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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012Bill requiring monoxide detectors in RVs advances (WKRN-TV Nashville)A bill that would require working carbon monoxide detectors in leased recreational vehicles comes out of tragelast fall in Clarksvil le The bil l, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts, of Clarksvil le, was advanced in a Housubcommittee on Tuesday. Christine and Ed Watson, both of Clarksville, showed a picture of their daughKathryn Over, and her husband, Jonathan, who w ere among the five killed last September during a Bikers WCare event "I said we have got to do something," Christine Watson told Nashville's News 2 shortly after the moved out of the comm ittee "We just don't want this to happen again," is the message she and her husband have spread since the weeks following the deaths of their daughter and four other adult victims. The Watsosaid the bill, co-sponsored by Clarksville Senator Tim Barnes, would prevent future tragedies by requiringworking carbon monoxide detector in RVs Police said the deaths were accidental after a generator was founear a vent for the trailer and all the windows and doors were shut. dvances

Romney names Gov. Haslam chair of Tenn. campaign (Associated Press)Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has named Gov. Bill Haslam his campaign chairmanTennessee. The Romney campaign also announced Tuesday that it has gathered a full slate of 48 delegcandidates on the Tennessee ballot, led by former Gov. Winfield Dunn. Haslam said in a statement that tdelegates represent the statewide strength of the Rom ney campaign in Tennessee. Early voting for TennesseMarch 6 p residential primary begins Wednesday. Rom ney supported Haslam in the state's 2010 governor's raand Haslam's father and brother also hold leadership positions in the former Massachusetts governoTennessee operations.

Haslam to head Romney campaign in Tennessee (Times Free-Press/Carroll)Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney named Gov. Bill Haslam his statewide campaign chairmTuesday just as a new poll showed the former Massachusetts governor trailing Rick Santorum in Tenness"I'm pleased to have so much support in Tennessee," Romney said in a news release. "Voters in the VolunteState have been hit hard by the Obama economy." In the same news release, the Romney cam paign said it hrounded up "a full slate" of 48 delegate candidates on the Tennessee ballot, including Wayne Cropp, of Hixsand Oscar Brock, of Lookout M ountain. Haslam said the number of delegates "represents the strong support Mhas from Memphis to Mountain City." But with early voting set to begin today, a new poll puts Romneypercentage points behind Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania with no organizationTennessee. The American Research Group Inc. poll telephoned 600 likely GOP voters Feb. 8-9 and fouSantorum winning with 34 percent, followed by Romney at 27 percent, Newt Gingrich at 16 percent and RPaul at 13 percent, the Knoxville News Sentinel report

Romney names Haslam chairman of Tennessee campaign (Nooga)Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Tuesday that Gov. Bill Haslam will serve as stchairman for his campaign in Tennessee The announcement comes one month after Haslam announced would support the former Massachusetts governor in his bid for the White House. Haslam's support came assurprise, considering his brother and father's involvement with the Romney campaign and a previoendorsem*nt received from Romney during Haslam's gubernatorial bid. Haslam's specific duties are described at length in the release. Romney also revealed a full list of state delegate candidates who are ready

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support him on the Tennessee ballot. Haslam said the delegates represented "strong support" for R omneyTennessee. "This state of delegates represents the strong support Mitt has from Memphis to Mountain C iHaslam said. "He is committed to job growth across our state and nation, and his common sense approachresonate with Tennessee voters. He has the experience to lead, and this country needs a true leader."

Early voting gets under way for Tenn. primary (Associated Press/Schelzig)

Early voting for Tennessee's Republican presidential primary gets under way today. Voters can cast ballots frWednesday through Feb. 28. Tennessee is among 10 states holding their presidential primaries on Marchwhich is known as Super Tuesday. Gov. Bil l Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell are among a larnumber of state Republican leaders backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Senate Speaker RRamsey was an early supporter of Rick Perry, but has declined to endorse anyone since the Texas goverdropped out of the race. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's state leadership team includes state SStacey Campfield of Knoxville and Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport, while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's effis led by tea party activist Kay White of Johnson City.|newswell|text|News|s

State Reminding Voters of New ID Law As Early Voting Begins (WPLN-Rad


Early voting in Tennessee’s Presidential primary begins Wednesday, and state officials are trying to remivoters that they’ll need something new this year – a photo ID. The state department in charge of elections htried raising awareness of the new voter ID law for months, including town hall meetings in every county. But twill be the first statewide election since the law took effect in January. This w eek, Tennessee Secretary of StTre Hargett released a pair of public service announcements. “This law helps verify that the people who casting ballots are who they claim to be, so if you don’t have a valid ballot ID, please get one.” Voters withouphoto ID can sti l l get one for free through mid-March. Even with the awareness campaigns and free IDopponents say the law will suppress voter turnout. Liberal groups like Tennessee Citizen Action are collecting signatures in an effort to get the voter ID requirement repealed. President Barack Obama is the oDemocrat on the primary ballot in Tennessee. There are nine names on the Republican side, including all tmajor candidates and some who’ve dropped out. Election Day is March 6th, Super Tuesday.

East Tennesseans vote for first time with photo ID requirement (WATE-TV Knox.)Early voting starts W ednesday in Tennessee's primary and a number of local races. It will be the first time votgo to the polls since the state's new voter photo ID law took effect. Knox County election administrators heltraining session Tuesday afternoon to prepare poll workers. The state estimates about 126,000 registered votin Tennessee could be affected by the new law because they don't have a photo ID. Opponents say the chanhas left the poor, many seniors and the disabled with a good reason not to make it to the polls. As the debarages on, the law is the law. For most, no photo ID now means your vote won't count. Karen Gayle, who's beblind all her life, got a photo ID several years ago. She's relieved she did since it's now required to vote. "It wostop me, but it m ay stop a lot of people. People in general don't know how to deal with people w ith disabilitieGayle said. Lillian Burch, executive director of Disability Resource Center in Knoxville, is worried m any disabvoters who don't have an ID will be discouraged from casting a ballot because of the trouble and the travel. quirement

Safety comm issioner says protesters to leave (Associated Press)Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill G ibbons said Occupy Nashville protesters plan to leave the Capcomplex after spending more than five months encamped there. Gibbons told The Associated Press that protesters informed a state trooper patrolling the area that they plan to leave sometime Tuesday night. Tprotesters had said they were going to make a decision at a general assembly meeting Tuesday eveninProtesters have camped at the plaza since early October. Later that month state troopers arrested protestebut a Nashville judge ordered them released. The protesters reoccupied soon after with as many as 60 tentsthe plaza. The decision to move comes a couple of days before legislation is scheduled to be heard on House floor that aims to stop protesters from staying overnight on the plaza.

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TN lawmakers on future of Occupy Nashville camp (TN/Anderson, Sisk)Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday scheduled votes on legislation that would authorize the removal of OccuNashvi lle’s camp at the state Capitol, as protesters considered other options. The state House Representatives says it will vote Thursday morning on legislation that would punish unauthorized camping public grounds with a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. The Senate placed a vote on companion legislationits calendar for Thursday, too. An attempt to move the Occupy Nashville protest from the state Capitol to

city’s Public Square ended after several hours early Tuesday morning. One tent was set up on the lawn of city government headquarters Monday night. Early Tuesday, a Metro Nashville police officer told tent dweMatt Hamill a local ordinance barred camping there. Hamill packed up his tent and left. Protester Jason Stesaid the movem ent was “testing the waters” at Public Square. Metro police arrived there shortly after 5 a.m. aasked Hamill to leave. Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said the conversation was amicable and that protester left without incident.|topnews|text|News

Federal judge lifts decree on TennCare in child health care case (CP/Greenberg)A class action lawsuit challenging TennCare's treatment of children will be sent to the 6th U.S. Circuit CourtAppeals after a federal judge removed a 1998 consent decree against the state. John B., et. al vs. Emkes w

filed roughly 14 years ago, claiming TennCare failed to provide adequate treatment to children under coverage. Earlier in the case, Judge Thomas Wiseman put forth a consent decree that TennCare had to abideand ordered that the state had to meet those decrees — and standards of care — and before the case could dismissed. In the filing, Wiseman commended the Tennessee Justice Center, a family advocacy group, pushing the case and also applauded TennCare for adjusting to the decree. “The presentation of the proof befthe undersigned has been highly professional by both sides and, much to the credit of both sides, completdevoid of acrimony. The Consent D ecree has clearly served its purpose well in bringing about a level of servto the class members that is demonstrative of the compassion that is characteristic of the State of TennesseWiseman wrote. However, the TJC said they will appeal Wiseman's decision and continue to push the caforward. care-case

