Georgia-Pacific Announces $425 Million Investment in Jackson, Tennessee

Georgia-Pacific announced Monday that it would invest at least $425 million to construct a Dixie manufacturing facility in Jackson, Tennessee.

Fernando Gonzalez, Georgia-Pacific’s president of consumer business, said, “Although we have invested to expand existing sites, this is the first new Dixie plant the company has built since 1991. This added capacity will help us meet the needs of our customers as consumer demand for high-quality, durable paper plates and bowls continues to grow.”

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Number of Firearms Stolen This Year from Vehicles in Metro Nashville Will Soon Top 1,000

According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, this year, 998 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville, Tennessee, including 17 guns, stolen from vehicles last week.

In a video posted by the MNPD, Chief of Police Chief Drake said, “It’s become a disturbing trend, and it needs to stop; guns being stolen from vehicles. Criminals are continuously checking door handles, ready to steal, and if guns are left visible, they will do whatever it takes to break in. It takes just seconds for someone to grab your gun and go. Stats from this year shows a tremendous increase in guns being stolen from vehicles.”

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Representative Cepicky and Senator Hensley Request Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to Put Hold on Landfill Development Plans

State Representative Scott Cepicky and Senator Joey Hensley announced that requested the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to hold off on plans to put a massive landfill in Maury County, Tennessee.

In a letter to the agency, State Representative Scott Cepicky stated, “Myself and others have concerns about the new permitting at the Monsanto land. It’s been almost 10 years since we fought the mega dump in Maury County. We must protect the duck river and our water source for southern middle Tennessee. Senator Hensley and myself have sent this letter to the TDEC asking for everything to slow down and perform town halls in Maury County to get the opinions of the locals. We will stay on top of this from the state level making sure everything in process is transparent.”

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Uncle Dave Macon Days Returns to Murfreesboro October 7

Uncle Dave Macon Days returns to Murfreesboro for a root’s music celebration held October 7-8 at the Fountains in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Christian Hidalgo, producer of the Uncle Dave Macon Days documentary stated, “Everyone associated with this world-class festival is very excited to see it come back to Murfreesboro after being off for a couple of years. Old-time music lovers from all over the world have made this one of the most exciting events in the southeast.”

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Report: Tennessee a Hotspot for Inflation-Based Price Increases

Nashville ranked 14th in the country in the number of businesses that reported moderate or large price increases in a new poll from LendingTree. Tennessee, meanwhile, ranked 11th among all states.

The report, based on the U.S. Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey, said that 80.2% of businesses in Nashville reported those increases.

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Knoxville Neighborhood Initiative Receives $40 Million Federal Grant for ‘Transformation’

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) was awarded a $40 million federal grant for a plan dubbed, “Transforming Western Heights,” aimed to improve the area with more affordable housing and access to transportation.

“Transforming Western truly represents a collaborative effort after 14 months of intensive community engagement,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said in a press statement. “This plan is a synthesis of the dreams and ideas of the residents, community members and stakeholders, and will transform Western Heights and the Beaumont neighborhood into a community where families and residents can thrive.”

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Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents of Suspicious Mail as Unknown Powder Is Tested

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to the public Thursday to be aware of packages containing an unknown white powder sent by mail.

In a social media post, the Sheriff’s office said, “Many of you have seen this post being shared on Facebook, and we wanted to confirm that it is legit. If you receive a package like this, do not open and please contact us.

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Shaterra Reed Marion Appointed as Judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims

Shaterra Reed Marion was appointed as a judge on the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Memphis, by new Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator Troy Haley the state Department of Labor & Workforce (TDLW) announced Wednesday.

“Shaterra Reed Marion will be a welcome addition to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Memphis. She has the heart of a public servant and, as a judge, I know she will be fair to all parties and reflect the values for which the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims is known,” Haley said.

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Tennessee Shifts Learning Loss Programs to Stimulus Funding, Moves Road Projects to State Funds

Tennessee plans to spend $102 million of its $3.7 billion American Rescue Plan allocation on a learning loss intervention program for Tennessee students.

