Girl attacked by bear in Great

Smoky Mountains National Park

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A 16-year-old girl was attacked by a bear Friday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials said.

The bear attacked while the girl was sleeping in a hammock at about 12:30 a.m., and National Park Service officials said her family was able to scare the bear away from the area before notifying the park’s emergency center, news outlets reported.

The Tennessee National Guard flew the girl to the University of Tennessee Medical Center at about 9 a.m., and she was in stable condition, the agency said in a news release.

A bear that kept trying to come into the campsite was identified by the family as the one responsible for the attack, and rangers shot and killed it, officials said. Forensic testing showed the bear had human blood on it.

The campsite, which is just under 6 miles from the Maddron Bald Trailhead, is closed due to the attack, officials said.

The family’s backpacks and food were properly stored, the release said.

Officials encourage hikers to stay in groups of three or more, carry bear spray, comply with backcountry closures, properly store food and remain at a safe viewing distance from bears at all times.

— Associated Press

Housewares company to build

new operations in Fayette County

Gov. Bill Lee announced that Helen of Troy Ltd. will establish a new distribution operation in Fayette County, creating 350 jobs.

Lee made the announcement Thursday with Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Helen of Troy officials.

Helen of Troy designs and develops consumer housewares, as well as health and home, and beauty products. The new facility in Gallaway will house the company’s housewares segment operations, which includes its OXO and Hydro Flask brands.

Construction is expected to begin in July and anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.

“These 350 new jobs will provide tremendous opportunities for West Tennessee’s skilled workforce,” Lee said in a statement. “I thank Helen of Troy for choosing Tennessee and am confident that they will find great success doing business in Fayette County.”

— Associated Press

DA: Officers justified in fatal

shooting of armed man

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Three police officers in Tennessee were justified in fatally shooting an armed man who began raising a gun toward them, a county prosecutor concluded.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced the decision Thursday after reviewing a report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that included witness interviews, videos, crime scene photos, ballistics and autopsy results, news outlets reported.

Germantown Police officers fatally shot 49-year-old Brian Cooper last year while responding to a domestic disturbance. Responding officers heard a disturbance from the backyard and found Cooper with an AR-style rifle and a handgun in his front pocket, Weirich said.

“The officers identified themselves, ordered the resident to drop his weapon and fired simultaneously when he began to raise his rifle instead, placing them in immediate danger,” Weirich said. “Under the law, their actions were justified because the individual posed a threat of serious bodily injury. He gave them no choice.”

— Associated Press

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