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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011 Haslam, Alexander tour East Tenn.

biorefinery (Associated Press/Schelzig)


Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander are touting the potential of making clean fuel out of a plentiful crop in East Tennessee. The two Republicans visited a Vonore farm growing several types of switchgrass on Tuesday, followed by tours of the processing plant and biorefinery that are expected to begin making fuel from switchgrass next year. It currently makes ethanol from a variety of cellulosic materials like corn cobs. Alexander said making ethanol out of switchgrass is preferable to corn because it doesn't drive up the price of an edible crop. "This is fuel from crops that we don't eat," he said. "So if it works which we hope it does it will be very important for our country's future," he said. Haslam said after the tour that if Tennessee can make a fuel that isn't subject to the whims of the international oil market, that is clean and domestically available, "that's a huge win for us." http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=tennessean&sParam=37345833.story

Governor, Senator tour biorefinery plant in Monroe County (WBIR-TV Knoxville)


Biofuels drew Governor Bill Haslam and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander to Monroe County on Tuesday. They toured the Vonroe Biofuel plant and farms participating in switchgrass research. The tour started at Brad and Kim Black's "Colorwheel Farm" which grows nearly 300 acres of the crop. The Blacks explained how the grass, a native and perennial crop, needs only to be planted once. That saves the farmers input costs. Switchgrass is harvested in the fall, where it is then taken to the Biomass Innovation Park. There, researchers convert the crop to feedstock which runs the biorefinery. The plant can produce about 640 to 680 gallons of ethanol fuel per acre of switchgrass. The biofuels initiative grant first started under former Governor Phil Bredesen. Research began on corncobs. Governor Haslam and Senator Alexander agreed the goal should now be a commercial product. http://www.wbir.com/news/article/182015/2/Governor-Senator-tour-biorefinery-plant-in-Monroe-Co

Biomass plant could go commercial as switchgrass gains ground (NS/Marcum)


The University of Tennessee showed off its biofuel facilities here Tuesday to top state officials as the school works to increase efficiencies so that the experimental project can become a commercial operation. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander , both Republicans, had words of enthusiasm about the project's potential to help spawn a cellulosic biofuels industry in Tennessee. "Obviously, the potential to turn cellulosic ethanol into fuel that would be Tennessee-grown and provide U.S.-based clean energy is very important. We are here today to understand the economics of what stands between us and finally accomplishing this," Haslam said during a news conference after touring the complex. Alexander noted the emphasis that the UT project places on switchgrass as a biomass fuel rather than corn. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/vonore-biomass-plant-could-go-commercial-as/

Grassoline on the way (Maryville Daily Times)


About 75 people, including Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, took a tour in Vonore Tuesday to look at the progress in developing a cost-effective way to turn switchgrass into ethanol to fuel vehicles. The two Republicans visited a farm growing several types of switchgrass, followed by tours of the processing plant and biorefinery that are expected to begin making fuel from switchgrass next year. It currently makes ethanol from a variety of cellulosic materials like corn cobs. Alexander said making ethanol out of switchgrass is preferable to corn because it doesnt drive up the price of an edible crop. This is fuel from crops that we dont eat, he said. So if it works which we hope it does it will be very important for our countrys future. Haslam said after the tour that if Tennessee can make a fuel that isnt subject to the whims of the international oil market, that is clean and domestically available, thats a huge win for us. http://www.thedailytimes.com/Local_News/story/%E2%80%98Grassoline%E2%80%99-on-the-way%3ASwitchgrass-to-ethanol-refining-to-begin-this-year-in-Vonore-id-015204

Michigan Company Planning $23M Perry Co. Car-Parts Plant (TN Report)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today joined with officials from Perry County to welcome NYX, Inc., a Michigan-based automotive supplier, to Linden, Tenn. The company, who also owns Bates, LLC, an existing automotive manufacturing facility in Lobelville, Tenn., is planning a $23 million manufacturing facility to produce injection molded plastics for a wide variety of automotive manufacturers beginning in early 2012, creating 400 jobs over a five-year period. Companies recognize and appreciate Tennessees attractive business climate, and this additional investment by NYX is a vote of confidence in our state, Haslam said. We appreciate NYXs decision to locate a facility in Linden, and we will continue focusing on our regional economic development strategy to attract quality jobs to rural communities. http://www.tnreport.com/2011/08/michigan-company-planning-23m-perry-co-car-parts-plant/

Gallatin facility to expand, add 114 new jobs (Associated Press)


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said a company that makes fuel systems for automotive and other manufacturers is investing $5 million in its Gallatin plant to expand and add 114 new jobs. The Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commission said in a news release Tuesday that ABC Group Fuel Systems is investing $5 million in the plant expansion, and the added jobs will be a combination of full-time production and maintenance positions. ABC Group Fuel Systems is a subsidiary of ABC Group of Companies, headquartered in Toronto. The company has three facilities in Gallatin employing 303 people and has had a presence in Tennessee since 1987. http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=tennessean&sParam=37344687.story

Tennessee lands 400 new jobs, NYX plant (Memphis Business Journal)
Michigan-based auto supplier NYX Inc. is planning a $23 million plant in Perry County that will create 400 jobs over five years, state officials announced today. The plant, located in Linden, Tenn., will produce injectionmolded plastics. The company will begin production in 2012. Linden is located about 140 miles east of Memphis. The jobs will be a boon for Perry County, which had a 14.7 percent unemployment rate in July, putting it among the highest in Tennessee. NYX will begin accepting applications in November. NYX has signed a 10-year laws for the 175,000-square-foot Fisher building. The company also owns Bates LLC, an automotive manufacturing facility in Lobelville, Tenn. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam: "Companies recognize and appreciate Tennessee's attractive business climate, and this additional investment by NYX is a vote of confidence in our state. We appreciate NYX's decision to locate a facility in Linden, and we will continue focusing on our regional economic development strategy to attract quality jobs to rural communities." http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2011/08/30/tennessee-lands-400-new-jobs-nyx-plant.html

Auto supplier plans to open plant, add 400 jobs in Tennessee's Perry County (CA)
An automotive supplier will open a new $23 million manufacturing plant and create 400 jobs in the next five years in Perry County, where the unemployment rate in recent years has reached nearly 30 percent, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday. The Republican governor and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said Michigan-based NYX Inc. is coming to Linden -- about 140 miles east of Memphis -- and will produce molded plastics for a wide variety of automotive manufacturers starting next year. The company also owns Bates LLC, an existing automotive manufacturing facility in nearby Lobelville. "Companies recognize and appreciate Tennessee's attractive business climate, and this additional investment by NYX is a vote of confidence in our state," Haslam said in a press release. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/aug/30/auto-supplier-plans-open-plant-add-400-jobs-tennes/

