Hold on Ohio Abortion Restriction to Last at Least Two More Weeks

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins (D) this week indicated he will extend his hold on a significant Ohio abortion-restricting law for two additional weeks. 

Jenkins’s decision prolongs the effect of a decision he made last week to obstruct the Heartbeat Act’s implementation, with the initial freeze to last two weeks. The state General Assembly passed and Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the bill (SB 23) in 2019. The legislation, which prohibits aborting unborn children who have detectable heartbeats, could not take effect until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. 

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Hamilton County Judge Temporarily Halts Ohio Abortion Restriction

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Christian A. Jenkins this week imposed a two-week suspension on the Ohio law banning abortions for women whose unborn children have detectable heartbeats. 

Effectively, the statute, known as the “Heartbeat Law,” generally prohibits terminating pregnancies that have gone on for longer than six weeks. Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the legislation in 2019 but agencies could not enforce it until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide. 

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Report Says Tennessee Schools Spent COVID-19 Funds on Unrelated Projects

A new report by the Beacon Center of Tennessee says that $4 billion worth of federal COVID-19 relief funding allocated to Tennessee’s school systems was largely spent on items unrelated to COVID-19. 

“The data suggests that Tennessee public schools have budgeted or spent millions of dollars on areas that had little to nothing to do with COVID or student performance,” said Beacon Research Associate and report author Jason Edmonds. “School districts across the state budgeted tens of millions of dollars for ‘indirect costs’ without any further explanation and also funded pet projects such as walk-in coolers and retractable bleachers.”

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I-75 in Hamilton County Set to Be Reduced Down to Two Lanes for One Month Beginning August 1st

I-75 to Chattanooga

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced that beginning Monday, August 1st at 9:00 p.m. ET, I-75 in Hamilton County will be reduced to two lanes in each direction for one month from mile marker 7 (near the Bonny Oaks Drive exit) to mile marker 10 (between the Volkswagen Drive exit and the Ooltewah exit). The lane closures come as the interstate is undergoing repair for damaged concrete slabs, bridge repairs, and new pavement markings.

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TDOC: Recent Prison Escape ‘Under Review’

The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) says a recent escape from a facility in Chattanooga is “under review,” but did not provide further details. 

A month ago, Katelyn Standifer, 26, who was serving a three-year sentence for theft and Ashley Wardlaw, 36, who was serving a four-year sentence for theft, escaped from the Chattanooga Release Center.

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Four Inmates Escape from Chattanooga Jail, All Recaptured

After four inmates successfully escaped from a Chattanooga jail, a Tennessee sheriff’s office says that they have all been peacefully taken into custody. 

“Within 24 hours of the reported escape, all four inmates were taken back into custody due to the exhaustive and extensive investigation conducted by [Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office] personnel and our federal and local partners. I am extremely proud of the efforts of our personnel who have worked tirelessly throughout the day to ensure the swift apprehension of these four wanted fugitives was accomplished,” said HCSO Chief Deputy Austin Garrett.

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Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin Appointed as Interim State Representative for House District 26 Seat

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin was appointed as the new interim State Representative for District 26 by the Hamilton County Commissioners Wednesday evening. Immediately following the vote confirming him as interim state representative, Martin resigned from the Commission.

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Weston Wamp’s Campaign for Hamilton County Mayor Could Attract Votes from Democrats

Hamilton County mayoral candidate Weston Wamp’s stance on former President Donald Trump could help Wamp attract votes from county Democrats.

This, according to a Saturday opinion piece that cited a recent Tennessee Star article about Wamp.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press published the column and said Wamp “spends a lot of time talking about national issues.”

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Hamilton County Mayoral Candidate Matt Hullander Talks Background and Goals

Matt Hullander

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Hamilton County, Tennessee Mayoral Candidate Matt Hullander to discuss why he’s the best choice for the county.

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Hamilton County Mayoral Candidate Weston Wamp’s Tweets Show Enormous Distaste for Donald Trump’s Brand of GOP

Weston Wamp, son of former Tennessee Republican Congressman Zach Wamp, is running for mayor of Hamilton County, and his past tweets reveal an intense dislike and even a resistance to former President Donald Trump. In more than one tweet, Weston Wamp denied that Trump is a conservative. In another post, Wamp warned that Trump, as president, would likely derail the national economy and spark a recession. In another post, Wamp predicted that the former president would demolish the Republican Party.

