Tennessee

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.

A law limiting the purchase of cold and allergy medicines used to make illegal methamphetamine is among those taking effect Tuesday in Tennessee.

The anti-meth law requires a prescription to obtain more than 28.8 grams of pseudoephedrine per year, which is the equivalent of about five months' worth of the maximum dosage of medicines like Sudafed.

According to the governor's office, 268 children were removed from their homes last year because of meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized.

Also taking effect on Tuesday is a measure that requires more disclosure from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, as well as a statute that allows the state to use the electric chair to execute death row inmates.

Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker, who served as Senate majority leader in the 1980s and chief of staff under President Ronald Reagan, has died at 88, his law firm said Tuesday.

Tennessee's governor has signed a bill that would allow the state to use the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam confirmed to The Associated Press that the legislation had been signed after passing the state Senate by a 23-3 vote and the House by a 68-13 margin.

The AP reports:

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 Governor Appeals Same-Sex Marriage Order

Mar 18, 2014

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.

Tennessee Governor Announces Anti-Meth Legislation

Jan 16, 2014
Barren County Drug Task Force

Governor Bill Haslam is proposing legislation that would require a prescription for more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines that are used to make methamphetamine.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the bill is meant to target the purchase of large amounts of medicines from a variety of stores, which is known as "smurfing."

The monthly amount of cold medicines like Sudafed that could be purchased without a prescription is the equivalent to the average total purchased by Tennesseans each year.

Haslam's office noted that 268 children were removed from their homes last year due to meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized.

GOP Senator Alexander Opposes U.S. Strike on Syria

Sep 9, 2013
alexander.senate.gov

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.

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