Associated Press

A Republican activist from Murfreesboro is announcing a challenge to scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in next year's GOP primary in the 4th Congressional District.

Grant Starrett, a former staffer on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, said he wants to be elected to Congress to help fight a "moral crisis" facing the country.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A top Republican supporter of a bill to strip local governments of the power to bar handgun carry permit holders from being armed in parks, playgrounds and ballfields says even the one-time use for a school function would be enough to restore a gun ban.

In a contentious news conference at the legislative office on Thursday, House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin argued that the bill does not change current law barring all guns from being carried in facilities owned, maintained or used by a school.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Officials in Murfreesboro plan to meet this week to iron out details of a court being developed specifically to serve veterans.

The Daily News Journal reports the court could open this fall.

Commissioners in Rutherford County voiced their approval in February for the launch of the initiative, which will initially serve veterans who end up in the court system for drug or driving under the influence offenses.

Alli Rader for SBC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee  based Southern Baptist Convention is taking its biggest step to date to confront the legacy of support for slavery and segregation that still looms over the denomination.

A two-day "Gospel and Racial Reconciliation" summit in Nashville last week was a call to arms, with speaker after speaker proclaiming the evil of the racial divisions that they said were hurting the Christian church and faith.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee proposal is up for a key vote in the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday.

The proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans was defeated in a special legislative session last month. But the measure was resurrected on a 6-2 vote in the Senate Health Committee last week.

Prospects for the measure appear far less optimistic in the commerce panel, though Haslam has been trying to make his case with individual committee members.