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United States Department of Justice Awards Grants Hamilton County Schools $260,000 Under the STOP School Violence Act

The United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Tennessee on Thursday announced Hamilton County Schools would receive a $266,314 grant under the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act (STOP) School Violence Act. The grant is a part of a more than $125 million nationwide program aimed to help keep schools safe.

“The Justice Department has no greater responsibility than protecting Americans from harm,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. 

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Shelby and Hamilton Counties Use Same Bail Calculation Tool That Left-Leaning Philanthropist Designed for Waukesha, Wisconsin

Officials in two Tennessee counties, Shelby and Hamilton, use a bail calculation tool for criminal defendants that is also used in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Waukesha is where suspect Darrell Brooks Jr. faces homicide charges for using his car to kill six people at a recent holiday gathering. Prosecutors handling a previous case of physical abuse and vehicular assault involving Brooks asked a court to set bail bond for the defendant at a mere $1,000. Court officials agreed.

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New Construction Career School Breaks Ground in Hamilton County

A new construction vocational facility for high school students and adults broke ground in Hamilton County on Thursday. Next week, workers will officially begin the building process of the Construction Career Center in Chattanooga’s Avondale neighborhood.

The old, vacant Mary Ann Garber School at 2225 Roanoke Avenue in Chattanooga is being renovated in order to house the new college-level vocational training center for 11th and 12th-grade students as well as adults in the community.

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Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Calls for Universal Masking, Appeals to Parents to Choose to ‘Keep Our Students Safe’

Young girl with brown hair wearing black mask

Hamilton County Schools says it is struggling struggling to control COVID-19 as the delta variant continues to drive cases. This has prompted the public school district that operates 41 elementary schools, 21 middle schools, and 22 high schools in the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County School to ask all students to wear a mask. Some schools in the district have been closed altogether.

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Tennessee Labor Department Offering English Literacy, Civics Education Grant for Hamilton County Immigrants – No Proof of Legal Status Required

Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) is offering grants to educate Hamilton County immigrants in English literacy and civics. However, TDLWD confirmed with The Tennessee Star that it won’t be requiring proof of legal status for participation. TDLWD hasn’t required proof for nearly two years. The department explained that its Adult Education Division made the change to align with federal regulations concerning the program. The only requirements for immigrants who participate in the program are that they are over 16 years old, not enrolled in secondary school, and classified as an English language learner.

Hamilton County drew significant attention over the last few months after it was discovered that the Biden Administration was driving and flying unaccompanied migrant children into Chattanooga. Several weeks ago, followup reports emerged that these children were potentially enduring abuse at their holding facilities. Around the same time, one teenage boy went missing from the Chattanooga facility.

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Ohio in the ‘Yellow Zone’ Accounting to White House Task Force Report

Ohio is in the “yellow zone” for coronavirus cases, according to a White House Coronavirus Task Force report that presents a list of suggested actions.

The July 14 report is available here. The Ohio data begins on Page 246.

The classification means Ohio had between 10 to 100 new cases per 100,000 residents the week before the report was released, and the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5 percent to 10 percent.

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Hamilton County Residents Get Robocalls About ‘White Privilege’

  Hamilton County residents are reportedly getting robocalls that warn the local public school district has a liberal agenda. Issues of “white privilege” and the school district’s recent efforts to teach local educators about the matter were reportedly mentioned on the call. This, according to the Chattanooga-based News Channel 9.…

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Hamilton County Teachers Told, Urban Students Disrupt Class Due to Bad Home Lives

Officials with the Hamilton County School System say, no, they did not force teachers to sit through a white privilege training session.

Instead, they had teachers take a curriculum explaining why, among other things, students from urban communities are prone to disrupt class and have other behavioral problems.

