Thursday, July 23

TN Gov. Bill Lee participating in Tele-Town Hall (WCYB-TV Bristol) Tennessee Governor Bill Lee taking part in a Tele-Town Hall discussion on Friday, July 24. That town hall co-hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association and the AARP. Lee will discuss the state of COVID-19 as it relates to high risk populations, including those in long-term care facilities. The town hall is open to the public. Lee will take questions as time permits from 11 – 11:30 a.m. Friday morning. If you would like to be part of that conversation, you can dial into the Tele-Town Hall at (855) 962-1532. LINK

Chattanooga non-profits look into Governor Lee’s coronavirus relief grants (WRCB-TV Chattanooga) COVID-19 has presented many financial challenges to businesses and non-profits in Tennessee. Governor Bill Lee has put in $150 million dollars in coronavirus relief to help. Non-profits like the Creative Discovery Museum will report more than a million dollars lost for the year 2020. The Tennessee Aquarium reported $5 million dollars lost back in May because of closures. Kyrstin Hill with the Creative Discovery Museum says the closures for them happened during one of their busiest seasons. LINK

Gov. Lee hasn’t changed opinion on Tennessee mask mandate; 21 counties have issued local orders (WBIR-TV Nashville) Despite a recommendation for a statewide mask mandate in Tennessee from a team of federal public health representatives, Gov. Bill Lee has not changed his opinion. After Knox Co. was named a COVID-19 hotspot, representatives from the CDC, FEMA and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response visited with the Knox Co. Health Dept. to see what could be done differently. LINK

Lee denies Williamson school district’s waiver request on TNReady, school days (Tennessean) Gov. Bill Lee has denied a request from Williamson County Schools to hold the district “harmless” in TNReady accountability this school year and to waive flexibility in instructional days. Despite WCS superintendent Jason Golden’s request, Lee said in a Wednesday he would not grant a waiver for TNReady testing accountability nor would he waive the amount of state-required instructional days on the school calendar for the district. LINK

Citing ‘unacceptable’ COVID-19 case growth, Tennessee doctors urge delay of in-person classes (WTVF-TV Nashville) Tennessee doctors are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to delay the start of in-person classes in counties that don’t meet COVID-19 health guidelines. In a release Wednesday, physicians with ProtectMyCare said that 79 of Tennessee’s 95 counties are still seeing “unacceptable” case growth of more than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days. “Reopening schools while COVID-19 is spreading uncontrolled through our communities needlessly endangers our children, their families and our teachers. LINK

Many Tennessee Teachers Fear A Return To The Classroom, And Some Are Even Quitting (WPLN Radio Nashville) Plans for the upcoming semester have been changing by the week for Middle Tennessee school districts. And now that in-person classes are imminent for many districts, teachers are facing their concerns about the coronavirus. And some of them are giving up their jobs. “Right up until two and a half weeks ago, I was all set to start the new year,” says Jake Wilson, who spent this week cleaning out his classroom at Ellis Middle School in Hendersonville. LINK

Contingency plan set for TSSAA football, still no firm start date (WDEF-TV Chattanooga) The TSSAA Board of Control has finally adopted a contingency plan for the start of the 2020 high school football season. However, the plan still lacks a firm start date. The board was given four options, plus a hybrid option, to consider and vote on at Wednesday meeting. The board voted almost unanimously for the hybrid option, which relies heavily on when Governor Bill Lee (R) exempts high school football from his order banning contact sports until Aug. 29. LINK

TSSAA chooses hybrid plan for football (Johnson City Press) As expected, the TSSAA pushed its hybrid plan into effect for the 2020 football season during a Board of Control meeting Wednesday in Murfreesboro … Currently the start of football practice is on hold because of Governor Bill Lee’s state-of-emergency order — which prohibits contact sports from moving forward. The hybrid plan does not provide a firm date to start football as the TSSAA is holding out hope Lee will rescind his order at some point prior to the current date of Aug. 29. LINK

TSSAA Board of Control passes new regulations, contingency plan for high school football, girls’ soccer (WBIR-TV Knoxville) TSSAA Board of Control approves high school football contingency plan. The Board of Control has approved contingency plan No. 2 with hybrid adjustments for the high school football season. Here is the initial Plan No. 2 16-Team Bracket: Contact practice will begin August 30; -The regular season will start on September 18; Teams will play eight games in the regular season with the first week of the postseason canceled and replaced with the final regular season game. LINK

