AP/WMOT

A MTSU Professor says that a federal internet plan could have a profound impact on Tennessee.

Federal regulators are announcing today that they've cobbled together a consortium of businesses and non-profit organizations to cut the number of U.S. homes that don't have broadband internet service, now at one third, or about 35 million homes.

As part of a federal project cable companies will offer Internet service for $9.95 per month to poor homes with children eligible for the school lunch program.   The plan will be available starting next summer.

WMOT News has learned today that court cases will move ahead against two Ft. Campbell soldiers.

Within the past hour, Ft. Campbell announced in a press release that the Army will court martial Sgt. Brent Burke for the murder of two Kentucky women in 2007. A trial date for early February has been set.

Burke faces court martial for the  slayings of his estranged wife and her former mother-in-law. Efforts to try Burke, a military policeman at Fort Campbell, in a Kentucky civilian court for the shooting deaths ended in two hung juries and two mistrials.

Surfdog Records

Country Music great Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease and is currently on a nationwide tour to say goodbye to his fans.

One of the highlights of tomorrows CMA 2011 Awards show in Nashville will be a tribute to Campbell by Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.

The 45th annual CMA awards take place tomorrow evening at Bridgestone Arena beginning at 8 pm.  The show will be carried live nationwide by ABC.

If your daily commute takes you downtown, be aware that several streets will be closed for the CMAs today and tomorrow.

aclu.org

Nashville, Tenn (AP/WMOT) Online privacy is the subject this week as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee conducts a series of panel discussions statewide.

ACLU representatives will speak today in Knoxville, tomorrow here in Middle Tennessee and Wednesday in Memphis.

In a news release, the ACLU contends the laws that protect our privacy have not kept pace with social and technological change.

The Journey Home

Murfreesboro, Tenn  (AP-WMOT)  New census estimates out today show the number of Americans living in poverty is higher than ever - reaching a new peak of more than 49 million poeple, or 16 percent of the population.

The new numbers are higher than the official 2010 poverty rate of 15 percent that was reported in September.

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, Tenn (AP/WMOT)  A University of Tennessee researcher has helped confirm a link between a fungus and the widespread death of bats.

Justin Boyles, a post-doctoral research associate, was one of the study’s authors. The study discovered that the fungus Geomyces destructans is causing White-nose Syndrome, a disease decimating the bat population.

The effort to recall Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield is moving ahead again.

A state appeals court has thrown out a judge's ruling that temporarily blocked the effort.

The decision yesterday by the Tennessee Court of Appeals puts the disputed recall petition back before the Hamilton County Election Commission.

Reporter Cliff Hightower is covering the story for the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. He says some residents are upset over a growing crime rate, perceived corruption, and higher taxes.

The congressional "Super Committee" appears to be making little progress in its goal of cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.

If the committee fails to come to agreement, then $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts will go into effect.

Dr. Murat Arik, a researcher with the Middle Tennessee State University Center for Business and Economic Research says Tennessee will be deeply impacted.

Dr. Arik says federal education dollars that normally flow to Tennessee would likely be among the first casualties.

 

Nine universities will compete tomorrow in a computer programming contest here in Murfreesboro at Middle Tennessee State University.

MTSU, Vanderbilt, East Tennessee State, North Alabama, Maryville, Belmont, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State will participate in what’s commonly called “The Battle of the Brains.”

Dr. Chrisila Petty, Chair of the Department of Computer Sciences at MTSU, says the university's team is the defending champion. The winner will advance to national and possibly international competitions.

MTSU photo by J. Intintol

MURFREESBORO, TN (AP)  Middle Tennessee State University and Motlow State Community College have announced a dual-admission program that will help students earning a two-year associate's degree to apply those credits toward a bachelor's degree.

MTSU president Sidney McPhee and Motlow President Mary Lou Apple signed the agreement on Wednesday, according to a statement from MTSU.

McPhee said that data from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission shows MTSU is the first choice in the state for transfer students, and Motlow is MTSU's top feeder school.

WMOT/Osborne

MURFREESBORO, TN (AP) The trial over the site plan approval for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has been scheduled for next April.

Seventeen plaintiffs are suing Rutherford County, claiming officials violated Tennessee's open meetings law.

Plaintiffs' attorney Joe Brandon Jr. also tried to argue that the mosque violated his clients' constitutional rights, claiming mosque members were compelled by their religion to subdue non-Muslims.

Chancellor Robert Corlew dismissed that claim in May.

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) Some Tennessee lawmakers and teachers said Wednesday they would like this to be a pilot year for a new evaluation system that for the first time will use students' standardized test scores as part of the process.

Members of the House Education Committee heard testimony from school administrators and teachers about the evaluation, which is comprised of 35 percent of students' value-added test scores that track students' progress on standardized tests over time. Many educators say that's an unfair measurement because students test differently.

MURFREESBORO, TN (AP) An estimated 3,800 people waited in line in Murfreesboro hoping to get one of the 1,600 jobs at Nissan as the automotive manufacturer looks to ramp up hiring for a new battery plant at its Smyrna facility.

Yates Services, a maintenance contractor at the plant, held a job fair on Wednesday for part-sorting, production line and forklift positions and the response was the largest turnout for any Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce job fair.

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