Ruling says TennCare now meets requirements (Tennessean/Wilemon)U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. ruled Tuesday that TennCare now meets its coverage obligationschildren, dismissing a 14-year-old class-action lawsuit filed by the Tennessee Justice Center. The legal advocaorganization said it will appeal the judge’s decision. Wiseman in his opinion wrote that TennCare had met trequirements of a 1998 consent agreement between it and the Tennessee Justice Center. That agreemerequired TennCare to do early and periodic screening of 750,000 M edicaid-eligible children and to provide thwith needed treatments. The goal under the agreement was to make sure that 80 percent of the children gregular checkups and dental care. Doctors who were w itnesses for the Tennessee Justice Center shared storof children not receiving adequate access to care, but the judge based his decision largely on the statdocumentation and numbers. “This testimony, while interesting and even compelling from a policy perspectiwas for the most part not d irectly related to the decision of whether the state is in substantial compliance with consent decree,” Wiseman wrote. The state’s screening rate for Medicaid-eligible children exceeded 90 percehe noted — 10 percentage points beyond the goal set in the consent requirement.|topnews|text|News

Chattanooga woman arrested in TennCare fraud (Chattanooga Times Free-PressA Chattanooga woman has been arrested after state officials said she tried to use the state's public health cinsurance program to pay for a forged prescription. Detrice Ann Moon, 42, has been indicted on one counTennCare fraud and one count of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, according to a nerelease from the state's Office of Inspector General. The indictment accuses Moon of altering a doctoprescription by adding the painkiller Lortab to the prescription, and attempting to use TennCare to pay for tdrugs. "Prescription drug fraud takes many forms such as altering a prescription to increase the quantityadding an additional drug," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said in the release. TennCare fraud can caa sentence of up to two years in prison, and attempting to obtain a controlled substance is punishable by two

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four years in prison, the release said. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-39toll free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to and follow the prompts that read "RepTennCare Fraud."

Chattanooga woman charged with TennCare fraud (WRCB-TV Chattanooga)A Chattanooga woman could face up to six years in prison for TennCare fraud. A release from the OfficeInspector General says Detrice Ann Moon is accused of forging a prescription for painkillers, and using the Sta

managed insurance to pay for it. In addition to a possible two-year prison sentence for the alleged fraud, year-old Moon could face up to an additional six years for attempting it. Since 2005, Tennessee authorities hacharged nearly 1,500 people with TennCare fraud and saved the program more than $173-mil li

Moon Arrested for TennCare Fraud (WTVC-TV Chattanooga)A Hamilton County woman is charged w ith trying to use TennCare to pay for a forged prescription. The OfficeInspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Detrice Ann Moon, 42, of Chattanooga. A HamiltCounty Grand Jury indicted Moon on one count of TennCare fraud and one count of attempting to obtaicontrolled substance by fraud. The indictment accuses her of altering a doctor’s prescription by adding tpainkiller Lortab to the prescription, and attempting to use TennCare to pay for the drugs. “Prescription drfraud takes many forms such as altering a prescription to increase the quantity or adding an additional dru

Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Medical providers across Tennessee are keeping a watchful efor this type of activity and working with law enforcement to stop it.”

State upholds firing of TN state trooper (Associated Press)State officials have upheld the firing of a Tennessee state trooper who pursued a suspect but then failed to stand give aid at the fatal crash that ended the chase. The Tennessee Department of Safety and HomelaSecurity did an internal investigation of former trooper Charles Morgan's actions after the Nov. 26 crash in KnCounty. The crash killed 20-year-old Gordon Kyle Anito when he slammed into a tree. Investigators sfollowing the chase, Morgan failed to stop and give aid when Anito's car crashed. Morgan was later fired appealed. WATE-TV in Knoxvil le reports that the ruling to uphold Morgan's termination was based upviolations of state rules and policies, including conduct unbecoming, neglect of duty and unsatisfactory jperformance (|newswell|text|News|s

Firing of THP trooper accused of leaving crash scene approved (WBIR-TV Knox.)Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons has approved the firinga THP trooper accused of not helping the victim of a fatal car crash. Investigators discovered thatapproximately 3:32 a.m. on Novem ber 26, Trooper Morgan was in pursuit of a 2005 Subaru Impreza when hiscar video showed he came up on the crashed vehicle, slowed down and did not stop. Trooper Morgan drove pthe crashed vehicle, terminated the pursuit and then pulled over. Kyle Anito, 20, of Halls, was killed. His parehave filed a lawsuit against Morgan. After an investigation into his actions, Morgan was served with a minimdue process letter for termination on January 30 and attended a minimum due process discussion on Feb"Trooper Charles Van Morgan's conduct in the early morning hours of November 26, 2011 was a prepresentation of the honorable men and women who serve on the Tennessee Highway Patrol," Department

Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. "Upon learning the circ*mstances and factsthe incident, we completed a thorough internal investigation into Trooper Morgan's actions. The Colonel of Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Deputy Commissioner both went to the scene and drove the same routesimilar conditions. Trooper Morgan's actions after the pursuit resulted in recommending his termination." -approved

Commissioner upholds dismissal of trooper involved in fatal chase (WVLT-TV)The decision to terminate the Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper involved in a deadly pursuit has been upheldthe Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) Commissioner Bill Gibbons. An investigation the Inspectional Services Bureau (ISB) determined Trooper Charles Van Morgan failed to stop and help after car he was chasing crashed early in the morning in November. “Trooper Charles Van Morgan's conduct in early morning hours of November 26, 2011 was a poor representation of the honorable men and women w

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serve on the Tennessee Highway Patrol," Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Gibbons said. Morgan claimed he clocked Kyle Anito going more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit atried to pull him over. during the pursuit, Anito's car struck a tree, killing him instantly. When Morgan appeareda due process hearing last week he told investigators he did everything he could to save the driver's life.

TDOT plans to rework Pellissippi merge lane (WATE-TV Knoxville)6 News received a number of complaints about a merge lane on Pellissippi Parkway where it crosses ovInterstate 40. Many are concerned about a traffic pattern which causes motorists traveling west on140/Pellissippi Parkway to merge left to avoid traffic coming off of I-40 west. The pattern has caused a headacfor drivers already on Pellissippi who have to move into the left lane to avoid the merging traffic. TDOSpokesman Mark Nagi said plans are in the works, but it may take a while to see any changes. "Right now yhave 2 lanes on I-40 westbound and one lane on I-140. The way it looks now is that it could be part ofresurfacing project in the future and it would swap that," said Nagi. "You'd have two lanes from I-140 and olane from I-40 westbound." No specific date has been set for the resurfacing project, but officials with TDOTRegional Construction Office said the project is most likely about 4-5 years away. ge-lane

TBI probing nursing home, patient abuse (Associated Press)The TBI is investigating allegations of patient abuse at a Johnson City nursing home where five employees wefired. The Tennessee Department of Health suspended admissions to Appalachian Christian Village on Thursdafter federal officials said the home failed to stop and immediately report allegations of the abuse of a dem enpatient, according to The Johnson City Press. Attorney Eric Ebbert, who represents the nursing home, said tfacility investigated and reported the incident five days after it was reported to have occurred. Ebbert said nurshome officials also reported it to local law enforcement. He confirmed three nursing assistants were fired afbeing accused of repeatedly spraying water onto a sleeping dementia patient to watch her reaction. Two otnursing assistants were fired for providing false information. A report by federal surveyors cited by newspaper states three CNA s who worked the night shift initiated irritating the patient in December, thinking reactions “would be comical.” The report states the assistants initially used tap water in a syringe that wsprayed onto a light fixture and the ceiling to drip onto the patient. In subsequent visits, the CNAs are accusedusing water from ice coolers and a toilet to spray onto exposed areas, such as the patient’s face and han

which surveyors noted cause the patient to awaken and curse and yell at her spouse to stop urinating on her.|topnews|text|News

TWRA Labs sniff out poachers (Knoxville News-Sentinel/Simmons)Macey is a 9-year-old yellow Labrador retriever with a full-time job. During a recent training session, handCampbell County wildlife officer Ken Cutsinger followed Macey through the woods as she tracked a setfootprints that led to an empty shotgun shell buried in the leaves. Next, Cutsinger removed Macey's trackharness and had her locate a spent 30-30 rifle cartridge along the edge of the dirt road. Some law enforcemdogs alert by barking or scratching. When Macey finds what she's looking for, she simply lies down. FinaCutsinger hid a deer tail atop the spare tire beneath a pickup truck. Starting at the front bumper, Macey gave vehicle a thorough olfactory inspection before locating the clump of fur. For her reward, Macey got to play w it

tennis ball. Macey is the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's first K-9 to be certified by the U.S. PolCanine Association. Instead of drugs or bombs, she's trained to track down poachers and wildlife carcasses. Scan even detect a pile of corn that's been put out to illegally bait turkey or deer. TWRA's K-9 Unit was launchin 2005 when Cutsinger and another wildlife officer named Amy Snider attended the Kentucky DepartmentFish and Wildlife Resources' K-9 academy for a 10-week training course. Their Labs — M acey and Jake — walmost 2 years old, and both dogs had been donated to help TWRA's fledgling K-9 program get off the ground

