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Governor Eyes Expansion of Pre-K Program

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam is considering a funding boost for the state’s public pre-kindergarten program, a move that would put him at odds with some fellow Republicans in the Legislature.
The governor told The Associated Press in an interview this week that Tennessee’s improving revenue picture could allow the state to resume pre-K expansion.
“You’ll see us between now and when we propose next year’s budget making a decision on if it’s time to fund pre-K in a bigger way,” Haslam said. “I’m hoping that some encouraging revenue will give us a chance to look at some new things to fund that we haven’t been before, not just pre-K but also some other things.”
The pre-K program was begun as a $10 million pilot project for about 150 classrooms under Republican Gov. Don Sundquist in 1998. Under his Democratic successor, Phil Bredesen, the program was expanded by nearly 800 classrooms statewide to serve more than 18,000 children at an annual cost of about $85 million.

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Mayfield Dairy Chief Considers Congressional Run in 3rd

Scottie Mayfield, the 61-year-old president of Mayfield Dairy in Athens, saidd Wednesday he is considering a run against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
“It’s a heck of a responsibility,” Scottie Mayfield said Wednesday. “Somebody’s going to allow me to look at a congressional schedule, what a member of Congress does every day of their life.”
The news adds a tantalizing scoop to an already flavorful Republican primary for the 3rd District race.
He said he would decide within two weeks. The dairy mogul said he gathered family and friends around his dining room table Wednesday to discuss issues and explore possibilities. He said he may use Mayfield’s 1,800 employees as an informal focus group
. “I’ve got to make sure that’s not against company policy first,” he said with a laugh. Mayfield said his own business expertise is needed in Congress, but also said “it’s hard to be real critical” of Fleischmann.
Asked what he would fight for in Washington, Mayfield said jobs and reducing the national debt, but did not elaborate