This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has picked Memphis philanthropist and business leader Staley Cates as his nominee for the 21-member schools consolidation planning commission. Cates is president of Southeastern Asset Management Inc. Haslam announced his selection Friday, Sept. 2, following the selection of five members each for the commission by the Memphis City Schools board and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
NYX, Inc., a Michigan-based automotive supplier will construct a $23 million manufacturing facility in Linden to produce injection molded plastics for a wide variety of automotive manufacturers beginning in early 2012, creating 400 jobs over a five-year period. The company also owns Bates, LLC, an existing automotive manufacturing facility in Lobelville, “Companies recognize and appreciate Tennessee’s attractive business climate, and this additional investment by NYX is a vote of confidence in our state.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Dr. John Dreyzehner will join the administration to lead the Tennessee Department of Health. He will replace Susan Cooper, who after fulfilling her commitment to assist with the transition and the first legislative session has decided to pursue other opportunities.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Dr. John Dreyzehner of Abingdon, Va., as state health commissioner. Dreyzehner comes to the cabinet position from being director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District in southwest Virginia for the last nine years.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday named John Dreyzehner to head the state Health Department, replacing interim Commissioner Susan Cooper. Dreyzehner (pronounced DRYZ’-nur), 48, is the director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District in Southwest Virginia and a former Air Force flight surgeon.
John Dreyzehner is one of Southwest Virginia’s most prominent public health officials One of Southwest Virginia’s most prominent public health officials is moving across the state line where he will play a new role as the director of Tennessee’s Department of Health. On Friday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced that he has chosen John Dreyzehner to serve as his state’s next commissioner of health.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced a new member of the state Department of Health on Friday. Dr. John Dreyzehner will join the administration to lead the department.
Right to Life blasts Haslam selection Dr. John Dreyzehner, the state’s next commissioner of health, got a dose of politics shortly after Gov. Bill Haslam announced his appointment Friday. Tennessee Right to Life criticized the choice because Dreyzehner was a presenter in March at a conference of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association A former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, Dreyzehner will leave the regional health district he heads in southwest Virginia to lead the Tennessee Department of Health.
Tennessee Right to Life is criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam’s appointment of Dr. John Dreyzehner as the new state health commissioner because of his links to a group “radically supportive of abortion.” Haslam announced Friday that Dreyzehner, now director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District in Southwest Virginia, will replace Susan Cooper as head of the Department of Health effective Sept. 21.
For years and years, the Knoxville stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has quietly prepared its members for disaster. The church’s mandate to be prepared to give humanitarian aid led it to have small preparedness fairs, sometimes on its own, sometimes with other churches or organizations, said member Jennifer Hughes.
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak has authorized the first captive insurance application since the state’s regulation of the industry was revised this year. Park View Insurance Co. received a license to handle risk-mitigation services as a pure captive for parent company HCA Inc. (NYSE: HCA).
State departments and agencies have been ordered to draw up plans to cut their budgets by 5 percent next year and hold off on proposing new spending unless they reduce a like amount in another area. “The uncertainty of the economy is a concern and suggests that base reductions greater than indicated earlier likely will be necessary in 2012-2013,” Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes explained to agency heads in his Aug. 22 letter.
State agriculture officials have expanded a quarantine on the movement of area firewood and other hardwood products based on the recent discovery of new infestations of two insect pests in East Tennessee. The emerald ash borer, an exotic beetle that destroys ash trees, was found last month in Claiborne County.
State troopers step up enforcement for Labor Day; lane closures stopped More than 541,000 Tennesseans are expected to travel by car this Labor Day weekend. The state Department of Transportation will stop lane closures to make travel easier, while the Highway Patrol will step up its efforts to crack down on drunken drivers.
Seems there’s a ranking for every kind of college With GPAs, the race for valedictorian and administrators comparing their schools’ financial assets, the start of a college year is rife with rankings. And there seem to be more of them every year.
Yeah, it seems kind of silly. The actors are a bit cheesy. And some scenarios seem far-fetched. But UTC students say they’re still walking away more informed after a new mandatory course about alcohol use and abuse.
Heritage Medical Center may be getting a traffic signal on U.S. 231 North after all, but it won’t be the type they were originally asking for. City Manager Jay Johnson told the city council that Shelbyville received authorization to place flashing caution beacons at the intersection of Industrial Park Drive and Highway 231 North.
Tennessee’s attorney general has ruled that Sheriff Randall Boyce has satisfied all requirements to be certified in his office, following a request from the county’s financial committee to clarify his status. The sheriff has been embroiled in an ongoing dispute with the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission following his election in 2006 over the issue of whether he should have gone through basic law enforcement officer training after his election or whether his certification as an officer from the 1970s, plus attendance at a school for new sheriffs and other in-service training, was sufficient.
Tennessee Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is inviting his Republican colleagues to join a discussion with presidential candidate Rick Perry’s top political adviser. Ramsey spokesman Adam Kleinheider confirmed that the invitations for a conference call with Dave Carney were being sent to Republican senators on Friday.
The Hamilton County Election Commission and state officials are attempting to clarify the new photo voter ID requirements. Election Commission Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan said her office has received dozens of calls in recent weeks about acceptable forms of ID and how voters can get one if they don’t already have one.
President Barack Obama on Friday scrapped his administration’s controversial plans to tighten smog rules, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. Obama overruled the Environmental Protection Agency — and the unanimous opinion of its independent panel of scientific advisers — and directed administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed regulation to reduce concentrations of ground-level ozone, smog’s main ingredient.
