AP/WMOT

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A measure that adjusts the way Tennessee evaluates its teachers has been introduced in the State Legislature.

 

Governor Haslam proposed the bill, temporarily lowering how much of a teacher’s evaluation depends on student test scores. Currently, 35 percent of an educator's evaluation is composed of student achievement data.

Barbara Gray, President of the state’s largest teacher’s union applauds the proposal. She says the current student assessment, the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS), is deeply flawed.

goblueraiders.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Darnell Harris scored 24 points as Middle Tennessee ran away from Florida Atlantic for an 82-58 Conference USA win Saturday night.

The Blue Raiders held an eight-point lead at the break, 42-24, but opened the second half on a 29-9 run and never looked back. Marcus Tarrance drilled a 3-pointer 16 seconds into the second half to spark the run.

Tarrance, Reggie Upshaw Jr. and Perrin Buford each added a dozen points for Middle Tennessee, which shot 45 percent from the field. The Blue Raiders outrebounded the Owls 39-19.

whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is apparently preparing to take a page from Governor Bill Haslam’s education play book. 

Just ahead of his visit today in Knoxville, the president has released a youtube video in which he says he plans to propose free community college education for every high school graduate nationwide.

cdc.gov

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials across the country and here in Tennessee say the flu has reached epidemic levels in 43 states and could peak soon.

Dr. Kelly Moore with the Tennessee Department of Health says this year’s flu vaccine isn’t working as well as hoped, but still recommends you get that shot.

“The vaccine is still the best tool we have to prevent or reduce the severity of illness of the flu, so we’re still strongly recommending that you get it.”

Adam Rose, Special Operations Response Team

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A Middle Tennessee teen is facing a charge of reckless endangerment after crews had to rescue him from a rain swollen stream.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office says that 18-year-old Clinton Cole Powers drove into rushing water covering a portion of Elam Road Sunday and his truck ended up in the Stones River.

A statement from the agency says Powers was rescued by swift water technicians from the Emergency Medical Services' Special Operations Response Team. His passenger, 21-year-old Brentan Mihm, swam to shore.

whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama is scheduled to visit East Tennessee this week, his second visit to the state in a month.

The White House says the President, Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s wife, Jill, will appear at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville Friday to announce a new education initiative.

The federal initiative to be announced will, as the press statement words it, “help more Americans go to college and get the skills they need to succeed.”

tn.gov

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Gov. Bill Haslam has named a top mid-state academic with extensive Common Core experience to be the next Tennessee education commissioner.

The governor has chosen Lipscomb University's Candice McQueen. She’ll replace Kevin Huffman, who announced last month that he's leaving for the private sector.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  A number of Republicans and a few Democrats are reacting angrily to President Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba, but a prominent Tennessee Republican is taking a more measure tone.

Likely Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio reacted furiously to the president’s initiative, saying in part that the move “is a victory for oppressive governments the world over.”

But Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, who is likely to head the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the next Congress, was more reserved in his reaction.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — More than 80 business, health care and civic groups have formed the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to support Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to expand Medicaid.

Haslam's "Insure Tennessee" plan would draw down federal money under President Barack Obama's health care law to provide health care to an estimated 200,000 Tennesseans..

AARP Tennessee is one of the coalition members. Shelley Courington is the group’s Advocacy Director.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

The Republican governor announced the agreement this morning after months of discussions with federal authorities.

Called Insure Tennessee, the program will provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans. Under the plan, members would receive a voucher to purchase insurance in the private market.

healthcare.gov

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) — President Barack Obama's health insurance program faces another big deadline today.

Tonight at 2 a.m. Central Time is the deadline for new customers to pick a health plan that will take effect Jan. 1.

For current customers, it's the deadline to make changes that could reduce expected premium increases ahead of the New Year.

capitol.tn.gov

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)/WMOT — State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says that if fellow Republican Gov. Bill Haslam succeeds in his negotiations with President Barack Obama's administration on a special Tennessee deal for Medicaid expansion, the result could be "sellable" to skeptical state lawmakers.

 

The biggest problem as Ramsey sees it: He doesn't think the Obama administration is interested in agreeing to Haslam's proposal. The governor is reportedly asking for co-pays and deductibles and to use the federal money to subsidize commercial insurance.

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee higher education officials say they'll be forced to continue raising tuition if the state doesn't provide adequate funding to help with costs at their institutions.

