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Storm und drang

Storm und drang

Middle Tennessee is unburying itself. Recovery efforts continue in the wake of tornadoes that collapsed homes and businesses in Rutherford and Williamson counties over the weekend. Gov. Phil Bredesen has asked for more disaster aid, though The Weather Channel is prognosticating that the worst may be over. Say your prayers.

Those pesky environmentalists

Who would have thought that one of the most effective criticisms of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s budgets would come from... environmentalists. Bredesen is trying to swipe the approximately $15 million that annually pours into a fund used to buy environmentally sensitive lands. The fund comes from a real estate transfer tax. Environmentalists aren’t the only ones who are concerned about Bredesen taking the money. Hunters, fishermen and members of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency say absconding with the fund will harm the state.

Crime scene

About two weeks ago, a Western Kentucky University student died after she was stabbed and badly burned in a fire in her dorm room. Two suspects in her murder have been arrested, and an eyewitness has told police the woman was beaten and raped before being set on fire. The Associated Press also reports the woman worked briefly as a dancer at a strip club.

Who gives a flip about L.A. anyway?

Discussion of salary levels for public officials is always sensitive. Politicians can’t touch it because to advocate for self-serving raises only invites voter opposition. A proposal is slowly making its way toward Metro Council that could double the pay for Nashville’s mayor to $150,000. The headline in Sunday’s Tennessean suggested that amount would be even more than the mayor is paid in Los Angeles. But that was retracted Tuesday when the paper acknowledged its numbers were wrong. We do know this: Reporters aren’t paid nearly enough.

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