Tag Archives: Gov. Bill Haslam

Cornerstone Foundation closing

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

The Cornerstone Foundation here in Knoxville, headed by former city director and attorney Laurens Tullock, is closing its doors on Sept. 4 after operating 20 years. The Foundation has been funded by Rodney and Dell Lawler.

The announcement stated that Cornerstone, which has funded many projects in East Tennessee impacting downtown development, disadvantaged kids and community leadership development, was never meant to be permanent.

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Expect GOP pushback on Freeman

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

NOTE: Since this column was written prior to the Nov. 8 general election, it is not possible to comment on what happened. That will come in future columns.

Gov. Bill Haslam has announced 45 important appointments to the boards of six universities across the state. One name is triggering lots of talk among conservative GOP lawmakers.

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Amber Rountree’s big October

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

South Knox’s Amber Rountree has every reason to “call in tired” for the Nov. 2 school board meeting, but here’s betting she will find a way to attend. The board will vote on her resolution to exempt Knox County from using standardized tests in students’ grades and for teacher evaluations.

The tests are not yet aligned with the curriculum, she says. A similar resolution passed the board last year, but this one has drawn fire from interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas and even Gov. Bill Haslam.

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State GOP chief to hang it up

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Ryan Haynes will resign his post as state GOP chair a few weeks after the Nov. 8 election. Haynes, a former state legislator who represented Farragut and West Knox County, has been unhappy with the position. He is a more policy-oriented person and does not like the internal GOP politics on the state executive committee. He was also blindsided by Gov. Bill Haslam’s rejection of Donald Trump, which fell on him to explain.

When Gov. Haslam repudiated Trump, the party headquarters was swamped with irate Republican calls and Haynes was attacked, too. He received only six hours’ notice on the Haslam move to prepare when it hit the media.

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Kudos to David Butler

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

David Butler, 61, is the longest-serving director of the Knoxville Museum of Art which has been in its current headquarters for 26 years. He recently completed a decade of service with significant achievements.

Butler came to Knoxville in 2006 from Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in Kansas. He feels his greatest achievement has been getting the current Museum home renovated, correcting several serious deferred-maintenance issues. Over $6 million was raised including funding for the Cycle of Life by Richard Jolley, given by Steve and Ann Bailey.

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Incentives high for job creation

Sandra Clark
Editor

A good deal awaits jobs-producing business growth just up the road in Union County.

Gov. Bill Haslam and the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, headed by Knoxville guy Randy Boyd, have reclassified Tennessee counties to create a designation that helps rural counties recruit new business. In 17 so-called “tier four” counties, the state will double down on incentives.

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Haslams swap residences

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Gov. Bill and Crissy Haslam are moving from their longtime home in old Westmoreland on Sherwood Drive back to the house where the governor lived as a young teenager on Lyons Bend Road adjacent to the Tennessee River.

The Haslams will still be city residents as both homes are in the city. They will continue to be represented on City Council by Duane Grieve and on County Commission by Hugh Nystrom. Martin Daniel is their state representative. Grieve is a Democrat, while Nystrom and Daniel are Republicans.

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Fundraising for the state museum

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Gov. Bill Haslam hosted a luncheon Aug. 3 at the Governor’s Residence on Curtiswood Lane in Nashville to beef up the fundraising for the troubled Tennessee State Museum, which has signed on to a $160 million building project for a new museum building in Nashville.

The Legislature directed that $40 million of the $160 million be raised privately, which means the governor will have to do much of the heavy lifting for it to succeed in getting large donations.

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