This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday he is considering a proposal from the state’s colleges and universities to issue large-scale bonds to fund construction needs on campuses across the state. “We are very serious about looking at capital for higher education.
With budgets still tight for the state and University of Tennessee, the university’s president, Joe DiPietro, talked about the possibility of raising tuition at UT. But he also said any increase likely will involve giving parents and students plenty of notice to plan for the cost of a UT education.
University of Tennessee President Dr. Joe DiPietro will go before Gov. Bill Haslam on November 15 to discuss budget needs for next year. Dr. DiPietro addressed the UT board of trustees at their fall meeting Friday, with hopes for a stronger budget, but predictions of another tough one.
A surge in economic development in Cleveland and Bradley County is capturing the attention of communities across America that are eager to learn what it takes to recruit a trio of giant corporations like Whirlpool, Wacker Polysilicon North America and Amazon within such a short span of time. “I don’t think you’re seeing this kind of economic activity anywhere else in the country,” Gov. Bill Haslam declared Thursday following an hourlong tour of the new Whirlpool Cleveland Division plant on Benton Pike.
First Lady Crissy Haslam today spoke to East Tennessee Imagination Library volunteers during a Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation workshop in Knoxville. During the event, held at the Burlington Branch Library, Haslam thanked volunteers for their efforts to facilitate early literacy.
Tennessee’s First Lady is praising the work of the Imagination Library. Crissy Haslam spoke to East Tennessee Imagination Library volunteers during a Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation workshop in Knoxville on Friday.
Gov. Bill Haslam said he approved plans Thursday morning to enforce a new curfew on Legislative Plaza at 3 a.m. Friday, saying the situation had “deteriorated” to the point that action was necessary. Haslam defended the arrests of Occupy Nashville protesters for trespassing on the ground that protesters were informed 14 hours in advance of that a curfew would be implemented at 10 p.m.
Tennessee state troopers for the second straight night arrested Wall Street protesters for defying a new nighttime curfew imposed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in an effort to disband an encampment near the state Capitol. And for a second time, a Nashville night judge dismissed arrest warrants of the arrested protesters.
Updated 2:22 a.m. Two of the 26 Occupy Nashville protesters arrested early this morning were injured, says Karl Bolton of Franklin, who says he is part of the movement’s legal team. One man, a veteran, was taken to the hospital.
Protesters gain new rallying cry as lawsuits are promised The state’s attempts to rein in the Occupy Nashville protests that have called Legislative Plaza home for three weeks may have served only to fan the flames, observers said Friday. If nothing else, the protesters have a new chant to add to their repertoire.
Early today, Night Court Magistrate Tom Nelson sent an email to Davidson County’s General Sessions judges explaining why he refused the THP’s request to sign criminal trespassing warrants against Occupy Nashville protesters. In the email, obtained by The Tennessean, Nelson said he ordered all of the protesters released from custody because the state had not given the protesters adequate notice that it was changing the rules regarding how and when they could assemble on Legislative Plaza.
Law enforcement officials are defending their overnight crackdown on protesters aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Some had been camped out in front of the state capitol for three weeks.
This morning police evicted the Occupy Nashville movement from the plaza by the state capitol. About two dozen protesters chose to be arrested peacefully.
State troopers removed 29 Occupy Nashville protesters — three from Memphis — early Friday on trespass charges, about 12 hours after the Haslam administration enacted a policy banning people from public spaces around the State Capitol after 10 nightly. State Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said 75 troopers arrested 29 protesters about 3 a.m. after they refused to vacate the Legislative Plaza where they had camped for nearly three weeks as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Four Rutherford County residents were among a total of 29 people rounded up and temporarily jailed after refusing to leave Nashville’s Legislative Plaza early Friday morning. Murfreesboro residents Connie L. Smith, 30, and Mark Vanzant, 22, and Smyrna residents Eric Painter, 44, and Adam Knight, 27, were arrested during the operation to clear out Occupy Nashville protesters, according to a news release from Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesperson Dalya Qualls.
State troopers just after 3 a.m. Friday morning arrested 29 Occupy Nashville protesters, enforcing a new overnight curfew on the grounds. The protesters were released shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.
As part of its goal to become a top five public, master’s university in the South, UTC will create an honors college with the goal of serving 10 percent of undergraduate students in a decade — making it the first in the UT system. The University of Tennessee board of trustees on Friday approved the creation of the college that will enroll its first group of students by the 2013 academic school year, UTC Chancellor Roger Brown said.
The price of widening U.S. Highway 27 between the Olgiati Bridge and Signal Mountain Road may trigger sticker shock. The lowest of three bids for the project opened Friday was more than 25 percent above the $75 million to $78 million figure that state and local planners have been using.
