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Tennessee Government News

Local, regional, and statewide news continually updated from thousands of sources on the web.

2 hrs ago | Philly.com

George Barrett | Civil rights lawyer, 86

George Barrett, 86, a longtime Tennessee civil rights lawyer known for handling a case that ultimately desegregated the state's public colleges and universities, died Tuesday at a hospital where he was being treated for inflammation of the pancreas.

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Related Topix: Tennessee, Law, Employment / Labor Law, Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee

Wed Aug 27, 2014

WTVC

Chattanooga Changing Its Storm Water Drainage System

Chattanooga is under fire. The EPA and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation say the city isn't living up to both organization's guidelines.

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Middlesboro Daily News

New Tazewell discusses airport hangars project

New Tazewell interim mayor Phil Greer is apparently not letting the grass grow under him as he took the reins of city business last week to pursue a project that will extend the Municipal Airport hangars.

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The Detroit News

GM's new manufacturing strategy helps breathe new life into Tennessee town

-- General Motors Co.'s Spring Hill complex is on a path that may lead to a doubled workforce and become a vision of GM's manufacturing future. The town and its namesake auto plant, 35 miles south of Nashville, were home to Saturn manufacturing for more than a decade before GM stopped assembly operations for nearly three years following its bankruptcy. It became a metaphor for GM's overreach, its fall and now its resurgence. The factory, designed to be flexible enough to build most any vehicle in GM's lineup, was promised $350 million in investment, 1,800 additional or retained jobs and two new vehicles. Wednesday, GM is expected to further sweeten the deal. At an event attended by the governor and other officials, GM is expected to announce additional investment and jobs. It has been widely speculated that the carmaker will move production of the Cadillac SRX from a plant in Mexico to Spring Hill and transfer GMC Acadia production from GM's Lansing Delta Township plant. Already, suppliers are planning to build near the plant, in order to improve quality, reduce transportation costs and assure that parts are ready when GM needs them. Chad Meyer, president of NorthPoint Development which is developing the industrial park, said two companies codenamed "Project Buckeye" and "Project Angus" will move in near GM's plant, bringing in 400 to 500 jobs, combined. One company is from Ohio; the other was nicknamed because of the cows that used to roam the land where the buildings are going up. The state revealed last month that ABC Group plans to invest $25.5 million in its Gallatin, Tenn., plant, about an hour away, adding 180,000 square feet and creating 230 jobs. The expansion will increase capacity to build consoles, interior trim and floors for new GMC and Cadillac vehicles to be made at Spring Hill, according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development. The additional facilities sprouting up around the plant are encouraging to Spring Hill employees such as Marie Johnson, 55, of Columbia, Tenn. She was laid off for several years before returning to the plant a few years ago. "It was rough," she said. "We didn't know what was going to happen." Johnson sees the two new auto suppliers as a sign of job security. "It makes me feel more secure and it makes me happy that more people are going to have jobs, too," she said. Johnson hopes the hundreds of workers who left their families in Spring Hill to work at other GM locations in the downturn will be able to claim one of the new jobs and return home. Many are trying to work their way back. Hundreds of workers followed the Chevy Traverse when it went from Spring Hill to Lansing and others transferred to other plants to keep employment. Many opted to rent small apartments and commuted long hours on the weekends to see their families. Local UAW officials said more than 300 people who had transfer rights have returned to Spring Hill, and others wanting to get back will have to follow protocol with the national UAW agreement. The once-small farming town turned major auto center was decimated after GM idled assembly operations at the end of 2009. That also was the year the bankrupt automaker killed off its Saturn brand, which it had launched with great fanfare and claims that it was a "new kind of car company" in which automaker and auto worker would forge a new, cooperative relationship. GM's largest manufacturing plant in North America never shut down completely in the downturn. But employment at the complex, once as high as 7,000, fell to below 1,000. With a new UAW contract, GM resumed vehicle production at Spring Hill in fall 2012. GM invested in a flexible manufacturing operation it says could build any car or crossover. Today, about 180 employees assemble the Chevrolet Equinox at Spring Hill, one of of three GM sites building the popular crossover. One shift at the plant builds four-cylinder versions as needed, as well as special white-diamond color models. There is lots of excitement and talk inside inside the plant, at the union hall and in town about the investments and hope of more jobs to come. While workers may not officially know until Wednesday or even later what vehicles they will build, construction already is underway to add two trim lines to the general assembly area. "The buzz is focused on growth and having some new team members join us and get back to the size where we think we should be," Plant Manager Ken Knight said. "The Equinox is a smaller program for this site." The massive complex -- once a horse farm that is well landscaped with farmland and rolling hills along the highway -- totals 6.9 million square feet on 2,100 acres. The facility also houses engine and stamping plants, plus injection molding and painting operations. Spring Hill employs about 2,300 workers, including about 1,600 hourly, 300 salaried workers and about 400 from third parties. It has hired about 300 entry-level hourly workers in recent years. "We're hiring people out of the community today and we anticipate doing a lot more of that," UAW Local 1853 President Tim Stannard said. Spring Hill was established in 1809 and for a long time was simply a small farming community. That all changed in the mid-1980s when General Motors and a new brand it would call Saturn announced that the small car company would open a plant in what was farmland. "This town overnight went from 900 people ... and one restaurant in town ... it went overnight almost to a town that was a bustling town of several thousand people," said UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron. Spring Hill's population has swelled since. In 1980, Spring Hill's population was just 986. By 2000, it had grown to 7,115. Today, the city is home to more than 32,000 and is one of the fastest growing areas of the state. The area that once had only a few businesses beyond a gas station and a local watering hole now has strip malls, a Home Depot, Olive Garden and more. The first Saturn rolled off the production line in 1990 and the last Ions and Vues went off the line in March 2007. Most employees were without a job for about a year while the plant was retooled for Traverse production, which began in September 2008. When the plant lost the Traverse and was idled, unemployment in Maury County soared. It hit 17.4 percent in June 2009 and in December stood at 14.6 percent. This past June, it was 7.5 percent. Herron is hopeful employment at Spring Hill will grow substantially -- and possibly double -- once GM adds the two vehicles. "The excitement level that's in this area, the Middle Tennessee area right now is unbelievable," he said. "Just the hint of the possibility of an announcement at this place has caused the phones to ring off the wall."

