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Supreme Court Justice to Retire
AP Monday July 27, 2015

State Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade, a target of a failed ouster campaign led by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey last year, says he plans to retire in September.
Wade was the Supreme Court's chief justice when Ramsey last year decided to pour at least $605,000 from his political action committee into trying to defeat him and two other justices appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
But supporters of Wade, Connie Clark and Sharon Lee mounted a vigorous campaign to keep the justices, and the normally routine yes-no ballot question about retaining justices turned into one of the hottest races of the year, featuring a blitz of TV ads around the state.
In the end, voters overwhelmingly returned all three to the bench for another eight-year term


Tennessee Gets Extended NCLB Waiver
AP Monday July 27, 2015

Tennessee is among seven states that have received extended No Child Left Behind waivers.
The education law expired in 2007, though its mandates remained in place.
Critics have complained there is too much testing and the law is too punitive for schools deemed to be failing. The Obama administration began issuing waivers to dozens of states to get around some of the law's strictest requirements when it became clear they would not be met.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that Tennessee is getting an additional four years of flexibility and three years of flexibility for Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon. As requested by Utah's State Office of Education, the state is receiving a one-year renewal.
The department said each of the states is taking important steps toward ensuring that all children have the opportunities they deserve.


Lethal Injection Trial Continues
AP Monday July 27, 2015

The Tennessee Supreme Court says the death penalty is constitutional, so there must be a constitutional way to carry it out. But attorneys for 33 death row inmates say lethal injection isn't one of them.
In a trial that began July 7, they are trying to prove lethal injection carries an unacceptably high risk of extreme suffering and can cause a lingering death.
The second claim is a novel one. It is based on the theory that an overdose of sedatives can put inmates into a death-like coma without truly killing them for hours.
Attorneys for the state disagree. Davidson County Acting Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Feng Li is an expert witness in the case. He says lethal injection should leave a prisoner unconscious within seconds and dead within minutes.


Local Man Airlifted
Jeff Barnes Friday July 24, 2015

A man was airlifted Thursday morning when he was run over in his driveway by hit-and-run driver.
36 year old Christopher Higgins was taken by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for injuries he suffered when the car ran over his legs and chest area.
According to Sheriffs Department, the incident happened around 9 a.m. on Short Road located in the Smartt Station community. Higgins told the Sheriffs Dept. that a black Nissan pulled into his driveway and was blowing his horn. He went outside and once he reached the car, the man inside threw open the door and started cursing at him. Higgins added the driver threw the vehicle in reverse. He was knocked down by the door of the car and was run over. The driver fled the scene, leaving Higgins lying in his driveway. He was airlifted to Erlanger in Chattanooga for treatment to his legs and chest area.

The driver is described as having long, dark hair and several tattoos. He was driving a black Nissan Maxima or Altima. Anyone having information is asked to contact the Sheriffs Department.


Apps for Unemployment Low
AP Friday July 24, 2015

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly 42 years, evidence that employers are holding onto their staffs and likely hiring at a steady pace. Yet the drop also reflects seasonal volatility in the data.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to 255,000, the lowest level since November 1973.
One reason for the drop, however, is that auto plants and other factories close briefly in July to prepare for next years models. That pushed up applications in the previous two weeks.
With layoffs down, employers are also hiring more to meet greater demand for their goods and services. The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent.


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