Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:26 pm
Pregnant women addicted to illegal narcotics or prescription pain pills could soon be jailed in Tennessee under a bill awaiting the governor's signature. The strict proposal enjoys bipartisan support — despite objections from doctors.
A Lebanon man charged with murder in the package-bomb deaths of his in-laws has an Oct. 28 trial date.
Wilson County Circuit Court Judge John Wootten set the date during a Tuesday hearing. Wootten said he wanted to set an early date because Richard Parker is awaiting the trial in jail, unable to make his $1 million bond.
Parker is the son-in-law of Jon and Marion Setzer, and he lived directly behind them in rural Wilson County.
A package bomb exploded at the Setzers' house on Feb. 10, killing 74-year-old Jon Setzer, a retired lawyer. Seventy-two-year-old Marion Setzer later died at a Nashville hospital from her injuries.
Parker's pastor, Kevin Ulmet, has said that before Parker's arrest, he sat for hours at Marion Setzer's bedside, along with her children.
Tennessee's governor is asking a federal judge to put her ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples on hold while a higher court weighs in on the case.
Gov. Bill Haslam and state Attorney General Robert Cooper on Tuesday filed a motion saying overturning the law without an appeals court reviewing the case "frustrates the will of the people of Tennessee." Haslam and Cooper say leaving the status quo in place pending an appeals court decision would not harm the three couples who sued for recognition.
U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger on Friday ordered the state to recognize the unions of the couples, who were married in other states.
Trauger made clear that her order is temporary and applies only to the three couples.
President Obama heads to a Nashville high school Thursday, two days after a student fatally shot a classmate in an apartment building. Grief counselors were at McGavock Comprehensive High School on Wednesday to help students cope with the shooting.
It happened within an hour of the President's State of the Union address Tuesday night, in which he renewed calls to curb gun violence.
Police said the shooting took place at an apartment when 17-year-old Kaemon Robinson was playing with a pistol. It discharged, striking 15-year-old Kevin Barbee in the face. An attorney for Robinson said the teen didn't know the gun was loaded.
It's unclear just how the President would address the shooting in his Thursday afternoon speech to the school.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says he will oppose a measure authorizing U.S. military force against Syria.
The Tennessee lawmaker said on Monday that a strike carries too much risk and could set off a series of events leading to greater U.S. involvement in another long-term Mideast war. He warned about the uncertainty in agreeing to President Barack Obama's request for military intervention after last month's deadly chemical weapons attack.
Alexander was announcing his position at a speech in Nashville. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks.
The senator has participated by telephone in briefings with senior administration officials and spoke this past weekend with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Alexander's Tennessee colleague, Sen. Bob Corker, collaborated with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez in writing the resolution authorizing U.S. force.
Gov. Bill Haslam is continuing to push an initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with at least a two-year college degree or certificate.
The governor is scheduled to talk more about the "Drive to 55" plan at an event in Nashville on Wednesday.
He announced the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year and has been working on it over the past months. He is expected to more clearly define the state's challenges on Wednesday, as well as give an update on its progress.
Currently, 32 percent of Tennesseans have a two-year degree or higher, and Haslam's goal is to raise that number to 55 percent by 2025.
Tennessee Tea Party activists are actively vetting potential candidates who would challenge Republican Senator Lamar Alexander from the right.
Later this month, those wanting to take on Alexander in next year’s GOP primary will address tea party activists in Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Nashville Tea Party President Ben Cunningham says a “very serious process” is underway to find a consensus Tea Party challenger to take on Alexander in 2014.
It’s the latest example of the Tea Party challenging GOP incumbents it believes are not sufficiently conservative. The tactic has backfired in some states, including Indiana, where the Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock knocked off longtime Republican moderate Richard Lugar in the 2012 primary, only to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election later that year.
Some potential Tea Party challengers to Alexander are former GOP state representative and senator Tim Burchett, former chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party Kevin Kookogey, and Brenda Lenard, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Republican Sen. Bob Corker last year.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for parts of our Tennessee listening area. The new warning is in effect until 3:00 p.m. Thursday, and includes the counties of Davidson, northern Wilson, south-central Robertson, southern Sumner, and Trousdale.
Rainfall of three to seven inches has already fallen in the impacted areas, with another one to three inches possible through the afternoon. However, the National Weather Service says the waters appear to be receding in most of the areas hit the hardest Thursday morning.
A spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department told The Tennessean that they’ve responded to about 35 rescue calls from people caught in the high waters.
The wife of Tennessee’s Senate Minority Leader says she is considering a run for governor next year.
Sara Kyle, wife of Memphis Senator Jim Kyle, told The Tennessean she wants to help Democrats in the Volunteer State “move forward.” Sara Kyle resigned from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority in March after serving as director for 19 years.
Kyle says she doesn’t have a set timeframe on deciding whether or not to run for governor in 2014. With primaries still one year away, Democrats are seeking out potential challengers to Republican Governor Bill Haslam. Two Democratic state lawmakers—House Leader Craig Fitzhugh and Senator Lowe Finney—have taken their names out of consideration.
Kyle is the last woman to win a statewide office in Tennessee. In 1994, she won a spot on the three-person Public Service Commission, which later became the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
She’s also the most recent Democrat to win statewide office in Tennessee, along with former Governor Phil Bredesen.