THURSDAY,AUGUST22, 2013 Haslamto makeJackDaniel'sjobs announcement(AssociatedPress

Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Economic Development officials are headed to Lynchburg on Thursday morning to make a jobs announcement at the Jack Daniel Distillery. The 147-year-old distillery and its employees, along with Lynchburg, have been the focus of Jack Daniel's folksy advertising for years. Bottles of the charcoal mellowed sippin' whiskey list Lynchburg's population as 361, but the town and county really have about 6,400 inhabitants. The distillery is tucked away on 1,700 hilly acres down the road from the quaint town square in Lynchburg, about 65 miles south of Nashville. Jack Daniel's is the flagship whiskey of Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman Corp.

Tennessee officials – including Gov. Bill Haslam – and representatives with the Jack Daniel’s brand will be at the company’s Lynchburg distillery Thursday morning for a “major announcement,” officials said. There were no details available on the announcement, but officials with Brown-Forman Corp. – the parent company of the Jack Daniel’s brand – have expressed a desire to grow the business in the near future. At the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting last month, Brown Forman CEO Paul Varga talked about the company’s efforts to grow market share for Jack Daniel’s whiskey, which is the best-selling American whiskey brand worldwide. Despite the strong sales for the brand, Varga said it only has about 3 percent market share in the whiskey market. He said segment leaders in other liquor types – such as tequila, rum and vodka – have a market share that tops 10 percent. “We think there is a lot of room – not only because of the momentum in the categories – but also because we have a relatively low share,” Varga said. “It’s hard to say we’ve just ‘cracked the surface’ given the size of the brand, but I do think there’s a tremendous remaining opportunity.” (SUBSCRIPTION)

Morethan500 educatorsattendSCOREsummit(AssociatedPress)
More than 500 educators from across Tennessee and abroad have converged on the Music City. They are participating in a leadership conference hosted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE. The summit, which began Wednesday and ends Thursday, has brought together school and district leaders and education leaders to discuss best practices and strategies and collaborate on ideas. Some participants are from other parts of the country. This summit focuses on four aspects of effective leadership: cultivating strong district and school leaders, ensuring excellent teaching, embracing high standards, and using data and technology to improve learning. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is the founder and chairman of SCORE. He says one of the main purposes of the conference is to energize educators' leadership potential using new tools that can be applied in schools across the state.

Educatorstakerolesof studentsat SCOREmeeting(Tennessean/Fingeroot)
Hundreds of Tennessee educators converged on Nashville Wednesday for a two-day summit on improvement ideas. SCORE, or the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, is hosting about 600 participants who will attend sessions on different topics ranging from teacher pay to using technology in the classroom. Speakers include administrators and others from individual school districts in Tennessee, staff from the Tennessee Department of Education and experts from other states. Among the topics discussed on the first day was placing effective teachers and principals in high-need schools. Speaker Ann Clark said she is embarrassed it took 24 years of her 30-year career to come up with the idea of putting the best teachers and principals in poor-performing schools. Clark is a deputy superintendent in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where officials

began six years ago moving effective teachers and principals to the schools that needed turnaround help. The action is sensible when a businessmoves a manager to a low-performing branch, but “tough and courageous” when done in education, she said. (SUBSCRIPTION)

MontgomeryCountyschooltest scoresreleased(Leaf Chronicle)
Most of Montgomery County’s public schools showed an improvement over last year on the state’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests, but school district officials are warning it’s easy to read too far into aggregate data. The data, released by the Tennessee Department of Education this week, was a combination of achievement tests given to third through eighth graders and end of course exams given to high school students. B.J. Worthington, director of schools at the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, said the district combines the scores with other data to form a meaningful analysis of students, teachers and schools. “This is one piece of data. There are so many more pieces that come to us that allow us to give a clear picture of district needs as a whole,” Worthington said. “What you’re seeing is only one measure of that child and what they know at one given point and time,” Worthington said. “But what you don’t have is a measure of is how they progressed through that year, the impact that that school and that teacher had on that child and the progress that they’ve made.” (SUBSCRIPTION)

TennesseeCollegeReadinessShortof US Marks(AssociatedPress)
This year's Tennessee high school graduates have fallen short of national results for ACT college readiness benchmarks. In English, reading, mathematics and science combined, 18 percent of Tennessee's Class of 2013 achieved college readiness, compared with 26 percent nationally. The results were released Wednesday in the ACT's yearly report, "The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013." The broadest difference was in math, where 29 percent of Tennessee graduates met college readiness marks, compared with 44 percent throughout the U.S. In science, statewide 27 percent met the mark, while 36 percent were on target nationally. In English, the difference was 58 percent of Tennessee's graduates compared with 64 percent nationwide. For reading, 36 percent of Tennessee students met the benchmarks, compared with 44 percent in the U.S.

