MONDAY,AUGUST26, 2013 NashvilleAreaChamberof Commerceseeksboostin dual enrollment(Tenn/Brown

Now, a coalition of business and education groups is shining light on the issue in a bid to reduce or eliminate the cost for students to participate in the classes, which count both as college and high school credit. Earlier this year, the coalition led by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study to look at how to improve the state’s dual enrollment program. The study, performed by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, recommended increasing funding for the program. In Tennessee, the state pays $300 per dual enrollment class, while the cost to attend that class, including books, is more than $450, according to the study. “Tuition must be fully covered by state funds if lower-income students are to have genuine access to dual enrollment opportunities,” Melinda Mechur Karp, a researcher at Columbia, wrote in the report. For business groups, increasing the participation in dual enrollment ultimately leads to more students in college and more qualified workers down the road. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Areateachersdecrylinkinglicenseto studenttest scores(TimesNews)
The Tennessee Board of Education’s recent vote to link student test scores to teacher licensure doesn’t sit well with some area teachers. The state BOE on Aug. 16 voted 6-3 to approve contentious new rules on teacher licensure while delaying their implementation until 2015. According to media accounts across the state, The Associated Press, the Tennessee Education Association and interviews of local teachers, many teachers oppose the changes because they tie licenses to student test data. “Hopefully, they (the state school board) will change it,” said Athena Warren, a 21-year Sullivan County kindergarten teacher at Mary Hughes School and the immediate past Sullivan County Education president. “It’s not really fair because not all teachers’ (students) are tested,” Warren said. Some grade levels and some subjects are not subject to standardized testing, so those teachers would be rated based on the performance of students in other subjects or students in other grade levels.

T-DOToffersgrantcompromiseto savehistoriclimestonesidewalk(T-N)
Rogersville can still save a $229,000 grant to build a “Safe Route to Schools” sidewalk near Rogersville City School, although it will require small property easements from adjacent property owners. In 2009, the Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded Rogersville a $229,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant to replace a historic limestone sidewalk on Broadway Street about 70 feet in length just east of RCS. The sidewalk is uneven, jagged and, in some places, broken. City and school officials had asked the state to allow the limestone to remain part of the project. But because the funds are part of a federal project, the new sidewalk must be constructed under certain guidelines. For example it must meet all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, and it must have a smooth concrete surface that is at least 5 feet wide.

Generatorto be hauledKnoxvilleto Greeneville(AssociatedPress)
A large generator will be slowly moved from Knoxville to Greeneville. The 60-mile trek begins Monday evening over state roads and will move at 8-25 mph. The rig that will carry the massive generator is 16 feet wide and 175 feet long. It will take up at least two lanes of highway. The weight of the load is an estimated 256 tons. The load will begin moving from the Forks of the River Industrial Park out the John Sevier Highway and will end the first night's transit in Morristown. For up-to-date travel information, motorists may dial 5-1-1 from any land line or cellphone, or follow TDOT on Twitter.

greeneville/ (SUBSCRIPTION)

Tenn.lawmakersdraftinghempbill (AssociatedPress)
Two state lawmakers in Tennessee are pointing to Kentucky’s recent approval of hemp farming as they push for a similar measure. The Knoxville News Sentinel ( reports Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains is drafting a bill with Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, and they plan to introduce the measure in next year’s legislative session. Nicely said Kentucky and six other states have passed measures legalizing hemp even though federal law prohibits it. Nicely said there also is support for changing federal laws, notably from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, both from Kentucky. “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real, and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this year. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee did not take a position on the issue, but said it should be discussed. (SUBSCRIPTION) \

