AP/WMOT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) – More than a thousand Middle Tennessee residents lined up in the cold for hours over the weekend to apply for a job at the Smyrna Nissan plant.

Yates Services hosted the job fair at the State Career Center in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

Tennessee Department of Labor area manager R.J. Sherr says all the jobs are assembly line positions on third shift that pay between $12.50 and $18.50 an hour.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A report shows Tennessee's solar power and related industries provide more than 6,400 jobs and are helping put people back to work.

The report by the Tennessee Solar Institute shows the state ranks 22nd in installed solar power. The group says Tennessee needs to stay aggressive to compete with other states that have growing solar sectors.

The Institute’s Director of Programs, Dr. John Sanseverino, says solar’s cost-to-benefit ratio has finally reached the tipping point.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Governor Bill Haslam says he opposes efforts to water down Tennessee's open meetings law that bans city or county officials from deliberating over official business in private.

The Tennessee County Commissioners Association is promoting changes to the law that would allow closed-door talks among officials as long as a quorum isn’t present.

David Connor is the TCCA’s Director. He says the way the law is currently written, commissioners are afraid to communicate with each other on any subject, outside official meetings.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  WMOT News told you yesterday about the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sumner County Board of Education settling a law suit claiming the system was promoting Christianity.

In a consent decree announced earlier this week schools officials agreed to a long list of changes.  However, David French, the attorney who represented the school system in the case, downplayed the scope of those changes when he spoke with WMOT.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and the Sumner County Board of Education have settled a law suit claiming educators there were promoting Christianity.

Under a consent decree announced yesterday, schools officials are not allowed to proselytize, religious symbols and items have to be kept out of sight, course material must have a clear educational purpose and school officials can’t encourage or solicit prayer at school functions.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s international exports are way up and the state wants to push them still higher.

A new government initiative to boost exports called TNTrade was announced yesterday. TNTrade is designed to help small and medium businesses increase their exports.

Under the program, eligible businesses will receive a reimbursement equal to half of any one-time export-related expense such as consultant fees or trade show participation. The maximum reimbursement amount is $5,000 per company.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  A Nashville-area woman has been honored as an inspiration for her work with needy children in Africa.

Beliefnet, an online site focusing on spirituality, chose Katie Davis of Brentwood for its Editor's Choice Award

After traveling to Uganda in 2006 when she was just 16, Davis started a ministry two years later that matches children there with sponsors worldwide who donate funds to pay for their schooling.

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposed reduction in state-funded college scholarships worries students and administrators at some of Tennessee's small private institutions.

Projections show the HOPE scholarship fund will be operating in the red within a few years. A legislative task force was convened to suggest solutions.

Their recommendation to legislators is to reduced scholarship payouts by requiring applicants to meet both the high school grade point and college entrance exam benchmarks to get the full award.

 

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s working to speed up the environmental permitting system for poultry farms.

The governor noted in a speech to the Farm Bureau in Franklin yesterday that his goal is for the state to strike a balance between environmental stewardship and promoting jobs and production in the agricultural sector.

Poultry is Tennessee's third largest agricultural product, after cattle and soybeans.

 

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Renowned UT Knoxville Women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been named Sports Illustrated's sportswoman of the year.

The Hall of Famer has won more games than any coach in women's basketball, earning her 1,075th career victory Sunday.

Summitt announced in August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, but says she’ll continue coaching as long as possible.

Governor Bill Haslam among those lining up to congratulate Summitt on the award.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hundreds of Middle Tennessee educators have dropped union memberships since state lawmakers stripped the organizations of collective bargaining rights earlier this year.

The Tennessean reports that membership in the Metro Nashville Education Association is down by about 500. Sumner County reports roughly the same number of educators there have also dropped union memberships.

Rutherford County seems to be an exception with only about 100 teachers dropping their union.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (AP)  --  A Nashville judge has ruled that private prison company Corrections Corporation of America must turn over more documents to a magazine that advocates for the rights of prisoners. Cortney Friarson is here with that story.

CCA argued that the settlement documents sought by the plaintiff were confidential and not connected in any way to the state.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Four convictions connected to an East Tennessee sexual murder/torture case, including one death penalty, have been nullified because the presiding judge was reportedly drunk during the trial.

