In addition to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag, an official “Salute to the Tennessee flag” is now part of the state Senate’s opening ceremony at the start of a day’s meeting.
The first recitation came Thursday in compliance with a Senate Rules Committee proposal adopted earlier by the full Senate.
Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, the Legislature’s senior member, had proposed the recitation and led colleagues on the first occasion. The salute goes like this: “Three white stars on a field of blue
God keep them strong and ever true.
It is with pride and love that we
Salute the flag of Tennessee.”
During a committee meeting, Henry acknowledged that some senators were not familiar with the salute yet. He quoted Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, jokingly suggesting a variation: “Three starts upon a field of blue. I don’t know the rest and neither do you.”
David Leaverton, who came to Tennessee in 1996 to become a punter for the University of Tennessee football team, has resigned as senior field director for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and is returning to his home state of Texas.
From Georgiana Vines: After representing the senator in a 15-county area for 5½ years, he said he and wife Erin are moving to Dallas to be near their families. They have a 1-year-old daughter, Grace, and another child is on the way.
“It made a lot of sense for us personally to be close to family. It’s also someone you trust to leave your child with. It’s not the same as with a baby sitter,” Leaverton said.
He said he will join Pioneer Natural Resources, an exploration and production company in Irving, Texas, in its public affairs staff.
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield is seeking state legislation that would help the city’s Sports Authority or possibly River City Co. purchase AT&T Field to ease the sale of the Chattanooga Lookouts to private buyers and keep the Class AA team playing downtown, reports the Chattanooga TFP. “We don’t really want to be a player unless it’s necessary to save the team for Chattanooga,” Littlefield said in one of several interviews on Tuesday and Wednesday about the legislation.
Current Lookouts owner Frank Burke has been trying to sell the Class AA team since late December 2010 as he and family members settle the estate of their late father, another owner of the team.
Most cities in Tennessee and across the nation build stadiums to attract or retain professional sports teams, Littlefield noted.
But when Burke relocated his team from Engel Stadium to its current downtown site, he and other owners spent $10.2 million to build the new 6,362-seat ball field, which opened in 2000 — a move officials say was highly unusual in this day and age.
The land beneath the stadium is owned by River City Co., a nonprofit that promotes downtown development through the creation of public spaces. With team owners footing the stadium’s cost, River City leases the field — prime city real estate with a commanding view of the city and Tennessee River — for $1 a year.
Littlefield said that what he has “gleamed” from discussions with various parties is that “most teams don’t own the facilities that they operate in. They operate out of a lease or a rental agreement or something of that nature.”
The change in state law would allow the city to divert the state portion of sales taxes from tickets and baseball concessions to assist in paying off bonds used to purchase the facility.