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State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he would be against an effort to expand Medicaid even if fellow Republican Governor Bill Haslam successfully negotiated a special deal for Tennessee. Ramsey says the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance exchanges has firmed up his view that the state should not accept federal dollars to cover more uninsured people.
Tennessee lawmakers are holding hearings this week to review the state's textbook selection process. Lawmakers say the hearings are intended to seek clarity regarding the structure and function of the Tennessee Textbook Commission, which recently came under fire by a group of parents for having adopted textbooks containing alleged inappropriate language and a controversial interpretation of historical facts. The panel is composed of 10 members whose responsibility is to recommend an official list of textbooks for approval by the State Board of Education. Local school systems choose which textbooks to adopt from the list for a six-year period.
Tennessee is leading most states when it comes to screening low-income children for developmental issues. According to a report released by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth only four states are screening more low-income children for such issues. The report adds that addressing problems earlier costs less and provides the opportunity to intervene before those problems escalate, and stresses providing children with the services and support they need for cognitive, social and emotional development during the first eight years of their lives.
The Cumberland County Soil Conservation District has announced the local winners in their Soil and Water Stewardship Poster Contest. Winners in the kindergarten-first grade category were Crab Orchard Elementary School student Savannah Pelfrey, in the second-third grade category, Brown Elementary Students Alex Antle took top honors. Alexander Barrett, who attends the Christian Academy of the Cumberlands, placed first in the fourth-sixth grade category. In the seventh-ninth grade category, Taylor Chapman from Cumberland County High School placed first, and the tenth-twelfth grade category winner was Shelby Clark. The first place posters in each category have all been entered in the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD) State Poster Contest and will be judged later in the year.
The search continues for a Cumberland County man who's been missing for more than a week. According to family members, John Richard Brown vanished on October 22. Family members say he was last seen at the home where he was staying, and there's been no contact from the man, who is legally blind, since then. Brown is a white male with brown hair and blue eyes. He stands five-feet, 10-inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department at 931-484-6176