TSSAA approves contingency plan for fall sports (WRCB-TV Chattanooga) Start date for football will be determined upon the conclusion of Governor Lee’s executive order. Fans will be required to get temperature checked, wear masks, and stadiums will limit fan attendance. Tennessee now has a roadmap for both high school football and girls’ soccer in the fall. Convening its Board of Control Wednesday in Murfreesboro, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) approved measures to outline the potential for a nearly complete football and girls’ soccer season. LINK

TSSAA chooses football option, but delays start date (Bristol Herald-Courier) At least Tennessee is closer to conducting high school football in the fall, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still a question of when. That doesn’t sit well with Sullivan East principal Andy Hare, who would like to see the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association make a decision, and soon. “The fact of the matter is they just need to make a decision and stick with it right now. We can’t keep going one week at a time,” Hare said. “These are tough times so whatever decision you make it is going to upset somebody. You can’t make a decision right now that is going to be pleasing to everyone.” LINK

High school sports contingency plan “best of both worlds,” according to TSSAA Board of Control VP (WATN-TV Memphis) The plan, approved Wednesday, will allow teams to keep schedules in place with a September 18 start date if Gov. Lee allows practice to begin August 30. With the ability to make concrete plans severely limited amid COVID-19, the TSSAA Board of Control passed several contingency plans for football and girl’s soccer season this fall. The board approved a week-by-week road map for football Wednesday, all centered around when Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee may allow full-contact practices to begin. LINK

TSSAA votes for fluid, hybrid plan for upcoming football season (WSMV-TV Nashville) It’s the ongoing question – what will high school sports look like in Tennessee this fall? On Wednesday, the TSSAA tried to give an answer. The TSSAA Board of Control voted for a fluid, hybrid plan for the upcoming high school football season. They voted this way based on the possibility that Gov. Bill Lee’s State of Emergency order could be lifted before the August 29 deadline. Teams must complete an acclimitization period along with two weeks of contact practice before games can begin. However, the start dates for both practices and games are still to be determined. LINK

TSSAA will require fans to wear masks at games under new COVID-19 sports regulations (WZTV-TV Nashville) The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) will require fans attending sporting events to wear masks. The organization made the decision during a Board of Control meeting Wednesday. The mask mandate is just one of the safety measures adopted when the board unanimously passed their new COVID-19 sports regulations. Schools will be asked to limit fan attendance and mark specific seats to allow for social distancing. Any coaches, players, team personnel, officials and fans must also have their temperature checked before entering a game facility. LINK

TSSAA plans on having football season; restrictions include face masks at games (Tennessean) The TSSAA Board of Control moved ahead with a contingency plan for a high school football season Wednesday along with a list of restrictions if games are played. Teams have been barred from having contact at practices after Gov. Bill Lee extended an emergency order through Aug. 29. The first two weeks of the season had been scheduled to start before then. The TSSAA has been working with Lee’s office to get high school sports reclassified and thus allow them to have contact during practices. LINK

Tennessee Announces Plan, Guidelines for High School Football Season (Sports Illustrated) The TSSAA was criticized highly a couple of weeks ago following a scheduled meeting that left student-athletes, parents, and coaches across the state with no answer as to what would happen for fall sports. Today, however, that changed, as the secondary athletic association agreed upon a plan to make fall sports possible … The hybrid plan will focus on the determination from Governor Bill Lee, as it will be based on when teams are allowed to have contact. LINK

TSSAA approves schedule plan for prep football (Times Free Press) After weeks of discussion and delay, the TSSAA Board of Control passed a plan for the start of high school football in Tennessee during Wednesday’s meeting at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro. The plan is set up to try to keep as much of the season intact as possible and includes a contingency on whether Gov. Bill Lee decides to exempt the TSSAA from his state of emergency order. Under that order, which was extended in late June to remain in effect through Aug. 29, prep football teams are not allowed to conduct practices with contact between players or begin playing regular-season games. LINK

APSU surpasses fundraising record with $11.4 million in gifts, pledges (WTVF-TV Nashville) Fundraising history has been made at Austin Peay State University. The university reached a fundraising total of $11.4 million in gifts and pledges for the 2020 school year – an increase of almost 10% in the average amount raised over the last year. In 2019, more than $10 million were raised. This year’s total was the third consecutive year APSU has set a record for the second-highest giving year in University history. LINK

