- Associated Press - Saturday, May 10, 2014
Tuition increases mulled in Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tuition increases could be in store for many college students in Tennessee.

The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1kSodkg) reports that some public universities could see increases of between 4 and 8 percent to offset reduced state funding. Community college students could see an increase of between 2.6 and 10.6 percent.

Officials at a Tennessee Board of Regents Finance Committee meeting on Thursday reviewed estimated increases at each school.

The University of Memphis submitted a plan to avoid an increase. Projected increases at other schools varied.

Officials say the numbers are preliminary. Formal tuition proposals will be ready on May 27.

Tuition recommendations for the University of Tennessee system will be ready on June 19, but UT officials have discussed an increase of 4 to 6 percent.


Harlan Mathews, successor to Gore in Senate, dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Harlan Mathews, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Gore after he was elected vice president in 1992, died Friday. He was 87.

A family spokesman said Mathews died at a hospice in Nashville with his wife, Pat, by his side. He had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Mathews joined Tennessee government in 1950 as a member of the state budget staff and quickly became a top aide to Govs. Frank Clement and Buford Ellington. The Legislature elected Mathews as state treasurer in 1974, a position he held until resigning to run Democrat Ned McWherter’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 1986.

Gore was at the pinnacle of his popularity in Tennessee when he swept all 95 counties in his re-election to the Senate in 1990. But his election as vice president two years later presented McWherter with a dilemma for finding a suitable replacement after his first choice, then-Rep. John Tanner, had taken himself out of the running.

McWherter said at the time that he chose Mathews as a caretaker “because he would be free of any political considerations to vote as he needed to vote.”

Mathews agreed that his appointment meant he could spend his time representing the state “without spending a single hour worrying about re-election.”


Fired Tennessee deputy takes early retirement

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee deputy who was fired after the publication of a photo that appears to show him choking a suspect has decided to take early retirement.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1jHMo6X) reports that documents dated Thursday show that 47-year-old Frank Phillips chose to take “deferred retirement” instead of appealing his firing.

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy Jones terminated Phillips on April 27, saying he believes Phillips used “excessive force” while arresting a college student.

Phillips’ attorney, Don Bosch, says the former deputy denies using excessive force and is looking for other employment.

The newspaper reports that freelance photographer John Messner took photos of the arrest that first appeared on the website of the U.K. Daily Mail. The caption says the deputy, whose hands appear to be around the suspect’s neck, rendered the student unconscious.



Campaign to turn away same-sex couples suspended

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The sponsors of a measure to permit Oregon business owners to turn away same-sex couples whose weddings they object to for religious reasons have abandoned their campaign.

Friends of Religious Freedom said Friday it will suspend the ballot initiative and instead pursue a lawsuit on behalf of business owners who object to same-sex weddings.

The Oregon Supreme Court approved the ballot language on Thursday. The campaign suspended its efforts 24 hours later, saying the ballot language as written by the office of the Oregon attorney general was unacceptable.

The campaign sought to portray the issue as one that frees business owners from having to violate their religious beliefs by abiding by Oregon law.

“But the certified ballot title does not acceptably state this,” Friends of Religious Freedom said in the release issued late Friday afternoon. “Indeed, it states it as intolerant instead of protecting equal rights of conscience.”

The ballot language approved said a “Yes” vote “creates ‘religious belief’ exceptions to anti-discrimination laws,” language the measure’s supporters said unfairly prejudiced voters against them.



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