Tennesseestaysnearbottomof ACTscores(Tennessean/Fingeroot)
The national ACT scores released Wednesday were no surprise for education officials who have watched Tennessee students hover near the bottom of the national list for several years. Tennessee is one of only nine states requiring all high school juniors to take the ACT college readiness test, but even among that group, only North Carolina students had a lower overall score on the ACT. When compared to all 50 states, Tennessee ranked above only North Carolina and Mississippi. Tennessee students who graduated this spring had an average composite score of 19.5. The composite includes all four subjects tested on the ACT — English, reading, math and science. With a composite score of 21, a student is considered ready for college classes. A perfect score on the ACT is 36. A change in the ACT measurement system this year makes the 2013 Tennessee score appear to be the same as the 2012 average composite score, but Tennessee students actually increased their score slightly, said Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. gcheck=1 (SUBSCRIPTION)

TDOTUnveilsa ModifiedPlanto Extendthe JamesWhiteParkway(MetroPulse)
Last Friday, Gov. Bill Haslam announced that the state was the recipient of $1.69 million in federal funds to create and expand recreational trail programs in 12 locations across the state. “These grants assist local governments and organizations in improving community amenities such as trails, greenways, and recreational facilities, making the outdoors more accessible to Tennesseans,” Haslam said in the press release. “The health and wellness of our residents is a top priority and these amenities provide another step to make our state healthier.” Yet while trail systems in Sparta, Martin, and Memphis are growing with the governor’s blessing, the biggest trail system in the governor’s hometown looks increasingly likely to be partially destroyed, as the Tennessee Department of Transportation attempts to move forward with plans to extend the James White Parkway through South Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness to John Sevier Highway. The governor’s stance on it? He doesn’t officially have one. “We have to look at it from a local approach for Knoxville and the impact of the urban wilderness there, but also on the regional approach and the impact on Sevier County. That’s one of the roles we play at the state. We will be doing 2

both of those before we make a recommendation,” Haslam told WBIR last week.

Roaneindustrialsite winsstatecertification(KnoxvilleNewsSentinel/Fowler)
Property ready for development The 44-acre Cardiff Valley site in the center of the Roane County Industrial Park in Rockwood joins a select group of locations statewide that are deemed ready for prospects. The location has been certified under a lengthy and detailed process called SelectTN, officials with the Roane Alliance and Roane Industrial Development Board announced. “What this says to industrial prospects is that our site is truly shovelready and ready to go for their manufacturing projects,” said Leslie Henderson, president and CEO of the alliance. The Cardiff Valley site, less than four miles from Interstate 40, is one of five sites statewide attaining the designation in the second round of certifications. Its recognition was given further luster with a “plus” designation, Roane Alliance official Darrell Williams said. That’s because the site has all needed utilities and an estimate for site grading has been obtained. Also, he said, there are no known environmental issues “that cannot be reasonably avoided.” A location in Horizon Center Business Park was certified in the first round.

Highcourt: Musicfestivalson farmsnot shieldedfromcomplaints(NS/Satterfield)
In the 1990s, Robert Schmidt bought a 225-acre farm in Greenback, named it Maple Lane Farms, and set out to make a living farming the land. Tired of the noise in “Music City,” Velda Shore left Nashville in 2003 and bought a house in a subdivision near Schmidt’s farm, where she could “grow a little bit” and enjoy the peace and quiet of farm country. In 2006, Schmidt decided farming just wasn’t enough, so he ventured into a little “agritourism,” opening his farm and corn maze to the public for school field trips and, later, music festivals. Shore was fine with the field trips. She enjoyed seeing the children romp across the farm in search of pumpkins. But then came the helicopter flyovers and the “boom boom boom” of late-night music concerts. Shore had endured enough. She took Schmidt to court, arguing his farm had become a nuisance. Schmidt countered that his farm was exempt from nuisance claims under a state law designed to shield farmers and their sometimes noisy farm activities from nuisance claims and zoning restrictions. Enter the Tennessee Supreme Court, in a decision authored by Justice William Koch and handed down this week.

