ear (2006-48)

BEP Bumps

Does Alex Know?

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Judicial Fruit Basket

Closed Door? Huh?

Bug in Our Ear

BEP Bumps

The state Supreme Court has ruled the state must make accommodation that allows equal educational opportunities for poor rural counties versus large metropolitan areas that have more revenue. The metro schools argue they have more special needs children, more free lunch children and more challenges than the average school system in Tennessee.

There will be an effort to sort out the BEP formula during the next legislative session. The chair of the Senate Education Committee is state Sen. Jamie Woodson of Knoxville.

Does Alex Know?

TWRA, responding to the same rumor, eventually determined McMahan had hunted with an expired license and gave him a citation. He killed a bear on a subsequent hunt, after obtaining a new license.

Butler was fired for insubordination, evidently for continuing to pursue a story that his editor didn’t care to print. The Newport Plain Talk is owned by the Jones newspaper family in Greeneville, one of the few remaining family-owned newspaper chains not swallowed by big media companies. One of the Jones’ brothers, Alex , has a sinecure at Harvard where he writes books about the newspaper industry and frequently advises the national media on ethics.

Support Local Ink

Being non-profit, one way in which Hellbender keeps itself afloat is through annual fundraisers, including the silent auction it’s hosting this Friday night, Dec. 1, between 6 and 9 p.m. at Sapphire. Items up for grabs include a quilt handcrafted by Hall’s mom, earrings by local jeweler Tracy Kramer , and some classic Hellbender political cartoons, framed and ready for hanging.

Even if you’re not in a position to make a bid, at least stop in and buy the Hellbender staffer of your choice a drink for his or her hard work.

Judicial Fruit Basket

The contretemps over the Supreme Court selections has led to a stalemate, a lawsuit and leaves a vacancy on the state’s high court. The judicial selection commission seems determined to give Bredesen an attorney and former party chair named Houston Gordon as the next justice. Bredesen said he would just as soon sue.

The position of legal counsel to the governor remains open. Observers are wondering if it might go to former House Majority Leader Kim McMillan , a South Knoxville native, who has represented the Clarksville area in recent years. McMillan did not run for re-election. The scenario of Cooper going to the court and McMillan going to AG was derailed by the obstreperous judicial selection committee.

The question is whether McMillan wants to be legal counsel and whether Bredesen is comfortable with her in the post.  

Closed Door? Huh?

The public response has been overwhelmingly opposed to such a secret session, the mayor’s office reports. The Commission is composed of people who would be affected by term limits, people who sued to overturn the county Charter, and members not affected by the ruling.

There would appear to be a public interest in knowing what various commissioners are asking and what the law director is telling them. We suspect local media will be all over Commission should a private session be scheduled.

Owings, who was appointed to the law director job and may want to run for it in future, seems to be oblivious. He has been quoted in the News Sentinel as saying a private session might be appropriate to have an attorney-client communication. Owings seems not to understand his future employment depends on the voters.