Associated Press

whitehouse.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled that same-sex couples in Tennessee have the same rights as heterosexual couples who have children born through artificial insemination.

Four lesbian couples sued after the state passed a law that requires using the "natural and ordinary meaning" of words in state law. Gay rights groups said the requirement was a sneaky way to deny same-sex couples the legal rights and protections granted to a "husband," a "wife," a "father" or "mother."

house.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican budget blueprint that would begin to clear a path for a GOP effort to overhaul the tax code this fall is headed to an uncertain fate after winning a key committee vote Wednesday night.

The Budget Committee plan faces opposition from both hard-core conservatives and more moderate Republicans even as it advanced through the GOP-controlled panel on a party-line 22-14 vote. It remains short of the votes required to pass through the House and advance to the Senate, where further complications await.

state.tn.us/youth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After more than 16 years, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services is free of federal oversight from a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that a federal judge approved an agreement in the lawsuit filed in 2000 by the nonprofit Children's Rights.

Haslam's office said the state worked for years with a committee of nationally recognized child welfare experts serving as the federal court's monitor. He called Tuesday's news monumental.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Mae Beavers has raised short of $37,000 in her bid for Tennessee governor.

The Mt. Juliet lawmaker filed her campaign finance report Monday. It also includes $20,000 transferred from her Senate campaign account. Beavers has about $55,400 cash on hand through June. She joined the race last month.

The senator known for pushing socially conservative policies came well short of other candidates' fundraising totals.

congress.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a 10-year budget blueprint that would dramatically increase military spending while putting the GOP on record favoring Medicare cuts opposed by President Donald Trump.

radiosystemscorporation.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Randy Boyd's campaign said he has brought in $2.3 million and added $2 million of his own money in his bid for governor, the biggest fundraising haul so far in the open 2018 race.

The former state economic development chief finished June with $3.5 million in cash left, his campaign said Monday. More than 1,500 donations have come in from all 95 counties, the campaign added.

bethharwell.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says she is running for Tennessee governor.

Harwell told The Tennessean that she has "a proven, practical results record" with nearly 30 years of legislative experience including six years in leadership. Harwell cited her work on issues ranging from taxes to education during an interview at her Nashville home.

When Harwell was elected House speaker in 2011, she because the first woman to serve in the post and she is among the longest-serving current members in the House.

lorettalynn.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country legend Loretta Lynn is back at home after a stroke she suffered in May. Her new album will be delayed until next year and all her remaining tour dates this year have been canceled.

 A statement released Wednesday by her record label said the 85-year-old singer-songwriter is back at her home in Tennessee after a stay at a rehabilitation facility. Lynn said she's getting stronger every day and her main focus is on making a full recovery.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee chapter of the NAACP is urging officials to remove a statue of a Confederate general from in front of a county courthouse, echoing similar efforts throughout the South.

Elenora Woods, president of the NAACP's Chattanooga chapter, said Wednesday that the group will write letters to local leaders asking for the statue of Alexander P. Stewart to be moved from the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and three others to federal district court judgeships.

On Thursday, Trump nominated Norris for judge in western Tennessee.

The Collierville Republican was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and has been majority leader since 2007. He works in the Memphis office of Adams and Reese LLP.

Trump also nominated Thomas Lee Robinson Parker in western Tennessee. He's a shareholder in the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C.

senate.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged on Wednesday to passing a "strong, bold" Russia sanctions bill even as President Donald Trump's spy chief voiced concerns over the legislation that aims to punish Moscow for meddling in the presidential election.

"I'm a Russia hawk," Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters. "We want to move this Russia sanctions bill."

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee couple has been charged in the death of their 11-month-old daughter, who authorities say died after being left in a hot car.

Chattanooga police arrested Travis McCullough, 30, and Jessica Tollett, 24, on Sunday in connection with the baby's death on Saturday, news outlets reported.

findinghollybobo.com

SAVANNAH, Tenn. (AP) — A trial in the disappearance and killing of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo has been delayed until September.

Media outlets report that Judge C. Creed McGinley on Thursday postponed the trial of Zachary Adams until Sept. 11 after new evidence was discovered in the case.

Adams has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, rape and murder charges. His trial had been set to begin Monday in Savannah.

Bobo was 20 when she was reported missing from her home in Parsons in April 2011. Her disappearance led to a massive search in Tennessee and the South.

karldean.com/

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean raised $1.2 million through the first half of the year for his bid for Tennessee governor, the Democrat's campaign announced Thursday.

The campaign said it had received more than 3,000 contributions since Dean formally entered the race in March, with all but 3 percent coming from within the state.

"We're going to be able to mount a very serious, strong campaign," Dean said in a phone interview.

About four in five donations being made online, and a majority of those online contributions were for $25 or less.

TBI

 JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man has been indicted in the death of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent.

The Jackson Sun reports that 24-year-old Brenden Burns will be arraigned Monday on charges including first-degree murder in the August 2016 fatal shooting of TBI Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier.

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's top elections official says state law doesn't allow him to release the voter information requested by a commission appointed by President Donald Trump to probe allegations of voter fraud.

In a statement Friday, Secretary of State Tre Hargett said he appreciates the commission's goal to address election issues, including voter fraud. But the law won't let him divulge the information sought.

Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity by executive order in May.

capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rising and declining taxes, an abortion ban and an option to use metal detectors or allow arms in public places are among the many new laws taking effect in Tennessee on Saturday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Robertson County Sherif''s office says one of its deputies has improved to stable condition after being shot multiple times during a struggle with an inmate who was killed.

On Friday, Robertson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ryan Martin updated the status of 36-year-old Deputy Josh Wiley in a news release.

A Nashville police statement says Wiley and Deputy Tomisha Jones were taking convicted bank robber 37-year-old Rodney L. Cole to a medical clinic Wednesday when the inmate asked to go to the bathroom and Wiley escorted him there.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law by "immediately" repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Environmental groups are challenging the Tennessee Valley Authority's proposal to use a Tennessee nuclear reactor design site abandoned in the 1970s to develop new small modular reactors.

MTSU photo by Andy Heidt

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A university and medical college have created a new program to funnel doctors to rural Tennessee.

RCSO

  SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the capture of two escaped Georgia inmates accused of killing two guards on a prison bus (all times local):

8:05 a.m.

A Georgia sheriff says it's too early to tell when two inmates accused in the killings of two guards on a prison bus will be returned to the state after their capture in Tennessee.

Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose were caught Thursday in the rural community of Christiana, Tennessee, ending a multi-state manhunt that began Tuesday morning.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who was convicted of planning an attack on a New York mosque has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison.

WTVC-TV in Chattanooga reports that a judge sentenced 65-year-old Robert Doggart of Signal Mountain to 235 months on Wednesday.

He was convicted in February of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation and solicitation to commit arson of a building. A judge threw out two other guilty verdicts for threats in interstate commerce.

Tennessee State Library and Archives

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in August in a case aimed at nullifying a vote on a Tennessee constitutional amendment that allows more abortion restrictions.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set an Aug. 2 court date in Cincinnati over the favorable vote in 2014.

The amendment says that nothing in the state constitution "secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion." It empowered state lawmakers to "enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion."

State of Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam says his administration's legal team is very confident about the constitutionality of a new law that lets judges toughen sentences for defendants in the country illegally at the time of their crimes.

The Republican governor on Tuesday stressed that the law says judges may consider the sentencing enhancement, but they don't have to apply it.

On Friday, Haslam signed the legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Ron Gant of Rossville and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville.

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