Ethicsboardaskedto investigatedistrictattorney(AssociatedPress)
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has filed a complaint asking an ethics panel to investigate 10th Judicial District Attorney Steve Bebb. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Harwell said in a statement on Friday that she asked the Board of Professional Responsibility to conduct a “thorough, prompt investigation and appropriate action.” Two other lawmakers have filed similar complaints. Bebb did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment. A Times Free Press series published last year detailed wide-ranging allegations of misconduct by Bebb and people he supervised. In March, state Attorney General Robert Cooper released a report saying Bebb exhibited poor judgment and bad record-keeping, but Cooper did not find any prosecutable violations. Harwell said lawmakers would review the findings of the ethics panel and take appropriate action. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Maggartlooksbackon guns-in-trunksfight that derailedpoliticalcareer(TN/Hall)
No good politician takes her career for granted, but Debra Maggart really didn’t expect to see hers die on the issue of gun rights. Her granddaddy was an exhibition shooter for Smith & Wesson. Her family’s business, Carter Hardware Co., included a gun department. She had a lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association, earning its prize A-plus candidate rating. And Maggart was as enmeshed as anyone could be in Tennessee’s Republican Party. Her native Hendersonville elected her to four terms in the House, and her colleagues elected her caucus chairwoman. The Tennessean called her a rising star in the GOP in 2011. But instead of looking to her next step — Congress, maybe? — she got up every morning considering how to navigate the Republican agenda through the bogs of state government. And then, as she puts it, the NRA came swooping in and blew her head off. It happened after she expressed her concern about a bill to allow employees to keep guns in locked vehicles at work — dubbed “safe commute” by proponents but nicknamed “guns in trunks.” The law is basically unenforceable, a Tennessee Attorney General’s opinion revealed in May, because while employers can’t tell folks not to bring guns, they can fire them for doing it.

SaraKylesupportersset up PAC(Tennessean/Sisk)
Sara Kyle’s supporters say they have set up a political action committee to encourage her to run against Gov. Bill Haslam next year, amping up the likelihood that the Memphis Democrat will step into the race. The Run Sara Run PAC features some local-level players in Tennessee politics, led by Shelby County Commission Chair Deidre Malone and Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson. The group has put together a news release announcing its formation, a good indication that it is fairly well organized. It says its goal is to demonstrate support for Kyle ahead of the Tennessee Democratic Party’s annual Jackson Day dinner, scheduled for Sept. 7. More info can be found at Kyle, a former director at the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, said this month that she is weighing a run. Democrats are in desperate need of a candidate to stand against Haslam, and Kyle has some experience with statewide campaigns. She was elected to the TRA’s predecessor, the Public Service Commission, in 1994, and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, ran in the Democratic primary for governor before the 2010 election. (SUBSCRIPTION) 2

HuckabeethrowsweightbehindSen. Alexander(Tennessean/Cass)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has written a letter urging conservatives to back U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s bid for a third term. Over four pages released by the Alexander campaign, Huckabee praises the senior Tennessee senator profusely, sprinkling in sentences sure to please tea party and religious conservatives. Huckabee says Alexander has opposed Obamacare, tried to “reverse the trend toward a national school board,” supported “the teaching of American history and civics” and “is not afraid to stand up to this administration.” Ronald Reagan is mentioned four times, including in the first and last paragraphs. Huckabee also bolsters his Tennessee cred by mentioning that he won the state’s 2008 Republican presidential primary. The crux of his pitch is a plea for small donations. “I hope you will pray for Lamar, vote for Lamar, and fill out the enclosed envelope and send it back with a $10 or $15 (check) or whatever amount you can afford,” he urges. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Carr claimsradioendorsements(Tennessean/Cass)
Meanwhile, Republican state Rep. Joe Carr, who has jumped into the race to unseat Alexander, called attention to a pair of endorsements he’s picked up for his Senate campaign from WTN radio hosts Ralph Bristol and Michael DelGiorno. The two endorsed Carr shortly after he appeared on Bristol’s program Tuesday. (SUBSCRIPTION)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential candidate, was scheduled to visit Middle Tennessee on Friday for a $2,500-per-couple re-election fund-raiser. An invitation obtained by The Tennessean showed Walker planned to attend a privateluncheon at the home of Reba and Willis Johnson at 1301 Moran Road in Franklin, which was formerly country star Alan Jackson’s 135-acre estate. The minimum donation was $2,500, while a $10,000 contribution would get the donor into “the Scott Walker Governor’s Club.” Walker was elected governor in 2010. After moving aggressively to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of most of Wisconsin’s public employee labor unions, he faced a recall election, which he won by a large margin. Walker will run for election in 2014 and could be a GOP candidate for the White House a couple of years later. The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog wrote Tuesday about what a Walker candidacy might look like. (SUBSCRIPTION)