Johnson,GreenPro-VeteranBill OfficiallySignedInto Law(LeafChronicle)
A bill sponsored by State Representative Curtis Johnson (R–Clarksville) and State Senator Mark Green (R– Clarksville) was officially signed into law this week by Governor Bill Haslam during a ceremony in Nashville’s Old Supreme Court Chambers. As signed, House Bill 25 waives the state’s commercial drivers license skills test requirement for honorably discharged service members if they have already passed the test while in service. Currently, an active duty soldier who drives a commercial weight truck in Tennessee is exempt from any additional license due to their specialized military training. However, after the soldier leaves the military, they must immediately take the CDL knowledge and skills test in order to continue to drive a commercial vehicle of the same weight on state roads. With the passage of House Bill 25, discharged service members will now be exempt from this requirement, making it much easier for experienced military truck drivers to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Tennessee. “We must always be willing to help our Tennessee service members, both past and present,” said Representative Curtis Johnson. “I am 110 percent pro-veteran, and I hope this legislation will help make life just a little easier for those military members we hold in such high esteem.” (SUBSCRIPTION)

HowMuchDoesIt CostTennesseeTo Be RefugeeFriendly?(WPLNRadioNash)
Some 1,500 refugees are resettled in Tennessee each year, and now state lawmakers want to know how much they cost. The program to relocate persecuted people or those from war-torn nations is federally-funded, but Republicans are concerned refugees end up on TennCare or in special English classes, which are partially paid for by the state. (See a state-by-state breakdown. Tennessee took 1,236 in 2012. Wyoming had 0.) A newly-created legislative committee met for the first time Wednesday to investigate the indirect fiscal impact of refugee resettlements. They were given an unsatisfying answer: no one is keeping track. In Tennessee, gatekeeping duties were outsourced to Catholic Charities in 2008 as a way to save money. Activist Don Barnett of Brentwood says the agency naturally wants to relocate more refugees. “There is an obvious conflict of interest in Tennessee, which has meant less of a voice for Tennesseans in a process that directly affects them,” Barnett told state lawmakers 3

Wednesday. costs/

GOPlawmakersquestioncost of refugeeresettlementin Tennessee(TN/Garrison)
Republican lawmakers are raising concerns about the cost of letting foreign-born refugees resettle here, an exercise that has immigrant advocates questioning their motives. The Tennessee General Assembly’s newly created Joint Government Operations Legislative Advisory Committee agreed on Wednesday to begin a comprehensive fiscal study of the state’s participation in the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. The program, in which Tennessee and 48other states are partners, provides refugees new to the United States a range of placement, health and employment services. Its budget for Tennessee, $8.9 million last year, comes solely from the federal government. But Tennessee Republicans are pointing to other, indirect state taxpayer costs associated with the arrival of refugees: their participation in TennCare, languages services in public schools and public housing. Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, called the issue a matter of reviewing a program that allows refugees to pursue the American Dream in Tennessee versus carrying out the state’s fiduciary responsibility. A discussion on these costs Wednesday, held before a packed committee room of immigrant advocates and members of the conservative Tennessee Eagle Forum, came after legislation on this topic stalled last session. (SUBSCRIPTION)

StateRep. MikeTurnergetslight fine for campaignviolations(Tennessean/Sisk)
Turner was given a light penalty despite a lengthy list of campaign violations. The Nashville lawmaker told the registry he was embarrassed by the mistakes, which he ascribed to a busy schedule running his own campaign and those of Democratic candidates across the state. “If I ever do anything like this again, I won’t run again,” Turner said. “I deserve to be fined. I’m OK with that.” The registry also agreed to add a complaint filed against Haslam by Chip Forrester, the former chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, to the agenda of its next meeting in October. Forrester claims that Haslam violated campaign finance laws by failing to report payments made to adviser Tom Ingram between his inauguration in January 2011 and Ingram’s hiring by his re-election campaign last month. In other actions taken Wednesday, former Rep. Debra Maggart, a Hendersonville lawmaker who once chaired the House Republican Caucus, was asked to come before the registry in October to explain a contribution made last fall by her political action committee, Maintaining Our Majority PAC, to Hendersonville Alderman Paul Goode. (SUBSCRIPTION)

