Thursday, August 31

Haslam speaks of ‘storied relationship’ as nearly a hundred Tennesseans head to Texas to help Houston (Tennessean) Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday he wasn’t surprised to see the nearly 100 first responders from Tennessee who volunteered to go to Houston as the city faces one of the worst flooding events in U.S. history. “Tennessee and Texas have a long, storied relationship,” he said at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville. “You go out there in the parking lot and see their trucks and boats that got here really quickly after the initial request, and it speaks a lot to who Tennesseans are, particularly these men and women who said they want to help.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/30/tennessee-search-and-rescue-teams-headed-houston/615972001/

Tennessee teams deploy to Texas to help with Harvey’s aftermath (WKRN) Teams from Tennessee have been deployed to Texas to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey ripped through parts of the state last week. Eight search and rescue teams, and one support team, come from 20 city, county and state jurisdictions, including the Metro-Nashville Fire Department, La Vergne Fire Department, Brentwood Fire Department and Rutherford County EMS, among others. A total of 91 people make up the teams. “Tennessee and Texas have a long and storied connection and we are proud to help in any way we can. I am proud of these first responders for stepping up to help those affected during their time of need,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/30/nashville-fire-oem-deploy-to-texas-to-assist-with-harvery-recovery/

Tennessee emergency personnel deploying to Texas (WSMV) Nearly 100 first responders from Tennessee are en route to southeast Texas to help with rescues after Hurricane Harvey. A total of 91 trained search and rescue members from Tennessee, representing 19 different city, county and state emergency, fire, medical services and rescue agencies, left at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday to support Texas authorities. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials said this coordinated effort came together in under 24 hours. Gov. Bill Haslam made remarks to the team prior to their departure. “Tennessee and Texas have a long and storied relationship,” Haslam said. “I wasn’t surprised at all when a call went out really quickly, we had this many fire departments and rescue squads saying I want to help.” http://www.wsmv.com/story/36251943/tennessee-emergency-personnel-deploying-to-texas

Tennessee Emergency Officials Send Help To Texas, But Keep A Close Eye On The Weather Here (WPLN) Tennesseans are answering the call for help in rescuing people from the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Harvey. Eight water rescue teams left Nashville Wednesday for the Texas coast. But Tennessee officials are considering the possibility that rescuers could also be needed closer to home. Forecasters are warning of torrential rains in West and Middle Tennessee as Harvey breaks up this week. TEMA director Patrick Sheehan says the chance that rain could cause flooding was on emergency officials’ minds as they figured out how much help to send to Texas. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/tennessee-emergency-officials-send-help-texas-keep-close-eye-weather-here#stream/0

Tennessee rescuers join 100 teams nationwide helping Harvey victims stranded by flooding (WZTV) Rescue crews from Tennessee headed to Texas Wednesday to help with the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. The state of Texas requested 100 swift water rescue teams from across the country. From Tennessee, 91 trained search and rescue members from 23 state agencies are answering the call. At TEMA’s headquarters, cases of bottled water and ready-to-eat meals are being loaded up. Gov. Bill Haslam is sending rescue crews on an eight-day mission to southeast Texas where Tropical Storm Harvey continues to cause massive flooding. http://fox17.com/news/local/tennesse-rescuers-join-100-teams-nationwide-helping-harvey-victims-stranded-by-flooding

Memphis, Nashville ready for patients airlifted from Hurricane Harvey aftermath (Commercial Appeal) Hospital and nursing home patients displaced by Hurricane Harvey in Houston could land in Memphis, Nashville and other cities as federal agencies placed a National Disaster Medical System on alert Wednesday. Meanwhile, a Louisiana child with a rare brain disorder who would normally travel to Houston for treatment has been detoured to Memphis. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/30/memphis-nashville-ready-patients-airlifted-hurricane-harvey-aftermath/618087001/

EPA Temporarily Issues Waivers on Some Clean Air Requirements (Wall Street Journal) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is temporarily suspending some of its rules about gasoline production in an effort to minimize shortages around the southeast after Tropical Storm Harvey swamped several big fuel-making plants in Texas. States from Maryland to Texas can sell winter-grade gasoline held in storage now, even though normally that type of fuel wouldn’t become available until fall, according to a federal waiver issued Wednesday. The EPA waiver lasts until September 15 and applies to Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Washington, D.C. https://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-temporarily-issues-waivers-on-clean-air-requirements-1504126924

Knox area meets EPA air quality standards for first time in 20 years (News Sentinel) “People around here are breathing much cleaner air,” said Lynne A. Liddington, director of Knox County Air Quality Management. The Knox County Health Department announced Wednesday that for the first time in nearly 20 years, Knox and the surrounding counties of Anderson, Loudon, Blount, and part of Roane have been designated as meeting attainment for the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards concerning particulate matter 2.5. PM2.5 are 2.5 micrometers and smaller. They cause significant health problems including everything for eye irritation to lung disease. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2017/08/30/knox-area-meets-air-quality-pm-2-5-standards-first-time-20-years/617209001/

Tennessee sends 91 rescue workers to help in Texas hurricane (AP) Tennessee is sending 91 trained search and rescue workers to southeastern Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey. Gov. Bill Haslam addressed members of the nine swift-water search and rescue teams at the State Emergency Operations Center before their scheduled departure Wednesday. The first responders involved represent 23 city, county and state emergency, fire, medical and rescue agencies. Haslam said he’s not surprised, but he’s impressed at how quickly people were willing to take on the task. http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/36254599/tennessee-sends-91-rescue-workers-to-help-in-texas-hurricane

Tennessee’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan approved (Tennessean) The federal Education Department greenlighted Tennessee’s plan to comply with a major national education law overhaul. The newly approved law, which is in effect for the 2017-18 school year, brings changes to transparency, accountability and school turnaround, and includes ranking schools A-F, changes how Tennessee reports on subgroups of students and boosts the recruitment and training of teachers. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/education/2017/08/30/tennessees-every-student-succeeds-act-plan-approved/618617001/

ETSU From the Ground Up: The William Greene Jr. Football Stadium (WJHL) On Saturday fans will pack the stands at East Tennessee State University to cheer on the Bucs for their first game on campus in a long time. Everything is up and ready to go but it was a long process to get here. Back in September 2014, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland had this to say, “I can tell you we are going to do everything within our power to have football on campus at East Tennessee State University for the fall of 2017.” Now, nearly three years later, that dream is becoming a reality. Last week, ETSU revealed the stadium’s new name the William Greene, Jr. Stadium. The Bucs will hit the field on their brand-new stadium in just three days. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/30/etsu-from-the-ground-up-the-william-greene-jr-football-stadium/

ECD announces more than 200 regional jobs (Nashville Post) Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe has announced more than 200 new jobs in the Smyrna area. New Jersey-based logistics provider NFI will open a Rutherford County outpost, creating 170 jobs over five years in an investment to exceed $7 million, according to a release. NFI has two additional locations in the Nashville area, according to company officials. http://www.nashvillepost.com/business/economic-indicators/employment/article/20974136/ecd-announces-more-than-200-regional-jobs

Gov. Haslam will continue to live in Knoxville following sale of his house (News Sentinel) Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife, Crissy, have sold their Knoxville home on Sherwood Drive and are moving into a house on Lyons Bend Road previously owned by his father. Records show the Haslams sold the property on Sherwood Drive in the Westmoreland Heights area for $2,090,000 to Bert Bertlekamp, a former University of Tennessee basketball star and Vol Network radio broadcast analyst and president of Bertelkamp Automation, Inc. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2017/08/30/gov-haslam-continue-live-knoxville-following-sale-his-house/614658001/

Father, Son Renovate State Capitol Spire Six Decades Apart (WTVF) As construction on the state capitol’s cupola continues, the story behind the father and son renovations that span 60 years unfolds. The previous renovation of the building were in 1957, when Jack Lee’s company, Rock City renovated both the inside and outside of the capitol, including the spire on top, called a cupola. Now, Jack’s son, John leads the charge as the president of Rocky City Construction. The work is less this time around, but the renovations on the cupola are something the renovations share in common. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/local-news/state-capitol-cupola-construction-continues

Lawmakers still critical of outsourcing, say it will remain a matter of debate in 2018 (Tennessean) State lawmakers once again vented their dissatisfaction with outsourcing Wednesday, signaling that the controversial issue would continue to generate debate and legislation in 2018. Republican senators were roundly critical of expanded outsourcing during a meeting of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on investigations and oversight. Their stance puts them at odds with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who has pushed hard to outsource at state colleges and other properties. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/30/lawmakers-still-critical-outsourcing-say-remain-matter-debate-2018/609212001/

Online Voter Registration Available In Tennessee (WTVF) In hopes of getting more people to vote Tennessee opened up online voter registration. Tennessee ranks 50th in the nation for registered voters and 49th in voter turnout. You can register to vote by going to the Secretary of State’s website. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/online-voter-registration-available-in-tennessee

Diane Black announces endorsements from more than 20 agriculture leaders (Tennessean) More than 20 agricultural leaders and a state Senator on Wednesday endorsed Diane Black in next year’s Republican gubernatorial primary.  The endorsements include Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Jr.farmers, farmers and others from throughout the state. “Farmers feed, fuel and clothe our communities and our state,” Black said in a news release announcing the endorsements. “I am grateful to receive the support of such hard-working people and I will fight for them every step of the way. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/30/diane-black-announces-endorsements-more-than-20-agriculture-leaders/615836001/

Beavers: The Answer to the Opioid Epidemic Is Jesus (Nashville Scene) Although the primary election is not for another 11 months, the libertarian advocacy group the Beacon Center of Tennessee has already started a series of interviews with gubernatorial candidates. So far, the questions have hit on Beacon’s current agenda — school choice, lobbying reforms (even though Beacon itself lobbies quite a bit), economic incentives for businesses, and criminal justice reform. A year ago Beacon announced a partnership with the ACLU of Tennessee to advance criminal justice reform, and three of the four pieces of legislation for which they lobbied last session passed. In the first gubernatorial interview with Beacon — which are all being live-streamed on Facebook — Williamson County businessman Bill Lee advocated support for sentencing reform and policies to decrease recidivism, along with public-private partnerships that work towards the same goal. http://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/20974121/beavers-the-answer-to-the-opioid-epidemic-is-jesus

Corker Distinguishes Between Tax Reform and Tax Cut (Memphis Daily News) U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee says he wants to see tax reform that might mean a reduction in some taxes but very specific cuts aimed at a larger goal of promoting economic growth that makes up the revenue lost. Corker, speaking Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Germantown Rotary Club, made a distinction between calls for tax reform and calls for tax cuts. “I’m for tax reform,” he told a group of 100 at Southwind. “The question is can you do tax reform but also maybe a tax cut that if you look at it is dynamically scored – meaning its effect on the economy.” https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/31/corker-distinguishes-between-tax-reform-and-tax-cut/

Senator Corker discusses nation’s issues with Germantown Rotary (WMC) Senator Bob Corker was in Shelby County on Wednesday to speak to the Germantown Rotary. He used the time to talk about what he considers to be the biggest issues facing our nation and addressed the tension between himself and President Donald Trump. But Sen. Corker said nothing compares to our biggest obstacle of all. “The greatest threat to our nation is us, and that is our inability to deal with, discuss issues,” Sen. Corker said. Sen. Corker has been widely talked about recently after he questioned the president’s leadership capabilities. “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Sen. Corker said. President Trump tweeted “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!” http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/36255620/senator-corker-discusses-nations-issues-with-germantown-rotary

Sen. Corker addresses relationship with President Trump (WREG) Sen. Bob Corker said his relationship with President Donald Trump is business as usual despite some tense exchanges and criticism. “Nothing has changed,” he told WREG. Corker, among other Republicans, criticized the president’s initial response that both sides were to blame for the deadly violence in Charlottesville following a white nationalist rally. Corker said Trump didn’t demonstrate the stability or competence to become a successful president. He said he had hoped to influence Trump to unify the nation. A week later, Trump weighed in on Twitter, writing, “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in 2018.” He added, “Tennessee not happy!” http://wreg.com/2017/08/30/sen-corker-addresses-relationship-with-president-trump/

Sen. Bob Corker: North Korean missile shot over Japan ‘solar plexus blow’ to tense situation (Commercial Appeal) North Korea’s firing of a missile over Japan earlier this week was “a solar plexus blow” to an already tense international situation, Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday. “I think the firing of that missile over Japanese air space was a major setback (to any hopes of negotiations),” the Tennessee senator said after a luncheon speech before the Rotary Club of Germantown. The 45-minute speech and question-and-answer session were part of Corker’s statewide tour to discuss the major challenges facing the country. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2017/08/30/sen-bob-corker-north-korean-missile-shot-over-japan-solar-plexus-blow-tense-situation/614363001/

Sen. Bob Corker Talks Trump & Confederate Monuments While Visiting Germantown (WATN) U.S. Senator Bob Corker is traveling Tennessee while Congress is on recess. The Republican met with the Rotary Club of Germantown Wednesday afternoon. He touched on everything from North Korea, to tax reform, to the Hurricane Harvey federal response. He also talked about his recent feud with President Trump, after saying the President had not demonstrated stability and competence to be successful. He says he’s standing by the observation. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/sen-bob-corker-talks-trump-confederate-monuments-while-visiting-germantown/801525812

James Mackler: A Democrat in the Senate? (Memphis Flyer) Can a Democrat be elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee? James Mackler, a Nashville lawyer and Army veteran, intends to find out. Mackler was in Memphis on Tuesday as part of an ongoing tour in which he is acquainting himself with Tennesseans across the state and simultaneously getting them acquainted with him. Mackler is a political newcomer, making his first bid for office as an aspirant for the Senate seat now held by Republican Bob Corker and on the ballot in 2018. Besides having begun his race as an unknown, he confronts the fact that no Democrat has served in the Senate from Tennessee for a full generation, since then incumbent Senator Jim Sasser was upset by Republican Bill Frist in 1994. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/james-mackler-a-democrat-in-the-senate/Content?oid=7913501

Growing health care model skips past insurance, expanding in Tennessee (Tennessean) After more than 10 years in outpatient medicine, Dr. Erin E. Chambers was burning out. She was buried under mounds of paperwork, which took hours to complete, and she felt she needed to reevaluate how her role as a doctor fit with her role as a wife, mother and woman of faith. In her search to balance her life, she discovered “direct primary care,” a medical model that’s revolutionizing the health care industry. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/stewart-houston/2017/08/31/growing-health-care-model-skips-past-insurance-expanding-tennessee/573422001/

OPINION

Sam Stockard: Outsourcing by Any Other Name Still Not So Sweet (Memphis Daily News) Outsourcing is starting to become a four-letter word in state government. Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration told lawmakers during a summer study session it’s giving up on privatization of state parks, including a plan to hire a company to raze the inn at Fall Creek Falls and build a new one, at a cost of more than $22 million, then take over the keys and the profits. The governor reminds reporters the state will move forward with the Fall Creek Falls project but let the next governor decide how parks will operate since he would be out of office by the time the project would be done. After a state request for proposals for the Fall Creek Falls project was taken off the table, then put back on, but failed to draw any bidders this spring, the governor is tiptoeing around the term “outsource.” https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/31/outsourcing-by-any-other-name-still-not-so-sweet/

Editorial: Monumental Democracy (Memphis Flyer) Enormous amounts of rhetoric have been loosed, both locally and nationwide, regarding the monuments to confederate figures and confederate causes that were erected in years past, and action of some sort is sure to follow. Even before the unsettling recent disturbances involving a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, a circumstance that saw opportunistic Nazis on the march and the resulting tragic death of a counter-protester, these statuary homages to a lost cause had potential for serious divisiveness. The prospect for decisive action on the matter has mounted significantly of late, with Governor Bill Haslam joining city officials in calling upon the Tennessee Historical Commission to acquiesce in the statues’ removal, and the momentum is such that, one way or another, they could be gone even without such formal approval. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/monumental-democracy/Content?oid=7915249

Wednesday, August 30

Haslam Urges Action on Forrest Statue (Memphis Flyer) In a letter issued Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam urged members of the Tennessee Historical Commission to act on Memphis’ request to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest from Health Sciences Park during the board’s next meeting in October. The 23-member commission has sole authority for the statue’s removal thanks to 2015’s Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which was passed quickly by state lawmakers to prevent cities like Memphis from removing certain monuments. “While I support the principle of local governments deciding what to place on their own properties, state laws reserve this decision for the Historical Commission,” Haslam wrote. https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/08/29/haslam-urges-action-on-forrest-statue

Tennessee Capitol Commission To Take Up Forrest Bust Removal (AP) Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s call to remove a bust of a Confederate cavalry general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol building is getting its first hearing this week. The State Capitol Commission is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider Haslam’s renewed request to relocate the bust. It’s the first step in a lengthy process laid out by Tennessee’s “Heritage Protection Act.” Haslam first called for the bust’s removal after the 2015 slayings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, and again after this month’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/tennessee-capitol-commission-to-take-up-forrest-bust-removal

There’s another Confederate statue at the Tennessee Capitol. Here’s what you need to know (Tennessean) Standing outside the Tennessee State Capitol Monday night, protesters threw a sheet over a statue of Sam Davis. “No Confederate statues here,” said Dixon Irene, a leader from Showing Up for Racial Justice Nashville, shouting the group’s request into a megaphone after they marched downtown Nashville. “No monuments, no statues to people who don’t deserve them.” The monument has stood at the southwest corner of the Capitol for more than 100 years, but Monday night’s demonstration was perhaps the first of its kind directed at the Sam Davis statue, said Eddie Weeks, legislative librarian for the Tennessee General Assembly. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/29/confederate-statue-tennessee-capitol-sam-davis-need-to-know/614014001/

Racial Content Sweeps Away ‘Gone With The Wind’ Screening (AP) A Tennessee theater has canceled a long-running screening of “Gone With the Wind” because of racially insensitive content in the classic 1939 film. Officials at Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre have announced that the film will not be shown during its summer movie series in 2018. Theater president Brett Batterson says in a statement that “the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population.” The film was shown at the Orpheum on Aug. 11. This is the 34th straight year it has screened at the theater. “Gone With the Wind” tells the story of the daughter of a Georgia plantation owner during and after the Civil War. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/racial-content-sweeps-away-gone-with-the-wind-screening

Confederate Emblems Attacked Statewide (Memphis Daily News) Germantown aldermen approved a resolution Monday, Aug. 28, to “combat hate, extremism and bigotry” with two of the five aldermen, John Barzizza and Dean Massey, abstaining. Both had called for a delay in voting on the resolution offered by Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo. But other aldermen voiced strong support for the measure Monday evening and no delay in approving it. As the Germantown body expressed its sentiment, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam wrote a letter Monday to the executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission, urging the body to approve a waiver allowing Memphis city government to take down a statute of Confederate general, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest in Health Sciences Park. The issue doesn’t return to the commission until October. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/30/confederate-emblems-attacked-statewide/

UT study: Military gear does not make law enforcement more aggressive (WATE) Accessing military equipment through the federal government does not cause police to be more aggressive, according to new research published this week by a group of educators at the University of Tennessee. All of this comes after President Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama executive order prohibiting military-grade weapons and clothing from being transferred from the military to local police agencies. Researchers at the University of Tennessee came together to answer the question on the minds of many: what are the effects of providing military equipment to local law enforcement? http://wate.com/2017/08/29/ut-study-military-gear-does-not-make-law-enforcement-more-aggressive/

U of M creates own company to give students white-collar jobs (Memphis Business Journal) The University of Memphis’ new private, for-profit company has secured its first client: a $50 billion-dollar-a-year logistics giant headquartered in the Bluff City. In July, the Memphis Business Journal broke the news that the University of Memphis (U of M) had formed UMRF Ventures Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Memphis Research Foundation, to take on corporate clients to create white-collar job opportunities for students. Through a contractual agreement, UMRF Ventures will hire about 20 students to staff an on-campus call center that will provide technical support for FedEx Corp. “The idea of participating in a call center and giving students a great set of experiences and opportunities to engage with a company like FedEx while furthering their education was a natural byproduct of the long-standing relationship FedEx has had with the University of Memphis,” said Robert B. Carter, executive vice president and chief information officer of FedEx. Corp. https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/08/29/breakingfedex-is-first-client-of-u-of-ms-private.html

Hopson On SCS TnReady Results: ‘Sober But Not Surprising’ (Memphis Daily News) Ahead of the state’s Wednesday, Aug. 30, release of high school student achievement test results for school districts across Tennessee, Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson has described the overall results for SCS students as “sober but not surprising.” “There will be some bright spots that we will see particularly around moving kids from the bottom tier,” Hopson told SCS board members Tuesday evening without revealing the specific scores that are to be released by the state. “I think there were several schools that we can all be proud of and celebrate.” The TnReady results to be released Wednesday are from “end of course” tests taken in the previous academic year. These are tests generally taken by high school students but include some 8th graders who may have taken the end of course exams early. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/30/hopson-on-scs-tnready-results-sober-but-not-surprising/

Tennessee’s two largest districts defy state order to share student info with charters (Chalkbeat Tennessee) Elected school leaders in Memphis and Nashville are digging in their heels against a state order to release public information about their students to state-run charter schools. Shelby County’s school board agreed Tuesday night to defy the order, a day after the chairwoman of Nashville’s school board sent a letter to Education Commissioner Candice McQueen indicating that her district would do the same. Meanwhile, McQueen said she would request the state attorney general’s opinion on the matter. At issue is student directory information, including names, phone numbers, addresses and emails. Charter operators say they have a right to the lists under the state’s new charter school law, but local districts don’t want to share the information so they can retain their students. https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2017/08/29/tennessees-two-largest-districts-defy-state-order-to-share-student-info-with-charters/

After A Year In The Works, Online Voter Registration Goes Live In Tennessee (WPLN) Tennesseans interested in becoming voters can now register online. The Secretary of State’s office says it has initiated a “soft launch” of the long-awaited system that could replace in-person and mail-in registration. Up until now, Tennesseans who move, have their registrations purged for inactivity, or have never been registered have had to contact their county election commissions directly or sign up in person through one of six state agencies. The online system passed the state legislature last year with bipartisan support. State Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, was among its sponsors. He hopes it’ll help reverse a trend toward lower voter participation. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/after-year-works-online-voter-registration-goes-live-tennessee#stream/0

Sen. Corker touts Tennessee support despite Trump tweet (AP) Republican Sen. Bob Corker says he doesn’t believe he has lost support in Tennessee over his criticism of President Donald Trump’s response to a deadly white nationalist protest. Corker earlier this month questioned whether Trump had the “stability” and “competence” to become a successful president after the president said both sides were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump took to Twitter this week to say: “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in 2018.” Trump added, “Tennessee not happy!” Corker, who has yet to confirm a bid for a third term, told reporters in Hendersonville on Tuesday that Tennesseans expect him to be an independent and outspoken public official. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36244081/sen-corker-touts-tennessee-support-despite-trump-tweet

