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Tennessee Daily News Clips, Sept. 18, 2013

Tennessee Daily News Clips, Sept. 18, 2013

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Published by TNSenateDems
A daily news summary from the governor's office
A daily news summary from the governor's office

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Published by: TNSenateDems on Sep 18, 2013
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WEDNESDAY,SEPTEMBER18, 2013Grantsgo to 6 GibsonCountycities (JacksonSun)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was in Trenton on Tuesday to award $2.2 million in grant money to six towns inGibson County. The Gibson County Community Development Block Grant is part of a series of grants that focuseson the infrastructure needs of the towns and communities around the state. The Federal Department of Housingand Urban Development awarded Tennessee $25.6 million for improvements, and the local communities makeapplications for improvements. “This is actually a very competitive process,” Haslam said. “There is way more needthan there is ability to fit those needs. “The needs that were submitted I think are real ones and really will helpimprove the quality of life in each one of these communities.”http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20130918/NEWS/309180009/Grants-go-6-Gibson-County-cities(SUB)
HaslamAnnouncesTransportationGrant for City of Dickson(Clarksville Online)
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner JohnSchroer announced today the award of a $595,461 transportation alternative grant to the City of Dickson for PhaseIII of the Downtown Revitalization Project. The project will add improvements to sections of West College Streetand Main Street, and is a continuation of the overall downtown revitalization that began in 2008. Phase III includessidewalks with brick pavers, new pavement, new crosswalks, and ADA compliant sidewalk ramps, parking areasand signage. The project will also add decorative street lighting, landscaping and pedestrian amenities. “Thisproject will help Dickson’s efforts to give its downtown a more vibrant, inviting appearance,” Haslam said. “Ourdowntowns are the hearts of our communities, and when complete, the project will make downtown areas moreaccessible to residents and visitors and can have positive impacts on the local economy.”http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2013/09/18/tennessee-governor-bill-haslam-announces-transportation-grant-city-dickson/  
WorkforceDevelopmentGrant Announcement(State Gazette)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Tuesday a $589,000 workforce development grant for Dyersburg StateCommunity College to help meet the advanced manufacturing needs of the area. An array of state and localpolitical figures, business people, educators, and students joined Haslam in the Learning Resource Center atDyersburg State Community College for the announcement. This $589,022 grant will help the college establish twoadvanced manufacturing labs -- in Dyersburg and Tipton County -- and move forward with its proposed Associateof Applied Science degree in Advanced Manufacturing. The program will have industry-recognized certificatesembedded in the curriculum including: the certified production technician and four mechatronics certificates.http://www.stategazette.com/gallery/16868
HaslamCites ManufacturingBoomin Grants(MemphisDaily News)
Armed with a $16.5 million fund approved by the General Assembly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has lots of WestTennessee stops this week as he awards grants that will provide workforce training equipment to state schoolscertifying workers or training them for associate degrees. And Haslam kicked off the set of announcementsMonday, Sept. 16, with checks totaling $2.7 million in the hangar of the Tennessee College of Applied TechnologyAvionics School near Memphis International Airport. The school was awarded two grants totaling $1.2 million forequipment that includes a Aeroism Boeing Virtual Procedures Trainer as well as upgrading its advancedmanufacturing equipment and building a new lab. Haslam specifically cited the growth in the city’s manufacturingsector in making the grants.http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2013/sep/18/haslam-cites-manufacturing-boom-in-grants/ 
 
HaslamDisappointedin Superintendents'Petition(AssociatedPress)
Gov. Bill Haslam says he was disappointed to hear of a petition signed by nearly half of the states' schoolsuperintendents that raised serious concerns about Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. The Republicangovernor in a letter to superintendents released Tuesday stood by Huffman and the initiatives he has championed,saying that the commissioner has brought a "new perspective and dynamic energy to education reform inTennessee." The petition originated with Dan Lawson, director of the Tullahoma City Schools, alleges thatHuffman's office "has no interest in a dialogue" with local officials and the superintendents' efforts to improve theirschools are being thwarted by low teacher morale because of policy changes on the state level. Haslam called for"a fresh approach to communication" between the school districts and state education officials.http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2013/sep/18/haslam-disappointed-in-superintendents-petition/ 