CookevilleMayorMatt Swallowsto run againstSen. CharlotteBurks(TN/Sisk)
Cookeville Mayor Matt Swallows said Tuesday that he will run for the General Assembly, setting up a possible race against state Sen. Charlotte Burks. Swallows, 38, a Republican who was elected mayor by the Cookeville City Council in 2010, says he plans to seek the GOP nomination to represent the 15th Senate District. He works for his family’s insurance agency. “There is a certain magic in this Upper Cumberland region that is waiting to explode and prosper,” Swallows said in a press release, “and I plan on utilizing my business experience and conservative, common-sense approach to government in making tough decisions.” The GOP primary takes place next August. Burks, D-Monterey, has represented the 15th District since 1998. She won the seat after her husband, state Sen. Tommy Burks, was murdered by his Republican opponent weeks before the general election. (SUBSCRIPTION)

$80 millionnewstadiumprojectat SulphurDell in the works(TN/Rau,Garrison)
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s administration has presented state officials with plans to build an $80 million ballpark development for the Nashville Sounds on the old Sulphur Dell site, reigniting a push that once appeared dead. The preliminary goal is to have the $40 million ballpark plus a $10 million Metro-financed parking garage constructed in time for the Sounds’ 2015 opening day, according to a “Sulphur Dell Redevelopment” document obtained by The Tennessean. The project, which includes a residential development built with at least $30 million in private funds, would be on Jackson Street north of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall between Fifth and Third avenues. Sulphur Dell is the original home of professional baseball in Nashville, and minor league and Negro league teams played there dating back to the 1860s. The last professional game was played in 1963, and the ballpark was demolished in 1969. Dean’s office could unveil the proposal as early as Sept. 12 at a state building commission meeting. The central component of the deal is 13 acres of state-owned property, and the commission would have to approve the 4

land transfer. The deal also includes the acquisition of seven acres of private land. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Corkertalkingforeignpolicyat Nashvilleforum(AssociatedPress)
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is the featured speaker at a foreign policy discussion in Nashville on Thursday. The event is hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which last week named former Gov. Phil Bredesen and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist as co-chairmen of its Tennessee State Advisory committee. Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, is top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is expected to discuss America's leadership role in the world and its effects on the state's economy, where one in five jobs depends on exports. Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to make opening remarks for the event moderated by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Carr AnnouncesU.S. SenateBid (TN Report)
Joe Carr, a three-term member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, has announced that he’s taking on U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in the state’s 2014 Republican primary. Carr is dropping his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais for Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District slot. Carr, flanked by his family during a press conference in Murfreesboro Tuesday, told reporters he’s taking on the incumbent former Tennessee governor because “Sen. Alexander’s record, especially his voting record, has departed from that of the majority of Tennesseans.” “I do believe he’s out of step as reflected in his votes, and the things that he supports that are dichotomous with Tennessee and their values,” said Carr. Rumors of Carr’s entry into the race have been floating around for some time. But as recently as last week Carr had indicated he was fully committed to his campaign for the congressional seat held by DesJarlais, a race that also includes Tennessee Sen. Jim Tracy. Asked during a phone interview with TNReport on Aug. 13 whether he was plotting a run against Alexander, Car said, “Where did you hear such a stupid thing like that?” He said such a move was “extremely unlikely” and that it was “not something I am considering.”

Tea partyleadersslamTN senatorsAlexander,Corker(Tennessean/Cass)
In the most blistering terms, national and local tea party officials called on Tennessee’s Republican senators Wednesday to join a legislative effort to defund “Obamacare,” the federal health care reform initiative championed by President Barack Obama. A procession of tea party leaders accused Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of “caving and surrendering,” called them “spineless, gutless cowards” and asked if they would have the “moral courage” to stand up to the Democratic “tyrant” in the White House. “Do they want to put an army of government bureaucrats in charge of our lives, or do they want to secure freedom and put us in charge of our health care and our lives?” said Ben Cunningham, Nashville tea party President. “That’s the decision that Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander have to make.” Cunningham spoke at a news conference organized by Tea Party Express, a Californiabased group that calls itself the nation’s largest tea party political action committee. The group, which is on a national tour that soon will move to North Carolina and Kentucky, called on Alexander and Corker to sign a letter by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, and other conservatives who oppose any spending bill that includes funding for Obamacare. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Next StopFor The Tea PartyExpress:Tennessee’sU.S. SenatePrimary?(WPLN)
Leaders of the Tea Party Express took shots at Tennessee’s senior senator today. During an appearance in Nashville, the group said it’s willing to help fund a primary challenger to Lamar Alexander. Tea Party Express is one of the heavyweights of the Tea Party movement. Last year, it gave more than $5.5 million to candidates like Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “We will be some spending time here in the state of Tennessee, leading up to the primary, said Tea Party Express director Amy Kremer. “And we look forward to that, because it’s time Tennessee had a true conservative to represent the people instead of a moderate RINO [Republican in Name Only] squish that has no spine.” So far, Senator Alexander’s only primary opponent is State Representative Joe Carr. Carr calls himself a Tea Party supporter, but says he doesn’t want to be labeled as the Tea Party candidate. Tea Party Express stopped in Nashville today, as part of a nationwide tour asking Congress to defund Obamacare. Heritage Action, the group headed by former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, will host a similar event in Nashville tomorrow night. 5

