.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced the Safe Routes to School grants this week for 17 municipalities.

The Safe Routes to School Program is a statewide initiative designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing alternative for students.

The funds totaling $1.8 million will be used by schools to improve sidewalks, crosswalks and signs and fund walking and biking educational activities.

The grants are made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

GUN AT SCHOOL

Warren County teenager jailed for gun at school

McMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Warren County High School student has been charged with bringing a gun to school.

Warren County Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Marc Martin said officers went to the school at about 10 a.m. Wednesday after students reported another student was displaying a handgun in class.

The accused student was questioned and admitted to bringing the gun, which he had stored in a locker in the band room. Martin said the .22-caliber handgun was in a small box along with a loaded clip, but the clip was not in the gun.

The teenager was jailed on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm on school property. On Wednesday afternoon, he was awaiting transfer to a juvenile facility. Authorities have not named the student because he is a juvenile.

MUSEUM SCHEME

Ex-museum worker allegedly takes $61K in scheme

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An investigative report from the Tennessee comptroller of the treasury alleges that a former Tennessee State Museum worker took more than $61,000 in taxpayer money.

Investigators determined that the woman, who has not been identified, was a convicted felon on parole for a theft of property of over $60,000.

Museum officials were not aware of her conviction at the time she was hired as an administrative services assistant in 2011.

According to the report, the woman admitted to falsifying 26 invoices and submitting them for payment to her personal account. She also admitted using a rental car for 15 months and billing the museum for more than $12,000.

The woman has since been terminated. The local prosecutor will determine whether to pursue charges.

The museum is taking steps to require background checks on future employees.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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