Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that he had fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority, criticizing the federal-owned corporation for hiring foreign workers.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he was formally removing chair Skip Thompson and another member of the board, and he threatened to remove other board members if they continued to hire foreign labor. Thompson was appointed to the post by Trump.

c-span

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee trauma surgeon running for an open Senate seat is calling for President Donald Trump to fire the nation’s leading top infectious diseases expert amid a pandemic.

Dr. Manny Sethi attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci during a campaign event over the weekend in Knoxville. Sethi is one of the top candidates running to replace outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is retiring at the end of his term.

vumc.org/health-policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A report says the majority of Tennessee's new reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are now in areas outside of the Nashville and Memphis metro areas.

The Vanderbilt University report released Monday says that the outbreak in Tennessee began concentrated in large urban areas but has moved into more rural communities with fewer health care resources.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Democratic head of a congressional coronavirus oversight panel has demanded that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and three other Republican governors provide documents showing how their states are combating the pandemic.

Similar letters were sent to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The request Wednesday by Rep. James Clyburn comes just days after White House coronavirus task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx traveled to Nashville to implore leaders to close bars and residents to wear masks.

capitol.tn.gov

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Tennessee Democratic state senator has been charged with stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds received by a health care company she directed.

 

The U.S. attorney's office in Memphis said a criminal complaint was unsealed Wednesday charging Katrina Robinson with theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud.

 

Thomas R Machnitzki

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over whether to keep absentee voting open to all eligible voters for the November election due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The hearing Thursday comes on the last day to request absentee ballots for the Aug. 6 primary election.

 

Last month, a state court judge ordered the absentee expansion during the pandemic, and the Supreme Court decided against blocking it for the primary.

 

Shealah Craighead / Official White House Photo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee stands at the cusp at being able to significantly decrease new cases of the coronavirus and must take stronger steps to prevent its spread, warned White House COVID-19 task force leader Deborah Birx, who met with state and local health leaders Monday in Nashville.

Birx recently identified Nashville as one of 11 cities with a surge in coronavirus cases that need aggressive action while noting that many of the state’s rural areas have seen a worrisome outbreak.

cdc.gov

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s attorney general says mask mandates are constitutionally defensible.

 

The Tennessean reports that the Friday opinion comes as some county mayors have moved to enact the requirements.

 

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III wrote that for more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that communities have the right to protect themselves against an epidemic of disease.

 

bristolmotorspeedway.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Fans roared from the grandstands during Wednesday night’s NASCAR's All-Star race in Bristol, Tennessee.

It was the largest event with spectators in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic shut sports down in March. Attendance figures were not released, but it appeared at least 20,000 spectators were socially distanced throughout the massive coliseum.

IndyCar raced last weekend at Road America and crowd estimates for that event have been around 10,000 spectators.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The final decision on whether to remove the bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader from the Tennessee Capitol won't come this year.

Susan McClamroch of the Tennessee Historical Commission says state law allows the panel to begin considering the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust as soon as the next regularly scheduled meeting in October, then a final vote can follow as early as February 2021.

cdc.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University Medical Center is looking for up to 1,000 volunteers to participate in the late-stage trial of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The hospital says it will begin its recruiting at the end of the month.

The vaccine is being developed by Moderna Inc. with the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Bill Lee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he'll do “whatever it takes in court” to defend one of the strictest abortion bans in the country currently blocked from being implemented.

 

Lee told reporters Tuesday that it was important to protect the lives of every Tennessean.

 

Under the law, abortions are banned once a fetal heartbeat is detected — about six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

 

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed one of the strictest abortion bans in the country and a federal judge quickly blocked the measure that includes a ban as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.

 

The Republican governor's action Monday triggered quick action by a federal judge, who opted to wait for the bill to become law to rule on whether to block its bans.

 

tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials say state revenues came up $12.5 million short of projections in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

State Finance Commissioner Butch Eley says June revenues were $1.5 billion, which is $29.8 million less than in June 2019. The month's overall collections represented a 1.91% growth rate decline.

Eley says it's too early to identify patterns in revenue collections, pointing to business, privilege and motor vehicle registration tax payments that were delayed during the early phases of the pandemic.

MNPD

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A teenage driver has pleaded guilty to charges in a crash that killed a Metro Nashville police officer.

 

News outlets report Jayona Brown entered the plea Thursday to vehicular homicide, felony aggravated assault, evading arrest and driving without a license.

 

Police say Brown sped through a blinking red light while fleeing an attempted traffic stop in July 2019 and crashed into Metro Officer John Anderson’s cruiser at an intersection.

 

mlssoccer.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Anne M. Peterson)  --  Nashville SC has withdrawn from Major League Soccer’s MLS is Back tournament in Florida after nine players tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday.

Nashville is the second team to withdraw from the tournament. FC Dallas had to pull out after 10 players and a coach tested positive for COVID-19.

Charlie Daniels

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find funeral arrangements for Charlie Daniels in this updated story.  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music firebrand and fiddler Charlie Daniels, who had a hit with "Devil Went Down to Georgia," has died at 83.

A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee, after doctors said he had a stroke.

dea.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk says his office will no longer prosecute individuals for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.

 

A statement released on Wednesday said the new policy will benefit people who would otherwise have to deal with criminal charges, possible jail time and corresponding negative consequences for their employment and housing.

 

The change is also expected to decrease court and jail costs.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee has announced that a state panel that has the authority to help remove the bust of a former Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan from Tennessee's state Capitol will take up the issue next week.

 

The Republican governor said in a press release that the Capitol Commission would meet July 9, but no agenda was posted. However, Lee later told reporters that the group will address the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust.

 

nashville.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials say they plan to enforce a requirement that first-time voters who register by mail cast their ballots in person.

 

That's despite a judge’s ruling in early June that all eligible voters can cast absentee ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, but doesn't directly address the first-time voters restriction.

 

tssaa.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association says football and girls soccer will not start on schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Season openers had been set for Aug. 21 with jamborees a week earlier.

 

On Monday Gov. Bill Lee extended Tennessee’s state of emergency through August 29. Among other things, Lee’s order limits contact sports “with a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine close contact.”

 

cdc.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has once again extended the state of emergency for another two months as the state continues to see large jumps in people testing positive for COVID-19.

 

Lee, a Republican, initially imposed the state of emergency on March 12 in order to free up funding and relax rules regarding the treatment and containment of COVID-19. It was set to expire June 30 after he first extended the declaration in May.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal officials have reached a resolution with Tennessee over complaints filed by disability advocates.

 

The Chattanooga Time Free Press reports the advocates were concerned that people with disabilities could be denied life-saving treatment like ventilators because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

They raised the issue in March after discovering a 2016 state document called “Guidelines for the Ethical Allocation of Scarce Resources."

 

rissipalmermusic.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country artists have long been hesitant to address racial issues, but the rallies over racial injustice this year have become too important for the genre to ignore.

 

Black artists say the industry still needs to do the hard work of addressing the systematic racial barriers that have been entrenched in country music for decades.

 

uncf.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has filled vacancies on a Tennessee panel tasked with recommending whether to move or otherwise change the Capitol's bust of Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest.

 

The Republican announced Thursday he appointed Lane College President Logan Hampton to the Capitol Commission and named Finance Commissioner Butch Eley the panel's chairman.

 

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