The Hill newspaper, which covers Capitol Hill events, released its 2012 list of the richest members in Congress. Two Tennessee politicians rank among the wealthiest of America's 535 federal legislators. Sen. Bob Corker, RTenn., who served as Chattanooga's mayor from 2001-05, ranks as the 22nd-wealthiest member of Congress with $16.7 million in assets. Corker made his money in Chattanooga real estate and rental properties and construction. Corker is down nearly $3 million from last year due to a UBS Bank account losing its value, according to The Hill. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., is doing considerably better with $25 million in assets, ranking 13th among her peers. The Nashville native earned her wealth through real estate and investments in companies like eBay, Google and PepsiCo. The unquestioned leader in congressional wealth is Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., whose $355.4 million in investment funds is more than triple the $101.9 million worth of Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who ranks second.

ObamaTakesOn HighCostof CollegeAgain(Wall StreetJournal)
Barack Obama is testing an interesting proposition: Can the U.S. president cajole or shame a huge American industry into changing its ways? Mr. Obama embarks Thursday on a bus tour of schools in upstate New York and Pennsylvania to highlight what he calls "a personal mission to make higher education more affordable." Higher ed is one of his preoccupations. He talked about it in the State of the Union address. He talked about it at Knox College when he set out his latest bolster-the-middle-class agenda. He doesn't think taxpayers can keep pumping more money into student aid to chase (and possibly fuel) tuition tabs rising faster than almost anything besides health care. After all, the number of undergraduates getting federal grants, loans or tax breaks already has doubled over the past decade; the taxpayers' tab has tripled, adjusted for inflation. Something has to give. This quest is a political winner with nearly everyone except the president's fans among liberal college professors. In a Pew Research Center poll last year, 57% of Americans said colleges fail to provide students with good value for the money. But the rising cost of college is more than a politically appealing talking point. It's a threat to widely shared prosperity. Rising tuition threatens to discourage all but the best-off from going to and finishing college, restraining future economic growth and widening the gap between winners and losers in the U.S. economy. (SUBSCRIPTION)

TVA’s Inspector General has dismissed allegations that TVA Chairman Bill Sansom’s personal financial interests were a conflict of interest with his positon at the federal utility. Garry Morgan, a Scottsboro, Ala., critic of nuclear power, claimed at an April board meeting of TVA that Sansom’s board positions with Astec Industries and Martin Marietta Materials may have affected his position on the use of coal, which can be mined using earth moving and road building equipment made by such firms. Morgan also questioned Sansom’s service as a director for First Horizon Corp., the parent compay of First Tennessee Bank which handles TVA employees’ health savings accounts. “There was no evidence Mr. Sansom participated in any particular matter as part of his TVA duties which was related to his personal financial interests,” TVA’s IG said in a report released last week. Morgan also raised questions about a nepotism violation by Sansom, but the TVA employee in question had the same name as Sansom’s son-in-law but is not related to the TVA chairman.

SmokymountainsThemeparkwill buildresort, addshows,rides(A. Press)
To see the future of Dollywood, you need to borrow the vision of its chief imaginer, Dolly Parton. In the near future, Parton sees a resort hotel lobby with a three-story window that frames Mount LeConte — one of the tallest peaks in the Smoky Mountains. Guests will be able to book a grand suite in the hotel that the entertainer uses when she stays in the Pigeon Forge theme park that bears her name. All of that is future tense, but not very far away. The park plans to open DreamMore Resort in 2015. It’s part of a planned $300 million expansion to take place over the next decade. A new roller coaster, this one aimed at families, is scheduled to open in 2014. The resort hotel has been Parton’s dream ever since she affixed her name to the theme park 28 years ago. “The thing we’re most excited about is finally building our resort,” Parton said Friday by telephone from the park in the Smokies foothills. “We’re starting out with a resort that has 300 rooms,” Parton said. “Some of the rooms will accommodate up to six people in a family.”


