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1. High court won't review decision freeing Cosby from prison -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will not take up the sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby, leaving in place a decision by Pennsylvania's highest court to throw out his conviction and set him free from prison.

2. Take the 5th? The choice could soon be Trump's in NY probe -

NEW YORK (AP) — To plead the Fifth, or not to plead the Fifth?

That is the question Donald Trump may face after a New York judge ordered the former president to testify in a long-running state civil investigation into his business practices.

3. Trump can't hang on to lawyers after false election claims -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump spent much of his career deploying high-powered lawyers to do his bidding. Now he is having trouble finding top-tier help when he might need it most.

Since losing the November election to President Joe Biden, Trump has been hemorrhaging attorneys. Established firms backed away from his baseless claims of election fraud. Those he did retain made elementary errors in cases that were quickly rejected as meritless. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was ridiculed for his performance before a federal judge during one election-related case.

4. Trump names 2 lawyers to impeachment defense team -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump announced a new impeachment legal defense team just one day after it was revealed that he had parted ways with an earlier set of attorneys with just over a week to go before his Senate trial.

5. Tennessee lawmakers demand answers over voucher program -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Outraged Tennessee lawmakers grilled state education officials Wednesday about the handling of a much-debated school voucher program, and a key Republican lawmaker made a surprise admission that he regretted voted for the measure.

6. State panel not expected to talk Confederate bust at meeting -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Capitol Commission has no plans to address a contentious bust of a former Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan when it meets next week for the first time in a year.

7. Legislators want Casada gone, so why the wait? -

Are we there yet? Not exactly, as the question relates to Williamson County Republican Rep. Glen Casada’s resignation as Tennessee House Speaker.

For the record, Casada has resigned the speakership, effective at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2 – the day after Metro Nashville votes for a mayor, vice mayor and Metro Council members. When he announced the Aug. 2 exit date, Casada also asked Gov. Bill Lee to hold a special session of the legislature that same day for lawmakers to choose a new speaker.

8. The secret life of Nashville drumming legend Jimmy Otey -

Before he was a successful chemical engineer and beloved MTA bus driver, Jimmy Otey was playing the drums for Little Richard in the legendary Cavern in Liverpool, England, when he noticed some “nice guys,” a former house band in the club, looking on.

9. Public pressure pushes health care to top priority -

Bill Lee waltzes into the governorship later this month with more goodwill on his side than most politicians have the right to expect.

The Republican, who takes the reigns Jan. 19, is inheriting a state with an unemployment rate under 4 percent, an improving education system, companies such as Amazon bringing in thousands of jobs and an approval rating of 57 percent, a Vanderbilt poll taken in December shows.

10. Business-friendly Dean, Lee split on bigger issues -

Gubernatorial candidates Bill Lee and Karl Dean appear to be cast in a similar mold – business-friendly moderates.

But when it comes to key questions, the difference between them is as wide as the Tennessee River is long. And the first separation runs along their ideas for Medicaid expansion.

11. 'No one did it better' - Reaction to Aretha Franklin's death -

Reaction to the death of soul icon Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday:

"This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our father. I will miss her so much but I know she's at peace." — Smokey Robinson, in a statement.

12. Unpopular bill? Just rebrand it with TRUMP attached -

Using what could be the political acronym of the year, two Republican state lawmakers with expertise in pain treatment are playing on the popularity of President Donald Trump to pass medical pot legislation.

13. If only legislators could focus on important issues -

A year-old law enabling Tennessee colleges and universities to keep secret the “proprietary” fees they pay money managers for handling risky investments is likely to be reviewed this year.

14. Look ahead to 2019 session: New faces, unfinished business -

The Tennessee Legislature took steps toward combating opioid abuse and reforming juvenile justice in the 2018 session but fell short of what many lawmakers hoped to achieve, setting the stage for renewed action in 2019 when a new General Assembly will convene.

15. Medical cannabis bill hits momentary delay -

State Rep. Jeremy Faison took his medical cannabis bill off notice today – temporarily – because he didn’t have the votes needed to pass it in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

16. Black draws flak for lobbying against medical marijuana bill -

Medical marijuana legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison is hitting a hurdle with gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Diane Black opposing it and her husband trying to kill the measure.

Faison, an East Tennessee Republican, confirmed lobbyists employed by The Phoenix Sciences Group, founded and run by David Black, are lobbying against his medical marijuana bill this session.

17. Black draws flak for lobbying against medical marijuana bill -

Medical marijuana legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison is hitting a hurdle with gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Diane Black opposing it and her husband trying to kill the measure.

Faison, an East Tennessee Republican, confirmed lobbyists employed by The Phoenix Sciences Group, founded and run by David Black, are lobbying against his medical marijuana bill this session.

18. Tennessee bill would limit licensing denials of ex-offenders -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill in Tennessee would limit the ability of state licensing boards to deny occupational licenses based on the criminal history of applicants.

Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis and Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby announced the "fresh start" legislation Monday.

19. Tennessee finds itself locked into a bad deal -

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons makes no secret about his disdain for private prisons in Tennessee.

Not only is he concerned about a Comptroller’s Office audit showing CoreCivic’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Center skating by with fewer staff than required, especially for critical posts, he says the Department of Correction is violating the spirit of state law by contracting with four counties to run more than the one minimum-security or medium-security prison allowed in Tennessee.

20. 2 Tennessee Republicans introduce medical marijuana bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to make medical marijuana legal in Tennessee, but only in oil-based products.

Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville and Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby announced the bill's filing Thursday amid wide support for medical marijuana in state polls.

21. Legislators can’t get past threat of medical marijuana -

Heading into the 2018 legislative session, Rep. Jeremy Faison is looking to send a message about his medical marijuana bill: Tennessee won’t open the door to recreational pot without General Assembly action.