Perry County W ill Add Hundreds of Jobs in Coming Years (W PLN-Radio Nashville)
Four hundred jobs are on their way to a small Tennessee county that recently held the states highest unemployment rate. Michigan-based auto-parts suppliers NYX is planning a multimillion dollar expansion in rural Perry County, southwest of Nashville. NYX injection-molds plastics for carmakers, and also owns another partssupplier in the area that was forced to lay off half its workforce a few years ago. Thats when unemployment in Perry County hit about one-in-four. The state brought in stimulus money to create jobs, but the jobless rate is still around 15 percent. Matt Votaw (VOE-taw) directs the Perry County Chamber of Commerce. He calls news of the expansion tremendous, saying many people had to leave town to find work, and have been waiting for a 2

chance to move home. Its important to remember too that its going to be awhile before the jobs can be filled. Theyre not even going to begin taking applications until November. Right now the facility that theyre moving into is completely empty, so theyre having to bring everything in and get it all set up. So itll be awhile. The jobs didnt leave overnight and theyre not going to come back in overnight. http://wpln.org/?p=29917

Gallatin facility to expand, add 114 new jobs (Associated Press)


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said a company that makes fuel systems for automotive and other manufacturers is investing $5 million in its Gallatin plant to expand and add 114 new jobs. The Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commission said in a news release Tuesday that ABC Group Fuel Systems is investing $5 million in the plant expansion, and the added jobs will be a combination of full-time production and maintenance positions. ABC Group Fuel Systems is a subsidiary of ABC Group of Companies, headquartered in Toronto. The company has three facilities in Gallatin employing 303 people and has had a presence in Tennessee since 1987. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/gallatin-facility-to-expand-add-114-new-jobs/

Haslam pitches jobs plan to area leaders (Times-News)


Tennessees unemployment rate hovering around 9.5 percent is not something were thrilled with, Gov. Bill Haslam said while pitching his jobs initiative to a mix of business and higher education leaders and elected officials Tuesday. Haslam led a roundtable discussion at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education about setting the right environment for job creation. It has to have a low-tax and low-regulatory environment. We need to have elected officials who understand business, Haslam, a Republican, said in starting the discussion. The Haslam jobs plan is focused on building up key business clusters including automotive, chemicals, health care and logistics through a network of regional jobs base camps staffed by the states Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). After a short presentation of the plan, Haslam got direct feedback from a panel of existing business executives. http://www.timesnews.net/article/9035338/haslampitches-jobs-plan-to-area-leaders

Haslam Listens To Local Business Leaders' Concerns (WCYB-TV Johnson City)


At a time when the economy is shaky at best, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is traveling the state in an effort to put more people to work. In Kingsport Tuesday, he met with local leaders to figure out what the state can do to help them land new business and new employees. The good and the bad were all laid out at a roundtable discussion focusing on Tennessee's economic development. Governor Bill Haslam moderated the discussion and learned just what help local businesses, and the people who run them, need from the state. "Today several businesses said the cost of workers' compensation in Tennessee has gone higher than it is in other states, so we have to take that into account," Haslam said Tuesday. Another top concern is the gap between the jobs available and the skills of the workforce. Scott Niswonger is the founder of Landair in Greenville. He said, "We have 50 jobs available in a county that has 13 percent unemployment, Greene County, and we don't have the workforce that's trained right." http://www.wcyb.com/news/29029536/detail.html

Haslam approves grant money for Greenbelt foot bridge in Kingsport (H-C)
Tennessee's governor is back in the Tri-Cities talking economic growth and handing out cash. A lot of the money is going to Kingsport specifically for the construction of a critical link in the city's biking and walking trail called the Greenbelt. This morning Governor Bill Haslam announced a $652,000 transportation grant. The money will be used for a 600-foot long pedestrain bridge over the Holston River. The money is part of a federally funded program that's being administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The federal government gave these dollars to Tennessee specifically for transportation enhancement projects like this one. In addition to funding the construction of the foot bridge, the money will also be used for a retaining wall, pedestrian amenities and landscaping. Kingsport leaders have been trying to get this grant money for year and say it will improve pedestrian safety as well as the health of the community. http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/aug/30/governor-haslam-approves-grant-money-greenbelt-foo-ar-1274268/

Benton gets improvement grant (WRCB-TV Chattanooga)


The Town of Benton has received more than $155,000 from the state for improving sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge. On Tuesday, Governor Bill Haslam and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer the $155,398 transportation enhancement grant for Benton's Downtown Streetscape Project. The Downtown Streetscape Project includes 3

the construction of approximately 2700 linear feet of sidewalks, as well as a pedestrian bridge over Four Mile Creek. The purpose of the project is to enhance transportation access and safety for pedestrians by providing a continuous link between two schools, and to enhance the relationship with the main thoroughfare through town, US 411. "This project will provide a much needed link between schools, residential areas, and commercial developments," said Governor Haslam. "These improvements will help keep pedestrians safe and encourage more residents to walk to their destinations. I'm pleased we could make this investment in Polk County. http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/15358652/benton-gets-improvement-grant

Haslam Cool to State Authorizer for Charter Schools (TN Report)


Gov. Bill Haslam led the movement this year to take the shackles off Tennessee charter schools so they can play a bigger role in education, but he says hes as yet unwilling to grant them their next wish a statewide board to OK their applications. Charter school advocates argue theyd rather have the state or some independent body OK their applications instead of local school boards, which they see as too hesitant to embrace nontraditional education initiatives. But Haslam said he wont give away powers now reserved for local school districts to anyone else at least until he can gauge how successful his developing charter school reforms turn out. Im comfortable with what weve put in place. Lets see how this works for a year or two before we do anything else, the governor said. http://www.tnreport.com/2011/08/haslam-cool-to-state-authorizer-for-charter-schools/

Department of Health Encourages Residents to ready for Emergencies (C. Online)


In keeping with the priority Tennessee has placed on emergency preparedness, Gov. Bill Haslam has declared September National Preparedness Month in the state. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, offering greater significance for the observance and renewing the focus on individual and family planning for emergency situations. This years observance theme is, A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare. The Tennessee Department of Health is issuing a call to residents to take specific steps to be prepared in the event of an emergency: get a kit; make a plan; and be informed. Detailed information is available online www.ready.govTen years ago, our country changed forever, but as a nation at . we promised never to forget and vowed to be prepared for the unthinkable, Haslam said. Recent natural disasters throughout the state are a reminder of how we need to remember to be prepared for unpredictable events that may impact our families and communities. http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2011/08/30/department-of-health-encourages-residents-to-ready-foremergencies/

Federal cuts could cost state more than 5,000 jobs (Associated Press/Johnson)
Tennessee agencies would have to cut more than 5,000 jobs if Congress reduces the state's federal funds by as much as 30 percent. Deep federal spending cuts are required under the recent debt-ceiling agreement in Congress. A special bipartisan committee in Congress has been tasked with crafting a compromise $1.5 trillion, 10-year debt reduction package. Tennessee Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes earlier this month told state agency heads to submit two sets of plans: one for how they would cut 15 percent of federal aid, and another for reducing those funds by an additional 15 percent. In his letter, Emkes wrote that national credit rating agencies have asked the state to present plans on how it will respond to the cuts in federal funds, which make up about 40 percent of Tennessee's $30.8 billion annual budget. Tennessee agencies' plans were released Tuesday. In the worst case scenario, 5,131 positions would be eliminated. Those with the most proposed cuts are the Department of Human Services with 1,595 positions, and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with 1,152. http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=tennessean&sParam=37344419.story

