Following the horrible news out of Newtown, Conn., on the AP:
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left 27 people dead, including 18 children, an official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown was killed and apparently had two guns.
A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school and that one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle. The official also said that New Jersey State Police were searching a location in that state in connection with the shootings.
The outpouring of fury and grief online is staggering, with as much argument over the handling of the story (whether to interview the young witnesses) as over gun control issues. Right now, I'm wishing, like countless other parents, that I had my arms held tight around my kids.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association was declared to be subject to the Tennessee Open Records Act, in a judgment rendered Friday. The City Paper had filed suit against the organization for access to public records.
Responding to a lawsuit filed by The City Paper earlier this year, Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman granted the newspaper’s motion, agreeing that the TSSAA is the state’s de facto regulatory body for high school athletics and therefore subject to records requests.
As part of an investigation into recruiting violations at Montgomery Bell Academy, The City Paper requested documents from the TSSAA in January but was denied by the organization. The paper petitioned the court for access to the records in February.
The TSSAA had previously been declared a state actor in a 2001 Supreme Court decision involving a dispute between the association and Brentwood Academy over recruiting rules.
“This is a good day for open records,” said editor Steve Cavendish. “We strongly believed that the TSSAA is the equivalent of a state body. They’re the only game in town for high school athletics. Their actions affect student athletes across the state, both public and private. The Supreme Court said so in 2001, and we’re glad the chancellor did today.”
After months of deliberation and hearsay, Pith has it on authority that the tony Belle Meade Country Club has admitted its first resident African-American member.
That person is Waverly Crenshaw, a partner at the prominent Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, Pith has learned from a club member who wishes to remain anonymous. Pith previously reported on Crenshaw's candidacy in January.
Attempts to reach Crenshaw by phone were unsuccessful. However, the source provided Pith with a screenshot of a club periodical, which lists Crenshaw as a new resident member sponsored by Robert E. Boston, also of Waller Lansden:
“This is the definition of 'legislating from the bench' and, frankly, is unacceptable,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Debra Maggart, snarled in a press release.
The GOP outrage is new evidence—if any is needed—of the party’s true goal in ramming this law through the legislature. That purpose mainly is to suppress the votes of black people, and especially the ones in Memphis who really annoy Republicans by actually running their city and taking their voting rights seriously. If they vote in large enough numbers, they can—and have—swung statewide elections for Democrats. And now they have managed to do an end-around the legislature, and they can hand out their own photo IDs for voting.
Does anyone think it would upset Maggart so much if the court was letting voters in, say, Ooltewah, use their library cards?
As for today’s decision on the law’s constitutionality, the plaintiffs' lawyers correctly argued it sets a dangerous precedent. The judges concluded it’s enough for Republicans to say the law is aimed at stopping voter fraud. They didn’t have to prove it. That’s something they can’t do, of course, because no such fraud exists. In so ruling, the court handed lawmakers carte blanche to restrict voting rights in just about any way they please for whatever reason they might concoct.
Once the city legalized urban chickens, you knew this had to happen eventually. The following email came in over the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood listserv transom this morning:
Yes, that is a photo of the actual rebellious chicken in question. "Answers to the name"? Really?
DesJarlais isn't even trying to deny the contents of the transcript. Instead, he's been forced to go with that lame my-opponent-is-mudslinging whine that's the first refuge of all politicians caught in a scandal.
"Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS news called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago," his campaign said in a statement.
Democrats probably should delay their celebration. In DesJarlais' first campaign in 2010, there were allegations from his divorce papers that he held a gun in his own mouth for hours and also "dry fired" a gun outside his wife's locked bedroom like a crazy man. But he still managed to beat the incumbent, Lincoln Davis, in the tea party wave.
Update: This story is all the buzz on the web today, even making a splash on Comedy Central's political blog, which describes DesJarlais as "a politician with a more inconsistent position on abortion than [Romney] whose views have evolved more often than a antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea."
