Appeals court upholds mask

requirement for Knox schools

KNOXVILLE — A federal appeals court has upheld the mask requirement for Knox County Schools.

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit panel on Monday denied the school board’s request to pause the mask requirement while the issue is debated in court, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer ruled in September the school system must adopt a mask mandate to help protect children with health problems more susceptible to the coronavirus pandemic.

Knox County Schools argued virtual classes are a reasonable accommodation, but children attend at home and must be supervised.

“Like the district court, we are not persuaded that virtual schooling is a reasonable alternative to universal masking,” the appeals court wrote.

The full appeal of the Knox County case will be heard at a later date, the newspaper reported.

Knox County adopted a mask mandate during the 2020-21 school year but chose not to this year despite COVID-19 numbers that remained high. — Associated Press

Weather service: Tennessee

flood set rainfall record

The National Weather Service on Monday confirmed that nearly 21 inches of rain fell in 24 hours over the summer, leading to deadly flooding in Middle Tennessee and marking a state record.

The weather service tweeted that the previous record had been 13.6 inches in Milan on Sept. 13, 1982. According to the agency, the State Climate Extremes Committee voted unanimously confirming the record of 20.73 inches for 24-hour total precipitation in Tennessee.

The Aug. 21 flooding killed 20 people as it took out houses, roads, cellphone towers and telephone lines. Officials say more than 270 homes were destroyed and 160 took major damage. — Associated Press

Lee appoints Mark Hayes

to 29th Judicial District

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday appointed Mark Hayes as circuit court judge for the 29th Judicial District.

According to a news release, Hayes will replace former Judge Russell Lee Moore.

Hayes formerly worked as a partner at Jenkins Dedmon Hayes Law Group, spending nearly 40 years in private practice. Hayes has also served as the city attorney for the towns of Tiptonville and Ridgely.

Last year, Lee appointed Hayes to serve on the Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioners.

The 29th Judicial District covers Lake and Dyer counties. — Associated Press

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