The gloves are off in the race for Tennessee Senate District 22, according to the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle.
In a direct mailer sent this week, Sen. Tim Barnes attacked Dr. Mark Green and his record with Gateway Medical Center.
The glossy, paid for by the Tennessee Democratic Party, claims that under Green’s management Gateway was the lowest-ranked hospital in the state and that Green was caught directing doctors to “cherry-pick” healthier patients to boost hospital profits.
But the claims in the mailer are based on out-of-date data and are not fair to the hospital, according to members of the hospital staff.
“He truly painted a picture that was incongruent with the current facts about Gateway Medical Center,” said William McGee, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Gateway.
The mailer cites data from a Consumer Reports article that claims Gateway was the lowest-rated hospital in the state and had a death rate higher than the national average.
But Gateway CEO Tim Puthoff said in a statement that the Consumer Reports article used old data that included only 37 of the 120 hospitals in Tennessee and Gateway’s mortality for August 2011 to July 2012 was in line with the national average.
In the statement Puthoff said he met with Barnes Friday and Barnes agreed not to mention Gateway in any further campaign communications.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Conservationists have built an artificial bat cave deep in the Tennessee woods to see if it can be a blueprint for saving bats who are dying by the millions from a fungus spreading across North America.
The $300,000 project by The Nature Conservancy is believed to be the first manmade hibernating structure for bats in the wild. Unlike natural caves, it will be cleaned annually to keep the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome from reaching lethal levels.
“We talked with other people, waiting for one of them to call us crazy and no one did,” said Gina Hancock, director of the Tennessee chapter of the conservancy.
Gov. Bill Haslam handed a $600,000 check to the mayor of Clarksville Thursday for construction of a “greenway” project, the latest of about 20 “enhancement grants” from federal funds distributed by the state.
While the oversized check said it was from the state Department of Transportation, Haslam credited the federal government.
“We like to beat up on Congress and say all the things they’re doing wrong, but every now and then, they get it right.”
Haslam says the federal program works because decisions on how to spend the money are made locally.
Through the enhancement grants, more than $270 million has been spent on non-traditional transportation projects in Tennessee. Many have been used to revitalize downtown areas or highlight historic attractions.
Gov. Bill Haslam smiled for several cameras as he sat down and received a flu shot to his right arm from Assistant Nurse Supervisor Donna Davis Tuesday morning at the Montgomery County Health Department, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle.
Haslam, who was joined by Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, said it was the largest crowd he’s ever had for a shot. Both of them stressed the importance of getting protection against the virus.
“Unlike years past, we don’t have a shortage of vaccine,” said Haslam, who was in town to participate in activities at Fort Campbell Tuesday afternoon.
“Unlike other times, I don’t think you’ll have a long wait. I think now there’s so many places you can get a flu shot, it really is easy and it’s smart.”
It appears that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has turned red tape into an acronym, according to a report on his first stop in a tour to promote the idea of cutting it. Red tape, the Leaf-Chronicle story says, stands for Ridiculous Employee Decisions that Affect People Everyday.
Further, it appears the big topic of discussion was not a state regulatiion or rule, which Ramsey has indicated is the focal point of his cutting promotion, or a federal regulations, which were the major topic at a recent House study committee meeting to hear complaints from businessmen.
Instead, the red tape topic was a proposed Clarksville city ordinance opposed by Councilman Nick Steward, who hosted the Ramsey roundtable.
The proposed change would require anyone selling items secondhand — including antique — thrift and online stores, to verify the previous owner and keep a record of to whom the item was sold.
“The attempt is to mitigate a lot of the shoplifting that’s happening in some of the stores and then goods being sold in flea markets and (by) antique dealers and junk dealers,” Steward said. “It puts a lot of restrictions on our small businesses that aren’t a solution to the problem.”
Ramsey said the ordinance change is a good example of “red tape on steroids.”
He added, “Get a photo (identification) while you’re there, who they are, and let them at least say: Where did you get this? Write it down and you’re done. You shouldn’t have to be the policing agency.”
Steward said he also wanted to host the event to give small businessowners the chance to bring forward issues they are having with their business and how the state can help.
“The only way that issues even get addressed are them being brought to the decision makers’ attention,” Steward said. “I think we took a step in that direction today.”
Former two-term governor Phil Bredesen chose Clarksville for his first public speaking appearance in Tennessee since leaving office, delivering an address at an Economic Growth Summit sponsored by the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Peay State University College of Business Chair of Excellence for Free Enterprise and The Leaf-Chronicle.
From the Leaf-Chronicle’s story:
He discussed the benefits of consolidated government, based on his tenure as mayor of Nashville, and his approach to economic development while governor, which helped bring Hemlock Semiconductor to Clarksville.
“I’m happy to report I even drove myself here,” Bredesen quipped. “It was a little scary, but I made it.”
Bredesen received an enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation from the summit audience. After his presentation, the former two-term governor made an impromptu visit to the Governor’s School for Computational Physics at APSU.
While there, he spoke to students about his background in physics and gave them problems to work out.
He also stopped to take pictures with Governor’s School attendees during a brief power outage.