Tennessee Republican Party to Host Ron DeSantis at Its 46th Annual Statesmen’s Dinner

The Tennessee Republican Party announced Ron DeSantis, Florida governor and presidential candidate, as the keynote speaker for the group’s 46th annual Statesmen’s Dinner next month.

The event is scheduled for July 15 at the Music City Center in Nashville.

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Tennessee Department of Education Continues to Lose Veteran Leadership

Two long-term Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) executives have announced they will be leaving the department in the coming months. This announcement comes on the heels of Commissioner Penny Schwinn’s June 1 resignation.

Eve Carney, TDOE deputy commissioner, and Meghan McLeroy, TDOE’s chief statewide support officer, have served the department for over a quarter of a century. Along the way, they have earned accolades and appreciation from the state’s educators.

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Tennessee Awards $18 Million in Agricultural Supply Chain Grants

Tennessee awarded more than $18 million to 20 business in the first round of its Tennessee Forestry, Agriculture and Rural Markets cost share program.

The program was designed to support Tennessee businesses in the agriculture and forestry supply chain. The grants are administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and were chosen from 259 applications that requested $107 million in funding.

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Report: Middle Tennessee Zoning Policies Contributing to Unaffordable Housing

After finding housing affordability is the most pressing issue for Tennesseans through its 2022 listening tour, Beacon Center has developed and released an atlas of Tennessee zoning requirements that highlight how the state has become unaffordable for the average person in Middle Tennessee.

Local and state policies have contributed to an environment where housing prices have outpaced the median income.

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Tennessee National Guard Launches ‘GRIT’ Program to Promote Fitness Among Ranks

The Tennessee National Guard is launching a new fitness initiative to help guardsmen achieve their fitness goals, according to a Tuesday release.

“The Tennessee National Guard launched the pilot program of GRIT, Guard Readiness Improvement Training, at the Volunteer Training Site in Smyrna in May,” according to the release. 

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Former Followers Launch $150 Million Class Action Lawsuit Against Dave Ramsey for Endorsing Timeshare Exit Company

Radio host and business coach Dave Ramsey is being sued by a group of his former followers who have launched a class action lawsuit against him and his company for promoting a timeshare exit company accused of wrongdoing.

The group of plaintiffs alleges that Ramsey, his Tennessee-based company, The Lampo Group, and marketing company Happy Hour Media Group “violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and conspiracy, associated with unfair and deceptive conduct in the marketing, sale, and delivery of ‘timeshare-exit services’ offered to consumers across the United States and Canada.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Skrmetti Investigates Asset Managers Regarding ESG Factors

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has sent letters to ten major asset managers demanding information regarding how environmental, social, or governance (ESG) factors are incorporated into their investment decisions, according to Reuters.

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Southern Christian Coalition Co-Hosts Gun Control Rally with ‘March For Our Lives’

A Christian group organized with the far-left anti-gun group “March for Our Lives” last week to advocate for gun control in Franklin.

The Southern Christian Coalition partnered with the David Hogg founded group to host the rally, which was dubbed “Protect Kids Not Guns,” according to The Williamson Herald. 

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Court Filing: The Tennessee Star and Others Argue Metro Nashville Has No Case in Denying Release of Covenant Killer’s Manifesto

In a new court filing, attorneys for Star News Digital Media, parent company of The Tennessee Star, argue that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davison County and intervenors in a public records lawsuit have no right to keep the Covenant School killer’s manifesto and related records from the public.

The memorandum of law, filed with Davidson County Chancellor I’Ashea Myles, asserts the Metro Nashville Police Department cannot “play ‘hide the ball’ with the reason for denial and come in later, raising wholly new and unrelated denial reasons.”

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Memphis Police Department Visits LGBT Community Leaders During Pride Parade

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) shared a post on its Facebook Page celebrating its involvement with LGBT organizers during “pride month.”

“The Memphis Police Department joined community leaders, visitors, and participants for the 2023 Mid-South Pride Parade on Beale Street,” MPD said on Facebook. “Officers ensured the safety of everyone and provided traffic control around today’s events. The weather was perfect, and the food was excellent.”

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Comer Will Press for Contempt of Congress Against FBI Director Wray After Seeing Document Alleging Biden Bribery Scheme: Report

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said Monday he will start the process of bringing congressional contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray, despite viewing the subpoenaed document that day that alleged Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme.

“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee,” Comer, a Kentucky Republican, said, according to Fox News Digital. “And we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday.” 

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Four Accused of Misappropriating $117K in Tennessee Workforce Grant Funds

Four individuals were indicted in Lincoln County as part of an investigation that found that more than $117,000 in grant funds had been misappropriated.