State agencies launch Spanish language webpage for COVID-19 resources (WATE-TV Knoxville) The Tennessee Department of Health and the governor’s Unified Command Group have launched additional COVID-19 materials and resources for Spanish-speaking Tennesseans in a new webpage. The state has provided Spanish language info sheets, messages, posts and tweets regarding COVID-19 in recent months, but this is the first time the state has dedicated an entire coronavirus-related webpage with said resources specifically for Spanish speakers. LINK

Tennessee offers new COVID-19 webpage in Spanish (AP) Tennessee health officials have introduced a new webpage that offers a variety of COVID-19 resources in Spanish. The state Department of Health says the page includes videos, fact sheets, infographics and other resources. They cover COVID-19 testing, the Tennessee Pledge and preventative measures for the virus. LINK

Call to Action: Protesters push for immediate removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest bust (WKRN-TV Nashville) Two weeks after the State Capitol Commission voted to recommend the bust of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the state Capitol, protesters have ignited a new effort to expedite the process of removal. “I would consider myself an anti-gradualist,” said Angel Stansberry, with the People’s Plaza. “I don’t like incrementalism.” She alongside a group of other who have camped out at Legislative Plaza for weeks have started a campaign encouraging the public to sign an online petition which would override the series of meetings and hearings required to officially remove the Statehouse. LINK

Breaking Points: ‘This Is The Time’ To Turn Anger About Oppression Into A New Future (WPLN Radio) Howard Gentry has been a bank official, a Metro councilmember, and the first Black vice mayor in Nashville. His family moved to Nashville in 1949 and have left their legacy in just about every realm of public life including education, sports and local government since their arrival. But despite Gentry’s prominent roles, he’s experienced racism that no amount of money or fame could allow a Black person to escape. In this installment of our series Breaking Points, he says the current Black Lives Matter movement reminds him of a movement he witnessed up close in 1968. LINK

COVID-19 Model: 50% of Tennessee residents could be infected in next year at current rate (WZTV-TV Nashville) Tennessee is now among 11 states considered to have an “active” or “imminent outbreak” of COVID-19. The report comes from COVID Act Now analysis, an organization comprised of epidemiologists, health experts, public policy leaders and others providing data analysis. Tennessee’s ranking comes after the model added daily new case rates as a key indicator. Other indicators used are infection rate, test positivity, ICU capacity, and contacts traced. LINK

White House urges ‘aggressive’ Nashville response to COVID-19. Mayor’s office says WH is ‘late to the game’ (Tennessean) Nashville was among 11 cities the White House singled out on a private call Wednesday, warning local officials to increase testing and take “aggressive” actions to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C., reported Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told state and local officials on a call that they should take quick action. Other cities she identified were Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. LINK

Nashville among 11 cities needing to take ‘aggressive’ action on COVID spread per White House Doctor (WTVF-TV Nashville) One of the White House Coronavirus Task Force doctors, Dr. Deborah Birx, listed Nashville as one of eleven cities that should take “aggressive” steps to mitigate its COVID-19 outbreak, according to The Center for Public Integrity. The other cities listed were: Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. According to Dr. Birx, all of them are seeing increases in the percentage of tests coming back positive. LINK

Report: Nashville among cities warned by White House task force to take ‘aggressive action’ against COVID-19 (WKRN-TV Nashville) A new report from the Center for Public Integrity says a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned 11 major cities, including Nashville, to take “aggressive” action to mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks. According to the report, the cities were identified by Dr. Deborah Birx during a private phone call Wednesday. They include Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. All have been dealing with increased testing positivity rates, the report states. LINK

“We’re really at war with this disease”: Ballad Health officials reveal staffing changes, surge plans as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue climbing (WJHL-TV Johnson City) In a weekly media briefing on Wednesday, Ballad Health official said that 70 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the hospital system, increasing by 10 hospitalizations within the past week. Of the patients hospitalized for COVID-19, officials said 18 of them are in intensive care and 13 are using ventilators. LINK

