MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Several plaintiffs have filed suit against the renaming of Confederate-themed city parks in Memphis, asserting only the mayor can change park names.
According to The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/18AUpUg ), nine individuals and a group calling itself Citizens to Save Our Parks filed the petition Wednesday against the city and members of the Memphis City Council.
On Feb. 5, the council approved a resolution renaming Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park.
They were given generic names, awaiting a committee recommendation. That panel has recommended Civil War Park, Promenade Park and Harbor Park. The council has not acted on the recommendation.
The lawsuit asks Chancery Court to void the renaming of the parks.
City Attorney Herman Morris said Wednesday he had not yet seen the lawsuit.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The agency that oversees parole processes in Tennessee has a new name.
The Board of Probation and Parole is now the Board of Parole.
The change was included in the public safety plan approved by lawmakers during the recent Tennessee General Assembly.
Under the plan, state probation and parole officers and other staff who support their work are now employees of the state Department of Correction.
Community supervision of adult offenders has also been transferred to the Correction Department.
Despite the changes, officials say the Board of Parole remains an autonomous agency. Functions that stay with the board include conducting hearings and making decisions on granting or denying parole.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to change the name of the state Department of Mental Health has passed the Senate.
The measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville was approved 31-0 on Monday evening.
The legislation adds “Substance Abuse Services” to the department’s name.
The companion bill is being scheduled for a vote on the House floor.
Read SB2229 at http://capitol.tn.gov .
News release from Vanderbilt University:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – “What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet asks in one of William Shakespeare’s best known plays. If you’re talking about elections in which voters don’t know the candidates very well, the answer is quite a lot, according to new Vanderbilt political science research.
Mere name recognition can give candidates an important advantage in political races in which voters know little about any of the contenders, according to the study by political scientists Cindy Kam and Elizabeth Zechmeister.
“Our study offers fairly conclusive evidence that, in low-information races, a candidate’s name recognition alone positively affects voter support,” said Zechmeister, who co-authored the paper with Kam.
Although the media pays a lot of attention to high-profile races, in the majority of decisions that American voters make, they have very little information about the candidates. Sometimes partisanship is not even available, so voters need to rely on some shortcuts to make decisions. “These findings are important because low-information races are the rule, not the exception, in American politics,” said Kam.
By Erik Schelzig
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s leadership says it wants to rename the agency the Tennessee State Patrol because its role has evolved beyond traffic enforcement in the years since it was established in 1929.
But Safety Department public records requested by The Associated Press show that in the 2009-2010 budget year, just $8.4 million, or 9 percent of the THP’s total budget, was dedicated to areas unrelated to patrolling state highways, such as the governor’s protective detail, Capitol security and criminal investigations.
Safety Department spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said those figures don’t give a full picture of the agency’s non-traffic enforcement activities, because the balance of the THP’s spending includes areas like administers and dispatchers who have multiple responsibilities. The department wouldn’t be able to give a more specific breakdown without conducting a detailed study, she said.