Contingency plan shows 5,100 Tennesseans would lose jobs (City Paper/Woods)
More than 5,000 state workers would lose their jobs in the unlikely event that Congress ever slashes Tennessees federal revenue by more than $4 billion, according to figures released Tuesday. Across-the-board reductions in services from public schools to health care to the environment also are among the Draconian budget cuts in contingency plans submitted to Gov. Bill Haslam. The federal government funds two-fifths of the $30 billion state budget. The governors what-if exercise is aimed at showing credit rating agencies that Tennessee could cope without so much of Washingtons cash. Haslam acknowledged such severe cuts are unlikely to happen even with Washington planning trillions of dollars in reductions in the coming years. We dont think they will, Haslam said, but we think its smart of us to ask, What if they do? 4

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/contingency-plan-shows-5100-tennesseans-would-lose-jobs

TennCare could take big hit (Tennessean/Sisk)


Haslam hopeful most cuts won't be needed Health care, childrens services and unemployment offices could bear the brunt of expected cuts in federal spending in Tennessee, according to planning documents released Tuesday. Spending on TennCare could be reduced by as much as 25 percent, and local health departments could lose as many as 278 jobs across Tennessee under a worst-case scenario prepared for state finance officials. Tennessee also may have to close as many 36 career centers, and reduce staffing for child welfare by nearly 700 people, if the federal government presses ahead with deep cuts to Tennessee. The planning documents give some insight into how sharp reductions in federal spending might affect Tennessee. About 40 percent of the states $30 billion budget comes from the federal government, which intends to reduce its spending by at least $1.2 trillion in a bid to reduce the national debt. Gov. Bill Haslam said last week that he expects any federal cuts to be targeted and that many of the reductions laid out in the planning documents will not be needed. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS0201/308310110/TennCare-could-take-big-hit? odyssey=mod|newswell|text|News|p

TN plans for up to $4.5 billion in cuts (Tennessean/Sisk)


Up to 5,100 jobs could be lost under worst case scenario TennCare, unemployment offices, local health departments and services for people with intellectual disabilities could bear the brunt of cuts in federal spending, according to planning documents released Tuesday by the state. Tennessee officials are preparing for up to $4.5 billion in budget cuts and the loss of 5,100 state jobs if the federal government goes ahead with planned reductions in funding to the state. The state Department of Finance and Administration released plans Tuesday that show potentially sharp reductions to spending on labor, health, intellectual disabilities, human services and childrens services. The plans come as Congress is preparing to make at least $1.2 trillion in cuts to the federal budget. State officials expect the cuts to trickle down to Tennessee, which receives about 40 percent of its annual budget from the federal government. The plans assume that Congress will slash funding to Tennessee by as much as 30 percent. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110830/NEWS0201/308300066/TN-plans-up-4-5billion-cuts?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|News|s

Fed funding cuts could mean loss of 5,131 state jobs (News-Sentinel/Humphrey)
A 30 percent reduction in federal funds flowing into state government would translate into the layoffs of 5,131 state government employees, according to documents released Tuesday by the state Department of Finance and Administration. The discharged workers would range from University of Tennessee graduate research positions to clerks processing unemployment benefit checks, according to the department-by-department survey. The estimates were produced in response to Gov. Bill Haslam's call for statements on how each department of state government would deal with a cut in federal funding of either 15 percent or 30 percent. The move comes with Congress contemplating major reductions federal spending in the coming year. "We don't expect reductions to this drastic, but believe it is responsible to prepare," said Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes in a statement distributed with the documents. "W e expect reductions in federal funding will be targeted to specific programs, but this exercise helps departments prepare to make reductions." http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/fed-funding-cuts-could-mean-loss-of-5131-state/

Tennessee releases plans for possible 30% cuts in federal funding (CA/Locker)
The state released detailed plans Tuesday for how it would deal with potential cuts in federal funding of up to 30 percent that, if fully implemented, would slash 5,132 employees and $4.5 billion out of the state's $31 billion budget. TennCare, the federal and state health insurance program for low-income and disabled people, would bear the brunt at just over $2.25 billion. If fully implemented, the program would reduce reimbursement rates to health providers, eliminate optional benefits and reduce other services -- including medicine and dental -- to recipients. But effects would be felt across state government, with social services agencies that receive considerable federal funding the hardest hit. The Department of Human Services would lose 1,595 employees and $861 million across a wide range of programs. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities would lose 1,152 employees and $230 million. The state Health Department would shed $96 million and 422 workers. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/aug/30/tennessee-releases-plans-possible-30-cuts-federal/

Tennessee releases "purely hypothetical" budget plan (Nooga)


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Hypothetical plans were released on Tuesday by the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, proposing what state agencies might do in the face of major budget cuts from the federal government. Tennessee currently receives around 40 percent of its annual budget from Washington. If the amount of state funding provided by the federal government were to be reduced by an estimated 30 percent, the plans reveal that Tennessee could potentially undergo up to $4.5 billion in budget cuts, and be forced to eliminate 5,132 positions. In the event of a 30 percent cut in federal funding, TennCare would face a total reduction of more than $2.2 billion, and be forced to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs. The next biggest loser would be the Department of Human Services, which would experience more than $860 million in cuts and 1,595 jobs lost. The Department of Education could potentially lose more than $276 million in funding, and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities would face a reduction of $229 million. http://www.nooga.com/14967_tennessee-releases-purely-hypothetical-budget-plan-to-prepare-for-cuts-infederal-funding/

Debt-deal cutbacks could force 5,000 more layoffs (Times Free-Press/Sher)


The Haslam administration has released worst-case scenario figures showing how federal budget reductions of up to 30 percent would force Tennessee government to slash another 5,132 state jobs. The figures, released Tuesday, also say such cuts would slice as much as $4.5 billion out of the state's $30.8 billion budget. The impact of such losses would be cuts to TennCare programs and health care provider payments, reductions in school nutrition programs for poorer students, less aid for disabled children and longer lines for unemployed workers seeking state help, the administration said. Departments were ordered to prepare outlines for federal cuts of 15 percent and 30 percent after executives from national bond rating agencies raised questions about how Tennessee, which is heavily dependent on federal dollars, would react to U.S. budget cuts. The recently signed federal Budget Control Act raised the debt ceiling but cuts federal spending by about $2.5 trillion over the next decade. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/31/debt-deal-cutbacks-could-force-5000-more-layoffs/?local

MTSU, state team up to discourage tobacco use (Associated Press)


