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Tennessee transgender bathroom bill fails in Senate panel
AP Thursday March 23, 2017

A transgender bathroom bill in Tennessee has failed in a state Senate committee.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday made no motion to consider the legislation by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet. The lack of a motion effectively kills the bill for the year.

The bill sought to require students at public schools and colleges to use restrooms and locker rooms of their sex on their birth certificates.

The legislation has been the subject of protests at the state Capitol.

On the federal level, the U.S. Supreme Court has recently opted not to decide whether federal anti-discrimination law applied in a school transgender bathroom case.

That was after President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew former President Barack Obama’s directive that schools let students use bathrooms of their self-identified gender.


I-40 Lane Closure in Smith County, Drivers should expect delays
Submitted: Jennifer A. Flynn | Community Relations Officer, TDOT Thursday March 23, 2017

Tennessee Department of Transportation contract crews will be closing one lane of I-40 eastbound at mile marker 263 in Smith County for approximately one mile starting Monday, March 27 for a bridge repair project. The lane is expected to be reopened on or before Friday, May 26. Motorists should expect delays, particularly during peak daytime travel hours. The repair project includes two eastbound bridges over the Caney Fork River at mile markers 263 and 263.8. The scope includes concrete repairs, joint replacement, and a new asphalt overlay for both bridges. The contract completion date for the project is August 31, 2017. The contract was awarded to Mid-State Construction Company, whose bid of $1,559,08.01 was the lowest that met project requirements.


Gatlinburg Wildfire Support Group Spokesperson Says Lawsuit Planned AgainstSuit Against National Park Service
WVLT Thursday March 23, 2017

WVLT reports that a spokesperson for a Gatlinburg Wildfire online support group says that more than a hundred people are filing a lawsuit against the National Park Service for the November 28th wildfires. Chris Dunaway said he feels no trust in Sevier County or Gatlinburg officials and that no answers have been given about the deadly wildfires late last year. Dunaway said that he and dozens of others will officially file in June against the National Park Service for what he and others call negligence.


Gun Bill Proposed
AP Thursday March 23, 2017

Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier to openly carry a handgun.
If it passes, you won’t need to take a safety class or pay money to get a permit.
Supporters say it would bring Tennessee’s weapon laws for open carry in line with many other states but people against the bill say it’s a safety issue.
Under the proposed law, you wouldn’t need a permit to carry a handgun openly, however, you’d still have to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun which requires taking classes and paying a fee.
The bill states it would enact the “Open Carry Firearms Freedom Act.” It’s not the first time the bill has been introduced. Lawmakers have proposed it a couple of times before but it did not pass.
The bill will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks.


Mayor James Mayberry Announces Crossville Awarded $500,000 Industrial Site Grant
Peg Broadcasting News Thursday March 23, 2017

Crossville Mayor James Mayberry announced on Wednesday that a $500,000 grant has been awarded for industrial site development at the Crossville Interchange Business Park. Mayor Mayberry said, “The City appreciates the confidence of the State of Tennessee in awarding this grant. Cumberland County and the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce have been invaluable partners in this project, the property evaluation program, and economic development. Our community's recent redirection and focus on economic development was jumpstarted by the Horizon Initiative in 2015, an innovative project and collaborative effort between the City of Crossville, the City of Pleasant Hill, the City of Crab Orchard, Cumberland County, Crossville-Cumberland Chamber of Commerce, and educational entities in Cumberland County, Tennessee to develop a comprehensive strategy designed to guide our growth and movement. We look forward to what the future holds for Crossville and Cumberland County in this next step in economic and industrial development.” The grant will be used to develop a 200,000 square foot building pad at the City’s Business Park.

Statewide, 18 communities and local organizations will receive $6.2 million in Site Development Grants. In neighboring Fentress County, the Clarkrange Regional Business Park was awarded $500,000 to upgrade of approximately 7,300 linear feet of waterline. And in Rhea County, the Rhea County Rail Hub South Industrial Development project will receive $500,000 toward rough grading for an access road

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said, “Providing more opportunities for citizens in rural Tennessee is one of our top priorities and with the assistance of the Site Development Grants, the rural communities receiving these grants will be ready for investment and economic success. We are strengthening our future workforce through programs like Tennessee Promise, and I look forward to seeing these 18 communities succeed and grow for the next generation of Tennesseans.”


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