local government

House approves bill to end vehicle emissions testing in five TN counties

A bill seeking to do away with vehicle emissions testing in five Tennessee counties was overwhelmingly approved Monday evening by the state House and now goes to the Senate, reports the Times Free Press.

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Burchett accused of nepotism in hiring of stepson

A complaint to the state comptroller and anonymous emails to county commissioners accuse Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett of violating nepotism laws in the hiring of his stepson, a county laborer with a history of legal troubles, reports the News Sentinel. Burchett is currently running for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat.

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De-annexation bill dead; sponsor blames city lobbyists

An effort to enact legislation allowing disgruntled residents in some areas of Tennessee cities to vote to secede is dead for the year, reports the Times Free Press. The House sponsor, Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) blames lobbyists for municipalities.

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Sheriff sees ‘dirty politics’ in PAC complaints over prisoners’ trip to church

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson held a news conference Thursday to denounce as “dirty politics” claims by a political action committee that he put the public in danger by taking nine state prisoners to a church in civilian clothes, apparently unguarded, reports the Times Free Press. 

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David Briley sworn in as Nashville mayor

David Briley, Nashville’s vice mayor for the past two and a half years, was sworn in as Metro government’s eighth mayor Tuesday evening, replacing Megan Barry who resigned in disgrace earlier in the day, reports The Tennessean.

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Convicted former Knox trustee briefly jailed for failing to pay restitution

Former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe was arrested Tuesday on a probation violation charge for falling behind — to the tune of $13,450 — in paying restitution to county coffers for his admitted thievery, reports the News Sentinel. He was released from jail after posting a bond of $13,450.

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Nashville mayor pleads guilty to theft, resigns from office

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry today pleaded guilty to a theft charge tied to her affair with her former police bodyguard, Rob Forrest, then resigned from office.  She agreed as part of a plea bargain to reimburse the city $11,000 and serve three years on probation.

The deal also called for her resignation and she officially announced that at a news conference following her court appearance.

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Legislator seeks state review after one school bus driver falls asleep, another charged with DUI

One Washington County school bus driver fell asleep at the wheel on Tuesday, leading to a mishap that sent several children to a hospital with minor injuries. On Wednesday, another Washington County school bus driver was arrested for DUI. On Friday, the county school superintendent, Kimber Halliburton, announced she had fired the system’s transportation director.

Now, state Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) has asked the state Department of Education to review the school system’s safety procedures, reports WJHL TV.

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Memphis mayor disputes CNN pundit’s ‘blistering critique’ of city and its leadership

After CNN pundit Angela Rye unleashed a blistering critique of Memphis and its leadership during a taxpayer-funded speech Saturday, Memphis’ Mayor Jim Strickland took the unusual step Monday of issuing a rebuttal to “defend our city,” reports the Commercial Appeal.

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Nude photos of Nashville mayor found on lover/bodyguard ‘s cell phone?

Photographs of a woman’s nude body were found on the cell phone of former Metro Nashville police Sgt. Rob Forrest, who had an acknowledged sexual affair with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, reports The Tennessean, citing a TBI affidavit filed in seeking a court order mandating access to Barry’s personal cell phone.

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