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TN judge rules against couple's divorce city Supreme Court same-sex ruling

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WZTV) -- In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to make same-sex marriage legal and Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis' refusal to issue gays marriage licenses, a Chattanooga Chancellor is now using the Supreme Court decision to deny a divorce.

Chancellor Jeffrey M. Atherton says he could not rule on the divorce of a couple in their 60s because "With the U.S. Supreme Court having defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it would appear that Tennessee's judiciary must now await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no longer a marriage." 

Chancellor Atherton added "The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces."

Seven witnesses and 77 exhibits were admitted into evidence in the divorce case of Pamela and Thomas Bumgardner, but Chancellor Atherton stated the evidence presented was "mixed at best" and added they did not prove "inappropriate marital conduct by a preponderance of the evidence."

CBS prime time programs preempted by the game will air at 1:40am Friday Morning
Due to the "Battle of Texas"-- the Houston Texans at the Dallas Cowboys game scheduled for tonight, the prime time programs will be pre-empted.
You can watch those shows beginning with Big Brother starting at 1:40 am on KFDM Channel 6.
Options include using your digital video recorder to record the early morning shows. 
Also, CBS All Access has a free one-week trial that would allow you to record them and watch them at a more convenient time.  You can cancel the offer before the 1-week trial ends and owe nothing. 

Jefferson County man guilty of producing child pornography

BEAUMONT (U.S. Attorney Office) -- A 20-year-old Beaumont, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Keith Dwayne Marks, Jr. pleaded guilty to production of child pornography today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.

According to information presented in court, on May 21, 2014, law enforcement officers in Grand Prairie, Texas, were notified by a school nurse that a 10-year-old student had come to the nurse'€™s office feeling ill after receiving a photo on an instant messaging app of a maleâ€'s genitals.

The student disclosed she had been communicating with the male through several instant messaging and internet video chats and that she knew him as Keith Marks from Beaumont, Texas.

It was determined that Marks was a registered sex offender due to a June 3, 2013 conviction for possession of child pornography in Jefferson County, Texas. On Sep. 3, 2014, a search warrant was executed at Marks’s residence in Beaumont. During the search, law enforcement officers discovered images and a video containing child pornography.

Further investigation enabled law enforcement officers to locate and identity of the 13-year-old child in those photos in the Houston area. The child confirmed Marks had coerced them into engaging in sexually explicit conduct while filming such conduct with a cellular phone. Marks was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 4, 2015. 

Marks faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Beaumont Police Department, the Grand Prairie Police Department and the Pearland Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall L. Fluke and Marisa Miller.

Latest on Kentucky Clerk held on contempt of court

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — The latest on the county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage (all times local):

4 p.m.

A defiant county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples says she will not accept a compromise that would have let her out of jail.

Attorneys for gay couples had proposed that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis be let out of custody if she promised not to interfere with her deputies, but the clerk refused.

Five of the six deputies have told U.S. District Judge David Bunning that that they will issue the licenses, though some of them said they were reluctant to do so.

The lone holdout is Davis' son. The judge says he won't face any fine or jail time since the other deputies have agreed to issue the licenses.


3:50 p.m.

The White House says no one is above the law, including a Kentucky county clerk who was sent to jail for contempt after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

President Barack Obama has yet to express his views on the matter, but White House press secretary Josh Earnest says "on principle, that the success of our democracy depends on the rule of law, and there's no public official that is above the rule of law."

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed Thursday when she refused to comply with a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses.

Earnest added, "what's important ... is that this is the decision that's supposed to be made by a federal judge, and so I would not, from this vantage point, second guess those decisions."


3:40 p.m.

Five of six deputy clerks in a Kentucky county say they'll issue marriage licenses to gay couples despite their boss's defiance, but some are reluctant and emotional about the decision.

Deputy clerk Melissa Thompson told U.S. District Judge David Bunning that she doesn't really want to, but she will comply with the law.

She wept and said: "I'm a preacher's daughter, and this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life."

And an attorney for deputy clerk Kristie Plank says she's reluctant but will issues the licenses. The attorney cites Plank's 11-year-old child and financial and family obligations, saying she can't go to jail.

Their boss, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, is being held in jail because she won't obey court orders and issue licenses, citing her Christian beliefs about gay marriage.


3:20 p.m.

Five of the six deputy clerks in a Kentucky county say they will issue marriage licenses to gay couples, despite their boss's refusal to do so.

