Associated Press

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill says senior running back Benny Cunningham will miss the rest of the season after hurting his left knee in last weekend's win at FIU.

Results of Cunningham's MRI exam came back Monday, and Stockstill says Cunningham will have surgery by the end of this week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Hendersonville woman sickened by fungal meningitis after receiving a steroid injection for back pain is suing the pharmacy that supplied the drug.

On Monday, Janet Russell and her husband, Robert Russell, sued the New England Compounding Center for $15 million. The suit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court claims the pharmacy allowed the steroid to be contaminated by fungi through negligence.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker who has criticized the Tennessee Department of Children's Services over the years says the agency's commissioner shouldn't be scrutinized for deeply rooted problems she has inherited.

About two weeks ago, the embattled agency released information that showed 31 children it had investigated died during the first six months of 2012. The figures were provided after repeated requests by another Democratic lawmaker.

Critics want DCS Commissioner Kate O'Day to be replaced.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's tax collections have shown marginal growth in the second month of the budget year.

Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said in a release Tuesday that September revenues "continue to reflect the sluggish national economy."

The state's overall revenues were $1.1 billion, or 5.4 percent above the budgeted estimate. The September collections reflect economic activity in the previous month.

ASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Department of Health officials say the state's death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis has risen to six.

Dr. John Dreyzhener, Tennessee's health commissioner, said Tuesday the total number of cases in the state has increased by four and now stands at 39. The cases all stem from steroid injections for back pain and officials say evidence points to contaminated medicine as the cause of the rare disease.

ASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Department of Health officials say the state's death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis has risen to six.

Dr. John Dreyzhener, Tennessee's health commissioner, said Tuesday the total number of cases in the state has increased by four and now stands at 39. The cases all stem from steroid injections for back pain and officials say evidence points to contaminated medicine as the cause of the rare disease.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State labor officials have begun enforcing new unemployment requirements passed by the Legislature.

WMOT-FM (http://bit.ly/VRBvTq ) reported that the longer a person is jobless, the less salary he or she can refuse and still keep unemployment benefits.

After 13 weeks, for example, a person offered a job at 75 percent of previous salary could lose benefits for not accepting it.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Before an unruly Tennessee party ended with a student hospitalized for a dangerously high blood alcohol level, most people had probably never heard of alcohol enemas.

Thanks to the drunken exploits of a fraternity at the University of Tennessee, the bizarre way of getting drunk is giving parents, administrators and health care workers a new fear.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for two Bedford County children missing since a fire burned down their home five days ago, saying there is no evidence they were victims of the blaze.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued the alert Friday evening. Investigators earlier in the day had returned to the scene of the Shelbyville house fire in which two bodies were found, tentatively identified as the children's step-grandparents.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge in Nashville has upheld Tennessee's voter identification statute.

The Tennessean reports that after about three hours of oral arguments yesterday, Judge Carol McCoy ruled against civil rights attorney George Barrett in the case. Barrett contended the state constitution requires only proof of legal age, residency and registration to vote.

The judge responded that voting procedures have evolved over the years and the legislature can enact laws that secure what the court termed "the purity of the ballot box."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A fraternity at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been suspended while campus police investigate an alcohol-related incident that left one student in critical condition.

According to a UT police department incident report obtained by The Knoxville News Sentinel, an unresponsive 20-year-old man was brought into the UT Medical Center early Saturday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two administrators at the University of Tennessee say they can’t support health insurance benefits for same-sex partners of UT employees.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, a letter from university Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington was read to a UT Faculty Senate meeting yesterday. In it, Cheek and Arrington stated that offering benefits to unmarried gay partners would violate state statute.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's unemployment rate rose slightly in August to 8.5 percent, the fourth consecutive month there’s been an increase.

Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis says that the increase is one-tenth of a percentage point increase over the previous month.

Tennessee’s jobless rate has now climbed four-tenths above the national  unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Judd Matheny tells The Associated Press he is no longer considering a challenge to fellow Republican Beth Harwell for House speaker next year.