Middle Tennessee State University and the state are teaming up for a statewide initiative to discourage tobacco use. The school's Center for Health and Human Services and the Tennessee Department of Health will be partners in the project. The initiative is to build a grass-roots network of community advocates for tobacco-use control policies at the local, regional and state levels. According to a news release Tuesday from the university, the project also will launch an information campaign to educate the public about the dangers of secondhand smoke. http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=tennessean&sParam=37345163.story

UT students taking solar home to DC (Knoxville News-Sentinel/Boehnke)


Team to compete in DOE event The arbor over the roof is actually a series of cylindrical solar panels. The windows are actually part of the heating and cooling system. The wood floor in the bathroom is actually one large drain. Nothing is quite as it seems within the 750-square-foot home designed by more than 200 University of Tennessee students that runs entirely on solar power. They will take the full-scale prototype to Washington, D.C., in two weeks to compete against 20 teams of college students representing other universities, states or countries in the Solar Decathalon 2011. The teams will set up on the National Mall and give tours to passers-by during the day and participate in competitions in the evening. "I think we have a very good shot at winning," said Amy Howard, a recent architecture graduate and project manager. "The amount of effort we put into researching teams from the past to know what to do and what to do differently gives us a jumping off point." http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/ut-students-taking-solar-house-to-dc-competition/

Judge Adolpho A. Birch leaves legacy of justice, kindness (Tennessean/Quinn)


From homeless to well-heeled, all loved him In the days after his fathers death, Adolpho A. Birch III has been overwhelmed by the countless stories people have told him about the towering man with the signature white beard. He was dear to many judges, lawyers, politicians who shared stories about the first AfricanAmerican chief justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. But others who crossed paths with the elder Birch had fond memories as well, from the man who delivered his mail, to the department store clerk to Kelvin, who peddles the homeless newspaper The Contributor at West End and Bowling avenues. Judge Adolpho A. Birch Jr. was their friend. To those in expensive suits and fancy heels and to those who had no clue that the nice man who took the time to listen to them was a pioneer in Tennessees judicial history. 6

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS01/308310124/Judge-Adolpho-Birch-leaves-legacy-justicekindness?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Visitors Stream to Pay Respects to Justice Birch (WPLN-Radio Nashville)


Tuesday night former Chief Justice A.A. Birch will be remembered in a service at Nashvilles War Memorial Auditorium. Attorneys and community members like Tyree Bowers paid their respects at the Metro Courthouse Tuesday afternoon. He did break down some color barriers, but before all of that, I remember the involvement he had in the community. More than 30 years ago, Bowers was trying to get a youth organization going and Justice Birch became a regular guest and allowed the group to use his courtroom for meetings. Justice Birch was known for being tough on crime, and retired attorney Steve Cobb says he saw that first hand when he argued on behalf of a client for a treatment plan instead of jail time. Finally, Judge Birch says, sounds to me like a great program. I very much hope he participates in itafter he finishes his sentence, and bam. That was my one criminal case in life. http://wpln.org/?p=29921

TN lawyers may soon bid to defend poor (Tennessean/Gee)


A persons right to legal representation could be provided through a highway contract-style bidding process under a proposal being considered by the Tennessee Supreme Court. To rein in the states fast-growing indigent defense fund, the court has drafted an amendment to its rules that would allow the cash-strapped state Administrative Office of the Courts to solicit bids and award contracts to lawyers or firms to provide legal services to indigent persons for a fixed fee. The proposal has come under a barrage of criticism from lawyers, judges and state and national legal organizations who warn that flat-fee contracts will put many lawyers out of work, undermine the authority of local judges and deny poor people the effective assistance of legal counsel. W e think it will compromise the quality of representation that indigent defendants get, said Laura Dykes, an assistant public defender in Nashville and past president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Other jurisdictions (that have tried this) have seen lawyers ignore ethical guidelines. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS0201/308310114/TN-lawyers-may-soon-bid-defend-poor? odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

Chancellor rejects claim mosque is terrorist base (Daily News Journal)


Chancellor Robert Corlew dispelled arguments this week that the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's mosque on Veals Road will be a base for terrorism. "The allegations presented at the initial hearing include assertions that this structure will be used as a base to undermine our laws and our government, and perhaps even serve as a base for terrorist or military operations," Corlew wrote. "Assuming for purpose of argument momentarily that such is true, were the Court to consider that after construction the Muslim congregation may begin to use the structure for terrorist activities, for example, as the Plaintiffs assert will occur, then it will be the duty of law enforcement personnel and codes enforcement personnel to halt the activities," Corlew wrote. "The remedy, then, is that of halting the illegal activity and not resistance to the use of the land." Corlew's statement is part of a ruling upholding his own May ruling against plaintiffs who are challenging approval of a mosque in south Murfreesboro. Corlew upheld that as a religious organization the ICM has the same right to land use as other religious organizations. http://www.dnj.com/article/20110831/NEW S01/108310310/Chancellor-rejects-claim-mosque-terrorist-base

'Ketronmander' a real fear or farce? (Daily News Journal)


GOP denies legislative ties to redistrict map eyed by Dems A Tennessee redistricting map that could give state Sen. Bill Ketron an advantage in running for Congress was not produced by state legislators, according to a Senate Republican spokeswoman. "Any maps out there are not from here," Darlene Schlicher, Senate Republican press secretary, said Tuesday. The map that was posted on the Internet would put Ketron in a new 5th District containing all of Rutherford, except for a leg extending from the east of a redrawn 4th District into Murfreesboro and a spot in the northeastern corner of Rutherford. It also would contain southeast Davidson County, west Wilson, Maury, Marshall, Lincoln and a corner of Giles counties, most of which Ketron now represents in the state Senate. In addition, the proposal would split Davidson County into three districts, a matter that drew public concern Monday from U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Nashville Democrat, and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Cooper told The Tennessean's editorial board that such a redistricting plan would destroy Nashville's political clout and allow suburbs to dominate voting by breaking up minority and urban voters. http://www.dnj.com/article/20110831/NEW S05/108310313/-Ketronmander-real-fear-farce-?odyssey=tab| topnews|text|FRONTPAGE 7

Sen. Bob Corker calls for moratorium on regulations (News-Sentinel/Flory)


Bureaucrats took a beating when Bob Corker visited Knoxville on Tuesday. The U.S. Senator used part of his August recess to address the local chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents meritshop construction firms. Corker, R-Chattanooga, touched on controversial topics including the recent debt-ceiling agreement and the Obama Administration's health care legislation, but during a Q-and-A session one audience member asked him what must be done to kick-start the economy and get people back to work. The senator said one of the biggest things that could be done was to implement a moratorium on new regulations that hurt jobs. "I mean, I think just to say, 'Stop. No more,'" he added. One of the biggest targets of his ire was the Environmental Protection Agency. Corker criticized the agency's approach to regulating energy production, and said the agency recently pushed for a rule that would have required dairy farmers to use the same procedures in cleaning up spilled milk that would be used in the case of an oil spill. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/sen-corker-calls-for-moratorium-on-regulations/

Alexander says Senate not as acrimonious as cable TV (Times-Gazette)