The lone holdout among the deputy clerk's is the clerk's son, Nathan. His mother was jailed earlier Thursday when she refused to follow U.S. District Judge David Bunning's order to hand out marriage licenses.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs have proposed releasing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis out of custody if she agrees to not interfere with marriage licenses for gay couples.

The judge has agreed to the proposal and is now bringing Kim Davis back to the courtroom to see if she will agree.

(The version corrects that plaintiffs made the proposal, not attorneys for Davis)


1:45 p.m.

One of the plaintiffs in the gay marriage case in Kentucky testified that she actually voted for the clerk who has refused to hand out marriage licenses.

April Miller, a professor at Morehead State, said the past two months have been pretty demoralizing for her and her partner. She was asked during a court hearing Thursday whether a license would validate her marriage.

"Yeah, that's what marriage is about - to show other people you are in a long-term relationship," she said. "It is legitimized."

She says when she went to get a license Tuesday, a deputy clerk told her she could go to a different county. Miller says that was kind of saying "we don't want gays or lesbians here. We don't think you are valuable."

A judge jailed Rowan County clerk Kim Davis on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses.


The judge who jailed a Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses says he didn't make the decision lightly.

In court on Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Bunning said he doesn't think Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is combative. She has refused to issues licenses because of her religious beliefs about gay marriage.

But, Bunning said, "Her good faith belief is simply not a viable defense."

Bunning also spoke of his own religious beliefs. But he said that the oath he took, and the oath Davis took, supersedes those beliefs.

Bunning also said that it's not his job or the court's job to write laws or make changes. But he noted that the legislative and executive branches can do so.


1:30 p.m.

A federal judge says he didn't think fining a defiant Kentucky clerk would force her to comply with his order to issue marriage licenses.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis says her supporters are raising funds for her, but she herself hasn't requested any money. Davis was jailed on Thursday.

Before that, she testified for about 20 minutes and said people are calling her office all the time wanting to send money.

She was asked if the county insurance would pay a fine, and she said: "I was told they would drop me like a hot potato."

Jasper PD: Routine call leads to 5 arrests, discovery of meth, weed, weapons

JASPER ( and Rayburn Broadcasting Company) -- Jasper Police say what began as a routine call early Wednesday morning turned into five arrests following the discovery of drugs and a gun. 

According to Lieutenant Mike Poindexter, it all began when a patrol officer was sent to the EconoLodge Motel at 612 West Gibson Street to check the welfare of a man whose mother couldn’t contact him.

Poindexter said the man who answered the motel room door seemed incoherent and closed the door, so the officer decided to watch the motel room for a few minutes.

According to Poindexter, another man left the same room a short time later in a car, but when he saw police behind him he tossed a bag out of the window which, according to Poindexter, contained methamphetamine. He was then arrested.

Poindexter said another officer went back to the motel to check on the original man, and saw another man trying to go into the room. Poindexter said that man, who is a known drug dealer in Jasper, was in possession of marijuana and took off running when the officer tried to place him in custody. He was quickly captured and arrested.

Poindexter said officers went back to the motel room a third time and talked to the original man and soon discovered that he had a felony warrant for aggravated assault of a child. However, Poindexter said when officers tried to arrest him, he fought them before they were finally able to get him into custody.

While all of this was going on, Poindexter said officers saw another man with a woman in a pickup truck who had just checked in, but quickly checked out when they saw police. Poindexter said officers stopped the couple and quickly discovered methamphetamine in the vehicle, along with a gun. 

According to Poindexter, the man was a previously convicted felon who was not allowed to be in possession of a weapon.

Poindexter said it was also discovered that the woman in the truck had a warrant for her arrest, so both of them went to jail.

The names of those arrested have not been released, pending formal charges and arraignment.

Governor orders flag at half staff Friday for Deputy Goforth

AUSTIN -- Governor Greg Abbott today ordered Texas flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, September 4th, the day of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth’s funeral. 

Today’s order follows Governor Abbott’s call for law enforcement officers across the state to honor Deputy Goforth and all those who wear the uniform by activating their red and blue lights for one minute at 11 AM Friday, the moment Deputy Goforth’s memorial service in Houston is set to begin.


"Texans across the state are uniting in support of Deputy Goforth and every law enforcement officer who puts their life on the line each day in order to keep Texas safe and strong," Governor Abbott said. 

"We must come together to honor Deputy Goforth and the essential role law enforcement plays in serving and protecting our states’s families and communities. Therefore I ask all Texas flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, September 4th, to honor the bravery, the dedication and the everlasting memory of Deputy Darren Goforth."

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