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Hamilton County Commission’s Defeat of 34-Cent Property Tax Increase Leaves Teachers with ‘Defeated Faces,’ Disappoints School Board Member’s Dog

  A split Hamilton County Commission voted 5-4 Wednesday against a 34-cent increase on property taxes for the school system, and one school board member reacted by saying his dog was disappointed in the outcome. Voting against were Greg Martin, Randy Fairbanks, Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd and Sabrena Smedley (pictured…

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Hamilton County Mayor Seeks 34 Cent Property Tax Hike to Hire 350 School System Personnel That One Board Member Says Are Unneeded

  Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger on Tuesday presented a budget that includes a 34-cent property tax increase for the school system, The Chattanoogan reported. The proposed budget does not include any increase for the county general budget, the publication said. Coppinger had previously talked about including 15 cents for…

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Hamilton County Commissioners Warn Left-Wing Group UnifiEd Could Spread Influence Across Tennessee

  Depending upon whom you ask, the Chattanooga-based UnifiEd is either a harmless political group with no real clout or it’s one of Tennessee’s most far-left and dangerous organizations. Many people in Hamilton County believe UnifiEd members orchestrated a proposal to add 350 new positions to the county school system,…

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Wife of Hamilton County Superintendent Takes $90,000 a Year Job Working for Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke

  The wife of Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson has taken a $90,000 a year position as a senior advisor to Democratic Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. This, according to Berke’s spokeswoman Richel Albright, who said Candy Johnson joined Berke’s administration as one of his senior advisors. Johnson took the job…

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‘It Takes a Village’ Mindset Prompts Hamilton County Government Schools to Possibly Raise Property Taxes

  At least one Hamilton County School Board member who favors a plan to hire 350 more school employees says government-run schools can do a better job than certain parents tending to a child’s social and emotional needs. As The Tennessee Star reported, many of these proposed new positions pertain to social…

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Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd Won’t Vote to Raise Property Taxes to Fund New School Employees

  Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd said it isn’t necessary to raise property taxes to enable the county school system to fund 350 new employees. This, even though better overall grades and test scores are among district officials’ main selling points for a plan that would create new counselors and…

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Bill Gates Backs 17 Percent Hamilton County Property Tax Hike For Education, While School Board Member Questions Need for 350 New Non-Teaching Positions

  Bill Gates says he will continue to pour his foundation’s money into Tennessee education initiatives and he seemed to endorse a proposed 17 percent Hamilton County property tax increase, according to an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The interview is available here. The Bill and Melinda Gates…

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Hamilton County’s UnifyEd Officially Expands Into Political Arena

A Hamilton County education advocacy organization seems to want to have it both ways – as a education reform nonprofit – and as a political action committee. Hamilton County education advocacy group UnifiEd says it wants to make sure every class has a “great teacher,” achieve “universal excellence by guaranteeing…

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Pushed by UnifiEd, Hamilton County School Board Uses Consultants, Committees to Tell Community Its Schools Are Unequal in Diversity

Williamson County and Knox County Schools have been making headlines with their white privilege and “cultural competency” training for teachers, but so far there is no sign that trend has spread to Hamilton County Schools – yet. Williamson County has forced teachers to learn about “white privilege” in required in-service…

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Chickamauga Schools Superintendent Melody Day in Legal Trouble After Allegedly Trying to Scam Department Store

Melody Day, the superintendent of the Chickamauga City School System, has reportedly pleaded no contest Friday to a charge she tried to bilk a department store in a price-tag swap scheme, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press. According to the paper, the alleged incident occurred at a Belk department…

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Despite Perceived Ethical Problems, Hamilton County Commissioners Allowed to Use Taxpayer Money on Generous Meals

People in Hamilton County might not like it, but there are rules in place that allow county commissioners to spend generous sums of taxpayer money taking constituents out to eat. A local TV station, News Channel 9, seemed to demand a formal investigation into some of these expenditures, especially those…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Role of a School Board

Tennessee Star

Local school boards reflect the needs and aspirations of the communities as well as the interests and concerns of professional and nonprofessional employees. We believe non-partisan control is what is best for our communities. This is best ensured when educational policy is made by representatives vested in the community they live, and whose undivided attention and interests are devoted strictly to education of the children in that district. What we stress in a nutshell: Public education is a federal concern, a state responsibility, and a local operation.

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