Versailles businessman Fred Siegelman has taken over as director of Kentucky Correctional Industries, a program that provides inmates with work experience intended to give them marketable skills upon release. Siegelman, who served four terms as Versailles mayor from 1999 to 2013, moved into the new role last week. He also owned and operated multiple Little Caesars restaurants in central Kentucky for more than 25 years.
The Tennessee Department of Correction has added an automated fee payment system for court-ordered fines, fees and restitution. There is a charge to use the online or telephone payment system, but the vendor isn't charging the state for the service. Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield says the system will free up probation/parole officers to spend more time supervising offenders in communities.
A bipartisan panel tasked with finding a solution to Illinois' massive pension problem is set to meet this afternoon. Today marks their third meeting. The 10-member panel formed last month out of a special session on pensions. Lawmakers adjourned without agreeing on a solution to the nearly $100 billion crisis. Both chambers had been divided on dueling pension plans. Committee members say they're taking those into account but have other ideas too. Governor Pat Quinn gave the committee a Tuesday deadline.
The Tennessee Board of Education’s decision last month to change how teachers are paid has led to a social media push to remove Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. The Tennessean reports two Facebook pages and a Change dot org petition with hundreds of signatures are calling for Huffman's ouster. He does have support from Governor Bill Haslam, the state education board chairman and outside education advocates. At issue is a change to the minimum teacher salary schedule, a reduction in salary increase steps and an elimination of incentives for post-baccalaureate training. Lydia Logan is the managing director of the national education advocacy
A legal opinion issued by the state Attorney General Bob Cooper outlines exactly when it's legal for blue flashing lights to be used as part of a funeral procession in Tennessee. The opinion requested by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet says that only full-time law enforcement officers can use blue flashing lights while escorting funeral processions — as long as it's part of their official duty to do so.
State education officials are kicking off the second phase of training teachers on how to implement a new set of common core benchmarks for math and reading. More than 30,000 teachers from across the state signed up to be trained in sessions that started last month for math.
A new mobile phone app is helping guide wine lovers to Kentucky vineyards around the state. John Walker has the details. The free Kentucky Wine Trails app offers places to buy Kentucky wines and also takes them to the wineries dotted around the state.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has cut an unspecified number of jobs across departments at the academic medical center.
Vanderbilt spokesman John Howser told The Tennessean the cuts were not considered layoffs. Howser said Vanderbilt, one of the city's largest private employers, was taking steps to address workplace performance.