Haslamasks schoolleadersto back off fromcriticizingHuffman(Tenn/Fingeroot)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam took a flattering and conciliatory tone with irritated schoolleaders this week, but stilltold them to back off public criticism of beleaguered Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. In a letter sent byemail Monday, Haslam told school superintendents that he appreciates the hard work they have done to implementeducation changes in their own districts and is grateful for their help. However, he told them to find new ways tocommunicate and collaborate with Huffman. “The bottom line is that we are at a critical point in the implementationof key reforms that I believe will lead to continued progress in education, and this work is simply too important toget sidetracked,” Haslam wrote. “I was disappointed when I learned from the media about a letter that was signedby some superintendents and apparently is making its way to me.” Tullahoma Schools Superintendent DanLawson says at least 60 superintendents from around the state have signed a letter asking Haslam to put thebrakes on Huffman’s education reform policies and assess progress before moving ahead.http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130918/NEWS04/309180126/Haslam-asks-school-leaders-back-off-from-criticizing-Huffman?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1(SUBSCRIPTION)
Haslam'disappointed'by criticismof educationchief KevinHuffman(TFP/Sher)
Gov. Bill Haslam says in a letter to school superintendents that he's "disappointed" by their open criticism of hiseducation chief Kevin Huffman and wants them to take a "fresh approach to communications" with thecommissioner. "The bottom line is that we are at a critical point in the implementation of key reforms that I believewill lead to continued progress in education, and this work is simply too important to get sidetracked," Haslam saysin the letter, dated Monday. He adds, "That's why I hope you'll join me in taking a fresh approach to communicationbetween the state and school districts and work together as partners as we seek to build on the momentum that'sbeen generated." Educators said about 60 superintendents have signed a letter criticizing Huffman, saying theyfeel Huffman "considers school teachers, principals and superintendents impediments to school improvementrather than partners." The letter, drafted by Tullahoma Schools Superintendent Dan Lawson, also takes Huffman totask, saying they believe his department "has no interest in a dialogue with those of us providing leadership forschool systems."http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/18/haslam-disappointed0010by-criticism-of-huffman/?local
Haslam'disappointed'by criticismof Ed CommissionerHuffman(N-S/Humphrey)
Gov. Bill Haslam has written the state’s school superintendents to declare he’s “disappointed” with open criticism ofEducation Commissioner Kevin Huffman by some of them and saying they should not “get sidetracked” fromimplementing education reforms. The Haslam letter, dated Monday and released to media Tuesday, comes withTullahoma City Schools Superintendent Dan Lawson circulating a letter calling on the governor to “re-evaluate theleadership” at the state Department of Education. The Lawson letter says the state Department of Education “hasno interest in a dialogue” with superintendents, adding, “We feel that we are not respected or valued and that theunique culture of our state is not valued.” Haslam appears trying to refute that contention of an uncaringadministration in his letter, urging the superintendents to “join me in taking a fresh approach to communicationbetween the state and school districts and work together as partners.“I value the input I receive fromsuperintendents and I plan to continue those meetings and will also sit down with appropriate leadership in thenear future to better understand any concerns you may have,” Haslam wrote.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/sep/18/haslam-disappointed-by-criticism-of-ed-kevin/ (SUBSCRIPTION)
Governordefendsed. commissionerunderfire fromsuperintendents(CA/Locker)
Gov. Bill Haslam has written Tennessee’s local school superintendents a letter defending his state education
