Kingsport Times News. January 12, 2022.
Editorial: Don’t Lasso a Fish … and Other Absurd Laws in Tennessee
Lawmakers in the states of Tennessee and Virginia add many new laws each year, but they rarely rid the books of old laws that no longer serve any purpose, or refine laws that do not appear to be in the public interest.
For example, did you know that if you post an image on Facebook that upsets someone in Tennessee, you could be arrested? A law passed in 2011 criminalizes the transmission or online posting of an image that may “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress”. Violators can be fined up to $ 2,500 and spend almost a year in jail.
The distressing images ban, signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, “updated” a previous law that criminalizes making phone calls, emailing, or communicating directly with someone in any way. that the sender “should reasonably know” “would cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communication did not have a “legitimate purpose”, the sender could face a prison sentence. This law would likely fail a constitutional test because it is based solely on emotion and speculation.
Tennessee has more such laws than you can wave – or a log. It is illegal in Tennessee to sell a log if it is hollow. You also cannot shoot game other than whales from a moving automobile. Because, you know, whales are a threat in Tennessee.
More than eight women may not live in the same house as it would constitute a brothel, regardless of the activities of said women.
It is illegal to use a lasso to catch fish. We must ask ourselves what prompted this law to be written, let alone adopted and signed.
All people riding scooters together must do so in single file.
Other laws we don’t really need include that no one can roller skate and listen to a radio at the same time; it is illegal to transport a foreign skunk in Tennessee or to operate a vehicle while you sleep; and you are breaking the law if you share your Netflix password. Likewise, the theft of a horse is punishable by hanging, no parent can force their children to collect garbage on the road on Easter Day, and anyone who engages in a duel cannot hold public office.
It is, however, perfectly legal to collect and consume products from the road.
Communities around the state also have their share of weird laws.
In Oneida, it is technically considered illegal for a woman to call a man and ask him on a date. In Memphis, it is illegal for frogs to croak after 11 p.m. and for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man running or walking in front of her waving a red flag. In Knoxville, all businesses must have a hitch station. In Lenoir County, when you stop at a stop sign, you must fire a shot through the window to alert the carriages of your arrival. And in Lexington, it’s illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.
Virginia also has laws you may not be familiar with, including that it’s illegal to use vulgar, indecent, or threatening language on the phone. It is also illegal to tickle a woman (except men). And it is illegal to hunt any animal other than a raccoon on a Sunday (the raccoon can only be hunted before 2 a.m.).
Counties and municipalities in Virginia have their own weird laws. For example, it is illegal to flip a coin to decide who pays for coffee in Richmond; wash a mule on the sidewalk in Culpepper; or spit on a seagull in Norfolk. It is illegal for a woman to go out at night in Norfolk unless she is wearing a corset and is accompanied by a male chaperone.
It seems that there is no end to these laws which you can find in internet research. You’d be surprised what you can or can’t do – depending on outdated or just plain silly laws – depending on where you are.
Johnson Town Press. January 8, 2022.
Editorial: Take your precautions to face the freezing cold of winter
The New Year has finally brought freezing early morning temperatures to our region this winter. This means that many home heating systems are working overtime to fend off the cold.
It also means that some residents will turn to auxiliary heaters to heat their homes.
If you are one of those people using kerosene or electric heaters, we would like to remind you of the importance of following all safety precautions when using these devices.
Along with the cold, there often comes the tragic story of a family left homeless by a fire started by a space heater too close to a flammable object. If you are using a backup heater, be sure to follow all of the safety precautions listed on the devices.
This includes keeping the heater at least 3 feet from curtains, furniture, and other flammable materials.
Never leave a heater on when you fall asleep and turn off the heater when you leave the house.
There should be a smoke detector on every level of the house, inside every bedroom, and outside bedrooms in each sleeping area. Residents who use gas or oil heaters should also install a carbon monoxide detector outside of each room.
Another problem often associated with prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures is the freezing of water pipes.
The first line of defense against the cold is to insulate pipes in unheated parts of the house where air cannot circulate. Other precautions include:
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
• Allow cold water to drip from the faucet served by the exposed pipes.
• Drain the faucets and exterior jets.
• Locate your shut-off valve; don’t wait for a pipe to break to find it. Shut-off valves are usually located indoors near where the main water line enters the house.
Finally, it is important not to forget to take care of your pets on these cold days. Never leave a dog or cat outside when the temperature drops below freezing.
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