The program — including summer learning camps, after-school learning mini-camps, and learning loss bridge camps — was approved in 2021 by Tennessee’s Legislature at a cost of $36 million per year, including a mix of state and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds.

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Tennessee Committed to at Least $60 Million in Economic Incentive Grants This Year

Tennessee has committed to more than $60 million in FastTrack economic incentive grants to businesses this year after committing more than $200 million of the grants to businesses in 2021.

FastTrack grants are state grants sent to local governments for specific infrastructure improvements or to companies to help offset the costs of expanding or moving into the state with the goal of increasing the number of full-time jobs and the average wages of jobs available in an area.

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Tennessee Starts New Fiscal Year $130 Million Above Expectations in Tax and Fee Collections

The total taxes collected by Tennessee in the first month of the new fiscal year continued last year’s increasing trend.

Tennessee collected $1.5 billion in August, which was $130.5 million more than what was budgeted and $100.6 million more than what the state collected in August 2021, despite a moratorium on personal care and autocycle registrations.

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Memphis Record Pressing Predicted to Become North America’s Largest Producer of Vinyl Records

Memphis Record Pressing, located in Bartlett, Tennessee, is predicted to be North America’s largest producer of vinyl records by next year. Producing around 130,000 records a day, Memphis Record Pressing will produce over 10 million records this year.

Brandon Seavers, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Record Pressing, said, “It’s a humbling experience for me, and for Mark as well, to see where we are today. Literally every day when I drive up, I say, ‘This is not real. There is no way that we are manufacturing a legacy, analog format/medium in the 21st century, and we’re actually breaking ground and constructing a new facility to do this.”

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United Way of West TN CEO’s Opposition to Charter School Appeal of Jackson-Madison County Denial Draws Criticism from Supporters

The CEO of United Way of West Tennessee’s public statement opposing American Classical Academy Madison’s appeal of the Jackson-Madison County Public School System’s denial of the school’s public charter has drawn heavy criticism from the school’s supporters.

“Matt Marshall, the president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee, [spoke] in opposition to ACA during the public comment portion of the American Classical Academy Madison County Charter School Appeal Public Hearing on Thursday, September 15, 2022, in Jackson, Tenn.,” The Jackson Sun reported.

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Federal Government Approves Tennessee’s $88 Million Electric Vehicle Charging Station Plan

Tennessee’s plan to distribute $88 million in federal funds to build electric vehicle charging stations in the state has been approved by the Biden Administration.

The plan calls for Tennessee to spend $13.7 million of federal funds this fiscal year and the remainder over the following four years as part of $7.5 billion federal plan.

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Report: Large Economic Incentives Like Those in Tennessee Increasing Exponentially

Billion-dollar economic incentives, including the one that Tennessee gave to Ford for its plan to build a $5.6 billion electric truck plant outside Memphis, are increasing across the country, according to a new report from The Center for Economic Accountability.

And while fewer economic incentives have been awarded during the past two years, the average amounts of those incentives have increased significantly even in inflation-adjusted funds.

While the Tennessee Legislature approved $884 million in incentives toward Ford’s Blue Oval City in a special session last fall, the overall incentive package for the project is expected to exceed $1 billion.

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Tennessee Collects $4.9 Million of Taxes on $206 Million in Online Sports Wagers in August

Tennessee collected $4.9 million in sports gambling taxes in August, up more than $1 million from July, according to numbers released by the state’s Sports Wagering Advisory Committee.

The funds came from nearly $206 million of wagering with sports gambling sites from the state’s 12 online sports books making $24.4 million in adjusted gross income during the month.

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Leftist Author Jon Meacham Named to Board of University of Tennessee’s Institute for American Civics

Author and former MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham was named to the Board of Fellows of the University of Tennessee’s newly established Institute for American Civics last week by University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd.

German-owned Politico reported that Meacham helped President Joe Biden “frame” his now infamously divisive “speech from hell” delivered in Philadelphia last week in which he attacked the 74 million Americans who voted for former President Donald Trump as a “threat to American democracy.”