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Tue Aug 26, 2014

Mass Transit

TN: City of Clarksville Gets More Than $1.6M in CMAQ Grants

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer presented Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan with a check for $1.6 million dollars.

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RickeyStokesNews.com

23rd Annual Hands Across the Border Campaign

During the 23rd annual Hands Across the Border campaign, Georgia, Florida, Alabama North and South Carolina law enforcement will be meeting their counterparts in communities near the Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida state lines to conduct road checks.

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Related Topix: Alabama Government, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida Government, Georgia Government, South Carolina, South Carolina Government, North Carolina Government, North Carolina, Tennessee

WKRN

I-24 shut down in Murfreesboro after injury crash

The crash happened at 2:50 p.m. near mile marker 72, not far from the State Route 840 exit.

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WZVN-TV Fort Myers

2 ex-mining towns try to change their fortunes

An experiment of sorts is taking place in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Tennessee, where two towns with a common heritage and a common problem are taking two very different approaches.

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Related Topix: Tennessee, Air Accidents, Immigration Reform, Wisconsin Government, Wisconsin

Chattanoogan.com

Senator Kelsey Announces Witnesses For Criminal Justice Reform Hearing

Senator Brian Kelsey on Tuesday released the names of the witnesses scheduled to testify regarding proposed criminal justice reforms in Tennessee.

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Related Topix: Tennessee, Prison, Rutherford County, TN, Anderson County, TN

District Administration

Textbooks and tech: classrooms in transition in Tennessee

Metro Nashville Public Schools' decision not to buy new social studies textbooks when they were due to be replaced has sparked much discussion about the future of textbooks in our classrooms.

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Mon Aug 25, 2014

Examiner.com

Training rural ambassadors to help expand Medicaid

Last Saturday, I attended the Rural Ambassador Meeting to support Medicaid Expansion presented by the coalition with which I have been working.

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Related Topix: Healthcare Law, Law, Tennessee

Athens Banner-Herald

UGA receives commitment from four-star Tennessee talent

Georgia surged from behind to get the commitment of four-star Ravenwood wide receiver Van Jefferson on Monday.

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Catholic.net

Marriage Equality

Over the past year, the cascade of federal court rulings that favor same-sex 'marriage' has lent credence to the view that progress is on the side of 'marriage equality.'

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Related Topix: Tennessee, US News, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, US Supreme Court

SFGate

News briefs from around Tennessee at 1:58 a.m. EDT

We have re-imagined our design in a bold new way. Before we roll it out for everyone, we are giving select readers an opportunity to try out the new design.

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Related Topix: Tennessee, Nashville, TN, Loudon County, TN, Hendersonville, TN

Sun Aug 24, 2014

The Jackson Sun

Nursing wing set to open at UT Martin Parsons CenterNursing wing set...

Nursing wing set to open at UT Martin Parsons Center Ribbon-cutting ceremony for expansion will be held Thursday Check out this story on jacksonsun.com: http://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/local/2014/08/24/nursing-wing-set-open-ut-martin-parsons-center/14537801/ Workers are putting the final touches on the new West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation ... (more)

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Related Topix: Medicine, Nursing, University of Tennessee at Martin, Tennessee, Bill Haslam, US Governors

The Star Press

River' of immigrants from the south shaped Muncie - River' of...

'River' of immigrants from the south shaped Muncie Derided as hillbillies and "human debris," southerners flocked to Muncie for jobs Check out this story on thestarpress.com: http://tspne.ws/1p3lUB5 They came from Tennessee and Kentucky and Mississippi and elsewhere, starting as early as the 1920s and '30s, in a river of humanity that still ... (more)

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Sat Aug 23, 2014

The Star Press

ROYSDON: Call us hillbillies if you must; we're proudROYSDON: Call us ...

ROYSDON: Call us hillbillies if you must; we're proud The son of Tennessee immigrants says 'hillbillies' had a sting, but what's in a name? Check out this story on thestarpress.com: http://tspne.ws/1twEnW1 The Stewarts, members of Keith Roysdon's mother's family.

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Clarksville Online

Tennessee Department of Health Issues Extreme Heat Warning

The Tennessee Department of Health is working to reduce deaths and life-threatening conditions caused by summer heat.

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Related Topix: Tennessee, Family, Elderly (Senior Citizen), Weather

WAFF-TV Huntsville

Tenn. drugstore punished for missing pills

A Smyrna drugstore's license has been suspended by the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy after investigators discovered thousands of doses of opioids missing.

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WKRN

Rebuilt Tenn. bridge could be open by November

Tennessee transportation officials say a Middle Tennessee bridge demolished after a fatal tanker explosion is expected to be rebuilt by November.

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