The funds were paid for three individuals – Kani Johnson, Makayla Leake and Dustin Simmons – for doing work the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office investigated and found never occurred.

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Confirmed: Alleged Carjacker Shot by Memphis Police Is an Illegal Alien

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed for The Tennessee Star that the man arrested for a litany of crimes in Memphis last week was an illegal alien. 

“ICE issued an immigration detainer on May 31 for Honduran national Jairo Ponce, 29, following his arrest by the Memphis Police Department on charges of aggravated robbery, carjacking, aggravated assault on a first responder, employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and evading arrest,” an ICE spokesperson told The Star Friday. “On an unknown date and location, Ponce entered the United States without being admitted or paroled by an immigration official.”

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Red Flag Proposals at Center of Tennessee Special Session Debate

As Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee prepares to call a special session of the Legislature on public safety, the specifics of that special session call have yet to be announced.

One bill that Democratic leadership is intending to propose is a red flag law bill sponsors refer to as the Families Know First Act, an “extreme risk protection order” bill proposed late in the legislative session by Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, and Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville.

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Metro Nashville Police Release Body Camera Footage of Officer Shot by Armed Auto Burglary Suspect

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) released body camera footage from an officer who was shot while pursuing an armed auto burglary suspect Thursday afternoon.

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Gov. Lee’s Office Clashes with NRA over Red Flag Laws

According to a memo from Republican Governor Bill Lee’s office on the subject of gun control, those in Lee’s camp believe that attempting it is not possible to contain mental illness, and thus his proposal for red flag laws should be implemented.

One of the memos, obtained via public records request by The Associated Press, claims that Lee accused the National Rifle Association (NRA) of wanting to use involuntary commitment laws “to round up mentally ill people and deprive them of other liberties.”

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Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn’s Term in Office Officially Concludes

June 1st officially marked the end of Penny Schwinn’s tenure as the top education official in Tennessee. Schwinn submitted her resignation on May 1st but gave the state 30 days’ notice before making it official.

Long-time Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) employee Sam Pearcy will assume the reins for the next 30 days. At that time, Governor Bill Lee’s appointed successor, Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, officially begins her term.

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Nashville SC Owner Against Neighboring Fairgrounds Speedway Rebuild Proposal

The owner of fellow Nashville Fairgrounds tenant Nashville SC spoke out in a letter to Nashville’s Metro Council against a deal to rebuild the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway with a 30,000-seat grandstand.

The speedway deal, expected to cost taxpayers $120 million and first be discussed by the council in July, would include $86 million in Nashville Sports Authority bonds and $34 million combined from Tennessee and Nashville’s Convention and Visitors Corporation. The Nashville CVC funds come from a Davidson County hotel tax surplus.

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MNPD Breaks Ground on Southeast Nashville Precinct

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) broke ground on the city’s ninth precinct this week, which will be located in Southeast Nashville. 

“We need a police station here and this is going to help a lot,” said MNPD Police Chief John Drake reportedly said.

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Tennessee Democrats Celebrate the Beginning of Pride Month

As “pride month” kicks off across the country, Tennessee’s Democrats took to social media to show their support for the gay pride agenda. 

State Senate Minority Leader Raumesh Akbari (D-District 29) retweeted a tweet by Sesame Street – a supposed children’s show – celebrating gay pride. 

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Nashville Pride Sponsors Include Tennessee Titans, Vanderbilt, Other Huge Name Brands

Nashville Pride, which has several events upcoming during the month of June, is sponsored by big name brands including the Tennessee Titans, Vanderbilt Health and others, according to its website. 

Both Bridgestone and Nissan, who have huge presences in Tennessee, are listed on the site as “presenting partners” of this year’s pride activities. Nissan also sponsors the Tennessee Titans football stadium. 

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Court Filing Explains Why Covenant School Parents Don’t Want Killer’s Manifesto Released

Asking the court to “shield” Covenant Presbyterian School students from a “lifetime of abuse and harassment by the shooter from beyond the grave,” a new court filing lays out why parents of the children don’t want the Covenant killer’s manifesto and other writings made public. 

Davidson County Chancellor I’Ashea Myles last week ruled that the Covenant Presbyterian Church, its private elementary school and the parents of the schoolchildren may intervene in a lawsuit seeking the manifesto and related writings of mass shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale. 

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Nashville Mayoral Candidates Offer Views on City Schools

A poll conducted in May on behalf of Tennesseans for Student Success by VictoryPhones, showed that Nashvillians prefer a mayoral candidate with a strong position on education and infrastructure. That quality slightly edged “positions on social issues” as the leading factor in who earned their vote.

