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New book on history of slavery in Tennessee

“History Bill,” as former Tennessean reporter Bill Carey is known in overseeing the non-profit Tennessee History For Kids organization, has waded through hundreds of old newspaper archives to produce a book that starkly illustrates how deeply slavery was once embedded in a state that now is often presented as a leader – well, at least in comparison to other Southern states — in opposition to the now-outlawed ownership of men, women and children by other men, women and children.

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Haslam on questions about TBI director nominees: Nobody’s perfect

Gov. Bill Haslam says he will personally interview all three nominees for director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation with the understanding issues have been raised about all the men and that no one is perfect, reports the Times Free Press.

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Alexander and Corker criticize Trump move to put tariffs on vehicle part imports for national security (UPDATED)

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are both criticizing a proposal by President Trump that could lead to heavy new tariffs on imported vehicle parts.

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Black bill proposes crowdfunding to help pay for border wall with Mexico

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who is stressing her opposition to illegal immigration in campaigning for governor, has proposed in Congress to use crowdfunding to help pay for the border wall proposed by President Donald Trump, reports Fox News. She has also issued a press release on the “Border Wall Trust Fund Act.”

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Another Black poll shows her leading Boyd in GOP gubernatorial primary (41 percent to 28 percent)

An internal polling memo leaked by U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s campaign shows her on top of GOP primary competitor Randy Boyd by 13 points, reports the Nashville Post, close to the results of an earlier Black-commissioned poll that was labeled “bogus” by Boyd’s campaign.

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Black poll shows ‘surge,’ Boyd camp calls ‘bogus’

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) speaks at a Republican event in Nashville on May 7, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

An in internal poll for U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s campaign shows the Gallatin Republican “surging ahead” of her primary rivals. The Grassroots Targeting poll of 800 registered Republican voters shows Black with 41%, compared with 26% for nearest rival Randy Boyd of Knoxville.

Chip Saltsman, the Randy Boyd for Governor Campaign CEO, promptly issued a statement calling the finding a “bogus poll” that fails to reflect what he called “a clearly competitive two-person race.”

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Human Resource Agency’s executive director fired for alleged misconduct (including use of agency van to attend GOP fundraiser)

The executive director of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, headquartered in Cookeville,  was fired Wednesday by a 14-12 vote of the organization’s board of directors, reports WSMV TV. The vote came after a closed-door meeting for a briefing on allegations against Luke Collings by the board’s attorney. A state comptroller’s audit is also underway.

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Sessions ‘not shedding any tears’ over ICD raid on TN meatpacking plant

Speaking at a law enforcement conference in Gatlinburg, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to continue being strict on illegal immigration and said he’s “not shedding any tears”    over the recent ICE raid on a meatpacking plant in Grainger County, reports the News Sentinel.

Newly appointed U.S. District Attorney Doug Overbey introduced Sessions, who delivered a 25-minute speech including criticism of the “fuzzy-headed left” as well as promising to add 35 prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to border states to deal with backlogs on immigration cases.

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Cyberattack crashes Knox County Election Commission website

Knox County officials say the election commission website that displays election results crashed on Tuesday night — when tallying of local primary election results was underway — due to a “deliberate” and “widespread” cyberattack, reports the News Sentinel. A cyber security contractor is now looking into the problem.

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Gibson goes from Trump, Blackburn darling to Chapter 11

Nashville-based guitar maker Gibson has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company’s products were featured at the White House last year as part of President Donald Trump’s “Made in America Product Showcase.” And in 2011, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was the guest of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) at then-President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Juszkiewicz had blasted the Democratic adminstration for raids on Gibson factories to seize exotic wood imported in violation of environmental laws. Gibson the following year agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to get federal prosecutors to drop the criminal case.

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