U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, visiting the Celebration on Monday night with his granddaughter, told the TimesGazette that while there are major ideological differences on Capitol Hill, the atmosphere isn't as personally acrimonious as some might assume. "People watch cable TV all day long, and all you see is people shouting at each other," said Alexander. But he said the Senate is still the deliberative body envisioned by the founding fathers, and while there may be sharp differences of opinion he said senators can still work together on issues like the debt crisis. "That's what the Senate is for," said Alexander. Alexander joked that things in Washington were "better with the Congress gone" -- lawmakers are home on their summer break -- but he stressed the importance of finding a way to improve the economy. "Every American's job is on the line," he said, accusing President Obama of undermining the "right-to-work" laws in states like Tennessee. Right-to-work laws prohibit making union membership a requirement of employment. http://www.t-g.com/story/1757741.html

Cohen's District to Go Country? (Memphis Flyer)


Steve Cohen, rural congressman? Could be, according to the current 9th District U.S. Representative, who was commenting on informal reports making the rounds concerning possible redistricting in Tennessee. Cohen cited an article in the Nashville Tennessean concerning a rumored plan by the states majority Republicans to carve Davidson County, currently the base of the 5th congressional district, held by Democrat Jim Cooper, into three districts. And he said he had heard reports that his own 9th District, though still based in Memphis, would be extended eastward into Fayette and Hardeman counties to accommodate the eastward shift of Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburns 7th congressional District. I could handle that district, but Id prefer to keep the Memphis district intact, said Cohen, who said the party-line ratios and black-white percentages would be similar in the rumored reconfiguration to what they are in the currently proportioned 9th District. Current Memphis City Schools board member and local Urban League head Tomeka Hart has said she will oppose Cohen in the Democratic primary but has thus far shown little evidence of campaigning. http://www.memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2011/08/30/cohens-district-to-go-country

Freshmen in House push bills benefiting big donors (Jackson Sun)


Review: Fincher among many who back bills that may help contributors Several House freshmen who swept into power vowing to change Washington's ways are pushing legislation that could benefit some of their most generous campaign contributors, a USA TODAY review of legislative and campaign records shows. Five months after taking office, Rep. Stephen Fincher, a cotton farmer from a mostly rural swath of Tennessee, introduced a bill to mandate swift federal approval of genetically modified crops for commercial sale. Fincher has received more campaign money from agribusiness than any other industry. Two months after he filed the bill, the political action committee of the Minnesota-based agricultural giant Land O'Lakes staged a $500-a-head fundraiser to benefit the Republican's re-election campaign. The company spent more than $740,000 on lobbying last year on a range of issues, including federal regulation of its genetically modified alfalfa seeds. Other freshmen who have crafted legislation backed by the industries helping to underwrite their campaigns include Rep. Sean Duffy, RWis., and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20110831/NEWS01/108310312/Freshmen-House-push-bills-benefiting-bigdonors 8

Settlement reached over ad during Diane Black race (Gannett)


The forensic sciences company owned by U.S. Rep. Diane Blacks husband reached a settlement Tuesday with the firm that created an ad at the center of a defamation lawsuit during the 2010 race for Congress. Aegis Sciences Corp., which is owned by Dr. David Black, settled the lawsuit against Bright Media Inc., which it contends falsely asserted that Diane Black as a Tennessee senator helped the company obtain contracts from the state. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Aegis Sciences sued former Rutherford County GOP Chairwoman Lou Ann Zelenik and related parties in July 2010 over the commercial. The lawsuit contended Zeleniks campaign, campaign manager Jay Heine and Bright Media defamed the company and violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act dealing with campaign ads. An initial ruling favored Zelenik, saying her commercial was protected political speech. Aegis and Black refused to dismiss the lawsuit and Zelenik filed a counterclaim against them both. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS03/308310122/Settlement-reached-over-ad-during-DianeBlack-race?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

Governments Cut 200,000 Jobs in 2010 (Rueters)


Local and state governments eliminated more than 200,000 jobs in 2010, according to census data released on Tuesday. Local and state governments had 203,321 fewer full-time equivalent employees in 2010 than in 2009 and 27,567 fewer part-time employees, the Census Bureau reported. Most local governments cut full-time jobs in 2010, with the biggest decline in Rhode Island, where the work force shrank 7.7 percent. Those in North Dakota, one of few states to go through the 2007-9 recession unscathed, added jobs in 2010, with its full-time work force growing 7.5 percent in 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/31brfs-GOVERNMENTSC_BRF.html?ref=todayspaper (SUB)

COBRA health subsidy expires (Kaizer Health News)


End of help is yet another hit for laid-off workers One of the key consumer benefits of the federal stimulus package subsidies to help laid-off workers continue their health-care coverage draws to a close today, raising concerns about how the unemployed will cover those expenses. Its a dilemma that Holly Jespersen knows firsthand. She lost her job twice in the past two years both times losing her employer-paid health insurance. But the second time, she paid about $350 a month more for insurance than she had the first time because she didnt qualify for the subsidy. It made a huge difference for me, said Jespersen, 36, of Darien, Conn. I wish I still had it. Jespersen was one of millions of laid-off workers to benefit from the federal subsidies for COBRA, a program set up under federal law that allows people who lose their jobs to keep the employerprovided insurance, typically for 18 months, if they pay the entire premium plus a small percentage for an administrative fee. In February 2009, at the height of the economic downturn, Congress first approved a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums to help those who had been laid off starting in September 2008. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS07/308310081/COBRA-health-subsidy-expires? odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

Hurricane Cost Seen as Ranking Among Top Ten (New York Times)
Hurricane Irene will most likely prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nations history, and analysts said that much of the damage might not be covered by insurance because it was caused not by winds but by flooding, which is excluded from many standard policies. Industry estimates put the cost of the storm at $7 billion to $10 billion, largely because the hurricane pummeled an unusually wide area of the East Coast. Beyond deadly flooding that caused havoc in upstate New York and Vermont, the hurricane flooded cotton and tobacco crops in North Carolina, temporarily halted shellfish harvesting in Chesapeake Bay, sapped power and kept commuters from their jobs in the New York metropolitan area and pushed tourists off Atlantic beaches in the peak of summer. While insurers have typically covered about half of the total losses in past storms, they might end up covering less than 40 percent of the costs associated with Hurricane Irene, according to an analysis by the Kinetic Analysis Corporation. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/31floods.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

New storm brews in Congress over paying for disaster relief (Los Angeles Times)
Americans who saw their homes flooded, streets ripped apart and businesses disrupted by last weekend's hurricane are about to face another storm: a new congressional battle as House Republican leaders seek to 9

match any additional spending for disaster relief with equal cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. Unless additional disaster aid is appropriated, federal officials said communities trying to rebuild from natural disasters this year in the Midwest and South will have to wait while funds are diverted to help victims of Hurricane Irene. The recent string of disasters, including a tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo., and a flood that inundated Minot, N.D., is running into the same political buzz saw that nearly forced the government into default during the bitter fight over the debt ceiling this summer. The federal budget fight has largely focused so far on gargantuan sums and giant bureaucracies. The dispute could hit home in a real way now, affecting families whose homes or livelihoods were destroyed. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fema-spending20110830,0,777342.story

