NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The leaders of the state House and Senate are moving to end a total gun ban at the legislative office complex.

Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville and Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville, the Republican speakers of the Senate and House, said Thursday that they want the begin allowing people with handgun carry permits to be armed within the Legislative Plaza.

Ramsey said he had wanted to make the change at the start of the year, but that the Tennessee Highway Patrol, which runs security at the facility, wanted more time to make logistical changes.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new poll suggests Tennesseans are pessimistic about their future financial prospects, even though experts say the state’s economic future actually looks promising.

Middle Tennessee State University last week released a survey that asked 600 Tennesseans about their standard of living. Sixty-seven percent responded that they’re happy with their current buying power. But when asked about future earnings, only 34 percent thought their financial circumstances would continue to improve.

jackdaniels.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The historic Jack Daniel's Distillery is planning a $140 million expansion project to help meet global demand for prized Tennessee Whiskey.

The investment announced by Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday will be used to construct two new barrelhouses, expand the bottling facility and support the increasing number of visitors to the facility. Officials say more than 275,000 tourists from around the world visited the distillery in Lynchburg last year.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The House sponsor of a proposal to create a school voucher program in Tennessee says he doesn't have the votes to pass the measure aimed at covering private school tuition for children attending some the state's worst public schools.

Republican state Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville called off a scheduled floor vote on Thursday morning before taking up a series of proposed amendments.

Dunn had offered to limit the measure to apply to just the state's four largest counties, and had even been willing to have it apply only to just Shelby County.

Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bid to freeze tuition at public colleges and universities and colleges in Tennessee is advancing in the state Senate.

The Senate Education Committee voted 9-0 in favor of the measure sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville on Wednesday.

Under the bill, students would pay the same tuition for all four years in college. And any major tuition hike would have to gain unanimous approval by the school's governing board.

tnready.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee education officials say they no longer have faith that a brand new education assessment test known as TNReady can be administered online after a series of computer glitches, including one on Monday that forced school officials across the state to halt testing on the first day of its rollout.

google maps

WINCHESTER, Tenn. (AP) — Hundreds of supporters and critics of Franklin County High School's Gay-Straight Alliance attended the county school board's meeting to discuss the organization.

Media outlets report the crowd packed the school's auditorium Monday night. Four people formally spoke concerning the organization, which was granted approval to form by school officials in December.

The establishment of the group, which meets to talk about issues among gay and heterosexual students at the school, has generated debate in the community about its intent and necessity.

tva

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority has completed the installation of scrubbers at its coal-fired power plant in Gallatin to cut certain smog emissions by up to 98 percent.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1onKmiC ) reports that the last of four new coal scrubbers added to the Gallatin Fossil Plant went into operation this week after nearly three years and $730 million of construction work.

UTK.edu

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Saying they feel “under threat” some faculty, staff, and students at the University of Tennessee Knoxville are pushing back against efforts by Tennessee lawmakers to defund the school’s Office of Equity and Diversity.

About 300 people turned out for a rally on the UT campus Friday to protest what some are calling "outside interference" in university affairs. State lawmakers have proposed four measures this legislative session that would end or curtail state funding for the university’s diversity office.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Officials say less than 0.2 percent of Tennesseans who have applied for welfare since July 2014 have failed a drug test mandated for some.

Citing data provided by the Department of Human Services the Tennessean reports that 65 of 39,121 people applying for Families First cash assistance benefits tested positive for drugs since the law was implemented.

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A string of attacks on cities, schools and workplaces has prompted many employers to turn to a new area of security for their employees: active-shooter training.

Until about a decade ago, workplace security focused mostly on preventing theft. Now, businesses are trying to give their employees guidelines on how to escape or handle armed intruders.

If you've ever seen what a Neanderthal is supposed to have looked like, it might be hard to imagine mating with one. But modern humans did. We know because, a few years ago, scientists found stretches of Neanderthal DNA in living humans.

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In 1987 Donald Trump wrote a business advice book called The Art of the Deal. [TRUE]

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