Sen. Bob Corker on relationship with President Donald Trump: ‘It’s back to business as usual’ (Tennessean) U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday the exchanges — and criticism — through the media with President Donald Trump were just both men being very direct and it hasn’t affected their relationship. “I wouldn’t say it was an exchange of blows,” Corker said after speaking in Hendersonville. “I think the president has just come to know me as very direct. …I think it’s back to business as usual.” The Tennessee Senator spent about 40 minutes answering questions from local residents on topics ranging from his interactions with the president and the escalating conflict with North Korea to what Corker believes is the main threat facing the United States. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/29/sen-bob-corker-relationship-president-donald-trump-its-back-business-usual/608568001/

VW promised Roane jobs, with uncertain return (News Sentinel) One of the expectations for Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga was that it would generate secondary jobs from suppliers and support facilities elsewhere in the state. That has happened, but in addition to the $800 million in incentives the main factory received, some incentives went to those secondary projects too, such as Volkswagen’s Southeast Regional Distribution Center in Roane County. Those incentives — $1.5 million from the state, and more from local agencies — came with the promise to create 47 jobs. Whether the facility has met that goal depends on how you count. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/2017/08/28/vw-promised-roane-jobs-uncertain-return/565750001/

OPINION

Victor Ashe: Governor sells his Westmoreland Heights home to Bertelkamps (News Sentinel) If you had been driving down Southgate in Sequoyah Hills on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 20, you would have seen a familiar person, casually dressed in a T-shirt and, shorts, pushing a baby carriage down the hill where Scenic and Southgate intersect toward the elementary school. It was Gov. Bill Haslam without his security detail, enjoying time with his youngest granddaughter. He recently sold his Sherwood Drive home to Bert Bertelkamp. Haslam has said often that he plans on moving back to Knoxville when his time as governor ends in January 2019, which is good news for our community. He has not stated what he plans to do once he is back in Knoxville, but there is speculation he would be chosen to lead the University of Tennessee should current President Joe DiPietro retire in 2019. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/shopper-news/2017/08/29/governor-sells-his-westmoreland-heights-home-bertelkamps/593554001/

Frank Cagle: Find out where candidates stand on guns, Trump (News Sentinel) Candidates for governor of Tennessee will likely talk platitudes about education and economic growth and taxes, but there is another slate of issues that have preoccupied the Legislature, they are sure to come back, and whether you are for or against them you need to find out where your candidate stands. Will they support them? Will they sign them if put on their desk? http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/frank-cagle/2017/08/29/frank-cagle-find-out-where-candidates-stand-guns-trump/612476001/

Tuesday, August 29

Gov. Bill Haslam urges historical commission to take up Memphis waiver over Forrest statue (Tennessean) Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday encouraged members of the state’s Historical Commission to take up a petition that would allow the city of Memphis to move a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest located at Health Sciences Park. The Memphis City Council voted in 2015 to remove the statue and sought a waiver in early 2016 from the Tennessee Historical Commission to do so. The commission did not approve the waiver and the city objected on procedural grounds. The city’s petition still awaits action. Haslam said a similar petition from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro also awaits action. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/gov-bill-haslam-urges-historical-commission-take-up-memphis-waiver-over-forrest-statue/610223001/

Prodded by Haslam, panel schedules meeting on Forrest bust (TN Journal/Humphrey) The State Capitol Commission, one of two state government entities that must approve the removal Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from inside the Tennessee capitol building,  has scheduled a special meeting for Friday. Notice of the Sept. 1 meeting — posted on Friday, Aug. 25 — doesn’t provide an official agenda. But it says, “Per the resolution of the Commission, a subcommittee was established for the purpose of developing a process for evaluating the characteristics of Tennesseans who should be honored in the Capitol Complex and other processes regarding the management of the collection.” http://humphreyonthehill.tnjournal.net/prodded-haslam-panel-schedules-meeting-forrest-bust/

Tennessee Capitol Commission to take up Forrest bust removal (AP) Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s call to remove a bust of a Confederate cavalry general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol building is getting its first hearing this week. The State Capitol Commission is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider Haslam’s renewed request to relocate the bust. It’s the first step in a lengthy process laid out by Tennessee’s “Heritage Protection Act.” Haslam first called for the bust’s removal after the 2015 slayings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, and again after this month’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Forrest amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War. His bust at the state Capitol was unveiled in 1978. http://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Tennessee-Capitol-Commission-to-take-up-Forrest-12122921.php

Haslam questions continued sale of Tennessee license plate with Confederate battle flag (Tennessean) Beyond calling for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol, Gov. Bill Haslam is questioning whether the state should allow residents to purchase license plates with the Confederate battle flag. Among the more than 100 license plates available to Tennesseans is one dubbed “Sons of the Confederate Veterans” that contains a Confederate battle flag. When pressed on whether the state should consider eliminating the sale of the plates, Haslam said Friday he was only recently informed they were still available.  “I’d have my questions about that, about whether or not we should be having official Tennessee state license tags that do that,” he said. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/18/haslam-questions-continued-sale-tennessee-license-plate-confederate-battle-flag/579937001/

Not Everyone Feels Southeast’s Job Boom (US News) The Southeast makes headlines for its booming economy, but the region’s fastest-growing states have a problem. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee rank high in job growth, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best States for employment rankings. But these five states also rank among the U.S.’s lowest in labor force participation, the percentage of state residents age 16 or older who held part-time or full-time jobs. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has focused on making post-secondary education more accessible, says Bill Fox, director of the University of Tennessee’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. “Gov. Haslam and his administration started from the presumption that we needed a dramatically improved labor force because of the kind of jobs that are being created and ever more increasingly will be created in the economy,” Fox says. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-08-29/not-everyone-feels-southeasts-job-boom

Protesters take aim at Confederate monument at Tennessee Capitol (WSMV) It was billed as an anti-white supremacy rally, but before it ended, protesters focused on a monument on the state capitol grounds honoring Rutherford County Civil War spy Sam Davis. Davis, whose home sits just a few miles off of Interstate 24, is an historical landmark. Some in Rutherford County consider Davis a hero. The rally began in Public Square downtown. Organizers speaking on a megaphone quickly zeroed in on the Fraternal Order of Police. “They do not support workers’ rights, only officer rights and their own self-interest, and this puts them at odds with other unions and against other working class folks. The FOP provides legal support and public relations to police who harm civilians,” said Dixon Irene, rally organizer. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36237304/protesters-take-aim-at-confederate-monument-at-tennessee-capitol

Protesters Cover Sam Davis Monument At State Capitol (WTVF) Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Nashville in response to the National Order of Police 2017 convention being in town. The group started in Public Square Park marched down Broadway and ended at the State Capitol. Demonstrators told NewsChannel 5 that their rally was in response to the FOP National Conference which kicked off at Opryland Monday. That’s where protesters covered a statue of Confederate soldier Sam Davis and chained a bust of Terence Crutcher in its place. Crutcher was killed by a white police officer, Betty Shelby, in Tulsa Oklahoma. She was was later acquitted in the case. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/protesters-cover-sam-davis-monument-at-state-capitol

Protesters block Broadway, cover Confederate statue in Nashville (Tennessean) Protesters ascended stairs in front of the Tennessee State Capitol Monday night, placing a sheet over a statue of a Confederate soldier and chaining to the monument a homemade bust. The gold bust, carried throughout a march downtown by members of Showing Up for Racial Justice Nashville, read “Terence Crutcher,” the name of an unarmed black man fatally shot by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma last year. Below the bust, demonstrators affixed a sign reading “Honor Black Lives.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/marchers-cover-confederate-statue-nashville-sheet-erect-bust-black-man-shot-police/610035001/

U of M plans to build $2 million space for events, informal gatherings (Memphis Business Journal) The University of Memphis is planning to build an up to $2 million “house” on campus where faculty and alumni can gather. After selling its president’s house in 2015, the University of Memphis (U of M) is planning to put the money toward building a new Alumni and Faculty House. “The vast majority of major research universities have a place where faculty and alumni can gather,” said U of M president M. David Rudd. “It will be specifically developed for events.” The U of M sold its president’s house at 4035 Grandview, which served as the residence of the president until 2013, for $800,000 to Grandview Property Partners LLC, according to deeds on file with the Shelby County Register. https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/08/28/u-of-m-plans-to-build-2-million-space-for-events.html

Facilities workers protest outsourcing at University of Tennessee; no decisions made yet (News Sentinel) Facilities workers at the University of Tennessee Knoxville were joined by students, faculty and others from the Knoxville community Monday as they rallied to protest plans to potentially outsource facilities jobs on campus. A news release from United Campus Workers, the union representing facilities workers at UT, said the protest was organized to coincide with the start of a new academic year and “send a clear message: keep our jobs on campus.” About 200 people showed up to protest the outsourcing plan, an initiative of Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration that seeks to privatize the work of facilities employees at public colleges and universities across the state. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2017/08/28/facilities-workers-protest-outsourcing-university-tennessee-no-decisions-made-yet/607489001/

Protestors gather at Torchbearer for outsourcing rally (UT Daily Beacon) Faculty, staff and students gathered around the Torchbearer at 12:00 p.m. on Monday to protest Governor Bill Haslam’s initiative to outsource campus jobs. More than 150 members of the UT community attended the rally, with many opting to skip their lunch break to attend. Haslam signed a five-year contract with Chicago-based, multinational corporation Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL) in May 2017. The contract was a part of an initiative to outsource jobs on college campuses and other state-owned properties to the private sector. While it allows universities to outsource services under JLL, the plan also states the company must retain all current state facilities employees, with the condition that they pass a background check and drug test. http://www.utdailybeacon.com/news/administration/protestors-gather-at-torchbearer-for-outsourcing-rally/article_f6ef3a82-8c50-11e7-abfc-b3b9ee03f6db.html

Demonstration to be held against outsourcing at University of Tennessee (WATE) Members of the University of Tennessee faculty, staff and student body will be demonstrating against outsourcing. The topic has been a discussion point for the UT community for the past few years concerning ways to save money. The United Campus Workers is organizing the demonstration which will be held on the school’s campus Monday. Campus faith leaders and State Representative Rick Staples are among the many expected to attend. “Representatives of the Haslam administration are currently campaigning to pressure campus decision makers across Tennessee to “opt-in”–and outsource as many as ten thousand facilities jobs, including hundreds in Knoxville alone,” stated UCW Organizer Melanie Brown. http://wate.com/2017/08/28/demonstration-to-be-held-against-outsourcing-at-university-of-tennessee/

UT campus workers protest Gov. Haslam’s outsourcing plan (WBIR) University of Tennessee Knoxville staff, faculty and students joined local business leaders, state representatives and faith leaders in a demonstration Monday to call on university officials to “opt-out” of Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plan. The demonstration was organized by United Campus Workers. Last week, a bill to introduce oversight in outsourcing was heard in summer study in the General Assembly. If the university were to “opt-in”, United Campus Workers believe as many as 10,000 facilities jobs, including hundreds in Knoxville, would be outsourced.  http://www.wbir.com/news/local/ut-campus-workers-protest-gov-haslams-outsourcing-plan/468674934

Tennessee secretary of state’s office to roll out online voter registration (Tennessean) The secretary of state’s office is set to officially roll out its new online voter registration system in Tennessee. The new system is already available online but the office will officially announce it next week. The move will put the state’s voter registration into the digital age as Tennessee joins a majority of other states that have already implemented similar systems. “This system meets people where they already are: online,” Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “It will improve accuracy and efficiency for voters and election officials by ensuring there are fewer errors and more accurate voter rolls.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/tennessee-secretary-states-office-roll-out-online-voter-registration/608180001/

Q&A: Sen. Lamar Alexander on why the health care clock is ticking (Tennessean) Sen. Lamar Alexander will hold bipartisan hearings in early September in a last minute attempt to assure insurers of the federal government’s commitment to the individual market, and pave the way for states to ask for flexibility on insurance benefits. Alexander, R-Tenn., is looking to drum up support for a “bipartisan way to get a limited result that actually helps people” after tumultuous months of heated debate over whether to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act that ultimately handed the Republicans a defeat, he said during an interview with The Tennessean. http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/industries/health-care/2017/08/24/lamar-alexander-on-why-hes-worried-about-aca-exchanges/586239001/

AG Jeff Sessions announces lift of limits on military gear from police (WKRN) Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Nashville Monday to speak at the National Fraternal Order of Police conference. During his speech, Sessions announced a new executive order that will restore surplus military equipment to local police. The announcement was received with cheers from the audience. “Life-saving gear like cavalier vest and helmets, first responder rescue equipment like they are using in Texas right now,” he told the crowd of about 6,000. The Attorney General says the change will help protect our citizens and reduce crime. “Studies have shown that this equipment reduces crime rates, reduces a number of assaults against police officers and actually reduces a number of complaints against police officers,” Session said. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/28/ag-jeff-sessions-speaks-at-national-fraternal-order-of-police-conference-in-nashville/

Jeff Sessions in Nashville outlines plan to send surplus military weapons, equipment to local police (Tennessean) Speaking to a group of law enforcement officials in Nashville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced a move to curtail an Obama-era policy that will once again allow the federal government to provide surplus military equipment to local agencies. “I am here to announce that President Trump is issuing an executive order that will make it easier to protect yourselves and your communities,” Sessions said to applause from an audience estimated at about 5,000 people. “He is rescinding restrictions from the prior administration that limited your agencies’ ability to get equipment through federal programs, including lifesaving gear like Kevlar vests and helmets and first responder and rescue equipment like what they’re using in Texas right now.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/28/jeff-sessions-nashville-outlines-plan-send-surplus-military-weapons-equipment-local-police/603661001/

AG Sessions announces plan to roll back limits on military gear for police (WSMV) Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump’s plan to sign an executive order giving law enforcement across the country easier access to military-grade equipment during a speech in Nashville on Monday. Sessions was a featured speaker at the national convention for the Fraternal Order of Police at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Several thousand law enforcement officers from across the country who were in attendance gave a very long and loud standing ovation to Sessions’ remarks. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36230753/ag-sessions-announces-plan-to-roll-back-limits-on-military-gear-for-police

Former White House counsel for Nixon: Trump scarier than Nixon (Tennessean) President Richard Nixon, whose administration was destroyed by scandal, and President Donald Trump share many similarities, said John Dean, the former White House Counsel for Nixon during the years of the Watergate scandal. But Trump is the scarier of the two, he said. “I don’t have any suspicions of Trump,” Dean said. “I have a knot in my stomach about Trump.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/former-white-house-counsel-nixon-trump-scarier-than-nixon/610019001/

Computer Attacks Underscore Need for Cyber Insurance (Memphis Daily News) The cyberattack that hit FedEx subsidiary TNT Express in June, temporarily disrupting the company’s worldwide information systems, was a reminder about the fragility of digital systems that Herb Davis didn’t need. FedEx subsidiary TNT Express was hit by a ransomware virus in June that caused widespread disruptions in its worldwide information systems. FedEx later disclosed it did not have cyber insurance to cover the attack. Among the facts that emerged in the aftermath of the Petya ransomware virus entering the TNT system through the company’s Ukrainian operations before spreading to the whole system, was that FedEx didn’t have any kind of cyber insurance plan to cover the attack. Davis, a vice president with Smith-Berclair Insurance in Memphis, has been writing such policies for years and wishes more companies – especially small businesses that don’t have the deep pockets of a company the size of FedEx – would decide to use them to proactively protect themselves. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/26/corporate-data-breaches-underscore-need-for-cyber-insurance-coverage/

OPINION

George Corda: Bob Corker and Donald Trump: Will the right thing to say result in the right thing to do? (News Sentinel) Washington wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in if every politician meant it when they claimed to be running against Washington even as they ran to get to Washington. The next consideration is if being altogether against Washington is altogether a good thing. Donald Trump ran for president by running against Washington, and in his case he meant what he said. In the Trump political universe Democrats, Republicans, the Washington media establishment – all and more – are equal opportunity targets. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., once on a short list for Secretary of State, is himself a recent target. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/george-korda/2017/08/28/bob-corker-and-donald-trump-right-thing-say-result-right-thing-do/607483001/

Column: 73% of Blacks Love ‘Gone With the Wind,’ Memphis Book Burners Canceled It Anyway (Breitbart) Way back in 2014, I urged everyone to run out and purchase a copy of Blazing Saddles, not just because it is awesome but because eventually the left will ban it, will do to the Mel Brooks masterpiece what has already been done to the Disney classic Song of the South — disappear it forever. Oh, how the Leftists pointed and laughed at my reactionary, rightwing fear-mongering. And then, almost exactly a year later, a leftwing critic at the New York Post published an editorial calling for the banning of the 1939 masterpiece, Gone With the Wind. And then, last week the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, launched phase one of that ban by canceling a 34 year tradition. The multi-Oscar winner that still holds the all-time box office record (when you account for inflation) will no longer be screened by the Orpheum Theater Group. http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/08/28/nolte-73-of-blacks-love-gone-with-the-wind-memphis-book-burners-canceled-it-anyway/

Tuesday, August 29

Gov. Bill Haslam urges historical commission to take up Memphis waiver over Forrest statue (Tennessean) Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday encouraged members of the state’s Historical Commission to take up a petition that would allow the city of Memphis to move a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest located at Health Sciences Park. The Memphis City Council voted in 2015 to remove the statue and sought a waiver in early 2016 from the Tennessee Historical Commission to do so. The commission did not approve the waiver and the city objected on procedural grounds. The city’s petition still awaits action. Haslam said a similar petition from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro also awaits action. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/gov-bill-haslam-urges-historical-commission-take-up-memphis-waiver-over-forrest-statue/610223001/

Prodded by Haslam, panel schedules meeting on Forrest bust (TN Journal/Humphrey) The State Capitol Commission, one of two state government entities that must approve the removal Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from inside the Tennessee capitol building,  has scheduled a special meeting for Friday. Notice of the Sept. 1 meeting — posted on Friday, Aug. 25 — doesn’t provide an official agenda. But it says, “Per the resolution of the Commission, a subcommittee was established for the purpose of developing a process for evaluating the characteristics of Tennesseans who should be honored in the Capitol Complex and other processes regarding the management of the collection.” http://humphreyonthehill.tnjournal.net/prodded-haslam-panel-schedules-meeting-forrest-bust/

Tennessee Capitol Commission to take up Forrest bust removal (AP) Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s call to remove a bust of a Confederate cavalry general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol building is getting its first hearing this week. The State Capitol Commission is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider Haslam’s renewed request to relocate the bust. It’s the first step in a lengthy process laid out by Tennessee’s “Heritage Protection Act.” Haslam first called for the bust’s removal after the 2015 slayings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, and again after this month’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Forrest amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War. His bust at the state Capitol was unveiled in 1978. http://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Tennessee-Capitol-Commission-to-take-up-Forrest-12122921.php

Haslam questions continued sale of Tennessee license plate with Confederate battle flag (Tennessean) Beyond calling for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol, Gov. Bill Haslam is questioning whether the state should allow residents to purchase license plates with the Confederate battle flag. Among the more than 100 license plates available to Tennesseans is one dubbed “Sons of the Confederate Veterans” that contains a Confederate battle flag. When pressed on whether the state should consider eliminating the sale of the plates, Haslam said Friday he was only recently informed they were still available.  “I’d have my questions about that, about whether or not we should be having official Tennessee state license tags that do that,” he said. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/18/haslam-questions-continued-sale-tennessee-license-plate-confederate-battle-flag/579937001/

Not Everyone Feels Southeast’s Job Boom (US News) The Southeast makes headlines for its booming economy, but the region’s fastest-growing states have a problem. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee rank high in job growth, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best States for employment rankings. But these five states also rank among the U.S.’s lowest in labor force participation, the percentage of state residents age 16 or older who held part-time or full-time jobs. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has focused on making post-secondary education more accessible, says Bill Fox, director of the University of Tennessee’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. “Gov. Haslam and his administration started from the presumption that we needed a dramatically improved labor force because of the kind of jobs that are being created and ever more increasingly will be created in the economy,” Fox says. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-08-29/not-everyone-feels-southeasts-job-boom

Protesters take aim at Confederate monument at Tennessee Capitol (WSMV) It was billed as an anti-white supremacy rally, but before it ended, protesters focused on a monument on the state capitol grounds honoring Rutherford County Civil War spy Sam Davis. Davis, whose home sits just a few miles off of Interstate 24, is an historical landmark. Some in Rutherford County consider Davis a hero. The rally began in Public Square downtown. Organizers speaking on a megaphone quickly zeroed in on the Fraternal Order of Police. “They do not support workers’ rights, only officer rights and their own self-interest, and this puts them at odds with other unions and against other working class folks. The FOP provides legal support and public relations to police who harm civilians,” said Dixon Irene, rally organizer. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36237304/protesters-take-aim-at-confederate-monument-at-tennessee-capitol

Protesters Cover Sam Davis Monument At State Capitol (WTVF) Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Nashville in response to the National Order of Police 2017 convention being in town. The group started in Public Square Park marched down Broadway and ended at the State Capitol. Demonstrators told NewsChannel 5 that their rally was in response to the FOP National Conference which kicked off at Opryland Monday. That’s where protesters covered a statue of Confederate soldier Sam Davis and chained a bust of Terence Crutcher in its place. Crutcher was killed by a white police officer, Betty Shelby, in Tulsa Oklahoma. She was was later acquitted in the case. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/protesters-cover-sam-davis-monument-at-state-capitol

Protesters block Broadway, cover Confederate statue in Nashville (Tennessean) Protesters ascended stairs in front of the Tennessee State Capitol Monday night, placing a sheet over a statue of a Confederate soldier and chaining to the monument a homemade bust. The gold bust, carried throughout a march downtown by members of Showing Up for Racial Justice Nashville, read “Terence Crutcher,” the name of an unarmed black man fatally shot by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma last year. Below the bust, demonstrators affixed a sign reading “Honor Black Lives.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/marchers-cover-confederate-statue-nashville-sheet-erect-bust-black-man-shot-police/610035001/