Fisk doesn't want art dispute in TN Supreme Court (Tennessean/Marsteller)The Tennessee Supreme Court shouldn’t enter the legal dispute over Fisk University’s Stieglitz art collectbecause it lacks jurisdiction, the school said in court papers Tuesday. New York law governs the case becauGeorgia O’Keeffe lived there when she donated the collection to Fisk in 1949, the school argues. That preve

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Tennessee’s highest court from taking the case because any decision it made would not settle any issueTennessee law or policy, Fisk argues. The Tennessee Attorney General’s office has asked the court to reviewappeals court decision that upheld Fisk’s art-sharing deal with an Arkansas art museum. Crystal BridgMuseum of Am erican Art would pay Fisk $30 million for a half-interest in the collection of Alfred StiegO’Keeffe’s late husband. The state says the proposed deal violates a no-sale stipulation set by O’Keeffe, wdied in 1986. Fisk disagrees. S03/302150107/Fisk-doesn-t-want-art-dispute-TN-Supreme-Court?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|News|s

Fisk Seeks To Stop Appeal Of Art Collection Sharing (WTVF-TV Nashville)On Tuesday, F isk University filed legal opposition in an effort to stop an appeal from the State Attorney Generegarding the prized Stieglitz Art Collection In Novem ber, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that Fisk coco-own and share the collection with an art museum in Arkansas. The Stieglitz Art Collection donated by arGeorgia O'Keeffe has been the center of controversy at the University for several years. The Attorney Genehas argued that the no-sale condition imposed by Georgia O'Keeffe cannot be violated and that's why it wapermission to appeal the Tennessee Appeals Court ruling. Fisk University stated Tuesday that they believed tthe Tennessee Supreme Court would not grant appeal on the subject due to a lack of relevancy to the pub"Two of the considerations used by the Supreme Court in deciding whether or not to grant an appeal is whetor not its decision would settle an important legal issue or settle an important question of public policy. Becauthe case is controlled by the law of New York, where O'Keeffe then resided and where the art was originalocated, a decision of the Tennessee Supreme Court would not settle any issue of law or policy because

decision would not be binding on cases filed in Tennessee under Tennessee law," said the Un iversity in a pubrelease. n-sharing

Tennessee lottery has record week (WBIR-TV Knoxville)The Tennessee Lottery says they've just had their biggest week of ticket sales ever. Total gross sales we$37,426,806 for the week ending Feb. 12, setting an in-state record and shattering the previous mark set the fweek of the lottery's operation in January 2004. The lottery attributes the big week to several factors, includingiant Powerball jackpot of $336 million and the new $3,000,000 Mega Cash instant game. Powerball wrecently redesigned to offer bigger jackpots and better odds of winning. "What an incredible week for lott

players and for education in Tennessee!" said Rebecca Hargrove, President and CEO of the TennessEducation Lottery Corporation. "We work to add innovative features to our line of games, which keeps the Lottfun for our players and benefits our mission of assisting students and their families." The previous record Tennessee Lottery ticket sales was set during its launch week in January 2004, when the excitement of a nlottery created $34,614,300 in instant ticket sales alone. In this past fiscal year, the Lottery announced an all-tihigh transfer of $293.5 million to education programs in the state, an increase of $4.6 million over the previorecord set last year. The Lottery also reported a record-breaking $1.19 billion in total sales, which was a 4percent increase over the previous year. ecord-week

Bill to crackdown on dom estic assault advancing (Associated Press)A proposal to crackdown on domestic violence is advancing in the Senate despite its financial impact on lo

governments. The measure, which is an administration bill, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-0 Tuesday. It adds fines and jail time for second and subsequent convictions of domestic assault. The cost to logovernments would be over $8 m illion because those convicted would serve their time in local jails. RepublicSen. Doug Overbey of Maryville, who is carrying the bill, said Gov. Bill Haslam has appropriated close$800,000 in his budget for the legislation. Overbey said he's spoken with the administration and hopes to fways to lessen the impact on local governments. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the House JudiciCommittee.|newswell|text|News|p

ECD Secrecy Bill Now Ready for Floor Vote in both Senate, state House (WPLN)A bill that would make information secret when a company seeks money from the state was cleared by Commerce Committee in the Tennessee House Tuesday. The bill passed easily with minimal discussion. Tha

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in striking contrast from what happened in the state Senate Monday night. The proposal was delayed in the stSenate after Democrat Roy Herron questioned how taxpayers would know who got money from the state. Tlegislation is a high profile proposal from the governor. It would m ake application information off the record wha company applies for tax incentives, grant money, or money for what’s called “Fast-Track” training. Supportsay the proposal would help the state m ake better decisions on which companies should receive taxpayer monbecause it would get m ore financial information if the application is kept secret. With the quick approval from House Commerce Committee, the bill is now free to be taken up on the House floor. The bill will come back again in the Senate on Thursday . 75

Guns in parking lots bill delayed in Senate panel (Associated Press)The sponsor of a bill seeking to guarantee workers' rights to store firearms in vehicles parked on company lohas delayed a committee vote on the measure until next m onth. Republican Sen. Mike Faulk said in a SenJudiciary Committee meeting on Tuesday that he wants supporters of the measure to speak to the panel neweek, and opponents to voice their opinions before a vote on March 6. Proponents say the bill is necessary workers who want to be armed on their commutes have a place to keep their firearms while on the joOpponents say the measure tramples on businesses' property r ights. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam hexpressed concern about scope of Faulk's proposal.|newswell|text|News|s

The New War Against Synthetic Drugs (WTVF-TV Nashville)State lawmakers have called synthetic drugs a deadly epidemic. There's now a number of new pushes at Capitol to get the dangerous drugs off the streets. While the drugs sold in convenience stores as potpouherbal incense, or bath salts sound harmless, many Tennesseeans have died using these products "There habeen instances in which these synthetic drugs have triggered severe mental reactions which have resultedhospitalization," said Nashville State Representative Mike S tewart State lawmakers have been getting an eaabout the issue. A 7th grade class recently told State Rep Tony Shipley they even knew kids who had usSynthetic Drugs. "Then I asked them, I said how many of you all had taken some, no hands went up, but halthe heads went down, body language said that 50% of our 7th graders are messing with something that can them," Shipley told us. In response lawmakers have filed a number of bills designed to stop these drugs frobeing sold. Representative Shipley's bill makes it a felony to sell synthetic drugs. Representative Stewalegislation would allow you to sue the store owner. There are other measures that would suspend the beertobacco license of the store where you bought it.


New Law Could Change Kindergarten Entrance Age (WTVF-TV Nashville)A newly proposed law could change the age that children start school. The new bill is called House Bill 2566 ait would require all kindergarten students to have turned five years old by the end of July. Currently a child hashave his or her 5th birthday by September 30th to be eligible for kindergarten in the fall. Representative GCasada said he proposed the new age after talking to lots of teachers. He said too many kids are starting schbefore they are ready, which sets them up for problems down the road. "So this legislation simply wants to syou will be 5 by July 31, or you test out where your m aturity is 5-years-old. So that will be the two criteria to enkindergarten," said Casada. The Budget Subcommittee will vote on the bill early next week.

Motorcycle helmet law could be changed soon (Bristol Herald-Courier)If you ride a motorcycle in Tennessee current law requires you to wear a helmet, but that may soon chanHouse Bill 26-61 would make helmet-wearing optional for bikers 21 or older if the bill is passed. "If you wantwear a helmet w ear a helmet, and if you don't you know it should be your choice,” said motorcyclist Billy Gosn"People seem to really know the importance of a helmet, but they really want to be able to choose if they weardon't,” said Jason Smith, owner of Smith Brothers Harley Davidson in Johnson City. Choice is what tcontroversy over the Tennessee helmet law boils down to for motorcycle owners, and on the side of the helmissue is AAA of Tennessee. "In state where they have already relaxed those laws, the percentage of heinjuries that resulted in a fatality has actually increased,” said Donna Ottinger, AAA brand manager in JohnsCity. AAA says that 92% of Tennesseans want the helmet law left as is because of the lives that could be savand because of the financial cost of treating head injuries where helmets are not worn. "You know it is onethose things that we"ll save lives and we'll save money in medical costs in the long run,” said Ottinger.

