Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney has captured West Virginia and its five electoral votes.

President Barack Obama is unpopular in the state, and West Virginia GOP officials have been hoping that would lead to victories for other Republicans on the ballot.

Romney earlier won in Kentucky, giving him 13 electoral votes overall, while Obama was the winner of Vermont's three electoral votes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The polls are starting to close in the eastern United States, and President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each have an early victory.

As expected, Obama was the winner in Vermont, with three electoral votes, while Romney captured Kentucky's eight electoral votes.

Vermont voters also re-elected Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Still to come are the returns from the handful of states, including Ohio, Florida and Virginia, where Obama and Romney have concentrated their efforts in recent weeks.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais has reached the finish line of his re-election bid before potentially damaging trial transcripts from his 2001 divorce were made public.

The congressman's attorney blocked the release until a transcript was complete, and Democratic Party officials said the court reporter couldn't finish the work in time for voters to evaluate the records before the polls would close Tuesday evening.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Poll watchers in Memphis and Nashville were reporting many voting problems on Tuesday, but few had to do with the state's new voter photo ID law.

Instead, volunteers in Nashville said the problems were too few voting machines, too few workers, no change of address forms, no provisional ballots and people being sent away without being told they could vote provisionally.

In Memphis, many people were reporting problems voting because their polling places had changed due to redistricting.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Republicans are poised to get their first super majority — or more — in both chambers of the Legislature on election night.

Currently in the Senate, Republicans have a 20-13 advantage. The margin is 64-34 in the House, with one independent. To get a super majority, Republicans need to claim two seats in each chamber.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two years after upsetting the incumbent Democrat, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is the only Tennessee member of Congress facing a serious challenge.

Tuesday's election has Tennesseans casting ballots in that race, other congressional contests, a U.S. Senate race and the presidential contest.

Democrats couldn't field credible candidates against two other Republicans who in 2010 won House seats held by Democrats.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The polls are open across Tennessee. Voters are casting ballots in the presidential race, for one U.S. Senate seat, nine U.S. House contests, the entire state House and half of the state Senate.

More than 1.4 million Tennessee voters cast ballots during the early voting period.

A state or federally issued photo ID is required to vote. This is the first year for the requirement, which also applied in the March presidential primary and the August state primary.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — National Park rangers were trying to rescue an Appalachian Trail hiker in trouble in 4-5 foot snowdrifts left by Superstorm Sandy Friday.

Two rangers were searching on foot Friday morning, looking for the man in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A park spokeswoman says the hiker used his cell phone to call 911 Thursday afternoon. He spoke to dispatchers again Friday morning and said he was hunkering down at his location and might not be able to hike out.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Another person has died in Tennessee from a fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections for back pain.

The State Department of Health says a total of 74 people who received the injections in Tennessee have been sickened and 10 of them have died.

State health officials said earlier this week that the great majority of risk for stroke or death associated with the outbreak is gone by 42 days after the injection. By Nov. 8, all 1,009 people in Tennessee who got the contaminated steroids will have passed the 42-day mark.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee health officials say the number of people sickened by fungal meningitis and other diseases after receiving steroid injections has risen to 70.

Yesterday, the pharmacist who co-founded the Massachusetts specialty pharmacy linked to the meningitis outbreak voluntarily surrendered his license in Tennessee.

The state pharmacy board accepted the agreement by Barry Cadden, the co-founder of New England Compounding Center, to give up his license to practice pharmacy in Tennessee. The company surrendered its license last week.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — As the presidential campaign heads into the final days, Middle Tennessee State University is examining how negative advertising and attack ads are effective and why they flood the airwaves.

A symposium on negative campaign advertising will be held Tuesday at the Student Union Building and is sponsored by the MTSU Department of Political Science, the Albert Gore Research Center and the College of Liberal Arts.

MTSU Sports

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill says senior running back Benny Cunningham will miss the rest of the season after hurting his left knee in last weekend's win at FIU.

Results of Cunningham's MRI exam came back Monday, and Stockstill says Cunningham will have surgery by the end of this week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Hendersonville woman sickened by fungal meningitis after receiving a steroid injection for back pain is suing the pharmacy that supplied the drug.

On Monday, Janet Russell and her husband, Robert Russell, sued the New England Compounding Center for $15 million. The suit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court claims the pharmacy allowed the steroid to be contaminated by fungi through negligence.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker who has criticized the Tennessee Department of Children's Services over the years says the agency's commissioner shouldn't be scrutinized for deeply rooted problems she has inherited.

About two weeks ago, the embattled agency released information that showed 31 children it had investigated died during the first six months of 2012. The figures were provided after repeated requests by another Democratic lawmaker.

Critics want DCS Commissioner Kate O'Day to be replaced.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's tax collections have shown marginal growth in the second month of the budget year.

Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said in a release Tuesday that September revenues "continue to reflect the sluggish national economy."

The state's overall revenues were $1.1 billion, or 5.4 percent above the budgeted estimate. The September collections reflect economic activity in the previous month.

ASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Department of Health officials say the state's death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis has risen to six.

Dr. John Dreyzhener, Tennessee's health commissioner, said Tuesday the total number of cases in the state has increased by four and now stands at 39. The cases all stem from steroid injections for back pain and officials say evidence points to contaminated medicine as the cause of the rare disease.

ASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Department of Health officials say the state's death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis has risen to six.

Dr. John Dreyzhener, Tennessee's health commissioner, said Tuesday the total number of cases in the state has increased by four and now stands at 39. The cases all stem from steroid injections for back pain and officials say evidence points to contaminated medicine as the cause of the rare disease.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State labor officials have begun enforcing new unemployment requirements passed by the Legislature.

WMOT-FM (http://bit.ly/VRBvTq ) reported that the longer a person is jobless, the less salary he or she can refuse and still keep unemployment benefits.

After 13 weeks, for example, a person offered a job at 75 percent of previous salary could lose benefits for not accepting it.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Before an unruly Tennessee party ended with a student hospitalized for a dangerously high blood alcohol level, most people had probably never heard of alcohol enemas.

Thanks to the drunken exploits of a fraternity at the University of Tennessee, the bizarre way of getting drunk is giving parents, administrators and health care workers a new fear.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for two Bedford County children missing since a fire burned down their home five days ago, saying there is no evidence they were victims of the blaze.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued the alert Friday evening. Investigators earlier in the day had returned to the scene of the Shelbyville house fire in which two bodies were found, tentatively identified as the children's step-grandparents.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge in Nashville has upheld Tennessee's voter identification statute.

The Tennessean reports that after about three hours of oral arguments yesterday, Judge Carol McCoy ruled against civil rights attorney George Barrett in the case. Barrett contended the state constitution requires only proof of legal age, residency and registration to vote.

The judge responded that voting procedures have evolved over the years and the legislature can enact laws that secure what the court termed "the purity of the ballot box."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A fraternity at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been suspended while campus police investigate an alcohol-related incident that left one student in critical condition.

According to a UT police department incident report obtained by The Knoxville News Sentinel, an unresponsive 20-year-old man was brought into the UT Medical Center early Saturday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two administrators at the University of Tennessee say they can’t support health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of UT employees.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, a letter from university Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington was read to a UT Faculty Senate meeting yesterday. In it, Cheek and Arrington stated that offering benefits to unmarried gay partners would violate state statute.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's unemployment rate rose slightly in August to 8.5 percent, the fourth consecutive month there’s been an increase.

Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis says that the increase is one-tenth of a percentage point increase over the previous month.

Tennessee’s jobless rate has now climbed four-tenths above the national  unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Judd Matheny tells The Associated Press he is no longer considering a challenge to fellow Republican Beth Harwell for House speaker next year.

Matheny announced last month that he was looking into a bid for the top post in the 99-member House because he felt marginalized by other Republican leaders.

Now Matheny says he’ll seek another term in his current position as House speaker pro tempore instead. Besides speaker, it is the only post elected by the entire lower chamber of the General Assembly.

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