U of M plans to build $2 million space for events, informal gatherings (Memphis Business Journal) The University of Memphis is planning to build an up to $2 million “house” on campus where faculty and alumni can gather. After selling its president’s house in 2015, the University of Memphis (U of M) is planning to put the money toward building a new Alumni and Faculty House. “The vast majority of major research universities have a place where faculty and alumni can gather,” said U of M president M. David Rudd. “It will be specifically developed for events.” The U of M sold its president’s house at 4035 Grandview, which served as the residence of the president until 2013, for $800,000 to Grandview Property Partners LLC, according to deeds on file with the Shelby County Register. https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/08/28/u-of-m-plans-to-build-2-million-space-for-events.html

Facilities workers protest outsourcing at University of Tennessee; no decisions made yet (News Sentinel) Facilities workers at the University of Tennessee Knoxville were joined by students, faculty and others from the Knoxville community Monday as they rallied to protest plans to potentially outsource facilities jobs on campus. A news release from United Campus Workers, the union representing facilities workers at UT, said the protest was organized to coincide with the start of a new academic year and “send a clear message: keep our jobs on campus.” About 200 people showed up to protest the outsourcing plan, an initiative of Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration that seeks to privatize the work of facilities employees at public colleges and universities across the state. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2017/08/28/facilities-workers-protest-outsourcing-university-tennessee-no-decisions-made-yet/607489001/

Protestors gather at Torchbearer for outsourcing rally (UT Daily Beacon) Faculty, staff and students gathered around the Torchbearer at 12:00 p.m. on Monday to protest Governor Bill Haslam’s initiative to outsource campus jobs. More than 150 members of the UT community attended the rally, with many opting to skip their lunch break to attend. Haslam signed a five-year contract with Chicago-based, multinational corporation Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL) in May 2017. The contract was a part of an initiative to outsource jobs on college campuses and other state-owned properties to the private sector. While it allows universities to outsource services under JLL, the plan also states the company must retain all current state facilities employees, with the condition that they pass a background check and drug test. http://www.utdailybeacon.com/news/administration/protestors-gather-at-torchbearer-for-outsourcing-rally/article_f6ef3a82-8c50-11e7-abfc-b3b9ee03f6db.html

Demonstration to be held against outsourcing at University of Tennessee (WATE) Members of the University of Tennessee faculty, staff and student body will be demonstrating against outsourcing. The topic has been a discussion point for the UT community for the past few years concerning ways to save money. The United Campus Workers is organizing the demonstration which will be held on the school’s campus Monday. Campus faith leaders and State Representative Rick Staples are among the many expected to attend. “Representatives of the Haslam administration are currently campaigning to pressure campus decision makers across Tennessee to “opt-in”–and outsource as many as ten thousand facilities jobs, including hundreds in Knoxville alone,” stated UCW Organizer Melanie Brown. http://wate.com/2017/08/28/demonstration-to-be-held-against-outsourcing-at-university-of-tennessee/

UT campus workers protest Gov. Haslam’s outsourcing plan (WBIR) University of Tennessee Knoxville staff, faculty and students joined local business leaders, state representatives and faith leaders in a demonstration Monday to call on university officials to “opt-out” of Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing plan. The demonstration was organized by United Campus Workers. Last week, a bill to introduce oversight in outsourcing was heard in summer study in the General Assembly. If the university were to “opt-in”, United Campus Workers believe as many as 10,000 facilities jobs, including hundreds in Knoxville, would be outsourced.  http://www.wbir.com/news/local/ut-campus-workers-protest-gov-haslams-outsourcing-plan/468674934

Tennessee secretary of state’s office to roll out online voter registration (Tennessean) The secretary of state’s office is set to officially roll out its new online voter registration system in Tennessee. The new system is already available online but the office will officially announce it next week. The move will put the state’s voter registration into the digital age as Tennessee joins a majority of other states that have already implemented similar systems. “This system meets people where they already are: online,” Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “It will improve accuracy and efficiency for voters and election officials by ensuring there are fewer errors and more accurate voter rolls.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/tennessee-secretary-states-office-roll-out-online-voter-registration/608180001/

Q&A: Sen. Lamar Alexander on why the health care clock is ticking (Tennessean) Sen. Lamar Alexander will hold bipartisan hearings in early September in a last minute attempt to assure insurers of the federal government’s commitment to the individual market, and pave the way for states to ask for flexibility on insurance benefits. Alexander, R-Tenn., is looking to drum up support for a “bipartisan way to get a limited result that actually helps people” after tumultuous months of heated debate over whether to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act that ultimately handed the Republicans a defeat, he said during an interview with The Tennessean. http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/industries/health-care/2017/08/24/lamar-alexander-on-why-hes-worried-about-aca-exchanges/586239001/

AG Jeff Sessions announces lift of limits on military gear from police (WKRN) Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Nashville Monday to speak at the National Fraternal Order of Police conference. During his speech, Sessions announced a new executive order that will restore surplus military equipment to local police. The announcement was received with cheers from the audience. “Life-saving gear like cavalier vest and helmets, first responder rescue equipment like they are using in Texas right now,” he told the crowd of about 6,000. The Attorney General says the change will help protect our citizens and reduce crime. “Studies have shown that this equipment reduces crime rates, reduces a number of assaults against police officers and actually reduces a number of complaints against police officers,” Session said. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/28/ag-jeff-sessions-speaks-at-national-fraternal-order-of-police-conference-in-nashville/

Jeff Sessions in Nashville outlines plan to send surplus military weapons, equipment to local police (Tennessean) Speaking to a group of law enforcement officials in Nashville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced a move to curtail an Obama-era policy that will once again allow the federal government to provide surplus military equipment to local agencies. “I am here to announce that President Trump is issuing an executive order that will make it easier to protect yourselves and your communities,” Sessions said to applause from an audience estimated at about 5,000 people. “He is rescinding restrictions from the prior administration that limited your agencies’ ability to get equipment through federal programs, including lifesaving gear like Kevlar vests and helmets and first responder and rescue equipment like what they’re using in Texas right now.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/28/jeff-sessions-nashville-outlines-plan-send-surplus-military-weapons-equipment-local-police/603661001/

AG Sessions announces plan to roll back limits on military gear for police (WSMV) Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump’s plan to sign an executive order giving law enforcement across the country easier access to military-grade equipment during a speech in Nashville on Monday. Sessions was a featured speaker at the national convention for the Fraternal Order of Police at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Several thousand law enforcement officers from across the country who were in attendance gave a very long and loud standing ovation to Sessions’ remarks. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36230753/ag-sessions-announces-plan-to-roll-back-limits-on-military-gear-for-police

Former White House counsel for Nixon: Trump scarier than Nixon (Tennessean) President Richard Nixon, whose administration was destroyed by scandal, and President Donald Trump share many similarities, said John Dean, the former White House Counsel for Nixon during the years of the Watergate scandal. But Trump is the scarier of the two, he said. “I don’t have any suspicions of Trump,” Dean said. “I have a knot in my stomach about Trump.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/28/former-white-house-counsel-nixon-trump-scarier-than-nixon/610019001/

Computer Attacks Underscore Need for Cyber Insurance (Memphis Daily News) The cyberattack that hit FedEx subsidiary TNT Express in June, temporarily disrupting the company’s worldwide information systems, was a reminder about the fragility of digital systems that Herb Davis didn’t need. FedEx subsidiary TNT Express was hit by a ransomware virus in June that caused widespread disruptions in its worldwide information systems. FedEx later disclosed it did not have cyber insurance to cover the attack. Among the facts that emerged in the aftermath of the Petya ransomware virus entering the TNT system through the company’s Ukrainian operations before spreading to the whole system, was that FedEx didn’t have any kind of cyber insurance plan to cover the attack. Davis, a vice president with Smith-Berclair Insurance in Memphis, has been writing such policies for years and wishes more companies – especially small businesses that don’t have the deep pockets of a company the size of FedEx – would decide to use them to proactively protect themselves. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/26/corporate-data-breaches-underscore-need-for-cyber-insurance-coverage/

OPINION

George Corda: Bob Corker and Donald Trump: Will the right thing to say result in the right thing to do? (News Sentinel) Washington wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in if every politician meant it when they claimed to be running against Washington even as they ran to get to Washington. The next consideration is if being altogether against Washington is altogether a good thing. Donald Trump ran for president by running against Washington, and in his case he meant what he said. In the Trump political universe Democrats, Republicans, the Washington media establishment – all and more – are equal opportunity targets. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., once on a short list for Secretary of State, is himself a recent target. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/george-korda/2017/08/28/bob-corker-and-donald-trump-right-thing-say-result-right-thing-do/607483001/

Column: 73% of Blacks Love ‘Gone With the Wind,’ Memphis Book Burners Canceled It Anyway (Breitbart) Way back in 2014, I urged everyone to run out and purchase a copy of Blazing Saddles, not just because it is awesome but because eventually the left will ban it, will do to the Mel Brooks masterpiece what has already been done to the Disney classic Song of the South — disappear it forever. Oh, how the Leftists pointed and laughed at my reactionary, rightwing fear-mongering. And then, almost exactly a year later, a leftwing critic at the New York Post published an editorial calling for the banning of the 1939 masterpiece, Gone With the Wind. And then, last week the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, launched phase one of that ban by canceling a 34 year tradition. The multi-Oscar winner that still holds the all-time box office record (when you account for inflation) will no longer be screened by the Orpheum Theater Group. http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/08/28/nolte-73-of-blacks-love-gone-with-the-wind-memphis-book-burners-canceled-it-anyway/

Monday, August 28

Panel may soon take up issue of removing Forrest bust from Tennessee state Capitol (Times Free Press) Efforts to remove a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from Tennessee’s state Capitol could take a major step this week when a panel with powers to initiate the removal process is scheduled to meet. The State Capitol Commission posted a notice Friday saying it will convene this Friday. The notice came one day after Gov. Bill Haslam renewed his call to remove the image of Forrest, a Tennessee native considered a brilliant Confederate military strategist but whose past as a slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader make him controversial. Efforts to remove the bust from an alcove between the state House and Senate chambers reignited this month following a deadly clash in Charlottesville, Va. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/state/story/2017/aug/28/forrest-bust-removal-issue-apparently-coming/445843/

Nervous about legal action, schools aren’t implementing sex abuse prevention law in Tennessee (Tennessean) In response to growing concerns about child sexual abuse, Tennessee lawmakers enacted a law encouraging schools to provide prevention education to teachers and students. But the 2014 measure, known “Erin’s Law,” has run into an unanticipated obstacle — one also created by state lawmakers. The so-called “Gateway law,” approved by the legislature in 2012, allows for teachers and school districts to be penalized for providing anything but abstinence-based sex education. It prohibits any discussion of “gateway” behaviors that could lead to premarital sex. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/27/nervous-legal-action-schools-arent-implementing-sex-abuse-prevention-law-tennessee/598330001/

Tusculum College names new president (WJHL) Dr. James Hurley has been named the 28th president of Tusculum College. He will begin his tenure on Oct. 1. Dr. Hurley was selected after a nationwide search that was initiated following the retirement announcement by current president Dr. Nancy B. Moody earlier this year. The announcement came after a called meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees on Saturday, Aug. 26, on the main campus in Greeneville. Dr. Hurley comes to Tusculum from Lincoln Memorial University where he served as executive vice president, dean of the School of Business and professor of leadership and education. Under his guidance, LMU enrolled its largest class, added many new academic programs and the School of Business grew by more than 60 percent. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/28/tusculum-college-names-new-president/

Northeast State puts Gray campus building up for sale as part of budget realignment (WJHL) Northeast State Community College is selling one of its off campus sites as part of its recent budget realignment. This comes less than a month after interim President James King announced dozens of job cuts. Northeast State announced in July that it was having to cut roughly $5 million out of its budget with $2.2 million impacting jobs. More than 50 people were laid off last month. Now, the college has put the Gray campus building up for sale. The 12,956 square foot building is located on Dillon Court and was built in 1992. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/25/northeast-state-puts-gray-campus-building-up-for-sale-as-part-of-budget-realignment/

English Mountain fire burns 200 acres (Tennessean) Crews continue to battle a wildfire on English Mountain in Sevier County that was first reported Friday night and has since grown to span 200 acres. A crew of eight people from the Tennessee Division of Forestry worked Sunday to contain the fire, which is located on the mountain’s south ridge near the Preserve neighborhood off Spurgeon Hollow Road in Sevierville, according to spokesman Nathan Waters. Rocky terrain thwarted efforts to get bulldozers up the mountain to dig containment lines, so workers were forced to dig them by hand. “That mountain’s a big pile of rocks,” Waters said. “You can’t get bulldozers on that stuff, it’ll slide. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/25/fire-reported-english-mountain/604398001/

200 acres burning in English Mountain forest fire (WATE) Crews in Sevier County are trying to reach a fire on the Sevier County side of English Mountain. Firefighters were unable to access the fire because of rough terrain. The Division of Forestry has taken over containment efforts. The Forestry reports the containment lines cover about 200 acres, but the blaze is under control. They want people in the area to know smoke may be visible. No homes or business are near the flames and are not at risk at this time. No one has been injured in the blaze. http://wate.com/2017/08/25/crews-trying-to-reach-fire-on-english-mountain-in-sevier-county/

Forestry crews still working to extinguish English Mountain fire (WBIR) Tennessee Division of Forestry crews are still working Sunday to extinguish a fire affecting 200 acres in English Mountain, according to Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters. Waters says crews are putting fire lines in to control the burn in the turf. Today workers will also clear the area of things that could spread the fire, like logs that could roll out of the area. No communities are affected by the fire but surrounding areas could see some smoke Sunday afternoon, Waters says. Crews will continue to work for a few more days, according to Waters. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/crews-working-to-reach-fire-on-english-mountain/467471183

Lack Of Bathroom Soap Leaves Some Lawmakers Wringing Their Hands About Outsourcing (WPLN) Job security. Worker benefits. Service to taxpayers. These are some issues state lawmakers have been weighing as they review how well outsourcing government functions has worked. But there’s a more mundane item that’s also been surprisingly high on the list of legislators’ concerns. Soap. It may be seen by many as a necessity after nature calls. But in Legislative Plaza, the main office building for the Tennessee General Assembly, the satisfying sound of soap squirting from a dispenser hasn’t been heard often enough for many lawmakers. “If anyone cares to go into the second-floor men’s restroom, right up there, you’ll see that another legislator took it upon themselves to bring soap,” state Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, said at a hearing last week on outsourcing. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/lack-bathroom-soap-leaves-some-lawmakers-wringing-their-hands-about-outsourcing#stream/0

Harwell, McNally establish medical marijuana panel (TN Journal/Humphrey) In accord with an agreement reached back in March, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally on Friday appointed a joint House-Senate committee to study medical marijuana and make a report to the Legislature for next year’s session. The “Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis” will be chaired by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, both advocates of medical marijuana who sponsored a legalization bill in the 2017 session. Faison announced he was taking the bill “off notice” – meaning he would not seek a committee vote – after Harwell and McNally agreed to set up the study committee. http://humphreyonthehill.tnjournal.net/harwell-mcnally-establish-medical-marijuana-panel/

Lawmakers to study if marijuana should be legalized in Tennessee (WKRN) State lawmakers have announced they will research if Tennessee should legalize marijuana. Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and State House Speaker Beth Harwell wrote a letter announcing their decision to form an ad-hoc committee to look into the issue. The committee will study, evaluate, analyze and undertake a comprehensive review to determine if medical marijuana is in the best interest of the state. Ten lawmakers will serve on the committee, including Senator Steve Dickerson of Nashville and Representative Sheila Butt of Maury County. http://wate.com/2017/08/27/lawmakers-to-study-if-marijuana-should-be-legalized-in-tennessee/

Rep. Steve Cohen won’t comment on police presence at Memphis home (Commercial Appeal) An unmanned Memphis police cruiser was parked in front of Rep. Steve Cohen’s Midtown home throughout the day Sunday, but the congressman would not say why it was there. No one answered the door or appeared to be at the home, but the unoccupied patrol car was on the street in front of the house Sunday morning and was still there Sunday afternoon. Reached by phone, Cohen would only say he didn’t think it would be appropriate to talk about why the car was there. A Memphis police spokeswoman said she didn’t know anything about it and would have to check Monday to see if there had been a request for a police presence at the home. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/27/rep-steve-cohen-wont-comment-police-presence-memphis-home/606460001/

Gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd makes campaign stop in Knoxville (WATE) Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd continues his 537.3 mile run, as part of his “#RunWithRandy” campaign. Boyd’s stop Sunday was in Knoxville. His 12-mile run went through notable Knoxville Landmarks including Zoo Knoxville, the Old City, University of Tennessee and Tyson Park. Boyd, a Knoxville businessman and philanthropist, served in Governor Bill Haslam’s cabinet as the state Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and was the architect of the state’s Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, and the tnAchieves and Tennessee Promise scholarship programs to help more young people go to college. http://wate.com/2017/08/27/gubernatorial-candidate-randy-boyd-makes-campaign-stop-in-knoxville/

Bill Frist, our Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement winner, focuses on health to improve health care (Nashville Business Journal) Sitting in a conference room high above West End Avenue, Bill Frist quickly rattles off a series of statistics to illustrate the public health problems of Nashville – and their dire impacts. “There are 110,000 people who smoke here in Nashville,” Frist tells me. “All of them will die anywhere from five to six years earlier than they would if they didn’t smoke.” Reducing that figure is one of the goals of NashvilleHealth, a nonprofit Frist launched about two years ago to improve wellness across Davidson County. It’s one of the ways Frist, a transplant surgeon who represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007, continues his mission to make meaningful change in public health. https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/08/24/bill-frist-our-health-care-heroes-lifetime.html

Car tires and winter gloves: (Part) of how Clarksville won LG’s $250M plant (Nashville Business Journal) The heated, carpeted tent waited on a platform the morning of Jan. 9 to receive the CEO of the company behind Project Baseball, a $250 million manufacturing plant that would initially involve 600 jobs. As a nod to that company, a massive LG television displayed drone shots of the 310-acre property behind the tent. Coffee and hot tea and winter gloves brandished with the slogan “We’re hands on!” waited for the guests; temperatures had been atypically cold the previous few days, topping out in the 20s. Two helicopters and four ATVs stood at the ready, as did state officials and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn. This was the big moment Mike Evans had planned for two weeks. It was over before he knew it. “I don’t think their CEO wasn’t in Clarksville but three hours,” recalled Evans, who is executive director of the Montgomery County Industrial Development Board. “Jan. 9 honestly wasn’t a long meeting. Very limited comments were made.” https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/08/25/car-tires-and-winter-gloves-part-of-how.html

OPINION

Robert Houk: Pushing buttons and spewing partisan rhetoric (Johnson City Press) State Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, knows how to push the buttons of his political opponents. He may be better at it than his senior legislative colleague from Washington County. Even State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, doesn’t post his political rants on social media. Boss Hill — a “talk radio” host— saves those for the public’s airwaves. Van Huss went on Facebook recently to praise comments made by President Trump following the mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia. “I rarely post political statements on my personal Facebook page. After listening to our President last night, I feel the need to let my constituents know where I stand. Black Lives Matter, the KKK, and Neo-Nazis are racist hate groups and I condemn them,” Van Huss wrote. “Some of those groups have taken a banner that is dear to my heart and made it one of their symbols. For me, Robert E. Lee’s battle flag is a symbol of freedom. Stonewall Jackson was my father’s hero.” http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Column/2017/08/27/Pushing-buttons-and-spewing-partisan-rhetoric.html?ci=stream&lp=4&p=

Bob Clement: The politics of hate (Jackson Sun) As I reflect on President Trump’s response to the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I know first-hand how hate and discrimination can negatively impact the lives of innocent Americans. I believe it is our responsibility as citizens to stand up to any extremist groups, such as the KKK and the hundreds of others dedicated to hijacking our freedoms. Republicans need to face the fact that the leader of the free world cannot use his power to propagate hate, and all government officials need to stand up against this blatant display of bigotry. Thankfully, many Republicans have spoken out, and that does give me hope. There is only one side of hate, and that falls squarely on the side of those willing to destroy who we are as Americans. http://www.jacksonsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/08/25/politics-hate/590869001/

Guest column: Insurance market stabilization should start with HIT relief (News Sentinel) With big-picture health care reform off the table in Washington, there is an immediate need to stabilize faltering health insurance markets and keep premiums from rising out of control. This issue is urgent for Knoxville residents. Since Humana bowed out, we are in great danger of having no insurers willing to offer plans to small businesses and individuals in our area. Many solutions are gaining traction with lawmakers, but one of the most important will be the elimination of the Health Insurance Tax. Tennessee’s U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the HIT in 2015, will hold hearings in September on health care. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/08/27/health-insurance-market-stabilization-should-start-hit-relief/598194001/

Guest column: Nashville State hits stride with expansion, academic improvements (Tennessean) Fall-semester classes are underway at Nashville’s Community College, and our students will find a new location for higher education closer to their lives, and a strong, dedicated faculty and staff fully committed to their success. Nashville State Community College is Nashville’s community college. Our new campus in Donelson will be the third developed in Davidson County and will hold classes this fall.  It joins our main campus on White Bridge Road, our Southeast campus at Hickory Hollow and our campuses in Clarksville, Dickson and Waverly. http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2017/08/27/nashville-state-hits-stride-expansion-academic-improvements/104724986/

Friday, August 25

Haslam says cost, not just coverage, needs to be addressed in health care reform (Times Free Press) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will urge the Trump administration to continue federal cost-sharing payments to health insurers to stabilize the health care market while Congress continues to debate health care reform. But Haslam, who next month will address a Senate health committee looking into rewriting the Affordable Care Act, said America’s health care system is too expensive and the government needs to address the cost, not just the access to health care. Haslam told the Rotary Club of Chattanooga on Thursday that states which must balance their budgets will be better able to control the soaring costs of Medicaid and other government health insurance than the federal government has been. Haslam suggested that Congress block grant money for Medicaid to the states with flexibility for local solutions. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/25/haslam-says-cost-not-just-coverage-needs-be-a/445474/

Philips To Bring 800 Jobs To Middle Tennessee (WTVF) Governor Bill Haslam along with the Department of Economic and Community Development announced that Philips will be bringing about 800 new jobs to Tennessee. Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Philips officials made the announcement Thursday. The international technology company will establish a center of expertise in Middle Tennessee. Philips, a global leader in health technology, will create approximately 800 new jobs in the Nashville region. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/philips-to-bring-800-jobs-to-middle-tennessee

Philips, global leader in health technology, creating 800 new jobs in Nashville (WKRN) Governor Bill Haslam, alongside other officials, announced Thursday afternoon that Philips, a global leader in health technology, is creating 800 new jobs in the Nashville area. “In today’s economy, global businesses can choose to grow or expand anywhere in the world. More international companies like Philips are deciding to invest and create jobs in Tennessee because of the policies we’ve put into place with the help of the General Assembly,” Haslam said. “Philips’ investment in Middle Tennessee continues our state’s strong growth trajectory and moves us closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” http://wkrn.com/2017/08/24/philips-global-leader-in-health-technology-creating-800-new-jobs-in-nashville/