CollegesSet to Offer Exit Tests(Wall StreetJournal)
Next spring, seniors at about 200 U.S. colleges will take a new test that could prove more important to their future than final exams: an SAT-like assessment that aims to cut through grade-point averages and judge students' real value to employers. The test, called the Collegiate Learning Assessment, "provides an objective, benchmarked report card for critical thinking skills," said David Pate, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at St. John Fisher College, a small liberal-arts school near Rochester, N.Y. "The students will be able to use it to go out and market themselves." The test is part of a movement to find new ways to assess the skills of graduates. Employers say grades can be misleading and that they have grown skeptical of college credentials. "For too long, colleges and universities have said to the American public, to students and their parents, 'Trust us, we're professional. If we say that you're learning and we give you a diploma it means you're prepared,' " said Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. "But that's not true." The new voluntary test, which the nonprofit behind it calls CLA +, represents the latest threat to the fraying monopoly that traditional four-year colleges have enjoyed in defining what it means to be well educated. (SUBSCRIPTION)

After SupremeCourtRuling,StatesAct on JuvenileSentences(Stateline)
In 1980, Henry Hill was convicted of murdering a man in a Saginaw, Mich., park and sentenced to life in prison without parole, the mandatory sentence for the crime. He was 16 years old and functionally illiterate. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life sentences for offenders under 18 are cruel and 3

unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. In the wake of that decision, a federal court this month ruled that Hill and more than 300 other Michigan juvenile lifers are entitled to a parole hearing. Michigan is one of at least 11 states that have revisited their sentencing laws in response to the Supreme Court decision (see Stateline chart). Generally, juvenile killers in those states will be eligible for a parole hearing after serving a mandatory minimum sentence of about 25 years. Still, there are at least 15 states that have not yet eliminated mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles. In many states, legislatures and courts aren’t sure how the Miller decision should apply to offenders such as Hill who are already serving such sentences. Nationwide, there are more than 2,000 prisoners in 43 states serving life without parole sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles.

TVAdonatesto Kentuckycoal minermemorial(AssociatedPress)
The Tennessee Valley Authority is donating $5,000 for a coal miner memorial in western Kentucky. The project will be located at the Muhlenberg County Courthouse and include the names of miners who lost their lives working in the area. TVA operates a coal burning power plant, Paradise Fossil Plant, on the Green River in the county. It burns 20,000 tons of coal a day. Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive Rick Newman says the Paradise Plant keeps the mining industry going in the area. The memorial will have brass statues and a plaque with the names of the miners. (SUB)

StartupMemphis:Economicdevelopmentforumto focuson entrepreneurship(CA)
Memphis entrepreneurship past, present and future will take center stage this week when the city’s history of innovation is examined by current business leaders as a template for sustainability and growth. “Accelerating the Continuum: Advancing the Growth of Business Ecosystems” will be the theme of the sixth annual Economic Development Forum sponsored by the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum that will take place Tuesday through Thursday at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main. In addition to a round-table discussion with some of the most renowned entrepreneurs in Memphis — Joseph R. “Pitt” Hyde, Duncan Williams and Kemmons Wilson Jr. — the program will feature a luncheon presentation by Dr. Ting Ho, former chief economist for FedEx who is now executive director of Symphony Holdings. Seating is limited and registration is required. To get your tickets, visit or call 901-525-6512. If you’re Downtown on Monday, check out “Content is Interface,” featuring presenter Matt Ladner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Brass Door, 152 Madison. The event is sponsored by Content Strategy MEM and is open to anyone interested in interactive content. To learn more, visit (SUB)

WilliamsonCo. schoolofficialssee pressingneedfor newcampus(TN/Giordano)
With Ravenwood High experiencing its largest freshman class to date and a new subdivision likely in the near future, Williamson County school officials are eyeing the growth in the northeastern section of the county and hoping to step up plans for a new high school. The high school was proposed a few years ago to help with steadily increasing enrollment numbers at Ravenwood, which has reached record numbers. The high school is designed for about 1,600 students but has about 2,000 — including 500 freshmen — this school year, and they use some portable classrooms. The school board last week approved a revised five-year capital outlay plan that includes a request for about $7.4 million to begin design work and site preparation for the new school. The district already owns the nearly 100 acres near York and Williams roads in Nolensville where the school would be constructed. Because the school board does not have its own taxing authority, it must request funds from the County Commission. It takes about two years to build a new high school. But it’s not entirely clear if the school will serve as a traditional ninth-12th grade facility in the beginning. Director of Schools Mike Looney and others appear to be toying with the idea of creating a grade configuration that would help relieve overcrowding at nearby Ravenwood High School, Sunset Middle and Elementary and Nolensville Elementary schools. (SUBSCRIPTION)


