Tennessee

Tennessee is one of 13 states around the nation that’s receiving a federal grant to expand preschool services. 

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Wednesday that Tennessee will get $17 ½ million and will help serve as a model for expanding access to pre-school to low and moderate income families.  

Five other states are also receiving grants for pre-school development. The grants total $226 million.

A recent report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth says the state needs to invest more in early childhood education.

The study released this week recommends expanding the state's voluntary pre-K program to all at-risk Tennessee children.

The program has not been expanded since 2008. Established in 1999, the program has 935 classrooms serving about 18,500 children.

The commission says research shows pre-K programs help children develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills they need to learn.

Hargett Not Running for Tennessee Governor in '18

Nov 24, 2014
State of Tennessee

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.

Robertson County Reveals Redistricting Plan For Schools

Oct 9, 2014

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.

Homeless In Nashville, Huge In Sweden

Oct 9, 2014

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 To Decide On Abortion Amendment

Oct 6, 2014
Tennessee Supreme Court

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.

Creating Your Baby's Last Name? Tennessee Says No

Sep 15, 2014

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.

Juvenile Jail Escape Latest for Troubled Facility

Sep 3, 2014

The Nashville juvenile detention center where 30 teens escaped under a fence Monday night has a long history of violence, sexual abuse and previous attempts to break out.

All but seven of the teens from the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Nashville were taken back into custody on Tuesday, a day after they escaped. Officials said they had kicked out metal panels under the windows in common areas of their dorms to reach the courtyard and slipped out under a weak spot in the perimeter fence.

The facility was the site of a 2004 breakout attempt in which more than a dozen teens injured 16 staffers before they were dispersed by police. In 2010, the Department of Justice ranked the facility as 13th in the country for reports of sexual abuse by staffers.

Eight Apply To Become Next Tennessee Attorney General

Aug 29, 2014
State of Tennessee

Eight candidates have applied with the Tennessee Supreme Court for the next eight-year term as state attorney general.

Tennessee is the only state where the high court appoints the attorney general.

The justices plan to hold public hearings with candidates they deem qualified for the job.

Incumbent Attorney General Bob Cooper, whose term expires at the end of the month, is among those who have applied for the job.

The field of candidates also includes Gov. Bill Haslam's top legal adviser, Herbert Slatery; Republican state Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville; and courts administrator Bill Young of Brentwood.
 
Also submitting applications by Friday's deadline were attorneys Eugene Bulso Jr. of Brentwood, Mark Fulks of Johnson City, William Helou of Nashville and Andrew Tillman of Huntsville.

ACT

ACT test scores for high school graduates in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana all saw improvement this year.

The company that administers the test is calling the gains in Kentucky and Tennessee particularly promising.

Every high school graduate in Kentucky and Tennessee and nine other states takes the ACT as part of statewide assessment.  This year, both Tennessee and Kentucky saw a 0.3 percent gain in composite score as compared to 2013.

The composite score in Kentucky was 19.9, while Tennessee students scored a 19.8. 

Meantime, Indiana’s average composite score was 21.7, but only 40 percent of Indiana students took the test.

Kentucky and Tennessee officials have launched initiatives today to spread awareness of human trafficking.

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander defeated state Rep. Joe Carr on Thursday, marking the close of a winless Senate primary season for Tea Party groups that hoped to unseat a longtime Republican incumbent.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Alexander, the last veteran GOP senator facing a credible Tea Party-backed primary challenge this year. He won 50 percent to 40 percent for Carr.

George Flinn, a self-funding radiologist from Memphis, captured 5 percent, while four other little-known candidates captured the rest of the vote.

Komodo Dragons On Display At Nashville Zoo

Jul 16, 2014

There are less than 2,500 Komodo dragons — the world’s largest living lizards — left in the wild.

The venomous beasts can spend hours in one spot, waiting for a deer, boar, goat or anything sizable and nutritious. By the time the reach adulthood, they can be over 10 feet long and more than 350 pounds.

News that a Nashville developer is paying $4.4 million for a half-century-old recording studio has sparked a battle in Music City. On one side is singer-songwriter Ben Folds, inspired by the musical history made in that studio. On the other, a trailblazing musician who made that history.

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