This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
Washington lawmakers trying to rewrite No Child Left Behind agree it reduced the gap between poor, minority and disabled students’ test scores and those of average white children — the federal law’s biggest goal. In 2003, 23 percent fewer black Metro Nashville students passed elementary math compared with their white counterparts.
The combination of an Amazon.com distribution facility here and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf in Smyrna is positioning Rutherford County for a strong rebound from recession, local leaders say. “It’s all going to have a positive impact, and what’s happening at Nissan with the Leaf is a positive.
When Bill Hagerty became Tennessee’s economic development commissioner in January, he had a lengthy to-do list. Among the chores were conduct a “top-to-bottom” examinination of the department’s operations, review the impact regulatory actions have on businesses and meet with the state’s largest employers to hear their concerns.
In the last couple of years, students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga benefited from more part-time faculty, scholarships and even a new math lab, all thanks to federal stimulus money. From fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2011, UTC received $25.8 million to spend on things that supported its educational mission, said Richard Brown, vice chancellor of finance and operations at the school. The majority of the money, about 40 percent, went to academic affairs, with almost $5 million used to hire lecturers and adjunct faculty, he said.
It says a lot about a company that has several employees who have been there 20 years or more, and that a third of your employees have had perfect attendance for four years. Even more can be said when each worker knows other employees by name, whether in their own department or not, and those same employees volunteer in the community and on the job.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission’s moves to eradicate wild hogs may have added fuel to a smoldering controversy in the Legislature over whether the commission should be transformed or even abolished. The war on hogs began earlier this year after the Legislature approved a bill changing the legal status of wild pigs from a protected game species to a “nuisance” animal.
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) released figures from the Office of Legislative Budget Analysis on Tuesday showing that Bedford County will receive $80 million from the state during the current state fiscal year, which began July 1; that’s up from $75 million in 2010-2011 and $68 million in 2009-2010. “Overall, we have seen an increase of $5.2 million in total state dollars coming into our county over the 2010-2011 budget in Bedford County,” said Tracy.
Divorced parents in Tennessee are going to find it easier to have a romantic partner spend the night when the kids are around without worrying about running afoul of a judge. A recent series of Tennessee Court of Appeals decisions makes it clear that judges can no longer automatically forbid parents from having their romantic partners spend the night, lawyers say.
During a state legislative debate this spring over requiring online retailer Amazon.com to collect sales taxes, Senate Finance Committee Vice Chairman Douglas Henry felt the need to ‘fess up. The Nashville Democrat, first elected to the General Assembly in the 1950s, acknowledged he hadn’t paid sales taxes on books he bought from out-of-state online retailers.
In one day, their lives changed forever. Dozens of tornadoes ripped across the tri-state area on April 27, paralyzing and dazing the entire region. In the weeks that followed, the devastation touched everyone, from the people directly in the paths of the storms to the volunteers involved in the recovery.
They use their time, money to reclaim lives gone astray Prison doesn’t have to be the last chapter in a life story. Volunteers in Tennessee prisons take this message to those incarcerated, from a high-profile, former death row inmate such as Gaile Owens to a prisoner no one visits.
Spokeswomen for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher say ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ have been at the top of Fincher’s legislative priorities. “We know one thing that small business is the driver of our economy,” Jessica Carter, Fincher’s chief of staff, said last week.
The United States Postal Service hosted a community meeting on Thursday evening in the communities of Lenox and Bogota to discuss the possibility of closing their community post office. Greg Jones, an operations program specialist with the Tennessee District of USPS, was available at both meetings to listen to residents’ questions, comments and concerns.
The once-a-decade process of redrawing Congressional districts is moving from the smoke-filled back room to the courtroom. Lawsuits related to redistricting have been filed in more than half the states, asking judges to decide issues that include whether the new maps take partisan gerrymandering too far or discriminate against minority voters.
BlueCross plan pushes patients to other hospitals State employee Jan Mathews switched from Cigna to BlueCross for health insurance last year to save money on premiums. This year she plans to switch back, to avoid paying more to use The Women’s Hospital at Centennial Medical Center.
Several 401(k) providers are rolling out new bells and whistles. Some of the changes are driven by the realization that many workers haven’t saved enough to get them through retirement.
Most everyone agrees the country’s jobs machine has run out of gas. But there’s no broad agreement about how to refuel so cities such as Memphis can roll on again.
A fourth-grader in Oak Ridge can pick up a violin and take classes during the school day. Oak Ridge High School students use infrared timers and sonic rangers in their lab experiments.
Johnson City police arrested two men Friday after getting a tip that they were buying meth-making ingredients at a local retail pharmacy and finding drugs in their possession, according to a news release. Police caught up with Steven E. Hale, 38, 140 Mohler Road, Gray, and Michael T. Smith, 36, 154 Creek Road, Erwin, about 6:30 p.m. after finding them at a second pharmacy.
A great deal of attention has justifiably been focused on Volkswagen’s new, billion-dollar manufacturing plant at Enterprise South industrial park. But a huge project is under way in nearby Bradley County as well.
The state of Tennessee has a simple message for young people: “Meth Destroys.” That’s the title of an ongoing educational campaign organized by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and also of the first educational video that was created specifically for middle and high school students.
The state of Tennessee has begun to take a closer look at the water that most of its residents drink. That is encouraging news.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, has completed a study in response to a growing national concern about the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal-care products (PPCP) in public water supplies. This research reflects a proactive effort to gain a statewide snapshot into certain PPCP levels across the state — whether they are present, where they are present and at what levels.
It all started with a goldfish. I was 13 years old and in seventh-grade science club at Wharton Middle School. We’d all received a fishbowl, gravel, a plant and a goldfish.
There is a movement afoot in Tennessee to close the door on open government on the local level, and it’s being led by local officials who want to keep their dealings secret. Bob Barnwell, a Williamson County commissioner and head of the Tennessee County Commissioners Association, is the leader of this insidious effort.
Alabama’s example: Whatever the intent might be, anti-illegal immigration laws deliver the message that outsiders aren’t welcome. It’s hard to find anything positive about a law that reminds Americans of the South’s resistance to civil rights progress in the 1960s.
You probably didn’t know that a 2008 federal law makes your old guitar illegal. I did not vote for this law, but Congress did.
The Tennessee Valley Authority says its dry coal ash and gypsum storage site at the Bull Run Fossil Plant in the Claxton community is hungry for land and needs to gobble up adjoining property to maintain itself. But Claxton residents fear TVA’s coal mound will eventually consume the community.