KASU

Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Shelby County Commission has decided against naming an interim replacement for a Republican state House member who resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://memne.ws/2niIydu) that commissioners voted 6-5 against a resolution to schedule the appointment to replace former Rep. Mark Lovell. That means nobody will hold the seat until after the general election scheduled for June 15.

The primary will be held on April 27.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would create a school voucher pilot program for Shelby County has passed in a House committee following rancorous debate.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Brooks, a Republican from Knoxville, would allow public school children to use taxpayer money to go to private schools.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Sen. Mae Beavers, the sponsor of a bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the sex on their birth certificates, says she is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.

The Mt. Juliet Republican tells WKRN-TV (http://bit.ly/2nOkX1T) she's considering entering the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in the event Sen. Mark Green gets appointed to President Donald Trump's administration.

Funding for the Delta Regional Authority would be eliminated under President Trump’s first budget request to Congress. The federal agency is set up to help encourage and coordinate economic development in eight states, including Arkansas, tied to the beleaguered Mississippi River Delta region.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Middle Tennessee State University poll finds that registered voters favor Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to pay for a new road program primarily through a fuel tax hike by a margin of 38 percent to 28 percent.

The remaining third of the 600 people surveyed said they weren't sure about the governor's plan. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Wikipedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Soundgarden and Sturgill Simpson are among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis in May.

Festival officials also announced Wednesday that Widespread Panic, Death Cab for Cutie, Wiz Khalifa, Booker T. Jones, Bush, Ludacris and Jill Scott also are in the lineup for the 41st installment of the annual three-day festival.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has announced that free legal clinics will be held around the state to help citizens who find themselves in need of a lawyer's advice on matters outside criminal law. It's all part of the court's initiative known as Access to Justice, a program aimed at helping a growing number of people find assistance when they can't afford an attorney.

The Arkansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday concerning Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance which includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Justices questioned whether the city ordinance, passed by voters there in September 2015, conflicts with a state law passed earlier that year which bans cities and counties from enacting protections not contained in the state's civil rights law.

Pixabay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says the manufacturer of Amish Classic Colby deli horn cheese has recalled several lot numbers and instructed wholesalers and retailers to stop selling their stock.

The action comes after the Agriculture Department discovered listeria monocytogenes in a sample of the cheese from a store in Trenton, Tennessee.

State agriculture officials urged anyone who purchased any of the items not to consume them. No illnesses have been reported in Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are scrambling to get their legislative proposals submitted before Thursday's filing deadline.

Among the last batch of bills is a renewed effort to require transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates. Other recently filed bills would allow people with handgun carry permits to be armed in schools, drop a ban on Sunday liquor sales and get rid of open primary voting in Tennessee.

Pixabay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill proposed in Tennessee's legislature would create a sales tax holiday for guns and ammunition.

The bill, filed Wednesday by Republican Rep. Dennis Powers, calls for a "Second Amendment sales tax holiday" on the first weekend of September each year.

Knoxville station WBIR reports that Tennessee already has a sales tax holiday at the end of the summer that's meant for back-to-school shopping. Last year, Louisiana and Mississippi each hosted sales tax holiday weekends on guns.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee motorists can try their hand at coming up with a winning safety message for the overhead message signs on the state interstate highways.

The state Department of Transportation says it's holding a contest again this year for a catchy safety message.

Last year's winning entries were "Turn signals, the original instant messaging"; "Get the cell off your phone and drive"; "Practice safe text. Don't do it while driving"; "You're in Tennessee. Volunteer to drive safe"; and "Ain't nobody got time for a wreck. Slow it down."

federaltax.net

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a challenge for lawmakers seeking alternatives to his proposal to hike the state's fuel taxes to help tackle $10 billion backlog in bridge and road programs.

In the Republican governor's words: "Show me the math on your plan."