Philips to bring 800 jobs to Middle TN (WSMV) Technology company Philips will bring approximately 800 new jobs to the Nashville region. Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe joined Philips officials for the announcement on Thursday. “In today’s economy, global businesses can choose to grow or expand anywhere in the world. More international companies like Philips are deciding to invest and create jobs in Tennessee because of the policies we’ve put into place with the help of the General Assembly,” Haslam said in a release. “Philips’ investment in Middle Tennessee continues our state’s strong growth trajectory and moves us closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” http://www.wsmv.com/story/36211868/philips-to-bring-800-jobs-to-middle-tn

Fortune 500 company bringing jobs to Middle Tennessee (Nashville Business Journal) Royal Philips, the Netherlands-based giant with divisions focused on lighting, electronics and health care, is expanding in Middle Tennessee. State and company officials announced today that the company will establish an 800-job “center of expertise” in the Nashville region. Officials were mum on where the office presence would be located, or how much space the company requires. Philips already has offices in Nashville and Franklin, employing about 150 people. The expansion will bring the company’s local presence to nearly 1,000 people. Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG), better known simply as Philips, ranks at No. 375 on the Fortune Global 500, with $29 billion in revenue and more than 114,000 employees. https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/08/24/fortune-500-company-bringing-jobs-to-middle.html

Dutch Tech Giant Philips To Consolidate Its U.S. Offices With Nashville Hub (WPLN) Electronics giant Philips is planning to bring 800 jobs to the Nashville area focused on health care technology. The company makes medical imaging equipment found in most hospitals like x-rays and MRI machines. Philips executives say hiring will begin in the next couple of months and the 800 jobs will be filled in two years. The state is offering money for the expansion, says Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “We are in the process of completing the negotiations for incentives,” he says. “Yes, there are incentives and as soon as we have signed the agreement, that will be available publicly.” http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/dutch-tech-giant-philips-consolidate-its-us-offices-nashville-hub#stream/0

Area lands Dutch technology giant (Nashville Post) Philips to create 800 jobs via service hub. Philips, an Amsterdam-based health technology giant, announced Thursday it will bring about 800 jobs to the Nashville region via a “a center of expertise.” A press release issued by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development notes the company currently is looking for a permanent office site. Prior to that, it will take temporary space. Philips qualifies for state-provided Fast Tack grant funding but no incentives have been provided yet. No Philips offices will be closed to accommodate what will be a consolidation. http://www.nashvillepost.com/business/economic-development/article/20973605/state-lands-dutch-technology-giants

Philips to bring 800 new jobs to Nashville area (Tennessean) Philips, a global health technology business based in the Netherlands, will bring 800 high-paying jobs to Middle Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday. Known for its household consumer products, Philips has a health care technology segment that employs about 71,000 workers in 100 countries. It focuses on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and home care and has several Middle Tennessee health care clients. “We’ve long been known as a health care center,” Haslam said. “We’ve also thought that healthcare technology was the next logical place for us to grow. Having a global brand like Philips choose the Middle Tennessee area is particularly significant and we are grateful for their investment.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2017/08/24/philips-bring-800-new-jobs-nashville-area/597650001/

Haslam Administration No Longer Plans To Outsource Popular Inn At Fall Creek Falls (WPLN) Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is pulling the plug on one of its most high-profile outsourcing efforts. After years of study and false starts, officials say they’ll no longer try to turn the popular Inn at Fall Creek Falls over to a private operator. Instead, the Haslam administration plans to rebuild the hotel — part of a $100 million overhaul of state park facilities — and leave the Inn at Fall Creek Fall’s fate to the next administration. “It just felt like the appropriate thing to say, ‘Let’s get this built. Let’s get it built the right way’,” Haslam told reporters Thursday. “And then we’ll figure out who the right person to run it is.” http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/haslam-administration-no-longer-plans-outsource-popular-inn-fall-creek-falls#stream/0

Haslam gives up on parks privatization (Nashville Post) Reversal comes months after no bids on Fall Creek Falls project. The state parks will not be outsourced — at least, not in the next 16 months. At a hearing Thursday morning, Bob Martineau, the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, announced that his agency has given up on plans to bring in an outside company to run the hospitality and concessions operations at Fall Creek Falls. He also said no similar plans would be initiated at any other state parks. “What we have decided in consultation and approval from the governor’s office is [that] we want to focus on … getting those construction projects up and running,” Martineau told state legislators. http://www.nashvillepost.com/politics/state-government/article/20973584/haslam-gives-up-on-parks-privatization

Haslam leaves privatizing state park management decision to next Tennessee governor (Times Free Press) The Haslam administration is abandoning all efforts to outsource management of Fall Creek Falls State Park and other state parks and will instead leave the volatile issue of privatizing operations to Tennessee’s next governor. State Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau made the announcement Thursday during an appearance before a legislative study committee taking a critical look at administration outsourcing across state government. The legislation was spurred in part by administration efforts to outsource Fall Creek Falls State Park, located in remote Van Buren and Bledsoe counties near Spencer, Tenn., atop the Upper Cumberland Plateau. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2017/aug/24/haslam-administration-throws-towel/445362/

Construction of Reelfoot visitor center stops due to audit results (State Gazette) What was to be a new interactive visitors center at Reelfoot Lake State Park now stands vacant on the shores of the historic lake, bound in weather-resistant home wrap, with its fate still to be determined. With years of planning, over a year’s worth of construction, and up to $700,000 in taxpayer dollars spent to date, construction came to a halt months ago due to a result to audit findings reported by Tennessee Department of Transportation as well as the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office. http://www.stategazette.com/story/2438457.html

Senators, ex-UT football player to headline governor’s event (AP) U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and former University of Tennessee football player Inky Johnson will be the keynote speakers this year at the governor’s annual conference. A news release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says Johnson will speak during a luncheon on Oct. 26. Alexander and Corker will participate in a panel discussion on Oct. 27 moderated by Gov. Bill Haslam. This year’s conference will take place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Johnson’s right arm was paralyzed during a tackle during a game in 2006. Johnson now travels across the world to motivate others with his story. He has a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Tennessee. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36209007/senators-ex-ut-football-player-to-headline-governors-event

Four universities receive money to increase Tennessee teacher diversity (Tennessean) Four Tennessee universities will use state funds to delve into how they can increase educator diversity across the state. The Tennessee Department of Education awarded the four schools a total of $200,000 for the work in their educator preparation programs. The need to grow teacher diversity — whether it is more male teachers, an ethnically diverse workforce or those with degrees in high need subjects such as science and math —  has been a subject of concern for various agencies and groups across the state for years. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2017/08/24/four-universities-receive-money-increase-tennessee-teacher-diversity/597261001/

UTK Chancellor calls for civility and safety in campus address (WBIR) University of Tennessee at Knoxville Chancellor Beverly Davenport released a video message calling for students to “open your hearts, as well as your minds” in light of protests and rallies planned near the UT campus this weekend.  In the video released Thursday, Davenport said the student body will be “confronted with so many new things,” and people who have different life experiences and beliefs. “But of course, we come here together on Rocky Top where people are going to express different views, and people and going to express opinions that you may have never heard before,” Davenport said. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/chancellor-calls-for-civility-and-safety-in-campus-address/467148097

Video: UTHSC Students demanding removal of the Forrest Statue (Commercial Appeal) http://www.commercialappeal.com/videos/news/2017/08/24/uthsc-students-demanding-removal-forrest-statue/104929986/

New ETSU stadium named for William B. Greene Jr. (Johnson City Press) East Tennessee State University’s new football stadium will be named for local banker and businessman William B. Greene Jr. The college’s board of trustees approved the name Thursday afternoon in a short, specially called meeting. Greene is the Chairman of the board of BancTenn Corp., parent of Bank of Tennessee and Carter County Bank. He was a vocal proponent of the merger of the Tri-Cities two health care systems, helping to push Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System to join. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Business/2017/08/24/New-ETSU-stadium-named-for-William-B-Greene-Jr.html?ci=stream&lp=7&p=

Registry memo: Legislators should not double dip on expense payments (TN Journal/Humphrey) Back in June, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally asked the Registry of Election Finance to produce a memo on the legality of legislators using campaign money to pay for meals and motels on days when they’re also getting “per diem” expense money from the state — $220 per day for those living more than 50 miles from Nashville. After discussion of the matter at a Registry board meeting earlier this month, the Registry staff has produced the requested a short memo this week and sent it to the speakers. Not surprisingly, the brief memo says legislators shouldn’t be reimbursed twice for the same expenses. http://humphreyonthehill.tnjournal.net/registry-memo-legislators-not-double-dip-expense-payments/

State Rep. Rick Staples on Confederate monument rally: White nationalists not welcome (WATE) Tennessee State House Rep. Rick Staples sounded off about a rally expected to happen this weekend in Knoxville over a Confederate monument. The memorial on 17th Street gained a lot of attention after the protests in Charlottesville. It was vandalized several times with paint and has since been cleaned up. The memorial honors the Confederate soldiers who died in the battle of Fort Sanders. It lies in the 15th district, which is the area Staples represents. Protestors are expected to come to 17th Street to rally behind keeping this Confederate monument in place. Staples said any white nationalists who decide to come to Saturday’s rally are not welcome in the 15th district. http://wate.com/2017/08/24/state-rep-rick-staples-on-confederate-monument-rally-white-nationalists-not-welcome/

Sen. Lamar Alexander’s response to Trump: ‘I wasn’t elected to shut down the government’ (Tennessean) U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Thursday that he wasn’t elected to shut down the government but to make the government work for taxpayers. The Tennessee Republican made the comments after President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the federal government if lawmakers do not get behind his request to fund a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. “The last time the government was shut down, it hurt small businesses all over East Tennessee at peak tourist season for people coming to the Great Smoky Mountains,” Alexander said after a Tennessee Restaurant Association meeting in Nashville. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/24/sen-lamar-alexander-i-wasnt-elected-shut-down-government/598111001/

Sen. Alexander discusses Charlottesville, statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest (WSMV) News 4 spoke to Sen. Lamar Alexander on Thursday just after he finished a private meeting with the Tennessee Restaurant Association focusing on job policies. News 4 asked a number of questions ranging from Charlottesville to threats of a government shutdown. Alexander was first asked about Charlottesville and his response to the Democrats demanding that he admonish President Trump’s Charlottesville comments like Sen. Bob Corker did. Alexander said he will let the president and Corker speak for themselves. He said he admonished white supremacy and did again on Thursday. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36210187/sen-alexander-discusses-charlottesville-statue-of-nathan-bedford-forrest

Blackburn: Health care modernization not coming from Washington (Nashville Post) U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn had a challenge for health care executives and IT professionals gathered at the Health:Further conference downtown Thursday: Modernizing health care delivery is your job. “You guys are going to solve how health care is delivered,” she said. “It’s not going to be solved in Washington.” But Blackburn did say there’s at least one role for her and her colleagues in Washington. “We have to make certain legislation and regulations do not get in your way and clog up the system,” she said. She said the recent passage of FDA reauthorization and the 21st Century Cures Act would pave the way for further innovation in telemedicine and other nontraditional health care delivery models. http://www.nashvillepost.com/business/health-care/article/20973599/blackburn-health-care-modernization-not-coming-from-washington

Trump clashed with multiple GOP senators over Russia (Politico) President Donald Trump privately vented his frustration over Russia-related matters with at least two other Republican senators this month, according to people familiar with the conversations — in addition to the president’s public admonishments of Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Trump expressed frustration over a bipartisan bill sanctioning Russia and tried to convince Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that it wasn’t good policy, according to three people familiar with the call. Trump argued that the legislation was unconstitutional and said it would damage his presidency. Corker was unrelenting, these people said, and told Trump the bill was going to pass both houses with bipartisan support. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/23/trump-senate-yell-phone-calls-241950

White House calls GOP Sen. Corker’s criticism of Trump ‘ridiculous and outrageous’ (Los Angeles Times) Sen. Bob Corker ventured further than most Republicans in Congress who’ve criticized President Trump when he suggested recently that Trump had not shown the “stability” or “competence” needed in the White House. Yet Trump, who has taken to Twitter to lambaste other Republican Senate leaders, has kept quiet about Corker, an ally who was once under consideration to be secretary of State. On Thursday, however, Trump’s press secretary did not hold back. Asked about Corker’s criticism, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “That’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t dignify a response from this podium.” http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-white-house-calls-gop-sen-corker-s-1503609836-htmlstory.html

White House calls Corker’s remarks about Trump’s competence to lead ‘ridiculous’ (Tennessean) The White House fired back at Sen. Bob Corker on Thursday for his remarks last week that President Trump doesn’t understand the character of the nation and has not shown the competence to lead. “That’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked about Corker’s comments during Thursday’s White House briefing. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/24/white-house-calls-corkers-remarks-trumps-competence-lead-ridiculous/598833001/

White House fires back at Corker ‘ridiculous’ comment (CNN) White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired back at Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who last week said Trump hasn’t demonstrated the “stability” or “competence” he needs to display as president. “I think that’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim that doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,” Sanders said Thursday, in the White House’s first response to the comments. Corker, who is the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, was among the Republicans who leveled biting criticism in the wake of Trump’s much-criticized response to the violent protests that broke out after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia. http://www.wlsam.com/news/white-house-fires-back-at-corker-ridiculous-comment/

Corker’s careful balancing act on Trump knocked off kilter (AP) Sen. Bob Corker refuses to say whether he’ll seek a third term, but he has carefully said and done all the right things to avoid provoking a spirited primary challenge next year. The Tennessee Republican has limited public appearances back home largely to friendly civic clubs and chambers of commerce meetings, where he can regale members with tales of his pro-business agenda and blunt assessments of congressional dysfunction — all the while steering clear of direct criticism of President Donald Trump. Until last week. Trump’s defense of white nationalists following a violent rally in Virginia that left a protester dead caused Corker to issue a blistering rebuke, raising questions about the president’s stability and competence and demanding “radical changes” in the White House. http://www.tnledger.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=99837

Corker peppered with questions about Trump, McConnell, government shutdown (WKRN) U.S. Senator Bob Corker cannot escape questions about President Trump as he travels across Tennessee. “I have not talked to the president this week,” said Corker. “I have talked with Chief of Staff Kelly and Secretary of State Tillerson.” One week ago Corker made headlines when he questioned President Trump’s stability and competence in situations like the Charlottesville tragedy. The senator was asked if he was concerned about reports of a troubled relationship between the president and Senate Republic Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Corker said he talked with McConnell Wednesday. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/24/corker-peppered-with-questions-about-trump-mcconnell-government-shutdown/

‘A ridiculous and outrageous claim’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders slams comments from top GOP senator who questioned Trump’s competency (Business Insider) White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed Republican Sen. Bob Corker’s recent criticism of President Donald Trump during a press briefing at the White House on Thursday. Last week, the influential GOP senator issued one of his strongest rebukes of Trump’s leadership thus far in his presidency. Talking with local reporters after a town hall in Tennessee last Thursday, Corker, who had so far declined to criticize the president’s controversial remarks about a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, argued that anything short of “radical changes” in the White House would leave the nation in “great peril.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-huckabee-sanders-bob-corker-trump-incompetent-2017-8?r=UK&IR=T

WH: Corker’s ‘Ridiculous’ Criticism ‘Doesn’t Dignify Response’ (Newsmax) The White House fired back Thursday at Sen. Bob Corker for saying President Donald Trump has not demonstrated the “stability” and “competence” to be successful — calling the remarks “ridiculous and outrageous.” At a White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashed out at the Tennessee Republican’s harsh rebuke at a Rotary event in his home state Aug. 17 — and posted on Facebook. https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/white-house-press-secretary-sarah-huckabee-sanders-bob-corker/2017/08/24/id/809638/

Republicans gather in Nashville to plot 2018 campaign as Trump clashes with GOP leaders (Tennessean) As the Republican National Committee met in Nashville this week to plot its strategy for the 2018 mid-term elections, President Donald Trump made news for feuding with members of his own party. The president threatened to shut down the federal government if his planned wall along the U.S.-Mexico border doesn’t get funded and he’s reportedly had a tense relationship with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The president recently tweeted against Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, calling him “weak on crime & border” and the White House on Thursday slammed Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker over his remarks last week that Trump doesn’t understand the character of the nation and has not shown the competence to lead. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/24/trump-clashing-fellow-gop-republicans-gathering-nashville-plot-2018-strategy/599198001/

A political convention in Nashville? GOP showcases city to Republican colleagues from across nation (Tennessean) Gift bags filled with Sun Drop, Goo Goo Clusters, Moon Pies and Lamar Alexander’s Little Plaid Book. A cruise on the General Jackson on the Cumberland River and a reception at the County Music Hall of Fame. All are offered to members of the Republican National Committee as part of an early sales pitch for hosting a future convention. Republicans from throughout the country descended on Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center this week as part of the RNC’s summer meeting where the process for selecting the site for the 2020 convention will begin. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/24/political-convention-nashville-gop-showcases-city-republican-colleagues-across-nation/598535001/

Trump administration praises LG plant in Clarksville as sign of strength (Leaf-Chronicle) At the groundbreaking for a 600-employee LG Electronics plant in Clarksville on Thursday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross said LG’s decision to locate in Tennessee is a sign of the strength of the American business climate. Company and government officials broke ground on what could eventually become a 2,000-employee LG Electronics plant. The LG washing machine plant will start out as a 829,000-square-foot facility. It will be the most advanced washing machine factory in the world, officials have said, producing mostly front- and top-loading washing machines. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/money/business/2017/08/24/lg-plant-starting-washers-could-grow-employ-2-000-clarksville/594538001/

Bill Frist, our Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement winner, focuses on health to improve health care (Nashville Business Journal) Sitting in a conference room high above West End Avenue, Bill Frist quickly rattles off a series of statistics to illustrate the public health problems of Nashville – and their dire impacts. “There are 110,000 people who smoke here in Nashville,” Frist tells me. “All of them will die anywhere from five to six years earlier than they would if they didn’t smoke.” Reducing that figure is one of the goals of NashvilleHealth, a nonprofit Frist launched about two years ago to improve wellness across Davidson County. It’s one of the ways Frist, a transplant surgeon who represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007, continues his mission to make meaningful change in public health. https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/08/24/bill-frist-our-health-care-heroes-lifetime.html

TVA Monitors for Toxins From Coal Near Memphis Water Supply (New York Times) The Tennessee Valley Authority says it is installing 24 more monitoring wells at a coal-fired power plant where high levels of arsenic and lead were found in groundwater. A TVA statement Thursday said it continues to investigate how the toxins ended up in wells that monitor pollution from coal ash ponds at its Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis. The shallow monitoring wells are near far deeper wells drilled by the TVA directly into the Memphis Sand aquifer, where Memphis gets its drinking water. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/08/24/us/ap-us-power-plant-toxins.html?_r=0

TVA agrees to hold off using new wells pending outcome of contamination probe (Commercial Appeal) The Tennessee Valley Authority will refrain using five controversial water wells to cool a power plant it is constructing until researchers are certain the pumping won’t suck arsenic and other contaminants into the source of Memphis’ drinking water, according to an agreement announced Thursday between the agency and state and local officials. “What we have now is an agreement with TVA not to use those wells,” assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Chuck Head said at a meeting of the Shelby County Ground Water Quality Control Board. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/24/tva-limit-use-cooling-wells-pending-outcome-contamination-probe/594913001/

TVA Won’t Use Aquifer Wells Until After Investigation (Memphis Flyer) The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will not use its new wells, drilled into the source of Memphis’ drinking water, until an investigation of them can prove they pose no health risk to that drinking water. The TVA announced the move Thursday, ahead of a meeting of the Shelby County Groundwater Quality Control Board (SCGQB) set to review TVA wells, the well permitting process, and any possible risks to the Memphis Sand Aquifer, the source of the city’s drinking water. The TVA drilled five wells aquifer with permission granted last year by SCGCB. TVA wants to pump about 3.5 million gallons of water per day from those wells to cool a new, natural-gas energy plant, which is slated to replace the Allen Fossil Plant. In May, TVA discovered high levels of arsenic and lead in groundwater around a coal ash storage facility about a quarter mile from those wells. https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/08/24/tva-wont-use-aquifer-wells-until-after-investigation

TVA holds public meeting about water safety issues (WHBQ) The discovery of high levels of arsenic and lead in groundwater under the Allen Fossil Plant leads to a halt in operation of some water wells until they are safe. Thursday evening, the public heard from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) about what happens next. Music and media specialist Ward Archer was not at this TVA Water meeting to fix a PR problem. He wants recent, serious well water issues fixed for Mid-South families. “I would like TVA to find another source of water,” Archer said. “I mean, I don’t understand why they won’t use water form MLGW.” http://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/tva-holds-public-meeting-about-water-safety-issues/597710653

Conservationists Meet With Shelby County Groundwater Control Board On Water Safety (WATN) Conservationists are meeting with the Shelby County Groundwater Control Board to ensure the water you drink is indeed safe. Back in May, we first reported how harsh chemicals above standard level made it into the groundwater wells at the Allen Fossil Station plant. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has launched an investigation to find the source of that contamination. It was at the Allen Fossil Station plant where a few shallow groundwater wells showed high levels of arsenic, lead, and fluoride.  Although the drinking water has been tested and is safe to drink, officials now want to make sure it stays that way. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/conservationists-meet-with-shelby-county-groundwater-control-board-on-water-safety/797510652

ORNL building what could be world’s fastest computer (WBIR) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is building what could be the fastest computer in the world. It’s called Summit, and it will help scientists from around the world research new technology. It takes up a room that’s as big as nearly two basketball courts. Scientists are lining up to work at the lab, which provides the best tools for studying. “We model things from the smallest nanoparticles all the way up to the entire universe,” said Buddy Bland, project director at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computer Facility. To make big scientific advances, you need a big computer. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/ornl-building-what-could-be-worlds-fastest-computer/467149668

Erin, Tennessee Ridge to upgrade water systems with state energy-efficiency grants (Leaf-Chronicle) The Houston County cities of Tennessee Ridge and Erin have been awarded nearly $124,000 in grant money for clean energy projects that primarily involve their water systems. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation recently announced that a total of $1.9 million had been awarded to 24 communities for clean energy projects, including 11 distressed counties. Tennessee Ridge will receive $58,900 to replace a pump at the Highway 147 wastewater lift station and pumps will be upgraded at the city’s water treatment plant. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/local/stewart-houston/2017/08/24/erin-tennessee-ridge-upgrade-water-systems-state-energy-efficiency-grants/600210001/

