Five former state employees have been accused of abusing patients at Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute and the TBI is investigating, according to WSMV-TV. “If those vulnerable patients are being mistreated by state employees, harmed or injured, we need action,” said State Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville.
…The five former employees (not named in the report) are accused of abusing two patients, one of them confirmed by the I-Team to be Matthew McDougal of Brentwood.
The termination records read that in two separate instances, once in April, and another in May, employees inflicted bodily injuries on McDougal and the other patient.
The reported abuse occurred in the forensic services program, where some of the most at-risk patients are located.
“If a patient is abused in that situation, there’s a failure of the system,” said Jeff Fladen, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
A spokeswoman for the TBI confirms on May 23, some 22 days after the last reported abuse, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health, which oversees the institute, asked the TBI to investigate.
The five employees were then fired the next month.
From “History Bill” Carey:
Paul Clements spent 11 years researching first-person accounts of the early settlements of Middle Tennessee. He assembled every available account of events such as the journey of the Donelson Party, the Battle of the Bluffs, the Nickajack Expedition and countless other events between 1775 and 1800. He recently published many of these in the book “Chronicles of the Cumberland Settlements.” This amazing 800-page volume sheds new light on the early history of Nashville and proves that many of the stories we have heard only tell part of the story.
Carey’s Q and A session with Clements is HERE.
And Carey has a piece in the City Paper. An excerpt from that: A native of Nashville who doesn’t even have a degree in history, Clements just moved the understanding of Nashville’s early history forward one very large step. He did this the old-fashioned way — by staring at microfilm for more than a decade in places such as the Metro Nashville Archives and the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
“I’m in awe of what Paul has done,” said John Egerton, Southern historian and the author of Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South. “The very idea that such a thing could happen at this stage is astonishing.
“The only way it could have happened is because of a guy like Paul.”
You see, in the 1840s, a man named Lyman Draper interviewed many of the people who were here when present-day Davidson and Sumner counties consisted of nothing more than a series of forts and homesteads. Draper conducted these interviews intending to write a long book about the history of the American frontier.
Draper never wrote the book, but he wrote transcripts of the interviews. In some cases, the notebooks containing these interviews had never been translated from his mid-19thcentury handwriting — until Clements did it.
Furthermore, about 75 pages of handwritten notes written by someone who interviewed Edward Swanson in the 1820s were discovered in a West Tennessee home in the 1980s. This was a remarkable discovery. Swanson, you see, was one of Middle Tennessee’s earliest settlers; he came to the “French Lick,” as Nashville was once known, before the Donelson Party got here. Swanson’s notebooks were detailed, containing accounts of events such as the Battle of the Bluffs, and descriptions of the fort that used to be in present-day downtown Nashville.
News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
The Judicial Nominating Commission met on June 27 in Chattanooga, June 28, 2013 in Nashville, and June 29 in Jackson to hold public hearings and conduct interviews of candidates for the upcoming Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Appeals vacancies.
After interviewing a total of 35 candidates for the three positions, the commission selected these attorneys for nomination to Governor Bill Haslam for consideration in the following openings. Two panels were forwarded for each vacancy because the governor has the option to reject the first panel and the Judicial Nominating Commission, which by law ceases to exist after June 30, 2013 would not be able to act and select a second panel.
The openings are created by the announcements by Judge Joseph Tipton, Judge Patricia Cottrell and Judge Alan E. Highers that they will not seek retention in the August 2014 election.
The list of nominees is below.
Some of the findings in this month’s Vanderbilt University poll suggest that the Republican supermajority Legislature may be a bit out of sync with the overall Tennessee electorate — at least in comparison with Gov. Bill Haslam.
In general approval ratings, Haslam came in with 63 percent; the General Assembly at 51. Both a lot better than President Barack Obama at 40 percent, much less the U.S. Congress at 21 percent.
The multi-question Vandy poll results from surveying 813 registered voters earlier this month raises the possibility the differences could actually be in tune with issues on occasion.
Consider, for example:
n On Medicaid expansion, the polling indicated 60 percent of Tennesseans support the notion, up 9 points from six months earlier, though they don’t like the Affordable Care Act.
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor for his likely signature will prevent the deaths of other college students.
The measure would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof they have gotten a meningitis shot. It passed the House 94-1 on Thursday and was unanimously approved by the Senate 30-0 earlier this month
“I know the bill is not going to bring my son back, but it will save someone’s life,” Shawna McIntosh said at a press conference after the bill passed the House. “I would suggest everyone get the vaccine.”
Jacob Nunley died last year less than 24 hours after contracting meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Currently, MTSU and most other public colleges and universities in Tennessee only recommend getting the vaccination to prevent the contagious disease.