Haslam said Tuesday he doesn't want to use general fund tax revenues paid for by Tennesseans to pay for roads used heavily by out-of-state drivers. He argues the fuel taxes paid at the pump come from those who actually use state roads.

Recent high school graduates in Tennessee are already allowed to attend community college at no cost. Now Gov. Bill Haslam is looking to expand the year-old program to provide free community college educations to adults, as well.

Haslam, a Republican who has been in office since 2011, made his pitch at Monday night's State of the State address. Afterward, he tweeted, "Let's be the Tennessee we can be."

Wikipedia

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland calls President Donald Trump's executive order on barring citizens from certain Muslim countries "unwise."

Strickland expressed his concerns over the order to the Commercial Appeal on Sunday before releasing an official statement on Twitter.

TVA.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The new Tennessee Valley Authority board chairwoman says she hopes the federal utility will maintain its trajectory as President Donald Trump has the chance to pick a new board majority by the spring.

Lynn Evans, the first woman and first African-American to chair the board, spoke with reporters in a conference call Friday.

Evans said three of nine TVA board slots are currently vacant. Her term and another expire in May. Trump will choose nominees for those five slots, and the U.S. Senate will confirm them.

UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) — State officials say Williams Sausage Co. plans to build a second plant in Union City, creating 226 new jobs over the next five years.

In a statement, Gov. Bill Haslam and state economic development commissioner Randy Boyd say Williams Sausage will invest about $37 million to build a 180,000-square-foot facility in Obion County. It will include a cold storage distribution center, truck maintenance operations, corporate offices and a sandwich processing line.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to release his second major priority item for the 2017 legislative session on Thursday.

Haslam's office says the governor will discuss his proposal before a visit to Cane Ridge High School in Nashville. A news release didn't elaborate on the subject of his announcement, other than to say it is part of his larger effort of "building and sustaining economic growth and the state's competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans."

BEAVER CITY, Neb. (AP) — A man being held in a south-central Nebraska jail cell is awaiting a Jan. 30 hearing on returning him to face charges in Tennessee.

Furnas County Sheriff Kurt Kapperman said Thursday that 55-year-old Michael Parsons was arrested without incident Jan. 12 at the Arapahoe Airport. Kapperman says the FBI, working with Tennessee authorities, had tracked Parsons' cellphone to the area.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five people who say they were discriminated against while trying to take part in a Black Lives Matter demonstration at Elvis Presley's Graceland.

The protest coincided with an annual candlelight vigil held by fans at the singer's home on the Aug. 15 anniversary of his death.

Graceland owner, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and the city of Memphis are named in the complaint filed Wednesday.

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Renasant Corp. announced Tuesday that it's buying Metropolitan BancGroup for $190 million in stock.

The Tupelo-based bank says acquiring Metropolitan's $1.2 billion in assets will boost its market share, making it the fifth-largest bank in the metro areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson, Mississippi. Metropolitan has eight total offices, four in the Jackson area and two apiece in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

federaltax.net

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to present his proposal to boost state road funding Wednesday.

Haslam has acknowledged that any long-term road program to pay for the state's $6 billion transportation backlog will likely have to include the state's first gas tax increase since 1989. Lawmakers aren't expecting him to propose a hike of more than 7 to 9 cents per gallon on top of the current 21.4-cent tax.

Each penny of the gas tax is worth about $32 million per year, according to the state Transportation Department.

Wikipedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The National Park Service has awarded Memphis a $400,000 grant for preservation of the historic Clayborn Temple, which served as the home base for the sanitation workers strike that brought civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to the city.

The grant was announced Thursday, along with funding for more than 35 other projects associated with the civil rights movement across the country.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly has approved new terms for three constitutional officers.

On Wednesday, lawmakers elected Secretary of State Tre Hargett to another four-year term, while Comptroller Justin Wilson and Treasurer David Lillard will serve two-year terms.

All three were first elected in 2009 after Republicans took control of the Legislature from Democrats.

Pages