It's too bad that "Pro-Life except in cases where a mistress/patient needs to be talked into an abortion" is so hard to fit on a bumper sticker.
Update II: Heads explode at Jezebel:
Right now, you're going to want to dust off your Horrible Hypocritical Human Garbage Bingo cards; I have a feeling this story could finally be your lucky round. Tennessee Tea Party Congressman Scott DesJarlais, who ran for Congress on a FAMILY VALUES PRO LIFE IN GOD WE TRUST JESUS IS HUGGING AMERICA WITH HIS MEATY WHITE ARMS AMEN platform, pressured his mistress to have an abortion. Oh, and one more thing — the mistress was one of Scott DesJarlais' patients at the time. Because he was her doctor. BINGO!
Update III: Esquire blogger calls DesJarlais "baldheaded bag of douche from Tennessee."
Haslam invoked emergency powers included in Title VI, Subsection 13 of the Tennessee Charter Schools Act. The governor said he was forced to act in light of reports of a secessionist Free Nashville! movement gaining strength in the state’s capital city.
The governor appointed education commissioner Kevin Huffman as chief martial law administrator in Nashville. Huffman’s first act was to place Free Nashville! leader Amy Frogge under house arrest. Teach for America volunteers, armed with extremely sharp No. 2 pencils, surrounded Frogge’s home.
The City Paper's Joey Garrison has just reported that the Metro School Board, in its first meeting since four new members were elected in August, has rejected the Great Hearts charter proposal for a third time, defying the state yet again.
Last month, despite a state order to approve the Arizona-based charter operator's application, the board refused to grant it, deferring a vote on the matter until Great Hearts submitted a diversity plan that the board deemed acceptable.
Tonight, per Garrison's irreplaceable tweets, the board voted 5-4 against a motion to approve Great Hearts contingent upon its compliance with mandates from the state board, including one addressing diversity.
The roll call, according to Garrison:
Voting no: Amy Frogge, Cheryl Mayes, Anna Shepherd, Jo Ann Brannon and Sharon Gentry.
Voting yes: Michael Hayes, Will Pinkston, Elissa Kim and Jill Speering.
Garrison will no doubt have a story up soon, and we'll link to it here when he does. Until then, you can read back through his reporting so far, and follow him, here on Twitter.
An appeal by Metro Nashville Government has been slapped down by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in an employment dispute with a former U.S. Army serviceman over his pre-deployment rank with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
In her ruling, filed today — and found here (PDF) — 6th Circuit Court judge Deborah L. Cook upheld a district court decision which found that Metro had violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by denying Brian Petty, a former patrol sergeant, reemployment in his former position once he was discharged from the Army in January 2005. Petty left his post at MNPD in November 2003 and was deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Metro attempted to argue that Petty lied on his discharge papers about an incident in which Petty's commanding officer found him making homemade wine and sharing it with another soldier shortly after his arrival in Kuwait. The Army dismissed those charges in January 2005 following further investigation, yet Metro was unsatisfied with what it deemed to be a lack of full disclosure from Petty when he sought reemployment with MNPD in February 2005.
Due to Metro's zero tolerance policy for dishonesty (and a penchant for picking cases it can't win), the city essentially denied Petty his old job because they thought he lied about making hooch-wine.
It's Christmas in July for Diane Black.
Nashville Post's Ken Whitehouse reports that Lou Ann Zelenik, Black's Tea Party challenger in the 6th District GOP congressional primary, finds herself in a bit of legal trouble just two weeks before the August 2 election. Apparently, Zelenik failed to appear for a deposition in the lawsuit between state Sen. Mae Beavers and Macon County Chronicle publisher Kathryn Belle. Now she must appear at a hearing in September to address the criminal contempt charge against her and convince a judge not to send her to jail for 10 days.
And did we mention there's an election in two weeks?
From the Post, after the jump:
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Has any head coach left Vanderbilt and had coaching success elsewhere? I suppose that Steve…