Thu February 9, 2012
A Video of O'Connors Speech to be Shown

O'Connor Speaks to Overflow Crowd at MTSU

College of Liberal Arts Dean Mark Byrnes, left, listens as retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor makes a point during her appearance at MTSU Feb. 8.
MTSU photo by Andy Heidt

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke to an overflow crowd here on the campus of Middle Tennessee State last night.

WMOT student reporter Charity Dunn was there and says the lecture hall filled early and a line formed for an overflow room with a video feed.

The former justice, and the first woman appointed to the nation’s highest court, gave a wide-ranging and surprisingly entertaining talk that had the crowd laughing repeatedly. O’Connor shared a number of biographical details, including memories of her childhood.

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Thu February 9, 2012
Some Tennesseans Will Get Cash Settlements

Tennessee Gets $146 Million in Loan Abuse Settlement

State Attorney General Robert Cooper announced Tennessee's portion of the national settlement.
photo courtesy State of Tenn.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee will receive 146 million dollars as part of a settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses.

Federal officials say the lenders will pony up a total of $25 billion to be shared among 49 states. Oklahoma is the lone holdout.

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Thu February 9, 2012
Bill Resembled Controversial Alabama Law

Refuge Coalition Claims Defeat of Legislation

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition has its offices in Nashville.
logo courtesy TIRRC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The sponsor of a bill that would make it a felony to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant has withdrawn the measure from consideration.

The bill had been scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

Immigrants' rights activists claimed victory for the change. A Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition spokesman says members and supporters asked their legislators to oppose the measure.

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Wed February 8, 2012
Three Distinct Dances to be Featured

Nashville Ballet's Winter Performance This Weekend

Salsa Dreams will be one of three distinct dances to be performed this weekend by the Nashville Ballet.
photo courtesy Nashville Ballet

MUFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- The Nashville Ballet delivers its winter performance this weekend. The show will include three distinct dances.

In a press release, the ballet says the first performance is entitled Cryin' Out and features the music of genre-busting songwriter Gary Nickolson.

Billy the Kid is the second piece to be performed. It's based on the 1938 work choreographed by Eugene Loring and explores why the life of a typical 19th century boy veered into lawlessness.

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Wed February 8, 2012
Haslam Proposes Lifting Class Size Limits

Governor's Education Plan Gets Chilly Reception

MOUNT PLEASANT, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — Governor Bill Haslam's plan to lift a cap on class size averages is meeting resistance from educators.

The Republican is calling the proposal a key element of his effort to allow school districts to hike teacher salaries. Haslam told reporters after visiting a Maury County middle school Tuesday that Tennessee is the only state to set maximums for both total and average class sizes.

Haslam says increasing class size means schools could get by with fewer teachers, freeing up the money needed to pay the remaining teachers higher salaries.

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