Tag Archives: Karen Carson

What’s the rush to build middle schools?

Sandra Clark
Editor

Knox County Commission was expected to approve contracts Monday with two local companies to build middle schools. Rouse Construction got the nod for Gibbs Middle, to design and build a school for 800 kids at a cost not to exceed $23.631 million. Denark Construction was chosen to build Hardin Valley Middle for 1,200 kids at a cost not to exceed $34.8 million.

Despite a complaint filed with the Office of Civil Rights, alleging a pattern of new school construction on the periphery of Knox County, the commission raced ahead with both projects.

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Zachary overwhelms opposition

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Jason Zachary scored an impressive win last week taking the GOP primary for state representative over veteran school board member Karen Carson. He won in all but two precincts in the West Knox County district.

Carson was backed by Gov. Bill Haslam and state Sen. Richard Briggs. Insure Tennessee was made the primary issue of the campaign, and it lost. The sole public official openly backing Zachary was state Rep. Roger Kane, who offered sage advice.

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Harwell idea delays vote on gas tax

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

House Speaker Beth Harwell has urged that part or all of the $400 million in additional state tax collections should go for new roads and existing road repairs. This is new money coming into the state treasury that was not anticipated when the state budget was enacted a few months ago.

What is significant here is that Harwell is voicing a game plan for the Legislature to tackle the road issue in a way that would enable it to avoid a gas tax increase vote in the 2016 session starting in five months. This would be new money one time for roads and would allow the lawmakers to skip a gas tax vote in an election year.

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Karen Carson on the issues

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Karen Carson is running for state representative in the Aug. 12 Republican primary to replace Rep. Ryan Haynes. Serving her third term on the Knox County school board, she lives in Concord in Twin Harbor. A mother of three adult children and a nurse for 25 years at Children’s Hospital, she is 57.

A graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, La., she moved to Knox County in 1990. “I know the community and have worked in it for 25 years,” she told me.

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