This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the business accelerators responsible for his regional entrepreneurship push, with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center landing a large portion of Middle Tennessee. The Tennessee Republican has made entrepreneurship a central part of his economic development strategy.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is forming nine Regional Entrepreneurial Accelerators, including one at Memphis Bioworks . The nine centers are part of a statewide effort to provide mentoring, education, technical support and access to capital for Tennessee entrepreneurs.
Gov. Bill Haslam and Bill Hagerty, state commissioner of Economic and Community Development, on Thursday announced plans to establish nine business accelerators to spur entrepreneurship in the state, including one at Memphis Bioworks at 20 S. Dudley. The “Regional Entrepreneurial Accelerators” will offer mentoring, education and training, strategic and technical support, and assistance identifying sources of capital for Tennessee entrepreneurs.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced Thursday that nine regional entrepreneurial accelerators will be established throughout the state to assist Tennessee entrepreneurs, including one at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. The accelerators will provide mentoring, education and training, strategic and technical support, and assistance identifying sources of capital.
Money will help expand reach A $250,000 grant that the state awarded the Entrepreneur Center on Thursday will help fund its operations and expand the organization’s reach to a broader Middle Tennessee region. Overall, nine awards of the same amount totaling $2.25 million were handed out statewide under Gov. Bill Haslam’s push to create jobs.
The Company Lab reaped a financial windfall Thursday when Tennessee awarded it a $250,000 matching grant as a “regional entrepreneurial accelerator.” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam called the grant an asset “to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses with expert mentoring and support,” with the ultimate goal of spurring job creation.
Filtration products maker Mann & Hummell USA Inc. plans to locate its southern production facility in southeastern Tennessee and officials said the $15 million investment will create about 150 jobs in Dunlap by the end of 2013. Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Sequatchie County and Dunlap officials joined in making the announcement in a statement Wednesday.
A year ago this month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam won the governor’s race and suddenly found himself in the same room with 26 other newly elected governors. The event was a nonpartisan orientation for the new governors to help get their bearings on the nuts and bolts of running a state government.
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced last week that Marshall County has achieved certification under the state’s Three-Star program for excellence in economic development. “Our goal is to create a business friendly climate that gives companies the confidence to invest and expand in Tennessee,” Hagerty said.
The brother and father of Governor Bill Haslam will both be part of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s team in Tennessee. The governor has so far remained neutral in the current GOP nomination fight, though in 2008 he also backed Romney.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney named Gov. Bill Haslam’s father and brother to his Tennessee leadership team Thursday, but a spokesman says the governor is remaining neutral in the GOP nomination fight. Romney’s campaign announced that Jim Haslam, the founder of the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops, will serve as state chairman with Ted Welch of Nashville, another prominent Republican fundraiser Romney’s statement cited Jim Haslam and Ted Welch’s key roles in getting Republicans such as Bill Haslam and U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander elected to statewide office.
A Nashville private school donated more than 2,500 books in First Lady Crissy Haslam’s honor to be distributed in low-income communities statewide. Mrs. Haslam visited Overbrook School on Thursday to celebrate the school’s “Readers Are Leaders” program.
A Tennessee Department of Transportation restriping and paving project is under way on streets near downtown Clarksville and Austin Peay State University. The project is the result of a study conducted by the city that was finalized and presented to the Clarksville City Council in October 2010.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is installing about 2,600 feet of sewer line and about 3,000 feet of water line as well as upgrading the road and replacing Knob Creek Bridge.
The University of Memphis at Lambuth, in the midst of wrapping up its first semester of operations in Jackson, has announced plans to expand its academic offerings. The U of M Lambuth campus will add eight new degree programs for the spring 2012 semester, according to a news release.
In August of 2010, the Austin Peay State University Department of Agriculture had the unfortunate designation as being both a small and growing program within the university. Its student population had increased by about 20 percent in two years, but the department only had three full-time faculty members.
As the search for Karen Johnson Swift enters its fifth day, sheriff’s investigators and other personnel continue to scour the countryside in hopes of finding some type of evidence that can lead to finding her. Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and his investigators worked late Wednesday evening in their search for Swift.
Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman will ask the state Board of Education today to modify the new teacher evaluations, hoping to relieve time-pressured principals of some requirements and better ensure assessments are fair. Principals must observe new teachers six times per year, totaling 90 minutes, and tenured teachers four times, totaling 60 minutes.
Teachers are being put into numerical categories ranging from 1 to 5 in the formal grading system under the state’s new teacher evaluation program. A 5 is the best and hard to achieve, and there’s considerable disagreement over whether a rating of 3 should be considered a “rock solid” teacher or not.
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told about 60 business leaders Thursday to look for future unemployment compensation system changes favoring employers. Ramsey, during his “Red Tape Road Trip” luncheon highlighting government’s negative effect on business, said he’s been getting an earful from employers about people opting for an unemployment check rather than seeking a job when the state’s jobless rate remains well above 9 percent.
Members of Occupy Nashville delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday saying they want to collaborate with him “to achieve the best possible outcomes.” Four of the protesters walked to the governor’s office Thursday morning.
