Forbes Magazine says Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is now the country's richest elected official, citing a rush to the pumps at the family-owned Pilot Flying J truck stop chain due to tumbling fuel prices.
According to Forbes, Haslam's net worth has more than doubled since August from $980 million to $2 billion.
Haslam has steadfastly refused to publicly disclose his earnings from Pilot, arguing that it would divulge the income of family members who aren't in public office. But the wealth of the Haslam family was illustrated when the governor's brother, Jimmy, bought the NFL's Cleveland Browns for $1 billion in 2012.
Gov. Haslam said Wednesday that he has no idea where Forbes gets its information. He said he has made a practice of not commenting on personal financial information.
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after months of discussions.
The Republican's administration is touting it as an alternative deal with federal officials. The program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans.
Haslam announced at a news conference at the state Capitol that the state would offer a voucher to purchase insurance in the private market, according to statement from the governor's office and a news conference.
Health care advocates had heavily criticized the Republican governor for refusing last year to agree to $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 180,000 uninsured Tennesseans under the terms the money was offered.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett does not plan to run for governor in 2018.
Hargett was among several Republicans included in early speculation after the Nov. 4 election about potential candidates to succeed Gov. Bill Haslam, who can't run for a third consecutive term.
Hargett recently issued a statement saying he's focusing on his current job as secretary of state.
The former House Republican leader from Bartlett raised some eyebrows before the general election when his office issued new "I Voted" stickers emblazoned with Hargett's name and looking a lot like campaign bumper stickers.
Seventy-eight Tennessee municipalities have passed a referendum for wine to be sold in supermarkets.
They collected enough signatures to place the referendum on the Tennessee ballot Tuesday. Final voting results show all the communities passed the measure.
Currently, wine can be sold only in liquor stores. Because of a state law passed earlier this year, wine can be sold by grocery and convenience stores starting in July 2016 in the communities where citizens vote for the change.
Supermarkets and convenience stores can sell beer containing up to 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. Anything stronger can be sold only in package stores, which, as of July 1, are able to sell items other than booze, such as beer, mixers, glasses, corkscrews, food and cigarettes.
A month after federal investigators determined that Robertson County Schools have not desegregated, officials have released a proposed redistricting plan.
Robertson County Director of Schools Mike Davis told The Tennessean on Monday that the new attendance zones were developed by the federal government, not the local school board.
The district in Middle Tennessee was notified in early September that federal investigators had finished their review of its schools and found them to be in non-compliance. A letter posted on the school system's website says it is required to enter into a settlement agreement or it could lose all federal funding.
Public forums over the changes proposed by the Department of Justice will be held at schools in the district throughout October.
Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:01 am
Country music fans were introduced to a new face at last month's Americana Music Awards in Nashville, when 62-year-old Doug Seegers opened the show with a song from his debut album, Going Down to the River.
Tennessee voters will have a chance this November to decide whether they want to give the state Legislature more power to regulate abortions.
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court struck down laws requiring a two-day waiting period and mandatory physician-only counseling and preventing second-trimester abortions from taking place anywhere but in a hospital.
In its ruling, the court wrote that because the provisions weren't narrowly tailored to promote maternal health, they violated a woman's fundamental right to privacy as guaranteed in the Tennessee Constitution.
Abortion opponents immediately began planning to change the Constitution. The result is an amendment that reads, in part, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion," that will be before voters on Nov. 4.
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:03 am
When naming a child, some parents opt for one of the parents' last names, some hyphenate the two. Still others invent a hybrid surname for their kids — though one Tennessee family discovered that state law bars them from doing that.
Kim Sarubbi runs a digital consulting firm. Her husband, Carl Abramson, is a chiropractor. The couple moved to Nashville from Santa Monica, Calif. Their first two kids were born outside Tennessee, and their last names are a blend of their parents' surnames, Sarubbi and Abramson.