Innocence Project Calls For Testing Newly Discovered Evidence In Tennessee Death Row Case (WPLN Radio Nashville) A Tennessee man who is scheduled for execution this December is asking the state to give him one more chance to prove his innocence. Pervis Payne was sentenced to death in 1988 for stabbing to death a woman and her daughter and wounding her son. But he thinks DNA testing could clear his name. Payne was 20 years old with no criminal record when he saw a man run out of his girlfriend’s apartment building with blood on his shirt in 1987, according to a new legal petition filed Wednesday by a team of attorneys from the Innocence Project. LINK

Thousands of absentee ballots not returned yet in Tennessee (WKRN-TV Nashville) While people in places like Nashville and Shelby County have requested a record number of absentee ballots, a majority of them have not sent the ballot back to be counted. Figures released from the Davidson County (Nashville) Election Commission show 28,085 people requested absentee ballots for the upcoming August 6th statewide election. By comparison, around 7,000 absentee ballots were requested in 2016 for the November presidential race at the top of the ticket. LINK

Tennessee’s opposition to COVID-19 absentee ballots called ‘pitiful’ during US Senate hearing (Tennessean) Secretary of State Tre Hargett on Wednesday spoke before a U.S. Senate committee regarding Tennessee’s preparations for upcoming elections, a hearing that became heated as multiple members grilled him on the state’s resistance to expanding absentee voting due to the coronavirus. Hargett, who appeared by video before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, discussed Tennessee’s use of federal COVID-19 relief funds to cover the costs of necessary measures to make in-person voting safer this August and November, as well as buying additional ballot-scanning equipment and absentee envelopes. LINK

Hargett draws fire in U.S. Senate committee on state’s resistance to expanded absentee voting (Daily Memphian) Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett fielded criticism of the state’s opposition to expanded absentee voting during testimony Wednesday, July 22, before the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration committee. Hargett was one of three election officials from three states who testified on general election preparations. “I hope you will continue to respect each state’s authority to conduct elections in a manner that has or will work in their respective states,” Hargett said. “It would not be appropriate nor do we need to federalize the administration of our elections.” LINK

Senator Alexander proposes help for student loan borrowers (WATE-TV Knoxville) If you have student loans, you could be getting more help soon. Senator Lamar Alexander proposed if you don’t have any income right now, you should not have a monthly payment. Back in March, Congress approved a bill deferring student loan payments until Oct. 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Senator Alexander says that those who don’t have any income should be able to continue deferring after that date. LINK

Tennessee Senate District 10 race: Democrat Scruggs outraises Sen. Gardenhire in 2nd quarter, but GOP lawmaker has more cash on hand (Times Free Press) Democrat Glenn Scruggs raised $37,363 for his state Senate District 10 bid during the second quarter with the Chattanooga assistant police chief reporting a cash balance of $34,464. While Scruggs out-raised Republican incumbent Sen. Todd Gardenhire of Chattanooga, who reported $7,775 in contributions during the April 1-June 30 period, Gardenhire has a war chest totaling $102,443. LINK

Two Women Fight to Unseat Nashville Republican Steve Dickerson (Nashville Scene) When Democratic organizers established Emerge Tennessee in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, the goal was to train Democratic women to run for office. The training program has produced a handful of winners across the state, including in the legislature and in local offices. Now the network of dozens of alumnae is robust enough that graduates are facing off against each other in Democratic primaries. That’s the case in Davidson County’s Senate District 20, where two women are vying for the chance to challenge incumbent GOP Sen. Steve Dickerson, the only Nashville-based Republican in the state House or Senate. LINK

Roe says ‘rapid tests’ needed for COVID-19 (Johnson City Press) U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st District, said Wednesday he expects Congress will step up funding for “rapid testing” kits for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the new installment of the CARES Act. The Johnson City lawmaker said such testing “is a solution” to quickly pinpointing cases of the virus in schools, nursing homes and other critical institutions. “We have done 50 million coronavirus tests in this country,” Roe told reporters on a conference call. “Rapid tests is where we have failed so far.” Roe noted that one reason President Donald Trump isn’t often seen wearing a face mask in public is because the people he and Vice President Mike Pence come into contact with are rapid tested for COVID-19 on the spot. LINK

