This is a compilation of political headlines assembled from Tennessee news organizations by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
Education is important to Gov. Bill Haslam and the Repblican governor took time Wednesday to meet local teachers and school administrators — all over lunch at Big Ed’s Pizza. Haslam met with Oak Ridge High School Principal Jody Goins, Anderson County Director of Schools Larry Foster, Clinton Elementary School teachers Darlene Hatmaker and Cindy Boshears, Anderson County teachers Hoppie Merriman and Nancy Stokes and Clinton Middle School Principal Bob Stokes. The local teachers and school administrators ate lunch and talked with Haslam about their jobs and the challenges they face in the world of education.
While pizza was on the menu, upcoming new teacher evaluations were on the minds of educators during a luncheon with the governor at an Oak Ridge landmark. Wednesday’s get-together at the iconic Big Ed’s Pizza was another in Gov. Bill Haslam’s sessions with local educators across the state and the first since the Legislature adjourned in May.
Education reform has been a focus for Tennessee’s legislators, with several new laws taking effect this month. Wednesday, Governor Bill Haslam spent time with local educators to get input for future legislation. “If you had a child who was 20, thinking about what they would do with their life, and they say they’re thinking about being an educator, would you encourage them or discourage them?,” Haslam asked the small group gathered at Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge.
With a new school year only weeks away for some, teachers around the state are gearing up for differences. New laws governing teacher tenure, evaluations and collective bargaining begin this fall. After a season of changes, the table talk is what’s next for Tennessee’s teachers and students?
Both sides acknowledge tough times ahead with emphasis on cuts It was a briefing, not a negotiation, but there was plenty of give and take Wednesday when Gov. Bill Haslam and members of his administration met with federal officials in Oak Ridge to discuss budgets, cleanup and other issues that could become contentious in the months and years ahead.
State officials are concerned about a possible reduction in cleanup funding for federal sites in Oak Ridge, Gov. Bill Haslam said today. The governor is also concerned that Oak Ridge has not been getting an equitable portion of federal cleanup money.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined state and local leaders today to announce the award of a $600,000 transportation enhancement grant to the City of Cookeville for Phase I of the Tennessee Central Heritage Trail Project. This Tennessee Central Heritage Trail Project will create an 8-foot-wide asphalt trail, which will begin at the Cookeville Depot Trailhead (Broad Street) and will proceed in a northerly direction paralleling the Nashville and Eastern Railway for more than 18,000 linear feet to the Algood Ball Field Trailhead.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is offering three rewards in three separate cases for information leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons who are criminally responsible in each case. Haslam is offering a $10,000 reward in the case of Shelley Mook who was last seen on February 28 at the home of her ex-husband in Bedford County where she had taken her child.
Gov. Bill Haslam is offering rewards for information in three cases. A $10,000 reward is offered in the case of Shelley Mook, a missing Shelbyville teacher. Mook was last seen Feb. 28 when she dropped off her 6-year-old daughter at the home of her former husband in Bedford County. Several hours later, her car was found burning in Rutherford County.
A $10,000 reward is being offered by Gov. Bill Haslam for information in the Shelley Mook case. Mook was last seen Feb. 28 at the home of her ex-husband in Bedford County where she had taken their child.Her car was discovered burning near Murfreesboro several hours later. Authorities believe Mook is the victim of an aggravated kidnapping and/or intentional homicide.
Governor Bill Haslam is offering thousands of dollars in rewards for information in three separate unsolved cases from the last year. The money goes to anyone with information leading authorities to find criminals responsible, arrest and convict them Haslam is offering $10 thousand in the case of Shelley Mook, last seen taking her child to her ex-husband’s house at the end of February.
Governor Bill Haslam announced Wednesday that his office is offering rewards for information leading to the apprehension, arrest, and conviction of the people involved in three separate missing persons cases. A $10,000 reward is being offered in the case of Shelley Mook.
The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office is asking Gov. Bill Haslam to offer a reward in the search for a missing Signal Mountain woman. In a letter sent to Haslam’s legal counsel Wednesday, District Attorney General Bill Cox requests a “monetary reward for information or assistance” in locating Gail Palmgren, 44, who has been missing since April 30.
