The UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee is giving $1 million in grants to increase housing for Tennesseans with mental illness. Officials say the funding will help support development of appropriate housing for people who need a place to live after being discharged from a mental health facility.

The City of Martin’s Brad Thompson joins us to preview activities of The Soybean Festival that can bring up to 40,000 people to Martin to observe west Tennessee’s dominance in soybean production. The festival will be in downtown Martin from September 1 to 8, featuring music by Dustin Lynch, The Martins, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Tim May, Survivor, and Sawyer Brown. According to the festival website, the festival got its start 20 years ago and celebrates the "crossroads of good living," allowing people to "pay homage to a tiny, but worthy vegetable that is capable of feeding and fueling everday lives." See more about Martin's Soybean Festival.

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The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will again consider instituting a sandhill crane hunt.  State wildlife officials will take public comment, and the commission will decide whether to allow crane hunting when it meets in August. This is the second time in three years that the agency has pondered such a proposal.  The Tennessean reports the commission considered a hunt in 2011 but deferred action on the proposal. 

The public meeting in Manchester, Tenn., about 70 miles from Nashville, was supposed to address and tamp down discrimination toward Muslims there.

But instead it turned into a shouting match.


The Tennessee Department of Children's Services said it will charge close to $35,000 to produce public records of children who died, or nearly died, in the past 11 months after having some contact with DCS.  The agency announced the fee Wednesday after the Tennessean requested files from July 2012 to May 2013. 

Neither businesses nor firearms groups are pleased with a bill that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee late yesterday. The “guns-in-trunks” legislation is headed to a vote of the full state Senate.

The head of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce – Bill Ozier – told the panel that corporations see no need to expand the rights of gun owners. He also admitted businesses realize guns are already being stored in cars on their property.

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More gold bars could be headed to Tennessee if one Republican lawmaker from Rutherford County has his way. A bill introduced last week would repeal the state’s sales tax on precious metals. 

Gold investors range from savvy stockbrokers to seniors convinced by infomercials that precious metals will keep them safe from economic calamity. If they just receive a certificate and keep the physical gold in a tax-free state, they can avoid the sales tax in Tennessee. 

In his third State of the State address last night, Governor Bill Haslam laid out a plan to cut taxes, pay state employees more, and still save money for a rainy day.

“Tennessee is different,” Haslam told members of the Tennessee General Assembly, his cabinet, and the public gathered on the floor of the state Legislature. The governor said that Tennessee is different from other states because of its low cost of living and relatively low unemployment, and different from Washington D.C. because Tennessee has made cuts instead of raising taxes.

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Tennessee State government is opening self-service kiosks that will allow drivers to renew or replace their driver licenses and state identification cards that will hopefully reduce lines and wait times.

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has no public events scheduled this week as he prepares to deliver his annual State of the State address.