Tennessee

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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