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Experts Question Tennessee’s Claim of Spending $24.2 Billion in 2021 Tourism

Tennessee’s Department of Tourism is touting a report saying that the state brought in a record $24.2 billion in tourism spending in 2021.

That number came from a report commissioned and paid for by the department and completed by a company called Tourism Economics, a subsidiary of another company named Oxford Economics whose purpose is to conduct these reports for clients.

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Leahy and Bowman Talk About Tennessee Education Commissioner Schwinn’s Trip to the White House

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO JC Bowman in studio to comment upon Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education, Penny Schwinn who made a special trip to the White House on Wednesday.

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JC Bowman Discusses the Components of a Successful Public School System

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO J.C. Bowman in studio to discuss the factors that pertain to a successful public school system and national educational reports.

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The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky on Election Best Practices, Standards, and the Benefits of Hybrid Voting

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation to the newsmaker line to discuss state-by-state election integrity ratings, standards and best practices, and the suggestion of the opti-scan hybrid voting system.

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Tennessee Spending COVID-19 Funds on ‘Water Infrastructure’

Federal COVID-19 funds in Tennessee will not be used to combat COVID-19.

Instead, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), at least part of the $3.725 billion the state received from the American Rescue Plan will be spent on “water infrastructure.” 

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JC Bowman Discusses Shelby County Schools Superintendent’s Firing and the Problems with Jamming Through ESAs

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO JC Bowman to the newsmaker line to discuss the recent firing of Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray and the pitfalls of jamming through Educational Savings Accounts to parents and their students.

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Host Leahy and All-Star Panelist Clint Brewer Deep-Dive into Casada-Cothren Indictment

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to help unravel the specifics surround former Speaker Glen Casada and his aid Cade Cothren’s indictment.

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All-Star Panelist Clint Brewer: ‘The Reaction of the Party at Large’ Will Determine Ultimate Impact of Casada Indictment

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to speculate how the Republican party will react to the judgment on former Speaker Glen Casada.

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Retiring State Senator Mike Bell Looks Forward to Serving Tennessee with Wildlife Resources Agency

Senator Mike Bell

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed retiring State Senator Mike Bell (R-TN-09) to the newsmaker line to discuss retiring from the Tennessee General Assembly and his new role at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

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Sources Say Tennessee Has Withdrawn From Cooperation with Democrat Run National Academy for State Health Policy

Sources have told The Tennessee Star that the state of Tennessee has withdrawn from cooperation with the Democrat-run National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).

The NASHP brands itself on its website as a non-partisan group, saying: “For over 35 years, The National Academy for State Health Policy has been a nonpartisan organization committed to developing and advancing state health policy innovations and solutions. NASHP provides a unique forum for the productive exchange of strategies across state government, including the executive and legislative branches.”

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Principal Rachael Bradley of Thales Academy-Franklin Talks Enrollment Growth, Student Engagement, and Optimal Learning Environment

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Thales Academy-Franklin’s Principal, Rachael Bradley to the newsmaker line to talk about the school’s growth, teaching methodology, and high-quality air circulation for an optimal learning environment.

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Davidson County Republican Party Vice Chair Bart Smith Discusses How to Make the Party Stronger

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Gulbransen welcomed Davidson County Republican Party Vice Chair Bart Smith in studio to discuss the current state of the party and how to make it stronger.

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State Senator Jack Johnson Wants to Keep Tennessee the ‘Most Conservative’ State

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Gulbransen was joined on the newsmaker line by Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to give some last comments before the election is over and how he intends to keep Tennessee the best state in the nation if elected.

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Tennessee Approves Federal Spending for COVID-19 Recovery Projects

Tennessee leadership approved $115.5 million more in federal spending on projects related to coronavirus recovery.

Tennessee’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group approved funding for several projects, including more than $51 million to purchase a new retirement management computer program, $32.2 million toward a new Food and Animal Sciences Center at Tennessee State University and $19.4 million to increase the child-care capacities of programs for the Department of Human Services.