Hagerty Attacks Sethi for Do-Gooder Nonprofit, Knowing Doctors (Nashville Scene) With early voting underway in the Republican primary to fill the seat of the retiring Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney- Jeb Bush- Marco Rubio Donald Trump-supporting former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty is out with a new website attacking his opponent, Nashville surgeon Manny Sethi. Referring to the Coffee County native as “Massachusetts Manny,” Hagerty — who began his business career at Boston Consulting Group — ties Sethi to a host of nefarious acts, like running a nonprofit that provides free health clinics to underserved communities across the state. LINK

Tennessee GOP U.S. Senate primary remains heated as Sethi challenges Hagerty to debate (Tennessean) Two weeks ahead of the Aug. 6 primary, Tennessee’s heated Republican U.S. Senate race is showing no signs of simmering down. Frontrunners Bill Hagerty, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Dr. Manny Sethi, a Nashville trauma surgeon, have pivoted in the past week to negative ads as the gap between the two opponents has narrowed significantly. Outside groups allied with each candidate have also started to launch attacks over the air, while Sethi has called for Hagerty to agree to a debate — a challenge Hagerty’s campaign says they’re uninterested in accepting. LINK

Sen. Cruz backs Sethi in Tennessee GOP U.S. Senate primary while Sen. Blackburn endorses (Times Free Press) Tennessee’s bitter U.S. Senate GOP primary fight between Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi became a battle of endorsements Wednesday as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his support of Sethi and U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, soon afterward jumped in to say she backs Hagerty. The dueling endorsements come in an increasingly ferocious war between Hagerty, President Donald Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Sethi, a Nashville trauma surgeon. LINK

Ted Cruz endorses Sethi, Blackburn backs Hagerty (TN Journal) U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the runner-up to Donald Trump in the Tennessee’s 2016 presidential primary, is endorsing Manny Sethi in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. Trump, of course, has endorsed rival candidate Bill Hagerty. Cruz’s endorsement of Sethi follows a nod by another 2016 presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. “Primaries are a time for choosing,” Cruz said in a statement. “Too many times the Washington swamp tries to trick voters into choosing their preferred candidate.” LINK

Tennessee GOP Senate race a new test for Trump’s endorsement (AP) President Donald Trump’s endorsement clout will get another test in the Aug. 6 open Republican U.S. Senate primary in Tennessee. Bill Hagerty, Trump’s former ambassador to Japan, has the president’s endorsement in a race against Manny Sethi, a Nashville trauma surgeon who doesn’t disagree with Trump on a whole lot, either — other than his preference of candidate. So far, the contest for the GOP nomination has revolved around who would be a more fitting right-hand man for Trump in Washington. LINK

Senator Ted Cruz coming to Jonesborough Friday for rally in support of U.S. Senate candidate (WJHL-TV Johnson City) United States Senator Ted Cruz will be in the Tri-Cities on Friday to raise support for Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi. The endorsement rally will be held at 8 a.m. Friday at the Heritage Event Venue next to the Food City in Jonesborough. The street address of the rally is 161 Molly Grayce Lane. Doors will open for the event at 7:30 a.m., and those in attendance will have the chance to meet Senator Cruz. LINK

Texas senator to stump for Sethi in Jonesborough (Johnson City Press) U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz , R-Texas, will be in Jonesborough early Friday to kick off a series of campaign stops in Tennessee to endorse Dr. Manny Sethi for the U.S. Senate. Sethi, a Nashville trauma surgeon, is among 15 Republicans and five Democratic candidates on the Aug. 6 ballot vying to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee. Friday’s rally will begin at 8 a.m. at the Heritage Event Venue, 161 Molly Grayce Lane, Jonesborough. Organizers say doors to the campaign event will open at 7:30 a.m. LINK

Sen. Ted Cruz endorses Manny Sethi for U.S. Senate, expected to visit Jonesborough (WCYB-TV Bristol) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has endorsed fellow Republican Manny Sethi for the U.S. Senate seat which is being vacated by longtime Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee). Sethi is one of the multiple contenders for the Republican nomination to run for Senate. Sources say Cruz will make an appearance for Sethi Friday at 8 a.m. at Jonesborough’s Heritage Event Center. LINK