Nuclear plant's 'red' rating to cost TVA millions (Times Free-Press/Sohn)


TVA may have to spend more than $10 million for an intensive set of nuclear regulatory inspections at the utility's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. The inspections come on the heels of its recent "red" inspection rating, the worst level given by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before a plant is shut down entirely. Ray Golden, spokesman for TVA's nuclear operations, said the utility is still working on a budget to cover the preparatory and support work for the stepped-up NRC inspections planned at the plant beginning in September. TVA also must pay for the NRC inspectors' time, which could add up to more than $800,000, NRC officials said. "I'm going to guess it's going to be more than $10 million," Golden said Tuesday after attending a meeting between TVA and NRC in Atlanta. The two groups met to discuss the planned volley of inspections designed to get Browns Ferry out of the "red" column of NRC's ratings. The red rating is issued when NRC believes a plant has issues of "high safety significance." Plants with ratings worse than "red" are shut down by NRC order. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/31/nuclear-plants-red-rating-to-cost-tva/?local

Smokies area gets surprise boost as tourists flee Irene (Associated Press)
The Smoky Mountain tourist area has received an unexpected boost from Hurricane Irene as summer-end travelers move away from the storm-battered coast. Businesses in the East Tennessee region report an influx of patrons who fled the hurricane last weekend or who are changing Labor Day plans because of damage on the East Coast, particularly in nearby North Carolina and Virginia. The Wilderness at the Smokies water park and 1,000-room hotel complex in Sevierville has had hundreds of phone calls about availability over the Labor Day weekend because of the hurricane disruption, a spokesman said. Reservations (department) rang nonstop from people changing plans or trying to, said Rick Laney, a spokesman for the attraction. The venue is booked up for the three-day holiday. Last Friday, the site booked about 225 rooms from insurance adjusters looking for a central location to depart after the hurricane was over. Tourism officials in Gatlinburg had an influx of tourists last weekend as the hurricane forecasts were issued. Some of them were East Coast residents trying to escape the weather, said Jim Davis, a spokesman for the city. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/NEWS21/308300057/Smokies-area-gets-surprise-boost-touristsflee-Irene

Tennessean editor joining Gannett corporate staff (Associated Press)


The Tennessean has announced that editor Mark Silverman is leaving the newspaper to join the Gannett Co. corporate staff. Silverman, who has been Tennessean editor for about five years, is going to corporate headquarters in McLean, Va. He will be part of a Community Publishing Division team that works to strengthen the chain's 81 local U.S. newspapers, The Tennessean said Tuesday (http://bit.ly/oNisO9 ). Silverman was named Editor of the Year in 2010 by the National Press Foundation, and The Tennessean's coverage of the Nashville flood was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news this year. Silverman previously was editor of Gannett newspapers in Detroit; Louisville, Ky.; and Rockford, Ill., and at Gannett News Service. Gannett's holdings include USA Today, newspapers in Britain and 23 TV stations. http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=tennessean&sParam=37343835.story

Silverman leaving Tennessean (Nashville Post/Lind)


Mark Silverman, The Tennessean's executive editor, announced in a late-morning staff meeting he will be leaving 1100 Broadway for a spot in Gannett's corporate office. Silverman, who joined The Tennessean in 2006, will move to the parent company's Community Publishing Division's corporate news staff in mid-September. It will be Silverman's third stint in the corporate office. He has also served as editor in Detroit, Louisville and Rockford, Ill. Silverman has been at the helm of The Tennessean in an era marked by unprecedented job cuts at the daily, with more than 150 layoffs since late 2008. During his tenure, the paper also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize 10

for breaking-news reporting for its flood coverage and Silverman was named the nation's Editor of the Year in 2010 by the National Press Foundation. http://nashvillepost.com/news/2011/8/30/silverman_leaving_the_tennessean

Tennessean editor Mark Silverman leaving for Gannett HQ (Nashville Biz Journal)
Mark Silverman, executive editor of The Tennessean, is leaving the paper to join Gannett Co. s U.S. Community Publishing Division corporate staff. Gannett (NYSE: GCI) is the parent company of The Tennessean. According to The Tennessean, it will be Silvermans third stint at the Gannett corporate level. He has also served as editor for Gannett papers in Detroit, Louisville and Rockford, Ill. Silverman has led The Tennessean for nearly five years. In his new role, Mark will provide quality guidance and support to a number of Gannett news operations, said Carol Hudler, The Tennesseans president and publisher. Meanwhile, well be looking for the right editor to lead The Tennessean as we shape our content and engage our audiences in new ways. http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/08/30/tennessean-editor-mark-silverman.html

VW shipping Passats to dealers as market launch nears (Times Free-Press/Pare)


Volkswagen has started shipping dealers about 350 new Passats a day from its Chattanooga assembly plant in preparation for the car's market launch in just a few weeks. "This is one of the most important events for Volkswagen in decades," said Carsten Krebs of Volkswagen of America about the sale of the midsize sedan starting the last part of September. "The Passat is one of the keys to VW's growth strategy in the States." On Sept. 15, key TV commercials are to begin running, he said. Shortly after, Krebs said, customers will be able to buy a Passat and drive it off a dealer's lot. The exact date that customer sales will begin wasn't disclosed. On Tuesday in Chattanooga, nearly 5,000 Passats of all models and colors sat on the plant's huge loading yard as workers put vehicles on train cars headed to the more than 600 VW dealers across America. Kevin Charlet, manager of VW 's outbound vehicle logistics in Chattanooga, said trainloads are going to locations such as Washington state and California first because of the distance from the plant. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/31/vw-shipping-passats-to-dealers-as-market-launch/?local

Higher fuel standards cause concerns about sales, job losses (Tenn/W illiams)
Critics worry new goals will cut car sales, jobs Although a recent study by a national environmental group suggests that Tennessee stands to gain thousands of new auto jobs linked to fuel-efficient technology and tough new federal mileage goals, such gains might never come, critics of the standards say. Some industry observers and many automakers themselves fear that the fuel standards being implemented by the Obama administration to require manufacturers to make vehicles that can average 54 miles a gallon by 2025 will drastically cut auto sales and put more auto workers out of jobs. At this point, Tennessee has at least 5,393 workers employed by automakers and auto-parts suppliers with ties to fuel savings or low-emission technologies, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council, which produced a recent jobs study with the United Auto Workers and the National Wildlife Federation. Were already seeing innovation happening because of the new fuel economy standards, said Luke Tonachel, senior analyst with the defense councils transportation program. This is leading to jobs, people employed making components that improve vehicle efficiency and cut pollution. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/BUSINESS01/308310112/Higher-fuel-standards-cause-concernsabout-sales-job-losses?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|News|s