          Tennessee Bureau of Investigation records obtained by reporter Jamie Satterfield of the Knoxville News Sentinel show that a clerk or the district attorney routinely rescheduled former Judge Richard Baumgartner's daily docket when he was too intoxicated to work.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) - A special panel of the Tennessee legislature has recommended cutting some students' college scholarships in half. The panel says the move will save Tennessee as much as $17 million a year.

The bipartisan Lottery Stabilization Task Force voted unanimously yesterday to reduce the lottery scholarship awards by 50 percent for students who do not meet both the standardized testing and high school grade requirements.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  --  Republican presidential primary candidate Herman Cain is fending off new allegations of marital infidelity as he prepares for an appearance here in Middle Tennessee.

Cain is scheduled to appear tomorrow evening at Middle Tennessee State University. The MTSU College of Business will host the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO as he speaks to students about turning the failing pizza chain around.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Fisk University can share its Stieglitz art collection with Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas.

The court also removed a trial court stipulation that required Fisk to put $20 million of the $30 million it expects to get from Crystal Bridges into an endowment. The lower court had said Fisk should put that amount aside to maintain the art in the future.

Fisk has said it needs all of the funds now to stay financially viable.

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (AP) — A poor season for nuts and berries means a Smoky Mountains rescue center for black bears has a record number of abandoned cubs.

Appalachian Bear Rescue took in its 31st cub of this year last week. The previous record year for bear cub rescues by the center was 2009 when it took in 23 animals.

Jack Burgin is the organization’s President.

"When bears range out of the Smokies they tend to be hit by cars, or orphaned, or shot by hunters. So Appalachian Bear Rescue steps in to care for the orphaned cubs."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s looking to improve Tennessee students' proficiency scores by 20 percent over the next five years. Haslam says that kind of improvement would provide evidence that his education overhaul is working.

Education commissioner Kevin Huffman says assessment scores currently show that only 40 percent of Tennessee third graders rank as proficient in reading, while just 29 percent of seventh graders are proficient in math.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A recent study by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce found that Middle Tennessee has experienced a wave of relocations in the past five years. People are moving to the area from other parts of the country at a much higher rate than other metro areas.

Los Angeles was the biggest contributor of new residents from 2005 to 2009. Those relocating include about 600 who came with Nissan North America.

Nancy Eisenbrandt is a Chamber spokesperson.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP)  --  Freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black is having a good year.

Representative Black is the only freshman in her class of 94 to have legislation pass both chambers of Congress.

Her bill to close a Medicaid loophole and save billions is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature. The president supported it even before it made it to the House floor.

County Ends Pauper Burials

Nov 23, 2011

 

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) —Sullivan County in East Tennessee will no longer provide pauper burials.

On Monday, County Mayor Steve Godsey told county commissioners that if they’re contacted about an indigent death they should provide the caller with the phone number for Restore Life USA.

That's a Johnson City-based nonprofit that provides human tissue for research and education.

With budgets tight, the commission this year cut the funds for pauper burials to $10,000 and Godsey says the money is nearly gone already.

 

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. --  Federal officials revised the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reading downward today for the third quarter. Growth wasn’t as strong as originally thought.

The official GDP for the third quarter is now 2 percent, down by a half-percent from the earlier estimate.

The Middle Tennessee State Business and Economic Research Center has just released its analysis of Tennessee’s third-quarter economic activity.

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — General Motors has announced it will begin building its Chevrolet Equinox at its idled Spring Hill plant next year and plans to begin making a midsize vehicle there in the future.

Monday's announcement of the $61 million investment will create nearly 700 jobs at the plant.

GM says the subsequent $183 million investment into the unspecified midsize vehicle will create another 1,200 jobs.

Production on the Equinox is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2012.

The timing on the second vehicle was not announced.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Keep the ice scraper handy and a weather eye peeled. Another La Nina winter is expected in Tennessee.

The National Weather Service outlook for December through February calls for slightly warmer than normal temperatures, but wetter than usual conditions.

Nashville forecaster Bobby Boyd says that may mean more ice than usual.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Welcome news on the jobs front.

Tennessee's October unemployment rate dropped to 9.6 percent in October, down from 9.8 percent the previous month. 

Tennessee's unemployment rate is still well above the national average of 9 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Karla Davis says jobs added in education and health services fueled the employment hike.

Dr. Murat Arik with the Middle Tennessee State Center for Business and Economic Research says the numbers are mostly good news.  

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