Four Occupy Nashville protesters hand-delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam’s office today asking to “start anew,” asking for collaboration with officials to keep Legislative Plaza clean and safe and saying they “plan on being here for a while.” Megan Riggs read the one-page letter to Vanessa Hatcher, an administrative assistant to the governor, in Haslam’s outer office.
Everything happened just the way Occupy Nashville protesters said it would. The group of young Republicans from Vanderbilt University marched up to the group of Occupy Nashville protesters sitting on the steps to Legislative Plaza on Thursday evening.
Occupy Nashville had company come over Thursday night from Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt College Republicans brought a message with them: Occupy the White House instead of Nashville. As advertised, a young GOP contingent of about 20 students from the university showed up during a “General Assembly” meeting of Occupy Nashville, with about 150 of the members on the front steps of Legislative Plaza on a chilly night.
A retired couple from Murfreesboro will testify before a House subcommittee later this month about their experience with Tennessee’s new law requiring a photo ID to vote. Democrats on Thursday ratcheted up efforts to combat new voting laws adopted by 13 states that Democrats say are deliberate efforts to keep its core voting blocs from casting ballots next year.
Baking blueberry pancakes may not seem like a way to lose weight, but that’s what some obese people in Memphis did this week. They cooked the pancakes with whole-wheat flour and honey minus the butter.
Blast emails sent by political party committees accuse Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville of supporting “job-destroying policies” and Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump of accepting “tainted” campaign cash. Since mid-September, the National Republican Congressional Committee has sent at least six emails to reporters and fundraisers targeting Cooper, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has sent at least 10 blasting Fincher.
Man charged with falsifying nuke records An electrician charged with falsifying inspection records at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s unfinished Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor was sentenced Thursday to probation for two years after he apologized for causing any nuclear fears. “I would like to apologize to all the residents who now sleep less securely as a result of my actions,” Matthew Correll told U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier.
A former Watts Bar Nuclear Plant contractor was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in October to falsifying work records at the new reactor now under construction near Spring City, Tenn. But U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said the sentencing is not the end of the case.
Minority-owned, small businesses get 27.5 percent of money Minority and small-business participation in Nashville’s convention center project exceeds required levels halfway through construction, and probably will stay that way through completion, project leaders said Thursday. Nearly $66.7 million, or 27.5 percent, of the $242.5 million spent on Music City Center through Sept. 30 has gone to small businesses and those owned by women and minorities, the Convention Center Authority said.
Ga. firm gets water, sewer, electrical bid The City Council took another step to luring 1,150 distribution center jobs with Amazon.com Thursday by hiring a contractor for the project’s infrastructure. Vice Mayor Chris Bratcher called for the vote to award $7.2 million contract to low bidder Plateau Excavation of Austell, Ga., to provide onsite grading, sewer, drainage and utility work for what local officials have been calling by the codename Project Tango.
The city of Murfreesboro hired a contractor Thursday night to prepare a site for a possible Amazon.com distribution center. Channel 4’s news partners at the Daily News Journal report that the City Council picked the lowest bidder, Plateau Excavation of Austell, Ga., to perform the grading, sewer, drainage and utility work at the site.
Bradley County and Cleveland leaders recently heard highlights of a transportation study that projects the amount of freight carried on local roads will double in 20 years. In a meeting with the Cleveland Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, city planning director Greg Thomas reviewed highlights of a freight management study conducted in the spring.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton wants the Church of God in Christ to bring its annual convention back to the Bluff City. Wharton and local hospitality officials are traveling to St. Louis today to urge presiding COGIC Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. to reverse the 2009 decision to move the convention from Memphis.
With a 73 percent African-American student body and many of them poor, the school district that emerges in 2013 will look astoundingly more like the former city school system than Shelby County Schools. Supt. Kriner Cash used those points Thursday to push the transition committee to see the reforms he has unveiled, many through the deep pockets of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as central to the success of the new, merged school system. “
Detroit, wrestling with a budget gap and a shrunken tax base, may soon require intervention from a state-appointed emergency manager to save itself from financial ruin, Mayor Dave Bing has told other city leaders. Such a notion would place the city’s finances and operations under the control of an appointed manager only months after Michigan leaders vastly expanded the power of such emergency managers, giving them the ability to set aside contracts with public workers’ unions.
The state of Tennessee has taken a strong step toward addressing the prescription drug problem by cracking down on so-called “pill mills.” Tennessee ranks second nationally in prescription drug use and abuse of some of these prescribed drugs, particularly painkillers, has been a growing problem across the state in recent years.
As state higher education officials ramp up efforts to help students complete college-level course work, they should include discussions on how to help them manage the cost of college. Higher education is hard work, even for the most gifted students. It takes time and discipline to complete a two-year or a four-year degree.
In-person teaching is irreplaceable; iPads are not It is apparent that much of recent educational news has focused upon teaching students in the 21st century. There is little doubt that the technological revolution has had the greatest impact upon education since the invention of the printing press.
The “Occupy” movement, if I understand it correctly, is a disaffected group, frustrated by income inequality, against corporate greed and upset by corporate money in politics. The self-styled representatives of the 99 percent who aren’t mega-rich apparently loathe the 1 percent who are.