Officials: Early childhood education saves money (Jackson Sun)


Local law enforcement leaders visit Head Start Washington Douglas Center After spending the morning reading to some excited but attentive pre-schoolers, two local law enforcement leaders shared their thoughts on the importance of early education. Madison County Sheriff David W oolfork and Jackson Chief of Police Gill Kendrick visited the Northwest Tennessee Head Start Washington Douglas Center Tuesday morning. After visiting, both men discussed the value of early childhood education and how it can lead to lower crime rates. A new report released by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Tennessee, "Pay Now or Pay Much More Later," states that investing in high-quality early education can help at-risk children succeed, significantly reduce the chances that they will commit crimes and save taxpayer dollars through reduced prison costs. Mark Rogers, the state director of the organization, said this study shares what really works in reaching those goals. Programs such as the Head Start Center in Jackson are successful, he said. "We also get sheriffs, police chiefs and DAs to get on board and advocate these issues across the state," he said. http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20110831/NEWS01/108310311/Officials-Early-childhood-education-savesmoney 11

Teachers get answers at town hall (Knoxville News-Sentinel/McCoy)


McIntyre explains changes Gina Feldblum loves being a teacher, but changes throughout Knox County Schools and the state have her a little concerned. On Tuesday, she was among about 80 teachers who attended a town hall meeting at Bearden High School to learn and ask questions about the district's new APEX strategic compensation system as well as the new Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model, known as TEAM, evaluation framework. The two initiatives allow the district to give teachers up to $2,000 in additional pay, while every teacher is now required to be evaluated at least once a year. Feldblum, who has been a teacher for nine years, said she attended the meeting because she wanted to hear directly from Knox County Superintendent Jim McIntyre if he supported the initiatives, and if he did, then she can hold him accountable as they are implemented. "I at least wanted to have the discussion and dialogue with him. If he did support them, what we can do about it as teachers or if we're just stuck with it," she said. "I didn't hear him say we're just stuck with it, so that's refreshing." http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/30/teachers-get-answers-at-town-hall/

Memphis suburbs seek advice for creating school districts (CA/Bailey, Garlington)
Pending merger with Memphis City Schools stirs quest for breakaway options Several Shelby County suburbs looking for direction on municipal schools are separately considering hiring a consulting firm whose leadership includes two former local superintendents. Southern Educational Strategies LLC, whose founding partners include Dr. Jim Mitchell and Dr. Tim Fite, has discussed agreements with at least four outlying cities regarding separate school districts. Mitchell served as Shelby County Schools superintendent from 1997 to 2002 and Fite retired as Tipton County Schools superintendent in June. Arlington, Collierville and Germantown have received proposals in recent days; Bartlett is awaiting one. W ith the pending merger of Memphis and Shelby County schools, the suburbs are looking at alternatives such as municipal schools, charter schools or special school districts to educate their children. The discussions with consultants show that the suburbs are seriously considering their own school systems. One key question the consultants would try to answer is how much it would cost each town to start a system. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/aug/31/suburbs-seekadvice-for-new-districts/

Interviews Next Step in Board Selection (Memphis Daily News)


In a week, Shelby County Commissioners expect a long day when they interview contenders for the seven appointments they are to make to the new countywide school board. The commissions general government committee will interview the applicants Sept. 7, the day after the deadline for citizens to fill out a questionnaire and agree to undergo a criminal background check. New applicants will join the more than 100 applicants who applied earlier this year when the commission considered appointing citizens to a 25-member countywide school board and then called off the appointments at the request of federal court Judge Hardy Mays. I think well get quite a few, said Commissioner Mike Carpenter, who will chair the committee. I think before, maybe some of these folks were discouraged because it was a bit of an experiment. Now were pretty clear about whats going to happen over the next two years. http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/aug/31/interviews-next-step-in-board-selection/

Schools snag USDA award for breakfast (Jackson Sun)


Breakfast in the Classroom receives Best Practice Award For the second consecutive year, Jackson-Madison County Schools received recognition from the United States Department of Agriculture for increasing student participation in its Breakfast in the Classroom initiative. As of January, 68 percent of the district's students in elementary and middle school participate in the program. Implemented in 2003, the program offers breakfast to students in the classroom and its benefits include decreasing student tardiness, increasing student attention and promoting a healthy start to the day. On Tuesday, kindergartners in Andrette Bond's classroom at Isaac Lane Elementary have already learned the procedure for eating in the classroom. "I'm an advocate of breakfast because it starts our day," Bond said. "They've been taught the procedure, and they know to clean up after themselves." Students have roughly 30 minutes for breakfast once they arrive at school. http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20110831/NEWS10/108310308/Schools-snag-USDA-award-breakfast

New Jersey: Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot (New York Times)
Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the 12

police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line. In Elizabeth, children, including kindergartners, will spend six class periods learning, among other things, the difference between telling and tattling. And at North Hunterdon High School, students will be told that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to bullying: if they see it, they have a responsibility to try to stop it. But while many parents and educators welcome the efforts to curb bullying both on campus and online, some superintendents and school board members across New Jersey say the new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, reaches much too far, and complain that they have been given no additional resources to meet its mandates. The law, known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is considered the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation. Propelled by public outcry over the suicide of a Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, nearly a year ago, it demands that all public schools adopt comprehensive antibullying policies (there are 18 pages of required components), increase staff training and adhere to tight deadlines for reporting episodes. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/nyregion/bullying-law-puts-new-jersey-schools-on-spot.html? ref=todayspaper (SUBSCRIPTION)

OPINION Kevin Huffman: System is good for teachers because it's good for kids (Tenn.)
For years, Tennessee maintained the same system for evaluating tenured teachers: two evaluations every 10 years, based on minimal classroom observations and no student data. Virtually every teacher was rated highly effective, and at the same time, more than 70 percent of students fell below proficiency on national academic standards, placing Tennessee 43rd out of 50 states. Teachers got little feedback or targeted support, there was no meaningful accountability, and our children continued to struggle. In 2010, the Tennessee legislature, under bipartisan control, passed a law to change that. The First to the Top Act, which became the basis for Tennessees winning national grant, called for evaluations to be based 50 percent on student achievement 35 percent on Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System scores and 15 percent on other student-achievement metrics. Gov. Phil Bredesen signed the bill into law, and the Tennessee Education Association and local districts signed onto the First to the Top application. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110830/OPINION03/308300010/System-good-teachers-because-s-goodkids?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinion|s

Guest columnist: Teachers question evaluation plan (Tennessean)


Unknowns are many even as system is implemented Tennessee teachers are back in school and gearing up for a productive year with their students. This is always an exciting time for educators and children, a time to make a fresh start. As teachers return this year, they know many laws have changed that will impact their professional lives. They are also full of questions about the new system for evaluating their work. School principals and other evaluators received training during the summer for implementation of the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM). These administrators are now providing orientation for teachers in their schools and preparing to begin classroom observations. Based on student data and multiple observations, teachers and principals will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest rating. Theyve also been told that a good, effective teacher rates a 3. Teachers, like other professionals, want to be successful in their work. Most strive for the highest evaluation ratings. They arrive at school each day with the goal of creating the best possible learning environment for their students. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110830/OPINION03/308300009/Teachers-question-evaluation-plan? odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinion|s 13

