News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Dr. Carroll Van West as state historian.
West replaces the late Walter T. Durham, who served 11 years in the honorary position. (Note: Post on Durham’s death HERE.)
“Dr. West’s faithful service to his field for many years reflects a commitment to excellence that will serve the citizens of Tennessee very well,” Haslam said. “His incredible body of work speaks for itself, and we are fortunate and grateful to have him as our state historian.”
West has served as director at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area since 2002.
He has taught as a professor in the MTSU history department since 1985. He currently serves as a co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and as a Tennessee representative on the National Board of Advisors of National Trust for Historic Preservation. West also sits on the Executive Board of Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc. and on the Advisory Board of Teaching with Primary Sources, Library of Congress.
News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Judicial Nominating Commission will consider ten applicants when it meets later this month in Jackson to select nominees for the upcoming vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals Western Section.
The opening is the result of Court of Appeals Judge Alan E. Highers informing Gov. Bill Haslam that he will retire at the end of his term, August 31, 2014. Because statutory provisions for the Judicial Nominating Commission expire June 30, 2013, the commission will meet this month to select a slate of candidates for Gov. Bill Haslam to choose from.
The Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Saturday, June 29 in Jackson at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1770 Highway 45 Bypass, to interview and hear public comments regarding the 10 applicants. A public hearing will start at 9 a.m. and be followed by individual interviews of all the candidates.
The commission is expected to make their selections immediately following the interviews. They will send two slates, each with three names, to the governor for his consideration.
Completed applications of all the candidates can be found on TNCourts.gov.
News release from Department of Economic and Community Development:
STANTON, Tenn.– Tennessee has cut the ribbon on the state’s largest solar power array. DOE Deputy Secretary Poneman, Deputy Governor Ramsey and University of Tennessee President Dr. DiPietro joined a crowd of almost 200 to celebrate the opening of the West Tennessee Solar Farm. The Farm officially began generating power today.
The Haywood County facility is capable of generating 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 500 homes and offset 250 tons of coal each month. That makes it the largest solar-energy array connected to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s grid.
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — The construction of a solar farm in West Tennessee has been delayed.
The West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County is now expected to go online early next year, according to the Memphis Daily News (http://bit.ly/ryauvP). The undertaking being spearheaded by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation was originally was scheduled to be completed this month.
Project manager Elliott Barnett of Signal Energy LLC of Chattanooga, which designed and is building the farm, blamed the delay on “the upgrade of the electrical lines that go from the solar farm to the Chickasaw Electric Cooperative substation.”
He said the substation is where the power will actually hook into the grid and about nine miles of line needed upgrading.
The solar panels by Interstate 40, which have been getting attention recently from passing motorists, were actually the easiest part of the project, he said.
“It was built for the purpose of generating revenue and serving as an example for the state furthering the whole sweep of renewable projects that we want to be a part of,” Barnett said. It is being financed with federal stimulus funding.
The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to buy power from the farm, and Barnett said it should generate about $100,000 in revenue each month.
The project won’t end there. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has future plans to develop an interstate exit and a center for visitors in the middle of the solar array.
Eric Rank, the general manager of Solar and Renewable Power Systems, said he thinks a visitors’ center would be a good way to keep the public informed on solar technology.
“They need to know how it operates. Everybody still thinks solar systems are based on the use of batteries,” he said. “There’s a lot of education that needs to be done.”