In discussing education policy with Nashville mayoral candidates, The Tennessee Star found few variances between potential city leaders. All candidates supported Metro Nashville Public Schools and appreciated the past administration’s efforts to increase teacher pay. They all voice a commitment to ensuring that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) are among the best in the country. Outwardly, none are choice advocates.

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The Tennessee Star Appeals Judge’s Decision Allowing School and Parents to Intervene in Covenant Killer Manifesto Lawsuit

The Tennessee Star and other plaintiffs in a closely watched public records lawsuit are appealing Davidson County Chancellor I’Ashea Myles’ decision last week to allow the Covenant Presbyterian Church, the school and parents of students to intervene in the case. 

Filed in the Tennessee Court of Appeals-Middle Section, the appeal could soon be consolidated with those of the other plaintiffs in the case — The Tennessean with State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the National Police Association with private investigator Clata Renee Brewer — should the court grant it. 

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Five Tennessee U.S. Representatives Vote in Opposition of Biden-McCarthy Debt Ceiling Deal

Five Tennessee U.S. Representatives voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Wednesday.

The bill, negotiated between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-20) over the weekend, provides for a $4 trillion increase in the federal debt limit and suspends the federal debt limit until January of 2025.

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After John Durham Bombshell, Judge Breathes New Life into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case

Just a few weeks after Special Counsel John Durham revealed significant failures to investigate allegations against Hillary Clinton’s family charity, a U.S. Tax Court judge has once again breathed new life into a years-long whistleblower case alleging IRS improprieties involving the controversial Clinton Foundation.

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Memphis Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Armed Robberies of Postal Workers

A Memphis man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison in connection with armed robberies of several postal workers.

“Sidney Poitier Pilcher, Jr., a/k/a Slimey Sidd, 21, has been sentenced to over nine years in federal prison for aiding and abetting in the robbery of postal carriers while brandishing a firearm,” according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Tennessee.

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Seattle Far-Left Reverend Training Tennessee Students to Protest Gun Control

In the wake of The Covenant School shooting, a far-left reverend from Seattle has been working in Nashville to teach students how to protest.

“Reverend Osagyefo Sekou came to Nashville to work with the Dores Worker Solidarity Network [DWSN] on April 13,” according to Vanderbilt University’s website. 

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Tea Party Patriots Action Condemn House Speaker McCarthy for Debt Ceiling Deal, Urge Republicans to Vote in Opposition

Tea Party Patriots Action (TPPA) is condemning House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for negotiating an increase of $4 trillion to the national debt over the next 18 months and calling on House Republicans to vote against the bill.

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Nashville City Council to Hold Gun Violence Hearings in the Wake of Covenant School Massacre

More than two months after 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale shot and killed three children and three staff members at the Covenant Presbyterian School, Nashville’s Metropolitan Council is planning to hold hearings on gun violence as a “public health issue.” 

The Public Health and Safety Committee will conduct the first special meeting on gun safety, co-hosted with Education Committee Chair Zulfat Suara, on June 14, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 pm.

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Beacon Center Hires Renowned Attorney to Lead Legal Efforts

The Beacon Center of Tennessee announced Thursday that it has hired Wen Fa, a nationally renowned attorney, as its Director of Legal Affairs. 

“Fa joins Beacon from the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he served as a senior attorney in PLF’s equality and opportunity program,” according to a press release. “Fa led the expansion of PLF’s equality project by litigating numerous cases and securing important victories for farmers and entrepreneurs fighting for economic opportunity and against racial discrimination.”

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Tunnel to Towers Delivers Mortgage-Free Homes to Three Tennessee Families of Fallen Veterans

In observance of Memorial Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation honored 30 of America’s fallen veterans and first responders by delivering mortgage-free homes to the families that they left behind, including three in Tennessee.

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Former Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association Director Filed $64K in Questionable Expenses

A Tennessee Comptroller investigation into the former executive director of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police found nearly $64,000 in questionable credit card transactions between January 2017 and December 2021.

Maggi Duncan was reportedly suspended from her post in early March 2022 and then resigned March 18, 2022. The organization is funded through federal and state grants, vendor fees, fees for testing and accreditation, donations, and membership dues that are paid by members’ respective governments.

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Majority Whip Johnny Garrett: ‘Any Type of Red Flag Law Won’t Go Anywhere in This General Assembly’

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host John Harris welcomed Majority Whip Johnny Garrett to the newsmaker line to talk about the probabilities and possibilities of passing pro-Second Amendment legislation.

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Crom’s Crommentary: Republicans Need to Hold the Line and Tamp Down This Dramatic Increase in Spending

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host John Harris welcomed original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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