Judicial Redistricting Consensus Plan Passes State Senate

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Senate voted 27 to 4 to approve Senate Bill 780, legislation that outlines a new judicial map for Tennessee. The consensus plan was designed at the direction of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) after significant input from the public and cooperation by stakeholder groups. Tennessee’s judicial map has not been redrawn since 1984.

“While the 1984 map made great strides by consolidating public defenders, district attorneys and judges into unified districts, it is clear that the particular politics of the time influenced the map resulting in untenable inefficiencies,” Lt. Governor Ramsey said. “This map corrects those mistakes and brings our judicial districts into the 21st century. I am very pleased that Tennessee will soon have a judicial map that reflects the significant changes that have occurred in Tennessee in the last 30 years. Tennessee has grown and it is time that its judicial districts grew with it. I’m proud to have been a part of this process.”

He said Senate Bill 780 "causes minimal disruption to the current system affecting only 22 counties in eight districts. To maximize efficiency, the number of judicial districts have been reduced from 31 to 29. Factors such as regional integrity, geographic boundaries and ease of inter-county travel were also heavily considered."

An open call for judicial redistricting proposals went out in February. Fourteen maps were submitted as well as informal input from members of the public and stakeholder groups. The plan was unveiled at a press conference in March.

Joining Lt. Governor Ramsey at the unveiling and endorsing the plan were judicial redistricting bill sponsors Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Representative Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) along with Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, Tennessee Trial Judges Association President Chancellor Daryl Fansler, Tennessee Judicial Conference President Robert Holloway and Tennessee Bar Association President Jackie Dixon.

The plan can be found online at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/judredist/judredist.html.

New USDA Rules Aimed At "Ending The Inhumane Practice Of Horse Soring"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Monday announced proposed changes to strengthen enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and "end inhumane practices known as soring, which cause horses to suffer physical pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness while walking and moving." APHIS enforces the HPA, a federal ... (click for more)

Home Damaged By Kitchen Fire Monday Afternoon

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a house fire in the 400 block of Roberts Road around  2 p.m.  on Monday. When the first firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was visible. Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said the firefighters located the fire in the kitchen and worked quickly to get the fire out. The fire damage was contained to the kitchen, but the rest of ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)