 

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro addressed Gov. Bill Haslam at a higher education budget hearing on Friday.

DiPietro’s assessment was blunt.

MTSU Sidelines

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- There were protests held across the nation and across Tennessee Tuesday in reaction to the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri.

WSMV-TV reports a few hundred protesters marched through downtown Nashville. They ended up briefly blocking several streets, including Interstate 24. Nashville police cordoned off streets as the protesters passed to keep them safe.

The Associated Press says about 200 protesters marched peacefully in Memphis Tuesday. The Knoxville News Sentinel says about 100 people marched for Michael Brown in that city.

whitehouse.gov

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  President Obama hit the road today to build support for the executive actions regarding immigration he announced Thursday night.

The president will appear Friday at a Las Vegas High School where he last year launched his campaign to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy.

Tennessee Republicans have been swift in their condemnation of the president’s actions. Chris Devaney heads the Tennessee GOP.

alivehospice.org

 

 

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The nonprofit Alive Hospice has announced that it will be opening a new facility in Rutherford County.

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency approved an application for the charity to begin working toward a June 2016 opening of a free-standing facility in Murfreesboro.

Alive Hospice currently provides care for terminally ill patients and grief support services in Rutherford County, but CEO AnnaGene O’Neal says the new facility will be available for patients needing a more intensive level of hospice care.

SCOTUS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — An appeals court decision upholding Tennessee’s gay marriage ban is likely to trigger a final, nationwide showdown on same sex marriage in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld Tennessee law prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages. The ruling marks a rare victory for gay marriage opponents after a flood of 20-plus court victories for supporters over the past year.

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While the rest of the South slowly whittled away at abortion access, Tennessee's clinics operated under less stringent restrictions.

That’s about to change.

Voters on Tuesday approved altering the state constitution to make clear that it does not protect the right to an abortion.

House majority caucus chairman Rep. Glen Casada says state GOP leaders are considering three abortion restrictions. They include informed consent for the parents of teens seeking an abortion, mandatory counseling, and a waiting period.

yes on 1 tn

 

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Voters have approved changing Tennessee's Constitution to give the Legislature more power to regulate abortion.

The change opens the way for the state Legislature to enact many new restrictions on abortion in Tennessee.

The referendum was originally conceived in response to a 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court decision that held abortion was protected by the state constitution as part of a woman's fundamental right to privacy.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  As Tennessean’s head to the polls, the fates of two proposed constitutional amendments are uncertain.

Amendment Three would ban the State from ever imposing a personal income tax on residents. A poll by Middle Tennessee State University shows just 30 percent of registered voters surveyed support the ban, while 25 percent oppose it.  The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, meaning the issue is a statistical dead heat.

cologuardtest.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new home test for colon cancer went on sale this week, but a Vanderbilt medical researcher is sounding a note of caution.

Laura Goff is an Assistant Professor of Medicine who specializes in cancers of the digestive tract. Dr. Goff notes that the new Cologuard home test developed by the Mayo Clinic does appear to accurately detect the presence of cancer.

tnscore.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) Gov. Bill Haslam is laying out a process for a public review of the state's K-12 academic standards in English and math.

Academic standards are typically reviewed in Tennessee every six years. But the recently implemented Common Core state education standards have proven controversial and the governor says he believes it's time to take a fresh look.

JonathanReiss15

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tennessee elder statesman and former Senate Speaker Bill Frist is siding with President Obama in the debate over the usefulness of an ebola travel ban.

The Associated Press says GOP candidates see more opportunities in the public concern over the disease than in continuing to bash "Obamacare" in the midterm elections' final two weeks.

Scores of GOP candidates and a few Democrats are demanding restrictions on travel from African nations where ebola is present. Polls show wide public support.

TWRA

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — State highway officials are urging Tennessee motorists to be extra cautious now that deer hunting and mating season has arrived.

The State Highway Patrol's Sgt. Bill Miller says that deer-related crashes are most likely to occur between October and January.

Miller reminds motorists that deer usually move in small groups.

MTSU

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Gov. Bill Haslam presided Wednesday over the opening of a new $147 million science building at Middle Tennessee State University.

The 257,000-square-foot facility includes 37 class laboratories, 13 research labs and about 1,500 student stations.

During remarks at the dedication ceremony, Haslam said that, "Graduates with STEM degrees are important to our state’s ability to thrive, and the additional space to train these students — provided by this building — will help us compete in today’s global economy.”

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