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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphian One of Two Females Appointed to Key Clerk Roles in Legislature -

They don’t get much press, but they are making history for women working with the General Assembly.

Murfreesboro resident Tammy Letzler is the first female to serve as chief clerk of either house of the General Assembly, following the trailblazing path of House Speaker Beth Harwell. And Memphis native Kim Cox is serving this session as assistant chief clerk, making her the first African-American female to take that role.

2. Letzler Becomes First Female Chief Clerk of Tennessee House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – House Speaker Beth Harwell has named Tammy Letzler as the first female chief clerk in Tennessee history.

3. State Rep. Feels Heat From Staffer’s Firing -

Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our Legislature’s lives.

When General Assembly candidates run for office, they talk of high ideals such as reforming education, creating jobs, saving tax dollars and stifling sexual offenders, even restricting abortion, adopting a state rifle or making the Holy Bible Tennessee’s state book.

4. Last Word: Z Bo and the Second Unit, Gannettized and the Electoral College -

Zach Randolph will not be starting for the Grizz this season as the post-Grit & Grind era enters the “Second Unit” chapter.

It will be interesting to see fan reaction Thursday at the Forum when the Grizz play Atlanta in another pre-season game. Randolph did not start Monday night’s pre-season opener against Orlando either.

5. Spivey: Harwell Shots Not About Durham -

Fallout from Jeremy Durham’s House expulsion keeps piling up. In the latest brouhaha, outgoing Rep. Billy Spivey is calling for an investigation into a report of alleged abuse by House Chief Clerk Joe McCord involving a female staff member working in the office of House Speaker Beth Harwell.

6. House Speaker Chides Angry Lawmaker for Claim of Bad Conduct -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A complaint filed against the House clerk is being brought by a lame-duck lawmaker who is angry about the chamber's expulsion of fellow Republican Rep. Jer-emy Durham over a series of sexual harassment allegations, House Speaker Beth Harwell said Wednesday.

7. The Crooked Path to Durham’s Ouster -

State Rep. Kevin Brooks set the tone for Jeremy Durham’s ouster in prayer, of all places. Quoting from Luke, the Cleveland Republican opened the recent extraordinary session of the General Assembly saying, “Heavenly Father, you’re very clear in your word when you say that every valley will be filled, every mountain and hill brought low and the crooked places made straight and the rough places made smooth.

8. Streaming Problems at Tennessee Legislature 'Unacceptable' -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Legislative staffers are calling video streaming problems on the Tennessee General Assembly's website unacceptable.

The online video has been available intermittently over the last two weeks.

9. Former House Speaker Pays $100 To Replace Microphone -

Former House Speaker Kent Williams said Tuesday he paid $100 to replace a microphone that he tossed aside when his comments were cut off last week.

10. Harwell Stops Payment for Some Legislator Travel -

NASHVILLE – House Speaker Beth Harwell, who donates her own legislative expense payments to charity, has moved to curtail the expense money other state representatives collect for out-of-state traveling.

11. House Republicans Hoping to End Session Next Week -

NASHVILLE (AP) – House Republicans are hoping to wrap up this year's legislative session as early as next week.

House Clerk Joe McCord tells members of the lower chamber that the "most optimistic" timetable could see the state's annual spending plan come up for a vote on Thursday. He also asked lawmakers to bring extra clothes in case they need to work through the weekend.

12. Ex-GOP Lawmaker Bunch Named Administrative Judge -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A former state lawmaker who was a vocal critic of Tennessee's laws on appointing judges has been named an administrative law judge.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports for Tuesday's editions that Republican Sen. Dewayne Bunch of Cleveland has been appointed an administrative law judge by Secretary of State Tre Hargett, a fellow former state lawmaker.

13. Harwell Names Fellow Lawmaker McCord as Clerk -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican state Rep. Beth Harwell, the GOP nominee for state House speaker, has named a fellow lawmaker who didn't seek re-election this year as chief parliamentarian of the lower chamber.

14. Bill to Remove Tenn. Governor's Emergency Authority -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal that would limit the governor's authority to suspend or limit the sale of firearms during a state of emergency in Tennessee is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Joe McCord of Maryville passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote Tuesday evening.