Tennessee’s workplace safety agency has issued a report faulting construction at the Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment plant where a wall collapsed, killing two workers. Thursday’s report from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration found the walls of a basin at the plant were cast in such a way that leakage of acidic waste across a joint corroded metal couplers over a long time, The Mountain Press reported.
11 finish 12-month treatment program Drug Treatment Court graduate Willie Smith credits the program for giving him the structure he needed to get his life back. “People in jail told me ‘man, you don’t want to go to drug court,” Smith said during a graduation ceremony held Friday at The Carnegie Center.
The new state law requiring a photo ID for voting continues as a subject of much back-and-forth bickering with political party chairmen and key partisan leaders of the Legislature involved. Here’s a sampler of some recent discourse: State Republican Chairman Chris Devaney declared that House Democratic Chairman Mike Turner, sponsor of a bill to repeal the photo ID law, had executed a “complete flip-flop” on the issue.
Early voting has largely reduced the long lines at polling places on Election Day, but a new state law could cause a backup next time if affected voters don’t get a photo ID early. Under the law that goes into effect Jan. 1, voters will have to show a state- or federal-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot at the polls in Tennessee.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker visited Columbia Thursday to lead a round table discussion that focused on the effects of government spending, debt and over-regulation on the local economy and job creation. Harvey Church, president of First Farmers & Merchants Bank, introduced the Tennessee Republican to a room of about 25 local representatives from manufacturing, real estate, education and healthcare companies at the bank who were invited to share their perspectives on recent legislation and voice their concerns on policies that affect their respective industries.
The White House on Friday ordered an independent review of the Energy Department program that gave Solyndra LLC a $535 million loan guarantee, acknowledging the need for further scrutiny after earlier saying the program was working well. The review will be conducted by Herb Allison, a former Merrill Lynch president who served both the Bush and Obama administrations after the financial crisis broke out in September 2008.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and The West Clinic have joined forces to create a comprehensive, fully integrated cancer service. As part of the partnership – which was announced Friday, Oct. 28, and will take effect Jan. 1 – about 110 direct patient-care employees at The West Clinic will become Methodist Healthcare associates.
Memphis company turning sweet sorghum into biofuels Take agriculture machinery from the sugar cane and cotton industries. Add genetics from cotton, corn and soybean seed companies.
This was supposed to be the month that the West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County was completed. But while the farm’s growing set of solar panels by Interstate 40 has been getting the attention of passing motorists in recent weeks, the panels have been the easiest part of the undertaking being spearheaded by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.
During an afternoon honors chemistry class, teacher Perry Key never puts down his iPad 2. As he walks around the Baylor School classroom, students practice matching the names and formulas of polyatomic ions. Everything Perry writes with his pencil-shaped stylus on an electronic worksheet is instantly projected to a big screen up front. Looking out at his 18 students, Perry sees four huddled around iPads of their own.
The battle for Florida’s tourism soul has been joined. On one side is the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the powerful Walt Disney Company, which strenuously advances the family-friendly vacation-postcard image through its theme parks. On the other side are billions of dollars in resort-casino investment, beckoning to traditionally gambling-averse lawmakers at a time when the state’s economy is in the doldrums and unemployment remains stubbornly high.
Every student needs to be well prepared for life and the work force. Studies show that students with good educations get better jobs, are happier and live longer. Multiple studies by William Sanders, the father of value-added educational research, have shown that teachers are the most important factor in a child’s education.
It’s probably not a shock to anyone that a recent MTSU poll of Tennesseans showed that the economy and lack of jobs is the No. 1 problem facing the nation. Recent figures show that the state’s unemployment rate is at 9.8 percent with Rutherford County slightly lower at 8.5 percent. Murfreesboro’s unemployment rate is at 9 percent.
The mainstream media responded to the recent Wall Street protests and marches with derision — that is, after they realized that they had to respond, for their first tactic was to ignore them entirely. The main charge that has been brought against the protesters is that it is unclear what they want.
The largest civil disobedience protest at the White House in decades was mobilized by Native Americans and hundreds were arrested, including prominent Native actress Tantoo Cardinal and distinguished actresses Darryl Hannah and Margot Kidder. The protest was a two-week sit-in, Aug. 20-Sept. 3, at the White House gates to stop presidential approval of a proposed oil pipeline across the western U.S. It was described by consumer advocate Ralph Nader as “the most extraordinary citizen-organizing event in recent White House history.”
The residents of Chattanooga and other areas of Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District are fortunate to have conscientious, conservative Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in Congress. And it was not really surprising when a local fundraiser this week that included an appearance by Speaker of the House John Boehner netted between $215,000 and $225,000 in contributions to support Fleischmann’s re-election bid.
One of the shaky promises made at times by those who want to reduce sharply the use of traditional energy such as oil and natural gas — and heavily subsidize wind and solar power — is that it will create lots of jobs in “green energy” and boost employment overall. But that claim has often been put forth without evidence to back it up.