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Deal saves state wildlife commission, gives it a new name (N-S/Hum phrey)A legislative impasse that threatened existence of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission wpotentially eliminated Tuesday with House committee approval of a bill that would change the commissioname but not its basic functions. The House Conservation Subcommittee approved the measure sponsoredRep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, after amending it to comport with a deal Matheny said was endorsed by G

Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell. The panel rejected attempts by Rep. Frank N iceley, R-StrawbePlains, to change the Matheny measure. He contended that "broad language" in some places would increase commission's powers. Niceley also proposed a change to have the governor appoint the executive director of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency instead of the comm ission. The subcommittee also spurned that idea. amended, HB2776 would rename the commission the Tennessee Fish and W ildlife Commission, but membersthe current commission would serve out their terms.

Effort to Rework TWRA Fails (WPLN-Radio Nashville)An effort to dramatically change the commission which oversees the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agenfailed yesterday. The panel that regulates hunting and fishing is due to expire this summer after coming undfire recently for new rules on hunting wild hogs. Republican Frank N icely of Knoxville says the restrictions ma

hunters angry. He says they think it is unreasonable to ban what species they hunt or how they hunt it. “I wena meeting the other night with 600 bear hunters, bear and hog hunters, and they’re mad at the commission. Thwant to have something that’s more responsive. They feel like they’re trying to do away with hunting whounds.” Nicely wants to end the 13-member TWRA commission and replace it with a single commissioneoversee the agency. But his effort was blocked by the chairman of the panel reviewing the proposal. The Housubcommittee instead approved legislation that keeps the current TWRA framework and merely renames commission. Members would also be barred from consecutive terms. Tullahoma Republican Judd Matheny’plan goes before the full House Conservation and Environment Committee next week. 77

Ford of Mem phis recalls experiences with ‘mean and hateful’ nurses (CA/Locker)State Sen. Ophelia Ford told a Senate committee Tuesday that a bill to increase penalties for assaulting heacare professionals is "ludicrous," and said she was treated by "mean and hateful nurses" in recent years. "I'm telling it all, because it was so horrible you could not even believe it," said Ford, D-Memphis. She added lathat she was restrained during a hospital stay during which "I didn't even know where I was." She said that "theare kind nurses too, and usually they know how to handle themselves." Senate Bill 2658, proposed by tTennessee Nurses Association, would enhance penalties for assault and aggravated assault against health cproviders acting in the discharge of their duties. It won narrow 5-4 approval in the Senate Judiciary Commitdespite Ford's objections during a 30-minute debate. Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, said federal BureauLabor Statistics figures indicate that the health care sector leads all other industries in the number of em ployesubjected to nonfatal assaults. But Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, joined Ford in arguing against the bsaying perpetrators of assault should be punished equally regardless of who the victim is.

Lawmakers want tougher standards on illegal immigrants' bail (WSMV-T

Nashville)Some Tennessee state lawmakers want judges to consider a person's legal status before setting bail. They stoo m any times illegal immigrants are leaving the country instead of facing punishment. This plan would oaffect cases in which an illegal immigrant is involved in a car accident that causes injury or death. It worequire judges to take into consideration that person's legal status as a possible flight risk, which could leadhigher bail.While the plan would increase incarceration costs, lawmakers said it will decrease the amount of m oney and tispent looking for people who jump bail. "Because the circ*mstances surrounding these limited situations areegregious, I think they need to be taken into consideration. And that's literally all we are trying to do," said R

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Joe Carr, R-Lascassas. The plan passed and will soon head for a full house floor vote. In the same committelawmakers passed a plan to get tougher on child sex trafficking by increasing the penalties and going afcompanies that post ads soliciting child sex.

State Rep. Wants Higher Bails Set For Illegal Immigrants (WTVF-TV Nashville)Should higher bails be set for illegal immigrants involved in crashes that result in serious injuries or death? O

state lawmaker says, yes. S tate Representative Joe Carr wants to automatically treat illegal immigrants in thosituations as flight risks, which would lead to higher bail amounts. Carr said he hopes the bill would ensure tsuspects don't bond out and leave the country and instead force them to face justice for their actions. migrants

TN state Sen. Mae Beavers involved in legal dispute (Tennessean/Anderson)A state senator and a former congressional candidate are embroiled in a legal dispute over an investment insmall community newspaper. The lawsuit, in progress in Wilson County Chancery Court, raises questions aswhether state Sen. Mae Beavers properly disclosed sources of income with the Tennessee Ethics Com missiOn Monday, she filed new statement of disclosure of interest forms, accounting for what was either investment or loan — the sides are disputing which it was — as a source of income, nearly two years after tfact. State law requires that legislators report sources of income greater than $200 each year and t

statements be amended from “time to time” as conditions change, according to Drew Rawlins, executive direcof the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. Beavers said she initially was advised she didn’t havedisclose the deal, but didn’t want to get into details because the matter is in court. In May 2010, Beavers and husband, Jerry Beavers, either invested or loaned $50,000 to a group that planned to purchase the MacCounty Chronicle, according to court documen|topnews|text|N ews

Publisher calls Beavers' $50,000 an investment in MCC, not loan (TFP/Sher)The publisher of the Macon County Chronicle in court documents is disputing assertions made by Sen. MBeavers, R-Mount Juliet, that she owes the lawmaker principal and interest on a $50,000 loan used to purchathe newspaper. Rather, Kathryne Belle alleges in her Wilson County Chancery Cou rt response there was no loand that Beavers had joined an investors group and "invested" the money in the newspaper on May 26, 201"This investment was funded through a cashier's check issued by Cedarstone Bank, payable to Main StreMedia LLC from Choice Community Newspapers LLC," Belle's attorneys state in their response, filed Tuesd"Co-plaintiff Mae Beavers delivered said cashier's check to Defendant Belle for the specific purpose of investin the venture and to make payment of the May 21, 2010 installment [payment] due to Main Street Media purchase of the Macon County Chronicle," the filing says. It also alleges that Lou Ann Zelnick, a Republican wmade a failed 2010 primary bid in the 6th Congressional District, "invested" $36,000 in the newspaper venturewell. Former Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, recently contended in a posting on her Facebook page that tloan or investment came about the time the newspaper began attacking her in her bitter 2010 GOP Senaprimary battle with Beavers.

State Sen. Mae Beavers sues publisher; Democrat eyes party swit

(NS/Humphrey)The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is engaged in a court dispute over the purpose of $50,000 powerful senator and her husband provided to the publisher of a newspaper. Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Julcontends in a Chancery Court lawsuit that the money was a loan, proper payments have not been made aKathryne Bell, publisher of the Macon County Chronicle, should be required to return the money with intereBut Bell contends in a response to the lawsuit that the $50,000 was an investment in the newspaper, not a loand Beavers received an interest in the enterprise in return. Beavers told the Chattanooga Times Free Press tthe dispute is a "personal matter" that will be resolved in court. She did amend the financial disclosure statemthat state law requires for legislators to list the $50,000 — as a "personal loan" — on Monday. The money wnot listed earlier, though the law requires listing investments or loans of greater than $5,000. Bell's responsethe lawsuit also says that Lou Ann Zelnick of Murfreesboro, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congrein 2010, invested $36,000 in the newspaper.

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Dean moves to run for Tennessee Senate (Chattanooga Times Free-Press/Sher)State Rep. Vince Dean, R-East R idge, has picked up papers to run for the Senate D istrict 10 seat, currently hby Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga. Berke is weighing a race for mayor of Chattanooga. MeanwhRepublican Larry Grohn has picked up papers to run in the House District 30 seat now represented by D eAlso picking up qualifying papers to run for the 28th Legislative District House seat are Democratic Re

Tommie Brown and JoAnne Favors, whose districts largely were merged in redistricting recently passed by Republican-controlled General Assembly. Candidates have until April 5 to file qualifying petitions. Dean saMonday he plans to get the 25 signatures necessary to qualify. "I think it's obvious my core values ... stronrepresent the majority of the redrawn 10th Senate District," Dean said. "I think the voting record will show athat I represent the values of the majority in that district." Dean already has made forays into Republican-leanBradley County, portions of which GOP lawmakers added to the district along with Republican-leaning ERidge.

Tennessee sales tax rate highest among 50 states (Times Free-Press/Flessner)Tennessee has the highest combined state and local sales tax rate of any state, the Tax Foundation reporttoday. The 7 percent state sales tax rate in Tennessee, combined with an average 2.45 percent local sales t

rate across the state, boosts the Volunteer State’s sales tax rate to the highest among the 50 states with average tax levy on purchases of 9.45 percent. The other states with the highest combined state and local satax rates, in order, are Arizona (9.12 percent), Louisiana (8.85 percent), Washington (8.80 percent), aOklahoma (8.66 percent). According to the Tax Foundation, five states do not have a statewide sales tAlaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. “Retail sales taxes are a transparent way to collect revenue,” said Scott Drenkard, an economist for the Tax Foundation. “While graduated income tax rates abrackets are complex and confusing to many taxpayers, the sales tax is easier to understand. People can reainto their pocket and see the rate printed on a receipt.”

