AP/WMOT

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chancellor John Morgan is stepping down as head of the Tennessee Board of Regents following Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's announcement that he wants to grant more autonomy to the six four-year universities in the system.

Haslam surprised Morgan and many others in the higher education community when he announced plans last month to re-focus the Board of Regents on the state's 40 community and technical colleges.

whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s Republican leadership was quick to pan new gun control measures announced yesterday by President Barack Obama.

Speaking at the White House, Obama defended his executive actions to tighten criminal background checks, saying he’s not plotting to take away everyone’s guns.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes responded with a press statement saying that the president’s actions “could undermine our constitutional rights.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers say they continue to get calls from their constituents expressing concern about the vetting process for allowing Syrian refugees in the state.

A joint legislative committee heard testimony yesterday from security officials and refugee advocates.

A highlight of the testimony came from David Shedd, former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, who acknowledged there are some weaknesses in the federal vetting process.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Skilled trades workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga have given the United Auto Workers Union its first inroads into a foreign auto plant in the American south.

This past week the skilled workers who maintain the plant’s equipment and robots at VW's lone U.S. plant voted to have the UAW negotiate their collective bargaining agreements. The workers approved unionization by a vote of 108-44 over two days of voting that ended Friday.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Members of a panel appointed to offer a recommendation about a Middle Tennessee State University building named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest will hold the first of two open forums on the topic today.

MTSU President Sidney McPhee announced in June he would engage the university community about the building's name. That followed a mass shooting at a historically black church in South Carolina that sparked debate about Confederate symbols.

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