- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014
Early voting underway for Tennessee primary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Early voters began casting their ballots Friday for Tennessee’s primary election, with tea party-styled challenges to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s bid for the Republican nomination to a third term.

Alexander is looking to avoid an upset from state Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro or Memphis physician and radio station owner George Flinn. Carr has sought to consolidate tea party support, while Flinn has given $1.8 million of his own money into his final push.

Turnout for the Aug. 7 primary is expected to be light. Hard-fought statewide primaries drew about 30 percent of voters in 2006 and 2010, but lower-profile campaigns in 2008 and 2012 drew less than 20 percent of voters. Close to half of all ballots in the last two primaries were cast by early or absentee voters, meaning time is running out to make a case to undecided Republicans.

Alexander, a former two-term governor who also ran for president twice, in a recent interview noted that he has gained a majority in each of his previous five primary campaigns and that he has campaigned heavily to persuade Republican voters to rally behind him again this time.

“I’ve focused over the year on staying in touch with Tennesseans and presenting myself as a conservative with an independent streak who knows how to get results,” Alexander said. “And if Tennesseans want more of that, why then I’ll be re-elected.”

Carr has cited the upset tea party win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia as a blueprint for his campaign against Alexander. Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham has declared herself “all in for Joe Carr,” and plans to campaign on his behalf next week.


Greene County board resubmits pipeline plan

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An eastern Tennessee county has asked the state again for permits that would allow US Nitrogen to build miles-long pipelines to and from the Nolichucky River.

The Greene County Industrial Development Board voted Friday to resubmit an application requesting the Tennessee Department Of Transportation to allow the board to place a double-pipeline along state and county right of ways from the area of the US Nitrogen plant to the Nolichucky River.

The pipeline would supply industries in Midway with raw water directly from the river and return wastewater to the river.

The Greeneville Sun reported (https://bit.ly/1mR2EEqhttps://bit.ly/1mR2EEq ) that regulators rejected a previous request for permits because they concluded that only US Nitrogen would benefit from the project. The state requires applicants to show the project will benefit the greater public.


Information from: The Greeneville Sun, https://www.greenevillesun.comhttps://www.greenevillesun.com


Jason Taylor named publisher at Jackson newspaper

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jason Taylor, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has been named president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger.

The announcement came Friday from Robert Dickey, president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division (https://on.thec-l.com/1moCV1Ehttps://on.thec-l.com/1moCV1E ). Gannett Co. Inc. owns The Clarion-Ledger.

Dickey says Taylor will also serve as regional president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing East Group, where he will oversee the Hattiesburg American and Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser.

Taylor succeeds Leslie Hurst, who is retiring at the end of July at The Clarion-Ledger.

The 39-year-old Taylor began his professional career in newspapers at the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

In 2003, Taylor was named general manager of the Times in Gainesville, Georgia, and later moved to the Honolulu Advertiser. He joined the Chattanooga newspaper in 2007.


Lady A moving at jetliner’s pace in life, studio

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The title for Lady Antebellum’s forthcoming new album, “747,” refers to a hook in the title song about how a commercial jetliner can’t go fast enough for a man trying to reclaim his love. It’s also a fitting analogy for the country trio’s own super-sonic momentum over the last year.

Their last album was released just 14 months ago, a couple months before singer Hillary Scott gave birth to her daughter, Eisele. A deluxe version of the album came out November, and then they started writing new music while out on tour. Now, it just gets more complex as “747” is due out Sept. 30 - about the same time singer-guitarist Dave Haywood is expecting his first child.

“We are just so excited for the opportunity to just continue to build our career,” Scott said as she was heading into the studio to put the finishing touches on the record with Haywood and singer Charles Kelley. “And then also in our personal lives… our families are growing. That’s the energy level we are in, in both personal and career.”

For a fresh take and new ears, they turned to Taylor Swift producer Nathan Chapman. Scott said the band got famous for their softer, romantic songs like the crossover Grammy Award-winning ballad “Need You Now” and the multiplatinum “Just A Kiss.” But seeing the fans’ reactions to their last two up-tempo singles, “Compass” and “Bartender,” both produced by Chapman, convinced them of the direction they needed to go.

“I know that once we released ‘Compass’ as a single, the energy that song brought to our career, to our live show, it was really evident that was something we needed more of,” Scott said.

The band co-wrote about half of the 11-song album by taking songwriters out on the road with them, no easy feat for Scott, who also took her baby girl out on tour. And with another band baby on the way, Lady Antebellum just keeps picking up speed along the way.

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