Column: TSSAA plan puts ball in Gov. Bill Lee’s hands to decide season’s start (Times Free Press) In football terms, the TSSAA has handed the ball off to Gov. Bill Lee. Since the governor announced in late June that he was extending Tennessee’s state of emergency order through Aug. 29, high school football season has been on hold. With teams not being allowed to have contact practices while under that order, frustration regarding an uncertain timeline had become rampant statewide among coaches, players, parents and fans. So on Wednesday afternoon, knowing the TSSAA cannot override the governor’s order but wanting to find a way to salvage as much of the season as possible, the Board of Control voted in a proposal that has enough flexibility to change depending on what the governor decides. LINK

State Sen. Becky Massey: ADA marks 30 years of helping those with disabilities live fully (News Sentinel)  On July 26, the Americans with Disabilities Act will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, is remarkable for its grassroots organization, its sophistication, its doggedness and its tireless optimism. The ADA works to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. The landmark civil rights law protects people who have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits a major life activity. It requires that government, schools, businesses and public spaces provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities so they can have equal access to these areas of life that are so important to all of us. LINK

Betty Bean: Collateral damage: Will Admiral Farragut be banished from Capitol? (Nashville Scene) So, what do those Nashville guys on the State Capitol Commission have against David Farragut? Unlike Nathan Bedford Forrest, Taylor Swift never demanded that he be kicked out of the capitol – nor did anyone else. That’s what people in the west Knox County town that bears his name started asking after hearing that the State Capitol Commission had voted 9-2 to remove his bust from its prominent niche on the second floor of the state capitol, the floor where both houses of the legislature meet – along with the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, something that Tay-Tay and a bunch of other people had been demanding without success for years. LINK

Alex Hubbard: Moving Nathan Bedford Forrest bust acknowledges history as it was, but we still have so much to learn (Tennessean) Gov. Bill Lee, during his campaign for office and for many months after taking it, was resolutely against removing the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the Tennessee Capitol. He called it a “whitewash” of history, among other things, and added this cringe-worthy statement as a defense for keeping the bust on display. “The Ku Klux Klan is a part of our history that we’re not proud of in Tennessee, and we  need to be reminded of that and make certain that we don’t forget it,” Lee said. “So I wouldn’t advocate to remove that.” LINK

LeBron Hill: In ‘cancel culture’ era, we must pursue long-term change over short-term wins (Tennessean) If the last few months have shown us anything, with society-shifting events — COVID-19, anti-racism protests and the renewed rise of social activism — it’s that people on social media are using their voices to quiet their adversaries. That has come in the form of “cancel culture.” Some politicians — most notably in Tennessee, Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls Dr. Manny Sethi and Bill Hagerty — have decried cancel culture as a form of censorship and intolerance. LINK

Jackson Baker: Another Election! (Memphis Flyer) With early voting underway as of last Friday (and continuing through August 1st) and election day itself rapidly approaching, requests for mail-in ballots for the August 6th county general election and federal/state primaries are being described, alternatively, as “through the roof” and “spiking.” The election has been hampered by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, which has made for sporadic and low-key campaigning, and it would, in normal circumstances, be regarded as an anticlimactic way station between the Tennessee presidential primary of last March and the forthcoming presidential election in November. LINK

Bill Freeman: Despite COVID-19’s heartbreaking impact on the elderly, our policy makers have not prioritized federal support for elder care (Nashville Scene) Before COVID-19 hit our country — and hit it hard — nursing facilities and our elderly were seldom on our minds. At least, they weren’t top-of-mind. During this pandemic, we have seen thousands of nursing facility residents die. These losses are tragic, even more so because it seems that the risks to our elderly remain, but the answers of what is being done to protect them are hard to find. Nursing facilities were challenged by the nature of the virus in the early days of the pandemic, and those challenges continue every day. LINK

Tennessee Voices: A conversation with Hannah Cox (Tennessean) Libertarian conservative commentator and writer Hannah Cox spoke with Tennessean Opinion and Engagement Director David Plazas. LINK

Sam McKenzie: Park, group of supporters misrepresenting my record (Tennessean) Tennessee House District 15 embodies a large segment of African Americans in Knoxville. It also includes downtown Knoxville, the university area and a segment of South Knoxville. I am a candidate for that seat, as is Matthew Park. He and a small group of his supporters, Black Coffee Justice, have consistently misrepresented my record and are attempting to make this race appear as a “youth movement.” In fact, this is a ploy to distract the people of the district from knowing that Park has consistently voted in Republican primaries and voted in the Democratic primary only after he picked up a petition to run for this seat. LINK

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