Country music legend and Sevier County native Dolly Parton told a packed auditorium at Dollywood Wednesday that she plans to invest more than $300 million in her community over the next 10 years as she expands her Dollywood properties. A 300-room resort and a new roller-coaster that launches cars forward and then backward are planned, but more additions to the theme parks are in the works, she said. “This is a very special day because my dreams are about to come true,” she told those who filled the Showstreet Palace. The goal, she said, is “to make this area and Dollywood one of the biggest and most popular destinations in the whole country.” In a News Sentinel interview after the event, Parton indicated her ultimate vision for Dollywood might include other theme parks around the country or the globe. Parton said she has had inquiries from other countries about opening Dollywood parks there. “We have talked about that and we very well might do that,” she said. “It’s not in our plans for the time being but it is a possibility. But we will always be growing,” she said. The plan for the next 10 years focuses solidly on Pigeon Forge, however.

DollyPartonsaystimingis right for $300MDollywoodexpansion(Tenn/Watts)
Dolly Parton says that God works in mysterious ways. In this case, she implies that God took away her onceproposed Nashville snow and water park to give her more time to devote to an even more significant project — a 10-year, $300 million expansion to her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge. Parton announced plans Wednesday for the expansion for Dollywood, which will include the addition of the FireChaser Express, a familyfriendly roller coaster, to the park in 2014 and the opening of Parton’s 300-room, 100-acre Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort in the summer of 2015. The Country Music Hall of Famer says she’s dreamed about opening a resort on the theme park grounds since she attached her name to it 28 years ago. The fact that the deal for her planned $50 million local snow and water park that she was set to build with Gaylord Entertainment Co. (now Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc.) fell apart last fall, just meant that she could devote her attention to her DreamMore Resort. Parton withdrew her involvement in the snow and water park when Gaylord sold management rights for its Opryland Resort & Convention Center to Marriott International. (SUBSCRIPTION)

DollyPartonplans$300millionexpansionto PigeonForgepark(N. Biz Journal)
Dolly Parton is planning a $300 million expansion of her Pigeon Forge theme park over the next decade, she announced today on the Today show. The expansion will include a 300-room resort to open in 2015 and a new roller coaster to open in 2014, and the project will create thousands of jobs, according to the Today report. The Today show will feature more details at 10 a.m. CST, according to its website.

DollyPartonstill eyeingNashville(NashvilleBusinessJournal)
Dolly Parton’s $300 million expansion of her Pigeon Forge theme park doesn’t mean she is no longer looking to invest in a Nashville project, said Ted Miller, Dolly Parton Productions business manager . “We still believe the time will come, and there will be the right opportunity for Nashville,” Miller said. “She wants to look at Nashville. She knows it’s a grand opportunity, and the people there would love to have her do something. She is still working on what is the right opportunity.” Parton and her Dollywood Co. had planned to partner with Gaylord Entertainment Co. (now known as Ryman Hospitality Properties) on a water and snow park in the Opryland area, but plans collapsed last year when Gaylord sold off its hotel brand and management rights to Marriott International. Miller said the new DreamMore Resort was part of a 10-year plan and they made the decision to work on the concept 18 months ago. Based on a study by the University of Tennessee, the project will create about 2,500 jobs, including construction, and the resort itself will directly employee about 250 people in its first phase, a number expected to increase over time.

No datesset for do-overvote for ShelbyCountySchoolBoard(CommercialAppeal)
The Shelby County Election Commission learned on Wednesday that it will have to wait before any action can be taken toward another election for the Shelby County School Board District 4 seat. Chancery Court Judge Kenny W. Armstrong voided last year’s election, which was challenged by Dr. Kenneth Whalum, who lost to Kevin Woods by 106 votes. Armstrong ruled that there were enough irregularities to warrant another election. However, assistant county attorney John Ryder told the election commission that Armstrong did not include an order for the election 7

commission in his memorandum, although one is expected to be issued within days. “The memorandum opinion does not contain language that I think lawyers would like to see, which would be ‘therefore it is ordered that the election commission conduct a new election’,” Ryder said. He expects an order from the court within the next few days. And Woods, Ryder said, could appeal the judge’s decision, meaning an election would wait until the appeals court rules, which could take months. (SUB)