Early voting begins in TN today, negative ads soon to follow (Tenn/Cass, Sisk)As Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt G ingrich spent weeks savaging each other acrothe country with thousands of negative TV ads, rival Rick Santorum managed to remain unscathed — and fouhimself soaring on a winning streak. But as the campaigns turn their attention to Tennessee and nine othSuper Tuesday states, Santorum’s time for a harsher turn in the spotlight might have arrived. “Gingrich aRomney have both brought each other down, and Santorum has benefited,” said John Geer, a political scienat Vanderbilt University who specializes in the study of negative political ads. “I suspect that the next two to thweeks are not going to be kind to him.” Tennesseans will start going to the polls today to vote early in the Ma6 presidential preference primary, which could help decide who will face President Barack Obama in N ovembWhile GOP turnout hasn’t been as energetic as expected in several primary and caucus states, the VoluntState has a chance to have more impact than it typically does two months into the process.|topnews|text|N ews

Early voting begins today in Hamilton County (Times Free-Press/Haman)Early voting begins today at four sites in Hamilton County, and local officials remind those headed to the pollsremember their photo IDs. The early voting ballot will be for the March 6 primaries, including the U.S. presidenrace, two county special elections -- one for commission District 3 and another for county mayor -- and counproperty assessor. "Early voting offers a convenient way for voters to cast their ballots without worrying abomaking it to the polls on Election Day," said Hamilton County Elections Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morg"The added flexibility allows individuals to work voting into their already busy schedules." Absentee ballots astill available at the Election Commission and may be requested until Feb. 28. To get an absentee ballot, c423-493-5100. "They have to call and the person who wants it has to request it, and then we send them application in the mail," Mullis-Morgan said. "We have to send it to w here they tell us they are." y/?local


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Primary Battle Starts Locally With Early Voting (Mem phis Daily News)Early voting in the Tennessee presidential primary begins W ednesday, Feb. 15, but the Republican presidencontenders have Arizona and Michigan on their minds. The early voting period in advance of the MarchElection Day also includes a set of Shelby County primaries for General Sessions Court clerk, Shelby Coudistrict attorney general, property assessor and one Shelby County Commission seat. The winners in thoprimaries advance to the August county general election ballot. The Arizona and M ichigan primaries are Feb. with Tennessee one of several Super Tuesday states holding primaries March 6. The GOP presiden

contenders are battling not only for delegates in Tennessee but a larger group of delegates in O hio and G eoron the same day. Early voting in Shelby County begins Wednesday at Shelby County Election Commissheadquarters, 157 Poplar Ave., only. It expands Tuesday, Feb. 21, to 20 locations across the county, with F28 as the last day of the early-voting period at all locations. rly-voting/

Early voting under way for March 6 primaries (Times-News)Early voting for March 6 party primaries gets under way today in Tennessee. Voters in Sullivan County havchoice of three early voting locations: • Sullivan County Election Office, 3258 Highway 126, BlountvilleKingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport. • National Guard Armory, 611 B luff City HighwBristol. Early voting in Sullivan County w ill be: Feb 15-17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon; F21-24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon; and Feb. 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Voters who go

the polls may cast a ballot in either the Democratic Party primary or the Republican Party primary — not boVoters are not registered by party in Tennessee. “Primaries are not technically elections. It is the process which members of both parties nominate candidates to represent their party in the general election,” SullivCounty Administrator of Elections Jason Booher told the Times-News late last month. “The winner of a primarnot elected to office nor gains any power to represent the people. It is the w inner of the general election whoelected to office. Contrary to popular belief, voters are not registered by party in Tennessee. rimaries

Early voting for primary starts today (Daily News Journal)Folks participating in early voting that starts today have lots of Republican choices and three uncontestDemocrats competing in the March 6 primary. The voters will choose their party’s nominees for president atwo Rutherford County offices: property assessor and road superintendent. When it comes to property assessthe Republicans candidates are incumbent Bill Boner, Lance Jenkins and Will iam C. Austin II. The loDemocrat seeking to be property assessor is Rob Mitchell. Austin sees the Republican candidates bringing ofar more voters who agree with them on the issues. “I just believe there’s going to be a large Republican turn around the nation for not just local races but primarily for the presidential race,” Austin said. “I think it’s goingbe a proven fact that we will see a huge Republican turn out and maybe even independents and Democravoting Republican this time. For the majority, I think it’s because they are fed up with the way the nation is berun. Small businesses are upset with our government, and I think there’s going to be a big push for peoplevote. Taxation w ithout representation is happening all over again.” Boner also foresees far more Republicvoters coming out to the polls.

Civil service protection talks end (Associated Press)The Tennessee State Employees Association said Tuesday it has ended discussions with Gov. Bill Haslaadministration about legislation that would eliminate most civil service protections for state workers. Rob

O'Connell, the group's executive director, said in statements that several weeks of discussions have endbecause the "governor's people were unwilling to remove or compromise on the provisions most harmful to stemployees." Haslam's proposal would eliminate rules that allow bumping and retreating, w hich associatofficials say removes seniority as a prime protection for state employees when layoffs are deemed necessaThe proposal would also strip the right of a person who is laid off to be called back to work if the econoimproves. Haslam spokesman D avid Smith said he felt the discussions were productive and that the group masome reasonable suggestions, "many of which have been incorporated into our legislation." However, acknowledged the administration has some philosophical disagreements with the association.|newswell|text|News|s

State employees group ends talks with Haslam (Tennessean/Sisk)


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Tennessee’s biggest public employees association broke off talks with Gov. Bill Haslam Tuesday, saying tadministration would not yield ground on planned reforms to the state’s system for hiring and firing governmworkers. The Tennessee State Employees Association said the adm inistration would not bend on provisions tit believes will dismantle the state’s civil service system. The group m et with Haslam aides four times and m aseveral concessions, said TSEA spokesman Chris Dauphin. But the administration would not bend on Haslamproposals to change how layoffs are handled, his plan to give department heads m ore flexibility on who they hor his plan to strip career government employees of “due process” protections. “ ‘Firm’ was definitely useDauphin said. The governor’s office confirmed the disagreement in a statement but did not elaborate previously stated positions. TSEA leaders have expressed skepticism toward some of Haslam’s proposals frthe outset. But until now they have not opposed his bill — known as the Tennessee Excellence Accountabiand Management, or TEAM Act — saying they preferred to try to work with the administration on compromlegislation.|topnews|text|News

Tennessee state workers oppose Haslam's civil service changes (TFP/Sher)The Tennessee State Employees Association said Gov. Bill Haslam's administration refuses to compromise the "most harmful provisions" of a Haslam bill the group says damages workers' civil service protectio"Unfortunately, the governor's people were unwilling to remove or compromise on the provisions most harmfustate employees and to the people of Tennessee, leaving TSEA no choice but to announce our stronge

opposition to the bill," TSEA Executive Director Robert O'Connell said Tuesday. The Republican governor's eliminates rules that give priority to senior employees during layoffs, allowing them to move into positiooccupied by less-senior employees. Haslam has denounced the "bump and retreat" rules as absurd. O'Connsaid it would effectively let the administration "get rid of employees they don't like under the rules of eliminating'position.'" The bill faces its first test today w hen it is scheduled to come before the GO P-controlled House Stand Local Government General Subcommittee. ges/?local

State Employees Association Pulls Out of Talks with Governor (WPLN-Radio)The Tennessee State Employees Association is walking away from talks with the governor regarding plansoverhaul civil service rules. Once complimentary of the Haslam Administration’s openness to input, the TSnow says it has “no choice” but to announce its “strongest opposition.” A key sticking point for the employe

association is the proposed elimination of rules that allow state workers – if their positions are cut – to take jobs of less senior employees. Governor Haslam has described the system – called “bumping” – as “antiquateState workers dispute claims that bumping causes complicated chain reactions. And TSEA president PMorson says scrapping seniority would waste what he calls “the considerable investment” that’s been madeexperienced employees. The employees association is asking that the General Assembly not pass the bill incurrent form. The legislation is slated for discussion in a subcommittee on Wednesday. 71

