Excerpt from an op-ed piece in The Tennessean by Robert Martineau, commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation: After a year of careful study that included extensive feedback from employees and stakeholders, one message came through loud and clear: While the department is full of many dedicated public servants with great technical expertise, TDEC had to change.
Environmentalists and business leaders alike agreed our processes had become too slow and too unpredictable. Our best employees were stymied by a cumbersome bureaucracy that often created disjointed policy and no longer rewarded individual effort and creativity.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the shooting death of a man in east Knoxville.
Haslam announced the reward on Friday evening in the slaying of 40-year-old Robert “Ernie” Reno last November, WVLT-TV reported (http://bit.ly/xEthAP ).
Police said Reno was found dead from several bullet wounds outside a home on Selma Avenue just after midnight on Nov. 11.
Anyone with information should contact the Knoxville Police Department’s crime information line at 865-215-7212.
A bald eagle at work in its nest at Harrison Bay State Park in Chattanooga temporarily stole the show Wednesday at a legislative oversight hearing Wednesday, reports the Chattanooga TFP. State Environment and Conservation Commissioner Robert Martineau piped in a feed of a live webcam set up earlier this month to observe a pair of bald eagles, a male and female, that have set up residence in a tree for the second straight second year at the park.
“I’m going to turn it over to Brock (deputy commissioner Brock Hill) unless the eagle upstages us,” Martineau told Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee members.
Too late, said committee Chairman Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, as he looked at his colleagues: “I think it has.”
Lawmakers’ focus initially switched back and forth between Martineau, Hill and the video screen showing the live Internet streaming of the bald eagle. Oblivious to the camera and its audience, the large bird, a national symbol, shifted to and fro in the nest. It used its beak at times to apparently test the sturdiness of sticks and twigs used to create the nest. Occasionally, a breeze ruffled the white feathers on the eagle’s head.
Text of a letter of public reprimand sent to Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Robert L. Moon from the state Court of the Judiciary, as provided to media by the Administrative Office of the Courts:
Dear Judge Moon:
This letter shall serve as a public letter of reprimand pursuant to your agreement with an investigative panel of this Court.
The reprimand relates to three complaints, one of which was filed by Judge Rebecca Stem, one of which was filed by Attorney Hiram (Hark) Hill, and one of which was filed by Attorney Benjamin L. McGowan.
The pertinent portion of the complaint filed by Judge Rebecca Stem concerns a preliminary hearing, over which you presided, in which you threatened to have a young woman, who was a reluctant victim-witness of a domestic assault, handcuffed and arrested if she did not testify in a manner which you considered to be truthful.
Eleven months of jail time later, a Maryville man conceded Wednesday that threatening to murder a U.S. congressman’s staff wasn’t the best way to protest his passport woes, according to the News Sentinel. “I’m sorry for what I did,” Eric Robert Henderson told U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips. “I blew up. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Henderson, 28, was freed Wednesday after serving 11 months in jail for putting U.S. Rep. Phil Roe’s office in Washington D.C. under verbal siege in September 2010, threatening murder and mayhem if Roe didn’t do something to help him get a passport.
“It is clear Mr. Henderson is mad at the government because they will not issue him a passport so that he can leave the country,” Assistant Federal Defender Kim Tollison wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “He claims that he has filed all of the required papers. The government claims that he has not. Mr. Henderson very much would like to leave this country. All he needs is a passport.”
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today swore in Robert Hibbett for the Tennessee Claims Commission, replacing Middle Tennessee Commissioner Stephanie Reevers, who served on the commission since January 2004.
Commissioners hold eight-year terms, and Hibbett’s term will be up in 2019.
The Tennessee Claims Commission is attached to the state Treasury Department, and it adjudicates claims involving tax recovery, state employee workers’ compensation and alleged negligence by state officials or agencies.