Neighbors worry recycled water is killing fish in pond (WSMV) Neighbors think Mother Nature isn’t behind a fish kill in Murfreesboro. They believe a deal between a golf course and a major manufacturer may be to blame. News 4 found hundreds of dead fish in the grass and others still clinging to life. Nearby homeowner Keri Como said that was nothing. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation confirmed General Mills has the proper permit to dump the water. TDEC spent the day testing the ponds. The results aren’t in yet, but TDEC said it appears the recycled water isn’t the problem. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36213934/neighbors-worry-recycled-water-is-killing-fish-in-pond

Chicken kerfuffle carried out on Anderson County taxpayers’ dime, records show (News Sentinel) Anderson County taxpayers are footing the bill for a chicken flap among neighbors, federal court records show. Scott Haire, an Anderson County resident who raises chickens on his own property and sells a few eggs from them, ran afoul of his neighbors and wound up being sued by Anderson County government – on the taxpayers’ dime – without legal cause, records show. Now, he’s suing his county government, his county law director and his neighbors, alleging they used taxpayer money to try to tar and feather him. If he wins this chicken kerfuffle, Anderson County taxpayers will pick up that tab, too. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2017/08/24/chicken-kerfuffle-carried-out-anderson-county-taxpayers-dime-records-show/585764001/

OPINION

Greg Johnson: Most want Confederate monuments to stay (News Sentinel) The people have spoken. Clearly. They are not in favor of destroying Confederate monuments. Even with white supremacists headed to Knoxville, the evidence is clear. An overwrought activist started a change.org petition calling for the removal of a Confederate monument memorializing the deaths of Confederate soldiers in the Fort Sanders area of Knoxville. Earlier this week the petition had garnered a tad over 2,000 supporters. Another petition on change.org to keep the monument had attracted more than 5,000 backers. By more than two to one, the people said leave the monument alone. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/greg-johnson/2017/08/24/most-want-confederate-monuments-stay/598916001/

Sam Stockard: State panel sheds new light on racial atrocities (TN Ledger) State Rep. Johnnie Turner has seen what can happen when old wounds are never allowed to heal. She’s seen it most recently in clashes between neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and white supremacists and those who resist their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed and 19 were injured when a car was intentionally driven into a group of counter protesters. Two state troopers also died in a helicopter crash that weekend. Now she’s helping shed new light on racial atrocities in Tennessee, helping the state come to grips with an often-inglorious past as co-chairman of the Tennessee Legislature’s Unsolved Civil Rights Cold Case Special Joint Committee. http://www.tnledger.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=99747

Guest column: Don’t censor Confederate statues; add more context and diversity (Commercial Appeal) The Benjamin Hooks Central Library in Memphis is filled with more than a half million books. Some are wondrous works of literature. Others are duds. Some tell historically accurate stories about the past. Others get history all screwed up. Some are perfectly acceptable and in accordance with modern thinking. Others are horribly outdated and filled with cringe-worthy, misguided ideas. Every book is valuable. Few citizens would support removing any one of the books because it was poorly written, historically inaccurate, or hopelessly out of date. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/08/24/dont-censor-confederate-statues-add-more-context-and-diversity/592922001/

Column: What kind of history do Confederate statues tell? (Boston Globe) It’s been infuriating to watch Donald Trump change the subject from his odious equivocating about “very fine people” in the Charlottesville white-power march to a lament about the removal of Confederate monuments. His dark political instincts tell him that most Americans want to keep the historic statues in place — certainly more than support white supremacists or neo-Nazis. Trump’s erstwhile chief of staff, Steve Bannon, fairly salivated at the prospect, days before he left the White House, last week: “Just give me more,” he told The New York Times. “Tear down more statues. I can’t get enough of it.” Justifiably or not, many Americans equate the dismantling of Confederate statues with effacing the national memory. Changing that is going to take a deliberate and thoughtful conversation about the real meaning of our historic symbols. The statues that are signifiers of racial subjugation need to be removed — but it won’t help to do it through vandalism, as at Duke University, or skulkingly under cover of night, as in Baltimore. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/08/24/what-kind-history-confederate-statues-tell/NsSqbjZPPKrkPO4fYaDA4H/story.html

Editorial: Who is bringing home the bacon today? (Johnson City Press) One of the top things on its list when Congress returns to work next month is passing a budget for the new fiscal year. That means we will hear debate on “earmarks” once again echo through the chambers of the House and Senate. Earmark is political slang for what used to be called “government pork.” We forget there once was a time when congressmen actually bragged about bringing home the bacon. Touting such political prowess is now considered to be profane. Even so, we wonder what the late Congressman Jimmy Quillen would make of this mindset if he were serving in Washington, D.C., today. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Editorial/2017/08/25/Who-is-bringing-home-the-bacon-today.html?ci=stream&lp=1&p=

Thursday, August 24

Gov. Bill Haslam, four other governors to testify at bipartisan hearing on health care reform (Tennessean) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and governors from four other states will testify next month before a Senate committee that is looking for ways to strengthen the individual health insurance market. The governors will appear Sept. 7 at a bipartisan hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The panel is chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Besides Haslam, a Republican, the other governors scheduled to testify are Republican Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Democrat Steve Bullock of Montana, Republican Gary Herbert of Utah and Democrat John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/23/gov-bill-haslam-four-other-governors-testify-bipartisan-hearing-health-care-reform/594227001/

Haslam, McPeak to testify before Senate panel on health insurance premiums (Times Free Press) U.S. Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is inviting Gov. Bill Haslam and his state insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, to testify before his panel next month on steps Congress should take to stabilize health insurance premium costs for individuals nationwide. “There are 350,000 Tennesseans — songwriters, farmers, and the self-employed — who do not get their health insurance from the government or on the job, which means they must buy insurance in the individual market,” Alexander said Wednesday in a news release. “My goal by the end of September is to give them peace of mind that they will be able to buy insurance at a more reasonable price for the year 2018.” The bipartisan hearings with the Health Committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, are scheduled for Sept. 6 and 7. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2017/aug/23/haslam-mcpeak-testify-senate-panel-health-insurance-premiums/445205/

Haslam to testify in DC (Nashville Post) Gov. Bill Haslam will be one of just five governors to testify before the U.S. Senate health committee when it holds the first of several planned bipartisan hearings on stabilizing the individual insurance marketplace next month. The hearings, set up by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Washington Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, will take place on Sept. 6 and 7. Haslam will testify on the second day, along with Govs. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.), Steve Bullock (D-Mo.), Gary Herbert (R-Utah) and John W. Hickenlooper (D-Colo.). The first day of hearings will be dedicated to testimony from state insurance commissioners. Tennessee’s Julie Mix McPeak, the current president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, will also testify. http://www.nashvillepost.com/politics/article/20973407/political-roundup-haslam-to-testify-in-dc

Killed nearly 75 years ago in WWII battle, a Marion County Marine comes home (Times Free Press) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other officials are paying tribute to a U.S. Marine from Marion County who is coming home nearly 75 years after dying amid furious fighting at the bloody Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Marine Cpl. Henry Andregg Jr. of Whitwell, Tenn., was 22 when he was killed in November 1943 during the U.S. invasion of the remote Gilbert Islands. Interred for decades in an unidentified grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, his remains were identified in May 2017 through modern DNA analysis. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/24/killed-nearly-75-years-ago-ww-ii-battle-maric/445239/

Marine veteran from Chattanooga to return home after nearly 75 years (Tennessean) For the second time in a week, the state Department of Veterans Services announced a World War II veteran would return to Tennessee permanently. On Wednesday, the state announced Cpl. Henry Andregg, Jr., of Whitwell, would be returned to Chattanooga after nearly 75 years. Andregg, who was 22 when he died, was killed during the battle of Tarawa, one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific theater during war. More than 1,000 Marines and 2,000 other service members died. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/23/marine-veteran-chattanooga-return-home-after-nearly-75-years/595370001/

Tennessee Promise needs volunteers as mentors (Daily Herald) The partnering organization for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise scholarship needs volunteers to serve as mentors for its fourth class of applicants. Tennessee Promise offers every high school senior the opportunity to attend one of the state’s 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology tuition free with a last-dollar scholarship. The program also pairs each applicant with a volunteer mentor to ease the transition from high school to college. The mentoring program, organized by tnAchieves, requires a one hour per month commitment after a mandatory training and background check. http://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/20170823/tennessee-promise-needs-volunteers-as-mentors

$2M Grant Program to Bolster Tennessee Courthouse Security (AP) A $2 million grant program aims to improve security at courthouses across Tennessee. The Administrative Office of the Courts has started the initiative with one-time money set aside by state lawmakers and Gov. Bill Haslam. A committee of statewide judges will determine the criteria and qualifications for awards. Preference will be given to counties with courtrooms that don’t meet minimum security standards, and counties that had a courtroom security breach between July 2016 the end of this June. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/24/2m-grant-program-to-bolster-tennessee-courthouse-security/

Tourism spending, revenues reach record highs (Memphis Daily News) For the 11th straight year, the tourism industry in Tennessee brought in more than $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, this time topping off at $1.7 billion in 2016. This figure marks a nearly 7 percent increase year over year, which is higher than the national average rate of growth, according to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “In Tennessee, we don’t have an income tax, we pay for things like school teachers and services to families, we pay for that out of sales tax, so when tourism revenue goes up that much… that’s a really big deal,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in announcing the news at Clayborn Temple in Downtown Memphis Tuesday, Aug. 22. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/24/tourism-spending-revenues-reach-record-highs/

Discussions continue to simmer over Confederate statues (WSMV) Sen. Lamar Alexander is jumping into a controversy over the push to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee Capitol. Alexander says an appropriate place to remember those involved in the Civil War would be museums and battlefields. “But for a place of honor, such as the state Capitol, that’s a place that ought to be reserved only for Tennesseans,” said Alexander, in part, in a statement. News 4 is looking at how other lawmakers are reacting. Perhaps the bigger question when it comes to removing statues is where to draw the line. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36199360/discussions-continue-to-simmer-over-confederate-statues

Council Mulls Legal Options To Move Park Monuments (Memphis Daily News) Memphis City Council members are exploring new options for the Confederate monuments in city parks that include boarding up statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis as nuisances, to prevent them from being vandalized and maintain public order, or by citing a provision of the state’s Civil Rights Act. The options outlined by council attorney Allan Wade Tuesday, Aug. 22, after a half hour private attorney-client session with council members pushed back any council vote on a resolution calling for the immediate removal of the statues, or boxing them up and otherwise obscuring them from public view. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/24/council-mulls-legal-options-to-move-park-monuments/

Name Change Decision OF Forrest Hall Delayed (WTVF) The Tennessee Historical Commission announced it would wait until February to decide what to do with the controversial name of Forrest Hall on Middle Tennessee State University’s campus. The debate around the ROTC building’s name has been ongoing for more than a year. The Tennessee Historical Commission, a mostly unelected statewide group of 29 members, said it would wait until February to make a decision on whether the name of the former Klan Klux Clan leader and confederate general should remain there. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/name-change-decision-of-forrest-hall-delayed

Protests planned near Fort Sanders monument on Saturday (WBIR) Nearly two weeks after the death of a counter protester at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., activists in Tennessee are gearing up to protest and counterprotest the possible removal of a Fort Sanders monument. Rallies that are being billed by some as right wing or white supremacist are being planned for Knoxville, as well as in other locations like San Francisco and Berkeley, California. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/ahead-of-planned-protest-mayor-burchett-tells-white-supremacists-theyre-not-welcome/466656000

TN senator meets with voters for feedback on Confederate statues (WMC) Tennessee State Senator Lee Harris hosted a town hall meeting Wednesday focusing on historic preservation. Senator Harris wants to see the Confederate monuments taken down, even sending a letter to Governor Bill Haslam requesting he take action. Senator Harris had a chance to voice his opinions in front of a packed house of concerned citizens and explained what he thinks should happen to the Memphis’ Confederate monuments. “I don’t want to see the monuments demolished, I do want to see them moved out of our parks,” Senator Harris said. The meeting, which was originally scheduled to discuss historical preservation, quickly turned into a conversation about what will happen next with the historical monuments. http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/36203670/tn-senator-meets-with-votes-wants-answers-about-confederate-statues

Legal expert: City can ban guns at Confederate monument protest (WBIR) The city of Knoxville will ban weapons during a planned protest at the Confederate monument in Fort Sanders on 17th Street on Saturday. But days before the protest is set to take place, many people are asking how the mayor’s office can ban firearms in a state that allows permits for open carry. “The law of the state of Tennessee is that it’s okay if a city wants to ban guns in a sensitive area,” said Lincoln Memorial University professor of law Stewart Harris. While the Volunteer State issues permits for the concealed or open carry, guns and other weapons will be banned from this weekend’s Confederate monument protest. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/expert-city-can-ban-guns-at-confederate-monument-protest/466854545

New questions about the city’s efforts to remove two confederate statues in Memphis (WHBQ) FOX13 Investigates obtained a letter from the Tennessee Historical Society that says the city withdrew a petition from a 2016 meeting. There have been renewed calls for the Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest statues to be removed in the wake of the deadly racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter also says the city attorney has skipped three meetings since withdrawing that petition. The letter from commission member and University of Memphis professor Dr. Douglas Cupples says in part: “I have received your letter and concerns. The items you raise are controlled by Tennessee state law as to substance, process, and timing, and the commission must follow the law.” http://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/new-questions-about-the-citys-efforts-to-remove-two-confederate-statues-in-memphis/597233896

Statue Fight Started With Park Name Changes (WATN) If you’re wondering how the whole issue with the statues got to this point, you’ve got to go back a few years to when the issue was the names of the parks. In 2012, the place where the statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest was located was called Forrest Park. Sons of Confederate Veterans put a sign up that year, proclaiming the name. It didn’t last long. Signs at Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park, and Confederate Park were ordered removed by then-Mayor AC Wharton. It started the great parks names debate. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/statue-fight-started-with-park-name-changes/796729506

Construction leads UT’s drive to become top 25 school (WATE) It’s hard not to notice the forklifts and bulldozers transforming the University of Tennessee’s campus. “Our faculty and students succeeded in spite of our buildings, not because of them,” said Dave Irwin with the UT Facilities Services Department. “We hadn’t really maintained our buildings. We had 150 buildings that had roof leaks and classrooms we couldn’t use because rain would literally pour in on the students.” It amounts to more than a billion dollars in construction and millions more in planning. Since 2009, there have been more than 30 construction projects, most recently and probably most noticeable, the $114 million restoration of Strong Hall. http://wate.com/2017/08/23/construction-leads-uts-drive-to-become-top-25-school/

VIDEO: What does UT football do for you? (News Sentinel) UT football brings more people and money into Knoxville than any other sport. Hear what it means for the nearest hotel, and how that inn strives to keep fans happy. http://www.knoxnews.com/videos/money/2017/08/22/video-what-does-ut-football-do-you/104859384/

UT College of Social Work awarded more than $391K to study barriers to veterinary care (WATE) The University of Tennessee College of Social Work was awarded a grant for a nationwide study. The $391,420 grant from Maddie’s Fund will go toward a study identifying barriers to veterinary care experienced by pet owners and veterinary services. The study will be the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the United States. “We’re really excited about this grant because there are so many pet parents out there who dearly love their pets, but don’t have access to a veterinarian due to their location, finances, or other factors,” said Shelia D’Arpino, veterinarian and director of research at Maddie’s Fund. http://wate.com/2017/08/23/ut-college-of-social-work-awarded-more-than-391k-to-study-barriers-to-veterinary-care/

Joe Carr considers Republican primary challenge against Sen. Bob Corker (Tennessean) Joe Carr, who has twice challenged Tennessee Republicans in Congress over the last three years but lost both primary races, is now weighing a run against U.S. Sen. Bob Corker in 2018. Sensing an anti-establishment undercurrent again, the tea party-aligned former Tennessee state representative from Lascassas confirmed he’s thinking about challenging Corker, R-Tenn., for the Republican nomination. Carr said he gets “calls and messages on a daily basis” encouraging him to do so. He said his candidacy would have an appeal “in the age of Trump,” predicting 2018 would not be kind to incumbents. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/23/joe-carr-weighs-republican-primary-challenge-against-sen-bob-corker/594374001/

Behind In Funds, Mt. Juliet Senator Beavers Says She’ll Resign Her Seat To Focus On Run For Governor (WPLN) Republican Mae Beavers says she’s stepping down after 14 years in the state Senate to focus on her run for governor. The Mt. Juliet lawmaker made the announcement at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, saying she couldn’t continue to represent her district east of Nashville while simultaneously campaigning statewide. Beavers also used the occasion to take a few digs at her rivals and the Republican governor she aims to replace, whom she implied is too liberal. “I think that the people of the state of Tennessee deserve for us to have a real shot at having a first conservative governor,” she said. “And with the laws in Tennessee, it’s hard for us to operate the campaign and hard for us to raise money.” http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/behind-funds-mt-juliet-senator-beavers-says-shell-resign-her-seat-focus-run-governor#stream/0

State Senator Mae Beavers steps down to focus on gubernatorial run (WVLT) Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers announced Wednesday she had decided to resign from her legislative seat in order to focus on her run for state governor, CBS affiliate WTVF reports. In her statement Wednesday, Beavers said her resignation will be effective at noon on Friday, September 1. “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that next Wednesday (August 30th) at noon, I plan to deliver a letter to Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Randy McNally informing them that I am resigning from the State Senate,” Beavers said. “My travels across our state to campaign for Governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th Senatorial District of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect.” http://www.local8now.com/content/news/Tenn-Senator-Mae-Beavers-steps-down-to-focus-on-gubernatorial-run-441587023.html

Sen. Mae Beavers to resign post to run full time, raise money in Tennessee governor’s race (Tennessean) In an effort to fully dedicate her time to running for governor, Sen. Mae Beavers on Wednesday announced her resignation from the state Senate. Fighting back tears at a news conference at Mt. Juliet City Hall, Beavers, who launched her bid for governor in early June, said she would submit her resignation letter next Wednesday. “My travels across the state to campaign for governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th senatorial district of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect,” Beavers said. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/23/sen-mae-beavers-resign-post-run-full-time-raise-money-tennessee-governors-race/590595001/

Tennessee Sen. Mae Beavers resigns to focus on gubernatorial campaign (WZTV) Sen. Mae Beavers announced her resignation Wednesday to focus full-time on her run for Tennessee governor. Beavers’ resignation will be effective Sept. 1 at noon. Beavers said her decision to step down comes with mixed emotions. “My travels across our state to campaign for Governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th Senatorial District of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect,” Beavers said. “By resigning now, a special election can take place later this year and ensure that the 17th District has a “fully focused representative in place the day that session begins.” http://fox17.com/news/local/tennessee-senator-resigns-to-focus-on-gubernatorial-campaign

Mae Beavers touts desire to ‘drain the state swamp’ to Williamson women (Tennessean) In a bright red jacket, Republican State Sen. Mae Beavers said she believes her brand of politics will resonate with Williamson County voters. “I got a standing ovation when I finished, didn’t I?” she said, after speaking to a room of about 35 at the Republican Women of Williamson County luncheon on Wednesday. Her August appearance marks one of the handful of times she has visited Williamson County as a candidate for governor. She noted that the county has always felt like home, and that she won’t have a problem campaigning in the area that is home to gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2017/08/23/mae-beavers-touts-desire-drain-state-swamp-williamson-women/594001001/

Sen. Mae Beavers resignation sets up special election, gives opening for Rep. Mark Pody (Tennessean) Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, plans to amp up his campaign for state Sen. Mae Beavers’ seat now that she has announced her intentions to resign at the end of the month. Beavers said Wednesday she will vacate her seat to fully dedicate her time to running for governor. A resignation before November sets up a special election for her seat. Beavers and Pody are political allies and so far Beavers has appeared supportive of Pody. “I’ve started some things as a state representative, and I want to carry those out in the state Senate,” Pody said Tuesday. “The 17th District needs to have someone to stand up for the values and principles that Republicans stand for, the values that this country is built on.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/23/sen-mae-beavers-resignation-sets-up-special-election-gives-opening-rep-mark-pody/591142001/

Beavers Steps Down From State Senate (WTVF) Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers announced she has decided to resign her seat in the legislature in order to run for governor full-time. Beavers made the announcement around 3 p.m. Wednesday and added her resignation will be effective at noon on Friday, September 1. “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that next Wednesday (August 30th) at noon, I plan to deliver a letter to Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Randy McNally informing them that I am resigning from the State Senate,” Beavers said. “My travels across our state to campaign for Governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th Senatorial District of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect.” http://www.newschannel5.com/news/local-news/beavers-steps-down-from-state-senate

Beavers resigns senate seat to focus on campaign for governor (WSMV) State Sen. Mae Beavers is resigning her Senate seat to concentrate on her election campaign for governor next year. Beavers made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday at Mount Juliet City Hall. “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that next Wednesday (Aug. 30) at noon, I plan to deliver a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally informing them that I am resigning from the State Senate,” Beavers said at the press conference. “My travels across our state to campaign for governor should not deprive the taxpayers of the 17th Senatorial District of the devoted and consistent conservative representation they have come to expect.” http://www.wsmv.com/story/36202148/beavers-resigns-senate-seat-to-focus-on-campaign-for-governor

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee finishes second in Appalachian Fair Cattle Show (Johnson City Press) Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee isn’t your run-of-the-mill candidate, and he sure didn’t resemble one during Wednesday’s Appalachian Fair Beef Cattle Show. Dressed in a short-sleeved flannel shirt and blue jeans, Lee quietly won reserve Grand Champion, or second place, during the Hereford female breed competition. After Lee was handed his ribbon, the announcer revealed Lee’s identity and his intent to run for governor, a bit of information the judge was unaware of during the actual cattle grading — though cameras followed his every step. Several unaware onlookers were interested in Lee’s aspirations, and once told, one even said he planned to vote for Lee because of his interest in cattle and rural communities. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Politics/2017/08/23/Gubernatorial-candidate-places-second-in-Appalachian-Fair-Cattle-Show.html?ci=stream&lp=2&p=

After Supporting Obamacare Repeal, Alexander Takes On Tall Task Of Extending It (WPLN) Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says the next round of hearings on health care will take place during the first week in September. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which he chairs, made that formal announcement on Tuesday, setting a schedule that has senators hearing from state governors and insurance commissioners immediately after returning from their summer recess. Alexander’s goal is to have a plan ready by the end of next month. But he’s going to have a lot of convincing to do. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/after-supporting-obamacare-repeal-alexander-takes-tall-task-extending-it#stream/0