OPINION RobinSmith:County'shighratinga real braggingpoint(TimesFree-Press)
Since 2010, there have been 36 municipal bankruptcy filings in our nation -- a sign of the failing economy. Massive financial deficits due to excessive spending, declining revenue, and an ineffectiveness of many local government leaders to implement policies that reform and rescue are much too common. Drum roll, please. There's great news for us here in Southeast Tennessee. Hamilton County's government is the only county in the entire state of Tennessee recognized by all three major credit ratings agencies -- Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch -- as having achieved a AAA rating based on several stringent criteria. Out of 95 Tennessee counties, one stands above the rest in meeting the high bar of distinction as having the "Extremely Strong" capacity to meet its financial commitments -- with the emphasis added by the overseeing agencies. The second county to hold a triple A rating, only by the single agency, Moody's, is Williamson County, home to Franklin, Brentwood, and many of the state's business leaders and country music stars.

Editorial:A smartdeal for taxpayers,workers(CommercialAppeal)
The Memphis City Council is performing its due diligence on the proposal to give Memphis sanitation workers a modest retirement package, but logic and humanitarian concerns are pointing toward eventual approval. When we say modest, we mean a maximum benefit of $12,000 a year, based on a plan that would give retired sanitation workers $400 for every year of service up to 30 years. When we say logical we mean a $1.7 million annual cost for a package that would also yield $4.7 million in annual savings, as part of a deal that would cut 80 wastemanagement positions through attrition and ask the remaining crews to make about 100 more stops per day. The deal took the administration of Mayor A C Wharton and the workers 18 months to develop. Council members said last week they needed more time and information about the plan before casting their votes. One could argue that sanitation workers forfeited their right to a pension plan voluntarily after their historic strike in 1968, so why should the public pay for their retirement now? The answer — in addition to the aforementioned bargain of significant benefit to the city and its sanitation services customers — would be to give long-past-retirement-age workers a rest from their back-breaking labor. (SUBSCRIPTION)

TimesEditorial: Hospitalsandsecrecymakea scaryprescription(TFP)
Erlanger is a public hospital, and Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe has a public hospital authority with trustees appointed by Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties. The counties and the authority together own Hutcheson's buildings and assets, and lease them to a private, nonprofit Hutcheson Medical Center. Meanwhile, Hutcheson, on the verge of insolvency for much of the past decade, now owes Erlanger $21.55 million on a line of credit issued from the Chattanooga hospital. Confusing as all that may seem, the bottom line is that both entities, no matter how many shell businesses they try to hide behind, are public hospitals that belong to us and spend taxpayer and patient money. Both Walker and Catoosa counties are in line to have to repay Erlanger if Hutcheson defaults. So how is it that both hospitals -- most recently Hutcheson -- have closed the door on the public and reporters when it comes to just what their mutual arrangement was? We are left wondering what the $20 million loan and $1.55 million in already-accrued interest has paid for. On Monday, Hutcheson's board met for about four hours in a closed session before announcing Tuesday afternoon that the two hospital systems were negotiating to end their partnership. Erlanger took over management of Hutcheson in April 2011 shortly after Hutcheson's thenCEO Charles Stewart resigned.

Editorial:MixedSignalson EmployeeHealthInsurance(NewYorkTimes)
It is hard to know whether to rejoice or lament two striking if somewhat conflicting messages last week about the costs of employer-sponsored health insurance. An authoritative survey found that premiums for family and individual coverage at work — including both the company’s and the worker’s share — have gone up only 5

moderately for the second year in a row, suggesting that health care inflation may finally be abating and that whatever costs the president’s health reforms may add will be readily absorbed. On the other hand, United Parcel Service told its white-collar workers that in an effort to reduce its health care costs, it will no longer cover some 15,000 spouses who can obtain coverage through their own employers. The company said its move was prompted primarily by projected increases in the amount it would have to pay for employees’ medical care and secondarily by various costs associated with the health care reform law. The annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust covered more than 2,000 small and large employers. It found that the average premium for employer-sponsored health insurance, typically paid mostly by employers and partly by workers, rose only 4 percent for family plans between 2012 and 2013, the same percentage increase as between 2011 and 2012. The premiums for individual policies rose 5 percent for individual workers, up from 3 percent the previous year. ref=todayspaper&_r=0 (SUBSCRIPTION) ###


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful