Tennessee

Mixed Success for Candidates Favoring Trump in Tennessee

Aug 3, 2018
TN Photo Services

Basking in the afterglow of an emphatic Republican primary victory in her bid for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn proclaimed it a win for the agenda of President Donald Trump, a statement from Tennessee voters that they want to give him their full support.

"We know that what Tennesseans say that they want to see in their next senator is somebody who is going to stand with President Trump to finish the agenda that they voted for when they elected him," she said Thursday.

But the Republican primary for governor tested the limits of her theory.

Rough Governor's Race Highlights Thursday's Tennessee Primary Election

Aug 2, 2018
Creative Commons

Four candidates who have spent tens of millions of dollars of their own wealth fighting over who is more devoted to President Donald Trump face off Thursday in the Republican primary for Tennessee governor.

Meanwhile, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn face only nominal primary opposition in their high-profile race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, one of several contests that could decide control of the Senate.

In an election year shaping up to be a good one for Democratic women candidates, Republican women could see their numbers drop after November. But one state where GOP women might find success is in Tennessee.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn will go up against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in one of the year's most critical and competitive Senate races. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor, though she first has to win a very competitive primary next week.

WKU Public Radio

The number of Tennesseans casting ballots during the state’s early voting period continues to increase.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett told The Tennessean that early voting is up about 2 percent compared to the same time period during the 2014 election cycle.

The early voting period in the Volunteer State began July 13 and ends July 28. A little more than 273,000 ballots had been cast by July 20.

How the Trade War is Changing Minds In a Senate Battleground

Jul 11, 2018
Tosh Farms

Jimmy Tosh's sprawling hog farm in rural Tennessee is an unlikely battleground in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Yet his 15,000 acres two hours west of Nashville showcase the practical risks of President Donald Trump's trade policies and the political threat to red-state Republican Senate candidates such as Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn.

Tosh, a third-generation farmer who almost always votes Republican, said he's voting this fall for Blackburn's Democratic opponent, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, in part because Trump's trade wars are hurting his family business — a sizable one with some 400 employees and 30,000 pigs.

For the second time in less than a month, Tennessee's GOP state lawmakers have declined to proceed on legislation condemning white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. On Monday, roughly three weeks after a Democratic-sponsored resolution died in committee, GOP state Rep. Ryan Williams quietly requested that the Republican version of the measure be withdrawn.

Melody Cashion rattles off the list of drugs she once needed just to function.

Lyrica, Gabapentin, methadone, oxycodone, valium.

There were more. But those were the every day ones.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

The campaign for the leading Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, said in a letter to the FBI Thursday that it feared it had been hacked.

The potential breach comes as state and federal officials are increasingly worried that enough hasn't been done to improve election security since 2016.

Suicides have been surging in Tennessee, and state health officials don’t know why — in part — because they haven't been studying them closely. The legislature is considering a proposal to review each suicide, case by case.

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

A bill that would allow a select number of Tennessee teachers to carry guns in school is advancing in that state’s legislature.

The measure passed a Tennessee House subcommittee Wednesday at a time when the nation is debating gun control measures following the killings in Parkland, Florida.

The Tennessean reports the bill would empower school boards and school directors to create policies that allow select staff members to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will not run for re-election this year — for real, this time.

Corker had been waffling in recent weeks over his decision in September to retire and admitted he was considering jumping back into the race. Running would have set up a bruising primary fight with Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the front-runner in the Republican primary, who announced her candidacy after Corker said he wasn't going to run.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has been uncharacteristically mum this week when asked to comment on reports that he may change his mind about retiring this year.

"I don't really have anything to say," Corker told NPR Monday evening. But on Tuesday evening a spokeswoman suggested Corker could be rethinking his decision to retire.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has admitted that she had an extramarital affair with the former head of her security detail.

"I'm embarrassed, and I am sad, and I am so sorry for all the pain that I have caused my family and his family," she said at a news conference Wednesday. "I know that God will forgive me, but that Nashville doesn't have to. ... I hope that I can earn your trust back and that you will forgive me."

Judge Won't Order Tennessee to Give More Money to Schools

Sep 26, 2016
Creative Commons

A judge has denied a request from Metro Nashville Public Schools that she order the state to provide more money for education.

The school district's petition said lawmakers did not provide enough money for Nashville to hire the legally required number of teachers and translators for its English language learners.

The state has said the funding formula is just a goal.

The Tennessean reports Chancery Court Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle on Thursday declined to issue an order to the state, saying the issue needs to be adjudicated first.

Nashville school board Chair Anna Shepherd said the response was disappointing. She has asked Metro Legal to prepare a list of options.

Shelby County and a cluster of seven counties that includes Hamilton are suing the state over education funding.

Blake Farmer/Nashville Public Radio

Jack Daniel's is a historic brand built on stories and legend. To this day, all of the whiskey is made in the hills of little Lynchburg, Tenn. And as part of its 150th anniversary, the company is highlighting a lesser-known part of its story: how a former slave played a key role in its founding.

The story of Nearis Green first got national attention earlier this summer, when The New York Times ran an article about his role in Jack Daniel's history based on a pitch from the company.

Until now, the story usually told about the firm's founding was this: Jack Daniel left home as a young teen, went to work for Dan Call — ironically, a pastor — and ended up helping with Call's whiskey. That's where he learned his trade — perhaps under the tutelage of Green, who was then a slave belonging to Call.

It's not clear exactly what parts of the process Daniel's picked up from Green. "There's a lot of mystery there," says Jack Daniel's company historian Nelson Eddy. "We don't know exactly what he taught Jack. But we do know that Jack had a great deal of respect for that family. Because I think the best part of this story is the photograph."

The photograph he refers to is one that shows Jack Daniel, with a gray goatee, around 1895, surrounded by his crew, including two African-American men believed to be the sons of Nearis Green.

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