Chattanooga commits $3.2 million to tackling sewer stench (TFP/Hardy)After spirited debate, the Chattanooga City Council approved a $3.2 million project to clean up the MoccaBend Wastewater Treatment Plant in an attempt to curtail sewer stench downtown and in North ChattanoogNot all council members were anxious to spend the money, however. "Let us not think of this as the panaceacure all that ails us in the downtown area," said Councilwoman Deborah Scott. "We have to consider o

alternatives," agreed Councilman Andraé McGary. Both opposed the project and suggested other wayscombat the smell such as retrofitting catch basins downtown. Councilman Jack Benson countered, saying, "Wpay our engineers good money, and I think it's a failing on our part not to listen to them." He then called up JeStewart, director of water resources, and asked him for his credentials and education as an engineer befasking him point blank how the city should invest its money. Stewart said the proposed project would not oimprove air quality but also clean built up corrosion at the plant and make it safer. nch/?local

Hamilton County leads state in jailer arrest rate (Times Free-Press/Burger)The Hamilton County Jail has the highest percentage of corrections officers arrested in the past year out of state's four largest metro areas. From the beginning of 2011 to date, six corrections officers out of about 157 employees at the local jail have been arrested. In 2010, only one corrections officer was arrested. While more


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employees in Nashville and Memphis were arrested in the same time period -- 10 in Nashville and 12Memphis -- those cities have much larger staffs, leading to a lower percentage of employees who violated law. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said the higher numbers at his jail are not a poor reflection on tdepartment's hiring procedures and, in fact, show that they're doing their job well. "I don't think you can read ithe number that we're doing more or less enforcement. I think it is what it is with that many employeeHammond said. "You have people who test the system and make bad decisions. The fact that we catch peodoing this shows we're doing due diligence."

Shelby County could supplant sales tax hike by municipalities (CA/Bailey)1963 act gives option if suburban towns seek to raise funds for local schools If any suburban governmapproves holding a referendum for a half-cent bump in the local sales tax rate to help fund municipal schools, county would have 40 days to supersede the move by seeking a similar increase countywide. The 1963 LoOption Revenue Act gives the county commission that length of time to consider passing its own resolutasking that voters throughout the county consider a referendum affecting all of Shelby County. If votcountywide approve the sales tax increase, "the (suburban) ordinance is dead," according to a 2007 Local SaTax Handbook by Dennis Huffer, Municipal Technical Advisory Service legal consultant. However, if the ovevote fails, the suburban city could then continue with the local referendum process. The 40-day factor has bementioned only a couple of times in public meetings by consultants with Southern Educational Strategies, wconducted feasibility studies for municipal schools for Shelby County's six suburbs.

Southaven Chamber auditors air findings on Davis (CA/Jones, Perrusquia)Newly released audit reports call into question large entertainment reimbursem*nts the Southaven ChamberCommerce paid Mayor Greg Davis without receipts or other documentation. The reports released Tuesday the chamber to The Commercial Appeal include a statement by auditors saying they "were unable to examisufficient documentation'' involving $75,800 in expenses incurred in 2008 and 2009. Overall, Davis is believedhave received as much as $123,807 from the chamber between 2008 and 2010 for expenses incurred whpromoting the city to prospective businesses. A source familiar with the reports said the chamber couldn't fuauditors' demands for documentation because the organization didn't require Davis to submit receipts and simaccepted periodic handwritten invoices from the mayor. The chamber released the reports a full month after tnewspaper requested records documenting Davis' spending. Internal records on the matter are still be

withheld. The developments come a day after Davis spoke publicly for the first time abou t a state audit and Fprobe into allegations he misspent $153,000 in entertainment and travel reimbursem*nts he received from tcity. In an interview w ith The Com mercial Appeal on M onday, Davis declined to discuss details of that spendibut said he wants "the public to be patient and wait because all the facts will come out.''

Tennessee lawmakers harangue Obama budget proposal (Nooga)President Barack Obama revealed his $3.8 trillion budget for 2013 Monday, and if Republican lawmakers frTennessee have anything to do with it, it stands no chance of passing. Congressmen and senators immediatissued scathing responses to Obama's proposal, within hours of its announcement. Rep. Chuck Fleischmacalled it "unacceptable," and he said he would be introducing legislation later this week geared at reforming tbudget process "in a way that significantly reduces discretionary spending." "The president has once ag

introduced a budget that will produce a deficit of over $1 tri ll ion—his fourth budget in a row to do sFleischmann said. "It is filled with m ore stimulus spending and tax increases and is a continuation of his policthat have already failed. This budget also m eans the president will fail to live up to his pledge to cut the deficihalf by the end of his first term." Fleischmann's neighboring congressman, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, said he wobe willing to "sit down with the president" and offer him assistance with making difficult budgetary decisio"While this budget may appease portions of his political base, it fundamentally ignores the problems that nation currently faces," he said.

Wamp pitches plan to Pachyderm (Nooga)Weston Wamp's bid for Congress is audacious, and he knows it. Wamp, the 24-year-old Republican candidfor Tennessee's 3rd District, made the case to a full room of Hamilton County Pachyderm Club memb


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Thursday for why he's seeking to unseat Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and what he would do should he find succein his first pursuit of office. The ideas include eliminating pensions for members of Congress, cutting corportax rates and instituting a 5 percent across-the-board cut on the federal government. During his 24-minuspeech, Wamp refused to shy away from criticisms regarding his youth. Being the son of former 3rd District RZach Wamp wasn't an issue to the candidate either—instead, it's a reality he embraces. "I've been running Congress for four months, and I've been criticized only for two things," Wamp said at the beginning his addre"For being young, and for being Zach Wamp's son. Well, I think more young people need to engage in tpolitical process. And I'll never apologize for being Zach Wamp's son." Wamp steered clear of attackFleischmann or any his fellow Republican challengers during his address, acknowledging them as "gocandidates" and nothing more. But his effort to distinguish himself from the politician-as-usual was on full displas Wamp made the case for why sending a person from his age group to Washington would be an asset to t3rd District instead o f a liability.

Courts block efforts at public pension change (Stateline)A pair of recent court rulings could slow down state lawmakers’ efforts to increase contributions from curreemployees to prop up troubled public pension plans. Higher employee contributions were at the center of mapublic pension changes approved last year in Arizona and New Hampshire, which joined 10 states in boostthe share that current workers must chip in to their retirement plans through payroll deductions. The stagovernment also pays in to the plans from taxpayer dollars, so an increase in worker contributions often mea

the state can reduce its cost of providing retirement benefits. But district court judges in Arizona and NHampshire said the higher contributions were unconstitutional because they broke the contract betweemployees and the state, which guarantees workers that they will not be asked to pay additional amounts afbeing hired unless they receive improved benefits in return. This legal precept traces to the U.S. Constitutiwhich bars lawmakers from diminishing or impairing a contract. ry?contentId=632205

US Energy Secretary touring Oak Ridge Laboratory (Associated Press)U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is touring the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Nuclear Modeling aSimulation Energy Innovation Hub. The hub uses some of the world's most powerful computers to impronuclear reactor design and engineering. Chu's tour w ill promote the Obam a administration's support for nucleenergy. The Wednesday afternoon tour comes after a morning visit to the Vogtle nuclear power plantWaynesboro, Ga. That's the site of the first two new nuclear power units to be built in the Un ited States in mothan 30 years.|newswell|text|News|p

ORNL hopes to win advanced batteries research project (News-Sentinel/Munger)Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been highly successful in recent years by winning scientific competitioand the lab has its sights set on another big prize: a five-year, $120 million project to focus research

advanced batteries and electrical energy storage. ORN L Director Thom Mason confirmed the lab planscompete for the fourth in a series of so-called Energy Innovation Hubs sponsored by the U.S. DepartmenEnergy. The lab earlier headed a m ulti-institutional team that won a hub for nuclear energy, which resulted in ORNL-based Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL). DOE announced upcoming "funding opportunity" to alert interested parties of the competition on advanced batteries. The fedeagency said it hopes the five-year research effort will develop "revolutionary" technologies to advance enerstorage and batteries for transportation and energy grid purposes. DOE is encouraging national labs auniversities, as well as private companies and nonprofits, to form teams to compete for the Hub. The lettersintent to apply are due by March 1, with applications due May 31.