The last time family and friends saw or heard from Gail Palmgren was April 30, 2011. The Signal Mountain mother of two remains missing but the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office hopes the establishment of a reward might help find out what happened to her.
Among those no longer receiving Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s daily news roundup are 74 lawmakers, five dead people, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen — and Bredesen’s mother. Haslam’s staff cut distribution of the widely read “Daily News Clips” email from more than 1,200 to 183.
Departing from long-standing state practice, Gov. Bill Haslam is refusing to grant legislatively mandated pay raises to hundreds of state workers who have been disciplined over the past year. Tennessee State Employees Association leaders call the move “mean-spirited” and say they are exploring legal action.
Getting a raise was the news some 40,000 state employees had waited four years to hear. Governor Bill Haslam claimed it would be an across-the- board, 1.6 percent pay increase.
Still in the middle of a centennial celebration that kicked off last Veterans Day, Whirlpool Corporation this week received a “Happy Birthday” of sorts from the state of Tennessee when Gov. Bill Haslam declared Monday as a “Day of Recognition for Whirlpool.” Monday was selected as the special day for Bradley County’s largest employer because throughout its yearlong centennial bash, Whirlpool has held celebratory activities on the 11th day of each month.
Bill Haslam is about to have a new title: Grandpa. The Governor of Tennessee confirms the news to 10News that his son Will and daughter-in-law Hannah are expecting a child. “Crissy and I are very excited,” Governor Haslam told 10 News during a recent stop in Scott County.
State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder understands the struggles of military families. Through blood and marriage, her immediate and extended family form an impressive list of military experience over different generations and wars, giving Grinder a unique view of veterans’ issues. Speaking Monday at the Gallatin Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, the Gallatin resident shared her experiences in Afghanistan and talked about progress for local veterans.
Members of the Tennessee Department of Education have launched a website to encourage reading in the early grades. Read-Tennessee.org is designed to help teachers, parents and community members understand new curriculum standards and increase expectations for learning. The online took kits provide information on promoting early grades reading and accelerating students achievement for young students across the state.
A mental health services company has agreed to pay Medicare and the TennCare Bureau $220,000 to settle a case of fraud. At issue are bills for therapy sessions that never happened in Tennessee nursing homes.
A group of 39 disabled Tennesseans is suing the state over cuts to in-home care services they say will force them from their homes. The state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities announced in June it would restrict one-on-one nursing services to 12 hours per day and personal assistance services to 215 hours per month, which equals about 7 hours per day.
The final permit for Tennessee’s third managed elk hunt will go to the successful bidder in an eBay auction starting Thursday through July 23. Proceeds from the auction benefit the state’s elk restoration program.
Republican leaders in the state House are putting together a task force of Republican members to decide which gun bills will be considered when the legislature reconvenes in January. “This Task Force will study ways we can protect the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans and will make recommendations to our Majority about good public policy we all can support,” Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said in a statement announcing the move.
Goodlettsville’s only public swimming pool will close for good next month, the casualty of a tightened city budget. Goodlettsville officials estimate the city would incur costs of about $100,000 to improve the 60-year-old Pleasant Green Pool. A recent Metro Health Department inspection cited a deteriorating deck.
Device proved key in busts, but some worry about abuse In Tennessee and across the nation, police and prosecutors are relying more heavily on wiretaps. They say listening in on suspects’ cellphone calls is an effective way to combat drug trafficking and gang activity, but defense attorneys say the government should be careful not to go too far.
Discontented city employees make their pay and benefits a federal case. It is no secret that long-standing relationships between public employees’ unions and governmental units are in jeopardy. For much of the spring, national attention was fixated on efforts by Wisconsin state government to disenfranchise teachers’ unions.
Thirty-seven abandoned coal mines have been closed at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area straddling the Tennessee-Kentucky border. Using federal stimulus funds, the mines were barred with steel gates, wire netting and closed using other methods.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank is prepared to provide additional stimulus if the economy continues to stall. Delivering his twice-a-year economic report to Congress, Bernanke laid out three options the central bank would consider.