15. Tenn. Rep. Donna Rowland Not Seeking Re-Election -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The list of Tennessee House members not seeking re-election grew longer on Thursday with Republican Rep. Donna Rowland's announcement she plans to retire after a decade of service.

16. Tenn. Surface Mining Bill Stalls in House Panel -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Legislation that would prohibit surface mining in Tennessee under certain circumstances has likely failed this session after the last meeting of a House panel adjourned Tuesday before voting on the bill.

17. Voters to Get Constitutional Amendment on Hunting -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to hunt and fish in Tennessee will go before voters in November's general election.

The House voted 90-1 in favor of the proposal sponsored by Republican Rep. Joe McCord of Maryville.

18. McCord Announces He Will Retire from Tenn. House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican state Rep. Joe McCord of Maryville announced Wednesday he won't seek election to a ninth term representing his East Tennessee House seat.

19. Election Season Influences Legislative Pace -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Election season is a driving factor behind a push by lawmakers for an early conclusion of the legislative session. It might also be to blame for keeping the session from immediately kicking into high gear.

20. House Budget Proposal Sent to Full Floor Vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee’s Republican House speaker is describing a state spending plan headed for a full floor vote as a “compassionate budget” because it doesn’t include some of the deeper cuts proposed in the Senate Republican version.

21. Bill to Relax Rules on Selenium Fails in Tenn. House -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Legislation that would relax standards for release of the mineral selenium into Tennessee waters is likely dead this session after it failed to get a majority vote in the House.

22. Rival Bills Advancing on Tenn. Judicial Selection -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Supreme Court justices could be challenged in re-election campaigns under a proposal advanced by a Senate panel on Wednesday. But House leaders are voicing support for a rival measure with a more limited scope.

23. House Panel Advances Judicial Selection Proposals -

The House Judiciary Committee has advanced three proposals on changes to the way Tennessee appellate judges are appointed. The panel’s chairman said the final shape of the measures will largely depend on Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey.

24. Measure to Relax Rules on Selenium -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State legislators are debating a bill that would relax standards for release of the mineral selenium into Tennessee waters.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the bill, sponsored by House Conservation and Environment Committee Chairman Joe McCord, is being pushed by the coal industry and opposed by environmentalists. McCord is a Maryville Republican.

25. Republicans Form Rural Caucus in Tenn. Legislature -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new group of Republican lawmakers is being formed to advocate for rural issues in Tennessee.

Rep. Joe McCord, of Maryville, says the Rural Republican Caucus will be open to lawmakers whose home counties have populations of fewer than 125,000 people.

26. Tenn. Panel Recommends Curfew for Guns, Booze -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee House panel on Thursday recommended setting an 11 p.m. curfew for people with handgun permits to carry their weapons into restaurants where alcohol is served.

27. Lawmaker Wants Governor to Refuse Stimulus Money -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Rep. Brian Kelsey said Thursday that he's proposing a resolution that would urge Gov. Phil Bredesen to refuse any money from the federal economic stimulus package.

28. Cable Bill Passes Tenn. House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - After nearly four months of negotiating, a proposal to provide statewide cable TV franchising passed the House on Monday and could be before the full Senate soon.

The legislation approved 93-2 would allow companies like AT&T Inc. to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits to offer TV service. The companion version is waiting to be scheduled for the Senate floor.

29. Proposed Tenn. Constitutional Amendment on Hunting Heads Back to House -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to create constitutional protections for hunting in Tennessee is headed back to the House after the Senate passed a slightly changed version.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday for a version that added protections for so-called traditional hunting methods as long as they target non-threatened species.

30. Neither Time Nor Distance -

Soldiers like Norman Bryan Hooker were the tip of the spear the U.S. thrust into Germany's underbelly during World War II.

Hooker, killed by a sniper while fighting in the German town of Halle days away from his 20th birthday, was part of the Army's fearsome 104th Infantry Division. Nicknamed the Timberwolves, the division was renowned for its skill at fighting night battles.