Matheny announced last month that he was looking into a bid for the top post in the 99-member House because he felt marginalized by other Republican leaders.

Now Matheny says he’ll seek another term in his current position as House speaker pro tempore instead. Besides speaker, it is the only post elected by the entire lower chamber of the General Assembly.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The head of a privately-run online school in Union County says it has plans to improve student performance after the state's education commissioner called the school's poor test scores last year "unacceptable."

The Tennessee Virtual Academy is operated by K12 Inc., the nation's largest publicly-traded online education company, under contract with the Union County Public Schools system.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A group of Nashville-area World War II veterans is getting a free flight to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II memorial built in their honor.

The local veterans and their guardians will fly out of Nashville International Airport on Wednesday morning.

In Washington, buses will transport them to the World War II Memorial as well as other monuments, including the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The group will fly back to Nashville on Wednesday night.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The cousin of an Alabama man killed during a drive-by shooting during a cookout in Murfreesboro says he was trying to save a child.

Deborah Tuma told The Daily News Journal that 51-year-old Mickey Simmons of Demopolis, Ala., got shot in the neck early Monday morning as about 30 people gathered at her house for a post-wedding cookout.

Tuma says her duplex home and a few cars were also shot as the guests were preparing to leave.

About 30 people including 15 children were at the event following a wedding in Nashville.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal trial that will decide the constitutionality of a vote that approved the creation of six municipal school districts in Tennessee's largest school district has begun.

A lawsuit seeks to invalidate an Aug. 2 vote by suburban residents who approved referendums to form separate public school districts in six Shelby County municipalities.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of fatally stabbing a woman, her teen-aged son and her mother in their Nashville suburban home apparently lived nearby.

Police spokesman Don Aaron told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/N7hJkE ) that the bodies of 48-year-old Michelle Pinkowski; her son, 14-year-old Jonathan Culpepper, and her mother, Marylea Jordan, were discovered around 3 a.m. Sunday at the Bellevue home.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Department of Energy's inspector general blamed significant security failures for an unprecedented intrusion into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, including broken detection equipment, a poor response from guards and insufficient federal oversight of private contractors running the complex.

MTSU Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The fall football season got underway Thursday night here in Middle Tennessee, with several mid-state teams starting the season at home.

The New Orleans Saints took no chances in their final pre-season game, resting all starters in a 10-6 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and Connor Shaw ran for 92 yards while playing the second half with an injured shoulder as No. 9 South Carolina rallied for a 17-13 victory against Vanderbilt. Lattimore scored the go-ahead TD on a 1-yard run with 11:25 to go.

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Officials from Nissan North America were on the Middle Tennessee State University campus Tuesday to donate two electric cars and three charging stations to the school. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />

It’s part of Nissan’s efforts to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee says that the Nissan Leaf cars will go into the university's motor pool. McPhee says the donation underscores the school’s commitment to a green campus.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal court has denied an appeal made by the Wayne County Board of Education in a case involving two students who were bullied and awarded $100,000 each.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit today affirmed a lower court ruling to deny a motion for judgment filed by the school board.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A vocal faculty member at Tennessee State University who has opposed university leadership was taken away from a meeting in handcuffs and removed from her leadership position on the faculty senate.

Jane Davis, an English professor, was arrested by campus police on Monday on a charge of disorderly conduct, according to TSU spokesman Rick Delahaya.

The Tennessean reported (http://tnne.ws/PAq0ex ) that Delahaya said Davis became extremely disruptive and would not allow the meeting to proceed.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s unemployment rate rose sharply in July.

Joblessness jumped three tenths of one percent to 8.4 percent, pushing it above the national rate of 8.3 percent.

The new rate is the highest Tennessee has seen since last December, but still a full percentage point below August 2011.

In spite of rising unemployment, Tennessee saw strong job growth in July in the manufacturing, health care and government employment sectors. The state lost jobs in hospitality, business services, and transportation.

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