News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
Tennessee than nearly anywhere else in the country, but the state’s proposed “don’t say gay” law has little support, the latest MTSU Poll indicates.
“Though Tennesseans may be fairly characterized as extremely opposed to same-sex marriage at this point, whether and how homosexuality should be addressed in public schools is a very different matter,” said Dr. Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University.
A solid 62 percent majority of Tennesseans oppose “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally,” while 28 percent are in favor, 6 percent don’t know, and the rest decline to answer, according to the poll.
This nearly two-thirds opposition in Tennessee to legalizing gay marriage is significantly higher than the 43 percent opposition registered nationally in surveys throughout 2012 by the Pew Center for the People and the Press1. It is higher even than the 56 percent opposition Pew found to be typical in 2012 of the South Central region that includes Tennessee as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to create a new national wildlife refuge in Middle Tennessee.
The refuge would cover approximately 25,000 acres in Franklin County near Estill Fork, Hurricane Creek and Larkin Fork.
Dwight Cooley, who manages refuges in Alabama, said the tract is one of the most important in the Southeast with respect to natural resources.
Living within it are at least 15 federally endangered or threatened species and a number of species considered endangered or threatened in Tennessee. Much of the land is forested and provides habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “It’s a wonderful area.”
Gov. Bill Haslam in a speech to 22 state House freshmen, reported by Andrea Zelinski: “There’s a way to be about good government versus a way to always be about politics… There are times when you have to come up with a political answer. That’s just the reality… But I really hope that we’re always driven by getting to the right answer.”
The governor admitted the “right” answer will likely look different to each member of the diverse class of legislators elected earlier this month to begin serving in earnest once the General Assembly convenes Jan. 8, 2013.
…Haslam said lawmakers should familiarize themselves with the state budget and how spending plans work and drive policy decisions, warning that plans to cut taxes but increase spending on a project won’t balance out.
Meanwhile, wading through policy issues is tougher than it seems, offered Haslam, who oftentimes finds himself on the fence before announcing what direction he wants to take.
“Once you get here, things tend to be a lot less clear than maybe they were before,” he said.
“I’m a person of conviction. I really am. I’m not saying that we should just be somewhere in the mushy middle and everybody’s got a great point. But we do have to realize in every discussion that the other fella might be right.”
Republican Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 25 points in Tennessee, according to a new Middle Tennessee State University poll.
The telephone poll of 650 registered voters, conducted Oct. 16-21, found Romney supported by 59 percent versus just 34 percent for the Democratic incumbent with 6 percent undecided.
That would be substantially larger than Republican John McCain’s 15-point victory, 56-41 percent, in Tennessee’s 2008 presidential voting. It is also bigger margin for Romney than in earlier Tennessee this year. A Vanderbilt University poll in May had Romney leading 47-40 percent while a YouGov poll earlier in October had Romney leading 52-43 percent.
The MTSU poll showed 61 percent of those surveyed were white evangelical voters and, among such voters, Romney leads Obama 74-21 percent.
Only 12 percent of those surveyed were black. Among them, Obama had 91 percent support, MTSU reported.
n the U.S. Senate race, the poll found incumbent Republican Bob Corker leading Democrat Mark Clayton, who has been disavowed by his own party, by a 59 percent to 21 percent in the poll with about 12 percent undecided.
The full MTSU news release is below.
Six years ago this month, Bob Corker was huddling in a limousine in Memphis with President George W. Bush and Bush adviser Karl Rover, glumly eyeing polling showing Corker losing the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Harold Ford.
Fuirther from Action Andy’s report on the U.S. Senate campaign:
“We got in this long, black limo, and we all knew I was going to lose the race, and you talk about a depressing ride,” Corker recalled last week to Nashville Chamber of Commerce members.
But instead, the Republican former Chattanooga mayor eked out a 51-48 percent victory over Ford in Tennessee’s most expensive Senate race on record — the two candidates raised more than $33 million all told, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Fast-forward to October 2012 and Corker is merrily chugging along, his re-election campaign almost on autopilot.
His Democratic opponent is Mark Clayton, 36, whose candidacy has been disavowed by state Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester for what Forrester called his “extreme” views on gay issues such as same-sex marriage.
So how confident is Corker about this election?
Well, right now he’s stumping not through Tennessee but the Middle East, on a Senate fact-finding trip.
…Clayton couldn’t be happier with Corker’s decision to go out of the country.
“We’re not going to Washington, D.C., to be a special person, fly around to different countries and forget Tennessee,” Clayton said. “We couldn’t ask him to campaign against himself any better by doing what he’s doing. … He doesn’t realize he’s posting negative ads for himself.”
Declaring he is running the “quintessential grass-roots campaign,” Clayton said he is making “practically no-budget commercials” for the Web and contacting voters directly on the Internet.