22. Opioid crisis and juvenile justice -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

23. Medical marijuana might finally get past objections -

Medical marijuana legislation is evolving, not to ease people’s debilitating pain but to help it pass the General Assembly, where it’s giving some lawmakers heartburn.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, an East Tennessee Republican ferrying the bill through the House, is offering several changes to a bill he is sponsoring with Sen. Steve Dickerson, a Nashville Republican, to soothe the nerves of state bureaucrats and lawmakers who get shaky when the word marijuana is mentioned.

24. Legislature’s end game on guns: No rules at all? -

If you think the state Legislature is full of gun nuts, Rep. Micah Van Huss begs to differ. “No, not at all,” Van Huss says when asked if the General Assembly is too pro-gun. “I don’t think they’re pro-gun enough. In fact, … I think our laws in Tennessee infringe on our constitutional rights. There are now 16 states – we’ve added two or three this year – that allow constitutional carry. So, we’re falling behind.”

25. Lawmakers advance reducing penalties for gun possession -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have advanced a proposal to eliminate jail time for carrying a gun in public without a state-issued permit.

Under the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby, a violation would still be a misdemeanor but would only be punishable by a fine of $100 on the first offense and $200 for the second.

26. A disjointed stash of marijuana bills -

This year’s marijuana bills are a mixed bag. Rep. Jeremy Faison is sending his medical marijuana legislation to a task force, as opposed to “summer study,” typically considered the trash heap for unwanted bills.

27. Survey: Conservatives like medical marijuana better than gas tax -

Conservative voters are more likely to support legalizing medical marijuana than raising gas taxes, at least ahead of using a $1 billion surplus to pay for transportation projects.

Fifty-two percent of Republicans surveyed recently by Tennesseans for Conservative Action say they support allowing people to manage their pain with medical cannabis, in contrast to 31 percent in opposition. Thirteen percent needed more information and 4 percent were unsure.

28. Reactionaries, evidence vie on medicinal marijuana -

Three-year-old Josie Mae Mathis of Greene County used to suffer hundreds of seizures daily from epilepsy and infantile spasms.

Aden Vogus, a pre-teen from Brentwood, has seen his seizures all but disappear.

29. Tax hikes, cuts both eyed as Legislature reconvenes -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate. Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

30. GOP lawmakers introduce bill seeking to legalize medical pot -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican lawmakers are introducing legislation that would allow the use of marijuana for a variety of medical conditions in Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2huB6cR) that the measure sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby and Steve Dickerson of Nashville would allow 50 growing operations around the state, including 15 in economically distressed areas.

31. Faison’s folly? A conservative pushing marijuana in Tennessee -

By just about any measure, state Rep. Jeremy Faison is a hard-core conservative. But when it comes to the cannabis plant, the East Tennessee legislator is ready to fire up the General Assembly with a move to liberalize the state’s pot law.

32. At least 6 lawmakers had financial ties to GOP donor Miller -

NASHVILLE (AP) - At least six current and former Republican lawmakers in Tennessee had financial ties to a prominent GOP donor who recently settled a federal fraud case involving the military health care program.

33. House defeats bill to allow skunks as pets in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to allow skunks to be kept as pets in Tennessee has fallen short in the state House amid concerns about spreading rabies.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby received 44 votes on Monday. Bills need a constitutional majority of 50 votes to pass the chamber.

34. Cannabis oil bill could lead to more ‘evil weed’ wins -

Logan and Stacie Mathes were on “pins and needles” as they waited for Gov. Bill Haslam to sign legislation into law allowing cannabis oil to be used to treat seizures and similar medical problems in Tennessee.

35. Desperate families beg Legislature to legalize cannabis oil -

Josie Mae Mathes had her first birthday recently, but because she suffers from childhood epilepsy and infantile spasms, she’s so medicated she can barely move.

“It was a very happy day for us but sad as well,” her mother, Stacie, tells legislators about the birthday. “She was physically present with us, but her mind, spirit and body were not there.”

36. Top Midstate commercial real estate transactions for March 2013 -

Top March 2013 commercial real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

37. Sponsors seek to clarify parking lot gun bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The votes have been cast and the bill is awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam's signature, but sponsors are still trying to clarify whether a contentious gun bill affects employment law in Tennessee.

38. Haslam 'likely' to sign parking lot guns bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is likely to sign into law a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their cars no matter where they are parked, a spokesman said Thursday.

39. House sends parking-lot guns bill to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) — The House on Thursday voted to send to the governor a contentious bill that would allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

40. House sends parking lot guns bill to governor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to send to the governor's desk a bill to allow the state's nearly 400,000 handgun carry permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

41. Parking lot guns bill charges toward House vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to allow handgun carry permit holders to store loaded firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked has cleared its final legislative committee before a full House vote.

42. House panel advances guns bill after 6 minutes -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to keep businesses, schools and colleges from banning firearms in their parking lots has been approved by a House subcommittee after a six-minute hearing.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby was advanced to the full House Civil Justice Committee on a voice vote on Wednesday.

43. Sponsor of parking lot guns bill says he misspoke -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The main House sponsor of a bill seeking to guarantee handgun permit holders the right to store firearms in their vehicles says he misspoke when he suggested that he routinely breaks the law.

44. House votes to ignore federal regs on farm labor -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House on Monday passed a bill declaring that Tennessee wouldn't enforce federal regulations governing child labor on family farms.

The chamber voted 70-24 to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Cosby in response to rules being considered by the U.S. Labor Department.

45. VUMC’s Stover receives Young Physician Award -

Daniel Stover, M.D., chief resident on the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is the recipient of this year’s Holt Young Physician Leadership Award presented by the Southern Medical Association.