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Three More States Are Poised to Ban Abortion Amid Court Battles

Idaho, Tennessee and Texas are moving to enact “trigger bans” restricting abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, ending the precedent which had banned states from restricting abortion throughout the first six months of pregnancy.

The bans in these three states will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court officially transmitted its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association July 26, according to The Hill. Another 10 states had trigger bans go into effect after elected officials enacted them, and trigger abortion bans went into effect immediately after the court overturned Roe in three other states.

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Maury County Mayoral Candidate Sheila Butt Talks Passing Legislation Into Law and Accountability

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed former state representative Sheila Butt in studio to discuss legislation she passed during her time as a state representative and the lack of accountability for upholding the laws.

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CNBC’s Scott Cohn: Tennessee Is the Ninth-Worst State in the Country to Live In

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed CNBC Senior Correspondent, Scott Cohn to the newsmaker line to defend his recent article claiming Tennessee is the ninth worst state in the country to live in.

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Sources Say Bill Lee’s COO Brandon Gibson Now Unlikely to Pursue Attorney General Position Due to Negative Reaction

Sources familiar with the political intrigue around the Tennessee Capitol tell The Tennessee Star that Governor Bill Lee’s preferred for choice for Attorney General, Tennessee COO Brandon Gibson, is letting it be known that she’s “now unlikely to even to apply for job.”

“It appears as though – based on how she is presenting this around, that the reception she received when news of her taking over the job was broken and became a topic of public discussion – it has taken the shine off of Gibson wanting to be Tennessee Attorney General and to deal with the legislature and she is no longer sure she wants the job,” said one source on the condition of background.

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Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College Explains Comments Made by President Larry Arnn Regarding Teachers’ Training

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Dr. Matthew Spalding, Vice President of Hillsdale College and the Executive Director of the 1776 Commission to the newsmakers line to discuss recent comments made by the college president Larry Arnn that were taken out of context in regard to teachers.

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‘Not Woke’ Todd Pembroke Describes Contentious Meeting at Oliver Middle School Thursday Night

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed former national guardsman and MNPS school board candidate for district two, Tom Pembroke in studio to discuss Thursday night’s parent meeting regarding Oliver Middle Schools’ scheduled loss of teachers by years end.

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President of Network of Enlighted Women Karin Lips Advocates for Part-Time Attorneys, No Longer Required to Take State Bar in Tennessee

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the founder of the (NeW) Network of Enlightened Women, Karen Lips to the newsmaker line to discuss the organization’s recent call for part-time attorneys not to continuously take the bar due to their part-time status and create a more family-friendly policy in the state of Tennessee and others.

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Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Supports Keeping Tennessee National Guardsmen That Refused Vaccine Mandate on Payroll, Attorney General Process, and His Campaign

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, Leahy was joined on the newsmaker line by Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, to discuss his advocation for the Tennessee National Guardsmen who refused the Covid-19 vaccine to maintain on payroll, the process in which the state attorney general is picked, and his campaign efforts.

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TN-59 GOP Candidate Michelle Foreman Talks New District Boundaries, Her Opponent, and Campaigning in the Heat

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report,  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee’s 59th Congressional District GOP candidate and former psychiatric nurse Michelle Foreman in-studio to discuss her district’s boundaries, her opponent, and campaigning in the heat.

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Hosts Leahy and Brewer Discuss Tennessee Supreme Court Retention Election and Justice Jeffrey Bivins’ Unavailability for Interviews

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to discuss the unavailability of Tennessee Supreme Court Justic Jeffrey Bivins to be interviewed as the retention election draws near.

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Hosts Leahy and Gulbransen Discuss the Need for Transparency in Tennessee’s Attorney General Pick Process

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Aaron Gulbransen in-studio to discuss the call for transparency by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s process in the election of a state attorney general.

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Host Leahy and All-Star Panelist Carmichael Discuss TN-5 Candidate General Kurt Winstead’s Support of Governor Lee’s Inaction on National Guard Vaccine Mandate

host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the support by TN5 candidate Kurt Winstead of Governor Bill Lee’s inaction against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for Tennessee’s National Guardsmen.

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