TVA says it began making changes after Japan crisis Nuclear plants around the country need improvement in several areas, including the monitoring of highly radioactive spent fuel pools and the ability to respond in emergencies, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission task force report released Wednesday. Still, the plants can be operated safely, says the task force that was formed as a result of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan.
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant had far more problems during recent tornadoes than TVA told the public after winds took down power lines and the plant went into automatic shutdown. Tennessee Valley Authority statements after the late April tornadoes indicated everything functioned as it should when all three reactors shut down when the power they generated had nowhere to go because more than 300 monster power towers had been blown down.
Committee votes to bar regulation as hazardous waste A House committee approved legislation Wednesday that would bar federal regulation of coal ash as hazardous waste. The bill, passed 35-12 by the Energy and Commerce Committee, now moves to the House floor, where a Republican majority probably will pass it. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, the only Tennessee lawmaker on the committee, voted for the measure.
Union City Mayor Terry Hailey hopes to market the town’s industrial park to create jobs to help the 1,800 out of work because of the closure of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant. He told the Union City Daily Messenger, “The sun will rise and we will make it through this.
Hoping to stave off state intervention at a handful of struggling schools, Director of Schools Jesse Register has opted for a bold move: the creation of a new “innovation zone” comprised of 10 low-performing Metro schools designed to direct attention to places that need it most. Through a so-called “Office of Innovation,” announced at Tuesday’s school board meeting, Register said he plans to pinpoint the district’s lowest achieving schools based on forthcoming Adequate Yearly Progress data.
The Metro Nashville School Board approved its 2011-12 student code of conduct at a meeting Tuesday. “These are basically minor changes,” said Fred Carr, Metro Schools’ chief operating officer.
With 13 years of teaching and three years as an assistant principal under her belt, it would be easy to assume Vanessa Harris already has what it takes to become a principal.But Harris, who is an assistant principal at Brown Academy, says she still wants to develop skills the school system can’t necessarily offer — business skills.
On the heels of a hotly debated superintendent hire, the Hamilton County school board tonight will debate a proposed budget that could cut as many as 30 positions and eradicate a $17.8 million deficit. Fewer teachers and support staff could mean setbacks for schools pressed to meet higher state academic standards set by Race to the Top legislation, officials say.
Three years ago, Carol Steckel, Alabama’s Medicaid director, sent a national alert to all of her counterparts around the country. She asked them to join her in attacking fraudulent prices published by major drug makers — prices that she said inflated the amount all states were paying to pharmacies.
Minnesota Budget Standoff Leaves Some Bars, Liquor Stores Unable to Restock State parks, horse-racing tracks and the state Capitol are all closed because of the government shutdown here. If the budget standoff lingers, the neighborhood watering hole could be next.
Kudos to Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools for the latest Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores that showed local students in grades 3-8 making significant strides in the classroom. Yes, there’s still a ways to go locally and across Tennessee to improve public education, but it’s well worth celebrating and saying thanks to the students, teachers, administrators and parents who made these latest scores possible.
Public education is in the news and on a lot of people’s minds these days. School starts August 2 in Jackson-Madison County, and new opportunities to get students off to a good start and to help them learn will emerge. A key component in student learning is parent involvement. A new state website at www.readtennessee.org is a good place to start for teachers, parents and anyone interested in helping students.
Tennessee State University, like other colleges and universities statewide, is forced to make tough decisions to position itself for success in today’s competitive, outcome-based education system. Some of those decisions involve combining or terminating “low-producing” programs. In fact, last year, a total of 37 low-producing programs were cut statewide in the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee systems.
In the 1930s, the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority helped bring electricity — and with it economic development — to much of rural Tennessee. The work done by TVA to improve the region’s infrastructure was key to creating sorely needed new jobs. .
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule requiring non-complying electric utilities in more than two dozen eastern states to sharply curb their enormous emissions of the two most harmful pollutants spewed by dirty coal-fire plants by 2012 is welcome and long overdue. Millions of tons of the target pollutants, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, would be scrubbed and kept from release to the air under the rule. As a result, air quality and respiratory health would improve dramatically for some 240 million Americans who are now harmed by the vast, wind-transported pollution from dirty coal-fired plants.