By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
TennCare could face drastic federal cuts
Placeholder Image

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee’s expanded Medicaid program would have to make $2.2 billion in cuts if Congress reduces the state’s federal funds by as much as 30 percent.
Deep federal spending cuts are required under the recent debt-ceiling agreement in Congress.
Tennessee Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes instructed state agency heads to submit two sets of plans: one for how they would cut 15 percent of federal aid, and another for reducing those funds by an additional 15 percent.
Those plans were released Tuesday.
TennCare Bureau spokeswoman Kelly Gunderson told The Associated Press the agency doesn’t want to see further reductions and that the budget cuts exercise is a “what-if scenario to make sure we’re prepared if there are substantial decreases from the federal government.”

• • • • •
NASHVILLE (AP) — An automotive supplier will open a new $23 million manufacturing plant and create 400 jobs in the next five years in Perry County, where the unemployment rate in recent years has reached nearly 30 percent, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday.
The Republican governor and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said Michigan-based NYX Inc. is coming to Linden, Tenn. and will produce molded plastics for a wide variety of automotive manufacturers starting next year.
The company also owns Bates, LLC, an existing automotive manufacturing facility in nearby Lobelville, Tenn.
Perry County’s July unemployment rate was 14.7 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It was as high as 29.7 percent in January of 2009.
Officials said NYX, which is expected to start accepting applications in November, has signed a 10-year lease for the 175,000-square-foot building in Linden. The Bates operation in Lobelville will remain intact, with no change to employment numbers.

• • • • •
MEMPHIS (AP) — Police in Memphis have arrested two men in a weekend shooting that killed a 7-year-old girl.
Police charged 21-year-old Brian Waller and 24-year-old Michael Love with reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Investigators said Miranda Thomas was struck by one of several shots fired from a car early Saturday. The child was in an apartment when she was struck. Police arrived to find her on the floor with a gunshot wound.

• • • • •
GATLINBURG (AP) — A concrete basin that collapsed at the Gatlinburg wastewater treatment plant, killing two workers and allowing millions of gallons of sewage to spill into the Little Pigeon River, will be demolished and replaced.
The collapse during a period of heavy rain April 5 killed 53-year-old John Eslinger and 44-year-Don Storey, employees of Veolia Water North America, which operates the city-owned plant.
Company spokeswoman Karole Colangelo said demolition of the wrecked basin will begin in October, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has recently expressed concerns about a temporary system the plant has been using in the treatment of sewage.
In its response, the city said it will demolish the remains of the basin and build a new one.

• • • • •
NASHVILLE (AP) — A special legislative panel is considering a proposal that would end high school graduates’ ability to qualify for Tennessee lottery scholarships through their ACT scores alone.
The Senate Lottery Stabilization Task Force has been assigned by Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville to find ways to stem losses in the scholarship fund’s reserves.
Students must currently earn either a 3.0 GPA or score a 21 on their ACT to qualify for a scholarship worth $4,000 at four-year schools.
David Wright, who heads the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s policy and planning division, told the panel that without any changes, the lottery's reserves would be depleted to the statutory minimum of $50 million by 2024.
About 15 percent of lottery scholarships are awarded to students who qualify based on their ACT scores but did not average a B in high school, Wright said. Of those, only one in five do well enough their first year in college to retain their scholarships.