EPA bowed to TVA, contractor on worker safety standards at nation’s largest coal ash disaster, records say (News Sentinel) The Environmental Protection Agency knew the coal ash at the center of the nation’s largest spill had dangerous levels of arsenic in it but ignored its own supervisor’s recommendations on how to protect workers from it, documents say. Records obtained by USA TODAY NETWORK —Tennessee in an ongoing series of stories about the treatment of blue—collar laborers who cleaned up the December 2008 disaster in Roane County show the EPA gave in to the demands of a global government contractor and the nation’s largest electricity provider for less protection and safety standards for those workers. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/crime/2017/08/23/epa-bowed-tva-contractor-worker-safety-standards-nations-largest-coal-ash-disaster-records-say/574855001/

TVA approves $10.37 billion budget, 1.5 percent rate increase (News Sentinel) The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors approved a $10.37 billion 2018 budget and a 1.5 percent retail rate increase at its board meeting Wednesday. “Our budget has gone down for about five years and it will keep us on the financial track to pay down our debt to below $20 billion by 2023,” said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson. “We are keeping O and M (operation and maintenance) and fuel flat which is a pretty good management exercise in itself.” “We have had a pretty good year, and I think we will end up strong,” he said. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2017/08/23/tva-approves-10-37-billion-budget-1-5-percent-rate-increase/579405001/

TVA boosts rates, pension payment as staff continues to shrink (Times Free Press) With staffing already at its lowest level ever, the Tennessee Valley Authority expects to continue trimming workers and consolidating its headquarters here into a single office as the demand for its power stagnates. TVA directors Thursday approved a $10.37 billion spending plan for next year that continues to trim the 84-year-old utility’s staff and operating expenses, even as it boosts electric rates by an average 1.5 percent and pumps an extra $500 million into TVA’s underfunded pension plan. The rate increase, effective Oct 1, will cost the typical Chattanooga homeowner nearly $2 more a month. Across TVA’s seven-state region, the 1.5 percent wholesale rate hike will generate another $195 million to help TVA pay down its debt and improve the financial status of its retirement plan. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/24/tvboosts-rates-pensipayment-staff-continues-s/445246/

Clean Energy Grant Will Save Taxpayers $20,000 Per Year in Jail Utility Costs (Buffalo River Review) Perry County has been awarded a $93,950 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant (CTEG) for improvements at the jail. The funds will be used for installation of an energy efficient VFI seamless roof system, upgrade lighting to LEDs, and replace three HVAC units that are situated on the roof and are approximately 15 years old and failing. The new units will be Energy Star rated and provide energy and maintenance cost savings. https://www.buffaloriverreview.com/2017/08/23/clean-energy-grand-will-save-taxpayers-20000-per-year-in-jail-utility-costs/

Former prison employee describes difficulties with therapeutic program (WSMV) The Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville is the largest prison in Tennessee. Inmates and their families, current and former employees claim there are plenty of problems at the prison two years into its operation. “I started in the addictions field about 30-some years ago,” said Jim Casey. “Picked up my bachelors, picked up my masters.” Casey said he was looking to create another award-winning therapeutic prison program when he sold his Indiana home and moved to Tennessee to work for CoreCivic. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36204324/former-prison-employee-describes-difficulties-with-therapeutic-program

Despite low unemployment, some industries having trouble finding qualified workers (WSMV) Tennessee is seeing its lowest unemployment rate ever, right at 3.4 percent. However, some businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill job openings. “It’s tough to find people who want to do manual labor anymore,” said Richie Bolin, president of S&W Contracting in Murfreesboro. Bolin admits that reality makes it harder to grow his business. “It’s affecting how we’re doing business,” he explained. “(We’re) having to turn work away every day because we don’t have the people to expand out.” Other challenges for Bolin are high turnover and competition. “Right now, there’s a lot of robbing from contractor to contractor,” Bolin said. “So, even our competitors, everybody is hiring anyone they can find.” http://www.wsmv.com/story/36203231/despite-low-unemployment-some-industries-having-trouble-finding-qualified-workers

State Again Rejects Baptist’s Request for Arlington Emergency Room (Memphis Daily News) A state agency has again turned down Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.’s application to build an emergency room in Arlington. After denying a slightly different version of the same request by Baptist in April, the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency voted 4-4 Wednesday, Aug. 23, on Baptist’s application for a full-service, 24-7 satellite emergency department in Arlington, near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Airline 40. It was slated to have been developed, operated, marketed and funded through a joint agreement between Baptist and Regional One Health, include eight treatment rooms and cost about $10 million. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/24/state-denies-request-for-baptist-emergency-department-in-arlington/

E-visits provide more convenient alternative for non-emergencies (WJHL) If you have a bad cough, a headache, heartburn or sinus problems, instead of going to the emergency room, some people in the Tri-Cities are visiting their doctor electronically. Wellmont Health System has spent the last year trying to make health care more convenient through the use of E-visits. “It takes the location and timing out of that mix, so it may really be much more convenient for you to do that,” Wellmont Medical Associates Chief Executive Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Combs said. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/23/e-visits-provide-more-convenient-alternative-for-non-emergencies/

Report: Appalachians’ health ‘dramatically’ poorer than the U.S. as a whole (News Sentinel) Heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, drug overdose, diabetes, stroke and suicide – they’re all killing Appalachians at a higher rate than the rest of the country as a whole. On Thursday, the Appalachian Regional Commission, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky issued a report, “Health Disparities in Appalachia,” outlining what it called “dramatic disparities” in both health issues and outcomes in the 420-county Appalachian Region, compared to nationwide numbers. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/health/2017/08/24/report-appalachians-health-dramatically-poorer-than-u-s-whole/594225001/

Report highlights growing health disparities in Appalachia (AP)The 25 million people who live among the Appalachian mountains have struggled to keep up with health gains of the rest of the nation, falling behind in most major public health indicators, according to a study released Thursday. The report shows the 13-state region lags the rest of the country in 33 out of 41 population health indicators, including seven of the leading 10 causes of death in the United States. Deaths by poisoning, which include drug overdoses, were 37 percent higher than the rest of the country — a testament to the opioid addiction crisis that has gripped the area for years. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/24/report-highlights-growing-health-disparities-in-appalachia/

Landfill upgrades expected to add up to big savings (Citizen Tribune) If votes from Hamblen County Commission and Morristown City Council members go as expected, the shared landfill will undergo two-phase upgrades that will cut waste-disposal costs for county and city government and enhance convenience for homeowners and business owners. The first step will be to combine shipments of recyclables to a processing center in Knoxville, which is expected to save both governments at least $20,000 per year, according to Dan Winter, landfill director.  http://www.citizentribune.com/news/local/landfill-upgrades-expected-to-add-up-to-big-savings/article_2a4c610e-881c-11e7-8052-dfa8fd1d5771.html

Landfill Foray (Memphis Flyer) A landfill expansion spurs conflict in Frayser. A local company wants to expand a landfill near a Frayser elementary school, but some there think it would send the wrong message. The demolition group, Memphis Wrecking Co. (MWC), last week formally filed for permission to expand its landfill for the third time in recent years. The company has owned a 24-acre landfill near the Northgate Shopping Center in Frayser for 10 years. It’s purposed for the disposal of demolition and construction materials like trees, bricks, and asphalt used by the City of Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, and MWC. The expansion, first proposed in 2015 and again in 2016, would add 34 acres to the landfill and make it next-door neighbors with the students and teachers at Whitney Achievement Elementary School. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/landfill-foray/Content?oid=7760885

MAP: How Much Climate Change Will Cost Each U.S. County (Governing) States and localities across the U.S. are already experiencing profound weather shifts associated with climate change, from rising sea levels and flooding to drought and dangerously hot summers. Economists have long been warning that these changes will come with a cost. But until now, there’s been no measure of what that cost might be for individual counties. A study published in the journal Science in June is the most extensive model available of what climate change could cost the United States, county by county. (View an interactive map at the bottom of this article). The study is the first of its kind, linking climate projections with economic effects like mortality, labor productivity, energy demand and crop yields. http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-counties-climate-change-damages-economic-effects-map.html

How to allow flexible work without playing favorites (Nashville Business Journal/Harvard Business Review) We live in an era where just about any product or service can be tailored to fit customers’ needs and desires. Organizations are frequently doing the same for employees, providing customized work arrangements, often called idiosyncratic deals or i-deals. These deals by definition apply to only one person within a team and might include unique financial arrangements, flexible work arrangements and changes in workload. Research has shown that such deals are a good way to motivate and bind employees to the organization. Just like customized products and services, i-deals make employees feel special, unique and taken care of. Moreover, they boost employee self-esteem. But they can easily turn into a manager’s nightmare if they challenge equality and fairness on teams. Singling out one person by granting them tailor-made working conditions, if not managed carefully, can easily be perceived as favoritism. https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/08/23/how-to-allow-flexible-work-without-playing.html

OPINION

Otis Sanford: Governor needs to apply political muscle on statue issue (WREG) The Memphis City Council is stepping up efforts to remove monuments to the confederacy from city-owned parks. The long standing effort, which is gaining momentum, won`t be easy, but it could be helped along if Governor Bill Haslam showed a much greater sense of urgency. The governor has been a strong supporter of Memphis throughout his nearly seven years in office, and he agrees that the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis should be moved out of city parks. http://wreg.com/2017/08/23/opinion-governor-needs-to-apply-political-muscle-on-statue-issue/

Frank Cagle: Move bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest to state museum (News Sentinel) I worked at a newspaper in Alabama back in the 1970s when the city had alternating protest marches by the Ku Klux Klan and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The publisher gave us strict instructions that we were to provide duplicate space for coverage of each march and be evenhanded. I pointed out, to no avail, that one set of marchers were a terrorist group and the other group of marchers were seeking voting rights. But I decided that extensive coverage of black people marching for justice was at least a step in the right direction in that time and place. False equivalency is often a bane in politics and journalism. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/frank-cagle/2017/08/23/move-bust-nathan-bedford-forrest-state-museum/589927001/

Sam Stockard: State Panel Sheds New Light on Racial Atrocities (Memphis Daily News) State Rep. Johnnie Turner has seen what can happen when old wounds are never allowed to heal. She’s seen it most recently in clashes between neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and white supremacists and those who resisted their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed and 19 were injured when a car was intentionally driven into a group of counter protesters. Two state troopers also died in a helicopter crash that weekend. Now she’s helping shed new light on racial atrocities in Tennessee, helping the state come to grips with an often-inglorious past as co-chairman of the Tennessee Legislature’s Unsolved Civil Rights Cold Case Special Joint Committee. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/24/state-panel-sheds-new-light-on-racial-atrocities/

Editorial: Cometh the Change (Memphis Flyer) Who, until weekend before last and Charlottesville, could have imagined a large contingent of neo-Nazis and their sympathizers marching en masse in public and claiming to speak on a subject of major national importance. That a gathering of progressive citizens rose up to resist them is only to be welcomed — even if those counter-demonstrators, as President Trump bent over backwards to contend, contained a militant element themselves. The fact is that a term that was modish for a while in the ’60s and ’70s and then fell out of favor is likely due for a revival. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/cometh-the-change/Content?oid=7763154

Column: Protect the People (Memphis Flyer) At 3 p.m. on Saturday, about 250 people gathered in Health Sciences Park around the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. “Whose city? Whose park?” went one chant. “The people united will never be defeated,” went another. Those in support of the statue weren’t overtly present, though there were some reported sightings. Perhaps it was the heat (heat index 105) that kept them at bay. Protesters tried to drape the statue in a giant cloth banner and made some headway before the action was quashed by police. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/protect-the-people/Content?oid=7760500

Jackson Baker: Corker as Change Agent (Memphis Flyer)As has been the case more often than not, Tennessee possesses political figures of great potential to influence national policy. A case in point is the state’s junior U.S. Senator, Bob Corker, who holds the pivotal position of chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Like many of his Senatorial colleagues, Corker often includes in his prepared remarks veritable rabbit-warrens of ambivalence that, in ordinary discourse, happily, he can discard in favor of plain talk. A case of that occurred last week when the Senator was in Tennessee in the aftermath of President Trump’s awkward rhetorical attempts to suggest a moral equivalence in the clash between white nationalists and counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. In Knoxville on Wednesday, faced with a battery of reporters, Corker was asked about the president’s remarks and promptly began to equivocate. https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/corker-as-change-agent/Content?oid=7762492

Wednesday, August 23

Haslam: Local governments should decide fate of own Confederate monuments (Memphis Business Journal) At the same time that Memphis City Council members were discussing Confederate monuments on city land, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was a few miles away, addressing reporters on the same topic. Haslam was in Memphis Tuesday, Aug. 22, for a press conference — held at Clayborn Temple — on tourism’s economic impact on Tennessee counties during 2016. After the press conference, Haslam told reporters that Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland had reached out to him several times about removing the city’s Confederate statues. On August 18, state Senator Lee Harris also wrote Haslam, asking him to to take action on Memphis’ Confederate monuments. As governor, Haslam is a member of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “I have to follow the law like everyone else does,” Haslam said. “I would like it dealt with sooner rather than later for everybody.” https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/08/22/haslam-local-governments-should-decide-fate-of.html

Gov. Haslam thinks city should decide what happens with Confederate statues (WMC) Governor Bill Haslam called for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest last week at the state capitol. He agrees with Mayor Jim Strickland that the statue in Memphis should come down as well. “(Strickland) understands it’s a process trying to do everything. He can work to speed that process along, and I think it’s the right approach,” Haslam said. Haslam serves on the Tennessee Historical Commission and said they are talking about possibly changing the process or speeding it up. “We don’t always like the process, but I’m the governor not the king, so I don’t get to decide all that. But we would like to see it dealt with as rapidly as possible,” Haslam said. Haslam also said the principle in this entire issue goes back to letting the local government decide these sorts of issues. http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/36193964/gov-haslam-thinks-city-should-decide-what-happens-with-confederate-statues

Governor Haslam supports Confederate statue removal, offers few specifics on process (WHBQ) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said he supports the takedown of Confederate statues in Memphis. The governor said he thinks that decision though should be left up to local cities. He also did not offer many specifics on what he would do to potentially speed up the process. Governor Haslam was in Memphis Tuesday to tout tourism numbers, but in the wake of Charlottesville and back-to-back protests in Memphis, every question the Governor answered was about Confederate statues. “We would like to see it dealt with as rapidly as possible,” said Gov. Haslam. The governor said he’s been in contact with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. http://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/governor-haslam-supports-confederate-statue-removal-offers-few-specifics-on-process/596745039

Haslam says he supports statue removal, but won’t advance Historical Commission meeting (WREG) As Gov. Bill Haslam took in the Memphis Hall of Fame induction announcement Tuesday at Clayborn Temple, he acknowledged he’d like to see two Confederate statues in Memphis removed by the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in April 2017. “Mayor Strickland has reached out to me several times saying he wants it to come down, thinks it should. I agree with him.” But he did not outline how that could happen in the coming days, amid heated debate between advocates and city leaders since the Charlottesville episode. The Tennessee Historical Commission must approve Memphis’ request to take down two monuments, one of KKK member Nathan Bedford Forrest and another of Confederacy leader Jefferson Davis. But the Commission’s next meeting is in October. http://wreg.com/2017/08/22/haslam-says-he-supports-statue-removal-but-wont-advance-historical-commission-meeting/

Senator Harris urges governor to take action on Memphis monuments (WREG) Senator Lee Harris has sent a letter to Governor Bill Haslam urging him to take specific action that could result in the removal of two confederate monuments in Memphis which he says has caused discord for decades. The Nathan Bedford Forrest statue is located in the Memphis Medical District and the monument for Jefferson Davis in the downtown area. “Although I understand that you do not possess unlimited powers, you have significant influence. Respectfully, Mr. Governor, I would encourage you to use the tools at your disposal,” Senator Harris stated in the letter which was obtained by WREG Tuesday. The lawmaker urged him to meet first with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland with the hope the two can create a “joint plan of action” before approaching the Tennessee Historical Commission. http://wreg.com/2017/08/22/senator-harris-urges-governor-to-take-action-on-memphis-monuments/

Demonstrators rally behind Confederate Ft. Sanders monument; counter protests planned (WATE) Protests in Knoxville are being planned over social media with a Confederate monument at the core of the argument. Petitions began circulating online last week which called for the removal and the preservation of a Confederate statue in Fort Sanders. During that time, the statue was vandalized and some came by to clean it up. Now, there are social media posts calling for a protest this Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. near the monument, along 17th Street, hoping to keep it right where it is. Some posts are showing up on white supremacist forums. http://wate.com/2017/08/22/demonstrators-rally-behind-confederate-ft-sanders-monument-counter-protests-planned/

Memphis Council prepares to act against Confederate monuments (Commercial Appeal) Chafing at delays caused by the state’s strict historical preservation laws, Memphis City Council members voted Tuesday to lay the groundwork to immediately remove or hide the city’s Confederate monuments, and Gov. Bill Haslam announced his support of the city’s campaign. City Attorney Bruce McMullen said Haslam’s endorsement Tuesday will “almost definitely help” the city’s chances of receiving waivers from the Tennessee Historical Commission to remove the statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and President Jefferson Davis from public parks in Downtown. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/government/city/2017/08/22/petition-demands-immediate-removal-memphis-confederate-statues/587698001/

City Council to Vote on Options to Immediately Remove or Board up Confederate Statues at Next Meeting (Memphis Flyer) City Attorney Allen Wade presented four options for the immediate removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues from the city to the executive committee of the Memphis City Council. Wade says the four concepts were presented to the council so they could provide direction on which will move forward with a resolution to be visited at the next meeting on September 5. The first option — immediate removal of the statues — is the most drastic, says Wade, and cannot be done without a waiver from the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC), but could work if the case is made that the statues are “public nuisances.” He says the argument could be made that these statues prevent certain groups of people from enjoying those public spaces. https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/08/22/city-council-to-vote-on-options-for-immediate-confederate-statue-removals-at-next-meeting

Council Considers Other Legal Options on Confederate Monuments (Memphis Daily News) Memphis City Council members are exploring new options for the Confederate monuments in city parks that include boarding up statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis as nuisances, to prevent them from being vandalized to maintain public order, or by citing a provision of the state’s Civil Rights Act. The options outlined by council attorney Allan Wade Tuesday, Aug. 22, after a half hour private attorney-client session with council members pushed back any council vote on a resolution calling for the immediate removal of the statues, or boxing them up and otherwise obscuring them from public view. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/23/council-considers-other-legal-options-on-confederate-monuments-1/

South student: Let us wear, display Confederate flag (Times News) Should students at Sullivan South High School — known as the Rebels since the school opened in 1980 — be allowed to wear and/or display a Confederate battle flag, commonly called “the rebel flag,” on school property? With the start of the new school year and the first football game of the season for South, it’s an old controversy arisen anew. South junior Darla Cusson spoke to the Sullivan County Commission on Monday to protest what she described as a taking of students’ First Amendment rights by county school system policy that she said bans students from wearing the flag’s design on clothing. Cusson indicated to the Times-News that there was a meeting during which students were told “we couldn’t have the flag on our car and we couldn’t be wearing it at school.” http://www.timesnews.net/Education/2017/08/22/South-student-let-us-wear-display-confederate-flag.html?ci=stream&lp=8&p=

Confederate Statues Could Be Boarded Up In Memphis (WATN) Tuesday’s City Council meeting didn’t deliver a vote to bring down the statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest or Confederate President Jefferson Davis from Memphis parks. The meeting did bring some hope to those who have rallied to remove the statues. Temporary or permanent, the City Council and other City leaders discussed how to hide the monuments as they maneuver the challenges that lie ahead on the state level. The big challenge is a little 6 letter word Waiver. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/confederate-statues-could-be-boarded-up-in-memphis/796122302

Where to put Confederate statues once they’ve been removed (WMC) Just as there appears to be a number of legal hoops Memphis city leaders will have to jump through in order to get rid of the Confederate monuments in the city, there also are not as many easy solutions of where to put them when, and that’s if the state historical commission gives the go ahead. An editorial in the Tuesday, Aug. 22 publication of the Commercial Appeal suggested the “relatively simple, reasonable and even honorable solution to our great civic war over Confederate statues” would be to move them to Shiloh National Military Park. So, we here at WMC Action News 5 decided to check whether that was, in fact, a viable solution. Guess what, it is not. http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/36194679/where-to-put-confederate-statues-once-theyve-been-removed

Under cover? City lays out possible future for Confederate statues (WREG) Memphis City Council members discussed four options for what to do with the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues in city parks Tuesday, but took no action. Options included 1) immediate removal, storage or destruction, 2) sale of monuments at auction or private sale, 3) request the governor to seek a special session of the Tennessee Historical Commission to consider the city’s request for removal, and 4) boarding up the statues to protect them. Council Attorney Allan Wade told council members that the first option would be the most drastic. But asking the state for a waiver would be difficult and time-consuming. Several members of the Tennessee Historical Commission are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Wade said. http://wreg.com/2017/08/22/city-council-to-discuss-immediate-removal-of-confederate-statues/

Councilman compares Confederate generals to Osama Bin Laden (WMC) A Memphis city councilman had some harsh words for the Confederate statues that continue to stand in Memphis. Martavius Jones is part of the city’s effort to remove statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis. On Tuesday, he compared the statues to Japanese kamikazes and Osama Bin Laden. http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/36189694/councilman-compares-confederate-generals-to-osama-bin-laden

Democratic gubernatorial candidates plunge into Confederate fight (Politico) The white supremacist march that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, is spurring a wave of Democratic governors and gubernatorial candidates to call for Confederate monuments in their states to come down. The push offers Democrats an opportunity to take on President Donald Trump and mobilize the base ahead of the 2018 elections — though some strategists say the focus should be on bread-and-butter issues rather than a revived culture war. Democratic candidates in Maryland, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico and Tennessee have all called for Confederate statues or icons to be taken down. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/22/confederate-monuments-democratic-governors-candidates-241911

Haslam visits sawmill in Savannah during statewide agriculture tour (WBBJ) Gov. Bill Haslam made several stops Tuesday in West Tennessee as part of a statewide agriculture tour. “I’m out to understand it better to see how we can help,” he said. Haslam visited Roach Sawmill and Lumber in Savannah, one of six stops Tuesday on the statewide tour. “Agriculture matters,” he said. “It matters to our state for jobs, for feeding our people and for the entire economy.” Roach Sawmill and Lumber accountant Brent McDonald showed the governor around their 40-person operation in Savannah, explaining how they break down logs into lumber and other products. “I really hope he shows the importance of agriculture in our community and also how we have incorporated technology into our operation,” McDonald said. http://www.wbbjtv.com/2017/08/22/haslam-visits-sawmill-savannah-statewide-agriculture-tour/