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commissioner, Kevin Huffman, the target of a petition signed by about half of them. The petition criticizes Huffmanfor what they say is his unwillingness to listen to their concerns about the rapid pace of change in state educationpolicies. In the letter, Haslam said he’s “very grateful for ... Huffman’s vision and leadership. He has brought a newperspective and dynamic energy to education reform in Tennessee, and while you may not always agree withsome of our administration’s specific initiatives, there is no doubt that we’re improving the future for moreTennessee children. “The bottom line is that we are at a critical point in the implementation of key reforms that Ibelieve will lead to continued progress in education, and this work is simply too important to get sidetracked. That’swhy I hope you’ll join me in taking a fresh approach to communications between the state and school districts andwork together as partners as we seek to build on the momentum that’s been generated.” The governor’s letter,dated Monday, comes in response to news reports of a petition highly critical of Huffman being circulated amongthe state’s 137 school superintendents, the chief executive officers of local school districts.http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/sep/17/tennessee-governor-defends-state-education-under/ (SUB)
TN GovernorPreparesFor ‘Battle’ With Right And Left Over CommonCore (WPLN)
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam finds himself in a political crossfire over Common Core. He says this week’slegislative hearing on the new education standards will show both liberals and conservatives are upset, for theirown reasons. Speaking at an education event in Washington organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,Haslam was asked how he’d help other governors stay the course on Common Core. Tennessee has movedahead while some states have gotten cold feet. But Haslam suggests he still has plenty of work to do inTennessee, where the Senate Education Committee holds a hearing to listen to critics on Thursday and Friday. “Itwill be a real battle. It’s one of these interesting political deals where you have folks on the far right who you hearit’s ‘Obama-core’ and all the stories out there about what Common Core is. And then you have folks on the far leftwho don’t like the fact that teacher evaluations are being tied to students’ test scores. So you have this fairlyunique push coming from both ends.”http://nashvillepublicradio.org/blog/2013/09/17/tn-governor-prepares-for-battle-with-right-and-left-over-common-core/  
Council approvesUBSincentives(Tennessean/Cass)
Swiss financial services giant UBS will receive up to $500,000 a year for five years as a taxpayer incentive forbringing up to 1,000 new jobs to downtown Nashville under a deal the Metro Council approved Tuesday. Thearrangement, negotiated by Mayor Karl Dean’s administration, calls for UBS to receive a $500 annual grant foreach new operations support job it creates. UBS can decide when the grant starts as long as it does so withinthree years of moving into the 98,000 square feet of space it plans to occupy in the Regions Center building, whichwill be renamed UBS Tower. The council supported the mayor’s plan by a 34-2 vote. UBS already has 240 workersdoing similar support jobs in Nashville among a global workforce of 62,000, according to an analysis by the counciloffice. The company also has about 70 wealth management employees, who will continue to work in a West EndAvenue office. Councilman Ronnie Steine, chairman of the Budget & Finance Committee, said UBS plans to spendabout $36 million to renovate the Regions Center building at 315 Deaderick St. “These are good-paying finance,human resources and IT jobs,” Steine said. “In the competitive environment of job creation and attraction, to investwith a company that is already located in and committed to our city is one of those kinds of issues that isparticularly attractive to us as we try to retain and grow existing businesses.”http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130917/NEWS/309170140/Council-approves-UBS-incentives?gcheck=1 (SUBSCRIPTION)
Footwearplant to open in JeffersonCity, bringing109 jobs (News-Sentinel/Marcum)
Merchant House International Group announced Tuesday it will move production of a line of footwear from Chinato Jefferson City, creating 109 jobs. The Footwear Division of the company has bought a 40,000 square-footbuilding in Jefferson City Industrial Park and will start making a line of men’s leather boots and shoes. Theoperation, known as Footwear Industries of Tennessee Inc., represents a $5.4 million investment and is to beginproduction in March. “We understand this is probably going to mean 109 jobs or more and those are dearlywelcomed into our community,” said Jefferson County Mayor Alan Palmieri. “We are looking forward to providingthem with top notch employees. Garrett Wagley, director of economic development for the Jefferson CountyChamber of Commerce, said local officials played a role, but much credit for bringing the company to JeffersonCounty lies with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “And I think maybe thething that really convinced them to come to Jefferson City is that there was an experienced apparel workforce,”Wagley said.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/sep/17/footwear-plant-to-open-in-jefferson-city-109/  (SUBSCRIPTION)
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