Associated Press

Thomas R Machnitzki

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied the state's bid to appeal a ruling that permits attorneys for former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams to seek social media communications from witnesses for their upcoming rape trials.

This ruling enables lawyers to pursue those communications by issuing subpoenas to witnesses, including the woman who says Johnson and Williams raped her on November 2014.

tbi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal data shows the number of senior citizens in Tennessee who are hospitalized due to painkillers has more than tripled over the last decade.

The Tennessean reports the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data showed that in 2005, 467 seniors out of every 100,000 spent time in the hospital due to opioids. In 2015, the rate had increased to 1,505.

congress.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black has named two prominent former politicians from either end of Tennessee as co-chairman for her gubernatorial bid.

Black says former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher will hold the leadership positions in her campaign.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An autopsy has found that the son of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry died from a combination of several drugs, including two opioids.

The Tennessean reports that the drugs found in Max Barry's system after his death were Xanax, marijuana, methadone and hydromorphone. The autopsy also found he had recently used cocaine.

maps.google.com

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) — A family has filed a $30 million lawsuit against a private Christian school in Tennessee, alleging failure to act after a 12-year-old student was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by teenage boys.

senate.gov

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) — A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'd consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets.

McConnell told reporters Saturday there is "still a chance" the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace "Obamacare," but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.

craigfitzhugh.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democrat Craig Fitzhugh is joining the race for Tennessee governor.

The banker and attorney from Ripley tells The Tennessean that he will draw on his 23 years of experience as a state lawmaker, most recently as House minority leader and previously as chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee.

Fitzhugh joins former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean in the race for the Democratic nomination. While Dean has already raised $1.2 million and has his own personal wealth to draw on, Fitzhugh has a closer relationship with labor and teachers unions.

tva

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge is ordering the nation's largest public utility to dig up coal ash at a Tennessee power plant and move it to a lined waste site where it doesn't risk further polluting the Cumberland River.

U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw in Nashville ruled Friday in favor of two environmental groups, saying coal ash storage at Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant is leaking pollutants into the river and violating the Clean Water Act.

whitehouse.gov

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that efforts to repeal and replace former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health care law "ain't over by a long shot."

Pence said in a speech at the Tennessee Republicans Party's annual fundraiser that President Donald Trump plans to achieve the repeal and enact sweeping tax cuts this year.

"We were not elected to save Obamacare; we were elected to repeal and replace it," Pence said.

senate.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Bob Corker says he's not ready to say when he will decide about seeking a third term representing Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

The former Chattanooga mayor told reporters before the state Republican Party's annual fundraiser on Thursday that he's been "busy working."

When pressed by reporters about when he would make up his mind, Corker says: "At some point — we'll see."

Adds Corker: "I'm not elusive, I'm just doing my job, you know?"

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal appeals judges are questioning previous court rulings on a successful 2014 constitutional amendment allowing tougher abortion restrictions in Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports that judges with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expressed concern Wednesday about a Tennessee court's ruling backing the method state officials used to count the votes.

But the judges also questioned a recount ordered by a U.S. District judge. The recount is on hold pending the appeal.

lorettalynn.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is opening an exhibit on the life and career of Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn in Nashville.

"Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl" opens Aug. 25 and runs through Aug. 5, 2018.

The museum said in a news release that highlights include Lynn's original handwritten manuscript for her 1970 hit, "Coal Miner's Daughter," the microphone used at her first recording session, some of her dresses, and the sewing machine she used to make her stage clothes early in her career.

house.gov

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee says he won't run for re-election next year because he wants to spend more time with his family.

Duncan said in a statement Monday that he had thought of retiring before the 2016 election, but decided to run again in Tennessee's 2nd District at the urging of his supporters.

The 70-year-old Duncan was first elected to Congress in a 1988 special election to replace his father, John Duncan Sr., who had cancer and died in June of that year.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says her only child has died of an apparent drug overdose.

A statement released Sunday from Barry and her husband, Bruce, says 22-year-old Max Barry died Saturday night in Denver.

Max Barry graduated in June from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

The statement says the couple "cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child."

tncourts.gov

SPARTA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge's plan to encourage birth control among prisoners once they are released has sputtered, only two months into the program.

General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield was offering sentence reductions for men who got free vasectomies and women who agreed to receive free Nexplanon implants, which prevent pregnancy for up to four years.

plannedparenthood.org/mid-east-tennesee/

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union want to join a lawsuit challenging a Tennessee law that requires counseling and a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed a motion Wednesday to join the Nashville federal lawsuit.

The ACLU will represent the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health.

house.gov

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Phil Roe's office says he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and will undergo treatment next month in Tennessee.

Roe's website said the cancer was discovered after a routine physical and that his prognosis is excellent. He will be treated in East Tennessee during the August district work period, and treatment isn't expected to conflict with his legislative schedule.

cspan.org

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has rejected a plan to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift $2 billion from other programs to cover a sudden budget shortfall in its Choice program of private-sector care following opposition from veterans' groups.

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.

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