Local school officials fear financial impact of class size measure (Times-News)


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School officials from Kingsport, Sullivan County and Hawkins County are not pleased w ith Senate Bill 2210, a proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam. Those officials say the bill would likely cut state funding even though itsupposed to have a hold harmless clause. Kingsport Board of Education member Susan Lodal, the BOElegislative liaison, who is active in the Tennessee School Boards Association, continues to track the bill, whwould loosen classroom size mandates by keeping class size maximums but eliminating class size averarequirements. Lodal, who brought up the issue during the Feb. 8 Kingsport BOE Brown Bag meeting wparents, said a part of the bill — a part she opposes — would reduce state funding for Kingsport becausewould change the formula of the Basic Education Program, in effect assuming larger class sizes whethesystem adopted them or not, as allowed under the other part of the bill. Lodal, however, said she understanthe idea of giving systems more flexibility. The estimated cost to Kingsport is about $141,000 that otherwwould help pay for 37 teaching positions. The system has more than 500 teachers, and this year is to receabout $22.89 million in BEP funding. e-measure

Nashville schools chief defends handbook rewrite (Tennessean/Hubbard)School nutrition, bus drivers and information technology employees working in Metro Nashville schools, alowith unions that represent them, dominated Tuesday’s school board agenda, concerned that a employhandbook rewrite is taking away some of their rights. But Schools Director Jesse Register said rumors abdistrict plans to lay off or outsource service employees in June are untrue, and their jobs will remain much tsame despite the rewrite. Register said he decided not to renew a Memorandum of Understanding with

unions after an agreement expired last summer. About 250 of the employees and union members filled tdistrict office, some holding red “Have a heart” signs, fittingly on Valentine’s Day. Even some state lawmakand Metro Council members showed up in support of employees. “Override Dr. Register on this,” urged StaRep. Mike Turner . “Give employees the same rights other Metro employees have.” Mark Naccarato, spokesmfor the local Service Employees International Union, said employees are angered and demoralized. The SErepresents service employees other than bus drivers. The new handbook rules included fewer breaks and nshift assignments.|topnews|text |News

School rezoning maps released (Columbia Daily Herald)The Maury County School Board released maps of areas that would be affected by a proposed rezoning plan

the 2012-2013 school year. The proposal calls for 328 elementary and middle school students to be shuffleddifferent schools to curb overcrowding. A public meeting about the rezoning is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 23Horace O. Porter School at College Hill for parents and school board members to discuss the proposal. In tplan, 159 Whitthorne Middle School students would move to E.A. Cox Middle School. Ninety of these studelive in the Southside area of town, 40 from the Eastside and 29 from Bel-Air. Also proposed, 36 BroElementary students residing in the Highland Avenue area would move to Highland Park Elementary, 55 BroElementary children from the M apleash Avenue area would go to Howell Elementary and 78 RiversElementary students in the Bel-Air region would go to M cDowell Elementary. The maps can be downloaded aviewed at w A list of affected streets w ill be available Wednesday afternoon at the schomentioned and the Central Office at 501 W. 8th sed.html

Morgan named managing editor at Lebanon Democrat (Associated Press)The Lebanon Democrat has named Clay Morgan, a longtime community newspaper editor, as the dnewspaper's managing editor. Morgan also will serve as director of content and audience development for tLebanon Publishing Company, which also owns the weekly papers the Mount Juliet News and the HartsvVidette. In addition to running the Democrat's day-to-day operations, Morgan will direct the expansion of company's footprint in digital content development, social media and mobile content delivery. Publisher JoseH. Adams says M organ will provide the journalism leadership needed to develop content across the multplatforms, including digital, mobile and print. Morgan served as editor of weekly papers in Tennessee and danewspapers in Mississippi. He also was publisher at newspapers in Texas, and m ost recently was editor apublisher of the M acon County Times in Lafayette.|newswell|text|News|s


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Arizona: Legislature could fund militia for border (Arizona Capitol Times)The Republican-led Arizona Legislature is considering a bill to fund an armed, volunteer state militia to respoto emergencies and patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. Gov. Jan Brewer could deploy the volunteers using $1million included in the bill making its way through the state Senate. The m ilitia itself was created by a law signby Brewer last year.TheArizona Republicreportsthe bil l has a hearing Tuesday before the SenateAppropriations Comm ittee. Senate Bill 1083 has already passed one committee along mostly party lines. It woprovide $500,000 in one-time funding and $1.4 million a year from a gang task force fund. The state is expect

a budget surplus this year, but lawmakers must deal with long-term debt and the May 2013 expiration of thecent-per-dollar sales-tax increase, so it is unclear how much support this bill will receive. “Something has to done about the situation at the border — people are being terrorized,” Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican froSnowflake who is sponsoring the bill, told The Republic. “There are plenty of ex-law-enforcement officers wcould do this. I don’t have any illusion that we can solve our border problem, but this would help.” Arizona wojoin 23 other states and territories with active guards, but experts say the state would stand alone if its militia wfocused on border enforcement and “combating international criminal activity.” r-border/



Guest columnist: A great teacher for every classroom (Comm ercial Appeal)As Tennessee continues to build on the m omentum for education reform of the last two years, Gov. Bill Haslhas smartly proposed ending state mandates that restrict the ability of school districts and principals to make

best decisions for their schools when it comes to average class size and teacher pay. These proposals are important step forward. Taken together, they will do much to ensure that our students have a great teacherevery classroom. As a parent with four kids attending Tennessee public schools, I'm glad the governor is takaction. Tennessee state law caps the number of students in a K-3 classroom at 25. The governor's propowould do nothing to change that. It would simply remove an obscure bureaucratic mandate that limits taverage size of classes across a school as a whole. Nothing in the governor's proposal would reduce funds local schools. And the governor isn't prescribing policy for local districts; he's just giving them the tools to do right thing.

Editorial: TDEC must hold business accountable (Daily News Journal)Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to shake up the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation comes


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no surprise following a summer-long listening tour in which he heard concerns about the impact of stregulations and bureaucracy on businesses across the state. In his second year, Haslam is following throughpromises to run state government more like a business. If he can streamline that department and make it leaand quicker, the governor is making the right moves, because businesses across the state are screaming fofriendlier climate. But if this means sacrificing the environment and conservation, then it’s a bad move that cohaunt Tennesseans for generations to come. TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau was questioned this weabout the ouster of two top officials in the solid waste management and water pollution control divisions,addition to the forced retirement of Tennessee’s parks director. Rep. Mike Turner raised questions about w hetthe personnel changes mean Tennessee is “becoming friendly to polluters.” Martineau responded that tHaslam administration will continue to enforce federal and state pollution standards but in a way that “fosteeconomic development.

Editorial: Jobs growth takes teamwork (Comm ercial Appeal)It's a small idea, but a good one: Build a van from the ground up that can easily handle a person in a w heelchThat's what the Vehicle Production Group of Florida did. And when Jeremy Wexler, director of operations Wheelchair Express in Memphis, learned about the new van, his company decided to buy one -- the first ofkind in Tennessee. There is a textbook example of how small-business expansion can work. Somebody hasgood idea. Somebody else learns about the good idea and decides to buy into it. Money changes hands. A nproduct is introduced. Oh, and one less of an old product is sold -- in this case a standard wheelchair convers

van. Because, as Wexler explained, the new van from VPG LLC is simply better, easier to use and tailored tparticular market. Small businesses historically have generated most of the jobs created in the private sectWhen the economy is growing and small businesses are on top of their game, the results can really add up the economy. But in the last five years, unfortunately, small businesses haven't really generated many jobsthis country.

Editorial: Your vote is precious; don 't let it go unused (Tennessean)Based on the past three presidential preference primaries, less than one in three registered voters in Tennessis likely to cast a ballot for “Super Tuesday” this year. We have seen the leadership for the 2012 GOP nominatteeter on headlines and on results from even smaller turnouts, and shake our heads at the willingness of citizeto cede their voice to neighbors and strangers with whom they willingly argue over every little thing. In

Republican presidential primary alone, Tennessee could make a statement at a time when four contenders astill competitive nationally. Then there are the primaries for local offices on the ballots in m ost counties. In a ywhen so many city and county governments are struggling to meet debt obligations and continue to encouraeconomic growth, the only real question is: Why would you opt NOT to vote? Granted, this year stgovernment has made voting m ore difficult for some groups of people, with a new photo ID requirement. Thaall the more reason that every registered voter make the effort. Aside from the ID issue, early voting, whbegins today, makes it convenient to get to the polls between now and Super Tuesday, March 6.|newswell|text|News|p

Free-Press Editorial: Millions of registration errors show need for photo ID (TFP)As debate rages on Tennessee's voter ID law, the Pew Center on the States has found that 24 million vo

registrations in the United States have serious errors. All told, one in eight registrations is flawed in some wincluding almost 2 million dead people who are still on voter rolls. Inaccurate registrations -- especially amothe dead -- can be fertile soil for fraudulent voters to claim a different person's identity and vote in that personame. We can prevent that with a simple requirement of valid photo ID at the ballot box -- as Tennessee law nprovides. That's a requirement worth preserving. freepress

Editorial: Without FedEx ... (Commercial Appeal)It would be a big surprise if FedEx's application for tax breaks to help the company expand its flight trainoperations here received a thumbs-down from the EDGE board. The company is planning to invest $14million to consolidate and expand its flight-training simulator operations in Mem phis. FedEx is seeking a 13-ytax break on new manufacturing machinery and equipment, and a six-year tax break on real prope


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improvements to retain about 333 jobs. Those jobs pay an average of $76,707 a year. The body that considetax breaks -- the Economic Development Growth Engine board -- is scheduled to review the application todSkeptics might ask why FedEx needs tax breaks. A close look at the numbers shows that Memphis and SheCounty will come out ahead on the deal in the long term. What's really important in this news is that the requis another affirmation of FedEx's commitment to keep Memphis as its main operations base. The company cohave made the consolidation happen elsewhere. FedEx has been a major economic engine here for jobancillary businesses, and civic and charitable activities. Without FedEx, Mem phis International Airport would be the second-largest air cargo gateway in the world. Without FedEx there would be no talk of Memphis being aerotropolis.