Haslam touts record visitor spend in Memphis, $3.3 billion, and Tennessee, $19.3 billion (Commercial Appeal) Tourists spent a record $19.3 billion in Tennessee in 2016, including $3.3 billion in Memphis and Shelby County, Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday. The industry, which ranks second to agriculture in Tennessee, was responsible for 176,500 jobs and $1.7 billion in state and local tax revenues, Haslam announced at Clayborn Temple. “Next year is going to be pretty special as well,” Haslam told a crowd that gathered for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 announcement. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/money/business/2017/08/22/haslam-touts-record-visitor-spend-memphis-3-3-billion-and-tennessee-19-3-billion/589212001/

Parents still waiting for children’s TNReady scores (WATE) East Tennessee parents want to know why they have not received their child’s scores from the TNReady tests from last school year. Delays and setbacks for TNReady over the past few years have prompted changes. The Tennessee Department of Education hired a new company to provide testing for the 2016-2017 school year. “It would nice to see before they get into their classes if they’re in the right place,” said Miriam Boney, a mother of three. A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Education says school districts received individual scores or what’s called “raw scores” in May and early June for high schools and more results will be released next week. http://wate.com/2017/08/22/parents-still-waiting-for-childrens-tnready-scores/

ETSU board to announce football stadium name on Thursday (Johnson City Press) Thursday will be a big day for everyone associated with East Tennessee State University’s new football stadium. The school’s Board of Trustees has called a special meeting, after which the name of the new facility is expected to be announced. The meeting, scheduled for Thursday at 3:30 p.m., will be held in the President’s Conference Room on the second floor of Burgin Dossett Hall and is open to the public. Later that day, at 7 p.m., the team is expected to get its first taste of the stadium in the final preseason scrimmage. The location for the scrimmage hasn’t been officially announced yet, but the hope is to use the new stadium once the team gets the go-ahead. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Football/2017/08/22/ETSU-to-announce-football-stadium-name-on-Thursday.html?ci=stream&lp=2&p=

ETSU trustees to discuss name of new football stadium this week (WJHL) The East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees will hold a special called meeting this week to discuss the naming of the new football stadium. The meeting will be held on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the President’s Conference Room on the second floor of the Burgin Dossett Hall. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.etsu.edu/trustees or call 423-439-4317. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/22/etsu-trustees-to-discuss-name-of-new-football-stadium-this-week/

Tickets running out for season opener at ETSU’s new football stadium (WJHL) East Tennessee State University’s athletics department says tickets for the historic opening of the new football stadium are in high demand. So much so, that they report as of Monday – only a few hundred tickets remain. Also, ETSU says there is a limited supply of season tickets and premium seating is sold out with the exception of 20 midfield seats at the 50-yard line — on the east side of the stadium. http://wjhl.com/2017/08/22/tickets-running-out-for-season-opener-at-etsus-new-football-stadium/

UTHSC Readies New Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility (Memphis Daily News) UTHSC is putting the final touches on its new $20 million Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery Systems, a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at the site of a former warehouse at 208 S. Dudley St. in the Memphis Medical District. Construction, which has been ongoing for nearly two years, will finish up in the next few weeks before the building is commissioned this fall and then made ready to open by the end of the year. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/23/uthsc-readies-new-pharmaceutical-manufacturing-facility/

Tourists spent more than $19 billion in Tennessee last year (AP) State officials say tourists spent more than $19 billion in Tennessee in 2016, an increase of 5 percent compared with the previous year. Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement that tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue for the 11th consecutive year in 2015, reaching $1.7 billion. That marks a 7 percent increase from 2015. Haslam also said tourism generated 176,500 jobs in the state in 2016, a 3 percent increase from 2015. Five counties exceeded $1 billion in travel expenditures last year. They were Davidson, Shelby, Sevier, Hamilton and Knox. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/23/tourists-spent-more-than-19-billion-in-tennessee-last-year/

Tennessee Tourism Broke Records (Again) Last Year (Memphis Flyer) Shelby County drew more than $3 billion from tourism last year, ranking it second in the state in what was another record-breaking year for the tourism industry in the Volunteer State. Travel expenditures in Tennessee were $19.6 billion in 2016. That’s up 4.7 percent from 2015, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Kevin Triplett,  Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, announced the figures from Memphis Tuesday in an event at Clayborn Temple.  “More people from around the world continue to visit Tennessee each year,” Haslam said. “The $1.7 billion in sales tax revenue and job growth are good news for everyone in Tennessee.” https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/08/22/tennessee-tourism-broke-records-again-last-year

7 killed in domestic-related homicides so far this year in Nashville (WKRN) So far in Nashville in 2017, seven people have been killed in domestic-related homicides. Metro police and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation domestic crime data include both romantic relationships and familial relationships between the suspect and victim. In 2017 thus far, domestic homicides account for around 10 percent of total homicides in Nashville. This year’s numbers are in line with 2016. There have been three domestic homicides in Nashville in the just the past two weeks. One case involved a mother, accused of killing her infant child. Ashley Crowder, 28, is charged with murder and child abuse in the death of her 11-month-old son, Roger Harris. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/22/7-killed-in-domestic-related-homicides-so-far-this-year-in-nashville/

Sales tax refunds still available for wildfire homeowners (News Sentinel) Sales tax refunds of up to $3,500 on certain items are available to Sevier County property owners whose primary or secondary residence was damaged or destroyed in the wildfires that swept through Gatlinburg and surrounding areas for 11 days near the end of 2016. Guidance on how to apply for the refunds and what they include has been issued by the Tennessee Department of Revenue. The new tax break components stem from a law passed in the Tennessee General Assembly’s 2017 session that expanded the refund from $2,500 to $3,500 and extended to taxpayers the opportunity to claim certain items on second homes as well as primary residences. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/business/2017/08/22/jimmy-rodefer-sales-tax-refunds-still-available-wildfire-homeowners/589436001/

McNally on taxes, health care, wildfires, drug use (Oak Ridger) Lt. Gov. McNally, R-Oak Ridge, spoke on various state issues at a recent Rotary Club of Oak Ridge luncheon meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel. Lt. Gov. McNally, R-Oak Ridge, spoke on various state issues at a recent Rotary Club of Oak Ridge luncheon meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel. More than 40 people attended the meeting. “I thought I’d talk a little bit about what makes Tennessee different from other states,” he said before listing some positive aspects of the state. These included fiscal stability, improvements in education and improvements the state is “in the process” of making in transportation and job creation. He said all of those achievements are “interdependent.” “We have to have money to fund education. We have to have money to fund good highways so we can bring good jobs to Tennessee,” McNally said. http://www.oakridger.com/news/20170822/mcnally-on-taxes-health-care-wildfires-drug-use

Rep. Matheny calls on Gov. Haslam to end NFL protests (WKRN) National anthem protests continued in the NFL Monday night. A dozen Cleveland Browns players knelt and prayed in response to the Charlottesville protests and race relations in the United States. Many people have spoken out against the protests, including Tennessee Rep. Judd Matheny, who called out Governor Bill Haslam on the Browns’ players protest. Governor Haslam is the brother of Jimmy Haslam, who, along with his wife Dee Haslam, is the majority owner of the Cleveland Browns. Matheny took to his Facebook page to call the governor to action over the protests. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/22/rep-matheny-calls-on-gov-haslam-to-end-nfl-protests/

Despite Defending Confederate Bust Four Decades Ago, Alexander Now Says It Should Go (WPLN) Four decades after defending the placement of a Confederate bust in the State Capitol, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander now says it should go. The Republican lawmaker and former governor told reporters Tuesday that he’s come to see a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest as inappropriate in a place of honor such as the statehouse rotunda. “I, like other people, learn as we go along,” he says. The bust of Forrest was installed in the Capitol in 1978, just months before Alexander took over as governor. There were calls then to take it down, but Alexander says he instead wanted to focus on appointing African-Americans to high state offices and on creating a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/despite-defending-confederate-bust-four-decades-ago-alexander-now-says-it-should-go#stream/0

Sen. Alexander Pushes For Removal Of Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust (WTVF) After a renewed push to remove Confederate monuments and statues across the U.S., Republican Senator Lamar Alexander joined the crowd. He called for the removal of a Nathan Bedford Forrest bust on display at the State Capitol. It was a far cry from the stance he had as governor almost 40 years ago opposing the removal. Alexander said museums battlefields and birth sites are better suited for Civil War monuments. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/sen-alexander-pushes-for-removal-of-nathan-bedford-forrest-bust

Tennessee Senator joins call to remove Confederate general’s bust from state capitol (WZTV) Senator Lamar Alexander joined Governor Bill Haslam and others in calling for the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust to be removed from the Tennessee State Capitol. “All of our people were involved in the Civil War, and there is an appropriate place to remember them — in museums, war sites, civil war battlefields, other things — but for a place of honor, such as the state Capitol between where the Senate and the House meet, that’s a place that ought to be reserved only for Tennesseans who inspire all of us and bring out the best in all of us,” Alexander said. The Forrest bust was placed at the capitol back in 1978 not long before Alexander took office as Governor. It saw protest even then from Kwame Lillard, who used marbles and firecrackers to interrupt the dedication. http://fox17.com/news/local/tennessee-senator-joins-call-to-remove-confederate-generals-bust-from-state-capitol

Sen. Lamar Alexander joins chorus seeking removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from state Capitol (Tennessean) U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Tuesday became the latest Tennessee lawmaker to express support for removing the controversial bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state Capitol. “As I look at it now, I think it’s not appropriate for General Forrest’s bust to be in the place of honor in the state Capitol,” Alexander said at an event in Nashville. The Republican senator said there are appropriate places to remember the Civil War, including in museums, birth sites and battlefields. “But for a place of honor, such as the place in the state Capitol, between where the Senate and House meet, that’s a place that ought to be reserved only for Tennesseans who inspired all of us and bring out the best in all of us.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/22/sen-lamar-alexander-joins-chorus-seeking-removal-nathan-bedford-forrest-bust-state-capitol/589340001/

Video: Sen. Alexander talks about Civil War monuments (Tennessean) http://www.tennessean.com/videos/news/2017/08/22/sen.-alexander-talks-civil-war-monuments/104850408/

Senator Alexander specific on health care goals, Nathan Bedford Forrest bust (WKRN) “Peace of mind” for 350,000 Tennesseans is what Senator Lamar Alexander aims for with his upcoming healthcare hearings, but he also joined the chorus of top politicians on what to do with the lingering issue of a Confederate war hero’s bust in the state capitol. After a Nashville event honoring his wife Honey for her decades of help with the non-profit called Family and Children’s Services, the Tennessee senator first addressed the issue of the Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust that sits between the Tennessee House and Senate on the second floor of the state capitol. http://wkrn.com/2017/08/22/senator-alexander-specific-on-health-care-goals-nathan-bedford-forrest-bust/

Alexander calls Senate hearings to spur ‘difficult but possible’ action on health care (Tennessean) Senators looking for ways to strengthen the insurance marketwill hear from governors and state health insurance commissioners at their first bipartisan hearings next month. Extending cost-sharing reduction payments through 2018, is a priority for Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Alexander also wants to increase flexibility for states to determine the policies they offer through a revision to Sect. 1332, which allows states to apply for waivers. If Congress is successful in guaranteeing CSR payments, which lower out of pocket costs for many insurance shoppers, Alexander wants insurers to re-file for lower 2018 premiums, he said Tuesday in Nashville. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/22/senate-panel-hold-hearings-next-month-stabilizing-individual-health-insurance-market-bipartisan-hear/589449001/

As Democrats say Corker vulnerable, others question ‘push poll’ (Times Free Press) Tennessee Democrats say a new poll, commissioned by a national advocacy group fighting GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, demonstrates U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is vulnerable on the health care issue. The Aug. 11-13 automated telephone survey of 663 Tennessee registered voters was paid for by liberal health care advocacy group Save My Care. Conducted by Public Policy Polling, a company often aligned with the Democratic Party, the poll found only one third or 34 percent of those surveyed who approved of Corker’s job performance. Another 47 percent said they disapproved. A substantial number — 19 percent — were undecided. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/state/story/2017/aug/23/democrats-say-corker-vulnerable-others-questi/445013/

TVA board to vote on 1.5 percent rate increase for fiscal 2018 (Times Free Press) Tennessee Valley Authority directors today will decide on a staff recommendation to increase TVA’s base electric rates another 1.5 percent in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, matching the incremental rate hikes TVA adopted in each of the previous two years to help the federal utility keep pace with rising costs and pay down its debt each year. But ahead of the October rate increase, TVA will be lowering its electricity rates in September by even more due to a drop in its monthly fuel cost adjustment. TVA is cutting the fuel portion of its electric bills next month to the lowest level in 15 months after a milder summer and drop in gas prices combined to cut TVA fuel expenses. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2017/aug/23/tvboard-vote-15-percent-rate-increase-fiscal/445007/

EPA bowed to TVA, contractor on worker safety standards at nation’s largest coal ash disaster, records say (News Sentinel) The Environmental Protection Agency knew the coal ash at the center of the nation’s largest spill had dangerous levels of arsenic in it but ignored its own supervisor’s recommendations on how to protect workers from it, documents say. Records obtained by USA TODAY NETWORK —Tennessee in an ongoing series of stories about the treatment of blue—collar laborers who cleaned up the December 2008 disaster in Roane County show the EPA gave in to the demands of a global government contractor and the nation’s largest electricity provider for less protection and safety standards for those workers. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2017/08/23/epa-bowed-tva-contractor-worker-safety-standards-nations-largest-coal-ash-disaster-records-say/574855001/

OPINION

Editorial: Pharmacy school deserves a new deal (Johnson City Press) A number of public/private partnerships in the Northeast Tennessee region have proved that collaboration among business officials, government heads and community leaders can result in success. Perhaps the most ambitious example of such a partnership has been the privately-funded Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University. The graduation of the college’s first class in 2010 was an exciting new chapter of academic excellence at ETSU. The school of pharmacy was created to relieve a shortage of pharmacists in Tennessee and it was seen as a model for similar academic endeavors nationwide. Our entire region had a stake in seeing that it succeeded. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Editorial/2017/08/23/Pharmacy-school-deserves-a-new-deal.html?ci=stream&lp=1&p=

Victor Ashe: Brandon Bruce touts ‘civic leadership’; what’s the reality? (News Sentinel) City Council District 2 candidate Brandon Bruce, 38, voted for only the second time in his life in Knoxville when he voted for himself for council. He only registered to vote in Knoxville on Feb. 1, 2016. While he voted in the November presidential election last year, he skipped Tennessee’s presidential primary and Knox County primary in March. And though he says education is one of his main issues, he skipped the school board and county commission contests in 2016. Knoxville City Council has no role in the county school system. He has failed to explain how as a City Council member he could do anything to help education. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/shopper-news/2017/08/22/brandon-bruce-touts-civic-leadership-whats-reality/576075001/

Guest column: We don’t erase history by pulling statues down. We do it by putting them up. (Washington Post) Vice President Pence struck a somber note Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends” when he was asked about the removal of Confederate statues. “It’s important that we remember our past and build on the progress that we have made,” Pence said, arguing for putting “more monuments” up instead of taking existing monuments down. But if Pence is really committed to Americans developing and maintaining a strong, genuine sense of our history, then he should rule against statues that distort our past. When America’s white nationalist movements chose to rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville last weekend — and one of their number allegedly drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and wounding 19 more — they forced a long-developing debate about monuments and memorials to the history of the Confederacy and its aftermath into a new and dramatic phase. It has become virtually impossible to deny that the monuments are exactly what the white nationalists take them to be: symbols of white supremacy. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/23/we-dont-erase-history-by-pulling-statues-down-we-do-it-by-putting-them-up/?utm_term=.bb44e77906b5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 22

Governor and First Lady Haslam host ‘Kids’ State Dinner’ (Herald Chronicle) Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam welcomed approximately 100 children to a Kids’ State Dinner at the Tennessee Residence on Friday to celebrate outstanding achievement in summer reading. The event honored avid readers who participated in the First Lady’s Statewide Summer Reading Competition. With help from Tennessee libraries, rising kindergarten through rising fourth grade students were challenged to track their number of minutes spent reading over the summer. Winners were chosen based on a number of criteria including age, grade-level, region and number of minutes read during the eligibility period. http://www.heraldchronicle.com/governor-and-first-lady-haslam-host-kids-state-dinner/

State OKs $3 million grant for textile mill in Pikeville, Tenn. (Times Free Press) Tennessee officials have kept their end of a bargain that helped bring the largest private economic investment in rural Bledsoe County’s history last month. State Funding Board members last week approved a $3 million FastTrack economic development grant. It’s part of Tennessee government’s effort to support Textile Corp. of America’s $27.1 million decision to buy and upgrade a vacant 186,000-square-foot factory in Pikeville. The new company, owned by Chattanooga dev­eloper and businessman Ed Cagle, plans to start production of apparel, bedding and linens this fall. Company officials said they hope to quickly increase the staff to 1,000 employees and begin hiring and training workers in the next month or so. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2017/aug/22/rural-tennessee-development-fire-state-lawmak/444793/

Tennessee Historical Commission to consider Forrest Hall name change in February (Murfreesboro Post) The Tennessee Historical Commission will consider renaming MTSU’s Forrest Hall in February 2018, nearly two years after the Tennessee Board of Regents approved an MTSU request to seek a waiver of the state’s Heritage Protection Act. Meanwhile, Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration Commissioner Larry Martin, who chairs the Tennessee Capitol Commission, is expediting a meeting of the panel, possibly to consider removing a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol. http://www.murfreesboropost.com/tennessee-historical-commission-to-consider-forrest-hall-name-change-in-february-cms-47460

Tennessee Senator calls on Governor to use influence in removal of Confederate monuments (WZTV) Tennessee Senator Lee Harris is calling on Governor Bill Haslam to use his influence when it comes to removing confederate monuments in Memphis. In a letter sent to the governor from Harris, Harris is calling for the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest monuments and the Jefferson Davis monument. Harris is requesting the governor to meet with Memphis Mayor Strickland to form a joint plan, meet with the Tennessee Historical Commission to share the governor’s opinion, give power to the city when it comes to monument decisions, and vote in support of removal. Gov. Haslam is among the 24 members whom make up the THC. The commission has the last say on historical monuments in the state and must approve any requests for removal of statues and landmarks. http://fox17.com/news/local/tennessee-senator-calls-on-governor-to-use-influence-in-removal-of-confederate-monuments

Shelby County Schools directed to share student data with charter operator (Commercial Appeal) Tennessee’s education chief has sided with a charter operator in the ongoing tug-of-war between Shelby County Schools and the state’s Achievement School District over student contact information. Commissioner Candice McQueen directed Superintendent Dorsey Hopson on Monday to immediately share the information requested by Green Dot Public Schools. She said the district’s refusal violates a new state law by withholding information that charter operators need to recruit students and market their programs. “This is the only way to enable and support parents in making truly informed decisions about their children’s education,” McQueen said in a letter to Hopson. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2017/08/21/shelby-county-schools-directed-share-student-data-charter-operator/588249001/

McQueen directs Hopson to share Memphis student information with charter operator (Chalkbeat Tennessee) Tennessee’s education chief has sided with a charter operator in the ongoing tug-of-war between Shelby County Schools and the state’s Achievement School District over student contact information. Commissioner Candice McQueen directed Superintendent Dorsey Hopson on Monday to immediately share the information requested by Green Dot Public Schools. She said the district’s refusal violates a new state law by withholding information that charter operators need to recruit students and market their programs. “This is the only way to enable and support parents in making truly informed decisions about their children’s education,” McQueen said in a letter to Hopson. https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2017/08/21/mcqueen-directs-hopson-to-share-memphis-student-information-with-charter-operator-green-dot/

Mistake on the lake: Unfinished Reelfoot center could be torn down (Commercial Appeal) Photos from the February 2016 event show a typically convivial groundbreaking ceremony, with smiling dignitaries ready to scoop the initial shovelfuls of dirt for a nearly $2 million Reelfoot Lake State Park interpretive visitors center designed to showcase Tennessee’s largest natural lake. But 18 months and up to $700,000 in taxpayer funds later, it’s doubtful the visitors center will ever host any visitors. The partially completed structure stands vacant and sheathed in weather-resistant house wrap. Construction ground to a halt months ago. In the wake of an audit that identified possible bidding improprieties in the project, the visitors center now is likely to be torn down, state officials say. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/18/unfinished-reelfoot-center-could-torn-down/572069001/

Battle Over Civil War Statues Becomes Racially Charged (WATN) Reverend Earle Fisher says the Mayor is not following the will of the majority of citizens by immediately removing the statues. A Strickland spokesperson says the Mayor is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t… and he wants to. Over the weekend, eight people were arrested after trying to put a sheet over the statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. It is illegal to cover up an historic statue. Meanwhile, we are told Mayor Strickland has been talking to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The mayor wants the October 13th Tennessee Historical Commission meeting moved up into September. He also wants the commission to make a decision on the statues at that meeting. The commission is scheduled to talk technically about waivers, and not expected to even discuss the statues. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/battle-over-civil-war-statues-becomes-racially-charged/795183461

Actually Getting Rid of Robert E. Lee Can Be More Difficult Than You’d Think (Bloomberg) Some southern states have laws that create obstacles to removing Confederate memorials. In Nashville, Democratic politicians have sought since 2015 to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from its place of honor at the state capitol. A Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader, Forrest was involved in a massacre of black soldiers in 1864. But the effort to expunge his image has been slowed by the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, a law passed in 2016. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-21/actually-getting-rid-of-robert-e-lee-can-be-more-difficult-than-you-d-think

Confederate Monuments Controversy Comes to City Hall (Memphis Daily News) The question of timing in removing two Confederate monuments from city parks arrives at City Hall Tuesday, Aug. 22. A Memphis City Council resolution that would instruct the city administration to immediately remove and/or sell Confederate monuments in city parks is scheduled for discussion at the 2:15 p.m. executive session and could be added to the council agenda or voted on later at the first council session in September. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has said the immediate removal of the statues would violate state law. His administration is instead pushing ahead with an appeal to the Tennessee Historical Commission for a waiver to take down the monuments under state law. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/22/monuments-controversy-comes-to-city-hall/

