This is a compilation of Tennessee news and political stories assembled daily by staffers in Gov. Bill Haslam’s office.
‘Matchmaking’ trade show to have state officials, new seminars (N-S/Marcum)
One of the largest contracts Scientific Sales has landed was to make safety packets for federal agents training to do meth investigations, said Vicki Dyer, owner of the Oak Ridge-based company. These packets included coveralls, gloves, knee pads, respirators and other protective equipment. The company learned of the contract through a visit to a trade event in Washington, D.C., and submitted a bid. Making trade show contacts are good for business, and that’s why Dyer plans to attend at the East Tennessee Purchasing Association’s Business Matchmaking and Tradeshow in Knoxville in July.
Teen driving safety is goal of Tennessee summer campaign (Tennessean/McGee)
Jacob Dyles was two weeks away from his freshman year in college when, driving too fast, he overcorrected his car and crashed into a telephone pole in Kingston Springs. Instead of pursuing a computer science degree at Tennessee Tech University, he spent three months at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, recovering from a spine fracture and traumatic brain injury. Almost two years later, his processing and organization skills still suffer and his college plans are on hold for now. “Speeding is totally not worth it,” said Dyles, who considers himself lucky compared with the other car crash victims he met in rehab.
Threshold of abuse is tricky to define (Tennessean/Wadhwani)
Two boys. Two belts. Two different whippings, leading to two very different outcomes after police and the Department of Children’s Services investigated the unrelated cases for possible child abuse. In both instances, families claimed corporal punishment was used to discipline a child. In one case, a 16-year-old boy was removed from his parents’ custody last summer after his father admitted hitting him with a belt. His sister was removed, too. Neither has been returned home. The father, Metro police chaplain Henry Davidson, is furious about the intervention, calling his actions a form of biblically based discipline used as tough love to steer his troubled son away from gangs.
DCS determines teen was abused (Tennessean/Wadhwani)
Last May, when their then-16-year-old son didn’t get off the bus from school, Henry and Betty Davidson went looking for him. The teen had run away twice in the past. His parents feared he was hanging out with people who abused drugs. He was one of five siblings the couple had adopted out of the custody of the Department of Children’s Services 10 years earlier after the children suffered severe sexual and physical abuse by their biological parents. Both Davidsons are ordained ministers who take to heart the biblical proverb: “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”
6-year-old was bruised from belt beating (Tennessean/Wadhwani)
Since his divorce three years ago, Carl Turnbow has made the round trip from his home in Norcross, Ga., every other weekend and on holidays to pick up his 6-year-old son in Murfreesboro, where the boy lives with his mother and other family members. Late last year, a few days before Christmas, Turnbow picked up his son for the holidays. Helping the boy into the shower that night, Turnbow saw extensive bruising. The bruises were “on the patient’s right waist/kidney area, both buttocks and back of both thighs,” according to a hospital emergency room doctor’s report.
Nashville pools open; parents warned to keep watch (Tennessean/Humbles)
Wave Country opened Saturday for the summer season, and Nashville’s Beth Slone and her young nephew Seth Gifford of White House were first in line. “It’s not like winter where you have to sit inside by the fire because it’s so cold you can’t get out and enjoy anything,” Seth said. “I like summer because you can get out and run and play. Goofing around, water, pools whatever.” Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and pools, and water parks all over Nashville and Middle Tennessee are coming back to life. Wave Country, operated by Metro Parks, has drawn 1,700-plus on Memorial Day alone, and Nashville Shores anticipates 10,000-12,000 for the entire three-day weekend.
Swimming season is here, and it’s time to be safe (News-Sentinel/Coleman)
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of swim season in East Tennessee. Unfortunately, it is also the unofficial start of drowning season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 10 people a day drown in the U.S., one in five are age 14 or younger. So far this year, six people have drowned statewide in boating accidents, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Matt Cameron said. “In at least five of the six situations, if the individuals had been wearing personal flotation devices, there was a good chance they would have survived,” he said.
Life preservers credited with saving two TWRA officers in Friday boat crash (N-S)
Two Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers survived a single-vessel boating wreck Friday night with only minor injuries, thanks in part to wearing life preservers, according to officials. Officers Jerry Short and Harrison Cornett were taken to Claiborne County Hospital, where they were treated and released for minor injuries, according to TWRA. Authorities said Short and Cornett were patrolling Norris Lake about 10:30 p.m. near Blue Springs Dock when they apparently struck a large piece of floating debris. The impact ejected both officers into the water. Short swam back to the vessel and used the radio to contact a TWRA dispatcher for assistance, officials said. Personnel recovered the vessel.
Blackburn criticizes Google and Netflix, still opposes Internet rules (J. Sun/Barton)
When it comes to the Internet’s future, Rep. Marsha Blackburn continues to side with “service providers” such as Comcast and Verizon against “content providers” such as Google and Netflix. Internet service providers are also some of her largest campaign contributors. In questioning Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, at a House hearing last week, Blackburn, R-Brentwood, portrayed Google and Netflix as wanting regulatory benefits without paying for them. She particularly cited their lobbying for “net neutrality,” the idea that Internet service providers provide equal access to different content and applications instead of discriminating through pricing or slower loading speeds.
Music City Center underperforms in first year (Tennessean/Rau)
In its first year of operation, the Music City Center convention hall failed to meet projections for hotel bookings, saw its surplus revenue fund drop by nearly $8 million and had its bond rating downgraded. The convention center’s critics point to those developments as early evidence that the project was an unwise public investment. They say that Nashville’s hospitality industry has been booming because of leisure travelers, and that growth in the segment has masked underlying issues with the center’s operations. At a cost of $623 million, Music City Center, which opened in May of last year, is the most expensive civic project in Metro’s history.
Haslam’s financial holdings include condos, dude ranch (Tennessean/Humbles)
Gov. Bill Haslam and a longtime friend, an Alabama pain doctor, own two Florida seaside condominiums valued at some $4 million, according to public records and a recently filed ethics disclosure statement. The condos, which were purchased in 2008 for a combined total of $3.9 million, are rental properties, according to David Smith, a Haslam spokesman. The condos are held in the name of two separate companies, Hasbitt II and Hasbitt III, both incorporated in Florida. Smith said there was no Hasbitt I. One of the condos, at 2,617 square feet, was purchased for $2.6 million.
Note: The news-clips will resume on Tuesday, May 27th.