Briefs for April 21, 2022

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Sex offender arrested for exposing himself in store 

A registered sex offender was arrested for allegedly accosting shoppers in a West Knoxville store, authorities said Wednesday.

Kevin Montgomery, 51, of Knoxville, was charged with indecent exposure after an April 12 incident at the HomeGoods store located at 8079 Kingston Pike. 

“Montgomery, a registered sex offender, was caught on camera following customers through the store and exposing himself. He also admitted to similar behavior at numerous stores in the West Knoxville area,” a Knoxville Police Department spokesperson said. 

According to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, Montgomery’s record includes numerous prior criminal charges such as sexual battery, public indecency and patronizing prostitution. 

KAT’s new all-electric buses made their public debut Thursday morning at a press conference in Caswell Park. Photo by J.J. Stambaugh

KAT: “Masks off!”

Due to a federal judge’s ruling that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded their authority when they ordered a mask mandate for public transportation systems, Knox Area Transit bus riders can now ditch their facial coverings — if they want to. 

“A federal judge has struck down the CDC’s requirement that masks must be worn on mass transit, so effective immediately and until further notice, KAT will not be enforcing a mask mandate on buses or at transit facilities,” said a KAT press release.

“KAT buses and facilities will, however, continue to provide masks to anyone who requests one.  The CDC still recommends wearing masks on public transit,” the release said.

But don’t get too comfortable enjoying your peaceful bus rides without a mask. 

The U.S. Department of Justice has already appealed the ruling, and there’s no way to guess how this particular issue will resolved. 

A statement issued Wednesday by the CDC, for instance, said, “It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health. 

“CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine whether such an order remains necessary. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

Published on April 21, 2022.