Lawyers see little effect in changes A new policy from the Obama administration says immigration officials should deport illegal immigrants who have committed crimes and de-emphasize deportations of those who haven’t. The policy has caused a stir in immigrant communities and Washington policy circles because some see it as giving a shot at legal status for those here illegally.
Lack of Hiring in August Roils Financial Markets; Economic Gloom Ratchets Up Pressure on Obama The U.S. economy slammed into a wall in August, failing to add any jobs for the first time in nearly a year and ratcheting up pressure on President Barack Obama to find a way to kick-start the sputtering recovery. Underscoring the political problem posed by the dearth of hiring, Mr. Obama on Friday asked the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw an air-quality proposal that Republicans and business groups said could kill thousands of jobs and cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
August brought no increase in the number of jobs in the United States, a signal that the economy has stalled and that inaction by policy makers carries substantial risk. The government report on hiring, released on Friday, prompted another round in a relentless diminution of economic expectations.
Having battled for months over deficit reduction, President Obama and Congress on Friday each confronted new urgency to shift their focus to job creation after the most anemic employment report in many months. For Mr. Obama, who last month promised a pivot to job creation, the Labor Department’s report raises the stakes as he prepares for a prime-time national address on Thursday before a joint session of Congress.
Talks will continue on Blount smelter Alcoa Inc. has a new power contract with TVA, but it does not contain an agreement on the key company goal of a long-range deal on power for its Blount County smelting operations. Christy Newman, spokeswoman for Alcoa operations in East Tennessee, said Thursday that negotiations on the smelting operations would continue.
August proved a big month for auto-parts suppliers announcing new business in Tennessee. State officials tallied more a thousand new jobs planned for the industry.
An embattled Huntsville, Tenn., energy company is moving its headquarters to West Knoxville. According to reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in recent weeks, Miller Energy Resources in June acquired a 48 percent minority interest in each of two limited liability companies that own two office buildings in West Knoxville.
After nearly a decade in Memphis, Schnucks has left the building. Or buildings. Ending weeks of speculation, company officials confirmed today that the St. Louis-based chain’s area footprint will be resold under the Kroger brand.
Eight Memphis area Schnucks supermarkets will become Kroger stores in a purchase of the rival stores announced Friday, Sept. 2. Executives of Kroger’s Delta Division announced the purchase, saying the eight stores will re-open under the Kroger name within weeks after a temporary closing.
New CEOs need grit, tenacity, few days off, money-raising prowess and, according to Jerry Caulder, dark pants. Caulder is a managing director of Finistere Ventures, a San Diego-based venture capital firm that focuses on agriculture, energy and medical biotechnology.
The number of Norris-Todd Planning Commission members rose to 12 Friday with the appointments of Memphis entrepreneur Staley Cates by Governor Bill Haslam and former Shelby County Commissioner Joyce Avery by state House Speaker Beth Harwell. Remaining appointments to the 21-member advisory body on school merger will be made by the Shelby County Schools Board (5) and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey (1).
Knox County’s newest high school, the STEM Academy, is looking for a permanent name. School officials have asked the public for its input and it has responded. The school, Knox County’s 15th high school, is the first of its kind in the district and the beginning of a larger focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education
The big yellow school bus is fast becoming a relic in California, as districts eliminate bus drivers and routes to address education budget cuts. Officials for the San Francisco Unified School District ended bus service for hundreds of children this fall and will make further reductions over the next two years as the district cuts transportation expenses by 44 percent.
Thousands of Idaho businesses were spared from a federal tax increase Thursday when state officials approved repayment of a massive federal loan. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter agreed to pay $202.4 million to the federal government to repay loans it borrowed in 2009 and 2010, which were borrowed to continue paying unemployment insurance benefits after the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund went broke during the recession.
The Kasich administration scaled back its prison privatization plans on Thursday and decided to sell just one facility and hire the new owner plus another vendor to operate a total of three prisons. The deals are expected to impact nearly 1,200 workers and 6,100 inmates across the state.
Customers hurried into the state motor vehicle office Thursday evening trying to get through the door and into the crowded waiting room before the office closed. Christine Madsen was outside the door, changing the sign on the door in anticipation of the state’s return to a five-day workweek next week, abandoning a four-day workweek experiment three years after it began.
Too many infants here still are dying before their first birthday despite the numerous intervention programs in place. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell wasn’t exaggerating Thursday when he said the area’s infant mortality rate “is an ongoing crisis.”
Who has more power: Amazon.com or state government officials? One could argue somewhat convincingly that the Internet giant has very effectively bullied Tennessee politicians, given how quickly policymakers damaged existing local businesses in order to give a special sales tax deal to the out-of-state company.
With a few weeks of classes under their belt, Hamilton County’s public schools have reported that enrollment for fall semester totals 42,248 students — an increase from last year’s 41,930. That represents the continuation of a trend of rising enrollment over most of the past decade. Except for a dip from the 2006-07 academic year to 2007-08, local enrollment has risen every year since 2004-05.
The Smyrna Airport is flying high after receiving several awards recently, including the state’s top honor. On Aug. 19, Smyrna Airport took home the Airport of the Year award from the annual Tennessee Aeronautics Division ceremony.
One of the most absurd rules handed down by the federal government in recent years was one that set deadlines for state and local governments to replace street signs with new signs that are more visible. Everybody favors safer streets, of course, but Washington issued the mandate, under the Bush administration in 2003, without thinking of the impact such a rule would have on municipal and state budgets.
On Dec. 22, 2008, about 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash — a byproduct from the burning of coal to produce electricity — spilled out of a retention pond at a Tennessee Valley Authority generating plant in East Tennessee. About 3 million cubic yards of the sludge, which has been found to contain mercury, lead, arsenic and selenium, spilled into a river.