Columnist: Ready for Another Rotten Highway Bill? (Wall Street Journal)We can dramatically cut the federal gas tax. States could adjust their gas taxes and m ake their own constructand repair decisions without costly union regulations. The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that onational debt could nearly double over the next 10 years—to an astounding $29.4 trillion from $15 trillion todayso you might think Washington would be looking to stop the fiscal train wreck. You'd be wrong. Despite all thyperventilating about a tea party takeover in Congress, the sad truth is that in 2011 Congress increasspending from the year before, raised the debt limit by $2 trillion, and funded ObamaCare. The highway bill is tlatest example of Washington's bipartisan addiction to big spending. Every six years, Congress passesspending bill that divvies up the revenues from the federal gas tax and other highway user fees. The money go

into an account called the Highway Trust Fund, and for decades Congress has promised not to spend more roads and bridges than is available in the trust fund. But the trust fund has run dry thanks to reckless spendand wasteful earmarks, so Congress bailed out the highway program—to the total tune of about $35 billion—2008, 2009 and 2010. Circulating now are two competing highway bills that both increase spending and fonew multibillion-dollar bailouts.

Gail Kerr: Protesters deserve props, but it's past time for them to go (TennesseaOccupy Nashville is about to get ousted by state and local officials, and frankly, I’ll be glad to see it over with. Ipretty sick of hearing about it after four months. The idea of camping in freezing rain seems a tad insane to mBut then, my idea of roughing it is walking down the hall to the ice machine. But I have to give the proteste

begrudging respect at the same time. They’ve shown a gritty determination not to let the rest of the world forhow many people are losing their jobs and their homes while the rich and powerful get more so. They’ve alwithout intending to, underlined the deep-seated need in Nashville for more shelter beds to house the hom elewho were drawn to the occupiers’ tent city. The protesters have a constitutional right to protest, as do we all. Bcity and state officials also have the power to pass laws to limit what those protests can look like. State officare expected, within the next day or two, to approve a law making it illegal to camp on state property exceptparks. If you remember, state troopers arrested dozens of O ccupy Nashville protesters, but all the charges wthrown out of court. The state didn’t have any rules or laws in place forbidding what they were doing. Now thwill, with fines up to $2,500. Goodbye, Legislative Plaza.|newswell|text|News|p

Columnists: Occupy fights the law: Will the law win? (Salon)

The Occupy movement is an exercise in the workings of power whether it is social, financial, policing or politicThe occupations that began in September spread w ith an infectious passion in part because the po lice violenand mass arrests, the tried-and-true methods of state pow er employed to suppress radical movements, backfiand the movement grew more. By October hundreds of encampments had popped up nationwide with the tacooperation and sometimes explicit approval of local officials. For a few heady weeks Occupy Wall Street hthe glow of popular legitimacy – social power – trumping whatever fusty laws prohibited camping or a continuopresence in a public space. The inevitable counteroffensive was launched in November. Using the m ass medpoliticians hyped the movements as imm inent threats to public health and safety, justifying aggressive evictioof prominent occupations in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and New York City. Within weeks other maencampments in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and New Orleans were scattered with hundreds of arrests. A thwave of closures has been underway since late January with occupations shut down from Hawaii to Miami aAustin, Texas, to Buffalo, N.Y.


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What happened on this day, February 15th? ›

February 15 Events In History

1898 – Spanish-American War begins. 1903 – The first Teddy Bear is made. 1950 – The movie Cinderella is released by Walt Disney. 1965 – Canada adopts its current national flag showing a maple leaf.

What is on 15 February special day? ›

History. Valentine's Day is celebrated every year on 14 February, and the next day on 15 February, Singles Awareness Day is celebrated. It is said that Single Awareness Day was born because of social isolation.

What is special about February 15, 2024? ›

Explore worldwide events, festivals, funny, weird, and national days on this day! It's Singles Awareness Day, Annoy Squidward Day, Make Mine Chocolate, St. Skeletor's Day, Remember the Maine Day… and much more!

What's new in the world? ›

  • 'We thought we were going to die:' Thirty injured as 'strong turbulence' forces Air Europa plane to land in Brazil.
  • Viktor Orban, Putin's greatest European ally, makes first trip to Kyiv since start of war.
  • Deepfake video targeting Zelensky's wife linked to Russian disinformation campaign, CNN analysis shows.

Who was born on 15 February? ›

15: Melissa Manchester, Megan Thee Stallion. Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius.

What happened on Feb 15 day in black history? ›

On this day in 1848, 5-year-old Sarah Roberts was barred from an all-white school in Boston. Her father had attempted to transfer her to the school because of it being closer to their home. Her barring led to her father, Benjamin Roberts, filing what would be the first school integration suit on his daughter's behalf.

What food day is February 15? ›

February 15:

National Gumdrop Day : Homemade Gumdrops. National “I Want Butterscotch” Day : Butterscotch Brownies. National Chewing Gum Day : Bubble Gum Ice Cream Recipe.

What is the slap day for February 15? ›

Slap Day – 15 February

Slap Day is celebrated on 15 feb and is the first day of anti valentine week. This day is for those monolithic singles who want to slap their love who cheated with their emotion and affection. This will feel them relaxed from mental distress caused by the love and relationship.

Is Feb 15 a holiday in USA? ›

Washington's Birthday (February 15–21, floating Monday) Juneteenth (June 19) Columbus Day (October 8–14, floating Monday) Veterans Day (November 11)

What event on February 15 2013 made the world want to take action? ›

On Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. local time, residents of the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, witnessed something few humans ever have: an asteroid exploding in the atmosphere. The event was well-documented, almost by accident.

What is Happy Singles day February 15? ›

February 15

Singles Awareness Day, often humorously abbreviated as S.A.D., is a day dedicated to celebrating and embracing the single life. It's an occasion for people who are not in romantic relationships to focus on self-love, self-care, and the positive aspects of being single.

How common is Feb 15 birthday? ›

How common is your birthday?
27 more rows

What is going on today in the world? ›

World News
  • Russia Says It Destroys Five Ukraine's SU-27 Jet Fighters at Myrhorod Airfield. ...
  • Kazakh Dissident Dies After Being Shot in Ukraine. ...
  • Analysis-Hong Kong Commercial Law Hub Allure Damaged by Foreign Judges Row, Lawyers Say. ...
  • UK Election Gives Hope to First Time Immigrant Voters.

What's going on in the world, RN? ›

  • US military bases in Europe put on higher security alert. ...
  • Angry Frenchmen want to bathe their president in Olympic human waste. ...
  • Bolivia's president confronts general during alleged coup attempt. ...
  • Pack of wolves mauls woman jogging through animal sanctuary near Paris.

Is Associated Press news free? ›

There's a new offering from The Associated Press available in the App Store: AP News. The free app lets users personalize their news experience in a big way so they can stay on top of breaking stories of special interest to them.

What is the special day of February? ›

List of Important Days in February 2024, National and International
Important Days in February 2024
DateImportant Days
February 13, 2024Sarojini Naidu Birth Anniversary
February 13, 2024International Epilepsy Day
February 14, 2024Saint Valentine's Day
34 more rows
Feb 28, 2024

What's special about today? ›

What is Today?
  • World UFO Day. Celebrate World UFO Day with us! ...
  • I Forgot Day. Don't forget to mark your calendars - I Forgot Day is here! ...
  • Made In The USA Day. Proud to be an American? ...
  • National Disco Day. Get ready to boogie and shine on National Disco Day! ...
  • World Sports Journalists Day. ...
  • Special Recreation for the Disabled Day.

What happened on February 15th military history? ›

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing about 274 of the ship's roughly 354 crew. The disaster pushes the United States to declare war on Spain.

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