AP/WMOT

congress.gov

WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE)  --  Conservative Tennessee Republican Congressional Rep. Diane Black rarely finds herself on the left of any issue, but that’s the uncomfortable position she finds herself in as the GOP struggles to pass a budget.

Black chairs the powerful House Budget Committee. Earlier this year she successfully pushed a budget bill out of her committee, but the measure has yet to reach the House floor for a final vote.

Freedom Caucus Republicans, many with Tea Party affiliations, are demanding changes to the budget.

cspan.org

WASHINGTON, DC  (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander’s effort to shore up Obamacare appears to be in trouble.

 

Alexander chairs the Senate Health Committee.

 

He voted this summer to repeal Obamacare, but when that effort failed Alexander began talking to colleagues about the need to keep the Affordable Care Act from collapsing.

 

Alexander has convened a series of Senate hearings to that end, but the effort has already run up against partisan bickering.

 

BOSTON (AP) — The co-founder of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy is set to be sentenced in a deadly meningitis outbreak that killed more than 60 people, including 16 here in Tennessee.

Barry Cadden was acquitted of second-degree murder charges under federal racketeering law, but convicted on conspiracy and fraud charges. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday in federal court in Boston.

congress.gov

WASHINGTON, DC  (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black is in the hot seat as the GOP struggles to pass 12 appropriations bills for the coming fiscal year.

Black chairs the influential House Budget Committee and is working to balance the competing interests of her fellow Republicans.

President Trump wants to increase defense spending by 10 percent, but some defense hawks want to spend even more.

senate.gov

WASHINGTON, DC (WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is preparing to announce bi-partisan legislation that will slap new sanctions on Russia.

A procedural vote on the Russia sanctions is planned for Wednesday, and the measure is expected to get strong bipartisan support. The legislation was worked out by Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, of the Banking Committee, and Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., of the Foreign Relations panel.

whitehouse.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new poll released by Vanderbilt University is offering insights into how Tennesseans feel about the health care debate, tuition breaks for immigrant students, and President Trump's ability to foster meaningful change in Washington.

About two out of three registered voters in the state think Tennessee students whose parents brought or kept them in the country illegally should be eligible for in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities, according to a poll released by Vanderbilt University on Tuesday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  The State of Tennessee continues to collect more tax dollars than it spends.

 

The Associated Press reports general fund tax collections exceeded expectations by $159 million in April. Through the first nine months of the budget year, tax collections beat budgeted estimates by $579 million. 

 

 

The state's healthy surpluses were a bone of contention between state lawmakers during their just completed legislative session.

 

whitehouse.gov

 WASHINGTON, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s congressional delegation is weighing in on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal released Tuesday.

 

Referencing Trump’s visit Wednesday morning at the Vatican, West Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen was derisive, wondering whether “Trump asked Pope Francis for forgiveness for his budget cuts.” 

 

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn was far more supportive, tweeting that she applauds the president for a “bold budget that…lays a pathway to eliminating debt.”

 

WHITEHOUSE.GOV

WASHINGTON, DC.  (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennesseans could see their federal benefits drastically reduced under a budget proposed by President Donald Trump.

Trump's plan cuts almost $3.6 trillion over ten years from an array of benefit programs including Obamacare, TennCare, student loan subsidies and food stamps.

State officials say there are currently just over 1 million Tennesseans receiving food stamps and one-and-a-half million receiving health care through TennCare -- Tennessee’s version of Medicaid.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  The Tennessee Senate on Monday voted to pass a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks if doctors determine the fetus is viable.

Republican Senator Joey Hensley, a Hohenwald physician, is the bill’s sponsor.

“If the doctor does determine that the infant is viable, then the abortion cannot be performed, except to protect the life of the mother or to prevent serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

senate.gov

WASHINGTON, DC  (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says the U.S. should not consider a nation’s human rights record when deciding if that nation can buy American made weapons.

Corker chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Associated Press says Corker supports the Trump Administration’s plans to sell advanced fighter planes to Nigeria and Bahrain. Both countries have been accused of serious human rights violations by the U.S. Department of State and independent rights groups such as Amnesty International.

weather.gov

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  A storm front will rumble across the mid-state Monday that killed two people in Louisiana Sunday.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma says tornadoes and strong winds are likely from Mississippi to South Carolina.

The greatest tornado risk is well to our south in Alabama.

A tornado flipped a mobile home in Louisiana Sunday, killing a mother and her 3-year-old daughter.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards put the entire state on "high alert" and is warning residents to stay off the roads.

Nat. Weather Ser.

  CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Officials are planning to assess damage after a severe storm with high winds and quarter-size hail passed through Tennessee knocking down power lines and toppling trees.

Thousands of power outages were reported across the central and eastern parts of the state Tuesday as the storm moved through. In the Chattanooga area alone, about 60,000 outages were reported at the height of the storm, according to power provider EPB. The company said in a statement that about 7,000 outages remained Wednesday morning.

gema.ga.gov

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  There were reports of power outages and downed trees across the extreme Southeast corner of Tennessee monday morning, but otherwise the state seems to have been spared by the storms that killed 18 across the southeast over the weekend.

 

At least 14 people were killed Suday in Georgia as the fast-moving storms tore across the state, with at least one deadly tornado reported before dawn and violent storms still rumbling after nightfall.

 

Tennessee General Assembly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee lawmakers have less than a month to file measures they want considered during this year's legislative session.

Bills filed after the Feb. 9 deadline must to get special committee approval.

House members are limited to filing 15 bills each. The chamber's rules also say the body won't take up legislation unless it also has a Senate sponsor.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An international drama featuring the illegal transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to China is playing out in a Tennessee courtroom. 

A Chinese-born U.S. nuclear engineer has pleaded guilty to helping a state-controlled Chinese nuclear energy company build reactors using U.S. technology.

The U.S. Department of Justice says 66-year-old "Allen" Ho has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally bypass U.S. regulations on production of nuclear materials outside the United States.

Ho faces up to 10 years in prison.

tn.gov

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Put Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh on the growing list of those considering a run for governor in 2018.

 

Rep. Fitzhugh has served in the state House since 1995.

 

The West Tennessee Democrat says he wants to wait until after the upcoming legislative session to decide whether to join the race, but pending decisions by other potential candidates may shorten that timeline.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) —  There was a little drama at the State Capitol building Monday morning as Tennessee’s electors cast their Electoral College votes.

The Tennessean says a protester shouting from the gallery was escorted from the building. No word yet if the woman was arrested.

The vote procedure began at 9 a.m. and took less than 30 minutes. The eleven electors voted unanimously for Donald Trump.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennesseans turned out in big numbers to cast early ballots in next week’s general election.

Early voting came to a close yesterday.

The state says 1,675,679 Tennesseans used the early voting option this year, up more than 100,000 votes over the 2012 early voting turnout and nearly 100,000 more votes than were cast early in 2008.

Turnout was highest in Shelby County, where about 182,000 ballots were cast. The next highest totals included 174,000 votes in Davidson, and 83,000 in Williamson counties.

 

scotthamilton1984.com/

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Olympic figure skating champion and mid-state resident Scott Hamilton has been diagnosed with a third brain tumor.

People magazine reports Hamilton has been diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor.

In a video for People magazine, the 58-year-old Hamilton joked that he has "a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness." Hamilton has survived two previous brain tumors and also a bout with testicular cancer.

Tennessee Citizen Action

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Members of his own party are asking Donald Trump to tone down his accusations that next month’s election is rigged against him.

Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett called a special news conference in Nashville Monday to say he sees no evidence of fraud in Tennessee.

Hargett noted that Tennessee’s voting system is not online so can’t be hacked.

ladygaga.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (AP/WMOT) —  Lady Gaga showed that she could rock a club just as hard as arenas, playing a short set at the 5 Spot bar in Nashville Wednesday night.

A small crowd of fans and guests got to hear her perform three new songs from her forthcoming album, "Joanne." Gaga says she'll appear at two more small bars this week, a nod to the album's "raw Americana" vibe and where she got her start

In a statement, Gaga said finding a way to bring people together is important to her.

faa.gov

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has unveiled its new drone system that deputies will use to gather evidence for court cases, detect bombs and find missing persons.

Media outlets report Sheriff Jim Hammond assured the public during a news conference Monday that the equipment will not be used to invade people's right to privacy.

Federal Aviation Administration records show more than 80 law enforcement agencies, colleges and other government agencies across the nation have been granted or applied for permits to fly unmanned aircraft systems.

Tenn. Dept. of Education

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he's concerned that a proposed update to social studies standards would strip too much Tennessee history from requirements in the state's public schools.

A draft version would remove a slew of Tennessee events from U.S. history courses, including major milestones in the civil rights movements for minorities and women and several key Civil War battles fought on state soil.

Haslam says he’s gotten several complaints about the proposals but hasn't yet studied them himself.

dea.gov

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Memphis City Council will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would make it the second major Tennessee city to drastically reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Nashville City Council approved a similar ordinance last month.

The proposed Memphis ordinance would reduce the penalty for possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana to a civil citation or a $50 fine or community service.

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