For Memphis Confederate statue protesters, justice varies (Commercial Appeal) Memphis attorney Jason Ballenger didn’t mince words after a judge on Monday dismissed a charge against a demonstrator arrested while attempting to cover up a Confederate statute.  “If the Memphis Police Department wants to continue intimidating people for voicing their First Amendment rights, then we’re going to continue to fight,” Ballenger told reporters outside General Sessions criminal courtrooms. Judge Gerald Skahan agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Robert Brown, 28, after his arrest Saturday at the statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in Health Sciences Park. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/21/memphis-confederate-statue-protesters-justice-varies/586357001/

Angry Mayor Responds to Critics on Statue Removal (Memphis Flyer) Strickland defends record on minority issues and says that criticism is “an attempt to divide this city.” Mayor Jim Strickland, who is on record as favoring the removal of the Jefferson David statue and Nathan Bedford Forrest statue and grave from downtown parks but is restrained by state law from direct action without going through channels, is under pressure from citizens who want the memorials gone now. And the Mayor is fuming at what he regards as insults from some of the more demanding and impatient of those citizens. Responding Monday morning to a Commercial Appeal article, Strickland posted a response on his Facebook page: https://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2017/08/21/angry-mayor-responds-to-critics-on-state-removal

Former lawmaker Jeremy Durham files federal lawsuit seeking health insurance, pension (Tennessean) Former state lawmaker Jeremy Durham filed a federal lawsuit Monday arguing his ouster from the legislature is unconstitutional and the state should still provide him his pension and health insurance. “As the direct and proximate result of his improper and unauthorized expulsion, (Durham) has lost his lifetime health insurance benefits and has been so informed by the state’s Benefits Administration Division,” the lawsuit states. Director of Legislative Administration Connie Ridley, Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin and state Treasurer David Lillard are named as defendants in the lawsuit. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/21/expelled-former-lawmaker-jeremy-durham-files-federal-lawsuit-seeking-health-insurance-pension/587908001/

Jeremy Durham sues over health insurance, pension (WSMV) Former lawmaker Jeremy Durham is suing the state of Tennessee less than a year after being expelled from the legislature. The former state representative filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the way he was removed from the state House of Representatives was unconstitutional. Last year, the legislature convened in a special session to address a federal highway funding issue. Lawmakers eventually voted to expel Durham. An attorney general report accused Durham of sexually harassing 22 women tied to the state legislature. Durham is asking that his health insurance and pension be reinstated. He lost both after being expelled. http://www.wsmv.com/story/36185283/jeremy-durham-sues-over-health-insurance-pension

Women’s group calls out Van Huss for comments about Confederacy, wants dialogue (Johnson City Press) Some local activists are asking that State Rep. Micah Van Huss engage with them in a discussion about white supremacy in the wake of his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. More than a week after the violent clashes between white nationalists and anti-racist activists left 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer and two Virginia troopers dead and many injured, the discussion continues to be debated in Northeast Tennessee. “I rarely post political statements on my personal Facebook page. After listening to our President last night, I feel the need to let my constituents know where I stand. Black Lives Matter, the KKK, and Neo-Nazis are racist hate groups and I condemn them,” Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, wrote on Facebook last week after President Donald Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Politics/2017/08/21/Women-s-group-calls-out-Van-Huss-for-comments-about-Confederacy-wants-dialogue.html?ci=stream&lp=8&p=

Bob Freeman, son of top Tennessee Democratic donor, considers run for Beth Harwell’s House seat (Tennessean) Bob Freeman, a real estate professional and son of prominent Tennessee Democratic donor Bill Freeman, is considering running as a Democrat in 2018 for Republican Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell’s seat in Nashville. Freeman, 42, said he’s been approached by family, friends and neighbors about running for House District 56, a historically conservative seat that includes Green Hills and the affluent satellite cities Belle Meade, Oak Hill and Forest Hills. Harwell announced a 2018 run for governor of Tennessee, meaning she would have to vacate the House seat she was first elected to in 1988. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/21/bob-freeman-son-top-tennessee-democratic-donor-considers-run-beth-harwells-house-seat/585644001/

Tennessee’s lawmakers praise, call Donald Trump’s Afghanistan strategy ‘biggest U-turn’ yet (Tennessean) After months of waiting, Tennessee’s congressional delegation had praise, questions and sharp criticism of President Donald Trump’s “path forward” for the nation’s longest war ever in Afghanistan. Trump laid out his plan Monday night in a nationally televised address which lacked many specifics, but indicated the U.S. would not be leaving anytime soon and would only do so when conditions in the country determined a withdrawal was warranted. The speech itself referenced recent domestic conflicts in Charlottesville, and conflicted with his own verbal policies about disallowing transgender people from serving in the military. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/21/tennessee-lawmakers-react-donald-trump-afghanistan-strategy/586218001/

Steve Cohen: Trump, Confederate monuments unfit for public positions (Commercial Appeal) Rep. Steve Cohen, a Memphis Democrat filing articles of impeachment against President Trump, Monday said Mayor Jim Strickland is right to insist on removing Confederate monuments legally — but he could do more. In this special episode of podcast 125 North Main, Cohen also explains why he voted as a member of the Center City Commission in 1995 against removing the statue and grave of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from Health Science Park in Downtown Memphis. Cohen has represented Memphis in Congress since 2007 and in the state legislature for the 24 years previous. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/government/city/2017/08/21/steve-cohen-trump-confederate-monuments-unfit-public-positions/585513001/

OPINION

Jon Meacham: Why Lee Should Go, and Washington Should Stay (New York Times) From Baltimore to New Orleans, cities across the South are removing statues of Confederate figures from public property — memorials often built as emblems of defiance to federal authority in the post-Reconstruction period and in the Warren Court years of the 1950s and ’60s. The white-supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., this month was occasioned by the city’s decision to take down a Robert E. Lee statue. Given its history during the Confederate era, then, Tennessee has the capacity to be more reasonable in the neo-Confederate one. According to a 2016 law, the removal of a monument like the one to Forrest requires either an act of the General Assembly or a two-thirds vote of the state’s historical commission, most of whom are appointed by the governor. And the position of Gov. Bill Haslam, a popular Republican, is clear: It’s time for the Forrest bust to go. “I don’t believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol,” he said. “That history should be put in a museum, not in a place of honor.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/opinion/why-lee-should-go-and-washington-should-stay.html?_r=0

Editorial: Democrats Decry the KKK While Forgetting Legacy of One of Their Own (Washington Times) Because, of course, they want rule of law to reign, a group of citizens began digging up the grave of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis this week over his helping found the Ku Klux Klan. They only got a few shovelfuls before giving up. But they vowed to return with a backhoe to dig the rest of the man’s grave up later. Legally speaking, this would be called “grave robbing” and “vandalism,” and might even violate a few of God’s laws, as well. But none of that matters to vigilantes in pursuit against racism and racist racists who practice it. http://nation.foxnews.com/2017/08/21/charlie-hurt-democrats-decry-kkk-while-forgetting-legacy-one-their-own

Column: Dear Sen. Bob Corker: When Trump Shows You Who He Is, Believe Him the First Time (Nashville Scene) Forever pining for a version of Trump that’s never coming, Corker plays the fool. As I’ve said all along, it’s utterly obvious that Sen. Bob Corker has no female friends, no one to sit down with him and tell him harsh truths about the man he’s mooning over. Nothing in the campaign and nothing in his presidency so far would indicate that Trump has any interest in being the kind of president Corker thinks he can be. So, why does Corker continue to make these idiotic statements that suggest, if only he can find the right way to word things, it’s going to unlock a better version of Trump? http://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/20973069/dear-sen-bob-corker-when-trump-shows-you-who-he-is-believe-him-the-first-time

Column: It’s Time to Put the ‘Boy Hero of the Confederacy’ to Bed (Nashville Scene) Sam Davis statues in Nashville and Pulaski have been rallying points for Confederate nostalgists and neo-Nazis. The resurgence of violent neo-Confederates has brought about renewed efforts to remove the statues and monuments around which the white supremacists have rallied and seen some torn down by various means. In Tennessee, activists gathered last week around the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest that stands in the state Capitol and called for it to be taken down. As the Scene’s Cari Wade Gervin wrote last week, the former Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader’s bronze likeness was erected in the 1970s after the civil rights movement and has been the target of protests ever since. But the Capitol grounds are home to another Confederate statue with roots in the Lost Cause movement. At times throughout its history, its subject has served as an icon for rallying white supremacists and neo-Nazis but, complicating matters, has also been claimed by opponents of those groups.  http://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/20973119/its-time-to-put-the-boy-hero-of-the-confederacy-to-bed

Monday, August 21

College for all gains ground in Tennessee: “We don’t want cost to be an obstacle” (Salon) Starting in the fall of 2018, Tennessee residents without an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can attend community college for free. Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Reconnect Act in May, making Tennessee the first state to provide tuition-free community college to its residents. “We need to reach the working mother that went to college but didn’t complete, or the son with sons of his own who like his dad never went to college but knows that he needs to upgrade his skills,” Haslam said at the State of the State address in January. http://www.salon.com/2017/08/21/college-for-all-gains-ground-in-tennessee-we-do-not-want-cost-to-be-an-obstacle/

Four counties in Chattanooga region get energy grants for facility upgrades, improved efficiency (Times Free Press) Four rural counties in the Chattanooga region will divvy up more than $500,000 in energy grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for retrofits, replacements and improvements to save electrical power in government facilities. Grundy, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties got a combined $530,365, with Grundy getting the lion’s share at $199,144, followed by Marion at $151,854, Rhea at $110,000 and Sequatchie at $69,367, according to TDEC. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the grants last week. Grants totaling $1.9 million were issued to 24 Tennessee communities for clean energy projects. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/21/four-regicounties-get-energy-grants-facility/444626/

Early Childhood Literacy Efforts Push ‘Knowledge-Based Competency’ (Memphis Daily News) Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and other educators say early childhood educators across the state don’t spend enough time with children on reading, vocabulary building, word comprehension and other basic literacy skills. Instead, early childhood education is too focused on repetition of skills, like learning the alphabet, which children pick up and retain without the need for that repetition. McQueen make the remarks to around 100 people gathered Thursday, Aug. 17, for a panel discussion by PeopleFirst Partnership and a new education reform group called Tennesseans for Quality Early Education. McQueen told the gathering at the University of Memphis that her department observed more than 100 early childhood education classrooms earlier this year. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/21/early-childhood-literacy-efforts-push-knowledge-based-competency/

ETSU considering state funding for private pharmacy school (Johnson City Press) East Tennessee State University’s privately funded Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy has been heralded by governors and school officials for its unprecedented funding model. But 11 years after the college accepted its first class, ETSU President Brian Noland said the pharmacy school is considering asking for public contributions to subsidize tuition costs for in-state students to help balance changes in Tennessee’s academic marketplace. When former ETSU President Paul Stanton and medical dean Dr. Ronald Franks announced the Johnson City university’s bid for a pharmacy school in 2004, they laid out a financial plan using student tuition and private donations that would make the school self-sufficient by its third year. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Education/2017/08/19/ETSU-considering-state-funding-for-private-pharmacy-school.html?ci=stream&lp=3&p=

Construction of new legs of Mountain Goat Trail in Tracy City on tap (Times Free Press) Construction on one of the most anticipated legs of the ongoing Mountain Goat Trail in Grundy County will begin this fall in Tracy City, connecting its elementary school with its downtown area. The 10-foot-wide, paved trail will run just more than a mile long on the old Mountain Goat Railroad rail bed. It is scheduled to start in October, the first of three trail projects totaling six miles that will be completed by 2019, Mountain Goat Trail Alliance executive director Patrick Dean said. Tracy City got a $604,000 Alternatives Transportation grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to pay for the work. Segments of the Mountain Goat Trail from Sewanee east to Monteagle already are complete. The Mountain Goat Trail Alliance is providing technical assistance to Tracy City. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/20/constructinew-legs-mountagotrail-tracy-city-t/444514/

Lack of reporting of suspected child abuse by schools an ‘epidemic,’ prosecutors say (Tennessean) Exactly when Brentwood Academy officials learned of allegations of the rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy by other students at the school, and when they informed law enforcement of what they knew, is disputed. The allegations against the elite Christian private school outlined in a $30 million lawsuit illustrate what some say is a systemic problem across the state. Thousands of Tennessee schoolchildren may be vulnerable because of lax reporting and investigating of possible child abuse, according to the findings of a Tennessean investigation. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/davidson/2017/08/20/lack-reporting-suspected-child-abuse-schools-epidemic-prosecutors-say/574371001/

Sen. Bob Corker says he criticized President Donald Trump in hopes of influencing him to unite nation (Tennessean) Sen. Bob Corker said Friday he hoped his comments criticizing President Donald Trump for not strongly condemning the violent acts by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend will “influence (the president) and the people around him.” “We’ve got tremendous opportunities as a nation and there are so many things he has done that I agree with, but we are at a point with our nation where bringing about the best in the people in our nation, the best in the people in our country is where we need to be,” Corker said in Nashville at the Operation Stand Down Tennessee Heroes Breakfast, a fundraiser for veterans. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/18/sen-bob-corker-says-he-criticized-president-donald-trump-hopes-influencing-him-unite-nation/578326001/

Congress may be moving on from health care, but Tennessee’s leaders are still searching for answers (Tennessean) The debate over repealing-and-replacing the Affordable Care Act has quieted but the 2018 insurance market is far from settled. Questions over the 2018 individual health insurance market are swirling as insurers get a federal extension to file rates and month-by-month decisions from the White House on whether to make an insurance payment. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance was on track to approve insurers’ premium requests for 2018 on Aug. 16 but an unexpected move from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pushed the timeline back into early September. http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/industries/health-care/2017/08/21/congress-may-moving-health-care-but-tennessees-leaders-still-searching-answers/578186001/

Sen. Kyle Offers Bill to Allow Statue Removal (Memphis Flyer) As Memphis city government ponders its best strategy for removing two offending Confederate statues in downtown Memphis parks — those of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis — a Memphis legislator has filed a bill that would facilitate such action. The legislation by State Senator Sara Kyle (D-District 30) would exempt Shelby County from the Heritage Protection Act, a measure hastily passed in 2016 to prevent what was then (and remains) an official resolve from Mayor Jim Strickland and the City council to remove the Forrest statue from what is now Health Sciences Park on Union. https://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2017/08/19/sen-kyle-offers-bill-to-allow-statue-removal

White supremacist groups to head to Knoxville to protest, then to Smokies for summit (Tennessean) In the midst of heated debate over the fate of a Fort Sanders monument honoring Confederate soldiers, white supremacists have made plans to come to East Tennessee. Confederate 28, a newly reformed white supremacist group, has made plans to rally at the Fort Sanders monument at 1 p.m. on Aug. 26, to protest its possible removal. The monument, which has been both defaced and cleaned in the time since the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, has been the subject of dueling local petitions. A change.org petition by Knoxville resident Ben Allen, asking Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to remove the monument, has reached nearly 2,500 signatures. A petition to save the monument, created by resident David Hicks, has reached nearly 5,000 signatures. http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/08/20/white-supremacist-groups-head-knoxville-protest-then-smokies-summit/583816001/

Police block effort to cover Forrest statue, arrest protesters (Commercial Appeal) Chaos engulfed a rally at the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue Saturday as Memphis police twice blocked efforts to cover the monument and then dispersed an angry crowd that closed in on squad cars hauling away protesters who had been arrested. Chanting such slogans as “Protect the people, not the statue” and “Cops and the Klan go hand-in-hand,” protesters surrounded squad cars, some pounding fists on the vehicles, before officers cleared paths through them. Some protesters then began marching toward the Criminal Justice Center Downtown. http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/08/19/police-block-effort-cover-forrest-statue-arrest-protesters/581239001/

Arrested protester speaks out after rally at Nathan Bedford Forrest statue (WREG) Scott Prather is a free man after spending at least eight hours behind bars. He was arrested during a protest that in a mere moment took a turn. “I was a part of the group that committed to standing our ground nonviolently and put our bodies between police and them,” Prather told WREG. Prather was one of seven arrested during Saturday’s Take ‘Em Down 901 rally centered around demanding the immediate removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue. “I was just around the statue, I wasn’t on it with my hands up, and I became tangled in the banner as a lot of people did.” http://wreg.com/2017/08/20/arrested-protester-speaks-out-after-rally-at-nathan-bedford-forrest-statue/

Removal Of The Confederate Statues In Memphis Will Be Discussed Tuesday At City Council Meeting (WATN)  Six arrested after rally to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument. Tense moments at a rally at UT Health and Sciences led to six arrests in Memphis Saturday afternoon. The demonstration was led by the movement, “Take Em Down 901,” which is a movement that was created to promote removing confederate statues in Memphis. Members of the official Black Lives Matter Memphis chapter, Coalition of Concerned Citizens, local professors from the University of Memphis and other local organizations gathered around the Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest monument to express their frustration with it being in the middle of the park. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/removal-of-the-confederate-statues-in-memphis-will-be-discussed-tuesday-at-city-council-meeting/794181172

Gubernatorial Candidate Fitzhugh Wants Forrest Bust Gone from State Capitol (Memphis Flyer) Democratic House Leader from West Tennessee says it’s time “to take Confederate monuments and the evil they represent down.” State Representative Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley), one of two Democratic candidates for Tennessee Governor, has called for the removal of a bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol building. Fitzhugh, the Democratic leader of the state House, noted that he had called for the action”over a year ago” and was repeating his insistence on the removal of the bust of Forrest — “a slave trader, Confederate lieutenant general, and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.” https://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2017/08/20/gubernatorial-candidate-fitzhugh-wants-forrest-bust-gone-from-capitol

Meet the caretaker of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s boyhood home in Tennessee (Leaf-Chronicle) Gene Andrews is the caretaker for Nathan Bedford Forrest’s boyhood home. A man with silver-streaked hair, bright blue eyes and a pair of heavy brown work boots, he has taken care of the place for nearly a decade. He lives in Nashville and drives down several days a week to make sure it remains undisturbed. Particularly in these disturbing times, when racial tension mounts, when Confederate statues are being guarded by police or removed in the shroud of night, and when violence results in death. “I think people have had enough,” Andrews says. “Somewhere there’s going to be a line drawn, and if it’s a war that’s coming so be it.” http://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/2017/08/18/meet-caretaker-nathan-bedford-forrests-boyhood-home-tennessee/577878001/

Charges Vary In Forrest Statue Arrests as Issue Moves to City Hall (Memphis Daily News) Only two of the six people arrested on misdemeanor charges Saturday, Aug. 19, during demonstrations at the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Health Sciences Park were charged with trying to wrap a banner around the monument and only one of the two was charged with “desecration of a venerated object.” Memphis Police made the first arrests in a week of protests surrounding the Confederate monuments as protesters gathered Saturday at the statue of the Confederate General, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard began climbing the statue to wrap it in a large white sheet or banner. Police did not stop protesters who left signs on the equestrian statue’s base. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/21/charges-vary-in-forrest-statue-arrests-as-issue-moves-to-city-hall/

OPINION

Bob Rolfe: Nashville to London flight to strengthen economic ties (Tennessean) British Airways’ decision to begin a direct flight to Nashville in May 2018 boils down to one simple thing: Nashville and Middle Tennessee are now undoubtedly on the international stage. The Nashville and Middle Tennessee business community, tourism industry, airport leaders, city and state officials have been aggressively pursuing this long-coveted flight for several years. More travelers from around the world are visiting Tennessee each year. Nashville International Airport, which is in the midst of a $1.2 billion expansion, has continued to smash passenger travel records over the past four years and projects ongoing growth. Indeed, BNA now is the fastest growing airport of its size in the United States. http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2017/08/18/nashville-london-flight-strengthen-economic-ties/104617766/

Editorial: Make the System Take Down Monuments (Memphis Daily News) Instead of changing the names of its Confederate-themed parks, Memphis should have been going directly after its Confederate monuments in 2013, before the Tennessee Legislature enacted procedures that seem designed to draw out the process for as long as possible. That’s hindsight. There are other ways of doing this. The best way would be for the Tennessee Legislature to repeal the law that leaves these monuments as rallying points for neo-Nazis, white supremacist groups and everyone else who mistakenly believes such tributes are the equivalent of indelible and undeniable history. We find the clamor to do something about these monuments where it was in June 2015 following the Emanuel AME Church massacre by a person who used the Confederate flag and Lost Cause mythology as his murderous racist credo. https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/aug/19/editorial-make-the-system-take-down-monuments/

Robert Houk: Stumping for governor across Tennessee (Johnson City Press) So you say you want to be governor of Tennessee? Well, my friend, my advice to you is to buy a good pair of hiking boots, slip on a red flannel shirt and get to walking. That certainly worked for Lamar Alexander in 1978 when he “walked” from Mountain City to Memphis. (I suspect there was also a lot of riding in cars, buses and planes involved in that campaign for governor.) Over the years, a number of other candidates have tried to duplicate Alexander’s success with similar stunts. The late Fred Thompson found such gimmickry to be a winning formula in 1994 when he put on a flannel shirt and drove a leased red pickup across Tennessee on his way to the U.S. Senate. We’ve seen a little of the same theatrics this year as candidates kick off their campaigns for governor. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Editorial/2017/08/20/Stumping-for-governor-across-Tennessee.html?ci=stream&lp=6&p=1

Editorial: Tennessee needs to get tougher on cockfighting (Johnson City Press) Although Tennessee has notoriously weak laws against cockfighting, state legislators have routinely declined to get tough on this blood sport. Lawmakers in Nashville have even defended this barbaric practice as part of the tradition and culture of rural communities since Colonial times. Fighting roosters is not a harmless diversion. There’s an direct link between cockfighting and interstate gambling and illegal drugs. It’s a despicable crime that deserves more than a slap on the wrist. In recent years, bills that would have returned cockfighting to a felony offense have stalled in the state House Agriculture Committee. Legislators refused to crack down on cockfighting even after hearing testimony from federal agents who say Tennessee is part of the infamous “Cockfighting Corridor,” where criminals flock to ply their horrifying trade. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Editorial/2017/08/20/It-s-time-to-get-tough-on-cockfighting.html?ci=stream&lp=3&p=

Guest column: Tennessee quietly leading in healthcare innovation (News Sentinel) In our fragmented national healthcare system, Tennessee is a pioneer state for healthcare innovation with a unique and progressive culture that creates one of the best places to practice medicine in the U.S., as evidenced by some recent independent rankings. Doctors like the quality of life in Tennessee and like practicing in one of the country’s most favorable medical liability climates. The Tennessee Medical Association laid the groundwork in 1975 with the creation of State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company, a doctor-owned malpractice insurance carrier. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/08/20/tennessee-pioneer-healthcare-innovation/565638001/