Neil and Melissa Amrhein #fundie #wingnut #quack newschannel5.com

Administrators of Valor Collegiate Academy locked the doors on the first day of school as one student attempted to walk into the building without a mask. His parents say their religious exemption should have been honored.

Neil and Melissa Amrhein stood outside the publicly-funded and privately-run charter school with their son for nearly 40 minutes Monday morning. They recorded the encounter with school CEO Todd Dickson, who could be heard explaining why their son was not allowed in the building.
Neil says in years past, the school made exceptions for students who wore certain attire in line with their religious beliefs. He says this should be no different. He and his wife feel their children should not have to wear something they believe would restrict them in any way.

“Our God is not Fauci, it’s Jesus and we should have the rights to be defended and supported in the same way,” Neil said.

Each day their son stays home because of the family stance on masks counts as an unexcused absence and these two say it’s a policy that needs to change. Not just for them, but for the countless other families who also want their kids in school and won’t settle for anything less.

“I would like to make medical decisions for my children and religious decisions for our family. My husband and I like to make those together, without influence from the government or the school board. Our beliefs are that our freedoms come from God, not from man, not from governing bodies,” Melissa said.

The Amrhein family has not decided on what to do next, but says they intend to continue to make periodic trips to the school to demand a change. They say their problem is not with the school, but with their policy to follow Metro guidelines.

Sam Benningfield #fundie newschannel5.com

Inmates in White County, Tennessee have been given credit for their jail time if they voluntarily agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, a popular new program that is being called “unconstitutional” by the ACLU.

On May 15, 2017 General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order that allows inmates to receive 30 days credit toward jail time if they undergo a birth control procedure.

Women who volunteer to participate in the program are given a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, the implant helps prevent pregnancies for up to four years. Men who volunteer to participate are given a vasectomy, free of charge, by the Tennessee Department of Health.

County officials said that since the program began a few months ago 32 women have gotten the Nexplananon implant and 38 men were waiting to have the vasectomy procedure performed.

Judge Benningfield told NewsChannel 5 that he was trying to break a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can’t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs.

“I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, to not to be burdened with children. This gives them a chance to get on their feet and make something of themselves,” Judge Benningfield said in an interview.

First elected in 1998, Judge Benningfield decided to implement the program after speaking with officials at the Tennessee Department of Health.

“I understand it won’t be entirely successful but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win, win,” he added.
Inmates in the White County jail were also given two days credit toward their jail sentence if they complete a State of Tennessee, Department of Health Neonatal Syndrome Education Program. The class aimed to educate those who are incarcerated about the dangers of having children while under the influence of drugs.

“Hopefully while they’re staying here we rehabilitate them so they never come back,” the judge said.

District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, who oversees prosecution of cases in White County is worried the program may be unethical and possibly illegal.

“It’s concerning to me, my office doesn’t support this order,” Dunaway said.

“It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life,” he added.

On Wednesday, the ACLU released this statement on the program:

"Offering a so-called 'choice' between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional. Such a choice violates the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity by interfering with the intimate decision of whether and when to have a child, imposing an intrusive medical procedure on individuals who are not in a position to reject it. Judges play an important role in our community – overseeing individuals’ childbearing capacity should not be part of that role."

William Sewell #racist newschannel5.com

ALGOOD, Tenn. -- A veteran investigator with the Tennessee Department of Health was forced to resign or face termination last month for his conduct during a racially charged case.

William Sewell was an emergency medical service investigator, assigned to the Upper Cumberland Region, who had been with the state more than 40 years.

Last summer, Sewell began investigating a case involving the Algood Fire Department in Putnam County.

In an interview with the man who filed the complaint, Shun Mullins, Sewell began telling a graphic story about a black man who was lynched near Baxter, Tennessee, many years ago.

The state claimed Sewell's conduct in that interview could be perceived as a "form of intimidation" toward Mullins.

"If he was doing that to me, how many other people has he done that to?" Mullins asked.


Sewell was there to a investigate a complaint filed by Mullins after the death of his mother.

Mullins claimed Algood's deputy fire chief refused to do CPR on his mother because she was black and then falsified medical reports to cover it up.

After asking about prison and hearing about the final moments of Dorothy Mullins life, Sewell ended the meeting in a shocking way.

"Mr. Sewell goes into a story about a hanging, that he had been told, about the hanging of a black man," Mullins said.

Affidavits from all inside the meeting alleged that Sewell went into disturbing details about a lynching -- and the mutilation of a black man's body -- in Sewell's hometown of Baxter many years ago.

"They hung him, and they started carving his skin out of his back. It was like he got excited telling this story," Allen remembered.

Judy Mainord said Sewell continued the story by saying, "They lowered the body, and all the white men standing around took turns removing the skin from the black man's back."

The three say Sewell finished with a shocking detail, that he still owned a "strap" of the lynched man's skin, passed down from his grandfather.

"They made a strap out of his skin, and they used that strap as a knife sharpener," Allen remembered.

"It was like a trophy to him, and that concerns me," Mainord said.

Shun Mullins said, "It was my impression he still had it at his house. The way he enjoyed telling the story, I thought perhaps he was still using it."


NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "Who is the victim in this situation?"

Sewell responded, "I am."

"And why are you the victim?" we asked.

"I am the victim because I made a mistake," Sewell said.

Shun Mullins and the others in that meeting believed Sewell had told that story many other times and said that the state did the right thing.

"To take a man's job away is a serious matter, but Mr. Sewell made that statement to me and he had no concern for how I was feeling," Mullins said.