Re-SegregationClaimApparentlyStill Alivein School-MergerCase(M. Flyer)
It has largely gone unnoticed amid the other local-government news of the week (e.g., meters for this, meters for that), but U.S. District Judge Hardy Mays has nudged the litigants in the protracted and still ongoing school-merger case to submit briefs about the current status of the case. In an order of August 14, Mays reviews recent developments and cites precedents to the point that the passage of Act 256 in the 2013 session of the General Assembly had made moot a complaint by the Shelby County Commission concerning the unconstitutionality of a prior act enabling the establishment of new municipal school systems. Mays had invalidated that prior act, which was unduly restricted to Shelby County, in November 2012, thereby halting the first effort by six Shelby County suburbs — Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland, and Millington — to establish separate school districts. Act 256, which applied statewide in its lifting of a ban on new special school districts, had remedied the defect of the earlier act, Mays notes in the order.

OPINION Editorial:Haslamvisit to Camdenfocuseson job growth(JacksonSun)
We are glad to see Gov. Bill Haslam in West Tennessee, where he visited Jones Plastics and Engineering in Camden to talk about economic development and jobs. Bringing more jobs to Tennessee — and especially to West Tennessee which lags behind the other grand divisions in job growth — is a must-do priority of Haslam. The governor visited the Jones operation as a follow up to the state awarding a grant to the company to add new equipment and create new jobs. Tennessee taxpayers should be glad to know their money was well spent, and that Jones now employs 170 people in good-paying manufacturing jobs. Too often we hear about taxpayer-funded grants, but never find out what happened to the money. Haslam made a point of thanking third-generation company owner Ryan Jones for doing what he said he would do with the grant and getting results the state hoped for. Haslam is visiting all sizes and types of businesses throughout Tennessee to gain insight into their needs and opportunities. One sector that is sure to grow and is worth state investment is in auto industry-related manufacturing. Jones Plastics and Engineering makes plastic parts for the automotive and appliance industries.

Scott Broden:StateSupremeCourtneedsto clarify publicnoticerules(DNJ)
The Tennessee Supreme Court should give us some new common law on public notice based on how people debated construction of a mosque in Rutherford County. I’m strictly talking public notice here when it comes to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM). I don’t agree with those bigots who think that all Muslims are terrorists who should be pulled off the property the ICM developed and told they’re not welcome here. That’s the same attitude that President Andrew Jackson of Tennessee displayed when he and others told the Cherokees and other tribes they had to give up their land and be hauled off on a Trail of Tears to west of the Mississippi River. As far as I’m concerned, the Muslims have First Amendment religious freedom and land-use rights to build a bigger place of 8

worship as they grow here like other local churches. Many folks who back the ICM contend that Chancellor Robert Corlew III discriminated against the congregation by ruling in May 2012 that the county failed to provide adequate public notice before the Regional Planning Commission approved the mosque site plans May 24, 2010. Corlew, however, suggested that the county place the issue back on a meeting agenda, provide proper public notice and vote on the issue again without discriminating against the ICM’s religions land-use rights. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Columnist:RepublicansDo HaveIdeasfor HealthCare(Wall StreetJournal)
In remarks at the White House last month, President Obama claimed that if Republicans "had some better ideas" on health care, he was "happy to hear them. But I haven't heard any so far." The Democratic National Committee expanded the president's charge, claiming in a press release last week that "the GOP is simply out of ideas" on health care. Liberal opinion writers are now echoing Mr. Obama. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes that "Republicans have no idea what is it is they'll do" to replace the Affordable Care Act. The New York Times's Paul Krugman chimes in that the GOP goal is to "deny essential health care and financial security to millions of their fellow Americans." Mr. Obama and his hallelujah chorus are wrong. Republicans have plenty of sensible ideas to make health coverage more accessible and more affordable. Many congressional Republicans, such as Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn and Wyoming's Sen. Mike Enzi, have long advocated making health insurance completely portable so workers can take their plans with them from job to job. This means giving individuals who buy coverage for themselves a tax advantage similar to the one that employers enjoy when they cover employees. That change also could make coverage more affordable for the self-employed and even universal for all workers. (SUBSCRIPTION) ###