Editorial: Bring talent to the table (Commercial Appeal)


Selecting the architects for a merger: Politics and previous positions on consolidation shouldn't matter when selections are made. Passage was certain when a resolution approving a settlement in the city-county school merger came up for a vote before the Shelby County Commission this week. That didn't mean suburban commissioners who had opposed the merger were excused from voting, although they were clearly in the minority. They each had a choice to make, and it was clear: Get behind school consolidation and, like Shelby County Schools board chairman David Pickler, urge constituents to make the best of a situation they didn't ask for, or continue to express their disenchantment with the idea. It should not be a great surprise that Republicans Wyatt Bunker, Terry Roland and Chris Thomas chose the latter. Not in a position to block the merger, they could, nevertheless, still present themselves to constituents as defenders of a besieged county school district. That's politics.http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/aug/31/editorials-bring-talent-to-the-table/

Editorial: Cut crime, save money, invest in children (Jackson Sun)


Tennessee spent $644 million on corrections with more than 27,000 adults locked up in state or federal prisons during the 2010-2011 fiscal year. In that same period, it spent $298 million on lottery college scholarships. Which was the better long-term investment? Tennesseans can invest in education, especially in our youngest Tennesseans, or they can spend much more on law enforcement, criminal prosecution, incarceration, loss of property and lives, shattered families and the ruined lives of criminals. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a national program supported by law enforcement agencies across the nation. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Tennessee state director Mark Rogers was in Jackson this week to promote the program and to solicit support from area residents, law enforcement and community leaders. The message is simple: We can pay now or we can pay much more later. According to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, spending on corrections in Tennessee tripled between 1982 and 2008. That is a staggering increase, and the trend, sadly, still is up. Where will it end? http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20110831/OPINION01/108310303/Editorial-Cut-crime-save-money-investchildren

Columnist: Five Opinions about (Sidelines)


There were a number of interesting events that happened throughout the summer. While you were partying like a rock star, we compiled a list of things you need to know and may or may not have an opinion about 3. Summer Session Cash While you were out, Governor Bill Haslam visited campus to sign a bill that allows students to take advantage of summer sessions by using their lottery scholarship money for summer classes. The bill signing ceremony was held in the newly constructed College of Education building on June 6. The only downside to this law is that there is an 120 hour cap on the number of classes that one can take before the state takes the scholarship away faster than you can say Humuhumunukunuku pua a, Hawaii's state fish. you were like me If and entered MTSU before 2009, you'll have nothing to worry about because the cap doesn't apply to you. Instead you can point and laugh in the faces of those whom it affects. That is, if you haven't already lost your HOPE scholarship. http://www.mtsusidelines.com/opinions/five-opinions-about-1.2568835

Editorial: Families redefined in state (Leaf Chronicle)


The traditional nuclear family unit mother, father and children isn't dead in Tennessee. But it certainly isn't as representative across the state as it once was. According to new statewide census data, 58 percent of children in 2010 lived in a married family household. That's down from 64 percent 10 years earlier. Another 22 percent of the children are living with a single female parent and 6 percent with a single male parent both up slightly from a decade before. The percentage of children living with a grandparent has increased from 7.3 percent in 2000 to 9.4 percent in 2010. Some single people are raising children alone by choice. The old rhyme about first comes love, next comes marriage and finally comes a couple pushing the baby carriage doesn't always occur in that order these days. As women wait longer to marry if they ever do they can decide to raise a child by themselves. Divorce also is far more common than it once was. That leaves greater numbers of single parents as the primary caregivers for longer stretches of their children's lives even though that marital status wouldn't be their first choice. http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20110831/OPINION01/108310303/EDITORIAL-Families-redefined-state

Guest columnist: TN court proposal endangers right to counsel (Tennessean)


Both the U.S. and the Tennessee constitutions require that, in criminal cases, those too poor to afford a lawyer 14

be provided one. The right to counsel is critical to the preservation of individual liberty and to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, a recent cost-cutting proposal by the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Court could endanger this fundamental right. The proposal would allow for a new, risky compensation scheme for attorneys who represent indigent defendants. Instead of paying attorneys hourly fees with a cap on total compensation (the cap itself can be problem in time-consuming, complex cases), the proposal would award a flat-fee contract to the lowest bidder. This means that a single attorney or law firm would be paid a lump sum for a set number of cases regardless of the amount of time or effort they actually put into representing clients. The proposed low-bid contract scheme would lead to lower-quality representation. First, the proposal forbids any contract that would compensate attorneys more than they would be paid under the current system, which means attorneys can only bid down. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110831/OPINION03/308310072/TN-court-proposal-endangers-rightcounsel?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|News|s

Editorial: Lawmakers should tread carefully on judges panel (Daily News Journal)
State legislators need to tread lightly as they approach potential changes in the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary, lest they overstep the lines that separate equal branches of government. The court was set up some 25 years ago in an agreement between the judiciary and Legislature to deal with ethical lapses of judges and to discipline them. But over time, some legislators have grown to loathe the idea that judges could appoint judges to oversee judges. This idea of the fox guarding the henhouse is unpalatable to many Tennesseans, because cronyism must be eliminated in the judiciary or the legal system loses all credibility. State Sen. Mae Beavers, RMt. Juliet, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have changed the appointment process of the Court of the Judiciary, giving all of that authority to the House and Senate speakers. Under current rules, the Tennessee Supreme Court appoints 10 judges to the panel, the Tennessee Bar Association appoints three attorneys and the governor and House and Senate speakers appoint three people. Beavers says she is weary of complaints coming across her desk that the Court of the Judiciary doesn't handle and plans to alter the court's makeup and procedures. http://www.dnj.com/article/20110831/OPINION01/108310306/Editorial-Lawmakers-should-tread-carefully-judgespanel

Frank Munger: Contractor picks up pace of demolition (Knoxville News-Sentinel)


Demolition of the historic K-25 plant has resumed in a big way under the direction of the Department of Energy's new environmental contractor, URS/CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR). At the time of its construction, K-25 was a mile long in a U shape and billed as the largest building in the world under one roof. The current focus is on the East Wing of the former uranium-enrichment facility that was built during World War II and operated until the early 1960s. The West Wing of K-25 was taken down by the previous contractor, Bechtel Jacobs Co., which completed that work in January 2010. Demolition activities were on hold until last month, when BJC started work on the East Wing just a couple of weeks before the transition to UCOR's management on Aug. 1. The new contractor has employed a revised strategy for demolishing the heavily contaminated and highly deteriorated facilities. One of the first acts was to establish a buffer zone between the units that are contaminated with radioactive technetium-99, and the rest of the big building. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/31/contractor-picks-up-pace-of-demolition/ ###

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