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Thurs., June 14 News Summary

Thurs., June 14 News Summary

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Published by: TNSenateDems on Jun 14, 2012
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THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012TN Drug Court Oversight Shifted to State Mental Health Dept. (TN Report)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced an executive order to change the management and oversight ofstate drug court programs as part of his administration’s ongoing effort to increase government efficiency andeffectiveness. Executive Order No. 12 transfers the drug court programs from the Department of Finance andAdministration (F&A) to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) effectiveJuly 1, 2012. TDMHSAS oversees the licensing and funding for indigent Tennesseans needing substance abuseprevention, treatment, and recovery support services. The transfer of the drug courts to TDMHSAS will lessenduplication of effort and align with the department’s role as the substance abuse authority in the state.“Management and oversight of Tennessee’s drug court programs are consistent with the focus of the TennesseeDepartment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and we believe it makes more sense for thedepartment to manage these programs,” Haslam said.http://tnreport.com/blog/2012/06/13/tn-drug-court-oversight-shifted-to-state-mental-health-dept/ 
Tennessee drug courts to be under new management (Times Free-Press/Sher)
Management and oversight of state drug court programs across Tennessee will be moved to the Department ofMental Health on July 1 under an executive order signed by Gov. Bill Haslam. The move is effective July 1 andaffects some three dozen drug courts, including Hamilton County’s. Haslam said in a news release that hisExecutive Order No. 12, which transfers management from the Department of Finance and Administration toMental Health, is part of his administration’s ongoing effort to boost government “efficiency and effectiveness.”“Management and oversight of Tennessee’s drug court programs are consistent with the focus of the TennesseeDepartment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and we believe it makes more sense for thedepartment to manage these programs,” Haslam said in a news release. The department is officially adding“substance abuse services” to its name on July 1 under legislation approved by lawmakers this session.http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jun/14/tennessee-drug-courts-be-under-new-management/?local
Nashville summit Thursday on financial literacy (Associated Press)
Gov. Bill Haslam and other state officials will speak at a daylong summit Thursday in Nashville for elementaryschool teachers wanting to teach financial literacy skills. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Education CommissionerKevin Huffman also will be featured speakers at the gathering, sponsored by the Tennessee Financial LiteracyCommission. The free event at the Legislative Plaza will offer teachers training and curriculum that will helpimplement concepts such as planning, saving and investing. Instruction will be by financial literacy specialistsfrom across the state. Workshop topics will include consumer protection, banking and credit.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/14/nashville-summit-thursday-on-financial-literacy/ 
Gov. Bill Haslam touts Tennessee's no income tax status on CNBC (Nooga)
Gov. Bill Haslam made an appearance on CNBC with host Rick Santelli yesterday to answer questions onTennessee's not having an income tax. During the brief segment, the governor said he hoped other states wouldcontinue levying income taxes on residents to ensure a competitive advantage for businesses that would beattracted to Tennessee's tax status. "I hope they keep a very high cost structure and a high tax structure inplace," Haslam said. "Eventually, people who have capital are going to decide to deploy that capital where it'sgoing to get the best return. They don't know boundaries." Haslam cited the recent development of Volkswagen'sChattanooga plant as an example that took the state's no-income-tax status into consideration as a reason forlocating their operations in Tennessee.
First lady's program hopes young fans catch on to reading (N-S/Brake)
Alexis Turner, 8, and her little brother, Ayden, 6, usually like mystery novels, Sherlock Holmes and The BoxcarChildren being two of their favorites. But on Wednesday afternoon they got a new book called "Frindle" for freeand they said they definitely want to read it. Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam gave away 200 copies of"Frindle" to kids at the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball game on Wednesday to promote her Read20Family Book Club. Haslam is encouraging parents to sit down with their children every day and read with them orto them for 20 minutes. "Literacy is the single-most important skill that children need to be successful in school,so I hope the book club provides families a fun opportunity to engage in reading this summer," Haslam said. Thebook club chooses a new book for families to read together every month.The chosen book for June is "Frindle"by Andrew Clements, which is at about a fourth- or fifth-grade reading level.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/13/first-ladys-program-hopes-young-fans-catch-on-to/ 
Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam visits Live at Five at Four (WBIR-TVKnoxville)
Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam's "Read 20 Family Book Club" promotes the importance of familyinvolvement when it comes to literacy. Each month a book is picked as the featured "book of the month".Children and family of all ages are encouraged to read 20 minutes of the book each day together (or from anybook of their choice). "I am very excited to launch the Read 20 Family Book Club," Haslam said in a statementreleased to the media. "Families reading together build a foundation for strong relationships and academicsuccess for our Tennessee students." June's "Book of the Month" is Andrew Clement's Frindle. "I think childrenand families will enjoy the imagination and creativity of the main character in Frindle," Haslam said in the mediarelease. "It's an exciting narrative that I hope will create a great opportunity for families to spend quality time withbooks this summer." As part of our promotional tour, Mrs. Haslam will visit many cities in Tennessee, and willeven visit some of their hometown baseball fields to promote the book club.http://www.wbir.com/news/article/222917/8/Tennessee-First-Lady-Crissy-Haslam-visits-Live-at-Five-at-Four
Tennessee’s First Couple, Nashville Sounds promoting Read20 Book Club (B-C)
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam will visit the Nashville Sounds on June 14 topromote the First Lady’s Read20 Family Book Club. The Haslams will help distribute copies of Andrew Clements’Frindle, June’s “Book of the Month,” to the first 200 children to enter the game. The books are donated by thePhoenix Club of Nashville, a nonprofit organization benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.Distribution will begin at 6:15 p.m. at Herschel Greer Stadium, 534 Chestnut Street, Nashville. The First Lady’sRead20 Family Book Club is a great summer activity for children and families of all ages. For more informationabout the Read20 Family Book Club visit www.tn.gov/read20, www.facebook.com/CrissyHaslam, or follow@Read20TN on Twitter.http://businessclarksville.com/2012/06/13/tennessees-first-couple-nashville-sounds-promoting-read20-book-club-45030 / 
Regents recommend tuition hike at Tennessee schools (Memphis Biz Journal)
A Tennessee Board of Regents committee has recommended a 5.6 percent tuition hike at member schools,according to a report in Nashville's The City Paper. The recommended increase would raise tuition for a studentenrolled in 15 hours of classes by $662 per year. Individual schools can also make additional "institutionalrequests" to raise tuition, the report said. The recommendation now goes to the full Board of Regents. Localschools under TBR's supervision include the University of Memphis and Southwest Tennessee CommunityCollege.http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/blog/morning_call/2012/06/regents-recommend-tuitition-hike-at-tenn.html
6.8% tuition increase recommended for MTSU (Associated Press/Johnson)
Some Tennessee college students this fall could see an increase in tuition and fees of more than 7 percent thatwas recommended Tuesday by the finance committee of the state Board of Regents. The increases will bepresented later this month to the full board, which oversees six universities, 13 community colleges and 27
technology centers. East Tennessee State University has the potentially highest increase at 7.2 percent andAustin Peay, the lowest at 3.4 percent. MTSU students could see as much as a 6.8 percent tuition hike. Theaverage increase for the community colleges was about 4.3 percent, and the technology centers was about 6.2percent. Regents Chancellor John Morgan said no rise in tuition is ever welcomed, but that this necessary for theinstitutions to address certain needs, such as salaries and maintenance costs.http://www.dnj.com/viewart/20120613/NEWS01/306130044/6-8-tuition-increase-recommended-MTSU(SUB)
Former Short Mountain pot operation site dedicated as parkland (TN/Gonzalez)
New wildlife area is result of 6 years of civic cooperation In a unique example of cooperation among local, stateand federal government officials, nearly 1,000 wooded acres that once hosted a massive marijuana operationwere dedicated Wednesday as protected wildlife areas on Short Mountain in Cannon County. Officials at alllevels of government put their paperwork aside for one morning to finally enjoy — six years in the making — thepristine ridges and scenic views to be preserved in a land transfer unmatched in Tennessee history. Neverbefore had land seized in a drug raid become parkland. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will overseehunting, hiking and wildlife protection on acres where drug dealers previously made millions of dollars growingmarijuana. More than a dozen government departments, law enforcement agencies, conservation groups andnonprofits joined in negotiations that led to the land agreement, which averted the standard outcome for seizedproperty: an auction to recoup money for police.http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120614/NEWS01/306140053/Former-Short-Mountain-pot-operation-site-dedicated-parkland?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&nclick_ check=1(SUBSCRIPTION)
$31 million Western Avenue widening project accelerating (N-S/Osbourne)
Work to widen a four-mile stretch of Oak Ridge Highway and Western Avenue is accelerating — but commutersin the next years generally won't run into lane-closure hassles. The approximate $31 million project officiallybegan over a year ago to widen the two-lane corridor between Schaad Road and Copper Kettle Road. Theupgraded road will have two 12-foot lanes in each direction with a 12-foot center turning lane. The undertaking isintended to alleviate traffic bottlenecks, while also making the road safer to travel for its daily average of 23,321vehicles, according to a 2011 Tennessee Department of Transportation report. The completed road also willhave 10-foot shoulders and 5-foot-wide sidewalks on either side for safer pedestrian travel to area businessesand schools. APAC-Atlantic Inc. is overseeing the project, with an anticipated completion date of December2014, according to TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi. Progress has been slow to start on the actual road work, dueto a large-scale effort to relocate above-ground and underground utility lines for gas, water, sewer, electric andcommunications.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/14/31-million-western-avenue-widening-project/ 
UT vice president for public, government relations retiring (News-Sentinel)
The University of Tennessee will split its government relations and communications department next monthfollowing the retirement of the vice president who oversaw those duties, President Joe DiPietro told staff in anemail Wednesday. Hank Dye, vice president of public and government relations since 2005, will retire July 11,something he had discussed with the president since the beginning of the year, DiPietro wrote. Anthony Haynes,UT's lobbyist in Nashville, will become vice president for government relations and advocacy, reporting directly toDiPietro. Kurt Schlieter, UT's advocate in Washington, D.C., will become assistant vice president for federalrelations and continue to work out of D.C. DiPietro wrote in the email that he is still examining the system'scommunications strategy and has asked a seven-person review committee to give recommendations for how tostructure a department to handle communications, marketing and branding. In the meantime, Gina Stafford,assistant vice president and director of communications for the system, will manage day-to-day operations.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/14/ut-vice-president-for-public-government-retiring/ 
Baumgartner seeks delay in his federal trial (News-Sentinel/Satterfield)
With a trial date looming, former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner wants to put thebrakes on the federal case filed against him last month. Defense attorneys Donald A. Bosch and Ann Short todaywill ask U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley to declare the case against Baumgartner "complex," a move that,if approved, would delay the July 18 trial the disgraced ex-judge faces on seven counts of misprision of a felony."The defense has only scratched the surface of the complex and voluminous government discovery and clearlycannot be in position to formulate and file meaningful motions by (this week's deadline)," the attorneys wrote."Moreover, for undersigned counsel to provide constitutionally effective assistance of counsel to Mr.

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